Arkansas Fishing-Norfork-Bull Shoals Lake-White-Buffalo-North Fork River

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Baits & Lures For Trout

What's the best bait or lure choice for Arkansas trout? It depends on weather, water conditions, season, the tackle you prefer using, whether you're fishing from bank or boat, which trout water you happen to be fishing and a host of other variables.

Fly fishing is gaining popularity among Arkansas trout anglers, particularly on the White, North Fork and Little Red. Some favorite wet patterns include red squirrel tail nymphs, sowbugs, Woolly Buggers, sculpins and softshell crayfish. Dry flies are generally less effective, but many anglers are successful with black gnats, ants and a variety of spent-wing patterns.A wide range of small artificials are effective in most Arkansas trout waters. Small minnow-type plugs like Rapalas and Rebels are good, as are spinners, small crankbaits, spoons and small jigs. Effective natural baits include night crawlers, crawfish, sculpins and waxworms. Many anglers tip a marabou jig with a waxworm for an effective combination. Other popular baits are Velveeta cheese, marshmallows, canned corn, salmon eggs and commercial baits such as Power Bait. Many anglers use a combination bait consisting of a night crawler with a few kernels of corn, a salmon egg or a marshmallow on the tip of the hook.Considering this diversity, the best strategy is to contact some of the trout docks, guide services, marinas, resorts, etc. before you leave home or as soon as you arrive. For contact information on these establishments look for the links off the pages on Fishing the Arkansas Ozarks, or click here for area fishing reports.

Photo and article courtesy of Arkansas Game & Fish