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Arkansas Fishing Report

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Lake Norfork Sponsored by
Date 23-Apr-15
Water Condition
Water Temperature  


Conditions : Lake Norfork: Guide Steve Olomon said the water temperature is in the mid 60s and the main part of the lake is clear. Some stripers and hybrids are coming up chasing shad early in the mornings. Throw a Zara Spook or try a wake-type bait. They are hitting live bait also. Find the baitfish and they will be close by. When they are not coming up, try throwing a swimbait or soft jerkbait like a Fluke or Bass Assassin. Some whites are coming up as well as the largemouth and spotted bass. The bass are also hitting jigs, swimbaits, and floating worms close to the brush on the banks. The night bite is very good on stickbaits cast to the bank and reeled back very slowly right at sunset.

Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the striper bite continues all over Norfork Lake. Some stripers have moved up Bennett’s arm, Big Creek and Brushy Creek, but a large number of stripers are being caught off the main lake points. There is a strong topwater bite in the Cranfield area and the Big Creek arm. The water temperature has gone up to the high 60s and the creeks are in the low 70s. The crappie bite has started, but the latest storms scattered them for a few days. Bass are starting to make their beds so it will not be long before they begin to spawn.

Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Spring fishing is going strong and should continue to get better over the next month or so. Stripers, hybrids and black bass were all schooling on the surface last week. The fish did seem to relate to points, but there was some action out in the middle of lake. Zara Spooks were working great, but Flukes, Rat-L-Traps and Kastmaster spoons were also catching fish. Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has been very good. Spooks are working great early in the morning and in the late afternoon. During the day, throw plastics up to the bank and bring them back to the boat slowly on the bottom. Smallmouth are in 15 to 20 feet of water on the bottom. A good percentage of the largemouth have spawned, but you can still find a few on their beds. Lots of bass are being caught. Walleye fishing is starting to pick up. I had a guest catch several on a small crankbait and suspending jerkbaits slow rolled after dark on long shallow points and flats. Slowly trolling suspending jerk baits is also working in the late afternoons, again on long shallow points and close to the buck brush. Crappie fishing has been up and down. You can still find crappie up on the banks and on shallow sunken brush. Small jigs and crappie minnows using a slip float are working. White bass are back in the creeks spawning, but are starting to move back out. Top water action for whites will start very soon. The lake was starting to get very clear, but with latest rain the creeks and coves have stained up a little. The lake surface water temperature ranges from the low 60s to the high 60s depending on what part of the lake you are on.

Tailwaters - Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said one of the generators is down for routine maintenance. In an effort to draw the lake down, the Corps of Engineers is releasing additional water through the flood gates. The total release is approximately 6,000 cubic feet per second which is near maximum release through the generators. The Norfork has fished poorly recently. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (size 18-22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (size 14-16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise size 10). 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.

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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