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

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The lake level is 553.75 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with a little over one generator running for 7-8 hours. It is very cloudy today with a good chance of light rain. It now looks like the best chance with be on Saturday with cloudy conditions until Sunday but not much accumulation. We need it badly. There is starting to be a top-water bite out early, mostly for bass, coming up on shad. Use a Spook Puppy and learn how to work the lure. A clear one is best if it is sunny and a white one if it is cloudy. The clear one glistens in the sun.  A medium heavy rod is best for this type of fishing to have some backbone to walk the dog. Once you get your lure working properly keep it going over the fish area steady and do not stop. Swish, swish, swish. Even if they quit coming to the surface they will come up to get it. When they go deeper switch to the spoon and drop it on their heads. Some bait fish are moving out into deeper water now that were right outside the brush.  The surface water temperature ranges from 78+ degrees in the morning to about 80 in the afternoon and should drop a little without little sunshine for the next several days. The water remains a little stained green with the reduced generation. I have been fishing mostly for Crappie and Kentucky Bass for the last few weeks with some good results on both the 1/4 and 3/8th ounce spoon and the 1/16th ounce jig. The crappie have ranged from about 11-inches to 15-inches with no throwbacks. I have seen no change in size and the bite has not been fast but very steady even in the middle of the day. The Kentucky Bass and Catfish have been right with them in the same brush but a different depths. You do not really know what you are going to catch. I am catching a few more fish in shallower brush than before but it is the same place just lower because of the lake level drop. I was sticking in 32-ft. of water, now not so much. Most of my brush ranges from 29-33 ft. at this time. I try to put them in at 25-ft. at 552 but have put more in at lower depths with the new norm of holding the lakes up for so high for so long. If they are too shallow there will be no fish on them in the summer as the thermocline drops to the 30-ft. range and vice versa if they are too deep. 25-ft. will be a good depth to fish after the turnover. After that happens I like to fish for crappie on a slip float and live minnows over 25-ft. brush and set the depth about 3-5 feet deeper than you can see your bait. Minnow fishing has just improved in the last few days and was very slow. Before you had to get reaction strikes by putting the lure right on their heads. There is no new fall  pattern or summer pattern just gradual changes. You cannot just do the same old thing and repeat without several disappointing days. The good bass fishermen are catching some nice largemouth but I have not started to fish for them or smallmouth yet. I do not use buzz baits, crank baits or spinner baits but they all work sometimes. If you took a spoon, top-water lure, stick bait, grub, creature bait and jig away from me I would be helpless. Blackburns is full again starting tomorrow with people still taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. You can still get a 1-bedroom cabin for $59/day with a free boat stall. All cabins are individual with no duplexes, have parking for your boat and trailer if you pull your boat out and have outside plug-ins. We are not huddled up on a hillside with very little parking and have launching on site. No need to go someplace else to launch your boat. We have it all here at Blackburns and at the best price. Come on down. We will not chage you too much. Fishing overall is just fair with crappie, bass, catfish and bluegill being the best bite. 

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

 Greg and Randy Searcy from Spokane, Washington and Guthrie Center, Iowa with some of yesterday's catch. Good ones SGT. Major. We like Veterans. Image title

The lake level is 553.85 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation rates of 1/2 to one generator about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is 4+ ft. This is unbelievable. The surface water temperature was still 80 yesterday afternoon and the lake continues to be stained green and getting a little more every day. You can see your lure down just a few feet where you could see it several feet more. Crappie, bass, bluegill and catfish continue to be the best bite and I am seeing very few temperate bass brought in but I did get a report of an umbrella troller catching a couple of small stripers. There are a lot of bass and creek minnows on the bank and bass are moving in early and late to feed on them.  The fish that I see coming up on shad are mostly small bass. I am not catching any largemouth of any size but am mostly fishing for Crappie and Kentucky. I do not keep any largemouth or smallmouth anyway but like to catch them. There is a special place in me for a 4-lb. smallmouth and we have a lot of them in Norfork but I am not catching any of them yet but they will start showing up soon. There are more crappie in the lake than in precious years and I think I know why. Harvey Hall has died and Jay Smith has retired and they were the best crappie fishermen on the lake for several years. They both worked hard putting in their own brush piles after the ones put in by the Corps were neglected for a long time. The local Game and Fish Biologists since have put in and replentished many existing ones and that has really helped. I have been putting in brush piles on Norfork for 27-years for our customers.  I am not an advocate of high water but it does help the spawn if it does not come too fast and stay too long. The Game and Fish quit stocking crappie several years ago after the Black Nosed experiment. I am still catching several Black Nosed Crappie but not as many as a few years ago. Two were caught yesterday. Norfork is now a premier big crappie lake. I really enjoy catching those big black crappie. Kentucky Bass, crappie and catfish are all together at various depths on brush from 25-32 feet. One brush pile holds fish and another one is empty and then that changes and they are roaming. It just takes one gar to clear out an area. The lake overall is in excellent condition and it looks like our best chance of much rain is friday with chances for the next several days. We need it but without wind. I am only using spoons and crappie jigs with both working about the same. Jigs when it is windy and spoons when it is not. Creature baits and worms are catching bass on wind blown banks.  

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

Joe and Jamie Cox with some nice ones caught yesterday morning. They are from Granger, Iowa and are welcome. Image title

The lake level is 553.99 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with 1/2 generator running about 1/2 the time. They are sure missing a good chance to drop the lake but I guess they do not need any electricity in the Southwest. The White River at Newport is now at 4.5 feet and about ready to dry up. About everyone caught fish here at Blackburns yesterday and we have a big crew. Walleye, crappie, bass, bluegill and catfish were all caught. Many fish remain in 30-32 feet of water on brush but a few smaller crappie are shallower. Some are also suspended a little deeper just out side the brush and main lake is the best place to start looking. Seldom do I leave Blackburns Creek more than one mile either way and am catching several fish every day. The Kentucky Bass, about 2-lbs, were biting well as were the 12-13 inch crappie. I caught a nice 8-lb. channel cat on a crappie jig in 32-ft. of water on the bottom just before I came in. I have never caught so many catfish on artificial lures as I have this year. The surface water temperature was right on 80-degrees in the afternoon and the water was stained a little since the reduced generation began but is still a good color. There were more boats out there than on Sunday but most of them were fishing boats. I saw one jet ski so it still needs to cool down a bit. We are to get a good chance of rain tomorrow and Thursday and we need it badly and the highs are to drop into the low 80's and it should be good fishing for the Bass tournament this weekend. Blackburns big pool is still open and our one bedroom cabins are still $59/day. If you have a need to pay more just stay here and give the difference to the disabled Veterans. We like them here as we do law enforcement. Helps keep me in line but it does not take as much keeping as it used to. The 3/8th ounce Bink's Spoon, white with red eye is working well on 4-6 pound test clear line on about everything. Temperate Bass fishing is slow. Bass Fishermen are using 6-inch worms either Carlina rigged, Texas rigged or just on a jig head early and late. Cast to the bank near deep water and they are hitting just after the lure falls off the ledge. If it is windy try the north side of the 101 bridge on the west side a couple of hundred yards in the little cut. There are a lot of fish there on the bait fish. If it is windy use a crank bait. I am not a bank pounder but it works in windy weather. 

