Blackburns Creek and dock.
Blackburns Creek on the left. Mallard Point on the right.Dock and creek to the main Lake.
Blackburns Creek and dock.
Blackburns Creek on the left. Mallard Point on the right.Dock and creek to the main Lake.
Jack Bucknell with some decent Hybrid Stripers caught and released yesterday.
The lake level is 553.48 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday. They quit generating yesterday afternoon and just stared up one generator. They are holding the lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible. The lake surface temperature was 58.4 when I went out yesterday. It was a nice day but there were whitecaps out there. The incessant wind is getting tiring. It is cold and windy today with temepratures struggling to get to 40. It is to warm tomorrow back above 50. I caught bass and crappie, John and Luke caught the same and Mike and Jack caught some crappie and some Hybrid Bass in the 6-lb. range. They caught them just outside the Boy Scout Camp in 35-ft. of water with the Bink's spoon. The rest of us were fishing brush in 20-35 feet of water. We could not go where we wanted due to the wind but caught fish anyway. Everyone came in before dark. It was hard to stay in one place. The hybrids were all released to grow as were the largemouth bass. We caught no stripers as usual. The bass were on main lake river channel banks and the crappie were on brush just around the inside of main lake points on top of brush. We will see if the wind lays this afternoon.
Norfork Lake fun out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. John Bornhop got into the action using the grub.
The first nice Ozark Bass that I have seen in a while.
Mike with some nice Bass
James and Luke with some good ones yesterday.
The lake level is 553.48 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The surface water temperature remains around 60-degrees and the lake is fairly clear and you can see your lure down about 3-4 feet. It is more clear in the creeks near the shore and off rocky banks. The fishing did not start up very fast yesterday but got better in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day with sunny skies and light wind. It is cloudy today and the high is only to get in the high 40's. The bass fishing with the grub is getting pretty good. Bink likes that green stingray grub with a 1/4 ounce lead head. It does not have much action if any but sure does catch fish. 60 degree water has not slowed the fish's metabolism down yet and they are still hitting the lure pretty hard. When the water gets down to the low 50's it will be time to slow your presentation way down. When you are spooning let it down slowly and just dabble it near the bottom and reel up slowly and do it again. When you are grub fishing cast near the shore, let the lure sink to the bottom and using your rod bring it up and take up a couple of turns and let it sink again. Just look for your line to twitch and set the hook. It works best when the wind is light and you can watch your line. I am using a spoon, Bobby Garland blue ice baby shad, slip float with minnow, and green stingray grub exclusively now depending on the wind and catching fish every day. Fishing is good just before the cold front and not so good after for a few days. Bass, crappie and bluegill fishing is still the best with one or two nice walleye being brought in. Some trollers and live bait fishermen are catching a few hybrids in the 6-lb. range but are looking a long time to get them. The stripers and white bass are mostly small. All of the fish that I am catching are very healthy. It is hard to believe November is over but December bass and crappie fishing brings in some very large fish.
Scuba Steve with a pretty good crappie.James Soltysiac with a nice walleye caught on the Bink's Spoon.
The lake level is 553.62 and has raised 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating all night and have just started up one generator. They are trying to hold up the lake as high as possible for as long as possible. It needs to drop 5-1/2 feet before spring but they just refuse to do so. The surface water temperature continues to stay at just above 60 and has for several days. It will drop with the cold weather moving in Monday. That will not hurt anything. It has to get just below 40-degrees for any meaningfull shad kill. A shad kill is very good for fishing but I prefer not to have one. The more bait fish the better as far as I am concerned. It was a beautiful day and the crappie started biting again. They never stopped but slowed a bit. Blackburns has several good fishermen in now and we will see what happens today. Some nice ones were caught yesterday and all of them were on Blackburns Brush piles. We like that. That is why we work so hard to put them in for you. They are at good levels and are producing fish. The game and fish replentishing the old existing brush that the corps had neglected really helped reduce the pressure on ours and helped the fishing. Crappie, bluegill and bass fishing were the best yesterday with a couple of very nice walleye also being caught. Some small white bass are also showing up but as for the rest of the temperate bass goes the hybrid fishing is best. Except for this year about four times as many stripers are stocked than hybrids but the hybrids take to the low oxygen in the late summer better and do not die off as bad. Neither one reproduces in fresh water lakes and are considered semi-put and take. If they would keep the lake below 560, continue to stock the numbers of stripers as in the past the population should come back from the low numbers. It will take a while as people continue to kill the small ones below 10-pounds and seem proud to do it. Some people just want them gone anyway. I do not and do not think they hurt the other fish population as long as the shad count remains high. They are fun to catch but do not dress out very well. The lake overall is in excellent condition and is at a perfect depth and clarity for fishing. We will see what the winter brings. Just keep the ice storms away.
Cool early morning and nice afternoon.
The lake level is 553.58 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The lake surface temperature was just above 60 yesterday afternoon and the water continues to clear especially in the creeks by the shore. It was a beautiful Thanksgiving day here at Blackburns after a chilly start. Bass, crappie, walleye, bluegill and a few small White Bass were caught. It was a fun day. The best fishing is still on and around brush from 15-35 feet of water on the spoon. I was also using a jig and caught a very large crappie and a few smaller ones on it. I like casting the jig past the brush and letting it sink into it slowly with a 1/16th ounce jig head. I switch back and forth from the 3/8th ounce Bink's Spoon fished straight down and the jig. If the wind is still I also use a slip float and minnow right over the brush and about 5-feet above it using a marker buoy to stay right on it. I am not into the self deploy trolling motors with remote control and anchor. I seem to do just fine with out them. I also know where the brush piles are located and do not use GPS. The people that depend on this stuff are lost without them like some stripers fishermen are when the seagulls migrate. The lake condition overall is excellent and the fishing is just fair but steady. It is about normal for the last of November. It is nice to have something normal for a change. The weather has held nicely but fronts have moved in and out continuously with intermittant wind. You just have to have a plan for where to fish with and without wind do not just go out and fight it. Better get out the heated gloves and sox and get them charged up.
