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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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The lake level is 569.72 and has risen 3-inches in the last 24-hours and is still rising with one generator running and two spillway gates open 0ne foot. The lake surface temperature is in the early 60's but should warm with the weather getting into the 80's soon. We need some over night lows in the 60's.  It is a beautiful day today with sunshine but a little wind. I am still not seeing many bass on the beds yet and with the clear water near the shore I should be seeing a lot of them in the creeks. Some of the ones thet I am catching have red tails though.  Some of the crappie that I am catching have not spawned yet and it is late for them. There is plenty of wood for them at the shoreline and the level has not varied very much in several weeks with the Corps struggling to drop the lake.  A lot of them are still chasing shad. Most of the white bass are small (about 8-9 inches) but a very few of them are bigger. Not nearly as many as compared to the past. Same for big stripers. Not the same for the smallmouth bass though. Many are in the four pound range and there are a lot of them.  Norfork is now a very good smallmouth fishery. Walley fishing is picking up and about one in three are keepers. The top water bite does not happen every morning but is pretty good when it does and several bass are mixed in with the hybrids and stripers. I am releasing all stripers on site and allowing them to grow and not fishing for them in deep water.  Look for them when the sun just starts to come up over the mountain. Before that you can call them up with a spook if you know where they are and know how to work the spook correctly.  After that a lot of fish of all kinds are in 15-16 feet of water near the bank part way back in the creeks. In the evening I like shadowy banks the best before sunset. The middle of the day fishing has not been good for me. Overall fishing has been fair but smallmouth and flatheads are the best. When a low pressure is moving in stay out there until it rains you out. That is the best time to be out there no matter what time it is. May first is coming and we will see how they manage the White River at Newport then. I sure hope they do not regulate it to 18-feet but you cannot let the government run anything. The rules have not changed with the times. 

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 569.46 and has risen 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with almost 1-1/2 inches of rain last night. The creeks ran but have slowed now. They did start up the one generator but closed two spillway gates.  The discharge is now about 1-3/4 generators.  The lake is still rising. They are running Table Rock hard and are really filling up Bull Shoals to keep the landing at Branson normal.  May ist they are to lower the level of the White River at Newport to 18 feet. We will see. If they do it will take months to drop the lakes to normal. They like to hold and hope and keep just one big rain away from being forced to let it all out.  It sure has not affected fishing though as smallmouth bass, flatheads, crappie and Kentucky bass continue to bite and the lake is getting very clear. I saw some debris that has washed off the bank with the lake rise back in the creeks but nothing big. I do not recommend being out after dark. The surface temperature is still in the early 60's but should rise with the ambient temperature to get into the 80's soon. The bass are ready to get on the beds and some crappie have not spawned yet. Several very large crappie are being caught. Many fish are in about 15-ft. of water near the bottom. We caught three very nice flathead today on throw lines baited with perch. I do not bed fish for bass but if you do gitzits work well.

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

Smallmouth, crappie and flatheads are the best bite. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 569.18 and has remained stable for the last 24-hours but they shut off the one generator earlier this morning.  They must be expecting some rain and are trying to keep the level as high as they can. They are running Branson hard to keep it at power pool and trying to keep the White River at Newport to 21-feet like predicted. We will see if they drop the level to 18-feet May 1st. If they do they should turn in their operators card and let my dog Toby run it. I guess it is fun for them to keep almost everything just one big rain away from disaster while protecting Table Rock and then go home and laugh. Hold and hope. We are to get at least an inch of rain tonight and then warm and mostly sunny for a few days. The lake is still slow warming but is now in the early 60's depending on where you look. The lake is clear and I still have seen very few bass on the beds yet. I do not do sight fish for bass on beds but many people do. I caught some big fish yesterday both crappie and bass and they were all in about 15-ft. of water near the bottom. I was casting the grub to the bank and letting it sink while using a slow retrieve. They all hit hard at just about the same depth. You can see your lure down about 6-7 feet and it is totally clear to the bottom near the bank. I was fishing the creeks near Blackburns where the wind had been blowing into. I fished for about two hours and caught four big fish. The fish did not bite at all during the middle of the day but started about 5-PM. The throw line produced two big flatheads on perch.

