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

James and Jack with some of this morning's catch. Image title

The lake level has now hit 570. I was worried they would not achieve their goal by Memorial Day. It has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with just a little generation yesterday afternoon. The surface water tmeperature has dropped to 74 this morning and the lake is a little more stained but still pretty clear. It is to be much nicer today with a high near 70 and sunny. It never broke 60 yesterday but most people seemed to make the best of it. They were just happy to be out and be with family and friends. It was good to see so many familiar faces again since last year.  We appreciate our customers here and do not charge them too much. There were a lot of compliments about all of the improvements and they appreciate no price increases. It was hard to hold the line with prices on almost everything going up. It is bad enough to have gas prices up over a dollar a gallon since the election.  Fishing was good this morning with several people catching fish. Bass, stripers and white bass were all biting both on top water and on main lake points on grubs and spoons. I hope everyone has more fun today. The big level playground with lots of stuff to do was very busy yesterday. The pool was a little slow but at least we have one and a big one too. They will be in it today. It is already warmer than it got yesterday and it is only 11AM. It was a bit cool early this morning.

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

The lake level is 569.76 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. It is like they put a plug in the shower drain and keep taking showers. There is no doubt it is going to keep rising whether it rains or not. The only thing that will stop hold and hope is the level 580 when it goes over the spillway. Norfork is 10-ft. from going over, Bull Shoals is 9-ft. Table Rock is 11-ft. and Beaver is 0.8 feet. It would have really been nice to not to be in this situation but they can always blame rain and say that is what the dams were built for. I say they can be managed better. As long as tax revenue is good the government does not care about anything but spending our money. Congress makes the rules managing the dams (government) Corps Of Engineers manage the dams (government) and Southwestern Power Administration control power generation and distribution (government) and as long as the public does not put pressure on them nothing will change. If they run a private business they would all be fired. Blackburns has almost all repeat customers and is full with several boats rented despite the cold weather and people are trying hard to make the best of it with few complaints. We are the first resort to fill up with people taking advantage of the lowest prices on both cabins and boat rentals but no one has ventured into the big pool with slide so far today. It was busy yesterday though. Those children really want to go swimming and I feel bad for them. Maybe tomorrow will be better. It is just 55-degrees now at 3:PM and does not look like it will warm much today. It was supposed to be 70. Many people are on the internet and it is good that we have 300-MG because most of the band width is being used with a lot of streaming. I do not go out on the lake on holidays so I do not know how much the boat traffic is being affected but some reports say there are still quite a few out there. We have several rented and they are out. The water surface temperature is still in the mid 70's but it is a little chilly when you get out with the north wind blowing on you. Sorry.  Global warming is our biggest security threat. It would be hard to sell that today. One thing I am pretty sure of is that the tent camping has cut way back this weekend. I thought I was done with that when I got out of The Boy Scouts but my interest was renewed for me when in the military and found out what 1/2 tent was. It is not likely that my interest will be renewed again. Not very likely at all. 

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

The lake level is 569.07 and is rising about 1/2 inch per hour with no generation since yesterday evening. We received 1.5 inches of rain total here at Blackburns. It started just before 5:PM and rained hard for about 45-minutes and then again last night to get the total. The creeks are running but not hard. They are still running Table Rock hard to keep it near normal and even have some flood gates open filling Bull Shoals very rapidly. They have now got them selves in a bind with the hold and hope policy and will have to juggle not only generation but spillway gates to keep any lake from going over the dam in the future. We are not near there yet except Beaver.  Dam management 101: DO NOT LET THE WATER GO OVER THE DAM. They seem to only know that rule but push it hard. Back in 2008 the level was 580, lapping over the spillway, and 582 was headed to the dam when they opened all of Norfork gates and flooded everything downstream. They found some of the river docks and boats at Calico Rock. Keeping the area lakes too high in the winter and severely restricting river levels when they do not need to are problems that should not be ignored any longer.  The continual rise in level has not hurt fishing since late April and the clarity and water color is still good. Dock access, parking, beaches, camping and day users are the ones affected the most. Public launches and parking will be a cluster bomb this weekend with most people taking their boats out for the first time with out a shakedown and clogging the launches. Some marinas will have to shuttle people to their boats. Do not look for relief any time soon and we just have to make the best of it. Expect below normal ambient temperatures all weekend and campers should take an extra blanket but it should not rain.  Blackburns has no diminished services so far. 

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

Scuba Steve with a couple of good ones released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 568.44 and continues to rise with very little generation. It has risen a little over an inch in the last 24-hours with rain scheduled for late this afternoon and tonight with a cold front coming through cooling temperatures down to the low 70's for a high and high 40's for a low. Hopefully nothing severe but it is all around us. We have been fortunate. The policy of hold and hope continues with lake management except for Table Rock which is approaching normal and really filling Bull Shoals quickly. It is a good thing we have not had excess rain. I am glad Norfork Lake is not hooked on to the White River and below Table Rock lake.  It is bad enough being the stepchild and the only one not on the White River chain. We get forgotten and they have a tendency to just hold us.  With very little water being discharged into the White River and the level dropping quickly at Newport I do not expect any relief soon and expect high levels all summer unless we get a drought and then the 12-ft. rule will take effect and limit the discharge severely. I expect the beaches to be available by about October. People will have to swim off boats, docks or in swimming pools again this year. Stay out from the bank far enough so you do not jump into brush and if there is no brush there will be rocks. Be careful of props and do not try to beach the boats close to the shore. If you do you can go to Harold's welding to get them repaired if you do not swamp on the way in. Stay out in about 20 ft. of water and anchor to be safe. Expect a long walk from parking areas to the launch after launching your boat. It is best to rent a stall from a marina or stay at a resort with a dock or just rent a boat. You cannot rent a boat from a resort unless you are staying there. Corps Of Engineer Rule to keep the prices higher and they are getting higher with the prices of boats rising rapidly. White bass and small striper fishing is picking up early on top-water and bass fishing is good after that. Some bass are with the red meat fish on top. Big Bluegill are near willows in shallow water back in creeks and also on main lake. If you see a bunch of willows there will be bluegill in them and big ones too. Some crappie have moved to 30-ft. brush and the spawn for all practical purposes is over for them but there are some stragglers. Big bass have spawned and Kentuckies will continue untl July. Flathead catfish are the last to spawn and should be finished by the middle of July. The smallmouth bass bite is very good right now and catfish are biting on limb lines baited with bluegill. I am fortunate to be able to fish anytime I want but this is not one of those times. See you on the lake Tuesday.   

