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Norfork Lake Conditions and fishing report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Near Mountain Home (click here for comments)

I went out in the afternoon and the fishing was not as good as before but the wind was way down. The water was a little greener than normal and the surface temperature was 74 degrees. I caught several crappie off three different brush piles and they all were about 11-inches long. The big ones have not moved to the brush yet. I caught several bass but nothing to brag about. I put 8 decent fish in the pond. Tom kelly put several grass carp in there and it should be easier to fish if the giants in there do not eat them They were only about 6-inches log.  A guy stopped me and said how happy he was to have a good place to fish and that he caught four catfish around 10-lbs and thanked me. That is all I wanted. Now if I can get moochers off my brush piles. Maybe they will just go home. You can be sure I will not add anymore to those this winter. I will catch fish anyway. The weather is beautiful and is to stay so for the next week with highs in the 70's. Turnover is getting close. Lake level is stable with little generation. Anybody know why the river is running brown? It has been for several weeks and I have never seen it before, except after a big rain. I asked Bink who lives on the river and he says he has never seen it in 28 years. I think the dam discharges at about 100 feet deep. It should be clear down there. It could be from allowing the lake to stay so high for so long.  I hope they do not do that again. Government. White with Blue back  1/4 ounce Bink's jigging spoon is the bait of choice now in the brush. Nice flatheads are in there too along with a few walleye. 


Norfork Lake Conditions and fishing report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Near Mountain Home (click here for comments)

Roger and Vicky Moody from Clinton, Illinois caught some good fish.Image title

The lake level is 553.56 with almost no generation. The lake is clearing before turnover. Our good friends Roger and Vicky Moody just left and we are sorry to see them go. It is getting a little old to go fishing and find the same people on your brush piles after you worked so hard to put them in. Fish the ones that the resort you are staying at put in or the corps of engineers or game and fish. I do not fish other people's brush and like to find good places on my own. There are a few top water fish late but many fish are still in open water on shad and the rest are on brush with a few just off the steep wind blown banks. Roger Moody caught some good ones on a white spinner bait yesterday. I caught only crappie and bass with a few bluegill. There are many small fish. I hate to see all of these 10-inch crappie killed. The resort is filling up nicely this fall with people taking advantage of the $53 cabins and free boat stalls. 870-492-5115. If you want to spend more just stay here and give the rest to disabled vets. 

Norfork Lake Conditions and fishing report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Near Mountain Home (click here for comments)

The lake level is 553.60 and there is very little genaration. Crappie and bass fishing is the best now but usually is this time of year. There is still a lot of small fish being caught. I always catch a lot of crappie in October and the big ones usually start to show up in November and December. I have to go to two or three of Blackburns brushpiles in order to find one that is not camped on. People catch a few and then are on it every day. If everyone would put in their own brush it would be better. I do it so my customers have good places to fish. Some people are just lazy. A few white bass are showing up on the flats between Mallard Point and Cranfield Island in 30-ft. of water. But not very many. It is too early to tell. They are always there the full moon in November but it is the 4th this year and it might be a little early for the stripers and walleye north of Cranfield Island. Not much interested in white bass anyway. By the time you cut out the red meat there is not much left. Will take walleye, crappie and catfish anytime but a lot of people like those stripers.  

Norfork Lake Conditions and fishing report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Near Mountain Home (click here for comments)

Caught this morning by Dennis Byrd and Mike Eakle.Image title

The lake level hit 553.75 last night and they quit generating immediately. I like that level for fishing but it sets us up for more high water. If the hurricane landed further west we would be right back where we were. There needs to be different people managing the lake levels. It has not worked the last few years. It is too bad we cannot vote them out of office. The lake is sure different this fall. There are plenty of huge logs on the shoreline and main lake shallow points partially submerged. These will create cover that was not previously available but be aware things are not the same. Crappie and bass are the best bite now with a lot of small fish. The lake will start to clear now with the lake not dropping and I am seeing signs of it happeneing already until the lake turnover. The warm weather is holding that off a bit. I am not sure about the fall foliage but there are several leaves falling and the sumac is turning brown instead of red. Last year was a dud as far as color goes and we had almost no winter. I will shut off the TV when the NFL comes on and go fish. Gus needs a few crappie. The weather is beautiful and the resort has several cabins full with the people taking advantage of the low off-season rates and the warm. $53/day with a free boat stall. It is very dry here but the rain last week helped a bit. 

Norfork Lake Conditions and fishing report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Near Mountain Home (click here for comments)

The lake level is 554.28 and dropping about 2-inches a day with two generators running about 1/2 speed most of the time.  We will see what they do when it hits 553.75 which is still too high to take a big rain. It is good for fishing though. Who come up with these new seasonal pools anyway? The surface temperature is 79 degrees and the lake is still stained.  I went out for about 1-1/2 hours yesterday and caught my limit of crappie and 5 bass.  All went into the pond. One crappie was very large and the rest were 10-12 inches. Fish are biting well right now despite the full moon. As near as I can tell only stripers and bluegill like the full moon but the crappie were biting fast last evening. Blackburns brush piles are really paying off now. I wish more resort owners and guides would put some in. I tried the pvc artificial ones and they do not seem to work well for crappie and walleye. New cedar trees are the best. Blackburns still has cabins with covered porches, boat stall and launch all for $53/day. No need to go somewhere else to launch. Why pay more unless you just have too much money?870-492-5115

Norfork Lake Conditions and fishing report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Near Mountain Home (click here for comments)

Scuba Steve put some in the pond too. Image title

John Bornhop and Tom Kelly caught some nice crappie yesterday. I know where. Welcome John and Tom.Image title

Norfork Lake Conditions and fishing report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Near Mountain Home (click here for comments)

This and several more caught on a Bink 1/8th ounce crappie spoon. Image title

The lake level is 554.90 and is dropping about 2-inches a day. Blackburns brush piles are at a perfect level and there are fish on them. The shorter days and cooler nights are finally dropping the surface temperature and it has dropped to below 80. Tom Kelly and John Bornhop caught some nice crappie yesterday. They always do. I went out for about an hour and caught four bass, one crappie and a big bluegill.  All went into the pond. Bink is catching some stripers again and several crappie. Walleye have slowed a bit but some are still coming in. It is very dry here. Fishing will get better and better until the lake turnover. It may be a slow process this year. When it happens the thermocline inverts and there is no reason for the fish to be in any special place except for cover and shad location. Clarity, temperature and oxygen level will be homogenous to several feet down. This is where brush pile location gives you an advantage. Wish more people would put them in. As the surface water cools after turnover fishing gets better again and November is a very good month. Come on down. 1-bedroom cabins are $53/day and you get a free boat stall with your cabin. All cabins have covered porches. Why pay more? 870-492-5115 It was good to see the Mowrers again. Nice family.

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 this morning on a 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon.Image title

The lake level is now 555.55 and they have cut down generation a lot. Guess they think the lake does not need to drop any farther. I disagree. The so called seasonal levels need to be reviewed or completely gone. Where did they come from anyway? They used to draw the lake down in the winter and prepare for the spring rains. Now they do not. How is that working out for them? Makes them look incompetent when they get tricked every year. The answer is "that is what the dams are for, to hold water". My answer is "hold the water at a lower level". I went out in the middle of the day and caught bass continuously for about two hours. I probably caught 25-30 fish on my grub and about 4-5 were keepers. I do not keep them anyway. It was fun. Many, many small fish are everywhere. Some crappie in the 10-11 inch range are being caught on brush but the schools are small. I do not know if they are roaming or just being caught out. I caught a 4-lb. channel cat on the grub and it was my largest fish. 

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

Lake level is 555.71 and is dropping about 2-inches a day with limited continuous generation. Surface temperature is still near 80 and the main lake seems to be clearing a bit. I went out for about 1-1/2 hours and caught 6-crappie, two bluegill and two bass. No big fish. There are a lot of baitfish and undersized fish out there. It is to get cooler later this week. We are very dry. Newport is at 8-feet and they could be generating more. I would like to see some surge capacity. This is a good level for fishing though. Be carefull cutting points as debris is hung up on shallow main lake points where it has not been before from the high water. We are getting to have a lot of gar in this lake. You can drive or walk to the lake 1/3 mile, launch your boat, park and step on the dock with your free boat stall and still only pay $53/day. 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)

Crappie are not big but are keepers. Released them anyway.Image title

Mike Eakle caught most of the fish but i cannot drive his camera. Image title

The lake level is 556.45 and is back to normal. There is no surge capacity for a big rain. Lake is still stained with the constant drop but is a good color for fishing. People are catching fish in Blackburns area of the lake but not a lot of big ones. Crappie are running from 9-11 inches and stripers are small and skinny. Walleye a numerous but many are short. You have to catch 5 or 6 to get a keeper. Small stripers are around the island and white bass are in Blackburns creek. Blackburns brush piles are all holding some crappie and bluegill. Fishing is getting better. Water temperature was 82 last evening. There are lots of small bass. The total fish population is excellent. 

