Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 3/6/2015

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 3/6/2015

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

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

The siphon to accommodate minimum flow on the Norfork is down for repairs. They will be running the generators on a speed-no-load option to make up for the lost siphon flows.  

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 was closed from November 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park was seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. There are redds in the area. They will appear as shallow clean depressions in the gravel.  Please avoid them when wading or dragging chains to protect the eggs in them.  

On the White, the hot spot was the section from Wildcat Shoals down to Cotter. 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. Streamer season started on opening day! The most popular patterns have been large articulated streamers in tan and yellow and olive and yellow. 

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are stained and high. 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 poorly recently. With the colder weather there was little fishing 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.  

There was little fishing pressure on Dry Run Creek due to the cold weather weather. 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 stained and high. 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: 3/4/2015
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 461.03

Outflow: 2601

Level: 3.55 feet low Temperature: 36-40

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greer’s Ferry Lake is at 458.49 feet and falling it is 3.55 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet and the temp ranges from 36-40 degree’s. 

The crappie are eating jigs and jigs tipped with minnows in 5-56 feet of water in bends in the creek channels and pole timber. 

No-report on catfish

Walleye are biting somewhat in the colder water on minnows fished a variety of ways in the lake and up the rivers, after this ice and snow the bite will really pick up. 

No-report on bream

The bass fishing is really pretty good right now on a variety of baits all over the lake from real shallow out to 50 feet of water, a great jerk bait bite is on the verge of happening. 

The hybrid and white bass are eating it up in 43-56 feet of water on spoons ,in-line spinners, hair jigs, and swim baits just find the bait and the fish will be there.

Do not forget to visit the boat show this weekend at the statehouse convention center, get deals on boats and tackle galore.

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 3/6/2015

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"

No Report

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

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

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Millwood

Updated: 3/2/2015

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 8.00 feet high Temperature:  40-45

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

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

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 2 Mar, the lake level is approx 8 inches above normal conservation pool and rising.  There is steady current of Little River with the gates releasing around 7000 CFS.  Use caution during navigation.  Water temps stable over the past week.  Navigation is considered normal caution for Little River, as of Monday.  Several river buoy markers are missing in Little River, do 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 259.9 ft-msl, with decreased river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate near 7000 CFS as of Friday.  Tailwater level 223.09. Clarity and visibility is improved, yet stain remains in most sections of main lake and Little River.  Still heavy muddy current above Hwy 71 bridge at Cossatot inflow ditch and at Cottonshed and Okay Landing to Saratoga.

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 5-8 inches.  Cottonshed, Okay, and east section of the lake is muddy from current in Saline River.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-6 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarities are improving, yet remain stained, ranging approx 10-20 inches depth of visibility more or less, depending on location.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, thunderstorms, or increased current.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  the Bass activity levels continue to be fair to good on warmer, bright sunny days.  Lethargic is the activity levels seen over the past week with continued freezing temperatures during the night and cold and wet incoming rainfall keeping surface temperatures lower than normal for this time of year.

Bass continue remaining at their most aggressive during the warmest time of the day, typically noon-3pm, hitting slowly moving target crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps, and a few soft plastics.  Numbers of good fish have been caught and released up to 12 pounds over the past 2-3 weeks on swim baits, chatterbaits, jigs, and crankbaits.  Best color of Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs over the past few weeks has been the black and blue, Tx Craw, or VooDoo.  This was working in ditches and creek channels on stumps, and points extending into the river from 9-14 feet of depth.  Two six pounders and an 8 pound Largemouth were caught last weekend in south Hickory and the Millwood State Park.

Bomber Fat Free Shad cranks in Dance's Crawfish, Firetiger, or a "Flat A" in Apple Red Craw will get a reaction bite during the warmer period of the day, worked slowly and deflecting off stumps and cover.  Clear water seemed to be their preferred hang out, if you can locate any.  Crankbaits moved erratic; stop and go, seem to draw reactions and get bit, but most active during the warmest period of the high sun over the past few weeks.

Chatterbaits in Texas Craw, black/blue, and Ozark Craw are beginning to get reactions on warm days in stained water around cypress trees, dead lily pad stems, and grass.  No matter which color skirt used on the chatterbait, a black trailer seems to stand out better and draw more reactions.  Several 8 and 9 pound Bass have been caught on this combination at Millwood over the past few weeks.

Big 3/4 oz, slow-moving Rat-L-Traps continue working over the past couple weeks also, with the best colors over the past few weeks being pumpkinseed, 'Lectric Red, McCraw, and Red Zombie and  colors.  Moving the Traps slow and deflecting off stumps in creek channels adjacent to large warming flats, much like the lipped crankbaits on warmer, bright sun days seemed to be the best pattern.  Best bite was in 8-12 feet of depth with stumps and cypress knees in the deeper water, moving slowly and deflecting off timber and stumps with a brief pause at the deflection point.

Swimming a large, 6" black shad colored Bass Assassin Turbo Shad on a 1/8 or 3/8 oz weighted swim bait hook are taking some staging prespawn male and female bass anywhere from 3-5 lbs in 9-12 feet of water.  5" Bass Assassin Shads, deadsticking on a light wire hook in 5-8 feet of depth will get bit on warmer days.  Best colors we have had success with over the past week were the Chartreuse Pepper Shad in muddy or stained water, Rainbow Trout in the stain to clear water areas, or Salt & Pepper Silver Phantom in the clear water areas seem to ilicit the best responses.

Magnum size 4" Warrior Baits Teaser tubes with rattles will 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, Bluegrass craw, and pumpkinseed/chartreuse tail colors continue to be best color choices over the past several weeks.
 
 
White Bass:  Whites were located upriver btween McGuire and Cemetary slough, trolling crankbaits before all the cold freezing rain, sleet and snow, but dissapeared over the past week.  These White bass maybe getting ready to position themselves upriver for their annual spawing ground run up to Patterson Shoals.

Crappie:  no report since all the muddy current inflow over the past couple weeks in increase in discharge at the dam.

 
 
Cats:  continue biting chicken hearts, livers, and gizzards along with cut shad and blood bait, on trot lines in current bends btwn 9-10 feet of depth.

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

 
 
Surface temps as of Monday, 2 Mar currently range 40ºF to 45ºF later in the day under full sun.

As of Monday, 2 Mar, Millwood Lake level is approx 8 inches above normal conservation pool and rising.  There is consistent current in Little River with the gates releasing around 7000 CFS with a few broken vegetation mats and reduced debris fields  Use caution during low light or other navigation. Water temps dropped a little over the past week with the freezing rain, sleet and snow.  Navigation is considered normal caution for Little River.  There are a few river buoys missing in Little River.

Lake level is currently is 259.9 mfsl, with steady river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate around 7000 CFS.  Tailwater level currently 223.09 ft-msl as of Monday and lots of discharge and current for fishing below the spillway.

Clarity and visibility is about the same 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 5-8 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake are still heavy stain from Saline River inflow.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-6 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity continue improving away from current, ranging approx 10-20 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 3/6/2015

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: 3/6/2015

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: 3/6/2015

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 3/6/2015

Report by: Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service 

The lake level is 554.2

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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