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Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report, Lake Condition and Fall foliage Report from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike with his first flathead Scuba Diving and it was a good one. Image title

The lake level is 554.10 and has dropped a little less than 1-inch in the last 24-hours with 3/4 of a generator runing for 12-hours starting at noon. The White River at Newport is 4.08 feet and very low. They are not letting out much water anywhere and are holding the area lakes up as high as they can for as long as they can hoping for a big rain so they can flood us out again. We should be at about 550 this time of year and then try as best they can to hold it through the spring and not shutting down generation everytime it rains. Not much chance of that. The surface water temperature was just over 79 degrees this morning and the visibility is good on the main lake and clearing a bit in the creeks. We have a couple of trollers in this week and they reported catching more fish today than in the previous days including a few small stripers and white bass. I am finding walleye, crappie and Kentucky Bass all on the same brush piles at depths ranging from 15-30 feet. The fish that were on top of the brush are now right in it. Most of the Black Bass are in open water on shad and you will see some of them come in caught by people trolling through the shad. Some are also catching crappie on slip floats and live minnows right on top of the brush. Adjust your slip float about 5-6 feet further down than you can see your minnow otherwise use the 3/8th ounce spoon and drop it right in and just around the brush letting it touch bottom and snapping it up about 5-6 feet and then have it fall on slack line. Kentucky Bass, Walleye and Crappie will also hit it and some larger bluegill. The weather is perfect and the lake is in excellent condition. Blackburns is the home of the $59/day cabin for two people and a free boat stall comes with your cabin. Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 to make your reservation. We will not charge you too much. We offer peace and quiet and no drama. The fall foliage does not seem to changing any color except brown and several leaves are blowing off in the wind. It is too early to make a prediction but a rain would not hurt anything. I will keep you posted. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report, lake condition and fall foliage report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Scuba Steve with a couple of good ones. Image title

The lake level is 554.69 and has risen a little less than 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation. The White River at Newport is 5.34 feet and is very low. I sure wish the people managing the area lake levels were elected officials and had to answer to the voters instead of just lifer government officials.with no accountability. The surface water temperature is just over 80 degrees and holding steady with the very warm days. The days are shorter and the night time lows are down in the 60's with highs in the high 80's and 90's with no chance of rain in the forecast. We are getting dry again. It is a perfect time to get out and enjoy the summer-like weather past the middle of September. I am seeing more boats out there already this morning. It sure is busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of the great weather and the best cabin and boat rental prices in the Ozarks. We remain nearly full but do have a couple of openings starting tomorrow. Some people are fishing, some are scuba diving, some are looking for real estate, some waiting for houses to close, some are visiting relatives and others are just hanging out enjoying the resort, wildlife and amenities. Blackburns is a bird sanctuary and have them everywhere. My bird feed bill is higher than my grocery bill. They have priced sunflower seeds so high that people cannot afford to buy them. It is a shame birds have to suffer because of inept government officials and inflation. Bink reports he is still catching walleye in 40-ft. of water on the main lake on the bottom on the spoon. I found a thermocline starting at about 35-ft. yesterday with cold water at 37-feet. That is about as deep as it gets as to what scuba divers call the thermocline. We say it is where the cold water starts and most of the fish are typically at, just above or above this. Game fish are typically located where there is ozygen, cover and bait fish and bait fish do not like deep cold water. Stripers are an exception to this in the heat of the summer where they go very deep and look for the so-called oxygen bubble and get lethargic and do not feed. People catch them by dropping a spoon right on their heads and get a reaction strike. All of the fish die when fishing for them in this manner no matter their size. I do not fish in deep water but you can catch them if you need meat and want to get rid of the stripers. They do not dress out very well anyway. A 10-pounder gets only about 3-lbs of meat after you cut out the nasty red stuff. The crappie and Kentucky bass are the best bite now with them being in brush that has a bottom in 35-ft and a top in 20-ft. on main lake points. As I have reported earlier the crappie are on top of the brush, schooled and roaming looking for bait fish which are in the cover of brush. They chase the bait from brush pile to brush pile so you have to move a little but they are not gone for long and come back. The bass are a little deeper but in the same place. The Kentucky Bass are plentiful and almost as good to eat as the crappie. Work main lake points and just around them on steep river channel; banks with brush. I am finding less and less fish and diminished visibility as I move to the inside of points and head back into the creeks. Almost all main lake points with brush are holding fish, at least in this area. I am not having to go very far from Blackburns to get all the fish that I want.  All the work putting in brush piles for you is paying off now as they are at perfect depth. Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 to get a cabin and boat at the best resort with the best prices before you have to pay more elsewhere. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are either paying too much or in the wrong place. If you are already here stop and check us out before you leave. A free boat stall comes with your cabin. Sorry, we have no mosquities here. The fall foliage typically is peak at the end of October but the walnut  trees are losing their leaves and there is some stress with the heat and dry weather. Blackburns is your fall foliage headquarters and we will keep you up to date.We will also help you with driving tours and good places to visit or set you up with a rental boat to tour the 550 miles of shoreline. It looks to be a good fall so far. We especially welcome Veterans and Police. We are the home of the $59/day 1-bedroom cabin. 

