Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake's fall fishing pattern is under way. The lake is finally starting to cool down, but additional cooling is needed to bring on the full blown fall pattern.

Striped bass are biting well up in the coolest water at the Arkansas / Missouri border. Live shad (big ones) are working the best set at 12 - 18 feet, but trollers are starting to pick up a few fish on big swim baits. The stripers up north seem to be cruising in the shallow water and not necessarily in the old river channel. A few nice stripers and big hybrids are starting to show up on the big flats from the Cranfield area up to the Red bank area. Vertical jigging with a spoon is working the best as the fish are hugging the bottom in 30 - 40 feet of water. The fish are showing up all day long starting at sunrise up to sunset. This doesn't mean they are biting all day long. Over the last week I have caught stripers and hybrids at sunrise, at noon and tonight I found them around 4PM. I guess you need to fish all day long to be there when they are biting. Just take a cooler along with some water and sandwiches. :-) I try to vary the time I'm fishing so I can know what's going on different times of the day. It's a fun time of year when you never know when the bite is going to happen. I have a fishing prediction that over the next week the lake will cool to the upper 60's, the lake will finalize its turnover and the striped bass will start to show up on the large flats starting in the Robinson area up to Missouri and also up towards the Fouts area. Inaddition topwater action will increase.

One of the main reason I like to vertical jig with a spoon  this time of year is that all species will be found in the same areas and at the same depth. I also like flat fishing, but it can be a little tedious so patience and good electronics do help a lot. Over the last week except for one day up river fishing with gizzard shad, I have been vertical jigging flats in 28 - 40 feet of water. This evening, as well as, yesterday morning I landed walleye, white bass, largemouth bass, crappie, hybrids and stripers. What more can a fisherperson ask for. Big schools of fish are just starting to show up and this will be more commonplace as the water continues to cool.

The best places for crappie are on brush piles that have been sunk in 25 - 40 feet of water. The crappie will be anywhere from 10 - 30 feet down. The hardest part of crappie fishing at this time is finding the best depth to catch the fish. Live minnows are working great, but vertical jigging a small spoon or jigging small plastics tipped with a minnow is also working very well. If it is blue gills you are wanting, work the same brush piles as for crappie, but use crickets for the bait.

Largemouth bass are all over the place. You can find them suspended 15 - 20 feet down off of the deep bluff lines. They are also laying on the bottom early and late in the day on the shallow banks.  You will also find some nice fish hanging around the crappie brush piles. Crank baits are picking up some nice suspended fish and plastics of all kinds are working for the bottom feeders. The bass hanging around brush are hitting spoons or drop shot rigs.

Norfork Lake is falling slowly due to one generator being run for a good portion of the day and currently the level sits at 552.84. The surface water temperature has been on a roller coaster ride. With the very hot days we have recently had the temperature has risen slightly and this evening was around 75 with the morning temperature around 73 degrees which is a couple of degree rise over the last couple of days. The creeks and coves and main lake flats are stained with the rest of the main lake is clear.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.



Monday, October 3, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake fishing has been a little tough the last couple of weeks, but there are bright spots. The lake is finally starting to cool off and is currently in the upper 70's, but still warm for this time of year. The pan fish have moved back to the brush and the largemouth bass are starting to move in tighter to the shoreline.

Fishing for crappie and bluegill is one of the better bites on the lake. The pan fish are on 30 feet deep brush piles. The crappie will be at all depths, but most will be 15 - 25 feet down. Vertical jigging a small spoon and jigging a grub are working very well. Live bait is also a very good choice. The bluegills are also 20 - 25 down over and around the brush. Crickets are one of the best baits to use to catch big numbers of bluegill.

Large & smallmouth and spotted bass are also a good bite. Main lake deep points have been one of the best areas for me over the last couple of days. You will find these species at all depths down to 30 feet. There has been a little topwater action at sunrise and again at sunset, but they are still coming up for a Zara spook even if you don't see them surfacing. Most of the bigger fish are suspended 10 - 20 feet down and a few of them are lying on the bottom. There has been a variety of baits working over the last week; deep diving crank baits, jig and pigs, and vertical jigging a spoon.

