Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

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

The lake level is now 553.64 and it has come up about another inch in the last few hours with no generation. It rained hard and we received about 0.8 inches this afternoon and it is still sprinkling. We do not need anymore rain for a month. The creeks are running but not hard. There is no dreaded brown water in the backs of the creeks in this area. I tried jerk bait, spoon and jig and only caught two fish. No picture fish. It was about as bad as it gets. The spring rains are here now that February is over and the lake will continue to rise if they do not let any water out. I had 45 degree water on one locator and 45.9 on the other and they did not vary much no matter where i went. There just does not seem to be hardly any fish on the main lake except right next to the bank where the schools of shad have blown into on the south facing ones. Go part way back in the bigger creeks and look for shad.  I caught no crappie and the bass were barely keepers. It takes a long time to figure this lake out and people that are new here and are here from up north usually get discouraged but the longer they are here and listen and ask a lot of questions the more fish they will catch. NORTHERN SHALLOW WATER FISHING TECHNIQUES DO NOT WORK HERE. When people come in to the dock and say they threw everything in the tacklebox at them and they still won't bite I know they will not catch anything.  These old southern boys know what they are doing and it is best to listen to them.  The shad will keep dying for several weeks and the jerk bait will get better and better until it warms up. March usually brings a couple of cold fronts a week and can be the most difficult month to fish. After the 15th it usually starts to get better but you cannot count on that. Pound those banks with those jerk baits for a while. It is your best chance. Practice honing your techniques rather than changing lures. Bass, walleye and crappie will all be there sooner than later.

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

Mike Eakle with the fish of the day yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 553.48 and has risen four inches in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation. We have received about 1-1/2 inches of rain in the last three days. It did not come hard and a lot of it sank in. There was still moisture in the ground but the creeks did not run. It stayed warm all night and is in the 60's already today and looks like rain again. They did not have to shut the generators off like they usually do when it rains to maximize the raise because they have already been off for several days. Nothing, Nada. They are starting the hold and hope method of management early this year. Fishing is picking up just a little but not much and it needs to. We picked up just a few crappie yesterday for the first time in a couple of weeks. First we were iced in. Then the shad kill started. Now the fish and birds are starting to clean them up a bit. The fish that we are catching are stuffed full of shad and they are sure not biting because they are hungry. If you put fish in your live well make sure you dip out all of the dead shad every day. If you do not there will be a nice surprise for you if it is not opened for a few days. It is worse than Catfish Charley. Rain and thunderstorms are to start any minute. The weather looks to be ok for the next week with rain in and out. The normal high is 55 and the normal low is just about freezing. Bass fishing is still the best bite.

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

The lake level is 553.12 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation. They are holding the White River at Newport at 8+ feet and I have reports from below Calico Rock that it is nearly dry there. There can be no logical explanation for this except there may be some mechanical problems on all of the generators on the area lakes and they are rusted shut from lack of use. It is about March now and the spring rains will begin. Holding the lakes up so high this winter gives them a better chance of holding and hoping and shutting the generators down everytime it rains and being able to open the flood gates and flood everything out down stream after the crops are planted. They can inflict more damages that way. There has to be better ways to manage things but you cannot expect much. I got a bill yesterday in the mail and it was delinquent before I received it and had been in transit for 16-days. The Post Office is about the same as dam management. You cannot expect much from anything run by the government. They cannot even keep the worthless minimum flow siphon working on Norfork Lake. The lake surface temperature is not rising much with the cool weather and is in the low 40's. It was to get up to near 50 yesterday but was lucky to break 40. It was to quit raining yesterday afternoon but drizzled most of the day. It was not the best day. The water is still stained. I talked to umbrella trolling fishermen and they are struggling to say the least. Live bait is not working either but that can be expected when this happens. The best way to catch anything now is the jerk bait and the jigging spoon but they are not setting the world on fire. I am going out for just a couple of hours after work and am lucky to catch a couple of bass. No picture fish. I cannot get a crappie to bite and they are on shad like almost every fish in the lake. The bait fish are moving slow now and are easily eaten.  Every fish that I am catching are stuffed full of shad and spitting them out. There has been no generation for days and therefore no current. Most of the dead shad are sinking rather than going through the generators like normal. When they do generate a little just below the dams are full of them and predator fish and birds are feeding like crazy but that has not happened in several days with nothing coming out of the generators. Healthy shad are always schooled but the stunted and dead ones are at the mercy of the wind which is often variable and swirling and scattering them out. There are still at lot of shad left and they are filling the creeks facing the prevailing winds part way back. Some of the damaged ones will continue to die even after the water warms. You have to use the spoon or jerk bait and simulate a dying shad as best you can to catch much. The game fish are not on the brush now unless a school of shad happen to go into it. This shad kill has happened several times since I have lived here and things will get better but it will just take time. Bass will be the best bite for a while and more and more walleye and big crappie will start showing up hitting that jerk bait near the bank until the stripers and walleye move to the banks north of Cranfield Island near the walleye rearing pond and also on the flats just north of the dam at dark. Then use the same lure as a stick bait and again stay as far from the shore as you can cast a 5-inch suspending Rogue or Thunder stick and crank it down three or four turns and with your rod tip down retrieve very slowly just fast enough to have steady action. Check your lure out before dark to make sure the action is correct and it is not pulling to the side. If it is adjust until it is working properly. If you do not you will be wasting your time and say the fish are not biting and you will be correct. When this bite is over then the top water bite will begin in early April and get good about the middle of the month. Learn how to walk the dog with a spook for red meat fish and a spittin image for bass. All of these things happen every year and the only variable is when. High water does not affect fishing much except if there is mud and trash when it rises too fast. Then there is a problem. When this happens I start catfishing. I like catfishing too. 