Norfork Lake Condition, Fall Foliage and Fishing Reports by Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comments)

Scuba Steve with a pretty good one. Image title

Norfork lake, north central Arkansas, Mountain Home and Ozark Mountain Region fall foliage report. It is now November first and the fall foliage is a bust so far this year and it does not look to get much better. Peak is usually the very last of October but we have not had a frost yet and it has been windy most days and many leaves have blown off the trees. It is to frost wednesday night and if there is any chance of color it will be right after that. It is getting late. It looks better in the sunshine.  The road sides have a little brownish-red and rusty yellow colors but the hillsides have very little. It is still very nice out though but not worth a trip from very far away to just peep leaves. The fall is beautiful here no matter what the color. The lake level is 553.67 and is just what it was at this time yesterday and they are running 1/2 generator for several hours. The lake is at a good level now, not too high and not too low. The Corps Of Engineerrs closed some campgrounds today for the winter and it doesn't really matter as they have been flooded all summer anyway. Some of them never really got opened up fully and not all facilities were repaired. Camping was very limited. We had two different groups from the Kentucky Lake area in last week and they had a bad report. They said the Asian Carp have taken over the lake and most of the crappie are gone. It has also affected the businesses on the lake and many are closing. This was a good crappie fishery and I am sorry for them. I hope it does not happen here. They also said it was a problem on both the Tennesse and Illinois Rivers and affecting lakes there. Kentucky lake is on the Tennessee River as are several nice lakes. This is not good. I have seen none of them here and hope they do not get into the White River let alone the Norfork River. I am sure our capable biologists are watching for them. If anyone has any land for sale near Norfork Lake or around Mountain Home send me a message. I have a couple of people looking and are ready to build. Fishing remains slow but steady with the lake turning over and about every species is being caught but not in large numbers. Temperate Bass are schooled and roaming with the shad and others are scattered. There are a lot of bait fish on the bank and predator fish will move to them soon. Some are there now but a lot more will as the water cools. Bass, bluegill and crappie fishing is the best now with a few red meat fish being caught. All will improve as we move into November and the lake clears. Blackburns is open all year and have the best prices on the lake. Call Debbie at 870-492-5115 for a reservation. We will not charge you too much and especially welcome police and veterans. 

