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.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Fishing on Norfork Lake continues to be very strong. I (Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort) have been mainly fishing in the mornings, but did manage to get out one night since my last report. Over the last week the striped bass bite has been very good in the morning and the bite is still happening after dark. This morning was one of my most active days, I landed 9 striped bass and 4 whites. The bite started as soon as I got to my fishing location at 5:45 AM. I was trolling a 5 inch swim bait with a 1/4 ounce jig head. This swim bait was recommended to me by one of my fishing friends. Thanks Ron, it does work really well. Most of my fish were found on shallow flats in about 20 feet of water. My bait is not going very deep and the fish are coming up for it. Top water action started about a week ago and I got really excited, but several cool fronts rolled though the area and has all but shut down the top water action. I do expect it to take off again once we start getting some consistently warmer days. With this being said, always be ready with a top water bait because the top water eruptions could happen at any time. Look for stripers off of points part way back into creeks and if there is a flat area close by, check it out for feeding fish. Once the sun comes up the fish seem to move out into deeper water. I am finding scattered fish along deep bluff lines later in the morning.

The largemouth and spotted bass bite is continuing to be strong. You will find these species up tight on the banks early in the morning and then they will move off of the banks to 15 - 30 feet of water during the sunny days.  Top water baits are working, as are small crank baits and plastics.  I threw a tube jig and a jig and pig a few days ago and landed some  nice fish. I have been marking plenty of bass suspended close to the deep bluff lines.  Rattle traps are a great bait to get these suspended fish. Smallmouth bass are starting to show up in 15 - 20 feet of water. Grubs and jigs are a great way to fish for this species.
The big white bass are starting to show up in the mid creek areas. Similar locations as the striped bass. They are also hitting similar baits. Once you find the whites you might want to try to cast out a blade type bait such as a Kastmaster and let it sink down to their depth then retrieve slowly. If you find these fish on the bottom you can vertical jig this bait, it is very effective.

I don't have any current news on walleye or crappie as I have been having way too much fun striper and bass fishing. Hopefully by next report I will have some good info.

The Norfork Lake surface water temperature was 63 degrees this morning. This temperature will vary up to 5 degrees depending on your location on the lake and the time of day. The lake level is currently at 558.71. Power generation is occurring part of the day helping to maintain this level. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are slightly stain, but clearing quickly. Norfork Lake is is great shape for fishing and boating so come on down and enjoy yourself on Norfork Lake.

Give me a call at 870-492-5113 for reservations at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort and for my latest fishing tips and advice.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake spring fishing is going strong and should continue and even get better over the next month or so. Knock on wood, but every day my guests are bringing fish into the dock. Striped bass, hybrid bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, crappie and blue gill. Lots of big fish and lots of smiles!

The calm weather yesterday morning brought the best top water action that I have seen this season. The stripers, hybrids and black bass were erupting all around us and I could see them feeding on every point in the area. The fish did seem to relate to points, but there was some action out in the middle of lake. I have been sending my guests to two different parts of the lake and the top water action was happening in both areas. Spooks were working great, but flukes, rattle traps and kastmasters were also catching fish. Today was a little different as a frontal system moved into the area last evening cooling us down a little, but the bigger change is the wind. Today the wind is blowing really strong and all but stopped the top water action, or if it is happening you can not really see it. I ended up trolling today with the heavy wind and landed a nice 10 pound fish and a couple of largemouth bass. I used a 6 inch swim bait with a paddle tail and a 1/4 ounce jig head. I marked most of the bait on the wind blown banks and that is where I caught the fish. I did land a 28 pound monster 3 days ago trolling my swim bait. No photo since I accidentally dropped the fish back in the lake as I was getting out of the boat. I was planning on releasing the fish, but I guess it had other ideas and wanted back in the water before the photo! "Lou's believe it or not! Once this weather system calms down I expect the top water action to continue and get really fun.
Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has been really good. Spooks are working great early in the morning and in the late afternoon. During the day time throw plastics up to the bank and bring them back to the boat slowly on the bottom. Largemouth are up on the banks then move off during the day. Smallmouth are in 15 - 20 ft of water on the bottom and spots are all over. A good percentage of the largemouth have spawned, but you can still find a few on their beds. Lots of bass are being caught. Most of them are being released, except for the bigger ones. My guests want their big fish measured for Hummingbird Hideaway Resort's fishing derby as that long fish may be worth $300 dollars. The longest striper, bass and crappie will all win big bucks and you also get entered into a drawing for a free week stay. Our derby lasts until December 15, 2015.
Walleye fishing is starting to pick up . I had a guest catch several on a small crank bait as well as with suspending jerk baits. Use the suspending jerk baits slow rolled after dark on long shallow points and flats. Slowly trolling suspending jerk baits is also working in the late afternoons, again on long shallow points and close to the buck brush.
Crappie fishing has been up and down. You can still find crappie up on the banks and on shallow sunken brush. Small jigs and crappie minnows using a slip float are working.
White bass are back in the creeks spawning, but are starting to move back out. Top water action for whites will start very soon.
The Norfork Lake level is rising slowly and currently is at 558.39. This is about 4.5 feet above the current pool. The lake was starting to get very clear, but with the rain yesterday the creeks and coves have stained up a little. The lake surface water temperature ranges form the low 60's to the high 60's depending on what part of the lake you are on. The lake is in great shape and the water level is perfect for the fish and fishermen.
Happy fishing and see you on the water.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake spring fishing action is under way. The striped bass are still biting after dark and the bite during the day is heating up.  The biggest problem that we have during the spring is the weather. When we get a string of nice warm days and nights all species get real active. Then a cool front rolls though and slows the bite for a short period. I guess you can say that is fishing. You can still catch fish during a frontal system, but you will need to search until you find active fish.

