NORFORK LAKE FISHING REPORT
Well, we started April with cold, rain and snow on Norfork Lake. I figured striper fishing would be dead until we started getting warmer weather and south winds. The direct opposite happened.
I had a trip on Monday, April 2, and caught over 12 stripers and hybrids in two different spots using two different techniques. Sean fished Wednesday and caught over 18 stripers using just downlines in 25 feet of water. Both Sean and I fished Saturday and Sunday, and we caught over 40 stripers and hybrids.
The main difference is how we fish for stripers in the spring and now. Usually we fish using small split shots on long lines and free-line planner boards. The stripers by now are very shallow and aggressive. They were that way the week before, but with the rain and cold they went deep. We are now catching them just like we catch them in the summer: 3-ounce weights set 1 foot off the bottom. When you find them, they are very aggressive. We had triples on many times last week.
Look for stripers halfway up the creek along the channel in 50 feet of water and keep moving shallow until you find them. Look for them in the Cranfield, Bennett’s and Big Creek areas. Look at the points and sharp turns along bluff walls halfway up the creeks.
Kevin, a guest of Hand Cove Resort, boated a 35-pound, 39-inch striper Saturday night in the cold. That tells us a couple of things. First, the night bite is developing. And second, there are some big fish in Norfork Lake’s Big Creek area.
Greg at Hand Cove Resort reports the night bite is happening, although it has been a little sporadic. It will be very good for a few nights, and then quit for a few. He expects it to be more consistent by the end of this week. That means the top-water action is not far behind. Better sharpen those hooks for some reel-ripping action!
This past Saturday I experienced a series of firsts for me. When we left the marina we had a strong north wind, heavy snow and bitter cold. I would have never believed we would catch fish left and right for over two hours. I had lines break because the rod eyes froze and the line was cut when we hooked a fish. I have never fished in April where I was colder than I was in December when it was 14 degrees when I started fishing.