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

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.55 and is exactly what it was over three weeks ago. It is back on it's way to the power pool of 553.75 and they are doing nothing about it. I guess there is no need for electricity any where in the Southwest region. We got another 0.7 inches of rain here at Blackburns yesterday but the creeks did not run.  I sure hope they do not say the rain caused the high water this year and the dams are just for holding water. This excuse will not fly anymore. They have had ample chances this fall to drop the lake. The lake surface water in Blackburns creek was 67+ degrees last eveing when I went out and the lake is starting to turn over. It is a little late but not too much. It is the same for the fall foliage. It is starting to turn a little but most of the colors are brown and rusty yellow. Even the sumac, which is usually red on the road sides, is mostly brown.  So far it is a bust for brilliant colors but the area is still beautiful this time of year and it looks better on sunny days of which we have not had very many lately. Everytime a little color shows the wind blows it off. It is to be nice with highs in the mid 60's this weekend and then get cool with lows in the high 30's. We have not been near a frost yet. Blackburns is in a valley just above lake level and it gets several degrees cooler at night than on the hill sides but is also protected from wind and storms. People used to come down to Blackburns in the old days to get out of storms and severe weather as it is well protected on three sides. Bink is still on the red meat fish and has been for about three weeks. They have moved out to a little over 50-ft. of water close to shallower water. The Striper club had a fishing tournament and not one fish was caught. That should tell you something. Either they are not there or they should quit trolling and start spooning. A few good sized White Bass are mixed in with the hybrids and small stripers but not very many. Their numbers are way down but not the crappie, bass, catfish, bluegill and walleye. There are a lot of fish in this lake but the fishing will be at the mercy of the cold fronts and turnover for the next several days. Some good fish will continue to be caught though just not as many unless you can find schools of roaming fish that are feeding then it is good for a while. I do not fish open water much anymore but several do especially when the seagulls come back and then they can follow the birds.  They get used to that and are lost when the birds go away again and are forced to find them on their own. I watch them over and over flying down the lake, see a school of shad on their screen, stop and back up and then hit the spot lock, and then look and look for the fish and then go on. The crappie that I am catching are not the big ones but are about 11-12 inches long and the bite is sporatic. They will not bite for two hours and then start for about 5-10 minutes. I probably fish some places too long but prefer to go to brush where I know there are fish and wait them out and seem to do pretty well. Crappie are easily spooked, expecially the big ones. Use clear 4-6 lb. line, either monofilament or flourocarbon and take off all of the hardware. Sometimes you can get away with colored or braided when the water is stained but there is no sense it using it here. It you use clear you will be ready. Crappie are very line shy in the clear water and we are approaching the time of year when it will get the clearest. The light line is still very strong and allows the lure to work better. Heavy colored line will greatly reduce your catch on Norfork Lake. Your trolling motor will also spook them. Go against the wind and use it just as much as you need to to stay on the brush or drift over it and use it to go back around and do it again.  Blackburns brush piles are at perfect depths now and there are fish on them including Kentucky Bass, Crappie, bluegill and catfish. Walleye fishing has slowed for me but should pick back up later this month as will the smallmouth bass. This is a good time of year and the boat traffic is very low. I like it. 

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

There is some fall foliage color but not a lot and it is starting to get late and the wind will not help anything. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.25 and is the same as it was yesterday with 1/2 generator running for a few hours. No effort to drop the lake. The lake surface water was 70.6 yesterday on the main lake with vsibility stained and you can see your lure down just a few feet. Not much has changed but it is now cloudy and there is a good chance of rain for the next two days with more wind. It was calm earlier but is picking up now. One guest reported catching eight fish with most of them crappie with a few nice bluegill. Open water temperate bass are showing up as predicted after a very slow September and early October. Bink has been on them for about three weeks. I do not fish for them anymore with the reduced numbers and want them to grow for a few years and will stick to crappie, walleye , Kentucky Bass and catfish. The lake will start turning over soon and the fish will scatter for a couple of weeks. It still looks like Thanksgiving will be good fishing. I am ready to catch some of those big smallmouth which will be going to the bank then and the large crappie. The lake is at a good level and good color and is in excellent condition for fishing. Tomorrow at 8:45 AM on KTLO Radio 97.9 FM and on cable channel 5 is the" live in the boat" radio show with Bink's Guide Service. I am anxious to hear what he has to say and if he is still on the fish. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing and Fall Foliage Report.

The lake level is 553.22 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation for three days. The White River at Newport is at 5-ft. We did receive 1-1/2 inches of rain last night but very little wind. Most of the severe weather went north of us again and we have been very fortunate all year. Others were not so fortunate. It was very windy with big white caps and not a good day to be out on the lake. It was better early but got worse as the day warmed with the cold front coming in. Steven Meador and Joey Penzo weighed-in five fish and won the Bass Cat Invitational with 13.29 pounds. It was better and the bass always seem to bite better in the wind. I do not like it though. Hope they have the tournament on Norfork again soon. The rumor is in three years. The lake has been very busy all of the month of October and it is hard to believe it is almost over. The surface water temperature was 72.5 and the water is stained on both main lake and in the creeks. The ambient temperature is to remain cool for several days and the lake should start it's turnover soon. We are right on schedule for a good month of fishing in November. The fall foliage turned a little color but the wind keeps blowing off the leaves. I thought it might be a complete dud but it might slavage some yet. My burning bush turned red almost over night. I though it was going straight to brown. It is still beautiful here on Norfork Lake no matter how brilliant the colors and Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day and are open all year. We will shut some down as the weather cools and the business slows but that has not happened yet. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and especially welcome Police and Veterans. We like them here.  

