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

Tom Kelly with some of yesterday's catch released under Blackburns Dock. Tom was fishing Float Creek with a worm. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 561.61 and has risen 4-feet since the 4.5 inches of rain Wednesday through Thursday morning and is still rising a little less than 1/2 inch per hour with no generation. It came down fast at times washing out roads and culverts and more is to come Sunday. The creeks run hard but have slowed way down now. Blackburns wants to thank the County Judge and county road workers for their quick response in repairing our road. We are fortunate to have them. Everything is back to normal here. The rain came just one day ahead of the devasting one in 2017 which took the lake a long time to recover and took out the Dawt Mill Dam.  Things have not been the same with it gone and there are no restrictions on the inflow when Missouri gets big rains and the pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer and debris can now wash directly into Norfork Lake from the Missouri farms. We never used to have moss and algae like we have now. We also have a little foam on windy days which is a sign of pollution. It has not affected the fishing though with all species high in numbers except the Striped bass and White Bass. I would have thought the White Bass would have come back by now but they have not. I am finding about 1/4 of what used to be here compared to earlier years. Most white bass spawn in February or early March but it has always been the case that some spawn all year and multiple times some years.  Finding them full of eggs in May is not unusual. There were shad coming up last evening in Blackburns Creek but not nearly as many as usual. They could be spawning but it is hard to tell with the water being a little cool for that and they were further away from the bank than during a major spawn. it is about time for it though but the water temperature needs to be in the higher 60's. They do spawn multiple times a year. Maybe even three but it is a sign the stripers will start coming up so expect to see dock floors full of dead ones posted until they are all gone. There are still fair numbers of small ones in the 6-9 lb. range left and a very few about 15 which people now consider big but are not.  The sudden rise in water level will not help the remaining bass and crappie spawn any but at least some are finished. Kentucky Bass spawn well into the summer and Flathead catfish are the last to spawn and finish in July. I hope the remaining bass give it another try but many will not.The brown water from the runoff runs from the back of some creeks to near the main lake but lightens up as you get out and should settle out unless we get another big one. The bass should spawn in this but the sight fishing for bed fish is over for this year in most places. Tom Kelly caught and released some nice bass in float creek yesterday and says the fishing was not affected much there. John Bornhop said he caught bass almost a will in Hensley's creek. Bart Vandervelde is catching a lot of bass in Blackburns creek. He releases all fish and is also a good sportsman and has been coming to Blackburns for 38 years and loves top-water fishing. It is sunny and warm here today and things are settling out. I expect a lot of fish to be caught and we have several good fishermen. Everybody was sure glad to have big covered porches on their cabins the last few days. We do not promote smoking but do allow it outside here. You do not have to bring an umbrella to smoke. They are running Table Rock as fast as they can with augmented spillway releases to keep from flooding Branson Landing so do not expect Bull Shoals to drop anytime soon and all of the capacity of the White River At Newport is taken up so expect the same for Norfork. We will be fine here unless we get another big one. Minor flood Stage of the White River at Newport is 23-feet and they are at 22.82. If they has drawn the lake level down last winter to 548 instead of holding it at 553+ we would be at about 555 which would be just right. Just sayin. I am still not going to tie a lure on my line and drag it all over the lake until I catch a fish. I like the feel of the bite and setting the hook but if it is meat you want it works sometimes but when the fish go into the brush after spawn you better buy cheap lures. That is meant for you Mark. Molly would not do that on her own. Thaks for your help yesterday. 

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

John Bornhop with some good ones. Image title

The lake level is 557.80 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with no rain and no generation. They always quit generating before and during a rain to make the rise as much as possible and keep us one big rain away from high water. There has been ample time to lower the area lakes but they refuse to do so. At least they are keeping Table Rock at below power pool to protect Branson Landing while raising the other area lakes. It is all about the $ and political pressure like everything else. Hold and hope and open the gates after the crops are planted downstream to inflict as much damage as possible is the game. We have had several days of beautiful weather since the last rain. KTLO radio has the best and most accurate forecast for the area as we do not fit in with Springfield or Little Rock. It looks like we will get quite a bit though and we can expect a significant lake rise with no generation. They could mitigate the rise if they wanted to but refuse to generate. We just do not need three or four inches in the Norfork Lake watershed in Southern Missouri. The big rain that made a mess of things in 2017 happened on the last of April and I was hoping that date would pass with no major events but it does not look good. A couple of inches in this area will not hurt much but we will see what happens. The lake is in excellent condition, clear and warming and the bass and crappie spawn is in full swing. A lot of fish were caught out of Blackburns yesterday and the Black crappie that were brought in were spawned out. This just happened in the last couple of days and they were on brush in about 25-30-ft. of water 10-ft. down and biting minnows and jigs part way back in the creeks. Many bass are on the beds with some females having just spawned and on shad and coming up in the early mornings. Several males are still on the beds either waiting on the hatch or protecting fry. I am seeing no schools of fry yet and they always come in under my dock when they leave the beds in this area. It has been a good spawn so far with the water remaing fairly stable and in the buckbrush providing good cover. We could use a couple of weeks of the same to really help things out. It has been slow warming up this spring but it looks lke it is here to stay now. Walleye, bass and crappie remain the best bite with a few hybrids and a few stripers in the 7-9 lb range being caught. Every once in a while a 15-lb striper is being caught but not very many. Twenty pounders used to be an every day occurance and thirty pounders not uncommon but those days are over until they can make a comeback. I hope they do. Blackburns still has one bedroom cabins for $59/day until Labor Day so come on down. We are very busy here. If you are staying where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. Blackburns is the fishing headquartes for Norfork lake and spend all winter putting in brush piles for our customers. They catch fish and we will show you where they are. 

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

Scuba Steve with some pretty good ones.Image title

The lake level is 557.65 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation since yesterday. There is still a little runoff from the hillsides but the creeks are not running. It looks like more rain starting tonight through Thursday so the level will continue to rise. It looks like we will get a couple of inches at least depending on how long it stays around. Other places could get more. The lake surface temperature is in the early 60's and rising with the warm nights. The bass and crappie spawn is now in full swing and I am catching a few black crappie that have spawned. One of our guests went to the top-water place that I mentioned earlier and had a good time catching fish at sunrise. They came up on schedule for several minutes with the shad surfacing in about 20-ft. of water. Several of the fish were short but some were not and they were mostly bass with a few small stripers with them. They were all released anyway. Bass are on beds everywhere back in the creeks and pre-spawn fish are hitting crank baits and poppers in and in front of the buckbrush. The males guarding the beds and fry are picking up the gitzits and taking them out of the beds as the sight fishermen are now able to find them in the clear water easily. Most bass fishermen release their fish unlike striper fishermen and that is why Norfork is such a good Black Bass fishery and getting better and striper fishing is going down hill. I would have thought the White Bass would have made a better come back after the kill a couple of years ago but they have not. A few are being caught but they used to be everywhere and most everybody could catch them this time of year. The walleye are making up for it though and are in greater numbers than I have ever seen them with several being over the 18-inch minimum limit. Twenty yesrs ago big stripers were everywhere and walleye were scarce but it is the oposite now. More and more people are coming to Norfork for walleye and crappie and the fishing pressure is much greater and also the boat traffic overall. 

