With 4 lakes in our immediate area, Hot Springs, AR, is a great place to fish. From May through July, you might even get PAID to fish on two of the lakes! The annual Hot Springs Fishing Challenge is about to begin, and they will give away over $100,000 in cash prizes!
Anglers who fish on Lakes Catherine and Hamilton between 6 a.m. May 1 and 5 p.m. July 31, 2018, will have a chance to catch tagged fish worth cash prizes ranging from $500 to $15,000! That’s right – one fish, affectionately known as “Big Al,” is just waiting for someone to reel him in for $15,000! There will be 71 tagged fish in the two lakes.
Arkansas’ Free Fishing Weekend will be held June 8-10. Residents and non-residents may fish this weekend without fishing licenses or trout permits. And to make the weekend even more exciting, 20 fish carrying $500 tags will be worth $1000 that weekend!
Prizes for the fishing challenge are only for fish caught on Lakes Hamilton and Catherine, but the two other lakes in our area are well known for fishing as well. DeGray Lake is best known for hybrid stripers, but is also popular for walleye, bream, crappie, catfish, and largemouth and black (spotted) bass . There are lots of coves and fishing shelters in the deep clear water of DeGray. Look for steep banks where fish can hide, and fish around the buoys in the middle of the lake. These indicate underwater shallow humps where spotted bass can often be found.
Striped bass, rainbow trout, catfish, crappie, largemouth bass and walleye can be found on Lake Ouachita. Bass can often be found around Hot Dog and Hamburger Islands, and Housley Point. Other popular spots are the south fork of the Ouachita River, Twin Creeks, Shangri La, Muddy Creek and Denby Point. Crappie can be found in the backs of creeks and the mouths of coves. Striped bass can be found spawning in the creeks in the spring, and mid-lake to the dam in the summer. There are many fishing guides in our area, or boat and kayak rentals are available on any lake.
Need Hot Springs AR lodging while you’re in the area? Tiffany’s Bed and Breakfast has ample space for boat parking, and we can point you to all the boat ramps and public access fishing piers in the area. So grab your rod and reel and join us for the Hot Springs Fishing Challenge. You just might be the lucky one to find Big Al and $15,000!