Monday, February 16, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Hummingbird Hideaway Resort will be represented at the St. Louis Boat and Sportshow. Stop by and make your spring fishing trip or summer vacation reservations. We will be happy to plan a memorable trip for you. If you are not aware of Hummingbird Hideway Resort's 2015 Norfork Lake Fishing Derby give us a call at 870-492-5113 or go to our website at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort for details.
Winter fishing on Norfork Lake for striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass had been fantastic this year, up until a few weeks ago. Around the first of February the baitfish started to move out of their winter pattern and so did the predators. I fished several days last week and found fish on large flats in 30 – 50 ft of water on the bottom and nothing in the deep water channels. I found big schools of roaming hybrids and whites. If I was lucky enough to get over a school of fish I had fun. There were a few striped bass mixed in with the hybrids. This movement of the fish is typical for this time of year, but may have occurred a little earlier than normal. Unless this current cold front changes things, what you can expect to happen over the next 4 weeks or so is that stripers will start to migrate back into the creeks. As the water warms they will continue to move farther back in the creeks. Typically at the end of February and beginning of March, I will find stripers in the Cranfield and Fouts areas at my end of the lake. They will also be up in the Red Bank and Calamity areas this time of year. They will be feeding on bait along the bluff lines. The night bite for the stripers will start around mid March as the water temp warms to 50 degrees or so. You need to start getting your stick baits ready for the slow roll night bite, it is a blast.

Black bass have also changed their patterns a little. You will still find some nice fish on the bottom in 50 feet of water, but I have caught a few big ones suspended at 20 feet over 30 – 40 feet of water along bluff lines. Throwing an Alabama rig for these suspended fish is working well. For the bottom feeders, pig & jigs or worms are a good choice. As the water starts to warm these fish will start to move up into shallower water.

Walleye are staging for their spawn. They can be found along the side of channels off of rocky points in 30 – 50 feet of water. They will move back into creeks and coves as the water warms a little more. The Calamity area and into Missouri waters is one of the favorite spawning ground for walleye in February. Dragging crawler harnesses or live shad are great baits. Sinking stick baits are a good choice for artificial bait. The night bite will also bring out the walleye fishermen. After their spawn, they will be on shallow points at dusk and after dark.

Crappie are both scattered and on deep brush piles. The scattered fish will be following bait so if you can find a good concentrations of bait, especially around docks, the crappie won’t be far behind. I have been asked numerous times when will the crappie spawn? The rule of thumb for the crappie spawn, is when the Dogwoods just start to bloom the crappie will be up on the banks spawning. In our area this typically happens toward the end of March to the beginning April all depending on Mother Nature.

The Norfork Lake level has fallen to 548.92, but currently is stable as power generation is just keeping up with the rise. The lake should continue to drop as the Corps prepares the lake for the spring rains. The water temperature was at 45 degrees, but I would suspect it to lower a few degrees due to the snow and cold rains we received last evening. The main lake was clear and the creeks are clearing.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Winter fishing on Norfork Lake near Hummingbird Hideaway Resort is in full swing. Fishing is good for most species. My favorite, striper fishing, has been good.  To find the stripers find the bait. Bait and stripers are both suspended 40 – 70 feet down in 80 – 120 feet of water. The stripers will be on top of the bait, buried in the middle of it and sometimes on the bottom of the bait stream. Electronics are very helpful this time of year in finding the bait and marking the fish. My favorite winter spot for striped bass is anywhere from the 62 bridge columns down to the Howard Cove area. The fish and bait are moving to different spots throughout this area. Four days ago, I was marking bait and catching stripers in front of Howard Cove and for the last several days they were located between the two bridges. On January 15th I landed a monster 25 pound striper in front of Howard Cove. Yesterday a friend landed another 25 pound fish by the 62 Bridge. I don’t know why, but the bait moves and the fish follow. Vertical jigging with a spoon is working very well as is live bait.

The big 3 pound white bass bite is also very good. You will find them in the same location as the stripers. The whites will typically be buried in the bait down 60 feet. Vertical jigging with a spoon or live bait is working. When jigging with a spoon only light twitches are needed and you need to be ready to set the hook, the bite is very light. The same slow presentation for striped bass is working.

