Fishing Lakes in Arkansas

Get your hook wet, and get so much more from these Arkansas fishing resorts and fishing lakes in Arkansas State Parks. The state parks offer access to 29 sparkling lakes in Arkansas and 12 rivers. It’s no secret these are the best fishing spots in Arkansas. Choose from lakes renowned as largemouth bass havens or quiet float streams perfect for smallmouth bass enthusiasts. Enjoy some of the state's best crappie, catfish and bream fishing or experience fly fishing in Arkansas rivers.


Whether you're casting for bass or trolling for stripers, you'll find plenty of angling adventures at Arkansas's state parks. Full-service marinas and boat docks offer boat rentals, fishing supplies, fuel and more for your excursions to the best fishing spots in Arkansas state park lakes. Arkansas river camping offers water and electric hookups. Overnight accommodations include fully-equipped park lake cabins, Arkansas fishing resorts and lodges with lake or mountain views.

From catching your limit of crappie in a secluded lake cove to fly fishing Arkansas rivers and the clear waters of mountains streams, experience fishing in Arkansas and you'll understand the reason The Natural State holds such an acclaimed nationwide reputation as a world-class sportsman’s fishing paradise. The waters accessible from Arkansas's state parks produce rewarding experiences and create memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime.

Bull Shoals-White River State Park
Here in the scenic Ozark Mountains you'll find one of the nation's finest fishing and boating combinations--the White River and Bull Shoals Lake. The White River flowing from the base of massive Bull
Shoals Dam is a world-renowned source for trout fishing. Here in these cool, clear tailwaters, the river provides a sanctuary for four species of trout which include rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and brown. Fly fishers wade the flowing stream as they practice their art and skill in search of the illusive "big one" while boaters cruise through the rolling hills to reach those hard-to-find fishing spots. Bull Shoals-White River State Park stretches alongside the river just below the dam. If being on the river is your interest, then look no further than the marina in the state park. This convenient source of bait, fishing licenses and supplies also rents johnboats, canoes, and kayaks. Don't miss your chance to join a park interpreter on a guided relaxing river cruise exploring the diverse ecosystems of the White River and natural beauty found here. Contact the park marina at 870-431-5557 for rental details and river conditions. For details about Bull Shoals-White River State Park, call 870-445-3629 or visit: Bull Shoals Lake at 45,440 acres is Arkansas's largest lake with waters stretching across north central Arkansas and across the border into Missouri. Anglers and water sports enthusiasts are drawn to the lake's clear waters and Ozark scenery, and it's considered one of the finest fishing lakes in Arkansas. Anglers can put their skills to the test fishing for lunker bass, crappie, bream and a variety of other fish species found in this fishing paradise.
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Cane Creek State Park
Cane Creek Lake is a 1,675-acre fishing lake. Its shallow, timber filled waters provide excellent habitat for warm-water fish including bass, crappie, sunfish, and bream. Catfish are also plentiful in the lake
with some weighing as much as 50 pounds. The lake was built by the Arkansas Game and Fish in 1987 on the edge of two of Arkansas's natural divisions: the West Gulf Coastal Plain and the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. Boaters should take caution in this tree stump-filled lake. Fishing boats, canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the park visitor center.
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Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area
If you're interested in fly fishing Arkansas rivers, check out Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area. During the late spring, summer and early fall, the Cossatot River offers some great wade fishing
opportunities. Good populations of small-mouth and spotted bass inhabit the river's bolder strode, crystal clear waters. The high water quality of the Cossatot River that creates great small-mouth habitat also supports healthy populations of green and long ear sunfish as well as channel and flathead catfish. Many anglers prefer light spinning tackle; however, the Cossatot River offers great fishing pleasure for fly rod enthusiasts. There are five access points along the state park-natural area's 12 miles of river providing anglers with access. The combination of clean water, outstanding geological features and healthy fish populations make the upper Cossatot River an excellent location for your wade fishing adventure. 
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Crowley's Ridge State Park
Crowley's Ridge State Park features two lakes, a 3 1/2-acre swimming lake and the larger Walcott Lake, a 31-acre fishing lake. Walcott Lake is a man-made lake that is stocked annually with catfish. Bass,
crappie, and sunfish are also found in the lake. Fishing boats (electric motors only) are allowed in this lake. Looking for boat rentals in Arkansas? Flat bottom boats (no motors) are available for rent through the park visitor center. A barrier-free fishing pier makes the lake accessible to all, however many visitors choose to fish from the shoreline. 
