Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

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Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Mike with some nice ones caught yeaterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.50 and is the same as this time yesterday with very little generation. It looks like they are not going to drop the lake for the winter but they still have a few weeks to wake up before spring. If you do not expect much you do not get much and we are not getting much. The lake is in excellent condition now though and is a perfect level for launching, parking and stepping right onto the dock with brush piles at just right depths.  The water is as clear as it has been in recent years and the surface water temperature is 47-48 degrees depending on how far back in the creeks and close to the bank you are. It did not drop much during the last cool streak and barring a very cold last part of January there should not be a shad kill which starts to happen when the water temperature drops below 40-degrees. The average high temperatures for the area start to rise again in just a few days. The average high now is 43 and just watch until you see a 44 and then spring is on the way. There are a lot of shad out there now. Crappie fishing has picked up a bit and bass fishing is still the best. The striper fishermen are trying hard but are not catching many and the ones that are being caught are almost all small (below 12-lbs) and a 12-15 lb. one is small compared to a couple of years ago standards. I guess they will keep killing them until they are all gone. I will keep fishing for bass, crappie, walleye, bluegill and catfish until they come back if they do. Trollers know of no other way to fish and it is hard for them to learn other methods. It seems that more other species of fish are chasing shad in the absence of big stripers and I suspect they will start catching more bass and crappie trolling and even catfish. White bass are making a little comeback  but the numbers are also not nearly as high as a few years ago. You will start seeing people with pictures of white bass instead of stripers. Hybrid Striper fishing is about the same as it has been and they have not killed off but not nearly as many of them are stocked. They put up a great fight and are fun to catch. I wish more of them were stocked. The bass population is very good here on Norfork. Smallmouth fishing has improved in the last several years and lots of them in the 4-lb. range are caught and in high numbers too. Kentucky bass are at very high numbers and some of them approach 3-lbs. I have seen more largemouth in the 5-6 pound range caught last year than in any year before and I have lived here for 26-years and fished here for more than that. Bluegill are getting bigger and bigger and catfishing has been steady for as long as I can remember. This should be a good spring for fishing. The fish are certainly there and the Game and Fish are resuming their stocking program this year and that is good. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but you cannot get a better grade than the person you are copying from.  

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Scuba Steve with his best fish yesterday. Released.Image title

The lake level is 553.49 and has risen just a bit since yesterday at this time with very little generation. They are doing everything they can to keep all of the area lakes up as high as they can all winter. The lake is pretty clear and getting clearer with just a touch of green. Just right for fishing. The surface water temperature was between 47 and 48 yesterday in the sunshine and did not drop with the cool weather hardly at all. The ambient temperature was in the low 50's when I went out yesterday and the wind was light from the southwest and went calm just before sunset. The fishing overall was just fair but got better after sunset. Bass and crappie were the best bite but that is about all I fish for in the winter except for a few big bluegill for a sandwich. All of my fish went into Tom Kelly's trophy pond and it is ready to go for the spring. The lake in general is in good condition and the fish population is excellent and it has been a good winter for fishing. Lately the numbers have not been high but there are some very good fish being caught everyday. Blackburns are making resort and dock improvements everyday and are in the process of putting a new metal roof on the mobile home cabin #9. After that is finished every building on the property wil have a new roof. We have spent several thousands of dollars on beds and bedding, floors, appliances and dock renovations.  The whole place is in excellent condition. We are in the process of getting all of our boats serviced and ready to go for the spring. All of this is being done again without any price increases for 2012. Come on down and visit. We will not charge you too much. The 300MG internet is very powerful and reaches almost everywhere on the resort. This costs a lot but people really like it. You will too. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Dave Titus with some of his yesterday's catch. Image title

The lake level is 553.47 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with little generation.It has been almost the same for over a month and within one foot for two months. The surface temperature was 46-47 yesterday and has not dropped much with the cool weather. The sun is out and I had almost forgot what it looked like. It is a beautiful day and there are more to come. The wind has moved to the south and is really making a difference in temperatures. It will not be long before the average daily temperatures start to rise and the longer days are helping also. Everybody caught fish yesterday here at Blackburns. Dave Titus reports catching his fish in 45-50 ft. of water suspended just outside brush piles on steep banks. I caught mine on brush in 19-feet of water on a jig over brush. Mike caught his on a main lake point and Tom in Float Creek. All of us were using different techniques.  The Game and Fish have announced a couple of new laws for 2021 for North Arkansas waters. From now on we must pull the plugs and drain live wells on all boats as they leave the launch unless special permits are issued for tournaments. Bull Shoals Lake has taken the three fish limit for Stripers and Hybrid fishing off and it is going to the statewide limit of six. They say it is because they are not managing them on that lake but i suspect it is also because of the numbers of fish. More and more are showing up there with Missouri stocking a lot starting a few years ago. The limit on Norfork is three total.and I would like it lowered to two until the numbers are back. People are now bragging about catching 8-10 pounders when it used to be 30-40 pounders and they keep killing them. I am glad the stocking will resume this year. I am getting calls of people complaining about other businesses raising their rates with out notice and are looking for new places to stay.  That is their business but Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental will not raise their rates this year on anything.  We have almost all repeat business with most being friends and we do not want to see how much money we can get out of them.  People can be very friendly when they are charging you too much and some people do not mind paying too much if they have too much money. You can stay here and donate the difference to Disabled Veterans. Compare prices before you book. January 15th is the date to get your deposit in for the 2021 season to reserve the cabin and boat of your choice. A couple of months are almost booked already. We do not want you to be disappointed and look forward to seeing you again this year. You will like the improvements and what you see when you arrive and at no increased price. Not bad. Call Debbie at 870-492-5115 and she will fix you up. Spring is on the way.   

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Mike Eakle with a few good ones this morning.Image title

The lake level is 553.61 and has risen 1/2 inch in 24-hours with no generation. It looks like that the weather coming from Texas will go south of us again this week. We have been fortunate to miss everything so far this season. It looks like the cool weather will just hold on for a day or two and then get back up to near 50 again early this week. The lake is in good condition with a surface temperature of about 47 degrees. The water is pretty clear and does not need to get any clearer for fishing. Fishing has been slow the last few days but a few good ones are being caught. It is hard to catch them from the sofa. The north wind has been about 5-10 miles per hour and it is cold trying to stay out there in open water. I choose to get out of it and fish brush but both are being difficult. The fish bite for about ten minutes and then quit for two hours. I just enjoy being out there and try to make it at least for a short time every day and have gear for the weather. It is not necessary for me to make plans, load, trailer the boat, launch, park and load back up. I just go to the dock and am fishing in about two minures in Blackburns Creek which is out of the wind most of the time and has good brush piles. I am very thankful to be able to do that almost everyday. Overall fishing has been fair to poor most of last week and cold fronts do not help anything. The new moon is the 13th and the weather warming at the same time should help things. We will see. I like a challenge. If it was easy everyone could do it and they can't. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The lake level is 553.57 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with very little generation. The surface water temperature has dropped to 47-48 with the cooler temperature and the lake is pretty clear. You can see your lure down 5-6 feet and is about as clear as it has been in over a year especially near the bank. The wind was from the northwest at 5-10 yesterday and the ambient temperature struggled to get to 40 if at all. I did see a few boats out there with one trolling out from Cow Point and another couple near the bridges. When you do not hear a report is is not that they are not fishing but that they are not catching any fish. I caught five crappie and three bass and had to work hard for them. No picture fish but a few of the crappie were about 14-inches. My photographer said it was too cold to come to the dock and I do not have a camera on my flip phone and do not know how to take a selfie or a desire to do so. The crappie fishing was slow and I only found them in one place. Bass fishing was worse. I did find some open water fish but they were very small and not woth catching and not biting very well anyway. I was surprised at the number of boats out there. The lake in general is in good condition and the overall fishing yesterday was fair-poor but a few good ones were caught. I will try again today. The days are getting longer and the average temperature will start to climb again soon. Spring is on the way. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Scuba Steve caught some pretty good ones yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 553.74 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours with three hours of generation. They now have all area lakes back up to or above power pool. It looks like there is no intention to drop the lakes before the spring rains. They like to hold and hope and then close down all of the campgrounds and open flood gates and flood everything down stream in early summer. It is not the government's money but the taxpayer's but you would never know and there is no accountability. There will be no brush cutting permits from the shoreline on Norfork lake this year, only Bull Shoals. This makes sense since Norfork Lake was a WPA project to create jobs and they cleared the whole river basin of all standing wood. Bull Shoals was several years after and they finally realized this was not a good practice and left the cover in before flooding the White River. Bull Shoals inherently already has much more cover and Norfork has none that is not man made or placed there. So the government allows the public to cut brush for the fish habitats every year on Bull Shoals and every other year on Norfork. It goes right along with the dam management plan of hold and hope. If it makes sense do the opposite. The Arkansas Game and Fish are promoting fish habitat and are collecting Christmas Trees at certain locations and putting them in the lake for the fish. Now this makes sense and I am surprised the COE of Engineers does allow this. They really like control. I am glad that there is a buffer zone around the lake protecting the lake from animal confinements, herbicides, pesticides, row crops, septic systems and cutting trees for a view. This really helps to keep the water clean and I hope this never changes. There is one exception to this rule and that is Mallard Point. They allow ownership to the water there. The reason for this is that it was necessary to bribe government officials with special treatment and ability to buy this property before the Norfork River was flooded in order to get the dam approved for building. Nothing has changed in almost 80 years. It was a little cooler yesterday but was still ok with an ambient temperature in the high 40's and is still cooler today. We received a total of about 1/4 of an inch of rain yesterday afternoon about 4:Pm and last night. The rain in the afternoon was not enough to rain out the fishermen and the fishing was pretty good. I caught bass, crappie, bluegill and one short walleye. The keeper fish were released in Tom Kelly's trophy pond. The best bite was just before the rain at 4:PM and I was using the spoon and jig in brush at 25-ft. The fish are roaming and are not in one special place. The surface water temperature is still over 50 and the water is clear, especially near the shore. It is to warm back up later this weekend to about 50 and be cool until then. It is cloudy and dreary now with light wind as I head out to fish. I do not have to leave here to go on vacation and feel I am on one everyday as soon as my work is done on resort improvements. It is looking good here at Blackburns and there will be no price increases this year where your first boat stall is free. If you are in the area stop by and check us out. We are open all year.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Mike with a couple of pretty good bass caught on the Bink's Spoon and released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 553.64 and has risen about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation. The heavy rain south of us in the White River Basin last week is holding the river up at Newport for a bit until it works it's way out. They are holding all of the area lakes just about at the power pool level. The surface water temperature was 51 degrees with sunny skies and light wind with an ambient temperature of 55-degrees when I went out yesterday.  Bink reports he found a feeding school of temperate bass and caught all three species on his 1/2 ounce white with red throat spoon vertical jigging. They were in 40-ft. of water near the bottom. The largest fish was a sriper at 14-lbs. and is pretty big now days. He released all fish on site to let them grow. I am seeing a lot of boats near the bridges trolling but not many fish being caught there. Striper fishermen all seem to covey up there in the winter for some reason. They are really trying hard to catch fish and are fishing for a couple of days or more before finding any. I think the water temperature is still too high for the stripers to get lethargic and move to the main lake just off the channel near deep water and get lock law. I am still seeing schools on flats in 40-ft. of water on shad and moving. I am fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill on brush in 20-30 ft. of water and the bite was definitely better yesterday than the few days before. I am not catching any walleye at all now for some reason. They were just outside the brush a couple of feet off the botton but not now. I have caught one short one only this week but bass fishing is still good and crappie are improving with the bigger ones starting to show up again. This is a typical winter for fishing but the water temperature is holding up there a little longer than usual. It looks like the weather is going to deteriorate starting tonight but I have the gear to deal with it and will be out there every day. Just keep the ice away. The lake level and clarity is just right for fishing and the lake overall is in excellent condition and there are lot of fish in it.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Tom Kelly with a nice one caught and released yesterday. Tom is one good fisherman and sportsman. He caught more too. Image title

The lake level is 553.51 and is about the same as this time yesterday. They have kept the level the same for about a month and it looks like that is where they want it to be going into the spring where we are one big rain away from starting to affect parking and launching for day users and campers. Nobody seems to know why they will not draw it down. It is a good level now for fishing and we all hope it stays that way. The ambient temperature was in the 50's and there was no wind on a sunny day when I went out yesterday. The surface water temperature was just above 50 and it was about as nice of a January day as you could ask for. There were few other boats out there and the fishing was not the best for me. I caught two keeper bass and one nice crappie in two hours of fishing. The overall fishing has been slow for a few days but some good ones are still being caught. Mostly bass and crappie but a few trollers are catching some stripers in the 6-9 lb. range and hybrids about 6-lbs. but not very many. They are still killing what is left of the big stripers and soon they will be bragging about catching 6-8 pounders instead of 30-pounders of a few years ago. Some are already doing this. I guess meat hunting is more important than sport fishing. At least the stocking program is to resume this year and that is good since the stripers and hybrids are semi-put and take and do not reproduce in the lake. Hopefully we do not have another striper kill in late summer this year. Some schools of white bass are showing up in the 1-1/2 lb. range and that is good as they were also scarce for the last couple of years. They reproduce and grow fast in Norfork, are easily caught and fun to catch. They are the go to fish when others are not biting and we need them. Nobody seems to know why they died off but they are coming back. Hybrid fishing has been about normal but will hurt a bit with none being stocked this year. Other species in Norfork are high in numbers and size and are very healthy. It looks to be a very good spring for fishing on Norfork so far. The many walleye that were just short this year should be legal this spring and the bass are doing very well with many people practicing catch and release. I have seen more five and six pound bass caught this year than I have seen in many years of fishing Norfork. Smallmouth fishing has also been excellent. The shad population is about right so everything should have enough feed unless we have a big shad kill and it does not look like that so far with water temperatures near 50 in January. Anything could happen but things look good so far and I am enjoying winter fishing every day. Kentucky Bass population numbers and size are also good and they make excellent eating and that is what they are there for. Same for bluegill. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

James with a couple of pretty good ones released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 553.48 and has risen just a bit since this time yesterday with very little generation. None since yesterday afternoon but they just started again. The lake has cleared in the last three or four days and is very clear near the shore. The surface water temperature was right at 50 when I went out yesterday and the wind was from the east at about 5-10 MPH. The fishing was not the best but a few were caught, mostly bass. They were not giant but nice sized. The ambient temperature was in the early 50's and it was a nice day and mostly sunny. It was very foggy this morning and is just now burning off. It is to be nice for a few days and then cool off again. I saw four other boats out there all evening and three were from Blackburns. There was one fishing open water in front of the docks at Mallard Point. The rest of us were fishing main lake point brush. The live bait striper fishermen that I have talked to are looking hard and long for schooling fish and when they find some feeding they catch a few very quickly and then they are gone. Most of the ones that they are killing are getting smaller and smaller. It is nice and warm again today and we will see what happens. It is nice to just be out there. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

This is what one of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Brushpiles looks like on the graph. We will show you where they are when you get here. Image title

Winter Grub Bass Fishing on Norfork Lake by John Bornhop. Released on the spot.Image title

The lake level is 553.33 and has dropped about 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with continuously running both generators. That is good. The lake is at a perfect level and color now for fishing and we are catching fish here at Blackburns everyday. It has been cool but that should change tomorrow and for several days after that with highs in the 50's. The water surface temperature is in the high 40's and it is stained a bit and you can still see your lure down about 4-5 feet. Bass are the best bite with fish both being caught by setting your boat in about 45-ft. of water and casting as far as you can to shore on steep banks and letting your grub drop to the botton and using your rod to keep it coming towards the boat and keep it dropping as much as possible.  You may have to let out a little line as it drops. Watch for the line to twitch and set the hook. Several are also on brush from 20-35 feet and can be caught on the spoon straight down in the brush. I do not fish open water much but some are probably on shad. Crappie fishing has slowed some but some nice ones are still being caught. I am usually catching more big ones this time of year but we will see what happens. Big bluegill fishing has also slowed and I did not catch a catfish yesterday and tried pretty hard. I am surprised they kept biting for so long this year. A few white bass are showing up just outside of brush but they are small compared to the past. Fishing overall is just fair but some good ones are being caught everyday and everybody are catching fish. I like it that the days are geting longer. We have some nice people in at Blackburns and are open all year. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught on the Bink's Spoon and released on site by John Bornhop. Image title

The lake level is 553.36 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running for several hours. They did stop generating when the rain started last night and have not started up again. We received about 1.3 inches of rain and the creeks are running slowly. The ground is saturated now.The water surface temperatue is just under 50 and the lake is a little stained but a good color for fishing. Everybody caught fish yesterday with some very nice bass caught and released. The bass fishing is good now on both the spoon and grub and is the best bite. I was the only one fishing crappie and caught some but not a lot. It is typical winter fishing and the lake in general is in excellent condition. It is hard to believe January is here already and we here at Blackburns are working hard on making improvements and you will like what you see when you get here. You will also like that there will be no price increases this year and your first boat stall is still free. The money you save by staying here could be donated to the disabled Veterans. We have a cabin open now with one leaving today and you would be welcome. The weather is to warm back to the 50's early next week. The hard work putting in brush piles is really paying off now with fish on most of them, mostly bass, crappie and bluegill. Spring will be here before you know it.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Dave Titus is back and catching crappie. Image title

The lake level is 553.41 and has dropped about an inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running about eight hours. We missed the heavy rain that was predicted so far and most of it went south out of Norfork's watershead. I measured about one inch total in the last three days and it all sunk in with no runoff. It is not over yet but nothing serious should happen tonight and it is to clear and warm back up early next week to the 50's. The surface water temperature is about 48-49 depending on when and where you check it and is about normal for this time of year. When the surface temperature drops below 40-degrees the threadfin shad start to stress and the fishing gets easier. This does not happen every year and I prefer it not happen. I like a good steady supply of both gizzard and threadfin shad and do not think there can be too many. Too many does make fishing much more difficult but that just creates a challenge. It is fun to catch fish when nobody else can and the game fish have all they want to eat all of the time and all fish are healthy and fat. We have a good supply of shad on Norfork lake now. The local wildlife biologists indicate normal stocking will resume this year and that they have requested 154,000 striped bass, 44,000 hybrid striped bass and will be operating the walleye nursery pond this year. They almost always get what they request and this is very good news and a great start to getting the big striper population back on track.  What we do not need is high water for an extended period of time in late August or early September causing low oxygen and fish kills on the larger stripers. Otherwise we will become an 8-10 lb. striper lake. We are almost there now. They might be able to sell that to some pilgrims but people that have been here and experienced the great striper fishing in the past are not buying it. I sure hope it comes back. I would like to see the limit dropped to two fish per day instead of three and outlaw trolling umbrellas and promote catch and release until they come back. Bass fishing continues to be good on grubs on steep banks near deep water. Crappie fishing has slowed but some nice ones are being caught and the hybrid stripers are hanging in there. I am glad we have them. They take stress better than stripers. The White Bass are making a comeback and needed to. Catfish are still being caught. December can be out coldest month here and we will see what 2021 brings. I am looking forward to it. There are a lot of fish in Norfork and I am catching some evey day. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Tom Kelly with a couple of nice bass released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 553.52 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with about 4-hours of generation. We are to get three inches of rain Wednesday and Thursday and it would have been nice if the lake was lower before this. They have had weeks to do so but refuse. The surface water temperature is just about 50 degrees and has dropped slowly. The weather was nice yesterday with little wind and all people caught fish. Everybody released their fish under the dock and none were killed. There are a lot of them under the dock now. The water is still stained a little but not bad. Good for fishing. Bass, crappie, bluegill, white bass and a small striper about 9-lbs were caught.  They were mostly on or just outside brush at 20-40 ft. and hitting the spoon but some nice bass were caught on the grub near the bottom in 30-feet. It was nice to have light wind and calm waters.The days are getting longer now and that is good. We are getting a lot of work and improvements done around Blackburns getting ready for spring. You cannot wait for it to warm up as it gets very busy here in March. We will see what heavy rain does to fishing but it is dry and should not raise the lake much unless we get a lot in the watershead north of us and they completey shut off generation like they usually do when it rains. It should be ok but if we were at 548 and it raised 5-feet we would be where we are now after the rain instead of 558. They like to keep us one big rain away from causing trouble. It must be fun for them. Otherwise they would not have to do it. The lake right now is in excellent condition for fishing.  