Norfork Lake fishing report 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 title

The lake level is 568.32 and is rising slowly with no generation since yesterday. They are dropping the White River at Newport Rapidly and lowering discharge in order to keep the area lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible. This way if we get big rain they can open the spillway gates and flood everything out downstream after the crops are planted and up to inflict as much damage as possible. Sounds like a plan to me. Hold and hope until there are no other options. No need for any advanced planning. We received 1.3 inches of rain yesterday afternoon and last night but most of it sank in after the dry weather for several days. The creeks are not running and there has not been much rise in level. It has come up a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours. I am concerned about weather and rain coming in Thursday evening and night. It looks to go a little north now but nothing is for sure. Tie your docks and boats down well just in case. The weekend weather looks pretty good after this low pressure cold front comes through. The lake is still clear but the creeks did stain up a bit last night. There are a lot of fish in the creeks and the morning top-water bite is pretty good for Bass, smaller White Bass, small Stripers and some decent hybrids. Bass fishing is still the best. People just keep killing those small stripers less than 10-lbs and we will pay for it in the future and already are. What used to be common is getting rare already, meaning large stripers. It will just get worse if they hold the lake up high all summer depleting the oxygen. Watch for some debris out there and stay off the lake after dark. The surface water temperature is in the lower to mid 70's and there will be a lot of people swimming this weekend. I cannot wait for the jet skis to get back out there. I miss them. 

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

Tom Kelly caught and released some nice ones fishing Float Creek yesterday on the bank. He is a good fisherman.Image title

The lake level is 568.14 and is rising slowly with very little generation and several days of no rain. It came up just a little more than an inch yesterday. More rain is expected for the next three days but not a lot.  It has been warm and the lake surface temperature is rising and more and more people are swimming with 73-degree water. The lake remains clear on both main lake and creeks but some debris is washing from shore with the steadily rising water but again not a lot. Just enough to be a nuisance and not big. Everything is fine and we are in a lot better shape than most.  Fishing remains pretty good with about all species coming in every day. Most people are catching fish.  Spring has gone by quickly and summer is here this weekend already at least unofficially. I am not a big fan of holiday weekends but i guess people have to get out when they have time off. The lake just goes from nice and quiet to crazy overnight but we are ready here at Blackburns and wish everyone the best. The lake is here for us all and we are fortunate to be able to live here. 

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

Dave Titus with one nice smallmouth released under the dock caught by the Boy Scout camp. Image title

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide ServiceImage title

The lake level is 568.05 and has risen about 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with minimal generation. They are not even letting out as much as is coming in from the river even though we have had several days of sunny dry weather and things are drying out. We can expect some rain chances on Wednesday through Friday. They are definitely in their hold and hope mode and are banking on no big rains. The rainfall has been below average so far for the month of May and I hope it stays that way. We could really use just a little drop in water level but that is not likely. All of the area lakes are in the same shape with the exception of Table Rock which gets preference because of Branson and the Landing and it's political influence. Table rock cannot handle high water very well. Bull Shoals is getting hammered and they are generating Beaver now but it is near capacity. They just have the plug in Norfork. The water remains clear with a little floating debris and the level has not hurt fishing any except that several of Blackburns Brush piles are too deep. I started putting in a few shallower than I usually do last year in anticipation of a higher spring level and they are paying off. It used to be a problem with some of them getting too shallow when the water warmed up in the late summer and the lake dropped but that has not been an issue in several years. Walleye and crappie like brush right at the thermocline so they can get in and out of warm and cold water easily. The surface water temperature is in the early 70's and the thermocline will form in the high teens soon as the surface water warms much faster than the deeper water. Some stripers are already moving into deeper water. The bigger ones that are left will do this more quickly than the smaller ones specially after the top-water bite slows down. You can count on walleye being on and around main lake points near the bottom in 16-20 feet of water soon and around Cranfield and Robinson Islands. They always are in late may in higher water years. Bass fishing continues to be the best with bluegill, crappie, small stripers and a few White Bass next. Bink caught a big striper yesterday and said it was a long time coming. He usually catches them at will this time of year. The days of big ones coming up in acres in May in the creeks at sunrise are over until people quit killing the small ones below 10-lbs. If they go to fishing for them deep later this summer, and the water remains high depleting the oxygen, it will about finish off the big ones and make Norfork a small striper lake. At least more are being stocked this year after none by the game and fish last year due to covid. That class will be absent. A few were donated by a private person.  Walleye, crappie and bass fishing is excellent though and the smaller stripers are still in pretty good numbers. Overall fishing is fair to good and about right for this time of year. We just do not need any wind, storms or big rains but nobody does. 

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

Mike Eakle with a coupld of nice ones yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 567.94 and continues to rise about 2-inches a day despite no rain and very little generation.  Beaver is one foot away from going over the spillway, they are dumping water from there into Table Rock and filling Bull Shoals from there to try and keep Table Rock at a normal level. Bull Shoals is very high but can hold a lot of water. It is a good thing it has not rained in a few days but more is scheduled for next week. It would be very nice to see the level at least stabilize. The water is actually very clear both in the creeks and main lake. We are still not above average rainfall for May. The average for May is 4.82 and drops to 3.6 for both June and July. Novenber is our wettest month. The weather has been beautiful with highs in the low 80's and lows in the low 60's and sunny. The lake surface water temperature is in the low 70's and more people are starting to swim in both the lake and Blackburns big pool. The beaches are all under water so swimming will have to be mostly in pools or off boats this summer. There is still some debris floating from the shore as the lake rises and you have to watch and stay off the lake in the dark. Most everyone continues to catch fish. The top-water bite is about as good as it will get with fish coming up most days. Bass, crappie, walleye, catfish, bluegill and small stripers continue to be the best bite with a few White Bass and Hybrid Stripers also being caught. Bink did catch a big striper yesterday and said it was the first one in the 20-lb. range he had caught in a while. Usually he catches them almost at will. He is really catching the 4-lb. smallmouth. A few stripers have gone deep already. I do not know what the dissolved oxygen level is at this time. The Striper Club usually keeps track of that. Creek minnows are all over the place and game fish are with them on the old shoreline in front of the buckbrush. The bass population in Norfork Lake is very good. Big ones too. Both fish cleaning stations were busy here at Blackburns on Saturday. 

