Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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

Spring is coming, I promise!. The weather is still playing games with us, and the fishing seems to be effected for a day or so after each frontal system. In between systems the fishing gets good and people catch all species for a couple of days. Then the cycle begins again. Over the last week many fish were caught including striped bass, hybrid bass, white bass, walleye, crappie, spotted bass and largemouth bass.

It appears that over the last couple of days, largemouth and spotted bass fishing has gotten really good. Baitfish have moved into the sunken buck brush and the bass have followed suit. Plastics and hard baits are both working. Unweighted flukes or bass assassins cast into the brush with slight twitches have made the bass go crazy. They are right inside of the brush so once you get hammered you will have a fun time getting the fish out. Lots of 14 - 17 inch fish have been caught and released with lots of smiles on the fisherman's face. Try out a jerk bait doing the similar routine. Find an opening in the brush and cast in a Zara spook and walk the dog out of the brush and watch the bass erupt on your bait. It will not be long until the smallies start to get real active.

Walleye fishing has also been good. They are inside of the brush, same as the bass, or right at the outside edge of the brush. A 5 inch swim bait has been working well with a 1/4 - 3/8 ounce jig head. Cast the swim bait to the edge of the brush and let it sink a little, then retrieve the bait slowly back to the boat. Early morning and right before sunset are two great times to catch walleye close to shore. Casting out a suspending jerk bait at sunset to a little after dark will also produce some nice fish. Make sure when you are retrieving the jerk bait you do it slowly with barely making a wiggle with bait.

Striped bass, hybrid bass and white bass fishing has had its ups and downs over the last week. The fish are chasing the shad and the shad are continuing to move. One day you find them in the backs of coves in 15 - 20 feet of water and the next day they are on main lake points or large flats in 20 - 35 feet of water. Vertical jigging or casting out a spoon has been the best method of catching many fish. The hardest part is finding their current feeding location. I have a 4 mile stretch that my guests have been fishing over the last week with some great results and other times a very tough time. They have typically been found on the shallow side of the cove or lake not the bluff line side. Casting out a 5 inch swim bait has also been picking up some nice stripers. There are a few stripers that are feeding in close to the sunken buck brush. If things happen as prior years, we will soon see schools of stripers up close to the brush feeding early and late in the day. This is what I am hoping will happen, the sooner the better.

The lake is currently on the rise after a slight rain a few days ago. We are currently sitting at 561.70 ft. above sea level with sporadic power generation though out the day. The surface water temperature is around 58 degrees on the main lake and close to 60 degrees back in the creeks and coves. The main lake is clearing nicely, but still slightly stained. You can see your bait at least 8 - 10 feet down. Some of the creeks and coves are stained, but are clearing.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

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

The beginning stages of Norfork Lake's spring fishing season have begun. It is a little behind prior years due to the continual unseasonable cool fronts, but it is coming. Forecasts for the next few days is great, but another cool front is possible later in the week. The bait fish are moving toward shallow water to get to warmer water, and the predators are following to feed. Shad will be going though a spawn very shortly. The cool fronts do affect the fish, but if you adjust a little and move out to a little deeper water you will find the feeding fish.

I have had a very good week of fishing. Today was outstanding. I caught well over 30 fish this morning. The majority were the monster 2.5 - 3.5 pound white bass. I caught one that went over 4 pounds. Mixed in with the whites were the medium sized hybrids going about 5 - 6 pounds. I ended up landing 5 hybrids. All of my fish were either released on site or at my dock after the photo op. I was finding fish on main lake points in 18 - 25 feet of water. My method of fishing this morning was vertical jigging a 3/4 ounce white colored spoon.  I was fishing northwest of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort's cove.The striped bass I have caught by either casting out a 5 inch swim bait with a 3/8 ounce jig head or with live bait. The stripers have been in 15 - 30 feet of water and suspended at all depths. I have caught fish on down lines set at 15 and 20 feet, as well as with free swimming baits with a small split shot or no split shot. Most of the stripers  are 8 - 12 pounds on the average. I am finding striped bass northeast of my resort.

