Sunday, April 26, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Fishing on Norfork Lake continues to be very strong. I (Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort) have been mainly fishing in the mornings, but did manage to get out one night since my last report. Over the last week the striped bass bite has been very good in the morning and the bite is still happening after dark. This morning was one of my most active days, I landed 9 striped bass and 4 whites. The bite started as soon as I got to my fishing location at 5:45 AM. I was trolling a 5 inch swim bait with a 1/4 ounce jig head. This swim bait was recommended to me by one of my fishing friends. Thanks Ron, it does work really well. Most of my fish were found on shallow flats in about 20 feet of water. My bait is not going very deep and the fish are coming up for it. Top water action started about a week ago and I got really excited, but several cool fronts rolled though the area and has all but shut down the top water action. I do expect it to take off again once we start getting some consistently warmer days. With this being said, always be ready with a top water bait because the top water eruptions could happen at any time. Look for stripers off of points part way back into creeks and if there is a flat area close by, check it out for feeding fish. Once the sun comes up the fish seem to move out into deeper water. I am finding scattered fish along deep bluff lines later in the morning.

The largemouth and spotted bass bite is continuing to be strong. You will find these species up tight on the banks early in the morning and then they will move off of the banks to 15 - 30 feet of water during the sunny days.  Top water baits are working, as are small crank baits and plastics.  I threw a tube jig and a jig and pig a few days ago and landed some  nice fish. I have been marking plenty of bass suspended close to the deep bluff lines.  Rattle traps are a great bait to get these suspended fish. Smallmouth bass are starting to show up in 15 - 20 feet of water. Grubs and jigs are a great way to fish for this species.
The big white bass are starting to show up in the mid creek areas. Similar locations as the striped bass. They are also hitting similar baits. Once you find the whites you might want to try to cast out a blade type bait such as a Kastmaster and let it sink down to their depth then retrieve slowly. If you find these fish on the bottom you can vertical jig this bait, it is very effective.

I don't have any current news on walleye or crappie as I have been having way too much fun striper and bass fishing. Hopefully by next report I will have some good info.

The Norfork Lake surface water temperature was 63 degrees this morning. This temperature will vary up to 5 degrees depending on your location on the lake and the time of day. The lake level is currently at 558.71. Power generation is occurring part of the day helping to maintain this level. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are slightly stain, but clearing quickly. Norfork Lake is is great shape for fishing and boating so come on down and enjoy yourself on Norfork Lake.

Give me a call at 870-492-5113 for reservations at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort and for my latest fishing tips and advice.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake spring fishing is going strong and should continue and even get better over the next month or so. Knock on wood, but every day my guests are bringing fish into the dock. Striped bass, hybrid bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, crappie and blue gill. Lots of big fish and lots of smiles!

The calm weather yesterday morning brought the best top water action that I have seen this season. The stripers, hybrids and black bass were erupting all around us and I could see them feeding on every point in the area. The fish did seem to relate to points, but there was some action out in the middle of lake. I have been sending my guests to two different parts of the lake and the top water action was happening in both areas. Spooks were working great, but flukes, rattle traps and kastmasters were also catching fish. Today was a little different as a frontal system moved into the area last evening cooling us down a little, but the bigger change is the wind. Today the wind is blowing really strong and all but stopped the top water action, or if it is happening you can not really see it. I ended up trolling today with the heavy wind and landed a nice 10 pound fish and a couple of largemouth bass. I used a 6 inch swim bait with a paddle tail and a 1/4 ounce jig head. I marked most of the bait on the wind blown banks and that is where I caught the fish. I did land a 28 pound monster 3 days ago trolling my swim bait. No photo since I accidentally dropped the fish back in the lake as I was getting out of the boat. I was planning on releasing the fish, but I guess it had other ideas and wanted back in the water before the photo! "Lou's believe it or not! Once this weather system calms down I expect the top water action to continue and get really fun.
Largemouth and spotted bass fishing has been really good. Spooks are working great early in the morning and in the late afternoon. During the day time throw plastics up to the bank and bring them back to the boat slowly on the bottom. Largemouth are up on the banks then move off during the day. Smallmouth are in 15 - 20 ft of water on the bottom and spots are all over. A good percentage of the largemouth have spawned, but you can still find a few on their beds. Lots of bass are being caught. Most of them are being released, except for the bigger ones. My guests want their big fish measured for Hummingbird Hideaway Resort's fishing derby as that long fish may be worth $300 dollars. The longest striper, bass and crappie will all win big bucks and you also get entered into a drawing for a free week stay. Our derby lasts until December 15, 2015.
Walleye fishing is starting to pick up . I had a guest catch several on a small crank bait as well as with suspending jerk baits. Use the suspending jerk baits slow rolled after dark on long shallow points and flats. Slowly trolling suspending jerk baits is also working in the late afternoons, again on long shallow points and close to the buck brush.
Crappie fishing has been up and down. You can still find crappie up on the banks and on shallow sunken brush. Small jigs and crappie minnows using a slip float are working.
White bass are back in the creeks spawning, but are starting to move back out. Top water action for whites will start very soon.
The Norfork Lake level is rising slowly and currently is at 558.39. This is about 4.5 feet above the current pool. The lake was starting to get very clear, but with the rain yesterday the creeks and coves have stained up a little. The lake surface water temperature ranges form the low 60's to the high 60's depending on what part of the lake you are on. The lake is in great shape and the water level is perfect for the fish and fishermen.
Happy fishing and see you on the water.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Norfork Lake spring fishing action is under way. The striped bass are still biting after dark and the bite during the day is heating up.  The biggest problem that we have during the spring is the weather. When we get a string of nice warm days and nights all species get real active. Then a cool front rolls though and slows the bite for a short period. I guess you can say that is fishing. You can still catch fish during a frontal system, but you will need to search until you find active fish.

