Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG


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

Scuba Steve with some of yesterday's catch. Image title

The lake level is 553.15 and has been within 1/2 inch of this level for nine days with one generator running for three hours. It would be nice if they would keep it stable in the spring for the spawn but fat chance of that. Hold and hope is the name and flood us out every year is the game. A lot could be done to prevent this if there was an effort and a reasonable plan. The lake surface water temperature was 73+ degrees when I went out yesterday and it was a bit windy as usual in the afternoon. It is calmer early before it warms and later in the evening after the heat of the day. The weather has been beautiful and the fishing is picking up a bit before the lake turn. We had divers in and they said the visibility was good in some places and poor in others. Poor mostly off mud banks and better off rocky ones. They found mostly crappie off brush and a few walleye but they were mostly short. No catfish. The theromocline was strill about 30-32 ft. with cold water lower than that. The lake turnover is almost always in October but the surface water temperature has to drop lower than the top of the thermocline for the layer to invert and we are not there yet. Crappie and bluegill fishing is the best now but trollers are catching some temperate bass as predicted but are dragging lures or live bait a long way to catch something. Some are near the bank at dark and before sunrise. Many species of fish are in open water on shad in the absence of numbers of large stripers competing for them.  If you are spooning brush in about 30-ft. of water it is hard to tell what you will catch. I am still catching small white bass accidently but very few larger ones. Blugill and crappie are on main lake brush with a few Kentucky bass. A few largemouth are on the bank but not many.  They are mostly in open water on shad and beating the bank is not producing much except smaller bass which are on minnows and fry just outside the dead buckbrush. It should get better for a few days before the turn if we do not get a big cold front. Bluegill like this full moon and they are biting and big ones too. It is nice to just be out there in the sunshine. Drop a small spoon in the brush and learn how to not get it hung up. Keep it straight up and down and do not drag it. If it is too windy change to a jig, go against the wind and use your trolling motor only as much as you need to to stay put. Turn off the spot lock. They wander around too much over the best areas. Crappie are easily spooked. If you cannot hold drift over the brush and use your trolling motor to go around and drift over again. Drop a marker buoy. If you see an unattended marker buoy just leave it alone. It belongs to someone and he will be back. Blackburns still especially welcomes Veterans and Police. You have a sanctuary and friends here.  

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

The lake level is 553.16 and has been the same for the last 4-days with less than three hours of running one generator. The White River at Newport is now less than 5-ft. and is about ready to dry up. November is our rainiest month. They need to take it down to 547-48 and hold it there for as long as they can without flooding anybody out. That seems to be a simple and good plan but is too complicated for the government. The creeks are stained green but are clear near the bank and on the main lake you can see your lure down about 5-ft. The shallower creeks are cooling faster at night but are also warming more quickly in the afternoon sun. I am still getting a main lake surface water temperature of 72-73 degrees in the afternoons and the ambient temperature is to remain in the 70's and get even in the high 70's later this week. Trollers are starting to pick up some stripers that are left in shallow water on planer boards with big live bait as predicted earlier with the full moon and after a cold front that blows the plankton to the bank and the shad will follow. They can also be caught from late evening to morning on stick baits. This usually happens in November and may continue into the full moon next month. Nobody can predict when this will happen or if it will happen. It used to happen every year but has not most of the last several due to the absence of most of the big stripers. A 30-40 lb. striper used to be big and now they are bragging about 10-15 and there are few of them. Every striper needs to be released until they make a comeback and people need to quit fishing for them deep. Big schools of large white bass are also scarce but a few are showing up as all of the temperate bass are schooled up together along with the bigger largemouth. Some crappie, walleye and catfish are also with them. Several fish are coming to the light under my dock at night. I am still fishing brush piles and the fish are biting anywhere from 18-32 ft. of brush at various levels of suspension. I am catching no picture fish but some pretty good ones.  Big bluegill are biting as well or better than anything and people are having a lot of fun carching them. They also eat well. There are a lot of minnows and fingerling sports fish back in the creeks near the bank and under docks and the Kentucky bass are after them but not many largemouth. The smallmouth were starting to show up but not many now for some reason. They will as there is a good population of them also. Norfork is a good bass, bluegill, crappie, walleye and catfish lake but not all species bite all of the time. There are getting to be too many gar. I wish the Bass Catters good luck friday and saturday. Blackburns is full of them with people taking advantage of the $59/day cabin rental and the first boat stall being free along with launching on site and ample boat and trailer parking with electrical. We are also very close to the take-off point. We are glad to have them back. They should just stay here. We like them. The fall foliage is not changing much and we will keep you informed. Again, I do not expect a brilliant color this year but It could change. Now browns and yellows. The sumac is even going straight to brown with little red. This is not a good sign.   

