Tag Archives: Lake Ann

KBF Bella Vista Lakes 2 – Tournament Preview

The Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) trail is back for another event on the Bella Vista lakes of Northwest Arkansas. This time around all seven lakes are in play – here’s an analysis of each Bella Vista lake and what we might expect out of the upcoming event.

Back in June, there was a rare KBF night Tournament in Bella Vista, with only five of the seven lakes open to anglers. Let’s look back at some of the tournament results.  As usual in Bella Vista kayak fishing, a lot of fish were caught but big ones were harder to come by.  Of the 39 entered anglers, 32 carded a fish, with 56% turning in a limit. The big story of the event was a 24.75″ monster caught at Lake Brittany. Read the complete recap of the last Bella Vista KBF event here.

Cody Milton's 24.75" largemouth from Lake Brittany in the June KBF Bella Vista tournament.
Cody Milton’s 24.75″ largemouth from Lake Brittany in the June KBF Bella Vista tournament.

This KBF Bella Vista kayak fishing tournament is different in a couple of ways from the one in June. First, it is a daytime event instead of a night tournament. Secondly, all seven Bella Vista lakes are in play for anglers.  Here’s a breakdown of each lake.

Bella Vista Lakes

Lake Rayburn – First lake on the list because in the June tournament, this is where the winning limit (76.25″) and many of the top 10 limits were produced. Great population of bass, and like all of Bella Vista, most are in the 12″-13″ range. But there is enough size here to win if you can catch the right ones.  As a no-wake lake you rarely deal with any boats and it is not a highly pressured body of water which should produce some limits. As a 45 acre lake it is very fishable by kayak.

Lake Ann – Other than Lake Brittany (see below), Lake Ann produced the most size in the June tournament. Lake Brittany does allow boats to speed around a bit of its 112 acres, but overall there are rarely more than two or three on the water at a time. This is one of the most beautiful lakes in Bella Vista due to the bluffs and surrounding hills and has a really nice ramp area. Fish are more plentiful here than some but does get some pressure. There’s fewer overall bass than Rayburn but you have a better chance at a good one.

Lake Brittany – This is the go big or go home lake in Bella Vista. As already mentioned, this 35 acre lake can produce giant bass. It’s only one of two lakes in the area which also stocks trout, helping feed up those largemouth. But these fish are smart and can be finicky at times. This is also a no-wake lake and is fed by two creeks coming in from the opposite end of the dam. A good limit caught from this lake will be in contention and odds are on this lake producing the big bass winner. Below is a video of me catching a 22″ largemouth this year on Lake Brittany:

Lake Windsor – The second largest lake in the village (220 acres) is a motor allowed fishery. Because the lake is not large and allows bass boats it gets a lot of pressure but has a decent fish population of all sizes. It can be hit or miss, particularly if there are a lot of boats in the water on a given day.  I’ll admit, I’ve had more than one kayak vs boat altercation on these waters. About half the shoreline of this lake consists of seawalls and man-made edges – so hope there aren’t any water skiers. Like most lakes, the average bass here is in the 12-13″ range with some larger ones mixed in.

Lake Avalon – This is one of the older lakes in the Bella Vista area and lives up to the trend of having a good fish population with some of a good size mixed in.  Most of this lake’s 67 acres is developed shoreline but is a great kayak lake because of it’s no-motor use policy. It’s also very convenient to the weigh in location which is the Lake Avalon pavilion. The main feature of this lake is the dam on the far end of the ramp and lots of small docks. Being a no-wake lake, it is lightly pressured.

Lake Norwood – I’m the most unfamiliar personally with this lake, although many swear it has the most dense fish population. It’s a scenic little lake with mostly natural shorelines and 33 acres of generally very clear water.  There are some underwater caves somewhere on this lake that supposedly hold some good bass, but I’m not sure where this is. It’s a no-wake lake which rarely has a boat in the water.

Loch Lomond – Saving the best for last, Loch Lomond is the biggest lake in the village at 477 acres and has a mixture of developed shorelines with docks and some natural shorelines. This also the only Bella Vista lake with a marina, found in a cove near the dam. Widely recognized as the best fishing lake, there is a good amount of pressure and boaters. However, due to the lake’s configuration, there are many arms of the lake which are no-wake areas which keep the skiers and pleasure boaters at bay. Every bite you get at Loch Lomond can be a 11″ bass or a six pound fish, but it can be fickle and like all the lakes is dominated by smaller bass. There are three good ramps on this lake for easy access.

Enjoy Bella Vista Kayak Fishing

Although these lakes are accessed by members, anyone can enjoy fishing at Bella Vista lakes by purchasing a fishing permit. For pre-fishing, just go by the POA office during business hours and purchase your permit in person, or call (479) 855-8000 to purchase and receive by mail. Mention you are with KBF and that you need to get a use permit. Lake Rangers patrol the boat ramps and fishing docks, and if stopped, they will ask for your permit. Its best to have your permit in advance through the POA office, but the rangers can issue permits on the spot as well. Pre-fishing permits are available for the day ($6), week ($17) or month ($39) with a kayak daily ($8) or weekly ($17) registration.

