Arkansas Fishing Reports

Updated: 5/12/2017

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 5/12/2017

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

During the past week, we have had a rain event (about three quarters of an inch here in Cotter), cooler temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one tenth of a foot to rest at seven and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty three and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell one and four tenths feet 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 fell one foot to rest at seven and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool and sixteen and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had moderate generation in the afternoon with lower generation in the morning and limited wadable water. Norfork Lake remained steady at one and one tenth feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty seven and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation late in the afternoon with much less wadable water.  

Seasonal power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are below seasonable power pool. With cooler fall weather and lower lake levels, we should see more wadable water. 

The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017 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 bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. We have had some wadable water. 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 (my current favorite is a hare and copper nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it).  

The best bet for large trout has been to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy twenty four to thirty foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier) on bigger water. You will need an eight or nine weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great.  

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With cooler the smallmouths are less active. My favorite fly is a Clouser minnow. 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. 

There has been less wadable water on the Norfork. The lake has turned over and there is a sulphur smell on the upper river and with lower dissolved oxygen, in that area, the bite has been slow there. 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. My favorite fly has been an orange egg. 

Dry Run Creek has been less crowded with school back in session. A large number of brown trout have moved into the creek. 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 at the creek you should visit the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases. 

The Spring River is fishing well. 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. 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 

When I drove past the ramp at Cotter’s Big Spring Park this morning I noticed a big change from my last visit. This ramp is a few blocks away from my house in the old section of Cotter and I always like to track the river levels by driving by the Cotter Ramp. I was pleased to see that the river level was much lower than my last visit. I had been carefully monitoring the lake levels and generation for all of the lakes in the White River system and I had noted that all are now at or close to power pool with the exception of Beaver, which is dropping quickly. Beaver is always the last to be drawn down to power pool.  

Now that our tailwaters are back in their banks and the river levels are more comfortably navigated we will see significant changes as the water levels drop. The additional flows through the open flood gates and sluice gates have had a profound effect on our rivers. 

One of the first things that you will notice is that many warm water species have been introduced to the cold water environments of our tailwaters. This past weekend Henry Seay, the assistant manager here at Blue Ribbon Fly Shop, was fishing at Quarry Park on the Norfork River and caught five bream which is a warm water species. I have had customers come into the shop that have caught walleye recently, in the same stretch of river. 

After the flood of 2008, I saw a striper that was stuck twenty feet up in a tree at McClellan’s, on the Norfork. Later that same day I was wade fishing in the Ace in the Hole water and saw a four foot Gar. I must say that, it was a bit disconcerting, seeing something that big, with that many sharp teeth, lazily swimming near me. It looked just like a Barracuda. It turned out to be more worried about me and left. That same year there were loads of Stripers and other species caught beneath Norfork Dam. There was similar warm water species caught below Bull Shoals Dam. 

Of greater importance are all of the changes to the river itself. With that much additional water coming through the flood gates we have to expect significant change and as the water recedes we will begin to see them. There will be downed trees where none previously existed. Trees that have been reliable markers for years will be gone washed down the river. Delicate banks will have been seriously eroded. Gravel bars will appear where none existed before and there will be new holes scoured in the river bottom. 

The trick is to take your time as you navigate the river for the first few times until you figure out all of the changes. This is particularly important, if you run a prop, like I do. When wading take extra care because there may be a new hole or two where you can float a hat. 

Our rivers are constantly changing and this high water has brought about quite a bit of it. In many respects it will be like learning a new river. Slow down and enjoy it!

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: 5/9/2017
Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 462.04

Outflow: 2601

Level: 7.99 feet high Temperature:

Report by: Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service  

The water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 470.03 feet and has just about leveled off it is 7.99 feet above normal pool of 462.04 feet and we will remain over pool for a while.  

The Bass fishing is good all over the lake with lots of small fish seem to be the norm at present ,but the bigger fish are in kind of a post spawn funk, the bigger fish bite should pick back up over the next few days as they get acclimated to the rise and move back shallow to feed, try buzzbaits,spinner baits,soft plastics ,jigs and swim bait, or a gizit now in the old shore line, or a Carolina rig out in front, a lot of fish being picked up around shad spawn as well.

