Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

ARTICLES

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.90 and has risen 2-feet in the last 24-hours with no current generation. I dumped 4-inches out of my rain gauge last evening and the creeks were running hard and the brown water was almost out to the entrance of the main lake and well past my dock. Pigeon Creek was brown by the Hwy 201 bridge with debris floating as far as you could see. I do not know what is coming down from Missouri. The creeks have quit running but the lake is rising an inch an hour. We did not receive any severe weather here but it was abundant other places in Arkansas and Springdale got hit hard. It is cold and breezy now with a freeze warning for tonight. It is supposed to get into the 60's tomorrow but I will believe it when I see it. As I have said many times before, I want march to go away. This is not what we needed going into april but it was predictable. If we were at 547in the winter instead of 553 we would still be in the power pool and still in good shape going into spring. Now we are another big rain away from problems. They seem to like to keep us in that position for a reason nobody knows.  They used to draw down in the winter a few years ago but refuse to do it now but you cannot expect much from anything run by the government and we certainly do not get much that is for sure. I have to go down and move my dock and will check water temperature. Stay tuned. The grass is sure growing and flowers blooming. I do not like fishing brown water but where it transitions from brown to clear. It is good the bass and crappie are not on their beds yet with the quickly rising water. Maybe things will stabilize. The White River at Newport is 18.76 feet so they can let out more if they want to up to 21-feet. That changes april 15th. Do not expect any wade fishing on the rivers anytime soon.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition By Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 552.97 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. They were running both generators, cut to one and now have completely quit. They always seem to quit when it rains in order to maginfy the efffects and keep the level up as high as possible. The lake is at a good level now but there is not much room for a surge with the spring rains coming. More of a cushion would be nice but it surely looks like they like high water and are bent on having it happen every year. If not, they certainly have not done anything this winter to prevent it and there is nobody held accountable. I had a 53 degree water temperature yesterday afternoon and the wind came up about 4:PM making it impossible to fish except for the very back of the creeks and there are not many fish there. I am surprised that there are bass and crappie still on main lake brush in this area but there are but the wind makes it very difficult to stay on them. I am willing to sacrifice my part of any people that think wind is your friend. They sure have had a good one this month. The Reidlingers from Albany, Missouri found some nice stripers trolling and they are getting more and more difficult to find. Bink is vertical jigging steep banks for bass with creature baits and spoons and catching some big ones. Some of his smallmouth are as big as I have seen coming out of Norfork. There are a lot of 4-pounders in the lake but a 6-pounder is almost unheard of and one was caught fishing with him earlier this week. We need some warm nights to get the spring spawn going and the top-water bite tp be consistent. I am glad march is almost over but do not like the storms the spring brings. It is raining hard now and the creeks are running big time.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Cabins 5-8 are our one bedroom cabins and are nearly the same. Number 3 is also a 1 bedroom but it is called the Honeymoon cabin and has a new king bed.They are all ready.Image title

Image titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage title

Image titleImage titleImage title$59/dayImage title

The lake level is 552.92 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The White River at Newport is 19.61 and dropping. The surface water temperature is between 51 and 52 and staying about the same. It may come up a degree today with the warmer weather, It is to start raining tonight and continue tomorrow with about 2-inches expected and windy. Things should calm down by friday but get cooler with highs in the high 50's. Our normal high is 63. Stripers have finished their so-called spawn and have moved back out on shad to feed and are mixed in the white bass and hybrids. Crappie are wanting to spawn bad but I just found a big school of them on a main lake point on brush instead of back in the creeks and they were feeding but I just did not want to fight the wind for very long and caught a few and came in. My self-imposed limit is five and I do not want to kill huge stringers of them to impress anybody and especially not this time of year. Leave that for the guides.  I keep no frozen fish in inventory. I am still not seeing any bass on beds or making nests yet and Blackburns Creeks will be full of them soon. It is very busy here with people looking for real estate, closing on houses, visiting Nurse, working from out of town and fishermen. About 1/3rd of our customers are fishermen. We like a mixed group and prefer to stay nearly full. We especially welcome Veterans and Police. Yesterday Tom was mowing, Dave was spraying for bugs, Adam was working on the pool, Debbie and Amy were cleaning cabins and painting outside porch chairs and Scuba Steve was at the bar or fishing. Actually I have not been to a bar in several months but do like to stop in at the VFW every once in a while. Nice people there and good food.  Blackburns is really looking good and we are ready for yoiur visit. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Our one bedroom cabins are all ready now and all have new roofs, laminate floors, new heater/air conditioners, counter tops and cabinets, much new furniture and most new mattresses and bedding. No wonder I am broke. 

Ashamed Man

Image title

This man did not stay at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. He paid too much for his cabin and boat rental. He may be a little slow on the draw and deserves to be ashamed. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service. That is one nice smallmouth. One of my favorite fish.Image title

The lake level is 552.96 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. They just dropped offf to one generator. It will be interesting to see what they do on April 15th when the operating rules change. They drop the generating right when the spring rains usually come but are letting out a lot of water now. The water temperature was 51 yesterday on the main lake and the water was still stained green but clearing more near the shore. That will change again when the wind picks back up before the next low pressure and then the next cold front which are both on the way. The nights are very cool and the water temperature has been in the low 50's for weeks with cold fronts coming through one after another. Red Buds are starting to bloom and it is about time to mow the grass for the first time. Bass continue to bite off steep banks near deep water and can be caught vertical jigging the spoon or creature baits on a jig head. I am catching nothing off the bank at this time but there are some male crappie scattered on wood just off the bank. Most females are still schooled and roaming wanting to spawn. Some brush piles are holding fish and some are not. You just have to check them out. It may look like nothing is on them but some bass are right in them on the bottom and hard to see so drop the lure down touching bottom. I see some bass feeding near the surface but they are small. There is not a real top-water bite yet but there will be when it finally warms up. It may go from winter directly to summer but the weather patterns will have to change first. The crappie will spawn soon no matter what the weather does followed by bass. We just need a stable water level for a few weeks now for the spawn. Big fluctuations are not good. The lake is at a good level now and I wish it would stay right where it is. People are catching fish but are working for them. Pigeon creek is a good place to look for crappie near docks. It looks to be a good spring for fishing so far but is slow coming. It will get better when march is over. It is a long, cold, windy month. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike and Bernie Dean from DeKalb, Illinois caught some nice ones but had to work for them. They are good fisherpeople and we are always glad to see them. Image title

Image title

The lake level is 553.13 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. The surfface water temperature is 51 degrees and the lake is still stained green but starting to clear, mostly near the shore. Fishing is only fair now with bass being the best bite and that is not easy. People are also catching crappie but are working hard to get them. I go out for a couple of hours in the afternoon and catch a couple of bass and a few crappie and am fishing as hard as I can. Try fishing steeper banks and vertical jig creature baits like small worms and crawdads straight up and down on a jig head and move very slow. Many of the fish are on or near the bottom. A few smallmouth are showing up but mostly Kentuckies and largemouth with about a 2-lb. average.  We need to get out of march and have the water warm for several days to get things going and stop these cold fronts. Some nights with overnight lows in the 50's would not hurt anything also along with some sunshine. The bass are not ready to spawn yet but the crappie are but are not doing it. Beating the banks back in the creeks is not catching much but it will and it will take a couple of weeks. White Bass will come up in the back of Panther Creek first for some reason and then back in Big Creek. There are not as many as before but there are several and are making a comeback after their kill-off a few years ago. Blackburns has cabins for $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Can't beat that anywhere. Come on down. We will not charge yoiu too much.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught and released on the Bink's Spoon. Image title

