Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

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Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

I did not catch very many but they were good ones. Image title

The lake level is 556.50 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 1/2 the time. Do not expect the level to drop any time soon or very fast. The lake was still pretty clear when I went out yesterday but some small tree sticks and bark were floating on wind blown banks making fishing more difficult where I wanted to go.  I went out early, came in and worked on the dock and went out again late afternoon. It was cool early, warmed up and then got cool again fast at sunset. I do not expect great fishing after a cold front and the first day of high pressure after that especially with a full moon. Stripers and bluegill are the only fish that I know that like a full moon and it was big and bright just after dark. I could see just fine with no lights on. I tried the same places that worked for me the day before with very little luck. The fish marked on the brush but would not bite very well. The same for the river channel bank. I caught a couple and then moved to a main lake cut and caught a couple more. Overall it was a slow day for me but I caught some. Things are changing every day and that is why if you want to write accurate reports you have to be out there every day. I will follow Bink's advice and work back in the creeks today. I have to test him out. The weather is to continue to be good for a few days and maybe the bite will improve. The longer it goes before the next cold front the better it should get. I am happy to just be out there with peace and quiet. It is very nice out but you need warm clothes both early and late. The warm part of the day does not last long. I do not deer hunt anymore and prefer to feed them but the season definitely slows the boat traffic of fishermen on the lake. I like that too. Blackburns still has the best prices for both cabins and boat rental on the lake and your first boat stall is free. Why pay more?

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Mike caught several more. These are the biggest. Image title

The lake level is 556.01 and has risen 1.2 feet in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 1/2 the time. It is rising much slower now.  It has risen about 2-3/4 feet in the last four days and we have received a total of about 8-inches of rain in that period. It rained harder at times but mostly it was a slow steady rain and the ground was dry and the creeks did not run very fast and there is little mud in the creeks. So far it has not affected fishing much. The lake is still at a good level and the rain is gone and high pressure is here resulting in sunny skies and warmer temperatures. It is to reach 70's early next week again but there will be cool nights with the clear skies. Our first frost should occur tomorrow night. The moon is full tomorrow night and it should be very bright. I kept waiting for the rain to quit yesterday and it finally did about 4:PM and then I went fishing until almost dark. The surface temperature on the main lake was 65+ and the only thing that I saw that changed was the water was higher and the very backs of the creeks were a little muddy and the shore line with clay and mud banks was stained back up but not very far out. I went to the same places that I have been fishing and the fish were still there. I caught crappie, bass, bluegill and a short walleye and came in just at sunset a little after 6:PM. The time change goes into effect Saturday night and it will get dark about 5:30 after that but not very much with the moon. This weekend and next week will be a good time to come fish. Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day for two people with a free boat stall. If you thought big covered porches are not important the last four days should have changed your mind. People spent a lot of time under the porches and on the big dock waiting for the rain to slow except for the Katashuks who fish in anything.  We will see what today brings and I will let you know. Things are changing and I will be out there everyday. You cannot go fishing once every week and write a report. If there are no reports, there are no fish being caught. If any stripers are to move to the bank to feed at dark this will be the time. Very few big ones are being caught. Bass and crappie are the best bite now. Bink says the rain will bring the fish back into the creeks and he is almost always right. I expect several fair weather fishermen out there this weekend.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The lake level is 553.37 and is about the same as it was at this time yesterday with part of one generator running continuously. The White River at Newport is now at 6.4 feet. There is a flash flood warning for southern Missouri today and we will see what it does to the level. It has more effect on Norfork's rise than a local rain. The Norfork River water shead is much more there and we tend to hold their water and not release it. They should be regulating the White River at Newport to at least 12-ft. now and dropping the lake more but refuse to do so. We are at a very good level now but it does not leave enough surge capacity for the spring rains which are sure to come. The lake surface tmeperature was 66 when I went out yesterday and it was cloudy with light wind. Fog was moving in. Almost exactly what it was the day before but I did not catch as many fish. Three smallmouth bass, three crappie, two kentucky bass, one short walleye,, a warmouth and several bluegill were caught on the jig and very few on the spoon. It was cool but not too bad with the light wind. I saw only two other boats out there all evening and both were from Blackburns. It was like having a whole lake to yourself. I like that. Several fish are now on or near the bank in the evening and some are on shad in open water at the mouths of creeks but are mostly bass. The fish on the brush had lock jaw yesterday for me but several were there.   

