Sunday, March 20, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Spring has officially arrived at Norfork Lake and the spring fishing patterns have started. With the coming of early spring starts the pre-spawn feed for large and smallmouth bass as well as stripers, hybrids and whites. The fish are moving to shallow flats and feeding heavily on shad. The biggest drawback with early spring is the constant change in the weather. When we have the warm south winds the bite gets real good, then a cold front rolls though which tends to move the fish off the shore and slow the bite somewhat. I guess that is why they call it fishing.

The best bite on the lake in my opinion is for large and small mouth bass. I have been fishing with a 1/4 ounce silver Kastmaster with a feather covering the treble hook, some call it a spoon others call it a blade bait. You will find nice size bass all the way back in creeks in shallow water, main lake shallow flats and on main lake points. I have been fishing in the afternoon until dark for bass and have found nice size fish feeding on shad on the surface, then when the top water action stops, I am finding them suspended 10 - 20 feet down in deep water, but still related to the main lake point. Wiggle warts and suspending jerk baits are also producing some really nice fish.

Striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass can also be found in very shallow water. During the daylight hours I have been finding some nice stripers on main lake flats in very shallow water, anywhere in 2 - 20 feet of water. As the sun comes up they tend to move out into 40 + feet of water. Some are on the bottom and others are suspended. Good electronics is a definite plus for finding these deeper fish. My small Kastermaster as well as a 3 - 4 inch grub has been working the best for me. The biggest issue with the Kastmaster is that it has a really small treble hook and is hard to get a good hook set in a stripers hard mouth. I have been losing more fish after a 5 minute battle than fish that I get to boat. The striper bite after dark is also continuing and should only get better. I am still throwing a 5 - 6 inch suspending stick bait and reeling it slowly back to the boat. I have been finding stripers on shallow main lake points as well as shallow points back in the major creeks.

Walleye are starting to bite after dark, as well as early and late in the day. They are being located in the same type of areas where I am finding stripers. Stickbaits, grubs and even the Kastmaster spoons are catching some nice fish.

Norfork Lake level is falling slowly with one generator running and currently sits at 554.02. (Close to normal pool.) The surface water temperature is in the mid to upper 50's. The lake is starting to clear, but is still stained all over. Ideal fishing colored water.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

NIGHT BITE ON NORFORK LAKE: Norfork Lake's spring fishing season is starting to heat up. After many weeks of not being out on the lake I am finally back at it. I fished the last two nights with John, a friend/guest of ours. We were slow-rolling a suspending stick bait for striped bass. The bite after dark has started. The first day we had seven fish hooked and landed five and the second night we also had seven fish on and landed four. The largest fish was 10 to 11 pounds. We fished from about 7PM until 9PM each night. For me it is the battle that is exciting, no matter what the size of the fish. All of our fish were released on site. If you have interest in fishing for striped bass after dark, here are good methods to use over the next couple of months.  I use a shallow running suspending stick bait, 4 - 6 inches in length, such as a Smithwick Rogue or a Spro Mc Stick. (There are many other brands) There are two different ways to position your boat. Both are professed to be the best depending who you talk with. You can get your boat next to the shore line and cast parallel to the shoreline. This method keeps your bait in part of the strike zone at all times. The placement that I prefer to use is to get as far away from the shore as I can and still be able to cast within a foot or two of the shoreline. There is also a couple different methods of retrieval. Some like to jerk the bait 2 or 3 times to get the bait down 2 - 4 feet under the surface then retrieve to the boat very slowly. I prefer to cast to the shoreline, let the bait sit for 15 to 20 seconds, then start a steady retrieval back to the boat as slow as I can. If you think you are reeling slow, reel slower. The second method keeps the bait on the surface making a tiny wake. The first method has the bait submerged several feet down. Remember to always reel slowly all the way back to the boat, as I have had many strikes right at the boat when I am taking the bait out of the water. I have several favorite spots to fish after dark for stripers.  In general the stripers typically relate to long shallow water points. Cranfield area is a favorite spot, as well as in the major creeks in the area such as Panther, Fall and Float. I have been known to head back towards the 6A marker area and sometimes go even farther back. As you can see, you can try almost anywhere on the lake, if you don't see bait and fish on your point head to the next one.

I have many second hand fishing reports on bass and crappie fishing, but at this time no first hand knowledge. I will be updating on these species in my next report.

Norfork Lake has been stable and has been basically at normal pool of 553.68 for the last week or so with sporadic power generation. The surface water temperature is around 49 - 52 degrees. The main lake is cooler than the creeks. The water is stained, both the main lake as well as the creeks. The lake is starting to clear, but still will take some time.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.