Caught this Morning. They started generating heavily about two hours ago but the lake has risen past 548. Good level.
Caught this Morning. They started generating heavily about two hours ago but the lake has risen past 548. Good level.
All of these were caught fishing with Bink yesterday. Spring top water is here.
We missed the severe weather and most of the rain. Some places got 0.66 inches and others got 0.16. We got a little less than 0.5 here at Blackburns and the level has risen to 547.65 or about 5-inches in the last 24-hours with little generation.This is a good level and allows surge capacity in case of a gullywasher or turtle floater. We are very busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of our low cabin prices and boat rental prices. Some have already raised their rates for the spring but Blackburns has not. You can still get a one bedroom cabin for two at $53/day and will be able to until Memorial day. You can save a lot of money by staying here. That is why we are so busy. We like that. Bink reports the stripers are really coming up both morning and night. You can call him at 870-499-7384 he has the best prices on guided fishing trips too. The sun is out and I am going fishin. Arkansas Game and fish are starting a new fishing license system next month and it is a cluster bomb. Blackburns has been selling licenses for 50 years but will now be unable to do so. Sorry. You should be able to get your own by going to their website and give your information and down load it on your phone and show your phone to the game warden if stopped. I was unable to give them all of the paper work they demanded and am not smart enough to be in compliance after being a authorized license seller for 22-years myself. Typical government. Several others are dropping out too so you may want to go on line and get yours before you come. Walmart will still sell them but it will just be a regular paper printout. Good luck.
The lake level is 547.23 and has risen 5-inches in the last 24 hours. We must have got more rain in the watershed up north than here because there was little runoff here. We are to get more rain this afternoon and night. Just hope the wind stays away. They run one generator this morning for two hours and then shut it off. They did the same thing yesterday. Tom Kelly reports catching many crappie back in a creek yesterday on brush. I only caught one big one but did get several bass. It is time for me to put in my trotline. Like getting those catfish. Keep watching for fish coming up in the morning just at sunrise. It is getting better and better. Water temperature still 60 way back in the creek and 57 on mainlake. Bass are moving in shallow. We will see what this rain does. It looks like about one more week and things should break loose. Lake is stained.
Caught more too about this size.
Fishing was better yesterday with the lake rising. It went from 546 to 546.79 in the last 24 hours. The surface temperature was 60 back in the creeks and 57 plus on the main lake. I caught several good ones but no giant ones. Some bass are moving in under cover shallow and more and more fish are surfacing early. I caught some smaller bass casting the spoon to them and hopping it back. The rest using a spoon on brush and a grub and also a minnow on a slip float most of the way back in Float creek. I am catching few fish on the main lake.
Beautiful day today. Low 70's with light wind. I am leaving to go fishing. Nice crowd here at Blackburns. Lake is rising with no generation for two days and is at 545.69 More rain tonight.
They quit generating about 6PM last evening and we received a little over an inch of rain and the lake has gone from 545.09 to 545.38 or 3-1/2 inches. Not bad. We have a chance for rain most days this next week. We just do not need the level to drop anymore.
Only got one big one today. Getting windy. Rain on the way.
Alan Rivers from Grapecreek, Illinois shows off some nice Norfork Lake crappie. Wish they could have caught more. Nice group.
Water temperature was just under 56 on main lake today and just over 57 in the creeks. I caught one giant crappie and a few smaller ones. It was tough. I switched to bass fishing and caught three. Reports that crappie are jumping in the boat are exaggerated. I did see some swallows and that means better fishing is near. Checked out the backs of creeks and no fish there. The good places are too shallow. If you find a brush pile where there are crappie there are just a few. If you catch 7 or 8 the pile is cleaned out and will remain so until the water warms and the spawn is over. When the fry get about an inch long they look for cover and that is when good fish will move to the brush. Until then the next step is the males move shallow in the creeks and make a nest. We are kind of in transition until then with many fish still in open water on shad. Smallmouth bass fishing is best now . A few small fish are surfacing in the evening. The top water bite has started early so get a spook ready. Be out there at first light. Stripers, hybrids and bass.
Scuba Steve put a bucket full of these in Tom Kelly's trophy pond. Does not take very many to make a bucket full.
