20 miles South West of West Plains, and may be reached from Hwy O, T or 160.
Even though Norfork Lake covers over 21,000 acres, only 10% of this south central Missouri reservoir lies north of the Missouri/Arkansas state line. But don't underestimate this small north end of Norfork, because it is an excellent fishery in itself.
White bass, stripers, and hybrid-stripers are the jackpot on this lake, near Tecumseh, Missouri. Shad, or anything closely representing then are the bait of choice for these fish. The daily bag limit is 15 of these fish in any combination. However, only 4 of these fish may exceed 18" in length.
This lake is quickly becoming a prime spot for early-springtime walleye fishing. Consult your Missouri fishing regulations for the special season on these fish.
This part of the lake also holds very nice populations of largemouth bass, and spotted bass; as well as a considerably smaller population of smallmouth bass. If you are one of the fisherman who prefers to concentrate on these 3 species, and you want to venture into Arkansas waters; you will want to know that the same black bass length limits apply on the Arkansas side, as on the Missouri side.
From late February through the first half of March, walleye migrate to the lakes upper end and into the lakes two main tributaries, Bryant Creek and the North Fork of the White River (anglers are reminded that from February 20 through April 14, walleye can be taken and possessed only between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. CST upstream of the confluence of these two streams). Rogues, jigs, and live bait catch the majority of fish during this time of year. In the months following, minnows and nightcrawlers, rigged on bottom-bouncers, slowly trolled along flats and points catch good numbers of fish. Anglers can expect to catch good numbers of legal-size fish, >18", and are allowed to keep four fish/day. White, striped, and hybrid-striped bass are the next arrivals in the upper end of Norfork usually by mid-April, given there is enough flow coming from Bryant Creek and the North Fork of the White River. Jigs, minnow/shad imitating crankbaits, and live minnows/shad catch the large percentage of these fish. Anglers may keep a total of 15 fish, in any combination, with only four fish >18". Largemouth and spotted bass make up the majority of the black bass population and anglers will notice improved fishing for legal-size largemouth, >15". Also, anglers will notice large numbers of fish 12". Plastic baits, such as worms, grubs, and tube baits, are great choices to use when pursuing black bass. The same black bass regulations apply to the Arkansas side of the lake as well. Crappie fishing will be consistent with that of the last couple years with fish of all sizes being present and the majority exceeding 10". Jigs and minnows fished around brush piles and spawning banks will catch good numbers of fish.
Missouri residents, those 16 years of age and older, who fish the Arkansas portion of Norfork Lake are no longer required to purchase a nonresident Arkansas fishing permit. Thanks to cooperation between the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and MDC, Missouri residents possessing a valid resident fishing permit may also purchase a $10 White River Border Lakes Permit allowing them to fish the Arkansas portion of this lake.