Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 1/16/2015

These pages are updated on Friday

Beaver Beaver Tail water Bull Shoals Greer's Ferry Kings River
  Millwood Norfork Norfork Tail water White River

 

White River

Updated 1/16/2015

Report by: BERRY BROTHERS GUIDE SERVICE  Fly Fishing For Trout            ABIGAIL’S BROWN Article
 

During the past week, we have had a significant rain (over two inches here in Cotter), brutally cold temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose five tenths of an inch to rest at four and four tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose four tenths of a foot to rest at five feet below seasonal power pool and twenty one feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose seven tenths of a foot to rest at six and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool or fifteen and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had brief periods of heavy generation in the morning and afternoon with some wadable water. Norfork Lake rose one and eight tenths feet to rest at three feet below seasonal power pool of 553.7 feet and twenty nine and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had wadable water every day with limited generation most mornings.   

The water level for the top of power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are well below seasonal power pool.  

The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam will close from November 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period.  

On the White, the hot spot was the section from State Park down to White Hole. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a flashback beadhead pheasant tail nymph with a ruby midge or red fan tail midge suspended below it). Egg patterns have been very effective. 

Conventional wisdom states that hopper fishing ends with the first frost (we had several heavy frosts this past week). I reject this idea and fish them during the winter. I favor shorter leaders (seven and a half foot 3X) and a stiff six weight rod to proper deliver these weighty flies. My favorite flies are Dave’s hoppers (#10) and the western pink lady (#8). To increase hook ups I always use a dropper. I am currently using a ruby or root beer midge in size eighteen on a three foot or longer tippet (depending on the depth of the water I am fishing). 

The higher flows on some mornings and afternoons have been conducive to fishing large streamers. You need a fast sinking sink tip line and an eight weight or better rod. This is a heavy lift that requires casting skills and patience. 

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are high and off color. With the colder weather, the smallmouths are not active. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.

The Norfork River has fished well recently. With the cold weather there was less pressure on the Norfork.  The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#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 eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #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.  

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 (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are there take a few minutes to visit the adjacent Norfork national Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.  

The water on the Spring River is high and off color. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river to interfere with your fishing. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).   

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

 COTTER TROUT FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND 

BY JOHN BERRY 

One of the things that I love about this area is the many festivals we have here that are sponsored by the various small towns. As a Cotter resident, I may be prejudiced but I think that the Cotter Trout Festival is hands down the best. For me the main draw is where it is held, Cotter’s Big Spring Park. This is a lovely spot on the White River that has several features that makes it one of the best public parks in the area. 

There is, of course, Big Spring, a large natural spring that is the local swimming hole, complete with a rope swing. The spring draws locals and visitors during warm weather. When my grandchildren visit, this is their favorite spot. There is a trout sanctuary in the outflow from the spring that is a Catch and Release fishery for children and the handicapped with regulations like Dry Run Creek. Along the sanctuary there are several sheltered picnic tables with charcoal grills. There is a bridge spanning the stream that allows you to access a nature trail or the White River. 

There is a covered pavilion for large groups and a charming gazebo. There are clean public restrooms, a lighted baseball field and a river access complete with a nice ramp. There is a strong identity with Cotter’s past as a major railway hub, in the park. There is a statue of a railroad conductor, a couple of railway cabooses and several interpretive signs.  

The idea of a trout festival in Cotter is logical. Our water tower proudly proclaims our title as Trout Capital USA. Fishing is the primary business here. There are classic trout docks, lodging, restaurants, and a fly shop all catering to the needs of trout anglers. There are several professional guides (including myself) that call Cotter home. 

The Cotter trout festival will be held in Cotter’s Big Spring Park on Friday, May 2 from 4:30 PM till??? and Saturday, May 3 from 7:00 AM until 4:30 PM. Admission is free. This is a family friendly affair and a great way to entertain everyone at a low cost. 

Friday is dedicated to the arts. My friend, Sandy Barksdale, has put together a plein air painting event in Cotter. There is a quick draw competition from 4:30 PM till 5:30 PM with judging at 5:30 PM. There is a barbeque dinner at a nominal cost with entertainment supplied by Cutthroat Trout Jazz Band. They performed at the Trout Nature Center Banquet last week and I really enjoyed listening to them. 