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

Caught on a Jerk Bait. The picture does not do it justice. Image title

The lake level is 552.96 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation. The minimum flow siphon is down and they did crack one generator open for a few minutes. They probably did it to keep it from rusting shut. The White River at Newport remains at 8+ feet. It has rained a little bit and they did not have to shut generation down like they usually do when it rains because it was already 0. We have a chance of rain for the next few days. Bink reports that he found fish part way back in the creeks where the shad were dying and the birds were feeding hard. He caught mostly bass on both the spoon and the jerk bait. Fishing was overall not the best but at least he caught some. The ones caught were stuffed with shad and did not bite because they were hungry. He found no fish on the main lake and none on brush piles or in the backs of creeks. Just between 1/2 and 3/4 way back. The shad that are dying or stunned are at the mercy of the wind so which way the wind is blowing will tell you where to look first. I personally believe every fish in the lake are following the stunned or dying shad now and you just have to present something that simulates that to have a chance to catch anything. When the water warms and the shad stop dying and they get cleaned up things will change. The full moon tomorrow will not help anything either. Maybe the cloudy weather will help a little. Early March weather can be very variable with a lot of fronts coming through and it is not my favorite time to fish especially after a shad kill but I will be out there anyway and let you know when things change. If it was easy, everybody could do it. Bass are the best bite now.  

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

The lake level is 552.76 and has risen two inches in the last 24-hours with no generation. They are holding the White River at Newport to eight feet and letting the lakes rise. There can be no excuse that spring rains are responsible for the lakes getting high when they have had ample time to lower them. It is like they want the water high so they can close the campgrounds and flood the farmers after the crops are planted down stream. I went out yesterday and spent most of my time checking things out after all of the ice went away. The water temperature was 42.5 to 43.5 on the main lake depending if you were in the sun or not. The water has stained up again and you can see your lure down only about 2-feet unless you are near the shore. There is moss growing on the rocks near the shore and makes it hard to keep your lure from fouling if you are fishing there. The prevailing south wind had blown the shad up into the creeks facing south and there were a lot of them. The ones that are stressed cannot resist the wind like normal and cannot move to warmer water on their own. The birds were scarfing up dead and dying shad near the surface and they were everywhere. The wind had changed directions and came from the north west with the new cold front coming in but was not enough or had not been doing it long enough to move the shad. I went into echo point creek and it was full of shad in about 40-ft. of water 20-ft. down. The schools came almost to the surface. I spooned into the shad with no luck but did not have a stick bait on the boat. There were just too many bait fish stressed to make it very likely to get a bite. I tried a grub and minnow which is my go to bait when fishing is tough and still nothing but moss near the bank. I went back in and got a couple of 5-inch suspending rogues and a 6-1/2 foot medium heavy rod with a baitcaster reel. You need the rod a little stiff to get the right action on the lure. I went to a steep river channel bank that had dead or stressed shad on or near the surface and staying as far as I could cast to the bank, did so and cranked the lure down a few feet and let it set for several seconds and then jerked three times and let it set again. The idea is to simulate a dying shad and make it more appealing, bigger and  easier to get than the shad.  You are in competition with a lot of other baitfish so this will not be easy. You should pick up bass, stripers, hybrids and walleye in this manner. The stressed shad will continue to die for several weeks after they are first affected by the cold even when the water warms and this method of fishing will be effective as long as you see stressed shad or even if you don't. I caught a couple of bass and had to come in at 4:pm. No picture fish. Some people just left and fished hard and only caught a couple of fish. It was a nice day and it was good to be out after all of the so called by some, beautiful weather, was over. It was not so beautiful when the propane company came and filled my three tanks. If the electric company does the same I will have to cut down on food to pay the bill but I will not raise resort prices on anything and Blackburns continues to have the lowest price on both cabins and boats in the area and plan on keeping it that way. I wish everyone else would follow my lead. It would make it easier on everybody. Some have raised their prices again and will raise them again in March for the so called spring rate. We do not do so until Memorial Day. You can save a lot by staying here or just stay longer with the same money.  Compare before you book. The stripers that are left will move to the banks on the flats to simulate a spawn just before the full moon in March at dark and can be caught on the same stick bait but fished a little different. They always do just before the top water bite starts. I do not kill stripers or fish for them deep so I do not know their egg situation but their timing and places are pretty much the same every year.  

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

The lake level is still rising with no generation and the people managing the dams not only need impeached , they need prosecuted for neglect. Can you believe the White River at Newport is 8-feet for absolutely no reason and nothing is being done about it.  The good news is that the ice is out at the launch at Blackburns and our dock. You can launch here, park here, and step on the dock. No sense paying more money to stay elsewhere unless you just have too much. If you do I suggest helping out the disabled veterans. You can stay here in a two bedroom cabin with covered porch and no duplex for the same as others with only one bedroom with no porch and we have a much better place.  The fishing may not be the best now but you can at least get out there. Many people from the north are getting very tired of the cold and I do not blame them. It was 73 today and most of the snow and ice are gone but the backs of the creeks still have remaints of what some people call beautiful. I do not call a child freezing to death in Texas Beautiful but I am not looking out of a picture window and drinking coffee and getting a check. I have work to do and need to make a living.  Things look pretty good here now but the fishing will get better over time after the dead shad are all gone. It may be tough for a few days but Bink and I pretty much know what to do. I like to catch fish when nobody else can. Anybody can do it when it is easy. You do not hear from them when itis difficult only wheneverybody is catching them. That will be in early April or when the stripers that are left simulate a spawn.  I will let you know.    


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

The lake level is 552.48 and has risen 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation. The White River is 8-feet at Newport and nobody knows why. Nothing is flooding anywhere. The people managing the dams in this area need to be impeached. We need to be at 548 at a maximum going into March and hold that level for as long as possible in the spring when the rains start and not quit generating eveytime it rains. Those would be good places to start. It is to get near 70 today with the winds shifting from the west back to the south. It should take out almost all of the snow that is left. My dock was still iced in last evening but not nearly as bad with temperatures in the high 50's yesterday. I am not sure if it will be open today or not but it will be close. I was able to get my boats raised up through the ice with the lifts. It is much less on the south side than the north and it will be open sometime today but I need to go about 300 yards north to get to the main lake. This is a perfect time to plant grass seed. The water temperature will not raise much on the main lake until the ice and slush are gone from the creeks and we have above freezing lows at night and continuing sunshine. Last night and today will really help. I would really like the shad kill to be over and all of the floating fish to be eaten up by the birds and fish. It is hard to tell how many have sunk except when they go through the genarators and show up in the river but they will not generate anything. I will go out and see what is happening with the fish when the water opens up but there is no sense getting in a hurry. It will be all right but we just have to be patient. Things will change quickly and I will be out there to inform you. This is as long as I have gone without fishing in many years but refuse to go someplace else to launch a boat and catch nearly nothing.  Pushing things will not help. Just time. 

