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Arkansas Fishing Report

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Lake Norfork Sponsored by
Date 18-Dec-14
Water Condition
Water Temperature  


Conditions : Lake Norfork: Tailwaters - Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said Norfork Lake remained steady at four and seven tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.7 feet and thirty and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had wadable water every day with limited generation most mornings. The Norfork has fished well recently. With the cold weather there was less pressure on the Norfork. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18-22) like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14 and 16) 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 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. The siphon at Norfork Dam that was installed to achieve minimum flow has been repaired and is back in service. With the cold weather, there was little fishing pressure on Dry Run Creek. It has been a great time to fish there. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise size 10).

Last Week's Report - Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said lake surface water temperature is hanging around 53 degrees. The main lake is relatively clear and the creeks and coves are still stained. Norfork Lake's winter fishing pattern is slowly arriving. The bait has moved into the deep water channels, and electronics are very helpful to find bait in deep water and fish (striped and hybrid bass) inside of the bait. One of my friends was fishing yesterday afternoon and found lots of bait and big schools of stripers. He ended up landing eight stripers, the largest was 14 pounds. During winter the fish will also go very shallow to feed early in the morning and after dark, but the easiest fish to find are the deep ones. Areas to start looking for stripers are from the U.S. Highway 62 Bridge to the 101 Boat Dock area; back in the major creeks such as Float, Fall, Panther and Bennetts; and deep flats to check out are the Robinson flats, Cranfield, Mallard, Highway 101 Bridge and Big Sandy. I have mainly been vertical jigging with a spoon, but live shiners and shad are a great bait to use especially when you cannot find schools of fish, but are just finding loners. The largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass bite is picking up. I am finding big fish off of bluff lines in 40-50 feet of water. This is very typical for this time of year. The fish will be on the bottom and on occasion you will find schooling bass. It is also the time of year you will need to start slowing your presentation. I am starting to find crappie back on the sunken brush piles. A couple of days ago I fished a brush pile in 35 to 40 feet of water outside of Hummingbird Hideaway cove and caught five crappie in about 30 minutes. They were not huge slabs, but all were keeper size.

Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said the weather has been cold, rainy and windy. The water temperature continues to hover in the mid-50s. The stripers, hybrids and white bass bite has slowed. Stripers continue to bite in Float Creek, but they have moved off the 101 Bridge flats, Blue Lady flats and the Mallard Point flats. The fish are moving a little deeper each week, but until the bait moves out into the river channel the stripers will continue to roam the edges of the creeks and occasionally move onto the flats to feed. Just keep moving around the area and you will hookup with them. The most effective technique some days is letting a spoon flutter to the bottom and letting it sit still for a second or two and then ripping it back up. Most of time the fish are picking up the spoon on the bottom. You have to be ready to set the hook right away using this technique. Look for stripers in 50 to 60 feet of water near or in the shad. Another technique to finding stripers is watching the wind. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the wind blew very hard from the west into Float Creek. The bass fishermen were catching stripers in the back end of the Float Creek in water less than 5 feet. The bait was blown back into the shallow water, so play the wind, find the shad and you will catch stripers.

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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