Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

ARTICLES

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

Tom Kelly with a nice one caught and released last evening.Image title

The lake level is 577.53 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with intermittant generation. They have dropped the level of the White River at Newport and reduced the discharge there to try and hold the level of the area lakes as high as possible for as long as possible while reaching their goal of 14-feet there. They are at 14+ feet now and for absolutely no reason. Minor flood stage is 26-feet. They would really like to take it to 12-feet but the lakes are over 70% full. The lake surface temperature is in the mid 80's depending on where and what part of day. A lot of the debris that was blowing with the wind and water logged has stuck to the banks but there is still some out there and I do not recommend going out after dark for your own safety and damage to your boats. It is hard enough to see them in the day time. There is no good reason to be out there after dark anyway. Bink is catching stripers and bass on his spoon and Tom Kelly is catching bass on his split tail worm. I went out again for a few minutes and got a couple of crappie on the Bobby Garland 2-inch Blue Ice jig. Kids are catching bluegill and catfish off the dock on worms and crickets. I could see my lure down about 3-4 feet but have not been diving to give a real visibility report. You cannot do this until you are actually down there. I talked to Patton Trevor at Scuba Doo dive shop and he said there were walleye at 18-19 feet and he could see about 5-feet and spearfishing was just ok but people were getting fish. The lake in general is in good condition. Blackburns has the largest pool with slide, largest green playground with the most things to do for children, largest pavillion and all cabins have covered porches with no duplexes so you can social distance, most boat rentals and all at the best prices. You can still drive to the dock, park and step right on but our launching is gone. We have the best overall set up.  

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

Caught yesterday on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 578.10 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. The surface water temperature is 82 in the early mornings and 84 in the afternoons. Visibility is about 5-feet and the lake is clearing the further we get from the weekend. The higher than normal boat traffic on Friday afternoons, Saturday and Sunday really churn up the lake and create large launching and parking problems. The lake clears a lot from Sunday night to Friday  Watch for the guard rails across the launch at Panther Bay. There is really room for only two boats at a time for launching and that is if you stay close to the courtesy dock. Take off boat covers, load the boat, Put in plug , take off transon savers, put key in boat before blocking the launch and things go pretty smooth. I took a boat trip from Blackburns to Cranfield Island and then to the 101 bridge and back and the lake was in good condition. The debris is starting to stick to the shore with the little bit of drop in level. A few more feet drop would really do some good but they show no willingness to do so. Get that level down at Newport to 14-feet at all costs for no reason. Fishing has been about normal for the end of June and people are catching bass, walleye, catfish, bluegill, stripers and hybrids. If there is a top water bite it will be early before and just at sunrise. After that look for stripers off steep banks about 30-40 foot down and drop a Bink's Many Shad Spoon on them. Others are trolling umbrellas and still others are using live bait. Crickets off docks for big bluegill are catching some nice ones. Check out main lake and secondary points in 18-20 feet for walleye. Many fish and bait fish are still in the brush and it extends out to about 27 feet.

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

Tom Kelly with one nice smallmouth caught this morning.Image title

The lake level is 578.36 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. The White river at Newport has dropped to 15 feet on it's way to 14 feet for some unknown reason except to hold the lake levels up as high as possible for as long as possible. It was 579.44 a month ago and we have received little rain. At this rate we will be back to normal in the fall of 2022 unless the rules are changed. It is raining now and we need it badly. This will green things up and make the gardens grow. It looks like most of the storms are going south of us. It was a busy and beautiful weekend and most people had a lot of fun. That is the way we like it. The lake was sure busy also and the traffic in town was like a holiday weekend. Most fishermen are catching fish. Tom Kelly is using his split tail worm, Bink's his spoon and others a spinner bait. Stripers are moving to deeper water but are in the Bidwell area early in 30 feet of water. Tom Stanton is catching them there every day. You just have to get the bass out of the brush at 20-feet near the thermocline. Things are good here at Blackburns and people are taking advantage of our low cabin and boat rental prices as well as their first regular sized boat stall being free. The pool is big with slide and all cabins have covered porches. We do not charge for trolling motors on pontoons. We just had two 2-bedroom deluxe cabins cancel starting the 4th of July for the week so call Debbie at 870-492-5115 for details. I sure hope we can fill them. These last minute cancellations hurt and they always want their deposit back. It costs us three times as much as the person cancelling and the summer is short. We would much rather you show up than keep your deposit and set empty.  

