Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

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Norfork Lake Fishing Report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home In the Ozark Mountains ( Click Here for Comments)

The wind has finally blown itself out after two days. It was cold and it was from the north and would not stop. It was not strong enough to cause any damage. I could not find a place on the lake to get out of it. It was swirling. It is still cool but sunny and the light wind has shifted to the south. The lake level is at 558+ and dropping about 5 inches/24-hour period. They closed the spillway gates last afternoon so the level will drop more slowly now. I wondered how long it would last. it needs to be 10 feet lower.  It is nice to have all of the dock parking and launch back. I predict they will slow the discharge way down in about nine days. Our normal high is 50 and we should be getting some nice weather soon. March is sometimes variable but is usually pretty good after the 15th. The lake wants to clear and will do so barring any large rains when they slow generation. I am ready for spring even though winter has been very mild with no snow. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental is ready for your visit. 1-800-635-0526. You will like the look of things when you get here. Open water is still the way to go for fish with some bass in the creeks at 30-feet on grubs. 

Norfork Lake Conditions and Fishing Report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat rental On Norfork Lake (Click Here to Make Comments)

It was 60 degrees with a 48 degree water temperature when I went out yesterday with no wind. The water color is changing a bit to a little more green than brown but is still dropping 6-inches per day. The level is 560 and they should slow the discharge way down as it approaches 553.75 where the power company takes over part of the control. The corps likes to keep it just above that for some reason. It should take about 12 days for this to happen barring a heavy rain. It needs to be at 550 or less and stable going into spring. There are continuous shad from Blackburns Creek to north of Cranfield and it is a little difficult to find feeding fish because there is so much bait. There is no reason for the predators to go to the bank to feed but there are more fish on shad in 25-30 feet of water than in deeper water. A lot of shad are in 60-80 feet of water about 25-35 feet down but no fish on them. Find shad on the flats in 25-30 feet and you will have a better chance of catching some using a 1/2 ounce jigging spoon. I saw several trollers yesterday but very few fish caught. There are also some bass on the bottom part way back in the creeks in 30-feet and can be caught on the grub. But they are slow too.  There is not really much reason for the big fish to leave the open water. There are very few fish on my brush piles now. The surface temperature is 48 degrees and has been there for several days. I found some 46.5 degree water near the bank by twin coves. We still have a good chance of having a good night bite in March when stripers and walleye move to the bank. Some walleye move up the river to spawn in the next couple of weeks and some stay in the Cranfield area and near the dam. I fish for walleye on shadowy banks before dark with soft plastics and switch to stick baits for stripers at dark. The night bite for stripers does not always happen in the fall when they go to the bank to feed but always does in the spring when they simulate their spawn. It should take about 12 days for the lake to stabilize and start to clear and things will get better fast. Sorry I do not have better news for now. I am not much on football and commercials(they forgot to send me a check again) so I will probably be the only one out there today.  I love to be outside even if I just catch a few fish. Do not keep many anyway. Do not forget the Striper Club meeting on Monday the 22nd. Read an earlier January 22nd blog for details. The AGFC need to know we are interested in the fish stockings.  

Norfork Lake Conditions and Fishing Report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat rental On Norfork Lake (Click Here to Make Comments)

The lake level is 561+ and still dropping about 6-inches in a 24-hour period. Some Brush piles are starting to come back into play again finally. Fish are starting to bite again despite the rapid level drop. Our ambient temperatures have been in the high 40's with 50's for the rest of the week with a lot of sunshine. We did have quite a bit of wind but that has diminished. The lake is clearing just a bit but is still a brownish color. I hope the level is stable for the spring spawn.  I still see quite a few people trolling in deep water on shad but they are not catching many. I think their mistake is they are too deep. I am catching fish in 25-30 feet of water. The shad at that depth have more fish on them. With so many shad all schools do not have fish on them especially the deep ones. The birds may help the novice find shad but that is not the problem now. They are solid from Blackburns creek to North of Cranfield. Tom Kelly reports catching all of the white bass he wanted and some stripers in the 15-18 pound range yesterday but they were in 25-ft. of water. I am catching bass back in the creeks in 30-feet of water on the bottom on the grub. Things are getting better and will get good as the level stabilizes and the water clears and turns a stained green. Stripers are moving into the walleye rearing pond area as they normally do before the March night bite. The lake surface temperature is still 48 degrees. It had been a rough couple of weeks for fishing but is getting better now finally. People ask me what are the resort's best improvements for the year. #8 has a new roof, gutters and downspouts, the dock has been refirbished and many new LED light s have been installed in several cabins but the best is cabin #11. The attic has been insulated, several new plug-ins added, new LED lights and now all rooms have their own heaters and airconditioning. It was expensive but I hope you like it. Call Debbie at 1-800-635-0526 for reservations.  Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental still has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals. Be glad to have you.

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

The weather was beautiful with temperatures in the high 60's with light wind. Even though I have not been catching many big fish lately I had to go. It is not like I have to make a lots of plans. Just go to the dock and drive the boat to crappie rock with the trolling motor. Only small fish there so I decided to check out the bait fish. The shad were everywhere from the mouth of Blackburns Creek to Cranfield Island. They were in anywhere from 50-80 feet of water and a lot of them were 20 feet down. I spooned for a while in them and caught only a couple of white bass. I tried grub fishing on my favorite bank and caught one fish. it was Saturday and the weather was good and there were a lot chuggers out there. Quite a lot of trollers with an assortment of down-riggers, planer boards and umbrellas. There were a few fish caught but there are so many shad. If you drag live bait across the shad long enough you are likely to catch some fish. Not for me. It will not be long until the spawning instincts take over and the fish move to the bank and jerk baits will be the lure of choice. I will let you know. The night bite did not work out last fall.  Maybe it will this spring when they get the lake level straightened out. It is 563.46 now and the surface temperature is 48.5 and the water is still a light brown. Not much of a chance of shad kill this year. I say to myself to take a few days off but cannot help myself. The lake calls me. 

Norfork Lake Conditions and Fishing Report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat rental On Norfork Lake (Click Here to Make Comments)

I went out at about 3:PM and stayed until after sunset. The lake level is 554.4 with a surface temperature of 48 degrees and the water color is brown and is not clearing. They are dropping the level about 6-inches a day and I suspect it will not clear until they stop or slow generation which should be when the level reaches about 554 or at the current rate about three weeks barring any heavy rains. On the way out of Blackburns Creek at the mouth there were huge schools of shad in 80-feet of water about 20-feet down but only had a few white bass on them. I was unable to spoon up any stripers. I then moved to a couple of my favorite brush piles that were in 37-45 feet of water and they had some fish on them but I could not catch any big ones. I was on some large black bass but they are gone too. Most of the fish are in open water on shad. I hope the level stabilizes before the crappie spawn and rapidly raising or lowering levels is hard on them and we are not getting any more stocked. The jerk bait fishing on the bank is not happening yet but does not normally start intil mid February. If you are close and want to go fishing you can have some fun but do not make a special trip or drive a long way now. I am just not interested in trolling around with live bait in open water for several hours to catch a couple of 5-8 lb. stripers but to each their own. I am ready for the spring large crappie, bass and walleye. Walleye numbers are up now on Norfork and spring fishing should be very good for them. I just am not seeing big numbers of large stripers being caught and I am out there almost every day. I am usually catching some giant crappie this time of year but they are just not there. Maybe in open water on shad too. There are quite a few in the 9-10 inch range.