The lake level is 553.30 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. The White River at Newport is 20.63 feet so they are letting out quite a bit of water. The surface water temperature was just under 52 degrees yesterday afternoon when I went out and the lake was still stained. You could see your lure down 2-3 feet but the water is clearing near the shore. I was bass fishing back in a creek and not catching anything so I went to a brush pile in 25-ft. of water with brush near the surface and switched from the grub to the spoon. I caught two nice bass, released them and came it. Fishing was not the best for me but I caught some and they were right on the bottom. I am moving away from crappie fishing for a bit with the male crappie staging for the spawn back in the creeks. They make the nests and protect the eggs and fry until they swim away. If you go along the bank and catch all of the males it is worse than catching females off the nest. There are sure a lot of Guides out there chasing not very many customers. You would think the fish were jumping in the boat but they are not. Overall fishing is just fair at best but will get better when the water warms and the top-water bite begins in earnest. The people catching fish are working all day for them and the trollers are trolling for miles to catch a few fish. The water temperature hovering around 52 degrees for weeks and the weekly cold fronts are not helping anything either and I am very tired of the wind but still go out everyday to get information for a report and see what is happening.  We are working very hard on improvements for you and the place is in the best shape ever. We hope you will like it. Dogwoods are in full bloom and redbuds are just starting and the grass is getting green. Everything is fine here. Just keep away the storms and big rains and we will be fine. There are a lot of fish in the lake but more and more people are chasing them.  I am ready to go scuba diving.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Cabin #10 is a 2-bedroom cabin and is now ready for your visit. You will like it inside and out. Image titleImage titleImage title

Image title

Image title

Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 553.42 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. The White River at Newport is 20.61 so they are letting out a lot of water and that is good. It is also good to finally see the sun shine again after several days of windy, dreary and cold weather. The surface water temperature is in the low 50's and the water is stained. No wind, no rain and sunshine will clear it up again even with high generation which I hope they keep up. The backs of creeks near the shore will clear and make for a lot of people sight fishing bass nests. I do not do that. Bass tournaments release all of their fish in mostly one place but remove them from the nests and leave the eggs and fry unprotected from bluegill and warmouth. That is why they hang out near the bank during spawn.  We just do not need a big fluxuation in water level now during the spawn and it would be nice to stay at this level all the time. Bass fishing is pretty good, crappie fishing is fair along with temperate bass. Warm nights and sunny days will get the top-water bite going as the water temperature rises. It will start up just a day or two a week and then happen most early mornings just before, during and just after sunrise. You have to get out there early for best results. Top-water fish can be released without much harm and are fun and easy to catch. Some fish feeding on shad in the backs of creeks after heavy wind near the surface in march does not mean the top-water spring bite has begun. Blackburns feature of the day is Cabin #10. We just finished working on it yesterday and it is ready for you and with no price increases. Debbie and Amy just finished deep cleaning and painting the exterior. This two bedroom cabin now has new roof, laminate floors, heater/airconditioner, several new mattresses and bedding and furniture items. You will like what you see when you get here. The big, covered  front porch is not new but is very popular and freshly painted. The cabin is located near the coin-op laundry with two washers and two dryers. It is $77/day and $450/week for four people until Memorial Day and a free stall for your boat is included at our 16-stall boat dock with security system  There is no better value around. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Bring you Police and Veteran friends with you. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental is the family place and we will assist you if you are looking for real estate.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

John Bornhop with a nice hybrid striper caught while crappie fishing on a Bink's Spoon. Released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 553.55 and has risen over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 2/3rds the time. We are approaching the power pool of 553.75 where the generation control goes back to the Corps of Engineers. The White River at Newport is at 20.26 feet and I wonder why it could not have been at this level since the Southwest Power took over. The surface water temperature is in the low 50's and the creeks are stained and the main lake is also stained but not as much.  We are at a good level now but are going into the spring too high. 560 is when we start to have problems with day use access and one big rain could get us there. There has been no effort to drop the lake this winter and they are just trying to maintain this level. It has been cold, cloudy and windy with continuous cold fronts moving through but that should change by about tuesday when it is to get in the high 70's. When that happens the warmth is usually accompanied by storms and we have been very fortunate to have avoided them for a long time. Bass are pre-spawn feeding now and are the best bite. People that cannot kill stripers now because they cannot catch them are turning to bass and that is why I oppose the changes proposed by the Game and Fish for Bass regulations. I know that there are a lot of small bass including Kentucky Bass in the lake but I am finding no fish that are skinny and there is little competition for food with shad, crawdads and creek minnows plentiful and no shad kill this year. If they take the size and numbers limit off of Kentucky Bass the meat hunters will eliminate them. They are easily caught and provide fun for novice fishermen when other fish are hard to catch and grow to about two to two and one half pounds. Also killing largemouth bass that are 13-inches instead of 15 will in the long run will make for more larger fish but many less medium fish and harder to catch. A large percentage of bigger bass have been caught before and released. I do not see an over-population of fish in Norfork or any signs of it. I would like to see many more walleye stocked as more and more fishermen are coming here to target them instead of the stripers which are either over-harvested or die off in the heat of the summer. They are getting smaller and smaller and they keep killing them and bragging about it. It looks like the proposed new law raising license price for out-of-state guides will go through on July 1st of this year. It will keep out some of the ones who are making a living on Arkansas waters with a residence in another state. A $2,500 license fee will scare some of them off. We have plenty of guides. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition By Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.37 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 3/4th the time. The White River at Newport is at 19-feet and rising and we are approaching the power pool of 553.75 again. We received about 2-1/2 inches of rain in the last three days but that is over for now with another cold front here with highs near 50. Our normal high is 63. It is to get very warm early next week. The surface water temperature remains in the low to mid 50's and the lake is stained both in the creeks and on the main lake after the rain. It was heavy at times. You can see your lure down only a couple of feet. Fishing was a little better yesterday with people that had been struggling also catching fish. The fish are all mixed up with them being scattered about everywhere. Some are staging for a spawn, some pre-spawn feeding, some post-spawn feeding and some still out on the main lake on shad. When the top-water bite starts next week try in Panther Creek. It is always one of the best places in early spring for that especially at sunrise on clear days. The stripers are finishing their spawn at night and will move there soon with the bass and white bass. April 15th it will be in full swing and everybody will catch fish. The cold weather has put things on hold for now but it will get really exciting next week when the water warms in the creeks rapidly. We just need march to get over but keep the storms and big rains away and we will be fine. The lake is in good condition and at a good level for fishing. Come on down th Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. I bought new pool-side lounge chairs yesterday and am broke again. They have doubled in price. We will have our pool open by Memorial Day or when it gets warm. Has anybody tried to buy sand for the children's sand pile lately? Wow. The inflation rate is not 10% that is for sure. I am holding my prices but it is getting harder and harder but people appreciate it. It just needs to stop. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Please join me in welcoming Mr. and Mrs. Dan Washburn to the area who are moving here from Florida.Image title