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

The lake level is 552.35 and is up about 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with no generation. They just started one generator. The White River at Newport is now at 9+ feet and about ready to dry up. They are doing an excellent job of holding all of the area lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible for what nobody knows. Yesterday was cloudy but we did not get the predicted rain. It was a melting day but did not get above 46 in the clouds. It is sunny today with highs in the mid 50's with a southwest wind and it should take out more snow and warmer tomorrow. I still have about an inch of ice under my dock and on the launch so you will have to go to Panther Bay to launch until it is gone. I will let you know. The snow is gone on the lake and has been replaced by slush with ice under. Not very conducive to the warming of the water very quickly. The very backs of the creeks are melting and the ice line is moving towards my dock from the main lake albeit slowly. The threadfin shad continue to die off and many are going through the generators when they finally decide to run any. Bink reports the birds are feasting just below the dam when there is generation. He lives on the river right below the dam. This will continue until the water temperature gets back up into the early 40's. The fish are also feasting on the dead and dying shad and will be hard to catch for a several days. You will have to find shad near the bluffs that have not died yet and are near the surface and moving slowly and use the stick bait. Look on the banks where the prevailing wind has ben blowing. Get as far away from the bank as you can cast and crank the suspending bait down three or four times or simulate the depth of the shad and jerk three or four times and let set for several seconds. Do not get in a hurry. You must make the lure more available than the shad for the feeding fish. This technique will be better in several days after the shad either sink or get eaten up. It will take longer than in the past with many of the big stripers gone. Bass fishing will be the best now but it will not be very good for a while. I will try crappie fishing as soon as I can get my boat out of the dock. You may want to rush out there but you can expect slow fishing until the end of the month. In a week it will get better unless it gets cold again. March is very variable. After March 15th I expect excellent fishing.


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

Caught by Scuba Steve in 1995 on Crappie Rock in Blackburns Creek. Am I holding it out too far?Image title

The lake level is 552.27 and is the same as it was at this time yesterday with very little generation.They have dropped the White River at Newport to 11+ feet as predicted and are doing nothing to drop the area lakes. They are doing everything possible to keep the area lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible. It was about 50 yesterday with sunny skies and took the snow pack down. There are a few bare spots but still quite a bit left. The roads are in good condition but my dock is still iced in. A lot of the snow that was on the ice has melted to slush and the ice line is moving in towards the back of the creeks with open water getting closer and closer. It is cloudy today and the wind is picking up from the southwest so it should melt quite a bit more. If it rains later, it will also help. The snow was light and did not contain much moisture but the meltdown has made it just right for snowmen now. It will not affect lake level much. I would like the lake to drop about four feet this month but fat chance of that. They just will not let any out. They would rather hold and hope in the winter and then open up the gates and flood everything downstream in the spring after the crops have been planted. More damage is inflicted that way and they can close the campgrounds. The lake is in good condition now and all we can hope for is a normal year what ever that is. Fishing will get good when the shad are thinned out. People ask me what is the biggest crappie that I have caught on Norfork lake. I have posted one that I had mounted in 1995 which was right up there with them. Norfork lake has some big crappie and I do really like to catch them. 

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

The lake level is 552.28 and has risen 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with no generation. They just started last hour. They are also dropping the White River at Newport very quickly and it is just under 13-feet and it looks like it is heading to 12. This is not surprising as they are very reluctant to lower the area lakes before spring rains. My dock is still frozen in but that should change next week with the warmer weather. We will see if the people that think this weather is beautiful continue to do so after they get their electric and propane bills. The lake surface temperature was 36 on the main lake yesterday morning with the backs of most creeks iced. Some threadfin shad are dead already with many barely alive and near the surface. I do not know how many sink and how many float but this is a serious kill. The birds are having a feast below the dam. I will be out fishing as soon as I can get a boat out of the dock. I could launch another one but I do not hate the fish that bad. They are having easy feed now anyway. It is sunny and warming nicely so far today with a chance of rain later tomorrow. It looks like the bitter cold is over and the snowpack is disappearing but has a way to go yet. I have been doing plumbing for several days and hope I now have it under control. This area is just not set up for seven below zero temperatures. The county did an excellent job of snow removal and I really appreciate it and our roads are clear. When the lake opens up we will be back to normal and that should not be long. Spring is on the way.

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

The lake level is 552.22 and has dropped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours. There was less generation than the day before with more hours of nothing and more of 1/2 generator and less of both. They must not need the power. We have not had a rolling blackout as warned yet but if we did and the generators were shut off it would not make me happy but not surprise me any with the government running both the power administration and dam management.  I had about 33 degrees on my porch out of the sun and there was some melting compacting the snow to about 1/2 of what it was. The warmer weather and bright sunshine resulted in the ice not jetting out towards the main lake from Blackburns Creek as far as it was but the dock is still iced in and the creek is mostly snow covered. Today will help things even more. I would like to move the dock out a little but it is impossible to do so now. When the wind shifts to the south and it warms up the ice will go away quickly like last time this happened. The longer days are helping also.  I cannot get a boat out but people are reporting that threadfin shad are dying on the main lake. When this happened the last time stickbaits were the lure of choice and around the bluffs near deep water is the place to look for them. They will try to stay in the warmest water but will be at the mercy of the wind when they get stressed which is now. The game fish will be feeding on them like crazy and probably are as we speak. The reduced shad population in the spring will also make it much easier for open water fishermen to catch fish with gamefish on most schools of shad that are left. We have not had a shad kill on Norfork for several years and the population was very high with many schools void of gamefish making it harder to find them. The big stripers that are left will be easily caught. I would like to see the lake level drop about 4-feet but it does not look like that will happen. If they will not generate fully when there is an energy crises they probably will not after it is over. There is not much that is predictable anymore you just have to be out there and report what is actually happening and go from there. One big rain in Missouri in the Norfork Lake watershed could change everything. Remember the spring of 2017. The removal of the Dawt Mill dam is not helping the water conditions any either and things are continually changing. 

