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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 571.98 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 2/3 the time. The surface water temperature is in the mid 80's and the water is clear. Fishing overall is just fair with the stripers going deeper and the top-water bite slowing way down in the morning. Some fish are on the shallower brush piles, some on main lake points at the 23-ft. thermocline, some on the old lake shore before the rise, some in open water on shad and some stripers just on the bottom doing nothing and a few bass coming up at sunrise for just a bit. Catfish are biting on limblines, jugs and trotlines back in the creeks on live bait. Bait up just before dark to keep the turtles and herons from taking your bait. Cut bait is cheap but is not catching much. It looks to be very busy out there this week and I will be glad when it is over. The lake is in good condition for boating, swimming and fishing but the high water will make it tough for day users. Launching, swimming, camping and parking will be severely restricted. It is best to stay at a resort and use their dock and parking whether you rent a boat or bring your own. Make sure the place you stay has a swimming pool, dock and rental boats. Many do not. Some try to pretend they have boat rentals but are just actually sending you to a marina and have none. Many others do not have a dock and also send you to a marina to park your boat. You have to be careful.  There will be lots of law enforcement out there and needs to be to keep everyone safe. Do not come on vacation and leave on probation. Many have.

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 on the spoon.Image title

The lake level is 572.14 and has dropped about 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. They are still holding the White River at 12-ft. stubbornly at Newport and have missed many chances to drop the area lakes. We are below average rainfall for June. We have been in a pattern of warm sunny days with pop up showers during the heat of the day. Just enough to keep things green. It is hard to believe that the 4th of July is this weekend and it is only about six weeks until school starts. Town traffic is building already and it looks to be a very busy week. People are tired of being restricted because of covid and are really wanting to get out of the city and away and Norfork Lake is a good destination. Overall fishing is not the best now but several temperate bass are being caught both by trollers and spoon fisherment in 50-80 ft. of water. All fish caught in this manner die after being stressed by fighting in warm water and coming up fast out of deep water with low oxygen. Bass fishing is just fair as is the crappie bite. Catfishing is a little better as is bluegill fishing. Usually some walleye are with the stripers in deep water but that does not seem to be the case now. Some are being caught off main lake points at the thermocline which is about 23-ft on the spoon but not a lot there either. There is just a lot of bass fry and other bait fish in the cover on the old shoreline at about 20-ft. so game fish are scattered out all over with lots of cover and food. Usually stripers and walleye are caught regularly in the heat of the summer deep as the water temperature gets into the high 80's. It will be interesting to see what happens this year. We will see what july and august brings. 

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

The lake level is 572.26 and has dropped about an inch in the last 24-hours. It is dry here and they could really do a lot of good by dropping the lake a few feet but refuse to do it. Why they are trying to hold the area lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible is anybodies guess but being run by the government is enough. They manage the lakes like they manage the post office and the Veterans Administration. Don't expect much don't get much. The surface water temperature is about 84-degrees and the water is clear. There was rain all around us yesterday but none here. There are pictures of a jet ski floating around in the lake in front of Mallard Point and that is one reason why you should not be boating in the dark. Buoys also break away in the high water and are not fun to hit let alone logs. There is not a lot of debris out there but it only takes one. Some of the wood is water logged and just under the surface. The Cystic Fibrosis fishing tournament is the 16th of October and the Bass Cat invitational is the following friday and saturday the 22nd and 23rd. The lake should be lower by then. Blackburns has $59/day 1-bedroom cabins, on site launching, plenty of parking and is close to the take off point. We are filling up already and I am glad Bass Cat is back. They are welcome here. Cystic has a lot of Missouri boys and they know how to catch bass. It should be a fun October. The top water bite is slowing and just lasts for a few minutes but some nice hybrids are showing up in deep water but not a lot. All of the stripers caught out of deep water die this time of year so I do not fish for them deep. There are not many big ones left and this high water will not help the ones that are left. Fishing overall has slowed but some are being caught. Boating and swimming conditions are good, launching and parking is not especially on weekends.  

