Another outstanding channel cat stream, and one that’s overlooked by many Arkansas cat fans, is the Red River. Located at the Texas-Arkansas border in the southwest corner of the state, this murky, sand-laden river is no raging beauty, but plenty of nice channel cats lurk in its depths. Channels from 2 to 5 pounds are abundant, but much larger ones are often taken.
The huge night crawlers known locally as “cane worms” are the favorite bait of many veteran Red River catters. Dug from the gumbo bottoms with a pitchfork, they’re gobbed on 1/0 hooks and tightlined on the river bottom us
ing heavy sinkers. Bait shop night crawlers work equally well.
Two of the best fishing holes on the Red are the area just upstream from the U.S. Highway 71 bridge, about 10 miles north of Texarkana, and upstream of the point where the Red and Little rivers join, about 12 miles downstream from the U.S. 71 bridge. Concentrate your fishing efforts on the steep banks with forceful current; work near treetops and snags in the channel.