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Arkansas Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Lake Norfork Sponsored by
Date 12-Jan-17
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : Lake Norfork: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said said the cold weather the past few days will drop the Norfork Lake surface temperature a few degrees, but he suspects it go back up with the warming trend that should take place this week. Tom said he fished last Wednesday and Thursday and could not find any shad out in the channel of the lake. The shad are still in the main creeks like Float Creek, Panther Creek and the Crystal Cove area. The shad are also in the marinas under the docks. Tom fished Float Creek and saw very large schools of stripers ranging in water 45-90 feet deep, the stripers were from 35-55 feet. Sometimes you could get two or three hits when the school passed by, then other times nothing. The best approach is set your baits after you find some shad and just continue moving in a large circle. Most of the time you will see nothing on your locator but then a school will show up and the fun begins. The artificial users are catching stripers and white bass on spoons, and the trollers are catching stripers on swimbaits. Find the shad and you will find the fish. Tom added that he had a Cast & Blast this past week with three generations – grandfather (Ray), son (John), and grandson (Henry). The group fished Tuesday and Wednesday and pheasant hunted Thursday. Wednesday the stripers were very aggressive and they hooked their limit multiple times but only managed to boat six stripers, Wednesday the bite was altogether different – they had over 25 strikes but many were nothing more than a pull down and the bait was gone. They did manage to catch eight stripers and missed a few more we should have had. Thursday the temperature was 19 degrees but felt warmer because they had little wind. When you can get together three generations, it’s not about how many fish or birds you shoot, it’s the time spent together and the memories you make that will last a lifetime. Tom said he was fishing Float Creek with the lines set at 35-40 feet with Creek Chubs. Striper fishing will great for the next several weeks, so come out and give it a try.

Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said he has finally been able to get out on Norfork Lake. A holiday vacation and then cold weather kept Lou off the lake for a couple weeks, but he said he’s glad to be back. Fishing on Norfork Lake has entered the winter phase of the fishing cycle, meaning the shad are going into deep water and the fish are following. In mid-December, Lou said, he was catching fish on large flats in 40-60 feet of water. Over the last week he has found large schools of striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass out closer to the main river channel or main creek channels. He has been catching stripers in 60-100 feet of water and the fish are suspended 30-60 feet deep. Lou’s favorite winter time bait is a spoon. He says he finds the fish and drops a spoon down to their depth and starts jigging the spoon up and down. With cold water the jigging method should be slowed down. The fish are still active, but are starting to slow down and don't necessarily want to chase it. You can also troll with swimbaits or Alabama rigs. The hardest part about trolling is getting your bait down to the correct depth. Down riggers, lead core line or in-line weights are different ways to get your bait down while trolling. Live bait is also working very well. During the cold months Lou will use big shiners. The stripers seem to like them just fine. Over the last week Lou has found stripers in the major creeks such as Float and Panther. You will also find stripers from the Highway 62 bridge area down to the Howard Cove area. The best part of winter fishing is, you do not necessarily need to be fishing at the crack of dawn. Monday afternoon Lou found large schools of feeding fish at 1 p.m. and it lasted all afternoon.

Lou also said he’s been concentrating for the last week on striped bass, so the next report will have information on bass and crappie fishing. He adds that he did pick up a nice crappie 70 feet deep while striper fishing. They can be anywhere in the cold water. Norfork Lake surface water temperature Monday afternoon was 48.5 degrees. A slight rise in water temperature is expected over the next several days due to the warmer than normal days and nights. Norfork Lake level is falling slowing and currently sits at 548.53. Periodic power generation is occurring during a large portion of the day. The main lake is clear, but the creeks and coves are stained.

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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