Jack Bucknell from South Dakota with some nice bass caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday on Blackburns Brush Piles.
The lake level is 553.66 and has dropped 1-1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. They are holding the White River at Newport to just over 11-feet. I waited until the wind slowed until I went out yesterday and conditions were just about right when I went out. The ambient temperature was in the early 50's and the surface water temperature was just under 60. The water clarity was just about the same and I could see my lure down about 3-4 feet. I started spooning out of the wind in a main lake cut and caught some nice bass in about 20-feet of water on brush. The crappie fishing has slowed for some reason so I was determined to find some. I found a school on brush in 15-feet of water and caught only two but one was very large. I have caught almost 100 crappie at or just below 15-inches so far this winter. They are not monsters but very nice healthy fish. Norfork lake is a good crappie fishery. A few in the 17-inch range have also been caught. 14-inch are common but most are from 11-13 inches. I am finding very few under the legal limit of 10-inches unlike the walleye which about 75% are under 18-inches. One walleye was caught yesterday just under 18-inches and I had just released it when I had another one on right away about 15-feet from the bank in 15-feet of water. It was about the same size but broke off. I tell everyone to retie after each walleye or at least run your finger down the line and feel for nicks. I was too lazy to do so and it cost me but I would have released him anyway. Try and keep the walleye from going sideways and getting the line in the side of their teeth especially on light line which I highly recomment in clear water. Light line also gives your spoon, jig and grub much better action. Several very large bluegill were also caught on the crappie jig. Bass, bluegill and hybrid stripers are now the best bite with crappie and walleye and small White Bass next. The hybrids are not big but are in the 4-6 pound range. You have to look for a long time to find feeding fish and trollers are having to fish hard and sometimes for days to find any. When they do they bite fast and are then gone. Catfishing has also slowed but a few are being caught on live bluegill. Fishing overall is just fair and the lake is in excellent condition and some nice fish are being caught everyday. Spoon in or just outside those brush piles or cast a jig, grub or crankbait to the shore on high river channel wind blown banks. It has been very foggy early so be carefull out there. Do not run on GPS in low visibility. It is best to wait until the fog is gone after the sun comes out. My best fishing time has been about 4:PM until dark and on cloudy days just before a rain. We are having Thanksgiving dinner today for guests, friends and family but it will be take out. I wish this covid would go away but it is nothing to fool around with. Having big groups of people and family together is not safe for now especially in confined areas. I will get the vaccine as soon as possible.
Bink caught some too on the spoon in deeper water.
Released under the dock.
The lake level is 553.78 and has risen just a bit from yesterday. They quit generating last night and started one generator again this morning. We did get about 3/4 of an inch of rain last evening and night. It started about 4:30Pm and rained pretty hard at times. It gave me a warning with a little downpour and I came in just before it really stared to rain hard. The fish had just began to bite around 4:Pm and I was having fun catching and releasing smallmouth bass. They were hitting the small jig and grub about 8-10 feet from the shore on a high river channel bank. Again, when the lure dropped off onto the first ledge they hit and hit hard. I was only out for a couple of hours and did not try for crappie. I did spoon up a couple of nice bass though. The temperate bass were in the same places in about 40-ft. of water but I did not bother them. I left them alone to grow. We need more big ones. If the meat hunters keep killing all of the small ones we will never have a large number of big ones again. They need to learn how to catch crappie, Kentucky bass, bluegill and catfish for food. They are better eating anyway. Dock floors full of dead small stripers and hybrids are not impressive. Wait until they grow and more are stocked or the temperate fishery will be gone except for the White Bass. They will come back on their own if there is not another kill. Holding the lake level up so high for so long is not helping things out for stripers and hybrids either. It is good for bass, crappie and walleye spawn. The stripers are ocean fish and cannot take to low oxygen levels very well especially the big ones. Hybrids can take it better and more of them need to be stocked if they continue the current lake management practices. They fight really hard for their size and are really fun to catch. It is cooling off as the day goes on but should be very nice by tomorrow. I will try for a few crappie today as they have slowed down the bite or have moved. It is fun to find new places and is good to just be out there. Some very nice Kentucky Bass are being caught, mostly on the spoon. They are in deeper water for some reason. It is a little windy today with the front coming through but should be ok. I will let you know.
Caught and released under the dock last evening on the 3/8th ounce spoon.
The lake level is 553.75 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The White River at Newport is at 10+ feet. The surface water temperature was 60+ when I went out yesterday and has hung in there at or above 60 for quite a while. It is a little lower in the backs of the creeks where the water is shallower. The lake clarity is ok but not as clear as a few years ago. You can see your lure down about four feet. It is clearest near the shore on rocky banks. It has been reduced drastically from several years ago when you could see the bottom in 35-feet of water. Those days appear to be over. Too clear of water makes for tough fishing. It is good for fishing now though and so is the level where you can drive to the dock and step right on and most brush piles are at the right depth. They had been too deep most of the year. Crappie fishing was slow for me yesterday but I found the bass outside the brush in deeper water than they had been. Fish of several species were on the dropoff just outside brush in about 40-feet of water for some reason. Hybrids, Walleye, bass and a few small White Bass were all together. A lot of fish are feeding under the big moon at and after dark and it makes for harder fishing during the day. Some of the Kentucky bass were as big as the largemouth and the hybrids were nice sized also. I caught no keeper stripers. The shad are moving out of open water in the evening and going shallower near cover and the predator fish are right with them. Many schools of shad do not have predator fish with them though. You have to do a lot of hunting to find feeding fish in or around open water. I would not have found these if I had not been fishing deeper brush and just happened to check the drop off. If you can find brush near deep water that is right on the dropoff there is usually predator fish there. I released all of the fish on site except for two picture bass which were released under the dock after the picture. I do not have a selfie and do not want one. What I am impressed with though is the size of some of these Kentucky bass. Blackburns has several good fishermen in this week and we will see what happens. Thanksgiving has almost always been a good time for fishing in the years past but time will tell. The lake overall is in excellent condition. Many smallmouth bass are just off the bank on river channels and most are small but not all. Norfork is getting to be a good smallmouth fishery with many in the 4-lb range. Spoons continue to be the best lure overall but grubs on the bank for smallmouth is best. Some are using crankbaits with success. Crappie fishing has slowed a bit and bass and hybrid fishing is improving. I catch a lot of big crappie in December.
