Late Winter/Spring Bass By The Numbers on Norfork Lake
|As water temperatures warm, bass
patterns change. Use these guidelines from bass/striper pro Darrel Binkley of Bink's Guide
Service in conjunction with a surface temperature meter to find and catch bass throughout
the spring season on Lake Norfork.
|38 to 42 Degrees
||Bass will be deep (20-35 feet) in clear lakes,
shallower (10 to 15 feet) in murky lakes, target points, channel drops & ledges. Bass
in natural lakes may suspend near drop-offs in 7-10 feet of water.
||Fish slowly with a 3/4 ounce jig
& pig making repeated casts to cover, or tight line a leadhead grub or spoon.
|42 to 44 Degrees
||Some bass will move up to the breakline &
sit or suspend near cover. This initial movement is typically only a few feet shallower -
if bass were at 30 feet, try 25 feet.
||Stay with the jig & pig or grub
in the same spots. If bottom bumping doesn't work, try swimming the lure just off the
|44 to 48 Degrees
||More bass will move to the first breakline.
Around 46 degrees, a few big females may begin staying on objects along migration routes
leading to shallow spawning areas.
||Work a jig progressively shallower
on steep points until you contact fish. Try jigs & suspending jerk baits around
isolated stumps & creek channels, accessing shallow bays.
|48 to 55 Degrees
||Many bass are staging now on drops adjacent to
spawning areas & isolated cover along migration routes. A few big bass may spawn
around 55 degrees.
||Use more active lures as water
warms - big bladed spinner baits & small crank baits in murky water, suspending jerk
baits in clear lakes. Scan shallow bays for early spawners; use floating worms & tube
baits if you see any.
|55 to 60 Degrees
||Many bass will be staging, & greater numbers
will be moving in to spawn.
||Try spinner baits & small crank
baits on drops & isolated cover for stagers; floating worms & tube baits for early
|60 to 70 Degrees
||Bass will either be moving in to spawn,
spawning, or leaving the nest.
||Target pre-spawners on migration
routes & drops, close to bedding areas, with spinner baits & small crank baits;
spawners with floating worms & tube baits & post spawners with topwaters &
|70 to 80 Degrees
||A few bass will spawn from 70-75 degrees, but
many have left the nest via migration routes to deeper, more open water.
||Begin by targeting any remaining
spawners with floating worms & gitzits. Try surface lures & buzz baits in 72-76
degree water in spawning perimeters. Gradually follow migration routes back to main
lake with crank baits & Carolina rigs.