Lake Norfork: Norfork Lake level is falling very slowly, and currently sat at 551.73 feet msl as of Tuesday. 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.
Lou Gabric at Hummingbird Hideaway Resort said 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 and smallmouth bass as well. Lou says he had many of his family members there over the holiday and they got to fish most days. They caught many fish, not a lot of the big stripers and hybrids, but they 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, he said.
Lou says hes still fishing the flats and has found that at daybreak there are big fish feeding in shallower water. He landed big 10-pound hybrids the last two days sitting in 17 feet of water and casting out a Kastmaster. When he retrieves his bait he lets it sink about 6 to 8 seconds, then he reels a little, then jerk and let it sink a little, then start it all over again until it gets to the boat. The fish have typically hit the bait while it is falling. Lou guesses he is 8-15 feet deep with his bait. After this early morning bite he has been vertical-jigging with a spoon. He looks for the bait and typically will find the fish feeding. He drops a spoon to the fish and start jigging. Most of his fish are off the bottom, but he is 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. He has been fishing several flats, Big Sandy a little east of the Highway 101 boat dock, the flat in front of Fout ramp and campground, the flat before you get to 6B, which is called the cow pasture. Going west of the Gabrics resort, Hummingbird Hideaway Resort, Lou has 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. Lou says he has 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 the last report. Lou is still finding them on the flats in 30 feet of water feeding on shad. Typically when Lou finds 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 best 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. Crankbaits are also picking up a lot of fish, most on the small side, but with several keepers. Look at casting on the windblown 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.
Lou says he has had guests walleye fishing and doing well right before and just after dark, casting suspending jerkbaits 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.