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Arkansas Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Lake Norfork Sponsored by
Date 28-Jul-16
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : Lake Norfork: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said stripers continue their summer feeding pattern. Both live bait and trolling seems to work the best right now. The trollers are mostly trolling between point 2 and the dam, staying on the edge of the channel. One person said he had caught 13 one day. The Arkansas Fish and Game Commission has requested that anybody who catches a legal striper should not be releasing them back into the lake. The warm water causes tremendous stress on the fish. They will look fine when released but later in the day they die, according to fish studies of stripers released in hot water. Catch your limit then switch to another species or call it a day and head for the beach. The stripers are still feeding in 35-50 feet of water before light, they then move off the points and suspend in or near the old river channel. Look for them off Thumb, Georges Cove, Koso and the dam area. The lake is being maintained at the 553 level until the dam gate work is completed. We should continue to see excellent striper fishing well into the fall. This past week the bigger stripers have started biting. Multiple days Tom says he has caught fish in the high teens up to the mid-20s. Now is the time to get out on the lake and catch your trophy. A young couple from Michigan called and wanted to try their luck at catching some stripers. Caleb and Danielle never fished for stripers so as with most of Tom’s clients the trip was going to be an adventure. Caleb hooked a striper before light and they were on their way to catching a limit early. Sometimes what you think will happen never seems to work out that way. For some reason after Caleb caught the first striper he could not keep a striper on the line. He had four stripers hooked and lost every one of them. It was getting frustrating for everybody, but failure sometimes turns out to be a success. Danielle caught a striper, then another, so we had three in the boat and should have been heading back to the marina if Caleb would have caught his. Tom moved out to the channel and it was now near 7 a.m. and getting hot. Then magic happened. The rod went down and Tom gave it to Caleb and he fought it for a good 10 minutes and finally he landed the striper which weighed 23 pounds. The next minute the float went down and Danielle started fighting that and she landed a 21-pound striper. The bite slowed so Tom moved to another spot and they caught number six quickly and were back at the marina by 8 a.m. The moral is, never give up just because you are having a bad day. You never know how it will turn out, Caleb's failure to land those early stripers led him and Danielle to catch a fish of a lifetime.

Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said Norfork Lake fishing continues in its hot summer fishing pattern. Most fish are deep and will continue to go deeper as the thermocline drops. To be quite honest, he says, not much has changed since the report last week. Gabric says he is catching stripers before sunrise in 35-45 feet of water on long points and large flats. As the sun comes up they move off the side of the point into deeper water 70-plus feet, but are still 30-45 feet down. Live bait, vertical jigging with a spoon and trolling swimbaits are all working. Over the past week Gabric said he has been fishing with his family and they have been having a lot of fun. Some big fish are biting. His 9-year-old granddaughter landed a 20-plus pound striper and his 12-year-old granddaughter has caught several fish. Her biggest so far has been a 14-pound striper. He said it’s a blast to watch these kids fight a striper on their own from start to finish and they’re making some good memories. The biggest change this week over last is for the largemouth and spotted bass.Lou, as well as a couple of his guests, have found some good topwater fishing in the morning at sunrise and also at sunset. The other day he was fishing with his granddaughter and they were sitting in 70 feet of water off of a point where she was catching stripers. In the times between netting her fish, Lou said he was casting a Kastmaster into 25 feet of water. Almost every cast after the bait hit the water a bass hammered it. Some were keeper size, most were small, but still a lot of fun. The other location where his guests have gotten into topwater fish is back in the major creeks in shallow water. Fish are chasing shad early, but even after you don't see them they are still coming up for a topwater lure. Wiggle Warts are also working very well most days. Crappie fishing is in its normal hot water slow time, but there are some good crappie being caught. They are still under docks and you can also find them scattered along the deep water bluffs. Locate a ledge 20-30 feet down and they will be suspended along the ledge. Small swimbaits as well as live minnows have caught some nice fish. Norfork Lake water level is holding stable with minimal power generation and currently sits at 552.73. The surface water temperature is ranging from 87-92 degrees depending on the time of day. The main lake is clear and some creeks and coves are stained with others clearing. The lake is in great shape for all your summertime fun activities, not only fishing.

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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