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Where to Fish | All Lakes | Corps of Engineer Lakes | Central Arkansas Fishing Locations


Water BodyCraig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
Faulkner County
3 miles south of Conway
District Information
Size6,700 acres
OwnershipArkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Area Specific Regulations
  • Crappie shorter than 10 inches must be released immediately.
  • Legal to take game fish with spear guns during season.
  • Handicapped-accessible fishing piers are available.
Major SportfishBlue catfish, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, largemouth bass and redear sunfish
Other FishBowfin, buffalo, bullhead, chain pickerel, common carp, drum, grass carp, green sunfish, hybrid bream, longear sunfish, longnose gar, warmouth and white bass.
Fish ForageShad, small sunfish
Visible CoverStumps, buckbrush, cypress trees, log piles and boat docks.
DepthAverage depth 4.5 feet; maximum depth 16 feet.
Bottom FeaturesCreek channels; inundated ponds; mud, rock and shale bottom
Aquatic VegetationWater lilies
FacilitiesThe dozen or so lakeside bait shops (the number fluctuates) provide fishing supplies, boat and motor rentals, picnic grounds, camping areas and restaurants. There are numerous boat ramps around the lake where anglers can launch at no charge or for a small fee. Motels and restaurants are available in Conway, with primitive campsites available on adjacent Camp Robinson Wildlife Demonstration Area.
AccessExit 135 (Mayflower) on Interstate 40 offers access by way of Arkansas Highway 365 to docks on the west side of the lake, or Arkansas Highway 89 and Clinton Road to docks on the east side. The upper lake can be reached by roads branching off Arkansas Highway 286. Signs mark access routes on major roads.
Lake Conway is the largest Game and Fish Commission lake and the largest lake ever constructed by a state wildlife agency. Because of its large size, central location and excellent fishing, it has been one of the state's favored fishing spots since it was built on Palarm Creek in 1948. Lake Conway was the first lake constructed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Conway is best known for its seemingly endless supply of bluegills and redears. Creel surveys indicate that bream are not only the most popular fish, they account for the most poundage taken by anglers.

Bass and crappie fans also flock to Conway, hoping to catch one of the lake's lunker largemouths or a mess of big slabs. Big blue and channel catfish are abundant, and Conway is a hotbed for monster flatheads.

Fishing is good around logjams, brushpiles, stumps, cypress trees, lily pads buckbrush, inundated lakes, creek channels, private docks and the Highway 89 bridge.

Numerous boat trails are cleared and marked. Boaters leaving the trails should navigate cautiously. Many stumps and logs lie unseen just below the water's surface, making spare shear pins essential gear here.

An east-side nursery pond permits stocking millions of crappies, largemouth bass and catfish directly into the lake. Fingerling fish from hatcheries are fed until they reach sizes ensuring safety from most predators. The fish are then released into the lake through a canal. Before the nursery pond was constructed in 1968, crappie were almost non-existent in Lake Conway.
Other Points of InterestAdjacent Camp Robinson Wildlife Management Area/Wildlife Demonstration Area covers almost 30,000 acres and offers an shooting range that includes an archery range, a rifle/pistol shooting range with trap and skeet facilities, a dog field trial and training area, and hunting for small game and deer. Hiking, birdwatching and trail riding can also be enjoyed here.
Restrautants, Camping and other FacilitiesMotels and restaurants are available in nearby Mayflower and Conway, with primitive campsites available on adjacent Camp Robinson Wildlife Demonstration Area.