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 570.21 and has risen just a bit, (less than an inch) in the last 24-hours with one generator running and three spillway gates open one foot. It would have dropped if it had not rained about one inch last night.  The creeks run just a little. I went crappie fishing yesterday with mixed results. First I went to East Pigeon and only caught one fish on the bank.  It was very large though. I expected more but could not get them to bite.  There is just too much cover and bait. I could not get anymore so I went to Middle pigeon towards the back and fished around the docks. The fish were biting well there on jigs and grubs but were mostly small. They were at all different depths but the water needed to be over 20-ft. deep.  Caught about 20 fish and only five were legal. All were released. Only one small bass was caught. The water was a perfect color there and was more brown as you got nearer to the main lake. The water temperature was 62 back in the creek and high 50's on the main lake. The shad should be spawning but I did not see any top-water all afternoon and evening. I saw just a few boats so it was not hard to practice social distancing. I did not get within a quater of a mile from anyone. It was a beautiful day with light wind from the south and it picked up in the evening and the fish started to bit better. Will try again later today. There still have not been a positive test for the virus at the Baxter Hospital.I have not seen a better place to quarantine than Norfork Lake and Blackburns resort. You do not have to get close to anyone and you can get an individual cabin with no duplexes for $59/day. 

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

The lake level is 570.15 and has risen three inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening but the new news is that they started up one generator earlier this morning and opened three spillway gates one foot which is about equivalent to another generator. Since then the level has been stable. I sure hope they keep this up. We are over 50% full so they should at least for a month barring any big rains. If that happens they will be forced to. Another thing: Binks said he has dropped the jerk bait as of yesterday and has started using the spook in the old river channel even though he does not see any top-water fish. They are shallow and he is drawing them up but they are almost only bass. Usually when this happens you catch a lot of white bass too but not now. He and I both are really getting to think for sure that most of the white bass are gone. Every once in a while we catch one that is not small but not often. We will know this for sure when the top-water bite starts in earnest. If they are not there then they are gone. I guess more died in the fish kill last year than was previously thought. I know that is the case with the big stripers. Bass fishing is by far the best bite now. The lake is clearing and is a good color for fishing in most places. There has been one positive test for the virus in the county but none in the hospital as of yet. You can come on down to Blackburns and social distance. The lake is sure not crowded with a surface temperature ranging from 57-60 depending on where you are. I am heading out to try to find some crappie for our guests. I will try east pigeon first. Blackburns resort and Boat Rental still has cabins for $59/day. Not bad. Why pay more? Compare prices and then call us. If you must pay more, stay with us and give the difference to the disabled vets. 

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

Caught on top-water fishing with Bink's guide Service Yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 569.85 and has risen 4-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening, shut off Norfork, opened spillway gates and run all generators on Table Rock to protect Branson and are pounding Bull Shoals Hard with Table Rock water.  Cool weather has returned and the highs are to be in the 60's for several days which is more seasonal. The surface water temperature is all over the place and very different in the shallow water from the main lake. The main lake also varies depending on where on the lake you are. Most of it is still in the mid to high 50's. Some of our guests report an early top- water bite for bass and that is good. Bink caight some good ones too. The full blown top-water bite usually gets here by April 15th and looks to be about on schedule. It started raining when I was going out yesterday so I did not go but it turned out to be not much. I had to wait on guests to get here to check out rental boats.  It is sunny and about 60 now and looks to be a nice day. The sunshine is good for lake clearing and we have not had any runoff here for several days. There are a lot of fish out there and most of them are on the old lake shore around the buckbrush. I will do a little exploring today and let you know. Keep using the jerk bait early and then switch to the 3-inch worm on a jig head and a spinner bait. Keep a top-water lure handy when you see fish surfacing. Either a Spook Puppy or a Spittin image. Practice learning how to walk the dog well. It is very important this time of year. Fishing is picking up if you know how. Please release as many fish as you can during this upcoming spawn season. Blackburns still has the best prices on both cabins and rentals boats. Some raise their prices in the spring but Blackburns does not. Compare prices and give us a call. Your first boat stall is free and we have 28-acres to roam and we are not huddled up on a steep hillside with little parking or go down a cliff to get to the dock. 