The bite for largemouth and spotted bass is good. Look for these fish at points on the deep water bluff lines. I have found the bigger fish in 40 – 50 feet of water and the smaller ones up in 20 feet of water. I like to vertical jig with a spoon, but jig & pigs as well as grubs are working well. ¼ ounce or a little larger jig heads should be used. Cast your bait out and let it fall to the bottom then work it back slowly. Watch your line as the bait falls since the fish may pick it up at any time.

Crappie fishing has also been OK. I have not been crappie fishing myself, but crappie are being caught on the deeper brush piles in 40 + feet of water. Crappie are suspended on the tops of the brush. Small spoons, grubs or live minnows are all good baits this time of year. Same as the other species work the bait slowly.

The Norfork Lake level is currently at 550.65. The surface water temperature is in the mid 40’s. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are still stained.


Happy fishing and see you on the lake.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

  • Happy New Year To All! May 2015 bring many heavy limits!
Winter fishing on Norfork Lake continues to be good. As you can tell by my photos I enjoy striper fishing. The bite for striped bass has been strong. I fished today and ended up landing 2 limits of stripers and hybrids. The fish are in or close to deep water channels and they are suspended anywhere form 30 - 60 feet down. I did not see any huge schools of fish, but instead found small clusters of 2 - 10 fish swimming together. They are feeding on small 2 - 4 inch thread fin shad, so large baits are not needed at this time. Later in the day they seemed to move out of the channels to nearby deep flats. At around 2:30PM I started finding fish on the bottom in 60 feet of water. Yes, these fish are roaming so the main thing you need to look for is bait. Find bait and you will typically find the fish. It is a large area, but start looking from the 62 bridge down toward the 101 boat dock and over toward Walker Hollow. I have been using live shiners as well as vertical jigging with a spoon. When jigging with a spoon,
you do not need to move the bait very fast, small light twitches have been working for me.
Largemouth bass fishing is also good. I have been finding these fish in 2 different areas. 1) along deep water bluff lines in 45 - 52 feet of water. The fish are on the bottom and if you can find a point along the bluff line it will be the best spot. 2) suspended in deep water down 30 - 50 feet feeding on shad. I have been catching nice  largemouth out in 70- 80 feet of water in the same areas where I am fishing for stripers. I caught 4 keeper largemouth today. Slow down your presentation, with the cold water the fish are moving slower.

White bass are roaming and chasing shad. Three days ago I found large schools of big whites and smaller hybrids in 45 - 50 feet of water on the bottom in a large flat area. I have also been catching some really big whites while striper fishing. They are usually buried within streams of bait 60 feet down.

I haven't been crappie fishing lately, but I have been given good reports that they are on deep brush piles. You will find the fish 20 - 40 feet down over sunken brush. Look for the fish up higher on the brush at sunrise and sunset, down deeper during the middle of the day.

Norfork Lake surface water temperature today was 47 degrees. The water level is still rising slowly with minimal power generation and currently sits at 550.76. The backs of creeks are still a little brown from the resent rain, but the main lake is clear. Lake condition is overall excellent.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake's winter fishing pattern is slowly arriving. What I consider a winter pattern is when the bait starts moving into the deep water channels. Electronics are very helpful this time of year, as you start looking for bait in deep water and are watching for the fish (striped and hybrid bass) inside of the bait. One of my friends was fishing yesterday afternoon and found lots of bait and big schools of stripers. He ended up landing 8 stripers, the big one was 14 pounds. The view on his depth finder is attached on the right and he crossed over many schools of fish. Not to contradict myself, but during winter months the fish will also go very shallow to feed, typically early in the morning and after dark. In the winter you  have plenty of options, but the easiest fish to find are the deep water fish.You will also find fish on the deeper flats in 40 - 60 feet of water early mornings and late in the afternoon, but typically in mid day you should concentrate on the deep channels. Areas to start looking for stripers are from the US62 bridge area down towards the 101Boat Dock area; back in the major creeks such as Float, Fall, Panther and Bennetts; and deep flats to check out are the Robinson flats, Cranfield, Mallard, AR101 Bridge and Big Sandy. I have mainly been vertical jigging with a spoon, but live shiners and shad are a great bait to use especially when you can not find schools of fish, but are just finding loners.
The largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass bite is picking up. I am finding big fish off of bluff lines in 40 - 50 feet of water. This is very typical for this time of year. The fish will be on the bottom and on occasion you will find schooling bass. It is also the time of year you will need to start slowing down your presentation. As the water continues to cool the fish will slow down.

