Monday, August 24, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake fishing has been good for the last couple of weeks. The stripers and hybrids are doing what they should be doing this time of year. Big schools of stripers and hybrids can be found right before daybreak in 30 - 50 feet of water. They will be on the bottom or suspended 25 - 40 feet down. Main lake points and secondary points back in the creeks are good places to look especially where the old river channel swings in close to the shoreline. My guests and I have found stripers in the Robinson area and down towards the dam. Thread fin and gizzard shad for live bait and spoons and swim baits for artificial baits are great choices to use at the moment. Most of the stripers being caught in the shallow water early in the morning are in the 5 - 10 pound range with the bigger hybrids just starting to show up. The bigger stripers are being caught out in deeper water 70 - 80 feet down on the bottom. When the sun gets high in the sky is the best time to find the deep stripers.  Look at main lake points for these deep fish. Live bait and spoons are your best choices for deep fish. I expect to see these fish go a little deeper very soon.

Walleye, smallmouth, largemouth, spots, catfish and white bass will be found in the same general areas as the stripers. 25 - 35 feet of water is the best place to start. The fish will also be suspended at this same depth following the bait fish into deeper water.

Norfork Lake is dropping about 1 - 2 inches per day with power generation lasting about half a day. The water in the creeks and coves is some what stained as the draw-down is pulling silt off of the shore line. The main lake is mainly clear. The surface water temperature is also falling a little and is currently in the 82 - 85 degree range.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Summer fishing on Norfork Lake is in full swing. Our thermocline is well defined and is between 25 - 30 feet deep. Why is this important? The water temperature is hot down to the top of the thermocline then it starts to get cold below it. All fish like the cooler temps and will hang out just under the thermocline, stripers are well below the thermocline. Of course there will still be plenty of fish up close to the shore line, but most of these will be on the small size.

Striper fishing continues to be very good. But as in all types of fishing you will have your good days and bad days. Typical for this time of year stripers start to migrate south, but you can still find stripers and many hybrids in the mid lake area. My success over the last week has come from creek areas. I have been fishing part way back into creeks at a hard channel swing with water depths of 60 - 90 feet. Schools of fish are roaming and feeding on shad. If there is no bait back in the creek move on and check out another. There are large schools of whites and hybrids suspended from 25 - 40 feet down. The larger stripers that we have caught are typically deeper at 50 - 60 feet down, and some even deeper laying on the bottom. I have been using live thread fin shad over the last several weeks. This morning we caught many fish and lost many others by break-offs and slow hook sets. Lately I have found that if you are not on the pole when it starts to go down and get the hook set immediately the fish will spit out the bait. You have to be ready as most bites are light. Vertical jigging with a spoon is also producing many fish. The hard part about spooning is getting to the depth where the fish are. I have spent a lot of time with my spooning rods counting down so I know how many seconds it takes to get to a certain depth. You can also drop it to the bottom, then crank up to the proper depth, typically one revolution is about 2 feet. Casting out rooster tails, grubs and swim baits will also catch you fish. Again you will need to know how long you need to let the bait sink to get it to the proper depth then use a slow retrieval back to the boat.

There is still a good top water bite at day break for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. You will also pick up some nice white bass and hybrids. The top water action dies down around 7AM or when the sun gets above the tree line. It does seem that if you're in an area with good top water action the stripers will be below these fish feeding on the scattered shad. When the top water stops the stripers move out and the bass move deeper.

Norfork Lake is rising very slowly and currently sits at 571.98. The Corps is generating 1 generator for 10 hours or 2 generators for 5 hours, which helps, but is not enough to negate the rise. The surface water temperature this morning was 88 degrees. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are somewhat stained, but clearing. Overall the lake is in great shape for all types of water sports.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake Fishing continues to be good for striped bass, hybrid bass, large and smallmouth bass and crappie since my last reporting period.

I am finding stripers and hybrids in 2 different types of area. The first area is part way back in major creeks with a deep channel swing. I am finding fish in 50 - 80 feet of water suspended from about 40 feet to the bottom. Live bait is working very well, but artificial baits are also working. Vertical jigging and throwing a swim bait with a heavy (up to 1/2 ounce) jig head are my artificial baits of choice. All three of these methods of fishing will work throughout the summer. The second type of area where I am finding stripers is along deep bluff lines where the old river channel swings in close to the bluff line. The above methods of fishing will also work in this type of area. I have found fish suspended along the bluff lines from 40 - 80 down  in 80 to 120 feet of water. If you find fish 60 - 80 feet down jigging a spoon will work the best.

Crappie fishing has been abnormally good this summer. The fish are on deep 35 - 45 feet deep brush and are typically suspended 20 - 30 feet down. Slip floats with minnows are working the best. Night fishing for crappie has also been producing some really nice slabs. Use the same style of fishing as during the daylight hours. A light in the water helps with after dark crappie fishing.

Large and smallmouth bass fishing has also been good. There has been some nice top water action early in the morning and a spook is working great. As the sun comes up start working the bottom from about 15 - 40 feet deep. Jig a spoon or cast out a Texas rigged worm and work it back to the boat slowly.