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

James Soltysiac with a couple of big fat ones caught yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 553.62 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours with no generation. They just keep holding for no reason. The surface water temperature is near 50 and the water is stained a bit and just right for fishing. It was a little windy yesterday but not bad. It was easy to get out of it. There was a good bite for bass, crappie and walleye on brush anywhere from 18-ft. to 40-ft. on the spoon. Blackburns has several fishermen in and they all caught fish. All of our cabins were full with people taking advantage of the lowest prices in the area and free boat stall. We are open all year. Bass and crappie fishermen are really catching some nice fish.   It has been warm for several days and is cooling some with rain scheduled for Wednesday. Maybe the clouds will cover the big moon. Blackburns people are busy making improvements and will have no price increases next year. You will like what you see when you get here and we will continue to be the best value in the Ozarks. We have a lot of repeat customers and do not want to charge them too much. Your first boat stall will continue to be free unless you bring your own pontoon. We have 11 of them to rent with several of them being fishing pontoons. It is hard to believe it is almost January already and spring will be here before you know it but we have a lot of fish to catch before then. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

One very nice crappie caught on the Bink's spoon yesterday in the 65+degree weather. Caught bass and Hybrids also.Image title

The lake level is 553.53 and is still rising slowly with one hour of generation. It does not look like the level gauge on the White River at Newport is working properly but there is not much water there. Why they are keeping all of the area lakes up this high in the winter is anybodies' guess. Most likely a lack of foresight. It most certainly is not because of rainfall. The lake is at a good level for fishing now though with brushpiles at perfect depth. There are still some people out there targeting the big stripers that are left and catching and killing very small ones less than 10-lbs. I guess they will not quit until they are all gone. I sure hope covid does not inhibit stocking this year. If we have high water and low oxygen again this year striper guides had better take up crappie and bass fishing  I had to make a quick trip up north and visited a friend in Kansas City and he took me fishing. The lake was very near and was called Hillsdale Reservoir. It was not great big but nice sized. It was just a little over 50-ft. deep and the surface water temperature was in the mid 30's. We caught walleye, crappie and white bass but no largemouth. It was the first time that I had fished anything but Arkansas area lakes in several years and was fun. Nice lake and was not crowded but I would not drive that far to fish it.  I do miss the fly in trips to Northwest Ontario for walleye that I used to take almost every year before i moved here but do not miss the black flies and mosquitoes. Having none here was a major reason for me relocating 25 years ago.  It is great to be outside at dark and not have a cloud of mosquitoes and black flies on you in the summer. We here on Norfork Lake are very fortunate where you cannot walk on our water or drill holes in it. The surface temperature was 50 on the main lake when I went out yesterday afternoon. I caught crappie and bass and even caught one keeper walleye. All of Blackburns cabins are full now but we will have one opening starting tomorrow. Several fishermen are in but also construction people and others visiting family. The weather has been beautiful with above average highs most of the time with a few cool days mixed in. The water is stained a little but a good color for fishing. Fishing overall is just fair with bass fishing being the best. A few hybrid stripers are being caught in the 5-lb. range and some crappie. Every once in a while a walleye is being caught but not nearly as many as earlier. There were a few trollers chugging around yesterday but I did not talk to them to see if they caught any. I am not into trolling. Most people were bass fishing. Bink caught some nice ones. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

I just had some people just cancel a vacation this week because they had a trolling motor that would not self-deploy and it was the holiday and they could not get anybody to work on it. I asked if it could be manually deployed and they did not know. I do not know much about self-deploy but I remember when I was deployed overseas and I did not like that very much. People do not have to know anything about fishing anymore just buy your way into it. What you need is a live scope to find the fish and a locator with 3-D side imaging and gps that puts your boat in auto pilot and has a remote and automatically take you to a desired location. The trolling motor must self-deploy and have a so called anchor or spotlock that keeps you in one place all the time even if the wind is blowing. A remote is also necessary so you do not have to get out of the boat seat or have to pull the trolling motor in or out of the water. Then you can locate fish and drag an umbrella through them until a fish bites.  They need to take it a little farther and have self-deployed rods and reels into a rod holder that automatically reel in fish with a robotic arm that swings them into the live well that automatically sets water temperature and oxygen level. The fish locator must find the fish automatically and interface with the trolling motor to stay on it no matter where it goes and sets the boat speed so the umbrella is constantly on top of the fish. This way the so called fisherman does not have to do anything except sit in tha captain's seat take a video of his catch so he can brag about it. He does not have to know anything except make them bite and nobody has figured that out yet but some are much better than others. I catch a lot of fish and do not have any of these things. I still use a marker buoy to mark brush piles and let my line out to the bottom and reel it in one turn for 2-feet to set my depth depending on my reel ratio. Nothing compares to the initial bite, setting the hook, bringing a fish in on light line, catching fish when nobody else does and letting them swim away. I will never cancel a fishing vacation because my trolling motor will not self-deploy. There must be a manual way to get them down. My goodness.  Trolling for fish is hit and miss anyway. It is like carpet bombing.  I use mine to stay in and out from the bank or on top of brush without using my big motor. I fished for years with neither a trolling motor or a fish locator and did quite well and nobody even heard of remotes. We had to get up to change the channel. Knowing when to go, where to go, what to use for bait and how it is presented will always be the most important. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Two of several caught yesterday and released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 553.51 and has risen a little less than an inch in the last 24-hours with about two hours of generation. The new news is that they have dropped the White River at Newport to 3+ feet and they can barely launch a river boat there. It looks like they will run the river completey dry before they drop the area lakes for the winter. They are determined to keep them up as high as possible for as long as possible in order to make them flood next spring and early summer. This is worse than incompetence. The ambient temperature was in the low 60's, surface water temperature 53+, visibility was about 5-feet and the wind was from the south at about 10-15 MPH when I went out yesterday and the fish were biting. I saw no other boats on the lake. I was catching bass, bluegill and crappie fast and then the wind shifted to the northwest, increased in velocity with big white caps and it got black in the west. It took just a few minutes for the storm to blow through with some heavy rain and then the sun came out. The temperature dropped about 20-degrees and the fish stopped biting. I mean completely stopped. I ducked into an empty dock stall until it was over, fished about thirty minutes until sunset and then came in. I ended up catching about 10 crappy and a half dozen bass and a couple of very large bluegill. Still no walleye. It is to get very cold tonight  and cool tomorrow and then warm again the day after Christmas. This cold weather should really help the bass fishing but the moon getting bigger and will be full on the 29th and the high pressure just getting here might not help things. One thing you can be sure of is the cold fronts do not help anything but fishing gets better and better until the next ones gets here. Cloudy days with a light south wind, no moon and the lake rising slowly are my favorite. The days are getting longer finally. The lake overall is in excellent condition. I am not seeing as many schools of shad as I was.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught yesterday on the 1/4 ounce Bink's Spoon in 30-feet of water on brush. Image title

The lake level is 553.44 and is stable with very little generation. They are holding all of the area lakes up except Table Rock which is still dropping and keeping the White River at Newport almost dry at 7-feet. Why? Nobody knows and there is no accountability just incompetence. It is a good thing it has been dry. It was windy on the main lake yesterday and is again today with cold weather coming for Christmas and then warming again right after. The surface water temperature is hanging in there at about 54 degrees and the lake is stained a little but you can see your lure down about 5-feet if it is a light colored one. The lake in general is in good condition and fishing is just fair with bass and crappie being the best bite. A few temperate bass are being caught but very few have any size and people are fishing hard and long to find them. Sometimes two or three days to find one feeding school. I sure hope this Covid goes away so the game and fish can get back to their regular routine of stocking. With the increased fishing pressure, fishermen learning how to catch them trolling unbrellas and live bait, and low oxygen kills in late summer the big ones are rapidly decreasing and getting smaller. I have been catching several spooning just outside brush piles but most are under 20-inches. We can get the big ones back with good stockings and no high water for several years. I am releasing all red meat fish no matter the size and not fishing deep water for them. It does not look like we will get back to where we were for several years but I would like it if we could. I caught crappy yesterday and will try for bass today. Walleye are eluding me as of now but I have released litterly hundreds of them this year so I at least know some are there. The undersized ones numbers are high but more and more larger ones are being caught every year. A cold front is coming through and we will see what it does to the fishing with the moon getting bigger. At least the days are now getting longer and that is good. Blackburns has two cabins not rented now and would welcome your visit. Better than setting on the sofa and you can social distance and not get near anyone. Your first boat stall is free and all cabins are individual with no duplexes and all have covered porches. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The lake level is 553.48 and has not changed very much in a couple of weeks with little generation and they are holding the White River at 7+ feet and it is almost dried up and the area lakes are being held as high as they can for as long as they can so there will be high water again this spring and summer. The surface temperature was 54 again when I went out with Bink's yesterday. You could see your lure down about 5-feet. The lake clarity is about the same whether you are near Blackburns or in Big Creek.  We were checking out different places and different methods of fishing. We went to a steep bank part way back in a creek near deep water used the grub for bass and caught a few and then tried spooning brush anywhere from 17-40 feet of water and caught more bass. It slowed and we went to open water fishing in about 35-40 feet of water and found some scattered fish but no big schools. Sometimes they were near the bottom and sometimes 25-feet down. We did not want to fish deep water and kill any caught fish. We caught two stripers, two white bass and a hybrid in about one hour. One fish was a striper on one side and a hybrid on the other. I have not seen very many of those. We released all fish all day immediately after catching and did not get any picture fish. It was a beautiful day with a high near 60 and variable winds from about 5-10. Pretty good for near the end of December. The shortest day of the year is now over and we are headed in the right direction. After January 1st. spring is on the way. We talked to some people trolling for stripers and they said they had been fishing for three days and had caught one fish over 20-inches and one hybrid. I still have not caught a walleye for over two weeks. That was really what we were looking for except for when bass fishing. I will try for some crappie today. It is to cool Christmas day and then warm again. I am not catching a lot of fish in brush like I was earlier and the fish sometimes bite on a spoon and sometimes not but that is not new news. It happens this time every year. The water temperature needs to drop about 3-4 degrees to really get the winter bass going well. They are only fair now but bass are the best bite on the lake presently. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught and released under the dock yesterday. This was the biggest.Image title

The lake level is 553.48 and is stable with no generation for almost 24-hours. It has been in the 553's for a month and it looks like that is where they are going to keep it and not draw it down again this winter. Maybe it will change if they need electricity in the Southwestern Power area and it does not rain much but it seems that they want the water level high going into the spring if they possibly can and blame high water on the rain which everybody knows will come except for the Corps. Their motto it still hold and hope and then open the gates. The surface water temperature is still almost 53 degrees and has only dropped 10 degrees in the last month and has dropped very slowly but steadily. It is now at winter bassin temperature and there were several boats out there yesterday taking advantage of the mild temperatures and no wind. Several people caught fish and everyone here at Blackburns caught several. The people still fishing for stripers in deep water also caught some fish on live bait in the 8-10 lb. range and seemed proud to do so. I guess they will be happy when they are all gone but I will not be. It has not been that long ago when a few 40-pound stripers were caught and a 30-pounder was common and now they are killing and taking pictures of fish less than 10-lbs. It is not impressive. You cannot pretend that bringing up fish that are 50-60 down will survive. Just do not fish for deep fish until they come back. There will be plenty of top-water fishing in a few months and they can be released. Learn how to catch other fish until then.  I Iike the fact that Norfork has so many different varieties of fish and brings in fishermen from all over with different wants. When one species is not biting very well you can catch others. That is a good attraction for the area.  20-years ago it was hard to catch a good walleye and now they are common and the numbers are on the rise. It was about in 1998 when diving was much more popular than it is now on Norfork that there was a year-long fishing tournament at the dive shop. Only one keeper walleye was speared that whole season. Now with the reduced visibility due to the high water and dive shops closing due to low numbers of divers, the ones left on Norfork are doing much better now with the increased fish population and would come back if the visibility came back. We need several normal water level years and the resumption of fish stockings to bring back the striper fishermen and scuba divers and the elimination of Covid to bring back the people in general.  The overall fishing on Norfork is just fair-good and bass fishing is the best with crappie and bluegill next. Some red meat fish are being caught but they are trolling miles to find them with Hybrids about as big as the stripers. I am glad we have them. I have not caught a keeper walleye in a week and am out there every day. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

People ask about Black Nosed Crappie. Here is a couple of views showing the black lines from the front of the dorsal fin to the nose.Caught yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.43 and is the same as it was yesterday at this time. They are generating just what is coming in from the river and nothing more and keeping the White River at Newport at a little over 9-feet. Nobody can figure out why they are doing this and are not likely to find out since there is no accountability. The surface water temperature was just under 54 and the ambient temperature was about 50 when I went out yesterday. The wind came up in the afternoon when the front came through, layed down after then and is supposed to get windy again later. You can get out of it sometimes but the wind blows through the old river channels no matter which way it is coming from and that is where I like to fish this time of year. It makes it hard to see your line and tell when you have a bite for bass, especially in the winter,  and when that happens I switch to crappie fishing. At least you can drift back and forth over the brush piles with your jig. I found some Arkansas Black Nosed Crappie, caught a few along with some small white crappie and came in. When you get into some small crappie it seems that is all that is biting there and the ones that are the same sized are schooled in the same place. The sides of the mouth are paper thin or thinner and you will lose the big ones if you are not carefull or happen to hook them in the top of the jaw. They will not live if you catch them in much if any water that is over 20-feet down. I saw on TV where people fishing salt water had this device that took the fish back to the same level that they were caught from and released them right away before the bends kills them. This might work for our catch and release people that are fishing deep water. Crappie caught in 25-35 feet of water look like their eyes will pop out and never make it so if I am not keeping any fish I simply do not fish deep water even though it may cut down on the numbers caught. It is cloudy with light winds and a temperature of about 50 now and a good time to go fish. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental is set up for fishing and is your go to fishing resort. We have different sized boat stalls for different sized boats and your first boat stall is free and have two fish cleaning stations. All cabins have big covered porches and there are no duplexes.  We are out there almost everyday and will let you know what is going on on the lake before you get here.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 553.42 and is the same as yesterday with very little generation. All of the area lakes are either stable or rising slowly except Table rock which is dropping so they can protect Branson Landing from flooding next spring. The surface temperature was exactly 54 and the lake looked stained but you could see your lure down about five feet when I went out yesterday. It was sunny with light winds and a very nice day. I saw four boats out there and three were from blackburns. Fishing was slow but everyone caught fish. Mostly crappie. They were in 30-ft. of water on brush. The sides of their mouth are paper thin and you have to bring them in very slowly and use the net. I use true turn or Mr. Crappie hooks to try and catch them in the upper jaw but it does not always work. I like the #4 red ones. Jig heads are usually straight hooks and there is not much you can do about where you catch them. We are catching mostly black nosed crappie for some reason now and were catching the big white ones. Most of the black nosed ones are stocked which shows how important the stocking program is. I sure hope it gets back to normal next year after the covid vaccine gets to everybody. Bass are not stocked and seem to have a good population with several big ones. We are getting more and more 4-lb.smallmouth and several people are now releasing them. Releasing big fish is better than stocking little ones. More and more people are realizing the low numbers of big stripers and are starting to release the ones they are catching instead of taking pictures of dock floors full of dead small ones and bragging about them. This is good and should help the numbers and size to improve in the next few years if they do not let the water level get too high and hold it there all summer and the stocking program resumes and increases. Until then I will keep no red meat fish and not fish for them in deep water. Venting them does not work. They will go down after doing so but die anyway. Crappie are another species that cannot take coming out of deep water either. 20-ft. is about the max for them. I quit fishing for them in deep water after I have caught all that I want to keep and that is not very many. We have a good population of big crappie in Norfork and I want it to stay that way. I caught no picture fish yesterday but Mike did. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

We kept the catfish. The bass go under the dock. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.43 and is just about what it was at this time yesterday with generation for just a few hours. They are making no effort to drop the lakes. Five of the last six years they have allowed the lakes to get high in four of them they did not drop the lake in the winter. In 2018 they dropped it to 545 and it stayed at normal level all year with several feet of extra capacity. 2017 was nobody's fault with the huge rain in March. That was a horrible year for everyone. It just took too long to get it back down.   When they let it stay at over 553 all winter there is only a few feet of surge left until problems start. Parking, road access and launching starts to be affected at about 560 for several places. One big rain can do that. 565 is manageable but inconvenient. Keeping the White River at Newport this low does not help anybody. Minor flood stage there is 23-feet. You cannot let the government run anything. They need to disband the Corps of Engineers and hire good managers to oversee private companies to run things. They do not clean rest rooms, paint, or do any maintenance any way. It is all contracted out. They do not even manage the gates at the campgrounds. As far as I can see they ride around in new pickup trucks. They flood out their own campgrounds and open spillway gates almost every early summer. Spillway gates do not generate any electricity and the water is wasted. Closed camgrounds do not generate any revenue.  The whole operation is just managed very poorly. The lake now is at a very good level and could remain so if we have a drought. That is about the only way. They quit generating every time it rains to maximize the effect. Who ever come up with the 12-foot rule at Newport should be strung up and they are not even getting to that level now. It is now just over nine feet and was under eight a couple of days ago. It was very cool with a cold wind when I went out yesterday. The surface water temperature was in the low 50's and the ambient temperature struggled to get to 40. It is now time for winter bassin'. Look for high river channel banks with deep water near and a ledge a few feet from shore. Cast your 3-inch grub as far to the banks as you can cast. Bink uses a 1/4 ounce jug head and I use a 3/16 but I fish closer to brush than he does and do not want my lure to sink as fast. There is just more wood close to the bank where some fish are and I do not get snagged so much. Keep the lure sinking as much as possible and let out line if you need to. Nothing else. Watch your line and look for the twitch and set the hook. You will not feel the bite. If you do not set the hook he will jump and spit and be gone. Use a net and do not try to pull them up over the side like they do on TV. The same thing goes for crappie. If they are hooked on the side of the paper thin mouth they will go pop and also be gone. Very few crappie jump but some do. Fishing this time of year requires special skills and more fishermen get shut out. The cat fish continue to bite for some reason. All three different kinds. I am out there everyday and there are very few other boats. It is nice to have the lake to yourself. I like that. I fish for what is biting and do not enjoy chugging around for hours looking at my graph for open water fish, finally find some, have a fast bite for a couple of minutes and then they are gone by the time you get your first fish in. I have not seen a decent striper in a month and it is a good thing we have hybrids. If people do not quit killing small stripers under 10-lbs we will not have any left. Those are even too small. Let them grow.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 553.45 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with generation for about six hours. It was cold yesterday with highs in the low 30's but there was little wind so it was not too bad. It is a little better today but not much and the wind is about 5-10 from the north and cold. There is a high pressure moving in and it looks to warm up quite a bit later this week and next week and to reach 60. The electric sox work well but it is hard to cast with big gloves on but I have lived in a lot colder places than this. It is easier to spoon straight down with a bait caster. The last few years it seems that December has been our coldest month rather than January. I will be glad when the days start getting longer instead of shorter and that is only a few days away. The surface temperature is dropping and is now about 54 depending on where and when you check it. I have a report that the Bass Cat Invitational has ben moved to October but the exact dates have not been published. it has not been held here for several years and it will be good to have them back.  They should just stay here at their home but business is business. The Mountain Home Chamber should work on this. I found a brush pile with a lot of crappie on it and caught a few and came in. It was in about 20-ft. of water and the brush came to about 10-feet from the surface and the fish were right on top of it. I was using the 1/8th ounce spoon straight down. There were no other boats out there. I also caught another nice catfish on my throw line. It only has five hooks but is producing well. We will see what today brings. The lake is in excellent condition but needs to drop about five feet going into the spring. Things seem to work out a lot better when they do that and it does not hurt anybody.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught on the Bink's spoon and released under my dock. Caught some crappie and bluegill also but not high numbers. Image title

The lake level is 553.54 and has dropped about one inch in the last 24-hours with two generators running for about six hours. The White River at Newport is now a little less than eight feet and was below seven. The surface water temperature was 55 even when i went out yesterday and I saw no other boats all the time I was out. It was cool but very little wind and I spooned two different brush piles and caught bass, crappie and bluegill. The cool weather will not raise the water temperature any time soon but it is to get near 60 next week.  The fish were all in about 20-feet of water and right on top of the brush. I did not catch high numbers but some very nice fish. Our striper fishermen went home and caught a few hybrids and small white bass but were disappointed. They fished hard and were very determined. I was sorry for them but I do not know if they will come back or not. I showed them what I was catching but that is not what they wanted. The stripers that they did catch were about 5-pounds. The hybrids were just a little bigger. I am catching some bass that big. The Game and Fish are reporting that some fish are getting a fungal disease or water molds on Norfork. I am fishing and catching fish everyday and have not seen any. I have in the past though. The ones that I am catching are very healthy and fat. I think it has something to do with how they are handled after catching and releasing but am not sure. The tagged one that I caught last week was very healthy and had obviously been caught or netted before. It is cold with the high to barely reach 40 but it will be ok if the wind does not blow. The lake in general is in excellent condition and fishing overall is just fair but some nice ones are coming in every day. One bluegill that I caught yesterday was very large and fun to catch. Sandwich size. I turned the bass and crappie loose under the dock. The catfish are still biting and that really surprises me. They are usually in open water by now especially the flatheads.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The lake level is 553.67 and is up 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They have not generated for several days and the White River at Newport is at 7+  feet and almost dried up. They just started generating but I bet that will not last long. Why will they not drop the lakes in the winter? Nobody knows. There needs to be some accountability. The lake is at a perfect level for fishing now with brush piles at good levels and parking and launches the same. The lake surface water temperature is dropping with the weather cooling and the cold precipitation falling into it. We did not get much, about 1/4 inch total.  It started as sleet, changed to big snow flakes, went to rain, and then alternated from snow to rain everytime it started to accumulate. There is just a little on the north hillsides now and should be gone by noon. It is just to get into the lower 40's today but it is sunny out and not windy. I went out for a bit yesterday and caught a few but no picture fish. It was pretty miserable but it could have been worse if the wind had been blowing. I worked on the dock and went out between rains but there were not many betweens. Bass crappie and bluegill continue to be the best bite and the lake is clearing. We are to get a little more weather later this week and then warming up again. I have my cold weather gear all out and charged up and ready to go. Some years I do not even need it but it looks like it may be necessary this year. As long as there is no ice and the wind does not blow everything will be fine. This is one fine place to live. It is time for winter bass and crappie fishing for me. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 553.53 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation. The White River at Newport is now 7+ feet and is about to dry up and they still will not let any water out. Something is wrong here. The lake surface water temperature is dropping and should continue to do so with the much cooler weather. This will not hurt the fishing at all. It is now in the mid 50's depending on where you take it. The creeks cool faster in the winter and warm more quickly in the spring. The water is stained a bit but you can see your lure down at least 5-feet. The mixed precipitation has not arrived here yet but looks like we will get something. Some snow will obviously drop the water temperature. I would like it to get to about 52 degrees and stay there. The fishing was a little better yesterday with people that had not caught anything for three days catching a couple of decent hybrids. They were about to give up. Another striper fisherman went crappie fishing and caught a couple. It is very good that we also have the hyrids. We do not need another extended high water year again. It is good for other species of fish though. It provides good cover for the spawn and they have a much better survival rate than on a low water year with no cover. The main thing is to not have big vatiations in water level quickly during the spawn. It works out well if the water gets into the buckbrush and the level stays constant in the spring but most of the buckbrush is dead now and is decaying. We split wood for most of the day but still found time to go out and catch a nice catfish, a couple of bass and a few crappie just before dark. A striper was undersized and a white bass was very small but at least a few are showing up.  It is cool and cloudy today with some weather coming our way. Time to charge up the gloves and sox. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 553.41 and has raised 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation. The White River at Newport is now at 8.5 feet and dropping. It is unbelievable that they would dry up the river and not let any water out. This is an example of how badly the dams are managed. We did receive about 0.65 inches of rain yesterday. It is cloudy and much cooler today with a high in the 40's. The lake surface temperature was 56 when I went out yesterday and is about the same today and you could see your lure down about 5-feet.  The fishing continues to be just fair overall but some nice fish are coming in every day. Bass, crappie, bluegill are still the best bite with catfish, walleye, hybrid stripers and a few very small white bass also being caught. Our striper fishermen fished all morning and most of the rainy afternoon to catch one hybrid striper and no stripers. We are scheduled to get mixed precipitation late tonight and early tomorrow morning and then clear up again. I will believe it when I see it but they could be right, but not often.  They were right yesterday but the timing was off. I guess it is time to get out the cold weather gear but not having to until the middle of December is not bad. I fished brush in 30-35 feet of water and caught bluegill and crappie and then switched to the grub on a river channel bank next to deep water and caught several bass but no picture fish earlier today. Mike caught a nice catfish off the dock after the rain at dark. I have commercial fished for catfish on several rivers and also on lakes and have never seen a channel much bigger than this. A 10-lb is a big one and this one is larger than that. Much larger. You cannot predict what you can catch on Norfork but we have about everything except muskies and northerns. I like that. I also like that you cannot drill holes in our water or walk on it and there is no closed season. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Norfork Lake has some big fish. Released them all under the dock. Image titleImage title

