Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year from Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Happy New Years to all of our fishing blog friends. We hope 2012 brings many memorable fishing trips, good health and prosperity. Be safe. See you on Norfork Lake!

Lou and Linda Gabric
Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Friday, December 30, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake is always open. Today it is 61 degrees with the sun shining. Don't you just love this type of winter weather! The fish are feeding heavily and hitting very hard. No light bites today. Linda and I were in Houston, Texas over the Christmas holiday visiting family and friends. It was very enjoyable, but I still couldn't stop thinking about all the fish that I wasn't catching. I fished the last two mornings with success and had a ball.

Yesterday I caught one striper and missed two others and also landed several nice largemouth bass. I started fishing the beach area around Bidwell Point then headed to Float Creek. I caught bass at Bidwell and the striper bites were in Float. I was using medium to large size thread fin shad, but shiners have also been working. I found the bass in 25 - 35 feet of water suspended 10 - 20 feet down. The striper bites came 40 feet down in 70 feet of water off of a bluff line.

Today was much more exciting. I left my dock around 6AM and headed over to the Henderson bluffs. I graphed for a while, but decided to leave since the wind was blowing about 12 mph straight into the bank. I am sure it would have been a great place to start fishing, but I didn't want to fight the wind. It is also very hard for me to fish live bait alone in strong winds. I headed to the Diamond Bay area along a bluff line that I knew would be protected from the wind. I got there before daylight and marked plenty of bait on the surface, but no fish. I decided to fish for a while to see what would happen once the bait started to drop into deeper water. Once the sun came up the bait dropped to 30 - 40 feet and I started marking many fish slashing through the bait balls. I had 4 poles down with live shad and was casting a 3 inch green paddle tail grub with a 1/8 oz jig head. I started catching black bass immediately, both close to the bank and also in deeper water. I started the grub on the bottom close to shore and retrieved it slowly to the boat. Then the live bait started to get active. I had two poles down at 20feet and 2 poles down at 40feet.  I had poles going off one after the other. At one point I had 4 bass lying on the floor of the boat. Action was non-stop for about an hour. I landed 12 fish and missed many more. 7 of the 12 were keeper size. The photo above was and example of my catch. All bass were released. Once the bite slowed I headed to Float Creek. The wind was blowing hard straight into the creek, but I decided to fish anyway. I set out 4 poles with live bait, 2 at 30feet and 2 at 40feet. I fished the same bluff line as yesterday staying in 70 - 75 feet of water. I started marking big arcs down 60feet so I dropped a 1/2oz spoon right on the head of this one big arc and when I went to jig it upwards the fish was hooked. I knew immediately that is was a big fish as it was having its way with me. I think the fight lasted 20 minutes. Over half of this time the fish sat in 20 feet of water and would not budge. Half way though the fight one of my live bait poles took off. I didn't want to loose the fish I was fighting so I just left the pole in the rod holder. I kept an eye on the reel and finally could see the silver metal of the spool. The fish spooled me in less than one minute. I had at least 140 yds of line on that reel. I guess it was a good size fish and it must have known I needed new line.

I still haven't been crappie fishing myself, but friends and guests that have been crappie fishing have been doing well. Live bait is working the best, but small grubs tipped with a minnow is also working well. The fish are still on the brush in shallow water early and late in the day and go to deeper brush in mid day. You can also find them at all depths. From 6 - 10 feet down over the brush as well as closer to the shore line. They can also be found directly inside of the brush pile. Find brush in 20 - 40 feet of water and start fishing at different depths until you find them.

The Norfork Lake level is holding fairly steady at 552.26. The Corps is running both generators a good portion of the day and this is maintaining the level. The surface water temperature this morning was a little above 50 degrees. The main lake is clear with the creeks and coves stained. The upcoming weather forecast is calling for daytime temps in the 50 - 60's with evenings dropping into the 30's & 40's. Great winter weather. We brought our granddaughter from Texas home with us for a week and she is hoping for snow. This is one wish I hope is not granted:-)

Happy fishing and see you on the water.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Merry Christmas to all my fishing friends. I am not on the lake but should be back to fishing in the next several days.

Have a very Merry Christmas with your family and friends. I hope that the New Year brings many memorable fishing trips and that trophy size Norfork Lake fish whether it be striped bass, walleye, black bass, crappie, ect.

Happy fishing and see you soon out on the lake.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

If you enjoy open water fishing in the winter months, Norfork Lake is the place to be. The fish are feeding and the bite is on for most species. Whether you enjoy fishing early mornings, mid day, evenings or after dark you can find fish. We are still getting mid morning topwater action for striped bass and white bass, watch for the feeding seagulls.

The striped bass are schooling and are continually on the move. In early mornings I have found them on flats in 28 - 50 feet of water feeding on shad. Live bait such as thread fin shad and shiners and artificial are all working. I have caught fish in the Cranfield and Bidwell areas early mornings. Just last Monday mid morning the stripers started to erupt back in the bayou area. This info is from one of my fishing friends. The birds have been a big help. Flocks of seagulls will suddenly appear and start diving into the water. If you happen to be in the same area start throwing a Rooster tail, rattle trap and even a topwater bait such as a Zara Spook. A Rooster tail has worked great for me. I let it sink to different depths and then retrieve it to the boat. As the sun gets up a little the fish tend to go a little deeper into 50 - 70 feet of water, but are still following the shad. Once the fish move to deeper water I start to vertical jig with a spoon and of course, still have live bait down on several poles. I have also been fishing in the afternoons. I have found fish in the mouth of our cove as well as back in Float Creek and back by the 6A area. The problem with winter fishing for striper is their movements. You will find and catch fish one day in a certain area one dat and then the next day they are not there. I have about 5 different areas that I tend to check out until I find the bait and then the schools of stripers.

