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Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

B.J. and Bryan with some pretty good ones.Image title

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The lake level is 572.41 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 10-hours. They have changed the crest prediction again and it is now at 572.70 and it is to be on 30 May. The White River at Newport is 19.77 and rising and the four lake system is 67% full with all area lakes rising. We have received another 1/2 inch of rain in the last 24-hours and the surface water temperature is 71+ degrees and the main lake is very clear and the  creeks are clearing also and are clear near the shore. The weekend boat traffic will stir things up a bit especially near dirt banks. Fish were coming up all over the place in Blackburns Creek last evening about 6:45 PM and most of them were bass. They were fun to catch and release though. There is some floating debris coming loose from the shore with the steadily rising water so check things out before dragging children around and stay off the lake after dark. I will only run my catfish lines now early and late and check out lake conditions until the holiday is over and leave it to the locals and day users. We have the resort ready for the crowd and everything looks pretty good. We have been mostly full since early March so it will not be much of a change. Have patience at the boat launches and be prepared to walk a long way to the boat trailer parking. Swim off a boat in 25-ft. of water or more or in a pool. Do not worry about gas prices or paying too much for a place to stay. Easy come, easy go. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tom Kelly caught and released some nice ones yesterday with a plastic worm. He is one good fisherman. Image title

The lake level is 572.23 and has risen 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with about 10-hours of running one generator. All area lakes are now rising with the White River at Newport at 19.03 feet. They changed the crest dates for both Norfork and Bull Shoals to 29May. The 4-lake sustem is 65% full or so they say. After today there is not much chance of rain for several days and it is to warm back up to the high 80's later this weekend and the weather looks to be perfect for the holiday. It is raining now but not much. The surface water temperature was 72-degrees yesterday afternoon when I went out and the water remains clear on the main lake and stained in the creeks. Fishing has slowed some overall but some nice fish of most species are being caught everyday. The north wind has moved the plankton and shad around from the south facing creeks and has made the morning top-water bite a little harder. It is back to the south now and a couple of days of southerly winds will put them back to where they were. The bite usually slows going into june anyway as the thermocline deepens and the water warms. This will get spooning season going full speed but the cold fronts just keep coming and the water has been slow to warm and stay there. Catfishing and bluegill fishing are the best now followed by largemouth bass and crappie. Crappie numbers have gone down a bit as they are scattered with all of the cover and the water in the trees and man-made brush piles mostly too deep. The level is perfect for limb lines and the catfish are biting and big bluegill are also. I am catching a few walleye but not a lot. The first day of the holiday they will be dragging everyting they can hook up to and the second day they will fill up with gas and you will see boats tied together with music blaring back in the creeks and around BIg E. I have never seen gas prices this high. I cannot afford to run my weedeater let alone my lawnmower. It is a good thing Blackburns Creek has a lot of fish and I do not have to go far. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Norfork Lake Walleye.Image title

Norfork Lake  Catfishing.Image title

The lake level is 572.12 and has risen 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running for about 10-hours. The White River at Newport is 19.08 and dropping. They are now predicting the crest for Norfork will be on friday at 572.2 at 63% full. The 4-lake system is 63% full according to them. Bull Shoals is expected to crest today but is still rising as of yesterday. We received about 3/4 of an inch of rain yesterday and last night and more is to come tonight and tomorrow with nice weather for the holiday weekend. I do not understand how we can be 7+ feet from going over the spillway and 15-feet over power pool and still be only 63% full. It will take a long time to get rid of this water. They usually get it done by about September. The surface water temperature is dropping with the cool weather and is now in the early 70's and the main lake is very clear with the creeks being stained but clear near the shore. Bass are bitng on plastice worms in the creeks near the old shoreline which is 18-feet as is the thermocline. Fish of most speicies are there now. The top-water bite for bass remains good early and all day on cloudy days. Catfishing is very good on limb lines and throw lines on live bluegill. Bluegill are under docks and around shallow willows in the creeks. Fishing remains pretty good for most species but you have to work on it a bit. The waning moon and slowly rising water is really helping the catfishing. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. All of our cabins are individual and have big covered porches so you do not need a tent or unbrella for cover. 

Norfork Lake near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Dan is here from Munster, Indiana with his brothers and brother-in-law and catching some nice fish. Good to see them again. Always welcome. Nice fellows. Image title

The lake level has just past 572 and is 572.01 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with about one generator running 10-hours. As predicted, they have shut Table Rock way down and Bull Shoals is rising much slower now. They shut off the spilway gates finally and are running just a couple of generators. Table Rock is 4-feet above power pool, Bull Shoals is 25-feet above and Norfork is 15-1/2 ft. above. Sounds fair to me. The 4-lake system is now 63% full according to the government. The White River at Newport is 19.45 and fairly stable.  It was very cloudy all day yesterday and we received a brief shower in the afternoon but not much. It stayed very cool with highs near 60 and the lake surface water is now in the low 70's and the main lake is very clear. Catfishing is as good as I have seen it in years with channels and blues picking up nicely and flatheads holding in there. The top-water bite for black bass and temperate bass is still happening everyday with largemouth and white bass being the best. Black bass are also near the old shoreline and hitting big floating plastic worms.  They can come up anytime on cloudy days. Crappie fishermen are catching several but not a lot. Some stripers are in deeper water now and that trend will continue as the water heats up and they will go deeper and deeper looking for oxygen. There is good oxygen everywhere now as is cover and there is not much reason for fish to be anywhere particular except for thermocline, cover and food. Crawdads, fry and creek minnows are everywhere as are shad so not much is going hungry. The fish that I am catching are all very healthy. Walleye are on and just around main lake points in front of brush at 18-ft. near the bottom. It is to be very nice, sunny and warm for the holiday weekend and I expect the lake to be very crowded by my standards but not Lake of the Ozarks Standards. They love big boats that make big wakes there and I encourage people with them to go there. No matter where you go it will not be a good time for small flat bottom boats until  monday evening. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tom Kelly with some nice ones. Image title

The lake level is 571.97 and has risen 3/4 of an inch in the last 24-hours with about 10-hours of running one generator. The White River at Newport is 19.27. The main lake water is very clear and the creeks are stained. Bull Shoals is forcasted to crest on Wednesday but I do not see how that can happen with Table Rock still running all generators and spillway gates open filling it up more. They must have plans to stop this but have not had time to change the forecast. Surface water temperature is 74 degrees and dropping with the cool weather. We are to get more rain later this week and then it looks good for the weekend with much warmer temperatures. Every Resort that I have talked to is full and it looks to be a very busy holiday. Catfishing has been the best bite with all species of them being caught everyday. The flathead bite has been excellent and channels and blues are both picking up every day. I am using some shiners but mostly bluegills on short throw lines and limb lines. Top-water fishing has also been good with fishing coming up near the old shoreline and thermocline which are both at about 18-feet. Most are bass but some White Bass are with them. When you see small threadfin shad flitting around on the surface get that top-water lure out and walk the dog and call them up. Crappie are also biting but are not in big schools and I am catching ones and twos and then moving on. Cast a Bobby Garland Baby Shad on a 1/16th ounce jig head past the shallowest brush and let it sink into it. Blue Ice is my favorite color. Walleye are back on main lake points at or just under the thermocline near the bottom in front of brush piles. Bluegill fishing is also good and everywhere you find schools of bluegill you can be sure catfish are near somwhere. I caught a gar yesterday again and that is not a good sign. When gar show up flatheads usually go away. I am surprised thay have hung around as long as they have already. They are my favorite. Channels are starting to hit live bait on limb lines. Trot lines across the backs of creeks will be next. Channels do not need live bait but it works the best. We have some giant bluecat in Norfork Lake. In most rivers Flatheads are the biggest catfish but in Norfork Lake Blues are. They like to lay on trunks of brush piles in the summer time. It looks to be a good Scuba Season so far and it is only three weeks away from opening day of spearfishing. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Fish of the day yesterday By Mike Eakle Image title

The lake level is 571.90 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with about 10-hours of running one generator. We received about 1/2 inch of rain yesterday afternoon at about 5:PM but no wind. It rained hard and some places had to get more. There was severe weather elsewhere but we were fortunate to miss it again. The White River at Newport is 18.97 and dropping and headed for 12-feet if they go by the rules. They are still running Table Rock hard with spillway gates open and filling Bull Shoals. Table Rock is 4-1/2 feet above power pool and Bull Shoals is 25-ft. Norfork is 16-ft. but they keep changing the power pool. It used to be 552 before the Minimum Flow fiasco and now is 556.75 for some reason that nobody knows but that is the number used to figure % full which is important. I anticipate the 4-lake %-full and predicted crests will change tomorrow when the government people get back from their long weekend and update things. Everything stands still until they get back to work and runs on automatic. The surface water temperature was about 75-degrees yesterday afternoon when I went out for a short time and it was very cloudy. Bass were coming up sporatically all over the place near the old shoreline and thermocline in about 18-feet of water along with a few white bass. I could see my grub down about 15-ft. on the main lake and it was too clear for me so I moved back into a creek where it was much less. The wind moved from the south to the north and the cold front came in and it is very cool this morning and highs are to be in the 60's today with more rain for the middle of the week. I saw several boats out there dragging overweight children around on chaise lounges cutting and swerving with their engines coming out of the water  and several jet skis already so the peace and quiet for fishermen is over for another season, especially on weekends. I found out that they now make boats that intensionally make wakes. They look for places that are calm and then see how much wake they can make. I wonder who thought of that? I do not know how much they cost but wonder if they still have to make payments when they are not in use. It must be fun to make payments when something is in the gargage in the winter, spring and fall. That must be like alimony.  Sounds like a good investment. They must think everyone likes their brand of music also. Several fish were caught yesterday and we will see what the cold front has brought today when I get my work done.  Keep a top-water lure ready at all times and especially on cloudy days. The rest of the time I am using a small grub tipped with a live minnow for about everything. Look for walleye right at the thermocline. You can catch some catfish on cut bait but many more on live bluegill. Flatheads will not bite anything that is not alive and I like them best. Bluegill fishing is very good under docks and around shallow willows in the creeks. Most brush piles that I have put in are too deep now even after I put in some shallower ones in anticipation of high water but not this high. I guess it was just wishful thinking that they would manage the area lakes better. A lot of fish of different species are at the thermcline and old shoreline which are both at about 18-feet. Work that in stained water back in the creeks. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

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

The lake level is 571.77 and has risen 1.3 inches in the last 24-hours with about 10-hours of running one generator. The White River is 19.10 ft. and dropping at Newport. They are still running Table Rock as hard as they can with spillway gates open and filling Bull Shoals rapidly. It is 25-feet over seasonal conservation pool and is listed at 74% full but seems much fuller than that. It is predicted to crest on 25-May but they have to slow Table Rock if this is to happen. Norfork is still expected to crest at 572.3 and is now on June 1st. These will all change with the heavy rain expected today. The 4-lake system is listed as 62% full.  The rain is to continue through tonight and tomorrow morning with Monday to be the best day. A cold front is on the way with winds shifting to the north and much cooler temperatures are to follow. Our normal high is 78. More rain is scheduled for next week after Monday. It was hot and windy yesterday but it finally layed about 5:30 PM and everybody got in a good evening of fishing. It was from the south and swirling and hard to get out of. Bass fishing is good, crappie fishing is fair, top-water bite for bass black bass and temperate bass is good, catfishing with live bluegill is excellent and big bluegill is also good on crickets. I am not finding big schools of crappie but there are some around almost all docks and shallow wood. Some are still full of eggs. The main lake is clear and the creeks are still stained a bit but not bad. The surface water temperature varies from 75-77 depending on location. If you are swimming off a boat make sure you are in at least 25-ft. of water or you will jump into brush and rose bushes. Do not tie off from the shore but use an anchor or two. The water overall is very clean and clear despite it's level. Everybody in the area is in the same condition but some are able to handle it better than others. It is better to have access to a swimming pool than it is to try and get to the lake and find a place to swim everytime you want to go unless you have a boat and launching and parking will be at a premium. It will be busy out there starting Friday. I am not looking forward to it. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Fish of the day By Scuba Steve.Image title

The lake level is 571.66 and has risen 1-inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running for about 10-hours. They have changed the Norfork crest to be 572.0 on 27 May but we are to have good chances of rain for later this weekend and into next week with wind today and tomorrow and cooler temperatures on Monday. There was severe weather north east of us yesterday in Missouri but again we were fortunate to miss it and had a warm, windy, sunny day. They are still running Table Rock hard with spillway gates open filling Bull Shoals quickly but that may change with Bull Shoals predicted to crest also on 27 May so they must be planning to stop this after Table Rock gets to a normal level soon. We must protect Branson Landing at all costs. Beaver has shut off spillway gates and their level is now steady and not rising or dropping. The White River at Newport is 19.64 and dropping steadily. The four lake system is 62% full at this time so they are heading for 12-feet. It has to be 70% full for them to regulate to 14-ft. but there is not much difference. Bull Shoals and Norfork cannot expect to see much relief very soon. The lake surface water was over 77-degrees yesterday afternoon when I went out for a bit to check things out. The main lake was clear and the creeks were stained just a bit but both were a good color for fishing. I got a report from my friend Patton at Scuba Doo Dive Shop today that the thermocline has formed at 18-feet and there are a lot of fish there and the visibility was very good and he predicts excellent diving this year on Norfork. The spearfishing season starts on June 15th and it is time to start getting ready and making plans. It is nice to have good visibility for a change and I hope it stays that way. I am getting excited already. There are a lot of walleye, crappie and catfish out there. I will start my scuba diving report on this page soon. Scuba Doo is a full service dive shop and is less than 1-mile from Blackburns who has several dive pontoons for rent. It was sunny, hot and windy when I went out for a few minutes yesterday. I do not have as much fishing time as I want with Blackburns being nearly full since early March but that is ok. It is better than being almost empty and plenty of time to fish. I caught my first blue cat of the season while crappie fishing. I had on a 1/16th ounce jig with four pound line when he took off. I got him in but it was a struggle and fun. A few other crappie were caught and that is not bad for the middle of the afternoon on a sunny day. Crappie do not like the sunshine that much. I found a green tree that had just fallen in the water on a steep river channel bank and they were right on the drop-off in about 12-18 feet of water. Other guests are catching top-water fish including bass and temperate bass on early top-water and others are bluegill fishing and catching some nice big ones. I like to catch them too. Norfork has a lot of different species of fish and there is something for everyone. I also caught a big channel on a limb line baited with a bluegill. I grew up catfishing and cannot get it out of my system but do not try very hard. I am just a walleye, crappie, bass, catfish guy and that will probably not change any time soon. I like to go out at the worst time and the worst conditions and see if I can catch fish when it is tough. That is the measure of a fisherman. It is like hitting a baseball. When you hit a home run and you win 1-0 it is better than when everybody hits and you win 10-1. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some nice ones on Top-waterImage title

The lake level is 571.57 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with less than one generator running about 10-hours. The level stays the same when they generate and rises slowly when they quit. The White River at Newport is at 20.30 ft. and steadily dropping. They are still dropping Table Rock by running all of the generators and several spillway gates open filling Bull Shoals Rapidly. The four lake system is now at 63% full according to the Corps Of Engineers but looks a lot fuller to me. The predicted crest for Norfork lake is 572.12 on 29 May but there are good chances of rain most of the rest of this week and windy. The surface water temperature was 75 degrees yesterday afternoon and the water remains clear on the main lake and still stained in the creeks. The overall color is good for fishing. The top-water bite remains the best one and starts at about 5:45 AM and runs for about an hour but longer on cloudy days with temperate bass and black bass together.  After they go down you can call them back up with good presentation of your top-water lure even when they are not visible. Work the old shoreline which is about 18-ft. deep and the fish are in about 12-feet. Some nice White Bass are being caught but not nearly as many as in the past. Meat hunters are keeping them thinned down with the same people out there day after day.  Channel cats are biting on live bait on limb lines and short throw lines along with a few flatheads part way back in the creeks. I have not caught any blues yet. Big bluegill are biting crickets and small spoons under docks and shallow structure. Blackburns still has two cabins open so come on down. We will not charge you too much and a free boat stall comes with your cabin and all are individual with no duplexes and have big covered porches. Gas just went up to $4.35 for unleaded non-alcohol in town. I do not know what it is at marinas. Inflation may be at 8% according to the government but try to buy tires, batteries, lumber and boat parts let alone propane, electricity and insurance. Blackburns has held prices for you but it is getting difficult. Come visit and take advantage of us with our ridiculous low prices. We have it all and with the best price anywhere. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tom and Mike Soltysiak from St. Louis with some nice ones caught on Top-water near Blackburns Resort and Boat rental.Image title

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The lake level is 571.43 and has risen 1-inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 10-hours. The White River at Newport is 20.90 and dropping. The surface water temperature is in the mid 70's and rising. The main lake is clear and the creeks are stained. They keep dropping Table Rock quickly and generating as hard as they can wilh all generators running and spillway gates open and filling Bull Shoals fast. They cannot keep doing this for much longer with Bull Shoals being over 23-ft. above power pool already. It thundered early this morning but we just received just a little rain. It is to stay hot for a couple more days and then another cold front is coming with cooler temperatures and good chances of rain later this week with wind. Our normal high is 77 and we are to struggle to get to 70. I caught a nice big flathead yesterday but the bite has slowed with the big moon. The channel cats are picking up and will get better and better as the moon wanes. The water level is perfect now for limb lines. The top-water bite is the best at this time with fish coming up most mornings, especially cloudy ones. Look in wind blown creeks near the old shoreline 1n 18-20 ft. of water for surfacing shad early and then they move out to deeper water as the sun rises. Bass fishermen in Float Creek are catching  all kinds of bass on plastic worms early and late behind the buckbrush. Bluegill are around willows and under docks and biting on small spoons, worms and crickets. Walleye are around Robinson Island and Cranfield Island and hitting bottom bouncers and small crank baits on the bottom in 18020-ft. of water. This is a good time for a fishing trip before the holiday which starts on the 27th. There is still peace and quiet but that will all change then with day users crowding the launches and very limited trailer and vehicle parking. The children are having a great time in our big pool with slide and Blackburns has been very busy and we like that. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and a free boat stall comes with your room or you can rent a boat from us. We have a lot of them. Sorry we do not have boat stalls for one night stays. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday on top-water. Image title

The lake level is 571.32 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 9-hours and a partial one for a couple. The White River at Newport is 21.27 and dropping. They are running Table Rock as fast as they can with all generators running full blast and spillway gates open filling Bull Shoals quickly. It will be a long time before it gets back to normal even if we have a drought. They have changed the crest prediction for Norfork to 572.10 on 29 May and that the lake is 61% full. It sure looks high to be 61% full but they change the way that is calculated regularly. You would think full was full and empty was empty but not with the government running things. Inflation is only 8%.  It is important because that % is how they regulate the level of The White River at Newport and the generation schedule for the area lakes. It is difficult to figure the average % full for the 4-Lakes. All of these regulations need to be reviewed and changed as they are not working and are antiquated. They can predict water levels and lake rises much better now than when the rules were implemented. The surface water temperature is in the mid 70's and the main lake is clear and the creeks stained just a bit. The top-water bite in the mornings remains good for temperate bass and black bass. They are all together on shallow shad. Some nice hybrid stripers are being caught. Other bass are near the old shoreline before the water rise and are feeding on crawdads, lizards and creek minnows early and late on sunny days and all day on cloudy rainy days. Some big bluegill are pre-spawn feeding and some have spawned. Some very large ones are being caught on brush piles. This is the time for you brim fishermen. Catfishing has slowed dramatically with the full moon but should come back strong with the rising water and waning moon. Channel cats will be showing up in the backs of the creeks and caught on trot-lines and limb lines. You do not need to have live bait for them like you do flatheads. Go back in the creeks around docks for crappie. Unless the main lake brush piles are big and close to the surface the water is too deep on most of them but some crappie are still on them. I am still catching big crappie full of eggs.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Scuba Steve and Carl Scott with some pretty good ones. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 571.19 and has risen 3-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 10-hours. The White River at Newport is at 21.69 and dropping. We received 1.4 inches of rain yesterday and the level is already over the forecasted crest  so more is to come. It rained hard in the afternoon and there was some severe weather around us but not here. We have been very fortunate. The surface water temperature is still in the mid 70's and the water is clear on the main lake with some small debris floating as the water rise floats it away from the shore. Fishing has remained good with the top-water bite in the early morning being the best and after that spooning open water shad and working the bank with soft plastices for bass. Crappie are still scattered and on most wood at various depths. Catfishing has slowed with the full moon but should get better as the month progresses. The lake is now at a good level for limb lines with live bait. They are still running Table Rock hard with spillway gates open and filling Bull Shoals fast so do not expect Norfork to drop any time soon. It will take them a long time to get this straightened out even if it does not rain. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Bink with a nice one yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 570.93 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with several hours of running one generator last night. The White River at Newport is 22.14 and has leveled off. We are to get some storms later today and have been fortunate to miss them so far. Hope the luck holds. They are still running Table Rock as hard as they can with spillway gates open and filling Bull Shoals fast. Norfork is just steadily rising with generation not keeping up with river inflow. The surface water temperature is still in the mid 70's and a little higher in the backs of creeks. The main lake is clear and the creeks vary from clear to stained almost daily. The top-water bite is still the best one early in the morning with small stripers, Hybrid Stripers, white bass and black bass all coming up together. Some Kentucky bass are also with them. More and more bass are joining in after they spawn. The same meat hunters are still taking pictures of dock floors full of dead temperate bass and bragging about it over and over. Maybe after they are all gone they will just go to another lake and do the same thing there. A little catch and release would not hurt anything. Maybe they do not have any grandchildren and do not care if they are all gone. I do. They must be selling them commercially. This is the easiest time of the year to catch fish. Just get out there before sunrise and sling a top-water lure at them when they come up. If you do not know how to drive one of those just get a whopper plopper and cast it past the fish and reel it in. Could not be much easier. It is best to use a clear spook on clear mornings for temperate bass or a spitin image for black bass and using a rod with a little backbone walk the dog agressively across the surfacing fish. I like the smaller spooks but you can throw the bigger one much further. The fish always seem to be just a little further away than you can cast for some reason. I am getting a lot of crappie in under the dock along with big bluegill and catfish. Carp have finished spawning and bluegill are starting. The flatheads that I am catching are not ready to spawn yet. They are the last ones. After taking a few weeks off from using the spoon I am using it again on main lake points in 16-20 ft. of water near the old shore line. Bink is using the spoon also after the top-water bite is over and finding nice fish in deep water at various depths on shad. Casting a crappie jig around brush back in creeks and near docks is catching some fish but the larger ones are on main lake brush in 30-35 ft. of water. Blackburns still has one cabin open for Memorial Day so give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115. We will not charge you too much. The children are all over the pool already. A pool is very important this year with the high water as is a dock. The old shoreline is about 20-ft. deep now and the best lake swimming is from a dock or from a boat. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Blackburns Resort Sand Beach by the pool. Image title

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Georgia Welch with some of her catch a few days ago. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 570.72 and has risen 3-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running for about 8-hours. The White River at Newport is at 22.24 and still dropping steadily. We reveived 1/2 inch of rain last night with a lot of thunder but nothing else. Hail was reports in the Jordan area but most of the rain and storms went north of us. More is coming tomorrow but it looks to be mostly south of here. It was dry and the rain did not hurt anything and greened the grass up which was turning brown. The creeks did not run but the creeks going into the lake are a little more stained this morning. The surface water temperature is in the mid 70's and people were swimming in the lake yesterday. Our big pool with slide is now open and children are in it already. We have our own personal sand beach next to the pool. The morning top-water bite for black bass and temperate bass is the best bite at this time but crappie fishing on brushpiles is not far behind. The full moon is monday and is not helping catfishing any but some are still being caught. The weather has cooled some and is not nearly as warm as it was and is very comfortable with highs in the 80's and lows in the 60's. Our normal high is 76. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Carl Scott from Texas caught and released some nice ones yesterday. Good fisherman. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 570.38 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with about 10-hours of running one generator. It creeps up very slowly with one generator running. The White River at Newport is 23.13 feet and dropping quickly. It is projected that Norfork will crest on 24 May at 571.50 and that would be good news. Beaver Lake is dropping with spillway gates open bypassing the generators for some reason and Table Rock is generating at full speed and also has spillway gates open filling Bull Shoals fast. It is getting the worse end of the deal but at crest Norfork will be only 8-1/2 feet from breaching the spillway. It is very fortunate that we have had several days of hot dry weather with wind which has resulted in a lot of drying. We actually can use the rain that we are to get tonight. The lake surface water temperature is in the mid 70's and the water is clear. Fishing has been very good and you do not hear me say that much. I seldom go past good but the top-water bite is happening every morning just before sunrise and a little after with more and more bass joining the temperate bass in coming up. Go back into the first creek west of the 101 bridge on the North side of the lake just a little bit back for the morning action. More and more trollers are finding this place and you might have to put up with some boats chugging around with a lot of lines out to tangle up and dragging crankbaits The stripers are not very big but some nice hybrids and a few white bass are with the black bass. Use a Zara Spook or Spitin Image or cast a spoon and hop it back to the boat keeping it from sinking too fast. The clear spook works best as it sparkles in the sun. The wind has been predominately from the south so check out the wind blown creeks as the plankton goes with the wind and the shad feeds on the plankton. Flathead fishing has slowed but I am not sure if they are gone or it they just are not biting with the big moon. It is full on monday and catfish do not like the moon or dropping lake levels. We have not had to worry about that lately. Crappie are everywhere on brush at various depths and you can use live minnows on a slip float, small spoon and crappie jigs. All work. Some bass are still back in the creeks morning and evening near any cover shallow feeding on crawdads and creek minnows on or near the old shoreline whch is about 20-ft. deep now. Blackburns has one cabin available for Memorial day so give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 so you do not have to pay too much or pay for your first boat stall. The big pool with slide will be open if you do not want to swim in the lake. We have that too. You definetly need a pool, dock and covered porch.  Make sure your cabin has a big covered porch so you can get in the shade. They have come in handy lately.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing report and lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

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

The lake level is 570.21 and has risen about 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 8-hours. The level stays stable with the generator running and rises with no generation. The rise has slowed way down with the dry hot weather. The White River at Newport is 23.95 and dropping quickly and it looks like this big slug with the last rain has gone through the system but holding water has raised all of the area lakes significantly and it looks like we will crest at just over 571.  It is to rain friday night but it will not hurt anything as we are getting dry. The surface water temperature is 73-74 degrees and rising with the bright sunshine and hot weather and the water is clear. You can see your lure down several feet. The top-water bite is happening most days with more bass coming up with the stripers after their spawn and several males are still on their nests waiting for the fry to get ready to leave or eggs to hatch. Get out there at about 6:AM for the bite. I am still catching some big crappie still full of eggs but more are spawned out. They are on most brush piles both in the main lake and back in the creeks anywhere from 20-35 ft. of water near the bottom. The flathead bite has slowed and the channel and blues will be moving in to take their place. The Game and Fish have double tagged 200 Stripers an released them in various areas and are offering a $100 reward for information about them when they are caught. If you catch one please call in the information. It is important as to the future stocking of stripers in Norfork Lake. I do not want them to quit stocking them but many people do. A lot depends if there is a big fish kill late this summer. There is no sense stocking them if they just die off in the high, hot, ozygen depleted water after they get big. This only happens in Norfork and it is the oldest lake but a lot of the green growth has died along the lake shore with the repeated high water years and there is less ozygen demand with green wood being under water and decaying as in previous years. Another striper kill this summer would not be good for their continued future here. Blackburns just had two cabins open up for Memorial Day due to cancellation after being booked full for several months. Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 there is a three day minimum.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Bryan Deardoff with some nice ones yesterday.Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 569.64 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running for about 8-hours which is more than I expected. The White River at Newport is at 25.81 and has dropped just below flood stage. The rising water has not affected fishing any but has closed campgrounds, swim beaches are all under water, and there is much less parking at the launch ramps. This is all just in time for the Memorial Day rush where a lot of people put their boats in at the same time and for the first time of the year. It will create quite a fiasco at the ramps with many boats not running and people not preparing them for their first launch and also very limited parking. High water really puts the hurt on day users especially on weekends and more especially during holiday weekends. I have seen trucks parked all the way out to Highway 101 at Panther Bay launch before. Cranfield is not much better. Buzzard Roost launch has the most parking. I do not look forward to holidays and am glad when they are over. The fish are coming up everyday now on top-water at sunrise but not nearly as many as in years past and they are scattered with few big schools. The big stripers are not just depleted but are almost extinct with 5-9 pounders being the normal size now. Many hybrids are bigger than the stripers and not nearly as many of them have been stocked. They keep killing the stripers and bragging about it and they just keep getting smaller but a meat hunter is a meat hunter. There are some nice sized white bass but not nearly as many as a few years ago but the walleye are picking up the slack as are the crappie and flathead catfish. Get out early, take the middle of the day off and go out again about 5-PM and stay until after sunset and come in before dark. The lake is very clear for the water level and is clearing more everyday. Ovarall fishing is good. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your cabin comes with a free boat stall. Surface water temperature was 67 last evening in Blackburns Creek.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Chad Elliott from Harrison, Arkansas with a Nice Hybrid Striper released on site yesterday. Nice fish.Image title