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

Image titleImage titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 578.53 and has dropped about an inch in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. They are keeping all of the area lakes about 1-1/2 ft. from going over the spillway while dropping the White River at Newport to 15+ feet on their way to 14. I suspect the C.O.E. hates all lake people and thinks it is funny to have the campgrounds flooded for many months at a time for no reason and not having any beaches and few launching, parking and swimming areas.  Several good fish were caught yesterday and this morning With stripers, hybrids, bluegill  and bass being the best. The surface temperature remains in the mid 80's and the water clears during the week and then gets churned up on weekends with the higher than normal boat traffic. Bink, Tom Stanton, Tom Kelly and Mike Eakle are all catching fish and good ones too. Tom stanton is trolling umbrellas, Tom Kelly is working a worm and Bink and Mike are spooning and fishing top water early. All methods are working. Get out early, take the middle of the day off and then go out about 5:PM and fish until sunset for best results. There is still some debris out there moving with the wind so be catrfull and do not go out after dark. It will stick on the bank if they ever let water out. Just a few feet would really open things up but fat chance of that.  

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

Bink with a good one yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 578.66 and they have run both generators for 24-hours straight to drop the lake 2-inches. We are to have a good chance for rain the next few days and we need it.  It is very dry and it has not rained for 12-days. The lake surface temperature is 84 degrees and the water is pretty clear and getting clearer. We are expecting a big crowd on the lake this weekend and we will see how the water gets after that. This is as crowded on the water as I have seen for years. People are catching fish everyday with bass, walleye, stripers, hybrids and bluegill being the most. Not much has changed the last few days and we have been very busy here at Blackburns. The pool has been the biggest attraction and it is good that it is so big. The children love the slide. If you stay someplace else make sure you ask if they have a pool.  Several do not and some are small. Also ask if they have a dock and is fishing is allowed off the dock. Sorry we do not allow fireworks here. Fire hazzard and insurance does not cover fireworks. 

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

Tom Kelly with a nice one caught this morning.Image title

The lake level is 578.86 and has dropped about 1-inch in the last 24-hours with very limited generation. The White River at Newport is now at 17-feet and still dropping like a rock and headed for 14-feet. This is just plain stupid. We have had no rain for 11 days now and are very dry and they still refuse to drop area lakes. The surface water temperature is now in the early 80's in the mornings and mid 80's in the afternoon. The lake is clearing nicely but we will see what the weekend churning brings. There is still some big debris out there but not nearly as many. The lake level has been stable and the changing in wind direction just keeps moving them around. Some nice fish continue to be caught in the early mornings and late evenings. Bass, walleye, stripers, hybrids and bluegill are all coming in. Keep working the 20-ft. range for most fish and 80-ft. range after top water is over for stripers and hybrids. Fishing is about normal for Mid to late June. I have not had a chance to go Scuba Diving yet but the divers that I am talking to are getting walleye in the 20-ft. range near the bottom but the visibility is not very good. We are full here now at Blackburns with people taking advantage of our low cabin and boat rental rates and getting their first regular sized boat stall free. We have a couple of openings next week though but are getting about 100 phone calls a day for the 3rd and 4th of July.  It does not work out very well when a holiday falls on a weekend. We are only allowed to rent boats to resort customers by law.  Sorry. 

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

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

The lake level is 578.97 and is remaining constant as all of the area lakes are about one foot from going over the spillway. It has not rained for 10 days and it is very dry. They are dropping the level of the White River as fast as they can and it is 18-feet now and they are hell bent to get it to 14-feet no matter how high the lakes are. This is crazy. Let some water out boys. You have shown us what you can do if you want to. Why does it matter if Newport is 24-feet or 14 feet. It does not hurt anybody. The truth is they would like it to be 12-feet but the lakes are too high. Who ever made these rules should be drawn and quartered. They are probably dead already anyway since they were made so long ago. Change the rules and quit holding and hoping. The surface water temperature was 82 early this morning and the lake is clearing. We will see what the weekend brings. I have not seen it so busy here in years. People really want to get out and I do not blame them. People are catching fish. Work the main lake points and secondary points in the creeks from as far as you can cast to the bank and work out to 25-feet.  The thermocline is 19-20 feet and there are a lot of fish there. The stripers and hybrids are feeding on crawdads early and then moving deep after sunrise. Spook for top water and spoon for deep water. Walleye are coming in and good ones too. A 22-inch one was caught yesterday morning. Catfishing is picking up and bluegill are biting off docks on crickets. The lake is big but in good shape. Just not a lot of stuff to do off the bank and day users are clogging up the boat launches on weekends. You can swim off our dock, in our big pool with slide or off a rental pontoon. There are no beaches and very few places to get to shore. Many campgrounds are under water. Most resorts have no diminished services except for launching but there are some good places for that just not many.

