I have only been able to get out once or twice a week. I will get back to my every day fishing habit shortly. I will try my best to start doing more frequent fishing reports, as well.
Most species of fish are at or around the thermocline, 25 to 35 feet deep. I spent yesterday morning fishing at this water depth. I was casting swimbaits, letting them sink to the bottom, jigging spoons off the bottom and at the same time dragging several live shad on the bottom. I moved around slowly in 25 to 35 feet of water and caught many different species of fish. I was mainly fishing the shallow sloping banks. I was looking for walleye, but catfish and bass were hanging around and liking the live shad. I did land many walleye, but I could only find the nursery fish. The walleye that I caught were only 12 – 15 inches long. The catfish were nice size and really fought hard. I actually broke off two, but not before seeing them several times before they dove for the bottom again. All the cats that I have caught have been well over 8 pounds. My live bait caught the most fish, but jigging the spoon caught all the walleye.
Striped bass fishing has been a little difficult. This time of year, once the water temperature gets into the upper 80’s, many of the striped bass head toward the dam th, I headed out before light to search. I looked at several typical areas, but found very few fish. In the 4th area I started to mark fish 60 feet down and deeper. It was about 6AM and was getting light. I set our 4 live shad rods 2 at 60 feet and the other 2 at 70 feet and was moving around in 60 to 90 feet of water. It was not long until a fish hammered one of the baits and then once I landed this fish a second rod took off. I thought that the bite was on! I continued to mark lots of scattered fish, but it took another hour before I caught my limit. The stripers that I have caught over the last couple of weeks have mainly been feeding on crawdad. Stripers need to go deep to get to the cooler water which takes them away from the shad, as most of the shad are staying around the thermocline.
area. I fished for striped bass on Monday, July 29
Norfork Lake surface water temperature has been in the mid 80’s in the mornings and rising slightly in the heat of the day. The water level is dropping about 2 inches per day with both generators being run 50% of the time. The current lake depth is at 569.48 MSL. The main lake is clear and some the creeks and coves are slight stained.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.