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

Nice group of fellows staying at Blackburns and fishing with Bink's Guide Service. Caught this morning on the spoon.Image title

The lake level is 572.35 and is dropping a little less than 2-inches in a 24-hour period with generation over 1/2 the time. It is dry here but we have a good chance of rain for the next several days. The surface water temperature is in the mid 80's and the water is clear. The top-water bite early for bass and a few hybrids continues a little but does not last very long. After than go to the jigging spoon. Not much has changed as far as fishing goes but the lake gets busy on the weekends and will be very busy with the holiday coming up. I will be glad when it is over and then on to Labor Day. This year is going very quickly and it has been very busy so far. The area is thriving and people are really anxious to get away after being cooped up because of Covid. We have all been vaccinated here and hope you have also. We need to get it behind us. Prices are really going up on everything. Gas, lumber, insurance, taxes, fuel, food, appliances, boat parts and about everything else are making it hard to hold them low but we are doing everything we can here at Blackburns to try and keep our repeat customers and friends from paying too much while still making improvements. You can still expect to see the $59/day one bedroom cabins again this fall after Labor day for as long as we can possible hold them. Other people are steadily raising.  The lake in general is in excellent condition despite the high level and clarity remains very good for swimming and boating and fishing. Early bite is the best and at least the moon is getting smaller. People are catching a few nice crappie, several big bluegill and a few catfish along with the small stripers, a few hybrids and several bass. It is a typical late june fishing. 

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

The lake level is 572.45 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with more generation than not. It looks like the high water is here until fall but at least they are finally letting some out but are stubbornly holding the White River at Newport at 12-feet for no reason.  It is very dry here. The lake is clear and warming again with the warm weather. It is now in the mid 80's. The top-water bite early is diminishing and is now mostly smaller bass. The stripers have moved deep and are in anywhere from 70-80 feet of water near the bottom. If you fish for them there you can be assured they will die when brought up but that is where tie bigger ones that are left are located. Crappie and bluegill and coming in every day and some big ones too. Some crappie are located on the main lake on steep banks just at the dropoff. Others are suspended over brush in 40 ft. of water 25-ft. down. Some bass are still under cover on the old shoreline and a lot of fish are under docks in the shade. It is a typical late June fishing year but the water is clearer than it has been in years. Divers are having a lor of fun. The slowly dropping water is hanging up most of the debris that was floating but there is still some. The lake overall is in ecellent condition but is just too high. Just a few feet drop would do a lot of good for launching and parking. Come on down. We will not charge you too much here at Blackburns. We still have two cabins available for Labor Day. 

Norfork Lake fishing 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 573 even and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with a little more generation. They have not generated since last night. It is dry all around here and there is no concerted effort to drop the area lakes. There is no flooding anywhere near here. One inch per day just does not get it. We have had beautiful weather but that could change with a chance of rain and thundershowers starting about thursday and continuing until about tuesday of next week. Nothing looks serious so far. The lake is in good condition for boating, fishing, diving and swimming and is very clear. Stripers, bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill are all coming in every day but not a lot. The early morning bite is still the best and is over about 9:Am. The surface water temperature is in the early 80's. Stripers are going deeper especially the larger ones that are left. Other fish are on the main lake points and also on the old shoreline in cover. If they keep the lakes high in the vegetation all summer I anticipate another stripers kill with the oxygen depletion in late august and september. If they continue to to allow the lakes to stay high for so long like they have for the last several years it is almost not worth it to stock stripers anymore. Hybrids can handle the stress better. Walleye are getting a little scarce but divers are seeing them on main lake points in 17-22 ft. of water. Big schools of bass fry are in the cover and are everywhere and that is good. Everything is good overall here except for launching and parking and it will be a mess on the 4th of July at the launches that are still in service. I will not be out there that weekend unless I have to. We are getting about a hundred calls a day for people wanting that weekend. I certainly do not have time to go fishing but want to very bad, especially diving.  I have to rely on the good fishermen and divers that give me a report daily and I have some good ones.  I will be out there when things slow down.

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

The lake level is 573.11 and is up just a bit from this time yesterday. There was a little generation yesterday afternoon and we recieved about 0.7 inches of badly needed rain. It all soaked in and came slowly. It is cool this morning with temperatures in the high 50's and is to be a very nice day. It is to warm up and be sunny for a couple of days and then get hot again with rain again later in the week and during the weekend. Everything is fine here with the lake in good condition except for the high water restricting launching, parking and swim areas. They just will not let hardly any water out. Fishing is fair early at first light for top-water and then jigging spoons deep after that until about 9:AM. The larger stripers are deep. Some bass can be caught on the old shoreline in the brush and crappie and bluegill are under docks and around the main lake willows. Catfish on Jugs and limblines are fair on live bait. Not much is changing except the stripers are going deeper and the water surface temperature is at about 85 degrees. The lake is not nearly as busy during the week and it is a good time to go out there and avoid the weekend crowd. Sorry we do not allow tents, campers, fireworks and camp fires here at Blackburns. Others do and you will be happier there if that is what you want. Only resort guests are permitted to rent boats. That is a Corps Of Engineer rule. I do not know where it came from but special interest must be involved somewhere. Wow it is busy here.

