Beaver Lake, Arkansas Stripers

The 30,000-acre reservoir is set in the Ozark Mountains in northwestern Arkansas, beautiful country, indeed, and a popular tourist destination during the summer season. This highland reservoir offers some of the best striper fishing in North America, the reason we often travel there to shoot footage for In-Fisherman TV, fishing with one of the best striper guides in the country, Mike Bailey, of Bailey's Beaver Lake Guide Service.

Most stripers in Beaver run 16 to 20 pounds, but Bailey and his clients catch lots surpassing 20 pounds, plenty of 30s, and a few larger fish. Bailey's biggest fish in recent years have weighed 53 and 56 pounds, with another dozen or so surpassing 40. Which is why it's so exciting to fish on Beaver. The next fish could always be one of those you just can't seem to stop. Some sections of Beaver also have standing timber, the reason sturdy tackle is the order of the day.

During midsummer, much of the fishing is in the upper reservoir, at dawn and especially at dusk and after dark. The fish often go for topwaters. Long-distance casting with slab spoons also has its moments. And noisy lipless lures with beefed up treble hooks also score well after dark. As one might imagine, the fall season also offers exceptional fishing, with the bite lasting almost into December most seasons. Bailey also guides anglers to walleyes, smallmouth bass, hybrid stripers, and white bass.

During summer there are many lakeside lodging options. In fall, winter, and early spring we stay at a Hampton Inn in nearby Rogers.

Contact: Guide Mike Bailey, 479/366-8664,

Doug Stange

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