A very few big stripers and hybrids are being caught and we strongly suggest releasing them and not fishing for them in deep water. A big stripers is over 20-lbs and a big hybrid is 12-lbs. People that have not been here very long now think a big striper is 10-lbs and a big hybrid is 6-lbs. We need to get it back to where it used to be and quit killing small fish or we will not have any. Only white bass reproduce. I am releasing all temperate bass. Kentudky bass and crappie eat a lot better anyway.
Mike caught fish in the morning and Scuba Steve caught them in the evening.
The lake level is 553.86 and has dropped 1-1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running full speed. All of the area lakes are near or below top of power pool and they have cut back on the level of the White River at Newport to below 11-feet. We did get about 1/2 inch of rain Saturday night and it all soaked in and helped the very dry conditions a little. The persistent wind had really dried things. The surface temperature was 60.5 when I went out yesterday and it was a little windy but not bad. I spooned a brush pile and got some very nice crappie and a couple of bass and then checked out a steep main lake river channel bank with the grub. I would throw the grub right to the bank and use the rod to quickly let the lure drop off onto the first ledge about 6-8 feet deep and the smallmouth would hit it almost every time. I caught about a dozen and released them all on site. It was really fun and I would not have come in except it was getting too dark to see. The wind layed about 4:pM. The high rocky banks have much less dead wood than the creeks and you will not get hung up as many times. Do not mess around getting the lure to the ledge or the bluegill and warmouth will get it as they are right on the bank. Many fish are throwbacks but several are also keepers. The larger bass are coming off the brush for me and are with the crappie. Some shad are moving in shallow at dark and the small stripers, white bass, hybrids and walleye are moving in to feed on them. The moon is about 1/2 now and getting bigger and the temperate bass and walleye will feed until the moon sets and make daytime fishing more difficult. The walleye that I am getting on the spoon are all reaction strikes and they are not actively feeding durning the day. Schools of small white bass with a few hybrids mixed in are showing up just outside of brush at sunset. The ones that I am catching are small but I have reports of some larger white bass showing up after I come in at dark. I do not fish after dark anymore as I catch all of the fish that I need during the day when it is warmest but I do stay out until it is too dark to see my line. This is a good time of year and the lake is in excellent condition with the weather approaching 60 for the next several days. The closer it gets to raining you out the better the fishing. The first sunny day with high pressure after, not so good, but fish can still be caught. Crappie, bass and bluegill are still the best bite with walleye next. Spoon in or right around brush for best results. I like the 3/8th ounce Bink's spoon. I used it for the first time yesterday and it worked well in the wind if it is not too windy. I do not spoon in high winds unless in open water.
Caught on the Bink's Spoon.
The lake level is 554 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running at full speed. We are approaching the seasonal pool level of 553.75 where the C.O.E. surrenders some of the control of the generation schedule. When they get close to that number they typically quit generating in order to keep the level up as high as they can for as long as they can. They are already keeping the level of the White River at Newport below 12-feet and we will see if they almost dry it up like they did a month ago when we got the big rain. Drop it down to the 540's boys. It is dry here with a burn ban and we can take a couple of inches with very little effect. It looks like we will get some about tuesday. It was cloudy, cool with light wind and misting rain when I went out yesterday. Perfect conditions for fishing. It is to remain in the 50's for about the next week. I was heading out to my favorite brush pile when I went around Mallard Point about three docks and noticed a lot of shad in about 35-feet of water with some fish on them. I dropped a spoon and they were only small White Bass and small hybrid. I released them to grow and went on. The bass and crappie were biting immediately on brush in both 14-feet of water and 35-feet of water. A 3/8th ounce Bink's spoon was used right in the brush and the crappie were very nice in the 12-13 inch range. I later moved to a wind blown bank and took out a grub. The smallmouth were biting about 10-feet off the shore in about 8-feet of water just inside a main lake point and I caught two of them. I then moved a little deeper and switched back to the spoon on brush and caught a Kentucky and largemouth. It was getting dark so I came in. It was a good day for me. Other guests caught some good bass also. The fish are scattered throughout the lake and are either on the bank, in brush or in open water on shad. Crankbaits are working pretty well beating the banks but the buckbrush is mostly all dead from being flooded too long and there is lots of wood to get snagged on it they dive too deep. Work just around the inside of main lake points on wind blown banks, spoon brush and you will catch fish until the next cold front comes through and then it will slow but not stop. Check all main lake cuts with brush for crappie and bluegill and drop a spoon or jig. I saw a troller chugging the shoreline for a long ways but did not see him catch anything. He was out too far in too deep of water but I guess he was tired of getting snagged where the fish were. It is warming up a bit and about time for me to go out.
These were the best ones that Scuba Steve caught last evening. More too. Released several under the dock and shared a few. Dan Croslin with a nice big fat one.