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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For my friend Gus.Image title

The lake level is 553.41 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running less than capacity most of the time. We have received about 3-1/2 inches of rain total in the last couple of days and it is still raining. The creeks are running but not heavily but will if this keeps up as the ground is now saturated. That is good for trees and plants going into the winter. The White River at Newport has now dropped to below 6-ft. and they are already starting their philosophy of hold and hope and it is still October. The White River is a plastic river and has no water if they do not let any out of Bull Shoals or into it from Norfork and they are letting out very little. At least it is good news for the waders for the put and take trout on the river. They can barely float a boat though. I had a water temperature of 66 degrees when I went out yesterday and the lake is clearing nicely. You can see your lure down further every day and it is now about 4-ft. I stayed out until the rain got steady just after noon but caught several crappie. I did not stray very far from the shed and was casting a jig over brush piles. Eight keepers over 11-inches were caught in about two hours. It was cool and wet but the wind was not bad. The weather looks to be good again later this week and for the weekend but more rain until then. I will go out between showers and let you know. The lake in general is in good condition. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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

The lake level is 553.28 and is about the same as it was yesterday with little generation. The surface temperature was 66 when I went out yesterday and the water is still clearing and is a good color for fishing. The ambient temperature was 50 and the wind was light and it was cloudy. I went to a good brush pile and caught nothing and then worked a river channel steep bank with a jig and caught fish immediately  and consistently. Bluegill were right on the bank with smaller bass and the larger bass and crappie were on the first shelf after the drop off in about 10-12 feet of water. I caught several keeper fish and then came to the channel swing and they quit. There was another brush pile approaching on the point so I checked it out and switched to the 1/4 ounce spoon. The big bass were schooled in 27-ft. of water and when I would catch one others would follow it up. It was fun and then they were gone. All fished were released. They must have been roaming. It is to rain for the next few days but it looks good for the weekend. The moon is getting bigger and if the stripers are going to bite it will be the full moon or a little after and that is the end of the month and the first part of November. We have some good striper fishermen in and they are trying hard and catching a few fish. The biggest one they have caught is 15-lbs. I sure hope the fish show up this fall and winter. We used to catch 40-lbs, then 30-lbs then 20-lbs and now 15 is a big one and not many of them. I sure wish people would stop killing the small ones but if they fish for them in deep water they die anyway. I will stick to walleye, bass, crappie and catfish and allow the temperate bass to grow. The White Bass should make a rebound by themselves as there is lot of bait fish with small shad about 1-inch long completely filling my dock stalls. There are  several big schools in Blackburns Creek but nothing but bass under them. Usually there are hybrids and white bass all over the place. They may be just scattered but I am just not seeing them and I am out there every day. The bass fishing is about as good as I have seen it in years and the crappie is pretty good too as are the walleye. Big smallmouth are being caught. Fall foliage is not the best as the wind has blown a lot of leaves off the trees. The lake in general is in excellent condition for fishing and the cold fronts that are coming through about twice a week are not affecting fishing much. There are quite a few fishermen out there even during the week but especially on the weekends. I hope this covid thing gets over and the fish stockings get back to normal. Bink also had a good day yesterday catching several big fish. You can get his fishing report "Live in the Boat" on KTLO radio 97.9 FM at 8:45 AM or listen to it on cable TV radio Channel 5 on Thursdays with Bob Knight.  It is a good source of information. Mark it down. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

All caught yesterday fishing out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountain Region. Image title

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The lake level is 553.32 and dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with little generation. The White River at Newport is now at 6.5 feet and is nearly dried up but they are still holding.  The surface water temperature was 68 degrees and there were cloudy skies and cool conditions when I went out yesterday. The cold front had little effect on fishing for a change and a lot of fish were caught. I fished four different locations and caught fish on all four. We have a lot of people in and almost all of them had good luck despite the cool start. I fished from noon to about 4:30 PM and caught over a dozen fish and all were keepers. Catch included bass, crappie and walleye. Several bluegill were also caught. It was a fun day and I appreciated the light wind for a change. Today looks to be about the same with rain scheduled for the next few days after that. Go out and stay until it rains you in. This is a good time of year for fishing. I still am seeing very few temperate bass coming in but I see the black ducks are back the seagulls should be following. Then maybe the people with $2,000 fish locators can find schooling fish by following the birds and start catching some.  I hope so. I saw several eagles and osprey out there fishing. They were doing quite well with several fish being shallow. Fun to watch. I am not sure they were watching the legal size limit though. There were three eagles in one place. Come on down to Blackburns. we will not charge you too much. One bedroom cabins are still $59/day for two people.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