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

Top water bite this morning.Image title

The lake level is 578.98 and is the same as 24-hours ago.  They are letting out just enough to balance the inflow of the river while dropping the White River at Newport  as fast as they can for absolutely no reason. If they would just drop the lake a few feet it would do a lot of good but they will not. It is a good thing it has been very dry. You cannot let the government run anything. The surface water temperature is 84 degrees and the lake seems to be clearing just a bit. People are catching fish on top water early and then the stripers and hybrids are going deep but the walleye and other species are hanging around the thermocline at 20-feet in the cover. Spinner baits are working as are 3-inch flat tailed grubs on a jig head. A lot of fish are on points in 19-23 feet. You can swim in our big pool with slide, off our dock or off a rental pontoon. There are not many other options and Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental have the best prices on everything. Why pay more unless you just want to? Sorry, you have to stay at the resort to rent one of our boats. C.O.E. rule not mine. Stupid rule based on politics. Absolutely no reason for it also. 

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.Image title

The lake level is 579.02 and has come up just a bit in the last 24-hours with reduced generation. We have had no rain for a week and it is getting dry. I am having to water my garden. They are dropping the White River at Newport like a rock in order to keep the area lakes as high as possible for the longest time possible. At least they showed us what they can do when they really want to or when the levels at both Table Rock and Bull Shoals were lapping over the spillway because of the policy of hold and hope.  If they drop this level to 14-foot as they did before and as prescribed by the antiquated rules of operation, it is time to really demonstrate our displeasure unless you really like this. The lake surface temperature is in the low 80's and is just right for swimming. You can swim off one of Blackburns Rental Pontoons, off our dock or in our big 30x60 pool with slide. The visibility has deteoriated with the high boat traffic and is about 5-feet at the thermocline which is at about 19-feet. There are fish everywhere at this depth where they can get in and out of the warm water and still have cover, crawdads and baitfish. There is still a top water bite most days early for both bass, stripers and hybrids and then the red meat fish go deeper and can be caught on a spoon. I am getting my Scuba gear ready but am waiting to see if the water clears a bit before I go. It is very busy here and we like that.

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

The lake level is 579 even and has come up just a bit as they quit generating last night. The surface temperature is in the early 80's and rising and the clarity is not very good with all of the boats churning up the water.  It is very busy out there. I picked up a boat that was being serviced and went to Panther Bay to launch it. I saw one truck blocking the road loading up all of their stuff, another blocking the launch area removing their cover, one that had launched but forgot to put in the plug and pulled out again blocking the launch to drain the boat, one that lost her boat keys after launching the boat, one that would not start and was blocking the courtesy dock and another that was on fire and needed an exringuisher that finally pulled out. I waited about an hour and finally launched. People really must want to get out there for a day use bad. The whole thing was a cluster bomb. The lake was very busy though and I was happy to get out of it. There is still some debris out there and I do not recommend being out after dark.  People have just been pent up too long and want to get out. Scuba Spearfishing season starts tomorrow and I am usually excited but will wait for the thermocline to get out of the trees. A lot of fish are in the 20-ft. range and I do not like jumping down into brush and locust trees. You will have to jump into about 40.ft. of water and work your way in and maneuver around the stuff. If you go in off rocky bluffs there is no brush but not very many fish either. We will see what happens. Watch out for dive flags and give them a big birth. The main thing is to be safe while having a good time. Fishermen are getting stripers and bass on top water most days just about sunrise for about an hour and then the fish are going deeper to about 80 feet and are being caught on a jigging spoon. Catfish are biting on live bait on both limb lines and jugs and bluegill and a few crappie are being caught off docks. Trollers are catching a few red meat fish with live bait after they move off the bank and out of the brush. 