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

The flathead are still biting on throw lines. Caught last night.Image title

The lake level is 569.21 and has risen a little over one inch in the last 24-hours. This is the third day in a row for a rise but it has not been much. There is still one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot for a total discharge of a little over two generators. Just when it starts to drop a little it rains again. The water surface temperature is hanging in there at just below 60 and has been very slow to rise this spring. The smallmouth bass and flathead bite continues as does the crappie. I am catching some very nice crappie near brush in about 25-feet of water 10-feet down on a jig and live minnows on a slip float. Just cast the jig over the brush and let it sink while working it just a bit. Kentucky bass are there also. There is a top water bite some days for red meat fish and bass but the stripers are small. (7-10 lbs.) Striper fishermen are going to have to learn how to fish crappie and bass if they do not quit killing these small ones. Especially since none were stocked this year. Some good hybrids in the 6-8 pound range are being caught. The larger white bass are scarce. It is sunny and nice with light wind today and there should have been a top water bite.  I have not been out yet. It is to rain a bit early this week but several dry days in a row are after that. A few walleye are with the smallmouth bass. It was very windy and hard to get out of it yesterday but is much better today. Some nice fish are being caught every day and the lake is in good condition and pretty clear. You can see your lure down 5-6 feet depending on the color.

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

Smallmouth Bass fishing out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork lake Arkansas in the Ozark Mountain Region.Image title

The lake level is 569.11 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours with the same discharge and about one inch of rain. At least they did not stop generation when it started raining like they usually do.  The creeks run just a bit but the lake is still clear. The surface temperature is about 60 depending on when and where. Smallmouth bass are the best bite now with a top water bite for red meat fish and bass some days about 7:30 AM. Bass can come up any time. Some nice walleye and crappie are also showing up. It is taking it a long time to warm up here and I still feel there is a good chance to go straight to summer when it does. Our normal high is 72. Get out and fish top water early, switch to 3-inch worms and creature baits for smallmouth, take the middle of the day off, go out about 4:30PM and continue bass and crappie  fishing until sunset. We are catching good fish every day and the lake is in good condition. 

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

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

The lake level is 569.03 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours. The discharge rate is the same and they are still holding the White River at Newport at 21 feet. They are to drop it to 18 feet May 1st. If they do that they are not just incompetent but idiots. They enjoy keeping the lakes very high and just one big rain away from opening up the spillway gates and flooding out everything below. They would rather do that when the crops are planted and up rather than in the fall and winter. As long as Branson is protected, everything is fine. The level is not affecting fishing but has limited access for day users. I was amazed how clear the lake was when I went out yesterday. I believe the creeks are clearer than the main lake. The surface water temperature was just over 60 and there were several boats out despite the wind. It was hard to get out of the wind with it coming from the north west and swirling. I used both the grub and minnow and the Bobby Garland blue ice jig. Both caught fish. The crappie were spawned out females with one about 16-inches and the bass were mostly 13-inch Kentuckies. I was casting part way back in the creeks behind the brush piles and letting the lure sink into the brush. They mostly hit about 8-12 feet down over 25-30 feet of water. I caught seven crappie and four bass and came back in. It is to rain some for the next several days but should not rain us out very long. Flatheads are still biting on throw lines baited with perch and there was a good top water bite for red meat fish just after 7:AM. Limb lines are not producing very well as it is hard to keep the turtles off them. You have to bait up in the dark and run them often to get fish.  I am really sorry they are not stocking stripers and hybrids this year but the safety of the AGFC is more important. It just had to happen just when the numbers of big fish are down and they were needed to get the population back up for the future. The big White Bass population is also down. Bass and crappie population is not. Walleye is just about the same. Good fish are being caught everyday.  