Went out in the light rain and came in about 1-1/2 hours later just before it started to rain straight down. Good thing all of Blackburns cabins have big covered porches in this kind of weather. I do not smoke or avocate smoking but going outside with an umbrella is not necessary here.  Caught fish steadily until I came in. Fun.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

This is mostly what we caught and released yesterday. Bink is one good bass fisherman.Image title

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Scuba Steve caught and released a tagged fish. It was reported to Game and Fish. It was still almost exactly where they tagged it several months ago. Image title

Some very nice fish were caught and released fishing with Bink's Guide Service. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.28 and has risen about an inch in the last 24-hours with no generation. The white River at Newport is 9-feet and it was 8-feet earlier. More is coming in from the rivers than they are letting out. I guess they are preventing water from flooding out the crops in the delta. We are to get some rain today and we need some with none for almost two weeks. The lake in general is in excellent condition with a surface temperature of over 57. The weather is to cool a bunch starting this evening but not bad for almost the middle of December. it was not the best day as far as fishing goes but it sure was beautiful out. It was sunny a couple of hours ago but has now clouded up and looks like rain is not far away. Catfish, bass, crappie and bluegill continue to be the best bite with a few walleye and hybrid striper being caught but not too many. The bass fishing off steep river channel banks continues to improve. Some are on the first ledge and some just out in deeper water. Stay as far from the bank as you can cast and let your lure drop to the bottom and bring it in just slow enough to keep it dropping as much as possible letting out a little line if needed.  Several nice Kentucky bass can be caught in this manner with a few largemouth. The St. Louis Boat Show has been cancelled for this year and I have not received any confirmed dates for the Bass cat Invitational which could be the first weekend in April but not approved yet. I have missed seeing our Bass Cat friends for a few years. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The lake level is 553.23 and is still rising just a bit with about one hour of generation. The White River at Newport is at 9+ feet and dropping. It loks like they would rather dry up the river rather than drop the lakes. The water looked stained today but you could see your lure down a little further at maybe 5-feet. I went with my friend Darrel Binks today to be on the "Live in the Boat radio Show", what a privilage. He wanted to check and see if the bass were on the winter spots on the green grub and they were. He fishes for what is biting but is probably the best bass fisherman that I have ever fished with. He caught most of the fish but had to take me in early to take out some other paying cuatomers. It was a beautiful day. The sun came up and burned off the fog and got very warm with light wind. The surface temperature was 57. I left at 11:30 Am and went back home to fish on my own. I checked my throw line and jugs and caught some very nice fish and then went out to Catch some crappie. We talked to some trollers and they said they caught three stripers but only one would measure. That means 20-inches or about 3-lbs. Not so good. Here is the deal. People that are making their living on stripers are trying as hard to catch them as they can but in doing so are depleting the future for the present.  I remember when this same thing happened on Beaver Lake. The guides were catching big fish, and lots of them, several years ago and invested in big center console boats to take out six or eight people and all caught their limit until a big striper was about eight pounds. It has come back a bit but all of those guides are gone. The same thing has happened to Norfork but for different reasons. High water and depleted ozygen along with increased fishing pressure and the fishermen getting much better at finding and catching fish with better electronics has done the same thing to Norfork. Things have to settle down with the lake not getting so high for so long, covid has to go away so the stocking has to get back to normal and this has to happen for several years. The fishing pressure will take care of it's self when people cannot catch very many. Meat hunters are meat hunters and do not care about the future but what they can catch and kill now. Nothing is forever. In a positive note bass, crappie, walleye, bluegill, catfish all have excellent numbers and hybrid stripers are still ok but not nearly as many of them are stocked. White bass are coming back from their kill a couple of years ago and will take care of themselves. This is a beautiful lake with high numbers of fish. People that are fishing for several days to catch a red meat fish and trying to glorify it are not helping them selves just depleting what is left. It is not a measure of fishing ability but just how many they want to kill and deplete until there are none left to try and mis-represent the fishing for today's business. Tell it like it is and change tactics. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Listen to KTLO 97.9 FM or Cable channel 5 on TV for "Live in The Boat" with Bink's Guide Service at 8:45 Am tomorrow. He has invited me to go with him. It should be fun. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The one on the left is over 12-inches. Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 553.23 and has risen just a fraction from yesterday at this time and they have not generated since last night. The White River at Newport is at 9+ feet and it looks like they would rather let it dry up than lower the lakes for the winter. I though when they lowered Table Rock to below normal they would let some out of the other lakes but I guess not. Hold and hope is the name and open up flood gates in the late spring is the game. What a plan. Flood gates do not generate any electricity. The surface water temperature was 57 again yesterday and does not look to drop anytime soon with the very warm weather. The new news now is the catfish bite. I have lived here for over 25-years and have never caught very many catfish in December. When it gets cold they slow way down on feeding and leave the creeks. Not this year. There have been warmer than normal years when the water temperature has not dropped below 50 and the bite was not this good then. They are part way back in the creeks and hitting on live shiners on both jugs and throw lines. Some nice ones too. We caught all three species of catfish including flatheads, blue cat and channel cats this week alone and they are still biting. I do not care who you are but it is fun chasing a jug down the lake with a big ole catfish on it.  The very large crappie are also coming in every day on brush anywhere from 17-feet of water to 40-feet. Dave Titus is back and is catching them everyday. A couple of walleye were also caught and some smaller bass just over 15-inches. This is the third day for the striper fishermen and they are getting very discouraged with none over 5-lbs. They are catching a very few hybrid and white bass but no picture fish. White bass are not picture fish anyway. The old saying is that white bass are for people that cannot catch anything else and trout is for people that cannot catch white bass. Not my saying but it gets a smile out of some. At least they are not put and take. They are just starting to come back after their kill a couple of years ago.  The overall lake condition is excellent and there is a high number of fish in the lake in general. I know of no other place where you can get crappie of this size. There seem to be more and more of them in open water on shad than before. I guess it is the lack of competion from other fish and the good number of bait fish. Trollers are catching more of them accidently than in past yeas. This certainly is a good place to live and I enjoy going fishing everyday and feel very fortunate. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The two biggest fish caught at Blackburns yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.20 and is about the same as yesterday with only about two hours of generation. Maybe they will let a little out after they get Table Rock down to below normal to protect the Branson Landing at all costs. It is not about any rules just the $.  We are not to get any rain until Friday with very warm temperature in the 60's starting tomorrow. It was very nice out yesterday with a high of near 50 and light winds and the fish were biting. We caught catfish, bass, crappie and bluegill and a few open water fish not worthy of a picture. The White Bass were small and the hybrids were about 4-5 pounds with no stripers. They were released to grow but we kept the catfish and a couple of crappie for a neighbor. It is very foggy this morning but should give way to sunny skies soon. The lake surface temperature is about 56 and has been stable or dropping just a bit for several weeks. The lake tries to clear but then stains up some but also has been about the same and you can see your lure down about 3-4 feet. It was more clear a little over a month ago but is still very good for fishing and the lake in general is in excellent condition. The open water fish are hard to find with people fishing two or three days and catching nothing and then finding a school and have some fast fishing for a few minutes and then they are gone again. There are lots of schools of shad with nothing chasing them. The water temperature has not dropped enough for the winter bass to stay on the bank yet but several are still there early and late feeding.  The meteorological winter started December 1st and ends March 1st and that is about what the actual winter is here but sometimes lasts until March 15th. We tell people the spring bite starts March 15th here because the weather is variable the first of March and cold fronts can destroy the fishing for a few days at a time but the night bite for stripers is almost always five days before the full moon in March when they go to the bank to simulate a spawn. We will see what happens this year with the diminished numbers of large stripers.  Top water bite starts sometime in April but can also be variable and lasts through May.The walleye bite is the best in May and early June after their spawn in February. For some reason not nearly as many walleye take a run up the river to spawn as several years ago but the total number of fish has grown despite this and must be due to stockings. Missouri usually stocks more walleye than Arkansas and we benefit from this. More and more walleye fishermen are coming to Norfork than before replacing the striper fishermen. Stripers have been stocked in Norfork for many years and even though they do not reproduce it will be very hard to catch all of them but people that kill the small ones of 10-lbs. or less are trying hard to do this. Bass fishing is getting better and better and Norfork is getting to be a very good smallmouth fishery with many fish caught in the 4-lb. range. With the large variety of fish in Norfork it is hard to tell what you will catch and that is part of the fun. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.23 and has dropped 2/3 inch in the last 24-hours with generation for about 4-hours and the rest shut down. They are holding the White River at about 10-feet to keep the area lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible. The lake surface water is about 56 early in the morning and just under 57 in the afternoon if there is sunshine. We are to get warmer weather with highs near 60 later this week. We set out catfish lines and caught a couple of nice channels. They were not released as most of our fish are released. It is hard to beat cool, clear, clean water channel cat except for flatheads and I have a long list of people that would like some. Bass, crappie and bluegill were also caught. One walleye was caught fishing for bass but it was just a little short. Walleye are like crappie. Hardly any of them that are keepers are thrown back and they have a higher mortality rate where a lot of people throw back bass including me. The fish that I caught yesterday were most all in 30-ft. brush puiles on both the jig and spoon. The catfish were caught on live shiners on drop-shotted jugs. We fished in the morning, worked until late afternoon and went out again and did not have to go far. Blackburns brush piles are really paying off now and are at the right depth. We will help you when you get here if you like and your first boat stall is free. Not many people like paying for their first boat stall and you do not have to here. Blackburns is the family and fishing headquarters for Norfork lake. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

It cools off fast after sunset but that is the best bite. Released under the dock last night.Image title

The lake level is 553.29 and is rising slightly with no generation since yesterday afternoon. The White River at Newport is 10+ feet. The weather was beautiful yesterday with highs in the mid 50's with light wind and sunny. The high pressure has settled in and the fishing is getting better. I went bass fishing yesterday and had a very good time. I caught and released my limit of largemouth with the largest being over 21-inches. The surface water temperature was still 57 degrees and the water clarity was the same. I was spooning brush in 30-ft. of water and tapping bottom. I fished until dark and did not want to come in. When I cannot see my line good things do not happen for me. The bite was not fast but a fish about every 15-minutes was caught. Other guests caught bass and crappie also with some very nice crappie taken. The large bluegill continue to bite but the walleye have slowed. Some got into a school of stripers after looking for three days and killed all of them. They were about 10-lbs. It looks like they will not quit until they are all gone. Some White Bass are showing up and that is good but not very many and they used to be caught almost at will. Not now. The bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish population is very good here on Norfork. Many walleye just short were being caught and that is a good sign for the future. I am glad there is an 18-inch limit. It is really fun catching them and there is no need to go north in the spring for them when they are right here. I will go bass fishing again today and then catch some crappie for Bob Knight later in the week. It will be embarrassing if I cannot find any. The big ones are showing up again as the moon gets smaller. Bink predicted this. The lake in general is in excellent condition and the nice weather is bringing out more fishermen, especially on the weekend. Fishing overall is just fair but some very nice fish are being caught everyday. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

These and several more were caught yesterday. Am I holding my hands out too far?Image title

The lake level is 553.27 and is a fraction higher than yesterday. They ran two generators for four hours and then shut them both down for 20. There is no effort to drop the lakes for the winter and the level of the White River at Newport is 10+ feet. You cannot let the government run anything. The lake surface temperature is hanging in there at 57 and the water clarity varies a little but mostly it has been that you can see your lure down 3-4 feet for several weeks with the creeks staining every once in a white and then clearing again. Some days you can see the fish under the dock and some you cannot but there are sure a lot of them down there. Some pretty good crappie have been caught out of Blackburns this week with some over 15-inches and they are thick and fat but not high numbers. I just keep three or four anyway to give to friends who cannot fish. It was a pretty good day yesterday but a little windy. It laid about 4:Pm. I fished one place for about two hours which had brush at from 17-21 feet. Several crappie and bluegill were caught on both the spoon and jig. A couple were very large in the 15-inch range and I did not want to leave. I know of no other lake in the country with larger crappie. Today I am going to try and catch a couple of big bass and leave the crappie alone. They deserve a break. Blackburns is certainly the premier fishing resort in the area and we work hard to put in good brush piles and will show you where when you get here. We catch fish. Your first boat stall is free here. You can launch and park in two places right near the dock. No need to go elsewhere to launch and we have plenty of trailer and vehicle parking and are not huddled up on a cliff. Crappie, bass and bluegill fishing is the best but a few hybrids and smaller white bass are being caught in open water. I have not seen a 20-lb. striper in months but a few in the 6-10 pound small ones are being caught. The big ones may or may not be there but the other fish sure seem to be getting bigger. I have caught a lot of stripers in my life and do not kill very many but none of the ones that I have cleaned have ever had anything but shad and crawdads in them. Mostly shad. Live bait fishermen use shiners when they cannot get live shad so they must work also.  As long as there are plenty of shad in the lake I do not think they hurt the other fish population. They just do not survive the high water in the vegetation for long periods and low oxygen level in the late summer very well, especially the big ones. They are ocean fish. The high water was rare in the past but has become the norm in the last several years. The high water in the buckbrush does help the spring spawn for other game fish.  We need normal water levels and high stockings for several years to get the stripers back. There is high fishing pressure for the hybrids now and I am concerned about their numbers in the future. Trollers with umbrella rigs are getting very good about catching them and none were stocked this year. Bink says that I need another fishing lesson since I have not had one for several months so I will go with him on Thursday and be on his " Live in the Boat" Radio Show at 8:45 AM on both 97.9 FM and on cable TV on channel 5 with Bob Knight,  who is my favorite radio personality. It should be fun. Good weather for the next week. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Mike Eakle with a fist full of very nice fish caught yesterday evening on the spoon.Image title

The lake level is 553.29 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running less than 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is 11-feet.They have just started up both generators now but I bet that will not last long. They have not run both of them for months even though it is winter and a perfect time to do so. The surface water temperature was still right at 57 on the main lake yesterday when I went out and it was cloudy and cool with ambient temperatures in the 40's with no wind. The lake is not clearing much and you can see your lure down about three feet and more in the sunshine. The fishing was not great but some very nice fish were caught. Mostly bass, crappie and bluegill. Some red meat fishermen caught some White Bass that were big enough to keep yesterday along with some very small stripers but worked for several days and looked many miles to find any. They were getting discouraged and I am glad they finally found some before they left. It was not for lack of trying. None were picture fish. Normally they would be easily caught this time of year. I caught all of my fish on a 3/8th ounce Bink's spoon white with red throat on brush that was shallower than I had been catching them. They were feeding at 22-feet where they had been at 30+. It is really good that the Game and Fish replentished the old Corps of Engineers brush piles. It is really helping people catch fish and is appreciated. They are holding bass, crappie, bluegill and some walleye and small White Bass just outside them. The walleye are about 2-feet off the bottom and the White Bass are suspended at different depths around the brush but I am not catching as many walleye as I was a couple of weeks ago. I like winter bass fishing and the time is approaching when the water temperature gets into the low 50's but is not quite here yet as the weather is to be very nice with very little chance of rain for at least a week with a high pressure covering the whole area and highs in the 60's later next week. Maybe they will let a little water out but I doubt it. The fishing will get better the longer this high pressure hangs around and you can expect to see some big fish as the moon diminishes, especially bass. There were a few more boats out there yesterday despite the very cool weather. Things are changing daily and it is hard to go out there once a week and have a report that is worth anything. If you do not see any reports for several days it usually means they are not catching anything but does not mean they are not trying. It is great to just be out there and live in such a beautiful area where you can fish all year.  

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Scuba Steve Caught a few yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.38 and is up a fraction with no generation for several hours and the White River at Newport is 11+ feet. I guess they are holding and hoping again for a drought. Their plan is hold it up high all winter, hold and hope all spring, not generate when it rains, let the level go up higher and higher in early summer and then open up the gates and flood everything downstream after the crops are planted and up and nobody seems to care enough to do anything about it. The surface water temperature was exactly 57 when I went out yesterday and the sunny skies turned cloudy about 3:30 PM. We got just a sprinkle of rain last night and the mixed precipitation did not happen as predicted. I thought it was too cloudy to get very cold.  Fishing was a little slow but steady and I caught both bass and crappie. I saw four boats all evening and three were from Blackburns and one was a troller. I watched him troll from the bridge to Cranfield Island but saw him do nothing but loudly talk on the phone all the way. It was the only thing disturbing the peace and quiet and it was very nice out with the wind being just right for drifting down the shoreline and the temperature in the low 50's. I was using both the spoon and the grub with none working better than the other but caught fish on both. The winter fishing on the steep river channel banks and on channel swings seems to be here even if the water temperature is 57 degrees. It will get better when the water cools. I am catching less fish on the brush and more on the bank. The moon is starting to get smaller now and Bink reports he always catches the biggest fish five days before the full moon and smaller ones until that happens again. I guess that is why the smaller crappie are showing up now but I am catching some in the 11-13 inch range but not the great big ones approaching 16-inches like a couple of weeks ago. Several keeper bass in the 16-18 inch range are being caught but also not as big as a couple of weeks ago. The lake overall is in excellent condition and fishing is just fair.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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Luke Bornhop with some very nice fish. Bigger than Mine.Image title

The lake level is 553.38 and has dropped less than 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. They stopped generating last evening for all night and have just started up one generator.They are holding the area lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible.  If there is any deviation in flood pool they can regulate the White River at Newport to 21-feet as of the first of the month but refuse to drop the lakes. 21-feet is below minor flood level for the White River and does not hurt anybody.  Norfork is at a good level now but will not be when the spring rains happen and they will. How many times can they be tricked and not change anything? It is worse than Charley Brown kicking the football that Lucy is holding. He is fooled every year and so is our government. They are operating at rules established in the 1940's before computers and refuse to change anything. There are much better controls over flooding now than in the past. It is very sad and they should be ashamed of their incompetence. It was a very nice day with highs in the 50's with sunshine and light winds when I went out yesterday. The surface water temperature was 57+ in the sunshine and the lake was a little more stained than the day before and I could see my lure down about three feet. I saw only three other boats out there. Two were Blackburns customers and the other was a center console boat chasing birds. I do not know if he caught anything or not but he was surely moving a lot and not fishing much. I saw him going by about four times. I fished a main lake cut on brush and a main lake brush pile. First I was jigging a spoon and caught a couple of Bass and crappie. On the next place caught two keeper crappie and a nice warmouth as big as the crappie on the jig. It might have been the largest one that I have caught. The small throwback crappie were biting faster than anything and I was glad to see them. As I mentioned yesterday I have caught very few small crappie this year and do not know why they are showing up just now but they are. It is to be nice today for fishing and another front is coming through late this afternoon and we are to get some mixed precipitation tonight with highs back near 50 for the weekend. Out normal high is 50. Overall fishing is just fair but I am catching some good fish everyday with bass, crappie, bluegill being the best. Some fish are on brush, some are on the bank and some are in open water on shad.  