Walleye are biting fairly well. I have caught walleye in almost all types of areas. You will find them in 25 - 35 feet of water on the bottom. My favorite bait has been a 1 ounce spoon jigged off of the bottom. I have been catching walleye along the deep bluff lines especially close to a point, on big flats and also on points on the shallow side of the lake. As I said they are all over the place, but all at the same depth.

White bass are starting to school up. I have found small to medium sized schools of white bass in coves at sunrise and sunset. I have found these fish in 18 - 25 feet of water. Vertical jigging a spoon has been working for me. These schools are moving and chasing shad so you have to do a lot of looking, but when you find them you catch several.

The striped bass and hybrid bass bite is still off. These fish moved from the dam area in the later part of September and have been very difficult to find and when you do find them they are unwilling to bite. They have scattered out, but should start to school up very soon. As the water temperature continues to fall the striper bite will continually get better.

The Norfork Lake level is falling slowly and currently is at 553.31. The surface water temperature is 77 - 78 degrees and falling very slowly. The creeks and coves are stained and the main lake is clear.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake is in the final stages of the late summer fishing pattern. As the lake water cools and the oxygen returns to all depths the fish will scatter to all parts and depths of the lake. The surface water temperature is slowly falling each day and I would expect to see upper 70's very soon.

There has been little change with fishing since my last report. Striped bass fishing is still the
best in the dam area. The early morning and late afternoon bites are the best and the fish continue to be caught in 25 - 35 feet of water whether on the bottom or suspended in deeper water. I am starting to find a few stripers heading up river and also back in the mid lake creeks, but no big schools at this time. It will not be long. Live shad, either thread fin or gizzards are working the best, but vertical jigging spoons and casting blade baits worked on the bottom are also picking up some nice fish.

The biggest fishing change has been with largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. I have located some nice topwater action at sunrise, but it only lasts 30 - 60 minutes. It's plenty of time to have some fun with a spook. The best place for me has been back in a creek that has the old river channel swing in close to shore. The fish are hitting a little bit of everything when they are active. I have been using a fluke, rattle trap, Kastmaster and a Zara spook and all of these baits have landed some nice fish. Most of my big spotted bass have hit live bait set at 24 feet.

Large flats are another good area to fish. Look in the 25 - 35 feet depths and you will find scattered schools of white bass, largemouth bass, crappie, catfish and walleye. I have been vertical jigging a spoon on the flats and once I find the bait I find the fish right in the same spot.
Norfork Lake water depth is falling very slowly and currently sits at 553.74. Periodic power generation is occurring daily. The lake surface water temperature is also falling slowly and was in the low 80's this morning. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are still stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake's summer fishing pattern is showing signs that it is starting to change. Typically around beginning to the middle of September the striped bass move from the south end of the lake and scatter thoughout the lake with a tendency to move up river to the cooler water. This year appears to be a little different to prior years. The lake has great oxygenated water down to and a little past the thermocline and then the oxygen level drops to a very low level. This is keeping all species of fish above 40 feet with most concentrating around the 30 - 35 feet level, regardless of the water depth. The lake surface water temperature has cooled off a bit and currently is in the low 80's down from the 90 degree water temperature of a week ago. I am sure the cooler water is a big relief to the striped bass as they prefer temperatures in the 60's and low 70's. Because of the change that is occurring, I am starting to find feeding striped bass up in the mid to northern parts of the lake which is a little earlier than normal.