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

Kim from Ewing, Illinois with a nice one. They release most of their fish. Image title

The lake level is 557.53 and is up about 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time with 1- 1/2 generators running. It was beautiful yesterday and that is to continue until Wednesday morning when we are to get rain and thunderstorms through Thursday. We could get some heavy rainfall out of this.The ambient temperature is to be near 80 for the next two days and then cloud up but stay in the 70's and clear back up for the weekend. I saw several more bass on the beds last evening now that the water is warming again. The creeks are surprisingly clear after the rain and runoff. The surface water temperature is is still hanging in there at about 62 but is rising now with last night staying warm and about 60. The surface water temperature was 62 this morning. I am still not catching many spawned out fish except walleye but that will change soon. There was a top-water bite this morning with bass coming up in front of Twin Coves early. It did not last long but is improving every day. Crappie and Bass continue to be the best bite but trollers are getting some small stripers and some nice hybrids. Hybrids are the best bite of the red meat fish now but expect more of both as the top-water bite improves. People continue to kill those small stripers like they are trying to eradicate them and they are. It is certainly nothing to brag about. Many crappie are on beds now and I hope the lake level does not come up very much for a couple of weeks but it could. Blackburns has several good fishermen in and they are all catching fish. It is a good time of year. Just keep the storms and heavy rains away. The lake is in excellent condition and Blackburns is ready for your visit. We will start filling the pool soon. It is big and takes several days to fill but you will like it when you get here. I get a kick out of people paying an extra $25-30 per day for cabins, also paying for their first boat stall and then hauling gas cans up and down from the dock to town to save money on gas. It does not make much sense. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Keep working the banks back in the windblown creeks with creature baits for bass and crappie. The wind should start to change from predominately north to the south as things warm up so change creeks and look for top-water action early on sunny days. Fish will bite all day on cloudy days. 

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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service Yesterday. That Bink is one good fisherman.Image title

The lake level is 557.41 and has risen 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours and is still rising with generation about 1/2 the time. There is none now. The water stayed clear with the runoff except in the very backs of the creeks. It was very cool yesterday with highs near 60 and breezy. It is a beautiful day today after the fog lifted and is to get to about 73-degrees with 80 scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. That will put the spawn into high gear even though it has progressed without the benefit of warming water. It will warm now with nighttime lows near 60 for a couple of days. Tomorrow morning will be a good time to be on your top-water spots at sunrise with a spitin image for bass and a clear spook for red meat fish. If they do not break the surface try calling them up anyway as they will not be very deep and will come up to get the lure if they are there. Look to see if you can find shad this evening and the big fish will be there in the morning. I am not finding very many shad but am mostly just fishing the backs of creeks on the bank and on shallower brush part way back in the creeks. Stick with those creature baits on a light jig head. Lizards, 3-inch worms and crawdads are all working. Work the bottom but keep the head dropping as much as possible while reeling in. Plan to lose some lures in the buckbrush and other dead brush on the shore. Use a light jig head, about a 1/16th ounce white with red eye and do not drag the bottom to help prevent this. The black crappie are the first to spawn and that is what I am mostly catching but am still not catching hardly any spawned out fish except walleye. Twin coves, Briar creek, Pigeon, East Pigeon and the creeks near to Blackburns are all producing several fish including bass and crappie with a few walleye. Smallmouth and Kentucky Bass are the best now. Blackburns is nearly full here with people taking advantage of the best place and best prices on both cabins and rental boats on Norfork lake and we really like our repeat customers and do not test our friendships by charging them too much. We are the family and fishing headquarters for Norfork lake and especially welcome both Police and Veterans. New customers are also welcome and you can join the family. We try to help and take care of each other. Your first boat stall is free here except that we do not have stalls available for one night stays but have good launching and plenty of room for you to pull your boat in and out. We are not huddled up on a cliff here and the children have plenty of room to run. Check us out if you are in the area. 

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

The lake level is 557.11 and has risen 2-1/2 inches from it's low of 556.90 last evening when they quit generating in anticipation of the oncoming rain. They always do that in order to enhance the rise and keep the levels up. It is about what it was at this time yesterday but it is rising quickly now with no generation and the creeks running pretty hard. We have had 2.2 inches of rain and it is still raining. It is to move out this afternoon with more to come next week. It is springtime and the only ones not expecting rains are the government. The White River at Newport is at the magical level of 14-feet so do not expect much. It is raining in Missouri also so we should get a pretty good rise out of this unless they start generating. I was hoping for a stable level until the spawn was almost over.  At least the southern part of the state is not getting much. The severe weather is to be in Texas and Oklahoma next week and we wish them the best. We will get more rain as this moves northeast but it does not look too bad for here so far. The trollers for stripers are starting to catch fish as predicted and continue to kill small ones. Pictures of a dozen dead stripers taken like they are heros are not impressive. They just make people look like meat hunters that are willing to destroy the future and are proud of it. They will not keep doing it for much longer.  The stripers are getting smaller and smaller and pretty soon they will be bragging about 20-inchers. The normal amount will be stocked this year after last years absence do to covid and the long road to recovery can start. We want them in the lake but it will not happen if the ones that are left are hunted down and killed. They will be easily caught with the top-water bite starting so expect more smiling faces of people with 8-9 lb. dead stripers.  Bass fishermen are doing very well. We will get weather near 80 for a couple of days with lows in the early 60's and that will put the spawn in full swing for both them and crappie. As the crappie spawn they will move to the main lake brush and brush part way back in the creeks where the fry will be looking for cover and the post-spawn fish will be looking for dinner. The bass will also move to the main lake shad and hit top-water but I am not seeing many shad at least not near what I was. They were loaded in the backs of the windblown creeks but just a few are there now.  This is a fun time of year with a lot of action and things should start changing rapidly with not many changes in the last couple of weeks until now.  Bass, crappie, walleye and small stripers are the best bite now so work the bank with creature baits on jig heads part way back in the creeks and keep your top-water lures ready. Try a small popper for shallow fish in the brush. You could see bass on nests in the creek yesterday but we will see what this runoff does to the clarity. It will not help sight fishermen. A lot of fish are being caught right in front of the buckbrush. The fishing pressure is as heavy as I have seen it for this time of year especially on the week-ends.      

