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

The lake level is 572.45 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with more generation than not. It looks like the high water is here until fall but at least they are finally letting some out but are stubbornly holding the White River at Newport at 12-feet for no reason.  It is very dry here. The lake is clear and warming again with the warm weather. It is now in the mid 80's. The top-water bite early is diminishing and is now mostly smaller bass. The stripers have moved deep and are in anywhere from 70-80 feet of water near the bottom. If you fish for them there you can be assured they will die when brought up but that is where tie bigger ones that are left are located. Crappie and bluegill and coming in every day and some big ones too. Some crappie are located on the main lake on steep banks just at the dropoff. Others are suspended over brush in 40 ft. of water 25-ft. down. Some bass are still under cover on the old shoreline and a lot of fish are under docks in the shade. It is a typical late June fishing year but the water is clearer than it has been in years. Divers are having a lor of fun. The slowly dropping water is hanging up most of the debris that was floating but there is still some. The lake overall is in ecellent condition but is just too high. Just a few feet drop would do a lot of good for launching and parking. Come on down. We will not charge you too much here at Blackburns. We still have two cabins available for Labor Day. 

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

The lake level is 556.55 and has risen 11-inches in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of generation. We have received 2.3 inches of total rain yesterday and today and the creeks are running hard and it is still raining. It is heading for 558 even if they leave the generators on but they will not. The creeks were lightening up a bit in color but that has all changed now and is worse than it was. There is debris in the lake and I am going down to move my dock in now. I did not go fishing yesterday.  The lake is not in bad condition but is about 8-feet higher that it should be going into the spring. 

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

The lake level is 555.73 and headed for 556 with no generation for 24-hours. It is time to demand some resignations. If they cannot manage it in the winter the spring is impossible. They have had months to control the level and saying the winter rains have been heavy is no excuse.  There were times this late fall and winter when Newport was at 2-3 feet. Hold and hope. The surface temperature was just above 45 degrees when I went out yesterday and the wind was light and variable. The ambient temperature was 39 degrees. Five crappie and two bass were caught casting the grub and minnow but only one had any size to it. Not worth a picture. The creeks are still brown in my area and the main lake is still stained. It is cloudy with light rain now and it is supposed to increase and continue until tomorrow morning and then warm up to near 60 for the middle of the week. I am sure using my heated sox and gloves a lot this year. We continue to work on improvements everyday here at Blackburns and you will sure notice them when you get here this year and there will be no price increases. 

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 552.14 and rising very slowly with no generation. It is at a very good level. Surface temperature is in the lower 80's and dropping with the cooler nights. The lake seems to be clearing just a bit but I will see when i go diving. I have been pole fishing this week and am waiting for the visibility to get better before i resume diving. I have caught bass, crappie, bluegill and flathead catfish but not a lot of any. The fish I have been catching are all on brush in 22-30 feet of water and about 18-feet down. If you start catching bluegill on the spoon you can bet flatheads are very near and close to the bottom. I had been catching about 4-5 crappie and a variety of the other species unti yesterday when it was a bit slower. I have been using the 1/8th ounce Bink's spoon and crappie minnows mostly. Some are catching bass on large worms. Out guest went out with Bink on Thursday and had a great time. Said they caught about 30-fish. Mostly hybrids and white bass all on the spoon. I have not been open water fishing but several fish are still being caught deep. We have received about 0.8 inches of rain in the last several days. Just enough to keep things green and the grass growing like crazy. I expect the fishing to get much better soon but it has not happened yet. Still just fair. The weather looks to be very nice for the next week. If it is sunny I will go diving and if cloudy pole fishing.. Tough choices. 

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

The lake level is 552.04 and stable with just a little generation in the late afternoon. I went fishing for crappie yesterday for a couple of hours. The lake is still stained a little green but is a good color for fishing. You can see your lure down about 8-9 feet. I went out about 2:30 Pm and it was slow with the weather being sunny one minute and light rain the next, time after time. We received very little rain. It was slow to start and I only caught a couple of Kentucky bass until about 3:30 when the crappie started biting. The wind was very light so I switched to minnows and caught 5 nice ones and a couple of nice bluegill. The fish were all on brush at 26 feet deep and 18-feet down. I brought them up slow and took them to Tom Kelly's trophy pond. I released 10 nice fish. Other people are still catching small stripers and a few walleye deep. I still do not like seeing rows of small dead stripers on dock floors but to each there own. The fish in the 5-7 lb. range are barely two to three years old and all die coming out of deep water. Leave some for the future. Fish for something else until they move to the bank in the fall when they can be released safely. The posession limit is 6 and people cannot be eating all of these fish. The daily limit should be cut to two of any size with no culling. 

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

The lake level is 552.10 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours. Surface temperature is 88 degrees and the lake is somewhat stained green. I went diving yesterday after taking the holiday off and the conditions are not any better. The visibility is fair down to 21-feet and very cloudy lower then that.  I only saw Kentucky bass in the shallower water. I will go to pole fishing today and check things out and try diving again next week. I like fall diving but the water needs to cool to help the clarity. Striper fishing has slowed a bit and bass fishing has picked up. Some walleye are on main lake points on brush at 27-34 feet. Many others are still in open water deeper with the red meat fish. It is still very busy here with people taking advantage of the low winter rates and low cost boat rentals. You can get a one bedroom cabin for $59 here now and get a free boat stall. Trolling motors are free with pontoon rentals and all cabins are individual with no duplexes and have big covered porches. We have 150 Meg internet and reaches all cabins. The big pool is still open and has a slide. The pavillion has ping pong and shuffleboard. The game room has been remodeled. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Blackburns is your fall foliage headquarters for Norfork lake and Northern Arkansas. Peak is usually the very last of October. Be glad to have you. We are in the Ozark Mountain Region.

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

The lake level is 552.22 and is stable with a very little bit of generation. I had a surface temperature of 88 degrees yesterday. The lake seems to be clearing just a bit and it needs to for diving. Pole fishing is just fine. The lake is very busy now and should clear out by Monday afternoon and then the summer holidays are over and the fishing season begins. Blackburns also drops their rates and you can get a one bedroom cabin for $59/day with others up to 4-bedrooms priced accordinly. All cabins have covered porches and are individual with no duplexes.  Your first boat stall is free and so are trolling motors on pontoons. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. September fishing gets better and better as the month goes on. Bink caught several good fish this morning.

