February 22, 2017 - Greers Ferry Lake - Submitted by Fish Finders Fish Service - The water level at Greers ferry Lake is at  455.32 it is 6.72 feet below normal pool of 462.04  feet and on a steady rise at present time ,the weather and water both have warmed making for a movement of all species toward being more active  and easier to catch, the weather will tell the story as we move forward, but the bite will be good from now until it gets super-hot weather . The low water will have the  river Walleye more ganged up in places they have not had to spawn on in a while , in the lower sections of the rivers and should be easier to target, try using a drop shot or a jig head tipped with a grub, minnow or a bream, jerk baits or crank baits will work as well on cloudy days they will be more shallower and more willing to eat or at night. The Crappie fishing is on and off and the fish moving around a little they are using depths from 7 or 8 feet out to 40  with most suspended , use jigs and jigs tipped with minnows or a beetle spin for the best catches around pole timber is a good place to start or any wood or brush piles you can find. No report on Bream. The Catfish are on the move feeding as well try using crawfish or small bream  on jugs or lines on flats next to deep water. The Hybrid and White bass bite is good all over the lake with them feeding on and off throughout the day with some even breaking the surface at times, just stay up with the bait and the fish will be close use spoons, in-line spinners, top water baits and swim baits for the best results. The bass fishing is good on wiggle warts, spinner baits, crank baits, football heads-rigs and whacky rigged worms all over the lake on main lake points and some secondary points as well as 45 degree banks.

February 22, 2017 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort. - Fish on Norfork Lake are in transition from their winter pattern to an early spring pattern. Yes, this is very early, due to an abnormally warm winter which has kept the water temperature warmer than normal. The surface water temperature is 5 - 8 degrees warmer than the last 3 years at this time. The baitfish have started to move into shallow water which in turn makes the predators follow suit.

Striped bass can be found at all different depths. This morning I located a couple large schools of striped bass still out in 65 feet of water, following shad that was 50 feet down. Last weekend a couple of my Facebook followers (father and son) took my advice and headed back into a major creek and found some nice fish on the bottom in 35 - 40 feet of water, again chasing the bait fish. As the water continues to warm, the majority of the bait will move out of the deep water into shallow water which will make for a great spring bite. Assuming the weather pattern holds as is, we are due for a very early spring bite, but this is a very big assumption. Only Mother Nature will control what happens with our weather. I have started to see small signs of top water feeding fish, not much but it's still encouraging. Don't get your hopes up too much because this is really early for top water action. The best place to look for striped bass is halfway back in the major creeks. Live bait and vertical jigging a spoon have been my best way of catching stripers, but throwing stick baits and flukes at sunrise are starting to work. I have only fished after dark for striped bass once since my last report with little success. The water temperature is just right for the night bite to start, so I will be out more and more after dark here real soon.

White bass are moving back into the major creeks on their annual spawning run. Start looking for big females staging in 30 - 45 feet of water. The males are the first to move into the creeks and then the females will follow. Once they start their spawn you will find them close to the banks. Small spinners, blade baits and spoons are some of my favorites baits for the white bass.

Largemouth bass are also starting to move into shallower water. This morning I was live bait fishing for striped bass and moving slowly along a deep bluff line. I found a small cut in the rocks and started casting my Kastmaster to the shore and letting it sink about 10 feet. I ended up landing 5 largemouth out of this little pocket. They are getting very aggressive. Crank baits will be working, as well as spinner baits on those wind blown banks.

The Norfork Lake water level is currently at 546.92 with minimal power generation at this time. The lake surface water temperature was 53 degrees this morning and is rising slowly. The main lake as well as parts of the creeks and coves are clearing. Once you get half way back into the major creeks the water is stained making it great for fishing.

 

February 20, 2017 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 20 Feb, the lake level is approximately normal conservation pool and falling.  There is increased current of Little River with the gates releasing around 5200 CFS as of Monday.  Water temps rose over the past week.  There were good numbers of fishermen on the lake over the past week.  Lake level has dropped slightly over the past few days, water temps continue a slow rise.  Largemouth Bass staging for prespawn.  White Bass running up Little River.  Crappie playing hard to get.

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging 55ºF early to 60ºF range, depending on rain, wind, incoming fresh water, location, and time of day.
 
Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.3 mfsl, and falling with current, which is approx near normal conservation pool.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was near 5200 CFS.  As of Monday the tailwater level was 231.9 mfsl. 

Clarity and visibility stained and muddy this week, in most areas on main lake.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 2-3 inches.  Little River's visibility ranges 3-5 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity is 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 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:  Over the past week, we continue seeing increase in water temperatures, conditioning the Bass to continue staging.  We have been watching/seeing males running in and out of bedding areas preparing to build beds over the past few weeks.  Big, bulky lizards and 10" worms, Rat-L-Traps, and slow moving crankbaits have been taking staging bass on points, ditches, and in creek channels.  Key continues to be finding water temps that are 5-8º warmer than surrounding areas, and clearer water with the current conditions.   The pre-spawn females are staging just a few feet deeper in the creeks, from the flats, and several in the 5-9 pound range full of eggs have been caught and released over the past couple weeks.

The clearest water you can find away from river flow has been the best method over the past few weeks.  Bass are beginning to roam onto flats and spawning grounds, out of the creek channels, yet still holding tight to cover.  Bulky worms, magnum Lizards and Rat-L-Traps, Salty Rat Tails, Yum Dingers, and tubes continue working well over the past couple weeks for roaming males and female bass.  The further from Little River current and heavy stain water; and in deeper sections of creeks over the past couple weeks, will produce best Largemouths.  Hard jerk baits like the Rouges are taking a few good size Bass in south Hickory pockets of the area of main lake by the golf course and the Millwood State Park. 

Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs in Texas craw, VooDoo, or Bruiser colors with a Black Bug trailer continue taking a few prespawn bass in the 4-6 lb class.  War Eagle Spinnerbaits in Spot Remover and White/Chart are taking 2-4 pound Largemouths in McGuire Oxbow up river.

Large size Rat-L-Traps worked much slower and deflecting off stumps and timber, deeper in the creek channels, over the past few week are still catching Largemouths.  Best colors over the past few weeks are Toledo Gold, Red Shad Zombie, or Red Chrome on sunny days, around 5-10 feet depth ditches and flats near creek channel swings, deflecting off stumps in the clearest water you can locate away from muddy water or Little River current.   Chatterbaits in Bull Bream, Spring Bream, black/blue, and shad colors continue working around dead lily pad stems and hydrilla.

Locating water temps 2-5 degrees warmer on sunny days, seems to be key in locating bass in a feeding mood over the past few weeks.  Large flats near deeper creek channels with stumps and timber will hold a few Largemouths on bright sunny days where the water will warm substantially over the mid-day hours as much as 8 degrees.   Prespawn female Largemouths continue staging in creek mouths, ditches, and deeper bends of creek turns will randomly react and smack a chartreuse/black Bomber Flat A slow moving crank bait, a slow wobbling Rat-L-Trap in Toledo Gold, or a plastic lizard in black, purple, and blue.  Key is finding these warmer water areas on sunny days for the most aggressive bite this time of year. 

White Bass:   Continue staging between McGuire Lake and Patterson Shoals in a prespawn condition.  Points all along Little River are holding wads of these nomads.  Cossatot inflow ditch and creek channels protruding into Little River were giving up a great number of Whites and hybrids over the weekend on shad colored Bomber and XCalibur crankbaits, chrome/blue or Smokey Joe Rat-L-Traps.  Annual migration to spawning grounds for the Whites are continuing to move that direction.  Little Georges, Rocket Shads, Little Cleos, Spin Traps, Blakemore Roadrunners were all catching these whites over the past week, but the Little River got really muddy over the past week with all the rain and fresh water coming into the lake.

Crappie:  All the Crappie we were following over a week ago disappeared with all the muddy current in Little River, but they were beginning to stage around cypress trees and buck brush in 8-9 feet of water prior to the influx of muddy water.

Cats:  Blues and Channel cats continue biting well, with the current in Little River and were biting on trotlines set around points and creek mouths from 8-12 feet deep on night crawlers, cut shad, and ivory soap.

February 20, 2017 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
Everything on Norfork Lake says its spring, warm air, breezes, fish biting, trees budding yet the calendar says February. I have been doing things liking catching fish in 30’ of water and catching bait in 2 1/2 ‘of water. The bait is all over Bennett’s Bayou. Large schools of threadfin shad and gizzards, crappie are being caught over brush piles in 8’ of water and the young male white bass are being caught from shore. All these things point to a very early spring. I just keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, a cold blast and some ice. I hope not because this could be the greatest spring of fishing we have ever seen. Last year started off warm and then April turned into early March with very cold weather and lots of wind. Let’s hope not!
Late afternoon in Bennett’s Bayou the surface temperature had reached 55 degrees. With the warmer nights the lake should maintain some of the warmth and stay in the low to mid-fifties. There are some large schools of white bass in Float Creek feeding heavy on shad before they move up the creeks to spawn. You should be able to find them in most creeks as long as the weather stays warm. Its now time to move from the deep water and start looking on the flats for roaming schools of stripers. I found stripers by Fouts Marina in waters ranging in deep from 30 to 45’.
Friday I took Dick out for some pre-fishing vowing not to fish in any deep water. We went directly to Fouts Marina and started looking along the bluff and kept moving in front then parallel to Fouts. I found schools of stripers in 40’ of water and started fishing. We were fishing with threadfin and gizzard shad. I ran 2 floats, 2 free lines with a split shot, 2 planner boards, and 2 down lines. We fished all morning and boated 2, loss 3 at the boat, and had 6 other strikes. I continued to mark stripers all morning zig zagging back and forth between 30’ and 45’. With this warming trend I suggest getting out there and start your spring fishing in February instead of March.

February 17, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 2/17/2017

During the past week, we have had rain (about an inch here in Cotter), milder temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose three tenths of a foot to rest at eight feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty four feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at eight and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty four and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at nine and seven tenths feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had much more wadable water with little generation. Norfork Lake fell five tenths feet to rest at six and eight tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty three feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation with more 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 colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less wadable water.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been the Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam. We have had more 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).

Streamer season is here. Unfortunately the generation has been a bit low for optimal streamer conditions. The idea is to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy twenty four to thirty foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier). You will need an eight or nine weight rod. This is heavy work but the rewards can be great. Some larger browns have been caught at night using mouse patterns.

The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are navigable. With cold weather the smallmouths are much 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 more wadable water 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. My favorite rig has been a hare and copper nymph with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been less crowded. 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.

February 15, 2017 - Greers Ferry Lake - Submitted by Fish Finders Fish Service - The water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 455.07 feet and staying pretty steady it is 6.97 feet  below normal pool of 462.04 feet for this time of year , it is looking like the lake will stay low for a while with no big rains forecast ,it will change the way to approach the bite here on the lake in several ways good and bad. The Walleye are on the move and scattered all over the lake and rivers ,try using a jig head tipped with a minnow or a minnow imitation ,or a c-rig tipped with a bream ,or a drop shot rig with a grub or minnow for the best results or a crank bait if the area is conductive for it in 15-40 feet of water. The Crappie have spawning on their mind with the longer days, which they will probably have to spawn on stumps and pole timber limbs this year with the low water ,try beetle spins or grubs in the spring craw color or live bait on jig heads, in 10-40 feet of water. No report on Bream. The bass fishing is pretty fair on spinner  baits ,crank baits c-rigs ,football heads and whacky rigged cinkos, they are scattered from real shallow out to 70 feet of water. No –report on Catfish. The hybrid and white bass are eating well all over the lake on spoons ,in-line spinners swim baits, Alabama rigs, and hair jigs ,25-70 feet of water .

February 13, 2017 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 13 Feb, the lake level is approx 4 inches above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is increased current of Little River with the gates releasing around 434 CFS as of Monday.  Water temps rose over the past week.  There were good numbers of fishermen on the lake over the past week.  Lake level has risen slightly over the past few days.

Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging 54ºF early to 58ºF range, depending on rain, wind, incoming fresh water, location, and time of day. 
 
Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.7 mfsl, and falling with slow current, which is approx 4 inches above normal conservation pool.  Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was decreased to near 434 CFS.  As of Monday the tailwater level was 224.9 mfsl.  

Clarity and visibility fair to stained this week, in most areas on main lake.  As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 5-8 inches.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-8 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity is ranging approx 15-20 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:  This past week, we saw a rapid rise in water temperature, putting Bass on the move again.  We have been watching/seeing males running in and out of bedding areas preparing to build beds over the past week.  Magnum Tubes in pumpkinseed/chartreuse, black/blue tail, or black neon with rattles, plastic lizards, Rat-L-Traps, and slow moving crankbaits have been taking staging bass on points, ditches, and in creek channels.  Key continues to be finding water temps that are 5-8º warmer than surrounding areas, and clearer water with the current conditions.   The pre-spawn females are staging just a few feet deeper in the creeks, from the flats, and several in the 5-9 pound range full of eggs have been caught and released over the past week or so.

The clearest water you can find away from river flow has been the best method over the past few weeks.  Bass are beginning to roam onto flats and spawning grounds, out of the creek channels, yet still holding tight to cover.  Rat-L-Traps, Salty Rat Tails, Yum Dingers and plastic lizards, tubes, and jigs over the past few week, have been the go to baits.  The further from Little River current and heavy stain water; and in deeper sections of creeks over the past couple weeks, will produce best Largemouths.  Cordell Red Fins, Smithwick Rouges, and hard jerk baits are taking a few good size Bass in south Hickory pockets of the area of main lake and the Millwood State Park.  

Slow moving swim baits like the Yum Money minnow in hitch, hologram shad, or Tennessee shad are working randomly in creek channel swings by deflecting off stumps.  Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs in amber, Texas shad, or bruiser colors with a Berkley craw chunk or Yum Wooly Bullee or Wooly Bug trailer are taking a few prespawn bass in the 3-4 lb class.  War Eagle Spinnerbaits in Spot Remover and White/Chart are taking 2-4 pound Largemouths in McGuire Lake up river.