I told my facebook followers that I would give some details of my comedy of errors fishing trip last Monday afternoon. I was fishing back in Float creek. The bait was thick from 30 feet down to 55 feet  and large schools of striper started to appear. I had been casting a Rattle trap with little success and laid the pole down by my feet and started to spoon. I also had 4 live bait poles out, set at 25 and 35 feet deep. All of a sudden one of the live bait poles started to zing, I quickly jumped up from my seat and must have kicked my casting pole a little and when I stepped down to the deck to grab the pole with the fish I heard and felt a big snap. My casting rod snapped in half. My drag went out on the pole with the fish and the fish broke off: A few minutes later both of my back poles took off. I ran to the back of the boat to see both lines going straight towards each other. Needless to say the two fish tangled and both got off. I was getting pretty discouraged at this point. Then another live bait pole took off and I landed the above 11 pound fish. Finally! Another bite came on live bait while I was retying one of the leaders and to say the least I got to the pole too late to set the hook. Things started to quiet down a little and I started to spoon again. I hooked into a nice fish and my swivel broke in half. This was a first for me. It was a great afternoon for bites, but a really poor performance day for the fisherman LOL

You would think by now that I would learn that too many rods on the boat is not always a good thing. But of course I still have not learned this lesson! 4 poles out with live bait and the 5th pole with artificial, I think will always be a standard for me while striper fishing.

Crappie are still on the brush from 20 - 35 feet down. Live bait, grubs, grubs with live bait and spoons are my baits of choice. I have not fished much for crappie lately as I have been have too much fun striper fishing.

White and small hybrid bass are also following the shad. I have found then on the flats in 30 - 50 feet of water and vertical jigging with a spoon has been working the best for me. The above photo of 4 fish show the size of the whites.

Walleye fishing is starting to pick up, but is the slowest bite of all species. You will find them on the same flats early in the morning, late afternoon and after dark. Bluffs with chunk rock in 20 - 40 feet of water are also holding some nice walleye during mid day. We should start see a good pick up in the walleye bite in mid January and on.

The Norfork Lake Level is currently at 552. It has risen slightly from my last report, but is starting to fall slowly as power generation is starting to increase. The surface lake temperature is in the low to mid 50's. The main lake is clear and creeks and coves are still stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

I hope all had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. I know we did. We had our daughter, one and 1/2 of our granddaughters and our son-in-law in town for most of last week. It was really nice to have them up from Texas. We also had two other family groups that decided to make Hummingbird Hideaway Resort their destination for a Thanksgiving gathering. It was nice seeing so many people out having fun with all of their family members. One group had 4 generations and the other had 3. They had campfires, hiked, fished and enjoyed each others company.

Currently the best bite on Norfork Lake is for crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass. White bass, striped bass, hybrid bass have been good at times especially when you find them schooling.

I have caught crappie in 30 feet of water vertical jigging with a 3/4 oz spoon. I also have caught a few in shallow water on a large 3 inch green paddle tail grub. One of our guests was using live crappie minnows and caught crappie in 5 feet of water close to the banks. You need to find the brush and fish at different depths over the brush and also inside of the brush to the shoreline. They are moving in and out of the brush to feed. My daughter caught her nice 13 - 14 inch crappie on a spoon, jigging in 30 feet of water in and around brush.

Bass are moving up to the banks to feed early and late in the day. I caught bass using my green grub and one of my guests had a great morning using a small black grub and casting to the shore and retrieving slowly on the bottom. Black was the only color that he had luck with. Crank baits and spinner baits are also catching some nice fish. My guests found bass in our cove close to some docks on the shoreline. I have found them on the bluff lines close to brush piles.

Stripers and whites are schooling and when you find the school you will catch fish. Some of these schools are breaking the surface at times. I found some really nice top water action right at the mouth of our cove at about 10:00AM. My daughter ended up landing this nice 14 pound fish on a white & chartreuse Zara Spook. It took her quite some time to land the fish as she is also still carrying our third granddaughter. (She is scheduled to land Jillian at the end of February :-) We also caught some nice stripers off of bluffs in the Robinson area. The fish are suspended anywhere from 20 - 60 feet down in 80 - 100 feet of water. We were using live shad for these fish. Live shiners are starting to catch some nice stripers. There has also been some nice fish caught in the Cranfield area both on top water as well as on the bottom.

A cold front has moved in which will start cooling the water. Fishing patterns should not change much except for the top water action. This will slow as the the water cools, but hopefully it will last another week or so. I will not be out in the mornings fishing  the next couple of days as it is forecast to be very cold for the next couple of mornings. I don't like fishing when my rod guides freeze up! I will be out in the afternoons, though. Hard to keep me off of the lake:-)

A little different sport is also available in the area. My son-in-law took a Pheasant hunting trip with Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters last Wednesday. He had a great time. It was his first Pheasant hunt so it took him a few birds to zero in his sites.He stated that this hunt was one of the best and most fun that he has ever been on.

The Norfork Lake water level is starting to stabilize at around 550.9. It has risen almost 2 feet with the various rains that we had over the last couple of weeks. Very little generation over the last week. The lake surface water temperature has fallen to the upper 50's. The main lake is clear (not as clear as normal) and the creeks and coves are still stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

If you're looking to have fun fishing, the fall bite is happening on Norfork Lake. The fish are schooling and starting the feeding frenzy typical before the cooler months of winter. They are aggressive and active. If you are looking to catch that trophy striper now is the time to try your luck.

