The first event of the 2016 Arkansas Kayak Anglers season is coming soon to SWEPCO Lake and expectations high for a large turnout for this tournament season kick-off. SWEPCO Lake (also known as Lake Flint Creek) is a 530-acre body of water located near Gentry, Arkansas, and is a popular fishery in the winter months thanks to the power plant which keeps the lake temperature higher than other Northwest Arkansas area lakes. This first stop on the RTT-NWA Razoryak Tournament Trail will be held on Sunday, March 6 – visit the RTT-NWA SWEPCO tournament page on Facebook for more information, including start time and entry fee. Last year’s tournament (2015) featured 72 human powered watercraft on a tough post-front bluebird sky day…but the top anglers still turned in some solid limits. Tim Hotchkin turned in 80” for the day to take 1st, with Kyle Fields and Josh Sherrill taking 2nd and 3rd. Will that be enough to win it in 2016? We will soon find out!
SWEPCO has a good population of healthy Florida strain largemouth bass which thrive year-round thanks to the warm water of this power plant lake. During the winter months SWEPCO is a magnet for bass fishermen from all directions who bring their boats and kayaks to this little lake in hopes of some good fishing in the cold weather. Unfortunately, this also means that the fish are highly pressured and by the end of winter they have seen a thousand artificial lures from hundreds of fishermen. This year, water temps are down from their normal totals due to pauses in power generation and local dock talk is saying this has slowed the bite compared to last season.
Fishing SWEPCO for most anglers usually involves a few key areas of the lake, depending on which strategy you wish to employ. The southern end of the lake is lined by a long rip-rap covered dam. The northern end of the lake splits into two large arms, one to the northwest and one to the northeast where the power plant discharge is located – generally providing the warmest water area. From the south to the north end there are many small pockets and coves branching off of the main lake. Wind is almost always a factor on SWEPCO in the late winter and early spring. The lake runs at an angle that allows winds out of the south and southwest to scream up the lake on some days making it tough to hold a kayak position on points or to get back to the ramp by paddling after a long day of fishing.
Razoryak Tournament Trail events are a fun way to meet other kayak anglers, improve your fishing skills and to enjoy friendly competition on the water. To participate in the event, no advance registration is required; you can show up with your entry fee, hawg trough, camera and kayak on tournament day. Be sure to review all of the information on the NWA-RTT SWEPCO event page and check out the NWA-RTT Schedule for info on future events.