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

Scuba Steve with the best ones he caught yesterday on the spoon. Released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 553.03 and is the same as yesterday at this time with 4-5 hours of running one generator. They are really reluctant to let it drop past 553 and it has taken weeks to drop 0.75 feet after the Power company took over control of generation in late September. They will have to completely shut down all day to stop it today but nothing the government does would surprise me. The surface water temperature was 74+ when I went out yesterday afternoon after the Bass Cat Tournament closed for the day. It was a beautiful day with very light winds and I was able to use the jigging spoon and keep it straight up and down in brush without losing any spoons. The lake is getting more and more stained every day.  The fishing was not fast, none were in a feeding frenzy, I did not lose any fish but did catch a few pretty good ones to be released under the dock. It was very nice to be out and most of the boats were off the lake. It rained last night and there were variable amounts around the area. We recieved 0.9 inches here at Blackburns. Some got almost none. They are predicting strong storms on Sunday and Sunday Night with high winds. We will see. I will tighten up my dock cables, triple tie my boats and hope for the best. I do not like wind. We have missed everything all year and it would be a shame to get it now at the end of October. Ambient temperatures are to get near 80 followed by another cold front. Today is nice though and I take it one day at a time. I do not know if 85.75 inches that is leading the tournament is good for a fishing tournament or not. I have caught 20-inch bass with big heads that were long and skinny and did not weigh much and 18-inch ones that were fat and weighed more. I understand the non-contact rules for Covid but an outside weigh-in worked for other tournamnets with no super spreader but I am not an event organizer. I have had both my vaccines and the booster and have put it behind me. I wish them good luck today and hope the weather works for the top 25-tomorrow and am glad they are here and hope they come back. We have a lot of friends with Bass Cat boats. If clean boats made for good fishing they would catch 40-50 pounds a day and I would get none.  Fall foliage has not changed much and the wind tomorrow will not help it any. We have not been near a frost yet and they are still making chlorophyll. There is still time but it is running out.

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

Dave Titus with some of yesterday's catch. One crappie was very large and he also caught some nice bluegill. Image title

The lake level is 553.06 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of running one generator. Since the lake reached the power pool of 553.75 in late September they have dropped the lake about 3/4th of a foot with many chances to drop it much more. If they keep it at this rate we will pay for it in the spring and they will say rain caused the high water. This excuse is not going to fly anymore. We need better management. Maybe the people managing the border can manage the lake. The surface water temperature was 72.5 when I went out yesterday afternoon and it was a little windy but not bad. The condition looks good for the Bass Cat Invitational which starts today and finishes on Sunday. There are 237 boats entered. The Phoenix two weeks ago, the Cystic last week and the Bass Cat today all have had about the same number of boats. It has made for a busy October for Norfork Lake and is a very good time to hold tournaments especially this year when the lake has not started to turn yet and has been at a very stable level. The fishing is  not the best but good fishermen are catching fish but it is not easy. I caught some very nice crappie and a few Kentucky Bass in the 2-1/2 pound range along with several very large bluegill. Just what I was after to take to Tom Kelly's trophy pond. They all swam away quickly. Those Kentucky bass are fat and healthy.  They had eluded me for a week or so but are back. Other people here at Blackburns caught some good ones also but the Bass Catters pre-fishing are pretty much tight lipped. We will see how they do today. The weather looks good for the next couple of days and then a chance of rain on Sunday and Monday with a storm possible. It is to get very windy later and that should make for some better largemouth fishing on the windblown banks. Me, I will be spooning and jig fishing brush as usual attempting to catch bass, crappie, bluegill and an occassional walleye. I release almost all of my fish and do not try and catch huge stringers of fish. Leave some for posterity. The fall foliage is not doing much with the rain and no frost as of yet. The wind this weekend will not help things any but we will see. You will be the first to know. Fishing overall is just fair and could be a challenge for the bass fishermen. I wish them well. 

