Lake Ouachita

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Yes, we already knew about the Ozarks. But did you know about the Ouachitas? The latter lie south of the Ozarks, on the other side of the Arkansas Valley. Pronounced WHAH-shih-tah, the lake of the same name is the biggest one in Arkansas – 40,000 acres of water with 700 miles of shoreline. I did not fish, but the experts tell me it is as good as it gets, chock full of largemouth bass, crappie, stripers, etc.

The striper, I learned, is a fish that can live in salt or fresh water (prefers brackish), and grows to 40 ell-bees in Lake Ouachita. The Garmin people were there making a nice new map of the bottom. If you hire a pro guide, he can take you to bang on the front door of whatever species you had in mind for about $60 an hour. Not really in the mood to battle fish after my two-day (and one night) flog from the OC, I chose to kayak the Caddo – a measly $40, ride upriver included.