Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort 870-492-5113

Norfork Lake is in great shape and fishing has been very good. The lake is in the final stage of  summer fishing pattern. Some species will start to migrate to the cooler waters up in the northern parts of the lake. Other species tend to move into cover, as well as, start to feed heavily on large flats. As the water continues to cool, fish will become more and more active and start to move into shallower water. The lake is shaping up for a great fall fishing season.

The crappie bite is improving daily. I am starting to find some nice size crappie in brush located 30 - 35 feet deep. Most of the crappie I have caught lately have been 25 - 30 feet down in or near brush. In the afternoon the fish are coming up in the water column so you might check out anywhere from 15 - 30 feet deep over or near brush. You will still find some nice slabs roaming the flats following bait fish. My fishing method of choice has been to vertical jig a spoon. I have been using a 1/4 ounce to a 1/2 ounce spoon. I have also downsized my fishing line to 4 and 6 pound test, low visibility monofilament line. My favorite color choices for spoons has been all white, white with a chartreuse back, or white with a red throat. Small grubs with a twister tail would also be a good bait choice in similar color schemes as mentioned above. Live bait, as usual will work great with a small slip float.

White bass fishing has been very good. Lately I have started my mornings fishing a large flat in the Cranfield area right before sunrise. Large schools of white bass are roaming the flats chasing shad. I have found this species in 18 feet of water out to 40 feet of water. The fish are suspended from the surface down to about 30 feet. I have mainly been vertical jigging a 1/2 ounce spoon. There has been some topwater action in the mornings right at day break, but the afternoon topwater bite, right before sunset, has been better. When you get into topwater action throw your favorite topwater bait or a blade type bait. I mainly been use a Kastmaster (blade bait) when I know the fish are close to the surface. I can cast this bait a long way and I can also let it sink if the fish go down.

Walleye fishing has also been good. Trolling a crawler harness with an inline spinner and bottom bouncing weight has been picking up some nice fish. One day they are in 25 feet of water then the next they move to 35 feet of water. Keep checking different depths until you start picking up some fish. I have caught walleye as deep as 65 feet on the bottom while striped bass fishing over the last week. You will also find some walleye in or near brush in the 30 - 35 feet range. Live threadfin shad was the bait that I had down. The walleye are located lake wide so you do have plenty of choices.

Striped bass fishing is still good in the dam area. Live bait is working the best, but vertical jigging a one ounce spoon is also picking up some nice fish. The striped bass are 60 - 70 feet down on the bottom, but you will find some schools of fish suspended in the deep channels, but still 60 - 70 feet down. Before long the striped bass will start their northward migration to the cooler water.

The surface water temperature of Norfork Lake has dropped a little from my last report. In the morning the temperature has been 81 with a slight rise during the daylight hours. The lake level is remaining fairly stable and currently sits at 552.14 feet. The main lake is clear on the surface and some creeks and coves are slightly stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.







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