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

Released under Blackburns Dock.Image title

The lake level is 554.09 and has dropped a little less than an inch  with less generation. The White River at Newport is 5+ feet and still dropping. The Southwest Power is doing a better job of holding the lake level up than the Corps but they are both government agencies so you do not expect much and do not gey much. It is a good thing we have been very dry or we would not be where we are now even though it took all summer to get here. If they do not change the way things are managed we can expect the same thing over and over. They like to keep us one big rain away from getting high. It was a beautiful day with ambient temperatures near 90 and sunny but just a little windy when I went out yeaterday.There were not nearly as many boats out there as the day before. Some people watch football, I fish. I went close to Blackburns Dock on a brush pile and went crappie fishing. I used the 1/16th ounce jig head, white with a red eye, and a Bobby Garland Blue Ice Baby Shad. I do not like to spoon in the wind It would be ok if Norfork was not a flooded river with vatiable swirling winds. If it was steady from the same direction you could just go against it with your trolling motor and stay straight up and down.  As the river changes direction so does the wind. It has to blow somewhere. That is why you do not see very many sail boats out there. When this happens just switch from a spoon to a jig. It does not hang up nearly as bad. The crappie and bluegill were biting well and I also caught a decent Kentucky Bass and a channel catfish. I have not seen so many catfish caught on lures in quite some time. They are right in the brush near the bottom. The surface water temperature was again 80 degrees in the late afternoon. Leaves continue to fall and we are not into October yet. It is to stay warm for a couple of days and the a good chance of rain on Wednesday and Thursday. We can certainly use it. The lake needs to drop at least six more feet before spring comes. The water is stained a little more than a couple of days ago but is an excellent color for fishing. It looks to be a very busy October for Norfork with all of the fishing tournaments. Should be fun to see what happens. I have not seen any striper kill so far as predicted. Either they stayed in the shallower bubble of 30-32 feet where the oxygen is or they are gone. Some in the 5-6 lb. range are being caught with an occassional one approaching 10-lbs. I sure wish there were more and people would quit killing the ones that are left until they make a comeback. I thought the White Bass were making a comeback but I am not seeing hardly any and usually can catch them almost at will this tme of year.  They should move to the mouth of creeks on shad if they start to show up. Between Mallard Point and Blackburns Creek is a good place to look for them. 

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

Chris Crosson and Benito Montez (AKA) Mr. walleye show off some nice ones caught fishing with Bink's Guide service. Image title

The lake level is 554.19 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generators running for about eight hours in the afternoon. The White River at Newport is at 5+ feet and still dropping. The surface water tmeperature was 80-degrees when I went out yesterday afternoon. There were a lot of boats out there enjoying the beautiful weather. The wind was light and the sun was shining. I checked out a brush pile near Blackburns that was holding fish and stayed there for one hour and came back in. I caught six nice crappie and four big bluegill. They were biting the 1/16th ounce jig casting it past the 32-ft. brush and letting it sink into it. I fished from 2PM to 3PM. I had been catching several 2-pound Kentucky Bass there but not today. The divers reported the thermocline is still at 32-feet and probably will not be driven down any more despite the very warm weather starting today for several days. The cooler nights are holding the water at close to the same temperature despite the warm afternoons. The sun is only up for about 1/2 the time now and will get less and less until the lake surface water temperature drops to just below 70-degrees and the turnover will begin. Time change is November 7th and after that is almost always good fishing.  The turn some times happens quickly but mostly over an extended time until it is complete. You can tell when it is finished as the water temperature will be uniform from the surface to down where the thermocline was located. Typically early to mid 30's feet. You cannot tell a thermocline with a fish locator accurately. The line most people see is just where the light stops penetrating the water. The oxygen will also be evenly dispersed to that level and the water is basically homogenous. In the years where the water temperature drops slowly in late September to October this can happen over a couple of weeks but a severe cold front accompanied by winds can drop it more quickly. You can count on it happening sometime in October. You can either scuba dive, use a fish and temp or a camera with a temperature probe to tell exactly. Norfork Lake is Monomictic meaning it only turns once a year. Other lakes do it also in the spring. Here the water warms in the spring until the thermocline forms sometime in may at a little less than 20-ft. That is an excelllent time to fish because there are a lot of fish at that depth. Fall is hard to predict and that is why I always say November is an excellent time to fish Norfork also. There are to be several big fishing tournaments in October this year and it will be interesting to see how the bass fishermen do. It could be challenging later in the month if a windy cold front comes through. I will be out there if at all possible every day. The fall foliage is still ahead of normal and some trees are not turning color and just going to brown on the hillsides. It may be caused by the dry weather but I am not sure. Fishermen coming to Norfork are disappointed in the numbers of big stripers but are pleasantly surprised at the walleye, crappie and bass fishing. Catfishing and bluegill are not bad either. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. Our big pool is still open.  We have individual cabins with no duplexes starting at $59/day. 

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

Darren from Macon, Missouri, Donnie from Shelbyville, Missouri and Ken from Washington, Missouri show off some of yesterdays catch. Nice fellows. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 554.30 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with generation for about 7-hours with 1-1/3 generators. The White River at Newport is 5+ feet. I guess there is no need for electricity. The surface water temperature is about 80-degrees in the afternoons and the lake in general is in excellent condition. The thermocline is at 32-feet and that is about as low as it gets. The divers here are seeing at lot of fish at 28-32 feet on brush and on main lake points and both. The weather was beautiful and they had a lot of fun. Another group is diving but I have not had a chance to talk to them.  Blackburns has been full with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. We have several law enforcement and Veterans staying here and we like that. They are always welcome. Other fishermen are catching walleye, bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish with very few temperate bass being taken. Bink is still on the walleye and they have moved out a little deeper just outside the brush suspended a few feet. I caught mine on a main lake point in 35-ft. of water about three or four feet from the bottom on a 3/8th ounce spoon. I know you get tired of pictures of my old mug with fish so I try to post only customers and fishermen reporting to Blackburns when possible.  A lot of fish are right around thermocline no matter how deep the water. The wind was light so I was able to keep it straight up and down. Bass and crappie were near but a little shallower. The crappie are from 28-32 ft. on top of brush. Bluegill are on every brush pile where the top of the brush comes closest to the surface. Many are under my dock. I am starting to catch crappie on the 1/16th ounce jig again but am trying harder on windy days. Catfish are showing up about everywhere and biting everything but not very fast. I caught a 5-6 pound channel on the spoon on the bottom yesterday. Not a picture fish. It is to get hot again early next week with highs in the 90's and Blackburns big pool is still open. We need more rain. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first regular sized boat stall is free. Can't beat that and a one bedroom cabin is $59/day and none of them are duplexes and all have covered porches. Two, three and four bedrooms are priced accordingly.   

