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 579.40 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. Norfork has about 8-inches before it goes over the spillway. Both Table Rock and Bull Shoals are running over the spillway now. Dam management 101 teaches do not let the water goes over the spillway. I wonder if anyone managing the level has taken 101. They are to open spillway gates on Table Rock at noon to continue to overflow Bull Shoals. The White River at Newport is at 25.5 feet and 26 feet is flood stage. They have really gotten themselves in a bind. They want to hold and hope more but there is no place to hold. I suspect their next move will be to shut Norfork down until it is over the spillway also. At least the weather is to be beautiful with no rain in sight.  That is all that is saving them. It looks like the rivers will be flooded as is the farmland downstream and the area lakes will remain full.. At least they held off doing this until the crops were planted and up where it will be doing the most damage.  If they can take the White river up almost to flood stage now, I wonder why they cannot do it in the fall, winter and spring before the crops are planted? Just sayin. Get rid of the 12,14,18 feet stupid rules. The lake is still clear and is in good condition. There is a little debris out there but not bad. I do not recomment tubing or going out after dark. Some wood is water logged and just under the surface out of sight. This is changing daily even though the level has been pretty stable. The wind direction is responsible for this. One day north and one day south. The surface temperature is in the mid 70's and good for swimming. There are no beaches but you can swim off Blackburns Dock, in our big pool or out on the lake off a boat. The water is not dirty away from the bank. Blackburns is probably your best option for dock access, and vehicle and trailer parking. You can park at the dock and step right on but cannot launch here. No trailers at the dock. If you rent a boat, it is easy. If you bring your own boat, not so much. The boat launches are very crowded especially on the weekends and vehicle and trailer parking is very limited. We have plenty of that here at Blackburns and are not crowded up on a hillside. A lot of fish are still on the old shoreline and from the bank to there. Keep your boat in about 25-feet and cast to shore part way back in the creeks using creature baits and soft plastics. There is a top water bite some days at sunrise but not every day. 

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

The lake level is 579.21 and is starting to rise just a bit after they closed the spillway gates. They did start the other generator. Norfork is 9-inches from going over the spillway, Beaver is 2-inches, Table rock is 3-inches and Bull Shoals is lapping over and is officially 1/2 inch from breaching. They are trying desperately to keep Bull Shoals from going over but are getting out of options. Do not, I repeat do not believe the weathermen. They have been wrong 85% of the time.  The White River at Newport is now over 25-feet and 26 feet is minor flood stage.  It is a very good thing we did not get the rain as predicted. The weather has been great. I went out for a little while after getting my work done and found the following in this area: The surface temperature was 75 degrees in Hensley's creek and I could see my lure down about 6-feet. Blackburns creek was stained a little more but still a good color and I saw very little debris.  There should be a thermocline forming soon if not now and the fish will move to just above or just below that. It should be from 17-19 feet to start with and get deeper as the water warms. Our normal high is 80.  I have not been Scuba diving yet to find out. It looks like I will have to jump into deeper water to avoid the brush and then work my way to the edge of it.  A lot of brush is just outside of the old shoreline which is 20+ feet.  I saw some top water fish at about 5:30 PM and caught some bass and a small hybrid. All fish were released on site. The crappie that I was looking for were gone. A big black rain cloud was building up from the west so I came in. It did not amount to much and looked much worse than it actually was. We got about 1/10th out of it. The best bite now is the early morning top water bite on spooks and then switch to a swim bait. It is time to start spooning again or at least try it. There is lots of cover and bait fish and the fish are scattered and roaming. I have not been catfishing but there are lots of jugs and limb lines in the area. 