Norfork Lake Condition, Fishing and Fall Foliage Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns resort and Boat Rental(click here for comments)

Kenny Stengel from Lansing, Illinois with some of yesterday's catch. One of those crappie is very big. Image title

The lake level is 553.11 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 4-hours. The White River at Newport is now 4+ feet. The surface water temperature was 74+ when I went out yesterday and again it was a beautiful day. A little windy but not bad. I again tried to go part way back in a creek to get out of the wind and again the fish were not here. I am getting almost all of my fish on the main lake except for some bluegill. I caught bass, crappie and bluegill and released them under the dock. No big fish. The dock school is getter bigger and the children are having a good time catching them. This has been the best fall for big bluegill in several years. The temperate bass are moving to the wind blown banks at night to feed and then going out and suspend at 50-ft. after sunrise. Some are small but some also are in the 8-10 lb. range. There are not nearly as many as in the past and not very big but some are still there. I guess people will keep killing them until they are all gone. They will get scarce again when it gets cold. The Bass Cat invitational starts tomorrow and then again on saturday with the top 25-having a fish-off on Sunday. There are drastic rule changes due to Covid. You have to have a smart phone and take pictures of them instead of the regular weigh-in and you will qualify acording to length. I do not qualify even though I have a Bass Cat because my flip phone does not take pictures. I have a Hummingbird 4-ID fishfinder but have been meaning to upgrade it Since 1989 but am too poor. A $800 phone is out of the question. I prefer to spend my money on resort improvements and the place is looking good. We are full and mostly are Bass Catters taking advantage of the location, launching and parking facilities and not least the best price on the Lake. We are happy to have them. This has been the busiest October ever here at Blackburns and we appreciate it. A small cold front came through and we will see what it does to the Bass Fishing. It did not affect the temperate bass fishing this morning as Bink is really on them. He is dropping a spoon on their heads and catching a lot at 50-ft. down. I suspect live bait and crank bait trollers will start catching some also. I am catching mostly Kentucky Bass instead of Largemouth and most of them will not qualify for the Bass Cat tournament as all fish have to be 15-inches. Few of the ones that I am catching are over that. That rule may hurt the poundage for the tourny. I am just not finding any big largemouth and smallmouth like a few weeks earlier except in open water on shad and I do not fish that way. Dragging stuff is not my way of doing things. I am addicted to the fish hitting the lure and setting the hook. Anything else is anti-climatic for me but I am not a meat hunter. I have no idea what the poundage will be this weekend but my guess would be about 14-lbs/day. There are a lot of good fishermen out there but I do not think beating the bank will win this unless it gets very windy and some largemouth are on the windblown banks on crankbaits and I suspect the winner will not be from too far away from here. Liability seems to be a big driver in the rules for this tournamnet. They should be letting out a little more water from Norfork soon. 

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

The lake level is 553.16 and has been the same for the last 4-days with less than three hours of running one generator. The White River at Newport is now less than 5-ft. and is about ready to dry up. November is our rainiest month. They need to take it down to 547-48 and hold it there for as long as they can without flooding anybody out. That seems to be a simple and good plan but is too complicated for the government. The creeks are stained green but are clear near the bank and on the main lake you can see your lure down about 5-ft. The shallower creeks are cooling faster at night but are also warming more quickly in the afternoon sun. I am still getting a main lake surface water temperature of 72-73 degrees in the afternoons and the ambient temperature is to remain in the 70's and get even in the high 70's later this week. Trollers are starting to pick up some stripers that are left in shallow water on planer boards with big live bait as predicted earlier with the full moon and after a cold front that blows the plankton to the bank and the shad will follow. They can also be caught from late evening to morning on stick baits. This usually happens in November and may continue into the full moon next month. Nobody can predict when this will happen or if it will happen. It used to happen every year but has not most of the last several due to the absence of most of the big stripers. A 30-40 lb. striper used to be big and now they are bragging about 10-15 and there are few of them. Every striper needs to be released until they make a comeback and people need to quit fishing for them deep. Big schools of large white bass are also scarce but a few are showing up as all of the temperate bass are schooled up together along with the bigger largemouth. Some crappie, walleye and catfish are also with them. Several fish are coming to the light under my dock at night. I am still fishing brush piles and the fish are biting anywhere from 18-32 ft. of brush at various levels of suspension. I am catching no picture fish but some pretty good ones.  Big bluegill are biting as well or better than anything and people are having a lot of fun carching them. They also eat well. There are a lot of minnows and fingerling sports fish back in the creeks near the bank and under docks and the Kentucky bass are after them but not many largemouth. The smallmouth were starting to show up but not many now for some reason. They will as there is a good population of them also. Norfork is a good bass, bluegill, crappie, walleye and catfish lake but not all species bite all of the time. There are getting to be too many gar. I wish the Bass Catters good luck friday and saturday. Blackburns is full of them with people taking advantage of the $59/day cabin rental and the first boat stall being free along with launching on site and ample boat and trailer parking with electrical. We are also very close to the take-off point. We are glad to have them back. They should just stay here. We like them. The fall foliage is not changing much and we will keep you informed. Again, I do not expect a brilliant color this year but It could change. Now browns and yellows. The sumac is even going straight to brown with little red. This is not a good sign.   

