While our state lakes are still running high from the past two weeks of heavy rain, and some fisheries such as DeGray are mostly inaccessible with ramp areas flooded and closed, Lake Hamilton at Hot Springs is apparently running “hot.” In the words of Tom Duke, who hosts the daily “Trader Bill’s Fishing Report” on US97 radio in Hot Springs, “I don’t think anyone could argue that Hamilton is probably the hottest lake in the state right now and has been that way for quite some time.” Duke can further base that statement on the results last weekend of the Arkansas Bass Tournament Trail, which relocated from the dangerous flows near Lake Dardanelle to Hamilton and saw 136 teams catch limits. To finish even in 100th place, you had to have a 10-pound stringer. The winning team brought in 19.86 pounds with a 5.36 “kicker,” while two 6-pounds were pulled from the lake, including a 6.32-pound “big bass.” Trader Bill’s representative Reagan Brown, who fished with husband Kevin Brown, said on Duke’s show that anglers were using a little bit of everything for shallow patterns, such as Rat-L-Traps, jigs and spinnerbaits. “They are moving up, there’s a lot of shallow water fishing out there. It’s unreal.” And this despite such a chocolatey look to the water, Duke and Brown said, proving that fish will bite when hungry and with fresh, warm water in the fishery. Brown said that she and her husband had caught five fish for a limit in 30-45 minutes, but stayed all day and steadily caught fish.