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Norfork Lake 2021 Bass Cat tournament 2nd Day Results and weather by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comments)

The second day for Bass Cat is in the books. B. Chapman and D. Wooter lead the pack with 162.65 inches total for two days but that does nothing but qualify them for the fish-off tomorrow. A total of only 96-inches made the cut of 25. They all start equal tomorrow and that does not seem fair to me but that is the way it is. Rules are rules.  688 total fish have been caught so far  A storm hit about 3:45 Pm and we got 2.3 inches of rain here at Blackburns with hail in just a few minutes. The creeks are running hard and the backs will be brown by tomorrow for fishing. Should not affect the main lake. More weather possible tomorrow and I hope it holds off until the tournament is over. We did not get much wind here but other places did. Scuba Steve's blog is the place to go for up to date information. We try and stay on top of things.I caught several nice fish before the storm and put them in Tom Kelly's trophy pond. It is ready for fall fishing. I still am not catching any big largemouth bass. 

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

Scuba Steve with the best ones he caught yesterday on the spoon. Released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 553.03 and is the same as yesterday at this time with 4-5 hours of running one generator. They are really reluctant to let it drop past 553 and it has taken weeks to drop 0.75 feet after the Power company took over control of generation in late September. They will have to completely shut down all day to stop it today but nothing the government does would surprise me. The surface water temperature was 74+ when I went out yesterday afternoon after the Bass Cat Tournament closed for the day. It was a beautiful day with very light winds and I was able to use the jigging spoon and keep it straight up and down in brush without losing any spoons. The lake is getting more and more stained every day.  The fishing was not fast, none were in a feeding frenzy, I did not lose any fish but did catch a few pretty good ones to be released under the dock. It was very nice to be out and most of the boats were off the lake. It rained last night and there were variable amounts around the area. We recieved 0.9 inches here at Blackburns. Some got almost none. They are predicting strong storms on Sunday and Sunday Night with high winds. We will see. I will tighten up my dock cables, triple tie my boats and hope for the best. I do not like wind. We have missed everything all year and it would be a shame to get it now at the end of October. Ambient temperatures are to get near 80 followed by another cold front. Today is nice though and I take it one day at a time. I do not know if 85.75 inches that is leading the tournament is good for a fishing tournament or not. I have caught 20-inch bass with big heads that were long and skinny and did not weigh much and 18-inch ones that were fat and weighed more. I understand the non-contact rules for Covid but an outside weigh-in worked for other tournamnets with no super spreader but I am not an event organizer. I have had both my vaccines and the booster and have put it behind me. I wish them good luck today and hope the weather works for the top 25-tomorrow and am glad they are here and hope they come back. We have a lot of friends with Bass Cat boats. If clean boats made for good fishing they would catch 40-50 pounds a day and I would get none.  Fall foliage has not changed much and the wind tomorrow will not help it any. We have not been near a frost yet and they are still making chlorophyll. There is still time but it is running out.

Norfork Lake Condition, Fishing and Fall Foliage Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns resort and Boat Rental(click here for comments)

Kenny Stengel from Lansing, Illinois with some of yesterday's catch. One of those crappie is very big. Image title

The lake level is 553.11 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 4-hours. The White River at Newport is now 4+ feet. The surface water temperature was 74+ when I went out yesterday and again it was a beautiful day. A little windy but not bad. I again tried to go part way back in a creek to get out of the wind and again the fish were not here. I am getting almost all of my fish on the main lake except for some bluegill. I caught bass, crappie and bluegill and released them under the dock. No big fish. The dock school is getter bigger and the children are having a good time catching them. This has been the best fall for big bluegill in several years. The temperate bass are moving to the wind blown banks at night to feed and then going out and suspend at 50-ft. after sunrise. Some are small but some also are in the 8-10 lb. range. There are not nearly as many as in the past and not very big but some are still there. I guess people will keep killing them until they are all gone. They will get scarce again when it gets cold. The Bass Cat invitational starts tomorrow and then again on saturday with the top 25-having a fish-off on Sunday. There are drastic rule changes due to Covid. You have to have a smart phone and take pictures of them instead of the regular weigh-in and you will qualify acording to length. I do not qualify even though I have a Bass Cat because my flip phone does not take pictures. I have a Hummingbird 4-ID fishfinder but have been meaning to upgrade it Since 1989 but am too poor. A $800 phone is out of the question. I prefer to spend my money on resort improvements and the place is looking good. We are full and mostly are Bass Catters taking advantage of the location, launching and parking facilities and not least the best price on the Lake. We are happy to have them. This has been the busiest October ever here at Blackburns and we appreciate it. A small cold front came through and we will see what it does to the Bass Fishing. It did not affect the temperate bass fishing this morning as Bink is really on them. He is dropping a spoon on their heads and catching a lot at 50-ft. down. I suspect live bait and crank bait trollers will start catching some also. I am catching mostly Kentucky Bass instead of Largemouth and most of them will not qualify for the Bass Cat tournament as all fish have to be 15-inches. Few of the ones that I am catching are over that. That rule may hurt the poundage for the tourny. I am just not finding any big largemouth and smallmouth like a few weeks earlier except in open water on shad and I do not fish that way. Dragging stuff is not my way of doing things. I am addicted to the fish hitting the lure and setting the hook. Anything else is anti-climatic for me but I am not a meat hunter. I have no idea what the poundage will be this weekend but my guess would be about 14-lbs/day. There are a lot of good fishermen out there but I do not think beating the bank will win this unless it gets very windy and some largemouth are on the windblown banks on crankbaits and I suspect the winner will not be from too far away from here. Liability seems to be a big driver in the rules for this tournamnet. They should be letting out a little more water from Norfork soon. 

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. 

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

The lake level is 553.14 and has risen just a bit with one generator running about 5-hours. The drought is over. We received a total od 3-1/2 inches of rain yesterday and so far today total and it is still raining. It was very dry and the creeks have not run yet but are about to. They are still holding the White River at Newport to 5+ feet and are evidently hoping the lake will get high again since they are doing nothing to stop it. Things sure have greened up and we have had enough. The cold front is following and the full moon is the 20th and it could make for some challenging fishing conditions for the Cystic Bass tournament tomorrow. It is to be sunny and cool. Those boys are up to the tough fishing conditions. I caught fish yesterday but no keeper bass. The fish were biting in the afternoon but it was very cloudy and I did not venture too far from the shed. Several very large bluegill, short bass, small white bass and a few crappie were caught. There is not much better fish to eat than a Norfork lake Bluegill and they are big. A thick slice of buttered bread, pepper and a slice of onion is all you need except for maybe a pale beverage. One sandwich is my limit (not).  It got black from the west just before 4PM and I came in about 5-minutes before it poured. They ask how I can do that almost every time and I do not carry a phone. I do not even know what an ap is. I have not moved into the 20th century yet and have no plans to do so.  We got an inch that time very quickly but not as fast as this morning. Fishermen went out again later and caught some fish before dark. The water surface temperature was 76 degrees even yesterday. We will see what the rain has done to it later. I could see my lure down 5-6 feet on the main lake and less in the creek.  Open water fishing is getting better and needed too. Overall fishing is just fair and is mostly feast or famine. Feast when you find some schooled fish and famine when you do not. Some are acting like they are loading the boat when in actuality are sometimes fishing for days to get some.  No report for days usually means no fish until they are finally found. It is not easy at this time and bass are moving out from the bank and brush to the open water on baitfish. It is good to see some white bass but there are not a lot. I wish there were more like it was. Big largemouth are scarce for me and crappie are getting about as bad. Red meat fish are starting to show up as predicted but I do not fish for them much. We will see how much the lake rises. I do not know how much rain was in the Norfork watershed in Missouri. Local rain does not raise the lake nearly as much. Things are a changin and we have not even had turnover yet. November looks good so far. The crappie that I am catching are deep near the bottom in over 30-ft. of water. Blackburns still has one cabin open for Bass Cat so call Debbie at 870-492-5115 before you have to pay much more someplace else. It will be fun to see the total fish caught tomorrow for the tournament and it is for a good cause. A very good cause. The lake is starting to rise more quickly now.

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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide service yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.10 and is the same as it was at this time yesterday with 3-hours of one generator. They are doing a great job of holding the lake up as high as possible for as long as possible. That way if we get a big rain we will be nearly flooded again. For some unknown reason they like to keep it that way. It is at a good level now though. You can drive right to Blackburns Dock, launch there and step on, put your boat in a free boat stall and park your trailer in the trailer park. No need for two people or to go elsewhere to launch. Can't beat that and all at the best price on the lake. Some charge for boat stalls. We do not unless you bring the Queen Mary. Our one bedroom cabins are now $59/day and we are open all year. If the place that you normally stay closes for the winter you can stay here and resume paying more when they open back up. Bink found open water schooled fish yesterday as I predicted and did well. All temperate bass were together including some nice White Bass. That is a good sign. Some of the hybrids approached 6-lbs and the largest striper was nearly 10-lbs. Many were smaller. He had the boat in 65-ft. of water near a drop-off and the fish were suspended at 40-ft. I asked him if the schools that kept coming by were the same one or different ones and he thought they were different. He was using the 1/2 ounce white with red head spoon and vertical jigging. Some trollers should start catching some fish soon if they can find them. They are not easily found but he knows where the fall fish are historically located and where to start looking. I do not fish open water much but many do. It is a good way to catch some when other fishing slows, especially white bass. I wish there were more of them but at least some larger ones are starting to show. The ones that I am catching accidently are small. Bass fishing remains tough and the crappie have also slowed. Big bluegill are very good. For the last several days I have been going out for about 1-1/2 hours in the afternoon and catching about one Kentucky Bass, one or two crappie, four or five bluegill and an occassional walleye. Very few picture fish. It was more than double that a little over a week ago. Schooled fish are showing up around Robinson and Cranfield Islands but there are not a lot. Overall fishing is fair at best but good if you hit the right place at the right time which is usually about 7:15 AM. I am finding no top-water fish at this time. When I see schools of shad many of them have no big fish dogging them. Some do. Many bait fish continue to be on the banks part way backs in the creeks but the bass with them are hard to catch, at least for me now. It will get better. Much better. Surface water temperature is 76+ and will drop starting later this week end with highs to be in the 60's after the cold front. A big cold front. Lows are to be in the low 40's and we have not been anywhere close to that so far this year. Bring a coat. Blackburns has one cabin still open for Bass Cat. Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115. 

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

The lake level is 553.11 and is exactly the same as it was at this time yesterday with almost no generation. It has been a couple of weeks since they hit the power pool of 553.73 and they have not even come close to dropping the lake a foot despite the extremely dry weather. We have a good chance for rain the next few days and then much cooler weather and clearing skies for later this weekend. The lake surface water temperature was still 77 when I went out yesterday afternoon and the lake was in good condition The best bite is now early in the morning at about 7:30 AM and tapers off fast. The afternoon bite is poor. Overall fishing is just fair at best. It is a typical October. I caught four nice bluegill, one bass and one crappie in the afternoon in about 2-hours of fishing and I tried hard. The fish that I did catch were in shallow water at about 20-feet on or near brush. I tried all different depths. Some of our fishermen are getting discouraged but I cannot help them much. Get out early and graph brush piles and keep checking them out until you find schools of crappie. Bass will be with them and mostly Kentuckies. I am catching keeper largemouth only occassionly. Maybe the cloudy weather will help but the cold front and wind will not make things much better. Most of the fall foliage has blown off the trees and the next wind should finish them off even though it is over two weeks before the normal peak season. The colors look to be a dud so far. My burning bush and maple are not even bright red and are mostly brown. The cooler weather will drop the lake temperature on it's way to turnover but it has a few degrees to go. It will be a challenge for the Cystic fishermen this saturday but tough fishing brings out the best. If it were easy everyone could do it. Thai is why there are guides of which I am not one. I do not like to fish under pressure just for pleasure and that is what it is to me.  There is enough pressure in this world. 

Norfork Lake Fishing Report, Fall Foliage Report and Lake Condition By Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.(click here for comments)

The lake level is 553.11 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 9-hours starting in the early afternoon. The White River at Newport is 6+ feet and dropping. It was very windy all day yesterday with white caps and hard to fish. At least the first few feet of water got aerated that is for sure. It is calm now and was very foggy early but that is gone and the ambient temperature was 50-degrees earlier but headed for 80. It looks to be a beautiful day with increasing rain chances as the week progresses. Another inch would not hurt us at all. I went out in the afternoon and the fishing was a little better and the lake was almost void of boats unlike last week but there were a few of us out there. They will be back later this week with the Cystic and next week with the Bass Cat. The surface water temperature was 77+ this morning and should start dropping with the cooler days and much cooler nights. It was too windy to spoon so I just used the jig and drifted back and forth over brush. The fish were in 19-25 feet of water down about to the top of the brush and I caught several very large bluegill and a couple of 12-13 inch crappie. They all were released under the dock and swam right into the big school. The creeks were just as clear as the main lake. I know where and how to get out of the wind but the fish are just not biting there. I am sticking to main lake points with brush and fishing in 19-32-ft. of water. It was too windy to tell if there were any fish surfacing. I did not catch any bass but Rodger Moody did on a crank bait. October and early March can be the most iffy Norfork Lake fishing and this year is no exception. It will get better. If the Missouri boys cannot catch very many bass this saturday nobody can. I am seeing almost no red meat fish being caught except for a few small white bass in 45-ft. of water suspended. I expect fewer striper guides on the lake next year and the ones left will work hard for their money. Some are turning into crappie and walleye fishermen or changing lakes.  There will be some 5-8lb. fish show up soon and a very few over 10. The full stocking resumed this year so let us let them grow and release the ones caught and get the big ones back like they were. It will take several years of no prolonged high water. When you see pictures of stripers with their mouths open they are not being released. If they are released they would not save them up and would take only one fish picture at a time and release them immediately. They do not make it very long in the live well. Blackburns has one cabin still open for the Bass Cat tournamnet so give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115. We will not charge you too much. All cabins are individual with plenty of parking and electrical outlets. You can launch right here. You can get food delivery here or cook out. We have it all and at the best price. A lot of leaves were blown off yesterday and did not do the fall foliage any favor. 