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

They caught crappie also.Image title

Corey and Molly Aeschelman with some very nice catfish. They caught some off the dock and some on jugs on live bluegill. Mark caught some also. Good to see them. Image title

The lake level is 553.41 and has dropped less than an inch in the last 24-hours. They completely shut off generation part of the time, run about 1/2 generator part of the time and 1-generator a little of the time. They are missing a good chance to drop the lake and get it down so we have some surge capacity for the spring rains. I sure hope I do not hear that big spring rains have caused the lakes to be high next year. That lame excuse is getting old. The wind finally slowed last evening so I went fishing for a while. It was about 40-degrees and the water temperature was in the mid 50's depending on where you were. Some places it was 56+ and others less in shallow water. I saw no other boats. I spooned brush in Blackburns Creek for about an hour until dark and then came in and caught two crappie and a good bass. It is sunny and warmer today with much less wind. Another cold front is coming tomorrow but it looks to be fine for the wekend. Fortunately I have cold weather gear. Cold Decembers have been the norm for a few years but we will have several nice days. When the jet stream dips it allows cold Canadian air to drop into the southern plains and it just depends how far south it goes. If we get it almost everyone else gets it too. At least you cannot walk on our water or drill holes in it. I am done with that. I have 26-acres of cedar forrest and will start cutting trees for winter brush piles and dragging them to the dock to put in the lake soon. We freshen them up every year and they hold a lot of fish. I am starting to catch a few throw back crappie and that is a good sign. The spawn this year was weird for some reason and I am not sure how good it was but there are a lot of big ones. The bass population is very high and the walleye are getting more numerous every year. The catfishing is also good and the hybrid stripers are not bad but none were stocked this year and it will hurt the future if people keep killing them. I wish they would stock more. Big bluegill are everywhere. They are fun to catch and better to eat as are the Kentucky Bass. The White Bass are coming back from their low numbers and things look good for next spring fishing overall. 

Aerial View of Norfork Lake and Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Dock

Resort.Image title

Blackburns Creek and dock.Image title

Blackburns Creek on the left. Mallard Point on the right.Image titleImage titleDock and creek to the main Lake.Image title

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Jack Bucknell with some decent Hybrid Stripers caught and released yesterday. Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 553.48 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday. They quit generating yesterday afternoon and just stared up one generator. They are holding the lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible. The lake surface temperature was 58.4 when I went out yesterday. It was a nice day but there were whitecaps out there. The incessant wind is getting tiring. It is cold and windy today with temepratures struggling to get to 40. It is to warm tomorrow back above 50. I caught bass and crappie, John and Luke caught the same and Mike and Jack caught some crappie and some Hybrid Bass in the 6-lb. range. They caught them just outside the Boy Scout Camp in 35-ft. of water with the Bink's spoon. The rest of us were fishing brush in 20-35 feet of water. We could not go where we wanted due to the wind but caught fish anyway. Everyone came in before dark. It was hard to stay in one place. The hybrids were all released to grow as were the largemouth bass. We caught no stripers as usual. The bass were on main lake river channel banks and the crappie were on brush just around the inside of main lake points on top of brush. We will see if the wind lays this afternoon. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Norfork Lake fun out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. John Bornhop got into the action using the grub.Image title

The first nice Ozark Bass that I have seen in a while.Image title

Mike with some nice BassImage titleImage title

James and Luke with some good ones yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.48 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The surface water temperature remains around 60-degrees and the lake is fairly clear and you can see your lure down about 3-4 feet. It is more clear in the creeks near the shore and off rocky banks. The fishing did not start up very fast yesterday but got better in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day with sunny skies and light wind. It is cloudy today and the high is only to get in the high 40's. The bass fishing with the grub is getting pretty good. Bink likes that green stingray grub with a 1/4 ounce lead head. It does not have much action if any but sure does catch fish. 60 degree water has not slowed the fish's metabolism down yet and they are still hitting the lure pretty hard. When the water gets down to the low 50's it will be time to slow your presentation way down. When you are spooning let it down slowly and just dabble it near the bottom and reel up slowly and do it again. When you are grub fishing cast near the shore, let the lure sink to the bottom and using your rod bring it up and take up a couple of turns and let it sink again. Just look for your line to twitch and set the hook. It works best when the wind is light and you can watch your line. I am using a spoon, Bobby Garland blue ice baby shad, slip float with minnow, and green stingray grub exclusively now depending on the wind and catching fish every day. Fishing is good just before the cold front and not so good after for a few days. Bass, crappie and bluegill fishing is still the best with one or two nice walleye being brought in. Some trollers and live bait fishermen are catching a few hybrids in the 6-lb. range but are looking a long time to get them. The stripers and white bass are mostly small. All of the fish that I am catching are very healthy. It is hard to believe November is over but December bass and crappie fishing brings in some very large fish. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Scuba Steve with a pretty good crappie.Image titleJames Soltysiac with a nice walleye caught on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 553.62 and has raised 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating all night and have just started up one generator. They are trying to hold up the lake as high as possible for as long as possible. It needs to drop 5-1/2 feet before spring but they just refuse to do so. The surface water temperature continues to stay at just above 60 and has for several days. It will drop with the cold weather moving in Monday. That will not hurt anything. It has to get just below 40-degrees for any meaningfull shad kill. A shad kill is very good for fishing but I prefer not to have one. The more bait fish the better as far as I am concerned. It was a beautiful day and the crappie started biting again. They never stopped but slowed a bit. Blackburns has several good fishermen in now and we will see what happens today. Some nice ones were caught yesterday and all of them were on Blackburns Brush piles. We like that. That is why we work so hard to put them in for you. They are at good levels and are producing fish. The game and fish replentishing the old existing brush that the corps had neglected really helped reduce the pressure on ours and  helped the fishing. Crappie, bluegill and bass fishing were the best yesterday with a couple of very nice walleye also being caught. Some small white bass are also showing up but as for the rest of the temperate bass goes the hybrid fishing is best. Except for this year about four times as many stripers are stocked than hybrids but the hybrids take to the low oxygen in the late summer better and do not die off as bad. Neither one reproduces in fresh water lakes and are considered semi-put and take. If they would keep the lake below 560, continue to stock the numbers of stripers as in the past the population should come back from the low numbers. It will take a while as people continue to kill the small ones below 10-pounds and seem proud to do it. Some people just want them gone anyway. I do not and do not think they hurt the other fish population as long as the shad count remains high. They are fun to catch but do not dress out very well. The lake overall is in excellent condition and is at a perfect depth and clarity for fishing. We will see what the winter brings. Just keep the ice storms away. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Cool early morning and nice afternoon.Image title

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The lake level is 553.58 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The lake surface temperature was just above 60 yesterday afternoon and the water continues to clear especially in the creeks by the shore. It was a beautiful Thanksgiving day here at Blackburns after a chilly start. Bass, crappie, walleye, bluegill and a few small White Bass were caught. It was a fun day. The best fishing is still on and around brush from 15-35 feet of water on the spoon. I was also using a jig and caught a very large crappie and a few smaller ones on it. I like casting the jig past the brush and letting it sink into it slowly with a 1/16th ounce jig head. I switch back and forth from the 3/8th ounce Bink's Spoon fished straight down and the jig. If the wind is still I also use a slip float and minnow right over the brush and about 5-feet above it using a marker buoy to stay right on it. I am not into the self deploy trolling motors with remote control and anchor. I seem to do just fine with out them. I also know where the brush piles are located and do not use GPS. The people that depend on this stuff are lost without them like some stripers fishermen are when the seagulls migrate. The lake condition overall is excellent and the fishing is just fair but steady. It is about normal for the last of November. It is nice to have something normal for a change. The weather has held nicely but fronts have moved in and out continuously with intermittant wind. You just have to have a plan for where to fish with and without wind do not just go out and fight it. Better get out the heated gloves and sox and get them charged up. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Jack Bucknell from South Dakota with some nice bass caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday on Blackburns Brush Piles. Image title

The lake level is 553.66 and has dropped 1-1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. They are holding the White River at Newport to just over 11-feet. I waited until the wind slowed until I went out yesterday and conditions were just about right when I went out.  The ambient temperature was in the early 50's and the surface water temperature was just under 60. The water clarity was just about the same and I could see my lure down about 3-4 feet. I started spooning out of the wind in a main lake cut and caught some nice bass in about 20-feet of water on brush. The crappie fishing has slowed for some reason so I was determined to find some. I found a school on brush in 15-feet of water and caught only two but one was very large. I have caught almost 100 crappie at or just below 15-inches so far this winter.  They are not monsters but very nice healthy fish. Norfork lake is a good crappie fishery. A few in the 17-inch range have also been caught. 14-inch are common but most are from 11-13 inches. I am finding very few under the legal limit of 10-inches unlike the walleye which about 75% are under 18-inches. One walleye was caught yesterday just under 18-inches and I had just released it when I had another one on right away about 15-feet from the bank in 15-feet of water. It was about the same size but broke off. I tell everyone to retie after each walleye or at least run your finger down the line and feel for nicks. I was too lazy to do so and it cost me but I would have released him anyway. Try and keep the walleye from going sideways and getting the line in the side of their teeth especially on light line which I highly recomment in clear water. Light line also gives your spoon, jig and grub much better action.  Several very large bluegill were also caught on the crappie jig. Bass, bluegill and hybrid stripers are now the best bite with crappie and walleye and small White Bass next. The hybrids are not big but are in the 4-6 pound range. You have to look for a long time to find feeding fish and trollers are having to fish hard and sometimes for days to find any. When they do they bite fast and are then gone. Catfishing has also slowed but a few are being caught on live bluegill. Fishing overall is just fair and the lake is in excellent condition and some nice fish are being caught everyday. Spoon in or just outside those brush piles or cast a jig, grub or crankbait to the shore on high river channel wind blown banks. It has been very foggy early so be carefull out there. Do not run on GPS in low visibility. It is best to wait until the fog is gone after the sun comes out. My best fishing time has been about 4:PM until  dark and on cloudy days just before a rain. We are having Thanksgiving dinner today for guests, friends and family but it will be take out. I wish this covid would go away but it is nothing to fool around with. Having big groups of people and family together is not safe for now especially in confined areas. I will get the vaccine as soon as possible. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Bink caught some too on the spoon in deeper water.Image title

Released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 553.78 and has risen just a bit from yesterday. They quit generating last night and started one generator again this morning. We did get about 3/4 of an inch of rain last evening and night. It started about 4:30Pm and rained pretty hard at times. It gave me a warning with a little downpour and I came in just before it really stared to rain hard.  The fish had just began to bite around 4:Pm and I was having fun catching and releasing smallmouth bass. They were hitting the small jig and grub about 8-10 feet from the shore on a high river channel bank. Again, when the lure dropped off onto the first ledge they hit and hit hard. I was only out for a couple of hours and did not try for crappie. I did spoon up a couple of nice bass though. The temperate bass were in the same places in about 40-ft. of water but I did not bother them. I left them alone to grow. We need more big ones. If the meat hunters keep killing all of the small ones we will never have a large number of big ones again. They need to learn how to catch crappie, Kentucky bass, bluegill and catfish for food. They are better eating anyway. Dock floors full of dead small stripers and hybrids are not impressive. Wait until they grow and more are stocked or the temperate fishery will be gone except for the White Bass. They will come back on their own if there is not another kill. Holding the lake level up so high for so long is not helping things out for stripers and hybrids either. It is good for bass, crappie and walleye spawn. The stripers are ocean fish and cannot take to low oxygen levels very well especially the big ones. Hybrids can take it better and more of them need to be stocked if they continue the current lake management practices.  They fight really hard for their size and are really fun to catch. It is cooling off as the day goes on but should be very nice by tomorrow. I will try for a few crappie today as they have slowed down the bite or have moved. It is fun to find new places and is good to just be out there. Some very nice Kentucky Bass are being caught, mostly on the spoon. They are in deeper water for some reason. It is a little windy today with the front coming through but should be ok. I will let you know.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught and released under the dock last evening on the 3/8th ounce spoon.Image title

The lake level is 553.75 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The White River at Newport is at 10+ feet. The surface water temperature was 60+ when I went out yesterday and has hung in there at or above 60 for quite a while. It is a little lower in the backs of the creeks where the water is shallower. The lake clarity is ok but not as clear as a few years ago. You can see your lure down about four feet. It is clearest near the shore on rocky banks. It has been reduced drastically from several years ago when you could see the bottom in 35-feet of water. Those days appear to be over. Too clear of water makes for tough fishing. It is good for fishing now though and so is the level where you can drive to the dock and step right on and most brush piles are at the right depth. They had been too deep most of the year. Crappie fishing was slow for me yesterday but I found the bass outside the brush in deeper water than they had been. Fish of several species were on the dropoff just outside brush in about 40-feet of water for some reason. Hybrids, Walleye, bass and a few small White Bass were all together. A lot of fish are feeding under the big moon at and after dark and it makes for harder fishing during the day. Some of the Kentucky bass were as big as the largemouth and the hybrids were nice sized also. I caught no keeper stripers. The shad are moving out of open water in the evening and going shallower near cover and the predator fish are right with them. Many schools of shad do not have predator fish with them though. You have to do a lot of hunting to find feeding fish in or around open water. I would not have found these if I had not been fishing deeper brush and just happened to check the drop off. If you can find brush near deep water that is right on the dropoff there is usually predator fish there. I released all of the fish on site except for two picture bass which were released under the dock after the picture. I do not have a selfie and do not want one. What I am impressed with though is the size of some of these Kentucky bass. Blackburns has several good fishermen in this week and we will see what happens. Thanksgiving has almost always been a good time for fishing in the years past but time will tell. The lake overall is in excellent condition. Many smallmouth bass are just off the bank on river channels and most are small but not all. Norfork is getting to be a good smallmouth fishery with many in the 4-lb range.  Spoons continue to be the best lure overall but grubs on the bank for smallmouth is best. Some are using crankbaits with success.  Crappie fishing has slowed a bit and bass and hybrid fishing is improving. I catch a lot of big crappie in December. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Image titleImage titleA very few big stripers and hybrids are being caught and we strongly suggest releasing them and not fishing for them in deep water. A big stripers is over 20-lbs and a big hybrid is 12-lbs. People that have not been here very long now think a big striper is 10-lbs  and a big hybrid is 6-lbs. We need to get it back to where it used to be and quit killing small fish or we will not have any. Only white bass reproduce.  I am releasing all temperate bass. Kentudky bass and crappie eat a lot better anyway. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Mike caught fish in the morning and Scuba Steve caught them in the evening.Image titleImage title

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The lake level is 553.86 and has dropped 1-1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running full speed. All of the area lakes are near or below top of power pool and they have cut back on the level of the White River at Newport to below 11-feet. We did get about 1/2 inch of rain Saturday night and it all soaked in and helped the very dry conditions a little. The persistent wind had really dried things. The surface temperature was 60.5 when I went out yesterday and it was a little windy but not bad. I spooned a brush pile and got some very nice crappie and a couple of bass and then checked out a steep main lake river channel bank with the grub. I would throw the grub right to the bank and use the rod to quickly let the lure drop off onto the first ledge about 6-8 feet deep and the smallmouth would hit it almost every time. I caught about a dozen and released them all on site. It was really fun and I would not have come in except it was getting too dark to see. The wind layed about 4:pM. The high rocky banks have much less dead wood than the creeks and you will not get hung up as many times. Do not mess around getting the lure to the ledge or the bluegill and warmouth will get it as they are right on the bank. Many fish are throwbacks but several are also keepers. The larger bass are coming off the brush for me and are with the crappie. Some shad are moving in shallow at dark and the small stripers, white bass, hybrids and walleye are moving in to feed on them. The moon is about 1/2 now and getting bigger and the temperate bass and walleye will feed until the moon sets and make daytime fishing more difficult.  The walleye that I am getting on the spoon are all reaction strikes and they are not actively feeding durning the day. Schools of small white bass with a few hybrids mixed in are showing up just outside of brush at sunset. The ones that I am catching are small but I have reports of some larger white bass showing up after I come in at dark. I do not fish after dark anymore as I catch all of the fish that I need during the day when it is warmest but I do stay out until it is too dark to see my line. This is a good time of year and the lake is in excellent condition with the weather approaching 60 for the next several days. The closer it gets to raining you out the better the fishing. The first sunny day with high pressure after, not so good, but fish can still be caught. Crappie, bass and bluegill are still the best bite with walleye next. Spoon in or right around brush for best results. I like the 3/8th ounce Bink's spoon. I used it for the first time yesterday and it worked well in the wind if it is not too windy. I do not spoon in high winds unless in open water. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

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The lake level is 554 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running at full speed. We are approaching the seasonal pool level of 553.75 where the C.O.E. surrenders some of the control of the generation schedule. When they get close to that number they typically quit generating in order to keep the level up as high as they can for as long as they can. They are already keeping the level of the White River at Newport below 12-feet and we will see if they almost dry it up like they did a month ago when we got the big rain. Drop it down to the 540's boys. It is dry here with a burn ban and we can take a couple of inches with very little effect. It looks like we will get some about tuesday. It was cloudy, cool with light wind and misting rain when I went out yesterday. Perfect conditions for fishing. It is to remain in the 50's for about the next week. I was heading out to my favorite brush pile when I went around Mallard Point about three docks and noticed a lot of shad in about 35-feet of water with some fish on them. I dropped a spoon and they were only small White Bass and small hybrid. I released them to grow and went on. The bass and crappie were biting immediately on brush in both 14-feet of water and 35-feet of water. A 3/8th ounce Bink's spoon was used right in the brush and the crappie were very nice in the 12-13 inch range. I later moved to a wind blown bank and took out a grub. The smallmouth were biting about 10-feet off the shore in about 8-feet of water just inside a main lake point and I caught two of them. I then moved a little deeper and switched back to the spoon on brush and caught a Kentucky and largemouth. It was getting dark so I came in. It was a good day for me. Other guests caught some good bass also. The fish are scattered throughout the lake and are either on the bank, in brush or in open water on shad. Crankbaits are working pretty well beating the banks but the buckbrush is mostly all dead from being flooded too long and there is lots of wood to get snagged on it they dive too deep. Work just around the inside of main lake points on wind blown banks, spoon brush and you will catch fish until the next cold front comes through and then it will slow but not stop. Check all main lake cuts with brush for crappie and bluegill and drop a spoon or jig. I saw a troller chugging the shoreline for a long ways but did not see him catch anything. He was out too far in too deep of water but I guess he was tired of getting snagged where the fish were. It is warming up a bit and about time for me to go out.  

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

These were the best ones that Scuba Steve caught last evening. More too. Released several under the dock and shared a few. Image titleDan Croslin with a nice big fat one.Image title

The lake level is 554.15 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. It is approaching the magic number of 553.75 where some control is turned over to the power company and they usually slow generation way down at that point. We will see. It is time to start drawing the lake down but for some reason are reluctant to do so. It was a little cloudy and very warm yesterday with highs in the mid 70's and a light wind coming from the south. The surface temperature was 62+ and it was a perfect day to be out on the lake. Blackburns has several fishermen out there and they reported fishing was only fair but bass and crappie and bluegill continue to be the best bite with a few walleye and catfish also being caught. The red meat fishermen did better than earlier this week when they struggled. They caught some stripers  and hybrids but all were small with the stripers all being less than 10-lbs and the hybrids in the 3-4 pound range. No picture fish but at least they released all of them on site to let them grow. That is good and I am happy some are showing up. The crappie I caught were on shallow brush in the 16-18 foot range on top of the brush. The bass were in the same place but a little deeper. The bluegill were right on the bank. I did not catch any walleye. It is to be cloudy and cooler today and tomorrow with sunny skies after that with a high pressure moving in. If you are catching bluegill on brush do not be discouraged. Where ever they are present you can be sure big fish are nearby. I was using the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon white with a red head but am trying out the 3/8th ounce one today. I have not used it before. The lake has stained a bit near dirt banks with the wind slapping waves on the shore. There are bass where the water changes from brown at the wind blown bank to clear a little ways out in about 6-10 feet of water.  Crank baits and grubs are working there. I am not catching much on the high river channel banks where the water is still clear. If you rig up a half dozen lines with live bait and drag them through enough schools of shad you will catch some fish. I prefer casting for them and do not fish open water much anymore. Today should be a good day. Fishing overall is just fair but the lake is in excellent condition and some nice fish are being caught every day. Blackburns has several fishermen coming in for Thanksgiving and we will help them get fish.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught on a live bluegill.Image title

Some nice crappie caught yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 554.33 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running at full speed. They are holding the White River at Newport at below 12-feet. The surface water temperature is 61 degrees and the lake is not quite as clear as it was but is still fine for fishing. Crappie, bluegill and bass continue to be the best bite with a few walleye and catfish coming in. The temperate bass fishing continues to be slow. People are fishing hard for them but are coming up short both in number and size. The fish are small and hard to find. The ones caught yesterday came from just north of Cranfield Island and in front of houses on Mallard point. I am glad to see some white bass showing up but they are small. The White Bass are starting to come back after the fish kill on them a couple of years ago.  Bink caught a nice striper but reports there are not nearly as many as before. Especially the big ones. People are still taking pictures of dock floors of small dead hybrids and stripers that barely measure and are nothing to be proud of.  They will quit only when they are all gone and that will be soon since none were stocked by the game and fish this year and they do not reproduce in fresh water. The limit needs to be dropped to two fish until the numbers and size improve. That is not the case for the other fish in Norfork which are high in numbers and are very healthy. November fishing is about normal otherwise with no particular pattern except that they turn on and off with the cold fronts. A few schooling fish are coming up just at dusk but are mostly bass and are back in the creeks. Fish are roaming and not staying put very long with a lot of bait fish out there. Fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill on brush and walleye on the side of brush is your best bet with spoons,  with some fish right on the bank with grubs and crank baits.  Work the wind blown banks and there has been a lot of that but there always is in November. We have had no rain for over a week and the wind has dried things out a lot. Fishing conditions overall are just fair. Many fishermen have turned into deer hunters and the boat traffic is low. It is to cool some soon and drop down to about normal ambient temperatures. The warm temperatures were nice. Blackburns is open all year and your first boat stall is free. Several are not.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Bass and crappie caught last evening.Image title