The lake level is 554.15 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. It is approaching the magic number of 553.75 where some control is turned over to the power company and they usually slow generation way down at that point. We will see. It is time to start drawing the lake down but for some reason are reluctant to do so. It was a little cloudy and very warm yesterday with highs in the mid 70's and a light wind coming from the south. The surface temperature was 62+ and it was a perfect day to be out on the lake. Blackburns has several fishermen out there and they reported fishing was only fair but bass and crappie and bluegill continue to be the best bite with a few walleye and catfish also being caught. The red meat fishermen did better than earlier this week when they struggled. They caught some stripers and hybrids but all were small with the stripers all being less than 10-lbs and the hybrids in the 3-4 pound range. No picture fish but at least they released all of them on site to let them grow. That is good and I am happy some are showing up. The crappie I caught were on shallow brush in the 16-18 foot range on top of the brush. The bass were in the same place but a little deeper. The bluegill were right on the bank. I did not catch any walleye. It is to be cloudy and cooler today and tomorrow with sunny skies after that with a high pressure moving in. If you are catching bluegill on brush do not be discouraged. Where ever they are present you can be sure big fish are nearby. I was using the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon white with a red head but am trying out the 3/8th ounce one today. I have not used it before. The lake has stained a bit near dirt banks with the wind slapping waves on the shore. There are bass where the water changes from brown at the wind blown bank to clear a little ways out in about 6-10 feet of water. Crank baits and grubs are working there. I am not catching much on the high river channel banks where the water is still clear. If you rig up a half dozen lines with live bait and drag them through enough schools of shad you will catch some fish. I prefer casting for them and do not fish open water much anymore. Today should be a good day. Fishing overall is just fair but the lake is in excellent condition and some nice fish are being caught every day. Blackburns has several fishermen coming in for Thanksgiving and we will help them get fish.
Caught on a live bluegill.
Some nice crappie caught yesterday.
The lake level is 554.33 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running at full speed. They are holding the White River at Newport at below 12-feet. The surface water temperature is 61 degrees and the lake is not quite as clear as it was but is still fine for fishing. Crappie, bluegill and bass continue to be the best bite with a few walleye and catfish coming in. The temperate bass fishing continues to be slow. People are fishing hard for them but are coming up short both in number and size. The fish are small and hard to find. The ones caught yesterday came from just north of Cranfield Island and in front of houses on Mallard point. I am glad to see some white bass showing up but they are small. The White Bass are starting to come back after the fish kill on them a couple of years ago. Bink caught a nice striper but reports there are not nearly as many as before. Especially the big ones. People are still taking pictures of dock floors of small dead hybrids and stripers that barely measure and are nothing to be proud of. They will quit only when they are all gone and that will be soon since none were stocked by the game and fish this year and they do not reproduce in fresh water. The limit needs to be dropped to two fish until the numbers and size improve. That is not the case for the other fish in Norfork which are high in numbers and are very healthy. November fishing is about normal otherwise with no particular pattern except that they turn on and off with the cold fronts. A few schooling fish are coming up just at dusk but are mostly bass and are back in the creeks. Fish are roaming and not staying put very long with a lot of bait fish out there. Fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill on brush and walleye on the side of brush is your best bet with spoons, with some fish right on the bank with grubs and crank baits. Work the wind blown banks and there has been a lot of that but there always is in November. We have had no rain for over a week and the wind has dried things out a lot. Fishing conditions overall are just fair. Many fishermen have turned into deer hunters and the boat traffic is low. It is to cool some soon and drop down to about normal ambient temperatures. The warm temperatures were nice. Blackburns is open all year and your first boat stall is free. Several are not.
Bass and crappie caught last evening.
Mike with a nice channel and crappie.
Dave is still catching crappie and bluegill.
A nice one fishing with Bink yesterday. This one is worth a picture.
The lake level is 554.52 and has dropped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running full speed. They are still holding the White River below 12-feet at Newport. If they hold true to color they will slow generation down as the magic level of 553.75 approaches where they give up some of the control to the electric company. The surface water temperature was between 61 and 62 on the main lake and cooler back in the creeks shallow. It was a little windy when I went out yesterday afternoon but not bad. I tried catching some bass on the bank with little success until about 3:30 Pm and then caught a couple of good ones. I then moved back in a creek close to Blackburns and started brush fishing for crappie and caught five nice ones including one very large. About sunset some fish started surfacing next to where I was crappie fishing. It was a large school of mixed temperate bass and I caught and released four small white bass, one hybrid about four pounds and a small striper about 20-inches. All were released on site and none were worth a picture. Hopefully they will grow a little before someone kills them. Walleye fishing has slowed a bit but a few are still being caught but most are still short. Crappie, bass and bluegill fishing is still the best bite. Our striper fishermen are getting discouraged but are catching a few but most are also small. It is to be windy out there again today but it should lay by tomorrow. The fishing is getting better every day after the cold front came through last weekend but it is taking a while. Warm and windy calls for a crank bait for bass on the wind blown banks. It is to be in the 70's today but back to normal later this weekend which is about 55 for a high. You can still get a cabin here at Blackburns for $59/day with your first boat stall free. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.
The lake level is 554.99 and has dropped less than an inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running less than full power. We did receive an inch and one half of rain Saturday night about 10:pm and it rained hard and the wind blew. There was some storm damage on docks and trees north of Blackburns and some hail north of that but Blackburns was fortunate and had no damage and are operating as normal. This was anticipated and precautionary measures were taken. Our normal high is 57 degrees and normal low is freezing but the highs are to be near 70 after today and the lows near freezing with the clear skies and a big high pressure hanging over the area. Coat in the morning, shirt in the middle of the day and jacket in the evening. The warmest part of the day does not last long and it cools very fast at sunset. The lake surface temperature is still in the early 60's depending on the time of day. The lake is in excellent condition and there are a lot of fish. Fishing was not the best yesterday but I caught one bass, one crappie and one channel catfish in about an hour of fishing. This was expected but I like to go out there every day even if the bite is tough. Sometimes you get surprised. Better than laying on the sofa. Blackburns has people here looking for real estate, out of town builders, fishermen and families just wanting to get away for a few days. They are taking advantage of the lowest prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. The children like to ride their bikes down the nearly flat 400 yards to the lake and our 18-stall boat dock and fish off the dock and others like to take a nice walk to the lake without going down or up a cliff. The big flat playground is nearly always busy. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. I caught no picture fish yesterday. Tome Kelly did report catching a 22-inch striper in Float Creek and released it immediately. Everybody needs to quit killing stripers and hybrids until their numbers come back. White Bass numbers are also low but they can take care of themselves. There is plenty of bait fish out there and many schools of shad are holding few predator fish. There were some fish coming up last evening but they were all bass.