These are the biggest ones yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.43 and is dropping very slowly with just a little generation. The White River at Newport is 6+ feet and dropping and is getting dry. They are holding the lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible for some unknown reason. They are at a good level now for fishing, launching and parking and day use and it is only the last of October. Good going guys. If they keep this up it looks to be another hold and hope next year. Take it down to 548 and then quit letting out water or hold it as stable as possible until the spring rains come. It has nothing to do with downstream flooding, just management. There is no flooding anywhere now arund here. The water is clearing nicely now and is about where I like it for fishing but needs to be a little better for diving. It was very warm and a little windy when I went out yesterday and the bass were biting in the Middle Pigeon area on main lake points. I caught a flathead on my throw line. I then moved back to the Blackburns Creek area and started catching crappie. Big ones too.  The moon is getting bigger and a cold front is coming through now and we will see what it does to fishing. The highs are to drop from the mid 80's yesterday to the high 50's later this weekend. It is about 65 how and heading south. This is the high for the day. This has been the windiest fall that I have seen in a while here but has stayed warm until now and a lot of fish have been caught so far except for temperate bass. People are wondering if they are still here. I hope so but most of the ones being caught now are small. I know the late summer kill got a lot of them but dock floors full of small dead stripers have not helped things either and the low stocking level this year will not help the future. Many people just come here to catch them. I suppose the pressure will now go to the walleye since they are doing nicely. Not having my friend Harvey Hall out there has increased the crappie population. Big bluegill continue to bite and hundreds of them have been caught off my dock.

Norfork Lake condition, fishing and fall foliage report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comments)

There is a little fall foliage color but not much.Image title

Kim Marvel from Ewing, Illinois caught one giant crappie yesterday on Blackburns Brush yesterday. One nice fellow. Image title

The lake level is 553.62 and has dropped less than 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. They absolutely refuse to drop the lake in the fall and winter despite the White River at Newport is now 8-1/2 feet and dropping.  It is about to dry up. They are running less than one generator when they do run. This would be unbelievable for someone who does not work for the government but we do not expect much from them. The water surface temperature was 69 degrees and the wind was light when I went out yesterday and the water is clearing. I have not been going more than 1/4 to 1/2 mile from Blackburns Creek to get about all of the fish that I want. I catch a few, release a few and have no desire to see how many fish that I can kill but like to find places where our customers can catch fish. I keep a few for my friends that are unable to get out anymore. Blackburns brush piles are at perfect depth now and are producing mostly bass, crappie, walleye, catfish and bluegill. Temperate bass are scarce, at least for me, but I do not fish for them much but catch several spooning for walleye. I am now using a Bobby Garland baby shad tipped with a minnow and a 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon only. My entire tackle box fits in my shirt pocket. I caught two bass, four crappie, four bluegill and two walleye and came in and was out about 1-1/2 hours. It was cloudy but very nice fishing conditions. The moon is little and the lake is dropping very slowly so I will try for catfish again. I like to do that. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. It is to get very warm today and for the next couple of days. I like that too. 80 is my favorite number for temperature. The fall foliage is not the best this year but the hillsides are beautiful anyway. The incessant wind has blown a lot of them down but the ones left have some color but mostly brown. There is some yellow and red. Not worth a long drive to see color but is worth a drive to see the beautiful country that we have here in Baxter County no matter what season. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught these and several more.Image title

The lake level is 553.66 and has dropped a little more than one inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is 9-1/2 feet and they will let it dry up rather than drop the lakes. We need to get it down to at least 548 to make room for the spring rains. I hope the spring rains do not surprise them again this year. They are the only ones that seem to not know they happen. Hold and hope is their motto. The surface water temperature was 69+ when I went out yesterday and it was misting rain with very light wind. Perfect for me. I fished Blackburn's brush piles in about 25-ft. of water casting a jig past them and allowing it to sink into the brush. Again, crappie, bass and bluegill were caught. It was nice to have the wind gone. This is the time of year that I like to fish the best and am happy to be able to go. There was peace and quiet and very few boats. Some guests caught several walleye and reported they were shallow in 14-ft. of water in front of brush piles part way back in the creek.  I was fishing main lake brush only. There is a lot of bait fish at the mouth of Blackburns Creek but I did not stop to check them out since it was getting dark. Good day.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Some of yesterday's catch.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.78 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They stopped generating  early this morning for several hours to hold the level up above 553.75 for as long as they could to keep from turning some of the generation authority to the electric company even if they have to nearly dry up the White River at Newport.  We received an inch of badly needed rain last night and it is raining now. It is not good to go into the winter dry. We seem to get some about when we need it. The lake surface temperature is in the high 60's and the lake is clearing again after the turnover. It is cool today but to get back into the 80's later this week. Bass fishing is the best followed by bluegill and crappie with a few walleye being thrown in. Bink is catching some giant smallmouth, Tom Kelly is catching some big largemouth and Mike Eakle is catching mostly crappie and Kentucky bass. Main lake brush piles are producing the most in 25-feet of water with the jigging spoon being the best lure overall (1/4 ounce) with crappie biting on live minnows and jigs also. This is a good time to fish as it always is this time of year and will stay good for several weeks. A few stripers are being caught trolling but they are small and should be left alone. The numbers of big ones are as low as I have ever seen them and will stay that way if 5-9 lb ones are killed. Only a very few were stocked this year and they do not reproduce in fresh water. They are too small to keep anyway. I am seeing almost no White Bass and the ones that I do see are small also. Every once in a while a school of decent ones show up but not often. I sure hope they come back. They are fun to catch. White Bass are for people that cannot catch anything else and trout are for people that cannot catch White Bass.  Ha Ha. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and a free boat stall comes with each cabin. We allow smoking on the covered porches and you do not need an umbrella to smoke out side or get out of the sun. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