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

Caught fishing with Bink the last couple of days. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 579.08 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running and all spillway gates open 6-inches. All area lakes are now less than one foot from going over the spillway and the White River at Newport is 25-feet. 26 feet is minor flood stage. They opened bull Shoals flood gates earlier and are really letting a lot of water out of there. They are only a couple of inches from going over.  They have really done a good job of holding and hoping and allowing the crops downstream to all be planted and up. Now everything is at max. One medium rain will really put them in trouble. About everything that can be done has been done here when we reached 579.74 earlier and were 3-inches from going over. Blackburns probably has about the best set up even though we have lost our ability to launch here for now. You can drive to the dock and there are just a very few steps to get on. No trailers at the dock allowed. We have parking at the resort.  Panther Bay is the best place to launch now. The lake is clearing again after the busy holiday weekend churned it up a bit. We have not have had very many quick level rises this year and the lake in this area has remained very clear. It has just been a steady rise with no fall or winter drawdown by our dam managers. After the next two days of rain, it is to be sunny for almost a week. We will see what that brings. The weather man has been wrong about everything so far so there is no sense in fretting. Just go fish until it rains you out. We seldom get washed out for the whole day. I was a little surprised about the boat traffic for the holiday but everybody seemed to have had a good time. It was very busy here at Blackburns with lots of boats rented and all cabins full. People were taking advantage of the best prices on both boats and cabins on Norfork lake here. The big pool was very busy as was the slide. I have a lot to do but will try to get in a little fishing and let you know. Bink is catching some good fish every day. There are a lot of shad about 1/2 inch long that spawned a few weeks ago under the dock and they are bringing a lot of game fish with them. 

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

Caught off the dock last evening.Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 579.62 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running and all flood gates open 1/2 foot. The weatherman completely botched the forecast for this weekend so far and it has been beautiful. It rained friday morning and since then it has been great. The lake was as busy yesterday as I have ever seen it. People are just wanting to get out and I do not blame them. I do not personally like crowds much but am glad they are all having fun and are safe. I had some 70's degree water in the creeks. The lake in this area is in good condition with some debris. You have to watch for partially submerged wood. Fishing was good off Blackburns Dock with walleye, crappie, bass, catfish and bluegill being caught. Every one seems to be having fun. The big pool has been busy.

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

Caught fishing with Bink's this morning.Image title

The lake level hit 579.44 earlier this afternoon and a lot has happened since then. We received 3-inches of rain last night and the creeks were running hard. Then later another front came through with one more inch of rain and the water was heading over the spillway. They then started one generator (everything was shut down until then) and a little later opened all 12 spillway gates 1/2 foot. This is about 6,600 cfm spillway and 2,900cfm generation for a total of 9,500 cfm with is just over an equivalent of  3-generators. This is enough to keep the level from going over the spillway but not drop very much. We will see what they do when this slug gets to Newport. It is not up to 26-feet there yet which is the minor flood stage. With all of the lakes nearly full they have gotten themselves in a bind. If they just keep Norfork barely from going over the spillway and hold Bull Shoals more, the results will not be good. The motto of hold and hope is not working. On a positive note at least it has brightened up and the sun is shining now and Blackburns big pool is open and ready for use. You can still drive to our dock and park there but there is no launching or no trailers allowed at our dock. You must launch elsewhere (we are using Panther bay) and drive your boat to our dock. It is between one and two miles. If you are in a big group please consolidate and drive a minimum number of cars to the dock. There is no place to leave our dock in a boat and pick other people up elsewhere or have non-guests meet you at the dock. Day use people are going to have it tough if you are not staying at a resort. We have absolutely no place for locals looking for a free place to swim or kayak. Sorry but that is the way it is. I am not going fishing until the weekend is over so I can not help you much in that area. The surface temperature is about 66 degrees. The launches will be full so be prepared to park far away and wait to put in and take out your boats. There is no public swimming available but most of the better resorts have pools and you can also swim off their docks if they have one.We have both.The water is clean and clear away from the bank.  If and when it rains we have a big pavillion with ping pong and floor shuffleboard. We have all individual cabins with no duplexes so you can social distance and all cabins have big covered porches. You will find out why that is important when you do not have one.  No tents here .  