The lake level is 569.26 and has risen 5-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with jus a few hours of generation. I guess we are fortunate to have any generation with the White River just over flood stage at Newport at 26.39 feet. Beaver and Table Rock still have flood gates open and filling Bull Shoals quickly. We are not going to drop levels on Norfork any time soon but it is not rising as fast as it was with the creeks stopping running and the sunny warm weather with wind.That sure will help but all of the area lakes are in for high water all summer unless we get a complete drought. The low generation is letting the water stay clear but some debris is washing loose from the shore with the rising water. Fishing has not been affected negatively and is good at this time for most species.The top-water bite is getting better with some bass showing up with the temperate bass and more of them will join in as the spawn progresses. I am still catching big crappie that are full of eggs and more black ones are showing up. Some say they spawn later than white ones but I do not know why. Flathead catfishing continues to be excellent on throw likes with live bait part way backs in the creeks in the deeper water. Some bass are on the bank, some are on brush and some are in open water on shad. The Kentucky Bass are full of crawdads and lizards. You can catch crappie on most secondary points just inside the main lake on brush. I do not usually spoon until the thermocline sets up but they are biting on them now. Trollers are catching some nice Hybrid Stripers dragging Shad Raps. About everyone is catching fish of some kind or other. It is a good time and the warm sunshine feels good. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Compare prices unless you just have too much money. I do not. We especially welcome Veterans and Police even though I do not require as much policing as I used to for some reason. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Mike Eakle with some nice ones yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 568.77 and has risen 7-inches in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of generation. The White River at Newport is 26.65 feet and has leveled off but still above flood stage of 26-feet. The lake is still clear but debris is floating loose from the shore with the rising water. You just have to pay attention and stay off the lake after dark. Fishing continues to be good with crappie and catfish being the best followed by walleye, bass and early morning top-water for temperate bass. Everybody is catching fish now. The creeks have finally slowed way down and are at a trickle. It is not predicted to rain until next weekend with warm sunshine and wind with highs in the low 90's starting tomorrow. That should help dry things out and let this slug of water go through the system and slow the rise down. All of the area lakes are rising except for Beaver and it is about 5-inches from going over the spillway. There will be no level drops in the foreseeable future in the rest of the lakes. Norfork will go past 570 this week. Crappie are back on mainlake brush in 30-35 ft. of water and big ones too. Flatheads are biting live bait and have moved out a little deeper in the creek channel. The wind is going to blow all week from the south and the shad will be in the south facing creeks and there will be an early morning top-water bite most mornings for temperate bass. A goodly amount of bass have spawned and are post-spawn feeding on the banks early and late on creek minnows, crawdads and lizards. I am still not seeing any bass fry under the dock but gizzard shad are there along with many bluegill and crappie. Water temperature will be in the 70's soon in the creeks which mean the bluegill will spawn. The carp are finished.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition By Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide service.Image title

The lake level is 568.10 and has risen 1-1/2 feet in the last 24-hours with just light generation and a two day total of 4-ft. it is rising at a rate of 1/2 inch/hour now. The White River has passed flood stage of 26-ft at Newport and is 26.22 ft. They have lowered Beaver Lake to below the spillway and the danger is over for now. It was a foot over yesterday. Dam management 101: Do not let the water go over the spillway. They have all spillway gates open and are letting out water as fast as they can and by-passing the generators. This is filling Table Rock which has all generators running and also spillway gates. That leaves Bull Shoals and Norfork to hold water with the White River at Newport above flood stage. Norfork is 15-feet over power pool and Bull Shoals is 17. There is no short-term fix for this but the only salvation is that the weather is to be dry for the next week or more and should let this slug peak. The surface water temperature was 64 degrees on Norfork Last evening and the water was pretty clear, especially near the shore. The fishing has not been affected with the water rise and everything is biting. The early top-water bite is getting better and crappie are showing up in Backs of creeks on shallow brush and also on main lake brush. Bass are scattered all over and about 1/2 have spawned. Temperate Bass are coming up  but a lot fewer than in previous years with a lot fewer big stripers and white bass. Flathead fishing is excellent on live bait part way backs in creeks. Flathead will not bite dead bait or cut bait. Other catfish are slow but are on their way with the high water and warming temperatures. Everyone is catching fish now with crappie, bass and flatheads being the best bite with walleye not far behind. The meat hunters are loading up. Blackburns still has one bedroom cabins for $59/day until Memorial day so come on down. They stay full most of the time so you have to call as soon as you can. Otherwise our two bedrooms are $77/day and is less than other resort's one bedrooms plus your first boat stall is free at our large dock and all cabins have covered porches and are all individual with no duplexes. We will start filling our big pool soon. if you are normally campers and your campsite has been cancelled come on down. It will cost you less than dragging around that camper and paying $4/gallon for gas and no dock to park your boat. Sorry no camping here. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The Martin Brothers and Allan Lenius from Rockford, Illinois are having a lot of fun and catching a lot of fish. Always glad to see them. Missing one. Image titleImage titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 566.72 and has risen 2-3/4 feet in the last 24-hours and is rising 1-inch/hour now with no generation since late last evening. We received a couple of inches of rain and it all run off with the ground already saturated. The creeks are still running today but with clear water. They have been scoured several times and there is no mud left. This quick rise has washed more debris off the bank and the effects are not clear yet but I can only report in Blackburns area which ranges from Cranfield to Robinson Islands. I seldom go or have a need to go farther. There are always differences in the extreme ends of the lake.  What is not different is the water level. The White River at Newport is 24.75 feet and is near flood stage. Beaver Lake is over the top of the power pool and they have spillway gates open in a panic. This is causing Table Rock to rise rapidly and they also have spillway gates open. Guess what. That leaves Bull Shoals and Norfork to hold water. They have got themselves and us in a pickle again. It is a good thing dry weather is here for a few days or it would be an emergency. Maybe we will reach a high point for this round next week. There are no diminished services here at Blackburns. I do not recommend going out after dark or there will be trolling motor and big motor props mysteriously falling off and lower units damaged. People say, "my trolling motor prop just fell off". No it did not just fall off. It turns in the direction of tightening and does not loosen with out hitting something preventing the prop from turning. The prop stops but the drive shaft does not and the nut unscrews. This can also happen by accidently hitting the on button while the motor is laying in the mount. If you even suspect anything it is always better to check the nut. It is not quite the same with a big motor which has reverse. Mostly it is caused by hitting something but it can be because the prop was not properkly installed and the lock was not bent over in the slots and the operator shifts into reverse too rapidly and then revs the motor too fast spinning the nut backwards. In the cases of hitting something, it is better to have an aluminum prop instead of a stainless steel one and you have a better chance of not breaking the lower unit. A little bit of speed is not as important to me as a lower unit replacement.  Anyway not going out after dark will eliminate most of these problems.  Blackburns does not allow rental boats out after dark for this reason. Nothing good happens. Sunny warm weather is on the way and we will see what that brings. Fishing is still good and has not been affected but campgrounds, parking and launching, and day use areas has and the level is not going to get any lower anytime soon. All of the beaches are gone or will be gone and we will have to swim off a boat or in Blackburns Big Pool with slide. All area lakes are affected and we are in early May. Surface water temperature was 64 yesterday evening.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Scuba Steve with a couple of yesterday's catch. We like these. Image title

The lake level is 564.14 and has risen one foot in the last 24-hrs with no generation since yesterday afternoon. It is rising 2-inches/hour and the creeks are running hard. We received 1.7 inches of rain last night but it seems to have moved on through now with better weather on the way. The White River at Newport ia 23.76 so they cannot let out much from the lakes. It is to get to nearly 90 this weekend so we will have gone right into summer after this cool weather. The backs of the creeks in the lake is brown but the feeder creeks have been flushed out so many times there is not nearly as much color as there was early in the year. Jim and Marlene Lesniewski found a big school of crappie back in a creek and caught several nice ones. Several other fishermen caught bass and crappie including Alan Lenius and the Martin Brothers. They are good crappie fishermen  and come all the way from Rockford, Illinois and have been coming for as long as I can remember. The Ellners from northern Wisconsin caught some temperate bass and crappie. We are very busy here and almost everyone caught fish. The Grevengoed family just left and did very well on stripers and crappie. They alway catch fish and also been repeat customers for a long time. The Blackburn family is growing but we had to cull a few to get things like we wanted them.  Now we are almost there and are nearly full most of the time. We do not want to charge our friends too much and are in a position not to have to. I have an 8-hook throw line and am baiting it with shiners and bluegill and am catching one or two nice flatheads everytine I run them. People ask what are the best eating fish on Norfork Lake. The answer is walleye, crappie and bluegill are the best followed by Kentucky bass and flathead catfish There is no pollution in the lake so you can make any fish palatable, even gar. My friend Jeremy even likes gar and makes gar balls. I did not even know gar had balls but woulld like all of them removed from the lake.  Others cut the red meat out of temperate bass and like those. My choices you do not have to doctor them up any and they all reproduce in Norfork and are not put and take. I release most fish anyway. My favorite meal in the spring is fried mushrooms, fried potatoes and onions and fried catfish and buttermilk. What could go wrong with that? It sure tastes good though. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some nice ones released under the dock on Sunday.Image title

The lake level is 562.70 and has risen one foot in the last 24-hours with no generation since last evening. The White River is at 21.11 feet and dropping. We received about 2-1/2 inches of rain the last two days and the lake is rising about 3/4 inch an hour. The creeks were raging last evening and into the night but are slowing now but still flowing pretty hard. Brown water is now into the backs of the creeks and moving out towards the main lake. It rained very hard about 5:PM.  We missed the weekend rain and the water got very clear but it is not the case now. The fishing was pretty good until this happened and we will see what this does to the water temperature and fishing conditions. The continuous water rise has not helped the spawn any but at least there has not been any big rises in short periods of time and muddy main lake water. The surface water temperature remains in the mid 60's as of last night but I have not checked it so far today. Have to go down and move the dock. It is a daily event. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Scuba Steve with some pretty good ones.Image title

The lake level is 561.69 and has risen two inches in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of vatiable generation. The White River at Newport is at 21.37 feet and dropping quickly. They are reducing the overall discharge into the White River. The surface water temperature is in the mid 60's and the lake is clearing and is very clear near the shore. Flathead catfish are biting very well on live bait on both poles off the dock and on throw lines part way back in the creeks. Bass are spawning and crappie are trying to finish but are stringing it out. Some years they do this for vatious reasons but mostly rising water. There was a top-water bit yesterday for temperate bass but it did not last a long time. It has been a little disappointing so far this year. We are to get heavy rain for the next two days and it is cloudy and cool and raining now. The cold fronts just keep coming through but are not nearly as cols as a few weeks ago. It has been slow warming up. As the black bass finish spawning they will move out in the open water on shad and will come up early with the stripers. Not too many of them so far but a few. I am still catching some nice crappie and not all of them have spawned. Start out by fishing part way back in creeks that the wind is blowing into and go from there. This is one of the few times of year that I do not use jigging spoons It is about time for the walleye to move near the island in about 15-20 ft. of water on bottom bouncers. Things are looking pretty good and some nice fish are being brought in everyday. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Bart VanderVelde and Jim Lesniewski are Blackburns Resort's longest returning customers and friends. Jim has been coming for 73-years and Bart for 50. Image title

The lake level is 561.53 and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with 6-hours of variable generation. We are to get more rain this week so do not expect the lake to drop any time soon. All of the area lakes are rising except for Table Rock which is dropping and is below power pool while Bull Shoals and Norfork are about 8-ft. above. The White River at Newport is 22-ft and dropping quickly with the 14-ft. rules taking effect today and then the 12-ft. rules on the 8th of this month. These rules need to be reviewed and changed. Minor flood stages at Newport are at 23-feet and anything below that does not hurt anything. The surface water temperature is in the mid 60's and the bass spawn is in full swing. The lake is very clear near the shore and you can see the fish on beds everywhere. I am still catching crappie full of eggs but most are spawned out. The top-water bite has been disappointing so far this year for temperate bass and black bass but they are coming up some days. It should get better as the shad spawn.  I am seeing no crappie or bass fry under the dock yet and they usually are there by now. There are a lot of other fish there though. Flatheads are biting well part way back into the creeks on live bait. It is a beautiful day today and Blackburns has a lot of people in. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Rum Binkley with some nice ones yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 561.17 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with about 8-hours of less than one generator running. All of the area lakes are rising except Table Rock which is falling and is at below power pool. Go figure. It rained a little yesterday and thundered last night but we only received about 1/10th of an inch of rain. It is very cloudy with showers in the area now and for the next couple of days. The surface water temperature was 64 in Blackburns Creek yesterday but I did not check it on the main lake. The creeks will rise faster this time of year. The cold fronts just keep coming but are not nearly as cold and are followed by sunny warm days and clear cool nights. The wind continues but slows way down in the mornings and evenings if no front is coming through. The heat of the day brings wind and threats of showers and that will continue through the summer. The lake is clearing with the light generation but a few pieces of wood are floating loose from the shoreline from the rising water. The wind is predominately from the south and is blowing this back into the north facing creeks. Striper fishermen trolling planer boards with balloons (I guess they do not use real balloons anymore but have something similar. There used to be balloons left all over the lake from trollers but not so much anymore) are catching fish on the days that they do not feed on the surface in the mornings. Crappie and bass are with them. They are mostly free-swimming shiners and the fish are not very deep. I do not do this anymore but it can be effective. I like the thump and prefer casting. The absence of the big stripers have really changed the fishery here on Norfork. There is much less competition for the shad and other varieties of fish are now in open water on them with the temperate bass and not on the bank on creek minnows, crawdads and lizards.  The lower numbers of White Bass are having an effect also. They are out there but not nearly the numbers of the past where you could see acres of stripers, hybrids and White Bass surfacing on shad this time of year. A big striper now is 10-11 pounds and it used to be 30-40 lbs. There are high numbers of 5-6 pounds and they are being hunted hard and killed. More and more walleye are being caught and the percentage of ones over 18-inches is growing.  They reproduce in Norfork but I do not know to what extent. I would like to see more of them stocked. Brush in the backs of creeks with about 20-ft. of water are holding some nice crappie and some bass are with them. The lake is clear near the shore and there are bass in some stage of spawn all over. Blackburns Still has cabins at $59/day but stay nearly full all of the time so call in advance. We are having to turn away several people and do not want you to have to pay too much elsewhere. They come and go this time of year so we will try to fit you in. Your first boat stall is free here at Blackburns and all cabins are individual with no duplexes and all have big covered porches. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Last evening. Image title

The lake level is 561.17 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with about 8-hours of running one generator. The White River is 23.74 feet and dropping. All of the area lakes are rising except Table Rock which is falling and is at power pool. It would be nice if all lakes were treated equal but it is all about the $. Norfok is holding in there at about 62-63 degrees but should rise with the higher ambient temperatures but we have a good chance of rain on and off until late this week. Do not expect the lake to drop any time soon but the rise has slowed a bit. I am finding crappie on main lake brush, back in the creeks on brush, on the bank back in creeks spawning and in open water on shad. Some are spawned out, some are in the process and some are still full of eggs. Catfish are full of eggs with blood lines except flatheads which are a month behind but there are a lot of them part way back in the creeks pre-spawn feeding. Stripers do not spawn but go through the motions and ingest their own eggs. This happened last month. Because you see green eggs inside of a striper when you kill it does not mean it has not spawned unless it is a small immature one and you should not be killing it anyway. Bass are about 1/2 way finished with several on beds back in creeks with a few finished and back on shad. These are the ones coming up in the mornings but there are not nearly as many as there were a couple of weeks ago. It will be more and more as the year progresses after the spawn. Bass spawn well into the summer here on Norfork, especially Kentucky Bass. Flatheads are the last sportsfish to spawn and go into ealy July. Bluegill and carp will be the next ones when the water gets to about 70 and that should not be too long. I have been diving Norfork for 27-years and the water temperature often reaches 70 by the first of May but it probably will take just a bit longer this year especially on the deep main lake. After that the thermocline will go down to about 16-feet and the walleye fishing really gets good then. It is pretty good now. They spawned in early March this year instead of late february. Everything is fine here. The lake is a little high but is not hurting fishing any in this area with nice ones being caught everyday. Blackburns has no diminished services and we can always get to the dock.  Come on down. The lake is in excellent condition and we will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake leve is 560.99 and has risen 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with a few hours of running one generator. The White River at Newport is 24.62 feet and there is more rain on the way for the next few days. The surface water temperature was 62.5 degrees yesterday afternoon and has dropped just a bit with the cooler weather. The spawn continues for the bass and is drip, drip, drip for the crappie. They can be caught about anywhere now. Main lake brush is holding more fish everyday with after spawn fish but there are still many more back in wind-blown creeks on shad and the top-water bite is the best now on most mornings. Several White Bass are coming up but not nearly as many as the past. Most of the stripers that are being caught are in the 5-7 pound range and getting smaller and people just keep killing them. I guess they want them eradicated. I do not. Pictures of dock floors full of dead small stripers are nothing to brag about. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught fishing with Bink's guide service. Nice cat. Image title

The lake level is 560.70 and has risen 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of variable generation. The White River at Newport is 24.72 so they are letting out a lot of water with a lot of run-off still going through the system. Norfork and Bull Shoals are both about 7-8 feet above power pool and Table Rock is one foot above. Table Rock is generating very heavily and filling Bull Shoals and Norfork is mostly holding. They are letting out more water than they normally do this time of year and it colud be a lot worse. The lake overall is in good condition with a surface water temperature of about 63 degrees and fishing is getting better and better with the top-water bite being the best befroe sunrise and continuing for about an hour. Longer on cloudy days and better after warm nights. Go Back into wind-blown creeks and start in Panther Creek where the plankton and shad go in there with the predominate southerly winds. There are a lot of fish in there of different varieties. More bass continue to make nests and are near the banks and the water is clear enouth for sight fishing . Use polarized glasses throw a gitzet into the nests. Release the fish immediately before the Bluegill eat all of the eggs. It just takes a minute or two. People ask why the big bluegill move into the creeks before their spawn which is later and the answer is food. They gang up on the poor male bass trying to guard the nests and fry until they swim away. It wears them out and they are very hungry after the spawn is over and the fry are gone. They then skarf on every bluegill that will fit into their mouths. My dock is now full of bluegill, crappie, catfish and bass with a few walleye. Bluegill (which we call perch, Bream is more accurate) are the best live bait for about everything now except for temperate bass wihich I do not fish for much. I will wait for the stripers to grow and the White Bass to come back in numbers. Bluegill are in the Sunfish Family and Walleye are in the perch Family. Bass and catfish cannot resist a live bluegill about 3-inches long and I cannot resist one about as big as your hand on bread and butter with pepper and a slice of onion. Come on down to Blackburns. We will have cabins for $59/day until Memorial Day and stay nearly full. Our summer prices are about the same as other's winter prices. We will not charge you too much. Best place, best price. Closest to Mountain Home, dining and shopping. We will start to fill our big pool with slide when it warms up. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tyler Peterson, Nathaniel Lee and Marty Peterson with some nice ones. Image title

The lake level is 560.41 and has risen 4-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of variable generation. Not much. The White River at Newport is at 24.47 and there is not much that can be done about the rise at this time and more rain is on the way. We do not have to be in this situation. The surface water temperature was over 63 degrees in Blackburns Creek yesterday afternoon and just a bit lower on the main lake. A lot of things are happening at this time. The lake is rising steadily and shows no sign of slowing, the water is clearing with little generation, the surface water temperature is rising but slower now with the cool below average temperatures and cold nights, the turtles have moved in under the dock as have the big crappie and bluegill, the carp have moved back in the creeks before spawn, the top-water bite is good early morning just before and at sunrise for temperate bass, many bass are in various stages of spawn, walley have spawned and have moved either on main lake brush shallow or in open water on shad, catfish have moved about 1/2 way back in the creeks and are feeding at night and especially in the dark of the moon on live shiners, crappie are all over the place but especially back in the creeks shallow on wood.  They are and will spawn in a piecemeal fashion for a couple more weeks or more. Several big ones are under Blackburns Dock at this time. The steadily rising water have them all mixed up and they do not want to spawn in deep water but will when they have no choice and that is not good. People killing large numbers of crappie everyday say there is no way they will deplete them in Norfork Lake. I say just look at Kentucky lake and see what could happen. It is much bigger than Norfork. They thought the same thing there. They had no limits and then put in a size limit, then a numbers limit and now it is too late and the lake is ruined and the best fishing is Asian carp and businesses are closing down.  We do not need any meat hunters on Norfork Lake. Catch a few, release a few and keep a few. The days of bragging about huge stringers of dead fish are over unless you just do not care. The fishing pressure is just too high and is much more than it was just a few years ago. The Game and fish have done an excellent job in managing the fishery but I believe the limits are too high for most species. Since Norfork and Bull Shoals are both in Arkansas and Missouri they tend to have the same game and fish rules and they are hard to change and are very different fisheries.  It will be interesting to see what Game and Fish come up with on the proposed bass regulations and stripers stockings. The larger stripers tend to die off in prolonged high water on Norfork in the summer but do not in Bull Shoals. Many people want stripers in Norfork but many do not in Bull Shoals but stripers have been stocked in Bull Shoals by both Arkansas and Missouri (most by Missouri) and will start to show up soon. Walleye have increased in desirability in both lakes after black bass which are by far the most desired. Crappie are right up there after bass but walleye are gaining on them. If they quit stocking stripers in Norfork I hope they increase hybrids. I do not fish open water much anymore but they are fun to catch.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing Report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The catfish are bitng. We like those here. Image title

The lake level is 560.07 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of generation. We received about an inch of rain last night and all of the area lakes are rising. The White River at Newport is at 24.17 so there is not much they can do about it now. The lake is rising about 1/2 inch/hour with no generation. The lake surface water is rising and I had 61 degrees both on the main lake and in Blackburns Creek yesterday afternoon. The water is clearing especially near the bank. The weather is trying to clear up and it is good to have the wind slow a bit. The cooler temperature will not hurt anything and keep away any severe stuff. We are to get more rain later this week but nothing serious. The cold fronts are not nearly as cold as in March but it is to get down into the 30's for nightime lows so bring a coat. The top-water bite is best now in the early mornings just before and at sunrise especially after warm nights. The south wind has been predominate so look into the south facing creeks. The wind blows the plankton, the bait fish follow the plankton and the game fish follow the bait unless they are feeding on crawdads, lizards and creek minnows in the creeks near the shore. Both are happening. I saw several big largemouth on beds yesterday and less are coming up with the white bass and small stripers in the morning. Creature baits on jig heads are working for black bass outside the buckbrush and poppers are starting to work in the creeks on the bank. Small soft plastics on jig heads are always good.  Catfish of all kinds are biting on live shiners at night and on cloudy days on throw lines and off docks with rods and reels. It is still best to get back in the creeks near the shore by any wood for crappie but some are back on main lake brush post-spawn feeding. Some are full of eggs and some are spawned out. Most males are still guarding nests but will move to main lake brush and open water on shad soon after the fry leave the nest. Even people that normally do not catch very many fish can catch some White Bass if they get out there before sunrise and know how to drive a top-water bait. If they do not use a whopper plopper. They do not require any skill and also catch fish. You do not need a $2,000 fish finder to catch top-water fish. Go into windblown creeks and look with your own eyes. It has been effective for quite a few years but I do admit some need more help than others. I was going to buy a new live scope for my boat but they cost too much so I bought three new heater/air conditioners for the cabins instead.  I did not pay that much for my boat but it still catches a few fish. Quite a few.  It is a heavy drinker but I do not need to go very far. If I had a new $70,000 boat I would just ding it up anyway. It is not so bad being poor.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tom Kelly with some nice ones released under Blackburns Dock. Tom is a very good fisherman and also a true sportsman. Image title

The lake level is 559.74 and has risen 3-inches in the last 24-hours with five hours of light generation. All of the area lakes are rising except for Table Rock which is dropping. Branson Landing must be taken care of at all costs no matter what happens elsewhere. The surface water temperature is in the low 60's and rising with the crappie and bass spawn in full swing. The lake is clearing with the low generation and there is some sight fishing back in the creeks for bass on beds. It would have been more clear without the incessant wind but it did blow the plankton and bait fish into the south facing creeks yesterday and there was a good top-water bite this morning after the warm night. It was mostly White Bass but a few bass were in there with them and some very small stripers. It has been slow coming and sporatic but is here now. People that cannot usually get very many fish will catch some now if they get out just before sunrise. Be there by 6:AM and have on a spitin image for bass and zara spook for others. I like baby spooks the best but the fish always seem to be just a little farther than I can cast them, so a larger one can be used. The clear ones sparkle in sunlight and a bone colored will also work on cloudy days. You can also wing a spoon at them and hop it back to the boat especially if they go down a bit. If you lose them cast the spoon as far as you can and hop it to keep it from sinking too fast. Turn a few degrees in one direction and keep chucking until you have made a full circle. You will have a better chance of finding them again when they are out of sight. The big spook can also call them up from a few feet down even if you cannot see them so do not give up too quickly. I have seen acres of fish surface in Panther Creek on Mornings like this in the past but they are just not there anymore in nearly the same numbers. White bass and Large Stripers especially. This is a good time to catch and release as they are not coming from deep water and are not stressed nearly as much when caught unlike fishing deep for them in the summer. Rain in coming now and tonight and early tomorrow so the lake will keep rising. Catfish like rising water and small moons. It is not small now but is getting smaller and the fishing will get better and better. I like catching those flatheads. The winners of the Bassmast College series caught a total of 30-Lbs 3-ounces for a two day total. They caught 19-lbs the first day and 11-lbs the second. I anticipated a little less the second day with the warm sunshine and heavy wind but they did quite well and did Drury proud. It was really busy with a lot of people fishing this area yesterday. There is one more today and then it is over and the lake can settle down. It would be nice if it would stop rising but that is too much to hope for. We could get some serious rain out of this one. Some crappie are back on the main lake brush but more are back in the creeks spawning at various stages. Some spawned out bass are back in open water on shad but most have not finished spawning yet. Bass spawn into the summer on Norfork especially the Kentuckies. This is a good time to be at Blackburns and we will not charge you too much. Rainy days are a good time to set out on the coverd porch, play cards and watch the rain or rig up fishing poles. No need for umbrellas here. One bedroom cabins are still $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Veterans and Police load on up and come on down. We have a lot of boats to rent and at the best prices.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition By Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