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

The lake level is 552.44 and has dropped less than two inches in the last 24-hours with two generators running about 50% of the time 1/2 generator running about 40% of the time and nothing about 10% of the time. They are talking about rolling blackouts here and millions of customers are out of power in Texas and they have free electricity here and still will not generate. I guess they are worried about the crops downstream growing in the snow. Think what it will be like when fossil fuel is eliminated and everybody has to plug in their cars. They better think things over before just raising fuel prices and closing pipelines. Gas prices have already gone up about 40 cents since the election. This global warming is really getting to be a problem. You cannot even buy any heaters of any kind here in Mountain Home now. Many home generators run on propane also. With one more night of frigid cold here tonight anybody on a well pump will not be able to drip water to keep pipes from freezing if the power goes out. We are fortunate to be on city water here at Blackburns and do have water even if the power goes out. The weather is to really improve starting next week and is to be near 60 again. The snow is very dry and will not make much water for runoff into the lake. We have received about 10-inches total here and most things were closed in town yesterday including most of the hospital annexes. The main roads are clear now. The ice line on the lake continues to increase out toward the main lake and the smaller creeks are iced in. A south wind, a little sunshine and 50+ degree ambient temperatures with get rid of it quickly. This is about what it was like the last time this happeded and it was gone quickly. With most docks frozen in we do not need any big winds until the ice is gone. It has been miserable but I have to count my blessings. My good friend Jim in in a St. Louis hospital after open heart surgery and is on a ventilator. I wish him well. After things like that you learn not to sweat the small stuff. People griping about little things just have not had anything really bad happen to them yet. The cold and snow have really hampered the on-going improvements here at Blackburns and with it being nearly the end of february we are really going to have to get with it to get them all done. Fishing starts just after the 15th of March in earnest here and it is not even 4-weeks away. There will not be much time for fishing but the days are getting longer and I will be able to go out after work most days and keep you abreast of what is going on here.I do not know what I will find when things finally thaw out.  All I know is it is not beautiful out when your pipes are frozen and you are stuck in the snow and cannot get to work. That is not me but is many other people and I am grateful.

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

The lake level is 552.56 and has dropped a little less than 4-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running most of the time, none some of the time and one some of the time. You would think they would need all of the electricity they can get with the serious shortages in the Southwest Power Administration service area, especially Texas. They have allowed the White River at Newport to rise to 14-feet which is a little improvement but they could be at 21-feet if they wanted to. A four inch drop a day until 548 would be fine with me. We are about ready to go into the spring rainy season despite the current weather. Blackburns creek is frozen over and the ice is getting almost to the mouth of the creek. When this happened before, a few years ago, it only took a few days of south wind and normal ambient high temperatures, which is 52, and it will be mostly gone except for the very backs ot the creeks and then they will thaw quickly. I miss being out fishing but most people are not out there anyway this time of year or just go out occasionally.  I ike those winter crappie. There have been no crappie stocked since 2014 in Norfork with only Striped bass and Hybrids stocked from the State Hatchery system and walleye from the Nursery pond north of Cranfield. I sure hope high water does not take the pond out this year as in the past and cause it to have damage. The last time it took several years to get it in operation again. Walleye is getting to be the most sought after fish in Norfork and I would like to see more of them stocked as they do not reporduce in Norfork well. Some do but not enough. The Norfork Lake Biologists work hard and have the interest of the lake at heart. The brush piles and habitat improvements have done nothing but get better in the last few years and they have done a lot to improve fishing which is their main goal and I thank them. Money well spent. I learn a lot from their reports. They have a good crew. I do not take pictures of tarantulas, snakes, alligators, bears, thermometers showing how cold it is or measuring sticks showing how deep the snow is. It just scares people away but some people think 7 below zero is beautiful. I do not. It might be something different to look at through the picture window while drinking coffee or wine. I do not do either but have to work outside as do several people. At least we have had no ice storms or power outages of any siginficance like Texas. Some would think it is very beautiful there. I just wish them well. 

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

The lake level is 552.90 and has dropped four inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running most of the time and both running now. The White River at Newport is also dropping and is now at 12+ feet. We received a little over six inches of dry snow and it did not put much moisture in the lake but did lower the surface water temperature. The below zero temperatures did not help it much either. The sun is shining now and it is to be back up to about 20 today with more snow coming tonight. We went down to the lake and checked the water temperatures. It was 39 degrees out in the main lake in front of Mallard Point in about 100 ft. of water in the North wind and 36 degrees near Blackburns Dock part way back in the creek with ice pushing further towards the main lake from the back of the creek and slush out to the south end of the dock and moving around with the wind. I have not checked it out yet this morning but with the below zero ambient temperatures last night I am sure it is iced in. This happened one other time in the early 2,000s but I cannot remember the year. I had to use a boat to break the ice to get out to the main lake. With this severe shad kill it will decrease the amount of bait fish and it will make it easier now and next spring to catch fish. Most schools of shad that are left will hold game fish and they will be easy to troll through and catch with live bait. With people continuing to kill stripers, this should just about finish off all of the big ones that are left. People are determined to kill them and it seems nothing will stop them until they are gone. The shad will come back since they spawn two or three times a year and are very prolific. Stripers depend 100% on stockings and the game and fish did not stock any last year due to covid. They are resuming stocking this year and barring any more long term high water we should be back to the road to recovery. It will take several years. All of the other species of fish in the lake are at good numbers except White Bass but they are making a comeback. The lake is clear and at a good level and spring looks good so far but things can change quickly. Remember the last of April  2017 when they received big rain in the Norfork water Shed in Missouri and the lake came up 20-ft. in two days? I do. It was not good and it took a long time to get it back down. It was September before it got below 560 and was not a good year for stripers and their future in Norfork lake. It will get better though and I am really looking forward to spring which is not far away. I will check things out a little later and let you know.  