I am starting to find crappie back on the sunken brush piles. A couple of days ago I fished a brush pile outside of our cove and caught 5 crappie in about 30 minutes. They were not the huge slabs, but all keeper size. I am sure the big slabs are also in the brush, so if you are a crappie fisherman it is becoming time for the winter bite. I was fishing brush in 35 - 40 feet of water and the fish were towards the top of the brush.

The Norfork Lake level is falling slowly and currently sits at 549.9. The lake surface water temperature is hanging around 53 degrees. The main lake is relatively clear and the creeks and coves are still stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake's fall fishing is on fire. If you like to catch lots of fish, November has historically been a great time to fish the lake and this November is no exception. Yes, November is almost over so think about making that Norfork Lake trip and get in on the November 2015 fun! Striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass have been biting all day long. The size of the fish varies, but I have caught 5 stripers in the 10 - 14 pound range and and 4 hybrids in the 6 - 8 pound range over the last week. The white bass are huge and most being caught are in the 2 - 3 pound range. You will catch a lot of medium to small size stripers and hybrids along with the bigger fish, but this is what it is all about. Catching fish! I have found fish in 2 different types of area, 1- half way back in major creeks typically at a channel swing, and 2- on large flats. In both areas I have found the fish at 30 - 48 feet water depths. Most of my fish are being caught off of the bottom, but I have caught a few of the bigger stripers and hybrids suspended down 30 feet when I was in 45 - 50 feet of water. This morning I was fishing with John & Cameron and we boated many fish, nothing huge, but lots of them. The weather wasn't great for the fishermen since the wind was blowing 20+ mph sustained. It is really hard to stay on fish once you find them but if you stay on the fish they are biting. I, as well as my guests, have been vertical jigging with a 1/2 to 1 ounce spoon. Color hasn't really made a difference and the size doesn't seem to matter. I typically match the weight to the depth I am trying to get down to. Zero to 20 feet I use a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce, 20 - 40 I use a 3/4 ounce and 40 + I use a 1 ounce. Areas to check out are in the Cranfield area, 101 bridge area, 101 boat dock area, Float, Panther and Fall Creeks. I am sure there are many other areas holding fish, but these are the ones relatively close to my resort (Hummingbird Hideaway Resort).

For other species I really don't have any new information as I have been having a blast targeting the stripers, hybrids and whites. I will get after the crappie, walleye and bass in a few weeks.

The Norfork Lake level rose slightly with the rain we got yesterday to 549. 31. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are stained. The surface water temperature was in the mid 50's this morning.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

The Norfork Lake Fishing Report is written by Lou Gabric, owner operator of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort on Norfork Lake. Open year round, Hummingbird Hideaway Resort has a cabin to fit your needs, whether it be for your vacation or a place for family and friends visiting you in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Call for more info. 870-492-5113

Fall fishing season is here on Norfork Lake with the winter fishing season just around the corner With fall comes cooler air temperatures which in turns lowers the lake water temperature. With the cool off, the fish start feeding heavily for the winter months and move to shallower water. And yes, it has been frigid for the last week, but I still braved the cold the last 3 days and fishing was good. This is a great time to stock up your freezers with some Norfork Lake fish for the winter.

The best bite on the lake is for striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass. If you get out at day break start looking on large flats in 25 feet of water and as the morning progresses keep going deeper. I have been catching a lot of fish from 25 - 45 ft of water. As the water continues cooling the bait will move to deeper water and the fish will follow.The bite this morning was good, but not as good as the last two days. I caught over dozen fish by 8AM, then decided to check out different areas to find the big stripers. Over the last week I have caught good fish on several flat areas. I have fished the 101 bridge and marina areas, Fouts area, Mallard, Cranfield, Steward Point and others. You can also find good fish going up river to the Calamity area and above into MO or head the other direction into the Bennetts area. Friday afternoon I headed into Float Creek and got into some huge schools of stripers in the 10 + pound range in 45 ft of water. My bait of choice has been a white 3/4 ounce spoon vertical jigging off the bottom. If you decide to cast for these species you might want to try a large Kastmaster or a Rooster Tail, but you will need to let if fall to the bottom and retrieve it slowly working it off the bottom. Swim baits will also work, but again work the bait off the bottom. When the evenings get warm enough for me to be out, I will start casting a suspending jerk bait for stripers after dark. I do believe the night bite has started.