Large size Rat-L-Traps worked much slower and deflecting off stumps and timber, deeper in the creek channels, over the past few week are still catching Largemouths.  Best colors over the past few weeks are Toledo Gold, Red Shad, Red Shad Zombie, or Red Chrome on sunny days, around 6-8 feet depth flats near creek channel swings, deflecting off stumps in the clearest water you can locate away from muddy water or Little River current.   Chatterbaits in Bull Bream, Spring Bream, black/blue, and blue glimmer shad are working around dead lily pad stems and hydrilla.

Locating water temps 2-5 degrees warmer on sunny days, seems to be key in locating bass in a feeding mood over the past few weeks.  Large flats near deeper creek channels with stumps and timber will hold a few Largemouths on bright sunny days where the water will warm substantially over the mid-day hours as much as 8 degrees.  Largemouths hiding near lay downs, cypress trees, stumps and timber will randomly react and smack a chartreuse/black Bomber Flat A slow moving crank bait, a slow wobbling Rat-L-Trap in Toledo Gold, or a plastic lizard in black, purple, and blue.  Key is finding these warmer water areas on sunny days for the most aggressive bite this time of year.  Salty Rat tails and Yum Dingers were catching some random bass over the past few days.

White Bass:   Continue staging between McGuire Lake and Patterson Shoals in a prespawn condition.  Points all along Little River are holding wads of these nomads.  Cossatot inflow ditch and creek channels protruding into Little River were giving up a great number of Whites and hybrids over the weekend on shad colored Bomber and XCalibur crankbaits, chrome/blue or Smokey Joe Rat-L-Traps.  Annual migration to spawning grounds for the Whites are continuing to move that direction.  Little Georges, Rocket Shads, Little Cleos, Spin Traps, Blakemore Roadrunners were all catching these whites over the past week.

Crappie:  A few more crappie fishermen were out over the past week, and have been catching prespawn Black and White Crappie around 8-12' depth creek channels with deep cypress trees, on jigs this week.  

Cats:  Blues and Channel cats were beginning to improve with the current in Little River and were biting on trotlines set around points and creek mouths from 8-12 feet deep on Charlie, chicken hearts, and hot dogs. 

February 13, 2017 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.

http://www.stroutfitters.com/

The Norfork Lake surface temperature had started to rise with this warm weather and south winds. I went looking for bait and found threadfin and gizzards in Bennett’s Bayou. The water temperature had risen to 55 degrees on Saturday. I also found lots of schooling crappies in 15’ of water. I was fishing for stripers using shiners and caught a 12” crappie. I then started looking for them and found large schools roaming the river channel. I expect the water temperature to get back into the high forties but with the expected warmer forecast you should expect to see lots of bait and fish movement in the next 10 days. The shad are moving and should start heading up half way in the major creeks. I still continue to fish Float Creek but with not much success. The stripers are deep along with the shad. I have been seeing fish at 75’ on the bottom in the shad schools. I do not expect this to last much longer as I have found some fish up the creek in waters less then 50’. On Friday I took Bob out for his first striper trip. It was the full moon and windy. I was using both threadfin and gizzard shad. I expected with that bait we would tear up the fish. We found stripers right away in Float Creek and had a bite right away but it was petty soft bite and the fish did not hook itself. We fished for over 5 hours and continued to have soft bites with no real takers. I ran across a friend who had fished the Tracy Marina area both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon and limited out both days. He said the shad was in 20’ and thick outside the marina. We went down there but could not find any shad. I think it was before the full moon and the shad were staying out of the marina they normal stay because of the full moon. Anyway it just shows that you can have the best bait and still not catch a striper, but tomorrow is another day.

February 8, 2017 - Greers Ferry Lake - The water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 455.24 feet and staying pretty steady it is 6.68 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet and unless we get a lot of needed rain looking like it will be low all year and will affect the fishing and catching at different levels good and bad. The warm rain has and will continue to help the catch rate. The Walleye are on the move with the longer days and warmer rain and temps, the fish will be gathered up in different spots this year due to low water and access to them as well, try drop shots tipped with minnows-rigs with bream, crank baits, jerk baits and grubs, start out on gravel bars at the mouth of river and work your way up until ya get bit and then concentrate around those locations. The crappie fishing is better with the conditions but will remain father off shore and might even span in tree tops and stump fields instead of around buck brush, try minnows and jigs in 15-25 feet of water, with some being more shallow on sunny days. No –report on catfish. The Hybrid and white bass are feeding well throughout the day at different times on spoons, in-line spinners, grubs and swim baits try locating shad and the fish will be close. No-report on Bream. The bass fishing is improving every day , with some more of them on the move to outside ditches and more shallower water and starting to feed more ,try rattle traps, crank baits, spinner baits off ends of points or humps, the more shallow fish can be caught with jigs ,small crank baits and jig head worms, the deeper fish can be caught on Alabama rigs-rigs and football heads.

February 8, 2017 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Tuesday, 07 Feb, the lake level is approx 4" above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is reduced current this week of Little River, with the gates releasing around 644 CFS as of Tuesday. Water temps dropped over the past week, and are now back on the rise this week.  Navigation is improved for Little River as of Monday due to many river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure have been replaced.  Surface temps are ranging approx 48ºF early, to 55ºF late, depending on location.  Appears the Corps of Engineers replaced many river buoys in the channel over the past week few weeks.

Bass are good on the few warmer days, from around 3-6 pounds pounds on jigs, crankbaits, and swim baits.  Lake level is currently is 259.5 ft-msl, with decreased current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 640 CFS.  Tailwater level at 226 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is improved over last week. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 5-10 inches, over the past couple days.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-10 inches depending on location and current, with the heavier stain and muddy water in current above White Cliffs.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained but improved, approx 5-8", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, current, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:   Bass are improving along Little River and the deeper sections of the oxbows and creeks with these warmer days this week.  Over the past several weeks, they continue roaming up into the flats for short duration where a random bite can happen anytime during the warmer hours of the high sun and random strikes during the warmest period of the day.  Majority of hours of the daylight most bass are spending more time in close proximity to 8-12 foot depths of deeper creek channels, off primary and secondary points, and drops in Little River.  The bass activity level over past couple weeks continues to be a mixed bag with the wildly fluctuating daytime temperatures.  Over the past week, best bite and most activity certainly remains from mid day through mid-afternoon, say 11am to 3pm when surface temps are at a high point this time of year.

Rat-L-Traps, crankbaits, Salty Rat Tails, Lizards, Brush Hogs, and Yum Dingers have been working well over the past week or so, working during majority of the warmest period of the day.  Largemouths were hitting the Bomber and XCalibur crankbaits with abandon, in 9-11 foot depths of creek channels (outer turns of the creek & deeper wash outs) with 4-6 feet flats nearby over the past few days.  The most productive colors of Rat-L-Traps over the past week or two, have been the Lectric Red, the Toledo Gold, and Red Chrome.  Spring Bream colored Rat--L-Traps have also been landing some shallow cruising male bass on flats.  Best colors of Bomber or Bandit crankbaits last week are the the Dance's Crawfish and the brown crawfish/orange belly. 

Several shallow roaming buck male bass have been caught on Smithwick rouges and Cordell Redfins and Echo 1.75 Squarebill cranks over the past 2 weeks just outside the deeper sections of creek channels.  These bucks have been cruising the 5-6 foot flats adjacent to creek channel swings in Mud Lake and in McGuire Lake oxbows up Little River.  Slow moving magnum size tubes in black/blue tail, pumpkinseed/chartreuse tail, or smoke/black/red flake continue randomly working on Cypress trees, knees, and stumps in 8-12 feet depths in the oxbows.  Chatter baits in electric shad, bull bream, or black/blue continue taking a few bass as well, in the oxbows around vegetation lines or dead lily pad stems.

War Eagle Spinnerbaits in Spot Remover or sexy shad colors were working in the back of McGuire Lake over the past week in the clearer water away from river current.  Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs in Voodoo or Okeechobee Spice colors are still taking nice 15-17" Largemouths on cypress trees and knees in 4-8 foot depths. A green pumpkin or black craw trailer have been what we were matching on the back of the jig with good response from 3-4 pound Largemouths.

White Bass:  and Kentucky Bass continue moving up Little River, stopping on primary and secondary points extending into the river between White Cliffs and Highway 71 bridge at Wilton.  Numerous fishermen have been catching good numbers of Whites and Spots by using Rooster tails in white and red, Little Cleos, Rocket Shads (white / chartreuse), and Rat-L-Traps in Chrome / black and Millwood Magic.


Crappie: are beginning to return to planted brush piles, and were willing to bite minnows and jigs again, over the past week or so.  Fish the planted brush out of direct current in 8-15 feet of depth.  Cordell Paddle tail smoke grubs on light wire jig heads, vertical jigging Blakemore Roadrunners, and hair jigs were catching some nice slabs in planted brush between 8-12-15 feet deep.

Cats:   Channel cats were biting good in Little River over the past week on trot lines between 8-10 feet of depth along outer bends of Little River using cut bait, buffalo, shad, and blood baits like chicken livers.

February 7, 2017 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort. - The weather this winter has been amazing with only a few cool days. At 7 AM today, when I left our Norfork Lake dock, the air temperature was already in the upper fifties. Early spring like weather. I started checking my normal winter spots and found some stripers in 90 feet of water suspended 40 - 50 feet down close to the 62 bridge. I was vertical jigging with a spoon and hooked into 2 fish but both came off after a short run. My second spot was in Float Creek. I marked a few fish lying on the bottom at 70 feet. but they would not take my spoon. I decided to try an area that I normally fish in March heading up towards the Fouts area. I was finding fish in 55 feet of water, but again I could not get them to hit my spoon. I headed into shallower water and found some schooling whites, hybrids and scattered largemouth bass in 25 - 40 feet of water. Bait was scattered and the fish were feeding. I guess the warmer than normal water temperature is moving the bait fish into shallower water and the fish are following. Unless the weather turns cold for an extended period of time we should have an early spring bite. I will try out the night bite sometime this week to see if we can get a good February bite like we had several years ago. The water temperature is almost perfect for the after dark bite throwing a suspending jerk bait.

Over the last few days, I have found largemouth bass in 20 - 40 feet of water, as well as, large schools in 65 feet of water suspended 30 - 50 feet down. Look for the largemouth bass part way back in creeks on secondary points where the channel swings in close to shore. It looks like the bass are starting to transition to an early spring type bite a little earlier this year. I have landed bass on a spoon vertical jigging and by casting out a Kastmaster and letting it sink down to the depth of the suspended fish. Spinner baits are also working on the wind blown banks as well as jig and pigs worked though 30 feet of water. If the weather holds, jerk bait time will start earlier than normal.

The Norfork Lake water level is 547.76 holding fairly stable. The surface water temperature this morning was 48 - 49 degrees, which is 4 - 5 degrees warmer than normal. The main lake is clearing and the creeks and coves are still stained, but I can see the water starting to clear.

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
The Norfork Lake surface temperature had dipped down to 46 degrees in the creeks but warms during the day. Once we start getting warmer nights the lake will begin to warm up during the month of February. As the saying goes you cannot train an old dog new tricks, well I’m an old dog but I learned something new this weekend. I was fishing Float Creek in deep water like we always do this time of year. I usually fish waters 50 to 130’ from December to well into February, finding the shad and you will usually find the fish. This truth has been gospel since I started fishing Norfork Lake. While I continued fishing Float I noticed a troller way back in a cove. I knew him and he only trolls for stripers. I slowly trolled back knowing the water will get to be 30’ and shallower. When I got to 30’ I looked at my depth finder and found lots of stripers and we caught one right away. We continued to fish the area until the stripers left. I thought this was a fluke so I went back the next day and found even more stripers and caught some more. We went to another part of a creek and found lots of bait and stripers in 30’of water. This creek was 10 miles away. The moral is when you cannot find the fish in the normal fishing pattern look outside of the box and you may find the mother lode of fish.

I took out a regular client Howard who had his brother Bill and nephew Billy down for some winter fishing. We left the dock at 7 am and went to Float Creek and setup in 60’ of water and within 15 minutes we missed a couple of stripers and finally hooked up. Bill caught the first striper, then Billy caught the next one and Howard caught the third one. As I said previously we moved well into the cove and found the stripers in 30’ of water. I saw lots of fish but they only wanted threadfin shad, they would not hit my shiners or creek chubs but did hit the threadfin. I really think that we may have a good February now I know where to look for the stripers. If the weather stays warm I plan on try catching some crappie and walleye.

 

February 3, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 2/03/2017

During the past week, we have had no rain, milder temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals rose four tenths of a foot to rest at eight and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty four and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell four tenths of a foot to rest at eight feet below seasonal power pool and twenty four feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell three tenths of a foot to rest at nine and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had much more wadable water with less moderate generation. Norfork Lake rose one tenth of a foot to rest at five and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty two and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had less generation with more 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 colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less wadable water.

On the White, the bite has been spotty. Some days have been excellent and some poor. The hot spot has been the Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam. We have had more 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).

Streamer season is here. Unfortunately the generation has been a bit low for optimal streamer conditions. The idea is to bang the bank with large articulated streamers delivered with heavy twenty four to thirty foot sink tips (350 grains or heavier). 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 cold weather the smallmouths are much 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 more wadable water 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. My favorite rig has been a cerise San Juan worms with a ruby midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been less crowded with the colder weather. 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.

February 1, 2017 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
Norfork Lake surface temperature is steady at 48 degrees at night and early morning then rising up to 50 degrees with afternoon sun. The stripers are still not settled into their winter pattern of staying between the bridges but the last few days they are back where they were at the end of December and early January. I fished Float creek and found lots of shad and feeding stripers in depths of 50 to 80’ the 50’ water the stripers were on the bottom and coming up for the shad. In the deeper water they were in the 45 to 55’ range coming up to our lines set at 35 to 40’. I was using creek minnows for bait and used number 4 circle hooks. This bite should continue into February. Just keep looking in the main channels until you can find a consistent amount of shad. The stripers and other predators will show up.

George and Gene come to the area every year to try for some big browns and stripers. They fished with Ozark Fishing Adventures and caught several 10 lb browns. It was my turn to try and catch the big striper they wanted. We fished about 20 minutes when we had a triple on and caught 2 out of 3. It was a great start. The bite was strong for the first 3 hours then it slowed the rest of the day. We did catch 5 stripers but did not get the big one. That will be for another day. You should expect to find stripers in Float and Panther along with the Howard Cove area as long as we keep the warm weather. If it turns cold look for the stripers around the 62 bridge and the mouth of Henderson Marina.