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Daisy State Park
Lake Greeson features clear waters and steep, rocky ridges that form numerous islands and long peninsulas. This lake is renowned as one of the best fishing lakes in Arkansas. Crappie and catfish are the premier
sport fish in Lake Greeson, but bass and stripers are also fished here. This lake's forested shoreline makes for beautiful scenery. This is one of the five renowned Diamond Lakes of southwest Arkansas. Daisy State Park hosts a variety of junior fishing tournaments throughout the summer, and other fishing adventures for park visitors.
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Davidsonville Historic State Park
Although 13,800-acre DeGray Lake is known primarily as one of the best Arkansas fishing resorts, it is a fishing paradise for beginners as well as professionals. The lake offers an abundance of game and
non-game fish. Among these are hybrid striped bass, crappie, largemouth bass, spotted bass, bream, walleye, and catfish. From bank fishing with cane poles to modern bass boats equipped with state-of-the-art technical equipment, anglers will enjoy the lake's islands, coves, inlets, and clean deep water for Arkansas boating that all make DeGray Lake ideal for year-round fishing. The park's full-service marina offers tackle, bait, fuel and a wide variety of boat rentals. 
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Lake Catherine State Park
Lake Catherine is a 1,940-acre lake that offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities. For five months out of the year, trout fishing is prevalent below Remmell Dam. The rainbow trout caught here will rival
size and quality to any other lake in Arkansas. This is a fantastic fishery. In late March, walleye are your best bet of fish. Local anglers say that when the dogwoods are blooming, the catfish are biting. Lake Catherine is stocked frequently with walleye, trout and catfish. Other species of fish caught in the lake include crappie, stripers and hybrids. Lake Catherine State Park offers a free boat launch with parking. The park's marina sells different types of bait and offers boats for rent. You can count on a weekly fishing report here, too. 
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Lake Chicot State Park
Lake Chicot, once the main channel of the Mississippi River, is the nation's largest oxbow lake. Known nationwide for its fantastic catches, the lake draws anglers from all over the country who come here to
fish for bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, and largemouth bass. Action for these species is red-hot, and it starts earlier in the year than on most large Arkansas lakes, thanks to Chicot's extreme southern location. You will find that the good fishing spots are generally around cypress trees, willows, and dead timber along the lakeshore. In the gravel pits, north of the park, you will find some of the best fishing Lake Chicot has to offer. Lake Chicot State Park is situated on the northern end of the lake and offers a free launch ramp with parking. Fishing boats (with or without motors), kayaks, and pedal boats can be rented at the park marina.
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Lake Dardanelle State Park
Lake Dardanelle, a 34,300-acre reservoir on the Arkansas River, is home to over 95 species of fish. This tremendous largemouth bass fishery brings tournament anglers from across the nation to Lake Dardanelle
for a chance at the winning catch. Shallow areas of vegetation provide ideal habitat for crappie, bass, catfish, and many other species. Lake Dardanelle State Park is home to a state-of-the-art tournament catch and release facility where park staff assure the safe release of all tournament caught fish from the over 40 fishing tournaments held at this location each year. Fishing poles and tackle are available for free use at the park. The park visitor center houses over 8,000 gallons of aquariums where you can view some of the species found in the lake.
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Lake Fort Smith State Park
Lake Fort Smith is a 1,490-acre mountain reservoir built on Frog Bayou. It supplies several communities' drinking water including Fort Smith. Lake Fort Smith is surrounded by the Boston Mountain range of the
Ozark Mountains making it among the most picturesque lakes in the state. This lake was closed to fishing from 2002 until the spring of 2008. Fishing has been excellent since reopening including a good number of lunker bass that have been caught as well as limits of crappie and pan fish. There is an excellent population of catfish with some being caught here in the 20 to 25 pound range. Since this is a water supply lake the City of Fort Smith and the health department of Arkansas do not allow swimming, skiing or the use of personal water craft on this lake. There are no motor restrictions on the lake at this time. The park marina rents fishing boats, canoes, kayaks, and a party barge. Live bait and other fishing supplies are available for sale here as well as ice, drinks and snacks (no retail gas sales at this time). There is also a free, two-lane boat launch ramp located at the end of marina road just around the curve from the marina and adjacent to the day use area.
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Lake Frierson State Park
Lake Frierson has been called one of the hottest bass and catfish fishing spots in northeast Arkansas. The lake, a 350-acre Arkansas Game and Fish Commission watershed project built in the mid 1970s, also
features saugeye, crappie and bream. Fifty-plus pound catfish are not uncommon catches in this scenic lake. Lake Frierson State Park is situated on the eastern shore and offers a free launch ramp and parking. Fishing boats with motors, kayaks and pedal boats can be rented at the park. 