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 may be the first day of fall but you would never know it here. Highs to be near 90 for the next few days. The lake is still dropping and finally broke 557 and is now 556.95 with both generators running at about 1/2 speed. I will not try to lure you here with reports of great fishing. A lot of small bass are being caught and a few crappie. Walleye fishing is fair on main lake brush at less than 30-feet near the bottom on a spoon. The striper class of 7-8 pounds seems to be the worst hit by the fish kill.  It will leave a hole in the year they are susposed to be big. Many people were catching that size before the kill and now several hundred of them are gone at least. All other speces will do well with all of the cover after the flood and a low mortality rate. Scuba divers got very few with the reduced visibility and not nearly as many were caught in May and June as normal. Several small walleye were also floating in the dam area but none around here. The oxygen comes in with the river flow and the conditions get better the closer to the mouth of the river you get and it takes a long time to get to the dam. The flow caused by the generation is helping.  This is about as poor fishing as I have seen the last part of September and it will not get better when the lake starts to turn in October. I bet I will be catching a lot of fish in November especially about Thanksgiving time unless something drastic happens. There are a lot of bait fish in the creeks and the small bass are feeding on them big time. You can catch some good fish if you know what you are doing but there will be a lot of smaller ones in between. The lake is perfect for boating and swimming. Learn how to spoon brushpiles for best results or cast or drift a tipped grub over them. Tom Kelly caught some good crappie and bluegill yesterday and put them in the pond. No big ones yet and not high numbers.  13-1/2 is the biggest one I have caught this summer and not very many of them. Mostly 9-11 inches. They are there though. Blackburns has several good fishermen in this week and we will see. The pool is open and the price is $53/day for a one bedroom cabin.

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 rained hard for just a few minutes and then sprinkled later. We received over 1/2 inch of badly needed rain and it really greened things up.  I went out in between and found the crappie in brush at 28-feet 8-feet down.  Caught smaller bass, big bluegill and 10-crappie from 10-12 inches. No big ones yet. All went in the pond. I like catching those crappie. Lake level is now 557.79 and continues to drop 3-inches a day. Surface temperature continues to hang around 80-degrees and is good for swimming and boating. looks to be a good fall so far. $53/day for a cabin with a free normal sized boat stall. Please get your fishing licenses on line at Arkansas Game and fish website. It is pretty easy. We no longer sell them here. We sold them for over 20-years but were unable to cut through the government red tape to continue with their new program. It compares to the new boat registration rules. Come on down. It is still summer here. Pool is open.

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

Lake level is 558 and still dropping about 3-inches/day with both generators running about 1/2 speed. They need to get rid of seasonal pool levels and get politics out of dam management. I think they would keep Newport at 12 feet no matter what. They now use the flood gates as management tools even though the water is wasted and cost millions of dollars. Common sense needs to prevail. The old idea that the dams were for flood control first and recreation last went out the window with the incorporation of the worthless minimum flow law for the put and take trout. Everything is back to normal now after taking almost 5-months even though we have been in very dry conditions. You can drive or walk to the dock and step on. Glad to have parking lot and launch back. I caught 10 keeper crappie and three nice bass yesterday afternoon in about two hours. All went into the trophy pond. The lake surface temperature is 79-80 and the ambient tempereature is to be near 90 for the next several days. Our pool is open and our prices are low. Come on down. We are open all year and November fishing is some of the best. Blackburns is your fall foliage headquarters for Norfork Lake, Mountain Home and the Ozark Mountain Region.

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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Good fishing today. Caught limit of crappie, giant smallmouth bass and a nice catfish. All went in the pond. Level is 558.91 and dropping about 3-inches a day and the surface temperature is just above 80. Visibility is stained and brush piles are getting good. Lake is about 6-ft. higher than I would like it but is in good shape for fishing. I like a surge capacity in case of a big rain. Normal, what ever that is, is about 552 before they started messing with the numbers. Pool is open and we are on our winter rates here. $53/day for a one bedroom. 

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

Lake level is 559.45 and continues to drop. We just got a few sprinles of rain and it is very dry. I went out for a couple of hours yesterday and the fish were biting. Caught catfish on the trot line, smallmouth bass in the buckbrush and crappie and bluegill in my brush piles. I limited out on crappie with the largest about 12-inches. Put some in the pond and give the rest to a friend. I have not killed a fish this year and have none in the freezer. The stripers in this area are skinny. At least they are not dying. The crappie are very healthy. A 13-1/2 inch one was caught by a new customer yesterday. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much and maybe in a duplex with no covered porch and also paying for boat stall. Drive on in here on your way home and check us out. You will not be disappointed. Our new wireless internet system is working well. It is 150 MB and costs $200/month and the customers really like it. They are streaming, whatever that is. The pool is still open. You will need it this weekend.90+ degrees. 870-492-5115  Lake is still stained and the visibility seems to change daily with no ryme or reason. Try that 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon in brush at 25-30 feet. I caught the crappie 8-ft. down. 1-bedroom cabins are $53/day. 

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

Mike Eakle with a nice flathead for the pond.Image title

Lake level is 560 and things are in good condition with beaches , launches, parking and day use areas in play. Very late though. Should have been done sooner. I think they would regulate Newport to 12 feet if the world came to an end. Dam management rules should be reviewed and changed. Brush piles are getting to be at a good level now and some fish are moving to them. Many small white bass are chasing shad in the creeks. The shad are small too.  We are getting very dry here and need rain bad. Surface temperature is about 80 degrees but may rise a bit with ambient temperatures to hit 90 this weekend. Should be a good week for boating. Flatheads are starting to show up on jugs and trotlines on live bait part way back in the creeks. Bass are moving to the banks early and late . Smaller ones are being caught during the day. There are many walleye with most being undersized. 

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

Lake level is 560.94 and dropping with both generators running about 1/2 speed. The lake is still stained but good for fishing. Fishing has not been the best lately but some good ones are being brought in. If you want stripers go to the dam with a net early in the morning.  Big walleye often go downstream and deep until there is no oxygen just like the stripers and hang out with them.  I caught a 10-lb. walleye in 90-ft. of water on a Bink's spoon a few years ago during the last fish kill. I really am sorry to lose these big fish. Hard telling how many sank instead of floating. Deep walleye and stripers are easily caught on a spoon in the hottest part of the summer but the organic material in the lake ate up all of the ozygen this year from the flood and killed them. When I went out yesterday the surface temperature was 81 degrees and the thermocline is at 28-feet. You can find it with a fish and temp or camera with temperature on it. The camera also shows you the visibility. Water clarity can be deceptive from the way it looks from the surface. I have had people report clear water and found no visibility 10-15 foot down and there is always a mud line just before the thermocline. Fish are often in or close to it. You can also go scuba diving and feel when the water starts to get cold. I have been diving for many years and rarely find the thermocline below 30-feet and never below 32. This happens when the surface temperature gets 90 or above. It has not done that this year. It should not drop anymore this season. I went to the place where I have been catching walleye for several weeks and they were gone. I did catch some good bass there though. White bass and hybrids are back in the creeks but many are small. Schools of shad are plentiful. I spooned a brush pile at 26-30 ft. and only caught small fish. There are lots of stripers about 6-inches long in Blackburns Resort creek area. Must be from this spring's stockings. The weather has been beautiful and our pool is open. Several guests are taking advantage of Blackburn's low prices. We will not charge you too much. A free boat stall comes with each cabin. Call 870-492-5115

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

Lake level is 562.16 and dropping. We are getting dry again here. Last summer holiday is about over and day services on the lake are coming into play along with some campgrounds. Took since last of April to get the level down to manageable. People really missed the swimming areas this year but were able to go out on pontoons and swim off them. There are a lot of fish in this area of the lake at 22-26 feet and some brush piles are getting to be at the right depth. A am very sad about the striper kill down by the dam but have not seen any here. There are a lot of small walleye dying there also. Hard to tell how many sank to the bottom rather than floating. Dissolved oxygen is best the closer you get to where the river flows into the lake. It is about time to start catching some big flatheads. Starting today Blackburns has dropped their rates to $53/day for a one bedroom cabin along with a free boat stall. Up to 4-bedrooms are priced accordingly.  Others charge from $80-to over $100 and charge for boat stalls and trolling motors on pontoon rentals and have no covered porches. You can save $ towards the rising gas prices. The weather is to get cooler for the next week and fishing will get better. Call 870-492-5115 We will not charge you too much and are open all 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)

Lake level is 563.58 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours. Got some nice walleye yesterday near Cranfield Island in 21-feet of water on the flats near the drop off. We have had beautiful weather and it should continue through the weekend. Just had one cancellation. Call 870-492-5115 The town is filling up already. Beaches are starting to come into play. 