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

Caught Scuba Diving on Blackburns brush piles yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 554.51 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3rd generator running for about 7-hours. They shut down last evening and it is still down. The White River at Newport is at 6+ feet and about ready to dry up. They use what ever rules of management that fits them at the time. When it gets high they always say it is from excess rainfall and that is what the lakes are for to hold water. I maintain they are for flood control and there is a big difference. They are missing a good chance to drop the lake to the high 540's and try and keep it there rather than keepeng it one big rain away from being flooded. The surface water temperature was still 80.7 when I went out yesterday afternoon and is just under 80 this morning with the cool night of 45 for a low. It is to warm up nicely as the week progresses and get well into the 80's by weekend. Blackburns pool is still open. It was very windy with white caps and hard to fish all afternoon and was slow to lay down, variable and swirling. Usually I move into creeks to get out of it but there just do not seem to be very many fish back in the creeks.  I do not like fishing on windy days but that does not mean they are bad for fishing. I fish for enjoyment and it is not enjoyable for me to fight the wind. Blackburns has two groups of divers in and they are having a good time spear fishing. They report the thermocline is 32-feet and the visibility is 4-6 feet on the lake side of main lake points. They are fishing mostly for crappie and are doing well and say the conditions are much better than this time last year. They are also seeing many bass, bluegill and walleye. I tried walleye fishing and caught one but had a hard time staying on the brush and keeping my spoon straight up and down. It was in 36-ft. of water suspended about 4-ft. up from the bottom on a main lake point. I pride myself in not losing lures in the brush but when I lost my favorite one I switched to a Bobby Garland jig. It is difficult to spoon in the wind unless you are in open water on shad with no snags and you can let your spoon go a little sideways without snagging. I caught three crappie a couple of bluegill and a Kentucky Bass and came in. Conditions are much better this morning and I bet the walleye will be biting. We will see. Blackburns is full again starting tomorrow but have a couple of openings starting Sunday. Come on down we will not charge you too much. A one bedroom cabin is $59/day for two people and comes with a free regular sized boat stall. We do charge for pontoons and boats with towers because we have a dozen pontoons to rent and do not have space for people bringing their own unless we pull one of ours out. I did see a jet ski out there so it is not cold enought yet. It is like when you see a motor home pulling a car. The gas prices are not high enough yet but they are up over a dollar a gallon from this time last year. I liked it when we were energy independent. It is like having money in the bank and not being able to use it. The fuel has to come from somewhere. 

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

The lake level is 554.63 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with a little over one generator running for about 5-hours. The White River at Newport is now 6+ feet and about ready to dry up. I guess they do not need electricity anywhere. The cold front came through as predicted and it is cool but sunny and is to warm back up in the 80's later this week. The wind has shifted to the north and was breezy yesterday afternoon and is to be that way again today. The surface water temperature was 80.7 when I went out and should have dropped more last night. I wanted to get out of the wind back in a creek but the fish were just not biting there. All of my luck came from main lake points. Scuba divers reported the thermocline was starting at about 27-feet and cold at 30. They said the visibility was pretty good and they could see about as far as they could shoot on the main lake but was bad in the creeks. They saw walleye, crappie and bluegill and that conditions were much better than last year. They are mostly law enforcement people from Missouri and we welcome them here at Blackburns. They are repeat customers. We are very busy here and are nearly full with only one cabin empty. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. It was hard spooning in the wind because it was variable and swirling coming down the river channel. My usual technique is to use my trolling motor and go against the wind and stay on top of the brush but it was difficult. If you drag you spoon you will lose it for sure if you stay right in the brush and that is what you want to try and do. Most of the fish that I caught were where the highest part of the brush pile was  closest to the surface and were hitting on the drop. I switched to a 1/2 ounce spoon to try and keep it straight up and down. Later a 1/16th ounce jig head with a 2-inch Bobby Garland was used and it started to catch a few crappie after several weeks of not working for me. I thought it would start soon and it did.  I was casting it past the brush and letting it sink into it. Kentucky Bass, Crappie and Bluegill were caught but no picture fish. I released all of them under the dock. There were no wake boats or jet skis out there and most that I saw were staying at Blackburns. It is to be 70 for a high today and windy. You need a jacket. Normal high is 80 and low is 57. Fall is here this afternoon and fall foliage is ahead of schedule. The rain really greened things up. We need another inch. It is good to go into the winter with some ground water. 

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

Mike Eakle with some of yesterday's catch. Released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 554.70 and has actually risen in the last 24-hours just a bit with very little generation. They are holding the White River at Newport to just over 7-ft. for some reason. I do not understand the reluctance to drop the lake at least to the high 540's but it is there for sure. The rule says regulate the level at Newport to 12-ft. I do not agree with this rule but they will not even do that. We received a little over one inch of badly needed rain last night and this morning here at Blackburns, with varying amounts in the surrounding areas. South of us got very little. There was about 1/2 inch in town. It is cool out now with a high in the 60's and the predicted cold front on it's way. It is to be in the 40's tomorrow morning and this is what a lot of people wanted. Not me. It is to warm back up to the 80's later in the week. Our normal high is 80 and low is 60. I will see what this is doing to the lake condition when I go out later. People just keep coming and it is very busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. We have mostly repeat customers and do not want to charge them too much. The bass, crappie and bluegill are still the best bite now with a few keeper walleye and catfish being caught. Trollers are getting a few small stripers and hybrids but are dragging bait for miles to get them. I will let you know the conditions after I fish today. We have a group of good divers out there and will also get a report from them These cloudy skies will not help their visibility today any but it should get better later. The lake is at a good level now and is in great condition for fishing after this cold front is gone for a while. A full moon and cold front do not do much good at the same time but we will see what happens. I like a challenge.