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

Craig DeHoet caught a few more yesteday.Image title

The lake level is 553.24 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 9-hours. We did receive about 1/4 inch of badly needed rain last night but missed any severe weather again. We have been fortunate all year. A little dry is better than storms. They have been all around us. Southwestern Power Administration has been more reluctant to drop the lake than the Corps of Engineers but they are both run by the government so we should not expect much and we do not get much that is for sure. It is at a good level now though but not much surge for a big rain. If it could stay at one level this would be it for me. Blackburns Brush Piles are at perfect depths. It was windy yesterday and it continues today with the cold front moving in and the wind will shift to the west. It is to get into the high 60's for a high later this week. Most of the time the surface water gets into the high 60's before the end of October and the lake has turned making for good fishing in November. We will see what this October brings. The fishing has not been the best for a few days now and the surface water is still in the high 70's. People were in my pool yesterday. The wind is blowing off a lot of fall foliage and it does not look to be spectacular this year again. I am spoiled after living in Maine and witnessing the colors in that state, New Brunswick and other New England states. Arkansas can be good though but not every year. The colors here are mostly brown. yellow and just a bit of red but the lake side and country roads are always beautiful in the fall no matter how brilliant the colors. The wind will not help the fishing conditions and the cold front will not either. I am already getting several complaints about fishing and the turnover has not started. The turn does not bother me much since I fish mostly brush piles and fish do not stray too far from cover and food. I assume the shad will follow the plankton, which are unable to propel themselves and are at the mercy of the wind and most game fish will follow the shad. The rest will stay in cover with this year's bluegill, bass and creek minnows. Those are the ones that I will be looking for. When you find schools of shad near brush you usually have really found something no matter if the lake is turning or not. The best time for fishing in the fall is when the lake has turned and the water has cleared again which again usually happens in November. That is why I say November is a good time to catch big fish.  The full moon in November is the 19th and that should be a good time to catch the stripers that are left. It is not always so like in the early spring when they move to the bank at dark to spawn. In the fall they just follow the shad to the bank to feed. This does not always happen but attracks a lot of fishermen when it does or used to. Many striper fishermen are going elsewhere or switching to crappie and walleye. I am still catching fish but not as well as a week ago. I just enjoy being out there but do not like the wind. You can usually get out of it in certain creeks but the fish are not biting in the creeks very well. Go to the wind-blown banks and throw a crank bait.  The big question is: On Sunday Novemver 7th does the happy hour time change? I do not use the clock much. I did find a school of white bass but they were small in 45-ft. of water.

Norfork Lake Fishing report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Craig De Hoet with a couple of yesterday's catch. He is from Woodward, Iowa. Image title

The lake level is 553.33 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 1/2 the time. The surface water temperature is 78+ degrees and the main lake remains fairly clear and the creeks a little stained. Tne last of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship people left the resort this morning and we were happy to have them. Nice group. Most liked the lake but were disappointed in the fishing. A total of 34 lbs. and 15 ounces three day total won the top prize of $61,000 worth of stuff. I expected more fish but the overall fishing was not nearly as good as a week ago. I forgot to ask about the big bass but it is not a part of their results.  Crappie fishermen still caught fish but not nearly as many and said they were all caught early and quit early. Nothing later in the morning. The places where I had been catching fish were empty and I had to work for everything I caught which was not very many. The warm weather is still bringing out the pleasure boats, pontoon boats dragging children and jet skis on the weekends. They better hurry and get them winterized before the cold weather gets here.  I hope the storm does not hit here tonight but we could use some rain. It does not look good for Oklahoma and Northwest Atkansas but that could change. I will triple tie everything down and tighten up the dock cables and hope for the best. It is very nice out today and several are out fishing.

Norfork Lake fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

The lake level is 553.45 and has dropped 3/4th inch in the last 24-hours with about 7-hours of running one generator in the afternoon. The White River at Newport is 6+ feet and dropping. We are to get some rain tomorrow night and hopefully the severe weather will miss us. It looks to go to the west so far.  We can use the rain. I waited until the bass boats were going in for the day before going out yesterday afternoon but there were still several pleasure boats out there and the wind did not lay like I had hoped it would. It was sunny with temperatures in the mid 80's with a surface water temperature of 78-degrees. The water looked like it had cleared a bit but it always looks clearer in the sunshine. I could see my lure down about 6-feet. I talked to Rob Grovengoed who was coming in with several nice crappie and he reported catching them on a Blackburns Brush Pile in 18-ft. of water. He is a good fisherman. I wanted to see if I could catch some bass after the big boys went in. The 2-lb. Kentucky bass had been biting very well for me for several weeks and I expected the same. Not. I fished with both the jig and spoon from 3:PM to 4:30 hard and only caught two.bass and a couple of nice crappie. They certainly had slowed down. Maybe that is why the leader of the Phoenix Bass Leagure only has a two day total of 24-02. I had expected more. Some reports of local people catching big largemouth were contrary to my results of only catching a few ot them along with very few smallmouth. Most of mine were Kentucky Bass. I did not go to the weigh-in but I suspect most of the fish were Kentuckies with the low totals. I had thought the top-water bite would also have been better but maybe the fog had some influence on that. All of the fish that I caught were in 26-ft. on brush with none in the deeper water. All of my fishing spots had boats on them earlier and that also may have been a factor. Just the finalists are out today with many people leaving that did not qualify. It should be a shootout with all others following the leader closely. It will be interesting to see what the big bass is. It will take only a couple of nice largemouth caught to win if things stay as they were yesterday but it could be much better with the high pressure being around for a while now. That is why you have to be out there everyday to write an accurate fishing report on Norfork. Things change quickly. The Missouri boys take over next saturday for the Cystic and I expect higher totals. Those guys know how to fish Norfork no matter what the conditions.    

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

The lake level is 553.51 and is about what it was at this time yesterday with reduced generation if that is possible. Keep that lake level as high as possible for as long as possible boys, and you are doing a good job. Just one big rain from being too high again with plenty of chances to drop the level. November is our rainiest month. The White River at Newport is at 7-ft. Go figure. The lake surface water temperature was 78 degrees when I went out yesterday and the wind was light. It is foggy this morning with calm winds. It is to get very warm later this weekend with storms predicted for Sunday night and rain chances continuing into next week. We could use another inch. 12-LB. 12-ounce leads the Phoenix first day. Several more had 12-lbs. Good luck Blackburns Guests. 

Norfork Lake, Northern Arkansas, Mountain Home, Ozark Mountain Region Fall Foliage Report by Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

The dry conditions caused the leaves to start dropping and changing color earlier than normal but the recent rain has slowed it down a bit. It does not look good for spectacular color but it is always beautiful here in the fall. The roadsides are changing to red with the sumac but the deciduous oaks are turning brown and dropping leaves already with walnuts and maples dropping quickly now. My big burning bush which is usually brilliant is not ready yet. Usually the very last of October is peak but I am not sure about this year. The leaves really start to fall quickly and then quit. Any wind will not help things. I will let you know as the season progresses. There is yellow and browns on the hillsides but not a lot. It is to warm to close to 90 this weekend. You can come to Blackburns, rent a pontoon and cruise the lake or let us help you with a driving tour. Southern Missouri is usually about a week ahead of us. in Northern Arkansas and the Ozark Mountain Region. Blackburns is your fall foliage headquarters for Norfork lake and the Mountain Home area. 

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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service Yesterday on the spoon. The bass were hitting top-water early.Image title

The lake level is 553.54 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running for about 9-hours. We did receive just at one inch of badly needed rain in the last day and a half total and it really greened things up. The lawn turns black with the dry weather and then turns green again right after the rain. We seem to get some right when we need it but not enough. It is good to go into the winter with some ground water. It never warmed up yesterday and the lake surface water dropped to 77-degrees but it is to be a nice weekend with highs near 90. It was very foggy early this morning but it has burned off now and the weather is gone. A lot of fish will be caught by the Phoenix Bass Fishing League today with the overcast skies early. The top-water bite should have lasted for an extended period of time. I will go out after they quit and weigh in. The crappie were biting pretty well yesterday as were the bass. I was using a small jig and then moved out deeper than the brush and marked some fish suspended about 10-ft. up from the bottom in 50-ft. of water. I switched to the spoon and dropped it right on there heads and caught a 5-lb. hybrid striper. I released him and dropped it again and caught about a 20-inch striper. I do not fish for red meat fish anymore so I moved after releasing him. We need to let them grow. I do not try and catch any of them intentionally. They need to grow and make a comeback in Norfork. I was very pleased to catch my usual bass and crappie and put them under my dock. The school is getting big again after getting fished heavily. White Bass are not nearly what they have been in the past. They usually can be caught almost at will this time of year but I am seeing very few. They are the go to fish when nothing else is biting but not now. It they are not catching them up north near the border now they are just not there or in very high numbers. I am catching nice crappie and bass on brush in 30-32 ft. of water near the bottom every day.  Some big bass are being caught on steep banks when the worm drops off the ledge into deeper water near 40-ft. I am seeing no fish more than 40-ft. down. Come on down to Blackburns and we will not charge you too much. You can still get a one bedroom cabin for $59/day and a two bedroom for $77. Three and four bedrooms are priced accordingly. A free boat stall comes with your cabin and all have big covered porches where you can set out in the rain and out of the sun and rig your poles. There are no duplexes and every cabin has outdoor plugins. Why pay more? I got my covid booster shot yesterday and everyone here has been vaccinated. I certainly did not do it because the government told me to but because I though it was the best thing to do. 

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

Scuba Steve with some of yearteday's catch released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 553.61 and has dropped 0.4 inches in the last 24-hours with about four hours of one generator running in the afternoon. They are making no effort to drop the lake and are missing a good chance. It is very cloudy with rain all around us but none yet. There is a good chance and we need it badly. If we get some we will see what it does to the fall foliage. The last two times more color was added but it is still mostly brown and yellow. I do not anticipate a very spectacular year but it is always beautiful here. It is to clear out and be a very warm and sunny weekend. We are loaded up with Phoenix Bass Fishermen. They are very tight lipped about fishing but sure do spend a lot of time polishing their boats. I guess if I spent that much I might also but not likely. I spent $2,500 for my Champion Boat ten years ago and forgot to polish it yet but it catches a lot of fish. It is not pretty but it can cook and rides nice also. You will see a lot of them on the lake next week for the Cystic. I went out yesterday in the late afternoon to check things out and tried a brush pile close to Blackburns. The fish were in 30-ft. brush near the bottom and I was using the Blue Ice Baby Shad on a 1/16th ounce jig head, white with red eye. I caught three nice crappie and three keeper bass and came in about an hour. One bass was tagged. All were released under my dock. Those Kentucky Bass are really fat and healthy. One largemouth was about three pouds. The wind finally layed about 5:PM. We will see what this low pressure coming in does to fishing. I expect not much. There are a lot of boats out there for October but I saw no boats pulling overweight children around on chaise lounges or jet skis. The warm weekend might bring some of them out though. The lake overall is in excelent condition and the surface water temperature was 78+ degrees and the water is stained just a bit but very clear near the bank. 

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

Dylan and Wade Clevenger from Park Hills, Missouri with some good ones. They should be in the tournament. Good fishermen. Image title

The lake level is 553.64 and has dropped about 1/4 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 4-hours. They are letting out about the same as is coming in from the river and holding the lake up as high as they can for as long as they can. They must not need any electricity anywhere. The Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship is set for Norfork Lake October 7-9 and there will be 400 boaters and co-anglers competing for $60,000 in prizes. They will take off at 7:AM on Thursday from Buzzard Roost Marina. The 7:AM starting time will let anglers get out just at first light and get into the top-water bass bite which is getting better every day. This is good for the economy and for area resorts. Blackburns is full this week with regular customers and the rest tournament fishermen pre-fishing. The crappie and bass moved back into the 32-ft. brush yesterday with some just outside a little deeper. The surface water temperature is still 77-78 degrees and dropping very slowly. We are to get some badly needed rain tonight and tomorrow and then sunny for the next several days. Both the main lake and the creeks are still stained a bit with the water clearer near the bank. Spoons and top-water lures are still the best with plastic worms coming in next. I am seeing very few red meat fish being caught. There is no peace and quiet on this part of the lake with boats everywhere. There are some big names in this tournament. Blackburns has plenty of boat and trailer parking, electrical outlets, two boat launches and the best resort with the best prices. . We are not crowded up on a hillside and are close to town, ding and shopping. Cystic next week and Bass Cat the next. Come on down. We will not charge to too much. You can even get pizza and sandwiches delivered to your cabin. 