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

The lake level is 569.10 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours despite almost one inch of rain. They are still running one generator continuously and have four spillway gates open one foot and are holding the White River at Newport at just below 21-ft. This should put us at power pool after July 4th if it does not rain much. Hold and hope.  Not much of a plan. The new news is that there will be no striper and hybrid stockings this year due to the AGFC practicing social distancing. We want the employees to be safe but are sorry the fish will not be stocked. It is time the limit on these fish was reduced to two fish daily limit and four fish possession until the numbers and size improve and have fishermen practice catch and release much more. Killing these fish is like destroying the future.  The lake surface temperature was just under 60 in the creeks when I went out yesterday and just as soon as it warms up it cools again. This has slowed the top water bite also. Bass fishing is fair to good as is crappie fishing and catfishing is fair. Smallmouth fishing is best. Most of the fish are in from 20-35 feet of water suspended in the creeks and in the creeks that the wind has been prevailing for several hours. We are getting cold fronts a couple of times a week and they really hurt fishing.  It gets better and better until the next one comes along. It looks like the weather will just go from cool to hot with little spring. Our normal high is 72. At least the severe weather has kept away so far. They did not stop generating when it rained yesterday. They usually do. Keep that river at Newport at 21-feet at all costs now that Branson is normal?

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

Mike Eakle with some of yesterday's catch.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 569.21 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot for a total discharge of a little more than two generators. They are adhering to the 21-foot level of the White River at Newport rule and it is now below 21 feet. It should have stayed at 24 feet and allowed for the lakes to drop more quickly especially after they now have Branson at power pool while the rest of the lakes are much higher. It is all about the money and politics. Do not expect much wade fishing on the White River anytime soon. The lake surface temperature was in the mid 60's yesterday when I went out and the lake is clearing nicely everyday. Trollers are starting to pick up some smaller stripers (6-10 lbs) in about 35-ft. of water just outside the old shoreline. Pictures of dock floors full of small dead stripers is not impressive and just shows how people are willing to cut their own throats to kill fish. If they do not quit, the large striper population will not return to the lake as it was a few years ago. The limit needs to be cut to two fish/day and four possession limit. The Smallmouth bass bite is  good and the walleye and crappie are getting better. The flatheads started biting again yesterday on throw lines but limb lines are not producing much as of late. This is a typical spring on Norfork Lake but the top-water bite is slower than normal. The lake is in excellent condition and the weather is getting better but more rain is likely in the next few days but should not be a wash out. 

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

Caught and Released yesterday.Image title

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The lake level is 569.39 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with the same amount of generation and spillway gates. They have lowered the level to 21-feet on the White River at Newport as predicted so do not expect any big changes in any of the lakes except fot Branson which is approaching power pool. Bull Shoals is very high but can hold a lot of water. They are to lower the level again at Newport on May 1st to 18 feet and if they do that the lakes will remain high for a long time. We are to get more rain tonight but the rain is not the problem. It is 75 and sunny now. The lake is really clearing and the surface temperature is really rising fast now with the sunshine and warmer nights. Especially in the creeks which are shallower. I had between 62 and 65 in Blackburns Creek yesterday. The bass will move to the beds soon. Smallmouth bass are still the best bite with some big ones being caught. Some walleye and crappie are with them. Flathead fishing has slowed a bit but some are still being caught. The lake is generally in good condition for fishing especially in this area. use the 3-inch worm and creature baits and work the old shoreline and you will catch fish. It is 75 and sunny now

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

Bink is on the Smallmouth bass. Image title

The lake level is 569.65 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24 hours and the water surface temperature is still at 59 degrees. It will not warm up much with these very cool nights. The lake is getting very clear and you can see down about 5-6 feet. Smallmouth bass fishing is the best right now with kentucky bass next. Some flatheads and a few keeper walleye are also showing up. Crappie are back under docks. Brush piles are mostly too deep for them with all of the natural cover with the water in the trees.  The top water bite is slow coming this year but is happening some mornings with mostly small white bass and bass. Go back into the creeks that the wind has been blowing into and work the bank from as far as you can cast to the shore to about 35-feet.  If you see a school of fish outside the brush drop a spoon. Use 3-inch worms on a jig head or creature baits for about everything. Get out early, take the middle of the day off, and go out about 5:PM until almost dark. No sense fishing in the dark. Keep a spook ready for any top water action. Good fish are being caught every day.

