Striped bass fishing has been good. The fish are starting to go deeper as the lake develops its summertime thermocline. I have noticed the thermocline 22 - 30 feet deep depending on where you are located on the lake. I have had my grandkids out fishing most days over the last week and they are having a blast. Thread fin shad has been my go to bait with the kids. They are doing great and all of them have learned how to fight this strong fish. Their biggest so far has been 14 pounds. I have been finding the fish back in major creeks in 50 - 80 feet of water and the stripers are suspended 20 - 50 feet down. Vertical jigging with a spoon as well as casting a swim bait are both working well. Place a 1/2 ounce jig head on the swim bait and let it sink then reel back to the boat slow and hang on. I am also starting to find larger schools of stripers out on main lake points along the deep water bluff lines. Live bait and jigging with a spoon are two great methods to catch these fish once you find the school. Still finding a few hybrids coming up at daybreak chasing shad so have a top water bait handy to have some fun.
Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing has also been good. I have been finding some good topwater action at daybreak, but it typically only lasts up to an hour at the most. Top water baits, swim baits, swimming minnows are all working well early in the morning. As the sun comes up, start working the bottom with a plastic bait, jig & pigs, Texas rigged worms, craws or just about any type of bait worked along the bottom. The best depths to fish are 10 - 30 feet down. You will also notice some suspended fish in deeper water following shad, drop a spoon to their depth and start jigging. Spinner baits and jig & pigs are working after dark up along the banks.
You can still catch a few nice sized crappie, but they are deep. Find brush in 30 - 40 feet and the crappie will be on the tops and also buried inside of the brush. Live minnows seem to be working the best, but small crappie jigs and small crank baits are also working.
Norfork Lake level is currently holding steady at 564.60. We have been having about 6 hours worth of power generation per day. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are slightly stained. The surface water temperature is in the mid 80's.
Happy Fishing and see you on the lake. We still have a few cabins available for many weeks yet this summer. Our fishing derby is still going strong. Hope to see you at Hummingbird Hideaway!
All photos taken over the last week.