View Full Version : Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas catfish
05-16-2004, 01:31 PM
Here are a couple of pics of cats I shot in Arkansas. I try and hit this lake about every weekend during the summer months. I also get lots of Walleye and Stripers.
05-16-2004, 02:02 PM
How do you get shots at Stripers? The Hybrids here don't hang out by shore much and I never see them.
05-16-2004, 02:34 PM
While I have shot a few Stripers scuba diving over the years, I get most of them freediving. I have the most luck seeing them early in the morning or late in the evening. I get most of the Stripers and Hybrids at Beaver Lake in Arkansas.
05-16-2004, 05:55 PM
Great fish !
Give us the story about them !
You know, how deep, time of year, gun you used, ect..
How many acres is the lake ?
05-16-2004, 06:50 PM
I prefer to hunt the catfish after they have spawned. As you know the Arkansas Fish and Game Dept. holds the season closed on Flathead until 7/15. Many of them are still on the nest later than this, but I do not like shooting them while they are spawning or guarding the nest. I have seen a significant decline in there numbers over the last decade or so and I want them to be around for several years to come.
I prefer to hunt Flathead in the trees. They like to hang on structure and usually at the thermocline. The big ones are more difficult to sneek up on and often take off just before a diver gets there. The Flathead are masters at camouflage and change their coloration to perfectly match logs/tree branches. They love cedar trees and like to lay within these to ambush bluegill. Flathead are an excellent eating fish.
Bull Shoals and Norfork are loaded with Walleye. Walleye are simply one of the best eating fish there is. I dive the Gulf alot and have a freezer full of Grouper, Red Snapper, Cobia and Wahoo. I would rate Walleye as good as, or better than any of these salt water fish for eating purposes.
05-18-2004, 04:09 PM
Nice blue! Catfish hunting is a blast, when's the best time to come? Late summer? Me and a few of my buddies would love to come up and stick giant cat. Are there any deep dams we could dive?
05-18-2004, 05:59 PM
Our season starts the 15th of next month and the diving/hunting is good until about early November. So anytime between those time periods is good to do some spearfishing.
Bull Shoals and Beaver are deep, clear water lakes and you can dive as deep as you want to. The vis is almost always clear down below the thermcline. There are several nice wrecks to dive. Except for the Stripers, game fish are not normally that deep and can be easily reached freediving. The majority of spearfishing in this area is done with scuba, but it's rare to shoot a large Striper on scuba. A 3' gun such as a Riffe Bottom or RA 110 or Biller 36 is the ideal length. A reel is needed with freediving for the large Stripers. They get big!
Several of the guys I spearfish with in the Gulf, come up to experience freshwater spearfishing and really enjoy it They are quite surprised how clear and beautiful these lakes are.
10/4 on the Walleye. Best darn eating fresh water fish around. We go after them in Canada and eat the fire oughta them, great fish.
Catfish hunter, how difficult are they to spear? Do they stay schooled up in your lakes? I'd love to come check them out sometime.
05-19-2004, 04:40 PM
Catfish hunter, how difficult are they to spear?
"like taking candy from a baaaby..."
Do they stay schooled up in your lakes?
Usually they are bunched together in 2s, 3s or more after the spawning season. Ark requires them to be 18" or longer..so they have a SPEAR AND RELEASE policy :-)
You will be surprised how clear our lakes are.
05-27-2004, 07:03 AM
You asked how big the lake was. Bull Shoals has over on thousand miles of shoreline from what I understand. I don't know how many acres that translates into because the lake winds into the Ozarks, but it's plenty big.
Below the dam, on the White River, you will find WORLD CLASS rainbow and brown trout fishing. I suggest trying Roses Trout Dock (I think it is just below the bend where the Buffalo river dumps into the White). Great guides, and great fishing.
That area of Arkansas is a perfect place to bring the whole family for vacation. Make the trip if you get the chance.
05-27-2004, 07:10 AM
As far as the dam diving goes, the feds put the kabash on that after 9/11. I don't think you can get within 2000 ft of the damn from the lake side anymore. But there are plenty of places to get good fish.
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