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

Blackburns is the home of the biggest Magnolia in the whole world. It is worth a trip here just to see it. Especially when it is blooming. Image title

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 567.78 and is rising about two inches per day with very little generation. Norfork is 11 feet above power pool, Bull Shoals is 20 feet above and table Rock is 1 ft. above. The top of the power pool is the level at which the Corps of Engineers take over the dam management from Southwestern Power. They are both run by the goverrnment so it does not matter much. Now that the VA, Post Office, Dam Management and Amtrak are all running well we should let them run more stuff. They can spend our money better than we can. The top-water bite is picking up nicely and bass, stripers and hybrids all came up early this morning. Binks now likes the wopper plopper for top-water. He says it is easier to work for novice fishermen and catches fish. He caught a lot of big smallmouth with it yesterday along with some smaller stripers. They sure cost a lot. I will stick with my spittin image and spook. People sure like to show off small dead stripers like they really accomplished something. They are very easily caught this time of year and are getting smaller and smaller. Bait up six or eight rods with live bait and drag them around long enough you will catch fish.  Big bluegill fishing is picking up and crappie fishing is fair. Bass bite is the best and they are all over the old shoreline in the buckbrush chasing creek minnows and shad. The shallow water is warmer and most bait fish are there. All of the fish that I am catching are in 30-ft. or less whether on main lake or in creeks. I am still using grubs and creature baits but spinner baits and cranks are also working. The walleye that I am catching are mostly short. They were not on the flats by Cranfield Island when I checked it out a couple of days ago but they will be. When there is high water they are always near Cranfield Island in Late May or early June and in front of the submerged campground at Robinson. As soon as the thermocline forms they will be on the bottom right near it in 17-18 feet of water. I sure hope the visibility holds this year for Scuba Diving. It was very poor all last year. Spearfishing season opens June 15th. Surface water temperature will pass 70 degrees soon if the sun finally comes out and the weather gets as warm as predicted. More rain is to move in in the middle of nest week. There are a lot of bass and bluegill in Blackburns creek and under the dock. The lake is in good condition. Most people are catching fish.

Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental is the family Place with the biggest pool and the best price in the Area. Norfork Lake Fun.

Family Fun at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental on Norfork Lake near Mountain Home.Image titleImage title

The big pool with slide is packed today here at Blackburns with more to come tomorrow. They are even using the kiddie pool. 

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

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Marlene Lesniewiski with a nice Small Mouth and crappie. Image title

One nice bass caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service on top-water.Image title

The lake level is 567.58 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. Bull Shoals is rising very rapidly with them dumping Table Rock into it and keeping it near normal to protect Branson and Hollister at the other area lakes expense and hogging all of the total discharge going into the White River at Newport. Everybody could be dropping sowly.  It has been cloudy and dreary for six days but the total rain predicted has not materialized. It rained hard for a few minutes last evening about 6:PM and we received about 0.3 inches in the downpour. Our total for the six days is about 1.5 inches and we are still not above normal for the month. The surface water temperature remains just under 70 degrees and has been the same for several days. It should start rising again with the warm weather and high pressure moving in tomorrow but the chance for more rain continues by the middle of next week. Things are about two weeks behind normal due to the north winds, cold nights and cool spring earlier. We are in the southerly wind pattern and should stay there most of the time now with instead of the cold fronts coming through two or three times a week it will be low pressure and chances of wind followed by high pressure and warm temperatures. It is just about thunderstorm time with them occurring in the heat of the day or near 3:Pm to 5:Pm or with a low pressure and wind moving in from the northwest. What we need now is an extended period of high pressure but it is not likely with the current weather pattern. With the 12-ft. rule in effect for the White River at Newport what you see is what you get for lake levels in the near future with more chances of level rises than dropping. Hold and hope is the game. When they do finally try to drop Bull Shoals they will put the plug in Norfork and hold it. The 12-ft. rule at Newport does not allow for much generation. Several people here at Blackburns caught fish yesterday with bass (especially Kentucky) being caught along with a few White Bass and several crappie. A couple of nice smallmouth were caught. The striper fishermen are again disappointed but it is not going to get any better until people quit killing the small ones and also quit fishing for them in deep water. The top-water bite of old where you could see acres of stripers and hybrids coming up in Panther Creek in may are over but the meat hunters are holding on and just doing the same thing but the fish are less numerous and much smaller except for the hybrids which are still pretty good. I wish more of them were stocked. Bluegill are spawning in the creeks but I am still not seeing very many fry of any species. They should be all around the buckbrush now attracting predator fish. I am also not seeing very many big schools of shad but the lake is big at this level and they could be anywhere. They should be loaded in Blackburns Creek but it does continue to be one of the best fishing creeks in the area along with Hensley's. Main Lake cuts are holding some good largemouth and spinner baits and creature baits are both working. I am catching the big crappie on 1/16th ounce jigs and a 2-inch jig or grub. Spooning is slowly coming back. You do not have to bring a tent to get out of the weather here as all cabins have big covered porches and no duplexes with the bathrooms backing up to each other. Yes they are cheaper to build but do not allow for much privacy. Compare prices before you book and do not forget to ask if they have a pool. 

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

Roger and Leslie Maggard from Mountain Grove, Missouri are catching some good ones and are always welcome here. Nice people and good fishers. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 567.45 and has risen two inches in the last 24-hours with no generation since last evening. We have received just over an inch of rain in the last five days but it has been cloudy and dreary and is trying to rain now. We missed all of the storms and heavy rain so far. Others were not so fortunate. We are below average rainfall for the month here but the lakes continue to rise except for Table Rock which continues to drop at the expense of Bull Shoals which is more above power pool than any other area lake. With the 12-ft. rule in effect for the White River at Newport it will take all summer to get the lakes down to a reasonable level where campgrounds, swimming areas and parking and launching will be back to normal. Day users and campers are the most affected. Most resorts can handle fairly high water and people will just have to swim off a boat or in a pool.  After the last part of April the rise has been slow and the water remains clear with no brown water or big debris. A little level drop now would do a lot of good. I went out yesterday for about an hour to check out lake and fishing conditions in the afternoon.  The surface water temperature remained in the high 60's and both the main lake and creeks were clear and you could see your lure down several feet. I just took one pole with a jig on it and fished until the jig would not stay oin the head and caught four crappie, one bass and a walleye. Two of the crappie were very large males with  red tails indicating they had made a nest. The Kentucky Bass bite is the best with crappie next. Trollers are catching some small stripers and some large bass are being caught early on top-water. Several small fish of several species are being caught but some big ones also. The lake overall is in good condition and fishing is fair to good. A welcome high pressure is moving in later this week for several days and we will see what it does to fishing. Warm weather and sun should help the early top-water bite. The southerly wind will blow the plankton and shad into south facing banks and the game fish will follow. Try the mouth of Twin Coves at sunrise.    