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 lake level is 563.85 and is dropping about 2-1/2 inches in a 24 hour period with some generation most of the time. It has now been 4-months since the raise. We should be at 552 now.  The 553.75 is a new so called normal caused by the worthless minimal flow rule that took away flood capacity for the put and take trout. They have been getting good minimal flow lately and are complaining about not being able to wade the river. The lake is in good condition but mainlake points have had snags hold up on them when the lake receded and you need to be careful when cutting points. I do not recommend going out after dark unless you are very familiar with the area. It looks to be a very busy weekend and they took the rain out of the forecast today and the Texas storm looks to go northeast of us. A litte rain would not hurt. Blackburn Resort and Boat rental goes on it's winter rates Monday and you can get a cabin for $53/day with a free boat stall. 870-492-5115.  Blackburns is your fall foliage headquartes for Norfork Lake and The Ozark Mountain region. Normal peak is the last week of October but we will keep you posted. I am going walleye fishing. 

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 lake level is 564.84 and dropping a little over 2-inches in a 24 hour period. The creeks are still stained green and the visibility is about 5-feet on the main lake. Tom Kelly caught some good fish including a walleye yesterday in the Cranfield area. Mike and James caught stripers, bass, walleye and crappie in the same area a few days ago. Stripers are in deep water at 70-80 feet and are being caught near thumb point on spoons. All of the stripers die when brought up from that depth so remember if you go regularly that your posession limit is twice the daily limit of three including hybrids. Venting does not work. The water temperature was 79 yesterday morning on the main lake in some places and in the low 80's other. Fishing will get better and better as the lake dropping brings my brush piles into play and the water cools a bit. August has been cooler than normal with July being the hot month this year. Everything is still very green which is unusual. Blackburns has cabins available from $75/day until September 4th when they drop to $53/day.  Cannot beat that anywhere especially when you take into account a free boat stall. Check prices before you book unless you just have too much money. 

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 lake level is 565.63 and dropping about two inches a day with medium generation. I guess they want to hold it up as long as possible. Some brush piles are coming into play and fish are moving on them. We received about 2/3 inch rain yesterday afternoon and the creeks run it came so hard. Things are very green. 

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

Big.Image title

They started generating again and the level has dropped to 566.26 It had been rising again with the rain. It was scattered with some places getting 3-inches and some getting 0.6 inches. Things are sure green and nice for the middle of August. The lake surface temperature is 84 degrees and the thermocline is 27 feet. Some brush piles are coming into play but most are too deep. We need a 6-ft. drop. Hit thumb point early with a Bink's spoon for the stripers. Crappie are also showing up on main lake points. You can get a one bedroom cabin here at Blackburns for $75/day with a free boat stall. Why pay more? 870-492-5115

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 lake level is 566.43 and they have quit generating.  Looks like they want to drag out the lowering.  This is unbelievable. The rise started in April and this is August. The rules of dam management need to be reviewed badly. The water is clearing slowly on the main lake but not much in the creeks. Fishing is picking up for bass, crappie and walleye and some brush piles are coming into play. Stripers are on the bottom with a few walleye at 60 feet and many other fish are at 20-feet on main lake points. Walleye are being caught everywhere but many are too short. I suspect their number in total are large with very few taken by divers. Smallmouth bass are showing up but many ot those are short too. If they ever drop the lake to at least 560 the November fishing will be very good.  A lot of shad are in the creeks and they are about 3-4 inches long and small white bass are with them.  

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 yesterday fishing with Bink.Image title

The lake level is now at 566.67 and still dropping with some generation all of the time. It rained heavily for a few minutes yesterday afternoon. We received almost an inch and the creeks run. I was surprised. I went out for a few minutes yesterday and caught a few crappie near brush on the bottom at 20-feet on a minnow. No big ones. Others are catching walleye bottom bouncing night crawlers on main lake points at 20-feet. Bink is still catching stripers and some walleye together in 60-feet of water on the bottom.  I could see my lure down about 5-6 feet on the main lake. Creeks are still stained. September fishing should be good. This is the coolest August that I can remember. 

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 lake level just hit 566.99. About time.  They would keep Newport at 12-feet no matter what. The rules need to be changed.  Lucky the big rain in Missouri did not effect us this time. I bet they get the campgrounds open just in time for winter to close them. We need more government. The lake is in good shape and Game and fish are cleaning and reinstalling courtesy ramps at launches.  These guys are not afraid to get out of their trucks and work. My compliments.  Many campgrounds are to remain closed until September30th. Resorts have full service. Striper fishing: Go to thumb point and use a Binks jigging spoon on the bottom at 50-60 feet. Many fish are at 18-20 feet near Cranfield. 

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

Mike is good with those Bink spoons.Image title

Lake level is 567.62 and they are running one generator continously. The surface temperature is 87 degrees and the visibility and water color is good for fishing. A lot of fish are at 18-20 feet. Spoons and grubs with minnows are working well. Fishing around the Islands is good and a lot of bluegill are shallow in brush. Call 870-492-5115 for reservations. $75/day with a free boat stall. Image title

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 lake level is 568 and dropping about 2-1/2 inches a day with one generator running most of the time and both a little. Surface temperature is 87 degrees. Stripers are where they always are this time of year but not quite so deep and are mostly on the bottom at 50-60 feet and can be caught on jigging spoons. Most other fish are near the thermocline or around 18 feet. Many are around the islands. Bluegill are shallow in warm water near the shore in brush and are biting well on crickets. Mike Eakle caught walleye, catfish and bass all in the same area at 18-feet on a Bink's spoon. All went in the pond. Here is what should happen: Fishing will get better and better as October approaches and then the lake will turn over. This is not like northern shallow lakes where the lake flips from bottom to top and raises debris and stops the fishing. The thermocline just inverts and the water is homogenous from the top to about 30-feet and the fish have no preference where to go and they are just scattered. Sometimes the ambient fall weather stays fairly constant and the lake turns very slowly over a longer [period. You can catch fish at this times but it is a bit more difficult.  The water will then cool from the top down and the fishing will start to get better and better until my favorite time which is around Thanksgiving. When it gets cold, the red meat fish will move around the river channels near the bridges and get very lethargic and hard to catch. This is in January. Big crappie, bass and walleye can be caught at this time. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental's prices drop on Labor Day and you can get a one bedroom cabin for $53/day. Not bad. A free boat stall comes with your cabin. You can save at least $30/day by staying here. We keep the big pool open until it is too cold to swim. 

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 lake level is 568.78 and dropping about 2-1/2 inches in a 24 hour period. There is light generation most of the day and the level at Newport is below 12 feet. Some of the beaches are just starting to show up as are guard rails to causways.  The surface temperature is 87 degrees and you can see about 3-feet down on the main lake. I like a level of 560 for fishing but it does not leave much buffer for a big rain. It is getting dry again here but much greener than a normal August. My garden is doing great and it is a good year for tomatoes and peppers. We are in for some cooler weather starting tomorrow. I caught some nice bluegill yesterday shallow in brush on crickets for the pond. Stripers are biting well on jigging spoons 50-60 feet down whether on the bottom or suspended near thumb point. Bass are biting with black light and saltcraws near Cranfield island after dark. The lake is dropping too quickly for trotlines but drop shotting jugs with multiple hooks with live bait is working for channel cats. The lake in general is in good condition. The lake was quiet yesterday afternoon with light boat traffic. Blackburns has a cabin open tomorrow for $75/day with a free boat stall 870-492-5115 and it has a covered porch like all of our cabins.  

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 lake level is 569.20 and is dropping much slower now with generation cut way down. Guess they want to keep the water high to prevent camping and swimming on the beaches. At least the resorts are mostly at full service.  Newport is 12-feet and there is no need for this. Government. Give them more money and more time off. That will fix everything. The lake in general is in very good condition. Just day use access not so 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)

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The lake level is dropping quickly. We received 0.7 inches of rain and it was needed badly. Greened everything up. The level is 569.66 and dropping about 3-inches a day with one generator running part time and both part time. Lake is in excellent condition for boating and swimming. We are busy here but still have an opening tomorrow. 870-492-5115 Bink is catching a lot of big stripers. Lots of good friends coming this week. Pontoon rentals start at $105/day. 