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

Scuba Steve and Tom Kelly with some good ones. Released under the dock.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 569.83 and has dropped a little over two inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot which is aqual to a little over two generators. We received about 0.7 inches of rain last night but most of it sunk in with little runoff.  The creeks did not run much.  The surface temperature is 59 degrees and is slow rising with these cool nights. They have dropped the White River level at Newport to 21-feet as predicted  and should have kept it at 25 feet. The lakes receding rates will now be mitigated and will be alternating with the priority of keeping Branson from flooding. One big rain will force them to open gates and flood everything down stream. Hold and hope is the motto, flooding is their game. How long will they keep these prehistoric rules of dam management? Draw down in the fall and winter to the high 540's, keep it there as much as possible by releasing as much as possible until the level at Newport is just below minor flood stage is the answer. If they continue to drop the lake at this rate and we get no more rain it will be the end of June before we get to power pool. Not likely.  They now have gauges and computers where they can manage the levels much better than when these rules were first put in place. The fishing is pretty good now for bass and catfish with smallmouth bass and flatheads being the best. Several crappie are being caught off the dock. Some walleye and smaller white bass are being spooned up just outside the old shoreline in about 35-feet of water and smallmouth are biting the three inch worm on a jig head shallower.  Several kentucky bass are way back in the creeks in 12-feet of water. I am not seeing any largemouth bass on beds yet. The lake is clearing nicely and is a good color for fishing in this area. The lake overall is in good condition.

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

Bryan and Jeremy Deardoff with some good ones.Image title

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The lake level is 570.26 and has dropped a little less than 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot. This is equal to a little over two generators. It was windy from the south when I went out yesterday and the surface water temperature was 59 degrees.  It just will not warm up.  We need some overnight lows to be in the 60's. It is better than snow which a lot of people are getting.  I am not planting my garden yet even though I want to. We are catching fish everyday but the cold fronts really slow them down. Bass, catfish, crappie and a few walleye are the best bite now. Fish are not coming up everyday like they normally do after the 15th of April but do some days. The bluegill bite is picking up and some are very nice size. They are mostly under docks. Trollers are having a hard time trying to get fish out of the brush and when you do not hear from them for a couple of days they are not catching much. If you have a good fish finder and troll around for enough miles you will catch some though especially if you happen across a school. Our normal high is 70 and normal low is 48 but we still could get another frost. A few flatheads are showing up on limb lines and smallmouth bass are improving every day.  Overall fishing is just fair.

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 titleImage title

The lake level is 570.41 and has dropped a little over an inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and three spillway gates open one foot.  This is equal to two generators. The lake is clearing after the rain and runoff and the surface temperature is hanging in there at 60. The lake is in good condition but needs to warm back up. There were big schools of shad fry under the dock yesterday and they were very small and had just hatched. We caught our first flathead and that is a good sign. Bass and catfish are the best bite now with a few spawned out crappie showing up.The smallmouth bass bite is improving and a few walleye are being caught. Most fish are either in or just outside the old shoreline in the brush. Every thing has a lot of cover and a lot of feed but some good fish are being caught everyday mostly in the creeks. Some fish are suspended in 30-35 feet back in the creeks near brush in the old creek channel. I do not know why. Must be some bait around there somewhere or shad after plankton since they are in the creeks that the wind is blowing into. I have not seen much top water action the last couple of days. Just a few small bass. Warmer weather will put the bass on the beds.

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

The lake level is 570.52 and has risen almost 2-inches in the last 24-hours. The new news is that they are still running one generator continuously and  have opened up three spillway gates 1-foot and that is equal to almost exactly two generators. That should drop the level just a bit depending on the rainfall if they continue. The rules say they are to regulate the White River at Newport to 21 feet starting tomorrow if the lakes are over 50% full but that would be a decrease from the 24-feet they are trying to do now. If they do follow these guidelines they will keep all of the lakes just one big rain from them being in trouble and then opening the gates and flooding everything downstream after planting.  Hold and hope is not a solution. Get the levels down. That number goes to 18 feet on May 1st and there is no way they can drop the lakes at that level except slowly even if it does not rain, which it will. Fall and winter is the time to draw down the levels but they just will not do it. Taking 1.75 feet of flood control away from the lake for the rivers minimum flow did not help anything either. That sure dispelled the idea that the dams were just for flood control and not for recreation. At least the put and take trout have plenty of cold water with low oxygen to keep the rivers running. There will be very little wade fishing again this year on the rivers. The level on Norfork has not varied very much the last few weeks and it has been good for the crappie spawn. There is plenty of wood near the shore for them and cover to protect them. This will make good crappie fishing  for years to come. We will see what happens to the bass who are getting ready to get on beds. Walleye and White Bass are finished. The surface temperature was in the high 50's early yesterday morning and just at 60 in the afternoon. It is to get much warmer starting tomorrow. The normal high is 70 and the normal low is 46. The lake is starting to clear again after the rain and the lake overall is in good condition for fishing. I am catching some big fish every day. Mostly bass and catfish and a few crappie. I am not fishing for them now though but will soon after the fry starts showing up. 

