The spring rains 2008, 2009, and 2011 and subsequent higher water events produced a phenomenal spawn of bass, crappie, walleye and other Lake Norfork species. These classes of fish are now of catchable lengths. Arkansas Game & Fish Commission predicts that
Lake Norfork fishing will be incredible for years to come!
Our Pro Staff Fishing Reports
07/27/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 571.9 and the water temp is in the upper 80’s. With the lake being high we are still catching fish. The stripers are suspended 40-60ft. Early in the morning they are close to the bottom down 40ft. As the sun gets higher they start moving towards the deeper water. We caught a few small stripers on topwater back in Barren Creek. The bigger fish are in the deeper water within a few miles of the dam. Bass are coming up early and will hit topwater baits like a spook or a pop-r. After the topwater bite slows throw a jig to the edge of the brush or a worm. When you mark fish suspended or close to the bottom drop a jigging spoon. For more information on the lake go to Lake Norfork Fun.com
07/27/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

I stated last week the rain had stopped but this pass week we had another 2 plus inches of rain. This is the worst period of rain for this time of year I have seen in my 18 years of living here. Only once before I saw the lake rise in August but never have I’ve seen the lake rise in late June through July. The Corps now states that the lake will not return to normal levels until late October. I have decided to quit making any predictions on what the weather or lake will do this year, Mother Nature has taken over and is controlling our lake. The stripers continue to be caught from the bridges all the way to the dam; however most of the big stripers are being caught nearer the dam. Small stripers that can tolerate the warmer waters are still holder north of Diamond Bay but if you want to catch a big fish try the lower end of the lake. This pass week I caught two 25 lb stripers and loss several others and lots of mid-teen fish.

A friend of mine Don Lawellin who owns Three Oaks Resort on Norfork Lake ask if I could take him and his daughters Erin & Audrey for a father/daughter fishing trip before they go back to college. The morning started with a heavy rain storm that delayed our takeoff until 6 am. We usually leave at 4:45 am. The girls have never striper fished but were experienced fishing folks. They listen to my instructions and right away began hooking and landing stripers. The action was petty fast for awhile and Don even got involved in catching stripers. They was a lot of chatter about who’s catching and who’s missing but overall it was a lot of fun seeing all three of them catching fish and making family memories. By the way both Eri .n & Audrey caught the biggest stripers, Erin’s was 15 lbs and Audrey’s 13 lbs, and dad finished a distance third.

For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. August and early September will be strong months for striper fishing. You should expect to catch multiple stripers each day you fish in these months. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
07/19/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The rain has stopped but Norfork Lake will continued to rise and will crest at 572 which is 15’ over summer pool. We should see some reduction in the lake level starting soon. the Corps cannot lower the lake until Bull Shoals Lake gets under control with all the water they are holding in it. Striper fishing continues to be outstanding with multiple limits being caught. I have noticed that other guides are now fishing the lower end of the year near the dam. This tells me the bite on Robinson Point has slowed and the stripers are beginning their annual migration towards the dam. High water is usually a problem in August for stripers. The lake is normally high in April and May and by August the lake heat causes lower oxygen levels that stresses the stripers. This year with high water so late in the season the oxygen level remains good. The stripers are fighting very hard all the way to the boat. I have never seen stripers fight this hard this time of year. Every year I take out a family for their annual striper trip, Glenn, Brenda, Max, and Jake. This time it was the boys against their parents in their first ever fishing contest. It was no contest, the boys won 5 to 0. I had been catching limits of stripers each day up to their outing but it was a slow day as we had bites but misses a few early then it slowed down. Both boys caught a striper and missed one. Then I hooked a good one and Jake took the pole. I helped him fight the fish, it took 15 minutes to land the striper but it was worth it. Jake had a 25 lb striper, something he will remember the rest of his life. His parents agreed to have it mounted so the memories will continue every time they look at the fish. Max got in on the action next when his pole went down and he landed a fat 14 lb striper by himself. All his parents could do was watch and be very proud of their boys. We had a lot of fun and made happy memories. The early morning and late evening bass bite is very good right now. You need to work the shorelines to be successful. The Big Creek arm has really been producing as of late. The crappie bite is pretty good in the back of the creeks that are still flowing with fresh runoff water. Overall, the white bass are slow, but when they hit, they hit hard and fast. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. August and early September will be strong months for striper fishing. You should expect to catch multiple stripers each day you fish in these months. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
07/13/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Rain rain go away. This past week Norfork Lake rose an additional 3 feet in depth but just like last week the striper target depth is staying even with the rising water. I continue to catch stripers in depths ranging from 40’ to 80’. Early in the morning I start in depths of 40 to 45’ of water until the sun comes up, I then keep moving out until I start marking the striper usually in the 50 to 60’ range. In both of these ranges the stripers will be close or lying on the bottom. Once I move out to the 80 to 120 foot range, the stripers will be suspended between 40 to 55’. In all cases I put my shad right above the fish. Stripers will not go down to take a bait so you always want your bait equal to or above the fish. I continue to fish the lower part of the lake near the Hand Cove Resort area. Stripers are being caught near Robinson Point also. The bite continues to get better each week and should peak at the end of August. I fished all week catching many limits of stripers for my clients. This pass weekend I took a valued client out who I have fished with since his kids were in grade school. Now they are in college or out of school. Doug wanted to bring some of his clients down for a two day work/fishing retreat. We had six guys so we had two guide boats out. Saturday we caught 9 and kept 7, Sunday we started off hooking a striper over 20 pounds and fought it for 10 minutes having it up to the boat 3 times before the last run broke the line. We had only 2 stripers by 7 am and it seemed it was going to be a very slow day. We then picked up a couple more and by quarter to 8 we had 5. They wanted to quit by 8:30 so it looked like it was over. I noticed some fish holding on the bottom at 50’ but they just looked at my bait. I switched good shad out with fresh bait and bang we caught a nice 12 lb striper. So I started switching the bait every 5 minutes out and by 8:30 we had our limit of 9 stripers. It was a mad house on the boat for 45 minutes. What a fun morning that was. The early morning and late evening bass bite is very good right now. You need to work the shorelines to be successful. The Big Creek arm has really been producing as of late. The crappie bite is pretty good in the back of the creeks that are still flowing with fresh runoff water. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. July and August will be two strong months for striper fishing. You should expect to catch multiple stripers each day you fish in these months. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
07/12/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake level is 570.1 which is almost up 5 ft. from last week. The water temperature is in the mid 80’s. Don’t think that because of the high water that the fish aren’t biting. They ARE BITING. Look for stripers on flats at least close to the bottom in 40 ft. early and as the sun starts to get higher they start heading to deeper water. They will suspend down 40-50ft. Get your bait down to where you mark them whether you are using live bait or a jigging spoon. For me the better bite has been from dawn until about 8 AM for the stripers. Then the bite slows down. Bass are coming up early chasing bait to the surface and will hit Zara spooks, pop-r’s or a red fin. As the sun get higher you have to go to a jig, worm or try a drop shot. There are some up in the brush chasing bait. There has been a few whites coming up with the bass. I have seen more surface activity in the creeks. So don’t let the high water stop you from coming to the lake for fun or fishing. For more on Norfork Lake go to www.LakeNorforkFun.com
07/07/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

With the rain last week the water level is 565.6 and the water temperature is in the mid 80’s. The fish are biting. Look for the stripers close to the bottom in 40ft and suspended at least 40ft. in deeper water. They can be out in 140ft. suspended also. Bass are coming up early hitting top water baits. Watch for them on points and in coves. After the top water bite slows throw a jig or a worm in 15-35ft. and work it slowly. But keep a top water bait ready. The Kentuckies will come up anytime. Look for walleye on gravel banks close to the bottom 25-35ft. Try dropping a jigging spoon. Whites are down around 30-35ft. and some hybrids are running with them. Look in the creeks and coves. For more information on the lake go to www.LakeNorforkFun.com.
07/07/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The continual rains has added an additional 2 feet of depth to Norfork Lake but just like last week the striper target depth is staying even with the rising water. I continue to catch stripers in depths ranging from 40’ to 140’. This week I saw the largest school of stripers of the year. They were in just 50 in 80 feet of water and did not hit my baits until I put a new fresh bait on which was hit right away. If your not catching fish you are marking, try a fresh bait or different colors and sizes of spoons. It works often. Fresh bait has more energy and generates excitement to a striper. The stripers are feeding on gizzard shad and the bite should continue to improve the next two months.

The water is higher than normal but the marinas, beaches, boat ramps, and resorts are open and awaiting your arrival. The lake is warm, clear, and clean so don’t hesitate about coming to the Norfork Lake this summer.

I took some first time visitors, Brandon, Kamp, and John to the lake for their first striper trip. They all caught stripers with Kamp catching the most. We caught 7 stripers ranging from 8 to 15 lbs. We had over 20 strikes to catch the seven fish. The stripers were in the mood just to grab the bait and pull it down, but let it go when you grab the rod so take care when you try to set the hook. Stripers are also on the move so keep looking on flats next to points and under water bluff lines with a flat on one side with the river channel butting the flat. The stripers are feeding on crawdads on the flats early and are moving into deeper water as the sun comes up.

For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. July and August will be two strong months for striper fishing. You should expect to catch multiple stripers each day you fish in these months. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
07/01/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

We had a great week of stable weather; the lake rose another 6” but the stripers continue to bite. Stripers are biting from the 62 bridge to the dam and up towards Big Creek. You can find stripers at all depths, I caught fish in 40’ all the way out to 140’, stripers are schooling and feeding on shad and crawdads. If the stripers are shallow 40’ they will be feeding on crawdads, in the deeper water they are feeding on threadfin and gizzard shad. I cleaned stripers with 7 & 8” gizzard shad in their stomach, sometimes they had 2 and 3 of them; they are on a good feed right now. The water is high but the marinas, beaches, boat ramps, and resorts are open and awaiting your arrival. The lake is warm, clear, and clean so don’t hesitate about coming to the Norfork Lake this summer.

I fished all week, two days I pre-fished looking for new places that the stripers are feeding at. I found stripers in the Robinson Point area all the way to the Hand Cove and up Big Creek. I took Steve out with his friend Gary for two striper trips; they had both fished Norfork a couple of times for stripers with no luck. The first day we caught one limit but missed many fish. Each time a client comes for the first time it can be difficult learning how to set the hook when your downline, (2 oz sinker with bait straight down counted to a specific depth), fishing. The next trip we again missed many stripers and only caught one limit but Steve did catch a big 25 lb striper that he is getting mounted. We had a lot of fun and they are already planning their next striper adventure.

For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. June has been a very good fishing month and I expect July to be just as strong. You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as crappie time has begun and there is a good bass bite going on along most shorelines too. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
06/23/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The past week we had over 3” of rain and a lake rise of over 3’, yet with all the rain the stripers keep on biting. I fished all week except for Thursday and Friday and caught stripers on Robinson Point in the afternoons and at Woods Point. The stripers continue to bite on threadfin and gizzard shad, Alabama rigs, and trolled swim baits. The stripers are moving deeper. I now am catching all my fish between 35 and 45’. The hot weather has jumped the water temperature to the mid-eighties which will keep the stripers under the thermocline. Norfork Lake is 7’ above summer pool. This may sound high but it’s good for fishing and with the shoreline being in the brush, this helps the young fry to hide while they begin their growth period. All the marinas, beaches, boat ramps, and resorts are open and awaiting your arrival. The lake is warm, clear, and clean so don’t hesitate about coming to the Norfork Lake this summer. I'm fished Robinson Point on Monday afternoon with my cousin between rain storms and he caught his limit in 35 minutes. When you find the stripers this time of year the bite can be very fast. On Wednesday I took Bill, Paula, Bill, and Linda out for a morning striper trip. Paula has been working with me the past month on finding a date she could take her husband Chris who is disabled. Both Bill and Chris use wheelchairs so I removed my back seat and set Chris up with his wheelchair, Bill only used his to ride between the car and boat. We had many bites that day and they all caught stripers. Paula caught the biggest at 18 lbs. It was a fun day and a lot of enjoyment for me. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. June has been a very good fishing month and I expect July to be just as strong. You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as crappie time has begun and there is a good bass bite going on along most shorelines too. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
06/23/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake water temperature is in the low to mid 80’s and the lake level is up to 564. The stripers are starting to group up in 35-45ft deep. As the water temp rises they will migrate to deeper. They can be suspended in 45-140ft. Look along deep channel swings and along the bluffs. Just get you bait or jigging spoon down to where you mark them on your depth finder. Bass are chasing bait to the surface early and just before dark. I always have a rod rigged with a topwater bait like a Zara spook jr. I like to throw a white or a clear one. Throw a jig or a Texas rigged worm on the bottom in 15-25ft and drag it or hop it in short hops back to the boat. Look for walleye on gravel flats in 30-35ft. Look for the whites in coves in 25-40ft.suspended. For more information on the lake go to www.LakeNorforkFun.com
06/16/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The past week we had wonderful summer weather that resulted in a great striper bite on Norfork Lake. Stripers are being caught in the 101 Area, Robinson Point, and Thumb Point. The stripers are biting on threadfin and gizzard shad, Alabama rigs, and trolled swim baits. The stripers are moving deeper. I have consistency caught them between 35 and 45’. I’m also starting to see schooling fish feeding on crawdads. The stripers are getting aggressive. When we get a fish on the line we are seeing other lines getting hit at the same time. It’s a lot of fun and can get very hectic when you 2 or 3 stripers on. The hot weather has jumped the water temperature to the mid-eighties which will keep the stripers under the thermocline. I'm fishing the Robinson Point area in the late afternoons and the lower end of the lake in the Big Creek area in the mornings. I took Jeff, Shawn, Charlie, and Jason out for three days, and we caught stripers each day. The best day we had 14 fish on and managed to land 7 stripers. When you first fish for stripers with down rods it’s always a learning experience. The pole will go down into the water and most people want to jerk the rod too early. The best rule is let the rod go down at least 7 eyes on the pole before you jerk it. You will still miss a fish but you will catch more fish the longer you wait. If you never have caught a striper now is the time to plan a trip to Norfork Lake. The striper bite will only get better over the next 4 months. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. June has been a very good fishing month and I expect July to be just as strong. You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as crappie time has begun and there is a good bass bite going on along most shorelines too. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
06/16/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake level is 562.1 and the water temperature is in the low to mid 80’s. The stripers and hybrids are still coming up early and just before dark chasing baitfish early this week. With the water temperature rising, the stripers and hybrids are moving into their summer haunts. Start looking for them 30-40ft. As the water continues to warm they will migrate deeper. The bass are coming up hitting topwater baits early. After the sun gets up start throwing a jig or a Texas rigged. Look for whites in coves 25-35ft. deep and look for the crappie in the deep brush piles.
06/02/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake level is 561.6 and the water temp is in the mid 70’s. We are still having some stripers and hybrids coming up early chasing shad to the surface. It won’t last to much longer as the water is getting to warm. Throw a Zara spook, soft jerk bait or a wake bait like a red fin. They will also hit a swim bait. There are suspended fish down 20-40ft. For the live bait fisherman get your bait down into them or just above them. I like to drop a jigging spoon. Some whites are coming up and will hit these baits as well as all three bass species. As for bass throw a soft jerk bait up along the flooded brush. You can throw a jig up along the brush and try a shallow running crank bait or a spinner bait. A floating worm will get you some action too. We’ve been catching them mostly in Big Creek and Brushy Creek. There are still fish up lake doing the same as on the lower end. For more information on Lake Norfork go to Lake Norfork .com
06/02/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

In the past week the rain has continued causing Norfork Lake to rise another 2 ½ feet. You would think the rising water would slow down fishing but just the opposite has happen. Stripers are biting all over the lake. The fish are being caught on top, just under the surface, and deep. Spoons, topwater plugs, swim baits, shiners, and shad are all catching stripers right now. This will not last long, as the water warms up the fish will complete their transition to deep water staying below the thermocline. Now is the time to get on water or if you do not have boat hire one of guides on the lake to take you out for a action packed morning of catching stripers. I continue to fish the lower end of the lake in the Big Creek area about a mile either side of the entrance to Hand Cove most of the week. I took Jared Coan who owns Wagon Wheel Resort, his brother Zack and their dad Roy out for their first striper trip. Jared wanted to see what striper fishing was all about. He received firsthand experience on what his clients will experience when they take a fishing trip. It started raining right after we started and it rained the next three hours. The stripers did not care as we continued to catch fish all morning. We ended up boating 11 stripers and kept our limit of 9. We were wet from the rain but it was worth it. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. May has been a very good fishing month and I expect June to be just as strong. You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as crappie time has just begun and there is a good bass bite going on along most shorelines too. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
05/25/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 560.4 and the water temp is in the low 70’s. There are still a few stripers and hybrids coming up early and just before dark chasing baitfish. Keep a top water rod handy. Have a Zara spook or a wake type bait tied on. Keep an eye on your depth finder and watch for them suspended 25-40ft. Drop a jigging spoon or get your live bait down just above the fish. Check channel swings along the bluffs and on the points. Bass are coming up early and will hit these baits as well. You might want to throw a soft jerk bait close as you can to the brush along the bank. The bass are hitting jigs, jerk baits and Texas rigged worms. Don’t forget to try a swim bait. All of these fish will hit a swim bait reeled real slow. There are a few whites coming up also.
05/25/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The past week we have had rain, cold, and fog but the fish seem to not care about the weather and started biting all over the lake. The stripers are in transition right now. I am catching stripers three ways, on top with a balloon, long line with a split shot, and down line with a 2 oz sinker set about 30 feet down. Some of fish I cleaned had crawdads in their belly. This means the fish are starting to go deep. With that in mind, it's time to break out your spoons. I’m starting to see small schools of stripers that will take my shad. The loner fish are beginning to school up because of the higher water temperatures. As it warms we will continue to see more fish schooling in the 30 to 50 foot range. I fished the lower end of the lake in the Big Creek area about a mile either side of the entrance to Hand Cove most of the week. I finished the week fishing north of Howard Cove. I caught multiple limits of stripers on both ends of Norfork Lake. Stripers are being caught in most major creeks and some in mid-lake area. I took Carson, Phil, & Tom out for a morning trip. The bite started early and lasted all morning. We had overcast skies and a light wind which kept the stripers higher in the water column. We hooked 12 stripers, boated 8. and kept 6, with the biggest being 20 lbs. All the stripers were caught on gizzard shad. This past week my clients have caught multiple fish over 18 lbs and one fish straighten out a new Gamakatsu Shiner Hook. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. May has been a very good month and I expect June to be just as strong. You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as Crappie time has just begun and there is a good bass bite going on too. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
05/10/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

We finally got some south winds and some warm and stable weather and the bite is on. The stripers and hybrids are coming up early and just before dark chasing baitfish. Throw a zara spook or a wake bait. If you don’t see any surface activity throw a swim bait at least a 4” and retrieve it real slow. Always have a top water rigged on deck. They are hitting live bait real good also. There is still a night bite after dark throwing stick baits and reeling it real slow. Bass are coming up as well. There are some bedding and hitting floating worms. Keep watching your depth finder and if you see some suspended fish drop a jigging spoon. For more information on the area and more go to www.FishLakeNorfork.com
05/10/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Stable weather has finally arrived and Norfork Lake has exploded. All species of fish have started feeding all over the lake. There is topwater action on every point from Cranfield to the dam and up all of the major creeks. Bass and stripers are really on the feed. I even started catching crappies up the creeks while throwing my shad net. The fish will complete their spawn this week. The bass will be in full spawn and the stripers are up the creek doing the same. Spooks, swim baits, red fins, flukes and Alabama rigs are catching stripers and bass. Be on the water at first light and keep watching around your area. The bass may not be on your point but you should see action, make sure that you do not drive up the activity that will spook the fish. Stop short and use your trolling motor to get to the fish. I have caught multiple limits of stripers this week around the Hand Cove area. I have seen fish feeding on most of the points heading south as I travel up and down the lake. I took the Burton family out, Eric, Slade, Shelby, & Norma out for their annual two day Mother's Day fishing trip. Both days we caught at least 7 stripers with the biggest being 20 lbs. Everybody caught at least a 12 lb or bigger striper each day. Now is a great time to take your striper trip. The crappie are started to bite. Don from Three Oaks Resort says the big crappie are being caught around his dock and along the shore line. Find a good brush pile and you should catch a bunch of crappie. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans now. May has been a very good month to catch stripers. June looks very promising. You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as crappie time is beginning now. A good place to start is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
05/05/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Stability has finally appeared and looks like the weather and Norfork Lake will start warming up and the winds have turned south. The warm wind and warmer nights has started to raise the lake temperature and is maintaining the water temperature overnight. The carry over will keep the lake temperature to rise into the seventies by the end of week. The warm water and full moon has triggered the shad to begin their spawn, other species will begin to spawn or finish their spawn. Crappie will complete their spawn and the bass have moved to their beds. The fish will move towards the buck brush and feed on the spawning shad. This is a great time to throw topwater lures near the bank. Stripers are being caught all over the lake, the upper part of the lake around the Cranfield area, mid-lake around the Blue Lady and Float & Panther creeks. In the lower lake the stripers are on the main lake points and in the mouths of Big & Brushy Creeks. Topwater plugs, shiners, shad, and trolling swim baits are all catching stripers. I took John and his brother Jeff out, it was Jeff’s first striper trip. Jeff caught a 6 lb largemouth right away and missed several others. John had a hard hit and the fight was on. The striper made several runs and it took about 5 minutes to get her in. It was John’s biggest fish. The crappie bite is still slow in the creeks. This should change with the warm water and south winds. Expect the crappie to move shallow to complete their spawn. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans now. May looks like it’s going to be a very good month to catch stripers. You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as Crappie time will begin soon. A good place to start is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 35 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at www.stroutfitters.com, 870-421-1541 or on Facebook.
04/28/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Unstable weather patterns continue to wreck havoc on the fish. Each time we get the warm southern winds and a warming trend the weather changes and drives the fish and bait from the shallows. The water is clear on the main lake and creeks are off color, the creeks continue to be the warmest water on the lake. Some stripers and hybrids are starting to bite on top at first light, however if there is any type of wind the fish seem to shut down. Also if its an east wind they will shut down totally. The main lake water temperature has dropped to the low-sixties and the creeks are in the high sixties. I took Jacob and his dad John out this pass Saturday and we had action at first light then moved where some hybrids were surfacing. That bite did not last long but we did manage to catch a limit of stripers for Jacob. We were fishing in the Big Creek arm. I was using small threadfin shad. The bait continues to move in and out of the shallows. We need a strong warming trend to bring the bait in to spawn. The crappie are being caught on deeper brush piles and in open water trolling jigs and minnows. Most of the crappie is not in the shallows. I have been watching the crappie guides fish the shallow brush and not many fish are being caught. Stay in deep water. One trick I use to use was to troll a minnow tipped white 1/8 oz Road Runner over the brush piles in East Pigeon, Pigeon, and Brushy & Big Creek with great success. This works best when the crappie are staging to spawn For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans now. May looks like it’s going to be a very good month to catch stripers. You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as Crappie time will begin soon. A good place to start is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
04/26/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake level is 558.7 which is up about a half foot from last week and the water temp has dropped a few degrees into the low 60's to mid 60's. The main lake is clear and the creeks are starting to clear. Some stripers and hybrids are coming up early chasing baitfish. We have been throwing jointed red fins to them. The will also hit a Zara spook and a swimbait. They come up better if the water is slick with little or no wind is best. If they aren't coming up I throw a 4"swimbait and reel it slow. They are hitting live bait as well. The night bite seems to get a little later these past few nights. Throw a stickbait to the bank and retrieve it real slow. Colors hasn't been making a difference. You can also pick up some walleye. Some bass are coming up as well along with a few whites hitting spooks and they are hitting on swimbaits also. There are a few coming up just before dark back in the creeks. We need some stable weather and some wind from the south to warm the water temp a little more and the bite will only get better. For more on Lake Norfork go to www.LakeNorforkFun.com or www.FishNorfork.com
04/20/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake level is 558.2 and the water temperature is in the mid 60's and clear in the main part of the lake to the upper 60's in the creeks and they are starting to clear. The creeks will get stained water again as we are expecting possibly a little over and inch of rain this evening. There are some stripers and hybrids coming up chasing shad early in the mornings. Throw a Zara spook or try a wake type bait. They are hitting live bait also. Find the baitfish and they will be close by. When they are not coming up try throwing a swimbait or a soft jerkbait like a fluke or bass assassin. Some whites are coming up as well as the largemouth and Kentucky's. The bass are also hitting jigs, swimbaits, and floating worms close to the brush on the banks. The night bite is real good throwing stickbaits to the banks and you have to real them slow. The colors doesn't seem to make a difference. The bite has been starting just after dark. For more information on Lake Norfork go to www.LakeNorforkFun.com or www.FishNorfork.com
04/20/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The striper bite continues all over Norfork Lake. The water has cleared on the main lake but the creeks remain stained and are the warmest water on the lake. Some stripers have moved up Bennett’s arm, Big Creek, and Brushy Creek, but a large number of stripers are being caught off the main lake points. There is a strong topwater bite in the Cranfield area and the Big Creek arm. The water temperature has gone up to the high-sixties and the creeks are in the low seventies. I took Clayton and Dave out for their first striper trip. We were fishing Big Creek and the bite started right away. Clayton caught a fat 15 lb striper and then it was Dave’s turn. They took turns catching striper for over 3 hours. We caught 10 and kept 5. We had to cut our trip short due an approaching heavy rain storm. The crappie bite has started however the weather this pass week continues to wreck havoc. Get a warm two days with a south wind and the crappies move into the shallows then a cold front comes and they move out. Just stay with it and you will catch crappies. The bass are starting to make their beds so it will not be long before they begin to spawn. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans now. April looks like it’s going to be a great month to catch stripers. You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as Crappie time will begin soon. A good place to start is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! The Norfork Lake level is higher than its normal mid summer pool of 556.75 but has dropped 3 1/2’ this past two weeks. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and off color in the main channels. These make for excellent fishing conditions.
04/13/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The weather is warming up and so is the fishing. The water temp is in the upper 50's in the main lake and the water is clear. In the creeks the water the water temp is in the low 60's and the water is stained about halfway back. The stripers are hitting livebait,soft jerkbaits and swimbaits during the day and at night throw a stickbait up to the bank and retrieve it real slow. The bite starts at dark. The colors doesn't seem to make a difference. Some walleye are up shallow at night and are hitting stickbaits also. Look along flats and don't overlook some steeper banks as well. Bass are coming up chasing baitfish early and just before dark. Look back in the creeks for surface activity. Throw a zara spook jr, soft jerkbait or shallow running minnow type bait. Also try a swimbait. Some guys are throwing the A-rig. There are some whites coming up in the same areas and will take the same baits. For more information on Lake Norfork go to www.NorforkLakeFun.com
04/06/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The morning, afternoon, and evening striper bite has started all over Norfork Lake. Heavy rains and cold weather has caused most other species to move back from the shallows. The white bass and small hybrids are schools off the points half way up the creeks. The water is much stained with lots of debris coming out of the creeks. The water temperature has stayed in the mid-fifties. Once we have consistent warm weather and sunshine the entire lake will explode with all species. There is a top water bite up the creeks beginning right now. The large mouths are small but the bigger fish will start feeding when the weather turns. I began fishing with clients Thursday night and caught 2 stripers, a hybrid and 2 walleye. The bite was good until the lighting started and the fish turned off. I fished mornings both Saturday and Sunday and in the evenings and caught stripers each trip. A strong bite is beginning both in the morning and evening. I took my son Sean out Sunday evening looking for some big fish. We were fishing the Bennett’s Bayou area and at one time had five fish exploding on our baits. We did manage to land one 20 pound striper that we released. The big fish are biting I just sometimes wish they would just hit one at a time. The crappie will start spawning in the next few days. The water level has partially covered the buck brush and the crappie will be spawning on the structure. Once the water level stabilizes the crappie, walleye, and white bass will be spawning in the creeks and upper river. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans now. April looks like it’s going to be a great month to catch stripers. You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as Crappie time will begin soon. A good place to start is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! The Norfork Lake level is higher than its normal mid summer pool of 556.75 but is forecast to begin dropping about April 4th barring any additional rain. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and off color in the main channels. These make for excellent fishing conditions. Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 35 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at www.stroutfitters.com, 870-421-1541 or on Facebook.
04/06/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