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 552.21 and dropping slowly with some generation in the afternoon. Not much has changed on the lake. I have a group of divers here and they report getting a few walleye, one big one, and several crappie.  They are coming back the last part of September. Visibility should be better by then and the fish should be closer to the bank. Glad they are having a good time. Bink is on the big stripers and catching them everyday. Many fish are in the open water and are deep. That is not uncommon for this time of year. Some good fish were coming up in Blackburns cove after the rain yesterday. Spooning for open water fish and throwing large worms for bass is working well. Some crappie are on brush on main lake points in 25-ft. of water. 

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

The lake level is 552.35 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with a little more generation. I went diving yesterday and not much has changed. I am just not seeing very many big fish on brush piles. They must still be in open water on shad which is not unusual for August. I did see many Kentucky bass in the 25-ft. range and they were not very big but several were over 12-inches. I also did not see many bait fish. Lots of them are in shallow water back in coves. The visibilty was not good and you could see about 5-feet. The lake has been clearer below the 30-ft. thermocline but not now. It was hot and breezy and the lake needs to cool a bit before more fish move back to the brush. The surface temperature was 84 drgrees. I did get a few nice crappie but did not see large numbers. I will take a few days off from diving and go pole fishing. It is easier anyway. I like both equally. Suspended fish in deep water are very difficult to get diving. It looks to be a good fall so far with fishing getting better and better as we get into September with the lake turnover happening sometime in October. It does not kill fishing but makes water conditions including oxygen levels the same from 0-30 feet. The fish then have no particular reason to be anywhere except for where the bait fish are located and then cover will be the best bet. November brings excellent fishing with baitfish being on the bank in the late evenings and on brush during the day. I will start fishing walleye on the flats in late September. Good time.  

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

That is what I am talking about.Image title

The lake level is 564.33 and is dropping a little over 3-inches a day with continous generation. Newport is at 12- feet so there is no reason to quit. That does not matter sometimes. Water temperature is 84 degrees and it is to get hot this Saturday. Come on down. The big pool is open and the price is right. We will not charge you too much. 

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

This is more like it. Minnesota boys can catch fish too. Image title

What is this thing doing in Norfork Lake? Is it a carp?Image title

The lake level is 564.90 and rising with very little generation. It has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours. The heavy generation and spillway gate release is keeping Table Rock near normal. It seems Branson is now more important than the farmers. Newport is now 20-feet. Hold and Hope is not working again.  Norfork is like the step child. Some of the day use areas are being affected now but the resorts almost all have all services. The lake is in good condition there is just more of it and the fishing is getting better every day..  The creeks are clearing again after the rain and the water is warming with the warm weather and sunshine. People are taking advantage of the low cabin prices ($53/day), boat rental and free boat stall. Blackburns was full last night again. Our guests were out with Bink yesterday and had a good time, they almost always do. He books about 100 trips per year out of Blackburns. Bink reports several creeks are having top water action early mornings now and it lasted two hours yesterday. A lot of fish of all kinds are being brought into the dock everyday day now. Everything is fine here.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

We went out at about 1:PM and fished until 3PM and caught 2-crappie and 5 catfisn. It had just stopped raining. We received about an inch from the day before and yesterday. The lake level is still the same at over 577 and is less than 3-feet from breeching the spillway. All area lakes are now about the same and have little holding capacity left. They are now controlling the levels by generation except for Bull Shoals which is still rising from spillway gates from Table Rock. The lake is not clearing as quickly as I would like and there is still debris on the main lake near here. The fish are near the shoreline just outside the debris and in the trees. I suspect many are under the debris. Work the banks where you can get as close to the shore as possible. The surface temperature in Blackburns Creek is 71.6 and the water is still brown. There are crappie under most docks. I was using bluegill for the catfish and minnows for the crappie. Our basket is full.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

The lake level is 577.13 and is the same as 24-hours ago with all spillway gates closed and both generators running. The lake is clearing rapidly. There are places to launch but no parking at the launches. Just launch your boat and return it and your trailer back to the resort  where there is plenty of parking for both. Please do not park trailers at our dock. We have plenty of space in our trailer park. Catfish and smallmouth are still the best bet but some fish are still coming up. It would really help if some government officials would get out of their trucks, get in their boats and remove debris from the  launches. It would not take much. We are to get some rain tomorrow but sunny again for the weekend and further. Resort and Marina owners are working hard to make things nice for you. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Two of 12 caught this morning with Bink.  Catfish are still biting.Image title

The lake level is 577.16 and has dropped about 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They have cut the spillway gates way down and are discharging the equivalent of about three generators. We have two. We are now 3-feet below the top of the gates. The White River level at Newport has also dropped to about 30-feet. Down about 4-feet. They have closed the gates at Beaver but are still discharging from Table Rock's gates and mostly holding at Bull Shoals which is in about the same condition as here. We are to get more rain Wednesday night and Thursday but the ground can take a little now with a week of drying. I will check out launch sites later today but more are open. Parking is the issue. Not much camping for a while.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Caught both morning and evening.Image title

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The lake level is 550.19 and rising with no generation for 24-hrs. 552 was the normal pool for years until the worthless minimum flow for the put and take trout raised it to 553.75 taking away flood capacity. We are in the ballpark now. It would be better for the spawn if it were in the buckbrush but this is a good level and it is not rising too fast. The lake in general is in excellent condition but is warming slow. Today's mid-70's with sunshine will help that. It was a beautiful day yesterday and the wind slowed dramatically. Marion Bass reports finding many Bass on shad shallow yesterday in the Bennets area and Bink is catching big fish both morning and evening. Blackburns is full today but give us a call on Monday. The Cystic Fibrosis bass tournament is today and will draw many local fishermen. These guys know how to fish and will give an indication of the conditions. I predict a large catch. Fish are coming up most mornings and the top water fishing is getting better every day and the evening bite is still good. Smaller crank baits are working for bass also. Look for crappie in pigeon, middle pigeon, east pigeon and briar creeks. My trot line is slow for catfish. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Caught last evening fishing with Bink. Image title

Lake level is still rising but they are generating now. We just passed 549. We have sunshine now but it is to get cool for the next couple of days when this cold front comes through. Highs to be in the 50's and lows in the high 30's. Normal high is 66. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

We have a new fish basket and two fish cleaning stations for your use. Live bait and tackle on site. Image title

