Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 12/13/2014

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 11/7/2014

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

During the past week, we have had rain (three quarters of an inch here in Cotter), cold temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose four tenths of an inch to rest at five and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty one and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell three 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 fell one tenth of a foot to rest at seven and four tenths feet below seasonal power pool or seventeen feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had moderate generation in the afternoon and lower generation in the morning with some wadable water. 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 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 Shipps Ferry. 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).  

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 that we have been getting on some 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 clear. 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. 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.  

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 (#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 has cleared somewhat. 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.  

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: 12/9/2014
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 461.03

Outflow: 2601

Level: 6.41 feet low Temperature: 50-60

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greer's Ferry Lake is at 456.13 and falling it is 6.41 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet and the temp is in the 50-60 degree range and falling. 

The bass fishing is good all over the lake with some shallow and deep, they are changing with the weather conditions and the presence of shad, try spinner baits, small crank baits up shallow, swim baits ,a-rigs and c-rigs out deeper, fish are scattered from real shallow to 50 feet of water. 

No-report on catfish 

The crappie are eating pretty good suspended in 15-25 feet of water over deeper water around any wood in the lake , close to shad. 

No-report on walleye

Bream are slow. 

The hybrid and white bass fishing is going good all over the lake as the sun has them set up on structure pretty good, stay with the shad and the fish are close by in 35-70 feet of water and eating spoons,in-line spinners , and swim baits.

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 12/13/2014

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: 12/8/2014

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 6.5 feet high Temperature:  48-53

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

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

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 08 Dec, the lake level is approx 6.5 inches above normal conservation pool and rising.  There is reduced current of Little River with the gates releasing around 439 CFS. Water temps continued dropping over the past week.  Navigation is considered normal caution 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 48ºF early to 53ºF range, depending on location.   

Lake level is currently is 259.74 ft-msl, with increased river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate near 439 CFS.  Tailwater level is 223.92. Clarity and visibility is slightly improved since last week, in most areas on main lake and Little River.   

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 10-15 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake is heavy stain from recent high winds.  Little River's visibility ranges 10-15 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity is stained but improving, away from current, ranging approx 15-25 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:  improved slightly this week with the warmer weather trending this week.  There were a few more fishermen on the lake over the past few days with the improved weather this week.     

Real Deal Kustom Tackle jigs in Black/Blue, VooDoo, or Texas Craw were catching some decent keeper size Largemouths over the past week.  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 8-9 feet depth in close proximity to flats and creek bends seem to be the ideal locations over the past week.  Hopping rather than crawling the jigs seem to draw more reaction strikes.  Several Bass over 4 pounds were caught in Mud Lake and Cemetary Slough with the above methodology over the last few days. 

Johnson chrome/blue Splinter Spoons, Thinfisher, or Cordell jigging spoons with bucktails, have been taking some good fish on primary and secondary points in Little River this past week over planted brush and stumps, in 10-12 feet depth ranges, close to deep water drop off channels into Little River.  Clarity and stain has begun settling out, and water color continues improving.    Magnum size 3" to 4" big tubes and gizzits with rattles continue to get a reaction on cypress knees in 6-9 feet depth in backs of the oxbows.  Black/blue tail, smoke/black/red flake, and pumpkinseed/chartreuse tail colors continue to be best color selections. 

Bomber and XCalibur cranks in Citrus Shad, Threadfin Shad or Ghost, seem to be preferred crankbait colors of the Largemouths and White Bass over the past few weeks, worked extremely slow from 8-10 feet depth.  Rat-L-Traps, Spin Traps, or Pro-Traps in Millwood Magic, Zombie Shad, and Red Shad are catching random, solid size Largemouths and White Bass also in back of creek channels, across ditches, and points in Little River.  

White Bass:  were hitting the Tennessee Shad or citrus or threadfin shad colored crankbaits in Little River, and the back of the oxbows on White Zombie Rat-L-Traps.  Search for the Whites, upriver at creek dumps and ditches dumping into Little River on points and creek mouths junctions and where you see large wads of shad on your electronics.  Jigging vertical spoons were also catching some Whites again this week behind points and out of current.   

Crappie:  are beginning to stack up vertically again this week in and around planted brush.  Cordell paddle- tail smoke colored grubs on light wire jig heads continue catching some nice slabs around mid-day by vertical jigging in the brush between 10-11 feet deep; however, Johnson Crappie Buster Beetle Spins and Blakemore Roadrunners are also taking a few good slabs of nice size Crappie over the past week.  

Cats:  no report with reduced current of Little River this week.  

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

Surface temps as of Monday, 08 Dec currently range 48ºF to 53ºF later in the day under full sun. 

As of Monday, 08 Dec, Millwood Lake level is approx 6.5 inches above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is increased current in Little River with the gates releasing around 439 CFS. Water temps continue dropping over the past week.  Navigation is considered normal caution for Little River.  There are a few river buoys missing in Little River. 

Lake level is currently is 259.74 mfsl, with reduced river current.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate around 439 CFS.  Tailwater level currently 223.92 ft-msl. 

Clarity and visibility is slightly improved over last 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 10-15 inches.  Cottonshed and northeast section of the lake are muddy.  Little River's visibility ranges 10-15 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity continue improving away from current, ranging approx 15-25 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 12/13/2014

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: 12/13/2014

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: 12/13/2014

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 12/13/2014

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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