With the rain this past week the lake level is 559.1 which is up 2 1/2 ft. from last week. The water temp is in the low to mid 50's. The main lake is clear and in the creeks there is color to stained the futher back in the creeks you go. We had another cold front come though. There were a few fish starting to come up until the cold front came through. The striper bite is still a little better at night than in the day. We still need stable weather and some south winds. There were a few walleye hitting stickbaits at night. Bass are hitting suspended jerkbaits, a-rigs, swimbaits and jigs. With the water coming up last week it moved the crappie back off the banks into the brushpiles until the lake level gets stable and warms up some more.
03/30/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

With the rain last week the lake level is 557.7 and the water temp is in the low 50's. After the rain mid week we got a cold front that really dropped the water temp into the upper 40's and slowed the night bite down. I fished Saturday night and we had two hits and no fish. The wind was blowing out of the east-southeast and it was a cold wind. Sunday night was a little better the weather warmed into the mid 60's and very little wind and we managed to catch one nice white bass around 3lbs. and four stripers in the 10lb range. Hopefully we are over those nasty cold fronts so the weather will start warming up and become stable. The morning bite is still slow. We did manage to get one nice striper on a soft jerk bait. Bass were hitting suspending jerkbaits, jigs and a few on crankbaits. April the fishing will be on fire and the top water bite should be happening soon. For more information on Lake Norfork go to FishLakeNorfork .com
03/29/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past week the weather started off with sunshine and ended with rain and snow. In between the stripers started to feed during the day and continued to feed at night. Monday and Tuesday saw strong south winds and seventy degree days. Stripers were caught all over the lake, Cranfield, Bennett’s, Big Creek, & the Norfork Lake dam area. Wednesday night we experienced strong storms, heavy rain, and cold weather. North winds started and the temperature dropped like a rock. We also saw the lake rise over 2 ½ feet. When the lake crests, it will have rose over 5 1/2’. What started the week off as the beginning of a strong spring bite quickly ended. This next week we should see seventy degree weather, stained water, and south winds, a great combination for the spring bite. I fished with a old client, Dick Engel Tuesday and the stripers were biting. We hooked 6 and landed 2 but we had a couple of fish on that were in the twenty pound range. We were fishing in the Bennett’s Bayou part of Norfork Lake. The stripers were hanging over brush piles waiting on shad. The crappie bite was strong and again with the rising water they have moved deeper. Once the lake crests you should see them moving back shallow. The white bass and walleye also started their run up in the lower creeks and then in Udall. Until the river current slows down that bite will be very slow. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans now. April looks like it’s going to be a great month to catch stripers. A good place to start is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! The Norfork Lake level is higher than its normal mid summer pool of 556.75 but is forecast to begin dropping about April 4th barring any additional rain. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and off color in the main channels. Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 35 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at www.stroutfitters.com, 870-421-1541 or on Facebook.
03/25/2015 Greg's Outlook

It looks like the beginning a very promising fishing season at Hand Cove Resort. The top water temperature at our dock is in the middle 50's and warming, the lake level is rising a little, and the weather lately has been about normal for this time of year. There has been a fair bass and crappie bite all winter and it is really starting to heat up just a little earlier this year.. A good walleye bite will begin soon as the fish look to begin spawning. The night bite for stripers have been very active already this year and should continue for a number of weeks. It seems as though the fish have begun migrating to the dam and into the Big Creek arm already. Watch for white bass and hybrid bite to get stronger in the creeks very soon. There is a good crappie bite developing in the small creek coves. For some reason, the fish are very shallow and active for this time of year. Minnows, small jigs and grubs, and crappie flies are working very well. As of today, baring a major rain event we will see lake levels following the normal pool levels for this spring and summer. To sum up, I think we are off to a good start.

New products have arrived for our bait and tackle shop. Added for this season are 4 types of Jewel Spoons, an expanded selection Berkley's Flicker Shad in 2 sizes, Bandit crankbaits and walleye lures, and some new style of Alabama rigs all in Norfork Lake specific colors. We are very excited about the addition of Smithwick's Perfect 10 line of Rogues, now is stock in all colors and all priced competitively. Also new this year is a nice selection of Rick Klum stickbaits. I expect them to perform well for this season's early morning and night bite.
03/25/2015 By Larry Olson

My night fishing season began with a bang this past week. Conditions were great and the stars were in perfect alignment. My first night out we boat 15 nice stripers, all in the upper 10's to mid 15 pound range. The second night was just as good. We netted 10 in the same size range. All together we kept 2 fish and sent the rest back to grow into that 45 pounder I'm looking for this year. The best action was in the Big Creek arm mainly between Sand Island and Woods Point. The good news is it seems as though the night bite might be beginning just a little earlier this year. Regardless, the night bite is on and I think the top water bite will begin soon! The other good news is that the quality of the fish caught was very good. The really good news is that I did not burn much fuel finding them. I launched at Hand Cove and just stayed within a couple of miles of the dock. Rogue type stick baits produced the best bite. I had really good luck with the Table Rock shad color but I think the normal Norfork Lake blues, bone, and red/brown would be just as effective.
03/24/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past week the mild weather continued, but without the strong south winds, the heavy rains muddied the creeks and stained the main lake. It also rose the lake level enough to move a lot of the debris off the shore and into the lake. Because of a lack of strong current and wind, the debris is slowly making its way towards the dam, so be careful if you go out at night. One tip for seeing debris is look for the seagulls. They will rest on floating logs. The gulls look like they are sitting on water but it will be a log just under the surface. The lake temperature continues to hover around the low fifties, without the south winds and warm nights the temperature will stay in the fifties. I continue to fish during the day without much luck, I have tried Bennett’s, Big Creek, the main lake, and Brushy Creek without catching a striper. Some big stripers were caught this past week during the day. One was 28 lbs and the other was over 30 lbs, but the bite is very inconsistent. Once we get a consistent warming trend with some strong south winds the striper bite will go crazy. As I traveled the lake fishing and looking for shad I did notice that the crappie fishing seems to have really turned on. I saw crappie caught in all the creeks, with the fish were beginning caught very shallow. Also the white bass and walleye have started their run up in the lower creeks and then in Udall also. The night bite continues to be strong. Stripers were caught in the upper, middle, and lower end of the lake. The best bite starts at dark and continues for at least three hours. My son Sean and I went out a couple of times and our best night we hooked 9 and boated 7 in 2-½ hours. We were throwing Rouges to the shore and reeling back slowly. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. April looks like it’s going to be a great month to catch stripers. A good place to start is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! The Norfork Lake level is closing in on its normal the winter/early spring pools of 553.75. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and off color in the main channels. Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 35 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at www.stroutfitters.com, 870-421-1541 or on Facebook.
03/24/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The fishing is heating up here on Lake Norfork. The water level is 554.06 and the water temp is 50-56. The cooler water is in the main lake and clear and the warmer water is in the creeks where the water is stained. Bass are hitting suspending jerkbaits, crankbaits and jigs. The striper bite is GOOD at night on stickbaits. The color we used didn't seem to matter the last couple nights. The bite starts at dark. We had our first hit last night at 7:45. Last night we caught a couple hybrids and couple stripers and had two break them off. Friday night my clients caught ten and they kept two and missed as many. They caught all of them within a few miles of the dam. They caught 1 Friday morning on a soft jerk bait about 8 pounds. We were around a lot of baitfish but could only get that one bite. The top water bite should start soon providing the weather quits throwing these cold fronts at us so the weather can be more stable. That will make the bite even better. For more information on Lake Norfork go to www.FishNorfork com and check it out.
03/16/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past weekend the cold weather pattern finally broke and we have seen a warming trend but with that, the rains came. Two good rains later and the lake went up lake about 2 ½ feet and muddied the water. I fished 6 out of the last 7 days and only had luck twice. I fished the Blue Lady dock area, Crystal Cove, the Fouts Boat Dock area, and point 6B with no luck and no fish. I moved down towards Big Creek and Brushy Creek and found fish in multiple spots. The best day I caught 7 stripers with the biggest being 20 lbs. Multiple cold fronts, rain, and heavy fog had and will slow the morning bite just a little longer. The good news is the water is warming fast and the fish are starting to feed. I expect the lake activity for all species of fish will only improve this coming week. The night bite has started for real. A friend of mine, Lou Gabric, has been evening fishing throwing Rouges and has had multiple nights of catching several stripers, the biggest was 28 lbs. The bite is starting right at dark, nothing has been caught before dark and has lasted as long as Lou wanted to fish. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans now. Things should really start happening the third and fourth week of March. A good place to start is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake! The Norfork Lake level is closing in on it's normal the winter/early spring pools of 553.75. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and off color in the main channels.
03/09/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past weekend the cold weather pattern finally broke and we have seen a warming trend. The fish also took notice and have begun to bite again. Walleyes are being caught at the state line and near the US160 bridge in Missouri. Stripers and hybrids are also being caught near the state line. Most of the fish are being caught on trolling lures or Alabama rigs with jibs and swim baits. I fished in the Blue Lady, Crystal Cove and Fouts Boat Dock areas and found lots of bass but no stripers. I moved up the creek and found the warmest stained water 48 degrees. I noticed the white bass fishermen were throwing from the shore so that tells me the white bass has started their spawning run in the creeks. We should see 50 degree water by weeks end and that will really start the stripers and hybrids to bite. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans now. A good place to start is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com Norfork Lake remains about 4 feet below normal the winter/early spring pools. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels.
03/08/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The level of Norfork Lake is 548.6, just a few feet low for this time of year and the water temperature is still in the low to mid 40's. With the warmer weather in the next week or two getting the water temperature up to at least 50, the fishing will only get better. There are a few fish moving up to shallower water. The main lake is clear and back in the creeks the water is stained. I found the water temperature cooler up in Big Creek around 1C at 40 degrees. There are still stripers in the mid lake area, but they will start heading up the river and into the major creeks as soon as the water warms up. I talked to a angler the other day and he's been catching some nice bass in deep brushpiles on tube jigs. There are a few stripers hitting stickbaits at night and it's just getting started.
03/03/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

In my last article we talked about early March fishing. In this article I want to discuss fishing when the warm weather is in full swing. Fishing on Norfork Lake will explode when we start to see a consistent warming weather patterns. Stripers, walleye, crappie, & bass will all get very active. The fish will appear in different parts of the lake. For example the walleye will begin their spawning cycle and will be found spawning on pea gravel sloping banks. Some of the better spots are at the Arkansas Missouri state line, Liner Creek, Bridges Creek to the US 160 bridge, Hand Cove area, Dam Cove, and Thumb Point. Stripers will move to the warmest and dirtiest water up into the creeks. Find a creek with warm dirty water and you should find stripers, from Pigeon Creek to Big Creek stripers will be found. The night time stripers can be caught all over the lake, with a strong south wind happens you can find stripers on any northern shores. Some good spots are Diamond Bay, Dam Cove, Thumb Point, Cranfield Island, points leading up towards Red Bank, Barron Creek, & around Reynolds Island in Big Creek to name a few. Crappie will begin their movement from the deep brush piles towards the creeks. The big issue with crappie is the fronts and rain storms. I have watched anglers catching crappie in 1 foot of water way back in a creek. The next day after a heavy rain the same spot will be void of crappie. They had moved off to find a deeper brush pile. You can still catch them but the bite will be a little slower until the warm lake water returns. Crappie will be caught in all the major creeks. Just look on your depth finder for brush piles. They are scattered over the lake in every creek arm. Find the brush and you will find the crappie. This is when a current Norfork Lake fishing map comes in handy. The most current versions are available at the local bait and tackle shops. Bass will begin their move up the creeks and cove also. Smallmouth are the first to spawn. They will spawn on deep boulders off sloping points for example at Barron Point near point 1. I catch lots of smallies off Barron Point in 20 to 30’ of water when I’m striper fishing in the spring. Large mouth will move all the way up the creeks and back into the coves to make their beds. Again cold fronts will dictate their cycle, warm weather and normal water levels will keep them on the beds. A heavy storm will move the bass off the beds and back into deeper water. Spring offers a lot of fishing fun. If you just get out on the lake, you can catch fish. It really boils down to putti0ng your time in on Norfork Lake. Cold fronts will always effect the fish but if you have the will, you too can catch lots of species of fish during the spring. Sharpen your hooks, wear your PFD, and don't forget to take a kid with you to groom the next generation of Norfork Lake anglers!
02/24/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Early March Spring Striper Tactics. This winter was very mild until the last two weeks. We had the coldest weather of the year and that has brought the water temperature down to where we may experience a shad kill. I do not expect it to be severe like 2014 but we will just have to see how warm in the next several weeks. Not to worry, a small shad kill can actually make fishing better. We have not seen the February south winds yet this year. Until we do I do not expect much change in the fishing conditions. When the warmer winds start the stripers will begin to move from the deep water following the shad toward the shoreline. There will multiple opportunities to catch stripers then. Both live bait and artificial lures will be very effective. The night bite will begin once the winds blow from the south. You will want to fish the north banks of the bays and points. Some excellent spots are the points near the near the dam, Frog Pond, Diamond Bay, Cranfield Island, and the points north of Cranfield marina heading towards Red Bank. The best time to night fish is a half hour before dark until 12 pm. The best lure is the 5-1/2” Rogue. The color of the Rogue varies but black/gold, nuclear clown, and blue/black in the Norfork Lake color combinations seem to work the best. These Norfork Lake exclusive colors are available only at our local tackle shops such as 101 Grocery & Bait and Greg's Baits at Hand Cove Resort. I would experiment with these colors and others until you find the one that works best that night. Make long cast parallel to the bank and reel back very very slowly so that the action of the lure works best for you. A lot of the bites will happen right next to your boat. The reason for parallel casting is that on Norfork Lake you can be casting next to shore but your boat might be in 90 feet of water. That will not work so good for you. The best shore is a sloping bank. But might you will find a time when you are in deep water throwing shallow occasionally. The parallel cast allows you to keep you bait in the strike zone for a longer period of time, right up to your boat. Just keep a sharp eye out for boulders in the water when you are working shallow depths. Stripers, hybrids, and walleye are all active during this time. Watch the water temperature. As it moves up into the 50 degree range and on towards 60 degrees the bite will get stronger. Legend has it that the magic water temperature number 60. There may be some truth to this but plenty of fish, nice fish are caught in the 50 degree range and even in the upper 40's. This actually applies to all Norfork Lake species. Until the warm weather returns the live bait bite will slow. Stripers and the other big predators are scattered all over, so moving around the many points of Norfork Lake will be the only way to find fish. Stripers will start moving “up the creek” soon. An example would be the stripers that were caught around Blue Lady dock will move towards the Crystal Cove area but not much further until the warmer weather begins. As the water and air temperatures warms the stripers will continue to move from the mouths of the creeks all the way up to shallow water, I have caught stripers in 1’ of water right next to shore in stained water. Keep watching the weather and winds. Once the water air temperature warms the stripers and hybrids will really be on the move and most likely begin their migration toward the dam and the Big Creek arm. My long time fishing pal, Hand Cove Resort's pro staff Larry Olson tells me he plans to start his night fishing routine about the first of March. Larry has been fishing Norfork Lake since the late 1970's and has vast knowledge about night fishing the lake. He will be hunting the striper to top his personal best. 41 pound, 44 inch long, 28” girth “Lil' Larry” currently hangs in the tackle shop at Hand Cove Resort. Old Mr. Olson will be going after Lil' Larry's big brother this year.
02/16/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past week the weather was nice so I ignored my own advice and went fishing with a friend, Bill Frizgerald who had found some hybrids. We fished Tuesday and Wednesday and caught hybrids each day. I knew better than to think the fish would stick around, so on Wednesday they started to move and I found them back on the Robinson Point flat. I caught a couple and saw lots of schools. A new client asked if we could go out on Saturday, I said if the weather stayed mild, yes. I never listen to myself. I took Eric out and we started on Robinson Point, found some fish but nothing was biting, so we moved on. We first looked at Float Creek and again found some fish but they would not bite. Next we moved to Fouts Marina again finding fish but no takers. We then motored back to Robinson Point and had two bites but the fish would not commit. I then took Eric down to Diamond Bay, then to Georges Cove, Thumb Point, Frog Pond, Point One, Hudson Point and still found no fish. So after 5 and one half hours my new client saw a large part of Norfork Lake but had no fish in the boat. If I only listened to myself we both would have not been disappointed. It just goes to show you fish or you catch but not always both. Still being on the lake is so much better than sitting in my land based office. This week the weather has turned bad with very cold conditions, snow, and ice. Not much fishing will done until the warm weather starts. The only pattern to catch fish is by throwing Alabama rigs. Once the southerly winds begin, look for the night bite to start too. For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans now. A good place to start is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com Norfork Lake remains about 4 feet below normal the winter/early spring pools. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels.
02/09/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The weather has been mild with a warm wind this past week. The shad have left the 62 & 101 bridges and so have the stripers. This happens every year during February, it’s a transition time from winter to early spring. You will need to gas up your boat and expect to move all around the lake looking for bait and fish. My son spent most of Sunday morning graphing around the bridges and found very little shad or fish. He then went to Float Creek, Fouts, Panther Bay, Point 4, and the main channel towards Tracy Marina. The only bait was at Fouts and Float Creek and the only stripers he found were on the south bluff wall in Float Creek. Now is the time to think outside the box. The stripers have moved and you need to also. A bass fisherman this past weekend caught two stripers throwing an Alabama rig. He was fishing off the points, he caught a 12 and a 30 lb striper. Right now the best bait to catch a striper anywhere on the Norfork Lake is an Alabama rig. Once the south winds stay consistent the night bite will start. If conditions remain the same with the shift in wind direction, look for the night bite to begin a littler earlier this year possibly by the end of February or very early March. For you out of towners, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans. A good place to start is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com This is a good time to get ready for spring. Make sure your trolling batteries are full and will hold a charge. Change your fishing line and get ready for the evening night bite. You will be throwing Rouges. Change the hooks and split rings on your Rouges to a extra strong extra sharp type because the stripers will tear up a standard set of hooks on a Rouge. Make sure you lower unit oil has been changed and check that impeller. Lots of odds and ends should be corrected now while you have time before the spring bite. Check your spare trailer tire and don't forget to pack some grease in those trailer wheel bearings. Good preventive maintenance translates to more quality time on the lake. Norfork Lake remains about 4 feet below normal the winter/early spring pools. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels.
02/09/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 549.5 and the water temp is in the mid 40's. Look for the stripers close to the river channel and in the deep creek channels. But look on the flats adjacent to them too. The key is to find the baitfish (shad). One day they are in one spot and the next they are gone. You just have to keep moving around to find them. They are usually down 40-70ft. But sometimes they will be a little shallower at 30ft. Look for bass in the deep brushpiles and along the bluffs and out on the ends too. Try a suspended jerkbait, a 4"swimbait, flat tail grub or a jig. There are a few hitting Wiggle Warts. With the days getting longer the, the water temp will start to rise and the fish will start moving up from their winter haunts. This usually takes place in mid March depending on mother nature.
02/02/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past week the weather has been the same as the previous two weeks, cold, rainy, with very little sun. The water temperature rose to the low fifties. The stripers, hybrids, and white bass bite continues to be outstanding during the mornings. The shad have moved to their winter location. Start looking for stripers at the US highway 62 bridge then head towards Bidwell Point following the old river channel, past 101 Boat Dock, all away around to the Blue Lady dock. Somewhere in that area the shad and stripers will be schooling. Another place is by the Panther Bay recreation area flats north of the US62 bridge. Stripers are being caught from 30 to 105 feet deep. The deep fish are more stable. They will stay in the same place longer. The higher the school is in the water column the faster they seem to move. Just keep moving slowly around and the fish will move under you so always be ready. This week one of my clients who comes up from Louisiana wanted to try for some winter stripers. Craig has fished with me several times and each time it’s been a “you should have been here yesterday” day. We started looking for shad at the US62 bridge and looked everywhere on the flats and river channel, we could not find any shad or stripers. I continued looking and finally found shad at the mouth of 101 Boat Dock's cove. Lots of bait and a few fish. We fished for about an hour with no bites and was just about to leave when one down line went and the battle was on. Not long after that a free line went wild and we boated another striper. The fishing slowed and a friend called and said the stripers were in a big school northwest of the US62 bridge. We picked up and went up to his spot and found hundreds of stripers and hybrids in 40’ of water. We caught another 4 stripers and called it a day. Craig caught 6 stripers keeping 3. This time it was a “you should be here today” day. If you have not winter fished now is the time to get out and try catching one. Shiners, trolling and small shad are working equally well. Norfork Lake remains at 4 feet below normal fall/winter pool. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels.
01/26/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The weather has been mild with a warm wind this past week, typical of this time of year at Norfork Lake. The water temperature has been holding in the mid-forties and might even begin warming if this weather pattern continues. Stripers, hybrids, and white bass continue to school but the schools move everywhere, everyday. Some days the bite will begin at mid-day and other days the bite is later in the afternoon, and then there are days that the bite begins at first light. We seem to be going through a period of inconsistency. Your best play right now is to keep looking for the sea gulls and shad, and be prepared to put time in on the water. My friend Lou Gabric had been doing very well using a spoon. He says the fish are still on the old road bed that starts at Henderson marina and goes across to Panther Bay. Stripers and hybrids follow the roadbed as they move while schools of shad roam the nearby. Follow the roadbed on your graph looking and watching for bait and stripers. Another good spot is to the north and west side of the US62 bridge. Large schools of bait and stripers are roaming up and down the length of the bridge on the shaded side. Once the sun hits the north side of the bridge and the waters below, the shad go deeper and the fish disappear. Stripers are being caught from 30 to 105 feet deep. I just came back from exhibiting at the Chicago Sport Show. I met quite a few clients and old friends at the show and naturally we began talking about the old days on Norfork Lake. Lot of people mentioned they came to the lake as kids but not have been back recently. It seems that there are so many other opportunities around the country to travel to they have missed out on one of the best vacations spot in the Midwest.
01/19/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past week the weather has been very cold and windy, a warming trend started mid-week and the fishing conditions changed overnight. The Norfork Lake water temperature is in the mid-forties. The stripers, hybrids, and white bass bite continue to school but moved from the Blue Lady area and back to the main lake in front of the Henderson Marina. There is an old road bed that starts at the marina and goes across to Panther Bay. The stripers & hybrids follow it and schools of bait roam along the roadbed. Follow that looking for bait & stripers. The other spot is the north side of the 62 bridge, large schools of bait & stripers are roaming up and down the length of the bridge on the shaded side. Once the sun hits the north side of the bridge the shad go deeper and the fish disappear. Stripers are being caught from 30 to 105 feet deep. I started fishing this week in the Blue Lady dock area. We caught several stripers on Monday but the bite was very slow and fish were biting very lightly. The latter part of the week I had Mitch & Mark from Kansas City. They were here participating in my Cast & Blast special. The first day Thursday we only caught one 14 lb striper, we were on fish all day but it was the first day of high pressure with the start of the warming trend. The second day we went pheasant hunting at Ozark Wings and had a blast hunting. They harvested 15 pheasants that day. The last day we were in the third day of warm weather and I knew the bite would be good. We started again at the Blue Lady area but I saw very few fish so I called a friend and he was catching fish near the Henderson marina. The best bite of the day was just north of the 62 bridge in the shade, we caught 5, 1 striper & 4 hybrids that weighted 6, 8, 9, & 10 lbs. We had multiple opportunities for number 6 but the wind came up and the fish disappeared. A trick I learned from an old timer when using threadfin shad in the winter. The water temperature is in the mid-forties and when you catch the small bait they stress out and die very quickly. To solve this problem I purchased a Aquarium water heater that is undersized, my tank is 50 gallons so the warmer was for 30 gallons. You want to warm the water but only about 15 degrees. My bait lived all day when the water was warmed. Norfork Lake remains at 1 foot below the old normal fall/winter pool. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels.
01/18/2015 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 550.6 and the water temperature is in the mid 40's. The main lake is pretty clear and the creeks are clearing up. Look for the stripers close to the river channel and the deeper creek channels in 30-100ft. Find the baitfish and they will be close by. Sometimes they are right in the schools of bait so get your bait or jigging spoon to them. The hybrids and some nice whites are mixed in along with the stripers. Bass are hitting a flat tail grub on a 1/4 oz. jighead. Try along the bluffs and out on the end of the bluff. Cast it out and let it fall and slowly pump it a few times and if you don't get bit reel it up and throw it out again. Sometimes they will hit it on the fall so watch your line for that little jump in the line. There are some fish up on the banks and will hit a Wiggle Wart. They are also hitting jigs 30-40ft. deep. If you see a school drop a jigging spoon or try a dropshot.
01/13/2015 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past week the weather has been very cold and windy, I have not fished much due to my appearance at the Collinsville Sport Show. What I have been doing is preparing for the spring and looking for walleye & striper baits. The best walleye bait is caught by trap in the creeks that flow into Lake Norfork, the bait is called Slicks. The Slicks are 3 to 5 inches with a gold body with black lines. The walleye will bite the slicks over any other bait, the problem is everybody is hunting them and only when the creeks have water is when you can catch them. I traveled over 200 miles looking for them without any success, the big rise of water in the creeks pushed the bait and only when the creeks return to normal levels I will be able to catch them. The other bait I chase is Chubs, stripers love this bait in the winter, the chubs can only be caught by rod & reel in the North Fork River above Udall, and it’s a very slow process because the river is running fast and cold and your fishing in cold weather conditions. The Norfork Lake water temperature is in the mid-forties. The stripers, hybrids, and white bass bite continue to school in the channel along the bluff line near Blue Lady down to the Lake House, start looking for stripers at Bidwell Point following the old river channel all away around to the Blue Lady dock. Somewhere in that area the shad and stripers will be schooling. Stripers are being caught from 30 to 105 feet deep. This week I had a new client from the Collinsville Sport Show, Don & his son Donnie, the weather was cold and windy. We started across from Blue Lady resort We found lots of bait and stripers. We caught our first one right away, it was then very slow, the water temperature has caused the fish to be lethargic, we found lots of stripers but the bite continued to be slow. We caught one more, 2 big whites, and 2 largemouth bass. I anticipate the bite will get better once a warming trend starts. Norfork Lake remains at 1 foot below normal fall/winter pool. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels.
12/29/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past week the weather has been the same as the past two weeks, cold, rainy, with very little sun. The water temperature is in the low fifties. The stripers, hybrids, and white bass bite continues to be outstanding during the mornings. The shad have moved to their winter location. Start looking for stripers at the US highway 62 bridge then head towards Bidwell Point following the old river channel all away around to the Blue Lady dock. Somewhere in that area the shad and stripers will be schooling. Another place is by the Panther Bay recreation area flats north of the 62 bridge. Stripers are being caught from 30 to 105 feet deep. The deep fish are more stable. They will stay in the same place longer. The higher the school is in the water column the faster they seem to move. Just keep moving slowly around and the fish will move under you so always be ready. This week one of my clients who comes up from Louisiana wanted to try for some winter stripers. Craig has fished with me several times and each time it’s been a “you should have been here yesterday” day. We started looking for shad at the 62 bridge and looked everywhere on the flats and river channel, we could not find any shad or stripers. I continued looking and finally found shad at the mouth of 101 Marina, lots of bait and a few fish. We fished for about an hour with no bites and was just about to leave when one down line went and the battle was on. Not long after that a free line went and we boated another striper. The fishing slowed and a friend called and said the stripers were in a big school northwest of the 62 bridge. We picked up and went up to his spot and found hundreds of stripers and hybrids in 40’ of water. We caught another 4 stripers and called it a day. Craig caught 6 stripers keeping 3. This time it was a “you should be here today” day. If you have not winter fished now is the time to get out and try catching one. Shiners, trolling and small shad are working equally well. Norfork Lake remains at 4 feet below normal fall/winter pool. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels.
12/22/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past week the weather has been cold, rainy, with very little sun, and the water temperature is in the low fifties. The stripers, hybrids, and white bass bite continues to be outstanding during the mornings. The shad have moved to their winter location and should stay there for the next two months. Start looking for stripers at the US highway 62 bridge then head towards Bidwell Point following the old river channel all away around to the Blue Lady. Somewhere in that area the shad and stripers will be schooling. Another place is by the Panther Bay recreation area flats north of the 62 bridge. Stripers are being caught from 30 to 105 feet deep. The deep fish are more stable. They will stay in the same place longer. The higher the school is in the water column the faster they seem to move. Just keep moving slowly around and the fish will move under you so always be ready. One of my regular clients Harry Tater wanted to try winter striper fishing, Harry has fished the other three seasons but never during the winter. One great thing about winter fishing is that we never leave the dock before 7: 30 AM so there are none of those 4 and 5 AM mornings. We went to the 62 bridge and starting looking for the stripers. There is a road bed that runs from Panther Bay to Henderson Marina, a sunken bridge at the entrance of the Henderson Marina. The stripers follow these road beds as underwater highways. We setup in 100’ of water with our lines set a various depths from 40 to 75feet. We had our limit in less than 3 hours with the biggest striper being 14 lbs. Our time was extended due to missing many fish. There are large schools of stripers roaming the area and when they pass under the boat all of your lines may go down. It gets very crazy at times. If you have not winter fished now is the time to get out and try catching one. Shiners, trolling and small shad are working equally well. Norfork Lake remains at 4 feet below normal fall/winter pool. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels.
12/21/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake water temp is in the upper 40's to the low 50's and the lake level is 548.9. The stripers are moving a little deeper following the shad. When you find the baitfish the stripers are close by and sometimes they are in the balls of baitfish. You can still find a few fish up shallow. Start looking halfway back in the creeks. They are still hitting stick baits at night along with some walleye. Just remember to retrieve your lure slow. Look for bass along the bluffs and out off points. Throw a suspending jerkbait and for the deeper fish throw a 3/4 to 1oz. jig. They are also hitting Wiggle Warts thrown along the bank. Till next year have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and be safe.
12/08/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past week the weather has been cold, rainy, windy, the water temperature continues to hover in the mid-fifties. The stripers, hybrids, and white bass bite has slowed. Stripers continue to bite in Float Creek, but they have move off the 101 Bridge flats, Blue Lady flats, and the Mallard Point flats. The fish are moving a little deeper each week, but until the bait moves out into the river channel the stripers will continue to roam the edges of the creeks and occasionally move onto the flats to feed. Just keep moving around the area and you will hookup with them. I fished with Lou Gabric the owner of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort in the pass and caught numerous stripers, hybrids, and whites. Lou primarily uses spoons and works very hard trying to stay on the fish for his clients. The stripers pictured with Lou were caught in Float Creek using a 1 oz white spoon. That day the most effective technique was letting the spoon flutter to the bottom and letting it sit still for a second or two and then rip it back up. Most of time the fish were picking up the spoon on the bottom. You have to be ready to set the hook right away using this technique. Look for stripers in the 50 to 60’ of water near or in the shad. Another technique to finding stripers is watching the wind, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the wind blew very hard from the west into Float Creek. The bass fishermen were catching stripers in the back end of the Float Creek in water less than 5’. The bait was blown back into the shallow water, so play the wind, find the shad, and you will catch stripers. Norfork Lake remains at 4 feet below normal fall/winter pool. The water temperature ranges from the mid to low fifty’s. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels.
12/02/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 549.1 and the water temp is in the mid to upper 50's. The stripers are hitting stick baits at night. Just remember while retrieving your lure reel it SLOW and hang on. There have been a few walleye hitting these as well. Throw them on flats right at dark. During the day look for them close to the creek channels in the major creeks and up in the river part of the lake. Find the shad and they will be close by. There are whites mixed in with some of the schools. Always keep a topwater rod rigged with a Zara spook jr.