The crappie bite has been really good. The crappie are located on sunken brush piles. I have found good fish on brush in 30 - 35 feet of water as well as on brush in 20 feet of water. The fish are suspended on top of the brush and also in shallower water inside the brush closer to the bank. Vertical jigging a spoon as well as throwing a small grub is working great. I can't pinpoint a spoon size because I have caught fish on all sizes from a 1 oz. to a 1/8 oz. spoon. I typically jig vertically and vary the method from a quick high pull up to a slight twitch. I have been catching most of my 15 inch fish on a big spoon with a quick high snap of the spoon then letting the spoon float down, or on a 3 inch paddle tail grub with a 1/4 oz jig head working the tops of the brush piles. The crappie have been hitting the spoon on the fall. Last evening I was fishing brush in the Cranfield area and the bite was fantastic. I have caught big slabs in the Tracy area, Fall creek, Float creek and Panther creek. As you can see the crappie bite is happening all over the lake on both the main lake as well as in the creeks.

The night bite for stripers, slow rolling a stick bait, is in full swing. Morning fishing for stripers with live bait (shiners are working) is starting to pick up. Last evening I hooked into this monster striper at about 6PM. It was windy, overcast, foggy, misting and very very dark. Kind of a spooky night for fishing, but what a reward. I hooked into this fish and at first I thought it was another walleye, but after about 15 cranks on the reel it realised it was hooked and the long run began. I was fishing a bluff line in the Cranfield area and the fish took off down the shore line, I ended up setting my trolling motor on high speed to try to keep up with fish. It must have ran for at least 10 minutes (by now I was next to the island) then the fight really began, one pull up and 5 cranks down, then the fish pulled drag more than my gain. After about 25 minutes I landed the fish. I did have my drag set a little loose, but ended up tightening. I have straightened out too many hooks on rogues and didn't want to loose this fish. He was given his freedom as soon as he smiled for the camera. The morning bite for stripers is picking up. Lateley (from first hand and word of mouth) fish have been caught in Float Creek, Diamond Bay and up North at the MO line. Both stripers, hybrids and whites are schooling and starting to really feed before the cooler temps get here.When you find a school of fish vertical jigging with a spoon works great.

Walleye are also biting my stick bait after dark. I caught a nice 18 inch fish right after dark last evening. He was right on the shoreline. I also hooked two walleye before dark while I was spooning over a  brush pile at 30 feet. Both deep fish were just a hair under 18 inches so they were released.

The black bass are starting to move to the shore line to feed. All forms of baits are working depending on the conditions of the weather. I have caught bass on grubs in about 10 feet of water, on spoons in 30 feet of water and also live bait in 50 feet of water. The above bass was caught on live bait in 50 feet of water.

I forgot to mention that I have encountered serveral large schools of big fish busting the surface. Keep your favorite top water bait handy at all times.

I don't know why the fishing was so good last evening, but I'm not complaining.  Any day you go out and catch stripers, walleye, crappie and catfish you can say you had great day of fishing. But as I always say any day of fishing beats a day of work whether you catch fish or not!!

The Norfork Lake surface water temperature has been in the high 50's to very low 60's. The water is clear on the main lake and stained in the creeks and coves. Slight generation periodically thoughout the day. The Norfork Lake water level currently sits at 549 and is rising very slowly, due to our current rainy conditions.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report


This morning was one of my best fishing days on Norfork Lake in the Arkansas Ozarks. I feel comfortable in stating that the fall bite has started. Fall bite meaning schooling fish that are in a feeding frenzy, some early and late top water action and a good bite after dark.

I caught so many heavy fish this morning that my right arm is actually sore this afternoon. What a thing to complain about:-)  I ended up catching 18 fish in total with a big variety; striped bass, hybrid bass, white bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass. I also caught fish using varied fishing techniques. I caught top water fish using my Zara Spook, used a spoon vertical jigging for deep fish and also caught fish on live thread fin shad for deep fish. At one time I had 4 fish on at once, 3 on live bait and one on my spooning rod. I did get to land 3 of the 4. All three fish landed were hybrids.

I started out from my dock around 6AM and headed to the mid lake area. I first stopped at a main lake point and was marking fish. I set out 4 down rods, but after about 15 minutes of sitting on my trolling motor because of the high winds I decided to move to other areas. I headed back into a creek along a deep bluff line and started to mark feeding fish. I dropped 3 down rods with live bait and was vertical jigging with a spoon. I hooked into one after another white bass with my spoon on. These were monster whites about 2.5 - 3 pounds. One of my live bait rods started to sing and I ended up landing a striper. A few fish started coming up to the surface so I grabbed my top water rod and casted out and after two twitches a nice smallmouth hammered the spook. I ended up landing another smallie and a hybrid bass. I was fishing in about 50 - 60 feet of water and the fish were mainly in the 25 - 40 feet depth range with some on the surface. I was fishing close to the bluff wall. The fish in the area disappeared around 9AM, so I headed across the bay toward the opposite side following the creek channel. I got to about the middle of the bay and a live bait rod started singing. I fought this fish for 15 minutes before the line broke. I was disappointed because this fish felt much larger than the first striper. I continued following the channel and came close to the opposite bank when I saw all the feeding fish on my graph again. I hooked into one with my spoon, then 3 of my live bait rods took off at the same time. What a dilemma! I picked up each rod with one hand, set the hook and set it back in the rod holder. I landed a hybrid on my spoon then started on the other rods. I was really fortunate that none of the fish tangled with each other. I continued fishing this area until about 11AM and was catching hybrids right and left. It was a really fun morning. The wind started to howl even stronger and started to blow into the bay so I headed for home even though the fish still were biting. Fun fall fishing morning, hopefully many more to come!