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

The lake level is 573.11 and has risen a little less than 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with minimum generation. They continue to hold the White River at Newport to around 12-ft for no reason. The other area lakes are dropping slowly. It is very dark out with thunder and light rain so far today. It is very dry and we can take the expected nearly one inch without any trouble. Sunny skies and cooler weather is scheduled for tomorrow with warm coming again for the weekend with more rain. There is absolutely no reason not to be generating more. The water is clear and warm and people are enjoying the lake. It was busy last weekend and looks to continue through the summer. Blackburns has a couple of cabins available for Labor Day and the same for the Bass Cat Tournament in October. Better give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115  to book you place to stay. Bink reports his fishing day is from 5-9 AM with one to two hours of top-water bite early and then the stripers are going deep near the bottom in 60-80 ft. of water. The bigger fish are deep. Walleye are near the thermocline is 20-23 feet of water near the bottom on main lake points and are roaming in pairs. Crappie and bluegill are under docks and catfish are biting on live bait on jugs and limb lines. Bass are on the old shoreline in cover and on shad in open water. The 87-degree water is making fishing conditions like the end of July. We were behind on the calendar with water temperature and are now ahead with the dry hot weather. Normal high is 85-degrees.  The lake overall is in good condition and is just high. Too high. The dam managers need to be fired and incarcerated. 

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 573.06 and is the same as this time yesterday with very little generation. It is dry here and not much inflow coming in from the Norfork River. They are dropping all of the other area lakes but still refuse to drop the stepchild Norfork while holding the White River at Newport to right at 12-feet for absolutely no reason. The lake remains clear with a surface water temperature in of 86-87 degrees. We are to get some badly needed rain tomorrow and cooler weather after that. The normal high is 85. The boat traffic is increasing as we approach the next holiday and a busy one is expected. We are getting about 100 calls a day for people wanting boat rentals and cabins for the weekend. Even the resorts with no swimming pool or boat dock are going to be busy. Blackburns is the first resort to fill up so if you are looking to come to Norfork for Labor Day now is the time to reserve so you can get the cabin and boat of your choice and not be disappointed and have to pay much more elsewhere and take left overs. Not much is changing as far as fishing goes except the fish are going deeper and the top-water bite is getting shorter. A lot of fish are under docks and on the old shoreline with the bass fry in cover and the rest are on shad in open water. Some bass are around the bridge piers in the shade but that has always been the case and has been for years. It is the place where the guides that fish this area go to last before they come in. I do not fish them much but they do hold fish. I put brush around the first one from the west as you come under the 62 bridge by boat from the north. It holds big bluegill and walleye. I put a place to tie off but someone broke it off. There is a hole around the bottom of the pier where the dirt has washed away and fish like it there. The walleye are not big but the bluegill are. They are killing a lot of stripers and they are getting smaller and smaller and it is sad to see that but the other fish are all doing well and the white bass are making a comeback. There are a lot of fish in Norfork but the boaters dragging stuff and jet skis are taking over for the summer. Watch out for dive flags and give them a wide berth. (Especialy mine) and do not use them as targets as some jet skiers do. There is room for everybody out there.    

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

The lake level is 573.06 and is up just a bit in the last 24-hours with very little generation. They are dropping Table Rock and Bull Shoals a little while holding the White River at Newport to just over 12-feet and mostly keeping the drain plug in Norfork. It is getting very dry here and our next chance for rain is on Monday with more sunshine and dry conditions after that and a little cooler. We just need to keep away from the storms.  This holding and hoping is now borderline criimal incompetence and the only thing keeping them out of trouble is the dry conditions. They like to keep the levels just one big rain away from opening the flood gates and keeping the swim beaches and campgrounds flooded all summer. I am sure some people in the Southwest Power Administration service area could use some electricity somewhere. The same people running the dam management must be the same people running the post office and the Veterans administration. We need government in charge of more stuff. I talked to some divers yesterday and they said the lake was as clear as they have seen it in years and the visibility was good. A lot of fish are in the 20-ft. range just above the thermocline. The surface water temperature is 86 degrees. There is still a little debris out there with a few logs floating so watch out. It is a good idea to not be boating after dark. The lake overall is in good condition and people are having a lot of fun. Fishermen are still catching top-water fish at first light for a couple of hours and then spooning main lake points after that until about 9:Am and then takng the middle of the day off and then going out again in the evening. Not a lot of people are fishing during the day at least the ones staying here at Blackburns. Most are enjoying the lake and the big pool and having family time with their fathers. 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)