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 yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 578.64 and has risen 5-inches in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of running one generator. It is a good thing it has not rained for five days. They have now cut the White River level at Newport to below 24 feet and must think we are not going to get much more rain this week.  I hope so. The government always knows the right thing to do and I put myself completey in their hands. I just hope we do not end up like Michigan. It might hurt the farmers. The lake surface temperature just will not get out of the 60's and is a little cool for swimming.  At least for me. The children do not mind. People have been pent up and are anxious to get out.  It looks to be a busy weekend and we have been receiving hundreds of calls for reservations but have been full for a couple of weeks. I assume most resorts are the same since there are very few government campsites open. The lake is in pretty good condition and the main lake is clear and the creeks stained a bit but not bad at least in my area . I have not been north of Cranfield and have no reason to go there. There will be no fishing for me until at least monday afternoon and will leave the lake to the amateurs. I still have not figured out what good a jet ski is for except to teach young people how to abuse equipment and ram everything. There is not much chance you will get me on one. They seem to want to show off and see how close to fishing boats they can get. When I was diving once, there were two of them trying to see if they could go by my dive flag and grab hold of it while going right over me. It was a good thing I did not have to come up. My fishing tip for friday afternoon, saturday  and sunday is to wait for tuesday. Bink is still catching some good top water fish early and then spooning for bass later. Mike Eakle, Tom Kelly and Rob Gravengoed are all catching good fish. The Davis boys were but just left. Make sure the children all have life jackets on and the others all have one on the boat. There is some debris in this area so do not go out after dark.   There will be plenty of law enforcement out there. 

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

Tom Davis caught three fish on an A rig at the same time yesterday. That is Image titleBackburns dock behind him. He is here with his brother Don. Kenny could not make it. Sorry.

The lake level is 578.18 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours. They have dropped the White River level at Newport to 24-feet.  When the lake was 580 and was lapping over the spillway in 2008 they opened all of the gates and flooded everything below. They found some river docks and boats in Calico Rock. How was this hold and hope protecting the farmers?12 years later and they have not learned their lesson.  It was a really good example of minimum flow at it's best. With rain in the forecast we will see what happens. The local head of the Corps says there is nothing to worry about so we should trust the government to take care of us. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor and if you like you insurance you can keep your insurance. You can still drive to the dock at Blackburns and take just a few steps to get on the dock and park here but can no longer launch here. You can rent a boat and not worry about it. I put several boats in the dock before the rise closed the launch.  They have done about all they can do to us. The only thing stopping them from holding and hoping more is the level of the spillway. Dam management 101, do not let the water go over the spillway. The surface water temperature is 66 degrees and this is as cool a spring as I can remember in over 25-years and very slow warming up. Our normal high is 78 degrees. I do not know what the change in level has done to the bass spawn but it could not have been good. The main lake is very clear and there is less debris in this area than before. The creeks are stained a bit and are a very good color for fishing. Crappie fishing is fair if you know where and bass fishing is the same. Top water bite for red meat fish is pretty good most days early but many of them are small. Remember there is a 20-inch limit on stripers with a three fish daily limit and a 6-fish possession limit. This includes hybrids but no size limit on them. The resorts are mostly all ok but the day use people will have difficulty finding camping, launching and parking. There are no beaches. You will have to swim off a dock, off a boat or in a pool.  Things will be very crowded with locals trying to get their boats in the water for the first time. Just be patient, do not go out after dark and  be safe. I am fortunate that I do not have to have a calendar tell me when to go fishing. Do not come on vacation and leave on probation. 

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

The lake level is 577.62 and has risen 10-inches in the last 24-hours and shows no sign of stabilizing. The rise has slowed since it has not rained for 24-hours and should not rain until later this week. You cannot expect it to lower anytime soon since they raised the level of the White river at Newport to 24.57 feet which is still below the minor flood stage there which is 26 feet. They could have done this since last fall after harvest. The head guy at the Corps of Engineers says there is no chance of the lakes going over the spillway and the dams are doing what they are susposed to do. He said they will continue to hold and there is plenty of room. If they do have to open the gates when the levels are breeching the spillways and flood the rivers he and all others should be fired for incompetence. The lakes will continue to rise just from the river inflow no matter if it rains or not just more slowly if it doesn't because of the White river level does not allow for much if any discharge from the lakes. This just shows they can operate at just below minor flood stage if they want to and hold and hope is no plan. Top water bite continues to be the best now in the early AM and bass fishing in the old shore line is next. Some crappie are being caught but not as many.  They are moving with the water rise and harder to find. Catfishing is fair on jugs and throw lines.  You have to move your throw lines and trotlines almost daily. The main lake is still clear and the creeks are stained a bit. The surface temperature is in the mid to high 60's and has not changed much. We got our pool pained and resurfaced and will start to fill it tomorrow after the paint cures. Now to mow the yard and keep moving the dock three times a day. We will be ready for you when you get here.

