Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort - 870-492-5113

Striped Bass fishing on Norfork Lake has been outstanding for the last couple of weeks. This year the stripers are in the summer pattern a little earlier than normal. You can find the striped bass in 40 - 55 feet of water close to the bottom. Early morning, after sunrise, I have been finding large schools of fish feeding heavily on shad. As the morning wears on the stripers are staying at this same depth, but will be hugging the bottom. Small live bait is working the best for me, either threadfin shad or shiners. For my live bait poles I am using a 2 ounce weight with a swivel on both ends, then I tie on a 4 - 5 foot leader with a # 6 hook. Yes, this is a very small hook, but I try to match the hook to the bait so the bait can still swim around. I drop the bait to the bottom then give 2 cranks of the reel to lift the weight off of the bottom. Best places to fish are from point 2  back to the Sand Island area. Start looking for the stripers on the points and both sides of the points and when you find them hold on!

The largemouth bass bite is also very good. They can be found all over the lake. The best areas to start fishing is part way to all the way back into the creeks and coves. The largemouth are up in the sunken brush early and late in the day and move out to 20 - 30 feet of water during the sunny part of the day. Swim baits, plastic worms, crank baits and spinner baits are all working well at times for the largemouth bass. The largemouth will also come up for a topwater bait early in the morning.

Crappie, bluegills and walleye are all feeding inside of the sunken brush early and late in the day. The crappie and bluegill stay inside of or on the edge of the brush during the day. The walleye are starting to move out onto the flats into 20 - 40 feet of water. Live bait is a great choice for all these species.

Norfork Lake level is falling slowly with sporadic power generation and is dropping 1 - 2 inches per day. The current level is 573.15 feet above sea level. The majority of the lake is clear with the creeks and coves partially stained. The lake surface water temperature was 81 - 82 degrees this morning.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Norfork Lake Fishing Report by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort - 870-492-5113

Norfork Lake fishing has been good over the last couple of weeks. All species are biting, but the typical pattern for this time of year is different. The higher than normal water level is keeping the bait fish inside the sunken trees and brush and the fish are loving it. Plenty of places to hide and feed. The predators are, as you would guess, up inside of the brush with the bait fish.

Striper fishing has been excellent from the southern portion of the mid-lake area down to the dam and east of the dam part way back into Big Creek. Main lake points, as well as, secondary points back into the creeks and coves have been the best areas to find the striped bass. Early in the morning you can find stripers and hybrids up tight to the sunken trees and brush feeding on shad. If you can find an area with the shad flipping back in the brush, all species of fish will be in the area feeding. As the sun rises over the tree line the stripers tend to move out into deeper, cooler water. They will still be off the points, but will move out to find water temperatures in the low 60's, which at this time is about 40 - 45 feet deep. Surface water temperature is close to 80 degrees. Live bait is working the best for me. I've been using live threadfin shad, gizzard shad or  larger shiners. Artificial baits that have worked for me have been swim baits, crank baits and spinner baits. I attempt to get the bait down to the tops of the sunken buck brush, and try to retrieve along the tops of the brush anywhere from 10 feet to 25 feet of water. Once the stripers go deeper vertical jigging with a spoon will start working. So far though, I can't seem to beg a bite on a spoon, but they will work before long.

Large and smallmouth bass fishing has been good. Early and late in the day they are up tight on the sunken brush. I have had luck over the last week casting a Zara Spook into the brush and slowing walking the dog back to the boat. I have called up many fish by this method. Crank baits and spinner baits are also working very well. Try to get a deep diving crank bait so it will get down to the tops of the brush in 10 to 25 feet of water. The fish are inside of the brush feeding on shad.
Walleye fishing has increasingly gotten better and better. Troll crank baits on the old shoreline just off of the sunken brush in 20 - 25 feet of water. I had a group of guys down last week and they were using this method of fishing. They landed well over 20 walleye,  many keepers. Fire tiger was their most productive crank bait color pattern. The walleye are also moving onto the flats in the 15 - 30 feet water range. Using a Lindy rig with night crawlers has been working. You can also drop shot a large shiner, keeping it just above the bottom in the same water depth of 15 - 25 feet.

Crappie and blue gills are up in the sunken brush. There has been some nice fish caught on crank baits as well as spinner baits. Live bait will be the best, but they are very hard to get to. They have moved very deep into the brush, but working the edges of the sunken brush and especially under sunken Willow trees are holding some nice fish.

Catfishing has been excellent. Limb lines, jugs and trot lines are all producing some really nice fish.

Norfork Lake's current water level is falling slowly and is at 574.95. The current surface water temperature is in the high 70's. Parts of the lake are clear( far north up river and far south east of the dam). The remainder of the lake is slightly stained with a greenish blue color. Parts of the mid lake area around the 2 bridges are still showing a slightly brown tint of stain. Overall the lake is in great condition and is getting back to normal. I am noticing very little floating debris, but caution is still advised as always.

All of our guests are enjoying the great summer weather and beautiful Norfork Lake. Plenty of lake and pool swimming is going on. The kids, as well as the adults are having a blast skiing, tubing, wake boarding, surfing and just plain old relaxing on the lake! Oh yeah, don't forget about getting a line wet and catching a few fish for supper. Norfork Lake is waiting for you and your family!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Norfork Lake Conditions as of 6/1/2017 by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort

Calamity area at launch ramp
Red Bank Area

I had not been up river since the high water event of April 29th, so yesterday afternoon Linda and I took a little boat trip from our dock to the Calamity area. (I hear you can take a boat ride all the way to Dawt Mill. We planned on this, but the weather did not cooperate) I was pleasantly surprised that the water clarity, from just north of Cranfield all the way to Calamity, is back to Norfork Lake's clear blue water. We noticed very little floating debris along the way so if this is any indication I would have to say Norfork Lake is finally getting back to normal. (Except for the high water which just makes for a very big lake and plenty of room to play.)

Across from the walleye rearing pond cove before Cranfield
The Cranfield area water clarity is slightly stained. As you head from Cranfield towards the Robinson Campground area the water is stained with a slight brown tint. There is a little more floating debris starting at Mallard Point, between the two bridges and in front of Robinson campground. The debris appears to disappear south of the Robinson area. The water clarity after Robinson campground becomes slightly stained and as you head south the water is clear. The major creeks in the mid lake area are clear to slightly stained.

Cranfield Island
As for the floating debris which has been changing daily, I would have to say the majority of the debris will be sticking to the shoreline. The lake is being drawn down about 2 inches per day and if this continues the debris will get trapped on the shore and not be able to work its way back out onto the lake. The current lake level is 576.67.

With what I have been seeing over the last couple of days, I think Norfork Lake is truly getting back to its normal self.

We took a few photos along the way so you can see for yourself what I am talking about.

Mallard Point
The final note for you lake lovers and players, the surface water temperature was 81 degrees yesterday afternoon. Just perfect for all the summertime skiers, tubers and swimmers. Norfork Lake is calling your name so come play!


Hummingbird Hideaway's cove and dock

Hummingbird Hideaway's dock