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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm headed to Norfork this weekend to do some fishing with my paw-in-law and try out my new motor. I've heard that when the lake rises you can catch tons of catfish and bass hanging out in the new cover/feeding areas (flooded timber). Anyone else have any thoughts about or experience fishing newly-flooded banks and timber?
 

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I'm headed to Norfork this weekend to do some fishing with my paw-in-law and try out my new motor. I've heard that when the lake rises you can catch tons of catfish and bass hanging out in the new cover/feeding areas (flooded timber). Anyone else have any thoughts about or experience fishing newly-flooded banks and timber?
On the news last night, there was a father and son in Ft. Smith fishing out of their garage, casting out into the flooded yard! They caught a couple of small (but tasty looking) catfish!

So surely the flooding turns the status quo on it's ear. Question remains, though--how to take advantage of it if your front yard doesn't flood?
 

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Wes, I live in Mountain Home and just took a drive down to Norfork to check it out. The lake is up 11 feet and very muddy. Lots of trash floating around in it. If you fish below the 62-Bridge and towards the dam, it might be a little clearer.
High water in Norfork is great for the Spring spawn but not overly good for fishing, especially when it's as muddy as it is right now. Once the lake clears, fishing should be much better but I would estimate the lake won't clear for at least a month or so and that's assuming we don't get anymore frog stranglers like these last two days.
So if you are going to give it a try, best of luck. Be careful about floating objects - there are a lot of trees out there floating around. If you are going to do some night fishing, try not to go too fast.
I was really looking forward to doing some serious walleye and striper night fishing but with the lake way up like this, it's very difficult. Lots of brush in the water and difficult to work the lure right without getting hung up all the time.

Cheers.....
 

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Wes ,here on Nimrod rising water in the back of creeks means Catfish anytime of the year. Alot of the time Bass will seek out those areas too. Setlines work real good.:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll be fishing around Pidgeon Creek. Our 'big line' is probably 4-5 miles NE of there close to some bluffs, but I'd be happy putting in or boating to wherever I can find fish. My FIL said today that the lake looked really trashy, so it may just be too soon...or at least too soon to tell. I'd love to do some trolling for striper or walleye, but I don't really know much about the 'how to'. You're welcome to take me anytime you like :biggrin:
 

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Wes, Pigeon is all mud and if you head uplake towards the border, it gets even muddier. Now if you are going to run trotlines for catfish, you might do okay. But fishing for bass, crappie or anything that takes lures in that area will probably be a waste of time this weekend.

Norfork's normal pool is 552 and the lake is up to 566 right now and still rising. They can't dump water because the Norfork and White Rivers are at flood stage so the lake level will probably remain high for the next month or so.

In normal times when the lake is at 552, March and April are the best months to fish for walleye and stripers but it's all night fishing and you have to know where to go. Essentially, you are fishing for walleye spawning on certain shorelines and the stripers/hybrids just happened to be in the same area.

Because of the high water, these same shorelines are covered with sunken buckbrush and you have a difficult time getting a lure to the fish without getting hung up. The lure of choice is the long-bill Rattling Rogue which will get you down about 10-feet. It's all casting and can be tricky when it's pitch black and there are trees/brush along the shorelines.

By the time the lake gets back to normal and clears up, the walleye spawn will be over. But starting in May, we do a lot of night fishing using submersible lights which can be a hoot. Catch all kinds of whites/stripers/hybrids with some walleye, cats and bass thrown in. The only problem is that in past high-water conditions, even the submersible lights didn't work out very good. So I don't know how it's gonna be this year.

Anyway, if you are in this neck of the woods, give me a call at 492-5713 and I'll give you a fishing report. My name is Bob Clark.

Cheers.....
 

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Fishing Back Water!!!

Here In Illinois We Bow Fish When The Back Water Is Up And The Co-operate. Lots Of Buffalo And Carp. I Have Pics If Someone Wants To See Them . I Dont Know How To Post Here But Can Email..