The lake level is 553.17and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/3rd the time and none since last evening. They always seem to quit when it rains but have just started again. The White River at Newport is hanging in there at 17-feet. I just dumped over 2-inches of rain from my gauge and the creeks are running but not fast. It is raining now. It was very windy again yesterday and more is to come with the next cold front. Highs are to get in the high 40's tomorrow and low 50's thursday with lows in the high 30's but not freezing. The night bite for stripers is nearing an end and they are joining the walleye for ending their spawn. I found several walleye on main lake points in front of Blackburns brush piles and caught them on both the jerk bait and grub. They are a little too shallow for me to spoon but will get there after the thermocline forms at 16-18 feet later but will stay in the same places. The thermocline will form in may. The male crappie are in the backs of the creeks in shallow water staging just at the drop-off and near any wood so you can beat the bank for them for singles with jigs.  Some schools are still on brush in about 20-25 feet a little farther from the bank but near deeper water. The females will lay their eggs shallow and move to main lake brush again and the males will stay on the nest protecting them until they swim away. This will go on for the whole month of april but will begin soon with the bigger crappie spawning first. Everytime you catch a male off the nest the bluegill and warmouth will eat the eggs and newly hatched fry as fast as you can kiss a duck. They lay in waiting. Going down the creek bank and catching all of the males off the nests is not good. The early spawn is a good time to catch the big ones back on the brush but they will get dilluted with smaller ones as the spawn continues and the schools will get bigger. Bass fishing is the best now with all of the black bass pre-spawn feeding. Even the trollers are catching some. I am surprised about how many fish are on the main lake points at this time and how few are in the backs of the creeks with the water temperature in the 50's. It will not go up anytime soon until later this weekend when it gets very warm again and in the upper 70's and then things will really change fast. April looks to be a good month for fishing.  The ground is saturated and I am looking forward to catching mushrooms this spring. It will not be long. People just keep killing the stripers and they just keep getting smaller and smaller and they are still bragging about it. They surely cannot need meat that bad. Forgive them because they know not what they do.  Yesterday was cloudy and windy. Today is rainy and windy. Yuk. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Doug Ireland, Jamie Hill and Emmie Ireland are visiting from Montana and we are glad to have them. Nice people. Image titleImage title

Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.02 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with generation a little less than 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport has now dropped below 17-feet and continues it's decend with the power company in charge. They are letting out less and less water everyday. We are to get rain starting tomorrow afternoon and it is slow moving and we could get a couple of inches. It is to be followed by another cold front and highs are to be in the high 40's and low 50's for a couple of days. They just keep coming but are better than severe storms. The normal high is 62 but I guess that is an average between 70 and 45. I went out yesterday evening for a couple of hours after work and fished the back of a creek that the south wind had been blowing into to check things out. The main lake has still been good to me for bass and crappie. I caught some bass in shallow brush at about 12-ft. deep near the bottom and a few crappie near wood just at the drop-off. They were all singles with no schools indicating the males are staging getting ready to make a nest. The water temperature was 55-56 on both the main lake and backs of the creeks so the wind has been mixing it up. A couple of days with highs in the 70's and lows in the 50's will get the spawn going and the calendar moving into april will not hurt anything either. Roger Moody is a good bass fisherman and he reports having a tough time back in the creeks in the morning but caught several in the afternoon and evening just around main lake points on the inside. He and his brother release all fish on site and are conservationalists.  I expect some good ones to come in today with the clouds moving in later. Blackburns still has two cabins open this week so some on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. The one bedroom cabins start at $59/day for two people and the two. three and four bedrooms are priced accordingly. You can launch on site and we will give you a hand if needed. No need to go elsewhere to launch.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

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

The lake level is 553.08 and has risen just a bit since yesterday at this time with about 8-hours of generation. The White River at Newport is now at 17-feet and still dropping. They are cutting generation on all area lakes and they are all rising for no reason. It looks like a good chance of rain for the next three days but nothing severe and it should not rain out the whole day. It could make for some good fishing but the march wind will blow as the fronts move in and out. Blackburns has several good fishermen in so you do not have to see the same fishermen's picture day after day after day. The first day of spring is today but expect another cold front with very cool weather after these rains. Highs will go from the 70's back to the 50's. Our normal high is 61. The lake surface water temperature is 52 on the main lake.  March is not nearly over yet. Some caught good fish yesterday and some did not but it was better than the day before. The moon is waning now and expect the night striper bit to get smaller with it and be over in a few more days. Our guests caught several the last couple of nights and caught a few walleye in the evenings before dark. Umbrella trollers are also catching some on the same banks during the day but deeper in about 30-feet replacing some of the artificial plastics with live bait and trolling through shad. Not much skill to it but effective. If you drag enough umbrellas or Alabama rigs through enough shad you will catch fish. That is one reason why most of the big stripers are gone. Some days it looks like opening of walleye season in Minnesota with all of the boats chugging around. We will pay for it in the future but those fish must be killed at all costs but it is the only way that some people know how to catch fish.  Bass are pre-spawn feeding now and several are being caught back in the creeks on the bank. I am not seeing very many crawdads yet but the creek minnows are plentiful and some bass are moving off the shad and feeding on them. Crankbaits are working pretty good especially on windy days which we have not had any shortages of lately. Some crappie are still on main lake brush but not many. Several males are back in the creeks staging and ready to make nests and some of the larger females are ready. It will be in full swing by early april and continue through mid may which is about the same for the top-water bite for bass and temperate bass. May is the best overall month for a combination of weather and fishing with about all species biting. Many crappie and walleye will be back on mainlake brush in 15-20 feet of water in May and catfish will be back in the creeks.  Blackburns does not go on it's summer rates until Labor Day and they are still lower than some places' winter rates so come on down. The cabins are now all open and are ready for your visit and your first boat stall is free unless you bring the Queen Mary and I have to move out one of my pontoon boats of which we have 12 to rent. Our dock has different size boat stalls to fit most boats and not one size fits all and they have walkways on both sides with electrical outlets. There is an infra-red security system so the meth-heads looking for free gas better go someplace else.  We especially welcome Veterans and Police also. That does not hurt anything. I did not vote to defund them. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Scuba Steve with the fish of the day here at Blackburns.Image title