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

Some of yesterday's catch.Image title

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The lake level is 570.38 and has risen a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. Beaver lake is 1-1/2 feet from going over the spillway, Norfork 9 ft., Bull Shoals and Table rock are both 13-ft. It looks the the dam managers are one big rain away from getting into trouble. Hold and hope all fall and winter and then use the predictable spring rains as an excuse. Something has to change. If they had drawn it down to 548 we would be in good shape then. Blackburns and fishing are not affected much until it gets several feet higher and we lose our launch but we do not lose dock access. The water surface temperature was almost exactly 60 when I went out yesterday and the creeks were light brown again from the runoff. We received about 3-inches of rain the last two days. It did not affect the fishing as we caught several large bass and a couple of nice catfish. I was going to go crappie fishing in Pigeon creek but it was just too cold with the north wind. I stuck in Blackburns creek.  The high only got to 49 but it is to get into the high 60's and low 70's later this week. The fish are still on the old shoreline in the brush. I will try a spinner bait today with the water color change.  It was getting very clear but not now. It did not affect the main lake much but I am not fishing there.

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

Ryan is busy releasing the fish out of the basket caught today after pictures. The Grand Kids learn early how to catch and release here. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 570.16 and is rising with almost 2-inches of rain last night and them shutting down the spillway gates. One generator is still running. The level has come up about 4-inches in the last 24-hours.  It rains in the spring boys just in case nobody told you. I did not want to surprise you.  It is not where we are but how we got here. They had all fall and winter to lower the lakes and did not do so. Now it is back to hold and hope and then flood everything out down stream. We will see if they follow the outdated flood control release rules again this year.  Nobody seems to care enough to change them. The creeks run pretty good earlier this morning but have slowed way down now. Fishing has not been affected and the rising water has helped the catfishing as well as the waning moon and the early top water bite is still very good for many species and they are mostly in the same places. Bass fishing is still the best with fish coming up early and then going down into the brush on the 3-inch worm. Some red meat fish are with them and a few spawned out crappie. The pretty stable lake level for about the last two weeks has made for a very good spawn for them. A couple of large stripers have been caught recently but not even near the numbers of a few years ago. I hope the people catching them are not celebrating killing them. They are few.  White bass numbers are also way down but the Hybrids are about where they have been and are holding the others in there. I am surely glad they did not quit stocking them as was proposed. 

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

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James and Mike caught some good top water fish this morning.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 569.81 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with the same amount of generation and flood gate releases that have been going on for a week. We received about an inch of rain last night and this early morning but the creeks did not run. The lake is dropping again after the rain. We are to get more rain and then a cold front is coming in and we could get some frost.  Especially in the low areas near the lake. This seems to always happen in April and that is why I do not plant my garden until early May no matter how warm it gets. The lake surface temperature is in the low 60's and dropping.The top water bite has really picked up after most of the threadfin shad have spawned and the plankton, shad and fish have moved to the wind blown creeks near the old shoreline in the brush. A high percentage of the fish are in 20-ft. of water or less. Actually most of them are in 12-feet or less but may follow your lure out before biting. The lake has cleared a lot so I have quit the spinner bait for a while and am using the spook and spitin image top water lures to call them up or cast to them when they come up. The rest of the time I am using the grub and minnow or the 3-inch green worm on a 1/8th ounce lead head. Any heavier and they sink too fast and get into the brush.  You have to learn to count down and just keep your lure just above the brush or you will get snagged all the time. You can make your worm almost weedless. There was a good top water bite for bass this morning and the shad were coming uip everywhere in the backs of the windblown creeks. Some stripers, crappie and hybrids are with them. Catfish are biting fair on limb lines baited with perch if you can keep the kentucky bass off them. I have not caught a flathead yet.

