Beginner's tips for Lake Conway

Discussion in 'ARKANSAS LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by jde512, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. jde512

    jde512 New Member

    Messages:
    197
    State:
    Arkansas
    I've never fished on Lake Conway, but have heard great things about it. I'm mainly interested in catching eating sized fish, not necessarily trophy sized ones. I've got a 15 year old and a 7 year old that are not quite up to the challenge of sitting all day (or night) waiting for a huge fish to bite. I'll be fishing with a boat and any pointers are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. fox9988

    fox9988 Member

    Messages:
    164
    State:
    Lincoln,NW Arkansas
    Name:
    Forrest
    I've never fished it but I have read its flathead heaven.There was an article in a mag about it.The mag is from ARGF(AR OUTDOORS maybe).Do a search on the web,you should be able to find it.Good luck.
     

  3. ccat

    ccat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,770
    State:
    Fayetteville Ar
    Limb lines are everywhere on Lake Conway. I have fished it (mainly for bream) for the past 35 years, but have caught a few catfish throughout the years. I am going to start cat fishing it this year.
    To my knowledge, gained from locals, you will do well if you find the old lakes that give you deeper water in Lake Conway. I don't know of a good topo map of the lake, but baitshops around the lake can help you find the deep holes.
    I have seen many huge flatheads come out of the lake.
    There are tons of shad in the lake, so a throw net might help you with the bait issue.
    Good luck
     
  4. prince

    prince Member

    Messages:
    118
    State:
    Arkansas
    Good place for "eating size" channel cats is under the hwy 89 bridge. Or other places in the channel

    The bridge provides shade for the young fishermen. And you can cast for bass or jig for crappie while you wait for the catfish. Or move close to bank and catch small bream to use for bait - if looking for flathead.

    For blue or channel - Cut bream / bait is good/okay but if using stink bait -Magic bait seems to work as well (if not better) than things like DK (in fact I know several people that no longer bother with DK - just use magic blood bait from Walmart) (again I'm keeping in mind you want 'eating size' not BIG fish)

    Depth under bridge varies from about 10' to 15' (depending on lake level) and the current depends on the number of gates open at the spill way - if current is really strong - the stumps on the upstream side of bidge are better bet - you can get off to one side - where current is not as fast as under the bridge. And water is still 'sorta' deep on the upstream side of the bridge (for a wider area)

    A depth / fish finder will help you find the channel in various places
    (note the channel is NOT where you see the trail markers - those only show a path thru the stumps and are NOT deep holes as some believe)

    A lake map from local bait shop - and following the right trail - and using depth finder will put you on the deep holes. And there is an old pond along side the earth dam leading to the spillway (about 15' deep and not a lot of people pay attention to it) Also the end of the old creek channel is at the first gate along the earth dam/ levy (NOT at the spillway like most people thing i.e. the deep part is not at the spillway :) Water is 10ft deep at end of channel with some 5- 6' flat just off to side

    It's not very easy to use a cast net and get shad for bait - UNLESS you bait a place - for example I soak dry dog food a day ahead of time - them smash some of it up / so it sinks faster - then when you see shad get near with your boat - then start throwing chum to get them close to the boat - otherwise they tend to stay just out of reach for a net
    I chum the same place on a regular basis when the shad get thick - makes it easy to get a lot of bait in one throw.

    Fishing right now is better at upper end of lake - and crappie fishing is picking up at Gold Creek - but in fall - the hwy 89 bridge fishing really picks up

    Neighbor has been tearing up the flathead on live bream - but that was mainly when river was almost as high as lake and all gates were open at spillway - but he was using trotline - not rod n reel

    Hope this 'rambling' helps

    P.S. I fish for relaxation - fish almost every day but don't go looking for fish i.e. I'm retired and do not 'work at fishing' - so I don't catch as many fish as 'dedicated fishermen' e.g. I'm lazy - don't care if I catch fish - as long as I'm on the water relaxing- doesn't matter to me if fish are biting or not :)
     
  5. jde512

    jde512 New Member

    Messages:
    197
    State:
    Arkansas
    Thanks a bunch guys! That's what I was looking for - just some suggestions on a place to start exploring. I'll keep you posted on what I learn.
     
  6. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I managed to find my old (really old) map of Lake Conway. If I can get my wife or daughter to scan it into this computer, I'll post it. How old is really old? Well, it shows the location of the Air Force Landing on the lake. How many here know that Little Rock AFB used to have a recreation area on Lake Conway?
     
  7. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    I have heard that Flatheads are a plenty in that Lake. I have not fished the lake yet.
     
  8. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I do know that, like Lake Atkins, most of the catfish caught on Lake Conway are caught on trotlines.
     
  9. fox9988

    fox9988 Member

    Messages:
    164
    State:
    Lincoln,NW Arkansas
    Name:
    Forrest
    The mag name was AR Wildlife.I seen a current copy today at walmart,it ranked Lake Conway as best AR lake for cats and had some good info and tips.It's from AGFC not ARGF.The older article can be found from google.Have fun.
     