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

The lake is in great condition but not much fall color yet. It has been foggy early.Image title

Keith and Don with some of yesterday's catch.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.17 and rising very slowly with absolutely no generation for the last three days. The government is managing the lake about like they are managing the border. The water temperature drops all night with the lows in the early 40's and then warms back up in the sunshine with temperature is the 70's and is hanging in there in the mid 70's. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. Crappie and bluegill fishing is the best followed by Kentucky Bass and Catfish. I had thought the trollers would be picking up a few red meat fish by now with the full moon on Wednesday. Bink found some a few days ago but said it was not easy and it was the first time he had found schools of good sized fish in a long time. If he cannot find them nobody can. He knows where they should be this time of year. There has been no evidence of a fish kill this fall.  I am catching some white bass but they are very small. At least there are some coming back. All of the temperate bass are schooled up together but there are not a lot of them. Hybrids are doing the best. The fish that I caught yesterday were on big brush in 25-30 ft. of water about 12-ft. down right on top of the pile. They were a little over the 10-inch limit but not very big. Keith and Don Katashuk caught some larger ones. There were 212 boats in the Cystic tournament Saturday and I am a little disappointed in the resuts. At least it was better than the Phoenix the week before. Only 65 boats weighed in fish with a total of 216 fish weighing 473 pounds. The big bass was 4.8 pounds. It is still not bad for October. Typically the first of March and starting in the middle of October are the toughest time for bass fishing on Norfork and will continue until the lake turns and clears. November is a good month and Thanksgiving is always a good time to catch fish and April and May are better. Blackburns Has cabins for $59/day with your first boat stall free. You can launch right here, step on the dock and park your trailer in ample trailer parking. We are not huddled up on a hillside with everything jammed up. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. There is not much color for fall foliage yet after the rain and many leaves blew off in the wind. We will see what the next two weeks bring but do not get your hopes up too high. It is always beautiful here though. My burning bush is showing a little color but my Maple is not. 

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

Scuba Steve with some of yearteday's catch released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 553.61 and has dropped 0.4 inches in the last 24-hours with about four hours of one generator running in the afternoon. They are making no effort to drop the lake and are missing a good chance. It is very cloudy with rain all around us but none yet. There is a good chance and we need it badly. If we get some we will see what it does to the fall foliage. The last two times more color was added but it is still mostly brown and yellow. I do not anticipate a very spectacular year but it is always beautiful here. It is to clear out and be a very warm and sunny weekend. We are loaded up with Phoenix Bass Fishermen. They are very tight lipped about fishing but sure do spend a lot of time polishing their boats. I guess if I spent that much I might also but not likely. I spent $2,500 for my Champion Boat ten years ago and forgot to polish it yet but it catches a lot of fish. It is not pretty but it can cook and rides nice also. You will see a lot of them on the lake next week for the Cystic. I went out yesterday in the late afternoon to check things out and tried a brush pile close to Blackburns. The fish were in 30-ft. brush near the bottom and I was using the Blue Ice Baby Shad on a 1/16th ounce jig head, white with red eye. I caught three nice crappie and three keeper bass and came in about an hour. One bass was tagged. All were released under my dock. Those Kentucky Bass are really fat and healthy. One largemouth was about three pouds. The wind finally layed about 5:PM. We will see what this low pressure coming in does to fishing. I expect not much. There are a lot of boats out there for October but I saw no boats pulling overweight children around on chaise lounges or jet skis. The warm weekend might bring some of them out though. The lake overall is in excelent condition and the surface water temperature was 78+ degrees and the water is stained just a bit but very clear near the bank. 