Mike with a nice channel and crappie.Image title

Dave is still catching crappie and bluegill. Image title

A nice one fishing with Bink yesterday. This one is worth a picture.Image title

The lake level is 554.52 and has dropped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running full speed. They are still holding the White River below 12-feet at Newport. If they hold true to color they will slow generation down as the magic level of 553.75 approaches where they give up some of the control to the electric company.   The surface water temperature was between 61 and 62 on the main lake and cooler back in the creeks shallow. It was a little windy when I went out yesterday afternoon but not bad. I tried catching some bass on the bank with little success until about 3:30 Pm and then caught a couple of good ones. I then moved back in a creek close to Blackburns and started brush fishing for crappie and caught five nice ones including one very large. About sunset some fish started surfacing next to where I was crappie fishing. It was a large school of mixed temperate bass and I caught and released four small white bass, one hybrid about four pounds and a small striper about 20-inches. All were released on site and none were worth a picture. Hopefully they will grow a little before someone kills them. Walleye fishing has slowed a bit but a few are still being caught but most are still short. Crappie, bass and bluegill fishing is still the best bite. Our striper fishermen are getting discouraged but are catching a few but most are also small. It is to be windy out there again today but it should lay by tomorrow. The fishing is getting better every day after the cold front came through last weekend but it is taking a while. Warm and windy calls for a crank bait for bass on the wind blown banks. It is to be in the 70's today but back to normal later this weekend which is about 55 for a high. You can still get a cabin here at Blackburns for $59/day with your first boat stall free. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The lake level is 554.99 and has dropped less than an inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running less than full power. We did receive an inch and one half of rain Saturday night about 10:pm and it rained hard and the wind blew. There was some storm damage on docks and trees north of Blackburns and some hail north of that but Blackburns was fortunate and had no damage and are operating as normal. This was anticipated and precautionary measures were taken. Our normal high is 57 degrees and normal low is freezing but the highs are to be near 70 after today and the lows near freezing with the clear skies and a big high pressure hanging over the area.  Coat in the morning, shirt in the middle of the day and jacket in the evening. The warmest part of the day does not last long and it cools very fast at sunset. The lake surface temperature is still in the early 60's depending on the time of day. The lake is in excellent condition and there are a lot of fish. Fishing was not the best yesterday but I caught one bass, one crappie and one channel catfish in about an hour of fishing. This was expected but I like to go out there every day even if the bite is tough. Sometimes you get surprised. Better than laying on the sofa. Blackburns has people here looking for real estate, out of town builders, fishermen and families just wanting to get away for a few days. They are taking advantage of the lowest prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. The children like to ride their bikes down the nearly flat 400 yards to the lake and our 18-stall  boat dock and fish off the dock and others like to take a nice walk to the lake without going down or up a cliff. The big flat playground is nearly always busy. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. I caught no picture fish yesterday. Tome Kelly did report catching a 22-inch striper in Float Creek and released it immediately. Everybody needs to quit killing stripers and hybrids until their numbers come back. White Bass numbers are also low but they can take care of themselves. There is plenty of bait fish out there and many schools of shad are holding few predator fish. There were some fish coming up last evening but they were all bass.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Image titleNorfork Lake Fun out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.Image title

The lake level is 555.19 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running a little less than full speed. The surface temperature is 53 degrees and the lake in general is in excellent condition. They are holding the White River at Newport to less than 12-feet. We are expecting a cold low pressure tonight with wind and a little weather. It should pass by tomorrow and then no rain for a week with highs getting near 70 for several days towards the end of next weel. Fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill continue to be good with walleye next. Dave and Mike caught some very nice crappie and bass this morning already along with some short walleye. We are releasing some of the crappie and all of the bass under the dock. The school under the dock is getting larger and larger every day and I feed them twice a day. I use chicken feed and floating catfish feed. The chicken feed sinks slowly and they get it on the way down and the catfish feed floats and they hit it on top water. Most of the turtles hibernate but a few remain under the dock unless it gets very cold. The best bait for everything continues to be the spoon and then the jig. A few are using slip floats with some success. Bink likes that green stingray grub for the bass. I use it when I am not close to any brush. Some are still trolling but with very limited success. It looks like the wind has a very good chance of getting here tonight so batten down the hatches.  After that fishing may slow a bit but should get better every day until the next cold front gets here. Looks to be a good week ahead. Come on down to Blackburns. We have no duplexes so you can social distance and all cabins have big covered porches. Your first boat stall is free. We are open all year and have the best prices.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

That Tom Kelly sure can catch fish. He is laying off the stripers until they start to come back. Image title

Dave Titus and Maggie with some of yesterday's catch. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 555.36 and has dropped 1-1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running at less than full power. They are holding the White River at Newport at less than 12-feet like they are expecting a flood this winter. The surface water temperature was 53.8 when I went out yesterday and it was a beautiful day with a high in the early 60's. I go out when it is the warmest part of the day and come in when it starts to cool. Others go out when it is freezing and come in when it warms up. I caught bass, walleye, crappie and bluegill again with a couple of small white bass and a small hybrid mixed in.  About one in three walleye are keepers. Every time I catch a walleye I retie because they have a tendency to nick the line. When I am too lazy to do so I almost always pay for it with the next fish breaking off.  The striper fishermen are fishing hard trying to catch fish but are coming up short with just a couple a day and none over 12-lbs. I told them to switch to walleye, bass and crappie but they are determined. Those predicting the temperate bass to be great in November better try harder. I wish them luck but are encouraging them to release the fish they catch as there are so few of them. No sense getting them all. Let some grow. I saw some top water action last evening but they were bass and not very big. They were chasing very small shad. I fished both main lake and the backs of creeks and caught fish both places. it was a little better than yesterday and the fish were bigger. There is one brush pile holding giant crappie and I try to just catch one a day off it and release it under the dock. The school is getting bigger. Almost all brush is holding fish but not a lot. You have to catch a couple off one and then move. Every one in a while they start biting fast in one place and you can catch several but not often. The lake is clearing more every day and is at an excellent level for overall fishing. I am seeing a few chuggers (trollers) out there but not many. Deer season opens tomorrow and it will cut down on the lake traffic which is not very much anyway. This is a typical November for fishing. It is just very nice to be out there. Thank you for all of the happy Veterans Day wishes. They were appreciated. We are a veteran family here. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 555.51 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 3/4ths. The surface water temperature was 64.4, the ambient temperature was 62, the wind was light and variable and the skies were sunny when I went out yesterday. The lake is still clearing and I could see no difference where I went except it is clearer nearest the shore on rocky banks where you can see your lure down over six feet in some places. I like it clearer for diving but not for fishing. This is about right and it has not been this clear for quite some time. The fishing was not as good for me yesterday as the day before but I still caught several keeper fish. 3-bass, one nice walleye, two small hybrid stripers about 13-14 inches long, three crappie and several bluegill were caight in about two hours. All were released on site. The walleye and hybrids were caught on a white with red eye 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon and the rest were caught on the 1/16th ounce jig. Overall the fishing was slow but steady. No particular pattern was noticed except the fish were in or near brush and the fish were caught anywhere from 10-ft to 35-ft. No large schools were found. One day a particular place is good and the next nothing. The one thing that I noticed was that the place where the wind was blowing into was the best fishing. This is usually true but has not been the last several days until yesterday. The wind has been variable and swirling but was mostly from the northwest yesterday. I saw four other boats out there and three of them were from Blackburns. It was a beautiful day and so is today. The longer the high pressure stays the better the fishing and it is best when it clouds up and the wind picks up and the next front starts to come through and then it starts all over again. For best fishing do not miss the cloudy days just before a rain when the low pressure moves in. Learn the difference between a low pressure and a cold front. This is a good time of year and the fishing pressure is very low during deer season. The normal high is 59 and normal low is 38.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

All of these were caught yesterday.Image titleImage titleImage title

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The lake level is 555.65 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with less than one generator running. The White River level at Newport is just above 11-feet and they are doing a great job of holding the area lakes up as high as they can for as long as they can so there is little excess capacity for the spring rains. It has not rained in over a week. At least the level is perfect for fishing now that most of the tourists are gone. Sounds like a plan to me. The surface temperature was about 66 degrees yesterday but should start dropping slowly with the cool nights. The weather looks pretty good for the next week with highs near 60 and lows in the 30's which is normal. There is no particular pattern to the fishing except that many fish are roaming and not many are schooling. You can find two or three good fish on one brush pile with no big schools but fish are on most of them. I am catching fish in brush in 16-feet of water and also in 35-ft. of water. Bass, crappie, walleye and bluegill are all on the same brush with bluegill being mostly shallower. Some bass are on the bank early and late.  Yesterday the slip float and minnow were the best bait if you could find brush out of the wind but jigs and spoons were also working but not as well. Everything was biting on the larger minnows. The big crappie were in 35-ft. of water on brush about 12-15 ft. down and good ones too. Blackburns had several fishermen out yesterday and all caught fish. The striper fishermen are having a hard time and are catching no large fish and finding no large schools. They are finding a few schools of White Bass in the Red Bank area as reported a week ago but they are also few and not very big. They report doing a lot of looking and not much finding and are starting to think they are just not there. This is usually one of the best months for temperate bass fishing before they get lethargic and slow way down in activity in December. Maybe some big ones will start showing up. I hope so as we have a lot of customes who like to fish for them. I usually go with Binks a few times a year striper fishing and really enjoy it. If anybody can find them he can. They are not in their usual places. I am concerned about the size and numbers and people killing smaller and smaller ones. We are paying for the people bringing in coolers the size of caskets full of big dead stripers. They are not doing it anymore. Maybe they will again. Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. We are open all year and have live bait all year on site. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Scuba Steve likes those walleye.Image title

The small mouth are still biting. We like them and release all of them.Image title

Caught on the Bink's Spoon Yesterday.Image title

Jim Bornhop with a good one. More too.Image title

The lake level is 555.78 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with less than one generator running. The surface temperature is 66 degrees and the White River level at Newport is about 11-1/2 feet. Same plan. Hold and hope. It was and is cloudy and warm with a little cooler weather coming in but not too bad. A lot of fish were caught here at Blackburns yesterday and all had fun. It is to get a little windy later with a front coming through. Crappie, bass, walleye and bluegill continue to be the best bite and striper fishermen that cannot catch stripers (of any big size) are turning into crappie and bass fishermen. They are trying hard to prove me wrong though and are killing some smaller fish. 10-lb. or less stripers are like the equivalent of catching a 10-inch crappie or a 12-inch Kentucky but they keep showing dock floors of dead ones like they are a big prize.  I guess they will continue to do this until they are all gone. They do not reproduce in the lake and very few were stocked this year. None by the game and fish. It seems like the worse the striper fishing gets, the better the crappie, bass and walleye gets to make up for it. A lot of people like to catch them though and I hope they come back and thrive like they did before. There are plenty of bait fish in the lake for all game species. All of the fish that I am catching are very fat and healthy and there are may schools of shad with no fish on them. I am using the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon, jig and slip float and minnow  exclusively depending on the wind. I do not troll but do allow the boat to drift over the brush piles and then use the trolling motor to go the other way back across them. If it is still with no or light wind I spoon straight down or the slip float or both. I saw one seagull yesterday maybe that will help the bait fishermen.  It is hard to believe November is almost 1/2 over already. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and are open all year. Several are closed. Blackburns is a good place.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Dave Titus, John Bornhop, Tom Kelly and Mike Eakle all caught several nice ones. They were all fishing separately. Tom is still fishing Float Creek heavily.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 555.88 and has dropped over three inches in the last 24-hours. They cut way back on generation a couple of hours ago and the White River at Newport is now below 12-ft. The water is still clearing nicely and you can see your lure down several feet. The surface temperature was 556 when I went out yesterday the the ambient was in the low 70's. We had several fishermen out from Blackburns and they all caught fish. Most everything is the same but cooler weather is coming later this week but not bad. Our normal high is 60 and low is 39. We have not had a hard frost yet. We usually get the first on in very early November. Crappie fishing is the best followed by bass, walleye and bluegill. I will try a little catfishing later today. All temperate bass fishing is slow. The lake in general is in excellent condition for fishing. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. We are to get a little rain later but not much.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

All caught yesterday with many being released under the dock and in Tom Kelly's trophy pond. Image title

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The lake level is 556.20 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is now back to the stupid level of 12-feet so the level should continue to drop quickly until it approaches 553.75 where the C.O.E. are reluctant to turn over some control to the power company. It will then just drop very slowly. We have had no rain for a week. On this date in 2019 it was 555.21, in 2018 552.33, 2017 552.68 which shows why the lake gets high in the summer. They just will not drop it and nobody can figure out why. If they would drop it to the high 540's this winter and not stop generating every time it rains, it would surely go a long ways towards keeping the level below 560. That is where the trouble with access starts. This could be easily accompilshed while not having the White River go above 22-feet which is below minor flood stage. Nobody is avocating flooding out anybody down stream. People say the dam was only put in for flood control and the lakes have to take what is given to them but that was debunked when the minimum flow for the put and take trout in the river was implemented and took away 1.75 feet of flood capacity. I am pretty sure this law was to help the economy for the rivers. When water is let out of the dams, there is flow. When no water is let out of the dams they dry up. They are plastic rivers anyway except for the Buffalo which is free flowing.  That is what happens when dams are built. They enacted a law which provided for flow to the rivers all year no matter how low the lakes get so why can they not do the same for the area lakes and do everything possible to not flood them out without flooding down stream. This could be done but not with the current rules of operation. Hold and hope is not the answer. We need to move into the 21st century. It was a beautiful day yesterday. Sunny and warm but clouded up a little in the late afternoon. The wind was light and variable and the surface water temperature was about 56 degrees and the lake is clearing nicely. There was a little color on the wind blown banks but you could see your lure down several feet on the rocky banks. The small amount of twigs and bark that was floating has stuck to the banks now with the latest level drop and fishing conditions could not be better. Everyone caught fish around here yesterday and several of them too. Some were very large. It was a perfect day for fishing. Crappie, bass, walleye and bluegill continue to be the best bite with very few temperate bass being caught and most of the ones caught are small. I was using a small jig and a spoon yesterday and caught fish all afternoon until I came in at sunset and was fishing Blackburns Brush piles. Blackburns still had cabins for $59/day with your first boat stall free. Can't beat that anywhere. Why pay more unless you just have too much money or do not have to work for it?

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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Released under the dock.Image title

Tom Kelly with a good one caught and released in Float Creek yesterday. Tom is a good conservationist and a very good fisherman. Image title

The lake level is 556.50 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running but not at full strength. The level is perfect for access, launching, parking and fishing. The surface temperature was 66 even when I went out yesterday and the fish started biting immediately in the back of a creek in 17-feet of water. I caught all of the crappie I wanted and a couple of nice bass and then moved out towards the mouth of the creek where some fish were showing up on the bottom near brush but not on it in 22-ft. of water.  They were walleye and I caught three with two being keepers. I  then moved up north of Cranfield Island on the west side by the walleye rearing pond on the two points and caught a striper, two White Bass and hybrid in 33-ft. of water. A school happened to come through and they bit fast and were gone. All of them were released on site as they are getting more and more scarce. If people do not quit killing them they will get more scarce and very few were stocked this year. We used to catch them almost at will and big ones too. The high water for too long causing a low ozygen level and people killing too many, especially small ones, are getting to be a problem. It has not hurt the bass, crappie, bluegill and walleye population any though and they are even getting better. I just fish for what is biting anyway. If more people were like Tom Kelly and released all of the fish they caught the lake would be better off every one could have fun. I keep some walleye, crappie, bluegill, flathead and Kentucky bass which are the best eating but mostly for people who do not or cannot fish anymore and really appreciate them.  I have a small group of people that depend on be and I try to not let them down. The list is getting smaller now with several passing. The weather has been beautiful and is to continue to be so for a few more days. Blackburns is taking advantage of this and are doing a lot of improvements outside. The inside ones can be done in cloder weather. Debbie, Amy and Jennifer are working hard to make the place beautiful. My paint, stain and water sealer bill is quite large. Come on down and check us out. You will like what you see. We are open all year and have no price increases planned for next year again.  Some places are closed for the winter so give us a call. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Some nice fish were caught yesterday on the Spoon.Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 556.73 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours. They started running one generator at full speed last night and the lake started dropping immediately. It may drop now that the White River at Newport is back down to 12+ feet and Table Rock is back to below seasonal pool. We have gone almost a week with no rain.  Those are the two rules that they go by now for some reason. Newport seems to have survived the 20-ft. level with the last big rains with no flood damage of any kind. It shows the area lakes can be dropped with no problems down stream and the 12-ft. rule is stupid. Minor flood level is 23 feet. The surface temperature was 65+ when I went out yesterday and the water was not quite as clear as the day before for some reason. The overall fishing gets better the longer that this high pressure hangs around. It is to get windy again the first part of the week but this weekend looks to be wonderful.  One of our guests went up to the  Red Bank area yesterday and found the White Bass and Hybrids that were reported here but there were not as many as the day before. He was trolling and got a small hybrid(4-lbs) and a striper that was not 20-inches and a couple of White Bass. He picked up more bass on the shad than red meat fish. He was just glad to find some there but could not find any on the flats in front of the houses on Mallard Point. It is normally loaded with White Bass this time of year as is the mouth of Blackburns Creek but not this year.  It was a beautiful day with light variable winds and highs in the mid 70's and sunny. I went to the back of a close by creek and started catching crappie immediately on both casting the jig over the brush and a slip float with minnow at about the same levels. They were big ones too. I usually keep about 1/2 dozen a day for the people that cannot fish anymore and release the rest. They were right in the brush at 16-feet. I then went to a main lake brush pile for bass and caught one on the first drop of the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon. He now has a 3/8th ounce spoon and I have not tried one out yet. It should be easier to keep straight down in windy weather. If you allow the wind to move you you can expect many snags. Do not drag the spoon. Use your trolling motor against the wind to stay right on the brush and not drag your lure. This may not be easy with variable swirling wind which Norfork Lake is known for.  I like the smallest spoon possible but it may require a heavier one in the wind. If it is too windy I do not spoon but cast jigs and grubs. If there is no wind I always spoon and also use a slip float with minnow on a #4 red Mr. Crappie hook. I like the shape of the true turn as it mostly catches them in the upper jaw and very few get off. This can be a problem in the winter when the mouth gets paper thin. If you do not use the net on these big ones you will hear a pop and they will be gone. Do not try and lift them over the side of the boat like they do on TV. When spooning it often feels like a hit when you are touching brush. If you set the hook in the wood it will be gone too. Just keep your line tight with no slack and set your hook after you are sure it is a fish. Bass often fight for a bit and then head for the surface to spit. You must set the hook again before they hit the surface or they will be gone also. I employ every effort to keep the bass from jumping but sometimes it is impossible. Just set the hook before they do. I have used a swim bait with the hook rigged weedless through the bottom of the body and had big bass on. I fought them and they come to the surface and spit and got off. When examining the lure it has not even pulled through the body of the soft plastic. You would think the weight of the fish would set the hook but it will not. Bass, crappie, and bluegill fishing is the best right now with Walleye next but about 3/4ths of them are just a little short. It is now a good combination of weather and fishing and Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day with a free boat stall. I wish deer hunting season would get started as there are too many fishermen out there and they are hanging on my brush piles. I am seeing more loons out there but no seagulls yet. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 556.87 and is about the same as it was yesterday with one generator running about 1/2 speed continuously. The surface temperature is 65 degrees and is clearing and is a good color for fishing and in general in excellent condition.  You can see your lure down about 4-5 feet depending on what the bank is like. If it is steep and rocky it is much clearer. I have been fishing both brush piles and open water in front of brush on shad. Mixed species of fish are on the shad including crappie, walleye, bass, small hybrids and small white bass. Several schools of White Bass are around Red Bank landing but are mostly small. They are hanging in about 35-ft. of water and are not worth it to me to drive that far. I have a couple of good crappie brush piles in that area and check them out periodically. Spoons are working the best overall but minnows on slip floats are also working when the wind is calm mostly early morning and late afternoon. I am also using the small jig or grub, casting it over the brush and letting it sink slowly into it. The crappie are scattered everywhere and I can only catch a couple on one place and then they quit. Most of the fish are not in big schools but a few are. They are roaming looking for feed which is looking for cover. Some bass and bluegill are on the banks with the bluegill being right on the bank and the bass in about 8-10 feet of water in front of them. I am catching some very good smallmouth and fat Kentuckies. I release all of the smallmouth and largemouth under the dock and they seem to stay there as I feed them every day and can see them join the school and it is getting bigger everyday. The fishing overall is not the best but some of each species are being caught everyday. It is a mixed bag.  Trollers are catching some now but are putting on a lot of miles to get them. If you troll something through enough schools of shad you will catch some fish but most schools of shad are not holding fish. There is a lot of bait fish out there but I have seen much more in earlier years. One year in December there were so many shad in front of Panther Bay Marina that the fish finder was blacked out for about a mile both ways. I prefer casting for the fish  but to each their own. It is fun to feel that initial hit and setting the hook. It looks like there will be no November night bite for stripers again this year. The full mon is the very last of this month and it will be too late then. Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Why pay too much unless you just have too much money? I do not. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught yesterday evening on the 1/4 ounce Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 556.83 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 1/2 speed. The surface temperature was 64.5 where I was fishing yesterday afternoon on the main lake and the lake is clearing and is a good color for fishing. I was heading to a brush pile near Cranfield Island and saw some shad and schooled fish just around Mallard Point about in front of the third dock on the main lake side in 35-ft. of water. I dropped a spoon and caught a couple of small White Bass and a small Striper and released them all on site. No picture fish. White Bass are not picture fish anyway. The brush pile that I was looking for was a little deeper than I liked with the latest water rise but there were fish on It anyway. Four crappie, a couple of nice bluegill and a short walleye were caight on the 1/4 ounce spoon and then they quit. I moved around the point to the inside and switched to the grub and minnow and caught two smallmouth bass. It cooled down and I came in. The weather was wonderful with highs in the 60's with light wind. It is to be warmer for the next few days. I am going to go vote and then hit it again. There are few boats out there during the middle of the week and there is peace and quiet. Please quit killing those small stripers and hybrids. They do not dress out very well anyway after the red meat is cut off. I hope the White Bass make a comeback. They are pretty scarce now but at least they reproduce in the lake. Stripers and Hybrids do not and few were stocked this year.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Sonny Eakle from Granger, Iowa caught several yesterday. These are the biggest.Image title

The lake level is 556.78 and has risen about one inch in the last 24-hours. it stays stable when they run one generator and creeps up when they shut down or run 1/2 generator. The surface temperature has stayed fairly stable at 65+ degrees on the main lake and the water is clearing. Some guests caught several white bass about 1-1/2 pounds and were happy to get them after looking for them for several days. They also caught a very small striper and a hybrid but none were picture fish. The crappie fishermen did the best and also caught some bass with a few being smallmouth. Big bluegill fishing is very good right now and they are very tasty. Take a piece of bread with butter, slice of onion and a bluegill fillet and see how you like it. No red meat to cut out. The weather has been great but a little windy in the middle of the day. Cold fronts come through about twice a week and slow fishing but it picks back up the more the high pressure is here until the next one. This is a good time of year. The fall foliage has mostly blown off and you have your choice of light brown, medium brown and dark brown. It was a dud and not worth driving here for but the hillsides are always very beautiful here. When you come bring a coat for early morning and just before sunset and rain gear just in case. The middle of the day is very nice but does not last that long. It is nice to just be out there. The fishing is best on cloudy days after high pressure has been here for several days and just before the cold front and winds pick up then it starts all over again. Some fish can be caught almost anytime if you are not stuck on what you are fishing for and change with the flow and fish for what is biting. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. This is the time for us to work on improvements as there is no time in the spring when people are anxious to get out of the house in early March and no time then. Spring is very busy here and we have the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Bink was on the crappie yesterday using his jigging spoon. Image title

Tom Kelly with one fine bass caught and released. It was released on site. Tom is one good fisherman. He was using a plastic worm.Image title

Norfork Lake Fun on Halloween at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. Social distancing. Image titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 556.70 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running less than 1/2 the time. The level has risen about 2-1/2 feet total since all of the rain last week. The lake is clearing rapidly and the surface temperature on the main lake is still 65-66 depending on the time of day. A lot of fish were caught yesterday with crappie being the best bite with bass second. I am seeing nobody getting any stripers except for one now and again. We are paying the price for people killing all of those small ones from 4-10 lbs. Just a few White Bass and Hybrids are coming in but they are small also.  Some big bass are being caught and Kentucky Bass are the best bite. Big fat ones. They are fun to catch and great eating. The bluegill bite is still good with nice size. Catfishing is slow. They had a long time to drop the lake but refused to do it before the last rains. Now the level needs to go down about nine feet before the spring rains. The dam management rules need to be reviewed and moved into the 21st. century and the people running the operation need to be replaced.  The incompetence is unbelieveable and someone needs to be held accountable. We had a fun Halloween here at Blackburns. We had trick or treating outside under the pavillion and the evening was beautiful. Norfork Lake Fun out of Blackburns Resort and Boat rental. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. The weather has been wonderful and should continue for the next several days.   

