Report written by Lou of Hummingbird Hideaway Resort 4/5/15 870-492-5113
Norfork Lake spring fishing action is under way. The striped bass are still biting after dark and the bite during the day is heating up. The biggest problem that we have during the spring is the weather. When we get a string of nice warm days and nights all species get real active. Then a cool front rolls though and slows the bite for a short period. I guess you can say that is fishing. You can still catch fish during a frontal system, but you will need to search until you find active fish.
I fished last evening. After it got dark the bite started. I landed 2 striped bass and lost another to shoreline buck brush. Once the moon rose the bite stopped for me. I checked several different areas with no further luck, but I'm sure somewhere on the lake the fish were active. I called it a night at around 10:30PM. I hope to try again this evening. The day bite is starting to heat up. Trollers are catching fish on swim type baits and live bait fishermen are catching on live thread fin and gizzard shad. The best areas to look for stripers at this time is back into the major and secondary creeks in all parts of the lake. Go part way back and start fishing. As the water continues to warm the fish will start to migrate farther back. Look for bait and once you find it the stripers will not be far behind. I have had guests over the last several days, land striped bass on 1/4 ounce Kastmasters and Zara Spooks. I have been using suspending stick baits after dark, but they ar e also a great bait to use in the mornings and evenings. There really has not been a top water bite yet, but if the fish are in the area they will come up for a spook. This year I have seen more stripers caught in the upper 20 and low 30 pound range. There are definitely big fish in Norfork Lake.
Bass fishing has also been good. The best bite has been for spotted bass, then largemouth. Smallmouth bass are starting to show up. Very soon smallmouth fishing will be fantastic. I have been bass fishing about an hour or so before I head to my night bite spots. I have been having a lot a fun catching bass on a spook. There really is no top water action at this time, but they are coming up for the bait. I have also found that I get more attacks when I walk-the-dog several times then stop the action. The fish seem to attack the bait when it is motionless. Again Kastmasters, spooks, flukes and swim baits are producing some nice fish in the morning and afternoon. Mid day go with baits worked along the bottom starting at the shore line though about 20 feet of water. Best areas are part way back in creeks and coves.
White bass are showing up in similar locations as the black bass and stripers. The same baits talked about for stripers and bass will also catch you big numbers of whites. The whites will also be in very shallow water on flat type areas.
Crappie fishing started out with a bang about a week ago, but has slowed somewhat. With the warm days ahead of us start looking back to shallow water. The morning before this latest cool front came in I had a friend throwing a cast net for bait and he was catching some really nice crappie in 1 - 2 feet of water. It is time for them to be spawning so look for them to be in shallow this week. Best areas are back in creeks and coves or really anywhere you can find dead wood in shallow water.
Walleye are starting to show up in greater numbers. Walleye are being caught on suspending jerk baits after dark fishing for stripers as well blade type baits during the day. I even had a guest catch one on a spoon in 25 feet of water, suspended down 20 feet. Look for the walleye bite to continue to improve.
Norfork Lake level is rising slowly with our recent rains and currently sits at 559.18. The surface water temperature is in the mid to upper 50's. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are stained.
April should be a fantastic month to fish Norfork Lake. Conditions are prime for a great bite. If you want a great fishing and lake experience give us a call at 870-492-5113 for cabin reservations. I will try my best to put you on fish. It is so much fun fishing Norfork Lake.
Happy fishing and see you on the lake