Winter fishing on Norfork Lake near Hummingbird Hideaway Resort is in full swing. Fishing is good for most species. My favorite, striper fishing, has been good. To find the stripers find the bait. Bait and stripers are both suspended 40 – 70 feet down in 80 – 120 feet of water. The stripers will be on top of the bait, buried in the middle of it and sometimes on the bottom of the bait stream. Electronics are very helpful this time of year in finding the bait and marking the fish. My favorite winter spot for striped bass is anywhere from the 62 bridge columns down to the Howard Cove area. The fish and bait are moving to different spots throughout this area. Four days ago, I was marking bait and catching stripers in front of Howard Cove and for the last several days they were located between the two bridges. On January 15th I landed a monster 25 pound striper in front of Howard Cove. Yesterday a friend landed another 25 pound fish by the 62 Bridge. I don’t know why, but the bait moves and the fish follow. Vertical jigging with a spoon is working very well as is live bait.
The big 3 pound white bass bite is also very good. You will find them in the same location as the stripers. The whites will typically be buried in the bait down 60 feet. Vertical jigging with a spoon or live bait is working. When jigging with a spoon only light twitches are needed and you need to be ready to set the hook, the bite is very light. The same slow presentation for striped bass is working.
The bite for largemouth and spotted bass is good. Look for these fish at points on the deep water bluff lines. I have found the bigger fish in 40 – 50 feet of water and the smaller ones up in 20 feet of water. I like to vertical jig with a spoon, but jig & pigs as well as grubs are working well. ¼ ounce or a little larger jig heads should be used. Cast your bait out and let it fall to the bottom then work it back slowly. Watch your line as the bait falls since the fish may pick it up at any time.
Crappie fishing has also been OK. I have not been crappie fishing myself, but crappie are being caught on the deeper brush piles in 40 + feet of water. Crappie are suspended on the tops of the brush. Small spoons, grubs or live minnows are all good baits this time of year. Same as the other species work the bait slowly.
The Norfork Lake level is currently at 550.65. The surface water temperature is in the mid 40’s. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are still stained.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.