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Arkansas Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Lake Norfork Sponsored by
Date 30-Apr-15
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : Lake Norfork: Guide Steve Olomon said the lake level is up about a half foot from last week and the water temperature has dropped a few degrees into the low-to mid-60s. The main lake is clear and the creeks are starting to clear. Some stripers and hybrids are coming up early chasing baitfish. We have been throwing jointed Redfins to them. The will also hit a Zara Spook and a swimbait. They come up better if the water is slick with little or no wind. If they aren't coming up, I throw a 4-inch swimbait and reel it slowly. They are hitting live bait as well. The night bite seems to get a little later these past few nights. Throw a stickbait to the bank and retrieve it very slowly. You can also pick up some walleye. Some bass are coming up as well along with a few whites hitting Spooks and swim baits. There are a few coming up just before dark back in the creeks.

Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said Unstable weather patterns continue to wreak havoc on the fish. Each time we get the warm southern winds and a warming trend, the weather changes and drives the fish and bait from the shallows. The water is clear on the main lake and creeks are off color, the creeks continue to be the warmest water on the lake. Some stripers and hybrids are starting to bite on top at first light, however if there is any type of wind the fish seem to shut down. Also if its an east wind they will shut down totally. The main lake water temperature has dropped to the low-60s and the creeks are in the high 60s. The bait continues to move in and out of the shallows. We need a strong warming trend to bring the bait in to spawn. The crappie are being caught on deeper brush piles and in open water trolling jigs and minnows. Most of the crappie are not in the shallows. I have been watching the crappie guides fish the shallow brush and not many fish are being caught. Stay in deep water. One trick I use to use was to troll a minnow tipped white 1/8-oz. Road Runner over the brush piles in East Pigeon, Pigeon, and Brushy and Big Creek with great success. This works best when the crappie are staging to spawn

Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said fishing continues to be very strong. The striped bass bite has been very good in the morning and the bite is still happening after dark. The bite starts as early 5:45 a.m., and the best lures have been trolled 5-inch swim baits with a 1/4 ounce jigheads. Most of my fish have been found on shallow flats in about 20 feet of water, but the fish are coming up for it. Topwater action started about a week ago and I got really excited, but several cool fronts rolled though that all but shut down the topwater action. I do expect it to take off again once we start getting some consistently warmer days. With this being said, always be ready with a topwater bait because the top water eruptions could happen at any time. Look for stripers off of points part way back into creeks and if there is a flat area close by, check it out for feeding fish. Once the sun comes up the fish seem to move out into deeper water. I am finding scattered fish along deep bluff lines later in the morning. The largemouth and spotted bass bite continues to be strong. You will find these species up tight on the banks early in the morning and then they will move off of the banks to 15 to 30 feet of water during sunny days. Topwater baits are working, as are small crank baits and plastics. I threw a tube jig and a jig and pig a few days ago and landed some nice fish. I have been marking plenty of bass suspended close to the deep bluff lines. Rattle traps are a great bait to get these suspended fish. Smallmouth bass are starting to show up in 15 to 20 feet of water. Grubs and jigs are a great way to fish for this species. The big white bass are starting to show up in the mid creek areas. Similar locations as the striped bass. They are also hitting similar baits. Once you find the whites you might want to try to cast out a blade type bait such as a Kastmaster and let it sink down to their depth then retrieve slowly. If you find these fish on the bottom you can vertical jig this bait, it is very effective.

Tailwaters - No reports

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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