Norfork Lake Fun out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.
The lake level is 555.19 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running a little less than full speed. The surface temperature is 53 degrees and the lake in general is in excellent condition. They are holding the White River at Newport to less than 12-feet. We are expecting a cold low pressure tonight with wind and a little weather. It should pass by tomorrow and then no rain for a week with highs getting near 70 for several days towards the end of next weel. Fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill continue to be good with walleye next. Dave and Mike caught some very nice crappie and bass this morning already along with some short walleye. We are releasing some of the crappie and all of the bass under the dock. The school under the dock is getting larger and larger every day and I feed them twice a day. I use chicken feed and floating catfish feed. The chicken feed sinks slowly and they get it on the way down and the catfish feed floats and they hit it on top water. Most of the turtles hibernate but a few remain under the dock unless it gets very cold. The best bait for everything continues to be the spoon and then the jig. A few are using slip floats with some success. Bink likes that green stingray grub for the bass. I use it when I am not close to any brush. Some are still trolling but with very limited success. It looks like the wind has a very good chance of getting here tonight so batten down the hatches. After that fishing may slow a bit but should get better every day until the next cold front gets here. Looks to be a good week ahead. Come on down to Blackburns. We have no duplexes so you can social distance and all cabins have big covered porches. Your first boat stall is free. We are open all year and have the best prices.
Dave Titus and Maggie with some of yesterday's catch.
The lake level is 555.36 and has dropped 1-1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running at less than full power. They are holding the White River at Newport at less than 12-feet like they are expecting a flood this winter. The surface water temperature was 53.8 when I went out yesterday and it was a beautiful day with a high in the early 60's. I go out when it is the warmest part of the day and come in when it starts to cool. Others go out when it is freezing and come in when it warms up. I caught bass, walleye, crappie and bluegill again with a couple of small white bass and a small hybrid mixed in. About one in three walleye are keepers. Every time I catch a walleye I retie because they have a tendency to nick the line. When I am too lazy to do so I almost always pay for it with the next fish breaking off. The striper fishermen are fishing hard trying to catch fish but are coming up short with just a couple a day and none over 12-lbs. I told them to switch to walleye, bass and crappie but they are determined. Those predicting the temperate bass to be great in November better try harder. I wish them luck but are encouraging them to release the fish they catch as there are so few of them. No sense getting them all. Let some grow. I saw some top water action last evening but they were bass and not very big. They were chasing very small shad. I fished both main lake and the backs of creeks and caught fish both places. it was a little better than yesterday and the fish were bigger. There is one brush pile holding giant crappie and I try to just catch one a day off it and release it under the dock. The school is getting bigger. Almost all brush is holding fish but not a lot. You have to catch a couple off one and then move. Every one in a while they start biting fast in one place and you can catch several but not often. The lake is clearing more every day and is at an excellent level for overall fishing. I am seeing a few chuggers (trollers) out there but not many. Deer season opens tomorrow and it will cut down on the lake traffic which is not very much anyway. This is a typical November for fishing. It is just very nice to be out there. Thank you for all of the happy Veterans Day wishes. They were appreciated. We are a veteran family here.
The lake level is 555.51 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 3/4ths. The surface water temperature was 64.4, the ambient temperature was 62, the wind was light and variable and the skies were sunny when I went out yesterday. The lake is still clearing and I could see no difference where I went except it is clearer nearest the shore on rocky banks where you can see your lure down over six feet in some places. I like it clearer for diving but not for fishing. This is about right and it has not been this clear for quite some time. The fishing was not as good for me yesterday as the day before but I still caught several keeper fish. 3-bass, one nice walleye, two small hybrid stripers about 13-14 inches long, three crappie and several bluegill were caight in about two hours. All were released on site. The walleye and hybrids were caught on a white with red eye 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon and the rest were caught on the 1/16th ounce jig. Overall the fishing was slow but steady. No particular pattern was noticed except the fish were in or near brush and the fish were caught anywhere from 10-ft to 35-ft. No large schools were found. One day a particular place is good and the next nothing. The one thing that I noticed was that the place where the wind was blowing into was the best fishing. This is usually true but has not been the last several days until yesterday. The wind has been variable and swirling but was mostly from the northwest yesterday. I saw four other boats out there and three of them were from Blackburns. It was a beautiful day and so is today. The longer the high pressure stays the better the fishing and it is best when it clouds up and the wind picks up and the next front starts to come through and then it starts all over again. For best fishing do not miss the cloudy days just before a rain when the low pressure moves in. Learn the difference between a low pressure and a cold front. This is a good time of year and the fishing pressure is very low during deer season. The normal high is 59 and normal low is 38.
