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Bart
01-09-2005, 02:19 PM
What is the best big fish crappie lake in Arkansas?

Jerry Blake
01-09-2005, 06:38 PM
Hey Bart:

Hmmm, that's a tough one - wish I knew. I've only crappie fished in a handful of lakes in Arkansas and there are hundreds.

These are the state records recognized by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Black Crappie - 4lb 9oz Oladale Lake 03/29/76 Danny Burfield, Ola, AR

White Crappie - 4lb 7oz Mingo Creek 04/12/93 Shelby Cooper, Bald Knob, AR

Of the two lakes I guide on Lake Hamilton has produced the largest crappie and in the area I fish we hardly catch any less than 10-inches.

Lake Greeson has produced better numbers overall I guess but I've not kept track of that. The biggest Crappie I ever caught was in Greeson, a prespawn Black Female that was 17-inches long and weighed an even three pounds on a spring scale.

I hear rumors every now and then about huge crappie in some of the other lakes around here like Millwood and Ouachita. I would think that one of the oxbow lakes off the Mississippi river could produce some large crappie as well.

Bart
01-10-2005, 05:06 PM
Thanks Jerry. Looks like you have lots of lakes in your area near Hot Springs. What makes you choose Greeson and Hamilton to guide on over other lakes in the area?

labill
01-10-2005, 09:15 PM
Hey Bart:

Hmmm, that's a tough one - wish I knew. I've only crappie fished in a handful of lakes in Arkansas and there are hundreds.

These are the state records recognized by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Black Crappie - 4lb 9oz Oladale Lake 03/29/76 Danny Burfield, Ola, AR

White Crappie - 4lb 7oz Mingo Creek 04/12/93 Shelby Cooper, Bald Knob, AR

Of the two lakes I guide on Lake Hamilton has produced the largest crappie and in the area I fish we hardly catch any less than 10-inches.

Lake Greeson has produced better numbers overall I guess but I've not kept track of that. The biggest Crappie I ever caught was in Greeson, a prespawn Black Female that was 17-inches long and weighed an even three pounds on a spring scale.

I hear rumors every now and then about huge crappie in some of the other lakes around here like Millwood and Ouachita. I would think that one of the oxbow lakes off the Mississippi river could produce some large crappie as well.


I've been to Ola and have seen the mount of the 4lb.9oz. black. If you ever go there stop in at the Ola Cafe (if it's still there) and check it out. It's quite a sight to see. They told me it was caught from a bar pit close to Ola, by one of the locals. They never mentioned the lake, but it's an awesome fish.

Jerry Blake
01-10-2005, 10:18 PM
Hey Bart:

Well Greeson is where I got "ruint" on crappie fishing about 18 years ago and it is a CORP lake with no houses on it and also has very little crappie fishing pressure.

Lake Hamilton is closer and a lot of my clients stay right on or near the lake so I started guiding there for convenience. It is also a steady level lake, meaning that it doesn't go up and down according to rainfall and power generation demands. They draw it down in the winter time but they tell you ahead of time how much and when the drawdown and refill will happen. Hamilton has little crappie fishing pressure as well but is full of lake lice on weekends during the summer.

Lake Degray and Lake Ouachita are good crappie lakes too but are both flood control lakes and can go up and down a lot. I used to fish Degray some before I started guiding but don't have any "honey holes" there now. If I expand to another lake it will probably be Ouachita, but I'll have to build or find a lot of good brushpiles before I will feel confident enough guide there.

It's a lot of work to keep my brushpiles in good shape and it's a lot easier to find the crappie if you've fished the lake recently.

Hot Springs Village (a gated comunity north of Hot Springs) has some smaller lakes I could guide on if I wanted to get a work permit for my truck and a permit for my boat AND get some honey holes established.

For now I'll likely just guide on two lakes. If they aren't biting one either of them then they probably aren't biting on any of the other lakes around here either.