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

Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday morning. Image title

The lake level is 554.66 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours. They just quit generating a couple of hours ago after two days of 1-1/3 generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is at 7-1/2 feet. The surface water temperature was 83 degrees when I went out yesterday afternoon and there was a little wind but not bad. The crappie were not biting for me as well as the day before but others here at Blackburns caught several earlier in the day. I caught two nice Kentucky Bass, one keeper largemouth, two crappie, several bluegill and a short walleye in about two hours from 3-5 PM. I know fishing is better early and later but I just like to see if I can do it in the middle of a warm late summer afternoon. I am not out to see how many fish I can kill. I need my vitamin D. There were some signs of fall foliage on the hillsides with hardwood trees losing leaves more rapidly than usual for this time of year and more brown color than normal. I do not know it it is caused by stress from being so dry or something else but it is happening already. I am not an expert in dendrology but just report what I see and I am out there everyday. I am a Chemical Engineer and know a little about some stuff but need Bink to give me a few more lessons on fishing but at least I can take care of my own swimming pool. Yes it is open and yes it is sparkling. Largemouth bass fishing is getting better and I expect fishermen in the up-coming tournaments in October will do well. I know the Missouri boys sponsoring the Cystic tournament wii .They always do. It is a good cause. It is always the Saturday before the Bass Cat which is the 22-23rd. Blackburns has two cabins open for both of these and has the best prices. They are still predicting the cold front to get here with north winds after a good chance of rain tomorrow night. We could sure use some.  I am not sure about the 48-degree low temperature though. I have lived in Minnesota and Northern Maine and am finished with winter, ice fishing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. I will leave those for the people that like it. We do catch a lot of fish in the winter here at Blackburns and Thanksgiving is almost always an excellent time to visit us and go fish. Not many jet skis out there then and it is tough running a snowmobile on water. Big crappie time.  Drop that spoon in 30+ ft. in or near brush. 

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

Scuba Steve with some of yesterday's catch. Released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 555 even and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is still at 7-ft. so there is not any need to slow down. I would like it to get to 547-48 and hold it there until spring. That would give us about 11-12 feet of surge capacity going into the spring rains. We always seem to get a big one and it is much better to be at 547 than 555 when it comes. The lake surface water temperature was 83+ yesterday afternoon when I went out fishing and it was a little breezy so I used the 3/8th ounce spoon to help keep it straight down rather than going back in a creek to get out of it. I actually like the 1/4 ounce better with 4-lb test clear line.  I am catching many more fish on the main lake than in the creeks now but that is not always the case. Bass, crappie and catfish are all in 30-34 ft. of water either on top of, in or around brush along with some walleye. A few smaller stripers and a hybrid or two are a little deeper in front of the brush on shad. Most schools of shad have no predator fish on them.  Several fish remain down about 30+ feet no matter how deep it is. Trollers should be able to drag either a crank bait or live bait at that depth and catch some. The brush that was in 30+ ft. of water and is now 25-ft. are not holding very many fish after the drop. Most will stay at the current depth until the lake turns over later in October and the water temperature and oxygen becomes homogenous down to about 30-ft. and the fish have no other reasons to be anywhere special except for cover and food. This will not slow fishing down much except that they are more scattered. The last few years the turn has been gradual and not drastic like northern shallow lakes where they get muddy and junk comes to the surface. We just see an inversion of the thermocline. The fall foliage is starting to fall with walnuts and other hardwood decidous trees starting to lose their leaves. My maple has no color. It is very dry. Sometimes dry weather has good color and sometimes not. We will see. The usual peak for Norfork Lake, Northern Arkansas and the Ozark Mountain Region is the last of October but I have given up predicting how good it will be. It is almost always a nice ride to take a country road drive at that time. Blackburns Resort is your fall foliage headquarters for the area. We will help you with some good driving tours. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Rent a boat and cruise the lake is often the best way to see color and enjoy the Ozark's fall.

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

Mike Eakle caught this one off Crappie Rock last evening.Image title

The Texas Boys, Jody and Wayne just left. Hope they come back soon. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 555.35 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with 20-hours of continuous generation with 1-1/3rd generator running now that we have reached power pool and the Southwest Power has more control. The White River at Newport is at 7-feet but that should also rise. We sure could use an inch of rain. It is getting very dry and dusty. The lake surface water temperature was 83-84 when I went out yesterday afternoon and the water appeared clear on both the main lake and creek. We have several Scuba Divers coming in today and I will get a real report on the water clarity and thermocline. I have not had much time for diving for a while and have barely had enough for an hour or two of fishing it is so busy here with people taking advantage of the best prices on cabins and rental boats in the Ozarks. We finished installing new cabinets and countertops in several cabins until we run Lowe's out of them. We will resume when they get more in. The pool is sparkling and this is a good time to enjoy it. It is to get very cool the middle of next week with highs in the low 70's and lows near 49. That will be a drastic change but it has not happened yet. I am just going close to the dock and catching several fish everyday on brush. As the water drops they seem to be staying and not moving with the level. Brush in 29-30 ft. of water where to top comes closest to the surface seems to be where most of the fish are. Some are on top of it, some are in it and some are close around it. Walleye are a little deeper outside of the cover a few feet off the bottom. Tap the bottom with your spoon and snap it up about 5-6 feet and let it fall on slack line until your spoon touches and then repeat. I am not getting as many big walleye as a couple of weeks ago but still a few. Most are throwbacks. Most of my fishing is for crappie and Kentucky bass. They are not in a frenzy, on fire or jumping in the boat but biting pretty steady if you know how and where. I do not have to go far from the shed. There are several people releasing fish under the dock and the school is getting very large. There are a couple of trophy bass down there along with hundreds of big bluegill. The lake overall is in excellent condition for fishing, boating and swimming and the fishing is fair. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first regular sized boat stall is free. We still have a couple of openings for Bass Cat later in October so give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 before you have to pay too much elsewhere. Way too much.

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

Wayne and Jody are guests of Blackburns and had fun fishing with Bink. We are glad to have the Texas boys. Nice fellows.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 555.66 and has dropped 1 inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generator running about 8-hours in the afternoon and evening. The White River at Newport is at 8-feet and they are trying to hold the lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible. I had a little over 84 degrees surface water temperature yesterday afternoon when I went out about 3:30 Pm and fished for about an hour. It was a little windy so I switched to a 3/8th ounce spoon in order to keep my line straight up and down and not snag. I prefer the smaller spoon in still water.  I went to a Blackburns brush pile close to the dock and caught four crappie and three bass in one hour and did not move. All were keepers but no very large ones. The crappie were about 11-12 inches and the kentucky bass were about 13-inches. I released all of them under the dock. I do not take selfies and I know you get tired of seeing the same old face so I try to show as many different people as possible. Some do not want their picture taken. I release almost all of my fish anyway except for a few that I get for people that love fish but cannot get out. I keep no big stringers of fish and quit when I get a few and prove I can catch them. It is fun to see how many different species you can catch in one day.  Bink is back on the walleye and found them deeper and suspended off the bottom a bit and some stripers and Hybrids are with them. Most are just outside of brushpiles rather than right in them. I was fishing in 28-29 ft. brush and the bass were right on the bottom and the crappie were on top of the brush and hitting the spoon on the drop. He is fishing around 40-ft. but catching different kinds of fish than I am. Tom Kelly has turned into a bass fisherman and releases all of his fish and is letting the stripers alone until they make a comeback. Mike Eakle fishes mostly for crappie bass and walleye and is also leaving the stripers alone. I also get several reports daily from other good fishermen. I miss Harvey Hall.The weather is to cool drastically in the middle of next week with a cold front coming through. We will see what it does to the fishing but I suspect it will not affect it too much. I did not see one jet ski out there yesterday. They seem to like to impress me by showing off for some reason. One of the reasons I moved here 27-years ago was to get away from mosquitoes. Yes our 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 Bink yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 555.76 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generator running about 8-hours in the afternoon and evening. They are trying hard to keep it above the power pool of 555.75 and it has now taken nine days to drop the last foot but it looks like they may have to let it happen. They dropped the White River at Newport to 5-ft. earlier and now it is at 10. It should be at a minimum of 12 but that is a rule only when they want it to be. They are missing a good chance to get it to the high 540's by spring and give us a little surge capacity for the spring rains. There is to be a master plan revision workshop for Norfork Lake on September 30th and October 1st. at the college and it is important for everyone to attend. Go to https://go.usa.gov/x7b9v for current information and comments. They need to know how we feel before implementing more government regulations on us. Some are good and some not so much. I found more walleye yesterday and they were suspended in 39-ft. of water just outside of brush on main lake points. They were at 32. I am still getting crappie and Kentucky bass in 32-ft. brush. Bink has moved out into deeper water near 40-ft. and is now catching some temperate bass and walleye. The hybrids are pretty good but the stripers are mostly small with the largest 7-8 pounds.  Catfish are with the crappie but on the bottom. Not much has changed since yesterday and the surface water temperature is still 82-degrees and the lake is clear both main lake and creeks and in excellent condition for about everything. 

