Lake Norfork fishing forecast for November 2019


In November Norfork Lake area is the sportsperson paradise month. Fall fishing is at its peak, modern gun deer season opens, and the famous Arkansas duck season opens. You can hunt in the morning and catch stripers, bass, and crappie during the rest of the day. It does not get any better than that! Deer season opens the second weekend of November, ending the first Sunday of December. Duck season opens the weekend before Thanksgiving and closes the third Sunday in January. Stripers are in their fall feeding frenzy along with the bass and crappie. Just pick your sport and Arkansas’ Norfork Lake has something for you. We also have a 3 day muzzle loader in mid-December and a 3 day modern gun hunt right after Christmas. In all you have many opportunities to harvest a deer. Combine the hunting with some great striper fishing and you have a perfect Cast & Blast opportunity. Our Cast & Blast packages starts in November thorough March 31st. The package includes 5 day 4 night lodging, 2 8 hr striper fishing days and a guided pheasant hunt that includes: guide, transportation, 8 pheasants per person, & processing. The total price for the package is $750 per person.
Stripers are in need of fating up after the August and September low oxygen months where they do not eat much. The stripers will be all over the lake after the fall turnover. The best places are the 101 Area, Big Creek near Hand Cove, Robinson Point and near or above the Arkansas/Missouri boarder. The colder the water the more active the stripers will be. Look for stripers in shallow water 30’ and keep moving out deeper until you find them on or near the bottom. The maximum depth should be no more than 50 feet. Find the cooler water with shad and stripers will be feeding heavy. Small to mid-size gizzard shad and threadfin shad is the best live bait followed by shiners. Spoons and swim baits will also catch a lot of stripers. Match the size of bait to have the best results. You may also see some great topwater action so always have a topwater bait on a rod.
Our presentation varies but it’s usually planner boards, floats, and some downlines. Our normal bait will be 3 to 6 inch gizzard shad. Most times we will have out 10 rods that covers a very wide spread. The next best way to catch the fall stripers is trolling a swim bait or crankbait. 3” swim baits and 7” crankbaits would the best. Since it’s shallow you can run long lines you do not need downriggers. Planner boards also work well trolling. As the weather cools the stripers will move up most major creeks and will also be on Robinson Point. You can catch them using the same method I described above.
The bass will start feeding heavy, with lots of top water action. Early morning top water, then jigs, worms and spinner baits later in the day are your best baits. There is also great night fishing throwing jigs, worms, and black or red 3/8 oz spinner baits. You can catch fish all over the main lake and creeks.
The fall crappie bite should be at its peak as the fish move up and also be feeding heavy. Spider rigging is the most effective technique to catch them. You will see lots of action in Brushy Creek and Big Creek on the south end of the lake, and Bennett’s Bayou, Red Bank, Calamity Beach, Pigeon Creek on the north end.
Regardless of your outdoor passion, the fall scenery displayed by Norfork Lake is fabulous. There is no better time to view the Arkansas hardwoods exploding with vivid colors. The lake gives you a never ending fall treat as you motor from hot spot to hot spot.
Tom & Sean Reynolds have fished Lake Norfork for over 51 years and they guide out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at, 870-421-1541 or on Facebook.

Fishing report ending Oct. 26, 2019

This pass week saw some cooler temperatures and with that cooler water temperature. I fished up in Missouri and caught some stripers but the major amount of fish being caught by us is by the Calamity Boat ram. There are big schools of stripers moving up and down from above Pt 10 down to Pt 9.They. have been in water depths from 28′ to 35′ and the bite is very aggressive. I took a party out Saturday morning and we started fishing in Missouri using my standard setup of 2 floats set at 24 and 28′, 2 free lines with a split shot, and downrods set from 20 to 28′. We caught 2 stripers on the floats and 1 on a downline. The bite slowed so we moved south towards Calamity and again set out the same rod configuration. Twice in a little over and hour we had bites on multiple rods, floats, longlines and downlines at once. Both times we had 6 fish on the lines and both times we only boated 3. We caught 11 that morning and they kept their limit. The water temperature up north is 4 degrees cooler than the main lake. I was using 5” and smaller gizzard shad for bait.
Stripers are now being caught on the 1C flat in the mornings and Robinson Point and Crystal Cove in the later afternoons using gizzard shad.
Crappie fishing picked up after the weather change. Keep fishing the creeks, find a brush pile with their tops at 15′ or deeper and you will crappies. Minnows, jigs, and small spoons are catching limits of crappie. The best three creeks right now are Big Creek, Bennett’s Bayou, and Pigeon Creek.
Tom & Sean Reynolds guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina, Tracy Ferry Marina is the only marina that has 24 fuel, you can get gas anytime using your credit card. You can reach us at, or 870-421-1541