Norfork Lake fishing has been good over the last couple of weeks, but this years high water event has made it a challenge. Last week I concentrated my fishing from the Diamond Bay area down to Hudson Point. I found all the bass species in all my normal late spring/early summer haunts. Main lake points, such as, Tick Point., Point 2, Thumb Point, Point 1, and Hudson Point. are examples of areas that I have found holding fish. All species of fish are inside of or very near the sunken brush and trees. The fish will remain near the sunken brush as long as the shad stay inside the brush. This will more than likely change once the lake warms enough to create a thermocline. The early morning bite has been the best. I really haven't been out fishing in the afternoon for quite some time.
I am getting back out on the lake after the holiday weekend and this week I am concentrating my fishing areas to the mid lake area. Yesterday morning I fished the major creeks in the mid lake area and caught stripers and largemouth bass, but all were on the short side. Today I stayed out on the main lake and fished points that have a lot of sunken trees out in the lake. At around 6:30AM I found a point where the shad was flipping all over the place. I was fishing with live shad (large shiners will also work) and started flipping the shad between the trees. For the next 2 hours it was pretty much none stop action. All the bass species were feeding in 2 - 20 feet of water. I ended up landing 6 stripers, 3 hybrids, numerous whites, a couple nice largemouth bass and a 5 pound channel cat. The biggest challenge I have in fishing inside of the brush is that the brush tends to keep a lot of my fish after I get them hooked up. I went through 20+ hooks this morning, but it sure was fun. The stripers up in my area are starting to feed again and fatten up. I caught no skinny fish this morning all fat and healthy looking.
There is still good top water action down off the points in the dam area. I saw very few fish coming up yesterday or today in the mid lake area. Live bait appears to be the best method for catching all species of fish at this time, but some artificial baits are working. Swim baits of all sizes are working, spinner baits and shallow diving crank baits for largemouth, and spooks for top water action. Vertical jigging with a spoon is starting to work out in 40 feet of water once the shad moves away from the brush. The fish have been below the shad. I had a guest last week that likes to troll umbrellas rigs as well as swim baits. He had success in all parts of the lake keeping his baits around 20 - 25 feet deep.
The current Norfork Lake level is 577.08 and is dropping about 2 - 3 inches per day with both generators running full time. The main lake, creeks and coves north of the Robinson area are stained to a light brown color, but the brown is falling out steadily. The lake is stained down to the dam and is clear east of the dam. This morning the lake surface water temperature was in the low to mid 70's. Last week there was very little floating debris, but as of yesterday there was lots of floating timber west of the 101 bridge to Robinson area. I have had no problem out on the lake, but as always you need to be extremely vigilante when on the water and slow down when you notice floating debris. Remember to be safe and always wear your life vest.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.