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

Caught this morning. More too.We are releasing most fish except for the catfish.Image title

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The lake level is 569.97 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open 1-ft. The lake is clearing nicely and is a perfect color in Blackburns area and too clear near the dam for fishing. Most of the fish are still in the brush near the old shoreline and have plenty of cover.  The threadfin shad have spawned and the fish have plenty of feed too. Shad are flitting around everywhere. Walleye, crappie, bass and red meat fish are all in the same places. The bluegill moved in under the dock and the catfish started biting immediately.  They always do that. The top-water bite is in full swing now so get out early.  The 3-inch plastic worm is working best when they are down and the clear spook and spitin image when they are surfacing. The  Smallmouth bass bite is really picking up. Some crappie have spawned, some are spawning and some are on the beds. Some spawned out females are very big. I have not seen any fry yet but they should show up soon. Carp are spawning in the very backs of the creeks and it is a good time to bowhunt them. I am not finding any bass that have spawned yet but they are close but the water temperature has dropped to 62-63 and will cool off more with this long lasting cold front moving in and lows are to be in the low 30's and highs in low to high 50's.. We are to get some rain the next couple of days and it is thundering now. This is a typical spring for fishing but has been just a bit slower warming up.  The lake is a little high for some boat access but has not affected fishing much except the fish are harder to get out of the cover. Overall the lake is in excellent condition and we are catching fish everyday.

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

James Soltysiac with some good ones caught this morning. Under the dock they go except for the catfish.Image titleImage title

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide service yesterday on top water.Image title

The lake level is 570.22 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with one generator and four spillway gates open one foot. It is to rain later this weekend and early next week. It has cooled of a bunch with highs yesterday in the high 60's, today low 60's, tomorrow 50's. The surface water temperature in the creeks has dropped a bit but it is in the mid 60 on the main lake. The top water bite is on now and a few big stripers are being caught but not near like in the past. I hope they are getting released. They almost all live when caught in shallow water. I am releasing a lot of nice bass under the dock but do not fish for stripers much. I am releasing all crappie caught now immediately as the males are guarding the nests and if you catch them off the bluegill eat all of the eggs in about two minutes. Trolling all over is not my kind of fishing. I like to cast for them with artificial bait if I fish for them at all. A lot of people like to fish for them though and it takes the pressure off the walleye, crappie and catfish which I like the best. Bass are the staple on this lake when the others are not biting. Fishing is improving as the moon wanes. 

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

George fishing in the trophy pond. He loves to fly fish for bluegill so I put some big ones in for him. Image title

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The lake level is 570.48 and has dropped about two inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot. That is about all they can do for now as they are determined to get Table Rock down to normal at all costs. The lake is clearing and is in excellent condition for fishing but it is a little tough to get the fish out of the old shoreline and the brush. The crappie that I caught yesterday had spawned and the bass are getting ready. I had a 69 degree surface temperature in Blackburns creek yesterday and people were swimming in the lake. I will go diving when it hits 70 though but I have an 8-mil wetsuit with hood. It looked like the threadfin shad had spawned and I look for the top water bite to really get started in earnest soon.  It had been sporatic. The full moon and the dropping of the lake level slowed fishing a bit but we still caught some good ones. All of the bass and crappie were released under the dock but the catfish were released in a skillet with some fried taters and mushrooms. Norfork lake catfish are really good and flatheads are the best. I have not caught any of them yet though but I bet I will. Just a few more days and I will be walleye fishing. Life is good. People are catching some very nice fish out of Tom Kelly's trophy pond and we like that.

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 570.85 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and four spillway gates open one foot. It is equavilent to about 2-1/3 generators. We will see if they follow the dumb rule of dropping the level at Newport to 21-feet if the lakes are 50% full on the 15th of this month.  That is also one of the problems. They changed the way the 50% is calculated resulting in the lakes being held higher, and implimented the minimum flow law.  They both took away flood capacity. I wonder if the rivers are getting enough minimum flow now. There will be no wade fishing for quite some time. The bass and catfish are still biting pretty good in the backs of the creeks and some walleye have moved back down river after spawn. The bigger crappie have spawned but I see no evidence of any fry yet. The surface temperature is still in the low 60's but should rise fast on the spawning beds with this very warm weather. Another cold front is moving in after that with highs in the low 60's, that and the full moon and the lake dropping will not do the fishing any good. I am just not seeing much top-water action yet. The lake is clearing nicely and the brown water is almost gone and is a good color for fishing. The lake in general is in good condition. I am catching some good fish every day.