Saturday is a busy day starting with breakfast at the Cotter VFW at 7:00 AM. There is our annual parade at 9:00 AM. The Arts/Crafts/Exhibitors/Commercial booths all open at 9:00 AM. There are kid’s games, the AG&FC shocking boat and stocking raft. There is the fishing hole and fly casting instruction and fly tying demonstrations supplied by the North Arkansas Fly Fishers. There is a car show and several bands (Gravel Yard Blue Grass Band, Rio and Kent and Becky Coffey) for entertainment. 

As you can see there is something for everyone. I hope to see you there. 

ASK JOHN 

Wanda Windknots asks: are there any hatches happening on the Norfork?

Wanda, there are the usual midges, some caddis and the occasional small mayfly. 

John Berry

 

berrybrothers@infodash.com

www.berrybrothersguides.com

(870) 435-2169

Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.

Practice water safety and always check conditions before you leave home. 

John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.

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Greer's Ferry
Updated: 1/16/2015
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 461.03

Outflow: 2601

Level: 1.11 feet low Temperature: 50-60

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greer's Ferry Lake has jumped up to almost full pool, it is 460.93 and rising it is 1.11 feet below normal pool for this time of year of 462.04 feet and getting colder. 

The Black basses are eating pretty good on certain days, from real shallow to real deep and some schooling going on at various places around the lake , try spinner baits, small crank baits, and for the deeper fish football heads  ,spoons and drop shot rigs. 

No-report on bream

The walleye made a move with all the fresh water starting to stage for an up stream run, try trolling big crank baits. 

No-report on catfish

The crappie are eating fair on grubs and beatle spins fished real slow as well as minnows, in 25 feet of water , with some as shallow as 15 feet. 

The hybrid and white bass are eating well , as they usually do this time of year, with the spoon bite going good all over the lake if the sun is shining and if its cloudy the in-line spinner will work better, some are on the surface at times really gorging their selves and the good bite should continue on through the winter. 

Tommy Cauley

Fishing Guide  

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Beaver Lake

Elevation at Normal Pool: 1121.4

Outflow: 1119 cfs.

Level:  Temperature: 

Report By:

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Beaver Tail water

 

 

No Report

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Kings River

 

No Report

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BULL SHOALS

updated 1/16/2015

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 657.0 

Outflow: 653

 Level:  Temperature:50s

Lake Map, Weather, Area Lake Services & Campground Info

Fishing Report by: Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock      "Braggin Board"

Hello everybody! Well, it looks like the catching is going to start. The fishing is always good. :) The water temperature is finally in the 50's on the surface. The bass are starting to stage towards the back of the creeks where the water is warmer. Haven't seen any beds yet but most of the fish have moved up shallower. I talked to several fisherman on the dock today. Most of them had smiles on their faces and fish in their livewells. The lake is normal level and the visibility is getting better every day. It is that time of the year. They are catching all species of bass, white bass and crappie. I am told by the night time fisherman that they are spotlighting and seeing lots of walleye on the bank at night but cant catch any yet. I have seen a few come in but not the numbers yet. Like everything else this year the walleye spawn is late. The patterns below are update as of April 1st. The white river continues to be fantastic. See the picture page for pics. Until next time! 

Bass- plastic baits in 5 to 15 feet of water. Mostly Carolina rigged lizards, brush hogs and other plastics Stick baits like a rogue, rebel, x-rap, mega-bass or something that simulates a dying shad. The water temperature is cold enough for the shad to die. They are catching them on the surface to 10 feet. Fairly shallow.  Jigs - Try to simulate a crawfish in 5 to 15 feet of water. Use a standard jig with some kind of plastic attached. Darker colors seem to be the best. Spinner baits in 0 to 10 feet of water back in the creeks on channel swings. Tube jigs along the bottom simulating a crawfish. Live minnows on a small split shot in 5 to 15 foot of water 

Crappie- when I can get a crappie fisherman to show off their crappie or talk about them this is what they are saying. I know there is some being caught. Most of the brush piles are 20 to 35 feet right now. 1/32 oz or 1/64 oz jigs around the brush piles small minnows when you can get them small spoons around the brush piles.  

White Bass - the whites are being caught. I haven't been able to talk anybody into taking a picture yet. One of the guides caught 30-40 today but they released them all. Go back in the creeks as far as you can go. Try 0 to 15 feet until you find them white jigs, rooster tails, spoons, road runner jigs, rapalas and or anything that looks like a minnow 

Walleye - there are several walleye being seen shallow at night after dark with spot lights. But, nobody is talking about catching them or showing them off yet. I have seen one or two here and there during the day. I think the catching should start any time. I believe they are spawning and not interested in eating anything right now. We will see of the next few days if it changes.