Brian Deardoff with two of 20 caught yesterday
Caught last evening with Bink
We missed all of the weather so far. It went north into Missouri. They are generating several hours a day and the lake is dropping slowly again and is 545.27 and it is clearing a bit. Surface temperature was 56 degrees last evening and warmer in the creeks. Binks reports catching some good fish in the evening. Walleye before dark and stripers and hybrids after on the stick bait. Brian Deardoff caught several nice bass as did Scuba Steve and Roger caught several crappie. Most crappie are smaller (11-12 inches) as the giant ones have moved off the brush and are showing up on the bank in the Pigeon Creek area but some are still on brush in the Walleye rearing pond area. I have caught many crappie in the 16-18 inch range this winter. Bass fishing is the best now with a lot of smallmouth showing up. I am still using the grub but crank baits are working too. It is cooler today with highs to be in the high 50's. Our normal high is 62. It is to warm again starting tomorrow. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. Blackburns does not charge you for your first boat stall. If you are on a budget you could stay longer if you stay here. 1-800-635-0526 We will not charge you too much. Some charge $25-30/ day more with increasing rates again later this month when the fishing gets good and also charge for boat stalls. We do not do that. We have two rates, Summer and so-called off season.
Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.
They just started generating again but the lake has inched up to 545.30 and with the temperature in the 80's today, the surface water temperature will rise. Especially back in the creeks. The longer this high pressure stays the better the fishing gets. It was much better yesterday. it needed to be. We have several good fishermen in and they brought in several yesterday. A few walleye, white bass and stripers but mostly bass. Some bass have moved right up against the bank. I will see if I can find the big crappie today. Blackburns is nearly full and it is good to hear the people discuss fishing and helping each other down at the dock. We have put in several nice brush piles and will show you where when you get here. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer, you are paying too much. I mowed yesterday and the yard looks good. The new laminate floors are nice and you will like them. Soon the new pool will be filling. I am spending money like a drunken Marine and did not raise the prices on anything again this year. You can save a bunch staying here and get a free boat stall with your cabin too. $53/day for two people in a 1-bedroom. We have live bait on site, fishing license too and you can launch your boat right here. 1-800-635-0526 You can even get a pizza delivered. We have it all and at the best price. We are now a battery dealer and will give you the best prices on them. We do not raise the prices in April when the fishing starts to get good. Compare.
It was a beautiful day when I went out and there were boats everywhere. I thought the father son tournament was today. All of my good spots had a boat on them. Looked like lake of the Ozarks. I am glad it is not like that often. The water temperature is rising and is over 54 and the lake is still stained with quite a bit of brown pollen on the banks with the wind blowing in. The level is 545.25 and they have cut down on generation. I moved off the main lake to the back of a major creek and caught a few bass right on the bank with soft plastics. Fishing was slow. Very slow. They started to bite a bit later in the evening. Some people are catching a few on smaller stickbaits and smaller spinner baits. Big fish are scarce on the main lake now except for the ones in open water on shad. The water is just slow warming up. I would not drive a long way to fish here for now. Give it a few days. I am not saying you cannot catch any fish but it is not easy. I saw a few fish coming up in the back of the creeks last evening but they were small. A lot of the places that were good in the past are too shallow. Major creeks include: pigeon, fall, big, brushy, panther and float. I usually see a lot of bass under and around my dock but not yet. Just a few bluegill have moved in but not many. Bink is catching some good bass back in big creek.
I went fishing yesterday and they were biting pretty good. About like it was about two weeks ago. The surface temperature was 51.4 and the level is still dropping and is at 545.18 and the creeks are a little bit clearer than the main lake. Both are at a good color for fishing. They are generating heavily now. I caught a very large bass that went over 5-pounds on my first cast and let her go immediately as she was full of eggs. I then caught several crappie. One was pretty big and the others were small and just over 10-inches. I put them and several minnows in the trophy pond. The largest one was over 2-lbs. The ambient temperature was in the low 40's but it was not too cold with no wind. I was glad to find some fish had moved back to the brush at 18-25 feet. I caught them about 10-feet down. Some fish came up to get the lure shallow. Our normal high temperature is 60 degrees and we have been no where near that. The weather forecasters have been about 8-10 degrees high on there high temperature and it has been cold. People reporting an early spring for fishing have been wrong too. We now have a lower surface temperature than this time last year when it warmed up fast to just under 50 early and then stayed there for a long time. We are not too dry here but the lake is dropping because they generate heavily every time there is even a chance of rain. I am not too much worried about the lake drying up as it is still 190 feet deep in places but you have to watch what you are doing when launching and navigating the lake. It is to warm up steadily for the next several days with highs in the 70's for Monday. I am catching equal amounts of fish on the grub and live crappie minnows and am back on the mainlake brush on both points and cuts. Spoons are not working very well for me but I will try them in a few minutes. We are busy putting in new laminate flooring in several cabins and they sure look nice. It is just too difficult to get the stains out of carpeting no matter how new it is. I am through with carpeting and shingles. Spring is filling up fast with people taking advantage of our low prices on both cabins, boat rentals and free boat stall with your cabin rental. You can get a 1-bedroom cabin for $53/day for two people and get trolling motors included in the price for fishing pontoons. We will not charge you too much. We have no snow on the ground and the grass is green. The cold weather did hurt my fruit trees that were in bloom but it looks like that may be over today.