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 on a Bink's Jigging spoon.Image title

Nathan Strouse with a nice catfishImage title

The lake is dropping with both generators running part of the time and one the rest and is at 570.13 You can walk or drive the 1/3 mile to the dock and step right on. Children can ride their bikes everywhere. Blackburns is the family place. The launch is open when someone is not parking in front of it. Catfish and bluegill are biting off the dock and Bink is catching a lot of big stripers. Swimming and boating are excellent. Blackburns is full now but has an opening starting Saturday. Call 870-492-5115. One bedrooms are $75/day and all have covered porches and come with a free boat stall. We will not charge youi 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 this morning with BinkImage title

The lake level is 570.5 and dropping quickly. You can now drive the regular road to the dock or walk. Launch is open. Call 870492-5115

Norfork Lake Conditions and fishing report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comments)

Several of these caught this morning with Bink's Guide Service.Image title

Lake is dropping fast now. Over 3-inches a day. Finally. Things are opening up. Lake is in excellent condition. Blackburns has cabins starting at 75/day. 870-492-5115


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 lake level is 572.85 and is dropping about 2-inches a day. It is hot and getting dry again. Good for boating and swimming both off boats and in our big pool. There were a lot of boats out there by big E and between the bridges. The most I have seen all year. The lake is in excellent condition. The level at Newport is just above 12-feet and maybe they will quit holding back the water for a while. You would think they would be needing electricity. The lows are about 70 so the best time to fish is very early  and after dark for bass with a black light. Bluegill fishing is excellent with crickets and catfishing on limb lines and jugs is fair. Bink is spooning up stripers and hybrids early with a few walleye. Evening boating feels very 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)

The lake level is 573.30 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday despite a thunder shower this morning. It rained hard and the creeks run for awhile.  We were getting dry. I do not think I have seen things so green for this time of year. The rain varied widely but we received over 2-inches here at Blackburns. It is sunny and humid now.  We got a nice shower also last evening about 5:30 PM. We have a nice, flat, big playground here and we just keep mowing. Lake views are good for people that like to sit on the porch huddled up on a hillside and drink coffee in the morning and sip wine in the afternoon. Our beautiful valley is green and big and flat and the children can run, ride their bikes and explore our 28 acres. Blackburns is the family place. We have 2 openings starting tonight and would be glad to have you and will not charge you too much. 870-492-5115  One bedrooms are $75/day and we have 2,3,4 bedrooms also. All have covered porches and none are duplexes.  If you smoke you can go out on the porch in the rain and not carry an umbrella or rig up your fishing poles out of the sun. It has been hot and good for boating and swimming. The lake is in excellent condition.  

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 lake level is 573.31 and dropping slowly. The level at Newport is below 12-feet and there is no excuse for not letting out more water to open up some of the day use areas. It is too late to plant soybeans and they are protecting nothing down stream. The army needs to get out of dam management and protect our country. The rules need to be reviewed and favortisms like protecting Branson at other people's cost need to be changed. It is all about the money. The Lou Lattray family is here and I hope they are having fun. They are always welcome. Lou is catchiung some nice bass.  The Schuler group are boating long hours and are also welcome. They like hot weather and I am glad they are getting it. Boating conditions are excellent. Blackburns has a couple of openings and you can call debbie at 870-492-5115 for last minute reservations. 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)

A pair of 20's caught this morning with Bink's Guide Service. Over 100 trips a year come from Blackburns and everyone is happy. Good partnership. Image title


The hot weather is here and the Schuler group from Chicago like it. They are always welcome here. The lake level is rising just a bit with very light generation and is at 573.59 and has risen over a foot again. the level a Newport is back near 14-feet after the rains.  It is too late to plant soybeans in the delta so there is no reason not to let some water out. The rules of generation need to be reviewed. Just a few feet makes a big difference on the area lakes for day users. You can swim off Blackburns Dock or in the big pool but swim beaches are under in all area lakes. Norfork is in better shape than most.  The lake in general is in excellent condition and boaters are having a great time and people are catching fish. 

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 yesterday on a Bink's jigging spoon. Nice smile.Image title

Tom Kelly with a nice one caught yesterday morning on a spoonImage title

We received two inches of rain last week and about four inches so far this week. The lake has risen 10-inches to 573.35 with no generation. They had 10-weeks to drop the level but dropped the ball instead. We need more government and they need more time off. This level does not hurt anything but really slowed the chance of getting day use areas open. Resorts are fine and so are boating and fishing.  People learned two things so far: Do not tent camp and do not stay where you have no covered porches. Makes for tough grilling and smoking when there is continuous rain. The fireworks on Norfork Lake went off well with no weather problems and the Lake Chamber did a good job. The weather has been cool for this time of year and everything is very green. This looks to be an excellent year for gardens. Stripers and walleye are showing up around the islands, bass are biting after dark on salt craws and bluegill are biting off the dock. Spoons are the best bait along with grubs. Most fish are at or near 20-feet of water with stripers on the bottom at 50-feet. Blackburns had some leave today after the holiday and have a few openings. Call 870-492-5115 and Debbie will help you. It was a very busy holiday and people made the best of the rain. 

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

James and Sonny caught these fishing with Bink today. Sonny Eakle is here from Woodward, Iowa.Image title

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The lake level is 572.56 and they have cut generation down and it is dropping about 1-inch in a 24 hour period. The level at Newport is still dropping and is just above 12-feet. The rules of dam management need to be reviewed or there need to be someone else making the decisions. There is no reason to hold this long. The rise happened over 2-months ago. The lake is clear and there is no debris but day services are being affected. People cannot find a place to camp or swim from the shore. Resorts have full service. We had a couple of thunderstorms and about an inch of rain the last few days and it has kept everything green. There have been no rain outs. Stripers are biting on spoons on the bottom at 50-feet and catfish are hitting trotlines and limb lines. Some crappie are showing up and bluegill fishing is excellent off Blackburns dock. Night fishing with a black light and saltcraw is good and surface temperature is in the mid 80's. Our big pool is very busy and the kids love the slide. If it does rain you have covered porches on all cabins to sit outside out of the weather. I would not stay anywhere with out one. People are using the big pavillion to have cookouts, play shuffleboard and ping pong. Kids are riding their bikes everywhere. We like it when people are having fun. The fish started biting yesterday about 9-AM.

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 fish Tom.Image title

We had a thunderstorm this morning and got just a little rain. We were dry. Lake level is 572.80 and they are generating less now for some reason. Level at Newport is at 12+ feet and they could be letting out a lot more. They could do a lot of good by dropping just a few feet but are resistant to do so.  The launch at Panther Bay is in good condition with the county doing a lot of work removing trees and brush. Boating and fishing conditions are excellent and the surface water temperature is in the mid 80's. The ambient temperature is to get near 90 later this weekend. Should be a good holiday. Starting today The law enforcement are out in force to watch for boating under the influence. Have a designated driver or be ready to blow in the tube. Tom Kelly caught some nice stripers on Thumb point in 50-ft. of water on the bottom on a Bink's spoon. Bass are biting in float creek and bluegill are biting off Blackburn's Dock. Walleye are still around the islands on spoons and dragging night crawlers. A lot of fish are at 20-feet of water under submerged trees and brush. Spinner baits are working where you can cast to the bank.

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 lake is in great condition and services are opening up fast. The water is dropping a little less than 2-inches/day and is at 573.21  and there are a lot of boats between the bridges this week. More launch parking is also being available. Spooning walleye and white bass by the islands, catfishing in the creeks and bluegill fishing off the dock are good.  Several people are swimming off the dock and in our big pool.  Blackburns has a one bedroom cabin open starting friday for $75/day and a two bedroom deluxe cabin open Thursday for $115/day. A free boat stall comes with your cabin and all have covered porches. If you are paying more elsewhere give us a call at 870-492-5115

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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For you bluegill fishermen: They are biting off the dock. For you walleye fishermen they are biting around the islands. 

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

Steve Deardoff and Tom Kelly Caught several this morning. Good fishermen.Big fish.Image title

Mike Eakle with a couple of this morning's catchImage title

Lake level is 573.59 and dropping. Lake is in excellent condition but a bit high. I checked out boat launches and trailer parking and it is getting better every day. No better options out there than Blackburns resort and Boat rental.  Fish are biting and boating and swimming are excellent. Not many public beaches open just stay at a resort and rent a boat and things could not be better. It has rained about 0.7 inches in the last two days but the lake is clearing nicely. Fishing is good and fish are all over in the brush at 16-20 feet. Walleye and bass. Bass are coming up early. It is time for spooning. Red meat fish are in the brush at night and moving deeper in the morning after sunrise and are also biting on spoons. This is an excellent time to visit Blackburns resort and Boat rental for boating,water sports and fishing. 870-492-5115 and we will not charge you too much. You work too hard for your money to just give it away. I know where the fish are.

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 lake level is 574.18 and dropping very slowly with generation less than 1/2 the time. The level at Newport is 12+ feet and there is no reason to hold anymore. The lake is in excellent condition except it is too high for day use and much camping availability. Just a few feet drop would really help at this stage. Catfishing is good on trotlines in the backs of the creeks and blugill have come back under our dock. Big ones too. Some red meat fish can be caught early and late and white bass are in Blackburns Cove. Walleye are being caught regularly around the islands. Swimming and boating are excellent with beautiful weather. Surface temperature is in the early 80's. Water is blue except for the backs of some creeks.