Boltaction47
 

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Flooding such as in the White, and Ouachita....like we are presently experiencing means all the moss and polution, washes away, and refreshes the fishery....:rolleyes:
 

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Well I am lookin foward to when the river falls out around here in Camden we can wear the crappie out in some of the river lakes.
 

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Hey Wes. I went fishing last night down around the dam at Norfork so I can give you a fishing report. It sucked. Never got a bite. Mite add I was the only boat out.

The lake has risen to 569 which puts it 17-feet above normal level and it's still rising from runoff. From what I've read, the White River won't even crest for another day or so and after that, it will have to drop substantially before they can release water from Bull or Norfork. I would think the lake will rise another 2-3 feet before it's all over.

I would say fishing the lake for anything will be slim pickins until the lake at least stablizes and clears up some. The only "plus" in all this is we are going to have a heck of a walleye/crappie/bass spawn and fishing next year should be great.

Most campgrounds around both Bull and Norfork have been flooded to some extent and some of the marinas have flooded roads, meaning you can't even get to your boat. If the water doesn't drop by May, the tourist season will be in trouble (which is another plus as far as I am concerned).

So if you still plan on coming this way, plan on enjoying visiting your inlaws cuz ya aint gonna enjoy the fishin.

Cheers.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sounds like my prospects are pretty grim. Ah well, I can at least put some trot lines out baited with my stinky hot dogs - maybe I'll catch a few. Thanks for the info Bob!
 

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Sounds like my prospects are pretty grim. Ah well, I can at least put some trot lines out baited with my stinky hot dogs - maybe I'll catch a few. Thanks for the info Bob!
White crappies love muddy water...especially in areas where a stream enters the lake....they will gather at that intersection in droves...find them and hit the jackpot!!:wink: >>P/S...all kinds of worms and such are flowing into bodies of water along with that mud, so...check it out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I put my trot line out last night. I ran it between 2 docks my FIL watches and baited it with my stinky hot dogs. Also put out a dozen yo-yos with hot dogs. Didn't have any minnows to put on 'em for the crappie, but I'll remedy that this afternoon. This morning I had 1 big channel cat on. That sucker was FAT! I figured she was full of eggs, but HE had a stomach bigger than my fist - check full of worms! Worms of every type and size - reds, nightcrawlers, grubs - anything he could find. I wish I'd had my camera with me to get a pic. I've never seen the likes of that before! Since the hot dogs don't seem to be bringing 'em in much, I think I'll bait it up with worms this afternoon and see what happens.

Oh, and the lake is really trashy. It seems like most of the trash has washed down from Pigeon Creek, but there's still a bunch of trash in the water. If you can get to a good spot on the bank, fish with any kinda worm you can fit on the hook and you should load up.

We happened on to a guy checking on what was left of his dock when we were taking the boat out, and he went out 2 last night with the AGFC trying to shock up some walleye for the nursery. He said they usually get all kinds up, but they only shocked up 4 largemouth bass, 1 catfish, 1 walleye and 2 bluegill. I guess the high water has 'em scattered pretty good, but he was happy about it. Said that Norfork hasn't had high water like this in 4 years, and consequently the spawns haven't been good either. He said we would start seeing some really good fishing in 2-3 years again. Just one man's opinion, but I do know that last year was the worst year for crappie on Norfork I've ever seen in our area...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I baited up the trot line with worms and didn't catch a single catfish. I did, however, catch a 6-7lb hybrid striper! :thumb: I'll post a pic later...
 

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Wes try minnows , here the catfish do best on live bait under these conditions. The cut or prepared bait works best in warmer water. Also live minnows will catch Crappie , Bass , and most anything that feeds on baitfish.:thumb:
 

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Well, I baited up the trot line with worms and didn't catch a single catfish. I did, however, catch a 6-7lb hybrid striper! :thumb: I'll post a pic later...
Do this....hang a worm on one, liver on two, minnow on three and goldfish on four....a chartruese curlytail crappie jig on five, and 1 square pieces of ivory soap on six, and start over again....this is a scientific way to play: go fish:thumb: Please report your findings:wink:
 
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