I have not been able to be out on the lake for several days, so this morning was a scouting trip, and I found some nice fish. I started out in the dark using my green light. I drew in some nice bait, but not many predators, except gar. I managed to pick up one very nice striped bass on a Tater Baits bayou magic Tater Shad. I had a 1/2 ounce white big eye jig head. The fish was 30 feet down, which was at the bottom of the bait ball. I had several other hits, more than likely gar, but no other boated fish. I left this area about 5AM and checked out several creeks and coves that typically hold striped bass this time of year. The water temp is not normally as warm as it is this year at this time. I continued checking out different areas while continuing to head in a southerly direction. My last spot, at around 6AM I found what I was looking for. Back in a creek in 70 feet of water at the edge of the creek channel, I found stripers at all different depths. Most were towards the bottom following the steep bank up and down. I started with dropping a Binks 1 ounce green/white spoon to the bottom and reeled up at a slow to medium speed through the water column. A nice striped bass totally swallowed the bait, and it was halfway down its gut. That fish had to be cleaned today. I switched back to a Tater Shad in a white trash color with a chartreuse jig head. I dropped the bait to the bottom and slowly reeled up. 3 or 4 fish would follow and one of them would commit and the fight was on. I broke off a third one in this same spot. I moved around following the creek channel and found some bait fish on the bottom in 75 feet of water. There were arcs above the bait, so I dropped a tater shad and one of the fish hammered the bait on the fall. This was my biggest fish of the day and it gave a great fight. I got him back in the water quickly and he swam away with ease. As the water continues to warm and the thermocline drops deeper, it will be very difficult to revive a striped bass after a lengthy battle out of deep water. Be prepared to keep what you catch until you limit out, then start fishing for other species. We love the taste of striped bass cooked many different ways.

The lake surface temp was in the mid 80’s this morning. The water level is slowly rising and sits at 560.77 ft msl. There is a thermocline that has formed, and it is currently in the 20 to 25 feet range. The water is clear on the main lake and slightly stained in the creeks.

Hummingbird Hideaway Resort still has cabins available during June and July. Summer fishing and family vacation fun time is here. Give us a call with any questions or for reservations at 870-492-5113. If you have not been to Norfork Lake before you will absolutely fall in love with it! If you have visited in the past, it’s time to come back!

Enjoy Norfork Lake in the Arkansas Ozark.