Monday, April 7, 2014

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake Fishing is heating up. Stripers, bass and crappie are all starting to bite. The fish are moving to the banks to feed both in the day as well as in the dark. The lake surface water temperature has consistantly been in the low to upper 50s depending the location on the lake and the time of day.

The best bite for striped bass is still back in the creeks. A few fish are starting to move out into the main lake, but the water temp will need to rise more for a consistant main lake bite. Look for stripers on shallow water points and flats at night as well as during the day, especially if you are in the warmest water. The stripers seem to be in deeper water when the water is cooler. Live bait is working very well, shiners, threadfin shad and gizzard shad are all working. The size of your bait does matter at times, but I have no clue why? Only the fish will be able to tell you. I have mainly been fishing after dark. This is the best time for me to be away due to the work load at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort. I have been in kind of a slump lately, I have been catching many stripers each time out but the biggest has only been around 7 pounds. I keep checking out new areas after dark, and I catch fish, but the big boys and girls are eluding me. This will change for me soon. Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters had a fantastic day yesterday. His group landed many big fish using gizzard shad. One of my good friends landed a 30 pounder late yesterday afternoon. Hopefully I will get his photo. If you are live bait fishing make sure you have several lines out with no weights, the fish are coming up for them. It will not be long before fluke and spook fishing will start to take off.

Over the last several days bass fishing has become much better. Largemouth, spots and smallmouth bass are moving into the shallows feeding on bait fish. Stick baits, swimming minnows, crankbaits and plastics are all starting to work. What a change since the last couple of tournaments. I am also starting to catch bass after dark which tells me they are getting very close to spawn time.  I'm sure a few are already on their beds.

Crappie have also started to move into shallow water over brush. I am  seeing many big slabs under my dock and this has happened just over the last several days. The water is pretty clear so when you are fishing brush piles you will need to stay away and cast into them. The fish will not be very deep so you don't want to spook them. Live bait with a slip cork or smal paddle tail baits tipped with a minnow will work great.

Walleye, white bass and catfish fishing should start to heat up very soon. Look for these species on shallow flats and main lake points. Currently the walleye and white bass are back in the creeks and will be moving out. Catfish will be starting their spawn soon if not already so look shallow.

The Norfork Lake water level is rising slowly and currently sits at 553.90. The surface water temperature has a wide range 50 - 58 degrees depending where you are at on the lake and the time of day. There has been periodic water generation by the Corps of Engineers. The main lake is clear and the coves and creeks are slightly stained, a very good fishing color.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.