Throw crank baits along the bank or a spinner bait for bass. The better banks will have wind blowing in on them. For the deeper fish try a jig or a grub on a 1/4oz. jig head. Try a jigging spoon also. As the water gets colder remember you have to slow down and fish slower. If you go out especially by yourself, tell someone what part of the lake you are going to fish and what time you are going to be back and always wear your PFD.
12/02/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The past week the weather was warm and windy and the water temperature was stable. The stripers, hybrids, and white bass were on a feeding frenzy. Stripers were biting in Float Creek, above or north of the 101 Bridge on the flats, Blue Lady flats, and the Mallard Point flats. The bite is throughout the day, from early morning to late in the evening. The schools of fish are very large right now, however they are constantly moving and so it's difficult staying on the schools. Just keep moving around the area and you will hookup with them. I fished Float Creek with Buddy, Carson, & Gary. This was their first striper trip and we were into fish from the start of the trip until the end. We caught 9 stripers and kept 7. We also missed quite few but still we had a great time with the guys. Each one of the guys caught their biggest fish and first striper. This shallow water bite will continue until the cold water drives the shad deeper. Then some outstanding winter fishing will begin. Shad, spoons, and trolling are all producing stripers right now. The fall white bass run has started. The white bass, small hybrids and stripers are schooling on the flats near Cranfield Island, Mallard Point flat, Blue Lady flats, and Float Creek flats. The fish can be found in 40’ to 50’of water. A 1 oz jigging spoon is producing the best. Norfork Lake remains at 4 feet below normal fall/winter pool. The water temperature ranges from the mid to low fifty’s. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels.
11/24/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Winter angling on Norfork Lake can be one of the most productive periods of striper fishing. Beginning in Mid-December through February the stripers will stick close to the old river channels near or mixed in with the shad schools. The old river channels are the outlines of the Norfork Fork River and major creeks such as Big Creek and Bennett's Bayou before they were flooded and covered by the lake. You will find the old river channels clearly marked on the better lake maps. Once the lake water gets colder, the shad will move into deeper water to find their comfort zone. Sometimes that is depths of 40 feet, other times I have seen shad hover at 80 feet. The stripers will stay with the shad schools the whole winter period. The two most productive methods to catch stripers are live bait and spoons. Small jigging spoons, either ½ or ¾ ounce are the artificial bait of choice although some specific swim baits can be productive also. Shiner minnows and threadfin shad are the preferred live bait. Shiners approved for use by Arkansas Game and Fish in Norfork Lake are available at most better Norfork Lake bait and tackle shops. Shad are not sold commercially. Shad used as bait in Norfork Lake must be caught in Norfork Lake by net. Wild bait from any other body of water is strictly prohibited by law. This is to prevent the introduction of foreign or invasive species of plants, animals, and water life into Norfork Lake. A good fish/depth finder is a must have to find fish during this time of year. Good electronics will help you find the shad and stripers and keep you on them. Begin by looking at the old river channel between the US62 and AR101 bridges and move towards the Howard’s Cove area. Somewhere in this area you will find the shad and stripers. Float creek is one other area that will typically hold stripers. The great part of winter striper fishing is that the bite can last all day or begin mid-day. There is no time limit on when the stripers will bite. Some days I go out at first light and fish all day. I have seen no activity until late in the day and other days I’ve had my limit by noon. Just stay close to the shad and you will catch a striper most days. I fish using shiner minnows and threadfin shad. Downlines and weighted floats are my gear of choice. I run six downlines, each with 2 oz weights and 5’ leaders. I will run two additional lines with floats on the outside of the spread. These lines are set above the shad school. Stripers will come up through the shad column to take your bait. Always keep your live bait above the shad school. Threadfin shad are and will always be the most productive method to catch winter stripers. Shiner minnows are also very effective. The best places to buy shiners are 101 Grocery & Bait and Hand Cove Resort Bait and Tackle Shop. They both carry shiners most of the season. When the shad begin to school, look for bait fish balls and note the depth on your depth finder graph. Once again a good depth finder will help you find the shad and the stripers. They will be moving around so keep a watchful eye on the graph and stay close to the shad. Spoon lures are very effective. The key is matching the size and color of your spoon to that of the shad bait fish. If the stripers are feeding on 1” and 2” shad, make sure your lure matches the size of the shad. Jig your spoon through the shad schools for the best success. Always be ready for that top water bite to erupt too. Have a Super Spook Jr tied on and at the ready for when this happens. As always, your most important piece of equipment is your PFD life preserver. Lake and weather conditions can change in a heartbeat during the winter months so it's best to be prepared with a high quality PFD. Wear it from the moment you launch until the boat is back on the trailer or in the stall. Fish safely so you can fish often!
11/18/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The weather is cold and the water temperature is continuing to drop but the stripers bite is on fire. Stripers are biting from Float Creek all the way to and above the state line. The bite is happening from early morning to late in the evening. Look for stripers in the afternoon in Float Creek and the Blue Lady Flats. In the morning you will find them off of the Mallard Point flats and from Calamity Beach to Bryant Creek. The stripers are feeding on the flats in 30 to 45 feet of water. I fished the northern portion of Lake Norfork near Calamity Beach with Gary & Doug from Iowa and from the start of our trip the bite was on. It took 45 minutes of motoring from Tracy Ferry Marina to where we began to fish. We had our first two limits in less time than it took to get to where we started fishing. We released some so we could try and catch a larger striper. We ended up boating 9 stripers and was back to the marina by 10 AM. This shallow water bite will continue until the cold water drives the shad deeper. Then some outstanding winter fishing will begin. Shad, spoons, and trolling are all producing stripers right now. The fall white bass run has started. The white bass, small hybrids and some stripers are schooling on the flats near Cranfield Island, Mallard Point flat, Blue Lady flats, and Float Creek flats. The fish can be found in 30’ to 45’of water. Use a jigging spoon for best results. Right now our deer season is in full swing and there is some great hunting around the lake. I have had 3 successful trips already with more scheduled. There are walk-in areas all over the lake. You can contact the Corp. of Engineers office at 870-425-2700 to find the locations. Greg at Hand Cove Resort also has some walk-in and boat-in information for the Hand Cove area. His number is 870-488-5367. Arkansas’s duck season opens November 22nd. There is some excellent duck hunting on Lake Norfork and I will report on the duck hunt during the season. Now is the time to get out, ignore the cold weather, and enjoy all of the outdoor action that Lake Norfork offers. Norfork Lake remains at 4 feet below normal fall/winter pool. The water temperature ranges from the mid to low sixty's and going down to the high fifty's. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels. It's time to get your crappie bite on!
11/13/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake level is 550.0 and the water temperature is in the low 60's. There have been some fish coming up early and just before dark in the south end of Norfork Lake. Watch for this activity in coves and on points close to deep water. There still are quite a few fish still down 40ft. There are some bass hitting crank baits along the shore and the fish a little deeper are hitting a jig. Throw a spook out on points and there have been some fish coming up for them when you don't see any surface activity. It doesn't happen on every point. The better ones have deep water like a channel swing on a bluff end. The jerkbait bite will be happening when the water temp drop a little further.
11/13/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake remains at 1 1/2 feet below normal fall pool. The water temperature ranges from the mid to low sixties and going down to the high fifties. The water visibility is stained. The stripers continue to be very active in the upper part of Norfork Lake from Calamity Beach to Bryant Creek, the flat close to 101 Boat Dock, Stewart Point, and 6B although there is still activity in the dam and Big Creek areas. The stripers in the upper level are in waters less than 30’, on the flats there can be found in 30 to 45’ of water. This past week I continued to fish the upper level of Lake Norfork. Large schools of shad can be found all along the creek channel. Stripers are feeding on them during the course of the day. Some stripers can be found in 20’ of water chasing shad and some top water has started. I took Joe and his sister-in-law Carol out for their second striper trip of the season, they wanted to try a fall trip. The action was slower than their first trip but the stripes were bigger, Carol’s big fish was 14 lbs and Joe’s was 12 lbs. We caught 5 and lost several more. The shallow water bite will continue until the cold water drives the shad deeper and then some outstanding winter fishing will begin. Shad, spoons, and trolling are all producing stripers right now. The fall white bass run has started. The white bass are schooling on the flats near Cranfield Island, Bennett's, Steward Point, point 1C in Big Creek, and 6B. They can be found in 30’ of water. Use a jigging spoon for best results.
11/05/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake remains at 1 1/2 feet below normal fall pool. The water temperature ranges from the mid to low sixties and is stable. The water visibility is stained. The lake depth has stabilized and the water temperature is in the low-sixties. The stripers are very active right in the upper part of Norfork Lake and the flats close to Blue Lady resort. The stripers in the upper level are in waters less than 30’, on the flats there can be found in 38 to 45’ of water. The stripers are biting very aggressively. This past week we caught 3 stripers 18 lbs or bigger and lots of 10 to 15 lb fish. I have continued to fish the upper part of Norfork Lake and as long as I read bait on my depth finder I find stripers, no bait no stripers. I took Paul & Ron Luber out for their bi-annual striper trip. It’s a lot of fun taking out fathers and sons, a lot of give and take goes on. We were into fish right away and continued to catch fish all morning. We only boated 4 with Ron (the father) catching the biggest 18 lbs. We also managed to video the entire morning and now they have a memory for a life time. The shallow water bite will continue until the cold water drives the shad deeper, then some outstanding winter fishing will begin. The crappie are being caught in the brush, look for them in Bennett’s Bayou, Pigeon Creek, Big & Brushy Creeks, and Red Bank. The evening and night bass bite in is strong right now, throw a black 3/8 single spinner with 3” black curry tail.
10/20/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp in the southern portion of Norfork Lake has cooled down to around 70 and the lake level is 550.5. There is a topwater bite early in the morning for a couple hours. We caught some whites, small stripers (2-3lbs), largemouth, Kentuckies and a few smallies on Zara spook Jr's. Clear or white colors seemed to work the best. They were on points close to deep water. We found big schools of fish suspended 40-50ft in 60-100ft of water. There were stripers, hybrids and whites. Just dropped a jigging spoon and the fight was on. But then when the bite was over it was over. They just quit. You had to get them while the were feeding. Later we found some fish shallower close to the bottom in 36ft. They were all three bass species and a short walleye. We were using a spoon that was silver on one side and white on the other. You can get them at the Denali store on Hwy 62 East in Mountain Home. When the water temp gets into the low 60's the night bite should start to get going.
10/20/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is 1 1/2 feet below normal fall pool. The water temperature ranges from the mid to low sixties and is dropping. The water visibility is stained. The lake depth has stabilized and the water temperature is in the mid-sixties. The stripers are very active right now. You can find top water action near Robinson Point and Cranfield Island. Stripers are now schooling all over the lake. You can find them along the bluff walls, flats and river channels in water ranging from 45 to 100 feet. The stripers are holding in 38 to 55 feet with some deeper fish at 60’. Spoons and shad are working the best. In the mid lake area look for stripers on Robinson Point, in Float Creek, Panther Bay, and Fall Creek areas. I fished the Robinson Point area along a bluff wall. We were over schools of stripers and hybrids for over 2 ½ hours. I took Dan Marker and his son Ben out for their first striper trip. I started with over 70 threadfin shad for bait When we stopped fishing I had only 4 threadfin left. We had over 50 bites and caught at least 20 hybrids & stripers. Most of the fish were of smaller size but we did manage to keep 5. We hooked, caught, and missed fish all morning long. Now is an excellent time to get on the Norfork Lake. The stripers, bass, crappies, and other species will be very active for the next several weeks. With the water cooling down the crappie have moved to the shallows in the brush, look for them in Bennett’s Bayou, Pigeon Creek, Big & Brushy Creeks, and Red Bank.
10/14/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is 1 1/12 foot below normal fall pool. The water temperature ranges from the mid to low sixties and is dropping. The water visibility is stained. The lake depth is rising and the water temperature is cooling down. We should see a major change this week in striper activity. Stripers are now schooling all over the lake. You can find them along the bluff walls and flats in water ranging from 45 to 100 feet. The stripers are holding in 38 to 55 feet with some deeper fish at 60’. The big schools are in the 40 to 50 foot range. Spoons and shad are working the best. In the mid lake area looks for stripers on Robinson Point, and in Float Creek, Panther Bay, and Fall Creek areas. I fished the lower end of the lake at the Hudson Point area near Hand Cove and Jordan and found big schools of stripers. The bite lasted for over an hour. Once they appear you must get on them because when they move off the area they are hard to find. The best bite is still in morning, I took Bruce & David out and ended up with a mixed bag. We fished Robinson Point and we started having bites right away. The bites were stripers and catfish. Both stripers and catfish are schooling on Robinson. We hooked, caught, and missed fish all morning long. We had a great time talking about our past pheasant hunting trips while we kept missing the fish. Now is an excellent time to get on the water. The stripers, bass, and other species will be very active for the next several weeks. Lake Norfork this time of year is beautiful. The trees will be turning colors starting this week and should hit its peak in the next ten to fourteen days. Deer and duck season is approaching and there are lots of opportunity to harvest both species on CORPS land surrounding the lake. As an example; my cousin came down last fall with a friend who had never been here. We setup a pheasant hunt at Ozark Wings the first morning, then deer hunted in the afternoon and striper fished the next morning. In less than 48 hours we hunted pheasant, shot a deer, and caught stripers. Not many places offers that type of experience. Come out and enjoy Lake Norfork and all that it has to offer.
10/12/2014 By Larry Olson

I've started fishing for bass this week. The night bite has really turned on along the shoreline between Wolf Cove and Point 1C. Largemouths, smallies, and Kentucky's have been very active along the rock walls and flat points. The best way to boat some bass is to throw spinners parallel to the shore. I usually have my boat in about 6 feet of water, throw a Jewel type spinner, reel back slow enough to keep it off the bottom, and we're off to the races. My best this week was a 6 pound largemouth caught near 1C. I've boated an unusual amount of nice size Kentucky's this week. If you like night fishing, now is a good time to be on the lake
10/12/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is 2 foot below normal fall pool. The water temperature ranges from the mid to low seventies and is dropping. The water visibility is clear. The lake has stabilized and the thermocline has temporarily disappeared . Some stripers are now schooling in the mid-lake area. You can find them along the bluff walls and flats in water ranging from 45 to 100 feet. The stripers will be holding in 38 to 42 feet with some deeper fish at 60’. The big schools are in the 40 to 50 foot range. Spoons and shad are working the best. In the mid lake area look for stripers on Robinson Point, and in Float Creek, Panther Bay, and Fall Creek areas. I fished the evenings and morning this past weekend and caught fish on all the trips. The best bite is in morning, I took Jerry out on Robinson Point and we started catching stripers at first light. There were massive schools of stripers passing under our boat. I tried to keep five rods baited but I could not keep up with the bites. Multiple times we 3 and 4 stripers on a hook at the same time. We caught at least 10 and missed that many more. Now is an excellent time to get on the water. Great fall colors with little to no boat traffic.
10/07/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

