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Area fishing report

Lake Nimrod: Good Ole Boys Trading Post (479-272-4710) said the water is very high, but is dropping back out of flood stage. The campsites are all underwater. Once the water level drops things should get back to normal. Crappie were biting well on minnows and jigs. Bass also were biting well on crankbaits. Catfishing is pretty good on chicken livers and stinkbait. Whiskers Sporting Goods in Perryville (501-889-2011) said the water is high. Bream are excellent on redworms, and crickets. Crappie are biting well on minnows and Bobby Garland Slab Slay’rs and Baby Shads in 3 to 8 feet of water. Bass are biting well on worms and spinnerbaits. Catfishing is good on nightcrawlers and chicken livers.

Lake Dardanelle: Chuck Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said the water temperature is in the high 70s to low 80s, and the water is stained with sporadic flow rates. Topwater lures, such as frogs, prop baits, buzzbaits and poppers are working fairly well around pepper grass and lily pads. At mid-morning, square-billed crankbaits, jigs and worms fished around points or drops are getting a few bites. In the early afternoon, large worms, deep-diving crankbaits and jigs are working in deep water. Stripers and white bass can be found in current up the creek and in the river when there’s flow; fish the blowouts in the jetties and current breaks with a topwater bait, jerkbait, tailspinner or swim bait. Crappie have been biting well in the creeks on minnows and dark-colored jigs fished 4 feet deep. Bream have been good in the river and creeks on worms and crickets. Catfish are good from dam to dam on live bait for flatheads, cut bait for blue cats and worms for channel catfish

Blue Mountain Lake: The Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 388.84 feet msl (flood pool – 419 msl). Jeremy Wells, at the Blue Mountain Lake Project Office said the lake is still pretty high, so there hasn’t been much fishing, but the water level is dropping to a more fishable level.

Lake Ouachita: Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs said the water temperature is in the 60s and the lake level is in the buckbrush. Black bass are wrapping up the spawn and are guarding fry. Good fish are still being caught on floating worms, Carolina rigs and jerk baits on the south side of the lake. A jighead worm fished in the guts of the creek also works. Get the topwaters ready, because the warmer days will bring some great action on the surface. Crappie are in brush about 7 feet deep and less. Bream are spawning, so look for beds on the banks. Catfish are spawning and are excellent on live and prepared bait. Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is stained and the surface water temperature is 68 to 72 degrees. Largemouth bass are biting well on jighead worms and Texas-rigged worms. Bass are also picking up on Zara Spooks and Zoom Super Flukes. Walleye are biting very well on Shad Raps and swimbaits fished on main lake points. Stripers are excellent on C-10 Redfins with some great topwater action along main lake points in all three river basins. Bream are biting well near brush in 10 feet of water. Crappie are biting well on minnows and crappie jigs fished around brush in 8 to 14 feet of water. Catfishing is excellent on trotlines and jug lines baited with cut bait and fished in large bays and major creek basins.

Lake Hamilton: Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs said the water temperature is in the 60s and the lake is full. The water color is stained from the rains and is clearing slowly. Black bass have moved off the beds and are guarding fry. Good fish are being caught on floating worms, jerk baits and Carolina rigs. Topwater season is right around the corner. Crappie are shallow and are being caught around brush in 6 feet of water and less. Bream are on the banks bedding and being caught on crickets and worms. Catfish also are spawning.

Lake Catherine: Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service said Lake Ouachita is now out of the flood pool and a more normal generation schedule has been set for Carpenter Dam. Water temperature is 55 degrees in the tailrace with clear conditions from the dam to the bridge. Rainbow trout fishing is very good with quality catches being recorded by bank and boat fishermen alike. Wax worms, meal worms, redworms, nightcrawlers and crickets are all proven live bait presentations fished under a bobber or just off the bottom with a marshmallow floater. Spin fishermen casting 1/16- or 1/8-ounce jigs in white or smoke are having success hooking rainbows in the 14-inch class while the turbines are running. Little Cleos and Super Dupers in silver or white are also working well in the current. Hungry trout are keying on the threadfin shad schools that have migrated into the area to spawn. Trolling shallow running crankbaits against the current is also effective in finding schools of trout and targeting trophy fish that are feeding on large minnows. Late May and June are good white bass months since they coincide with the spawn and the shad migrations. Jerkbaits in bright colors cast or trolled will be highly effective in times of generation. Live minnows tightlined over deep water will account for the biggest numbers of white bass and also the larger fish taken. A few crappie are still in the tailrace, resting and feeding from the spawn and are being caught on minnows and small jigs in the main river channel. Walleye are located below the bridge on both sides of the lake chasing shad in the deeper water. Trolling crankbaits that run just above the bottom have caught fish, but Carolina rigs tipped with minnows or nightcrawlers have been the most productive means of taking walleye. Late evening is a key time to fish for walleye when the current is stable. No striper action has been observed close to the dam.

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