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

The lake level is 559.45 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with 4-hours of running both generators, 4-hours of running less than one generator and nothing for the rest of the time. There has been no generation since yesterday midnight and none now. The White River at Newport is 23.85 and that is as much as they can let out at this time. They should have done this in the winter and we would not be where we are. If they would have dropped it to 547 we would be at 554 now not bumping 560. We need to let the government run more things. We are to get some serious rain early next week. The water temperature was just over 60 degrees in Blackburns Creek yesterday afternoon and 62 on the main lake. They should even up today. The water had cleared up in this area near the shore to see bass on beds. Some have spawned, most have not but several are in the process. Same with crappie but they are ahead of the bass. I expected over 18-lbs. total for the leaders of the Bassmaster College Series Tournament and they got 19.1 lbs. yesterday. That is pretty good. It is sunny and windy today and could be just a bit tougher but they started early and there should have been a top-water bite after the warm night. Most of the fish will be caught early. Bass fishing is the best, followed by crappie and walleye and catfish. trollers are getting a few temperate Bass but they are small. They just keep killing them. Striper Guides are killing themselves out of business and do not seem to care. Live for today, fish with lighter tackle and longer rods and convince Pilgrims they are catching big fish. They sure do fight hard. Blackburns is full but only have one cabin of Bassmaster College Fishermen and the rest are regular customers. Some wished they would have known there was a big tournament and would have postponed there visit until it was over. I would have told them but was not aware of it. It will be over tomorrow afternoon. I guess it is good for the economy of the town as I sure see a lot of boats at local motels. Most people are catching fish and it is getting better everyday. Most of the big tournaments are over for a while and the lake should go back to peaceful until the summer traffic picks up at Memorial Day. This is a good time to come to fish and relax and Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day with a free boat stall. We are fighting inflation as hard as we can.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountain Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Shelby and Ellie May Soltysiak with some nice ones. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 559.15 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours with no generation since 5PM yesterday. The White River at Newport is at 23.58 so do not expect any lake level decreases in the near future and with rain the the forecast not in the distant future. The water is trying to clear and is pretty clear near the shore with the rest of the water  stained an off-color green. We received 1.2 inches of rain earlier and there is some reports of ugly water north of us but not here. I do not go there anyway but it affects the water level. Local rains do not make nearly as much difference as rains in the Norfork River watershed area in Missouri. The surface water temperature was 58 in Blackburns Creek and 61 on the main lake where I was fishing yesterday afternoon. There are a lot of boats out there and it will not break my heart to have them gone. The parking lots at the local motels are full of bass boats and I am sure they appreciate the business but I would prefer the tournaments were in the fall after the spawn. They come charging into the cove, slam down their trolling motor and beat the bank for a few minutes and then pick up their trolling motors and charge out again. Fishing in a hurry does not appeal to me but I am not doing it for a living. I guess they get more active fish that way but I find the larger fish require a little more patience but I like peace and quiet and do not care if I see another boat. I like the idea of measuring the fish and taking a picture and releasing them at the site that they are caught instead of hauling them in bags for a weigh-in and releasing them all in the same place even though length does not always indicate weight. It is all about the $ anyway. I caught several bass and one was very large in about an hour. We are now almost in the middle of the spawn. I expect it will take at least 18-lbs to win this weekend. Some very large bass are pre-spawn feeding on creature baits,  gitzits and football jigs and smallmouth are coming on strong with several in the 4-lb.range being caught. Things will calm down by Sunday evening but the lake will be churned up. Do not go out between the bridges with a small jon boat until then.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Adam and Isiah McManus with some nice ones. Nice Family.Image title

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The lake level is 558.62 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours. They run one generator for several hours, two for a couple and then shut them both off all night. It started to come up quickly when they quit. The White River at Newport is 21.54 feet. All of the area Lakes are rising except Table Rock which is running full blast with several spillway gates open hogging all of the water discharge and filling Bull Shoals. That leaves step-child Norfork to hold water. The surface water temperature was 61 degrees yesterday on the main lake and just under that in the creeks. It will come up past the 62-degree number, which is the one we watch for, to get the bass spawn in full swing. I saw several bass on beds yesterday so I expect the top-water bite to improve at the same time for temperate bass with the warm overnight lows. Smallmouth Bass are making nests and the males are on the bank and can be caught with a creature bait on a jig head or a gitzet. Some nice ones are being caught. I do not keep any bass but especially smallmouth and release any caught quickly before the bluegill can eat the eggs. Many fish are in the wind blown creeks on the bank now. Some largemouth have spawned but not a lot. The crappie are all mixed up and some have spawned, some are spawning and some are staging. I am still finding very large crappie full of eggs and some spawned out. It would be nice to have some stable water levels at this time at least until the bass and crappie spawn were over. Walleye are all over the place but I am catching them on main lake points in about 14-16 feet of water in front of the brush. I do not fish for stripers much anymore until they make a comeback but I am not seeing many brought in. Samllmouth bass and crappie are the best bite now. The creeks are too stained for much sight fishing for largemouth and that does not bother me at all. I am getting less and less in favor of large fishing tournaments especially in the middle of spawn. They release all of the fish but it is too late for them to get back on the nests and most of them are too far away anyway. Catfishing is picking up on throw lines baited with live shiners and bluegill. Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Come on down we will not charge you too much. We especially welcome Veterans and Police.  Check out our boat rentals. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Scuba Steve with his best two fish yesterday. Sorry we do not take pictures of big stringers full of dead fish. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few. Image title

The lake level is 558.16 and has risen 1-inch in the last 24-hours. We have received 1.2 inches of rain with more coming. The creeks are not running but they are running just one generator so the lake will continue to rise. The White River at Newport is 20.48 feet. People ask me why I report the White River level and it is because that is where the gauge is located that sets the parameters for the chain of lake generation schedule. They are supposed to follow rules prescribed by congress to govern the discharge from the area lakes based on how high the level is and draw down all of them equally. If the river is above the prescribed level do not expect much generation until there is danger of a lake going over the spillway and then they panic and open spillway gates. Basically they hold water until it is an emergency and then flood everything out downstream. Dam management 101 says do not let the water go over the dam and that sometimes is the only thing that keeps them from holding more. 580 is the limit for Norfork and I have seen it there. I found some 61-degree water on the main lake yesterday afternoon and 57 in Blackburns Creek. Some crappie are full of eggs, some are on nests, some are staging and some are spawned out. Bass are just starting. Stripers, Walleye and White Bass are finished. Flatheads are the last to spawn and will not finish until July. Bluegill spawn several times a year and usually start when the water reaches mid to high 60's and spawn is shallow water. It is cold and rainy today with storms for tonight and early tomorrow. It then gets very warm but it comes with a price. High winds. We get about one day a week without being windy. Ovarall fishing is just fair but some nice fish are coming in every day. It will get better and the top-water bite will also get better. It needs to and should have already.  Come on down to Blackburns. A free stall at our protected dock comes with your cabin and all cabins are individual with no duplexes and have covered porches. If you are in town come on by and check us out. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

James Soltysiak with a flathead off the dock.Image title

The children went fishing off the dock after the Easter Egg hunt. Image title

The lake level is 558.07 and has risen 1-inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 7-hours. The White River at Newport is 20.44 feet and is still dropping. We are to get more rain tomorrow night and thursday. The surface water temperature is 57 degrees in Blackburns Creek and the color has not changed much. It is clearing near the shore. People catching crappie report that Pigeon Creek is clearing and is about the same color as the water around here which is not bad. Catfish are in Blackburns Creek and that means crappie are spawning somewhere. This weekend the ambient temperature is to get near 80 for a few days and that should get the top-water bite in high gear finally. They just do not want to come up on these cold mornings. There was frost this morning and the cold fronts just keep coming every week. This might do it but do not count on it. I never plant my garden until after May1st  and check things out before I do it then. It gets colder here in this valley near the lake than in higher areas. We have a long growing season anyway. It will warm up and then people will be complaining about the heat. Fishing overall is just fair but I expect it to get better in a few warm days. Trollers are catching crappie in the creeks just outside of the buckbrush but there is not much skill to it. Just drag a few small crankbaits that go down a few feet around the creek shores until you catch one. Some are doing the same thing with Alabama Rigs but they snag if you get too shallow or go too slow. Others are dragging umbrella rigs or multi live bait rigs through schools of shad in open water and catching some small stripers. Bass fishermen are beating the banks with several different things. Worms, gitzits, grubs, stick biats, jigs and crankbaits are all catching some fish and Spitin Image and Zara Spooks when they see surfacing fish. At least the wind went down a bit today and the sun is shining. That will change tomorrow. Catfishing is getting better. Blackburns Prices are the best.

Norfork Lake Easter Fun Here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental With our biggest Egg hunt ever.

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Norfork Lake Fun here at Blackburns. We like Easter. It quit raining just in time. Image title

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The lake level is 557.97 and has risen 3-inches in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of generation. They have cut way down and the White River at Newport is 20.79 with the lake rising when they quit and dropping very slowly when they generate. It looks like the big slug is through the system from the last big rain but more rain is predicted for wednesday. We have about 12-days of these rules of generation and then it drops down again on May 1st and then again May 8th and then our chances of lowering the level any time soon go away with the 12-ft. rule which needs to be reviewed and changed. There is absolutely no reason for it. They are running Table Rock very heavily with spillway gates open and filling Bull Shoals. That leaves the stepchild Norfork Lake too keep rising. It is most important to protect Branson and the landing than anything else and at all costs. The last time they let that flood they heard about it and will not let that happen again. It is all about the $. We are still at a good level now but do not need any more. It did not warm up yesterday and stayed in the 40's all day. It has cleared off now and is to get near freezing again tonight. The cold fronts just keep coming with wind. It is to get into the low 60's this afternoon for a couple of hours and the same tomorrow with rain again on wednesday. It has been slow warming up this spring and the water temperature has remained in the 50's for several weeks. Several of the children went to the dock to fish after the egg hunt and had a lot of fun. We were full here at Blackburns and we like that. The new sand mountain got a workout as did all of the playground equipment. and everybody had fun. The big pool is ready to paint and then getting it open will be the next challenge. That will depend on the weather but it will be open when it finally gets warm. The fishing was a little slow yesterday but some nice fish were caught. The water is clearing near the shore and the brown water is gone in this area but is still stained an off-colored green. We should be in full top-water action now but are not. There is some but later this week when it warms way up it will happen every day. Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day with a free boat stall. Why pay more unless you just have too much money? If so stay here and give the difference to disabled Veterans. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Robert and Stephanoe Race from Kenosha, Wisconsin caught some nice fish and saw some eagles this week. Nice people. Come back soon. Image title

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The lake level is 557.70 and has risen 5-inches in the last 24-hours with 4-hours of both generators and two hours of one running. The White River at Newport is dropping and headed for 21-ft. It is 21.5 feet now and they have reduced discharge dramatically. The first of May it goes down much more and there is little chance of the lake dropping any time soon. They had their chance and muffed it. We will be lucky to see the power pool again unless we have a drought and there are no signs of that with rain in the forecast. The surface water temperature has dropped to 54 on the main lake and 58 in Blackburns Creek. The fish do not know what to do but the crappie are spawning anyway and the bass want to very badly. The top-water fish are not coming up everyday but are on most mornings after a warm night. I hear find the bait and you will find the fish over and over until it gets very old like people do not know that. Follow the loons is just about as bad. It is not necessarily true for spawning fish. They do not have food on their mind but will have when they are finished. There is a lot of bait in the warmer creeks now in shallow water ( crawdads, lizards and creek minnows) and that is where a lot of pre-spawn and post-spawn  fish are. Some temperate bass are in open water on shad but are hard to find. After the spawn the fry will move to any cover and especially brush piles and will attract fish in the warmest water. I have seen spawned out crappie but no fry yet and have not seen any bass on beds but the water is still too cloudy. It is clearing though with the low generation. We need some 60-degree water and the fish will come up every morning for a month and that is fun fishing. I am tired of cold fronts and it is very cool now and rainy. Sometimes when this pattern happens we go from cold directly into summer. I like spring but sometimes it is very short. People are catching some nice fish everyday but not a lot.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tyler Peterson from Shawnee Mission, Kansas and Marty Peterson from Osage Beach, Missouri with some nice ones yesterday fishing out of Blackburns Resort Image titleImage title

The lake level is 557.30 and has risen 7-inches in the last 24-hours with generation for about 5-hours. The White River is at 22.46 and is dropping and they are trying to get down to 21-feet. Do not expect very much of a drop in lake levels for some time if any. They are running Table Rock hard with spillway gates open and filling Bull Shoals. The surface water temperature was 58.4 in Blackburns Creek yesterday afternoon and the water is trying to clear. The low generation is not bringing as much debris south from Missouri with the last rain as the one before with much more generation then. There were severe storms north and east of us last evening but none here at Blackburns. There was some very large hail reported in Fulton County and some power outages. I dumped 0.2 inches of rain this morning and it is raining lightly now. River fishermen should not expect any wade fishing anytime soon. A cold front is almost here now and it is very cool with cooler tomorrow with highs in the low 50's after it clears later today. Our normal high is 70 and we get a few of them followed by cold fronts every week. It has been a pattern for several months preventing the water temperature from rishing. Some crappie that are coming in have spawned already and are post-spawn feeding. Several larger bass are back in the creeks but the water is too muddy to see if they are on nests. Crappie are being caught in the creeks now near the bank. Soft plastics like bass assassins and super flukes in the 3-inch range are working. So are paddle-tailed grubs. A 10-lb. catfish was caught off Blackburns Dock yesterday. Top-water bite is sporatic and can happen anytime in the creeks especially after a warm night. Morel Mushrooms are popping up.  Blackburns 20th annual Easter Egg hunt is today and I hope the weather cooperates. We did not have it the last two years because of covid but it will be a big one this year with hundreds of eggs and nice gifts. We like Easter Here at Blackburns and children come from all over for it. Blackburns is the fun place and at the best price.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Don and Keith Katashuk just left and caught fish all week They are good fishermen and good friends. Always glad to see them. Image titleImage title

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The lake level is 556.70 and has risen 9-inches in the last 24-hours and is up over 2-feet since the last rain. The White River at Newport is 22.77 feet so there is not much that they can do about it. It is not where we are now but why we are here and it is because there was no draw down in the winter. I had a 60-degrees water temperature in Blackburns Creek last evening and 59 this morning. I set a short throw line baited with shiners about 1/2 way out of the creek and caught a nice flathead very quickly. When flatheads move into Blackburns, the dogwood bloom move past their prime and the red buds bloom,  It means the crappie are spawning somewhere. The crappie and bass want to spawn bad but it is to get very cool later this weekend. The water is too dark to see any fish on the bank.  As I have said for several weeks now the cold fronts just keep coming through. The shallow water in the creeks warms up faster than the deep main lake but also cool down more quickly. After it gets warm the fish move back in the creeks and then it gets cold again and they move back out. April 15th is usually the magic date for crappie and a good top-water bite. The water in this area is stained brown but not bad and the mud is settling out quickly in the creeks in this area. It is almost an instant replay of the big rain several days ago but the lake is getting higher and is about three feet from being a problem. Not for fishing but for access, parking and launching.  People are catching fish everyday, mostly crappie, bass and white bass. Fish can come up on top most anytime on these cloudy days so be ready. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Jeffrey and Jesse Bell from Waterford, Wisconsin with some nice ones on Tuesday. Glad to have them as guests. Image title

The lake level is 555.91 and has risen 1-1/2 foot in the last 24-hours with generation for about 1/2 the time. We are approaching the April 15th rule change and they are trying to get the White River back to 21-feet. It is now 21.88 so you can expect more of a lake rise with less generation than the last several weeks when they tried hard to hold levels from rising very much with the rain. I received more rain than was reported in the news but usually do down in the valley between high hills. I dumped 3-1/2 niches during the heavy rain and more after and it rained hard and the creeks raged. The mud from the runoff went out past my dock but the cold front came in and the wind shifted to the north and slowed it's progress toward the main lake. Surface water temperature was 55+ this morning on the main lake and the water temperature had dropped several degrees from the day before the rain. The rise in water level and the temperature drop will not do the spawn any good. The cold fronts just keep coming and there was frost last night. The next couple of days look pretty good and then more rain comes back. People fishing the mud line where the brown meets the clearer water caught some nice fish after the rain in the evening. I was busy grading the washed out road to the dock. It is getting to be a regular event. We do not need any more rain for a month but the spring rains are not a surprise to anybody but the people managing the lake levels. All area lakes are in approximately the same situation and none are in the power pool where they all should be this time of year. The incompetence is equally distributed over the whole White River system. We need the government running more stuff. Everything is good here but we do not need any more of these. It can go from the high 70's to freezing in a matter of a few hours. Bring sunscreen and a winter coat when you visit until further notice. Fishing has held up well and I will check on the crappie when I get caught up. It is very busy here. Our friend in Montana called and said they got 3-feet of snow so things can alway be worse. At least we did not get any severe weather and that means a lot. You can still get a 1-bedroom cabin for $59/day at Blackburns and it comes with a free boat stall at our dock.  We do not have boat stalls for one day stays as we have many rental boats but you can launch right here and leave you trailer at the dock for the day or park it in our trailer park. Bass, crappie, white bass and walleye fishing is the best with a few catfish showing up. Soft plastics on a jig head are the best lures and spitin image for bass and Zara Spooks for temperate bass on top-water.    

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Fish of the day yesterday by Scuba Steve.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 554.69 and is rising 1-1/2 inches per hour after over 3.5 inchers of rain in a short period and it is still raining. They just started generating after being shut down since 1:AM this morning. They always stop generating when it rains. The creeks are raging with no signs of slowing down. The water in back of Blackburns Creek is brown already and headed out to the main lake. So much for the stable lake level for the last several weeks. The White River at Newport is already at 21.70 feet so there is not much room for increased ganeration. I would like to see some spillway gates opened but there is only so much that they can do now that they did not draw down the lake in the winter. I will wait until things settle down and get another report. It all depends on how much rain they got in the Gainsville area and other Norfork watershed. Local rains do not affect things nearly as much as ones north of here and it looks like they got plenty.  I will let you know. Fishing was good yesterday and high water does not affect fishing much but it does afftect parking, launching, swimming and day use. Over 560 starts to cause problems and we are 5-feet away. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service. Image title

The lake level is 554.54 and is the same as at this time yesterday with one generator running continuously. We received 1/2 inch of rain yesterday and if they quit generating it will rise again. The White River at Newport is at 21.98 and is stable now but they are still letting out a lot of water. The surface water temperature was 56 yesterday about noon when I went out in one place and 57 in another later in the day. The water is stained a brownish green and you can see your lure down about three feet. I caught one bass on top-water chucking a spoon at the surfacing fish and then went crappie fishing. It started out slow and then I caught three about 11-inches long and the wind shifted so I moved and the water was 57 on the bank with the lower wind. I was using a Bobby Garland Blue Ice swimmer. It is 1/2 inch longer than the baby shad and has a very small paddle tail on it and works a little better for me when vertical jigging. I fished for an hour and caught no more and then caught five in about 5-minutes casting the jig and letting it sink into the brush. All of the fish that I caught were either in brush or near it and in 18-ft. of water. None were deeper than 20-ft. and most hit on the drop. I am still surprised that many crappie are still on main lake brush in the middle of april but they are. It has to be that the water has just not warmed enough and the cold fronts just keep coming through. I would like to see them spawn while the water level remains fairly stable. I caught no crappie larger than 12-inches but Don and Keith Katashuk did. They caught a couple of big ones but were fishing in different places than I was. They are very good fishermen and good friends. They caught some bass also. Bink is catching about everything on top-water now including walleye and then switching to the soft plastic. The fish come up almost everyday now and especially after a warm night. Many are small bass but not all and  some white bass are mixed in. There used to be acres of them a few years ago but not nearly as many now. We could get strong storms tomorrow and are in the bullseye but we will see. This area has a way of missing most of them. Little Rock area did not miss them last night. Blackburns remains nearly full but people come and go and we should be able to work you in. Come on down and we will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. We especially welcome Veterans and Police. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Dave Titus with some nice ones. Image title

The lake level is 554.41 and is the same as this time yesterday with one generator running continuously. The White River at Newport is 22.15 and is dropping. It looks like they are going to start lowering it for the regulation change on April 15th when the 14-ft. rule goes into effect if we are over 50% full. I do not know how they calculate 50% full anymore with the changes in power pool levels. It used to be 552 but is now 553.75 as they took away 1.75 feet of flood capacity for the munimum flow for the put and take trout in the rivers. So much for the lakes are for flood control and power generation only. That went out the window with the minimum flow law.  The surface water temperature was 55 yesterday afternoon and has been very slow rising this spring. Every time it rises a cold front comes through. Some male crappie are back in the creeks making nests. Pigeon, Middle Pigeon and Briar Creeks are good places to look. The ones that I am catching on the main lake are all females and they will go there to spawn soon. It is to get to about 80 degrees for a couple of days later thiseweek and that should do it  and should get the top-water bite for bass and stripers going well. People are still killing small stripers and bragging about it and they are getting smaller and smaller. I guess they will not quit until they are all gone. One more extended high water year should get rid of the larger ones that are left.  It is thundering and raining now and we are to get storms on and off until wednesday night. We could get over 2-inches of rain. The lake level was 558 at this time last year and 570 by the end of may. We do not need that again this year but they have done nothing to prevent it. They have generated heavily after big rains to mitigate the rises but did not draw the level down in the winter like they used to do several years ago. I have to take what they give me but do not have to like it. We need new management. We caught some nice bass yesterday in Blackburns Creek under the dock and on the bank across from it. People staying at Blackburns are not only happy about the quality of the cabins and price but the fact that they have big covered porches to get out of the rain. No duplexes here.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.43 and is the same as it was at this time yesterday with one generator running continuously. One generator barely keeps up and we are to start getting more rain tomorrow with storms possible through wednesday. The White River at Newport is at 22.84 and is dropping slowly but they are still letting out a lot of water. The water in Blackburns Creek was brown yesterday with the high winds. It slowed down yesterday afternoon but is to come back today. It started out very cold but warmed up nicely in the afternoon. We went to the Cystic Fibrosis tournament weigh-in and talked to the father and son winners. I do not know if they want their names mentioned but they are very nice fellows. They have been fishing Norfork for many years and just decided to fish the tournament at the last minute while traveling through town. They caught several keeper fish (over 20) with a winning total of 17.35 pounds and caught almost all of them on crankbaits and saw very few top-water fish. They were fishing in a south facing creek near Blackburns Resort and caught most of their fish in the morning but continued to catch some all day mostly largemouth and Kentuckies and very few smallmouth.  They also caught the second big bass. They won $1,000 dollars and a new Bass Cat boat. The entry fee was $100 dollars. The pay-outs went to the first 20 places with the last several getting their money back. That is better than nothing. There were just over 200 boats. I did not fish the tournament but was just three big bass away from winning it if I had. The wind is picking up already. I wish it would go away. At least last evening was no wind for a change. I will try to catch a catfish soon. I like that. Blackburns still has one bedroom cabins for $59/day with a free boat stall. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 555.45 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running most of the time. The White River at Newport is 23.34 and has dropped a bit lately but they are still letting out a lot of water from area lakes and all are approaching the power pool again where they typically slow down generation. It was cold last night and we had frost but it is sunny and warming up nicely today with much less wind. It is to get warmer and warmer as the week goes on and then good chances of storms in the middle of next week. It is really good to have sunshine. We have had several fishermen out there braving the wind and cold and catching some fish. Bass, crappie, bluegill are the best but a few walleye, catfish and stripers are also being caught. The hardest part was not finding fish but finding them out of the wind. The next few days should get some of the bass and crappie on the beds at various stages. It will be interesting to see if the bass come up on top-water this morning after the cold night. If they do the bite will continue most days from now on for nearly two months but will get less and less as the water warms up to near 70's. The bass continue to spawn into June on Norfork. Get a Zara Spook or a Spitin Image and learn how to walk the dog with a rod with some backbone. The Whopper Plopper also works especially for people who are not good at that. The spitin image is best for bass and the spook is best for Temperate Bass. Get out there on the normal spots for top-water before sunrise and especially after a warm night. This is a good time of year to catch fish of about all species. Catfishing will get started in earnest soon. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report And Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 555.50 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with generation about 2/3rds the time. They quit generating all night and then started again today and have quit again now. The White River level at Newport is 23.52 so they are letting out as much water as they can without causing any problems downstream. Cold, windy and miserable is the weather and it struggled to get to 40 today. There is still a mud line in the middle of the river channel due to the generation but it is not bad and dropping out as it goes south. That last slug of water after the 4-inch+ rain has mostly gone but if they quit generating the level still rises. There is still some run-off from saturated hillsides. The surface water temperature is not going anywhere today and tonight with a heavy freeze. The creeks have cooled down more than the main lake again and both are just past the mid 50's  These cold fronts have been coming through for a couple of months at least once a week and are still coming.  It looks like we will get some storms next week with warm weather. This north wind will push the bait fish back into the north facing creeks and I do not expect much of a top-water bite tomorrow morning. People dragging live bait are catching some stripers but they are small. They just keep killing those fish in the 5-8 pond range and cutting their own throats. It is hard to convince anybody but pilgrims that those fish are big so they just keep using longer poles with lighter tackle. People bragging about many big bass and catching 20+ pounds a day are going to have to prove themselves tomorrow for the Cystic tournament and there will be a lot of good fishermen out there but excuses abound. That is why I do not make predictions and wish everybody well. It is for a good cause. Maybe the wind will lay down for them. I will go out in the later afternoon after the boats are gone and it warms up. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.54 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating in the middle of the night, started up one for a few hours and now have both running. The White River at Newport is 23.27 feet so they are doing everything they can to drop the area lakes. The surface water temperature is 58 on the main lake and all over the place back in the creeks depending on the wind and amount of sunshine. There is no sushine today and it is 52 degrees, cloudy and very windy. A miserable day for fishing but I have some dedicated people out there but it is difficult to get out of the wind and find fish at the same time. I am hoping the wind lays a bit this afternoon but it looks to be with us for a couple more days. I am very tired of it. It is not my friend like some report. Bink found fish coming up this morning but I did not except for a few small bass. The big female crappie have moved in under my dock and are wanting to spawn bad. A few flathead are also showing up indicating spring is here. They are the last ones to spawn and do not finish until early to Mid June. I will set out a short throw line with live shiners and give you a report. The bluegill are pre-spawn feeding and there are some big ones being caught. Walleye are scattered and showing up all over the place. Bass will move to the banks soon and I see several bass fishermen sight fishing with gitzets so it must me near. I am not seening any making nests but some big ones have moved in under my dock with the crappie. The sun just came out so it looks like a cool couple of days. That is usually followed by warm weather until the next cold front comes in. Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day so come on down. We will not charge you too much. No sense paying for your first boat stall unless you bring the Queen Mary. Lake of the Ozarks Likes those.  Look for that first warm night for an early morning top-water bite. Be out there just before sunrise or 6:30 AM and have a spook or spitin image tied on and be ready. Clear ones sparkle in the sunlight but you can use white ones in cloudy weather. It will get better and better for the next few weeks. Shut off the wind.

Feature Cabin of the Day here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental on Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region

Cabin #15 is a 4-bedroom 2-bath cabin and is now ready for your visit. Image titleImage titleImage title

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The feature cabin of the day here at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental is Cabin #15. It is a 4-bedroom 2-bath cabin with carport. It has central air, central heat, automatic dishwasher. and two refrigerators, laminate floors, new furniture, bedding and mattresses, three tv's and a big kitchen and living room.  It is very nice and you will like what you see when you get here. $140/day or $840/week and comes with a free boat stall.  There is no better deal around. Come on down and check it out.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The cream of the crop of the Central College, Pella, Iowa Alumni is here and are leaving today. Nice guys. They caught some nice fish. Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 554.67 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. They shut the spillway gates yesterday afternoon and it slowed the drop but the White River at Newport is still 22.86 so they are still letting a lot of water out of the area lakes trying to get back to the power pools. We are at a good level now and are fortunate to be there. Bink reports the back of Big Creek is brownish and that the top-water bite has began on warm mornings and gone on cold ones. It is smart to keep a top water lure handy now at all times because fish of several species are coming up sporatically. Many are small bass but there are some big ones too. Crappie stripers and walleye are with them. I had a 58 degree water temperature on the main lake yesterday and we are getting there. A lot of bass and some crappie are still pre-spawn feeding. There is another cold front coming and then warmer weather for the weekend. The cold fronts are not as cold and the warm weather after is warmer but it is to get back down to freezing for a low later this week. This is normal and that is why I say the top-water bite is normally in full swing by april15th and the best place to start is in Panther Creek on sunny mornings at sunrise. I see the guy who dresses like Johnny Cash from Kansas is back on Blackburns Brush piles again. He camps on them. He loves to have his picture taken and we have to go through that again day after day. Need some new material. I thought he went away but no luck. There is a possession limit. The water is still stained a little off-colored mix between light brown and green due to the heavy generation and middle of the river channel current but it is not hurting anything and is clearing as it goes south. There is some brown water in Pigeon Creek and north of Cranfield Island. That is about as far as I go. The creeks are clearing faster than the main lake and some of them are very clear. Blackburns still has two cabins open so come on down and join the fun. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. One bedroom cabins are $59/day. Why pay more unless you just have too much money. If so give the difference to the disabled Vets.   

