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Arkansas Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Lake Norfork Sponsored by
Date 25-May-16
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : Lake Norfork: Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said lake level is falling slowing. The lake surface water temperature midweek was 72 degrees. The main lake is clearing nicely, but the coves are stained and the major creeks are getting clear. One generator has been running continuously. The bite on the lake continues, with good topwater action in the morning and then again in the afternoon. Hybrids, stripers, whites and largemouth are chasing shad to the surface, then going wild. Topwater action is a lot of fun. Spooks, Kastmasters or just about any surface-type bait will work. Just remember, if you are walking the dog with your spook, make sure the fish takes the bait under before you set the hook; don't stop your retrieval. Once the fish stops busting the surface start looking at your fish finder and you will find them 20-40 feet deep. Once they go deep, throw your Kastmaster out and let it sink 10 seconds or maybe a little more, then start your retrieval with a crank, stop jerk stop, then start all over again. Make that bait swim erratic. Live bait is also working very well. Threadfin or small gizzard shad are the best, but large shiners are also working. Lou went hunting midweek for new locations to fish, checking out a lot of the areas that he thinks the fish will be at very shortly, but he found very few stripers. He said he did manage to land a couple stripers on live shad in one of his regular locations. Once it was light he got distracted from the hunt with some topwater action on a main lake point. For the next 40 minutes he threw his spook and landed many nice largemouth bass and big white bass -- it was crazy. Around 8 a.m. he headed back to the area where his guests were fishing, and found a little topwater action still going on but was winding down. He started marking some big arcs on his graph down at 40 feet. He dropped a couple of threadfin shad down to 36 feet. While moving slowly he was casting his spook, and the largemouth bass were still very active. Lou landed a couple 19-20-inch-long fish, then one of his down poles start to sing and he landed a nice 13-pound striped bass. Walleye fishing has also been good both in the early morning as well as right before dark and after dark. Live shad is working as well as artificial baits. You can work your Kastmaster back to the boat bouncing it along the bottom or cast out a spoon and jerk it back to the boat along the bottom. You can still catch a few casting a suspending jerkbait up to the shoreline and working it slowly back to the boat. The jerkbait seems to be working in the morning before sunrise. Midday vertical jigging a spoon around brush is picking up a few fish. The walleye seem to be hanging out at 15-25 feet depth on the bottom.

Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said striper fishing is improving in spite the cold rainy weather they had all week. The north and northeast winds have moved the shad out of the back to the mouth of the creeks. If you go into the creeks you will see clear water. All the stained water has been pushed out into the lake. This has also cooled the creeks. The main lake dropped from the 70 degrees to the mid-60s. He said they have caught limits of stripers on multiple days this week with the best days being sunny with a little wind. Stripers are still being caught all over the lake -- look at Cranfield Island and surrounding points, Crystal Cove, Big Creek near Woods Point and Hand Cove, and the main lake points near the dam. Reynolds is catching stripers in 60 feet of water with lines set at 30 feet. In other areas, stripers are being caught in 80-100 feet of water with lines set at 30 feet. The stripers are now spawned out, therefore they are very skinny. They have begun feeding on crawdads and shad and should gain weight quickly.

Reynolds took guests Eric and his dad, Don, out for Don’s first time fishing for stripers. It was overcast with a slight drizzle. They were fishing the Crystal Cove area and the fish were dormant for the first 45 minutes, then the bite started. They were catching multiple stripers; all Reynolds was doing was landing and baiting hooks. At one point they had three on the floor and one on the line. At the end of the morning they had hooked and landed 10 stripers and hybrids, and kept their limit of six. Don’s experience was one he will not forget. If you have not had that excitement of catching stripers, the summer season is heating up, and one unique thing about Norfork is the warmer the weather the better the striper fishing gets, he said.

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: -

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