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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 557.08 and has dropped about 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating for an hour yesterday and again for several hours early this morning and are religiously holding the White River at Newport at 14-ft. for some unknown reason. I guess they are hoping for a big rain so they can close their campgrounds. We are to get a little over an inch of rain the next 24-hrs.There was just a little last night The surface water temperature is holding at under 60-degrees in this area but that should change with ambient temperatures to reach 80 next week. It looks like the cold weather is over. I am tired of wearing a coat. It should be 72 everyday now. A couple of warm 60-degrees low nights will really get the spawn going in full swing. The fish are also getting tired of waiting for warm water. The nearly stable water level is making for a good spawn so far and we need to just avoid any sudden drops or rises in the level. The creeks seem to go from stained to fairly clear almost daily but the main lake is clear as it has been for a long time. It does not need to be any clearer for fishing. The lake overall is in excellent condition. Everyone caught fish yesterday and crappie and bass are still the best bite. The striper fishermen are all turning into crappie fishermen and few stripers of much size are being caught. Normally they would be coming in all over the place by now. Maybe they can get the crappie population down also as they are killing many fish. Catch a few. keep a few and release a few. There is another generation of fishermen coming. Blackburns has several good fishermen in now and is very busy. They are taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and rental boats on Norfork lake plus the first boat stall for your boat is free. You can save a lot of $ by staying here. If the gas prices go any higher you will need it. The top-water bite has ben slow coming but it will come. If you are out there at sunrise have a top-water lure on and be ready. I can usually tell where they will come up by where the shad are the night before. It is usually on the bank with the predominate wind blowing into it with the plankton. The problem is I am not finding very many shad. At least where I am catching fish during the day. Most of the fish are either staging for the spawn just outside the brush or on the bank either making nests or spawning except the walleye which spawned weeks ago. Keep using three inch creature baits, like crawdads or worms on a jig head and stay as far from the bank as you can cast them and work the bottom. Some are using finesse worms. I am using Bobby Garland baby shad or 2-inch twister tails. Tip with live minnows if fishing gets slow. The incessant and cold north wind has made north facing creeks the best now part of the way back. Some are just fishing Blackburns Creek and not leaving and catching several fish. I am still catching a few crappie on the main lake on the spoon in 16-feet of water fishing for walleye. They are full of eggs and I do not know why they are there but they are big. If you are sight fishing for bass on nests use a gitzit. The male bass will pick it up and take it out of the nest. I do not use this technique but it works and does not hurt anything if you release right on the spot. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and the weather is to get warmer. Blackburns is your family and fishing headquarters on Norfork lake. If you are not here you are paying too much. Police and Veterans are especially welcome.

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

Illinois Bass caught fishing with Bink's Guide service yesterday. That is a big one.Image title

The lake level is now 557.15 and has dropped a little over one inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. They have got the White River ar Newport down to 14-feet now and are not letting much out. Let the hold and hope begin. We are to get more rain tomorrow afternoon and significantly more on Friday night before the next front leaves. We can expect a lake rise but it is pretty dry and we can take some but not a lot and they will surely quit generating when the rain begins like they always do. They like to magnify the effects. The lake surface water temperature has dropped below 60 again with the cold nights but we can expect it to start rising again early next week with ambient temperatures to get into the mid and high 70's with lows in the 50's. A lot of fish are wanting to spawn bad and many male crappie and bass are on the banks making nests. I have not seen any schools of fry that have been hatched. The best bait right now is a creature bait, either a crawdad or 3-inch worm on a jig head thrown into the buckbrush. Some are using paddle tail grubs. I am using a twister tail tipped with a live minnow. It is a beautiful day today with a high in the early 60's and sunny. It is to cloud up this afternoon. The lake in general is in good condition and the clarity is just right for fishing. Things are on hold just a bit now with the fishing needing a little warmer water for the top water bite and spawn to get in full swing. It got down to 33 degrees in town last night and several degrees colder down here in the valley near water level but it was not quite a record. The normal high is 72 and low 47 and it will be good to get back to that. People are catching fish everyday though.

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

Fish of the day released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 557.25 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The White River at Newport is now 15-ft. and it keeps lowering as does the discharge. It was a cool and blustery morning yesterday and got worse as the day progressed. There were a few rain drops and then a few snow flakes with a strong north wind by afternoon with dropping temperatures. The cold front came in with a vengence and the skies cleared by evening and it got cold with a low of 29 this morning. It was a record low. Global warming was not a problem. The high pressure has settled in now with sunshine with lighter winds but still breezy and cool with highs to only be in the 50's. It is to be in the high 70's again by later on in the weekend after another cold night tonight. Another low pressure is to move in later in the week with a good chance of rain before the weekend. The lake is dropping, the water temperature is dropping and the fish do not know what to do or at least what I think they should be doing.  I went out to a known walleye point and caught no walleye but some big crappie on the spoon in 17-ft. of water near the bottom and they were full of eggs. I have not a clue on why they were on the main lake in deeper water. No wonder trollers are catching them. Another thing. Where are the big schools of shad? Before and after the shad kill in February they were everywhere. Then they were in the backs of the south facing creeks with the south wind being predominate and had a lot of fish on them. They were coming in under my dock in March and filling the stalls and attracting crappie, bass and catfish. Now I have none except some big gizzard shad around my underwater light. I did have a big school of bass about 4-5 inches long come in under the dock yesterday and I also do not know where they came from. They had to be last yesr's hatch but did not grow very fast. With the large amounts of shad and the warm summer I would have though they would have been larger. They could have been Kentucky's but I could not tell. Everything is just mixed up this spring. Black crappie spawn first and the black crappie that I am catching are still full of eggs. They like to spawn just a little deeper than the light penetrates and just out of the clear water. I do not know how they can do this with the creeks going from clear to green overnight and then back again with the changes in generation, wind and boat traffic.  I do not kill very many fish but I am finding no spawned out anything except for walleye. There are very few big White Bass compared to two years ago but the few that I am catching are still full of eggs and they should have finished spawning by early March at the latest. Largemouth Bass eggs hatch in two days at a 72 degree water temperature and five days in 66 degrees and we have not reached that yet and the temperature is going in the wrong direction. The big bass that were under my dock pre-spawn feeding on bluegill left for a few days when the water warmed and are now back. It is hard to figure out what is going on if you are not out there every day. It is fun to figure things out. Maybe I should just tie on a lure and drag it all over the lake until I catch something. It does not work for me but to each their own. Things they are changing but a lot of fish are being caught. The one thing that is not changing is the price at Blackburns. You can still get a cabin for $59/day and your first boat stall is free here. We do not promote smoking but if you do you do not need to bring an umbrella to go outside. All of our cabins have big covered porches and all are individual with no duplexes. Duplexes are ok if you are lonely and need close company with your neighbor but other wise not so good. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. 

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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide service yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 557.35 and has dropped an inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously now for several days after both being run for a couple of weeks before they cut way back. The White River continues to drop and the discharge flow reduced while holding the area lakes to a very small drop. Newport is now 15+ feet heading to 14. I still remember what happened the last of April in 2017 and that time is approaching.  Southern Missouri is to get some snow tonight and we are to get cloudy this afternoon with a dropping temperature and then clear off with heavy frost tonight and a lighter one tomorrow night. It could devastate the fruit trees and ornamental shrubs and bushes but is not unusual. Most of the fish continue to be back in the creeks and many have not spawned yet with the cool weather and a surface water temperature hanging in there at just below 60 or just above for several weeks. The water in the shallower creeks is varying a lot with the rollercoaster weather. It warms quickly in the sunshine and drops with the clear nights and cool temperatures. Bass and crappie want to spawn bad and a few more are doing so everyday but the majority have not. The bigger bluegill are starting to move in under the dock but are not nearly ready to spawn yet. They need about a 10-degree warm up. People are now bragging about slaughtering big bass and that is certainly something to be proud of. Not. Most good sportsmen do not kill bass, at least largemouth and smallmouth, but some people still do. Remember the possession limit is just twice the daily limit and that is five. They are not stocked here like stripers and hybrids and are not considered put and take like trout and red meat fish. What we need the most are more carp and gar meat hunters. Several Striper Fishermen have turned into crappie fishermen by necessity. It will be hard for them to troll for crappie when they move to the brush and then plan three will have to be implemented but I wish them luck. 3-inch swim baits, 2-inch grubs, jigs, creature baits are the best lures now and gitzits for sight bed fishing are best for bass. Spook puppies and spitin image are the best for top-water. Walleye are biting both spoons on the main lake points and in the brush with the bass. The lake is clearing with the the stable level and is an excellent color for fishing. The overall Norfork lake condition is good as is the fishing. The warm weather will come. Taking things easy is not hurting much. Listen to "Live in the Boat" with Darrel Binkley of Bink's Guide Service Thursday mornings at 8:45 on KTLO radio 97.9 FM or on TV cable channel #5 for a what is happening right now report. 