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

The lake level is 569.46 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The brown water is clearing and is about the color of the Northwestern Ontario lakes. Remember that the clear water is not always the best fishing. I like a bit of green stain that you can see your lure down about 3-4 feet. Bink likes a more of a brown stain with green mixed in. We both agree that we do not like chocolate brown with no visibility. Too clear of water is just as bad. People may want the clearest water for swimming and boating but that season is not here yet. We did have some people swimming off the dock Thursday.  When the shad spawn and the top water bite starts it will make no difference what color the water is, just where the bait is.  High water does not hurt fishing just changes how you fish for them.  It pretty much forces trollers to change their methods and learn how to really fish. People taking pictures of dock floors full of small dead fish and bragging about it should take off their cold weather gear. It was 90 wednesday, 86 Thursday and 80 Friday and is 70 already today with cloudy skies. Most of the fish are still on the old shoreline just above the buckbrush as is the bait. There are reports of water clearing in the Udal area is good news for us here.  One bass fisherman told me yesterday that he was catching  15-20 bass a day on a swim bait but several of them were small. That is the same for me. Jerk baits, 3-inch worms, soft plastics and spinner baits are catching about everything. I have had no reports on the night bite yet but will let you know. I do not fish after dark much anymore especially when the lake is changing almost daily with the rise and I can barely find my spots in the daytime.  I have not caught a fish on a spoon in almost a week. I am heading up into east pigeon to look for some male crappie staging on the bank. Could be time. I need some more fish under the dock. It is to get windy later this afternoon. Things are about ready to break loose. Tom Kelly found some good water in Diamond Bay and caught some nice bass on his whacky worm. We are mowing the grass for the second time now and flowers are everywhere. The swallows are back and the Purple Martin scouts were here a few days ago and left. I sure hope they bring the whole clan back with them. We have a lot of wildlife here at Blackburns. Everything is pretty much on schedule. There was a case of the Virus reported yesterday in Baxter County but it was not in the hospital.  Arkansas reports on what your address is not where they found it. You can social distance here and we will not charge you too much. If you are in town, stop and check us out.  You will like what you see. 

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

Mike Eakle with some good ones released under the dock yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 569.08 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours with just one generator running part of the time. It look like a litte more rain is coming later this weekend and the first of next week. Not too much though. There was a lot of drying yesterday with temperatures approaching 90 degrees with a light wind. It is to be 80 today with temperatures in the high 60's after that. The brown water seems to be settling in this area as it heads south. The bass fishing is hanging on with many fish in the pre-spawn feeding mode in the old shoreline over the buckbrush. The water temperature is warming rapidly depending on the depth of the water. It is all over the place. 50's some places and 60's other. Get out early with a jerk bait and then use a spinner bait or 3-inch worm over the submerged buckbrush in the creeks. You can catch about anything. Fishing is not the best right now but good fishermen are catching fish.Catfishng looks to be good soon. Baxter County still has not had a positive test and Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental continues to be the best place to social distance. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

