One of America's cleanest, clearest lakes offers 550 miles of shoreline. Learn a few simple principles of enjoying this amazing body of water and your water recreation pleasure will double!
The Basics - A Secluded Cove, Or Active Main Channel?
Lake Norfork is versatile in that you can find plenty of secluded waters, or you can join in on large groups of other boaters. Then too, it is normal for a group of friends and families to gather in a secluded cove together for a day of boating, water-skiing, and just plain goofing off. If you want privacy, you'll need to know how to find a secluded cove. If you want to be around more activity, you'll need to stay near the main lake channels.
There Aren't Many Buildings
Because the land surrounding Lake Norfork is owned by the Federal Government through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, private land ownership along the lake shoreline is not possible. The Corps owns from the water's edge (which rises and falls) to a certain elevation above sea level. Their property line is not a function of a certain number of feet above the high water mark. As a result, you will see very few buildings of any kind when out on the lake. Where you do see house they will be up on the ridge tops quite a distance from the water in most cases.
Don't Get Lost - Get A Map And Watch For Point Numbers
Regardless of what you choose, make sure you have a good lake map! The terrain can be your friend or your foe. While the hills and ridges create thousands of locations offering private coves, they also can make navigation difficult. It is very easy to get lost if you don't pay attention to the point markers and follow your map. Point markers?
The Army Corps of Engineers has painted black and white signs which are placed on prominent points of land sticking out into the main lake channels. These large signs, called point markers, have big numbers on them called point numbers. As you boat about, keep an eye out for these point markers. Once you identify the marker, find it on your map, then note which direction you are going. Is the point marker to your left or to your right? That is all you need to do to avoid getting lost. Stop for a few minutes if you have to, and figure it out. You will be glad you did. Once you have identified a few point markers, you'll not have to worry about getting lost.
Using common sense, like wearing life jackets, ensures a much safer vacation!
Safety & Boating Regulations
When you rent any watercraft from 101 Boat Dock rest assured that it meets all safety regulation requirements. We instruct all persons renting our craft on its proper and safe operation. However, we also recommend reading the brief manuals provided on proper and legal boating regulations. Lake Norfork is patrolled by various law enforcement agencies who do ticket boat operators for improper operation. Common sense and respect for other boaters goes a long way toward compliance!
Lake Norfork is generally warm enough to swim in from late May until late September. Houseboating is very beautiful in spring and fall. Spring weather tends to be raw and cool until mid to late April with several sunny days mixed in between. Best spring weather is early to mid May. Best fall weather is all of October and the first two weeks in November. Fall foliage typically peaks around the last few days of October and the first few days of November. Warm weather typically starts at the end of May and lasts through mid September. While January and February can be very cold, temperatures rarely fall below freezing during the day. If you want some very exciting big fish action, come fish for stripers in mid winter.
All who have enjoyed Lake Norfork by various means claim that houseboating is the best adventure the lake has to offer. For all practical purposes, the houseboat is a floating hotel suite. Houseboats have kitchens, bathrooms, electricity, and most of the conveniences of home. The best way to enjoy a houseboat is to take it up a remote cove and anchor there. Depending on the model of houseboat, you may beach it instead.
The houseboat is a means of placing your lodging right where you want it. By mooring in a remote cove you will have an unparalleled level of privacy. From your houseboat you can swim, dine on the deck during sunsets and moonrises, fish, and relax in peace and quiet. You can move each day, or stay in one spot. However, houseboats are not fast so if you plan on traveling several miles be prepared to take some time. If you want a nice peaceful cruise up the lake with all the comforts of home, you can't beat a houseboat!
Smooth water is almost always found in coves
Water-skiing, Wake-boarding, Knee-boarding, Tubing
On most days Lake Norfork is mostly calm. Waves and chop are not at all like what you find on large, open-water lakes. Wind swells are an extreme rarity. When they do occur they seldom, if ever, exceed a foot in height. Yet even on the roughest days you'll find a cove or creek arm that has smooth water. In fact, most days on Lake Norfork offer glass-smooth water or a slightly ripped surface. If you want boat wakes to jump all you need do is head away from the coves toward the main lake channel. When you rent a ski boat from 101 Dock we will be glad to give suggestions on the places to ski or tube based on your desires.
Great scenery and great fishing
Fishing is good all year on Lake Norfork. The slowest periods are from July through mid September, the fastest are from January through May. The main thing to know about fishing the clear calm Lake Norfork waters is that you cannot, in most cases, use large line. Unlike murky lakes, fish are spooked by larger lines. Fish with a light green 6 pound test line. Night fishing is popular in June, July, and August. Top water action occurs mostly in the early morning hours and in the evening, and after dark. 101 Boat dock offers a complete line of fishing watercraft. When you arrive tell us what species of fish you wish to catch and we'll do our best to assist. We carry live baits and tackle that the fish are hitting, so chances are good you'll succeed.
Pontoon, secluded cove, ski boat, and swimming
For just plain relaxation and lake cruising, you can't beat a pontoon boat. If your desire is to have an on-board picnic with a group of friends and family, to fish a little, swim, and just enjoy the scenery, take out a 101 pontoon boat. Bring all the food, air mattresses, and comforts you want. The idea is not to blast about the lake at lip-curling speeds, but to cruse along at about 20 mph and enjoy. Find a cove, anchor, and swim, fish, and picnic. If you want to really have a fun day, rent both a pontoon and a ski boat. Use the pontoon as your "base" for picnicking and still fishing, then use the ski boat for tubing and water skiing. This is especially fun for families with active youngsters who get bored just "sitting around"!
Scuba & Spear Fishing
Because of its clear water, Lake Norfork is a popular scuba destination. Very large catfish make spearfishing a challenge as well. 101 Boat Dock has certified scuba tank refilling facilities.
Private cove, houseboat, and ski boat
The All-In-One Lake Norfork Adventure
What is the ultimate way to enjoy Lake Norfork? Well, that depends on what you consider the best way to enjoy the water. Assuming that you want the full range of water skiing, tubing, cruising, scuba diving, and fishing, and assuming you want to do all the above for more than a day, take out a houseboat and a second boat. Your second boat can tow behind the houseboat, and can be a bass boat, deck boat, or ski boat.
Find a nice cove and moor the houseboat. Then water ski, fish, and dive from the second boat. Use your second boat to explore for a new cove to bring the houseboat to if you want to move around a little. For those who want to fully enjoy the lake with action-filled days and nights on the lake the combination of a houseboat and a smaller, faster boat cannot be beat! At 101 Boat Dock we can put together a full equipment package for you. Just let us know you want the Ultimate Lake Norfork Adventure and we'll do it!