Thursday, October 11, 2012

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake is shaping up to be a great place for fall fishing. The lake temperature has dropped into the upper 60's. The lake appears to have turned-over or at least the thermocline has dropped to 50 - 60 feet. The lake is clearing up. Top water action is starting. Fish are starting to feed in very shallow water. Fish are moving back onto brush piles. These are all typical signs of the beginning of the fall bite and the top water action really excites me! Over the last couple of weeks the stripers have been very hard to find and today I have found out why. They have started their fall move to the mid and upper portions of the lake. I was in the mid lake area this morning vertical jigging off of a main lake point in 35 feet of water. I had landed a nice walleye and several nice bass off of this point when I started to hear a lot of splashing going on. I looked out over the lake and saw one of my favorite fishing sights, striped bass were jumping out of the water all over the place. They kept coming closer to me and I picked up my spook rod and started to cast and walk-the-dog back to the boat. The spook got slammed several times and each fish missed then all of sudden another strike, I set the hook and off to the races we went. Ten minutes later I landed the above 14 pound striper. I quickly got my spook out of the fishes mouth and casted again. A second fish hammered it and off it ran. This fish was giving a good fight and I finally was making headway. I bent down to get the first striper out of the net and I must have given the fish a little slack and it came off:( I know better.) By this time the top water action had stopped and the fish were gone.There were hundreds of fish in this school making this a great sign of future fishing fun. I sure hope it keeps up and gets better. I could have been spooning as well as casting a spook. When I looked at the graph it showed all kinds of fish feeding under the boat.

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing is also improving daily. Fish can be caught in a variety of methods. I have been vertical jigging a spoon in 25 - 40 feet of water, throwing a jig & pig, and have started to cast a suspending rogue. I have been catching most of the fish off of the jig & pig. These fish are anywhere from on the shore to 25 feet deep. Jerk bait fishing (I use a rouge) is starting to heat up. I landed three nice spotted bass on a rogue yesterday morning. I have been working the bait as a jerk bait, by this I mean: I cast the bait to the shore, let it sit for a few seconds and give it a couple quick jerks, stop and let it sit, then give it a couple more jerks. I continue this method back to the boat. Live bait will also work, worms, shiners, shad and crawdad are all good live bait choices. I have mainly been concentrating on bluffs lines and points of the bluff lines. I have not really checked back in the major creeks, but secondary points in the creeks should be holding fish.

I have found walleye on the same rocky points as the bass. I caught all my walleye with a spoon vertical jigging in 30 - 40 feet of water.

Crappie are starting to move back onto brush piles that are in 20 - 40 feet of water. Vertical jigging a small spoon, casting a grub tipped with a minnow or just a minnow with a slip bobber will do the trick. Main lake brush has been the better areas, but keep checking the major creek brush, they will be on them soon. The fish will vary their depths depending on the time of day and how much sun light there is. Keep changing your depths until you find the fish.

Catfish are still hitting trotlines and jugs baited with live minnows. Guests are catching some nice fish while floating with crawlers on the bottom.

The Norfork Lake level is falling slowly and currently sits at 544.29. The surface water temperature is also falling and was at 68 - 69 degrees this morning. The lake is becoming clearer with a slight stain back in the creeks and coves.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.