Norfork Lake arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental.

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service on top-water yesterday morning. Keep that spook handy.Image title

The lake level is 554.81 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously and three spillway gates open just a bit adding about 1/3 generator. The White River at Newport is 22.36 ft. and they are doing a good job of letting out water. I hope they keep it up. There is brownish water in the middle of the river channel heading south and is now past Robinson Point but it is not a bad color but does have some small debris from up north. Most major creeks are more clear as the water from the north is going by the mouths of the creeks with the current. The local runoff has settled out fairly quickly. It could have been a lot worse. The surface water temperature was 57+ yesterday and it was cloudy with a little rain but very nice today and it should raise the water temperature in the sunshine. Blackburns has several groups of fishermen in and they all caught fish. The south wind had blown the plankton back into the south facing creek and bait fish were with them attracting predator fish of all kinds. The crappie fishing was a little slow but all of a sudden in the middle of the afternoon fish started coming up. Bass, walleye and stripers were all together and bit for about an hour. It was very exciting for the people that had not been here before. It was not the usual early morning, just at sunrise, top-water bite but the shad were just in the shallow water. The big female bass are pre-spawn feeding but I am not seeing any males on the banks yet making nests. The crappie will be first and then the bass. I hope the water level stays fairly constant for the spawn. It might if we do not get any big rains, the Corps Of Engineers keep generating and drop the level back into the power pool, and the power company stops generating like they usuall do. It is hard to tell but when April 15th comes the rules change. Do not be afraid of casting a spoon and any fish that you happen to see surfacing. When the actual top-water bite starts later, you can use your Zara Spook to draw the fish up that are not surfacing but not so much now. Bink reports he caught top-water fish for several hours yesterday on the spook in Big Creek. When the nights only get down into the 50's for a low they come up in the mornings and when the cold front comes through with lows in the 30's to low 40's they do not. This is the first time I have seen walleye come up with the bass.  Bass, crappie and walleye are the best bite now with some stripers. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mark VanderLindon, Al Dorenkamp, Al Paris, Jim Bowie, and Mike Street are all here from Iowa. They are always welcome here. Nice Guys. Image titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 555.10 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously and three spillway gates open a little. The White River at Newport is at 22.26 and they are doing what they can to prevent the area lakes from rising and getting this big slug through the system. The water discharge is creating a current and moving the off-colored water downstream quickly on the main lake and it was between the bridges last night. I fished the small creek near Bidwell and the water was very clear but not what was going by it. Some debris is in the Cranfield area but some is also sticking to the bank with the receding water. It could have been a lot worse. The water temperature was 56 where I was fishing. It is cloudy and rainy today but not much has happened so far with just a little rain last night, but it is raining now.The crappie want to spawn bad and the bass are a little behind. I am seeing big bass under the dock but not on the bank. The big bluegill have started to bite again and are pre-spawn feeding.  Stripers, white bass and walleye have mostly finished spawning. Several nice smallmouth are being caught. Fishing overall is just fair but some good ones are being caught everyday. I am using Bink's Spoons, Bobby Garland Baby Shad, small twister tails tipped with a small minnow and a slip float with a larger minnow depending on the wind. You can also cast the spoon and hop it back to the boat. I am not catching a lot of fish back in the creeks but some male crappie are scattered off the bank and are ready to make nests near any wood. The crappie spawn may be drawn out with the changing water levels. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Everything is very green and flowers are blooming. Dogwoods are in full bloom and redbuds are also coming on. We have mowed once already. You will really appreciate our big covered porches on these rainy days. The Purple Marin Scouts have come and gone and it looks like a big crop of them this year. We really like birds here and are an Arkansas State Bird Sanctuary and have a of of them.  It will not be long before mushroom season. We especially welcome Veterans and Police here but Scuba Steve does not require as much policing as a few year earlier.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

The two bedroom deluxe cabins are now ready for your visit. #12 and #14 and are $83/day and $498/week. Cannot beat that anywhere and they are very nice. Check us out. Image title

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The lake level is 555.36 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously and three spillway gates opened a little for a period. All of the area lakes are in the flood pool and it will be a while before they are leveled out even if it doesn't rain. The White River at Newport is 22.27 ft. and dropping and they can only keep it at this level until April 15th which is rapidly approaching. The surface water temperature was 55 degrees on the main lake yesterday afternoon and it was a little breezy. The ambient temperature was in the 60's but warmed up about 4:PM for a couple of hours. It was a very nice day. The Pigeon Creek area had brown water with debris and so did north of Cranfield Island and what does not drop out will be here with the high generation and current. At least the lake dropped a little and some of it will stick to the bank on the way unless it rises again.  The water was still in good condition in the area around Blackburns and some fish were caught but not a lot with most being bass and crappie. Main Lake points on brush in 18-30 feet held the most fish. Our two bedroom deluxe cabins #12 &14 are now ready for your visit and are our feature cabins for today. They are both the same and are $83.day or $498/week and a lot of work has been done on them this season. The cabins and big porches have been pained inside and out and now have a king bed in the master bedroom and a queen, full and twin in the other bedroom with new bedding and mattresses. They also have new laminate flooring, roofs, counter tops and cabinets. You will like what you see when you get here. Come on down and check us out. The price is right and they are very nice and ready.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 555.55 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday but it took borh generators running continuously and spillway gates open a bit to keep it that way. It would have come up a lot more without that effort. The White River at Newport is 22.57 feet so a lot of water is coming from somewhere. It rained a little last night but not a lot maybe a 1/4 inch total. The people saying they are saving the water for electricity needs for the summer do not know how it works especially when spillway gates are opened bypassing the generators. It would have been better to have generated more in the winter and lowered the lake and used the water for electricity but I am glad they are finally doing it now.  The 14-ft. rule goes into effect on april 15th and the 12-ft. rule on may 8th and generation is very limited at those times. The flow level at Batesville also has limiting effects. The surface water temperature was 56+ degrees yesterday afternoon on the main lake and lower than that in the creeks. The fish looking for the warmest water will not move into the creeks unless it is warmer there and that is why there are still bass and crappie on the main lake brush. Some big male bass have moved in under Blackburns Dock but not on the bank to make nests yet. The main lake was stained an off-color of green with a little mud mixed in with it but a good color for fishing. It was the same color everywhere I went. I could see my lure down about 2-3 feet. I continued to be surprised at how quickly the brown had dropped out of the water. It is not a problem in this area but I did not go past Cranfield Island and did not need to. I am sure it is muddy up north but have not been there. I was just out for a short time and caught my self-imposed limit of five large crappie and a keeper bass and came in to check out a rental boat. One crappie was very large and full of eggs. It is surprising that the big crappie are still on the main lake brush in april but I have seen this before when the crappie spawn was spread out over several weeks with the water level variation and the water slow to warm. The bass will move in to the creeks soon and the male crappie are already there. A few days of high 50 degree water temperature will get them moving. That is why the trollers are catching a few male crappie outside the buckbrush in 12-15 ft. of water dragging a small crankbait. Not much skill to it, the rod holder feels the thump and sets the hook for you but you can arbitrarily cover a lot of water and get some meat. Trolling Alabama and umbrella rigs also work but are expensive snags. Using a good fish finder and dragging several lines with live bait on them through enough schools of shad and you will also catch fish. I do not use any of these techniques but am not trying to see how many fish that I can kill. There are enough people out there doing that and do not need me. I keep no frozen fish inventory. Blackburns still has two cabins open now so come on down and we will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some nice ones. Image title

The lake level is 555.56 and has risen 6-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. The water is still rising slowly with both generators running. If they shut them off it will continue to rise  steadily until this slug gets through and the water stops running off from the hillsides. We have received about 4-1/2 inches total in the three day event here at Blackburns and the lake has risen a total of 2.6 feet. The surface water temperature is 53 on the main lake and 51+ back in the creek. The brown in the water is clearing rapidly in this area and is now a good color for fishing. I am surprised how quickly it is clearing. It did not affect the main lake much but some will be coming down from Missouri but I hope it settles out by the time it gets to Blackburns and the Mallard Point area. More rain is expected this week but not a lot. It was cold last night with frost and only got up to the early 40's yesterday closing out the month of march. Good riddance and I hope it took the wind with it. It is very busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and rental boats in the area. It is very nice here, The price is right and your first boat stall is free. All cabins are individual with no duplexes and have big covered porches. One bedrooms start at $59/day and the two,three and four bedrooms are priced accordingly. Why pay more?

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.90 and has risen 2-feet in the last 24-hours with no current generation. I dumped 4-inches out of my rain gauge last evening and the creeks were running hard and the brown water was almost out to the entrance of the main lake and well past my dock. Pigeon Creek was brown by the Hwy 201 bridge with debris floating as far as you could see. I do not know what is coming down from Missouri. The creeks have quit running but the lake is rising an inch an hour. We did not receive any severe weather here but it was abundant other places in Arkansas and Springdale got hit hard. It is cold and breezy now with a freeze warning for tonight. It is supposed to get into the 60's tomorrow but I will believe it when I see it. As I have said many times before, I want march to go away. This is not what we needed going into april but it was predictable. If we were at 547in the winter instead of 553 we would still be in the power pool and still in good shape going into spring. Now we are another big rain away from problems. They seem to like to keep us in that position for a reason nobody knows.  They used to draw down in the winter a few years ago but refuse to do it now but you cannot expect much from anything run by the government and we certainly do not get much that is for sure. I have to go down and move my dock and will check water temperature. Stay tuned. The grass is sure growing and flowers blooming. I do not like fishing brown water but where it transitions from brown to clear. It is good the bass and crappie are not on their beds yet with the quickly rising water. Maybe things will stabilize. The White River at Newport is 18.76 feet so they can let out more if they want to up to 21-feet. That changes april 15th. Do not expect any wade fishing on the rivers anytime soon.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition By Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 552.97 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. They were running both generators, cut to one and now have completely quit. They always seem to quit when it rains in order to maginfy the efffects and keep the level up as high as possible. The lake is at a good level now but there is not much room for a surge with the spring rains coming. More of a cushion would be nice but it surely looks like they like high water and are bent on having it happen every year. If not, they certainly have not done anything this winter to prevent it and there is nobody held accountable. I had a 53 degree water temperature yesterday afternoon and the wind came up about 4:PM making it impossible to fish except for the very back of the creeks and there are not many fish there. I am surprised that there are bass and crappie still on main lake brush in this area but there are but the wind makes it very difficult to stay on them. I am willing to sacrifice my part of any people that think wind is your friend. They sure have had a good one this month. The Reidlingers from Albany, Missouri found some nice stripers trolling and they are getting more and more difficult to find. Bink is vertical jigging steep banks for bass with creature baits and spoons and catching some big ones. Some of his smallmouth are as big as I have seen coming out of Norfork. There are a lot of 4-pounders in the lake but a 6-pounder is almost unheard of and one was caught fishing with him earlier this week. We need some warm nights to get the spring spawn going and the top-water bite tp be consistent. I am glad march is almost over but do not like the storms the spring brings. It is raining hard now and the creeks are running big time.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Cabins 5-8 are our one bedroom cabins and are nearly the same. Number 3 is also a 1 bedroom but it is called the Honeymoon cabin and has a new king bed.They are all ready.Image title

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The lake level is 552.92 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The White River at Newport is 19.61 and dropping. The surface water temperature is between 51 and 52 and staying about the same. It may come up a degree today with the warmer weather, It is to start raining tonight and continue tomorrow with about 2-inches expected and windy. Things should calm down by friday but get cooler with highs in the high 50's. Our normal high is 63. Stripers have finished their so-called spawn and have moved back out on shad to feed and are mixed in the white bass and hybrids. Crappie are wanting to spawn bad but I just found a big school of them on a main lake point on brush instead of back in the creeks and they were feeding but I just did not want to fight the wind for very long and caught a few and came in. My self-imposed limit is five and I do not want to kill huge stringers of them to impress anybody and especially not this time of year. Leave that for the guides.  I keep no frozen fish in inventory. I am still not seeing any bass on beds or making nests yet and Blackburns Creeks will be full of them soon. It is very busy here with people looking for real estate, closing on houses, visiting Nurse, working from out of town and fishermen. About 1/3rd of our customers are fishermen. We like a mixed group and prefer to stay nearly full. We especially welcome Veterans and Police. Yesterday Tom was mowing, Dave was spraying for bugs, Adam was working on the pool, Debbie and Amy were cleaning cabins and painting outside porch chairs and Scuba Steve was at the bar or fishing. Actually I have not been to a bar in several months but do like to stop in at the VFW every once in a while. Nice people there and good food.  Blackburns is really looking good and we are ready for yoiur visit. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. Our one bedroom cabins are all ready now and all have new roofs, laminate floors, new heater/air conditioners, counter tops and cabinets, much new furniture and most new mattresses and bedding. No wonder I am broke. 

Ashamed Man

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This man did not stay at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental. He paid too much for his cabin and boat rental. He may be a little slow on the draw and deserves to be ashamed. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service. That is one nice smallmouth. One of my favorite fish.Image title

The lake level is 552.96 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. They just dropped offf to one generator. It will be interesting to see what they do on April 15th when the operating rules change. They drop the generating right when the spring rains usually come but are letting out a lot of water now. The water temperature was 51 yesterday on the main lake and the water was still stained green but clearing more near the shore. That will change again when the wind picks back up before the next low pressure and then the next cold front which are both on the way. The nights are very cool and the water temperature has been in the low 50's for weeks with cold fronts coming through one after another. Red Buds are starting to bloom and it is about time to mow the grass for the first time. Bass continue to bite off steep banks near deep water and can be caught vertical jigging the spoon or creature baits on a jig head. I am catching nothing off the bank at this time but there are some male crappie scattered on wood just off the bank. Most females are still schooled and roaming wanting to spawn. Some brush piles are holding fish and some are not. You just have to check them out. It may look like nothing is on them but some bass are right in them on the bottom and hard to see so drop the lure down touching bottom. I see some bass feeding near the surface but they are small. There is not a real top-water bite yet but there will be when it finally warms up. It may go from winter directly to summer but the weather patterns will have to change first. The crappie will spawn soon no matter what the weather does followed by bass. We just need a stable water level for a few weeks now for the spawn. Big fluctuations are not good. The lake is at a good level now and I wish it would stay right where it is. People are catching fish but are working for them. Pigeon creek is a good place to look for crappie near docks. It looks to be a good spring for fishing so far but is slow coming. It will get better when march is over. It is a long, cold, windy month. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike and Bernie Dean from DeKalb, Illinois caught some nice ones but had to work for them. They are good fisherpeople and we are always glad to see them. Image title

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The lake level is 553.13 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. The surfface water temperature is 51 degrees and the lake is still stained green but starting to clear, mostly near the shore. Fishing is only fair now with bass being the best bite and that is not easy. People are also catching crappie but are working hard to get them. I go out for a couple of hours in the afternoon and catch a couple of bass and a few crappie and am fishing as hard as I can. Try fishing steeper banks and vertical jig creature baits like small worms and crawdads straight up and down on a jig head and move very slow. Many of the fish are on or near the bottom. A few smallmouth are showing up but mostly Kentuckies and largemouth with about a 2-lb. average.  We need to get out of march and have the water warm for several days to get things going and stop these cold fronts. Some nights with overnight lows in the 50's would not hurt anything also along with some sunshine. The bass are not ready to spawn yet but the crappie are but are not doing it. Beating the banks back in the creeks is not catching much but it will and it will take a couple of weeks. White Bass will come up in the back of Panther Creek first for some reason and then back in Big Creek. There are not as many as before but there are several and are making a comeback after their kill-off a few years ago. Blackburns has cabins for $59/day and your first boat stall is free. Can't beat that anywhere. Come on down. We will not charge yoiu too much.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught and released on the Bink's Spoon. Image title

The lake level is 553.30 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation most of the time. The White River at Newport is 20.63 feet so they are letting out quite a bit of water. The surface water temperature was just under 52 degrees yesterday afternoon when I went out and the lake was still stained. You could see your lure down 2-3 feet but the water is clearing near the shore. I was bass fishing back in a creek and not catching anything so I went to a brush pile in 25-ft. of water with brush near the surface and switched from the grub to the spoon. I caught two nice bass, released them and came it. Fishing was not the best for me but I caught some and they were right on the bottom. I am moving away from crappie fishing for a bit with the male crappie staging for the spawn back in the creeks. They make the nests and protect the eggs and fry until they swim away. If you go along the bank and catch all of the males it is worse than catching females off the nest. There are sure a lot of Guides out there chasing not very many customers. You would think the fish were jumping in the boat but they are not. Overall fishing is just fair at best but will get better when the water warms and the top-water bite begins in earnest. The people catching fish are working all day for them and the trollers are trolling for miles to catch a few fish. The water temperature hovering around 52 degrees for weeks and the weekly cold fronts are not helping anything either and I am very tired of the wind but still go out everyday to get information for a report and see what is happening.  We are working very hard on improvements for you and the place is in the best shape ever. We hope you will like it. Dogwoods are in full bloom and redbuds are just starting and the grass is getting green. Everything is fine here. Just keep away the storms and big rains and we will be fine. There are a lot of fish in the lake but more and more people are chasing them.  I am ready to go scuba diving.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Cabin #10 is a 2-bedroom cabin and is now ready for your visit. You will like it inside and out. Image titleImage titleImage title

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The lake level is 553.42 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation. The White River at Newport is 20.61 so they are letting out a lot of water and that is good. It is also good to finally see the sun shine again after several days of windy, dreary and cold weather. The surface water temperature is in the low 50's and the water is stained. No wind, no rain and sunshine will clear it up again even with high generation which I hope they keep up. The backs of creeks near the shore will clear and make for a lot of people sight fishing bass nests. I do not do that. Bass tournaments release all of their fish in mostly one place but remove them from the nests and leave the eggs and fry unprotected from bluegill and warmouth. That is why they hang out near the bank during spawn.  We just do not need a big fluxuation in water level now during the spawn and it would be nice to stay at this level all the time. Bass fishing is pretty good, crappie fishing is fair along with temperate bass. Warm nights and sunny days will get the top-water bite going as the water temperature rises. It will start up just a day or two a week and then happen most early mornings just before, during and just after sunrise. You have to get out there early for best results. Top-water fish can be released without much harm and are fun and easy to catch. Some fish feeding on shad in the backs of creeks after heavy wind near the surface in march does not mean the top-water spring bite has begun. Blackburns feature of the day is Cabin #10. We just finished working on it yesterday and it is ready for you and with no price increases. Debbie and Amy just finished deep cleaning and painting the exterior. This two bedroom cabin now has new roof, laminate floors, heater/airconditioner, several new mattresses and bedding and furniture items. You will like what you see when you get here. The big, covered  front porch is not new but is very popular and freshly painted. The cabin is located near the coin-op laundry with two washers and two dryers. It is $77/day and $450/week for four people until Memorial Day and a free stall for your boat is included at our 16-stall boat dock with security system  There is no better value around. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. Bring you Police and Veteran friends with you. Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental is the family place and we will assist you if you are looking for real estate.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

John Bornhop with a nice hybrid striper caught while crappie fishing on a Bink's Spoon. Released under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 553.55 and has risen over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 2/3rds the time. We are approaching the power pool of 553.75 where the generation control goes back to the Corps of Engineers. The White River at Newport is at 20.26 feet and I wonder why it could not have been at this level since the Southwest Power took over. The surface water temperature is in the low 50's and the creeks are stained and the main lake is also stained but not as much.  We are at a good level now but are going into the spring too high. 560 is when we start to have problems with day use access and one big rain could get us there. There has been no effort to drop the lake this winter and they are just trying to maintain this level. It has been cold, cloudy and windy with continuous cold fronts moving through but that should change by about tuesday when it is to get in the high 70's. When that happens the warmth is usually accompanied by storms and we have been very fortunate to have avoided them for a long time. Bass are pre-spawn feeding now and are the best bite. People that cannot kill stripers now because they cannot catch them are turning to bass and that is why I oppose the changes proposed by the Game and Fish for Bass regulations. I know that there are a lot of small bass including Kentucky Bass in the lake but I am finding no fish that are skinny and there is little competition for food with shad, crawdads and creek minnows plentiful and no shad kill this year. If they take the size and numbers limit off of Kentucky Bass the meat hunters will eliminate them. They are easily caught and provide fun for novice fishermen when other fish are hard to catch and grow to about two to two and one half pounds. Also killing largemouth bass that are 13-inches instead of 15 will in the long run will make for more larger fish but many less medium fish and harder to catch. A large percentage of bigger bass have been caught before and released. I do not see an over-population of fish in Norfork or any signs of it. I would like to see many more walleye stocked as more and more fishermen are coming here to target them instead of the stripers which are either over-harvested or die off in the heat of the summer. They are getting smaller and smaller and they keep killing them and bragging about it. It looks like the proposed new law raising license price for out-of-state guides will go through on July 1st of this year. It will keep out some of the ones who are making a living on Arkansas waters with a residence in another state. A $2,500 license fee will scare some of them off. We have plenty of guides. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition By Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.37 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 3/4th the time. The White River at Newport is at 19-feet and rising and we are approaching the power pool of 553.75 again. We received about 2-1/2 inches of rain in the last three days but that is over for now with another cold front here with highs near 50. Our normal high is 63. It is to get very warm early next week. The surface water temperature remains in the low to mid 50's and the lake is stained both in the creeks and on the main lake after the rain. It was heavy at times. You can see your lure down only a couple of feet. Fishing was a little better yesterday with people that had been struggling also catching fish. The fish are all mixed up with them being scattered about everywhere. Some are staging for a spawn, some pre-spawn feeding, some post-spawn feeding and some still out on the main lake on shad. When the top-water bite starts next week try in Panther Creek. It is always one of the best places in early spring for that especially at sunrise on clear days. The stripers are finishing their spawn at night and will move there soon with the bass and white bass. April 15th it will be in full swing and everybody will catch fish. The cold weather has put things on hold for now but it will get really exciting next week when the water warms in the creeks rapidly. We just need march to get over but keep the storms and big rains away and we will be fine. The lake is in good condition and at a good level for fishing. Come on down th Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. I bought new pool-side lounge chairs yesterday and am broke again. They have doubled in price. We will have our pool open by Memorial Day or when it gets warm. Has anybody tried to buy sand for the children's sand pile lately? Wow. The inflation rate is not 10% that is for sure. I am holding my prices but it is getting harder and harder but people appreciate it. It just needs to stop. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Please join me in welcoming Mr. and Mrs. Dan Washburn to the area who are moving here from Florida.Image title

The lake level is 553.17and has risen 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/3rd the time and none since last evening. They always seem to quit when it rains but have just started again. The White River at Newport is hanging in there at 17-feet. I just dumped over 2-inches of rain from my gauge and the creeks are running but not fast. It is raining now. It was very windy again yesterday and more is to come with the next cold front. Highs are to get in the high 40's tomorrow and low 50's thursday with lows in the high 30's but not freezing. The night bite for stripers is nearing an end and they are joining the walleye for ending their spawn. I found several walleye on main lake points in front of Blackburns brush piles and caught them on both the jerk bait and grub. They are a little too shallow for me to spoon but will get there after the thermocline forms at 16-18 feet later but will stay in the same places. The thermocline will form in may. The male crappie are in the backs of the creeks in shallow water staging just at the drop-off and near any wood so you can beat the bank for them for singles with jigs.  Some schools are still on brush in about 20-25 feet a little farther from the bank but near deeper water. The females will lay their eggs shallow and move to main lake brush again and the males will stay on the nest protecting them until they swim away. This will go on for the whole month of april but will begin soon with the bigger crappie spawning first. Everytime you catch a male off the nest the bluegill and warmouth will eat the eggs and newly hatched fry as fast as you can kiss a duck. They lay in waiting. Going down the creek bank and catching all of the males off the nests is not good. The early spawn is a good time to catch the big ones back on the brush but they will get dilluted with smaller ones as the spawn continues and the schools will get bigger. Bass fishing is the best now with all of the black bass pre-spawn feeding. Even the trollers are catching some. I am surprised about how many fish are on the main lake points at this time and how few are in the backs of the creeks with the water temperature in the 50's. It will not go up anytime soon until later this weekend when it gets very warm again and in the upper 70's and then things will really change fast. April looks to be a good month for fishing.  The ground is saturated and I am looking forward to catching mushrooms this spring. It will not be long. People just keep killing the stripers and they just keep getting smaller and smaller and they are still bragging about it. They surely cannot need meat that bad. Forgive them because they know not what they do.  Yesterday was cloudy and windy. Today is rainy and windy. Yuk. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Doug Ireland, Jamie Hill and Emmie Ireland are visiting from Montana and we are glad to have them. Nice people. Image titleImage title

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The lake level is 553.02 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with generation a little less than 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport has now dropped below 17-feet and continues it's decend with the power company in charge. They are letting out less and less water everyday. We are to get rain starting tomorrow afternoon and it is slow moving and we could get a couple of inches. It is to be followed by another cold front and highs are to be in the high 40's and low 50's for a couple of days. They just keep coming but are better than severe storms. The normal high is 62 but I guess that is an average between 70 and 45. I went out yesterday evening for a couple of hours after work and fished the back of a creek that the south wind had been blowing into to check things out. The main lake has still been good to me for bass and crappie. I caught some bass in shallow brush at about 12-ft. deep near the bottom and a few crappie near wood just at the drop-off. They were all singles with no schools indicating the males are staging getting ready to make a nest. The water temperature was 55-56 on both the main lake and backs of the creeks so the wind has been mixing it up. A couple of days with highs in the 70's and lows in the 50's will get the spawn going and the calendar moving into april will not hurt anything either. Roger Moody is a good bass fisherman and he reports having a tough time back in the creeks in the morning but caught several in the afternoon and evening just around main lake points on the inside. He and his brother release all fish on site and are conservationalists.  I expect some good ones to come in today with the clouds moving in later. Blackburns still has two cabins open this week so some on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. The one bedroom cabins start at $59/day for two people and the two. three and four bedrooms are priced accordingly. You can launch on site and we will give you a hand if needed. No need to go elsewhere to launch.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