February 1, 2017 - Greers Ferry Lake - The water level at Greers Ferry lake is at 455.36 feet it is 6.68 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet and staying pretty steady at present. The fishing and catching is good here and will improve every day as the sun warms the water and the days are getting longer. The Hybrid and white bass bite is good on spoons, in-line spinners, swim baits and hair jigs from 25-70 feet deep ,look for shad and the fish will be close. The walleye ,some are eating up rivers now as the river run fish will be spawning soon, try dropped shotted minnows ,crank baits ,jerk baits and grubs, the lake fish will eat the same just deeper on the edges of cuts and humps and points. No – report on catfish. The Crappie are suspended in 15-40 feet and some are on the bottom in 40 feet minnows and jigs working as well as beetle spins for the suspended fish. No-report on Bream other than a few being picked up around the Crappie. The bass fishing is good deep and shallow and around brush piles, up shallow use spinner baits, crank baits and small jigs in the warmer water, mid depths use jig head worms and football heads, and the deeper fish use a c-rigged lizard or cinko and a football head ,fish can be caught out to 70 feet.

January 31, 2017 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 30 Jan, the lake level is approx 8" above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is reduced current this week of Little River, with the gates releasing around 2,765 CFS as of Monday. Water temps dropped over the past week.  Navigation is improved for Little River as of Monday due to many river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure have been replaced.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 43ºF early, to 49ºF late, depending on location.  Appears the Corps of Engineers replaced many river buoys in the channel over the past week couple weeks.

Bass are good on the few warmer days, from around 3-4 pounds pounds on jigs, crankbaits, and swim baits.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.9 ft-msl, with decreased current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 2700 CFS.  Tailwater level as of Monday at 229 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 4-5 inches due to high wind, current, and rain over the past couple days.  Little River's visibility ranges 3-5 inches depending on location and current, with the heavier stain and muddy water in current above White Cliffs.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is heavy stained from rain and current, approx 3-4", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, current, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:   Bass continue holding during the coldest parts of the day and nights deeper holes and ditches along Little River and the deeper sections of the oxbows and creeks.  Over the past few weeks, they continue roaming up into the flats for short duration where a random placed bulky spinnerbait, or a squarebill crankbait, or slow swim bait will draw random strikes during the warmest period of the day.  The past few weeks with the colder water temps have slowed reactions.  Majority of hours of the daylight now the bass are spending more time in the 10-15 foot depths of deeper creek channels, off primary and secondary points, and drops in Little River.

Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs continue working over the past couple weeks, and Texas Craw, Candy Bug, or Okeechobee Spice seem to be best choice with the stained water clarity. Bass Assassin and Bang swim baits like the Die Dapper in Ice Breaker, Shiner, and Houdini colors are working on a swim bait hook.  The Bass Assassin Boss Shiner is also working on a swim bait hook or jig, swimming in 8-10 feet of depth, with the best colors being Mama's 14K, Houdini/Chartreuse tail, or Ripper colors.  Big bulky 3-4" fat gitzit tubes with rattles, are working in deep creeks with stumps and any remaining vegetation.

Deeper diving, 8-10 feet depth Bomber cranks in Tennessee Special, or Bandit brown craw/orange belly colors continue working in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.

White Bass:   Jigging spoons continue working from 14-16 feet depths of Little River in deep holes just out of the current, or behind primary and secondary points.  These White Bass are holding in 12-18 feet just out of current behind points.  Some days they prefer a hammered spoon with bucktail, other days a copper colored or blue/chrome and no bucktail appears to draw more strikes.  Experiment to find best spoon working in your location.  Seems like the copper colored spoon works better with cloud cover and the chrome/blue on bright sunny days.

Crappie: are still scattered from our planted brush piles, and we have not put a decent bite pattern back together since they were willing to bite minnows and jigs prior to the recent increase in current over the past week or so.  Best action prior to the lake rise and current increase was in 12-18 feet as long as it was out of direct current.  Cordell Paddle tail smoke grubs on light wire jig heads, vertical jigging Blakemore Roadrunners, and hair jigs were catching some nice slabs in planted brush between 12-18 feet deep.

Cats:   Blues and channel cats continue to bite good in Little River over the past week with increased current.  Best bites on trot lines between 10-15 feet of depth along outer bends of Little River using cut bait, Charlie, and homemade cheese baits.

January 27, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 1/27/2017

During the past week, we have had a minor rain event (a quarter of an inch here in Cotter), cold temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose three tenths of a foot to rest at nine feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty five feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock remained steady at seven and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty three and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose two tenths of a foot to rest at nine and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool and eighteen and nine tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had more wadable water mixed with periods of moderate generation. Norfork Lake rose two tenths of a foot to rest at five and eight tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty two feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation with more 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 colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less 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 more 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 cold weather the smallmouths are much 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 more wadable water 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. My favorite rig has been a yellow egg with a root beer midge dropper.

Dry Run Creek has been less crowded with the colder weather. 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.

January 24, 2017 - Greers Ferry Lake - The water level at Greers Ferry Lake has come up some but is back falling it is 6.6 feet below normal pool of 462.04 it sits at 455.44 this morning ,looks like it will get back down to 7 feet below normal pool at least. The fishing over all is good ,most species eating well and the forecast is on the upswing as we enter all pre-spawn phase. The crappie are moving with the bait around the timber and brush piles, most are being taken 40 feet deep with some as shallow as 18-20 on warm sunny days, suspended ,they will eat minnows, jigs and road runners. The Walleye are responding to the sunny days feeding and moving, try as shallow as 10-15 feet and as deep as 40,use minnows, jigs and spoons. Some Bream are being taken along with the Crappie all over the lake on small minnows. No –report on Catfish. The Bass fishing is pretty good over all with it being the time of year to catch a few big species, some more have moved shallow with the rising water, use spinner baits ,small crank baits, the in-between fish can be caught on jigs and jig head worms, the deeper fish out to 70 feet can be caught with a drop shot,c-rig or a football head jig. The Hybrid and White bass are eating threadfins all over the lake at various times of the day and can be located close to the deeper bait as deep as 70 feet or some as shallow as 35-40, use spoons, in-line spinners, hair jigs and swimbaits.

January 24, 2017 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort. - Norfork Lake's winter fishing pattern is in full swing. The bait fish are in the deep water channels of 80 - 100+ feet and the bait are suspended 50 - 70 feet down. Striped and hybrid bass can be found following the bait fish whether it is on the main lake or back in the major creeks. For most of last week I was fishing in the 62 bridge area, mainly to the south of the bridge. Later in the week the fish moved in between the 2 bridges. Today I was only marking a few stripers, so after a couple hours of looking and fishing with minimal success I decided to move into Float Creek. Immediately I was marking large balls of shad with small schools of stripers following. For the next hour it was total havoc on my boat. I was by myself with 4 live bait poles out. I had doubles on several times and ended up boating 5 stripers, but missed as many. I had bait set at 40, 50 and 60 feet deep, but all my strikes came from the 40 and 50 feet deep baits even though I was marking many fish 60 + feet deep. Today was the first day in over a week that vertical jigging with a spoon would have worked great since I saw multiple fish at one time at same depth. Large shiners, big river chubs and threadfin shad are the best choices for live bait. I had to clean one striper this morning since it could not swim away and found that its belly was full of 1 - 3 inch threadfin shad. If this winter is typical, the fish should stay at this depth and in these areas for the next 3 - 4 weeks. Towards the end of February and beginning of March the major creeks will be great places to look. The fish will start to go toward shallower water following the bait.
Small and largemouth bass, as well as, Kentucky bass fishing has also been good. The bass can be found along the deep water bluff lines. I have found many bass suspended 30 - 50 feet down in 60 feet of water. Early and late in the day they are moving in a little tighter to the shore line 15 - 25 feet deep, but still on the bluffs. You can vertical jig with a spoon, but this method can be difficult with suspended fish. Try casting out a grub, small spinners or blade baits to catch these suspended fish. On the windy days throw a spinner bait. Jig & pigs, other types of plastics and deep diving crank baits are also a good choice for the fish that move in tighter to the shore early and late in the day. Another good place for the Kentucky and Largemouth bass is near deep brush piles. Work the bottom with a spoon around the brush and you will pick up some nice fish.

Crappie are on and near the deep water brush piles. Look at sunken brush in 30 - 50 feet of water. The crappie will be inside of the brush (these are typically the bigger ones) as well as suspended over the brush. At times you will find them only 10 feet deep, but I have more success at 20 + feet deep this time of year.

The Norfork Lake level is currently stable, but has been falling slowly and sits at 547.88. The water temperature is fluctuating between 48 - 50 degrees. The warm days and nights are rising the water temperature slowly. The main lake is clear in most areas and the creeks and coves are stained. Currently Norfork Lake is in excellent fishing condition and the fish that I have been catching are fat and energetic. Make your plans now to come catch a few!

January 24, 2017 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 23 Jan, the lake level is approx 9" above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is increased current this week of Little River, with the gates releasing around 5,890 CFS as of Monday. Water temps were stable over the past week.  Navigation is improved for Little River as of Monday due to many river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure have been replaced.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 45ºF early, to 52ºF late, depending on location.  Appears the Corps of Engineers replaced many river buoys in the channel over the past week couple weeks.

Bass are good on the few warmer days, from around 3-7 pounds pounds on jigs, crankbaits, bulky tubes and swim baits.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 260.0 ft-msl, with increased current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 5600 CFS.  Tailwater level as of Monday at 233 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 4-8 inches due to high wind, current, and rain over the past couple days.  Little River's visibility ranges 3-5 inches depending on location and current, with the heavier stain and muddy water in current above White Cliffs.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 10-15 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is heavy stained from rain and current, approx 3-4", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, current, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  Bass continue holding during the coldest parts of the day and nights deeper holes and ditches along Little River and the deeper sections of the oxbows and creeks.  Over the past few days, this week, they continue roaming up into the flats for short duration where a jig and a random crankbait & squarebill or slow swim bait will get their attention, during the highest sun/warmest period of the day.  Most bass have slowed their feeding moods over the past few weeks with the lower metabolism and colder body temperatures in the cooler water.  Good starting locations include points extending out into Little River during the warmest period of daylight, and working the deeper drops into Little River where stumps and any remaining dead or dying lily pad stems and vegetation exists.  Majority of hours of the daylight now the bass are spending more time in the 12-15 foot depths of deeper creek channels and Little River drop offs.

Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs continue working with the best colors being Texas Craw, Candy Bug, or Okeechobee Spice colors using black craw worm trailers.  Berkley 10" Berkley Power worms in black grape, or blue fleck continue working around any remaining vegetation and drop-offs in creek channels and mouths of creeks.  Bass Assassin and Bang swim baits like the Die Dapper in Ice Breaker, Shiner, and Houdini colors are working on a swim bait hook.  The Bass Assassin Boss Shiner is also working on a swim bait hook or jig, swimming in 8-10 feet of depth, with the best colors being Mama's 14K, Houdini/Chartreuse tail, or Ripper colors.

The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Gold Shad, Millwood Magic, and Rayburn red colors are working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River during warmest period of daylight.  The bite has slowed and aggressive levels tapered off over the past few weeks of cold nights and cool mornings.  Best bites using crankbaits is a very S-L-O-W stop-n-go retrieve with numerous pauses along the way.

Deeper diving, 8-10 feet depth Bomber cranks in Tennessee Special, Tennessee Shad, or Bandit brown craw/orange belly colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.


White Bass:   Jigging spoons in 12-18 feet depths of Little River are still working.  Deep holes in Little River just out of the current, or behind secondary points continue to hold a few good schools of Whites from 12-18 feet of depth.  Keep sharp hooks on the spoons, the bite of Whites this time of year is slow and methodical, and a soft touch rod helps keep in contact with a slow and soft bite.

Crappie: were willing to bite minnows and jigs prior to the recent increase in current, but seem to have disappeared along Little River with all the muddy current over the past few days.  Best action prior to the lake rise and current increase was in 12-18 feet as long as it was out of direct current.  Cordell Paddle tail smoke grubs on light wire jig heads, vertical jigging Blakemore Roadrunners, and hair jigs were catching some nice slabs in planted brush between 12-18 feet deep.

Cats:   Blues and channel cats continue to bite good in Little River over the past week with increased current.  Best bites are on trot lines 12-15 feet of depth along outer bends of Little River using chicken gizzards, livers, and cut bait.

January 23, 2017 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.

http://www.stroutfitters.com/

Norfork Lake surface temperature is steady at 48 degrees and the stripers are getting picky on the size of bait they want to eat. I have been fishing threadfin shad, shiners, and creek chubs. Up to the end of this week the bite has been very good, but starting Thursday they quit biting the smaller baits and now want the largest shiners you can find. These shiners are call brooders or number 30's by the bait shops. The stripers are biting on them much better than the small baits. I fished the Howard Cove area Wednesday and Thursday and caught stripers and hybrids but by Friday they had moved out into the main lake below the U.S. 62 bridge. The stripers are roaming the deep water chasing shad so you will need to stay with the bait fish to find and catch the stripers. The shad are in the 40’ range and the fish are being caught between 35 and 40’. This bite should continue into February. Just keep looking in the main channels until you can find a consistent amount of shad. The stripers and other predators will show up. I go to sports shows every year to visit and talk with potential clients that would like to fish lake Norfork Lake. The first one is in Collinsville IL and the other is in Schaumburg IL. Every year you meet clients and other fishing guides and start developing a relationships. One such relationship I made is with 2 crappie guides, Steve and Alan. Steve and Alan guides on Lake Shelbyville and Kentucky Lake. Alan is also the Lowrance Rep. Having them on my boat for 2 days gave me some great insights into electronics and how better I can use technology to locate bait and fish. The first day out was our best day. We caught 5 stripers and missed many more. In the 8 hours we fished we had some great stories and shared information on lots of topics. We fished the Howard Cove area in 70 to 90’ of water with our lines set at 38’. We were using shiners, shad, and creek chubs. The next day was slower and we only caught 3 but again missed a few. This time of year you have to just keep going out and find the bait. One day it will be great and then the next two days slow. But keep doing it and you will figure out the fish and catch them consistently.