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Lake Ouachita State Park
Lake Ouachita is one of Arkansas's premier fishing destinations. Surrounded by pristine, undeveloped shoreline, the 40,000-acre lake is Arkansas's largest reservoir within the state's borders. Popular for both
anglers and water sports enthusiasts, the lake is large enough for all types of outdoor recreation. For anglers, Lake Ouachita is well-known for its prolific fishing opportunities, especially striped bass and largemouth bass fishing. Angling for bream, crappie, catfish, and walleye can also be enjoyed in open waters or shady coves of this lake. The clear waters of Lake Ouachita offer a variety of habitats suitable for a number of sport fish. Vegetation is widespread and diverse throughout the lake, and bass make heavy use of the many grass beds. Fishing humps, ledges or one of the many coves of Lake Ouachita often result in a great day of fishing. Boaters should take caution in shallow areas and standing timber in the lake. Boat rentals are available at the Lake Ouachita State Park marina on the eastern end of the lake. Two free boat launches in the state park give you unlimited access to all the fishing hot spots of Lake Ouachita.
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Lake Poinsett State Park
The relatively shallow waters of 640-acre Lake Poinsett are known as a premier crappie and catfish fishery that also holds abundant largemouth bass and bream. Some 50-pound flatheads have been pulled from the
lake. In the summer, it’s not unusual for 20-pound blues to be caught here. Lake Poinsett is the largest lake on Crowley’s Ridge, a landform of rolling hills that rises several hundred feet and stretches 200 miles from Helena, Arkansas, to southeast Missouri. The natural beauty of Crowley's Ridge provides the scenic backdrop for this lake that was constructed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1960. Boaters should take caution in Lake Poinsett’s shallow northern end. Situated on the western side of the lake, Lake Poinsett State Park offers a free launch ramp with parking. Fishing boats (no motors), canoes and kayaks can be rented and fishing licenses can be purchased at the park.
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Mammoth Spring State Park
Mammoth Spring, flowing over nine million gallons of 58-degree water per hour, serves as the headwaters for the Spring River. If you want to experience fly fishing on a Arkansas river, this is a place to enjoy
the sport any season of the year. The upper Spring River is as a hotspot for trout. Trout and walleye fishing here are rated tops.
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Millwood State Park
Millwood Lake offers 29,500 acres of tree-filled fishing adventure. The average depth of the lake is only six to eight feet, allowing water temperatures to warm quickly for the spring spawning season.
Largemouth bass are abundant, and the lake frequently offers up catfish in the 40 plus pound range. Crappie anglers descend on Millwood Lake during the spring and fall to fish for limits of both black and white crappie. In this fishermen's haven, a one-pound crappie barely merits any special notice, and two-pounders are for the plate, not the taxidermist. Boaters should be warned that the shallow waters of Millwood can become rough and potentially dangerous on windy days, and storms on the lake can appear quickly. Millwood State Park is located on the southeastern corner of the lake, and offers two free boat ramps with parking. Fishing boats with motors, canoes and kayaks can be rented at the park marina - call 870-898-5334.
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Mississippi River State Park
Bear Creek Lake, a 625-acre lake offers 30 miles of shoreline surrounded by the beautiful St. Francis National Forest. Fishing is good here throughout the year. Large crappie, largemouth bass, sunfish, and
catfish are the favorites of local anglers. Bank fishing opportunities can be found by the dam and the day-use area. Many anglers prefer to boat into the many coves that Crowley's Ridge creates on this beautiful lake. The boat ramp is located off Ark. 44 on the east side of the dam. There is a 10 hp limit for all boats on this lake. Storm Creek Lake covers 420 acres here on Crowley's Ridge. Situated just north of Helena, this lake has an accessible fishing pier at the day-use area and plenty of bank fishing space. Boating is accessed on the south side of the dam and offers anglers a chance to get into the hidden reaches of the lake. There is a 10 hp limit for all boats on this lake. Hornor Neck Lake is a remnant of the Mississippi River and is recharged by floodwater almost every year. The cypress and tupelo trees along the banks offer the perfect refuge for those hard to find trophies. A shallow water lake, it is accessible by a boat ramp located off County Road 239. Mississippi River State Park was developed by Arkansas State Parks on national forest lands within the St. Francis National Forest through a Special Use Permit from the U.S. Forest Service.