The lake level is 548.88 and has come up 2+ inches in 24-hours. They just started both generators just before 9AM. It is 5.29 feet lower than this time last year and I like it.  The lake is stained a bit. The clouds are to thin this afternoon with some wind. We have had a lot of clouds lately but it has not rained us out from fishing for very long. Everything is very green and leaves are popping out all over as are mushrooms. It just has been slow warming the water. The same thing happened last year. The main lake needs to get to 60+ and is not there yet.  There is a morning top water bite most days and bass and hybrids are schooled on the inside of main lake points but many of them are small. The open water fishermen are finding fish but it is not easy and they are trolling a long ways to find schools and then they bite fast. I am still fishing in the backs of major creeks. The big schools of crappie I am finding are small and have not spawned yet. The giant crappie on this lake have a way of disappearing for periods of time and roam with the bait fish. After the bluegill and bass spawn and the fry grows a bit some of them will move to main lake brush on points and inside points. If you find brush with bait on it there will be fish. If not none. I will start fishing for walleye on flats and around main lake points the first of May or just before. When the thermocline forms they will be on points on brush just above the thermocline. Usually less than 20-feet on the bottom. Bait fish are moving into the creeks now and will bring white bass and hybrids with them. Many small bass are being caught now. Someone cut my trot line first day out but whoever does it will be on tv next time. Blackburns does not raise their prices and then offer discounts. We do like new customers but will not undercut our regular ones which we value more. You can still get a one bedroom cabin for two people for $53/day. If you just want to pay more, just give the difference to disabled veterans. We like them. We like them a lot. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

They always catch fishImage title

Doc and Truman Zinn and crew from Verona and Monette, Missouri caught some good ones yesterday. The Close boys better get on down here. The lake level is 548.68 and came up about 3-inches in the last 24-Hrs with no generation. It was very cool yesterday morning and these cold nights are not warming the water. Spring is just slow coming. Some bass as well as bluegill have moved in under the dock as have bluegill fry less than an inch long. They must have spawned this year. I have been catching a few bluegill on brush recently where there were none before. Bink has been catching fish both morning and night but it is not easy. Dragging umbrellas is working best for stripers except for when they come up. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

When I went out last evening the lake looked deserted. What I found out was all of the boats were part way back in the major creeks. Boats were everywhere. Nobody was fishing main lake. I did not either. I was using my little grub, 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon and a 5-inch albino bass assassin and caught fish on all three. It was too windy for the slip float and live minnow when I started but it did calm down about 5:30 PM. The bait sized bluegill suddenly appeared under my dock so I immediately put in a trot line baited with larger ones from NABATAC. We are lucky to have them here as a tackle and live bait supplier. They have everything and at good prices. The water temperature was 60+ in the creeks and got warmer the further back you went. The main lake was just under 60. We have not had very much sunshine lately and the water is not warming very fast. The lake level is 548.43 and has risen about 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation since early yesterday. I am very happy with this level. Both the main lake and creeks are stained with the creeks more. There is quite a bit of pollen in the water. Top water fishing is getting better everyday and the bite just before dark is still there. For best results, get out there at first light, take the middle of the day off and go out again about 5:pm and fish until dark part way back in the major creeks. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Caught this Morning. They started generating heavily about two hours ago but the lake has risen past 548.  Good level. Image title

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

All of these were caught fishing with Bink yesterday. Spring top water is here.Image titleImage titleImage title

We missed the severe weather and most of the rain. Some places got 0.66 inches and others got 0.16. We got a little less than 0.5 here at Blackburns and the level has risen to 547.65 or about 5-inches in the last 24-hours with little generation.This is a good level and allows surge capacity in case of a gullywasher or turtle floater. We are very busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of our low cabin prices and boat rental prices. Some have already raised their rates for the spring but Blackburns has not. You can still get a one bedroom cabin for two at $53/day and will be able to until Memorial day. You can save a lot of money by staying here. That is why we are so busy. We like that. Bink reports the stripers are really coming up both morning and night. You can call him at 870-499-7384 he has the best prices on guided fishing trips too. The sun is out and I am going fishin. Arkansas Game and fish are starting a new fishing license system next month and it is a cluster bomb. Blackburns has been selling licenses for 50 years but will now be unable to do so. Sorry. You should be able to get your own by going to their website and give your information and down load it on your phone and show your phone to the game warden if stopped. I was unable to give them all of the paper work they demanded and am not smart enough to be in compliance after being a authorized license seller for 22-years myself. Typical government. Several others are dropping out too so you may want to go on line and get yours before you come. Walmart will still sell them but it will just be a regular paper printout. Good luck.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

The lake level is 547.23 and has risen 5-inches in the last 24 hours. We must have got more rain in the watershed up north than here because there was little runoff here. We are to get more rain this afternoon and night. Just hope the wind stays away. They run one generator this morning for two hours and then shut it off.  They did the same thing yesterday. Tom Kelly reports catching many crappie back in a creek yesterday on brush. I only caught one big one but did get several bass. It is time for me to put in my trotline. Like getting those catfish. Keep watching for fish coming up in the morning just at sunrise. It is getting better and better. Water temperature still 60 way back in the creek and 57 on mainlake. Bass are moving in shallow. We will see what this rain does. It looks like about one more week and things should break loose. Lake is stained. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Caught more too about this size.Image title

Fishing was better yesterday with the lake rising. It went from 546 to 546.79 in the last 24 hours. The surface temperature was 60 back in the creeks and 57 plus on the main lake. I caught several good ones but no giant ones. Some bass are moving in under cover shallow and more and more fish are surfacing early. I caught some smaller bass casting the spoon to them and hopping it back. The rest using a spoon on brush and a grub and also a minnow on a slip float most of the way back in Float creek. I am catching few fish on the main lake.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

, Siepkers from Manning, Iowa show off some nice Norfork Lake Black crappie. Image title

Beautiful day today. Low 70's with light wind. I am leaving to go fishing. Nice crowd here at Blackburns. Lake is rising with no generation for two days and is at 545.69 More rain tonight. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

They quit generating about 6PM last evening and we received a little over an inch of rain and the lake has gone from 545.09 to 545.38 or 3-1/2 inches. Not bad. We have a chance for rain most days this next week. We just do not need the level to drop anymore. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Alan Rivers from Grapecreek, Illinois shows off some nice Norfork Lake crappie. Wish they could have caught more. Nice group.Image title

