I haven' t been on here in quite a while, but just a brief update on my Striper hunt on Lake Hamilton. I see this post has drawn quite a number of views since I posted it, so there must be a large number of anglers sharing my interest in Lake Hamilton! Well, good news! I found them!
Last summer after months of scratching my head about the location of the monster Stripers in Lake Hamilton, I found them, ALOT of them. I had some time off from work, so I dedicated several hours every morning to my search until I found them. (With a little help from the sonar graph!)
In July and August, during the worst heat of the summer, the giant Stripers are in the shallowest water in the Lake. You must head all the way to the bottom of the dam below Lake Ouachita, be advised, water depths reach as low as 3-4ft in spots. I had great success in several areas, fishing both Live Bait and Hard Plastics.
The first would be just below the boat launch at the dam spillway. Start your troll at the steel wire that crosses the river and head South. The water is 18ft-33ft in this area. Use your graph and find the river channel, and locate the points underwater, you'll see them there. The abundance of trout draws them in this area. (December 2009, the AGFC released 4,572 catchable trout in this area, so this year they'll be there for sure) Wait until you hear the siren marking the start of generation of the dam, and get ready, the bite starts soon thereafter. I only seemed to succeed here with Live Shad. Caught my limit several times.
The second, and the best area I found, is about a quarter of a mile south of here downstream. There's a straightaway about a mile long between the Hot Springs Water Intake and the final curve leading to the spillway, this entire stretch is a hotbed for Stripers. Here I witnessed multiple feeding frenzies last summer, explosive top water action that was unbelievable. It actually erupted around my boat on 2 different occasions last summer. WOW. I wish I could videoed it, but I had fish to catch! Caught my limit in 15 minutes both times. Fishing alone, I had to simply get them in the boat, drop the pole with the fish still on it, grab another pole and keep going! You only have a 30 minute window to take advantage of this, then they disappear into the main lake. The schools of gizzard shad always preceed them with breaking the water. Looking down into the crystal clear water I could see the Stripers flying by under the boat, several in the 30-40 pound range. Once they start breaking the topwater, your in business. I threw everything I had rigged up on the boat and landed a fish on all of it, no kidding. A 1oz White Rooster Tail netted an 18lb, a Silver/White Spinner Bait landed a 21lb, a Silver 1oz Rattle Trap netted an 18lb and a 1oz Silver Spoon netted a 24lb. In this area Ive also caught some good fish on topwater floaters and large white jigs, as well as Live Shad. One day during the frenzies, a fisherman downstream from me netted a 48lb monster on Live Shad.
The best time I found to be in the area is an hour before dam generation, typically around 6am-7am, and fish until about 10am. The heat and the boat traffic becomes too much after 10am, although I have caught fish as late as 2pm before, on a Monday and Tuesday when boat traffic is low.
I hope this helps some of you this summer, it's truley an exciting experience if you are a Striper enthusiast as I am. Good luck!