Norfork Lake Master Plan Revision (click here for comments)

There is going to be a public workshop concerning the Norfork Lake Master Plan Revision by the Corps of Engineers. September 30,2021 from 3:30PM to 8:PM At Arkansas State University 1600 S. College Street in Mountain Home and another one at the same place October1,2021 from 12:Noon to 4PM. The Corps of Engineers, Little Rock is requesting comments on the draft revised Master Plan and the draft Environment Assessment, which describes three alternative plans and impacts. For current information and to submit comments , please visit https://go.usa/x7b9v

Attend one of these two public workshops to learn the draft alternatives and provide your imput. It is very important. There are some radical changes proposed and this is your chance to have input. Comments must be submitted by October 29,2021 to Norfork MP Planner, Natural Recources Section  USACE, Little Rock District, PO Box 867 Little Rock, Ar. 72202 Fax 501-324-6230

E-Mail.  CESWL.NorforkMPUpdate@usace.army.mil  

This is very importand for those of us that care to have a say in how Norfork Lake is managed. Fill up those workshops and send letters, faxes and E-mails. They at least care a little about public outcry. This is our only chance and then it will be imposed and soon. 

Scuba Steve 

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 and paid $25/day too much for his duplex cabin with no porch and also paid for his first boat stall. Image title

The lake level is 555.84 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3rd generators running about 6-hours. The White River at Newport is at 10-ft after dropping to 5-ft. With the power pool level approaching it has taken 8-days to drop the last 1-ft. When 555.75 is reached it should drop faster as the other government agency, Southwest Power Administration, takes over some of the generation scheduling. Surely they need electricity somewhere. We are at a good level now but it would take just one of these tropical storms to go north of Texas, sweep across Oklahoma and get to us and fill us back up. A little surge capacity would be nice. The surface water temperature is still at 82-degrees and dropping very slowly. The ambient temperatures are to be in the mid 80's for highs and mid 60's for lows with nice weather for the next week with little chances of rain and a perfect time for a trip to Norfork. The lake in general is in excellent condition for Boating and swimming. Fishing overall is just fair but some nice ones are being caught everyday. Largemouth and Smallmouth bass fishing is picking up after Kentucky Bass carried most of the load for a few weeks. Catfishing is also getting better on jugs and throw lines out of main lake cuts on live shiners and bluegill. Smaller Channels are biting cut bait and a few Blues. You have to use live bait to get the flatheads. Three to four inch bluegills are the best. You have to be in a place away from the gar if you can. If I catch one gar I am gone from that place. Bait up just before dark to keep the turtles and herons from getting your bait and get out early again just at first light. I am still catching crappie in the 11-12 inch range on Blackburns Brush Piles in 32-ft. of water on the spoon at the top of the brush on the drop. Blass and Walleye are deeper near the bottom with most walleye being short now. Walleye fishing peaked over a week ago but some keepers are being caught along with several throw backs.  It is surprising how many catfish are being caught on the spoon right in the brush. I do not troll but some are catching some small stripers dragging Berkley or Rapala crank baits in 30-ft. of water and also a few largemouth Bass. Harvey Hall showed me how to catch bass in the hot weather in late summer. He hooked on a big ole Bomber crank bait that would dive down about 25-ft. and troll in the creeks channels bumping the bottom. He liked Briar Creek the best. I was surprised how man big bass he caught. For the people that like to drag things around give it a try. I am catching no big top-water fish but mostly smaller bass coming up back in the creeks both at sunrise and sunset. If the weather stays warm October fishing will be good for bass until the turnover. There are several Bass tournaments on weekends almost the entire month of October and Blackburns is almost booked up with fishermen taking advantage of the low prices here. You can get a 1-bedroom cabin for $59/day and we are close to the tournaments take-off and closest to Mountain Home, dining and shopping. We have plenty of parking and you are not huddled up on a hillside and do not have to go somewhere else to launch. Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 before they are all gone. Try a plastic worm just outside the brush for bass. By the time you get a crank bait down deep enough you are out too far from the bank. Float creek is a good place to start. 

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

The lake level is 555.92 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running about 1/3rd the time during the day. The White River at Newport is at 6-ft. and about ready to dry up. The surface water temperature is 82-dregees and dropping slowly with the ambient temperatures remaining near 90 during the day and dropping to about 70 at night. The weather has been perfect except that we are very dry and the lake is in excellent condition for boating and swimming. Fishing has remained about the same with a mixed bag of fish being caught. Catfish, largemouth bass and Bluegill are getting better and Walleye and Temperate Bass are slowing and crappie and Kentucky Bass are about the same with a few Smallmouth being caught.  Tom Kelly reports catching some nice bass in Float Creek on a plastic worm and Bink is catching about everything on his spoon. I dropped spoon sizes down to 1/8th ounce with 4-lb. clear line and am getting better results. It just takes it longer to go down and is harder to keep straight down but is getting better results than the 3/8th ounce for me now. It is also more difficult to tell if it is hung up on itself so check frequently. Most fish are in three different places. One being on 30+ ft. brush, two being on the bank in the evening and three on top both early and late outside brush and part way backs in the middle of the creeks.  Many top-water fish are small but are fun to catch and release. I am seeing no temperate bass coming up. They are catching many very nice sized bluegill off my dock. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and our big pool is open and sparkling. 