Water temperature was just under 56 on main lake today and just over 57 in the creeks. I caught one giant crappie and a few smaller ones. It was tough. I switched to bass fishing and caught three. Reports that crappie are jumping in the boat are exaggerated. I did see some swallows and that means better fishing is near. Checked out the backs of creeks and no fish there. The good places are too shallow. If you find a brush pile where there are crappie there are just a few. If you catch 7 or 8 the pile is cleaned out and will remain so until the water warms and the spawn is over. When the fry get about an inch long they look for cover and that is when good fish will move to the brush. Until then the next step is the males move shallow in the creeks and make a nest. We are kind of in transition until then with many fish still in open water on shad. Smallmouth bass fishing is best now . A few small fish are surfacing in the evening. The top water bite has started early so get a spook ready. Be out there at first light.  Stripers, hybrids and bass. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Scuba Steve put a bucket full of these in Tom Kelly's trophy pond. Does not take very many to make a bucket full.Image title

Brian Deardoff with two of 20 caught yesterdayImage title

Caught last evening with BinkImage title

We missed all of the weather so far. It went north into Missouri. They are generating several hours a day and the lake is dropping slowly again and is 545.27 and it is clearing a bit. Surface temperature was 56 degrees last evening and warmer in the creeks. Binks reports catching some good fish in the evening.  Walleye before dark and stripers and hybrids after on the stick bait. Brian Deardoff caught several nice bass as did Scuba Steve and Roger caught several crappie. Most crappie are smaller (11-12 inches) as the giant ones have moved off the brush and are showing up on the bank in the Pigeon Creek area but some are still on brush in the Walleye rearing pond area. I have caught many crappie in the 16-18 inch range this winter. Bass fishing is the best now with a lot of smallmouth showing up. I am still using the grub but crank baits are working too. It is cooler today with highs to be in the high 50's. Our normal high is 62. It is to warm again starting tomorrow. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. Blackburns does not charge you for your first boat stall. If you are on a budget you could stay longer if you stay here. 1-800-635-0526 We will not charge you too much. Some charge $25-30/ day more with increasing rates again later this month when the fishing gets good and also charge for boat stalls. We do not do that. We have two rates, Summer and so-called off season.  

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

They just started generating again but the lake has inched up to 545.30 and with the temperature in the 80's today, the surface water temperature will rise. Especially back in the creeks. The longer this high pressure stays the better the fishing gets. It was much better yesterday. it needed to be. We have several good fishermen in and they brought in several yesterday. A few walleye, white bass and stripers but mostly bass. Some bass have moved right up against the bank. I will see if I can find the big crappie today.  Blackburns is nearly full and it is good to hear the people discuss fishing and helping each other down at the dock. We have put in several nice brush piles and will show you where when you get here.  If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer, you are paying too much. I mowed yesterday and the yard looks good. The new laminate floors are nice and you will like them. Soon the new pool will be filling. I am spending money like a drunken Marine and did not raise the prices on anything again this year. You can save a bunch staying here and get a free boat stall with your cabin too. $53/day for two people in a 1-bedroom. We have live bait on site, fishing license too  and you can launch your boat right here. 1-800-635-0526 You can even get a pizza delivered. We have it all and at the best price. We are now a battery dealer and will give you the best prices on them. We do not raise the prices in April when the fishing starts to get good. Compare.

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

It was a beautiful day when I went out and there were boats everywhere. I thought the father son tournament was today. All of my good spots had a boat on them. Looked like lake of the Ozarks. I am glad it is not like that often. The water temperature is rising and is over 54 and the lake is still stained with quite a bit of brown pollen on the banks with the wind blowing in. The level is 545.25 and they have cut down on generation. I moved off the main lake to the back of a major creek and caught a few bass right on the bank with soft plastics. Fishing was slow. Very slow. They started to bite a bit later in the evening. Some people are catching a few on smaller stickbaits and smaller spinner baits. Big fish are scarce on the main lake now except for the ones in open water on shad. The water is just slow warming up. I would not drive a long way to fish here for now. Give it a few days. I am not saying you cannot catch any fish but it is not easy. I saw a few fish coming up in the back of the creeks last evening but they were small. A lot of the places that were good in the past are too shallow. Major creeks include: pigeon, fall, big, brushy, panther and float. I usually see a lot of bass under and around my dock but not yet. Just a few bluegill have moved in but not many. Bink is catching some good bass back in big creek. 

Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental On Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Blog. (Click Here For Comments)

I went fishing yesterday and they were biting pretty good. About like it was about two weeks ago. The surface temperature was 51.4 and the level is still dropping and is at 545.18 and the creeks are a little bit clearer than the main lake. Both are at a good color for fishing. They are generating heavily now. I caught a very large bass that went over 5-pounds on my first cast and let her go immediately as she was full of eggs. I then caught several crappie. One was pretty big and the others were small and just over 10-inches. I put them and several minnows in the trophy pond. The largest one was over 2-lbs. The ambient temperature was in the low 40's but it was not too cold with no wind. I was glad to find some fish had moved back to the brush at 18-25 feet. I caught them about 10-feet down. Some fish came up to get the lure shallow. Our normal high temperature is 60 degrees and we have been no where near that. The weather forecasters have been about 8-10 degrees high on there high temperature and it has been cold. People reporting an early spring for fishing have been wrong too. We now have a lower surface temperature than this time last year when it warmed up fast to just under 50 early and then stayed there for a long time. We are not too dry here but the lake is dropping because they generate heavily every time there is even a chance of rain. I am not too much worried about the lake drying up as it is still 190 feet deep in places but you have to watch what you are doing when launching and navigating the lake.  It is to warm up steadily for the next several days with highs in the 70's for Monday. I am catching equal amounts of fish on the grub and live crappie minnows and am back on the mainlake brush on both points and cuts. Spoons are not working very well for me but I will try them in a few minutes. We are busy putting in new laminate flooring in several cabins and they sure look nice. It is just too difficult to get the stains out of carpeting no matter how new it is. I am through with carpeting and shingles. Spring is filling up fast with people taking advantage of our low prices on both cabins, boat rentals and free boat stall with your cabin rental. You can get a 1-bedroom cabin for $53/day for two people and get trolling motors included in the price for fishing pontoons. We will not charge you too much. We have no snow on the ground and the grass is green. The cold weather did hurt my fruit trees that were in bloom but it looks like that may be over today. 

