Some Wild Arkansas Fish Tales


Two Records in One Day

The chances of catching a state-record fish are extremely small. Two anglers catching two records the same day, from the same boat seems impossible, but it happened!

On April 15, 1984, William Garvey of Indianapolis caught a 5-pound, 2-ounce white bass on the Arkansas portion of Bull Shoals Lake, which was a new Arkansas state record.

His new record didn’t last long, however. In fact, it didn’t even last a day. That’s because
his fishing partner, (also named William, but with the last name Wilson) caught a white bass just a few hours later that weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces. That became the new state record!


Believe It or Not!

According to a 1951 “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” column, when James Price of Locust Grove, Arkansas accidentally dropped his dentures into Bull Shoals Lake, he gured they were gone forever. But 10 days later, he got them back when he caught the 20-pound catfish that had swallowed them!


Crazy Bait

On August 3, 2001, Charles Ashley Jr. of Marion, Arkansas, landed a 116-pound, 12-ounce world-record blue catfish in the Arkansas portion of the Mississippi River. He caught it on a rather unusual bait that his father and grandfather had used for decades—a chunk of Hormel Spam!


Ancient Monster

While Ashley’s catfish was a world record at the time it was caught, it isn’t the biggest catfish known from Arkansas. That honor goes to a fish whose remains were found in November 1983. It may be, in fact, the largest fish that ever lived in Arkansas.

The geologist who found the giant catfish’s remains was working along Arkansas 79 near Camden when he saw a piece of bone protruding from the earth. Pulling out the bone, he discovered an almost 3-foot-long skull with a huge 9-inch dorsal fin. Paleontologists later identified the specimen as the remains of a 10-foot- long, 1,000-pound catfish that swam the seas 40 million years ago!


Spud Plug

Conrad Wood of El Dorado, Arkansas, was well-known as a creator of fishing lures with names like the Dipsy Doodle and the Sonic. He once bet some anglers at a fish camp that he could catch a bass on a sweet potato. True to his word, Mr. Wood got a potato, cut it in half, put a hook into it and used it to catch a fat bass.


Let’s Go Fishing!