As fall approaches, Lake Norfork water temperature will continue to lower. As the water cools the thermocline will continue to drop until the water equalizes and the lake will turnover. Turnover is the process where the bottom part of the lake rises and the top part lowers. It happens every year. You can tell by the smell on the water, you will see lots of scum, leaves, and the water will be off color. The fish will quit biting for about a week as they need to adjust to the change. With the disappearance of the thermocline the stripers are free to roam the entire water column. Oxygen is at all levels of the water column. The turnover does not happen all at once on the lake. The northern portion will be the first, then the mid-lake area near the bridges, and finally the lower or southern end. The upper end will be done by the end of Sept. while the lower end maybe mid October. It all depends on the weather. The colder it gets the sooner the turnover begins. Once the turnover is over the stripers are free to move anywhere on the lake and you will find them at all levels of the water column. Topwater action can happen anytime the day as they chase this year’s hatch of shad. If you’re on the water you will have the opportunity to catch stripers by finding the bait fish and the stripers will be close by. As the water cools the stripers will move from the main lake to mouths of creeks. Start looking in the Hand Cove, Georges Cove, and Diamond Bay areas as the stripers move away from the dam. Some stripers will be found in the dam area until winter but a lot of them will make the move. Mid-lake stripers will move to the Robinson Point area, they can be found on the flats and channels feeding on shad and stay there until winter. The Cranfield area, Red Bank, and Calamity areas will hold lots of fish. Calamity Beach is the first place I start to fish as the turnover begins. The water is shallow and the bait is usually found everywhere. Live gizzard & threadfin shad is and will always be the most productive method to catch stripers. Shiners and artificial lures are also very effective. The best places to buy shiners is 101 Grocery & Bait and Hand Cove Resort. They both carry shiners all fall, winter & spring. Shad will begin to school so look for bait fish balls and note the depth. A good depth finder will help you find the stripers. They will be moving around so stay close to the bait. Your fall striper tactics will begin to change until winter fishing begins. I continue to fish with down lines but start adding floats and planner boards. The stripers will start getting into the shallow depths. When I’m fishing the northern or river area of the lake I fish 8 lines, four down lines, two planner boards, and two floats. All the lines are set at different depths until I can determine where I stripers are feeding. Artificial lures is very effective. The key is matching the size and color of the bait fish. If the stripers are feeding on 1 & 2” shad make sure your lure match’s the size. You can throw or troll the wrong size and not get a hit if it's too big. Also make sure you match your spoon to the bait.
09/29/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 549.4 and the water temperature is in the mid 70's. There are bass still coming up early hitting topwater baits. (Zara Spook jrs.) Some small stripers are starting to come up too. There are still a lot of fish suspended 40-50ft. I found a couple schools this morning in 105ft. suspended 40ft. They are starting to move up lake and in the major creeks but there are still some fish that will stay on the lower end of the lake near the dam. When the weather starts cooling off and the water temperature drops more the bite will get better than it is now.
09/29/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is 2 foot below normal summer pool. The water temperature is in the mid-seventies and stable. The water visibility is clear. The lake started to have a massive change with the cold rain and weather but the weather stabilized and has maintained its water temperature and thermocline. The stripers took some time to adjust to the lake changes but now are back feeding all over the lake. We all thought they had moved from the dam area but they are being caught on a regular basis at Thumb Point and the dam area. In the mid lake area look for stripers on Robinson Point in the 45’ range, set your bait depth at 35’. If you’re trolling make sure your lures are above 45’ no matter the depth you’re trolling in. Live shad is still the most effective method to catch a striper, but stripers are being caught using ¾ and 1 ounce spoons and trolling Storm Wild Eye and Zoom Super Fluke swim baits, umbrella and Alabama rigs Each year I get asked to contribute to various charities that have yearly auctions. I offer a guided striper fishing trip on Norfork Lake. This year Ozark Independent Living asked me to offer a trip. This organization provides wheelchair ramps to homes in a six county area in Southern Missouri. Ken & Cathy won the trip. We started fishing on one spot and caught numerous small stripers. I decided to move over to Robinson Point and found bigger stripers. We caught 3 stripers and one catfish plus we missed a few others. It was a great time and fun for them and their organization. Look for stripers on Point 1, Dam Cove, Thumb Point, Robinson Point, and Float Creek. The method is down lines, 2 oz sinker, with 6’ leader counted down to depth of the stripers.
09/14/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

With the cooler temperatures and the rain a few days ago the water temperature dropped into the upper 70's and the lake level is 550. The striper and hybrids are still BITING. Look for them suspended at 35-45ft. They can be close to the bottom early in 35ft. and will move deeper as the sun gets higher in the sky. The bite is only lasting a few hours so you have to make the best of it while you can. There are some nice whites hanging out at the same depths. You might even pick up a walleye. There are still some bass chasing bait fish to the surface early and it's better if there is no wind. Try dropshotting a small worm or throw a jig (peanut butter/jelly or green pumpkin). Drag it slow along the bottom or give it short hops.
09/14/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake came up 5” with the heavy rain we had on Thursday, however it is 2’ below normal summer pool. The water temperature is in the mid-seventies and dropping with the cold weather and rain. The water visibility is clear. The stripers and hybrids continue to feed on crawdads and shad. Last week the striper club took an oxygen reading and found that from 0 to 45’ has the best oxygen for stripers. Stripers required 3 parts per million (ppm) to be active, anything above that lets them stay active and very healthy. The oxygen level from 0 to 45’ varies anywhere from 3.5 ppm to 5 ppm. This is why the stripers have been active and caught all summer long in the 45’ water column. If you’re trolling make sure your lures are above 45’ no matter the depth you’re trolling in. The striper bite starts before light and last until the moon sets. I am on the water by 5:15 AM to get setup to catch the early bite. At first light they move into water deeper but will be in the 40’ range of water. Live shad is still the most effective method to catch a striper, but stripers are being caught using ¾ and 1 ounce spoons and trolling Storm Wild Eye and Zoom Super Fluke swim baits, umbrella and Alabama rigs I caught stripers all week long and with many limits. This past weekend the weather turned cold after a rain storm and windy. The low temperature each morning was under 50 degrees. Even with the cold weather the stripers continue to bite. I took Gary and Eric out for a two day weekend fishing trip. The north wind was rough the first day and we only managed to boat one striper. We missed many but the weather made it difficult to detect the bite. Sunday we started early with no wind, the bite was fast but the catching was slower. We did boat 4 plus a catfish and missed many stripers during the trip. We look for stripers on Point 1, Dam Cove, Koso ( Front & Back), Thumb Point, & Dam Cove, Barron Creek across from Hand Cove, & the Backbone of Shoal Creek The method is down lines, 2 oz sinker, with 6’ leader counted down to depth of the stripers.
09/08/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is dropping and the lake level is now below normal summer pool. The water temperature is in the mid-eighties but will be dropping with the cooler weather. The water visibility is clear. The stripers and hybrids are feeding on this year’s hatch of young gizzard shad. These shad are about 2 1/2“ to 3 1/2”. If you’re using spoons make sure to match the hatch with your spoon size. The striper bite starts at first light and has lasted up 2 hrs. I try and be on the water by 5:15 am to get setup to catch the early bite. At first light they move into water deeper but will be in the 40’ range of water. Live shad is still the most effective method to catch a striper, but stripers are being caught using spoons and trolling swim baits, umbrella and Alabama rigs. This past week was great for striper fishing. Lots of fish were caught with the biggest being 30 lbs. This monster was caught on 2 ½” gizzard shad. I took Betty Tater out along with her husband Harry. Harry has fished with me a lot and he wanted Betty to experience catching a striper. We started early and the bite started before light. We started by catching catfish, in fact we caught 3 cats and a small striper. We had over 20 bites but only managed a hybrid & striper. Again it's not all about catching your limit, this trip was a husband & wife enjoying a early morning together under the stars catching fish. We look for stripers on Point 1, Dam Cove, Koso ( Front & Back), Thumb Point, & Dam Cove, Barron Creek across from Hand Cove, & the Backbone of Shoal Creek The method is down lines, 2 oz sinker, with 6’ leader counted down to depth of the stripers.
09/01/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is dropping and now below normal summer pool. The water temperature is in the mid-eighties. The water visibility is clear. The stripers and hybrids are feeding on this year’s hatch of young gizzard shad. These shad are about 2 1/2 “ to 3 1/2”. If you’re using spoons make sure to match the hatch with your spoon size. The striper bite will start early again with the full moon approaching. I will start fishing at 5 AM to catch the early bite. Look for stripers in 38’ to 45’ before light..As the morning grows the stripers are moving into water deeper of 45’ of water. Live shad is still the most effective method to catch a striper, but stripers are being caught using spoons and trolling swim baits, umbrella and Alabama rigs.

This past week was great for striper fishing. Lots of quality stripers were caught with multiple limits. I took Dr. Dan Swoyer’s family, Melinda, Chris, and Chris’s wife Jessica out for a family outing before Chris goes into the army. We only caught 4 stripers and hybrids, however we had lots of bites and that day the stripers won. Our trip was cut short due to a heavy rain storm. But the striper trip was not about fishing, it was all about having a family gathering that included fishing. I was proud to fish with a young man who wants to serve his country and sure wanted him to catch a big striper. That will happen the next time he’s on leave.

Look for stripers on Point 1, Dam Cove, Koso ( Front & Back), Thumb Point, & the Backbone The method is down lines, 2 oz sinker, with 6’ leader counted down to depth of the stripers.
08/31/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake level is 550.4 and the water temp is in the mid 80's. The bite continues to be good on the lake for stripers, hybrids, whites and bass along with a few walleye this week. Look for the fish suspended 35-40ft. and get your bait down whether it's live bait or artificial. We caught of fish on jigging spoons. Look for them off points and coves. Early in the morning there has been topwater fishing for bass and there have been some whites coming up too. We threw a white or clear Zara spook Jr. Most of the bass were on the short side but then you would get one pushing 3lbs. Most of the whites have been in the 2-3lb range. When the sun gets higher the fish go a little deeper.
08/17/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The bite has been hot this month. The stripers are hitting live bait, trolling umbrella rigs and jigging spoons. Look for them suspended down 40ft. They can also be on the bottom in 40ft. Hybrids and some whites are running at the same depth as the stripers. There are a few small stripers and hybrids chasing baitfish early in the morning too and will hit a topwater bait. My choice of a topwater is Zara spook. There is also a good topwater bite for bass from around 6 am. until about 9 am. I had some clients out this week and we quit around 9:45 and when we got back they asked if I would care if they went out in their boat back to where we were catching fish. I told them that is one of the reasons that people hire a guide to know where to look for the fish and what is going on that time of the year and what to use for lures. They called me the next day and said that the topwater fish were still coming up when they got back there and it lasted until 1:00. They also sent me a picture of one of the stripers they caught in the same area and it was in the upper teens. His biggest to date. The biggest that they caught when we were up in that spot was around 10lbs. The right spot at the right time. There are fish coming up in the evening just before the sun goes down too. The water temp is in the mid 80's and the lake level is 552.
08/11/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is dropping but still in the normal pool range for the summer. The water temperature is in the low-eighties. The water visibility is stained. The stripers & hybrids are still feeding on crawdads & shad. The striper bite continues to be very early before 5 am. The stripers are in 35 to 40’ on the flats near the dam and mouths of creeks. Stripers are starting to school near the dam, with the continual cool weather the bite should last thru September. After first light the stripers are moving deeper. Look for them in 50 to 100’ of water at the 40’ level. Live shad is still the most effective method to catch a striper, but stripers are being caught trolling using swim baits, umbrella and Alabama rigs. If you find a school of stripers drop a spoon, they will hit it if correctly presented to them. August is the month for lots of stripers. If you want to catch a striper this is the month you should get on the water. I have started fishing at 4:45 am each morning. We have many bites before light but the catching is more difficult. The bite most often is a small hit and just a pull down. I have been fishing various spots close to the dam. Look at Point 1, Barron, Dam Cove, Koso, Thumb Point, & the Backbone. I took Sara & Wil out with their parents Bill & Tonya. We had over 20 hits and boated 6 nice fish. It was lots of fun and fast action. The kids caught their first limit of hybrids & stripers. The method is down lines, 2 oz sinker, with 8’ leader counted down to depth of the stripers.
08/11/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake level is 552.8 and the water temperature has dropped a couple degrees into the low 80's. Look for the stripers and hybrids down at least 35ft. and there are some deeper. Whatever bait you choose (live or artificial) to use get your bait down to them or just a foot above the fish. There has been a few stripers coming up chasing bait but they are smaller stripers. They are still a lot of fun on topwater. Bass are coming up early and just before dark chasing baitfish also. They have been hitting a white or clear Zara spook jr. Throw a worm or jig to the bank and work it slow back out to the boat or try dropping a jigging spoon if you see them on your depthfinder under the boat. Look for crappie in the deeper brush piles.
07/27/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 554.2 and the water temp is in the mid 80's. The bass are coming up early and just before dark hitting topwater baits. There are a lot of short fish but some good fish are mixed in with them. Throw a white or clear Zara Spook Jr. After that you will need to fish with a worm, jig, drop-shot rig, or drop a jigging spoon. Most of this activity is in the creeks on points and channel swings. Start looking for stripers down around 40ft. and you need to get you bait or lure down to where you see them. Look in the Big Creek area, Diamond Bay, and down around the dam areas. There have been some whites hitting jigging spoons in the creeks and in some coves around 34ft.
07/27/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is dropping but still in the normal pool for the summer. The water temperature is in the high-eighties. The water visibility is stained. The stripers & hybrids continue feeding on crawdads in 35 to 40’ in the mouth of creeks near the old river channel. Live bait is still the most effective method to catch a striper, but stripers are now being caught trolling using swim baits, umbrella and Alabama rigs & spoons. The previous week the polar express came in and the weather pattern changed. The stripers moved off the flats and retreated back into the deep water in the mouths of creeks. Shad is schooling in the main lake and the creeks. Find the shad and you will find the stripers. Everybody assumes that the use of live bait will always produce stripers, not true. When they go into a negative mood they will not bite. I had clients for four days and two of those days we did not catch a fish, the other two we caught one & two. With the changing weather patterns I had loss the catch able fish. We found lots of stripers but they just would not bite. Using a guide is your best choice to catch a striper but there is no way you can control the weather and changing patterns. I found feeding fish in the mouth of a major creek by Georges Cove, lots of shad and the stripers were feeding on them. The method was down lines, 2 oz sinker, with 6’ leader counted down to depth of the stripers. I took my brother and his grandson Devin on his first striper trip, the fish were biting early. Devin caught his first striper before light and finished up with 4 ranging from 8 1o 15 lbs. We had a great time seeing a young man catch a big fish. The walleye have slowed their bite, They are in their summer pattern and can be caught by trolling crank baits, nightcrawlers on worm harnesses, and spoons. The warmer water has moved the walleye deeper into 40’ of water on the flats, brush piles, and rounded points. Look at Diamond Bay, the Panther Bay area, Hand Cove, and Hudson point.
07/07/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is at normal pool for the summer. The water temperature is in the low-eighties. The water visibility is stained. The stripers & hybrids are feeding on crawdads in 35 to 40’ of water on the flats near the old river channel. The bite begins before dawn and continues until 8 AM. Once the sun is bright, move off into the channel. Stay in 80 to 120 feet of water, the stripers are starting to school and the schools are roaming along the old river channel next to the flats. Live bait is the most effective method to catch a striper, but stripers are now being caught trolling using umbrella and Alabama rigs. Also spoons have produced a few nice fish. I caught stripers near the dam, the Brushy Creek area, and in Big Creek. The method was down lines, 2 oz sinker, with 6’ leader counted down to depth of the stripers. I took Sara & Chris out and they caught their limit of stripers. Now is the time to get out on the lake. The stripers are on the feed and the action will continue. The walleye have moved to their summer pattern and can be caught by trolling crank baits, nightcrawlers on worm harnesses, and spoons. The walleye are staying between 25 and 30’ of water on the flats, brush piles, and rounded points. Look at East Pigeon Creek, the Panther Bay area, Hand Cove, and the flats leading into Float Creek.
07/05/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is at normal pool for the summer. The water temperature is in the high-seventies. The water visibility is stained. Again this past week we have seen rain each day with lots of cloud cover. The stripers & hybrids continue to be found suspended in the river channels, off the main lake and secondary points. They are feeding on 1” baby shad and crawdads in 35 to 50 feet of water. Live bait is the most effective method to catch a striper, but stripers are now being caught trolling using umbrella and Alabama rigs. Also spoons have produced a few stripers. I caught stripers near the dam, the Brushy Creek area, and the Robinson Point flat. The method was free lines 50 to70’ between the boat and down lines, 2 oz sinker, with 6’ leader counted down to depth of the stripers. I took Lisa & her father-in-law Earl out and they caught their biggest stripers. Lisa’s was 15 lbs and Earl’s 18 lbs. The fish were caught on live gizzard shad set at 40’. Now is the time to get out on the lake. The stripers are moving out of the creeks and setting up for their summer feed fest. The walleye have moved to their summer pattern and can be caught trolling crank baits, nightcrawlers on worm harnesses, and spoons. The walleye are staying between 25 and 30’ of water on the flats and rounded points. Look at East Pigeon, Panther area, Hand Cove, and the flats leading into Float Creek.
07/01/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

As summer approaches Lake Norfork water temperature will continue to rise and reach its peak in late August. Stripers will continue to move towards the dam to find cool waters and oxygen. Stripers require 5 ppm of oxygen to stay healthy and active; as the water temperature rises the stripers will continue to seek deeper water. As the water warms the striper will move from the mouths of creeks towards the dam. The first area for the mid-lake stripers is the Robinson Point area, the stripers will move to the flats and channels feeding on shad and crawdads. The Big Creek & Brushy Creek fish will move to the Hand Cove, Thumb Point, Shoal Creek, Point 1 and Koso areas. This fish will stay in those areas until the lake turns over. Stripers will be found in the 40’ water column early in the summer and will progress move deeper. Last August we were catching stripers at 85’, they stayed in that range until fall. This is the easiest time to catch stripers, the three best methods is live shad, trolling, and spooning. Live gizzard & threadfin shad is and will always be the most productive method to catch stripers. Yes there is a lot of work to catch and maintain live shad but the results are very rewarding. A good depth finder is the most important item you must have on your boat; it’s not worth fishing an area unless you can mark stripers. You should begin to look in the 40’ range and keep moving out until you mark fish, then set your lines from the weight down. I always use a 6’ leader, I never count the leader when I’m counting line down to the fish, shad swims in circles so it’s not important to count the leader. Trolling is very effective until late summer, the stripers are high in the water column and can be caught using down riggers and long lining with lead core. Umbrella rigs, crank baits, Alabama rigs, and ¾ oz jigs produce the most stripers during this timeframe. When I trolled I would double stack, (2 rods on each downrigger), my downriggers varying the types of baits and depths until I zeroed in on the depth and lure the stripers wanted that day. Late summer the stripers will move close to the bottom and feed on crawdads, trolling becomes ineffective due to the location of the stripers, You cannot get the lure to where the fish are holding, this is when spooning becomes the preferred method. Spooning is effective year around but the best time of the year to catch stripers using a spoon is when the fish are schooling. You may see thousands of fish feeding on shad anytime during the summer. Just drop your spoon and hold on. As the stripers move deeper and begin to hug the bottom they become easier to catch with spoons. Marking and trying to catch one striper is very difficult, again a good depth finder is your best friend this time of year. From July on you will find stripers on the points near the dam or roaming the channels, its take move patience to fish with a spoon than any other type of fishing. Once you find them drop your spoon to their level and jerk up and slowly lower the spoon, most hits will be on the drop. Summer striper fishing is the most productive time year, you can catch you limits very quickly, remember, this time of year it's very hard to release a fish, they are always deep and will die if you release them. So catch your limit and go home, continue catching and releasing stripers will only kill them.
06/24/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 556.5 and the water temp is warming up just like the weather. The temp is in the low 80's. The stripers are staring to group up suspended 35-40ft. and will start going deeper as the water continues to warm up. They were hitting on live bait and jigging spoons. The bass are starting to get more active early in the mornings chasing bait to the surface. Throw a Zara puppy or a spook and a soft jerkbait was working as well. After the sun get up higher the surface activity slows then you can throw a worm, jig or a drop-shot rig with a small worm or plastic minnow type bait will work.
06/17/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the mid 70's and the lake level is 556.9 msl. There was a little topwater for stripers and hybrids this week when we had cloudy skies. If it was sunny they didn't come up casing baitfish. They were hitting Zara spooks, soft jerkbaits and a few on a swimbait. They were hitting live bait real good this week. Look for them suspended 35-40ft. and get your bait down to them. Bass were hitting spooks and soft jerkbaits as well. Throw a Texas rigged worm, drop-shot with a small worm or a jig in 5-25 ft. Look for crappie in the deep brush piles. Haven't heard anything on what the walleye are doing.
06/17/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is at normal pool for the summer. The water temperature is in the high-seventies. The water visibility is stained. Again this past week we have seen rain each day with lots of cloud cover. The stripers & hybrids continue to be found suspended in the river channels, off the main lake and secondary points. They are feeding on 1” baby shad and crawdads in 35 to 50 feet of water. Live bait is the most effective methods to catch a striper right now. I caught stripers in the Big Creek area and Robinson Point flat. The method was free lines 50 to70’ between the boat and down lines, 2 oz sinker, with 6’ leader counted down to depth of the stripers. The early morning stripers were caught on free lines. As the sun comes up the stripers move deeper. We caught stripers up to 8 am using down lines between 35 to 50 feet. I took a friend Kris out to celebrate Father’s Day. We caught our limit in a little over 2 hours, Kris caught (1) 20 lb & (2) 15 lb stripers. My fish were all smaller but respectably. Now is the time to get out on the lake. The stripers are moving out of the creeks and setting up for their summer feed fest.
03/01/2014 through 06/15/2014 Be sure to register for the Norfork Lake 2014 Fishing Derby.