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

The lake level is 553.66 and has risen just a bit since yesterday with one generator running about 3-hours. This would be an excellent time to drop the lake with the dry conditions and November being our rainiest month. The fall foliage is changing and there is a little more color everyday with some reds mixed in. It is not spectacular but the little bit of rain we received helped. The lake surface water was 77-78 yesterday afternoon and is dropping slowly. I went to where the crappie were abundant the day before and they were gone. Tried another place with the same results. I found some on another main lake brush pile and they were on the bottom at nearly 40-ft. along with some bass. That is where the very bottom of the thermocline is and there is some oxygen there. The thermocline starts at 32-ft. and that is where they were. I was getting some fish shallower on brush in 24-26 ft. but not yesterday. The wind was blowing and it was hard to spoon points. One day does not make a trend but I had been catching fish almost at will. When I went out in deeper brush I caught a few crappie, bluegill and a Kentucky Bass but not too many. They were all released under the dock and I watched them swim right into the school. I could see about 4-ft. down in Blackburns Creek and about 6-ft. down on the main lake. It looked like the water had cleared just a little from the day before. Tom Kelly also reported catching bass on the bottom at 40-ft. We will see what today brings. It is very busy here with several good fishermen in and we will see how they do. It would not be much of a challenge if you could just go to the same place and use the same lure everyday. Things change and that is what makes it a challenge. Bass fishermen are starting to catch bigger fish and the top-water bite is getting better. The weather looks to be good for several days. Try a plastic worm on steep dropoffs just as they drop off the ledge. The walleye ghosted me again for the third straight day but I was mostly looking for crappie. The walleye sometimes go out into deep water and suspend this time of year. I know fish bite in the wind but I still do not like it. 

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

The lake level is 553.64 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours with almost no generation. It has been cloudy for three days but we only got 1/2 inch total of rain. There was a storm that went just north of us yesterday afternoon but none here. It rained a little last night but all is gone now and it looks like good weather for the next several days. A little has changed as far as fall foliage is concerned and a little red is showing with the brown and yellow with the sumac and burning bushes getting a little red. The rain, as little as it was, helped the dry conditions. I went out for about an hour yesterday and again caught Kentucky Bass, Crappie and Bluegill. I turned all of them loose under my dock. The school is getting big again after hundreds were caught the last couple of weeks. People are catching bluegill, crappie and catfish off the dock every day. There is good news for tournament bass fishermen. The larger smallmouth and largemouth are biting now and they should do well. The top-water bite , which was producing mostly small fish, now has some larger ones with them. Others are catching them also on the spoon and plastic worms. People just keep catching catfish on spoons. My fish were all caught on brush ranging from 25-32 ft. near the top of the brush and on the bottom just around it. I was usuing both the spoon and jig. The top-water fish can be in any depth of water but seem to still be suspended in the 30-ft. range. A lot of creek minnows and bluegill and bass fry and fingerlings are on the bank early and late and predator fish are feeding on them. I am still not catching much back in the creeks and I keep trying when getting out of the wind. I have not caught a walleye in two days. Blackburns has a lot of good fishermen in and more are coming. There was a 78.8 degree water temperature at 4:PM and the water remains a little stained. I am not seeing any temperate bass being caught of any size but there was a report of some white bass being up in Udall a couple of weeks ago but I have not seen any. Blackburns Still has cabins for $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Why pay more? Our pool is still open and there were several children in there yesterday.  