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

The lake level is 574.60 and has risen about 20-inches in the last 24-hours. They are running one generator a few hours in the late mornings. It is raising about one inch per hour now.  We received two inches of rain yesterday and last night, one inch the day before and 1/2 inch the day before that. It is to clear out this afternoon and be nice for the next several days. They are still holding the White River at Newport to below 18-feet at all costs.  All of the area lakes are rising. I waited until about 4:Pm to go out yesterday to dodge the rain and fished until about 6:PM and got in just as the rain started again. The creeks are running pretty hard now and they are staining up a bit. I was amazed how clear the main lake was. I could see my lure down at least 12-feet on rocky walls. The surface water temperature was actually higher on the main lake than in the backs of creeks. It was 66 in the creeks and 69 main lake. I was casting a crappie jig over brush in 18-20 feet of water and letting it drop slowly back in a creek where the south wind had been blowing into.  No bites for about 20 minutes and then they bit for another 20-minutes. I caught eight crappie and all of them were keepers. I then moved into the main lake where there were big logs near the surface. Bass were in front of the logs in about 17-feet of water just out of eyesight. I caught no fish in the clear water where i could see the bottom even though I was staying as far away from the bank as I could cast. Several Kentucky bass that were barely keepers were caught and one nice smallmouth.  All are now under the dock.  The high water is not affecting fishing much but there is an increasing amount of debris in the water with the creeks being the worst. You have to watch out.  If you go fast you will hit something.  If you go out after dark you will for sure. Early topwater is the best bite for bass and red meat fish and jigs over brush for crappie are the best bite. I am finding no crappie in water over 25-ft and a lot of fish are about 12 feet down suspended in 17-20 feet no matter where you are. If the fish do not come up in the morning use a swim bait with little or no nose weight. I like the hook rigs with the barbs that go through the nose and the hook comes up through the bottom and is barely exposed where the fluke or bass assassin is cut out. White color is working pretty good four or five inches long. The straight tail works best for stripers and hybrids and the split tail best for bass. Some people use the paddle tail, I do not but they work also on a jig head as do creature baits. Gitzits are working for bass on beds in the creeks.  

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

Mike Eakle from O'fallon and Bob Musser from Antioch, Illinois caught a nice variety this morning and released them under Blackburn's dock.Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 572.65 and has risen almost 11-inches in the last 24-hours with no current generation. We received 1/2 inch of rain last night and the creeks are running but not hard. The lake level continues to rise. They are frantically trying to stop Beaver lake from going over the spillway with flood gates open. It is just a few inches from doing so.  Dam management 101, do not let the water go over the dam. Maybe the governement needs to realize it rains in the spring here. Duh.  This is even causing Table Rock to rise which is taboo. Bull Shoals is taking the brunt of the mismanagement on the chain of Lakes with Norfork being the neglected stepchild, not hooked up with them, and being the victim of the hold and hope philosophy of water management. With all of this crises they have been able to keep the White River level at Newport to below 17.5 feet when the minor flood stage is 26-feet. It is even below the 18-foot level which is mandated. It is almost like the whole place is run by idiots and nobody wants to do anything about it. Draw the lake down to the 540's in the fall and winter, let as much out to keep it there without downstream flooding for as long as they can should do the trick. Do not quit generating everytime it rains would help too. There needs to be accountability or nothing will be done. My Dog Toby could do better. The lake surface temperature is about 67 degrees depending on where you are. The rain should stop Sunday sometime and be sunny for several days with little chance of rain. Top water fishing is still the best for small stripers (less than 10-lbs) with hybrids and bass being the best bite. The stripers are getting smaller and smaller with way too many being killed. Many bass are spawning but many are also coming up in the early morning. Bass spawn way up into summer on Norfork. There is more debris showing up being washed from the bank with the water rise so be carefull. The lake is still clear and in overall good condition just bigger. As of today we are no longer able to launch here and are sending people to Panther Bay. You can still park your trailers at the resort and drive to the dock and park. Please do not clog the dock area up with trailers. I am still catching several nice crappie and catfish with a few top water bass thrown in. There are no diminished services here at Blackburns except for launching. Many places do not have that ever anyway. Day use areas will be very crowded with very little camping and launch parking available. Fishing has not been affected much if any.  

