Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

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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. 

News and Specials (Click Here For Comments)

Cabin #8 Red Roof Inn.Image title

We did not send out a newsletter this year and used the money for improvements. Cabin #8 is getting a new roof, gutters and trim as we speak. #11 has a new heater and airconditioner. #9, the mobile home, is completely repainted as have all of the cabins  and much work has been done to the pool. The dock has been almost completey refirbished and the boat stalls continue to be free unless you bring your own pontoon as we have 8 of them to rent. All of our cabins have covered porches and we have no duplexes. I am not a fan of duplexes and covered porches are almost a necessity unless you want to set out in the sun or rain. All of our cabins now have flat screened TVs along with 80+ channels of HD cable and WIFi reaches all of them. The lake has gone up and down several times this year but Blackburns has had no diminished services. You can alway gets to our dock. The fishing has held up despite the water fluxuation until now. They are dropping the lake at the rate of about 6-inches a day and the water is an off-brown color and not very clear. The level is now at 565.46 and I expect them to drop it to about 554 if they can to prepare for spring rains. Toby, Paco, Max and Cassidy are fine and are ready for your visit. Steve, Debbie, Susan and Steve will be here to help you God willing. Steve has gone over all of the rental boats and checked them out and they are ready for your use. Many improvements have been made to them too. Please get your deposits in to confirm your reservations of cabins and boats of your choice as we are getting several calls and are filling up fast. We are the first resort to fill up with people taking advantage of our low prices on both cabins and boats. Call Debbie at 1-800-635-0526. See you soon. We appreciate all of our repeat customers and we have a lot of them.

Your Friends at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

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)

Caught By Tom Kelly Last Week in Float CreekImage title

The most important change is that they have opened the spillway gates a bit and are now discharging the equivilent of three generators. The level is 569.99 and has dropped 6-inches in the last 24-hours. That is pretty fast. There will be no wading in the rivers for a while and the put and take trout are getting plenty of minimum flow. The water color is off-brown and not what I like for fishing. It is not clearing. Some stripers are being caught in the Float creek area in 25-30 feet. It has been cold with highs in the late 30's but is to be back up to 50 by Sunday. We received some mixed precipitation but not enough to cover the ground. The white bass are full of bloodied eggs and are about on schedule for a February spawn. Unless it gets very cold there should not be a shad kill.  There are plenty of shad with many large schools with no fish on them. The Game and Fish people will be at the Striper Club meeting Monday February the 22nd and the main item of interest is their stopping the stockings of Crappie, Catfish and Hybrid Stripers in Norfork Lake. They did this unilaterally with no imput from the public. Executive orders are not good. The meeting is at 7-PM at the Eastside Baptist Church at 718 East 9th Street in Mountain Home. If you care about Norfork Lake Fishing it would be good to attend whether a member of the Striper Club or not. Maybe we can change their minds. Norfork needs more stockings not less. I wonder where the fish are going? They are not increasing the numbers of stocking of other speces to make up for the cuts. There is a shortage of big stripers in Norfork now. You can also contact the head of fisheries in Little Rock at Chris.Racey@agfc.ar.gov and express your views. There are not too many fish in Norfork Lake. We are nothing like Greers Ferry. Everything was going well and the new regime in Little Rock wants to change everything.