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

The lake level is 553.66 and has risen just a bit since yesterday with one generator running about 3-hours. This would be an excellent time to drop the lake with the dry conditions and November being our rainiest month. The fall foliage is changing and there is a little more color everyday with some reds mixed in. It is not spectacular but the little bit of rain we received helped. The lake surface water was 77-78 yesterday afternoon and is dropping slowly. I went to where the crappie were abundant the day before and they were gone. Tried another place with the same results. I found some on another main lake brush pile and they were on the bottom at nearly 40-ft. along with some bass. That is where the very bottom of the thermocline is and there is some oxygen there. The thermocline starts at 32-ft. and that is where they were. I was getting some fish shallower on brush in 24-26 ft. but not yesterday. The wind was blowing and it was hard to spoon points. One day does not make a trend but I had been catching fish almost at will. When I went out in deeper brush I caught a few crappie, bluegill and a Kentucky Bass but not too many. They were all released under the dock and I watched them swim right into the school. I could see about 4-ft. down in Blackburns Creek and about 6-ft. down on the main lake. It looked like the water had cleared just a little from the day before. Tom Kelly also reported catching bass on the bottom at 40-ft. We will see what today brings. It is very busy here with several good fishermen in and we will see how they do. It would not be much of a challenge if you could just go to the same place and use the same lure everyday. Things change and that is what makes it a challenge. Bass fishermen are starting to catch bigger fish and the top-water bite is getting better. The weather looks to be good for several days. Try a plastic worm on steep dropoffs just as they drop off the ledge. The walleye ghosted me again for the third straight day but I was mostly looking for crappie. The walleye sometimes go out into deep water and suspend this time of year. I know fish bite in the wind but I still do not like it. 

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

The lake level is 553.64 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours with almost no generation. It has been cloudy for three days but we only got 1/2 inch total of rain. There was a storm that went just north of us yesterday afternoon but none here. It rained a little last night but all is gone now and it looks like good weather for the next several days. A little has changed as far as fall foliage is concerned and a little red is showing with the brown and yellow with the sumac and burning bushes getting a little red. The rain, as little as it was, helped the dry conditions. I went out for about an hour yesterday and again caught Kentucky Bass, Crappie and Bluegill. I turned all of them loose under my dock. The school is getting big again after hundreds were caught the last couple of weeks. People are catching bluegill, crappie and catfish off the dock every day. There is good news for tournament bass fishermen. The larger smallmouth and largemouth are biting now and they should do well. The top-water bite , which was producing mostly small fish, now has some larger ones with them. Others are catching them also on the spoon and plastic worms. People just keep catching catfish on spoons. My fish were all caught on brush ranging from 25-32 ft. near the top of the brush and on the bottom just around it. I was usuing both the spoon and jig. The top-water fish can be in any depth of water but seem to still be suspended in the 30-ft. range. A lot of creek minnows and bluegill and bass fry and fingerlings are on the bank early and late and predator fish are feeding on them. I am still not catching much back in the creeks and I keep trying when getting out of the wind. I have not caught a walleye in two days. Blackburns has a lot of good fishermen in and more are coming. There was a 78.8 degree water temperature at 4:PM and the water remains a little stained. I am not seeing any temperate bass being caught of any size but there was a report of some white bass being up in Udall a couple of weeks ago but I have not seen any. Blackburns Still has cabins for $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Why pay more? Our pool is still open and there were several children in there yesterday.  

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

Tom Kelly with a couple of yesterday's catch on a plastic worm on the bluffs near Float creek. All were released. Tom is an excellent fisherman and a conservationalist. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.56 and has dropped 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with nine hours of one generator running. It has remained cloudy again but still not much rain as of yet. We are still very dry. The leaves are falling much more rapidly now from the walnut, maple and oak trees. It is earlier than usual. No color except for yellow and brown. It could change but there is not much chance of it being very spectacular. The hillsides around the lake are changing also but not much on the roadsides.The sumac is not even turning red. It is just too dry. We received just over an inch of rain for the entire month of September. The fishing remains mostly the same except for the smallmouth and bigger largemouth are showing up and it is just in time for the October fishing tournaments. I hope they do well. I like them in the fall after all of the spawn is over. It is much better than in the spring even though they release all of their fish unprotected nests do not last very long with the abundance of bluegill in this lake. The surface water temperature is still 79 in the afternoons and the water remains stained a bit in both the main lake and creeks and is a good color for fishing. I saw some top-water fish yesterday morning and threw a baby spook at them. They were mostly bass but a few very small stripers were with them. About 1in 4 bass were keepers and none of the stripers. They were stockers and about 8-inches long but I was glad to see them. I have not seen a White Bass in several weeks. Usually I get them in early October just outside the brush suspended about 10-ft. from the bottom in 30-ft. of water. This year nothing. Some of the striper fishermen that cannot catch anything are now turning into crappie fishermen. We will see what happens in Novenber when they usually start to show up again. If there are no stripers feeding on shad on the bank after dark in the full moon in November again it is not a good sign. I had hoped some were just hiding, but if they are they are doing it well. I am seeing none of them on shad in open water except the very small ones. I was catching 5-6 pounders accidently but not now.  Bass, crappie, catfish and bluegill remain the best bite. The Kentucky bass population is excellent and they are with the crappie on brush. They are in there for eating and the largemouth and smallmouth are in there for releasing. I went to the Norfork Lake Master Plan public workshop yesterday at the college. It was very well organized and informative. They had three proposals with one that they recommended. The top one was much more drastic and was presented as an alternative to the middle one which was more realistic. The third one was to keep it as it is. There was nothing bad about any of them concerning anything except how the different parts of the lake shore is managed. It changes how different parts of the shoreline are categorized which really reflect how they are actually now. Some of the assumptions made in 1980 which was when the last plan was enacted did not come true. Some areas developed more than others. Most of the changes just made for more wildlife areas while reducing high use areas. Nothing in there was about docks or lake level management. As far as I am concerned there was nothing to worry about in this proposal. It was done professionally but was definitely slanted towards the middle proposal which I also think was the best. Everyone knows that I am not a fan of how the lake level is currently managed but this had nothing to do with this. The people were very professional, courteous and informed. I am glad I went. We have one opening for Bass Cat later this month and are currently full here at Blackburns. We like that. Thank you. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.  No, we are not for sale but about everybody else is. 

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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday. Both top-water and spoons are working. Image title

The lake level is 553.67 and has dropped a little less than an inch in the last 24-hours with just over one generator running for 7-8 hours. They are doing a great job of holding the lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible. It has been cloudy for the last couple of days with very little rain so far. It looks like tomorrow is now the best chance. They just keep moving it back. It was thursday, then friday, then saturday and now tomorrow. We are still very dry. The cloudy weather has kept the fish biting for most of the day. The surface water temperature is dropping slowly and is now 79 in the afternoons. We have about 1/2 of the day with sunrise to sunset and it is getting less by one to two minutes a day and the lake does not have much time to warm in the afternoons. The water is still stained green just a bit in both the main lake and creeks with the creeks being more. The best bite continues to be for crappie, bass, catfish and bluegill. Temperate bass fishermen are having a hard time and are catching very few. The ones they are catching are small. Some have given up and others are turning into crappie fishermen. The walleye bite has also slowed especially for the larger ones. I am getting more fish on main lake points outside brush just where it drops off into deeper water. They are staying close to the 32-ft. level though but are not always in it. Open water fish on shad can be at any depth up to 100-ft. of water but suspended at varoius depths. If you find them drop a spoon on their head. They are mostly bass. Some are surfacing and can be caught on a top-water lure. If they stay fairly shallow stay with the top-water bait and call them up. When they go deeper switch to the spoon. Creature baits and worms are working for bass near the bank. Many bait fish are there. I am still fishing for Crappie and Kentucky Bass and am catching several every day on both the spoon and jig. Yesterday was a good jig day. Blackburns has a lot of brush piles at the right depth now. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. If you are staying where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. 

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

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The lake level is 553.75 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with a little over one generator running for 7-8 hours. It is very cloudy today with a good chance of light rain. It now looks like the best chance with be on Saturday with cloudy conditions until Sunday but not much accumulation. We need it badly. There is starting to be a top-water bite out early, mostly for bass, coming up on shad. Use a Spook Puppy and learn how to work the lure. A clear one is best if it is sunny and a white one if it is cloudy. The clear one glistens in the sun.  A medium heavy rod is best for this type of fishing to have some backbone to walk the dog. Once you get your lure working properly keep it going over the fish area steady and do not stop. Swish, swish, swish. Even if they quit coming to the surface they will come up to get it. When they go deeper switch to the spoon and drop it on their heads. Some bait fish are moving out into deeper water now that were right outside the brush.  The surface water temperature ranges from 78+ degrees in the morning to about 80 in the afternoon and should drop a little without little sunshine for the next several days. The water remains a little stained green with the reduced generation. I have been fishing mostly for Crappie and Kentucky Bass for the last few weeks with some good results on both the 1/4 and 3/8th ounce spoon and the 1/16th ounce jig. The crappie have ranged from about 11-inches to 15-inches with no throwbacks. I have seen no change in size and the bite has not been fast but very steady even in the middle of the day. The Kentucky Bass and Catfish have been right with them in the same brush but a different depths. You do not really know what you are going to catch. I am catching a few more fish in shallower brush than before but it is the same place just lower because of the lake level drop. I was sticking in 32-ft. of water, now not so much. Most of my brush ranges from 29-33 ft. at this time. I try to put them in at 25-ft. at 552 but have put more in at lower depths with the new norm of holding the lakes up for so high for so long. If they are too shallow there will be no fish on them in the summer as the thermocline drops to the 30-ft. range and vice versa if they are too deep. 25-ft. will be a good depth to fish after the turnover. After that happens I like to fish for crappie on a slip float and live minnows over 25-ft. brush and set the depth about 3-5 feet deeper than you can see your bait. Minnow fishing has just improved in the last few days and was very slow. Before you had to get reaction strikes by putting the lure right on their heads. There is no new fall  pattern or summer pattern just gradual changes. You cannot just do the same old thing and repeat without several disappointing days. The good bass fishermen are catching some nice largemouth but I have not started to fish for them or smallmouth yet. I do not use buzz baits, crank baits or spinner baits but they all work sometimes. If you took a spoon, top-water lure, stick bait, grub, creature bait and jig away from me I would be helpless. Blackburns is full again starting tomorrow with people still taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. You can still get a 1-bedroom cabin for $59/day with a free boat stall. All cabins are individual with no duplexes, have parking for your boat and trailer if you pull your boat out and have outside plug-ins. We are not huddled up on a hillside with very little parking and have launching on site. No need to go someplace else to launch your boat. We have it all here at Blackburns and at the best price. Come on down. We will not chage you too much. Fishing overall is just fair with crappie, bass, catfish and bluegill being the best bite. 

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

 Greg and Randy Searcy from Spokane, Washington and Guthrie Center, Iowa with some of yesterday's catch. Good ones SGT. Major. We like Veterans. Image title

The lake level is 553.85 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation rates of 1/2 to one generator about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is 4+ ft. This is unbelievable. The surface water temperature was still 80 yesterday afternoon and the lake continues to be stained green and getting a little more every day. You can see your lure down just a few feet where you could see it several feet more. Crappie, bass, bluegill and catfish continue to be the best bite and I am seeing very few temperate bass brought in but I did get a report of an umbrella troller catching a couple of small stripers. There are a lot of bass and creek minnows on the bank and bass are moving in early and late to feed on them.  The fish that I see coming up on shad are mostly small bass. I am not catching any largemouth of any size but am mostly fishing for Crappie and Kentucky. I do not keep any largemouth or smallmouth anyway but like to catch them. There is a special place in me for a 4-lb. smallmouth and we have a lot of them in Norfork but I am not catching any of them yet but they will start showing up soon. There are more crappie in the lake than in precious years and I think I know why. Harvey Hall has died and Jay Smith has retired and they were the best crappie fishermen on the lake for several years. They both worked hard putting in their own brush piles after the ones put in by the Corps were neglected for a long time. The local Game and Fish Biologists since have put in and replentished many existing ones and that has really helped. I have been putting in brush piles on Norfork for 27-years for our customers.  I am not an advocate of high water but it does help the spawn if it does not come too fast and stay too long. The Game and Fish quit stocking crappie several years ago after the Black Nosed experiment. I am still catching several Black Nosed Crappie but not as many as a few years ago. Two were caught yesterday. Norfork is now a premier big crappie lake. I really enjoy catching those big black crappie. Kentucky Bass, crappie and catfish are all together at various depths on brush from 25-32 feet. One brush pile holds fish and another one is empty and then that changes and they are roaming. It just takes one gar to clear out an area. The lake overall is in excellent condition and it looks like our best chance of much rain is friday with chances for the next several days. We need it but without wind. I am only using spoons and crappie jigs with both working about the same. Jigs when it is windy and spoons when it is not. Creature baits and worms are catching bass on wind blown banks.  

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

Joe and Jamie Cox with some nice ones caught yesterday morning. They are from Granger, Iowa and are welcome. Image title

The lake level is 553.99 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with 1/2 generator running about 1/2 the time. They are sure missing a good chance to drop the lake but I guess they do not need any electricity in the Southwest. The White River at Newport is now at 4.5 feet and about ready to dry up. About everyone caught fish here at Blackburns yesterday and we have a big crew. Walleye, crappie, bass, bluegill and catfish were all caught. Many fish remain in 30-32 feet of water on brush but a few smaller crappie are shallower. Some are also suspended a little deeper just out side the brush and main lake is the best place to start looking. Seldom do I leave Blackburns Creek more than one mile either way and am catching several fish every day. The Kentucky Bass, about 2-lbs, were biting well as were the 12-13 inch crappie. I caught a nice 8-lb. channel cat on a crappie jig in 32-ft. of water on the bottom just before I came in. I have never caught so many catfish on artificial lures as I have this year. The surface water temperature was right on 80-degrees in the afternoon and the water was stained a little since the reduced generation began but is still a good color. There were more boats out there than on Sunday but most of them were fishing boats. I saw one jet ski so it still needs to cool down a bit. We are to get a good chance of rain tomorrow and Thursday and we need it badly and the highs are to drop into the low 80's and it should be good fishing for the Bass tournament this weekend. Blackburns big pool is still open and our one bedroom cabins are still $59/day. If you have a need to pay more just stay here and give the difference to the disabled Veterans. We like them here as we do law enforcement. Helps keep me in line but it does not take as much keeping as it used to. The 3/8th ounce Bink's Spoon, white with red eye is working well on 4-6 pound test clear line on about everything. Temperate Bass fishing is slow. Bass Fishermen are using 6-inch worms either Carlina rigged, Texas rigged or just on a jig head early and late. Cast to the bank near deep water and they are hitting just after the lure falls off the ledge. If it is windy try the north side of the 101 bridge on the west side a couple of hundred yards in the little cut. There are a lot of fish there on the bait fish. If it is windy use a crank bait. I am not a bank pounder but it works in windy weather. 