The lake level is 555.65 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with less than one generator running. The White River level at Newport is just above 11-feet and they are doing a great job of holding the area lakes up as high as they can for as long as they can so there is little excess capacity for the spring rains. It has not rained in over a week. At least the level is perfect for fishing now that most of the tourists are gone. Sounds like a plan to me. The surface temperature was about 66 degrees yesterday but should start dropping slowly with the cool nights. The weather looks pretty good for the next week with highs near 60 and lows in the 30's which is normal. There is no particular pattern to the fishing except that many fish are roaming and not many are schooling. You can find two or three good fish on one brush pile with no big schools but fish are on most of them. I am catching fish in brush in 16-feet of water and also in 35-ft. of water. Bass, crappie, walleye and bluegill are all on the same brush with bluegill being mostly shallower. Some bass are on the bank early and late. Yesterday the slip float and minnow were the best bait if you could find brush out of the wind but jigs and spoons were also working but not as well. Everything was biting on the larger minnows. The big crappie were in 35-ft. of water on brush about 12-15 ft. down and good ones too. Blackburns had several fishermen out yesterday and all caught fish. The striper fishermen are having a hard time and are catching no large fish and finding no large schools. They are finding a few schools of White Bass in the Red Bank area as reported a week ago but they are also few and not very big. They report doing a lot of looking and not much finding and are starting to think they are just not there. This is usually one of the best months for temperate bass fishing before they get lethargic and slow way down in activity in December. Maybe some big ones will start showing up. I hope so as we have a lot of customes who like to fish for them. I usually go with Binks a few times a year striper fishing and really enjoy it. If anybody can find them he can. They are not in their usual places. I am concerned about the size and numbers and people killing smaller and smaller ones. We are paying for the people bringing in coolers the size of caskets full of big dead stripers. They are not doing it anymore. Maybe they will again. Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. We are open all year and have live bait all year on site.
Scuba Steve likes those walleye.
The small mouth are still biting. We like them and release all of them.
Caught on the Bink's Spoon Yesterday.
Jim Bornhop with a good one. More too.
The lake level is 555.78 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with less than one generator running. The surface temperature is 66 degrees and the White River level at Newport is about 11-1/2 feet. Same plan. Hold and hope. It was and is cloudy and warm with a little cooler weather coming in but not too bad. A lot of fish were caught here at Blackburns yesterday and all had fun. It is to get a little windy later with a front coming through. Crappie, bass, walleye and bluegill continue to be the best bite and striper fishermen that cannot catch stripers (of any big size) are turning into crappie and bass fishermen. They are trying hard to prove me wrong though and are killing some smaller fish. 10-lb. or less stripers are like the equivalent of catching a 10-inch crappie or a 12-inch Kentucky but they keep showing dock floors of dead ones like they are a big prize. I guess they will continue to do this until they are all gone. They do not reproduce in the lake and very few were stocked this year. None by the game and fish. It seems like the worse the striper fishing gets, the better the crappie, bass and walleye gets to make up for it. A lot of people like to catch them though and I hope they come back and thrive like they did before. There are plenty of bait fish in the lake for all game species. All of the fish that I am catching are very fat and healthy and there are may schools of shad with no fish on them. I am using the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon, jig and slip float and minnow exclusively depending on the wind. I do not troll but do allow the boat to drift over the brush piles and then use the trolling motor to go the other way back across them. If it is still with no or light wind I spoon straight down or the slip float or both. I saw one seagull yesterday maybe that will help the bait fishermen. It is hard to believe November is almost 1/2 over already. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and are open all year. Several are closed. Blackburns is a good place.
Dave Titus, John Bornhop, Tom Kelly and Mike Eakle all caught several nice ones. They were all fishing separately. Tom is still fishing Float Creek heavily.
The lake level is 555.88 and has dropped over three inches in the last 24-hours. They cut way back on generation a couple of hours ago and the White River at Newport is now below 12-ft. The water is still clearing nicely and you can see your lure down several feet. The surface temperature was 556 when I went out yesterday the the ambient was in the low 70's. We had several fishermen out from Blackburns and they all caught fish. Most everything is the same but cooler weather is coming later this week but not bad. Our normal high is 60 and low is 39. We have not had a hard frost yet. We usually get the first on in very early November. Crappie fishing is the best followed by bass, walleye and bluegill. I will try a little catfishing later today. All temperate bass fishing is slow. The lake in general is in excellent condition for fishing. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. We are to get a little rain later but not much.
All caught yesterday with many being released under the dock and in Tom Kelly's trophy pond.
The lake level is 556.20 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is now back to the stupid level of 12-feet so the level should continue to drop quickly until it approaches 553.75 where the C.O.E. are reluctant to turn over some control to the power company. It will then just drop very slowly. We have had no rain for a week. On this date in 2019 it was 555.21, in 2018 552.33, 2017 552.68 which shows why the lake gets high in the summer. They just will not drop it and nobody can figure out why. If they would drop it to the high 540's this winter and not stop generating every time it rains, it would surely go a long ways towards keeping the level below 560. That is where the trouble with access starts. This could be easily accompilshed while not having the White River go above 22-feet which is below minor flood stage. Nobody is avocating flooding out anybody down stream. People say the dam was only put in for flood control and the lakes have to take what is given to them but that was debunked when the minimum flow for the put and take trout in the river was implemented and took away 1.75 feet of flood capacity. I am pretty sure this law was to help the economy for the rivers. When water is let out of the dams, there is flow. When no water is let out of the dams they dry up. They are plastic rivers anyway except for the Buffalo which is free flowing. That is what happens when dams are built. They enacted a law which provided for flow to the rivers all year no matter how low the lakes get so why can they not do the same for the area lakes and do everything possible to not flood them out without flooding down stream. This could be done but not with the current rules of operation. Hold and hope is not the answer. We need to move into the 21st century. It was a beautiful day yesterday. Sunny and warm but clouded up a little in the late afternoon. The wind was light and variable and the surface water temperature was about 56 degrees and the lake is clearing nicely. There was a little color on the wind blown banks but you could see your lure down several feet on the rocky banks. The small amount of twigs and bark that was floating has stuck to the banks now with the latest level drop and fishing conditions could not be better. Everyone caught fish around here yesterday and several of them too. Some were very large. It was a perfect day for fishing. Crappie, bass, walleye and bluegill continue to be the best bite with very few temperate bass being caught and most of the ones caught are small. I was using a small jig and a spoon yesterday and caught fish all afternoon until I came in at sunset and was fishing Blackburns Brush piles. Blackburns still had cabins for $59/day with your first boat stall free. Can't beat that anywhere. Why pay more unless you just have too much money or do not have to work for it?
