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

Scuba Steve with a couple of good ones.Image title

The lake level is 554.64 and has risen about 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening and all night and have just started up again. The lake surface water was over 46 yesterday and has risen a bit but an arctic cold front is to come down next weekend and to drop highs well back into the high 30's for a day or two. The wind has shifted back to the north now and it is cool again with a high in the early 40's today but nice for about three days starting tomorrow with sunny skies. The normal high is now 47. We received a total of about 0.8 inches of rain on Saturday and the ground is still saturated.  The lake is about as clear as it has been for a few years and now is at a very good color and level for fishing. I have just been fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill and overall it has been just fair with some days better than others but is better than a week ago. The days are getting longer and the average high increasing but February and the first half of March can be very variable here with very warm days and then a cold front with north winds right after almost killing the fishing. Low pressure and cloudy skies with a light wind and small moon is the best time to go. The water dropping does not help fishing any but we badly need it to drop several feet to make room for spring rains but they are reluctant to do this for some reason. This has been a typical winter so far with very little snow and about average rainfall. I have been able to fish almost everyday. The spoon and jig have been the best lures lately and look for fish just outside of brush piles near the bottom in 35-ft. of water on a drop-off if possible. I do not fish with crank baits much but the people using them are catching some good bass. I have not seen or talked to striper fishermen lately and there are very few boats on the lake when I am out there. No reports usually mean no fish. Blackburns is getting everything ready for spring and is your fishing headquarters for Norfork Lake. You will like what you see when you get here and like the price better.  

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

Mike Eakle with some good ones caught yesterday on the Bink's Spoon in 35-ft. of water near the bottom. Image title

The lake level is 554.54 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. They quit last night but have started up again this morning. I suspect they will get it down to the power pool of 553.75 and then slow way down again for some unknown reason. At least that has been what they have done in the last few years when they changed from the policy of drawing the level down in the winter to make room for spring rains to holding it up all winter and allowing it to flood and open the spillway gates ruining the crops downstream and holding it up all summer to prevent replanting.Government work at it's best and some people want more government. It was a beautiful day yesterday with a high temperature of near 50 with medium winds. I tried crappie fishing in brush about 20-ft. deep and could catch nothing but small fish. Went back to the 35-ft. level just outside the brush and caught several nice ones. There sure are a lot more species of fish feeding on shad in the open water now that the big stripers are almost gone. Their absence has sure changed Norfork Lake fishing with other kinds of fish thriving. The bass are getting bigger and bigger and the good bass fishermen are doing very well with more fish in the 5-6 lb. range being caught this year than I have ever seen before. Even the Kentucky Bass are approacing three pounds. Crappie and catfishing is about the same but more of both are in deeper water. Trollers trying for temperate bass are catching a much more variety than before. White Bass are making a comeback but there are not nearly as many as a few years ago. Bluegill size and quantity has been very good. Overall fishing has just been fair but some nice fish are being caught every day. The average ambient high temperature is on the rise and has moved from it's low if 44 to 46. The surface water temperature was back up to 46-degrees yesterday and as it rises there will be more shad moving back further into the creeks with game fish on them. The walleye run up the river in February is not near what it used to be a few years ago and the ones moving up there are mostly small. I do not even go up there for it anymore no matter how much I like walleye fishing but the overall numbers and size are getting better and I caught more last year than normal. The best time for them is now in May and early June where they will be on brush in 16-20 feet of water near the bank as the thermocline forms. Norfork is a good fishing lake and the more you fish it the better it gets plus you can stay at Blackburns where you do not have to pay too much. We are in a central location on the lake and close to town and services.   

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

Jeremy Deardoff with a couple of nice Norfork lake crappie. We like those.Image title

The lake level is 554.69 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last night but started again this morning. They are struggling to just get the lake down to the power pool and we are to get more rain this weekend. The ground is saturated.  It was a beautiful day yesterday with light winds and sunny skies and pleasant to be out fishing. The surface water temperature was 45.5. I tried the back of a creek just to see if any fish were shallow and found a few but none were biting. The shallow water warms faster than the deep water and fish will move there soon but it is just too early. I like to try new things and be the first to find them. The next and final stop was a main lake cut on the old river channel on a Blackburns Brush pile. I was casting a Bobby Garland Baby Shad and letting it drop into the brush anywhere from 20-45 feet of water. This did not work either.  It was out of the wind so I switched to a 1/8th ounce Bink's silver spoon. The silver color works well in the sunshine and it glistens several colors including blue. The fish started biting right away. I like the smallest spoon possible that will get to the desired depth and still stay straight down. The smaller the spoon the lighter the line so you are not trying to drag an anchor rope. I caught six crappie, two bass and two nice bluegill in about an hour and came in. The fish were biting anywhere from 27-35 feet of water near the bottom.  I saw no other boats and it was very peacefull and just good to be outside with no crowds or noise. I feel so fortunate and count my blessings. There are very few places where you can do this. I put the fish in Tom Kelly's Trophy pond. It is ready for the spring now but I am not quite. More improvements to make here but no price increases.  

