Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

The bite on Norfork Lake continues! Good top water action in the morning and then again in the afternoon. Hybrids, stripers, whites and largemouth are chasing shad to the surface then going wild. Top water action is a lot of fun. Spooks, Kastmasters or just about any surface type bait will work. Just remember, if you are walking the dog with your spook, make sure the fish takes the bait under before you set the hook, don't stop your retrieval. Once the fish stops busting the surface start looking at your fish finder and you will find them 20 - 40 feet deep. Once they go deep, throw your Kastmaster out and let it sink 10 seconds or maybe a little more then start your retrieval with a crank, stop jerk stop, then start all over again. Make that bait swim erratic. Live bait is also working very well. Thread fin or small gizzard shad are the best, but large shiners are also working. Today I went hunting for new locations to fish. I checked out a lot of the areas that  I think the fish will be  at very shortly, but found very few stripers. I did manage to land a couple stripers on live shad in one of my regular locations. Once it was light I got distracted from my hunt with some top water action on a main lake point. For the next 40 minutes I threw my spook and landed many nice largemouth bass and big white bass, it was crazy. Around 8AM I decided to head back to the area where my guests are fishing. I found a little top water action still going on but it was winding down. I did start marking some big arcs on my graph down at 40 feet. I dropped a couple of thread fin shad down to 36 feet. While I was moving slowly I was casting my spook and the largemouth bass were still very active. Landed a couple 19 - 20 inch long fish then one of my down poles start to sing and I landed a nice 13 pound striped bass.

Walleye fishing has also been good both in the early morning, as well as right before dark and after dark. Live shad is working as well as artificial baits. You can work your Kastmaster back to the boat bouncing it along the bottom or cast out a spoon and jerk it back to the boat along the bottom.  You can still catch a few casting a suspending jerk bait up to the shoreline and working it slowly back to the boat. The jerk bait seems to be working in the morning before sunrise. Mid day vertical jigging a spoon around brush is picking up a few fish. The walleye seem to be hanging out at 15 - 25 feet depths on the bottom.

Norfork Lake level is falling slowing and currently sits at 553.35. The lake surface water temperature this morning was 72 degrees. The main lake is clearing nicely, but the coves are stained and the major creeks are getting clear. One generator has been running continuously.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird HIdeaway Resort

Fishing Norfork Lake has been a blast over the last week. Striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass fishing has been very good. Fish are up tight on the banks before sunrise and they stick around until the sun gets above the tree line. On a cloudy day they stick around longer like they did this morning. This morning (5/16) fishing was awesome. I got into some of the best top water action I have seen in a week. I was fishing in a main lake area on the shallow side of the lake, not bluff line side. There are a lot of small cuts in the shoreline with points that have brush out in the water. At around 6AM I noticed a few fish coming up out in the main channel. I started to head out but heard splashing behind me and turned around to find the whole shore line and all the cuts were boiling with fish. Every cast with my Zara spook I either had several hits and misses or had a fish. This lasted until about 8AM. I landed over 20 fish and I caught myself giggling a few time. It was fun! Top water action for stripers and hybrids should last until the water temperature warms the lake enough to form a thermocline. Mother nature will have the final say on this. When the stripers leave the shallow water in the morning start looking out in deeper water and you should find them suspended down to about 30 - 40 feet deep. Live thread fin shad has been working the best for me with just a small split shot. Artificial baits that have also produced fish have been a Kastmaster spoon with buck tail and smaller sized swim baits 3 - 4 inches long. There has also been some good white bass top water action in the late afternoon. They could be anywhere from deep to shallow water, but the most consistent spots are part way back in some of the major creeks.

Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has also been very good. They have been in the same areas as the stripers early in the morning, but unlike the stripers, they don't necessarily move out once the sun comes up.  Swim baits, spinner baits on windy days and tube jigs are working well. They are moving to the bottom once the sun gets high in the sky so work a jig and pig or your favorite plastic bait along the bottom up to 25 feet down.