The lake level is 553.06 and has risen 2-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation for three days. With the rain coming next week it looks like we will get back out of the power pool. We are heading into spring rains and there has been no effort to drop the lake for the winter. Everytime it gets down to the power pool of 553.75 they quit generating and let it come back up again almost like they want high water for the summer. With the price of oil you would think they need nearly free electricity somewhere in the transmission area but I guess not. They like to hold water until it gets very high and then bypass the generators and open flood gates. It was a cold blustery day on Norfork yesterday after the rain with white caps and hard to get out of. The people predicting spring might have been a little premature but the Dogwoods started to bloom anyway down by the lake and that is usually a good sign. I did not see any redbuds blooming yet and they usually bloom first but they also show up around town in the higher elevations in the sun rather than down by the lake.  The surface water temperature was 51.6 on the main lake and the water was stained from the wind. I went back in a creek to get out of the wind and caught a couple of nice crappie and came in. This weekend should be better and then good chances of rain for the next three days after that. It looks like the severe weather will go south of us again. Bass fishing is the best right now as the crappie have slowed for a couple of days. The trollers are catching some small stripers and white bass with a few hybrids thrown in. The people fishing after dark for stripers are catching fish but very few over 10-pounds. Last night was the full moon and that bite will diminish with the moon and then the first part of April the top-water bite will begin. It will be sporatic until the 15th of April when it always seems to be in full swing. This is when spitin image and poppers work very well for bass and spooks work for both bass and stripers. Casting spoons and hopping them back to the boat also works. Get a 6-1/2 ft. medium heavy rod and learn how to walk that dog. Limber rods do not work. Novices can use the wopper plopper as all you have to do is reel it in and do not need to know anything about technique. A person that can work a spitin image can catch a lot of bass in the spring and it is fun to watch them hit the lure and settting the hook instead of just dragging stuff around behind the boat in a rod holder but they both work.  A friend gave me a tackle box full of old lures and I put them on a peg board in the office on display and they kept disappearing so I contacted Larry Seaman who specializes in old lures and fixes my stepped on rods and fixes my reels (I am too cheap to buy new ones) to see what he could do. He can fix about anyting and make it look like new.  He made a beautiful display of the lures framed and under glass and I traded him the rest of the lures. Some were the old wooden lures and the old Splune silver spoons. They made them by hand until the 1950's until Acme bought them and then they were mass produced and called Kastmaster because they were made of metal and you could cast them far.  Uncle Josh bought them about 20-years ago and now they are made in China and not nearly as good. I used to use the Dare Devil with Red Eye spoon for Pike in Minnesota and also caught White Bass in the Missouri River in South Dakota on them a long time ago but never tried them on Norfork. I use the Bink's Spoons exclusively now as he has been producing them for about 25-years, continually makes improvements and I catch a lot of fish on them.  Larry knows all of this stuff that I have never heard of. People really enjoy the display in Blackburns Office and none have gone missing since. It is getting very busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boats in the Ozarks and your first boat stall is free. We have no duplexes and all of the cabins have big covered porches. All of our cabins are open now and the one bedroom ones start at $59/day and there is no price increase this year. There have been many improvements and you will like what you see when you get here. Furniture Depot in Mountain Home also has worked with me to buy about 20 new mattresses this year and now most of them in the resort are new or only a couple of years old. I highly recomment these fine people also. It is good to have friends.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Linda Goodwin from Belleville, Illinois with some nice ones. Image title

The lake level is 552.84 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation for about 32-hours. The White River is 19-feet and still dropping. We have received about 1-inch of rain here so far this morning with more coming. It has been very warm but is to get cooler next week. The water temperature is rising but it will do no good to give a number because it varies so much in the location. In general the creeks are warmer and stained water warms more quickly in the sunshine than clear water. That also varies from location to location and whether in the sun ornot. In general it is in the low 50's on the main lake in the mornings and mid 50's in the creeks in the afternoon. I am still not seeing any fish making nests or on them but the next step will be the male crappie will be moving to the creeks near the shore and getting ready to do so. Check out in the backs of Pigeon, Middle Pigeon, East Pigeon and Briar Creeks. The crappie eggs have bloodlines but are not ready to spawn yet in this area. Some walleye are moving back to this area and have finished spawning but I have not caught any big ones. The stripers are on their normal spawning places at dark now and are biting slow-retrieved suspending stick baits cranked down a few feet. Stripers are the only fish that I know off that ingest their own eggs in Norfork Lake but they do not hatch anyway. Blackburns has cabins starting at $59/day and your first boat stall is free so come on down. We will not charge you too much and there are no price increases again this year. Shop before you book. 

  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition By Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught fishing with Bink;s Guide Service yesterday. Big Norfork lake Crappie. Image title

The lake level is 552.63 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 2/3rds the time. The White River at Newport is 19.59 and dropping steadily since the power company took over generation management at power pool of 553.75. The main lake is more clear than the creeks and the creeks are warming up rapidly with the warm weather. I found 49 degree water on the main lake in the morning and 55 in Blackburns Creek in the afternoon. The average daytime high is now 60. The cold fronts are getting replaced with just low pressure and we are entering the rainy season where we get about two rains a week and typically for the last several years the lake rises. We just hope not too much but nothing was done to drop the level this winter which would have given us more surge capacity. The 14-ft. rule goes into affect April 15th and the 12-ft. rule goes into affect May 8th depending on how full the area lakes are at that time but nobody seems to know how that %age is calculated. It keeps changing but the tendency is to keep everything higher than in several years before and blaming rainfall amounts. When questions are asked why, we just get "that is what the lakes are for is to hold water" so it looks like nothing will change. If we have a drought it will be ok and if we have above average rainfall it will not. How do you want your steak, raw or burned? It looks like we could have a medium in there someplace. Bass and crappie fishing is pretty good and striper fishing has slowed during the day but increasing at dark on stick baits. Some walleye are showing up on the bank in the evening. Soft plastics like flukes or bass assassins about 3-inches long and creature baits like crawdads and lizards on 1/8th ounce jig heads are all working back in the creeks for bass. Small spoons, grubs and jigs are all working for crappie. The top-water bite for temperate bass will start about April 1st and be in full swing about the 15th as will the crappie spawn. Maybe a little earlier if the warm weather keeps up but we are barely past the middle of March and anything can happen. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few. Do not be a hog and remember there are possession limits. The same people have been fishing Blackburns brush piles everyday. I hope they go away so some of my customers can use them but we have several for when this happens. Others should put in their own or use the government ones just for courtesy.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mickey Phillips is here with his three sons from Memphis, TennesseeImage title on spring break. Welcome. Nice family.

