Fishing In Hot Springs Arkansas

Hot Springs ★★★★★ 5 3 reviews
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Hot Springs, Ar

Lake Ouachita

Ouachita River

Lake Catherine

4 best Places to Go Hot Springs Fishing

Guide to Fishing Hot Springs

Welcome to Hot Springs

Fishing is a popular pastime around Hot Springs, where there are three lakes for the sport. Largemouth bass fishing is quite popular as trophy largemouth, and striped bass is well-known in this region. The lakes are also where many fishes like bream, crappie, and walleye live.

Fishers are allowed to fish for public pleasure and customary and traditional usage in Hot Springs National Park in Hot Springs Arkansas. Fishing is carefully regulated to protect the resources of the state park.

The Hot Springs area is perfect for learning how to fish because of its abundance of fish species. This helpful guide will lead you through all the things you should know about Hot Springs fishing.

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Fishing in Hot Springs Reviews

Hot Springs Reviews

Family Time

Hot Springs
Was such a fun day fishing with the family, got to enjoy the lake and some waterfalls. Really safe trip, and a easy to figure book online. Staff were were helpful and nice.
- Doc John

Beautiful Lake & Area

Hot Springs
I fished in the area for the first time and really had a great time. Capt Levi was informative and fun to be with. It was a very busy lake with lots of sightseers, but Levi knew where to find the fish.
- Jacqueline

Hot Springs
Our party of two adults recently visited Hot Springs for the umpteenth time and finally did fishing charter in the area. This was a blast and will became a yearly adventure.
- Tom Lell
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Lake Ouachita

Lake Ouachita is the first in its series with three artificial lakes. Because of the block for the construction of residential facilities, the nature and wildlife in the Ouachita National Forest are intact.

Between 600 and 900 miles of coastline (depending on the water level) and around 40,000 acres of water, Lake Ouachita is Arkansas’ biggest lake. This water area is one of the best places in the country for catching largemouth bass, but it also has a wide variety of other fish. All year-round, the lake is filled with this type of fish, as well as bream, catfish, and crappie. Cool water walleye are added when required.

They often use braided lines and attach a leader onto their spinning reels. The fish won’t be able to see the fishing line in the water this way. You can catch bass if you learn to utilize spinning gear and get some eight-ounce jig heads and six-inch worms.

Ouachita River

Two dams on the Ouachita River in the tourist town of Hot Springs divert the river’s flow into two lakes, Hamilton and Catherine.

At this point, the stream leaves the Ouachita Mountains and enters what is known in Arkansas as the Timberlands area, also known as West Gulf Coastal Plain. After passing past Smackover and El Dorado, two oil-producing cities in southern Arkansas, the creek enters the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge east of Crossett.

Rainbow trout fishing in the Ouachita River may be plentiful throughout the season, despite the river’s small size and little potential for large fish. Tailwaters of dams near Hot Springs Arkansas provide rainbow trout for fishers to fish. Both Blakely Mountain Dam (Lake Ouachita) and Carpenter Dam (Hamilton Lake) produce cold water that offers excellent cool-season fishing opportunities for rainbow trout, both from the shore or from a boat.

Anglers in the southern Ouachita hunt bass, catfish, crappie, and bream. Southern Arkansas fishermen flock to the Felsenthal refuge because it is one of the best fishing spots in the area.

Lake Hamilton

Lake Ouachita water flows over Blakely Dam into Lake Hamilton as it moves downstream. Although it is just a quarter of the size of Lake Ouachita, the coastline has been heavily developed, with residences and docks virtually along the entire length of the pond. As a result, it is much more crowded during the summer months when the boating enthusiasts enjoy it.

There is less recreational traffic in the early morning and late nighttime hours. In addition, many anglers like fishing at night. Good trout fishing is available in the icy waters near Blakely Dam’s spillway. Fishermen go to these waters yearly to fish largemouth bass and striper because it is stocked with trout, walleye, catfish, and bass.

Low-light conditions would give you the best chances for a catch, but it’s also advised to use a black spinner bait too.

Lake Catherine

The water from Lake Hamilton and Carpenter Dam goes to Lake Catherine. This small water area covers only 1,940 acres; still, there are plenty of places to go fishing. It is supplied yearly with catfish, trout, and walleye, the same species found in Lake Ouachita and Lake Hamilton.

Rainbow trout and stripers abound at the foot of Carpenter Dam, where the cool water surges below the lake’s surface. Near the dam, fly fishermen often cast for rainbow trout in wadeable shoals.

Every summer, the Hot Springs Fishing Challenge, an event in which prize money is awarded to anglers who catch one of the numerous fish marked for the occasion, is held on Lakes Catherine and Hamilton. Largemouth and white bass, bluegill, channel catfish, and crappie are among the species with cash prizes ranging from $500 to $15,000 for the largest fish, “Big Al.”

Arkansas is a great spot to go fishing since you can reel almost everything you desire.

Top Targeted Fish Species

Largemouth Bass at the State Park

Largemouth Bass

Crappie in Hot Springs Arkansas


Walleye Fish


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Hot Springs Fishing Guide

There’s a lot to do in Hot Springs. For starters, you can find many waterways. With the diversity of lakes, fishermen can practice their casting and learn new skills. You can find many fishing guides online where former guests leave their honest comments. Like Tom Franks from Morganton Ga that had a fantastic experience!

Fishing License

Fishermen 16 and older in this state must acquire a fishing license from Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs or any Wal-Mart in the state. An annual permit costs $50, a 3-day trip license costs $16, and a 7-day trip license is $25. The fee for a trout-angling license for non-residents is $12. Stop by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission website for further information or to buy licenses online.

Local Hot Springs Fishing Guides

Hot Springs Fishing Guides

Meet the team of Arknasas Fishing Guides, we know the best spots, baits, and techniques to give you the greatest fishing experience in the Hot Springs area.

Do you need a fishing license in Arkansas?

Before you set out for your fishing journey, remember to read up on fishing regulations in Arkansas. If you’re 16 or older, you’ll need a valid Arkansas fishing license to fish. A trout stamp is also required for all resident anglers between 16 and 64 years of age for trout fishing. A good reference is the Arkansas Department of Natural Resources; their website can tell you more about the fishing license requirement and how to get it.

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Forrest Wood Cup

The lakes in the Hot Springs region have played home to some of the most prominent professional fishing events, in addition to several amateur contests.

The three-day FLW Expo at the Hot Springs Convention Center includes hundreds of exhibitors showing the newest gear and goods, making it a fun event for the whole family. What’s more, there will be contests and prizes to be won. After the Expo, the world’s best anglers will gather at Bank OZK Arena to display their catch.

Aside from sport fishing, angling in Hot Springs is a popular pastime because of the many lakes and the variety of fish that inhabit them. This place is also a fishing community, as many people are eager to share their expertise and enthusiasm for the sport with others.


Fishing is as Southern as sweet tea for most people who grew up in this region, and it’s appreciated all over the globe. It’s a long-standing custom that can relax anyone.

Whether you are a novice or an experienced angler, fishing in Hot Springs, Arkansas, provides an opportunity for both. The abundance of fish species in these waters provides the perfect terrain for learning how to cast a line for the first time.

Even long-time anglers can master all the fishing techniques out there. Aside from fishing, you can rent a kayak or a paddle boat and enjoy various activities with your family.

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