Caught fishing with Bink. Image title

The lake level is 573.04 and is rising slowly with not much generation. All of the other area lakes are dropping slowly. They now have the White River at Newport at 12-feet and are stubbornly holding up Norfork. These boys know no other policy than hold and hope. It is getting very dry here and I have to irrigate. Take the plug out boys you have done enough damage. The lake surface water temperature is in the mid 80's and the thermocline is dropping to the mid 20's with cold water under that. A lot of fish are at or near that depth and near the old shore line. The lake is about 20-ft. high.  Some crappie and bluegill are being caught but stripers and bass are the best bite early on top-water. They start early and quit early. This bite will diminish as the fish go deeper in openwater. Some walleye are at the thermocline near the bottom on main lake points and some are with the shad. It seems more walleye are on shad than before with the absence of the big stripers. Same goes for crappie. The fish change when the striper numbers are lower. Also there are not nearly as many shad due to the kill this winter. More died than I originally thought but they will come back fast as the threadfin spawn multiple times a year. There are bass fry everywhere and they have a lot of cover to survive. Bass numbers and size continue to increase on Norfork. There are more 5-6 pound bass showing up than I have ever seen. A lot of crappie were caught this spring but there are plenty more. People trolling for stripers caught several of them accidently when the lake was not so high. They are scattered and not easily caught now. Some very nice catfish and bluegill are being caught back in the creeks and off docks. A lot of people are getting sunburns out there so take precautions. It is July weather in the middle of June. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. We have plenty of parking and covered porches are very important now. Be sure you ask if places have a boat dock and pool. Many do not. 

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

The lake level is 573.02 and is still rising slowly with just a few hours of generation. It is getting dry and they are doing a great job of holding Norfork Lake up as high as possible for as long as possible. Congratulation for allowing it to get to 573. I was not sure they could make it but they are determined.  The White River at Newport is holding at 13-ft and minor flood stage is 23-ft. Go figure. They could drop it anytime they wanted.  All of the other area lakes are dropping slowly. The main lake remains clear and the creeks vary from stained to clear almost daily. The surface temperature is now 85-degrees and just right for boating and swimming. The best bite continues to be early for top-water fish and then switch to jigging spoons and hit the main lake points. The thermocline is 22-ft and will continue to drop until it reaches about 30-31 feet with the hot weather. It seldom  goes much deeper than that. There are always some reports of it going to 40-45 ft. but I have been diving Norfork for 25-years and have never seen it that deep. They are just looking at their fish finders and thinking the line they see is the thermocline. You have to have a camera with water temperature or a fish and temp or go down there to tell where it is.  Walleye will be on the bottom at or near it now but some will go deep and stay there with the stripers. People are now quoting the article written by Game and Fish that is is good for the lake to kill stripers. What I read it to say was they all die when coming up from deep water so do not cull and just keep your first three and do not keep catching and releasing them They may look ok when released but are severely stressed and die later. The old tale of venting them does not work. It allows them to go down right then but they later die. If you are a meat hunter fish for them in deep water. If you are a sportsman do not. They do not dress out very well anyway after the red meat is cut out.  I would like to see the limit dropped to two until the big ones come back, if they ever will with the continuous over fishing and high water. It looks to be a busy summer and it has not officially started yet. Debbie is getting over a hundred calls a day so if you do not want to pay way too much elsewhere better book at Blackburns now. People are hedging and then the cabin is full when they finally make up their minds. We want everyone to be happy and enjoy their vacation and do everything we can to make that happen. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. I certainly do not have time for fishing or diving now but I get reports daily from some good fishermen and divers. 

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

Caught by Mike Eakle.Image title

The lake level is 572.98 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with just a bit of generation. Not enough to even take care of the normal summer river inflow. The rule is: Regulate Newport to 12-feet, (nobody knows why there is this stupid rile) If the four-lake system is has 70% or more flood storage in use (we are way above that) regulate to 14-feet. It is now 13-feet and was 12-ft. yesterday. I have to irrigate my garden and the roads are dusty and they are still holding and hoping and trying to hold the lakes up as high as they can for as long as they can. The rules were made during the Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower administrations and must be cast in stone forever. No need for review as long as the tax revenue keeps coming in. It is hot and dry and it looks like it will stay that way until about next Monday. It is great for boaters and swimmers with highs in the low to mid 90's and the lake is in good condition despite the high level. I want to go diving but it is just too busy here but we still have one cabin open for rent. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. The early morning top-water bite for hybrids, small stripers and bass is pretty good but is over by about 6:45 AM. When they go down move to main lake points and get out the jigging spoon. Take the middle of the day off and then go out again about 6:PM until sunset. Morning bite is best. We do not fish for fish deep here as we release most fish and they all die coming up out of deep water. What our customers do is up to them but a big bluegill fillet on a couple of pieces of buttered bread with a slice of onion and some pepper is not bad though. The surface water temperature is about 82 degrees and just right for boating, swimming and diving.  Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 and she will try and work you in best she can.  Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental best place best price closest to Mountain Home, dining and shopping on 28-acres with a flat green valley with big playground and large pool with slide.  

