Norfork Lake Striper fishing has really picked up over the last several weeks. Stripers and hybrids have schooled up. When you find them it can be non-stop action. Live bait and vertical jigging with a spoon are both working great. I have been using a one ounce spoon, in various colors, white, white/chartreuse, white/green and white/blue. The spoon itself is a lead weight in the shape of a minnow with a treble hook at one end and a swivel at the other.There are many types of spoons on the market, but I use and carry a full stock of the Bink's spoons if you are interested in trying them out. I have caught and released 6 + stripers per day over the last three days. Today was no exception, I landed 8 and had to keep 3 today due to the fish feeding very heavily and swallowing the spoon so deep that after retrieving the spoon the fish could not swim away. So here is dinner for the next few days. After I had 3 in the boat I started to fish for other species. I caught a couple white bass and called it a day. Today I found the stripers in 60 feet of water suspended 30 to 40 feet down. I dropped the spoon to this depth then jigged it up, and let it float back down. Before my line got tight there would be a fish on the other end. Lots and lots of fun. Sounds easy, right! The biggest challenge is to find the fish. Today I looked at 3 different areas before I found them. Sometimes the fish will be in the same area day after day, but in the last week I found a huge school of fish back in Georges Cove, but I keep checking and they haven't found them again in that area. These fish keep moving and following the bait. The joy of fishing for me is the feel of success once I've find them and they start to bite.
There is still a good, but short lived, topwater bite for largemouth, smallmouth and spots at daybreak and sunset. Have your favorite topwater bait ready for some fun action. Once the sun gets high they start to go deep. I have heard that the after dark bite for black bass has been pretty good.
White bass are also schooling. It seems that after the stripers and hybrids take off from an area, the whites are nearby. I have caught them on topwater as well as down deep with a spoon.
I fished some for walleye two days over the last week and have caught several. I found them around brush in 30-40 feet on the bottom. The biggest problem has been that they have all been short. I guess I need to keep looking.
Catfishing is still good on trotline and jugs. Set your baits down about 15 - 20 ft back in the creeks and coves or next to a bluff line. This morning when I was cleaning fish the turtles were in feeding on the scraps as is normal, but then I saw two 10+ pound blue cats come in and start hauling off the carcusses. It was fun watching them feed.
The current water level is 551.3 falling slightly each day. The dam has been generating 6 - 10 hours per day on most days. The surface water temperature is in the mid to upper 80's which is getting close to normal for this time of year. The creeks and coves are somewhat stained and the main lake is still clear. The lake is in great shape for water depth and temperature.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.