More family fun at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. Nice people.Image title

The lake level is 553.91 and has dropped two inches in the last 24-hours. They have cut back on generation as they approach the seasonal conservation pool of 553.75. They always do. The wind finally quit after blowing like a hurricane all day. People were trying hard to have fun out there but it was difficult. Much fall foliage blew off the trees. It is cloudy with a chance of rain tonight with highs in the high 60's for a few days. We need rain badly. The normal high is 71 and low is 49. The surface water temperature dropped just below 70 yesterday and it was clearing but it got stirred up a bit on the dirt and clay banks. We will see what today brings. The bass are biting pretty well. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Tom Kelly and Roger Moody continue to catch big bass everyday. They are both excellent fishermen. All released under Blackburns Dock.Image titleImage title

Kevin Reque, Nate List and Ryan McMallister are having some Norfork lake Fun here at Blackburns. Nice people.Image title

The lake level is 554.32 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. 553.75 is the new seasonal conservation pool and we will see what happens when they get close to that. That is when they turn over some of the control to the electric company and they do not like to do that. We were to get a frost last night but it did not materialize. It got down to 39 but was still very cool for october. It is clear and sunny now but another front is to move through with wind tomorrow. Fishing conditions were very good yesterday especially early until the wind picked up and several good fish were caught. It usually dies about 4:30 Pm but held on until after 5 last evening. The lake is not clearing very much except for near the shore and the surface temperature was 71.5 when I went out in the morning. I caught my usual with several crappie, bass, bluegill and a short walleye in the mix. Fish were caught on every brush pile I fished and 25 feet of water suspended near the bottom was the most popular depth. All fish were hitting the lure aggressively but not many in one place. I would catch a couple and then they would quit and I would move on. It was a nice day and was good to be out. Wish you were here. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Some very large bass are being caught but no stripers. Fall foliage is not the best yet and may not be this year.  There are mostly browns but a little yellow and red is showing up. It is still very nice. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Tom Kelly is one good fisherman and always catches fish. Caught in Float Creek.Image title

Mike Eakle and John Bornhop with nice crappie.Image title

Chad Moody with a good one.Image title

Caught fishing with Bink on the spoon.Image title

The lake level is 554.59 and has dropped a little less than 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running at a littles less than capacity. The White River at Newport is at 10+ feet now and they are trying to dry it up while keeping the lake up as high as possible for as long as possible. The seasonal conservation pool is now at 553.75 and they are reluctant to get below that for some reason. Drawing the level down in the winter to make room for spring rains does not make any sense to them. It is very dry here and the rain fall for the fall months is way below average. We did get a little rain last night, about 1/2 inch and it is to get very cool tomorrow night with a chance of our first frost.  It does not usually come until November. A lot of fish were caught yesterday despite the wind. Binks caught bass, John Bornhop and Mike Eakle caught crappie and bass, Chad Moody caught bass, Tom Kelly caught bass and Scuba Steve caught crappie and bass. Other guests caught bluegill and walleye. The lake surface temperature is still in the early 70's but should drop a little with this next cold front. The last one did not hurt fishing much. The water is still stained and is slow clearing. It started to clear but stopped for some reason. The wind blew a lot of leaves from the fall foliage and it does not look to be the best year for that. There are a lot of just browns. The lake is in good conditions for fishing but we will see what this next cold front will bring. I am seeing no temperate bass being caught and I am not sure of forecasts that cold weather will start them up are accurate. Maybe the migrating birds will help them find more fish when they get here. Some are lost without them. Blackburns still has one bedroom cabins for $59/day and your first boat stall is free. No duplexes and all cabins have covered porches. You can social distance here. You can drive or walk to the dock and step right on and launch right by the dock. We have a good setup. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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Caught fishing with Bink's Guide serviceImage title