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

Kenny and Chad Davis caught some good ones. Always glad to see the Davis Boys. They have been coming to Blackburns for a long time. No fish Tom? Image titleImage title

The lake level is 567.26 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation since yesterday evening. We have not received nearly the amount of rain forecast for the last four days but could get up to an inch today and tonight. That is about what we have received total in the last four days. The weekend looks good with warmer weather and sun on the way and dry for several days. Fishing continues to be good with bass and crappie the best bite. Most of the crappie brought in are spawned out but not all. The carp moved in Blackburns Creek to spawn, moved back out in a couple of days and came back in early this week for a couple of days and left again. They usuall just come in for about four days and then all leave. You cannot rely on yearly patterns of the past for about anything anymore. The night bite for stripers in March did not materialize, the walleye run up the river in February was a dud and the top-water bite the Middle of April is just now happening and is not nearly as good as in the past. The big crappie spawn and then moving to main lake brush afterwards did not happen and there are few fish in the open water on shad. The May bite for walleye on the flats east of Cranfield has not happened yet also. The fish are scattered all over the lake with no particular reason to be anywhere except for food and cover with no thermocline forming. Catfish are with the bass and are biting spoons and jigs. If you can find brush in 22-26 feet of water there will be fish on it. Several bass that normally would be in open water on shad are still on the bank after spawn. The Kentucky bass bite is especially good. Those are good eating fish and that is what they are there for unlike smallmouth and largemouth which are there for sport like the stripers should be. The big bluegill are getting more and more numerous under the dock and are ready to spawn. The big schools of crappie that I am finding are small ones but the big ones are scattered all over the lake and I am catching ones and twos. Many are black and coming out of deeper water. Just about everyone here at Blackburns is catching fish in the cloudy cool weather and surface water is staying at just under 70 for a few more days. The lake is a perfect color for fishing and Norfork is full of most species. The early top-water bite is just fair compared to earlier years and usually starts to slow down in June but has not even been good yet. Trollers are catching several small stripers. Blackburns especially welcomes fellow Veterans and Police cfficers and will not charge you too much. Compare prices before you book and also make sure places have a swimming pool. Many do not but do a good job of disguising this on their advertising. 

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

Mike Eakle with a nice hybrid released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 567.05 and is just what it was at this time yesterday. They quit generating all night and have just started again. We have received a three day total of just about one inch so far with more on the way. It has come slow and the creeks are not running.  It looks like summer is here for the weekend with highs in the 80's and sunny. The lake surface temperature has been slow rising and has hung in there at just below 70 for several days but that should be all over by Saturday. With the cloudy conditions the nightime lows have stayed in the 60's and the earlier cool nights with lows in the 40's is what have kept the water temperatures down. Our average rainfall for May is 4.84 inches and we have received just over 3-inches so far this month and is on track for average or below barring anything big. I went out for a few minutes yesterday to check on some fishing spots for our customers and was a little surprised on how clear the main lake was from the day before. I could see my lure down several feet. The fish were biting pretty good on my jig and four crappie(two very large) and a bass were caught. I was back within the hour.  The two crappie were spawned out and donated to a customer and the rest released under the dock. Catfish are starting to show up on shallower brush on main lake points. I would like to set out a trot line but just have not had time to do so with the resort being so busy with people taking advantage of our lowest cabin and boat rental rates in the area and they really appreciate not having to pay for their first boat stall unless they bring the Queen Mary and I have to move one of my rental pontoons out. We have twelve of them. Our boat stalls are different sizes and are not one size fits all. One that just fits your boat is the best. All of our stalls have walkways and electrical outlets on both sides for your convenience and ease of getting in and out of your boat and charging.  We have three Purple Martin House on the dock and they are all full of birds and it is a pleasure to just watch and listen to them. Not many bugs down there with them on the prowl.  We have two more houses full of them at the resort along with many hummingbirds, goldfinches, cardinals, bluebirds, grossbeaks, and indigo buntings, blue jays and wrens. We are an Arkansas State Bird Sanctuary. You can set out on your covered porch and have a great time watching them. A covered porch is important if you want to be outside on these rainy days, out of the sun or if you smoke. We do not allow smoking inside the cabins here. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Jigging spoons are starting to work on main lake points.   

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

Dave Titus is back from Illinois and catching some good ones as usual. All were released.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 567.05 and has dropped about an inch in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. We have received a two day total of less than 1/2 inch of rain so far with more to come for the next three days. So far so good as long as they keep generating. They are running Table Rock very heavily along with spillway released and filling Bull Shoals rapidly. Table Rock is approaching normal pool and maybe they will free up more White River capacity when this happens. They are steadily dropping the level at Newport and although I do not agree with the way the dams are managed I am happy they are able to do this at this time while running generation on Norfork. We have been at about the same level for several days with no rise while working our way through the calendar into the normally drier months. The lake is in good condition but there is still some debris out there and is wreaking havoc on aluminum props. You must pay attention and stay off the water after dark or you will hit something even though the stuff is not big and is spotty with some areas having none. The surface water temperature is just under 70 in the mornings and breaks that on sunny afternoons. The overall fishing is pretty good with trollers starting to catch some shallow fish dragging live bait through them as predicted as the top-water bite improves. This is when the temperate bass or red meat fish are the easiest to catch and you will see pictures of a lot of them shortly. Bass fishing is very good with Black Bass of all kinds being caught. Crappie fishing is just fair because a lot of throwbacks are schooled together and the bigger ones are scattered but I very nices ones are coming in. Catfishing is picking up on spoons and live bait. This is a typical late spring but is about two weeks later than normal but overall things are pretty good and most people are catching fish. The visibility changes almost daily but you can see your lure down a few feet in most places.   

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

Scuba Steve likes those big crappie. All fish were released. Image title

The lake level is 567.14 and has dropped about 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours but is about the same as last evening when they took a few hours off generating. It drops very slowly when they generate and rises very slowly when they quit. We did receive a little rain yesterday afternoon but not much but more is on the schedule. They are all over the place predicting how much but it looks like we are going to get some and maybe quite a bit. It is still sunny and warm out now but that should end tonight. At least we have had several days to dry out and the water is gone from the creeks and hillsides. The warm nights should make the early top-water bite better as the surface water temperature increases. There were several big fish coming up in Blackburns Creek last evening in the light rain and they were mostly bass. There are usually small fry under the dock by the brush and light by now but I have not seen any yet. I am just not seeing nearly as many shad as usual and the winter kill may have been worse than I thought. Bink said the kill continues for a few weeks after the water warms back up and I suspect he is right. He almost always is. More sink than float. The relatively stable water level for the last several days has not hurt the spawn any for the end but the rapidly rising water in April did not help anything. Some big fish, both crappie and bass, have not spawned out yet but a lot have. I am finding large schools of crappie in the 7-8 inch range and also throw back black bass of all species. That makes for good fishing in the future.  What we do not need is a big rain in the Norfork River water shed in Missouri. Top-water lures, jigs, grubs, spinner baits, crank baits and creature baits are all working for a mixed bag of fish right now. Kentucky bass are the best bite and are very good eating. They only have to be 12-inches to be legal. Big bluegill are just starting to bite and are also ready to spawn. I am not seeing any spawning shad at this time but I only go from about past Robinson Point south to point 8 or just past north. No need to go any further. I do like Briar creek and East Pigeon in the spring. Live bait trollers are getting stripers but they are not very big. At least what we have been accustomed to in the past. White Bass numbers are way down but hybrids are about normal in numbers and size and  they are the best fighters pound for pound of any other fresh water fish. I wish more were stocked. I went out for a few minutes between jobs on one spot and caught some nice fish. The surface water temoperature was just under 70 in the creek.  

Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental on Norfork Lake near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountain Region

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This woman did not stay at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental and Paid Too Much for both cabin and boat rental and also paid for her first boat stall. 

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

Cark Scott caught and released some good ones yesterday on a spinner bait.Image titleImage title

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

The lake level is 567.19 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. The surface water temperature rose yesterday in the sunshine and was in the high 60's in creeks coming in from the south and over 70 in creeks coming in from the north. There was some debris on the south facing banks where the wind has been blowing into and the other side was clear. The water was stained but you could see your lure down a few feet. I went out to check out a rental boat for a few minutes in the afternoon and caught five crappie and five bass. The crappie were not big and neither were the bass. Most were Kentucky Bass. Carl Scott caught some very nice bass and crappie on a spinner bait on the bank on the main lake. I was using a bobby garland Baby shad and my fish were smaller. Bink is catching a mixed bag of bass and stripers early. Rain is scheduled for Late Sunday and into the middle of next week and we will see what happens. It is nice to have the lake slowly dropping insteady of steadily rising but it is the middle of May and any thing can happen. The Corps is closing some campgrounds already since their electricity is in a loop and the lower campsites are under water. The beaches are gone or nearly gone. It will all depend on how much rain they get in the Norfork River Basin in Missouri on what happens here on Norfork Lake. Local rains do not affect the lake level nearly as much. Blackburns still has $59/day one bedroom cabins until Memorial Day and you first boat stall is free so come on down. We will not charge you too much and especially welcome fellow Veterans and Police Officers. 

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

Fishing with Bink's Guide service.Image titleImage title

Tom Kelly caught several walleye yesterday in Float creek.Image title

The lake level is 567.25 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running most of the time. It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow when the rules change again. They really want the White River regulated to 12-feet at Newport for some unknown reason and if they go back to hold and hope with the rains coming again most of next week it should really irritate a lot of people a bunch. There is absolutely no reason to do this. All they have to do is keep it at minor flood stage which is 23-feet.  It does not matter if it is Corps of Engineer's fault, Southwestern's Power fault or Congress' fault. They are all government and the incompetence is not going to go away until the public speaks out.  Their answer to everything is to do a study and then do nothing. Nobody is trying to flood out the farmers downstream but would just like for a little common sense to be incorporated. If they regulate Newport t0 12-feet tomorrow because the lakes are not 70% full we can expect this level for another several months or well into the fall unless we have a drought. We can handle this but should not have to. Campers, marinas and day users of launches, parking and swimming areas are the most affected. It was really foggy early this morning but burned off with the sun. It is a beautiful day again and has been for several days in a row. Rain is on the schedule for most of next week and we could get 2-3 inches total. We have had very little so far this month. The brim or bluegill fishing is really getting good and they are good sized too. They are on main lake brush and under docks. Walleye are on  main lake points in 20-ft. of water and if I had time I would try around Cranfield Island for them. Blackburns is nearly full and people need a lot of stuff and I cannot get away for very long without my job not getting done. Fishing has to be second for me for now but a lot of good fishermen are giving me daily accurate reports. if I took time to fish I would not be doing my job. It is fortunate that Blackburns has very good employees. Bass fishing is still good and more and more are on the main lake after spawning and leaving the creeks and shallow water. Top water bite has been slow coming but is a little better now early morning unless it is too foggy to see. Overall lake condition and fishing is pretty good with no brown water and just a little debris but too much to be out after dark. At least with my boats. Surface water temperature is still in the mid 60's and you can see your lure down several feet on the main lake and about three feet in the creeks except near the shore which is very clear. Several bass and crappie are spawned out now.  

Blackburns Big Pool with Slide is now open.

You can swin laps in this pool. The children will love the slide.Image titleImage title

The big pool is now open for your enjoyment here at Blackburns. Bring the children and get on in. It is sparklingly clean and has been newly painted and deck resurfaced. 

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

Rob and Brad Gravengoed are good fishermen. Image titleImage title

Carl Scott caught and released some good ones yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 567.30 and has risen about 1-inch in the last 24-hours with generation a little over 1/2 the time. The weather has been sunny and beautiful for a couple of days but the nights have been very cool and the lake surface temperature is not rising and is hanging in there in the mid 60's. It looks like more rain is coming Sunday night and Monday. We have not had any excess rain this month. A lot of fish were caught yesterday. Blackburns is nearly full with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. The big swimming pool is open now but nobody has been in it yet. It is like the lake temperature and is in the mid 60's. A little too cool for me but we are ready for your visit when it does warm and it will. Look for top-water fish at sunrise and then switch to creature baits on jig heads on the bank after that. Swim baits about 3-inches long are catching both crappie and bass. Several crappie are spawned out and are on brush back in the creeks in about 23-ft. of water and are hungry. Cast you jig past the brush and let it sink into it as you slowly work your jig across it or drift with the wind over the brush and use you trolling motor to go the other way. I am catching more on the drift. Several fish are throw backs but several are pretty good sized. The same goes for bass. Small stripers are with the bass as are some white bass and hybrids. This is prime time for striper fishing and the size has been disappointing. Several hard core striper fishermen are starting to release some and that is an improvement. The big bluegill are getting ready to spawn and are under Blackburns dock. I am seeing no shad spawning and not very many shad at all compared to this winter before the kill. Several gizzard shad are in Blackburns Creek but not big schools. Threadfin are small and fat like they have not spawned yet. We are about two weeks late for everything water temperature wise. Surface water temperature is usually in the 70's by mid May and normal ambient high is 76 but the cool nights are holding everything up. The lake overall is in good condition and the fishing is fair to good with several small fish mixed in the the big ones. Bass, crappie, stripers, walleye, hybrids and white bass are all being caught everyday.   