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

They all swam away.Image title

The lake level is 554.78 and has dropped two inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running. There are no spillway gates open. The surface water temperature remained at just over 45-degrees despite the snow which is almost gone now. It will be by tomorrow when it is to warm to near 50. The fishing was pretty good yesterday especially the bass. People are still killing small stripers and they are also biting and also getting smaller.  The lake is clearing more and is at an excellent level and color for fishing. I had to get out my all electric weather gear to keep warm but it was fine. I was usuing the grub on the drop-offs on river channel banks and they would hit near the bottom in about 35-ft. of water. I released them all and they were fine. It would have been too deep for crappie to survive. I will fish for crappie a little later today. I did see one other boat out there and was surprised to find someone crazier than myself. It snowed out the cement repair on the pool and basketball court so I might as well go fishing. I am not much for laying on the sofa, looking out the window and saying how beautiful the snow is. Not. Especially if you have or want to work outside. They said we got about two inches of snow but it looked like more here. It did not affect the roads though and started to melt in the afternoon. It is hard to believe January is almost gone and spring is on the way. We have a lot of improvements to get done before March fishing begins in earnest which is about the middle of the month. It is sunny with a full moon and I will see if I cannot get a few crappie to bite. They need to drop the lake to about 548 but we will see.

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

Scuba Steve's Fish of the day yesterday. Going bass fishing now.Image title

The lake level is 554.94 and has risen about 5-inches in the last 24-hours. They are not generating but did open spillway gates just a bit again this morning to slow the rise after shutting them down all night. The surface water temperature was 45.5 when I went out yesterday about 4:PM and the crappie were biting. They continued for about an hour and then quit. And I mean quit. I caught ten keepers and released five of them at the dock. The rest go to my friend Gus who is celebrating his 90th birthday next month. He loves those Norfork lake crappie as do a great many people. It does not get any better than crappie, walleye, bluegill and Kentucky bass with a flathead catfish thrown in every once in a while. We received a couple of inches of snow this morning early and it is melting now. I really like bass fishing when it shows and will be out there shortly. I am anxious to see what it did to the surface water temperature and clarity. This is a good day to plant grass seed. This is the first measureable snow this season and it is too much for me. People that love it should move to Caribou, Maine. They would be very very happy there or have to go outside and work in it and then see how beautiful it is.  For me I am ready for spring even though I catch a lot of big fish in the winter. I am done with cross country skiiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing. No walking on water or drilling holes in it for me. I will stay here where you can fish all year and have no closed seasons. Any furhter south and you get too many storms, hurricanes and other problems. I am where I want to be. Norfork Lake is the place.

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

Bryan Deardoff with some of yesterday's catch. Image title

The lake level is 554.50 and has risen 10-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with several hours of both generators running. They shut off the generators but have now opened spillway gates equal to a little over one generator. They must not need the electricity and are wasting the water. If they cannot maintain the level the last part of January, fat chance they can or will do it this spring. There is no rhyme or reason to their no-plan management. Hold and hope and open spillway gates is no plan. We should be at 548 or less now to make room for the spring rains. The weather was nice after work so we went fishing. The dock renovations and new roof are now completed on cabin #9, the mobile home, and we are now resurfacing the pool deck and baskerball court. All cabins and out buildings now have a new roof. We never stop with the improvements here at Blackburns. Crappie was the best bite but a few bass were also caught. All of the bass were released on site but a few crappie were kept for dinner. We do not fish for deep stripers and release all we catch accidently to let them grow. If more people do not do this all of the big ones will be gone. Most of them are already gone.  The Kentucky bass. crappie, flathead and bluegill eat much better anyway not to mention the walleye which I am unable to catch now.  Most of the crappie were near the bottom at 40-45 ft. of water but the largest were in about 30-ft. 20-ft. down. The spoon was the best lure. The bass were with the shallower crappie. Fishing overall was just fair but we caught some nice ones. It was an overall a good day with a lot being accompilshed. We were full here all last week but have a couple of cabins open starting today. Come on down and check us out. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. We have no duplexes so you can social distance and all cabins have covered porches.  

