10 Absolutely Amazing Lakes In Arkansas (One is a Legendary Bass Fishing Spot!)


Arkansas is home to some of the best fishing in the nation. The Tri-Lakes area provides stunning fishing on its own. Fishing isn’t where the excitement and wonder cease with Arkansas lakes. Hunting and scuba diving are two other very popular activities.

Many fish swim in Arkansas lakes, just a few species include Large & Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Black Crappie, White Crappie, Walleye, Rainbow Trout, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, White Bass, and Hybrid Striped Bass.

There are countless opportunities for hunting, fishing, boating, camping, and swimming in the lakes of Arkansas. This article explores ten absolutely amazing lakes found in Arkansas.

1.   Greers Ferry Lake

There was once a town where Greers Ferry Lake now sits. Roads can still be seen going into the lake; some are used for boat ramps

Image CreditTerry Via/Shutterstock.com

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Greers Ferry Lake
Surface Area 40,499 acres
Max Depth 486 feet
  • Camping/Overnight Available: Yes
  • Boating/Docks Available: Yes
  • Swimming Permitted: Yes
  • Fishing Permitted: Yes
  • Best For: Ranked One of the Clearest Lakes in the Nation, Home of the World Record Walleye

Greers Ferry Lake sits where a town once stood. Some of the town’s roads can even still be seen. These roads are used today by anglers to launch their boats in hopes of catching the next World Record Walleye.

Thankfully there weren’t any tragedies at Higden. The town was first safely moved. Today someone who lives there might frequent the lake for one of the many activities provided by the massive, beautiful body of water.

Tourists and locals can enjoy swimming, cliff diving, boating, fishing, scuba diving, and camping at Greers Ferry Lake. Fish species at the lake include Large & Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Black Crappie, White Crappie, Walleye, Rainbow Trout, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, White Bass, and Hybrid Striped Bass.

2.   Lake Dardanelle

Lake Dardanelle is a popular destination for anglers but make no mistake it’s a full-service outdoor activity super playground

Image CreditiStock.com/Patrick Jennings

Lake Dardanelle
Surface Area 40,000 acres
Max Depth 61 feet
  • Camping/Overnight Available: Yes
  • Boating/Docks Available: Yes
  • Swimming Permitted: Yes
  • Fishing Permitted: Yes
  • Best For: Bass Fishing Tournaments, Excellent Striped Bass Fishing

Fishing is the main attraction at Lake Dardanelle. There are many other options available from a visitor center with five aquariums to golf, to concerts to horseback riding. The lake offers cabins, lodging, and campsites for overnight stays.

Anglers should note the lake is known for its rock and wood cover and large amounts of aquatic vegetation making it a playground for bass and other fish. Fish seen at the lake include Bream, Crappie, and Largemouth Bass. Lower areas of the lake are known for great Striper fishing and hybrid bass are seen near Ozark Dam in the spring and fall.

Many other types of fish are caught at the lake including Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Sauger, Spotted Sunfish, Striped Sunfish, Redear Sunfish, Bluegill, and Warmouth.

3.   Table Rock Lake

The massive shores of Table Rock Lake stretch from Missouri into Arkansas and provide world-class fishing opportunities

Image CreditiStock.com/Eifel Kreutz

Table Rock Lake
Surface Area 43,097 acres
Max Depth 220 feet
  • Camping/Overnight Available: Yes
  • Boating/Docks Available: Yes
  • Swimming Permitted: Yes
  • Fishing Permitted: Yes
  • Best For: Top Notch Fishing Destination

The massive eight hundred-mile shoreline of Table Rock Lake stretches from Missouri into Arkansas. The lake is known for absolutely amazing fishing and world-class fishing, water sports, boating, and swimming.

A large amount of the lake is located within Missouri. Much of its waters stretch down into northeastern Arkansas. Anglers wanting to catch the next trophy winner should set their sites on Kentucky Spotted & White Bass, Trout, Catfish, and Crappie.

Overnight visitors can stay in one of the sixteen campsites around Table Rock Lake. The lake is in the Tri-lakes area with Bull Shoals Lake and Lake Taneycomo all combined creating one of the nation’s most sought-after fishing destinations.