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

This guy did not stay at Blackburns. He either has too much money or a little slow on the draw. Image title

The lake level is 567.20 and is stable when they generate and rises when they don't. The surface water temperature is 65 degrees and the fish are biting. Trollers are catching some stripers in the 6-9 pound range and bass fishermen are doing well. Crappie are good but there are several throwbacks. Walleye fishing is steady with some caught everyday. The top-water bite is geting better and they are either coming up of just under the surface. Fish for them the same way. The weather has been cool and nights have been cold and the surface water temperature has dropped just a bit in the last several days. The sun is shining now and the ambient temperature is in the low to mid 60's. It is to get near 80 on Sunday and Monday with rain back in the forecast on Monday. The lake in general is high but in pretty good condition and fairly clear. You can see your lure down a few feet. Fish are scattered out about everywhere except for in the deep main lake. Shad are still in the creeks but have move into the north facing ones with the predominate north wind for several days. There are a lot of fish under and around the dock. Blackburns is nearly full with several boats rented and the big pool is open. There is not much time for resort owners to be fishing now but I have a lot of good fishermen giving me reports. I try to get out as much as possible but cannot stay long. It would be nice if the water level would not rise any more but we can handle it here if it does. 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)

Rob and Brad Grevengoed with some of today's catch. They are good fishermen. Image title

The lake level is 566.98 and has risen 5-inches in the last 24-hours. We did get a little rain this afternoon but not very much. It is pretty much cool and miserable. They started generating a little more and the level has been the same for a couple of hours. The lake overall is in pretty good condition but the people here are tired of the cold temperatures and cloudy and dreary skies. Fishing is hanging in there and several fish are being caught. There is no brown water and not very much debris but some is blowing with the wind direction changes which is from the northeast now. It is to warm up nicely by the weekend but bringing more rain with it. May 15th is when the most severe rules go into effect for the dam management and they try to keep the White River at Newport at 12-feet unless the area lakes are at 70% full and they only increase to 14-feet and we have not seen that since last fall so do not expect any level drop anytime soon and probably just a steady increase. What you see is what you get and probably more unless we go into a drought. Blackburns can handle high water pretty well and better than most and have dock access no matter how high it gets. The people most affected are day users and weekenders where launching and parking are reduced and campgrounds and swim beaches are nearly gone.  We are fine here now and nobody knows what tomorrow will bring but we will handle it here with very few diminished services, if any, and just some inconvenience. Hold and hope. That is what the government plan is that has only worked about one year in the last several and there are several people that still think there are not any alternatives. There are and they need to be explored. We have just become used to how government runs things and do not expect much and do not get much. We have a beautiful lake here and are better off than many places. I sure hope they do not hold and hope too long and have to open flood gates and flood out the farmers downstream again when this could have all been avoided. We are not there yet and can only hope for the best. Blackburns big pool is open.   

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

Caught fishing with Binks Guide service YesterdayImage title

The lake level is 566.55 and has risen 10-inches in the last 24-hours but they starting generating earlier this morning. The lake overall is in pretty good condition but rising steadily. Small stripers, bass, bluegill, crappie and walleye were all caught yesterday by several good fishermen. It is very cool and dreary with a northeast wind and you need a coat out on the water. The nightime lows are in the 40's. This is not what you would expect for the 10th of May but global warming has not hit here yet. Normal high is 76 degrees. There is not much to say about the spawn except that some have and some haven't and the surface water temperature has dropped to about 67 in the Blackburns Creek area and the fish are confused and do not like making nests and have them too deep the next day. They will only try this a couple of times and then give up and then release unfertilized eggs in open water. You can catch fish about everywhere except in open deep water. Several are on the bank in back of the buckbrush on worms and other creature baits and some are on brush in the creeks in 23-ft. of water on jigs and minnows. Some small stripers are on the steep bank west of the sunken Cranfield Island. Over 1/2 of the crappie being caught are throw backs as are the bass but some nice ones are also being caught. Norfork is known for big fish but not high numbers but that is not the case now. I am not seeing very many shad and the ones that I do see are very small except for some large gizzard shad under docks. Some were in the back of Hensley's yesterday but the wind has shifted to the northeast for a couple of days now.   

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

Tom Kelly caught and released some good ones yesterday fishing Float Creek with his six inch worm. Image title

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The lake level is 565.74 and rising with no generation since last evening. We received 0.8 inches of rain so far last night and today and it is still very cloudy and thundering. The creeks are running but not very fast but will continue to raise the lake with some going in and the drain is plugged. They are dropping the White River at Newport very quickly and are headed for 18-feet there as fast as possible for some unknown reason. They would really like it to be at 12 feet so there is not much chance of very much of a drop anytime soon. Fishing is not affected much but the day users and campers are in for another frustrating year. Table Rock is hogging all of the White River capacity and filling Bull Shoals quickly and they will be forced to let out more like they were at Beaver Lake when it almost went over the spillway last week. It is not what we can do about the current situation but how we got here. Hold and hope is not a very good plan and has not worked since 2008 when they opened Norfork spillway gates for the first time. At least they know how to do that now. Most resorts have learned how to handle this change in lake management and do not have diminished services until the lake rises a few feet more. Blackburns always has access to their dock but it gets more difficult and costly and we are not allowed to make any permanent fixes due to Corps of Engineers Rules and most of these rules are not bad. If conditions change rules need to be changed and this has not happened for many years. Nobody is asking to flood out anybody downstream, just do a better job of management. The lake continues to be in pretty good condition for fishing and the surface water temperature is rising and headed for 70. We are to get much cooler weather for several days and the rise in water temperature will be mitigated. I am still catching fish that are full of eggs that should have spawned by now. They just do not like this springtime quick rises in water level. Crappie just under the 10-inch limit are numerous and will make for good crappie fishing in the next few years. Walleye and bass numbers are also high. Some fish are still back in the creeks and some are on main lake points with some on brush and some on the bank. People are still killing dock floors full of stripers and some are just over the legal size of 20-inches which are still babies. We will pay for this in the near future but what I cannot understand is why they are bragging about it. There are still a lot of them in the 5-10 lb. range but their numbers are dwindling rapidly. Catch and release on stripers would make a lot of sense now while they are shallow and can survive catching and then not fishing for them in deep water in the summer when they all die after being caught but nothing seems to stop these meat hunters even though there is not much left after the red meat is cut out. Some nice fish were brought in yesterday and many more released. People are really glad to have a covered porch on their cabin today here at Blackburns. 