Winter Crappie

It is sunny today with a high to hit about 40 degrees. The lake level is 553.14 and dropping slowly with a few hours of generation a day. They are generating heavily now. The lake is pretty clear and you can see your bait down to about six feet but it is clearing rapidly and the water near the bank is very clear. I have found out scuba diving that does not mean very much when you get out in deeper water. The surface temperature is 39 degrees and steady and the lake in general is in excellent condition. I am heading out crappie fishing in a few minutes and caught some good ones yesterday in the snow. There were no other boats out and it was peaceful. Most people were watching a 60-minute Ballgame and three hours of commercials. I like it better outside than on the couch. It was surprising to me to find how deep the fish were. The smaller ones were on the bottom in 45 ft. of water and the large ones were in the same 45 ft. of water but down 16-ft. Spoons were best for the bottom fishing and minnows on a slip float for the suspended ones. I caught some good bass in the creek in 28-ft. near the bottom on brush with a 1/4 Ounce Bink spoon, white with a pink back. It is very sunny today and I will try a gold crappie spoon. I like the way it reflects different colors in the sunshined water and so do the fish.

Snowy with some sleet today

It is about freezing now and temperatures are not supposed to get out of the 30’s for the rest of the week. The normal high is 43. The lake level is still dropping slowly and is now at 553.03 with heavy generation for a few hours a day. I guess the big news is that ice is forming around the edges of the creek banks and starting the move out a little. Blackburns dock is back in the creek in protected water and it has only frozen in once in 20-years and it only lasted a few days. It could happen if it does not warm up. We usually get several very nice days in February. I went crappie fishing yesterday afternoon and started out with a minnow on a slip float but it was very slow. Then switched to a spoon and caught several and a good bass in deep brush near the bottom. When the sun goes down I always switch back to a minnow and was just about to quit when the big boys started to bite. I caught several in the 15-16 inch range and it sure was fun. I will get a picture when I clean them a little later. Not much boat traffic. It is wonderful to have such a nice lake to yourself. This snow sure clears the water fast.

Big Crappie Biting

Caught them on both the spoon and slip float and minnow. Started biting just at sundown. Do not like the sofa. It is not warm but I have plenty of clothes. Had a very good dinner. Will try again today. Crappie like these are hard to find anywhere else.

Warm Weather

If you are getting another fishing report it is from the living room sofa. I saw no other boats and I went quite a ways. It was very still with glass-like conditions and very clear water. I could see my grub to down 10-feet. The water near the bank is also very clear. I could see the bottom from a boat stall on Blackburns Dock 16-ft. deep. Several of the creeks entering the lake from the south are iced over but there is none anywhere on the main lake. There has been no generation for the past 24-hours and the level is 552.41 and rising a little. The ambient temperature got into the middle 30’s and there was a little snow melt and the south facing hillsides are starting to clear. We are to get some more snow tomorrow and then in the 50’s next weekend. I caught two bass on the main lake and moved to brush on a creek and caught a few crappie for dinner. The bite was very slow and I dropped my glove in the water so I came in. I was just happy to be out and fishing the lake I love and watching the wildlife. I saw plenty and everything was very quiet.

Lake Level Dropping

The lake level is 571.60 and dropping about one inch per day with just a few hours of generation. The surface temperature is in the high 80's and the visibility is about 7 or 8 feet off rocky banks. The thermocline starts at 23 feet with cold water at 30 feet. I am finding walleye at the end of mainlake points just at the drop offs at 35 feet. Some bass are with them and the crappie are starting to move in. If you know where there is brush at less than 40-feet crappie will be there. Billie Springer and his crew just left and did well on walleye, stripers and hybrids. They troll umbrellas and are good at it. Most people are using jigging spoons. Look for shad near old river channels part way back in the creeks. Bass are coming up most mornings early. Nothing has changed for several weeks. 

Warm Weather in February on Norfork Lake

It is to Hit the 50’s Thursday and Near 60 for Sunday. Bink and I are going out Thursday morning. We will be on KTLO radio for his weekly live in the boat show at 8:45 in the morning at 97.9 FM. I am anxious to see where he takes me as I have only been crappie and bass fishing all winter. I will take three baits only: Jerk bait, green stingray grub and Binks Spoon. It is time to get out the jerk baits. The surface temperature is 37 in the creeks and 38 on the main lake. Most of the ice on the creek shores is gone and will be by Thursday. The lake level is 552.17 and dropping slowly with several hours of generation daily now. The snow that is left is melting slowly with temperatures barely reaching freezing in the middle of the day. The country roads are still not good but the main roads are clear and it is clear to Blackburns Resort but we are only 1/2 mile off Highway 62. The school busses are still on the snow routes as of today. Blackburns Dock received no damage from the early December Ice and is ready for your visit. Spring fishing looks to be good. The fish are there. If you are not staying at Blackburns Resort you are paying too much.

Warm Weather Here - Snow and Ice Gone

The surface temperature in Blackburns Creek is 40.5 now and rising. All of the Ice that was near the bank in the back of the creek is gone. The lake level is 552.18, rising slowly and the lake is in excellent condition and clear. You either have to go deep on the main lake or in the creeks for some stain. The fish I caught yesterday were 45-foot deep just up from the bottom on the main lake and part way back in the creek on brush at 28-feet. Minnows for the crappie just at sunset 16-feet down and spoons the rest of the day. I am heading out right now. Bink fished hard yesterday and caught just a few fish. He is using the grub and small spoon about the size of the dying shad. Jerk baits are not working yet.The live bait striper fishermen are going to have a hard time this early spring. The fish we are catching are just full of shad to the point of spitting them up. I did not clean out my live well after filleting my fish and the dead shad just about choked me when I opened up the door. With this warm weather keep a small crappie minnow net in the well and dip them out. I had at least two dozen of them in there and only caught six fish. The fish are not in a feeding frenzy and are not jumping in the boat. It will take warmer water to get them off the bottom where all of the sunken shad are located. They do not have to move to get all the feed they want. You can still catch some good fish on brush where they are schooled using minnows and spoons if you get out early and again just before sunset. I am doing it everyday. Blackburns Resort has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals and do not charge for regular sized boat stalls. You do not have to pay extra elsewhere unless you just want to. No price increases on anything again this year. I just bought a 18-ft. Nitro Bass Boat for rental yesterday. It is fully equipped, has a 115-HP Engine and will be ready for rental after Danny from Independence Marine gets finished going over the whole boat and checking out everything. I am in the process of taking all of the rentals boats to him to check out. He is the best mechanic in the area and my friend. It will rent for the same price as our other larger Bass Boats. I will post pictures in a few days when I bring it home. Nice Boat. Blackburns is full starting later this week. People are anxious to get out of bad weather. Call for your reservation to prevent disappointment on getting the cabins and boats of your choice. We are the first to fill up. Be glad to have you. If you are staying at a place where you are the only customer you are probably paying too much.