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

The lake level is 556.02 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running less than 1/2 the time. They are trying to keep the lake levels up as high as they can for as long as they can and have almost let the White River at Newport dry up. It is now at 7-feet. I know of no rule that says regulate the White River at Newport to 7-feet in September but rules do not matter unless they want them to. We are at a good level now but are just one big rain away from being too high again and it is happening all around us and we have been lucky to avoid one. We are still very dry and can take a couple of inches if it does not come too fast. The surface water temperature is 82-degrees and dropping very slowly and the lake is in excellent condition. Fish are not "stacked in" anywhere but the same places seem to be holding some fish. The old phrases that I do not use like "on fire" "stacked up," "in a feeding frenzy" are not the case here now.   I am catching some everytime I go out but some days are better than others. I keep trying my usual Bobby Garland jigs, grubs tipped with minnows and slip floats with minnows and they just are not working. About the only thing that works for me is the spoon. You have to drop it right on their heads and get reaction strikes because they sure are not hungry with all of the bait fish around. All of the fish that I am catching are very fat. The walleye usually slim down this time of year after being deep and lethargic all summer but not this year. They have remained relatively shallow near the thermocline and have all of the oxygen and food they want. The same thing with the temperate bass. I do not expect a significant striper kill this year because of this and the fact that most of the ones that usually die after a high water year (the big ones) are already gone. I will be the first one to admit I am wrong if dead stripers start floating all around the lake. I hope it does not happen. The people that are still fishing for them are dragging umbrellas, live bait and Rapalas and are having a tough time. Spooning for walleye was doing well but not so much now. The big ones have moved but I have not gone looking for them as I am happy to just catch crappie, bass and catfish close to home. I go through a tank of gas in about a month and my old boat sucks it up pretty good. Fishing is just fair but steady and the best places are main lake points and secondary points with 30-ft. brush. Give a place that marks fish a chance and do not just fly in there, fish for 10-minutes and fly back out. Fish are spooky. Let them calm down. Use light clear line and 1/4 or 3/8th ounce spoons and coast into the brush slowly and minimize the use of your trolling motor. If you put your trolling motor on anchor and have it struggling to stay in the same place and running all of the time the fish will spook and not bite. I cannot afford that feature anyway. I spend all of my money on resort improvements.  It might work for deeper fish that are feeding in open water on shad later in the year when the water is choppy but not now. Take it easy and give the places holding fish a good chance to start biting. I can always tell when a person will not catch fish when they say "I threw everything in my tackle box at them and they still won't bite". You have to use what works and stick with it and try about one different thing at a time if it does not work. If you keep changing when they start biting you will have the wrong thing on. You do not need a big tackle box for Norfork. Just the right stuff. I switched to the 1/8th ounce spoon and 4-lb. test line in 34-ft. of water and started catching more fish this morning in brush and did catch one keeper walleye. Top water fish were coming up but mostly small bass. I cast the spoon at them. I will try the spitin image for a bit tomorrow. It works better for bass than the spook. 

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

The lake level is 556.20 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday with no generation. The White River at Newport is dropping like a rock and is now below 11-ft. The so called 12-ft. rule does not apply when the power pool is approaching. They are missing a good chance to drop the lake. It is at a good level now though and I wish it would stay that way. Both the main lake and the creeks are clear from the surface but are still cloudy until you get below the thermocline. This is normal for early September but it will get better as the water cools. September and October are an excellent time for Scuba Diving. I usually quit for the year just before Halloween. The lake surface water is 83 degrees and dropping slowly with the cooler nights and shorter days. The normal high is now 82-degrees and the normal low is 60. Fishing remains about the same with walleye getting harder to catch especially the bigger ones. Bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish are the best bite now and some trollers are catching a few small stripers. Some fish are suspended in a little deeper water just outside the brush but most are still in the 30-ft. range wheather suspended or near the bottom. I am having my best luck in brush at 32-ft. of water but am catching some bass in shallower brush in the evening. Main lake points are the best. Many fish are also under docks in the shade. The weather has been great and the lake in general is in very good condition. 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)

The lake level is 556.20 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening and have not started back up. We are approaching the power pool of 555.75 and they do not want to get there for some reason. They like to keep control and also keep the lake one big rain from being high again. We are very dry and need some rain. The lake is clear again after the holiday and the surface water temperature is 83 degrees. The warm weather and low prices after the summer are still bringing people out to the lake. We are full here at Blackburns and have six boats rented today but have openings starting tomorrow. You can throw all of the past away predicting what will happen according to business and lake traffic. I thought Covid and high water would slow things down but it has been a record year and I have been here for 27 seasons. We took a couple of days to put in new counter tops and cabinets in cabins 5, 12 and 14 and they filled back up the next day. We will resume when Lowe's get more in. Like everything else they are back ordered. This is an economical time to visit Norfork Lake and Blackburns and take advantage of the best prices in the Ozarks. Our pool is still open and it is nearly full as we speak. The weather is great, the water is warm and clear and the price is right. Fishing has changed a bit. Walleye are slowing down except the smaller ones which are schooled where the big ones used to be. The big ones have moved. and may be suspended in deeper water but at the same depth. I have seen this happen before. Much has changed with the absence of the big stripers and there is less competition for food. Many schools of shad do not have any game fish dogging them and are schooled tight. I have never seen more bait fish as I have seen now. I have seen more shad before but not nearly as many fingerling bluegill, bass and creek minnows. They are everywhere. Trollers are catching and killing some stripers in 30-35 ft. range but they are small and about 5-6 lbs. I do not expect a striper kill this year mostly because they did not go deep to find an oxygen bubble and the oxygen stayed good in the 30-ft. range and also because the big ones are already gone. It will take several years to get them back and it will not happen if they keep killing the ones that are just starting to grow and the absence of the 2020 stockings due to Covid. That class is non-existent. A private person did stock a few thousand but nothing compared to a normal year.  The crappie that I am catching are all good sized and all on brush ranging from 27-33 feet about 20-25 ft. down. Kentucky bass and catfish are on the bottom in the same brush. Some bass are on shad back in the creeks in the evening and others are on the bank on other bait fish. Big Bluegill are under docks and biting crickets. 

