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Wednesday, 10 September 2014 00:00

Travels of a YakAngler - Woo Pig Sooie

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I decided I would change my travels from my last “Travels of a YakAngler” adventure, and headed down to Arkansas with my wife and her parents for a two-week vacation. The in-laws have a place in North Central Arkansas right by the Ozarks - and just a short drive away from some amazing trout fishing. 

After the twelve hour drive and a quick nap, I was ready to go after some trout and bass on the Spring River. As a spring-fed river, the water doesn’t usually get above 60°F in most of the areas I fish. I loaded up the kayak and gear, and hit the river. I found some largemouth pretty quickly in a small side creek. Then I started throwing a roostertail around the weed beds in the river, and the fish came out of the woodwork.

During this trip to Arkansas, I wanted to find some local lakes and go after some big southern bass. I found one lake twenty minutes away, but couldn’t figure out the fish on my first trip. I went back a couple days later in the early morning. It was cloudy, but forecast to clear in the afternoon. I started working the shorelines with a buzzbait. After about fifteen minutes with nothing, I was going to change my game plan when WHAM - fish on!

I decided to keep the buzzbait on and work shorelines and structure. It got darker, and foggier. Suddenly the heavens opened, and it rained cats and dogs. It was so heavy I could barely see fifteen feet I front of me. I debated heading back to my car but decided that I was already soaked and might as well keep fishing. After fifteen minutes of heavy rain it slowly tapered off. Within the next two hours I was able to land two more bass. All the fish were over 17” and a blast to catch.

A couple days later, I headed to the west side of the state and fished with Tim Hotchkin. Although Tim’s not a member of YakAngler yet, I talked it up and hopefully he will join soon. We started out at a local lake, and had a hard time figuring out the fish. Thankfully, I was able to convince two bass to bite on a Texas-rigged worm.

After the wind picked up, we decided to do a float down the Illinois River. This was a great choice, because we caught smallmouth, largemouth, spotted bass, and a hybrid called a mean-mouth bass, along with many panfish. It was definitely a great time on the river, and an excellent time meeting another kayak angler.

For the rest of my trip, I went back to the Spring River and had fun chasing the trout and panfish. My next "Travels" article will be about my trip to Nebraska to compete in the Midwest Kayak Fishing Series Live Tournament.

Read 5759 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 11:02
Spencer Jones

Although starting to kayak fish in the summer of 2012 Spencer has fished since he was a kid.  He fishes everything from small creeks to large lakes mainly targeting large and smallmouth bass, northerns, and anything he can convince to bite the hook.  When he is not on the water he teaches choir at a middle and high school and teaches private piano lessons, and composes music. Spencer also loves working out and helping folks get healthy and fit!  He lives in Neenah with his lovely wife, 2 dogs, and 4 cats.

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+1 # Aggroman 2014-09-11 23:41
Awesome Spencer! Next year....come to Texas!!! :lol:
+1 # Phil in Arkansas 2015-11-11 16:14
Glad you enjoyed our waters, but you crossed over the best three rivers in the state when you went west. The White River fed by Bull Shoals Lake with 100+ miles of trout. The Norfork RIver, only 4 miles long from Lake Norfork to the White River, held a long time Brown Trout record and is popular for fly fishing. Then there is the Little Red River fed by Greers Ferry Lake in Heber Springs. About 30+ miles of trout including a record Brown that took the record from the White River (now the record lies elsewhere).
All very accessible and you had to cross the White to get to the Illinois River. Water is low and we tore them up last weekend where the Norfork and White meet.
# smj190 2016-10-28 14:45
Hi Phil, I know exactly where you are talking! I have fished the White River a number of times and absolutely love it! I've been wanting to hit the Norfolk and and Bull Shoals lake but haven't yet. I haven't heard of the Little Red River but will put that on my list of places to check out! I was catching rainbows like crazy when I fished the white. It was a blast! Perhaps the next time I'm down there again (next summer or the next) we can fish together!

Thank you for reading and commenting on my journey!


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