When it comes to fishing in America, Arkansas offers some of the best waters a fishing enthusiast could ask for. According to the state’s official website, “the Natural State offers 9,700 miles of fishable streams and rivers, 600,000 acres of lakes, numerous bayous, creeks and sloughs” (Arkansas). Below are 10 of the must-visit fishing locations in Arkansas.
The Arkansas River is the sixth-longest river in the United States. It’s a great river to fish for bass, and many bass competitions are held along its waters. One popular contest is the Big Bass Bonanza. It’s the state’s largest amateur fishing tournament.
Lake Ouachita has been dubbed the Striped Bass Capital of the World. It is the largest lake completely located within the state’s borders (Portions of Bull Shoals Lake reach into Missouri). Besides striped bass, you’ll also find smallmouth bass, catfish, and bream in its waters. The lake’s waters also offer great visibility for spearfishing enthusiasts. Surrounding the river are nearly 1000 campsites, so you’ll have a lot of choices should you choose to camp.
Beaver Lake is a great location to visit during the hot summer months. Many of the campsites in the area have electricity and water if you plan on camping. In its waters, you’ll find many of the same fish that inhabit Lake Ouachita.
Like Lake Ouachita, DeGray Lake is another reservoir created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the lake’s waters, you will find largemouth bass, striped bass, and hybrid stripers. The DeGray Lake Resort State Park is Arkansas’ only resort state park. The lodge at DeGray Lake Resort State Park sits on an island on the lake.
Petit Jean State Park
Petit Jean State Park takes its name from the legend of Petit Jean. Petit Jean was supposedly an 18th-century French woman who disguised herself as a man in order to explore the Louisiana Territory with her fiancé. She became sick on the trip but not before revealing her true identity to her fiancé. Her grave can be found on Petit Jean mountain. Lake Bailey is seasonally stocked with many different kinds of fish. Petit Jean State Park is close to the Arkansas River.
Village Creek State Park
In addition to exceptional bass fishing, Village Creek State Park offers numerous campsites, 10 cabins, and a 27-hole golf course.
The White River offers some of the best trout fishing in the state. While fishing on the White River, you can stay at Angler’s White River Resort. The resort stocks all of the supplies you will need, and it offers fishing guides and boat rentals.
North Fork River
The North Fork River is also known for its trout. According to the state’s website, “the current state-record brook trout (5 pounds)” was caught in North Fork waters (Arkansas).
Little Red River
The cold waters of Little Red River are home to many trout. In 1992 this river produced a world record 40 pound, four-ounce brown trout. That record no longer stands, but maybe you’ll be the one to set a new record when you visit.
This is the largest natural lake in the state. All year long you’ll find catfish swimming in its waters. During the spring and fall, you can fish for bass. Lake Chicot State Park provides 122 campsites and 14 cabins, and the marina provides bait and boat rentals.