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. We really like it when nice families have a good time together. That is what it is all about. Image title

Caught fishing with Bink'sThe lake level is 553.62 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. They quit generating before the rain started in order to get the level up as high as possible for as long as possitble even though the White River at Newport is only 7.6 feet and about ready to dry up. We received 3/10th of an inch of rain Saturday night and 1/1/2 inches last night and this morning. It is over for now. The creeks run for a while but not hard. I went crappie fishing yesterday and caught some good ones. One was very large. They were spooned up in 45-ft. of water on the bottom. I do not have a clue why they are there but they are and just outside of brush piles and near cover close to deep water.  There were some fish coming up about 5-PM and most of them were bass and some good ones too. That is the first top water that I have seen in a while.  The usual routine of the bass moving to their winter banks and staying there has not happened this year. I suspect more of them are in open water on shad in the absence of big stripers. Brush piles are not producing very well unless they are deep. People are still dogging those small stripers in the 3-9 lb. range in deep water knowing they will die when they catch them. It looks like they will keep doing this until all of them are gone. They do not know how to fish any other way and will not change. They need that red meat. Fishing overall has been just fair and the lake in general is in excellent condition. White Bass fishing is getting better and needed to.  The ground in the watershed area is saturated and any rains just north of us will raise the lake. Local rains and rains south of us have a much less effect on the water level unless the creeks run hard. It is almost february and we need to be at about 548 now down about 5-1/2 feet.  All of the area lakes are just about at the power pool level which is a good level but does not leave much room for spring rains. There is absolutely no reason not to drop them. I am starting to catch more fish on spoons and less on jigs.We are working hard here at Blackburns makings improvements for you and there will be no price increases this year. Thanks for your repeat business. We appreciate you. 

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

Released under the dock yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.54 and is the same as yesterday with 2-3 hours of generation. Just enough to keep up with the river inflow. It is a good thing we have had very little rain. The surface water temperature is right at 47 in the afternoons on the main lake in this area. Lower in shallower water and near the bank. The water is very clear near the bank. They have now lowered the White river at Newport to 9+ feet and dropping. This is about the worst case of dam mismanagement ever. I guess they must know we will not get any spring rains. The lake is in excellent condition now though for fishing, at the right depth, and right clarity. There is some algae forming near the shore and I am not used to seeing that. We never used to have that or any foam on the shore. Pollution is creeping in on us and is mostly caused by heavy rains in the watershed north of us in the Norfork River basin in Missouri, the Corps holding the lakes up for too long in the summer and not from runoff from Corps property around the lake. I am glad we have the buffer zone.   I was fishing brush and structure in about 35-feet of water yesterday on the main lake with the spoon and jig and caught both bass and crappie. We were working on the dock and I did not get to go out until about 4:Pm and the fishing was slow but steady. The jig outfished the spoon. The best bite was about 4:30 Pm. It is usually best right at dark but not yesterday. It was cloudy and warm. Today it is clear, sunny and cooler and we will see what that brings. Blackburns has several fishermen in now with more coming in today and they should catch some. It has been a mild winter so far and the good bass fishermen are doing well. Guides and locals are still killing small stripers and they are getting smaller and smaller. They are cutting their own throats but it looks like they will not quit until every big one is gone. They will drive the business to other lakes but insist on living for today. I do not fish for them much anyway but they are a big attraction to the lake and it is a shame to have them gone. The numbers and size of almost all other species are up and at good levels on Norfork except for White Bass but they will take care of themselves in the next few years as they do not require stocking and reproduce well in the lake. There are plenty of bait fish. The lake oeverall is in excellent condition and fishing is only fair.

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

Jeremy Deardoff with some nice ones yesterday. Image title

Not a lot is changing. Water still about 47 degrees, visibility still pretty good at about 6-feet, level has been nearly the same for over two months at 553.60 with very little generation and people keep killing small stripers and they are getting smaller and smaller. Next they will be taking pictures of 20-inchers.  Hybrid stripers, crappie, bluegill and bass continue to be the best bite. Some white bass are showing up. Fishing overall is just fair but some good ones are being caught every day. Blackburns is working very hard to get ready for spring but current busines is also keeping us busy. We really do not have an off season anymore. The dock is coming around nicely and we will start on the pool and basketball court next week. Almost all of out rental boats have been surviced and several boat seats have been taken to ITS in Midway to be reupholstered. We will be ready for you and have not raised our prices again this year. Things are looking good here. If you are in town come on over and check us out. 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)