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

I did not catch very many but they were good ones. Image title

The lake level is 556.50 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 1/2 the time. Do not expect the level to drop any time soon or very fast. The lake was still pretty clear when I went out yesterday but some small tree sticks and bark were floating on wind blown banks making fishing more difficult where I wanted to go.  I went out early, came in and worked on the dock and went out again late afternoon. It was cool early, warmed up and then got cool again fast at sunset. I do not expect great fishing after a cold front and the first day of high pressure after that especially with a full moon. Stripers and bluegill are the only fish that I know that like a full moon and it was big and bright just after dark. I could see just fine with no lights on. I tried the same places that worked for me the day before with very little luck. The fish marked on the brush but would not bite very well. The same for the river channel bank. I caught a couple and then moved to a main lake cut and caught a couple more. Overall it was a slow day for me but I caught some. Things are changing every day and that is why if you want to write accurate reports you have to be out there every day. I will follow Bink's advice and work back in the creeks today. I have to test him out. The weather is to continue to be good for a few days and maybe the bite will improve. The longer it goes before the next cold front the better it should get. I am happy to just be out there with peace and quiet. It is very nice out but you need warm clothes both early and late. The warm part of the day does not last long. I do not deer hunt anymore and prefer to feed them but the season definitely slows the boat traffic of fishermen on the lake. I like that too. Blackburns still has the best prices for both cabins and boat rental on the lake and your first boat stall is free. Why pay more?

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Mike caught several more. These are the biggest. Image title

The lake level is 556.01 and has risen 1.2 feet in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 1/2 the time. It is rising much slower now.  It has risen about 2-3/4 feet in the last four days and we have received a total of about 8-inches of rain in that period. It rained harder at times but mostly it was a slow steady rain and the ground was dry and the creeks did not run very fast and there is little mud in the creeks. So far it has not affected fishing much. The lake is still at a good level and the rain is gone and high pressure is here resulting in sunny skies and warmer temperatures. It is to reach 70's early next week again but there will be cool nights with the clear skies. Our first frost should occur tomorrow night. The moon is full tomorrow night and it should be very bright. I kept waiting for the rain to quit yesterday and it finally did about 4:PM and then I went fishing until almost dark. The surface temperature on the main lake was 65+ and the only thing that I saw that changed was the water was higher and the very backs of the creeks were a little muddy and the shore line with clay and mud banks was stained back up but not very far out. I went to the same places that I have been fishing and the fish were still there. I caught crappie, bass, bluegill and a short walleye and came in just at sunset a little after 6:PM. The time change goes into effect Saturday night and it will get dark about 5:30 after that but not very much with the moon. This weekend and next week will be a good time to come fish. Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day for two people with a free boat stall. If you thought big covered porches are not important the last four days should have changed your mind. People spent a lot of time under the porches and on the big dock waiting for the rain to slow except for the Katashuks who fish in anything.  We will see what today brings and I will let you know. Things are changing and I will be out there everyday. You cannot go fishing once every week and write a report. If there are no reports, there are no fish being caught. If any stripers are to move to the bank to feed at dark this will be the time. Very few big ones are being caught. Bass and crappie are the best bite now. Bink says the rain will bring the fish back into the creeks and he is almost always right. I expect several fair weather fishermen out there this weekend.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The lake level is 553.37 and is about the same as it was at this time yesterday with part of one generator running continuously. The White River at Newport is now at 6.4 feet. There is a flash flood warning for southern Missouri today and we will see what it does to the level. It has more effect on Norfork's rise than a local rain. The Norfork River water shead is much more there and we tend to hold their water and not release it. They should be regulating the White River at Newport to at least 12-ft. now and dropping the lake more but refuse to do so. We are at a very good level now but it does not leave enough surge capacity for the spring rains which are sure to come. The lake surface tmeperature was 66 when I went out yesterday and it was cloudy with light wind. Fog was moving in. Almost exactly what it was the day before but I did not catch as many fish. Three smallmouth bass, three crappie, two kentucky bass, one short walleye,, a warmouth and several bluegill were caught on the jig and very few on the spoon. It was cool but not too bad with the light wind. I saw only two other boats out there all evening and both were from Blackburns. It was like having a whole lake to yourself. I like that. Several fish are now on or near the bank in the evening and some are on shad in open water at the mouths of creeks but are mostly bass. The fish on the brush had lock jaw yesterday for me but several were there.   

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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For my friend Gus.Image title

The lake level is 553.41 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running less than capacity most of the time. We have received about 3-1/2 inches of rain total in the last couple of days and it is still raining. The creeks are running but not heavily but will if this keeps up as the ground is now saturated. That is good for trees and plants going into the winter. The White River at Newport has now dropped to below 6-ft. and they are already starting their philosophy of hold and hope and it is still October. The White River is a plastic river and has no water if they do not let any out of Bull Shoals or into it from Norfork and they are letting out very little. At least it is good news for the waders for the put and take trout on the river. They can barely float a boat though. I had a water temperature of 66 degrees when I went out yesterday and the lake is clearing nicely. You can see your lure down further every day and it is now about 4-ft. I stayed out until the rain got steady just after noon but caught several crappie. I did not stray very far from the shed and was casting a jig over brush piles. Eight keepers over 11-inches were caught in about two hours. It was cool and wet but the wind was not bad. The weather looks to be good again later this week and for the weekend but more rain until then. I will go out between showers and let you know. The lake in general is in good condition. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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

The lake level is 553.28 and is about the same as it was yesterday with little generation. The surface temperature was 66 when I went out yesterday and the water is still clearing and is a good color for fishing. The ambient temperature was 50 and the wind was light and it was cloudy. I went to a good brush pile and caught nothing and then worked a river channel steep bank with a jig and caught fish immediately  and consistently. Bluegill were right on the bank with smaller bass and the larger bass and crappie were on the first shelf after the drop off in about 10-12 feet of water. I caught several keeper fish and then came to the channel swing and they quit. There was another brush pile approaching on the point so I checked it out and switched to the 1/4 ounce spoon. The big bass were schooled in 27-ft. of water and when I would catch one others would follow it up. It was fun and then they were gone. All fished were released. They must have been roaming. It is to rain for the next few days but it looks good for the weekend. The moon is getting bigger and if the stripers are going to bite it will be the full moon or a little after and that is the end of the month and the first part of November. We have some good striper fishermen in and they are trying hard and catching a few fish. The biggest one they have caught is 15-lbs. I sure hope the fish show up this fall and winter. We used to catch 40-lbs, then 30-lbs then 20-lbs and now 15 is a big one and not many of them. I sure wish people would stop killing the small ones but if they fish for them in deep water they die anyway. I will stick to walleye, bass, crappie and catfish and allow the temperate bass to grow. The White Bass should make a rebound by themselves as there is lot of bait fish with small shad about 1-inch long completely filling my dock stalls. There are  several big schools in Blackburns Creek but nothing but bass under them. Usually there are hybrids and white bass all over the place. They may be just scattered but I am just not seeing them and I am out there every day. The bass fishing is about as good as I have seen it in years and the crappie is pretty good too as are the walleye. Big smallmouth are being caught. Fall foliage is not the best as the wind has blown a lot of leaves off the trees. The lake in general is in excellent condition for fishing and the cold fronts that are coming through about twice a week are not affecting fishing much. There are quite a few fishermen out there even during the week but especially on the weekends. I hope this covid thing gets over and the fish stockings get back to normal. Bink also had a good day yesterday catching several big fish. You can get his fishing report "Live in the Boat" on KTLO radio 97.9 FM at 8:45 AM or listen to it on cable TV radio Channel 5 on Thursdays with Bob Knight.  It is a good source of information. Mark it down. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

All caught yesterday fishing out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountain Region. Image title

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The lake level is 553.32 and dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with little generation. The White River at Newport is now at 6.5 feet and is nearly dried up but they are still holding.  The surface water temperature was 68 degrees and there were cloudy skies and cool conditions when I went out yesterday. The cold front had little effect on fishing for a change and a lot of fish were caught. I fished four different locations and caught fish on all four. We have a lot of people in and almost all of them had good luck despite the cool start. I fished from noon to about 4:30 PM and caught over a dozen fish and all were keepers. Catch included bass, crappie and walleye. Several bluegill were also caught. It was a fun day and I appreciated the light wind for a change. Today looks to be about the same with rain scheduled for the next few days after that. Go out and stay until it rains you in. This is a good time of year for fishing. I still am seeing very few temperate bass coming in but I see the black ducks are back the seagulls should be following. Then maybe the people with $2,000 fish locators can find schooling fish by following the birds and start catching some.  I hope so. I saw several eagles and osprey out there fishing. They were doing quite well with several fish being shallow. Fun to watch. I am not sure they were watching the legal size limit though. There were three eagles in one place. Come on down to Blackburns. we will not charge you too much. One bedroom cabins are still $59/day for two people.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

These are the biggest ones yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.43 and is dropping very slowly with just a little generation. The White River at Newport is 6+ feet and dropping and is getting dry. They are holding the lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible for some unknown reason. They are at a good level now for fishing, launching and parking and day use and it is only the last of October. Good going guys. If they keep this up it looks to be another hold and hope next year. Take it down to 548 and then quit letting out water or hold it as stable as possible until the spring rains come. It has nothing to do with downstream flooding, just management. There is no flooding anywhere now arund here. The water is clearing nicely now and is about where I like it for fishing but needs to be a little better for diving. It was very warm and a little windy when I went out yesterday and the bass were biting in the Middle Pigeon area on main lake points. I caught a flathead on my throw line. I then moved back to the Blackburns Creek area and started catching crappie. Big ones too.  The moon is getting bigger and a cold front is coming through now and we will see what it does to fishing. The highs are to drop from the mid 80's yesterday to the high 50's later this weekend. It is about 65 how and heading south. This is the high for the day. This has been the windiest fall that I have seen in a while here but has stayed warm until now and a lot of fish have been caught so far except for temperate bass. People are wondering if they are still here. I hope so but most of the ones being caught now are small. I know the late summer kill got a lot of them but dock floors full of small dead stripers have not helped things either and the low stocking level this year will not help the future. Many people just come here to catch them. I suppose the pressure will now go to the walleye since they are doing nicely. Not having my friend Harvey Hall out there has increased the crappie population. Big bluegill continue to bite and hundreds of them have been caught off my dock.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught these and several more.Image title

The lake level is 553.66 and has dropped a little more than one inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is 9-1/2 feet and they will let it dry up rather than drop the lakes. We need to get it down to at least 548 to make room for the spring rains. I hope the spring rains do not surprise them again this year. They are the only ones that seem to not know they happen. Hold and hope is their motto. The surface water temperature was 69+ when I went out yesterday and it was misting rain with very light wind. Perfect for me. I fished Blackburn's brush piles in about 25-ft. of water casting a jig past them and allowing it to sink into the brush. Again, crappie, bass and bluegill were caught. It was nice to have the wind gone. This is the time of year that I like to fish the best and am happy to be able to go. There was peace and quiet and very few boats. Some guests caught several walleye and reported they were shallow in 14-ft. of water in front of brush piles part way back in the creek.  I was fishing main lake brush only. There is a lot of bait fish at the mouth of Blackburns Creek but I did not stop to check them out since it was getting dark. Good day.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Some of yesterday's catch.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.78 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They stopped generating  early this morning for several hours to hold the level up above 553.75 for as long as they could to keep from turning some of the generation authority to the electric company even if they have to nearly dry up the White River at Newport.  We received an inch of badly needed rain last night and it is raining now. It is not good to go into the winter dry. We seem to get some about when we need it. The lake surface temperature is in the high 60's and the lake is clearing again after the turnover. It is cool today but to get back into the 80's later this week. Bass fishing is the best followed by bluegill and crappie with a few walleye being thrown in. Bink is catching some giant smallmouth, Tom Kelly is catching some big largemouth and Mike Eakle is catching mostly crappie and Kentucky bass. Main lake brush piles are producing the most in 25-feet of water with the jigging spoon being the best lure overall (1/4 ounce) with crappie biting on live minnows and jigs also. This is a good time to fish as it always is this time of year and will stay good for several weeks. A few stripers are being caught trolling but they are small and should be left alone. The numbers of big ones are as low as I have ever seen them and will stay that way if 5-9 lb ones are killed. Only a very few were stocked this year and they do not reproduce in fresh water. They are too small to keep anyway. I am seeing almost no White Bass and the ones that I do see are small also. Every once in a while a school of decent ones show up but not often. I sure hope they come back. They are fun to catch. White Bass are for people that cannot catch anything else and trout are for people that cannot catch White Bass.  Ha Ha. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and a free boat stall comes with each cabin. We allow smoking on the covered porches and you do not need an umbrella to smoke out side or get out of the sun. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

More family fun at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. Nice people.Image title

The lake level is 553.91 and has dropped two inches in the last 24-hours. They have cut back on generation as they approach the seasonal conservation pool of 553.75. They always do. The wind finally quit after blowing like a hurricane all day. People were trying hard to have fun out there but it was difficult. Much fall foliage blew off the trees. It is cloudy with a chance of rain tonight with highs in the high 60's for a few days. We need rain badly. The normal high is 71 and low is 49. The surface water temperature dropped just below 70 yesterday and it was clearing but it got stirred up a bit on the dirt and clay banks. We will see what today brings. The bass are biting pretty well. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Tom Kelly and Roger Moody continue to catch big bass everyday. They are both excellent fishermen. All released under Blackburns Dock.Image titleImage title

Kevin Reque, Nate List and Ryan McMallister are having some Norfork lake Fun here at Blackburns. Nice people.Image title

The lake level is 554.32 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. 553.75 is the new seasonal conservation pool and we will see what happens when they get close to that. That is when they turn over some of the control to the electric company and they do not like to do that. We were to get a frost last night but it did not materialize. It got down to 39 but was still very cool for october. It is clear and sunny now but another front is to move through with wind tomorrow. Fishing conditions were very good yesterday especially early until the wind picked up and several good fish were caught. It usually dies about 4:30 Pm but held on until after 5 last evening. The lake is not clearing very much except for near the shore and the surface temperature was 71.5 when I went out in the morning. I caught my usual with several crappie, bass, bluegill and a short walleye in the mix. Fish were caught on every brush pile I fished and 25 feet of water suspended near the bottom was the most popular depth. All fish were hitting the lure aggressively but not many in one place. I would catch a couple and then they would quit and I would move on. It was a nice day and was good to be out. Wish you were here. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Some very large bass are being caught but no stripers. Fall foliage is not the best yet and may not be this year.  There are mostly browns but a little yellow and red is showing up. It is still very nice. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Tom Kelly is one good fisherman and always catches fish. Caught in Float Creek.Image title

Mike Eakle and John Bornhop with nice crappie.Image title

Chad Moody with a good one.Image title

Caught fishing with Bink on the spoon.Image title

The lake level is 554.59 and has dropped a little less than 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running at a littles less than capacity. The White River at Newport is at 10+ feet now and they are trying to dry it up while keeping the lake up as high as possible for as long as possible. The seasonal conservation pool is now at 553.75 and they are reluctant to get below that for some reason. Drawing the level down in the winter to make room for spring rains does not make any sense to them. It is very dry here and the rain fall for the fall months is way below average. We did get a little rain last night, about 1/2 inch and it is to get very cool tomorrow night with a chance of our first frost.  It does not usually come until November. A lot of fish were caught yesterday despite the wind. Binks caught bass, John Bornhop and Mike Eakle caught crappie and bass, Chad Moody caught bass, Tom Kelly caught bass and Scuba Steve caught crappie and bass. Other guests caught bluegill and walleye. The lake surface temperature is still in the early 70's but should drop a little with this next cold front. The last one did not hurt fishing much. The water is still stained and is slow clearing. It started to clear but stopped for some reason. The wind blew a lot of leaves from the fall foliage and it does not look to be the best year for that. There are a lot of just browns. The lake is in good conditions for fishing but we will see what this next cold front will bring. I am seeing no temperate bass being caught and I am not sure of forecasts that cold weather will start them up are accurate. Maybe the migrating birds will help them find more fish when they get here. Some are lost without them. Blackburns still has one bedroom cabins for $59/day and your first boat stall is free. No duplexes and all cabins have covered porches. You can social distance here. You can drive or walk to the dock and step right on and launch right by the dock. We have a good setup. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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Caught fishing with Bink's Guide serviceImage title

John Bornhop with some good ones.Image title

The lake level is 554.76 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours. They have shut off the spillway release and are running less than one full generator. The lake did not clear anymore the last day and the creeks are stained again. The surface temperature is now 73.5 and it is windy. I caught several crappie this morning and released all under 11-inches but still kept about a dozen with a couple of nice Kentucky Bass. One short walleye was released. Bink reports catching three good walleye and a very large smallmouth today. He is spooning exclusively. I hear reports about people catching stripers and hybrids but have not actually seen any. Striper fishermen that cannot catch anything are now going crappie and bass fishing. One of our guest reports catching two walleye over 20-inches last night at dark on live bait on a main last point close to Blackburns. Bluegill fishing is good and some nice ones are being caught. John Bornhop is back and catching crappie and Bass and was very sorry to hear about Harvey. He went with him several times.  Mike Eakle is bringing in Bass and crappie and Roger Moody and his son continue to catch bass but report several are under sized. Kentuck bass fishing is about as good as I have seen it in years. They are fat and healthy and good eating. I am glad they are in the lake. Bink is the only one that I know that is catching smallmouth. I am not. Catfishing is fair to poor on throw lines but some are pretty big. The weather is great if the wind would die down a little in the middle of the day.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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

The lake level is 555.09 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They have cut way back on generation and and the total including just a little spillway release is equal to about one generator. The level of the White River at Newport has now been dropped to just over 11 feet. The lake is clearing especially in the creeks where the turnover is over. I can now see several feet down off my dock. It was very windy from the north yesterday and you had to get out early and go out again late to get out of it. It is mostly gone now. It is beautiful out today. A lot of fall foliage was blown off but much still remains and it is changing more everyday. I thought it was going to be a dud because of the dry conditions but has turned out ok so far. Some good fish were caught but the wind kept the fishing time down to a minimum. It was a good day to work on resort improvements.  We will see what today brings. We have several good fishermen out there. The surface temperature is still in the low 70's. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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Rodger Moody is back and catching fish. He is one good bass fisherman.Image title