January 20, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 1/20/2017

During the past week, we have had a few rain events (for a combined total of an inch here in Cotter), cold then warmer temperatures and very heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals rose two tenths of a foot to rest at nine and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty five and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose three tenths of a foot to rest at seven and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty three and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at nine and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had a mixed bag with levels of wadable water mixed with periods of moderate generation. Norfork Lake dropped six tenths of a foot to rest at six feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty two and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation with more 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 colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less 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 Wildcat Shoals. We have had more 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 cold weather the smallmouths are much 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 more wadable water 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. My favorite rig has been a yellow egg with a root beer midge dropper.

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.

January 17, 2017 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 16 Jan, the lake level is approx 4.2" above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is decreased current this week of Little River, with the gates releasing around 432 CFS as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week.  Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 40ºF early, to 50ºF late, depending on location.  Appears the Corps of Engineers continue working to replace some river buoys in the channel over the past week, however several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body.  Use caution in navigation on the Little River throughout the main lake body.

Bass are fair on warm days, from 2-4 pounds on jigs, crankbaits, and bulky tubes and 10" worms.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.5 ft-msl, with consistent current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 432 CFS.  Tailwater level as of Monday at 225.4 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 3-5 inches due to high wind and rain over the past couple days.  Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point, and northeast quadrant remain stained.  Little River's visibility ranges  4-6 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 15-18 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained from rain and wind, approx 5-10", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  Bass have completed their fall migration, and are now holding during the cold of the nights and most days in their deeper wintering holes along Little River and the deeper sections of the oxbows and creeks.  Over the past couple days, this week, they are willing to roam up into the flats for short duration where a jig and a random crankbait & squarebill or slow moving tube or bulky worm will get their attention, during the highest sun/warmest period of the day.  Most bass have slowed to fair feeding moods over the past few weeks.   Good starting locations include points extending out into Little River during the warmest period of daylight, and working the deeper drops into Little River where stumps and any remaining lily pad stems may exist.  Majority of hours of the daylight now the bass are spending more time in the 10-12+ foot depths of deeper creek channels and Little River drop offs.

Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs continue working with the best colors being Texas Craw, Candy Bug, or Okeechobee Spice colors using black craw worm trailers.  Berkley 10" Berkley Power worms in black grape, or blue fleck continue working around any remaining vegetation and drop-offs in creek channels and mouths of creeks. 

The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost, Sexy West, or Millwood Magic colors are working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River during warmest period of daylight.  The bite has slowed and aggressive levels tapered off over the past few weeks of cold nights and cool mornings.  Best bites using crankbaits is a very S-L-O-W stop-n-go retrieve with numerous pauses along the way.

Deeper diving, 8-10 feet depth Bomber cranks in Tennessee Special, Tennessee Shad, or Bandit brown craw/orange belly colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.

Magnum sized, bulky, 3-5" big fatbutt gizzit tubes continue working in the deepest creek channels of 8-12 feet depth on stumps or standing timber.  Best colors over the past couple weeks include black/blue tail, pumpkinseed/chartreuse, or green pumpkin/chartreuse.  Placing rattles in the tubes are best way with the stained water conditions, and adding scent pads, for the bass to locate the slow moving tubes.  Pitching and shaking the rattling tubes near stumps in 9-12 feet of creek channel depths, are getting some good responses from lethargic bass with the cooler water temps over the past week.

White Bass:   Jigging spoons in 12-18 feet depths of Little River are still working.  Deep holes in Little River just out of the current, or behind secondary points continue to hold a few good schools of Whites from 12-18 feet of depth.  Keep sharp hooks on the spoons, the bite of Whites this time of year is slow and methodical, and a soft touch rod helps keep in contact with a slow and soft bite.

Crappie:  have improved along Little River.  Planted brush in 12-16 feet are beginning to draw in some good slabs out of any remaining, reduced current.  Cordell Paddle tail smoke grubs on light wire jig heads, vertical jigging Blakemore Roadrunners, and hair jigs continue catching some nice slabs in planted brush between 12-18 feet deep.

Cats:   Blues and channel cats continue to bite good in Little River over the past couple weeks.  Best best are trot lines 18-22 feet of depth along outer bends of Little River using cut shad, Charlie or chicken hearts.

January 17, 2017 - Greers Ferry Lake - The water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 455.04 feet and falling it is 7 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet . it has the shad and fish hemmed up so when you find the bait the fish will be close and most species are ready to chew as they have not saw baits in a while.

The bass fishing is good on spinner baits, crank baits,dropshot rigs,c-rigs and football heads at various depths, look on points, humps and bluff walls for bait and fish. The crappie are eating on various days on minnows and jigs up to 50 feet deep and some as shallow as 15 on sunny days and are suspended most days. No report on Catfish Or Bream. The hybrid and White bass are eating well on spoons, in-line spinners, hair jigs and swim baits or grubs, look for fish and bait fish in the 25-70 feet range. Walleye are showing up more and more now with some being caught up rivers and some in the lake on minnows on the bottom and on drop shot rigs, look in the 15-50 feet range for the best results.

January 17, 2016 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
Norfork Lake surface temperature had dropped to 48 degrees and the stripers are on the feed. Multiple limits of stripers were caught this past weekend' Between my son Sean and I we caught 33 stripers from Thursday thorough Sunday. Not all were kept but our clients had a lot of fun reeling them in. The main bait was on creek chubs and shiners. We were fishing the Howard Cove area in 70 to 90’ of water with our lines set between 35 and 40’. Stripers are also being caught under the 62 bridge and back side of Henderson marina. Another tip in addition to watching for sea gulls is to locate large schools of fish is the Loons They hunt in packs and when you see them in a big circle they are getting ready to feed on a large school of shad. There will be stripers and other predictors around those schools. This bite should continue into February. Just keep looking in the main channels until you can find a consistent amount of shad. The stripers will show up. I had a request from Tom saying he wanted to take his dad and grandfather striper fishing on Friday the 13th. I was booked so my son Sean took them. The weather was wet so Tom’s grandfather took a pass and as luck would have it the rains never came for Tom and Bob. They hooked up within their first 10 minutes and continued to catch stripers until their trip ended. In all they caught 10 stripers and kept their limit of 6. Sean was fishing the Howard Cove area in 70 to 90’ of water with the lines set at 35 to 40 feet with Creek Chubs. Striper fishing will great for the next several weeks so come out and give it a try. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. Winter is here but spring is right around the corner. The stripers will begin their spring migration when the water stays in the mid fifties and the south winds blow.. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! For a real outdoor adventure, you might consider a striper fishing trip combined with a pheasant hunt. It's a blast!

January 13, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 1/13/2017

During the past week, we have had a trace of rain, brutally cold then warmer temperatures and very heavy winds (to include several days of lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell eight tenths of a foot to rest at nine and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty five and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell three tenths of a foot to rest at seven and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty three and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell three tenths of a foot to rest at nine and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had a mixed bag with levels of wadable water mixed with periods of moderate generation. Norfork Lake dropped eight tenths of a foot to rest at five and four tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty one and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation 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 colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less 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 more 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 cold weather the smallmouths are much 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 much less wadable water 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. 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.

January 11, 2016 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort.http://www.hummingbird-hideaway.com/ - I have finally been able to get out on Norfork Lake. A holiday vacation and then cold weather kept me off the lake for a couple weeks, but I'm glad to be back!  Fishing on Norfork Lake has entered the winter phase of the fishing cycle, meaning the shad are going into deep water and the fish are following. In mid December I was catching fish on large flats in 40 - 60 feet of water. Over the last week I have found large schools of striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass out closer to the main river channel or main creek channels. I have been catching stripers in 60 to 100 feet of water and the fish are suspended 30 - 60 feet deep. My favorite winter time bait is a spoon. I find the fish and drop a spoon down to their depth and start jigging the spoon up and down. With cold water the jigging method should be slowed down. The fish are still active, but are starting to slow down and don't necessarily want to chase it. You can also troll with swim baits or Alabama rigs. The hardest part about trolling is getting your bait down to the correct depth. Down riggers, lead core line or in-line weights are different ways to get your bait down while trolling. Live bait is also working very well. During the cold months I use big shiners. The stripers seem to like them just fine. Over the last week I have found stripers in the major creeks such as Float and Panther. You will also find stripers from the 62 bridge area down to the Howard Cove area. The best part of winter fishing you do not necessarily need to be fishing at the crack of dawn. Monday afternoon I found large schools of feeding fish a 1 pm and it lasted all afternoon.

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
The cold weather the past few days will drop the Norfork Lake surface temperature a few degrees but I suspect it go back up with the warming trend that should take place this week. I fished Wednesday and Thursday and could not find any shad out in the channel of the lake. The shad are still in the main creeks like Float Creek, Panther Creek, and the Crystal Cove area. The shad are also in the marinas under the docks. I fished Float Creek and saw very large schools of stripers ranging in water 45 to 90’, the stripers were from 35 to 55’. Sometimes you could get 2 or 3 hits when the school passes by then other times nothing. The best approach is set your baits after you find some shad and just continue moving in a large circle. Most of the time you will see nothing on your locator but then a school will show up and the fun begins. The artificial users are catching stripers and white bass on spoons and the trollers are catching stripers on swim baits. Find the shad and you will find the fish. I had a Cast & Blast this past week with three generations, grandfather (Ray), son (John), and grandson (Henry). We fished Tuesday and Wednesday and pheasant hunted Thursday. Wednesday the stripers were very aggressive and we hooked our limit multiple times but only managed to boat 6 stripers, Wednesday the bite all together different we had over 25 strikes but many were nothing more than a pull down and the bait was gone we did manage to catch 8 stripers and missed a few more we should have had. Thursday the temperature was 19 degrees but felt warmer because we had little wind. When you can get together 3 generations it’s not about how many fish or birds you shoot it’s the time spent together and the memories you make that will last a lifetime. I was fishing Float Creek with the lines set at 35 to 40 feet with Creek Chubs. Striper fishing will great for the next several weeks so come out and give it a try.

January 11, 2017 - Greers Ferry Lake - The water level at Greers Ferry is at 455.23 it is 6.81 feet below normal pool of 462.04 for this time of year, as they are working on the dam, the temp is around 45 degrees. The black bass fishing is going good on spinner baits, small crank baits for these  shallow fish , c-rigs and football head jigs for the deeper fish as well as a drop-shot rig, the fish in-between can be caught with the same as the deep fish and some bigger crank baits coming in to play. Look for bait on points and humps, and concentrate in 25- 40 foot range. No report on Bream. The catfish are eating jugs and lines baited with crawfish and dog food. The crappie fishing is on and off day to day, with the best action around some wood whether it be pole timber or brush piles. Most will be suspended in the 25-45 foot range and minnows and jigs working best. Walleye are eating in the clearer areas of the lake better than the rest on small jigs. Drop shots and minnows on the bottom in the 40-45 foot range, some up by and in the rivers may be shallower on certain days . The Hybrid and White bass are eating well all over the lake on spoons, in-line spinners, hair jigs and swim baits, look for bait and schools of fish 25-70 feet of water .

January 9, 2017 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 9 Jan, the lake level is approx 3" above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is increased current this week of Little River, with the gates releasing around 2330 CFS as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week.  Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 40ºF early, to 45ºF late, depending on location.  Appears the Corps of Engineers continue working to replace some river buoys in the channel over the past week, however several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body.  Use caution in navigation on the Little River throughout the main lake body.

Bass are slow to fair on warm days, from 2-3 pounds on jigs, crankbaits, and bulky tubes and 10" worms.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.4 ft-msl, with consistent current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 2332 CFS.  Tailwater level as of Monday at 227.8 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 4-8 inches due to high wind and rain over the past couple days.  Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point, and northeast quadrant remain stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 15-25 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained from rain and wind, approx 5-10", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  Bass have completed most of their fall migration, and are now holding during the cold of the nights and most days in their deeper wintering holes along Little River and the deeper sections of the oxbows and creeks.  Over the past couple days, this week, they are willing to roam up into the flats for short duration where a jig and a random crankbait & squarebill or slow moving tube or bulky worm will get their attention, during the highest sun/warmest period of the day.  Most bass have slowed to fair feeding moods over the past few weeks.   Good starting locations include points extending out into Little River during the warmest period of daylight, and working the deeper drops into Little River where stumps and any remaining lily pad stems may exist.  Majority of hours of the daylight now the bass are spending more time in the 9-15+ foot depths of deeper creek channels and Little River drop offs.

Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs continue working this week with the best colors being Black/blue/purple, Texas Craw, or Spotted Tobasco colors using black craw worm trailers.  Berkley 10" Berkley Power worms in blue fleck continue working around any remaining vegetation and drop-offs in creek channels and mouths of creeks. 

The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost, Sexy West, or Millwood Magic colors are working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River during warmest period of daylight.  The bite has slowed and aggressive levels tapered off over the past few weeks of cold nights and cool mornings.  Best bites using crankbaits is a stop-n-go retrieve with a few pauses along the way.

Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citrus Shad, & Tennessee Special colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.

Magnum sized, bulky 3-5" big fatbutt gizzit tubes continue working in creeks next to stumps and standing timber.  Best colors over the past week include black/blue tail, smoke/chartreuse or bluegill.  Placing rattles in the tubes are best way with the stained water conditions, and adding scent pads, for the bass to locate the slow moving tubes.  Pitching and shaking the rattling tubes near stumps in 9-12 feet of creek channel depths, are getting some good responses from lethargic bass on colder days/mornings.

White Bass:   Keep a jigging spoon handy for these nomads.  Deep holes in Little River just out of the current, or behind secondary points will hold a few good schools of Whites from 12-18 feet of depth.  Keep sharp hooks on the spoons, the bite of Whites this time of year is slow and methodical, and a soft touch rod helps keep in contact with a slow and soft bite.

Crappie:  have improved along Little River.  Planted brush in 15-17 feet are beginning to draw in some good slabs out of any remaining, reduced current.  Cordell Paddle tail smoke grubs on light wire jig heads, and Blakemore Roadrunners continue catching some nice slabs in planted brush between 15-17-18 feet deep.

Cats:   Blues and channel cats continue to bite good in Little River over the past couple weeks.  Best best are trot lines 15-20 feet of depth along outer bends of Little River using cut buffalo, cut shad, or chicken gizzards.