I also fished last evening for crappie. A boat was on one of the brush piles close to the resort where I have been catching many 13 - 15 inch crappie on so I decided to head the opposite direction closer to the 101 bridge. I started fishing brush in 30 - 35 feet and only landed a couple small bass. I moved closer to shore in about 20 feet of water and the crappie were stacked. They weren't the huge ones, but respectable 10 - 12 inch fish. I caught 5 and released all. I was using a 1/4 oz green and white spoon.

White bass are being caught back in creeks and also on main lake flats. Look for the bait fish and watch your sonar for feeding fish. Vertical jigging is working great.

I also have word that the night bite has started. The evening before last a friend caught a nice striper, hybrid and walleye. Slow rolling a Rogue is the preferred technique. Some of the best places to fish are main lake points that are shallow out into the lake, but still have deep water close by. I guess I will need to get out there soon.

The Norfork Lake level is currently at 548.68, with the surface water temperature in the high 50's to low 60's. The main lake is clear with the creeks and coves stained. Minimal water generation lately.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

A quick update on Norfork Lake white bass fishing. The whites are schooling and feeding heavily on shad. I fished last evening back in a cove across from Hummingbird Hideaway's cove and found whites in 30 - 35 feet of water. At least I assumed they were whites. They were feeding from the top to the bottom. I hooked into 6 fish but only got to boat 1 black bass. The trip today trip confirmed that the fish I did not get good hook sets on were actually white bass.

Today I headed out fishing around noon before the storms arrived. I found the whites at the mouth of the same cove in 50 - 80 feet of water. They were feeding on shad from the surface to 30 feet down. I started to vertical jig with a 1 oz. spoon and hooked into 9 fish, but only boated 5 of them. I think the hook on the 1 oz spoon is a little large for the mouth of white bass. I will downsize to a 3/4 oz spoon the next time. They were all in the 1.5 - 2.5 pound range. Nice size fish! They also were surfacing a little, but most of the whites that took a swipe at my spook were small. I only got to fish for a little less than an hour before the storms started rumbling all around me and it hasn't stop rain since. We have had over an inch of rain today.

Other baits that will work when you find suspended feeding white bass are Rooster Tail spinners and blade baits like a Kastmaster. I like both of these to be 1/2 ounce or larger so they can get down to 15 - 20 feet.

That is all for now.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

My guests and I have had a lot of fun Crappie and Bass fishing since my last report on Norfork Lake. The current best bite on the lake is for crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass and bluegill. I have not been catfishing lately so I really can't speak about catfish, but looking back at last year, November should be a great time to catch catfish. The striper bite may be starting to get active so keep checking back to see when it kicks off.

I had a couple of guests out fishing the last couple of days and they caught some really nice slab crappies. A couple of them measured in at 15 inches. They were using live minnows, both crappie minnows as well as shad. The bite wasn't non stop, but it definitely kept their interest. They were catching fish on brush piles close to our resort. The brush should be in 25 - 35 feet of water with the tops around 15 - 20 feet. The fish are suspended on the top of the brush as well as on the bottom. Big thumper bluegill are in the same brush piles and also on the inside of the piles closer to shore.

I also fished this morning and caught two nice 15 inch crappies and several smallmouth bass. I was using a Berkley's 2 1/2 inch T-tail minnow (or grub) with a 1/4 oz jig head. The bass were hitting the jig in 10 - 20 feet of water and the crappie attacked the grub when I started to bring the bait straight up to the boat. I try to keep the boat in about 35 feet of water. Anytime I was sitting on a brush pile I caught a crappie. Earlier in the week I was bass fishing with another guest. The first day we did really good on keeper size smallmouth, but the second day slowed and we just caught a few. I was using my grub and Grant was throwing a Texas rigged worm. Both baits were being worked slowly back to the boat.

Congrats goes out to all the participants in the Mr. Bass of Arkansas Pro-Am Classic. It was held on Friday, Saturday and the finals were today. We did have the winning amateur staying with us. He took home a nice check for 1st Place. Congratulation to Kevin Crow. Kevin said he had all his luck casting a Wiggle Wart. The keeper size bite was tough for all (but plenty of undersized fish were caught) and after the weigh-in on Saturday the top 10 Pros weighed in from 19 - 28 pounds for a two day total. Those top 10 fished today, but I was unable to attend the weigh-in to see how they did. It seemed like they caught keeper bass all over the lake. They were fishing in shallow water in the backs of creeks to deep water bluff lines and brush piles. They were catching fish on crank baits, swim baits, jigs and spinners. It does seem like all fishing techniques are starting to work. This is very typical for bass fishing this time of year.

Striper fishing has still been slow, but all hope that it picks up very shortly. Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters fished yesterday and landed 3 nice striper and missed two others. Hopefully this is a sign that things are about to change with the striper bite.

