Hummingbird Hideaway Resort on Norfork Lake 2020-10-07 09:31:00

Norfork Lake fishing in October can be lots of fun, but also can be inconsistent. There are many changes going on in the lake which effect the movement of the predator fish and bait. The water temperature starts to cool and the main thing is that the lake turns over. The lake is in the process of turning over, but it has been very gradual. The thermocline has dropped to somewhere between 50 and 60 feet and will continue to fall until the lake totally flips. 

There has been a really good bite for bass. Largemouth and spotted bass can be found all over the lake. If you like top water fishing, throw your favorite topwater bait onto points where you can see sunken brush still out in the water. The fish are inside of it and will come up and slam the bait. Spinnerbait, lipless crankbaits, regular diving crank baits and jigs are all working in different area. The bass are also on the bluffs, especially on points of large coves or small cuts in the bluff wall. Smallmouth bass are starting to show up as well. Keep your eyes open for topwater action. The bass will chase shad out in open water just about anywhere, but especially on the large flats. 

Crappie fishing is also picking up nicely. This species has been moving back to the brush and they can

be found at varying depths. Brush in 15 feet of water out to brush in 35 feet of water may be holding crappie. Small spoons, small twister tail or paddle tail grubs and live minnows on a slip float are all working. The fish can be at any depth over the brush from 7 feet down to the bottom. The depth of the fish will vary depending on the time of day. 

White bass have finally come out of the depths of the lake and are showing up in different locations. Last evening, I was checking out a large flat outside of a cove and starting to hear what I thought was surface feeding fish. I could not see any, so I started to head toward the sound. I finally saw white water on the other side of the lake along a long deep bluff line. There were schools of whites feeding heavily. They didn’t stay up long, and kept moving around. I stopped the boat in an area where I had seen the fish come up and waited. It was not long before they came up again and again. I had my ½ ounce

Kastmaster tied on and started to cast. I worked the bait in a jerk, stop and reel motion and kept it close to the surface and they loved it. From about 5:45PM until 6:45PM they were active. When it started to get dark the topwater in this deep-water area stopped. I heard some activity on the shallow side of the lake and headed that way. I found hybrids and whites feeding heavily in very shallow water, 5 ft or less. The hybrids were coming completely out of the water at least a foot above the surface, it was amazing to see and very fun to catch. Top water baits, such as a Zara Spook would have worked great, but I can cast a Kastmaster farther. 

Striped bass fishing has been very inconsistent. I have found them off a large flat in the mid lake area,

as well as, out in very deep water. On the flat the fish were in 45 to 55 feet of water suspended to the bottom and in the deep water they have been suspended 35 to 60 feet down in 100+ feet of water.  I have caught fish in this area has been by vertical jigging a ¾ to 1-ounce spoon. Live bait may work better. As the lake continues to cool and the turn over completes this species will become very active and start to feed very heavily. 

The surface lake temperature has ranged from 69 degrees to 73 degrees depending on location and time of day. The lake is still falling about 3 to 4 inches per day and currently sits at 557.05 feet msl. The water is stained, but does start to clear more as you head south. I forecast a great fall fishing season so get ready to have some fun. 

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

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