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July 2003

Norfork Lake & Mountain Home

Up at the White River trout fishing has been good with wax worms, red worms, night crawlers, Berkley Power Eggs in yellow, white, or pink, corn and Berkeley’s earthworm Buoyant spoons.  Blue Fox and jointed Countdowns have worked best when there is some generation.  Fly fishermen are having the best luck with olive and black Wooly Buggers, gray sow bugs and scuds, or size 14 soft hackles.  Browns are coming in on Rebel Brown Trout jointed Minnow Floats, Flat Fish and night crawlers.

The North Fork River fly fishermen are catching trout on midges in olive and black and caddis flies in tan and green size 14 – 18.  Spin fishermen are using Blue Fox spinnerbaits, Cleo’s, jigs and Roostertails.  Bait fishermen are using crawfish tails, worms, corn and Power Bait in various colors.  Lake Norfork bream are good with crickets.  Crappie are good 20 to 30 feet deep with minnows or swimming minnows, but if you start catching small ones, move to another brush pile, because the large ones will not be there with the small crappie.  Bass fishing is good with any lure you have confidence in.  Fishermen are catching a few walleye trolling with crank baits or stick baits.  The catfish are being caught by rod and reel baited with night crawlers, chicken liver or stink bait and on trotlines and jugs with live bait.


With the warm weather in the Natural State and the mosquitoes flying throughout the night, their main predator, bats, have emerged from hibernation in Ozark caves to feed on these pests.  Biologists from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are on the lookout for some rare bats that inhabit the state’s many caves and mines.  Arkansas has two very rare bats that inhabit dark crevices. 

Many of the 16 species of bats found in Arkansas roost in trees in the summer months, two species stay in caves year round.  These rare bats, the Ozark big-eared bat and the gray bat, will segregate into male and female colonies in different caves during the summer and then join together in the fall prior to entering hibernation.  Unfortunately, the dependence on caves has made these two bats very vulnerable to disturbance by humans using the caves for recreational purposes.  These bats form tight clusters on the cave ceiling and if someone enters a cave with young bats, which are unable to fly until about a month after birth, the young may accidentally get knocked off the ceiling if their mothers are disturbed. Like many animals, the Ozark big-eared bat and the gray bat are incredibly choosy about the site where they decide to roost and they are only known to use a few of the 3,500 caves in the state.  Due to concern over their survival, funding is available to protect caves used by these species on private lands from trespassers and other unwanted visitors.  While the gray bat has responded well to management efforts, the Ozark big-eared bat has almost been driven from Arkansas and there are only a few hundred known to be left in the state.  This bat is especially easy to identify, as it is the only cave bat in the state that has ears over an inch long, and which are often kept curled up on its head when resting.  The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission would like to survey caves or abandoned mines in North Arkansas that are known to have clusters of bats in them during the summer and asks that property owners contact Blake Sasse by phone at 501-223-6370 or by e-mail at if such a cave is located on their land.  Additional information about these species is available on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission web page at

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