Bulletin: 6:PM. I just got in and there is good news. I guess the nasty white stuff mixed in with the surface water and the temperature is back up to 55 degrees. I guess the south wind did it. No matter. With the warm weather coming later this week with no sign of cold weather after that, things should really start to happen. First bass move to the creeks, second the catfish do the same thing, third the crappie move to cover back in the creeks shallow and Scuba Steve puts in his trot line. I will wait until the crappie spawn and move to my brush piles and then they are fair game. It still looks like early April is good. Book then. Snow is gone except for north side of hills, good riddance. Two more days of cool and then in the 70's by the weekend. I have spent enough time in cold, snowy weather when living in Minnesota and Maine to last a lifetime. Whoever thinks it is beautiful and love it should move there. They would really be happy. I have a rule: do not be sure of good fishing in the spring until after March 15th and it is coming true this year. Except for the striper fishermen and the full moon in March is always good.
It quit snowing about 4:PM when I went out. We got enough to cover the ground but not the roads. They were slushy but not slick. It was our first of the season. The first thing I noticed was that the surface temperature was 51.4 and the lake level was dropping. It is now at 545.66 and they are generating several hours a day heavily. The lake level was 8.61 feet higher on this date last year and the surface temperature was three degrees warmer. It is to get to close to 50 today and the sunshine is melting things rapidly and there should not be much left except the northsides of hillsides by tonight. It got down to 27 last night. This should bring my new grass seed up nicely but that is all the good I can say about it. The wind was very light after the snow and it did not feel too cold. I caught my usual bass and crappie and the overall fishing did not change. The warmup looks to come slowly and It might be a few days until the most of the bass move back in the creeks. There are some there now but not many. We will see what this sunshine does in a few minutes. It is not an early spring as far as fishing goes so use your early to Mid March tactics and if it does not get cloudy this evening there will be stripers on the bank north of Cranfield Island and on the flats near Quarry marina tonight with that big moon shing on them on the stick bait. Some people say cast parallel to the bank but I prefer to stay as far from the bank as I can cast, crank down three or four turns and with the rod tip down reel slowly and steadily back to the boat. Try using the 5-inch or 5-1/2 inch with a light bottom and a blue or black back. Rogue or Thunder Stick. Thunder sticks have better hooks. I am still using the small grub during the day tipped with a crappie minnow and a 1/16th ounce jig head. Works for me and has for years. Spring should be here as far as temperaturres are concerned by next weekend but come earlier in the week for the best fishing. I do not pay any attention to weekends but do not have to. Avoid the cold fronts and go a couple of days after the sun has shined for several hours/day and fish until it starts to rain or at least until the wind picks up and the clouds move in. Know the difference between a cold front and low pressure. You can E-mail me at email@example.com or comment on this blog and I will try and help you. We want everyone to have a good time and not charge them too much.
Caught some of these and put them in the pond. Not very many though.
They are generating heavily and the lake has dropped to 545.76 they can quit anytime. The lake is stained both creeks and main lake and the surface temperature was 54 when I came in last evening. Our bass fishermen fished all day and caught two or three keeper fish each. They are good fishermen and it was slow for them. I caught a few crappie and bass. A couple of the crappie were nice but the biggest bass was three pounds. Not too good. I had been catching at least one big one a day. The last three days have been abnormally slow for me for March. I go out almost everyday and do not try to dodge the cold fronts. If you want to maximize your catch it is wise to do so. The weather is to be a little below average for the next several days with it being cold and dreary today. It is 1:39 Pm and it has just started to snow and we are expecting a freeze tonight with temperatures to rebound to 50 tomorrow. The average high is 58. I have no customers fishing after dark but have some coming in. I am not a crankbait fishermen but they are working a little as are stick baits. I have been working main lake cuts and points but have had a little luck part way back in the creeks but not much. I have several fruit trees and this frost will not do them any good as they have been blooming for several days. We will see what this does to the water temperature. The heat units for the vegetation has been above average but the water surface temperature does not indicate the spring fishing to be ahead of normal. Surface temperature does not usually cool in March but goes up steadily. Not the case this year. When it clears tomorrow there should be some stripers on the banks at dark with the full moon. I am not seening as many large schools of shad as I was. Many of the fish on brush have moved back out to open water. When they come back the crappie and bass fishing should pick up again. I do not try to make predictions but just look at the conditions and try to figure out what is happening. It usually works if you go out often enough. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. Come on down. We will not over- charge you. 1-800-635-0526 free boat stalls with your cabin and you can launch right here. All cabins have covered porches and we have a garage for you bikes all starting at $53/day for two people. Also we do not raise our prices in April when the fishing gets good.
