Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Norfork Lake Fishing Report


I hope everyone had a great Memorial Holiday. The weather was fantastic and all of our guests had a great time playing in the pool and lake. I think we all all glad to have summer like weather.

It has been a long time since I have written a report, not because I have not been fishing or that fishing has been no good, but instead because of time constraints. I am still fishing at least 5 days a week and the resort has been being really busy this spring so the report has taken back stage. I will try and do better. Actually fishing has been good most of this spring.

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fishing continues to be the best bite on the lake. Striped bass fishing is the next best bite. Catfishing has been very good and crappie fishing has been fair.

There is still a good top water bite for bass at sunrise and sunset. Once the sun comes up, the fish stay down, but can still be caught in the sunken buck brush down through 20 feet of water. Spinner baits and crank baits are working good on windy days and soft plastics when it is windy or calm. Shaky heads, tube jigs, jig & pigs, Texas rig worms or just about any type of plastic bait you like to use. Look for bass off of secondary points back in creeks and coves, close to submerged brush piles or on shallow flats. Spots can be found on the deeper rock bluff walls again off of points and the sides of the point.

Striper fishing keeps getting better. I have only been using artificial baits up until yesterday. I have had luck with top water baits as well as flukes and jerk baits (when it is still dark). Top water action for stipers has been spotty, but when you find the fish it can be a blast.  Over the last 2 days I have started fishing with live bait. I have found fish half way back in major creeks. At this time of year and with this water temperature you will be able to find stripers on the surface down to around 30 feet of water. At this 30 foot level they can be suspended in the deep channel water or sitting on the bottom. The stripers are almost everywhere on the lake at this time. We should start to see schooling fish so get your spoons ready as it will soon be vertical jigging time for stripers. You can also troll umbrella rigs or Alabama rigs to catch some of these strong fish. If you find fish down 30 feet you may need to add in-line weights to get your artificial bait down to the right depth. Don't forget about top water action for stripers, hybrids and whites, I have seen plenty of this action during the month of June in prior years.

Catfish are hitting really well on trotlines and jugs. The use of live blue gill, nightcrawlers, chicken livers and shad are all working really well. Set your trotlines in 10 - 25 feet of water. Jug fishing works the best if you weight the jug to the bottom. This way you will be able to find them when you are checking them. Crawler harnesses are also working very well for catfish for you rod and reel fisherpeople.

Crappie fishing is starting to slow a bit with the warm weather. You can still catch some nice fish on brush piles in 20 - 30 feet of water. The crappie will be inside of brush or suspended as the water warms.

The Norfork Lake level is rising slowly and currently sits at 556.81 which is normal pool at this time of year. The lake surface water temperature was in the mid 70's this morning. The main lake is very clear with the creeks and coves slightly stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

All photos are of recent catches.