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

The lake level is 572.94 and has risen about 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with very little generation. The White River at Newport is now at 13-feet and still they keep the drain plug in. They have also cut way back on the discharge there. We are to have very little chance of rain for the next week and it is hot about everywhere so they surely must need some electricity somewhere but the policy of hold as much as they can is still in effect. We only had a 10% chance of rain Friday evening when we got 1-1/2 inches and that and 1/2 inch more is all we have had for the month of June and it is 1/2 over. Let some water out boys. The ambient temperatures are to be near 90 for the next week with a lot of sunshine. Good lake weather. The main lake is clear and the creeks are stained a bit and the surface water temperature is 82 degrees. This is the first day of spearfishing season and I wish them well. I would love to go but it is just too busy here. The lake is in the best condition for diving in quite some time. There will be plenty of time for me later. You can get both cabins and dive boats at the best prices here at Blackburns and Scuba Doo dive shop is only 1/2 mile away. We are located in a good diving area and close to everything including shopping and dining. Other places you need to pack a lunch and take a lantern to just get there. Very few good places are available to dive from shore due to high water and to do any swimming for that matter. You need to swim off a boat, off a dock or in a pool. We have all three here at Blackburns. Early top-water bite is still the best and then a jigging spoon next. Several small stripers are being caught and a very few in the 15-lb range. The thermocline is at 22-feet and a lot of fish are around or near that with some bass shallower, especially in the evenings. Catfishing on limb lines and jugs is only fair. Bluegill and crappie off docks is fair. Crickets for bluegill are best. Look for willow trees on both main lake and creeks and fish around them. Spoon main lake points.

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

Use the spoon after the fish go down.Image title

The lake level is 557.90 and has risen a little less than one inch in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of generation in the afternoon. They are approaching that magical 14-ft. level on the White River at Newport and maybe they will pull the plug for a little bit now. Probably not. They are determined to hold the leves up as high as they can for as long as they can. If they did drop it a little the 12-ft. rule would go into effect further slowing the discharge. That way the level can stay high until the fall no matter how dry it gets. Good plan. Sound like it was made in the 1960's. Gas prices are rising nicely also and getting up there where they should be. It is to remain very warm for the next several days with a high pressure staying over the area and there is very little caance of rain. That 10% chance Friday night got us pretty good though. The surface water temperature has climbed to 80 and it was in the high 60's during Memorial day only a couple od weeks ago. The lake in general is in good condition for both swimming and fishing and the top-water bite is best early just at sunrise. If you are boating just stay in water over 25-ft. to avoid juming off into brush. Anchor in creeks and have a good time. If you tie off on a tree or try to go to the bank you will be on the old shoreline. Better to go out further. If fishing, go out early, take the moddle of the day off and then go back out about 6:Pm and fish until sunset. The evenings are wonderful and pleasant after the sun sets. There is a lot of fun to be had and Blackburns has the best prices on everything. Come on down and 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)

Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 572.84 and has risen about an inch in the last 24-hours with very little generation. They are doing a great job of holding all the area lakes up as high as possible for as long as poissible and increasing the chances of one big rain in the watershed in Missouri taking them over the dams. Good plan. We received 1.5 inches of rain Friday evening in a very short time with a storm with wind. The power was out for a period but is restored now. Several big trees were down in the area around here but fortunately none here at Blackburns. Our beautiful valley is pretty well protected but we do have big trees and it is still a concern. The higher elevations got it the worst.  Local rains do not have much of an effect on lake levels. We have now received just over 2-inches in the month of June. I was just about to start irrigating but no need now. It was getting dry. I have not had time to go fishing but Bink is catching some nice stripers both on top-water and deeper on spoons after they go down. People are also catching bass and crappie off the dock and in Blackburns creek and around Cranfield Island. There is a lot of cleanup going on in the area and people are busy. No shortage of firewood. It is amazing how some people are not concerned about anything except them selves and being inconvenienced. I am just thankfull that I know of nobody being injured in the storm and count my blessings. The electric company worked hard restoring power and called in help from other co-ops. Maybe they should have called in a little more but it was hard to access the damage until Saturday morning and you know how hard it is to get hold of a real person on Saturday morning around here.  Everything is fine.

