FISH ON!  Striper fishing makes for Great Arkansas Vacations!




  Answers to the Frequently Asked Questions
about Stripers and Lake Ouachita



Wt are Stripers ?

What are stripers?

Arkansas Striped Bass, aka Striper or Rockfish


Common Name:  striped bass
Other Common Names: striper, rockfish
Scientific name: Morone Saxatilis
Family: temporate basses- Percichthyidae
Related Species:  White Bass, Yellow Bass, White Perch, Hybrid Wiper


  Range: Both anadromous and freshwater varieties.  In Saltwater from New Foundland to Florida in the Atlantic, from Louisiana  to Apalachicola, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, from Washington to San Diego, California in the Pacific. In Freshwater in coastal rivers and large reservoirs and lakes in the entire lower 48 US states.

Sizes:  Anadromous-up to 125lbs, but more common 5lbs-40lbs.  Freshwater-up to 60's, common 2lbs-20lbs.

Habitat: Schools in open water, 30-100 feet.  Prefers 42-58 degree F water but will feed in  cooler or warmer water if deeper, cooler water, or warmer flowing water (power plant discharge) is available nearby.  Requires lots of water volume or moving water (high oxygen content).  Common in freshwater in tailraces behind dams, and near rocky banks with sandy bottoms.

Spawning Habits:  Anadromous variety- leaves ocean waters and ascends coastal rivers in early spring. Will seek out smaller tributaries with good current and gravel bottoms.  Very prolific female stimulated by multiple males, eggs released over bottom, no bedding. Freshwater stripers also ascend rivers seeking smaller creeks with current and gravel bottoms, however, many lakes do not have adequate spawning waters, limiting spawning effectiveness.  Bass feed heavily before and after spawning.

Feeding Habits:  Look for river mouths on tide changes, and near lighted deepwater bridges and piers.  Rocky banks with current and nearby deep water are also good. Primary forage species include herrings, anchovies, shad (all varieties), and menhaden, can include rainbow trout, clams, and crabs.   Larger baits work best for most stripers (5"-14"), as will lures that imitate menhaden and shad in this size range.  Smaller stripers (schoolies) will also take a variety of plugs, spoons, jigs, and twitch baits including those used for smaller  smallmouth and largemouth bass.

Notes:   Originally two separate sub-species: Atlantic, and Gulf.  Due to spawning habitat degradation and over fishing, however stocks of Gulf and Pacific stripers were severely decimated, and stocking of the Atlantic variety was used to supplement populations.  In freshwater, the creation of the Santee-Cooper impoundment created a source of solely freshwater fish.  These freshwater fish where the source of nationwide stocking efforts in the 1950's-1980's.  Due to large-scale production of the white/striped bass hybrid (wipers), ,the sterile wipers are now the choice of most fisheries managers, reducing striper populations in many reservoirs.  The Atlantic striper population is very cyclical and hinges largely on spawning habit availability, commercial/recreational fishing pressure, and menhaden/shad availability.  Also a victim of pfisteria in some mid-Atlantic areas.

"Fish On! Someone grab that line!" yells Captain Jess as the Striper rattles and violently bends the once quiet fishing rod.

What is the World and Arkansas State record in for Striper?

World Record Striped Bass

Al McReynolds measured 53"  in Length with a   34 1/2"Girth weighting in at 78 lbs 8oz.

World Striped Bass RecordPublic record photo

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Arkansas State Record
Striped Bass

Jeff Fletcher
 64-lb.  8-oz
Length: 51 Inches
Girth: 31 1/2 Inches

White river near the Beaver dam

Arkansas Striped Bass Record




public record photo


What does "Ouachita" mean?

Ouachita is a Name given to the Ouachita river during the French occupation of the region, originally the name was "Washita", roughly translated meaning, ."River of good hunting grounds...and sparkling silver water"...

The major Indian tribes that lived along the OUACHITA were the Washita, Caddo, Osage, Tensas, Chickasaw and Choctaw. Time brought about a great change to their primitive world as the white settlers moved into the Ouachita Valley.

Is Lake Ouachita a natural lake or man-made?

  Lake Ouachita (Pronounced WAH-shi-tah) is a lake created by the damming of the Ouachita River by Blakely Mountain Dam. The lake is located near Hot Springs, Arkansas. Lake Ouachita is the largest lake in Arkansas, with over 975 miles of shoreline and over 40,000 acres (160 km˛). It is completely surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest. Lake Ouachita is located near two other lakes, Lake Hamilton and Lake Catherine. These three lakes, DeGray Lake to the near south, and the thermal springs of Hot Springs National Park make Hot Springs a popular tourist getaway.

The purpose of the man-made Lake Ouachita is flood control, navigation, recreation, and hydroelectricity. It is one of the cleanest lakes in Arkansas, and its wildlife is very diverse. Some people say that there is a species of rare, non-stinging jellyfish in the lake. These jellyfish are said to have been seen mostly by scuba divers diving in the lake. Also sponges are said to live here. One area of Lake Ouachita features large crystal veins, some of the largest in the world. Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted bass are abundant in the lake. So is Bream, Crappie, Catfish, Walleye, and Striped Bass. In fact, Lake Ouachita is known as the Striped Bass Capital of the World. Blakely Mountain Dam started construction in 1948,was completed in 1953, and started generating electricity in 1955, the dam is 1,100 feet long, and has an average height of 205 feet. There are 21 recreational parks and areas, 150 picnic sites, 1,106 campsites, 13 swimming beaches, and 24 boat ramps. The eastern side of Lake Ouachita contains Lake Ouachita State Park, a very popular Arkansas state park.

GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). The full text of this license is at Wikipedia:Text of the GNU Free Documentation License. This text should not be changed for legal reasons.








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