Walleye fishing has been good. I have found some nice fish while striper fishing on shallow points down 15 - 25 feet. Anglers have also picked up a few on a Zara spook right on the shore line before sunrise.

No change on pan fishing, both bluegill and crappie are biting. Look for the gills inside of bluff line cuts 20 - 30 feet deep on the bottom. Worms and wax worms are working great. Crappie are in or around brush and under docks. Small live thread fin shad is the best bait, but crappie minnows with a small jig is working as well.

The Norfork Lake level is slowly falling and currently sits at 553.95. The lake surface water temperature is holding fairly stable and is ranging from 69 degrees to 71 degrees. The creeks and coves are stained and the main lake is clear on the surface. One generator has been running continuously.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

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Fishing on Norfork Lake has been great over the last week. Fishing has stayed fairly consistent, but the fish are starting to move around a little. They have stayed in the same general area, but one day they are on the west side of the lake then the next they may be on the east side. It will take a little time scanning areas with your fish finder, but when you start to see some bait, stop and fish. All fish species seem to be relating to points, whether a shallow long point or a deep bluff line point.

Striped bass fishing has been outstanding this past week. I believe every one of my guests caught hybrids/stripers during their vacation. The stripers moved from the deep bluff line side of the lake to the shallow sloping bank side of the lake during the week. I have been fishing in a main lake area that has plenty of points, coves and bluff lines.  There has been good top water action in early mornings and a Zara spook is working well. Other artificial baits that are catching fish are a silver Kastmaster with bucktail, rattle traps, rooster tails, and swimbaits. Live thread fin shad has also been an outstanding bait and it really has not mattered what size the live bait is, as I have caught stripers on 3 inch baits up to 6 inch baits. Look for stripers in very shallow water starting just before sunrise. Anglers are finding them in 5 - 40 feet of water and the fish are near the surface. As the sun comes up look for stripers in the same type areas, but go out to deeper water and look for the fish to be suspended 20 to 30 feet down.

Norfork Lake fishing, striper fishing, white bass fishing, Ozark moutains in Arkansas, hybrid bass fishing,Norfork Lake fishing, striper fishing, hybrid fishing, lake vacation, lake resort,White bass fishing is also becoming very good. There has been great top water for whites early in the morning and late in the afternoon. I have found the whites in the same locations as the stripers, but also on occasion in very deep water chasing shad on the surface. Same type baits for stripers are working for whites.

Walleye fishing is picking up and guess what, they are in the same areas as the stripers and whites in the early mornings. I was fishing with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law this morning and we found some good fish on a shallow point in about 15 feet of water. We should have had several other walleye but things happen. :-)

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pan fishing, norfork lake fishing, lake resorts, lake vactions, hummingbird HIdeaway ResortPan fishing has also been good. Look for bluegills along bluff line cuts in 20 - 30 feet of water. Wax worms and earth worms are working great. Crappie have moved onto the brush. Look for brush in 20 - 30 feet of water and the fish are hanging around the tops. Use small grubs tipped with minnows or just minnows.

Norfork Lake level is falling slowly with constant generation. Current level is 553.29. The surface water temperature was 68 - 70 degrees this morning. The creeks and coves are stained and the main lake is clearing.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.
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striped bass fishing, norfork lake fishing,           Norork Lake fishing, hummignbird HIdeaway Resort, striped bass fishing, white bass fishing,                                                                                                     

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Overall, Norfork Lake fishing is good to excellent. Top water action for stripers, hybrids, whites and largemouth bass is occurring at sunrise and sunset. Now, top water action is not always occurring in the same location every morning, but typically will be somewhere in the general area. If you find a large concentration of bait on the service there is a very good chance a school of fish will erupt on that bait at some time. Some days you will see a large area start to boil with fish going crazy, but other times you might just see some swirls on the service. Cast some sort of top water bait at the swirl or boiling water and hang on. Top water many also occur at any depth of water, close or far away from the shoreline.

