Speakers love to get questions at their programs. There were some great ones at a talk about Beaver Lake fishing held April 1 at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area.
It was my honor to give the program geared toward people who are new to fishing at Beaver Lake, new to fishing or have never fished. How appropriate to give a fishing talk on April Fool’s Day.
Lots of Northwest Arkansas newcomers love to fish, but may hail from states where lakes are shallow and not very big. Then they look at Beaver Lake, which is 200 feet deep in places, with 450 miles of shoreline.
The lake can baffle folks not used to big Ozarks reservoirs. The good news is, most fish are found in a small percentage of the water. Spring is when they move shallow and are easiest to catch. Here are a few questions from the Hobbs audience.
• Where can I go to catch crappie from shore? There are dozens of good spots. Some state and county roads dead end at the lake, where people can park, walk the shoreline and fish.
The Army Corps of Engineers operates parks from the headwaters near Fayetteville to the dam near Eureka Springs. These are good shore fishing spots.
Gravel shorelines are good. Crappie love cover, so any bush or tree in the water might hold a crappie or two. Try different depths from 2 to 10 feet deep.
Small minnows are the best live bait, or use crappie jigs. A chartreuse tail with a black or red body is a good jig color at Beaver Lake.
Fish minnows or jigs with or without a bobber.
• Can fish see my lure when the water is muddy like it is now? They won’t see it from far away, but they’ll hear it. Actually, they’ll feel it.
You’ll notice fish don’t have ears. They have a distinct line that runs horizontal along both sides of their bodies. For fish, this is their ears. They feel vibration with their lateral line. That’s why a lure with some vibration or swimming motion is good in muddy water.
For crappie, a Roadrunner lure is ideal. It’s like a crappie jig with a small spinner that gives off vibration. For black bass, spinner baits and crank baits are good to use.
Fish don’t seem to mind the muddy water, but anglers certainly do.
• What lure colors are good at Beaver Lake? All game fish at Beaver Lake eat threadfin shad. Shad look sort of like a minnow, so white, silver or any minnow color is good.
Black bass love crawdads. Crank baits that resemble crawdads are a wise choice.
Plastic worms may be the most productive black bass lure ever made. Stick with dark colors at Beaver Lake. Black is good. Shades of green should get a bass’ attention.
Seasoned crappie anglers will tell you a jig with a chartreuse tail with a black or red body is the hot color at Beaver Lake, but all kinds of color combinations will work. One may catch ’em one day. A different color works better the next.
• How can I keep from losing my expensive lures? Getting hung up and losing a few lures is part of fishing. There are things called plug knockers available that slide down a fishing line and knock a snagged lure free. They work sometimes, but not always.
When a snag occurs, the first reaction is try to yank the lure free. That might work, or it may drive the hooks deeper into the tree or bush. If the lure isn’t snagged too deep, try poking it with your rod tip. The down side is you risk breaking the tip.
Lost lures are a fine excuse to visit your favorite fishing store and buy more.
Flip Putthoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports on 04/17/2018