Beaver Lake, Arkansas Fishing Guide.

Beaver Lake, Arkansas Fishing Guide

Written by Lenny Rudow
September 25, 2023

Last Updated on September 25, 2023 by Boatsetter Team

Beaver Lake, Arkansas, is a destination worthy of any angler’s bucket list.

The White River impoundment of Beaver Lake, Arkansas, is a gorgeous Ozarks reservoir that winds and twists through the mountains. It’s quite popular with tourists and vacationers thanks to the towering bluffs, almost 500 miles of gorgeous shoreline with countless coves and creeks, and —more importantly for you and me— the red-hot fishing.

Beaver Lake is well known for producing several Arkansas state record stripers through the years (the current sits at 64 pounds and was caught in the lake’s tailwaters), but along with the excellent striper fishing, many anglers come here for the bass.

In fact, professional bass trails regularly hold tournaments on this lake, where longtime pro bass angler (and Alabamian) Scott Canterbury had his first FLW Tour win. Find everything you need to know before your fishing boat trip in our Beaver Lake fishing guide.

Explore fishing boat rentals near Beaver Lake

Where to fish: Best Beaver Lake fishing spots

Beaver Lake, Arkansas.

There are plenty of areas to try, but one that’s known for producing fish is the lower lake near the dam. The water here is generally clearer than most of the rest of Beaver Lake since the runoff entering the lake settles out before reaching this point.

Conversely, the long, winding arm of the White River feeding into the lake gets dingy and discolored after heavy rainfall, yet it’s also known as a great area for finding lunker largemouth.

When considering where to fish in Beaver Lake, another important component is not the location but the depth. During the summer, thermoclines can form, generally in the 20- to 30-foot zone. Oxygen levels may differ greatly above and below the thermocline, and it should be thought of as a “structure” in the same way you might think of a tree or a point.

If you rent a boat at Beaver Lake, try to find one with a fishfinder, so you can locate the thermocline.

What to fish for in Beaver Lake: Top species list

Catfish fishing in Beaver Lake, Arkansas.

You want angling options? You’ve got ‘em. One of the best things about Beaver Lake is that there’s a wider range of gamefish species here than you’ll find in the average inland lake. Top species include:

  • Blue catfish
  • Channel catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Spotted bass
  • Striped bass
  • Striped bass hybrid
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • White bass

When to go fishing in Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake, Arkansas.

The simple answer to this question is: whenever! That said, certain times of the year are better than others. Spring and fall offer the best bites, with fish moving shallow and feeding hard. In the summer, the fish can get lethargic, and anglers will have their best luck fishing right at daybreak and sunset.

Winter fishing can be tough, too, though crappie generally bite well even during the coldest months. A highlight here is the winter and spring striped bass fishing, which is considered top-notch.

Don’t worry if you visit the lake during the summer months— you just need to change your tactics. The striper will still bite but they bite best at night. Set up a set of lights to draw in the fish, and you’ll have an excellent shot at hooking up.

How to fish in Beaver Lake

Fishing in Beaver Lake, Arkansas.

The how-to part of this equation runs the gamut. Stripers and bass of all sorts can be caught by casting topwater lures, which many anglers would consider the hands-down most exciting way of hooking into a fish.

However, this action is usually limited to periods of low light, like sunrise and sunset. After that, fishing with lures like plastic worms and spinnerbaits takes over for those searching for bass, and striper anglers switch to fishing deep with diving plugs or spoons.

People often try bait fishing when it comes to panfish like the crappie and white bass. Small minnows are a common offering, fished on hair jigs or bare hooks. Bait rules when it comes to catfish, too. Using cut fish is quite common, although many catfish sharpies swear by catching small sunfish, then fishing them live on the bottom.

No visit to the Ozarks can be considered complete until you’ve wet a line in these waters. So whether it’s the scenery or the bite that gets you most excited, if you’ll be in the area be sure to try wetting a line at Beaver Lake.

Want more fishing guides? We’ve got more

About Boatsetter Fishing

Boatsetter offers over 50,000 boats to rent or charter – for anglers, that means you can rent everything from bass boats or pontoons to fish freshwater to center consoles or skiffs to fish saltwater from inshore to offshore. Your next personal best or bucket list catch is here!

Make a trophy catch on one of our fishing boat rentals

Browse by experience

Explore articles