Image titleImage title

Image title

The lake level is 552.81 and has dropped 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 2/3rds the time. The White River at Newport is 20.27 and dropping but they are still letting out a lot of water. The surface water temperature was 50+ yesterday afternoon and should continue to rise with the warm weather and no cold fronts coming through. The two fronts coming up from the gulf and down from Colorado should meet south of us this time but they just keep coming but March is only 1/2 gone and anything can happen. People fishing after dark caught some stripers last night on the stick bait in their normal spawning areas. This is a perfect time for this kind of fishing with the full moon being the 18th. Crappie are all mixed up but some nice ones are being caught from Pigeon Creek to Briar Creek on brush. I am catching few on the main lake. Bass are pre-spawn feeding both early and late and there are a lot of creek minnows near the shore in the creeks. Most species are being caught now but you have to work for them and they are not in high numbers except for crappie if you happen to find a big school feeding. Some nice fish are coming in and I am catching no throwback crappie. The same areas seem to hold the small ones year after year and the same for the big ones. They are hitting the lure aggressively now and fighting like crazy almost like a smallmouth bass. I do not know what has gotten in them but they sure are fun to catch. Tomprrow at 8:45 AM is "Live in the Boat" with Darrel Binkley from Bink's Guide Service with a weekly fishing report and tip of the week on KTLO FM 97.9 Tune in for some good information on Norfork Lake. Blackburns has all of their cabins open now and the girls are working hard to get them all deep cleaned and ready for you. One bedroom cabins are still $59/day and your first boat stall is free. This will help off-set high gas prices and inflation and have a good vacation without paying too much or sacrificing any quality. We have a good place here.  Veterans and Police are also especially welcome Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 with any questions. Blackburns is the best place with the best price and closest to Mountain Home, dining and shopping while still being on 28-acres in the quiet peaceful country in a green beautiful valley.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Dave Titus with a couple of pretty good ones yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 552.92 and has dropped over 4-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is at 20.39 and dropping but they are still letting out a lot of water. It was cloudy and misted rain a few times yesterday and did not warm up like it was supposed to but was not bad for fishing. I had to check out a rental boat for a customer in the morning so was able to get out for a bit before resuming starting up cabins. Debbie reminded me that if I not get the utilities turned on  she would not be able to get them ready for friday when they mostly fill up. It looks to be a busy spring despite the inflation and high gas price. Most of that can be offset by staying at Blackburns and not paying too much and not paying for your first boat stall. I thought about buying a new $2,000 Live Scope for my boat but decided to buy new cabinets and beds for the cabins instead. I can catch enough fish without one anyway. I know where the brush piles are because we put most of them in. If someone wants to buy me one just give me the money instead.   The surface water temperature was 49 degrees and the water was still stained and I could see my lure down just a couple of feet. I caught nothing for about an hour and then the bass and crappie started biting and I caught my self imposed limit of five crappie and two bass and came in and got to work. Some of the crappie were about 12-inches but a couple were very large. I was casting the grub past the brush and letting it sink down into it and they were in 35-ft. of water and hitting on the drop about 15-20 ft. down. Bink, Dave, Mike, Tom also caught fish. They were using spoons, creature baits and small worms.  It is warmer today already and much warmer is on the way but chances of rain. Everytime the water tries to warm it gets cold and cools down again. Maybe this time it will stick. Just keep away the storms and keep the lake dropping and we will be fine. We are at a good level now but do not need a big rain. The ground is completey saturated and needs to dry up a bit. 13.74 pounds won the Youth Bass Nation Tournament last weekend. I though it would be more but that is still pretty good. Norfork Lake fireworks fund raiser tournament is the 26th of this month. Another good cause and lake promotion. 

Norfork lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Fish of the day yesterday released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 553.31 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last night about 9PM and just stared again this morning. The White River at Newport is 20.98 and dropping. The surface water temperature was 49 yesterday afternoon and the lake is stained green. We worked on boats yesterday getting them ready for rental this week and then went out fishing for a while and caught a few but not a lot. Bass fishing was the best followed by crappie, hybrids, small stripers and some white bass. I see the same trollers out there everyday seeing how many small stripers they can kill. People ask almost everyday if stripers are good to eat. The answer is almost all fish coming out of Norfork's clean waters are good to eat. My opinion is in this order: Walleye, crappie, Kentucky Bass, Flathead Catfish are by far the best, followed by channel cat and then temperate bass. (stripers, hybrid stripers and white bass). You only have to cut the red meat out of all of the termperate bass or they are very strong.  Blue cat are ok but not my favorite. Others eat carp and gar but I do not. I do not kill very many fish anyway especially smallmouth and big largemouth. With the price of fishing equipment and gas it is not economical to go fishing to get meat anyway. I promote catch and release but have no problem with people staying in the legal limits. The weather may be a little rainy this week but the temperatures are to be spring-like. Several people are here on spring break and others buying or looking for real estate continue to keep coming and more than I have ever seen. The 5PM traffic in town is more like a city than a small town and things are changing faster than anyone could have imagined. I used to know almost everyone in town and now I can go to Walmart and see a hundred people and not know any of them. The same is with the fishing pressure. With the increasing number of fishermen and better electronics the fish in the lake will get harder and harder to maintain. Even novices can catch fish now and there are about as many guides as there are fishermen. I just do not want us to end up being like Lake Texoma where the stripers are small even though they spawn there. All of ours are planted. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.39 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. All area lakes are now below power pool and Southwest Power takes over generation schedules. I expect them to slow down generation on Norfork this evening but we will see. The White River at Newport is 21-feet still but dropping. They could keep it at 21-feet until April 14th if they wanted too. The surface water temperature was 48 in Blackburns Creek yesterday afternoon and 50 on the main lake and the ambient temperature is 54 now and warming nicely already even with the time change. The water was still stained but clearest near the bank. The ambient temperature struggled to get to 39 degrees but most of the snow melted except on the north side of things and out of my boat. We received three inches but it went away a lot faster than the last one and there was no ice. Another storm is coming down from the northwest on about tuesday but it looks like the gulf air will meet the low pressure south of us this time with some severe weather in Texas, Louisiana and southern Arkansas. The jury is out on what will happen here. Hopefully nothing but a little rain. I am ready for warmer weather but not the storms it brings. March is not 1/2 over yet and anything could happen. We will open up the last five cabins next week anyway and take what we get. I have been getting several boats ready for spring and have 10 of them ready to go with three of them rented this week. People are anxious to get out and some are on spring break. It is busy here already.  Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boast stall is free. We will help you launch if needed. The lake is at a good level and the water a good color for fishing. Several fish are back in the creeks. The water will warm this week with the warm weather. Bass are the best bite now followed by crappie and small stripers. A few walleye are showing up in the evening on soft plastics like a fluke or bass assassin on shadowy banks. Stay out of the sunshine unless you are fishing deep open water. I do not do that anymore and get tired of looking instead of fishing. Gas is about $4.15 for unleaded regular non-alcohol. Everything else is good. You do not have to go far from Blackburns to get to good fishing. I expect some good numbers caught for the Arkansas Youth Bass Nation High School and Jr. tournament today. We have a couple of them staying here this weekend and wish them well.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.76 and has dropped a little over 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 2/3rds the time. They quit generating at midnight and started again at 8:AM this morning. We are now at the power pool and will see what happens to the generation schedule on Monday when they get back to work. This is a good level but will not stay there when the spring rains come if they do not drop the lake and the rules of generation change on April 15th.  We received 3-inches of snow yesterday but the wind was very light. It was our fourth snow event of the season and hopefully the last. It was very cold last night with a low of 16 and has not warmed up much yet today. It is scheduled to get into the high 30's and it better hurry but may make it. It is sunny and bright now. Spring-like weather is to return early next week. The water was very stained last evening in Blackburns Creek and the surface water temperature was 47 degrees and is now cooler than the main lake but that should change. I do not think the bass and crappie will move out to the warmer main lake and I will keep fishing the creeks until after spawn ot at least some of it. The big crappie spawn first and move back out into the brush again. I do not bed fish. The creeks should warm very quickly now. Some nice bass started to show up in the creeks before the snow along with some walleye. Creature baits and grubs were working and I will try them again tomorrow or maybe this afternoon. There were a lot of creek minnows near the bank last evening in the clearest water.   I do not hate them enough to go out this morning and will wait until the snow in my boat melts.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Rum Binkley with some big Norfork Lake crappie. I do not know where else you can catch crappie like these. That girl can drive a spoon. Image title