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 on Top-water. Nice fish.Image title

The lake level is 571.81 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours and there are no generators running or spillway gates open. They are keeping the White River at Newport at 18-feet at all cost. Beaver Lake is less than a foot from going over the spillway. They either have to let some water out or really cause a lot of problems. Newport's minor flood stage is 26-feet and they could have kept it at just below that for months but refuse to do so. Nobody is asking to dry dock the lake in the winter or flood out farmers anytime but just good management techniques that do not hurt anybody. These stupid rules were made decades ago and need to be reviewed. Campgrounds, launches, marina access by land and parking for day use people are affected the most. I did see some debris when I went to Briar Creek crappie fishing yesterday. It came loose with the last rise when they shut down discharge. Be carefull when being out in the dark or do not go out then. The water itself is very clear and clean. Top water bite just at sunrise continues to be the best bite for hybrids and bass. Crappie are fair in 20-feet of water back in the creeks on cover. Look around and you will find schools of them. There is a lot of cover and the fish are not everywhere. Catfishing is fair on jugs and throw lines. I found 70 degree water in some places yesterday. Bink is on the top water fish as are Mike Eakle and Tom Kelly. One month until spearfishing season opens for divers. We will finish painting the pool early next week and start filling it. If you have a need for sand, we have a big sandpile by the pool. Otherwise it will be scarce all summer as well as swimming areas. You can swim off our dock here at Blackburns or in our big pool or off a rental pontoon. You are not out of options.  You may not mind paying for boat stalls, (your first one is free here) but you cannot social distance in a duplex and it is days like today where you really appreciate a big covered porch. 

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

A giant smallmouth caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday on top water. Image title

The lake level is 571.24 and has risen 8-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation. Yes, they have shut everything off in their quest to Keep the White River at Newport at 18-feet at all costs. The minor flood stage there is 26 feet. Beaver lake is about ready to go over the spillway and they are in a panic there with several spillway gates open. It is not where we are but how we got there. Mismanagement. The warm weather is now here and the lake surface temperature is rising and is now in the high 60's. The water is still clear and the bass are on the beds. The best bite now is early morning top water with some in the evening. Hybrids and bass are mostly what is coming up. If people keep killing those red meat fish (temperate bass) there will be none left. There were none stocked this year. The white bass are making a come back but are not near the same as before the fish kill last year. There are plenty of shad in the lake though. The flathead and smallmouth bite is winding up but some nice ones are still being caught but not nearly as many. Channel catfishing is picking up. I am still catching some good crappie on brush in 20-feet of water near the old shoreline. People sight fishing for bass on beds are doing well. It looks like summer is here and there is to be several days of sunshine early next week and we can finish painting the pool. It will be open before Memorial Day. The lake in general is in good condition.

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

Guess what. The Corps of Engineers have closed the spillway gates on Norfork Dam and increased the discharge out of Table Rock to maintain it's normal level. They have increased the discharge out of Bull Shoals but not as much as they are putting in and it is rising. This is all in anticipation of the upcoming rain and them keeping the White River at Newport at 18-feet at all costs for absolutely no reason. These management practices are getting almost criminal. Branson is not even very much open. All of the lakes except Table Rock are sure to rise.  Let some water out boys. You have had eight months to do so. Enough incompetence, I am about as sick of you as the virus but still nobody does anything about it. 