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

Released under Blackburns Dock.Image title

The lake level is 554.09 and has dropped a little less than an inch  with less generation. The White River at Newport is 5+ feet and still dropping. The Southwest Power is doing a better job of holding the lake level up than the Corps but they are both government agencies so you do not expect much and do not gey much. It is a good thing we have been very dry or we would not be where we are now even though it took all summer to get here. If they do not change the way things are managed we can expect the same thing over and over. They like to keep us one big rain away from getting high. It was a beautiful day with ambient temperatures near 90 and sunny but just a little windy when I went out yeaterday.There were not nearly as many boats out there as the day before. Some people watch football, I fish. I went close to Blackburns Dock on a brush pile and went crappie fishing. I used the 1/16th ounce jig head, white with a red eye, and a Bobby Garland Blue Ice Baby Shad. I do not like to spoon in the wind It would be ok if Norfork was not a flooded river with vatiable swirling winds. If it was steady from the same direction you could just go against it with your trolling motor and stay straight up and down.  As the river changes direction so does the wind. It has to blow somewhere. That is why you do not see very many sail boats out there. When this happens just switch from a spoon to a jig. It does not hang up nearly as bad. The crappie and bluegill were biting well and I also caught a decent Kentucky Bass and a channel catfish. I have not seen so many catfish caught on lures in quite some time. They are right in the brush near the bottom. The surface water temperature was again 80 degrees in the late afternoon. Leaves continue to fall and we are not into October yet. It is to stay warm for a couple of days and the a good chance of rain on Wednesday and Thursday. We can certainly use it. The lake needs to drop at least six more feet before spring comes. The water is stained a little more than a couple of days ago but is an excellent color for fishing. It looks to be a very busy October for Norfork with all of the fishing tournaments. Should be fun to see what happens. I have not seen any striper kill so far as predicted. Either they stayed in the shallower bubble of 30-32 feet where the oxygen is or they are gone. Some in the 5-6 lb. range are being caught with an occassional one approaching 10-lbs. I sure wish there were more and people would quit killing the ones that are left until they make a comeback. I thought the White Bass were making a comeback but I am not seeing hardly any and usually can catch them almost at will this tme of year.  They should move to the mouth of creeks on shad if they start to show up. Between Mallard Point and Blackburns Creek is a good place to look for them. 

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

Chris Crosson and Benito Montez (AKA) Mr. walleye show off some nice ones caught fishing with Bink's Guide service. Image title

The lake level is 554.19 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generators running for about eight hours in the afternoon. The White River at Newport is at 5+ feet and still dropping. The surface water tmeperature was 80-degrees when I went out yesterday afternoon. There were a lot of boats out there enjoying the beautiful weather. The wind was light and the sun was shining. I checked out a brush pile near Blackburns that was holding fish and stayed there for one hour and came back in. I caught six nice crappie and four big bluegill. They were biting the 1/16th ounce jig casting it past the 32-ft. brush and letting it sink into it. I fished from 2PM to 3PM. I had been catching several 2-pound Kentucky Bass there but not today. The divers reported the thermocline is still at 32-feet and probably will not be driven down any more despite the very warm weather starting today for several days. The cooler nights are holding the water at close to the same temperature despite the warm afternoons. The sun is only up for about 1/2 the time now and will get less and less until the lake surface water temperature drops to just below 70-degrees and the turnover will begin. Time change is November 7th and after that is almost always good fishing.  The turn some times happens quickly but mostly over an extended time until it is complete. You can tell when it is finished as the water temperature will be uniform from the surface to down where the thermocline was located. Typically early to mid 30's feet. You cannot tell a thermocline with a fish locator accurately. The line most people see is just where the light stops penetrating the water. The oxygen will also be evenly dispersed to that level and the water is basically homogenous. In the years where the water temperature drops slowly in late September to October this can happen over a couple of weeks but a severe cold front accompanied by winds can drop it more quickly. You can count on it happening sometime in October. You can either scuba dive, use a fish and temp or a camera with a temperature probe to tell exactly. Norfork Lake is Monomictic meaning it only turns once a year. Other lakes do it also in the spring. Here the water warms in the spring until the thermocline forms sometime in may at a little less than 20-ft. That is an excelllent time to fish because there are a lot of fish at that depth. Fall is hard to predict and that is why I always say November is an excellent time to fish Norfork also. There are to be several big fishing tournaments in October this year and it will be interesting to see how the bass fishermen do. It could be challenging later in the month if a windy cold front comes through. I will be out there if at all possible every day. The fall foliage is still ahead of normal and some trees are not turning color and just going to brown on the hillsides. It may be caused by the dry weather but I am not sure. Fishermen coming to Norfork are disappointed in the numbers of big stripers but are pleasantly surprised at the walleye, crappie and bass fishing. Catfishing and bluegill are not bad either. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. Our big pool is still open.  We have individual cabins with no duplexes starting at $59/day. 

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

Darren from Macon, Missouri, Donnie from Shelbyville, Missouri and Ken from Washington, Missouri show off some of yesterdays catch. Nice fellows. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 554.30 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with generation for about 7-hours with 1-1/3 generators. The White River at Newport is 5+ feet. I guess there is no need for electricity. The surface water temperature is about 80-degrees in the afternoons and the lake in general is in excellent condition. The thermocline is at 32-feet and that is about as low as it gets. The divers here are seeing at lot of fish at 28-32 feet on brush and on main lake points and both. The weather was beautiful and they had a lot of fun. Another group is diving but I have not had a chance to talk to them.  Blackburns has been full with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. We have several law enforcement and Veterans staying here and we like that. They are always welcome. Other fishermen are catching walleye, bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish with very few temperate bass being taken. Bink is still on the walleye and they have moved out a little deeper just outside the brush suspended a few feet. I caught mine on a main lake point in 35-ft. of water about three or four feet from the bottom on a 3/8th ounce spoon. I know you get tired of pictures of my old mug with fish so I try to post only customers and fishermen reporting to Blackburns when possible.  A lot of fish are right around thermocline no matter how deep the water. The wind was light so I was able to keep it straight up and down. Bass and crappie were near but a little shallower. The crappie are from 28-32 ft. on top of brush. Bluegill are on every brush pile where the top of the brush comes closest to the surface. Many are under my dock. I am starting to catch crappie on the 1/16th ounce jig again but am trying harder on windy days. Catfish are showing up about everywhere and biting everything but not very fast. I caught a 5-6 pound channel on the spoon on the bottom yesterday. Not a picture fish. It is to get hot again early next week with highs in the 90's and Blackburns big pool is still open. We need more rain. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first regular sized boat stall is free. Can't beat that and a one bedroom cabin is $59/day and none of them are duplexes and all have covered porches. Two, three and four bedrooms are priced accordingly.   

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

Caught Scuba Diving on Blackburns brush piles yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 554.51 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3rd generator running for about 7-hours. They shut down last evening and it is still down. The White River at Newport is at 6+ feet and about ready to dry up. They use what ever rules of management that fits them at the time. When it gets high they always say it is from excess rainfall and that is what the lakes are for to hold water. I maintain they are for flood control and there is a big difference. They are missing a good chance to drop the lake to the high 540's and try and keep it there rather than keepeng it one big rain away from being flooded. The surface water temperature was still 80.7 when I went out yesterday afternoon and is just under 80 this morning with the cool night of 45 for a low. It is to warm up nicely as the week progresses and get well into the 80's by weekend. Blackburns pool is still open. It was very windy with white caps and hard to fish all afternoon and was slow to lay down, variable and swirling. Usually I move into creeks to get out of it but there just do not seem to be very many fish back in the creeks.  I do not like fishing on windy days but that does not mean they are bad for fishing. I fish for enjoyment and it is not enjoyable for me to fight the wind. Blackburns has two groups of divers in and they are having a good time spear fishing. They report the thermocline is 32-feet and the visibility is 4-6 feet on the lake side of main lake points. They are fishing mostly for crappie and are doing well and say the conditions are much better than this time last year. They are also seeing many bass, bluegill and walleye. I tried walleye fishing and caught one but had a hard time staying on the brush and keeping my spoon straight up and down. It was in 36-ft. of water suspended about 4-ft. up from the bottom on a main lake point. I pride myself in not losing lures in the brush but when I lost my favorite one I switched to a Bobby Garland jig. It is difficult to spoon in the wind unless you are in open water on shad with no snags and you can let your spoon go a little sideways without snagging. I caught three crappie a couple of bluegill and a Kentucky Bass and came in. Conditions are much better this morning and I bet the walleye will be biting. We will see. Blackburns is full again starting tomorrow but have a couple of openings starting Sunday. Come on down we will not charge you too much. A one bedroom cabin is $59/day for two people and comes with a free regular sized boat stall. We do charge for pontoons and boats with towers because we have a dozen pontoons to rent and do not have space for people bringing their own unless we pull one of ours out. I did see a jet ski out there so it is not cold enought yet. It is like when you see a motor home pulling a car. The gas prices are not high enough yet but they are up over a dollar a gallon from this time last year. I liked it when we were energy independent. It is like having money in the bank and not being able to use it. The fuel has to come from somewhere. 

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

The lake level is 554.63 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with a little over one generator running for about 5-hours. The White River at Newport is now 6+ feet and about ready to dry up. I guess they do not need electricity anywhere. The cold front came through as predicted and it is cool but sunny and is to warm back up in the 80's later this week. The wind has shifted to the north and was breezy yesterday afternoon and is to be that way again today. The surface water temperature was 80.7 when I went out and should have dropped more last night. I wanted to get out of the wind back in a creek but the fish were just not biting there. All of my luck came from main lake points. Scuba divers reported the thermocline was starting at about 27-feet and cold at 30. They said the visibility was pretty good and they could see about as far as they could shoot on the main lake but was bad in the creeks. They saw walleye, crappie and bluegill and that conditions were much better than last year. They are mostly law enforcement people from Missouri and we welcome them here at Blackburns. They are repeat customers. We are very busy here and are nearly full with only one cabin empty. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much. It was hard spooning in the wind because it was variable and swirling coming down the river channel. My usual technique is to use my trolling motor and go against the wind and stay on top of the brush but it was difficult. If you drag you spoon you will lose it for sure if you stay right in the brush and that is what you want to try and do. Most of the fish that I caught were where the highest part of the brush pile was  closest to the surface and were hitting on the drop. I switched to a 1/2 ounce spoon to try and keep it straight up and down. Later a 1/16th ounce jig head with a 2-inch Bobby Garland was used and it started to catch a few crappie after several weeks of not working for me. I thought it would start soon and it did.  I was casting it past the brush and letting it sink into it. Kentucky Bass, Crappie and Bluegill were caught but no picture fish. I released all of them under the dock. There were no wake boats or jet skis out there and most that I saw were staying at Blackburns. It is to be 70 for a high today and windy. You need a jacket. Normal high is 80 and low is 57. Fall is here this afternoon and fall foliage is ahead of schedule. The rain really greened things up. We need another inch. It is good to go into the winter with some ground water. 

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

Mike Eakle with some of yesterday's catch. Released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 554.70 and has actually risen in the last 24-hours just a bit with very little generation. They are holding the White River at Newport to just over 7-ft. for some reason. I do not understand the reluctance to drop the lake at least to the high 540's but it is there for sure. The rule says regulate the level at Newport to 12-ft. I do not agree with this rule but they will not even do that. We received a little over one inch of badly needed rain last night and this morning here at Blackburns, with varying amounts in the surrounding areas. South of us got very little. There was about 1/2 inch in town. It is cool out now with a high in the 60's and the predicted cold front on it's way. It is to be in the 40's tomorrow morning and this is what a lot of people wanted. Not me. It is to warm back up to the 80's later in the week. Our normal high is 80 and low is 60. I will see what this is doing to the lake condition when I go out later. People just keep coming and it is very busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. We have mostly repeat customers and do not want to charge them too much. The bass, crappie and bluegill are still the best bite now with a few keeper walleye and catfish being caught. Trollers are getting a few small stripers and hybrids but are dragging bait for miles to get them. I will let you know the conditions after I fish today. We have a group of good divers out there and will also get a report from them These cloudy skies will not help their visibility today any but it should get better later. The lake is at a good level now and is in great condition for fishing after this cold front is gone for a while. A full moon and cold front do not do much good at the same time but we will see what happens. I like a challenge.

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

Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday morning. Image title

The lake level is 554.66 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours. They just quit generating a couple of hours ago after two days of 1-1/3 generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is at 7-1/2 feet. The surface water temperature was 83 degrees when I went out yesterday afternoon and there was a little wind but not bad. The crappie were not biting for me as well as the day before but others here at Blackburns caught several earlier in the day. I caught two nice Kentucky Bass, one keeper largemouth, two crappie, several bluegill and a short walleye in about two hours from 3-5 PM. I know fishing is better early and later but I just like to see if I can do it in the middle of a warm late summer afternoon. I am not out to see how many fish I can kill. I need my vitamin D. There were some signs of fall foliage on the hillsides with hardwood trees losing leaves more rapidly than usual for this time of year and more brown color than normal. I do not know it it is caused by stress from being so dry or something else but it is happening already. I am not an expert in dendrology but just report what I see and I am out there everyday. I am a Chemical Engineer and know a little about some stuff but need Bink to give me a few more lessons on fishing but at least I can take care of my own swimming pool. Yes it is open and yes it is sparkling. Largemouth bass fishing is getting better and I expect fishermen in the up-coming tournaments in October will do well. I know the Missouri boys sponsoring the Cystic tournament wii .They always do. It is a good cause. It is always the Saturday before the Bass Cat which is the 22-23rd. Blackburns has two cabins open for both of these and has the best prices. They are still predicting the cold front to get here with north winds after a good chance of rain tomorrow night. We could sure use some.  I am not sure about the 48-degree low temperature though. I have lived in Minnesota and Northern Maine and am finished with winter, ice fishing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. I will leave those for the people that like it. We do catch a lot of fish in the winter here at Blackburns and Thanksgiving is almost always an excellent time to visit us and go fish. Not many jet skis out there then and it is tough running a snowmobile on water. Big crappie time.  Drop that spoon in 30+ ft. in or near brush. 