The lake level is now at 553.91 and is approaching the power pool of 553.75 when most of the generation control is turned over to Southwest Power Administration who typically reduce generation as soon as they get it. Maybe they need some power somewhere and will continue to drop the lakes. It dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours and they stopped generating at midnight and just started again. The White River at Newport is 21.82 feet so they are letting out quite a bit. I will see what the snow does to the water temperature later today. It was a nice day yesterday but that is over and it is cold and snowing and is to get down into the teens tonight and then start warming up again on sunday afternoon. At least it is not hanging around for very long. Our guests from Kansas City left wednesday and said they got about 6-inches yesterday and are glad they did not have to pull their boats on the icy roads. I agree with that. We have other guests from Florida and they are not liking the snow but are buying a home here anyway and said the prices were better here. The Mountain Home area is growing rapidly and I am not sure how much I like that. Gas prices are $4.13 for regular non-alcohol, I know I do not like that. I like to put premium non-alcohol in my boats but cannot afford it now. Everyone caught fish yesterday and bass fishing is getting better and better back in the creeks. Crappie fishing is steady and striper fishing during the day has slowed but they will be on the banks about next wednesday for their after-dark spring bite. Remember to turn you clocks forward satuday night. I do not carry a phone or clock and watch the sun but it will take me a while to get used to the change again. Sunrise and sunset are the important times for me and I do not care much what time it is except for happy hour. I do not think the snow will amout to much and next week looks good. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Dave Titus is back and catching some good ones already. Image title

The lake level is 554.05 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with generation about 3/4th the time. The ground is still saturated and water is still running into the lake from the hillsides after the last rain. The White River at Newport is 21.76 so they are letting out about all they can without hurting anybody downstream. The surface water temperature was 52 yesterday on the main lake in the sunshine and the water was still stained on the main lake and cleared a bit in the creeks but overall a good color for fishing.  The water temperature starts to drop immediately after sunset and so does the ambient temperature especially on clear days. This is the last day of good weather and there is a winter advisory from 9AM tomorrow until 6:PM with dropping temperatures during then day with snow and sleet and then cold on friday night and saturday. They say 1-3 inches. Several of our fishermen are heading home today and I do not blame them. I do not like to pull a boat trailer anytime but especially on slick roads. Sunday looks to be better and then into the 70's later in the week. Our normal high is 58.These cold fronts just keep coming. It was in the early 50's with sunshine and light winds when I went out yesterday afternoon. I caught nothing until about 4PM and then both the bass and crappie started to bite for about 1/2 hour on brush out of the sunshine in about 25-30 feet of water. I was casting past the brush and they were hitting on the drop about 10-ft. down on the jig. I caught my self-imposed limit of five crappie along with a couple of smaller bass and then went bass fishing again on shadowy banks and caught two nice ones. Several of the crappie were very large in the 14-15 inch range and fat. I will give it another try today after work. We will open up the last five cabins after the inside painting and remodeling is finished next week. A lot of improvements have been done since last fall and you will like what you see when you get here. No we are not raising our prices tomorrow or any time in the near future until the normal increase at Memorial Day, so come on down and not pay too much elsewhere. Your first boat stall is free. Yes we do especially welcome Veterans and Police. I am a Veteran but do not have any experience in Police work except for a few encounters but I did not flee or resist arrest. I was young and foolish but not that foolish.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing Report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Blackburns is the family place with the biggest, flatest, greenist playground with the most equipment and the biggest pool with slide. Bring them on down. Bikes too.Image title

Image titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage title

Image title

The lake level is 554.12 and has dropped 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 75% of the time. The White River at Newport is 21.74 feeet and they are trying to drop the lakes. A lot had changed yesterday when I went out from the day before. The surface water temperature has changed and dropped two degrees both on the main lake and the creeks and both are now at between 49 and 50 degrees depending on where you are located. The main lake river channel has also stained up much more and you could see your lure down only about 2-feet but it is much clearer on the shore where there is no or little current from the generation. Everytime it warms up and the fishing gets better another cold front comes through and hurts the fishing. That is what is to happen on friday when they say it is to get very cold that night and saturday with a couple of inches of snow.  I called our guests that are scheduled to come in this weekend and had them hold off until next week when it will warm back up starting sunday. It was cool yesterday with an ambient high in the low 40's but the wind was light and it was not too bad. I caught some crappie as usual, a couple of bass and accidently caught a striper in about 10-feet of water partway back in a creek on a creature bait and was somewhat surprised. There was no drama and he did not hammer anything or break me off but I did release him on site to grow. Another surprise was that I caught two nice warmouth on the bank bass fishing. I usually do not catch them until it is spring. That may be a good indicator. I hope so. I am tired of march already although the fishing has held up better than usual. Wind and cold fronts are not my favorite. It is very nice today and I will be out there as soon as I get my work done. Every bill that I receive has a notice of price increase and the gas was $4.15 for non-alcohol regular for my boats. I usually use non-alcohol preminum but just cannot afford it. This is higher than I have seen fuel in my entire life. It was $1.70 in October of 2020. My credid card cuts me off at $75 and I cannot even fill up a bass boat. Fortunately we have put in several good brush piles close to the resort so you do not have to go very far to find fish and are doing everything to hold our prices here for you. Poor people need vacations too and I am certainly one of those but I live where I do not have to leave to be in the best place. They cannot fire me or put me in a nursing home. We will have a good year no matter what the government does. Come on down to Blackburns, we will not charge you too much.  Check prices carefully before you book. I spent all of my money on resort improvements but you will like what you see when you get here. Blackburns is the family place with no drama. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Sheila Byrd with some nice ones sunday afternoon before the rain. Image title

The lake level is 554.22 and has risen just a bit from this time yesterday with generation about 75% of the time. The White River at Newport is 21.49 so they are still letting out quite a bit of water from the lakes. The surface water temperature was the same in both the creeks and main lake yesterday at 52. It was breezy and cold with a north wind and ambient temperatures struggled to get to 40. It is a little better today and is to get into the high 40's. Snow is on it's way for friday with another cold front and lows in the teens for friday night and cold on saturday. I remember in 1996, the second year I owned Blackburns, it got down to 6-degrees on this date in March. I never forgot that and that is why I do not open up the cabins with outside plumbing until the 15th. We have 10-cabins open now. March is cold fronts, high pressure, warm up, rain, cold fronts and wind. The fish do not know what to do but the best rule is to go fish when the high pressure has been around the longest and fish until the cold front gets here or it rains you out. Cloudy warm days are the best. The first days after a strong cold front are not usually very good unless you just happen on some active fish but are hit and miss at best. Some resorts raise their prices in march, I do not. They have 3-tiered prices where it is lowest in the winter when few people are here, raise it in march when a few fishermen start to visit and then really raise it in the summer when it is very busy. Blackburns has only two prices. Memorial day to Labor Day and the rest of the year. That way fishermen can get low rates in the spring and fall when the fishing is the best. Some are even raising their prices this week so you have to really watch unless you just have too much money. I do not. Staying at Blackburns helps defray the gas prices that are rising daily. Putting big motors on small pontoons and seeing how fast they can go may not be so popular this year. We will see what today brings and I will go out and try to catch a couple. Next week looks better. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some of yesterday's catch of Norfork Lake crappie. Image title