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

Fish of the Day yesterday released under the dock. I can still see him down there. Image title

The lake level is 565.47 and has risen about 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation since last evening. The have opened the spillway gates  at Beaver lake just before it went over the spillway as predicted and are still running Table Rock as fast as they can and filling Bull Shoals rapidly. Norfork is not on the Chain of Lakes and they are pretty much letting it rise so not add to the high water on the White River at Newport. They have let it drop from over 26-feet which is flood stage to just under 24-feet which is minor flood stage. Beaver is 7-ft. above power pool, Bull Shoals is 13-ft. above, Norfork is 10-ft. above and Table Rock is 2-1/2 ft. above. Bull Shoals can hold a lot of water and cetainly gets it's chance to prove it being below Table Rock which they keep as close to normal as possible to protect Branson and the Landing. It certainly would have been a good idea to drop the lakes in the winter and keep them from rising with the spring rains as long as possible instead of holding and hoping and flooding downstream in May after the crops are planted. A friend told me that they were called by the Corps and their camping reservation for Bidwell Park had been cancelled and that there would be no more until October. I do not know much about camping after being in the the Boy Scouts and Military but maybe they are anticipating letting things flood again. They are not flooded yet.  We have not had any rain for several days now and the rain scheduled for last night and this morning has not amounted to much except a lot of noise but it is raining now and very dark. I had to check out a rental boat yesterday and took a fishing pole with me. Most resort owners do not have much time for fishing now and I am not an exception and it is a good thing that I have some of the best fishermen on the lake giving me daily reports this time of year. I went to the first place on the main lake and caught nothing for about 1/2 hour and went back in a creek on brush in 23-ft. of water and found a lot of crappie in 23-ft. on brush. I caught my limit of keepers and about three limits of throw backs and started to move again when a distressed boater needed help and I had to tow him to the Cranfield boat launch ending my fishing for the day. They were nice fellows from Missouri. I did see a line if debris right in front of Cranfield campground but was able to get through it by going slow. It was heading downstream towards the Island. Most of the junk at the mouth of Blackburns creek the day before was gone and the lake overall in this area was in pretty good shape at least where I went. There was no brown water and the water near the shore was clear and I could see my lure down several feet. There was very little debris overall and it was easy to get out of what there was. The people that I talked to all caught fish with bass being right on the bank behind the buckbrush as well as around docks. I released all of my crappie under the dock and they all swam right into the brush under there along with other crappie, several bass, big gizzard shad and many bluegill. The big bluegill have just moved in. There was at least a 6-lb bass right by my boat lift when I came in. The water temperature was about 68 degrees and should rise again today with last night lows in the 60's and daytime highs near 80 this afternoon after things clear up. Many crappie are still full of eggs and a lot of short ones are everywhere. It is time to set out a trot line with live bait and catch some catfish. The water is not high enough for limb lines yet but most of the trees near the shore are dead anyway as is the buckbrush from being under water too long. The top water bite is a little disappointing so fat but there is some early. People are still killing the stripers that are left even though they are small and seem proud to do so. When they are gone they will have to leave here and go decimate another lake. Blackburns big pool is nearly full and will be ready to open soon and you can still get a one bedroom cabin for $59/day with a free boat stall.  I highly recommend Clean Cut Tree Service. They have the best equipment, fair prices and are very knowledgeable.  

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

The lake level is 564.35 and has risen about 10-inches in the last 24-hours with a very little generation yesterday evening. Norfork lake is up about 7-1/2 feet since the first big rain last month when it was down to 557. This last rain was not as big as the first one but they had not been able to get rid of the water yet when the second one came resulting in continuous high daily rises with no generation to stop it. The rises continue and do not expect any relief anytime soon.  The huge generation and spillway release from Table Rock into Bull Shoals is filling it quickly and keeping the White River at Newport to near flood levels.   Beaver Lake is getting near capacity and they will have to release a lot of water from it soon or it will get over full. Dam management 101, do not let the water go over the dam. Maybe they can get that right. Keeping the levels high all winter and holding and hoping do not seem to be working very well. More rain is scheduled for later this week with low pressure moving through about twice a week which is not unusual for early May. Yesterday was not the best weather wise. The wind shifted to the north and the ambient temperature dropped all afternoon and by about 5:PM you needed a coat. It was dark and dreary with misting rain all day. Several fishermen stayed out in it though and caught fish. Others were just hanging around on their porches rigging poles or socializing. I heard more than one comment about how nice it was to have big covered porches and not be cooped up inside all day. Today is sunny and beautiful and everybody is out. Just take it day by day and be thankful for no severe weather. I am.  The big pool is filling and will be ready for you when it finally warms up and it will. The continuous lake rises is messing up what started out to be a good spawn but the fry should have a lot of cover.   

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

David Smith from Bozeman, Montana caught and released his first Norfork lake Smallmouth yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 563.39 and has risen over eight inches in the last 24-hours and we have received a two day total of 1-1/2 inches with most of it coming last night.  The creeks are running and the lake is still rising fairly quickly with no generation since yesterday afternoon. It is not going to quit rising anytime soon and this last rise has floated more debris out into the lake like we needed anymore and I have to move the dock in daily.  The wind has shifted to the north and we are to get much cooler ambient temperatures and nightime lows to get down to near 40. The surface water temperature is still right at 66 degrees and it will be lucky to hold that in the next several days. More rain is in the forecast. It turned out to be a very nice day yesterday with a high of 78 degrees with sunshine in the afternoon. Most people caught fish with several small crappie starting to be caught along with the big ones. Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be pretty good and several largemouth have spawned but the ones that have not must be getting discouraged with the sudden rises in water level. Bull Shoals is rising the fastest and Table Rock is still dropping with heavy generation and spillway releases despite the White River at Newport being right at flood stage. Try and figure that out. It is time to set some catfish lines. We should get a couple of days break in the weather before another front comes through and things are starting to clear out now.

