For me the bass bite has been the best over the last week. You can find this species all over the lake and in several different types of areas. The area that has been best for me is in 30 to 40 feet of water on the edges of large flats. Typically, this is close to a ledge or at an area that gets deeper very quickly. Use your GPS to find contour lines that are very close together on the outer edge of the flat which will show the contour lines farther apart. The bait likes this type of area and the bass will be feeding heavily. I like to vertical jig with a spoon, from ½ to 1 ounce depending on the wind conditions. Drop shot rigs with a small worm should work great. A second method that is still working is to cast out a crankbait that dives 12 to 15 feet deep. The fish might be on bluffs or on the
shallow side of the lake. White with a chartreuse back has been the best colors for both crankbaits and spoons. The old standby, worm or jig fishing, is also catching some nice fish.
Over the last week white bass have started to show up in large schools more consistently. You may find this species feeding on the bottom, suspended, or just cruising through the area. I am finding whites in a variety of depths, but recently it seems that 30 to 40 feet is the magic number. The easiest time to catch them is when they are feeding on the bottom. I vertical jig with a spoon and the best thing is that when you are jigging your spoon you may catch any species in the lake especially if there is lots of bait around.
Crappie fishing has been pretty good. One thing that I have noticed is that the schools of crappie are roaming around and not necessarily holding tight to the brush. So, don’t hesitate looking out from the brush especially if the bite is tough. Jigging with a small
spoon or a small grub is working great. You can also use live bait. When I have marked crappie on my graph, they have been suspended down 12 feet to close to the bottom. You either need to see them on your graph or keep trying different depths until you find the one where the fish are feeding.
Striped bass and hybrid bass fishing is picking up, but still isn’t consistent. They can be found back in some of the major creeks, such as Bennett’s Bayou and also up river from the Calamity area up to the Udall area. They are starting to school and if you find them feeding you will catch fish. I am starting to find both stripers and hybrids on the flats where I have been fishing, but it is the beginning of this pattern. Very soon large schools will show up on the flats early in the morning and then again in the evenings, if prior experience holds true. I have caught this species on swim baits, as well as spoons. I have found them in the same depths as the other species, but don’t hesitate checking in deeper water as they will continue to
move around to follow the bait fish.
I have not been very diligent in writing a fishing report lately, but if you want some great fishing tips and to see what is currently biting, like Hummingbird Hideaway Resort on Facebook and you will get frequent fishing updates on Norfork Lake.
The lake level is falling slowly with periodic power generation and currently sits at 555.8 feet MSL. The lake surface water temperature has been fairly stable and was 64 degrees this morning. This temp should start to fall again with the cool front entering our area as I am writing this report. The lake is clear, but still somewhat stained in our area. The farther south you go the clearer the water gets.
Happy fish and see you on the lake.