I would like to welcome all of the Bass Cat boat owners that are arriving to Mountain Home, AR to fish in the Bass Cat Owners Invitational Tournament. The warm weather forecast for the rest of the week should make for a great bass bite. Some of the larger bass had moved off of the shore, but will be returning very shortly. There are signs that some of the bass are starting to make their beds.  Have a great tournament.

Norfork Lake level is falling slowly with one generator running full time and spillways partially open, releasing enough of water to equal using  a second generator. The current level is 559.74. The lake surface water temperature this morning on the main lake was 53.5 degrees and back in a creek was 55.5 degrees. These temperatures will be increasing though out the week. Most of the areas I fished this morning were a greenish stained.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

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

Norfork Lake's spring fishing season is slowly moving in the right direction. You know fishermen, nothing moves fast enough when you want to get into some top water action. :-) The fish have started to move to the banks and are feeding heavily on shad and crawdads. I have found a little bit of top water action, but it is still very sporadic. If we could just get some consistently warm days and nights to warm the water, then the bite will really take off. The shad that I have been netting at my dock are starting to get very fat, telling me they are not far off from their fist spawn. All species will get very active during a shad spawn.

Striped bass fishing is getting better, but it is different ever day due to the ups and downs of the weather patterns. I fished Easter Sunday and landed 5 nice striped bass and hybrid bass and released all. Today I fish the same area as Sunday and only landed 3 stripers/hybrids, but one was a 14 pound fish. The bigger females are finally starting to move in and feed. Live bait is working great. I set out 2 down lines at 15 feet deep and threw out 2 free swimming baits with a small split shot or no weight at all. If you find the fish schooled up, use no weight and sit still over the top of them. Sunday I saw sporadic top water action with stripers or hybrids coming up and feeding. However, every time I saw them I was too far away to get my Zara Spook close enough. A few of the feeding fish were coming up in only 3 feet of water. This also tells me the stripers will be feeding at night, if you want a little slow rolling a suspending stick bait action. Five inch long swim baits are also working to catch this species. I am using a 3/8 ounce jig head on the swim bait, casting it out and letting it sink to about 15 feet, then making a slow steady retrieval to the boat.

Fishing for largemouth and spotted bass is getting to be very good. Over the holiday we had some bass fishing guests do very well. They caught all of their bass on 3 different baits. A shad colored swim bait, same as I am using for stripers, a bone colored Zara Spook, and a red crank bait. Yes, they did get into some top water action for the bass. Look back in the main lake coves concentrating on the first and second secondary points in the cove. If you find shad in tight to shore the fish will come up for the spook.

Crappie fishing is also very good. They started to move into shallow water, but moved back to deeper water when the cold fronts moved though. I am sure a few have spawned already, but the majority still needs to finish their annual task. There are some good sized fish being caught under docks as well as on brush in 20 feet of water. Work the tops of the brush during most of the day, but move up higher in the late afternoon. On occasion the crappie are moving between the brush and the shore.

The majority of walleye have finished their spawning activities and are starting to get active over the entire lake. One of the best times I have found for walleye is right before sunset. Throw out a wally diver close to the bank back in coves and off of gravelly points. Cranfield area has always been a good place to catch walleye this time of year. You can also fish after dark with a suspending stick bait. Work the bait slowly and you will pick up walleye, stripers, hybrids and bass.

Big white bass are also showing up on flats and back in coves off of the main lake. You will catch many small whites along with those big 2 - 3 pound fish. I have caught them vertical jigging a spoon and casting out a blade type bait. Currently I have been finding most of the whites in 15 - 20 feet of water lying on the bottom.

Norfork Lake level is rising slowly at the moment and currently sits at 559.44, which is 5.6 feet above normal pool. The lake surface temperature was 54 degrees this morning in the main lake and increased 1 - 2 degrees as you head back into the creeks. The main lake is clearing, but still stained and most of the creeks are stained. Overall the lake is in great shape for fishing. The buck brush is covered with water, which is a great place for the predators to ambush the unsuspecting baitfish.

Follow Hummingbird Hideaway Resort's Facebook page for a frequent update of what is going on in Norfork Lake.

If you have not made your spring fishing trip plans, now is the time. April and May are two of the best months to fish Norfork Lake for all species. Call us at 870-492-5113

Happy Fishing and see you on the lake.