Spring has officially arrived and the weather is finally cooperating. Norfork Lake fishing is really starting to heat up. My daughter and I have been fishing the night bite over the last week and having a blast. We are throwing suspending stick baits after dark and slow rolling them back to the boat. We have been catching 7 to 8 stripers an evening from around 8 - 10pm. The bite is continuing after that but my daughter seems to get cold and tired around 10PM. :-) Remember to reel as slow as you can and reel all the way back to the boat. I get hits a lot of times next to the boat. One evening I landed a monster 28 pound striped bass and Keri landed a nice 12 pounder. A few days later one of our guests landed a 26 pound striped bass in the early afternoon throwing a soft plastic jerk bait. The best bite for striped bass is after dark, but the morning bite will start very soon as the water continues to warm. Top water action is on its way, but wa rmer water is needed. Check out my last report for details on how to fish for stripers after dark.
Largemouth and spotted bass fishing is also getting good. Start looking part way back in creeks and coves and watch for bait working on the surface. The bass will not be far behind. Hard and soft jerk baits are working well. My guests slammed the bass this morning throwing pearl colored flukes with a weighted hook. In the early afternoon work some of the docks as the bass are coming under them for cover and bait fish. You will also find some nice bass around the shallower brush piles especially if the brush is on a point.
Crappie fishing is getting better and better every day. The crappie fisherman that I talk with are doing very well in shallow water. The crappie are moving up to the shore line to start looking for their spawning areas and are on their typical pre-spawn feed. There will be a lot of the males in tight to the shore as they are the ones doing the search, but the big females will not be far behind. Crappie typically like 60 - 65 degree water to spawn and we are not too far away from that water temp. Now is a great time to catch crappie and have a lot of fun. Start looking back in creeks and coves where you can find dead timber and brush in shallow water. Cast out small grubs or swimming minnows with a light weighted jig head and reel back to the boat slowly. During your retrieval stop occasionally and let the bait fall, the crappie will hammer it during the fall. I also like to tip the plastic baits with a live small minnow for added action and scent. The fish are in 2 - 20 feet of water near brush anywhere from the surface and down 10 feet depending on the time of day. You still may find some of the big females down a little deeper in the brush. Yesterday around 2PM I was at my dock and my granddaughter yelled at me to look at all the fish. When I came over there were dozens of big slab crappies 2 - 10 ft down, stacked like cord wood. This is a great sign of the fish getting ready for the spawn.
I have caught a few walleye after dark slow rolling a jerk bait. One of my guests landed a nice 23 inch walleye last evening. Some of the walleye have spawned already and a few are still back in the creeks spawning. The night fishing for walleye will pick up everyday. Look for walleye in the same areas as the striped bass as they will be feeding up tight on the shoreline after dark. Jerk baits are working after dark, slow rolled. In daylight hours look for them along the bluff lines and also large flats. Crawler harnesses with bottom bounces will work. Drop shot rigs with large minnows will also work well.
Norfork Lake is still rising very slowly and currently sits at 554.31. This is basically normal pool. The surface water temperature is in the low to mid 50's depending on time of day and location. The creeks and coves are stained, but clearing and the main lake is fairly clear.
It is time to fish Norfork Lake. The weather is great and the fishing is good. Give Hummingbird Hideaway Resort a call at 870-492-5113 to make your reservations and find out from me where and how to catch the fish. I am always excited to help my guests catch fish. If you haven't heard we are also running a fishing derby this year with a $300 prize for 3 different species as well as a chance to win a free one week stay. Give us a call for details or go to our website at www.hummingbird-hideaway.com .
Happy fishing and see you on the lake