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

Tom Kelly with some of yesterday's catch. Released under Blackburns  dock after pictures. Tom is a good fisherman and conservationalist. Image title

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The lake level is 570.14 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with the same discharge of one generator and two spillway gates open one foot. It is stable with no rain and rises when it rains. It is equal to about 1-2/3 generators. They have dropped the discharge of the White River at Newport drastically and the level there now is 17.4 feet which is actually lower than the prescribed 18 feet. They are doing all they can to keep the levels up as high as they can to keep the beaches, launches, campgrounds and parking at a minimum all summer for absolutely no reason.  I must have forgot to tell them it rains in the spring. We have a good chance to have rain for about the next week with cool weather until later part of the week. The surface temperature was 67 when I went out yesterday and the water was very clear. I saw several bass on beds and the crappie were on brush at about 20-feet. None were in the deeper water. I caught a couple of small stripers and released them immediately. If people keep showing lines of dead stripers on docks they are cutting their own throats.  We used to catch 30-lb. ones regularly and 20-lbs was common now a 15-lb.ers are rare. A 10-lb. striper is not something to be proud of, throw them back. It does not make you look good to kill them. The striper guides had better start learning how to catch crappie if they want to make a living if they keep killing red meat fish. None were stocked this year.  Tom Kelly brought in some nice fish yesterday and released them under the dock. Catfish, crappie and bass were all caught. Fishing overall is pretty good if you know where and how. I caught some good ones in the middle of the day. The lake is in good condition and we have no diminished services here at Blackburns and still have the best prices. $59/day for a 1-bedroom and 2,3,4 bedrooms are priced accordingly with a free stall for your boat. It is not a dead end with no parking to our dock. We sometimes do not have stalls available for one night stays though but you can still launch and park here unless the lake rises more. Some good fish are being caught here every day. Bass, crappie, catfish, hybrid stripers are the best with the hybrids being caught on top water early mixed with the bass. The weather continues to be cool so far. The normal high is 76 but it has struggled to be in the 60's.

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

The Gerigs from Towanda, Illinois caught some nice ones yesterday fishing with Bink on top water.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 570.21 and has been the same for over 24-hours with the same discharge. The level of the White River at Newport has now been reduced to below 18-feet and the discharge there greatly reduced. This is not only crazy but stupid. We have to get some one with a brain managing the dams. People talk about the high water being money in the bank for the power company and the corps, if so, why do they bypass the generators and open spillway gates and get nothing for it. The excuse all fall and winter was they were doing maintenance on the generators. Are they not working now? The minor flood stage is 26-feet at Newport and the only rule should be let out as much water as you can without reaching that level and cut all of the other junk until they get down to the power pool.  They have the technology to do it. If they do not I will help them.  As long as people put up with this mismanagement it will not stop. The cool weather has kept the surface temperature in the low 60's and does not have much chance of rising in the next several days with the very cool nights. The lake is very clear. Bass are now moving to the beds and the sight fishermen are catching a lot of them on gitzits back in the creeks. The smallmouth bass fishing has slowed but not stopped and so has the flathead fishing. Channel cats are now moving back into the creeks also. I found a big school of crappie back in a creek in 18-feet of water on wood but only about 1/2 of them were keepers. Red meat fish (mostly hybrids and small stripers) are hitting top water most days now just at sunrise. Get out there before 6:AM and work the clear spook if it is sunny. It glistens in the sun and the fish really go after it. Bass too. The walleye are still roaming with the bait fish and have not moved to the flats yet.  When the thermocline forms they will be in 16-20 feet of water in or just outside brush on main lake points. I am ready. Debbie, Casey, Abbey, and Donna worked hard on the pool yesterday and got aboit 1/2 of it painted and we will start filling it after the paint cures. It is a big pool (30x60) and you can swim laps in it and it also has a slide. Many pools around here are 20x30 and ours is three times as big. You can social distance in it. Things are looking good here and people are really wanting to get out of the house and get outside. I am fortunate, I can do that everyday and am thankful for it. Compare prices before you book.  You can save a lot of $ here without sacrificing any quality. I really dislike paying for boat stalls do you?