4.   Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake is a full-service outdoor recreational experience with killer bass fishing and plenty of amenities for the whole family

Image CreditiStock.com/Serrhel

Beaver Lake
Surface Area 28,198 acres
Max Depth 203 feet
  • Camping/Overnight Available: Yes
  • Boating/Docks Available: Yes
  • Swimming Permitted: Yes
  • Fishing Permitted: Yes
  • Best For: Bass Fishing, Paddle Boarding, Pontooning

Beaver Lake is renowned for its excellent bass fishing. For others, the lake provides a wide range of other popular activities including kayaking, fishing, swimming, catamaran sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, pontoon boating, and scuba diving.

The man-made reservoir is located in northwest Arkansas and serves as the source of drinking water for the area.

Visitors can enjoy one of the many twelve recreation areas that hold six hundred and seventy-seven campsites. There are twenty-eight boat ramps and nine motels around the lake making it a convenient and popular destination for thousands of yearly anglers and campers.

5.   Millwood Lake

Millwood Lake
Surface Area 29,196 acres
Max Depth 25 feet
  • Surface Area: 29,196 acres
  • Max Depth: 25 Feet
  • Camping/Overnight Available: Yes
  • Boating/Docks Available: Yes
  • Swimming Permitted: Yes
  • Fishing Permitted: Yes
  • Best For: Fishing Derbies & Tournaments, Audobon-designated Important Bird Area

If you’re looking for a more remote option for your weekend lake getaway Millwood Lake is a great choice. The lake is created by the Millwood Dam blocking the Little and Saline rivers in southwestern Arkansas.

Boaters should be aware that thirty thousand acres of the lake’s waters are filling with timber making much of it inaccessible. The trade-off is the habitat provided to the dense amount of fish that use the timber for survival.

A vast array of animals can be seen around Millwood Lake including white-tailed deer, bobwhite quail, squirrel, dove, rabbit, raccoon, armadillo, opossum, fox, and mink. Visitors can enjoy the fifteen recreational parks around the lake with picnic areas, boat ramps, swimming areas, showers, and restrooms.

6.   Norfolk Lake

Anglers looking to land Striped Bass or the next World Record Brown Trout head to Norfolk Lake

Image CreditBohn and Reis/Shutterstock.com

Norfolk Lake
Surface Area 21,990 acres
Max Depth 177 feet
  • Camping/Overnight Available: Yes
  • Boating/Docks Available: Yes
  • Swimming Permitted: Yes
  • Fishing Permitted: Yes
  • Best For: Clean & Clear Water, Huge Striped & Hybrid Bass

Norfolk Lake is Arkansas’s oldest large man-made impoundment housing one of the best Striped Bass fisheries in the state. Thirty to forty-pound Striped Bass are pulled from its water regularly by excited anglers. Another popular activity is night fishing for Black & White Bass and Crappie.

The lake and streams are consistently stocked with trout by the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. A world-record Brown Trout was pulled from Norfolk River in 1988. In 2000, an angler caught a state-record four pound twelve ounce, Brook Trout. The combination of the streams, rivers, and lake are a great bet for anglers looking to actually catch fish.

The lake is known as being one of the cleanest in the nation and sports crystal clear visibility. Visitors looking for non-fishing-related outdoor activities are sure to enjoy scuba diving, spearfishing, watersports, hiking and biking, cave exploration, or maybe a scenic drive along the five hundred and fifty miles of shoreline.

7.   DeGray Lake

Anglers head out to DeGray Lake for trophy-winning fishing of Hybrid Stripers, Crappie, and Catfish

Image CreditWarren Price Photography/Shutterstock.com

DeGray Lake
Surface Area 13,798 acres
Max Depth 145 feet
  • Camping/Overnight Available: Yes
  • Boating/Docks Available: Yes
  • Swimming Permitted: Yes
  • Fishing Permitted: Yes
  • Best For: Best hunting on public land in SW Arkansas, Trophy Winning Fishing

Degray Lake is a population destination for hunters and anglers. Its diverse landscape provides a home for a wide range of animals. The most popular species for hunters are quail, duck, geese, rabbit, squirrel, bear, turkey, and deer.

