MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. — Many teams will face unfamiliar waters when the country’s top college anglers travel to Norfork Lake in northeast Arkansas April 22-23 for the third stop of the 2022 Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, but Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Cody Huff of Ava, Mo., believes the tournament could be a bed fishing bonanza.
“It will be a cool event,” Huff said. “There will be a lot of bass caught.”
This will be the first trip to Norfork Lake for the Bassmaster College Series and the first B.A.S.S. event there since the Bassmaster Elite Series visited the Arkansas reservoir in 2016, an event that was split between Norfork and Bull Shoals.
“It is a highland reservoir and has clear water unless we get a big flood, and then we’ll have some off-colored water,” Huff said. “It is a very healthy fishery.”
The fishery features largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, but Huff said it will likely take all largemouth to contend.
Historically during the end of April, depending on the weather trends, Huff said bass are typically in the middle of the spawn and will be shallow around flooded bushes, ledge rock and around docks, although docks are not as common.
“There will no doubt be fish spawning,” he said. “It just depends on whether the majority of them have already come or if the majority of them are still coming on how it is won. But I would say it will be won by bed fishing or blind flipping. There will be guys that catch them on ledge rock as well.”
This time of the year, flipping soft-plastic baits like creature baits, Senkos, floating worms and flukes will all come into play, as well as a jig. Huff added that topwater baits like poppers could also catch fish during the event and, if the weather sets up right, spinnerbaits, ChatterBaits and big swimbaits like a Megabass Magdraft could excel.
The Bassmaster College Series will compete April 22-23 with daily takeoffs from Norfork Lake Marina/Henderson Park at 6:10 a.m. CT. Weigh-ins will take place back at the marina at 3:10 p.m. Coverage can be found on Bassmaster.com.
The 2022 Abu Garcia Bassmaster High School Series at Norfork Lake presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors event and the one-day Bassmaster Junior Series event will follow on April 24.
The tournaments are being hosted by the Norfork Lake Chamber of Commerce.