Mike with some nice ones.Image title

The lake level is 553.56 and has remained right at the power pool for several months as are all of the other area lakes. It looks like they are going to hold them up high all year no matter how low the White River at Newport gets. It is at 10-ft. even now and dropping. It could be at 21-feet if they wanted to. The lake is in excellent condition now and perfect for fishing. Several fish of different species are just outside of brush in 45-50 ft. on shad and are biting on the spoon. They seem to be at the 45-50 ft. level no matter how deep the water is. The wind has finally receded and varies in direction with the fronts but has been from 5-10 MPH for several days with ambient highs in the early 50's making for confortable fishing. It has been calm in the evenings The good news is that the average high temperatures are on the rise. They went up to 44 today and had been at 43 for several days. With the days getting longer and the temperature rising means spring is on the way. It does not mean that we will not get any cool weather though but the chances are getting smaller. It all depends on the wind. Bink is on the temperate bass with all species being caught. I am still fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill. The jigging spoon is working the best. We have finished the new roof on the mobile home and are working on resurfacing the pool deck and basketball court. New floats are being installed under the dock and when that is finished it will be completely refurbished. New water pumps have been installed on both fish cleaning stations and we will be ready for you when you get here. Many new beds and bedding have been purchased as well as furniture. All of this is happening with absolutely no price increase to you. Not many places can say that. If you are not staying at Blackburns you are paying too much.  

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

Norfork Lake Fun out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental fishing with Bink's Guide service on the spoon yesterday. Two of the biggest caught. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 555.60 and has been very stable for a couple of months with very little generation. They are holding the White River at barely above 10-feet at Newport and all of the area lakes are just about at power pool with no effort to drop anything so far this winter. The ambient temperature was in the low 50's and the surface water temperature was exactly 47 degrees and the wind was calm when I went out yesterday. The lake is fairly clear and you can see your lure down about 6-feet. You can see the tops of some of Blackburns Brush piles. The bite of the day was hybrid stripers. I found them just outside brush on shad in 45-ft. of water. Bink had some of Blackburn's guests out and they reported having a lot of fun catching about 50-fish and releasing most of them. Walleye, small stripers, white bass and some hybrids in the 7-8 lb. range. They were using the spoon and jigging straight down. They are out again today. Bink has been working closely with Blackburns for over 25-years and they have attended over 100 sports and boat shows together. He books about 80-100 guide trips in conjunction with the resort every year and it has been a very good symbiotic relationship. We quit attending sports shows a few years ago when they became ineffective. Before the internet they were the best ways to get business but not now. They became just a place where fishermen would come for a social event for a day and already had a guide and place to stay. We did more than our share of them and we met a lot of nice people. They went the way of printed advertising. We went from completely booking the resort and his guide business from Memorial day to Labor day with several other trips before and after in the mid 1990's to booking absolutely nothing except for a few weekend trips during prime time. The bookings came but almost all from the internet but most from repeat customers. Blackburns has about 80% repeat customers and we have developed many friendships over the years and continue to do so. That is why we try to keep our prices as low as possible and not try to see how much money we can get out of our friends. It is easy to be very friendly with customers if you are charging them too much. We do not do that. Crappie fishing was a little slow yesterday and bass fishing was a bit better. Look for shad just outside of brush in 40-45 ft. of water and drop a spoon on them. A lot of differend species are together.      

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

Scuba Steve with his two biggest ones yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.61 and has risen 1-inch in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation. They refuse to drop the area lakes and the White River is below 11-feet at Newport.  It has been about a normal January so far and we have missed all of the snow and ice that has been predicted.  The surface water temperature has remained above the middle 40's and has not varied very much lately. There are about two cold fronts a week coming through. It warms up for a couple of days and then another cold front preceded by wind comes in for about the same time and then a high pressure with wind comes in with clear skies and cold night time temperatures followed by warming days and then the whole process repeats itself. When high pressure is present the winds die off in the evening. I wait until the warmest part of the day to go out and come in when the sun goes down. That way you miss most of the wind and coldest temperatures. Some like to charge out there before sunrise in the wind and fish until it gets warm and then come in. To each there own. I catch fish both ways but am not a cold weather fan. I lived in northern Maine and Minnesota and am through with snomobiling, cross country skiing and ice fishing. I like it here where you cannot drill holes in our water or walk on it but still have four seasons of which winter is the shortest. Winter fishing is very good here but I always look foreward to spring and summer scuba diving. The lake now is in excellent condition and at a good level and Blackburns Brush Piles are at a good depth. Bass and crappie continue to be the best bite now and a few white bass are still biting in open water just outside brush in 40-45 feet. Most of them are small but some are about 1-1/2 lbs. Hybrid fishing is fair and about normal. Stripers are scarce and big ones are extinct. The big ones that are left should show up for top-water bite this spring and the meat hunters should just about finish them off. The number of stripers in the 5-10 lb. range is still pretty good as are the ones just at or below 20-inches. The absence of the 2020 class due to Covid will hurt the future as will people killing more and more of the small ones thinking they are doing good. People bragging and taking pictures about killing fish below 10-lbs have replaced the ones of people bragging and taking pictures of 30-40 pounders. It will be a hard sell to the public. At least to the people that know better and have been around here for a while. The temperate bass usually go deep just off the old river channels near the bridges sometime in January and get lockjaw. Some may have done that now with people fishing in front of Cow Point and on the flats if Front of Mallard Point docks not catching much the last few days. I suspect some of it may be do to the cold front but maybe not all. We here at Blackburns are catching some very nice crappie but the bass fishing has slowed a bit. Fishing overall is just fair. You cannot go out avery three or four days and report a pattern. Things they are a changin.   