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

The lake level is 553.22 and has dropped 2-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 3/4ths the time. They quit most of the night. Most of the Southwestern Power Administration sevice area is very cold and you would think they would generate more since the level is in the power pool. They are still dropping the White River at Newport and I will never understand this. Why not draw down the lake in the winter like they used to? With the government running the Dam management and also running the Southwestern power you should not expect much. You certainly do not get much. The lake is clear. The surface water temperature was 39.8 in the middle of Blackburns Creek in 20-feet of water yesterday evening with a little ice way back in the creeks where it ends. As the water got deeper there was no ice on the shore. I will check this later today and also go into the main lake and check it also and let you know when I start up my boat. The shad kill is coming if it is not here yet.  We are fortunate that there was no rain before the snow so there is no ice and the conditions are cold and snowy but not too bad for driving but it is impossible to work outside very long. The snow is not heavy and should not affect dock roofs much unless they are in poor condition. The north wind has been cold and not helping things but there is little drifting. We have about 3-4 inches now with more to come later this week. It is snowing very small flakes now and not very heavy but the temperature is barely above zero and the north wind continues to be very cold. I have not seen this in the 26+ years that I have lived here but it just shows you how important this global warming is to the country and why we need to get rid of fossil fuels now no matter how high the fuel prices get and shut down the pipelines and start buying oil from the Middle East again and shipping it with tankers. (Exxon Valdez) There is no need for us to be energy independent.  This north wind would sure turn some of those beautiful wind turbines but we have not seen the sun except for about two days this year and it would be tough powering solar panels. I wonder if they will let us burn wood. That is a new idea. We are to recover next weekend but not to where we should be with normal highs in the low 50's. Anything will be an improvement but I always count my blessings and am thankful for no ice. I do not like ice. I remember the 2009 ice storm and it was terrible. NAEC is much more prepared now than then and I do not think that will happen again at least to the same degree. I was out of power for 20-days and was fortunate to have has a generator and a fuel truck with a hand pump. Back then people did not want them to trim their trees and politics ruled. Now they trim them no matter what and have forgot political correctness. I am heading to the dock now and will let you know. We will just make the best of this. I will be fishing as soon as I can and get you a report. 

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

The lake level is 553.56 and has dropped 2.2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation a little over 1/2 the time. They continue to drop the discharge and level on The White River at Newport and have for over a week. At least the lake level is heading in the right direction finally and is just under the power pool of 553.75.  It is hard to get an accurate surface water temperature now with the variation caused by how deep it is and where you are in relation to the wind. It is cooling down fast near the shore but not so fast out in the main lake in 100-ft. of water where it is just over 40. It certainly is not going up again any day soon. It is to be nearly a week before we get over freezing but we are 1/2 way into February and spring is on the way. I will let you know when ice starts forming in the backs of the creeks near the shore. That indicates there is a shad kill.  I went down to the dock and started up about a dozen boats yesterday and checked batteries. They need a full charge or they will freeze and ruin them in below zero weather. I also lowered the boats that are on my five boat lifts part way down in the water so the lower units will not freeze and break. All of the lower units have had oil changed and new water pumps but but it does not take much moisture in the oil to freeze them in this weather. We are not used to it here and you can get by with a little until it gets this cold. They are sealed up but not pressurized.  We have already refurbished the dock with new cables, much more support and new floats to withstand a heavy load caused by snow and ice on the roof. When you see what I call the fingers or walkways on the sides of the stalls go under water you are in trouble and you must get the snow and ice off the roof. If you do not there will be damage and bending of metal if you have a steel dock and possible collapse of the roof on a wooden dock. The last time we had heavy snow and ice I worked all night getting the ice and snow off the roof. Others did not and their docks collapsed. Mine did not. I do not believe in swindling insurance companies because they look for any excuse to raise their rates. There is not an excuse for allowing damage but it did allow some people to get a new dock where they could not have on their own.  I am very happy with mine and do my best to keep it in good condition. The dock and boats are as secure as possible, I have split much wood and laid it in, have my house wired for my new generator in case of a power outage, checked the antifreeze and batteries in all my vehicles and am as ready as I know how to be and will hope for the best. We will see. Things have a way of working out if you are willing to help yourself. I will go fishing again when it hits 30 and give you a report. That is what I do.

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

Image titleSome were very nice. Norfork Lake crappie fishing is the best. Especially if you like big ones. Image title

The lake level is 553.84 and has dropped 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. They are lowering the White River at Newport rapidy and are trying to keep area lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible. The big news is the weather. It is to be cold and not come out of it for a week. I have not seen this in the 26 years that I have lived here let alone in February where it usually starts to warm up. We are also to get some snow which will not melt for a week also. It now looks that we will have a shad kill for sure. The surface water varies a lot depending on the wind and water depth but the shad will migrate and stay in the warmest water which is now in the low 40's. They will start to get lathargic and stressed at about 39 degrees and you would see them suspend within sight of the surface and move very slowly and stop and be easy prey for the fish if you were out there. I will not be out there Sunday or Monday if things happen as predicted. Yesterday was about as cold as I can take and I have all electric gear with a suit wired like the Japanese aviator one my father brought back from WW-2. I was ok until the north wind started blowing and I had to clean fish and then my hands got numb and started burning after getting wet. I cannot fillet with gloves on very well or do anything else for that matter. I caught several nice crappie with some in the 11-12 inch range and a couple several inches bigger than that. All were caught on the 1/16th ounce jig fishing in 27-35 feet of water just outside brush pile near the bottom. I was out for about 1-1/2 hours and came in just after 4:Pm after the wind came up. People that say the cold is nice and the snow is beautiful do not have to go out in it and make a living. It is ok if all you have to do is set at home by the fire and drink coffee and look out the window. Other wise it bites. I am ready for it to at least get back into the 40's but it is not to happen soon. When it does I will be back out there and maybe in the 30's but not single digits. 