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

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

The lake level is 557.45 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. They are dropping the White River at Newport quickly and also dropping the discharge while drastically cutting the lakes dam discharges. Newport is now at 16 feet heading for 14-feet and then 12-ft on May 8th. The idea is to keep the area lakes one big rain away from high water instead of creating a little capacity and then hold and hope and then open the flood gates after the crops are planted downstream. They have been able to accomplish this goal in most of the last several years so it must be what they want. When asked about this all they have to say is the dams are doing what they were built for to hold water. My question is why not hold a little less in the winter so you do not have to hold so much in the spring and summer? At least they have Table Rock at power pool so Branson Landing does not flood again They got enough flak from that a few years ago. It is all about the $. The other lakes are several feed above power pool. It is to be a nice day today with a high near 70 but then the cold weather moves in Tuesday night with freeze warnings. This is not unusual for this part of April. Cold fronts move in and out a couple of times a week from February through April. Look for a couple of nights with lows in the 60's for the top-water bite to really take off. The post spawn bass will be really hungry and will come up almost every day. Now it is just mostly on clear mornings at sunrise. A lot of bass are still full of eggs and have not spawned yet but some crappie have but not nearly all of them. Pigeon, East Pigeon, Briar Creek and Float Creek are good places to start. Grubs tipped with minnows, Bobby Garland jigs and 3-inch swim baits are catching a lot of fish on the bank in the buckbrush. Spring walleye fishing is as good as it has been in several years with more keepers showing up than the last couple of years. Some are on the bank with the bass and crappie in the creeks and some are on the main lake points in 14-16 feet of water on the spoon. Pretty much all of the fishermen here at Blackburns are catching fish. About 1/2 of the people here are fishermen. Others are building houses, constructing businesses, looking for property or just relaxing and enjoying nature. The forest canopy is filling out fast and many plants and trees are blooming and it is a beautiful time of year. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. You can save anywhere from $30 to $60 per day here with no diminished quality and in most cases better. A lot better.  

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

Scuba Steve is the winner of the 27th annual Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Invitational with over 18-lbs. He has won every year. Image title

The lake level is 552.52 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running full time. The level of the White River continues to drop and has fell another foot to 17-ft. and heading towards 14 now and 12-ft. the 15th of May. Do not expect much if any drop if we get any rain and a rise if we do. The lake is clearing nicely with the slow drop but the surface water temperature is staying the same or dropping a bit in the backs of the creeks with the cool weather. It is to get very cold about Tuesday night with a chance of frost and the daytime high is to struggle to get to 70 for the next week. It will take just a couple of warm days and nights with the lows in the 60's to bring the shad near the top in the creeks and really get the top-water bite going. It should be here by now but we could go right into summer anytime after next week. There is a little early action now but not very much and not very long. The bass fishing was pretty good yesterday and the fireworks tournament was won with over 15-lbs with 75-boats entered. Blackburns guests said they finished about in the middle of the pack but lost a couple of big ones in Pigeon Creek which would have placed them right up there. The bass that I caught were all full of eggs and out from the bank a bit in deeper water. I do not sight fish during spawn but a lot of people do. The bass and crappie spawn are not in full swing yet but more and more are in some stage of it every day. Both bass and crappie will continue to spawn into June especially Kentucky Bass. Spooning for walleye is improving on main lake points in 14-18 ft. of water in front of brush. I am just not catching very many White Bass but the ones that I am catching that are of any size are full of eggs but that is not unusual.  I do not target them but they are fun to catch on top-water. More should start coming in soon if it ever warms up and it will. They are just like the stripers and there are not many big ones left or at lest what people that have been around here for a while would call big ones. Bass, crappie, catfish and walleye are the best bite now but bluegill are starting. They spawn when the water temperature gets into the 70's on sunny warm days sometime in May and then move in under my dock and are a favorite of the children fishing here. I feed them and they are in there by the hundreds and big ones too. The ones under there now are only about 4-5 inches long but there are lots of them and draw a lot of big fish including catfish and pre-spawn bass. If you want to feed the fish use chicken feed because it sinks slowly and also floating catfish food. If it is windy the floating stuff will float away but the chicken feed will not and they hit it going down and the catfish eat it off the bottom. When there is light wind the bass, crappie and bluegill will hit it on top. This is a time of transition and you have to be out there everyday if you want to stay on top of it. Norfork Lake is full of big healthy fish and we all want to keep it that way. It is being managed well and the stockings are to be realized as before the covid junk hit here and maybe we can get back to normal. We at Blackburns have either had their shots or in the process of getting them and hope you do too. We need all of our customers and have lost a few due to covid. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. 

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

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The lake level is 557.60 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. What you see is what you get so do not expect the level to drop much anytime soon. They are still dropping the White River at Newport and slowing the discharge and are heading for the stupid number of 14-ft. It is now 18. We received 0.2 inches of rain in the last couple of days and are fortunate. It is good to have a stable lake level during the spawn. The cool weather and nearly stable surface water temperature has dampened the top-water bite and pushed back the peak. If they come up it is only for a short time now but they want to. It is now in the early 60's on the main lake and all over the place back in the creeks.  Normally striper fishermen would be killing a lot of fish now and I expect more soon. Most of them have turned into crappie fishermen and are unable to catch stripers of any size. If they do they are few and far between.  They are now showing off pictures of stripers under 10-lbs. and act proud to be killing them. I would like to see the limit dropped to two per day until they make a comeback. The hybrid stripers are more able to handle the low oxygen times of late summer and I would also like to see more of them stocked as their survival rate is much better as the area lakes are being managed to stay high for long periods of time. The fishing pressure is as high as I have seen it for this time of year. Fishermen are everywhere. There is a one day tournament today for Norfork lake fireworks funding and they have 75 boats signed up. Blackburns has several customers participating and we wish them well.  All fish are to be released. It would be good to figure out a way to weigh the fish immediately and release them instead of taking them away from the nest so predator fish can eat the eggs. They should do well with almost everyone catching fish here at Blackburns.  The weather is to be well below normal for several days so do not expect any water temperature increase with the cool nightime lows. The normal high is now 70 and we are not to get to that level for a week and lows are to be in the low 40's and high 30's with a chance of frost in low lying areas. Bass, crappie and walleye fishing are the best bites with bluegill starting. Catfish are not far behind. Jugs and throw lines are catching some nice fish. Pigeon, East Pigeon and Briar creeks are producing crappie as well as walleye. Float creek and Big creek are good for bass as well as Blackburns creek. Some big female crappie are still out in deeper water waiting for the males to make nests so this could go on for a few weeks. More and more will then move to main lake brush after spawn. Catch a few, release a few and leave some seed. Showing pictures of huge stringers of dead fish does not enhance anyone's image anymore. People just do not like it unless they are just meat hunters and do not care about anybody else. The numbers of fish are not limitless. Just ask the striper fishermen. We have a good fishery here and we want to keep it that way so everyone can have fun and enjoy the outdoors. Blackburns still has 1-bedroom cabins for $59/day while others are trying to get $100/day for duplex cabins with no porches. We like our customers here and do not waht to charge them too much. That is no way to treat a friend, at least not here. 

