Norfork Lake fishing is in the early stages of its summer pattern. This means that the lake has a thermocline forming and many species are close to this level and other species are going deeper. Several species school this time of year while other species scatter to the cooler depths of the lake.
The bite for striped bass and hybrid bass has been excellent over the last week. Yes, you do need to find them, but once you do you are going to have a lot of fun. I had the pleasure of fishing with my daughter's family and two of her friends over the last week and we had a great time. I would take out the girls one day and the next the guys. The girls definitely out performed the guys. I love to instigate trouble. :-) I am finding these fish in many different types of locations, main lake points, main lake flats, back in the major creeks and some in the larger secondary creeks. In the morning is the fish seem to be congregating close to deep channel swings. These are areas where the creek or main lake channel is curving in close to the shore, especially if it is close to a rocky point. The fish have an opportunity to go shallow to feed on crawdads during the night then move out to deep water to feed on shad during daylight hours. I am finding stripers in 60 - 100 feet of water with the fish suspended from 30 - 70 feet down. A pretty good bite in the afternoon has also started. In the afternoon look for a deep main lake flat or a big rounded point. The fish will be out in the 60 to 80 foot range. You will need to look for the bait and if you can find them the stripers will be nearby. The striped bass are still scattered throughout the lake, but the better areas for me have been around the bridges and heading south. It appears the bigger stripers (at least for me) are at the deepest level, nice fish but smaller ones are up higher in the water column. Live bait, either shad or shiners are working great, but vertical jigging with a spoon is working very well for me. Trolling large swimbaits or deep diving crank baits is also working as long as you can get your bait down below the 35 foot water depth.
Walleye fishing has also been very good.You will find the biggest concentration of fish at or near the thermocline from 20 - 30 feet water depth. As the thermocline drops so will the fish. I am also picking up a few that are out chasing shad while I am striper fishing. These fish have been anywhere from 40 to 60 feet deep. Trolling crawler harnesses with a small spinner has been working very well, as well as, trolling a deep diving crank baits. Both of these baits need to be close to or actually in contact with the bottom to entice the fish to bite. Another good method of walleye fishing is vertical jigging a spoon. I have been using a 3/4 ounce spoon bouncing it off of the bottom.
Largemouth bass fishing has also been good. There is still a little topwater action right before sunrise and then again as the sun is setting. They are located all over the lake from the main lake to the creeks. Most of the topwater action that I have seen has been back in creeks in the mornings and out on main lake flats at sunset. Swimbaits and crank baits are working early in the mornings. As the sun comes up the fish go down. Switch out to some of your favorite plastics either Texas rigged or Carolina rigged. Get your baits down to 18 - 30 feet. I have picked up a few big bass 50 feet down over the last week while striper fishing off of points. The bass are feeding on dark green crawdads, as well as, thread fin shad.
Crappie fishing is still good under docks at different times of the day. The crappie are scattered out in deep water as they normally do this time of year. If you find some 30 - 40 foot deep brush check it out as there will be a few crappie hanging around.
Norfork Lake water level is still falling several inches per day and currently sits at 557.19. The surface water temperature is in the mid to upper 80's. Most of the lake is very clear with some of the creeks and coves slightly stained. Norfork Lake is in great condition of all types of water sports.
Give us a call at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort 870-492-5113 for your summer time vacation. We still have availability for most weeks in July and August. If you are looking for a fishing vacation I will be able to help put you on fish. I am out on the lake at least 5 days a week trying to keep up with their ever changing locations. If a lake loving vacation if what you are looking for, Norfork Lake is in great shape for your swimming and boating fun.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.