Top 10 Fishing Spots in Arkansas

Person standing in fishing boat with motor on open water in Beaver Lake near Eureka Springs, Arkansas Images

Arkansas has over 9,000 miles of water. With all that water, there's bound to be some good fishing. As a matter of fact, many of Arkansas' waterways are known nationwide by fishing enthusiasts. Here are some of the best spots to reel in the big ones.

  • 01 of 10
    Many large evergreen tree standing in the middle of White River, Arkansas.

    Linda Tanner/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

    The White River is a perfect trout stream. The inconsistencies in the water make it shallow enough to see the trout swim under you one day and filled bank to bank with swift, cool water the next. This is the kind of environment that trout love. The White River is also popular for fishing bream (Bluegill, Redear sunfish, and Rockbass) and bass. The White River is located in northwest Arkansas.

  • 02 of 10
    Little Red River, Arkansas in autumn flanked by trees with bright red, yellow, green, and brown leaves. The trees are reflected in the water.

    Larry Bintliff/Greers Ferry Lake & Little Red River Tourism Association

    The Little Red River is a world-famous tailwater trout stream. Trout were introduced to the Little Red in 1966, and it has been a great location for fly fishing ever since. Hundreds of thousands of rainbow trout are stocked here annually and periodic releases of brown trout have produced an excellent fishery for that species as well. The trout-fishing stretch of the Little Red is 29 river miles from Greers Ferry Dam to Pangburn. The river is located in north-central Arkansas.

  • 03 of 10
    Calm and clear Lake Ouachita, Arkansas, surrounded by trees and greenery of Ouachita National Forest.

    U.S. Forest Service 

    Lake Ouachita is one of the more beautiful places in Arkansas, and it is the largest lake completely within the state's borders. Lake Ouachita is one of five lakes Arkansans call "Diamond Lakes" because the water is so ​clear and clean. It's clear enough that scuba divers enjoy the lake just as much as sportsmen. Beneath the clear, clean water lies a wide variety of sport fish. The lake is stocked each year with young schools of fish. You'll find lots of largemouth bass, brim, catfish, cool water walleye, and even rainbow trout (mainly at the dam and spillway). Lake Ouachita is located near Hot Springs in west-central Arkansas.

  • 04 of 10
    Wide expanse of clear blue water on Lake DeGray, Arkansas, with evergreen trees on its shore and wide open blue sky.

    Armyman/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0 

    DeGray is another "Diamond Lake." This manmade body of water is a 13,800-acre fishing and water sports playground. DeGray Lake produces several different species of bass along with blue and flathead catfish. DeGray is perfect for yearlong fishing due to its numerous coves, islands and wooded pockets. Lake DeGray is just south of Hot Springs in south-central Arkansas.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Sunrise over Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas, viewed through trees with bare branches.

    Semipaw/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0


    Bull Shoals Lake has clear, still, deep waters that are well suited for fishing. It's known to have some of the best bass fishing in the nation. The lake supports smallmouth, largemouth, Kentucky, and white bass as well as a large population of trout, crappie, catfish, walleye, and panfish. Bull Shoals is located in north Arkansas.

  • 06 of 10
    Red boat speeding across clear water on Greers Ferry Lake, Arkansas under a blue sky.

    Brandonrush/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0


    Greers Ferry Lake is a deep, clear lake. You can find bass, walleye, crappie, and bream. The lake is the home of the World Walleye Classic and attracts hundreds of expert walleye anglers every year.  Greers Ferry Lake is located in north-central Arkansas.

  • 07 of 10

    Arkansas River

    Arkansas River seen from shore, lined with yellow grass and bare-branched trees under a blue sky.

    Justin Whedon/Pexels

    The Arkansas River traverses the state from west to east, creating 50-mile-long Lake Dardanelle in the process. The river offers excellent angling for a variety of bass and catfish species as well as crappie.  The Arkansas River cuts across central Arkansas.

  • 08 of 10
    Buffalo River, Arkansas, at the base of sheer rocks and autumn-hued trees, viewed from a rocky shore.

    OakleyOriginals/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

    The Buffalo has fast, clear, oxygen-rich water, making it ideal for smallmouth bass. The Buffalo's cool, clean waters also provide the perfect habitat for channel catfish, green and longear sunfish, and spotted bass. The Buffalo is a popular river for fly fishing, too, and it has many areas that are perfect spots for the sport. It is also frequented by kayakers and canoers, and you'll find great locations for hiking and camping along the river. The Buffalo River is in northwest Arkansas.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Caddo River

    Two people in orange vests kayaking down clear waters at Caddo River, Arkansas, lined with green trees.

    Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism

    Smallmouth and spotted bass are the most notable sportfish inhabiting the Caddo River. The most productive bass angling begins near Caddo Gap and ends below Amity. The Caddo River is just south of the Ouachita River in west-central Arkansas.

  • 10 of 10
    Large expanse of open water at Norfork Lake, Arkansas, with hilly land in the distance and a floating dock holding three sculptures in the center.

    Nina Stähli + Walter Willimann/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0 

    Lake Norfork offers excellent fishing for crappie; walleye; bluegill; stripers; largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass; and catfish. The Norfork Lake is located in north Arkansas.