Fishing in Arkansas

Last updated on July 2nd, 2021 at 11:42 pm. Originally published on June 30th, 2021

Arkansas is replete with fishing opportunities. From rivers and streams to lakes and trout waters, the state is full of good fishing spots waiting for you. With over 9,000 miles of fishable streams and rivers, 600,000 acres of lakes, and numerous creeks and bayous, anglers have a broad scope to catch impressive specimens from a wide variety of freshwater fish species. Fish from the water or the shoreline – the choice is yours. However, you must have a license to fish in publicly accessible waters. So if you have some patience and a fishing license, you can fish here all year-round.

The rising sun burns away the fog over a river dock with seats.

Fishing Spots in Arkansas

White River

The White River runs through the Ozark Mountains in the northwest part of the state for about 722 miles from its source in the Boston Mountains, snaking via Arkansas to Missouri. Located between Darcy and Jacksonville, the White River is a perfect fishing point for a dedicated angler. It’s home to a wide variety of catfish, walleye, bluegill, trout, bass, and sunfish. You can try your hand at spearfishing, fly-fishing, or fishing from a johnboat.

DeGray Lake

Situated near Arkadelphia, the DeGray Lake is a man-made lake that offers 13,800 acres of clear waters ideal for fishing, boating, and numerous watersports. The DeGray fishing resort sits south of Hot Springs town in south-central Arkansas. The numerous wooded pockets, islands, and coves make DeGray Lake perfect for bass fishing. Bass, crappie, and catfish are among the species you can catch. After a long day on DeGray Lake, you can spend the night at the lodge or any of the many campgrounds and parks situated around the lake.

Lake Ouachita

Lake Ouachita is a man-made reservoir that sits close to Hot Springs in the west-central region of Arkansas and is the biggest lake in the state. Boasting more than 40,000 acres of crystal clear waters, Lake Ouachita sits in Ouachita National Forest and is renowned for stripers and largemouth bass fishing. While fishing here, keep in mind that this lake still holds the remnants of a drowned forest, so watch out for shallow water markers and treetops. Lake Ouachita is among the most famous destinations for scuba diving, particularly during the spearfishing season.

Spring River

The Spring River offers an ideal environment for many varieties of fish. It’s one of the unique bodies of water among Arkansas trout waters and is known for walleye fishing. There are over 10 miles of pristine trout fishing with numerous access points. The fish respond well to fly fishing. If you enjoy fishing while wading or from the bank, the three-mile stretch between Dam 3 and Mammoth Spring is the ideal place for you.

Millwood Lake

Millwood Lake is one of the most common locations when anglers are choosing where to fish in Arkansas. The flooded timber in this 29,000-acre lake offers an ideal environment for numerous types of fish. Millwood Lake is a renowned fishing spot that features crappie, bass, bluegills, and catfish.

Little Red River

If you like fly fishing, you cannot miss the Little Red River. Little Red River is a famous tail-water trout stream stocked with thousands of rainbow trout each year. The periodical release of brown trout makes it an excellent fishing spot in north-central Arkansas. Enjoy fishing in this fantastic spot surrounded by stunning hardwood hillsides that you will share with ducks, otters, deer, eagles, and raccoons.

Bull Shoals Lake

Situated in the Ozark Mountains, Bull Shoals Lake is home to some of the most extensive bass fishing in the United States. This lake straddles the northern boundary of Arkansas and then extends into Missouri. The lake also has other species, including trout, crappie, walleye, and panfish. There are numerous places to stay, including campgrounds and cabins. Here, you can rent boats, and there is well-stocked equipment and tackle store on site where you can get fishing guides for the region.

Where to Fish in Arkansas

The Ozarks are a top-rated destination for fishing and camping in Arkansas. They’re a heavily eroded plateau carved out by numerous streams over thousands of years. These highlands feature an endless diversity of ecosystem and some of the most beautiful rivers and stunning lakes in the United States are here. Trout swim in the Little Red, White, and Spring rivers, and you will find plenty of panfish and bass in the lakes and smaller streams. The Ozarks are an excellent place for recreational canoeing, boating, and swimming.

Fishing in the Ouachita region is also fun. You can spice up your travel when you head to the Ouachita Mountains, visit a diamond or crystal mine, or unwind in a spa city full of family attractions. You will find beautiful settings for fishing, swimming, skiing, scuba diving, and sailing in this region.

The Arkansas Timberlands is also a popular fishing area. Tour the pine-covered Timberlands to enjoy the great outdoors in popular destinations like Millwood, Cane Creek, and White Oak Lake.

Camping and Fishing in Arkansas

Before you go fishing and camping in Arkansas, look over your rig, make sure you have everything you need, and check that everything is in working order. Ensure that your freezer and fridge are working and that you have enough space for your estimated catch. If you don’t have plans to eat your fish the night you catch it, you will need to freeze the fish, so remember to bring the proper containers to preserve it. Also, ensure that your black water tank is empty and your freshwater tank is full. Check out our blog to learn some more about fishing before embarking on the trip.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home on board your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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