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

The lake level is 572.47 and has risen about 1.3 inches in the last 24-hours with four hours of generation. The White River at Newport is dropping like a rock and there is no good reason for holding the area lakes this high. We have had just over 0.6 inches of rain so far this month and are one third throught it. The White River is miniscule compared to all of the rivers going into the Mississippi and the area lakes should not be punished because the delta is flooded. It is alway flooded. Everything from the Rocky Mountain to the Appalachians goes into it. Should we hold all the dams? Water released from here takes four days to get to the entrance and cannot catch up to what is going directly into it. 572.47 is starting to hurt. The dams are meant for flood control not just to hold water. It is a good thing it has been fairly dry here but it looks like they actually want to take all of us right up to where they are lapping over the spillway and then release and flood everything downstream.  If some of the rain that has fallen in southern Arkansas came north this last week as predicted that is where we would be now. People learn how to react to hardships but this is not necessary with a decent plan. Hold and hope is not a plan. This is not new and has been going on for several years with nothing being done. You cannot let the government run anything. It is very warm now and the lake surface water temperature is rising rapidly with the warm nights and is in the high 70's. It is very good for swimming. Boating and fishing conditions are good with the best bite being early for top-water for both bass and stripers. Jay Smith took some of our customers out crappie fishing and they did well. He is a good fisherman and a good fellow. Fish are scattered and some are moving into open water on shad and more are on the old shoreline. There is a lot of cover. Look for top-water early and when they go down get out the spoon and vertical jig for them in 20-25 ft. of water. Stripers are going deep after they come up. They do not have to break the surface for the top-water lure to work. It can call them up from several feet if you know where they are. It is warming fast now and the fish will go deeper and deeper as the water warms. Look for pictures of dock floors full of small dead stripers soon when they fish for them deep. They all die when they come out of deep water.  The numbers are going down and down but people just keep killing them. Bass fishing is just fair except for the early top water. Bluegill and catfish are pretty good. Bluegill like the full moon, catfish do not and it is the 24th this month. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. It is to be rain-free for the next week with just a chance of showers. That is good. Make sure your cabin has a covered porch and your resort has a pool. If not. Not so good.  

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

The lake level is 572.35 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running for several hours. Beaver lake is dropping very slowly and remains about 1-1/2 feet from breaching. The rest of the area lakes are rising slowly with dry conditions for the first part of June. There has been very heavy rain south of us and is creating flooding conditions. It was very good that it did not get here as predicted. The lake is clearing more and the surface temperature is rising into the upper 70's. There was a good top-water bite yesterday with people catching fish of all species. Several fish are moving out into open water on shad and trollers are catching and killing a lot of small stripers. It looks like they want to eliminate all of them from the lake so they can go someplace else and decimate another one. At least the normal stocking program has resumed and a new batch will start after the Game and Fish did not stocking any last year because of covid. The high mortality rate due to over fishing and high water seems to affect the bigger ones more than the smaller. People are getting used to catching fish in the 5-9 lb. range now and have forgotten what it used to be like when a 30-pounder was fairly common. At least the bass, crappie and walleye population are very good. The bluegill are very large and plentiful. Catfish are biting on limb lines and throw lines on live bait. The weather remains cloudy and dreary and is to get very warm later this week with highs in the early 90's. The lake overall is in good condition for boating and swimming as well as fishing. Weekend day users are crowding the limited launching and parking and the swim beaches are all gone. It is best to swim off a boat, dock or in a pool and go during the week. The hot weather will bring them out. 

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

The lake level is 572.26 and has risen 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running for a few hours in the afternoon. They are doing everything they can to keep all of the area lakes up as high as they can for as long as they can. The water in both the main lake and creeks is clear with visibility down several feet. Surface temperature is about 77 degrees and should rise with warm nights and daytine highs near 90 later this week. This is a normal June except for the water level and this is getting to be regarded as normal. People are trying to get used to being flooded but should not have to. This is just an example of poor government management. The heavy rain predicted has not materialized and we have had only 0.6 inches in the last several days but it has been very cloudy. If the lake would drop just three or four feet it would really help things out a lot but fat chance of that with the plug in the drain. Fishing has slowed a bit but some fish are being caught you just have to work for them and get out early. There is still some top-water bite but not as much as it should be. Lots of bait fish are on the old shoreline in ample cover and should have a good survival rate. Blackburns still has the best price on both cabins and boat rentals and has the biggest pool with slide. Check out our prices before you spend too much elsewhere. What you save here could easily pay for your fuel prices even as high as they are. They are up over a dollar since the election. You can watch the birds and other wildlife while setting out on your covered porch in your individual cabin and swim laps in our 30x60 pool. 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)