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

Mike with some nice ones caught yeaterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.50 and is the same as this time yesterday with very little generation. It looks like they are not going to drop the lake for the winter but they still have a few weeks to wake up before spring. If you do not expect much you do not get much and we are not getting much. The lake is in excellent condition now though and is a perfect level for launching, parking and stepping right onto the dock with brush piles at just right depths.  The water is as clear as it has been in recent years and the surface water temperature is 47-48 degrees depending on how far back in the creeks and close to the bank you are. It did not drop much during the last cool streak and barring a very cold last part of January there should not be a shad kill which starts to happen when the water temperature drops below 40-degrees. The average high temperatures for the area start to rise again in just a few days. The average high now is 43 and just watch until you see a 44 and then spring is on the way. There are a lot of shad out there now. Crappie fishing has picked up a bit and bass fishing is still the best. The striper fishermen are trying hard but are not catching many and the ones that are being caught are almost all small (below 12-lbs) and a 12-15 lb. one is small compared to a couple of years ago standards. I guess they will keep killing them until they are all gone. I will keep fishing for bass, crappie, walleye, bluegill and catfish until they come back if they do. Trollers know of no other way to fish and it is hard for them to learn other methods. It seems that more other species of fish are chasing shad in the absence of big stripers and I suspect they will start catching more bass and crappie trolling and even catfish. White bass are making a little comeback  but the numbers are also not nearly as high as a few years ago. You will start seeing people with pictures of white bass instead of stripers. Hybrid Striper fishing is about the same as it has been and they have not killed off but not nearly as many of them are stocked. They put up a great fight and are fun to catch. I wish more of them were stocked. The bass population is very good here on Norfork. Smallmouth fishing has improved in the last several years and lots of them in the 4-lb. range are caught and in high numbers too. Kentucky bass are at very high numbers and some of them approach 3-lbs. I have seen more largemouth in the 5-6 pound range caught last year than in any year before and I have lived here for 26-years and fished here for more than that. Bluegill are getting bigger and bigger and catfishing has been steady for as long as I can remember. This should be a good spring for fishing. The fish are certainly there and the Game and Fish are resuming their stocking program this year and that is good. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but you cannot get a better grade than the person you are copying from.  

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

Scuba Steve with his best fish yesterday. Released.Image title

The lake level is 553.49 and has risen just a bit since yesterday at this time with very little generation. They are doing everything they can to keep all of the area lakes up as high as they can all winter. The lake is pretty clear and getting clearer with just a touch of green. Just right for fishing. The surface water temperature was between 47 and 48 yesterday in the sunshine and did not drop with the cool weather hardly at all. The ambient temperature was in the low 50's when I went out yesterday and the wind was light from the southwest and went calm just before sunset. The fishing overall was just fair but got better after sunset. Bass and crappie were the best bite but that is about all I fish for in the winter except for a few big bluegill for a sandwich. All of my fish went into Tom Kelly's trophy pond and it is ready to go for the spring. The lake in general is in good condition and the fish population is excellent and it has been a good winter for fishing. Lately the numbers have not been high but there are some very good fish being caught everyday. Blackburns are making resort and dock improvements everyday and are in the process of putting a new metal roof on the mobile home cabin #9. After that is finished every building on the property wil have a new roof. We have spent several thousands of dollars on beds and bedding, floors, appliances and dock renovations.  The whole place is in excellent condition. We are in the process of getting all of our boats serviced and ready to go for the spring. All of this is being done again without any price increases for 2012. Come on down and visit. We will not charge you too much. The 300MG internet is very powerful and reaches almost everywhere on the resort. This costs a lot but people really like it. You will too. 