Two weeks ago I was fishing the south part of the lake with my granddaughter using thread fin shad and we were limiting out most days with stripers and hybrids. After she went back home, I changed my tactics and have switched from live bait fishing to vertical jigging with a spoon and to casting lures for largemouth bass. I have mainly been fishing within 6 miles in all directions from Hummingbird Hideaway Resort. My best bite has been in the late afternoon. I am finding large schools of fish feeding in 25 - 35 feet of water mainly on large flats. If you find the bait there will be fish not far away. The south end of the lake continues to be very productive for striped bass early in the morning with live bait in the same 30 - 35 feet of water. Look for stripers off of points within 0 - 2 miles of the dam and you should find some nice fish.

The walleye, white bass, catfish and spotted bass bite has been improving and I am finding them in the same type of areas as the stripers and hybrids. One great thing about vertical jigging with a spoon is that they will catch all species. Yesterday I caught every species int the lake except crappie by vertical jigging. I also like to horizontal jig by casting out a Kastmaster type of blade bait, letting it sink to the bottom then jerk it back to the boat bouncing it along the bottom. I have used my spoons the same way, but have had more success with the blade type baits. I have caught most of my walleye using a 3/4 ounce spoon, but instead of vertical jigging I have been moving slowly with my trolling motor and dragging the spoon along the bottom and jerking it as I am moving. Most times they attack it as it hits the bottom after a jerk.

Crappie appear to be scattered out on the same flats as all the other fish. They have not moved into the brush as of yet, but will do very soon. I am picking up a few while jigging my spoon and the ones I catch have been the 15 + inch monsters.

I am also picking up some nice largemouth mixed in with all the other species in the same areas, but have had more luck on rocky points going into a creek or cove. Most of the fish I have caught have been suspended 10 - 20 feet down and a wiggle wart has worked great for me. I have also found some sporadic top water action and used a Zara Spook puppy since they wanted a smaller bait. For you night time bass fisher people, work the bottom with a jig and pig along the bluff lines or use a tube jig or dark spinner bait by docks after dark.

Lake Norfork level is rising very slowly and currently sits at 554.29. Minimal power generation is occurring to allow this rise. The lake surface water temperature has fallen to around 83 - 84 degrees, but I am sure it will rise once the air temperature warms up again. The main lake is clear with the creeks and coves stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake fishing continues to be good for most species. The summer fishing pattern is in full swing and will more than likely last throughout August and into the beginning of September. The better bite for striped bass is located from the Point 2 area to the dam. You can locate stripers on long points, as well as, on big rounded points.  Before sunrise they are feeding in 30 - 40 feet of water and as the sun gets over the tree line they move out to deeper water 50 - 70 feet deep and even into the old river channel. Live bait is working the best for me, but I did jig up a few the other day with a spoon. I have been finding small schools of fish and most days they are aggressive, but over the last week I have had a few days that we had over 30 short bites with very few takers. Well that is why they call it fishing. :-) There has also been many big stripers being caught over the last couple of weeks in the 20 to the mid 30 pound range. I thought I was going to be spooled with the 25 pounder I caught a few days ago.

If you are looking for other species of fish you're in luck. The white bass, largemouth and walleye are in 28 - 35 feet of water. The best time to fish for them is from sunrise until about 9 or 10AM and  then again about an hour or so before sunset until it gets too dark to see.  Minnows and nightcrawlers are working. I enjoy vertical and/or horizontal jigging with a spoon. I have been using a 3/4 ounce spoon that the main color is white. You need to bounce the jig off of the bottom and set the hook once you get hammered. Look for these fish on the large shallow flats or the shallow side of the shoreline. You can find the whites and the largemouth on your depth finder, but the walleye have been hard for me to see.

Catfish are in the same target depth as the white bass and they are biting really well at this time. Vertical jigging and crawlers are working well.

The lake is still in great shape for summer activities and will be through the month of September. Kids are heading back to school though which means more cabins are available, and the fishing season is upon us. Start making your plans to catch the fish of your dreams. Give us a call at 870-492-5113 with your questions and to make reservations.

