Monday, November 24, 2014

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake's fall fishing is on fire. If you like to catch lots of fish, November has historically been a great time to fish the lake and this November is no exception. Yes, November is almost over so think about making that Norfork Lake trip and get in on the November 2015 fun! Striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass have been biting all day long. The size of the fish varies, but I have caught 5 stripers in the 10 - 14 pound range and and 4 hybrids in the 6 - 8 pound range over the last week. The white bass are huge and most being caught are in the 2 - 3 pound range. You will catch a lot of medium to small size stripers and hybrids along with the bigger fish, but this is what it is all about. Catching fish! I have found fish in 2 different types of area, 1- half way back in major creeks typically at a channel swing, and 2- on large flats. In both areas I have found the fish at 30 - 48 feet water depths. Most of my fish are being caught off of the bottom, but I have caught a few of the bigger stripers and hybrids suspended down 30 feet when I was in 45 - 50 feet of water. This morning I was fishing with John & Cameron and we boated many fish, nothing huge, but lots of them. The weather wasn't great for the fishermen since the wind was blowing 20+ mph sustained. It is really hard to stay on fish once you find them but if you stay on the fish they are biting. I, as well as my guests, have been vertical jigging with a 1/2 to 1 ounce spoon. Color hasn't really made a difference and the size doesn't seem to matter. I typically match the weight to the depth I am trying to get down to. Zero to 20 feet I use a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce, 20 - 40 I use a 3/4 ounce and 40 + I use a 1 ounce. Areas to check out are in the Cranfield area, 101 bridge area, 101 boat dock area, Float, Panther and Fall Creeks. I am sure there are many other areas holding fish, but these are the ones relatively close to my resort (Hummingbird Hideaway Resort).

For other species I really don't have any new information as I have been having a blast targeting the stripers, hybrids and whites. I will get after the crappie, walleye and bass in a few weeks.

The Norfork Lake level rose slightly with the rain we got yesterday to 549. 31. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are stained. The surface water temperature was in the mid 50's this morning.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

The Norfork Lake Fishing Report is written by Lou Gabric, owner operator of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort on Norfork Lake. Open year round, Hummingbird Hideaway Resort has a cabin to fit your needs, whether it be for your vacation or a place for family and friends visiting you in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Call for more info. 870-492-5113

Fall fishing season is here on Norfork Lake with the winter fishing season just around the corner With fall comes cooler air temperatures which in turns lowers the lake water temperature. With the cool off, the fish start feeding heavily for the winter months and move to shallower water. And yes, it has been frigid for the last week, but I still braved the cold the last 3 days and fishing was good. This is a great time to stock up your freezers with some Norfork Lake fish for the winter.

The best bite on the lake is for striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass. If you get out at day break start looking on large flats in 25 feet of water and as the morning progresses keep going deeper. I have been catching a lot of fish from 25 - 45 ft of water. As the water continues cooling the bait will move to deeper water and the fish will follow.The bite this morning was good, but not as good as the last two days. I caught over dozen fish by 8AM, then decided to check out different areas to find the big stripers. Over the last week I have caught good fish on several flat areas. I have fished the 101 bridge and marina areas, Fouts area, Mallard, Cranfield, Steward Point and others. You can also find good fish going up river to the Calamity area and above into MO or head the other direction into the Bennetts area. Friday afternoon I headed into Float Creek and got into some huge schools of stripers in the 10 + pound range in 45 ft of water. My bait of choice has been a white 3/4 ounce spoon vertical jigging off the bottom. If you decide to cast for these species you might want to try a large Kastmaster or a Rooster Tail, but you will need to let if fall to the bottom and retrieve it slowly working it off the bottom. Swim baits will also work, but again work the bait off the bottom. When the evenings get warm enough for me to be out, I will start casting a suspending jerk bait for stripers after dark. I do believe the night bite has started.

Black bass have started their move to the banks to feed early and late in the day. Jerk baits are starting to work as well as crank baits. Jig and pigs are always a good choice especially once the fish go a little deeper during the mid day hours. The bass are feeding on crawdads so choose your colors appropriately.

Crappie are moving back to the brush. I have caught several nice fish on the tops of brush piles that are in 20 - 30 ft of water. Early in the morning they will be deep in the brush and as the water warms they will move up. Minnows are the best bait, but I like small spoons or a paddle tail grub tipped with a minnow. Remember as the lake continues to clear you may need to back off the brush and cast into it so you don't spook the fish.

Walleye have eluded me, but I really have not targeted them. You should be able to find them on the same brush piles as the crappie, but work your bait off the bottom. They will also be off both sides of main lake points.

Norfork Lake level is falling slowly and currently sits at 549.72. The surface water temperature has also fallen to 58 degrees with all the cool weather we have been having. The main lake is clear and the coves and creeks are still stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

The Norfork Lake Fishing Report is written by Lou Gabric, owner operator of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort on Norfork Lake. Open year round, Hummingbird Hideaway Resort has a cabin to fit your needs, whether it be for your vacation or a place for family and friends visiting you in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Call for more info. 870-492-5113

Fall fishing is in full swing on Norfork Lake. The stripers, hybrids and whites have moved into their fall patterns and will stay in the same general areas though November and into December. Of course this being said, if mother nature throws some really cold weather at us dropping the lake temperature into the mid to low 50's all bets are off. You are probably asking yourself "what the heck is he talking about"? From prior years fishing experience, I am seeing that the fish are moving into the same types of areas that they typically move to in the fall. This has been the same fall pattern year after year. Start looking for stripers, hybrids and whites from the 62 bridge up though the Bennetts Bayou area, and also from the 101 bridge though the Cranfield area up to and a little past the the MO/AR border. In the early mornings and afternoons fish can be found on large flats in all water depths, 20-50 feet of water typically feeding on the bottom. Large schools will be roaming these flats so electronics are very helpful. Once the sun comes up they typically move closer to the old river and creek channels so start looking in 50 - 70 feet of water, but still on the bottom. Over the last 4 days, I along with my fishing guests, have found stripers, hybrids and whites in these types of areas. The morning bite has lasted 2 - 3 hours and the evening bite seems to kick off around 3PM. Today after we lost the fish in the flats I started to look in the the deep channels and found roaming schools on the bottom at 50 ft close to bluffs. I am also very hopeful that we will get some consistent topwater action. This morning a handful of big fish came up on the flats, but it was sporadic. It could happen at any time. Slow rolling a suspending stick bait after dark will also be effective soon. A few more degree drop in water temperature and I believe the night bite will get active.

Crappie are moving back to brush piles in 20 - 40 ft of water. I caught a nice 14 inch slab with 3 other 11 inch crappies two evenings ago. I was jigging 15 - 20 ft down on the tops of the sunken trees. You will also find many of the big bluegills in these same brush piles. Black bass and walleye will also be hanging in the same areas, but you typically will need to get closer to the bottom of the trees for these species.

Most of the walleye that I have caught are still out in open water. I have spooned up several keeper size walleye along with a bunch of short ones in 40 - 50 ft of water. I catch these while striper fishing.

I have noticed big largemouth bass (3 pounders) roaming the shore line at dusk feeding on minnows and bluegills. I always check both sides of my dock walkway when walking onto my dock and I see several each evening. I have not targeted black bass lately, but these shallow fish tell me it is almost jerk bait time.

The Norfork Lake water level is falling very slowly and currently sits at 550.34 which is a little more than 3 feet under the seasonal normal pool. The water surface temperature this morning was 66 degrees. The creeks and coves are still stained and the main lake is somewhat stained, but clearing.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.