Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

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Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 567.97 and is dropping between two and three inches everyday with generation most of the time. The surface temperature was 85 when I went out yesterday and the lake seems to be cleraring a bit but the visibility is still not good. Patton at Scuba Doo Dive Shop reports the thermocline is 28-feet. I started spooning a main lake point near the resort and caught about a three pound Kentucky Bass right away and then nothing. I moved inside the cove side of the point in the shade and caught some very nice Warmouth on a Bobby Garland Baby shad. I then went to another main lake point and started spooning again in 23-feet of water and caught three walleye and came in. I was still using the 1/2 ounce Bink's Many Shad Spoon. I do not know why the walleye are at 23 when they are usually right at the thermocline near the bottom. Maybe just because that is where the cover is located on the old shoreline buckbrush. All of the fish were caught near some kind of structure. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Biggest striper of the year caught on the Bink's spoon.Image titleImage titleJerry and Lucy Swink with a nice walleye.

The lake level is 568.22 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. The lake is still stained and the surface temperature is 85 degrees. Jerry and Tina Swink caught some nice walleye on their first trip to Norfork. We hope they liked it here. Nice People. I took an hour off after checking out a couple of rental boats and took Bink's and Mike Eakle's advice on where the fish were. They told me to go to main lake points and work them with a jigging spoon at 23-feet. I put on a Bink's 1/2 ounce Many  Shad Spoon and went to a very close point to the resort. I caught three warmouth some nice bluegill and a bass and then moved. When they say 23-feet they mean 23-feet. I caught no fish at 21-feet and none at 25-feet. 23-feet is where the old shoreline buck brush is located  I then caught three walleye just before the rain. I came in and took all of the fish to Tom Kelly's trophy pond. People are catching a lot of big fish out of it and I have to keep it stocked up for them. I do not have a lot of time for fishing right now with Blackburns being so busy but it was nice to be out. My time will come.Fishing will just get better and better until the lake turns sometime in October and then keep getting better again. The lake is still in excellent condition for swimming and boating but needs to drop a few feet for day use accessibility. At least Blackburns has no diminished services including launching but we still have to park the cars at the dock on the road and walk down steps to the dock. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

All of these fish were caught on The Bink's Spoon yesterday and today in 23-ft. of water on main lake points.Image titleImage titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 568.84 and is dropping a little over 2-inches in 24-hours with generation about 2/3s of the time.  They are holding the twin lakes up as long as they can while reducing the White River at Newport to 11+ feet for no reason. The lake is stained and you can see your lure down about three feet. Bink, James Soltysiac, Mike Eakle and Tom Kelly are catching some nice fish everyday. They are using the Bink's Jigging Spoon on Mainlake points in 23-feet of water and catching crappie, walleye and bass in the mornings early. Over 1/2 of the walleye are short but some nice ones are also being caught.  Tom is also using the split tailed worm for bass. The lake continues to be busy and the very warm summer conditions continue amd the ;ale surface temperature is back up past the mid 80's. Things are looking good here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. Come on down and check us out and we will not charge you too much.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service.Image title

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The lake level is 569.26 and is dropping a little over 2-inches every day with generation about 2/3s the time. The lake became stained a few days ago and remains so. You can see your lure down about three feet. The lake surface temperature has dropped to about 85 degrees with the cooler weather but should go back up with the hot ambient temperature starting tomorrow and continuing into next week. We have passed what is normally our hottest time which is the last of July and the first week in August. We seem to get a rain right when we need it to keep things green but no extra. The lake is in excellent condition for boating and swimming but still too high for beaches. Some more boat launches are opening up and more parking for day users but it is still crowded on the weekends. 560 level is about optimal for the lake level but at this rate we will not get to that until a couple of weeks after Labor day. It does not leave much surge capacity for a big rain though. Trollers are getting some stripers on live bait deep but have to work for them and most are not very big.   Some are in 70+ feet of water and are lethargic. Some walleye are with them but most of them and the bass are just outside of the old shoreline in about 23-25 feet of water near the bottom and around the thermocline. The best bite right now is the bluegill and some of them are very large. They are fun and good eating. The children love to catch them. A few crappie are under docks but the bite is slow at best. Fishing will now get better and better until the lake turns in October and then get good again. I catch a lot of big fish around Thanksgiving and throughout the winter when the lake is lower and my brush piles come back into play.I hope they draw the lake down this winter and not hold it up into the mid 550's going into the spring. That is proven not to work but you cannot let the government run anything.We will be ok no matter what they do it just makes it more difficult. I have not seen the lake so busy after the first week in August in years and they are still coming.  The county sales tax revenues are at record levels with the town crowded with visitors. Come on down to Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental and we will nor charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday. Image title

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The lake level is 569.88 and has dropped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 2/3 of the time. I am really glad to break the 570 level but it is not near enough. 560 is a very good level for about everything but does not leave much room for spring rains.  We did receive about 1-inch total last week with several showers. When the rain chances were 100 and 90% we got nothing and when they were 10% it rained every day. There was no wind or lightening and we needed the moisture badly. It is good now. Things have really greened up again nicely and the gardens are doing great. We are getting some very nice weather with highs near 80 and lows in the high 50's and that is rare for early August which can be the hottest time of the year. It has been a good summer weather wise and we have avoided all severe weather so far. It is to warm back up this weekend but people are really enjoying the weather and the lake. It has been the busiest that I have seen it in many years despite the covid and the high water. People just want to get out and appreciate being able to social distance in both their cabins and on the water. Blackburns has rental pontoons available from $105 to $195/day and from 24-30 feet long and bass boats too. We do not allow any drag toys or grills on any boats but our marina friends do if you feel the need to. Ours are for fishing, swimming and cruising only and we have trolling motors on several of them. Check them out on the rental boat section of Blackburns web site. The water surface temperature is still about 87 degrees and is in very good condition for boating and swimming. Fishing is just fair except for the very good fishermen who really know how to fish this lake. Bink is still catching stripers and walleye (870-499-7384) and Tom Kelly and Mike Eakle are catching bass on shakey head worms and split tailed worms. The thermocline is dropping and is now outside the brush line making it a bit easier for divers to spearfish but the visibility is not the best. I will have to wait a couple of weeks or more for the business to slow down before I am able to go.  It is best in September and October anyway after the very early season. I get a lot of walleye and crappie in October. If you are staying in a duplex with no coverd porch or in a place with no pool or a very small one stop by Blackburns Before you leave and check things out. I think you will like what you see. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday. Nice fish.Image title

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The lake level is 570.24 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. We did receive 1/2 inch of badly needed rain yesterday but missed almost all that was predicted.  The surface temperature is 87 degrees and the lake is in good condition for boating, swimming and fishing although it is still too high for beaches and the parking for launching is still limited on weekends. The boat traffic is still relatively high for the first part of August and people are really enjoying the lake and are happy to just get out. It has really been busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of the best prices on the lake for cabins and boat rentals. The big pool with slide has been very popular with the children really enjoying swimming in it and also off the dock. Bink has been catching walleye and stripers on his spoon and Tom Kelly, Mike Eakle and the Sims boys have been catching some nice bass and a few walleye. The split tailed worm, shakey head worm on a jig head and grubs are the best for bass. Fish early, take the middle of the day off and hit it again in the late afternoon for the best fishing. Use light clear line and work the main lake points from the shore to about 23 feet. Bink is catching his stripers deep. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 570.74 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They are in a pattern now of shutting down all generation at night and starting it back up in the morning and keeping the White River at Newport at 12-feet at all costs. That way they can keep the area lakes as high as possible for as long as possible. At this rate if will be at 563 by Labor day Weekend if it does not rain and we have not had much of that. Not much else has changed except the bass fishing has gotten better. People report catching several good bass on main lake points at about 20-feet with a few walleye thrown in. The are using plastic worms and jigs. The lake surface temperature is still in the high 80's with the lake in excellent condition for boating and swimming and Blackburns still has the best prices on both cabins and boats and the biggest pool with slide. All cabins have covered porches and  are individual with no duplexes. We have 300-Meg wireless internet and are closest to Mountain Home, dining and shopping. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with a nice one caught and released last evening. Image title

The lake level is 571.24 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating all night and then start up in the morning to hold the White River at Newport to 12-feet at all costs despite the need for electricity and the very dry conditions with no areas even close to flooding. It is cooling off a bit this week with very good chances of rain for the next few days. We certainly need it. Things have been green and lush all year but are starting to dry up now. A good rain would really help green things up again. Bass fishermen are catching some good ones on plastic worms with the best bite being in the evenings. Bink is catching some nice stripers deep on his spoon and the children are catching crappie and bluegill off the dock. I feed them there and they are easily caught. They love watching the turtles. Some catfish are being caught on jugs with live bait. With the lake dropping watch out for exposed wood where it was not in sight before. The lake is changing daily but conditions are good for boating and swimming. Fishing is just fair but the good fishermen are catching fish every day. The surface temperature is still in the high 80's and the visibility is not the best for diving but looks clear from the surface. The drop in the lake is opening things up but needs to drop just a few feet to really do some good for launching and parking. The lake is as busy as I have seen it in years on the weekends.  Almost like it was in the early 90's.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's guide service yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 571.66 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating all night and then start up again early morning and are holding the White River at Newport to 12+ feet. The lake looks clear from the top but the visibility is not so good at the thermocline which is 22-23 feet. Bass, stripers and bluegill continue to be the best bite but a few catfish are showing up. Fishing is poor during middle of the day but that is always the case in the last part of July. The stripers are deep and most of the other fish are still in the brush on the old shoreline which is 20-ft. under water. Conditions are good for boating and swimming and the surface temperature is in the high 80's. It is to cool off with better chances of rain later this week. Call Debbie at 870-492-5115 to get into the action. We still have the best prices and the largest pool. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with a good one.Image title

The lake level is 571.92 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating at night and start again in the morning to keep the level up as high as they can for as long as they can while we are in very dry conditions and the areas where the electricity is sold is experiencing high temperatures requiring lots of electricity. In the spring when the rains come they open the flood gates and waste the water.  Go figure. Sounds like bad management to me. Where did this 12-ft. rule for the White River at Newport come from?  Nobody seems to know but it sure is followed closely and at all costs. Things should get back to normal after labor day unless it finally rains. Everything is still very busy with people really wanting to get out even for a short time. The lake surface temperature is in the high 80's and the lake is in good condition for swimming and boating. Tom Kelly, Binks and the Sims family are all catching fish everyday but overall fishing is just fair. Get out early, take the middle of the day off and go put about 5:30 PM and fish until dark. Bink is using his spoon for stripers deep and the rest are catching bass on plastic worms. Blackburns does not not now allow any dragging of anything behind any of our boats except for the ski boat and it has a three day minimum. You can stay here and rent a boat from one of our marina friends if you need to drag something. It was just not working out for us. We have many boats for just everyday use of cruising, swimming and fishing.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Fishing with Bink's Guide Service Wednesday. Image title

The lake level is 572.14 and has dropped 2+ inches in the last 24-hours. They have reduced the discharge of the White River at Newport to hold the area lakes up as high as possible and the level is 12+ feet there now. They just had to get down to that 12-ft. level for some unknown reason. It is a good thing we have had almost no rain for over two weeks or the level would not have dropped at all. We are dry here. Things are starting to open up a bit though and a couple of feet drop would really help things. We are still about 20-feet higher than it should be for this time of year which is 552 no matter how they have manipulated the numbers in the last few years. I still do not know how they calculate 70% of flood storage but it sure is not how it used to be done. How can 572 be below 70%. Nobody knows. It clouds up almost every day in the afternoons during the heat of the day but we have received very little rainfall. Blackburns has some good fishermen in now and they are catching a few fish but not anything to brag about. Mostly bass. Bink is catching some stripers deep on his spoon and divers report the visibility is not very good and they are not doing the best getting walleye.  They are seeing some large crappie though. The lake looks clearer from the surface than it actually is at the 23ft. thermocline. It will push down steadily as the water warms to about 30 feet. Swimming and boating remains good but there are no swimming areas open and you almost have to swim off a dock or boat to keep out of people's way trying to launch a boat. Blackburn's big pool with slide has been very busy and people are swimming and fishing off the big dock.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday and today on his Jigging Spoon. Image title

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The lake level is 573.49 and has dropped a little over 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with intermittant generation. They are turning Norfork generators off and on to to keep the White River at Newport at a little less than 14-feet for some unknown reason. It is a good thing it has been dry and no rain for over a week or it would not drop at all. We have a chance to get a little today and then remain hot. We could sure use it. The lake in general is in good condition but is changing every day with more formerly submerged brush and logs exposed. Another two or three foot drop would really do a lot of good for day use and parking and launching. They are starting to open up now but has taken a long time. They just refuse to let much out but the need for electricity in the southwest is the driving force. If they would run both generators on Norfork continuously it would drop 3-1/2 inches per day. It will drop faster as the bowl gets smaller. I have not been fishing but Bink is really catching some nice stripers in about 90-feet of water on the bottom on his spoon and bass, catfish and bluegill fishermen are doing pretty well. It is a typical mid to late July fishing season. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental has a one bedroom cabin open next week and a few more starting in August with the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals. We cannot guarentee a boat stall for one or two day stays at this time and do not have one for anybody bringing their own pontoon that cannot put the top down until we are able to pull boats in and out more easily. We also do not recommend pulling any drag toys with our pontoons and do not allow any dragging or towning anything with our bass boats. They are not made for it. Sorry.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 574.16 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours.  They shut off the generation in the middle of the night to keep the area lakes as high as possible for as long as possible. It has not rained for over a week and it is getting dry again here and it is warm and to get warmer. The lake surface temperature is in the high 80's depending on the time of day. The lake has cleared all week and we will see what happens after the weekend boat traffic. The thermocline is dropping and is in the low 20's and the visibility is 5-7 feet depending on what day of the week.  The shoreline in the creeks is very clear. Not a lot of people are fishing now with most boating and swimming. The fishing clubs with the weekly tournaments  are doing well on bass with limits in the teens. Bink is catching stripers and bass on his spoon. Crappie are scattered but some are being caught. Catfishing on jugs is working pretty well with live bait. Bluegill fishing is excellent off docks and on the old shoreline on worms and crickets. Some big ones are being caught. Get out a little before 6:Am and fish until about 10. Take the middle of the day off anf go out again about 5:PM and fish unril sunset. As the lake drops more stationary brush is being uncovered and you have to be carefull. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 575.09 and has dropped a little over 1-inch in the last 24-hours. They cut off generation for several hours last night to keep the lake from dropping. They are trying to dry up the White River at Newport. We did receive about 0.4 inches of rain yesterday.  We seem to get some about when we need it to keep things green. It is to get very hot next week. I went out to check a boat and took along a pole in the middle of the afternoon and fished for about an hour. I caught two crappie, one bass and a bluegill on the Bobby Garland baby shad in 14-20 feet of water in the brush back in a creek. The surface temperature ranged ftom 88 to 86 and I was surprised to see how clear the water was. I released them under the dock. It was nice to be out even if for a short time. The boat traffic was medium.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service. Image title

The lake level is 575.21 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. They have slowed the discharge way down on the White River at Newport and the level there is 13+ feet when the minor flood stage is 26 feet. Why are they trying to hold the area lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible when we are dry? There is no threat of floods anywhere near here. You cannot let the government run anything. There is some very good news. The Arkansas Game and Fish were unable to stock any stripers or hybrids in Norfork this year due to social distancing but the private sector has stepped up. We usually get 154,000 fingerling stripers each year. I want to thank Keo fish farm for donating 23,000 stripers for stocking Norfork. It will prevent a complete void for the class of 2020 in the years to come. With people killing so many small stripers in the 5-10 lb. range it will surely help. I do not know why meat hunters want to kill them so bad. After the red meat is cut out they do not dress out very well. The daily limit needs to be cut to two per day. I do not fish for them at all during the summer as they all die when brought out of deep water. Venting does not help as some people say and they do not survive in a live well.  The surface water temperature is in the mid 80's depending on when you are out there and clears up nicely during the week and clouds up again with the weekend boat traffic. Blackburns has a few openings on both cabins and boats this summer and have the best prices. You do not have to bring tents or umbrellas to give you shade and get out of the weather here as all cabins have big covered porches and you can social distance with no duplexes. Call Debbie at 870-492-5115. No we do not rent jet skis and yes you do have to rent a cabin here to rent a boat. Another stupid government rule not mine. We do not suggest dragging tubes at this time as the lake has been high for a long time and some debris is water logged and just under the surface and hard to see. Save the children and lower units. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

James and Mike are catching some good ones.Image title

The lake level is 575.60 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. The surface temperature is about 87 degrees, the thermocline is just over 20-feet and the visibility is about 5-feet. It clears up during the week and clouds up with the boat traffic on the weekends. Walleye fishing is the best now but bass and crappie are not far behind. Most fish are still scattered near the thermocline in the brush where they have cover and food. There is lots of both there. Look for secondary points just inside the main lake and drop the spoon about 20-ft. down. I have been too busy to dive so far this year but Patten from Scuba Doo Dive shop just up the road from Blackburns wrote an up to date diving report on this site today.  I just got it posted. Just another reminder Bink's guide service has his "Live in the Boat" fishing report and tip of the week on KTLO 97.9 FM at 8:45 AM on Thursday mornings where you can hear exactly what is happening on Norfork lake. Both of these are good sources of information. Maybe the best. Get out at first light which is before 6:AM and fish until about 10AM. Take the middle of the day off and go out again about 5:30 and fish until sunset. Jigging spoons are the best along with spinner baits and paddle tailed grubs. Tom Kelly is still catching good bass on his split tail worm. The stripers that are being caught are deep and lethargic and you have to drop the spoon right on their head. Blackburns still have a few openings due to cancellations and you might be able to take advantage of the best prices on both boats and cabins on the lake by calling Debbie at 870-492-5115. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Some Nice ones caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday morning.Image title

The lake level is 576.41 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with intermittant generation. They are holding the White River at Newport at 14+ feet at all costs. Minor flood stage is 26 feet. I took a boat ride from Blackburns Cove to Cranfield Island and then to the 101 bridge and back and saw no debris in the water. The lake surface temperature was 85 degrees and the lake in general is in good condition for boating and swimming. I was surprised at the number of boats out there for a Thursday. The town is full this morning. I wonder if the people that operate the dams know the economic impact and revenue the lakes bring to the area or even care. They flood their own campgrounds and swimming areas and do not have too. We received 1.2 inches of badly needed rain earlier this week and it really greened things up and made the gardens grow fast. It all soaked in and the creeks did not run but it came down fast and had some spotty wind. We were dry. Keep your eyes to the west and north west in the afternoons and watch for black clouds, especially in the heat of the day which is about 3-4:30 PM. They do not last long but it is not good to be caught between the bridges at this time which is the windiest part of the lake. Tom Kelly caught some nice bass yesterday and Binks caught some nice stripers on his Many Shad Spoon. It is so busy here that I have not had any time to go fishing or diving. There will be plenty of time for that later. I have not seen this amount of boat traffic out there in years. People just want to get out. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental still has the best prices on both cabins and boats and your first regular sized boat stall is free and all cabins are individual units with no duplexes and all have covered porches.  You can social distance here and the children can have fun on the big playground and pool with slide. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 576.65 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with intermittant generation. They now have the White River at Newport to 14+ feet and are determined to keep it there for no reason except to keep the area lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible. I have been too busy to go fishing or diving but took a trip to check out the lake. Almost all of the debris has stuck to the bank now in this area now that the lake has dropped three feet from it's high and the lake in general is in excellent condition for swimming and boating. The surface water temperature is 84 degrees and the lake is clearing. That should stop with the high boat traffic this weekend. They really churn up the water. The level just has to drop a few feet now to really help access and parking. They could have done this a month ago. It has been very dry here and I am irrigating. Bink is catching stripers and bass and Tom Kelly is catching bass. The fishing is slow during the middle of the day and early morning is the best time. Fishing will get better as the thermocline drops and the lake level drops and the old shoreline is the same as the thermocline. It is now about 21 feet and the visibility is about 5-feet before the weekend gets here and then it drops with the boat traffic. Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 to check if we have last minute cancellations for both boats and cabins. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with a nice one caught and released last evening.Image title

The lake level is 577.53 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with intermittant generation. They have dropped the level of the White River at Newport and reduced the discharge there to try and hold the level of the area lakes as high as possible for as long as possible while reaching their goal of 14-feet there. They are at 14+ feet now and for absolutely no reason. Minor flood stage is 26-feet. They would really like to take it to 12-feet but the lakes are over 70% full. The lake surface temperature is in the mid 80's depending on where and what part of day. A lot of the debris that was blowing with the wind and water logged has stuck to the banks but there is still some out there and I do not recommend going out after dark for your own safety and damage to your boats. It is hard enough to see them in the day time. There is no good reason to be out there after dark anyway. Bink is catching stripers and bass on his spoon and Tom Kelly is catching bass on his split tail worm. I went out again for a few minutes and got a couple of crappie on the Bobby Garland 2-inch Blue Ice jig. Kids are catching bluegill and catfish off the dock on worms and crickets. I could see my lure down about 3-4 feet but have not been diving to give a real visibility report. You cannot do this until you are actually down there. I talked to Patton Trevor at Scuba Doo dive shop and he said there were walleye at 18-19 feet and he could see about 5-feet and spearfishing was just ok but people were getting fish. The lake in general is in good condition. Blackburns has the largest pool with slide, largest green playground with the most things to do for children, largest pavillion and all cabins have covered porches with no duplexes so you can social distance, most boat rentals and all at the best prices. You can still drive to the dock, park and step right on but our launching is gone. We have the best overall set up.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 578.10 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. The surface water temperature is 82 in the early mornings and 84 in the afternoons. Visibility is about 5-feet and the lake is clearing the further we get from the weekend. The higher than normal boat traffic on Friday afternoons, Saturday and Sunday really churn up the lake and create large launching and parking problems. The lake clears a lot from Sunday night to Friday  Watch for the guard rails across the launch at Panther Bay. There is really room for only two boats at a time for launching and that is if you stay close to the courtesy dock. Take off boat covers, load the boat, Put in plug , take off transon savers, put key in boat before blocking the launch and things go pretty smooth. I took a boat trip from Blackburns to Cranfield Island and then to the 101 bridge and back and the lake was in good condition. The debris is starting to stick to the shore with the little bit of drop in level. A few more feet drop would really do some good but they show no willingness to do so. Get that level down at Newport to 14-feet at all costs for no reason. Fishing has been about normal for the end of June and people are catching bass, walleye, catfish, bluegill, stripers and hybrids. If there is a top water bite it will be early before and just at sunrise. After that look for stripers off steep banks about 30-40 foot down and drop a Bink's Many Shad Spoon on them. Others are trolling umbrellas and still others are using live bait. Crickets off docks for big bluegill are catching some nice ones. Check out main lake and secondary points in 18-20 feet for walleye. Many fish and bait fish are still in the brush and it extends out to about 27 feet.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with one nice smallmouth caught this morning.Image title

The lake level is 578.36 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. The White river at Newport has dropped to 15 feet on it's way to 14 feet for some unknown reason except to hold the lake levels up as high as possible for as long as possible. It was 579.44 a month ago and we have received little rain. At this rate we will be back to normal in the fall of 2022 unless the rules are changed. It is raining now and we need it badly. This will green things up and make the gardens grow. It looks like most of the storms are going south of us. It was a busy and beautiful weekend and most people had a lot of fun. That is the way we like it. The lake was sure busy also and the traffic in town was like a holiday weekend. Most fishermen are catching fish. Tom Kelly is using his split tail worm, Bink's his spoon and others a spinner bait. Stripers are moving to deeper water but are in the Bidwell area early in 30 feet of water. Tom Stanton is catching them there every day. You just have to get the bass out of the brush at 20-feet near the thermocline. Things are good here at Blackburns and people are taking advantage of our low cabin and boat rental prices as well as their first regular sized boat stall being free. The pool is big with slide and all cabins have covered porches. We do not charge for trolling motors on pontoons. We just had two 2-bedroom deluxe cabins cancel starting the 4th of July for the week so call Debbie at 870-492-5115 for details. I sure hope we can fill them. These last minute cancellations hurt and they always want their deposit back. It costs us three times as much as the person cancelling and the summer is short. We would much rather you show up than keep your deposit and set empty.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 578.53 and has dropped about an inch in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. They are keeping all of the area lakes about 1-1/2 ft. from going over the spillway while dropping the White River at Newport to 15+ feet on their way to 14. I suspect the C.O.E. hates all lake people and thinks it is funny to have the campgrounds flooded for many months at a time for no reason and not having any beaches and few launching, parking and swimming areas.  Several good fish were caught yesterday and this morning With stripers, hybrids, bluegill  and bass being the best. The surface temperature remains in the mid 80's and the water clears during the week and then gets churned up on weekends with the higher than normal boat traffic. Bink, Tom Stanton, Tom Kelly and Mike Eakle are all catching fish and good ones too. Tom stanton is trolling umbrellas, Tom Kelly is working a worm and Bink and Mike are spooning and fishing top water early. All methods are working. Get out early, take the middle of the day off and then go out about 5:PM and fish until sunset for best results. There is still some debris out there moving with the wind so be catrfull and do not go out after dark. It will stick on the bank if they ever let water out. Just a few feet would really open things up but fat chance of that.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Bink with a good one yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 578.66 and they have run both generators for 24-hours straight to drop the lake 2-inches. We are to have a good chance for rain the next few days and we need it.  It is very dry and it has not rained for 12-days. The lake surface temperature is 84 degrees and the water is pretty clear and getting clearer. We are expecting a big crowd on the lake this weekend and we will see how the water gets after that. This is as crowded on the water as I have seen for years. People are catching fish everyday with bass, walleye, stripers, hybrids and bluegill being the most. Not much has changed the last few days and we have been very busy here at Blackburns. The pool has been the biggest attraction and it is good that it is so big. The children love the slide. If you stay someplace else make sure you ask if they have a pool.  Several do not and some are small. Also ask if they have a dock and is fishing is allowed off the dock. Sorry we do not allow fireworks here. Fire hazzard and insurance does not cover fireworks. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with a nice one caught this morning.Image title

The lake level is 578.86 and has dropped about 1-inch in the last 24-hours with very limited generation. The White River at Newport is now at 17-feet and still dropping like a rock and headed for 14-feet. This is just plain stupid. We have had no rain for 11 days now and are very dry and they still refuse to drop area lakes. The surface water temperature is now in the early 80's in the mornings and mid 80's in the afternoon. The lake is clearing nicely but we will see what the weekend churning brings. There is still some big debris out there but not nearly as many. The lake level has been stable and the changing in wind direction just keeps moving them around. Some nice fish continue to be caught in the early mornings and late evenings. Bass, walleye, stripers, hybrids and bluegill are all coming in. Keep working the 20-ft. range for most fish and 80-ft. range after top water is over for stripers and hybrids. Fishing is about normal for Mid to late June. I have not had a chance to go Scuba Diving yet but the divers that I am talking to are getting walleye in the 20-ft. range near the bottom but the visibility is not very good. We are full here now at Blackburns with people taking advantage of our low cabin and boat rental rates and getting their first regular sized boat stall free. We have a couple of openings next week though but are getting about 100 phone calls a day for the 3rd and 4th of July.  It does not work out very well when a holiday falls on a weekend. We are only allowed to rent boats to resort customers by law.  Sorry. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught this morning on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 578.97 and is remaining constant as all of the area lakes are about one foot from going over the spillway. It has not rained for 10 days and it is very dry. They are dropping the level of the White River as fast as they can and it is 18-feet now and they are hell bent to get it to 14-feet no matter how high the lakes are. This is crazy. Let some water out boys. You have shown us what you can do if you want to. Why does it matter if Newport is 24-feet or 14 feet. It does not hurt anybody. The truth is they would like it to be 12-feet but the lakes are too high. Who ever made these rules should be drawn and quartered. They are probably dead already anyway since they were made so long ago. Change the rules and quit holding and hoping. The surface water temperature was 82 early this morning and the lake is clearing. We will see what the weekend brings. I have not seen it so busy here in years. People really want to get out and I do not blame them. People are catching fish. Work the main lake points and secondary points in the creeks from as far as you can cast to the bank and work out to 25-feet.  The thermocline is 19-20 feet and there are a lot of fish there. The stripers and hybrids are feeding on crawdads early and then moving deep after sunrise. Spook for top water and spoon for deep water. Walleye are coming in and good ones too. A 22-inch one was caught yesterday morning. Catfishing is picking up and bluegill are biting off docks on crickets. The lake is big but in good shape. Just not a lot of stuff to do off the bank and day users are clogging up the boat launches on weekends. You can swim off our dock, in our big pool with slide or off a rental pontoon. There are no beaches and very few places to get to shore. Many campgrounds are under water. Most resorts have no diminished services except for launching but there are some good places for that just not many.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Top water bite this morning.Image title

The lake level is 578.98 and is the same as 24-hours ago.  They are letting out just enough to balance the inflow of the river while dropping the White River at Newport  as fast as they can for absolutely no reason. If they would just drop the lake a few feet it would do a lot of good but they will not. It is a good thing it has been very dry. You cannot let the government run anything. The surface water temperature is 84 degrees and the lake seems to be clearing just a bit. People are catching fish on top water early and then the stripers and hybrids are going deep but the walleye and other species are hanging around the thermocline at 20-feet in the cover. Spinner baits are working as are 3-inch flat tailed grubs on a jig head. A lot of fish are on points in 19-23 feet. You can swim in our big pool with slide, off our dock or off a rental pontoon. There are not many other options and Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental have the best prices on everything. Why pay more unless you just want to? Sorry, you have to stay at the resort to rent one of our boats. C.O.E. rule not mine. Stupid rule based on politics. Absolutely no reason for it also. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service.Image title

The lake level is 579.02 and has come up just a bit in the last 24-hours with reduced generation. We have had no rain for a week and it is getting dry. I am having to water my garden. They are dropping the White River at Newport like a rock in order to keep the area lakes as high as possible for the longest time possible. At least they showed us what they can do when they really want to or when the levels at both Table Rock and Bull Shoals were lapping over the spillway because of the policy of hold and hope.  If they drop this level to 14-foot as they did before and as prescribed by the antiquated rules of operation, it is time to really demonstrate our displeasure unless you really like this. The lake surface temperature is in the low 80's and is just right for swimming. You can swim off one of Blackburns Rental Pontoons, off our dock or in our big 30x60 pool with slide. The visibility has deteoriated with the high boat traffic and is about 5-feet at the thermocline which is at about 19-feet. There are fish everywhere at this depth where they can get in and out of the warm water and still have cover, crawdads and baitfish. There is still a top water bite most days early for both bass, stripers and hybrids and then the red meat fish go deeper and can be caught on a spoon. I am getting my Scuba gear ready but am waiting to see if the water clears a bit before I go. It is very busy here and we like that.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 579 even and has come up just a bit as they quit generating last night. The surface temperature is in the early 80's and rising and the clarity is not very good with all of the boats churning up the water.  It is very busy out there. I picked up a boat that was being serviced and went to Panther Bay to launch it. I saw one truck blocking the road loading up all of their stuff, another blocking the launch area removing their cover, one that had launched but forgot to put in the plug and pulled out again blocking the launch to drain the boat, one that lost her boat keys after launching the boat, one that would not start and was blocking the courtesy dock and another that was on fire and needed an exringuisher that finally pulled out. I waited about an hour and finally launched. People really must want to get out there for a day use bad. The whole thing was a cluster bomb. The lake was very busy though and I was happy to get out of it. There is still some debris out there and I do not recommend being out after dark.  People have just been pent up too long and want to get out. Scuba Spearfishing season starts tomorrow and I am usually excited but will wait for the thermocline to get out of the trees. A lot of fish are in the 20-ft. range and I do not like jumping down into brush and locust trees. You will have to jump into about 40.ft. of water and work your way in and maneuver around the stuff. If you go in off rocky bluffs there is no brush but not very many fish either. We will see what happens. Watch out for dive flags and give them a big birth. The main thing is to be safe while having a good time. Fishermen are getting stripers and bass on top water most days just about sunrise for about an hour and then the fish are going deeper to about 80 feet and are being caught on a jigging spoon. Catfish are biting on live bait on both limb lines and jugs and bluegill and a few crappie are being caught off docks. Trollers are catching a few red meat fish with live bait after they move off the bank and out of the brush. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 579.52 and has dropped about 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and enough spillway gates open to equal about 1-1/2 more generators. It was windy and cool yesterday but is beautiful today and it should continue for several more days. When I went out yesterday the surface water temperature was 79+ and the creeks were stained and the main lake is not nearly as clear as it was. I could see my lure down about 2-3 feet. I saw very little debris in the Blackburns Creek area. I worked a Bobby Garland Baby Shad as close to the shore as I could get back in Hensley's Creek and caught a couple of nice crappie and a bass. Bink reports that he is still catching some stripers and hybrids on top water early some days and then going back out to about 80-foot and dropping a spoon. They are going deeper and deeper as they always do in the summer. There is no size limit now and all of the fish will die when you bring them out of deep water so just get your limit and quit. Venting does not work.  It lets them to be able to go down but they die anyway. I do not fish for them when they are deep. I still see pictures of dock floors full of dead small stripers and people think they have accomplished something. They have not. The only thing that is being accomplished is that a big striper was 30-pounds and now it is 15 and we will pay for it later since none were stocked this year and they do not reproduce in fresh water. Fishing overall is just fair but some nice bass are being caught as are catfish on jugs and limb lines. Big bluegill are biting off docks on crickets. Watch out for Box Turtles on the roads and help them cross in the direction they are heading. They are getting ready to lay their eggs. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental still has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals and your first regular sized boat stall is free. You can practice social distancing here.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 579.53 and has risen about 8-inches in the last 24-hours. We received 3.2 inches of rain last afternoon and night but had very little wind. They have some spillway gates open. The creeks run pretty hard for a while but have slowed now.  It is sunny and beautiful now with high pressure having moved in for several days.  Everything is very green and the garden and grass are really growing. There is a top water bite most days for bass and stripers early and then they are going deep. I have not went out on the water yet today but will let you know when I do. Not much has changed. What you see is what you get for quite some time. It could be a lot worse. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 578.86 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday with generation about 1/2 the time. We are expecting a rain from the tropical depression moving north but we are dry and can take a couple of inches if it does not come too fast. More than that would not be good. It is a good thing we have only received about 0.2 inches in the last 10-days. The water surface temperature is about 80 and is good for swimming and boating. The creeks are stained a bit but the main lake is pretty clear.  The new news about fishing is that the stripers and hybrids are moving out into deeper water as they always do in the summer. The hotter it gets the deeper they go. Get out your 1-ounce Bink's Mini Shad Spoons and look for top water early and then move out to about 80-feet of water and look for them and drop the spoon on their nose. Bluegill are biting off docks on crickets and catfish are biting on limb lines and jugs with live perch. Bass are hitting top water early and then going down into the brush. Fishing overall is fair but some good ones are being caught every day. There is a little debris in this area but not much. Watch for water logged wood just under the surface and do not go out after dark. The prop repairman is doing a good business. You can swim in Blackburns big pool with slide, off the dock or off a rental pontoon. There are no beaches or places to go to the shore and launching is limited as well as launch parking. Sorry.  Most resorts have no diminished services except for launching but many of them do not have launching anyway. It will have to drop about 5-feet for me to get mine back and I do not see that happening anytime soon.  Panther Bay is not very far away and is a good place, just very busy on weekends.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Carl caught his first keeper Norfork Lake walleye on a spinner bait yesterday.Image title

Mrs. Binkley knows how to drive that spoon. Caught this morning.Image title

The lake level is 578.89 and has come up just a bit last night when they shut off all generation. They just started them back up last hour. We will see what the tropical storm does to us. I pretty much predicted that last week but nothing is for sure as far as the weather goes. It would be nice if we only got an inch or two as we are dry but it is slow moving and could be much more. We are fortunate that we only have had about 0.2 inches in the last 10-days. The weather has been great and we have been very busy here at Blackburns.  That is the way we like it. People have been pent up for too long and just want to get out. I had an 80-degree water temperature yesterday and the main lake is clear and the creeks are stained a bit. Fishing has been fair with the morning top water bite being the best. Here is what I am finding: Go part way back in the creeks on secondary points and fish top water until the sun has been up for about an hour. Switch to a 3-inch white paddle tail grub on a 1/4 ounce jig head. I like white with a red eye. Fish that while setting in about 30-ft. of water casting in between the brush as close to the bank as you can cast with out getting hung up. Do this for about another hour. Next move out to deeper water and look for scattered fish suspended 35-45 ft. and drop a spoon. You will catch temperate bass and black bass. Take the middle of the day off and go out about 5:PM and fish until sunset. Carl Scott from Texas caught a nice walleye yesterday on a spinner bait. Go figure.   

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday on the Bink's spoon. Rum reports they were full of crawdads. No shad. This indicates they were feering near the bank. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 579.02 and has dropped a little less than 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. We have received about 0.2 inches of rain in the last 24-hours and just enough to water the yard and garden.  It was getting dry. It will get sunny and very humid later today. We missed the bad weather again this morning and it went just west of us in the Springfield and Bull Shoals area. We do not need any big rains and I am a little concerned with the storm in the gulf right now moving north after landfall.  It will do it,  it is just a matter of where it goes. The lake is very clear now but there is still some debris floating around out there. The old shoreline is now 25+ feet deep and that is where the fish are early. Bink reports the fish he caught yesterday were full of crawdads with no shad in them. He is using a white paddletail swim bait 3-inches long, topwater spook and his jigging spoon exclusively now. The fish are on top or in the brush early feeding and then moving to deeper water. This is when he is switching to the spoon. The surface temperature is about 78 degrees and there should be a thermocline forming at about 20-feet if it has not already. I have not been diving yet but it always does this about the first week of june. It has been too busy here for me do do much of anyrhing but work but I go out for a few minutes a day to check out condition and fish. People are taking advantage of the low cabin prices as well as the largest selection of rental boats in the area. You can just drive here to Blackburns, drive to the dock and get on your rental boat and be done with it. Forget all of the other stuff. No finding a place to launch, parking for your truck and trailer, floating around the launch waiting to pick up passengers and doing the same thing to get out. It almost makes it not worth it, especially for a day or two. I just do not like to pull trailers. Remember Blackburns still has the best prices and your first boat stall is free. If you insist on paying more you can stay here and give the difference to th disabled Veterans. We like them. Personally, I would not stay in a place that does not have a covered porch to get out of the rain or sun. It is hard to grill in the rain with no cover. Pizza and sandwitches are also delivered here but we are also on 28-acres in the country but close to town. No sense driving 20-miles to get to town unless you just want to. You can stay here and rent a boat for about the same price as renting a boat elsewhere. You have to stay here to rent a boat. C.O.E. rule not mine. Stupid rule. No grilling on our boats. My rule. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 559.06 and has dropped about 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. All area lakes are about 1-foot below going over the spillway with no rain for the last week.  It is getting dry here but we may get a little rain this afternoon and then not much of a chance for another week. I hope the new storm in the gulf does not hit land, go north and sweep across to the east like some of them do. We do not need a gully washer. It will take over a week if this happens, and we would be in better shape to take it with the ground drying up fast. The lake is getting very clear again but there is still some debris floating around out there. Be careful dragging overweight children around in chaise lounges and do not go out after dark. Some of them are barely submerged and hard to see. No sense getting hurt. They are in one place one day and another place the next and are floating with the wind. The surface temperature is in the high 70's and should hit 80 in the next several days. The fish are still mostly at or near the old shoreline and are from the bank to about 25-ft of water. There are a lot of baitfish in the cover. The top water bite is still the best early for both bass and red meat fish. Fishing overall is just fair but some nice ones are being caught everyday. Get out early, take the middle of the day off, and then go out again about 5PM and fish until sunset. Use clear light line (6-lb.) and take off all swivels and hardware and tie directly to your lure. No spider line or steel leaders. Work the banks part way back in the creeks and set your boat in about 25-ft. of water and cast to the shore and allow to sink slowly with a light leadhead with jigs, creature baits and other soft plastics. Have a clear spook ready early sunny mornings for top water. The clear one sparkles in the sunlight and attracks the fish. Otherwise a white one also works on cloudy days. Fishing off docks during the day with crickets is working well for big bluegill. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 579.40 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. Norfork has about 8-inches before it goes over the spillway. Both Table Rock and Bull Shoals are running over the spillway now. Dam management 101 teaches do not let the water goes over the spillway. I wonder if anyone managing the level has taken 101. They are to open spillway gates on Table Rock at noon to continue to overflow Bull Shoals. The White River at Newport is at 25.5 feet and 26 feet is flood stage. They have really gotten themselves in a bind. They want to hold and hope more but there is no place to hold. I suspect their next move will be to shut Norfork down until it is over the spillway also. At least the weather is to be beautiful with no rain in sight.  That is all that is saving them. It looks like the rivers will be flooded as is the farmland downstream and the area lakes will remain full.. At least they held off doing this until the crops were planted and up where it will be doing the most damage.  If they can take the White river up almost to flood stage now, I wonder why they cannot do it in the fall, winter and spring before the crops are planted? Just sayin. Get rid of the 12,14,18 feet stupid rules. The lake is still clear and is in good condition. There is a little debris out there but not bad. I do not recomment tubing or going out after dark. Some wood is water logged and just under the surface out of sight. This is changing daily even though the level has been pretty stable. The wind direction is responsible for this. One day north and one day south. The surface temperature is in the mid 70's and good for swimming. There are no beaches but you can swim off Blackburns Dock, in our big pool or out on the lake off a boat. The water is not dirty away from the bank. Blackburns is probably your best option for dock access, and vehicle and trailer parking. You can park at the dock and step right on but cannot launch here. No trailers at the dock. If you rent a boat, it is easy. If you bring your own boat, not so much. The boat launches are very crowded especially on the weekends and vehicle and trailer parking is very limited. We have plenty of that here at Blackburns and are not crowded up on a hillside. A lot of fish are still on the old shoreline and from the bank to there. Keep your boat in about 25-feet and cast to shore part way back in the creeks using creature baits and soft plastics. There is a top water bite some days at sunrise but not every day. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 579.21 and is starting to rise just a bit after they closed the spillway gates. They did start the other generator. Norfork is 9-inches from going over the spillway, Beaver is 2-inches, Table rock is 3-inches and Bull Shoals is lapping over and is officially 1/2 inch from breaching. They are trying desperately to keep Bull Shoals from going over but are getting out of options. Do not, I repeat do not believe the weathermen. They have been wrong 85% of the time.  The White River at Newport is now over 25-feet and 26 feet is minor flood stage.  It is a very good thing we did not get the rain as predicted. The weather has been great. I went out for a little while after getting my work done and found the following in this area: The surface temperature was 75 degrees in Hensley's creek and I could see my lure down about 6-feet. Blackburns creek was stained a little more but still a good color and I saw very little debris.  There should be a thermocline forming soon if not now and the fish will move to just above or just below that. It should be from 17-19 feet to start with and get deeper as the water warms. Our normal high is 80.  I have not been Scuba diving yet to find out. It looks like I will have to jump into deeper water to avoid the brush and then work my way to the edge of it.  A lot of brush is just outside of the old shoreline which is 20+ feet.  I saw some top water fish at about 5:30 PM and caught some bass and a small hybrid. All fish were released on site. The crappie that I was looking for were gone. A big black rain cloud was building up from the west so I came in. It did not amount to much and looked much worse than it actually was. We got about 1/10th out of it. The best bite now is the early morning top water bite on spooks and then switch to a swim bait. It is time to start spooning again or at least try it. There is lots of cover and bait fish and the fish are scattered and roaming. I have not been catfishing but there are lots of jugs and limb lines in the area. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink the last couple of days. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 579.08 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running and all spillway gates open 6-inches. All area lakes are now less than one foot from going over the spillway and the White River at Newport is 25-feet. 26 feet is minor flood stage. They opened bull Shoals flood gates earlier and are really letting a lot of water out of there. They are only a couple of inches from going over.  They have really done a good job of holding and hoping and allowing the crops downstream to all be planted and up. Now everything is at max. One medium rain will really put them in trouble. About everything that can be done has been done here when we reached 579.74 earlier and were 3-inches from going over. Blackburns probably has about the best set up even though we have lost our ability to launch here for now. You can drive to the dock and there are just a very few steps to get on. No trailers at the dock allowed. We have parking at the resort.  Panther Bay is the best place to launch now. The lake is clearing again after the busy holiday weekend churned it up a bit. We have not have had very many quick level rises this year and the lake in this area has remained very clear. It has just been a steady rise with no fall or winter drawdown by our dam managers. After the next two days of rain, it is to be sunny for almost a week. We will see what that brings. The weather man has been wrong about everything so far so there is no sense in fretting. Just go fish until it rains you out. We seldom get washed out for the whole day. I was a little surprised about the boat traffic for the holiday but everybody seemed to have had a good time. It was very busy here at Blackburns with lots of boats rented and all cabins full. People were taking advantage of the best prices on both boats and cabins on Norfork lake here. The big pool was very busy as was the slide. I have a lot to do but will try to get in a little fishing and let you know. Bink is catching some good fish every day. There are a lot of shad about 1/2 inch long that spawned a few weeks ago under the dock and they are bringing a lot of game fish with them. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught off the dock last evening.Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 579.62 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running and all flood gates open 1/2 foot. The weatherman completely botched the forecast for this weekend so far and it has been beautiful. It rained friday morning and since then it has been great. The lake was as busy yesterday as I have ever seen it. People are just wanting to get out and I do not blame them. I do not personally like crowds much but am glad they are all having fun and are safe. I had some 70's degree water in the creeks. The lake in this area is in good condition with some debris. You have to watch for partially submerged wood. Fishing was good off Blackburns Dock with walleye, crappie, bass, catfish and bluegill being caught. Every one seems to be having fun. The big pool has been busy.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's this morning.Image title

The lake level hit 579.44 earlier this afternoon and a lot has happened since then. We received 3-inches of rain last night and the creeks were running hard. Then later another front came through with one more inch of rain and the water was heading over the spillway. They then started one generator (everything was shut down until then) and a little later opened all 12 spillway gates 1/2 foot. This is about 6,600 cfm spillway and 2,900cfm generation for a total of 9,500 cfm with is just over an equivalent of  3-generators. This is enough to keep the level from going over the spillway but not drop very much. We will see what they do when this slug gets to Newport. It is not up to 26-feet there yet which is the minor flood stage. With all of the lakes nearly full they have gotten themselves in a bind. If they just keep Norfork barely from going over the spillway and hold Bull Shoals more, the results will not be good. The motto of hold and hope is not working. On a positive note at least it has brightened up and the sun is shining now and Blackburns big pool is open and ready for use. You can still drive to our dock and park there but there is no launching or no trailers allowed at our dock. You must launch elsewhere (we are using Panther bay) and drive your boat to our dock. It is between one and two miles. If you are in a big group please consolidate and drive a minimum number of cars to the dock. There is no place to leave our dock in a boat and pick other people up elsewhere or have non-guests meet you at the dock. Day use people are going to have it tough if you are not staying at a resort. We have absolutely no place for locals looking for a free place to swim or kayak. Sorry but that is the way it is. I am not going fishing until the weekend is over so I can not help you much in that area. The surface temperature is about 66 degrees. The launches will be full so be prepared to park far away and wait to put in and take out your boats. There is no public swimming available but most of the better resorts have pools and you can also swim off their docks if they have one.We have both.The water is clean and clear away from the bank.  If and when it rains we have a big pavillion with ping pong and floor shuffleboard. We have all individual cabins with no duplexes so you can social distance and all cabins have big covered porches. You will find out why that is important when you do not have one.  No tents here .  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 578.64 and has risen 5-inches in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of running one generator. It is a good thing it has not rained for five days. They have now cut the White River level at Newport to below 24 feet and must think we are not going to get much more rain this week.  I hope so. The government always knows the right thing to do and I put myself completey in their hands. I just hope we do not end up like Michigan. It might hurt the farmers. The lake surface temperature just will not get out of the 60's and is a little cool for swimming.  At least for me. The children do not mind. People have been pent up and are anxious to get out.  It looks to be a busy weekend and we have been receiving hundreds of calls for reservations but have been full for a couple of weeks. I assume most resorts are the same since there are very few government campsites open. The lake is in pretty good condition and the main lake is clear and the creeks stained a bit but not bad at least in my area . I have not been north of Cranfield and have no reason to go there. There will be no fishing for me until at least monday afternoon and will leave the lake to the amateurs. I still have not figured out what good a jet ski is for except to teach young people how to abuse equipment and ram everything. There is not much chance you will get me on one. They seem to want to show off and see how close to fishing boats they can get. When I was diving once, there were two of them trying to see if they could go by my dive flag and grab hold of it while going right over me. It was a good thing I did not have to come up. My fishing tip for friday afternoon, saturday  and sunday is to wait for tuesday. Bink is still catching some good top water fish early and then spooning for bass later. Mike Eakle, Tom Kelly and Rob Gravengoed are all catching good fish. The Davis boys were but just left. Make sure the children all have life jackets on and the others all have one on the boat. There is some debris in this area so do not go out after dark.   There will be plenty of law enforcement out there. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Davis caught three fish on an A rig at the same time yesterday. That is Image titleBackburns dock behind him. He is here with his brother Don. Kenny could not make it. Sorry.