 The bream are bedding ,use crickets crawlers and small crank baits. The crappie are holding in the old bush line and around any wood eating minnows and jigs.  

Catfishing is very good overall all over the lake on jugs, trot lines and rod and reels, on a variety of baits.  

Walleye are a little slow as they are getting acclimated as well after the rise and when it clears the bite will be good on crawlers drug around in bald spots on pea gravel points and humps. 

The Hybrid and White bass bite is good around the shad spawn and in guts of creeks, points and humps in the lake look for clear water and shad, try in-line spinners ,spoons, swim baits and top water lures. 

 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 5/12/2017

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: 5/8/2017

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 259.20

Outflow: 4681 cfs.

Level: 14.00 feet high Temperature:  70 early to 78

Report by: Millwood Lake Guide Service        "Braggin Board" 

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

The Overall Picture:  

As of Monday, 8 May, the lake level is approximately 14 inches above normal conservation pool and rising.  There is current in Little River with the gates releasing around 15,000 CFS.  Lake level is rising from all the recent rain and thunderstomrs over the past week, water temps continue a slow rise.  Largemouth Bass are in transition.  White Bass are scattered in large schools along Little River.  Crappie finished spawning over the past couple weeks, and gar are extremely shallow in large groups making great opportunities for bow fishermen very shallow. 

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging 70ºF early to 78ºF range, depending on rain, wind, incoming fresh water, location, and time of day.  

Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 260.6 mfsl with current.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was near 10,300 CFS and increased to 15,000 Tuesday.  As of Monday the tailwater level was 241.01 mfsl.   

Be advised there are NEW NO-WAKE RIVER BUOYS AT WHITE CLIFFS BOAT RAMP AND THE NO WAKE ZONE EXTENDS FROM NORTH END OF PARK TO SOUTH END OF PARK for approximately over 1 mile, and being enforced by AGFC in Little River.  This no wake zone is being strictly enforced and is no tolerance for wake boaters or barges.

 Clarity and visibility is heavy stained and muddy, this week depending on location, oxbows are in fair shape for visibility as of today.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 3-5 inches.  Little River's visibility ranges 2-3 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity is ranging approx 7-10 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  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 Millwood Project  information line at 888-697-9830 or the US Army Corps of Engineers' main number to verify another Corp of Engineers project is open, at 877-444-6777. 

The Details: 

Largemouth Bass:   Water temperatures slowly rising.  Largemouth Bass continue wrapping up annual spawn activity, postspawn, and moving horizontally out to deeper water.  Largemouth Bass from around 2 to 5 pounds each, are fair to good most days, running in and out of flats adjacent to deeper drops into creek channels.  Baby bass fry have been noted over the last week already hatched.  Buzz baits, magnum bulky lizards, brush hogs, 10" worms, chatterbaits and Bass Assassin Shads  continue taking nice, 3-4 pound postspawn Bass near ridges, ditches, and flats adjacent to deeper creek channels.    

The clearest water you can find away from muddy river current has been producing the best best bass over the past several weeks.  Bass are continuing to move out, but are relating to flats adjacent to creek channels early, moving horizontally toward deeper drops in creeks as the sun gets higher in the sky.  Buzz baits are starting to draw reaction strikes in coleslaw, bleeding pumpkinseed, and bream colors.  Bass Assassin Shads in gold pepper shiner in the off-colored, stained water clarity, magnum Lizards in June bug, Brush Hogs in chartreuse pumpkin, and bream colored chatterbaits continue working over the past several weeks.  The further from Little River muddy current and heavy stain water; and in deeper sections of creeks over the past couple weeks, will produce best Largemouths.   

War Eagle Spinnerbaits continue working on windy secondary points. Spot Remover, white/chartreuse, and Aurora colors remain working fairly good for nice keeper, sized bass, in oxbows, up river. 

