Lake Monticello is a 1,520-acre lake that is rapidly gaining a reputation as a trophy bass lake. The man-made, city owned lake is located a few miles northeast of the city. Built as a multipurpose recreational lake which opened in 1997, Lake Monticello provides quality fishing and boating entertainment. As an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission managed lake, it provides a large variety of fish with an emphasis on large mouth bass which exceed the ten-pound limit. Picnic areas, concrete boat ramps, an on-site bow range, and a radio controlled airplane landing strip are nestled along the shores of this pristine landscape.
Two main entry points provide easy access to lake amenities. The West entry, located approximately 6 miles northwest on Arkansas Highway 35, sports a boat launch, covered picnic areas, and a radio controlled airplane runway and pavilion. This entry is also the open side of the lake affording access for water sports. The East entry is approximately 3 miles from the city on Arkansas Highway 35. This entry provides a boat launching ramp, a fishing pier, Harold West Park with a covered pavilion, covered picnic tables, and a children's playground.
Lake Monticello provides more than sport fishing and recreational boating. It is also a great place to take in nature's abundant beauty. Visitors will observe large groups of migrating fowl, as well as the residential deer which populate the area. From time to time, an eagle or two can be spotted around the lake area.
The AGFC is focused on creating a trophy bass destination for anglers at this lake. Note any regulations regarding catch-and-release as this program is working toward the trophy-size goal. A recent catch was recorded as the fourth-largest largemouth bass ever caught in Arkansas.
There are no limits on white and hybrid bass, and the crappie limit is 20 per day -- between March and November, the crappie must be ten-inches long to keep. There also are some mercury contamination warnings on flathead and blue catfish, and on largemouth bass longer than twelve inches.
Boaters can gain access to Lake Monticello by two main entry points. The "West Entry," is located about six miles northeast of Monticello on AR Highway 35. This entrance offers a boat launch, picnic areas, and that radio-controlled airplane runway and pavilion. This entry is to the 'open' side of the lake that offers greater opportunity for water sports.
The second entry to Lake Monticello is located about three miles from Monticello on AR Highway 35. This entry also provides a boat launch ramp, and it also has a fishing pier, picnic area, and a playground.
Lake Monticello is a municipally owned lake, and is regulated through a join management agreement between the City of Monticello and the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. Hosting fishing tournaments on the lake is strictly prohibited without a permit issued by the City of Monticello.
Fishing Clubs or Organizations may apply to host a fishing tournament by completing the an application (provided below) and submitting it at least seven (7) days in advance with two (2) separate checks (1) $50.00 application fee; and 2) $500.00 refundable deposit) and proof of general liability insurance.
Please notice, the city cannot approve more than one (1) tournament for the same date. Please submit applications well in advance to ensure you secure your tournament date before advertising the tournament.
Within 30 days of completion of the tournament, the organization MUST complete the state’s online Arkansas Tournament Information Program (ATIP) Weigh-In Summary Report, and present proof of completion to receive deposit refund.
Area Specific Regulations