Focus on edges of deep stumps
The Boeuf River’s name comes from the French, and means beef or bull. The Bouef won’t win any beauty contests or make it on many peoples’ Top 10 lists, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great place to fish — and that’s no bull.
Just ask Jeff Collins of Crowville.
“I’ve been crappie fishing on the Boeuf River all my life, and there aren’t a lot of people who fish for white perch,” he said. “But I love it. It’s fairly simple here and it’s away from the crowds. When the crappie start biting, fishing pressure picks up, but usually it’s a laid back relaxing fishing spot.”
This time of the year is when Collins starts getting more company on the Boeuf (which is pronounced “Beff”).
“Some people use an umbrella or spider rig, but I just use one pole in each hand and lay an extra pole out to the side of the boat,” he said. “That’s the way I’d recommend fishing it because you feel the bite and you control where your bait goes. This time of year, we usually just troll slowly down the edge of the outside stumps. The water is 7 to 8 feet deep on the edge of the stumps, and the fish will suspend there. The fish will suspend about 3 to 4 feet deep. According to how much rain we’ve had, the water may be a little bit deeper, or more shallow. A lot of farmers pull out of the Boeuf for irrigation, and once that’s done, the water usually comes up a bit.”
That doesn’t seem to move the fish, though. Until the weather gets cold, they’ll stay on the edges of those deep stumps.
“There are dozens of baits that will work but I like a black-and-chartreuse jig with a chartreuse head. If I can’t catch them on that, then they probably aren’t going to hit anything else,” he said.
The Bouef is a long, winding river that meanders 216 miles from well north of the Arkansas line all the way down to Sicily Island, where it joins the Ouachita River. Some areas are better than others, you just have to spend some time finding the sweet spots. But Collins said you can catch fish pretty much anywhere along the small river. His favorite areas are down near the Tressler Bridge, or the landings in Alto or Woolen Lake.