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

It does not get much better eating than this but I released it anyway.  Image title

The lake level is 557.70 and has dropped about 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. They continue to drop the White River at Newport while at the same time slowing the discharge and now it is just above 19-feet and it looks like they are headed back to that 14-ft. level for some stupid reason that nobody knows. Keep it up as high as possible and hold and hope is the game. It is almost like they want to flood out all of their own campgrounds. It is just government money anyway and is not real. They cannot even manage when there are drought conditions let alone big rains and some people want bigger government. I do not promote killing large numbers of fish or take pictures of dock floors and huge stringers of dead fish but it is a good thing that Blackburns Has two fish cleaning stations at the dock. Almost everyone is catching fish and they are both busy most of the time. No waiting in line for the slow guy here. The cool weather and predominately north wind has now blown the plankton and shad into the creeks coming into the river from the south and that along with most of the bass and crappie spawning or wanting to spawn already making nests in the creeks has really increased the bite in these areas. One couple reported catching over 70-fish, releasing most or f them and never leaving Blackburns creek. Flatheads are still being caught on jugs using small bluegill but channels are also showing up. Throw lines are also working. Creature baits, small grubs tipped with minnows and jigs cast to the bank are catching most of the fish. Some walleye have moved to main lake points in 15-18 ft. of water on the spoon near the bottom. The top- water bite has not hit full stride yet with most of the fish caught there being bass in early morning at sunrise. It is to be cool for the next several days but not cold. The nightime lows are to be in the early 40's and that will not allow the water to warm. It is just over 60 now on the main lake. Blackburns is the place to be so come on down. We will not charge you too much. Compare prices before you pay too much elsewhere. If you have extra money give it to Disabled Veterans. 

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

Good fishing on Norfork Lake Out of Blackburns Resort yesterday. Walleye caught by Bink's Guide service and Keith Katashuk. Roger and Lesley Maggard also has a good day. Image titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 557.74 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday with One generator running continuously. They continue to lower the discharge on the White River at Newport while at the same time lowering the level which is now 20-feet. We did receive about 0.8 inches of rain last night but there was no storm and it all sunk in and the creeks did not run.  One of the states that Southwestern power Administration services is Texas, from Norfork Dam, and I wonder if they know power is available from here while they are experiencing shortages. Both the dam management and power administration are run by the government and one hand does not know what the other one is doing. If I lived in Texas I would not be happy about this. They can generate more without causing any problems downstream like they were doing for several weeks prior to Monday when they slowed way down.  Flowers are blooming, grass is growing, mushrooms are popping up, fish are biting and things are about as good as they can be here on Norfork lake. The weather is cool with below average daytime highs and nightime lows and the water temperature has quit rising and is hanging in there at about 60 and has been for a long time. It is still pleasant. The stable water level in the buckbrush is making for a good spawn so far. More bass and crappie are moving to the banks everyday but some are still on mainlake brush with the walleye on points. The main lake is clearing just a bit and the creeks vary from stained green to clear almost daily and change  with the wind and generation. Most of the fish are in the creeks now. We are to get more rain later this week but it does not look like anything serious so far. Come on down and visit. You can get a cabin here at Blackburns for $59/day for two people. We will not charge you too much. We are the family and fishing headquarters for the Mountain Home area.  

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

Roger and Leslie Maggard form Mountain Grove, Missouri are having fun and catching a lot of fish. Welcome. Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 557.73 and has dropped about 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running. They are dropping the discharge and level on the White River at Newport steadily as predicted and the 15th is not here yet. They cannot wait to start holding and hoping again. Any drop now will be very slow even if it does not rain. Which it will. We did receive just a very little rain last night and some more to come later this week with below average temperatures and northerly winds all week which will stop the surface water temperature rise. Fishing is getting better everyday and only slows a bit with the continuous cold fronts moving through. Many fish are wanting to spawn and they are about to do so anyway even if the water does not warm for a while. Male crappie and bass are moving to the banks now to make nests. I had a report of a nice crappie hitting a zara spook yesterday and that is not a male keeping other fish away from it's nest. Females are still pre-spawn feeding.  Several walleye are being caught in 15-18 ft. of water near the bottom on the main lake but only about 1/3 are keepers. All female walleye are spawned out but almost no female crappie. The stable water level in the buckbrush is making for good spawning conditions and I hope it continues for a while. Norfork Lake bass spawn well into June especially Kentucky bass. Bass, crappie and walleye continue to be the best bite and just a few stripers are being caught. I am still seeing pictures of many small dead stripers. They may say they are being released but if you see one with it's mouth open it is not going to swim away any time soon. They are not collecting them to release them and are cutting their own throats and ruining the future for the younger fishermen. I would really like for them to make a comeback. Almost everyone caught fish yesterday and some are extending their stay because fishing is so good.  It will be cool with highs just in the low 60's for several days but it does not look like any washouts. This has been a typical spring and yearly rainfall is just a little above average and most of that came in one shot in February. The lake is in good condition now.   

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

Don Katashuk with a nice one caught fishing in Float Creek yesterday. Image titleImage titleImage title

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The lake level is 557.77 and has been exactly the same since they shut off one generator several hours ago. It looks like they are getting ready for the April 15th deadline for dropping the lake and they have also dropped the White River to below 21-ft.  This way they can keep us one big rain away from high water and start holding for a big release later. We can just hope the dry spring continues. It was windy Saturday, beautiful yesterday and is to be great again today. Blackburns has been nearly full and almost everyone caught fish Sunday with bass and crappie being the best bite. I saw some bass making nests Saturday and Sunday back in Blackburns Creek and it is getting fished heavily. The wind has just moved to the North and a cold front is coming in bringing cooler weather tomorrow for a few days. There is a chance of light rain late tonight.  Everytime the surface water warms a bit a cold front cools it down again with a North wind. I got reports of crappie full of eggs being caught in 30-ft. of water in front of brush piles suspended and others on the bank either making nests or spawning. I went out for a few minutes and caught four crappie and they were all full of eggs and ready to spawn. The water justs needs to warm a bit and there be no sudden change in water level for a couple of weeks to insure a good spawn. There is plenty of cover with water in the buckbrush. The lake is at a good level now and I would like it to stay right here all the time. 555-559 is just right. I am just not convinced we can avoid a big rain so it can stay here. We had one already and it took two months to get things straightened out and it also took dry weather with below average rain. The big swimming pool is now painted and curing. Our pool is 30x60 with a water slide and kiddie pool. It is 1,800 square ft. and you can stretch out and swim laps. Most pools in the area are 20x40 and are 800 square feet. Ours is over twice as big. The deck is resurfaced and the slide is painted and we will be ready for you when you come visit. The full court basketball area is also resurfaced. It is on a flat area with two hoops but small enough for us old folks. If you miss a shot the ball does not roll down a cliff. The big playground is flat and green with many things for the children. Sandbox, play stations, swings, volleyball, soccer, horseshoes are all palyed here and you can watch them from your cabin or from the big pavilion with shuffle board and ping pong. We have it all here at Blackburns and at the right price. You can save a bunch by staying here without a decrease in quality. We are the family and fishing resort on Norfork lake and especially welcome veterans and police. Sorry we are not politically correct but try and respect everyone. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.