Anglers come to the lake in hopes of landing a trophy-winning Hybrid Striper, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, or Catfish. The main fish anglers seek is the huge Hybrid Striped Bass. In addition to fishing, visitors can enjoy one of the nine campgrounds, two playgrounds, or five swim areas available at DeGray Lake.

Fishing derbies for local children’s groups and physically challenged children and adults are hosted by Park Rangers and staff. DeGray Lake is a full-service, family-friendly outdoor playground with amazing fishing and hunting for everyone!

8.   Lake Greeson

Lake Greeson is known for its extensive offering of fish species. Anglers can look forward to hooking one of many kinds of fish including bass, catfish Walleye, and many others

Image CreditRenee Foskett/Shutterstock.com

Lake Greeson
Surface Area 9,497 acres
Max Depth 160 feet
  • Camping/Overnight Available: Yes
  • Boating/Docks Available: Yes
  • Swimming Permitted: Yes
  • Fishing Permitted: Yes
  • Best For: Rich Variety of Game Fish, Famous for its Scenery & Recreation

Lake Greeson is surrounded by fifteen parks offering visitors the full gamut of outdoor activities lake goers seek; camping, fishing, boating, biking, and swimming are all popular.

Anglers can hopefully sink a hook in a nice Large or, Smallmouth, White or Spotted Bass. Other fish caught regularly include Flathead and Channel Catfish, Black & White Crappie, Walleye, and Bluegill. The area below Narrows Dam has a mighty supply of rainbow trout.

Many wildlife species including rabbits, squirrels, bobwhite quail, and whitetail deer roam the area. In addition, forty-five miles of trails around the lake provide bountiful opportunities for outdoor exploration and exercise.

The Largest Lake In Arkansas

9.   Bull Shoals Lake

Notorious for producing huge bass and a range of other fish Bull Shoals Lake is one of the best fishing spots in the country

Image CreditTara Ballard/Shutterstock.com

Bull Shoals Lake
Surface Area 45,152 acres
Max Depth 210 feet
  • Camping/Overnight Available: Yes
  • Boating/Docks Available: Yes
  • Swimming Permitted: Yes
  • Fishing Permitted: Yes
  • Best For: Largemouth Bass Fishing, Top USA Fishing Area

Bull Shoals Lake is a massive body of water located in the amazing Ozark Mountains. Stepping out just a little to the Tri-Lakes area to include Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake you have one of the hottest fishing spots in the entire US. Bull Shoals is known to produce massive Largemouth Bass weighing up to twelve pounds.

The lakes offer many other species of fish including Striped Bass, Walleye, Catfish, Crappie, Bluegill, Rainbow Trout & Brown Trout, Large & Smallmouth Bass, and Spotted Bass. It’s easy to see why this area is highly regarded by anglers and considered one of the best places to fish in America.

Twenty-one boat ramps offer ample opportunity to explore the lakes one thousand miles of beautiful shoreline. Enjoy a weekend trip at one of the many campgrounds. Bull Shoals Lake is huge and spans across the state line into Missouri. Therefore it can take several trips to see it all.

This Arkansas Lake is the “Striped Bass Capital of the World”

    10. Lake Ouachita

Lake Ouachita is a highly ranked bass fishing lake and has been called the “Striped Bass Capital of the World.”

Image CreditiStock.com/Kathy Byrd

Lake Ouachita
Surface Area 40,000 acres
Max Depth 50 feet
  • Camping/Overnight Available: Yes
  • Boating/Docks Available: Yes
  • Swimming Permitted: Yes
  • Fishing Permitted: Yes
  • Best For: “Striped Bass Capital of the World”, Hot Springs National Park

Lake Ouachita is a full-service lake providing fantastic fishing opportunities and a range of other options for non-anglers. The lake is known for its extremely clear waters which makes it popular with scuba divers. Swimming and kayaking and camping at one of the ninety-three campsites are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

Mount Ida, known as the Quartz Crystal Capital of the World, and Hot Springs National Park neighbor Lake Ouachita and provide a host of other outdoor activities. Bass fishing is very popular. In addition to Bass, Bream, Crappie, and Catfish are also caught at the lake.

Created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1946 and 1954 Lake Ouachita was part of a flood control, hydropower, and navigation project. Today the lake is visited and enjoyed by thousands annually for its great Striped Bass fishing and great beauty.

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