John Bornhop with some good ones.Image title

The lake level is 554.76 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours. They have shut off the spillway release and are running less than one full generator. The lake did not clear anymore the last day and the creeks are stained again. The surface temperature is now 73.5 and it is windy. I caught several crappie this morning and released all under 11-inches but still kept about a dozen with a couple of nice Kentucky Bass. One short walleye was released. Bink reports catching three good walleye and a very large smallmouth today. He is spooning exclusively. I hear reports about people catching stripers and hybrids but have not actually seen any. Striper fishermen that cannot catch anything are now going crappie and bass fishing. One of our guest reports catching two walleye over 20-inches last night at dark on live bait on a main last point close to Blackburns. Bluegill fishing is good and some nice ones are being caught. John Bornhop is back and catching crappie and Bass and was very sorry to hear about Harvey. He went with him several times.  Mike Eakle is bringing in Bass and crappie and Roger Moody and his son continue to catch bass but report several are under sized. Kentuck bass fishing is about as good as I have seen it in years. They are fat and healthy and good eating. I am glad they are in the lake. Bink is the only one that I know that is catching smallmouth. I am not. Catfishing is fair to poor on throw lines but some are pretty big. The weather is great if the wind would die down a little in the middle of the day.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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

The lake level is 555.09 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They have cut way back on generation and and the total including just a little spillway release is equal to about one generator. The level of the White River at Newport has now been dropped to just over 11 feet. The lake is clearing especially in the creeks where the turnover is over. I can now see several feet down off my dock. It was very windy from the north yesterday and you had to get out early and go out again late to get out of it. It is mostly gone now. It is beautiful out today. A lot of fall foliage was blown off but much still remains and it is changing more everyday. I thought it was going to be a dud because of the dry conditions but has turned out ok so far. Some good fish were caught but the wind kept the fishing time down to a minimum. It was a good day to work on resort improvements.  We will see what today brings. We have several good fishermen out there. The surface temperature is still in the low 70's. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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Rodger Moody is back and catching fish. He is one good bass fisherman.Image title

The lake level is 555.32 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running and just a little of spillway action. The lake continues to clear, especially in the creeks and near the shore where the water cools more rapidly. A small cold front is moving through now with the wind picking up and blowing a lot of fall foliage off the trees. There is no moisture with it but a bigger one is coming later in the week. Chances of rain are not good for the next week and we need it bad.  A lot of fish were caught yesterday with bass, crappie, bluegill and a few walleye and catfish. Temperate bass fishing is slow and the trollers are putting on many miles for just a few fish. I am seeing few schooling fish in this part of the lake. Bass fishing is the msot consistent and the crappie are hit and miss. They get lockjaw for several hours and then bite for about 30-minutes. You just have to ride them out or go bass fishing and try later. I caught one walleye but it was just an accident spooning for bass in brush. I am using a grub tipped with a minnow, jig, slip float and live minnow, 1/4 ounce spoon, and 3-inch plastic worm on a jig head and switching back and forth. One day the spoon is the best and the next the Bobby Garland Baby Shad. The worm is usually best for Kentucky Bass. I am not catching very many fish back in the creeks with most of them being out on or on the sides of main lake points near deep water. Main lake cuts are also holding fish. The weather has been great but I do not need this wind. It should go down later this evening. It usually does. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Rodney Thornton from Coulterville, Illinois caught some good ones. That bluegill was huge. Good going Rodney.Image title

