Photo: Beaver Lake, 20 minutes from the inn and perfect for your day of fishing, swimming or boating
FISHING TIPS FROM THE INNKEEPER
Innkeeper Sandra spent 7 years sailing alone in the Pacific, on a three-meal-a-day fish diet, catching huge beautiful salmon off the California coast which she grilled on her stern-mounted gas barbecue, marlin and mighty skipjack tuna off the Baja coast, all kinds of reef fish in the Sea of Cortez and tarpon farther south. When she first came to Arkansas, she took up trout-fishin’ in the White River below the dam and often would get up at 3AM to go catch some fresh ones for the guests’ breakfasts. She’ll gladly let you know where her favorite fishin’ holes are if you want to bring your rod.
Within 10 minutes from the Inn, we have the famous Kings River, one of the finest streams for that wonderful small-mouth bass. The Kings also has a great walleye run in the springtime. Table Rock Lake, about 5 miles from Cliff Cottage Inn, has strong populations of small-mouth, large-mouth and Kentucky bass. And then we have Beaver Lake tailwaters within a 20-minute drive from the Inn, with four kinds of trout – one of Sandra’s fishing friends recently took out a six-pound brown!
The Kings River has very good small-mouth fishing and they are especially keen to grab at live creek minnows, Swimming Minnow lures, Rooster Tails in white, brown or yellow, grubs in green pumpkin or pumpkin pepper and PJ’s Finesse jigs in white/chartreuse and 1/8…all excellent “fodder” for these frisky fellows. There is always fantastic trout to catch below the Beaver Dam and that is where Sandra always fishes. Black/red Micro jigs, ginger Micro jigs (both tipped with a wax worm) are the best lure-bait combos. Of course, live minnows are always popular with the brown trout and white bass that frequent that neighborhood. (NOTE: From Spider Creek to Parker Flats and Houseman Access off 62 are heavy-duty traffic zones for the white bass/hybrids.)If you are into flyfishing, during the warm weather, you’ll get good results with Partridge and yellow soft hackles (size 15); also, Red Ass (size 16 to 18); B.H. Woolly Buggers, black or olive (10 to 12); Johnny Flash Gomez (18); W.D.-40 Tun, olive (18-20); Griffith’s Gnat (20-22) and B.H. Pheasant Tails, olive (14-16).
If you’re looking for the mammoth striped bass or catfish, head straight for Beaver Lake where stripers swim on top in the very early morning and you can catch them from shore around the Beaver Dam and points 1 and 5 and Indian Creek for boaters. Large floating stick baits, Rattle Traps and XXXL-sized minnows will, without doubt land you a photo-op biggie! Our popular catfish love chicken livers, crawfish and night crawlers and can be pulled up from the 10 to 15-foot depths at night. Lake Leatherwood Park just west on 62 a few miles from downtown has the biggest channel cats you’ll ever find anywhere! If you’re into slab crappies, check out Lake Leatherwood …they are going for minnows and jigs. Red-ear love crickets.
We are happy to report that Beaver Lake is now a very strictly-enforced “NO ALCOHOL” lake so it will be safe for every fisherman or boater. You can meander out on it from Starkey Marina — they have some fun pontoon boats to rent there and the marina has been completely renovated under new owners.