BEAVER LAKE, ARKANSAS
Beaver Lake is a nature lover's delight during all seasons. Towering limestone bluffs, natural caves and a wide variety of trees and flowering shrubs afford shutter bugs and nature lovers many hours of enjoyment throughout the year.
In spring, visitors can enjoy a pleasant drive along hillsides quilted with beautiful redbud, serviceberry and dogwood blossoms.
Then between the sheer enjoyment of summer and the peaceful solitude of winter, visitors can hike along several nature trails and watch the autumn foliage ignite into fiery displays.
Beaver Lake is nestled high in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas, the birthplace of the White River. With some 487 miles of natural shoreline, Beaver Lake offers the best in recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.
Taking advantage of the natural and scenic beauty, the Corps of Engineers has constructed a variety of recreational facilities around the lake. Paved access roads wind through 12 developed parks. In these campgrounds, visitors can enjoy modern campsites offering electricity and fire rings with drinking water, showers, and restrooms nearby. Other facilities, such as picnic sites, swimming beaches, hiking trails, boat launching ramps, sanitary dump stations, group picnic shelters, and amphitheaters are also available in the parks. Seven Corps of Engineers parks contain year-round commercial marinas providing grocery items, fuel, boat rental and storage, fishing guides, and other supplies and services.
Beaver Lake is home to some of the best sport fishing in the country. Striped Bass in the 20 and 30 lb range are common. Largemouth, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, and white bass are plentiful on Beaver Lake and Beaver's crystal clear water is always a favorite for sight fishing in the spring. Beaver Lake has thousands of miles of shoreline with thousands of coves and plenty of cover. Brad Wiegmann knows this lake well and has fished nearly all of it.
Note: No alcoholic beverages are allowed on either Beaver Lake or Swepco Lake
SWEPCO LAKE, ARKANSAS
Winter months are almost upon us and for most anglers focus turns to Lake SWEPCO. This 500 acre lake becomes a welcomed heated oasis once other reservoirs’ water temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Anglers travel from Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and other near by states just to wet a line.
Fishing Regulation: The new regulation is a ten black bass daily limit with only one exceeding 18 inches.
Bass Location: The discharge (hot water) area has a number of bass concentrated in the discharge during the winter months. Main lake points are popular among anglers but Lake SWEPCO has a number of coves and flats that hold bass. Even though coves will be hammered by anglers fishing the shorelines, they should be productive early morning and late evening. Drop-offs and ledges located near the dam are prime areas for anglers wanting to fish deepwater. Finally, two key areas are brush piles and areas with baitfish or anglers can just follow the forage to locate bass.
Water Level: Can fluctuate depending on Mother Nature.
Boat ramp/parking: The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission recently renovated the boat ramp and paved the parking lot.
Live bait vs. Artificial: It is hard to believe anyone would use live bait since catching bass is usually easy. If you are using live bait try using circle hooks. Circle hooks are made to hook a bass in the corner of the mouth and not deep into the gills or throat. Anglers using artificial can also help by trying to set the hook before a bass takes to deep causing any harm. Remember the bass are our resource and it is up to anglers to take care of it.
Lures: Lake SWEPCO is one of the few lakes in the nation where almost any lure will catch fish. In soft baits look for finesse worms, soft jerk/stick baits, floating worms and creature baits to be effective. Anglers in search of big bass usually like a 10-inch ribbon tail worm, which eliminates most under sized fish. In hard baits, lipless crank baits, chuggers, prop baits, and cigar shaped topwater lures will catch most active schooling or shallow bass. Also anglers can fish soft-bodied swim baits in all prey patterns to catch bass. The size of some of these baits may shock you but they do catch bass.
Fishing Etiquette: Being able to keep bass is going to open the lake up to tournaments which weigh in bass. This should not have an effect on survival rate since tournament anglers normally take excellent care of their bass (paper weigh-in will have no effect on survival rate since bass are measured and released immediately after being caught). Overall perspective: Due to the recent changes in population of bass the number of fish being caught is down; however, the quality and size of bass has improved. With the improvements to the ramp, parking area, and new fishing regulations it has become a more desirable location for anglers from other parts of Arkansas and nearby states to fish during those cold winter months.
*Directions to SWEPCO Lake: Follow Arkansas Hwy 12 west from Gentry for 2 miles to Cripps road. Turn south, go 3 miles on Cripps road, the parking lot and boat ramp will be on your left.
So what are you waiting for? Call Brad Wiegmann Fishing Guide Service and get ready to set the hook.
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