The lake level is 555.58 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours. They stopped generation and cut way down on spillway releases this morning for several hours to keep the White River at Newport at 12-feet for no reason. Our seasonal conservation pool is now at 553.75. It used to be 552 but they took away 1.75 feet of flood capacity for the minimum flow to the rivers for the put and take trout and this increased the way they calculated % full to govern lake levels. The lake surface temperature is still about 73 degrees and the shallower creeks are starting to clear at bit after their turn. A lot of fish were caught yesterday and so far today. Bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish and a few walleye are coming in. Fish are starting to hit the spoon again after a few days off. We were forced to worms, creature baits , jigs and grubs during the major part of the turn. It is not over yet but will be in a few days with two cold fronts moving through this next week. The last week in October and all of November look to be excellent fishing as usual. Blackburns is very busy with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. Your first boat stall is also free. People staying here are looking for real estate, having motorcycle tours, working in the area and fishing. There is a lot of interest in the fall foliage this year and I cannot predict how it will be. It is better than I expected already and looks to be a bit early this season. The road sides are changing more quickly than the hillsides. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental is your fall foliage headquarters for Mountain Home, Norfork Lake, North Central Arkansas and the Ozark Mountain region. Fall is wonderful here. Stay tuned for updates. The lake level is about perfect for cruising, parking, launching and fishing with Blackburns brush piles being at good depth and holding fish. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught yesterday at 4-PM. on a jig over brush in 20-ft. of water.Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 555.92 and has dropped about 5-inches in the last 24-hours with a little more than one generator running and some flood gates augumenting. The lake is at a very good level now for fishing but the lake is turning. The fall foliage is changing rapidly and more reds and yellows are showing up. It is more color than I first thought would happen this year and more is still to come. The surface water temperature was a little over 73 degrees and you could see your lure down less than 2-feet when I went out a little after 2-Pm. I know that is the worst time to go fish but I like to see if I can catch them when it is tough. I spooned three different places with fish under me and caught nothing. I then moved again with more fish down near brush and they started biting about 4-Pm on the jig casted and allowing to sink into brush at about 20-feet. Four nice crappie and two bass were caught in about 1/2 hour and they stopped. A channel cat was also caught on the throw line. Fishing is not the best now but you can catch some good ones if you know how. I saw no top water fish.Trollers are having a hard time. Bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish are the best right now and are not at any particular depth. I did not see any fish surfacing. People following birds have a hard time when they are not here yet and have to find fish on their own. They will be back when it gets colder and will make it easier for them to find fish. The weather is nice and is to remain so for the next week and Blackburns still has cabins for $59day for two people in a one bedroom with larger cabins priced accordingly. Your first boat stall is free. Come on dow. We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

The lake level is 556.34 and has dropped almost 5-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and some spillway gates open part way. This shows what they can do if they want to. The main lake surface temperature is in the early 70's and the lake is turning everywhere. (It alway does in October). It will take a few days to start clearing. It does not look like we will have much effect from the hurricane but we sure could use some rain. The last two months have been very dry but we seem to get some when we need it.  The best way to catch fish now is to use a small three inch worm on a jig head, twister tail tipped with a minnow or a Bobby Garland Blue Ice Baby shad and work the bank around wood. Do not use a heavy jig head or you will get hung up a lot. Spooning has slowed way down for me now but will pick back up again. The last of October and all of November look to be excellent for fishing with the lake at a good level and the turn over finished for a while. The full moon is the 31st and it will be interesting to see if the stripers (what is left of the big ones) go to the bank to feed near dark. A good place to look for them is in the late afternoon on the steep bank just south of the first dock at Cranfield marina in deeper water and then they move up stream to the area around the walleye rearing pond on the points at dusk. It just depends if the shad are there for them to feed on. The next full moon is not until the last day of November and that will be too late for them but not for other species. I catch a lot of fish in November and the time around Thanksgiving is always good. We caught bass, crappie and bluegill yesterday but not a lot with several smaller fish mixed in. You could see your lure down less than two feet in the area that I was fishing. Fish are really scattered and roaming now but some are feeding early and late shallow. There is plenty of feed out there. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Scuba Steve and Mike Eakle caught some good ones yesterday. Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 556.75 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They did add a little spillway release to the one generator but have since slowed that down a bit. It is now equal to about one and one third generator. They are keeping the White River at 12-feet religiously. Three and 1/2 inches per day is fine but they need to keep doing it until it gets into the 540's and have been very reluctant to do this. It was very nice and warm with light wind when I went out yesterday and the fishing was slow but steady and I caught several bass, crappie and bluegill. I saw some fish surfacing just before I came in but after catching a couple of them found out that they were just small White Bass. No picture fish. It was good to see them as they have been almost as scarce as the big stripers. I am not interested in small White bass so I came in.  The waning moon is helping the catfishing some but it is not great yet. The surface water temperature was 73 and the creeks are turning over and the main lake is starting. It will take a couple of weeks to finish and then the lake will start to clear. As I reported earlier November is a good month for overall fishing. There is a another full moon on the 31st and we will see if there is a night bite for stripers on the stick bait. This does not happen every year in the fall. They sometimes go to the bank at dusk to feed but not always and it has been less and less the last few years. It used to be much better. Fish the shadowy banks with a soft plastice for walleye before dusk though as they always bit during November whether the stripers do or not. You will see several come in. They have been biting pretty well all year with many throw backs being caught and some big ones. Right now bass, bluegill and crappie are the best bite with a few catfish and walleye. Blackburns has cabins for $59/day and fishing pontoons for $110/day plus gas and oil or a free stall for your boat.Fullly equipped bass boats start at $90/day. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Released under the dockImage title