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

The lake level is 553.08 and has risen just a bit since yesterday at this time with about 8-hours of generation. The White River at Newport is now at 17-feet and still dropping. They are cutting generation on all area lakes and they are all rising for no reason. It looks like a good chance of rain for the next three days but nothing severe and it should not rain out the whole day. It could make for some good fishing but the march wind will blow as the fronts move in and out. Blackburns has several good fishermen in so you do not have to see the same fishermen's picture day after day after day. The first day of spring is today but expect another cold front with very cool weather after these rains. Highs will go from the 70's back to the 50's. Our normal high is 61. The lake surface water temperature is 52 on the main lake.  March is not nearly over yet. Some caught good fish yesterday and some did not but it was better than the day before. The moon is waning now and expect the night striper bit to get smaller with it and be over in a few more days. Our guests caught several the last couple of nights and caught a few walleye in the evenings before dark. Umbrella trollers are also catching some on the same banks during the day but deeper in about 30-feet replacing some of the artificial plastics with live bait and trolling through shad. Not much skill to it but effective. If you drag enough umbrellas or Alabama rigs through enough shad you will catch fish. That is one reason why most of the big stripers are gone. Some days it looks like opening of walleye season in Minnesota with all of the boats chugging around. We will pay for it in the future but those fish must be killed at all costs but it is the only way that some people know how to catch fish.  Bass are pre-spawn feeding now and several are being caught back in the creeks on the bank. I am not seeing very many crawdads yet but the creek minnows are plentiful and some bass are moving off the shad and feeding on them. Crankbaits are working pretty good especially on windy days which we have not had any shortages of lately. Some crappie are still on main lake brush but not many. Several males are back in the creeks staging and ready to make nests and some of the larger females are ready. It will be in full swing by early april and continue through mid may which is about the same for the top-water bite for bass and temperate bass. May is the best overall month for a combination of weather and fishing with about all species biting. Many crappie and walleye will be back on mainlake brush in 15-20 feet of water in May and catfish will be back in the creeks.  Blackburns does not go on it's summer rates until Labor Day and they are still lower than some places' winter rates so come on down. The cabins are now all open and are ready for your visit and your first boat stall is free unless you bring the Queen Mary and I have to move out one of my pontoon boats of which we have 12 to rent. Our dock has different size boat stalls to fit most boats and not one size fits all and they have walkways on both sides with electrical outlets. There is an infra-red security system so the meth-heads looking for free gas better go someplace else.  We especially welcome Veterans and Police also. That does not hurt anything. I did not vote to defund them. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Scuba Steve with the fish of the day here at Blackburns.Image title

The lake level is 553.06 and has risen 2-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation for three days. With the rain coming next week it looks like we will get back out of the power pool. We are heading into spring rains and there has been no effort to drop the lake for the winter. Everytime it gets down to the power pool of 553.75 they quit generating and let it come back up again almost like they want high water for the summer. With the price of oil you would think they need nearly free electricity somewhere in the transmission area but I guess not. They like to hold water until it gets very high and then bypass the generators and open flood gates. It was a cold blustery day on Norfork yesterday after the rain with white caps and hard to get out of. The people predicting spring might have been a little premature but the Dogwoods started to bloom anyway down by the lake and that is usually a good sign. I did not see any redbuds blooming yet and they usually bloom first but they also show up around town in the higher elevations in the sun rather than down by the lake.  The surface water temperature was 51.6 on the main lake and the water was stained from the wind. I went back in a creek to get out of the wind and caught a couple of nice crappie and came in. This weekend should be better and then good chances of rain for the next three days after that. It looks like the severe weather will go south of us again. Bass fishing is the best right now as the crappie have slowed for a couple of days. The trollers are catching some small stripers and white bass with a few hybrids thrown in. The people fishing after dark for stripers are catching fish but very few over 10-pounds. Last night was the full moon and that bite will diminish with the moon and then the first part of April the top-water bite will begin. It will be sporatic until the 15th of April when it always seems to be in full swing. This is when spitin image and poppers work very well for bass and spooks work for both bass and stripers. Casting spoons and hopping them back to the boat also works. Get a 6-1/2 ft. medium heavy rod and learn how to walk that dog. Limber rods do not work. Novices can use the wopper plopper as all you have to do is reel it in and do not need to know anything about technique. A person that can work a spitin image can catch a lot of bass in the spring and it is fun to watch them hit the lure and settting the hook instead of just dragging stuff around behind the boat in a rod holder but they both work.  A friend gave me a tackle box full of old lures and I put them on a peg board in the office on display and they kept disappearing so I contacted Larry Seaman who specializes in old lures and fixes my stepped on rods and fixes my reels (I am too cheap to buy new ones) to see what he could do. He can fix about anyting and make it look like new.  He made a beautiful display of the lures framed and under glass and I traded him the rest of the lures. Some were the old wooden lures and the old Splune silver spoons. They made them by hand until the 1950's until Acme bought them and then they were mass produced and called Kastmaster because they were made of metal and you could cast them far.  Uncle Josh bought them about 20-years ago and now they are made in China and not nearly as good. I used to use the Dare Devil with Red Eye spoon for Pike in Minnesota and also caught White Bass in the Missouri River in South Dakota on them a long time ago but never tried them on Norfork. I use the Bink's Spoons exclusively now as he has been producing them for about 25-years, continually makes improvements and I catch a lot of fish on them.  Larry knows all of this stuff that I have never heard of. People really enjoy the display in Blackburns Office and none have gone missing since. It is getting very busy here at Blackburns with people taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boats in the Ozarks and your first boat stall is free. We have no duplexes and all of the cabins have big covered porches. All of our cabins are open now and the one bedroom ones start at $59/day and there is no price increase this year. There have been many improvements and you will like what you see when you get here. Furniture Depot in Mountain Home also has worked with me to buy about 20 new mattresses this year and now most of them in the resort are new or only a couple of years old. I highly recomment these fine people also. It is good to have friends.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Linda Goodwin from Belleville, Illinois with some nice ones. Image title

The lake level is 552.84 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation for about 32-hours. The White River is 19-feet and still dropping. We have received about 1-inch of rain here so far this morning with more coming. It has been very warm but is to get cooler next week. The water temperature is rising but it will do no good to give a number because it varies so much in the location. In general the creeks are warmer and stained water warms more quickly in the sunshine than clear water. That also varies from location to location and whether in the sun ornot. In general it is in the low 50's on the main lake in the mornings and mid 50's in the creeks in the afternoon. I am still not seeing any fish making nests or on them but the next step will be the male crappie will be moving to the creeks near the shore and getting ready to do so. Check out in the backs of Pigeon, Middle Pigeon, East Pigeon and Briar Creeks. The crappie eggs have bloodlines but are not ready to spawn yet in this area. Some walleye are moving back to this area and have finished spawning but I have not caught any big ones. The stripers are on their normal spawning places at dark now and are biting slow-retrieved suspending stick baits cranked down a few feet. Stripers are the only fish that I know off that ingest their own eggs in Norfork Lake but they do not hatch anyway. Blackburns has cabins starting at $59/day and your first boat stall is free so come on down. We will not charge you too much and there are no price increases again this year. Shop before you book. 

  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition By Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught fishing with Bink;s Guide Service yesterday. Big Norfork lake Crappie. Image title

The lake level is 552.63 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 2/3rds the time. The White River at Newport is 19.59 and dropping steadily since the power company took over generation management at power pool of 553.75. The main lake is more clear than the creeks and the creeks are warming up rapidly with the warm weather. I found 49 degree water on the main lake in the morning and 55 in Blackburns Creek in the afternoon. The average daytime high is now 60. The cold fronts are getting replaced with just low pressure and we are entering the rainy season where we get about two rains a week and typically for the last several years the lake rises. We just hope not too much but nothing was done to drop the level this winter which would have given us more surge capacity. The 14-ft. rule goes into affect April 15th and the 12-ft. rule goes into affect May 8th depending on how full the area lakes are at that time but nobody seems to know how that %age is calculated. It keeps changing but the tendency is to keep everything higher than in several years before and blaming rainfall amounts. When questions are asked why, we just get "that is what the lakes are for is to hold water" so it looks like nothing will change. If we have a drought it will be ok and if we have above average rainfall it will not. How do you want your steak, raw or burned? It looks like we could have a medium in there someplace. Bass and crappie fishing is pretty good and striper fishing has slowed during the day but increasing at dark on stick baits. Some walleye are showing up on the bank in the evening. Soft plastics like flukes or bass assassins about 3-inches long and creature baits like crawdads and lizards on 1/8th ounce jig heads are all working back in the creeks for bass. Small spoons, grubs and jigs are all working for crappie. The top-water bite for temperate bass will start about April 1st and be in full swing about the 15th as will the crappie spawn. Maybe a little earlier if the warm weather keeps up but we are barely past the middle of March and anything can happen. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few. Do not be a hog and remember there are possession limits. The same people have been fishing Blackburns brush piles everyday. I hope they go away so some of my customers can use them but we have several for when this happens. Others should put in their own or use the government ones just for courtesy.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mickey Phillips is here with his three sons from Memphis, TennesseeImage title on spring break. Welcome. Nice family.

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The lake level is 552.81 and has dropped 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 2/3rds the time. The White River at Newport is 20.27 and dropping but they are still letting out a lot of water. The surface water temperature was 50+ yesterday afternoon and should continue to rise with the warm weather and no cold fronts coming through. The two fronts coming up from the gulf and down from Colorado should meet south of us this time but they just keep coming but March is only 1/2 gone and anything can happen. People fishing after dark caught some stripers last night on the stick bait in their normal spawning areas. This is a perfect time for this kind of fishing with the full moon being the 18th. Crappie are all mixed up but some nice ones are being caught from Pigeon Creek to Briar Creek on brush. I am catching few on the main lake. Bass are pre-spawn feeding both early and late and there are a lot of creek minnows near the shore in the creeks. Most species are being caught now but you have to work for them and they are not in high numbers except for crappie if you happen to find a big school feeding. Some nice fish are coming in and I am catching no throwback crappie. The same areas seem to hold the small ones year after year and the same for the big ones. They are hitting the lure aggressively now and fighting like crazy almost like a smallmouth bass. I do not know what has gotten in them but they sure are fun to catch. Tomprrow at 8:45 AM is "Live in the Boat" with Darrel Binkley from Bink's Guide Service with a weekly fishing report and tip of the week on KTLO FM 97.9 Tune in for some good information on Norfork Lake. Blackburns has all of their cabins open now and the girls are working hard to get them all deep cleaned and ready for you. One bedroom cabins are still $59/day and your first boat stall is free. This will help off-set high gas prices and inflation and have a good vacation without paying too much or sacrificing any quality. We have a good place here.  Veterans and Police are also especially welcome Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 with any questions. Blackburns is the best place with the best price and closest to Mountain Home, dining and shopping while still being on 28-acres in the quiet peaceful country in a green beautiful valley.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Dave Titus with a couple of pretty good ones yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 552.92 and has dropped over 4-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is at 20.39 and dropping but they are still letting out a lot of water. It was cloudy and misted rain a few times yesterday and did not warm up like it was supposed to but was not bad for fishing. I had to check out a rental boat for a customer in the morning so was able to get out for a bit before resuming starting up cabins. Debbie reminded me that if I not get the utilities turned on  she would not be able to get them ready for friday when they mostly fill up. It looks to be a busy spring despite the inflation and high gas price. Most of that can be offset by staying at Blackburns and not paying too much and not paying for your first boat stall. I thought about buying a new $2,000 Live Scope for my boat but decided to buy new cabinets and beds for the cabins instead. I can catch enough fish without one anyway. I know where the brush piles are because we put most of them in. If someone wants to buy me one just give me the money instead.   The surface water temperature was 49 degrees and the water was still stained and I could see my lure down just a couple of feet. I caught nothing for about an hour and then the bass and crappie started biting and I caught my self imposed limit of five crappie and two bass and came in and got to work. Some of the crappie were about 12-inches but a couple were very large. I was casting the grub past the brush and letting it sink down into it and they were in 35-ft. of water and hitting on the drop about 15-20 ft. down. Bink, Dave, Mike, Tom also caught fish. They were using spoons, creature baits and small worms.  It is warmer today already and much warmer is on the way but chances of rain. Everytime the water tries to warm it gets cold and cools down again. Maybe this time it will stick. Just keep away the storms and keep the lake dropping and we will be fine. We are at a good level now but do not need a big rain. The ground is completey saturated and needs to dry up a bit. 13.74 pounds won the Youth Bass Nation Tournament last weekend. I though it would be more but that is still pretty good. Norfork Lake fireworks fund raiser tournament is the 26th of this month. Another good cause and lake promotion. 

Norfork lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Fish of the day yesterday released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 553.31 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last night about 9PM and just stared again this morning. The White River at Newport is 20.98 and dropping. The surface water temperature was 49 yesterday afternoon and the lake is stained green. We worked on boats yesterday getting them ready for rental this week and then went out fishing for a while and caught a few but not a lot. Bass fishing was the best followed by crappie, hybrids, small stripers and some white bass. I see the same trollers out there everyday seeing how many small stripers they can kill. People ask almost everyday if stripers are good to eat. The answer is almost all fish coming out of Norfork's clean waters are good to eat. My opinion is in this order: Walleye, crappie, Kentucky Bass, Flathead Catfish are by far the best, followed by channel cat and then temperate bass. (stripers, hybrid stripers and white bass). You only have to cut the red meat out of all of the termperate bass or they are very strong.  Blue cat are ok but not my favorite. Others eat carp and gar but I do not. I do not kill very many fish anyway especially smallmouth and big largemouth. With the price of fishing equipment and gas it is not economical to go fishing to get meat anyway. I promote catch and release but have no problem with people staying in the legal limits. The weather may be a little rainy this week but the temperatures are to be spring-like. Several people are here on spring break and others buying or looking for real estate continue to keep coming and more than I have ever seen. The 5PM traffic in town is more like a city than a small town and things are changing faster than anyone could have imagined. I used to know almost everyone in town and now I can go to Walmart and see a hundred people and not know any of them. The same is with the fishing pressure. With the increasing number of fishermen and better electronics the fish in the lake will get harder and harder to maintain. Even novices can catch fish now and there are about as many guides as there are fishermen. I just do not want us to end up being like Lake Texoma where the stripers are small even though they spawn there. All of ours are planted. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.39 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. All area lakes are now below power pool and Southwest Power takes over generation schedules. I expect them to slow down generation on Norfork this evening but we will see. The White River at Newport is 21-feet still but dropping. They could keep it at 21-feet until April 14th if they wanted too. The surface water temperature was 48 in Blackburns Creek yesterday afternoon and 50 on the main lake and the ambient temperature is 54 now and warming nicely already even with the time change. The water was still stained but clearest near the bank. The ambient temperature struggled to get to 39 degrees but most of the snow melted except on the north side of things and out of my boat. We received three inches but it went away a lot faster than the last one and there was no ice. Another storm is coming down from the northwest on about tuesday but it looks like the gulf air will meet the low pressure south of us this time with some severe weather in Texas, Louisiana and southern Arkansas. The jury is out on what will happen here. Hopefully nothing but a little rain. I am ready for warmer weather but not the storms it brings. March is not 1/2 over yet and anything could happen. We will open up the last five cabins next week anyway and take what we get. I have been getting several boats ready for spring and have 10 of them ready to go with three of them rented this week. People are anxious to get out and some are on spring break. It is busy here already.  Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boast stall is free. We will help you launch if needed. The lake is at a good level and the water a good color for fishing. Several fish are back in the creeks. The water will warm this week with the warm weather. Bass are the best bite now followed by crappie and small stripers. A few walleye are showing up in the evening on soft plastics like a fluke or bass assassin on shadowy banks. Stay out of the sunshine unless you are fishing deep open water. I do not do that anymore and get tired of looking instead of fishing. Gas is about $4.15 for unleaded regular non-alcohol. Everything else is good. You do not have to go far from Blackburns to get to good fishing. I expect some good numbers caught for the Arkansas Youth Bass Nation High School and Jr. tournament today. We have a couple of them staying here this weekend and wish them well.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.76 and has dropped a little over 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 2/3rds the time. They quit generating at midnight and started again at 8:AM this morning. We are now at the power pool and will see what happens to the generation schedule on Monday when they get back to work. This is a good level but will not stay there when the spring rains come if they do not drop the lake and the rules of generation change on April 15th.  We received 3-inches of snow yesterday but the wind was very light. It was our fourth snow event of the season and hopefully the last. It was very cold last night with a low of 16 and has not warmed up much yet today. It is scheduled to get into the high 30's and it better hurry but may make it. It is sunny and bright now. Spring-like weather is to return early next week. The water was very stained last evening in Blackburns Creek and the surface water temperature was 47 degrees and is now cooler than the main lake but that should change. I do not think the bass and crappie will move out to the warmer main lake and I will keep fishing the creeks until after spawn ot at least some of it. The big crappie spawn first and move back out into the brush again. I do not bed fish. The creeks should warm very quickly now. Some nice bass started to show up in the creeks before the snow along with some walleye. Creature baits and grubs were working and I will try them again tomorrow or maybe this afternoon. There were a lot of creek minnows near the bank last evening in the clearest water.   I do not hate them enough to go out this morning and will wait until the snow in my boat melts.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Rum Binkley with some big Norfork Lake crappie. I do not know where else you can catch crappie like these. That girl can drive a spoon. Image title

The lake level is now at 553.91 and is approaching the power pool of 553.75 when most of the generation control is turned over to Southwest Power Administration who typically reduce generation as soon as they get it. Maybe they need some power somewhere and will continue to drop the lakes. It dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours and they stopped generating at midnight and just started again. The White River at Newport is 21.82 feet so they are letting out quite a bit. I will see what the snow does to the water temperature later today. It was a nice day yesterday but that is over and it is cold and snowing and is to get down into the teens tonight and then start warming up again on sunday afternoon. At least it is not hanging around for very long. Our guests from Kansas City left wednesday and said they got about 6-inches yesterday and are glad they did not have to pull their boats on the icy roads. I agree with that. We have other guests from Florida and they are not liking the snow but are buying a home here anyway and said the prices were better here. The Mountain Home area is growing rapidly and I am not sure how much I like that. Gas prices are $4.13 for regular non-alcohol, I know I do not like that. I like to put premium non-alcohol in my boats but cannot afford it now. Everyone caught fish yesterday and bass fishing is getting better and better back in the creeks. Crappie fishing is steady and striper fishing during the day has slowed but they will be on the banks about next wednesday for their after-dark spring bite. Remember to turn you clocks forward satuday night. I do not carry a phone or clock and watch the sun but it will take me a while to get used to the change again. Sunrise and sunset are the important times for me and I do not care much what time it is except for happy hour. I do not think the snow will amout to much and next week looks good. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Dave Titus is back and catching some good ones already. Image title

The lake level is 554.05 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with generation about 3/4th the time. The ground is still saturated and water is still running into the lake from the hillsides after the last rain. The White River at Newport is 21.76 so they are letting out about all they can without hurting anybody downstream. The surface water temperature was 52 yesterday on the main lake in the sunshine and the water was still stained on the main lake and cleared a bit in the creeks but overall a good color for fishing.  The water temperature starts to drop immediately after sunset and so does the ambient temperature especially on clear days. This is the last day of good weather and there is a winter advisory from 9AM tomorrow until 6:PM with dropping temperatures during then day with snow and sleet and then cold on friday night and saturday. They say 1-3 inches. Several of our fishermen are heading home today and I do not blame them. I do not like to pull a boat trailer anytime but especially on slick roads. Sunday looks to be better and then into the 70's later in the week. Our normal high is 58.These cold fronts just keep coming. It was in the early 50's with sunshine and light winds when I went out yesterday afternoon. I caught nothing until about 4PM and then both the bass and crappie started to bite for about 1/2 hour on brush out of the sunshine in about 25-30 feet of water. I was casting past the brush and they were hitting on the drop about 10-ft. down on the jig. I caught my self-imposed limit of five crappie along with a couple of smaller bass and then went bass fishing again on shadowy banks and caught two nice ones. Several of the crappie were very large in the 14-15 inch range and fat. I will give it another try today after work. We will open up the last five cabins after the inside painting and remodeling is finished next week. A lot of improvements have been done since last fall and you will like what you see when you get here. No we are not raising our prices tomorrow or any time in the near future until the normal increase at Memorial Day, so come on down and not pay too much elsewhere. Your first boat stall is free. Yes we do especially welcome Veterans and Police. I am a Veteran but do not have any experience in Police work except for a few encounters but I did not flee or resist arrest. I was young and foolish but not that foolish.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing Report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Blackburns is the family place with the biggest, flatest, greenist playground with the most equipment and the biggest pool with slide. Bring them on down. Bikes too.Image title

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The lake level is 554.12 and has dropped 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 75% of the time. The White River at Newport is 21.74 feeet and they are trying to drop the lakes. A lot had changed yesterday when I went out from the day before. The surface water temperature has changed and dropped two degrees both on the main lake and the creeks and both are now at between 49 and 50 degrees depending on where you are located. The main lake river channel has also stained up much more and you could see your lure down only about 2-feet but it is much clearer on the shore where there is no or little current from the generation. Everytime it warms up and the fishing gets better another cold front comes through and hurts the fishing. That is what is to happen on friday when they say it is to get very cold that night and saturday with a couple of inches of snow.  I called our guests that are scheduled to come in this weekend and had them hold off until next week when it will warm back up starting sunday. It was cool yesterday with an ambient high in the low 40's but the wind was light and it was not too bad. I caught some crappie as usual, a couple of bass and accidently caught a striper in about 10-feet of water partway back in a creek on a creature bait and was somewhat surprised. There was no drama and he did not hammer anything or break me off but I did release him on site to grow. Another surprise was that I caught two nice warmouth on the bank bass fishing. I usually do not catch them until it is spring. That may be a good indicator. I hope so. I am tired of march already although the fishing has held up better than usual. Wind and cold fronts are not my favorite. It is very nice today and I will be out there as soon as I get my work done. Every bill that I receive has a notice of price increase and the gas was $4.15 for non-alcohol regular for my boats. I usually use non-alcohol preminum but just cannot afford it. This is higher than I have seen fuel in my entire life. It was $1.70 in October of 2020. My credid card cuts me off at $75 and I cannot even fill up a bass boat. Fortunately we have put in several good brush piles close to the resort so you do not have to go very far to find fish and are doing everything to hold our prices here for you. Poor people need vacations too and I am certainly one of those but I live where I do not have to leave to be in the best place. They cannot fire me or put me in a nursing home. We will have a good year no matter what the government does. Come on down to Blackburns, we will not charge you too much.  Check prices carefully before you book. I spent all of my money on resort improvements but you will like what you see when you get here. Blackburns is the family place with no drama. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Sheila Byrd with some nice ones sunday afternoon before the rain. Image title

The lake level is 554.22 and has risen just a bit from this time yesterday with generation about 75% of the time. The White River at Newport is 21.49 so they are still letting out quite a bit of water from the lakes. The surface water temperature was the same in both the creeks and main lake yesterday at 52. It was breezy and cold with a north wind and ambient temperatures struggled to get to 40. It is a little better today and is to get into the high 40's. Snow is on it's way for friday with another cold front and lows in the teens for friday night and cold on saturday. I remember in 1996, the second year I owned Blackburns, it got down to 6-degrees on this date in March. I never forgot that and that is why I do not open up the cabins with outside plumbing until the 15th. We have 10-cabins open now. March is cold fronts, high pressure, warm up, rain, cold fronts and wind. The fish do not know what to do but the best rule is to go fish when the high pressure has been around the longest and fish until the cold front gets here or it rains you out. Cloudy warm days are the best. The first days after a strong cold front are not usually very good unless you just happen on some active fish but are hit and miss at best. Some resorts raise their prices in march, I do not. They have 3-tiered prices where it is lowest in the winter when few people are here, raise it in march when a few fishermen start to visit and then really raise it in the summer when it is very busy. Blackburns has only two prices. Memorial day to Labor Day and the rest of the year. That way fishermen can get low rates in the spring and fall when the fishing is the best. Some are even raising their prices this week so you have to really watch unless you just have too much money. I do not. Staying at Blackburns helps defray the gas prices that are rising daily. Putting big motors on small pontoons and seeing how fast they can go may not be so popular this year. We will see what today brings and I will go out and try to catch a couple. Next week looks better. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some of yesterday's catch of Norfork Lake crappie. Image title

The lake level is 554.18 and has risen an inch and one half in the last 24-hours. They were running one generator and then completey quit when it rained and then are starting up both again. We received over one inch of rain here at Blackburns but the creeks are not running this morning. There was a lot of lightening but I know of no damage in this area. A tornado was reported in Sharp county south of us. The ambient temperature is now in the 30's and it is cold with more to come and it is to get down into the teens for lows later this week before it warms back up again. The White River at Newport is at 21-feet. They are letting out water but we just cannot seem to make any progress on dropping the lake. I would really like it to be around 547 going into the spring rains to give us a surge capacity but we cannot seem to get back to the power pool of 553.75 and when we finally did once they quit generating. Either way Blackburns will be ready for what comes but it would be very nice for everyone to keep the level below 560 all year. The surface water temperature was 53 when I went out yesterday and the main lake was clear again in this area and I could see my lure down about 6-feet. The fish stared biting about 4:PM and then mostly quit before 5. Mike caught some good ones on our new brush piles and I took five crappie and one bluegill to Tom Kelly's trophy pond. The weather was very comfortable and then it started lightening from the southwest after dark. The water temperature is not going to rise anytime soon but we are higher than usual at this date. Our normal ambient high is 57 and it would be nice to have that now instead of getting ready to drip water to prevent freezing up in the cabins. Blackburns is nearly full but I am not opening up anymore until the 15th and that depends of the long-term forcast. If you are staying at a place where you are nearly the only customer you are paying too much so stop by here on your way home and check things out. You will be welcome here and we will not charge you too much. Yes Blackburns is the fishing place and especially welcome Veterans and Police and your first boat stall is free. Overall fishing is just fair and the fish are moving all over the place. The creeks will cool down before the main lake. Trollers are catching some stripers and hybrids but most are small and they are working hard and burning a lot of gas to find them. I wish they would release more of them but they refuse. Meat hunters. You gotta love em. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Ray, Jessica, Nicolas Sowell from Yellville had fun on the dock yesterday. Image titleImage titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 554.07 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The White River at Newport is 21.18 feet and they are letting out a lot of water without much change in area lakes level indicating there is still a lot of runoff despite no rain for a week. That is about to change. We are right in the bullseye of storms moving through the area late this afternoon and tonight with some possiblly severe, high wind and locally heavy rain. It is to be followed by a cold front and below freezing for night time lows. Our normal high is 56. It is too early to announce spring. I have advised our current fishermen to leave early and ones scheduled to come in early next week to hold off for a day or two. It looks like we are to get this one. Iowa got hit hard yesterday and we are so sorry. It looks like a week from today will be a good time for the after dark striper fishermen and continue until the week after or a few days after the full moon which is the 18th. 15-17 should be the best.  The lake continued to get more and more stained as I headed to the Cranfield Island area yesterday but Blackburns Creek remained very clear and I could see the fish on the brush under the dock down 6-8 feet. It was very windy all day and it did not lay until late afternoon making daytime fishing very tough and hard to find a place to get out of the wind that still had fish. The surface water temperature was 51 degrees on the main lake and it was a warm, cloudy, windy day. I fished for a little over an hour, caught three crappie and a keeper bass and came in. The bass was on a crawdad creature bait on a jig head and the crappie was on a jig cast past the brush and sinking into it about 5-6 feet. People had fun off the dock catching crappie and bluegill off the new brush piles. We were full yesterday and it was very busy here with people taking advantage of the best prices on boats and cabins in the Ozarks. They do not like paying for their first boat stalls elsewhere and mention it often as one reason they choose here.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday on both the spoon and creature baits on a steep bank in about 25-ft. of water back in Big Creek. Image title