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

Scuba Steve with some of yesterday's catch. Released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 555 even and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is still at 7-ft. so there is not any need to slow down. I would like it to get to 547-48 and hold it there until spring. That would give us about 11-12 feet of surge capacity going into the spring rains. We always seem to get a big one and it is much better to be at 547 than 555 when it comes. The lake surface water temperature was 83+ yesterday afternoon when I went out fishing and it was a little breezy so I used the 3/8th ounce spoon to help keep it straight down rather than going back in a creek to get out of it. I actually like the 1/4 ounce better with 4-lb test clear line.  I am catching many more fish on the main lake than in the creeks now but that is not always the case. Bass, crappie and catfish are all in 30-34 ft. of water either on top of, in or around brush along with some walleye. A few smaller stripers and a hybrid or two are a little deeper in front of the brush on shad. Most schools of shad have no predator fish on them.  Several fish remain down about 30+ feet no matter how deep it is. Trollers should be able to drag either a crank bait or live bait at that depth and catch some. The brush that was in 30+ ft. of water and is now 25-ft. are not holding very many fish after the drop. Most will stay at the current depth until the lake turns over later in October and the water temperature and oxygen becomes homogenous down to about 30-ft. and the fish have no other reasons to be anywhere special except for cover and food. This will not slow fishing down much except that they are more scattered. The last few years the turn has been gradual and not drastic like northern shallow lakes where they get muddy and junk comes to the surface. We just see an inversion of the thermocline. The fall foliage is starting to fall with walnuts and other hardwood decidous trees starting to lose their leaves. My maple has no color. It is very dry. Sometimes dry weather has good color and sometimes not. We will see. The usual peak for Norfork Lake, Northern Arkansas and the Ozark Mountain Region is the last of October but I have given up predicting how good it will be. It is almost always a nice ride to take a country road drive at that time. Blackburns Resort is your fall foliage headquarters for the area. We will help you with some good driving tours. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Rent a boat and cruise the lake is often the best way to see color and enjoy the Ozark's fall.

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

Mike Eakle caught this one off Crappie Rock last evening.Image title

The Texas Boys, Jody and Wayne just left. Hope they come back soon. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 555.35 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with 20-hours of continuous generation with 1-1/3rd generator running now that we have reached power pool and the Southwest Power has more control. The White River at Newport is at 7-feet but that should also rise. We sure could use an inch of rain. It is getting very dry and dusty. The lake surface water temperature was 83-84 when I went out yesterday afternoon and the water appeared clear on both the main lake and creek. We have several Scuba Divers coming in today and I will get a real report on the water clarity and thermocline. I have not had much time for diving for a while and have barely had enough for an hour or two of fishing it is so busy here with people taking advantage of the best prices on cabins and rental boats in the Ozarks. We finished installing new cabinets and countertops in several cabins until we run Lowe's out of them. We will resume when they get more in. The pool is sparkling and this is a good time to enjoy it. It is to get very cool the middle of next week with highs in the low 70's and lows near 49. That will be a drastic change but it has not happened yet. I am just going close to the dock and catching several fish everyday on brush. As the water drops they seem to be staying and not moving with the level. Brush in 29-30 ft. of water where to top comes closest to the surface seems to be where most of the fish are. Some are on top of it, some are in it and some are close around it. Walleye are a little deeper outside of the cover a few feet off the bottom. Tap the bottom with your spoon and snap it up about 5-6 feet and let it fall on slack line until your spoon touches and then repeat. I am not getting as many big walleye as a couple of weeks ago but still a few. Most are throwbacks. Most of my fishing is for crappie and Kentucky bass. They are not in a frenzy, on fire or jumping in the boat but biting pretty steady if you know how and where. I do not have to go far from the shed. There are several people releasing fish under the dock and the school is getting very large. There are a couple of trophy bass down there along with hundreds of big bluegill. The lake overall is in excellent condition for fishing, boating and swimming and the fishing is fair. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first regular sized boat stall is free. We still have a couple of openings for Bass Cat later in October so give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 before you have to pay too much elsewhere. Way too much.

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

Wayne and Jody are guests of Blackburns and had fun fishing with Bink. We are glad to have the Texas boys. Nice fellows.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 555.66 and has dropped 1 inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generator running about 8-hours in the afternoon and evening. The White River at Newport is at 8-feet and they are trying to hold the lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible. I had a little over 84 degrees surface water temperature yesterday afternoon when I went out about 3:30 Pm and fished for about an hour. It was a little windy so I switched to a 3/8th ounce spoon in order to keep my line straight up and down and not snag. I prefer the smaller spoon in still water.  I went to a Blackburns brush pile close to the dock and caught four crappie and three bass in one hour and did not move. All were keepers but no very large ones. The crappie were about 11-12 inches and the kentucky bass were about 13-inches. I released all of them under the dock. I do not take selfies and I know you get tired of seeing the same old face so I try to show as many different people as possible. Some do not want their picture taken. I release almost all of my fish anyway except for a few that I get for people that love fish but cannot get out. I keep no big stringers of fish and quit when I get a few and prove I can catch them. It is fun to see how many different species you can catch in one day.  Bink is back on the walleye and found them deeper and suspended off the bottom a bit and some stripers and Hybrids are with them. Most are just outside of brushpiles rather than right in them. I was fishing in 28-29 ft. brush and the bass were right on the bottom and the crappie were on top of the brush and hitting the spoon on the drop. He is fishing around 40-ft. but catching different kinds of fish than I am. Tom Kelly has turned into a bass fisherman and releases all of his fish and is letting the stripers alone until they make a comeback. Mike Eakle fishes mostly for crappie bass and walleye and is also leaving the stripers alone. I also get several reports daily from other good fishermen. I miss Harvey Hall.The weather is to cool drastically in the middle of next week with a cold front coming through. We will see what it does to the fishing but I suspect it will not affect it too much. I did not see one jet ski out there yesterday. They seem to like to impress me by showing off for some reason. One of the reasons I moved here 27-years ago was to get away from mosquitoes. Yes our pool is open.


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

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 555.76 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generator running about 8-hours in the afternoon and evening. They are trying hard to keep it above the power pool of 555.75 and it has now taken nine days to drop the last foot but it looks like they may have to let it happen. They dropped the White River at Newport to 5-ft. earlier and now it is at 10. It should be at a minimum of 12 but that is a rule only when they want it to be. They are missing a good chance to get it to the high 540's by spring and give us a little surge capacity for the spring rains. There is to be a master plan revision workshop for Norfork Lake on September 30th and October 1st. at the college and it is important for everyone to attend. Go to https://go.usa.gov/x7b9v for current information and comments. They need to know how we feel before implementing more government regulations on us. Some are good and some not so much. I found more walleye yesterday and they were suspended in 39-ft. of water just outside of brush on main lake points. They were at 32. I am still getting crappie and Kentucky bass in 32-ft. brush. Bink has moved out into deeper water near 40-ft. and is now catching some temperate bass and walleye. The hybrids are pretty good but the stripers are mostly small with the largest 7-8 pounds.  Catfish are with the crappie but on the bottom. Not much has changed since yesterday and the surface water temperature is still 82-degrees and the lake is clear both main lake and creeks and in excellent condition for about everything. 

Norfork Lake Master Plan Revision (click here for comments)

There is going to be a public workshop concerning the Norfork Lake Master Plan Revision by the Corps of Engineers. September 30,2021 from 3:30PM to 8:PM At Arkansas State University 1600 S. College Street in Mountain Home and another one at the same place October1,2021 from 12:Noon to 4PM. The Corps of Engineers, Little Rock is requesting comments on the draft revised Master Plan and the draft Environment Assessment, which describes three alternative plans and impacts. For current information and to submit comments , please visit https://go.usa/x7b9v

Attend one of these two public workshops to learn the draft alternatives and provide your imput. It is very important. There are some radical changes proposed and this is your chance to have input. Comments must be submitted by October 29,2021 to Norfork MP Planner, Natural Recources Section  USACE, Little Rock District, PO Box 867 Little Rock, Ar. 72202 Fax 501-324-6230

E-Mail.  CESWL.NorforkMPUpdate@usace.army.mil  

This is very importand for those of us that care to have a say in how Norfork Lake is managed. Fill up those workshops and send letters, faxes and E-mails. They at least care a little about public outcry. This is our only chance and then it will be imposed and soon. 

Scuba Steve 

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

This guy did not stay at Blackburns and paid $25/day too much for his duplex cabin with no porch and also paid for his first boat stall. Image title

The lake level is 555.84 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3rd generators running about 6-hours. The White River at Newport is at 10-ft after dropping to 5-ft. With the power pool level approaching it has taken 8-days to drop the last 1-ft. When 555.75 is reached it should drop faster as the other government agency, Southwest Power Administration, takes over some of the generation scheduling. Surely they need electricity somewhere. We are at a good level now but it would take just one of these tropical storms to go north of Texas, sweep across Oklahoma and get to us and fill us back up. A little surge capacity would be nice. The surface water temperature is still at 82-degrees and dropping very slowly. The ambient temperatures are to be in the mid 80's for highs and mid 60's for lows with nice weather for the next week with little chances of rain and a perfect time for a trip to Norfork. The lake in general is in excellent condition for Boating and swimming. Fishing overall is just fair but some nice ones are being caught everyday. Largemouth and Smallmouth bass fishing is picking up after Kentucky Bass carried most of the load for a few weeks. Catfishing is also getting better on jugs and throw lines out of main lake cuts on live shiners and bluegill. Smaller Channels are biting cut bait and a few Blues. You have to use live bait to get the flatheads. Three to four inch bluegills are the best. You have to be in a place away from the gar if you can. If I catch one gar I am gone from that place. Bait up just before dark to keep the turtles and herons from getting your bait and get out early again just at first light. I am still catching crappie in the 11-12 inch range on Blackburns Brush Piles in 32-ft. of water on the spoon at the top of the brush on the drop. Blass and Walleye are deeper near the bottom with most walleye being short now. Walleye fishing peaked over a week ago but some keepers are being caught along with several throw backs.  It is surprising how many catfish are being caught on the spoon right in the brush. I do not troll but some are catching some small stripers dragging Berkley or Rapala crank baits in 30-ft. of water and also a few largemouth Bass. Harvey Hall showed me how to catch bass in the hot weather in late summer. He hooked on a big ole Bomber crank bait that would dive down about 25-ft. and troll in the creeks channels bumping the bottom. He liked Briar Creek the best. I was surprised how man big bass he caught. For the people that like to drag things around give it a try. I am catching no big top-water fish but mostly smaller bass coming up back in the creeks both at sunrise and sunset. If the weather stays warm October fishing will be good for bass until the turnover. There are several Bass tournaments on weekends almost the entire month of October and Blackburns is almost booked up with fishermen taking advantage of the low prices here. You can get a 1-bedroom cabin for $59/day and we are close to the tournaments take-off and closest to Mountain Home, dining and shopping. We have plenty of parking and you are not huddled up on a hillside and do not have to go somewhere else to launch. Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 before they are all gone. Try a plastic worm just outside the brush for bass. By the time you get a crank bait down deep enough you are out too far from the bank. Float creek is a good place to start. 

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

The lake level is 555.92 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running about 1/3rd the time during the day. The White River at Newport is at 6-ft. and about ready to dry up. The surface water temperature is 82-dregees and dropping slowly with the ambient temperatures remaining near 90 during the day and dropping to about 70 at night. The weather has been perfect except that we are very dry and the lake is in excellent condition for boating and swimming. Fishing has remained about the same with a mixed bag of fish being caught. Catfish, largemouth bass and Bluegill are getting better and Walleye and Temperate Bass are slowing and crappie and Kentucky Bass are about the same with a few Smallmouth being caught.  Tom Kelly reports catching some nice bass in Float Creek on a plastic worm and Bink is catching about everything on his spoon. I dropped spoon sizes down to 1/8th ounce with 4-lb. clear line and am getting better results. It just takes it longer to go down and is harder to keep straight down but is getting better results than the 3/8th ounce for me now. It is also more difficult to tell if it is hung up on itself so check frequently. Most fish are in three different places. One being on 30+ ft. brush, two being on the bank in the evening and three on top both early and late outside brush and part way backs in the middle of the creeks.  Many top-water fish are small but are fun to catch and release. I am seeing no temperate bass coming up. They are catching many very nice sized bluegill off my dock. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and our big pool is open and sparkling. 