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

Lake level at newport is 13.98. Let some water out boys. Government. You gotta love em. There is absolutey no reason to punish the day users and campers in the area lakes by holding any longer. It has been two months and we have had almost no rain. The slug moved through the rivers weeks ago. All area lakes are in the same dilemma. Resorts have lake and dock access and boating, swimming and fishing  but the public areas are lacking. I do not want to gain from other's problems. You would think if you were managing campgrounds and also managing water release you would at least try to reach a happy medium instead of failing at both. Norfork lake is clear and blue but did it entirely on it's own. There needs to be a review of dam management and not just protect Branson and the Delta planting at all costs. If I lived on Beaver Lake I would be more than outraged. The dams were initially put in for flood control but the minimum flow for the put and take trout changed all of that. Wow. I am out of breath.  

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

We received a little rain last night but not much.  It had some wind with it. The lake level is 574.75 and is dropping about an inch a day and they are generating a little less than 1/2 the time. They could do all of the area lakes and their users a lot of good by dropping them just a few feet but they are hell bent to get Newport down to that magic number of 14 feet and the world will be saved.  It is just over 15-feet now. I have a small trotline out and am catching small channel cats about 1-1/2 to 3 lbs.  They are biting on prepared baits.  I bait every other one with live shiners but they are still there. No bluecats or flatheads yet. Flatheads are the last to spawn and will not bite on dead baits. Limb lines are not working very well.  I also am catching walleye dragging night crawlers on a lindy rig around the islands. Just go partway back in major creeks like float creek where you can cast close to the bank and look for the shad surfacing and cast something there.  It does not much matter what. Almost all fish, including bait fish are in submerged brush and trees in less than 20-feet mornings and evenings. Fishing is slow during the middle of the day. Boating and swimming off a boat is excellent. Fishing, diving and swimming off the bank not so much. Blackburns has good swimming off our dock and in our big pool with slide. 

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 lake level dropped to 575.24 or less than an inch in 24-hours. They are generating very little everywhere except Table rock Lake to protect Branson. It is very political. The level at Newport is dropping rapidly and is near 20-feet. Why I do not know. It is getting too late to plant anything. Walleye are showing up around the islands as they always do in high water.  Guests caught some good ones yesterday. It is a good place to drag nightcrawlers on a lindy rig because there is not much to get snagged on. About 2 in 3 are keepers. Also work the submerged picknik tables on the south side of Robinson Point campgtound in the grass. Big fish are there. Blackburns Creek is clearing from the bank out and is in good condition for fishing. People are swimming off the dock.Pan fish are back under the dock and are also around main lake submerged willows near the boy scout camp and west of 101 bridge. Use crickets, worms and minnows. We are very busy here with people taking advantage of our low cabin and boat rental rates, free boat stalls and easy access to the dock. It looks like day use people will be inconvenienced for a while but not here at Blackburns resort and Boat Rental.    

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 lake level is 575.30 and they are generating about 1/2 the time.  When they quit it raises just a bit from the river inflow. It dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours and they are intent on getting the level down at Newport no matter how long they hold us. It has droped dramatically there for whatever reason. If they would get us down about 5-more feet it would really help access launching, swimming, parking and camping but that is out of the question. The lake is in good condition but just too high it clears rapidly as you go north of Cranfield Island. Parking at launch ramps is very congested and it is a long walk from your trailer parking to your boat. And of course there are rude people clogging up the launch ramp while rigging their boats with few courtesy docks.  The surface temperature is about 80 degrees. The game and fish were working the area near Blackburns clearing debris. Thank you. Stuff was getting clogged on the long shallow points. The thermocline is forming and the fish will mostly be above or just at it at around 20-feet where ever there are shad and this will be in the submerged trees and buck brush and is not very far from the bank. There are many minnows swimming in the brush too. They have a lot of cover and have a lower mortality rate. We are starting to get into spooning season but it will not be as normal. You have to change your normal way of fishing and adapt to the high water.  It will be around for a while as we are last on the priority list. The fish are there and will move deeper as the thermocline drops. Spooning stripers will be good in the heat of the summer as will be the night bass bite.

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 have cut way back on generation and the lake just went down 1-inch in the last 24-hours.  I was afraid that would happen. The lake is clearing nicely and the clarity is not a factor in fishing. The fish are biting but it is hard to get them out of the trees.  The creeks in this part of the lake are slow clearing and are the color of lakes in Northwest Ontario.  Fish points part way into creeks with a spinner bait for bass and walleye and live bait for everything else.  Look for shad flipping around in the brush and submerged trees. They have plenty of cover. I am using a long pole baited with a shiner and poking it back in the trees where the shad are coming up. The thermocline is forming and a lot of fish will be in the 20-ft. depth level and shallower. Boating and swimming are good.off docks and off boats in deeper water. Swimming and fishing off the bank not so good. Weather is wonderfull. 

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

We are having more than a week coming up of beautiful weather. Highs 80's lows 60. People are boating, fishing, swimming in the lake and pool and in general having a good time. The grass and the gardens are growing at an unbelieveable rate. We have been getting rain just about everytime we need it. The lake level has dropped to 575.60 and is dropping about two inches a day. They did stop generating for a few hours yesterday and I was not glad to see that but did expect it. All spillway gates are now closed on all dams in the area and the lakes are about 5-feet from top of flood pool. Every one except Beaver Lake is out of danger for a while but they are bent on getting the level down at Newport no matter what while protecting Branson. Most resorts are least effected with campgrounds and day use areas being the most. Things are fine here at Blackburns except you have to go to Cranfield or Panther bay to launch and drive your boat to our dock. Many resorts do not have launches at their place anyway. We have plenty of parking for your trailer. The kids will love our big pool with slide and baby pool and the parents will love our prices on both cabins and boat rentals. Big, geen, flat payground with lots of room for your pets and very close to all services.  

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 is to be sunny and in the low 80's for the next week. The lake has dropped to 575.82 with both generators running continuously and is dropping about a foot and a half a week. I caught a couple of nice channel cats yesterday and put them in the pond. Dropping water and full moon usually slows catfishing. I am pulling my limb lines and putting a trot line on the bottom. Bass, walleye and catfish are biting fair. Swimming is good but there are not very many beaches available. Just bring your boat or rent one of ours and go out on the lake. You can also swim in our 30x60 pool. We were full but have a few openings for starting today. $75/day for a one bedroom. Launch your boat, drive it to our dock and park your trailer in out trailer park and be done with it until you leave. A free boat stall comes with your cabin. You can drive to our dock and walk just a few steps to get on. Campers and day use people are the most inconvenienced but it is getting better every day. People are having a lot of fun. The weather is great. 

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

Tom Kelly with some nice walleye caught Saturday and Sunday.Image title

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Bart Vandervelde with a nice Norfork Lake Bass. Sorry to see him and Caroline go home.Image title

The lake has dropped to 576 with both generators running continuously despite getting and inch of rain. The lake dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. Walleye are biting in float creek on spinner baits and bass are doing the same in Diamond Bay on both spinner baits and spooks. The you can call the bass up despite them not surfacing on a spitin image. They will come up a few feet to get it. Catfishing in the backs creeks has slowed down and I am moving to my summer place. Good launching sites are available in Panther Bay, Cranfield and Robinson Point park but truck and trailer parking is limited. Have someone with you and be prepared to walk. Courtesy docks are unavailable.  Most places have some camping but you had better call ahead. When you stay at a resort make sure your cabin has a covered porch. You can rig your poles, play cards and smoke out of the weather. Better than staying in the cabin. Our price for a 1-bedroom cabin is $75/day for two people. The weather is to be perfect for the next week with high pressure, sunny skies and normal temperatures which are the low 80's. The lake level dropping has trapped most debris on the bank and the water coming in from the river has cleared the water north of Cranfield. Shad are mostly on the bank and under submerged brush and trees.  Find a place part way back in the creeks where you can cast to the bank with a spinner bait. Top water fish are not coming up every 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)

The lake level is 576.70 and is dropping about 2-inches a day with both generators running continously. We seem to be in a pattern of rain in the afternoon and fog in the morning. It cooled down quickly yesterday after the rain. We did not get much but it rained hard for a few minutes. I went  and checked out Cranfield launch yesterday and it is in good condition but with limited parking. There is still a topwater bite early but the fog makes it tough. Look for points part way back in the creeks with submerged brush and trees with a spinner bait for bass and walleye. Diamond bay and float creek are two good places to start.  We should get into the dry season in the next week or so with predominately south wind and hot temperatures. A thermocline is starting to form.