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

The lake is in great condition but not much fall color yet. It has been foggy early.Image title

Keith and Don with some of yesterday's catch.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.17 and rising very slowly with absolutely no generation for the last three days. The government is managing the lake about like they are managing the border. The water temperature drops all night with the lows in the early 40's and then warms back up in the sunshine with temperature is the 70's and is hanging in there in the mid 70's. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. Crappie and bluegill fishing is the best followed by Kentucky Bass and Catfish. I had thought the trollers would be picking up a few red meat fish by now with the full moon on Wednesday. Bink found some a few days ago but said it was not easy and it was the first time he had found schools of good sized fish in a long time. If he cannot find them nobody can. He knows where they should be this time of year. There has been no evidence of a fish kill this fall.  I am catching some white bass but they are very small. At least there are some coming back. All of the temperate bass are schooled up together but there are not a lot of them. Hybrids are doing the best. The fish that I caught yesterday were on big brush in 25-30 ft. of water about 12-ft. down right on top of the pile. They were a little over the 10-inch limit but not very big. Keith and Don Katashuk caught some larger ones. There were 212 boats in the Cystic tournament Saturday and I am a little disappointed in the resuts. At least it was better than the Phoenix the week before. Only 65 boats weighed in fish with a total of 216 fish weighing 473 pounds. The big bass was 4.8 pounds. It is still not bad for October. Typically the first of March and starting in the middle of October are the toughest time for bass fishing on Norfork and will continue until the lake turns and clears. November is a good month and Thanksgiving is always a good time to catch fish and April and May are better. Blackburns Has cabins for $59/day with your first boat stall free. You can launch right here, step on the dock and park your trailer in ample trailer parking. We are not huddled up on a hillside with everything jammed up. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. There is not much color for fall foliage yet after the rain and many leaves blew off in the wind. We will see what the next two weeks bring but do not get your hopes up too high. It is always beautiful here though. My burning bush is showing a little color but my Maple is not. 

Norfork Lake Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comments)

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Don and Keith Katashuk with some nice ones.Image title

The lake level is 553.15 and has been the same for three days with very little generation. None today. The white River at Newport is 6-ft. The surface water temperature was back to 75 degrees this afternoon with an absolutely beautiful day. Sunny, light wind and 75 degrees. Blackburns had several fishermen out today and they did better than yesterday. Crappie and bluegill fishing is the best now followed by bass and catfish. Walleye have slowed down. Nothing is great but some are catching fish. The lake is in excellent condition for fishing and stained a little gree. More in the creeks. I though the Cystic boys would do a little better but 16-lbs is pretty goos for the middle of October. Better than the Phoenix last week. The lake is maintaining temperature so far and just dropping very slowly despite the very cool overnight lows. The sunshine helps. There should be no turnover before the Bass Cat next week and they should do well. Norfork is one busy lake. I caught some decent crappie and bluegill today with some throwback bass and it was nice out in the warm sunshine. Better than staying in the house and watching the kneelers with there political views on the back of their helmets. I miss baseball now that the Cardinals surrendered. The Dodgers were better anyway. Blackburns still has one bedroom open for Bass Cat. Call Debbie at 870-492-5115 before you pay more elsewhere. We have it all and at the best price. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.  Don and Keith Katashuk caught more fish than anybody here last week. Nice people. 

Cystic Fibrosis Bass Tournament Norfork Lake

It took 16 lbs. and change to win the tournament today. It went 16,15,14,13,and 12. They did much better than the Phoenix last week. It was well run and is a good cause. Next friday Bass Cat Invitational. Norfork is a busy lake.