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.