The Norfork Lake surface water temperature has dropped to the high 50's to the low 60's. We have some rain and cool weather coming in the next few dasy so it should help to drop the temps a little lower. The Norfork Lake level is at 549.23 and dropping slowly at about an inch per day. The main lake is clear with the creeks and cover starting to clear.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Norfork Lake Crappie Fishing Report

Norfork Lake Crappie fishing has been fun the last couple of days. I had to check out my Tuesday morning success by fishing yesterday afternoon. I decided to just fish brush piles and coves close to my resort dock. I first graphed Hummingbird Hideaway's cove. I marked some bass on brush piles, but didn't find much bait in the area. I headed out to the bluff across from my cove to a brush pile. I spooned up one bass in about 30 feet of water. I switched to throwing a jointed Shad Rap that goes about 10 - 15 feet deep along the bluff line. I picked up another small bass. When I came to a point off a small cut along the bluff line, I hooked a nice blue gill, a small crappie and the above 15 inch crappie. Nice slab! I then headed to another brush pile in the Cranfield area. This was the brush that came alive. I ended up spooning 5 nice 12 - 14 inch crappie in about 20 minutes. WOW!! I moved to a cut along the bluff line I was fishing and picked up another crappie. I then tried a cove across from my cove. When I got back into the cove I could see bait fish on the surface. I started throwing my shad rap and landed a keeper size largemouth bass. I noticed the bait had moved to the bottom (32 feet of water) so I started to spoon. I hooked 3 more bass, but only got to land one of them. The other two shook off the hook. I wasn't keeping any bass anyway.

My short afternoon trip was a success and I did verify that the trip on Tuesday was not a fluke. Crappie on Norfork Lake have come alive and are very aggressive.

Today is a rain day, but the forecast is calling for nice fall weather throughout the weekend. I will be back on the lake more than likely tomorrow. It is really hard to keep me off the lake especially with these nice fall days. My wife just can not understand why I like to spend so much time on the water fishing! I think she would like me to start quilting with her. (Not going to happen) I just love to fish for all species especially striped bass. 

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

The Fall bite on Norfork Lake is getting better and better each day. Currently the best bite on the lake is for largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. The lake is still on the warm side, but with upcoming cool fronts, the lake should dip into the low to mid 60's. Ideal fishing temperatures. It also appears that the lake is close to completing (if not finished) its annual turn-over. The fishing should really start to improve :-)

To all those that will be traveling to Mountain Home for the Mr. Bass of Arkansas Pro-Am fishing tournament on Norfork Lake, have a safe trip to the area. I predict it will be a great tournament with many fish being caught. Have a great time.

The black bass pattern is still very similar to my last report. You will find largemouth and smallmouth bass around brush piles in 20 - 30 feet of water. Also fish along deep bluff lines as the sun comes up, the fish are hanging on the ledges. The biggest change is that you will also find the fish back in the creeks and coves following the shad. I fished a jointed shad rap for a while yesterday late morning and had success on main lake points working the windy side. Most of the fish I caught were short, but I did catch one keeper. There has been some top water action as the sun rises and also as it sets. Most of the fish I have caught have been the small ones. I believe the big boys are staying deep waiting for cooler water. The baits of choice are still jigs worked slowly on the bottom. Cast to about 10 feet of water, let it sink to the bottom and work it though 30 feet of water before bringing it back to the boat. Spinner baits and crank baits are starting to produce some fish, but again mostly short ones.

Yesterday I found schooling crappie off of a rocky bank inside of a cove. I was spooning in about 30 feet of water and saw a lot of bait on the bottom. Each time I dropped my spoon (1 oz. green and white) a crappie would hammer the bait. I ended up catching 4 nice nice crappie before I lost the school. The two fish in the photo swallowed the treble hook so I ended up keeping them. The others were released. I also caught two fat walleye in the same area, but they were only 17 inches long. I have also caught a few crappie on brush piles in 25 - 35 feet of water. The crappie are getting very active so if you are targeting crappie it might be a good time to plan a trip.

Striped bass fishing is still up and down. Last Saturday Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters had a good trip with Kari and Robert Bahus. They were fishing up north with live shad. Yesterday I fished the same area and only had one fish on that broke off and another pull down and release. I fished for about 3 hours with only the two bites then decided to do a little bass fishing. With the cooling of the water and the turn-over of the lake, I expect very soon the stripers to turn on with a vengeance. I hope!!!

The Norfork Lake level is fairly stable with intermittent generation and currently sits at 570.56. The lake has dropped about 1 feet in the last two weeks. The lake surface water temperature has fallen to the mid to upper 60's. The main lake is fairly clear with the creeks and coves starting to clear.

On a final note the weather forecast for tomorrow is for some rain and cooler temperatures. By the weekend it is forecast for sunny skies with highs in the 60's and lows in the 40's. Great weather for fishing or just viewing the surrounding scenery. Another great fall weekend is in store for us so call for reservations, you don't want to missed out on this beautiful fall weather at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

I want to again congratulate all the qualifiers of the Mr. Bass of Arkansas Pro-Am fishing Tournaments. Good luck at your upcoming Classic on Norfork Lake, The black bass fishing has been outstanding. Read on for some helpful tips for bass fishing on Norfork Lake. If you are still looking for a place to stay call Hummingbird Hideaway Resort at 870-492-5113. I will be able to give you some up to date tips on your arrival. Our dock and concrete launch is located less than 2 miles from Henderson Marina (take - off) and only 4 miles from the Ramada Inn. One of the closest resorts on  the lake to your take-off and weigh-in location.
Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing on Norfork Lake has been outstanding over the last few weeks. The fishing should only improve as the lake water temperature drops into the 60's. The surface temperature is still around 70 degrees, but the cool rain and the cooler evening air temperatures should drop the lake water temp. We currently have several guests who are bass fishing and love to throw a jig & pig. Their color of choice is a brown skirt around the jig head with a white chunk. Larry makes all of his own jigs. Most of the fish are being caught in 15 - 30 feet of water toward the bottom. After dark the bluff lines are producing nice fish and during the day main lake points at the end of a bluff line are holding fish. Sunken brush nearby is a tremendous added plus. I also found a little different pattern for big black bass. I was working a long wide flat that has the deep channel next to it. I found feeding fish on the bottom in about 35 feet of water. The fish could be seen on the locator and were stacked and feeding. Large smallmouth bass, spotted bass and walleye were in this area. I was actually using live bait at this time, but vertical jigging a spoon, swimming minnows or other plastics worked on the bottom should also produce some nice fish. The smallmouth below was 3 pounds and was caught this morning on windy points using a Jig & Pig.