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

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Tom and Mike Soltysiak with some of yesterday's catch.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 562.71 and is rising steadily with a 3-1/2 inch rise in the last 24-hours with no generation since last evening. It was very foggy this morning and is just now clearing. We are to receive more rain later tonight with 1-2 inches likely and possible storms and it is to continue to the morning.  It is the season. We got over average rainfall for April this year with most of the excess coming on the 29th. The rain tonight will keep the lake level rising. The ambient temperature is to get into the 80's today and after the weather moves through the wind will shift to the north again and cool back down to near 70. The average high is 74. Blackburns has lots of friends in Mississippi and hope they are all well after the storms last night. It is never good to be featured on the weather channel. I hope Mountain Home never makes it. Blackburns has a lot of good fishermen in now and they caught fish yesterday afternoon with reports of several species being caught. Nobody got rained out as we received less than 0.2 inches of rasin. Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Warmouth, Ozark Bass and small stripers, hybrids and White Bass were all caught. Norfork lake has a lot of varieties of fish and all seem to be doing well except for the numbers of White Bass and Large stripers. Walleye are doing well and are healthy but the bite has slowed just a bit in the last few days. Fish are showing up again on mainlake brush but most of my brush piles are a little deeper than I would like them. I started putting some of them in shallower with the change in Lake management keeping the level higher the last several years. They used to get too shallow in the summer but not now. That strategy is now paying off for Blackburns customers and they are catching good fish off them. If we ever get back to good lake management we will have them at all levels. I would like them to be at 25-ft. with the tops about 8-10 feet down. Just deep enough so you cannot see the fish. If you can see the fish they can see you and will not bite. The lake overall is in fair condition and will be fine if it gets a little time to settle out. A couple of feet of lake drop will stick the debris back on the bank after the almost 6-ft. rise since the end of April but do not expect that anytime soon. The White River at Newport is right at 26-ft. and near flood stage. The only lake in tha area to drop is Table Rock and we all know why they are dropping it and it has nothing to do with protecting the farmers down stream. We missed our chance to draw the lake level down this winter but maybe some day the light will come on.  We also need to get rid of the stupid 12 and 14 ft. rules of managing the White river at Newport. Spooning and minnows are both starting to work on main lake brush and creature baits on jig heads for the banks part way back in the creeks. The spawn is messed up with the rising water so just work from right on the bank to out in front of the buckbrush in the backs of the creeks. The top water bite is improving everyday and the fish are coming up in their normal locations for May but mostly on sunny days. On rainy cloudy days they are still there but just a few feet down and will come up to the top if you just think like you see them up. On sunny days use the clear spook because it glistens in the sunlight like a shad and on cloudy days it does not matter much but you can also use a white or colored one. Small poppers are also working near the bank for about everything. Reports of spinner baits working are coming in but I do not use them much on Norfork. The same is for crank baits. They both work though. Surface water temperature is 66-degrees and will warm today especially in the creeks. the bluegill are near spawn.  

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

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Mickey McGee is a good friend and long time repeat customer. He and his crew are always welcome here. They can catch fish too. Some of yesterday's catch released.  Image title

The lake level is 562.51 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation since last evening. We have received just a little rain so far today with more on the way and it is very cloudy but people are getting in some good fishing time. I has a 66 degree water temperature in Blackburns Creek just a few minutes ago. Smallmouth bass are around the Boy Scout Camp and crappie are in Echo point creek and Hensley's. High numbers of throwback pre-spawn crappie are being caught now in brush in 30-ft. of water just under the 10-inch limit. Several crappie have not spawnwd yet, but bass, shad and carp are spawning everywhere and the creek is full of fish. Things are about two weeks later than normal what ever that is.  Live bait trollers are bringing in several small stripers and hybrids as predicted with the top-water bite and shad spawn. I have never seem so many people so proud of such small fish but they just have not been around here long enough to know what things were like when the big stripers were in high numbers. I have seen Guides like Darrel Binks, James Nichols and Gerry Sperry bring in many fish over 40-lbs back in the early 1990's when they were plentiful. 30-pounders were common and 15-pounders were throw backs. Over fishing and too many years of high water for extended time with low ozygen have taken their toll and nobody seems to care except to kill the ones that are left and brag about it. A program of catch and release for them needs to be started and also not fishing for them in deep water. The stocking program for them resumes this year and it will take several years to even approach where we were but there is no better time to start than now. It will be a waste of time to stock them if things continue as they have been for the last several years. They are what sets Norfork lake apart from the average lake and I want them back even though I do not fish for them anymore. It used to be really fun to go out on a warm November night with the full moon shining on the bank and catch a 30-lb. striper. The new generation need to experience this and us old folks should not rob them of that. No better way to spend an evening. The lake is clearing every day and we need it to drop 3-4 feet to stick some of the debris on the bank and have the rain stop. A little generation would not hurt but I do not expect that for quite a while. Overall fishing is just fair but most everyone is catching some fish of several different species. Things could be a lot worse and all area lakes are experiencing the same condition but Table Rock is hogging all of the generation and that water is going into Bull Shoals. If we get no more big rains things could straighten out by early summer but that could be a stretch. Fishing is the least thing that will be affected and high water does not affect fishing much except when it comes too fast. We have all had our Covid shots at Blackburns and hope you have too but you can still social distance here with all cabins being individual with no duplexes and the lake is big and so is the pool. I will start to fill it next week. People are really wanting to get out and you can come here. We will not charge you too much. If you are new to Blackburns you can meet some of our many repeat customers and join in on the fun. We help each other catch fish and the chikdren can meet new friends. Blackburns is your fishing and family headquarters for Norfork Lake and especially welcome Veterans and Police. Compare prices. 

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

Rich from Benton, Illinois released this nice bass under Blackburns Dock. He and Kim are good fisher people and better friends. Image title

The lake level is 562.08 and has risen about six inches in the last 24-hours. It is stable when they generate but rises when they don't. There has been no generation since last evening. They have the White River now at 26-feet at Newport which is flood stage and are generating Table Rock as fast as they can and supplementing the discharge with flood gates to keep Branson Landing from getting high. The rest of the area lakes are rising and do not expect them to drop much anytime soon with more rain coming Sunday and Monday. There is some debris on the lake with an occasional big one but mostly small. If you try to go out after dark you will hit something. Just take it easy during the day.  Blackburns is full now with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area and most are catching fish. The carp are spawning back in Blackburns Creek and that is a sign that the threadfin shad are also spawning and the top-water bite is on with surface water temperatures in the early to near mid 60's. You can catch a lot of bass now with a spitin image or a Zara Spook Puppy. Lizards and crawdad creature baits are also still working on light jig heads in the brown water near the shore for bass. Some Black Crappie have spawned but others are still full of eggs. Slip floats about 8-9 feet  down over brush with minnows are also working. I have not seen very many spawned out White Crappie yet and just a few bass. The spawn might still work out if the rain coming does not raise the lake much but it will be harmed if it does. They get tired of moving the beds and just squirt out unfertilized eggs into the open water.  There are still many places where the water color is good and you can get out of the brown water. Brown warms up faster than clear water and it is darkest as you get further back in the creeks and that is where the shad, bass, crappie and carp are spawning. The lake is up a total of five feet since it's low of 557 earlier. Walleye continue to bite and some are on main lake points near brush which is getting too deep again. Pre-spawn bluegill are starting to bite and catfish are back in the creeks. It is an exciting time and things are changing daily. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and Police and Veterans are especially welcome at Blackburns. We are the family and fishing headquarters for Norfork Lake. We will keep our prices low for you while continuing to upgrade. We were voted the most improved and best value in the area for the second year in a row.