Arkansas Striped Bass (Morone Saxatilis) Fishing
The striped bass Morone Saxatilis is a member of the temperate bass family native to North America but widely introduced elsewhere. Among the other names used for this species are striper bass, striped sea-bass, rock, and rockfish. The striped bass is a typical member of the Moronidae family in shape, having a streamlined, silvery body marked with longitudinal dark stripes running from behind the gills to the base of the tail. Maximum size is (6.6 feet) and maximum scientifically recorded weight (125 pounds). Striped bass are believed to live for up to 30 years.
Lake Norfork is know as one of the top trophy striper lakes in the country, the average striper is between 10 and 14 pounds with many in the twenties and some even topping the thirty-pound mark!.
Striper fishing techniques vary on Lake Norfork based on the season, each year usually in March, the stripers begin their spawning run and can be found in very shallow water. We use lighter lines and smaller baits to catch these fish.
In April the fish begin moving and become very aggressive, we use larger baits and still fish in shallow water but use balloons to keep the bait in the strike zone. This is a fun time of year to fish, stripers will be chasing shad and you should see a lot of top water action. The strikes are violent and will give you a thrill of a life time.
Once summer arrives, the stripers will go into deeper water and begin relating to points and channels, we use down lines to position the bait over and within the school, during this time we usually have six poles in the water and it is very common to have all the baits hit at the same time. It becomes a Chinese fire drill with lots of action in a very short time.
Fall is a transition time, the stripers start to scatter and it is necessary to use all of the different techniques to catch these fish. Large schools of stripers begin roaming and are feeding heavy for their winter migration.
Winter fishing may be slow but if you're looking to catch that one really big fish, it's the time of year where you will have the lake and fish to yourself. The stripers have migrated up the creeks and can be caught using shad.