Striped and hybrid bass fishing has been great the last week, including this morning. I landed 5 hybrids and 3 stripers on both a Zara Spook and live thread fin shad. There were fish coming up along a bluff line down from a main lake point. You can find the fish up tight on the banks early in the morning and as the sun comes up, they move out from the shore a little and have been 5 to 20 feet down, no matter what water depth. I have been trying to leave my dock at 5AM to get into some night time action with a stick bait or I pitch a thread fin shad to the shore line with no weight. Both baits have been working picking up stripers, hybrids and walleye in the dark. I have been long lining live bait with a 1/16 ounce or a 1/8 ounce split shot and slowly moving about with my trolling motor. This has been effective in both shallow and deep water. Good artificial baits to use are a blade type bait or a swim bait, just get either of them to the proper depth of the fish. Saturday morning Brian, a guest of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort, landed a monster 35 pound striped bass. He was fishing with a small 3-4 inch thread fin shad and had the battle of his life. This fish will be a wall fixture. I have been fishing mid to the upper portions of the lake, but I have many reports that striped bass fishing is also good in the southern portion of the lake.

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing is also very good. Many of the fish have completed their spawn and now are on the post spawn feed, Early and late in the day you can get this species with a top water bait or swim bait. They tend to go down deeper as the sun comes up. Switch to a jig & pig or some sort of plastic bait and work it along the bottom from 5 feet to 17 feet of water. Most of the bass I am marking, no matter what time of day, are in less than 20 feet of water.

Pan fishing is also picking up. A couple of our guests caught a boat load of big blue gills in the middle of the day off of bluff line cuts. If you can find a good ledge that is around 30 feet down they will be hanging out. Wax worms were their bait of choice. No need to sit indoors in the middle of day, blue gills are a great eating fish. Crappie are moving into brush in 20 - 30 feet of water. They typically will be on the tops of the brush or between the brush and the shoreline.

Catfish are starting to move into the shore line. Trotlines are picking up a few good fish. I caught a nice 6 pound channel this morning on live shad in 20 feet of water.

The Norfork Lake level is rising slowly with the past couple days of rain. The current level is 553.57. The surface water temperature has also risen to 67 degrees as of this morning. Parts of the main lake is clear, but many areas are stained due to the rains. The creeks and coves are also stained. Great fishing color to the water.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.



Monday, April 25, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake is in spring fishing mode. Top water action for striped/hybrid bass, largemouth bass and white bass has started in the early morning, as well as late in the day. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass have moved to the banks for their spawn. Some of the bass are starting to move off the beds, but many are still on their beds. Shad have also started their first spawn of the year. You can find shad early in the morning up on the banks and I have also felt the eggs on my dock. I found out this morning that the shad spawn is making the fish very active. I am going out on a limb to say that if you want to catch striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and white bass it is time to come to Norfork Lake NOW!! This is no marketing ploy. I will be able to tell you  where to fish and what the best bait for me has been. If you like live bait fishing you will have a blast!

The bass bite is still strong and will even get better after the spawn has completed. During the recent Bass Masters Elite tournament, over a 4 day period, 108 anglers brought to the scales 1,006 fish the first 2 days then 50 anglers brought in 229 fish and yesterday's final with 12 anglers brought in 59 fish at an average weight of 2.5 pounds per fish. That is a total of 1,294 fish ranging in weights up to a little over 6 pounds. Of course this doesn't include the hundreds of short fish and keeper sized fish that were culled out. That is a lot of fish! The anglers fished Norfork Lake the 1st and 4th day and Bull Shoals day 2 and 3. It was great meeting some of the professional fishermen as well as talking with some of the associated fishing businesses such as Berkley. Jigs and swim baits are both working very well. Darker colors in the crawdad browns and greens are a great color. Worms in the
peanut butter and jelly color are working as well.  Bass are being caught in both the stained water as well as the clear water.
Saturday  I headed out on the lake around 6PM looking for active fish. As I was almost to my 3rd spot to graph I saw a little flurry of activity from shad on the surface. I stopped and all of a sudden the white bass start busting the surface around me. From 6:30 until the sun dropped below the tree line I caught big white bass. With almost every cast there was a fish on the end. I had my silver Kastmaster with bucktail tied on and I started casting and getting hammered as soon as it hit the water. It was a blast and had me smiling ear to ear! I was sitting in 45 - 50 feet of water on a large deep flat area in front on a small cove/creek. At times the fish erupted in the main channel which was almost 90 feet deep in this area. Keep your eyes peeled at all times especially early in the morning and late in the day, but any species could erupt at any time of day.

