Norfork Lake Striper fishing has been really good this past week, including this morning. I took out a couple of my guests this morning and we slammed the stripers and hybrids and also did pretty well on black bass. I am finding stripers in two different types of areas. First, along bluff line points that have a deep water channel swing next to the point. What this gives you is typically shallower water on one side of the point and deep water on the other. This is striper heaven, they come up to feed in the shallow water, but they have deep water nearby to escape to. I have attached a screen shot of my depth finder taken last Monday to show you what I have been finding for the last couple of weeks. Huge schools of fish feeding on shad, today was no exception. This is a striper fisherman's dream. When you locate this type of activity drop a jig through the school and I bet 9 out of 10 times your jig will be hammered before you are ready to stop it. When you feel the line go slack reel up quickly until you feel the fish then set the hook and of course, hold on for a great battle. I have also found that the deeper you fish in the school the larger the fish typically are. The second type of location where I have found stripers and hybrids is on large medium deep flats. I have been finding large schools of fish in 45 - 55 feet of water feeding on the bottom. Jigging a spoon is also working great in this type of area. Last Monday I was on a bluff line in 95 feet of water (as shown in the screen shot below) and a friend was fishing a flat area about a mile away and got into a huge school of fish. I have been fishing the mid lake area close to Hummingbird Hideaway Resort, but I have had good reports of fish being caught at all ends of the lake.
The black bass bite has also been really good. I have been jigging a spoon in 30 - 40 feet of water off of the bottom and catching some really nice largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass. One of my bass fishing guests is also doing really well for bass. He has been casting jig & pigs and 10 inch crawlers and is catching his fish in 10 - 30 feet of water. He has also found some really nice bass on shallow flats in 2 feet of water. On windy days try out a spinner bait. There is still top water action early and late in the day so have your favorite top water bait ready for action.
Pan fishermen, if you're looking to fill up your freezer for the winter with good size blue gill the bite is on. Loran, Tony & Sheila have been fishing for blue gill this week and I think the freezer in their cabin is full,(it is a big freezer too). They have been using crickets and catching huge numbers of fish. This is some good eating.
Crappie and walleye fishing is still on the slow side, but I am starting to see more and more of these fish move up into the brush and into shallower water. A little cooler water should really make these species start to bite aggressively. I caught a 17 inch walleye this morning in 40 feet of water on the bottom.
White bass are starting to show up in the schools that I have found. The whites are typically at the top end of the school. You can also look for whites on the shallower flats in 20 - 40 feet of water and be ready when they start to erupt. Blade baits and small spinners will work great when you get into a school of whites.
The current Norfork Lake level is 549.13 and falling slowly. The surface water temperature this morning was 74.5 degrees. The main lake is clear and creeks and coves are stained.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.