  10. jde512

    jde512 New Member

    Messages:
    197
    State:
    Arkansas
    Which would be the best boat ramp to use to access the Hwy. 89 bridge? Does anybody have any tips on boating on Conway? Everything I've heard says that it's shallow and full of timber.
     
  11. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Wear your life vest when the boat is in motion, or if there are waves over 6"-8" high. In an area of submerged timber on Lake Dardanelle, I had a wave pick up my boat and set it down on a stump; the boat turned upside down. If you stay in the boat lanes, you won't hit as much submerged logs & stuff. When boating outside the boat lanes, I'd set my motor on the shallow drive setup and go slow. If you start running the boat up on a stump, the best solution is to give the motor plenty of power and just slide on over the stump. If you stop and try to back off, you may not have enough pull in reverse to get you off the stump. Assuming, of course, that you're in an aluminum boat. If you're in a fiberglass boat, my advice is to make sure that your insurance coverage is as high as the company will allow, that your deductable is as close to zero as you can get it, and that your premium is paid up in full.
     
  12. prince

    prince Member

    Messages:
    118
    State:
    Arkansas

    Hwy Landing is close to the bridge and has a nice launch ramp - but it's not free ( a couple bucks). Also if you launch at Hwy Landing - you have boat trail along the bank that leads to the bridge

    There is a free / public launch ramp at the dam / spillway. It's a very steep ramp - so large boats tend to use the Hwy Landing ramp

    Also if you use the free ramp - you should NOT cut straight across to the bridge - there are very thick stumps along that path. The trail starts about half way back down the dam/levy i.e. go slow until you see the first trail markers beside the levy/dam (this first set is on a tree)

    BTW: the deep 'old pond' hole I mentioned is to the left after you pass the first trail marker (also this is the end of the old creek channel) - and it's the 'second gate' along the dam/levy that you see after you launch

    The deep hole (pond) is between the trail and the dam/levy - between the first and second trail marker

    Back to path to bridge - you follow the trail along the bank / dam until you see a trail that cuts across the lake - this is the trail that 'angles' back to the bridge

    Summary - launch at spillway - go along levy/ dam until you see a trail that goes across to bridge - this way you'll avoid the stumps

    BTW: Bates / bait shop - on left just before you see Hwy Landing on right - has maps that show the trails


    Trail markers are same as other waterways i.e. RRR - Red Right Returning (or in case of lake - returning means upstream - so you want to keep red marker to your right as you need to go upstream to the bridge

    IMHO - paying to use the Hwy Landing launch is worth the couple bucks- cause it's a easy direct route using the trail markers around the bank - around the curve - right to the bridge

    Again - stay in the trails / lanes- don't cut across like many boaters do - the shortest route is not the 'easy route' if you hung up on stumps

    Right now the lake is high and there are more stumps just under the surface i.e. you don't see as many of the stumps so you think you're in 'clear area' in some cases - you're not
     
  13. jde512

    jde512 New Member

    Messages:
    197
    State:
    Arkansas
    Thanks guys! That's some very helpful information. I may try to put it to use on Sunday afternoon if everything works out.

    I really appreciate it!
     
  14. CNTRYBOY

    CNTRYBOY New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Benton, Ar
    This may be off the Beaten path. But, I am sure someone such as jtrew may be able to answer it. I often have wondered why the do not have a public camping are on Lake Conway or if they will even allow one to be built?
     
  15. prince

    prince Member

    Messages:
    118
    State:
    Arkansas
    I don't know the answer to 'why' they don't build public campsites.

    But I do know that there are 'designated' camp area's. I don't know if there are maps of these area's but when you see one - it normally has a sign on a tree = "designated camping'

    They are primitive campsites - not even a porta potty

    I see camp trailers - Rv campers at two designated campsites at Dix Creek access area

    Also at the Pierce creek launch ramp - there are a couple spots where trailers can park / camp.

    I've not noticed tent campers at these area's (unless they are beside an RV or camper) - but there may be better area's / more area's on other area's of Lake (I only hang around the lower end)
     
  16. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    F&G has always had strange ideas about Lake Conway. Back when LRAFB had a recreation area real close to the Pierce Landing public area, there were trailers to stay in, boats & motors to rent, etc. And I have no doubt that if someone wanted to use their own camping equipment there, they'd have found a place for it. I knew a guy who kept his private boat there. Well, the buildings & trailers were pretty run down, and the Air Force offered to fix them up at its own expence; the only catch was that it wanted a longer lease than the year-to-year lease it currently had. The G&F refused to give a longer lease, so the Air Force had to close the recreation area. I always had the impression that that's what the F&G wanted all along. I've been to the Pierce Creek area off hwy 89, and it's a nice little area with a boat ramp; but that's all--except for some places where they cut down enough trees to allow you to pull your vehicle off the "road".