The shores of Lake Hamilton are indeed bustling with activity. It is filled with numerous residential and commercial establishments that will is sure to keep tourists busy during their vacation.
Tourists visiting Lake Hamilton can find a plethora of activities, from wildlife and nature exploration to water recreation. Even though the lake is bustling with activity, there is one thing that Lake Hamilton is most popular for: fishing.
Fishing in Lake Hamilton
Among all the commercial and residential properties that fill Lake Hamilton’s shores are various marinas that make its water accessible. These marinas abound with shops that especially cater to anglers and fishing enthusiasts due to the lake’s abundance of fish.
Lake Hamilton is one of Arkansas’ most productive fisheries and has more fish per acre than any other lakes in Arkansas. It largemouth bass, striped bass, hybrid striped bass, spotted bass, white bass, trout, white crappie, black crappie, bream, channel catfish, blue catfish, and yellow bass.
The Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery keeps the lake well-stocked with walleye, hybrids, and stripers. Additionally, homes located on the shore offer bass-holding docks that offer year-round fishing experiences for those who would like to go fishing.
Best Times to Go
Lake Hamilton abounds with fish year-round and fishing can be done all year. However, fall and winter periods are the best times to go fishing due to the decline in tourist activity such as water sports and recreational boating, as well as angling, during these cool periods of the year.
Boat traffic peaks during the summer, again due to the abundance of tourists, so it is better to confine fishing efforts to early morning or late at night.
Lures to Pack
Super Spook Jr. in clear and shad, Boy howdy in chrome/black, smoke grubs with ¼-ounce head, spoons, 3/8 to 3/4-ounce jigs in black/blue and green pumpkin, 1/8-ounce gray bucktail jig, suspending Rogue with black back and orange belly, lizards in watermelon and green pumpkin, 5-inch Yum Dinger in watermelon seed and watermelon candy, and worms in watermelon and pumpkin shades.
Best Spots for Fishing
When fishing in the summer and spring, knowing the patterns of the fish and topography of the lake (deep water holding pockets, river channels, time of day when water flow is high) will indeed be your key to success.
The northernmost tip of Lake Hamilton just below Blakely Dam is known for excellent trout fishing. This is also an excellent location for striped bass as the crystal clear water allows you to spot giant striped bass roaming the 45 degree waters in search of trout. Caution is necessary in these parts as the water is very shallow, which could reach less than one foot in some spots and the current is swift. The lake widens a bit about 500 yards into the dam and takes a south turn towards the main lake. This serves as a staging area for multitudes of monster stripers in the months of June to August. For a period of three weeks spanning late July to early August, schools of fish swarm the surface eating everything in sight every morning between 8 and 10 AM, and the frenzy lasts about 30 minutes before they disappear back to the main lake.
The trout tie up in the area located by the downed timber on the west shore near the overhead steel guide line that crosses the river. You can use 12-18in leaders on a light tackle and fit it with any treble hook loaded with chartreuse power bait.
One of the best areas on Lake Hamilton for bass fishing is the feeder creeks. These include the Big Mazam, Little Mazam, and Hot Springs creek, where the s-curve on the Big Mazam is one of the most active areas on the lake. Gradual slopes from 2ft to 22ft extend from the long reaching shallow flats and the shoreline is loaded with cover. Tiny pockets have multiple brushpiles in about 7-8ft of water.