The lake level is 578.18 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours. They have dropped the White River level at Newport to 24-feet.  When the lake was 580 and was lapping over the spillway in 2008 they opened all of the gates and flooded everything below. They found some river docks and boats in Calico Rock. How was this hold and hope protecting the farmers?12 years later and they have not learned their lesson.  It was a really good example of minimum flow at it's best. With rain in the forecast we will see what happens. The local head of the Corps says there is nothing to worry about so we should trust the government to take care of us. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor and if you like you insurance you can keep your insurance. You can still drive to the dock at Blackburns and take just a few steps to get on the dock and park here but can no longer launch here. You can rent a boat and not worry about it. I put several boats in the dock before the rise closed the launch.  They have done about all they can do to us. The only thing stopping them from holding and hoping more is the level of the spillway. Dam management 101, do not let the water go over the spillway. The surface water temperature is 66 degrees and this is as cool a spring as I can remember in over 25-years and very slow warming up. Our normal high is 78 degrees. I do not know what the change in level has done to the bass spawn but it could not have been good. The main lake is very clear and there is less debris in this area than before. The creeks are stained a bit and are a very good color for fishing. Crappie fishing is fair if you know where and bass fishing is the same. Top water bite for red meat fish is pretty good most days early but many of them are small. Remember there is a 20-inch limit on stripers with a three fish daily limit and a 6-fish possession limit. This includes hybrids but no size limit on them. The resorts are mostly all ok but the day use people will have difficulty finding camping, launching and parking. There are no beaches. You will have to swim off a dock, off a boat or in a pool.  Things will be very crowded with locals trying to get their boats in the water for the first time. Just be patient, do not go out after dark and  be safe. I am fortunate that I do not have to have a calendar tell me when to go fishing. Do not come on vacation and leave on probation. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 577.62 and has risen 10-inches in the last 24-hours and shows no sign of stabilizing. The rise has slowed since it has not rained for 24-hours and should not rain until later this week. You cannot expect it to lower anytime soon since they raised the level of the White river at Newport to 24.57 feet which is still below the minor flood stage there which is 26 feet. They could have done this since last fall after harvest. The head guy at the Corps of Engineers says there is no chance of the lakes going over the spillway and the dams are doing what they are susposed to do. He said they will continue to hold and there is plenty of room. If they do have to open the gates when the levels are breeching the spillways and flood the rivers he and all others should be fired for incompetence. The lakes will continue to rise just from the river inflow no matter if it rains or not just more slowly if it doesn't because of the White river level does not allow for much if any discharge from the lakes. This just shows they can operate at just below minor flood stage if they want to and hold and hope is no plan. Top water bite continues to be the best now in the early AM and bass fishing in the old shore line is next. Some crappie are being caught but not as many.  They are moving with the water rise and harder to find. Catfishing is fair on jugs and throw lines.  You have to move your throw lines and trotlines almost daily. The main lake is still clear and the creeks are stained a bit. The surface temperature is in the mid to high 60's and has not changed much. We got our pool pained and resurfaced and will start to fill it tomorrow after the paint cures. Now to mow the yard and keep moving the dock three times a day. We will be ready for you when you get here.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 574.60 and has risen about 20-inches in the last 24-hours. They are running one generator a few hours in the late mornings. It is raising about one inch per hour now.  We received two inches of rain yesterday and last night, one inch the day before and 1/2 inch the day before that. It is to clear out this afternoon and be nice for the next several days. They are still holding the White River at Newport to below 18-feet at all costs.  All of the area lakes are rising. I waited until about 4:Pm to go out yesterday to dodge the rain and fished until about 6:PM and got in just as the rain started again. The creeks are running pretty hard now and they are staining up a bit. I was amazed how clear the main lake was. I could see my lure down at least 12-feet on rocky walls. The surface water temperature was actually higher on the main lake than in the backs of creeks. It was 66 in the creeks and 69 main lake. I was casting a crappie jig over brush in 18-20 feet of water and letting it drop slowly back in a creek where the south wind had been blowing into.  No bites for about 20 minutes and then they bit for another 20-minutes. I caught eight crappie and all of them were keepers. I then moved into the main lake where there were big logs near the surface. Bass were in front of the logs in about 17-feet of water just out of eyesight. I caught no fish in the clear water where i could see the bottom even though I was staying as far away from the bank as I could cast. Several Kentucky bass that were barely keepers were caught and one nice smallmouth.  All are now under the dock.  The high water is not affecting fishing much but there is an increasing amount of debris in the water with the creeks being the worst. You have to watch out.  If you go fast you will hit something.  If you go out after dark you will for sure. Early topwater is the best bite for bass and red meat fish and jigs over brush for crappie are the best bite. I am finding no crappie in water over 25-ft and a lot of fish are about 12 feet down suspended in 17-20 feet no matter where you are. If the fish do not come up in the morning use a swim bait with little or no nose weight. I like the hook rigs with the barbs that go through the nose and the hook comes up through the bottom and is barely exposed where the fluke or bass assassin is cut out. White color is working pretty good four or five inches long. The straight tail works best for stripers and hybrids and the split tail best for bass. Some people use the paddle tail, I do not but they work also on a jig head as do creature baits. Gitzits are working for bass on beds in the creeks.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle from O'fallon and Bob Musser from Antioch, Illinois caught a nice variety this morning and released them under Blackburn's dock.Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 572.65 and has risen almost 11-inches in the last 24-hours with no current generation. We received 1/2 inch of rain last night and the creeks are running but not hard. The lake level continues to rise. They are frantically trying to stop Beaver lake from going over the spillway with flood gates open. It is just a few inches from doing so.  Dam management 101, do not let the water go over the dam. Maybe the governement needs to realize it rains in the spring here. Duh.  This is even causing Table Rock to rise which is taboo. Bull Shoals is taking the brunt of the mismanagement on the chain of Lakes with Norfork being the neglected stepchild, not hooked up with them, and being the victim of the hold and hope philosophy of water management. With all of this crises they have been able to keep the White River level at Newport to below 17.5 feet when the minor flood stage is 26-feet. It is even below the 18-foot level which is mandated. It is almost like the whole place is run by idiots and nobody wants to do anything about it. Draw the lake down to the 540's in the fall and winter, let as much out to keep it there without downstream flooding for as long as they can should do the trick. Do not quit generating everytime it rains would help too. There needs to be accountability or nothing will be done. My Dog Toby could do better. The lake surface temperature is about 67 degrees depending on where you are. The rain should stop Sunday sometime and be sunny for several days with little chance of rain. Top water fishing is still the best for small stripers (less than 10-lbs) with hybrids and bass being the best bite. The stripers are getting smaller and smaller with way too many being killed. Many bass are spawning but many are also coming up in the early morning. Bass spawn way up into summer on Norfork. There is more debris showing up being washed from the bank with the water rise so be carefull. The lake is still clear and in overall good condition just bigger. As of today we are no longer able to launch here and are sending people to Panther Bay. You can still park your trailers at the resort and drive to the dock and park. Please do not clog the dock area up with trailers. I am still catching several nice crappie and catfish with a few top water bass thrown in. There are no diminished services here at Blackburns except for launching. Many places do not have that ever anyway. Day use areas will be very crowded with very little camping and launch parking available. Fishing has not been affected much if any.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's guide Service on Top-water. Nice fish.Image title

The lake level is 571.81 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours and there are no generators running or spillway gates open. They are keeping the White River at Newport at 18-feet at all cost. Beaver Lake is less than a foot from going over the spillway. They either have to let some water out or really cause a lot of problems. Newport's minor flood stage is 26-feet and they could have kept it at just below that for months but refuse to do so. Nobody is asking to dry dock the lake in the winter or flood out farmers anytime but just good management techniques that do not hurt anybody. These stupid rules were made decades ago and need to be reviewed. Campgrounds, launches, marina access by land and parking for day use people are affected the most. I did see some debris when I went to Briar Creek crappie fishing yesterday. It came loose with the last rise when they shut down discharge. Be carefull when being out in the dark or do not go out then. The water itself is very clear and clean. Top water bite just at sunrise continues to be the best bite for hybrids and bass. Crappie are fair in 20-feet of water back in the creeks on cover. Look around and you will find schools of them. There is a lot of cover and the fish are not everywhere. Catfishing is fair on jugs and throw lines. I found 70 degree water in some places yesterday. Bink is on the top water fish as are Mike Eakle and Tom Kelly. One month until spearfishing season opens for divers. We will finish painting the pool early next week and start filling it. If you have a need for sand, we have a big sandpile by the pool. Otherwise it will be scarce all summer as well as swimming areas. You can swim off our dock here at Blackburns or in our big pool or off a rental pontoon. You are not out of options.  You may not mind paying for boat stalls, (your first one is free here) but you cannot social distance in a duplex and it is days like today where you really appreciate a big covered porch. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

A giant smallmouth caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday on top water. Image title

The lake level is 571.24 and has risen 8-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation. Yes, they have shut everything off in their quest to Keep the White River at Newport at 18-feet at all costs. The minor flood stage there is 26 feet. Beaver lake is about ready to go over the spillway and they are in a panic there with several spillway gates open. It is not where we are but how we got there. Mismanagement. The warm weather is now here and the lake surface temperature is rising and is now in the high 60's. The water is still clear and the bass are on the beds. The best bite now is early morning top water with some in the evening. Hybrids and bass are mostly what is coming up. If people keep killing those red meat fish (temperate bass) there will be none left. There were none stocked this year. The white bass are making a come back but are not near the same as before the fish kill last year. There are plenty of shad in the lake though. The flathead and smallmouth bite is winding up but some nice ones are still being caught but not nearly as many. Channel catfishing is picking up. I am still catching some good crappie on brush in 20-feet of water near the old shoreline. People sight fishing for bass on beds are doing well. It looks like summer is here and there is to be several days of sunshine early next week and we can finish painting the pool. It will be open before Memorial Day. The lake in general is in good condition.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Guess what. The Corps of Engineers have closed the spillway gates on Norfork Dam and increased the discharge out of Table Rock to maintain it's normal level. They have increased the discharge out of Bull Shoals but not as much as they are putting in and it is rising. This is all in anticipation of the upcoming rain and them keeping the White River at Newport at 18-feet at all costs for absolutely no reason. These management practices are getting almost criminal. Branson is not even very much open. All of the lakes except Table Rock are sure to rise.  Let some water out boys. You have had eight months to do so. Enough incompetence, I am about as sick of you as the virus but still nobody does anything about it. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with some of yesterday's catch. Released under Blackburns  dock after pictures. Tom is a good fisherman and conservationalist. Image title

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The lake level is 570.14 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with the same discharge of one generator and two spillway gates open one foot. It is stable with no rain and rises when it rains. It is equal to about 1-2/3 generators. They have dropped the discharge of the White River at Newport drastically and the level there now is 17.4 feet which is actually lower than the prescribed 18 feet. They are doing all they can to keep the levels up as high as they can to keep the beaches, launches, campgrounds and parking at a minimum all summer for absolutely no reason.  I must have forgot to tell them it rains in the spring. We have a good chance to have rain for about the next week with cool weather until later part of the week. The surface temperature was 67 when I went out yesterday and the water was very clear. I saw several bass on beds and the crappie were on brush at about 20-feet. None were in the deeper water. I caught a couple of small stripers and released them immediately. If people keep showing lines of dead stripers on docks they are cutting their own throats.  We used to catch 30-lb. ones regularly and 20-lbs was common now a 15-lb.ers are rare. A 10-lb. striper is not something to be proud of, throw them back. It does not make you look good to kill them. The striper guides had better start learning how to catch crappie if they want to make a living if they keep killing red meat fish. None were stocked this year.  Tom Kelly brought in some nice fish yesterday and released them under the dock. Catfish, crappie and bass were all caught. Fishing overall is pretty good if you know where and how. I caught some good ones in the middle of the day. The lake is in good condition and we have no diminished services here at Blackburns and still have the best prices. $59/day for a 1-bedroom and 2,3,4 bedrooms are priced accordingly with a free stall for your boat. It is not a dead end with no parking to our dock. We sometimes do not have stalls available for one night stays though but you can still launch and park here unless the lake rises more. Some good fish are being caught here every day. Bass, crappie, catfish, hybrid stripers are the best with the hybrids being caught on top water early mixed with the bass. The weather continues to be cool so far. The normal high is 76 but it has struggled to be in the 60's.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The Gerigs from Towanda, Illinois caught some nice ones yesterday fishing with Bink on top water.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 570.21 and has been the same for over 24-hours with the same discharge. The level of the White River at Newport has now been reduced to below 18-feet and the discharge there greatly reduced. This is not only crazy but stupid. We have to get some one with a brain managing the dams. People talk about the high water being money in the bank for the power company and the corps, if so, why do they bypass the generators and open spillway gates and get nothing for it. The excuse all fall and winter was they were doing maintenance on the generators. Are they not working now? The minor flood stage is 26-feet at Newport and the only rule should be let out as much water as you can without reaching that level and cut all of the other junk until they get down to the power pool.  They have the technology to do it. If they do not I will help them.  As long as people put up with this mismanagement it will not stop. The cool weather has kept the surface temperature in the low 60's and does not have much chance of rising in the next several days with the very cool nights. The lake is very clear. Bass are now moving to the beds and the sight fishermen are catching a lot of them on gitzits back in the creeks. The smallmouth bass fishing has slowed but not stopped and so has the flathead fishing. Channel cats are now moving back into the creeks also. I found a big school of crappie back in a creek in 18-feet of water on wood but only about 1/2 of them were keepers. Red meat fish (mostly hybrids and small stripers) are hitting top water most days now just at sunrise. Get out there before 6:AM and work the clear spook if it is sunny. It glistens in the sun and the fish really go after it. Bass too. The walleye are still roaming with the bait fish and have not moved to the flats yet.  When the thermocline forms they will be in 16-20 feet of water in or just outside brush on main lake points. I am ready. Debbie, Casey, Abbey, and Donna worked hard on the pool yesterday and got aboit 1/2 of it painted and we will start filling it after the paint cures. It is a big pool (30x60) and you can swim laps in it and it also has a slide. Many pools around here are 20x30 and ours is three times as big. You can social distance in it. Things are looking good here and people are really wanting to get out of the house and get outside. I am fortunate, I can do that everyday and am thankful for it. Compare prices before you book.  You can save a lot of $ here without sacrificing any quality. I really dislike paying for boat stalls do you?

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service Yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 570.22 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with the same amount of generation and spillway gates. It is stable now.  They have achieved their goal of dropping the discharge of the White River at Newport  and lowering the level to just over 18-feet as predicted. They are doing their best to hold the lake levels up as high as they can in order to stay just one big rain away from going over the spillway and then flooding out everything down stream when it happens. Hold and hope is the motto, stupidity is the game. It is sunshine and cool today with a high pressure having moved in. The wind shifted to the north yesterday and was very breezy. It is better now. It layed about 6:PM last evening. The main lake had white caps on it most of the day. The first day after a cold front is not usually the best fishing but I will give it a try anyway. There was an early morning top water bite yesterday but after that it was hard to get out of the wind.The lake is clearing again after the rain and the sunshine should help. More rain is scheduled for next week. We will see. It is to be cool and everything is slow warming up. The surface temperature was 64 this morning with not much chance of it increasing any time soon. When it changes I expect it to go directly to summer. Bink caught some good top water fish yesterday and is out with a Blackburns customer again today.  Hope they do well. Bink can do it if any body can. I do not like to fish in high wind but it is sometimes good fishing. It is not fun for me to fight it. Blackburns has a few openings and the one bedroom cabins are still $59/day and come with a free boat stall. Cannot beat that. We have birds, wildlife and flowers everywhere. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 570.16 and rising with 1.3 inches of rain last night and the creeks are running but not fast. It does not help that they have cut the discharge way back on the White river at Newport trying to reach their stupid rule of 18-feet.  They are almost there. They would like it to be 12-feet but the lakes are all full except for Table Rock which is just a bit over power pool. I wonder why. Other people should wonder why also. The creeks are stained just a little green and the main lake is clear. Water surface temperature is 65-degrees and is not likely to rise with very cool weather for the next several days.  I was working on stuff on the Resort yesterday afternoon when it clouded up and also warmed up. There was a light wind from the south and a low pressure front was moving in. These are the conditions that I look for. Get out there and fish until it rains you out. I went to one of my crappie places out of the wind and started casting my Bobby Garland Blue Ice jig over brush and letting it sink. One bass was caught but no crappie. I was too shallow as the back of the creek was full of cover.  Moved to exposed wood in 18-feet of water and repeated. Caught a 12-inch crappie and then nothing for a few minutes. Then they started to bite. In less than one hour I caught and released about 20-fish.  None great big but most in the 11-12 inch range with a few shorts. I caught six more keepers for the folks in cabin three for supper and came in. I left at 4:Pm and was back by 5:20 as it started to rain. Usually I also use a two inch twister tail tipped with a minnow but did not have to. Norfork lake is a good crappie lake with big fish.  I just did not catch any big ones yesterday but some nice keepers. I will tell you where when you get here. Cabins still start at $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Cannot beat that. Come on down.  The money you save can be donated to the disabled Vets if you must pay more. Things are slow warming up.

Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Aerial

Dock in a sheltered cove.  Good for canoeing and kayaking.  Fishing too. Close to three marinas. You can drive down a gently sloping road 1/3 mile to the dock and launch. Image title

Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. All individual cabins with big covered porches and no duplexes. Good for social distancing. Large green flat playground with pavillion and
the largest pool in the area. Best prices on cabins and boats. Why pay more? Your first boat stall is free unless you bring the queen Mary. Lake of the Ozarks likes those. Image title
Image titleImage titleEvery roof is new. No leaks here. 28 acres to roam.Image titleImage titleImage titleBig dock with different sized stalls. Your first normal sized  one is free

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mark Aesehleman and Molly with a nice flathead. Image titleImage titleSonny Ealke with some good ones. The Soltysiacs can catch them too. Image title

The lake level is 570.12 and has been stable for 24-hours with the same amount of discharge.  They continue to drop the White River level at Newport on their quest for 18-feet.  It is now 19. With this amount of discharge you cannot expect the lakes to drop very much or very fast. What you see is what you get. The level has not affected Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental much and we have no diminished services. You can still launch your boat and park your trailers here without going to some remote areas that are very busy with day users. It makes it handy for single fishermen or couples that do not launch boats very well or drive trailers and unload them by themselves and then have to pick up the boat driver at the dock.  You can drive 1/3 of a mile down a nearly flat road, launch your boat, put your boat in a free stall and park your trailer in our parking lot and be finished until you leave. We are not huddled up on a cliff with restricted parking and a dead end road to the dock with little space for parking and turn around with no launch. All of our cabins are individual with covered porches and we have no duplexes that do not allow for social distancing. You can be in your own cabin and be a safe distance from your neighbor and the children can play in our big, flat, green palyground with lots of outdoor activities. We have restricted the numbers of people that can use the game room at a time but have ping pong, shuffleboard and other games under the covered pavillion. Our big pool will be open as soon as we get it painted and filled. It loks to be a good year and the lake is high but is in good condition for fishing and boating. You can still get a cabin for $59/day here at Blackburns with a free stall for your normal sized boat. Best prices anywhere. Best place, best price, closest to Mountain Home dining and shopping and you can get food delivered. Why pay more unless you just want to? Crappie fishing is pretty good with fish in the backs of creeks on wood about 12-foot down. Catfishing has slowed a bit but I am still getting some. There is a top water bite some days but not every day. The fish are still in the same places but do not come all the way up. You can use a spook to draw them up or cast a swim bait with little or no weight on it. Bass and crappie are together and walleye a little deeper. The water surface temperature is still 66+ and slow to rise and the lake is clearing again after the rain.  It is sunny and beautiful today. The yard is mowed, the flowers blooming and the place looks good, come on down.  You are all welcome and the price is right. You can make your stimulus check go far here at Blackburns and get out of the house. We have a good set up here and all cabins are sanitized after every use. We have good rental boats at fair prices. Yes we do have 300 Meg internet.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

We just received about 1.3 inches of rain in just a few minutes and the creeks are running hard and the lake is rising. It has lightened up a little and the rain has slowed way down. This will brown up the creeks considerably but should not affect the main lake much. We will see. I will check things out in a few minutes. It is time to let some water out boys.  The rain really came down there for a while but not much wind. Typical May weather wilh a couple of cold fronts moving through a week.It just depends on where they meet the high pressure where the severe weather hits. We have been very fortunate so far. Maybe I can catch a flathead and a couple crappie.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle with a top water striper this morning. Released.Image title

Jeremy Deardoff with a good one.Image title

The lake level is 569.93 and is fairly stable with the same discharge of one generator and two spillway gates open one foot. It has risen a little over one inch in the last 24-hours and we received about 1-1/2 inches of rain in the last two days with more on the way. They have dropped the White River at Newport to 19+ feet as predicted on it's way to 18-feet. This is so stupid. The area lakes will be high for most of the summer unless someone at the Corps of Engineers get a brain which is not likely except for Table Rock which they religiously keep at power pool at the expense of everyone else.  Especially Bull Shoals which is very high. It is all about the money and antiquated rules of operation.  They have had all fall and winter to drop the lakes but refused to do so. There is a top water bite most days early if you know where to go. Sometimes they do not surface but are shallow and you can call them up with a spook or use a swim bait with no weight to get down to them. Creature baits and worms are working for smallmouth and Kentuckies with gitzits for bedding fish. Some crappie have spawned and some are spawning and some are still staging.  I am really surprised about how many have not spawned yet for this time of year. There are some really big ones. The lake is pretty clear and the surface temperature is in the mid to high 60's depending on where you are. A lot of fish of most varieties are on shad and roaming in 18-25 feet with walleye just a bit deeper. I tried for walleye on the flats by Cranfield Island but they were not there yet. Throw lines are working best for catfish with flatheads still being the best. Fishing overall is fair with some good ones being caught every day. The lake overall is in good condition.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 569.72 and has risen 3-inches in the last 24-hours and is still rising with one generator running and two spillway gates open 0ne foot. The lake surface temperature is in the early 60's but should warm with the weather getting into the 80's soon. We need some over night lows in the 60's.  It is a beautiful day today with sunshine but a little wind. I am still not seeing many bass on the beds yet and with the clear water near the shore I should be seeing a lot of them in the creeks. Some of the ones thet I am catching have red tails though.  Some of the crappie that I am catching have not spawned yet and it is late for them. There is plenty of wood for them at the shoreline and the level has not varied very much in several weeks with the Corps struggling to drop the lake.  A lot of them are still chasing shad. Most of the white bass are small (about 8-9 inches) but a very few of them are bigger. Not nearly as many as compared to the past. Same for big stripers. Not the same for the smallmouth bass though. Many are in the four pound range and there are a lot of them.  Norfork is now a very good smallmouth fishery. Walley fishing is picking up and about one in three are keepers. The top water bite does not happen every morning but is pretty good when it does and several bass are mixed in with the hybrids and stripers. I am releasing all stripers on site and allowing them to grow and not fishing for them in deep water.  Look for them when the sun just starts to come up over the mountain. Before that you can call them up with a spook if you know where they are and know how to work the spook correctly.  After that a lot of fish of all kinds are in 15-16 feet of water near the bank part way back in the creeks. In the evening I like shadowy banks the best before sunset. The middle of the day fishing has not been good for me. Overall fishing has been fair but smallmouth and flatheads are the best. When a low pressure is moving in stay out there until it rains you out. That is the best time to be out there no matter what time it is. May first is coming and we will see how they manage the White River at Newport then. I sure hope they do not regulate it to 18-feet but you cannot let the government run anything. The rules have not changed with the times. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 569.46 and has risen 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with almost 1-1/2 inches of rain last night. The creeks ran but have slowed now. They did start up the one generator but closed two spillway gates.  The discharge is now about 1-3/4 generators.  The lake is still rising. They are running Table Rock hard and are really filling up Bull Shoals to keep the landing at Branson normal.  May ist they are to lower the level of the White River at Newport to 18 feet. We will see. If they do it will take months to drop the lakes to normal. They like to hold and hope and keep just one big rain away from being forced to let it all out.  It sure has not affected fishing though as smallmouth bass, flatheads, crappie and Kentucky bass continue to bite and the lake is getting very clear. I saw some debris that has washed off the bank with the lake rise back in the creeks but nothing big. I do not recommend being out after dark. The surface temperature is still in the early 60's but should rise with the ambient temperature to get into the 80's soon. The bass are ready to get on the beds and some crappie have not spawned yet. Several very large crappie are being caught. Many fish are in about 15-ft. of water near the bottom. We caught three very nice flathead today on throw lines baited with perch. I do not bed fish for bass but if you do gitzits work well.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Smallmouth, crappie and flatheads are the best bite. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 569.18 and has remained stable for the last 24-hours but they shut off the one generator earlier this morning.  They must be expecting some rain and are trying to keep the level as high as they can. They are running Branson hard to keep it at power pool and trying to keep the White River at Newport to 21-feet like predicted. We will see if they drop the level to 18-feet May 1st. If they do they should turn in their operators card and let my dog Toby run it. I guess it is fun for them to keep almost everything just one big rain away from disaster while protecting Table Rock and then go home and laugh. Hold and hope. We are to get at least an inch of rain tonight and then warm and mostly sunny for a few days. The lake is still slow warming but is now in the early 60's depending on where you look. The lake is clear and I still have seen very few bass on the beds yet. I do not do sight fish for bass on beds but many people do. I caught some big fish yesterday both crappie and bass and they were all in about 15-ft. of water near the bottom. I was casting the grub to the bank and letting it sink while using a slow retrieve. They all hit hard at just about the same depth. You can see your lure down about 6-7 feet and it is totally clear to the bottom near the bank. I was fishing the creeks near Blackburns where the wind had been blowing into. I fished for about two hours and caught four big fish. The fish did not bite at all during the middle of the day but started about 5-PM. The throw line produced two big flatheads on perch.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The flathead are still biting on throw lines. Caught last night.Image title

The lake level is 569.21 and has risen a little over one inch in the last 24-hours. This is the third day in a row for a rise but it has not been much. There is still one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot for a total discharge of a little over two generators. Just when it starts to drop a little it rains again. The water surface temperature is hanging in there at just below 60 and has been very slow to rise this spring. The smallmouth bass and flathead bite continues as does the crappie. I am catching some very nice crappie near brush in about 25-feet of water 10-feet down on a jig and live minnows on a slip float. Just cast the jig over the brush and let it sink while working it just a bit. Kentucky bass are there also. There is a top water bite some days for red meat fish and bass but the stripers are small. (7-10 lbs.) Striper fishermen are going to have to learn how to fish crappie and bass if they do not quit killing these small ones. Especially since none were stocked this year. Some good hybrids in the 6-8 pound range are being caught. The larger white bass are scarce. It is sunny and nice with light wind today and there should have been a top water bite.  I have not been out yet. It is to rain a bit early this week but several dry days in a row are after that. A few walleye are with the smallmouth bass. It was very windy and hard to get out of it yesterday but is much better today. Some nice fish are being caught every day and the lake is in good condition and pretty clear. You can see your lure down 5-6 feet depending on the color.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Smallmouth Bass fishing out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork lake Arkansas in the Ozark Mountain Region.Image title

The lake level is 569.11 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours with the same discharge and about one inch of rain. At least they did not stop generation when it started raining like they usually do.  The creeks run just a bit but the lake is still clear. The surface temperature is about 60 depending on when and where. Smallmouth bass are the best bite now with a top water bite for red meat fish and bass some days about 7:30 AM. Bass can come up any time. Some nice walleye and crappie are also showing up. It is taking it a long time to warm up here and I still feel there is a good chance to go straight to summer when it does. Our normal high is 72. Get out and fish top water early, switch to 3-inch worms and creature baits for smallmouth, take the middle of the day off, go out about 4:30PM and continue bass and crappie  fishing until sunset. We are catching good fish every day and the lake is in good condition. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday morning on top water. Image title

The lake level is 569.03 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours. The discharge rate is the same and they are still holding the White River at Newport at 21 feet. They are to drop it to 18 feet May 1st. If they do that they are not just incompetent but idiots. They enjoy keeping the lakes very high and just one big rain away from opening up the spillway gates and flooding out everything below. They would rather do that when the crops are planted and up rather than in the fall and winter. As long as Branson is protected, everything is fine. The level is not affecting fishing but has limited access for day users. I was amazed how clear the lake was when I went out yesterday. I believe the creeks are clearer than the main lake. The surface water temperature was just over 60 and there were several boats out despite the wind. It was hard to get out of the wind with it coming from the north west and swirling. I used both the grub and minnow and the Bobby Garland blue ice jig. Both caught fish. The crappie were spawned out females with one about 16-inches and the bass were mostly 13-inch Kentuckies. I was casting part way back in the creeks behind the brush piles and letting the lure sink into the brush. They mostly hit about 8-12 feet down over 25-30 feet of water. I caught seven crappie and four bass and came back in. It is to rain some for the next several days but should not rain us out very long. Flatheads are still biting on throw lines baited with perch and there was a good top water bite for red meat fish just after 7:AM. Limb lines are not producing very well as it is hard to keep the turtles off them. You have to bait up in the dark and run them often to get fish.  I am really sorry they are not stocking stripers and hybrids this year but the safety of the AGFC is more important. It just had to happen just when the numbers of big fish are down and they were needed to get the population back up for the future. The big White Bass population is also down. Bass and crappie population is not. Walleye is just about the same. Good fish are being caught everyday.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 569.10 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours despite almost one inch of rain. They are still running one generator continuously and have four spillway gates open one foot and are holding the White River at Newport at just below 21-ft. This should put us at power pool after July 4th if it does not rain much. Hold and hope.  Not much of a plan. The new news is that there will be no striper and hybrid stockings this year due to the AGFC practicing social distancing. We want the employees to be safe but are sorry the fish will not be stocked. It is time the limit on these fish was reduced to two fish daily limit and four fish possession until the numbers and size improve and have fishermen practice catch and release much more. Killing these fish is like destroying the future.  The lake surface temperature was just under 60 in the creeks when I went out yesterday and just as soon as it warms up it cools again. This has slowed the top water bite also. Bass fishing is fair to good as is crappie fishing and catfishing is fair. Smallmouth fishing is best. Most of the fish are in from 20-35 feet of water suspended in the creeks and in the creeks that the wind has been prevailing for several hours. We are getting cold fronts a couple of times a week and they really hurt fishing.  It gets better and better until the next one comes along. It looks like the weather will just go from cool to hot with little spring. Our normal high is 72. At least the severe weather has kept away so far. They did not stop generating when it rained yesterday. They usually do. Keep that river at Newport at 21-feet at all costs now that Branson is normal?

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle with some of yesterday's catch.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 569.21 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot for a total discharge of a little more than two generators. They are adhering to the 21-foot level of the White River at Newport rule and it is now below 21 feet. It should have stayed at 24 feet and allowed for the lakes to drop more quickly especially after they now have Branson at power pool while the rest of the lakes are much higher. It is all about the money and politics. Do not expect much wade fishing on the White River anytime soon. The lake surface temperature was in the mid 60's yesterday when I went out and the lake is clearing nicely everyday. Trollers are starting to pick up some smaller stripers (6-10 lbs) in about 35-ft. of water just outside the old shoreline. Pictures of dock floors full of small dead stripers is not impressive and just shows how people are willing to cut their own throats to kill fish. If they do not quit, the large striper population will not return to the lake as it was a few years ago. The limit needs to be cut to two fish/day and four possession limit. The Smallmouth bass bite is  good and the walleye and crappie are getting better. The flatheads started biting again yesterday on throw lines but limb lines are not producing much as of late. This is a typical spring on Norfork Lake but the top-water bite is slower than normal. The lake is in excellent condition and the weather is getting better but more rain is likely in the next few days but should not be a wash out. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught and Released yesterday.Image title

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The lake level is 569.39 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with the same amount of generation and spillway gates. They have lowered the level to 21-feet on the White River at Newport as predicted so do not expect any big changes in any of the lakes except fot Branson which is approaching power pool. Bull Shoals is very high but can hold a lot of water. They are to lower the level again at Newport on May 1st to 18 feet and if they do that the lakes will remain high for a long time. We are to get more rain tonight but the rain is not the problem. It is 75 and sunny now. The lake is really clearing and the surface temperature is really rising fast now with the sunshine and warmer nights. Especially in the creeks which are shallower. I had between 62 and 65 in Blackburns Creek yesterday. The bass will move to the beds soon. Smallmouth bass are still the best bite with some big ones being caught. Some walleye and crappie are with them. Flathead fishing has slowed a bit but some are still being caught. The lake is generally in good condition for fishing especially in this area. use the 3-inch worm and creature baits and work the old shoreline and you will catch fish. It is 75 and sunny now

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Bink is on the Smallmouth bass. Image title

The lake level is 569.65 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24 hours and the water surface temperature is still at 59 degrees. It will not warm up much with these very cool nights. The lake is getting very clear and you can see down about 5-6 feet. Smallmouth bass fishing is the best right now with kentucky bass next. Some flatheads and a few keeper walleye are also showing up. Crappie are back under docks. Brush piles are mostly too deep for them with all of the natural cover with the water in the trees.  The top water bite is slow coming this year but is happening some mornings with mostly small white bass and bass. Go back into the creeks that the wind has been blowing into and work the bank from as far as you can cast to the shore to about 35-feet.  If you see a school of fish outside the brush drop a spoon. Use 3-inch worms on a jig head or creature baits for about everything. Get out early, take the middle of the day off, and go out about 5:PM until almost dark. No sense fishing in the dark. Keep a spook ready for any top water action. Good fish are being caught every day.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Scuba Steve and Tom Kelly with some good ones. Released under the dock.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 569.83 and has dropped a little over two inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot which is aqual to a little over two generators. We received about 0.7 inches of rain last night but most of it sunk in with little runoff.  The creeks did not run much.  The surface temperature is 59 degrees and is slow rising with these cool nights. They have dropped the White River level at Newport to 21-feet as predicted  and should have kept it at 25 feet. The lakes receding rates will now be mitigated and will be alternating with the priority of keeping Branson from flooding. One big rain will force them to open gates and flood everything down stream. Hold and hope is the motto, flooding is their game. How long will they keep these prehistoric rules of dam management? Draw down in the fall and winter to the high 540's, keep it there as much as possible by releasing as much as possible until the level at Newport is just below minor flood stage is the answer. If they continue to drop the lake at this rate and we get no more rain it will be the end of June before we get to power pool. Not likely.  They now have gauges and computers where they can manage the levels much better than when these rules were first put in place. The fishing is pretty good now for bass and catfish with smallmouth bass and flatheads being the best. Several crappie are being caught off the dock. Some walleye and smaller white bass are being spooned up just outside the old shoreline in about 35-feet of water and smallmouth are biting the three inch worm on a jig head shallower.  Several kentucky bass are way back in the creeks in 12-feet of water. I am not seeing any largemouth bass on beds yet. The lake is clearing nicely and is a good color for fishing in this area. The lake overall is in good condition.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Bryan and Jeremy Deardoff with some good ones.Image title

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The lake level is 570.26 and has dropped a little less than 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot. This is equal to a little over two generators. It was windy from the south when I went out yesterday and the surface water temperature was 59 degrees.  It just will not warm up.  We need some overnight lows to be in the 60's. It is better than snow which a lot of people are getting.  I am not planting my garden yet even though I want to. We are catching fish everyday but the cold fronts really slow them down. Bass, catfish, crappie and a few walleye are the best bite now. Fish are not coming up everyday like they normally do after the 15th of April but do some days. The bluegill bite is picking up and some are very nice size. They are mostly under docks. Trollers are having a hard time trying to get fish out of the brush and when you do not hear from them for a couple of days they are not catching much. If you have a good fish finder and troll around for enough miles you will catch some though especially if you happen across a school. Our normal high is 70 and normal low is 48 but we still could get another frost. A few flatheads are showing up on limb lines and smallmouth bass are improving every day.  Overall fishing is just fair.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide service yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 570.41 and has dropped a little over an inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and three spillway gates open one foot.  This is equal to two generators. The lake is clearing after the rain and runoff and the surface temperature is hanging in there at 60. The lake is in good condition but needs to warm back up. There were big schools of shad fry under the dock yesterday and they were very small and had just hatched. We caught our first flathead and that is a good sign. Bass and catfish are the best bite now with a few spawned out crappie showing up.The smallmouth bass bite is improving and a few walleye are being caught. Most fish are either in or just outside the old shoreline in the brush. Every thing has a lot of cover and a lot of feed but some good fish are being caught everyday mostly in the creeks. Some fish are suspended in 30-35 feet back in the creeks near brush in the old creek channel. I do not know why. Must be some bait around there somewhere or shad after plankton since they are in the creeks that the wind is blowing into. I have not seen much top water action the last couple of days. Just a few small bass. Warmer weather will put the bass on the beds.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 570.52 and has risen almost 2-inches in the last 24-hours. The new news is that they are still running one generator continuously and  have opened up three spillway gates 1-foot and that is equal to almost exactly two generators. That should drop the level just a bit depending on the rainfall if they continue. The rules say they are to regulate the White River at Newport to 21 feet starting tomorrow if the lakes are over 50% full but that would be a decrease from the 24-feet they are trying to do now. If they do follow these guidelines they will keep all of the lakes just one big rain from them being in trouble and then opening the gates and flooding everything downstream after planting.  Hold and hope is not a solution. Get the levels down. That number goes to 18 feet on May 1st and there is no way they can drop the lakes at that level except slowly even if it does not rain, which it will. Fall and winter is the time to draw down the levels but they just will not do it. Taking 1.75 feet of flood control away from the lake for the rivers minimum flow did not help anything either. That sure dispelled the idea that the dams were just for flood control and not for recreation. At least the put and take trout have plenty of cold water with low oxygen to keep the rivers running. There will be very little wade fishing again this year on the rivers. The level on Norfork has not varied very much the last few weeks and it has been good for the crappie spawn. There is plenty of wood near the shore for them and cover to protect them. This will make good crappie fishing  for years to come. We will see what happens to the bass who are getting ready to get on beds. Walleye and White Bass are finished. The surface temperature was in the high 50's early yesterday morning and just at 60 in the afternoon. It is to get much warmer starting tomorrow. The normal high is 70 and the normal low is 46. The lake is starting to clear again after the rain and the lake overall is in good condition for fishing. I am catching some big fish every day. Mostly bass and catfish and a few crappie. I am not fishing for them now though but will soon after the fry starts showing up. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Some of yesterday's catch.Image title

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The lake level is 570.38 and has risen a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. Beaver lake is 1-1/2 feet from going over the spillway, Norfork 9 ft., Bull Shoals and Table rock are both 13-ft. It looks the the dam managers are one big rain away from getting into trouble. Hold and hope all fall and winter and then use the predictable spring rains as an excuse. Something has to change. If they had drawn it down to 548 we would be in good shape then. Blackburns and fishing are not affected much until it gets several feet higher and we lose our launch but we do not lose dock access. The water surface temperature was almost exactly 60 when I went out yesterday and the creeks were light brown again from the runoff. We received about 3-inches of rain the last two days. It did not affect the fishing as we caught several large bass and a couple of nice catfish. I was going to go crappie fishing in Pigeon creek but it was just too cold with the north wind. I stuck in Blackburns creek.  The high only got to 49 but it is to get into the high 60's and low 70's later this week. The fish are still on the old shoreline in the brush. I will try a spinner bait today with the water color change.  It was getting very clear but not now. It did not affect the main lake much but I am not fishing there.

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

Ryan is busy releasing the fish out of the basket caught today after pictures. The Grand Kids learn early how to catch and release here. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 570.16 and is rising with almost 2-inches of rain last night and them shutting down the spillway gates. One generator is still running. The level has come up about 4-inches in the last 24-hours.  It rains in the spring boys just in case nobody told you. I did not want to surprise you.  It is not where we are but how we got here. They had all fall and winter to lower the lakes and did not do so. Now it is back to hold and hope and then flood everything out down stream. We will see if they follow the outdated flood control release rules again this year.  Nobody seems to care enough to change them. The creeks run pretty good earlier this morning but have slowed way down now. Fishing has not been affected and the rising water has helped the catfishing as well as the waning moon and the early top water bite is still very good for many species and they are mostly in the same places. Bass fishing is still the best with fish coming up early and then going down into the brush on the 3-inch worm. Some red meat fish are with them and a few spawned out crappie. The pretty stable lake level for about the last two weeks has made for a very good spawn for them. A couple of large stripers have been caught recently but not even near the numbers of a few years ago. I hope the people catching them are not celebrating killing them. They are few.  White bass numbers are also way down but the Hybrids are about where they have been and are holding the others in there. I am surely glad they did not quit stocking them as was proposed. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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James and Mike caught some good top water fish this morning.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 569.81 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with the same amount of generation and flood gate releases that have been going on for a week. We received about an inch of rain last night and this early morning but the creeks did not run. The lake is dropping again after the rain. We are to get more rain and then a cold front is coming in and we could get some frost.  Especially in the low areas near the lake. This seems to always happen in April and that is why I do not plant my garden until early May no matter how warm it gets. The lake surface temperature is in the low 60's and dropping.The top water bite has really picked up after most of the threadfin shad have spawned and the plankton, shad and fish have moved to the wind blown creeks near the old shoreline in the brush. A high percentage of the fish are in 20-ft. of water or less. Actually most of them are in 12-feet or less but may follow your lure out before biting. The lake has cleared a lot so I have quit the spinner bait for a while and am using the spook and spitin image top water lures to call them up or cast to them when they come up. The rest of the time I am using the grub and minnow or the 3-inch green worm on a 1/8th ounce lead head. Any heavier and they sink too fast and get into the brush.  You have to learn to count down and just keep your lure just above the brush or you will get snagged all the time. You can make your worm almost weedless. There was a good top water bite for bass this morning and the shad were coming uip everywhere in the backs of the windblown creeks. Some stripers, crappie and hybrids are with them. Catfish are biting fair on limb lines baited with perch if you can keep the kentucky bass off them. I have not caught a flathead yet.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught this morning. More too.We are releasing most fish except for the catfish.Image title

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The lake level is 569.97 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open 1-ft. The lake is clearing nicely and is a perfect color in Blackburns area and too clear near the dam for fishing. Most of the fish are still in the brush near the old shoreline and have plenty of cover.  The threadfin shad have spawned and the fish have plenty of feed too. Shad are flitting around everywhere. Walleye, crappie, bass and red meat fish are all in the same places. The bluegill moved in under the dock and the catfish started biting immediately.  They always do that. The top-water bite is in full swing now so get out early.  The 3-inch plastic worm is working best when they are down and the clear spook and spitin image when they are surfacing. The  Smallmouth bass bite is really picking up. Some crappie have spawned, some are spawning and some are on the beds. Some spawned out females are very big. I have not seen any fry yet but they should show up soon. Carp are spawning in the very backs of the creeks and it is a good time to bowhunt them. I am not finding any bass that have spawned yet but they are close but the water temperature has dropped to 62-63 and will cool off more with this long lasting cold front moving in and lows are to be in the low 30's and highs in low to high 50's.. We are to get some rain the next couple of days and it is thundering now. This is a typical spring for fishing but has been just a bit slower warming up.  The lake is a little high for some boat access but has not affected fishing much except the fish are harder to get out of the cover. Overall the lake is in excellent condition and we are catching fish everyday.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

James Soltysiac with some good ones caught this morning. Under the dock they go except for the catfish.Image titleImage title

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide service yesterday on top water.Image title

The lake level is 570.22 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with one generator and four spillway gates open one foot. It is to rain later this weekend and early next week. It has cooled of a bunch with highs yesterday in the high 60's, today low 60's, tomorrow 50's. The surface water temperature in the creeks has dropped a bit but it is in the mid 60 on the main lake. The top water bite is on now and a few big stripers are being caught but not near like in the past. I hope they are getting released. They almost all live when caught in shallow water. I am releasing a lot of nice bass under the dock but do not fish for stripers much. I am releasing all crappie caught now immediately as the males are guarding the nests and if you catch them off the bluegill eat all of the eggs in about two minutes. Trolling all over is not my kind of fishing. I like to cast for them with artificial bait if I fish for them at all. A lot of people like to fish for them though and it takes the pressure off the walleye, crappie and catfish which I like the best. Bass are the staple on this lake when the others are not biting. Fishing is improving as the moon wanes. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

George fishing in the trophy pond. He loves to fly fish for bluegill so I put some big ones in for him. Image title

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The lake level is 570.48 and has dropped about two inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot. That is about all they can do for now as they are determined to get Table Rock down to normal at all costs. The lake is clearing and is in excellent condition for fishing but it is a little tough to get the fish out of the old shoreline and the brush. The crappie that I caught yesterday had spawned and the bass are getting ready. I had a 69 degree surface temperature in Blackburns creek yesterday and people were swimming in the lake. I will go diving when it hits 70 though but I have an 8-mil wetsuit with hood. It looked like the threadfin shad had spawned and I look for the top water bite to really get started in earnest soon.  It had been sporatic. The full moon and the dropping of the lake level slowed fishing a bit but we still caught some good ones. All of the bass and crappie were released under the dock but the catfish were released in a skillet with some fried taters and mushrooms. Norfork lake catfish are really good and flatheads are the best. I have not caught any of them yet though but I bet I will. Just a few more days and I will be walleye fishing. Life is good. People are catching some very nice fish out of Tom Kelly's trophy pond and we like that.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 570.85 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot. It is equavilent to about 2-1/3 generators. We will see if they follow the dumb rule of dropping the level at Newport to 21-feet if the lakes are 50% full on the 15th of this month.  That is also one of the problems. They changed the way the 50% is calculated resulting in the lakes being held higher, and implimented the minimum flow law.  They both took away flood capacity. I wonder if the rivers are getting enough minimum flow now. There will be no wade fishing for quite some time. The bass and catfish are still biting pretty good in the backs of the creeks and some walleye have moved back down river after spawn. The bigger crappie have spawned but I see no evidence of any fry yet. The surface temperature is still in the low 60's but should rise fast on the spawning beds with this very warm weather. Another cold front is moving in after that with highs in the low 60's, that and the full moon and the lake dropping will not do the fishing any good. I am just not seeing much top-water action yet. The lake is clearing nicely and the brown water is almost gone and is a good color for fishing. The lake in general is in good condition. I am catching some good fish every day.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Released under the dock.Image title

Caught yesterday fishing with Bink's Guide Service.Image title

The lake level is 571.03 and is dropping very slowly. The new news is that they now have 4 spillway gates open one foot and along with the one generator running continuously should start to drop the level a little quicker. The total is equal to about 2-1/3 generators. This is good and the fish are biting. I am just fishing for bass and catfish now until the crappie spawn is over. It looks to be a very good one. I am releasing all of the bass under the dock until they get on the beds and then I will quit fishing for them. I found just a few mushrooms yesterday and they should really pop up with the temperatures to be in the 80's for a couple of days before the next cold front comes through. We are located very low here at Blackburns and it is conducive to late frosts so I will wait several days to plant the garden.  It is ready though. The grass is growing very quickly  as are the flowers. Tom Kelly reports that people are catching some very good fish out of his trophy pond. That is what we wanted. One lady said she caught the biggest crappie she has seen in her life. This is a good time of year and it is good to just be out there. We are working hard on the resort making improvements and will paint the pool soon. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Several of these were released under the dock.Image title

These go well with mushrooms and fried taters with onion.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 571.06 and is exactly what it has been for the last 24-hours with one generator running and two spillway gates open 1-ft. I crappie fished for a while just to confirm that the big ones are spawning and the males are in front of the nests getting ready to guard them. Everytime you catch one the bluegills eat all the eggs right away so it is important to release them immediately and let them get back to their job if you care about them. Just give them a few days and then catch them. The big females will be hungry after the spawn and easily caught. The males will protect the nests until the eggs hatch and  the fry can get away on their own. It is good that they have a lot of cover and the lake level is not varying a lot during this time. If all of the males are not caught while guarding the nests we will have good crappie fishing for a long time. What is new is that the catfish have moved back into the creeks and are biting well on bluegill (perch) on limb lines. We caught several yesterday and some nice ones too. The catfish are now biting better than the bass which are getting ready to spawn. We also caught and released several bass under the dock. The bass spawn well into the summer on Norfork depending on the variety. The cold weather slowed things down a bit but with temperatures in the 80's early this week the spawn will be in earnest and the mushrooms will come out on the sunny banks. A few are already here. The water temperature was in the high 50's yesterday but will get back to the mid 60's with the upcoming warm weather. The lake is still clearing slowly and is a good color for fishing in most places. You can still social distance here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. All cabins are individual with no duplexes and have covered porches. No need to get close to anybody and the price is right. We did not raise our prices last month for the fishing season and you can still get a cabin for $59/day for two people and your first boat stall is free. Check prices before you book. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with a good one. It is now swimming under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 571.05 and has been stable for several hours with one generator and two spillway gates still open one foot which is equivalent to about 1-1/2 generators. This is about the same as the inflow from the river and is doing nothing to drop the lake. The surface temperature is in the early 60's depending on where you are and this very cool weather will not do anything to help that or bring out very many more mushrooms.  The bass are biting better than the catfish on limb lines baited with bluegill and the bass continue to be the best bite.  Almost all of the fish are near the old lakeshore in the trees and buckbrush in 0-20 ft. of water, as is the bait and they are hard to get out of there. They have plenty of cover, food and the warmest water and have no reason to move anywhere except to spawn and guard the nests. Bink continues to catch some nice hybrids both day and night. Tom Kelly is using his whacky worm near the bank and catching some good bass. The Landry boys and Joseph Cueno just left and did pretty well on bass. Glad to have them. We will see what happens to the top-water bite with this cool weather. I am not going to plant my garden right yet but the grass is really growing and flowers and trees are blooming. Blackburns is still the best place to social distance and Debbie is sanitizing cabins after every use and the lake has low boat traffic. No reason to get close to anybody and the price is right. Why pay more? 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Ryan Landry with a good one.Image title

Caught Fishing with Bink's Guide service.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 570.93 and has been stable for about 4-hours.  The new news is they have supplemented the one generator with two spillway gates opened one foot which is equivalent to a little over 1/2 of a generator. A lot of fish were caught yesterday by Binks, Tom Kelly, Mike Eakle and other Blackburns guests. We have several fishermen in and I did not get a chance to talk to all of them. I set out a few limb lines last night and we will see if any catfish are biting. I cannot see under the dock well enough to tell if the bluegill are there but I am baiting with them from Nabatak. They are just the right size. Mike caught some mushrooms yesterday and these two usually go together. Spring is here and so is the cloudy rainy weather. About two low pressures and one cold front comes through a week with just a few days of sunshine. It is to cool down for a couple of days and then warm back to 80. The full moon is the 7th and catfish do not bite well in the full moon and even less if the lake is dropping. That has not been a problem so far. We will see. As soon as the water starts to warm a cold front comes through and stops it. Bink is catching fish both day and night and good ones too. Come on down to Blackburns.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. The Landry boys and Joseph Cuneo from Houma, Louisiana are catching some very nice bass. They are good fishermen and nice people. We will have to dodge showers for a while but should not wash us out. You can fish close to Blackburns dock and duck into the dock when they start. This is the way to social distance. Better than sitting on the sofa.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

One big Hybrid caught fishing with Bink's Guide service. Image title

Joseph Cuneo is also from Houma.Image title

Dustin Landry from Houma, Louisiana with a good one. He is fishing out of Blackburns Ranger rental boat.Image title