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

The lake level is 579.52 and has dropped about 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and enough spillway gates open to equal about 1-1/2 more generators. It was windy and cool yesterday but is beautiful today and it should continue for several more days. When I went out yesterday the surface water temperature was 79+ and the creeks were stained and the main lake is not nearly as clear as it was. I could see my lure down about 2-3 feet. I saw very little debris in the Blackburns Creek area. I worked a Bobby Garland Baby Shad as close to the shore as I could get back in Hensley's Creek and caught a couple of nice crappie and a bass. Bink reports that he is still catching some stripers and hybrids on top water early some days and then going back out to about 80-foot and dropping a spoon. They are going deeper and deeper as they always do in the summer. There is no size limit now and all of the fish will die when you bring them out of deep water so just get your limit and quit. Venting does not work.  It lets them to be able to go down but they die anyway. I do not fish for them when they are deep. I still see pictures of dock floors full of dead small stripers and people think they have accomplished something. They have not. The only thing that is being accomplished is that a big striper was 30-pounds and now it is 15 and we will pay for it later since none were stocked this year and they do not reproduce in fresh water. Fishing overall is just fair but some nice bass are being caught as are catfish on jugs and limb lines. Big bluegill are biting off docks on crickets. Watch out for Box Turtles on the roads and help them cross in the direction they are heading. They are getting ready to lay their eggs. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental still has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals and your first regular sized boat stall is free. You can practice social distancing here.

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

The lake level is 579.53 and has risen about 8-inches in the last 24-hours. We received 3.2 inches of rain last afternoon and night but had very little wind. They have some spillway gates open. The creeks run pretty hard for a while but have slowed now.  It is sunny and beautiful now with high pressure having moved in for several days.  Everything is very green and the garden and grass are really growing. There is a top water bite most days for bass and stripers early and then they are going deep. I have not went out on the water yet today but will let you know when I do. Not much has changed. What you see is what you get for quite some time. It could be a lot worse. 

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

Caught yesterday on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 578.86 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday with generation about 1/2 the time. We are expecting a rain from the tropical depression moving north but we are dry and can take a couple of inches if it does not come too fast. More than that would not be good. It is a good thing we have only received about 0.2 inches in the last 10-days. The water surface temperature is about 80 and is good for swimming and boating. The creeks are stained a bit but the main lake is pretty clear.  The new news about fishing is that the stripers and hybrids are moving out into deeper water as they always do in the summer. The hotter it gets the deeper they go. Get out your 1-ounce Bink's Mini Shad Spoons and look for top water early and then move out to about 80-feet of water and look for them and drop the spoon on their nose. Bluegill are biting off docks on crickets and catfish are biting on limb lines and jugs with live perch. Bass are hitting top water early and then going down into the brush. Fishing overall is fair but some good ones are being caught every day. There is a little debris in this area but not much. Watch for water logged wood just under the surface and do not go out after dark. The prop repairman is doing a good business. You can swim in Blackburns big pool with slide, off the dock or off a rental pontoon. There are no beaches or places to go to the shore and launching is limited as well as launch parking. Sorry.  Most resorts have no diminished services except for launching but many of them do not have launching anyway. It will have to drop about 5-feet for me to get mine back and I do not see that happening anytime soon.  Panther Bay is not very far away and is a good place, just very busy on weekends.  

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

Carl caught his first keeper Norfork Lake walleye on a spinner bait yesterday.Image title

Mrs. Binkley knows how to drive that spoon. Caught this morning.Image title

The lake level is 578.89 and has come up just a bit last night when they shut off all generation. They just started them back up last hour. We will see what the tropical storm does to us. I pretty much predicted that last week but nothing is for sure as far as the weather goes. It would be nice if we only got an inch or two as we are dry but it is slow moving and could be much more. We are fortunate that we only have had about 0.2 inches in the last 10-days. The weather has been great and we have been very busy here at Blackburns.  That is the way we like it. People have been pent up for too long and just want to get out. I had an 80-degree water temperature yesterday and the main lake is clear and the creeks are stained a bit. Fishing has been fair with the morning top water bite being the best. Here is what I am finding: Go part way back in the creeks on secondary points and fish top water until the sun has been up for about an hour. Switch to a 3-inch white paddle tail grub on a 1/4 ounce jig head. I like white with a red eye. Fish that while setting in about 30-ft. of water casting in between the brush as close to the bank as you can cast with out getting hung up. Do this for about another hour. Next move out to deeper water and look for scattered fish suspended 35-45 ft. and drop a spoon. You will catch temperate bass and black bass. Take the middle of the day off and go out about 5:PM and fish until sunset. Carl Scott from Texas caught a nice walleye yesterday on a spinner bait. Go figure.   