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

The lake level is 556.02 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running less than 1/2 the time. They are trying to keep the lake levels up as high as they can for as long as they can and have almost let the White River at Newport dry up. It is now at 7-feet. I know of no rule that says regulate the White River at Newport to 7-feet in September but rules do not matter unless they want them to. We are at a good level now but are just one big rain away from being too high again and it is happening all around us and we have been lucky to avoid one. We are still very dry and can take a couple of inches if it does not come too fast. The surface water temperature is 82-degrees and dropping very slowly and the lake is in excellent condition. Fish are not "stacked in" anywhere but the same places seem to be holding some fish. The old phrases that I do not use like "on fire" "stacked up," "in a feeding frenzy" are not the case here now.   I am catching some everytime I go out but some days are better than others. I keep trying my usual Bobby Garland jigs, grubs tipped with minnows and slip floats with minnows and they just are not working. About the only thing that works for me is the spoon. You have to drop it right on their heads and get reaction strikes because they sure are not hungry with all of the bait fish around. All of the fish that I am catching are very fat. The walleye usually slim down this time of year after being deep and lethargic all summer but not this year. They have remained relatively shallow near the thermocline and have all of the oxygen and food they want. The same thing with the temperate bass. I do not expect a significant striper kill this year because of this and the fact that most of the ones that usually die after a high water year (the big ones) are already gone. I will be the first one to admit I am wrong if dead stripers start floating all around the lake. I hope it does not happen. The people that are still fishing for them are dragging umbrellas, live bait and Rapalas and are having a tough time. Spooning for walleye was doing well but not so much now. The big ones have moved but I have not gone looking for them as I am happy to just catch crappie, bass and catfish close to home. I go through a tank of gas in about a month and my old boat sucks it up pretty good. Fishing is just fair but steady and the best places are main lake points and secondary points with 30-ft. brush. Give a place that marks fish a chance and do not just fly in there, fish for 10-minutes and fly back out. Fish are spooky. Let them calm down. Use light clear line and 1/4 or 3/8th ounce spoons and coast into the brush slowly and minimize the use of your trolling motor. If you put your trolling motor on anchor and have it struggling to stay in the same place and running all of the time the fish will spook and not bite. I cannot afford that feature anyway. I spend all of my money on resort improvements.  It might work for deeper fish that are feeding in open water on shad later in the year when the water is choppy but not now. Take it easy and give the places holding fish a good chance to start biting. I can always tell when a person will not catch fish when they say "I threw everything in my tackle box at them and they still won't bite". You have to use what works and stick with it and try about one different thing at a time if it does not work. If you keep changing when they start biting you will have the wrong thing on. You do not need a big tackle box for Norfork. Just the right stuff. I switched to the 1/8th ounce spoon and 4-lb. test line in 34-ft. of water and started catching more fish this morning in brush and did catch one keeper walleye. Top water fish were coming up but mostly small bass. I cast the spoon at them. I will try the spitin image for a bit tomorrow. It works better for bass than the spook. 

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

The lake level is 556.20 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday with no generation. The White River at Newport is dropping like a rock and is now below 11-ft. The so called 12-ft. rule does not apply when the power pool is approaching. They are missing a good chance to drop the lake. It is at a good level now though and I wish it would stay that way. Both the main lake and the creeks are clear from the surface but are still cloudy until you get below the thermocline. This is normal for early September but it will get better as the water cools. September and October are an excellent time for Scuba Diving. I usually quit for the year just before Halloween. The lake surface water is 83 degrees and dropping slowly with the cooler nights and shorter days. The normal high is now 82-degrees and the normal low is 60. Fishing remains about the same with walleye getting harder to catch especially the bigger ones. Bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish are the best bite now and some trollers are catching a few small stripers. Some fish are suspended in a little deeper water just outside the brush but most are still in the 30-ft. range wheather suspended or near the bottom. I am having my best luck in brush at 32-ft. of water but am catching some bass in shallower brush in the evening. Main lake points are the best. Many fish are also under docks in the shade. The weather has been great and the lake in general is in very good condition. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. 

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

The lake level is 556.20 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening and have not started back up. We are approaching the power pool of 555.75 and they do not want to get there for some reason. They like to keep control and also keep the lake one big rain from being high again. We are very dry and need some rain. The lake is clear again after the holiday and the surface water temperature is 83 degrees. The warm weather and low prices after the summer are still bringing people out to the lake. We are full here at Blackburns and have six boats rented today but have openings starting tomorrow. You can throw all of the past away predicting what will happen according to business and lake traffic. I thought Covid and high water would slow things down but it has been a record year and I have been here for 27 seasons. We took a couple of days to put in new counter tops and cabinets in cabins 5, 12 and 14 and they filled back up the next day. We will resume when Lowe's get more in. Like everything else they are back ordered. This is an economical time to visit Norfork Lake and Blackburns and take advantage of the best prices in the Ozarks. Our pool is still open and it is nearly full as we speak. The weather is great, the water is warm and clear and the price is right. Fishing has changed a bit. Walleye are slowing down except the smaller ones which are schooled where the big ones used to be. The big ones have moved. and may be suspended in deeper water but at the same depth. I have seen this happen before. Much has changed with the absence of the big stripers and there is less competition for food. Many schools of shad do not have any game fish dogging them and are schooled tight. I have never seen more bait fish as I have seen now. I have seen more shad before but not nearly as many fingerling bluegill, bass and creek minnows. They are everywhere. Trollers are catching and killing some stripers in 30-35 ft. range but they are small and about 5-6 lbs. I do not expect a striper kill this year mostly because they did not go deep to find an oxygen bubble and the oxygen stayed good in the 30-ft. range and also because the big ones are already gone. It will take several years to get them back and it will not happen if they keep killing the ones that are just starting to grow and the absence of the 2020 stockings due to Covid. That class is non-existent. A private person did stock a few thousand but nothing compared to a normal year.  The crappie that I am catching are all good sized and all on brush ranging from 27-33 feet about 20-25 ft. down. Kentucky bass and catfish are on the bottom in the same brush. Some bass are on shad back in the creeks in the evening and others are on the bank on other bait fish. Big Bluegill are under docks and biting crickets. 

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

The lake level is 556.35 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running about 1/2 the time. It is getting close to the power pool of 555.75 but at least 5-feet higher than we would like it for the time of year. November is out rainiest month but we are very dry and can take quite a bit without any problem as long as it does not come fast. The lake has cleared quickly after the holiday and is in excellent condition for fishing. It will be hot this weekend with sunny skies and we have several boaters coming in to enjoy the rest of the summer. The surface water temperature is 84 degrees and good for swimming. Blackburns is on our winter rates and you can get a nice cabin for $59/day. I am going out fishing in the evenings after the work is done and catching fish every day. They are not on fire or in a feeding frenzy but if you spoon or drop shot brush in 32-35 feet of water you can catch fish. Mostly crappie, bass and catfish now. The walleye have slowed a bit with mostly throw backs being caught but just a few keepers. The fish coming up are just outside the brush and are chasing shad out of the cover and are mostly bass. I am not seeing any temperate bass being caught except for an occassional White Bass. I usually catch a few stripers accidently spooning this time of year but not this year. Drop a spoon in 30-35 feet of water in or near brush and you will be surprised what you catch. There are a lot of baitfish out there competing for your lure. Kentucky bass are in a little shallower brush near the bottom and the crappie are above the brush and hit the lure on the drop.  I am seeing no fish in open water. People dragging Rapalas are catching a few bass but they are small and they are burning up a lot of gas. Crankbait fishermen are catching a few beating the banks. Bluegill fishing is good on crickets under docks. I am catching no small crappie and all are over 11-inches and the Kentucky Bass are 12-13 inches and fat. The few largemouth that I am catching are throw backs with few keepers. The guys fishing the nightime tournaments are catching some though. 

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

Caught on the Bink's spoon yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 556.53 and has dropped 2-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running about 1/2 the time. The surface water temperature has dropped to 84 degrees with the much cooler nights with lows in the high 50's. The lake is clearing quicky after the holiday churning and the boat traffic is way down especially after 5:PM. Evening until sunset is my favorite time to fish but not necessarily the best for catching fish. The best bite continues to be from about 6:30 AM until about 10:AM. There are more shad showing up and there is starting to be a top-water bite at sunrise but mostly bass. I am fishing brush in 32-35 feet of water using the 3/8th ounce Bink's spoon and catching several different varieties. Bass, especially Kentucky bass, big crappie, bluegill, some walleye but several are throwbacks, and surprisingly several catfish. The bite is not fast but steady and you can have a lot of fun. The big schools of shad have relatively few predator fish with them with most of the big stripers gone and much fewer White Bass. The high fishing pressure has also reduced the number of Hybrid Stripers. I wish more of them were stocked. None were stocked last year due to Covid and there will be no class of 2020. The fish that reproduce naturally, except for the White Bass, are flourishing. They should come back on their own. Norfork is full of fish and they are getting bigger with less competition for food. It is to get hot again this weekend, with highs in the mid 90's and several people are taking advantage of the summerlike weather and low prices on cabins and boat rentals here at Blackburns for a last hurrah. You can get a one bedroom cabin for $59/day. There are several fishing tournaments in October and it is filling up fast like never before. Come on down to Blackburns and we will not charge you too much. We especially welcome Veterans and Police. Everytime we get a cabin open here we are making improvements. We have bought Lowe's out of counter tops and cabinets. The big pool with slide is open and sparkling clean. You will like what you see when you get here.  I am not happy with the high gas prices and wish the country was energy independent again. Cranfield is the best beach and has the best facilities of anywhere on Norfork Lake and is very close to Blackburns. Bidwell and Panther Bay are also good and close. We are in the center of everything including fishing and the closest majot resort to town while still being in the country on 28-acres. I consider a major resort to be one with it's own dock, launch and pool. 

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

Caught on the Bink's Spoon. Image title

Released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 556.77 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening and have not started back up yet. The surface water temperature was 86 last evening when I went out and there were just a few boats . It was very peaceful and the wind layed about 6:PM. I was spooning brush piles and the fish were not biting as well as yesterday. I caught one catfish, one bluegill, two Kentucky bass and four nice crappie and was fishing hard for about three hours. That is as long as I have fished in weeks and it was very nice. Perfect weather. All fish were caught in 27-32 feet of water on brush. I did see more schools of shad but there were no fish on them. Some bass were coming up later in the evening. The lake is in excellent condition going into the fall but needs to drop several feet for surge capacity. We are approaching the power pool of 555.75. It is to get very warm again this weekend with highs in the mid 90's.  

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

Scuba Steve with a few of yesterday's catch on the spoon.Image title

The lake level is 556.89 and has dropped 2-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 2/3rds the time. The lake surface water temperature is between 86 and 87 degrees and is cloudy with all of the holiday boat traffic. I thought the lake boat traffic would clear out last evening with most people leaving but I was wrong. It was not heavy but enought that it was not pleasant trying to fish main lake points with all of the waves. I moved into a main lake cut out of the traffic and found some nice fish. I caught three big crappie, three keeper Kentucky Bass and a walleye in about an hour and came in. The crappie were in 30-32 feet of water on top of brush hitting the spoon on the drop and the bass and walleye were a little shallower in 26-ft. brush on the bottom. I was using the 1/4 ounce Bink's Spoon white with red head and a black dot on 6-lb. clear line. Boat traffic is less now this morning with mostly fishing boats and I will give it another try later this afternoon when I get my work done. Fishing is really pretty good for the time of year, water temperature and amount of bait fish out there. More and more bass are coming up in the creeks every evening. I released all fish under the dock and the school is getting big. They are going through a lot of feed but are getting help from the turtles. The children really have a lot of fun catching the fish. I will try casting the crappie jig today again but have not had very good luck with it yet but will when the water cools and the fish get shallower. The Kentucky bass bite is excellent now and they are big and fat and hitting the spoon in the brush. 

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

The lake level is 557.16 and has dropped 3+ inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running most of the time. The power pool level is 555.75. The surface water temperature is 87-degrees and the lake is clear from the surface but cloudy down to the 30+ foot thermocline. The creeks are stained a bit but a good color for fishing. The lake in general is in good condition but will be better after the boat traffic from the holiday goes away and the lake clears up again. It has been a very busy holiday and I am glad it is over. Let the fall fishing begin. September continues to be a busy month here at Blackburns with the price dropping as of today to $59/day for a one bedroom cabin and a free stall for your fishing boat. I will miss the jet skis and Queen Mary boats and the big wakes. Lake of the Ozarks is a very good place for them. They like them there. I tried to take my bass boat up there once but it would not go. Spooning continues to be the best technique but the brush is getting shallower and the fish are moving a little deeper. Find brush in 32-35 feet of water on the main lake. Blackburns has several of them at that depth. Trollers are catching a few stripers but they are small and getting smaller and smaller but they keep killing them. I expect to see fewer striper guides on the lake next year. Walleye are replacing stripers as the go to fish on Norfork but bass, crappie and catfishing is still very popular. There are a lot of big bluegill out there and they may be the best eating. White bass fishing is coming back a bit but is still not near what is was a few years ago when you could almost catch them at will. There is a lot of bait fish especially near the bank near cover. Some fish are coming up back in the creeks in the evening, mostly bass and mostly small. Try a creature bait or worm in the buckbrush in the evening at sunset. I see some bass fishermen using buzz baits back in the creeks but I do not use them so I cannot report on their success. I am a grub, spoon, jig, spitin image and jerk bait fisherman with a spook now and again. Call Debbie at 870-492-5115 for a reservation. We have the best prices on the lake. The weather looks to be great for at least the next week. 

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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday on the spoon. Image title

The lake level is 557.45 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with generation a little over 1/2 the time. They seem to generate pretty hard one day and drop off the next. We received about an inch of rain last night and it was badly needed. It greened things back up but the rain scheduled for today has moved to the south. The weather has cooled to the mid 80's for highs and High 60's for lows. It is to get to 59 early this week for a low. I am ready for things to slow down after this last summer holiday but the phone just keeps ringing with people taking advantage of our low boat rental prices and $59/day cabin rentals starting Tuesday. We have several good fishermen in and they caught some nice fish yesterday. Bass and walleye are the best bite right now and almost everyone is using the jigging spoon. Crappie and bluegill are next with a few catfish thrown in. The surface water temperature is 85-degrees and the lake is at an excellent level and has a good color for fishing. The fishing will get better and better as we go through September and into October until the turnover and then will drop off a bit but not stop and then get better again into the winter as the lake clears again. Thanksgiving is an excellent time for fishing as is all winter. Blackburns is open all year. November is our wettest month.I catch my biggest crappie from November through February. March can be an iffy month with a couple of cold fronts coming through a week and then the mid April top-water bite starts. I am ready. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. We especially welcome Veterans and Police and have a lot of them as customers.  