The lake level is 557.08 and has dropped about 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running a little below capacity continuously. The surface temperature was 74 degrees and it was sunny and warm with light wind when I went out yesterday. I caught a good channel cat on my throw line right off and then caught a flathead on the spoon near brush and then went crappie and bass fishing using the spoon and then the jig. Both worked. Some real nice fish were caught and Blackburns brush piles are really paying off now. They are a lot of work but are worth it. I wish more people would put their own in instead of just using others. The game and fish have done a good job in restoring the old ones that had been neglected taking the pressure off mine which I have been putting in every year for many years. The weather is to be great for the next several day and it does not look like the hurricane will affect us much. As the moon wanes the catfishing should get better. A nice smallmouth was caught and immediately released. I do not kill smallmouth. Striper fishermen cannot catch much and trollers are having a hard time. It is hard to troll through brush and open water fish are hard to get now. The lake level is perfect for launching and fishing now. The water is stained and you can see your lure down just a couple of feet with creeks being even less. Crappie, kentucky bass, bluegill, walleye and flathead are the best eating and all are biting now but you have to know where and how. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. You can save a minimum of $25/day here with the low cabin rates and your first boat stall being free. If you must pay more, just stay here and give the rest to disabled veterans. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught fishing out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Yesterday. More too.Image title

The lake level is 557.30 and has dropped about 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The lake surface temperature was 73 degrees when I went out yesterday afternoon.  The water was stained and you could only see your lure down a couple of feet and the fish were biting. The weather was beautifull with sunny skies and light wind with an ambient temperature of about 70-degrees.  I started out casting a Bobby Garland jig over brush and letting it slowly sink into brush and caught a couple of nice crappie and a few bluegill in 17-ft. brush. They quit so I moved to another main lake brush pile and did the same thing and caught three more crappie. Next was a main lake point in 27-ft. of water and caught two nice bass on the 1/4 ounce spoon near the bottom. I came in after about two hours.  There were very few boats out there and things were very calm. It is to be in the 80's for the next week with sunny skies.  The moon is getting smaller and the fishing is getting better for me except for temperate bass of which I am not seeing any. Striper fishermen are having a hard time but that is not unusual for early October. Crappie, bass and bluegill fishing is good right now if you know where and how. Walleye have slowed a bit but some are still being caught. Catfishing is also slow. I never catch very many with a dropping lake and big moon. I was getting several very nice flatheads and a few channels but not now. They will bite again and then quit when it gets cold and the water clears. The bass and crappie will not. November and December is when I catch the largest crappie. Both them and bass will bite best right at sunset. This is a good time of year. Come on down we will not charge you too much. You can get a one bedroom cabin for two for $59/day and a free stall for your boat. The lake is at an excellent level for fishing, launching and parking right near the dock. Fishing pontoons with trolling motors start at $110/day plus gas and oil.

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

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The lake level is 557.58 and dropping 3+ inches in a 24-hour period with one generator running continuously. We had a 67 degree water temperature in Blackburns Creek yesterday and a main lake temperature in the low 70's. The very backs of the creeks in shallow water appear to be turning as is the fall foliage on the roadways with the sumac getting some red and some brown.  The hillsides are starting to get brown with a little yellow on the hard woods. The walnut leaves continue to fall heavily and the maple trees are turning red. This is about two weeks early. The weather is to be beautiful for the next week with highs in the 80's and sunshine. The steady wind has been relentless and hard to get out of and does not go down until late in the afternoon. This does not hurt fishing, especially bass fishing, but I just do not like to fish in it. It is hard to keep the spoon vertical in swirling wind. Several crappie and bass are still shallow (17-feet) on river channel banks on the main lake just at the drop off. Those 1/8th ounce Bink's spoons really work well at that depth especially when there is light wind. You get the best action on 4-lb. test but 6 is ok.  I do not use any heavier than that unless the 3/4 or 1-ounce spoon is used and that is only for deep water in the summer. From now on I will use the 1/8th or 1/4 unless it is windy then I go to the 1/2 and go against the wind with the trolling motor to keep the lure as straight up and down as possible. Do not drag the spoon or it will not have much of a life expectancy. Bass and crappie are together. I am not finding very many open water fish but the prevailing winds are blowing the plankton to the bank and the shad are feeding on it and the bass are with the shad. They can be caught on crank baits. I do not use them much but mostly stick to jigs, grubs, spoons and creature baits.  I will be using slip floats with live minnows over brush in light wind soon for crappie and bluegill and switch back and forth with spoons. My throw line for catfish is not producing very well. The lake should clear as the temperature drops and the turn finishes but I am not much concerned about that unless it gets too clear but that has not happened for several years with the policy of keeping the lake level high. It sure is at a good level now and I wish it would stay just like this for fishing. It has not been good for Scuba Diving this season with bad visibility all year.. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. We will not put you in a duplex or condo where you cannot social distance. All cabins are sanitized after every use and we are open all year. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Some of yesterday's catch. More too.Image title