Bluegill fishing has also been fantastic lately. Crickets have been working the best, but cut nightcrawlers threaded on the hook will work equally as well. Some really large thumpers are being caught. I guess the worse part of gill fishing is the cleaning, but the non stop catching action and of course the eating part out-weighs the cleaning.

Stripers are showing up all over the lake, but the bite is still slow. I hooked into a nice one yesterday morning, but it spit the hook as I was setting it. It was pulling drag so I have no idea why the hook did not set. Next time! I hooked into this fish in the Robinson area. I am marking some big arcs in the 40 - 50 feet range suspended in 60 - 80 feet of water. I will keep you updated when the bite takes off. The water should cool a little over the next couple of days so this should help.

The Norfork Lake level is fairly stable and sits at 551.67. Intermittent power generation is going on lowering the lake only about 1 inch per day, if that. The surface water temperature is in the very low 70's. The main lake is clear with the creeks and coves cloudy. The short term weather forecast is for sunny and clear skies with the night time air temps in the upper 40's to low 50's and the day time temps are to be in the 70's to low 80's. The upcoming weekend looks gorgeous. The trees are definitely turning colors so all of you leaf peepers come on out and view our gorgeous scenery.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

I want to congratulate all the qualifiers of the Mr. Bass of Arkansas Pro-Am fishing Tournaments. Good luck at your upcoming Classic on Norfork Lake, The black bass fishing should be outstanding. Read on for some helpful tips. If you are still looking for a place to stay call Hummingbird Hideaway Resort at 870-492-5113. I will be able to give you some up to date tips on your arrival. Our dock and concrete launch is located less than 2 miles from Henderson Marina (take - off) and only 4 miles from the Ramada. One of the closest resorts on  the lake to your take-off and weigh-in location.

The best bite on Norfork Lake this early fall has been largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, bluegill and crappie. Striped bass and white bass are both still a little slow, but with the cooling of the water watch out! The bite will explode.

The weather on Norfork Lake for the last couple of weeks has been gorgeous. The day time temps has been in the upper 70's to mid 80's with blue skies and the nights have been in the 50 and 60's. We have had no rain lately. The fall foliage colors are starting to appear so not only the fishing, but the view on the lake is going to be impressive.

I have never seen so many bluegill being cleaned at my dock as was this week. I have 3 different groups fishing for gills and they are bringing in basket loads daily. There have been some really nice slabs being caught. Crickets have been their bait of choice, those bluegill can not resist that little morsel. The best location to find massive numbers of gills have been in 10 - 15 feet of water that has sunken brush just outside of this location. I think the sunny skies have really turned these fish on!

Crappie are being caught in the same location, but suspended over the brush. They are about 15 - 25 feet down. Live minnows are doing the trick and on occasion they also hit the crickets. Grub fishing tipped with a minnow is also starting to produce a few nice slabs.

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted (Kentucky) bass are all starting to feed heavily. I fished yesterday morning and concentrated on brush piles in 25 - 35 feet of water off of rocky, bluff line points. I was vertical jigging with a spoon right in the brush. I marked schools of fish suspended from 15 feet to the bottom. I mainly bounced the spoon off of the bottom. I ended up catching 10 black bass in three different locations. 6 were keeper size but all fish were released on sight. My biggest largemouth (had to be a 5 pounder) came up to the surface, very reluctantly and jump out of the water, shook its head and spit the hook out. I was disappointed because you would think that I would know by now, not to reach for the net until the fight is over!! Oh well, he will be there to catch another day. One of our guests is strictly bass fishing and is having a lot of luck throwing a jig and pig in the same locations. He is casting to about 15 feet of water and working the bait across the tops of the brush. He caught 5 nice size Kentucky's this morning. All smallies that I have been catching are in the 17 - 19 inch range and boy do they give a good fight.

Striped bass fishing is starting to pick up, but slowly. I have credible reports that fish have been caught in the point 2 marker area, back in the Bennett's area, 101 area and up north in the Calamity area. These fish have scattered and are located though-out the lake. It does not appear that they have started their winter feeding habits, but they should start feeding in earnest once the lake temperature gets into the 60's.

The Norfork Lake level is falling slowly about 1 - 2 inches per day and currently sits at 551.88. This is normal pool. The lake surface water temperature is in low 70's for most of the lake and in the upper 60's up north and in the far south. The main lake is fairly clear with the creeks and coves still cloudy.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake is gearing up for a great fall bite. The lake temperature is dropping and is in the low 70's. The thermocline is starting to disappear in a lot of areas. The forecast for day time temperatures is in the upper 70's to low 80's and the nights in the 50's and 60's. Can't ask for much nicer fall weather. We have cabins available so call for you reservations:-)

The bass bite on artificial baits as well as live bait has been very good. I fished this morning and caught more fish vertical jigging with a spoon than I did with live bait. I was fishing in 25-35 feet of water. I had plenty of bites on live bait, but it was difficult getting to the poles when I also had a jigging spoon down. I found the fish on the end of a main lake points that had brush in 28 - 40 feet of water. The points that I am finding most productive are located on the end of bluff lines which gives the fish deep water close by. Last week one of our guests was only bass fishing and caught and released many fish. He was catching on crankbaits, plastic worms and jigs. Most of his success was on bluff lines and it was even better when he found brush.

