Sunday, July 28, 2013

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake fishing is in its summer pattern. Fish are located below the thermocline, on the bottom as well as suspended in deep water channels. The thermocline appears to be between 26 to 30 feet deep.
Striper Bass fishing has been very erratic. It is good one day and tough the next. Stripers are being caught from mid lake (Robinson area) to the dam area. You can find stripers half way back in creeks and also out in the main lake. They are still very scattered and have not really schooled up as they typically do this time of year. You will find the stripers 30 to 60 feet down in 40 - 130 feet of water. It has been challenging, but that is what I enjoy about striper fish, the hunt! Live bait is working as well as vertical jigging. Trollers are finding fish in the same areas, keeping their baits 30 - 40 feet down.
The best bite for me at this time is walleye. I should have limited out the last two days, but I malfunctioned on the netting part. I guess my superstition of not having my net ready until I see the first fish has to end. The last two days I have lost very nice walleyes because I am fumbling around trying to get the net extended and the fish wiggles off the hook. I am finding walleye in 30 - 33 feet of water in and around brush. Most of the fish are inside the brush.


Largemouth and spotted bass fishing with a few smallmouth bass has also been good. Most days there has been a good top water bite starting at sunrise which ends when the sun gets over the trees. On cloudy days the bite lasts longer. I have been throwing a Zara Spook when the fish start to erupt. There are some nice fish along the shore, but don't be afraid to cast out to deeper water. The bass are chasing shad and can be in any depth of water. Mid size hybrids are also coming up in the same locations. Once the bass go down throw a crank bait that dives 10 feet. You will extend the morning bite this way. I haven't been out in the evening, but I would assume the bass are doing the same thing at sunset. Mid day look out in 30 - 45 feet of water and start vertical jigging a spoon. I have found most of the action half way back into creeks along a channel swing. The fish will be on the points and out in the middle of the channel.
The catfish bite has been good on trotlines. Set your trotline along a deep bluff. Tie both ends off to some rocks along the shore then tie on a rock half way up the line and drop it into the water. Your line will be shaped in a half moon shape. The deep side should be in 20 - 30 feet of water. Bait up the line with live bait, shiners or small gills. 
The current lake level is 554.65 and holding fairly stable. Slight generation is occurring. The surface water temperature fell a few degrees and this morning was 81 - 83 degrees. The water is somewhat stained in coves and creeks and clear on the main lake.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

The fish on Norfork Lake are transitioning to their normal summer pattern. Basically, I am saying the fish are going deeper and deeper and schooling.

Striped bass fishing has been good. I am finding stripers in the mid lake area down to the dam. I have been fishing with my nephew and we have been doing pretty good. We have caught stripers on live bait and by vertical jigging with a spoon. Most of the fish that I have found are in the old river channel 30 to 60 feet down suspended in 100 plus feet of water. I am fishing main lake points where the channel swings in and also deep water flats. You will need good electronics this time of year to mark the fish especially if you are vertical jigging. When I am vertical jigging I drop my spoon down to 30 feet and start to move around slowly with my trolling motor. I pull the spoon up a good 5 feet and let it free fall. If I mark fish deeper I drop the spoon down to their level, but be alert, as it is falling they suck it up so be ready to make a good hard hook set. When live bait fishing I have had the best luck with large gizzard shad. They still seem to want the bigger baits over the smaller ones. I have been setting my bait at 30 - 45 feet down and moving around slowly with my trolling motor.

Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has also been really good. I am finding these fish around 30 feet sunken brush piles, and main lake points in 20 - 30 feet of water. Early in the morning there still is some good top water action, so have your spook handy. Most of the top water fish have been small, but you can still get the occasional lunker. Crank baits that go about 10 feet down are working as are standard Texas rigged worms and jig & pigs worked slowly along the bottom.

Crappie are on the move, you can find a few on the 30 feet brush, but most are starting to migrate out to deeper water and suspend along deep bluff water ridges.

Catfishing has been good on rod & reel as well as jugs and trot lines. You can get them in about 20 feet or less of water. Live bait is working the best. Try minnows or nightcrawlers.

The Norfork lake water level is falling a couple of inches per day and is currently is at 556.3 which is almost normal pool. Generation is occurring most of the day, but seems to be slowing a little as the lake approaches normal pool. The surface water temperature cooled to 81 - 82 degrees with the cool front that came through the other day. Day time temps have been in the 80's and the night time temps have been dropping into the high 50's to low 60's. It has been great weather for sitting outside. Things will start warming up very soon. Creeks and coves are a little stained and the main lake is still very clear.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.