Fishing by Season
Best Year Round Fishing
Looking for a place where fishing seasons extend all year round? If you're in search of vacation fishing trips, look no further than The Natural State! Anglers in Arkansas know that there are no “best” times to fish–go whenever you feel like it. Four distinct fishing seasons, yet mild temperatures add to the pleasures of wetting a line in some of the best fishing lakes, rivers and streams in the South.There are no closed fishing seasons. However, some sections of trout waters are closed during spawning seasons.
No matter what time of year, remember that the best times to fish are whenever you have the time. The fish are always biting somewhere.
Fishing by Season
Take a fishing tour of Arkansas in April or May, when you can enjoy fabulous spring bass fishing on Beaver Lake, excellent spring walleye fishing on Lake Ouachita and superb spring trout fishing on Bull Shoals Lake.
Stripers usually hit top-water baits in April and May. Hybrid stripers and white bass gorge on shad in early spring offering a couple weeks of frenzied fun. To capitalize on the spring spawn try feeder streams of the large lakes. Four of Hot Springs's diamond lakes - Catherine, Hamilton, Ouachita and DeGray - offer good bass fishing in April.
April brings spawning crappie at locations like Lake Dardanelle. In May, bluegills are on their beds. Or, try your luck for world-class spring walleye fishing in May at Lake Ouachita near Hot Springs.
The fishing fury caused by freshly stocked rainbow trout eager to bite on a dangling hook make Bull Shoals Lake the perfect destination for spring tout fishing. Or, enjoy the dogwoods blooming around Beaver Lake while you wet your line in preparation for great spring bass fishing. This lake contains smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and striper bass, not to mention plentiful supplies of crappie, bream, white bass, channel and spoonbill catfish.
Going summer fishing in Arkansas? Fill your stringer with bream and redear in June, when wade fishing is good. Hot summer nights are perfect for catfishing. Lookin' for a fight? Bowfin, a.k.a. grinnel, is best during warm months in the rivers and oxbow lakes, bayous and swamps of eastern and southern Arkansas. While it's not an often sought fish by most anglers, it can add some hot action to the middle of your day when panfishing action tapers off.
Summer bass fishing in Arkansas is a blast! For intense, top water fun with white bass, try summer bass fishing anywhere clear water is coming into a river, tailwaters of a lock and dam channel, and large man-made reservoirs such as Beaver Lake.
Enjoy summer walleye fishing with minnows, jibs, crankbaits and spoons in Arkansas. Fishing for walleye in Arkansas's moderate to shallow waters during the summer months is recommended, especially in waters with gravel or rocky bottoms.
Enjoy casual float fishing and gorgeous fall color. Flathead fishing peaks in October and November when they go on feeding frenzies to fatten up for the winter. Striped bass fishing is great in September, when these fish chase the shade on the surface.
Early fall bass fishing cranks up as fish move from the cool deep water into shallow waters that lower in temperature with the onset of autumn. While it's the same move they make in the spring to spawn, in the fall bass are in search of food. November is a great time to float on the upper Ouachita River and cast for blue ribbon smallmouths.
Want to go winter trout fishing? Bundle up and head for water. November is a great time to fish for trout, particularly on the White River below Bull Shoals and Norfork dams, where brown trout make their spawning runs. Or, look for blue catfish on the Mississippi River. Find winter panfish in dam tailwaters of the Arkansas River and deep, clear Greers Ferry Lake is a great place to try for lunker walleye in the cold months. Winter crappie fishing begins in mid-February. Look for crappie in shoreline shallows of oxbows like Midway Lake. Most other lakes don't warm up enough for the crappie to turn on until mid-March.
Going for winter bass fishing? The smallmouth bass streams of the Ozarks and Ouachitas are popular any time of year; but, winter makes for a perfect float fish because water levels are just right and rivers are less crowded. Floats can last hours or days and in a canoe you can reach many a prime spot.