Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

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

The lake level is 553.11 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 9-hours starting in the early afternoon. The White River at Newport is 6+ feet and dropping. It was very windy all day yesterday with white caps and hard to fish. At least the first few feet of water got aerated that is for sure. It is calm now and was very foggy early but that is gone and the ambient temperature was 50-degrees earlier but headed for 80. It looks to be a beautiful day with increasing rain chances as the week progresses. Another inch would not hurt us at all. I went out in the afternoon and the fishing was a little better and the lake was almost void of boats unlike last week but there were a few of us out there. They will be back later this week with the Cystic and next week with the Bass Cat. The surface water temperature was 77+ this morning and should start dropping with the cooler days and much cooler nights. It was too windy to spoon so I just used the jig and drifted back and forth over brush. The fish were in 19-25 feet of water down about to the top of the brush and I caught several very large bluegill and a couple of 12-13 inch crappie. They all were released under the dock and swam right into the big school. The creeks were just as clear as the main lake. I know where and how to get out of the wind but the fish are just not biting there. I am sticking to main lake points with brush and fishing in 19-32-ft. of water. It was too windy to tell if there were any fish surfacing. I did not catch any bass but Rodger Moody did on a crank bait. October and early March can be the most iffy Norfork Lake fishing and this year is no exception. It will get better. If the Missouri boys cannot catch very many bass this saturday nobody can. I am seeing almost no red meat fish being caught except for a few small white bass in 45-ft. of water suspended. I expect fewer striper guides on the lake next year and the ones left will work hard for their money. Some are turning into crappie and walleye fishermen or changing lakes.  There will be some 5-8lb. fish show up soon and a very few over 10. The full stocking resumed this year so let us let them grow and release the ones caught and get the big ones back like they were. It will take several years of no prolonged high water. When you see pictures of stripers with their mouths open they are not being released. If they are released they would not save them up and would take only one fish picture at a time and release them immediately. They do not make it very long in the live well. Blackburns has one cabin still open for the Bass Cat tournamnet so give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115. We will not charge you too much. All cabins are individual with plenty of parking and electrical outlets. You can launch right here. You can get food delivery here or cook out. We have it all and at the best price. A lot of leaves were blown off yesterday and did not do the fall foliage any favor. 



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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday. Both top-water and spoons are working. Image title

The lake level is 553.67 and has dropped a little less than an inch in the last 24-hours with just over one generator running for 7-8 hours. They are doing a great job of holding the lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible. It has been cloudy for the last couple of days with very little rain so far. It looks like tomorrow is now the best chance. They just keep moving it back. It was thursday, then friday, then saturday and now tomorrow. We are still very dry. The cloudy weather has kept the fish biting for most of the day. The surface water temperature is dropping slowly and is now 79 in the afternoons. We have about 1/2 of the day with sunrise to sunset and it is getting less by one to two minutes a day and the lake does not have much time to warm in the afternoons. The water is still stained green just a bit in both the main lake and creeks with the creeks being more. The best bite continues to be for crappie, bass, catfish and bluegill. Temperate bass fishermen are having a hard time and are catching very few. The ones they are catching are small. Some have given up and others are turning into crappie fishermen. The walleye bite has also slowed especially for the larger ones. I am getting more fish on main lake points outside brush just where it drops off into deeper water. They are staying close to the 32-ft. level though but are not always in it. Open water fish on shad can be at any depth up to 100-ft. of water but suspended at varoius depths. If you find them drop a spoon on their head. They are mostly bass. Some are surfacing and can be caught on a top-water lure. If they stay fairly shallow stay with the top-water bait and call them up. When they go deeper switch to the spoon. Creature baits and worms are working for bass near the bank. Many bait fish are there. I am still fishing for Crappie and Kentucky Bass and am catching several every day on both the spoon and jig. Yesterday was a good jig day. Blackburns has a lot of brush piles at the right depth now. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. If you are staying where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. 

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

Scuba Steve with some of yesterday's catch. Released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 555 even and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is still at 7-ft. so there is not any need to slow down. I would like it to get to 547-48 and hold it there until spring. That would give us about 11-12 feet of surge capacity going into the spring rains. We always seem to get a big one and it is much better to be at 547 than 555 when it comes. The lake surface water temperature was 83+ yesterday afternoon when I went out fishing and it was a little breezy so I used the 3/8th ounce spoon to help keep it straight down rather than going back in a creek to get out of it. I actually like the 1/4 ounce better with 4-lb test clear line.  I am catching many more fish on the main lake than in the creeks now but that is not always the case. Bass, crappie and catfish are all in 30-34 ft. of water either on top of, in or around brush along with some walleye. A few smaller stripers and a hybrid or two are a little deeper in front of the brush on shad. Most schools of shad have no predator fish on them.  Several fish remain down about 30+ feet no matter how deep it is. Trollers should be able to drag either a crank bait or live bait at that depth and catch some. The brush that was in 30+ ft. of water and is now 25-ft. are not holding very many fish after the drop. Most will stay at the current depth until the lake turns over later in October and the water temperature and oxygen becomes homogenous down to about 30-ft. and the fish have no other reasons to be anywhere special except for cover and food. This will not slow fishing down much except that they are more scattered. The last few years the turn has been gradual and not drastic like northern shallow lakes where they get muddy and junk comes to the surface. We just see an inversion of the thermocline. The fall foliage is starting to fall with walnuts and other hardwood decidous trees starting to lose their leaves. My maple has no color. It is very dry. Sometimes dry weather has good color and sometimes not. We will see. The usual peak for Norfork Lake, Northern Arkansas and the Ozark Mountain Region is the last of October but I have given up predicting how good it will be. It is almost always a nice ride to take a country road drive at that time. Blackburns Resort is your fall foliage headquarters for the area. We will help you with some good driving tours. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Rent a boat and cruise the lake is often the best way to see color and enjoy the Ozark's fall.