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

The lake level is 568.57 and has risen about 9-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running just part of the time. They have spillway gates open on both Beaver and Table Rock and are really blasting Bull shoals and using the hold and hope theory on Norfork. They should have been regulating to 24 or 25 feet at Newport all winter. When are they going to change this? It would not hurt one thing. I went out yesterday afternoon to check things out and do a little fishing. The lake is brown from Missouri to past the 62 bridge and then pretty much stays in the river channel to where you turn off to Fall and Panther creeks. It is spread out wide between the bridges. Fall and Panther are both in excellent condition as is Float creek. Panther is a good place to check for topwater fish after the shad spawn. I fished Float creek for about an hour with a 3-inch finesse worm and caught three bass and a crappie. The fish are on the old shoreline. The buckbrush is under water several feet and also several feet from the bank and that is where the fish are. All kinds including bait. Bink reports getting out early with a jerk bait and then later switching to the 3-inch worm on a 1/4 ounce jig head. No color needed on jig head but a green worm works nicely. I use a 5/16 but he catches more fish than I do.  I have guests also switching to a gold single spin when it is windy. All are working. Trollers are having a hard time because it is impossible to troll where the fish are. At least most of them. They have to really fish now if they want to catch anything. Binks also reports the night bite for stripers will start soon. Just use the same jerk bait and turn it into a suspending crank bait. The only difference is how you fish it. Stay as far from the bank as you can cast and cast to the bank. Using a suspending lure, crank it down about three or four turns and reel slowly to the boat. Make sure your lure runs true. If it pulls off to the side you will not catch anything. Some people cast parallel to the bank but I do not. Fish for walleye with a soft plastic until after sundown and then switch to the lure before dark.  The male crappie have moved to the creek banks to prepare for the spawn. There are plenty of places for that now and they are scattered all over the place. Tom Kelly reports catching bass and walleye south of Robinson Island on his finesse worm. I sure have some good people helping me with this report and good fishermen too. One person cannot go out a few times a week and write an accurate report. Other news: Baxter County still has not had a positive test for the China virus and people are coming to Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental for social distancing and taking advantage of the best prices on the best cabins in the area. Come on down we will not charge you too much. We have 300 meg internet and two computers in the game room and food delivery to your cabin.

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

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

The lake level is 567.79 and still rising with very little generation. Better let some water out folks but what can you expect from the Corp when they cannot even get their own website up and running. Hold and hope is just not working again. We need a new plan but they are not accountable to anyone. You cannot let the government run anything. The VA is getting a whole lot better in the last two years though. I do not have to drive to Little Rock anymore and they have a very good Doctor here in Mountain Home. On another positive note, there still has not been a positive case of the China Virus here in Baxter County and people are practicing social distancing here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental where you can roam 28 acres and fish on a big lake, stay in an individual cabin with no duplexes and not get close to anybody. All cabins are sanitized after every use. It is to get very warm here starting today with highs in the 80's tomorrow and it looks like spring is here finally. Time to plant the garden. The lake is not clearing very rapidly from the quick rise last week but there is good colored water starting near Robinson Island and south. Float Creek is a good place to start. People are catching bass in the brown water though and good ones too. Smallmouth are showing up now and a jerk bait and spinner bait are the best. I will look for some crappie later today when the work is done. We are busy here and we like that. The lake surface temperature is about 56 and you can see your lure down about three feet out of the brown water. There are a lot of fish in this lake. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Compare prices. You can launch here now.

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

Marty with some nice ones. Welcome back.Image title

Caught fishing with Bink yeaterday.Image title

The lake level is 566.47 and has risen about 8-inches in the last 24-hours. We received a little less than one inch of rain last night and this morning and more is on the way. They are generating very little except for the lake by Branson and Beaver and they are sticking to the 21-ft. rule on the White River in Newport at all cost. I suppose they will just hold and hope and wait until the crops get planted and come up and then flood everyone out downstream like they usually do. Dam management 101: Do not let the water go over the spillway. We will see if they can get that right. They decide how much to let out.  God decides how much to put in. The lake surface temperature was 56 near Blackburns when I went out yesterday and a little lower downstream. The brown water extended from Missouri to just south of the 62 bridge and then it was just stained a green color. I could see my lure down about three feet. Zero feet in the brown water. The creeks are running now. I was determined to find some crappie but was unable to do so. Then I went bass fishing. I caught a few on the jerk bait and switched to the gold single spin and caught more. No picture fish. Binks caught some hybrids and bass and some of our guests caught some big bass. The carp are moving to the back of Blackburns Creek to spawn so catfishing will not be far away. They spawn at a water temperature of about 70 but it does not take long to get there in the shallow water. They must know something is happening. When the small bluegill move in under the dock it will happen and the bass will start making beds. The very warm weather starting on Thursday should get everything going. The shad will spawn and the top-water bite will begin. That is the easiest time to catch bass and red meat fish. There still has been no cases of virus in Baxter County as far as I know and people are taking advantage of the best individual cabins on the lake at the best price to social distance. It is a good thing we have covered porches this morning. Everyone is setting outside waiting to go fish. Check price and if they charge for first boat stalls and then call us. You can save a lot of $ here at Blackburns resort and Boat Rental. It is nice here anbd the price is right.

