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Arkansas Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Lake Norfork Sponsored by
Date 17-Sep-14
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : Lake Norfork: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the water came up with the heavy rain, but it is still 2 feet below normal summer pool. The water temperature is in the mid-70s and dropping with the cold weather and rain. The water visibility is clear. The stripers and hybrids continue to feed on crawdads and shad. Last week the striper club took an oxygen reading and found that from 0 to 45 feet has the best oxygen for stripers. If you’re trolling make sure your lures are above 45 feet, no matter the depth you’re trolling in. The striper bite starts before light and lasts until the moon sets. I am on the water by 5:15 a.m. to get setup to catch the early bite. At first light they move into water deeper but will be in the 40-foot range. Live shad is still the most effective method to catch a striper, but stripers are being caught using ¾- and 1-ounce spoons and trolling Storm Wild Eye and Zoom Super Fluke swim baits, umbrella and Alabama rigs.

Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake's striper and hybrid bass bite is still very strong. Anglers are finding fish partway back in a creek at a channel swing in 60-70 feet of water. The fish were schooled up and suspended 30-40 feet down. The best bite for stripers and hybrids are within 3 miles north of the dam and also east of the dam. It's a big area, but there's a lot of fish. If this year is anything like prior years the stripers will start to migrate away from the dam area sometime in September, but I have to say, this year has been anything but normal.

Guide Steve Olomon said the cooler temperatures and the rain dropped the water temperature into the upper 70s. The striper and hybrids are still biting. Look for them suspended at 35-45 feet. They can be close to the bottom early in 35 feet and will move deeper as the sun gets higher in the sky. The bite is only lasting a few hours so you have to make the best of it while you can. There are some nice whites hanging out at the same depths. You might even pick up a walleye. There are still some bass chasing bait fish to the surface early and it's better if there is no wind. Try dropshotting a small worm or throw a jig (peanut butter/jelly or green pumpkin). Drag it slowly along the bottom or give it short hops.

Tailwaters - Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Norfork has fished better recently. With little wadable water on the White there has been more angling pressure on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns like ruby midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles like the green butt. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis).The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. With school back in session, I would expect less fishing pressure on Dry Run Creek. Now would be a great time to fish it. The hot flies have been sowbugs, Y2Ks and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise).

Reported by: Arkansas F&G

Hatches: Patterns Lures & Spinners

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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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