NIGHT BITE ON NORFORK LAKE: Norfork Lake's spring fishing season is starting to heat up. After many weeks of not being out on the lake I am finally back at it. I fished the last two nights with John, a friend/guest of ours. We were slow-rolli...
I can honestly say the fall bite is on. If you are looking to catch a lot of fish, with live or artificial bait, you need to come to Norfork Lake. If you need a place to stay at reasonable winter rates call 870-492-5113. Yes,...
Norfork Lake has gone through a lot of changes over the last week, but the fish have seemed to adjust very quickly. The lake has risen over 4 feet and we have had some really cool nights. The lake temperature has finally hit 59 degrees and should continue to fall slowly. Over the last week I have mainly fished for stripers, hybrids and white bass. I have had success with all these species.
I am still finding stripers, hybrids and whites on the large deep flats from 30 to 50 feet of water. Vertical jigging with a spoon is working the best for me, but live shad, as well as shiners should also work. Today I was graphing in 50 feet of water and not finding anything, but then
I looked in toward the shoreline and saw that fish were starting to bust the surface. I moved into 30 - 35 feet of water and found a lot of whites on the bottom with stripers hitting the surface. I starting to cast out a 1/2 ounce Kastmaster with a feather on the hook and landed a small but legal striper. My daughter and granddaughter were jigging with spoons on the bottom and the whites started to hammer their spoons. That was it for me with casting 🙂 We all caught whites. Trolling has also been very productive for a couple of our guests. They had their downriggers set at 30 and 50 ft and were catching nice size fish on a 6 inch swim bait at both depths. They were mainly trolling the deeper water close to the old river channels. I have not been able to check out the major checks, but typically the stripers move back into the creeks especially after a rise in the lake level. I will check it out over the next day or so.
Catfish are also feeding heavily. My guests were catching lots of cats on worms and chicken livers. They would check them in the morning and usually land 5 or 6 cats then they would rebait and check right before dark and catch a bunch more. They lost one of their floats, and on Sunday afternoon I was fishing out on the Mallard flats and saw a float out in the middle of the lake. I checked it and found their name on the float, pulled it up and there was a nice channel cat on the end. I released the fish and will save the float until they return next spring.
Norfork Lake level has risen to 558.0 over the last week, but power generation is starting to occur so I would suspect the Corp. will start dropping the lake level. The lake surface water temperature has fallen to 59 degrees and should continue to fall slowly with our cool nights. The creeks and coves are stained (a great fishing color) and the main lake is semi clear.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.
Norfork Lake fishing continues to be good in the early summer. The lake is clear and warm and great for all water sports. Whether you are a sun worshipper, boater, skier, tuber, wakeboarder, diver or fishermen. Norfork lake is the place to be. Early morning and later in the afternoon are great times to fish the lake, not many boats out and you can fish most anywhere you want.
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.