Striper Time In Arkansas

Striper Time In Arkansas

Last December, I was being taxied through the Ozarks, compliments of Northland Tackle, Frabill, Marcum, and Gaston's White River Resort. Though we caught and photographed some big shell crackers and nice largemouths, the highlight of the trip was a jaunt over to Lake Norfork for stripers.

In past winters, I've made quite a number of sojourns to Norfork and Lake Ouachita for winter and spring stripers. Never disappointing. Most particularly awesome is the memory of so many rises to a waking Cotton Cordell Red Fin. Rises. Right. Sounds like a trout sipping callibaetis off the surface film. A sasquatch throwing boulders at you from the Ouachita Mountains would be a more accurate description of the surface disturbance caused by a striper rising 20 feet or more from submerged trees to crush a muskie-sized minnowbait. Then drag it right back down into those trees.

Arkansas isn't the Keys. No palm trees, coconuts, rain forests, or exotic fruits. But you can have the little umbrella in your drink while enjoying weather far milder than we're accustomed to in Minnesota. And it can be as exotic as you want to make it. During the full moon in February, some of the world's biggest brown trout come, backs out of the water, slashing at bunny strips. You haven't experienced trout fishing until you've dropped a big streamer ahead of a boil the size of a Volkswagon out there in the moonglade.


Or you could go cliff jumping.


Or not. The water will be around 45°F or so, on the average. Like I said. It's not the Keys.

But Arkansas is a great winter destination for anglers. If you really must drop a callibaetis down softly on the surface film, you can do it on the Little Red River. You'll catch more trout with a scud, but I'm just saying. In fact, you'll catch more trout than you've ever caught in a day unless you're just so-so with a fly rod. In which case you should take a drift down the White River and boondoggle a 3-inch, red, plastic worm. The last time we did that we caught 50 rainbows per hour. Apiece.

You can go bass, walleye, or crappie fishing on Bull Shoals or any number of lakes. On many of these reservoirs, bass and crappies are way up the creek channels, alternatiing between shallow coves and deeper channels, sometimes invading water 4 feet deep. Many of the crappies you catch will top 2 pounds and you won't have to drill a hole in the ice to catch them.

Or take the family to the hot springs. In Hot Springs. Maybe that will seem tropical enough. Me? My kids are grown up, but still talking about the hot springs. I'll be on Norfork. Maybe Beaver Lake. Or Ouachita. Fishing stripers. Leave a message.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

MLF BPT angler and former Classic champ Casey Ashley has been with Costa del Mar sunglasses his whole career. At ICAST 2019, he shows OSG writer Lynn Burkhead some new products and talks how to pick the right lens color for the water.

Mustad

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...


Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at catching Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth measurements. Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

See More Trending Articles

More Bass

Learn why and when to use each in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

Baitcasting vs. Spinning: Choosing the Right Bass Combo

Game & Fish Digital Staff

Learn why and when to use each in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

Crankbaits excel for covering water, bumping cover, and daring spring bass to bite. Bass

Shaping Up for Spring Crankbaits

Steve Quinn - May 18, 2020

Crankbaits excel for covering water, bumping cover, and daring spring bass to bite.

Todd A. Kuhn talks lure options with jig heads in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

How to Rig Soft-Plastic Bass Lures on Jig Heads

Game & Fish Digital Staff - March 03, 2020

Todd A. Kuhn talks lure options with jig heads in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by...

Dr. Todd A. Kuhn discusses spinnerbaits from top to bottom in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

Master the Spinnerbait to Catch More Bass

Game & Fish Digital Staff

Dr. Todd A. Kuhn discusses spinnerbaits from top to bottom in this episode of Beyond the Bait...

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now