The lake level is 570.87 and has risen about 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running. We are to get some rain for the next 2-3 days. Some big bass have moved to the backs of the creeks staging for spawn.  Several are being caught in Blackburns Creek on worms, spinner baits and gitzits.  The water is not clear enough to sight bed fish and that is good. I do not kill fish in the spring except for maybe a catfish or two.  I am going to put out a few limb lines for catfish and see what happens.  It is just about time.  There is just a short window from the time the catfish move in and the gar take over and they leave. This is big flathead time with channel cats a little later. Bluecats are usually the biggest in this lake but I like the others the best. Flatheads are the last fish to spawn in the lake. Fried potatoes and onions, Fried flathed, fried mushrooms may be a heart attack in a skillet but they sure are good. You can fish and hunt mushrooms in the woods here and still social distance. This is a fun time of year. It is to get back into the 80's later this week and that will bring out the morels for sure. Blackburns is getting calls asking if we raised the rates the last of March. The answer is no. Some do, we do not. You can still get a one bedroom cabin got $59/day for two people. All cabins are individual, with no duplexes and have covered porches. You can social distance between cabins. We do not charge for your first boat stall but we do for pets. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and fishing is getting better every day with the top-water bite beginning. Many fish are in the brush near the bank. Keep a spook or spitin image ready for when they come up.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 570.62 and has risen about 5-inches in the last 24-hours.They shut off all generation last evening and started one generator early today. They are still running Table Rock balls to the wall with all generators running and 10-spillway gates open. They are trying to get it down to power pool no matter what it does to Bull Shoals,which is holding their water. Protect Branson Landing at all costs. It is all about $ and politics. Maybe someone will listen about dropping the level in the fall and winter and reevaluating the rules of generation. We need to unite everyone and speak with one voice.  Depending where you are in the county, the rainfall in March was about 2-1/2 inches above normal. Normal is about 4.5 inches for the month. We have had no big rains in the county for several weeks.  The weather is beautiful today and it is just about time to put in some limb lines for catfish. I will do that tomorrow when Nabatak delivers the bait for the resort.  We keep live bait on hand all year here at Blackburns. The area is so lucky to have such a good wholesale bait and tackle supplier as Nabatak.  They have good inventory and prices and the best service. It is about time to mow again for the third time.  Everything is green and flowers and trees are blooming all over. Bink reports catching some big hybrids this morning  on top-water.  True top-water not just calling them up out of the brush. I caught some nice bass yesterday and released them under the dock on the 3-inch worm. Things are ready to break loose. Learn how to work that spook by walking the dog and keep it handy. The lake is clearing and is in overall good condition but there are a few logs in the main channel and you have to watch for them. April is here and fishing will get better and better as the water warms. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Compare prices and call Debbie at 870-492-5115.  All of our cabins and boats are ready to go. Water surface temperature is in the high 50's on the main lake and early 60's in the creeks depending on where you are and what time of day it is.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 570.21 and has risen just a bit, (less than an inch) in the last 24-hours with one generator running and three spillway gates open one foot. It would have dropped if it had not rained about one inch last night.  The creeks run just a little. I went crappie fishing yesterday with mixed results. First I went to East Pigeon and only caught one fish on the bank.  It was very large though. I expected more but could not get them to bite.  There is just too much cover and bait. I could not get anymore so I went to Middle pigeon towards the back and fished around the docks. The fish were biting well there on jigs and grubs but were mostly small. They were at all different depths but the water needed to be over 20-ft. deep.  Caught about 20 fish and only five were legal. All were released. Only one small bass was caught. The water was a perfect color there and was more brown as you got nearer to the main lake. The water temperature was 62 back in the creek and high 50's on the main lake. The shad should be spawning but I did not see any top-water all afternoon and evening. I saw just a few boats so it was not hard to practice social distancing. I did not get within a quater of a mile from anyone. It was a beautiful day with light wind from the south and it picked up in the evening and the fish started to bit better. Will try again later today. There still have not been a positive test for the virus at the Baxter Hospital.I have not seen a better place to quarantine than Norfork Lake and Blackburns resort. You do not have to get close to anyone and you can get an individual cabin with no duplexes for $59/day. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 570.15 and has risen three inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening but the new news is that they started up one generator earlier this morning and opened three spillway gates one foot which is about equivalent to another generator. Since then the level has been stable. I sure hope they keep this up. We are over 50% full so they should at least for a month barring any big rains. If that happens they will be forced to. Another thing: Binks said he has dropped the jerk bait as of yesterday and has started using the spook in the old river channel even though he does not see any top-water fish. They are shallow and he is drawing them up but they are almost only bass. Usually when this happens you catch a lot of white bass too but not now. He and I both are really getting to think for sure that most of the white bass are gone. Every once in a while we catch one that is not small but not often. We will know this for sure when the top-water bite starts in earnest. If they are not there then they are gone. I guess more died in the fish kill last year than was previously thought. I know that is the case with the big stripers. Bass fishing is by far the best bite now. The lake is clearing and is a good color for fishing in most places. There has been one positive test for the virus in the county but none in the hospital as of yet. You can come on down to Blackburns and social distance. The lake is sure not crowded with a surface temperature ranging from 57-60 depending on where you are. I am heading out to try to find some crappie for our guests. I will try east pigeon first. Blackburns resort and Boat Rental still has cabins for $59/day. Not bad. Why pay more? Compare prices and then call us. If you must pay more, stay with us and give the difference to the disabled vets. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on top-water fishing with Bink's guide Service Yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 569.85 and has risen 4-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening, shut off Norfork, opened spillway gates and run all generators on Table Rock to protect Branson and are pounding Bull Shoals Hard with Table Rock water.  Cool weather has returned and the highs are to be in the 60's for several days which is more seasonal. The surface water temperature is all over the place and very different in the shallow water from the main lake. The main lake also varies depending on where on the lake you are. Most of it is still in the mid to high 50's. Some of our guests report an early top- water bite for bass and that is good. Bink caight some good ones too. The full blown top-water bite usually gets here by April 15th and looks to be about on schedule. It started raining when I was going out yesterday so I did not go but it turned out to be not much. I had to wait on guests to get here to check out rental boats.  It is sunny and about 60 now and looks to be a nice day. The sunshine is good for lake clearing and we have not had any runoff here for several days. There are a lot of fish out there and most of them are on the old lake shore around the buckbrush. I will do a little exploring today and let you know. Keep using the jerk bait early and then switch to the 3-inch worm on a jig head and a spinner bait. Keep a top-water lure handy when you see fish surfacing. Either a Spook Puppy or a Spittin image. Practice learning how to walk the dog well. It is very important this time of year. Fishing is picking up if you know how. Please release as many fish as you can during this upcoming spawn season. Blackburns still has the best prices on both cabins and rentals boats. Some raise their prices in the spring but Blackburns does not. Compare prices and give us a call. Your first boat stall is free and we have 28-acres to roam and we are not huddled up on a steep hillside with little parking or go down a cliff to get to the dock. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 569.46 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The brown water is clearing and is about the color of the Northwestern Ontario lakes. Remember that the clear water is not always the best fishing. I like a bit of green stain that you can see your lure down about 3-4 feet. Bink likes a more of a brown stain with green mixed in. We both agree that we do not like chocolate brown with no visibility. Too clear of water is just as bad. People may want the clearest water for swimming and boating but that season is not here yet. We did have some people swimming off the dock Thursday.  When the shad spawn and the top water bite starts it will make no difference what color the water is, just where the bait is.  High water does not hurt fishing just changes how you fish for them.  It pretty much forces trollers to change their methods and learn how to really fish. People taking pictures of dock floors full of small dead fish and bragging about it should take off their cold weather gear. It was 90 wednesday, 86 Thursday and 80 Friday and is 70 already today with cloudy skies. Most of the fish are still on the old shoreline just above the buckbrush as is the bait. There are reports of water clearing in the Udal area is good news for us here.  One bass fisherman told me yesterday that he was catching  15-20 bass a day on a swim bait but several of them were small. That is the same for me. Jerk baits, 3-inch worms, soft plastics and spinner baits are catching about everything. I have had no reports on the night bite yet but will let you know. I do not fish after dark much anymore especially when the lake is changing almost daily with the rise and I can barely find my spots in the daytime.  I have not caught a fish on a spoon in almost a week. I am heading up into east pigeon to look for some male crappie staging on the bank. Could be time. I need some more fish under the dock. It is to get windy later this afternoon. Things are about ready to break loose. Tom Kelly found some good water in Diamond Bay and caught some nice bass on his whacky worm. We are mowing the grass for the second time now and flowers are everywhere. The swallows are back and the Purple Martin scouts were here a few days ago and left. I sure hope they bring the whole clan back with them. We have a lot of wildlife here at Blackburns. Everything is pretty much on schedule. There was a case of the Virus reported yesterday in Baxter County but it was not in the hospital.  Arkansas reports on what your address is not where they found it. You can social distance here and we will not charge you too much. If you are in town, stop and check us out.  You will like what you see. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle with some good ones released under the dock yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 569.08 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours with just one generator running part of the time. It look like a litte more rain is coming later this weekend and the first of next week. Not too much though. There was a lot of drying yesterday with temperatures approaching 90 degrees with a light wind. It is to be 80 today with temperatures in the high 60's after that. The brown water seems to be settling in this area as it heads south. The bass fishing is hanging on with many fish in the pre-spawn feeding mode in the old shoreline over the buckbrush. The water temperature is warming rapidly depending on the depth of the water. It is all over the place. 50's some places and 60's other. Get out early with a jerk bait and then use a spinner bait or 3-inch worm over the submerged buckbrush in the creeks. You can catch about anything. Fishing is not the best right now but good fishermen are catching fish.Catfishng looks to be good soon. Baxter County still has not had a positive test and Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental continues to be the best place to social distance. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 568.57 and has risen about 9-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running just part of the time. They have spillway gates open on both Beaver and Table Rock and are really blasting Bull shoals and using the hold and hope theory on Norfork. They should have been regulating to 24 or 25 feet at Newport all winter. When are they going to change this? It would not hurt one thing. I went out yesterday afternoon to check things out and do a little fishing. The lake is brown from Missouri to past the 62 bridge and then pretty much stays in the river channel to where you turn off to Fall and Panther creeks. It is spread out wide between the bridges. Fall and Panther are both in excellent condition as is Float creek. Panther is a good place to check for topwater fish after the shad spawn. I fished Float creek for about an hour with a 3-inch finesse worm and caught three bass and a crappie. The fish are on the old shoreline. The buckbrush is under water several feet and also several feet from the bank and that is where the fish are. All kinds including bait. Bink reports getting out early with a jerk bait and then later switching to the 3-inch worm on a 1/4 ounce jig head. No color needed on jig head but a green worm works nicely. I use a 5/16 but he catches more fish than I do.  I have guests also switching to a gold single spin when it is windy. All are working. Trollers are having a hard time because it is impossible to troll where the fish are. At least most of them. They have to really fish now if they want to catch anything. Binks also reports the night bite for stripers will start soon. Just use the same jerk bait and turn it into a suspending crank bait. The only difference is how you fish it. Stay as far from the bank as you can cast and cast to the bank. Using a suspending lure, crank it down about three or four turns and reel slowly to the boat. Make sure your lure runs true. If it pulls off to the side you will not catch anything. Some people cast parallel to the bank but I do not. Fish for walleye with a soft plastic until after sundown and then switch to the lure before dark.  The male crappie have moved to the creek banks to prepare for the spawn. There are plenty of places for that now and they are scattered all over the place. Tom Kelly reports catching bass and walleye south of Robinson Island on his finesse worm. I sure have some good people helping me with this report and good fishermen too. One person cannot go out a few times a week and write an accurate report. Other news: Baxter County still has not had a positive test for the China virus and people are coming to Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental for social distancing and taking advantage of the best prices on the best cabins in the area. Come on down we will not charge you too much. We have 300 meg internet and two computers in the game room and food delivery to your cabin.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 567.79 and still rising with very little generation. Better let some water out folks but what can you expect from the Corp when they cannot even get their own website up and running. Hold and hope is just not working again. We need a new plan but they are not accountable to anyone. You cannot let the government run anything. The VA is getting a whole lot better in the last two years though. I do not have to drive to Little Rock anymore and they have a very good Doctor here in Mountain Home. On another positive note, there still has not been a positive case of the China Virus here in Baxter County and people are practicing social distancing here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental where you can roam 28 acres and fish on a big lake, stay in an individual cabin with no duplexes and not get close to anybody. All cabins are sanitized after every use. It is to get very warm here starting today with highs in the 80's tomorrow and it looks like spring is here finally. Time to plant the garden. The lake is not clearing very rapidly from the quick rise last week but there is good colored water starting near Robinson Island and south. Float Creek is a good place to start. People are catching bass in the brown water though and good ones too. Smallmouth are showing up now and a jerk bait and spinner bait are the best. I will look for some crappie later today when the work is done. We are busy here and we like that. The lake surface temperature is about 56 and you can see your lure down about three feet out of the brown water. There are a lot of fish in this lake. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Compare prices. You can launch here now.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Marty with some nice ones. Welcome back.Image title

Caught fishing with Bink yeaterday.Image title

The lake level is 566.47 and has risen about 8-inches in the last 24-hours. We received a little less than one inch of rain last night and this morning and more is on the way. They are generating very little except for the lake by Branson and Beaver and they are sticking to the 21-ft. rule on the White River in Newport at all cost. I suppose they will just hold and hope and wait until the crops get planted and come up and then flood everyone out downstream like they usually do. Dam management 101: Do not let the water go over the spillway. We will see if they can get that right. They decide how much to let out.  God decides how much to put in. The lake surface temperature was 56 near Blackburns when I went out yesterday and a little lower downstream. The brown water extended from Missouri to just south of the 62 bridge and then it was just stained a green color. I could see my lure down about three feet. Zero feet in the brown water. The creeks are running now. I was determined to find some crappie but was unable to do so. Then I went bass fishing. I caught a few on the jerk bait and switched to the gold single spin and caught more. No picture fish. Binks caught some hybrids and bass and some of our guests caught some big bass. The carp are moving to the back of Blackburns Creek to spawn so catfishing will not be far away. They spawn at a water temperature of about 70 but it does not take long to get there in the shallow water. They must know something is happening. When the small bluegill move in under the dock it will happen and the bass will start making beds. The very warm weather starting on Thursday should get everything going. The shad will spawn and the top-water bite will begin. That is the easiest time to catch bass and red meat fish. There still has been no cases of virus in Baxter County as far as I know and people are taking advantage of the best individual cabins on the lake at the best price to social distance. It is a good thing we have covered porches this morning. Everyone is setting outside waiting to go fish. Check price and if they charge for first boat stalls and then call us. You can save a lot of $ here at Blackburns resort and Boat Rental. It is nice here anbd the price is right.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Bryan Deardoff with some good ones. He kept a few and released the rest.  Some were deep hooked. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 565.29 and has risen 1-ft. in the last 24-hours with very limited generation. One generator running less than 1/2 the time. The water surface temperature is in the mid 50's depending where you are. The rapid level rise from rainfall from Missouri Thursday caused the creeks and main lake channels to turn brown but did not hurt the fishing. Any debris is small.  Bass were surfacing chasing shad last evening in Blackburns Creek but most fish were near the bank in the buckbrush and being caught on spinner baits and jerk baits. Some fish are way back in the creeks in the warmer water. The female crappie are still pre-spawn feeding on brush and the males have moved up into the shallow water in the creeks. I am catching all females  (big ones too) and they are full of eggs with blood lines and just waiting for some heat to go to the beds. I am releasing dozens of them under our dock after pictures. I bet they will move to crappie rock brush after they spawn.  Remember when you fish the banks that all of the males will be guarding the nests after the spawn and if you catch them off, the bluegill eat the eggs faster than you can kiss a duck. Turn some back. It has been a long winter but not very cold but has been slow warming up. It snowed once and did not cover the ground. I like that. Winter fishing has been very good this year and I have caught some very large fish. I would really like it if the striper fishermen would quit killing all of these small fish. People now think a 15-lb. striper is big where just a few years ago a 30-lb one was big. People taking pictures of dock floors full of dead small stripers are not impressing anybody. I have released all stripers and hybrids for over two years and do not fish for them where they are too deep to survive. Venting does not work. They can go down for a while but die anyway. They need to lower the limit to a combination of two stripers and hybrids from three and stop culling. They do not dress out very well anyway after the red meat is cut out. It is rainy and cold now but I will go out and let you know what is happening. It is very busy here and I have a lot of work to do.  All of the cabins are open now except one and they are working on it. Come on down and practice social distancing. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. There is $1.64 gas just up the road near the Dollar General. The girls are disinfecting all cabins after each use and Baxter County still has not had any positive cases that I am aware of. I cannot think of a better place to be than Blackburns Resort. You can save at least $25/day to stay at the best place. Now than Cardinal baseball is not on I am forced to fish more. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 564.37 and has risen 2-1/2 ft. in the last 24-hours. It has risen 9-1/2 feet from the winter low of 554.85 a couple of weeks ago. I sure wish that they would have pulled it down to 548 like thay should have.  They are running one generator for a few hours and nothing for several hours. This last rise caught me by surprise as we only received about 1/2 inch of rain here on Thursday night but I woke up to a big surprise of almost a 4-ft. rise.   They must have received some high local amounts in the watershead somwhere though. The Mountain Home area has missed most of the heavy rains this winter with most of them going north into Missouri. The local rains do not affect the lake much unless the creeks run. The ground is saturated now and almost all water runs off. I have been busy moving the dock and have not had any time to go fishing since Thursday. The crappie and bass were biting well then. Blackburns has several cabins full now with people social distancing here. I know of no cases reported in Baxter County yet. The top of the flood pool is 580 and we are 15-1/2 ft. from that. You can stay here in your own private cabin which is sanitized after each guest and go on the lake and fish and not get close to anybody. We have 300 Megs of internet and reaches all cabins and no cabins are duplexes close to your neighbors. You first boat stall is free. I will get you a fishing report as soon as I can. Blackburns has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals on the lake. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. You can launch your boat here, park the trailer in the lot and go fish in a matter of minutes and have low boat traffic. No need to go any place else. Everythig is fine here.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

There they go.Image title

He just holds up a few at a time to not hurt themImage title

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Tom Releasing Bass under dock.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 559.28 and rising with one generator running part of the time. It has risen 4-1/2 feet in the last several days and still rising with the creeks running. The main lake is stained green but not too bad. I had a 58 degrees water surface temperature when I went out yesterday. The crappie were biting so I caught about a dozen and put them under the dock. Some of these are very nice fish and appear to be staying there. They will move to the bank soon, spawn and go on Blackburns Brush piles. That is the plan anyway.  Tom Kelley also caught some very large ones and released them with some good bass under the dock. Tom is a very good fisherman, sportsman and conservationalist. Remember folks that the possession limit on all fish is twice the daily limit. For stripers that is six and that is in conjunction with hybrids. The law has been known to watch the internet and check people's freezers who are trying to fill them up so please do not kill too many fish. This is spawning season and it really hurts the fish except for the stripers and hybrids which are semi-put and take. Nobody is impressed with how many you kill. You can practice social distancing here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental with all individual cabins with no duplexes and you do not have to get close to anybody. There still has not been a case reported here in Baxter County as of this morning. Debbie, Casey and Nancy sanitize all cabins after every visit and you can go out on the lake almost by yourself. You can get pizza and sandwiches delivered here and pay on line and not get close to the delivery man. You can even buy your fishing license on line and down load it on your phone. The Dollar store is just two miles down the road and the first hour they are open is reserved for seniors. They and Walmart are stocking the shelves every day which is only three miles away. We have 300 Meg internet if you feel the need to work out of your cabin and have two computers in the game room for your use. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. Your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday and several bass also. The jerk bait is working now. Image title

The lake level is 557.98 and has risen about a foot in the last 24-hours. They closed the spillway gates and cut back to one generator just a few hours a day and switched all of the generation and spillway gates to protect Branson and keep that lake at power pool. Just when you give them a compliment thay never cease to disappoint and prove their incompetence. They have had all winter to drop the lake and now the spring rains are here. This is a surprise only to them. I guess we are back to hold and hope.  What a motto. The lake is at a good level but more rain is scheduled for the next several days. So far it has been a typical March. The lake surface temperature is 52 degrees but should rise with the warmer temperature forecasted starting now but the lows are still in the 30's later this week. The walleye and white bass are spawning and are close to the bank in about 20-feet of water and are hitting jerk baits. Trollers are catching bass and small stripers (in the 6-12 lb. range). The pre-spawn bass are big and I wish people would not kill them. Pictures of  dock floors full of small dead stripers and bass are not impressive. Bass are not stocked and are the go to fish on the lake when others do not bite. I caught some very large crappie and a few nice bass yesterday and released them all under Blackburns Dock. This looks like a good spring for fishing and Blackburns has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals on the lake.  Your first boat stall is free. We have been open all winter and we are ready for you. This is a perfect place for social distancing and Baxter County has had no cases yet. Come on down.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.63 and has risen over nine inches in the last 24-hours and is still rising despite both generators running and 5-spillway gates open 1-foot. If they had shut everything down like they usually do during a rain we would have been right back where we were. Good thing.  We received 1-inch Thursday, 0.8 inch Friday and 0.8 inch Saturday. None today but more is coming next week with good chances almost all days. The creeks run fairly hard but were not raging. The very backs of the creeks are brown again. This is a typical March with some warm weather and cold fronts with wind moving through a couple of times a week. 70's one day and a windy 40 the next. Every cold front slows fishing way down and it gets better and better until the next one comes through. With the water rising the lake surface temperature has dropped to the low 50's. Grass is growing, flowers blooming, dogwoods blooming despite the lows getting in the 30's at night and highs in the low 40's. April gets a lot more stable with better fishing. I caught a few fish yesterday but no picture fish. Bass, crappie and a couple of bluegill. Reservations are really starting to come in with people taking advantage of Blackburns best prices on both cabins and boat rentals and the first boat stall being free. Some are even mentioning social distancing and no crowds and are cancelling their reservations to Disney World and theme parks with lots of people. All of our cabins are individual with no duplexes and you do not have to be close to anybody. It does not hurt young people to get outdoors for a change. Blackburns has 26-acres to roam and a nice dock to fish, play and swim. Biggest pool in the area open before Memorial day. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle with the fish of the day. It was also released. One nice crappie but not very many.Image title

The lake level is 554.85 and has dropped 4-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running and five spillway gates open one foot. It is equal to about three generators. There is no reason to stop this as the White River at Newport is only 19-feet so far. With the storm on Thursday we went from 82 degrees ambient in the afternoon to 50 yesterday afternoon and a little cooler than that today. We received about one inch of a mixture of rain and hail in the rain gauge thursday and another 0.8 inches as of this morning of just rain. It is raining now with more to come. At least they did not quit generating like they usually do when the spring rains begin. I just hope they do not just take it down to 553.75, which is the power pool, where the Corps of Engineers cede the power to the electric company. They need to keep going down to 548 to make room for the spring rains. The lake is in excellent condition now for fishing and boating. The cold front slowed fishing yesterday but some good ones were still caught but not very many. All worked hard for what they caught. The numbers were way down. It was cloudy and misting rain most of the afternoon but not bad enough to bring people in. The water surface temperature dropped to 52 on the main lake and 53+ back in the creeks. The ice cubes had something to do with it. It is the third time I have seen hail here in 25-years and was the largest and lasted the longest. It did not seem to hurt anything here though. I heard it did in Missouri. This will put back the threadfin shad spawn some and the top-water bite with the cool weather seceduled until next week. Nobody that I know of are catching stripers at night yet but it will happen. There just are not that many big stripers. If people keep killing 6-12 lb. ones there will not be any left at all. The hybrid population seems to be about normal though but not that many are stocked. The stripers and hybrids do not reproduce in our lakes and are what we call semi-put and take.  Most of us here at Blackburns are releasing all hybrids and stripers on site but there is no rule to make us do so.  I would like the limit to be reduced to two per day and four possession limit imposed until the numbers come back. They are fun to catch. It looks to be a sit out on the porch and rig poles and arrange the tackle box kind of day but I will be out there if the rain slows.  I do not have far to go and can duck back in the dock quickly.  These cold fronts turn fishing off as much as anything I know of but this too shall pass. I am happy just to be able to be out there. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught and released yesterday in about 2-hours.Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 555.58 and has dropped about 5-inches in the last 24-hours.  They are still running borh generators continuously and have 5 spillway gates open 1-foot . The total is about the equivalent of three generators. This is really good news and the lake is in excellent condition for both fishing and boating.  The other news is that the lake surface temperature is rising rapidly. I had over 57 degrees in the back of Hensley's creek yesterday in the shallow water of about 18-feet. More good news. The fish are biting. I went out for about two hours yesterday and caught all of the fish I wanted. White Crappie, Black Crappie, Black Nosed Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Kentucky Bass and bluegill were all caught. I do not fish for red meat fish much but caught about a 5-lb. Hybrid accidently. It was released on sight and the others were brought to the dock for pictures and released. I have released a lot of fish under Blackburns Dock lately. Big ones too. I do not like to kill fish in the spring. Tom Kelly's trophy pond is completely stocked now and they are catching good fish out of it.  That is what I wanted. Most of the rain has missed us so far as has been the case for over a month. We are in good condition now but it would be great if this continues. You can come to Blackburns and experience social distancing and have a fun vacation no matter what is happening in the cities. We have 300 meg internet so you can work from here too.  All of this for the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals. Your first boat stall is free and we have no duplexes and all cabins have covered porches. You will see how important this is when you stay someplace without them. If you must pay too much, just stay at Blackburns and give the difference to disabled Veterans. Debbie, Casey and Nancy are working hard to get all of the cabins ready for you and they really look nice. You will like what you see when you get here and we will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday.  More too. Image title

The lake level is 556 with both generators still running continuously and five spillway gates open one foot. This is almost like three generators. It dropped 5-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. It rained a little early this morning but not much. Rain is predicted for the next 2-3 days. I had a 53+ degree water temperature in Blackburns creek when I went out yesterday and just under that on the main lake. It was crappie fishing day with bass fishing tomorrow. I like both the same. The lake level is perfect for fishing and boating now and the water is still stained but clearing. it is clearest near the shore. Blackburns brush piles are at a very good depth now too. The 1/2 ounce Bink's Many Shad is now my favorite lure. Fish after fish were caught on it on brush at 30-ft. I can only hold up six without hurting them and putting fingers in the gills. The ones in the picture  and several more were released under Blackburns dock. They all swam right into the school but I am not sure if they will stay there. They are down there somewhere. Lots of fish are under the dock but the small bluegill have not moved in yet.  When this happens the catfish will start biting and the bass will make a nest. I do not bed fish. It is getting near spawn time and this is the best time to release. A few of the fish were white crappie and very large. Other people caught some nice bass so I know right where to go today to get pre-soawn bass. They are on the same places every year. It is good to have fishing pick up again. Early March is a challenge so you have to go out everyday and work for them.. That is fun too. I like to catch fish when nobody else does but most people are catching some now.  Trollers are catching some fish but are burning a lot of gas. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

New news. They have opened up five spillway gates one foot now to supplement the discharge on Norfork. This is good news. I hope they keep it up. Get it first here. Looks to be a good year. Come on down. No need to get on a cruise ship, airplane or be in a crowd. Your children can have fun here for much less$. We have 300 meg internet, beautiful country, big clean lake and good fishing and water sports. Biggest pool around with slide and the best prices.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 556.93 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with borh generators running continuously. They have dropped the White River at Newport to 20+ feet and we have until April 14 to get it down before the stupid 14-ft. rule takes effect. If they keep going they could drop it to 548 by then depending on the rainfall. That is what they need to do to insure we have the capacity to hold spring rains and keep the level good.The 14 and 12 ft. White River rules at Newport need to be reviewed and changed. They should be raised to 18 feet. We are at an excellent level right now for all lake activities. Fishing is getting a little bit better with trollers picking up a few more red meat fish but they are small and need to be released no matter what the rules are. If not the size will continue to go down for the stripers. A big one used to be 30-lbs but now the newcomers think a big one is 15-lbs. Pictures of dock floors full of dead ones are not impressive. It just shows people are willing to sacrafice future for meat.  Hybrid fish are about normal and the white bass are coming back but most are small. I am sure glad they did not quit stocking the hybrids. I am releasing all stripers and hybrids no matter their size. Some shad are still shallow and near the bank. Bass are under them and some good ones too. Others are in 50-70 feet suspended with some on the bottom. It is almost time for the night bite for stripers with the stick bait. It is very important to make sure the bait runs true before it gets dark. If it pulls off to the side you will catch nothing. This spawn sinulation starts sometime after the 15th of March and continues until the full moon in April which is the 7th. After that when the threadfin shad spawn, which is a water temperature of about 58 degrees, the top water bite will be in full swing for both bass and temperate bass (red meat fish). You have to work hard for good fish now but some are being caught. Lake surface temperature is just about 50 in the main lake.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle with some good ones. He had to work hard for them though.Image title

The lake level is 557.77 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. The surface temperature was just about 50 when I went out yesterday but I found 53 in the very backs of some major creeks. The threadfin shad start spawning at about 58 degrees and that is when the top water bite will begin in earnest. Shad spawn on the surface.  There are a lot of shad shallow now for some reason and have some fish feeding on them but mostly open water fish are scattered and deeper. It is hard to find a big school of them and then stay on them   The lake is clearing and is clearest near the bank. Big Creek was still a little brown but a good color for fishing. The brown is gone in Blackburns area but is still so in the Red Bank area. I tried open water fishing with little success and then went bass and crappie fishing. Float creek is a good place to start. Look for brush in 35-feet of water and be prepared to work hard for them. Fish have moved in under my dock but we mostly save them for children learning to fish. I feed them every day and have new brush there. The weather has been good but got a little windy yesterday afternoon. I cannot predict when things will happen (nobody can) but i will be out there when it does and you will be the first to know. Mike Eakle caught some good ones on the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon and I am still using the 2-inch grub for both bass and crappie. The first two weeks of March is always tough but if trollers find an active school of fish the action can be fast for a few minutes and then nothing for hours. You only hear about the time they find fish and not when nothing is caught for days. There are a lot of big crappie and bass in this lake. Blackburns still has the best prices on both cabins and rental boats and you first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with some very nice ones. Caught on the Bink's spoon.Image title

The lake level is 558.18 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. The surface water temperature is 50-degrees in the afternoon and the lake is clearing. Fishing is getting better and crappie are starting to bite on brush piles. Tom Kelly and Mike Eakle caught some good ones on our new brush. I am still bass fishing and am looking for shad blown up into main lake cuts and shallow. The bass are on the bottom right below them. Good ones too. The white bass are biting in open water but they are small and there are a lot of them. The weather is good. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much here at Blackburns. Compare before you buy. It is nice here and the price is right. Very nice. We are working on improvements every day. Debbie, Casey and Nancy are working very hard.  Scuba Steve not so much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 558.24 and is going up just a little.  Both generators are still running. We got no rain here but they did just north of us in the Norfork basin. The surface temperature was 49.5 and the ambient was 74 when I went out yesterday with light wind. I tried for crappie on a slip float with no luck and then switched to the grub and minnow. Nothing for a few minutes and then the wind came up and the skies darkened and the bass started biting about 4:PM. Big ones too. They were on the bottom in about 14-15 ft. of water in main lake cuts. I caught two about 4-5 lbs. and some smaller ones. I fished two like places facing north just off the main lake with the same results. It just goes to show you to fish until it rains you out with the low pressure moving in. The fish were very fat and healthy as are all of the ones that I am catching. All were released but two were put in Tom Kelly's trophy pond. Blackburns is doing a lot of improvements and getting ready for spring. You will like what you see when you get here. We still do not charge for your first boat stall and you can save a minimum of $25/day on cabins with no lowering of quality. Why pay more? No duplexes, all cabins are individual and all  have covered porches. We are a bird sanctuary and have lots of them. Deer come to our feeders daily. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. We opened up four more cabins yesterday and now have 10 open. That is not a lot but the rest will be opened as soon as I am sure winter is over.  Right now it looks like it and the fishing is getting better. I have been here long enough to not to try to predict the future. Bink caught some good open water fish yesterday. He is catching them everyday on his many shad spoon.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Casey Denham with a couple of good ones. Image title

The lake level is 558.44 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. At this rate we will be at 548 in 42 days if they do not stop generating and it does not rain. That would be the middle of April which is planting season. It is also top water fishing on the lake which is the easiest time to catch fish on Norfork. Just get a Zara spook or spitin Image and learn how to drive them and get out early. The fish will be shallow and it is a good time to release them to grow. Especially stripers The surface water temperature was 49 when I went out yesterday and it was a beautiful day. I found some water over 50  when I came in. The water is clearing and you could see your lure down about 4-feet and it was stained green. We went open water fishing and looked in three places before we got them to bite about 4:Pm. Bait fish and game fish were everywhere in 55-70 feet of water but would not bite very well. The third place they were biting.  We ended up catching about 35 fish, releasing all of the hybrids and stripers but keeping a few white bass. It is good to see their numbers coming back but they are not very big. I was using a 1/2 ounce white Bink's spoon with a red throat and caught a few fish. Switched to the 1/2 ounce Many shad and now it is my favorite lure. Caught fish after fish until 5:Pm. No picture fish though.  Others caught some nice crappie but had to work for them.Slow, slow and slow until they bite for about 5-minutes and quit again. They were full of eggs and some even had blood lines and all were female. No males. The walleye have me ghosted. Some bass are on the bank but not many and most are small. They bite best early morning. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught some pretty good ones yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 559.25 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. We received about 0.6 inches of rain last week. The water is still brown in the Red Bank area but is clearing out near Blackburns in both the creek and main lake. It is kind of a greenish color. You can see your lure down about 2-feet.  The surface temperature is 48 and has been for several weeks. Fishing is not the best but trollers are catching a few fish in open water but it is taking them a lot of time to get them. They go out and catch some and then you do not hear from them for several days because they are not catching any. Bink is on other open water fish with his spoon but is still disappointed in the size. You have to catch a lot of fish to get a big one. He is catching a lot of fish though. I am bass and crappie fishing. Crappie are on brush at 25-feet but are very hard to catch. They do not bite for hours and then bite fast for about 5-minutes. I caught some good ones yesterday but had to work for them. The bass that I am catching are on the bank but are mostly small. They are in the buckbrush. March can be tough fishing with all of the cold fronts moving through. Wait for the low pressure and fish until it rains you out and then after the high pressure moves in wait a day or two and they will start biting again. The first day of sunshine has been slow. We need the lake to drop to the high 540's before the spring rains come. They better keep generating or they will be opening gates whether they want to or not. The water level does not affect fishing much except when it comes too fast.  Blackburns still has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals and your first boat stall is free. All cabins have covered porches and none are duplexes. Why pay more? I will show you where the brush piles are when you get here.  We have some good ones. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 559.58 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. The surface water temperature is 47 and the brown water is going away and changing to green. You can see your lure down about two feet. There were fishing tournaments out of most of the area major marinas yesterday and boats were everywhere. The bass were biting better early and late with slow fishing in the middle of the day. Many short fish were caught. The people that were staying here at Blackburns caught some fish but not a lot. I talked to fishermen on the lake and they had the same report. I was the only one that I saw fishing brush and most were working the bank. I caught 3-nice bass and two crappie and that was all. No picture fish. The crappie were 11-12 inches. It was slow for me but the weather was nice. Just a bit windy but not bad. Bink reports catching a mixed bag of white bass and hybrids in open water 60-70 feet of water suspended. We were both spooning but he did better than me. His fish had moved again but he found them. I did not find very many but was happy to be out. Open water fishing is the best if you can find them and stay on them. Not many big fish but a lot of bait with nothing chasing them. Striper simulating a spawn next at night and top water after that. Early March not always the best fishing. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 560.68 and has dropped less than 1-inch in the last 24-hours with generation continuous but sometimes dropping to one generator. I caught more white bass and small stripers in 70-ft. of water 40-50 ft. down with the 1/2 ounce spoon but decided to try crappie and basss fishing again. It was in the 40's with light rain and then the sun came out. I caught some pretty good crappie on the grub and minnow on a new brush pile in 25ft. of water 12-feet down. Fishing is picking up a bit but some people that have been here since last friday caught their first fish today and that is not very good. They wanted stripers but had to settle for some crappie. They said they could catch crappie anywhere but it took them a while to find these.  The white bass are small but some pretty good bass are near the bank. It is hard to find a keeper striper but that should pick up soon.  Surface temperature is 46+ and the lake is trying to clear but is slow doing so.  Normal ambient high is 52 and it is struggling to get there. It is ok as long as the wind is low. it is nice to just be out there.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 560.77 and has dropped just a bit since yesterday. At least they started generating again after two days of nothing and letting the lake rise as high as they can. Saturday I went crappie fishing and caught nothing so switched to the grub and went for bass. I caught three with one being a good one near the bank shallow near deep water.  Yesterday I went fishing with Bink's Guide service. We went open water fishing and looked for fish in different areas before we found them. They had moved back to where they were for two months before they left. They were in in 70 feet of water any where from on the bottom to 30-feet down.  When we found them in 30-feet they bit but the ones on the bottom would not. 50 ft. and up they were feeding and below that not.  The shallower the better. We found huge schools of bait fish with temperate bass with them. We kept a few medium sized white bass for a neighbor that just got out of the hospital and released the rest. I was still disappointed in the size of the stripers but happy to see the white bass population on the increase. The white 1/2 ounce spoon with red throat was the best. We went into big creek and the water was brown, which is usually a good color for fishing but caught nothing. Found lots of bait fish with nothing on them.  Tried good brush piles and still nothing.  I am catching very few fish on brush. Open water fishing is the best and bass fishing on the bank is second. Not much else. I called people wanting to come fish to stay home for a while until things pick up. One came anyway and is experiencing tough fishing. He usually always catches fish. This is not unusual for late February and early March but I almost always catch big crappie at this time but not now. It should get better by the full moon in March which is the 9th for the night bite for spawning stripers and walleye fishing usually picks up by then too. The old days when there was a walleye run up the river in late February to spawn has been greatly diminished for some reason. The white bass that we caught had no or very little eggs but were very healthy. The surface temperature was 47 and the water color was stained green south of the bridges to the dam but brown in the major creeks. I caught bass in brown water but nothing else. Dodge the cold fronts and the first day after high pressure moves in. The weather was very nice with light winds that picked up a little about 3:Pm and a high of 57.  Good for spooning.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 559.69 and has raised about one foot in the last 24-hours with little generation. It looks to go over 560 again and winter is passing. I guess they will continue to hold and hope and then open spillway gates and waste free water. Hold until the crops are planted and up and then flood them out when they are left with no choice. It is not what you do when you are in this situation but how you got here. Do not get here. This is to be the coldest night of the year and then warm way up later this weekend. Surface water temperature is holding in there at 47+ degrees and the main lake is clearing with the creeks muddy. The temperate bass have been in the same places for about two months and continued the pattern of feeding shallower early and then moving to deeper water on the flats in 50-70 feet of water, but have recently moved. I will have to find them again. There are reports of them being in Bennetts but I do not fish that area much. The brush piles are getting too deep again but we anticipated this and put some new ones shallower. Some bass are shallow on the bank early and late. Fishing is not the best but trollers are finding some fish after many miles of dragging live bait and umbrellas. It is a good thing that we have hybrids as big stripers are getting more and more scarce. If people keep killing them this trend will continue.   I do not do troll but prefer spooning. I will take a day off and then look for them in float creek on secondary points just outside brush in the clear water when it warms a little. Ambient temperatures tend to vary widely this time of year but we get several good fishing days. Just fish around cold fronts.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 558.70 and has risen 1-inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. We received about 1-1/2 inches of rain in the lst 24-hours and the creeks are running pretty hard and the lake will rise more causing the lake to muddy up in the back. The main lake is finally clearing with the big rain several weeks ago. The surface temperature is 48 and is dropping very slowly. The ambient high is normally 50 now and I do not expect the water temperature to drop much more expecially with the highs to get into the 60's this weekend. Open water fishing is best right now on the spoon but you have to spend more time looking than fishing. I am not catching much on brush piles. Fishing overall is fair to poor but some fish are being caught. Better than staying on the sofa. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 558.71 and has dropped just a bit in the last 24-hours with more generation. The winter is slipping away from you boys. If you cannot manage it in the winter you have no chance in the spring. We need to be at 548 now. We have more rain on the way. It was near 50 degrees and sunny with no wind when I went out yesterday. I first tried open water fishing and found fish in 60-70 ft. of water suspended at varius depths. A couple of stripers in the 8-9 lb. range were caught on the spoon but no picture fish. I then went to a couple of brush piles and it was worse. Just small bass. The surface water temperature was 49 and the brown water seems to be clearing a bit. I am not suggesting people take a long trip to get here fishing now.  The open water fish are hit and miss and bass fishing is slow and crappie fishing is just fair. The moon is big and is not helping anything.  You have to look hard to find feeding fish and people are fishing for a couple of days before they find any. It will be just a few days before they start and I will let you know. It is not good to fish all day and catch 2 or 3 fish but that will get better. It alway does this at this time of year. The lake is still in good condition but we do not need it to rise any more. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 557.48 and has risen 5-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours.  They have shut the one spillway gate but still have both generators running. We have received over 2-1/2 inches of rain in the last two days and it is raining right down now. The creeks were running heavily yesterday morning and are still running but not as fast.  I did not go fishing yesterday but several of us went out Monday and caught some nice fish. The surface temperature is still in the high 40's.  We were mostly fishing the Float creek area but Bink reports people catching red meat fish in Bennetts. I do not fish that area much because the crappie are smaller there than here but it is a good place especially in the spring. The visibility is often not the best there for diving until fall.  I do not go farther than I have to but often do not have to go more than 1/2 mile. The open water fish are shallower early, feed and then go to about 60-feet of water 50-feet down. It is to be cool for the next couple of days and then warm up a bit. I will let you know what is happening. I have a lot of good eyes out there. We are getting a lot of reservations now so give Debbie a call to reserve the cabin and boat of your choice and prevent disappointment. We will not charge you too much and your first regular sized boat stall is free. Our new brush piles are holding a lot of fish.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

James Soltysiac with a big Hybrid caught on the Bink's spoon. Image title

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The lake level is 557.05 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously and one spillway gate open 2-feet. The water surface temperature came up to over 49 yesterday evening in the sunshine and more back shallow in the creeks. The brown water is not clearing very well but you just have to go south of the 62 bridge to get out of it. I tried fishing in it to see if i could catch anything and  could not. Went to the stained green water and caught fish. Others caught bass, walleye and crappie on the spoon and an other caught bass dragging a football jig in 25-ft.of water. Some temperate bass were caught in open water in 60-ft 50-ft. down on the spoon. It was very warm with ambient temperatures in the 70's with light wind. I have been out there every day and the weather has been great. Several fishermen left but we still have a couple left. Everyone had a good time or said they did. Blackburns has all of their brushpiles put in now and they are holding fish. We will show you where when you get here.  It looks to be a good year for boating and fishing. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and are making a lot of improvements. People like our 300MG internet and first boat stall free. You will too. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle with some good ones.Image title

The lake level is 557.40 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously and one spillway gate open 2-feet. The lake is at a good level but needs to be at 548 going into the spring rains. It looks like the water in this area is clearing a bit but it could have just been the bright sunshine. Fishing slowed with the new high pressure as it always does but will get better through the next low pressure until the next cold front or high pressure. It looks like a cold front will be here later next week. People caught some good fish though but not nearly as many. Tom Kelly, Mike Eakle, James Soltysiac, John Bornhop and myselt put in brush piles yesterday for our other customers and we have some good ones. We fished before and after. It was a beautiful day and is better today. We were mostly spoon fishing brush. Wish you could have been here. February is now here and Debbie is getting a lot of phone calls for reservations. Give her a call to get the cabin and boat of your choice. It looks to be a good year for fishing and boating and we will not charge you too much and your first regular sized boat stall is free. A lot of improvements have been added so far. Come on down and check us out. There are a lot of big crappie in this lake. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

We both caught some good ones but Darrel caught the most. He always does. Image title

The lake level is 557.75 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously and one spillway gate open 1-foot. They closed one yesterday. The surface temperature is 48 degrees and the fishing conditions are good south of the 62 bridge. There is still brown water to there and it is not settling out very fast. Some fish are biting in it though. Mostly crappie. I went open water fishing with Bink yesterday and we caught some very nice fish. All temperate bass and some nice ones too. All fish were released on site. The fish were in 40-ft. of water early feeding and then moved to 60 and the bite slowed but we still caught some. It was cloudy all day and the sun never came out but the wind was calm. It was a very nice day with a lot of fun and then I went out to put brush piles in for our customers. We have some very good ones and they are producing fish. Open water fish are the best bite now but crappie are close behind on brush. One nice walleye was brought in. Every one was using a Bink's spoon. We have several good fishermen in now and they are all catching fish. We are open all year and have the best prices. Some will be watching some kind of game and I will be fishing. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

My best fish yesterday. All were released.Image title

The lake level is 558.38 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators still running continuously and two spillway gates open 1-ft. The surface temperature is 48 degrees and we received about 1-inch of rain in the last couple of days. It has been cloudy, cool and rainy. Tomorrow is to be in the 50's and then warm up from there. I spooned brush over by Robinson Island and caught a few crappie, bass and bluegill. I checked the flats in front of Mallard and found some open water fish. They were bass, hybrids and white bass. All were small except the largemouth and they were on scattered shad anywhere from 50-70 feet of water 50-feet down. I was using the 1/2 ounce Bink's spoon white with red throat in color. The only thing good about the weather was the wind was down and you could stay on the brush and shad easily. Blackburns is open all year and have several good fishermen coming in today.  We will see what happens. I guess the high generation is keeping the brown water from settling but it is easy to find clearer water. None of it is clear. The most I can see my lure down is 3-feet but I have not gone south of Robinson except fishing with Bink. He is on the open water fish. I have been doing the fishing report since 1997 when my friend Gary Sperry died and was asked to take it over. Now several newcomers are writing one and I guess emulation is the sincerest form of flattery. My motive is to keep existing customers abreast of what is happening here at Blackburns Resort and let them know the lake and fishing conditions. I am either out there fishing or diving almost every day, pretty much know where the fish are and put in lots of brush to enhance the fishing for our customers. The more you fish Norfork the better you will get at it.  It is not easy but you have accomplished something when you learn how and then you will catch fish almost every time. There are a lot of fish in this lake. Do not throw everything in the tackle box at them but just use what works. It is not very many things.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with some good ones caught in float creek on brush. Image title

The lake level is 558.68 and has dropped a little over three inches in the last 24-hours with both generators still running and two spillway gates at one foot. It is down two and one half feet since it's last high a couple of weeks ago. The surface water temperature ranges from 48 to 49 depending on whether you are in the sun or not. Not much sun yesterday with a cold damp day with light rain. It is a cloudy day today also. We have been fortunate that all of the weather has kept north of us this winter and there is no frost in the ground . It is to get very warm later this weekend. The lake is very slow to clear up after the big runoff last month. I would have though it would have dropped out by now. You have to go to about Robinson Point to find clear water and it is not nearly as clear as normal, what ever that is. Fishing goes from fair to poor for brush fishing but is much better for open water fishing after you find them. They are still at about 50-feet no matter the depth of the water. The size is not the best though but good numbers. Release the fish and let them get bigger. They grow very fast. The 1/2 ounce white spoon is the best. Crappie and bass fishing is fair but some big ones are coming in. Call and get your reservations in to get the cabin and boat of your choice. It looks to be a good year for fishing and boating. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

George says the pond is producing. Image titleImage title

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The lake level is 558.95 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously and two spillway gates open 1-ft. The surface temperature was 49 degrees when i went out yesterday.  It was a beautiful warm day with sunshine and light wind after the heavy fog burned off. I caught bass and crappie on the spoon in brush at 25-30 ft. deep and it was nice to be out there. It has cooled off a bit today with a chance of rain tonight and tomorrow but nice again this weekend. Fishing is pretty good for open water fish if you know where they are. Bink knows. I wish the size was bigger. Crappie are the best followed by bass for brush fish. I am not catching many pounding the bank. The water is still brown to the bridges and is not clearing very quickly but just stained a little green south of that. I am fishing the Robinson Point and Float Creek area on points and banks with access to deep water. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and are open all year. Your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 559.45 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running and two spillway gates open 1-ft. Keep it going boys. I went fishing with Bink's Guide Service today and we really caught a lot of open water fish. He knows where they are. We fished neck and neck most of the day but he pulled away at the last minute. He caught 26 and I caught 24. We released all of them on site. We are trying to get the sizes of the temperate bass back up where they were a few years ago. People need to quit killing all of these small stripers and hybrids no matter what the regulations are. A 7-10 lb. striper is not big and pictures of dock floors full of dead ones are not impressive. It was a beautiful January day on Norfork Lake with highs near 60 and sunny with light wind. Wish you were here. It looks to be a good year for fishing. What a fun day. Look for fish in the 40-50 ft. range no matter the depth of water. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 559.95 and has dropped over an inch in the last 24-hours despite us getting about 1-inch of rain the last two days. The new news is that they are running both generators continuously and have supplemented the discharge by opening two spillway gates one foot. This is a step in the right direction. Just do not quit at 553.75 but take it down to below 550 and we will be fine. The increased discharge is not allowing the lake to clear much but the brown water on the main lake has settled a bit but the creeks are stained. The water coming down from Missouri from the river and Bennetts is brown but everything is ok by the time you get to the bridges. The float creek area is an excellent place to start and the main lake points south of there. It was cool when I went out yesterday but the wind had completely died down. I spooned brush for bass and crappie but had limited success. I caught a few but no picture fish. The surface temperature is still about 48 and the lake in general is in good condition. The moon is getting smaller and on cloudy days when it gets dark it gets dark. And when the sun goes down it gets cold. Dress accordingly. We are busy making improvements here at Blackburns and getting the rental boats ready for spring. You will like what you see when you get here. Call to get the cabin and boat of your choice reserved.  We are open all year. We need to keep our high quality employees and do not lay them off. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 560.19 and has dropped 2+ inches in the last 24-hours with heavy generation. They are also running other lakes hard and suplementing with spillway gates. Hold and hope and let out water not going through the generators and wasting it is the plan. Not much of a plan. Why do they not just draw down the lakes after harvest and get revenue with the water? Nothing is hurt by keeping the level of the White River at Newport at 21-feet and lowering the lake levels to have a surge for the spring rains. It worked before. The whole water management plan needs to be reviewed and be revised for the 21st. century. The old one does not work so fix it. The rain is not the problem. The plan is. It was cool with light wind when I went out yesterday and the surface temperature was 48.5 with partly cloudy skies. The creeks are clearing faster than the main lake in this area which is still brown to just short of the 101 bridge. I know where some open water fish are but decided to try and fish the brown water for bass and crappie. It did not work out very well. I tried both the spoon and slip float and minnow over some good brush with little success. I wanted to give it a good try before quitting. Today I will move just a little downstream and work main lake point brush in the clear water. We will see. I would not advise taking a long trip here just to fish at this time. It should get better soon. It always does and there are a lot of fish in this Lake. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 560.39 and has actually dropped a very little with pretty heavy generation. The surface temperature has dropped below 50 and is now in the high 40's with the cooler weather. It is to be slow warming up but should get back into the 50's by late this weekend or early next week. The creeks are clearing after the runoff from the rain but the main lake is still brown down to just before the 101 bridge. The open water fish that I am finding are not in the creeks but on the main lake flats in 60-80 feet of water. Some are in the creeks but that is determined by the prevailing winds as it always is. Many schools of shad are not holding any fish. Crappie and bass fishing has slowed a bit but some are still biting on brush.One thing about open water fishing now is that the fish and the bait are not moving very much and you can stay on them. It is much easier than when they are roaming which can be very difficult to do so. Use a 1/2 ounce spoon and work from the bottom up the water column until you find the level in which they are feeding. If they are not look for some more and move back there later. I wish it was warmer but as long as the wind is not blowing it is not bad. I am still somewhat surprised that fish are biting in the brown water but they are. All of the water south of 101 is pretty clear and a good color for fishing.  Blackburns is open all year.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike with some good ones caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday. They were not released. They had quite a few eggs in them for January. Image title

The lake level is 560.40 and has risen over 3-inches in the last 24-hours. The brown water seems to have stopped before the 101 bridge and is pretty clear south of that. The creeks are settling out nicely but it will take a bit on the main lake north. The brush pile fishing has slowed but the open water fishing has improved but you have to know where to go. It takes more looking than fishing to find feeding fish. They are feeding best at 50-feet no matter how deep the water is. 60-80 feet is best on main lake flats. All kinds of fish are on shad in open water but it is hard to get them to bite. Just keep finding fish and move and then come back to check them.  They are not moving very far.  Some nice crappie are still being caught but not as many as before. This always happens this time of year.  The surface temperature is still just below or right at 50. We put in a couple of nice trees in yesterday in back of the other too deep ones and moved the dock again. It is to be cool for the next couple of days and then get back up to 50 later next week. You cannot walk on our water or drill holes in it. Just dress warm and you will be fine. Better than staying on the sofa.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with some good ones. He is fishing in Float Creek with a whacky worm. Image title

The lake level is 559.91 and is still rising after the rain a week ago with very little generation. It came up about 2-inches in the last 24-hours. The one big change that I saw when i went out yesterday was somewhat of a surprise. A wide band of brown water has made it down from the border and is in the main lake channel. It has made it to the bridges and is heading south. Hopefully it will settle out over time. It took it a long time because of the small amount of generation and little current. I have been here 25-years and do not remember seeing the water level approaching 560 in the middle of January. They have had ample time to drop it. If we get a big rain and the level rises five feet and the level is at 548 it becomes 553 which is perfect.  If they keep it at 553.75 which is power pool and this happens it approaches 559 which is one big rain away from trouble.  Someone with a brain needs to reassess the rules about lake management. What they are doing does not work. Everything needs to evolve. We got our brush permits Tuesday and are busy putting in trees for fish cover for Blackburns Resort customers.  We already had some good ones but have added to them and a few new ones. They are holding fish already. Bass, crappie, and bluegill are the best bite now but more schools of white bass are showing up.  They are small but I am glad to see them. Spoons are the best lure for me but jigs are working for crappie too.  I am fishing the lightly stained water but fish are biting in the brown water too. The creeks are clearing from the runoff last week. What you have is creeks clearing but still light brown, main lake channel brown from Missouri to the bridges moving south with areas of clear water outside the channel and in the big creeks and clear water south of the bridges on the main lake. The 6-feet total rise has made the brush piles deeper so i am putting in some to be at 25-feet at this level. It is hard to tell what level to put them. I try for them to be at 25-ft. at 552 which is ideal. People are catching good fish everyday.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