Bass Assassin Shads continue catching nice Bass and best colors for the past couple weeks working in  are the Gold Pepper Shiner, Panhandle Moon, and Hammertime, or Limetreuse Ghost colors in the heavy stained water clarity.  Work these in and around new growth of vegetation lines, new bloom stands of lily pads, and buckbrush.  Bang Jingle Bugs are working in these same areas, and best colors over the past week or two have been the Okeechobee Craw, Black/Red Glitter, and Red Shad/Green Glitter.  Bulky lizards in California 420, Blackberry, or chartreuse pumpkin colors are working on cypress trees in clear water if you can find any left from the recent muddy rise of around two feet. 

Baby brush hogs in Blue Flash, Sapphire, and California 420 are also working sporadically with the stained to muddy water depending on location.    

White Bass:  in large schools continue roaming, but are stacked behind points and secondary ridges and ditches with all the recent muddy water between McGuire Lake and Ark state Highway 71 bridge over the past couple weeks.  Oxbows up and down Little River were holding large schools of the White Bass and Hybrids since the recent influx of muddy water in Little River, Cossatott and Rolling Fork inflow.  Shad colored Bomber crankbaits, chrome/blue or Smokey Joe Rat-L-Traps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, Little Cleos, Spin Traps, Blakemore Roadrunners were all catching these whites over the past week, but the Little River up past McGuire Lake oxbow, continues to be heavy stain to muddy over the past couple weeks with all the rain and muddy water coming into Little River from the Cossatot and Rolling Fork rivers. 

Crappie:  The Crappie are also post spawn, and have scattered with all the recent 1-2 feet rise of muddy water and current along Little River. 

Cats:  Blues and Channel cats continue biting well, with the current in Little River on trot lines, and in oxbows on yo-yo's. Cats continue biting good on cut bait, Charlie, and ivory soap in the current of Little River.  

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

Be advised there are NEW NO-WAKE RIVER BUOYS AT WHITE CLIFFS BOAT RAMP AND THE NO WAKE ZONE EXTENDS FROM NORTH END OF PARK TO SOUTH END OF PARK being enforced by AGFC in Little River.  NO TOLERANCE allowed regarding boats or barges of wake zones from north end of White Cliffs Campground/Park to south end which stretches over approximately 1 mile in Little River. 

Surface temps as of Monday, 1 May are ranging 70ºF early to 78ºF range, depending on rain, wind, incoming fresh water, location, and time of day. 

Lake level as of Monday is currently is 260.6 mfsl, and rising with river current, which is approx 16 inches above normal conservation pool.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate was around 15,300 CFS on Tuesday. The tailwater level as of Monday was at 241.01 mfsl.  

Clarity and visibility as of Monday fair to stained.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 3-5 inches.  Cottonshed and Saline in the northeast section of the lake is muddy.  Little River's visibility ranges 2-3 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity also began clearing over the weekend ranging approx 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  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. Call the Millwood State Park at 870-898-2800.  Call the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for an officer, biologist, or to report AGFC regulation violation at 800-482-9262.  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.... 'Til next week, wear your life jacket, kill switch, slow down for others, & we'll see you on the lake....... 

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 5/12/2017

Lake Elevation at Normal Pool: 550.2 

Release Rate: 32705 cfs.

Level:  Temperature: 55 to 58

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: 5/12/2017

The last 2 weeks on Norfork Lake has been very interesting to say the least. We have gone from great spring weather, to cold fronts, to a major rain event which increased the lake level to the top of the flood pool. Fishing was fantastic up through last Saturday morning then the severe weather started to impact the lake. Norfork Lake started rising a foot an hour at around 5 PM Saturday and continued to rise until the flood gates on the dam were opened to increase water evacuation. As of today, the lake is stable and is slowly falling and is currently at 578.65. There is still some floating debris, but a lot of it is starting to blow into the shoreline and as the lake drops it will get hung up in the flooded trees. The lake is navigable, but when out on the lake be very cautious and observant of floating debris. The water north of the 101 and 62 bridges is still dirty and the clearer and stained water starts just south of the 101 and 62 bridge. Hummingbird Hideaway Resort is in great shape and open for business. Our dock is easily accessible with electric and the fish cleaning station still in operation.  

