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)

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The lake level is 570.62 and has risen about 5-inches in the last 24-hours.They shut off all generation last evening and started one generator early today. They are still running Table Rock balls to the wall with all generators running and 10-spillway gates open. They are trying to get it down to power pool no matter what it does to Bull Shoals,which is holding their water. Protect Branson Landing at all costs. It is all about $ and politics. Maybe someone will listen about dropping the level in the fall and winter and reevaluating the rules of generation. We need to unite everyone and speak with one voice.  Depending where you are in the county, the rainfall in March was about 2-1/2 inches above normal. Normal is about 4.5 inches for the month. We have had no big rains in the county for several weeks.  The weather is beautiful today and it is just about time to put in some limb lines for catfish. I will do that tomorrow when Nabatak delivers the bait for the resort.  We keep live bait on hand all year here at Blackburns. The area is so lucky to have such a good wholesale bait and tackle supplier as Nabatak.  They have good inventory and prices and the best service. It is about time to mow again for the third time.  Everything is green and flowers and trees are blooming all over. Bink reports catching some big hybrids this morning  on top-water.  True top-water not just calling them up out of the brush. I caught some nice bass yesterday and released them under the dock on the 3-inch worm. Things are ready to break loose. Learn how to work that spook by walking the dog and keep it handy. The lake is clearing and is in overall good condition but there are a few logs in the main channel and you have to watch for them. April is here and fishing will get better and better as the water warms. Come on down.  We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Compare prices and call Debbie at 870-492-5115.  All of our cabins and boats are ready to go. Water surface temperature is in the high 50's on the main lake and early 60's in the creeks depending on where you are and what time of day it is.

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

The lake level is 570.21 and has risen just a bit, (less than an inch) in the last 24-hours with one generator running and three spillway gates open one foot. It would have dropped if it had not rained about one inch last night.  The creeks run just a little. I went crappie fishing yesterday with mixed results. First I went to East Pigeon and only caught one fish on the bank.  It was very large though. I expected more but could not get them to bite.  There is just too much cover and bait. I could not get anymore so I went to Middle pigeon towards the back and fished around the docks. The fish were biting well there on jigs and grubs but were mostly small. They were at all different depths but the water needed to be over 20-ft. deep.  Caught about 20 fish and only five were legal. All were released. Only one small bass was caught. The water was a perfect color there and was more brown as you got nearer to the main lake. The water temperature was 62 back in the creek and high 50's on the main lake. The shad should be spawning but I did not see any top-water all afternoon and evening. I saw just a few boats so it was not hard to practice social distancing. I did not get within a quater of a mile from anyone. It was a beautiful day with light wind from the south and it picked up in the evening and the fish started to bit better. Will try again later today. There still have not been a positive test for the virus at the Baxter Hospital.I have not seen a better place to quarantine than Norfork Lake and Blackburns resort. You do not have to get close to anyone and you can get an individual cabin with no duplexes for $59/day. 

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

The lake level is 570.15 and has risen three inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening but the new news is that they started up one generator earlier this morning and opened three spillway gates one foot which is about equivalent to another generator. Since then the level has been stable. I sure hope they keep this up. We are over 50% full so they should at least for a month barring any big rains. If that happens they will be forced to. Another thing: Binks said he has dropped the jerk bait as of yesterday and has started using the spook in the old river channel even though he does not see any top-water fish. They are shallow and he is drawing them up but they are almost only bass. Usually when this happens you catch a lot of white bass too but not now. He and I both are really getting to think for sure that most of the white bass are gone. Every once in a while we catch one that is not small but not often. We will know this for sure when the top-water bite starts in earnest. If they are not there then they are gone. I guess more died in the fish kill last year than was previously thought. I know that is the case with the big stripers. Bass fishing is by far the best bite now. The lake is clearing and is a good color for fishing in most places. There has been one positive test for the virus in the county but none in the hospital as of yet. You can come on down to Blackburns and social distance. The lake is sure not crowded with a surface temperature ranging from 57-60 depending on where you are. I am heading out to try to find some crappie for our guests. I will try east pigeon first. Blackburns resort and Boat Rental still has cabins for $59/day. Not bad. Why pay more? Compare prices and then call us. If you must pay more, stay with us and give the difference to the disabled vets. 

