Steve "Scuba" Street's BLOG

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

Scuba Steve's Fish of the day yesterday. Going bass fishing now.Image title

The lake level is 554.94 and has risen about 5-inches in the last 24-hours. They are not generating but did open spillway gates just a bit again this morning to slow the rise after shutting them down all night. The surface water temperature was 45.5 when I went out yesterday about 4:PM and the crappie were biting. They continued for about an hour and then quit. And I mean quit. I caught ten keepers and released five of them at the dock. The rest go to my friend Gus who is celebrating his 90th birthday next month. He loves those Norfork lake crappie as do a great many people. It does not get any better than crappie, walleye, bluegill and Kentucky bass with a flathead catfish thrown in every once in a while. We received a couple of inches of snow this morning early and it is melting now. I really like bass fishing when it shows and will be out there shortly. I am anxious to see what it did to the surface water temperature and clarity. This is a good day to plant grass seed. This is the first measureable snow this season and it is too much for me. People that love it should move to Caribou, Maine. They would be very very happy there or have to go outside and work in it and then see how beautiful it is.  For me I am ready for spring even though I catch a lot of big fish in the winter. I am done with cross country skiiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing. No walking on water or drilling holes in it for me. I will stay here where you can fish all year and have no closed seasons. Any furhter south and you get too many storms, hurricanes and other problems. I am where I want to be. Norfork Lake is the place.

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

Bryan Deardoff with some of yesterday's catch. Image title

The lake level is 554.50 and has risen 10-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with several hours of both generators running. They shut off the generators but have now opened spillway gates equal to a little over one generator. They must not need the electricity and are wasting the water. If they cannot maintain the level the last part of January, fat chance they can or will do it this spring. There is no rhyme or reason to their no-plan management. Hold and hope and open spillway gates is no plan. We should be at 548 or less now to make room for the spring rains. The weather was nice after work so we went fishing. The dock renovations and new roof are now completed on cabin #9, the mobile home, and we are now resurfacing the pool deck and baskerball court. All cabins and out buildings now have a new roof. We never stop with the improvements here at Blackburns. Crappie was the best bite but a few bass were also caught. All of the bass were released on site but a few crappie were kept for dinner. We do not fish for deep stripers and release all we catch accidently to let them grow. If more people do not do this all of the big ones will be gone. Most of them are already gone.  The Kentucky bass. crappie, flathead and bluegill eat much better anyway not to mention the walleye which I am unable to catch now.  Most of the crappie were near the bottom at 40-45 ft. of water but the largest were in about 30-ft. 20-ft. down. The spoon was the best lure. The bass were with the shallower crappie. Fishing overall was just fair but we caught some nice ones. It was an overall a good day with a lot being accompilshed. We were full here all last week but have a couple of cabins open starting today. Come on down and check us out. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. We have no duplexes so you can social distance and all cabins have covered porches.  

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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday. We really like it when nice families have a good time together. That is what it is all about. Image title

Caught fishing with Bink'sThe lake level is 553.62 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with very little generation. They quit generating before the rain started in order to get the level up as high as possible for as long as possitble even though the White River at Newport is only 7.6 feet and about ready to dry up. We received 3/10th of an inch of rain Saturday night and 1/1/2 inches last night and this morning. It is over for now. The creeks run for a while but not hard. I went crappie fishing yesterday and caught some good ones. One was very large. They were spooned up in 45-ft. of water on the bottom. I do not have a clue why they are there but they are and just outside of brush piles and near cover close to deep water.  There were some fish coming up about 5-PM and most of them were bass and some good ones too. That is the first top water that I have seen in a while.  The usual routine of the bass moving to their winter banks and staying there has not happened this year. I suspect more of them are in open water on shad in the absence of big stripers. Brush piles are not producing very well unless they are deep. People are still dogging those small stripers in the 3-9 lb. range in deep water knowing they will die when they catch them. It looks like they will keep doing this until all of them are gone. They do not know how to fish any other way and will not change. They need that red meat. Fishing overall has been just fair and the lake in general is in excellent condition. White Bass fishing is getting better and needed to.  The ground in the watershed area is saturated and any rains just north of us will raise the lake. Local rains and rains south of us have a much less effect on the water level unless the creeks run hard. It is almost february and we need to be at about 548 now down about 5-1/2 feet.  All of the area lakes are just about at the power pool level which is a good level but does not leave much room for spring rains. There is absolutely no reason not to drop them. I am starting to catch more fish on spoons and less on jigs.We are working hard here at Blackburns makings improvements for you and there will be no price increases this year. Thanks for your repeat business. We appreciate you. 

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

Released under the dock yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.54 and is the same as yesterday with 2-3 hours of generation. Just enough to keep up with the river inflow. It is a good thing we have had very little rain. The surface water temperature is right at 47 in the afternoons on the main lake in this area. Lower in shallower water and near the bank. The water is very clear near the bank. They have now lowered the White river at Newport to 9+ feet and dropping. This is about the worst case of dam mismanagement ever. I guess they must know we will not get any spring rains. The lake is in excellent condition now though for fishing, at the right depth, and right clarity. There is some algae forming near the shore and I am not used to seeing that. We never used to have that or any foam on the shore. Pollution is creeping in on us and is mostly caused by heavy rains in the watershed north of us in the Norfork River basin in Missouri, the Corps holding the lakes up for too long in the summer and not from runoff from Corps property around the lake. I am glad we have the buffer zone.   I was fishing brush and structure in about 35-feet of water yesterday on the main lake with the spoon and jig and caught both bass and crappie. We were working on the dock and I did not get to go out until about 4:Pm and the fishing was slow but steady. The jig outfished the spoon. The best bite was about 4:30 Pm. It is usually best right at dark but not yesterday. It was cloudy and warm. Today it is clear, sunny and cooler and we will see what that brings. Blackburns has several fishermen in now with more coming in today and they should catch some. It has been a mild winter so far and the good bass fishermen are doing well. Guides and locals are still killing small stripers and they are getting smaller and smaller. They are cutting their own throats but it looks like they will not quit until every big one is gone. They will drive the business to other lakes but insist on living for today. I do not fish for them much anyway but they are a big attraction to the lake and it is a shame to have them gone. The numbers and size of almost all other species are up and at good levels on Norfork except for White Bass but they will take care of themselves in the next few years as they do not require stocking and reproduce well in the lake. There are plenty of bait fish. The lake oeverall is in excellent condition and fishing is only fair.

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

Jeremy Deardoff with some nice ones yesterday. Image title

Not a lot is changing. Water still about 47 degrees, visibility still pretty good at about 6-feet, level has been nearly the same for over two months at 553.60 with very little generation and people keep killing small stripers and they are getting smaller and smaller. Next they will be taking pictures of 20-inchers.  Hybrid stripers, crappie, bluegill and bass continue to be the best bite. Some white bass are showing up. Fishing overall is just fair but some good ones are being caught every day. Blackburns is working very hard to get ready for spring but current busines is also keeping us busy. We really do not have an off season anymore. The dock is coming around nicely and we will start on the pool and basketball court next week. Almost all of out rental boats have been surviced and several boat seats have been taken to ITS in Midway to be reupholstered. We will be ready for you and have not raised our prices again this year. Things are looking good here. If you are in town come on over and check us out. We will not charge you too much.