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

The lake level is 556.35 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running about 1/2 the time. It is getting close to the power pool of 555.75 but at least 5-feet higher than we would like it for the time of year. November is out rainiest month but we are very dry and can take quite a bit without any problem as long as it does not come fast. The lake has cleared quickly after the holiday and is in excellent condition for fishing. It will be hot this weekend with sunny skies and we have several boaters coming in to enjoy the rest of the summer. The surface water temperature is 84 degrees and good for swimming. Blackburns is on our winter rates and you can get a nice cabin for $59/day. I am going out fishing in the evenings after the work is done and catching fish every day. They are not on fire or in a feeding frenzy but if you spoon or drop shot brush in 32-35 feet of water you can catch fish. Mostly crappie, bass and catfish now. The walleye have slowed a bit with mostly throw backs being caught but just a few keepers. The fish coming up are just outside the brush and are chasing shad out of the cover and are mostly bass. I am not seeing any temperate bass being caught except for an occassional White Bass. I usually catch a few stripers accidently spooning this time of year but not this year. Drop a spoon in 30-35 feet of water in or near brush and you will be surprised what you catch. There are a lot of baitfish out there competing for your lure. Kentucky bass are in a little shallower brush near the bottom and the crappie are above the brush and hit the lure on the drop.  I am seeing no fish in open water. People dragging Rapalas are catching a few bass but they are small and they are burning up a lot of gas. Crankbait fishermen are catching a few beating the banks. Bluegill fishing is good on crickets under docks. I am catching no small crappie and all are over 11-inches and the Kentucky Bass are 12-13 inches and fat. The few largemouth that I am catching are throw backs with few keepers. The guys fishing the nightime tournaments are catching some though. 

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 556.53 and has dropped 2-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running about 1/2 the time. The surface water temperature has dropped to 84 degrees with the much cooler nights with lows in the high 50's. The lake is clearing quicky after the holiday churning and the boat traffic is way down especially after 5:PM. Evening until sunset is my favorite time to fish but not necessarily the best for catching fish. The best bite continues to be from about 6:30 AM until about 10:AM. There are more shad showing up and there is starting to be a top-water bite at sunrise but mostly bass. I am fishing brush in 32-35 feet of water using the 3/8th ounce Bink's spoon and catching several different varieties. Bass, especially Kentucky bass, big crappie, bluegill, some walleye but several are throwbacks, and surprisingly several catfish. The bite is not fast but steady and you can have a lot of fun. The big schools of shad have relatively few predator fish with them with most of the big stripers gone and much fewer White Bass. The high fishing pressure has also reduced the number of Hybrid Stripers. I wish more of them were stocked. None were stocked last year due to Covid and there will be no class of 2020. The fish that reproduce naturally, except for the White Bass, are flourishing. They should come back on their own. Norfork is full of fish and they are getting bigger with less competition for food. It is to get hot again this weekend, with highs in the mid 90's and several people are taking advantage of the summerlike weather and low prices on cabins and boat rentals here at Blackburns for a last hurrah. You can get a one bedroom cabin for $59/day. There are several fishing tournaments in October and it is filling up fast like never before. Come on down to Blackburns and we will not charge you too much. We especially welcome Veterans and Police. Everytime we get a cabin open here we are making improvements. We have bought Lowe's out of counter tops and cabinets. The big pool with slide is open and sparkling clean. You will like what you see when you get here.  I am not happy with the high gas prices and wish the country was energy independent again. Cranfield is the best beach and has the best facilities of anywhere on Norfork Lake and is very close to Blackburns. Bidwell and Panther Bay are also good and close. We are in the center of everything including fishing and the closest majot resort to town while still being in the country on 28-acres. I consider a major resort to be one with it's own dock, launch and pool. 

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. Image title

Released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 556.77 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening and have not started back up yet. The surface water temperature was 86 last evening when I went out and there were just a few boats . It was very peaceful and the wind layed about 6:PM. I was spooning brush piles and the fish were not biting as well as yesterday. I caught one catfish, one bluegill, two Kentucky bass and four nice crappie and was fishing hard for about three hours. That is as long as I have fished in weeks and it was very nice. Perfect weather. All fish were caught in 27-32 feet of water on brush. I did see more schools of shad but there were no fish on them. Some bass were coming up later in the evening. The lake is in excellent condition going into the fall but needs to drop several feet for surge capacity. We are approaching the power pool of 555.75. It is to get very warm again this weekend with highs in the mid 90's.  

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

Scuba Steve with a few of yesterday's catch on the spoon.Image title

The lake level is 556.89 and has dropped 2-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 2/3rds the time. The lake surface water temperature is between 86 and 87 degrees and is cloudy with all of the holiday boat traffic. I thought the lake boat traffic would clear out last evening with most people leaving but I was wrong. It was not heavy but enought that it was not pleasant trying to fish main lake points with all of the waves. I moved into a main lake cut out of the traffic and found some nice fish. I caught three big crappie, three keeper Kentucky Bass and a walleye in about an hour and came in. The crappie were in 30-32 feet of water on top of brush hitting the spoon on the drop and the bass and walleye were a little shallower in 26-ft. brush on the bottom. I was using the 1/4 ounce Bink's Spoon white with red head and a black dot on 6-lb. clear line. Boat traffic is less now this morning with mostly fishing boats and I will give it another try later this afternoon when I get my work done. Fishing is really pretty good for the time of year, water temperature and amount of bait fish out there. More and more bass are coming up in the creeks every evening. I released all fish under the dock and the school is getting big. They are going through a lot of feed but are getting help from the turtles. The children really have a lot of fun catching the fish. I will try casting the crappie jig today again but have not had very good luck with it yet but will when the water cools and the fish get shallower. The Kentucky bass bite is excellent now and they are big and fat and hitting the spoon in the brush. 

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

The lake level is 557.16 and has dropped 3+ inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running most of the time. The power pool level is 555.75. The surface water temperature is 87-degrees and the lake is clear from the surface but cloudy down to the 30+ foot thermocline. The creeks are stained a bit but a good color for fishing. The lake in general is in good condition but will be better after the boat traffic from the holiday goes away and the lake clears up again. It has been a very busy holiday and I am glad it is over. Let the fall fishing begin. September continues to be a busy month here at Blackburns with the price dropping as of today to $59/day for a one bedroom cabin and a free stall for your fishing boat. I will miss the jet skis and Queen Mary boats and the big wakes. Lake of the Ozarks is a very good place for them. They like them there. I tried to take my bass boat up there once but it would not go. Spooning continues to be the best technique but the brush is getting shallower and the fish are moving a little deeper. Find brush in 32-35 feet of water on the main lake. Blackburns has several of them at that depth. Trollers are catching a few stripers but they are small and getting smaller and smaller but they keep killing them. I expect to see fewer striper guides on the lake next year. Walleye are replacing stripers as the go to fish on Norfork but bass, crappie and catfishing is still very popular. There are a lot of big bluegill out there and they may be the best eating. White bass fishing is coming back a bit but is still not near what is was a few years ago when you could almost catch them at will. There is a lot of bait fish especially near the bank near cover. Some fish are coming up back in the creeks in the evening, mostly bass and mostly small. Try a creature bait or worm in the buckbrush in the evening at sunset. I see some bass fishermen using buzz baits back in the creeks but I do not use them so I cannot report on their success. I am a grub, spoon, jig, spitin image and jerk bait fisherman with a spook now and again. Call Debbie at 870-492-5115 for a reservation. We have the best prices on the lake. The weather looks to be great for at least the next week. 

