Monday, October 19, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Norfork Lake's fishing pattern is entering into its fall phase. Striped bass are continually moving and not being very consistent in their feeding location. Over the last week I have covered most of the central to northern parts of Norfork Lake from the Robinson area, up to the state line and also back though the Fouts area and all areas in between. The most notable thing is that the bait has moved back into the creeks with very little bait being found in the main lake area. I have found scattered stripers back in the creeks feeding on small 2 inch shad. I have also noticed a few scattered fish along the deep bluff lines in the main lake. My guests and I have caught stripers back in the creeks during the early morning hours as well as the afternoon. Both live thread fin shad as well as vertical jigging with a spoon has been working once you find the fish. As the water temperature continues to fall the fish will become more aggressive in their feeding habits and will start to school. Any time now you will find stripers feeding after dark up close to the banks. If you decide to try the night bite get a few suspending jerk baits and cast as close to the shoreline as you can, then retrieve to the boat very slowly. I will start fishing after dark this week with the full moon.

Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are biting fairly well. The bigger bass started to move up into the sunken brush a week or so ago, but has since moved back out. I believe their move to deeper water occurred due to the drop in the lake level. Most of the sunken buck brush is now exposed or is out of the water. You can still find a few areas with brush out in the water, but I can only catch small fish in these areas. One of our guests loves to throw a jig and pig and is doing quite well. You will catch a lot of short fish, but the bigger ones are also in the area. You will be able to find some good bass in and around brush piles in 30 - 35 feet of water. Vertical jigging with a spoon will start to work as the water temperature continues to cool. In general, soft plastics are working the best worked along the bottom starting in 10 - 15 feet of water out to 40 feet of water.

The bluegill bite is still very strong. If you want to fill up your freezer with a lot of tasty fillets get some crickets and fish around 20 - 30 feet brush piles.

I am finding a lot of schooling white bass back in the creeks feeding on the the bait fish. Most of the whites are small to medium sized fish, but are a blast to catch. Spooning has been working very well.

Crappie fishing has also been inconsistent. One of my lake friends caught 20 one day and then the next day they were gone. They are still roaming through the deeper water going from brush to brush. Keep checking out all your brush piles and you will find them.

Norfork Lake water level continues to drop 3 - 4 inches per day. The lake level currently sits at 556.72 which is only about 3 feet above normal pool. Normal pool is expected to be reached by month end. The lake surface water temperature is also falling and this morning was 70.3 degrees. The water temperature will continue to fall with our cool night and normal day time temps. The main lake is clear with the creeks and coves stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Over the last couple of days I have seen 10 deer crossing the lake. If this continues we are going to need someone to direct traffic!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird HIdeaway Resort

Norfork Lake fishing is in transition to the fall fishing pattern. This basically means that fish can be and are at any depth in the lake. The fish will soon start to school up and  feed heavily for the winter months. Over the last 3 days I have noticed that the largemouth and smallmouth bass are moving to the shoreline. With  the lake still about 6 feet over normal pool we still have buck brush under water. The bass are up in this brush. I have fished several different methods for bass; top water, casting a chatterbait and casting a shallow diving crankbait. All 3 baits have produced some nice keeper size large and smallmouth bass as well as many short fish. I've been fishing the wind blown main lake points as well as secondary creek and cove points. The fish are up tight to the bank. You will catch lots of bass, but most will be on the short side.

Bluegill are along the shoreline near sunken brush piles in 20-30 feet of water. A couple of our guests fished yesterday afternoon and brought back a basket full of nice sized bluegills. Crickets are deadly.

White bass can be found back in the major creeks following the shad. I haven't found any top water action lately, but the trollers are having fun. Last week I had a big group of guys here fishing in their club tournament. They caught many whites, largemouth and smallmouth bass during their stay. A few of the guys were trolling a deep diving crankbait, removing the end hook and replacing it with a leader and a small Rooster Tail. The whites loved it.

Stripers and hybrids are on the move and are starting to school. Sunday morning I was fishing a deep bluff line point and had huge schools of fish show up. I had live thread fin shad down 30 & 50 feet. I was also jigging a spoon. The live bait poles started to get hammered, but the bites were not super aggressive. I managed to land 2 hybrids in the 6 - 7 pound range and missed too many to admit.:-) I had several good bites at 50 feet, but sad to say I missed all of them. I suspect the deeper fish were the stripers. These schools of fish are constantly moving so if you are in the right place at the right time you will see more fish than you know what to do with! I keep checking my normal fall haunts as these fish will eventually get more consistent on these feeding locations as the lake water temperature lowers. These fish will be at all depths from along deep water bluffs to deep flats. Top water action for striped bass and hybrid bass typically starts when the water temp gets into the 60's.

The current Norfork Lake water temperature this morning was 73 - 74 degrees. It should continue to fall each day. The lake level is at 560.46 and continues to fall 3 - 4 inches per day. Normal pool is 553.75. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are stained, but starting to clear with the cooler water temps.

It looks to be another great fall fishing season.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

PS: All my fish over the last couple of weeks have been released on site and I am no good at taking selfies. :-)