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

Dave Titus with some of his yesterday's catch. Image title

The lake level is 553.47 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with little generation.It has been almost the same for over a month and within one foot for two months. The surface temperature was 46-47 yesterday and has not dropped much with the cool weather. The sun is out and I had almost forgot what it looked like. It is a beautiful day and there are more to come. The wind has moved to the south and is really making a difference in temperatures. It will not be long before the average daily temperatures start to rise and the longer days are helping also. Everybody caught fish yesterday here at Blackburns. Dave Titus reports catching his fish in 45-50 ft. of water suspended just outside brush piles on steep banks. I caught mine on brush in 19-feet of water on a jig over brush. Mike caught his on a main lake point and Tom in Float Creek. All of us were using different techniques.  The Game and Fish have announced a couple of new laws for 2021 for North Arkansas waters. From now on we must pull the plugs and drain live wells on all boats as they leave the launch unless special permits are issued for tournaments. Bull Shoals Lake has taken the three fish limit for Stripers and Hybrid fishing off and it is going to the statewide limit of six. They say it is because they are not managing them on that lake but i suspect it is also because of the numbers of fish. More and more are showing up there with Missouri stocking a lot starting a few years ago. The limit on Norfork is three total.and I would like it lowered to two until the numbers are back. People are now bragging about catching 8-10 pounders when it used to be 30-40 pounders and they keep killing them. I am glad the stocking will resume this year. I am getting calls of people complaining about other businesses raising their rates with out notice and are looking for new places to stay.  That is their business but Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental will not raise their rates this year on anything.  We have almost all repeat business with most being friends and we do not want to see how much money we can get out of them.  People can be very friendly when they are charging you too much and some people do not mind paying too much if they have too much money. You can stay here and donate the difference to Disabled Veterans. Compare prices before you book. January 15th is the date to get your deposit in for the 2021 season to reserve the cabin and boat of your choice. A couple of months are almost booked already. We do not want you to be disappointed and look forward to seeing you again this year. You will like the improvements and what you see when you arrive and at no increased price. Not bad. Call Debbie at 870-492-5115 and she will fix you up. Spring is on the way.   

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

Mike Eakle with a few good ones this morning.Image title

The lake level is 553.61 and has risen 1/2 inch in 24-hours with no generation. It looks like that the weather coming from Texas will go south of us again this week. We have been fortunate to miss everything so far this season. It looks like the cool weather will just hold on for a day or two and then get back up to near 50 again early this week. The lake is in good condition with a surface temperature of about 47 degrees. The water is pretty clear and does not need to get any clearer for fishing. Fishing has been slow the last few days but a few good ones are being caught. It is hard to catch them from the sofa. The north wind has been about 5-10 miles per hour and it is cold trying to stay out there in open water. I choose to get out of it and fish brush but both are being difficult. The fish bite for about ten minutes and then quit for two hours. I just enjoy being out there and try to make it at least for a short time every day and have gear for the weather. It is not necessary for me to make plans, load, trailer the boat, launch, park and load back up. I just go to the dock and am fishing in about two minures in Blackburns Creek which is out of the wind most of the time and has good brush piles. I am very thankful to be able to do that almost everyday. Overall fishing has been fair to poor most of last week and cold fronts do not help anything. The new moon is the 13th and the weather warming at the same time should help things. We will see. I like a challenge. If it was easy everyone could do it and they can't. 

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

The lake level is 553.57 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with very little generation. The surface water temperature has dropped to 47-48 with the cooler temperature and the lake is pretty clear. You can see your lure down 5-6 feet and is about as clear as it has been in over a year especially near the bank. The wind was from the northwest at 5-10 yesterday and the ambient temperature struggled to get to 40 if at all. I did see a few boats out there with one trolling out from Cow Point and another couple near the bridges. When you do not hear a report is is not that they are not fishing but that they are not catching any fish. I caught five crappie and three bass and had to work hard for them. No picture fish but a few of the crappie were about 14-inches. My photographer said it was too cold to come to the dock and I do not have a camera on my flip phone and do not know how to take a selfie or a desire to do so. The crappie fishing was slow and I only found them in one place. Bass fishing was worse. I did find some open water fish but they were very small and not woth catching and not biting very well anyway. I was surprised at the number of boats out there. The lake in general is in good condition and the overall fishing yesterday was fair-poor but a few good ones were caught. I will try again today. The days are getting longer and the average temperature will start to climb again soon. Spring is on the way. 