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

Bryan Deardoff with some good ones. He kept a few and released the rest.  Some were deep hooked. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 565.29 and has risen 1-ft. in the last 24-hours with very limited generation. One generator running less than 1/2 the time. The water surface temperature is in the mid 50's depending where you are. The rapid level rise from rainfall from Missouri Thursday caused the creeks and main lake channels to turn brown but did not hurt the fishing. Any debris is small.  Bass were surfacing chasing shad last evening in Blackburns Creek but most fish were near the bank in the buckbrush and being caught on spinner baits and jerk baits. Some fish are way back in the creeks in the warmer water. The female crappie are still pre-spawn feeding on brush and the males have moved up into the shallow water in the creeks. I am catching all females  (big ones too) and they are full of eggs with blood lines and just waiting for some heat to go to the beds. I am releasing dozens of them under our dock after pictures. I bet they will move to crappie rock brush after they spawn.  Remember when you fish the banks that all of the males will be guarding the nests after the spawn and if you catch them off, the bluegill eat the eggs faster than you can kiss a duck. Turn some back. It has been a long winter but not very cold but has been slow warming up. It snowed once and did not cover the ground. I like that. Winter fishing has been very good this year and I have caught some very large fish. I would really like it if the striper fishermen would quit killing all of these small fish. People now think a 15-lb. striper is big where just a few years ago a 30-lb one was big. People taking pictures of dock floors full of dead small stripers are not impressing anybody. I have released all stripers and hybrids for over two years and do not fish for them where they are too deep to survive. Venting does not work. They can go down for a while but die anyway. They need to lower the limit to a combination of two stripers and hybrids from three and stop culling. They do not dress out very well anyway after the red meat is cut out. It is rainy and cold now but I will go out and let you know what is happening. It is very busy here and I have a lot of work to do.  All of the cabins are open now except one and they are working on it. Come on down and practice social distancing. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. There is $1.64 gas just up the road near the Dollar General. The girls are disinfecting all cabins after each use and Baxter County still has not had any positive cases that I am aware of. I cannot think of a better place to be than Blackburns Resort. You can save at least $25/day to stay at the best place. Now than Cardinal baseball is not on I am forced to fish more. 

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

The lake level is 564.37 and has risen 2-1/2 ft. in the last 24-hours. It has risen 9-1/2 feet from the winter low of 554.85 a couple of weeks ago. I sure wish that they would have pulled it down to 548 like thay should have.  They are running one generator for a few hours and nothing for several hours. This last rise caught me by surprise as we only received about 1/2 inch of rain here on Thursday night but I woke up to a big surprise of almost a 4-ft. rise.   They must have received some high local amounts in the watershead somwhere though. The Mountain Home area has missed most of the heavy rains this winter with most of them going north into Missouri. The local rains do not affect the lake much unless the creeks run. The ground is saturated now and almost all water runs off. I have been busy moving the dock and have not had any time to go fishing since Thursday. The crappie and bass were biting well then. Blackburns has several cabins full now with people social distancing here. I know of no cases reported in Baxter County yet. The top of the flood pool is 580 and we are 15-1/2 ft. from that. You can stay here in your own private cabin which is sanitized after each guest and go on the lake and fish and not get close to anybody. We have 300 Megs of internet and reaches all cabins and no cabins are duplexes close to your neighbors. You first boat stall is free. I will get you a fishing report as soon as I can. Blackburns has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals on the lake. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. You can launch your boat here, park the trailer in the lot and go fish in a matter of minutes and have low boat traffic. No need to go any place else. Everythig is fine here.