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

Tom Kelly with a couple of nice ones. More too. Image title

The lake level is 576.85 and dropping a couple of inches a day with both generators running continuously. The creeks in this area are slow clearing with the changing wind directions moving debris. Some of it is sticking to the bank with the lake dropping 3-1/2 feet from it's high. It was a cool May but the temperatures are back to normal which is 81 for a high. The shad are mostly under cover of trees and brush and that is where the fish are. Tom Kelly is catching some good fish on points with covered brush and trees. Mostly walleye and bass. The catfish have slowed a bit but I am still catching some. I put two nice ones in the pond today. Surface temperature is rising with 73-76 depending on where you are. The lake is really improving they just need to lower it more to improve launching and parking. Norfork is about the best alternastive out there. 

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 big boy was caught fishing with Bink this morning along with several bass.Image title

The lake level has dropped a little over an inch in the last 24-hours and stands at 557.41 and the water is still clearing. It sure was busy here this weekend. We got rain but it was almost all at night and did not affect anything. it is beautiful here today. Bart and Caroline Vandervelde are here and they are always welcome. Bart likes that top water fishing and always catches good fish and releases all of them. They have been coming to Blackburns for over 30-years.  We were very happy to see the Mickey McGee family again. What a nice family. The pool was very busy. It is a good thing it is a big one. I did check and found there was one launch ramp open at Robinson Point campground but no parking. It is still best to launch your boat and pull it around to Blackburns dock and park your trailer in our parking area and be done with it until you leave. 

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

We have received 2.7 inches of rain total for this week end but the lake has not risen very much with both generators running most of the time and the level is 577.51. The creeks are running a bit but not heavily. Do not count on wading the rivers fishing for a long time. Camping and parking at launches is very limited. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental has no diminished services except launching and it is available at Panther bay which is close by. It is good to have a dock with a lot of stalls. Especially if you get a stall free with your cabin. Solves a lot of logistical problems. There is still a top water bite early, bass fishing near the bank on spinner baits and top water poppers and good catfishing on trotlines, limb lines and jugs drop shotted with several hooks. It is sunny now and the resort and pool are busy with people having fun and renting boats.   That is what it is all about. You do not have to pay more unless you just want to.

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

We received a little less than an inch of rain early this morning but it is sunny now. The lake went up about 1/2 inch and is now at 577.50 with a surface temperature of just over 72 degrees. It was not a good night to be in a tent. The shad are in the brush and under debris and it is making it harder for the game fish to get to them. Not like when they are in open water where the fish can stay right on them and feed on demand. Bass are biting well on spinner baits in float creek and diamond bay with red meat fish coming up early in both places. Catfish and bass are still biting well on trot lines and limb lines on live shiners and bluegill with smaller ones on prepared bait and chicken livers. The creeks in this area are finally clearing and the water is fairly clear south of Hwy 62 bridge. Go partway back in a creek where the debris does not extent very far from the bank and work a spinner bait in the trees and brush for bass. A lot of campgrounds are either closed or partially closed and parking at launch ramps is at a premium. You can launch at Panther Bay, drive to our dock and park your boat in our dock for free with a cabin rental and park your trailer in our trailer area. You can park you vehicle at the dock and walk just a few steps to get on it or rent one of our low cost boats. Many people are swimming in our big pool with slide. Call 870-492-5115 We have a few openings and the best prices.

Norfork Lake Conditions and fishing report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comments)

Nice going Tom. All went in the pond. All on a spinner bait in Diamond bay.Image title

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The lake is 557.56 and rising slowly and they just started generating. It has been minimal with the other lakes being so full. Fishing has been picking up daily. Boating is good south of the 62 bridge. Tom Kelly caught a lot of big fish in diamond bay yesterday on a spinner bait. The Magness crew are really catching some nice catfish and so is Scuba Steve. Panther Bay launch is good. Remember clear water is not the best for fishing. If the fish can see you they will notbite. Look for stained water where you can see your lure just a few feet down. A lot of fish are on the banks. Try float creek too for bass. 

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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Caught Yesterday. Plenty more too. Image title

Yes we do have the biggest pool in the area.  Yes it does have a slide. Yes it does have a baby pool. Yes it is open. Yes we are catching fish. Yes we have the lowest prices on both cabins and boat rentals. Yes you can drive to our dock and take a few steps to get on it. Yes you get a free boat stall with each cabin unless you bring a pontoon (we have 11 of them to rent). Yes we have the best, biggest and flattest playground and most play stations for the children including a soccer field. Yes we have powerfull Wi-FI reaching all cabins. Yes we are closest to Mountain Home, dining and shopping.  No 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)

The lake level is 577.01 and has been the same for four days despite the 1.7 inches of rain that we received in the last two days. The creeks did not run and they increased the generation a bit. The game and fish and corps of engineers cleaned up the Panther Bay launch this morning and it is in good shape for launching. Watch out for submerged signs and guard rails. Blackburns big pool with slide is open and children are in it all day.  The Magness group is here and are welcome. We are always glad to see them. They are catching lots of channelcats on their trot lines. You can still drive and park at Blackburns Dock and step on and get a free boat stall while paying the lowest prices in the area. There are some crappie and bass being caught off the dock now. I will get some crickets and try for brim. We hope you like our new WI-FI system. It gets reception in most places and is very expensive. It is 30-times faster than our old one.

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 lake level is 577.01 and has been stable for several days with the intermittant running of generators with no effort to drop the lake. We received some rain last night and early this morning but not much. We could get more tonight. Not much has changed except the water is clearing a bit on the main lake but is slow clearing in the creeks. Fish are in and under the brush and debris and can be caught with live bait near the bank. If you are fishing artificial find where you can have access to as close to the bank as possible. Catfish and bass are still the best but some red meat fish can be caught too. A good place to start is part way back in float creek. Several fish are being caught. Lake cleanup is tomorrow so there will be better access to launch and park after that. My limb lines are still producing catfish and bass on live bluegill. There is still a top water bite early. Some people are catching smaller channelcats on jugs with chicken livers.

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 this morning.Image title

The lake level is 576.98 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours. If it drops just a bit more this debris will stick on the bank and not just continually blow with the wind. If the level  comes up with the next rain it will head downstream. I caught three catfish and a 4-lb. smallmouth on my limb lines yesterday and put them in the pond. I am still using live bluegill. Bink is catching fish everyday.

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 lake level has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours and is at 577.09 with pretty heavy generation. The level creeps up when they quit generating.  Newport has also dropped to 27-ft. from the 30's and they are looking to get it to 14-feet and keep it there. How much we drop will depend on that and how long they continue to drop Table Rock. Bull Shoals cannot hold any more and is closer to full than Norfork. The White River will be high for sometime.  Catfishing is still very 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)

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Mike Eakle and James Soltysiac are catching a lot of big fish.Image title

Caught this Morning with BinkImage title

The lake level has been the same for three days at 577.18 and the lake is clearing with much of the lake debris gone in this area but a lot is still on the bank. You can find places where the bank is clear and that is the best and easiest to fish. The Corps of Engineers are sponsoring a lake clean up next Saturday to help remove debris from launch ramps and other areas to make things good for the upcoming holiday. The surface water temperature is past the mid 70's in the creeks and rising rapidly. Things are improving rapidly. Including the fishing. Shad are in tthe creeks next to the bank as are many fish. We cannot launch here yet but there are several good places near and you can launch your boat, drive it to our dock and park your trailers in our parking and nearly step on our dock. We are opening the big pool this week after a new renovation and paint job. Norfork is in as good if not better condition than any lake in the area and Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental has no dininished services except launching and several places do not have that anyway. Catfishing could not be better. 

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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Mike and Mike just brought these inImage title

22-inch smallmouth caught with Bink this morning.Image title

The lake level is 577.42 and has dropped about 8-inches in the last 24-hours. They still have spilllway gates open.  A few open-water red meat fish are being brought in but smallmouth bass and catfish continue to be the best bite. We are to get more rain on Thursday but things are beginning to dry up a bit. These several days of sunshine and warm are welcome. 

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 lake level is 578.20 and has dropped 7-inches in the last 24-hours. The sun is shining with light winds and the lake is clearing. Debbie and Abby painted the pool and it will be open in a few days when it cures. We have the largest pool in the area. The lake level is perfect for limb lines and the catfish are biting. We caught one of the biggest channel cats I have ever seen. A big one is 10- pounds and this one was near 20. There are also several bluecats but no flatheads yet. It is as good as I have seen it in 22-years. Mike Eakle and Steve Deardoff are really catching them. They are biting both day and night on live bluegill set just under the surface. This is really fun and we are sharing them with our guests. Norfork lake catfish eat well. 

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 this morning with BinkImage title

The lake level is 578.81 and has dropped 11-inches in the last 24-hours with the help of the spillway gates. The plan seems to be as follows: Hold the water in the lakes until they get to within inches of going over the spillway and then opening the gates to prevent disaster while protecting Branson at all costs and flooding everything downstream and keeping the lakes high all summer. Once the lake clears, the higher level will not hurt anything after the launches are opened again except that the parks and camping will be eliminated. The debris is now headed to the dam. Bink is catching smallmouth bass everyday and Scuba Steve is having fun catching catfish on his limb lines. Nice ones too. Barring any heavy rains, and further spillway gates opening, the level should remain stable and clear up until all of this slug passes and they then keep the level at 12-14 feet at Newport at all costs keeping everything one rain away from going over the spillway again. The top water bite should resume soon with sunshine and stable water level.  