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The lake level is 558.15 and is dropping 3+ inches in a 24-hour period with one generator running continuously. It does not need to drop any faster but they need to keep doing it instead of stopping at 553.75 which is the new 552 when the worthless minimum flow for the put and take trout took away 1.75 feet of flood capacity. The dams are now for flood control and trout protection. Just draw the lakes down to the mid 540's in the winter before the spring rains and get rid of the stupid 12-ft. rule for the White River at Newport. Nobody knows where it came from anyway. Minor flood stage there is 26-feet just keep it below that.  The lake is at a good level now and you can drive or walk down a gentle sloping 400-yards to Blackburns Dock and Launch and step onto the dock with no steps and park and launch right there and pull right into your free boat stall. No going elsewhere to launch requiring two people. The water surface temperature is dropping with the level and the cool days and cold nights are well below normal. It is to be back near 80 next weekend. The surface temperature is now in the early 70's before the sun comes up. More fish are being caught now versus last week with bass, crappie and bluegill being the best. The lake was clearing but has not improved the last few days and it looks to be an early and gradual turnover. The cold weather does not drive the thermocline down as some report but the hot weather does. I have seen shallow northern lakes do a violent turnover and the water flips from the bottom to the top bringing much debris and trash with it. That is not what happens here because the lake is so deep and that insulates surface water temperature from changing very much in a short period. I have seen one year where the surface water temperature on the main lake did not go below 50 degrees. I have also seen it where the water froze from the back of Blackburns cove out to the main lake and I could not get my boats out of the stall. There was a massive shad kill that year when the main lake dropped to the mid to high 30's and the striper fishing was great on jerk baits. But that was when we had more big stripers than we do now. It got down to 40 degrees last nigh and is to warm only to the high 60's today. Normal high is 77 and low is 50. I finally found the crappie again yesterday after talking to Binks. He is always on top of things. He told me what to look for and there they were. Bass were with them. Several of both were caught. Some on a spoon and some on a jig. Normally I do not use a spoon in less than 20-feet of water but it worked yesterday. You can never quit learning and must keep an open mind and try new things. Some big fish were caught. This is a good time of year but I like all seasons. It is nice to see so many walleye. Several are undersized indicating a good crop next year. I would like to see more stocked to supplement the natural spawn. Come on down to Blackburns and we will not charge you too much. The fall foliage is definitely changing now and it looks to be an early peak but I am not sure how spectacular it will be. There are lots of just brown already. It will be beautiful anyway. 

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comment)

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday. Those are some nice fish.  Caught more too. Image title

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The lake level is 558.71 and has dropped 3+ inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. I had a surface temperature of 77 degrees yesterday afternoon but the ambient temperature was 90-degrees. The backs of the creeks are getting very stained like the beginning of turnover is starting and working it's way out.  The walnut leaves are falling fast now but they are the first ones to go. The sumac leaves are turning red and it looks to be an early fall. The hardwood on the hillsides are also turning a little yellow but more brown than yellow. Fall foliage usually peaks here the very last of October but things seem to be happening early this year. I caught some good fish yesterday and spent time experimenting. The brush was not producing so I went to some known crappie places on steep banks and caught a few shallow. Nothing big. People are asking me why other people are reporting striper fishing is great and I am not catching any. I have only caught one small one in over a week and it was luck. A few calls were made and I could not find anybody catching very many if any. If there is no report for several days it does not mean that people are not going fishing it is just that they are not catching any fish. You can not go out for several days catching nothing and then find some fish and write a report. I have several good fishermen reporting to me that are out there almost everyday and striper fishing is tough. I roll with the flow and catch what is biting. I do like to check things out, put in good brush piles and let my customers have an upper hand and insight on what is happening. It is good for repeat customers of which Blackburns has many. If fishing is good I say so and if it is not I also say so. Bink caught several good ones yesterday including big crappie and walleye but almost always does. I caught no picture fish. One thing for sure Blackburns will not charge you too much and has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals. If you are not staying at Blackburns you are paying too much.