Sunday, March 31, 2013

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake Fishing is heating up for a great spring season. The lake has finally warmed up to the low fifties and the temperature is gradually increasing each day. The winds are starting to come from the south which is the sign I always look for in the spring.

Striper fishing is improving daily. I fished Friday and Saturday with live thread fin shad. Friday I pre-fished with Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters 870-421-1541 with great success on the number of bites. We landed 4 stripers. The biggest was 16 pounds and we caught several white bass in the 3.5 pound range. We also had 4 other fish hooked and the fight was on, but things happened and they got their freedom earlier than we wanted. Overall it was a great day. Yesterday I fished alone and landed 2 with the biggest being 13 pounds and missed more than I should have. It is difficult to get a good hook set and work the trolling motor in a windy day, but I had fun. Both days we fished with live thread fin shad free, swimming with just a very small split shot. The baits were floating about 80 ft behind the boat. I also have credible reports that 3 nice stripers were landed in the 101 area on flukes and rogues. The night bite is also improving, but slowly. I expect the night bite to really take off with the warmer water. Fish were landed last evening in the Cranfield area as well as the 101 area. Slow rolling a rogue back to the boat is the ticket for the night bite. Walleye are starting to move back into the area so things are looking up. Find the bait and you will find the fish.

White bass fishing had been phenomenal for me the last couple of weeks. I was landing big fat 3.5 + pound whites at will. I was spooning the fish, as well as casting, and trolling an umbrella rig. I have found whites back by 6B and in the Cranfield area. The last couple of days has slowed somewhat for white, but I really wasn't targeting them. We did land several Friday with live shad. The few fish that I cleaned were still full of eggs so expect them to be travelling back into the creeks to do their annual thing. Look back in Pigeon Creek, back in the Bennett's area and up river in the Calamity area. The males should be waiting .

I haven't been out just bass fishing lately, but good sources have been catching nice size fish off of creek bluff lines and main lake bluff lines in about 15 feet of water. With the rise in water temperature they should start to stage for their upcoming spawn.

Crappie had started to move up to the shoreline before our unseasonal snowfall. They moved back out, but with the warming of the water they have started to move back to the banks. Look for dead timber on the shoreline and shallow brush and you should start to find the crappie. I have seen crappie and blue gill back under my dock, as well,  so that is a great sign for the arrival of spring.

Walleye are starting to be caught all over the lake especially in the evenings and early mornings. Their spawn should be over and the migration out of the creeks has started. Look for more walleye during the night bite.

Norfork Lake is rising very slowly and currently sits at 552.2. The new normal pool is 553.75 with minimum flow so the level is perfect for this time of year. The lake water temperature is rising daily and currently in the low 50's. The main lake is clear with creeks up by Hummingbird Hideaway Resort still a little stained.

If you are planning on visiting Norfork Lake in the next couple months be sure to check out the Norfork Lake Chamber of Commerce fishing derby. Details can be found on Hummingbird Hideaway Resort's website at or give us a call for more information. 870-492-5113

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake fishing is gearing up for what I expect to be a great spring bite. Over the last couple of weeks I have seen indicators that the spring bite will only get better. The night bite is starting, and the fish are moving up higher in the water column, striped bass are still schooling and feeding on shad in deep water. Find the bait and you will find the stripers. I have not been out much over the past couple of weeks with all the nasty cold and windy days this past week and my trip to Houston, Texas the week before for my grand daughters's first birthday. It does appear that the weather is finally going to get back to normal. One great fishing sign that excited me happened last weekend with the full moon. Two of my guests decided to stay out and fish after dark. The evenings were cool, but they braved the elements. They started throwing suspending jerk baits (Lucky Craft) right up to the shore line. Saturday night they landed one nice striper, a walleye and missed numerous other fish, one a break-off. Then on Sunday night they landed 3 or 4 good stripers and a couple more walleye. They stated that the bite ended around 9:30PM. The biggest key to success for the night bite is to slow roll your jerk bait. Do not jerk or twitch it, slow and steady all the way back to the boat. I ended up getting cabin fever on Wednesday 

evening even though the temperature was in the mid 30's and the wind was blowing 10 - 15 mph. I headed out around 5:30PM and got to my fishing location as the sun was setting. I was throwing a Smithwick rogue to the banks. No stripers, but I did land a nice walleye and missed 3 other fish. One of the misses was at the boat while trying to net the fish. My walleye bites have been really light bites or even just nudges. You do need to set the hook quickly. I ended up going out again last evening with some success. Again no stripers after dark but I did land one walleye. It was before dark that I had success vertical jigging with a spoon. I started fishing around 5PM which gave me about an hour of light. I found medium size schools of white bass, hybrid bass and stripers. I caught 4 nice whites, 2 smaller hybrids and missed a much bigger fish. I guess I was day dreaming a little and did not get a hook set. I was twitching my spoon in 50 feet of water when all of a sudden my pole was almost jerked out of my hands. I did not respond quickly enough and lost the fish. The schools of fish that I was marking were in 20 to 50 feet down in about 80 feet of water.

 No other new news about black bass or crappie at this time. They both should be showing up in and around brush in 20 - 40 feet of water. Bass will also be feeding in shallow water early and late in the day. Jerk baits and medium depth cranks baits will also work. Main lake points have always been a favorite location of mine for bass, especial along the bluff lines.

If you are guest of a Norfork Lake Chamber of Commerce resort and would like to win $500 dollars or more you may want to join the 2013 Norfork Lake Fishing Derby. The Derby lasts from 3/1/13 through 5/31/2013. A $500.00 prize will be awarded for the largest striped bass, hybrid bass, crappie, walleye and black bass. For more details go to our website at then click on the button for Fishing Derby.

The current lake level has risen to 548.16 over the last couple of weeks. The lake is in great shape with all ramps back in operation. The surface water temperature last evening was 44.5 - 44.9 degrees, somewhat of a cool down after all the cold weather and rain we have been having. The main lake is clear with the creeks and coves stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.