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

Caught yesterday and this morning on the 1/2 ounce Bink's Many Shad Jigging Spoon. Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 557.54 and has dropped over 4-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running continuously. We are now less than 2-ft. from the power pool and about 6-7 feet higher than we should be for this time of year but we are not at a not bad level. I would like it to stay at this level all the time.  It just does not allow for any surge caused by big rains which have been happening all around us. It will be interesting to see what they do as the power pool level gets closer. They typically slow down generation when this happens but you cannot tell. They do not report to anybody and have no accountability. The did reassess how Beaver Lake was to be managed taking into effect how the population has increased in the area and the economic impact if the lake got too high and decided tp keep the level lower. This will result in more water going into Table Rock which ultimately goes into Bull Shoals. They already do not let Table Rock get too high because of the economic impact to Branson. This leaves Bull Shoals and Norfork to hold the bag. We need to speak from a unified voice but nobody seems to care. The town is full, the lake is full, the parking at the ramps is full, the resorts are full for the holiday and they just keep coming. About every vehicle in town has a boat hooked to it. The fishermen that went out yesterday and this morning early did well. The spoon is the lure of choice and 32-35 ft. of water on main lake points is the place near brush or right in it. Trollers are getting a few small stripers and white bass but not many. Bass, crappie, catfish and walleye are the best. It is hard to troll brush but shad are easily found but hard to keep alive. It is going to be a hot day with highs in the mid 90's. I am ready for Tuesday and the start of fall fishing and peace and quiet. Blackburns rates go down to $59/day for a one bedroom cabin and a free boat stall then. You cannot beat that anywhere and our big pool with slide is open. Why pay more? Stay here and give the extra money to Disabled Veterans. 

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

The lake level is 557.92 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with much less generation. The surface water temperature is 87-degrees and the main lake is clear near the surface and cloudy a few feet below and the creeks are stained a little green. The lake is in very good condition for boating, swimming and fishing with most day use areas back to normal. Swim beaches are open in Bidwell, Panther Bay and Cranfield along with most camping sites. Some camping and beach services do not have all facilities restored completely but it is much better than just a few days ago. Parking and launching are normal and need to be if the town traffic is any indication of the upcoming boat traffic. If you are planning on fishing get out there at dawn and fish until the traffic gets too bad on the lake. Do not count on being able to go out in the evening until Monday when they start to go home. Every thing that will float will be out there starting today and the boats are getting bigger and bigger. Have a lot of patience at the launch sites Saturday morning.   We could get some weather Saturday night and Sunday and it is to get hot. It will not be condusive to tent camping. Almost everyone is full so there will be no place to go if you get rained out. I hope everyone has a good time and gets through this safely. Fishing is the same.

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

The lake level is 558.09 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running most of the time. It has taken three days to drop the last foot. The last summer holiday is upon us and it looks to be very busy. We are full here with several boats rented and Debbie reports getting about 100 phone calls a day with people looking for cabins and boats. The big boats will churn up the water all weekend but it will clear again rapidly after the holiday. The creeks have turned green for some reason after being clear for several days but this changes for no apparant reason, sometimes daily. The surface water temperature remains about 87-degrees and the overall lake condition is excellent for boating and swimming. It is to get hot again later with a good chance of rain on Sunday and then get back into the 80's next week. Our normal high is now 85-degrees. The overnight lows are getting lower and are now in the mid to high 60's. We could use a rain badly but not all at once. An inch would be fine. We have dodged all of the severe weather and big rains so far and I am thankful and count my blessings. We have some good fishermen in this week and I will report their findings. I will sit this one out and only join the crowd if I have to. I am looking forward to Tuesday. For those coming and have not been here for a while be carefull out there. Things are much different and the lake level is down 15-feet from it's high in May. The Shore Patrol will be out in big numbers and that is a good thing. Fishermen get out early before the big boats take over and drop the spoon in 30-35 ft. of water on main lake points with brush. 

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

The lake level is 558.46 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with a little less generation than the day before. We are at a good level now but have little surge capacity for a big rain which is going on all around us. We are still very dry. It is to be warm with highs about 90 for the weekend with chances of some rain but mostly sunny. It looks to be a good weekend for the last hurrah for most non-fishermen. I do not have time for much fishing now as we are trying very hard to get the resort ready for Labor Day. The yard is being mowed, the pool is sparkling and we are fixing as many things as we can with just a few days of not being full. We have been very busy since March. Many other improvements are being made as we speak. They start piling in again starting tomorrow. We will have it as nice as possible for you when you get here. I was getting a rental boat ready for the weekend and took a little ride to check it out and also check on lake conditions. The surface water temperature was 87 degrees and the water was pretty clear from the surface. More and more wood is showing near the shore so do not assume things are the same as when you were here before. More swimming areas and beaches are open now as are launching areas and parking. Bidwell, Cranfield and Panther Bay all have good swimming beaches and Cranfield has the best overall facilities. They have not had much time to get all of them completey redone since the high water but they are much better than before when swimmers were clogging up the launching areas and there was no place to park. High water does not affect resorts as much as day use areas and campgrounds but it is not good for anyone. We will see how far they drop the lake before they quit. The current power pool is 555.75 and they are reluctant to drop below that and turn some of the control over to the Power Authority for some reason. One goverrnment agency is in competion with another one for control. We have several very good friends in Louisiana and wish them the best. Hot weather and no power is not a good combination. Blackburns has $59/day cabins in just 6-days so give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 before they are all gone. We have the best resort and the best prices in the area. We will not charge you too much. Bink reports still catching a mixed bag of fish in 30-35 ft. of water on his spoon. Not much has changed recently.

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

Caught yesterday on the spoon. Image title

The lake level is 558.74 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generators running continuously. They took the White River at Newport down to 8-ft. to try and keep the area lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible but are bringing it back up now. It clouds up at the heat of the day about 3:PM everyday but not much happens. We are still very dry here. It looks to be mostly sunny and warm for the rest of the week and good weather for the holiday weekend. Blackburns is full then but have openings for just after that when the prices drop to $59/day for a one bedroom cabin. The lake traffic will slow way down then and fishing will get better and the peace and quiet will get a lot better. This is an excellent time for a visit and the lake is in good condition. Get out that 3/8th ounce spoon, white with red head, and drop it in and around brush piles in 30-35 ft. of water. Several different species of fish are there and are being caught everyday. I am too busy to get in much fishing, as I am sure most resort owners are, but get out for about an hour after the work is done and spoon for a bit and am catching fish everyday. Mostly walleye, crappie, bass and bluegill with a few catfish thrown in. That is all I fish for anyway. Most all fish are released under my dock and the school is getting very big.  I guess if I had more time for fishing I would not be doing my job very well. My time will come this fall and winter. In the mean time I have several good fishermen reporting to me everyday. I know you do not want just my picture on there all the time but I do not take selfies anyway. I am ready for fall fishing. I do not look for a striper kill this September and sure hope there is not one. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.

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

Mike Eakle with some of yesterday's catch released under the dock. He knows where Blackburns Brush piles are located. Image titleImage title

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The lake level is 559.03 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/3 generators running most of the time. It looks like we will miss the storm all together. We did receive a very little rain yesterday afternoon. It was spotty with some areas close getting a pretty good shower and almost none here. We are to get a little more this afternoon and then mostly sunny throught the holiday weekend with highs in the high 80's. The lake looks to be in excellent condition for boating, swimming and fishing. Blackburns remained full until this morning with several boats rented. We have just a few in now and will reload starting thursday for the weekend. They just keep coming. Usually there is a slow period between when school starts and Labor day but not this year. More and more launching, parking, swimming areas and camping spaces are opening up everyday for day use areas and things should be about normal. It is just too bad that it has to happen at the end of the summer but the high water sure has not hurt the resort business. It has been as busy as I have ever seen it in 27-years. We have all had our Covid shots here and sanitize every cabin after every use. All cabins are individual with no duplexes and no common porches. All of our cabins have covered porches to get out of the sun and rain. You will have no trouble social distancing here. Our winter rates start next week  and you can get a cabin for $59/day for two people with 2,3,4 bedrooms priced accordingly. You can save hundreds of $ by staying here. Our big pool remains open until it gets too cold to swim and your first boat stall is free unless you bring the Queen Mary and require me to pull out one of my rental pontoons of which we have 11. I do not have much time to go fishing but am catching fish everytime I go. Bass, crappie, walleye, bluegill and catfish are all biting if you know where and how. We work hard putting in brush piles for our customers and they are starting to pay off now and will be better after the holiday. Spooning in brush in 30-32 feet of water is still the best early with some nice bass being caught near the bank in the evening.The holiday boat traffic will churn up the lake but it will clear again soon after they leave and the fall fishing will start. I am ready for that. People are catching fish everyday now though. 

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

Mixed bag caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 559.31 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating yesterday for 16-hours and have just started again. It looks like the track of the hurricane is going to go east of us and we may miss everything except a few showers tuesday. It looks like it will hit the Houma, Louisiana area, go through Monroe and skirt southeastern Arkansas and turn east through Tennessee. We have friends in all of those areas and wish them well. This is not going to be good especially areas that have just been devastated. They have had big rains and the ground is saturated and expect many trees to uproot causing power failures for extended periods of time. It is expected to start in an hour or so. Everyone not affected should count their blessings but can expect gas prices to rise quickly. Off-shore oil comes right through this area. I had 89 degree water in Blackburns creek again yesterday with just a little less on the main lake. It looks like the heat will diminish with highs to be in the mid to high 80's for this week. The heat has been relentless this month and it usually subsides about the middle of the month but not this year. The lake is in good condition for fishing, boating and swimming and looks good for the upcoming holiday weekend. Fishing remains the same with most species being caught and most on the spoon. The lake is full of fish and fishing will get better and better as the water temperature drops. We will see what the generation schedule is with the hurricane but I suspect it will be slowed way down. We will be ok unless we get a big rain but can take quite a bit with the dry conditions as long as it does not come too fast. We are in good shape now but are on the borderline. 

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

The lake level is 559.40 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running continuously. They seem to be alternating continuous one day cutting back a few hours the next in orger to keep the White River at Newport at 12-feet while dropping Bull Shoals as fast as they can. They need to do that as it has been very high all year and has been used as a holding pond to keep Table Rock low and protect Branson Landing. We have dodged heavy rains ot they weould not have been able to accomplish that and we all would have been high until winter. As of now the hurricane seems to be going east of us and just affecting northeast Arkansas. This could change but we could get some rain out of it next week. Tennessee, which has gone through some terrible rain, looks to get much more. I wish them the best. We are dry and could take a couple of inches with no trouble. I had an 89-degree surface water temperature in Blackburns Creek yesterday and 88 on the main lake. Our normal ambient high is 86 and drops fairly quicly as we get into September. I am finding several nice bass on the banks part way back in the creeks on bait fish which are everywhere. The rest are mostly on or near brush in the 30-ft. range. Very few are in deep open water. They have all they need in 30-ft. Oxygen, thermocline, cover and feed are all there. Creature baits and spoons are the baits of choice. Plastice worms are also working.

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


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The lake level is 559.93 and has dropped a little over 3-inches in the last 24-hours. It has taken four days to drop the last foot. It is dry and we are needing rain again. Patton from Scuba Doo Dive shop put in some new dock cables for me yesterday and did a great job. If anybody needs some long steel cables in pretty good shape give me a call and you can have them. I replaced with stainess steel. We continue the policy of continued improvement here at Blackburns. People ask "at your prices how are you not full all of the time"? I answer "we mostly are". Others prefer to have high prices and stay nearly empty on the off season. Blackburns prefer to have low prices and stay nearly full. My background taught me to sell until you are turning people away and then raise prices not raise prices until the business goes away. I had one person tell me his business was down 10% last year so he raised prices 10% to make up for it. That is not our policy. We have mostly repeat customes and they are our friends and we do not want to charge them too much. It is hard to have friends when they are overcharged.  Blackburns continues to be the best value in the Ozarks and we know that. It is not because of any reduction in quality. We have everything here. Some smaller places with just a few cabins have to charge a lot in order to make a living or work outside the resort. We do not. We have great employees  and have to keep them busy all year and not lose them in the off season and start all over each year. It works for us and allows us to make things better. We are open all year and stay busy through November and then slows down but never stops. People come here for jobs, looking for real estate, waiting for deals to close, building a house, visiting relatives, fall foliage, fishing and just hanging out and most do not want to stay in motels and like the peace and quiet of our 28-acres in the country but very close to town, dining and shopping. They like to sit on their covered porch and watch the wildlife and birds in our bird sanctuary and fish off our dock or rent a boat. Fishing is excellent in the winter. As far as fishing goes it has not changed much. The lake is dropping, the moon is waning, the surface water is still 86-87 and is pretty clear for this time of year. Spoon those 30-ft. brush piles and work the bank in the evening with soft plastics. Bait fish are everywhere near the bank and big bass are coming in to feed on them. Early morning fishing is the best from about 6-10 AM. The walleye and crappie that I am catching have been in the same places for several weeks and have not moved and are staying where the oxygen is good near the thermocline where they can move into cooler water. Fish are not roaming and you can fish out a good brush pile if you keep pounding it. Catch a couple and leave some for seed. Smaller stripers are being caught trolling along with a few hybrids and white bass but it is hard to troll brush. I have never had so many both game fish and bait fish under my dock before. I feed them and the turtles and they are telling all of their friends.    

