Saline River

Discussion in 'ARKANSAS LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by CNTRYBOY, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. CNTRYBOY

    CNTRYBOY New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Benton, Ar
    I would like to see pics, information, maps, or whatever as well as some input on the Saline River here in Arkansas. I know there is a lot of folks that might be new to Arkansas or just have not fished it before. There are a few members that know this stream well. I hope to eventually explore more of it myself. I have never been on it much farther than around the Sheridan Area. Would love to hear more about it farther downstream.

    The Saline River starts in the Ouchita National Forest in Arkansas and runs all the way down to Lake Jack lee in South Arkansas. It is feed by the Middle fork and North Fork of the Saline River as well as a abundance of small creeks and stream along its way. It is narrow in spots where you can drive or walk across it, then opens up into larger holes around the bends. This river consist of a rocky bottom as well as gravel and sand. It has a abundance of cover as it is covered along the banks with submerged timber, tree tops, stumps, and overhanging bushes.

    It is a favorite with locals for its swimming. The Gravel bars in bends along the river make for good swimming areas as well as family picnics. The wildlife is abundant as well. It is also known for its float fishing. Floating it in a canoe, flatbottom or smaller vessels is the best way to fish it, as sometimes the water in the bends and necks of the river is too shallow to motor over.

    So, members, please feel free to share your experience, pictures and input on this unique water way!
     
  2. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've thought a number of times that I'd like to give the Saline River a try, but so far, I've never fished it. What kind of depth do you find in the holes; the shallows; other parts of the river? Does it contain mostly flats, blues, channels, or a good mixture of all 3?
     

  3. CNTRYBOY

    CNTRYBOY New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Benton, Ar
    Jerry, i have seen mostly flats and bullheads come out of the River. As far as depth goes, I have never been on it with a depth finder, have swimmed in some of the holes and not be able to touch bottom or hit bottom in some places. It has a lot of shallow areas that are as shallow as a couple of inches.

    There is a lot i don't know about this river. that is one reason for making the thread, to find out more. I have mainly been associated with the part of the river from just the other side of Benton , down to Jenkins Ferry between Sheridan and Leola. From Jenkins Ferry down to Lake Jack Lee, i am lost, never been on the river that far down.
     
  4. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Dragging a boat over a few inches of water ain't no fun; been there, done that. And even if it's just barely deep enough to float the boat, you can't run the motor. I've done the Humphrey Bogart/African Queen bit, too. Sounds like a river better suited to my 14'/36" jonboat and 15hp Mariner than my 1648 Lowe and 25hp Yamaha 4-stroke. That heavy outboard really put the back end of that boat down in the water. Only problem is, I need a new lower unit on the Mariner.
     
  5. Jimmy Don

    Jimmy Don Member

    Messages:
    166
    State:
    Arkansas
    I fish the Saline here in Grant county. The river runs from just a few inches deep to about 15 feet deep in the deepest holes. There are shallow spots with swift water that you have to pull your boat up, plus the many logs and log jams that make it tough to fish in low water with anything bigger than a 14X36 flatbottom.

    I have a 15X42 welded boat with a 20 hp. four stroke, and when the water is at its current low level it is near impossible for me to fish the river. I have a canoe that I have used in the past when it is low, but this late in the year the water is too cold for me to use, because I always manage to get wet when using it.

    There is an abundence of channels and flatheads in the river. I have caught a few blues and bullheads also. The best baits I have found are bluegills and other bream that I catch in the river, as well as chubs and other baitfish, though I have had nights when magic bait was the flavor of choice.

    There are many public boat ramps in the area, but many stretches of river are accessible only from the various deer leases in the area due to gates on the leases and log jams on the river. ( I know people who join deer leases that don't hunt much, they just want access to those areas of the river.)

    This is pretty much all I know about the river. I fish it from the ramp between Prattsville and Poyen on hwy 167 down to Grapevine off of Highway 35 south of Sheridan. I don't like fishing from Jenkins Ferry, even though I know people who do well there, the boat ramp drops off into very shallow water with quite a lot of current that makes it a pain to launch from.

    Google earth has some good photos of the river in my area.

    Also when you get down around Rison there is a mercury warning.
     
  6. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Ok, given that you're going to have to get out of the boat in the shallow spots, do you think that a 17# thrust Minn-Kota would take a 14'x36" jonboat upstream? I've got a small jonboat that size just for smaller waters, but since the lower unit is out on my 15hp Mariner, all I've got to power it is the small trolling motor. (My big TM is bow mounted on my big jonboat.)
     
  7. Jimmy Don

    Jimmy Don Member

    Messages:
    166
    State:
    Arkansas
    At the level it is at now you shouldn't have any trouble with that in most places, any place with current right now will be too shallow for the trolling motor and you will just have to pull over it. In many places these short areas of riffles will have long slow stretches that the trolling motor will be fine in.

    I have paddled up many of the faster areas in a canoe in most of the places that I have fished, but you can't just paddle it straight up the stream you have to cross back and forth at an angle and paddle your butt off.

    If you have waders I would wear them.
     
  8. catdaddy007

    catdaddy007 Member

    Messages:
    406
    State:
    SE Arkansas
    I fish the last 2 to 3 miles of the saline river,to where it empties into the ouachita river. The main channel varies from 8 to 12 ft. with holes from 14 to 27 ft. deep. A little farther up stream from where I fish it does get real shallow in places,but I don't go up that far.I have caught some very nice blues and channels.The flatheads haven't been real big,but I have had a couple of 9/0 and one 10/0 hooks straightned out.So I know there are some good'uns in there I just aint got him yet.I use crawdads,brim,and catalpa worms.Usually only catch small channels and occasionaly a blue or two on the worms.Next spring I'm gonna also try some mudcat for bait.The bigg'uns love the live stuff.
     
  9. CNTRYBOY

    CNTRYBOY New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Benton, Ar
    Todd, just keep us posted on how well you do. Hopefully i will get some time to float the river some and do some fishing.