January 6, 2017 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 1/06/2017

During the past week, we have had a trace of rain, a trace of snow, brutally cold temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell two tenths of a foot to rest at eight and seven tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty four and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell two tenths of a foot to rest at seven and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty three and six tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell four tenths of a foot to rest at nine and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool and eighteen and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had a mixed bag with levels of wadable water mixed with periods of moderate generation. Norfork Lake dropped one and one tenth of a foot to rest at four and six tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and thirty and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation 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 colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less 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 Wildcat Shoals. We have had more 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 cold weather the smallmouths are much 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 much less wadable water 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. 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.

January 2, 2017 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
The Norfork Lake surface temperature is staying in the high forties to low fifties depending on what part of the lake you are in. The shad can be found in the main creeks like Float Creek, Panther Creek, and the Crystal Cove area. The shad are also in the marinas under the docks. I have them under my dock at Tracy Marina. Sometimes you can find schools of stripers within the marinas so make sure you have your depth finder on when your leaving your marina The live bait users continue to catch stripers using shad, creek cubs, and shiners. The artificial users are catching stripers and white bass on spoons, and the trollers are catching stripers on swim baits. Find the shad and you will find the fish.

My cousins use the Christmas break to visit and striper fishing, we fished Wednesday and Thursday and caught stripers both days. The first day it was very cloudy but with a calm wind we fished for several hours without a bite. Then the sun came out and the stripers started feeding. We caught 5 within an hour, then the bite was over. Thursday the sun was out but the wind started early and pickup all morning long. Emily had not caught a fish the day before so it was her turn. My cousin Donald hooked the first striper but lost it at the boat. Emily hooked and landed 3 before the wind turned bad. The wind continued to pick up all morning so we finally had to quit. The waves were 2 ½ feet and it was unsafe to continue fishing. I was fishing Float Creek with the lines set at 35 to 40 feet with Creek Chubs. I could not hold the boat in place so we just floated down the center of the creek and hooked the stripers as we floated. Striper fishing will great for the next several weeks so come out and give it a try.

December 23, 2016 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 12/23/2016

During the past week, we have had a bit of snow (just a trace here in Cotter), bitterly cold temperatures and heavy winds (to include wind chill advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell eight tenths of a foot to rest at eight feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty four feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell two tenths of a foot to rest at seven and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty three and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell five tenths of a foot to rest at eight and seven tenths feet below seasonal power pool and eighteen and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had a mixed bag with levels of wadable water mixed with periods of moderate generation. Norfork Lake fell eight tenths of a foot to rest at two and five tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty eight and seven tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation 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 colder weather and a higher demand for power, we should see less 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 cold weather the smallmouths are much 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 much less wadable water 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. 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.

December 21, 2016 - Greers Ferry Lake - The water level at Greers Ferry lake is at 456.05 and falling it is 5.99 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet, the fishing is ok,and the 10 day weather forecast is good other than a little rain, which we need to help clean up the turn over and things will be back to normal and all species should be back on the bite good before real winter sets in, happy holidays. The Hybrids and White bass bite is going around the lake good at places on top and down on structure and in the middle of no-where suspended around shad, try top water baits,spoons,in-line spinners, hair jigs and swim baits from 25- 70 feet of water. The crappie are suspended around any wood or just floating around in the middle of nowhere close to shad as well, use jigs and minnows as well as road runners slow reeled for the best luck in 12-30 feet of water. No report on Bream. Catfishing is off because of turn over as well. The walleye some are eating somewhat up the rivers and the lake is dirty for them to eat much, try crank baits and jigs tipped with minnows or hair jigs. The bass fishing is good in spots,try spinnerbaits and small crank baits up shallow and c-rigs and football heads out deep.

December 20, 2016 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 19 Dec, the lake level is approx 5" above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is reduced current this week of Little River, with the gates releasing around 878 CFS as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week.  Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 45ºF early, to 50ºF late, depending on location.  Appears the Corps of Engineers continue working to replace some river buoys in the channel over the past week, however several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body.  Use caution in navigation on the Little River throughout the main lake body.

Bass are slow to fair on warm days, from 2-3 pounds on Rat-L-Traps, jigs, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.6 ft-msl, with consistent current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 878 CFS.  Tailwater level as of Monday at 225.8 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 4-8 inches due to high wind and rain over the past couple days.  Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point, and northeast quadrant remain stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 15-25 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained from rain and wind, approx 5-10", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  Bass continue migration to their wintering spots and deeper creeks, and Little River over the past few weeks, but roaming during the highest sun/warmest period of the day back to shallow flats and creeks.  Most bass have slowed to fair feeding moods over the past few weeks, best from 2 to 3 pounds on crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps, jigs and spinnerbaits in deeper creek mouths and channel swings dumping into Little River.  Most bass continue their seasonal nomadic roaming over the past few weeks, following huge shad schools in and out of creek channels and up and down Little River. Points, creek channels away from river current, flats, and oxbows are good starting locations.  Shad continue relating to creek channels over the past couple weeks, moving in and out of the main creek channel to the points and back again, depending on surface temperatures.  Huge schools of shad are roaming in and out of creeks and points junction with Little River over the past several weeks, and the Largemouths are following them on a daily basis.  One day they maybe in the mouth of the creek dumping into Little River, the next day, gone, or moved to backs of creeks, depending on surface temps overnight.  Lots of migration and nomadic activity this time of year on Millwood.  Majority of hours of the daylight now the bass are spending more time in the 12-15 foot depths of deeper creek channels and Little River drop offs.

Bass Assassin Shads in Panhandle Moon, Bad To The Bone, and Grey Ghost colors are still working by deadsticking on light wire hook in remaining lily pad stems and vegetation. Sexy West or Ghost colored Echo 1.75 crankbaits are working. 

Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs continue working this week with the best colors being Habenero, Black/blue, and Texas Craw colors using black craw worm trailers.  Berkley 10" Berkley Power worms in black, black grape, and blue fleck continue working around vegetation and drop-offs in creek channels and mouths of creeks. 

Rat-L-Traps worked along points and in creek channels have been working well for several weeks.  The Rat-L-Traps continue catching 2-3 pound Largemouths in creeks, with the Chrome/blue tail spinners, Millwood Magic, and Tennessee Shad colors.  The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost, Sexy West, or Millwood Magic colors continue working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River.  The bite has slowed and aggressive levels tapered off over the past week of cold nights and cool mornings.  Best bites using crankbaits is a stop-n-go retrieve with a few pauses along the way.

Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citruse, Citrus Shad, & Tennessee Special colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.

Magnum sized, bulky 3-5" big fatbutt gizzit tubes continue working in creeks next to stumps and standing timber.  Best colors over the past week include black neon, pumpkinseed/chartreuse, or black/blue.  Placing rattles in the tubes are best way with the stained water conditions, and adding scent pads, for the bass to locate the slow moving tubes.  Pitching and shaking the rattling tubes near stumps in 8-9 feet of creek channel depths, are getting some good responses from lethargic bass on colder days/mornings.

White Bass:   Whites & hybrids continue roaming Little River, mouths of creek channels, and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus, Chartreuse Shad or Tennessee Shad colored crankbaits, tail spinner Rat-L-Traps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons, and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white.

Crappie:  have improved due to reduction of current in Little River.  Planted brush in 12-18 feet are beginning to draw in some good slabs out of any remaining, reduced current.  Cordell Paddle tail smoke grubs on light wire jig heads were catching some nice 2-2.5 pound slabs over the past week in planted brush between 12-15 feet deep.

Cats:   Blues and channel cats continue to bite good in Little River over the past couple weeks.  Best best are trot lines 10-15 feet of depth along outer bends of Little River using cut bait and cheese dough bait.

December 20, 2016 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
The Norfork Lake surface temperature is still in the mid-fifties but the cold weather should get the lake around the 50 degree mark. The shad and stripers will move to deeper water as the water gets colder. This time of year the best early place to fish is Float Creek and the Hand Cove area. Stay in those areas until the beginning of January then start looking at the 62 bridge area. This past week Stripers were caught north of the 101 bridge on the big flat, look for the sea gulls and you will find the stripers. The stripers are moving very fast so be prepared to keep moving. The live bait users are catching stripers using shad and shiners and the artificial users are catching stripers and white bass on spoons. Find the shad and you will find the fish.

I had Dan & Art scheduled for early October but both guys have serious back and shoulder problems so we rescheduled our 3 day striper trip for last week. Both guys could only fish about 4 hours a morning. We found stripers right away each morning and the bites were fast and furious the first hour. Both guys were new to this so they missed most of the fish but we had a great time each day. Art caught the most fish since he stood the whole time his back was preventing from sitting so he was better prepared to hook the fish. We found fish each day, the guys using spoons were doing better than us since the schools were moving so fast they could keep up with them by following the sea gulls. When you have 7 lines out in the water it’s hard to just pickup and move to the next fury of activity. We did catch stripers each day and overall had a great 3 day experience. They have all ready booked for next year. With the cold weather the striper bite will continue to improve for the next month.

December 16, 2016 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 12/16/2016

During the past week, we have had a couple of rain events (combined for a trace here in Cotter), bitterly cold temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell four tenths of a foot to rest at seven and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty three and two tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell eight tenths of a foot to rest at seven and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty three and three tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell six tenths of a foot to rest at eight and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool and seventeen and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had a mixed bag with levels of wadable water mixed with periods of moderate generation. Norfork Lake fell five tenths of a foot to rest at one and seven tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty seven and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation 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 cold weather the smallmouths are much 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 much 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. Hopefully the colder weather will help this situation.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.

December 14, 2016 - Greers Ferry Lake - Submitted by Fish Finders Fish Service - The water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 456.86 feet and falling it is 5.18 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet and the lake is going through a turn over , so it will be about 2 weeks getting over this and the catching should be real good again all over the lake until it gets super cold and that will be the only thing that slows the bite. The bass fishing is still good ahead and behind the turnover on spinnerbaits, small crankbaits, football heads and c-rigs as well as a whacky rigged right bite cinko,from real shallow out to about 40 feet. The crappie are floating around suspended mostly in 5-18 feet of water around any wood and biting jigs and minnows as well as road runners. The bream have slowed but some can be caught in about 27 feet on a drop shot with a cricket or crawler. The urn over has turned off the catfish, but should return to eating on points and edges of flats after it is finished in 25-35 feet of water on just about any of your favorite baits. The walleye ,I have been told are eating up the rivers pretty good on staged places from the mouth up about ½  way on live bait, the lake fish are scattered with the turn over and some can be caught dragging a minnow on a drop shot rig 25-40 feet of water, some have even gone shallow and can be caught on a jig head worm and c-rig. The Hybrid And White bass are eating well on the outskirts of the turn over as well on top and down off and on all day on top water baits,spoons,in-line spinners swim baits and hair jigs. 25-40 feet of water after the turn over look for some to be hanging out in the 70 foot range.

December 13, 2016 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort.http://www.hummingbird-hideaway.com/ - It has been a fun week fishing Norfork Lake. We have had several fishing guests at the resort this week and we all were catching fish. The bite for striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass is good. Vertical jigging with a spoon is a good method to catch these species this time of year. Big schools of fish are roaming large flats in 44 - 55 feet of water. Once you find the fish all you need to do is drop your spoon and jig it up and down bouncing it off of the bottom. If it is a school of feeding fish it won't take long until your spoon has been taken, then you need to make sure you give your rod a good jerk to set the hook. Electronic fish finders are very helpful this time of year as you are looking out in the middle of the lake for these fish. Sometimes mother nature helps you out and you find a flock of seagulls diving into the water feeding on shad. More than likely there is a school of feeding fish under the feeding birds. This only happens during the late fall and winter months as the seagulls are a migratory bird. Live bait is also working using either gizzard or thread fin shad. If you don't want to go out and net your own shad you can purchase brooder shiners. They will work very well in the cold water months. If you are live bait fishing you need to set your baits from 30 - 40 feet deep. Trolling is another method of striper fishing, but you need to get your baits down to the same depths as the live bait. Best places to look for stripers/hybrids and white bass are the big flats near the 101 bridge area, Big Sandy back in the 101 Marina area and back past Fouts Boat Dock. My bite really hasn't started until around 8AM and it can last till noon or later, as it did today. Later in the day the fish start to move to mouths of creeks and coves as well as out to the river channel in 60 plus feet of water.
Largemouth and spotted bass are also schooling. I have found large schools of fish in similar areas as the stripers, as well as, part way back into creeks out in the middle.  Look in 40 - 50 feet of water for these fish. When I can find a slight drop off on a flat that is near or on an old creek channel I have typically found a lot of fish and they don't move off this area as fast. One morning I caught over a dozen largemouth in the 2.5 - 3.5 pound range. Some bigger largemouth are starting to move in shallow to feed early and late in the day. This is a good time to break out your jerk baits and give it a try. On windy days a spinner bait is working great, but the old standby, a jig and pig, will always pick up some nice fish.

Norfork Lake level is falling slowly and currently sits at 552.44. The lake surface water temperature is also falling and currently is in the 54 - 55 degree range. The lake is still stained, but is a great fishing color.

December 13, 2016 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 12 Dec, the lake level is approx 3" above normal conservation pool and rising.  There is increased current this week of Little River, with the gates releasing around 2993 CFS as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week.  Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 50ºF early, to 55ºF late, depending on location.  Appears the Corps of Engineers continue working to replace some river buoys in the channel over the past week, however several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body.  Use caution in navigation on the Little River throughout the main lake body.

Bass are fair from 2-4 pounds on Rat-L-Traps, jigs, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.5 ft-msl, with consistent current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 2993 CFS.  Tailwater level as of Monday at 226.4 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 4-8 inches due to high wind and rain over the past couple days.  Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point, and northeast quadrant remain stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 15-25 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained from rain and wind, approx 5-10", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  Bass are in migration to their wintering spots and deeper creeks, and Little River over the past few weeks, but roaming during the highest sun/warmest period of the day back to shallow flats and creeks.  Most bass are in fair to good feeding moods over the past few weeks, best from 2 to 4 pounds on crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps, jigs and spinnerbaits in deeper creek mouths and channel swings dumping into Little River.  Most bass continue their seasonal nomadic roaming over the past few weeks, following huge shad schools in and out of creek channels and up and down Little River. Points, creek channels away from river current, flats, and oxbows are good starting locations.  Shad continue relating to creek channels over the past couple weeks, moving in and out of the main creek channel to the points and back again, depending on surface temperatures.  Huge schools of shad are roaming in and out of creeks and points junction with Little River over the past several weeks, and the Largemouths are following them on a daily basis.  One day they maybe in the mouth of the creek dumping into Little River, the next day, gone, or moved to backs of creeks, depending on surface temps overnight.  Lots of migration and nomadic activity this time of year on Millwood.

