Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

11-19-13 Today's Catch

Fishing is still in the fall pattern on Norfork Lake. Striped, hybrid and white bass are all schooling and a lot of times can be found feeding together. I have been mainly fishing two areas for the last month, Cranfield and the 101 area. I have checked many other locations but always tend to return to these two. I have had reports of stripers and whites being caught in the Calamity Beach area and also Float Creek. Recently I have been finding my fish in 45 - 55 ft of water, but have also found them in 30 ft. These areas are big so it does take some looking around with your electronics until you mark fish. Today was a very good day for me. I first checked out the Cranfield area and did not mark much that excited me, so I headed to the 101 area. I arrived around 8AM and stopped and talked to one of my friends that had been fishing. So far he had landed a nice 6 pound hybrid on a live shiner using just a small split shot for weight. This method would be good for fish up on the surface. I started up my motor and moved away from him slowly when I started marking some big arcs under my boat. Then I saw a few fish breaking the surface. I stopped and grabbed my casting rod that was baited with a  1/2 ounce silver Kastmaster with a feather tail, and casted past the blow-ups. It wasn't long into my retrieval when I got a bump, but missed it. I continued reeling and a second fish hammered it and took off on a long run. It was a good fight and I thought the fish was much bigger than it turned out to be. The top water action didn't last long, but I started marking fish on the bottom and started vertical jigging with a spoon. Smaller stripers were on the bottom, which kept me entertained for the next 20 minutes or so. I lost the school and started moving around again. It took at least 15 minutes until I  found a huge school of fish. They were in 47 ft of water and feeding. I dropped my spoon and on the fall  could feel the fish hitting it then the fall stopped so I set the hook. This was  a school of hybrids in the 3 - 5 pound range. I kept on this school for about 20 minutes and then lost it. I started moving around again and found another big school of fish on the bottom. Dropped the spoon and started to pull up huge white bass one after the other. This went on for about 30 minutes and I lost them. It was a little after 10AM so I decided to head home to work on  leaf cleanup at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort. The friend that I was talking with when I first arrived, did land a nice 18 pound striper on a live shiner. Live bait as well as artificial baits are working. The changing weather patterns that we have been having play havoc on the fish. Everyday is different and the bite is never the same. As I always say the fish are biting somewhere on the lake and your job is to find them! Stripers, hybrids and white bass are continually moving and chasing the bait fish which sometime makes it very challenging.
As you have noticed I have not talked about other species as I have mainly been fishing for this white bass group of fish. I will get back on crappie, walleye and black bass soon. As the water temperature continues to cool, jerk bait time will be here, as well as, hopefully the night bite with suspending jerk baits.
The Norfork Lake water level is holding fairly stable and currently sits at 552.58. The surface water temperature this morning ranged from 60 degrees to 61.5 degrees. The main lake is fairly clear, but the creeks and coves are stained with a nice green tint. Periodic power generation occurs during the day which is maintaining the lake level.
The Norfork Lake Chamber of Commerce has been busy working out the details for the upcoming 2014 spring fishing derby. Look for details on www.NorforkFishingDerby.com and start making your spring fishing plans now.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake.