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Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)


Dennis Byrd with some good ones caught yesterday. All were released.Image title

The surface temperature has dropped back down to below 52 again and the level has dropped to 546.60 with heavy generation for several hours a day. It is to get into the 70's tomorrow with a good chance of rain. The crappie are on brush on the main lake in 20-30 feet of water. Lots of them and big ones too. If it is windy drift a jig or grub over the brush and use your trolling motor to go past them again from the other way. If it is not windy use a slip float and minnow or a 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon right over them. Set the float about 9-feet deep. Use the spoon as near the top of the brush as you can get without getting hung up. I am catching big ones every day but they are finicky and either move or stop biting after catching a big one. I rig my slip float with a bobber stopper, glass bead, balsa pencil float, split shot and a #4 red true turn hook. All work just switch back and forth after they have seen one for a while. Put the bigger minnows on the red hook and the smaller ones on the grub. Change minnows when they get tired.  

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

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The walleye are biting on stick baits part way back in major creeks. Stay as far from the bank as you can cast. Crank down three times with your suspending bait and with rod tip down reel slowly. Make sure lure is tracking properly and is barely working. Bass too. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Fred Schneider from Kelso. Missouri Shows off Some Norfork Lake CrappieImage title

Tom Kelly caught some good ones.Image title

They quit generating yesterday afternoon and the level is creeping up towards 547. I went out in the Cranfield area for Crappie but could not catch any great big ones. They are there though. Mostly all I could catch was white bass and I do not have much use for them. The water temperature was 55 degrees but should not rise with the much cooler temperatures for the next two days. These fronts sure turn the fish on and off but you can catch big fish almost everyday if you work on it. When I catch large numbers they are usuall smaller and when I catch just a few they are usually big. I like big. The brush piles are producing but not everyday and the fish are moving with the shad which tend to move shallower in the evening.  Big schools are on brush at 20-30 feet in the evening. The big males will move off the brush soon and to the creeks with the smaller ones to follow as the water warms. I have not killed any fish to tell the condition of the eggs in the females. Things start to happen around here at about 60 degrees water temperature. Last year we had a warm winter but was slow warming up in the spring and i caught a lot of fish off the brush until late April and paused a bit and then again in mid May. Walleye fishing gets real good in May but some are caught in March too.  I used to say the top water bite peaked in Mid April but I will have to wait and see. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Cannot tell you how much I like catching these. You do not lift them over the side of the boat. What do you think Rodger? Released under dock.Image title


Caught Yesterday On The Binks SpoonImage title

It is very warm today with a cold front coming in later this week. We are to get a frost this weekend. I hope it does not burn everything. After that it is to warm back up again. I opened up more cabins yesterday. Debbie was turning away customers and we were full. People are taking advantage of our low prices, free boat stalls and good brush piles. They are generating about three hours heavily in the mornings and evenings each. The lake is staying stable at just under 547. The lake is in good shape for fishing. Crappie have moved to the main lake brush in 20-ft of water and Tom Kelly says he found some in 35 feet. There are lots of them and some very big ones too. They are not biting fast but the size makes up for it. A few smaller open water fish are moving into their normal places to simulate a spawn. It still looks like the best time for after dark fishing will be the full moon in March which is the 12th. It does not vary much from that no matter what the water temperature is which is 54. It is to be a bit windy today with the heat and should make for good drift fishing for crappie in the sunshine. I have been having my best luck about 4:pm. The shad really start to get shallow the later in the day it gets and you can get some good bass just at dark. I am not getting any walleye but some people are. I am not finding anything in a frenzy but you can get some very nice fish if you stay at it. We will see what this cold front does. I think I know.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

The big bass are pre-spawn feedingImage title

I asked several people who have lived here for more than my 22-years and they said they have never seen dogwoods and Bradford pears blooming in February. A heavy frost would really hurt things here with it to be in the mid to high 70's for the next two days. Water temperature was 53.4 last evening when I came in. We received a little over 1/2 inch of rain but the lake remained stable at just below 547. They seem to start generating heavily every time it rains. They have stopped again now. Bluegill have moved in under my dock and they usually do that at the end of March. Fishing was a little slow for me but caught some good fish including a giant crappie. It is in the basket. I will get a picture and let it go. Bink caught bass and stripers. Bink tried the stick bait at dark and caught a few but it rained him out. There are some stripers out from the bluff wall south of Cranfield Island. The crappie and bass I am catching are on mainlake brush in 20-ft. of water near the bottom. Many have moved in now. It will not be long until the males move to the creeks to make nests. I do not keep male crappie in the spring on beds as they protect the eggs and fry from getting gobbled up by predator fish. You catch and keep them and you will see a bluegill or goggle eye devour the young in about 5-minutes. I also do not sight fish for bass and do not like fishing tournaments during the spawn. Things are really a changin and you need to be out there everyday to keep up. Tune in the Live in the Boat  radio show tomorrow at 8:45 AM on KTLO 97.9 Fm. I will try to be there if the fog has lifted.  It was bad this morning. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Bink does too. They caught some white bass but they do not count.Image title

People ask : Do you catch fish everyday? I say pretty much. That is what I do. Caught more too.Image title

It was a beautiful day, warm with the wind just right. I really caught some nice fish on brush piles in 20-22 feet of water near the bottom on the main lake. A few on the spoon but mostly on the grub. Bass and crappie. They started to bite around 4:pm. I parked right over the brush and casted to shore, letting the grub and minnow sink to the bottom and slowly retrieved to the boat. Caught big crappie and bass. Came back in about 6PM. All fish released in the trophy pond. They are still not generating, except for the put and take trout, and the level is stable. It is to rain tonight. Lake is clearing and the surface temperature is in the low 50's.  I am going to have to open up the rest of the cabins because of all of the calls and reservations. I hope it is not too early. I have been burned by so called early spring before. March can be very volitile. Fish until it rains you out take the next day off and fish until it rains again. Many people miss out on good fishing listening to the weather forecast. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Some good fish were caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

It was a good day for fishing yesterday. Warm with light winds. Very foggy this morning. Lake level is stable and they have not generated for two days except for the put and take trout in the river. I was just about to have to move my dock. I will try to catch some crappie today. The springlike weather continues. Come on down. 1-800-635-0526  Your first boat stall is free, All of our cabins have covered porches and we will not charge you too much. We have covered parking for motorcycles. 

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Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Put several in the trophy pond yesterday. It is ready.Image title

Tom Kelly released these under Blackburns dock.Image title

Everybody caught good fish yesterday. Tom Kelly, Roger, the Gibbs clan (they filled the basket), Binks and Scuba Steve. The shad are small so downsize your spoon. Right now the 1/4 ounce one is the best. I determine spoon size by two things: how deep you are fishing and how hard the wind is blowing. I only use the one ounce in the summer when the fish are deep. Meaning over 70-feet. 3/4 ounce from 60-70 ft. and 1/2 ounce from 40-60 and 1/4 ounce less than 40. You can get by with a 1/2 ounce most of the time but switch to the 1/4 if the shad are small as they are now. Change your line accordingly. The spoon works better when it is not dragging heavy line. This is true for all baits. If it is windy and you are having trouble keeping your line straight down go to a heavier spoon and go against the wind with your trolling motor. I use 10-lb. test for the one ounce spoon and a bait caster. Baitcasters work better for very big fish but I like spinning reels best. White bass are with the hybrids part way back in the creeks and some bass and crappie are on brush together. I caught some large bass and medium sized crappie. Roger caught some very large crappie and Tom Kelly white bass and hybrids.  It was a beautiful day and the third day after the low pressure. That almost always makes for good fishing.  It is cloudy today and I will be out as soon as I get my work done. Some walleye are moving north to spawn but not all do. Many do not spawn up in the river for some reason but just move to the backs of the major creeks. I am catching just a few and they are just barely keepers if that. I fish walleye on the shadowy banks with a soft plastic before dark in March and switch to a stick bait for stripers after dark. The water temperature is in the low 50's so it will not be long. The full moon is the 12th of March and that will be a good time to give the after dark bite a go. This is a fun time of year. You just have to dodge the cold fronts and fish right until it starts raining.  

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

It was in the mid 60's when I went out yesterday and to be 70 for the next few days. The lake level has dropped to 546.97 and is the first time it has been that low in a long time. How do you want your steak? Raw or burned. The surface temperature is at 50 and has been there for a while. The lake water color is just right for fishing. I caught only three keeper fish, two bass and a crappie. I never do very well on the first sunny day afer a rain. We got more than I expected, about an inch, and it all sank in. It was badly needed and really greened things up and brought up the flowers. We seem to get one right when we need it. The resort is full of fishermen taking advantage of our low rates and free boat stalls. We like it that way. That is why we have to do most of our improvements in the late fall and winter. We get so busy in the spring with people wanting to get away from the winter that it is hard to keep up. Fortunately I have the best employees. You will be welcome here. The Game and Fish report the lake is full of fish so come on down.There were 12 deer at our feeder last evening. My deer and bird feed is higher than my grocery bill. You will like to watch both. I do.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

This is what I consider to be my best fish yesterday.Image title

We are receiving a light rain today and should get about 1/2 inch total. If it stops I will go out then. I like evening fishing best anyway. The lake is still dropping and is just over 547. This is one reason why I do not like the minimum flow rule for the rivers. They are mandated to let water out of the lake for the put and take trout no matter how low the lake gets and what the effect on the business on the lake. We have been told that the dam is only for flood control and power generation for years but that is not true now. They cannot say that anymore. It is all about the money. Last evening was good for fishing as the wind completely died down and the low pressure moved in the fish started to bite. When that happens I set right on top of brush piles and use a jigging spoon or a live minnow on a slip float. Weather looks to be good all week after today so come on down. 1-800-635-0526  Bass are the best bite now but some of everything are being caught.  

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Released.Image title

It hit 70 yesterday. I caught several fish but only one big one. Fish are slowly moving to the brush. They started generating hard this morning and the level is dropping again and is at 547.33. Some days i catch most fish on the grub and the next on the 1/4 ounce Bink's Spoon. Just switch from one to the other. Remember the size limit on a striper is 20-inches and the smaller ones are to be immediately released and the number limit is three including hybrids and the posession limit is six. It is to rain tonight and we need it to get all of the grass seed and the flowers and bulbs Steve, Debbie and Susan are planting to get going. We want it to look beautiful for you when you get here. It looks like a good time for a trip is starting the middle of this week and continuing through the weekend. I like it just before a cold front moves in and after the high pressure has been around for a while. I am not a fan of the full moon fishing except for stripers and some people say bluegill. Dropping water and a full moon practually stops some fish from biting. Catfish are the worst. A dark night and rising water makes them bite like crazy. For some reason a full moon makes the stripers move to the bank in the spring and fall. Maybe it is because they are ocean fish. I do not know. I do know I like to be out there. A free boat stall comes with your cabin here at Blackburns. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Caught Fishing With Bink's Guide AerviceImage title

This young man looks pretty happy.Image title

It was a beautiful day yesterday and the fish were biting. Bink caught a lot in the morning and I caught a lot in the afternoon. It was 80 degrees with south winds when I left to go out at 3:pm. I caught bass and crappie. No giant ones but pretty good. Six keeper crappie and five keeper bass in two hours. I caught most on a grub but a few on the spoon. I am catching more and more smaller crappie and fewer giant ones. There are some giant bass under Blackburns dock right now and thet is a good sign. The surface temperature is 50+ and you can put away your jerk baits as there will be no shad kill this year. 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon on the bottom for Stripers on the bottom at 50-feet is the answer now. Bump the bottom and barely move it. The shad are small now and big baits are not working. All of the people I know had a good day Saturday. We will see what the afternoon brings today. It is to be in the 50's for the next several days and them warm up again. We need some more rain but the lake is in excellent condition.Flowers are coming up.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

They are generating heavily and we are at 547.49 and lower than before the rain. All of the chain of lakes and Norfork are low with a high power demand. Most of the electricity goes south and they have had a mild winter. Go figure. We have a good surge capacity if we have a wet spring. it was a beautiful day until the afternoon when the wind came up and a cold front moved in. It got cold and the fishing turned off and I came in. It is only to be in the mid 40's today with very nice warm weather coming in tomorrow and through the weekend. Good time to get out there on the lake. Debbie and Steve stained the dock and Brian worked on the walkway from the road to the dock and from the bank to the dock. They also stained and sanded picnik tables. Things are really shaping up here at Blackburns and we will be ready for your visit. Bookings are coming in fast. Be glad to have you and we will not charge you too much. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Caught Fishing With Bink's Guide service Yesterday.Image title

These are nice but Tom Kelly caught some bigger ones.Image title

The water temperature hit 50 yesterday. There is no normal temperature. A few years ago it never dropped below 50 all year and the year after that the shoreline froze back in the creeks. You just cannot tell. Last year it stayed warm until spring and then was very slow warming up. The year before it was in the 70's by early May. The rain did stain the lake a bit but it is a good color for fishing. I am finding very few fish in the shallower water in the creeks. It warms up more quickly there and I will keep watching. I did notice some bluegill moved back in under my dock. The stripers will move to the bank at dark in March to simulate a spawn in the Cranfield area and across from Quarry marina. They always do. They sometimes do it again to feed in November but not necessarily. They just follow the shad then. I was catching big bass near the bank on steep bank river channels but they are gone. I am now catching them on brush in 40-ft. I have lost the big crappie for now but am catching 11-12 inchers instead of 16-17 inchers.  They must have moved out to open water on shad. They disappear for a while this time of year for some reason. They will move to Blackburn's brush piles and I have some good ones. Some males will go to the bank in the creeks next month in the pigeon creek area.  Bass fishing is the best right now but it is not easy. You cannot go fishing one time and give a report. Things are changing too quickly. I caught 10 big fish of all different varieties in one area last week and they are gone now. Shad is everywhere in the mouths of major creeks in 70-feet of water 60-feet down. Some are holding bass and a few stripers. Once I catch one fish out of the school and look around I have lost them and have to look hard to find them again. I would rather fish brush piles. Deep ones are harder to find with the lower water. The warm weather is nice and the lake is in excellent condition. Do not cut points with your boat.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