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

The lake level is 560.21 and has dropped over 3-inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running most of the time. More and more access and parking are opening up every day and we should be normal by the Holiday barring any big rains. This does not mean we are at a normal water level though and are still about 8-ft. high of where we should be this time of year.  Surface water temperature is 86-87 degrees and appears clear from the surface but visibility is not good under water. If you are scuba diving stay on rocky points on the main lake. Fishing remains the same with the high pressure and sunny skies and waning moon. Live bait trollers are still killing limits of small stripers while cutting their own throats. They are getting smaller and smaller but nobody seems to care. I guess they will just move on to another lake and clean it out also when finished with this one. I am only finding crappie on a few brush piles but they are nice ones. I try and limit my catch to three or four and then move on and bass fish. Bass and catfish stay alive much better for release than crappie and walleye. Keep spooning the 30-35 ft. brush piles and then move back in the creeks with creature baits in the evening for bass. Listen to KTLO 97.9 FM at 8:45 AM on thursdays (tomorrow) for "Live in the Boat" by Bink's Guide Service for a lake condition and fishing report in real time. He will let you know what is happening and give you the tip of the week straight from the Lake. He fishes only atrificial bates and you do not have to get up at 4:AM and try and net shad, keep them alive in hot weather in a round tank, have a half dozen rods in rod holders, down riggers, planer boarts, balloons and troll all over the lake. Just get a 6-1/2 ft. medium heavy rod with 8-lb. test clear line, a good baitcaster or spinning reel and a few spoons and head out. You will catch more and more fish as your spooning technique improves. 

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

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 560 74 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generators running continuously. It took four days to drop the last foot. The lake was pretty busy on the weekend but slows way down during the week with school started. Several are trying to take advantage of the sunny weather even though it is now hot again. They like the last of summer but the lower boat traffic. The lake and a swimming pool are the best way to beat the heat. The lake is in excellent condition for boating and swimming and several campgrounds and beach areas are opening back up and more should be available by Labor Day unless we get a big rain and conditions remain the same as they have for several weeks. Big rains have happened all around us and we have been very fortunate to have avoided them. Whie being very dry we have received just enough to keep things green. Everything is in good condition here and we would welcome your visit. Two weeks from today the last summer holiday will be over and fall fishing will begin with most boats being fishing boats. The time around Thanksgiving is always a very good time to fish Norfork Lake. The morning bite remains the best but some fish are starting to feed on shallow shad in the late afternoon and evening. A mixed bag of fish are being caught and overall fishing has held up despite the hot weather. Spoon in and around those 30-35 ft. brush piles on both main lake and secondary points touching either the bottom or top of brush. Cast the spoon if you see fish coming up and hop it back to the boat keeping it from sinking as much as possible.  

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

Mike Eakle with his two biggest ones caught yesterday. Image title

Thhe lake level is 561.07 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with much less generation. The lake remains in good condition for boating and swimming. It looks clear from the surface but the visibility is not so good under water especially on mud banks. There remains significant boat traffic on weekends with the summer weather continuing with no sign of going away with hot temperatures to continue at least all week. It is to be sunny and hot with highs in the mid to high 90's all week withj little chances of rain. The large crappie are biting pretty well for this time of year as are bass and bluegill. A few walleye, hybrid stripers, white bass and small stripers are also coming in. They just keep killing those small stripers and bragging about it. Many fish continue to hang out in brush in 30-35 feet of water near the thermocline during the day and bass are still coming in shallow to feed on creek minnows, bass and bluegill fry and shad in the evening. Bait fish are everywhere and nothing is hungry. Spoons are the best bait but you can get some bass trolling a big old bomber deep diving cranbait in the middle of the creeks like East Pigeon and Briar and letting it bump the bottom. Big bluegill are biting on crickets over brush and under docks. I am having very little luck using jigs and live minnows on crappie for some reason and am catching almost everything on spoons right in the brush,  

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

First walleye.Image title

The lake level is 561.60 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with reduced generation. It looks like we will get to below 560 for the holiday and the launches and parking will be much better by then but the level is still too high. The surface water temperature was 86 degrees when I went out fishing for about an hour yesterday early afternoon. I figure if I can catch fish in August in the heat of the day I can catch them most anytime. I caught four nice crappie and stopped fishing for them because they were coming out of over 30-ft. of water and would not release. My friend in town wanted some so he now has them. I moved to shallower water and caught two nice bass and a walleye and came in. All fish were caught on the 1/4 ounce white spoon. I did try the crappie jig and slip float with a live minnow and caught nothing.  The rest of the fish were released under the dock. Not much has changed as far as fishing goes but I had expected striper fishing to get better with the full moon approaching but have not seen very many caught. Catfishing has been a little disappointing this year but will get better as the moon wanes and the lake drops slower. They always slow down generation when the power pool is approached so they do not lose some of the control to the power administration. They are both government so it really does not matter much. That level is 555.75 and has changed in the last few years and nobody knows why or how but it has gone up from 552. 555.75 is a good level but is only one big rain from getting too high again. They seem to like to keep it that way for another unknown reason. I would like to know how the % of flood storage is now calculated but again nobody seems to know and there is no accountability. The boat traffic has slowed way down on the lake now that school has started but a very busy Labor day is expected. Come on down to Blackburns and we will not charge you too much and we especially welcome Veterans and Police. Peace and quiet and the fall fishing season starts September 7th as well as Blackburns off-season rates where you will be able to get a 1-bedroom cabin for $59/day with a free boat stall. Not bad.  

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

Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 562.70 and has dropped about two inches in the last 24-hours with several hours less generation. The cooler weather has dropped the surface water temperature a couple of degrees to about 84 and the water is still clear. Spooning is the best now with walleye, bass and small stripers in the 6-7 pound range being caught still in 30+ feet of water near or in brush. Not much has changesd except the overall fishing is still just fair but some nice ones are being caught every day but not a lot. The early morning bite is the best but some crappie, bass and bluegill are being caught in the evening in front of brush near the bank on soft plastics with no or very light weights. There are a lot of baitfish there and the gamefish are moving to them as the sun goes down and the shallow surface water cools a bit. After the early morning bite the fish move back into the cooler deeper water as the suns comes up. We have received 35.35 inches of totasl moisture so far this year with an average of 45.30 for the year. They certainly cannot blame heavy rain for keeping the lake levels up as high as they have for so long. We received about three inces of that last week and it all sunk in as we were so dry and could use some more. The grass has really greened up after the last rain and Blackburns big yard looks beautiful again. We still have a couple of cabins open for the Labor Day and a couple of pontoons for rent. We had a group cancel yesterday. Call Debbie at 870-492-5115 as they will fill quickly. No sense paying more elsewhere unless you just want to or have too much money.

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

The lake level is 564.23 and is dropping quickly with generation about 3/4ths the time and has dropped over 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. There were several boats out there yesterday with people getting in some boating before school starts. We have a group of good fishermen in and they are catching some nice catfish. Bluecats are the biggest but several smaller flathead are also coming in. I like them the best. Others are getting a few crappie but more large bluegill. Some Kentucky bass are sporatically coming up but it is not predictable. Several fish are suspended in the 30-ft. range no matter how deep the water because of the oxygen level and proximity to the thermocline. The only fish that go very deep in the dog days of summer are stripers and some walleye but I do not fish deep then because they all die when brought up and you do not know how big they are. I hope there is not a striper kill this year but we will find out shorly. Spoons are the best bite but you can also catch some if you drag a diving crankbait across them. If you are a troller (I am not) you can drag a deep diving crankbait part way back in the creeks and let it bump bottom in 25-30 ft. of water for bass.  Most threadfin shad are pretty small. Bass and bluegill fry from this year's hatch are growing rapidly and are numerous as are the creek minnows. There is plenty of feed out there. We will see what the White Bass population actually is when the water cools. We need them to make a comeback.  It is to stay hot and dry for the next several days but should get a little better next week. It is that time. Walnut leaves are falling rapidly which is an indication summer is about to start winding down. The surface water temperature is about 87 in the mornings and 88-89 in the afternoons. The main lake remains clear and the creeks are stained just a bit. Overall it is in good condition for boating and fishing. The fishing outlook is good for the fall. Blackburns remains very busy with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. If you have more money than you need you can stay here and donate the difference to Disabled Veterans.  

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

The lake level is 564.44 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation a little over 2/3rds the time. The hot weather is back and is to continue through this weekend and it is raising the lake surface temperature again to the high 80's. The creeks are clearing for some reason and a lot of the green stain is gone but that changes almost daily. The main lake remains clear. The dropping water is exposing more snags everyday and more of the brush near the shore is showing up. We just has a customer trying to get home late in the dark and tore the bottom off his pontoon. If this happens to you call Harold's welding. I suggest not being out after dark as the lake is changing everyday. The prop repair man is doing a brisk business and those fish finder transducers are not cheap. I will not fish a strange lake after dark anymore but seldom leave Norfork. No need to. The fishermen here are catching bluegill, crappie, bass, catfish and a few walleye. Several fish are about 30-35 feet down no matter the water depth. Look for cover.

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

Caught on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

The lake level is 565.32 and has dropped 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 2/3rds the time. The main lake is clear and the creeks are stained a little green and the surface water temperature is 85 degrees with a thermocline in the high 20's and near 30 with cold water below that. The visibility is poor at the thermocline but there are quite a few fish at or near it.  Bass, bluegill and walleye are the best bite with a few nice sized hybrid stripers being caught and some catfish. The dog days of summer end next wednesday and the fishing should get better after the water cools. Some small stripers are with the hybrids. When you see a picture of someone holding a striper with it's mouth open it is almost always dead and not releaseable. Fish from about 5:45 AM to 9:30 AM, take the middle of the day off and go out again about 5PM. The morning bite is the best. We need the lake to drop about six more feet to get parking and access to be back to normal but that does not allow for any rise at all. Typically November is our wettest month but it can be our best fishing month. We catch a lot of fish here at Blackburns at Thanksgiving and you can get a 1-bedroom cabin for $59/day with a free boat stall. We still have two cabins open for Bass Cat tournament in October so give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115  before they are all gone and you have to pay much more elsewhere. 

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

Caught yesterday fishing with Bink's Guide Service. Image title

The lake level is 567.74 and has dropped about 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. There were a few campers at Cranfield Campgrounds yesterday but none of the other facilities were open. The beach is still flooded and it needs a lot of cleanup. During normal times it is one of the best beaches on the lake with a nice playground and bathrooms. The launch with courtesy dock, ample parking, handicapped fishing dock, pavilion and play ground are just around the corner. It is also close to town. It is almost a crime to keep it flooded all summer most years. We do need different lake level management but still they keep coming. It would be interesting to see what happens to tourism if levels were at a good level meaning between 552 and 559. The lake surface temperature is rising with the hot weather and will continue to do so for at least the next week. It is to get close to 100 ambient temperatures later this week. The water temperature is now 87-88. The main lake is clear and the creeks are stained a little green and just right for fishing. Bink reports catching a lot of fish yesterday but they switched to the 1/2 ounce Arkansas Shiner spoon from the Many Shad. It is white with a brownish head and I use it a lot. It depends on the time of day, water clarity, amount of sunshine and depth as to which spoon they like the best. One of my favorite for all around use is the white with blue back. For size I use the 1/8th ounce for 20-ft. or less, the 3/8th ounce from 20-25 ft., 1/2 ounce for 25-35 ft. I fish crappie a lot and bringing them up any deeper than that kills all of them regardless of size. I do not fish deep for stripers in the summer but the 1-ounce spoon gets down there faster. The lighter the line the better for the spoon action. I seldom us more than 6-lb. and always use clear line, either flourocarbon or monofiliment. Flourocarbon has worse memory and monofiliment stretches more. Flourocarbon is getting better every year. I never use braided or colored line and only use a swivel on spoons to keep them from twisting. Never a snap. The less hardware the better in this clear water. The big fish in this lake are line shy. I even do not use a clear light leader on heavy line. It is like your lure is tied to an anchor rope. Try using 4-lb. flourocarbon clear line tied to a 1/16th ounce white with red eye jig head and a Bobby Garland Baby Shad Blue Ice crappie jig and cast it past a brush pile and let it sink into it and see what happens. I think your crappie fishing will improve.  

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

Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday. 1/2 ounce Many ShadImage title

The lake level is 567.87 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with gneration about 1/2 the time. It has taken over six days to drop the lake the last foot even with the dry conditions. They are doing a great job of holding the lake level up and now have the White River at Newport below 12-ft. to continue to do so. We are still over 14-ft. above power pool which is 553.75. It ised to be 552 before the minimum flow law took away 1.75 ft. of flood capacity for the put and take trout on the rivers to help economic activity at the expense of flood control.  It needs to get to below 560 to get parking, launching, swimming camping and marina access back to normal. At this rate it will take until the middle of september to do so if it does not rain much. The lake surface water temperature is rising with the hot weather and is now between 87 and 88 degrees. It should hit 90 by the end of next week. It always does in early August. Some fish are continuing to bite with the late evening bite for bass on worms and saltcraws and the early morning for walleye, bass and white bass the best on spoons. A few hybrids and stripers are coming in but not a lot. Trollers are not reporting which means they are not catching much. If they were there would be pictures of dock floors full of dead stripers. Blackburns has several good fishermen in now but most are catch and release. Catfishing is slow but will pick back up after the moon wanes. Bluegill fishing is good and big ones too. Most crappie coming in are small with a lot of throw backs. The lake is in excellent condition but still high. It is a typical late july but the water is much clearer than in previous several years since they started holding the level up so high for so long in the name of flood control when it is not flooding.     

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

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday. Nice one.Image title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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