Released under the dock.
Tom Kelly with a good one caught and released in Float Creek yesterday. Tom is a good conservationist and a very good fisherman.
The lake level is 556.50 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running but not at full strength. The level is perfect for access, launching, parking and fishing. The surface temperature was 66 even when I went out yesterday and the fish started biting immediately in the back of a creek in 17-feet of water. I caught all of the crappie I wanted and a couple of nice bass and then moved out towards the mouth of the creek where some fish were showing up on the bottom near brush but not on it in 22-ft. of water. They were walleye and I caught three with two being keepers. I then moved up north of Cranfield Island on the west side by the walleye rearing pond on the two points and caught a striper, two White Bass and hybrid in 33-ft. of water. A school happened to come through and they bit fast and were gone. All of them were released on site as they are getting more and more scarce. If people do not quit killing them they will get more scarce and very few were stocked this year. We used to catch them almost at will and big ones too. The high water for too long causing a low ozygen level and people killing too many, especially small ones, are getting to be a problem. It has not hurt the bass, crappie, bluegill and walleye population any though and they are even getting better. I just fish for what is biting anyway. If more people were like Tom Kelly and released all of the fish they caught the lake would be better off every one could have fun. I keep some walleye, crappie, bluegill, flathead and Kentucky bass which are the best eating but mostly for people who do not or cannot fish anymore and really appreciate them. I have a small group of people that depend on be and I try to not let them down. The list is getting smaller now with several passing. The weather has been beautiful and is to continue to be so for a few more days. Blackburns is taking advantage of this and are doing a lot of improvements outside. The inside ones can be done in cloder weather. Debbie, Amy and Jennifer are working hard to make the place beautiful. My paint, stain and water sealer bill is quite large. Come on down and check us out. You will like what you see. We are open all year and have no price increases planned for next year again. Some places are closed for the winter so give us a call. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free.
The lake level is 556.73 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours. They started running one generator at full speed last night and the lake started dropping immediately. It may drop now that the White River at Newport is back down to 12+ feet and Table Rock is back to below seasonal pool. We have gone almost a week with no rain. Those are the two rules that they go by now for some reason. Newport seems to have survived the 20-ft. level with the last big rains with no flood damage of any kind. It shows the area lakes can be dropped with no problems down stream and the 12-ft. rule is stupid. Minor flood level is 23 feet. The surface temperature was 65+ when I went out yesterday and the water was not quite as clear as the day before for some reason. The overall fishing gets better the longer that this high pressure hangs around. It is to get windy again the first part of the week but this weekend looks to be wonderful. One of our guests went up to the Red Bank area yesterday and found the White Bass and Hybrids that were reported here but there were not as many as the day before. He was trolling and got a small hybrid(4-lbs) and a striper that was not 20-inches and a couple of White Bass. He picked up more bass on the shad than red meat fish. He was just glad to find some there but could not find any on the flats in front of the houses on Mallard Point. It is normally loaded with White Bass this time of year as is the mouth of Blackburns Creek but not this year. It was a beautiful day with light variable winds and highs in the mid 70's and sunny. I went to the back of a close by creek and started catching crappie immediately on both casting the jig over the brush and a slip float with minnow at about the same levels. They were big ones too. I usually keep about 1/2 dozen a day for the people that cannot fish anymore and release the rest. They were right in the brush at 16-feet. I then went to a main lake brush pile for bass and caught one on the first drop of the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon. He now has a 3/8th ounce spoon and I have not tried one out yet. It should be easier to keep straight down in windy weather. If you allow the wind to move you you can expect many snags. Do not drag the spoon. Use your trolling motor against the wind to stay right on the brush and not drag your lure. This may not be easy with variable swirling wind which Norfork Lake is known for. I like the smallest spoon possible but it may require a heavier one in the wind. If it is too windy I do not spoon but cast jigs and grubs. If there is no wind I always spoon and also use a slip float with minnow on a #4 red Mr. Crappie hook. I like the shape of the true turn as it mostly catches them in the upper jaw and very few get off. This can be a problem in the winter when the mouth gets paper thin. If you do not use the net on these big ones you will hear a pop and they will be gone. Do not try and lift them over the side of the boat like they do on TV. When spooning it often feels like a hit when you are touching brush. If you set the hook in the wood it will be gone too. Just keep your line tight with no slack and set your hook after you are sure it is a fish. Bass often fight for a bit and then head for the surface to spit. You must set the hook again before they hit the surface or they will be gone also. I employ every effort to keep the bass from jumping but sometimes it is impossible. Just set the hook before they do. I have used a swim bait with the hook rigged weedless through the bottom of the body and had big bass on. I fought them and they come to the surface and spit and got off. When examining the lure it has not even pulled through the body of the soft plastic. You would think the weight of the fish would set the hook but it will not. Bass, crappie, and bluegill fishing is the best right now with Walleye next but about 3/4ths of them are just a little short. It is now a good combination of weather and fishing and Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day with a free boat stall. I wish deer hunting season would get started as there are too many fishermen out there and they are hanging on my brush piles. I am seeing more loons out there but no seagulls yet.
Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday.
