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Statewide Travel 3

Kayak Fishing in Arkansas


Arkansas is loaded with fishing hot spots, but some are only accessible by boat. For a long time, that meant only those lucky enough to own a boat or have a friend willing to take them along were able to reach Arkansas’s prime fishing locations. However, kayak fishing is now making it possible to catch a big one – no outboard motor needed.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Lentz. Follow her on Instagram for more great fishing photos.

Kayak fishing has been growing in popularity and for a good reason. Kayaks are available at a fraction of the cost of traditional fishing boats. As with most sporting equipment, buyers can spend a little or spend a lot. You can fish from a recreational kayak with a standard rod and reel, but true fishing kayaks are designed a bit differently. Typically, they are wider to add stability, acting as small fishing platforms so that you can stand while fishing. They can also be outfitted with adjustable seats, rod holders, bait wells, spots for coolers and other gear and foot peddles so you don’t have to keep up with a paddle. Whichever route you choose, it’s best to start with the basics and add equipment and amenities as you get more involved in the sport.

In addition to being less expensive, kayaks can reach areas not accessible to larger boats. A kayak can slip into a little cove without making much noise and without the risk of catching weeds in the motor, thus leading anglers to find bigger and better catches.

Kayak Fishing Locations Across Arkansas

When it comes to fishing, you will quickly learn that anglers aren’t very forthcoming with revealing the location of their honey holes, but most are willing to give some pointers and steer newcomers in the right direction. So, while I can’t give you coordinates to exact locations, these spots around Arkansas are popular amongst kayak anglers. Load up, head out and discover your own favorite spots.

Lake Overcup (Morrilton) – Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, Black Crappie, White Crappie, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Largemouth Bass

Lake Conway (Mayflower) – Blue catfish, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, largemouth bass and redear sunfish

Lake Atkins (Atkins) – Largemouth bass, redear sunfish, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish and flathead catfish

Greers Ferry (Central Arkansas) – Walleye, smallmouth, largemouth, crappie, bluegill, largemouth

Little Red River (Heber Springs) – This river is popular for anglers who prefer to fly fish from their kayaks and yields brown and rainbow trout along with several other species.

Dry Fork Lake (Jessieville) – Largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, catfish (Note that there is a health advisory out for mercury levels in predatory fish on Dry Fork Lake and catch and release is recommended.)

Little Maumelle (Pinnacle Mountain State Park) – Largemouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, black crappie, white crappie, bream, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish

Lake Barnett (Outside Beebe formerly White County Lake) – Bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, warmouth, Bullhead, chain pickerel, common carp, green sunfish, longear sunfish, spotted bass

Arkansas Water Trails (Statewide) – These trails were designed with kayaks and canoes in mind. Read more about the Arkansas Water Trails.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Lentz. Follow her on Instagram for more great fishing photos.

Connect with other Kayak Anglers

While many enjoy the solitude of kayak fishing, it doesn’t have to be an entirely solo sport. Angling tournaments are growing in popularity and gathering with friends to kayak fish is a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. To learn more about upcoming tournaments or to connect with other kayakers, check out these resources.

Natural State Kayak Anglers Facebook Group

Natural State Kayak Anglers (Tournament Information)

Arkansas Yakking and Kayaking

Kayaking Arkansas

Central Arkansas Kayak Anglers

Kayak Bass Anglers of Arkansas


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Julie Kohl works from home as a writer and teaches art part-time at a local private school. A former Yankee who was "converted" to the south by her husband, Julie has grasped on to rural life in a sleepy, blink-your-eyes-and-you'll-miss-it town in central Arkansas where they raise chickens, farm hay and bake bread. Julie loves adventure and sharing it with her husband and son. They frequent the trails, campgrounds and parks of Arkansas, always on the hunt for new adventures and new stories to share. Learn more on her blog Seek Adventures Media.

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3 responses to “Kayak Fishing in Arkansas”

  1. […] it takes to encourage us to be outdoors more is finding the right hobby. Canoeing the Caddo River Kayak Fishing Horseback Trail Riding Urban Hiking Pontoon […]

  2. […] its highs and its lows and can be wholly unpredictable. A cold snap could put a damper on a weekend kayaking adventure. Severe weather could have you packing up the tent and heading back home. One thing is certain – […]

  3. […] of gliding across the water’s surface. Greers Ferry is our lake of choice for paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkeling, but there are countless lakes, rivers and plenty of water adventures to try across […]

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