Friday, August 23, 2013

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake striped bass fishing is on fire. The fish have schooled up and are in the main lake. Over the last two days I have caught and released over 30 striped & hybrid bass. (all in the 5 - 15 pound range)The fish are in their typical August pattern. Find then in 70 feet of water to 150+ feet of water. Most of them are suspended down 50 - 80 feet deep, some a little shallower and some even deeper. I caught one yesterday 100feet down. I have mainly been vertical jigging with a spoon, but live bait, as well as trolling lures are also working well. To vertical jig at these deep depths, you will need to know how many seconds it takes for your bait to free fall down to 60 feet of water. This will be different for each rod and reel.What I have done in the past is sit my boat in 60 feet of water then I drop the bait straight down. I count 1001, 1002, ect. until it hits the bottom. Repeat this several times, but always keep your counting speed the same. Now when you'er out in 150 ft of water you can get to 60 feet by counting the number of seconds it took during your trials. The other method is to drop it to the bottom and reel up to your depth. A typical bait caster is 1.5 feet per crank and a spinning reel is approx. 2 feet per crank. Remember that each rod and reel combo will be different. For me the best striped bass bite has been from point 2 down to the dam. The lake is cooler than normal and the oxygen level is good at all depths for stripers. Most fish can be released and will swim away, but if they don't you need to keep it and have it for supper. Striped bass are really good eating as long as you clean them properly.
If you are a striped bass fisherman  or someone just wanting to catch a striped bass this is the time to come. Give us a call and we can get you set up with a cabin, a guide if desired or I will let you know the locations where I have been catching fish so you can try it on your own. Our phone number is 870-492-5113.
The lake level is falling approximately 4 inches per day and currently sits at 560.85. The surface water temperature is currently around 83 degrees. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are clearing. The Corps is generating most of the day with all generators.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters with a double on. 8/23/13

Paul with a 15 pounder 8/22/13

Ron with a 13 pounder 8/22/13

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake fishing has been really good after the rise in the lake level. We received over 7 inches of rain in a week period and the lake has come up about 7 feet from two weeks ago. The lake level is perfect for fishermen and pleasure boaters alike. Plenty of lake to play on with little or no diminished amenities at area resorts and campgrounds.
The striped bass have finally started to school. This morning I caught 8 legal length stripers and hybrids with 2 stripers in the 10 pound range and 2 hybrids about 8 pounds each. I released all fish except for a hybrid and a striper. Neither of these fish would swim away so they will become dinner. No photo since my photographer brought the camera down to the dock, but the battery had no charge! I was vertical jigging with a spoon in 105 ft of water and the fish were suspended in 40 - 60 ft of water. There was also plenty of top water action where I caught several 15 inch spotted bass and some smaller hybrids and stripers on a Zara Spook. It was a blast. A few days ago I was fishing with my daughter and she landed this monster 25 pound striper. I was trolling a white headed Hyper Striper with a 6 inch green with silver fleck tail. I was using 6 ounces of clip on weights about 60 feet back of the bait then another 150 feet of line. I think my bait was down close to 30 feet deep.  A father and 2 son team fished with Jim Nichols about a week ago. They landed a nice 25 pound fish and several others. Jim was fishing with live gizzard shad. With the rise in the water level the fish have moved back into the creeks and coves. Start looking for fish from 30 ft down out to the deep channel. Once the lake stabilizes the stripers will start to move out to the main lake points if this hasn't already started to happen.

Believe it or not, but crappie fishing has also been really good. Typically this time of year crappie are very hard to find as they suspend out in deep cool water. With the cooler water temperature and the relatively shallow thermocline crappies have moved back to the brush and at times are only 5 ft down. Bob and Angie caught well over a 100 crappie last week with maybe 40% of them being of keeper size. Lots of 9.5 inch fish, but anytime you can catch 32 fish in day and have 15 keepers you have had a great day. Small jig heads with a 2 inch swimming minnow tipped with a live minnow did the trick. Find brush in 30 - 40 ft of water then start fishing at different depths until you find where the fish are feeding.

Walleye fishing has also been pretty good. They can be found in 30 - 40 ft of water near brush. I have been vertical jigging a spoon at this water depth bouncing the spoon off of the bottom. If you don't catch walleye you will catch white bass as well as black bass and catfish.

The Norfork Lake level is holding fairly steady at 562 with a slight rise when no generation and a slight fall when the generators are turned on. The lake surface water temperature ranged from 79 - 82 degrees this morning. The cooler nights are starting to drop the temp. Our forecast is for warmer temperatures in the next few days. The water is starting to clear after all the rains. Very little floating debris in the lake, but still be on the look out for any floating logs that may have broken loose from the shore line. Be safe and wear your live jacket and kill switch lanyard.

We still have a few cabins available for the Labor Day holiday week end. Our mid season rates went into effect today. A get away to Hummingbird Hideaway Resort is always great but it is a real bargain this time of year. You get summer weather with fall rates. We have great dock access, plentiful dockside parking and a hard surface launch.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.