The Cotter Trout Dock 
Weekly Fishing Report

January 6, 2016

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Some photos of our guided trout fishing customers
taken this week at Cotter Trout Dock.
AGFC did not issue a fishing report for three weeks, so these are pictures from the last three weeks.
Click images to enlarge.



















Fishing Report From Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Bull Shoals

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 662.64 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659 msl).
Bull Shoals Boat Dock had no new report. K Dock Marina (417-334-2880) is closed until March 4, 2016.

White River (Bull Shoals Tailwater)

Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water actually has been low during the high water events, but very few anglers have been to the Bull Shoals tailwater lately. The water is stained. No report on angling success. 
Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said we have had a significant rain event, cold temperatures and heavy winds. On the White, we’ve had moderate generation this week with no wadable water and some flooding. All of the lakes on this system are well above seasonable power pool and we should encounter lower levels of generation, on our tailwaters, with some wadable water, until flooding clears downstream, when we will encounter high levels of generation. The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam is closed from Nov. 1, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016, to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park will be seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. All brown trout must be immediately released. In addition, night fishing is prohibited in this area during this period. The hot spot has been Bull Shoals State Park. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (sizes 8-10), Y2Ks (sizes 12-14), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead, sizes 16-18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16).

Lake Norfork

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 555.53 feet msl (normal conservation pool: September-April – 553.75 msl, April-September – 556.75 msl).
Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters said last year was the year of water. Norfork Lake was above its normal shoreline and into the buck brush four times. All of the rain that fell throughout northern Arkansas and southern Missouri will stop the a major release of water from Norfork Lake until sometime in January. The current high water event does not impact operations on Norfork Lake. The resorts and marinas continue to operate as normal along with the many lake accesses for boat launching. Big schools of striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass are roaming the large flat areas in 30 to 50 feet of water. For the last five days the bite has been consistently good with a lot of fish being caught. I have been mainly vertical jigging with a spoon, bouncing the spoon off the bottom or when I see suspended fish reeling up to them and jigging in the school. There has been some topwater action for stripers with a few fish surfacing while feeding on shad. Good electronics are definitely helpful this time of year. You will need to graph an area until you find the fish then start fishing. Also look for seagulls. If you notice these birds diving into the water, there will be feeding fish nearby. Trolling a 5- to 6-inch swim bait will also catch some fish. Set your baits at different depths between 20 and 50 feet. Live shiners, threadfin shad and gizzard shad are also working very well. In the mid-lake area, check southeast of Robinson Island, the northwest side of the 101 bridge, in front of Mallard Point, the east side of Cranfield Island, Seward Point, in front of Briar Creek, and east of Howard Cove going toward Talbert Point. There are definitely other areas down toward the dam, going farther up river, or back in the bayou area, but the listed flats are the ones I will be fishing until the fish go into their winter pattern. The other locations where stripers will be found are partway back into the major creeks. I have been having too much fun on the flats and have not had a chance to check them out, but typically they are there, especially with rising water. Crappie have moved under the dock at Humminbird Hideaway and have also moved onto the brush piles in 30 to 40 feet of water. These fish will be at different depths, depending on the time of day. Live crappie minnows are working the best, but small jigs with a paddle tail or a twister tail also are doing well. Bass also are moving into the brush and up to the banks. Jerk bait time is for the most part here, so start throwing those stick baits. Spinners are also producing fish, but best method is still working your plastics along the bottom slowly.
Lou Gabric of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had no new report.
Guide Steve Olomon had no new report.


North Fork River (Norfork Tailwater)

Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the Norfork has fished better of late. It has had some wadable water. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (sizes 18-22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (sizes 14-16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise, size 10). There construction project at the Norfork National Fish Hatchery is complete. It has seen less pressure with school back in session. It still fished well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (size 14), Y2Ks (size 12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise, size 10).



Cotter Trout Dock, 321 Big Spring Pkwy POB 96, Cotter, AR  72626