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Arkansas Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Lake Norfork Sponsored by
Date 12-Jul-18
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : Lake Norfork: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the striper bite on Norfork Lake is still strong for the first two hours in the morning. “I have yet to find a secondary bite after 7:30 but will spend time this week finding new fish to catch. This week we have multiple days where both Sean and I have limited out in less than two hours. In any given morning we will have enough bite to use over 40 shad apiece. Some bites happen so fast the client cannot react to hook the fish and others are just plain misses.” He says there is still an afternoon bite but most times it really starts at sundown and only lasts for less than an hour. Now that we are in the summer pattern you will find them feeding in 40-120 feet of water. In the 40-foot range they will be on the bottom feeding. In deeper water the fish can be found in the 35-40-foot range feeding on shad. Tom and his anglers are catching stripers using 3- to 5-inch gizzard shad. The lower end of Norfork seems to be where the better bite is. Tom says he’s seeing striper guides from the upper portion of the lake fishing near us. This tells me that the fish are moving south looking for cooler water with more oxygen. Some places to start looking are the channel off Point 2 from Diamond Bay to the Bluffs, Georges Cove, Koso Point, Dam Cove and Thumb Point. “Remember, we now in the summer period of striper fishing so you should stop releasing legal stripers caught on live bait. The slogan for the summer is ‘Grow Trophies, Catch Your Limit and Go Home.’ Catch your limit and quit for the day or change your target species. Save some fish for your next trip and watch them grow into trophies.”

Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake is in its summer pattern. Fish are going deeper as the thermocline continues to drop. The thermocline appears to be in the 22-30 feet range, depending where you are located on the lake. Striped bass fishing continues to be very good. The best artificial method has been vertical-jigging with a spoon. If you are trolling, use a large swimbait or an umbrella rig with the same swimbaits attached to it. Live bait (threadfin or gizzard shad and large shiners) has been working the best for him, Lou said. “I am catching stripers 40-70 feet deep in 45-100 feet of water. Most of the fish I've caught over the last week that were 40 feet down have been hybrids. The striped bass has been deeper. Locations for the striped bass have not really changed much since my last report. I am finding them on the main lake as well as in some of the creeks. Channel swings where the water drops off to 80-plus feet very close to shore are one of the best areas. Long points where the channel is close are also holding some really good fish. I am finding striped bass from the 62 bridge area all the way down towards and beyond Hudson Point, a little east of the dam.” Largemouth bass fishing has also been good. There is still some good topwater action right before sun up and as the sun is setting. Other times of the day you need to look for these fish on or slightly below the thermocline. Brush piles near the thermocline are also holding some nice fish. Catfish and walleye have also been biting very well. Lou says he has caught some really nice-sized channel and blue cats on live shad while fishing for striped bass. Most of the catfish came from 60-70 feet deep close to the bottom, especially when he has found deep bait. The same, as above, holds true for the walleye. You will also find nice walleye below the thermocline especially early and late in the day. Crawler harnesses are work very well, as well as live larger minnows.

Norfork Lake level is holding fairly stable and currently sits at 555.28 feet msl. Periodic power generation is occurring to hold the level close to the current normal seasonal pool. The surface water temperature is in the 86-90-degree range. The main lake is clear with some of the coves and creeks slightly 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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