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

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The lake level is 553.94 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. The water is getting very clear and it is cooling with this winter weather especially in the backs of the creeks where it gets shallow. It is to get colder and is to last about another week. Our normal high is 50 and it is struggling to get to 30. It is snowing lightly now but the ground is not covered. All of the ice went well south of us and that is very good. The wind is to pick up and that is not good. It does not look to be the best conditions especially Sunday and Monday where it is to get as cold as I have seen it in many years. This global warming is the biggest threat to America. The water temperature on the main lake was 44 when I went out yesterday and there may be a chance of a shad kill if it drops below 40. I never though this would happen this year with a surface temperature of 48 going into February where it typically raises instead of dropping. What is rare about this is the length of time it is lingering around. They are dropping the lake a little now and only need to continue for about three inches to get down to the power pool. It would be nice to get several feet lower than that to make room for spring rains but a lot of things need to change for that to happen. It is very good that the rainfall has been lower than average for the last couple of months and there have been multiple chances for them to drop all of the area lakes. They are all about in the same condition, close to power pool. They have a lot of leeway now and can allow the White River at Newport to get to 21-feet until April 14th but have shown no inclination to do so. I do not know who made these rules but it must have been a long time ago before computers could control the whole system. They certainly need to be reviewed and changed like they did for the minimum flow for the put and take trout on the river raising the power pool and taking away 1.75 feet of flood capacity. It was cool with an ambient temperature of 30 when I went out yesterday afternoon and the wind was calm. I fished brush piles in Blackburns creek for about 1-1/2 hours and caught some nice crappie in the 14-15 inch range. No giants but very good ones. I was casting the 1/16th ounce jig past the brush and allowing it to sink into it. They would bite about the time it touched wood. I did not try for any bass with the spoon as my fingers were getting cold everytime I took off my heated gloves. I must be getting puny but there was not anybody else out there. The lake is in excellent condition and at a perfect color and depth for fishing. It just needs to stay that way. Higher water does not affect fishing much except if it comes too fast . It does affect day users and launching and parking but Blackburns is set up to handle about anything. It is just nice to be able to drive to the dock and step right on for people that do not like steps like it is now. Anyway all of the area lakes are in the same condition so far this year as I mentioned before.  

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

The lake level is 554.09 and has dropped 1-1/4 inch in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. We have had about 1/2 inch total of moisture in the last several days with nothing heavy just several slow drizzle days making things miserable. The lake is clearing again with the creeks leading the way especially near the bank. I am only fishing for a couple of hours a day and staying close to home but I mostly do that anyway. There is not much sense having to travel very far with what I want very close. There is a lot of interest in getting the striper population back where it used to be especially the big ones that are the most vulnerable. There are several different possible solutions which not everyone will agree with. The first thing is that I want stripers in Norfork lake. Some do not. Without them we are just another very nice lake. It has been proven in the last 40-50 years that stripers can live with other species except for trout.  The second is that there is a problem. Some people do not want to admit it because they make a living from them. It is not in good interest to let people find out they are almost gone and their chances of catching a trophy is much lower than a few years ago. I do not want them to find out after they have come here and are disappointed and go home and tell everyone. Some can be convinced that a 8-10 pound fish is big but not anyone knowledgeable. If you are going after them for meat they do not dress out very well and do not compare to walleye, crappie, bluegill, Kentucky Bass and flathead catfish for eating. Some will argue this but the same people also eat carp and gar. Next, what can be done about this problem. Since none were stocked by Game and Fish this year due to covid the class of 2020 will be absent. That can only be made up over time. Increased stocking could help but if all of the big ones die it will not do any good for at least five years. The answer is to slow the death of the older fish by identifying what is causing their demise. There are two main problems. One is letting the lake level rise into the vegetation for a long period of time and reducing the oxygen in the water and the other is over-fishing. Stripers are ocean fish and do tolerate low oxygen well. We have always had some kills in late summer but not nearly like the last several years of high water. For every striper you see floating there are several more times that amount that sink and are not seen. The lake level needs to be controlled better and not held up high for so long. Next is over-fishing. People are learning how to catch them better and once that happens they are quite easily caught. Another is fishing pressure. There are a lot more striper fishermen out there now. Live bait used to be the best way to catch them and you had to have a lot of equipment to net the shad, keep them alive which is dificult and down riggers with expensive cannon balls and planer boards. There used to be balloons all over the lake but not now. It cost a lot and took a lot of time and money to get ready to go fishing and the average fisherman would not or did not want to do so. Now with the increased use of Jigging spoons and umbrella rigs they can catch fish easily with little preparation and cost. Both are deadly. If you can control the depth of the umbrella rig by speed and weight and troll through enough schools of shad you will catch fish. If you have a good locator and find fish and drop a spoon on their head you will also catch fish. This was not the case 20-tears ago when the big fish population was high.  Increased quality of electronics has not helped the stripers either but only helping the fisherman resulting in many more limits being caught everyday with the stockings not changing. Stripers are semi-put and take and do not reproduce in fresh water so what you see is what you get. They just live a lot longer than rainbow trout and grow faster and bigger. They should be considered game fish and not meat fish and be released as much as possible. They fight really hard and are fun to catch. A lot of people like to fish for them and sets Norfork lake apart from the average lake. There are several things that can be done after keeping the water out of the vegetation for long periods of time reducing the oxygen drastically. It will do no good to stock more if they all die after they grow. We will just end up being a small striper lake like others.  Other things can be done. Reducing the limit from three to two is one thing. Another is to outlaw umbrella rigs like the bass people have outlawed Alabama rigs in their tournaments. They are just smaller umbrellas. These are regulatory things that would help. Other is changing the culture. Promote catch and release, again like the bass people do. Many bass fishermen do not keep any fish. Next is to not fish for them in deep water. When they go deep leave them alone. I know there is pressure for the guides to catch fish every time they go out but it is their long term livelyhood that they will be protecting. They need to learn how to fish for other fish. Dock floors full of dead small stripers in advertising pictures is also not helping anything whether it is legal or not. Venting deep-caught fish lets them go down but they die anyway. If guides stopped cleaning and packaging stripers to take home and the people had to clean their own fish, less would kill them. These are just a few things that could be done and nobody will agree with all of them but what we must agree with is their is a problem and some of us want to help and get Norfork back to a trophy striper lake that has brought people back here for years. Stocking more alone will not solve the problem. Stocking more Hybrid Stripers that are more tolerant to low oxygen and fight very hard would help in the short term but they do not get nearly as big. 

