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

Who wants to striped bass fish! The striped bass bite has been pretty good the last couple of weeks. If you like to fish in the dark, when it is cool, quiet and calm, there are several good areas near our resort. I have had guests fishing all night long, and others fishing from sunset until around midnight. Still other guests enjoy the early morning bite and get on the lake around 4AM and fish until about 9AM. The best bait has been live shad or large shiners, but vertical jigging a spoon has also picked up some nice fish. This morning I had a difficult time finding bait, but I had a few left overs, so I headed to my first area and started fishing around 4:30AM. I dropped one bait down to about 30 feet, while sitting in 100 feet of water. I also started to vertical jig a one ounce white spoon at the same depth. It wasn't more than 10 minutes before the live bait rod went singing and I landed a nice 9+ pound striped bass. I continued to jig and got hammered on the spoon, but lost him half way up. Over the next 45 minutes I landed 2 stripers on my spoon and 2 more on live bait. Not bad for a short time. Once it started getting light out the bait and fish scattered. I headed out to a big main lake flat and found fish, but they would not hit my spoon. I moved locations to part way back into a major creek and found more scattered fish at depths from 10 feet down to 40 feet, and I was mainly in 50 - 80 feet of water. My only taker was hooked by casting my Kastmaster. I was doing a steady fast
retrieval, and was stopped dead in my tracks with a big fish taking off the other direction. To say the least I only got to fight this fish for about a minute before he broke off.

Walleye fishing has been very good whether you are dock fishing or fishing out on the lake. There has been many walleye caught off my dock over the last couple of weeks. Live crappie minnows has been working well, or smaller shiners. The best time has been after dark. The fish under my dock have come off the bottom in about 30 feet of water. The other location that has been producing some nice fish is on the normal pool shore line, which is just outside of the sunken buck brush. The water depth will vary, but ranges from 20 - 30 feet deep. Slow trolling a crawler harness with a bottom bouncing weight has been working great. You can also drop shot a shiner to the same depth.

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are showing up in the same areas as the walleye. This morning, as the sun was rising, I stopped to check out a few main lake points. While I was heading back into a creek. I had my Kastmaster tied on so I casted to the shoreline, letting the bait sink about 10 feet and started to retrieve the bait twitching it slightly. It wasn't long before I boated a smallie and a nice largemouth. They were probably in about 20- 25 feet of water.

It has been tough finding crappie. With our higher than normal water level the fish have plenty of cover all over the lake. The best areas to find confined crappie are under docks. Live bait or small jigs are working. You can also troll small crankbaits, such as a Flicker Minnow or Shad, in about 20 - 25 feet of water.

The Norfork Lake surface water temperature this morning was 78 - 79 degrees. The water level has finally stabilized with a very slight daily rise, and currently sits at 573.81. The lake is clear with some areas having a slight stain. The lake is high, but in great condition for all you summer time water sports.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

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