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

Caught yesterday on the Bink's spoon. Rum reports they were full of crawdads. No shad. This indicates they were feering near the bank. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 579.02 and has dropped a little less than 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. We have received about 0.2 inches of rain in the last 24-hours and just enough to water the yard and garden.  It was getting dry. It will get sunny and very humid later today. We missed the bad weather again this morning and it went just west of us in the Springfield and Bull Shoals area. We do not need any big rains and I am a little concerned with the storm in the gulf right now moving north after landfall.  It will do it,  it is just a matter of where it goes. The lake is very clear now but there is still some debris floating around out there. The old shoreline is now 25+ feet deep and that is where the fish are early. Bink reports the fish he caught yesterday were full of crawdads with no shad in them. He is using a white paddletail swim bait 3-inches long, topwater spook and his jigging spoon exclusively now. The fish are on top or in the brush early feeding and then moving to deeper water. This is when he is switching to the spoon. The surface temperature is about 78 degrees and there should be a thermocline forming at about 20-feet if it has not already. I have not been diving yet but it always does this about the first week of june. It has been too busy here for me do do much of anyrhing but work but I go out for a few minutes a day to check out condition and fish. People are taking advantage of the low cabin prices as well as the largest selection of rental boats in the area. You can just drive here to Blackburns, drive to the dock and get on your rental boat and be done with it. Forget all of the other stuff. No finding a place to launch, parking for your truck and trailer, floating around the launch waiting to pick up passengers and doing the same thing to get out. It almost makes it not worth it, especially for a day or two. I just do not like to pull trailers. Remember Blackburns still has the best prices and your first boat stall is free. If you insist on paying more you can stay here and give the difference to th disabled Veterans. We like them. Personally, I would not stay in a place that does not have a covered porch to get out of the rain or sun. It is hard to grill in the rain with no cover. Pizza and sandwitches are also delivered here but we are also on 28-acres in the country but close to town. No sense driving 20-miles to get to town unless you just want to. You can stay here and rent a boat for about the same price as renting a boat elsewhere. You have to stay here to rent a boat. C.O.E. rule not mine. Stupid rule. No grilling on our boats. My rule. 

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 559.06 and has dropped about 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. All area lakes are about 1-foot below going over the spillway with no rain for the last week.  It is getting dry here but we may get a little rain this afternoon and then not much of a chance for another week. I hope the new storm in the gulf does not hit land, go north and sweep across to the east like some of them do. We do not need a gully washer. It will take over a week if this happens, and we would be in better shape to take it with the ground drying up fast. The lake is getting very clear again but there is still some debris floating around out there. Be careful dragging overweight children around in chaise lounges and do not go out after dark. Some of them are barely submerged and hard to see. No sense getting hurt. They are in one place one day and another place the next and are floating with the wind. The surface temperature is in the high 70's and should hit 80 in the next several days. The fish are still mostly at or near the old shoreline and are from the bank to about 25-ft of water. There are a lot of baitfish in the cover. The top water bite is still the best early for both bass and red meat fish. Fishing overall is just fair but some nice ones are being caught everyday. Get out early, take the middle of the day off, and then go out again about 5PM and fish until sunset. Use clear light line (6-lb.) and take off all swivels and hardware and tie directly to your lure. No spider line or steel leaders. Work the banks part way back in the creeks and set your boat in about 25-ft. of water and cast to the shore and allow to sink slowly with a light leadhead with jigs, creature baits and other soft plastics. Have a clear spook ready early sunny mornings for top water. The clear one sparkles in the sunlight and attracks the fish. Otherwise a white one also works on cloudy days. Fishing off docks during the day with crickets is working well for big bluegill.