SO, COME FISHING WHENEVER YOU CAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Practice water safety and always check conditions before you leave home.

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Millwood

Updated: 1/12/2015

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 44.00 feet high Temperature:  40-45

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

""""""<º)))><{""""" Fishing & Species Report """""}><(((º>""""""

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 12 Jan, the lake level is approx 44 inches above normal conservation pool and rising.  There is increased current of Little River with the gates releasing around 5062 CFS and heavy debris fields.  Use caution during low light and other navigation. Water temps continued dropping over the past week.  Navigation is considered hazardous for Little River, as of Monday.  Several river buoy markers are missing in Little River, use caution during navigation at low light conditions. 

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 40ºF early to 45ºF range, depending on location.   

Lake level is currently is 262.87 ft-msl, with increased river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate near 5062 CFS.  Tailwater level is 242.09. Clarity and visibility is heavy stain to muddy in most areas on main lake and Little River.   

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 2-5 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake is heavy stain from recent high winds.  Little River's visibility ranges 1-5 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity is stained, ranging approx 8-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River above McGuire oxbow is muddy.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.  

The Details:  

Largemouth Bass:  the Bass have been lethargic and slow over the past couple weeks with the colder night time low temperatures and dropping water temps.  

Bass are slightly more aggressive during the warmest time of the day, typically 11am-3pm, hitting very slowly  moving target crankbaits and large, 3/4oz War Eagle Spinnerbaits.  Bomber and XCalibur cranks in Ghost, Tennessee Shad, and Citrus will get slow bites during the warmer days.  Clear water seemed to be their preferred hang out, in the back of McGuire.  Crankbaits had to be moved erratic and slow to get bit, but they were more aggressive before the water temps got colder. 

Real Deal Kustom Tackle jigs in Black/Blue, or Texas Craw will get reactions from some decent keeper size Largemouths as long as they are hopped slowly with a big pork chunk or big plastic craw, around stumps in deeper water.  Using a black/blue flake Larew Hawg Craw trailer or Berkley Craw Fatty on either skirt color appears not to make any difference.  Pitching the jigs to cypress trees in 9-12 feet depth in close proximity to flats and creek bends.  Hopping rather than crawling the jigs seem to draw more reaction strikes.   

Johnson chrome/blue Splinter Spoons, Thinfisher, or Cordell jigging spoons with bucktails, have been taking some good fish vertical jigging standing timber in 10-17 feet depth ranges, close to deeper water drop offs. 

Magnum size 3" to 4" big tubes and gizzits with rattles continue to get a reaction on cypress knees in 9-12 feet depth in backs of the oxbows where you can find any clearer water sections.  Black/blue tail, smoke/black/red flake, and pumpkinseed/chartreuse tail colors continue to be best color selections.  

White Bass:  were hitting the cranks before the last cold front, and jigging spoons, but have not been found again over the past week or 10 days.  

Crappie:  were beginning to stack vertically in planted brush before the recent 3 foot rise and muddy current.  Bite has disappeared with the muddy water.  

Cats:  improved w/ the current increase of Little River this week.  Best selections were homemade blood bait, cut shad or buffalo, and chicken hearts on trot lines about 12-14 feet deep in heavy current and outside bends of Little River.  

}><(((º>   Lake Level & River Conditions Report    <º)))><{ 

Surface temps as of Monday, 05 Jan currently range 40ºF to 45ºF later in the day under full sun. 

As of Monday, 05 Jan, Millwood Lake level is approx 44 inches above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is increased current in Little River with the gates releasing around 5062 CFS with heavy debris fields  Use extreme caution during low light or other navigation. Water temps continue dropping over the past week.  Navigation is considered hazardous caution for Little River.  There are a few river buoys missing in Little River. 

Lake level is currently is 262.87 mfsl, with increased river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate around 5062 CFS.  Tailwater level currently 242.09 ft-msl. 

Clarity and visibility is much worse over the past week, in most areas on main lake and Little River from recent thunderstorms and high wind.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 2-5 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake are muddy.  Little River's visibility ranges 1-5 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity continue improving away from current, ranging approx 8-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River above McGuire oxbow is muddy.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.  

To volunteer for one of the cleanup dates or ramp and USACE park information, contact Tony Porter at the Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office.  To receive project updates, daily lake level information updates, gate release flows, tailwater information, park and campground information, or volunteer, call the US Army Corps of Engrs toll-free information line at 888-697-9830 or the US Army Corps of Engineers' main number to verify another Corps of Engrs project is open, at 877-444-6777. 