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

There they go.Image title

He just holds up a few at a time to not hurt themImage title

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Tom Releasing Bass under dock.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 559.28 and rising with one generator running part of the time. It has risen 4-1/2 feet in the last several days and still rising with the creeks running. The main lake is stained green but not too bad. I had a 58 degrees water surface temperature when I went out yesterday. The crappie were biting so I caught about a dozen and put them under the dock. Some of these are very nice fish and appear to be staying there. They will move to the bank soon, spawn and go on Blackburns Brush piles. That is the plan anyway.  Tom Kelley also caught some very large ones and released them with some good bass under the dock. Tom is a very good fisherman, sportsman and conservationalist. Remember folks that the possession limit on all fish is twice the daily limit. For stripers that is six and that is in conjunction with hybrids. The law has been known to watch the internet and check people's freezers who are trying to fill them up so please do not kill too many fish. This is spawning season and it really hurts the fish except for the stripers and hybrids which are semi-put and take. Nobody is impressed with how many you kill. You can practice social distancing here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental with all individual cabins with no duplexes and you do not have to get close to anybody. There still has not been a case reported here in Baxter County as of this morning. Debbie, Casey and Nancy sanitize all cabins after every visit and you can go out on the lake almost by yourself. You can get pizza and sandwiches delivered here and pay on line and not get close to the delivery man. You can even buy your fishing license on line and down load it on your phone. The Dollar store is just two miles down the road and the first hour they are open is reserved for seniors. They and Walmart are stocking the shelves every day which is only three miles away. We have 300 Meg internet if you feel the need to work out of your cabin and have two computers in the game room for your use. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. Your first boat stall is free. 

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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday and several bass also. The jerk bait is working now. Image title

The lake level is 557.98 and has risen about a foot in the last 24-hours. They closed the spillway gates and cut back to one generator just a few hours a day and switched all of the generation and spillway gates to protect Branson and keep that lake at power pool. Just when you give them a compliment thay never cease to disappoint and prove their incompetence. They have had all winter to drop the lake and now the spring rains are here. This is a surprise only to them. I guess we are back to hold and hope.  What a motto. The lake is at a good level but more rain is scheduled for the next several days. So far it has been a typical March. The lake surface temperature is 52 degrees but should rise with the warmer temperature forecasted starting now but the lows are still in the 30's later this week. The walleye and white bass are spawning and are close to the bank in about 20-feet of water and are hitting jerk baits. Trollers are catching bass and small stripers (in the 6-12 lb. range). The pre-spawn bass are big and I wish people would not kill them. Pictures of  dock floors full of small dead stripers and bass are not impressive. Bass are not stocked and are the go to fish on the lake when others do not bite. I caught some very large crappie and a few nice bass yesterday and released them all under Blackburns Dock. This looks like a good spring for fishing and Blackburns has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals on the lake.  Your first boat stall is free. We have been open all winter and we are ready for you. This is a perfect place for social distancing and Baxter County has had no cases yet. Come on down.

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

The lake level is 555.63 and has risen over nine inches in the last 24-hours and is still rising despite both generators running and 5-spillway gates open 1-foot. If they had shut everything down like they usually do during a rain we would have been right back where we were. Good thing.  We received 1-inch Thursday, 0.8 inch Friday and 0.8 inch Saturday. None today but more is coming next week with good chances almost all days. The creeks run fairly hard but were not raging. The very backs of the creeks are brown again. This is a typical March with some warm weather and cold fronts with wind moving through a couple of times a week. 70's one day and a windy 40 the next. Every cold front slows fishing way down and it gets better and better until the next one comes through. With the water rising the lake surface temperature has dropped to the low 50's. Grass is growing, flowers blooming, dogwoods blooming despite the lows getting in the 30's at night and highs in the low 40's. April gets a lot more stable with better fishing. I caught a few fish yesterday but no picture fish. Bass, crappie and a couple of bluegill. Reservations are really starting to come in with people taking advantage of Blackburns best prices on both cabins and boat rentals and the first boat stall being free. Some are even mentioning social distancing and no crowds and are cancelling their reservations to Disney World and theme parks with lots of people. All of our cabins are individual with no duplexes and you do not have to be close to anybody. It does not hurt young people to get outdoors for a change. Blackburns has 26-acres to roam and a nice dock to fish, play and swim. Biggest pool in the area open before Memorial day. 

