Cotter Trout Dock Sign

Cotter Trout Dock Weekly Fishing Report

November 24, 2021

More reports and other videos are on the Cotter Trout Dock Youtube Channel Page.
Below is the Arkansas Game and Fish Fishing Report November 24, 2021


White River
(updated 11-24-2021) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said, “Some folks have been heard to say they're tired of catching so many rainbows. Imagine that! Where else can you catch so many trout in a single day that hardcore anglers say they're casting arms are sore?
“But that's been the case this past couple of weeks here on the White River in the serene, beautiful Arkansas Ozarks. They say that most days the catch has been completed using live worms or a small amount of PowerBait and shrimp. For a little more challenge – but still bringing a lot of trout to the boat – anglers have cast some spinners (try a Rooster Tail with a gold blade, pink body or a Blue Fox with a rainbow blade, gold bell under an overcast sky) and are still having good luck with the No. 5 Rapala Countdowns. But when the sun comes out, put the artificial baits away and return to the scented or live baits.
“The water level has been around one unit for several weeks until Tuesday, with the dam dropping down to minimum flow. The brown bite remains fickle; your best bet is to get your hands on varying sizes of sculpins and work them near the bottom.
“Happy Thanksgiving to all and now … on to the Christmas season!”

(updated 11-24-2021) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, reports that the water in White River in Calico Rock continues to be low, averaging between 4.5 and 3.5 feet. Fishing in the low-water conditions has made fishing with copper or gold-colored spoons (either quarter-ounce  or one-sixth-ounce) effective as the trout move up onto the gravel bars to feed. Drift-fishing with yellow, orange or sunrise colored Power Eggs with a piece of shrimp or worm continues to be effective on both the gravel bars and deeper holes.  Fishing with sculpins has been slow, but when the browns or rainbows bite, the trout have tended to be larger (15 inches or more). Monday at the Calico Rock boat ramp the Norfork Hatchery stocked about 1,200 rainbow trout. 

(updated 11-24-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service at Cotter had no reports this week but will return with his weekly report shortly.

(updated 11-24-2021) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said nothing much has changed in a while. The river continues to run mostly low. Rainbow trout fishing overall has been good. Just 2-4 generators are running at the dam on average. PowerBait, pink worms, stick bait, Rooster Tails in light green or brown, worms and shrimp all will get a good response from the trout.

Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 652.95 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 659.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.0 feet msl). The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 915.50 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 917.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl).

(updated 11-24-2021) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said Thursday that bass fishing has been fair one-half to three-quarters of the way back into the creeks, Look for wind and shad-surfacing action. Birds and loons have arrived around the shad. The deep bite is hot, and bass are keying in on the shad. That seems to be the predominant bite.
In stormy, windy conditions, power fishermen can key in on ledges, channel swing banks with chunk rock. On windy days, Rock Crawlers, square bills and WIggle Warts will work around the windy transitions. Offshore, the shad are starting to group up a lot better. Try a Jewel Scuba Spoon or drop-shot a Damiki Ice Jig. Fish the conditions.
Bull Shoals clarity is good, the surface temperature is 61 degrees. Water level is about 6 feet low.
See Del’s YouTube site (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for more information and tips on fishing Bull Shoals Lake.

Norfork Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 553.40 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 555.75 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl).

(updated 11-11-2021) Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said, “Norfork Lake fishing really has not changed a lot since my last report two weeks ago. The lake temperature has dropped a little and the thermocline has dropped to basically the edges of the old river channel. The deep water will eventually become totally oxygenated and the water temp will be consistent from surface to the bottom.
“I have mainly been fishing on the various flats in the mid to northern parts of the lake. Heading west of my resort, Hummingbird Hideaway Resort, the flats are near Mallard Point, Cranfield Island, Cranfield Campground, Seward Point, Briar Creek and then up around the Red Bank area. Heading east of our resort are the 101 Bridge Flat, Big Sandy which is a little past 101 Boat Dock and the Cow Pasture, which is the area right before the 6B marker. (A few of the names have been given by local fishermen.) Striped and hybrid bass, white bass, largemouth and spotted bass, catfish and walleye can all be found on these flats at some point during the day and sometimes multiple times during the day. The bait moves onto the flat and the predators move in to feed. The best fishing depth seems to vary based on the time of day. But it seems that 30-40 feet of water has been the most productive depths during daylight hours. As the lake water cools the bait and fish will continue to move a little deeper. In the dark, the fish seem to move up shallower following the bait. My bait of choice for flat fishing has been to vertical jig a ½- to a 1-ounce spoon. The fish are currently feeding on 1½ inch to 2-inch thread fin shad. This does not mean they won’t attack a bigger bait and at times they may prefer a little heartier meal. I have also been casting out a 5-inch swimbait, as well as, my ½ ounce Kastmaster. Other styles of blade baits, such as a cicada, are working very well. Trollers are also picking up some nice striped bass by trolling umbrella or Alabama rigs. Other areas where these species are showing up or will very soon, are back in the major creeks, such as; Big, Brushy, Float, Panther and Fall Creeks, as well as Bennett’s Bayou and up river around the state line.
“I can not personally talk about crappie fishing as I have been spending the majority of my time locating and catching the species talked about above. From what I have been told by the crappie guides is that the bite has been good. The bigger slabs are starting to move into the brush and small jigs and minnows are working very well. I will take some time off from my striped bass fishing and check out the crappie bite myself before long.”
Norfork Lake surface water temperature this morning was in the mid-60-degree range. The lake has become fairly stable with just slight variations either up or down and currently sits at 553.62 feet msl. The lake is slightly stained from the mid-lake area and heading north, but there has been a slight clearing starting to happen. The lake continues its slow progression to a total lake turnover. “I am starting to mark bait and a few fish 75-80 feet deep, which tells me the good cool oxygenated water is continuing to fall lower and lower until eventually it will reach all depths and the lake will be totally turned over. This year the turnover process has been virtually unnoticeable.
“Happy fishing, and enjoy Norfork Lake.”

Norfork Tailwater
(updated 11-24-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169)  had no reports this week but will return with his weekly report after Thanksgiving.

Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 11-24-2021) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are low and gin clear. Both are receiving a lot of pressure. The smallmouths are still active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.