I fished last evening. After it got dark the bite started. I landed 2 striped bass and lost another to shoreline buck brush. Once the moon rose the bite stopped for me. I checked several different areas with no further luck, but I'm sure somewhere on the lake the fish were active. I called it a night at around 10:30PM. I hope to try again this evening. The day bite is starting to heat up. Trollers are catching fish on swim type baits and live bait fishermen are catching on live thread fin and gizzard shad. The best areas to look for stripers at this time is back into the major and secondary creeks in all parts of the lake. Go part way back and start fishing. As the water continues to warm the fish will start to migrate farther back. Look for bait and once you find it the stripers will not be far behind. I have had guests over the last several days, land striped bass on 1/4 ounce Kastmasters and Zara Spooks.  I have been using suspending stick baits after dark, but they are also a great bait to use in the mornings and evenings.There really has not been a top water bite yet, but if the fish are in the area they will come up for a spook. This year I have seen more stripers caught in the upper 20 and low 30 pound range. There are definitely big fish in Norfork Lake.

Bass fishing has also been good. The best bite has been for spotted bass, then  largemouth. Smallmouth bass are starting to show up. Very soon smallmouth fishing will be fantastic. I have been bass fishing about an hour or so before I head to my night bite spots. I have been having a lot a fun catching bass on a spook. There really is no top water action at this time, but they are coming up for the bait. I have also found that I get more attacks when I walk-the-dog several times then stop the action. The fish seem to attack the bait when it is motionless. Again Kastmasters, spooks, flukes and swim baits are producing some nice fish in the morning and afternoon. Mid day go with baits worked along the bottom starting at the shore line though about 20 feet of water. Best areas are part way back in creeks and coves.

White bass are showing up in similar locations as the black bass and stripers. The same baits talked about for stripers and bass will also catch you big numbers of whites. The whites will also be in very shallow water on flat type areas.

Crappie fishing started out with a bang about a week ago, but has slowed somewhat. With the warm days ahead of us start looking back to shallow water. The morning before this latest cool front came in I had a friend throwing a cast net for bait and he was catching some really nice crappie in 1 - 2 feet of water. It is time for them to be spawning so look for them to be in shallow this week. Best areas are back in creeks and coves or really anywhere you can find dead wood in shallow water.

Walleye are starting to show up in greater numbers. Walleye are being caught on suspending jerk baits after dark fishing for stripers as well blade type baits during the day. I even had a guest catch one on a spoon in 25 feet of water, suspended down 20 feet. Look for the walleye bite to continue to improve.

Norfork Lake level is rising slowly with our recent rains and currently sits at 559.18. The surface water temperature is in the mid to upper 50's. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are stained.

April should be a fantastic month to fish Norfork Lake. Conditions are prime for a great bite. If you want a great fishing and lake experience give us a call at 870-492-5113 for cabin reservations. I will try my best to put you on fish. It is so much fun fishing Norfork Lake.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.