By Jim Harris, AGFC
Looking for a fishing getaway over a long holiday weekend? West-central Arkansas has some hot locales, according to customers who frequent Lisa Spencer’s bait shop in Benton. Lisa says that for two weeks in a row she’s been hearing that many people are catching lots of little bass and then some nice-size crappie at Lake Nimrod. Most are using No. 12 bass minnows there. And at Lake Ouachita, some very nice crappie being caught off the No. 4 crappie minnows by several people, and big bream off of crickets there as well. “Plus, I have a guy that has been going to Ouachita and using No. 6 crappie minnows and said him and his wife have been averaging 20-25 crappie but they have been huge slabs,” Lisa reports. Or, you can stay rather close to Lisa’s Bait Shop and fish for some really big bream that are biting near the Saline River Access right now. Bass are good, too.
At Norfork Lake in north Arkansas, Tom Reynolds (above right) or STR Outfitters informs us that said the August full moon has helped the striper bite on Norfork Lake. “I had five guided trips this past week and all but the last one caught their limits. (Sunday) we boated eight and missed or broke off 10 more. The bite has been awesome for us. I’m fishing at the dam and caught limits of stripers that must be kept because of the depth of the water column the fish are in. My son is fishing north on the Missouri side of Norfork Lake and catching big stripers that can be released.
“I went with him on Tuesday and boated seven that were between 12 and 20 pounds. The last two days he has boated a 22-pound and 26-pound striper, again all of them have been released. They are also catching stripers above the state line before Udall but those must be kept since the water is warmer. The fish are in 30 feet of water on the bottom.”
If you journey to Northwest Arkansas for the football game and bring a pole with you, Lake Sequoyah has a great catfish biting going on now, they say. Maybe you can catch your tailgating meal before the 3 p.m. kickoff Saturday for the Hogs’ opener. Over at Lake Fayetteville in the NWA Mall area, the black bass are good in the mornings (perfect!) and the bream are good as well. On the northeastern side of the state (where A-State opens its season at 6 p.m. Saturday night vs. SMU) you can spend the first half of Saturday fishing for bream at Crown Lake, as big ones are being caught there, according to Boxhound Marina. Bass are biting well late in the evening.
Folks hanging around central Arkansas and wanting a catfish bite ought to check things out at the Little Maumelle River. Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina says the catfish bite is great. Black bass and bream are good, too, so that should keep things interesting for anglers.