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 570.22 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with the same amount of generation and spillway gates. It is stable now.  They have achieved their goal of dropping the discharge of the White River at Newport  and lowering the level to just over 18-feet as predicted. They are doing their best to hold the lake levels up as high as they can in order to stay just one big rain away from going over the spillway and then flooding out everything down stream when it happens. Hold and hope is the motto, stupidity is the game. It is sunshine and cool today with a high pressure having moved in. The wind shifted to the north yesterday and was very breezy. It is better now. It layed about 6:PM last evening. The main lake had white caps on it most of the day. The first day after a cold front is not usually the best fishing but I will give it a try anyway. There was an early morning top water bite yesterday but after that it was hard to get out of the wind.The lake is clearing again after the rain and the sunshine should help. More rain is scheduled for next week. We will see. It is to be cool and everything is slow warming up. The surface temperature was 64 this morning with not much chance of it increasing any time soon. When it changes I expect it to go directly to summer. Bink caught some good top water fish yesterday and is out with a Blackburns customer again today.  Hope they do well. Bink can do it if any body can. I do not like to fish in high wind but it is sometimes good fishing. It is not fun for me to fight it. Blackburns has a few openings and the one bedroom cabins are still $59/day and come with a free boat stall. Cannot beat that. We have birds, wildlife and flowers everywhere. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.

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

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The lake level is 570.16 and rising with 1.3 inches of rain last night and the creeks are running but not fast. It does not help that they have cut the discharge way back on the White river at Newport trying to reach their stupid rule of 18-feet.  They are almost there. They would like it to be 12-feet but the lakes are all full except for Table Rock which is just a bit over power pool. I wonder why. Other people should wonder why also. The creeks are stained just a little green and the main lake is clear. Water surface temperature is 65-degrees and is not likely to rise with very cool weather for the next several days.  I was working on stuff on the Resort yesterday afternoon when it clouded up and also warmed up. There was a light wind from the south and a low pressure front was moving in. These are the conditions that I look for. Get out there and fish until it rains you out. I went to one of my crappie places out of the wind and started casting my Bobby Garland Blue Ice jig over brush and letting it sink. One bass was caught but no crappie. I was too shallow as the back of the creek was full of cover.  Moved to exposed wood in 18-feet of water and repeated. Caught a 12-inch crappie and then nothing for a few minutes. Then they started to bite. In less than one hour I caught and released about 20-fish.  None great big but most in the 11-12 inch range with a few shorts. I caught six more keepers for the folks in cabin three for supper and came in. I left at 4:Pm and was back by 5:20 as it started to rain. Usually I also use a two inch twister tail tipped with a minnow but did not have to. Norfork lake is a good crappie lake with big fish.  I just did not catch any big ones yesterday but some nice keepers. I will tell you where when you get here. Cabins still start at $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Cannot beat that. Come on down.  The money you save can be donated to the disabled Vets if you must pay more. Things are slow warming up.

Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Aerial

Dock in a sheltered cove.  Good for canoeing and kayaking.  Fishing too. Close to three marinas. You can drive down a gently sloping road 1/3 mile to the dock and launch. Image title

Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. All individual cabins with big covered porches and no duplexes. Good for social distancing. Large green flat playground with pavillion and
the largest pool in the area. Best prices on cabins and boats. Why pay more? Your first boat stall is free unless you bring the queen Mary. Lake of the Ozarks likes those. Image title
Image titleImage titleEvery roof is new. No leaks here. 28 acres to roam.Image titleImage titleImage titleBig dock with different sized stalls. Your first normal sized  one is free

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

Mark Aesehleman and Molly with a nice flathead. Image titleImage titleSonny Ealke with some good ones. The Soltysiacs can catch them too. Image title