Bass Assassin Shads in Panhandle Moon, Bad To The Bone, and Grey Ghost colors are still working by deadsticking on light wire hook in remaining lily pad stems and vegetation. Sexy West or Ghost colored Echo 1.75 crankbaits are working. 

Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs continue working this week with the best colors being Habenero, Black/blue, and Texas Craw colors using black craw worm trailers.  Berkley 10" Berkley Power worms in black, black grape, and blue fleck continue working around vegetation and drop-offs in creek channels and mouths of creeks. 

Rat-L-Traps worked along points and in creek channels have been working well for several weeks.  The Rat-L-Traps continue catching 2-3 pound Largemouths in creeks, with the Chrome/blue tail spinners, Millwood Magic, and Tennessee Shad colors.  The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost, Sexy West, or Millwood Magic colors continue working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River.  The bite has slowed and aggressive levels tapered off over the past week of cold nights and cool mornings.  Best bites using crankbaits is a stop-n-go retrieve with a few pauses along the way.

Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citruse, Citrus Shad, & Tennessee Special colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.

Magnum sized, bulky 3-5" big fatbutt gizzit tubes are working in creeks next to stumps and standing timber.  Best colors over the past week include black neon, pumpkinseed/chartreuse, or black/blue.  Placing rattles in the tubes are best way with the stained water conditions, and adding scent pads, for the bass to locate the slow moving tubes.  Pitching and shaking the rattling tubes near stumps in 8-9 feet of creek channel depths, are getting some good responses from lethargic bass on colder days/mornings.

White Bass:   Whites & hybrids continue roaming Little River, mouths of creek channels, and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus, Chartreuse Shad or Tennessee Shad colored crankbaits, tail spinner Rat-L-Traps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons, and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white.

Crappie:  have scattered over the past week due to wind, rain, incoming fresh water, and increased discharge and current in Little River.

Cats:   Blues and channel cats continue to bite good w/ the increase of current in Little River over the past couple weeks.  Best best are trot lines 10-15 feet of depth along outer bends of Little River using cut bait and chicken gizzards.

December 12, 2016 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
The Norfork Lake surface temperature is still in the mid-fifties and the shad and stripers are staying in the creeks and on the flats. With the current cold weather the lake temperature is dropping that will force the shad and stripers to move into the river channels. Look for them between the bridges and the Howard Cove area. Stripers are being caught in the Crystal Cove area using shiners and the flat right above the 101 bridge. Other areas to look are Float and Panther Creeks. These two areas are the best before January. The live bait users are catching stripers using shad and shiners and the artificial users are catching stripers and white bass on spoons. Find the shad and you will find the fish.We went searching for Walleye up by the US160 bridge. The water level is normal and it was at 45 degrees. The problem was the water is very clear. We moved down to Bryant creek and found 55 degree water that had color. We marked lots of fish but had only a couple of bites. The cold weather will get the walleye into their pre-spawn mood within the next couple of weeks. That’s when the fishing will be up. Stripers and bass are being caught on the flat by Blue Lady Resort. The stripers are roaming and moving fast so just keep moving slowly with your live bait and have a spoon ready. The stripers are feeding, so right now is a great time to get out and catch some fish. The bass and white bass are also very active right now. Spoons are working best for them in the 50’ range. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. Winter is here and it’s a wonderful time to be on the lake. The stripers will begin their winter feed patterns as the air and water temperatures drop along with the other predator species. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! By the way, did you know Norfork Lake offers thousands of acres of hunt-able land to the public? The deer hunt has been very good this season. For a real outdoor adventure, you might consider a striper fishing trip combined with a pheasant hunt. It's a blast!

December 7, 2016 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service.
http://www.fishingwithsteve.com/
Norfork Lake has finally turned over. It took longer than usual due to the warmer weather we had in November. Look for stripers suspended around 30 ft. on flats. Find the baitfish and they will be close by. When you find them sometimes your screen on your depth finder will full from the top to the bottom of bait fish. Other times you can see them 10-30 ft. thick. Drop a jigging spoon and if you don’t get bite with in a few minutes they aren’t feeding. Then move on and find another school. They have moved up to the banks at night so you can throw stick baits and remember the thing is to reel it in SLOW. You can pick up walleye doing the same thing. They can be close to main points with deep water close by or in coves. Look in the major creeks too. Some bass are hitting spinner baits and crank baits. The bite is better if there is some wind blowing. There are some holding deeper 10-30 ft. and will hit a jig. If you mark a school drop a jigging spoon. The water temp is in the mid to upper 50’s and the lake level is 552.8, just a little below normal for this time of year.

December 6, 2016 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 05 Dec, the lake level is approx 8" above normal conservation pool and falling.  There is increased current this week of Little River, with the gates releasing around 1987 CFS as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week.  Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 50ºF early, to 56ºF late, depending on location.    Appears the Corps of Engineers continue working to replace some river buoys in the channel over the past week, however several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body.  Use caution in navigation on the Little River throughout the main lake body.

Bass are good from 2-3 pounds on spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps, jigs, and crankbaits.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.89 ft-msl, with consistent current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 1987 CFS.  Tailwater level as of Monday at 228.1 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 4-8 inches due to high wind and rain over the past couple days.  Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point, and northeast quadrant remain stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 15-25 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained from rain and wind, approx 5-10", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  Bass are responding to the dropping surface temps over the past week.  Most bass are in fair to good feeding moods over the past few weeks, best from 2 to 3 pounds on spinnerbaits, jigs, and crankbaits, at creek mouths dumping into Little River and relating to shad schools in the creeks.  Most bass continue their seasonal nomadic roaming over the past few weeks, following huge shad schools in and out of creek channels and up and down Little River. Points, creek channels away from river current, flats, and oxbows are good starting locations.  Shad continue relating to creek channels over the past couple weeks, moving in and out of the main creek channel to the points and back again, depending on surface temperatures.  Huge schools of shad are roaming in and out of creeks and points junction with Little River over the past several weeks, and the Largemouths are following them on a daily basis.  One day they maybe in the mouth of the creek dumping into Little River, the next day, gone, or moved to backs of creeks, depending on surface temps overnight.  Lots of migration and nomadic activity this time of year on Millwood.

Bass Assassin Shads in Panhandle Moon, Bad To The Bone, and Grey Ghost colors are still working by deadsticking on light wire hook in remaining lily pad stems and vegetation. Sexy West or Ghost colored Echo 1.75 crankbaits are working. 

Real Deal Custom Tackle jigs in Habenero, Black/blue, and Texas Craw colors with black craw worm trailers are taking nice 3-4 pound Largemouths.  Berkley 10" Berkley Power worms in black, black grape, and blue fleck continue working around vegetation and drop-offs in creek channels and mouths of creeks. 

Rat-L-Traps worked along points and in creek channels have been working well for several weeks.  The Rat-L-Traps continue catching 2-3 pound Largemouths in creeks, with the Chrome/blue tail spinners, Millwood Magic, and Tennessee Shad colors.  The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost, Sexy West, or Millwood Magic colors continue working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River. 

Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citruse, Citrus Shad, & Tennessee Special colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.

Magnum sized, bulky 3-5" big fatbutt gizzit tubes are working in creeks next to stumps and standing timber.  Best colors over the past week include black neon, pumpkinseed/chartreuse, or black/blue.  Placing rattles in the tubes are best way with the stained water conditions, and adding scent pads, for the bass to locate the slow moving tubes.  Pitching and shaking the rattling tubes near stumps in 8-9 feet of creek channel depths, are getting some good responses from lethargic bass on colder days/mornings.

White Bass:   Whites & hybrids continue roaming Little River, mouths of creek channels, and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus, Chartreuse Shad or Tennessee Shad colored crankbaits, tail spinner Rat-L-Traps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons, and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white.

Crappie:  have scattered over the past week due to wind, rain, incoming fresh water, and increased discharge and current in Little River.

Cats:   Blues and channel cats continue to bite good w/ the increase of current in Little River over the past couple weeks.  Best best are trot lines 9-12 feet of depth along outer bends of Little River using cut bait and blood bait like Charlie.

December 6, 2016 - Greers Ferry Lake - Submitted by Fish Finders Fish Service - Web-site is back up running sorry for the inconvenience of last couple weeks. The water level at Greers Ferry lake is at 457.73 feet and falling it is 4.31 feet below normal pool for this time of year of 462.04 feet . The fishing is good over all with not many people out doing it with hunting season and the holidays ,but if ya get a chance to cause some of the best catching goes on here at this time of the year , and will be real good until it gets real real cold ,so come and enjoy the  sincerity and beauty of god’s country. The Hybrid and White bass are eating very well all over the lake on top and down on structure and can be caught with spoons, in-line spinners, swim baits and hair jigs, as well as top water baits. Find the shad and the fish will be close,25-70 feet of water. The bream are slow and getting slower, try crickets and crawlers in 24-27 feet of water on a drop shot. The crappie are eating minnows and jigs 10-25 feet suspended in and around timber or brush piles. The walleye are eating spoons ,crank baits and crawlers dragged real slow in 25-40 feet of water around the shad. The catfish are eating on the edge of flats real close to deep water, on a variety of baits ,if they are not on the flat you fish bait with some dog food and that will draw them in . The bass fishing is good all over the lake shallow and deep ,use top water baits , spinnerbaits, small crank baits around stump flats, drag c-rigs and football heads for the deeper fish 25-40 feet for the best catches.

December 2, 2016 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 12/02/2016

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.

November 30, 2016 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort.http://www.hummingbird-hideaway.com/ - I hope all had a great Thanksgiving holiday. My wife and I hosted a family reunion for her side of the family and we had a great time with 29 family members. I had the opportunity to fish with many different family members during the week. We had a lot of fun but did get a little cold at times. We caught fish most days. It was a real joy watching the ones that don't get to fish often land a fish on their own. No better feeling than seeing those big smiles and shaking arms.

Norfork Lake has entered its fall fishing pattern. The only big change over the last couple of weeks is that the fish have started to move into shallower water. Stripers, hybrids and whites are being found on 20 - 45 foot flats. The flats are holding baitfish at all different depths depending on the time of day and big schools of stripers, hybrids and whites are roaming at all different depths feeding on the shad early in the morning as well as in the evening. It is a big challenge finding the schools of fish and it will take some time watching your electronics, but when you find the fish it is a blast. We had 4 on at the same time a few times. My group has been vertical jigging with a spoon bouncing it off the bottom, but if you mark fish suspended, reel up to their depth and hang on. Areas where I have been fishing has not changed from my last report. Start looking on the flats around the 101 bridge up to the Red Bank area, as well as, from the 62 bridge up to the Fouts area. Check out the Robinson flat as fish are starting to move in. There has been some isolated top water action for striped bass and if you are in the right spot and ready you will pick up a few fish.

Largemouth bass are starting to school part way back in creeks and coves. I found some nice schools of bass on the bottom in 30 - 35 feet of water. We were vertical jigging and hooking up one after another. Nice 2.5 - 4 pound fish were being boated. Spotted bass will also be schooling up this time of year. Spinner baits have worked well on the windy days and crank baits are also working on main lake points, as well as, secondary points.

Crappie are becoming more aggressive. Look at brush in 20 - 40 feet of water. You will find the bigger slabs in the deeper water inside of the brush and other nice fish will be suspended above the brush. Small spoons, grubs and live bait are all working at times. Live bait is still your best bet.

Walleye are in similar areas as the stripers, hybrids and whites. We have been catching quite a few walleye in 30 feet of water vertical jigging, but the majority of the fish are short.

The lake level has risen slightly and currently sits at 552.86. The surface water temperature is falling slowly and is currently 59 - 60 degrees. Most of the lake is stained with the main lake the clearest. I believe the lake has finally finalized its turnover so the lake clearing will begin.

November 29, 2016 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 28 Nov, the lake level is approx 9" above normal conservation pool and rising.  There is increased current this week of Little River, with the gates releasing around 435 CFS as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week.  Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 52ºF early, to 62ºF late, depending on location.    Appears the Corps of Engineers continue working to replace some river buoys in the channel over the past week, however several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body.  Use caution in navigation on the Little River throughout the main lake body.

Bass remain good from 2-3 pounds on Bass Assassin Shads, spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.95 ft-msl, with consistent current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 435 CFS.  Tailwater level as of Monday at 225.06 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 4-8 inches due to high wind and rain over the past couple days.  Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point, and northeast quadrant remain stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 5-10 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 15-25 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained from rain and wind, approx 5-10", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  Bass feeding moods continue to improve with the cooler daytime temperatures and dropping surface temps over the past week.  Most bass are in good feeding moods over the past few weeks, best from 2 to 3 pounds on crankbaits, along points, creek junctions, and creek mouths dumping into Little River.  Most bass continue their seasonal nomadic roaming over the past few weeks, following huge shad schools in and out of creek channels and up and down Little River. Points, creek channels away from river current, flats, and oxbows are good starting locations.  Shad continue relating to creek channels over the past couple weeks, moving in and out of the main creek channel to the points and back again, depending on surface temperatures.  Huge schools of shad are roaming in and out of creeks and points junction with Little River over the past several weeks, and the Largemouths are following them on a daily basis.  One day they maybe in the mouth of the creek dumping into Little River, the next day, gone, or moved to backs of creeks, depending on surface temps overnight.  Lots of migration and nomadic activity this time of year on Millwood.

Chrome/black Cordell Crazy Shads, Bass Assassin Shads, and Sexy Ghost or Ghost colored Stuttersteps are working.  Bass Assassin Shads, continue to be a good top water choice, early.  Working top waters around grass beds, and vegetation, along points extending from creek channels into Little River, will draw good reactions at dawn.  Bulky 10" Berkley Power worms continue working around vegetation and drop-offs in creek channels and mouths of creeks.  Rat-L-Traps worked along points and in creek channels have been working well for several weeks.  Bass Assassin Shads continue working well in the thick stuff, mid day.  Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past couple weeks have been Bad To The Bone, pumpkinseed, or Grey Ghost and Salt & Pepper colors in the current water clarity and conditions.   Best color of Stuttersteps over the past couple weeks have been the Ghost and the Sexy Ghost colors.