It was a beautiful warm sunny day with light wind when I went out mid morning yesterday. The surface temperature was 57 degrees and the lake level was 545.95 They are generating heavily now and have been for three hours. It is sunny and in the mid 50's today with cold weather coming tomorrow. Our normal high is 58. We will see if the cold weather puts any ice cubes in the water. We have had no snow yet this year. This is not the first time temperatures in the 20's has happened here in March. That is why I have been slow starting things up no matter how many flowers are blooming. In 1996 it got down to 8 degrees on the 9th of March and caused me a lot of trouble. It is to stay a bit cooler than normal for the next several days but not much. I like fishing in the 50's. The wind is to move to the north today and then to the east. Fishing was slow until about 3-Pm when the wind picked up and they started to bite. I caught bass and crappie on main lake points and main lake cuts on the grub. It was nice to be out and alive. I caught no big fish but several keepers. I do not keep fish this time of year due to the spawn except to put in the trophy pond. It is about time to put in a trot line. Saturday looks to be a bad weather day but I will give it a try anyway. I am on my way out now. They can stop dropping the lake anytime now. They have my permission. Fishing is by no means fast but you can catch some if you keep trying. I just refuse to go out there and troll atound for hours looking for open water fish and burn up gas. The fish I am catching are a bit shallower and in 16-18 feet on brush. Spooning has slowed way down.
It was windy but you just have to drift past Blackburs Resot and Boat rental Brush Piles Faster. These are big boys.I do not know where you can catch bigger ones than here.
The wind was blowing but I was just drifting over Blackburns Brush Piles Faster. We work hard puting them in and they produce. These are not easy to get but you have to know where and how. These are big boys.
When I went out yesterday afternoon the surface water temperature was 54 and the wind was swirling. It has been doing this for about three days. It changes directions abruptly and then lays down and then gusts. It is very hard to fish. With the lake still dropping we had to move the dock yesterday. It is now 546.1 but they have not generated yet today. Do not try to drive your boat on the right hand side to get past Cranfield Island from the east. There is one little channel that you can use with your trim up but it is not worth the chance. I am seeing several boats stranded there with either their props torn up or their lower units out.Go around on the left side. Watch around Robinson Island also. Everything is ok but you just have to be careful. There are some smaller stripers being caught early in open water at about 50-ft. Bass have moved off the deeper brush and so have the big crappie. I found a few in brush at 18-20 feet but they were in the 10-11 inch range. They are about like white bass. Not interested. We will see what happens today. Some rain may be on the way. We need it. The lake has stained a bit all over. It looks to stay warm. I hope so. A lot of damage will occur with a hard frost. Fishing is not the best for me right now but I am catching some, just no big ones.
The wind finally blew itself out. We got lightening and thunder but very little rain. There was wind all around us but it is ok here. When I was out Sunday it hailed. The lake is still dropping and is at 546.4 which is 7-feet lower than last year. Last year the water temperature rose early to just under 50 degrees and stayed there for a long time. On this date last year it was 50. It is 52 now. Not much difference. Our overall heat units have been higher and resulted in the earliest dogwood bloom that I can remember but the fishing is about the same. We had no shad kill this season and there are plenty of them and no jerk bait bite either. The crappie that were loaded up on main lake brush moved and went out deeper. We will see if this sunshine brings them back in. We are to have temperatures near and above 60 for several days with some rain moving in next week. Should be a good next several days for fishing. We opened up eight more cabins and the girls are working hard to get them ready. We have had high demand this year and do not like to turn people away. They do not like to go elsewhere because we have no room and pay too much. Many places close for the winter. Blackburns stay open all year. Things look good for a striper bite after dark on the full moon which is the 12th. A few smaller ones are there now. One day it is 80 and the next it is 50. I do not know what to do either. When that south east wind blows into those points on the flats north of Cranfield, there will be fish on them. Stick baits are working a bit for bass and walleye but I like the soft plastics better for them now just before dark on the shadowy banks part way back in the creeks. I will try the spoon just outside of brush today. I am catching no bluegill but some have moved under my dock. Cold fronts definitely have an effect.