The lake level is 554.12 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running since late last night. The White River at Newport is 21.52 and all of the area lakes are approaching power pool except Beaver and it is already there. They can keep up this generation rate until April 14th if they want to but always seem to cut way back when Southwest Power takes over. The level of 560 is when people start having problems with access.  We have had a pretty good run on dry days and a lot of water is gone and things are much better than they could have been and things are starting to dry up a little.  We are a little less than 2-inches over the average rainfall for this year so far. We will see what sunday brings with rain for sure and some storms. It is to get cold again with a possibility of more winter later next week but not too bad. The normal high is 56. I had 54-degrees in Blackburns Creek and between 50 and 51 on the main lake late yesterday afternoon when I went out. It went from 48 to 50+ in just a couple of days and that is about as fast as I have seen it rise. I went to a couple of new Blackburns Brush piles back in the creek and caught my limit of five crappie and they were bigger than I have been catching and were in the 12-13 inch range and then just at sunset went to my favorite bass bank part way back in a creek that the wind was blowing into and caught several 2-3 pound largemouth on a creature bait on a steep bank on the bottom in about 25-ft. of water coming back to the boat on the drop-off.  I could not catch anything off the bank or on main lake brush.  They were all released on site as they are getting ready to spawn but not there yet. The White Bass are just starting to spawn and are moving back into their normal march areas. They are about on their normal schedule. I again went around the shore where I usually see big bass making nests when the water temperature is above 55 and saw no evidence of that yet. The water was very clear again especially near the shore. I could see the bottom in about 6-feet of water. It is cloudy now and should be a good day for fishing until the wind picks up and it will. I just have to get used to these march cold fronts but does not mean I like them. It is my least favorite month. Crappie bite for about 30-minutes and then get lockjaw for several hours but always seem to stop biting for good about 5:PM. Blackburns still has the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals and your first boat stall is free. We like Veterans and Police. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.22 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is 21.89 feet so they are still letting out quite a bit of water. All of the area lakes are just above their power pool and they are dropping them about equally. The ground is saturated and water is still flowing into the lakes from runoff. The ice is finally gone and it took some very warm days to get rid of it. The sun is warming up the creeks faster than the deep main lake and it was 55-degrees in the bright sunshine in Blackburns Creek yesterday afternoon. The main lake was still 48. The water is very clear in the creeks especially near the shore and the main lake clarity changes a little based on the generation. When they generate heavily for several hours it stains a little green but is a good color for fishing. When they quit generating it clears again.The small bluegill have moved in under Blackburns dock and that means the larger bass are in the creeks. Many bass are staging now on drops adjacent to spawning areas and isolated cover along migration routes. A few big bass may spawn around 55-degrees. I checked the banks all around the creek in the warmest water and saw no fish getting ready or making nests. Some of the first ones will be near the walkway to the dock. There are some big bass under the dock in about 20-ft. of water on my brush feeding on the bluegill. Where there are big schools of bluegill there will be fish especially bass and catfish. If you are fishing brush and catching small bluegill do not get discouraged. There are some big fish down there on them.   Cooler weather is coming next week and the water temperature needs to be steady for several days for any big changes. The creeks will get cooler starting about monday or tuesday and it is to get cloudy with rain and a cold front on saturday night or sunday. If the water drops to below 50 again in the backs of the creeks some may move back out to deeper brush. It is just too early to be making some rash predictions. The water temperature says one thing and the calendar says another. Blackburns has several good bass fishermen in now and we will see how they do today. The wind is to pick up before the front and will blow the plankton and shad to the bank after some sustained winds with predator fish following them. Try a suspending stick bait. It is not spring yet but I like this weather. The lake is in excellent condition. Fish are not easily found, but when they are, fishing can be good for a few minutes. Do not expect large numbers of fish quite yet.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

These are the size of crappie that I am catching. They have moved up above the brush  5-7 feet down and are easily spooked. Image title

The lake level is 554.27 and is down just a bit from this time yesterday with generation about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is at 22-feet which means they are letting out about as much as they can and not cause problems downstream. The surface water was 48-degrees yesterday on the main lake and 50 in Blackburns Creek in the afternoon and the water more clear in the creeks than on the main lake but both are good for fishing. If you can find 20-ft. water with brush back in the creeks there will be crappie on it. Crappie, bass and bluegill moved in under my dock yesterday and they do not usually do this until late March. The warm weather making the water heat up is changing things almost daily. It is to cool down with highs back into the 50's after the rain on sunday with another cold front. Lows are to get to back below freezing again. Saturday looks to be a good day to catch some fish. Bass, crappie and small stripers are all coming in but not in high numbers. I am not seeing many fish coming up but it is time for White Bass to move in the backs of major creeks. Stripers will move to their spawning banks on main lake flats late in the evening in a few days and it should hit it's peak by about the 15th of this month. I do not fish for them anymore but used to and really enjoyed the night bite in both march and november when we caught some really big ones. It was very popular several years ago and you had to get out there in the afternoon to get the good spots. Not so much anymore. March they simulate spawn and november go to the same banks to feed just before the full moon. It lasts until a few days after the full moon and then is over. March is usually better than november and you can count on this happening in march.  Bink will be back in Big Creek casting his spoon and hopping it back to the boat for White Bass soon. I know exactly where he will be. They used to fill this one bay with fish but not so much anymore but they are making a comeback after a die-off about three years ago and more and more are showing up. A lot of people like to fish for them because they are so easily caught. I opened up four more cabins and the cleaning crew is working hard to get them ready and they are filling up as fast as they get them on line. I will save the last five until after the 15th of the month. One cold front which is common in early march could cause a lot of plumbing problems and I get enough of those anyway. I lived with my Uncle Walter when a lad and he owned a plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical company and I worked with him before and after going into the military and the knowledge has sure come in handy. I miss him everyday. It is busy here at Blackburns and the price is right. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tom Kelly with some pretty good ones for his trophy pond yesterday caught on Blackburns new brush piles. Image title

The lake level is 554.29 and is the same as this time yesterday with generation about 1/2 the time. It rises when the quit and drops slowly when they generate. The ground is saturated and water is still running in the lake from the hillsides. We have had a little less than 2-inches above normal precipitation including rain, snow and sleet so far this year. The last sleet storm has been very slow to melt despite very warm temperatures in the 70's but is about gone now. The White River at Newport is 22-ft. and they are doing all they can to let as much water out and keeping downstream from flooding. We will see what happens when we get into the power pool at 553.75. The lake wants to clear but when they generate heavily for long periods of time the main lake channel stains greenish but it does not hurt anything. I had a 50-degree water temperature in Blackburns Creek yesterday afternoon and 48 on the main lake. The shallow creeks are warmer than the main lake and some of the shad are going to it followed by the stripers and black bass. Some crappie are doing the same thing but some are just staying on the brush but shallower. Fishing overall is just fair but if you happen to find a school of shad back in the creek with bass and small stripers feeding on them it can be good for a short time. Please release those small stripers. Nobody is impressed by killing them and bragging about it. We want them to grow and have striper fishing like it used to be. Anybody holding up more than one is saving them and a striper with it's mouth open is more than likely dead. We are working hard to get more cabins ready for opening up. The warm weather is causing the phone to ring steadily and people are anxious to get outside and go fishing, especially from up north. We are getting a lot of feedback thanking us for not raising prices and keeping ours very low here at Blackburns. Others were aleady high and going higher. I might not make a profit but will try and make it up in volume. I learned that in Econ 141. The weather is beautiful and should stay that way for a few more days and get much cooler next week. That is the way March works around here. The cold fronts just keep coming on through and then high pressure and clear cold nights. The wind went down about 4:30PM and I got to a stopping point with my daily plumbing  and went out for a while until dark and worked a bass bank with a grub and caught three bass after trying a good brush pile and catching five decent crappie but no big ones. When I pulled up I could see the crappie on top of the brush about 5-feet down. I caught one and spooked the rest but they just moved over to the next pile and I cast past it and let the jig drop into it and caught four more. That is my limit. The sunshine felt good but so did the coat after the sun went down. Do not expect to catch a ton of fish everyday. It changes quickly and the people catching them are working very hard for sometimes days to catch a few but some good ones are being caught. It is just nice to be out. Catch a few, release a few and keep a few. Big stringers of dead fish are not impressive anymore.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.31 and has risen 1-inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating at 6:PM last evening and just started again today. The White River at Newport is at 22.46 feet and they are doing all they can to drop the lake or keep it from rising more at this time. We will see what happens when we get back to the power pool at 553.75. Southwest Power  does not have a good track record. Several things changed when I went out fishing yesterday. First the shallower water next to the bank is warming up faster in the warm sunshine and longer days than the deep main lake water and was 48 on the main lake and over 49 near the bank. It will keep rising with the warm weather scheduled for this full week until chances of strorms on sunday. Second the main lake clarity was reduced and much more stained a greenish color. It started to do this sunday and was much more pronounced monday afternoon. It may have to do with the heavy generation and the condition of the water coming downstream. Third, all of the fish that I caught were shallow. The crappie were still in 25-ft. brush but only about 5-7 feet down instead of on the bottom and the bass were inside the brush near the shore in about 10-12 feet of water and were biting best just after sundown on shadowy banks. Nothing was biting very well and fishing was at the best just fair and I had trouble catching my limit of five crappie and only one of them was over 11-inches. The shallow fish are spooky so stay away from right on top of the brush and use your trolling motor sparingly and cast past the brush and let the jig drop into it. The bass were mostly Kentuckies and also not very big. Stay as far away from the bank as you can cast with your boat. The wind was very light but still coming from the north last night at dark but will switch to the south today. This is a good way to bring in march and I hope it keeps up. Take a jacket if you are going out in the warm weather as the temperature drops very quickly at sundown. This is definitely a transition period with the surface water temperature approaching 50. I saw some shad coming up but not a lot. Blackburns still has the best prices in the Ozarks and are not raising them again this year and your first boat stall is free. We have no duplexes and all cabins are individual with big covered porches. We especially welcome Veterans and Police. Gas prices are going up at the rate of about 10 cents a week and the money you save by staying here will help offset other price increases on about everything. We are trying to fight this inflation but seem to be nearly alone. Gas is rising, water and electric are rising, trash pick-up, tires, batteries, bait and every bill that I am getting is rising. Beer prices are rising and that is the last straw. When will it stop, I do not know but where it will stop is here. I decide that. The Black bass exploitation study conducted by Game and Fish has reported some results. Of the 1,655 bass tagged in 2020 45% of them have been caught and reported to them for the reward. I have caught three of them and released them all and donated the reward back to them. That seems like a lot to me and shows how important catch and release is. Many bass fishermen practice catch and release many striper fishermen do not.  People just keep killing those small stripers and they do not reproduce like bass. We will all pay for their meat hunting as far as stripers are concerned if we care about them. I do. They do not dress out very well anyway. Release them and do not fish for them in deep water unless you just do not care and need meat. That will help a lot. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.23 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. It is up 2.25 feet from it's low of 551.98 earlier in february.  The White River at Newport is 22-feet and that is good. The ambient temperature was 53 degrees, it was sunny with light winds from the west and a beautiful afternoon when I went out fishing yesterday. The high pressure is here for a while and it is to get warmer for the next several days until it hits 70 just in time to welcome march tomorrow. Most of the packed sleet is gone but not all. It is slow melting and I still had ice in the back of my boat. The main lake was very clear and you could see your lure down about 7-8 feet and the creeks were stained a little more. The surface water temperature was 46-degrees. I fished 25-ft. brush with both grubs and jigs for about two hours and struggled with my fish locator but mostly knew where the brush piles were anyway. I guess I am going to have to trade in my 4-ID Hummingbird that I bought in 1986. I hear they have colored ones now. I wonder if they can tell brown fish from silver ones. I caught four bass and four crappie but no picture fish. Fishing overall was just fair. I did not lose any or break anything off but they were all keepers. There was no drama.  People ask me how to catch open water temperate bass. I do not fish for them much anymore but the way I see it is to buy a $3,000 36-volt trolling motor that self deploys with the transducer built in the head and has spotlock or anchor and remote control so you do not have to move from your seat. The three gel batteries cost anout $600. Next is to buy a $3,000 fish locator with down and side imaging with GPS and many colored big screens that interacts with your new trolling motor. You then need a livescope with 360 degree imaging at about $1,800 so you can see the fish better. Get yourself a good throw net and learn how to use it and a round live tank with aeration and get up before first light and find and net some shad. Get a center console boat with six or eight rod holders, a couple of downriggers, mulitiple planer boards and a big package of balloons, and you are nearly ready after you get multiple fishing poles for the rod holders. You can substitute what they call umbrella rigs with big weighted lures on wire spreader bars with multiple hooks that weigh about 5-lbs for the live bait rigs or just clip  a weight on the line in front of a crankbait to get it down further. Now you are ready. Fill up with gas and then head out to the lake and look for birds. (Usually Gulls or Loons) Troll the before mentioned items through the birds, who know where the fish are, until a fish bites on the rods in your rod holder and reel them in. There can be mulitple bites at the same time so learn how to untangle lines. You must know how fast you are trolling to know how deep your rig is running to get through the birds and on the shad under them. It is important to use what nature provides until they migrate and then you have to learn how to use the other items to find fish. Bass fishermen need this stuff also including power poles to keep you from going downstream in current rivers and holding their position. They are not used much in a 200-ft. deep lake like Norfork because the poles have to be so tall and are hard to transport under bridges.They then arbitrarily beat the banks with a hand painted $25 crankbait staying several feet from the shore, usually as far as they can cast. Be careful when you hang the lure up on a tree or rock on the shore and try to retrieve it that you do not destroy the trolling motor. It is worth much more than the $25 lure.That about sums it up. It about prices out some of us poor people but a few of us catch a few fish anyway. Jig heads and soft plastics cost enough let alone the gas to troll. If you wear out your big motor trolling you can get a new 150-HP for about $13,000 and that is better than a new $75,000 boat. Spare no costs to get those fish. I am not sure if live scopes make the fish bite or not but I have a lot of people with them say they can see the fish down there but cannot catch them. There lies the eternal problem. Getting them to bite. I already know where they are.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.45 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is 21.73 feet. There is still some ice melting and running into the lake but not a lot especially yesterday when the high barely got to freezing. It was predicted to be 40 and it looks like the long range forecast is still the same but backed up a day. It is to get to 40 today but it better hurry. Some north facing side roads with little sunshine are still very slick.The surface water temperature was still about 42-degrees in Blackburns Creek last evening. I did not check the main lake but it should be a little warmer. The water continues to be very clear.  I feel a lot better about things now that the storm is over, no power outages, the lake did not come up very much and they are keeping the White River at Newport up where it should be. We will see what happens when the lake gets back down to 553.75 and the power company takes over control. It would really be nice to be at 548 by may 1st. The lake overall  is in as good of shape as it has been at this time in years and the fish population is very good. Barring a big rain and low generation we should have very good spring fishing. They can keep the level down if they want to without hurting anything. We can have warm weather the first part of march but do not count on it. I keep several cabins open all year but also close down several. The first few years that I was here it was very warm in early march and I wondered why the previous owners kept the cabins closed until the 15th so I opened them and filled them with customers who wanted to get out of winter from up north. Wrong thing to do. It got down to the single digits and it took two weeks to fix the plumbing. You cannot be here just a few years and think you know everyting. There are good reasons why things are done the way they are. I hope it is warm startng next tuesday for the beginning of march but I will not count on it. I also hope we do not get a big rain,severe weather, or high winds the 1st of july. My dock has broken loose twice in 27-years and they both were the 1st of july and Blackburns dock is in a very protected cove. The resort is in a protected valley and has not had a tornado in over 70-years but nothing would surprise me anymore except catching a 11-lb. walleye. 10-lbs is my biggest so far but I am working on it. There has to be an 18-inch crappie in this lake somewhere and I am working on that too. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

The lake level is 554.71 and has dropped a very little in the last 24-hours. They quit generating at midnight and then started back up with one generator and now are running 1-1/2. The White River at Newport is a little over 21-feet so they are trying as hard as they can. The surface water temperature was 42 degrees in Blackburns Creek last evening when I went to the dock and the water was very clear.  It got very cold last night with a low of 16-degrees and is only getting to about 40 today but warming up everyday until the latter part of next week when the highs should get in to the high 60's. At least it is sunny now and should melt off some of the compacted sleet today. The side roads are still very slick. Bink reports having a little ice on the trees down by the Norfork River but there is none here near the lake. I know of no ice damage or any power losses and the precipitation was mostly all sleet and now it is all over except for the melting. Give it a couple of days of high pressure and the fishing will pick up again. I will give it a try tomorrow after I put one boat in and take another out for service. When you have 30-rental boats it never ends. We are getting a lot of calls so if you have a cabin and boat reserved for this year and have not confirmed please call Debbie at 870-492-5115 to insure you are not disappointed. It costs more to have to stay elswhere and rent a boat. A lot more. Sorry we do not allow dragging anything with our Bass or Pontoon boats. If you want to do that you can stay here and rent the boat elsewhere. No problem. Marinas have boats for that but bring a lot of money. You have to rent a cabin from us to rent a boat. Corps of Engineers rule not mine.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

This is what it looks like out my front door. Image title

The lake level is 554.72 and is dropping very slowly with both generators running continuously. The White River at Newport is 21-feet and where it should be and where it should have been for the last three months until we get into the high 540's. At least they are doing it now. If they quit generating the lake will start to rise again but most of the slug is through from the rain early in the week. The surface water temperature was 44 in Blackburns Creek last evening. It is snowing very lightly but it looks like we mostly missed the bad weather again. We received sleet yesterday and today and it made everything slick but I see no ice buildup on the trees. The country roads are ice covered with packed down sleet  especially on the north sides of hills but the ground is not quite covered. The radar shows the weather is about moved out of the area and it is to get very cold tonight and start to warm a little tomorrow and much better on sunday. Things turned out a lot better than was predicted and we got through it without getting high water and power outages. The wind has remained light and that is also good. It will surely come back before the next front but I am very happy to be where we are at this time. It could have been much worse. It is to get back into the high 60's next week and that is also good. Now if gas prices and inflation would go down we would be all set here at Blackburns. Tuesday is march already. The lake is very clear. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental,.

Steve Monroe and Ronnie Reaves from St. Louis, Missouri show off some of their catch monday. They caught some nice fish and are always welcome. Image title

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The lake level is 554.85 and is about the same as it was at this time yesterday with both generators running continuously. If they quit generating it will rise again. The ground is saturated and still running in the lake. The precipitation has started and is sleet/ snow and it is too cold for rain with the ambient temperature in the low 20's. Most of the potential ice is scheduled for tomorrow with the worst going south of us. This is just a miserable day and another one tomorrow. Saturday looks better and sunday warmer again. My immediate concern is the ice with possible power outages but the water level concerns me almost as much. We should be nowhere near where we are at the end of february and there is no logical reason for it except for mismanagement.  We certainly have not had excess rain but a refusal to let water out until now. The White River a Newport is at 19-feet and where it should have been until we get down to the 540's. When they turn it over to the power company at 553.75 they just try and keep it there for a reaon nobody knows. The top of the power pool should not have been changed from 552 with the implementation of the worthless minimum flow law for the put and take trout on the White River which took away 1.75 feet of flood capacity. I suspect the lakes provide as much economic impact as the river but the river people were smart ewnough to pay to have a professional study done and present it to congress and change the law while the lakes people were not unified and still are not. Yes it would be nice after a free-flowing a river was dammed up to let just enough water out to keep it steady flowing all year long but that is not how it works. Open gates river. Close gates dry. The rivers are plastic and will never be free-flowing again The dams are no longer for just flood control or power generation but for trout, economics and politics. All of the rules need to be reviewed and modernized. One good rule would be to let out as much water as needed to keep everybody from flooding out both on the lake and the farm land downstream. They may not be able to do this all of the time but sure could do a better job than they do now. If it takes an act of congress so be it. The trout people did it with the minimum flow law. I am not sure that the towns around the lakes realize how much tax revenue comes from them. We caught fish up until monday afternoon when the cold front came in and it came fast dropping the temperatures from the mid 60's to the 30's in a few hours. We finished with the new carpet on pontoon #11 just in time. It would not have mattered to me if they were biting or not after that with that cold north wind blowing in my ear. Everybody came in early afternoon. I went out yesterday to check things out and came in again. The water surface temperature was still 46 and the water was very clear compared to a week ago. The lake overall is in excellent condition and we will see how much the ice and snow lowers the water temperature. Sunday should be the day to go fish. Keep generating boys.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Double tagged bass worth $100 was caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 554.87 and has risen 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours. They shut down generation all night during the rain and just started back up again a couple of hours ago. That way the lake can raise as much as possible. The White River at Newport is 16-1/2 feet and could have been at that level all winter causing the lake level to drop into the 540's but they refused to do so again.  There were severe storm warnings and tornado watches out but we were fortunate to miss them. It did happen west and east of us though.  We received 2.2 inches of rain last night and when I dumped my rain gauge at 6:30 this morning the creek was running pretty fast but not too bad. There is some brown water in the very back of the creek where it goes into the lake. It has slowed down a lot already and this round is over with the winter storm coming tomorrow and continuing through thursday with more rain and some significant ice and freezing rain likely. This is the one that I have been concerned about for a week. With so many trees around any ice over 1/2 inch causes us a lot of problems. The power company is much more prepared now than back in 2009 which was devastating. This one looks like we are right in the bullseye. The surface water temperature was 47 degrees yesterday afternoon and the wind went down in the evening. Fishing got better as the weekend progressed and needed to. The crappie finally started biting again as did a few nice walleye although not in high numbers but some nice fish. Bass were the only species that remained biting during the high pressure. The cold front is here now and the temperature has dropped about 25-degrees since the high in the 60's early this morning. It is not going to be decent out until about sunday when it warms back up a bit. We just need to get through the next two and 1/2 days. It is a good time for indoor projects.  I am going out now to check things out before it gets too cold. A week from today it is march and it is hard to believe already. We will be ready here at Blackburns and will not raise the price on you for as long as we can hold off. Boat oil goes up $2 a gallon everytime I buy some and tires and batteries are worse. When will it end?

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.57 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and the White River at Newport is 16-feet. The surface water was pretty clear and had a temperature of 47-degrees yesterday afternoon. The morning fishing was not the best but it got better in the afternoon. Most of the people staying at Blackburns were fishing for crappie and caught some but not a lot. They said they marked large schools but had a hard time getting them to bite but caught several bass. Mike, John, Tom all reported exactly the same thing. Bass are always the staple when other fish do not bite on Norfork. The big news is the weather. We are in a flood watch starting tonight until tomorrow evening and then a cold front is coming in wednesday and continuing until thursday afternoon bringing more rain and Ice. We can expect a lake rise. I was hoping we were past that but not the case. It looks pretty much like this will happen but I do not know to what extent. I am advising our guests to head out tomorrow morning. It is warm and in the 60's today and that will all change. The wind has not started yet but was not so good until late afternoon on sunday when it finally died down. We are getting march-like weather in february and these cold fronts really affect fishing. We only get a day or two of good fishing and then the next one comes in followed by high pressure. March is my least favorite time for fishing just because of the wind. The flooded rivers like Norfork have many channel swings and change flow directions with the wind following the channel changing direction and when it gets to a high wall it just swirls and is hard to get out of unless you go back in the creeks and sometimes the fish are not back there. At least when it warms up they will be. We can go from the high 60's to the 30's in just a matter of a few hours this time of year. The good thing is you cannot walk on our water or drill holes in it. I am finished with that. We just need to get to about saturday and things will get better. Our normal high is 52 and I would take a few days of that with no wind. Low pressure and high pressure are fine just leave out the cold fronts and ice and of course the wind.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

John Bornhop with his best one on the spoon. He was fishing for walleye. Image title

Tom Kelly with one of yesterday's catch on the spoon. He said he is switching back to the plastic worm. Image title

The lake level is 554.50 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously. The White River at Newport is 15+feet. The lake rises just a bit when they run the one generator and rises faster when they shut it down so the slug from the last rain has about went on through. At least we have had drying days since the last rain before the next ones that are coming in soon. The ground is still saturated. These are still winter patterns and the spring rains have not started yet. We should be at about 547 now but they absolutely refuse to drop the lake levels in the winter like they used to do a few years ago. All area lakes are affected not just Norfork and we are all in about the same situation. The new management rules for Beaver Lake will sure not help Bull Shoals any as we all know all efforts will be extended to protect the Branson Landing no matter what, leaving Norfork as the step-child to keep holding water since we are not on the chain of the White River Lakes but do empty into it. It almost takes a drought to make their plan of hold and hope work. We have learned to adapt here but it makes it rough on public campgrounds, launching, parking and beaches for day users. You can always get to Blackburns Dock by vehicle no matter what and park. Launching is available here unless it gets very high and then Panther Bay is available about two miles away. Several resorts do not have launching on site anyway. If you rent a boat it is already in the stall at the dock and you do not have to worry about anything just drive to the dock and get on. It was very nice yesterday and we got a lot of work done and then went fishing in the afternoon. Fishing was not the best with just a few fish being caught and mostly small ones but it was beautiful and we had fun. Surface water temperature was 46 degrees and the water was fairly clear and you could see your lure down about 5-feet and very clear near the bank. We caught bass and crappie on brush piles. The wind is up again today and it is getting very warm for a couple of days and then the fronts. We will let you know of any big changes and continue to work outside while we can. A lot of projects are getting completed and we will be ready for your visit. The lake is in excellent condition so far and fishing changes from day to day. I would like the wind to go away but it was not bad yesterday. Cold weekend coming.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.37 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with generation more than 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport 13-feet and is also higher since we are now out of the power pool. There have been little effects from the last rain except for the lake rising about a foot and a half. It did not affect clarity on the main lake but the creeks are more stained but not bad. We put three more new ceiling fans in cabin #11 with two of them going in the big screened-in porch and the other in the largest bedroom. It is now completely ready for your visit and we have people that just checked in to it today already keeping Blackburns full. Today's project is new carpet for pontoon #9, get it serviced and back in the water and then pull out pontoon #11 for servicing. The Black Champion is getting a new steering cable, bilge pump, serviced and will be back in the lake next week and ready for rental. Things are moving right a long and need to as spring is coming fast. We worked inside until the weather warmed up and then went out to put in brush for fish cover. I am not much for charging out there when the weather is in the teens. I go out in the warmest part of the day and come in when the sun goes down. Three of us have fish cover permits and are allowed 6-trees each and we finished up that project just before dark.  We had five more left. It is good for the lake and fishing especially for Blackburn's customers and we have some good ones with several being in new places. We will show you where when you get here. I did not fish but was on the water for several hours and had a surface water temperature of 45-46 degrees and I could see the bottom in about 5-6 feet of water near the shore. It was a beautiful day with highs near 50 and sunny with very light winds and perfect for putting in trees. It is to get very windy tomorrow with a front coming through monday with a little rain but that one does not bother me. The front coming up from the Gulf on  wednesday bringing a lot of moisture and colliding with a cold front coming down from the north looks like trouble to me. It is just a matter of where they meet whether we get rain, ice or snow. Somebody is going to get significant rain and we do not need that now with the lake being held up so high this winter already. Today will be the best weather for fishing with wind tomorrow. People did not do the best yesterday but that was expected the first sunny day after a cold front. Just a few bass were caught and none worthy of a picture. Several are out today. We are busy and like it that way. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. I bought some new trailer tires, batteries and boat oil and cannot believe the prices. What have we let happen? If we are having a 7-1/2 % rate of inflation why are prices doubling? Blackburns is not raising their prices on anything again this year and will hold as long as possible.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554 even and has risen one foot in the last 24-hours with 1/2 generator running for a few hours and both for a few hours. It is still rising a little when they run both generators so it will come up more but not a lot. They got more rain up north with more runoff but the brown water should drop out before it gets to this area of the lake. It should not cause a problem here but I am very concerned about what is coming next. Normal high is 51 and we are to get to the high 40's today and get warmer and warmer with a nice weekend with sunny skies and light winds until tuesday so we better enjoy it. On tuesday it is to start raining and then wednesday through thursday serious weather with mixed precipiatation and heavy rains. The ground is saturated and we could get a serious lake rise depending on if it hits the Norfork River Basin north of here. Local rains do not affect the level much. There has been no effort to drop the lake level all winter and we will pay for it sometime this spring and it looks to be sooner than later. I sure wish we could get some better lake management. The White River at Newport is now at 11-feet after being held low all winter. It could be at 21-feet with no problem to anybody. We are out of the power pool which is 553.75 so the Corps of Engineers have taken back control of lake management from Southwest Power. All area lakes are in the same condition so one is not better off than the other as of now. It is almost like they want this to happen. It started off with an ambient temperature in the 60's yesterday and a surface water temperature of 47 degrees and then went downhill from there and was miserable with a cold north wind with temperatures in the 30's by dark and got down into the teens last night. We quit putting in brush early and came in and will finish later today. Everything is ok now and we caught bass and crappie yesterday morning and will go again after we get the brush piles finished. The weekend looks good but the fishing has just been fair. We do not need 3-inches of rain in the Gainsville and Ava areas that is for sure but I anticipated this and Blackburns is as ready as we can be. At least things have a few days to settle out before the next one and just keep the ice away. They usually go north of highway 60 up to 44. We will see. It sure would have been nice to be at 547 now instead of 554. At least it is not a polar vortex. This will be a good weekend to get some outdoor projects finished and I have a big crew working on them. The place is looking good. The resort is full with people taking advantage of the best place and prices in the Ozarks.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is back up past the 553 level again and rising with a couple of hours of generation. It has come up 3-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours and I dumped over 2-inches total out of my rain gauge since yesterday. The creeks are running but not too fast with some brown water in the very backs of the creeks where they empty into the lake. For some reason they never generate when it rains and allow the water to rise as much as possible. We were busy putting in a new ceiling,  ceiling fan, led lights and painting the big bedroom and also putting in another new ceiling fan on the big screened-in porch in cabin #11 and putting in new carpet in pontoon #9 yesterday. We never quit with improvements. You will like what you see when you get here. I went out for a while but had to come in early to go to a celebration of life for my friend David (Diver Dave) Gentry at the Back Forty. It was a good turnout and he had lots of friends and we had some good memories talking about fun times at the dive shop. It has not been a good winter for me with losing several good friends and neighbors. The surface water temperature was 47 degrees and it was windy with white caps on the main lake and pretty bumpy even in Blackburns protected cove with winds swirling and changing directions. The wind finally quit this morning but is coming back again already. I am getting very tired of it. The temperatures are dropping rapidly with the cold front now here. It went from the 60's to the thirties in just a few hours and thundered but not much else except the rain. It is to get to 18-degrees tonight and then warm back up again starting tomorrow. Me and my crew are putting in the last of our brush piles today and tomorrow. We have some good ones and you will like those also and we will show you where they are when you get here.  I spooned up two bass and one crappie before I came in and they were all on one brush pile that we had just installed. It looks to be good spring fishing here on Norfork Lake so far with the lake at a good level and the water a good color and a good fish population. Next on the agenda are after dark striper fishing  on their spawning banks just before the full moon in march with post-spawn walleye biting at the same time earlier in the evening. I fish for walleye  from about 4-PM until dark on shadowy banks until the striper bite begins. It is a good time to catch and release the stripers as they are shallow and the water is still cold and they can be released unharmed to grow. Then big crappie pre-spawn fishing in late march and early april folowed by the start of the top-water bite for bass,stripers and white bass in mid-april. The crappie will be on their spawning banks at the same time back in the creeks. April, may and early june are the best fishing months with bass on their beds in early to mid may. Bass continue to spawn for several months and into the summer here on Norfork. Catfishing is excellent in May and June here. I really like catching flatheads. Another spring season is about to begin with no price increases here at Blackburns. Check prices before you book. There is a significant difference and you do not have to sacrifice any quality at all. We do not like to charge our cuatomers too much and want them to be able to have a quality vacation despite the inflation and high gas prices. Veterans and Police come on down. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 552.70 and has risen a little less than an inch in the last 24-hours with just two hours of generation. They are religiously holding the White River at Newport at Just above 9-feet for some reason. It had been warm and sunny with light winds until yesterday where it was still warm but very windy with white caps.  I wish to disagree with the sayings that wind from the east fishing is the least, winds from the west fishing is the best and the wind is your friend. People that believe those must not know Norfork. I will take a little walleye chop but you can keep the rest. The only places that I could get out of it the fish were not biting very well. I caught a few bass and one crappie and came in early. I had hoped it would blow itself out by evening but it was about 5:30PM before it slowed but it is back at it again today with another cold front coming through with cold temperatures tomorrow night and then warming again. This is typical March weather. It does not look good north of us but we could get some significant rain. Texas and Oklahoma could get severe weather and flash flood watches in southern Missouri are in effect tomorrow and that is not good for the North Fork River basin if it gets too far south in the Gainsville area. We do not need a big lake rise in february with this very little generation.  We have missed everything this winter except for two snows with no ice and I would like it to stay that way. I do not like snow but they did not hurt anything and the lake is in excellent overall condition. It was iced up in the creeks this time last year with the polar plunge and killed a lot of the shad. That is not likely this year. Every year is an adventure here and things are constantly changing. This is my 28th season here and that makes me the longest owner at Blackburns." Fisherman Joe"  Gagliardi owned it for 27 years and we though that record was unbreakable. It seems like it was just yesterday when I rode down into the entrance with Charley Blackburns and saw the beautiful green flat valley with the huge magnolia tree and said stop. This is the place I want we just have to negotiate price and the rest is history and I am not sorry I left the business world one bit. I love this place and am proud to own it. We have some guests that have been coming here for 70-years and are coming back this spring. There is not much that they have not seen and I love hearing stories about Blackburns which was the first resort in the area even before the river was flooded and they fished for smallmouth and catfish. The Blackburns came here from Kansas City and had the first choice of any place they wanted and chose this one. Good choice. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition By Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Norfork Lake winter Bass fishing in 65-degree temperatures caught on the Bink's Spoon. Image title