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06/10/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 556.6 and the water temp is in the mid 70's. Stripers are hitting live bait and as for artificial bait try throwing a swim bait. There are a few coming up early and will hit a topwater bait. Throw a Zara spook or a red-fin if there isn't much wind or a soft jerkbait will get you bit too. Look for them suspended 30-40ft later in the morning after the sun get up above the trees. Bass are also hitting soft jerkbaits and a few on topwater when you can find them coming up chasing baitfish. Later in the morning throw a jig, Texas rigged worm or a drop-shot with a 4" worm. Some whites where hitting a swim bait down around 10ft.
06/10/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is at normal pool for the summer. The water temperature is in the mid-seventies. The water visibility is stained. Again this week we have seen rain each day with lots of cloud cover. The stripers & hybrids continue to be found off the main lake and secondary points. They are feeding on shad and crawdads in 35 to 50 feet of water. Live bait and trolling are the most effective methods to catch a striper right now. I caught stripers in the Big Creek area and Crystal Cove area. All my fish were caught down lining shad, 2 oz sinker, with 6’ leader counted down to depth of the stripers. Most of my fish were caught at 40’ this past week. I took Ken & Ron out for their first striper trip on Norfork Lake. We caught 3 hybrids, 7 to 9 lbs, and lost 3 more. For a first time trip they sure had a great time. Now is the time to get out on the lake. The stripers will be beginning to school and a lot easier to catch.
05/19/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 556.4 and the water temperature is in the mid 60's. The water temp will be on the rise again with the warmer weather forecast for the coming week. The water temp dropped 8 degrees this week due to the cold front. The stripers are hitting live bait and swim baits and if you mark some suspended drop a jigging spoon. At night throw a Rouge up to the bank and reel it back slow. You want it to slowly wobble side to side. There are a few coming up early chasing baitfish. Throw a top water like a Zara spook, soft jerk bait or a Red Fin. Bass will come up and hit these baits also. Bass are hitting worms and jigs and a Carolina-rig. Use a lizard with a 24-36" leader.
05/19/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake has risen 2 feet over the last 10 days. The lake still in the normal range. The water temperature is in the mid-sixties. The water visibility is stained. The rain, cold & wind the pass week changed the conditions of the lake and slowed the striper bite. There was lots of top water at Cranfield & Diamond Bay but the strong north winds moved out the stripers. This week should see an increase in the striper activity with the switch to south winds and warm weather. The stripers are still off the main lake and secondary points all over the lake. I caught stripers on a flat in the Big Creek area. They were hitting small shad. I was long lining about 40’ behind my boat using just a small split shot and small gizzard shad. I fished with Craig Roberts and his family, everybody caught stripers but Craig was the only one to catch his limit of stripers, he also lost the biggest fish of his life. Stripers are being caught off the main lake points and bays in Big Creek & Brushy Creek, Crystal Cove, Point One, and Cranfield area. Remember if it’s sunny the stripers are moving off the shore and very hard to catch. The best bite is when the weather is overcast with a slight wind. The crappies are done spawning and are suspended over brush piles in 15 to 30’ of water. They are on minnow’s, small spoons, & jigs on the brush piles.
05/06/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 554.3 and the water temp is in the upper 60's in the creeks and in the mid 60's in the main lake. The main lake visibility is clear. There hasn't been much top water activity yet. Just a few fish coming up sporadically. The night bite has been picking up the last couple weeks throwing stick baits and reeling them real slow back to the boat. The stripers are hitting live bait and some were hitting swim baits early in the morning before the sun was hitting the water surface. There are some bass still on beds and there are some hitting swim baits, jigs, and on Texas rigged worms. Some walleye are hitting stick baits at night but it's been hit or miss the last few nights.
05/06/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is at normal pool. The water temperature is in the high-sixties. The water visibility is stained. The shad have moved back into the creeks and are having another spawn. The warm weather and wind created the perfect conditions for the shad to have spawn. The stripers are now staging half way up the creeks and some have moved to the main lake points. The night bite continues to be very strong all around the lake. I caught stripers off the main lake points and bays in Big Creek, Crystal Cove, and Cranfield area. Remember if it's sunny the stripers are moving off the shore and very hard to catch. The best bite is when the weather is overcast with a slight wind. The crappies are in their late spawning cycle and are biting on minnow’s, small spoons, & jigs on brush piles, stickups, and bluff walls in 2 to 8 feet of water in the mornings
04/14/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 553.8 and the water temp is in the upper 50's to the low 60's. The water is warmer back in the creeks in the stained water. The main lake is clear. There is a little top water action in the morning for bass and a few whites are coming up. We throwing a white Zara Spook. They were also hitting a 4" swim bait. Haven't seen any top water action on the hybrids and stripers yet. Throw a Rouge at night for hybrids and stripers. Throw it to the bank and remember you have to reel it real SLOW. Don't be surprised if you pick up walleye also. The length limit on walleye is 18" and the limit is 4 and the length limit on stripers is 20" and the limit is 3. Hybrids are counted as a striper.
04/14/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is at normal pool. The water temperature is in the high-fifties and rising. The water visibility is stained. The night bite is good. The lake is warming up fast and the stripers are moving into the banks. The big fish have moved up the creek and are starting to feed. Shad have started moving to the banks and the stripers are following. The lake should be in the 60 degree range by week's end. I fished Bennett’s Bayou and found that the best bite was mid-day with clouds or overcast skies. Sunny days the bite is off with very little activity. I fished with Larry & Linda Leonard and we caught our fish from 10 am to 12pm, Linda caught the big striper at 12pm, it was 22 lbs. The stripers were caught on 5 to 7 inch gizzard shad. The night bite is strong, the best times is from 8 pm to 10 pm, fish the banks that had wind on them during the day, rouges are working the best. The crappies are biting on minnow’s small spoons, jigs, and minnows on brush piles in 20 feet of water in the mornings. Later as the day warms up the crappie are moving shallow. The crappy are getting ready to spawn and limits are being caught in all the major creek arms. The walleyes will be spawning now the water is warming. The rains this week will see a big push up the river to spawn. The best spots are at the state line, Liner Creek, Udall Marina, and from Bridges Creek to the 160 bridge.
04/06/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 553.8 and the water temp is in the low 50's in the main lake and in the mid to upper 50's back in the creeks. Main lake is clear and the creeks are stained. The better fishing has been in the warmer water. When the weather stabilizes and the weather warms a little more the bite will be on. Stripers are hitting live bait and swim baits. I have had better bite at night throwing Rouges right at dark on the main lake flats and on some points. Hybrids, stripers and an occasional walleye or two. Just reel your lure SLOW. Bass are hitting jigs, jerk baits and swim baits and will be heading to the bank to do their thing soon. I haven't seen much top water action yet.
04/01/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is at normal pool. The water temperature is in the high-forties and rising. The water visibility is stained. The night bite is good. The lake is warming up fast and the stripers are moving into the banks. The big fish have moved up the creek and are starting to feed. Shad have started moving to the banks and the stripers are following. The lake will be in the mid-fifties by the beginning of the next week. I had five outings without a striper bite but this week we are catching limits and having lots of action. I fished Bennett’s Bayou with the King family and helped 9 year Wyatt King caught the big fish of the trip. It was a 21 pounder that gave him the fight of his life and made lots of memories The stripers were caught on 7 inch gizzard shad. Stripers are looking for big baits right now so if you are throwing rouges make sure you use 5 inch or bigger. Look for the warmest stained water, the stripers are on the bank early in the morning then they move off the shore. The crappies are biting on minnows small spoons & jigs and minnows on brush piles in 10 feet of water in the mornings. Later as the day warms up the crappie are moving shallow. The walleyes will be spawning now the water is warming. The rains this week will see a big push up the river to spawn. The best spots are at the state line, Liner Creek, Udall Marina, and from Bridges Creek to the 160 bridge.
03/25/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is at normal pool. The water temperature is in the mid-forties and rising. The water visibility is stained. The night bite has slowed this past week, the moon phase and cold weather have the stripers in a holding pattern. They are feeding but in short periods. The stripers become very active when the moon rises and the past week the moon is slowing becoming less visibly each day and rising later in the night, therefore the bite is increasing happening very late in the evening and night. The stripers have moved up the creek and are staging, waiting on warm water, the magic number for stripers is 60 degrees. The 60 degree mark tells the stripers to begin their spawn, and until we can get consistent warm nights the water temperature will rise but very slowly. I fished Bennett’s Bayou this past week and caught striper’s three out of four trips. The big striper was caught by Ron Jones. Ron caught his first striper and it weighted 22 lbs, not bad for your first striper. The stripers were caught on 7 inch gizzard shad. The stripers are looking for big baits right now. If you are throwing rouges make sure you use 5 inch or bigger. Look for the warmest stained water, the stripers are on the bank early in the morning then they move off the shore. The crappies are biting on minnows small spoons & jigs on brush piles in 30’ of water, later as the day warms up the crappie are moving shallow. The walleyes have slowed with the cold water; the water temperature has dropped back to the high forties. Once the river begins to warm back up the walleye will begin their spawn. The best spots are at the state line, Liner Creek, Udall Marina, and from Bridges Creek to the 160 bridge.
03/11/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is down 1 foot. The water temperature is in the mid-forties and rising. The water visibility is stained. This week the lake will change from winter to spring. The warm up will bring the lake temperature up into the high forties to low fifties by week's end. With the full moon this weekend you will see the beginning of a night bite for stripers & walleye. The warm-up will get the stripers to begin to move and start feeding. Find the bait fish and seagulls and you will find the stripers. Right now the bait fish are stacked in Panther Bay from Pt. 4 to Panther creek. It will be an early morning bite using shiners. Rogues will be the best bait in the evening. I found stripers near the Blue Lady dock and in front of Lake Norfork Marina in Henderson. The crappies are biting on minnows small spoons & jigs on brush piles in 30’ of water. The walleyes are starting to bite, the water temperature is in the low fifties above the old Udall Marina. I fished Sunday and caught one short walleye, but saw several keepers being caught. With the warm-up this week the spawn will begin and we should see a strong bite for the next several weeks. The best spots are at the state line, Liner Creek, Udall Marina, and from Bridges creek to the 160 bridge.
03/11/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

It seems Old Man Winter just doesn't want to leave. We are going to start warming some if you believe the weatherman. The water temp is in the mid 40's and the lake level is 551.6. There are baitfish dying all over the lake. This hasn't happened for a few years because the last few winters have been mild. Spring fishing will be better because of all the dying baitfish. The jerk bait bite will be good. There are some bass hitting them along with crank baits thrown along the shore in 5-10 ft. of water. For the deeper fish I drop a jigging spoon and you can throw a jig and fish it slow. Hopefully the wind will start coming out of the south and with the longer days the water will start warming and the fish will start migrating up in the river and the major creeks. The night bite will get going also throwing rouges and retrieve them real slow.
02/09/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Early Spring Striper Fishing Tactics. Winter in the Ozarks this year is the worst I have seen in 17 years of living here but it will be over soon so it is time to start thinking of early spring striper movements. The current water temperature is the lowest since 2000. That year we had a large shad kill and I expect the same this year. Striper fishing in 2000 was outstanding, the fish were hungry, and with reduced shad population, the bite was on. Starting in late February we typically will see the winds switch to the south and a gradual warm up of air and water temperatures. The stripers will begin to move from the deep water following the shad. There will multiple opportunities to catch stripers at that time. Both live bait and artificial baits will be very effective. The night bite will begin once the winds blow from the south. You will want to fish the northern and northeastern banks of the bays and main lake and main arm points. Some excellent spots are the points near the near the Norfork Dam, Koso Bay and Point, the Hudson area, Frog Pond, Diamond Bay, Cranfield Island, and the points north of the Cranfield area heading towards Red Bank access. The best time to night fish is a half hour before dark until about 10 pm. The best bait historically are 5” or 6” Rouges. The color of the Rouge varies with black/gold, clown, & blue/black combinations seeming to work the best, but experiment with the colors until you find the one that works best that night. Bone color has been hot the last few years. Make long casts parallel to the bank and reel very, very slowly. A lot of the bites will be right next to the boat so always have a big net ready. Stripers, Hybrids, & Walleye are all active during this time. Watch the water temperature. As it moves up towards 60 degrees, the bite will get stronger. During this time of year live bait, shad & shiners, are also very effective. The stripers will be roaming the shoreline looking for food. I use shad but everything I do can be done using shiners. Most days I will run a large spread of lines. I begin with 2 inside planner boards, one near the shore and other out 20 to 30 yards. These board lines will have large gizzard shad in the 4 to 8 inch range. Out of the back of the boat I will have two lines with floats, shad on the hooks, with no weight at varies depths from 10 to 30 feet from the floats. These lines will be set back from the boat between 30 to 60 yards. I then set out two free lines with a split shot weight on one line and nothing on the other. Both will have large shad on them and will be set 40 to 60 feet from the back of the boat. The last outside line will have one planner board with a large shad out 40 yards from the back of the boat. As the water warms the stripers will continue to move into the larger creeks to spawn. The magic water temperature number is 60 degrees. Your tactic to catch stripers should be to keep moving with the fish and continue to experiment with your techniques
02/09/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temperature is still in the low 40's and the lake level is 552.4. Hopefully this cold weather will be over in the next few weeks. Then the water will start to warm up and the fish will start to move up from the deep water. The whites should start to head towards the back of the creeks and up the river along with old marble eyes (walleye). The stripers and hybrids are still down 40-60ft. You have to be patient this time of year and work your baits slow. There are a few bass hitting wiggle warts along the bank. For the ones down 20-50 ft. drop a jigging spoon use a 3/4 - 1 oz. jig and drag it real slow. Look for crappie in brush piles around 25-30 ft.
01/28/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is normal pool. The water temperature is in the low forties. The water visibility is stained. Patience is very important this time of year. The stripers have moved from the creeks and are in the main river channels. The bite is very slow; the varying weather patterns have turned off the stripers right now. The best lure is a spoon. The stripers are holding in the river channel at 55 to 65’. The most active spot this week has been in the river channel under the 62 bridge. If you cannot find stripers in the main channel by the bridge look for them in the channel near the Blue Lady dock, 101 Area, Bidwell Point, and in front of Lake Norfork Marina in Henderson. The crappies are biting on minnows small spoons & jigs on brush piles in 30’ of water. The cold water has moved the walleyes back to the deep holes. Until the water begins to warm the walleyes will stay in deep holes waiting on warming water. The best bite in the river is at night using stick baits.
01/28/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 553.5 and the water temp is in the mid 40's. There are some bass up on the banks and will hit crank baits. It's better if there is some wind blowing onto the bank. Try throwing a suspended jerkbait too. For the deeper bass throw a jig and if you mark suspended fish drop a jigging spoon. Look for stripers, hybrids and whites down at least 40ft. and get you bait down to them or just above them. Look in the major creeks and if you see gulls fish close to them.
01/13/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake has risen 1 ft over normal pool. The water temperature is in the low forties. The water visibility is stained. Last weeks rains raised the lake 1 foot. With that, the shad bait moved up the creeks. The best spots to find bait and stripers are Panther & Float Creeks. When you mark the shad put your live bait above the shad and just move very slowly following the shad. You may not mark many fish but the stripers will follow the bait sometime during the day. Patience is very important this time of year. One friend fished point 4 but did not mark any stripers so he moved to a different spot. Another friend stayed and limited out. The stripers had moved in and started biting. Look for stripers in Float Creek, Panther Bay, the Blue Lady dock area near Howard Cove, Bidwell Point, and in front of Lake Norfork Marina in Henderson. Expect to find stripers, hybrids, and whites in 40 to 100 feet of water. The best bait will be shiners and spoons. Look for schools of shad and you will find stripers. The crappie are biting on minnows small spoons & jigs on brush piles in 30’ of water. The cold water has moved the walleyes back to the deep holes. Once the water begins to warm they will begin to make their move up the river to begin the spawning run. The best bite in the river is at night using stick baits.
01/13/2014 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 554.3 and the water temp is in the mid 40's. There are some bass up on the banks and will hit crank baits. It's better if there is some wind blowing onto the bank. Try throwing a suspended jerk baits too. For the deeper bass throw a jig and if you mark suspended fish drop a jigging spoon. Look for stripers, hybrids and whites down at least 40ft. and get your bait down to them or just above them. Look in the major creeks and if you see gulls fish close to them.
01/06/2014 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake is ½ foot above normal pool The water temperature is in the high forties. The water visibility is stained. I fished the past week in Float Creek, Panther Bay, and the Henderson area for stripers. I found stripers in 80 feet of water at caught them at 35 and 60 feet. The best bait was shiners. Nate caught his first Norfork striper on Sunday. We were on lots of stripers. Most of the fish we caught on Sunday were holding at 60 feet, just above the shad. Look for schools of shad and you will find stripers. The stripers are in a full winter pattern. Look for stripers in Float Creek, Panther Bay, the Blue Lady dock area near Howard Cove, Bidwell Point, and in front of Lake Norfork Marina in Henderson. Expect to find stripers, hybrids, and whites in 40 to 100 feet of water. The best bait will be shiners and spoons. The hot spot for crappie is Red Bank. the crappies are biting on minnows, small spoons, and jigs, on brush piles in 30’ of water. The walleyes are being caught under the 160 bridge using shad. The bite will continue as the walleye begin their pre-spawn move into the head waters of the North Fork River. If you cannot use shad, try Rouges after dark.
12/23/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The State of Norfork Lake Year-End Report - Norfork Lake ends 2013 in excellent shape. This year saw short periods higher water levels twice but did little damage to the fish population or habitat, There was no low dissolved oxygen fish die off this year and with the moderately higher waters in the spring the large game fish had a good opportunity to spawn. The 2008 class fish are now producing good size bass, crappie, bluegill, & walleye. Water levels on Norfork are forever changed with the implementation of Minimum Flow. We will see higher water levels more often now. Arkansas Game and Fish upgraded some of the boat rams, parking lots, and beaches around the lake to partially accommodate the higher waters. Higher spring water will allow for better spawns each year. The striper population is healthy. This year we saw more smaller fish caught then any of the previous years I have fished Norfork Lake, the fish & game stocking program is working. I caught stripers from 6” to 20” this year; each one of those stripers represented a year class of stocking. Fish & Game in 2013 stocked well over 200,000 stripers and almost 100,000 hybrids. The “survive to catch-able size” rate of these fish is thought to be about 25%. The sheer numbers of fish stocked does provide that a significant number of stripers and hybrids will survive. We did lose a number of bigger stripers in the 2008 high water event but the consistent stocking program has produced an equal amount of small stripers that are growing at a rapid pace to replace the loss fish. This will ensure a great striper population for years to come. The bass spawns in 2008 and 2010 and 2011 produced great year classes. In previous years, bass tournaments were won with 10 lbs bags or less. Now if you have less than 15 lbs you will not even place. The Bass Cat tournament produced over 3000 pounds of fish in 2 days that averages out to be over 2 ½ lb bass being caught. Lots of 4 to 6 pound bass are caught in the spring and fall periods. Crappie is another game fish that produced great spawns. Sure, there are lots of 8 to 9 ½” crappies being caught but there are equal number of 12 to 15” crappies being boated also. I have seen lots of crappies being caught as I catch bait in the creeks. Arkansas Game and Fish consistently upgrades the brush piles in Norfork Lake that produces lots of crappies. Walleye spawns each year early and is the most under fished species on Norfork Lake. Both Missouri and Arkansas have excellent stocking programs. The best time for walleye bite on Norfork Lake is the winter and early spring when the fish move up the river channel to feed and spawn. Night fishing is one of the best ways to consistently catch a limit of walleye. Overall 2013 saw a significant change to the lake infrastructure and water levels but overall Norfork is healthy and ready for great fishing and boating opportunities in 2014.
12/23/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the upper 40's to the low.50's and the lake level is 554.7. Look for stripers in the river and in the deeper creek channels down 35ft. and deeper. Check the flats close to deep water also. There are some bass roaming the banks. If it's windy throw a crank bait along the bank. For the deep fish throw a heavy jig, drop shot, jigging spoon and try a grub on a 1/4oz jig head. Look for crappie in brush piles down 25-30ft.
12/09/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past week I fished north of Cranfield Island and found the sea gulls working on schools of shad. My clients Chris & Marvin got very excited as we started to see schools of fish on the depth finder. Several boats were spooning up stripers, hybrids & white bass so we setup with shad, shiners, and creek chubs. While we waited on the live bait we started spooning. We caught several whites when a big school went under the boat and the live bait rods went down. In the chaos we caught a nice hybrid & striper but lost several more since we could not get to the rods quick enough. The action continued for a couple hours as we just kept following the gulls while they feed on the shad. Right now the best bite is mid-day after the sun warms up the water. Look for stripers in the Blue Lady dock, near Howard Cove, on the flat above 101 bridge near Cow Point and north of Cranfield Island. The stripers are in depths from 40 to 100 feet of water.
12/09/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 552.3 and with the cold weather this week the lake temp dropped into the upper 40's. The cooler weather has pushed the stripers deeper. Look for them suspended at least down 30ft. on flats and close to the creek channels. Get your bait down to the fish, live or artificial. Drop a 3/4oz. or a 1oz. jigging spoon. There are some bass roaming the banks and will hit a crank bait. Throw a suspending jerk bait also. For bass in deeper water try a jigging spoon, drop shot or a grub on a 1/4oz jig head. Look for crappie in the deeper brush piles. When the water is cold remember to fish slow.
12/02/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The lake is 1 ½ feet below pool, with the cold weather and winds the water temp has dropped in the mid-fifties, the water visibility is good. The cold weather will push the bait out from the creeks to the deep creek and main lake channels. The winter fishing pattern will be sooner this year if the weather continues as predicted. The stripers are biting in the river, on the flats, and in the channels. Fish are biting on shad, shiners, topwater, & spoons. I fished the river near the state line and caught 3, the fish were in 25 to 40' of water in the main river channel. Stripers are also being caught on the south side of Cranfield Island, off Blue Lady, and off the channel above 101 bridge.5. Look for them in waters from 40 to 100' of water. With the cold weather the stripers will be moving into their winter pattern early this year, that pattern will consist of fishing the river channel with shiners, shad, and spoons. Crappie are biting on minnows & small jigs on brush piles in 30’ of water in the creeks and off the points. Walleye will be staging for their spawn, with the cold weather the water temp will drop faster than normal and the walleye will begin their movement to the shallow pea gravel banks. Rouges after dark will be the best bait.
11/18/2013 By Larry Olson

Now that the water temperature is hovering around the 60 degree mark, the bite has really picked up. I targeted bass the weekend and found the night bite was really on. I fished from 1C in Big Creek to Sally Hand Cove near the dam and boated well over 30 fish. It was a mixed bag of large and smallmouth but mostly Kentuckies, all nice fish. Cleaned 2 and threw the rest back for another day. The best bite was on the points and rock walls using a spinner that mimicked crawdad colors with a hint of orange in the skirt. Make sure to use a large blade.
11/17/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are biting in the river, on the flats, and in the channels. Fish are biting on shad, shiners, topwater, & spoons. I fished the river near the state line and caught 3, the fish were in 25 to 40' of water in the main river channel. Stripers are also being caught on the south side of Cranfield Island, off Blue Lady, & in the channel in front of Pt. 5. Look for them in waters from 40 to 100' of water. With the cold weather the stripers will be moving into their winter pattern early this year, that pattern will consist of fishing the river channel near Henderson all the way to Blue Lady.
11/17/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 552.6 and the water temp is in the low to mid 50's. The water is coolest up in the river. The stripers are suspended in the 20-40ft.depth and will hit live bait and jigging spoons. Early and just before dark there are some coming up feeding on baitfish. After dark throw stickbaits to the bank and retrieve them slow. Throw a topwater bait to them. Try a swimbait too and reel it in slow. Bass watch for them feeding on the surface early and just before dark and they will hit just about any topwater bait. When they are not up feeding throw a jig to the bank and work it back to the boat in short hops or drag it slow. Try throwing a grub also.
11/03/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The river striper bite has started. We fished near the state line and found lots of bait & stripers. We hooked 8 but only boated 2, 14 & 18 lbs. We fished with 6 & 8 inch gizzard shad, water depth was 30 to 40 feet, we had our lines set at 16 & 20 feet, we hooked fish on down lines & floats
11/03/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 552.5 and the water temperature is in the mid 60's.There are some stripers coming up early and just before dark. They are on running on the small side. The bigger fish should start showing up with the water cooling down. Some hybrids and whites are coming up with them also. Throw just about any top water bait or cast a spoon to them and jig it back. Try a swim bait as well. Look for some suspended around 30ft. and drop a spoon or your live bait to them. The night bite should get going soon. Bass are doing the same as the stripers. After the top water is over throw a jig to the bank and drag or hop it back to the boat. If it's windy throw a spinner bait or crank bait along the bank.
10/30/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The lake is cooling down and the bite is picking up. Stripers, hybrids, & white bass are surfacing in the mornings and evenings off Cranfield Island, and around the Blue Lady area. Spoons, Spooks, and live bait are all working. The fish are on the small size right now but as the water cools down the bigger fish will show up.
10/28/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 552.5 and the water temp is in the upper 60's. With the temperature dropping the bite will only get better. The stripers are down around 40ft. and they will move shallower as the temp keeps falling. There are some bass coming up early for a couple hours but if it's cloudy or a little wind blowing they will stay up longer. Look for them on points. Try throwing a swim bait after the topwater is over . I had a client catch a smallmouth that went 4 pounds on a swim bait along a bluff last week. If it's windy throw a spinner bait or a crankbait along the bank. The night bite for stripers should get going in the next week or two.
10/25/2013 Greg's Outlook

As we transition into fall you will find Norfork Lake to be in great shape. The lake level is just a little below normal. The dissolved oxygen level is the best that we have seen in a few years keeping the fish population pretty frisky. Looking forward, I see the Norfork Lake level continue to slowly wind down to below normal through October, the dissolved oxygen levels increasing, and the fall striper, bass, and crappie, yes crappie bite getting stronger earlier than normal. Currently stripers are hitting shad and shiners hard. Fish deep (30 to 50 feet) and troll slow. For those of you that like spooning for stripers, now is the time to be fishing within 2 to 3 miles of the dam. Always have a Spook ready in case you get into the middle of a boil of hybrids or white bass. As the water cools in late October expect a good night bass bite to develop near the shoreline. The crappie bite is picking up earlier than expected. Head to the brush plies in Brushy and Big Creek with some minnows or small light colored jigs with twister tails and you'll have dinner. The numbers are not huge but you'll be impressed with the size. Tipping rigged jigs is working well also. Smaller inline spinners like Rooster Tails would also. Speaking of Rooster Tails, with the current lake conditions, these will be an excellent choice by the white bass angler. Flatheads are hitting worms at Sand Island. Some fairly good size catfish have been brought to the dock. To sum up, November is looking to be pretty good. By the way, our campground is open through November.
10/25/2013 By Larry Olson