The Norfork Lake surface water temperature this morning was 87- 89 degrees. The lake level is holding fairly stable with a few hours of power generation and currently sits at 553.11. The main lake is clear and most creeks and coves are stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake fishing continues in its hot summer fishing pattern. Most fish are deep and will continue to go deeper as the thermocline drops. To be quite honest, not much has changed since my report last week.  I am catching stripers before sunrise in 35 - 45 feet of water on long points and large flats. As the sun comes up they move off the side of the point into deeper water 70 + feet, but are still 30 - 45 feet down. Live bait, vertical jigging with a spoon and trolling swim baits are all working. Over the past week I have been fishing with my family and we have been having a lot of fun. Some big fish are biting. My 9 year old granddaughter landed a 20+ pound striper and my 12 year old granddaughter has caught several fish. Her biggest so far has been a 14 pound striper. It is a blast to watch these kids fight a striper on their own from start to finish. We're making some good memories.

The biggest change this week over last is for the largemouth and spotted bass. I, as well as a couple of my guests, have found some good top water fishing in the morning at sunrise and also at sunset. The other day I was fishing with my granddaughter and we were sitting in 70 feet of water off of a point where she was catching stripers. In the times between netting her fish, I was casting a Kastmaster into 25 feet of water. Almost every cast after the bait hit the water a bass hammered it. Some were keeper size, most were small, but still a lot of fun. The other location where my guests have gotten into top water fish is back in the major creeks in shallow water. Fish are chasing shad early, but even after you don't see them they are still coming up for a top water lure. Wiggle warts are also working very well most days.

Crappie fishing is in its normal hot water slow time, but there are some good crappie being caught.They are still under docks and you can also find them scattered along the deep water bluffs. Locate a ledge 20 - 30 feet down and they will be suspended along the ledge. Small swim baits as well as live minnows have caught some nice fish.

Norfork Lake water level is holding stable with minimal power generation and currently sits at 552.63. The surface water temperature is ranging from 87 - 92 degrees depending on the time of day. The main lake is clear and some creeks and coves are stained with others clearing. The lake is in great shape for all your summertime fun activities, not only fishing.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort


Norfork Lake fishing is in the beginning stage of the summer fishing pattern. Fish are starting to school, feeding in relatively shallow water before sunrise and then going out to deep water after the sun comes up.  As summer progresses the stripers will continue moving out  to deeper water and you will find them early 50 - 80 feet down on the bottom. As the sun comes up, they will stay at this depth, but will be suspended in the old deep river channels. The striper and hybrid bite has been good most days. I am finding these fish in 35 - 45 feet of water feeding on the bottom before sunrise off of main long shallow points. As the day progresses they tend to keep moving to deeper water, but stay at about the same depth. Live bait is working very well, but jigging with a spoon is starting to produce some nice stripers. Trollers are also having success as long as they can get their baits down to the proper depth. I am finding my stripers anywhere from the Robinson area to the dam. The striper fishing pattern is very typical to prior years with the exception of being several weeks early due to the lake warming up early this year.

Crappie fishing is also in the warm water stage. They are harder to find, but when you do you can catch some nice fish. Look part way back in creeks close to brush in 35 feet of water. The crappie will be 20 - 35 feet down. Jigs and live bait are both working.

Catfish are also biting very well some days. You will find them in the same locations as the stripers, as they are also following the shad. I have found some nice channel cats in about 34 feet of water while striper fishing. When you hook one they typically will not run like a striper, but instead are very difficult to get off the bottom as they keep digging straight down. Fun to catch.

Large mouth and spotted bass can be found along bluff lines in 20 - 35 feet of water. Look for ledges and good chunk rock points. Work jig and pigs or your favorite plastic bait along the bottom. The after dark bite in the evening is producing some very nice fish.

Norfork Lake level is hold fairly constant and currently sits at 552.73 feet above sea level. The surface water temperature is also holding constant and is in the mid 80's. The main lake is clear with the creeks and coves somewhat stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.