Norfork Lake fishing has been really good over the last week for most species of fish. I have mainly been targeting striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass and have had a blast. The striped bass are on their fall feed before the cold winter months.
I have found large schools of fish in a feeding frenzy. The best bite for the last couple of days has started a little after sunrise and has lasted until late morning. This time of year, however, they tend to feed all day 😊
(No Joke) My third method has been to cast out a ½ ounce silver Kastmaster blade bait. I do modify this bait by adding a white feather/hair jig trailer to the hook. I actual buy treble hooks with the feather/hair tied on. Gamakatsu makes a nice one. I use size 4 on the ½ ounce blade bait. I have been counting down about 8 to 10 seconds after I cast out the Kastmaster, then I start to retrieve the bait with slight jerk and stop motion to get the bait acting like a wounded minnow. Trolling is another great method of fishing at this time. Swimbaits, A-rigs, crankbaits are all producing some nice fish. Keep the bait 15 to 25 feet down. The last bit of info is that nature is currently providing a natural fish finder. Migratory seagulls are here and if you see these birds flying in a certain area and dive bombing the water, go fish under the birds, there typically will be feeding fish under them. This happens annually in the fall and winter months and can be very helpful.
long especially on cloudy days with a little bit of wind. A
great example was last Saturday (12/8). I had a hard time finding feeding fish early, but at about noon the fish started to go crazy and the bite lasted all afternoon. The old belief that if you find bait there will be fish feeding at some point is really holding true at this time. Best locations for me have been the large flats in the mid-lake area, such as, Cranfield area, Mallard Point, 101 bridge, 101 Boat Dock area. There are others, but these are the ones I have been concentrating on. I am finding stripers in 35 to 50 feet of water with the fish at all depths. The bigger stripers and hybrids seem to be suspended up high in the water column, from 10 to 25 feet down. On the bottom I have found whites, but I have still found large schools on the bottom of the bigger fish. I have been fishing three different methods. I have used live minnows, such as threadfin/gizzard shad and bigger shiners. I set the live bait at 15 and 23 feet down, but I think it would also work to cast out the bait with a split shot and move around slowly. The second method has been vertical jigging with a spoon. Use a ½ to 1 ounce spoon. Drop your spoon to the bottom and jig it up and down off of the bottom. Be a little crazy with the spoon by using hard fast pulls and also very slowly moving the spoon. I have caught several nice stripers when my spooning rod was put in the rod holder
while I was answering the phone. The rod would just get buried. Keep an eye on your fish finder while you are jigging your bait on the bottom. When you start to mark fish up high reel your bait up and hold on. I have caught the bigger fish while reeling up and sometimes they hit it just before I take the bait out of the water. Have your drag set loose or your line will break off or you’ll get your rod pulled out of your hands.
Don’t forget to follow Hummingbird Hideaway Resort on Facebook and definitely press the like button for our page. I have frequent posts giving some great fishing information for that day.
Norfork Lake level is dropping very quickly at this time. The Corps of Engineers currently has the flood gates opened to bring the lake back to normal pool. The lake is currently dropping 6 or so inches per day and currently sits at 555.12 feet MSL. The surface water temperature has remained fairly stable over the last week and is in the 53 to 54 degree range. The lake is stained and will stay this way until the water level stabilizes.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.