Now for what I know about current fishing conditions on Norfork Lake. The flooding of normally dry land, has forced nightcrawlers to come to the surface and the fish are starting to have a feast. If you are a catfisherman or women the combination of dirty water and a large supply of worms is ideal to catch many cats. I have had guests fishing from the shoreline off of a flooded roadway below our resort and landing some nice catfish. Limb lines and trot lines will also be a great method to catch big numbers of cats.  

Today a couple of our guests ventured out on the lake after sunrise and found some clearer water. They were fishing with shiners and caught a nice smallmouth and largemouth bass. If you can find a flooded field or cow pasture that had been grassy you will clean up on bass feeding on nightcrawlers and crawdads. Each stable day will help increase the bite and get the fish very active. 

I have not heard a lot about striper fishing since last weekend's rain, but from prior high water experience you will need to find the clearer water. Shad will be in the trees and the stripers will be on the edges of the flooded trees feeding on the shad. It may take several days for the fish to get used to their new surroundings, but if it is similar to past high water years the fishing will become really good. 

I myself have not been able to get out on the lake with all the new resort work this rain created, but I hope to get back at it towards the end or the week. I will keep you posted and give you updates as soon as I can. 

The Norfork Lake level currently sits at 578.65. The water temperature this morning was in the mid 60's. A lot of the lake is dirty, but you will find some nice stained and clear water back in some of the major creeks and in the southern part of the main lake.

 

 

Updated: 5/12/2017

Report by: Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Let it rain and it did, although we did not directly receive much of the rain Lake Norfork received the results from all the rain that occurred north of us. The flooding was a disaster but the lakes absorbed the water which is what they were designed to do. The flooding below the dams would have been a major disaster without the dams. The main lake suffered little damage but the northern part of lake and creeks and bridges in Missouri suffered major damage that will affect travel for months ahead. On a bright side the high water will is a blessing. Each year we have had a high water event the spawn for bass and crappie has produced a great class of fish. Right now the threadfin and gizzard shad are spawning in the buck brush and the stripers and bass are feeding heavy on the shad. The next several weeks we will see fantastic action for both stripers and bass. Lots of top water and limits of each species. So don’t let the high water turn you off now is the time to come fish Norfork. By the way, the Big Creek arm is mostly free of trees, limbs and other debris, and water color is clear to stained. It is a good place to start your day. I took out Daniel and Julie who were just married and was honeymooning in the area. They plan on moving here and wanted to experience their first striper trip. It was cold, rainy and very windy but they wanted to go. I started off on point 1 because when they open the dam gates the stripers will be more active due to the strong current. The only problem we had was the wind was coming out of the west and we could not fish the area very effectively. I then moved up towards Woods Point out of the wind. We are now using both small threadfin and 7” gizzard shad for bait. I set out free lines with small baits and planner boards with the bigger baits. We were fishing in water depths of 60 to 100’ feet. The first bite was on a 8” gizzard shad and once the hookup was secure Julie started off fighting the striper but it was to much for her to handle so Daniel took over and together they caught their first striper, a fat 15 lb fish. We continued to fish and finished up catching 4 keeping 3 and missing several others. Overall a great day on the water for their first striper trip.

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Norfork Tail water

Updated 5/12/2017

Report by: Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service 

The lake level is 553.6 and the water temp is in the mid to upper 60’s. The stripers, hybrids and whites are coming up at first light and staying up for an hour to a hour and a half. I was out this morning and had two hybrids(6-7lbs) and a striper (10-12lbs) in fifteen minutes on a Zara spook. Then I left the area and went looking for more fish. After the top water bite stops throw a swim bait and you may get a few more. You can throw the swim bait to the top water fish and get bit as well. They are coming up just before sunset too. The night bite is still going on and the key to fishing at night for stripers is to reel your stick bait SLOW. If you see some on your depth finder drop a jigging spoon. Bass are still up shallow and will hit a spook, swim bait, jig and soft jerk bait.

For more information on Lake Norfork go to www.LakeNorforkFun.com  or  www.FishNorfork.com 

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