Norfork Lake Bass Fishing
By Greg Weinmann Owner of
Hand Cove Resort
And Tim Partin Owner of 101
Grocery and Bait
Always well know as a
great bass lake, the recent spawns have made bass fishing on Norfork
Lake in the Ozark Mountains better than ever.
55 years Norfork Lake’s reputation as a lunker bass lake has grown.
Whether fishing for Largemouth, Smallmouth or Kentucky Bass, you will
find them in numbers and waiting for you at Norfork Lake.
Many anglers enjoy the
spring bite as the bass are typically shallow and the top water
activity is heavy throughout the day. Summer is always good too. Most
species can be caught by jigging, drop lining, or long
lining using live crawdads, worms, or minnows. Spinner, crank and
jerk baits are always popular with the fish too.
And don’t overlook
fall. Great water, great weather, and great action. The last few
years have produced outstanding bass spawns.
lake levels in the spring of 2002, 2004,
and again in 2008
gave the bass plenty of cover to spawn free of predator fish
interference. As a result, Norfork Lake’s bass population increased
There is no closed
season on Norfork Lake. Fish all year if you wish. Winter, prior to
the spawn, is the favorite for locals. The fish are feeding heavily,
especially the larger ones. There is nothing better than to
grill that 3-lb. spotted bass caught in the winter out of these clear
During the spring,
be sure to watch for the bass chasing shad. When you see them, it’s
In summertime, the
fish are deeper during the day and come to the bank
to feed at night. This is why night-fishing with a black light is
very popular. Some anglers sight fish by looking for nests after the
spawn. The males are guarding the nests and are very aggressive to
anything near them. Catch and release is recommended during this
The months of May,
October, and November offer the best combination of weather and
fishing conditions using a mix of top-water spinner and crank bait
The 2008 and 2011 spring rains and subsequent high
water events produced a phenomenal spawn of bass and other Norfork
Lake species. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission predicts that
beginning with the 2012 season, fishing on Norfork Lake will be
fantastic for years to come.