NORFORK LAKE FISHING REPORT
Last week’s word on Norfork Lake was inconsistent. You could catch stripers one day and then the next day nothing or just a few. Wednesday we went to Bennett’s Bayou to pre-fish for my next day’s trip. We had doubles and caught several limits in over an hour. The next day we had a debris line, and the stripers had moved. We did catch one limit, but it was very slow and it took all morning to do that.
The next day my son went down to Big Creek, and in a little over an hour he caught 15 stripers. Both of us went there Saturday thinking it would be a great day. We had heavy fog and lots of boat traffic. I only caught one keeper, and he caught two. Saturdays are hard on the fish. Everybody wants to get on the lake and fish, but the traffic really spooks the shallow-water fish and will move them off their spot and then it’s hard to find them.
Sunday I went back to Bennett’s and started up shallow with no bites then moved out on the flat and again no bites. I saw one of my clients on the east side of the flat and told him to move over to this other flat where I was heading. Before I knew it, he had a double on and caught three fish before I had a bite. He was using shiners, and I was using shad. We then missed one and lost a good one after a short fight. We did end up catching an 8- and an 11-pound striper before we quit. My client caught five and lost five more. The best method was a split shot and a hook with about 50 feet of line out. It’s simple and very effective since the fish are relating to the bottom instead of high in the water column.
Once the winds shift around to the south and we get some warmer nights Norfork Lake will really turn on for all species. Lots of largemouth bass are being caught on crankbaits and spinner baits, and the crappie are also biting. The walleye are spawning up near Udall, and the bite is good. Everything will bite better with warmer water and weather. The best place to find fish is Bennett’s Bayou; there’s lots of bait in the area, much more than Big Creek. As we say, find the bait and you will find the fish.