The walleye bite this morning was also very good. I ended up spooning up 4 walleye, but they were only 17 inches long. I guess I found the day care area. They are located in the same locations as the bass. I caught all on a spoon, but did notice a few bites on my live bait. I guess I get too impatient and set the hook too soon and ended up only getting teeth marks on the the bait. With live bait you need to give them some line when they start to run, but once they stop set the hook. I will get the hang of this some day!!!

The striped bass bite is finally starting to pick up. Last Saturday one of my friends  landed 7 nice fish. Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters took a couple of our guests out and landed 3 fish with the biggest being 22 pounds. I have reports of another guide landing 5 stripers in the midlake area on Sunday. The stripers are on the move and starting to scatter though out the lake. The best part is that they are starting to bite. Another sign that the fall bite has started. The stripers are being found in 25 - 40 feet of water both on the bottom and suspended.
Catfish are hitting trotlines and jugs baited with live bait, chicken livers and cut bait. I have been baiting up a line in our cove the last few days but have only caught two fish. Each morning when I check the line all the bait is gone. I think I have been feeding the turtles. I guess I need to move my line to another location. A couple of our guests had some good success a week ago using live blue gill as bait. Photo on the top. I also caught a nice blue cat spooning this morning. You never know what you are going to catch when you are vertical jigging with a spoon. I guess that is why I enjoy it so much.

Crappie are on brush piles and under docks. You will find them 15ft to 30ft down over and in the brush.

Norfork Lake surface water temperature is in the low 70's and I have also found the upper 60's up North. The lake is falling slowly and currently sits at 553.27. Generation is intermitent and is only dropping the lake about 1 to 2 inches per day. The main lake is clearing quickly due to the light generation, but the creeks and coves are still stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

The Fall bite has started on Norfork Lake and will only get better as the lake continues to cool.

I am starting to see more and more top water action early in the morning and at sunset for black bass. We had a husband and wife team last weekend that caught over fifty fish one morning. They were throwing a shiny blade bait and caught many spotted bass, largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish. They also found some top water fish and started to throw a Zara spook. They said not many of the fish were of legal size, but they sure had a lot of fun. I caught several nice smallmouth earlier in the week. I was throwing a Cicada blade bait and a Zara spook. I let the blade bait fall about 20 feet, then start to reel in, then stop and let it fall again. This seemed to work with the spotted bass and smallmouth. I caught several small spots on top water. You will find bass on points at the end of a deep bluff lines and also on brush piles in the 25 - 30 feet range. The fish will be anywhere from 10 - 30 feet down. Jigging spoons or a drop shot rig are working if you are fishing over a brush pile.  Of course live bait is also working great for bass around brush piles.

Crappie have also come into the brush piles. Again find your brush in 25 - 30 feet of water and the crappie will be suspended from 15 feet on down. Live bait is working the best, but spooning is producing some nice fish.  Grubs tipped with a crappie minnow will start to work very soon if not already. I am also starting to see crappie come under my dock. One of our guests caught a nice 13 inch crappie under our dock yesterday.

Catfish are hitting trotlines and jugs. Live bait is working well, but chicken livers are also producing some nice fish on a rod and reel.

Pan fish are everywhere. Night crawlers and crickets are the baits of choice. Some really nice slabs are being caught from 3 feet to 25 feet down.

Walleye are being caught in 25 - 28 feet of water around brush piles and also on flats. Trolling a crankbait is working as long as you can get the bait down to this level. Lead core line will do the trick if you don't have a down rigger. Drifting with a crawler harness with a bottom bouncing weight is also producing some nice fish.

Striped bass fishing is still slow, but starting to pick up with the cooler water temperature. I would expect over the next couple of weeks the striper bite is going to just take off.  With the current warm water these fish just are not feeding normally, but when they get back to it,  it is going to be fun. I also expect a fantastic fall bite as well as a good top water bite for stripers once the lake cools. I hope I am correct in my expectations!!!

The Norfork Lake level is still falling about 4 - 5 inches per day and currently sits at 555.17. Just slightly above normal pool. The lake surface water temp in our cove this AM was 76 degrees, a drop of 4 degrees over yesterday evening. The main lake is clear with coves and creeks still stained and cloudy.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Last Friday I took a couple of our guests out striper fishing on Norfork Lake. We landed two nice stripers and missed 4 others. I was fishing in the dam area in 80 feet of water and the stripers were lying right on the bottom. The bite was tough, but we waited them out and they finally bit. I was using thread fin shad. I have had reports that trollers are catching a few using down riggers and lead core line. Vertical jigging with a spoon is also producing a few nice fish. The stripers will more than likely stay at this depth until the water starts to cool in September and October. Norfork Lake typically turns over sometime between late September and mid October. When this happens the stripers will be at all depths, from deep water to shallow water. Fall and winter fishing is typically a very fun time to fish for striped bass. Sometimes we get a good striped bass top water bite in the early fall.