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Moro Bay State Park
At this spot three counties and three bodies of water merge together on the doorstep of Moro Bay State Park. Here at the confluence of Moro Bay, the Ouachita River and Raymond Lake, lies a boating and fishing
paradise. Nearly every species of fish in Arkansas can be caught here but most anglers come for the huge catfish, the good bream, the hard fighting largemouths, and the tasty crappie. Pedal boats, kayaks, and 16-foot johnboats with 9.9 hp motors can be rented from the state park marina. 
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Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Pinnacle Mountain State Park contains seven peaks and access to three rivers. The 8,900 acre Lake Maumelle adjoins the park on the west. With frequent cypress trees the timber-lined Little Maumelle River is
accessible by bank fishermen and paddlers. The alternating pools and riffles offer a rich habitat to many species of game fish. The upper reaches are rarely fished by boaters since it is normally impassable to motor craft. It is largely a free flowing stream above the park and can range from mild to wild depending on rainfall. At the southeastern edge of the park, extensive flooded cypress swamps afford great fishing in the shade of the many large trees. The Big Maumelle River is fishable at the accessible fishing pier. Paddlers and motor boats can launch at the nearby boat launch. The stream meets the Arkansas River three miles downstream. The pool level on this section of the Big Maumelle is controlled by Murray Lock and Dam eight miles farther downstream. A favorite for parents, grandparents and kids is the 2.5-acre environmental education pond. It is open for bank fishermen and is regularly stocked with catfish by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
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Village Creek State Park
Village Creek State Park has two trophy class Arkansas fishing lakes, both of which are nestled in depressions in the rolling hills of Crowley's Ridge. These lakes were constructed by Arkansas Game and Fish
Commission in the late 1970s, and each one features approximately 85 surface acres and is stocked with bass, bream, crappie, and catfish. Lake Austell is known throughout the area as a big bass haven. Numerous bass have been taken from Lake Austell in the eight to 13 pounds range; the largest bass caught to date is 15 ¾ pounds. Fishing hours on Lake Austell are from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Bream fishing is quite popular on Lake Dunn throughout the early spring and summer. Numerous limits of large blue gill and red-ear bream are taken from the lake. The largest bass taken to date is 12 ½ pounds and the largest catfish taken to date is 41 pounds. Lake Dunn offers a seasonal boat dock facility with rental fishing boats with and without motors; trolling motors; pedal boats; and lake kayaking. Bait and snacks are also available at the boat dock. The boat dock is open weekends only, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. beginning the first weekend in April and extending through Memorial Day weekend. After Memorial Day the boat dock is open 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday until Labor Day Weekend, at which time the boat dock closes. Both lakes are restricted to electric trolling motors only. Rod and reel, or pole fishing only; no trotlines, yo-yo's or free floating devices are allowed. Persons 16 years of age and older must possess a current Arkansas fishing license.
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White Oak Lake State Park
White Oak Lake is the second largest Arkansas Game and Fish Commission impoundment lake in the state. There are five public access points on the lake. The lower lake covers 1,735 acres, and the upper lake is
over 1,030 acres. Note that all Game and Fish rules and regulations apply to lake users. There is no limit on the size of motor used on boats; however, White Oak Lake is a shallow lake, averaging 10 feet, and there are many stumps and logs in the water. The lake biologists are stocking largemouth bass from Florida and Texas in an effort to breed trophy bass. It is not uncommon to catch lunkers in excess of 10 pounds on the lower lake. At White Oak Lake State Park, there are 16-foot rental boats with 9.9 hp motors available at the park marina. 
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Withrow Springs State Park
The War Eagle Creek flows north from its headwaters in the Boston Mountains of the Ozarks to its confluence with Beaver Lake. About half way between the beginning and the end the river makes up Withrow Springs
State Park's southern border offering anglers the chance to catch smallmouth, spotted, and largemouth bass as well as bream and catfish. Another fishing opportunity for anglers at the park is a spring fed pond which is stocked with trout annually by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for the park’s annual Kids' Fishing Derby that occurs each June. The park offers kayak and canoe rentals. 
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Woolly Hollow State Park
The deep murky waters of 40-acre Lake Bennett hold an array of fish including bass, bream, catfish, and crappie. The lake has been known to yield 50-pound catfish and 10-pound bass. Although more commonly bass
are around one to two pounds and catfish are four to five pounds. At least once a year the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stocks the lake with catfish. Trot lines, jugs, and yo-yo's are not allowed. Anglers are welcome to fish from your boat as long as you use a tolling motor. Woolly Hollow State Park offers rental flatbottom fishing boats, with or without a motor, canoes, kayaks, pedal-boats, and hydro bikes.
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