All fish caught on the White 1/2 ounce Bink's Spoon. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 559.73 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with little generation. They cannot manage it correctly in the winter let alone summer. They need to be replaced. This 12-feet rule at Newport needs to be reviewed and the level should be changed to 21-feet after harvest down stream and kept there until the lakes are well below power pool by April 1st before the spring rains. News alert: Hold and hope does not work. The brown water from the heavy runoff is clearing and the fish are biting again back in the creeks. The lake is clearer the farther down stream you go but that is not necessarily good for fishing. The surface temperature was 50+ when I went out yesterday morning with Bink. We waited until the fog had cleared and went for open water fish. We found many of them in 60-80 ft. of water near the bottom but fishing was slow. He did catch a crappie at 80-feet on the bottom and that was the first time either one of us had done that. We fished a couple of brush piles with little success and then went back where the open water fish were found earlier. We found large schools in 70-80 feet of water and they were scattered from from 30-feet to the bottom. The deep ones would not bite again but we started working our spoons up and down in the water column and started catching fish at 50-ft. It seems they moved from the bottom to 50-ft. to feed and the ones on the bottom would not bite. Once we found that out we caught a lot of fish.I switched from a 3/8 ounce spoon to a 1/2 ounce and that helped too. It was warm out with light wind and a perfect day for fishing.  Especially for the middle of january. I do not fish open water much but this was fun. We caught stripers, hybrids and white bass. The fish were not as large a we wanted but were glad to find schools of white bass which have been elusive since spring. Bink knows how to find open water fish and how to catch them. We caught and released dozens and kept just a few for his friend. I prefer walleye, crappie, kentucky bass and flathead catfish but this was a very fun day. My turn to take him brush pile fishing next. People fishing out of the resort are catching some nice ones every day.  Cold weather is on the way but we are more than 1/2 way through January and we have lots of nice days in February. I will be out there and give you a report. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 558.71 and has risen 7-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with little generation and has risen 5-feet in the last 5-days. The creeks are brown from the heavy runoff most of the way out to the main lake. The main lake is stained a little green but still in good shape. I have had recent changes of thought about brown water.  I used to say fish past the brown water where it turns more clear. Now I have been seeing fish on brush in the brown water and catching them. I still prefer stained light green water though but you cannot argue with results. The surface water temperature is still 49 degrees and they are starting to generate a little but not much. They could be letting some water out to chase the slug that is going through the Gauge at Newport now and better do so. There is a good chance of rain this weekend. Bink found a bunch of White Bass a couple of days ago and I was glad.  They have been scarce since last spring. Crappie, bass and bluegill are still the best bite and spoons are the best bait. It is to warm up to near 70 again later this week. It does not matter much to me as I have an electric coat, gloves and socks and love to fish. We have not had any winter here yet and the iris and daffodils are up and the Bradford Pears have buds. I hope this works out. Good fishing for the next several days.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.33 and has risen 2-feet in the last 24-hours with no generation since last early evening. We did receive a total of almost 4-inches here at Blackburns for the last few days. We were able to get in a full day of fishing Friday with very cloudy skies and very light rain. The water surface temperature was just above 50 and the creeks had stained up again. I spooned brush near my dock for about an hour and caught a couple of bass and then moved to a north facing bank out of the wind with brush and found some feeding crappie and caught seven before dark. One was very large. It started to rain about 7:Pm here and thundered heavily most of the night. The creeks run very heavily and are still running. The lake will continue to rise quickly with no generation. They always quit when the rain starts. The cold front is here now and will not do the fishing any good but it is to warm back into the high 50's and 60's early next week. We will seee what happens. I am fishing brush in the 22-30 ft. range but that might change with the lake rise. It is at an excellent level for fishing now. You have to be out there almost everyday do keep on top of the conditions. I will let you know.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 553.63 and they are holding it up with very little generation. They have dropped the White river to 13-feet to protect crops down river. (must be winter wheat)  It should be 21-feet and all lakes should be dropping this time of year. Hold and hope is the motto and bad management is the game. We are to get some pretty good rain the next couple of days and we are getting dry. The full moon and high pressure has slowed fishing a bit but some nice fish are being caught but not as many. I have to fish two or three brushpiles to find feeding fish. Use the 1/2 ounce spoon for the larger bass and the 3/8 or 1/4 for the crappie and smaller bass. The crappie are shallower and the bass are near the bottom. Both are hitting on the drop. Look for brush in the 25-30 ft. range. Until you get used to wheather your spoon is touching brush or a fish is biting do not set your hook or you will snag your lure. If you do snag, get directly over the spoon with your trolling motor and release your line on your baitcaster or open the bail on your spinning reel and use your thumb as drag and try to get your spoon to get some movement up and down and then keep raising it up and down without pulling the hook into the wood. Most of the time you will get it out unless you hook someone else's heavy broken line. Do not let your lure and line drag behind you when spooning or you will lose your lure for sure. Keep it straight up and down. Also watch for a difference in your line movement or resistance when snapping your line up and down to make sure your spoon is not hooked on itself.  You are wasting your time if it is. If you work on this you will catch fish. It was a beautiful day yesterday with mild temperatures in the 60's with medium winds from the south so it was easy to find a brushpile out of it facing north. I fished two good ones and only caught one crappie and then found one with active fish and caught several small bass and the a couple of good ones and more crappie. It was very nice to be out. The surface water temperature was 51 and the lake is clearing a bit and is perfect for fishing. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. Bass, crappie and bluegill are the best bite with a few walleye thrown in but not very many big ones. I caught one of the largest warmouth of my career yesterday. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Bink with a good one,Image title

The lake level is 553.66 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday with very little generation. They always quit generating when rain is in the forecast so they can maximize the effects of the rain to keep the level up as high as possible. We are to get quite a bit of rain Thursday night through Saturday. They have had all fall and winter to drop the lake but show no signs of doing so. Bad management. I wish they held an elective office and had accountability. I went fishing with Bink again yesterday and we had a great time. The weather was perfect with highs near 60 and light winds. The surface temperature was just above 50 and the lake is clearing and you could see your lure down about 4-5 feet.  We went to Big Creek and fished brush piles with good success. We caught largemouth, kentucky, crappie, bluegill and Warmouth all on his spoons. The grubs did not work well.  The big bass were caught on the larger 1/2 ounce spoon and the crappie were caught on the 1/4 and 3/8 ounce ones. I was using a white with black back and he was using white with red throat. We were fishing Game and Fish brush piles and they were good ones. We caught big bass but most of them were throw backs. About a 3-1 ratio. We caught seven keeper fish and about 20-smaller ones. The larger fish came out of the deeper brush from 30-35 feet and almost all were caught on the drop. We saw one other boat. My turn to take him next time. I learn everytime I fish with him. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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My grandson Ryan with a big one. Image title

The lake level is 553.70 and has dropped less than an inch in the last 24-hours with just a bit of generation. The creeks cleared up quite a bit yesterday and have more visibility than the main lake but that can change quickly.  The surface temperature is hanging in there at about 50. The lake is in excellent condition but needs to drop about 5-6 feet going into the spring and they are not showing any inclination to do so. I guess it will take a drought. The weather has been really nice with highs in the 50's and sunshine. Fishing has slowed compared to the end of last year but we are still catching fish. Bass, crappie, bluegill and walleye are the best bite now but most of the walleye are throw backs. It takes a good one to be 18-inches but I like the rule. Not many big ones get released. Striper fishing is slow and the ones being caught are small. This happens every year at this time. I wish they would drop the limit on stripers and Hybrids to two. The schools of shad I am seeing have few fish on them and all the fish that I am catching are on brush. Do not forget to get your brush permits at the Corps office at 9:AM on the 14th. We want the spawn to have as much cover as possible this spring. The Game and Fish biologists have certainly done their share in helping the habitat and I hope they continue to do so. One day the spoon is the best lure and the grub the next. I cannot tell which one until I try. A few fish are on the bank but not many. I am getting my largest bass in 30-ft. of water. Do not forget to get your deposits in by January 15th to insure you get the cabin and boat of your choice. We do not want you disappointed.  It looks to be a good year and we have made a lot of improvements for you. Come on down and check us out.  You will not be disappointed and the price is right. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 553.64 and stable with just a little generation. We need to be at 548 by March 1st to have enough reserve capacity for the spring rains like they used to do before the mismanagement began. The surface temperature was back up to just above 50 when I went out yesterday. The water was still stained and I could see my lure down about three feet. It is clear next to the bank though.  I waited for the wind to go down before I left last evening and it did so about 4:pm. No sense charging out there in a hurricane unless you are fishing the bank. I found a school of fish just outside a brush pile and got excited. I caught a couple but they were just White Bass so I moved. No picture fish there. The wind was swirling a bit but only about 10-mph, so I went to a north facing bank with some nice brush. I do not spoon much in the wind because it drags your lure and gets hung up too much. If you do, go against the wind with your trolling motor and try to keep your lure straight up and down.  Switched to a grub and casted it over the brush and let it sink. Caught a nice walleye and four crappie (two were very big) and a nice bass and came in at dark. The days are getting longer now and I like that. The moon is getting bigger and that is not helping things. Overall fishing was not as good as everyday for the last couple of weeks before but still ok. Several of us have been out everyday and nobody did great yesterday but all caught some fish. Better than staying on the sofa. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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Big bass caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 553.68 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 1/2 the time. They are holding the White River at Newport at just over 14 feet for some reason. The surface temperature is 49 degrees and the lake is still stained and you can see your lure down about 3 feet. It is a good color for fishing and the lake in general is in excellent condition. I caught bass, crappie and bluegill when I went out last evening. I was using both the Bink spoon and a slip float and minnow over brush in 25-feet of water. It tried to sprinkle a little but it was warm and good to be out. It is cloudy again today and I will head out this afternoon. I am seeing more large schools of shad than before and that is good but few of them have fish on them. There were several boats fishing around my dock with birds all around but they did not know I had just fed the fish with floating fish food. The same thing happened under the bridge when I was feeding the ducks that fly in by the boat wanting food. The Corps of Engineers are issuing brush permits for Norfork lake at 9:AM at their office on January 14. First come first serve. This is a good way to help the fish habitat. With the effort of the biologists from Game and Fish and private fishermen putting in brush it will definitely make the fishing better. Blackburns has been putting in brush since 1995 and have some good ones. We want our customers and friends to catch fish and it works. Fishing is pretty good now with spooning being the best over and right around brush.  Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Why pay more?  We are open all year. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 553.73 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running a little over 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is still dropping and is just over 14 feet. The water surface temperature dropped to under 50 degrees for the first time yesterday and is 49+. The main lake continues to be stained as well as the creeks. You can see your lure down about 3-feet. I went out a little later than usual yesterday waiting for the wind to go down. I fished a north facing bank to get out of it and worked a brushpile hard for about an hour using a grub with very limited results. Then I switched to a 1/8th ounce Bink's spoon firetiger in color and started catching fish immediately. Caught 4- crappie and a bass in about 1/2 hour and then it was dark. It is very cloudy with misting rain now and I am heading out. We will see what today brings. The only two other boats i saw out there were staying at Blackburns where people are taking advantage of the low cabin rates and their first boat stall free. Many resorts are closed. The lake is in excellent condition and the winter fishing has been very good. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Look at the size of those crappie. Good going James Soltysiac. Image title

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The lake level is 553.95 and has dropped less than one inch in the lst 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. The White river at Newport is at 14+ feet and they must be protecting the corn and bean crop from flooding before the harvest downstream.   Oh, I forgot that was last fall. It is now January and they only have a couple of months before the spring rains. The lake is in excellent condition now though and the crappie and bass are biting. The surface temperature was 50.5 yesterday evening and the water is still stained. Mike, John, James and myself all caught fish. Some people left but we have more coming in. The fishing slows a bit after the cold fronts move in but get better and better after the high pressure arrives until the next cloudy, low pressure produces the best fishing until it rains you out. The fish care about low pressure, food, oxygen, cover, water temperature and proximity to deep water. Maximize as many of these as you can and you will catch fish. That is why I put Blackburns Brush piles on drop-offs.  After they feed they go to a comfortable place. I do not put brush on places to lure the fish there but put them on places known to hold fish to make it more attractive to them. It works. The fishing right now is a prime example. Spring top water fishing is fun and easy but i really like winter fishing for big fish and low fishing pressure. Bass fishermen beating the bank are not doing that well but the ones spooning deeper brush are doing great. This is a good time of year and you cannot walk on our water or drill holes in it. Many places are closed but Blackburns is open all year. Come on dow. We will not charge you too much. Compare prices. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 553.99 and has dropped over an inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 1/2 the time.  The surface water temperature is pretty stable at about 51 degrees and the lake is still stained and you can see your lure down about 3-feet. They have dropped the White River at Newport to below 15-ft. and could be letting out a lot more water and creating a lot more energy rather than holding and hoping and opening up the spillway gates and not getting anything from the release. They exemplify bad management and the rules need to be changed. Nobody gets hurt with Newport levels below 21-feet. The fishing remains good with crappie and bass alternating as the best bite and the level is perfect for blackburns brush piles and they are producing. It has been windy for the last two days and it has dropped a lot today finally. More and more walleye are showing up but most of them are throw backs. We have several people fishing out of Blackburns now and they are all catching fish but mostly bass and crappie with a walleye or two also. White bass are scarce and the ones caught are mostly small. Please get your deposits in by January 15th to hold you reservations for this year and insure you get the cabin and boat of your choice and not lose your seniority. There have been a lot of improvements made this fall and winter and you will like what you see when you get here. Looking forward to seeing familiar faces and new ones too. The lake in general is in excellent condition. May the new year find you and yours healthy and happy. Everything is good here. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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All released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 554.06 and they have started two generators for the last few hours and the level has actually dropped a little. It is the first time both generators have run for about six months. It was windy yesterday and more windy today. The surface temperature is right at 51 degrees. The wind was coming from the west and was swirling and hard to get out of. The bass fishing slowed a bit but the crappie have picked up. Big ones too. Bass, crappie, blurgill and a few walleye are what is biting best. The trollers are catching a few red meat fish on umbrellas but few are even 10-lbs. They are thinning them out. The lake is stained just right for fishing and is overall in good condition. Some nice fish are being brought in every day. Spooning, slip float with minnows, and grubs are the best bait. Deeper brush in the 30+ feet range is producing good bass and some of the time they are right beside the brush and not right in it. Several are hitting the spoon on the drop near the bottom. We are all fishing within 1/2 mile of Blackburns creek. No need to go further. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and are open all year. Your first boat stall is free.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 554.12 and is rising just a bit with one generator running about 1/2 the time. We did receive about 1-1/2 inches of rain last night but most of it sunk in and the creeks did not run. They are holding the White River at Newport at 16 feet to keep the lakes up as high as they can going into the spring rains. The surface water temperature is between 52 and 53 degrees depending on when you check it. The water is stained and you can see your lure down about 3-feet. Bass fishing is far the best now. They are really biting well now in brush about 25-30 feet of water near the bottom. I am using the 3/8 ounce Bink's spoon, white with a black back and red eye. Everyone here is catching a lot of fish. The new Game and Fish brush piles are really working and attracting many fish. Try them in Float Creek. We have a map of them on our game room wall along with the location of Blackburns piles. This is about as good as it gets and is especially good at this end of the lake. Several fish in the 3-4 lb. range are coming in every day. Walleye are showing up with them but you catch about four before you catch a keeper. A few crappie are with them but not as many as two weeks ago. I did catch some very large ones yesterday though but not as many. The red meat trollers are still hit and miss with mostly miss. They fish for two days and catch nothing and then find a feeding school, catch a bunch and then write a report. I wish they would quit killing all of those small 7-10 pund stripers. Pictures of them filling a dock floor is not impressive. Striper fishing will suffer for it if they do not quit. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

All caught on the Bink's Jigging Spoon.Image titleImage title

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The lake level is not changing very much and the water clarity is not changing very much but the surface temperature has risen to 553. Bink and I went out yesterday morning and headed a little north. We stopped where the phone reception was good and waited for Bob Knight from KTLO 97.9 to call at 8:45 AM as he always does on Thursdays so we could give him the fishing report for Live in the Boat. I committed to catch Bob some crappie so we were under pressure. The pressure lasted for about an hour as we tried using the grub and casting it to the bank with a slow retrieve. That did not work very well so Bink moved us to deeper brush and we switched to the jigging spoon. We immediately started catching fish and they got bigger and bigger. We ended up catching Walleye, Largemouth Bass, Kentucky Bass and Smallmouth Bass and a few crappie and many smaller fish. It was a beautiful day and the wind was light and we were reluctant to come in. It was more like an April day than the end of December. It was a lot of fun. We both commented on how people need to quit killing those small stripers in the 6-10 pound range and the small numbers of White Bass. We took pictures and released all of the fish. When I returned to Blackburns I was met by several fishermen at the resort who also reported good success but caught more crappie then we did but they were fishing Blackburns brush piles. They are at a perfect depth. Bink and I caught very few fish shallower than 30-feet with most caught from 35-40 feet near the bottom. He told me the dissolved oxygen was almost the same from 0-90 feet and there was no reason for the shad  to be at any special depth except for cover. It was agreat day and the trip is on me next time. Come on down and join us. We may get some rain saturday but the warm weather is looking to hold for another week. Blackburns is open all year and have the best prices. I am making my promise good to Bob Knight today with the crappie I caught yesterday evening. Big ones too. Bink knows where the fish are. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is rising with very little generation and they are lowering the White River at Newport and it is now at 16-ft.+.The lake level is now 553.89 and the surface termperature is 52 degrees and also rising. The water clarity is still the same and you can see your lure down about 3-4 feet depending on the degree of sunshine. I saw two other boats out there yesterday and it was very warm. The fish were biting as soon as I went out about 2:30Pm and continued until 4:pm and then they shut down.  I caught several very large crappie and a couple of keeper bass along with several throw backs. One crappie was giant (over 16 inches) picture to follow. I have now caught 30-crappie over 15-inches this winter.  We have several good fishermen coming in today and we will see what they do. One day the fishing is very good and the next slow but I am seldom shut out. This is my time to catch large fish. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. We are open all year and are here now. I am fishing with Bink's Guide service today and you can hear his radio program on KTLO 97.9 Live in the Boat at 8:45 this morning. It is on every Thursday.  We will see how a professional does it. He is a good fisherman and I like his new Ranger Boat. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 553.82 and rising very slowly with very little generation. They are running one generator a few hours a day to keep up with river inflow and are reluctant to turn over the control to the power company. The White River is just over 16 feet at Newport. They have two months to get the level down to 548 before the spring rains. We will see if they do it or just maintain their policy of keeping the level up in the winter and then hold and hope. The lake is at a very good level now for fishing as is the color.  You can see your lure down about three feet. It is clearer closer to the shore. The fish seem to start biting about 9AM and again about 1-2 PM and then about 4-5 PM with periods of lockjaw in between. There does not seem to be any paticular pattern except there are not a lot of fish on the bank and the shad are roaming on plankton and blowing with the wind.  Bass, crappie and red meat fish are on some shad but you have to find several schools before one is feeding. More fish are on shad in open water than on brush but I am catching some good ones on brush but not high numbers. I caught one short walleye, several short bass, three bass keepers and seven keeper crappie with three of them very large in the over 15 inch range. If you are fishing in the afternoon make sure you are out at sundown until dark or you will be missing out on the best time of day. Especially for larger fish. The 3/8 and 1/2 ounce Bink's jigging spoon, white with black back and red eye are my bait of choice with the blue one next. Bink is using the Arkansas shiner. Otherwise I am throwing a Bobby Garland jig, light blue in color, tipped with a small minnow over brush in 25-ft. of water. Cast past the brush and let sink on it while retrieving slowly. Come on down to Blackburns. The weather is great and we are open all year and will not charge you too much. Your first boat stall is free. The surface temperature was just over 51 yesterday afternoon with the ambient temperature in the 60's. It cools down quickly after sundown. After this high pressure moves through and it gets cloudy will be an excellent time to hit Norfork lake and fish until it rains you out. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle with some very nice fish caught yesterday on the Bink's Jigging Spoon on Blackburns Brush.Image title

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The lake level is 553.78 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday. They are dropping the level at Newport quickly and it is now just over 17-feet. The new top of the power pool is 553.75 and the Corps resists turning the control to the power company. It used to be 552 but the changes in management rules by implementing minimum flow for the put and take trout in the rivers took away 1.75 feet of flood capacity. So much for the dam just being for flood control. It is all about the money. They are running one generator for a few hours a day and the flood gates are all closed. I have been going out every day in the afternoon and staying out until dark and catching several bass and crappie. The surface temperature was 50.5 and the lake is stained.  You can see your lure down about 3-feet. One day the spoon works the best and the next the slip float and minnow.  The grub and minnow is just fair but seems to catch a few fish every day. Some very large crappie are being brought in and some decent bass. Many small bass are being caught. My biggest bass yesterday was 18-inches and the biggest crappie was 15-inches. About 3/4 of the crappie are 11-inches or more. The striper fishermen are not doing very well but never do this time of year. They get lock jaw and move just off the main channel and will not bite except when a lure or bait is dropped right on their heads and you get a reaction strike.  You can find feeding fish on shad if you really look hard but most of them are bass and small white bass. I have not caught a walleye for a month. I am mostly fishing brush piles in 25-30 feet of water and the crappie are on top of them and the bass are right in them near the bottom. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and keep 7 cabins open all year. The weather looks great for the next week. You get a free boat stall with your cabin here at Blackburna Resort and Boat Rental. Check out our new maps with brush pile locations in the game room. The Bink's 1/2 ounce jigging spoon, white with black back and red eye is working best for me. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Bink with some good ones. More too. Image title

The lake level is 553.85 and has dropped a little over an inch in the last 24-hours. There is still no generation but they have 7-gates open 2-feet which is not much. Less than 1/2 a generator. The surface temperature is 51+ depending on whether you are in the creeks or on the main lake.  The creeks both cool and warm quicker. The visibility is pretty good and you can see your lure down about 5-feet. I am fishing for mostly bass and crappie but am catching some very nice bluegill but not a lot of them. I am still spooning, using a slip float and minnow and casting a grub and minnow for everything. It is to be very nice weather for the next week and the lake in general is in excellent condition. Bink is also catching some very nice fish as is Tom Kelly. There are not many boats out there and it is nice being out in the sun. Wish you were here. We have several fishermen coming in the next few days and I will get reports from them. You cannot go out once or twice a week and write an accurate report. Things are changing daily. Come on down.  We are open all year and will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 554.10 and has dropped about 1-inch in the last 24-hours.  They are not letting much out now. The water surface temperature is 52 degrees and is a little off-color but you can see your lure down about 5-feet.  One day it is clear and the next stained.  It varies with the level drop and the degree of sunshine. It was cool and damp when I went out with a mist of rain and light wind. The fog had moved in before I returned. The fish were biting very good and I caught about 20-keeper fish total.  Both bass and crappie. A few of the crappie were very large. Some were caught on a slip float and minnow, some casting the grub and some on the Bink 1/8th ounce spoon. They were about 12-feet down over brush. The bass were deeper, just outside brush in 35-ft. of water.  I caught fish until almost dark and then they quit like turning off a light switch. It was the best they have been for several days. I saw no other boats all the time I was out. I like that.  Peace and quiet. Starting tomorrow the weather is to get better and better until the weekend when the temperature is to get in the high 50's with abundant sunshine. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. There are a lot of fish in Norfork Lake and you cannot walk on our water or drill holes in it. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly caught some good ones yesterday on the spoon in Float Creek. More too.  All fish were released. We like that.Image title

The lake level is 554.68 and they have cut down discharge by about 1/2.  We dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours. It was 7. They need to keep dropping to about 548 before the spring rains. Fish were biting pretty good yesterday on the spoon and the lake is clearing and is in good condition. Surface temperature is just over 52.  Tom Kelly caught some nice bass yesterday in Float Creek just outside the refurbished Game and fish  brush piles. They put a lot of them in Float Creek. I have maps of them on the gameroom wall as well as Blackburns Brush piles. We have been putting them in for several years in the absence of the old ones being taken care of. The group of Game and fish biologists are working hard to make the lakes better and enhance fishing. It is greatly appreciated. I like their quarterly reports. Catfish have slowed way down with the big moon and lake drop. I am not catching as many bluegill also and they usually like the full moon as do the red meat fish. Some guests have been fishing for stripers hard and are having mixed results. They go out for a couple of days and catch nothing and then finally find a large school of fish over shad feeding and catch a bunch. It is hit and miss. The bass are a little deeper in around 35-40 feet where they were closer to the bank. You have to get down to them and the spoon is the best. Some big crappie are with them. I am fishing brush in 20-25 ft. of water for crappie with fair success. Maybe 2 on each pile. I like to find a good brush pile with fish on it and stay there and wait for them to bite but it is not working now. They bite for about 10-minutes and quit for hours and are roaming. There is a lot of shad now with a mixture of very small ones and some about 2-inches and just a few of the schools are holding fish. If you are fishing for stripers you have to keep looking for feeding schools and not waste your time on the ones that are not even though they have fish on them. There are several striper boats near the bridges but only a few small fish caught. When the water gets colder they always get lock jaw every year.  The boats aways covey up in December for some reason. Find a bird and you find a boat. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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It was cool when I went out there yesterday and I saw no other boats all the time I was out. The surface water temperature was 52.5 and the clarity was not bad. You could see your lure down about 5-feet. They are dropping the lake fast and it has dropped about 7-inches in the last 24-hours and is at 555.08 and has dropped over 5-feet since last month. Despite the full moon and the water dropping fishing was not too bad. I went crappie fishing and caught several. Some were pretty big. I caught some on slip float with minnow and some casting the small grub over brush. Blackburns brush piles are at perfect depths now and are holding fish. I only can catch about 2-fish on each one and then they quit and I move. There was no wind and it was easy to stay right on top of them. There were some fish coming up on shad in about 50-ft. of water and I dropped a spoon on them but they were just small stripers and white bass. They were out in front of the docks off Mallard point.  The seagulls have been back for a while and it makes it easier for red meat fishermen to find fish. If you depent on them you will be out of luck when they migrate in a few weeks. There are lots of shad and not all of the schools are holding fish. Look for dots and slashing lines on your locator and not black blobs. The crappie are over brush about 10-feet down. I am catching a few bass but not a lot.  Most are still in open water on shad. Good weather for the next few days. Come on down. We will not charge you too much for cabins and nothing for your first boat stall. You can have free gas on what you can save by staying here unless you just want to pay too much. Several places are closed.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

These and more caught on the Bink's Spoon. Image title

The lake level is at 555.62 and has dropped about 7-inches in the last 24-hours with 7-gates open two feet and 5-gates open 1-ft. and no generation. They are keeping the White River at Newport at 21-feet and there is no flooding down stream. Amazing. Just goes to show you what can be done even though both generators are down for maintenance. It needs to be at 548 going into the spring rains. This is a good level for fishing and Blackburns brush piles are in play once again. Spooning open water fish is the best now with bass and crappie on brush slowing a bit. Try in front of the houses around Mallard Point or in the creeks if the wind is blowing into them.  Many fish of all speces are on shad. I do not wish to follow them around and am catching some good crappie and bass but not a lot. The fish were biting good yesterday until the wind came up and the cold front moved in and then they quit. It was hard to get out of the wind with it coming from the northwest and swirling. I caught more fish in Blackburns creek on the way in on brush but nothing big. Bink caught some nice crappie with his spoon in the morning. The surface water temperature was 54+ and is still stained with the fast level drawdown.  The lake overall is in excelent condition but the full moon coming and the quick level drop is not doing the fishing any good with the constant cold fronts moving in twice a week, except for red meat fish. Blackburns is open all year and has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals and your first boat stall is free. Come on down we will not charge you too much. To be in the 50's for several days after today. If you want to come fish and the place you usually stay is closed, come on down you will be welcome here. You can launch here, park your trailer here, and have your boat in a free stall in just a few minutes. If you are by yourself no problem. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 559.15 and has dropped 5-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They have 6-spillway gates open 2-ft. and 6-gates open 1-ft. for a total discharge of 10,200 cfs. Be carefull out there on the river. The surface temperature was just over 54 degrees when I went out yesterday and the lake was stained and you could see your lure down about 4-feet. The wind was light and coming out of the northwest mostly and went down after sunset. The moon was bright and in it's first quarter. Full moon is on the 12th. Water dropping fast and moon growing has slowed the catfishing way down. Crappie, bluegill and bass are the best bite now but some open water fish are being caught on shad about 25-ft. down but most are small. I did not catch any picture fish and nothing was biting very well. I will try again today and let your know.  The weather is good and highs are in the 50's. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and are open all year. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

They just opened all of the spillway gates. Be carefull if you are on the River. Image title

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The lake level is now 560 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation. They just opened all of the spillway gates.  We will see what happens now.  We received about 3/4 of an inch of rain in the last 24-hours but no severe weather. The fish are biting pretty good. We caught walleye, bass, white bass, stripers, hybrids, crappie and catfish. Some crappie and catfish were very large but most of the others were small. I went fishing with Bink and caught stripers, hybrids, white bass and crappie but no picture fish. We had a good time and marked lots of big schools but they were not biting very well. We were catching big numbers but not big fish. Spoons are the bait of choice but catfish are biting well on jugs baited with shiners with the small moon, rising water and cloudy skies. We will see what happens today. A lot of fun is happening here at Blackburns resort and Boat Rental and we still have the best prices. Come on down and we will not charge you too much and are open all year. Lots of open spaces and close to everything with lots of wildlife. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike caught some in the morning and I caught some in the evening. Image title

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The lake level is 559.28 and is rising about an inch a day with no generation and three spillway gates open one foot which is not balancing out the river inflow. Let some water out boys. What in the world are you thinking? Not much I think. If they cannot manage it in the winter they do not have a chance in the spring. I was hoping the new guy in charge at Little Rock would be better but he is worse. Get the level at Newport to 21-feet and keep it there until we get into the high 540's. The surface temperature was 57+ on the main lake when I went out yesterday afternoon. I had a late start and did not get to fish long until dark. I caught crappie, bass and blurgill onlyand no walleye and was using the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon. Bass fishing seems to have slowed a bit but white bass and hybrids are picking up even though not many are very big. The crappie are on shallower brush if you can find it and the red meat fish are on the flats in front of the houses on Mallard point in about 50-ft. of water. Crappie and bluegill fishing is the best. I am using spoons, grubs and slip floats with minnows. It is to get windy this evening and cool down. I am going fishing now and it is 7:AM. Will let you know. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle with some nice ones this morning.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 559.11 and has risen about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation and three spillway gates open one foot which is equal to less than 1/2 generator. It is sunny and a beautiful day today after a cool and breezy day yesterday. The fish were biting pretty well though. Some of out guests were trolling umbrellas in from of the docks at Mallard point and caught red meat fish of all speces but nothing big. With the late summer fish kills, people learning how to catch them, increased fishing pressure, they are getting smaller and less in numbers. Since stripers and hybrids do not reproduce, either increased stockings or decrease in limits need to be implemented. The fish in general are getting smaller and smaller. Too many small fish are being killed. Pictures of dock floors full of dead small stripers is not impressive. Crappie, catfish and bass fishing is not decreasing though. The shad popularion is good also with many schools of very small ones showing up. All speces of fish are on them. You do not know what you will catch when you spoon them. Reports of some nice walleye are coming in but I have not caught any big ones yet. The brush piles are starting to get too deep again. Surface temperature is still in the high 50's and both the creeks and main lake are clearing nicely again after the 2-inch rain. There are still some good bass shallow near the bank off high banks. The morning bite starts about 8:AM and the evening bite starts about 4:Pm until dark and then abruptly stops. And I mean stops. Some nice fish are being caught every day. It gets better and better after a cold front until the next one comes in. Fish right up until it rains you out. We seem to be in a pattern of raining every week and then clearing with chilly nighs and repeat. It looks like some warm weather for the next several days. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 558.64 and has risen 6-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours after a two inch rain. The creeks run hard from about 4AM to 7AM but have slowed now. Both generators are down for maintenance. They are holding Newport at just over 12 feet and it should be at 21 feet. When I went out yesterday I went to a cove where the wind was blowing into  and spooned both brush piles and open water shad. The brush was in about 25-ft. of water and the shad were in about 50-ft. of water down about 25-ft. I caught white bass, bass and crappie. The Bink's 1/4 ounce spoon was used exclusively. I like to try different places.  Others were fishing the flats in front of the Mallard Point docks in 50-ft. of water and were catching bass and small stripers. The white bass are about 10-11 inches long but I am glad to have them showing up. They are easily caught are fun when nothing else is biting. I always say white bass are for people that can't catch anything else and trout are for prople that can't catch white bass. More big schools of shad are showing up and that is good. The lake was clearing nicely but has stained up again with the rain. The surface temperature is still in the high 50's. Thanksgiving is always a good time for overall fishing.  Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Some places are closed but Blackburns is open all year. Weather looks to warm up next week after this cold front moves through. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Morning catch.Image title

My largest crappie in the evening.Image title

Caught on the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon. Image title

The lake level is still rising with no rain for over a week and no generators running.  They do have three spillway gates open 1-ft. which equals about 1/4 of a generator. They are also holding the White River at Newport at below 12-feet to keep the lakes up as much as possible. It should be at 21-feet.  The level is now 558.07. It is time to impeach the Corps of Engineers for incompetence. It was a good day for fishing yesterday. I only caught bass and crappie but it was all I was fishing for.  I was hoping for a walleye but got none. I used the 1/4 ounce spoon exclusively on brush in 18-25 feet. Four keeper bass and several crappie were caught and released. It was about 60-degrees with light wind and the surface temperature was 58 degrees. The lake is clearing nicely and is very clear near the shore. It is another beautiful day today and it is almost time to go. I did see a few boats. The good striper fishermen are catching fish but others are catching none. It is to remain warm but there are good chances of rain for the next several days. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

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Caught yesterday on the Bink's spoon.Image title

The lake level is 558.13 and fairly stable with one generator running part of the time and they are keeping the White River at Newport at below 12 feet like something is going to flood. It has not rained for a week.  I though most of the crops were harvested. They are trying hard to protect Branson and running Table Rock hard.   If they will not drop the lake in the winter to prepare for the spring rains we need to get new managemrnt or a private company to run it and take the politics out of it. The level should be in the 540's by March.  It is all about the money. Hold and hope is not a stragety.  Both the main lake and the creeks are stained and you can only see your lure down 3 or 4 feet except near the bank. It is a good color for fishing. Surface temperature is 57-58 degrees. Fishing overall is fair to good with crappie the best.  Spooning brushpiles is the best way to get them. Bass fishing is not bad with some near the buckbrush in 6-9 feet of water. Some very nice Kentuckies are being caught but most of the bigger largemouth are still on shad suspended in 50-feet of water. Big bluegill are over brush about 10-feet down. Warmouth are right on the bank with some schooled with the crappie on brush.  The walleye that I am catching are all short at about 15-16 inches long. A very few keepers are being caught. Some white bass are finally showing up but most are small. Many fish are schooled and roaming with the shad. I have found no evidencce of a night bite for the stripers.  People that cannot catch stripers are fishing for crappie. Trolling umbrellas for red meat fish is the best now except for the spoon. They need to cut the striper limit to two fish and people need to quit killing small fish in the 5-10 lb. range if we want Norfork to keep being a good striper lake. I caught crappie, warmouth, bass and short walleye yesterday with the largest crappie being a little over 12-inches. It looks to not being cold again for the next week and I like fishing in the Thanksgiving time line. Blackburns is open all year so come on down. We will not charge you too much. You get a free boat stall here.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 556.42 and has risen 1.4 feet in 24-hours.  They quit generating when it rained as they always do to enhance the rise. They were not generating much anyway.  They are generating heavily with spillway gates open to hold the rise down at the chain of lakes. We received about 3-inches of additional rainfall last evening and night and the creeks run hard. They have slowed way down now. The Water temperature was 63 last afternoon when I went out and it was very cloudy but no rain until after dark. The fishing was the same as the day before with bass being the best bite with crappie second. I caught bass, warmouth, small White Bass and crappie.  Some guests caught some small hybrids and White Bass but no stripers.They were using shiners with balloons and planer boards with several lines out and were fishing the flats in front of the houses on Mallard point. I went up to the walleye rearing pond point but saw no signs of any after dark activity. Nothing would touch the stick bait. It started to rain so I came in. It is to be very nice this weekend and then get cold.  We will see what the rain did to the fishing and I will let you know. They need to let some water out but refuse to do so. For the people that wanted summer to end they are getting their wish. They should be very happy Monday. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

All Released.Image title

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The lake level is 555.21 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours.  They are running one generator 1/2 speed part of the time and holding Newport at 11+ feet. We received about 0.8 inches of rain and more is on the way. It is cloudy and in the 50's today after a beautiful day yesterday. I went out at about 3:PM and fished until dark. I caught fish from the time I went out until I came in. Fish were on steep river channel banks with the wind blowing into them on the main lake. Warmouth were right on the bank and the bass were out in front of them in 6-8 feet of water and the crappie were in front of them in 13-feet of water. Some very nice fish were caught and all released. It was very nice to be out in the warm sun with fish biting. Tom Kelly came in with some good bass caught in Float creek and released them under my dock. He keeps his boat in Panther Bay Marina and fishes Float a lot.  It is a good place. He was using a 3-inch plastic worm and a spoon and I was using the grub and minnow. I tried spooning brush in 25-ft. of water but only got small fish and bluegill. The red meat fish I am catching are small and the White Bass that are being caught are quite small and not worthy of a picture. I do not keep them anyway.  The shad that I am seeing are very small.  There was a brown scum on the lake but it went away. I do not know what it was. The lake is not very clear now except for near the shore. Crappie are on shallow brush piles but I can only catch one or two in each place. The very big ones are not biting very well yet. Most are about 11-inches but an occassional monster shows up but he is usually with other big fish and not schooled with his own. Surface temperature was 64 degrees. Come on down to Blackburns where we will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. No duplexes here and all cabins have covered porches. Our 18-stall dock has several different sized stalls to fit different sized boats.  No one size fits all here and the walkways are wide and on both sides of your boat. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught plenty more too. All fish were released. Under the dock. Image title

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The lake level is 555.31 and the surface temperature is 66 degrees. The weather is perfect and the fish are biting on Blackburns brush piles which are at a very good level now. Use spoons, grub and minnow and slip floats with minnows. Crappie, bass and bluegill are biting those and catfish are biting jugs with shiners. Everything is biting the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoons. Mike eakle caught two fish on one jug yesterday. It is to stay in the 60's for a while with chances of rain later this week. Fish until it rains you out. This is a good time of year and the lake is in excellent condition. Blackburns is open all year. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

One big fish. Caught yesterday.Image title

These are showing up in big schools.Image title

The lake level is 555.39 and has risen just a bit with no generation for about 16-hours. They are doing their best to hold the level up. They better drop it all this winter to about 548 and raise the level requirement at Newport to a proper level or there will be a revolt. Enough of this mismanagement. The surface temperature is about 66 degrees and the lake was clearing but the creeks turned stained again yesterday. The main lake is still clear especially near the shore. Bass and bluegill are the best bite now with some crappie and walleye also being caught. Walleye bite is best just after sunset on and around main lake points.  I will go up to the walleye rearing pond and check for stripers this evening. If they are to move in there to feed at night it will be by the 12th of this month on the full moon.  I got it from a reliable source that they caught some white bass but I still have not. i do not fish for them much but catch them anyway. This is good news as I have not seen any all summer diving. They are usually everywhere. We need them when other fish do not bite. For some reason some fish that are usually near the bank or on brush, like bluegill, are showing up in big schools on shad in 50-feet of water. They are big ones too. I do not know where all of them came from. Some schools of shad are very small in size so the smaller Bink's spoons, 1/8th ounce ot 1/4 ounce, are working the best. I am either casting my grub and minnow or dropping the spoon exclusively now. I can carry my tackle box in my shirt pocket. It is sunny and nice so it is time for me to go. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free.  I wish more big stripers were showing up and that people released more of the smaller ones. A 7-9 lb. striper is not a big fish. If they do not quit killing these we will not be known as a trophy striper lake anymore even though the same amount are being stocked. Guides, striper club, other fishermen, are getting better at catching them. This along with the increased fishing pressure is taking a toll on them. 

Norfork Lake fishing, lake conditions and fall foliage report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.75 and has dropped about 1-inch in the last 24-hours. We received about two inches of rain the last three days but the creeks did not run. It is good to have moisture in the ground going into the winter. It has been cloudy, dreary, rainy and cool but is sunny and nice out now. I went fishing and found some very nice bass part way back in the creeks in cuts just outside the buck brush in about 7-8 feet near the bottom. I was using the grub and minnow but those three inch worms with a lead head are working too. I caught some good sized crappie but not many of them. I did see some fish schooled on the main lake in front of Mallard Point by Hensleys on shad in 50-ft. suspended but they were small. I only caught bass, crappie and bluegill  but it was nice to be out. No picture fish. I come in at dark and my photographer quits at 5PM. The main lake seemed more stained with the rain but is in excellent condition for fishing and boating. The surface water temperature was 67 but some of our guests were swimming off our rental pontoon. It is too cool for me and I put my scuba gear away Friday. That is a sad day for me every year as I do not want summer to leave. It is easier to get fish with a pole anyway. We had a big group leave today and another one coming in for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is always good fishing. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and are open all year. The wind blew a lot of leaves off but there is more color than there was and it is not a total bust like last year. The roadways are not bad but the hillsides are still poor. Not worth driving a long ways to see. 


Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday on the Bink's spoon.Image title

The lake level is 557.31 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. They are doing well holding it up as long as possible in case it rains. It needs to be down about 10-feet by April in preparation for the spring rains.  It is at a good level for fishing and boating now though but it has taken them all summer and fall to get there.  We need a private company to manage the dams and parks and get the govenment out of it. It was a beautiful day yesterday and continues today.  Sunny with highs in the mid 70's. The fall color is changing just a bit every day but not very fast. The hillsides are not changing much just the roadways. Tom Kelly caught some nice bass and a walleye yesterday and we put them in the pond. It is getting stocked up pretty good now and is in excellent condition. Bass fishing is pretty good and he caught them on a jig and pig in float creek. We have some good fishermen in now and several others just left. We will see what happens today. Bink caught some good stripers yesterday on his Arkansas shiner spoon.  Fishing will get better as the full moon wanes for bass and crappie. I will go crappie fishing later today. Our brush piles are now finally coming into play. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. One bedroom cabins are still $59/day and they all are single units with no duplexes and all have covered porches. Trolling motors are also free on fishing pontoon rentals. You have 28-acres to roam and are not huddled up on a hillside with little parking. You will like our big dock with security system with different sized stalls for different sized boats with gutters on the roof and access fingers on both sides of your boat.   

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 557.26 and is dropping less than 2-inches/day. The surface temperature was about 80 when I went diving yesterday. The visibility was poor after the lake turnover but should clear up a bit soon as it settles out. I saw very little algae bloom this year and did not see the thermocline drop past 27-feet all year. The visibility was pretty good all year but spearfishing was just fair. Crappie were good but walleye and catfish were below fair. I will keep going until the surface temperature drops to below 70. I hate to give up. I am seeing less and less fish everyday but it is probably do to the visibility. I am only seeing bass, crappie, catfish and walleye and most of the walleye are undersized. Fishing should improve as we get into the month and after full moon. We will see if the walleye and striper move to the bank at dark on full moon in Novermber to feed. This is the time for stick baits on the 12th with a big moon. They do not always do this but the best walleye bite will be on the bank just before dark just do not know about the stripers. Try soft plastics too. Thanksgiving is a good time to catch some big fish. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Yesterday's fish of the day.Image title

The lake level is 557.40 and has dropped a little less than 2-inches in the last 24-hours. The lake is at an excellent level and condition for fishing and boating. The surface temperature was 80-degrees when I went diving yesterday.  The visibility was not very good but there were a lot of fish on brush at 25-32 feet. Mostly bass, walleye and crappie.  I still have not seen a White Bass for months and they are usually a nuisance when diving. I went to 40-ft. deep and found no thermocline.  It looks like the lake has turned and took the visibiliry with it. I still got one nice walleye and a couple of big crappie on main lake points on brush. Several walleye just short are showing up now. There are lots of bass with some big Kentuckies in the three pound range. Spoons, plastic worms and finesse worms are working best. Crappie are biting 1/4 ounce Bink's spoons and minnows on a slip float. The weather has been great and the fishing is getting better every day.  Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. It is to be 80 again tomorrow. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 557.70 and rising just a bit with very little generation. It rained a little over 2-inches in a two day period and the creeks run hard for a while. We were very dry. Everything is very green again and the grass is growing. There is little sign of any fall foliage color. The level of the White River at Newport is 11.2 feet for some stupid reason. Hold and hope is their motto and keeping the level up is their game. At least the level is good for right now for fishing and boating. I went out for a few minutes this morning and caught a few off crappie rock with the grub and minnow. Fishing in the morning and diving in the afternoon. Things are tough.  It was cool and rainy almost all day yesterday but is sunny and beautiful today and for the next several days. Come on down and we will not charge you too much. Your first boat stall is free and we are open all year. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle caught some good ones yesterday and they all went in the pond. Image title

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The lake level is 557.68 and has dropped a little over 1-inch in the last 24-hours with very limited generation. The White River at Newport actually dropped to under 11-feet yesterday. I sure hope they do not hold the level up so high this year and then blame the spring rains. That lame excuse is getting old. The level now is optimal for fishing and boating but is where it should have been in early June not October. Impeach the Corps of Engineers. It was a perfect day yesterday but rained a little last night and is still raining now. We have received a total of about 0.4 inches and it has all sunk in with the ground being so dry.  It is to be beautiful starting tomorrow for several days with highs in the low to mid 70's.  Bass, crappie, walleye and catfish are biting pretty well but not great. Look for brush on main lake points in 20-30 feet of water and use the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon mostly and also a plastic worm. The fall foliage is showing just a litte color but not much. I am still expecting the peak to be the very last of this month. Blackburns is your fall foliage headquarters for Mountain Home, Norfork Lake and the Ozark Mountain region. We have cover for your motorcycle and will help you with scenic routes. Come on Down. We will not charge you too much and are open all year. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

A mixed bag caught yesterday on the 1/4 ounce spoon.Image title

Mike Eakle caught a few over 11-inches .Image title

The lake level is 557.81 and has dropped a little over 1-inch in the last 24-hours and they are holding the White river at 11-ft.  I guess they are worried about a flood. We definitely need someone else to manage the dam. The lake is at a good level for boating and fishing but needs to be a lot lower coming out of the winter. Fishing is getting better and better. I am a walleye, crappie and catfish guy and do not fish for the red meat fish much. Bass fishing is good with several smaller ones being caught but some good ones too. Walleye are scattered and not schooled and bass are schooled. White Bass are gone. Crappie fishing is fair with a lot of smaller ones in the 10-11 inch range being caught off Blackburns Brush piles. A few smaller stripers are showing up.  The surface water temperature is dropping is dropping with the cooler nights and is now in the high 70's and varies with the time of day and amount of sunshine. Most varieties start biting about 8:AM or about one hour after sunrise. Main lake points with brush is a good place to start. Top water fish are mostly small bass. Diving conditions are good around Robinson for walleye.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 558.09 and is dropping less than 2-inches/day. They are holding Newport religiously under 12- feet to control flooding during this drought. The level is perfect now for Norfork and Blackburns where you can drive or walk 1/3 mile to the dock and get on with no steps. We will see if the incompetent lake management keeps lowering the level or hold and hope and allow the level to remain too high all winter.  It rains here in the spring boys. The surface temperature was near 80 when I went diving and I went to near 40-feet deep and found no thermocline. The temperature was nearly the same from 10-feet down to 40-feet. The deepest the thermocline has been is 27-ft. all year and it does not drop as the water cools.  You cannot see the thermocline on your fishfinder. The water is pretty clear and what people think is the thermocline is just where the light stops penetrating. The crappie bite has fallen off quite a bit and they are not as big as they were a week ago. Bass and walleye fishing is the best with crappie third.  You cannot go fishing once a week and write a fishing report. Things are changing rapidly. I am still seeing no White Bass and am starting to believe they are not there. They are the go to fish when people cannot catch anything else and are fun to catch. We need them. We will see if the stripers move to the bank in November for a night bite to feed but I have my doubts about that. It does not happen every year. The walleye bite in the fall does happen though with soft plastics just at sunset until dark. I got some good walleye yesterday and a couple of crappie. Come on down. Blackburns is open all year and has the best prices. I know where the fish are and will help you. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Got a couple of good ones Scuba Diving.Image title

The lake level is 558.23 and continues to drop a little less than 2-inches in a 24 hour period. The conditions were sunny and hot when I went diving yesterday. The surface temperature was in the late 70's and the visibility was pretty good at about 8-9 feet. I went down to 35 feet and found no definite thermocline and only slight temperature variation. The fish that I found were deeper than earlier in the week with many big bass at 20-25 feet  and several good walleye and a few crappie with them. Out on the main lake points where they start to drop off are a good place to start. It is to cool later this week with highs near 70 and lows in the 50's. I will be sorry for summer to be over. The lake in general is in excellent condition for fishing and boating. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mr. and Mrs. Roy Woods from Mississippi show off a variety pack. Image title

The lake level is 558.41 and has dropped a little less than 2-inches in the last 24-hours. When i went diving yesterday a lot has changed. Many of the bass have left the main lake points.  There were still some out on the points in 16-ft. of water but not nearly as many and not nearly as many big ones. Also a lot of the crappie were gone. I went down over 30-feet and found no thermocline. That does not mean there is not one but it has been in the 26-ft. range all summer. It does not go down as the water cools. I was low on air and did not want to go deeper. I will check it out tomorrow. I did see several walleye at about 20ft. where there were none a few days ago. Tom Kelly did catch some good crappie at about 25-ft. and we put them in the pond. The weather remains warm and the surface temperature is near 80. We received 1.6 inches and 1.2 inches of rain last week and everything is very green.  The lake is in very good condition for boating and fishing. The level is perfect and you can drive to Blackburns dock and step right on. The visibility is just fair for diving and seems to be the same from 5-30-ft.  Come on down to Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. We will not charge you too much.  $59/day for a one bedroom. Not bad. Blackburns is your fall foliage headquarters for Norfork lake, Mountain Home, Ozark Mountain Region and Northern Arkansas. So far it still looks to peak the very last of This month. Looks to be good this year so far. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 559.10 and is still dropping about 2-inches a day. The surface temperature was 80 degrees when I went diving yesterday and the visibility was pretty good .  It rained 1.6 inches earlier and and it cooled the water. You could really tell the difference when i jumped in. I went to a main lake point and fish were everywhere. Mostly crappie and bass but a few walleye too. A lot of good sized bass and some large crappie but hundreds of smaller ones. They were shallow in 12-18 feet of water and suspended off the bottom. I was only looking for big fish so I let the walleye go but picked up a couple of crappie for supper. Diving conditions were very good for september. The pole fishermen caught some nice bass and crappie also with the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon over 30-ft. brush. I am not seeing any schools of walleye or any white bass.  All of the surfacing fish are bass. They are coming up about 6-PM but most are small. Cast the 1/8th ounce spoon over them.  I did not check for thermocline because I did not need to go that deep. I will next time. It is going to get very warm later on this weekend and will be a good time for a boating trip. Summer is not over and our big pool is open. Blackburns is open all year and will not charge you too much.  We are the fall foliage headquarters for Norfork Lake, Mountain Home area and the Ozark Mountain region. Peak will be about the very end of October. Come on down.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 560.28 and dropping about 2-inches/24 hour period. The weather has cooled a bit and it is now very comfortable but cloudy. It looks like the storm that hit Texas hard will miss us and go to the Kansas City area with quite a bit of rain.  We are very dry here. The boys that went out this morning caught a lot of fish and most of them are on main lake points. If you see fish coming up throw the 1/8th ounce Bink's spoon past them and hop it back. That is about the only thing that they will bite on now. I am still seeing no White bass. Bass and crappie are the best bite now. The lake is in excellent condition for fishing, boating and swimming. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Look at the size of this Norfork Lake crappie caught fishing with Bink's Guide service. Big.Image title

