Tuesday, November 28, 2017

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

Norfork Lake had a great spawn this year. There are many white bass, largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass in this lake. When you are fishing you will catch many smaller fish, but you will catch your fair share of the larger hybrids, stripers, crappie, white bass and large & smallmouth bass as well. I had many of our family members with us over the holiday and we got to fish most days. We caught many fish, not a lot of the big stripers and hybrids, but we did manage to land a few. As you would guess, as soon as all had to leave I started to find  hybrids early in the morning in the same areas where we were fishing.

I am still fishing the flats and have found that at day break there are big fish feeding in shallower water. I landed big 10 pound hybrids the last 2 days sitting in 17 feet of water and casting out a Kastmaster. When I retrieve my bait I let it sink about 6 to 8 seconds then I reel a little, then jerk and let it sink a little, then start it all over again until I get to the boat. The fish have typically hit the bait while it is falling. I am guessing I am 8 to 15 deep with my bait. After this early morning bite I have been vertical jigging with a spoon. I look for the bait and typically will find the fish feeding. I drop a spoon to the fish and start jigging. Most of my fish are off the bottom, but I am seeing many suspended fish which appear to be the bigger ones. You want to reel up to the suspended fish and jig at their level. I have been fishing several flats, Big Sandy a little east of 101 boat dock, the flat in front of Fouts ramp and campground, the flat before you get to 6B which we call the cow pasture. Going west of our resort, Hummingbird Hideaway Resort, I have fished the big flat in front of Mallard Point, Cranfield Island flat and heading up river to Seward Point flat. There are whites on all these flats and you will run into schooling hybrids and stripers at any time. I have had a friend fishing Big Creek with live shiners and doing very well back by 1C and Reynolds Island for striped and hybrid bass.

Crappie are biting fairly well. They are on brush in 20 - 35 feet of water and can be at any level depending on the time of day you are fishing. The crappie are mostly on the brush, but have been moving off the brush in towards the shoreline  later in the day. Live bait is working the best, but spoons and small jigs are still picking up some nice sized fish.

Bass fishing has not really changed from my last report. I am still finding them on the flats in 30 feet of water feeding on shad. Typically when I find them they are on the outside edge of the flat which is coming close to a deep channel or an old creek channel. Jigging with a spoon works for me to catch these fish, but casting out a heavy jig will also pick up these fish. You could also try a finesse Ned Rig once you locate the fish. Crank baits are also picking up a lot of fish, most  on the small side, but with several keepers. Look at casting on the wind blown points along the bluff lines. Jigging around brush piles is also a very good area to pick up some nice fish. Bait is typically inside of the brush so the bass will be hanging around the outside of the brush wait to ambush that stray shad.

I have had guests walleye fishing and doing well right before and just after dark, casting suspending jerk baits up to the shore on the shallow banks. The moon is starting to get big so the walleye bite will even get better after dark.

Norfork Lake level is falling very slowly and currently sits at 551.73. The lake surface water temperature is 58 - 60 degrees and falling very slowly. The water is still stained both on the main lake as well as in the creeks and coves. The water clarity will get clearer the closer you get to the dam.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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

Linda and I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving holiday. We are lucky to have family visiting from out of town so look out Norfork Lake fish we will be coming for you!

Fall fishing on Norfork Lake is in full swing. This year has been a typical fall so far, cold fronts then warm fronts and anywhere in between. One of the most important things about fall fishing Norfork Lake is to be prepared with plenty of warm layered clothing.

I have mainly been fishing main lake flats and have been catching every species in the lake. I am a creature of habit and continue to use two types of baits, a spoon for vertical jigging and a blade type bait. The Kastmaster is my favorite blade bait. I typically fish the mornings and the bite has been pretty consistent. At day break I am finding fish up shallow from 8 - 20 feet of water. Many mornings I see seagulls feeding on dead shad that the fish are leaving behind. I start off casting my Kastmaster into this shallow water to catch the feeding fish. There has been some top water in the early mornings, but not everyday. The best thing about the fall bite is that you never know what species you will be catching. Striped bass, hybrid bass, white bass as well as large & smallmouth bass, walleye and the occasional catfish will all hammer the Kastmaster or spoon at any time. As the morning wears on the bait will start to migrate out to a little deeper water. Typically by 8 or 9AM the bait is being found in 30 - 40 feet of water and the fish will be close by. I am finding large schools of fish that are at all depths. This is when I start using my spoon and vertical jig it at the depth of the fish, whether they are suspended at 10 feet or on the bottom at 40 feet. I have been fishing on the flats in the Cranfield area, Seward point,  Red bank area, as well as the flats before you get to 6B and 6A in the Fouts and Bennetts areas. I have had credible reports that the afternoon bite for striped bass has been good down south in the Big Creek area as well as back in the Bennetts area.