Rat-L-Traps continue catching 2-3 pound Largemouths in creeks, with the Chrome/blue tail spinners, Millwood Magic, and Tennessee Shad colors.  The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost or Millwood Magic colors continue working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River.  Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citruse, Citrus Shad, & Tennessee Special colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.  Berkley 10" worms continue working for Largemouths randomly in Black, Plum, Black Grape, or Red Bug.  Best target areas are working along grass beds in Little River starting in the grass in 1-2 feet and working outward into 8-12 feet of depth, and also around creek mouths dumping into Little River.

White Bass:   Whites & hybrids continue roaming Little River, mouths of creek channels, and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus, Chartreuse Shad or Tennessee Shad colored crankbaits.  Over the past few weeks, the White Bass, Kentucky Bass, and Largemouths all, were surface breaking on shad in back of Horseshoe and McGuire up Little river.  Those fish were hitting small, topwater Crazy Shads, tail spinner Rat-L-Traps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons, and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white, and small, Pop-R's early in the mornings.

Crappie:  have scattered over the past week due to wind, rain, incoming fresh water, and increased discharge and current in Little River.

Cats:   Blues and channel cats improved w/ the increase of current in Little River over the past week.  Best best are trot lines 9-12 feet of depth along outer bends of Little River using blood bait, cut bait, buffalo, and gar.

November 23, 2016 - Greers Ferry Lake - Submitted by Fish Finders Fish Service - Web-site has been down and did not know it, can call 501-940-1318 until its back up. The water level at Greers Ferry lake is at 458.07 it is 3.97 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet and falling. The bass fishing is good all over the lake on spinner Baits, crank baits, umbrella rigs and c-rigs for all 3 species, try fishing real shallow out to 40 feet of water. The bream fishing is still good with the prolonged warm weather, use crickets and crawlers in 5-30 feet of water. The crappie fishing has picked up and they can be caught in the pole timber or over and around brush piles 10-20 feet of water. The walleye are scattered out ,try dragging minnows and crank baits 28-40 feet. The catfishing is good as well with a lot of different baits working , not a lot of people utilizing the bite. The Hybrid And White bass fishing is excellent all over the lake at different time of the day, with schooling fish and fish biting on structure as well, use in-line spinners ,top water baits,spoons and swim baits for the best catching.

November 21, 2016 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 21 Nov, the lake level is 2" above normal conservation pool; and steady.  There is decreased current this week of Little River, with the gates releasing around 172 CFS as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week.  Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 55ºF early, to 65ºF late, depending on location.    Appears the Corps of Engineers continue working to replace some river buoys in the channel over the past week, however several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body.  Use caution in navigation on the Little River throughout the main lake body.

Bass remain good from 2-3 pounds on Bass Assassin Shads, spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.38 ft-msl, with consistent current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 172 CFS.  Tailwater level as of Monday at 224.00 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-12 inches.  Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point, and northeast quadrant remain stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 10-12 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 15-25 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained but improved from last week at 12-18", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  Bass feeding moods continue to improve with the cooler daytime temperatures and dropping surface temps over the past week.  Most bass are in good feeding moods over the past few weeks, best from 2 to 3 pounds on crankbaits, along points, creek junctions, and creek mouths dumping into Little River.  Most bass continue their seasonal nomadic roaming over the past few weeks, following huge shad schools in and out of creek channels and up and down Little River. Points, creek channels away from river current, flats, and oxbows are good starting locations.  Shad continue relating to creek channels over the past couple weeks, moving in and out of the main creek channel to the points and back again, depending on surface temperatures.  Huge schools of shad are roaming in and out of creeks and points junction with Little River over the past several weeks, and the Largemouths are following them on a daily basis.  One day they maybe in the mouth of the creek dumping into Little River, the next day, gone, or moved to backs of creeks, depending on surface temps overnight.  Lots of migration and nomadic activity this time of year on Millwood.

Chrome/black Cordell Crazy Shads, Bass Assassin Shads, and Sexy Ghost or Ghost colored Stuttersteps are working.  Bass Assassin Shads, continue to be a good top water choice, early.  Working top waters around grass beds, and vegetation, along points extending from creek channels into Little River, will draw good reactions at dawn.  Bulky 10" Berkley Power worms continue working around vegetation and drop-offs in creek channels and mouths of creeks.  Rat-L-Traps worked along points and in creek channels have been working well for several weeks.  Bass Assassin Shads continue working well in the thick stuff, mid day.  Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past couple weeks have been Bad To The Bone, pumpkinseed, or Grey Ghost and Salt & Pepper colors in the current water clarity and conditions.   Best color of Stuttersteps over the past couple weeks have been the Ghost and the Sexy Ghost colors.

Rat-L-Traps continue catching 2-3 pound Largemouths in creeks, with the Chrome/blue tail spinners, Millwood Magic, and Tennessee Shad colors.  The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost or Millwood Magic colors continue working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River.  Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citruse, Citrus Shad, & Tennessee Special colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.  Berkley 10" worms continue working for Largemouths randomly in Black, Plum, Black Grape, or Red Bug.  Best target areas are working along grass beds in Little River starting in the grass in 1-2 feet and working outward into 8-12 feet of depth, and also around creek mouths dumping into Little River.

White Bass:   Whites & hybrids continue roaming Little River, mouths of creek channels, and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus, Chartreuse Shad or Tennessee Shad colored crankbaits.  Over the past few weeks, the White Bass, Kentucky Bass, and Largemouths all, were surface breaking on shad in back of Horseshoe and McGuire up Little river.  Those fish were hitting small, topwater Crazy Shads, tail spinner Rat-L-Traps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons, and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white, and small, Pop-R's early in the mornings.

Crappie: Continue to bite well, over the past few weeks on Blakemore Roadrunners, and vertical jigging jigs in planted brush piles from 8-12 feet of depth.  Be sure to get out of any remaining current of Little River and find the planted brush.

Cats:  No report on the Blues and channel cats after the reduction in current of Little River over the past week.

November 18, 2016 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 11/18/2016

During the past week, we have had no rain event, cool temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one and three tenths feet to rest at seven and four tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty three and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell three tenths of a foot to rest at six and one tenth feet below seasonal power pool and twenty and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell two tenths of a foot to rest at six and three tenths feet below seasonal power pool and fifteen 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 wadable water every day.

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 Wildcat 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. The smallmouths are still 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 wadable water every morning 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.

November 16, 2016 - Greers Ferry Lake - Submitted by Fish Finders Fish Service - The water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 458.81 feet and falling it is 3.23 feet below normal pool for this time of year of 462.04 feet .The fishing is good overall as shad are moving and you have to stay close to them. The crappie are eating better with the cooler temps,try using minnows or jigs in and around pole timber or brush piles or try swimming a road runner in the pole timber real slow, sitting over deep water and fishing in 12-20 feet. The Walleye are scattered like the shad and some are under whites and Hybrids eating left overs, no real pattern than trying to drag a minnow on a drop shot or a crank bait in 15- 28 feet of water. The bream are finishing up on last spawn and guarding fry most are deep ,use crickets and crawlers in 12 to 28 feet of water. Catfishing is still going good but not a lot fishing for them, great time of year for it on a variety of baits ,on shallow flats close to deep water .The Hybrid and White bass fishing is good all over the lake on top and on structure at various times throughout the day on top water baits,spoons,in-line spinners ,swim baits ,rinky dinks and just about any bait of your choice in and over 25-80 feet of water. The black bass fishing is good ,with fall and winter fishing good here and more steady, fish are all over the water column  from 0-40 feet of water ,top water,spinner baits,cranks baits,c-rigs,texas rigs , football heads working as well as a lot of other baits.

November 15, 2016 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 14 Nov, the lake level is near normal conservation pool; and steady.  There is decreased current this week of Little River from last week, with the gates releasing around 169 CFS as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week.  Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 63ºF early, to 70ºF late, depending on location.    Appears the Corps of Engineers continue working to replace some river buoys in the channel over the past week, however several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body.  Use caution in navigation on the Little River throughout the main lake body.

Bass remain good from 2-3 pounds on Bass Assassin Shads, soft plastic frogs, spoons, Stuttersteps, Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.2 ft-msl, with consistent current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 169 CFS.  Tailwater level is down from last week, as of Monday at 223.7 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-12 inches.  Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point, and northeast quadrant remain stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 10-12 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 15-25 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained but improved from last week at 12-18", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  Bass feeding moods continue to improve with the cooler daytime temperatures and dropping surface temps over the past week.  Most bass are in good feeding moods over the past few weeks, best from 2 to 3 pounds on topwaters early, along points, creek junctions, and creek mouths dumping into Little River.  Most bass continue their seasonal nomadic roaming over the past few weeks, following huge shad schools in and out of creek channels and up and down Little River. Points, creek channels away from river current, flats, and oxbows are good starting locations.  Shad continue relating to creek channels over the past couple weeks, moving in and out of the main creek channel to the points and back again, depending on surface temperatures.  Huge schools of shad are roaming in and out of creeks and points junction with Little River over the past several weeks, and the Largemouths are following them on a daily basis.  One day they maybe in the mouth of the creek dumping into Little River, the next day, gone, or moved to backs of creeks, depending on surface temps overnight.  Lots of migration and nomadic activity this time of year on Millwood.

Chrome/black Cordell Crazy Shads, Clear Baby Torpedoes, Heddon Spit'n Images in Threadfin shad patterns, and Sexy Ghost or Ghost colored Stuttersteps are working.  Bass Assassin Shads, continue to be a good top water choice, early.  Working top waters around grass beds, and vegetation, along points extending from creek channels into Little River, will draw good reactions at dawn.  Grass beds located along Little River are good locations with a bulky 10" Berkley Power worm, Rat-L-Traps worked parallel.  Bass Assassin Shads continue working well in the thick stuff.  Good reactions continue on the Johnson spoons using a white or smoke colored 2" or 3" fat, curly tail grub trailer.  Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past couple weeks have been Bad To The Bone, pumpkinseed, or Grey Ghost and Salt & Pepper colors in the current water clarity and conditions.   Best color of Stuttersteps over the past couple weeks have been the Ghost and the Sexy Ghost colors.

Rat-L-Traps continue catching 2-3 pound Largemouths in creeks, with the Chrome/blue tail spinners, Millwood Magic, and Tennessee Shad colors.  The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost or Millwood Magic colors continue working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River.  Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citruse, Citrus Shad, & Tennessee Special colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.  Berkley 10" worms continue working for Largemouths randomly in Black, Plum, Black Grape, or Red Bug.  Best target areas are working along grass beds in Little River starting in the grass in 1-2 feet and working outward into 8-12 feet of depth, and also around creek mouths dumping into Little River.

White Bass:   Whites & hybrids continue roaming Little River, mouths of creek channels, and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus, Chartreuse Shad or Tennessee Shad colored crankbaits.  Over the past few weeks, the White Bass, Kentucky Bass, and Largemouths all, were surface breaking on shad in back of Horseshoe and McGuire up Little river.  Those fish were hitting small, topwater Crazy Shads, tail spinner Rat-L-Traps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons, and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white, and small, Pop-R's early in the mornings.

Crappie: Continue to bite well, over the past few weeks on Blakemore Roadrunners, and vertical jigging jigs in planted brush piles from 8-12 feet of depth.  Be sure to get out of any remaining current of Little River and find the planted brush.

Cats:  Blues and channel cats were biting good this week on trot lines from 12-18 feet deep along Little River using cut baits, homemade blood bait, and livers.

November 15, 2016 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort.http://www.hummingbird-hideaway.com/ - Norfork Lake striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass fishing is finally acting like it should for the fall fishing period. (About one month late due to abnormally warm water temperature) Over the last several days these species have moved out of the 30 - 40 foot water depth into 40 - 50 feet of water. The reason for this is that the bait has moved out to this depth range. I am finding large schools of fish on large flats from the 62 bridge area and heading up north. Look at the flat areas around the 101 bridge, Mallard Point, Cranfield area, Steward Point, and Briar Creek area. I haven't had time to check yet but the Robinson flat and the Fout area flats should also be holding some nice fish. The striped bass bite is still good up river on the Arkansas/Missouri border. These fish up river will stick around there until the water cools off. The fish will then take off to find water more in their comfort zone. I have mainly been vertical jigging a spoon, but trolling swim baits and umbrella rigs should work as long as you get the bait down in the 30 - 40 foot range. Live bait should also work set at 35 and 40 feet deep, but stay in the 45 - 55 foot water depth area. I haven't been out fishing after dark, but a few others have tried it and the stripers and the bait are not moving up to the shoreline at this time. Once the water cools off a little more and gets closer to 60 degrees I believe there will be a good night bite using suspending stick baits. I have not noticed any top water action for stripers yet, but it will happen any time now.

Largemouth bass are at all depths at this time. You can find fish up close to the banks, suspended along the bluffs and also out feeding in the same water depth as the stripers. Yesterday I jigged up 2 nice 3.5 pound largemouth bass in 50 feet of water on the bottom. I guess if you are a bass fisherman you have a lot of choices. The top water bite for largemouth has been sporadic but I have found some nice fish surfacing in the morning around the bridge columns as well as on bluff line points.

I am finding a few nice walleye in the same 45 - 50 foot water depth while fishing for stripers. You should also be able to find them near 40 feet deep brush as well as in shallower water on the flats early and late in the day.

November 15, 2016 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
The cooler nights have finally made the water cold enough to have a lake turnover. It takes about a week for the lake to settle down and the fish get active so by the middle of this week you should lots of top water activity all over the lake. Look on the flats and up the major creek arms for schooling fish. The stripers are still heavily at first light up and past the state line. If it’s foggy expect lots of action until the fog lifts then the bite dies. If there is no fog then the bite is consistent all morning most days. The best bite continues to be the flat next to the river channel in 25’ of water. There are huge schools of shad roaming the river. Just keep moving up and down the channel. We are catching stripers using down lines, weighted floats, and planner boards, the lines are set at 16’. My son Sean took out a couple Jeff & Christy that wanted to try striper fishing for the first time. They met at the dock and were fishing in 10 minutes and had strikes right away. It was a foggy morning and the bite was on, they caught 4 with the biggest being 17 lbs which they released. Once the sun came out it sure slowed down. Sean saw more and bigger schools of stripers but just would not hit. They had a few more bites but all the fun and action was in the fog. Jeff & Christy had a great first time experience and plan on another trip to Norfork.
The winter bite will start soon so make your plans on the web with www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! Be sure to read our Fall Striper tactics, the article can be found on the www.NorforkLakeChamber.com website.