The lake level is 560.93 and is dropping about 2-inches a day with reduced generation. They are doing their best to hold the water up for as long as possible. The surface temperature is still 86 degrees and the creeks are stained a bit but the main lake is clear. The visibility is still good for this time of year. We have a group of divers in and they are doing well with crappie, walleye and catfish. They are good divers and come every year. I got one walleye and four crappie and all of them were on or near brush in 18-25 feet of water. The thermocline is hanging in there at about 26-feet with cold water at 30. I am seeing no fish below 30. A few bass are coming up early but they are small. There are still a lot of good Kentucky Bass inside of main lake points shallow. Fishing is picking up with crappie, bass and catfish being the best. I am using the 1/4 ounce Bink's jigging spoon while pole fishing and a 24-inch spear when diving. They are always eating steel if you can find them. Come on down to Blackburns and we will not charge you too much. It is busy here and if you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. You can get a one bedroom cabin here for $59/day with no charge for your first boat stall and trolling motors on pontoons are free. All cabins have covered porches with no duplexes. Bink's caught some good ones yesterday.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tyler caught and released this one near Cranfield Island. Image title

Tyler Peterson with a good one caught in Blackburns Creek. He is from Kansas.Image title

The lake level is 561.49 and it is dropping about 3-inches a day with one generator running most of the time. The bowl is getting smaller and the level is dropping faster with the same amount of generation. They are doing a good job of keeping the White River at Newport at 12-feet for no reason and holding the lake level up as high as possible for as long as possible. Good job boys. It is an example of why we cannot let the government run anything. The surface temperature is staying in the mid 80's and the lake is fairly clear. Some walleye have moved to the flats near Cranfield Island and catfish are at the mouth of Blackburns Creek. Stripers are dying near the dam and it is just a good time to leave them alone and not cause then anymore stress. Many kentucky bass are on the sides of main lake points in 14-18 feet of water. Crappie are suspended over brush about 15-17 feet down. I am seeing no fish below 30-feet. It is still summer here with ambient temperature hanging in there in the low 90's. Overall fishing is just fair but is getting better.  I will let you know when the lake starts to turn. You have to be under water to know this.  All the rest is just speculation. It will probably be in mid October. Blackburns resort and Boat rental is your fall foliage headquarters for Norfork Lake, Mountain Home, Arkansas, Northern Arkansas and the Ozark Mountain Region. We will help you with suggested routes and have covered storage for your motorcycles. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Our big pool is open.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 562.32 abd has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running most of the time. The surface temperature was 86 degrees when I went diving yesterday morning. what i did see is that the fish are not in any normal summer pattern. I am seeing hundreds of good sized Kentucky bass and a few schools of barely legal crappie with just a few large ones mixed in. That is about it. I see smaller fish shallow in 12-14 feet, larger ones 14-22 feet and not much below that. There is nothing below 30-feet. Crappie are on brush in 30-35 feet of water but suspended above the brush about 15ft. down. There is not much else out there except for a few catfish on jugs baited with perch. I have seen no White Bass for months. There are some fish coming up in the morning but are not White bass. They are all small bass. Bluegill fishing is very good on crickets. Striper fishing near the dam is dead literally.  The lake is in excellent condition and the weather remains hot. I saw three boats out on the lake total and they were all my rentals. It is busy here and we like that. People are taking advantage of our low prices. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 562.59 and is still dropping a little over 2-inches in a 24-hour period. Surface temperature is still about 86 degrees and is perfect for swimming and boating. Ambient temperatures continue to be near 90. We received a pop-up shower yesterday in the afternoon and it rained hard. About 0.6 inches here at the resort. Other places close by got none. Fishing overall is fair with crappie, walleye and catfish being the best.  Dead stripers are showing up down by the dam and I am sorry to see this. It always happens in high water years. It is caused by low oxygen.  There is little or no oxygen below about 30-feet and that is why most fish are at or just above the thermocline which is about 26-feet. Fall is quickly approaching and it looks to be a good year for fall foliage. Blackburns Resort and Boat rental is your fall foliage headquarters. Peak usually occurs the very last of October but we will monitor this for you and post on this blog. It is a good time for fishing too. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. Our big pool is open. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Image titleThe boys had fun jumping and diving off our 30-ft. pontoon with tower. #9Image title

James bornhop with some good ones.Image title

Caught and released.on the Bink's spoon.Image title

The lake level has hit 563 even and is still dropping about 2-1/2 inches in a 24-hour period. The creeks are stained a bit and the main lake is clear. Surface tempersture is 87 degrees and the weather has been hot and is to continue to be so for several days. We have been dry for several days.  The lake is in excellent condition for swimming, boating and fishing. We are still in summertime. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Blackburns has only two tiers of pricing: Summer and off-season. Others have at least three. We are on off-season before Memorial day and after Labor day. The big pool is open and sparkling. It sure was fun here last week. Full house and lots of good people. We like it here when people have fun and still be respectful of property and others. That is why we have so many repeat customers.  Fishing is pretty good and getting better every day. Still no White Bass. i do not know where they are. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Jeff barber from Pocahontas with a nice flathead. Image title

Luke Bornhop with a nice channel.Image title

The lake level is 563.14 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. The lake is in excellent condition for fishing and boating and the surface temperature is 87 degrees. It is summertime here on Norfork lake. Blackburns was very busy here last week with nearly all the cabins full and several boats rented. People are taking advantage of our low prices on both cabins and boat rentals. Our big pool with slide was very busy. You can get a one bedroom cabin for only $59/day with a free boat stall. People were fishing off the dock, out of bass boats and off fishing pontoons. They were catching bass, crappie and walleye on brush piles, bluegill and catfish off the dock and catfish on trotlines and jugs. Walleye are moving to the flats by the Island. Spoons, brim and crickets are all working well. I put several nice fish in Tom Kelly's trophy pond. Jeff Barber was here from pocahontas, Arkansas and was fishing with a spoon and also live bait with jugs and trotlines. The Bornhop boys had fun and their dad helped with with several big jobs. They brought several friends and it was a pleasure to meet them. Blackburns is the family fun and fishing place and we will not charge you too much. We have many repeat customes and appreciate them. Very much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle caught some good ones this morning.Image title

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The lake level is 563.57 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours. It is a good thing we have been dry. The weather continues to be hot with tomorrow being a little cooler and then hot again Monday. There are a few things changing. First there is a mud line forming at about 20-feet until about 27-feet with poor visibility. The visibility is still good to 20-feet and then again at 30-feet. This always happens but is a little slower this year. The thermocline starts at 25-feet and is cold at 30. Many fish are in the mud line making them difficult to get diving. I have no idea when the lake will turn but am guessing October 15th. This does not kill the fishing but makes it more difficult because the fish have no reason to be in any particulae place except for cover and food. Some times the turn is fast and other times gradual. 1/4 ounce spoons around main lake points touching the bottom in the mud line is the best bait now. Kentucky Bass, crappie and walleye are all there. Blackburns has cabins for $59/day and all have covered porches, no duplexes and your first regular sized boat stall is free as are trolling motors on pontoons. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and the big pool is open. Summer continues.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Got some good ones yesterday in 20-ft. of water. Image title

The lake level is 563.96 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running most of the time. Newport is now at 11+ feet to Hold the lakes at a higher than normal level. The lake is in excellent condition for fishing, diving, boating and swimming with a surface temperature of about 85 degrees. The thermocline is about 27 feet and the visibility there is about 8-feet. Many fish have moved above that though including bass  and crappie. I went diving yesterday and found several large crappie at 20-feet. Diving conditions are very good with no mud line and lots of fish moving in. I still am not seeing any White Bass. People are sure killing a lot of small stripers though out of deep water. I put two channel cats, one flathead and six bluegill in the pond caught off my dock. It is to remain hot here for the next week with highs in the mid 90's. Good time for a summer vacation with little boat traffic. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Winter prices are here. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

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The lake level is 564.16 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24-hours. I predicted several weeks ago it would be 564 by Labor day. They have done an excellent job of holding the level up all summer and the level of the White River at Newport is holding at just below 12-feet for absolutely no reason. We certainly need someone different  running the dams.  I was hoping the new guy would be better but he is worse. We are crazy if we think the government can run anything. The rules need to be reviewed and changed. There is no danger of a flood anywhere around here and we are very dry. Hold and hope is their motto and protect Branson is their game. There was a news article on TV about how high all of the lakes are in the area except Table Rock which is normal and encouraging people to go there and bragging about their tourism. This is not fair. The swim beaches should be in operation by the end of October. Good timing.  Norfork lake is still in excellent condition despite the higher than normal fall level and fishing is getting better everyday and will continue to do so until turnover in October and then keep getting better. I catch a lot of big fish in November. Most boat launches are about normal with more and more parking everyday. This is my favorite time of year. Come on down we will not charge you too much. Blackburns has cabins for $59/day and fully equipped fiberglass bass boats and fishing pontoons for you to rent at the best prices. It was a great weekend with all of our pontoons rented, a full house and nice quiet respectful  people. We like our many repeat customers and thank them. Blackburns is your family and fishing place and we will not charge you too much.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 564.67 and has dropped a little less than 2-inches in the last 24-hours. The surface temperature is about 83 degrees and the visibility is good  and you can see about 8-feet off rocky banks. Many Kentucky bass and crappie have moved to the bank at about 20-feet along with a few walleye. This has just happened. If you can find brush at 20-25 feet there will be crappie on them. Several are just on the main lake side  of main lake points with some straight out on the points. I saw very few fish at 30-feet where they were earlier. The thermocline starts at 25-feet and is cold at 30-feet. It was encouraging to see so many good fish. i still am seeing no white bass at all which is very unusual. I wish people would quit killing all of these small stripers and taking pictures of dock floors lined with small dead fish. It is not impressive.  When you fish in deep water and catch fish they all die no matter their size.  The limit needs to be reduced to two fish for stripers and hybrids. They do not dress out very well anyway for meat hunters but are fun to catch. Wait until they are on top or on the bank. This will happen this fall. Blackburns has $59/day cabins starting Tuesday and the fishing is getting better every day. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday fishing with Bink's Guide Service. Image title

The lake level is 564.98 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running part of the time. The Corps of engineers should be proud.  They have successfully held the lake high for the entire summer. The White River at Newport is at 12+ feet and they still will not drop the lake. The surface temperature is in the mid 80's and the lake is in excellent condition for swimming and boating. I went diving yesterday and the visibility was not quite as good as Monday but still ok for spearfishing. I found walleye on main lake steep banks in 25-feet of water near the first ledge and crappie on brush from 25-30 feet. Many bass were a little shallower than that. We have had very nice weather the last few days and it is to be good through the holiday and beyond. After Monday you can get a cabin here at Blackburns for $59/day and the fishing will get better and better for the next several weeks. Bink is catching good fish every day and scuba diving is excellent. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. If you are staying elsewhere and paying too much this weekend stop by here and check us out on your way home. We are proud of this place. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

If there were less of these:Image title

We could catch a lot more of these:Image title

The lake level is 564.84 and is exactly the same as it was 24-hours ago. They have cut way back on generation. I give them too much credit when I said they did not quit generating when it rains earlier. They just waited a day. The lake is clearing after the runoff and the surface temperature is in the mid 80's. Blackburns still have one cabin available for the weekend. 3-day minimum. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 564.86 and has dropped a little less than an inch in the last 24-hours. We received over 2-inches of rain last night and this morning and the creeks run hard. They are slowed way down now. At least they did not quit generating during the rain like they usually do. We are catching a few catfish on our jugs but not very many. There are just too many gar. The weather has cooled and the surface temperature is about 85 degrees. I am not excited about summer ending but I will continue to dive until late October. I like three seasons but not winter. I do catch a lot of fish in the winter though. Remember that Blackburns resort and Boat rental is your fall foliage headquarters for Norfork Lake, Mountain Home and the Ozark Mountain Region. Peak foliage is usually the very last of October but you can get updates on this blog. It is also a peak time for fishing. Bink is on the stripers and walleye with his spoon. Some fish are deep annd some are at or near the thermocline at about 30-feet near the bottom. Bluegill are under docks. I predicted that the lake level would be about 564 by Labor day weekend a month ago and I still hold to that. I wish it would drop more to make my brush piles at the right depth for bass, crappie and walleye fishing but mostly so people could see sand again and leave it alone. I have a big sand pile next to my big pool. Blackburns has one cabin available for next weekend and a pontoon available for rent. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. The grass is growing very fast and everything is very green. The lake is at a perfect temperature for swimming and boating and is in good condition.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 565.17 and continues to drop a little over 2-inches/ 24 hour period with generation a little more time. We received over 1-1/2 inches of heavy rain yesterday afternoon with a lot of lightening.  The creeks did run but not enough to raise the lake level. We were very dry but not now. Everything is very green and the weather has cooled with cloudy skies and chances of rain for the next several days. We seem to get a rain everytime we need one. The lake is in excellent condition for boating and swimming and has dropped 9-feet from it's high and the surface temperature is in the high 80's. Visibility is about 5-6 feet. The fish continue to be in two groups. One deep near the botoom in 60-80 feet of water and others near the thermocline. It is late August and the thermocline should not drop anymore this year unless it gets very hot again. It is about 27-feet and seldom gets below 30-feet unless the surface temperature gets into the 90's which has happened before. The fishing will get better and better after the holiday until sometime in October when the lake turns. The water will then be homogenous with no thermocline with equal temperature and oxygen for several feet and the fish have no reason to be anywhere special except for bait and cover. This is where brush piles really help fishing. The fishing gets good again and continues to get better until about thanksgiving. As winter cools the water in December red meat fish get scarce again and lethargic and hard to get and the lake gets very clear baring any heavy rains. Early to mid October is an excellent time to come fishing as is early to late November. Early October for walleye and November for giant crappie. Bass will be the most consistent bite. If you have a flexible schedule get in touch and I will tell you what is happening now.   

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with BinkImage title

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The lake level is 565.41 and continues to drop a little over 2-inches/24 hour period with a little more than 1/2 the time generating. The creeks are clearing up a bit and the surface temperature is back to near 90 with the hot weather. There are still a lot of fish at or near the thermocline which is still less than 30-feet. Visibility is still about 5-6 feet. Spoons are working the best now for both the 30-ft. fish and the 60-70 foot fish. Just use a bigger one for the deep fish. Catfish are starting to bite again and bluegill are biting crickets. Bass fishing is slow except for the after dark salt craws. I am seeing a few bass coming up in the evening. I wish people would quit killing all of those deep small stripers in the 8-10 pound range. We will pay for it later. Blackburns still has two openings for the labor day holiday so give us a call before you have to pay too much elsewhere. Our big pool is waiting for you. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught this morning on a Bink's spoon.Image title

The lake level is 566.26 and is dropping at a rate of 2-inches/day with generation about 1/2 the time. The level at Newport has dropped below 12-feet now. This is crazy boys. Let some water out. And some people want the government to run more things. They have done an excellent job of holding it up all summer and are trying to get through until way after Labor Day. They cannot use the excuse that it is flooding elsewhere anymore. Our area is below annual average precipitation.  I had a 90-degree surface water temperature in Blackburns creek an hour ago. It is to remain hot for several more days. The creeks are stained and the main lake is somewhat less stained. A lot of fish are at or just below the thermocline which is 25-27 feet. Some smaller stripers in the 8-10 lb. range are coming in along with some good walleye. Bass fishing is fair and catfishing is less than fair but some are being caught. Bink is catching some good fish on his spoon.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 566.68 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. It has come down over 7-feet from it's high and has taken a long time to do so. You can at least walk or drive the 1/3 mile to the lake with out taking the high road. This is good.  Some crappie have moved in to brush at 20-25 feet but there is not very much of that. Most of my brush still at least 12-feet too deep. I am using the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon for them. They are not the big ones though. I am concerned about the numbers of white bass. I usually see many of them diving this time of year but have seen none. I do not fish for them but they are a good go to fish when nothing else is biting. Maybe the earlier fish kill was worse than we expected or maybe they are just in another area. People are just not bringing any in. The surface temperature is in the mid 80's and the hot weather continues. The lake is in good condition for boating and swimming and the overall fishing is fair. Water is stained but normal for August. The fishing will get better and better until lake turnover in October and then get better again. Thanksgiving is my favorite time to get bass, crappie, walleye and red meat fish. Catfishing has been slow so far but some are being caught spooning for bass and walleye. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake is dropping again after the rain. The creeks are stained and the walleye are schooling. Caught today on A Bink's spoon near the bottom in 30-ft. of water. 8 caught 5 measured.  Go to www.greatamericanwildlife.com and click on article about fishing near the thermocline. Good information. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 567.87 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. We received heavy rain after midnight and the level has been rising slowly since then. They always quit generating when it rains to maximize the effects.   I received over 2-inches locally and the creeks run hard. They are calmed down now and they are just starting to generate again. At a rate of 2-inches/day drop we should drop about 3-1/2 feet by Labor Day weekend and be at 564 which is still 10-feet above where it should be this time of year but not bad.  They have had ample time to drop the lake but refuse to do so. The overall condition of the lake is good for swimming and boating. Fishing is only fair for bass, stripers, catfish and bluegill. A few scattered schools of crappie are showing up. I am seeing almost no white bass while diving.  I do not know where they have gone but they are not showing up with the deep walleye and stripers. The lake is stained and the visibility is not the best but that is not uncommon for August. It will get better as the water cools but do not look for that to happen anytime soon with very hot weather coming next week. Day use areas for swimming, launching and parking are getting a little bit better but are not good. Most Resorts have full services. If you have a desperate need for sand we have a large pile by our big swimming pool.   When you ask for openings always ask 1: Is this a duplex? 2: Do you have ample parking for my vehicle and boat trailer? 3: Do you have a pool and how big is it? 4: Do you have covered porches? 5: Do you charge for the first boat stall at your dock? 6: Do you have trolling motors on pontoons and are they free? Do you have a dock and how big is it? How far are you from town? This will prevent any big surprises when you arrive. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 568.11 and is dropping about 2-inches a day with generation about 1/2 the time. They are keeping the White River at Newport at 12-feet no matter what. We seem to be in a pattern of hot and sunny weather until the heat of the day and then getting rain. It gets black to the west and hits about 3-PM. The grass is greening up again as we were very dry. We are to get rain for the next few days and then get hot again by next week. The mornings are very pleasant for fishing and boating and again in the late afternoon after the rain when it clears back up. The lake in general is in good condition and is a bit stained with surface temperature in the mid to higher 80's and perfect for swimming. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Jack Bucknell with a nice Norfork Lake walleye.Image title


The lake level is 568.68 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24 hours with generation about 1/2 the time. It is very dry here. The lake is clearing a bit and the surface temperature is about 86 degrees. Walleye, bass, catfish and bluegill are the best bite now. The weather and lake conditions are excellent for swimming and boating. It is very busy here at blackburns and people are having a lot of fun. We like that. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 569.10 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is below 12-feet.  Let some water out boys. It is very dry and there is no flooding anywhere near here.  This is crazy. You cannot let the government run anything. The lake in general is in very good condition but is stained a bit but not unusual for this time of year. Fishing has held up pretty well with bass fishermen doing well after dark on saltcraws and stripers and walleye deep on jigging spoons. Bluegill are hitting on crickets. A few crappie are under the dock.   The surface temperature is in the mid 80's.  The weather has been great but dry with highs in the mid 80's. it is to get more normal next week with highs again in the early 90's. The days are shorter so the heat does not last as long. My walnut trees are dropping leaves already.  It is very busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of our low cabin rates, low boat rental costs and free boat stall with your cabin. Our big sparkling pool with slide and baby pool has been the center of attraction all summer. We are a bird sanctuary and have lots of wildlife on our 28-acres. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. All cabins are individual with no duplexes and have covered porches. You can get a one bedroom cabin for $75/day. Not bad. The children need one more trip before vacation is over. They will like it here. I do.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday on a Bink's jigging spoon. Many shad. Image title

The lake level is 569.81 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. They are keeping the White River at Newport at 12-feet at all costs. Striper fishing is still pretty good and the fish are very deep. You must just want meat to catch them there now as all of them will die when brought up. Remember the possesstion limit is twice the daily limit. The same goes for the walleye with them. Bass fishing with drop-shotted worms is fair during the early morning as are salt craws after dark. Bluegill under docks and around sunken willows is good on crickets. I am seeing few crappie. The lake needs to drop several feet before my brush piles come into play. The fall fishing for crappie should be very good as few have been caught this year so far. Bait fish are everywhere and the game fish are not having any trouble finding food. I am not having the best of luck now with catfish. You still have time to take the children on a lake vacation and Blackburns resort and Boat rental has the best place with the best price and the biggest pool.  Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Blackburns is the family place. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The Dan Bruce family from Olmsted, Illinois caught some nice fish yesterday. Nice people. Glad to have them. They are welcome here.Image title

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The lake level is 569.97 and is dropping about 2-inchers in a 24-hour period with generation about 1/2 the time and they are religiously sticking to the 12-ft. level at Newport despite the dry weather. Let some water out boys. Holding the area lakes up for so long is really stupid and there is no real reason for it. The lake in general is in very good condition and only the day use areas including beaches and launch parking are affected. There is very limited swimming from the shore but most resorts have full services. You can swim and fish off Blackburs dock or also swim in our big pool with slide of off a rental pontoon.  we have 12 of them and at the best price.  Yes you do have to rent a cabin to rent a boat.  Sorry that is the Corps of Engineers rule not mine. Stupid rule. You can get a boat and cabin here for less than a boat rental at most other places and have access to other resort amenities. Fishing is still pretty good for bass and bluegill and Bink is still on the stripers and walleye. The water surface temperature is about 86 degrees and changes from pretty clear to stained almost daily.   

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Blackburns is the family fun place. Image title

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The lake level is 570.67 and has dropped about 2-inches in the lst 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. They are hanging on to that 12-ft. level at Newport like a life raft in a flood. I sure would like to know how that level was determined. There is abosutely no reason for it. The minor flood level is 26 feet. This needs to be reviewed and changed. The weather has been beautiful and is to continue so. This is a perfect time for a vacation for swimming, boating and just relaxing here at Blackburns. The lake is in excellent condition and the price is right. The grass is green, the dock is big, the pool is sparkling and Bink is on the fish. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The Bink's spoon is the best lure for big stripers. I like the 1-ounce many shad now when they are deep. Image title

The lake level is 570.98 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. They must be trying to hold the level up until after labor Day. It is very cloudy today and much cooler. The weather is to be near perfect for several days starting tomorrow. We did receive just a very little bit of much needed rain this morning and may get some more. I hope so. This has been the best year for gardens in quite some time. Not too much rain and not too little. Just a little irrigation is needed. The lake has stained some in the last few days and the visibility has gone down as the surface temperature has gone up. It is now near 90. Some days higher and some lower. Spear fishing is still ok but you cannot see very far. I still have large numbers of both threadfin and gizzard shad under my dock and they are really bringing in the fish. I feed them also and they just swarm. Early morning stripers deep on the spoon is the best bite and after dark with salt craws is second and bluegill with crickets is third. We have some good fishermen in now and I will check with them. I need the lake to go down a few feet to have my brush piles come into play for the crappie. Blackburns still have cabins for $75/day so come on down. We will not charge you too much for them or boat rentals. Our big pool is very busy. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday on the spoon. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 571.12 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with a little more generation. The White River at Newport is at 12-feet + now and they are spreading the discharge out over several lakes. If it stays as dry as it is now maybe it will go down by Labor day. They have done an excellent job of starting at a high level in the spring and holding it up all year. The lake in general is in very good condition for boating, fishing and swimming. The clarity has diminished in the last few days but that always happens with the hot weather. I will go diving later and get a new report. Some fish are schooling early AM but are scattered with the bait fish staying under cover in the buckbrush. As the lake lowers, and the thermocline lowers  they will move out further and stay near it. The red meat fish are deep as usual this time of year and the spooners are getting some good ones but also many small ones in the 7-10 lb. range. They all die when pulled up from deep water so if you do not want to kill them do not fish for them there. Pictures of dock floors full of small dead stripers are not impressive. They are all stocked fish and do not reproduce.  Anybody with a good fish finder can hang 6-8 poles with live bait over the boat and troll long enough through shad and get fish on and then hand the pole to someone else and let them reel it in. That is not sport to me. They do not dress out very well anyway if you are a meat hunter. A lot of fish being cleaned now are full of crawdads so the big fish are going to the bank some time or other to feed. I have a lot of both gizzard and threadfin shad under my dock now which is 30+ feet deep and some large bass are hanging around there. I assume this is happening in other places. Big bluegills are biting well on crickets off docks now. Some over a pound. Now those are good eating. Some walleye are off the bluffs in 24-ft. of water. The bigger ones are lone wolves but smaller ones are schooled and roaming and some are deep with the stripers. Bass fishermen are doing well after dark on saltcraws.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on a Bink's Jigging Spoon yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 570.31 and has remained the same for three days with very little generation. They are doing their best to hold it up for as long as possible. The lake in general is in very good condition, clear and clean and good for boating, swimming, diving and fishing. Day users are inconvenienced by lack of parking at the ramps and no beaches but you can swim in our pool, off the dock or off your rental pontoon. Most resorts have no diminished services but some do not have pools so be sure to ask.  We have had typical mid-July weather and it has been very warm and is to last through this week. It is to drop into the 80's by Monday. The surface temperature is near 90. Scuba divers are getting walleye and crappie and fishermen are getting stripers, hybrids and bass. A few catfish are being caught on limb and trot lines using perch. Bluegill are under docks and by submerged willows. Bink is on the stripers and hybrids. Blackburns still has cabins for $75/day and a free boat stall for your normal sized boat. Trolling motors on pontoons are free and all cabins are individual with no duplexes and have covered porches to get out of the sun and rain. We have plenty of parking for boats and trailers and are not huddled up on a crowded hillside. If you like green grass this is the place. Come on down. Sorry we cannot offer specials now to fill openings because we would have to honor the price to all customers. Only fair. We keep our prices as low as possible all year. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday.Image title

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The lake level is 571.48 and has dropped a little less than 2-inches in the last 24-hours. We have received about 0.6 inches of rain in the last two days and it is raining very slowly now. The lake is getting more clear and the thermocline is still just past 21-feet and there is no mud line yet. The surface temperature is 89 not the 79 that I made the typo on yesterday. I would like to go diving but it is just too dark out now. It is to get hot on Wednesday and sunny with high pressure moving in after Barry the dud leaves. I do not like wind and we did not get any. Listening to the wind howl when you have a 160-ft. long dock with 20-boats in it is like waiting for your daughter to come home from a date and she is two hours late. Fishing is not the best except for the red meat fish in the early morning. The hybrids are coming up early and you can catch some stripers and walleye deep near the bottom later in 70-80 feet of water near the bottom. The trollers are catching some if they know what they are doing but the jigging spoon is the best lure. The shakey head plastic worm is still good for the bass in the brush on main lake points. Bluegill are biting well on crickets. Crappie fishing is slow except for under lights off docks after dark. Catfishing is picking up a bit but is not good again. Boating conditions are good with almost no debris in the water. Bass fishing after dark on saltcraws is pretty good. Blackburns still has cabins for $75/day and has some openings starting today. It was very busy last week. It is good to have so many repeat customers and we appreciate them.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 571.79 and has dropped a little less than 2-inches in the last 24-hours. They are in a pattern of running the generators for about 16 hours and shutting them down for about 8. They are dropping all of the lakes now and keeping Newport at 12+ feet. It is a good thing it has been very dry. It is to rain Monday and Tuesday from Barry and we can take some with no problem. We are getting pop up showers most afternoons in the heat of the day keeping most things green. I am watering my garden. I went diving and found not much has changed. The surface temperature was 79 degrees yesterday, the thermocline was just past 20- feet and you could see about 7-8 feet just right for spear fishing. I saw more fish than before including two schools of stripers, several bass, a school of gizzard shad, one walleye and several big bluegill. There were many schools of bait fish mostly bass at the 20-24 ft. depth. There were few boats out there. Most of them were Blackburns rental boats. The lake in general is in good condition for both boating and fishing. The best fishing continues to be early AM at just after 5:30. The big stripers and hybrids are moving deeper and are at about 70-80-feet. Foster caught a big bass, over 5-lbs. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday on a Bink's jigging spoon. Image title

The lake level is 572.13 and has dropped a little over an inch in the last 24-hours. They are generating for about 16-hours and then shutting down for about 8 and keeping the White River at Newport right at 12-feet or a little above. I guess they are wating for the hurricane to move north through Louisiana and spread across Arkansas. Hold and hope is still the policy unless Branson is affected and then it is open the gates. The lake surface temperature is approaching 90-degrees but the thermocline is still near 20-feet and the visibility is still 8-9 feet depending on the level of sunshine and the kind of bank you are fishing. There are a lot of fish on Robinson island but it is about 13-feet under water. The tree that marked the spot has fallen and it is difficult to find without GPS.  I know this lake pretty well but it sure is different when it is so big. Everything looks so different. The lake in general is in good condition for boating and early morning fishing is not bad. Stripers and hybrids are in there normal summer spots and frog pond is a good place to start.  Bass are coming up most mornings near the old shoreline. Everything is typical for mid July except for the water level and it is very slowly dropping despite the dry weather. Come on down and swim off Blackburns dock or in the big pool. We will not charge you too much.  All of our cabins have covered porches, your first normal sized boat stall is free, we do not charge for trolling motors on pontoons and all cabins are individual with no duplexes and we have the largest pool around and a slide and big pavillion. One bedroom cabins are still $75/day. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on a Bink's Jigging Spoon Yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 572.43 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening and it is still down. The White River at Newport is now 12.5 feet. I guess they are holding the level up so it will still be there for the next holiday and if the tropical depression in the gulf trends north of Louisiana to Arkansas bringing rain they can really get it up there. I have a four month old grand daughter that could manage the lakes better. It is dry here and we could use some rain. I went diving yesterday and the conditions are the same as last week. I did not go last week do to the holiday. Some of the people out there think a dive flag is a target. There have been jet ski operators go directly over me and try to grab the flag as they go by before. It was much better yesterday with low boat traffic. The thermocline is still 20-feet and the visibility is about 10-feet in the sunshine. Just right for spear fishing. I still am having trouble finding very many walleye but the ones that I see are good ones. Going to try a different place today. My brush piles are all too deep and the fish are scattered in the buckbrush with plenty of cover. Stripers, hybrids, bass and bluegill are the best bite now. Get out there early and watch for fish coming up and then find shad and use the jigging spoon for red meat fish and a shakey head worm near the bank for bass. Bluegill are under docks and around flooded willows. Crappie and walleye are scarce except at night under docks with a light. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 572.53 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours. They stopped generating all night to get Newport down to the stupid 12-ft. level. It is now just over 13-feet. They at least could be at 14-feet but they changed how the 70% full level is measured. You do not expect much. You do not get much. They could do a lot of good if they would just drop it 2 or 3 feet and it would not hurt anything. The creeks are stained a little more than they were and I am not sure if it is due to the increased boat traffic for the extended Holiday or the rise in water temperature. We will have an algae bloom soon.  I will go diving later and get you a full report of the water conditions. Bass, stripers and hybrids continue to be the best bite and the best time is early AM. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Bink caught this one on his spoon yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 572.70 and has dropped over 3-inches in the last 24-hours. The Mississippi is dropping, the Missouri is dropping and the Yakima river in Washington state is dropping. I guess it is ok to drop the huge and mighty Norfork lake now. We must keep the level at Newport at 12-feet but nobody knows why when the minor flood stage there on the White River is 26-feet. Did anyone notice they always stop generating during the trout festival no matter what? We must take care of the put and take trout. The lake traffic continued to be heavy (Norfork standards not Lake of the Ozark standards) until yesterday evening. The ramps were very busy and trailers were parked all the way out to the highway. Day users really wanted to get out there bad. It had to be really good for the Mountain Home economy and local businesses. I know Blackburns has 11 pontoon boats and almost all of them were rented. Having all of the beaches and swim areas under water limits the swimming to mostly off boats and off docks and in resort swimming pools. The lake remains in good condition despite the water level with just a small amount of debris floating. It is going away as the lake drops and is less in the creeks than the main lake. The level is about 1.3 feet lower than it's high of 574. Fishing is pretty good early for top water bass and later near the bank on plastic worms. Red meat fish are in their normal places for the year but not quite as deep.I am still seeing pictures of dock floors full of dead small stripers and the striper fishermen will pay the price for this in the future. It is not impressive to see how many you can kill. All of them coming out of deep water will die. Catch a few, leave a few. The limit needs to be dropped to two. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 573.01 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. Newport is at 12.5 feet and there is no reason to not generate. It is now down about 1-foot from it's high. We received a little over 1/2 inch of rain yesterday afternoon and it is really keeping everything green. It seems to rain just when we need it. The gardens are doing very well. It is not too wet here. The lake traffic has been heavy for several days now with the 4th coming in the middle of the week and people coming here on both sides of it. It should be back to normal tomorrow afternoon. The fishing continues to be the best in the early morning with a top water bite most days with bass coming up. After that the shakey head plastic worm is still the best bait shallow with the Bink's spoon best in the deep water for red meat fish. I had an 87 degree water temperature in Blackburns creek yesterday. The water has stained a bit with the boat traffic but should clear back up until the algae bloom. There is still some debris floating in the main lake but that should go away as the lake drops.  Norfork is in general in good condition for boating and water sports and the fishing is fair. Some catfish have moved back in the creeks as the gar have left the creeks for the main lake. The Straatmans are catching some good ones on jugs with multiple hooks with live bluegill. This is a good time for a visit to the lake and Blackburns Resort where we will not charge you too much. We have an opening starting tomorrow. Come on down. The big pool with slide is nice.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught this morning.Image title

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The new news is that they started generating Norfork heavily and the lake has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours. The White River at Newport has not only cut the discharge but the gauge level is now 12+ feet and there is no reason for them to not drop the lake. They have done an excellent job holding it up. The bass condinue to bite top water early and Bink is really on the stripers deep with his spoon. People going out with him are catching some good fish everyday. The lake in general is in excellent condition and pretty clear with just a few floating logs. Be very careful and avoid being out there after dark. If you do, go out before dark and retrace your route on the way back. It looks to be a busy holiday so share the limited boat launch parking. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday fishing with Bink. Big fish.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 574.04 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with a little more generation. The White River at Newport is now 13-feet and dropping quickly despite very little discharge. They will reach that magical number of 12-feet barring any big rains and should start dropping Norfork in a couple of days. At least they were able to keep it up high through the 4th. I went diving yesterday and the conditions were pretty good. The surface temperature was 84 degrees and the visibility was about 8-feet with cloudy skies. It would have been better with sunshine. The thermocline is still at 20-feet and has not changed for a couple of weeks. I still am not seeing very many fish but the ones thet I am seeing are good ones. Bink is really catching some good ones deep on his many shad spoon. He took out the Straatman crew and they had a good time and caught a lot of fish. Glad they went. Nice people and they are welcome here. Bink is one good fisherman. There is also a top water bite most days early for bass near the bank. Blackburns still has one cabin open. We fill up and then get a cancellation. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 574.14 and rising very slowly with little generation. Newport is at 13+ feet headed again for 12 with reduced discharge to keep all of the area lakes up there except for Branson and if we can go another extended period with no rain they might let some out. I am irrigating both grass and gerden now. There were quite a few boats out there this weekend and the ramp parking was really jammed up. Please do not pick up a bunch of passenges at the courtesy dock and leave their vehicles at the parking lot. The lake is clean and clear with just a few logs floating. Fishing is pretty good both early morning and evening with occasional top water near the bank and red meat fish deep. Crappie and other pan fish are under and around docks. Water temperature remains near 84.  Blackburns has one cabin available now so if interested call Debbie at 870-492-5115.  We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 574.10 and rising very slowly with very little generation. They have dropped the White River at Newport to 14+ feet by not generating much and slowing the discharge rate there in an effort to keep everything high except Branson for the holiday. If it does not rain they will be able to reach the mythical 12 ft. level and start letting some water out. I had an 84 degree water temperature yesterday and the lake remains pretty clear for this time of year. Paul Ahrens reports catching some nice bass yesterday right on the bank on top water early. Bass fishing is probably the best right now but Bink is catching stripers and hybrids on his spoon. I am seeing just a few logs floating on the main lake but not very many. I would not advise being out after dark.  The lake in general is in good condition and most resorts have no diminished services except launching but Panther Bay has good launching.  Day use people are finding a shortage of campsites, trailer parking and swimming from the bank.  All beaches are gone but you can stay at a resort with a pool.   The lake was very busy yesterday and boaters are having a good time. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink this morning.Image title

The lake level is 573.98 and is what it was at it's high a couple of weeks ago. It has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours. They are generating Norfork very little and are still running Beaver and Table rock hard with spillway gates open and filling Bull Shoals. They have also dropped the White River at Newport to 17+ feet. We had a storm yesterday afternoon but I know of no damage and we received about 0.3 inches of rain. These are typical in late June and early July during the heat of the day. The lake continues to be in good condition with the clarity pretty good and the surface temperature in the early 80's. Bink is on the stripers and hybrids on his spoon and bass fishermen are doing well around main lake points on plastice worms just outside the buckbrush on the drop-offs.  Crappie and bluegill are under docks. Some bass are coming up early. I am just seeing a few keeper walleye and do not know where they are. They must be suspended now where they usually on the bottom. I am just used to fishing brush piles and they are all too deep now. Blackburns still has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals and your first normal sized boat stall is free, as are trolling motors on pontoons, all cabins have big covered porches with no duplexes and we have the biggest pool around.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 573.82 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. Newport is 19+ feet and they are running Beaver lake and Table Rock generators as fast as they can with several spillway gates open filling Bull shoals. It holds a lot of water and it is going to take a long time to drop it. We are to get a whole week of sunny skies starting tomorrow. I went diving yesterday and conditions are pretty good with surface temperatures in the low 80's, visibility from 8-10 feet and the thermocline hanging in there at just over 20-feet. I am still having a hard time finding walleye but the ones I am finding are good ones. Small ones are under docks along with crappie and bluegill. Bluegill are everywhere as are small bass. Many species are still just outside the buckbrush just above the thermocline and can be caught on plastice worms with a very light worm weight hooked Texas rigged and weedless. There is still a top water bite some days for bass and stripers but most of the time they are in 60-ft. of water deep and can be caught on the 1-ounce Bink's many shad jigging spoon. Some schools of small stripers are shallow on shad and other baitfish.  I am seeing no white bass like I usually do. The lake in general is in good condition for boating. Blackburns still has some openings and will not charge you too much. Come on down.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service on the jigging spoon.Image title

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The lake level is 573.71 and has risen 3-inches in the last 24-hours.  We are just about where we were at the high again. They scrapped the idea of opening the gates on Norfork and started running Table Rock hard again to protect Branson and keep filling Bull Shoals. Newport is now at 17 feet. It does not really matter what the level is at Newport as long as Branson is in danger. Otherwise they go by the rules which need to be changed. I went from Cranfield to Robinson Point yesterday and the lake was in excellent condition with no debris. When I scuba dived the water was clear with the thermocline at about 20 feet and a lot of fish just above that just outside the buckbrush. The surface temperature is in the early 80's.  Blackburns still has some openings and will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with some nice ones caught yesterday on a plastic worm.Image title


The lake level is 573.48 and has risen a little less than a foot in the last 24-hours. It is about 1/2 foot lower than it was two weeks ago.  We received about 4.4 inches of rain over the weekend and they quit generating yesterday evening. They always do when it rains to magnify the effects.  Newport is at 14-feet and so much for the opening of the spillway gates. It is a good thing they had been generating Norfork for several days and it had been dry or they would really have been in trouble. We had two blows, one was Friday and the other was early Sunday afternoon. Friday had no rain and the one Sunday had heavy rain and blew over several trees in the area and resulted in a few hours of power outage. It is a good thing Blackburns is on city water so water supply was not interruped. Our guests were just sitting on their covered porches watching it rain or cooking and playing games under the big pavillion until it was over. We were fortunate to receive no damage and it is nice to be located in a protected green valley. I did not go fishing this weekend as the resort was full but we do have openings now.  Come on down. We will not charge you too much. I will go diving today to check things out and let you know. I will not speculate and must see for myself.  It is cloudy now but the sun is supposed to come out. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

This and several more caught fishing with Bink.Image title

The lake level is 572.78 and has dropped 3.3 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. They are to open spillway gates Monday to quickly drop the lake but have not announced how many. I will let you know. The lake surface temperature is 82 degrees and rising with the warm weather. We got some wind yesterday afternoon from the north and blew pretty hard with no rain. It lasted about 1/2 hours and blew the top off one of my pontoons. You could not see it coming from the sky conditions but there were whitecaps in Blackburns Creek and that is rare. Everything else was fine and the people renting boats were all in and showing a lot of sense. Bink is really on the Stripers and Hybrids but always is this time of year.  He always says the hotter the better. Come on down. Blackburns has some openings starting tomorrow and you can get a one bedroom cabin for $75/day. Why pay more?

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 573.06 and has dropped 2.8 inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. It is down about a foot from it's high.  The surface temperature is about 82-degrees and the thermocline is from 20-22 feet and the water clarity is good on the main lake and fair back in the creeks. You can see about 10-feet on the main lake and 5-feet in the back of creeks. I am just not seeing a lot of big fish but many throw-back bass and 12-15 inch walleye. I just have not found many big ones yet. I thought they may have gone deeper but when I went below 30-feet there was nothing. I will keep trying. When you go up into the buckbrush there are many fish but no big ones except for a very few roaming. There are a few logs floating now but not many.  The water drop is holding many of them on the shore and on shallow points. The lake is in good condition for boating and swimming and only fair for fishing. You have to get out there early and look for top water. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 573.29 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. They are holding Newport at 12+ feet. I went diving yesterday morning and this is what I found: There were a few logs floating in the lake but not very many. The water was 81+ degrees and had about the same visibility from the surface down to 30-feet with the thermocline at 20-feet. I could see about 10-feet away. It may have been just a little cloudier shallow but the sunshine made up for it. There was no mud line but there will be.  I did not see a lot of fish but the ones I saw were from 15-18 feet just outside the buckbrush. I did not go below 30-feet. Walleye, bass and bluegill were the only kinds I saw. I did get one very nice walleye, about 5-lbs. for Gus for supper but let the rest go on by.  My dock did have a huge school of crappie very shallow along with the bass, bluegill, carp and turtles. It is about 31 feet deep and I have trees hanging off it. One of our guests said there was a good top water bite early for bass. I love diving season but do not see how many I can get just how big. People fishing for stripers in 60-70 feet of water near the bottom should not act surprised when they all die after being caught. If they really care they would not fish for them that deep. The lake in general is in good condition and fishing is fair. Diving conditions are good but I am not seeing a lot of fish. Come on down to Blackburns.  We will not charge you too much and have several boats to rent at the best prices and cabins start at $75/day.   

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Our 30-ft. pontoon with sun and diving deck for only $195/day plus fuel. Has 115 HP 4-stroke Yamaha. Image title

Caught fishing with Bink this morning on top water. Image title

The lake level is 573.56 and has dropped over two inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running. The level at Newport is 12+ feet and they should be able to keep dropping. This 12 foot rule is really stupid and needs to be changed. It does not allow much to be discharged into the white River. The Norfork River from the dam to the White is only 4-miles and is the same as going directly into the White. They could really do some good if they wanted to. I had an 82-degree water temperature yesterday and the clarity may be going down just a bit. The thermocline is still at 20-feet and that is just below the buckbrush and that is where the fish are. There are some stripers in 60-feet and a top water bite for mostly bass very early. Fishing contiues to be pretty good overall. Blackburns has some openings so come on down. We will not charge you too much. We have 11-pontoons and several bass boats for you to rent and all at the best prices. One bedroom cabins are still $75/day and two, three and four bedrooms priced accordingly. Our pool is big and has a slide and baby pool. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught this morning on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 573.79 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation for several hours rotating between one and two generators running. They now have reduced the discharge at Newport drastically and the level is now at their stupid goal of 12-feet so there is now no reason for them not to generate. The level should have been at 25-ft. for the last several weeks.  We did get about a quarter of an inch of rain last evening and was just enough to water the grass and garden. We have been very fortunate that the weather has been dry for several days. The lake is pretty clear and in general good condition for fishing, boating and water sports.  Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 573.92 and has dropped 0.8 inches in the last 24-hours with several hours of generation. I guess they can generate more now that the White River at Newport is at 13-feet and still dropping with very little discharge.  We are lucky that it has been dry here. I have to irrigate both the grass and the garden.  People talk about all of the rain but we have received about 30-inches so far this year and our average total is 48 with about 1/2 of the year gone. A lot of it came in late winter when they could have generated. They will take Newport down to 12-feet no matter what happens to the area lakes. Who ever made these rules should should have to run for public office and let the sun shine on him and resign. I went diving Saturday and the conditions were good. The visibility was pretty good and I could see about 10-feet in an area where it is not normally that good. It is better other places but you do not want it too clear while spearfishing. It is just about right now. The thermocline is at exactly 20-feet and there are a lot of fish just above that. I only fish for walleye, crappie and catfish but will get a white bass or two when times are tough. I got one walleye and one crappie on my first dive of the season and consider that successful since all one my gear worked and I did not forget anything. The surface temperature is just under 80-degrees and should warm with the weather. It felt good.  It looks to be a good diving season but most brush piles are too deep and you will have to get into the buckbrush. I will check several different places and let you know. If you need a dive boat, Blackburns has 11 pontoons for you to rent and Scuba Doo dive shop is 1/2 mile away. Diving from the shore will be very difficult this year.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 573.94 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of generation. They continue to drop the level on the White River at Newport and reduce the discharge.  It is now at 16+ feet and dropping.  It should be at 25-feet if managed properly. The policy of hold and hope continues with rain scheduled for the next several days. I guess they will hold it until all of the lakes are full except for Branson and then open the gates and flood out everyone below bypassing the generators and wasting millions of dollars. Go figure.  You cannot allow the government to run anything. It is about politics and money. Review the policies and change the rules. They have missed many chances to drop the lakes.  The slow rise in level which began this winter has allowed the lake to remain clear and fishing and boating to be good. The beaches, day use areas, camping and launch parking has been the most affected. Most resorts have not lost services.  Spearfishing season starts tomorrow and I am anxious.  I hopefully have all of my scuba gear ready. It only takes one item to fail to ruin a trip. Remember divers are only allowed 1/2 the daily limit of fish.  Not sure why because it is much more difficult to spearfish than pole fish. Pole fishing is doing pretty well now but catfishing has slowed way down. Flatheads are the last fish to spawn on the lake and now their spawn is over. Bass continue to spawn all summer, especiall Kentucky bass, but the bigger ones have been finished for some time. Fish are scattered all over with all of the cover as are shad. Texas rigged worms with a very light nose weight, hooked weedless, are working pretty well. One person caught several bass on a rattle trap yesterday during the day. Come on down. We will not charge you too much here at Blackburns and you will need the covered porches this next week with some rain most days. I would never stay at a place with no covered porches.  It should not rain you out all day. We still have cabins for $75/day and a free stall for most boats and free trolling motors on pontoons for fishing. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 573.87 and has risen about an inch in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of generation. They are still lowering the level of the White River at Newport and lowering the amount of discharge also and missing a good chance to drop the area lakes. We were to get rain yesterday and last night but recieved very little. It was spotty and some got about 0.2 inches and others got none. I will have to water the garden today. The grass is green and the flowers are blooming and we are not too wet. it has been abnormally cool for the middle of June and very pleasant. Mickey McGee reports that he had a good top water bite yesterday morning and caught several stripers and bass. We are always happy to see him and his family.  They are the best.The lake is pretty clear from the surface and the surface temperature is about 80 degrees. It is good for boating and water sports as well as fishing. Day use areas are affected and beaches are gone but most resorts have normal activity. Launching is still ok but parking your vehicle and trailer is at a minimum at the launches. Overall fishing is fair and about normal for this time of year. I went from the 101 bridge to Cranfield Island yesterday and saw one floating log and it was not very big. Blackburns has some openings this next week and we will not charge you too much. We are the family place.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 573.87 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday. They are generating just enough to keep all of the area lakes stable while dropping the level at Newport very quickly and reducing the amount of discharge. The level there is now at 19-feet and it should be at 24 if they were managing things correctly. We have not received any rain for several days but are to get some today and Sunday. Hold and hope and keep everyone one big rain away from problems. At least the levels are high enough where it takes a lot of water to raise the lake very much. The bowl gets wider and bigger and the level increases. The water from the Mississippi and Missouri is coming no matter what they do to the little White River. It is policy to make everyone miserable at the same time except Branson. Bass fishing, walleye, crappie and striper fishing are all fair with some good fish being caught everyday.  Mostly early and late. Stripers have moved deeper as usual for the summer and are in about 60-feet near the bottom. Many being caught are 10-lbs. or smaller and they do not live coming up from that deep.  They may swim away but cannot go down. Venting does not work as others say. Dock floors and big stringers full of dead 10-lb. stripers are not impressive. The surface temperature was just above 80 in Blackburns creek last evening and a little lower than that on the main lake and the water looks clear from the surface. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 573.87 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of generation.  Hold and hope boys. You had better let out as much water as you can now while there is no rain for several days. It is not a good plan to hold and then wait for the farmers to plant and the crops come up and then open the gates and flood them out. A little prevention could be implemented and it should start in November right after harvest. Fat chance of that. The catfishermen are still catching some good ones but the gar are slowing down the bite. When they move in the game fish move out. Bass are still in the brush and cover but some are in open water on shad. Crappie and walleye are under docks as are bluegill and are biting early and late. I am now getting ready for the opening of spearfishing season which is Saturday and then I will quit pole fishing for a while. Diving for fish is harder but I like both. I will see where the fish are and report on the water clarity and thermocline on the diving report on this web site. The clarity looks good from the top but that does not mean anything. You have to look. The cool weather has kept the surface temperature below 80 but it is very pleasant and the sunshine is nice.  We have had several days of beautiful weather and have more to come.  Come on down to Blackburns where we still have cabins for $75/day and several boats for you to rent and all at the best prices.  We will not charge you too much. The lake looks good and people are having fun. You can have pizza and sandwiches delivered right to your cabin here at Blackburns and are 2-miles from Dollar General and three miles to Walmart. You cannot beat that.  No sense staying out in the boonies when you can stay in a peaceful 28-acre green valley close to everything with many birds and wildlife. We have plenty of parking for both your trailers and vehicles and are not on a congested cliff.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly caught some good ones. Image title

The lake level is 573.45 and has risen about three inches in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of generation. It drops a ltlle when they generate and rises when they don't. It is mostly don't. We received locally heavy rain earlier this week with varying amounts. Some got 2-inches and some much more. It did not affect the lake much but the rivers got a quick rise and campers had to be evacuated to higher ground but it is back down now with sunny warm weather for several days before a cold front moves in again later next week. Striper fishermen are carching good fish very early about 25-ft. down and then later at sunrise on top water. Bass are still biting on the normal lake bank on plastic worms and top-water but are scattered. Crappie are in cover and under docks. There is plenty of cover. Catfishing on limb lines has slowed back in the creeks and they are biting better on trot-lines on main lake cuts and just around points. I am using live bluegill. The bass being caught are full of crawdads. I am getting ready for spear fishing now and the season starts next Saturday. This is a good time of year. Blackburns still has cabins for $75/day and has no diminished services. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 572.50 and has risen about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. They have lowered Newport to 17+ feet in order to cut back on the flow into the Mississippi river like the White River is going to influence that. They are missing a chance to drop the lake and continue to show incompetence in dam management. Hold and hope and then open the gates and flood downstream is their answer to everything. There is no prevention or looking ahead. It is a typical government run operation and is just reactive. We are to get some rain here for the next couple of days but we are dry and can take some with no problem. Almost all of the weather has gone around us and we have been very fortunate. Blackburns has no dininished services and everything is in good condition and the lake is clear and warm for boating and fishing. Surface temperature is over 80. You can swim off our dock or in our big pool. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Andrew, Joey, Jessica and Opal Casey are from Harrison, Arkansas.Image title


Tom Kelly caught and released these yesterday.Image title

The Caseys can catch fish.Image title

Nice fish Opal.Image title

The lake level is 572.19 and has risen about 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with very little generation. They are dropping Newport quickly again and holding water and missing out on a good chance to drop the lake. Hold and hope will not work.  The surface temperature is about 80-degrees and the lake is pretty clear especially on the shoreline. The Casey Family caught some very nice bass and crappie this morning as well as Tom Kelly. We received a shower this morning and was just enough to water the garden. It is beautiful out now with a good chance for rain the next two days.  The lake is in excellent condition for fishing and boating and most of the resorts have no diminished services. The campers and day use people are the ones most affected with limited launching, parking, campsites and no beaches. Swimming is good out of a boat or in Blackburns big pool. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and you can get a one bedroom cabin for &75/day.   

