The striped bass and hybrid bass bite has been steadily improving. They are being caught throughout the lake. The best locations at this time are partway, to most of the way, back into major creeks. But I am starting to see a few of this species finally starting to move out to main lake points which is typically the norm for this time of year. This morning I found a huge school of hybrids near a main lake point feeding on shad. I ended up landing four in the 7 to 8 pound range, on a 6 inch paddle tail swimbait in a sexy shad color. As soon as it started to get light out the bait and fish moved on. Hummingbird Hideaway Resort had almost a full house of guests with us last week and the majority of them were striped bass fishermen and
women. Over the week I think they fished the entire lake and had great success on most days. The best bait for them was live shad or shiners. Free lining the bait with no weight caught fish as did setting down lines at 20 and 30 feet deep. Most of the fish they found were back in major creeks in 30 - 45 feet of water. Some of the fish were close to shore on the deep side, but others were out in the middle. Vertical jigging with a spoon has also been producing some nice fish back in the same areas in 30 - 35 feet of water on the bottom.
Blue gills have started to spawn in the backs of creeks and coves in very shallow water. Small jigs are picking up some nice fish. The crappie bite has changed over the last couple of weeks. Most have spawned out and have moved out to their 30 feet deep brush. The water level rose and has somewhat scattered the fish. Some are being caught at the edges of the sunken brush in 18 to 25 feet of water. Trolling small crank baits are still working, but using small jigs once you find the fish is also picking up a few nice ones.
Walleye are showing up with the stripers, hybrids and whites chasing the bait fish. You will pick up some nice fish with live bait or by casting a swimbait, an A-rig or suspending jerk bait to the shoreline. The best time to catch this species is sunrise and sunset.
The Norfork Lake water level is currently 568.9 MSL. The main lake ranges from crystal clear, to slightly stained to very stained depending on location. Most of the coves and creeks I have been in are clear to slightly stained. The lake surface water temperature this morning ranged from 66 to 68 degrees depending on location.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.