Did some night fishing for bass recently and boated about 25 in one night. The bite was strong along the shoreline. I fished from point 1C in Big Creek to point 1 near the Norfork Dam throwing spinner baits with large blades and Zoom chuck trailers parallel to the shore in about 5 feet of water. I normal make my own lures but sometimes throw a Jewel. I use nothing but Jewel blades on all of my spinners. As the water cools the night bite will keep getting better. Head out just before dusk and work the shoreline.
10/20/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 552.9 and the water temp has been staying around 70. With the cooler weather and the water temp starting to drop the fall fishing will only get better and the lake will clear up. Stripers have moved up from the deep and look for them around 30-40ft. deep. The night bite will get going in the coming weeks. Check the mid lake area and the creeks. Bass are a few coming up early. If it's windy throw a spinner bait or crank bait on the banks where the wind is blowing into them. Try a jig or worm in the brush piles. Look for walleye down 25-30ft. on the bottom.
10/15/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are moving, we found fish on Robinson Point flat and between the bridges. The stripers on Robinson are in the 50' range and the stripers between the bridges are suspended at 40' in waters ranging from 50 to 120' of water. Spoons & shad are working best, the fall bite is beginning and will get better as the lake cools down to the mid sixties. Norfork Lake is open for business and fishing well during the government shutdown. The fish have not been furloughed.
10/06/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the mid to upper 70's and the lake level is 553.5. The stripers are still within a few miles of the dam and are suspended 60-80ft. Look out off the points and in the coves. With the cooler weather on the way they will start to move shallower and head up the lake and into the creeks later. There are bass still some coming up hitting top water baits early and just before dark. There are some down around 30-35ft. For the deeper fish try a jigging spoon.
10/06/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The lake has returned to normal pool and the fishing is outstanding. The stripers & hybrids have been biting near the dam. Look for them off points and the river channel. They are deep, 85 to 105' but they will hit live bait & spoons. Live bait is working best since you can have more poles out to catch the fish. Both threadfin & gizzard shad are working, lower your bait to the bottom and reel up three times and just wait. The lake will be cooling down and fish moving from the deep up the water column the next few weeks, look at Robinson, Float, Panther Bay, and north.
09/22/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 554.8 and the water temp has dropped to the upper 70's. Look for the stripers within a few miles of the dam suspended down around 80ft. Hybrids are hanging around the same depth so get your bait down to where you mark the fish. There are a few fish that have been between 35ft. down to 50ft. also. The bass are coming up early and just before dark chasing shad. Look for them on points, coves and back in the creeks. We caught them on Spooks, pop-r's, suspending jerk baits, and shallow running crank baits. After the topwater is over try a deep running crankbait or throw a worm or a jig in about ten ft. of water and work it out to the boat. We also caught some jigging a spoon in 30-38ft.just off the bottom.
09/22/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The lake has returned to normal pool and the fishing is outstanding. The stripers & hybrids have been biting near the dam. Look for them off points and the river channel. They are deep, 85 to 105' but they will hit live bait & spoons, the live bait is working best since you can have more poles out to catch the fish. Both threadfin & gizzard shad are working, lower your bait to the bottom and reel up three times and just wait.
09/20/2013 By Larry Olson

I fished for large and smallmouth bass twice in the last week. One night we boated 9, the largest being a 5 pound largemouth. The following evening we netted 5 the largest was a 3 pound smallie. With the recent weather changes, it looks like the evening bass bite has started. We fished the flatter shoreline from Woods Point to areas near the dam with large spinners. Make sure to use a spinner with a large blade. Jewel makes the best.
09/16/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Norfork Lake has returned to normal pool and the fishing is outstanding. The stripers & hybrids have been biting both morning & evening near the dam. Look for them off points and the river channel. They are deep, 70 to 85' but they will hit live bait & spoons, the live bait is working best since you can have more poles out to catch the fish. Both threadfin & gizzard shad are working, lower your bait to the bottom and reel up three times and just wait.
09/08/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is still in the mid 80's and the lake level is 556ft. Look for bass busting shad for a couple hours after daybreak on points and back in the creeks. Throw a white or clear Spook or a pop-r. After the topwater bite is over throw a worm or jig. The stripers are suspended 30-60ft. Hybrids and whites are hanging with them. We've been using silver or white 3/4 to 1oz. jigging spoons. Look for walleye on points down close to the bottom in 30-36ft. deep. We caught them on jigging spoons.
09/08/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The rain is gone, the warm weather has returned and the stripers & hybrids have schooled up near the dam. Live bait (shad), spoons, and trolling has produced limits of fish daily. The fish are within site of the dam, look for schools of shad at the 60' level, the fish are near the main channel at the 60 to 75' level. The water level is being lower daily so the fish will stay within the dam due to the current being generated from the release of water.
08/25/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 560ft and the water temp is in the low to mid 80's. The stripers and hybrids are suspended 35-40ft. There are a lot of fish within a few miles of the dam. They are finally starting to school up. Look out off points and in coves. Just get your bait down to the depth you mark the fish. If you are using a jigging spoon try silver on sunny days and white on cloudy days. Look for bass early in the mornings chasing shad to the surface on points and back in the creeks. Throw topwater baits like a Spook, or pop-r. They are also hitting swimbaits and suspended jerkbaits. You can throw a worm or a jig when the sun gets higher. At night you can switch to throwing salt craws to the bank and drag it or make short little hops.
08/17/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The weather had turned cooler and the past two weeks we have had about 7" of rain, the rising water level has turned on the stripers. The fresh water has reduced the thermocline and the stripers are schooling, the preferred depth is 34', fish are being caught trolling, jigging, and live bait. I expect the next few weeks fishing will continue to be fast with lots of limits.
08/11/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is up to 561.5 ft. with all the rain we have had and the water temp has dropped to the low 80's. Look for stripers suspended 30-50 ft. If you use a jigging spoon try silver on sunny days and white on cloudy days in 3/4 or 1 oz. Bass are chasing shad to the surface early in the morning. Throw a topwater bait like a spook or a pop-r. After the sun gets high you will need to fish deeper with a worm (red or red with silver or gold fleck in it). You can also throw a jig in green pumpkin or peanut butter and jelly. Smallies like pb&j.
07/30/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 554.6 and the water temp is in the low to mid 80's. Bass are coming up early and just before dark. They will hit a Zara Spook, pop-r, Bass Assassins and suspending jerk baits. Then after the sun gets high throw a worm or a jig. Green pumpkin or peanut butter and jelly will get you the most bites. Look for stripers within a few miles of the dam. They will be suspended 30-50 ft. They can be in coves off the main lake and in the creeks with deep water. They will stay in their summer haunts until fall when the water starts cooling down.
07/21/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Lake Norfork is in great condition this year, the oxygen level is great from the mid-lake to the dam and the stripers are roaming everywhere. The best depth to catch them is 40', I have caught them at 60' but the most are being caught in the 40' range. The water depth the fish are holding can vary from 40 to 144', lots of fish are being caught along the channel in water deeper than 90'. Live bait (shad) & spoons are working the best. The past week I have caught fish on Koso, Shoal Creek, Robinson Point and Point 4..
07/21/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 554.7 and the water temp has been in the mid 80's

Bass: The bass are chasing baitfish to the surface early in the mornings. Watch for them along bluff banks, points and back in the creeks. We caught some on a Zara spook, swimbait and shallow running crankbait. If it's windy throw a spinner bait or a crankbait along the bank. Throw a jig or worm after the sun gets higher.

Stripers: Look for them suspended 30-60ft. out off points and on flats close to deep water. The hybrids and some whites are at the same depth too. If you are using a jigging spoon white or silver are a good choice.
07/10/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the low to mid 80's and the lake level is 556.1.

Stripers: The stripers are starting to get into their summer pattern suspended and in schools. Look for them down 40-50ft. As the water gets warmer they will travel deeper.
Bass: Bass are hitting topwater baits early in the morning. After the sun gets up higher you'll need to fish with a jig, drop shot or Texas rigged worm. Try a swimbait and real it in slow.
Walleye: This time of the year you can catch some hanging around brush piles. Try dropping a jigging spoon but be prepared to lose a few in the brush.
07/10/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The last couple of weeks fishing has been slow with the cold north winds lowering the water temp and turning off the fish. The past week we have seen warmer weather and the return of south winds. The stripers are on the feed, the best bait is a 7" gizzard shad, I have been fishing the mid-lake area around Robinson Point but will be moving south towards the dam as the stripers continue to migrate. The fish are being caught on flats in 50' of water and along river channels in 125' of water. The baits have been set at 45' & 60', the best bite is early morning and late afternoon.
June 2013 Norfork Lake Fishing Derby Results

The All Lake Norfork Lake Fishing Derby is over and the results are in. Hand Cove Resort is pleased to announce that 4 of the 5 species winners are Hand Cove Resort anglers. Congratulations goes out to:

Aaron Nicholson - Bass
Rick Crayton - Striper
Randy Van't Hof - Crappie
Waylon Bland - Walleye

Each winner will receive a $500 check from the Norfork Lake Chamber of Commerce.
Special note: All winning fish in all species were caught in the south end of the lake.
06/16/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the upper 70's to the low 80's and the lake level is 560.1.

Stripers: The stripers are starting to go deeper down 30-40ft. For live bait you need to get your bait down to that depth or drop a jigging spoon. There are still a few coming up busting baitfish but they are smaller ones 3-5lbs. It's still fun watching them bust a topwater bait no matter how big they are. We caught some on a Zara spook and a soft jerkbait.

Bass: The bass are coming up early and just before dark. They will hit any topwater bait. I like to throw Spooks and soft jerkbait. There are some hitting crankbait and spinner baits if there is some wind. Throw a jig to the outside of the brush and drag it or work it in short hops. Whites: Look for them in coves in 25-40ft. and you can drop a jigging spoon.

Walleye: I had a couple locals tell me they were fishing for bluegill in the flooded brush with crickets and worms and they caught walleye and a few catfish.
06/16/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are schooling and are on the feed. Today fish were caught mid-lake and the lower end. The fish are feeding between 30' & 50' over open water ranging from 50' to 80' in the channel. A lot of people keep saying Norfork is down, this year the weather was what kept the fishing slower than normal. When the stripers range, they are hard to catch. The bottom line is until they school they are hard to catch. Between the 5 boats fishing with gizzard shad today, 40 to 45 stripers were caught. 19 were kept, they ranged from 10 to 24 lbs. Yesterday we caught 8 with the biggest being 27 lbs. The lake is in great shape and the best fishing of the year will be July & Aug.
06/09/2013 Greg's Report

Crickets are now in stock at our bait and tackle shop. Our current inventory includes Tuffie blackhead crappie minnows, #12 bass minnows, Arkansas #30 shiners for stripers and catfish, goldfish for catfish, worms, and an assortment of frozen baits. New items on the tackle walls are Bandit crank bait and deep diving walleye lures, Razor Minnows, Flicker Shad, and the brand new Perfect 10 Rogues, all in proven Norfork Lake colors, all at competitive prices. We are the only bait and tackle shop on the eastern shoreline of Norfork Lake. Call us for hours 870-488-5367.
06/09/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 560.4 up .2 from last week and the water temp is in the mid 70's. There are still a few stripers and hybrids coming up early and just before dark. Bass are coming up also so keep a rod rigged up with a topwater bait like a Zara spook or a soft jerkbait. When you mark suspended fish drop a jigging spoon. Look for them down 30-40ft.
06/06/2013 Greg's Forecast

Patterns are shifting again. For the next few weeks expect the unexpected. The crappie bite is intermittent but producing big fish. Most are in the creeks, in deep water, near the brush piles. The trick is to not fish on top of the piles. Keep your boat in 20 - 25 feet of water and throw toward the piles. Keep some distance between you and the piles because our water is so clear the fish will see you if you move in on them. Use 4 Lb test. Crappie have also been reported on the rock walls between Reynolds Island and the Bogie Access, near the docks of Brushy Creek, at the very end of Barren Creek, Wolfe Cove, and past the sand bar in the cove south of Sand Island. Nice bass can be caught along the main channel shoreline in the morning and evening on spinners. The bite is in deep open water during the day. Be more productive, use a Jewel in Norfork Lake colors in the mornings and evenings. The best striper bite is early in the morning. When I say early, you need to be out of the dock and on the water by 5:30. Most early fish are being boated by live baiters. Get into the back of Big Creek by 6 AM and fish to the mouth just past Woods Point. Try the same from the back of Brushy also. Note, the fish will go deeper at the day progresses so be sure to check for fish in the open water of the main channel of the Big Creek arm. If you are new to striper angling, you might ask me about our Striper School. This is a new offering by Hand Cove Resort and our Pro Staff Guides. Jump start your trip and make it more productive by learning techniques and locations matched to the seasonal lake conditions.
06/05/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the low to mid 70's and with the rain from last week the lake level is 560.2. The lake is up 1.5 ft. from last week. Keep a rod rigged with a top water bait ready for when the fish start chasing baitfish to the surface. Try throwing a soft jerkbait or a swimbait. Stripers, hybrids and bass have been hitting these baits. If you see fish suspended 25-40ft. drop a jigging spoon or if using live bait get your bait down just above them. You may also see fish a little shallower.
06/04/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The striper bite continues, the shad are continuing to spawn, I have been fishing a channel swing in water 50 to 90 feet. Stripers & Hybrids are now both shallow less than 30' and deep. I marked fish from 40 to 80' and caught 1 striper at 40'. The fish are moving from shallow to their summer patterns. In the next several weeks you should fish with free line, weighted line & down line, you will catch fish in all levels. Most of the stripers are still in the upper end of the creeks, some fish are being caught on the main lake, stay fluid because each day the fish will move.
05/26/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 558.7 and the water temp is in the low to mid 70's. Watch for the stripers, hybrids and whites busting shad so keep a rod ready with a topwater bait. Some bass are blowing up on points also. Throw a swimbait when you don't see any surface activity or a soft jerkbait. The bass will hit the swimbait too. We caught some whites on a jigging spoon suspended down 30-38ft. in 40ft. of water.
05/20/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 558.7 and the water temp is warmed into the low to mid 70's. With the warmer temps the fish are getting more active. The stripers are starting to chase baitfish to the surface. Keep a topwater rod rigged with a Spook and if they miss it follow it up with a soft jerkbait or throw a swimbait. Bass are hitting these baits also as well as jigs, crankbaits and if it's windy a spinner bait. The night bite has been hit or miss but should improve with the weather finally getting better. Find baitfish and you'll improve your chances..
05/18/2013 Greg's Wrap Up

It's been a crazy season so far. Sometimes it's hot, sometimes it's not. This last week was more not than hot. The good news is the night bite for stripers is quickly developing between Woods Point and the dam area. The Koso area has been most productive although Barren Creek is fishing well also. Now when I say night bite, I talking after dark between 9 PM and 2 AM. Larry has been doing well throwing Rogues to the shore. He's boated a few 20 pounders lately. There has been more top water action as of late. Be ready with your Spooks because when it happens, it does not last long. Crappie has been hit and miss but the ones brought to our dock are big and fat. 14's to 16's are common. A 17 came in yesterday. The best crappie bite is on minnows, tipped jigs, and small spinners. Hybrids are picking up in the creeks, whites have slowed down, and the bass bite is strong along the shoreline and flat points. The lake is rising very slowly. Top water temp reaches 65 to 68 most days. If the weather patterns remain the same look for water temps in the 70's by Memorial Day.
05/18/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are still waiting on the weather, the water temp is in the mid-sixties and now starting on the way up. We should see 70 degree water by the weeks end and the shad should spawn. Once the shad begin spawning the stripers will move to the clear lake points to feed on the shad. Right now the bite has been slow. There are some fish being caught off the points in the Cranfield area but its hit or miss. I caught fish near the dam off the clear water points on Monday, Thursday & Friday but Sat. & Sun. the fish were gone. The top water bite should begin once the south winds start. Look towards the end of this week to see a big improvement in fishing.
05/06/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 558.2, up 1-1/2 ft. and the water temp was in the upper 60's till this cold front and it dropped back to the low 60's. There were a few fish coming up earlier in the week when the water started warming up busting baitfish. The night bite is picking up throwing rouges for stripers and hybrids and a walleye or two. Some bass are on beds. They are hitting swim baits, spooks , pop-r's, Carolina rigs, soft jerkbaits, and jigs. Checkout the Norfork Lake Chamber website for details on the Fishing Derby.
04/28/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

With the rain we had this week the lake is up to 556.7 and the water temp is in the upper 50's to the low 60's. The stripers are up in the creeks but a few have migrated to the main lake. The water is stained up in the creeks and it's a little warmer. There are a few coming up chasing baitfish so keep a topwater rod handy. Whites, hybrids and some bass are coming up also. The night bite is getting better. Just remember to reel your stickbaits slow. there have been a few walleye hitting stickbaits at night too. Don't forget to check out the Lake Norfork Fishing Derby on the Norfork Lake Chamber's website.
04/27/2013 Greg's Update

White bass have been on fire in Big Creek the last few days. Most anglers are bringing in full live wells with a few slab crappie mixed in. The evening striper bite is on. There has been a lot of top water action between 1C and Reynolds Island and then on the southern shoreline moving southwest of Reynolds Island. It has been starting between 5 and 6 o'clock and lasts until dark. Super Spooks have been the bait of choice in bone, clear, and blue. Sit in the middle of the channel, be still, and wait and listen for the action to start.
04/27/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

We have had lots of rain the last few days and the lake has risen 2 feet and should rise a couple of more feet. For May that is good news, the higher water covers up some of the buck brush and lets the new spawn have some hiding places and the shad a place to spawn. I saw last week the first spawn of Threadfin, with the warmer weather coming the shad will spawn in earnest. This will happen all over the lake and bring the stripers out into the open water and near the banks. The lower end from Diamond Bay to the dam and up Big Creek and Brushy will see lots of top water and stripers chasing shad. The afternoon bite will kick in. Fish the points and make sure you stay out until dark. The stripers will get real active the last hour of light. I did not fish today due to the storms, we did have a big storm come in early but I had friends go out at 7:30 am and had their limit of stripers by 9 am with the biggest being 17 lbs. So don't be afraid of the higher water, it will add color and get the fish into a biting mode.
04/21/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 555.1 up 3 feet from last week and the water temp is in the upper 50's to the low 60's back in the creeks. The water is stained up in the creeks. There are a few fish hitting topwater early and just before dark. Have a topwater rod ready. The stripers are up in the water column 10-20ft . Get your bait or lure up above them. At night throw a rouge and bring it back in real slow. Bass are hitting swimbaits, jerkbaits and jigs. If it's windy throw a crankbait or spinner bait along the bank. The bite is only going to get better as the water warms.
04/21/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The fishing is getting good for all species, With the recent runoff, the creeks are stained and the stripers, bass, & crappies are spawning or in pre-spawn and biting. The last two days we caught over 20 stripers, a lot of them were short but some big were hooked and got off. The next several days the fishing should be very good before the rains come, The water is warming. Look at Big Creek, Brushy & Bennett's Bayou, The fish are coming up early morning and late evening, Throw rogues and have a top water plug ready. This is going to get good the next several weeks.
04/14/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The fishing is getting good for all species, With the recent runoff, the creeks are stained and the stripers, bass, & crappies are spawning or in pre-spawn and biting. The last two days we caught over 20 stripers, a lot of them were short but some big were hooked and got off. The next several days the fishing should be very good before the rains come, The water is warming. Look at Big Creek, Brushy & Bennett's Bayou, The fish are coming up early morning and late evening, Throw rogues and have a top water plug ready. This is going to get good the next several weeks.
04/14/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 553.8 and the water temp is in the upper 50's to the low 60's. The water is warmer the farther you get back in the creeks with the off colored water. The bite is getting better every day with the warmer days and nights. The stripers are up in the water column (10 - 25ft.) A few are coming up busting shad early and just before dark. After dark throw a stick bait and remember to reel it real slow. Bass are hitting soft jerkbaits, swimbaits, crankbaits and the deeper fish are hitting jigs. Look for whites in the back of the creeks. Check out the fishing derby on the Lake Norfork Camber website.
04/14/2013 By Larry Olson

We fished last Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights for stripers. There was a good night bite on Sunday and Monday. We boated 37 fish using Rogues and released most. We fished between Woods Point and the dam. The night bite is not solid yet but it's getting close. Maybe another week or so and it will be on!
04/07/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

With the water finally starting to warm up ( in the low to mid 50's) the bite is improving. The water level is 552.7. There has been a few hybrids and stripers coming up. The night bite is getting good for stripers and hybrids. Friday night I had three clients out and they caught their limit. The best bite was just after it got dark. They were throwing rouges and the color didn't really make a difference. I had to keep reminding them to reel the bait SLOW. The water up lake is running a little warmer. Bass are hitting soft jerkbaits, swimbaits and a few came up and hit a Zara spook. When they stop hitting go to a jig. If it's windy throw a crankbait or spinner bait along the banks with the wind blowing in on them. If you see fish down 25-35ft. drop a jigging spoon. Check the Lake Norfork Chamber website www.NorforkFun.com for information on the Fishing Derby here on Lake Norfork
04/05/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers have move to the creeks, find the warmest stained water half way up the creek and you will find the stripers. The weather has kept the lake from warming up much, but with a few days of south wind the fishing will get hot. I have been fishing with threadfin & gizzard shad freeline with a split shot, put your lines 50' behind your the boat.
03/31/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The weather is beginning to warm up and the winds have changed to the south. The water has gone from 43 to 51 degrees and the stripers and white bass have started their migration to the creeks. The whites are spawning in the creeks and the stripers are staged to move from the mouths of the creeks to the stained upper creek arms. I have fished the Cranfield area using Threadfin shad. I have been using a split shot free line 80' back of the boat. The stripers are smashing the baits, they also are catching stripers in the 101 area using stickbaits both early morning and evening. The walleyes are up the creeks and river spawning.
03/31/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the upper 40's in the main lake and in the upper 50's in the creeks. The lake level is 552.2. Look for the more active fish in the warmer water. With the water starting to warm up the bite is going to improve. With the upcoming warmer days and nights this will help a lot. Look for the fish migrating into the creeks. Watch for some topwater fish in coves with the wind blowing in them. Throw a topwater bait like a Zara spook or try a swimbait, or soft jerkbait. Bass are hitting this baits as well as some whites. We caught some bass on jigs from about 10-35ft.deep. The night bite is getting better too throwing stickbaits for stripers and a few walleye are showing up as well.
03/30/2013 By Larry Olson

Randy and I fished the Woods Point area last night. We threw Rogues at the shore most of the night with the boat in about 10 feet of water. We hooked up many stripers and boated 15. Quite a few were just short of 20 inches. ended up keeping 4. It was a little chilly but fun night.
03/29/2013 Greg's Report

The spring fishing season is just about to bust loose. White bass are hitting in the back of big creek near 1C. Crappie turned on today in Brushy Creek on small jigs and jigs with twist tails or small tubes. A few stripers are being caught in the Big Creek arm and just outside of Hand Cove. Watch for the striper bite to steadily improve near the dam and the big Creek as we move into April As the water temperature increases, so will the bite. On average we are seeing temps bounce up and down in the low 50's. Be sure to check out our fishing derby here http://www.handcoveresort.com/tournament.shtml
03/24/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers have move to the creeks, find the warmest stained water half way up the creek and you will find the stripers. The weather has kept the lake from warming up much, but with a few days of south wind the fishing will get hot. I have been fishing with threadfin & gizzard shad free line with a split shot, put your lines 50' behind your the boat. Don't forget about the Norfork Lake Fishing Derby
03/17/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake has been on the rise the and the lake level is 550.3 and the water temp is in the mid 40's to the low 50's. The water back in the creeks is stained and warmer. The main lake is clear. Look for stripers in the warmer water suspended 15-20ft. At night throw stick baits up on the bank and reel your bait real slow. Bass are in the same areas and hitting swim baits and crank baits. Look for them where the water starts to get some color. The bite will get a lot better once we get some stable weather and it starts to warm up.
03/17/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

We had lots of rain and the lake has rose 5 feet, the stripers and walleye have moved to the creeks and upper river. The water is very stained and warming. Set your baits at 15’ and just keep moving slowly with your shad. The bite is lasting all day long. The walleyes and stripers have started to migrate, the pre-spawn has started, the bite occurs from last light to 9:30 pm, stick baits are the best bait, throw parallel to the banks and retrieve slowing back to the boat.
03/03/2013 Greg's Outlook

It looks like the beginning a very promising fishing season. The top water temperature is in the upper 40's, the Norfork Lake level is on the rise, and the weather has been about normal for this time of year. There has been a fair bass and crappie bite all winter. A good walleye bite in the north end of the lake is moving south and into the creeks. Stripers have been fairly active on live bait in the mid-lake areas with the fish beginning to move to the creeks for pre-spawn. Watch for the white bass and hybrid bite to get stronger in the creeks soon. A few anglers report the very beginnings of a night bite developing. All of this is historically typical for this time of year. As of today, baring a major rain event we will see lake levels following the normal pool levels for this spring and summer. To sum up, I think we are off to a good start.

