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

Norfork Lake has had some fishing ups and downs due to the ever-changing weather patterns. But overall, the bite continues to be good for most species. Yes, you do have to look for bait to find the species that follow the bait fish, but typically once you find the bait the fish will not be far away. The bait moves from very shallow water out to deep water then the cycle begins again.

Striped and hybrid bass are being found all over the lake. Today I found them in the back of a medium size cove where the strong south/west wind was blowing straight in. There were big schools of bait

at the mouth of the cove, but once I passed the points of the cove, I found that the bait was scattered out. The fish were in 15 to 25 feet of water feeding on shad. The fun part of this area was that the largemouth, spotted and white bass were all feeding heavily on the surface. I also located a few scattered out striped/hybrid bass in 60 feet of water just outside of the main river channel. The bait was scattered out so, of course the fish were scattered out as well. I am catching the shallower stripers either by casting out a small 3.5-inch paddle tail swimbait or a Kastmaster with a feather trailer. I have been catching all species on these two baits when I find them in relatively shallow water. The deeper stripers I have been vertical jigging a 3-inch plastic jig, but you can vertical jig a spoon.

As stated above the bass are getting very energetic. Topwater action is starting and will only get better as the water temperature continues to warm. This will happen when the cool fronts stop and we start getting some stable weather. Crankbaits, swimbaits, spinners, A-rigs, and topwater baits are all working at this time. After a rain

head back into creeks that have some flowing water, you will find some nice bass.

Crappie have started to school on tops of brush and are starting to roam back into their spawning areas. This is the time when I start trolling Berkley Flicker Minnows in size #7 and #9. Find a cove that has a lot of brush piles and start trolling thoughout the cove. You will pick up some really nice fish. There will still be some crappie in the brush, typically on the tops of the brush. Use a small plastic jig. Live bait drifted over the brush is also working great.This is a great time of year to catch most species in Norfork Lake.

The surface water temperature this morning was close to 53 degrees. The water level is rising slowly due the rain last weekend. The current level is 553.38. The water is stained due to the rain, but is a great fishing color.

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