The lake level is 556.87 and is about the same as it was yesterday with one generator running about 1/2 speed continuously. The surface temperature is 65 degrees and is clearing and is a good color for fishing and in general in excellent condition. You can see your lure down about 4-5 feet depending on what the bank is like. If it is steep and rocky it is much clearer. I have been fishing both brush piles and open water in front of brush on shad. Mixed species of fish are on the shad including crappie, walleye, bass, small hybrids and small white bass. Several schools of White Bass are around Red Bank landing but are mostly small. They are hanging in about 35-ft. of water and are not worth it to me to drive that far. I have a couple of good crappie brush piles in that area and check them out periodically. Spoons are working the best overall but minnows on slip floats are also working when the wind is calm mostly early morning and late afternoon. I am also using the small jig or grub, casting it over the brush and letting it sink slowly into it. The crappie are scattered everywhere and I can only catch a couple on one place and then they quit. Most of the fish are not in big schools but a few are. They are roaming looking for feed which is looking for cover. Some bass and bluegill are on the banks with the bluegill being right on the bank and the bass in about 8-10 feet of water in front of them. I am catching some very good smallmouth and fat Kentuckies. I release all of the smallmouth and largemouth under the dock and they seem to stay there as I feed them every day and can see them join the school and it is getting bigger everyday. The fishing overall is not the best but some of each species are being caught everyday. It is a mixed bag. Trollers are catching some now but are putting on a lot of miles to get them. If you troll something through enough schools of shad you will catch some fish but most schools of shad are not holding fish. There is a lot of bait fish out there but I have seen much more in earlier years. One year in December there were so many shad in front of Panther Bay Marina that the fish finder was blacked out for about a mile both ways. I prefer casting for the fish but to each their own. It is fun to feel that initial hit and setting the hook. It looks like there will be no November night bite for stripers again this year. The full mon is the very last of this month and it will be too late then. Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Why pay too much unless you just have too much money? I do not.
Caught yesterday evening on the 1/4 ounce Bink's Spoon.
The lake level is 556.83 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 1/2 speed. The surface temperature was 64.5 where I was fishing yesterday afternoon on the main lake and the lake is clearing and is a good color for fishing. I was heading to a brush pile near Cranfield Island and saw some shad and schooled fish just around Mallard Point about in front of the third dock on the main lake side in 35-ft. of water. I dropped a spoon and caught a couple of small White Bass and a small Striper and released them all on site. No picture fish. White Bass are not picture fish anyway. The brush pile that I was looking for was a little deeper than I liked with the latest water rise but there were fish on It anyway. Four crappie, a couple of nice bluegill and a short walleye were caight on the 1/4 ounce spoon and then they quit. I moved around the point to the inside and switched to the grub and minnow and caught two smallmouth bass. It cooled down and I came in. The weather was wonderful with highs in the 60's with light wind. It is to be warmer for the next few days. I am going to go vote and then hit it again. There are few boats out there during the middle of the week and there is peace and quiet. Please quit killing those small stripers and hybrids. They do not dress out very well anyway after the red meat is cut off. I hope the White Bass make a comeback. They are pretty scarce now but at least they reproduce in the lake. Stripers and Hybrids do not and few were stocked this year.
Sonny Eakle from Granger, Iowa caught several yesterday. These are the biggest.
The lake level is 556.78 and has risen about one inch in the last 24-hours. it stays stable when they run one generator and creeps up when they shut down or run 1/2 generator. The surface temperature has stayed fairly stable at 65+ degrees on the main lake and the water is clearing. Some guests caught several white bass about 1-1/2 pounds and were happy to get them after looking for them for several days. They also caught a very small striper and a hybrid but none were picture fish. The crappie fishermen did the best and also caught some bass with a few being smallmouth. Big bluegill fishing is very good right now and they are very tasty. Take a piece of bread with butter, slice of onion and a bluegill fillet and see how you like it. No red meat to cut out. The weather has been great but a little windy in the middle of the day. Cold fronts come through about twice a week and slow fishing but it picks back up the more the high pressure is here until the next one. This is a good time of year. The fall foliage has mostly blown off and you have your choice of light brown, medium brown and dark brown. It was a dud and not worth driving here for but the hillsides are always very beautiful here. When you come bring a coat for early morning and just before sunset and rain gear just in case. The middle of the day is very nice but does not last that long. It is nice to just be out there. The fishing is best on cloudy days after high pressure has been here for several days and just before the cold front and winds pick up then it starts all over again. Some fish can be caught almost anytime if you are not stuck on what you are fishing for and change with the flow and fish for what is biting. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. This is the time for us to work on improvements as there is no time in the spring when people are anxious to get out of the house in early March and no time then. Spring is very busy here and we have the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals.
Bink was on the crappie yesterday using his jigging spoon.
Tom Kelly with one fine bass caught and released. It was released on site. Tom is one good fisherman. He was using a plastic worm.
Norfork Lake Fun on Halloween at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. Social distancing.
The lake level is 556.70 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running less than 1/2 the time. The level has risen about 2-1/2 feet total since all of the rain last week. The lake is clearing rapidly and the surface temperature on the main lake is still 65-66 depending on the time of day. A lot of fish were caught yesterday with crappie being the best bite with bass second. I am seeing nobody getting any stripers except for one now and again. We are paying the price for people killing all of those small ones from 4-10 lbs. Just a few White Bass and Hybrids are coming in but they are small also. Some big bass are being caught and Kentucky Bass are the best bite. Big fat ones. They are fun to catch and great eating. The bluegill bite is still good with nice size. Catfishing is slow. They had a long time to drop the lake but refused to do it before the last rains. Now the level needs to go down about nine feet before the spring rains. The dam management rules need to be reviewed and moved into the 21st. century and the people running the operation need to be replaced. The incompetence is unbelieveable and someone needs to be held accountable. We had a fun Halloween here at Blackburns. We had trick or treating outside under the pavillion and the evening was beautiful. Norfork Lake Fun out of Blackburns Resort and Boat rental. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. The weather has been wonderful and should continue for the next several days.