The news around here is that we received almost 2-inches of rain last night when a storm came through. The lake is rising just a bit with almost all the water running off and them starting generation again this morning. We are now not too dry and with the temperatures in the mid 70's things are starting to green up. I hope the groundhog is wrong and it looks like it so far. It was a beautiful day to be out yesterday and I caught some nice bass on the spoon. Fishing was not great but you can catch some if you know where and how. Open water fish are still at the mouths of the major creeks in 70 feet of water 60 feet down. When people say when you find the shad you find the fish. That is not necessarily true. There are many more schools of shad than they are schools with stripers under them. Look for broken schools with dots on your locator rather than black blobs and lines through them indicating fish are feeding. I am finding more schools of bass on shad than stripers and these are typically shallower than feeding stripers. I am not seeing any top water fish and am out until dark every night. I still like spooning deep brush right now near the bottom. The shad are mostly small, about an inch long, with just a few larger and there are lots of them but i have seen more in past years. We are putting in some nice brush piles. 1-800-635-0526 Why pay more?

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Caught several of these. Image title

It was 65 degrees with light winds when i went out last evening. I was surprised the water temperature was rising and is now about 49 degrees. I am fishing main lake brush . The deeper the better (40-ft if possible) Bump the bottom with your spoon. There was a lot of shad on main lake at 70- feet of water 60-ft. down in the middle of the river channel near Blackburns with fish above them. I was after bass and caught some good ones for the pond along with a few crappie. Both are together. The fish started to bite just before sunset. The lake level is 547.61 and they just started generating heavily.  it is about 6-feet low but is normal for the way they used to manage it by taking it down for the winter to make room for spring rains. We are very dry here now. it usually rains in february and the lake starts to rise. We will see. It does not need to drop much more. Lake is getting very clear.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

I am waiting for it to warm up today.It is to be 45+ but is struggling to get to 40. About ready to go anyway. The lake is dropping again and now is at 547.64 with a water temperature of near 47. It is clearing both on the main lake and creeks. I am fishing mostly main lake and the mouth of creeks in about 40-ft. of water for all kinds of fish. They have moved deeper and near the bottom. I am getting a lot of inquiries about Blackburn's 2017 pricing. I noticed several places have increased their rates again. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental have not increase rates on anything but have made a lot of improvements and are working continuously to keep doing so. We do not see how much we can get away with charging you but have many repeat customers and want to take care of them and not charge them too much. It is more important to compare prices now more than ever unless you just have too much money and do not have to work for it. If so stay here anyway and give the big difference to disabled Veterans. We will be the first to fill up and like it that way.  

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

No dragging around a bunch of live bait here. Image title

I was not able to go out today but Tom Kelly was. Look at the size of this striper caught on a jigging spoon. Nice going Tom. Looks to be a warm weekend. Come on down. 1-800-635-0526 Winter fishing good. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Nice evening on Norfork lake. Caught more too. Image title

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I went out last afternoon and found the fish again. They had just moved out deeper. I caught all of the fish on a 1/4 ounce Bink's Jigging spoon. Off-white with a red eye and black circle behind the eye. They were from 35-38 feet deep on the bottom. Caught walleye, smallmouth, catfish, crappie and black bass all at the same general area. Had to bump bottom to get them. Caught some good ones. it is cool today and tomorrow with a warmup to follow. Putting in some nice brush piles. I like winter fishing. When you stay at Blackburns, you can launch your boat right here, park your trailer and get right into your free boat stall. No need to go off-site and drive the boat to the dock. Good for single fishermen. No rate increases this year.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

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It has been very warm for the last few days but it is to cool for a couple and then warm again. I am happy we are in february and spring is coming. The lake level is about the same as is the surface temperature. The fish are moving almost daily with the wind. You have to be adaptable. The lake is clearing a bit and you can see your lure down to about 7-8 feet. One day I am catching fish on brush and the next not and have to move to the open water. Several people caught good fish yesterday including Tom Kelly but I had a camera malfunction. Several big fish were put in the trophy pond. We got our brush permits from the corps of engineers yesterday and are busy putting in brush piles. We have some good ones and will show you where when you get here. Some good fish are being caught but you have to work for them. I was catching a lot but not lately. If you see me with white bass you know it is not easy catching the good fish.