Cloudy Today, Little Cooler, But Good

After we got through that one cold spell the winter has been very mild. We have been able to get a lot of outside work and painting done. Things are looking good. We have several guests in and are glad about that. Gus and I got our Brush permits from the Corps of Engineers yesterday and we will have some good brush piles for you to fish this year. I did not see any other resort owners at the meeting. The brush piles in front of the green signs have not been maintained for several years and are old and not very productive. We will show you where Blackburns are located when you get here. More people are looking for brush that is put in by someone else so I have to continue looking for new places. It is hard work but we do not mind. I suggested an adopt a brush pile program for the ones in front of the blue signs but cannot get anyone to go along with it. They are mostly in good places. The lake level is is 550.44 and is dropping just a bit with with a few hours of heavy generation in the morning and evening. It is higher than they usually keep it for this time of year but is at a good level. The surface temperature is about 46 degrees. I was fishing for bass and crappie last evening and spotted a school of fish under shad on the way in and caught several of them on a 1/2 Ounce Bink’s Spoon in 40-feet of water near the bottom on the old river channel near Cranfield. Most Striper Fishermen are Coveyed up between the bridges in front of Henderson Marina or on the river channel north. I do not like crowds and find my own fish. I have not seen any big ones (30-lbs and up) caught lately but a lot of Hybrids and 3-lb. White bass. The White bass I caught were full of eggs with blood in them, Spawn cannot be far away. This has been a good winter for Hybrid Stripers, White Bass and 8-lb. Stripers. Crappie fishing is fair with bigs ones being caught and bass fishing is excellent. I love catching 3-lb. Kentucky bass and have caught several of them. Both Crappie and Bass are moving inside of brush closer to the bank  near the bottom in the evenings and also over 25-ft. brush 9-ft. down during the day. Come on down. There are no price increases this year again and we will not charge you too much. 1-800-635-0526

36 degrees in the afternoon so I went fishing!

The lake level is rising just a bit with some rain today and is 550.62. This is a very good level but is usually lower this time of year. The surface temperature was 42.3 in Blackburns Creek and 43 plus on the main lake. I spooned brush with the 1/4 Ounce Bink’s Spoon and caught some crappie and bass. Some bass are still suspended in open water on shad but some good ones are also on brush near the bottom in 25-ft. of water. Big Crappie are on the same brush nine feet down and smaller ones are deeper near the bottom. I am not much into trolling open water with a half a dozen rods hanging over the side with live bait but each to their own. It is to be warm the latter part of the week and it will be a good time to visit Blackburns and get in some winter fishing. I will be out there. Wish you were here.

Sunny and Cool with a high of 36

The lake level is 550.62 and has stabilized with several hours of generation in both the morning and evening. The total rise was 1.8 feet with 4-inches of rain in a three day period. The lake is in good condition and is clearing rapidly. I will try it out this afternoon. We are fortunate to have a lake that does not freeze over and has no closed seasons.
Tom Darr just finished the new roof on the Honeymoon cabin #3 and it looks great. It now has a new air conditioner, bed and bedding, two new flat screened TV’s, carpeting and you will like it when you get here. I am getting calls about our price sheet not being updated for 2015. I will get to it but there are no increases on anything again this year. Blackburns continues it’s policy of continued improvement without increasing rates. If your’s are getting raised elsewhere give us a call at 1-800-635-0526 for a reservation. Please compare. We will not charge you too much. We still do not charge for initial boat stalls or for trolling motors on pontoons. All cabins are individual with no duplexes and all have covered porches. Wish you were here.

Rainy day and night

We received three inches of rain in the last 24-hours and the creeks were running hard but have slowed now. The lake level has risen exactly one foot in the same period and is now at 549.71 and they have not generated since yesterday morning. The backs of the creeks in the lake are muddy. The surface temperature is still 47 degrees. Fishing should not be affected much if you stay out of the brown water. We are to have more sun and cooler weather next week and it may slow fishing a bit until the high pressure has been around for a couple of days. You can spoon open water fish on shad and catch hybrids, bass and white bass. I will check out brush later today.

Lake is dropping

The level is 548.69 and is at the lowest level this winter. The surface temperature is 47 and the lake is pretty clear. You can see your lure down about 10-feet. The lake overall is in excellent condition. It has been cloudy and rainy for several days with little sunshine. It has been in the high 30’s for highs and high 20’s for lows which is not too bad. The weather is to warm a bit for the next few days but still cloudy. It rained most of the day yesterday but give us a break in the afternoon for fishing until past dark. We have received 1.3 inches in the last two days. John Bornhop has been fishing day and night despite the rain and says he did not come here to stay on the porch. He is catching some good fish too. Bass, white bass, stripers and crappie in the morning and big crappie in the afternoon. He is getting to be very good at spooning which is the best way to catch fish. We are always glad to see him. I caught some good bass just at dark near the bank on the old river channel steep banks near brush. There were a lot of shad in 18-22 feet of water but few fish under them. I do not have good luck spooning in the dark and switch to a grub and minnow.

