This past week I fished for striper, walleye and crappie on Norfork Lake. The stripers are just about ready to turn on. The water temperature in Bennett’s Bayou is ranging from 51 to 55 degrees, depending on how long the sun stays out and how cold it was during the night. The shad are shallow in both creeks. I caught small gizzards, threadfin and 7-inch gizzard in 3 to 10 feet of water.
I keep seeing fishing reports from fellow striper fishermen about the dirty water. These individuals do not understand the stripers if they continue to make comments about stained and muddy water. The muddy water is the warmest on the lake, and the shad will go to it first and then the stripers will follow. I have caught stripers in water so muddy I did not know the size of the fish until I netted it. These individuals say they keep turning around when they see dirty water. I run to it and will fish it until late April.
The other comment I keep seeing is they are not marking fish or bait. First, the bait have moved shallow and are waiting to spawn once the water warms up. The stripers are also in waters less than 30 feet, so when you motor over them they scatter. If you have side scan, you can see them.
If you want to catch stripers right now and well into March, get some shiners, find the warmest water, put out long lines with just a split shot or planer boards with only a split shot, and you will catch stripers.
I fished for walleye on Friday at Udall and caught one short. I did see some keepers caught. They are mostly males right now; the females are still deep, waiting for warmer water – which will happen soon. The water temperature is around 51 degrees. By this coming weekend we should see some nice size walleye being caught. ...
I plan on continuing to chase walleye and crappie in the upper part of the lake and creeks on the main lake. Right now, they are catching both off brush piles using small jigs and minnows. I will be fishing up near Udall using live bait for walleye and long-line trolling for crappie in the creeks off the main lake like Bennett’s, Pigeon Creek and Big Creek. Lots of big crappie are caught trolling small jigs and minnows.

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