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

Scuba Steve caught some pretty good ones yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 553.74 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours with three hours of generation. They now have all area lakes back up to or above power pool. It looks like there is no intention to drop the lakes before the spring rains. They like to hold and hope and then close down all of the campgrounds and open flood gates and flood everything down stream in early summer. It is not the government's money but the taxpayer's but you would never know and there is no accountability. There will be no brush cutting permits from the shoreline on Norfork lake this year, only Bull Shoals. This makes sense since Norfork Lake was a WPA project to create jobs and they cleared the whole river basin of all standing wood. Bull Shoals was several years after and they finally realized this was not a good practice and left the cover in before flooding the White River. Bull Shoals inherently already has much more cover and Norfork has none that is not man made or placed there. So the government allows the public to cut brush for the fish habitats every year on Bull Shoals and every other year on Norfork. It goes right along with the dam management plan of hold and hope. If it makes sense do the opposite. The Arkansas Game and Fish are promoting fish habitat and are collecting Christmas Trees at certain locations and putting them in the lake for the fish. Now this makes sense and I am surprised the COE of Engineers does allow this. They really like control. I am glad that there is a buffer zone around the lake protecting the lake from animal confinements, herbicides, pesticides, row crops, septic systems and cutting trees for a view. This really helps to keep the water clean and I hope this never changes. There is one exception to this rule and that is Mallard Point. They allow ownership to the water there. The reason for this is that it was necessary to bribe government officials with special treatment and ability to buy this property before the Norfork River was flooded in order to get the dam approved for building. Nothing has changed in almost 80 years. It was a little cooler yesterday but was still ok with an ambient temperature in the high 40's and is still cooler today. We received a total of about 1/4 of an inch of rain yesterday afternoon about 4:Pm and last night. The rain in the afternoon was not enough to rain out the fishermen and the fishing was pretty good. I caught bass, crappie, bluegill and one short walleye. The keeper fish were released in Tom Kelly's trophy pond. The best bite was just before the rain at 4:PM and I was using the spoon and jig in brush at 25-ft. The fish are roaming and are not in one special place. The surface water temperature is still over 50 and the water is clear, especially near the shore. It is to warm back up later this weekend to about 50 and be cool until then. It is cloudy and dreary now with light wind as I head out to fish. I do not have to leave here to go on vacation and feel I am on one everyday as soon as my work is done on resort improvements. It is looking good here at Blackburns and there will be no price increases this year where your first boat stall is free. If you are in the area stop by and check us out. We are open all year.

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

Mike with a couple of pretty good bass caught on the Bink's Spoon and released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 553.64 and has risen about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation. The heavy rain south of us in the White River Basin last week is holding the river up at Newport for a bit until it works it's way out. They are holding all of the area lakes just about at the power pool level. The surface water temperature was 51 degrees with sunny skies and light wind with an ambient temperature of 55-degrees when I went out yesterday.  Bink reports he found a feeding school of temperate bass and caught all three species on his 1/2 ounce white with red throat spoon vertical jigging. They were in 40-ft. of water near the bottom. The largest fish was a sriper at 14-lbs. and is pretty big now days. He released all fish on site to let them grow. I am seeing a lot of boats near the bridges trolling but not many fish being caught there. Striper fishermen all seem to covey up there in the winter for some reason. They are really trying hard to catch fish and are fishing for a couple of days or more before finding any. I think the water temperature is still too high for the stripers to get lethargic and move to the main lake just off the channel near deep water and get lock law. I am still seeing schools on flats in 40-ft. of water on shad and moving. I am fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill on brush in 20-30 ft. of water and the bite was definitely better yesterday than the few days before. I am not catching any walleye at all now for some reason. They were just outside the brush a couple of feet off the botton but not now. I have caught one short one only this week but bass fishing is still good and crappie are improving with the bigger ones starting to show up again. This is a typical winter for fishing but the water temperature is holding up there a little longer than usual. It looks like the weather is going to deteriorate starting tonight but I have the gear to deal with it and will be out there every day. Just keep the ice away. The lake level and clarity is just right for fishing and the lake overall is in excellent condition and there are lot of fish in it.

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

Tom Kelly with a nice one caught and released yesterday. Tom is one good fisherman and sportsman. He caught more too. Image title