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 572.14 and has risen a little over 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. it drops a little when they generate and rising a little when they quit. They do not generate much. We have had beautiful weather but there is a chance of rain tonight and fair chances the rest of the week. We seem to get a rain everytime we need it but still have to irrigate a bit. I fished for a few minutes in blackburns creek after work and caught some pretty good bass. It has been so busy here there has not been too much time for fishing. The gar are moving in the creeks and slowing down the limb line fishing. I will need to move out closer to the mouths of creeks or in main lake cuts with trot lines. Bass are still part way back in creeks in the buckbrush near the old shoreline and I caught several on my grub and minnow. Some were smaller but a few were keepers. I released all of them but put a couple of them in the trophy pond. The lake stained up a little yesterday but it is very clear near the bank and you can see the bottom in about 8-feet and there are fish everywhere. There are many shad fry in the buckbrush holding game fish with some being very small and others about 3-inches long.  Looks to be a good shad population this year even before the next spawn. Blackburns just had a big group leave and have some openings starting today. One bedrooms are still $75/day. If you must pay more give the difference to the disabled Veterans. We will not charge you too much here. Some places charging over $100/day do not even have pools or covered porches.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Do you really want to stay where there is no pool or a small one? our 300 MG of internet can barely keep up with all these phones. Image title

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It is a good thing we have the largest pool in the area and slide. With a group this big we need it. They are sure having fun on such a beautiful day. Life is good here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental and we will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with some nice ones caught last evening.Image title

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The lake level is 572 and has risen just a little over an inch in 24-hours with a few hours of generation. I had an 80-degree surface water temperature in Blackburns creek today. The water is very clear and good for swimming and boating. I could see down about 8-feet when running my limb lines today. The threadfin shad have spawned and baby shad are everywhere as are bigger ones. They spawn several times a year. Gar are starting to come in at night with the shad and will slow the catfishing and walleye fishing down quickly. When they move in the game fish move out away from them. I could see bass everywhere in and around the buckbrush. Bluegill too. Shakey head worms are working for bass and cartish. Tom Kelly caught some good ones yesterday. I am using bluegill for the limb lines. You have to bait them up near dark and check them early to keep the heron and bass off them.  The weather has been beautiful but a good chance for rain might happen early next week. We are not too wet here and the garden and grass are really growing. People really appreciate the covered porches on the cabins but not as much as they like the price.  Some are actually raising their prices again. Compare before you reserve. We will not charge you too much here at Blackburns.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Casey Denham with a nice Flathead caught on a limb line last night.Image title

The lake level is 571.82 and has risen 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with about 7-hours of generation. We had two weather systems come through and received about 1-inch of rain in this area with the very southern part of the lake getting much more. We had no severe weather here.  It is to be sunny for a few days and then a 20-30 % chance for several days after that. The lake is at a good level for limb lines for catfish and several good ones are being caught. Bass are still biting on the old shoreline on plastic worms and some walleye are with them. Bluegill are under the willow trees on the main lake and some crappie are with them.  Several fish are under docks. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

James Soltysiac with a nice catfish. Image title

The lake level is 571.53 and has risen 1.3 inches in the last 24-hours with little generation. We did get a thundershower early this morning but only about 0.3 inches of rain to settle the dust. No damage around here. We are to get more later today but it is sunny and nice out now. It should clear out early tomorrow and be nice for the weekend. The new news is that they have finally closed the spillway gates on Table Rock and cut way back on generation. This comes after it has dropped to below power pool and is normal. You would think they would increase the discharges at Newport to help make up for it but no.  The level at Newport continues to drop with slower discharge and is now about 17 feet headed for 14. They could be at 25. We have been lucky so far to have avoided any heavy rain. Hold and hope and then open the spillway gates is no plan. The lake in general is in good condition and pretty clear, even in the creeks. The fish continue to be between the old shore line and the bank around the buckbrush and other cover. A few red meat fish have moved to deeper water in the 50-60 ft. range.  Crappie are under docks and around any cover. Bass are everywhere with the shad scattered and in cover. Look around both Robinson and Cranfield Islands for walleye.  Shakey head worms are working well for many fish. Limb lines have slowed a bit but some nice catfish are still being caught. Bluegill are still the best bait.  I tried small green softshell crawdads but cannot keep the bass off them. Come on down to Blackburns.  We will not charge you too much. Others are still raising prices.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 571.42 and has risen 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. They have also continued to run Table Rock hard with 5-flood gates open and it is now below June power pool.  This is amazing since all of this water is going into Bull Shoals and it is rising as fast as Table Rock is dropping. Things are getting serious over there. We are to get some rain tomorrow and then get clear again. The weather has been beautiful and I was surprised at the clarity of the lake after getting churned up so much over the holiday. It looks good and I am glad to get things back to normal. We did have a very good group of people in and Blackburns again keeps the title of the family place with the best price.  I am encouraging people to leave the small stripers that are deep alone.  They all die when caught and we are short of big ones. Pictures of dock floors full of dead small stripers are not impressive. We can only have so many meat humters and keep a good fish popularion.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 571.34 and has risen 1.2 inches in 24-hours with very little generation.They are continuing to run Table Rock hard with 5 spillway gates open and it should drop below the top of the power pool today. Norfork is 14.5 feet above power pool and Bull Shoals is 21.22 feet above power pool. Go figure. They are also reducing the level of the White River at Newport and it is below 18 feet and headed for 14-feet while reducing the discharge. It could be at 25-feet with no problem. Let some water out boys.  Do not hold and hope again this year and then open the spillway gates and flood everything downstream. At least generate some power out of it. We are fortunate here that we are dry and the water is not rising much from the normal river inflow.  It would not take much to at least stabilize Norfork at this time. Yesterday was a very busy day for lake boat traffic. Launching and parking was at a premium and day use people really had to want to get out there. There were vehicles and trailers parked miles from the launch areas. The weather was great and overall people had a good time. It will take a while for the lake to clear again as it was stirred up quite a bit.  It is a good thing Blackburns has such a big swimming pool with slide as it was full all weekend. We had a great group of people and most were repeat customers. The fishermen did catch some fish but not a lot. Bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill is the best with a small striper, hybrid bass, white bass and walleye thrown in for good measure. Come on down. we will not charge you too much. Check prices carefully before booking as some are still raising their prices. You can get a one bedroom cabin for $75/day or $425/week here at Blackburns.  Why pay more?

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 571.22 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours. They continue to drop Table Rock and keep it normal at the expense of everything else. The White River at Newport is now at 18-ft. and dropping quickly and headed for 14-ft. for some reason with less discharge. Bull Shoals continues to rise about 5-inches a day with all of the Table Rock discharge.  Newport could be at 25-ft. easily if they wanted to. It would be if Branson was in danger of flooding. Hold and hope. We have a very good group here at Blackburns this weekend with no drama so far.  We are happy to be called the family place. I had a 80-degree temperature in Blackburns creek yesterday.  The holiday boats have stirred up the water a bit but no too bad. There are just not enough day use facilities available for the campers and other locals and it is keeping the lake boat traffic down a bit. I believe most resorts have no diminished services. We have avoided almost all severe weather so far this year and it is getting a little dry here with the very warm weather. There was a smaller fish kill earlier with most being small red meat fish. I am sure the game and fish will find out what caused it. Catfish are biting on limb lines and jugs and the best bait is bluegills. Bass are biting fair on finesse worms and also live bluegills. Some red meat fish are in open water and roaming just outside cover. Several crappie are under docks and around the buckbrush. Overall fishing is just fair but most people are catching fish. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. Some places are raising rates again later this week so compare prices. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 571.06 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. They are still running Table rock as hard as they can with 5-spillway gates open and dropping it and keeping it normal. This is causing Bull shoals to fill quickly. They are also slowing the discharge on the White river at Newport and quickly lowereing the level there. It is now below 19-feet. The ground is not saturated here and I had to water the garden yesterday. Fishing has slowed a bit but some smaller stripers and fair sized hygbrids are being caught with some white bass. Some of these have already moved to deeper water at around 50-feet and can be caught on spoons.   Bass continues to be the best bite now with many fish on the old shoreline behind the buckbrush. Crappie are scattered all over but remain somewhat near their normal brush piles. Bluegill are under docks and near willow trees on the main lake. Catfish have slowed on limb lines and jugs but some are being caught. I am using bluegill on limb lines but will give it a break until Tuesday. I am getting too much help running them now. Blackburns is full now with people taking advantage of the low cabin and boat rental prices and enjoying the big 30x60 refurbished swimming pool with slide. Things look good here so come and check it out before you leave from the weekend. We will not charge you too much. We have openings starting Monday. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 570.66 and has risen 5-inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation.  The press release from the Corps of Engineers say this is normal and that is what the dams are purposed to do. No it is not normal. This is more government propaganda. They want us to think this is normal. What has been normalized is bad water management. Pull the lake down to the 540's in the winter and let water out after that when possible and keep the White River at Newport just under the 26-ft. minor flood stage until all of the lakes are low going into the spring. The only ones surprised that it rains in the spring is the government and they are a little slow on the draw and are influenced by politics. The only place generating hard is Table Rock with all generators running and 5-flood gates open to keep Branson normal. The policy of hold and hope until the lakes are full and then opening the flood gates to prevent breaching the spillways and flooding everything down stream is getting old and can and should be prevented. The state is raising the price of trout stamps next year.  That is what they do best is raise taxes. The minimum flow for the put and take trout is what started this whole thing and never should have been implemented. The normal lake level for Norfork Lake is 552 not 553.75 or what else that has been done to manipulate the numbers and calculate the % full. Fishing continues to be pretty good with bass being the best. Some stripers are being caught on the spoon in 50-ft. of water and walleye in 20-ft. Some crappie are on brush but there is so much cover on the shoreline and they are scattered with shad being everywhere. Cat fishing is ok with mostly channels being caught on trot lines and limb lines. They have not spawned yet. Live bluegill are the best bait. The lake is still clearing nicely and is a good color for fishing and swimming. Go part way back in the creeks and work the old shoreline. Surface temperature is in the mid 70's.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 570.25 and has risen 5-inches in the last 24-hours. We received about 1/2 inches total for two days here at Mallard Point and just short of one inch in town. Most of it came after the storm blew through. The creeks did not run.  We did not get any severe weather here but it was around us. The level at Newport continues to drop and is just above 20 feet and the discharge has dropped also. Minor flood stage is 26-feet and they should be keeping it near that. Bull Shoals is 19 feet above power pool and is really getting high with all of the water going into it from Table Rock to keep Branson normal. We are to get little of no rain for over the next week and they are to get another chance to lower the lakes. Do not squander this chance boys. The lake surface temperature is in the low to mid 70's and is just fine for swimming and the water is clearing nicely. Fishing overall is just fair with the fish being scattered and in a lot of cover. The moon is waning and the catfishing is getting better again with mostly channels being caught. White Bass are being caught around Cranfield Island and walleye around Robinson Island. Bass are part way back in the creeks inside the buckbrush. There is still a top water bite for bass early with some red meat fish mixed in with them. It looks to be great weather for the holiday weekend and Blackburns has no diminished services and the best prices. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 569.78 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday. A cold front is to move through today and bring rain and wind. We did not get any of yesterday's storms but are likely to get something out of this one.  It is then to clear up and get warmer. Some crappie are being caught but not a lot. Several are under Blackburns Dock along with bluegill, catfish and bass. The crappie are on brush at about 30-feet. Get out early for the top-water bass and striper part way back in the creeks. Many fish are on the old bank in front of the buckbrush with shad. People are still killing small 8-10 lb stripers and our numbers of big fish are down. Showing pictures of dock floors full of dead small stripers is not impressive.  The daily limit needs to be dropped to two for a while. Norfork lake is clearing nicely and is at a good color for fishing. We have several cabins full of repeat customers and they are all catching some fish. It looks to be a very busy Memorial day. The White River at Newport  is dropping steadily as well as the discharge and is at 20+ feet. Table Rock is being run very hard as well as spillway gates open and is filling Bull Shoals rapidly to keep Table Rock normal. Everyone is being punished to protect Branson.  Blackburns has no diminished services so come on down. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 569.61 and has risen about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of generation. We are about 13-feet above top of power pool. Table rock continues to be generating full speed with spillway gates open and is less than 1-ft. above power pool. Bull shoals has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours with all of the discharge from Table rock. They are 18-feet above top of power pool. The White River is now at 21+ feet at Newport and is dropping like a rock. We definitely need new lake management personnel. Branson seems to run the world. Norfork lake is clearing nicely and is at a good color for fishing. You do not want the water too clear. If it is do not go there. We have not had any rain here for about a week and it is getting dry. It is susposed to rain later this afternoon and night. The weather has been beautiful with sunny skies and temperatures in the 80's. The lake surface temperature varies a bunch but is in the mid 70's near blackburns. A few smaller stripers are being caught in the 8-10 lb. range and more white bass. Full moon is today and has slowed catfishing down quite a bit. Bass fishing continues to be pretty good with smallmouth the best. I have not been fishing for crappie. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Bart Vandervelde releases all of his fish and fishes bass top water. He and Carolyn have been coming to Blackburns for 35+ years and are always welcome. Image titleImage title

Caught and released fishing with Bink's Guide Service today.Image title

The lake level is 569.30 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of generation. Table Rock has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours and is approaching normal. The discharge from Table Rock  continues to fill Bull Shoals rapidly and is hogging all of the volume at Newport on the White River which has been dropped to 23+ feet. The rules of generation need to be reviewed and dam management officials replaced. I still remember when Newport was between two and three feet this winter and they still would not drop the lake.  Norfork Lake continues to clear and we have not had any rain for several days. Bass fishing is still the best, especially smallmouth, followed by catfish and white bass. A few stripers are being caught but they are small. Threadfin shad are still spawning shallow behind the buckbrush in the cover and many fish are there with them. It is hard to keep the bass off the trot lines and limb lines when fishing for catfish.  The weather continues to be beautiful with rain expected for saturday. Blackburns still has two cabins available for Memorial day so come on down.. We will not charge you too much and you do not have to go down a cliff to get to the dock. We have ample trailer parking.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught this morning fishing with Bink's Guide Service. Released.Image title

The lake level is 569.10 and has risen 3-inches in the last 24-hours with about 4-hours of generation. Table Rock is still generating as hard as they can with spillway gates open and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours and is approaching normal. The lake below Table Rock is really bearing the brunt of the unfair lake management practices and is rising quickly. They have dropped the White River at Newport to 24+ feet and are scheduled to drop it much more. We will see what happens. It all depends on how the 70% full number is calculated and it is being changed regularly. The fuller the lakes get the harder it is to drop them. The fishing remains good with a lot of fish being behind the buckbrush near the old shoreline. Bait fish are there for cover and game fish there for food. Shakey head worms, finesse worms and french fries are working for bass as well as top-water baits and other creature baits. Spoons are woorking for red meat fish in 20-ft. of water near the bottom and spooks early on top-water. I am not fishing for crappie because so many small ones are being caught. This always happens late in the spawn season when the smaller ones spawn late. The weather has been perfect for a few days now and we can take a 1-inch rain with not much problem. Blackburns has no diminished services and we will not charge you too much. Come on down and check us out. You will like what you see. Give the money you save to disabled veterans. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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Norfork Lake level is 568.87 and has risen 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with 4-hours of generation. Table Rock is still running hard with 5 spillway gates open and is the only lake dropping. I guess I am the only one that has a problem with this. Hold and hope and then open the gates and let it all out. It will be ok. The White River at Newport is now at 25-feet and minor flood stage is 26-feet so do not expect much in the near future. I went fishing for a bit yesterday and caught some nice bass on the chug bug and a couple of catfish on the limb lines. A lot of bass are right in the buckbrush and are hard to get out. Shad are spawning in the buckbrush and are being chased up by about everything. Fishing overall is pretty good and about everyone are catching fish. Catfish have not spawned yet and the flatheads are the last to spawn. The ones that I am catching are all on live bluegills. When the thermocline forms many fish will be close to it. Walleye are roaming and are hit and miss. When the fry grows a bit they usually move to cover but there is lots of that now.  My brush piles are too deep now so most of them will stay in about 16-18 feet near cover just outside the old lake bank. Just work the bank part way back in the creeks and look for shad surfacing. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

These catfish went to the pond.Image title

Nice going Mike EakleImage title


Scuba Steve caught some too.Image title

Tom Kelly with a couple of nice bass caught and released yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 568.59 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. The only lake dropping is Table Rock and they are running as hard as they can the generators and also spillway gates to protect Branson. Below Table rock is paying a big price.  I had a 69 degree water temperature yesterday and the creek turned a little color but still good for fishing. You do not want clear water. It was clear just a little downstream though. Bass, catfish and red meat fish continue to be the best bite with a lot of fish coming up early AM. The weather is to get much warmer soon and it looks like summer will be here. It has been cool lately with a lot of cloudy days. Our 10% chance of rain came through yesterday at about 6:PM and it rained hard for about 10-minutes but the sun came right back out. There are still several people killing small stripers and taking pictures of a dock floor full of dead fish and thinking they are doing something great. Wrong. A 10-lb. striper is not big and is nothing to brag about.  Put them back. The future for the young people is being taken away. A lot of good fish were caught yesterday and all were released here at Blackburns except for white bass. I did take a couple of catfish to the pond. Blackburns still has a couple of cabins open for Memorial Day. If your campground has been cancelled come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle with a nice catfish caught today on his limb lines.  More too. In the pond it goes. Image title

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide service Today.Image title

The lake level is 567.83 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with a few hours of generation. It will take a few days of not running Table Rock full with gates open for us to start to drop but fat chance of that. The surface temperature is hanging in there in the mid 60's and is sure not going to warm today. It is raining now but is to quit in a few hours and is cold with highs just near 60. It is going to have to hurry to get there.  Red meat fish of all kinds are coming up in the morning but the stripers are small. They continue to do so most of the day when it is cloudy like today. It looks like the creeks are a little clearer than the main lake but both are a good color for fishing. They are not muddy at all despite some reports. Top water lures are working well for bass and spoons on the bottom at 20-feet. Fishing overall is pretty good. Catfishing on jugs, limb lines and trotlines is good but you have to keep moving them up. The rate of lake raise is down quite a bit but is steady.  Blackburns has no diminished services so if your campground spot got cancelled come on down.  We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Casey Denham with some nice catfish caught on limb lines on bluegill. Yesterday.Image title

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service.Image title

The lake level is 567 53 and has risen 5-inches in the last 24-hours. We are to get a little rain tomorrow and then very little chance for the next week. The one inch rain we received earlier rhis week did not run the creeks. The lake is pretty clear and fishing is good especially smallmouth bass, catfish, white bass, smaller hybrids and striper. Catfish are hitting bluegill on limb lines well and bass are also feeding well on top water baits early. People continue to kill small stripers and take pictures bragging on them when there is nothing to brag about. They are just killing the future. I do not fish much for them anyway but a lot of people do and many are learning how to catch them. They are all stocked fish and are finite in numbers. Stripers and hybrids do not re-populate in this lake. Let them grow.The lake surface temperature has dropped from the low 70's to mid 60's with the last rain and a cold front is coming in now with highs only near 60 for tomorrow. High pressure will persist starting sunday. The weather should be good for fishing the longer the high pressure remains. Full moon is the 18th and that will slow the catfishing.  Bluegill are biting well and threadfin shad are spawning. If you are fishing creature baits keep a top-water lure handy and watch just behind the buckbrush for surfacing shad. Blackburns still has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals and your first boat stall is free unless you haul your own pontoon. All cabins have covered porches and none are duplexes. There are no extra charges for trolling motors on pontoons. You can still get a one bedtoom cabin for $59/day.  There are no diminished services here and you do not have to go down a cliff to get to the dock.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 566.59 and has risen 4-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. The level is 1-ft. higher than last year at this time and fishing was excellent then too.  The water in Blackburns creek is very clear and many fish of all different species are behind the buckbrush on the old shoreline and can be caught on creature baits, finesse worms, shakey head worms and other soft plastics. On cloudy days like today they will bite on top water lures all day. Many fish are being caught. I had a 70-degree water temperature at Blackburns dock yesterday.  This is a good time for you bluegill fishermen. They are loaded up shallow under willow trees on both the main lake and creeks. Walleye are back on the campgrounds at Robinson Point and around the Island.  Others are on the east side of Cranfield Island. Fish of all kinds are on the east side of cow point between there and the bridge. The big crappie have spawned and now most of the smaller ones.  The schools are getting diluted with smaller fish with a lot of 10-11 inch fish being caught and many other smaller ones undersized. Lots of fish are on shad until the fry grows and move to cover.  This is all normal. All bass fishermen are catching fish everyday. Trollers are also catching red meat fish.  This is a good time and Blackburns has no diminished services and will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught Yesterday fishing with Bink's guide Service.  The fog kept them close for several hours.  They are staying in Cabin #9. Nice people.Image title

The lake level is 556.21 and has risen 5-inches in the last 24-hours with about 8-hours of running one generator. Table Rock is dropping with heavy generation and flood gates open. It is not how we get out of a situation but how we got in it. It was a beautiful day yesterday and another today. Top water fishing is very good in the early morning and continues throught most of the day.  Bass fishing is very good and crappie and walleye are fair. White bass are easily caught as well as Hybrids. I wish people would quit killing those small 8-10 lb. stripers. Pictures of them are not impressive.  It is fishing season here and we are not being disappointed. Blackburns has several good fishermen in now and they are most all catching fish. Wish you were here.  We have no diminished services and have the best prices. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on the Bink's spoon yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 565.27 and has risen about 11-inches in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of running about 1/2 of one generator. It is exactly what it was one year ago.  The level at Newport is 25-feet and 26-feet is the minor flood level. They are running Table Rock as hard as they can and also have 5-spillway gates open to protect Branson. It is amazing what they can do if they want to when politics and $ are involved. We have received about 3.3 inches of rain here the the last 5-days and it seemed like it was going to be cloudy forever but it is nice and sunny now. Gizzard shad are spawning now behind the buckbrush and the bass are feeding heavily. One guest caught and released 35 yesterday. The carp have almost finished spawning in the back of Blackburns creek and there were sure a lot of them. Several bow hunters were there shooting them.  The main lake in my area is a little stained but good for fishing. Walleye are biting on the spoon as are stripers after they go down after feeding top water in the AM. The walleye biting now are mostly spawned out females and are skinny and schooled. Overall fishing is good with bass being the best bite and walleye and crappie next. I do not count white bass. They always bite and have hybrids with them. Blackburns has a lot of good fishermen in now taking advantage of our low cabin prices, boat rental prices, first boat stall free and free trolling motors on pontoons.  Our big covered porches really came in handy this last week with the rain. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. We sure have a lot of birds and wildlife.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink this morning.Image title

Tom Stanton with some good ones caught this morning.Image title

The lake level is 563.46 and has raised one foot in the last 24-hours.  They have one generator running here now and they are running Table Rock Hard and have 5-spillway gates open and are holding it stable. Fish came up top for a long time this cloudy morning and a lot of fish were caught. I had seven rental boats out and everyone got checked by the Game Warden. Glad to see them on the job. It would not be a good time to keep over your limit, undersized fish or not have a license. Overall fishing is good with all kinds of fish biting. The Smallmouth Bass bite is exceprional. Use those shakey head worms with a very light slip weight. Many fish are in behind the buckbrush part way back in the creeks. Keep a top-water lure handy for surfacing fish. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free here at Blackburns. You can launch here, park here and stay here. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught today fishing with Bink's Guide service.Image title

The lake level is at 562.64 and has risen 2.63 feet in the last 24-hours. We have not received more than average rainfall for both months of March and April with below average in March. I am glad the spawn was almost over for most fish before the lake raise. At least the big ones. We have received about 2.6 inches of rain here in the last three days but areas of Missouri got a lot more. We had no severe weather here. The fact that it rains the last of April and May should not be a surprise to anyone unless the light does not shine very bright.  Things are in pretty good shape here at blackburns and we are very busy. People love renting those full service 24-volt trolling motor, fiberglass bass boats.  Few places have them and Blackburns has a lot of them and they are nearly all rented. Fishing contiues to be good with bass and crappie biting well and top-water red meat fish are coming up almost every day. Walleye are biting at night under lights. Blackburns has no diminished services so come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Image titleJohn Bornhop with some of yesterday's catch.Image title

The lake level is 558.15 and is about what it was at this time yesterday with just about 2-hours of generation. They are still dropping Table Rock to keep it at or below normal. it is time to let some water out of Norfork Boys. You have had plenty of time and have failed again. Rain is on the way (surprise) and they usually quit generating when it rains to maximize the water rise. And there are people that want the government to run more stuff. The lake in general is in excellent condition with the spawn continuing with the bluecats ready to spawn now. The smaller crappie caught yesterday had not spawned and the larger ones had finished. The top water bite for red meat fish is improving and fishing should be good for the next several days with cloudy skies and warm temperatures. We are to get heavy rain tonight. We will see. it is clouding up now as we speak. Bass are about equally divided by being in the buckbrush and in open water on shad and a little over half of them have spawned with several males still on the beds. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. You will need those covered porches with the rain. If you stay elsewhere do not forget your umbrellas.  John Bornhop and Tom Kelly caught some good fish yesterday.  Tom with bass and John with crappie and catfish. I did not see the other people as they are fishing hard. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 558.15 and continues to rise with no rain for several days and very little generation. They continue to run Table Rock to keep it normal at the expense of Norfork. Hold and hope does not work very well in the spring rainy season. Two years ago tomorrow did not seem to teach anyone a lesson. The lake surface temperature is about 66 degrees and the lake is clearing with less pollen. Crappie fishing has slowed a bit with more smaller fish showing up but still not bad.  More will come out of the open water and on to cover as the fry grows and moves to brush. Same with walleye. The larger ones have spawned as have the bass.  Fish the buckbrush with finesse worms, shakey head worms and creature baits for bass. Use a very small slide weight for the shakey heads.  There were a lot of people bed fishing yesterday for bass.  The top water bass, hybrids, white bass and smaller stripers is good now early and late. The simulated spawn bite for stripers is over after dark but some fish are still coming up and near the bank on shad at dark. People are still taking pictures dock floors full of small dead stripers and think it is impressive. It is not. 10 pound stripers are not big. I do not fish for them much but a lot of people do. We are paying the price for over-harvest and a lot of the big stripers are gone. Release them and kill the white bass for meat especially while they are shallow and can be released safely.  The spawn has been good with the water level not varying too much and is in or past the buckbrush for cover. It is to get warmer with highs near 80 and rain later on this week. We get at least one rain every week in the spring but we are not too wet here. It rains just about when we need it. Catfishing on trot lines is good . I am fishing the backs of creeks  for big channels but a few flatheads are being caught in deeper water just part way in the creeks. Come on down we will not charge you too much. The money you save here can be given to disabled Veterans.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 557.88 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation since early yesterday afternoon. They are still running Table Rock hard to protect Branson and keeing it at a normal level. We just received a 10% chance of a shower a few minutes ago and it has quit now and is very cloudy.  Should be very good for fishing all day.  The top water bite yesterday morning was mostly small white bass but at least something came up. I am just not seeing very many stripers being caught now.  Tom Kelly reports catching some very large bass in float creek yesterday and releast all of them on the spot on his shakey head worm. Having these big bass tournaments right in the middle of the spawn really hurts the fish and I am glad they are not here this weekend. They may release all their fish but catching the bass off their nests and leaving them unprotected for just a few minutes allows the bluegill to eat the eggs all up and quickly. The lake has been rising steadily for a few weeks with little generation but not fast enough to hurt the spawn. We just do not need a big rise or drop in level at one time like we did the year before last the last day of April when the Corps of Engineers were the only ones that were surprised and not prepared for one large rain. We should be 5-ft. lower now at least.  We have not receives more than average rainfall for the last two months.  When I hear their representatives say That is what the dams are for is too hold water it gets annoying. They are to help prevent floods not hold water all year. You have to know when to hold em and know when to dump em and take advantage of dryer periods.  I saw Harvey Hall out on the water yesterday and it was good to see him. He was catching crappie as usual. All of the fish that he caught were spawned out females and said smaller fish were showing up indicating the spawn was about over. Walleye are getting better everyday as are catfish. I fish catfish hard when the carp are spawning and they are. Blugill are the biggest predator for crappie and catfish are the same for carp. This is a fun time of year. Come on down. We will not charge you too much, put you in a duplex or charge for your first boat stall. You can save at least $30/day by staying here.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 557.71 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours.  At least they are generating at this time. They continue to run Table Rock heavily around the clock to keep it at normal level. Go figure. Why are Norfork lake people not more outraged about this? We need to hold government people accountable and know their names and how to get in touch with them. This anonymity needs to have the light shined on it and more fair rules applied. Some post spawn walleye and crappie are coming in everyday now and they are some nice ones. Some are on brush and some are in open water on shad. Top water temperate bass and black bass are coming up early and surfacing around 6:30 AM. I am not seeing very many big stripers and many of the white bass are small. More than 1/2 of the bass and crappie have spawned now with several males still guarding the nests. If you catch one off the fish off the nests it takes about five minutes for the bluegill to eat them up. Mushrooms are about gone now but I found some good ones this year. You can almost see the garden and grass growing and the weather is beautiful today. Walleye and white bass are coming in with the shad under lights after dark now and some big walleye are being caught. They are skinny and are post-spawn feeding. It is about time to hit the flats around Cranfield Island. I usually wait for 70-degree water temperature but also like to find out more what is going on than meat hunting. It is fun th be the first one to give an accurate report and I have several good fishermen helping me to do it. No copying here. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 557.49 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with just 3-hours of generation.  They are still running Table Rock hard to keep it at normal level and protect Branson and the landing. I suspect politics is involved. The rainfall last night and today is very variable depending on where you are but we received about 0.8 inches here at Blackburns so far. We have not had over average rainfall here for the last two months. What we have had is bad dam management. The very heavy tree pollen clouded up the creeks yesterday but did not hurt fishing. I had one report of a person catching 23-bass with the size about 2-21/2 pounds. All were released. Dock floors full of dead fish are not impressive especially during the spawn. The top water bite early in the AM is really picking up for white bass, bass and smaller stripers and will get better and better as we approach the full moon the 18th of May. Large striper numbers continue to be a problem and we highly recommend releasing smaller stripers. 10-lb. stripers are not picture fish. They are semi-put and take and are finite in numbers.  Water temperature was 66 degrees yesterday when I went out. It is very busy here at Blackburns and we like that. Shop before you buy.  We will not chage you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 557.30 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with a few hours of generation. The lake is getting very clear and is in excellent condition with a surface temperature in the early to mid 60's. Crappie, bass and catfish are the best bite now with several walleye showing up. The crappie being caught now have not spawned and are in the 12-13 inch range.  The bigger ones have spawned. The exact same thing is happening with the bass. Catfishing is good on trot lines. Top water bite for bass and temperate bass is picking up early but I am disappointed in the size of the stripers.  The bass population on Norfork is excellent and the fish are getting larger and larger. Largemouth in the 6-lb. range used to be uncommon but not anymore. Also 4-lb. smallmouth are common. I caught a 3-lb. Kentucky bass earlier this week. There is a good chance of rain for the next couple of days and then nice again for the weekend. There should be no complete rain out day for a while with tonight and tomorrow being the best chance. We finished the remodel on cabin #9 (the mobile home) last night and it is now ready to rent. It is the only thing that has kept us from being full for the last two weeks. I planted the garden yesterday and the yard was mowed again. Everything looks good here and wildlife is everywhere. I love hearing those Purple Martin and Pileated Woodpeckers. Come on down we will not charge you too much. If you are already here check out Blackburns before you leave. Our beautiful valley speaks for its self and we have the largest magnolia tree anywhere and it will bloom soon.  Our children playground is second to nobody. Our coin laundry has two washers and three dryers. We have it all here at Blackburns and at the best price and are closest to Mountain Home, dining and shopping. No sense staying 10-miles from anything.  Remember the size limit on walleye is 18-inches. Too many people are killing short ones. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's guide service yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 557.22 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with only three hours of generation. They are running Table Rock generators hard to protect Branson and leaving Norfork behind like a step child again. The rules need to be reviewed and changed leaving politics out. The lake is warming rapidly and fish are spawning. Many big bass and crappie are spawned out and are moving to 20-30 ft. brush. Middle sized ones are still on the bank or on brush. Carp are way back in the creeks spawning and making a big commotion. Channel cats are biting well and just a few flatheads are showing up. They are the last to spawn and only bite live bait. People using hot dogs are catching smaller fish and ones using live shiners catching bigger ones. The lake is warming nicely again and is in the mid 60's in some places. I still do not know where all of these bluegill that are from one to one and one half inches are coming from. Must have been a fall spawn but the bass and catfish sure do like them. Top water stripers and bass are getting better every day and some stripers are being caught north of Cranfield near dark.  The weather has been perfect with rain moving in again Wednesday and continuing until thursday night. The weekend looks good again. Crappie, bass and catfish are the best bite with some white bass coming in but we do not count them. I hope people do not kill a bunch of small top water stripers as we need to build up the supply of big ones. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. Do some shopping.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike and laney caught a big catfish. Toby is checking it out.Image title

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Cannot get them all in one picture.Image title

You like green flat playground?  This is it.Image title

The lake level is 556.86 and has risen 3-inches in the last 24-hours with just a little generation. The weather has been beautiful. Catfish are biting as well as bass and crappie. Many fish are spawning. There is a top water bite most mornings for both stripers and bass. The lake is warming and is in the lower 60's. We are having a wonderful easter here at Blackburns and the egg hunt went over well.  We had about 50-children of all ages and over 1,000 eggs. Debbie separated them into three groups acording to age and off they went. Wish your children and grand children could have been here. The place was full.  Several children found new friends and we had pizza afterwards. The weather was perfect. We like fun here at Blackburns with no drama. Tommy Smith is catching a lot of catfish on his trot line and others caught stripers, bass and crappie. Fun was had by all. The lake was pretty busy and in great condition. Blackburns has people here doing construction, buying property, waiting on builders, mushroom hunters, bikers and people just resting. About 1/2 of out business is fishermen and we like all of them. It is a good group. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide service.Image title

Caught yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 556.55 and has come up a foot in the last 3-days and 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of generation. I had a 62 degree water temperature yesterday and it was cool and windy. Our normal high is 70 and normal low is 50. It is beautiful today for the Easter Egg hunt at 2:Pm and is to be near 80 tomorrow and sunny again. Perfect for being on the lake. The lake in general is in excellent condition. Crappie fishing has slowed a bit but some are being caught. The spawn for crappie and bass is in full swing and it would be nice if the water level remained stable for a few days. Walleye are shallow and will remain so until the thermocline forms and then they will move near it at 16-18 ft. of water near the bottom. It will take a few very warm days for that to happen and is usually in early May. Mushrooms are up and will start to dry up with too much hot weather. Turkeys are gobbling all over.  We are mowing the grass every week. Blackburns is full now but have some openings later this week. People are taking advantage of the low prices on both cabins and boat rental here and your first boat stall is free. No charges for trolling motors on pontoons. You can save hundreds of dollars on a week-long stay here at Blackburns. You do not have to go elsewhere to launch your boat and we have ample parking and a gentle slope to the dock. This is the family place and all cabins have covered porches and there are no duplexes. On rainy days you can rig fishing poles, play cards and smoke on the porch with no umbrellas. No smoking in cabins.  Come on down. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly is one good fisherman.Image title

Under the dock with these big boys.Image title

The lake level is 555.70 and has risen 3-inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating yesterday afternoon and have not started up yet. Hope they do. They always quit when it rains to let the lake rise as much as it can. We received about 0.4 inches of rain last night and this morning and it is very cloudy now. The Easter Egg hunt is saturday at 2:Pm and the resort will be full of guests and much family and friends.  It gets bigger every year and some of the children that were very small when we started have their own now and they are helping with the hunt. It is to be in the 70's and sunny by gametime. Free pizza and hundreds of eggs. We have about 4-acres of flat green grass and a big playground for the hunt. Fishing was pretty good yesterday and bass were biting. I was using my old standby grub and minnow and working part way back in a creek behind brush piles. Lake surface temperature was 60 degrees and some fish have moved out a little deeper. The threadfin shad will spawn at a late 60's and early 70's surface temperature and it does not look like we will make that before full monn in May. You have to change bass fishing techinques when this happens. The overall spawn has slowed with the cool ambient temperature and lower water temperatures. I was finding surface water temperatures in the 70's but not now. This is typical for April. It is not as variable as March but almost. Tom Kelly is using a shakey head worm, Bink is using creature baits and I am using the grub and all are catching fish. There are lots of one and one half inch long bluegill minnows showing up near the bank and are drawing catfish to them at night.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink last night.Image title

Kelsey caught some good ones yesterday and looks happy. Image title

The lake level is 555.48 and has come up over 2-inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating again yesterday afternoon and it is still down.  They do continue to generate Table Rock to protect the Branson Landing. More rain is expected late tonight. Some fish have spawned already, some are spawning and some are still getting ready. The big fish have moved from under my dock and the bank is full of male bass making nests. Crappie spawn is in full swing with the larger ones first and some females are back on brush with more in open water on shad. Many smallmouth have already spawned and the spawn has swam up and the males have left the nest. This is an exciting time and a good time for catch and release. Dock floors full of dead fish are not impressive even though may be legal. With the reduction of big stripers, increase in fishing pressure and people killing smaller fish in the 10-lb. range, I am for the reduction of the limit to two. The fishermen are just getting better at catching them and the stocking remain the same. I do not fish for red meat fish much but a lot of people do. We need more carp fishermen. My cove is full of them and you can hear them sucking in the very back. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

James Soltysiac with a couple of nice ones. Image title

The lake level is 555.29 and has risen 3-inches in the last 24-hours. They completely quit generating last night. It was beautiful yesterday and again today with highs in the 70's but another low pressure is moving in tomorrow afternoon with some rain on the way.  This is the time of year when it rains about twice a week. So far we have avoided big ones and storms and the lake is in excellent condition with surface temperatures in the 60's depending where you are.  The creeks are clearing again and more fish are moving to the bank. The larger crappie have moved out from under my dock to spawn as have most bass. There is getting to be more top-water early but a lot of them are bass and white bass. Big stripers are still a little scarce and trollers are not catching very many. Bass fishing is still good and crappie are fair. Some big channel cats are being caught but you have to bait your lines after dark to keep the turtles and heron off them. Mushrooms are in full swing. Full moon is friday and our normal high is 67. Catfish do not like full moon. We are finishing putting new siding on the lodge, floors in #9, the mobil home, and resurfacing and painting the big pool and then that is enough for a while. Out of money.  We have a lot of customers but need more. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

James Soltysiac with some big crappie.Image title

Mike Soltysiac With some Smallmouth and largemouth.Image title

Kyle Aubuchon with one nice catfish. Image title

The lake level is 554.83 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24 hours with 1.5 inches of rain.  The creeks run but not too fast. It should come up a bit more but not much if they keep the one generator running. We were needing a little rain anyway and it will bring the mushrooms up next week with the warmup. It is cold now and the surface water temperature is about 60 degrees depending on where you are. Creature baits with a lead head are the best baits now with bass and some walleye on the bank. Top water lures are working early AM and then they quit so switch to a lizzard on 6-lb. line for bass and walleye.  The cold weather set the spawn back a little but it is to be in the 70's for a few days before the next low pressure moves in. A lot of fish were caught yesterday and the Cystic Fibrosis buddy bass tournament was a success with 18.79 lbs. winning and 6.78 big bass.  That is pretty good and shows how these locals can fish. There were 243 boats. Blackburns fishermen had a good day with several nice fish caught. Us folks living here are lucky to have such a nice big lake with so many varieties of fish. There is something for everyone except high boat traffic and big wake boats. I started to go out again last evening but the wind was blowing hard from the north an it was cold. At least everyone got in a pretty good day of fishing before the rain started a little after noon. Blackburns was nearly full but had several leave so we have room for you now.  Come on down. We will not charge you too much.   

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught and released on the spot yesterday. Good to see some showing up. Image title

The lake level is 554.68 and has dropped a little less than 1-inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. I hope they keep it running but the White River level at Newport is dropping quickly and the discharge is being reduced. The cystic fibrosis buddy bass tournament is today and runs from 7AM to 3:PM. So far so good with the weather and I hope it holds for them. Those West Plains boys know how to fish and put on a good tournament. It is for a very good cause. The results will be a good indication of the current bass fishing conditions on Norfork Lake with cloudy conditions and a cold low pressure moving in. I predict at least 15-lbs will be caught. It is cooler today and the rain is to start later this afternoon. They should get through most of the day with good weather. Fishing overall is in transition with fish on the bank, fish in deeper water staging and some spawning and some not ready to spawn yet. Bass in Norfork lake continue spawning well into June especially Kentuckies. It is very busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of the low cabin rates and free boat stall. Come on down, it looks to be good weather most of next week and we will not charge you too much. We are finishing remodeling cabin #9, the mobile home,  and then all of the cabins will have been gone through. We are very proud of the resort here at Blackburns and would like for you to check it out. There will be no price increases here again this year and you can still get a one bedroom cabin for two people for $59/day. Shop before you buy. We have a good setup here for fishermen and other boaters. You do not have to go some place else to launch and have ample parking for both vehicles and trailers. It is an easy 1/3 mile walk or drive to the dock on nearly level ground with a big level playground for the children with lots of activities.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with some nice crappie released under the dock Yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 554.75 and stable with one generator running continuously. We are to get quite a bit of rain tomorrow and they will probably quit generating like they almost always do. The White Rivel level at Newport is now dropping quickly and is at 16.75 feet heading for 14-feet for some mysterious reason. Flood stage is 26-feet. It has been windy from the south for the last two days but it slowed and moved to the northwest last evening. Blackburns has several brush piles facing north so the wind did not bother much. We try to put them in for all different fishing conditions. The creeks are still stained from the wind but the main lake is clear. The surface temperature ranges from 72 in the middle of the day to the high 60's in the early morning with the very warm weather. That all changes tomorrow with a cold front coming in and it getting windy again.  The surface temperature really climed quickly with the mid to high 80 degree ambient temperatures. It was about 73 yesterday. The crappie caught on the bank are all males and the ones still on the brush are all females and they are ready to spawn. Several female bass moved to the bank to spawn yesterday. They were on brush and under docks. The very cool weather may slow this process down a bit. I just hope the rain does not raise the lake much. It would be very nice for the spawn for it to remain stable for the next couple of weeks. Come on down to Blackburns where we will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. You will need a covered porch all day tomorrow and Sunday morning. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught and released yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 554.78 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday. They quit generating for about 6-hours but have started up one generator now. A stable level is very important to the spawn. The water is just outside the buck brush. The male crappie are on the bank and the females have blood lines in the eggs indicating they are about ready. Bass are on the bank making nests and many of the big females are still in cover or under docks. The full moon is the 19th this month and the striper spawn simulation should be over by then and they will start coming up early AM. The threadfin shad are photosensitive and will spawn near the full moon now that the water has warmed way past 60.  They feed exclusively on plankton so fish wind blown banks. This looks to be a good top-water year especially for bass. I am not sure how many big stripers there are but Bink sure caught a big one yesterday. There are too many small ones in the 10-lb. range and smaller being killed. It is to cool down later this weekend and we will see what it does to the water temperature.  The wind clouded up the creeks yesterday. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

36-lb. striper caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday. Image title

Tom Kelly with some of yesterday's catch.  All released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 554.78 and rising very slowly. They just quit generating completely here but are running the chain of lakes hard to protect Branson Landing. Suprise suprise. They always do this just when the spring rains are in full force. The rules need to be reviewed and changed. I found 72 degree water in Red Bank yesterday and the female crappie were pre-spawn biting.  They were full of eggs and ready to move to the bank. The males are already there. The male bass moved to the bank by the hundreds yesterday and are everywhere. The big females are still out in open water near brush or under docks. The carp are moving far back in the creeks to spawn as are the bluegill. The big crappie will spawn first and then move to cover to feed on the the new bait fish which will do the same thing.  A lot of fish were caught yesterday. We will see what the cold front coming in Friday does to the bite. I do not bed fish but if you do a gitzet is the best lure for bass and wear good sunglasses. Blackburns still has the best prices on both boats and cabins with no charge for your first boat stall. Yes, we do promote catch and release here and are not impressed by dock floors full of dead fish. Posession limits are twice the daily limits. The Corps of Engineers just renovated the swimming beach at Cranfield with new sand and it is beautiful. It is next to the campground with restrooms, showers pavillion and playground and is one of the best beaches on the lake.  Others good ones include Bidwell point and Panther Bay.  This area is centrally located and is very close to Mountain Home, dining and shopping. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 554.77 and rising very slowly with one generator running continuously. The lake is clearing nicely even in the creeks. Surface temperature is in the early 60's with the near 80 degree temperatures. My dock is absolutely full of bluegill, bass, crappie, catfish, carp and turtles all ready to spawn. I feed them everyday and they just wait for me to get there. Catfish are biting, mushrooms are popping up, flowers and trees are blooming, purple Martins are back and life is good here at Blackburns. It is to stay very warm here until the weekend and then cool off. Not too bad though. Normal high is 69 and we should be a little lower than that. This is a good time for a visit and we will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. If you must pay more just stay here and donate the difference to Disabled Vets. Time to mow the grass again.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on the trot line this morning.Image title

Caught last night fishing with Bink. That is the biggest striper that I have seen all spring.Image title

The lake level is 554.73 and has risen 1-inch in the last 24-hours with one generator still running and receiving 1/2 inch of rain. It rained hard about 4:AM. It is sunny and very warm with a high of near 80 again today with a cold front coming in later this week. Our normal high is 68. The surface water temperature rises to over 60 during the warm part of the day and then drops by morning with ambient lows in the high 50's. There is a top water bite for bass about 7:AM most days in their normal places and the night bite for stripers is still on but will end soon with the simulated striper spawn finishing and them coming up at day break. You can lure them out of suspension early if you know how to work that spook and throw it past them when they come up. White bass will be coming up all over the place. I like the baby spook better but you can throw the bigger ones farther. Clear is good for sunny mornings and bone colored for cloudy. I like the spitin image better for bass. I am catching fish everyday on my trot line and they are all channel cats all on big shiners. Male crappie are in the backs of the creeks in earnest now and getting ready to make a nest as are bass and bluegill. This is a good time to catch and release everything. I found two mushrooms yesterday and they were the small gray ones. Big brown ones are on the way.  The rain and 80 degree temperatures will make them pop. Come on down. We will not charge you too much or put you in a duplex with no covered porch. We have ample boat trailer parking and you can drive to our launch, launch your boat, put it in a free stall, park your trailer and step on the dock with no steps. Cannot beat that, especially if you are by yourself. Our dock boat slips are not one size fits all and we have one that will just fit your boat with walk ways on both sides. I do not know what to do today. Hunt mushrooms or fish.  Maybe both.   