Sign up now for the KBF Bella Vista Lakes 2 Tournament on Tourney X or visit the event Facebook page for more information.


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KBF Bella Vista Tournament Recap

Bella Vista, Arkansas, hosted its first ever kayak bass fishing event with the Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) night tournament on June 3. Bella Vista lakes are accessible by members, their guests or others who purchase a public use pass from the POA. Anglers could choose from five different lakes and fished from 4:00 p.m. until midnight. Six states were represented on the water for this unique KBF Trail stop.

The tournament started off with a rain shower and thunderstorms which cleared up as the evening wore on. Anglers were fairly spread out among the five lakes, with the most at Lake Ann, which totaled 15 by my count.  After all the fishing wrapped up, we were left with a LOT of small bass and one gigantic largemouth.

Of the 39 registered participants, 22 (56%) turned in a limit, while 32 (82%) carded a keeper.  Big fish were in short supply, and smaller ones dominated the limits – with only NINE of almost 200 fish submitted being 16″ or larger. In the weeks leading up to the event, I had predicted 77″ to win the tournament, and almost got it right on the nose.

Dwain Batey took first with 76.25″, Chris Jones second with 74.25″ and Cody Milton turned in 74″ for third. Cody also took big bass with a 24.75″ monster bass caught at Lake Brittany. Watch for an article later this week for more details about how he caught this 10+ lb behemoth. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top ten finishers were as follows:

  1.  Dwain Batey
  2.  Chris Jones
  3.  Cody Milton
  4.  Jason Cossey
  5.  Roy Roberts
  6.  Justin Phillips
  7.  Nathan Henthorn
  8.  Jason Adams
  9.  Brendan Johnson
  10.  Chad Warford

I made a very last minute decision and started out with Lake Ann, overall having a poor performance. Finishing 13th, it didn’t help that I lost at least 5-6 fish off the hook, but none would have put me on top. Overall, a scattered and not very clean tourney on my end.

Here are some recaps by the top three anglers:

Dwain – Having only pre-fished one day on Lake Ann, which didn’t impress me, I chose to fish lake Rayburn, only because someone had said it had some color to it, and wasn’t as clear as the others. (Author’s note – this may have been me, Dwain probably owes me a %)  My original plan was to switch over to Lake Brittany after dark, but based on the live scoring at TourneyX I decided that Brittany wasn’t fishing any better other than Cody’s monster of course, so I stuck it out the whole time at Rayburn. I started off fishing a Skirmish Baits prototype glide bait that has been on fire last month for me. I had heard that these lakes had a lot of small fish, and I was trying to attract above average fish. I had several fish swipe at that bait and even stuck what would have easily been my biggest fish, but it pulled off under the boat. After sticking with that bait for about two hours I finally caught three on it, including one of my best fish for the night. I finally switched over to the Skirmish Baits M9-OK (one knocker) squarebill, and filled out my limit, and started culling fish. This bait too seemed to be catching fish above average for me, and I found a few places that seemed to be holding better fish than most of the lake. After dark, I switched over to a buzz bait and caught another 15 fish or so, but only one of them would cull up for me.

Cody – I chose Brittany because of how clear the water was. I thought it would be slow during the day but have a chance at better fish at night. During the daylight hours I fished in the middle of the lake over 60-70 feet. The fish would stay suspended in 7 feet if they weren’t schooling. You could mark 3-5 fish and throw back to them and catch them pretty easy.  I used a wacky rig senko to catch all of them.  After dark I threw a jig with a black D bomb trailer. I focused on any hard bottom that was close to 60ft of water. The most hard bottom was the dam, so I just went back and forth on it. I assumed the trout had to be in that deepest area and I wanted to stay close to them. Especially after hearing of the giants that live in Brittany. Thankfully I came across one throwing directly at the boat ramp next to the dock.

Chris – I chose Ann mainly due to word of mouth from the bait store up there and I liked that it was bigger in size. I threw a popper in the rain under the trees for some keepers then when the sun came out I threw a 5-6 foot crankbait bluegill colors for a lot of fish mostly small though. 2 of my best fish came after dark on the new 110 size whopper plopper, loon(black) was the color. I noticed a lot of bait in 2 coves and I mainly focused on them. I caught about 20 fish but most were 12″ fish.

Overall this was a cool event and gave several anglers their first taste of Bella Vista fishing. The Bella Vista POA seemed pleased with the outcome and it may lead to another tournament in the future. Although it likely dispelled the rumors of lakes stocked with schools of big bass, this event did show the lakes have a good keeper sized fish population – and at least one giant.