Striped Bass fishing has really improved over the last week in various parts of the lake. I have found two different patterns for this species, but time of the day may have something to do with it. Early in the morning, occasionally starting before sunrise, I have found stripers on large flats feeding heavily on shad. They can be anywhere from 20 feet of water
out to 40 feet towards the bottom. They are starting to school and when you find that large school of fish it is a fantastic bite. Other times the fish are scattered out and it takes a little bit more effort to catch them. The early morning bite seems to last no later than 8am or so. This morning after the bite slowed on the flat where I was fishing, I decided to check out a different type of area for the striped bass. I have caught fish out in deep water along a bluff wall in past years, and this year appears to be the same. I was in 120 – 150 feet of water and the fish were suspended down 35 – 40 feet deep. I found a large school of feeding fish once in this area, but most of the time I was marking 1 to 3 fish at a time. I have been using several different methods to catch striped bass. I have been slow trolling a Berkley Flicker Minnow, size 7 & 9, with a 1-ounce snap on weight about 50 feet behind the bait with another 50 feet of line out. (This method is mainly for the flats.) I am also starting to
vertical jig with a ¾ ounce spoon more often than I troll. I have jigged up stripers in both of these areas. The hardest part about fishing for suspended fish with a spoon is getting it down to the right depth. If you have a fish finder than picks your spoon up, this makes it simple, but if it does not, you need to either count down your bait, my rod and bait takes 8 seconds to get down to 40 feet, or drop it to the bottom and count the cranks up until you get to the desired depth. The stripers will continue to move around and as the water cools and the lake turns over the fish will be in many different types of area.
Crappie fishing has been good, but has had its ups and downs, I believe due to the various frontal systems that has gone through our area. The best areas have been brush piles that are in 20- 30 feet of water. The fish will either be suspended on the top of the brush or
Walleye fishing has slowed a little, but we are still picking up some nice ones, along with a lot of shorts. Early in the morning and prior to sunrise
Bass fishing has been good and they are being found in many different areas. Casting topwater baits, spinners and buzz baits are working for the very shallow fish especially where there is
Norfork Lake level is falling and currently sits at 561.18’ MSL. The lake surface temperature this morning was in the high 70’s. The main lake and creeks are stained but should start to clear as the lake continues to cool.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.