Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

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

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday. Nice one.Image title

The lake level is 568.05 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation since last evening. Not much has changed except the full moon and dropping water levels has slowed catfishing down and helped the big bluegill fishing. Mix this with high pressure and overall fishing is not the best. Walleye continue to bite on main lake points in 30-35 feet of water near the bottom on the 1/2 ounce spoon and bass are feeding on crawdads in the late evening near the shore in their normal summer places. A few white bass and largemouth are coming up early for about five minutes if the shad are shallow. It is just a matter if you happen to be on the right wind blown banks.  There is no per say top-water bite like in early may. Go out early, take the middle of the day off and go out again in the evening for best results. If you happen to see fish come up and you have no top-water lure handy cast your spoon just past them and hop it back to the boat keeping it from dropping too fast. A 3/8th or 1/2 ounce works the best. One ouncers are too heavy and sink too quickly. Bink is on the walleye and is using the 1/2 ounce many shad spoon in a little over 30-ft. of water near the bottom. We continue to be very busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. Sorry we do not allow dragging anything behind our boats, except our ski boat and it has a three day minimum, or taking them out after dark. Neither of these were working out for us. You can stay here and rent boats from a marina if you want to do that. They do not mind. Otherwise we have 30-boats to rent but you have to be staying at Blackburns to rent one. It is a Corps Of Engineers rule not mine. 

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

Image title

The lake level is 568.19 and has dropped about 1-1/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. They are doing a great job of holding the lake up as high as possible for as long as possible and if they work harder on this they can keep it up until past Labor day. That would be an accomplishment considering the dry conditions. Think what they could do if we got rain. They might be able to continue until next year. We received a nice shower yesterday afternoon with a pop-up of about 0.2 inches and it was just enough to keep things green. The smoke from Oregon is keeping things looking foggy and cloudy looking. As reported before, you can expect the hottest time of the year with temperatures to reach almost 100 to be the last week of July and the first week of August and it looks like we will not be disappointed again this year. It is to get into the high 90's later next week. It has been a very confortable summer so far this year with just enough rain to keep the grass growing. Our big flat playground here at Blackburns is still very nice as is the whole valley.  Bass, walleye and bluegill continue to be the best bite now with crappie and catfish following. Just a few red meat fish are being caught. The water surface temperature continues to be about 85 degrees and the thermocline is about 27-28 ft. Trollers are dragging live bait and diving crank baits and catching a few early bass but not much else. Spooning is the best now during the day for walleye, crappie and bass and casting worms and saltcraws to the steeper banks with ledges in the late evening is good for bass. Crappie fishing has slowed especially for the big ones. The lake overall is in excellent condition but the public launching and parking on the weekends is congested with the high water. During the week it is fine. One more holiday left and the fishermen can have the lake back. The summer has gone fast but there is still a lot more to come. Not long before school starts. It has been the busiest year ever so far here at Blackburns.

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

The lake level is 568.30 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 60% of the time. The surface water is 85 degrees and appears clear from the surface but there is a mud line at the thermocline at 27-28 feet. This is typical for the end of July but the lake is much clearer than in previous years. Bass in the late evening on worms and salt craws and walleye on 1/2 ounce jigging spoons in 30-32 feet of water near the bottom near brush are the best bite now but bluegill on crickets on shallow brush and under docks is not far behind. Several crappie are being caught but most are small. The live bait trollers are catching some small stripers. The Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a third fishing tournament for October this year on Norfork Lake. The Phoenix Bass Fishing League will have their tournament on October 7-9 and typically have nearly 200 boats followed by the Cystic Fibrosis tournament on the 16th and Bass Cat Invitational on the 22nd-23rd. These are great times to have tournaments with the spawn being over and the lake should be a lot closer to normal level with much better launching and parking facilities. It is better than the spring and a lot of fish will be caught. The lake will turn over during one of these times but it will not hurt bass fishing much. It has been gradual for the last several years and it is not like northern shallow lakes where they turn violently and debris is floated to the surcface and turn muddy killing the fishing.  We just have the thermocline invert and the water is nearly homogenous with equal oxygen, visibility and temperature down several feet. It does scatter the fish a bit as they have no reason to be in any special place except for cover and food. This is an excellent time for spooning brush piles and not just beat the bank. Many other fish will come shallower and follow shad in open water. When you can find baitfish near brush there will be fish there. Blackburns has already received several calls and reservations regarding all of these tournamnets and fishermen are taking advantage of our prices and proximity to Town, dining and shopping. It looks like the busy season will continue through October. We have cabins for $59/day then and you cannot beat that anywhere. All are individual with no duplexes and have covered porches where you can social distance. Launching is available here with plenty of parking and charging facility for your boats. We have the best place with the best price. 

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

The lake level is 568.64 and has dropped about 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 60% of the time. The surface water temperature is still in the mid 80's and the water is clear and is in excellent condition for boating and swimming. The best bite right now is bass in the late evening and walleye in the morning. The walleye are in their normal summer locations and are in and around the thermocline near the bottom. They are roaming and are mostly in pairs. Look for brush in about 30-ft. and fish all around it with a jigging spoon. The east side of flooded Robinson Island in the big rocks is an excellent place. Try main lake points and just around them on the inside first. Crappie are there also and are biting Bobby Garland Jigs and live minnows on a slip float. Fish the main lake willows and boat docks for big bluegill with crickets and very small jigs and spoons. The 1/8th ounce Bink's Spoon works well.  The live bait trollers continue to show off dock floors full of dead small stripers and they are getting smaller and smaller with the larger ones getting more and more scarce. They are killing themsevles out of business about like buffalo hunting but stripers and hybrids cannot reproduce in our lake and are all stocked. I want striper fishing back like it used to be when 20-pounders were common and 30-pounders were not uncommon. It will never happen with over-fishing and continued high water for extended periods of time. Maybe the new bloodline brought back from North Carolina with help. I hope so. The biologists are trying hard. 

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 568.77 and has dropped a little over an inch in the last 24-hours with generation about 60% of the time. We did get a small shower yesterday but not much. They are doing an excellent job of holding the area lakes up as high as they can for as long as they can. It has dropped a little over four feet since it's high earlier but we are now about 2/3rds through July and school will start soon. I had a water temperature of about 84 degrees yesterday and the water was clear with a thermocline in the mid 20's. It usually gets to a little over 30 by August but not much lower. Blackburns has a mixture of families, people looking for real estate, people just wanting to get out of the city, boaters and fishermen. It is a diverse group but a big one. Out pool is about the busiest place on the lake but it is big enough to handle several.  The weather has been great with just a few pop up showers but the chances for rain will diminish starting today and it is to get in the low 90's again near the weekend. Good boating and swimming weather for the rest of the week. Bink is still on the walleye and the bass fishermen are doing well in the evening. Not much is changing with water temperatures remaining the same and the water clarity continues to be good. Public launching and parking remains congested on weekends but is not bad during the week. There were a lot of boats out there between the bridges yesterday and it is the busiest place on the lake. It can also be the windiest. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much.