Wear your Life Jacket and kill switch!!  If you are suddenly or unexpectedly thrown from your boat, it could be your only chance of survival.  Use caution navigating Little River in low light conditions, SLOW DOWN, and pass friendly to other boaters!  As always, careful watch for any random floaters and debris in Little River's current, and wearing your PFD and kill switch is a requirement! 

Visit with us on our website, YouTube, and on Facebook, for the most current Millwood Lake fishing and water conditions report, updated weekly.  See some great catch and release photos, sponsor links, tons of great information and resources on the lake available to you, along with excellent related direct links to Arkansas' State Parks, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Black Bass Program, The US Army Corps of Engineers, Arkansas.com and tons more great fishing stuff....

  Come see what all the excitement's about! 

Mike 

Thanks for your interest in Millwood Lake Guide Service ~ Arkansas' Best Bass Fishing!

Mike Siefert

Owner/Operator

www.MillwoodGuideService.com

""GOFISH""""<º)))><{{"""  

22+ years in the professional guide business on Millwood Lake, since 1990!

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Norfork

Updated 1/16/2015

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 550.2 

Release Rate: 32705 cfs.

Level:  Temperature:

Lake Map, Weather, Area Lake Services & Campground Info

Report by: Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait 

Fishing Norfork Lake has been great this March.

Don't miss out on the 2nd annual Norfork Lake Fishing Derby being sponsored by the Norfork Lake Chamber of Commerce. It is easy to enter, just stay and register for the Derby at a participating Norfork Lake lodging facility. You could win up to $1,500. Catch the longest fish in 3 different species (striped bass, black bass and crappie) and become a winner for 2014. The Derby runs through June 15, 2014. For more information go to www.NorforkFishingDerby.com or call 870-492-5113. Spring is the best time to catch many big fish on Norfork Lake. And remember to bring a Big Net!

For information on the Jordan Campground, please call (870) 499-7223 or Jordan Marina at (870) 499-7348.  The Jordan Campground is open from April 1st to October 1st.

 No Report

Updated: 1/16/2015

Report by: Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

I am really looking forward to Norfork Lake's fall fishing season to get into full swing. With cooler weather over the last couple of weeks, the lake has given signs that the fall season is starting. The lake surface temperature has dropped into the upper 70's and the stripers and hybrids have started to make their move away from the dam area. I even think some of the coves had started to turn over last week, but we are still a few weeks off from the entire lake turning over. The current thermocline has dropped to around 40 feet, but the oxygen level is good at all depths. Over the last week I have concentrated my fishing habit on the mid lake area.  

I have gotten into huge schools of hybrids and stripers and have found big schools of Kentucky bass and largemouth bass schooled up and feeding on crawdads. Overall it is shaping up to be a great fall season for fishing with gorgeous scenery. There are several very effective methods of fishing for striped and hybrid bass; vertical jigging with a spoon, live bait and trolling with 6 inch swimming minnow type baits. I have mainly been vertical jigging with a spoon. I have found big schools of hybrids with stripers off of main lake, bluff line points. The best points to check out are the ones which have a channel swing at the point. During this past week the fish seem to appear as it starts getting light (around 7AM).  If it was cloudy or overcast the fish stayed around for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, but today with the bluebird sky they were only in the area for 1/2 hour. This morning I landed a nice 7 pound hybrid and lost 2 others. Another location type to check out are the large flats. It seems that the fish are holding in 35 - 55 feet of water and are close to the bottom. Yesterday I marked a lot of fish, but they would not take a spoon, but a live bait fisherman next to me landed 3 nice stripers in the 10 pound range.

There are still plenty of stripers in the dam area, but the fish are starting to scatter and are showing up in the mid lake area. As the water cools they will continue to scatter throughout the lake. Over the last week the striper/hybrid bite has been good and will only improve as the water cools.

The largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky bass bite has also been good.

Most of my bigger bass have come from 35 - 45 feet of water vertical jigging on the bottom. I have found a honey hole this week that has been holding schools of feeding Kentuckys and largemouth, a mid-lake hump that must be holding plenty of crawdads as the fish I have cleaned are full of them. Yesterday I should have boated 10 keeper size bass in less than an hour, but every time I would reach for the net the fish would tail dance and throw the hook. It was a lot of fun.  I have also caught nice bass  off of bluff wall points in 40 feet of water. Similar locations where I have found stripers/hybrids. One of my guests is doing very well on bass. He likes to cast a jig and pig (brown skirt with a blue pork chunk). Most of his fish are coming off of bluff walls in about 30 feet of water. There is still good topwater action in different areas, but most of time they are short fish, with the occasional keeper.