Striped/hybrid bass fishing is also picking up. I myself have mainly been fishing after dark with a shallow diving suspending stick bait until this morning. This morning was one of the best days for striped bass I have had this year, so far. :-) I landed over 10 stripers in the 9 - 14 pound range and 3 big hybrids. I caught stripers on top water with a  Zara Spook as well as live thread fin shad. The stripers and hybrids were just crushing both the live bait and the spook. The shad was working the best. I only had 2 free swimmers out with a very small split shot and could not keep up with all the doubles I was getting. I broke off and bent many kahle hooks. The fish were hungry and aggressive this morning.
Back to the night bite info - With the full moon, a lighter and brighter color of stick bait has been working. The color that seems to be working the best for me has bright yellow on the sides and bright purple on the top. Before the full moon I was using a dark green color on top and orange on the bottom. I have been getting numerous bites over the last couple of days after dark, but have only been able to boat a couple per night. I can hear the big fish feeding on the surface but they are not necessarily on the banks with this big bright full moon. For morning striper fishing, start looking at points especially if you can find some buck brush still in the water. The shad will be spawning in the brush and the stripers will not be far behind. As the sun gets high in the sky look out in the deeper water and you will start marking cruising fish at 20 to 50 feet deep.

Crappie fishing is starting to pick up but has not really taken off at this time.  Look for crappie back in the creeks on shallow brush. They will be on the brush or suspended between the bank and the brush. Small jigs and crappie minnows will work the best.

Norfork Lake level is stable with sporadic power generation for level maintenance and currently sits at 552.90. The main lake is clear on the surface. The creeks were also clearing up but over the last couple of days more color in the water appeared. The lake surface water temperature has risen to the mid 60's and this rise was very quick. The fast rise in water temp. may be the cause of the water color change.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird HIdeaway Resort

Norfork Lake's fishing scene is getting exciting. The lake surface water temperature has reached 60 degrees and should increase a little this week with the forecasted warm nights and daytime temperatures. As the water temperature increases the fish will increasingly become more active. For me the best bite on the lake at this time is for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Many of the bigger fish have moved to the banks and are starting their spawn. If you are a bass fisherman it is definitely a great time to come and fish the lake. A couple of our guests over the weekend landed over 20 smallies on a centipede with approximately half of them being of keeper size.  I landed some nice fish this morning using a swim bait, and jerk bait as well as live bait. Another of our guests was fishing from our dock casting a spinner bait to the shore line and landed 5 largemouth bass, one a 4 pounder. Watch for top water action early and late in the day. They are also coming up for a Zara spook even if you don't see the fish break surface.

Striped bass fishing has had its ups and downs over the last several weeks. They are still scattered though out the lake. When you locate big schools of baitfish the stripers will be close by. The stripers, hybrids and white bass are all in similar type areas. Look back in creeks and coves and on shallow flats. In the early mornings I have found them in shallow water, but as the sun comes up they are moving out to deeper water along with the shad. Trolling a swim bait has been picking up a few nice fish as has fishing with live bait. The night bite is continuing, but like the day bite, one day you can find them then the next day they have moved on and you're looking again. I have been using Kastmaster type baits as well as small spinners to catch these species. With the warming of the water, I anticipate top water action for these species to start very shortly, so keep a watchful eye out. It could happen anywhere- could be in 100 feet of water or along the shoreline.