The lake level is 552.62 and is the same as this time yesterday with three hours of generation. The White Riven at Newport is still 9-ft. and they are still holding the area lakes up high even though they could be dropping them. I have the dock and parking set up for high water again this year and will be as ready for it as I can. You can always get to the dock here at Blackburns but may have to drive a little to get there. We always have parking. High water does not hurt fishing much unless it all comes at once like in 2017. It just changes the way and where you fish. I hope we do not have to go into high water mode but they are doing nothing to prevent it. Dropping the lake in the winter would give us a much better chance but they refuse to do so. We are at a good level now for launching, parking and fishing and I guess we have to take what is served to us. it is just too bad the lake is not managed better. It would not hurt anybody down stream. It was a beautiful day yesterday with warm temperatures, high pressure, light wind, sunny skies and a full moon which are all a recipe for not the best fishing but that did not matter as it was just good to be out there in the sunshine. The water looked more stained but I could still see my lure down about 5-6 feet and I suspect the bright sunshine had a lot to do with that. The water surface temperature was over 48 at 3-PM and just about 45 after dark and I suspect the sunshine had a lot to do with that also. That is a big change for a deep lake and I have seldom seen that and I was fishing in the same area. There will be no shad kill this year. A kill makes for better fishing but not having one is better for the fish. I would rather have them well fed than easily caught. All of the fish that I am catching are fat and healthy looking. The crappie are very finicky. They go for several hours biting very slowly and then bite fast for a few minutes and then quit again. There is a bite early in the afternoon  and then they quit and then another in the evening and then they quit again at dark and I mean quit. Try to stay in the shade on brush the best you can. Sunshine straight down on the water is not good for me except for bluegill and I am not catching any of those lately. Go against the wind with your trolling motor and use it as sparingly as possible. If you have anchor or spotlock do not use it. They hunt too much and spook the fish. They are ok if you are trying to stay on red meat fish in open deep water but not for crappie or bass in shallow water. I consider 25-ft. to be shallow water. I do not use a spoon in water less than 18- 20-ft. and switch to the jig. When the fish are biting on the drop stay away from the brush and cast the jig past the brush and let it sink down into it. Otherwise jig straight up and down into the brush. If you are using a slip float and live minnow set the minnow depth 6-ft. farther down than you can see it and adjust it deeper if needed. They will come up to get it better than going down.  Bass will be in the same place but usually deeper. Harvey Hall would go to one of his brush piles and fish for a few minutes and if he did not catch a fish or maybe just one he would move. He caught more fish than me but I prefer to keep fishing where I know the fish are there and probably stay in the same place too long. I do not see how many fish I can catch anyway and fish where the big ones are even though they are not biting. I do not guide and do not feel pressure to catch big stringers of fish for the paying customer. My self imposed limit is five and then I switch to bass or walleye. I caught four crappie and two keeper bass and came in after dark. Nice day and makes life almost worth living. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few and leave the rest for the tourists. They are paying the out of state licenses and pay for the fish stockings.  With the current gas prices it may not be the best choice if you are only fishing for food especially if you are a troller. My boat uses about as much gas as a Naval Destroyer uses diesel but my Hummingbird 4-ID fish finder positively identifies fish. At least that is what they told me in 1986. I am still trying to figure out how to run it but I catch a few anyway. I would buy a livescope but they cost more than my boat 15-years ago which is also a 1986 and I spend my money fixing up the resort, what little there is with Blackburns low prices. I probably could not figure out how to use it anyway but pretty much know where the fish are. I miss Harvey. That old boy could catch crappie. The two best crappie fishermen on the Lake were Jay Smith and Harvey Hall. Harvey died and Jay retired. There are a lot more crappie now for us novices. They never fished any brush piles but their own and worked hard putting them in. Others should do that. I do.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Darrel Binkley with a good one. Released. Image title

The lake level is 552.62 and has risen a little over 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with two hours of generation. The White River at Newport is 9+ ft. The surface water temperature was 45 and the ambient temperature was 47 when I went out yesterday. The lake clarity is still the same and you could see your lure down about 5-6 feet. It is to be warm today and tomorrow with a low pressure moving in on wednesday afternoon and we could get some significant rain and some wind. We are not in the bullseye for the severe weather which should go south of us but are on the border. The ground is pretty saturated and we could get runoff and a lake rise. They always seem to quit generating when it rains for some reason but they are not doing much of that anyway. Our average rainfall for february is about three inches for the last 10-years and our average high temperature is 50 for this date. February is usually a good fishing month and better than march and then in April it really picks up with May being the best combination of weather and mixed fishing with about everything biting.  April and May are very busy here with people taking advantage of the best prices in the Ozarks here at Blackburns. I am still fishing for bass and crappie with not much luck with walleye. Some days are better than others but I am catching some everyday with most being on brush at 25-27 feet with the bass on the bottom and the crappie about 20-ft. down. Very few fish are hitting on the drop with the bite coming by jigging the spoon or jig straight up and down slowly and touching bottom. When fishing the bank in the evening for bass try to keep your lure near the bottom with out dragging it and keeping it moving. Keep you jig moving also but not a lot. I respooled several reels with 6-pound clear monofiliment yesterday. It has more stretch but has less memory. especially in colder water. I will change back to flourocarbon when it warms up. The new flourocarbon is getting better though.  Do not overspool your spinnning reel and leave a little room on it so it does not slide over the spool. It may not cast quite as smooth but will prevent tangling especially when it gets dark and you have to go by feel. I do not wear glasses but do not have the night vision that I used to have. Also, for some reason, I feel more comfortable bringing a big fish in on a baitcaster. I always spoon with a baitcaster even with small spoons. Big fish bite on little spoons. The only reason that I go to a bigger spoon is to get the lure down faster in deeper water or in the wind and keep the spoon straight up and down and not dragging it. A 1/4 ounce or 3/8th ounce is big enough for about anything unless you are fishing in water over 35 or 40-ft. White is a good color for clear water and I like red eyes with a little red on the spoon and an Arkansas Shiner, black, blue or pink back. The 1-ounce many Shad is good for deep water but I seldom fish in deep water any more to keep from killing the fish when brought up. My favorite jig is the Bobby Garland blue ice baby shad which is 2-inches long and also the blue ice swimmer. It is a little longer and has a small paddle tail which is good for vertical jigging and has a little more action. Do not use more than 6-lb. test line and no snaps, swivels  or other hardware except for the swivel that comes on the spoon to keep it from twisting. I tie my jigs directly to the lead head and use 1/16th ounce white with a red eye. I like a little red on about everything when possible.  4-lb. test is best for crappie and use nothing but clear line on Norfork. You can get by with green line when the water is stained or fishing deep but there is no sense in putting it on. For crappie do not use the multi-hook crappie rigs with the flourescent spreader bars. They work very poorly in Norfork. Try to make the jig or spoon look like it is by itself and not dragging anything especially braided colored line and any hardware and keep it moving. A limber pole is best. When fishing in big schools of shad try and make your lure easier to catch than the shad. Keep it moving but slowly in cold water. When the shad spook your jig or spoon with be the only thing left and the fish will get it. Maybe. Do everything slow in cold water. 

NOrfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 552.57 and has risen just a bit in the last 24-hours with a couple of hours of generation in the morning and again in the afternoon.The White River at Newport is 9-feet and they could be letting out much more water if they wanted to. Hold and hope. We need to be at least 548 but they seem determined to keep it high for the spring rains. A five feet drop now would give us a better chance of staying normal, what ever that is. The surface water temperature had dropped a little yesterday and I had just under 46-degrees yesterday afternoon. The water seemed a little more clear and I could see my lure down about 6-feet. The creek visibility is about the same as the main lake.  The wind died down some but is coming back soon. We are on the borderline for some storms on wednesday with another cold front coming through after more warm weather starting tomorrow. This has been happening for several weeks now. It got down to 19-degrees last night in town and colder here near the lake. Blackburns had several fishermen out yesterday but I did not talk to them about the results. I am not doing that well but am catching some fish but no picture fish. I do not take selfies with a fish held up under my face over and over. I am catching just a couple of keeper bass and a few crappie and not much of anything else. The big fish are eluding me except for a large crappie now and again but not like it was. I am catching no bluegill or walleye and the catfish stopped a coule of weeks ago. The next event is just before the full moon in March which is the 19th when the stripers go to their spawning banks at dark and caught slow rolling the stick bait.This is a good time to catch and release them in shallow water. This is also getting to be a lost art with few doing it. The next time is the middle of April when the top-water bite for both bass and stripers gets going good and the male crappie move to the backs of the creeks on shallow wood. There can be some dead time in March with the cold fronts coming through about twice a week. It is my least favorite fishing time except for the lake turnover in October. May is the best month for overall fishing and weather if they do not let the lake get too high too fast. Scuba diving season starts June 15th for spearfishing but there are less and less of divers out there every year due to low visibility in recent years. In a normal level year it can be excellent. We will see what happens this year. It is hard to believe we are 1/2 through february already and about ready for another season when I can stop being concerned about ice and start worrying about storms blowing my dock away. I have taken many measures to keep that from happening. We seem to get a big strom the first part of July every year but the resort is in a well protected valley and has missed any severe weather in the past. People used to come to Blackburns from town to get away from storms in the old days before weather sirens and there has never been any damage for 70-years. I hope it stays that way. I have a lot of work to get done by March 15th but have been working on it all winter. I think you will like what you see when you get here and there are no price increases.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Dave Titus with some nice ones. Image title

The lake level is 552.55 and still rising with two hours of generation in the morning. It came up 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours. I went out yesterday afternoon and it was very warm with an ambient temperature in the high 60's and windy with white caps from the southwest. It switched to more from the west later in the day, started to die down and then came back up and the cold front moved in. It was hard to find a good fishing spot out of it and the fish were not biting far back in the creeks. I fought it for a couple of hours and came in. Fishing was not bad and I caught 4-crappie and two bass but nothing of much size although all were keepers. One crappie was pretty good. The surface water temperature was 47+ degrees and the water looked a little more clear than the day before. The cold front is definitely here now and it is not warming up much today and is only to be in the high 30's but is to start warming tomorrow and get back into the 60's with rain on Wednesday night and Thursday morning and maybe more than just a little. The high pressure after the cold fronts warms up more now with the longer days and better sun angle. Sun rise is now 7:AM and sun set is 5:47 PM and it is dark just about 6:20 PM.  The weather has been a roller coaster all winter but we have avoided any bad storms and ice and there has been several very nice days but some cold ones too. Wednesday should be a good day for fishing. Blackburns still has one cabin open so come on down. We will not charge you too much. It has stayed busy here all winter with people taking advantage of the best prices in the Ozarks and no price increases for 2022. We are open all year but I only keep five cabins open but will start opening more in March as soon and these cold fronts with below freezing temperatures stop. There is still a little ice on the north side of stuff and it is stubbornly holding on even with warm temperatures. Most is gone. There has been a lot of sunshine this last week and I have been able to go out fishing and catch fish almost everyday after work. I am still fishing Blackburns Brush piles for crappie and bass during the day and then moving part way backs in the creeks on steep banks for them near the shore in late evening. We are putting in the last of the brush next week after the rain and have already put in several good ones that are holding fish. We will be ready for you when you get here and not charge you too much. Yes our dock is covered and we have two fish cleaning stations with no waiting. Our guests catch a lot of fish. You first normal sized stall is free here at Blackburns and we have different sized stalls for different boats. No one size fits all. All cabins are individual with no duplexes and all have big covered porches. 1-4 Bedrooms. We especially welcome Veterans and Police and will help you catch fish, event planning or with real estate questions.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Scuba Steve's Best fish yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 552.42 and has risen 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation. They just started. The lake should not be rising this time of year. The White River at Newport is 8+ feet. The surface water temperature is 47+ and the lake is fairly clear with a greenish tint and you can see your lure down about 5-feet. I continue to fish brush on main lake points during the afternoon for crappie and bass in about 25-feet and then move to behind the brush part way back in the creeks in little cuts near the shore. It is cloudy today and the fishing should be pretty good after several sunny days. The cold front comes in tomorrow and the ambient temperatures are to drop drastically but only for a short time and then warm back up. The average high is 49 and rising. It is to be windy for the next several days. If it is going to go down it is usually early AM until it warms up and then again in the late afternoon when the temperature starts to cool. During the day it is gusty and swirling down the river channel swings. There is a good chance of rain later next week. Spoon or jig the brush during the day and cast the grub to the shore and work slowly back to the boat near the bottom in the evening. Some are right on the bank and some are in about 10-15 ft. of water but they may be following the lure before they hit it. Watch for the twitch in your line and set the hook. I am not sure if the same fish are moving from brush to the bank near sunset but I think so because I am catching few on the bank during the day except for smaller Kentucky Bass. When the Game and Fish did their survey on what people coming to the lake were fishing for it was overwhelmingly bass, followed by crappie then anything they can catch and then striped bass at a distant 4th. That is not the case now. Most of the fishermen are guides competing for very little business in the off-season or fishing with their family or friends. It is very competitive and most of them are fishing for stripers and killing a lot of smaller ones. The very few near 20-lbs that are left are being killed everyday and these guides are good at catching them. Most are trollers. The umbrella rigs drug through schools of shad are very effective and they put out 6-8 of them off each boat. The larger ones that are left should be gone soon but several in the 5-8 lb. range are still here but the class of 2020 is absent due to covid. It will be interesting to see what Game and Fish does about it in the future if the water is held high again this summer and there is a fish kill in August. I suspect if there is one it will not be nearly as bad as previous years as it affects the big fish most and they are already gone and the shoreline vegetation is already dead due to so many years of prolonged high water. Decaying green vegetation increases the BOD and causes low dissolved ozygen and the fish to go into the deep bubble and later die due to the stress. They are ocean fish. The striper kill affects Norfork the most and I suspect there will be changes in the fish stockings in the future. If they stop stocking stripers I hope they increass Hybrid Striper stockings as they are not affected and even though they do not reproduce, people really like catching them. What I would really like is more walleye stockings and also quit holding so much water for so long so the stripers do not die off. At least the walleye reproduce. Others are just semi put and take but used to get really big. Increased fishing pressure is not helping things either.  Other area lakes could get our Norfork Stripers and that would not be good. It is already starting. Blackburns is the headquarters for Police and Veterans. We like them.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 552.26 and continues ro rise slowly with very little generation. It rose 1-1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with 2-hours of generation. The White River at Newport is 8.9 feet and dropping. There is no effort to drop the lake level for the winter. The surface water temperature was 47 degrees, it was sunny and warm with an ambient temperature in the 60's, a little wind from the southwest, but not bad.  I saw a couple of other boats dragging umbrellas around for red meat fish but other than that not much action on the lake. This is a good time of year for peace and quiet. The last few years December can be the coldest month but this year it was January again with not very many warm days and several cold fronts followed by clear cold nights. There are always some warm days in February with the longer days and average highs increasing. The lake water temperature seldom drops after the first week in February and it starts creeping up. It is better to start getting dark at 6:PM than 5PM but the ambient temperature still drops fast at sunset so no matter how warm it is during the day bring a coat. The snow cooled the water a couple of degrees but it has warmed back up now. Even with the warm weather the snow has been slow going away but is mostly gone now except for the plowed piles. I am not much into snow and ice. The lake is pretty clear and you can see your lure down 5-6 feet. Yesterday it was more clear in the creeks than on the main lake and that changes almost daily. Bink is catching more walleye than anybody I know at this time and they are with the white bass and small hybrids but are on the bottom. I am not catching any but am not fishing the open water on main lake flats but continue fishing for bass and crappie in brush early and then on steep banks just inside the brush in the late evening until dark. I am not catching as big of fish now as I was a few days ago. I may have to switch tactics if that does not change. That is why you have to be out there almost everyday to stay on top of things. What is reported one day may be worthless a couple of days later with the wind, air pressure, moon phase, and amount of sunshine constantly changing. That is what makes it fun. Release some of those walleye as it is approaching spawn time and we need more of them in the lake. They have a high mortality rate with most people killing almost every legal one they catch. Someone releasing a 20-inch walleye is a true sportsman. We do not have nearly as many of those as we do meat hunters but the numbers are increasing and that is good with the greatly increasing fishing pressure. Norfork is no longer uncrowded and the unspoiled theme is also going away with the water clarity decreasing every year but it is still very clear compared to other shallow green northern lakes. It needs to stay that way.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home fishing report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Bryan Deardoff with some nice ones yesterday. He had a good teacher. Image title

The lake level is 552.15 and has risen 1-3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with no generation. The White River at Newport is 9-feet. The surface water temperature was 46.5 yesterday afternoon in the sunshine and the wind was brisk from the southwest. I could see my lure down about 5-feet and the water was stained a little green. I fished for over two hours in the late afternoon and caught four crappie and two Kentucky Bass. Nothing big. Not the best day. Bryan caught larger ones in the morning. Bink is still on the temperate bass and catching high numbers but not much size. The hybrids are biting the best but most are small. He is catching some nice walleye in the same places on the bottom on the spoon. I am not. My catch has been limited to bass and crappie. The big bluegill have quit or moved and the catfish always quit this time of year. It is nice not having it get dark so early. There is another cold front coming in this wekend. I was fishing south of Cranfield Island and the shad blacked out my screen. Not a very good chance of catching fish there for me but there were a couple of boats there also. I do not usually fish within sight of another boat so I moved to a main lake cut out of the wind and caught three crappie that were barely keepers. All of the fish that I caught yesterday were in 25-ft. of water except for one bass which was near the bank on the drop-off. The snow is about gone but has been stubborn. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. Gas is $3.39/ gallon for non-alcohol regular here in Mountain Home so you know if you should fill up before you get here. It is rising every week. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 552 even and is the same as this time yesterday with just a couple of hours generation. The White River at Newport is 8-feet and they are holding the area lakes at a high level so far all winter like they want a spring flood. We are at a good level now though. The lake surface water had moved up a bit to 45 degrees yesterday in the sunshine and the water clarity is about the same. You can see your lure down about 5-6 feet. It may have something more to do with the sunshine than the water getting clearer. I expected a few more fair weather fishermen out there but only saw a couple of other boats. Except for the warmer water not much had changed from the day before with the bass continuing to bite pretty well and a few crappie. No picture fish but I caught several keepers. All fish were released on site. I do not have a selfie stick or a camera on a phone anyway. My photographer was not available. I talked to one striper fisherman and he said fishing was not the best but he caught one about 6-lbs and a hybrid trolling live bait between the bridges. Some bass are with the hybrids on shad. I am fishing brush in the afternoon and then moving to the steeper banks just before sunset. Bass and bigger crappie are near the bank and biting just before dark. More largemouth are showing up with the Kentuckies. The days are getting longer and the average highs are increasing and are now 49 degrees. It looks like no shad kill this year and I am glad. A kill really helps the immediate fishing but it is good to have a lot of food for the fish and keeps the pressure off the gamefish fry after the spawn. It is 50-degrees and not noon yet so it is a good day to get some outside work done before fishing time. The wind is to pick up but if it stays from the south I can get out of it and still fish good places. The weather is great and should continue that way with a couple of weak cold fronts coming through but not bad. I should be able to put in a couple more brush piles this week. The crappie eggs are getting bigger but I have not cleaned any other fish. The snow is gone from my boat so I can get back to using it again but I have plenty of them. Fishing overall is just fair but I am catching keepers everyday and am not going very far to find them. The snow is stubborn and is going away fast now but not gone. It did not freeze last night. Bryan Deardoff is coming in now and I will see what he caught. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Scuba Steve with some Norfork Lake Bass released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 551.99 and is the same as this time yesterday with about 3-hours of generation. The White River at Newport is back down to 9-ft. and there is no attempt to drop the lake level for the winter and we are well into february. I guess they are banking on a dry spring. We should not question the government and just take what they dish out. The snow is melting quickly now and it is to get to nearly 60 later this week with another cold front coming through next weekend but not nearly as bad. I like these sunny skies out on the water even though it is not the best for fishing but it warms the water. The water temperature is about 43-44 degrees and the color is good for winter bass fishing and they are up shallow in the late afternoon and on brush earlier. I am seeing more shad in the backs of the creeks than last month, especially north facing creeks but the wind has shifted to more southerly and varying in direction but it has been light. Bass fishing is the best now with a few crappie and small stripers being caught. Some are getting into a school of white bass every once in a while with a few larger ones mixed in with the smalls. I am still using the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon in the brush along with the Bobby Garland jig  and the stingray grub on the steeper banks. A few nice crappie and walleye are being caught but bass fishing is best. Overall fishing is just fair. Blackburns is open all year so come on down. We will not charge you too much. Compare those prices unless you just have too much money. I do not. No we are not on vacation but I do get to go fishing everyday. That is good. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 552 even and is about the same as yesterday at this time with no generation since noon yesterday. They just started again a couple of hours ago. The White River at Newport is 11+ ft. and they are doing a great job of holding the area lakes up high this winter despite the cold temperatures and electricity requirements in the South West Power distribution area. The lake surface water temperature was still 43 degrees yesterday afternoon and the lake is still clearing and I could see my lure down about 6-feet. The snow melts during the day and then the water freezes at night making the side roads slick early morning. There are some bare spots on the ground where the snow has melted in the sun but the ground is still mostly covered but dropping quickly. I do not like to plow snow unless I have to as long as our customers are able to get in and out easily. It just piles it up and takes it too long to go away. We only have three cabins rented and they have had no trouble getting in and out. The dock road is a little slick early but gets better in the afternoon. I have not had any trouble. I do not like snow or anything about winter but this weather was not too bad.  I caught crappie on the jig yesterday and some good sized ones too. Today I will focus on Bass which should be good. I caught a couple yesterday fishing for crappie. The wind is about 5-MPH from the southeast and easy to get out of. The longer this high pressure stays around the better the fishing will get. I did not see any other boats out there but did not go far and did not have to. I am glad I do not have to pull my boat in and out but Blackburns does have some good launches so you do not have to go elsewhere to launch your boat. It is good to just go to the dock and get in the boat and be fishing in about 5-minutes. Our customers like that and so do I. The new brush piles are holding fish already and I have a few more to put in. The hillsides are a little slick on the rocks climbing to the cedar trees now until the snow is gone.  The deadline for putting in brush is April 30th. By then it is spring and they are full of sap and very heavy. Now they are light and easily dragged to the shore. We have excellent brush piles here at Blackburns. I wish other resort owners would put some in for their customers. They really work well. It does not look like a shad kill this year with the water temperature still in the 40's and the days getting longer and the average highs rising again. There was a big school of shad under my dock on the underwater light last night and that is the first time that has happened in several weeks. In the fall they were there every night. I like this sunshine even though it is not the best for fishing until it has been around for a while. The moon is getting bigger again and the full moon is the 16th. I like coming in after dark in the full moon for some reason but it is not the best for fishing except for stripers and bluegill. The stripers typically go to their spawning banks before the full moon at dark in March which is is the 18th and can be caught on a stick bait. They will be shallow and can be released easily without harm from the shallow cold water. Mid April and all of May they will be coming up on top-water in the morning and the same is true. These are the best times to fish for them unless you are a meat hunter and fish for them deep. Late March and early April are the best times for big pre-spawn crappie and May for the higher numbers after the spawn. Norfork Lake has high numbers of big fish but also high numbers of small ones especially bass. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Scuba Steve with some pretty good ones.Image title

