Arkansas has some of the best all-year round fishing, due to its four distinct seasons and moderate weather. The state offers 9,700 miles of fishable streams and rivers and 600,000 acres of lakes. These lakes and streams are home to a variety of species, including black bass, catfish, panfish, walleye and more. If you’re hoping to catch some fish, either for sport or dinner, here are five of the best spots you should visit.
The sixth largest river in the United States, the Arkansas River contains a bassing area larger than any man-made lake in the state, making bass fishing competitions incredibly common on this lake. The river stretches 300 miles, from Oklahoma to Mississippi, and is considered by Trout Unlimited as one of the top 100 trout streams in America.
Lake Hamilton was created in 1932 and is now one of Arkansas’ most popular recreational and residential lakes. Besides fishing, water-skiing and boating are also favorite activities on Lake Hamilton. In 1997, a 53 pound 9-ounce striped bass was caught on Lake Hamilton, breaking the record. Just four days later, a 53-pound 13-ounce striper was caught, breaking the barely-established record.
Not only was Lake Ouachita named one of the cleanest lakes in America, it’s also a choice spot for boating and fishing. The 40,000-acre lake holds bream, crappie, catfish, stripers and largemouth bass. Anglers can fish in the open water or quiet coves along the lake’s 975 miles of shoreline.
This 29,260-acre lake is famous for its bass tournaments but also contains largemouth, catfish and crappie. Summer is the best time to catch Catfish and bream, while the best time for crappie is during spring. Because the lake’s year-round inhabitants contain eagles, it’s a favorite spot for bird watching as well. On a day when the fish just aren’t biting, look around and see what new types of birds you can discover.
Greers Ferry Lake
Located in the foothills of the Ozarks in north-central Arkansas, this 40,000-acre lake is stocked by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission with every game fish native to the state. The lake holds state records for walleye and striped bass. During winter months, especially late-February to mid-March, it’s not unusual to see 15 to 18-pound walleyes caught in one of the lakes three tributaries.