The lake level is 570.12 and has been stable for 24-hours with the same amount of discharge.  They continue to drop the White River level at Newport on their quest for 18-feet.  It is now 19. With this amount of discharge you cannot expect the lakes to drop very much or very fast. What you see is what you get. The level has not affected Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental much and we have no diminished services. You can still launch your boat and park your trailers here without going to some remote areas that are very busy with day users. It makes it handy for single fishermen or couples that do not launch boats very well or drive trailers and unload them by themselves and then have to pick up the boat driver at the dock.  You can drive 1/3 of a mile down a nearly flat road, launch your boat, put your boat in a free stall and park your trailer in our parking lot and be finished until you leave. We are not huddled up on a cliff with restricted parking and a dead end road to the dock with little space for parking and turn around with no launch. All of our cabins are individual with covered porches and we have no duplexes that do not allow for social distancing. You can be in your own cabin and be a safe distance from your neighbor and the children can play in our big, flat, green palyground with lots of outdoor activities. We have restricted the numbers of people that can use the game room at a time but have ping pong, shuffleboard and other games under the covered pavillion. Our big pool will be open as soon as we get it painted and filled. It loks to be a good year and the lake is high but is in good condition for fishing and boating. You can still get a cabin for $59/day here at Blackburns with a free stall for your normal sized boat. Best prices anywhere. Best place, best price, closest to Mountain Home dining and shopping and you can get food delivered. Why pay more unless you just want to? Crappie fishing is pretty good with fish in the backs of creeks on wood about 12-foot down. Catfishing has slowed a bit but I am still getting some. There is a top water bite some days but not every day. The fish are still in the same places but do not come all the way up. You can use a spook to draw them up or cast a swim bait with little or no weight on it. Bass and crappie are together and walleye a little deeper. The water surface temperature is still 66+ and slow to rise and the lake is clearing again after the rain.  It is sunny and beautiful today. The yard is mowed, the flowers blooming and the place looks good, come on down.  You are all welcome and the price is right. You can make your stimulus check go far here at Blackburns and get out of the house. We have a good set up here and all cabins are sanitized after every use. We have good rental boats at fair prices. Yes we do have 300 Meg internet.

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

We just received about 1.3 inches of rain in just a few minutes and the creeks are running hard and the lake is rising. It has lightened up a little and the rain has slowed way down. This will brown up the creeks considerably but should not affect the main lake much. We will see. I will check things out in a few minutes. It is time to let some water out boys.  The rain really came down there for a while but not much wind. Typical May weather wilh a couple of cold fronts moving through a week.It just depends on where they meet the high pressure where the severe weather hits. We have been very fortunate so far. Maybe I can catch a flathead and a couple crappie.

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

Mike Eakle with a top water striper this morning. Released.Image title

Jeremy Deardoff with a good one.Image title

The lake level is 569.93 and is fairly stable with the same discharge of one generator and two spillway gates open one foot. It has risen a little over one inch in the last 24-hours and we received about 1-1/2 inches of rain in the last two days with more on the way. They have dropped the White River at Newport to 19+ feet as predicted on it's way to 18-feet. This is so stupid. The area lakes will be high for most of the summer unless someone at the Corps of Engineers get a brain which is not likely except for Table Rock which they religiously keep at power pool at the expense of everyone else.  Especially Bull Shoals which is very high. It is all about the money and antiquated rules of operation.  They have had all fall and winter to drop the lakes but refused to do so. There is a top water bite most days early if you know where to go. Sometimes they do not surface but are shallow and you can call them up with a spook or use a swim bait with no weight to get down to them. Creature baits and worms are working for smallmouth and Kentuckies with gitzits for bedding fish. Some crappie have spawned and some are spawning and some are still staging.  I am really surprised about how many have not spawned yet for this time of year. There are some really big ones. The lake is pretty clear and the surface temperature is in the mid to high 60's depending on where you are. A lot of fish of most varieties are on shad and roaming in 18-25 feet with walleye just a bit deeper. I tried for walleye on the flats by Cranfield Island but they were not there yet. Throw lines are working best for catfish with flatheads still being the best. Fishing overall is fair with some good ones being caught every day. The lake overall is in good condition.