First Measurable Snow

We just do not need any Ice, but it looks like it will go south of us. But the snow will not. It was 62 yesterday and I was out putting in brush piles. We sure have some good ones and are just about finished. Fishing should be good soon. Striper fishermen are having a hard time now and should be following the birds (joke) but bass fishing is good. The lake is clear and open water fish are roaming and hard to find. It does not matter since it will be too cold for me to fish starting tomorrow. The ice fishermen can have the cold weather. I had enough of that when I lived in Maine and Minnesota. Our surface water temperature is still 45 degrees but that should drop if it snows much. The lake level is dropping fairly quickly with continuous light generation for over two days and has dropped to under 549 to 548.93 and is still higher than it usually is this time of year when they typically lower it in anticipation of the spring rains. It usually starts to rise in the last part of February. We will see. It is in good shape now. It will not be long before the night bite for stripers will start as they go to the long shallow banks to simulate a spawn. There are some very good ones close to Blackburns resort and Boat Rental. We have a lot of customers who love to fish for them. Bink says March 15 and he is usually right. You can fish for walleye on shadowy banks with soft plastics before dark and switch to a stick bait at dark for stripers. The walleye will have spawned by then and moved back down stream to the deeper water. The walleye population continues to grow on Norfork with about a half of million stocked in 2014 by Missouri and Arkansas combined and many short ones already there. The size minimum is 18-inches with a limit of four. I got most of my big ones in late May last year but they bite well in late February and early March part way back in the creeks as do big crappie and stripers on jerk baits in the morning. When the surface temperature hits 50 in the creeks the fishing will open up. Make sure your stick baits run true. I like Husky jerks best 5-inches long suspending some with light bottoms and light green tops for moonlit nights and clear water and some with green bottoms and black backs for cloudy weather and stained water. Put on some clear 6-8 lb. line on your spinning reel and take off all of the snaps, swivels, leaders and spider line and come on down. We will not charge you too much.

Lake at 549

We received a little rain last night and this morning but not much. The ambient temperature is about 50 and it is cloudy. It is to cool tomorrow and then back in the 50’s for Tuesday and Wednesday. There were some good fish caught between the bridges yesterday spooning including stripers. They have been there as usual this time of year for several days. The big ones do not move very far to feed and wait for the shad to come to them and the shad are following plankton and the wind. I found some shad while on my way to a crappie spot last evening and they were in 70-feet of water but could only catch White Bass. If the shad come near brush and cover you can catch some big crappie and bass.The bass are liking shiners right now. Spend more time looking than fishing unless you troll and rely on luck. Both work. All of the fish I am cleaning are full of shad and not much else. There are few minnows on brush. It is hard to believe it is February already and I have a lot more improvements and brush to put in before March. We have had a mild winter except for one cold spell when it dropped into the teens for several days for lows and in the 30’s for highs. There is no frost in the ground and the water surface temperature is still in the mid 40’s. Now is the time to book your spring fishing trip. We will be ready for you and not charge you too much.

50 degrees and lake like glass

I went out to spoon bass on new brush piles about 4: PM and stayed until dark. I did not move very far away from the shed. Caught several bass on the 1/4 ounce Bink’s Spoon. The fish were in 25 feet right in the brush. The lake level is 549.81 and exactly what it was yesterday with a water temperature of 46 degrees. The level is 3-1/2 feet lower than this time last year and that is good. Water is pretty clear but the creeks change almost daily. I am not fishing very far back in the creeks. Moon is big and up in the evenings not the best for bass fishing in clear weather. Tom Kelly said he had a hard time finding open water shad. Must have moved. I saw the fish Paul Ahrens caught and threw mine back in. That boy can catch some bass. Back to putting in brush next week. Rain tonight and tomorrow morning. I will be fishing while others are watching commercials. To each their own. Wish you were here. We will not charge you too much.

Putting in Brush Piles today

In the 60’s with a south wind. Jerry Harris: we put in a big ole tree on your favorite spot. The creeks are clearing but are still stained in some places. The lake level is the same as it was yesterday. There are a lot of boats fishing between the bridges and they are catching White bass, Hybrids and Some Stripers. Paul Ahrens from St. Louis is here and really catching some big bass. He caught his limit both yesterday and this morning. He was fishing south facing banks away from the wind in 25-feet of water. Welcome back Paul. The wind is to shift and the temperatures are to drop a bit with rain for Saturday evening and Sunday. We will see. Not bad for the end of January. Paul picked the best weather. Bink caught some good fish yesterday too. I was busy putting in trees until dark.

60 Degrees Yesterday

Gus and I started putting in brush yesterday and will continue today. Have to suspend fishing operations for a few days. This is important for you to have good places to fish. We have some excellent places and will add a few more new ones. The Norfork Lake Chamber had it’s annual meeting Sunday and Jeremy Risely, the area fish biologist, was the guest speaker. Jeremy was born here, is a good fisherman, and has the area lakes in his interest. They are experimenting with synthetic fish attractors and are monitoring several on both lakes and adding more and making improvements on them. He also said they were resuming the natural habitat program and start replenishing brush piles next year. Both of these are good news for us anglers. He said there were 203,220 fingerling Black Crappie, 22,210 Yearling Blue Catfish, 8,460 Catchable Channel Catfish, 22,000 Yearling Channel Catfish, 48,185 Fingerling Hybrid striped Bass, 134,865 Fingerling Striped Bass and 200,000 Fingerling Walleye stocked in Norfork Lake in 2014. Not bad. It sounded like they were working hard and doing a lot of monitoring to help the overall fishing. He said there was no plans to stock Yellow Perch in Norfork as they are not doing so well in Bull Shoals. The fish numbers in Norfork Lake are about what he wants them to be. Everything sounded pretty good. The lake level is 549.96 and dropping steadily with heavy generation. This is the first time in several weeks it has dropped below 550. We are at a very good level for the end of January but they usually keep it lower in the winter. I have been catching some good bass everyday.

Sunny and Hot on Norfork Lake

The lake level is 570.03 and rising much more slowly. The surface temperature is 87 degrees and the lake is high but in good condition. There is some floating debris so I do not recommend boating after dark. It is not a lot but enough to ruin your prop if you do not pay attention. The striper fishing continues to be good over the old river channels and they vary in depth but you can find them easily with a good locator. Drop a spoon right on their head. Bink caught a 41-lb. and 31-lb. this morning on his Many Shad Spoon. You can still drive or walk to Blackburns Dock and park on the side of the road and walk about 40-ft. to the dock. We are recommending customers launch their boats at Panther Bay and drive them to Blackburns Dock. A lot of people do not have launching capabilities anyway. We have a big crowd and a lot of nice people. Come on down. We are in the dog days of summer and it is very warm.

Sunny and 90s

The lake continues to rise but Norfork seems to be the best alternative to the other area lakes. You can still drive or walk to Blackburns dock and go down some steps and get on the dock and park on the road. We have no diminished services. I am still launching boats here but you might want to launch your boat at Panther Bay and drive your boat to Blackburns dock where it can remain for the length of your stay. With no rain coming for the next week they will have to let some water out sooner or later. I do not understand why they are still trying to regulate Newport at 12-feet. The lake is not muddy or dirty and is actually pretty clear. We have not received the rain compared to other places and the creeks have not run. We are just holding other people’s water with very little generation not keeping up with the river inflow. Guests here are enjoying the lake and having fun. Many areas have no dock or lake access but Blackburns has. Come on down. We just have more lake to play in.

