Four Arkansas lakes land on Bassmaster Magazine’s 100 Best list
Four Arkansas lakes are on Bassmaster Magazine’s recent 100 Best Bass Lakes rankings.
This year, the rankings highlight the top 12 fisheries in the nation regardless of location. The remaining lakes are ranked within one of four regions — Northeastern, Southeastern, Central and Western — so readers can easily identify the ones nearest to them.
In the Central Division, Arkansas’s Lake Dardanelle comes in at No. 17; Millwood Lake is No. 20; Lake Ouachita is No. 22; and Bull Shoals Lake is No. 24.
Lake Dardanelle is one of the most accessible and attractive recreation areas in Arkansas. Located about halfway between Little Rock and Fort Smith, the lake stretches some 50 miles as part of the $1.2 billion Arkansas River Navigation System. It has just more than 34,000 acres of boating and fishing waters and 315 miles of shoreline. It is rimmed by picnic and camping areas. Fishing is available year-round. The lake has one of the most consistent bass habitats in the Arkansas River system.
Millwood Lake, on Arkansas 32 nine miles east of Ashdown in southwest Arkansas, was formed when the state’s longest earthen dam was completed across the Little River. Much of its more than 29,000 acres are flooded timber, which provides cover for its wide variety of fish, including largemouth and spotted bass, crappie, white bass, striped bass, channel and flathead catfish, and bluegills. Boat lanes lead the way through the timbered waters, and there are 5,000 acres of open water near the dam.
Lake Ouachita, the largest lake at 40,100 acres, was created when Blakely Mountain Dam impounded the waters of the Ouachita River near Hot Springs. The lake is surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest and has one of Arkansas’s most pristine shorelines at some 970 miles. Lake Ouachita is well-known for its prolific fishing opportunities, especially for striped bass and largemouth bass.
Bull Shoals Lake and the White River below its dam are synonymous with fishing in Arkansas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project, located in north central Arkansas on the Missouri-Arkansas state line, enjoys a wide reputation for lunker bass fishing along with its twin, Lake Norfork, just to the east.
Including the portion located in Missouri, the lake totals some 45,500 surface acres. Scrappy largemouth bass, spotted bass and white bass abound in the lake, along with crappie, channel cat, bream and walleye.