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Arkansas Fishing Report

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Lake Norfork Sponsored by
Date 10-Nov-17
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : Lake Norfork: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters says the fish on Norfork Lake cannot figure out whether it’s late summer, early fall or what. Several days it is fall-like temperatures with cold winds, fog and some rain mixed in. Those days the lake temperature drops and that spurs the fish to feed. Then the temperature starts climbing and now today it's in the 80s with a 25 mph south winds. On the colder days with some overcast the stripers seem to bite well. Tom spent two days pre-fishing getting ready for his Saturday trip. His clients had postponed on two occasions due to bad weather so Tom was determined to make sure we could catch some stripers. Both days Tom started in Float Creek and caught several stripers. He said he moved up to the Howard Cove area and found bait and fish but no bites. He then moved up to Fouts and again found both bait and fish but no bites. Tuesday he started looking in the Howard Cove and Fouts area and found no bait. So he moved back to Float and found fish and bait, but after two hours of no bites. He moved up to the Cranfield area and found five boats fishing for stripers. Again he found lots of bait and some stripers but no bites. This weather pattern needs to stay consistent for any real pattern to develop. Tom says he planned on moving back to the Calamity area Wednesday since he knows his son caught fish up there. Stripers, whites and a few walleye are being caught on spoons and shad. Look at Float Creek, Cranfield, Twin Coves and Red Bank on flats 30-40 feet deep. Modern gun deer season opens this coming Saturday and duck season opens in two weeks. So November is the best month for the Arkansas sportsperson. If you do not have a place to deer or duck hunt give STR Outfitters a call as they offer guided deer, duck and pheasant hunting trips.

Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing has been fun for many of their guests over the last week. Whether fish are big or small, it is always fun to be out on the lake and reel in a fish. Fall has arrived with its varying weather patterns, which seem to change daily, 80s one day and the next in the 40s and 60s. It seems that the cooler the weather, the better the fish bite. Over the last week Lou says he has seen a big change in the location and the size of the fish. The bigger fish are starting to move in. Striped bass fishing has been mediocre for the last several days, but Tuesday most of the resort guests caught a few hybrids and/or stripers. This may be the sign that the stripers are finally coming out of their deeper habitat and are wanting to feed. At the beginning of last week Lou saw the bait migrate back into the creeks. Lou found large schools of striped bass and hybrid bass back in Float Creek as well as back in Bennetts Bayou. The massive amount of bait has since moved out of Float and are back on the flats. The main lake flats are typical locations for stripers at this time of year. If you are looking on one of the flats, concentrate your efforts in 30-50 feet of water. This is not to say the striped bass will not be up in 20 feet or less of water feeding at night or very early in the morning. The bite for Lou’s group of guests has started after sunrise and starts to slow by late morning. Vertical-jigging a spoon has been the bait of choice for most. Once the fish are found, a blade-type bait such as a Kastmaster has been working well. Swimbaits with at least a 1/2-ounce jighead on it to help it sink should also produce some nice fish. Casting out an Alabama rig produced some nice hybrids and white bass for one of Lou’s guests last weekend.

Lou says white bass have been really plentiful this year. There are mixed sizes of fish in the schools, from 8 inches long up to the monster 14-plus-inch fish. This species can be found on the same flats as the stripers. You will find school after school of whites, then all of a sudden the stripers and hybrids will show up. Over the last week it has been possible to catch 50-60 fish of all sizes in a very short period of time which is a blast. I have been vertical jigging a 3/4-ounce spoon for all species. Also, crappie fishing is still good. They are on the top of and inside of brush piles in 25-40 feet of water. Artificial baits are working well, but live minnows are working the best for the biggest numbers of fish. Catfish are being caught on jugs using nightcrawlers and live threadfin shad. Some good sized fish are being caught. Walleye can be found on the same flats as the stripers and the whites; in fact, you have a great chance of catching all species in the lake fishing the flats once you find the bait and energetic and hungry fish. Lou had a guest walleye fishing over the weekend and he had good success casting a Flicker Shad to the shoreline on the shallower banks. Most of his fish bit when his bait was to about 15-20 feet deep. He also caught a few on jerkbaits close to shore in the late afternoon. This may be the start of the night bite for walleye and possibly striped bass.

Lou adds that bass fishing has been good and they are being found in all the different types of locations. Lou has found large schools of largemouth bass and spots feeding on the flats in 28-33 feet of water. They are also being caught along the deep bluff lines hugging the rocks in 15-25 feet of water. Head back into the backs of creeks in the shallow water – as long as the bait is in the area, the bass will be feeding. A few afternoons ago one of the resort’s bass fishing guests got into some nice topwater action for big largemouth bass. They had a blast for about 45 minutes casting topwater baits. For the afternoon bass fisherman, check out the shadow side of docks; there has been some really nice sized fish caught under Lou’s dock, he said. The lake level is holding fairly stable with minimal power generation and currently sits at 552.96 feet msl. The lake surface water temperature has been fairly constant for the last couple of days at around 65 degrees. Lou expects to see this water temperature drop over the next couple of day with the cool nights in the forecast. The overall lake is starting to clear, but you will still see a slight stain in the creeks, as well as parts of the main lake.

The Bassmaster Team Championship will be held on Norfork Lake the beginning of December. It will be exciting to see how these expert fishermen attack the late fall/early winter bass fishery. Hummingbird Hideaway Resort still has some cabins available for the tournament, so give them a call at 870-492-5113.

Reported by: Arkansas F&G

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About: - Norfork Lake is located in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The 20,000 plus acre lake is known for its clear, clean waters, and is a popular Arkansas vacation destination. Norfork offers good fishing for both largemouth and smallmouth bass, white bass, stripers, crappie, bream, walleye, and catfish. Mild winters enables anglers to enjoy fishing throughout the year.
  • largemouth and smallmouth bass
  • white bass
  • stripers
  • hybrid bass
  • crappie
  • bream
  • walleye
  • catfish

Misc Info: -

Lake Norfork Elevation

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