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

Released under the dock by Tom Kelly. He is one good fisherman. Image title

The lake level is 558.03 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. The water surface temperature is hanging in there stubbornly in the high 50's and the water is clearing. There is some top-water action early on sunny mornings just at sunrise part way back in the windblown creeks and there has not been a problem finding any wind. At least it has cut way back this morning after being incessant all day yesterday and cool. Use a Zara Spook for red meat fish and Spitin Image for bass. The top-water bite will get better if the water ever warms and should be an everyday occurance by about the 15th. Even though you might not see them on cloudy days they will be in the same places and you can call them up with the top-water lure. The striper fishermen, turned crappie fishermen should be able to catch some stripers now until they are all gone. The crappie are still both on the bank in the creeks and on brush in the creeks suspended in about 20-ft. of water. More are on the bank or staging just off the bank in 10-15 ft. of water. Bass are ready to spawn with some males making nests. Some walleye are on main lake points in 15-20-ft. of water and some are in the creeks on shadowy banks in the afternoon. Three inch creature and swim baits thrown to the shore and walking the bottom back to the boat are catching several fish, especially smallmouth bass which are the best bite. I use a 3/16th jig head and Bink uses a 1/4 ounce. You have to snag some wood to catch fish so bring plenty. Crankbaits are catching largemouth bass especially on windy days and we are having plenty of those. I do not know why crappie are on main lake brush in 20-23 ft. of water near the bottom but they are. Not high numbers but big ones and they are full of eggs. The walleye that I am catching are spawned out but still very fat. They sure did not have any problem finding food this winter with the shad kill and all fish are very healthy. The White River at Newport is still dropping and is now at 21.25 feet so they can keep generating if they want to. It will be interesting to see what they do after the 15th of this month when the rules change. I hope they keep going to give us more surge capacity but the lake is now at a good level and in good condition for fishing and boating. We just do not need a gully washer in Missouri. Blackburns was nearly full yesterday with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. The new roof on cabin #9, the only mobile home, is finished and now all buildings on the property have new steel roofs. Also all cabins have new laminate flooring. No more carpet or shingles for us here. The renovations on cabins #1,2,4 and #11 are completed and we are ready for your visit. The pool deck and basketball court are resurfaced and we are just about done painting the entire pool. Things look good here and we are ready for your visit. Also there will be no price increases this year and you can get a 1-bedroom cabin for $59/day with a covered porch and no duplexes. Are you tired of paying for your first boat stall yet? Your first regular sized stall is free here. Sorry, pontoon stalls are extra but we have eleven pontoons to rent. I have never seen more boats out there on the lake in April. People are really wanting to get out of the cities. I do not blame them. We found some morel mushrooms yesterday. The rain earlier brought them out. Before it was too dry. 

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

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

The lake level is 558.31 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with both gernerators running continuously. It started to raise a bit with the storm about 3PM when we received about an inch of heavy rain in a few minutes but started dropping again in just an hour or two. The wind blew down some trees, a billboard in town, broke a few dock cables but I saw no bad damage. There were a few power outages but things have calmed down now. It is to be sunny and cool the next several days with sunshine and below average temperatures. The main lake surface water temperature just will not get up past 60 and is just below that now. The crappie want to spawn but few are. The males are on the bank making nests and the females are in deeper water waiting. Striper fishermen have turned into crappie fishermen and are dragging the shoreline in about 20-ft. of water and picking up females. It is like carpet bombing. Others are casting to the brush or any wood near the bank and catching males making and pretecting nests. I have caught no spawned-out females. Flathead fishing has slowed but the smallmouth bass bite is good. A few nice white bass are being caught but not as many as a few years ago. Very few stripers of any size are being caught but some nice hybrids are. Short bass are being caught in the creeks in pretty high numbers and walleye are showing up regularly but I have seen few big ones. The overall fish population in Norfork is good and fishing is getting better every day. The fishing pressure continues to increase but the lake overall is in good condition. The rain really greened things up again and the trees and shrubs are beautiful. My favorite are the red buds. We have the best population of Purple Martins ever both at the resort and on the dock. I really enjoy listening and watching them. Blackburns is a bird sanctuary and I spend more on their food than people food but do not mind.

 

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

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The lake level is 558.52 and now is dropping over three inches a day with both generators running continuously. It is dry here and they are now able to reduce the level of the White River at Newport and also the discharge rate while letting area lakes drop.  It is now under 22-feet. The lake is now dropping about a fast as it can just using the generators. We will see what happens when the 15th gets here and the rules change but things are looking pretty good now.  We have a good chance of getting more rain later today but can take an inch without raising the lake much. It would be really nice to keep the level below 560 for the rest of the year especially for parking, launching and day use. The lake color is good for fishing and is trying to clear. Too clear is not good but we have not had that in a while. The surface water temperature should rise today with ambient temperatures to reach 80. It has held at just at or under 60 for a long time on the main lake. Lots of fish are wanting to spawn and different species are in varying stages of the spawning process. Male bass and crappie are on the bank now. The walleye that I am catching have no eggs but some are shallow in the backs of the creeks and some are on the usual main lake brush. Use a spoon on the brush and a small creature or swim bait on the bank. Three inches seems to be the right length. A lot of short bass were caught out of the buckbrush in the backs of creeks yesterday but some were keepers also. I do not keep bass this time of year or sight fish nests. There are more boats out there for this time of year than I have ever seen. Norfork Lake is no longer a secret. The facts that we have no good roads to get here and no major airports are not keeping them away anymore. People are just trying to get out of the city and the giant boats and boat traffic of Lake of The Ozarks and are pleasantly surprised on their first trip here. The days of taking a small flat bottom boat out on the lake may be numbered. I fish a bass boat but when I see a big steep sided boat with an antennae heading my way I turn and get away from it as fast as I can. I guess my days of being nearly the only one out there in peace and quiet are limited to winter. Some growth is good but sometimes I think it would be nice for it to be like it was when I moved here in 1995 and knew almost everybody in town. Now I go into the super Walmart and see a hundred people and do not know any of them. Now that is a change. Now instead of a two lane road going by my corner it is a five lane highway and still more busy. It is getting harder and harder to exist as a good ol hillbilly country boy. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental prides itself in being pro-veteran, pro-police and pro-family and these groups are always welcome here and we try to keep our prices low for them. I served my time in the military but am more proud of my father's family who were all heros of WW-2. Five brothers all served at the same time and the sixth one tried but was only 16.  No political correctness will change that. My father is the marine near the bottom and I could not be prouder. He served in Iwo Jima, Saipan, Tinian and occupied the Island of Japan. The bombs for sure saved his life as he was on his way to invade Japan when they were dropped and surrendered. Who could not be proud of that.