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

Caught on top-water fishing with Bink's guide Service Yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 569.85 and has risen 4-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening, shut off Norfork, opened spillway gates and run all generators on Table Rock to protect Branson and are pounding Bull Shoals Hard with Table Rock water.  Cool weather has returned and the highs are to be in the 60's for several days which is more seasonal. The surface water temperature is all over the place and very different in the shallow water from the main lake. The main lake also varies depending on where on the lake you are. Most of it is still in the mid to high 50's. Some of our guests report an early top- water bite for bass and that is good. Bink caight some good ones too. The full blown top-water bite usually gets here by April 15th and looks to be about on schedule. It started raining when I was going out yesterday so I did not go but it turned out to be not much. I had to wait on guests to get here to check out rental boats.  It is sunny and about 60 now and looks to be a nice day. The sunshine is good for lake clearing and we have not had any runoff here for several days. There are a lot of fish out there and most of them are on the old lake shore around the buckbrush. I will do a little exploring today and let you know. Keep using the jerk bait early and then switch to the 3-inch worm on a jig head and a spinner bait. Keep a top-water lure handy when you see fish surfacing. Either a Spook Puppy or a Spittin image. Practice learning how to walk the dog well. It is very important this time of year. Fishing is picking up if you know how. Please release as many fish as you can during this upcoming spawn season. Blackburns still has the best prices on both cabins and rentals boats. Some raise their prices in the spring but Blackburns does not. Compare prices and give us a call. Your first boat stall is free and we have 28-acres to roam and we are not huddled up on a steep hillside with little parking or go down a cliff to get to the dock. 

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

The lake level is 569.46 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The brown water is clearing and is about the color of the Northwestern Ontario lakes. Remember that the clear water is not always the best fishing. I like a bit of green stain that you can see your lure down about 3-4 feet. Bink likes a more of a brown stain with green mixed in. We both agree that we do not like chocolate brown with no visibility. Too clear of water is just as bad. People may want the clearest water for swimming and boating but that season is not here yet. We did have some people swimming off the dock Thursday.  When the shad spawn and the top water bite starts it will make no difference what color the water is, just where the bait is.  High water does not hurt fishing just changes how you fish for them.  It pretty much forces trollers to change their methods and learn how to really fish. People taking pictures of dock floors full of small dead fish and bragging about it should take off their cold weather gear. It was 90 wednesday, 86 Thursday and 80 Friday and is 70 already today with cloudy skies. Most of the fish are still on the old shoreline just above the buckbrush as is the bait. There are reports of water clearing in the Udal area is good news for us here.  One bass fisherman told me yesterday that he was catching  15-20 bass a day on a swim bait but several of them were small. That is the same for me. Jerk baits, 3-inch worms, soft plastics and spinner baits are catching about everything. I have had no reports on the night bite yet but will let you know. I do not fish after dark much anymore especially when the lake is changing almost daily with the rise and I can barely find my spots in the daytime.  I have not caught a fish on a spoon in almost a week. I am heading up into east pigeon to look for some male crappie staging on the bank. Could be time. I need some more fish under the dock. It is to get windy later this afternoon. Things are about ready to break loose. Tom Kelly found some good water in Diamond Bay and caught some nice bass on his whacky worm. We are mowing the grass for the second time now and flowers are everywhere. The swallows are back and the Purple Martin scouts were here a few days ago and left. I sure hope they bring the whole clan back with them. We have a lot of wildlife here at Blackburns. Everything is pretty much on schedule. There was a case of the Virus reported yesterday in Baxter County but it was not in the hospital.  Arkansas reports on what your address is not where they found it. You can social distance here and we will not charge you too much. If you are in town, stop and check us out.  You will like what you see.