New this year at Hand Cove Resort will be a high power Wi-Fi system. Installation is taking place now and should be complete and tested in 2 weeks. We also installed a new water supply system on our fish cleaning table at the dock.

New products have arrived for our bait and tackle shop. Added for this season are 4 sizes of Bink's Spoons, Berkley's Flicker Shad in 2 sizes, Bandit crank baits and walleye lures, and some new style Alabama rigs all in Norfork Lake specific colors. We are very excited about our new additions, all priced competitively, and expect them to perform well.
03/03/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 548.1 and the water temp is still in the mid 40's. We are expecting some warmer weather next week and that should bring the water temp up as long as it doesn't cool down much at night. With the lake coming up the fish are starting to move. The stripers are still following the shad down 30-40ft. but some are starting to move up shallow at night and hitting stick baits. What you have to remember fishing stick baits at night is to reel them in real slow. Bass are hitting suspended jerk baits, jigs, crank baits and grubs on a 1/4 oz. jig head. The Lake Norfork Chamber is having a fishing derby. For more information on it click here. You could be a winner of $500 for the biggest fish of one of the five different species.
03/01/2013 Be sure to register for the Norfork Lake 2013 Fishing Derby.

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02/26/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are still schooling in the main lake, but some fish are moving up to the creeks in a pre-spawn mode. Set your baits ranging from 35 to 50’ and just keep moving slowly with your baits, shiners & shad are both working. The morning bite is from first light until 10:30 am and 1 pm. Set your lines about the shad balls, the fish will come up to eat your bait. The walleyes and stripers have started to migrate, the pre-spawn has started, the bite occurs from last light to 9:30 pm, stick baits are the best bait, throw parallel to the banks and retrieve slowing back to the boat.
02/17/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the mid to upper 40's and the lake level is 543.9. With the weather starting to get warmer and the days getting longer the fish will start moving shallower soon. Look for stripers down 30-50ft. and get your bait down just above them. The bass are hitting stickbaits, crankbaits, jigs and stingray grubs on a 1/4 oz. jig head.
02/17/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are schooling in the main lake, Set your baits ranging from 35 to 80’ and just keep moving slowly with your baits, shiners & shad are both working. The fish are located between the 62 and 101 bridge area, the water depth varies from 80 to 120' and the are from 30 to 80' depending on the time of day. Some days it's a early morning bite, but other days the fish become active around noon. Look for schools of bait, the stripers will be close by. Set your lines above the shad balls, the fish will come up to eat your bait.
02/04/2013 By Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait

Norfork Lake water level is around 541 msl and looking good. Fishing has been good for stripers using live shiners and stick baits. Crappie fishing has been fair using minnows fished around the brush. Bass fishing has been good using crank baits and Alabama rigs. Water surface temps have been in the mid 40 - low 50 degrees.
02/03/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

With the rain we had last week the lake came up 1.3 ft. to put the lake level at 541.9 and the water temp remains in the mid 40's. The stripers are still hanging around 30-50ft. following the baitfish. Some baitfish are starting to move up. Bass are still hitting crank baits along the bank and suspending jerk baits out over deeper water. Try along the bluffs and out off the end of the bluff. Look for suspended fish out there also and drop a spoon or a drops hot.
02/03/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are schooling in the main lake, Set your baits ranging from 35 to 50’ and just keep moving slowly with your baits, shiners & shad are both working. The morning bite is from first light until 10:30 am and 1 pm. Set your lines about the shad balls, the fish will come up to eat your bait. Today we caught an 8 & 13 lb stripers, 8 lb hybrid, and two bass. Be sure to enter the 2013 Norfork Lake Spring Fishing Derby. Check it out here: Norfork Lake Fishing Derby
01/22/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are schooling in the main lake, Set your baits ranging from 35 to 50’ and just keep moving slowly with your baits, shiners & shad are both working. The morning bite is from first light until 10:30 am and 1 pm. Set your lines about the shad balls, the fish will come up to eat your bait. Today we caught an 8 & 13 lb stripers, 8 lb hybrid, and two bass.
01/20/2013 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the mid to upper 40's and the lake level is 540.6. With the lake being this low don't cut points to close when you are running. Look for stripers suspended around 40ft. and get your bait down to them. There are some in the creeks and around the mid lake area. Bass are hitting drop shot, with a small worm off bluff ends and they will hit a suspending jerk bait. They are hitting Wiggle Warts too. Try a grub on a 1/4 oz. jighead. Sometimes they will take it on the fall. If they don't hit it work it slow along the bottom in short hops. Remember when the water is cold, fish slower.
01/14/2013 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers have schooled along the channels and edges of flats in the main lake. Henderson, Bidwell & the 101 Area are the best places to find fish. The best bite is mid-morning then late afternoon, vary your live baits from 35 to 50’ and just keep moving slowly with your baits, shiners & shad are both working. Set your lines about the shad balls, the fish will come up to eat your bait.
12/31/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are in their winter bite, the last four days my friends and I have caught over 30 stripers with the biggest being 18 lbs. The fish are in the channels or edges of channels in the Henderson, Bidwell, & 101 Area. I have my lines set at 40' to 50' using gizzard shad & shiners. The fish are biting really good right so if you're thinking of fishing Norfork now is the time, give me a call and let's go fishing.
12/30/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 541.1 and the water temp is hanging around 50. Look for stripers around the mid lake area (30-40ft) deep and look for some in the creeks. Find the baitfish and they will be close by. Sometimes they will be right in the school of baitfish. However you fish for them ( live bait or artificial) get the bait to just above them and watch them come up for your bait and hang on. Bass are still hitting crank baits along the bank or back out off the bank and throw a jig, grub or suspending jerk bait. Remember the lake is low so be careful and fish slow.
12/24/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers have started schooling up in the main lake, we caught 5 stripers on the Bidwell Flat near the channel, the biggest was 18 lbs, stripers & hybrids are schooling in the 101 area. Set your baits from 35 to 40’ and just keep moving slowly with your baits, shiners & shad are both working. Set your lines about the shad balls, the fish will come up to eat your bait.
12/17/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers have started schooling up in the main lake. We caught three small stripers in Float Creek. The schools are roaming so you need to just keep moving slowly with your baits, shiners & shad are both working. Set your lines about the shad balls, the fish will come up to eat your bait. The walleye pre-spawn bite has started, we caught 4 walleye in the river, 2 short & 2 legal, we were using bottom bouncers with 4" slicks. As the water turns colder and we get some rain the bite will improve thru Dec. & Jan.
12/17/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the mid to upper 50's and the lake level is 541.2. Stripers are moving all over the lake. Look for the shad and they'll be close by. Get your bait down to around 20ft. Try a swim bait and reel it slow and steady. Bass are hitting crank baits in 5-15ft.deep. If it's windy fish the banks with the wind blowing in on them. Try a spinner bait too. If the water is pretty calm throw a jig to the bank and work it back to the boat slow. Sometimes they will hit it on the fall so be ready. If you see fish down 30-50ft. drop a jigging spoon. Remember the lake is low so be careful.
12/04/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Stripers are still up the lake near Red Bank & Calamity Beach, I fished the last two days and caught stripers & hybrids in 28 & 40 ' of water. The water has warmed up from the lower fifties to the high fifties. Look for bait balls and fish on top of the bait, the stripers are holding in the bait and will come up for your bait. Once the weather begins to cool the bait will move to the channels and you will begin to fish the main lake channels near Bidwell, Blue Lady, Crystal Cove, Float, & Panther Bay.
12/03/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 541.9 and the water temp is in the low to mid 60's. There are some stripers up in the river and look for them in the creek arms also. If you don't use live bait try a swim bait and reel it real slow. Bass are hitting jigs, suspending jerk baits and crank baits. Try throwing a Wiggle Wart, green with a brown back. With the lake being low like it is use caution. There are some hazards to watch out for. There are not many boaters on the lake this time of year so make sure your cell phone has a full charge. If you don't own one let someone know what area of the lake you are going to fish and what time you are going to be back. Be SAFE.
11/12/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are in their annual migration from the dam area, I have fished the river close to the Missouri line the last seven times and caught fish each time but one. I have also caught 5 stripers 18 lbs and larger. I have my lines set a 20' using gizzard shad. The fish are biting really good right so if you're thinking of fishing Norfork now is the time, give me a call and let's go fishing.
11/12/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the low 60's and the lake level is 543.2. The lake is still turning over which should be over with soon and the fishing will get better. There are stripers and a few walleye being caught up in the river. We caught a few small stripers at night in Big Creek. Bass are hitting top water early if there isn't much wind blowing. You can also catch them on crank baits, jigs and grubs. If you mark suspended fish (30-40ft) drop a jigging spoon. Look for deep brush piles and work your jig though it.
11/03/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

I fished near the MO. line in 24 to 30' of water and caught 4 stripers ranging from 8 to 19 lbs plus a 21" walleye. The stripers are hitting 5" gizzard shad on down lines and floats set at 22'. The walleyes are also biting from the state line up to Udall on chubs, a friend caught two limits using bottom bounces. The water temp is 62 degrees and will be going down the next several weeks, some stripers were caught near Crystal Cove the past weekend.
10/28/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 544.2 and the water temp is in the low to mid 60's. The lake is down almost 8ft. The night bite should get going with the water starting to cool down. We caught a few small stripers this week at night on Rouges. The bigger fish will start moving to the flats feeding at night. If you throw a Rouge or any other stick bait remember to reel it SLOW. Bass are chasing baitfish to the surface early. Throw a top water bait like a Zara Spook or Pop-R. Throw a curly tail or a stingray grub and if you don't get a hit when it's falling then when you hit bottom swim it or give it short hops along the bottom or drag it slow. We caught a few nice smallies with this technique. If you mark deeper fish on your depth finder (25-40ft) drop a jigging spoon or a drop shot.
10/28/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers have started their annual migration from the dam area, the last two days I fished the lake close to the Missouri line and found lots of stripers in the 30' range. We caught limits each day with a big fish being caught each day. I had my lines set a 20' using gizzard shad. The fish are biting really good right so if you're thinking of fishing Norfork now is the time
10/26/2012 Greg's Outlook - Stripers

Look for stripers to migrate to their winter pattern by moving toward the headwaters. There are signs that they are on the move up the main lake channel to their spawning grounds already. By the way, they do go through the spawn motions but their eggs do not hatch. Schools have been spotted in the mid-lake, near the state line, and in the Big Creek areas. There are still fish within 2 to 3 miles of the Norfork Dam area in all directions that have not started the move. As the lake temperature drops, the morning top water action will improve. Light winds out the south and southwest will only help the bite. Full moons the last full weekend of October, Thanksgiving weekend and the following Friday look promising. Always be ready with Spooks, Rogues, and other popular jerk baits in typical Norfork Lake colors. We stock these colors along with custom clown, trout, and bone colors developed specifically for Norfork Lake Stripers. If you're new to striper fishing or just need a tune-up, ask us about our fall striper school package for live bait anglers. Learn the special techniques required to catch these monsters.
10/18/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers have started their annual migration from the dam area, the last two days I fished the lake close to the Missouri line and found lots of stripers in the 30' range. We caught limits each day with a big fish being caught each day. I had my lines set a 20' using gizzard shad. The fish are biting really good right so if you're thinking of fishing Norfork now is the time, give me a call and let's go fishing.
10/15/2012 Greg's Outlook - Bass and Crappie

Fall has arrived on Norfork Lake. Warm days and cooler nights are making for pleasant fishing trips. The fall fishing bite is swinging into action. Large and small mouth bass has been very good this year. Expect this to continue into the early winter. During the day, bluff walls in the main channels and larger creeks are holding fish. Fluke and shad type swim baits will work well as will Rogues thrown to the shore. You'll catch fish in depths of 3 to 25 feet. Work the shoreline. As the water cools, you will find more bass feeding shallower. We are seeing a fair amount of 5 pounders brought to the dock these days. If you prefer evening or night fishing, spinners with large blades will be your go-to lure. This year, red seems to be the favorite color followed by black/red and purple. Once again bigger blades thump better/louder and seem to attract more strikes. We stock Jewel brand spinners in our tackle shop for this reason. The fall crappie bite will begin shortly. We are already seeing 12 to 14 inch fish at the dock, taken on minnows and glow jigs with swim minnows and grubs, but not in numbers yet. With the lake temperature dropping, the big bite should start before the end of the month and continue into November. Watch for lots of crappie to move onto the brush piles in Brushy and Barren creeks soon. Wolf Cove should start producing soon also. Don't overlook the docks in Brushy Creek but take care not to cast into a boat. Your courtesy will be appreciated by the boat and dock owners. As always, have a favorite top water rigged and ready. The top water bite is more frequent now but does not last too long. We recommend having Spooks and Rogues rigged and ready in colors to match the day's conditions. If you're in the area, check out our tackle shop for our Fall Sale - Smithwick Rogue sale $4.99ea, and Rooster Tail sale, $1.50ea. Items in stock are available for pick up or mail delivery.
10/15/2012 By Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait

Blue gill fishing on Norfork Lake has been good using crickets and red worms fishing along the bluffs in deep water. Crappie fishing has been fair using minnows fishing in the deep water around brush. Bass fishing has been fair. As the water cools fishing will continue to pick up.
10/14/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 544.5 and the water temp is in the upper 60's. The striper bite has been slow but should pick up with the water temp dropping and the night bite will get going. The walleye bite will get better too. We caught a few on a grub in 20-25ft. and at night on a Rouge on flats. The bass bite is getting better every day. You can catch them just about any way you want from top water to a jig or a spoon.
10/14/2012 Greg's Update

It's been a good bass weekend. Large and small mouth are hitting hard along the rock walls and in the creeks. The bluffs and rocky points in Big Creek between 1B and 1C is pretty hot. Fish very close to the shore. Brushy Creek produced some nice baskets also. Crappie are starting to become alive again on the piles. Barron Creek behind Jordan was particularly active in the far back by the fork. Look for a sunken tree and watch your graph. Some 4 and 5 pound bass were catch just inside the entrance to Hand Cove along the southeast shore and the shoreline of Quickie Cove. The lake level was at 544.5 this morning, about 7.5 feet below winter pool. Lake temperature swings from the lower 70's in the main channels to the mid 60's in some of the creeks.
10/14/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Striper fishing has slowed, the water temp has dropped to the high 60's, the shad has moved to the mid-lake and starting to migrate from the creeks. I fished near Woods Point and found both stripers & shad in 80' of water, the next day I fished the Crystal Cove area and found lots of bait but the stripers are very few right now. The next few days with the rain & cold weather we should see a major move, I plan on beginning to fish the northern part of the lake near the Mo. line, the fish will stage there for the next several months. I will keep you posted after next weeks trips.
10/01/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the mid 70's and the lake level is 544.6. The lake is down almost 7-1/2 ft. There are fish suspended down 40ft. The bite for the stripers has been on and off. Bass are hitting jigs and grubs in 10-20ft. We need some cooler weather to drop the water temp and then the bite will get better.
09/24/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers in the main lake near the dam, they are roaming in deep water, from 145' to 165'. You will not see any bait but if you stay in the deep water and move slow you will catch fish. The baits are set at 40' with 8' leaders and 2 oz weight. The fish are biting really good right so if you're thinking of fishing Norfork now is the time, give me a call and let's go fishing.
09/12/2012 Greg's Forecast

The bass night bite is picking up. Throw spinners parallel to the shoreline. The coves east of the dam have been producing. The best colors have been red or white depending on the moon. Stripers have been hitting live bait trolled between 30 and 40 feet deep about 1 mile west of Hand Cove. Catfish have been hitting pretty good on goldfish and bream also.
09/09/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are roaming in deep water, from 125' to 165'. Follow the shad line which is holding at 30', the stripers are staying inside the shad. My baits are set at 28' with 8' leaders and 2 oz weight.
09/09/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the low 80's and the lake level is 544.8 which is 7.2 feet below normal pool. Look for stripers out off points and in pockets down within a few miles of the dam. They are suspending down 30-40ft. Look for bass in 10-30ft. deep. A few walleye started biting this week. Check points and flats in 20-35ft.
08/26/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 545.2 and the water temp is in the mid 80's. The lake is down almost 7ft. Look for stripers suspended down around 30ft. Look off points and in coves down within a few miles of the dam. There are some bass coming up early chasing baitfish. Throw Zara spooks or a pop-r. After the top water bite stops throw a jig, drop shot or a Carolina rig. Try dropping a jigging spoon too. If it's cloudy use a white or gold colored spoon and if the sun is shining use a silver spoon.
08/20/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are off the points in the main lake near the dam. They are roaming in deep water, from 125' to 165'. Follow the shad line which is holding at 30', the stripers are staying inside the shad. My baits are set at 28' with 8' leaders and 2 oz weight. The fish are biting really good so if you're thinking of fishing Norfork now is the time.
08/12/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the upper 80's and the lake level is 545.7. Watch for bass busting baitfish early in the morning on points and back in the creeks in channel bends. Throw a Zara Spook in clear or white. Then look for them in 5-35ft. deep and use a Texas rigged worm, drop shot or a jig. Stripers are suspended down 30-60ft. Look for them from within a few miles of the dam. There were some walleye finally getting a little active lately. Look for them down 25-35ft. close to the bottom.
08/12/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are off the points in the main lake near the dam. They are ranging from shallow to deep water, some places they are holding at 165' while others areas they are being caught at 30'. I'm catching stripers on down lines, in water from 28 to 165'. In deep water follow the shad line which is holding at 30', the stripers are staying inside the shad. My baits are set at 28' with 8' leaders and 2 oz weight. The fish are biting really good right so if you're thinking of fishing Norfork now is the time.
07/23/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The last two days we have found the stripers & hybrids schooling in 30 to 90' of water, if you find them in 30' they are feeding on crawdads, drop your bait only 26' and hold on. Tony & Jim caught their limits the last two days, the biggest striper was 16 lbs and the hybrid 10 lbs. The fish are from Thumb Point to the dam
07/15/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

With the extreme heat and no rain the water temp is in the upper 80's and the lake level is 547.5. There are still a lot of fish down 20ft.-30ft. and deeper. Most of the shallow fish are whites and bass while the deeper fish are usually hybrids and stripers. We need some rain to get the bite to get better. The weatherman says we are supposed to get some rain later this coming week. I hope he is right. Throw top water baits early for the bass chasing bait to the surface and then you can use a jig, dropshot, carolina rig or drop a spoon. If you are after the stripers they are moving around a lot and when you find them get your bait down to them in the water column. You need to be patient as the bite has been slow.
07/03/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are off the points in the main lake, they are migrating towards the dam in larger numbers each day. I'm catching stripers on down lines, in water from 28' to 60', my baits are set at 27', they are feeding on shad & crawdads. I have been fishing between deep and shallow water.
07/03/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 549.6 and the water temp is in the mid 80's early in the morning and in the upper 80's in the afternoon. In May the Arkansas Game and Fish released 24,000 striper fingerlings and 44,200 hybrid fingerlings in the lake. This week we caught some hybrids suspended (20-30ft.) on a 1/4oz.jighead with a 3" green grub by casting out and swimming it back to the boat and we also used a jigging spoon. There were some nice whites running with them. (2-3lbs) Bass are chasing baitfish to the surface early will hit any top water lure. We had better luck on a white Zara spook jr. After the top water bite is over throw a jig, worm, drop shot rigged with a 4" worm or a jigging spoon. Most of them will be 23-25ft.deep hanging on the bottom or just off the bottom. We also caught some on the grub that was mentioned earlier.
06/25/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are moving towards the dam, I have been finding them on the flats in front of points & roaming in deep water, the schools are still shallow, less than 30' in deep water. The fish seem to be boat shy so if you're using live bait your best bet is floats away from the boat, set them from 22 to 26'. Spoons are working if you can stay with the schools, they are moving so it's a job to keep up with them.
06/25/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 550ft. which is 2ft.below normal pool of 552. The water temp is in the low 80's. The stripers are starting to go deeper. Start looking for them down at least 40ft. and get your bait down to their depth. If you drop a spoon and they don't hit it within 5 or 6 drops they probably aren't in the feeding mood so move on and find some more. Bass are still coming up early and just before dark chasing baitfish. Throw a Zara Spook Jr. in white or clear or a pop-r. Try swimming a grub when they quit feeding on the surface or throw a Texas rigged worm or a jig.
06/17/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

This past week we saw a major storm that produced large waves and north wind for 2 days. Striper fishing slowed down after the storm. The stripers have remained inactive, trollers & spooning has produced the most fish this week. The fish are reacting to the quick movement of the lure, whereas the live bait fishing is slow. The stripers have too much time to study the bait. You can mark lots of fish but few takers. I expect the next weeks normal weather should get the fish back in an active feeding pattern.
06/17/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 550.3 and the water temp is in the upper 70's to the low 80's. The fish are still in their summer patterns. Bass are still coming up early and just before dark hitting top water baits. Then you can throw a jig, Texas rigged worm, Carolina rig or drop shot to catch them after the top water is over. At night try a worm, salt craw (Texas rigged) or a single spin spinner bait. Look for stripers down at least 30ft. I found some in a channel swing in a creek in 60ft. of water suspended at 30ft. and caught a few on a jigging spoon.
06/11/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake is still a foot below normal and the water temp is in the upper 70's. Look for stripers and hybrids down around 30ft. and get your bait down to them. Look in coves, out off points and on flats. Bass are hitting top water baits early on points and some are coming up in channel swings in the creeks. After the top water is over throw a jig or deep diving crank bait or try a drop shot with a small 4" worm. I had another guide tell me earlier in the week a few hybrids were coming up but they went down as fast as they came up. If you just happened to be close enough you would get one before it was over.
06/03/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The last three days the striper bite has been great. The stripers have started their summer pattern holding in 20 to 50' of water suspended between 20 & 30'. Today was a slow day for me but several other people caught their limits. The evening bite was strong over the weekend. We caught 12 stripers which include a 20 & 21 lb striper which was released. The fish were caught in 32 to 38' of water on flats, they moved up on the flats to feed as the sun sets.
06/03/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is about a foot below normal and the water temp is in the mid to upper 70's. Bass are hitting top water early in the morning. They will hit on just about any top water bait you throw to them. Look for stripers down around 30ft. and get your bait down to where you see them. A few walleye are hitting crank baits on points just before dark along with some smallmouth. You have to keep looking because one night they are there and gone the next. Find baitfish and you'll improve your chances on getting bit.
05/21/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are off the points in the main lake. Fish the points from Diamond Bay to the dam and up to Brushy and Big Creeks. The stripers are scattered, the ones I'm catching stripers are on down lines, from 25 to 40', they are feeding on shad & crawdads. There are some schools in the 35 to 40' of water, I will start fishing once I see one or two fish and keep weaving between deep and shallow water.
05/21/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is still in the mid 70's and the lake level is 551.9. The top water bite for hybrids and stripers is pretty much over with. There were still a few coming up this week but it didn't last long at all. If you were fortunate enough to be close to them you usually had one chance to get a cast to them. Bass are coming up on points and back in the creeks. After the top water bite is over try throwing a deep diving crank bait or a swim bait and reel it real slow. Look for suspended fish and drop a jigging spoon. This works better if you mark a lot of fish rather than seeing one or two. They should start to school up in deeper water as the water temp starts to get warmer.
05/11/2012 Greg's Forecast

Large and small mouths as really hitting. Looking at the weather forecast for this weekend, the bite should remain strong. I'm expecting some cloud cover and short periods of rain in the evenings. Head to 1C in Big Creek and fish your way out. Do the same in Brushy. Barren creek behind Jordan is producing also. If you target bass, use a large spinner bait. The Jewel version is working great the last few weeks. We stock the complete line in all colors and weights. Tossing bass minnows to the shore is working good also. We brought in a load of #12's if you will be trying this. The crappie bite has been very good , once again in the creeks and near the docks. Minnows seem to perform the best this week. Watch for the white run to start. We have Rooster Tails on sale now for the whites. 10 for $20. Stock up now.
05/10/2012 By Larry Olson

I fished 3 nights this week. Randy an I filled the live well with another nice load of bass. They are still hitting Jewel spinners with trailers. Red remains the color to go with. Tried different colors of craws and chunks. Darker colors all worked good. We caught a nice flathead with the same rig. It should be time for the whites to start hitting hard. I'm going after them next week.
05/08/2012 Greg's Re-Cap

