April Fishing Menu in Arkansas

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One of the greatest benefits of living in Arkansas is our wide selection of fishing opportunities. We have largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky bass. We have white and black crappie. We have catfish, flathead catfish and blue catfish. We have rainbow, brown, cutthroat and speckled trout. We have stripers, white bass and hybrids. We have walleye and yes we have bream.

Our state is full of great places to catch all those fish, and some of the best fishing of the year is happening right now.

BIG MOUTH BOTTOM

Lake Ouachita

In early April, water levels can be very low, but when the rains come, rising water floods high banks and small islands to exponentially increase bass coverage.

In low water you can catch bass on surface plugs and stickbaits in the back of the finger pockets. You can also catch bass around the docks and insulated blankets in pockets and coves.

A few days of rain can lift the lake instantly, putting a lot more cover in play. When this happens, you can catch jigs, worms, and other soft plastic bait in ambush points under a cover. thick.

Stripers

Lake Ouachita

If you want to catch a trophy striped bass, there’s no better place in Inland America than Lake Ouachita.

In April, you can catch stripers with a variety of methods. They will hit live shad dragged deep on downriggers, but you can also catch them with swimbaits and white jigs. Stripers often go to school in the morning near the confluences of major tributaries. One of my most reliable locations is at the mouth of Crystal Springs entrance. All you need is a Zara Spook or C10 Cordell Red Fin in rainbow trout color. Getting high-level strikes with mega-stripers is an unforgettable and adrenaline-charged experience.

crappie

Greeson/Hamilton/DeGray Lakes

You can catch crappie anywhere in Arkansas, but Lake Greeson, Lake Hamilton, and Lake DeGray are consistent hotspots.

The secret to good crappie fishing is good cover. Lake Greeson has plenty of these in the form of brush piles scattered all over the lake. Using live minnows, many guides use color coded poles and bobbers with the baits placed at different depths. A pole wrapped in green duct tape is matched with a green bobber. A yellow-wrapped pole is mated to a yellow, black-to-black, blue-to-blue, etc. bobber. If a blue bobber dives, a guide shouts “Blue down!” This reduces the confusion that often occurs when several bobbers fall at the same time.

Successful guides use the same system on DeGray and Hamilton.

white bass

beaver lake

One of the largest white bass races in the South takes place every spring on Beaver Lake and peaks in April.

The hottest fishing is in the major tributaries, especially the White River, Hickory Creek, and War Eagle Creek. Huge schools of white bass thrash the surface in pursuit of shad, and you can catch them on every cast with small spinners, small lures, and small surface lures.

The smaller fish are usually near the surface. If you can get under them you can catch jumbo blanks up to 2-3 lbs. There’s also a good chance of snagging something much bigger, like a big hybrid or a 40-pound striper. The beaver has them all, so use versatile gear.

Smallmouth Bass

Caddo River

What would April be without a float fishing trip for smallmouth bass on a mountain stream? We have a lot of good candidates, but for April, the Caddo River is tough to beat.

The best sections are from Norman to Caddo Gap, Caddo Gap to Glenwood and Glenwood to Amity. Each segment is approximately 8 miles. The first few miles of the Caddo Gap-Glenwood float are very attractive, but the best fishing is in the last three or four miles.

Excellent fishing is also available from Glenwood to Amity. This was my favorite section for many years, not only because the fishing was good, but also because it was always deserted.

Trout

White River

In April, the White River below Bull Shoals Dam is often very high and fast flowing due to high power generation at the dam. This excludes fly fishing and wading for most of the day. However, you can catch a lot of rainbows and cutthroats while drifting in a johnboat, and you can also catch big browns.

For rainbows and cups, the most reliable method is to drift night crawlers on a dropper rig. You rarely catch a lot of big fish, but you easily catch enough for dinner.

For large brown trout, jerk stickbaits are used in the transition zone between the slack against the bank and the main current. Fat browns often hide there while waiting for a meal, and you can expect to catch brown lunkers almost anywhere.

Catfish

Arkansas River

In high, fast water, you can catch eater-sized channel cats anywhere on the river by retrieving a medium-diving lure through a strong current in eddies and slack water on the shelves lining the channel. major. Channel cats pile up in this transition area and nail anything that looks like food.

For big cats, Lake Dardanelle is your spot. Fayetteville’s Chris Fuller goes after the big ones with big chunks of cut skipjack tuna. Haskell’s Tim Griffis uses the same method to catch big cat boats in lower Arkansas below Wilbur Mills Lock and Dam near Tichnor. For this you need to have a strong current. Using heavy tackle and wide gape circle hooks, cast the piece of skipjack into the current and let it bounce downstream. When you get a bite, just start reeling. The fish will cling.

Bream

Lake Conway

Let’s finish our fish-and-fried menu by loading the boat with a big jumble of sea bream from Lake Conway, between Conway and Mayflower.

In April, large sunfish spawn all over the lake. You can find them in any large cove next to fallen logs and standing timber, both of which are abundant in this stump-strewn panfish paradise. It’s not complicated. Once you’ve determined the depth of the fish, all you have to do is lay a live cricket on it under a bobber and have someone open and close the cooler.

For large redears, find areas with hard or gravel bottoms. They’ll be a little deeper, but they’re usually bigger than bluegills and they’re just as easy to catch.

April is the perfect time for a smallmouth bass fishing trip on the Caddo River and other scenic mountain streams. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Bryan Hendricks)

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photo A trip to the White, North Fork, or Little Red rivers could put a big brown trout in your future this month. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
photo There’s no better time than now to catch a big striped at Hamilton, Ouachita and Beaver lakes. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
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