Black bass have started their move to the banks to feed early and late in the day. Jerk baits are starting to work as well as crank baits. Jig and pigs are always a good choice especially once the fish go a little deeper during the mid day hours. The bass are feeding on crawdads so choose your colors appropriately.

Crappie are moving back to the brush. I have caught several nice fish on the tops of brush piles that are in 20 - 30 ft of water. Early in the morning they will be deep in the brush and as the water warms they will move up. Minnows are the best bait, but I like small spoons or a paddle tail grub tipped with a minnow. Remember as the lake continues to clear you may need to back off the brush and cast into it so you don't spook the fish.

Walleye have eluded me, but I really have not targeted them. You should be able to find them on the same brush piles as the crappie, but work your bait off the bottom. They will also be off both sides of main lake points.

Norfork Lake level is falling slowly and currently sits at 549.72. The surface water temperature has also fallen to 58 degrees with all the cool weather we have been having. The main lake is clear and the coves and creeks are still stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

The Norfork Lake Fishing Report is written by Lou Gabric, owner operator of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort on Norfork Lake. Open year round, Hummingbird Hideaway Resort has a cabin to fit your needs, whether it be for your vacation or a place for family and friends visiting you in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Call for more info. 870-492-5113

Fall fishing is in full swing on Norfork Lake. The stripers, hybrids and whites have moved into their fall patterns and will stay in the same general areas though November and into December. Of course this being said, if mother nature throws some really cold weather at us dropping the lake temperature into the mid to low 50's all bets are off. You are probably asking yourself "what the heck is he talking about"? From prior years fishing experience, I am seeing that the fish are moving into the same types of areas that they typically move to in the fall. This has been the same fall pattern year after year. Start looking for stripers, hybrids and whites from the 62 bridge up though the Bennetts Bayou area, and also from the 101 bridge though the Cranfield area up to and a little past the the MO/AR border. In the early mornings and afternoons fish can be found on large flats in all water depths, 20-50 feet of water typically feeding on the bottom. Large schools will be roaming these flats so electronics are very helpful. Once the sun comes up they typically move closer to the old river and creek channels so start looking in 50 - 70 feet of water, but still on the bottom. Over the last 4 days, I along with my fishing guests, have found stripers, hybrids and whites in these types of areas. The morning bite has lasted 2 - 3 hours and the evening bite seems to kick off around 3PM. Today after we lost the fish in the flats I started to look in the the deep channels and found roaming schools on the bottom at 50 ft close to bluffs. I am also very hopeful that we will get some consistent topwater action. This morning a handful of big fish came up on the flats, but it was sporadic. It could happen at any time. Slow rolling a suspending stick bait after dark will also be effective soon. A few more degree drop in water temperature and I believe the night bite will get active.

Crappie are moving back to brush piles in 20 - 40 ft of water. I caught a nice 14 inch slab with 3 other 11 inch crappies two evenings ago. I was jigging 15 - 20 ft down on the tops of the sunken trees. You will also find many of the big bluegills in these same brush piles. Black bass and walleye will also be hanging in the same areas, but you typically will need to get closer to the bottom of the trees for these species.

Most of the walleye that I have caught are still out in open water. I have spooned up several keeper size walleye along with a bunch of short ones in 40 - 50 ft of water. I catch these while striper fishing.

I have noticed big largemouth bass (3 pounders) roaming the shore line at dusk feeding on minnows and bluegills. I always check both sides of my dock walkway when walking onto my dock and I see several each evening. I have not targeted black bass lately, but these shallow fish tell me it is almost jerk bait time.

The Norfork Lake water level is falling very slowly and currently sits at 550.34 which is a little more than 3 feet under the seasonal normal pool. The water surface temperature this morning was 66 degrees. The creeks and coves are still stained and the main lake is somewhat stained, but clearing.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.