The lake level is 553.51 and is about the same as this time yesterday. They have kept the level the same for about a month and it looks like that is where they want it to be going into the spring where we are one big rain away from starting to affect parking and launching for day users and campers. Nobody seems to know why they will not draw it down. It is a good level now for fishing and we all hope it stays that way. The ambient temperature was in the 50's and there was no wind on a sunny day when I went out yesterday. The surface water temperature was just above 50 and it was about as nice of a January day as you could ask for. There were few other boats out there and the fishing was not the best for me. I caught two keeper bass and one nice crappie in two hours of fishing. The overall fishing has been slow for a few days but some good ones are still being caught. Mostly bass and crappie but a few trollers are catching some stripers in the 6-9 lb. range and hybrids about 6-lbs. but not very many. They are still killing what is left of the big stripers and soon they will be bragging about catching 6-8 pounders instead of 30-pounders of a few years ago. Some are already doing this. I guess meat hunting is more important than sport fishing. At least the stocking program is to resume this year and that is good since the stripers and hybrids are semi-put and take and do not reproduce in the lake. Hopefully we do not have another striper kill in late summer this year. Some schools of white bass are showing up in the 1-1/2 lb. range and that is good as they were also scarce for the last couple of years. They reproduce and grow fast in Norfork, are easily caught and fun to catch. They are the go to fish when others are not biting and we need them. Nobody seems to know why they died off but they are coming back. Hybrid fishing has been about normal but will hurt a bit with none being stocked this year. Other species in Norfork are high in numbers and size and are very healthy. It looks to be a very good spring for fishing on Norfork so far. The many walleye that were just short this year should be legal this spring and the bass are doing very well with many people practicing catch and release. I have seen more five and six pound bass caught this year than I have seen in many years of fishing Norfork. Smallmouth fishing has also been excellent. The shad population is about right so everything should have enough feed unless we have a big shad kill and it does not look like that so far with water temperatures near 50 in January. Anything could happen but things look good so far and I am enjoying winter fishing every day. Kentucky Bass population numbers and size are also good and they make excellent eating and that is what they are there for. Same for bluegill. 

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

James with a couple of pretty good ones released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 553.48 and has risen just a bit since this time yesterday with very little generation. None since yesterday afternoon but they just started again. The lake has cleared in the last three or four days and is very clear near the shore. The surface water temperature was right at 50 when I went out yesterday and the wind was from the east at about 5-10 MPH. The fishing was not the best but a few were caught, mostly bass. They were not giant but nice sized. The ambient temperature was in the early 50's and it was a nice day and mostly sunny. It was very foggy this morning and is just now burning off. It is to be nice for a few days and then cool off again. I saw four other boats out there all evening and three were from Blackburns. There was one fishing open water in front of the docks at Mallard Point. The rest of us were fishing main lake point brush. The live bait striper fishermen that I have talked to are looking hard and long for schooling fish and when they find some feeding they catch a few very quickly and then they are gone. Most of the ones that they are killing are getting smaller and smaller. It is nice and warm again today and we will see what happens. It is nice to just be out there. 

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

This is what one of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Brushpiles looks like on the graph. We will show you where they are when you get here. Image title

Winter Grub Bass Fishing on Norfork Lake by John Bornhop. Released on the spot.Image title

The lake level is 553.33 and has dropped about 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with continuously running both generators. That is good. The lake is at a perfect level and color now for fishing and we are catching fish here at Blackburns everyday. It has been cool but that should change tomorrow and for several days after that with highs in the 50's. The water surface temperature is in the high 40's and it is stained a bit and you can still see your lure down about 4-5 feet. Bass are the best bite with fish both being caught by setting your boat in about 45-ft. of water and casting as far as you can to shore on steep banks and letting your grub drop to the botton and using your rod to keep it coming towards the boat and keep it dropping as much as possible.  You may have to let out a little line as it drops. Watch for the line to twitch and set the hook. Several are also on brush from 20-35 feet and can be caught on the spoon straight down in the brush. I do not fish open water much but some are probably on shad. Crappie fishing has slowed some but some nice ones are still being caught. I am usually catching more big ones this time of year but we will see what happens. Big bluegill fishing has also slowed and I did not catch a catfish yesterday and tried pretty hard. I am surprised they kept biting for so long this year. A few white bass are showing up just outside of brush but they are small compared to the past. Fishing overall is just fair but some good ones are being caught everyday and everybody are catching fish. I like it that the days are geting longer. We have some nice people in at Blackburns and are open all year. 

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 and released on site by John Bornhop. Image title

The lake level is 553.36 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running for several hours. They did stop generating when the rain started last night and have not started up again. We received about 1.3 inches of rain and the creeks are running slowly. The ground is saturated now.The water surface temperatue is just under 50 and the lake is a little stained but a good color for fishing. Everybody caught fish yesterday with some very nice bass caught and released. The bass fishing is good now on both the spoon and grub and is the best bite. I was the only one fishing crappie and caught some but not a lot. It is typical winter fishing and the lake in general is in excellent condition. It is hard to believe January is here already and we here at Blackburns are working hard on making improvements and you will like what you see when you get here. You will also like that there will be no price increases this year and your first boat stall is still free. The money you save by staying here could be donated to the disabled Veterans. We have a cabin open now with one leaving today and you would be welcome. The weather is to warm back to the 50's early next week. The hard work putting in brush piles is really paying off now with fish on most of them, mostly bass, crappie and bluegill. Spring will be here before you know it.