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 lake level is 579.83 and is exactly what is was 24-hours ago. The flood gates are maintaining the level. The sun is shining and it is to do so for the next week with warm weather. The level at Newport is still at 33.2 and has been about there for a few days. This slug has to move through the Mississippi, then the Arkansas and then the White in order for Norfork to drop on it's own. It will be a while. It is not like they are planting the delta now anyway but they will lower Newport as fast as they can and hold us. Fishing will pick up after some sunny dry days. The lake will clear and launching will be the only issue. This will improve as the debri is removed from the launching areas. 

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

We received 3-inches of rain total and the lake is to rise to 580.  That is the top of the spillway. Dam management 101: do not let the water run over the spillway. They failed in 2008 and it looks like their memory is not too good. Government.  It is to be dry for the next week now. I set out about a dozen limb lines this evening. I will tell you how the catfish are biting. Might as well make the best of things. Better than staying on the porch. I love catfishing. It is amazing how complicated it is for people to go for a few days fishing. You would think it was the biggest decision of their lives. We just count our blessings here and pray for the less fortunate. It is sad to see how many people are only concerned about money when we are all going to end up in the same place. A little sunshine will cheer people up. I am happy for each day. 

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 lake has risen 1-ft. in the last 24-hours with 1.8 inches of rain and is now 579.3 but they opened the spillway gates again this morning to keep the water from going over them. They had been shut. It is still raining a little now but it is to move out soon and get windy today with a week of dry weather top come. Debris has clogged the launch at Panther Bay and Cranfield is not in use. I will tell you where to launch when you get here. I went out all over yesterday and did not find anything but brown water but did not go way back in Bennetts. If there is clear water I do not know where it is. It will be tough to trot line for a bit with the level changes but when things settle for a few days it will be good. Limb lining is good now. Set your line just a few inches under water and use a live bluegill. Bass have moved into the shallow road beds They will not drop the lake very fast. With the level at Newport at 32.74 they will do everything they can to get it down but are limited only by keeping the water from breeching the area spillways. You can still drive to Blackburns Dock and step on but we need several days of stable weather to clear the water a bit and fishing to pick up again. Launching is not a problem for us as we have many rental boats already at the dock but there are very few public places. This will change as the debris goes down stream. 

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 Tuesday Morning.Image title


The lake level is 578.36 and has dropped about 6-inches in the last 24-hours. The water is brown and the debris is clogging up on the main lake depending on the wind direction but is heading down stream. Surface temperature is 61+ degrees. The location of the debris can change in the matter of minutes. Bink caught 14 fish yesterday taking out more of our customers. We cannot control the rain but have worked hard to maintain all services except for launching. You will have to go somewhere else to do that. Many places do not have launching at their resort anyway. We think we have the best of all options but am not encouraging anyone to do what they are concerned about. You can always reschedule rather than milling around fretting. It is amazing how worked up some people can get over a few days fishing. Me, I am going out and catch a few smallmouth bass and set out limb lines for catfish. 

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 is sunny today with high near 75 with light western winds. The lake crested at 578.93 and now is at 578.8 with a large amount of debris moving south near the 101 bridge. Another bunch is south of Robinson island. Blackburns creek is clear with water in the trees but very little debris. They are running flood gates to maintain the level.  It is perfect for limb lining catfish. We have full service except for launching and you can drive right to the dock and step on. You can launch at Panther Bay. We received no wind or hail, just rain and are counting our blessings.  

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 this morning fishing with Bink.That is one nice hybrid striper.Image title

Lake level is 561.28 and rising a bit with no rain so far this weekend. We will see what happens. Everyone is out fishing and catching fish. 

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 these and many more this morning. Image title

It is cloudy today but the fish continue to bite. There is still a top water bite but not every day. The most consistent bite is smallmouth bass. They are in the buckbrush and main lake river channels and are hitting both top water and creature baits. Some very nice ones are being caught and high numbers too. You can catch about anything in the buckbrush now. The lake level is 560.41 and has risen about 6-inches in the last 24-hours. I have not been crappie fishing because catching these smallmouth is so much fun. It is important to learn how to catch fish in all different conditions. Do not just rely on sight fishing for topwater fish. You will have a lot of disappointing hours of fishing. By the time the average fisherman gets out there it is over. 

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 a dozen of these today fishing with Bink.Image title

Many fish were caught yesterday morning from about 6:AM until after 9:AM until the rain took over for almost the whole day. The same people catching fish on Tuesday did it again on Wednesday. Nice ones too. It is sunny now with more rain to come later. The level is now at 559.43 and the morning top water bite is still the best. The water is in the buckbrush and a  lot of fish are in there with shallow shad looking for cover. Including smallmouth.

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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Joe and John Kahlenbeck caught a bunch.Image title

Rob with a big one.Image title


Two of 26 caught with Bink.Image titleRob and Brad GravengoedImage title

The third day in a row of sunshine brought the fish up again yesterday morning. It is raining again and the lake has risen to 557.02 and we are to get more tomorrow. A lot of people caught a lot of fish. We like that. 

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 lake level is 556.64 and still rising but more slowly after two days of sunshine. We are to get more rain tomorrow night. The backs of the creeks are muddy with runoff and then it turns stained as you go out towards main lake. Surface temperature is in the mid 60's. The level at Newport is 14 feet so they could let out more if they wanted to. Better to generate electricity than open the gates and waste it. It was a good thing they drew the level down this winter. There is still a top water bite most mornings for bass and white bass and the catfish are hitting on jugs and trot lines. I got a channel cat in the 10-lb. range yesterday. The water is in the buck brush and needs to settle out a bit for the good fishing to return. Some of the spawn washed out with the consistently rising water. After a while they just give up on a nest and go out to sea. Watch around the islands and Robinson campground for walleye. They will be there soon. 

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 lake is still rising and is now at 556.15 with more rain to come next weekend. This would be a good time to generate heavily and keep it here. Watch out for some debris. This is a good level but at 560 problems with accessibility begin. Reports that the fish are in a frenzy and jumping into the boat are exaggerated. There are two bites now. One is very early AM before sunrise for two hours on top water on main lake points and the other is grubbing for smallmouth bass during the day and evening. Gravengoeds are back and catching fish on live bait. They are good fishermen and we are always glad to have them. They get up early and fish hard. Others are having mixed results. It was a beautiful day yesterday and today. A little wind and hot tomorrow. This water level should bring walleye around the Islands soon. The grass is growing very fast and is hard to keep up with between rains. It is very busy here. Thanks. We appreciate your business and will continue to 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)

The sun is shining bright today and the temperature is rising. The lake level is 555.39 and rising. It was 552.9 on this date last year. It was windy from the north yesterday and very cool. March and April can be very variable here with low pressure and cold fronts passing theough a couple of times a week. Blackburns has a couple of cabins leaving today so we will have some openings. Later this week is very busy with many boats rented. The crappie fishing should pick up soon but is not the best now. Some are still staging, some are spawning and some others are in open water on shad and have done nothing yet. The lake came up fast at a bad time for spawn but that is not unusual. It needs to stay stable now for a couple of weeks. Flatheads are the last thing to spawn and some have moved back in the creeks to feed on the shallow shad and bluegill. Topwater bass and red meat fish are the best bite now early. Get out ther at first light partway back in creeks.The surface temperature is hanging in there at 67. When the high pressure has been around for a while fishing will pick up again.

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 rained hard yesterday afternoon for about an hour and I waited until about 3:PM before I went out. The creeks run hard.The lake level is now 553.3 and has risen 1.3 feet since yesterday and 1.74 feet since Friday morning. We received 1.8 inches Friday and 1.5 inches again this morning and late last night. It is cool now with temperatures near 50 with 70 scheduled for tomorrow. i caught a flathead on my trot line and several smallmouth on the mainlake river channel bank. All went into the trophy pond. I talked to John Gibbs while waitiing for the rain to stop and he and his friends are catching lots of fish. They were fishing main lake points with jerkbaits and crankbaits and the four of them caught about 60 fish including walleye, bass, crappie, striper and white bass. They always catch fish and come two or three times a year. Nice guys from Chicago. Blackburns is full today but give us a call Monday when we have some leave. It is a busy place here with people buying real estate, looking for real estate, building houses, working on construction, visiting relatives and fishing. it takes all kinds to stay full but the thing they all have in common is that they do not want to pay too much and they do not have to here. We will see what this cold front brings but the grass and flowers are sure growing. Lake surface temperature is 67 degrees.

