Fall fishing on Norfork Lake is in full swing. This year has been a typical fall so far, cold fronts then warm fronts and anywhere in between. One of the most important things about fall fishing Norfork Lake is to be prepared with plenty of warm layered clothing.
I have mainly been fishing main lake flats and have been catching every species in the lake. I am a creature of habit and continue to use two types of baits, a spoon for vertical jigging and a blade type bait. The Kastmaster is my favorite blade bait. I typically fish the mornings and the bite has been pretty consistent. At day break I am finding fish up shallow from 8 - 20 feet of water. Many mornings I see seagulls feeding on dead shad that the fish are leaving behind. I start off casting my Kastmaster into this shallow water to catch the feeding fish. There has been some top water in the early mornings, but not everyday. The best thing about the fall bite is that you never know what species you will be catching. Striped bass, hybrid bass, white bass as well as large & smallmouth bass, walleye and the occasional catfish will all hammer the Kastmaster or spoon at any time. As the morning wears on the bait will start to migrate out to a little deeper water. Typically by 8 or 9AM the bait is being found in 30 - 40 feet of water and the fish will be close by. I am finding large schools of fish that are at all depths. This is when I start using my spoon and vertical jig it at the depth of the fish, whether they are suspended at 10 feet or on the bottom at 40 feet. I have been fishing on the flats in the Cranfield area, Seward point, Red bank area, as well as the flats before you get to 6B and 6A in the Fouts and Bennetts areas. I have had credible reports that the afternoon bite for striped bass has been good down south in the Big Creek area as well as back in the Bennetts area.
I am still finding some really nice largemouth bass on the same flats mentioned above. Where I typically find the bass is in the area on the outside ends of the flats where a deep channel is swinging in close to the flat. The water depth has been 28 - 32 feet of water and this has not changed for the last 4 weeks. A second area where I found some nice largemouth bass was on a deep bluff line point. I was in 100 feet of water and found bass suspended down 15 - 20 feet. I was able to pick up a couple nice fish jigging a spoon at their depth. Crank baits are also picking up some nice fish along bluff lines. I really have not found any consistent top water action for largemouth, but this is the time of year that they should start coming up in the mornings and late afternoons. The water temperature is close to being in the upper 50's so it should be getting close to jerk bait time.
The surface water temperature this morning was in the upper 50's to very low 60's. Nofork Lake is very slowly lowering and currently sits at 552.27. Most of the lake is stained to off color, but still a very good fishing color. Periodic power generation is occurring mainly to maintain the water level.
We're looking forward to having the Bassmaster's Team Championship Tournament on Norfork Lake early in December. It should be a fun time for all.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.