November 11, 2016 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 11/11/2016

During the past week, we have had a minor rain event (a tenth of an inch here in Cotter), cool temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell two tenths of a foot to rest at six and one tenth feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty one and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose one tenth of a foot to rest at five and eight tenths feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell two tenths of a foot to rest at six and one tenth feet below seasonal power pool and fifteen and seven 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 no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose one tenth of a foot to rest 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 wadable water every day.

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 no 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 cerise San Juan worm 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. The smallmouths are still 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 wadable water every morning 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.

November 9, 2016 - Millwood Lake - Submitted by Millwood Lake Guide Service - As of Monday, 07 Nov, the lake level is near normal conservation pool; approximately 1" above normal and steady.  There is increased current this week of Little River from last week, with the gates releasing around 1050 CFS as of Monday. Water temps dropped slightly over the past week.  Navigation is cautioned for Little River as of Monday due to many missing river buoys throughout the channel on main lake structure.  Surface temps as of Monday, are ranging approx 65ºF early, to 72ºF late, depending on location.    Appears the Corps of Engineers continue working to replace some river buoys in the channel over the past week, however several are either out of place or missing in the main lake body.  Use caution in navigation on the Little River throughout the main lake body.

Bass remain good from 2-3 pounds on Bass Assassin Shads, soft plastic frogs, spoons, Stuttersteps, Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits.  Lake level as of Monday, is currently is 259.3 ft-msl, with consistent current from last week.   Normal consv. pool is 259.20 feet.  Discharge rate as of Monday was approx 1050 CFS.  Tailwater level is consistent with last week also, as of Monday at 226.17 ft-msl. Clarity and visibility is consistent over last couple weeks. 

As of Monday on main lake structure away from current, clarity & visibility ranges approx 8-12 inches.  Cottonshed, Saline River, Okay Point, and northeast quadrant remain stained.  Little River's visibility ranges 10-12 inches depending on location and current.  The oxbow's clarity currently ranging approx 15-25 inches depth of visibility depending on location.  Little River clarity above McGuire oxbow is stained but improved from last week at 12-18", some areas have better clarity.  Clarity and visibility can change dramatically on Millwood in just a few hours with high winds, rain, or thunderstorms.


The Details:

Largemouth Bass:  Bass feeding moods continue to improve with the cooler daytime temperatures and dropping surface temps over the past week.  Most bass are in good feeding moods over the past few weeks, best from 2 to 3 pounds on topwaters early, along points and creek junctions and creek mouths dumping into Little River.  Most bass are aggressive at dawn around lily pad stands, and shallow vegetation, where you can find the clearest water. Points, creek channels away from river current, flats, and oxbows.  Shad continue relating to creek channels over the past couple weeks, moving in and out of the main creek channel to the points and back again, depending on surface temperatures.  Main lake grass beds are also a good choice early if there is good wind blowing in the grass. 

Cordell Crazy Shads, Baby Torpedoes, Heddon Spit'n Images in Threadfin shad patterns, and Stuttersteps are working.  Bass Assassin Shads, Soft plastic frogs, all good top water choices, early.  Working top waters around grass beds, and vegetation, along points extending from creek channels into Little River, will draw good reactions at dawn.  Grass beds located along Little River are good locations with a bulky 10" Berkley Power worm, Rat-L-Traps worked parallel.  Bass Assassin Shads continue working well in the thick stuff.  Good reactions continue on the Johnson spoons using a white or smoke colored 2" or 3" fat, curly tail grub trailer.  Best colors of Bass Assassin Shads over the past couple weeks have been Salt & Pepper, Grey Ghost, and Bad To The Bone colors in the current water clarity and conditions.   Best color of Stuttersteps over the past couple weeks have been the Ghost and the Sexy Ghost colors.

Rat-L-Traps continue catching 2-3 pound Largemouths in creeks, with the Chrome/blue tail spinners, Millwood Magic, and Tennessee Shad colors.  The 1.75 Echo Squarebill crankbaits in Ghost or Millwood Magic colors continue working on points and in creek channels, dumping into Little River.  Deeper diving Bomber cranks in Citruse, Citrus Shad, & Tennessee Special colors continue to be best choices in the oxbows and in the deeper creek channels over the past several weeks by Largemouths and White Bass alike.  These same cranks and squarebills are also working in creek mouths and points extending into Little River at various times during the day.  Berkley 10" worms continue working for Largemouths randomly in Black, Plum, Black Grape, or Red Bug.  Best target areas are working along grass beds in Little River starting in the grass in 1-2 feet and working outward into 8-12 feet of depth, and also around creek mouths dumping into Little River.

White Bass:   Whites & hybrids continue roaming Little River, mouths of creek channels, and the oxbows, and are hitting the Citrus, Chartreuse Shad or Tennessee Shad colored crankbaits.  Over the past few weeks, the White Bass, Kentucky Bass, and Largemouths all, were surface breaking on shad in back of Horseshoe and McGuire up Little river.  Those fish were hitting small, topwater Crazy Shads, tail spinner Rat-L-Traps, Little Georges, Rocket Shads, jigging spoons, and Rooster Tails in red/white or chartreuse/white, and small, Pop-R's early in the mornings.

Crappie: Continue to bite well, over the past few weeks on Blakemore Roadrunners, and vertical jigging jigs in planted brush piles from 12-15 feet of depth.

Cats:  Blues and channel cats were biting good this week on trot lines from 10-15 feet deep along Little River using cut baits like shad and buffalo, and chicken gizzards and livers.

November 9, 2016 - Greers Ferry Lake - Submitted by Fish Finders Fish Service - The water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 459.28 it is 2.76 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet and falling, the temp is in lower 70’s and needing to fall it is warming back up in the afternoons to mid-70’s. the Crappie fishing is still about the same , they can be caught in and around the pole timber and over and around brush piles in 12-40 feet of water on jigs and minnows. The Walleye are scattered and can be caught 18 to 40 feet of water on crankbaits and minnows dragged around on drop shot rigs. The Bream are eating in-line spinners ,small crankbaits, crickets and crawlers from real shallow out to 30 feet of water. Bass fishing is getting better using spinnerbaits, small crankbaits ,jigs,shallow,the deeper fish are eating c-rigs ,football heads ,and Texas rigged worms. Catfishing is good all over the lake on a variety of baits, on trot lines, jugs and rod &reels. The Hybrid and White Bass are eating off and on all day and nite,use top water baits, in-line spinners, spoons and swim baits in 25-40 feet of water, there is some schooling going on at various times throughout the day all over the lake.

November 8, 2016 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
Our busy schedule on Norfork Lake continues. We had 2 groups in for our Cast & Blast package. We striper fish for 2 days and hunted pheasant the other day. The stripers are on the feed above the state line. This past week we caught over 60 stripers. I know people are saying they are catching stripers on the flats but not the numbers we are. While we are baiting for shad we are seeing hundreds of stripers way up the creeks in 3’ of clear water. They are feeding in the coldest water on the lake. This week the lake will turn over. The turn over will shut down fishing on the main lake for a few days but after that the fish will go on a major feed and you will be able them anywhere on the lake. Look on the flats and up the major creek arms for schooling fish. The white bass was feeding around Bryant Creek for periods of over an hour. You should start seeing that after the lake turnover. If you fish above the state line do not expect to catch any stripers if you plan on trolling with plastic baits or shiners. I have watching trollers and shiner fisherman and not one has caught a striper. We are using 7 to 8” gizzard shad. That’s all the stripers want right now so just wait until the lake turns and the plastic’s and shiners will then catch stripers. The best bite is the flat next to the river channel in 25’ of water. There are huge schools of shad roaming the river. Just keep moving up and down the channel. We are catching stripers using down lines, weighted floats, and planner boards, the lines are set at 16’. I took Mitch, Dave, & Mark out for their annual Cast & Blast. We striper fished for 2 days and they caught their limit both days. The first day it took all 8 hours to catch our limit. We had plenty of bites but it was one of those days to catch fish it took 3 bites to catch each fish. One of the nice things about fishing above the state line is you can catch your shad up there. After we were done the first day the guys let me catch our bait for the next day. That saved me both time and money plus it was fun for them seeing how we catch bait. The next day the bite started right away and continued all morning we caught our limit plus 2 more in less then 3 hours. As always, the extra two fish were released. We were seeing large schools of stripers roaming the flats feeding shad. Now is a great time to catch stripers if you have never done it now is the time.

November 4, 2016 - White River - Submitted by Berry Brothers Guides - JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 11/04/16

During the past week, we have had no rain, warm temperatures and heavy winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one and four tenths feet to rest at five and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty one and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose two tenths of a foot to rest at five and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool and nineteen and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell four tenths of a foot to rest at five and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool and fifteen and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation in the afternoon with lower generation in the morning and no wadable water. Norfork Lake remained steady at one and two tenths of a foot below seasonal power pool of 553.75 feet and twenty seven and four tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had low levels of generation all day with wadable water every day.

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 Wildcat Shoals. We have had no 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 cerise San Juan worm 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. The smallmouths are still 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 wadable water every morning 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 the ruby midge.

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.

November 2, 2016 - Greers Ferry Lake - Submitted by Fish Finders Fish Service - The water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 459.81 feet it is 2.23 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet and falling, the temp has stayed about the same mid-70’s to low 70’s. The fishing over all is off and on when conditions are right ,still need rain and cooler weather to get everything going good, as the do is low. The bass are scattered 0-40 feet , a c-rig with a lizard or cinko working best deep and spinnerbaits and small crank baits working shallow and the mid –depths a jig and jig head worm as well as drop shots. The bream are guarding fry and are pretty active from shallow out to about 30 feet, use crickets and crawlers. There is no report on Walleye. The catfishing is good all over the lake on several different methods on cut ,live and prepared bait. Crappie ,some are still being caught on road runners and jigs with minnows in the pole timber or in and around brush piles and some are just roaming like everything else out in the middle of no-where 12-40 feet of water. The Hybrid and White bass are pretty good if ya have some wind early and late in the day, it is sporadic, try using live bait, in-line spinners, spoons and swim baits.

November 2, 2016 - Norfork - Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort.http://www.hummingbird-hideaway.com/ -

Norfork Lake fishing pattern is trying its hardest to get into the fall pattern, but Mother Nature has thrown us a curve. We have had unseasonably warm weather with highs in the mid 80's and lows in the low 60's which is almost 15 - 20 degrees above average. It has been great for the vacationers enjoying the area still being able to wear shorts and t-shirts, but it is confusing the fish. I am conflicted because I do love this warm weather, but I am also ready for the fish to start feeding heavily for the cold weather. I guess I will enjoy whatever nature brings my way.:-)

I have been fishing for striped bass and doing OK until the last couple of days. I am finding good fish in the mornings and late afternoons, but they are not real aggressive in biting. I have been fishing on some of the flats heading up river, but today I decided to check out other areas where stripers are typically biting at this time. I found a lot of big fish suspended at 40 - 55 feet in 120 feet of water off of deep water bluffs. I dropped live bait as well as jigged a spoon, but had no takers. I feel these fish are hovering in the deepest, coolest water they can get to, that still has good oxygen. From the last oxygen report that I have seen, at depths below 55 feet the oxygen level is very low saying the lake has not totally turned over at this time. The good news for fishing is that assuming the current long term weather forecast is correct the weather will cool starting this Thursday or Friday and stay at normal temps. The lower ambient temperatures will lower the lake water temperature and allow the lake to finish it turnover and the fish will truly start their fall feed. It won't be long.

Even though the striper bite has slowed for me the largemouth bite has been excellent. Today I found surface feeding fish around the bridge columns and had a blast. Any top water bait would have worked, but I had a Kastmaster tied on so I starting casting. Every cast for 45 minutes I either caught a good sized fish or had a bump and missed it. Crank baits are working for the suspended fish and plastics worked along the bottom are also working well. Deep water bluffs either in a cut or at a point are great areas to catch some nice fish. I have also picked up some nice bass near brush piles jigging a spoon in 35 feet of water.

The crappie bite is also pretty good. I have caught some nice slabs on a 35 - 38 feet deep main lake brush pile. The fish were suspended 20 - 25 feet down on the top of the brush pile. Sunrise and sunset are two great times to catch crappie, but you can also pick up some fish during the day.

Catfish are biting well for a couple of my guests using jugs set in 30 - 40 feet of water. Their best bait so far has been night crawlers.

The surface water temperature is in the 72 - 74 degree range which is slightly higher than my last report. A rise in lake temp is not normal for this time of year. The lake level is fairly stable and currently sits at 552.55. The creeks and coves as well as the flats on the main lake are stained. The deep water of the main lake appears to be clear on the surface.

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters.
http://www.stroutfitters.com/
This was a busy week of fishing and deer hunting, the bite continues from Calamity Beach past Point 10 in Missouri. The warm weather has kept the lake from turning over so the only good bite is in the river. Stripers are moving up and down the river chasing shad. It seems the only bait the stripers will hit on a regular basis is live shad, I watch trollers going up and down the river and in 2 weeks I have only seen 1 striper caught whereas we have been limiting out or our clients have had enough bites to catch a limit. The best bite is the flat next to the river channel in 25’ of water. There are huge schools of shad roaming the river. Just keep moving up and down the channel. We are catching stripers using down lines, weighted floats, and planner boards, the lines are set at 16’.We had Rick and his daughter Courtney in for 3 days of deer hunting and striper fishing. Rick is in a wheel chair so it was a challenge getting him close to deer. But they both had opportunities to harvest a buck multiple times, Courtney missed the biggest buck of her life a big 10 point. They also wanted to try striper fishing so we fished Saturday & Sunday. The bite was on both days. The first day we missed our limit since they were new to striper fishing but on Sunday they were on the fish and had their limit by 9:15 am. Rick was a great sport and was it my pleasure seeing farther and daughter have such a great experience.

 

- Norfork - - Norfork Lake Fishing Report By Scuba Steve from Blackburn's Resort -