Web presence catching anglers, other outdoorsmen 3/22/2012 - James Joshlin
For Ben Sanders, the creation of www.arkansasstripers.com led to an entire new career.
The site, Sanders said, “was originally built as a personal
information site to learn about striped bass.'' Then an avid
largemouth angler, he watched as the site blossomed into the top
Web destination for those wanting to find out more about
freshwater striped bass fishing. That was in 2000, and the
growth has continued, with the site tallying 969,514 visits last
Something funny happened, though. Because of his site, Sanders
began to get requests for guided trips to Lake Ouachita and Lake
Hamilton. Starting from zero, he contacted a Hot Springs-area
guide to take trip referrals, then began to work with him when
he had too many bookings. Now Sanders, a former automotive
service manager, has been guiding for 12 years.
“I have never done the trade shows or any other advertising,''
Sanders said of his business' success. “One-hundred percent of
my business comes through the site. As a guide, it took me from
zero to hero in less than a year.''
Furthermore, he said, referrals from the site have bolstered the
business of other area striper guides. Also, Sanders said, the
site continues to inform visitors about striped bass.
Arkansas’ striped bass, guides making moves all year long
“Lake Ouachita is an east-west lake,” Sanders
said, beginning his explanation. “In January and February, the
majority of the fish will be up at the western end of the lake.
As the water warms up, they will begin moving out. By August and
September, the majority of them will be on the east end. Water
temperature plays a big factor, as a real hot July or August
will put them right at the dam - in the deepest water.”
Basically, he said, “The hotter the weather, the deeper the
stripers go, and the farther east.
Of course, we’re talking about the majority of the schools. Some
fish can be found all over Lake Ouachita all the time.”
Arkansas stripers: The unnatural birth of a Natural State fishery
The allure of Striped Bass is
that they offer a deep-sea fishing experience, often being found
30 to 70 feet below the surface, in a freshwater setting. That,
explained striper guide Ben Sanders (www.arkansasstripers.com)
of Hot Springs, is what is unique about the striped bass’s
presence in Arkansas.
Striper fishing a family-friendly outing and unique opportunity
“Fishing for stripers is great
for a general family outing,” Sanders said. “I’ve had a lot of
people come from out of state and bring their sons, daughters or
other family members for holidays or birthdays. The relaxed,
family atmosphere is accompanied by one of team effort. So, the
whole family can participate in fishing and enjoy it.”
This is the case, no matter what the skill level of the angler,
Sanders said. He recounted a fishing trip when a Texas doctor
brought his wife and son up to Lake Ouachita.
“The rods were going off, and fish were breaking everywhere. We
had rods bent double, but the doc and his wife were busy filming
their Son. The son had brought a little spinning rod and
had gotten one on that light tackle,” Sanders said....