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

Mike Eakle with the fish of the day. It was also released. One nice crappie but not very many.Image title

The lake level is 554.85 and has dropped 4-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running and five spillway gates open one foot. It is equal to about three generators. There is no reason to stop this as the White River at Newport is only 19-feet so far. With the storm on Thursday we went from 82 degrees ambient in the afternoon to 50 yesterday afternoon and a little cooler than that today. We received about one inch of a mixture of rain and hail in the rain gauge thursday and another 0.8 inches as of this morning of just rain. It is raining now with more to come. At least they did not quit generating like they usually do when the spring rains begin. I just hope they do not just take it down to 553.75, which is the power pool, where the Corps of Engineers cede the power to the electric company. They need to keep going down to 548 to make room for the spring rains. The lake is in excellent condition now for fishing and boating. The cold front slowed fishing yesterday but some good ones were still caught but not very many. All worked hard for what they caught. The numbers were way down. It was cloudy and misting rain most of the afternoon but not bad enough to bring people in. The water surface temperature dropped to 52 on the main lake and 53+ back in the creeks. The ice cubes had something to do with it. It is the third time I have seen hail here in 25-years and was the largest and lasted the longest. It did not seem to hurt anything here though. I heard it did in Missouri. This will put back the threadfin shad spawn some and the top-water bite with the cool weather seceduled until next week. Nobody that I know of are catching stripers at night yet but it will happen. There just are not that many big stripers. If people keep killing 6-12 lb. ones there will not be any left at all. The hybrid population seems to be about normal though but not that many are stocked. The stripers and hybrids do not reproduce in our lakes and are what we call semi-put and take.  Most of us here at Blackburns are releasing all hybrids and stripers on site but there is no rule to make us do so.  I would like the limit to be reduced to two per day and four possession limit imposed until the numbers come back. They are fun to catch. It looks to be a sit out on the porch and rig poles and arrange the tackle box kind of day but I will be out there if the rain slows.  I do not have far to go and can duck back in the dock quickly.  These cold fronts turn fishing off as much as anything I know of but this too shall pass. I am happy just to be able to be out there. 

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

Caught and released yesterday in about 2-hours.Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 555.58 and has dropped about 5-inches in the last 24-hours.  They are still running borh generators continuously and have 5 spillway gates open 1-foot . The total is about the equivalent of three generators. This is really good news and the lake is in excellent condition for both fishing and boating.  The other news is that the lake surface temperature is rising rapidly. I had over 57 degrees in the back of Hensley's creek yesterday in the shallow water of about 18-feet. More good news. The fish are biting. I went out for about two hours yesterday and caught all of the fish I wanted. White Crappie, Black Crappie, Black Nosed Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Kentucky Bass and bluegill were all caught. I do not fish for red meat fish much but caught about a 5-lb. Hybrid accidently. It was released on sight and the others were brought to the dock for pictures and released. I have released a lot of fish under Blackburns Dock lately. Big ones too. I do not like to kill fish in the spring. Tom Kelly's trophy pond is completely stocked now and they are catching good fish out of it.  That is what I wanted. Most of the rain has missed us so far as has been the case for over a month. We are in good condition now but it would be great if this continues. You can come to Blackburns and experience social distancing and have a fun vacation no matter what is happening in the cities. We have 300 meg internet so you can work from here too.  All of this for the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals. Your first boat stall is free and we have no duplexes and all cabins have covered porches. You will see how important this is when you stay someplace without them. If you must pay too much, just stay at Blackburns and give the difference to disabled Veterans. Debbie, Casey and Nancy are working hard to get all of the cabins ready for you and they really look nice. You will like what you see when you get here 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)