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on a Bink's Spoon.Image titleImage title

This and several others released under Blackburns dock.Image title

The lake level is 554.65 and has come up 1-inch in the last 24-hours with 1/2 inch of rain last evening and one generator running continuously. The lake in general is in excellent condition and the surface temperature is heading towards 60. A lot of fish were caught on Norfork lake yesterday. Bass, Crappie and catfish are the best bite now with some night stripers and early morning white bass fair. Every stall at my dock had fish last evening and lots of them too. That is a sign that the spawn is about to begin. Blugill, crappie, bass and catfish are everywhere but it helps that I feed them for the children.  Carp are back also as are turtles. I use chicken feed because it sinks and catfish food because it floats. Good combination.  It is spring for sure. I will check for mushrooms again a little later. It is to get to 80 later this week and the grass is growing like crazy and everything is blooming. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught last night fishing with Bink.Image title

The lake level is 554.60 and is exactly what it was 24-hours ago with one generator running continuously. The lake surface temperature is in the high 50's and rising. The lake is clearing and you can see your lure down about 6-feet on the main lake. The night bite is still on for stripers, male crappie are back in pigeon, middle pigeon, east pigeon and briar creeks staging in 20-ft. of water getting ready to make a nest, bass are moving in the creeks under docks getting ready to do the same thing, bluegill have moved in under the docks with smaller crappie with them,  channel cats are part way back in the creeks at night.  Things are starting to change rapidly now. I saw no top water action yesterday morning but some shad were surfacing late last night in the creeks. Bass dishing is still pretty good with smallmouth coming on strong.  This is a fun time of year and the weather is warm. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 554.59 and rising very slowly with one generator running continuously. The lake is clearing and is in excellent condition. I did not find any mushrooms yesterday but it is getting close. The rain and 70 degree temperature will bring them out. Not much is better than fried mushrooms, taters and onions and catfish. I stayed out until after dark last night and tried the night bite for stripers. I never have good luck finding them on cloudy, rainy, moonless nights with no wind and I was correct. They like that moon shining in their eyes and the wind blowing into the bank. Just wanted to confirm. I caught a catfish on the trotline, bass on grub and a large crappie before dark though. The morning bite for surfacing bass is the best now.  Get out there by 6:45 AM and be ready with a spitin image. The surface temperature is still about 57 degrees and should raise to near 60 with the warmer nights and higher daily temperatures which seems to be the magic number to get things started. It looks like April 15th is still on track for a good top-water bite. I keep trying main lake points but they are just not many fish there yet. The crappie are just not ready to spawn yet and neither are the bass. I will be out there every day to let you know. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday and last night.Image titleImage titleImage titleImage title

We received about 0.3 inches of rain late last night and early this morning and it is very cloudy now with more expected. It is to be in the 70's tomorrow and sunny with alternating days of possible rain and sunshine for the next week. I will check out my mushroom place today. It is about time. The night bite continues, crappie are fair, bass are good, catfish fair and walleye poor. Many fish are still in open water on shad but that is typical until they move to the bank to spawn and then the spawn moves to the brush for cover. The water level is just at the base of the buckbrush now is at 554.56 and rising slowly and is good for crappie spawn if it stays there. Drastic changes of level hurts the spawn more than anything now. They will move once or twice and then just give up and spawn in open water and not get fertilized.  If it stays where it is now it will be good. Many crappie and bluegill have moved in under Blackburns dock now and that is a good sign. We should see a steady 60-degree water temperature later this week and that is where things happen. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 554.52 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours.They have closed the spillway gates again but still are running one generator. The lake surface temperature was 58 when I went out yesterday and should continue to rise with the seasonal temperatures near 70. Our normal high is 66. A low pressure is to come through and will bring wind with it later today. Get your crank bait out and fish the wind blown banks when it does. The lake is clearing nicely both main lake and creeks and you can see your lure down about 6-feet. There is quite a bit of Juniper pollen in the back of  wind blown creeks and cuts. I am using live shiners on my trot line and catching some good channel cats every day now. They have moved to the backs of the creeks in the warmer water. I caught some 14-inch crappie also on the grub in about 25-ft. of water. Most of them are not ready to spawn yet and are still in open water on shad. They are very dark and look like black crappie until the light shines on them for a while and then the black goes away.  Some are black crappie though. I was fishing in the Red Bank area. It is getting very close to the beginning of the early morning top water bite for bass and white bass. Keep a spitin image or spook tied on and handy. Get out to your spot about 6:45AM and stay there until after sunrise. If they do not come all the way up you can lure them up from about 6-7 feet if you know how to work your lure properly. The fish are not jumping in the boat or in a frenzy but overall is pretty good. White bass, hybrids and crappie continue to bite on the spoon and trolling about anything.  Alabama rigs, spoons, crankbaits, grubs and finesse worms are all working for bass. They have not moved to the bank yet. I usually catch a lot of fish on main lake points but not now. Work part way back in the creeks on wind blown banks in 15-20 feet of water. The night bite for stripers has not been the best and will slow as the water warms and the top water bite begins. The moon is too small and the full moon is almost too late. Spring is the time to really participate in catch and release. Small mouth bass are showing up and big ones too. May 1st. is a good smallmouth bass time. The water is a little slow warming but this is about a normal year so far and the lake is at a perfect level and in general in excellent condition. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught last night fishing with Bink.Image title

The lake level is 554.63 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open 1-ft. This is all equivalent to 1-1/2 generators. The White river at Newport has been dropped to a level of 17-feet on it's way to some contrived level of 14-ft. The discharge has also been reduced to about 1/2 what it was. They are missing out on a good chance to drop the lake with the low rainfall totals of march. The White river level has dropped 5-ft. in the last week for no reason. It is 10-feet below flood stage. The surface temperature of the lake is still 56 degrees and has not risen much in a couple of weeks with the below average temperatures. It should start to raise now with the warm weather finally getting here. We mowed the grass and it is filling in nicely and flowers and trees are blooming all over. It looks like spring here. I went out to check my trotline and found a nice channelcat right away. I netted him but the line was still pulling hard so I moved on down. What I saw next was a big loggerhead turtle. It looked as big as a volkswagon. I cut it loose right away. It is the second one that I have seen in the 25-years that I have lived here. It was magnificent. The night bite for stripers is still on with stick baits and and the male crappie are back in the creeks getting ready for the spawn. Bass are still pre-spawn feeding. The big ones spawn first and those are the ones being caught. This is the time of the year to practice catch and release until the spawn is over. Fish were coming up in Blackburns Creek last evening but were mostly small bass and White bass. A lot of White bass are back in Hensley's creek. Alabama rigs, crank baits and grubs are the best for bass. Small 2-inch grubs tipped with minnows are the best for crappie.  They are in Pigeon, middle pigeon and Briar creeks. The lake is clearing and in excellent condition. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Bink with a couple of yesterday's catch.  Those are some nice fish.Image title

The lake level is 554.72 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. They have now opened 4-spillway gates one foot and that is equavilant to less than 1/2 generator but it should be enough to keep the level stable. We ended up the month of march with about 1/2 the average rainfall. That is good. They should have dropped the lake much more but continue to slow the discharge at Newport and lower the level. It is now just over 17-feet heading for 14-feet for some reason. This needs to be explored, investigated and changed. The weather is still cool today with the temperature near 50 which is 15-degrees below normal. It is to get to near 70 by about wednesday. Bass fishing continues to be very good with several good ones caught yesterday. Bink caught some big ones. I cannot keep them off my trot line.  White bass is second and some male crappie are moving back in the creeks getting ready to stage before the females join them. The night bite has slowed a bit for stripers. It has been cold and cloudy and they like that moon shining in their faces and it is small now.  Full moon is the 19th and the simulated spawn will be over by then and the top-water bite will be here if the weather warms and the nighttime lows stay in the 50's. I usually tell people the top-water bite typically starts in earnest about the 15th.  It will start before then. Crappie will be on the banks by then. This is a good time for a fishing trip.  Come on down. We will not charge you too much. The improvements at the resort continue. Why pay more? Easter egg hunt on the 20th. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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Tomorrow will be April and the lake is in excellent condition. The level now is 554.59 and has risen about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with a little less than 1-inch of rain total and one generator running continuously. The level of the White River at Newport is under 18-feet and headed for 14 with the discharge there being reduced everyday. The ground was fairly dry and there was little runoff with the rain. The creeks did not run. There is always runoff from the rocky hillsides. The day started off nice and went down hill from there with the temperature dropping into the 40's by afternoon with a cold north wind. The bass bite continued to be good all day and some very nice ones were caught. Crank baits, Alabama Rigs and grubs were all working. It frosted last night and is to repeat tonight and temperatures are to rebound to near 70 in the middle of the week. I put in a trot line last evening and am ready to catch some catfish. So far only bass have hit the shiners. With the new moon coming on the 5th and the lake slowly rising conditions should be good. The bluegill have moved in under the dock and that is what I wait for. The Norfork Lake chamber had a fishing tournament yesterday with about 60-boats entered. The winner had about 18-lbs with the big bass over 6-lbs. That is an indication of how good the pre-spawn bass fishing is now. Blackburns continues to have one bedroom cabins for $59/day for two people and have the best prices on Boat rentals and do not charge for your first boat stall or trolling motors on pontoon boats. No duplexes here and all cabins have covered porches. No spring price increases until Memorial day. Best place best price.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The StantonsImage title


Caught and released yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 554.37 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. They closed the spillway gates earlier this morning and the level has been stable since then. They also continue to drop the level of the White River at Newport and the discharge amount there also.  It is now below 19-feet headed for 14-feet for some reason or another. We are very fortunate to have had about 1/2 the normal rainfall so far for March but it is to rain a bit tonight and tomorrow but the ground is not saturated and we can take some with no runoff. it is cloudy and in the 60's today. As reported earlier the male crappie are moving back into the creeks and are just outside their staging areas in about 16-feet of water.  Bass are there too. check out Pigeon, Middle Pigeon and Briar creels. Cast a grub or jig tipped with a minnow ato the bank and let it sink as you retrieve. Please do not kill too many as these fish are needed badly for the spawn to be successful and if they are all caught off the banks it will be for many less fish next year. Big bass are being caught in the same areas in 20-ft of water in front of or near shallower brush piles. I caught some good ones yesterday. Tom Stanton is catching some pretty good stripers and hybrids trolling umbrellas near Cranfield but the 20+ pounders are pretty rare. There are just too many of hybrids and stripers being killed. Showing dock floors full of dead stripers is not impressive to me. They do not reproduce here and a finite number of them are stocked every year. Top water season is upon us and these fish can be released unharmed. I am seeing several schools of shad now but the school size is much smaller but they look to have enough numbers to provide adequate food for the predator fish. The lake is at a good level and fishing conditions are excellent so far this spring.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

This and several more caught last night fishing with Bink. The night bite for stripers is in full swing. Image title

Tom Kelly with some very nice bass caught yesterday on the shakey head worm near brush in 20-ft. of water.Image title

The lake level is 554.50 and is exactly what it was 24-hours ago. The new news is they have opened 5 spillway gates 1-ft. to combine with the one generator that has been running for two days straight. I am happy about that.  The spillway gate release is equal to about 1/2 generator. You would think they would just run both generators and not waste the water and generate electricity and money especially since the level of the White River at Newport is now below 20-feet and can be allowed to go higher. They are also slowing the discharge there.  It is like every government run operation. Run it through the generators and give the money to disabled veterans. The nice weather and some sunshine has raised the water temperature to 56+ and it is to stay warm for a while and then get cooler again. I am surprised that there is not more temperature difference between the main lake and the creeks.  The lake is in excellent condition and fishing has picked up including the night bite for stripers and bass fishing. Several nice fish were caught yesterday and more this morning. Bass are near brush in 20-feet of water and nice ones too. Trolling umbrellas early morning is also catching some stripers. We will be mowing the grass soon. One bedroom cabins are still $59/day for two people and your first boat stall is free here at Blackburns. Why pay more? Some are raising their rates again starting this weekend and are more than $20 a day higher for a 1-bedroom and more for larger cabins. We do not.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on the grub at about 7:PMImage title

Caught last night.Image title

The lake level is 554.49 and has dropped a very little bit in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. They continue to drop the level at Newport and the discharge from there. It is now below 21-feet. I had a 56 degree water temperature when I went out yesterday. The lake is still stained but is clearing near the bank. I went bass fishing and caught a few with a couple of pretty good ones.  They were in main lake cuts in about 20-ft. of water. I found none shallow. Bink is still on the red meat fish and catching them early AM on the spoon and then again after dark on the stick bait. It is starting to pick up now. The weather continues to be beautiful with the wind picking up in the heat of the day and diminishing near sunset. A cold front and a good chance of rain is coming up later this week with lows near freezing. White bass and hybrids continue to be the best bite in the morning with a few small stripers in the 10-lb. range being caugh about 9:pm. It cools off fast when the sun goes down but is to be near 70 for highs the next few days. Bass fishing is fair and crappie fishing is poor except under lights again about 9:PM where it is a little better.  The lake is in excellent condition for fishing but is not the best during the day. Get out early, take the middle of the day off and go out again in the evening and fish until dark and then move to the striper spawning banks. I should be catching walleye in the late evening but am not. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 554.54 and stable with one generator running for the last 24-hours. When they run one, the lake is stable, but it still rises when they quit with the river inflow. We will steadily rise if they nearly quit generating. We have not had much rain in the last several days and the ground is not saturated. It is sunny and nice today but the normal cold fronts come through a couple of times a week.  The level at Newport is almost 21-feet now as predicted and they are reducing the discharge there every day. Just wait until April 15th gets here. They just slowed the chain of lake generation way down now and you can look for them to rise also except for Table rock which is protected because of Branson Landing. If we receive normal rainfall and a reasonable amount of generation, things will be stay good here. The bass fishing has slowed down in the last couple of days and there are few fish on the bank. The bluegill have not moved in under my dock yet and that is when the male bass start to stage for spawning season. White bass and hybrids continue to be the best bite early morning near the top. Cast the spoon to them when they come up and vertical jig when they go down. Fishing is good for a couple of hours in early morning and then they quit. And I mean quit. They do not start again until evening just at sunset. Despite reports to the contrary, I am not finding an after dark bite for stripers yet. Some are being caught at or after sunset but not many. Just a few crappie are with the red meat fish but not many. The fish that I am finding have moved shallower and are between 25-35 feet both morning and evening. I am still not finding a lot shad. There is one Blackburns resort brush pile holding several fish, but I do not know how long. The fish are roaming but stay in the same general area and you have to look for them. Get out early, take the middle of the day off, and go out again about 5:PM and stay until dark for best results. As I have said many times before, we need some warm nights to shake things loose. Overall fishing is just fair and the lake in general is in excellent condition and clearing. I cannot explain the changes in water clarity so rapidly except for the changes in generation and water flow. You would think the clearer water from the river would clean things up except when the lake is rising and washing mud from the bank, but that has not been so. All I can do is report what is happening but not explain why. The creeks are very stained one day and a couple of days later clear. Go figure. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 554.60 and has dropped about 1-inch in the last 24 hours with generation occuring about 1/2 the time. They continue to run the chain of lakes hard, drop the White river at Newport and slow the discharge there. It is 22-feet now and heading for 21-feet and much lower in the next three weeks or so. We are getting about what we will get for the next several months and much less soon. The rules and regulations need to be reviewed and changed. Regulating Newport to 12-feet until the end of november is ridiculous and just leads to hold and hope and then open the gates. The lake surface temperature was 55 when I went out yesterday and 51 when I came in after sunset. It needs to be a solid over 55 before the male bass move to the creeks and we need some nightime lows to be in the high 50's for that to happen. The creeks are very stained and you can see your lure down about 4-5 feet on the main lake. I did  find some fish yesterday on brush back in the creek in 28-feet of water. They were small hybrids. white bass and bass and I caught them on the spoon. No picture fish.  It was hard to get out of the swirling wind until it dropped about sunset. I am just not seeing the number of shad as normal even after a winter of no shad kill. The big stripers are still scarce and I suspect their numbers are down. It would be good to drop the limit to two fish. People are killing too many fish in the 6-10 lb. range. They are semi-put and take and need time to grow. I suspect more are dying in the heat of the summer than are realized. We received some light rain last night and this morning but not much. Brush piles are not holding as many fish as normal and the fishing is just fair and the lake in general is in excellent condition for fishing, launching and parking. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 554.69 and is stable despite about 1/2 inch of rain total. There was little or no runoff. They are generating Norfork about 1/2 the time now and have reduced the discharge and level at Newport to just above 22-feet. This is predictable. They will really cut down by the 15th of April or before. The chain of lakes continue to generate heavily. Not much has changed as far as fishing is concerned. Bink is really on the hybrids and white bass and did catch a very nice walleye with them. Most of Blackburns guests are bass fishing and doing pretty good. A 6-lb. largemouth was caught yesterday. Stripers are not doing the best but the night bite has not started yet. It will very soon. The lake is still stained with the creeks more. Bass and white bass continue to be the best bite and spoons and Alabama rigs the best lures. Also try a crawdad colored crankbait. I will try for crappie in a couple of hours. It is very warm and looks like rain again.Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. The last cabin will be ready tomorrow and just in time with several people getting out of the midwest floods and cold weather. It is busy here and we like it that way. If you are staying at a place that is nearly empty you are paying too much. Check prices. Stop by, we will give you a tour. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Larry Moody with a twofer on his Alabama Rig.  Nice fellow.Image title

John Bornhop fried up the last of his crappie fillets and is on the way to get more. Image title

Caught on the 1/2 ounce spoon yesterday.Image title

The Moodys caught some big ones too.Image title

Roger Moody with another one.Image titleThe lake level is 554.74 and has risen just a bit in the last 24-hours. They quit generating yesterday afternoon and nothing until just now when they started again. They are running the chain of lakes very heavily to protect Branson and the landing.  The White River at Newport is at 23-feet and they continue to drop it slowly. Norfork drops a little when they generate and rises a little when they quit. It is very fortunate that we have received very little rain in the last several days and the ground is not saturated and we can take some with little adverse problems. Rain is in the forecast for part of the next week but not too much. A lot of cloudy skies but we have had that all winter except for the last week where it has been beautiful. Things look good here now but I would like to see the level lower now that spring is here and the rains normally come. A lot of fish were caught on Norfork yesterday with bass, white bass and hybrids leading the way and Crank baits, Alabama Rigs and spoons being the baits of choice. The water temperature is now in the early 50's depending on where you are and the lake has stained up a bit with the creeks very stained for some reason or another. Fishing overall is fair+ and the bluegill have not moved in under my dock yet. The lake is in excellent condition for fishing and at a good level. Come on down. We will not charge you too much here at Blackburns and the grass is growing and the trees and flowers are blooming. We are very fortunate to be in better shape than most of the country. Much better. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.18 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating for a few hours last night and then started up one generator and now are running both again. They are holding Newport at 24-feet and running the chain of lakes very heavily.  It is to rain today and again later this week and they usually quit generating when it rains for some reason. The magic date is April 15th when the regulated level at Newport drops to 14 feet unless we are at 50% flood storage and we do not qualify for that. We will see what they do, but you can be sure Norfork will get no special favors like Table Rock. I wish we were at 552, to say the least, to prepare for the spring rains but the lake is in excellent condition now and the level is perfect for launching, parking and fishing. The creeks stained up again and seem to do it on and off more regularly than usual but nothing is usual now except that Blackburns has the best place at the best price. We are finishing up on the dock improvements today and will focus on getting the cabins all started up. They sure look nice. Your first boat stall is free here unless you drag your own pontoon. We have 12 of them to rent and are limited on stalls. Our boat stalls vary in width from nine feet to 22-feet and are not one size fits all. The best stall is one that fits your boat.  Fishing has not changed much and the water continues to be slow warming. It is hanging in there at about 50. I have not talked to the night fishermen to see how thay did. They were still out when I came in. The bass fishermen did well yesterday. The moon is big now and is full tomorrow. Bink is catching a lot of hybrids and white bass on his 1/2 ounce spoon.  Dropping water and a full moon usually are not good for fishing but the stripers and bluegill like it. That is about all. No report on any keeper walleye being caught. I am not catching any. Crappie are fair on 30-ft. brush near the bottom on the spoon. Grass is green, trees and flowers are blooming and it is spring here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. One bedroom cabins are still $59/day. 800-635-0526

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.38 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. Hope they can keep it up for a few more days. Crappie fishing is fair with some fish being caught everyday. Mostly around 11-inches and not worth a picture. I am catching 4 or 5 in the evening in about 2-hours of fishing. The Moody brothers are doing well on both bass and white bass. They are using both Alabama rigs and wiggle warts. I am glad they are having a good time. Nice fellows. It was late when I got in and did not get a chance to talk with the other fishermen. The fishing is not great but it is surprising to me how good it is for this part of March. The cold fronts move through several times a week this time of year and typically really hurt the fishing for a while. Bass are best, white bass and hybrids second and crappie third. All of the walleye that I am catching are small and not very many of them. A lot of fish have not moved to the bank yet but I will check it out this evening. The moon is getting full and it will not be long. When the walleye start to bite in the evening before dark the stripers will be on the bank. Fish the shadowy banks for walleye at about 6:30 PM and then move to the striper banks until after dark. Soft plastics for walleye and suspending stick baits for stripers. We need some warm over night lows in the 50's. The top water bite will be in full swing after the threadfin shad spawn which is when the water temperature reaches early 60's in the early morning. It is 50 now. Suface water temperature is very important at this time. The male bass will start looking to build a nest when the water temperature is in the mid to high 50's and the process begins in the low 60's. Some Norfork lake bass continue to spawn well into the summer.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 555.63 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24 hours with both generators running continuously. Keep it up boys. The lake is clearing a bit and you can see your lure down about 4-feet on a sunny day and we have had some nice ones. We have four boats rented and it is keeping me busy with several groups in, taking advantage of our low prices on both cabins and boats.  It is good to be busy but it is cutting into my fishing time. Bass fishing is good now as is white bass. One group found a large school of white bass at the mouth of middle pigeon and caught several bass further back on wiggle warts. Bink was right about that. I sent another group to a crappie brush pile but they said someone dressed like Johnny Cash was camped on it so they went to another one. The water surface temperature is 50 during the afternoon on the main lake but the cool night time temperatures are holding it back. When the lows get into the 50's and highs in the high 60's the top water bite will start in earnest. Maybe one month maybe less. I usually figure on April 15th and start checking out Panther Creek first. It looks like spring is here but do not count out another cold snap so bring warm clothes. It cools off fast when the sun goes down. For now work the banks part way back in the creeks for bass and open water fishermen look for shad at the mouths of the creeks and use the 1/2 ounce Bink's spoon. The wind has been just right.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.87 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. The surface temperature was 50 when I went out and 49 when I came in at dark. Our normal ambient high is 60 and we are to be right around that with very nice weather for the next week. Bass fishing is really picking up with the fish being part way back in the creeks near the bank. My biggest one was about 4-lbs with several smaller ones being caught on the grub. Bink says the wiggle wart is the best. The crappie started to bite about sunset and six nice ones were caught. No great big ones but all were keepers and about 11-inches. Only one was caught on the slip float and minnow. The wind was just right for fishing at about 5-10 miles/hour fron the north west and the sun was shining. The moon came up big and bright and is full the 21st or thursday. I will get my suspending stick bait out and stay a little longer after dark and see if any stripers move to the bank. It was nice to have it get dark after 8:PM and give more time to fish after work. The water is at a good level and clarity is good for fishing with the lake in general in excellent condition. I will let you knopw when the bluegill move into my dock. That is when everything starts to happen. It looks to be a good spring so far and reservations are really picking up with people taking advantage of our low prices on both cabins and boats. Why pay more? I am opening four more cabins today. We will be ready for you and not raise our prices. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Thye lake level is 556.09 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running. If I could pick one level for the lake to stay it would be right here. It is perfect for launching, parking, dock access and fishing. It is sunny and the wind has finally slowed down. The grass is greening up nicely and flowers and trees are blooming. The surface temperature is still in the high 40's on the main lake and has been slow to warm up but it has not slowed the bass fishing any. Bink reports catching a lot of bass very near the bank on wiggle warts. I will show you where when you get here. I am still using the small white twister tail tipped with a minnow and the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon. The grub is being cast to the bank for bass and the spoon in brush at about 30-feet deep near the bottom. Both bass and crappie are there. The normal ambient high is 60-degrees and and the lake is 2.75 feet higher than it was this date last year. It got up to over 565 last May but it did not affect fishing. May walleye fishing was excellent as was top-water striper.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 556.23 and is exactly what it was 24-hours ago.  They shut off the spillway gates but are still running both generators and it is barely keeping up with the river inflow. We would have been a foot higher if the gates had not been open. This level is not where I want it for the middle of March but overall it is at a good level for access, launching and fishing with the water in the buckbrush.  The surface temperature in the main lake is still in the high 40's and the creeks vary quite a bit.  You just have to check. Bass fishing is picking up and people fishing the local tournaments are getting about 17-lbs of fish with some big ones. That is pretty good and these guys know how to fish for bass on Norfork lake. Many of them are crankbait fishermen and like it when it is windy.The water is slow to warm and it has been windy but the wind is supposed to cut back today and it is sunny now but to get down to freezing the next couple of nights.  We need warmer nights to change the fishing much. The lake overall is in excellent condition.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 556.26 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours despite it raining most of the day and getting about 0.7 inches. The creeks did not run. I like it when they generate when it rains instead of shutting them down. They still have 8-flood gates open along with the two generators but I do not know how long this will keep up with the flood waters coming from up north to the Mississippi river but it has been very good for us here on Norfork Lake so far with the lake dropping about 8-feet from its high. The White River at Newport has been kept at about 23 feet for a couple of weeks now but that will change for sure on April 15th when the regulations change. We are in good shape now but not where I would like it. The other news is that the redbuds burst into bloom yesterday afternoon in the rain and warm weather. They were not out in the morning and then all of a sudden in the evening the hillsides were alive with blooms. That is a good sign that spring is here but we will see. They have been fooled before. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday on the 1/2 Ounce Bink's Jigging spoon. White.Image title

The lake level is 556.48 and has dropped a little over 7-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running and 8-spillway gates open 1-foot. If they keep this up it will drop faster as the bowl gets smaller. I would like it to be at what I have called normal for 25-years which is 552 before they started messing with the numbers. We are in pretty good shape now going into the rainy season. Both the main lake and the creeks are stained but are a good color for fishing. The surface water temperature is still in the high 40's on the main lake but higher in the backs of shallow creeks. Our normal ambient high is 60-degrees and it has been slow warming up this year with highs getting into the low 70's one day and the high 40's the next but that is not unusual for early March.  Things get better after march 15th. We need some warmer overnight lows to bring the fish to the bank but some are already there but mostly smaller ones. Blackburns brush piles are coming back into play now after some of them were too deep with the water level but not holding a lot of fish. You can fish three or four and get one or two crappie or bass off each one right in the brush in 30-feet. Crappie fishing now is by no means good but you can catch some if you work at it. The male crappie will move into the creeks shallow on any structure in a couple of weeks to make a nest and then the females will spawn and then move to brush holding baitfish. The fish feed heavily during the staging period when the water is in the mid-50's.  It is important to not catch all the males off the banks early. The largest fish spawn first and then can be caught off brush first. As the season goes on and the water warms the large fish on brush will get dilluted with the smaller fish joining them. The temperate bass are biting pretty good now with most being white bass and hybrids. The best lure right now is the 1/2 ounce jigging spoon for bass and 1/4 ounce for crappie. I cut a barb off the treble hook on the spoon when fishing right in brush to keep from losing the spoon. The slip float and minnow or the grub and minnow are not working well right now but the stingray grub is starting to produce back in the creeks on points working it slowly off the bottom for bass. We just finished completey remodeling Cabin #11 which is the three bedroom two bath house with big screened-in porch and it looks great. You will like it when you get here and we did not raise the price. Now all cabins have new roofs and laminate floors. Check our prices before you book and pay too much elsewhere. Blackburns is the best value in the Ozarks. Some dock work is next and them we will be ready.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 557.08 and has dropped a little over 5-inches in the last 24-hours. They shut off one generator and opened up three more flood gates one foot a couple of hours ago. They must be working on or checking operation of all the gates in order to justify not running the water through generators and wasting the money. I am glad they are doing it though and would like the level to be near 552 which was the top of the power pool before the worthless minimum flow for the put and take trout took away 1.75 feet of water capacity. So much for the idea the dams are just for flood control. Can't have it both ways. Overall, Norfork Lake is in excellent condition and the fishing is picking up a little. Where I was catching giant crappie, I am now catching smaller ones with some being only 6 or 7 inches. About 2 in 6 are keepers and they are only about 11-inches. No picture fish.  None in the 15-16 inch range anymore. They must still be in open water on shad as are many other fish.  Temperate Bass are being caught everyday with some good sized hybrids in the 8-lb. range.  Most stripers are small and less than 12-lbs. I put 6-crappie in the pond yesterday with no big ones and one keeper bass and had to fish hard to get them. The shad are showing up in shallower water and some should be close to the bank by the full moon on the 21st in the evening. We will see. Blackburns still has one bedroom cabins for $59/day for two people and contiue to not charge you too much. All cabins have covered porches with no duplexes and your first boat stall is free. No extra charges for trolling motors on pontoons. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday afternoon.Image title


They opened five spillway gates one foot again and the lake is dropping. It has fallen over 4-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running also. The lake is in excellent condition and is starting to clear again. The open water fish were biting yesterday afternoon on the 1/2 ounce Bink's spoon. Fishing is picking up. Looks to be a good spring so far. It is to rain for a couple of days now but it was beautiful monday We got a lot of improvements done here at Blackburns and it continues to be busy. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

One of several caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 557.56 and has dropped a little over two inches in the last 24-hours.  They closed the spillway gates and slowed the drop down drastically but still left the two generators running. It was dropping 8-inches in a 24-hour period but that is old news. It showed what they can do if they want to. It has dropped 6.5 feet since the high. The water clarity is gone here in the middle of the lake where both the main lake and creeks are stained.  There must have been some areas of locally heavy rainfall in the watershed area in Missouri last week. We did not get very much here and the creeks did not run. Fishing has picked up a bit and it was good to see fish caught that were not white bass or hybrids. They are still between Mallard point and Cranfield in front of the docks in water between 25-40 feet deep at varied depths outside brush piles and are hitting spoons. You can go several hours with no bites and then they start.  That is the same with the crappie and bass.  When they bite it does not last long and I am catching most of my fish starting at sundown. It was very windy for a couple of days and the white caps were big especially saturday. It was calm yesterday afternoon and the fishing was better in the morning than evening. Most of the fish that I caught were small but Bink caught some good ones. I wish people would quit killing all of those small stripers.  Ten or twelve pounders are not big but will be if the fishing pressure keeps increasing. The limit needs to be dropped to two/day.  Keep the white bass. Dock floors full of dead small stripers are not impressive. The surface temperature is in the high 40's and rising quickly in the shallower creeks. Many fish of all species are still in open water on shad and are getting shallower. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 557.99 and has dropped about 7-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. We had a thunderstorm this morning about 9: AM with a light rain following with a total of a little less than 1/2 inch. The surface temperature is about 44 degrees still and should warm with the upcoming warm weather especially in the backs of creeks. It is to be cloudy for a dew days and it is to get windy and then seasonal temperatures for a few days and then warm up again. Normal highs are 58 degrees. Some of our guests caught some white bass and a few small hybird stripers between Mallard Point and Cranfield Island outside brush piles in 40-50 feet of water on spoons. I did not get a report on the others. Not much has changed as far as fishing goes but should later this month. Some bass and crappie are on or in back of brushpiles and the best bite is just at sunset. The water has just been slow warming up this spring. The plankton will move shallow with the wind and the shad will follow as the moon gets fuller. The lake is in excellent condition and the creeks are stained again.    

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 558.68 and has dropped a little over 8-inches in the last 24-hours. It has dropped 5-1/2 feet since the high. The water is clearing, surface temperature is 44-degrees and the lake in general is in excellent condition. I have to move the dock out again today but do not mind. This looks to be a good spring. The weather has been slow to warm but when it does it will happen quickly with the creeks warming fastest. It was cool and misted rain all day yesterday and is cloudy today but warmer. We are finishing remodeling cabin #11 now and will start on dock improvements monday. I opened four more cabins and the girls are working hard to get them ready. We have a few guests in this weekend and several more next week. The season has started. I have spent myself into oblivion but the place looks great. We just need a little sunshine to make things better. We do improvements on our dock every year. We put on gutters so the runoff does not blow into your boat, have two fish cleaning stations, have different sized stalls for different sized boats, have wide walkways, fingers or walkways on both sides of stalls with all kinds of lighting and electrical. I think it is the best dock around. The open water fishing is still sporatic with feast or famine and I am still grubbing the bank and spooning brush piles. Overall fishing is just fair but I am catching some fish everyday but no big ones. We have some good fishermen coming in and we will see what they do. The fish are in there. Things are slow changing now but that happens. I know what to expect but not when. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 559.34 and has dropped almost 8-inches in the last 24-hours. If they keep the generators and spillway gates the same it will keep dropping faster as the bowl gets smaller. We are to get some rain for the next few days and that may slow the drop down a bit. It has dried out a lot with wind and no rain and we can take some with no runoff. The lake is in good condition and the water is clearing. The full moon is the 21st. of this month and the stripers will start moving to the banks after dark to simulate a spawn no matter what the water temperature is and it is 44. Walleye will be on the same banks and can be caught with the same stick bait or soft plastic before dark on shadowy banks. Good places to start looking are north of Cranfield Island and by the dam. They go to the same places every year. The spring bite is sure but the November bite is not. One is for spawn and the other is just to feed before winter when the shad are on or near the bank. It is also almost time for the flatheads to move into the creeks and they will do this as soon as the water starts to warm. I will be able to tell as the small bluegill will move in under my dock in big numbers. This has not happened yet. Flatheads love bluegill and only bite on live bait or lures simulating live bait.  We have been so busy making improvements and opening cabins for the spring that I only have time for a short daily fishing trip. Not much has changed as far as fishing goes but it will soon. Some bass and crappie are on brush but most fish are still in open water on shad. As the shad move to the bank to cover the other fish will be with them. Blackburns is getting several reservations each day now that the lake level is in good shape so now is the time to make reservations to get the cabin and boat of your choice. You can drive to the dock, launch your boat right there, park your trailer and have your boat in a covered stall free at our dock and step on our walkway with few or no steps. We have a good setup here and all at the best price. Compare before you waste your money. No duplexes here and all cabins have covered porches, ample parking and outside plug-ins.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 560.61 and dropping over 7-inches a day with both generators running and 6-spillway gates open one foot. It has dropped over 3-1/2 feet since the high.  I am heading down to move the dock out now. You can drive 1/3 mile to the dock, launch your boat, park your trailer and keep your boat in a free boat stall and step on the dock walkway all without paying too much here at Blackburns.  No need to go elsewhere to launch your boat. It is very convenient when you are one person and more if you are two. The lake is clearing nicely and the surface temperature is in the mid 40's on the main lake with the creeks much cooler with the cold weather cooling the shallow water much more quickly. The opposite is also true when the warm weather gets here later this week. It was very cold yesterday with highs near 30 with a cold north wind. It is sunny and warmer today with high to reach high 30's with much warmer after that. Our normal high is 57. The lake in general in in excellent condition. Looks to be a good spring. We are finishing putting new laminate floors in Cabin #11 now. After that all cabins will have new floors and new metal roofs. No more shingles or carpet here at Blackburns. You will like what you see when you get here and there is no price increase again this year despite the property taxes skyrocketing and insurance rates increasing despite no claims. It is very hard to hold prices but we do not want to charge our loyal repeat customers too much and want to make things better for you. Your money goes for improvements not vacations. There is no other place that I would like to be.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 561.85 and has dropped 7-inches in the last 24-hours. It has dropped 2.15 feet since they started generating and opened the gates a bit.  The water surface temperature was 47 and the ambient temperature was 40 when I went out yesterday. It was supposed to get to 48 but struggled to get to 40. It did snow early this morning for about an hour and the ground is almost covered but not quite. You definitely cannot believe the long term weather forecast for this area. We just do not fit into any other place like Springfield or Harrison. The lakes and rivers have a big influence. It is to stay cold for a few days and then warm up. We will see what happens after that. I headed to the Pigeon Creek bridge where Bink said there were a lot of fish. There were a lot of shad there in the shallow water by the launch and bridge but all I could catch were white bass and small bass. The white bass were very full of eggs. Usually that is a good spring crappie place.  The water is clearing nicely in both the creeks and main lake and the lake in general is in excellent condition. Fishing overall is maybe a little less than fair. Spooning brush in Blackburns creek produced a couple of bass and crappie but that was all. I saw one other boat out there. The wind was almost calm. The snow is melting fast on the warmer ground despite the cool temperatures. It did not amount to much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 562.40 and has dropped 7-inches in the last 24-hours. A couple more days of them running both generators and 6- flood gates open one foot will put us in pretty good shape. I would like it to be 552. If the current conditions continue the level will fall faster as the bowl gets less full. We are to get a little snow tomorrow with cold weather and start to warm up again. It is usually good by March 15th. I am going out fishing now and have reports of a lot of fish near the Pigeon Creek bridge. They are probably white bass but I will check it out anyway. Surface temperature is still 47 on the main lake and the water is clearing. Bass like to bite right after a snow. Me and my grub will be out there.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with a nice bass caught yesterday on a 1/2 ounce spoon on the bottom on 40-ft. brush.Image title

The lake level is 562.94 and has dropped 7-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running and 6- flood gates open 1-ft. it is really starting to do some good. Hope they keep it up for a while. We went to Nabatak's open house yesterday and had a good time shopping and enjpying their good food and drinks. They are nice people and we are very fortunate to have them and their business in this community. Their prices and inventory are great. We have good weather for today and tomorrow with highs near 50 and then cold with a chance of snow. Maybe it will be the last of winter. The daffodils are big, the Bradford Pears are budding out and the grass is getting green. This may set that back a bit.  Out normal high is 56. The surface temperature on the lake is 47-48 and the water is clearing nicely. The lake is in good condition for fishing and some good fish are being caught everyday but not a lot. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The Corps of Engineers just opened up six spillway gates one foot to augument the generator discharge to the tune of 10,500 cubic ft./second total which is the equivalent of three generators. The lake will drop faster now. Hope this keeps up for a while. We are not flooded but are one big rain away from being close. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The good news is that the lake level is 563.65 and has dropped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. The lake is clearing nicely and you can see your lure down about 4-feet and the water is stained a bit with an off-green color. Tom Kelly caught a very nice bass yesterday at about 4-lbs on a brush pile in Float Creek and several white bass and small hybrids. Everyone is catching white bass if they want to. Most of the walleye being caught now are small but at least they are showing up. Them and white bass are full of eggs. The water temperature was 48 degrees. Crappie fishing is tough but the ones being caught are on brush but also on the bottom as are a few bass. The bass I caught yesterday were small with some throw backs and others just barely keepers. They are all released anyway.  I am catching no big fish. Bink caught bass, walleye and white bass. The weather is cold today and then it warms a bit and then cold again. Early March is the most variable weather here on Norfork with cold fronts moving through often. It usually settles down by the middle of the month with some top water starting. April 15th to the end of May is the best top water fishing. Many fishermen come here for that. Blackburns have cabins for $59/day until Memorial Day and $75 after that with a free stall for your boat and 24-hour live bait.  Check prices.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with some good ones caught yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 563.84 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. The White River at Newport is at 24-feet and dropping steadily. I found some 49 degree water yesterday in the warm sunshine but it dropped quickly as the sun set. It started out at 46 degrees. Bink invited me to go fishing with him in his new boat. I had not seen it before. It is a Ranger and very nice with a new Motorguide trolling motor with anchor and remote and new Lowrance state of the art Locators. It can fish five people comfortably. It makes my equipment look prehistoric. You get your money's worth when you go on a guided trip with him. We left out of Quarry marina about 10:AM and started to look for walleye. We could not catch any keepers to we started grubbing for bass. No good ones there either so we were forced to go to open water for white bass and hybrids. The thing that was noticiable was the low numbers of shad schools.  We did find quite a few in Diamond Bay but only a few active fish so we tried Frog Pond with no bait fish there at all. It was more of an exploration trip as he was locating fish for some customers this weekend. It looks like it is Big Creek for him. Yes he did outfish me. We were using the 1/2 ounce spoon and stingray grub. The grub was not working at all. I went out in Blackburns creek area after we came in and fished for Bass and crappie and caught a few at sunset. There are just not a lot of fish on the bank or on brush. The ones that I am finding are in 45-feet of water just outside brush in this area.  The open water fish Bink found were in 80-feet of water 40 or 60 feet down and that was fairly consistent. He caught one bass on the bottom in 80-feet of water. It is not easy to catch fish now. Open water fishermen (I am not one) are either feast or famine. Some are going out two ore three days and catching nothing and then find a school of feeding fish and load the boat. You will not see a report when they fail. Tom Kelly was fishing the Float Creek area and caught some nice crappie and some short walleye. At least some walleye are showing up. He is a good fisherman. His fish were also outside brush piles in 35-40-ft. of water. He uses the 1/2 ounce spoon and finesse worms now. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 564 and still rising with no generation for 24-hours. They are still running Table Rock heavily to protect Branson and the Landing even though the level at Newport is still relatively high.at 25 feet. It is just below flood stage there.  Table Rock is at a normal level.  It has been sunny and a little windy for a couple of days and has really helped to dry things up. They should at least let out enough to compensate for the river inflow. Fishing has been slow for me for the last two weeks. I am having to work hard for only three or four fish a day. About two crappie and two bass are all that have been caught per day. You can catch white bass and small hybrids almost at will but am not interested in them. White bass are for people that cannot catch anything else and trout are for people that cannot catch white bass.(that has been my joke for years). I am a walleye, crappie, bass and catfish guy and many of them are in open water on shad still. I am glad the temperate bass are in the lake anyway. Not nearly as many shad are showing up this year as before and it is good that there will be no shad kill. It makes for easier fishing but it would be good the see the shad population rise a bit. I took two nice bass and two crappie to the pond yesterday but nothing big. They were all caught on the grub and minnow just outside the buck brush part way back in the wind blown creeks. Surface temperature is still 44 and the lake is still stained. The lake is still in good condition for fishing.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake evel is 563.52 and has risen three inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. We did receive about 0.2 inches of rain last night but the creeks are not running. They continue to run Table Rock continually to protect Branson and keep it at top of power pool no matter the level at Newport. Norfork is 10-feet above top of power pool. It was very cloudy and cool when I went out yesterday and started raining slowly about 5:Pm. I am having to fish very hard to get very many or sometimes just a few and the fish are smaller than a month ago. The water is stained an off- green and not bad for fishing and the surface temperature hangs in there at about 44 degrees. We will see what the high pressure that is moving in will do for fishing. Usually the longer it is here the better the fishing gets and that trend continues until the next cold front moves in. There are a lot of fish in Norfork Lake and they have to bite sometime. Just hang in there and be persistent.  As long as the storms keep pounding the west coast this weather pattern will continue.  We have been very fortunate that all of the ice and snow has stayed north of us and the flooding rains and severe weather has stayed south. We are about 8-inches above normal in rainfall for this year and with a reasonable generation in the late fall and early winter it is enough to raise the lake level about 8-feet.  If the level had been pulled down to 548 as they used to do, the level would now be 556 which is perfect. People talk about the lake not being for recreation but think about the minimum flow requirements which took away 1.75 feet of flood control for the put and take trout on the rivers. Is that not for recreation? That answer does not work anymore. Just pull down the lake in the winter the best you can for the spring rains and balance out the chain of lakes and Norfork lake equally. That is the way it used to be.  It worked most of the time before all of these changes in lake management.  White bass continues to be the best bite with bass second and crappie third. Spoons and grubs are still the best lures. Start on creek banks part way back and fish the cuts. Some of Blackburns Brush is getting too deep now so we will put in a couple of shallower ones. The creeks warm faster than the main lake and bait fish will move into them as the weather warms. Looks to be a good spring. Catfishing will start soon. I like that.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 563.26 and has risen four inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. It was about 45 degrees and the wind was calm and the lake like glass when I went out yesterday and the fish were not biting. The surface temperature was 44 degrees and both main lake and creeks were very stained kind of an off green. You could see your lure down about 2-feet. I caught two bass and two crappie in three hours of fishing and none were of any big size. I am definitely off the giant crappie. I guess I will have to resort to fishing for white bass if it does not pick up. It is very cloudy today and trying to rain and that is to continue through Saturday with high pressure and wind moving through after that and then sunny days for a while with warm temperatures. It looks like Tuesday will be the best day for fishing. There was only one other boat out there and it was my rental pontoon with a nice family from Texas. Most of the fish that I am catching are from about 5:PM until dark with the middle of the day very slow. You have to be persistent because there will be nothing for a couple of hours and then they bite for about ten minutes. Blackburns continue their policy of continued improvement with no price increases and you will really like what you see when you get here. Compare prices. Most of our business is repeat customers and we do not want to charge anybody too much. Your first boat stall is free with your cabin and we do not charge for trolling motors on pontoons. All cabins have covered porches and there are no duplexes. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 562.91 and has risen about six inches in the last 24-hours with about 4-hours of generation. We received about 2-inches of rain total earlier this week. The creeks run hard again for a while but did not mud up the creeks nearly as much as before. They have reduced the amount of flow out of Newport and the level to let the rivers go down. When they talk about the rain it should be remembered that the level at Newport reached 2-feet the last of November and was about to dry up. Many opportunities were lost for several weeks to drop the lake going into the spring. Now the instant replay of hold and hope is back into effect. The fishing has not been affected much and is about the same for several weeks. There were several fish coming up last evening about 5-PM around Cow point but they were white bass with an occasional small hybrid mixed in. Not being interested in them, I went bass fishing with the grub and caught a few. No big ones or picture fish.  The lake in general is in good condition and the overall fishing is just fair with white bass and bass being the best and just a few crappie. The surface temperature is still about 44 and it looks like the cold weather is gone for now with the 60's late this week and next week. They are not in a frenzy or jumping in the boat but some good ones are being caught every day.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 561.73 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with only three hours of generation.  They could drop it now if they were inclined to. They might now that Table Rock lake is at the top of the power pool. It is sunny and cool today with some rain scheduled for tomorrow afternoon and night. The new news is that the lake is really clearing up. The brown water is gone from the runoff and the creeks are stained just a bit green and just right for fishing. The water near the bank is very clear. I fished Blackburns Creek yesterday for a little while and caught two nice bass for the pond using the grub and minnow. Our normal high is 52 and we are to get near that later on this week. The lake in general is in good shape and the fishing is just fair. The moon is full tomorrow and was very bright last night. The sun came out yesterday afternoon and felt reall good even though the temperature was only near 40. Open water fishing is hit and miss but when feeding fish are found they bite fast. Crappie, bass and a few walleye are with the white bass on shad. Spoons and grubs are the best lures. The water surface temperature is still about 44 degrees depending where you check. Improvements continue at Blackburns everyday and will until my money runs out. Things are looking good. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 561.27 and has risen 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation for 20-hours but they did start this morning. Table Rock is at normal top of power pool with very heavy generation for several days. Norfork is 8-feet above top of power pool which illustrates to what extent Branson and the landing are protected at all costs. It is all about the $. It is to the point of being corrupt. The light needs to be shined on the people making these decisions and they need to be subject to public scrutiny instead of being anonymous.  It was a little cool when I went out yesterday but not too bad with electric gloves and sox. We moved the dock first, which is a daily event now, and we stuck near Blackburns fishing part way back in the creeks using the grub for bass. Saveral were caught but no picture fish. They were biting very lightly and you could barely tell when they bit except for the line twitch. The wind has to be vey light or you have to get out of it to use this technique. Several fish are between the bank and the brush piles just in front of the buckbrush in 10-12 feet. White bass fishing is good, crappie and bass fair. Several fish are being caught everyday and the lake is in good condition despite going into the spring too high to handle any future big rains. The surface temperature is still in the mid 40's depending on the time of day. When you get a bass on, try very hard to prevent him from jumping because they are spitting out lures badly with this light bite. Crank baits with treble hooks hold them better but you will not catch as many on them right now. Watch out for some debri on the lake when the wind changes but it is not bad though. 

New Event

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday. It was 65 degrees.Image title

The lake level is 560.94 and has risen 5-inches in the last 24-hours. They started generating a couple of hours ago and it is stable when they run both generators and rises quickly when they shut down which is most of the time. The surface temperature was 45 degrees when I went out yesterday. It was a little windy but it died down about 5-PM and the bass started biting. Both places that I caught fish were on main lake cuts about 1/2 way back from the point to the back of the cut and I was using the grub. Slip float and minnow and spoon did not work for me over brush so I switched to the old reliable grub and it worked.  The fish were between the bank and the brush in about 10-12 feet of water. They did not bite hard and you could just see your line twitch a bit. No crappie were caught but 4-keeper bass and a couple of smaller ones were released. Bink caught a couple of walleye yesterday in 60-feet of water near the bottom on his 1/2 ounce spoon. They were the first walleye that I have seen in over a month. He caught several whites also but he can do that anytime. There was some debris back in the windblown creeks floating around and much more ready to float away when the l;ake rises more. Overall fishing is just fair for me but I am catching some good ones every day. It is raining lightly now. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 560.49 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation for the last 20-hours.  They did start generating last hour. Tom Kelly reports fishing Float Creek and catchinbg some nice crappie. He says it is in good shape. The rise in water has floated some debris out there so be careful. The creeks with clay banks are brown but rocky banks are much more clear. There is still some runoff coming from the hills but the creeks have almost stopped. More rain is due tomorrow but not too much. The white river at Newport is at nearly 30-feet and they are finally trying to let out water. Do not expect to do much wading in the rivers for quite a while. If they can drop the level a bit in the next few weeks we will be in good shape. We have been working hard here at Blackburns doing improvements and things are really looking good. You will like it when you get here. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 559.14 and rising with no generation for the last 24-hours. It has risen 2.2 feet since yesterday and over 4-feet in the last three days.  We received a total of about 3.1 inches of rain. I had to move my dock two times already and will do it again soon. The creeks are muddy and there is debris washing into my dock stalls. More rain is scheduled for Friday. It is sunny now and is to get into the 60's tomorrow and Thurday. The creeks are still running but much slower now. The fishing has not been affected much and the bass and crappie are still biting but not great. White bass and a few hybrids are still between Mallard Point and Cranfield island about 45-feet down outside brush piles. A good place to fish now is Float creek. Go back until you reach the brown water and fish outside of it in the marked brush piles. Stay out from the bank as far as you can cast and let your lure sink over the brush raising your rod enough as you reel slowly to keep your grub sinking as much as possible. I will be out there as soon as I move the dock. The main lake is stained but is in pretty good shape. Surface temperature continues to be in the mid 40's and the danger of a shad kill is almost over. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 556.55 and has risen 11-inches in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of generation. We have received 2.3 inches of total rain yesterday and today and the creeks are running hard and it is still raining. It is heading for 558 even if they leave the generators on but they will not. The creeks were lightening up a bit in color but that has all changed now and is worse than it was. There is debris in the lake and I am going down to move my dock in now. I did not go fishing yesterday.  The lake is not in bad condition but is about 8-feet higher that it should be going into the spring. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.73 and headed for 556 with no generation for 24-hours. It is time to demand some resignations. If they cannot manage it in the winter the spring is impossible. They have had months to control the level and saying the winter rains have been heavy is no excuse.  There were times this late fall and winter when Newport was at 2-3 feet. Hold and hope. The surface temperature was just above 45 degrees when I went out yesterday and the wind was light and variable. The ambient temperature was 39 degrees. Five crappie and two bass were caught casting the grub and minnow but only one had any size to it. Not worth a picture. The creeks are still brown in my area and the main lake is still stained. It is cloudy with light rain now and it is supposed to increase and continue until tomorrow morning and then warm up to near 60 for the middle of the week. I am sure using my heated sox and gloves a lot this year. We continue to work on improvements everyday here at Blackburns and you will sure notice them when you get here this year and there will be no price increases. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 555.40 and they let it come up another 4-inches yesterday with 20-hours of no generation. More rain is on the way. They are generating now finally. The backs of the creeks are still brown and are slow clearing. The surface temperature is still in the mid 40's depending on where you check it. It does not look like there will be a shad kill this winter unless it gets very cold. The nighttime lows are rising now and the normal high is 49. I picked up one of my rental boats from getting serviced and launched it and went to check it out to see if everything worked by fishing a couple of Blackburns new brush piles. Six crappie were caught over brush in 30-feet of water using the 1/8th ounce Bink's spoon. The ambient temperature did not get out of the 30's but I had on my heated gear and it was not too bad. The visibiity was very stained on the main lake and none in the creeks. Daffodils are up and the grass is getting green again but not much has happened in that direction the last two days.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Nor big but pretty good. Caught some crappie too. All were released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 555.03 and has risen a foot in the last 24-hours. We received a two day total of just over 3-inches and it rained hard early thursday causing the creeks to run full and turning the creek entrances to the lake brown. They quit generating during the big rain as usual and started running both generators about 1/2 the time. There is no reason not to run both of them in the winter. More rain is sceduled for late this weekend. The people running the generation schedule are looking very foolish. We could have handled this rain better if the level had been dropped to the high 540's and they run both generators during the rain. 555 is not where we need to be the 8th of february.  It got colder and colder as the day went on yesterday with a cold north wind and is in the high teens this morning and is not expected to get out of the 30's today. Our normal high is 48. It is be be cold for one more night and then moderate a bit.  We put in another good brush pile after fishing for a while. It was hard to find a brush pile to fish out of the swirling wind. We caught bass and crappie but no big ones. By the late afternoon it was just too cold and windy to be out there. Some people fish brown water but I do not. I was using the small grub and casting it over the brush and letting it sink. A 2-1/2 inch white twister tail on a 1/16th ounce white leadhead with a red eye and a small crappie minnow hooked through the top of the head as a trailer is my favorite and has been for years. Bink uses the green stingray grub on a plain 1/4 ounce leadhead and casts it to the shore and lets it sink to the bottom and raises the rod to keep the lure sinking most of the time with a slow retrieve. He likes to fish it with light wind so he can see his line twitch. The fish bite very lightly most of the time in the winter.  The 1/4 opunce is a bit too heavy for me and gets snagged more but I fish more brush than he does. We both catch a lot of fish but he catches some very large bass and I fish mostly for crappie unless spooning. When I fish with him I do as he does. He only uses artifical and is one of the best bass fishermen I have ever seen especially on Norfork Lake.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

That John Bornhop is a good fisherman. Released under the dock.this morning.Image title

The lake level has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours and the generators are on about 1/2 the time. It is now 553.98 and needs to be about 4-feet lower going into the spring. It is raining now and we have received about 1/2 inch since last night. I was fishing the main lake last evening until the fog rolled in about 5:30 and I could not see anything until I turned into Blackburns Creek where it was clear. It is still very foggy this morning. The weather is to turn cool again tomorrow night with a cold front moving through with a little wind. We will see what it does to the fishing but my experience is it does not help it any and I am out there everyday after the work is done. There have been many improvements here at Blackburns and you will like what you see when you get here. We are not raising prices again this season and still do not charge for your first boat stall or for trolling motors on pontoons. All cabins are individual with no duplexes and all have covered porches. We are open all year and have live bait available 24-hours. John Bornhop is back and catching fish already. Spring is approaching and the reservations are picking up nicely. Give us a call to reserve the cabin and boat of your choice. White bass contiues to be the easiest to catch and a few hybrids are with them and every once in a while a striper. The shad seem to be mostly 45-ft. down no matter the total water depth. Fishing continues to be overall fair and you have to work for the fish. The crappie go several hours without biting and then bite heavily for about 10-minutes at the most. Bass are most consistant but not a lot of them. About 60% are small. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Caught some good ones this morning.Image title

The lake level is 554.08 and has dropped a little over an inch in the last 24-hours  with the generators running about 1/2 the time. There is rain coming later this week and they usually quit generating when it rains for some reason. We need to be 6-feet lower by April. For some reason the lake is very stained green and the surface temperature was 47.4 yesterday evening. It is normally much clearer in February. Our normal ambient high is 48. Fishing was fair for me and I caught my normal bass and a few crappie. I talked to some red meat fishermen and they were finding fish in open water but having a hard time getting them to bite. It was the same for me fishing brush. The spoon was working best, next the grub and nothing on the slip float and minnow. Overall fishing has been at the best fair the last few days excepot for white bass and a few hybrids with them. Very few stripers are being caught. 75% of the fish that I am catching are biting between sunset and dark. Mike Eakle caught his in the early morning on a spoon on brush in 35-feet of water near the bottom in the Cranfield area. It was 78 degrees yesterday.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom caught some good bass yesterday and released them under Panther Bay Marina dock. We like that place.Image title

The lake level is 554.19 and has dropped just over an inch in the last 24-hours and they are generating about 1/2 the time. More rain is expected Wednesday and the warm weather continues until friday. The surface temperature was 46 yesterday and the lake is still stained. The bass bite continues to get better and the crappie fishing is just fair. White bass fishing is good and a few small stripers in the 10- lb. range are showing up. I am seeing none in the 20+ range and that is not good. People are killing too many and not giving them enough time to grow. I would like to see the limit dropped to two. The yearly stocking is fixed at 155,000 and  the electronics is getting better and the increased use of the spoon and  trolling umbrellas  are making them much more easily caught. There is also an increase in fishing pressure.  I persomally do not think the lake can handle an increase of stocking of the temperate bass without hurting the shad supply and growth of other fish like walleye and crappie. The bass are not stocked and seem to take care of themselves.  I caught some good fish yesterday including bass and crappie. It was beautiful out and the wind was just right. They did not bite fast but it increased in the evening. All fish were caught on the Bink's spoon. A lot of shad are in about 40 ft. down outside brush no matter what the water depth is. There are a few bass and mostly red meat fish on them but are slow in biting and you have to work at it unless you just happen to find feeding fish. One day you catch a lot and the next nothing. A lot of the crappie that I am catching are black-nosed indicating they are stocked fish.  Fishing in general is fair but some fish are being caught everyday. It is typical Norfork Lake winter fishing.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Image title

The lake level is 554.31and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with several hours of no generation. February is moving right along and they are missing a good chance to get the lake down. The water is still very stained for this time of year and the surface temperature is still 45+. It is sunny and warm today with highs to reach about 70 and to stay above the 47 degree average high for the next several days. White bass, hybrids, bass and crappie continue to be the best bite and spoons continue to be the best lure. The bass we are catching are on the bottom at 40-feet of water near brush. The crappie did come back up to about 10-ft. down over brush in the evening and I caught several. No giant ones but i did do a quick release on a big one trying to get it in over the side of the boat with no net. I am not killing them anyway. It is just nice to be out in this beautiful weather and on the water. There is supposed to be some kind of game today but I will be fishing.  It may help keep the boat traffic down. We put in a nice new brush pile yesterday and I caught fish off the one we put in the day before already. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike Eakle with a couple of nice bass. We kill very few fish here.Image title

The lake level is 554.41 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with several hours of no generation. Come on.  There is no reason not to drop it. Hold and hope is going to make you look very foolish. The surface temperature is rising very slowly and is now at 46. The lake is stained and you can see your lure down only a very few feet. Bink caught stripers, hybrids, white bass, and bass yesterday on his spoon and Tom Kelly caught Kentucky Bass on plastic worm, Mike Eakle Caught Kentucky bass on the spoon and Scuba Steve caught bass and crappie on the grub and minnow. White bass and smaller hybrids are on shad 45 ft. down without much regard to the overall depth of water and are quite easily caught on the 1/2 ounce Bink's spoon. A few stripers are being caugh and should be released.  The crappie have moved deeper for some reason and the ones not in open water are near the bottom in 30-35 feet of water. Several fish were released under Blackburns Dock yesterday. I do not know if they stay there but I have put in new trees and feed them everyday so the children can catch fish. We will put in more new brush piles for you today and will not charge you too much when you get here. No price increases on anything except ice this year. The new ice company has doubled the price and I wish the old owners were back.  

