Hooked on Fishing
Fishing HolesWith five lakes and four rivers and streams in and around Fayetteville, there are many places to find the perfect fishing spot. Whether you are wanting to fish for small- and large-mouth bass, trout, bream, catfish or trout, you can find a fishing hole nearby.
At 28,370 acres, Beaver Lake is the birthplace of the White River, and has given up several 40-pound-plus state-record striper bass in the past. The lake offers striper bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, crappie, bream, channel catfish as well as spoonbill catfish fishing. Visitors have access to both clear and dingy water fishing at different points in the lake, while surrounded by limestone bluffs and the Ozark Mountains. Surrounding the lake are picnic sites, swimming beaches, hiking trails, boat launching ramps, group picnic shelters, amphitheaters and campgrounds.
Situated on the northern edge of the City of Fayetteville, the scenic, 194-acre Lake Fayetteville and surrounding 640-acre city park offer a host of recreational opportunities—boating, panfish and bass fishing, softball and volleyball, hiking and picnicking. Amenities include a boat dock, accessible fishing piers and pavilions.
Located amid a lush hardwood forest, Lake Wedington holds bass, bream, crappie and catfish, and is regularly stocked with fish. It is considered one of Northwest Arkansas’ best-kept recreational secrets on the National Register of Historic Places. Playgrounds, swimming, volleyball courts, horseshoes and hiking are available March through November, and a seven-mile hiking trail waits to be explored year-round. Other amenities include a lodge, pavilion, boat launching ramp, boathouse and overnight group camp. Use of boat motors above 10 horsepower is not allowed, but larger motors can be kept out of the water and trolling motors used. Lake Wedington can be reached from Fayetteville by traveling Ark. 16 west for 13 miles. The route is easily negotiable by camping trailers.
The upper White River has a variety of catfish and bass, as well as sunfish. Spinnerbaits, crawfish imitators, and skirted jigs (with pork tails) are recommended, along with minnows, crawfish, and other natural baits. Below Bull Shoals Dam, the White River transforms into an international trout-fishing destination. Fly-fishing is popular when waters are low; otherwise, 16- to 20-foot johnboats with 10 to 20 horsepower motors are common.
Known for its large smallmouth bass, the Kings River also offers rock bass and channel catfish, as well as walleye and white bass near Table Rock Lake. Don’t think that the size of the river mirrors the size of the fish. Trophy fish commonly reach four to six pounds, so a baitcasting reel, a medium-action rod, and 10- to 12-pound line are appropriate.
From late spring to early summer, the Mulberry River is a lovely spot for smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass, as well as green and longear sunfish. During drier months, adventurers can hike through potentially slippery streambeds to fish potholes.
Prices for non-resident permits start at $11 for three days, and go up to $40 for one year, while Arkansas resident permits start at $5. Trout fishing licenses are purchased in addition to general fishing licenses. Purchase your license online at agfc.com, or in sporting goods stores, hunting and fishing supply stores and other locations including Walmart.
Visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website at agfc.com or call 501-223-6300.