Caught yesterday.  More too. Image title

The lake level is 556 with both generators still running continuously and five spillway gates open one foot. This is almost like three generators. It dropped 5-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. It rained a little early this morning but not much. Rain is predicted for the next 2-3 days. I had a 53+ degree water temperature in Blackburns creek when I went out yesterday and just under that on the main lake. It was crappie fishing day with bass fishing tomorrow. I like both the same. The lake level is perfect for fishing and boating now and the water is still stained but clearing. it is clearest near the shore. Blackburns brush piles are at a very good depth now too. The 1/2 ounce Bink's Many Shad is now my favorite lure. Fish after fish were caught on it on brush at 30-ft. I can only hold up six without hurting them and putting fingers in the gills. The ones in the picture  and several more were released under Blackburns dock. They all swam right into the school but I am not sure if they will stay there. They are down there somewhere. Lots of fish are under the dock but the small bluegill have not moved in yet.  When this happens the catfish will start biting and the bass will make a nest. I do not bed fish. It is getting near spawn time and this is the best time to release. A few of the fish were white crappie and very large. Other people caught some nice bass so I know right where to go today to get pre-soawn bass. They are on the same places every year. It is good to have fishing pick up again. Early March is a challenge so you have to go out everyday and work for them.. That is fun too. I like to catch fish when nobody else does but most people are catching some now.  Trollers are catching some fish but are burning a lot of gas. 

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

New news. They have opened up five spillway gates one foot now to supplement the discharge on Norfork. This is good news. I hope they keep it up. Get it first here. Looks to be a good year. Come on down. No need to get on a cruise ship, airplane or be in a crowd. Your children can have fun here for much less$. We have 300 meg internet, beautiful country, big clean lake and good fishing and water sports. Biggest pool around with slide and the best prices.

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

Caught on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 556.93 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with borh generators running continuously. They have dropped the White River at Newport to 20+ feet and we have until April 14 to get it down before the stupid 14-ft. rule takes effect. If they keep going they could drop it to 548 by then depending on the rainfall. That is what they need to do to insure we have the capacity to hold spring rains and keep the level good.The 14 and 12 ft. White River rules at Newport need to be reviewed and changed. They should be raised to 18 feet. We are at an excellent level right now for all lake activities. Fishing is getting a little bit better with trollers picking up a few more red meat fish but they are small and need to be released no matter what the rules are. If not the size will continue to go down for the stripers. A big one used to be 30-lbs but now the newcomers think a big one is 15-lbs. Pictures of dock floors full of dead ones are not impressive. It just shows people are willing to sacrafice future for meat.  Hybrid fish are about normal and the white bass are coming back but most are small. I am sure glad they did not quit stocking the hybrids. I am releasing all stripers and hybrids no matter their size. Some shad are still shallow and near the bank. Bass are under them and some good ones too. Others are in 50-70 feet suspended with some on the bottom. It is almost time for the night bite for stripers with the stick bait. It is very important to make sure the bait runs true before it gets dark. If it pulls off to the side you will catch nothing. This spawn sinulation starts sometime after the 15th of March and continues until the full moon in April which is the 7th. After that when the threadfin shad spawn, which is a water temperature of about 58 degrees, the top water bite will be in full swing for both bass and temperate bass (red meat fish). You have to work hard for good fish now but some are being caught. Lake surface temperature is just about 50 in the main lake.

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

Mike Eakle with some good ones. He had to work hard for them though.Image title

The lake level is 557.77 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. The surface temperature was just about 50 when I went out yesterday but I found 53 in the very backs of some major creeks. The threadfin shad start spawning at about 58 degrees and that is when the top water bite will begin in earnest. Shad spawn on the surface.  There are a lot of shad shallow now for some reason and have some fish feeding on them but mostly open water fish are scattered and deeper. It is hard to find a big school of them and then stay on them   The lake is clearing and is clearest near the bank. Big Creek was still a little brown but a good color for fishing. The brown is gone in Blackburns area but is still so in the Red Bank area. I tried open water fishing with little success and then went bass and crappie fishing. Float creek is a good place to start. Look for brush in 35-feet of water and be prepared to work hard for them. Fish have moved in under my dock but we mostly save them for children learning to fish. I feed them every day and have new brush there. The weather has been good but got a little windy yesterday afternoon. I cannot predict when things will happen (nobody can) but i will be out there when it does and you will be the first to know. Mike Eakle caught some good ones on the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon and I am still using the 2-inch grub for both bass and crappie. The first two weeks of March is always tough but if trollers find an active school of fish the action can be fast for a few minutes and then nothing for hours. You only hear about the time they find fish and not when nothing is caught for days. There are a lot of big crappie and bass in this lake. Blackburns still has the best prices on both cabins and rental boats and you first boat stall is free. 