I fished last evening. After it got dark the bite started. I landed 2 striped bass and lost another to shoreline buck brush. Once the moon rose the bite stopped for me. I checked several different areas with no further luck, but I'm sure somewhere on the lake the fish were active. I called it a night at around 10:30PM. I hope to try again this evening. The day bite is starting to heat up. Trollers are catching fish on swim type baits and live bait fishermen are catching on live thread fin and gizzard shad. The best areas to look for stripers at this time is back into the major and secondary creeks in all parts of the lake. Go part way back and start fishing. As the water continues to warm the fish will start to migrate farther back. Look for bait and once you find it the stripers will not be far behind. I have had guests over the last several days, land striped bass on 1/4 ounce Kastmasters and Zara Spooks.  I have been using suspending stick baits after dark, but they are also a great bait to use in the mornings and evenings.There really has not been a top water bite yet, but if the fish are in the area they will come up for a spook. This year I have seen more stripers caught in the upper 20 and low 30 pound range. There are definitely big fish in Norfork Lake.

Bass fishing has also been good. The best bite has been for spotted bass, then  largemouth. Smallmouth bass are starting to show up. Very soon smallmouth fishing will be fantastic. I have been bass fishing about an hour or so before I head to my night bite spots. I have been having a lot a fun catching bass on a spook. There really is no top water action at this time, but they are coming up for the bait. I have also found that I get more attacks when I walk-the-dog several times then stop the action. The fish seem to attack the bait when it is motionless. Again Kastmasters, spooks, flukes and swim baits are producing some nice fish in the morning and afternoon. Mid day go with baits worked along the bottom starting at the shore line though about 20 feet of water. Best areas are part way back in creeks and coves.

White bass are showing up in similar locations as the black bass and stripers. The same baits talked about for stripers and bass will also catch you big numbers of whites. The whites will also be in very shallow water on flat type areas.

Crappie fishing started out with a bang about a week ago, but has slowed somewhat. With the warm days ahead of us start looking back to shallow water. The morning before this latest cool front came in I had a friend throwing a cast net for bait and he was catching some really nice crappie in 1 - 2 feet of water. It is time for them to be spawning so look for them to be in shallow this week. Best areas are back in creeks and coves or really anywhere you can find dead wood in shallow water.

Walleye are starting to show up in greater numbers. Walleye are being caught on suspending jerk baits after dark fishing for stripers as well blade type baits during the day. I even had a guest catch one on a spoon in 25 feet of water, suspended down 20 feet. Look for the walleye bite to continue to improve.

Norfork Lake level is rising slowly with our recent rains and currently sits at 559.18. The surface water temperature is in the mid to upper 50's. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are stained.

April should be a fantastic month to fish Norfork Lake. Conditions are prime for a great bite. If you want a great fishing and lake experience give us a call at 870-492-5113 for cabin reservations. I will try my best to put you on fish. It is so much fun fishing Norfork Lake.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.