Last Updated September 30, 2017
Tom Reynolds from STR Outfitters told us, "October officially starts our fall fishing and hunting seasons. With the cooler nights the water starts to cool and the deer start feeding heavy preparing for the rut. Bear season begins Oct. 1 for bow and the harvest is usually over in the first 2 weeks. Our bear region usually sees over 200 black bears harvested. If the season runs longer then you can harvest a bear using your muzzle loader which is the third week of October. Arkansas's deer season is one of the longest in the country. Our bow season begins the end of September and ends February 28th. In between that we have a 9 day muzzle loader season beginning the third week of October then beginning the second weekend of November. Our modern gun starts and runs until the first weekend of December. We then have a 3 day muzzle loader in mid-December and a 3 day modern gun 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. We offer both deer and bird hunting Cast & Blast packages starting in mid-October through mid-February. Check them out at www.stroutfitters.com/specials.
Striper fishing picks up steam once the water cools. We move our fishing up river near and beyond the Arkansas/Missouri boarder. While the lower end of the lake is cooling and waiting for the turnover the upper end of lake is already turned over. The average water depth is less than 30 feet and the shad are everywhere. The stripers have not fed much the last month so they begin to bulk up for the winter. We usually begin our fishing near Calamity Beach and move north as the water cools. Our presentation varies but it's usually planner boards, floats, and some downlines. Since the water is shallow most lines are set at 19 feet. Our normal bait will be 6 to 7-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 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 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.
As the water begins to cool the crappie will start moving up and start their fall feed. Spider rigging is the most effective technique to catch them. Again moving north will provide the best opportunity for the first big crappie bite. Once we are in the middle of October you should be seeing lots of action in Brushy Creek, 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. Beginning in mid-October 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 www.stroutfitters.com, 870-421-1541 or on Facebook.
Little Red River
Lowell Myers of Sore Lip'Em All Guide Service told us, "The Little Red is currently receiving 3-6 hours of generation on weekdays and lesser amounts on weekends. We anticipate this generation schedule to continue unless we receive significant rainfall. Midges, soft hackles and sowbugs, along with wooly buggers, are working well for fly anglers. Pink colored Trout Magnets are recommended for spin fishing. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501.362.5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real time water release and the Southwest Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule."
Contact Lowell Myers of Sore Lip'Em All Guide Service via email at sorelipemall.com or call him at 501-230-0730.
Tommy Cauley told us, "The lake level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 459.78 feet, 2.78 feet below normal pool of 462.54 feet and falling it will continue to fall with evaporation and generation. The overall bite is a little off as the Dissolved oxygen is down due to decay of matter in the lake from high water this year and has got the fish sluggish after we receive some rain and wind will rejuvenate the oxygen level and the fish will respond accordingly this occurs with high water years every year, a lot of the threadfin shad are sitting high in the water column and are very vulnerable to being eaten at the time, as it will be the best schooling year this lake has saw in years. The crappie fishing is fair with the fish suspended in the water 12-18 feet in the rivers and a little deeper in the lake around pole timber of brush piles, use jigs or live bait for the best catches fishing vertical. The Bream are still guarding fry from the last spawn and can be caught with in-line spinners, small crank baits, crickets and crawlers from real shallow out to 23 feet. The bass are spread out from real shallow to 40 feet and all in between and some just roaming schooling eating shad and bream. Try spinner baits, crank baits, top water baits, the deeper fish can be caught with Texas rigged worms-rigs and football headed jigs, the in-between fish a jig headed worm and a whacky rig are working. No report on Walleye. The hybrid and white bass are a good example of the fish being sluggish as they are eating at times and a lot of times just floating around suspended not feeling well. That will change soon and they will be eating off and on all day on top as well as down, just find the bait and the fish will be close. The best plan is to stay on top of them and be patient, use spoons, in-line spinners, and topwater baits. At times they are coming to the surface for short bursts and then going back down as they do when they first start to school. Another good option is to use swim baits, top water baits, Alabama rigs and hair jigs."
To book a trip with Tommy, call 501-654-8844 or 501-940-1318. You can also email Tommy at [email protected].