Norfork Lake fishing report: Feb. 7, 2018

Right now the Norfork Lake water temperature is in the low 40s and will stay that way for the next several weeks. Once we start getting some consistent south winds we should see a quick warm-up. 

We are experiencing the normal winter shad kill and seeing thousands of small 1-inch threadfin shad dying along the shoreline. Small threadfin shad cannot tolerate water temperatures in the low 40s very long. The good news is that the shad kill generates tremendous opportunity for catching trout on the White and North Fork rivers. Throw a small silver spoon, and you will have lots of action. 

The stripers have gone into their February hiding routine that they seem to disappear to every February, so if you want to catch one, try going up a creek with a good water flow. This time of year on the lakes and rivers in Tennessee they catch stripers in 30 feet of water or less. Here I would look at Bennett’s Bayou or north of the state line in Missouri.

Historically, the largest winter stripers are caught at the Highway 160 bridge at night throwing bucktail jigs. I plan on spending my February chasing walleye and crappie. Right now they are catching both off brush piles using small jigs and spoons. 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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