Norfork Lake water temperature is rising and currently in the mid to upper 80's. The lake level is also rising slowly and currently sits at 570.4. A short period of power generation is occurring each day, but not enough to start lowering the lake. The higher water has not affected activities on the lake. Plenty of boating, skiing, tubing and fishing going on. The higher levels just makes for more lake to play on. Our guests are having a blast on the lake with the warm sunny days. The current forecast is not predicting any rain for the next couple of weeks. Yay!

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake fishing continues to be good in the early summer. The lake is clear and warm and great for all water sports. Whether you are a sun worshipper, boater, skier, tuber, wakeboarder, diver or fishermen. Norfork lake is the place to be. Early morning and later in the afternoon are great times to fish the lake, not many boats out and you can fish most anywhere you want.

Striped bass fishing has been good. The fish are starting to go deeper as the lake develops its summertime thermocline. I have noticed the thermocline 22 - 30 feet deep depending on where you are located on the lake. I have had my grandkids out fishing most days over the last week and they are having a blast. Thread fin shad has been my go to bait with the kids. They are doing great and all of them have learned how to fight this strong fish. Their biggest so far has been 14 pounds. I have been finding the fish back in major creeks in 50 - 80 feet of water and the stripers are suspended 20 - 50 feet down. Vertical jigging with a spoon as well as casting a swim bait are both working well. Place a 1/2 ounce jig head on the swim bait and let it sink then reel back to the boat slow and hang on. I am also starting to find larger schools of stripers out on main lake points along the deep water bluff lines. Live bait and jigging with a spoon are two great methods to catch these fish once you find the school. Still finding a few hybrids coming up at daybreak chasing shad so have a top water bait handy to have some fun.

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing has also been good. I have been finding some good topwater action at daybreak, but it typically only lasts up to an hour at the most. Top water baits, swim baits, swimming minnows are all working well early in the morning. As the sun comes up, start working the bottom with a plastic bait, jig & pigs, Texas rigged worms, craws or just about any type of bait worked along the bottom. The best depths to fish are 10 - 30 feet down. You will also notice some suspended fish in deeper water following shad, drop a spoon to their depth and start jigging. Spinner baits and jig & pigs are working after dark up along the banks.

You can still catch a few nice sized crappie, but they are deep. Find brush in 30 - 40 feet and the crappie will be on the tops and also buried inside of the brush. Live minnows seem to be working the best, but small crappie jigs and small crank baits are also working.

Norfork Lake level is currently holding steady at 564.60. We have been having about 6 hours worth of power generation per day. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are slightly stained. The surface water temperature is in the mid 80's.

Happy Fishing and see you on the lake. We still have a few cabins available for many weeks yet this summer. Our fishing derby is still going strong. Hope to see you at Hummingbird Hideaway!

All photos taken over the last week.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Hummingbird HIdeaway Resort

Striped bass fishing on Norfork Lake continues to be very strong. The fish are moving to different feeding grounds and are starting to go a little deeper. You can still find the stripers all over the lake. Stripers that I have cleaned are full of crawdads, which tells me you can find them laying on the bottom or close to it. Today was a very good day for striper fishing. I had a couple of our guests out with me, one a 7 year old. What fun I had helping and watching him reel in fish. We landed 5 stripers, the biggest one was 14 pounds. Mason did a fantastic job. There was a second boat that I sent to a totally different area. They ended up landing 9 stripers and kept 3. Today we were all using live thread fin shad. Another guest, Tom, has been trolling umbrella rigs. Today he thought he had a monster on but when he finally got it to the boat he had twin 8 pound stripers. That must have been a great battle. There is still some topwater action for striped and hybrid bass, but this is slowly coming to an end until the fall. I have been finding stripers part way back into creeks as well as on the main lake flats and points. Trollers are doing well in deeper water getting their baits down 25 - 35 ft. I have been working 40 - 60 feet of water and find the stripers suspended as well as on the bottom.

The bigger largemouth and smallmouth bass are in 10 - 25 ft of water. Work the bottom with a jig and pig, crawdads, grub or just about any type of plastic bait. There is still some good topwater action for bass early and late in the day. Get your topwater bait into or very close to the sunken buck brush then work it back to the boat. There are alot of bass in the sunken brush on the shoreline, but most are on the short side.
The Norfork Lake water level has risen to 562.28. The surface water temperature has also risen to around 82 degrees. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are somewhat stained, but clearing. The Corps of Engineers is releasing water through the generators about 6 hours per day and the lake level is fairly stable. The lake is in great shape for fishing and all summertime water sports.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake fishing at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort has been outstanding the last couple of weeks. All species are biting and biting well. With the weather changes and the slow rise of the lake the fish are constantly on the move. In my last report fishing was good back in the major creeks, but here recently the fish are moving out to the main lake area. Of course this may change if we receive more rain and the lake starts to rise more quickly. Oh, by the way the lake is at a great level for fishing and boating sports and our dock is easily accessible with easy parking and launching facilities. You will find stripers on top as well as down 20 - 40 feet. Top water baits and swim baits are working the best for me. If you can get live shad you will catch a lot of fish. Stripers are all over the lake. Trolling a swim bait is still working, but recently I have switched to a 1 ounce jig head instead of the quarter ounce. Soon the bait will need to get deeper. When you are searching for stripers look at main lake points with deep water nearby and as always find the bait and you will find the fish.

The largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass bite is at its best. Live bait and artificial baits are both working well. Top water action happens most mornings and evenings, but sometimes not for a long period of time. Once they go down try throwing a 3 - 4 inch swim bait, it worked for me this morning. My 5 - 6 inch bait was getting a lot of hits, but no one would take it until I down sized. You can also work the bottom with plastics from 10 - 25 feet down. The bigger smallies are in 15 - 25 feet depths. Look for the bass in the same areas as the stripers, but they will also be back on secondary points in the creeks and off of deep bluff lines.

The white bass bite has been sporadic. One day many are caught and the next day they are gone or not feeding. Yesterday a couple of my guests were slamming the whites on a spook, but today I found them on the bottom in 50 feet of water, but could only get 1 taker. Main lake points is where they are currently being found, but they should start to move back in the creeks soon.

Panfishing is improving. Bluegills can be found up on the banks, but the bigger ones are still about 20 feet deep off of bluff lines. Find a small cut in the bluff and get up close and fish straight down. Use crickets, worms or niblets. Crappies have moved out to the brush in 15 - 30 feet of water, main lake and creeks. They will be at all depths depending on time of day and sunny conditions. Live crappies minnows are working the best. Crappie at my dock have been going nuts over the last week. Many 13 - 16 inch fish have been pulled up.

Catfishing is also good in the coves and creeks. Night crawlers and small bluegills are a great bait. Jugs, trotlines and rod and reel are all working.

The current Norfork Lake level is at 560.52 and rising slowly with intermittent power generation. The lake has risen 3.22 feet since my last report which isn't bad considering all the rain that we have had. The surface lake temperature is about 72 degrees in the main lake and slight warmer in the creeks. The creeks and coves are stained and the main lake is clear.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake spring fishing is at its best. Hummingbird Hideaway Resort guests are having a blast. Stripers, hybrids, whites, largemouth, smallmouth, spotted bass, catfish, as well as some walleye, crappie and bluegills. This is really a fun time to fish the lake with either artificial baits or live minnows. The fish are feeding heavily and are found on both shallow and deep water, main lake and creek points. The bite is good lake wide so make your fishing plans now.

The striped bass and hybrid bass bite is excellent at this time. You can find these fish both on main lake points and deep water bluff lines as well as back in the creeks and small coves. Our resort had 5 different boats of fishermen out this morning. We were all in different areas of the lake, but still only 5 - 15 minutes away from our resort. Everyone caught fish. Look for coves that come off of a long deep water bluff line, as well as, points back in major creeks. I was actually out on a main lake wide point with bluff lines on both sides, fish were on the shallow flat of the point as well as off each side in deep water. Most fish that I marked were 10 - 20 feet down, but were coming up for top water and shallow running swim baits. I ended up landing a 18.5 pounder, a 10 pounder and couple 6 pound hybrids. Either cast or troll swim baits with a 1/4 to 1 ounce 5 - 6 inch swim bait. I like Heddon Zara Spooks for my top water bait. I have also added a trailer to the back treble hook and it seems to help attract the fish. The best bite is from daylight to around 8AM and also in the afternoon from around 6PM to dark.

The best top water action is for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. These fish seem to start feeding around 6:15AM.  Look for these fish in the same type of areas as the stripers.  Zara spooks, swim baits, flukes, and jerk baits are all working. During mid day time the fish will be slightly deeper so throw a lizard, jig & pig or a tube jig and work it along the bottom back to the boat in 10 - 20 feet of water. Spinner baits are working great after dark.

White bass are starting to show up in big numbers. I have found big schools on big flats in 20 - 30 feet of water. Top water early then down deep later. Blade baits, swim baits and spoons are working.

Catfishing is starting to get really good. This species has moved back into the creeks. Jugs and trot lines are working great, baited with a small bluegill or a shad if you have it. Look for them up shallow to 20 feet down.

Crappie and bluegill are finally moving onto shallow brush. Start looking for these species inside of the brush on the banks to right inside of the brush. Brush piles in 15-30 foot depths seem to be working the best. Use small jigs and minnows for crappie and crickets for bluegills.

Many walleye are being caught in similar areas as the stripers and largemouth. Small crank baits and swim baits seem to be catching fish. We're seeing a lot of short fish, but you get a keeeper on occasion.

The Norfork Lake Level is rising slowly with all the rain and currently sits at 557.3. Periodic power generation is keeping the level fairly stable. The surface water temperature is around 68 - 70 degrees. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are slightly stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.