Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

It is another great day for fishing on Norfork Lake. The sun is shining, it's in the 30's, but should get up into the 50's and maybe even 60's as it did yesterday. I should be out on the lake, but I have decided that I needed to do some work in the resort before I head out to my last sport show. I will be in Oklahoma City this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Backwoods Hunting and Fishing Expo. It is being held at the fair grounds in the travel and transportation building. Come by to visit with me and talk a little about Norfork Lake fishing and Hummingbird Hideaway Resort. I will be more than happy to take your reservation for your spring fishing trip or summer vacation. We still have a few larger units available this summer, but they are going quick.

Since my last sport show in Tinley Park, IL I have fished every day except for yesterday and today. The best bite on the lake is for largemouth bass, spotted bass, crappie. walleye and bluegill. I have been catching  bass anywhere from 10 feet to 35 feet of water. Early in the morning I have found bass close to the banks feeding on small shad. As the sun comes up and the shad go deeper, so do the fish. I have started throwing the new Alabama rig with small 3 inch Berkley's swimbaits.

This new rig does work. There was a lot of top water action one morning and they would not hit anything I threw at them. I hooked up the Alabama rig and started casting and started to catch fish. This rig gives the illusion of a school of shad and the fish can't resist it. I will be honest and say that you do get tired of casting (at least I do). I switch back and forth from vertical jigging in deeper water to casting the swimbaits. I have been fishing back in the East Pigeon, Pigeon and Float Creek areas. We have had several fronts move through the area in the last couple of weeks, which does affect the fishing on a daily basis. One day I go out and find and catch big fish, but the next day they have moved and the fishing gets tougher. I end up catching fish every day, but somedays they are just the smaller ones. I guess that is why they call it fishing and not catching.

Crappie are still biting well. My fish are coming from brush that is in 30 - 40 feet of water and the fish that I have been catching are inside the brush. Hard to get out once you hook them. I talked with Jay Smith, of Crappies Only, the other day and last weekend he hammered the fish. His fish were caught over brush only 6 feet down. When we get a few sunny days the crappie start coming up to the warmer water. Jay has been using crappie minnows and I have been using small vertical jigging spoons.

Walleye have started their spring run up river from the Arkansas border up to the Udall, Mo area. They are being caught in 5 - 15 feet of water using live bait. River chubs are the bait of choice, but shiners are also catching fish. The small males have been the predominant fish caught, but a few large females are starting to show up. The spawn should be in full swing by beginning to mid March.

I have been catching quite a few gills in 25 - 30 feet of water jigging a spoon. The size of these fish are amazing. Striped bass are starting to show up in shallow water. I have not been targeting stripers, but have been getting reports from many bass fishermen that they are catching these fish on their Alabama rigs in 15 - 20 feet of water. The Stripers never did get to their normal deep winter pattern, but are moving in shallow water feeding on shad and crawdads.

The Norfork Lake water level is fairly stable, but has started to drop slowly due to power generation and currently sits at 552.02. Basically at normal pool. The water temperature is ranging from 46 - 48 degrees in areas that I have fished and is in the low 50's up river. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Good morning from Norfork Lake and Hummingbird Hideaway Resort. The sun is shining and the air temperature is at 40 degrees. The best bite on the lake is largemouth bass, spotted bass, crappie, gills and I have gotten a few reports that the stripers are starting to hit. I guess I need to start striper fishing again, but I have been having so much fun crappie and bass fishing, its hard to stop!! Most of my fish have been caught back in major creeks on brush in 30 - 40 ft of water. Some fish are suspended, but most of mine have been caught on the bottom. I have been vertical jigging with a small spoon. The fish are still feeding on teeny tiny shad and small crawdads.

Hummingbird Hideaway Resort will be at the Tinley Park High School Sport Show this coming weekend, February 11 & 12, 2012. Tinley Park is located just a little south of Chicago, IL. We are located in the cafeteria. Come by and visit with me and talk a little fishing and about Start planning you spring fishing trip and book with us at the show. Look for the booth in the below photo.

Norfork Lake level is starting to fall slowly and currently sits at 552.9, less than a foot above normal pool. The lake surface water temperature is between 46 - 48 degrees. The main lake is clear and the creeks are clearing rapidly. The Corp is currently generation power with all generators for most of the day. This should slow once they get the lake back to normal pool of 552.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Crappie, largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are currently the best bites on Norfork Lake. I fished this morning in strong northwest winds. Based on my experience between today and the last 4 days the fish have moved to slightly deeper water. In my last report I was catching fish in 20 - 34 feet of water. The same was the case for last Wednesday. This morning I could not find much in shallow water so I moved out to about 40 feet. I was fishing near brush and marked a big school of crappie from 30 - 40 feet down. I caught two fish immediately and then the wind started to blow harder. It is really hard for me to vertical jig a light weight bait in high winds. I kept drifting off of this small spot, my spoon was continually getting snagged in the limbs of the brush and my line drifted into my trolling motor, twice! It was very difficult fishing, but I kept at it. I hooked into two more fish, but both got tangle in the brush and got off. The next two also got tangled in a limb, but when I released pressure on the line the fish swam free of the branch and I landed both of them. I also caught spotted bass, largemouth bass and white bass at this same depth but on a point across the channel. Thursday and Friday I caught small fish in 20 - 30 feet of water. I fished Saturday, when I began to find fish in the deeper water, but again all were small.  I think that the weather front that rolled through here last Thursday and all the rain that we had over that last several days have driven them out into a little deeper water. I do feel that once the the lake stabilizes and assuming the air temps continues to be warm, they will start to move back to shallower water.

Last Wednesday was a really good day of fishing. I found crappie in the same spot as today and the wind was not so bad. I caught them in 20 ft of water inside of  brush. The school was on the move, and I lost them after catching 5 fish out of it. The bass bite was phenomenal as it was on Monday and Tuesday. I was fishing float creek and catching largmouth and spotted bass. Good size fish too. They were in tight to the bank. I drifted away from the brush and into about 34 feet of water and marked a few nice arcs on the bottom. I dropped my spoon to the bottom and hooked into a really nice fighting fish. It was a 17.5 inch smallmouth. I caught 3 more in the deeper water then lost the school. I moved back in tight to the bank and saw some hooks on a hump in 19 feet of water, dropped my spoon and hooked into another smallmouth. Caught 5 keeper size smallmouth in total, released 4 and kept one for a photo then released it.

I have been using 4 pound test monofilament line on a light action rod and reel. My main bait has been a 1/4 spoon and I have been vertical jigging the spoon very slowly. From the few crappie and spoted bass that I have cleaned I have found they are feeding on tiny tiny shad and crawdads.

I haven't fished for stripers lately, but have gotten the word that a few are being caught. (I have been having too much fun fishing for bass and crappie) I am planning to start looking for them in the morning. If I can't find them I will go after crappie and bass.

Norfork Lake level is on the rise and currently sits at 553.09. Sporadic power generation taking place. The level is only 1 ft above the normal pool of 552.. The lake surface temperature also has risen to 48 degrees with all the warm days we have had. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are muddy way to stained. The mud should clear out very soon.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.