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.