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


Norfork Lake fishing has been good for most species over the last week. The weather has been fairly stable with cool mornings and warmer afternoons, but the lake level changes has affected the fish most, in my opinion. The Corps of Engineers has opened up a flood gate to evacuate some excess water from Norfork Lake. Our lake is dropping roughly 6 inches a day. What I have noticed is that a lot of the bait fish are moving out of the backs of the creeks and into the main lake or other coves that are close to the deep river channel. This has mainly affected the striped bass in the lake, but will also affect where the largemouth will start to feed.

The last several days I have been fishing back in a major creek in 15 to 40 feet of water. Each day I have noticed fewer bait fish in the area. When I moved out towards the mouth of the creek, I found more bait, but they have moved into coves and sometimes all the way to the back of the cove. When I find a large concentration of bait, I have found many largemouth and a few spotted bass
feeding heavily. Yesterday in 2 different coves, in roughly 15 to 20 feet of water there were many largemouth feeding close to the surface, as well as right on the bank. Small swimbaits and crank baits are both working, as are jigs worked along the bottom, from 5 feet of water out to 20 feet. I have also gotten into some good topwater action for largemouth. This action has only occurred when there is a lot of bait in the area. Topwater action can occur anytime of day so keep your eyes open.

Hybrid and striped bass are continually moving around in search of their food source. The common saying, when you find the bait the stripers will be nearby held true most of the time in recent days. The striped bass are feeding in very shallow water in the early morning and also in the latter part of the afternoon. Start looking at the shallow side of the lake for this species. They are on points with brush and cover. This is normal for spring time fishing, but it is happening a little earlier than usual. The other type of areas where stripers are showing up is in the backs of coves, but only if the bait has moved in. I have been trolling   Try both and see what the fish want.
Berkley Flicker Minnows, size #7 and #9. The 7 dives about 15 feet and the 9 dives about 20 feet. I am hugging the shoreline staying in 18 to 30 feet of water. I have found that the stripers are also relating to brush piles, so don’t hesitate to troll over the brush, but be prepared to lose a few lures. The other method of fishing for stripers is to cast out suspending jerk baits or 6-inch swim baits. Yesterday afternoon a few of our guests found stripers right on the bank, on a long shallow point. They were casting a swimbait up in 5 feet of water and retrieving slowing and getting hammered, almost as soon as the bait hit the water. With these shallow feeding fish, I would have to say that the stripers are continuing to feed after sunset so If you have interest in some
exciting fishing, start slow rolling a suspending jerk bait on shallow points after dark. Cast your bait as close to the shoreline as possible, then retrieve to the boat very, very slowly. I like to keep the bait on the surface or close to it. Some other fishermen like to jerk it once to get the bait down a couple of feet, then start the retrieval.

Like Hummingbird Hideaway Resort’s Facebook page for frequent fishing report updates. Our fishing derby for Hummingbird Hideaway Resort guests has also started, so if you like a little friendly fishing competition and a chance to win some cash or free stays for your big catch, give us a call at 870-492-5113. Our derby runs throughout the year.

Norfork Lake is dropping about 6 inches per day with both generators and a flood gate partially open. The current level is 556.04 feet MSL. The surface water temperature yesterday morning was 49 to 52 degrees. The lake is clearing, but still stained. If you head up river and up in the Bennett's area the water is still brown from the heavy northern rain a week ago.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.


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