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

Scuba Steve's best fish of the day.Image title

The lake level is 554.17 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 2/3 of the time. The surface water temperature was just short of 45 degrees yesterday afternoon when I went out. The ambient temperature was in the mid 30's but the wind was not bad so it was tolerable. I just cannot fish very well with heavy gloves but caught some nice crappie. I just stayed out for about and hour and 1/2. The fish are biting on both the 1/16th ounce jig and 1/4 ounce Bink's Spoon. I tried a minnow on the slip float but no takers. One day they work and nothing the next. Bass are with the crappie. Some stripers are being caught on the spoon but are small in the 6-9 pound range. I have not talked to any live bait fishermen that are having any success. Those are about the average size being caught now after the kill-off and over-fishing. Some hybrids about the same size are also coming in from open water on shad in about 60-feet of water 45-50 feet down. They are pretty much scattered all over the lake in this area but way out from Cow Point towards the old river channel is a good place to start looking.  I am fishing brush piles and surrounding vicinity in 27-35 feet of water near the bottom and catching some everyday. It is to get very cold this weekend after several days of damp, cold, cloudy and depressing weather. February is 1/3 gone now and spring is on the horizon. I just want it to get back to 50 where it should be. The crappie are full of eggs but no bloodlines yet. The lake in general is in excellent condition for fishing and is at a good color and level. Wish it would stay here all the time. 

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

Jeff and Hunter Barber caught some good ones yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 554.33 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. The water surface temperature is still in the mid 40's but should drop with the coldest weather of the year coming for about the next week before it warms back up. They have forcasted this for two weeks and it is over a week late now but here it comes. Our normal high is 48 and we will be far below that with a low on Thursday near 10-degrees. We will see. It looks like it will happen though with the cold going all the way to the gulf. Montana and Minnesota are really down low. The days are getting longer by about two minutes a day and we are nearly 1/3 through with February. Just keep the ice and wind away and we will be fine. I will be out there if the wind is not blowing. We have no frost in the ground but that could change later this week.  Crappie and bass fishing is very good now and I am catching some nice ones everyday. The 1/4 ounce spoon and 1/16th ounce jig are working the best now. Some of our guests did well on minnows yesterday catching both bass and crappie off Blackburns Brush piles. The water is not as clear as it was but it is hard to tell with the cloudy and dreary weather. The creeks are definitely stained more than they were.  We will get through this cold and spring will be here before you know it. It is certainly slowing down the outside work on the resort but we will get it done. Split a lot of wood yesterday and fished for a couple of hours. 

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

Cash with a big one. What a nice family.Image title

BradenImage title

Hunter and Sophie Barber. Image title

The lake level is 554.61 and about the same as yesterday with a few hours of generation and then nothing since last evening. The lake surface temperature was 46.5 when I went out about 3:Pm and the lake was stained a little more than the day before.  I caught nothing but a small bass for about an hour and then the crappie started biting a little after 4 and nice ones too. I caught fish until after 5 and then came in. Jeff Barber and his family, Dave Titus, Tom Kelly, Mike Eakle and myself all caught crappie over 15-inches. It definitely was a good day and there was a lot of fun here at Blackburns with a lot of work getting done and children running all over the place enjoying fishing off the dock and playing on the playground Then the real fishing began. That is the way we like it. It was very nice with ambient temperatures in the 50's and sunshine. That is to go away later next week with the coldest weather of the season coming. It was to happen earlier this week but they have kept backing it up but seem sure it will happen. I will get my electric fishing uniform plugged in. We have had a mild winter so far with very little precipitation so we can take a little winter here in february. That does not mean I have to like it. We have many more improvements left to get done and not much time to do it. It will get busy here after the middle of March with people taking advantage of the low cabin and fishing boat rental prices and free boat stall when the warm weather gets here. We will do everything we can to be ready for you and we will not charge you too much.  Blackburns is the family place. 

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

Dave Titus with more good ones. Image title

The lake level is 554.63 and has dropped about 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with a little more generation but not much. They are making no effort to drop area lakes and all are above power pool. The weather man has postponed the cold arctic air here to the middle of next week and has mitigated it a bit. It will be cold but not nearly as bad as formerly forecast. It was cool and drizzle yesterday morning so I waited for the wind to pick up and the front to start to blow through and it did about 3:Pm so I went fishing.The fish started biting as soon as I got to a brush pile in about 35-ft. in Hensleys creek. The wind was from the west and kept increasing until the white caps were lapping over the boat. I had caught eight crappie and one bass on the jig casting it past the brush and letting it sink into it. They bit right at the top of the brush and in front of it near the bottom. I do not call any Norfork Lake crappie under 17-inches giant but I did catch a couple near that. The rest were 14-15 inches except for one only about 10-inches. I released all but the four largest ones which I saved for a shut-in friend who loves them. I saw no other boat out there except Dave Titus who was also catching fish. The wind did die down at sunset but by then the temperature had dropped about 15-degrees so I did not go back out. The best fishing has been just at sunset and until it was getting dark until yesterday. The high pressure and clear skies are here now and we will see what that brings. That is why you have to be out there almost everyday to write a report. It changes with the wind, air pressure and cold fronts. Usually one day after the high pressure moves in the fishing is not the best but it gets better and better until the next Low pressure is fully here. I found fish in deep water schooled but did not want to bring them up and have them die. Venting the fish lets them go down after being caught deep but they die anyway. When the wind has been blowing for some time into one bank near deep water the bass can be caught with a crank bait. Otherwise a lot of them are just outside brush on shad near the bottom and can be caught on the spoon. Use 4-lb. test on the 1/8th and 1/4 spoon and 6-lb on the 1/2 ounce and 8-lb. on the 3/4 and 1-ounce for the best action. I only use the larger ones if the wind is blowing hard to keep the line straight up and down. If you drag the spoon you will lose it for sure. If you want to kill everything you catch fish in over 50-ft. of water near the bottom. The water temperature is still 47 and is also still clearing. It is very clear near the bank and stained a little green in open water. Algae is getting to be a problem near the bank for some reason. Probably because the dam at Dawt Mill is gone. The new siding on cabin #1 is finished and partially stained. Cabin #2 is about 1/2 done. #4 and #11 are next. You will like what you see when you get here at Blackburns and there will be no price increases again this year and your first normal sized boat stall is free. We do charge if you bring your own pontoon. Please get you deposits in for this year to hold the cabin and boat of your choice and prevent disappointments. The summer months are filling up more than normal. I do not use the money to go on vacations, buy a new car, truck or personal boat and all of it goes to improvements. The money you save by staying here can be donated to Disabled Veterans.