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 on the spoon. Image title

The lake level is 557.45 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with generation a little over 1/2 the time. They seem to generate pretty hard one day and drop off the next. We received about an inch of rain last night and it was badly needed. It greened things back up but the rain scheduled for today has moved to the south. The weather has cooled to the mid 80's for highs and High 60's for lows. It is to get to 59 early this week for a low. I am ready for things to slow down after this last summer holiday but the phone just keeps ringing with people taking advantage of our low boat rental prices and $59/day cabin rentals starting Tuesday. We have several good fishermen in and they caught some nice fish yesterday. Bass and walleye are the best bite right now and almost everyone is using the jigging spoon. Crappie and bluegill are next with a few catfish thrown in. The surface water temperature is 85-degrees and the lake is at an excellent level and has a good color for fishing. The fishing will get better and better as we go through September and into October until the turnover and then will drop off a bit but not stop and then get better again into the winter as the lake clears again. Thanksgiving is an excellent time for fishing as is all winter. Blackburns is open all year. November is our wettest month.I catch my biggest crappie from November through February. March can be an iffy month with a couple of cold fronts coming through a week and then the mid April top-water bite starts. I am ready. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. We especially welcome Veterans and Police and have a lot of them as customers.  

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

Caught yesterday and this morning on the 1/2 ounce Bink's Many Shad Jigging Spoon. Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 557.54 and has dropped over 4-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running continuously. We are now less than 2-ft. from the power pool and about 6-7 feet higher than we should be for this time of year but we are not at a not bad level. I would like it to stay at this level all the time.  It just does not allow for any surge caused by big rains which have been happening all around us. It will be interesting to see what they do as the power pool level gets closer. They typically slow down generation when this happens but you cannot tell. They do not report to anybody and have no accountability. The did reassess how Beaver Lake was to be managed taking into effect how the population has increased in the area and the economic impact if the lake got too high and decided tp keep the level lower. This will result in more water going into Table Rock which ultimately goes into Bull Shoals. They already do not let Table Rock get too high because of the economic impact to Branson. This leaves Bull Shoals and Norfork to hold the bag. We need to speak from a unified voice but nobody seems to care. The town is full, the lake is full, the parking at the ramps is full, the resorts are full for the holiday and they just keep coming. About every vehicle in town has a boat hooked to it. The fishermen that went out yesterday and this morning early did well. The spoon is the lure of choice and 32-35 ft. of water on main lake points is the place near brush or right in it. Trollers are getting a few small stripers and white bass but not many. Bass, crappie, catfish and walleye are the best. It is hard to troll brush but shad are easily found but hard to keep alive. It is going to be a hot day with highs in the mid 90's. I am ready for Tuesday and the start of fall fishing and peace and quiet. Blackburns rates go down to $59/day for a one bedroom cabin and a free boat stall then. You cannot beat that anywhere and our big pool with slide is open. Why pay more? Stay here and give the extra money to Disabled Veterans. 

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

The lake level is 557.92 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with much less generation. The surface water temperature is 87-degrees and the main lake is clear near the surface and cloudy a few feet below and the creeks are stained a little green. The lake is in very good condition for boating, swimming and fishing with most day use areas back to normal. Swim beaches are open in Bidwell, Panther Bay and Cranfield along with most camping sites. Some camping and beach services do not have all facilities restored completely but it is much better than just a few days ago. Parking and launching are normal and need to be if the town traffic is any indication of the upcoming boat traffic. If you are planning on fishing get out there at dawn and fish until the traffic gets too bad on the lake. Do not count on being able to go out in the evening until Monday when they start to go home. Every thing that will float will be out there starting today and the boats are getting bigger and bigger. Have a lot of patience at the launch sites Saturday morning.   We could get some weather Saturday night and Sunday and it is to get hot. It will not be condusive to tent camping. Almost everyone is full so there will be no place to go if you get rained out. I hope everyone has a good time and gets through this safely. Fishing is the same.

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

The lake level is 558.09 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running most of the time. It has taken three days to drop the last foot. The last summer holiday is upon us and it looks to be very busy. We are full here with several boats rented and Debbie reports getting about 100 phone calls a day with people looking for cabins and boats. The big boats will churn up the water all weekend but it will clear again rapidly after the holiday. The creeks have turned green for some reason after being clear for several days but this changes for no apparant reason, sometimes daily. The surface water temperature remains about 87-degrees and the overall lake condition is excellent for boating and swimming. It is to get hot again later with a good chance of rain on Sunday and then get back into the 80's next week. Our normal high is now 85-degrees. The overnight lows are getting lower and are now in the mid to high 60's. We could use a rain badly but not all at once. An inch would be fine. We have dodged all of the severe weather and big rains so far and I am thankful and count my blessings. We have some good fishermen in this week and I will report their findings. I will sit this one out and only join the crowd if I have to. I am looking forward to Tuesday. For those coming and have not been here for a while be carefull out there. Things are much different and the lake level is down 15-feet from it's high in May. The Shore Patrol will be out in big numbers and that is a good thing. Fishermen get out early before the big boats take over and drop the spoon in 30-35 ft. of water on main lake points with brush. 

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

The lake level is 558.46 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with a little less generation than the day before. We are at a good level now but have little surge capacity for a big rain which is going on all around us. We are still very dry. It is to be warm with highs about 90 for the weekend with chances of some rain but mostly sunny. It looks to be a good weekend for the last hurrah for most non-fishermen. I do not have time for much fishing now as we are trying very hard to get the resort ready for Labor Day. The yard is being mowed, the pool is sparkling and we are fixing as many things as we can with just a few days of not being full. We have been very busy since March. Many other improvements are being made as we speak. They start piling in again starting tomorrow. We will have it as nice as possible for you when you get here. I was getting a rental boat ready for the weekend and took a little ride to check it out and also check on lake conditions. The surface water temperature was 87 degrees and the water was pretty clear from the surface. More and more wood is showing near the shore so do not assume things are the same as when you were here before. More swimming areas and beaches are open now as are launching areas and parking. Bidwell, Cranfield and Panther Bay all have good swimming beaches and Cranfield has the best overall facilities. They have not had much time to get all of them completey redone since the high water but they are much better than before when swimmers were clogging up the launching areas and there was no place to park. High water does not affect resorts as much as day use areas and campgrounds but it is not good for anyone. We will see how far they drop the lake before they quit. The current power pool is 555.75 and they are reluctant to drop below that and turn some of the control over to the Power Authority for some reason. One goverrnment agency is in competion with another one for control. We have several very good friends in Louisiana and wish them the best. Hot weather and no power is not a good combination. Blackburns has $59/day cabins in just 6-days so give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 before they are all gone. We have the best resort and the best prices in the area. We will not charge you too much. Bink reports still catching a mixed bag of fish in 30-35 ft. of water on his spoon. Not much has changed recently.