Buffalo River Adventures

Fishing

The Buffalo National River is a clear waterway, which makes it a great choice as a place to fish for bass, perch, and catfish.

Man fishing in steel creek

Smallmouth are King on the Upper Buffalo River

Smallmouth bass rule the upper Buffalo River, but as you move downstream of Pruitt, you’ll also pick up Kentuckies (spotted bass) and largemouth. Catfish can be found anywhere on the Buffalo River.

Fishing from a canoe is, of course, a popular method; however, wade fishing can also be rewarding. Wade fishing accesses near Ponca include up- or downstream of the Ponca low water bridge or and the Steel Creek campground.

Whether you’re an Arkansas resident or from out-of-state, you’ll need an Arkansas fishing license, which can be purchased online via the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. Or, you can purchase one at the Ponca Elk Education Center located just south of the Buffalo Outdoor Center store on AR Hwy 43.

You can also learn current fishing regulations on the AG&FC site. For example, smallmouth bass must be at least 14 inches in length in order to keep, with a limit of two per day.

Man catching a fish while in a kayak
Man catching fish while kayaking