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

Fish of the day yesterday by Scuba Steve. Caught more too. All were released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 554.72 and is just a touch higher than this time yesterday. They quit generating last evening and have not started up again. They are doing an excellent job of holding the area lakes up as high as they can for as long as they can even in the dead of winter with no excess rainfall. Go figure. The surface water temperature was between 47 and 48 yesterday when I went out and it was a nice day with medium to light winds and an ambient temperature near 50. Not bad for early February. The arctic cold front that is to bring polar air this weekend to the south central states has caused a lot of people to prepare for it and I sure hope the weather man is wrong. I think we need to fire him as well as the ones managing the dam levels. He is wrong more time than right for this area. I have watched many people watch their phones and mill around, cancel boat rentals on what turned out to be a nice day worried about not being able to get a full day in. If I am concerned, I watch the skies in the northwest and hang close to Blackburns Dock and come in just before the heavy rain starts and keep away from the in between the bridges area which is the windiest place on the whole lake.  It is cloudy and warm today with a chance of light rain and a good day to fish. The bite was pretty good yesterday with everybody catching fish. Mostly bass, crappie and small stripers with a couple of 6-lb. hybrids coming in. Walleye are scarce now for us. It is getting near spawn time for them and white bass and the white bass will school and start their run up stream and into shallow water when the temperature is in the 50's. The walleye run on Norfork used to be much larger several years ago than now. You could tell when it was happening when the trucks would be lined up along the bank on highway 160 in Missouri. Now not so much but the overal numbers are higher now. I wish more were stocked since the fishing pressure is so high for them, but at least some of them reproduce unlike stripers and hybrids which are semi-put and take. The white bass are very prolific and are the go to fish when nothing else is biting or the bite gets tough for some people. They will bite anything with a spinner on it including road runners and rooster tails. They also cannot resist a spoon anywhere near them. I am glad they are making a comeback. It is good for novice fishermen to be able to catch anything consistently and they are fun to catch. Norfork is a good lake and is full of many different varieties of fish.  

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

Mike with his best ones yesterday. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 554.70 and is the same as yesterday at this time with generation about 1/2 the time. They cannot get it down below the power pool in the winter with below average rainfall let alone during the spring rains. We need to impeach the people managing the dams and hire private professionals to do the job. It was a beautiful day with light winds and a temperature of 48-degrees when I went out yesterday. I went out twice, once mid morning and again late afternoon. It did not warm early enough to pour concrete and was cold early, so they started putting new siding on cabins 1,2,4 so I went fishing. The improvements continue here at Blackburns with no price increases. The best bite was just before dark on bass and crappie again with a few small stripers in the 7-10 pound range and the jigging spoon the best lure. The stripers were released on the spot as they are not big enough for a picture and need to grow and the others were released under the dock. It looks like the arctic cold front will start saturday night and last through monday with warmer temperatures after that. How I tell if it is too cold for me to fish is when ice forms on the eyelets of the rod and on the line and gets into the reel and fouls up the drag. If you add cold north wind to that I am gone. Otherwise I am out there sometime almost every day usually after work.  You cannot write an accurate report by going once a week or when you finally catch some fish. Things change too fast. Tom Kelly reports catching some nice fish on the grub in the Robinson Point area, Mike Eakle was fishing from Cow point to the bridge, I was near Hensley's point and Dave was fishing near Blackburns. I did not hear from Binks. All caught fish. It is good to have so many good fishermen helping with the report. I miss Harvey who was the best crappie fisherman that I have ever seen.  The surface water temperature was 46-degrees and the lake was the same color, stained greenish as I have reported many times and a good color for fishing. This is not new news and has been the same for a few weeks.  You could see your spoon down about 6-feet. Fishing is getting better and needed too. Once February gets here spring is on the way but you can expect a few glitches and it is hard to plan a trip and expect the best conditions until after mid March.  I am fortunate that I can pick the time to go fishing with just a few minutes notice. You certaily cannot go by the weather forecast here as we do not fall into the Springfield or Little Rock category and the lakes and rivers have an effect that is not factored in by them.  It is best to Listen to KTLO radio for the most accurate weather. Today and tomorrow should be good. 

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

Dave Titus got back Saturday night and is catching fish already. Image title

Welcome to February. The lake level is 554.59 and has dropped about 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with several hours of generation. The weather was cool and windy yesterday but you just have to know where to go to get out of it. I like to hug main lake cuts where the wind is coming from in the old river channel next to deep water. If you go back in the creeks it is just swirling. Blackburns Creek is usually pretty protected and has some good brush piles. I do not ride far in the boat when it is cold but fish close to home. You can bet I will not be out there in open water trolling around. Our monthly rainfall for January was below average and they still will not drop the lake. March-May are our rainiest months with September after that. They should know what is coming but refuse to do anything about it. It would be nice if they could keep the level where it is now but they cannot. 560 is the level where some dock access, parking and launching becomes affected. Day users are the ones mostly affected. Blackburns has dock access at all levels but it becomes a pain and requires steps to get to it. Otherwise you can park and step right on the dock and launch right here. No need to go elsewhere to launch and one person can do it easily but we will help you if you want. Some resorts do not have launch availability and you have to have two people. The weather is to be in the low 40's today and then warm up nicely the rest of the week with an arctic cold front dropping down from Canada this weekend with the coldest temperatures of the season. We will see. Their batting average is not very high but they seem to be pretty sure about this one.  We can take a couple of cold nights without dropping the water temperature much but do not need prolonged cold to cause a shad kill. This starts to occur at below 40 degrees. I like the shad population right where it is. Everything has plenty of food and the fish are very healthy. The crappie are full of eggs and the spawn looks to be right on schedule with the big ones spawning first. I have not killed any other kind of fish since the catfish stopped biting.