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

Released under the dock.Image title

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

The lake level is 571.03 and is dropping very slowly. The new news is that they now have 4 spillway gates open one foot and along with the one generator running continuously should start to drop the level a little quicker. The total is equal to about 2-1/3 generators. This is good and the fish are biting. I am just fishing for bass and catfish now until the crappie spawn is over. It looks to be a very good one. I am releasing all of the bass under the dock until they get on the beds and then I will quit fishing for them. I found just a few mushrooms yesterday and they should really pop up with the temperatures to be in the 80's for a couple of days before the next cold front comes through. We are located very low here at Blackburns and it is conducive to late frosts so I will wait several days to plant the garden.  It is ready though. The grass is growing very quickly  as are the flowers. Tom Kelly reports that people are catching some very good fish out of his trophy pond. That is what we wanted. One lady said she caught the biggest crappie she has seen in her life. This is a good time of year and it is good to just be out there. We are working hard on the resort making improvements and will paint the pool soon. 

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

Several of these were released under the dock.Image title

These go well with mushrooms and fried taters with onion.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 571.06 and is exactly what it has been for the last 24-hours with one generator running and two spillway gates open 1-ft. I crappie fished for a while just to confirm that the big ones are spawning and the males are in front of the nests getting ready to guard them. Everytime you catch one the bluegills eat all the eggs right away so it is important to release them immediately and let them get back to their job if you care about them. Just give them a few days and then catch them. The big females will be hungry after the spawn and easily caught. The males will protect the nests until the eggs hatch and  the fry can get away on their own. It is good that they have a lot of cover and the lake level is not varying a lot during this time. If all of the males are not caught while guarding the nests we will have good crappie fishing for a long time. What is new is that the catfish have moved back into the creeks and are biting well on bluegill (perch) on limb lines. We caught several yesterday and some nice ones too. The catfish are now biting better than the bass which are getting ready to spawn. We also caught and released several bass under the dock. The bass spawn well into the summer on Norfork depending on the variety. The cold weather slowed things down a bit but with temperatures in the 80's early this week the spawn will be in earnest and the mushrooms will come out on the sunny banks. A few are already here. The water temperature was in the high 50's yesterday but will get back to the mid 60's with the upcoming warm weather. The lake is still clearing slowly and is a good color for fishing in most places. You can still social distance here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. All cabins are individual with no duplexes and have covered porches. No need to get close to anybody and the price is right. We did not raise our prices last month for the fishing season and you can still get a cabin for $59/day for two people and your first boat stall is free. Check prices before you book. 

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

Tom Kelly with a good one. It is now swimming under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 571.05 and has been stable for several hours with one generator and two spillway gates still open one foot which is equivalent to about 1-1/2 generators. This is about the same as the inflow from the river and is doing nothing to drop the lake. The surface temperature is in the early 60's depending on where you are and this very cool weather will not do anything to help that or bring out very many more mushrooms.  The bass are biting better than the catfish on limb lines baited with bluegill and the bass continue to be the best bite.  Almost all of the fish are near the old lakeshore in the trees and buckbrush in 0-20 ft. of water, as is the bait and they are hard to get out of there. They have plenty of cover, food and the warmest water and have no reason to move anywhere except to spawn and guard the nests. Bink continues to catch some nice hybrids both day and night. Tom Kelly is using his whacky worm near the bank and catching some good bass. The Landry boys and Joseph Cueno just left and did pretty well on bass. Glad to have them. We will see what happens to the top-water bite with this cool weather. I am not going to plant my garden right yet but the grass is really growing and flowers and trees are blooming. Blackburns is still the best place to social distance and Debbie is sanitizing cabins after every use and the lake has low boat traffic. No reason to get close to anybody and the price is right. Why pay more? 