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 this morningImage title

Get out there about 6:Am for the topwater bite part way back in the creeks. Use a clear spook if the weather is clear and the sun is coming up. Otherwise a bass assassin or white spook will work.  I am still catching smallmouth bass on main lake on grubs. Bink is really on the stripers. Blackburns has several good fishermen in now and we will see what happens. More rain is to come later this week. The lake level is stable with several hours of generation. Things are about where they should be for this time of year. Lots of crappie are under docks. Walleye and, bluegill and bass are with them. Shad are in the creeks. I caught no walleye on the flats but will try again May 1st. it is really busy here with people taking advantage of our low cabin and boat rental prices and free boat stalls. 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)

The lake level is 551.37 and rising slowly with about 5-hours of heavy generation yesterday and the surface temperature was 67 when I went out about 3-PM. People reported a lot of bass coming up in east pigeon creek about 6:30 this morning just at sunrise. We have received about 1.1 inches of rain since Saturday night. I like to find my own fish and there was nobody fishing the main lake so I decided to give it a try. The smallmouth bass were on the steep south facing banks near the shore and biting well on small grubs. Several warmouth were there too and they were right on the bank. I caught my limit of keeper smallmouth and took them to Tom Kelly's trophy pond along with the warmouth. The smallmouth were in the 2-4 pound range and the warmouth were in the 7-inch range. The walleye, crappie, bluegill and bass have moved in under the main lake docks and are shallow and hard to catch. The water is pretty clear except for the pollen which is heavy on the wind blown banks. It gets warm and the wind blows from the south for a few days and then a cold front moves in and the wind changes to the north and it cools down dramatically. That is spring fishing in Arkansas. Blackburns has cabins for $53/day for two people with a free boat stall with your cabin and we do not charge for trolling motors on fishing pontoons which we have several. They are all 24-volt 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)

Your children should be here.Image title

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Two of my favorite people.Image title


It thundered a bit late this morning and rained hard for a few minutes. We received about 0.3 inches of rain. We are to get more the next 48 hours. The lake has risen to 551.17 with no generation for two days and the surface temperature is 65 degrees. The cold front really lived up to it's name and the ambient temperature dropped to 61 degrees. The bass were really coming up back in the creeks this morning right before the front but the stripers were small. We will see if the front slows the top water bite or not. it looks like several are moving in and out. The wind is light from the north now. Spooks and flukes are working well for top water. If you are out there back in a good creek by 6:30 in the morning you are pretty much going to catch fish and close to Blackburns too. The Easter egg hunt was a big success with dozens of children. Everyone got a couple of big baskets full. We had another smaller one this noon for the ones that were unable to attend Saturday. Cannot leave anybody out. There were over a thousand eggs and toys. Blackburns large flat playground is perfect for a hunt. Not on a cliff here. Big week coming up. Call 870-492-5115 to join in. We are the family place. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much and missing out on the fun.

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 yesterday.Image title

Water temperature was over 67 yesterday and the level should reach 551 today with very little generation.  The creeks stained up a bit. The best bite is definitely early morning about 6:30 AM and then just before dark. Fishing is tough in the middle of the day. That could change with the low pressure moving in tonight with a couple of days of rain. Blackburns 15th annual Easter Egg hunt is today at 2:Pm and there will be many children here with hundreds of eggs and prizes for all ages. Fun fun fun. We had a big crew of egg stuffers. Lots of fish are under the dock. 

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 last evening.Image title

It was 80 and sunny yesterday and the low was 60 last night. The level is 550.88 and is rising slowly. They did not generate this morning resulting in the 1.3 inch rise. We are starting to get a little dry again. The lake is beginning to clear some, especially in the creeks. The fish are biting best both early and late and are coming up most mornings. There are some big fish being caught. The big change is the fish that are under the dock. The bass are huge. I saw one that went at lest 8-lbs. and there were several more in the 5-lb. range. I am not an expert in bass spawning but it sure seems that the Kentucky bass spawn in deeper water than the black bass. The Bass Cat tournament is in Alabama this year and is on April 20th and 21st. which will be right in the middle of the spawn here. I do not catch fish off the beds and sight fish but even though that tournament is much smaller than it was, those guys know how to do it. If they are going to have it in the last half of April it is probably better if they have it in Texas or Alabama. it is all about the money anyway. They do make pretty boats. It is a bit early but I am going to check out the flats for walleye. Most of them seem to have moved from the bank in the late evening and may have gone there. Some crappie have moved back to the brush. Shad are scattered but there were some big Gizzards under the dock. Some shad are in the creeks in 20-ft. of water. Spring is here. Tom Kelly says he is healing nicely and will be back on the lake soon. We hope so. Blackburns has a large group of regulars here and they are having fun without paying 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)

All of these fish were caught yesterday.Image title

It is nearly 80 degrees. The grass is growing. The flowers are blooming. The lake is in great shape.  The level is rising very slowly and is at 550.76 with a few hours of heavy generation. Mostly in the morning.  Surface temperature is in the mid 60's and rising. Some fish have spawned, some are spawning and some are making or on beds. This is an exciting time. Fishing is not fast and furious but there is a good top water bite most mornings and another evening bite just before dark. The early crappie spots that were too shallow a few weeks ago are holding fish now that the lake is up near what I will call normal. Or what I would like to be normal. I would like it to get to about 555 and stay there all year but that is not going to happen. The water is still stained and is a good color for fishing. Sometimes the water gets so clear that you can see the bottom at 25 feet and that makes it rough on fishing. I firmly believe that if the fish can see you they will not bite. I caught my fish yesterday on a small grub and minnow. It changes everyday. My trot line is slow but others are working. I like to keep mine close and in sight. They will move there soon. Blackburns is very busy. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. Come on down. 

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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)

Caught fishing with Bink last evening.Image title

Water temperature was 64+ when I went out yesterday. It is still stained from the pollen and rising water. The level is exactly what it was 24-hours ago at 550.71 and they are generating heavily now and have been for several hours. There is some debris floating so be careful. Nothing big. Some good fish were caught yesterday but not a lot. I caught crappie and bluegill, John caught a very nice walleye, Roger caught bass and crappie and others did the same. Some big bass are under the dock and walkway looking to make a nest. Many bluegill have spawned and moved in under the dock also. Some are big. I caught mine on 25-ft. brush piles on a small Bink's spoon. John caught his walleye and striper on a rapalla. The weather is to be great for the next week so come on down. We have a lot of good people here who come back year after year and have made friends. Join us and not pay too much. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much,.I hear people say we had the whole place to ourselves. I wonder why. 

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

John Schreeves with one very nice striper. Image title

The lake level is still rising a bit with a few hours of generation and is at 550.73. It is a very good level. Tommy Smith reports carching some big walleye on his trot line and seeing several turkeys. John and Debbie Schreeves are back from Omaha, Nebraska and John is catching some nice fish. He caught a very nice striper yesterday. He catches more and more everytime they come. Marion Bass left me some nice garden plants. Thank you. Marion reports there were 287 boats in the Cystic Fibrosis bass tournament and just over 15-lbs. won. Not bad.  Fish are moving back on main lake points and cuts on brush and the water temperature should rise with the warm weather and fairly warm nights for the next week. It has been very slow warming and has struggled to get to 60 on the main lake. The top water bite is getting better every day. It is a good time for a fishing trip and Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental will not charge you too much. You can still get a 1-bedroom cabin for two people for $53/day with a free boat stall with your cabin. Trolling motors are included in price for fishing pontoons. Why pay more? 1-800-635-0526

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 Walleye caught last evening fishing with Bink's Guide Service.Image title

Wind wind go away. The lake level has moved to 550.65 and is rising with no generation. More rain on the 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)

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. 

Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains (click here for comments)

Look at the size at that Norfork Lake BassImage title

Nice crappie Steve.Image title

Fishing was good today for Steve Deardoff. Weather nice, light winds and big fish.

Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains (click here for comments)

Norfork Lake Winter Crappie.Image title

It was a little windy and started to cool off about 2-PM. Fishing was steady but not fast. Caught a bucket full of nice ones for my friend Leonard Darr. He likes those crappie. So do I. Lost a giant one getting it over the side of the boat. Must get a net. Nice to be out.

Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle from O'fallon Missouri With Some good ones. Image title

The front came through today and the fish were biting. These were a few caught. Mike Eakle is Fishing With Tom Kelly. He could not be fishing with a better person or a better fisherman. All are in the trophy pond. I hope Leonard Darr liked his limit of big crappy. He is my good friend and he loves crappie. 

Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains (click here for comments)

Scuba Steve Likes those Walleye. Released.Image title

Caught this morning just before the rain on a Bink's Jigging spoon.

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)

I like these.Image title

Sunny for several days. May is here and the walleye are biting. 1/2 way back in the creeks on a Bink's 1/2 ounce Jigging Spoon. Bulletin.