The lake level is 554.18 and has risen an inch and one half in the last 24-hours. They were running one generator and then completey quit when it rained and then are starting up both again. We received over one inch of rain here at Blackburns but the creeks are not running this morning. There was a lot of lightening but I know of no damage in this area. A tornado was reported in Sharp county south of us. The ambient temperature is now in the 30's and it is cold with more to come and it is to get down into the teens for lows later this week before it warms back up again. The White River at Newport is at 21-feet. They are letting out water but we just cannot seem to make any progress on dropping the lake. I would really like it to be around 547 going into the spring rains to give us a surge capacity but we cannot seem to get back to the power pool of 553.75 and when we finally did once they quit generating. Either way Blackburns will be ready for what comes but it would be very nice for everyone to keep the level below 560 all year. The surface water temperature was 53 when I went out yesterday and the main lake was clear again in this area and I could see my lure down about 6-feet. The fish stared biting about 4:PM and then mostly quit before 5. Mike caught some good ones on our new brush piles and I took five crappie and one bluegill to Tom Kelly's trophy pond. The weather was very comfortable and then it started lightening from the southwest after dark. The water temperature is not going to rise anytime soon but we are higher than usual at this date. Our normal ambient high is 57 and it would be nice to have that now instead of getting ready to drip water to prevent freezing up in the cabins. Blackburns is nearly full but I am not opening up anymore until the 15th and that depends of the long-term forcast. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much so stop by here on your way home and check things out. You will be welcome here and we will not charge you too much. Yes Blackburns is the fishing place and especially welcome Veterans and Police and your first boat stall is free. Overall fishing is just fair and the fish are moving all over the place. The creeks will cool down before the main lake. Trollers are catching some stripers and hybrids but most are small and they are working hard and burning a lot of gas to find them. I wish they would release more of them but they refuse. Meat hunters. You gotta love em. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Ray, Jessica, Nicolas Sowell from Yellville had fun on the dock yesterday. Image titleImage titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 554.07 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The White River at Newport is 21.18 feet and they are letting out a lot of water without much change in area lakes level indicating there is still a lot of runoff despite no rain for a week. That is about to change. We are right in the bullseye of storms moving through the area late this afternoon and tonight with some possiblly severe, high wind and locally heavy rain. It is to be followed by a cold front and below freezing for night time lows. Our normal high is 56. It is too early to announce spring. I have advised our current fishermen to leave early and ones scheduled to come in early next week to hold off for a day or two. It looks like we are to get this one. Iowa got hit hard yesterday and we are so sorry. It looks like a week from today will be a good time for the after dark striper fishermen and continue until the week after or a few days after the full moon which is the 18th. 15-17 should be the best.  The lake continued to get more and more stained as I headed to the Cranfield Island area yesterday but Blackburns Creek remained very clear and I could see the fish on the brush under the dock down 6-8 feet. It was very windy all day and it did not lay until late afternoon making daytime fishing very tough and hard to find a place to get out of the wind that still had fish. The surface water temperature was 51 degrees on the main lake and it was a warm, cloudy, windy day. I fished for a little over an hour, caught three crappie and a keeper bass and came in. The bass was on a crawdad creature bait on a jig head and the crappie was on a jig cast past the brush and sinking into it about 5-6 feet. People had fun off the dock catching crappie and bluegill off the new brush piles. We were full yesterday and it was very busy here with people taking advantage of the best prices on boats and cabins in the Ozarks. They do not like paying for their first boat stalls elsewhere and mention it often as one reason they choose here.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday on both the spoon and creature baits on a steep bank in about 25-ft. of water back in Big Creek. Image title

The lake level is 554.12 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running since late last night. The White River at Newport is 21.52 and all of the area lakes are approaching power pool except Beaver and it is already there. They can keep up this generation rate until April 14th if they want to but always seem to cut way back when Southwest Power takes over. The level of 560 is when people start having problems with access.  We have had a pretty good run on dry days and a lot of water is gone and things are much better than they could have been and things are starting to dry up a little.  We are a little less than 2-inches over the average rainfall for this year so far. We will see what sunday brings with rain for sure and some storms. It is to get cold again with a possibility of more winter later next week but not too bad. The normal high is 56. I had 54-degrees in Blackburns Creek and between 50 and 51 on the main lake late yesterday afternoon when I went out. It went from 48 to 50+ in just a couple of days and that is about as fast as I have seen it rise. I went to a couple of new Blackburns Brush piles back in the creek and caught my limit of five crappie and they were bigger than I have been catching and were in the 12-13 inch range and then just at sunset went to my favorite bass bank part way back in a creek that the wind was blowing into and caught several 2-3 pound largemouth on a creature bait on a steep bank on the bottom in about 25-ft. of water coming back to the boat on the drop-off.  I could not catch anything off the bank or on main lake brush.  They were all released on site as they are getting ready to spawn but not there yet. The White Bass are just starting to spawn and are moving back into their normal march areas. They are about on their normal schedule. I again went around the shore where I usually see big bass making nests when the water temperature is above 55 and saw no evidence of that yet. The water was very clear again especially near the shore. I could see the bottom in about 6-feet of water. It is cloudy now and should be a good day for fishing until the wind picks up and it will. I just have to get used to these march cold fronts but does not mean I like them. It is my least favorite month. Crappie bite for about 30-minutes and then get lockjaw for several hours but always seem to stop biting for good about 5:PM. Blackburns still has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals and your first boat stall is free. We like Veterans and Police. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.22 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is 21.89 feet so they are still letting out quite a bit of water. All of the area lakes are just above their power pool and they are dropping them about equally. The ground is saturated and water is still flowing into the lakes from runoff. The ice is finally gone and it took some very warm days to get rid of it. The sun is warming up the creeks faster than the deep main lake and it was 55-degrees in the bright sunshine in Blackburns Creek yesterday afternoon. The main lake was still 48. The water is very clear in the creeks especially near the shore and the main lake clarity changes a little based on the generation. When they generate heavily for several hours it stains a little green but is a good color for fishing. When they quit generating it clears again.The small bluegill have moved in under Blackburns dock and that means the larger bass are in the creeks. Many bass are staging now on drops adjacent to spawning areas and isolated cover along migration routes. A few big bass may spawn around 55-degrees. I checked the banks all around the creek in the warmest water and saw no fish getting ready or making nests. Some of the first ones will be near the walkway to the dock. There are some big bass under the dock in about 20-ft. of water on my brush feeding on the bluegill. Where there are big schools of bluegill there will be fish especially bass and catfish. If you are fishing brush and catching small bluegill do not get discouraged. There are some big fish down there on them.   Cooler weather is coming next week and the water temperature needs to be steady for several days for any big changes. The creeks will get cooler starting about monday or tuesday and it is to get cloudy with rain and a cold front on saturday night or sunday. If the water drops to below 50 again in the backs of the creeks some may move back out to deeper brush. It is just too early to be making some rash predictions. The water temperature says one thing and the calendar says another. Blackburns has several good bass fishermen in now and we will see how they do today. The wind is to pick up before the front and will blow the plankton and shad to the bank after some sustained winds with predator fish following them. Try a suspending stick bait. It is not spring yet but I like this weather. The lake is in excellent condition. Fish are not easily found, but when they are, fishing can be good for a few minutes. Do not expect large numbers of fish quite yet.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

These are the size of crappie that I am catching. They have moved up above the brush  5-7 feet down and are easily spooked. Image title