This week I have started to target largemouth and spotted bass, walleye and crappie. Monday I did a lot of moving around to locate fish and check out the various brush piles near my resort. I did get into some nice top water action with the black bass, but if you luck onto this you need to be ready. They only come up momentarily and if you can get your Zara spook close to them they just erupt on the bait. Yesterday I tried several bluff lines and caught a few nice bass, but couldn't find walleye. I ended up moving to a main lake point that has some nice brush in 25 - 35 feet of water and marked a ton of fish. I had two down lines out with live shad and was also spooning at times, as well as throwing a green grub with an 1/8 jig head. I caught black bass on the spoon and grub and a couple on the live bait. I moved to the inside of the point and started to get walleye bites. I landed two walleye, but both were 1/4 inch under size. I also picked up a nice crappie on the spoon. I had one great bite on the shad and the fish spooled out over 1/2 of my line. I thought for sure it was a hybrid or striper from the way it bit and the way it was running. I finally got it to the boat and found a nice 15 pound blue catfish. This was one of the best fights I have had in a while:-)

Today I left my dock around 5AM and first went to catch a few shad. I then headed to the same point as I ended my trip on Tuesday. I put two down lines at about 26 feet of water and it wasn't 5 minutes before one of the rods bent to the water. This was the nice 4 pound largemouth in the photo. I continued to catch bass on the live bait and missed many more than I caught because I was also trying to spoon at the same time. I was vertical jigging a 1/4 spoon for a while and picked up one of the crappi,e then switched to a 3/4 spoon and picked up the other crappie and a few bass. Overall I think I landed 12 bass and two crappie, but no walleye today. The best part of the last three days is that I have found that crappie have finally moved back to the brush from 20 - 30 feet, the black bass are in the same area from 15 feet to 30 feet down and I think the walleye are in around 25 - 30 feet sitting on the bottom. If you start fishing the brush piles be prepared to do a lot of re-tieing as you will get plenty of snags. I lost several nice fish and tackle after they headed straight into the brush.

I am having a day off of fishing tomorrow (boat rental check-out's), but should be out fishing Friday morning.

The Norfork Lake level is falling around 3 inches per day and currently sits at 560.35 ft above sea level. This is only 8 feet above normal pool of 552. The surface water temperature this morning was 84.5 degrees. The main lake is clear, but the creeks and coves are still cloudy.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake is the place to enjoy the remaining summer days, before the fall water sports time begins. I have been striper fishing several times in the last couple of weeks and have been catching fish, even though it has been a tough bite. I have been fishing the dam area and finding fishing in 60 - 80 feet of water sitting on the bottom. It can become very frustrating when you know you are on fish and they will not bite. What I have found is that if you wait them out you will eventually get nice fish. I have caught several in the 20 - 25 pound range and some in the upper teens since my last report. I have been using live thread fin shad. Spooning is working somewhat. Some are telling me that vertical jigging has not been working, but instead you need to drop the spoon to the bottom and reel up 3/4's of the way, then drop it back down. They seem to be more aggressive on the reel up and are chasing the spoon. Trollers are catching fish,  you have to get your bait down to the 60 - 80 foot level.

Bass, walleye, crappie and bluegill seem to be down 20 - 30 feet on the bottom. I have been finding lots of bait fish hovering in the 20 - 30 foot range and when I find the bait usually I mark a lot of fish. This is also telling me that the thermocline is dropping. Several weeks back the bait was all 20 feet or above. I am still noticing increased numbers of black bass breaking the surface at sunrise. Yesterday I actually saw (in the distance) a huge area of water just start to boil. There were big fish coming totally out of the water. They had to be hybrids due to the size of the fish or some really big white bass. I was a good 1/2 mile away and  could still see the fish coming out of the water. This lasted about 15 minutes as they moved up a shore line. I also heard from Robert Lee that he also saw some nice top water action in a different area, but it didn't last as long. Normally you don't see this type of top water action this time of year, but the fishing this year has been a little different than past years.

Catfish are being caugth on trotlines using live bait and also on rod and reels using chicken livers.

The Norfork Lake surface water temperature was 84 - 85 degrees yesterday morning. The lake is sitll falling 2 - 3 inches per day and currently sits at 562.8.. The main lake is clear with the creeks and coves off color.

Hummingbird Hideaway Resort's dock parking area and launch is back to normal operation. We're glad to again have the convenience of launching right beside the dock.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Fishing on Norfork Lake is a blast!! Had a great morning of striped bass fishing even though we were just able to fish  less than an hour. A thunder storm with lots of lightning chased us off the lake around 7AM. If we could have fished longer no telling how many stripers we would have boated. I found the fish laying on the bottom in 52 - 60 feet of water. We were fishing with live shad in the dam area. My guests had a great time and were thrilled with the fight these fish give. Each of them caught a fish, then the lightning started right over our heads. It didn't take us long to reel in and take off! Since my last report many stripers have been caught from the Robinson area to the dam. I did have several slow days where I marked many fish, but they would not bite. This has been a common occurrence for many over the last several weeks. (Hopefully today's bite is a good sign for the future :-)) Each day brings a different scenario. Today they were on the bottom, tomorrow you may find them suspended in 150 feet of water. The only consistent thing is the depth the stripers are at. You will find them in 50- 65 feet of water. Live bait has been working well, but spooning (especially this morning) should work great. Trolling with a down rigger or lead core line has been working very well for many of the trollers out on the lake. Jeff  is holding two big stripers weighing in the mid 20 pound range. He caught his limit in the Robinson area using live shad.

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are hitting top water plugs early and late in the day. We saw several bass this morning erupt off the point we were fishing. Nathan holding this nice 16 inch largemouth caught this fish next to our dock when he was leaving to go out water skiing. Nathan has taken me at my word of "never leave home without your Zara Spook tied on". Plastics are also working very well in the 15 - 25 feet range. Work your bait back to the boat along the bottom.

Walleye, white bass, crappie and black bass all can be found in 15 - 25 feet of water depth. The lakes thermocline is in the 20 - 25 feet range. All these fish are hanging around main lake points and sunken brush piles at the thermocline.

The Norfork Lake surface water temperature is in the low 90's to upper 80's. The lake is still falling about 2 - 3 inches per day and currently sits at 565.3 feet about sea level. The main lake is clear and the coves and creeks are a little stained. The water is not as clear as normal due to the fall, but it is still clearer than most lakes that I have seen.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.