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

This bush is beautiful as you drive into the resort. Image title

The lake level is 553.64 and has dropped just a bit in the last 24-hours with 1/2 generator running several hours. The White River at Newport is at 5+ feet. We have basically been at the same level for several weeks with just enough generation the handle the river inflow. The surface water temperature is 66-degrees in the mornings and the lake is turning over from north to south and is finished in some places. The water is starting to clear again in Blackburns area. It was not a violent turn but gradual as it has been mostly in the last several years. We do not have a violent turn with debris coming up and the water getting muddy as they do in shallower natural lakes and it does not stop fishing. It just scatters the fish out a bit now that they are not a slave to oxygen level and will locate in proximity to cover and food. The water temperature and oxygen will be nearly the same down to about 40-ft. or a little more. As the surface water cools again the lake will clear and fishing will get better. This is when the bass fishermen beating the bank will catch a lot of fish. Crappie will be there also, especially in the late evening. We will see if the stripers go to the bank to feed near dark just before full moon which is the 19th. Sometimes yes sometimes no. It will be worth a try to get those stick baits out and make sure they run true at slow speeds and not pull off to the side. This is my favorite time of year to catch crappie, smallmouth bass and the bigger largemouth. Kentucky bass are alway good this time of year. Walleye will be on shadowy banks at sunset and be near the same banks as the stripers. Go to the walleye rearing pond north of Cranfield island and fish the points. Spoon the steep banks on the south east side of Cranfield marina in the afternoon. Fishing now is just fair but improving. The fish are not feeding heavily, in a feeding frenzy or hammering anything but you can catch some good ones if you are persistent. Drop a spoon on their heads in open water. There are a few schools of mixed white bass, hybrids and small stripers out there and they are starting to hang out at the mouths of the creeks in open water. This is a good time of year overall but the cold fronts just keep coming through hurting the fishing. Fish right up until it rains you out. Do not walk around, fretting if it is going to rain, and stare at your phone if you want to catch fish.  After the skies clear and it gets cool and conditions are better for you the fishing will slow for a few days. November 10th is the Marines' birthday and they will be 246 years old and the fishing is almost good by then. The fall foliage report remains not so good but we will see what happens after the frost tomorrow night. My Burning Bush here at Blackburns is very beautiful but that is about it. Come on down to Blackburns and join in on the fun. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. We hauled new furniture and mattresses all day yesterday and spent all of my money. We need more customers to buy more. You will like what you see when you get here and we will not charge you too much. Ten of our cabins all now have either king or queen beds or both. Not bad. We are proud of this place and are open all year. We have no need to go anywhere else.  Furniture Depot is the best place in the area and has the best stuff at the best price and a big inventory. They have it all right at the store. No need to order and wait.     

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

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

The lake level is 554.66 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours. They just quit generating a couple of hours ago after two days of 1-1/3 generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is at 7-1/2 feet. The surface water temperature was 83 degrees when I went out yesterday afternoon and there was a little wind but not bad. The crappie were not biting for me as well as the day before but others here at Blackburns caught several earlier in the day. I caught two nice Kentucky Bass, one keeper largemouth, two crappie, several bluegill and a short walleye in about two hours from 3-5 PM. I know fishing is better early and later but I just like to see if I can do it in the middle of a warm late summer afternoon. I am not out to see how many fish I can kill. I need my vitamin D. There were some signs of fall foliage on the hillsides with hardwood trees losing leaves more rapidly than usual for this time of year and more brown color than normal. I do not know it it is caused by stress from being so dry or something else but it is happening already. I am not an expert in dendrology but just report what I see and I am out there everyday. I am a Chemical Engineer and know a little about some stuff but need Bink to give me a few more lessons on fishing but at least I can take care of my own swimming pool. Yes it is open and yes it is sparkling. Largemouth bass fishing is getting better and I expect fishermen in the up-coming tournaments in October will do well. I know the Missouri boys sponsoring the Cystic tournament wii .They always do. It is a good cause. It is always the Saturday before the Bass Cat which is the 22-23rd. Blackburns has two cabins open for both of these and has the best prices. They are still predicting the cold front to get here with north winds after a good chance of rain tomorrow night. We could sure use some.  I am not sure about the 48-degree low temperature though. I have lived in Minnesota and Northern Maine and am finished with winter, ice fishing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. I will leave those for the people that like it. We do catch a lot of fish in the winter here at Blackburns and Thanksgiving is almost always an excellent time to visit us and go fish. Not many jet skis out there then and it is tough running a snowmobile on water. Big crappie time.  Drop that spoon in 30+ ft. in or near brush. 

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

There is a little fall foliage color but not much.Image title

Kim Marvel from Ewing, Illinois caught one giant crappie yesterday on Blackburns Brush yesterday. One nice fellow. Image title

The lake level is 553.62 and has dropped less than 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. They absolutely refuse to drop the lake in the fall and winter despite the White River at Newport is now 8-1/2 feet and dropping.  It is about to dry up. They are running less than one generator when they do run. This would be unbelievable for someone who does not work for the government but we do not expect much from them. The water surface temperature was 69 degrees and the wind was light when I went out yesterday and the water is clearing. I have not been going more than 1/4 to 1/2 mile from Blackburns Creek to get about all of the fish that I want. I catch a few, release a few and have no desire to see how many fish that I can kill but like to find places where our customers can catch fish. I keep a few for my friends that are unable to get out anymore. Blackburns brush piles are at perfect depth now and are producing mostly bass, crappie, walleye, catfish and bluegill. Temperate bass are scarce, at least for me, but I do not fish for them much but catch several spooning for walleye. I am now using a Bobby Garland baby shad tipped with a minnow and a 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon only. My entire tackle box fits in my shirt pocket. I caught two bass, four crappie, four bluegill and two walleye and came in and was out about 1-1/2 hours. It was cloudy but very nice fishing conditions. The moon is little and the lake is dropping very slowly so I will try for catfish again. I like to do that. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. It is to get very warm today and for the next couple of days. I like that too. 80 is my favorite number for temperature. The fall foliage is not the best this year but the hillsides are beautiful anyway. The incessant wind has blown a lot of them down but the ones left have some color but mostly brown. There is some yellow and red. Not worth a long drive to see color but is worth a drive to see the beautiful country that we have here in Baxter County no matter what season.