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is exactly what it was yesterday at this time with several hours of no generation. 554.51. It raises when they quit, stays the same with one generator on and drops with both on. They are missing a good opportunity to get this level down. It is February now boys and the spring rains are coming. I hope this is not a surprise. Both the main lake and creeks are stained and are not nearly as clear as usual for this time of year. The surface temperature is 43+ degrees. I went out in the afternoon and could not catch very many fish so I switched brush piles. On the way I saw some schooled fish and dropped the spoon. They were about 40-feet down near the bottom. Caught a hybrid and a few white bass and the water started running out from under the dash of the boat. I then went in and fixed the water pressure line and went back out and started crappie fishing again. Just caught three. They are not biting very well for me now but one nice bass was caught also. I do not usually take pictures of white bass or small hybrids but that was all I could catch for my friend Gus. He was out of fish and they are better than nothing. Will try for crappie and bass again today. The weather is much warmer and cloudy and we will see what that brings. I expect more boats out there this weekend with the warm weather.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with some good ones caught Tuesday on the 1/2 ounce spoon on the bottom in 40-ft. of water near brush.Image title

The good news is that they have been running both generators for the last 24-hours and the lake has dropped 4-inches. It is now at 554.50 and needs to be below 550. Keep it going. It is not getting as warm today as predicted and looks to be just above 40. It barely reached 30 yesterday here.  I am heading out fishing in a few minutes. It is warming to the 60's this weekend and near 70 the first of next week. We do get some very nice days in February and the normal high is now 47. I did not go fishing yesterday as I do not like fishing when there is ice in the eyelets. It screws up the drag and causes too many big fish to be lost. The wind has shifted to the southwest and it does not look like any below freezing temperatures for several days. The low pressure moving in should help the bite and I expect several fishermen to be out this weekend. Yesterday was the first day I have missed in several weeks. There was a 43 degrees water temperature at my dock last night but it is in a creeks and in 25-ft. of water and cools faster. It also warms faster and attracts fish as the water warms. A two or three degree temperature difference will move fish back to the creeks soon and shallower.   

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 554.85 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They generated most of the time but took a few hours off. Should be on all the time. The ambient temperature was 41 degrees and the surface temperature was 44.1 degrees on the main lake when I went out. The wind was from the west and fishing was better than the day before. I caught 8 keeper fish including 4 crappie and 4 bass. One of the bass was about three pounds but no other big fish. They were all caught casting the grub over brush and letting it sink. The same method that did not work on Tuesday. This is the last of the cool days and it will be lucky to get to 30. The temperature is to start rising tomorrow and go from the mid 40's to mid 60's for the next week. We will see how this affects fishing. Bink and Tom Kelly also caught some good ones. Both of them are using the 1/2 ounce spoon. I am having trouble catching fish during the middle of the day and am catching most of them from 5:PM until dark when the wind drops. They start biting right when I start thinking of giving up. The longer the high pressure holds up the fishing gets better until the cold front. After the cold front and the start of the high pressure has been tough for me. I am not sure how it affects open water fishing but I am not seeing many of them out there. They do not write reports when they do not catch anything.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.10 and has dropped just a bit with several hours of running one generator and several more with nothing. It is almost february and they are missing a good chance to get the level down before the spring rains. It is to be sunny with ambient temperature to reach 40 today and I am not sure what to expect as far as the fishing. It is just fair with some nice fish being caught but not high numbers except when someone gets into a big school of white bass. The fish that I am catching have moved deeper next to 40-ft. deep brush piles next to the bottom. They used to be about 10-feet down right in the brush. When this happens I go to the 1/4 ounce spoon but the 1/2 ounce one is fine. It gets you down there faster but does not have as much action. Keep your line as light as you can so the lure is not dragging a rope. The lake is not clear enough for the fish to be line shy but it is a good habit to use clear line on this lake. When it does clear they fish will not bite on spyder braided or colored line unless they are very deep like in the summer. I am catching cpappie, bass and bluegill only now and not in high numbers unlike a couple of weeks ago. Surface temperature is still 45 degrees and you can see your lure down about 4-feet. A few good fish were caught yesterday. Bass and crappie. Temps to be around 60 this weekend.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Some good ones are being caught. Just not very many.Image title

The lake level is 555.14 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running. They just cut back to running one generator now. The level is good now but needs to drop about 7-feet to prepare for the spring rains. The water temperature was 46 degrees yesterday afternoon but that should drop the next few days with the cold front coming in tonight. It is to be in the 50's and near 60 for this weekend. We always get some nice days in February. I could not catch many fish on top of brush yesterday so I started spooning on the bottom in 35-ft. of water next to the brush and caught some bass and crappie. Not too many though. There were several fish schooled and coming up on Cow point shallow but they were all small bass. They were in only 9-feet of water right on the point. Crappie fishing has slowed for me and it went from 6-8 fish per day in two hours to two. My normal brush piles have not been producing much. This is as slow as the fishing has been for me all winter. This cold weather and wind should shake things up a bit and I hope it improves. It does not matter as I will be out there anyway. It may be necessary to go to open water fishing. Hope not, it can usually be figured out.  That is what makes it a challenge. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom is very generous and gave this fish to Leonard. Leonard's first striper. Tom catches fish when most people cannot.Image title

Leonard Likes those crappie.Image title

Scuba Steve and his friend Leonard Darr with a few crappie.  More too.Image title

Tom Kelly with one very nice fish caight on the spoon.Image title

The lake level is the same. They quit generating everytime it starts to drop. Surface temperature is the same at just over 45 and the water clarity is the same as you can see your lure down about 4-feet. A lot of fish were caught out of blackburns Resort and Boat Rental on a beautiful day with highs in the 50's. Same for today. The wind layed in the eveining and the fish started biting. It was good to be out there with the days getting longer and January going away. There were a few more boats out there. We will put in another brush pile today and show you where it is when you get here. It is to get colder the middle of nest week. Reservations for spring and summer are really startying to pick up. Give Debbie a call and reserve both your cabin and boat.  No price increases this year on anything but you will see a lot of improvements. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.50 and still rising with several hours a day with no generation.The surface temperature is still 45 and general lake conditions are the same. I am going out everyday and doing the same thing fishing for crappie and bass. I go out in the warmest part of the day and stay out until dark and am catching five or six keeper fish everytime roataing brush piles. Fishing is not good but not bad either. It is to be warm this weekend before a cold spell again and there should be some fair weather fishermen out there. There have been no other boats. The crappie are not giant ones like I was catching last week but are all about 11-12 inches and the bass are barely 15-inches. White Bass are still scattered from the 101 bridge almost to Cranfield Island on shad at various depths. Main lake water is a little more stained and you can see your lure down about 4-feet. Fishing main lake brush in 25-30 feet of water with the grub is working best for me but a few are hitting the small Bink's spoon and live minnows on a slip float about 9-feet down. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.44 and has risen about 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. I understand they have to run Table Rock full speed to protect Branson and not have the landing flood but they also need to work Norfork in there. The priorities need to change. Norfork has only two generators and is small in the scheme of things. It was windy and cold when we went out to put in a brush pile yesterday. It just did not warm up an did not get out of the 30's. It is sunny and in the 40's today but is to get into the teens tonight. Surface temperature is still about 45 degrees and fishing is just fair with white bass, crappie and bass being the best. I caught 5 nice crappie yesterday in about an hour of fishing and all of them were caught casting a grub over the brush and letting it sink. They seemed to be about 6-feet down and were coming up to get the lure. The cold fronts just keep coming through and are followed by high pressure hurting the fishing. After a high pressure and just before the cold front are the best times. I usually stay fishing until it rains me out to catch the best ones. A prolonged high pressure is ok but we have not been getting very many of those. Your deposits are due to hold the cabin and boat of your choice and we are getting several call a day. We have and are making many improvements and you will like what you see when you get here. All with no price increases.  The lake is in excellent condition and it should be a good year. Our average high is now 45 degrees.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.16 and rises very quickly when they quit generating like they did last night after we received almost an inch of rain. The lake has risen almost 3-inches in the last 24-hours. They had better turn them on and keep them on. It was cloudy with light wind and a temperature in high 40's when I went out yesterday. The surface temperature was 45 degrees and the lake has cleared a bit and in general is in excellent shape for fishing. I caught two nice bass very quickly and then they quit so I started crappie fishing on a good brush pile. Two big crappie were caught on the slip float and minnow right away and then they quit. Switched to the grub and caught fish until it was too dark to see. There were no other boats out there. Some of the crappie were very large and they are very healthy as are the bass. It was a nice day to be out and have the lake all to myself. Wish you were here. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Casey Denham with some nice norfork lake crappie.Image title

The lake level is 554.93 and rising slowly with more rain coming this afternoon and night and get cold again Thursday night. It is cloudy now and in the 40's. The wind was from the south east yesterday and was still cold. I waited for it to warm up before going out but it never happened. It never got out of the 30's. All of the white stuff is gone now with just a bit on north shady areas. White bass, bass and crappie are the best bite now with overall fishing just fair. I will go see if i can find some now.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 554.91 and rising with no generation and heading back to 555. If they cannot manage it in January they do not have a chance in the spring. Hold and hope is not a good strategy. The surface temperature dropped just a bit with the snow to about 45 degrees and should drop a little more as it melts. It should be about gone by tomorrow. The snow always clears the lake some. The wind blew itself out last evening and it is sunny with very light winds now. Good for grub fishing for bass. You can see the light bite with the line twitch. Diamond Bay, Float Creek and Big creek are good places. White Bass and small Hybrid  continue to bite well on spoons in open water and the schools are scattered at different depths but many are from 101 bridge almost to Cranfeld Island. The fronts continue to move through often and fishing is reduced with the cold fronts. I am still looking for walleye but cannot find any. They usually move up river in February but that seems to be getting less and less each year with mostly small ones caught. I saw so many this summer diving that i know they are there but they do have a high mortality rate with very few keeper fish released. People prize them very much. I would like to see more stocked. You can talk about pressure cooking gar, using a scoring machine for carp and cutting the red meat off temperate bass but not much beats Norfork lake walleye and crappie. Kentucky Bass, Bluegill and flathead catfish come close but no cigar. Going out now to try and catch some more bass. See you out there. I will be wearing electric socks, electric gloves and an electric coat. Am not much for cold weather. I spent time in both Northern Maine and Minnesota and have had all of the Ice fishing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and shoveling I want for a very long time. A very long time. I do like Norfork Lake winter Bass and crappie fishing though. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Mike with a couple of his biggest ones.Image title

The lake level is 554.80 and rising with generation cut way back. We received about 0.4 inches of rain last night and enought snow to cover the ground today. It has stopped now. They had better keep generating or risk looking very foolish in the spring. We will see what the nasty white stuff does to the surface temperature when I leave to go bass fishing in a few minutes. It is grub time on the bottom now. I caught some very nice crappie yesterday and a few keeper bass. Mike Eakle caught a bunch of white bass and small hybrids on the west wide of the 101 bridge about where the old Eagle's Nest resort used to be on the spoon and some very large crappie on Blackburns Brushpiles. The red meat fish are very easily caught but not very many stripers over 10-lbs. This is a good time to catch big bass but you have to work for them but the white bass and small hybrids are very abundant. I am still not seeing as many shad as normal and more schools of them are holding predator fish making them easier to catch. Shad are coming to dock lights at night bringing a lot of white bass to them. It is to warm back up Monday.   

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 554.73 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours after they quit generating for 16-hours. I thought it was too good to be true. They did start up again a few hours ago. We need to be about 6-feet lower going into the spring. Surface temperature was 47 when I went out yesterday and the wind was very light. i founf some more schooled fish on the way to my fishing spot and dropped a spoon hoping for a a walleye. No such luck, they were only small hybrids and white bass and not worth a picture. They were on the north side of the lake 1/2 way west of the Mallard Point docks in front of the cross.  I did catch some nice bass on the brush on a spoon but crappie fishing has slowed for me a bit. I was catching big ones everyday but not now. One day on one day off. Big bluegill are biting pretty well though along with bass and white bass. The open water fishermen are finding red meat fish but are doing quite a bit of looking. There are many small hybrids (less than 7-lbs) and white bass being caught but few keepers. Not many boats out there. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 554.68 and has dropped almost 3-inches in the last 24-hours despite about 0.4 inches of rain last night with both generators running continuously. The surface temperature was almost 48 yesterday when I went fishing. I went to a brush pile between cow point and the 101 bridge on the north side and there were schooled fish there but they were only small hybrids and white bass so I went across the lake to another one and fished for crappie. It started out slow but got better at sunset. It was in the high 40's and the wind was light. I was both spooning and casting the grub over the brush and letting it sink and caught three nice bluegill, a bass and two crappie. Nothing big. We will put in more brush piles today and then go fish. The full moon is the 21st and we are to get more rain and the wind is to pick up with fronts going through almost continually. Please keep generating. The lake is in excellent general condition for fishing. Blackburns still has the best prices on cabins and do not charge you for the first boat stall. Why pay more?

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 554.93 and has dropped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. That is good. More rain may be coming.  It was a little warmer yesterday when we went out to put in brush piles. We are off to a good start and have some good ones with more on the way. The surface temperature is still just about 47. We are to be in the 50's for a couple of days and then to get cold Saturday night and Sunday. It is the back side of January and the days are getting longer and the moon is getting bigger. I never have very good luck with the clear skies and big moon but did catch a few bass. The big crappie were not biting very well.  Will try again a little later today. Winter fishing has been just fair for numbers but some big fish are being brought in every day by the few people that are out there. The spoon did not work for me yesterday and the grub was all I caught anything on.  I still am not seeing very many shad.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with some big ole Crappie caught in Float Creek.Image title

The lake level is 555.15 and has droppped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. Keep it going. Our group of Norfork lake lovers got our fish cover permits this morning and will be putting out brush piles over several areas of the lake to help Blackburns Resort customers catch more fish. I hope other people do the same thing for their customers. We provide a map with their locations and they really work. We will show you when you get here. The surface temperature was just under 47 when I went out yesterday and both the main lake and creeks stained a bit with the the creeks more stained and a bit cooler. I saw only one other boat out there and it was Tom Kelly. He caught some nice fish too. The weather has been cloudy and cool with light winds for several days with the sun scarce. It is to get warm starting tomorrow and then cold for late this weekend. I will be out there until there is ice in my rod eyelets. The ice on the line screws up the drag and causes me to miss some big fish. A day or two off will not hurt anything anyway. I just like to be out there. Crappie, bass and white bass continue to be the best bite with large schools of small stripers showing up in the Cranfield area. Tom is fishing the float creek area mostly and is working our brush piles there with good success. He kills very few fish and turns many good ones loose under the dock after pictures. Bink is fishing the Big Creek area and doing very well on about everything using his spoon and green grub. I am seeing and hearing many more loons than normal and I like that. There was a roadrunner down by the dock yesterday. Blackburns is a bird sanctuary and we have many songbirds and herds and flocks of deer and turkey gather at out feeders. I like that too. We have hundreds of cardinals.Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free in our dock in a protected cove with launch and parking. No huddled up on a hillside here and we are open all year.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 555.34 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. Keep them going. The cool weather had dropped the surface temperature to just under 47 when I came in last evening. I saw no other boats out there and the fishing was slow until after 4:PM when they started biting until it was too dark to see. My last cast caught the largest fish which was a very large crappie. White bass, crappie and all kinds of bass are the best bite now. The weather is to warm starting tomorrow and should bring out more fishermen. Fishing is changing daily and you cannot go out once and write an accurate fishing report. You have to be out there everyday. Brush pile permits tomorrow. Bass are now on their normal winter banks. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught last evening on the grub.Image title

Caught Friday On the 1/8th ounce Bink's Spoon. Blue and white. Image title

The lake level is 555.44 and dropping very slowly with continuous running of both generators. Do not touch that off switch for about two months and get us down to 548. The main lake is a little stained and you can see your lure down to about 4-feet. The creeks change almost daily. The fishing was not as good for me yesterday as it has been lately but I did catch a few good fish. I caught a couple of keeper bass and a few crappie. The conditions were exactly the same as the day before with very light winds but the bite was much slower. I saw no other boats out there and it was nice to have 30,000 acres to yourself. I am still using small grubs, slip floats with minnows and the 1/8th ounce Bink's spoon for crappie and the grub for bass. The surface temperature is still about 48 degrees on the main lake and the fish seem to want to come up shallow in the late evening behind the brush piles toward the shore otherwise I am fishing right in the brush. One thing for sure I am seeing a lot less shad than usual in this area and do not know for sure if they are there or not. They are usually thick and black out the locator by Robinson Island, In front of Panther Bay Marina and from Blackburns creek to the north bank. Not now.  Maybe some are hugging the bottom. The fish that are caught are very healthy though and we will have to get some very cold weather from now on for the water temperature to drop enough to have a shad kill which starts in the high 30's. The shad kill really helps short term fishing but it might be better if we did not have one this year. It is to be back in the 50's early next week and should bring out fair weather fishermen.   

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.46 and has dropped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours despite over an inch of rain. I was really glad they did not stop generating when it rains like they usually do. Just leave them running. It was raining lightly when I went out yesterday. It just kept it up just enough to be irritating but the fish were biting and the wind was light  so it made up for it. We received about 1.1 inches of rain.  I caught 12- crappies and some good smallmouth bass on the grub. The bass were near the bank in about 12-feet of water and the crappie were shallow on brush about 6-feet down.  Both spoons and grubs were working. A few of the crappie were smaller than yesterday but some were very large. The bass were in the 2-21/2 lb. range. All fish were very healthy. It is cloudy and spitting rain again today with warmer weather for the early part of next week scheduled.  Remember the Norfork Lake fish cover permits will be issued at the Corps of Engineer Office and 9:AM Tuesday January 15th. They are good for the fishing and will help other resort fishermen have good places to fish. Call other resort owners and ask them to put some brush in for you. It works. I saw no other boats out there yesterday. No reports from the sofa here. I have some good places to fish close to the dock so you can have a place to get shelter if the rain gets too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.69 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. Keep them on boys. It is raining just a bit now and is to continue through tomorrow. If it stops for a while I will be out there. Everyone around here caught good fish yesterday. It was a nice cool day with little wind. Surface temperature is still about 49. This is Dave Titus' last day and he is really on the bass and has been for several days. He has been casting grubs over brush and letting them sink into them.  As reported earlier, bass fishing has been getting better for a week. I am fishing them in the afternoon and switching to crappie near sunset. I caught several very large ones yesterday and some crappie in the 15-inch range. It was very dark when I came in and they are still in my live well. I will get a picture and release them today under the dock.  Bink was on the open water fish and Tom Kelly was catching both bass and crappie. It was overall a good day for everyone. It is just good to be out there. Catching is a bonus. White bass are easily caught.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with some good ones yesterday.Image title

The new news is the lake has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. This is good and I hope it keeps going until we get to 548. It is exactly 556 now. It looks like cooler weather is headed this way for several days and then warm back up the middle of next week. Cooler weather should bring the crappie back up shallower and bass to the bank in the evening. I was surprised to find crappie in 35-ft. brush near the bottom again yesterday on the spoon. Dave Titus caught some good bass and crappie and Tom Kelly some very large crappie and I caught some of both. I really like winter bassin but the surface temperature needs to drop just a bit for it to get good from just fair.  Open water fishermen are finding fish at all depths of water but most are suspended at about 45-feet with stripers being a little deeper than the white bass. They are doing a lot more looking than finding but white bass are the best bite for them with several very small stripers showing up in big schools. I am out there everyday and have some very good fishermen reporting also. We will let you know. Bring your winter clothes for now but some very large fish will be caught in the next few days. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Dave Titus from Lake in the Hills, Illinois shows off some good Norfork Lake Crappie caught yesterday.Image titleImage title

It was another beautiful day here on good ole Norfork lake. The water was a little choppy but it was easy to get out of it and it quit in the late afternoon. I went to where crappie were caught yesterday and there were just white bass and hybrids there so I left to another place. I was casting the grub over brush and trying for suspended fish and could not catch much. Took out the small spoon and starting jigging the bottom in 30-feet and caught a very nice crappie. The water surface temperature was just under 50 and had stained up just a bit. The level was 556.34 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours. They need to do better than that after failing the last two years. The sunny cold front has been here for a while now and the fishing is getting better. Our striper fishermen caught some better ones in the morning after looking for them for a long time. They were trolling umbrellas. I am not a troller but it is effective for schooled fish in open water especially if you are a meat hunter. The walleye are still eluding me but I will keep trying. It is not as much fun for me to go out and do the same thing everyday but I like to try different things and different places. Crappie, bass, walleye and catfishing are still my favorite but sometimes you just have to fish for what is biting. It is all good.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

One happy young fellow fishing with Bink.  We like it when they put down their phone and pick up a pole. Image title

It was warm with light wind when I went out yesterday. Fishing is changing almost daily with fronts moving through often. You can not fish for several days, go out once and write an accurate report. One day you can find open water fish feeding and the next nothing. Most of them are just white bass anyway.  Crappie fishing has slowed a bit so I went after bass. The surface temperature was just under 50 on the main lake and the clarity was not affected much by the rain. Most of the debris was gone somewhere with the wind changing direction often.  The lake level is 556.37 and rising just a bit with at least one generator running most of the time. I spooned brush for quite a while with only a few small fish and then at sunset switched to the grub. The fish started biting and continued until dark with the fish getting bigger the later it got.  I ended up with 4-keeper bass and several smaller ones. All were released at the boat. I did see a few other boats out there but not many for such a beautiful day. Blackburns brush piles are getting well used but not all of them. The moochers have not found all of the new ones yet. The ones put in by the game and fish are excellent and were badly needed. I am not seeing as many shad as normal but that does not mean they are not there. Just not where I am fishing. I do not fish where there are too many shad anyway. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 556.34 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours with just a bit of generation. It stays stable when they generate and rises when they quit. They are busy running Table Rock as fast as they can to protect Branson and the landing. They will not get caught letting that flood again no matter what happens anywhere else. Politics rules. They should have been running Newport at 21-24 feet for the last three months.  What was the most noticiable when I went out yesterday was the debris. Quite a bit was floating in the Blackburns creek and Main lake area. It is not big but big enough to fill dock stalls and also big enough to avoid hitting if you do not want prop damage. It came from both the fast running creeks and the rise in level, floating wood.  Fishing was slow for me but my trolling motor quit and it was almost dark before I got it fixed. They were not biting very well anyway. The open water fishermen I talked to caught some white bass but not much else. Time to move the dock again. At least you can drive to the dock and step on the walkway with no effort.  That is what most people want. I do not like to post pictures of white bass but this 13-year old boy was so excited fishing with Bink. He can catch fish when nobody else can. it was nice and warm with no wind. To be the same for two more days and not bad after that. Spoons are the lure of choice both in open water and over brush.I will give it another try later. Glad it is not cold. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 555.92 and rising and headed for 556+. The creeks have quit running but much water is still flowing from the hillsides. We received about 2.4 inches of rain total but the sun is shining now and it is to be warm with highs in the 60's for the next four days. The people managing the lakes are totally incompetant and they all need to be fired. They have had four months to lower the levels, refused to do so and now are blaming the rainfall. I will move my dock in again today and others should check theirs. The level is not bad now but we are one rain away from having problems and that is where they seem to like to keep us. The highest month for amount for rainfall last year was February. The fishing has been about the same and ranges from fair to medium depending on when the fronts are passing through and how long the high pressure has been here. The cold fronts and high pressure fronts slow it down a bit but then it improves until the next one. Bass, crappie and white bass continue to be the best bite. Spoons and grubs are the best bait. Try to stay right on the brushpiles in 25-28 ft. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tuesday January 15th at 9AM is the day everyone can go to the Corps of Engineers office to get their Norfork Lake fish cover permit. You can then cut trees on corps property and put them in a place of your own choosing. It is good for the lake and for the fish. Locals can have their own brush piles and fishing areas (until someone finds them) and business owners can help their customers have better fishing. No need to camp on other people's places unless you are unable or unwilling to help. Good fun on the lake in the winter and good exercise too. See you there.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is stable for the last 24-hours with several hours of generation. I hope they realize that February was our rainiest month last year.  Everything seems to take them by surprise. It was a little windy yesterday but not bad. It stopped and was still by 4:PM. That seems to be the standard now if there is not a front moving through. There is still water running into the lake from the hillsides but the creeks have stopped running. You can bet the lake is rising if the creeks are running no matter what is generated. All of our guests that were fishing caught fish.  I was bass fishing and caught several with a mixed bag but several were undersized. It does not matter as they are all released anyway. We really promote catch and release here at Blackburns but understand keeping fish to eat.  They are so good out of this clean clear lake. I stll do not appreciate seeing pictures of the dock floor piled high with dead fish though. Nobody needs that many even if they are just white bass. John found a very large school of small stripers about 10-inches long. He said there were hundreds of them. That is good news and if people would quit killing stripers less than 10-lbs. and let them grow, we could get our population of big fish back. Crappie fishing has slowed a bit but the size is great. Walleye are still eluding me except for an occassional one caught in open water on shad with the other species. I am not seeing as many shad as normal but am not out in open water that much. Usually in the winter they black out the fishfinder on the way to Blackburns brush piles. We missed the weather again and it looks to be good fishing weather through the weekend with warm temperatures. I love my new heated sox. Bass, crappie and white bass continue to be the best bite but that changes daily. You have to be out there.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Tom Kelly with a good bass. All fish were released at the boat.Image title

The smallmouth are starting to bite.Image title

John Bornhop with a nice hybrid striper.Image title

The lake level is 554.28 and still rising. They quit generating last evening. it was a good day for fishing yesterday. It was a bit windy when I went out but the ambient temperature was a little above 50. The wind died about 4:PM . I caught some very nice bass early and the crappie started biting at sunset. Four keeper bass and five nice crappie were caught in two hours. One crappie was very big. Bass fishing is picking up nicely. Many fish are moving shallow late and that is what I have been waiting for. It was just slow happening. That is why you have to be out there nearly everyday to write an accurate fishing report. Yhe surface water temperature was 49+ to 50+ degrees depenting on where you were. The runoff from the rain clouded the lake just a bit but not bad. It will be necessary to move the dock in soon and that is not what we want for January. My so-called winter banks are holding fish now and I was doubting if it was going to happen. Blackburns has some good fishermen in now and they are catching fish everyday. We like that. If your normal place is closed, come on down. You can go back to paying more when they open. I do not leave to go on vavation, this is the place I want to be. Might as well stay open and keep the loyal employees working. I have some good ones.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught on a spoon yesterday.Image title

Tom Kelly with a nice bass released at the boat.Image title

John with a good one.Image title

Look at the size of this crappie caught by John Bornhop. It is as big as the cooler.Image title

The lake level is 554 and rising with 1.4 inches of rain and the creeks are running. We are at least 6-feet higher than it should be for the first of the year and about where we should be for June 1st. The people managing the dams should be fired immediately. They have had many chances to drop the level. Hold and hope. They are running the generators now. We are one big rain away from being too high and they seem to like that. Blackburns is full now with people taking advantage of the low prices on cabins and free boat stall but also taking advantage of most other places being closed. A lot of the boats you see in this area of the lake are staying here. I took some floating fish food out on the lake with me over by the bridges and threw it out on the water to feed the ducks. A few minutes later there were seagulls everywhere. Shortly after that there were two striper boats there taking advantage of what nature provides. We sure have a lot of bird fishermen. I wonder what they will do when the birds migrate?The lake surface temperature is about 49 degrees and dropping very slowly. Fishing is just fair with white bass the best, crappie second and bass third. Open water fishing is either feast or famine. They go a couple of days with nothing and then find a school of feeding fish and catch a bunch. Bink is the only one I know who is on them consistently and he is strictly artificial. I am catching fish everyday but some days are better than others. I am catching crappie and bass mostly but am not fishing open water. I like those big crappie.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.74 and still rising. Let some out boys. If you cannot manage it in the winter you do not have a chance in the spring. The hold and hope government. The main lake is getting very clear. Not as much as in the past but much more than lately. The white bass are easily caught and the meat hunters are killing many of them. A few smaller stripers and bass are with them. They seem to like the creeks now about 30-40 ft. down. Several striper fishermen are following the birds on the main lake. Crappie and bass fishing are the best for me now. Several people here at Blackburns are catching some pretty good fish. The weather has turned cooler and the surface temperature has dropped to just under 50. I am fishing brush in 22-28 foot about 20-ft. down with spoons. grubs and slip floats and minnows during the day. The fish are coming up shallow in the late afternoon between the bank and the brush. Several fish of most species are still on shad in open water. Blackburns is open all year.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Under the dock they go.Image title

The lake level is 553.50 and rising again with no generation for 24-hours. The White River at Newport is 8-feet so they could be running a lot more if they wanted too. They even quit generating Table Rock but I is already several feet below normal. We need different lake management. Hold and hope will not work. More rain is on the way. The lake was like glass for most of the day yesterday and the fish were biting pretty good. Several crappie were caught and released under Blackburns dock. Several more good fishermen are coming in today and we will see what that brings. I am encouraging everyone to release most fish and kill only white bass. We need to quit killing these small stripers and the daily limit needs to be lowered to two. 5-10 lb. stripers are not big fish and do not deserve a picture. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Some pretty good ones caught yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.48 and has dropped just a bit with less generation than before. It was just a bit windy yesterday until about 4:PM when it layed down. I again was casting my little grub and minnow and catching bass and crappie. Some of our guests from Indiana caugh some white bass, a 23 inch striper and a 20-lb. catfish. The catfish was from the dock brush. I can see the crappie under there but do not know if they are the same ones released the last several days. Another limit was released there last night. Several people are coming in tomorrow and it will be busy. We have been very busy with improvements. There have been $35,000 spent on metal roofs, $30,000 on laminate floors, $10,000 on flat screened TVs, appliances and bedding.  We think you will like it when you get here. There will be no price increases this year as we do not want to charge you too much. Deposits are due for your 2019 reservations on January 15th to insure you hold the cabins and boat rental of your choice.  The business is growing every year and we have all of our loyal customers to thank. The lake is in excellent condition and fishing is medium. Too many stripers in the 5-10 lb. range are being killed and people that have not been here very long think they are big. They are not and do not dress out very well anyway. i have had  lessons from my friends Bink and Don and now maybe I can go out and catch some fish. You cannot walk on our water or drill holes in it and we are open all year. It is to be in the 60's tomorrow. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Released under the dock.Image title

The good news is the lake level has dropped to 553.50 and has dropped two inches in the last 24-hours. Keep it going boys. The lake is in excellent condition but needs to drop much more to make room for the spring rains.  I never get tired of crappie fishing but decided to try for some bass yesterday. It was just a little windy on the main lake but I caught a few and then the wind layed at sunset and the fish started biting until dark. When pulling into a brush pile I noticed some active fish in front of it at about 50-feet deep and 20-feet down. I dropped a Bink's spoon into them hoping they were not white bass and they weren't. There were bass of all kinds and some crappie but no walleye. The fish I had been catching were near brush in 25-ft. of water and shallow down no more than 10-feet. The small grub cast over the brush and sinking slowly had been the best until then.  It was a beautiful day with highs in the 50's.  The lake surface temperature was 51 degrees. Blackburns have several customers taking advantage of the low prices on cabins and free boat stall  with easy access to the lake and it gets very busy on Wednesday. Hope the weather holds. We are open all year as some close for the winter. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. The money you save can be donated to disabled veterans.


Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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Tom Kelly released these and several more under the dock yesterday.Image title

The lake is rising again with no generation for the last 24-hours and is at 553.69 and needs to start dropping to prepare for the spring rains. The big full moon and high pressure did not stop the fishing yesterday. Some very nice fish were caught yesterday including bass, crappie and white bass. White bass do not count as everyone catches them. The weather was perfect and is predicted to remain so for several days.  I released a limit of crappie under the dock in the new trees planted there and they went right to them. We will see if they stay there. Several bass were released immediately after catching.  The surface temperature remains just above 50 on the main lake and the general lake condition is excellent. The crappie have moved shallower and can be caught in the evening by casting a grub or jig with a 1/16th ounce leadhead and allowing it to sink slowly over the brush. Some bass are near the bank then also. Crank baits are working but I prefer the small grub. Many bass are still on the shad in open water with the white bass. A few stripers are being caught but most are small and below 10-lbs. More of them need to be released. The numbers of stripers above 20-lbs used to be common but has been drastically reduced. The limit on them should be reduced to two fish. Spoons and umbrellas are catching the most red meat fish now in open water. They are in various depths of water but seem to like 50-feet down. Tom Kelly caught some good fish yesterday on his little shakey head worm and spoons. He is a good fisherman. There is a big group coming here the day after Christmas and we will see what they catch. Hope the weather holds.  I love Christmas, especially Christmas crappie.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 553.63 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. We need to be at 548. The wind was blowing from the northwest when I went out yesterday causing whitecaps on the main lake. I knew exactly where I would go to get out of the wind and headed there. It was a brush pile in 25-ft. of water on a north south bank around the corner from a main lake point.  The crappie were biting as soon as I got there and were still biting when I got my limit and left. They were big ones too. No 17 or 18 inchers but several in the 15-16 inch range. They were very healthy and fat. I put them in my basket to get a picture and will turn them loose under my dock today. There were no throwbacks. I caught a few bass and released them immediately. No big ones though. The low pressure was moving through causing the wind and the fish were coming up shallow to feed. I  caught all of them on the 2-inch grub casting it over the brush and letting it sink just a bit. You have to use the net on these big boys or they will come off pulling them over the side of the boat. I hate it when that happens even though I am releasing them. This is the first time in several days that I can report the fishing was good and not just fair. There were no other boats out there but the weather was not conducive to open water fishing. Winter begins today and the days will start getting longer now. The full moon is tomorrow and it is big. The weather is scheduled to be good for the next several days and we will see what the moon and higher pressure does to the bite. I like it when low pressure moves across but do not have very good luck during cold fronts. The fishing gets better and better as the time passes with a high pressure front and when it clouds up with a low you can bet I will be out there. You cannot go out every three or four days and write an accurate fishing report. Things are changing too much and what has happened in the past will not predict what will happen but it gives you a good place to start. The wind has blown itself out now and the temperature is in the high 40's with 50's for the next several days. The surface temperature is still just above 50 and the lake is in excellent condition. You can park at the dock and step on the walkway and put your boat in a free stall and launch right beside the dock and put your trailer in ample parking. No driving up and down cliffs or going elsewhere to launch your boat. We have a good set up and the best prices and are open all year. Several places are closed.

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 553.69 and has dropped over one inch in the last 24-hours with more generation. The surface temperature was almost 52 when I went out yesterday afternoon and the ambient temperature was in the mid 50's with very light wind. I tried a couple of the new brush piles put in by game and fish and got nothing and then moved to an old stand-by place at about 4:PM and the fish started biting. I was using a jigging spoon for bass and a slip float for crappie. Caught both. A couple of the crappie were very large. Almost every day the fish do not bite very well for me until just at sunset and continue until it is too dark to see. Four big crappie in the 13-15 inch range were caught and two keeper bass in 1-1/2 hours. Not good but not bad. The weather has been great with showers for tomorrow. That will not hurt anything. The lake is in excellent condition and the fishing in general is just fair with open water fishermen having a little trouble finding schooled and feeding fish except for white bass. It is just good to be out there. Get off the sofa and come on down. Blackburns is open all year and will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

A nice 16-inch crappie.Image title

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The lake level is 553.8 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. They slowed generation down quite a bit and are generating at Table Rock lake continuously to protect Branson and give them a surge capacity for the spring rains. Norfork is very low on the priority list as it is not connected to the chain of lakes. It was a beautiful day yesterday with light winds, sunshine and temperature in the high 50's. John Bornhop caught some very nice crappie and so did Scuba Steve. I also caught some keeper bass on the main lake river channels near the bank in about 8-feet of water. Surface temperature remains in the low 50's in the main lake and cooler in the creeks. It is foggy most mornings. The lake in general is in excellent condition and fishing is just fair with people chasing the open water fish are having to work hard to find feeding fish except for white bass and I do not count them. When shad are found there are often several species of fish around them.  I am fishing brush piles in 25-ft. of water with the spoon, slip float and grub, depending on the wind. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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The lake level is 553.84 and has risen 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. We received over 2-inches of rain in the last three day peroid ending Friday.  They did start generating a few minutes ago after several days of nothing. It was a beautiful day with sunny skies, light winds, temperature in the 50's and the fish were biting.  Bink was catching them in 60-ft. of water on his spoon and I was catching them shallow in the evening. They seem to come up to about 6-feet down right at sunset without much regard to the water overall depth. The main lake is getting clearer especially near the bank . Surface temperature is in the very low 50's in the main lake and much cooler in the shallow creeks. The lake overall is in excellent condition. Several species of fish are schooled together on shad in the early morning. White bass are easily caught but some nice bass are with them. I am getting some medium sized bass and some very large crappie and bluegill near the bank on the grub. Hope this nice weather holds. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The new news is that the lake level is 553.55 and rising with no generation. It is at a good level now but they had better let some out. This is bordering on mismanagement and incompetance. Some of the so-called lake organizations need to be contacting the Corps of Engineers and asking why the level is not being dropped to create some surge for the spring rains. Yes, the worthless minimum flow did take away 1.75 feet of flood capacity and changed the numbers and how the lake is being managed, but the newer way of lake management has a bad history. Hold and hope is not a very thoughtful policy. When they used to take the lake down to the 540's in the winter and generate when it rains, we had far less problems. The level should never be allowed to exceed 552 if possible. They can control how much goes out but not how much goes in. They just keep doing the same thing and hope for different results. It was cloudy and raining on and off all of the time I was fishing yesterday but the fish started biting a little earlier than in the last few days. I caught several nice crappie, bass and bluegill casting the grub to the bank from 3:PM until dark. They had started biting at 4:PM before. The wind was just a little too much for the slip float. One crappie was very large and was bigger than the one caught the day before and I did not think that was possible. I came in a little early before my photographer left work to get a picture of it. It was bigger than the ones I have mounted but I did not want to kill it so under the dock it went. Other guests caught a few stripers in the 12-lb. range and some hybrids in the 6-7 lb. range but I convinced them to release them and take some of my smaller crappie. I seldom kill bass unless a couple of kentuckys are needed for supper. White bass can still be caught almost at will and are what should be harvested. They reproduce unlike the semi put and take stripers and hybrids. It was good to see how many wallleye were stocked this year. They reproduce in the lake but many are harvested and few legal ones are released.  Several years ago it was very difficult to get a legal walleye but now the population is much better. Once, several years ago a 2-lb. walleye won the yearly Scuba tournament for biggest fish with very few legal ones brought in. 


Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is still rising and is 553.18 with no generation and we received 1.2 inches of rain with more to come. There is very little wind, no storms or lightening just a slow gentle rain. This is good going into the winter to keep the ground moisture high. The low pressure is good for fishing and you can catch white bass and a few hybrids almost at will. I wish people would keep the white bass, which are almost at an unlimited number and put the small stripers and hybrids back. Our supply of big ones is dwindling because of two things: First there seems to be a kill-off of stripers in the heat of the summer every year due to lack of oxygen. We see the ones floating but have no idea of the number of fish sinking. The second is that fishermen are getting more adept at catching the red meat fish. It used to be that most striper fishermen trolled live bait but that has changed.  First there was the increase of using the umbrella rigs, which are very effective, most of the time and second the use of the jigging spoon has increased dramatically and is even more effective. You can stay on the school of fish with the spoon and not troll over them and come back and try to find the schools again. With the umbrellas and spoons you do not have to get up in the dark and net shad, have special bait tanks and aerators to keep the shad alive, and buy expensive trolling equipment like down riggers and cannon balls. I alway felt like a clown watching baloons and saw them all over the lake. In those days Gerry Sperry and Jim Nichols were known to catch big stripers almost daily with 30-lb fish not uncommon. I took over the Norfork Lake fishing report in about 1999 after the death of Sperry, who had done it for years, at the request of Gary Cooley who was an internet innovator at that time.   There was no other report then. Now several people write reports so I quit, except for my blog, which is to let our many customers here at Blackburns know what is happening at the resort, lake and area. One or two week old reports are not any good anyway and are now just used for free advertising.  It used to be the norm to take pictures of many dead fish lined up on the dock floor or on large stringers with the sign on them because it took a good guide to get them. Now fishermen are more savy and the fishing pressure has increased for the hard fighting stripers and hybrids. I wish they would cut the limit to two fish. Catching stripers in the 5-9 lb. range is no accomplishment but killing them for meat is destroying the future.  The fish started biting for me at 4:pm last evening as the rain decreased and I caught some very nice crappie and bass and all were released. We will see what today brings. There were a few boats out there in the rain yesterday and the weekend brings on more fishing pressure. We have a very nice lake and it is in good condition now but I am concerned about the level going into the rainy season. We should be 5-6 feet lower but there seems to be no inclination to do so. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level has been pretty stable at just under 553 with very little generation. They are generating now. The main lake surface temperature is about 51 degrees with shallower creeks being cooler. You can see your lure down about 6-feet on the main lake. Binks came over to stock the store with his jigging spoons and said it was about time he gave me a refresher fishing lesson as I forget so easily and he keeps getting better so we went fishing. We spooned Blackburns Brush piles until dark and caught several fish but no big ones. We caught all kinds of bass, walleye, bluegill and crappie. All fish were released on site and we had a great time in the warm weather and yes he did catch more fish than me. I told him if he bragged about it anymore I was going to cancell sponsorship of his Radio Show "Live in the Boat" which is on KTLO 97.9 on Thursdays at 8:45 AM which I have done for 20-years. That shut him up on that but he sure is proud of his new Ranger fishing guide boat. He said his customers deserve the best. He fishes artificial bait only and does not troll around with a bunch of lines dragging live bait and hand you a pole when one gets on. You catch the fish yourself by casting or jigging and I enjoy that more. Much more. You can not go out for several days and catch nothing and then finally troll over a school of active fish, catch several and say they are in a frenzy and jumping in the boat. If you do many people will be unhappy with their results. Fishing has just been fair for me the last several days but I have been catching good fish every day. No giant ones though. Looks like rain again for the weekend. Nice again today. See you out there. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

Caught yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 552.95 and they generated a few hours this morning and then quit. It was over 553 before that. It was windy from the north west when I went out yesterday with small white caps. There were more boats out than I have seen in a while. Some were bass fishing, some crappie fishing and several trolling for red meat fish. I caught crappie and bass after the wind quit about 4:30. It was slow before that. Some good crappie are definitely moving to the bank at sunset as are bass. Several undersized bass are being caught with just a few keepers. I do not keep them anyway. It would be good for the striper and hybrid population to drop the limit to two. There are plenty of white bass for the meat hunters.  The stripers in the 20-lb.+ range and hybrids near 10-lbs. are definitely diminishing and too many 6-7 lb. fish are being killed destroying the future of big fish. There are many black nosed crappie being caught proving that the cpappie stocking program has helped the population. I hope it does not stop as well as the red-eared bluegill.  The lake condition is excellent with the surface temperature in the lower 50's and nice weather is here for several days with highs in the 50's and a chance of rain later in the week. Overall fishing is just fair but good fish are being caught everyday. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

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

There was no wind and the lake was like glass yesterday when I went out. I had been catching fish from 4:PM to dark and then they quit for several days. Not yesterday. They were not biting at all and I almost quit until 5PM and then they bit until it was too dark to see and they were still biting when I came in. Crappie, bass and bluegill. I was using my three different baits,  minnows, spoons and grubs and they were all working. I do not have much luck with spoons in the dark. There were no other boats. The lake level is 552.88 and is dropping a bit again with several hours of generation. With the heavy rain scheduled for southern Arkansas they will probably stop again. Paying attention to the weather man is like listening to fishing forecasts. There is no such thing as winter pattern or summer pattern but what is happening now. You must be out there to know what is going on. Some things are predictable but when is the problem. Yes, stripers go deep in the hot weather when the lake heats up. Yes, they get lock jaw when the weather gets cold, Yes, there is a top water and night bite in the spring and the lake turns over in the fall but nobody know when these will happen. You have to be out there if you want to catch fish consistently. The best fishermen catch fish when nobody else does. We will see what the weather brings but I will be out there until forced off the lake. It is not understandable to me how they can predict how much snowfall we will get when the storm had not even hit the west coast. I will put off buying a snowmobile until Monday. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 552.94 and rising a bit with no generation for the last 24-hours. The surface water temperature is 53 degrees on the main lake and you can see your lure down about 6 or 7 feet.  The creeks vary from stained to fairly clear almost daily. I caught a lot of fish yesterday but no big ones like the day before. Crappie, bass and bluegill are biting very well and you can catch white bass almost at will with a few hybrids mixed in if you can find shad in open water.  The shad are moving around with the wind and plankton and are shallower in the early morning than the evening.  Trolling umbrellas near East and middle Pigeon is picking up a few stripers in the 15-lb. range. But not many. Now is the time to catch stripers and other red meat fish as they will get more scarce as the weather gets cold and they move to the old river channels near deep water and get lock jaw. There will be stripers boats all around the bridges and in front of Panther Bay marina when this happens and very few people will be catching any of them. It happens every year. I caught 12- keeper fish of all kinds yesterday and they bit steadily from 3:PM until dark but like I said no big ones.  The bass were about 2-lbs and the crappie about 11-inches with several throwbacks. It was fun and the weather was nice.  Tom Kelly caught some good bass and Tom Stanton some stripers. The weather does not look good for the next couple of days but it will not hurt the fishing. I have caught some of my largest fish out of Norfork after a snow. Especially bass and crappie. Some crappie are moving near the bank just before dark and hitting the grub. The bass I am catching are in about 8-feet of water both inside and outside main lake points. When I am using minnows on a slip float for crappie they are about 10-feet down from the surface over 25-ft. brush. Not much in brush over 30-ft. 

Norfork Lake fishing and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental (click here for comments)

The ones on the left are 13-inches. Debbie said the one on the right is the biggest crappie she has ever seen and she has taken a lot of pictures.Image title

The lake level is 553.01 and dropping a bit with several hours of generation, finally. They need to drop it steadily until spring. The level is perfect right now and fishing conditions are great but they cannot controll how much water goes in just what goes out. There is a much better chance of having a good year if we go into March at 548. It was cool when I went out yesterday and the wind was from the west but not too bad. I thought this looks like a walleye chop so I starte