Lake Ouachita


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.