The lake level is 555.32 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running and just a little of spillway action. The lake continues to clear, especially in the creeks and near the shore where the water cools more rapidly. A small cold front is moving through now with the wind picking up and blowing a lot of fall foliage off the trees. There is no moisture with it but a bigger one is coming later in the week. Chances of rain are not good for the next week and we need it bad.  A lot of fish were caught yesterday with bass, crappie, bluegill and a few walleye and catfish. Temperate bass fishing is slow and the trollers are putting on many miles for just a few fish. I am seeing few schooling fish in this part of the lake. Bass fishing is the msot consistent and the crappie are hit and miss. They get lockjaw for several hours and then bite for about 30-minutes. You just have to ride them out or go bass fishing and try later. I caught one walleye but it was just an accident spooning for bass in brush. I am using a grub tipped with a minnow, jig, slip float and live minnow, 1/4 ounce spoon, and 3-inch plastic worm on a jig head and switching back and forth. One day the spoon is the best and the next the Bobby Garland Baby Shad. The worm is usually best for Kentucky Bass. I am not catching very many fish back in the creeks with most of them being out on or on the sides of main lake points near deep water. Main lake cuts are also holding fish. The weather has been great but I do not need this wind. It should go down later this evening. It usually does. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Rodney Thornton from Coulterville, Illinois caught some good ones. That bluegill was huge. Good going Rodney.Image title

The lake level is 555.58 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours. They stopped generation and cut way down on spillway releases this morning for several hours to keep the White River at Newport at 12-feet for no reason. Our seasonal conservation pool is now at 553.75. It used to be 552 but they took away 1.75 feet of flood capacity for the minimum flow to the rivers for the put and take trout and this increased the way they calculated % full to govern lake levels. The lake surface temperature is still about 73 degrees and the shallower creeks are starting to clear at bit after their turn. A lot of fish were caught yesterday and so far today. Bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish and a few walleye are coming in. Fish are starting to hit the spoon again after a few days off. We were forced to worms, creature baits , jigs and grubs during the major part of the turn. It is not over yet but will be in a few days with two cold fronts moving through this next week. The last week in October and all of November look to be excellent fishing as usual. Blackburns is very busy with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. Your first boat stall is also free. People staying here are looking for real estate, having motorcycle tours, working in the area and fishing. There is a lot of interest in the fall foliage this year and I cannot predict how it will be. It is better than I expected already and looks to be a bit early this season. The road sides are changing more quickly than the hillsides. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental is your fall foliage headquarters for Mountain Home, Norfork Lake, North Central Arkansas and the Ozark Mountain region. Fall is wonderful here. Stay tuned for updates. The lake level is about perfect for cruising, parking, launching and fishing with Blackburns brush piles being at good depth and holding fish. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught yesterday at 4-PM. on a jig over brush in 20-ft. of water.Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 555.92 and has dropped about 5-inches in the last 24-hours with a little more than one generator running and some flood gates augumenting. The lake is at a very good level now for fishing but the lake is turning. The fall foliage is changing rapidly and more reds and yellows are showing up. It is more color than I first thought would happen this year and more is still to come. The surface water temperature was a little over 73 degrees and you could see your lure down less than 2-feet when I went out a little after 2-Pm. I know that is the worst time to go fish but I like to see if I can catch them when it is tough. I spooned three different places with fish under me and caught nothing. I then moved again with more fish down near brush and they started biting about 4-Pm on the jig casted and allowing to sink into brush at about 20-feet. Four nice crappie and two bass were caught in about 1/2 hour and they stopped. A channel cat was also caught on the throw line. Fishing is not the best now but you can catch some good ones if you know how. I saw no top water fish.Trollers are having a hard time. Bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish are the best right now and are not at any particular depth. I did not see any fish surfacing. People following birds have a hard time when they are not here yet and have to find fish on their own. They will be back when it gets colder and will make it easier for them to find fish. The weather is nice and is to remain so for the next week and Blackburns still has cabins for $59day for two people in a one bedroom with larger cabins priced accordingly. Your first boat stall is free. Come on dow. We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The lake level is 556.34 and has dropped almost 5-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and some spillway gates open part way. This shows what they can do if they want to. The main lake surface temperature is in the early 70's and the lake is turning everywhere. (It alway does in October). It will take a few days to start clearing. It does not look like we will have much effect from the hurricane but we sure could use some rain. The last two months have been very dry but we seem to get some when we need it.  The best way to catch fish now is to use a small three inch worm on a jig head, twister tail tipped with a minnow or a Bobby Garland Blue Ice Baby shad and work the bank around wood. Do not use a heavy jig head or you will get hung up a lot. Spooning has slowed way down for me now but will pick back up again. The last of October and all of November look to be excellent for fishing with the lake at a good level and the turn over finished for a while. The full moon is the 31st and it will be interesting to see if the stripers (what is left of the big ones) go to the bank to feed near dark. A good place to look for them is in the late afternoon on the steep bank just south of the first dock at Cranfield marina in deeper water and then they move up stream to the area around the walleye rearing pond on the points at dusk. It just depends if the shad are there for them to feed on. The next full moon is not until the last day of November and that will be too late for them but not for other species. I catch a lot of fish in November and the time around Thanksgiving is always good. We caught bass, crappie and bluegill yesterday but not a lot with several smaller fish mixed in. You could see your lure down less than two feet in the area that I was fishing. Fish are really scattered and roaming now but some are feeding early and late shallow. There is plenty of feed out there. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Scuba Steve and Mike Eakle caught some good ones yesterday. Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 556.75 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They did add a little spillway release to the one generator but have since slowed that down a bit. It is now equal to about one and one third generator. They are keeping the White River at 12-feet religiously. Three and 1/2 inches per day is fine but they need to keep doing it until it gets into the 540's and have been very reluctant to do this. It was very nice and warm with light wind when I went out yesterday and the fishing was slow but steady and I caught several bass, crappie and bluegill. I saw some fish surfacing just before I came in but after catching a couple of them found out that they were just small White Bass. No picture fish. It was good to see them as they have been almost as scarce as the big stripers. I am not interested in small White bass so I came in.  The waning moon is helping the catfishing some but it is not great yet. The surface water temperature was 73 and the creeks are turning over and the main lake is starting. It will take a couple of weeks to finish and then the lake will start to clear. As I reported earlier November is a good month for overall fishing. There is a another full moon on the 31st and we will see if there is a night bite for stripers on the stick bait. This does not happen every year in the fall. They sometimes go to the bank at dusk to feed but not always and it has been less and less the last few years. It used to be much better. Fish the shadowy banks with a soft plastice for walleye before dusk though as they always bit during November whether the stripers do or not. You will see several come in. They have been biting pretty well all year with many throw backs being caught and some big ones. Right now bass, bluegill and crappie are the best bite with a few catfish and walleye. Blackburns has cabins for $59/day and fishing pontoons for $110/day plus gas and oil or a free stall for your boat.Fullly equipped bass boats start at $90/day. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Released under the dockImage title

The lake level is 557.08 and has dropped about 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running a little below capacity continuously. The surface temperature was 74 degrees and it was sunny and warm with light wind when I went out yesterday. I caught a good channel cat on my throw line right off and then caught a flathead on the spoon near brush and then went crappie and bass fishing using the spoon and then the jig. Both worked. Some real nice fish were caught and Blackburns brush piles are really paying off now. They are a lot of work but are worth it. I wish more people would put their own in instead of just using others. The game and fish have done a good job in restoring the old ones that had been neglected taking the pressure off mine which I have been putting in every year for many years. The weather is to be great for the next several day and it does not look like the hurricane will affect us much. As the moon wanes the catfishing should get better. A nice smallmouth was caught and immediately released. I do not kill smallmouth. Striper fishermen cannot catch much and trollers are having a hard time. It is hard to troll through brush and open water fish are hard to get now. The lake level is perfect for launching and fishing now. The water is stained and you can see your lure down just a couple of feet with creeks being even less. Crappie, kentucky bass, bluegill, walleye and flathead are the best eating and all are biting now but you have to know where and how. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. You can save a minimum of $25/day here with the low cabin rates and your first boat stall being free. If you must pay more, just stay here and give the rest to disabled veterans. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught fishing out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Yesterday. More too.Image title

The lake level is 557.30 and has dropped about 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The lake surface temperature was 73 degrees when I went out yesterday afternoon.  The water was stained and you could only see your lure down a couple of feet and the fish were biting. The weather was beautifull with sunny skies and light wind with an ambient temperature of about 70-degrees.  I started out casting a Bobby Garland jig over brush and letting it slowly sink into brush and caught a couple of nice crappie and a few bluegill in 17-ft. brush. They quit so I moved to another main lake brush pile and did the same thing and caught three more crappie. Next was a main lake point in 27-ft. of water and caught two nice bass on the 1/4 ounce spoon near the bottom. I came in after about two hours.  There were very few boats out there and things were very calm. It is to be in the 80's for the next week with sunny skies.  The moon is getting smaller and the fishing is getting better for me except for temperate bass of which I am not seeing any. Striper fishermen are having a hard time but that is not unusual for early October. Crappie, bass and bluegill fishing is good right now if you know where and how. Walleye have slowed a bit but some are still being caught. Catfishing is also slow. I never catch very many with a dropping lake and big moon. I was getting several very nice flatheads and a few channels but not now. They will bite again and then quit when it gets cold and the water clears. The bass and crappie will not. November and December is when I catch the largest crappie. Both them and bass will bite best right at sunset. This is a good time of year. Come on down we will not charge you too much. You can get a one bedroom cabin for two for $59/day and a free stall for your boat. The lake is at an excellent level for fishing, launching and parking right near the dock. Fishing pontoons with trolling motors start at $110/day plus gas and oil.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 557.58 and dropping 3+ inches in a 24-hour period with one generator running continuously. We had a 67 degree water temperature in Blackburns Creek yesterday and a main lake temperature in the low 70's. The very backs of the creeks in shallow water appear to be turning as is the fall foliage on the roadways with the sumac getting some red and some brown.  The hillsides are starting to get brown with a little yellow on the hard woods. The walnut leaves continue to fall heavily and the maple trees are turning red. This is about two weeks early. The weather is to be beautiful for the next week with highs in the 80's and sunshine. The steady wind has been relentless and hard to get out of and does not go down until late in the afternoon. This does not hurt fishing, especially bass fishing, but I just do not like to fish in it. It is hard to keep the spoon vertical in swirling wind. Several crappie and bass are still shallow (17-feet) on river channel banks on the main lake just at the drop off. Those 1/8th ounce Bink's spoons really work well at that depth especially when there is light wind. You get the best action on 4-lb. test but 6 is ok.  I do not use any heavier than that unless the 3/4 or 1-ounce spoon is used and that is only for deep water in the summer. From now on I will use the 1/8th or 1/4 unless it is windy then I go to the 1/2 and go against the wind with the trolling motor to keep the lure as straight up and down as possible. Do not drag the spoon or it will not have much of a life expectancy. Bass and crappie are together. I am not finding very many open water fish but the prevailing winds are blowing the plankton to the bank and the shad are feeding on it and the bass are with the shad. They can be caught on crank baits. I do not use them much but mostly stick to jigs, grubs, spoons and creature baits.  I will be using slip floats with live minnows over brush in light wind soon for crappie and bluegill and switch back and forth with spoons. My throw line for catfish is not producing very well. The lake should clear as the temperature drops and the turn finishes but I am not much concerned about that unless it gets too clear but that has not happened for several years with the policy of keeping the lake level high. It sure is at a good level now and I wish it would stay just like this for fishing. It has not been good for Scuba Diving this season with bad visibility all year.. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. We will not put you in a duplex or condo where you cannot social distance. All cabins are sanitized after every use and we are open all year. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Some of yesterday's catch. More too.Image title

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The lake level is 558.15 and is dropping 3+ inches in a 24-hour period with one generator running continuously. It does not need to drop any faster but they need to keep doing it instead of stopping at 553.75 which is the new 552 when the worthless minimum flow for the put and take trout took away 1.75 feet of flood capacity. The dams are now for flood control and trout protection. Just draw the lakes down to the mid 540's in the winter before the spring rains and get rid of the stupid 12-ft. rule for the White River at Newport. Nobody knows where it came from anyway. Minor flood stage there is 26-feet just keep it below that.  The lake is at a good level now and you can drive or walk down a gentle sloping 400-yards to Blackburns Dock and Launch and step onto the dock with no steps and park and launch right there and pull right into your free boat stall. No going elsewhere to launch requiring two people. The water surface temperature is dropping with the level and the cool days and cold nights are well below normal. It is to be back near 80 next weekend. The surface temperature is now in the early 70's before the sun comes up. More fish are being caught now versus last week with bass, crappie and bluegill being the best. The lake was clearing but has not improved the last few days and it looks to be an early and gradual turnover. The cold weather does not drive the thermocline down as some report but the hot weather does. I have seen shallow northern lakes do a violent turnover and the water flips from the bottom to the top bringing much debris and trash with it. That is not what happens here because the lake is so deep and that insulates surface water temperature from changing very much in a short period. I have seen one year where the surface water temperature on the main lake did not go below 50 degrees. I have also seen it where the water froze from the back of Blackburns cove out to the main lake and I could not get my boats out of the stall. There was a massive shad kill that year when the main lake dropped to the mid to high 30's and the striper fishing was great on jerk baits. But that was when we had more big stripers than we do now. It got down to 40 degrees last nigh and is to warm only to the high 60's today. Normal high is 77 and low is 50. I finally found the crappie again yesterday after talking to Binks. He is always on top of things. He told me what to look for and there they were. Bass were with them. Several of both were caught. Some on a spoon and some on a jig. Normally I do not use a spoon in less than 20-feet of water but it worked yesterday. You can never quit learning and must keep an open mind and try new things. Some big fish were caught. This is a good time of year but I like all seasons. It is nice to see so many walleye. Several are undersized indicating a good crop next year. I would like to see more stocked to supplement the natural spawn. Come on down to Blackburns and we will not charge you too much. The fall foliage is definitely changing now and it looks to be an early peak but I am not sure how spectacular it will be. There are lots of just brown already. It will be beautiful anyway. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday. Those are some nice fish.  Caught more too. Image title

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The lake level is 558.71 and has dropped 3+ inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. I had a surface temperature of 77 degrees yesterday afternoon but the ambient temperature was 90-degrees. The backs of the creeks are getting very stained like the beginning of turnover is starting and working it's way out.  The walnut leaves are falling fast now but they are the first ones to go. The sumac leaves are turning red and it looks to be an early fall. The hardwood on the hillsides are also turning a little yellow but more brown than yellow. Fall foliage usually peaks here the very last of October but things seem to be happening early this year. I caught some good fish yesterday and spent time experimenting. The brush was not producing so I went to some known crappie places on steep banks and caught a few shallow. Nothing big. People are asking me why other people are reporting striper fishing is great and I am not catching any. I have only caught one small one in over a week and it was luck. A few calls were made and I could not find anybody catching very many if any. If there is no report for several days it does not mean that people are not going fishing it is just that they are not catching any fish. You can not go out for several days catching nothing and then find some fish and write a report. I have several good fishermen reporting to me that are out there almost everyday and striper fishing is tough. I roll with the flow and catch what is biting. I do like to check things out, put in good brush piles and let my customers have an upper hand and insight on what is happening. It is good for repeat customers of which Blackburns has many. If fishing is good I say so and if it is not I also say so. Bink caught several good ones yesterday including big crappie and walleye but almost always does. I caught no picture fish. One thing for sure Blackburns will not charge you too much and has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals. If you are not staying at Blackburns you are paying too much.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 559.04 and is dropping a little over three inches in a 24-hour period with the equivalent of one generator running continuous. The surface temperature was dropping  and is now in the early 70's but should not today with the high in the high 80's.  That is all to change tomorrow with the high to be low 70's with lows to be near 40. With the number of hours of sunshine being less and less per day now and overnight lows dropping so will the surface temperature. It is about where it should be for this time of year. I did catch a flathead on my throw line yesterday and a couple of nice bass on the spoon jigging brush piles in 28-ft. if water. I released them in Tom Kelly's trophy pond. It is fully stocked now but is getting fished more heavily. Fishing is not the best now and you have to work for what you get but some good fish are being caught. The lake is getting less stained and is a good color for fishing. Big moon, dropping lake level and cold fronts moving in and out are not helping things. There is some color, mostly yellow, showing up on the hillsides for fall foliage but not a lot. The sumac on the roadsides is not changing much yet but some ornamental bushes are. It is nearly a month for the nornal peak to happen. Blackburns is your fall foliage headquarters for Norfork Lake, Mountain Home, North Central Arkansas and the Ozark Mountain region. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and are open all year. Some are not.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 559.33 and has dropped over 3 inches in the last 24-hours with the equivalent of one generator running continuously. The surface water temperature is also dropping with the cool nights and is now in the low 70's depending on when you check and how much sunshine there is. The lake overall is in good condition but fishing is just fair. Bass fishing and bluegill fishing is pretty good with crappie next and everything else not so good. Some walleye are coming in though but not as many as a few days ago. Barring any heavy rains the best fishing will be the entire month of November after lake turnover which is always sometimes in October. It has been happening gradually the last few years with no drastic changes except the thermocline goes away and the water is homogenous from the surface to several feet down with the fish having no special reason to be anywhere except for food and cover. That is where brush piles come in. Baitfish head for cover and big fish follow. The stripers will school and stay on the shad in open water as always but there are just fewer of them. At least fewer big ones with people killing so many small fish below 10-lbs. and very few being stocked this year will hurt the future. Fishing pressure is also increasing and more are learning how to catch them and where they are located. Norfork is still a very good fishing lake and has a great group of Biologists trying hard to make it better. Do not quit stocking those hybrids as they are the go to fish when the stripers get scarce. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 559.65 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with the equivalent of one generator running continuously. We did receive about 1/2 inch of badly needed rain last night and the wind got a little gusty for a bit. The weather is to cool for a couple of days, warm back up and then cool again. The lake is clearing slowly and the surface termperature is about 75 degrees depending on where and when you check it. The big moon, dropping lake level and cold fronts are almost stopping throw lines with live bluegill and are not helping overall fishing but some good ones are being caught everyday. Technique and persistence is very important now. Spooning brush is the best way to catch fish now except for the ones feeding on the bank both early and late are hitting plastic worms. I am also using a jig casted past the brush and allowing it to sink right into the brush is also working somewhat. Slip floats sitting right over the brush with live minnows is also working for crappie and bluegill especially in light or no wind but you have to set the depth barely over the top of the brush. I am using slip floats, spoons and jigs exclusively and catching fish everyday. I would use live minnows more but the ones that I am getting are too small and the wind is blowing almost everytime I go out. Blackburns still had cabins for $59/day with a free boat stall and pontoons with trolling motors and bass boats for fishing. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

We have a big group of young people in . They had fun catching fish off the dock and playing in the big pool. Nice kids.Image title

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The lake level is now 559.86 and has broken the 560 barrier and it is only the last of September. At least you can drive 1/3 mile to the dock and step on without going down steps and Blackburns brush piles that we put in last winter are all now in play and fish are being caught off them. I caught all of my fish yesterday in 28-ft. of water near the bottom on brush with a 1/4 ounce Bink's jigging spoon. You have to get down too them and that is the best way. Bink is responsibile for the proliferation of spooning in this area. Almost nobody did it 25-years ago and now even the hard core live bait fishermen and devout trollers are at least using this technique some of the time. It just works. Not to say other ways do not. Trolling umbrellas through shad works also but it is like reeling in an anchor. I am just not into netting shad in the dark, trying to keep them alive, trolling a half dozen rods with live bait at different depths for miles until schools of shad with fish under then are located. When they are you are handed a rod to reel them in and when multiple fish bite at the same the lines get all tangled. I have a hard enough time with one rod. I do not use planer boards or balloons either.  To each their own. I caught crappie, walleye and bass yesterday in the middle of the day in just a few minutes as I had to get back in. It was a beautiful day and it was nice to be out in the sunshine. The water temperature was 78+ degrees and is still stained but clearing. The lake was pretty busy. It is too late for me to get into another business venture but the idea of equipping Bertha and Mable chaise lounge tubes with charging outlets and video game ports seems like a good one. They can then drag the children around and they can text and play video at the same time. Should be a good money maker. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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

The lake level is 560.17 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The water is still stained green but is clearing just a bit with the old shoreline buckbrush starting to show. The fish that were at 25-ft near the bottom have moved out deeper and are at 35-40 feet at different depths and are in or around main lake brush, especially on points or around points. Vertically jigging a spoon is the best way to get down to them. Some bass and bluegill are near the bank early and late and can be caught on plastic worms. Crappie fishing is fair. They bite for a few minutes and then turn off for hours. I caught seven yesterday in about 1-1/2 hours  casting a jig past the brush and letting it sink slowly into it. The surface water temperature is 79 in the afternoons after the sun has shined on it for a few hours. We are dry and have not had much rain for three weeks but the morning dew is keeping things green. An inch or two of rain would not hurt anything. The weather has been beautiful but a cold front is to come through Sunday night dropping the temperatures. The moon getting bigger, the lake dropping rapidly and a cold front will not help fishing any but some fish can still be caught spooning brush. Stripers are scattered and the schools are not big. Trollers are going a long ways to find mostly small fish. Look in big bays in 45-ft. of water to find some.  Walleye are still holding in there and are with the deeper bass. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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A tribute to my good friend Harvey Hall of Hard Times Crappie Guide Service and the best crappie fisherman that I have ever seen. He taught me a lot and I was fortunate to have known him and have him for a friend.  

