Autumn anglers gear up for late-season fishing surge

POWHATAN, AR (KAIT) - Fall can be a great time to fish in Arkansas. Game fish become more active as cooler weather surges into the deep south--they're on the hunt for bigger meals.

No doubt, local fisherman keep an eye to the sky, especially as the seasons change.

Lake Charles Park Superintendent Randall Watts says the proverbs may hold water.

"With these cooler water temperatures, you're going to see a lot of activity with your game fish and bait fish. The lake is being drawn down right now, which removes some of that structure, some of those places to hide."

Game fish such as crappie, bluegill and bass tend to school in greater numbers as water temperature drops.

When you find these hot spots, it may be where the lunkers are lurking, as well.

"Lake Charles has the largest 20-inch plus bass population in north Arkansas, so we've got the big ones."

It's the spinning tales of trophy bass that lure anglers from around the state, hoping for that last bite before winter sets in.

"I had a friend of mine come up and told me the fishing was great--of course this was during the summer. I'm just now getting out here. Like I said, can't beat the weather."

Despite streaky luck and mother nature, Watts says the number of people fishing across the state is up 11 percent over the last 5 years.

"We've seen a lot more people this year, we've sold more fishing licenses than we have in the past. So, I think people are getting out and taking advantage of what Arkansas has to offer."

You'll find Sanders among those avid anglers.

He'll be fishing hard before the next big cold front arrives in Region 8.

'We figured we'd better leave by Thursday because by Friday and Saturday, it's supposed to turn really cold. So we'll stay out here in this nice, warm weather and this beautiful lake and have a great time."

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.