Crappie fishing is starting to heat up. The best locations for the biggest numbers of fish are back in the shallow waters of the major creeks. Find some brush close to shore and cast out a 1/16 jig and let it fall slowly. When your line tightens set the hook. I landed an almost 16 inch fish the other night while striper fishing. I was throwing a Smithwick Rogue and this fish just hammered my bait. All you could see was the head and the bill of my bait. Talk about being aggressive!

Lake Norfork's current level is falling slowly and sits at 552.88 ft above sea level. The Corps is running one generator sporadically to maintain the lake close to the normal pool of 553.8. The main lake is clearing, but still a bit stained. The creeks and coves are partially clearing with the backs still stained. The surface water temperature is approximately 60 degrees.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake is providing some exciting fishing for all the anglers with all species. During the month of  March we had warm fronts followed by cold fronts on a continual basis. Very typical of March, but I prefer warm fronts. The lake temperature is in the mid to upper 50's and should cross the 60 degree mark very soon. The fish will get even more active and top water action should become more consistent. We did have some good top water action days in March, however, which is not typical. I will take it!

Striped and hybrid bass action has been improving daily. Live bait is working really well. A couple of my guests took Jim Nichols of Nichols Guide Service out Saturday morning and the big fish was 15+ pounds. Look for stripers on shallow flats and points early and late in the day as well as after dark. The best depth at these times are in 5 to 20 feet of water. They will be chasing shad so have a good top water bait handy or do what I have been doing and use a Kastmaster or blade type bait. The Kastmaster can be used as a top water bait or as a bait to sink to get to those deeper fish. I cast it, as well as, vertical jig it when I find fish on the bottom. The after dark bite is still going strong. Look for an elongated shallow point with deep water nearby and if you mark bait the stripers will be in the area. Throw out a suspending stick bait and work it slowly back to the boat. You can also try other methods of retrieval such as jerking and stopping, on occasion this will work, but the slow retrieval is typically the best. Last night a few twitches then stop method was working the best. We landed a hybrid and striper and missed several others. The fish were really tight on the bank last night. We had to get the bait within a foot of the shoreline, so to say the least we caught a lot of buck brush last evening. :-) During the middle of the day look out in deep water near the channel, and again, if you can find the bait the stripers will be close. They are being found 20 - 35 feet down and trolling is a great method of catching these fish. Fish are being caught all over the lake from Big Creek to the Fouts area and back towards the Red Bank area and a lot of places in between.

Largemouth bass fishing is still very active. The fish are feeding along the deep bluff lines during the day and are on the flats feeding on shad early and late in the day. I landed a nice 4 pound fish last evening vertical jigging with a spoon in 23 feet of water on a big sandy flat. Too bad that John didn't catch this bass as it would have been in the running for a Hummingbird Hideaway Resort Derby winning fish. The white bass and largemouth were schooled up in small pods and feeding heavily on shad. Wiggle warts are still working as well as spinners, jerk baits and soft plastics. Watch for top water action early and late in the day.

Walleye, white bass and crappie fishing are also heating up. From the fish that I have cleaned the majority of them have not spawned yet. This is getting late for the Walleye and whites, but they are ready. I have found the whites and walleye in the same type of areas as the stripers. Crappie are showing up back in creeks in shallow water around brush. I also ran into a huge school of crappie in the back of a small creek in 35 feet of water. The school was 15 - 30 feet thick. I did not have my crappie rod with me so I used my casting rod with a Kastmaster and vertical jigged up 5 fish before I lost the school. They were not on brush, but roaming and feeding on shad.

Norfork Lake level is falling slowly and currently sits at 554.11. The water temperature is slowly rising and was 58 degrees last evening. The creeks, coves and main lake are all stained, with a great fishing color. You can tell that the main lake trying to clear up.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.