The overall bite has been very good this last week. White bass have woke up again and are hitting in the creeks. Shoal Creek was on fire in the last few days. You will need Rooster Tails for the whites. A few bigger stripers have come into the dock. Steve Oloman boated a 35 pounder in Big Creek, A 39 was brought to the dock for weigh-in last weekend. A fair amount of 8 to 12's along with some hybrids are showing up boated on shiners and Spooks. The bass bite is as best as I've seen in 7 years. I've restocked our Jewel Jolt and trailer inventory for the 3rd time in 4 weeks for the bass bite. This is a new world record for HCR. The bass are tearing them up. Crappie are hitting on the brush piles and rock walls of the creeks on minnows and the new Mo Glo's. We are seeing a few walleye most days on minnows, worms, and smaller stick baits. Overall it seems like spring has re-started for a second run.
05/07/2012 By Larry Olson

The bass have been hitting hard most evenings. They have worn out a few of my red Jewel Jolt spinners this week. I've boated at least 10 keeper large and small mouths each night in Big and Brushy Creeks. Make sure to add a trailer to your Jewel. I've used a red craw but think any color and style will work. Be sure to work the Big Creek area between Reynolds Island and 1C. In Brushy, the area opposite of Wild Cherry Prong has been productive. I had my boat is 5 to 6 feet of water over the pea gravel. See ya out there.
05/06/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake level is 551.8 and the water temp is in the mid 70's early in the morning and gets to the upper 70's late in the day. Largemouth, smallies, Kentuckies, whites, hybrids along with a few stripers are surface feeding early in the morning. The stripers are not coming up in schools just one here and there. They are hitting Zara Spooks. White and clear colors are working the best. White bass and some hybrids are coming up just before dark. Look for them in coves. Look for some whites back in the creeks and throw a Rooster Tail and for the larger whites let the bait get down 5-10ft. Neal Mustard of Indiana caught a 35lb striper on a clear Zara Spook on the 5th while fishing with me using 10lb monofilament.
04/30/2012 By Larry Olson

Was out 3 nights last week bass fishing. Caught nice limits every night, all 3 pounders or plus. The shorelines in front of the dam was the best on a red Jewel spinner with a salty craw. Bass fishing on Norfork Lake is as good as I can remember right now.
04/30/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the mid 60's early in the morning and late in the day it's in the upper 60's. The lake is staying within a inches of normal pool and the water is clearing up. Look for some surface activity early and just before dark on points. We seen a few whites coming up on a couple bluffs but couldn't get to them quick enough and they went down as soon as we got within casting distance. Thursday evening just before dark a school of hybrids came up on a point and we threw white Zara Spooks to them and we caught four before they stopped with the biggest being 11lbs and the smallest was 7lb. We went back the next night to the same spot and they weren't there. The fish are moving a lot and you need to find the baitfish and the fish will be close by. Bass are also coming up too. If you see a school feeding on the surface get to them fast because most of them disappear as just as fast as they come up. Bass are hitting top water baits, jigs, crank baits and swim baits. Throw a stick bait after dark on flats
04/30/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

Fishing continues to change due to the outflow of water. Last Wednesday the corp. shut the gates of the dam cutting the current and changed the position of the fish. Also the weather has turned cooler and the water temp dropped from 72 to 65 degrees. The fish I have been catching the last few days have gone deep, the average fish is being caught in 35 to 45 feet of water off the main lake points. The trollers are catching fish using Alabama rigs with weights to get the bait down to that level.
04/22/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake is back at normal pool and the water temp is still in the mid 60's. Early in the morning there are still a little surface activity. Keep an eye out for surface activity just before dark also. It's better when there is no or a little wind. Mid week we got onto some nice hybrids and a couple of nice Kentucky's. The biggest Kentucky was 4lb and the biggest hybrid was 8lb. The fish were caught on a white Zara Spook Jr. We also threw a jointed red-fin and caught a few stripers and hybrids along with a 4" swim bait. We also got a couple smallies in the 4lb range on the swim bait. With the lake finally getting back to normal the bite should start picking up. I had a fellow fisherman tell me he caught some nice largemouth (3-5lb) at night on a single spin. The night bite was a little slow this week throwing rouges with the water still dropping.
04/20/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are off the points in the main lake, fish the points from Diamond to the dam and up to Brushy and Big Creeks. I have been catching most of the stripers dragging a split weight and gizzard & threadfin shad in 25 to 50'' of water. The Threadfin are spawning in the marinas so look for them on the points as the main lake warms. Fishing will continue to get better as the weather continues to warm.
04/16/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake dropped 4 1/2ft. from last week to put the lake just 2ft. above normal pool level of 552. The water temp dropped also to the mid 60's. With the lake dropping so fast the bite was tough this week. The Corps is supposed to stop letting water out early this week. Then the lake will stabilize and fishing will get better. When the wind wasn't blowing there were some fish feeding on the surface early in the morning and just before dark. When it's windy they just don't come up. We caught a few nice largemouth on a white Spook busting baitfish out in 100ft. of water. We also caught some bass and whites on a 4" white swim bait. A few stripers were caught on points at night on rouges.
04/09/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are off the points in the main lake. The Corps. has been lowering the lake with four gates and a generator going 24 hrs a day. This will continue until April 14th, the fish have moved from the creeks by the current from the dam. Fish the points from Diamond Bay to the dam and up to Brushy and Big Creeks. I have been catching most of the stripers dragging a split weight and threadfin shad in 25' of water. Today the best bite was after 10 am. The Threadfin started spawning in the marina so look for them on the points as the main lake warms. Fishing will continue to get better as the weather continues to warm.
04/08/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Corp. has been letting water out and the lake level is dropping 6" a day. The lake is 559 and last week it was 562.5. The water temp was around 70 early in the week and has dropped to the mid 60's. The water is still dirty. You can see down about three feet. There are a few stripers coming up chasing baitfish but they aren't schooling. Just a fish or two here and there. The hybrids are doing the same. Most of the fish this week have been caught on a swim bait. We did manage to catch a few nice hybrids on Spooks and Red Fins. A few bass are coming up too. We also got a few nice whites on Spooks and swim baits.
04/04/2012 Greg's Update

Harry and Steve had a nice morning yesterday. They boated 7 stripers and a nice assortment of large and small mouth, all on jointed Red Fins and Spooks. Rick had a great evening last night. He caught some big hybrids and a fair amount of bass near the dam. He boated 42 whites in Big Creek past 1C. He had good luck with swimming minnows. All were C&R with both boats.
04/04/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers have been moving a lot, we were catching fish up the creeks until the Corps opened the gates to release the water we received from the 7 inch rain. Some great top water started last weekend and has continued near the mouth of the major creeks and main lake points. I have been fishing main lake points and cuts in the Big Creek area. The water temp has continued to rise. Some places in the creeks it's in the high 70's. Fishing should continue to get better as the weather continues to warm.
04/02/2012 Greg's Weekend Update

Fishing is returning to more normal levels after our big rain last week. Bass is good along the main shorelines and flatter points. Crappie are more active up in the creeks as they clear. Fish shallow for both. Most crappie anglers are having their best luck with live bait. I'm seeing more walleye coming to the cleaning table. Try smaller stick baits in the evenings and worms for walleye right now. The night bite for stripers was not good this weekend but we had 2 boat limits with the morning top water action. As always, have a Spook ready to go for when you see the boils. To sum up, the fish are becoming less confused as a result of the big rain and change in shoreline location. The lake level is in the lower 560 range, just short of 10 feet over normal and dropping close to 2" a day. Another week should make a big difference. For you lake lovers, baring another significant rain event, I think there will be plenty of sand by mid-May. Would you believe the air temperature cracked 90 degrees at Hand Cove Resort yesterday? There were 2 groups of jet skis in our cove Saturday. We will cool down by the end of the week as will the lake temp.
04/01/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 562.5 and the water temp is in the upper 60's. The lake is still 10 1/2 ft. above normal. The stripers and hybrids are chasing baitfish to the surface early and just before dark. It's mostly just one or two fish and they should start schooling this week. You can catch the top water fish on Spooks, Bass Assassins and Red Fins. They are hitting swim baits too. At night throw a Rogue up to the brush. Remember to reel your bait real slow. The walleye should start hitting stick baits at night too. There are a lot of fish in the brush and just outside the brush where the bank is at normal pool. We still were catching some nice largemouth and smallmouth on a swim bait out off the brush. The lake is still dirty up lake but is getting better every day. The lower end of the lake has been clearer. About two to three foot of visibility. But the water is dirty the farther you get back in the creeks.
03/31/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are near the points in stained water, I have been fishing the Big Creek area and fished the points and sides of points about 75 yards back. Small shad has been the trick, I have been using free lines back 60 to 80' with a small split shot and two sets of planner boards with one set with a small split shot and other nothing but the bait. I caught fish both yesterday and today after 9 am, the biggest was 20 lbs on a gizzard shad.
03/25/2012 Greg's Weekend Update

That 6 inches of rain we had the past week put the striper bite on pause this weekend. In spite of the lake rising 10 feet the white bass bite was strong this weekend when anglers found them. One boat brought in a well of 30 Saturday night on Rogues and another netted a nice mix bag of whites, largemouth, and smallmouth. Both came from near the entrance to Brushy Creek where the clear and muddy water met. A fair amount of nice size crappie were taken at the docks on Mr. Crappie gold hooks with live minnows and the new Mo Glo line of shad and grubs. Not a bad weekend considering the conditions. The forecast for the coming week and weekend is Norfork Lake will stabilize, continue to warm with clear skies and 80 degree air temps. Look for the bite to be "On" again by mid-week somewhere between the old shoreline and the new.
03/25/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp dropped about 4 degrees (55-56) while the lake rose 10 1/2 ft. above normal. The lake level is 562.7. Most of the lake has dirty water which should start cleaning up in a couple days. A lot of fish will be up in the flooded brush and along the old bank. There are parts of the lake that has water that isn't as dirty or as off colored. The stripers and hybrids were starting to chase shad to the surface and will again as soon as the lake stabilizes and starts clearing up. A client caught a 10lb. hybrid on a Spook early in the week before the rain and we got a 18lb. striper on a swim bait in a main lake cove as the lake was coming up Wednesday. They also got some nice largemouth and a couple good smallies in the 4 lb range also on swim baits. We also caught them on Spooks. Look for fish moving up in the creeks. When the lake clears up throw a bass assassin. Throw a spinner bait up in the brush for some bass. At night throw a rouge close to the brush and reel it real slow.
03/24/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

We have had very heavy rains that will raise Norfork 10'. This will change the way the stripers relate to the shore. The bait will move into the buck brush and the fish will move to the old shore line. Early morning the fish will be chasing bait in the brush, during the day they will move off to the old shoreline. Windy days fish the banks making long cast that parallel the brush.
03/20/2012 By Larry Olson

Fished last night (Monday), the wind was a real challenge. Boated 3 stripers, a 20, a 15, and a smaller. Nailed 2 hybrids too, the largest a 10 pounder. Got them all in the Big Creek arm on Rogues again.
03/19/2012 Greg's Weekend Update

Had a good weekend. Crappies were hitting hard all weekend. Notable hot spots were on the brush in Brushy and Barren creeks. A few stripers were boated Saturday night along with some nice hybrids on the east end of Hudson. Rogues won the weekend again with the new Norfork Lake colors performing the best. Orange OB is your best bet followed by the new trout colors. White bass seem to have started their spring run. Look for them on the flatter channel points. To sum up, the night bite is on but intermittent. Bass remains strong, stripers are waking up, hybrids are starting. Crappie is very good on live minnows, no news on catfish. If you like to target blue gill, there are a number of big ones out there right now.
03/19/2012 By Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait

Fishing Norfork Lake has been great this March. The bass, crappie, walleye, stripers, monster blue gills and white bass are all doing great what else can you say.
03/18/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 552ft. which is normal pool and the water temp is in the upper 50's to the low 60's back in the creeks. The striper bite has been hit and miss but the bite should get good any day and the night bite will only get better in the weeks ahead. There are a few stripers and hybrids chasing baitfish to the surface in the morning. I had my wife out yesterday and she caught 4 bass that weighed a little over 16lb. They were caught on a SINGLE swim bait. She also lost a good striper on a swim bait. We also caught a few smallies ( 1 was 4 1/2lbs) on the swim bait and Bass Assassins. We found a pocket that had hybrids in it and they were caught on the same baits. Earlier in the week a client caught a 5-1/2 lb. largemouth and a 4 lb. smallie on a Bass Assassin. Remember that when you fish at night for stripers if you use a stick bait to reel it SLOW. Look in the back of the creeks for some activity.
03/14/2012 By Larry Olson

Fished Monday and Tuesday nights this week in Hand Cove, Big Creek, and Brushy Creek. Monday we boated 5 stripers the biggest being 13lbs. Tuesday night we landed 6 with the largest at 15lbs all on suspending Rogues. Bone with orange belly, grape, and brown were the good colors. Water temperature was 58 in the creeks.
03/10/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The recent rain has trigger the stripers to begin biting. The stripers are in deep water 50 to 80' but are in the 30' range, so stay in deep water but fish shallow during the day. Early daylight and evenings the stripers are moving to the shore feeding on crawdads. The past two days a 25, 18, 16 & two 12's were caught on shiners and shad.
03/10/2012 By Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait

Norfork Lake fishing has been good for walleye and crappie. Sunfish are hitting worms fished around the brush in the back of most coves. Bass are hitting swim baits fished 15-25' deep. White bass are starting to show up in the shallow water up stream as are some stripers.
03/07/2012 Greg's Outlook

We have had a mild winter this year. Norfork Lake's surface water temperature did not dip below 45 degrees, much warmer than the past few years. Assuming no substantial change in weather patterns, here is our outlook for the next few weeks in the Hand Cove and Big Creek Arm areas of the lake.

The primetime spring fishing season is beginning a few weeks earlier than normal this year. The fair night bite is already starting. Watch for the top water to begin in the next week or two. The lake level has been near normal and the water temperature bouncing around the lower 50's already. Daylight crappie and bass fishing is very good right now.
03/04/2012 By Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait

Norfork Lake fishing has been good for walleye and crappie. Sunfish are hitting worms fished around the brush in the back of most coves. Bass are hitting swim baits fished 15-25' deep. White bass are starting to show up in the shallow water up stream as are some stripers. Have Fun Go Fishin.
03/02/2012 By Larry Olson

Fished the last 2 nights. Got into some nice walleye and bass between Woods Point and the Hudson area. Picked up a 10 pound striper and a 5 pound walleye behind Jordan in Berrien Creek. Water temperature was 49 and rising.
02/19/2012 By Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait

Live Bait fishing on the magnificent Norfork Lake has been good for Crappie, Walleye, Bass and Blue gills. The water level is great, around 552 msl and surface temp is on the rise. Striper fishing has been spotty as well as white bass. The walleye are moving upstream to spawn and the stripers should be right behind them to do their thing. We have had some great weather so get ready to get out there and fish. Be kind to the spawning fish and only keep what you're going to eat put some back for the next day. FYI it is ILLEGAL to bring live bait from any other lake or state to Norfork Lake you must buy it from a local bait shop or catch it from here.
02/19/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the mid to upper 40's and the lake level is 552.2. The stripers are still scattered and down with the baitfish around 60ft. You can usually see just a couple fish down around the balls of baitfish. Some walleye are moving up the river and the major creeks. Look for bass close to bluff ends and in pockets. If we get some warm rains the fish will head to the backs of the creeks. The whites will be stacked up in the creeks. Heard reports of crappie being caught in brush piles.
02/18/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The warm weather & water has triggered the spring walleye run, we caught 13 walleye from 16 to 22 inches, we kept our limit. The fish were caught in 8 to 10' of water from the AR. state line pass Udall marina on creek clubs. It's a simple rig, small weight and #6 circle hook. The males have moved in first but one big female was caught, I expect the next several weeks we see a major run until the spring rains come.
02/06/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake came up this week with the 1 3/4" of rain. The lake level is 553.1 (normal is 552) and the water temp is in the mid to upper 40's. Look for fish suspended 30-40ft. When I see them suspended I drop a jigging spoon. At that depth this time of the year you can catch anything from crappies ,bass, stripers, hybrids, and walleye. Throw suspending jerk baits along bluffs, bluff ends, over deep brush piles and in coves. Try a jig or a grub and throw to the bank and work it SLOW back to the boat. When the water is cold you have to fish slower.
02/06/2012 By Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait

Lake Norfork fishing has been good water level is around 553' msl with a surface water temp. range from 42 degrees to 47 degrees. Water is stained to clear with the recent rain we had. Fishing has been good for crappie and bass. Striper are hitting live bait and small jigging spoons. The best fishing depth has ranged from 30- 40' for most species.
02/06/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The bass, crappie, & walleye are biting, striper fishing is slow. The warm weather has allowed the stripers to stay roaming looking for bait. The deep water pattern that is normal during the winter has not appeared. Unless we get some really cold weather the next couple of weeks there will not be a shad kill. This will help all fish in the lake. The bass & crappie are in the brush, minnows & and small spoons are working the best. Walleye have begun their spawning run in the river above Red Bank.
01/24/2012 By Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait

Lake Norfork has some good blue gill fishing with worms around 20' deep along the bluffs. Crappie fishing has been fair. Bass fishing is good. Stripers are hitting live bait.
01/23/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The warm weather has continued to keep the shad shallow in 50' or less. The stripers have never gone into their full winter patterns. There are reports of major top water periods mid-day around the 6A area. Look for the bait and you will see stripers. They are feeding on very small shad so keep your baits on the small side. One good thing about the warm weather and water, we should not have a major shad kill this year. Once the weather begins to warm up I expect a great spring season. The stripers are in good shape and will be feeding heavy getting ready for their spring run.
01/22/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 551.2 and the water temp is in the upper 40's. Look for fish along the bluffs and on the end of the bluffs. Throw a suspending jerk bait, jig or a grub on a 1/4 oz.jig head. If you mark fish 30-50ft. drop a jigging spoon. Keep an eye on your graph for balls of bait and fish will be close by. Check the coves too. If there is some wind blowing throw a crank bait or a spinner bait along the banks with the wind on them.
01/16/2012 By Tim Partin of 101 Grocery and Bait

Norfork Lake fishing has been good, crappie are hitting minnows and small plastic baits from 10'-20' deep. Bass fishing has been good using flukes and jerk baits. Stripers are hitting shiners and jigging spoons. White bass fishing has been slow.
01/02/2012 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

Norfork Lake is at normal pool of 552 and the water temp is 50-52. Look for stripers suspended in 30-50ft. down during the day. Look along bluffs and creek channels. Early and late in the day some are moving up along the bank chasing shad. For the suspended fish drop a jigging spoon and throw a stick bait for the fish up on the bank. Throw a vibratail grub on a 1/4 oz. jig head to the bank and work it slow back to the boat also look for fish 35ft.deep on the bottom and drop a jigging spoon. Throw wiggle warts along the banks if the wind is blowing.
01/02/2012 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are in their winter pattern and are in 60 to 100' of water around shad in the mid lake area. Stripers are off mid-lake bluff walls and main lake creeks. There are large schools of feeding on small shad. I had baits set at 24 to 36' and all the different depths were bit. Float creek and Crystal Cove have been the best spots in the afternoon. Shiners have been the best bait.
12/05/2011 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 551.2 and the water temp is in the upper 50's. Look for fish suspended 30-40ft. and drop a jigging spoon. Bass are hitting crank baits, spinner baits and jigs. Throw a jig around brush piles and work it slow. Try a drop shot with a 4" worm or small minnow type bait. If you go out at night throw a stick bait to the bank and reel it real slow.
11/27/2011 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers have moved to their winter pattern, look for them in the main part of the lake channels and creeks. They are roaming in big schools and very hard to stay with them, most of the fish are in the 35' to 40' range in 50' to 80' of water. Shiners and small shad are working the best.
11/27/2011 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is still around 60 but will drop this week with the colder weather we are expecting. Bass are still hitting on crank baits and spinner baits with wind blowing in on the bank. For the deeper ones throw a jig and work it slow. Check bluff ends for walleye. Stripers are in deeper water during the day and moving up on flats at night.
11/14/2011 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the low 60's. The lake is still turning over and we need some colder weather to hurry the process along which will make the bite get better. Look for fish in bays and in the creek arms. There are a few bass coming up in the creeks chasing baitfish. Keep a top water rod on deck. Bass are hitting spinner baits and crank baits on banks with the wind blowing in on them. Throw a jig (green pumpkin or peanut butter and jelly). There are a few fish hitting stick baits at night.
11/07/2011 By Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

The stripers are beginning their winter pattern, I found fish in 100' of water around shad that were staging in 60' feet, the fish were in the mid lake area. There are fish near or above the MO. state line. This is where I'm catching most of my fish, they are in 20 to 30' of water following the bait. Stripers will bite good one day and then the next day, nothing. It's been very difficult getting a consistent bite, but as the weather and water cool the bite will get better.
11/06/2011 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 549.2 and the water temp is in the mid 60's. There are still a fish coming up on points early and just before dark. Throw a Zara spook or a pop-r. There are some fish suspended 30-40ft. deep. Bass are hitting jigs from10-25ft. deep. If the wind is blowing fish the windy banks with a crank bait or a spinner bait. The night bite is starting to get better throwing stick baits. If you have some moonlight throw a light color and if there is no moon and it's dark throw a dark color.
10/30/2011 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 550.2 and the water temp is in the mid 60's. Some bass are still chasing baitfish to the surface hitting top water baits early and just before dark. Watch for the surface activity on points and in the back of bays. Throw a Zara spook, pop-r, prop bait or a jerk bait. If the wind is blowing throw a spinner bait or a crank bait along the bank. Try a swim bait and reel it reel slow. Look for fish suspended and get your bait down to them. The night bite should get going anytime.
10/26/2011 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the mid to upper 60's and the lake level is 550.7. Throw a Zara spook jr. (clear or white) on points. Bass are coming up in the back of some creeks. If you have some wind throw a spinner bait or a crank bait along the bank. Throw a jig up to the bank and drag it slow. Look for fish at 30-40ft. and drop a jigging spoon or if you use live bait get your bait down to them. The night bite should start to get going soon.
10/19/2011 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is normal at about 552. The water temp is in the upper 60's and will drop this week with the cooler weather predicted for the coming week. Stripers are still around 40ft. Drop a jigging spoon or get your bait down to their level. They will start moving shallower with the cooler weather. Watch for surface activity early and late in the day. Throw Zara spook jr., pop-r, x-rap or soft jerkbait. Throw a jig (green pumpkin or peanutbutter & jelly) to the bank and work it back to the boat. If the wind is blowing throw a spinner bait or crank bait along the bank.
9/27/2011 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The water temp is in the low to mid 70's and the lake level is 553.6. The stripers are still down around 40ft. so you need to get your bait down to them. Look for surface activity on points early and just before sunset. Bass, whites and a few hybrids are coming up with the whites. Throw a spook, pop-r, bass assassin or a jerk bait like a x-rap. After the top water bite slows look for the fish suspended and drop a spoon. Throw a spinner bait (chartreuse & white)or crank bait along the bank for largemouth and smallies.
9/18/2011 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake is getting close to its normal level. The lake is 554.4 and the water temp is in the mid 70's. The stripers are down 40-60ft.so you still need to get your bait down to them. With the water starting to cool down they will start moving up shallower. Bass are coming up on points and watch for them in the middle of the creeks. Throw a Zara Spook, pop-r, soft jerk bait or a suspending jerk bait like a X-rap. After the top water stops throw a jig and drag it or give it short hops back to the boat. Most of the bites are coming around 10-20ft.deep. We had more bites dragging the jigs. If the wind starts to blow fish the windblown banks with a spinner bait or a crank bait. There were a few whites coming up too. If you mark fish down 25-35ft.drop a jig. Keep your top water rod on deck.
9/11/2011 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The Norfork Lake water temp is in the upper 70's (78-79) and the lake is 556.5 which is just 4 1/2ft. above normal pool. Bass are hitting top water early on points and whites are coming up in the creeks. Any top water bait will work. They are chasing baitfish around 3". Throw a spinner bait along the bank back in the creeks for some bass. After the top water stops look for the whites down 30-40ft. and drop a jigging spoon. The stripers are still down 60-80ft. I had a guy tell me he caught one down 96ft. on his downrigger dragging a lure.
9/04/2011 By Steve Olomon of Steve's Guide Service

The lake level is 559 and the water temp is still in the mid 80's. With the cool weather we are expecting this coming week the water temp will start slowly cooling down and the bite will only get better. The stripers are still down 60-80ft. Bass are chasing baitfish early. Watch for surface activity on points and some of the deeper channel swings. They will hit just about anything that you throw. After the top water is over throw a jig, worm or a drops shot. Try a crank bait or a spinner bait back in the creeks.
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