The white bass bite is good when you are able to locate them. They have been found on shallow sandy flats. But I only know of two locations at this time. Last weekend a guest boated 20 whites in about 20 feet of water using a Kastmaster. He got into some good top water action. Today another guest found some of the big whites in 30 - 40 feet of water schooled up. The mid size hybrids are also hanging out with the whites. Use a light action rod and have a blast. The crappie bite is starting, but is still slow.

A friend has been crappie fishing over 30 - 40 feet brush and finding crappie 15 - 25 feet down. He is getting a few off of each brush pile, but they are not coming easy. As the water cools more and more crappie will move back to the brush piles.

The catfish bite is still good. You can find them at all depths, but the ones that I have spooned up have been in 35 feet of water or so. Trot lines and jugs are working well. Today I saw a jug  screaming across the mouth of Float Creek. It had to have been a very good size fish. I hope the owner found his jug, but as fast as the fish was swimming it's hard telling how far that jug had travelled. 

Another great enticement to fish our lake is our second annual Norfork Lake Fishing Derby. You will have the opportunity to win up to $1,500 for a very small investment. Give me a call for details at 870-492-5113. The derby runs from March 1 to June 15.

 

Updated: 1/16/2015

Report by: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Fall Striper Tactics   As fall approaches Lake Norfork water temperature will continue to lower. As the water cools the thermocline will continue to drop until the water equalizes and the lake will turnover. Turnover is the process where the bottom part of the lake rises and the top part lowers. It happens every year. You can tell by the smell on the water, you will see lots of scum, leaves, and the water will be off color. The fish will quit biting for about a week as they need to adjust to the change.

With the disappearance of the thermocline the stripers are free to roam the entire water column. Oxygen is at all levels of the water column. The turnover does not happen all at once on the lake. The northern portion will be the first, then the mid-lake area near the bridges, and finally the lower or southern end. The upper end will be done by the end of Sept. while the lower end maybe mid October. It all depends on the weather. The colder it gets the sooner the turnover begins. Once the turnover is over the stripers are free to move anywhere on the lake and you will find them at all levels of the water column. Topwater action can happen anytime the day as they chase this year’s hatch of shad. If you’re on the water you will have the opportunity to catch stripers by finding the bait fish and the stripers will be close by. As the water cools the stripers will move from the main lake to mouths of creeks. Start looking in the Hand Cove, Georges Cove, and Diamond Bay areas as the stripers move away from the dam. Some stripers will be found in the dam area until winter but a lot of them will make the move. Mid-lake stripers will move to the Robinson Point area, they can be found on the flats and channels feeding on shad and stay there until winter. The Cranfield area, Red Bank, and Calamity areas will hold lots of fish. Calamity Beach is the first place I start to fish as the turnover begins. The water is shallow and the bait is usually found everywhere. Live gizzard & threadfin shad is and will always be the most productive method to catch stripers. Shiners and artificial lures are also very effective. The best places to buy shiners is 101 Grocery & Bait and Hand Cove Resort. They both carry shiners all fall, winter & spring. Shad will begin to school so look for bait fish balls and note the depth. A good depth finder will help you find the stripers. They will be moving around so stay close to the bait. Your fall striper tactics will begin to change until winter fishing begins. I continue to fish with down lines but start adding floats and planner boards. The stripers will start getting into the shallow depths. When I’m fishing the northern or river area of the lake I fish 8 lines, four down lines, two planner boards, and two floats. All the lines are set at different depths until I can determine where I stripers are feeding. Artificial lures is very effective. The key is matching the size and color of the bait fish. If the stripers are feeding on 1 & 2” shad make sure your lure match’s the size. You can throw or troll the wrong size and not get a hit if it's too big. Also make sure you match your spoon to the bait.

 

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Norfork Tail water

Updated 1/16/2015

Report by: Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service 

The lake level is 554.2 and the water temp is in the mid 80's.  

The bass are coming up early and just before dark hitting topwater baits. There are a lot of short fish but  some good fish are mixed in with them. Throw a white or clear Zara Spook Jr. After that you will need to fish with a worm, jig, drop-shot rig, or drop a jigging spoon. Most of this activity is in the creeks on points and channel swings. Start looking for stripers down around 40ft. and you need to get you bait or lure down to where you see them. Look in the Big Creek area, Diamond Bay, and down around the dam areas. There have been some whites hitting jigging spoons in the creeks and in some coves around 34ft.

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