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Fishing for stripers on Lake Ouachita
Ouachita Lake Striper fishing.
Known for its quality striped bass fishery. Trophies in the 40-pound class have been reported.
Lake Ouachita Stripers were first introduced to Arkansas and Lake Ouachita in 1956 in a small stocking of N Carolina Stripers. Lake Ouachita has been stocked regular with stripers since the 1970s, and it does not receive any hybrids. Its large size gives stripers plenty of room to roam. The lake's abundance of deep water provides good habitat through the summer, when the lake stratifies and conditions turn toughest for striped bass, especially big striped bass.
Lake Ouachita includes 66,324 total acres of land and water. The dam is 1,100 feet long with an average height of 205 feet. There are 20,000 acres of land around Lake Ouachita which are open to the public for hunting. There are 21 recreation areas with 150 picnic sites, 1,106 campsites, 24 boat ramps and 13 swimming beaches.
Many striper experts agree that Lake Ouachita offers the best striper fishing in Arkansas. Lake Ouachita is a large, clear water lake with a huge threadfin and gizzard shad population. Because of the clear, unpolluted water, there is a healthy plankton and algae colonization. Since shad are plankton and algae feeders, they multiply extremely well in Ouachita. They are free spawners who spawn twice a year.
May is prime topwater time on Lake Ouachita and provides the last blast of really exciting fishing before the fish go deep and anglers have to turn to live-bait fishing on down lines. The topwater fishing stays good until the water hits about 80 degrees, which typically occurs in early June.
During May, the best striper fishing occurs between first light and about 10 a.m. and during the last three or four hours of the day, which are the two periods during which the stripers typically come up to feed.
Dark overcast days,stripers will come up all day.
If stripers are actively busting bait on the surface,Two lures can be exclusively used at this time of year a big stickbait and a large jerkbait in rainbow or shad colors.
If the fish aren't breaking ,your depth finder and jigs or spoons become your best friends if your not into using live bait.
Work main-lake points and lake humps during May until you find the fish. Cedar Fourche and waters around Brady Mountain and Crystal Springs as good areas to work points for stripers this time of year.
Stripers move a lot, following schools of shad. Usually they will be suspended 10 or 15 feet deep over 30 or 40 feet of water when they are not actually schooling on the top.
Lake Ouachita is one of the cleanest lakes in the nation?
Lake Ouachita is Arkansas's largest lake and is known for its scenic beauty and the clarity of its waters. Renowned as one of the cleanest lakes in the nation, Lake Ouachita is a water sports mecca for swimming, skiing, scuba diving, boating and fishing. Angling for bream, crappie, catfish, stripers and largemouth bass can be enjoyed in open waters or quiet coves.
Lake Ouachita dam went into operation in the spring of 1953. It was constructed at a cost of approximately $30,800,000. The 40-mile-long Lake Ouachita has 100 uninhabited islands and has a wilderness shoreline of some 970 miles. Rentals include houseboats, sailing crafts, fishing rigs, and more. The Lake Ouachita state park (with cabins), commercial marinas and resorts, plus more than 400 Corps campsites contribute to one of the state’s finest outdoor destinations.
Lake Ouachita boasts an unusual feature, created by the Corps of Engineers. It is the Geo-Float Trail, a marked route which can be followed by boaters guided by a brochure which details prominent geologic features along the route.
Location - From Hot Springs, travel three miles west on U.S. 270, then go 12 miles north on Arkansas Hwy. 227 to the park.