Norfork Lake fishing report: May 16, 2018

The Norfork Lake weather is starting to feel like summer, and the striper fishing is really turning on. The shad have not spawned yet, but they are very close. It may still be a few days. The top-water bite is very sporadic right now. As the shad move to the shore the top-water bite will turn on. We have caught limits the last five days, and I expect it to just get better and better.

We are fishing within 50 yards of the shore using long lines and planner boards. We caught a 20-pound striper today on a planner board using 5-inch gizzard shad. The striper was released for another person to catch another day. The striper bite is now all over the lake. Find a point before light and use a swim bait until light then try a top-water lure. If you have no hits within 15 minutes, move to the next point. Once the sun comes up, the bite is over unless you’re using live bait. Then you can catch fish up to nine o’clock. 

I have been fishing mostly long lines with a small split shot. As it gets lighter and the sun comes up, I will let out over 100 feet of line on the two back poles and 75 feet on my side poles. This had been very effective catching stripers once the early morning bite stops. 

If you’re interested in catching a striper, both Sean and I have open dates. We both expect some great action as the lake warms up. The last rain raised the lake 3 feet, but the main lake is crystal clear and should stay that way. There is a mud line way up the creeks, but it is clearing up as it moves to the main lake. May should be a great month this year for lots of action and limits of stripers.

Ozark County Times

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