Fishing and Boating in the North Central Arkansas Ozarks
Whether you prefer lake or stream fishing, the waters of the Ozarks of North Central Arkansas can be the stuff of legends.
Bull Shoals Lake
A reservoir project of the US Army Corps of Engineers built in the mid 1940's, Bull Shoals Lake begins at a dam on the White River. With 730 miles of shoreline and roughly 45,400 acres of water, there is plenty of fishing to be had. This long, narrow lake offers plenty of coves, bays and branches to explore. Black, largemouth, small mouth, white and spotted bass, crappie, bluegill, walleye, trout and catfish all call this lake home.
Because the lake is in both Missouri and Arkansas, you will need fishing licenses from both states if you are fishing near the state lines. Regulations are also somewhat different for both states, so be sure to pick up information booklets when you get your licenses. You may beach your boat anywhere around the lake, as the shoreline is all public land.
There are five marinas on the lake:
Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock, 1400 Boat Dock Rd, Bull Shoals, AR
Lakeview Cove Marina, 707 Boat Dock Rd, Lakeview, AR
Pontiac Cove Marina, HC1 Box 600, Pontiac, MO
Hwy 125 Marina, Lakefront Pt, Peel, AR
Theodosia Marina, Lake Rd. 160-25, Theodosia, MO
Oakland Marina, 9924 Oakland Rd, Oakland, AR
The White River
The White River begins from headwaters in Northwestern Arkansas -- the Fayetteville area, to be exact --and heads north into Missouri, later to reenter Arkansas below Bull Shoals Lake and create a internationally known location for premier trout fishing. Flyfishing is extremely popular on the White during low water. The water is clear, clean and cold. It is also a very popular river for kayaking, canoeing and rafting.
The Buffalo National River
Bass, perch and catfish all swim in this beautiful river. Wade fishing can be done in accesses near Ponca or at the Steel Creek Campground, and you can fish from your canoe all along the river.
Lake Norfork and the Norfork River
Lake Norfork has numerous recreation areas, most with at least primitive camping, and all with fishing access. Fishing on this quiet lake means crappie, bass and walleye. With 30,000 acres of deep blue, very clear and extremely clean water, the recreational opportunities include scuba diving, swimming and all types of water sports. And of course, excellent fishing. There are 24 launch ramps around the lake and ten marinas.
The Norfork River is a 5-mile stretch of water between the lake and the White River, and is known for world-class trout fishing. Wade fish, bank fish or boat fish. The world record brown trout - a whopping 38 pounds --was pulled from the Norfork. You may also find some stream-running walleye here.