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.
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.