The lake level is 554.27 and is down just a bit from this time yesterday with generation about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is at 22-feet which means they are letting out about as much as they can and not cause problems downstream. The surface water was 48-degrees yesterday on the main lake and 50 in Blackburns Creek in the afternoon and the water more clear in the creeks than on the main lake but both are good for fishing. If you can find 20-ft. water with brush back in the creeks there will be crappie on it. Crappie, bass and bluegill moved in under my dock yesterday and they do not usually do this until late March. The warm weather making the water heat up is changing things almost daily. It is to cool down with highs back into the 50's after the rain on sunday with another cold front. Lows are to get to back below freezing again. Saturday looks to be a good day to catch some fish. Bass, crappie and small stripers are all coming in but not in high numbers. I am not seeing many fish coming up but it is time for White Bass to move in the backs of major creeks. Stripers will move to their spawning banks on main lake flats late in the evening in a few days and it should hit it's peak by about the 15th of this month. I do not fish for them anymore but used to and really enjoyed the night bite in both march and november when we caught some really big ones. It was very popular several years ago and you had to get out there in the afternoon to get the good spots. Not so much anymore. March they simulate spawn and november go to the same banks to feed just before the full moon. It lasts until a few days after the full moon and then is over. March is usually better than november and you can count on this happening in march.  Bink will be back in Big Creek casting his spoon and hopping it back to the boat for White Bass soon. I know exactly where he will be. They used to fill this one bay with fish but not so much anymore but they are making a comeback after a die-off about three years ago and more and more are showing up. A lot of people like to fish for them because they are so easily caught. I opened up four more cabins and the cleaning crew is working hard to get them ready and they are filling up as fast as they get them on line. I will save the last five until after the 15th of the month. One cold front which is common in early march could cause a lot of plumbing problems and I get enough of those anyway. I lived with my Uncle Walter when a lad and he owned a plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical company and I worked with him before and after going into the military and the knowledge has sure come in handy. I miss him everyday. It is busy here at Blackburns and the price is right. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tom Kelly with some pretty good ones for his trophy pond yesterday caught on Blackburns new brush piles. Image title

The lake level is 554.29 and is the same as this time yesterday with generation about 1/2 the time. It rises when the quit and drops slowly when they generate. The ground is saturated and water is still running in the lake from the hillsides. We have had a little less than 2-inches above normal precipitation including rain, snow and sleet so far this year. The last sleet storm has been very slow to melt despite very warm temperatures in the 70's but is about gone now. The White River at Newport is 22-ft. and they are doing all they can to let as much water out and keeping downstream from flooding. We will see what happens when we get into the power pool at 553.75. The lake wants to clear but when they generate heavily for long periods of time the main lake channel stains greenish but it does not hurt anything. I had a 50-degree water temperature in Blackburns Creek yesterday afternoon and 48 on the main lake. The shallow creeks are warmer than the main lake and some of the shad are going to it followed by the stripers and black bass. Some crappie are doing the same thing but some are just staying on the brush but shallower. Fishing overall is just fair but if you happen to find a school of shad back in the creek with bass and small stripers feeding on them it can be good for a short time. Please release those small stripers. Nobody is impressed by killing them and bragging about it. We want them to grow and have striper fishing like it used to be. Anybody holding up more than one is saving them and a striper with it's mouth open is more than likely dead. We are working hard to get more cabins ready for opening up. The warm weather is causing the phone to ring steadily and people are anxious to get outside and go fishing, especially from up north. We are getting a lot of feedback thanking us for not raising prices and keeping ours very low here at Blackburns. Others were aleady high and going higher. I might not make a profit but will try and make it up in volume. I learned that in Econ 141. The weather is beautiful and should stay that way for a few more days and get much cooler next week. That is the way March works around here. The cold fronts just keep coming on through and then high pressure and clear cold nights. The wind went down about 4:30PM and I got to a stopping point with my daily plumbing  and went out for a while until dark and worked a bass bank with a grub and caught three bass after trying a good brush pile and catching five decent crappie but no big ones. When I pulled up I could see the crappie on top of the brush about 5-feet down. I caught one and spooked the rest but they just moved over to the next pile and I cast past it and let the jig drop into it and caught four more. That is my limit. The sunshine felt good but so did the coat after the sun went down. Do not expect to catch a ton of fish everyday. It changes quickly and the people catching them are working very hard for sometimes days to catch a few but some good ones are being caught. It is just nice to be out. Catch a few, release a few and keep a few. Big stringers of dead fish are not impressive anymore.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.31 and has risen 1-inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating at 6:PM last evening and just started again today. The White River at Newport is at 22.46 feet and they are doing all they can to drop the lake or keep it from rising more at this time. We will see what happens when we get back to the power pool at 553.75. Southwest Power  does not have a good track record. Several things changed when I went out fishing yesterday. First the shallower water next to the bank is warming up faster in the warm sunshine and longer days than the deep main lake water and was 48 on the main lake and over 49 near the bank. It will keep rising with the warm weather scheduled for this full week until chances of strorms on sunday. Second the main lake clarity was reduced and much more stained a greenish color. It started to do this sunday and was much more pronounced monday afternoon. It may have to do with the heavy generation and the condition of the water coming downstream. Third, all of the fish that I caught were shallow. The crappie were still in 25-ft. brush but only about 5-7 feet down instead of on the bottom and the bass were inside the brush near the shore in about 10-12 feet of water and were biting best just after sundown on shadowy banks. Nothing was biting very well and fishing was at the best just fair and I had trouble catching my limit of five crappie and only one of them was over 11-inches. The shallow fish are spooky so stay away from right on top of the brush and use your trolling motor sparingly and cast past the brush and let the jig drop into it. The bass were mostly Kentuckies and also not very big. Stay as far away from the bank as you can cast with your boat. The wind was very light but still coming from the north last night at dark but will switch to the south today. This is a good way to bring in march and I hope it keeps up. Take a jacket if you are going out in the warm weather as the temperature drops very quickly at sundown. This is definitely a transition period with the surface water temperature approaching 50. I saw some shad coming up but not a lot. Blackburns still has the best prices in the Ozarks and are not raising them again this year and your first boat stall is free. We have no duplexes and all cabins are individual with big covered porches. We especially welcome Veterans and Police. Gas prices are going up at the rate of about 10 cents a week and the money you save by staying here will help offset other price increases on about everything. We are trying to fight this inflation but seem to be nearly alone. Gas is rising, water and electric are rising, trash pick-up, tires, batteries, bait and every bill that I am getting is rising. Beer prices are rising and that is the last straw. When will it stop, I do not know but where it will stop is here. I decide that. The Black bass exploitation study conducted by Game and Fish has reported some results. Of the 1,655 bass tagged in 2020 45% of them have been caught and reported to them for the reward. I have caught three of them and released them all and donated the reward back to them. That seems like a lot to me and shows how important catch and release is. Many bass fishermen practice catch and release many striper fishermen do not.  People just keep killing those small stripers and they do not reproduce like bass. We will all pay for their meat hunting as far as stripers are concerned if we care about them. I do. They do not dress out very well anyway. Release them and do not fish for them in deep water unless you just do not care and need meat. That will help a lot.