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

Tom Kelly with a couple of yesterday's catch on a plastic worm on the bluffs near Float creek. All were released. Tom is an excellent fisherman and a conservationalist. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.56 and has dropped 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with nine hours of one generator running. It has remained cloudy again but still not much rain as of yet. We are still very dry. The leaves are falling much more rapidly now from the walnut, maple and oak trees. It is earlier than usual. No color except for yellow and brown. It could change but there is not much chance of it being very spectacular. The hillsides around the lake are changing also but not much on the roadsides.The sumac is not even turning red. It is just too dry. We received just over an inch of rain for the entire month of September. The fishing remains mostly the same except for the smallmouth and bigger largemouth are showing up and it is just in time for the October fishing tournaments. I hope they do well. I like them in the fall after all of the spawn is over. It is much better than in the spring even though they release all of their fish unprotected nests do not last very long with the abundance of bluegill in this lake. The surface water temperature is still 79 in the afternoons and the water remains stained a bit in both the main lake and creeks and is a good color for fishing. I saw some top-water fish yesterday morning and threw a baby spook at them. They were mostly bass but a few very small stripers were with them. About 1in 4 bass were keepers and none of the stripers. They were stockers and about 8-inches long but I was glad to see them. I have not seen a White Bass in several weeks. Usually I get them in early October just outside the brush suspended about 10-ft. from the bottom in 30-ft. of water. This year nothing. Some of the striper fishermen that cannot catch anything are now turning into crappie fishermen. We will see what happens in Novenber when they usually start to show up again. If there are no stripers feeding on shad on the bank after dark in the full moon in November again it is not a good sign. I had hoped some were just hiding, but if they are they are doing it well. I am seeing none of them on shad in open water except the very small ones. I was catching 5-6 pounders accidently but not now.  Bass, crappie, catfish and bluegill remain the best bite. The Kentucky bass population is excellent and they are with the crappie on brush. They are in there for eating and the largemouth and smallmouth are in there for releasing. I went to the Norfork Lake Master Plan public workshop yesterday at the college. It was very well organized and informative. They had three proposals with one that they recommended. The top one was much more drastic and was presented as an alternative to the middle one which was more realistic. The third one was to keep it as it is. There was nothing bad about any of them concerning anything except how the different parts of the lake shore is managed. It changes how different parts of the shoreline are categorized which really reflect how they are actually now. Some of the assumptions made in 1980 which was when the last plan was enacted did not come true. Some areas developed more than others. Most of the changes just made for more wildlife areas while reducing high use areas. Nothing in there was about docks or lake level management. As far as I am concerned there was nothing to worry about in this proposal. It was done professionally but was definitely slanted towards the middle proposal which I also think was the best. Everyone knows that I am not a fan of how the lake level is currently managed but this had nothing to do with this. The people were very professional, courteous and informed. I am glad I went. We have one opening for Bass Cat later this month and are currently full here at Blackburns. We like that. Thank you. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.  No, we are not for sale but about everybody else is. 

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

Chris Crosson and Benito Montez (AKA) Mr. walleye show off some nice ones caught fishing with Bink's Guide service. Image title

The lake level is 554.19 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generators running for about eight hours in the afternoon. The White River at Newport is at 5+ feet and still dropping. The surface water tmeperature was 80-degrees when I went out yesterday afternoon. There were a lot of boats out there enjoying the beautiful weather. The wind was light and the sun was shining. I checked out a brush pile near Blackburns that was holding fish and stayed there for one hour and came back in. I caught six nice crappie and four big bluegill. They were biting the 1/16th ounce jig casting it past the 32-ft. brush and letting it sink into it. I fished from 2PM to 3PM. I had been catching several 2-pound Kentucky Bass there but not today. The divers reported the thermocline is still at 32-feet and probably will not be driven down any more despite the very warm weather starting today for several days. The cooler nights are holding the water at close to the same temperature despite the warm afternoons. The sun is only up for about 1/2 the time now and will get less and less until the lake surface water temperature drops to just below 70-degrees and the turnover will begin. Time change is November 7th and after that is almost always good fishing.  The turn some times happens quickly but mostly over an extended time until it is complete. You can tell when it is finished as the water temperature will be uniform from the surface to down where the thermocline was located. Typically early to mid 30's feet. You cannot tell a thermocline with a fish locator accurately. The line most people see is just where the light stops penetrating the water. The oxygen will also be evenly dispersed to that level and the water is basically homogenous. In the years where the water temperature drops slowly in late September to October this can happen over a couple of weeks but a severe cold front accompanied by winds can drop it more quickly. You can count on it happening sometime in October. You can either scuba dive, use a fish and temp or a camera with a temperature probe to tell exactly. Norfork Lake is Monomictic meaning it only turns once a year. Other lakes do it also in the spring. Here the water warms in the spring until the thermocline forms sometime in may at a little less than 20-ft. That is an excelllent time to fish because there are a lot of fish at that depth. Fall is hard to predict and that is why I always say November is an excellent time to fish Norfork also. There are to be several big fishing tournaments in October this year and it will be interesting to see how the bass fishermen do. It could be challenging later in the month if a windy cold front comes through. I will be out there if at all possible every day. The fall foliage is still ahead of normal and some trees are not turning color and just going to brown on the hillsides. It may be caused by the dry weather but I am not sure. Fishermen coming to Norfork are disappointed in the numbers of big stripers but are pleasantly surprised at the walleye, crappie and bass fishing. Catfishing and bluegill are not bad either. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. Our big pool is still open.  We have individual cabins with no duplexes starting at $59/day.