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.



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake striped bass fishing is continuing to be a strong bite. Fish are still scattered throughout the lake and are mainly concentrated in 25 - 40 feet of water either on the bottom or suspended in deep water. For the last couple of weeks, I have been fishing with my daughter and her family and we had a blast. All were catching fish including the little ones. After keeping several limits of stripers the first couple of days, we started releasing all fish that we caught. My 4 year old granddaughter had fun catching blue gills at the dock and she is getting really good with her Tinkerbell pole. Live thread fin shad has been working great for my group, but vertical jigging with a spoon and trolling with swim baits is also producing some nice fish.

Largemouth bass fishing has slowed a little but is still good. There is some topwater action early in the mornings, but the bigger ones are going deeper. I have found bass part way back in creeks at channel swings near points. They are in shallow water early then move out to 20 - 30 feet of water as the sun gets high in the sky. There are plenty of bass hanging out in the shadows of the docks during the day.

Crappie fishing is also in its hot water mode, hard to find, but once you locate them you will catch some nice fish in the 10 - 14 inch range. A couple of our guests have been crappie fishing and did well both yesterday and today. Start looking for brush piles back in creeks and coves. The brush should be in 20 - 35 feet of water and the fish will be suspended on the tops of the brush, but some of the nicer ones will be deeper. There are still plenty of nice crappie in the shadows of the docks during the day.
There are some nice walleye being caught. Look for walleye in 25 - 35 feet of water. They will be around main lake points that have brush nearby or at this same depth along the rocky bluff walls. Jigging spoons as well as a crawler harness are working.

Norfork Lake level is falling slowly and currently sits at 555.93. The Corps is running one generator continuously. The lake surface water temperature is in the mid to upper 80's. The main lake is clearing and the creeks and coves are slightly stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake's striped bass fishing is continuing to be very good. They have migrated to their beginning of summer pattern. The striped bass are deeper and are being caught 30 - 50 feet down in all different water depths. I have caught them on the bottom in 40 feet of water and also suspended in 100 ftee of water. This morning I fished with my daughter and oldest granddaughter. We ended up landing 8 striped and hybrid bass in two different types of areas. One area was part way back in a creek and the second was on a main lake point. The two biggest fish were 23 pounds and 16 pounds striped bass, with hybrids up to 9 pounds and other stripers up to 10 pounds. All but 3 fish were released, as three would not swim away. Live bait is working the best for me, but I have been fishing with my grand kids and artificial bait makes fishing a little more difficult. All sizes of live bait is working from 3 inch thread fin shad on up to 9 inch gizzards. Vertical jigging with a spoon is also starting to work. Find the stripers on your electronics and drop a spoon to the fish and start jigging up and down. If you get into a large school of fish and they don't hit it while jigging, drop it though them then reel up though the school and be ready for a fish to attack the bait. But in my experience they typically hit it on the fall. Trollers are also doing good dragging umbrella rigs or swim baits. The main thing is to make sure your bait is 25 - 45 feet deep or just above the fish you are marking on your graph. Topwater for striped bass has stopped, but hybrid bass are still coming up early in the morning close to points part way back into creeks. I am finding hybrids in the same locations as the stripers but they are feeding much higher in the water column, from the  surface down to 20 feet deep. Topwater baits and swim baits are working well for artificial baits. Live bait is also very good by pitching them free line, meaning with no weight. Best places to fish for stripers and hybrids are from the mouths of Big Creek and Brushy Creek to the dam as well as from the Bidwell area to the dam. Yes, they are scattered thoughout the entire lake.

Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has also been good. You will find topwater action early in the morning until sunrise in the same locations as the stripers then again in the late afternoon right before sunset. In the morning, once the sun gets above the tree line they will go down so start working the bottom from 10 feet out to 30 feet deep with your plastics or jigs. You can also work bush piles in the 20 - 30 feet water depth and catch some quality fish.

I have been having too much fun striper fishing to go out crappie fishing, but anglers have been told me you can find some nice fish on brush in 20 - 30 feet of water back in the creeks. If you are staying at an area with a large boat dock that has some brush under it you can catch some really nice crappie pretty much all day long, when they decide to feed. Our dock is producing some good fish in the 13 - 16 inch range.

The lake level continues to rise slowly and currently sits at 556.98. Minimal power generation is occurring during the day and evening. The lake surface water temperature is in low to mid 80's, but varies depending on the location in the lake. The main lake is clear on the surface and the creeks and coves are stained, but appear to be trying to clear. I have been told a thermocline is forming, but I have not seen evidence of this at this time, but if not at this time we will have one very shortly with the warm temperatures.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.