Big Stripers are biting

Just a quickie- the big striper are biting on the Spoon on Norfork Lake.  Don't miss out!

July 4 - Stripers are at 100 feet

Typical summer with pop up showers in the heat of the day. It was a very busy holiday with high boat traffic. Things are much better now. Some people are really rough on things but I guess that is now the nature of the business. When I was young and my family stayed at a resort we would work very hard to leave things as they were when we got there. We would not relocate grills, picnic tables and rearrange furniture in the cabins. When we left the dishes were washed and trash was hauled and things were in good shape. We wanted the owners to not think we were pigs and would be glad to see us back. My father and mother taught us respect. Things they are a changin. Blackburns is fortunate that we have many repeat customers that are our friends and help with everything. It just takes a few people with no respect to go a long way. It makes Debbie and Susan want to cry when they see how some people leave things after they worked so hard to make them nice.
Bink reports stripers are 40-60 feet deep suspended over the old creek channel. They may be in 100 feet of water but are all over the lake . Creek channel is the key and spoon is the best bait. It can be fished at any depth in a matter of seconds and it looks and sounds like shad. He is catching a lot of big fish everyday.

2 inches rain in last two days

Fortunately we were dry and the creeks did not run but the lake has come up about 6-inches with little generation. They are going to keep Newport at below 12-feet for some reason and let little water out. Most of the raise came last night about 24-hours after the rain indicating it came from Missouri. Fortunately Norfork is in good condition and pretty clear. I went diving yesterday and had good luck. The thermocline is at 23 feet with cold water at 26-feet. I found the walleye in front of a brush pile at 30-feet. There is an increase in boat traffic with most of it being people on pontoons dragging kids around on chaise loungers. I wonder what happened to water skiing? I am out there everyday and see very few skiers. Bink reports the stripers are in 45-60 feet of water and can be caught on a jigging spoon. He is catching several everyday. I am seeing no crappie except just a few caught off docks. My brush piles are in 40-ft. of water or more and are just too deep. I do not fish other people’s brush. I am getting some good walleye diving everyday but am seeing very few fish from 0-40 foot. They must all be suspended on shad except smallmouth bass which are in 19-28 feet on bass fry. It is very hard for a diver to spear suspended fish. Be prepared to swim quite a ways between keeper fish. I would put in brush now at 30-feet if I could. The trees would be easily got and the fish would go right to them. I cannot because my permit expired on April 30th. The lake is creeping up but we are in much better shape than most other lakes except Table Rock where they will never let it get high due to Branson. It is all about the money and politics. Looks to be a very busy holiday. It is not something I look forward to. There is little debris in the lake but be very careful when going out after dark and scout your path before dark and take it easy. We do not have a no wake law like Lake of The Ozarks but it is a good Idea after dark. Everything happens on Saturday night and when you couple that with the 4th of July safety should be of the highest concern. There will be a lot of law out there. Do not be in the paper on Monday.

Now's the time for Spooning Striper

I went diving yesterday and the walleye have moved a bit deeper and are in their normal places in front of brush piles in 26-28 feet of water. Normally they are in the brush but it is still too deep. They are feeding on bass fingerlings. This provides an opportunity for those who like to troll nightcrawlers since they will not get snagged in brush nearly as much. I got two very nice ones in the 3-4 pound range in 28 feet on the bottom or just a couple of feet above. The visibility is still diminishing and the fish are in the cloudy water below the thermocline which is also dropping. You have to move slow with no quick motions. They are more spooky than normal. I have to swim quite a ways before I find any fish and then there they are. I am also starting to see schools of White Bass near the walleye but very few others. Smallmouth bass are shallower and are everywhere with a lot of small ones. I am seeing very few black bass but am after walleye anyway. If you are going spearfishing go sooner than later due to visibility. I am fishing in the Tracy ferry area on the main lake. There are some big ones.

Another beautiful day in the Ozarks

We could get some rain later this week. It is getting dry again. Lake level is stable and when they generate a little it goes down and rises very slowly when they don’t which is most of the time. It has been the same for three days. Level at Newport is below 12 feet but they are still holding like it is never going to rain again. The lake is in good condition with a surface temperature in the mid 80’s. The boat traffic is picking up a little with the upcoming holiday but not bad. Striper fishing remains good and I am getting some very nice walleye diving. They are part way around main lake points below the thermocline at 26-feet near or on the bottom.

Spoon Fishing Good

It was a wonderful weekend and it continues today. Blackburns has a lot of nice people in with plenty of children and they report having a lot of fun. Blackburns is your family, fishing and diving headquarters. The lake level is stable with a surface temperature in the mid 80’s. Bink reports he has a few openings and is really on the fish. You go with him either morning or evening and he guarantees fish or you do not pay. That is a pretty good deal and he also has the lowest prices and nicest boat. You can stay at Blackburns, go out with Bink and be back to take the family out on the lake. His prices are for two people. Call 870-499-7384 and learn a lot about fishing Norfork Lake with artificial bait. You do not have to go out at 4AM and catch shad with a throw net and troll around until a fish bites and someone hands you a rod. You can do it on your own and do it again the next day with no special equipment. Come on down.

Quarter Inch of Rain

It was badly needed. We were getting dry with the hot sunny skies. It has cooled off to the 80’s now and is very comfortable. We missed the heavy rain they got in Northwest Arkansas and Missouri. Everything is green and the lake is in excellent condition. You do have to walk down some steps to get to the dock but do not have to go somewhere else to launch.  I saw a turkey with six chicks, four other big Tom turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, several deer and two Eagles yesterday between the resort and dock. There is wildlife everywhere. Stripers are scattered but are in deeper water and suspended on shad and can be caught on a spoon. The best thing now is to get a good locator and learn how to use it. If you do you can see your spoon going right through the shad on the graph. There is a lot of baitfish outside of the buckbrush and when you see this you can be sure some predators will be near. I like the break from the heat but you can be sure August will bring it back. We are about 1/2 inch above  average rainfall for June and the lake has risen a little less than two feet in the last two weeks and remains pretty clear.  Come on down and rent a boat. We will not charge you for most boat stalls or trolling motors for pontoons. All cabins have covered porches and are individual with no duplexes. Child and pet friendly.