Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

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

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

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

Caught fishing with Bink this morning.Image title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

This and several more caught fishing with Bink.Image title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Kelly caught some good ones. Image title

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

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

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

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

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


Tom Kelly caught and released these yesterday.Image title

The Caseys can catch fish.Image title

Nice fish Opal.Image title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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