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

Norfork Lake fishing has been good to me the last week, but things will be changing with the polar blast we are currently getting. The cold frigid weather will push the bait out of the creeks.  They will head to more comfortable water temperatures in the main lake and yes, the fish will follow. The bite has been good for all species and will continue to get better and better as the fish start to feed heavily for the upcoming winter months. Start looking at the large flats in 30 – 50 feet of water for bait and fish of all species in the coming days, as the water continues to cool rapidly.

A couple different types of areas have been holding striped and hybrid bass.  The best areas for striped and hybrid bass at this time, have been back in the major creeks or up river. Bennett’s, Big Creek and up river from Calamity to the Udall areas have been great places to find striped and hybrid bass. The bait has been very thick in all these areas and the fish have been feeding. Fishing with live bait, such as shiners, thread fin and gizzard shad has been producing the largest number of fish, but artificial baits have also been catching fish. You will find stripers in these creek type areas in 20 – 40 feet of water and they will be at all
depths. The second type of area where I have been finding stripers and hybrids, as well as, white bass is on large flats. You will need to do some searching with your electronics until you find bait. The fish will be nearby. I have found large schools of fish and you can have a blast vertical jigging with a spoon, as long as you can stay on the feeding fish. Most of the fish I’ve found on the flats have been in 30 – 45 feet of water. The fish may be suspended, but the best bite is when you find
them feeding on the bottom. The flats fishing should get much better as the bait starts to move out of the shallow water of the creeks.

The crappie bite continues to be good. On Sunday (11/10) I decided to check out a brush pile that was near the flat where I had been fishing. It was a mainlake point that has brush in very shallow water and out to about 30 feet of water. I started to jig with a ¼ ounce green with florescent green back spoon. I moved across the point and when I got to 10 feet of water the bite just exploded. The fish were 5 to 10 feet down, in the very shallow water out to about 20 feet of water. I landed 14 fish in less than 20 minutes. This really is not the norm, but when you find fish this active it is a blast. Typically, the crappie have been on 25 – 35 feet deep brush and have been suspended 10 – 20 feet down over the top of the brush. Live bait, small grubs tipped with a crappie minnow or a small spoon have all been working.

The bass bite has also been good. Bass seem to be
everywhere, in shallow water, as well as deep water. During the late fall I look for feeding bass in 30 – 45 feet of water on large flats. Once you find the school of fish, drop a ¾ ounce spoon on them and you will catch one after another. I typically do not find feeding bass until midmorning, after the sun gets high in the sky. The best locations on the flats are under water ledges or underwater points on the flats. Drop shot rigs will also work very well on these deep fish. The bas
s are in shallow water as well. Plastic worms, crawdads, lizards, etc. are working well for the shallow fish. Cast your bait up to the shoreline and work it back slowly. Bass are hanging in the sunken buck brush along the shallow shoreline or along the deep bluff lines on the drops and ledges. Crank baits, buzz baits and spinner baits are also working well depending on the wind. As the water continues to cool the jerk bait bite will start to work. This should happen soon.

Walleye and catfish are also feeding on the flats in the 30 – 45 feet of water. Jigging a spoon will catch you some nice fish of all species.

Norfork Lake surface water temperature is falling. The surface water temperature is in the upper fifties and should drop a few more degrees over the next several days with the cold air temperature that we are currently having. The lake level is on a slow rise and currently sits at 558.03 feet MSL. The water on most of the lake is stained, but will begin to clear again as the water level stabilizes. A few more very cold days are forecast for our area, but warmer fall type weather is on its way back the latter part of this week.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

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