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

Dave Titus with some of yesterday's catch. Released under the dock.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 558.82 and continues to drop about three inches per day.I hope they continue. We received about 0.2 inches of badly needed rain yesterday and it really greened things up. In just a few minutes after it stopped buds were bursting open on trees and shrubs and grass turned about three shades of darker green. It was good to have the dust settled. The main lake surface water temperature is stubbornly holding in there at about 60-degrees and the creeks can vary as much as 5-6 degrees a day depending on wind, ambient temperature and how close to the banks you are. This is a weird year for spawn. I caught a white bass about 2-1/2 pounds and it did not have bloodlines in the eggs and was not ready yet.  They usuall spawn in February. Some smaller crappie in the 10-12 inch range are ready to spawn and larger ones are not. I had always found the larger ones spawned first and then moved to main lake brush. This same thing happened last year and the spawn continued well into late May. The flatheads that I am catching have no eggs but they are the last fish in the lake to spawn. The top-water bite for stripers and white bass is just starting on some days and begins about 7:Am and does not last long. The stripers that I have seen being caught are small and should have been released. Keep killing those little ones boys and brag about it and they will be all gone. The night bite for spawning stripers was a fizzle. I do not know if they are just not there or just late but it usually happens before now. Maybe since the big ones are gone the smaller ones are not ready yet. The smallmouth bass fishing is very good now and they are right on the bank in the buckbrush and can be caught on a 3-inch creature bait on a 3/16th or 1/4 jig head walking the bottom. Be prepared to lose a few lures. Use clear 6-lb. line on a 6-1/2 ft. medium heavy rod. More walleye are in the same places as are some crappie. Expect to catch all three. The same walleye that were in the 15-inch range last year are just about keeper size which is 18-inches. Some are just a bit short but more keepers are being caught than last year.  Bluegill fishing has been slow for some reason. There are a lot of them down there but they will not bite very well at least for me. A couple of them fried up like potato chips are pretty good eating. The lake overall is in good condition and the fishing is fair to good and is getting better. You can catch fish all day in this cloudy weather. Try a 2-inch white twister tail tipped with a small crappie minnow on a 1/16th ounce white with a red eye jig head on 4-lb line just for fun. Turn the tail up and hook the minnow through the lips. You will be surprised at what you catch. Tip of the year.

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

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 559.07 and has dropped a little over 3-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. The lake surface temperature was just under 60 in some places and in the low to mid 60's in others. The water is trying to clear and is at a good color for fishing on both creeks and main lake but has been slow doing so as it has been slow warming up. The ambient low was 65 last night and that will really help things out. The rain is moving into Baxter County now and it looks like we will get a little and maybe a storm. We do not need the wind but a little rain will not hurt. I never thought I would say that. The lake has dropped about 2-feet from it's high and that was badly needed and we need more. They are dropping the level of the White River at Newport  very slowly now and it is at 22.35 and is where it should have been all winter and we would be at 552 and able to hold another big rain. The fishing is getting better and better with bass and crappie being the best with catfish not far behind. White Bass are disappointing and are not near what they were before their kill-off a couple of years ago. They are the easiest to catch and people that have trouble catching fish could almost always catch them. Not so now. They spawn several times a year and should make a comeback with the goodly amount of baitfish in the lake. The shad kill this year made a dent in them but there is still plenty of feed with the absence of the big stripers scarfing them up.  Some male crappie have moved to the bank and shallow wood to make a nest and the females are mostly full of eggs with blood lines wanting to spawn. I cleaned one big female crappie yesterday with no bloodlines that I had hooked deep. It still had several days before spawn left. Others are ready. If all of the males are caught off the nests there will be nothing to fertilize the eggs and protect the eggs and small fry. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few. This may be the easiest time to catch them but not the best time for the population which I would like to keep where it is. Norfork is a good crappie lake and known for big ones and not high numbers. There are few places where you can catch 14-16 inch crappie regularly and we need to keep it that way. There are more and more boats out there everyday and the fishing pressure is increasing over the years and the boats are getting bigger and bigger. Not sure how much I like that but it is what it is.

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

Tom Kelly with a pretty good one.Image title

The lake level is 559.34 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. I hope they keep this up. The lake surface temperatures are rising with ambient temperatures near 80 and warmer nights. It is above 60 now about all places even in the early mornings and gets in the mid 60's back in the creeks in the sunshine shallow in the afternoons. There is to be a cold front coming through tomorrow cooling things down just a bit with a chance of storms and some rain. We can use a little rain with things getting dusty and dry. The dry last of March and early April has been a blessing for lake levels in this area. The pollen is starting to come out in force and there are green layers of it floating on the windblown banks. Moss is breaking up and is floating around. We did not used to have this and I think It will get worse before it gets better. The repercussions of the loss of the dam at Dawt Mill in 2017 are just starting to be felt on Norfork lake. The runoff in the watershed of the Norfork River is now unimpeded and flows directly into the lake. The lake in general is a good color for fishing. Bass, crappie and catfish continue to be the best bite and striper fishermen are either turning into crappie fishermen or going home. A 15-lb. one is rare now and would not have even worth a picture a few years ago and is still not as far as I am concerned.  High water with no oxygen for long periods of time, over harvesting and none being stocked by Game and Fish last year do to covid will just exacerbate the problem. They will not come back anytime soon if people do not quit killing them but still it continues. Stripers are what sets Norfork lake apart from other area lakes and I want them back. I have not kept one for a couple of years now. The limit needs to be dropped to two until they make a comeback. They do grow fast. Creeks are the best fishing now with just a few on main lake brush. Bass, crappie and walleye will move back to the main lake points on brush after spawn.  Cast a grub, jig or crearure bait on a jig head to the shore and work it slowly back to the boat raising and letting the head drop as much as possible. Pigeon, East Pigeon,Twin Coves and Briar Creek are good places to start. Very good. Cabins are still $59/day here at Blackburns and your first boat stall is free unless you drag your own pontoon. We have 12 of them to rent.  Come on down and check us out. We will not charge you too much. 

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

James and Mike caught some good ones this morning. I usually do not take pictures of white bass but just want it to be known there are still some left. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 559.63 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuous. The surface water temperature was just under 60 when I went out yesterday afternoon and just over 61 when I came in about 5:PM. The wind was light from the south and the ambient temperature was 77 degrees and it was a perfect day. We are not to get any rain until wednesday and they have upped that to 90%. The highs are to stay in the 70's with lows in the 40's. I was surprised how quickly the water temperature had risen in one day. We are dry and some rain will finally be welcome. They are holding the White River at Newport at just under 23-feet and that is good. This is a good level if they can just hold it there. The brown is gone out of the water and it is stained green and you can see your lure down just a few feet just right for fishing. Most of the debris is sticking to the bank with the water dropping and it has dropped about 1-1/2 feet from it's high of just over 561. We could sure use some surge capacity. I talked to a person on the lake who said he had trolled for miles for two days and had caught nothing so I sent him back into a couple of creeks and put on a rapala. When he went by later he said he had caught a few crappie in the 11-inch range trolling the shoreline. If you put out enough lines and troll long enough you will catch fish but there is not much skill involved and you miss the feel of the strike and setting the hook. Just take the rod out of the holder and reel.  I decided to fish a couple of main lake brush piles. When most of the fish leave the main lake there are always a few very large ones that remain. I do not fish for high numbers or troll but like to go for large ones and I caught a few very large crappie vertical jigging  in 23-ft. of water right in the brush.  One was 16-inches. I then moved to the creek and caught a few but they were small. There were several boats out there but I expected more. When I returned to the dock it was full of bluegill, crappie and some large bass. That is a sign that the spawn is near. This is an exciting time of year when things are changing rapidly and you have to adapt to the changes. Crappie on the bank in the creeks and top-water bass, stripers, hybrids and white bass are coming soon. 