Some of yesterday's catch.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 572.09 and has risen over two inches in the last 24-hours with a few hours of generation in the afternoon.  So far so good with the predicted heavy rain with just a very little so far. Most of it is going south of us. The lake remains clear and the creeks are clearing again. It is to get very warm later this week and the lake surface temperature is rising to about 76-77 degrees. Many people are swimming in both the lake and pool. The cloudy weather is making for better fishing most of the day. On the sunny days the bite was stopping at about 10:Am  but we are not having any of those for a while. People caught crappie, bass, bluegill, walleye and catfish yesterday out of Blackburns. For several people it was their first time on Norfork. Some very nice catfish were caught on limb lines and jugs. They were using live bluegill. Othere were fishing both main lake points and part way back in the creeks using spoons and swim baits on the old shoreline which is between 20 and 22 feet. Top water is the best right at sunrise for about an hour and then go to the main lake points with a 3/8th spoon for larger fish and old shoreline in 20-ft. for numbers. Several big fish have moved out of the brush.  Cloudy weather is good for top water and it last longer. This is typical early June fishing. 

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

The lake level is 571.93 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours and they have cut back on the generation. All of the area lakes are rising at about the same rate except for Beaver which is dropping very slowly but only has a little over a foot and one half capacity left. They are predicting rain until Thursday but we have not recieved any yet. It is very cloudy and muggy. The catfish are biting pretty good on live perch on limb lines and throw lines but you have to bait them up late or the herons and turtles rob the bait. Bluegill are in the willows in the creeks, off docks  and main lake and are hitting crickets, worms and jigs. Bass are spawned out except for smaller ones and Kentuckys which spawn all summer depending on size. Some stripers are coming up early and then are going deep where trollers are catching some along with a few hybrids. White Bass are starting to make a comeback but still are not nearly what they were about three years ago. Work the old shoreline with swim baits and main lake points with jigging spoons for about everything. Crappie fishing has slowed. The lake surface temperature is about 77 in the creeks and in the mid 70's on the main lake. The creeks are stained and the main lake remains pretty clear. Fish are scattered all over and will be until the thermocline forms. Stripers will continue to go deeper as the ozygen level drops with the high water in the vegetation. If it remains high until September there will be another kill but it will not be as bad as before because most of the big ones are already gone. Walleye, bass and crappie have picked up the slack and are not affected by high water like the Ocean Fish. Norfork Lake has a lot of fish but there is also a lot of cover. On a normal year the cover is concentrated by man made brush piles as the river basin was cleared prior to flooding unlike other lakes but we have not seen a normal level in quite some time. Not so when it is high. A lot of bass fry are showing up near the bank.    

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 titleImage title

The lake level is 571.72 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with a little generation in the afternoons. All of the area lakes are rising at about the same rates except Beaver which is about stable after they closed the spillway gates. It is still 1-1/2 feet from breeching. It looks like we have a good chance of rain starting this evening and continuing through most of next week. The surface water was 77 degrees in Blackburns Creek yesterday afternoon and 74 on the main lake this morning. It was foggy early but it lifted after sunrise. Fishing was slow Thursday, got a little better Friday and was better again this morning. Walleye, catfish, white bass and smaller hybrids were all biting along with some smaller bass. The bite starts before sunrise and continues until about 10:AM and then quits. The moon is not big and the cloudy skies and warm weather should make them bite a little better during the day. Full moon is the 24th and will make for good bluegill fishing.The lake is a little cool for swimming but more and more are doing it now daily. Blackburns pool was full yesterday. It is very busy here and there is not much time for fishing but there are going to be a lot of them out of here this week. Day users should make plans to get out during the week if possible or launch early. The ramps are very busy weekends with long lines and remote parking. It is not conducive to handicapped people. You have to swim or take a boat to the handicapped fishing dock at Cranfield and the courtesy dock is gone due to high water and it is not getting any better. We can no longer launch here at Blackburns but do have parking near the dock and ask that locals use public areas. Our guests are now launching at Panther Bay and no trailers are allowed at the dock. The lake in general is in good condition and is pretty clear, just high. A little higher will not hurt things much unless we get a big rain all at once.  It looks to be a very busy summer with people wanting to get out. 