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 561.03 and has dropped a little less than 3-inches in the last 24-hours with a little less generation. The water temperature was 79 yesterday morning, the weather was cloudy, the wind was light and the fish were biting. We caught a couple of stripers out in front of the houses on Mallard Point in 45ft. of water but they were small, we released them and we moved to Float Creek. Walleye, crappie and bass were caught there, all on 1/2 ounce Bink's jigging spoons. A nice flathead was caught on a throw line using bluegill. If you catch bluegill on the jigging spoon hang in there, big fish are with them. Most of the fish were caught in about 30-ft. of water on or near brush and near the bottom. The bite slowed by mid morning. People caught some big bluegill off the dock. We were forecasted to get some rain last night but did not. It is dry here but Blackburns big flat play ground is green and the pool is open. Some color is starting to show up on the hillsides for fall foiliage but not much yet. Most is just caused by water being up in the trees for too long on the old shoreline stressing the trees. I watch the hillsides, the hardwoods and the road sides. Blackburns is your fall foliage headquarters for Mountain Home, Norfork Lake, North central Arkansas and the Ozark Mountain region.  Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. We have different sized stalls at our dock for different sized boats. No one size fits all. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The lake level is 561.27 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with more generation. The lake surface temperature was 80.5 when I went out yesterday afternoon. I checked my throw line and got a nice flathead. It was baited with live bluegill. I then went to a Blackburns brush pile and caught three nice crappie on a jig. Moved to a main lake cut and caught two Kentucky bass. I saw some fish on the graph in 45-ft.about 30-ft. down and dropped a spoon and caught about a 5-6 lb. striper. The fish was released and swam away and I hope he made it. People are killing way too many small stripers in the 6-10 lb. range and are really cutting down on the big fish numbers by not letting them grow. Very few were stocked this year. Taking pictures of dock floors full of small dead stripers is not impressive. I came in after 1-1/2 hours and there was much less boat traffic than on Sunday and I only saw fishermen and pontoons. It was a very nice day but is cloudy this morning. We need rain bad and have not had any for almost two weeks. There was some 79 degree water back in the creeks and the lake seems to be clearing just a bit. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 561.81 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with the same generation. They are keeping the White River at Newport below 12-feet to keep the lakes up as high as they can for as long as they can. They must like to do that so there is no surge capacity for when it rains. The surface temperature is about 80 degrees and the lake is still stained green and you can see your lure down just a few feet. The temperature will drop quickly in the shallow creeks as the nightime lows reach near 50. The stained water has not hurt fishing though and a lot of big fish were brought in yesterday and this morning. I went out for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon and and it was about 70-degrees with a light wind. There were still several boats out there dragging stuff around and jet skis seeing how close they could come to docks and fishermen.  I caught all of my fish on a Bobby Garland jig casting it over brush and letting it sink slowly with a little twitch. I was catching crappie when a nice walleye hit it and just about knocked the rod out of my hand. Some smaller stripers and hybrids are starting to show up but not nearly as many as there used to be. Too many in the 6-10 lbs have been killed by fishermen and the low oxygen is not helping anything either. Holding the water up so high and for so long in the vegetation depletes the oxygen. I am seeing some color on the hillsides indicating the fall foliage is beginning. It has not changed much in the last several days though. Our normal peak is the very last of October but nothing is normal around here anymore. Our normal high is 80 now. Carl Scott, Mike Eakle, Jack Bucknell, Tom Kelly, Binks and Scuba Steve all caught some good ones yesterday. I have some very good fishermen helping me with this report. Carl and Tom are worm fishermen, Binks, Mike and Jack are spoon fishermen and I use both the spoon and the jig. All are working. Bass, crappie, bluegill and walleye are the best but a few catfish and red meat fish are being caught. The people that cannot catch any stripers are turning into walleye and crappie fishermen. That is the beauty of Norfork.  It has so many varieties. People come from other states to catch crappie when they cannot get stripers. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Jack Bucknell likes Blackburn's Brush piles and the Bink's Spoons. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 562 even and continues to drop 2-1/2 inches in a 24-hour period with the same generation, 1-1/2 generators for about 2/3 the time. They have now backed up the time when the lake will hit 555.75 or the top of the power pool to 18October from the middle of November.  I would like to see a prediction when it will hit 548. Not likely. They like to keep it high in the winter and not draw it down. The surface water temperature was 81.5 when I went out yesterday afternoon and the water seems to be clearing just a bit. I went to the first brush pile in 25-ft. of water and caught two nice crappie on a jig. Moved back in another creek in 19-feet of water using the same jig and caught four more. I then went to a main lake point in 25-ft. of water on Blackburns brush pile using the 1/2 ounce Bink's Spoon and caught one more and a 19-inch walleye. Tom Kelly reports catching a 22-inch walleye but no picture. I did not take a picture as Jack Bucknell from South Dakota made my fish pale in comparison. I ended up taking seven crappie and the walleye to Tom Kelly's trophy pond.  It is now stocked up and ready to go. Blackburns has several very good fishermen in now and they are all catching fish so far. Bink reports getting some nice stripers and white bass.  I have not seen very many of these for a while. Big ones anyway.  We do have a few cabin openings now for the first time since April so come on down.  The price is right and you can get a cabin for $59/day for two people with a free boat stall. Cannot beat that any where on the lake that has a dock and swimming pool. Our pool is open and they are swimming in it now.  

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Carl Scott from Houston with a couple of yesterday's catch. He always catches fish.Image titleImage title

Phil Gallo with a nice 22-inch bass caught yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 562.45 and has dropped 2+ inches in the last 24-hours with the same generation. The lake is still stained green and you can only see your lure down a few feet. We have a group of good divers in this week and they report the visibility is not very good but they got several nice crappie and that the thermocline is at about 30-feet or a little more. I wish the conditions were better for them but the weather has been perfect. The lake is usually more clear after Labor Day but the lake has just been held up too high for too long this year. We need some changes in lake management. Other fishermen did well though with some nice fish being caught. I caught several crappie yesterday but nobody wants to see the same people with nearly the same fish everyday. Bass, crappie and bluegill fishing is the best right now on spoons and plastic worms but a few walleye are still coming in. We have several good fishermen in now and are catching some big fish. The crappie that I am catching are from 11-13 inches and are on Blackburns Brush piles in 30-feet or less with most of them being right in the brush. The bass are on main lake points in or around the brush. Some are out in open water with the whites and stripers on shad.  Flathead fishing has slowed down and gar are showing up in their place.  The same thing happens in the early summer. Bink reports catching stripers, white bass and big largemouth today part way back in the creeks in 45-ft. of water suspended at 30-ft. on the 1/2 ounce spoon. He said it was a great morning for fishing but no walleye. He has moved off the main lake points and is back in the bays in deeper water but the fish are still at 30. The water temperature was 83 when I came in last afternoon. There were several boats out there in the beautiful weather.  No rain is scheduled for the next several days. Come on down to Blackburns.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Several of our pontoons have trolling motors for fishing and are also included in the price. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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Mike Eakle likes that Bink's SpoonImage title

John Bornhop with a good one.Image title

The lake level is 562.64 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation equal to about 1-1/2 generators about 2/3 the time. The lake is still stained and the surface water temperature is 80-degrees and dropping. Everybody caught fish yesterday with Tom Kelly fishing Float Creek with a plastic worm, Mike Eakle fishing Hensley's Creek with a Bink's Spoon, John Bornhop fishing near point 4 with both worms and spoons, Carl Scott from Houston is catching several fish near Cow point but no pictures yet and myself fishing in Blackburns Creek with a 1/2 ounce spoon. All were on Blackburns Brush piles that we put in last winter.  They are just now coming into play as the lake drops. We work hard putting in brush for our customers. All are finding no fish below 30-feet of water. Some are in deeper water but are suspended above 30-feet. Some brush extends higher and fish are on top of it. Flathead fishing has slowed, crappie fishing is getting better, bass fishing is good and walleye fishing is just fair. Big bluegill are biting off the dock with crickets and worms. I did not talk to the Deans  but they have been catching some nice bass. It is busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of the low rates on both cabins and boat rentals. 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 with a covered porch and no duplex where you can social distance and a free boat stall here for $59/day. Trolling motors are free on fishing pontoons. Why pay more unless you just want to or have extra money? Blackburns Resort fun. Some color is showing up on the hillsides for fall foliage.  It is getting dry again here.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Nice bass Bernie.Image title

The lake level is 562.85 and has dropped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours. They are really dragging this out. Fishing is not the best but some nice ones are being caught everyday and the weather has been perfect. We have several good fishermen in now and they report having a good time. It is to cool a bit next week with a cold front moving through. Striper fishing is slow but bass, walleye, bluegill, flathead and crappie are coming in everyday but not a lot of them. The lake surface temerature is still 83 and the water is still stained and not clearing very fast. Bernie Dean caught a nice bass yesterday. Everyone seems to be having a good time. We like that. It is good to have so many repeat customers and nice people. The big pool is open and still warm.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 563 and is dropping a little over 2-inches in 24 hours with the equivalent of 1-1/2 generators running a little over 1/2 the time. Why the slow drop nobody can figure out. Some nice fish were caught yesterday by Mike Dean and John Bornhop. Bass and flatheads are the best bite now followed by crappie and bluegill. Walleye is good but most are short. The creeks are stained badly now and you can see your lure down just a very few feet on the main lake. Stick with those Bink Spoons on the main lake points in 25-29 feet of water near the bottom. Trollers are catching a few fish but putting on a lot of miles and burning a lot of gas. Fishing overall is just fair but some good fish are being caught everyday. The weather has been great with highs in the 80's and lows in the high 60's. It looks like the new hurricane will not affect us much if any so far. We need some rain again. The lake is still pretty busy and Blackburns is nearly full with people taking advantage of our low prices on both cabins and boat rentals. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. We invite you to shop prices before you book. Surface temperature is still about 83 degrees and perfect for swimming.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 563.26 and has dropped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours and the surface water temperature is about 83 degrees and is just right for swimming. They are discharging the equivalent of about 1-1/2 generators about 1/2 the time while keeping the White River at Newport to 11 feet to hold the lake up as high as possible for as long as possible and are getting better and better at it every year. The lake has cleared a bit since the holiday but not much but is a good color for fishing. Fishing overall is just fair but some good fish are being caught everyday. The dissolved oxygen is very low below 30-feet and most fish are above that in the 25-28 foot level and more still if there is brush nearby. I was fishing just main lake points but fish are scattered about everywhere but are at the same depth no matter how deep the water. I am picking up a few crappie working the Bobby Garland Baby Shad hard but not very many. They will be. The jigging spoon is working the best. The Gold one was working yesterday in the cloudy weather. It is now Flathead time part way back into the creeks in deeper water on throw lines baited with live bluegill. I am catching some big ones everyday and it will last until the lake cools and clears and then stop. They bite at a certain time in the spring and then again in the early fall. You must use live bait to get them as they will not bite anything else. Bluegill and shiners about 3-inches long are the best. I have no luck on gold fish. I have tried using them as other people say they work but not for me. I bait every other line with them and they are all still there the next morning so I quit using them. I have some luck with crawdads on channel and blues but not flatheads. Norfork lake flatheads are right behind walleye, bluegill and crappie as the best eating fish and are in there with Kentucky bass. Blackburns is now on their off-season rates and you can get a cabin for $59/day with a free normal sized boat stall. Cannot beat that anywhere. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and have the best prices on rental boats. The big pool is open.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The lake level is 563.79 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with a little more generation now that the White River at Newport is below 11-feet. It looks like they will be forced to let more out as the rivers dry up so they have changed their prediction of when the level is to hit 555+ from 12November to 1November. That would indicate more generation. I thought they were trying to keep the lake up all winter so when the spring rains come the spillway gates could just be opened flooding everything downstream.  They seem to like to do that. No sense taking the level down to the 540's in the winter allowing for extra capacity and increasing the flow the rest of the year to just below minor flood stage when needed that does not harm anybody. We need to keep that 12-ft. rule at Newport at all coats but cannot figure out why. Government. The surface temperature on the main lake was 83+ when I went out yesterday with the creeks higher at over 85.  That indicates that the temperature is not dropping anytime soon. The creeks rise and lower more quickly than the main lake. The cold front that was predicted has been cut off and it is to remain above average temperatures for several days. It may get here in a week or so. The water is still stained green but is clearing a bit.  It is good for fishing but not for Scuba Diving. There were still several boats out there yesterday afternoon and the lake was by no means deserted. I tried spooning brush on the main lake and caught one crappie, two bass and a couple of short walleye. I then tried the jig over shallower brush back in the creek in 20-ft. of water and caught a couple more crappie. I caught no fish below 30-feet. It was the early afternoon and I did not expect to catch much but wanted to check things out. I fished for about 2-hours and caught 7 fish with no picture fish. It was nice just to be out in the sunshine and not get swamped. I do not want this lake to become Lake of The Ozarks but the trend is there if you look at the last few holidays. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is at 563.93 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with very little generation. Now that the White River level at Newport is below the magical number of 12-feet maybe they will let out some water. They have done an excellent job of holding it up again this year. You cannot let the government run anything. The lake is clearing now after the big churn of the holiday weekend and the fishing is starting to pick up a bit. Bink reports some walleye floating down by the dam and the oxygen level reported by the Striper Club shows no oxygen below 30-feet there. This coincides with what we are finding here with no fish showing up below the 30-feet level.  They may be in deeper water but suspend above the 30-foot level.  Most fish being caught are at the 25-28 ft level on main lake points on or near brush. If you can find brush at this level on a main lake point there will be fish on it. I am using the Bink's jigging spoon exclusively. The 1/2 ounce many shad or the Arkansas shiner are working well. I use the 1/4 ounce ones when there is no wind but prefer to keep the lure straight up and down and not drag it so I use a heavier one in the wind. Go against the wind with your trolling motor to keep it vertical, snap it up three or four feet and let it fall on slack line. Most fish will hit on the drop. Jeff and Alicia Barber from Biggers, Arkansas caught some big fish yesterday on Blackburns Resort and Boat rental's brush piles.  That is why we put them in. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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Mike Eakle and James Soltysiac with some good ones caught yesterday on Norfork Lake on Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental's Brush Piles. Nice fish. All caught on the Bink's Jigging spoon. The lake can go back to the fishermen this afternoon and you can get a one bedroom cabin with a big covered porch and no duplex and a free boat stall for $59/day.  Why pay more?


Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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

The lake level is 564.19 and is dropping about 1/2 inch per day with little generation. The lake is very busy and very rough with all of the boat traffic and is stirred up. The surface temperature is 84 degrees and the water is stained with little visibility. It will clear up again after this holiday is over and very much cooler weather is on the way. The fishing people are catching some pretty good fish despite all of this. Crappie, bass and walleye are still the best bite now. You can get a cabin for $59/day starting tomorrow with a free normal sized boat stall here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 564.36 and is about the same as it was this time yesterday. They are only generating about five hours a day and are now predicting the level will be at 555 by 12 November which means generation will remain resrticted well into the fall. We will see if they drop the lake this winter. Nothing would surprise me about how they manage the lake anymore. There is no urgency since Table Rock and Beaver are back to normal.  The lake is still stained and you can see your lure down only a very few feet and the surface temperature is in the low 80's. Fronts have been moving through several times a week turning the fish on and off frequently. I am waiting for low pressures to start in and then fish until it rains me out with good results. High pressure is moving in now and looks to stay that way through the long holiday weekend with nice weather predicted. It has rained on and off for the last four days with cloudy skies and cooler temperatures but that is to change starting today. Today will be my last day of fishing until Tuesday and I will turn the lake over to the Holiday crowd. The lake will clear then and boat traffic will go back to the fishermen. Mid September until mid October is usually an excellent time to fish Norfork. The lake will turn for several days then scattering the fish but not stopping the bite and then get better and better as November gets here. Thanksgiving is almost always a good time for fishing. Blackburns goes into their winter rates on Monday September 7th and you can get a one bedroom cabin with covered porch and no duplex for $59/day and a free normal sized boat stall.  You cannot beat that anywhere near here. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. Walleye, bass, crappie and catfish are the best bite now but Bink is also catching some white bass.  I am not but I am just fishing main lake points in 25-27 feet of water with a spoon. I am not much into trolling. 1/2 ounce Bink's jigging spoon is the best. Many shad or white with a black back are working well in or near brush. Go against the wind and keep your lure straight up and down snapping it up three or four feet and let it fall on slack line near the bottom. The fall foliage is starting to turn on the hillsides and it is not due to the high water and is much higher in the hills. Peak is usually the last part of October and I will keep you posted.   


Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

I do not put my picture on this much but nobody sent me any others yesterday. I know you get tired of the same people's picture.That is why I have several good fishermen reportImage titleImage title

The lake level is 564.58 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with no generation since last evening. They got lots of rain in Newport and Batesville but we got less than one inch of gentle, badly needed rain here in Mountain Home. We had received less than 1/2 inch all the month of August before that. It was cloudy and misting rain with a water surface temperature of 84 degrees and a gentle wind from the northeast when I went out yesterday afternoon. The lake is stained and you could see your lure down about three feet. The conditions were perfect for a bite so it did not matter how many light bulbs were out, playground toys broken or how many chains were pulled out of ceiling fans. I was going fishing. I went walleye fishing and caught two along river channel banks on the main lake in 26-feet of water but it was slow so I started spooning brush piles. We put in some nice brush this winter and the ones we put in the shallowest are in play now. I put on a Bink's 1/2 ounce Many Shad spoon and vertical jigged right in the brush. Catfish, crappie, bass and bluegill were caught right up until 5:pm in 26-27 feet of water. The bass, bluegill and catfish were taken to Tom Kelly's trophy pond and the rest were released immediately. Crappie and walleye are hard to keep alive in this weather even if they are iced down so they go right back in. Bass and bluegill fishing is very good right now, crappie and walleye are fair with several  walleye, but not all, are short. If you are only catching short ones try just a couple of feet deeper. Bink is the only one I know catching stripers and there are reports of several dead ones floating near the dam. Some are people trying to release fish that come out of deep water and others are from lack of oxygen.  I do not fish for them this time of year. Fishing is getting better and better especially in the area of the lake around Blackburns. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. No dragging or pulling anything behind any of our rental boats except for the ski boat. Our friends at the marinas have boats for you to do that. Ours are for cruising, swimming and fishing only. Sorry. You must be a guest to rent a boat from us. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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

The lake level is 564.66 and is dropping an average of 2-1/2 inches per day with generation about 3/4ths the time. They are holding the White River art Newport to 12-feet religiously despite the very dry conditions. They have had all summer to drop the lake but have refused to do so but they see fit to drop Table Rock to below the power pool to protect Branson. Anytime the government is involved the corruption begins.  It is all about the money. The lake is clearing a bit but is still stained green. The surface temperature is in the mid 80's and has been pretty stable lately. We are to get a couple of inches of rain on Friday due to the hurricane but should be able to take that easily with the dry conditions.  It just depends on how fast we get it. It should be mostly gone by the weekend. Striper fishing is not the best right now but walleye, bass and bluegill fishing is pretty good. Blackburns has a couple of cabins available for this weekend but will be very busy again for the holiday. Come on dow. We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

If you see yourself on here make a comment. All of these fish were caught close to Blackburn's Dock in the last few days. Image titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage title

The lake was stained green when I went out yesterday and the surface temperature was 85 degrees with a level of 565.54 now and a drop of 3-inches from the day before. You could see your lure down a little less than three feet. The thermocline is less than 30 feet now and should not drop much further. It rarely gets below 32 feet. The fish that I am catching now are either right on the bank or near the bottom at 25-27 feet. The ones on the bank are on the inside of main lake points and the others are right on the points at that depth range near any structure. At this rate of level drop Blackburns Brush piles shoul be back in play in three weeks and fishing should be really good. I will be fishing brush piles exclusively then with the Bink's spoon. After that I will include slip float with minnows and the Bobby Garland Baby Shad blue Ice in color. I will use the little grub casting it over the brush and letting it sink slowly when it is windy and right down in the brush with the live minnows when I can stay right over the brush. I know where the walleye, crappie and bass will be as the lake approaches normal level. I had some guests catch some nice catfish on jugs and trot lines this weekend on lice perch. Tom Kelly is catching bass and crappie on Float Creek with his worm and spoon. Mike Eakle is on the walleye on main lake points on the Bink's Many Shad 1/2 ounce spoon in 23-28 feet of water. Bink is out with some Blackburns guests today and we will see how he does. He has been catching some good ones regularly including temperate Bass or what I call red meat fish. Bluegill are biting well on crickets and worms off docks and near willows on the main lake. Fishing is not the best now but is getting better and will continue to do so until the lake turns sometime in October for several days and then get good again. The turn will not stop the bite, just slow it down and scatter the fish. It will be improtant to know where the cover is at the right depth then. Come on down to Blackburns.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake conditions and fishing report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

The lake level is 566 33 and has dropped a little less than 3-inches in the last 24-hours. Blackburns has our complete original road to the dock open now as well as the boat launch but you still have to park on the road by the dock and walk down some stairs to get on.  Things are much better than before and getting better. At 560 we will get out main parking lot back and things will be back to normal as well as many of our brush piles for fishing. It has been very slow coming with the resistance to let out water by the COE. We are very dry here again and we should have been back to normal months ago. We need a rain bad. Walleye fishing has been the best with bass next and then a few crappie. The thermocline is at 28-feet and the lake is stained both in the creeks and the main lake. Spoon main lake points at 23-27 feet for about everything mentioned above.  Tom Kelly is catching some good bass on his worm near the bank and Mike Eakle is using the 1/2 ounce Bink's many shad  spoon exclusively. Bink is catching some stripers also on his spoon but not a lot. I have been too busy with rental boats and my fishing time has been very limited. It is very busy here at Blackburns and we like that. People are taking advantage of the best prices on the lake here on both cabins and boat rentals and the great weather despite the drought. All of our cabins are individual with no duplexes and you can social distance. All have big covered porches to get out of the weather. The big pool with slide is open. Your first boat stall is free here unless you bring a pontoon or a boat with a tower but we do not have boat stalls for one day rentals. Trolling motors on some pontoons are free and are included in the price. Sorry we no longer allow towing anything from any of our rental boats except our ski boat so if you need to do so our friends at the marinas will rent you a boat for that. Our boats are for fishing, cruising and swimming only. You can stay here and rent from them and drag anything you want. We are looking forward to the fall fishing and bookings have never been better. Come on down.  You will be welcome and we will not charge you too much.