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

James Soltysiak with a nice walleye caught this morning.Image title

Tom Kelly with one of several caught and released yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 559.88 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously.They are holding the White River at Newport at just below 23-feet and that is good. It is nice to be below 560 again and I hope they continue the good work albeit a little slow and late. The rain threat for wednesday is 40% and we can take some with no problem as dry as it is. Before that and after, it is to be mostly sunny and dry with highs in the 70's. If they continue until April 15th when the rules change it will be good. Fishing was much better this morning than yesterday afternoon and the water is warming a bit and is still in the mid 50's on main lake. It is all over the place back in the creeks but they are both clearing and are clearest near the bank. Bass, crappie, walleye, white bass and a hybrid striper were all caught with Tom Kelly catching several nice smallmouth in Panther creek. All of his fish were released on the spot. Tom is a very good fisherman and conservationalist. He had been off with trolling motor problems but is back strong now. He reports Hogdes Marine in Bull Shoals did a fast job on his trolling motor, it works great and he recommends them. They are nice people. James Soltysiak is back from Missouri and catching fish already. He and Mike Eakle caught some nice ones this morning. It is nice to have warm weather again even if the nights are still a bit cool. Debbie, Dave and Bryan finished resurfacing the pool deck yesterday and it looks beautiful. It should look good at $160/bucket and we have used eight of them already.  The basketball court is next and then painting the rest of the pool and then we are hopefully done. Too many improvements and not enough money. It is a good thing that we have been very busy here to keep things going. We all are very proud of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental and hope you will like it when you get here. We know you will like the price and no increases. 

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

Mixed bag all caught on the spoon yesterday. Norfork has a lot of varieties of fish. Image title

The lake level is 560.14 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. They are holding the White River at Newport at 23-feet and that is good. Should have done that all winter and we would be at 552 now but this level is ok barring any big rains in Missouri. We are to get no rain until next wednesday when thunderstorms are likely. It is getting dry. Bink reports about everything was biting yesterday except for stripers and he caught them all on his spoon. Our striper fishermen from Kansas are disappointed and say they can catch crappie a lot closer to home. They are having fun catching them and catfish here though. It is good to see a few White Bass showing up. The lake is staying stubbornly cool with the cold nights and is stil in the low to mid 50's and the water is slow to clear up but is trying. You cannot tell the clarity from the surface but have to either use an underwater camera or dive down there. Sometines it looks clear from the top but is cloudy down below and vice versa. Also the thermocline cannot be detected with a locator. What some people think is the thermocline is just a mud line above or below it.  We are far from forming a thermocline now. It is to stay with highs in the 70's for the foreseeable future and it looks like spring is finally here. Sometimes we go directly into summer. The next fishing event to look for will be the top-water bite for bass, hybrids, stripers and white bass. This will start soon and especially when the nightime lows stay in the 60's. Get out you Spitin Image and Zara Spook. After they go down you can call them back up if you know how to work the lures properly. It takes a little practice. We are busy resurfacing the pool and basketball court and then the improvements will be finally done. It is very busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals on the lake and not having to pay for their first boat stall. Even with all of the improvements there will be no price increases at Blackburns this year. It is hard to hold prices with lumber and insurance costs increasing dramatically, but we have, so we do not have to increase rates on all of our repeat customers, which we have many and appreciate. The $59/day one bedroom price will hold until Memorial Day so come on down. If you are in the Mountain Home area for Easter stop by and check us out.

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

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The lake level is 560.39 and has dropped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. That is good. Getting it back below 560 will help a lot of people. There is no rain in the forecast and I hope they keep it up. After April 15th the rules change and I am concerned they will slow down again. They have had all winter to drop the level but refused to do so. The main lake is clearing a little but the creeks still go from clearing to stained overnight. It is clearest near the shore. We have some striper fishermen who have fished hard for about three days and unable to catch anything of decent size and have turned into crappie fishermen. At least they can catch something. I fear the big striper population is lower than I anticipated but people are still killing them no matter how small. A 20-inch striper is the minimum legal size and they are just babies but Pilgrims think they are big.  The bass are also moving back into the creeks and want to make nests but the water is just too cold. We did not get the heavy frost predicted for the last two nights but it was cold anyway. The surface temperature is going down instead of up but it is to warm into the 70's later this weekend and early next week and we need to get the surface temperature up into the 60's on the main lake. I am catching crappie back in the creek on brush in about 20-ft. of water but the wood is near the surface. More fish are near the bank in the afternoons when the shallow water warms a bit in the sunshine. Few fish are on the banks on the early cold mornings. A few nights with the overnight lows in the 60's would really help. I am glad March is over. Maybe now the low pressure fronts will not be cold fronts also. Cold fronts followed with clear skies and cold nights do not help the fishing any. I am catching some nice flathead catfish everyday on a short throw line baited with 3-inch bluegill. They are not right on the bank but out in about 12-ft. of water and biting at night. They should continue to stay here until the gar move in and chase them away. We seem to be getting more and more gar in the lake. I am glad the bow hunters are helping to clean them out. The carp will move into the back of Blackburns creek soon to spawn and will be there by the thousands. I hope the bow hunters get some of those also. They can get all of them as far as I am concerned. Fishing overall is just fair but the good fishermen are catching some everyday. We are just stuck in this low to mid 50's water temperature for a few days and it will just take time to warm the water up. The bass and crappie want to spawn bad. I am ready for a little top-water bite. I am tired of wearing a coat.  

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

Bryan said he was going after bass and crappie and he did. Released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 560.62 and has dropped a little over two inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. Dry conditions and little rain for several days has helped things a lot. The ambient temperature did not get as cold as predicted last night but it did get to 34 degrees but is still supposed to freeze tonight. The very warm weather scheduled for Sunday has now been backed up a day or so but the weather is still to be fine but cool for the next couple of days but sunny. The wind shifted to the north and it was cool but not too bad yesterday. The wind finally dropped last evening and is low so far today but is to pick back up again with the heat of the day which is not going to get out of the low 50's. The surface water temperature is also dropping slowly on the main lake and there is a bigger swing in the creeks but both are still in the low to mid 50's. The main lake is clearing and the creeks change from clearing to stained green almost daily. The current due to generation is moving downstream and is enhanced if the wind is blowing from the northwest. The variable wind, cold fronts and big temperature changes make fishing difficult. You cannot use the same techniques every day if you want to catch fish consistently. The bass and crappie are moving from shallow on gentle sloping banks part way back in the creeks to steeper banks in deeper water depending on the conditions. Work a small grub on a jig head off steeper banks in cool weather in the mornings. Park as far from the bank as you can cast and let the grub sink as it falls into deeper water towards the boat. Watch your line for a twitch. If is is warm go back further and work a creature bait on a lighter jig head in shallow water near the bank in the buckbrush. I am still not finding any crappie on the main lake on deeper brush piles but are finding them pretty far back in the creeks in shallow brush in 17-20 ft. of water when it is cool and cloudy and near the bank when it is warm and sunny. The males are not making nests yet on wood near the shore with the persistent water temperature in the 50's. They want to though and the bloodlines in the eggs in bigger fish are getting larger. One day the crappie are under the dock in 23-25 ft. of water and the next they are gone. Flatheads are part way back in the creeks and are biting several feet from the banks in about 10-15 ft. of water on live bluegills. I am using a small throw line with just a few hooks on it and catching some good ones every day.  Trollers are catching some stripers in Bennetts on live bait but not very big. Just a few White Bass of any size are being caught. Fishing overall is just fair and many striper fishermen are either turning into bass and crappie fishermen ot staying home. Dropping the lake a couple of more feet would not hurt anything and help several people with access. The top water bite that I was seeing back in the creek in the evening is gone with the cold weather.