Hummingbird Hideaway Resort on Norfork Lake 2020-09-16 11:57:00

The summer time heat had been forecast to cool down, then we get a beautiful summer type day in the upper 80’s. Fishing has been going on steadily during the summer but I haven’t had much time allotted to fishing. Over the last couple of weeks. I have been able to get back to somewhat of my normal routine, but I’m still not totally there yet. At least I have been out on the lake 4 or 5 times a week and actually have even been out in the afternoons, which is rare for me. I am mostly an early morning fisherman.

At this time, it appears that bass fishing is the best bite, with walleye running a close second. Crappie fishing is improving and I think it will take off shortly. If you are a bluegill fisherman the bite is very good.

I have been mainly trolling Berkley Flicker Minnows, size 7, in 25 to 32 feet of water. I am trolling at 1.4 mph with my trolling motor. I am still using 8-pound test monofilament line. I let our about 50 feet of line then add on a snap weight with a 1-ounce sinker. I then let out another 50 feet of line. My bait is getting down to around 25 feet of water. With this method of fishing I have caught almost all species in the lake, except for striped and hybrid bass. The type of area that has been best for me is the long shallow main lake points that jet way out into the lake. I try to follow the ridge of the point or stay slightly off to one side or the other keeping in the strike zone depth. My main goal lately has been looking for walleye. The best part

of fishing this method is that if the walleye are not biting at the time, there will be largemouth bass and spotted bass to take up the slack. On two different occasions over the last week the channel catfish were hammering the baits. I bounce around different areas of the lake, from the midlake area, then up northeast to the Cranfield area, and then farther up river. I have been able to catch a lot of walleye, but a lot of them have been short. I believe I have landed more keeper size  bass over the last couple of weeks than I have in a long time. If you are not into trolling, you can cast out a jig or worm and work it back to the boat along the bottom. Vertical jigging a spoon will also work for all these species. I would use a ½ to ¾ ounce spoon and move around slowly jigging along the bottom.

Crappie fishing is also getting good. Today one of my guests was checking out a couple of his go to brush piles and landed 6 nice keepers in the 12 – 13 inch size range. He missed many others. The bottom of the brush needs to be in 25 – 30 feet of water and the best brush piles come up to about 15 - 20 feet of water. The crappie were on the tops as well as buried inside of the brush. Small ¼ ounce spoons were working for him, but small grubs or just crappie minnows should work as well.

 I have not been striper fishing since the beginning of August, but will get back to it shortly. There are several areas in the midlake area where this species will show up shortly. There are currently scattered stripers roaming the deep waters in the midlake area, as I have marked them and one of my guests got to land one trolling a deep diving crank bait.

 Norfork Lake level is falling about 2 – 3 inches per day and currently sits at 562.73 feet MSL. The surface water temperature is starting to drop slightly and currently is in the very low 80’s. The water is stained throughout the lake, but this will clear up as the water cools.

 Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

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