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

Ryan Landry with a good one.Image title

Caught Fishing with Bink's Guide service.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 570.93 and has been stable for about 4-hours.  The new news is they have supplemented the one generator with two spillway gates opened one foot which is equivalent to a little over 1/2 of a generator. A lot of fish were caught yesterday by Binks, Tom Kelly, Mike Eakle and other Blackburns guests. We have several fishermen in and I did not get a chance to talk to all of them. I set out a few limb lines last night and we will see if any catfish are biting. I cannot see under the dock well enough to tell if the bluegill are there but I am baiting with them from Nabatak. They are just the right size. Mike caught some mushrooms yesterday and these two usually go together. Spring is here and so is the cloudy rainy weather. About two low pressures and one cold front comes through a week with just a few days of sunshine. It is to cool down for a couple of days and then warm back to 80. The full moon is the 7th and catfish do not bite well in the full moon and even less if the lake is dropping. That has not been a problem so far. We will see. As soon as the water starts to warm a cold front comes through and stops it. Bink is catching fish both day and night and good ones too. Come on down to Blackburns.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. The Landry boys and Joseph Cuneo from Houma, Louisiana are catching some very nice bass. They are good fishermen and nice people. We will have to dodge showers for a while but should not wash us out. You can fish close to Blackburns dock and duck into the dock when they start. This is the way to social distance. Better than sitting on the sofa.

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

One big Hybrid caught fishing with Bink's Guide service. Image title

Joseph Cuneo is also from Houma.Image title

Dustin Landry from Houma, Louisiana with a good one. He is fishing out of Blackburns Ranger rental boat.Image title

The lake level is 570.87 and has risen about 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running. We are to get some rain for the next 2-3 days. Some big bass have moved to the backs of the creeks staging for spawn.  Several are being caught in Blackburns Creek on worms, spinner baits and gitzits.  The water is not clear enough to sight bed fish and that is good. I do not kill fish in the spring except for maybe a catfish or two.  I am going to put out a few limb lines for catfish and see what happens.  It is just about time.  There is just a short window from the time the catfish move in and the gar take over and they leave. This is big flathead time with channel cats a little later. Bluecats are usually the biggest in this lake but I like the others the best. Flatheads are the last fish to spawn in the lake. Fried potatoes and onions, Fried flathed, fried mushrooms may be a heart attack in a skillet but they sure are good. You can fish and hunt mushrooms in the woods here and still social distance. This is a fun time of year. It is to get back into the 80's later this week and that will bring out the morels for sure. Blackburns is getting calls asking if we raised the rates the last of March. The answer is no. Some do, we do not. You can still get a one bedroom cabin got $59/day for two people. All cabins are individual, with no duplexes and have covered porches. You can social distance between cabins. We do not charge for your first boat stall but we do for pets. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and fishing is getting better every day with the top-water bite beginning. Many fish are in the brush near the bank. Keep a spook or spitin image ready for when they come up.

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 570.62 and has risen about 5-inches in the last 24-hours.They shut off all generation last evening and started one generator early today. They are still running Table Rock balls to the wall with all generators running and 10-spillway gates open. They are trying to get it down to power pool no matter what it does to Bull Shoals,which is holding their water. Protect Branson Landing at all costs. It is all about $ and politics. Maybe someone will listen about dropping the level in the fall and winter and reevaluating the rules of generation. We need to unite everyone and speak with one voice.  Depending where you are in the county, the rainfall in March was about 2-1/2 inches above normal. Normal is about 4.5 inches for the month. We have had no big rains in the county for several weeks.  The weather is beautiful today and it is just about time to put in some limb lines for catfish. I will do that tomorrow when Nabatak delivers the bait for the resort.  We keep live bait on hand all year here at Blackburns. The area is so lucky to have such a good wholesale bait and tackle supplier as Nabatak.  They have good inventory and prices and the best service. It is about time to mow again for the third time.  Everything is green and flowers and trees are blooming all over. Bink reports catching some big hybrids this morning  on top-water.  True top-water not just calling them up out of the brush. I caught some nice bass yesterday and released them under the dock on the 3-inch worm. Things are ready to break loose. Learn how to work that spook by walking the dog and keep it handy. The lake is clearing and is in overall good condition but there are a few logs in the main channel and you have to watch for them. April is here and fishing will get better and better as the water warms. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Compare prices and call Debbie at 870-492-5115.  All of our cabins and boats are ready to go. Water surface temperature is in the high 50's on the main lake and early 60's in the creeks depending on where you are and what time of day it is.