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

Tom Kelly with some very nice ones. Caught on the Bink's spoon.Image title

The lake level is 558.18 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. The surface water temperature is 50-degrees in the afternoon and the lake is clearing. Fishing is getting better and crappie are starting to bite on brush piles. Tom Kelly and Mike Eakle caught some good ones on our new brush. I am still bass fishing and am looking for shad blown up into main lake cuts and shallow. The bass are on the bottom right below them. Good ones too. The white bass are biting in open water but they are small and there are a lot of them. The weather is good. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much here at Blackburns. Compare before you buy. It is nice here and the price is right. Very nice. We are working on improvements every day. Debbie, Casey and Nancy are working very hard.  Scuba Steve not so 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 558.24 and is going up just a little.  Both generators are still running. We got no rain here but they did just north of us in the Norfork basin. The surface temperature was 49.5 and the ambient was 74 when I went out yesterday with light wind. I tried for crappie on a slip float with no luck and then switched to the grub and minnow. Nothing for a few minutes and then the wind came up and the skies darkened and the bass started biting about 4:PM. Big ones too. They were on the bottom in about 14-15 ft. of water in main lake cuts. I caught two about 4-5 lbs. and some smaller ones. I fished two like places facing north just off the main lake with the same results. It just goes to show you to fish until it rains you out with the low pressure moving in. The fish were very fat and healthy as are all of the ones that I am catching. All were released but two were put in Tom Kelly's trophy pond. Blackburns is doing a lot of improvements and getting ready for spring. You will like what you see when you get here. We still do not charge for your first boat stall and you can save a minimum of $25/day on cabins with no lowering of quality. Why pay more? No duplexes, all cabins are individual and all  have covered porches. We are a bird sanctuary and have lots of them. Deer come to our feeders daily. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much. We opened up four more cabins yesterday and now have 10 open. That is not a lot but the rest will be opened as soon as I am sure winter is over.  Right now it looks like it and the fishing is getting better. I have been here long enough to not to try to predict the future. Bink caught some good open water fish yesterday. He is catching them everyday on his many shad spoon.

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

Casey Denham with a couple of good ones. Image title

The lake level is 558.44 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. At this rate we will be at 548 in 42 days if they do not stop generating and it does not rain. That would be the middle of April which is planting season. It is also top water fishing on the lake which is the easiest time to catch fish on Norfork. Just get a Zara spook or spitin Image and learn how to drive them and get out early. The fish will be shallow and it is a good time to release them to grow. Especially stripers The surface water temperature was 49 when I went out yesterday and it was a beautiful day. I found some water over 50  when I came in. The water is clearing and you could see your lure down about 4-feet and it was stained green. We went open water fishing and looked in three places before we got them to bite about 4:Pm. Bait fish and game fish were everywhere in 55-70 feet of water but would not bite very well. The third place they were biting.  We ended up catching about 35 fish, releasing all of the hybrids and stripers but keeping a few white bass. It is good to see their numbers coming back but they are not very big. I was using a 1/2 ounce white Bink's spoon with a red throat and caught a few fish. Switched to the 1/2 ounce Many shad and now it is my favorite lure. Caught fish after fish until 5:Pm. No picture fish though.  Others caught some nice crappie but had to work for them.Slow, slow and slow until they bite for about 5-minutes and quit again. They were full of eggs and some even had blood lines and all were female. No males. The walleye have me ghosted. Some bass are on the bank but not many and most are small. They bite best early morning.