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

The lake level is 571.53 and has risen over 3-inches in the last 24-hours with a few hours of generation yesterday afternoon. We are to get more rain later this weekend and into next week. There is no chance the lake will drop even if it doesn't rain. Every lake is rising except Beaver which still has full generation and spillway gates open to give it a little surge capacity but still has just over 1-1/2 ft. before breaching. It looks like they will hold and hope until everything is totally full and then flood out downstream again. We are at a point where a little higher will not hurt anything much. I would not advise trying to launch anything from about Saturday noon to Sunday afternoon and after that the day users will be pulling out unless you plan on a long line and a longer walk to parking and back to your boat. You have to really want to get out there. Fishing was not the best yesterday with not much top-water but they do not come up everyday. A few fish were caught but not a lot. Bass, catfish and bluegill are the best. Some stripers have gone deep already. The bass are spawned out as are the crappie. I am seeing some small fry around the dock. Blackburns has several out there this morning and I hope they do better. There are a lot of undersized fish of all species but some big ones are still being caught. The surface water temperature is a little over 70 and the main lake is pretty clear and the creeks change from clear to stained almost daily even if there is no wind, boat traffic or rain. The best place to fish now is on the old shoreline in 20-25 ft. of water after the top-water is over if there is any. Fishing slows about 10:am. 

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 571.24 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with just a little generation in the afternoons. The surface water temperature has dropped to about 71-degrees but should rise with the warmer weather starting today. This has been a very cool spring with well below average temperatures. The normal high is 81 and low is 60. They are still running Beaver Lake hard and have spillway gates open. It is 1.2 feet from breaching. Table Rock is 9.6 feet, Bull Shoals is 6.8 feet and Norfork is 8.7 feet. All of the area lakes are now one big rain away from trouble but none is in sight. There is just a steady rise except for Beaver which cannot take any more. Day users and campers are in for some disappointments and others some inconvenience on launching and parking. There are no public swim areas open and the old shore line is now over 20-ft. deep. It is best to swim off a dock, boat or in a pool to avoid the brush. Lake access is getting more and more difficult and some courtesy docks are pulled out. Do not expect any relief soon. The lake itself is in good condition with no brown water and just a little debris on wind blown banks that is coming loose from the rising water. Fishing has not been affected and good fish are being caught everyday. Many are on the old shoreline in 20-25 ft. of water and are biting swim baits, top-water lures and spoons. Catfish are hitting limb lines and throw lines on live bluegill. The big bluegill fishing is getting good off docks and if you can find willows. June 11-13 is free fishing weekend and you do not need a fishing license to fish then. It is a good time to get people interested in fishing for free.  

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

The lake level is 570.87 and has risen over 5-inches in the last 24-hours with about one inch of total rainfall. The creeks run very slowly and there was runoff from the hillsides but nothing big. They are generating just a few hours in the afternoon and allowing Norfork to rise. They also closed the spillway gates on Table Rock but are still running Beaver hard into it and also have spillway gates open to keep the water from going over them. It is only one foot away. Bull Shoals will now not rise so fast but it is running out of room. Bull holds the most water but is also the slowest to drop if it ever does. It will be in the fall before things get to where they should be unless we have a drought all summer.  It is now a balancing act to keep from opening spillway gates on Norfork and Bull Shoals and flooding out the White River below while holding and hoping. The only thing that keeps them from holding more are dam capacities.  There are no management strategies at all. Fishing remains good with most species biting well. Bass, bluegill and small stripers are best. Top-water early and then go to swim baits about 10:Am. 

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

Image title

The lake level is 570.44 and has risen over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with a little generation in the afternoons. They are running Beaver and Table Rock hard with spillway gates open on both and really filling Bull Shoals quickly while keeping the plug in Norfork most of the time allowing it to rise with the normal river inflow. It is very dreary and rainy now and is to continue this way for several days with a flash flood watch into tomorrow. When Bull Shoals gets full they will have no place to put anything and will then continue to hold and hope and juggle to try to keep any lake from going over the dam. I hear over and over that is what the dams are for, to hold water. I thought they were for flood control and minimum flow for the put and take trout on the rivers but it is just for holding by their own admission. My official rain fall for the month of May was just over 7-inches when the normal is just under 5-inches. That is not enough to be in the shape we are in but it was higher in other locations. At least we did not get it all at once and the rise has been gradual since late April. The lake clarity is still pretty good and so is fishing especially in the morning. The water did stain up last weekend with the boat traffic but not nearly as much as normal. It was pretty busy Sunday and Monday.  Small stripers and bass are the best bite now with bluegill and catfish not far behind. Several brush piles are too deep with the water in the 570's but fish are in front of them in 20-30 ft. of water with many coming up early. A lot of fish are being caught. The surface water temperature remains in the low to mid 70's and it should rise with the ambient highs to get back to normal which is 80 later this week. Nightime low average is 60.  Top water bite is the best by far but slows way down just after or near 10:AM. Use a top-water lure even though you do not see them surface as it will call them up from several feet. Work points. After that use a swim bait on the old shoreline in brush for about everything.