I am still finding some really nice largemouth bass on the same flats mentioned above. Where I typically find the bass is in the area on the outside ends of the flats where a deep channel is swinging in close to the flat. The water depth has been 28 - 32 feet of water and this has not changed for the last 4 weeks. A second area where I found some nice largemouth bass was on a deep bluff line point. I was in 100 feet of water and found bass  suspended down 15 - 20 feet. I was able to pick up a couple nice fish jigging a spoon at their depth. Crank baits are also picking up some nice fish along bluff lines. I really have not found any consistent top water action for largemouth, but this is the time of year that they should start coming up in the mornings and late afternoons. The water temperature is close to being in the upper 50's so it should be getting close to jerk bait time.

The surface water temperature this morning was in the upper 50's to very low 60's. Nofork Lake is very slowly lowering and currently sits at 552.27. Most of the lake is stained to off color, but still a very good fishing color. Periodic power generation is occurring mainly to maintain the water level.

We're looking forward to having the Bassmaster's Team Championship Tournament on Norfork Lake early in December. It should be a fun time for all.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

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

Norfork Lake fishing has been fun for many of our guests over the last week. Whether fish are big or small it is always fun to be out on the lake and reel in a fish. Fall has arrived with its varying weather patterns which seem to change daily, 80's one day and the next in the 40's and 60's. It seems that the cooler the weather the better the fish bite. Over the last week I have seen a big change in the location  and the size of the fish. The bigger fish are starting to move in.

Striped bass fishing has been mediocre for the last several days, but today I believe most of our guests caught a few hybrids and/or stripers. This may be the sign that the stripers are finally coming out of their deeper habitat and are wanting to feed. At the beginning of last week I saw the bait migrate back into the creeks. I found large schools of striped bass and hybrid bass back in Float Creek as well as back in Bennetts Bayou. The massive amount of bait has since moved out of Float and are back on the flats. The main lake flats are typical locations for stripers at this time of year. If you are looking on one of the flats, concentrate your efforts in 30 - 50 feet of water. This is not to say the striped bass will not be up in 20 feet or less of water feeding at night or very early in the morning. The bite for my group of guests has started after sunrise and starts to slow by late morning. Vertical jigging a spoon has been the bait of choice for most. Once the fish are found a blade type bait, such as a Kastmaster has been working well. Swim baits with at least a 1/2 ounce jig head on it to help it sink should also produce some nice fish. Casting out an Alabama rig produced some nice hybrids and white bass for one of my guests last weekend.

White bass have been really plentiful this year. There are mixed sizes of fish in the schools, from 8 inches long up to the monster 14+ inch fish. This species can be found on the same flats as the stripers. You will find school after school of whites then all of a sudden the stripers and hybrids will show up. Over the last week it has been possible to catch 50 - 60 fish of all sizes in a very short period of time which is a blast. I have been vertical jigging a 3/4 ounce spoon for all species.

Crappie fishing is still good. They are on the top of and inside of brush piles in 25 - 40 feet of water. Artificial baits are working well, but live minnows are working the best for the biggest numbers of fish.

Catfish are being caught on jugs using nightcrawlers and live threadfin shad. Some good sized fish are being caught.

Walleye can be found on the same flats as the stripers and the whites, in fact you have a great chance of catching all species in the lake fishing the flats, once you find the bait and energetic and hungry fish. I had a guest walleye fishing over the weekend and he had good success casting a Flicker Shad to the shoreline on the shallower banks. Most of his fish bit when his bait was to about 15 - 20 feet deep. He also caught a few on jerk baits close to shore in the late afternoon. This may be the start of the night bite for walleye and possibly striped bass.

Bass fishing has been good and they are being found in all the different types of locations.  I have found large schools of largemouth bass and spots feeding on the flats in 28 - 33 feet of water. They are also being caught along the deep bluff lines hugging the rocks in 15 - 25 feet of water. Head back into the backs of creeks in the shallow water, as long as the bait is in the area the bass will be feeding. A few afternoons ago one of our bass fishing guests got into some nice topwater action for big largemouth bass. They had a blast for about 45 minutes casting topwater baits. For the afternoon bass fisherman, check out the shadow side of docks, there has been some really nice sized fish caught under my dock.

The lake level is holding fairly stable with minimal power generation and currently sits at 552.96. The lake surface water temperature has been fairly constant for the last couple of days at around 65 degrees. I expect to see this water temperature drop over the next couple of day with the cool nights we have in the forecast. The overall lake is starting to clear, but you will still see a slight stain in the creeks, as well as, parts of the main lake.

The Bassmaster's Team Championship will be held on Norfork Lake the beginning of December. It will be exciting to see how these expert fishermen attack our late fall early winter bass fishery. Hummingbird Hideaway Resort still has some cabins available for the tournament so give us a call at 870-492-5113.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.