The lake level is 551.98 and has dropped 2-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with one or two generators alternating since last evening. This is the first time the lake has been below 552 in a long time and it is heading in the right direction albeit very slowly until the weather got cold and they needed electricity. It was 553.51 on January 1st and has dropped 1-1/2 feet since then. The last snow was on January 6th and it was about 1/2 as much as this one. The White River at Newport is 11+ft. The light flakey snow will not raise the lake much as it melts and it started yesterday afternoon. The water surface temperature was 43 degrees yesterday afternoon in Blackburns Creek and the ambient temperature was 34-degrees. I will check out the main lake today. We are to have beautiful weather for a week with highs in the 50's starting on Monday and warming up to the mid 40's tomorrow. My boat was still full of snow on the lift on the north side of the dock but one of my rental bass boats was dry on the south side so I grabbed a crappie rod and  took it for a little cruise to a brush pile in the creek. The wind was still and I could set right on it without using my trolling motor. I vertical jigged my Bobby Garland and caught a few nice crappie and came in. It was not bad out at all and is better today. I expect some more fishermen out this afternoon after it warms into the 40's. Everything could have been worse and we are a lot better off than Jonesboro and Memphis who got ice and have power outages. It is melting here already at noon and this will only last a few days and is causing very few problems. February is moving right along and it will be spring soon. Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 and book your spring trip. We will not charge you too much and the lake looks great so far as does the resort. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

This is what it looks like out my front door. Image title

The lake level is 552.22 and has dropped 4-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with alternation between one and both generators continually. They must need some power somewhere but the White River at Newport is still 8-1/2 feet. We received about 8-inches of snow total and it was mostly just a snow event thankfully and there was just a little drifting and no power outages. Everything is fine. The light weight snow will not melt down to much water.  It is sunny now with a high pressure front remaining stationary over the area for at least the next week with highs to be in the low 50's after this weekend. Looks good to me. Normal high is 47. It struggled to get over 20 yesterday. It is a perfect time to plant some grass seed with no frost in the ground. I went down to the dock to feed the fish and check on things and all of my boats were full of snow, even on the south side. The wind was mostly from the north but was swirling in Blackburns creek. It just quit snowing a couple of hours ago, the wind is light and it is not bad at all out. I am glad it is over. I did not get a water temperature but am anxious to see how much it dropped. It was 47 on wednesday.  It should also help clear the water. People ask me everyday how does it feel to be copied on everything you do. The answer is it does not bother me at all. Emulation is the highest for of flattery. If you follow you will never get into the lead. I have lived here since 1995 and have been doing fishing reports since 1997 at the request of the webmaster at the time when Gerry Sperry, a striper guide and a good one, died. He did very good reports and I did not feel I had been here long enough to write one. Binks, Harvey Hall and other good fishermen helped me and I have been doing one ever since. If you do a traffic report you will find that they do very little to get traffic to your web site. Facebook users are just preaching to their same friends over and over and that is good. It helps keep your friends aware of what is going on. They just help people get a feel on what is happening on Norfork Lake and that is important. The more the better. I do not pay much attention to what other people do except for the ones helping me get good lake information. Others come and go some even seasonal. There is room for everyone here.  I do not claim to be an expert but do know people that are and I catch a few fish and put in brush piles to help our customers do likewise. My years of Scuba Diving also help know where the fish are and are not located and I do not have to spend much time looking. We are all lucky to live here. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike with some nice ones.Image title

The lake level is 552.61 and is the same as yesterday with about 3-hours of generation. The White River at Newport is 7+ feet and the surface water temperature was 47 degrees yesterday. It was 45 degrees ambient yesterday morning when we went out and it got colder by the minute. The surface water was 47.3 degrees. The bass and crappie were biting so it did not feel as bad. First it rained, then it iced for just a little bit, then it sleeted and then it started to snow. All in the span of just 7AM-3:PM when it hit 27 degrees. It is snowing now and it looks like we missed almost all of the ice. We have about 4-inches of snow now and it is coming down pretty good and it looks like the forecast of 5-8 will be about right and maybe more towards the 8. I dumped 1.4 inches of rain from my gauge last evening. It looks like the ice is headed for the Boot Heel and Paducah area and miss us. We can take some snow but ice paralyzes this area. There have been no power outages here so far and that is my biggest concern. I have a home generator but none at the resort. We are to get the coldest days of the season and not get above freezing for a couple of days but we can get through that. It could be much worse. I will just do inside projects and will open up more cabins in March when the weather warms. March can  have variable weather with several cold fronts and big temperature swings. We keep several cabins open all year but will be in full swing by March 15th. Many people get cabin fever by then. Two things are working the best now for bass. One is spooning 25-ft. brush piles near the bottom or also using a jig or small grub vertical jigging the same brush. One of my favorites is a 2-inch white twister tail with the tail turned up and a small crappie minnow hooked through the top of the head on a 1/16th ounce white with red eye jig head. The next is a 2-inch Bobby Garland blue ice baby shad.  Crappie are with the bass and big ones too. Use a slow presentation and just dabble the lure but touch bottom Do not drag the lure and keep it straight up and down if possible. The other is putting a 3-inch green stingray grub on a 3/16th or 1/4 ounce jig head and position your boat in deep water on a steep bank part way back in the creek and cast to the shore. Keep your lure dropping and just off the bottom until back to the boat. The 1/4 ounce drops faster and has a little more action but gets hung up more. The stingray is not made for action. Bink taught me this technique 25-years ago and we both still use it today. Be ready to lose a few but also be ready to catch some big bass. After fishing this lake for so long we know where the winter bass banks are located and it is just a matter of time before they get there. Diamond Bay has some good ones but there are also some very good ones right here near Blackburns. I seldom go very far but seem to catch quite a few fish. I do not like paying these high gas prices and my 200-HP Mercury likes it pretty well. I have all of my electric gear plugged in and ready to go and hopefully will not need it for very long. There are several trollers dragging stuff around in front of the docks at Mallard point. They must be catching something but I did not talk to them. Others are around the bridges in front of Panther Bay Marina. I am marking several stripers on the way to my fishing spots but do not fish for them. Let them grow. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much, have all individual cabins with no duplexes, all have covered porches and your first boat stall is free. There are no price increases for 2022 and we will help you catch fish and have new brush piles. Compare prices. Our low price is only excelled by our quality. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service on his spoon yesterday. That is one nice fish. Image title

The lake level is 552.63 and has risen 3/4 of an inch in the last 24-hours with two hours of generation. The White River at Newport is at 7+ feet and they are doing a great job of holding the lake level as high as they can for a long as they can. You would think someone would need electricity somewhere in the Southwest Power area. We did recieve a little over 1/2 inch of rain yesterday afternoon and night. The surface water temperature was 47 degrees and the water clarity was better and you could see your lure down about 5-feet. It is the same in the creeks. It was raining just a bit yesterday afternoon when I went out but quit about 3:30Pm and the fishing conditions could not have been better. The ambient temperature was 60 with light winds, very cloudy with a low pressure front moving in. Theses are text book conditions for catching fish and I was not disappointed. The first brush pile that I went to showed crappie near the bottom so I cast a 2-inch grub and minnow over it and let it sink and caught three very large crappie. Two were white and one was black nosed.  They stopped biting so I moved to another one and immediately started catching fish. The one thing in common was that the brush was in 26-feet of water. The brush got my grub so then I switched to a Bobby Garland baby shad and continued where I left off catching fish. Crappie and bass were both in the same places and biting equally well. All fish were keepers with no throw backs. It was good to see some nice largemouth showing up where I had been just catching Kentuckies. It was a fun afternoon and evening. I did see some boats dragging stuff around not too far from me in deep water. Clip a weight on a crank bait and drag it around through shad. When the fish bites on one of the rods in your rod holder reel it in if it does not get tangled up in another of the many lines you have out.   It sounds like fun. If there was one big striper left in the lake I am sure some would dog him down and kill him and brag about it. They will have to use longer and lighter roods and reels with lighter line to convince people that these fish are big like they used to be.  The weather does not look so good for the next few days.  The date is 2-2-22 I hope it is lucky and the ice stays away. Somebody is going to get it. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Scuba Steve with his biggest crappie of the day. Image title

The lake level is 552.58 and has risen 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation. The White River at Newport is at 8-feet and dropping. Still no effort to drop the area lakes and we are now in february. We received about two inches of total precipation for the month of January which is about 1/2 normal. If the lake floods this year it will not be because of too much rain unless we get a lot. They have had ample time to drop the lakes for the winter and have not done so or made any attempt to do so. It is better to go into the spring at about 546-47 than 552. It would not have stopped the flood in 2017 but would have really helped in other years. The 12-ft. rule for the level of the White River neeeds to be reviewed. They only follow it when they want to anyway. Minor flooding occurs when Newport is at 23-ft. and nothing is hurt if it is kept just below that. Nobody needs to get flooded out but better management is needed. They changed the rules for the minimim flow for the put and take trout on the rivers, are proposing changing the rules for Beaver Lake management to facilitate a more constant water level, so they can change all of the rules and take away politics for all of the lakes not just in the highly populated areas. If safety is a concern, then they need to start with the oldest dam first which is Norfork. I worked on improvements until about 4:PM and then went out on the lake until about dark. We are really getting things in good shape here for you with no increase in price. Blackburns is the family and fishing resort and we have put in several brush piles to help you catch fish when you get here. We will show you where and how. Most of our customers are repeat and already know how. It was nice and warm and a little windy but it went down just about when I got to the first brush pile. I wanted to check out the new ones. They held bass earlier but the crappie were there now and some big ones too. I started off with the 1/4 once Bink's Spoon and then switched to the Bobby Garland Baby shad. Both caught fish with the bass liking the spoon better and the crappie liking the jig. A couple of the crappie were very large and were right on the bottom in 25-ft. Stripers are still biting and people are still fishing deep and killing them. I guess they need meat pretty bad and want to finish off any decent sized ones that are left. I am not fishing for them anymore until they make a comeback but that is why they were put in there so they might as well finish them off and then learn how to catch other fish. There are quite a few smaller ones. The weather does not look good for the next few days. We can take the snow but keep the ice away. It looks like we will get both. It does not look good for the Jonesboro area. I wish it would miss everybody. Surface water temperature was 46 yesterday but the frozen stuff will not raise it any. The normal average high is now 46 degrees which is the same as the water temperature. The lake water clarity is the same. It starts to clear and then clouds up again but is a good color for fishing. I have one project to finish and then I will go fishing until it rains me out. It is to get very cold later this week. This looks like the last decent day for a while and that will end later this afternoon.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some good ones caught yesterday on Blackburns brush piles on the spoon right on the bottom. Image title

The lake level is 552.51 and is the same as this time yesterday with about 4-hours of generation. The White River at Newport is at 9-feet and there is no sign of any effort to drop the area lakes for the winter. The surface water temperature is just under 46 degrees in this area and you can see your lure down about 4-5 feet. It was a nice day yesterday with ambient temperatures in the early 50's with light wind. Everybody that I talked to caught fish. Bink is still catching all kinds of temperate bass in Big creek and we are catching ours near Blackburns on Brush using the spoon and green grub near the bank. Today looks to be even a better day before the weather comes in bringing a cold front and mixed precipitation. Rain, then ice and then snow. Thursday looks to be the worst day and then a cold weekend. The track is not for sure but we will get something just keep away the ice. The cold front is bringing the coldest temperatures of the season. We have avoided most bad weather this winter with just a couple of light snows but much better than last year with the shad kill and the ice on the creeks. Hopefully that will not happen again. I will keep you posted. My friend Dave Gentry (AKA Diver Dave) died yesterday. He introduced me to lake diving and trained me in open water, advanced diving and rescue. He will be missed. Much fun was had at his dive shop in Henderson. He was just here a few days ago.  It has been a tough winter for my long time friends with several now gone in the last few months.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tom Kelly with some nice ones yesterday on Blackburn's new brush piles. He is one good fisherman and releases almost all of his fish.  Image title

The lake level is 552.47 and has risen just a bit with no generation for 24-hours but they just started again last hour. The White River at Newport is 10.94 feet and there continues to be no effort to drop the area lakes for the winter and we are in february on tuesday. The water surface temperature is between 45 and 46 where I have been fishing and the clarity is pretty good but not nearly as clear as a few years ago. I remember when you could see the bottom in the winter at 25-ft. but those days are over. There is a pretty important workshop coming up on tuesday February 1st here in Mountain Home at the Sheid auditorium at the college from 5-8 PM. It is concerning how the Beaver Lake Dam is managed. It addresses increasing minimum flow, the 12-ft. rule and giving that lake priority in keeping the level lower during periods of high rainfall at the expense of the other lakes. Even though Norfork is not on the White River chain of lakes it is being managed as it is because the Norfork River discharges in to the White River at the town of Norfork .  Safety is being brought up as the reason and the threat to the increasing population below the dam. Beaver was built in 1966 and is twenty years younger than Norfork. I suspect economics and politics might be involved with many affluent people building below the dam and on the lake in that area. They would like a more steady flow into the river, less periods of high flows and a lower level maintained. I understand that. We all would. Since Norfork is the oldest dam in the area I propose that any changes to the Beaver Lake management be also implemented at Norfork with no lake getting more priority than the other. We need to be safe here also.Table Rock already has priority with it's proximity to Branson and it only leaves Bull Shoals and Norfork to hold the bag. After Table Rock was built Taneycomo is now a tail water of it from the dam spillway so it will not be affected.  I do not know all of the details but encourage interested people to attend the workshop. Maybe all of the area lakes need to be managed differently.  I am a proponent of that. The weather was much better yesterday and it looks like it will continue for a couple more days. It is beautiful today but that is to end wednesday night with a cold weekend ahead. Fishing just gets better and then another cold front comes through. This could be the coldest of the season. I do not like snow but would much rather have it than ice. Typically the ice goes just north of us into the interstate 44 or highway 60 area but not always. We had one bad one in 2009 which I will never forget. We are to be on the border of rain, ice and snow and it concerns me. It will hit somewhere and I do not wish it on anybody. Tom, Mike, Bink and myself all caught fish yesterday. Bink is still on the temperate bass in the Big Creek area and the rest of us are fishing from Float Creek to Cranfield Island. Some nice ones were caught and most were released. Spoons, jigs and grubs continue to be the best lures and the bank out to the brush continue to be the best for crappie and bass. Mike caught a nice walleye right at dark on the spoon. I did not. Late afternoon and evening bite is the best. Enjoy the nice weather for now.  It gets busy here at Blackburns about the middle of March. Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115. Best place, best price, closest to Mountain Home, dining and shopping. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 552.44 and has dropped 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with just a little generation. The White River at Newport is now at 11+ feet and they are doing nothing to drop the area lakes for the winter. It is a good thing we have been dry. I did not go fish yesterday but we went out and put in a couple of trees for fish cover. It was sunny but was windy and cold with white caps and ambient temperatures struggling to reach 30-degrees. The north wind was just miserable. We put in two trees and came in. They are in good places though where I knew fish hung out while scuba diving. We only put them in fishy places and do not try to lure them to a new location. That seldom works. Some people install PVC pipe instead of trees for fish attractors and I tried that several years ago. It just did not work. I would see them when I was diving and seldom ever saw a fish on or around them. I might have saw a couple of catfish in all of the times I went by them. This is for sure, fresh cedar trees hold the most fish especially right on drop-offs.  When the Corps of Engineers used to put in cover many years ago they would sometimes put in large hardwoods and  sycamores with green leaves. They worked for a few weeks and then the fish left them for some reason. I always suspected it had someting to do with the the decaying leaves after they fell off the branches but I am a chemical engineer not a veterinarian. The surface water temperature was just under 46 degrees and the water looked the same as the day before. I saw no other boats out there and we were out for a minimal time. Today looks to be better but I do not like the looks of the weather coming in about Wednesday night next week. The last ice storn is still clearly in my mind and I do not want to go through anymore of them even though I am better prepared for one now. February starts tuesday and we are headed in the right direction. Looks to be a pretty good weekend and early next week for fishing. Bass are finally moving to their winter banks. Try the green 3-inch stingray grub on a 3/16th ounce jug head on the bottom. Put your boat in deep water just past a sharp drop-off and cast to the shore. Let it sink as fast as it can take line but do not drag it on the bottom.  Use your rod and watch for twitches in the line and set the hook. It is harder on windy days and best with light or still wind so try and get out of it the best you can. It is a good change from spooning but I use both. At Blackburns there are no price increases this year, all cabins are individual with no duplexes, all have big covered porches and your first boat stall is free. Come on dwon. We will not charge you too much and will help put you on fish and have good brush piles for our customers.    

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Caught off Blackburns new brush piles yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 552.55 and has dropped 1-1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/2 the time. The surface water temperature was 46 degrees and the ambient temperature was just over 40 in the afternoon when I went out yesterday. The wind was light and the fishing conditions were pretty good but it could have been a little warmer. That should happen later this weekend and then there is a good chance of rain for several days next week. The water color was just about right and I could see my spoon down about 4-feet. All I wanted to do was check out the new brush piles that we put out the day before. They both held fish already and the bass were biting, especially the Kentuckies. I brought my limit back and released them under the dock. They were right in the brush. That was all I wanted to know so I came in just before dark. We have had a few very warm days in January but mostly it has been cold. There were several striper boats with several rods out trolling between the bridges. They must have been catching something but I do not know. Several bass fishermen are having a hard time and are turning into striper fishermen as they are easier to catch now. There must have been a good class of about three years ago because there are a lot of fish in the 5-8 pound range being caught recently. The game and fish are starting a tagging study to determine the numbers and size of stripers being harvested in several of the area lakes to determine if there needs to be a change in the size limitation. Norfork Lake, Beaver and Ouachita are included. I personally would like the size limit to be increased and the number limit to be decreased but it will not do any good if people keep fishing for them in deep water and releasing dying fish. I am sure they will do what is best. I am not going to fish for them for a few years until they make a comeback, if they do. Way too many of the smaller ones are being killed now. There are a few of us that were around and remember what Norfork Lake Striper fishing used to be like and it is a shame what has happened. Maybe it will get better but not at this rate. I did not catch one crappie yesterday but it might have been that they had not moved into the new brush yet or it could be that they were just not biting. I did not see any down there but they might have been right in the brush with lockjaw. That happens too. I like winter bass fishing just a much. I bought a new belt for my Kawasaki Mule and it was $90. It was $48 a year ago. I do not like that. The money you save by staying at Blackburns will about pay for your fuel to get here and that will help slow inflation. Gas prices are going up almost everyday and you will not see many motor homes dragging cars behind them this summer. It was nice when gas was $1.70/gallon a year ago.  You do not have to go far from Blackburns to catch fish as we are about in the middle of the lake and this area has some of the best fishing. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.  

Noefork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

The lake level is 552.68 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with about 10 hours generation. The White River at Newport is 12+ feet. It looks like we are back in the 12- ft.mode again for managing the lake but as long as it stays dry it may still drop. I would like it to be 547at the end of April to give us a better chance of not getting high again. A normal year would be great for everybody. I did not go fishing yesterday but we went out and installed a couple of brush piles near Blackburns for our customers. It went pretty good and there are now more places for you to fish. Two of us have permits so we can put in several more trees. The water surface temperature was 47 degrees, the wind was very light, the water clarity was good and the ambient temperature was cold. I would not allow any Fireball or Blackberry Brandy to be consumed in my presence but I suspect a little sneaking was going on with the ambient temperature struggling to get past 30. We will show you where they are when you get here. Warmer today, cooler tomorrow and tomorrow night and then warmer for later in the weekend and early next week. We have a waning last quarter moon and I expect some good fish to be caught the next few days. I will let you know. Several of us will be out. I do not like to wish time away but I am glad January is about over. Bink is still on the temperate bass in Big creek on his spoon and others are still catching small stripers in the river channel near the bridges and in front of Panther Bay Marina. Striper fishing is about to slow down so they better fill their freezers now and get as many as they can until the water cools a little more. Full moon in March is the 18th and just before that they will be on their spawning banks at night on the stick bait and start biting again. Crappie fishing and bass fishing is still the best for me but that is all that I am fishing for except for walleye and I cannot catch any of those. Come on down to Blackburns, we will help you find fish and will not charge you too much and are open all year.  Your first boat stall is free. We especially welcome Police and Veterans. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

This is a sample of what Scuba Steve is mostly catching nearly everyday.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 552.85 and has dropped 4-inches in the last 24-hours with continuous generation since 7:PM last evening. The White River at Newport is 11.65 and dropping. The surface water temperature is just under 48-degrees and dropping and the lake is clearing more every day. You can see your lure down 5-6 feet. Everything in general is in pretty good condition but the fishing is just fair. The cold fronts continue to come through and slow fishing and then it gets better until the next one. The trend lately has been for it to get cold during the week and then warm up late in the weekend. It can vary from early 60's for a high to late 30's just overnight. Our normal average high is rising and is now 45-degrees. The bass have started biting in the evening on the grub near the bank and some very large crappie that are on the brush in the daytime are with them. I am fishing brush until sundown and then beating the bank until dark. Most of the bass are Kentuckies but a few largemouth are with them. Many larger bass are hanging with the shad in open water now that the big stripers are mostly gone. I have not caught a walleye this week. The crappie are finicky and will go for a few hours of not biting and then bite quickly for a few minutes. When I think I have it figured out they change. You just have to wait them out. There are still some 15-16 inchers but not nearly as many as last winter with 11-12 inchers taking their place. They are fat and healthy though as are the bass. Overall fish numbers are high on norfork except for white bass and big stripers and the white bass are making a comeback with many in the 10-inch range. A few nice ones are being caught but not a lot. Big bluegill are in high numbers and are excellent eating and fun to catch. We are fortunate to have so many species of game fish in Norfork and sometheing is almost always biting if you are willing to be versatile. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few and do not fish in deep water. There are some big fish there but also many smaller ones and they all die when brought up. Venting does not work. They may be able to go down but they die anyway. Big stringers of dead fish are not impressive to most people except for meat hunters. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tom Kelly with some nice ones yesterday. Some were very large. Image title

The lake level is 553.20 and is the same as it was at this time yesterday with a few hours of generation. The White River at Newport is 12+ feet and dropping very quickly with the reduced generation. There is no effort to drop the area lakes this winter and they are all holding just under the power pool. The surface water temperature was 48.5 yesterday afternoon when I went out and the wind was light from the west. It came up about 5:PM when the cold front started to come through after an ambient high of 64-degrees. The water visibility had cleared in both the main lake and the creeks and is a good color for fishing.  It is 30-degrees this morning and is not going to warm up much for the next couple of days and the lows are to get into the teens. At least January is about over. Bink reports catching several white bass and crappie in Big creek on his 3/8th ounce spoon, Tom Kelly caight big crappie, Mike caught bass and crappie and I caught fish from the time I went out until I came in at dark. It is nice that the days are getting longer. I fish crappie until about sunset with the jig and then beat the bank for bass with the grub until dark. I have not got into the big smallmouth yet and the walleye have slowed down but the rest of the fishing is pretty good. The weather looks to get better by this weekend  with good fishing days by sunday and monday. Fishing overall is just fair but some good ones are being caught everyday. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region lake condition and fishing report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some pretty good ones yesterday. We will show you where when you get here. Brush piles are going in as we speak. Image title

The lake level is 553.21 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with generation for just a few hours. The White River at Newport is at 14+ feet and dropping. The surface water temperature was 47 degrees, the ambient tempoerature was in the high 40's  and the lake clarity was stained on the main lake and a little less so in the creeks especially near the bank yesterday afternoon when I went out. It was a little breezy from the west but not bad. The first three Blackburns brush piles that I went all had fishermen camped on them but the fourth one was open. I will put this year's trees in new places so our customers have more places to fish, That is why they are put in. I wish more resorts would do so. We will show you where ours are when you get here and we have some good ones. It is very warm and breezy today already with ambient temperatures to reach 60 with a cold front coming in later with highs to get back into the high 30's for a few days. One more week left in January and the moon is getting smaller with the last quarter to be tomorrow. Crappie, bass, catfish and walleye like the dark of the moon. I do also but it is nice coming in after dark during the full moon.  The fish were biting steadily but not fast and I caught my 5-crappie limit, and a nice Kentucky Bass and a very large bluegill and came in just before dark. The fishing was pretty good but they were not as large as the day before and the bite was not as fast. Tom, Mike, Bink all caught fish also. Our striper fishermen report catching several in the 5-8 pound range but no picture fish. Bink is really on all kinds of temperate bass back in Big Creek. The fishing pressure is increasing on Norfork, especially on nice warm days. Everyone is tired of winter already. The lake is in good condition now and at a good level but I am still concerned about going into the spring at this elevated level again. It just does not have a habit of working out and there seems to be nobody concerned or willing to do anything about it. We will get a big rain before May, you can count on it. Yes Blackburns Resort is open all year, no we are not on vacation and are also not for sale and are not raising our prices this year. We just keep getting these questions for some reason. Come on dwon. We will not charge you too much and your first normal sized boat stall is free. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Cabin #12 is finished and ready for your visit. I has a king in the master bedroom and now has a queen and other two beds in bedroom 2. $83/day $498/week 0ff-season. Image title
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The lake level is 553.27 and has dropped 3/4 of an inch in the last 24-hours with little generation. The White River at Newport is 15.77 and dropping and the surface water temperature was 48 degrees on the main lake yesterday afternoon and the water clarity was about the same and you could see your lure down about 3-4 feet and it might be more clear in the creeks than the main lake. The ambient temperature was just shy of 40-degrees and it was sunny with light winds. Our normal high is 44-degrees and has started to rise again meaning we could be past the middle of winter. It is to warm up nicely today, get to 60-degrees tomorrow and then another cold front is coming through but not as bad with highs near 40. They just keep coming. It is predicted that february will be warmer than normal but we shall see. Last february was not so good. We are about 6-7 feet too high going into the spring and there has been no effort to drop the lakes so far this winter when they had the chance. The may rains come along with storms and the only ones that do not seem to know this are the ones managing the lake level. 560 is too high and we are just one big rain from being there. 546-47 would give us a little buffer and not hurt anybody. My aerator pump and bilge pump were frozen up, my steering was stiff and the line going to the water gauge had frozen and was leaking water on my shoe. I took it loose and tied a knot in it and went fishing and the fish were biting, especially the crappie and some nice ones too. I caught my limit of five and threw several back along with a few bluegill and came in. I just wanted a few more to go into Tom Kelly's trophy pond before spring spawn. I will get a couple of pounds of tuffies from Nabatak to get them through the winter and it will be ready. It could use a couple more walleye but I have not caught any lately. The striper bite is still pretty good in deep water and they are still killing them and they are getting smaller and smaller. I guess if you cannot get bass you can kill stripers. Get that meat at all costs. At least the White Bass are making a comeback but are not nearly what they were three years ago. Hybrid fishing is just fine but not nearly as many of them are stocked. The bass, crappie, walleye, bluegill and catfish should be excellent this year. The high water does not affect fishing much ulnless it comes all at once like in 2017. That was not good. Keep all of the trash and logs up in Missouri. People are already calling and are getting disappointed about not getting the cabin and rental boat of their choice because of all of the early reservations. Customers are taking advantage of Blackburns low prices and are not happy with other places raising their prices on them. Friends do not raise prices on friends especially if they use the money to go on vacation.  I like it here and have no place that I would rather be. The improvements continue.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Ateve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

The lake level is 553.81 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with rotation between one and two generators most of the time. The White River at Newport is 15+ feet and dropping.  The surface water temperature was 48 degrees yesterday afternoon and is dropping with the cold weather. The water seemed to clear a little and I could see my lure down a little more than 4-ft. It started out in the mid 40's in the morning and dropped during the day. It started to snow big flakes about 4:PM for a little bit almost covering the ground and then it quit before 5:PM and the wind started from the north and it got cold fast. It continued to get colder until a low of about 12-degrees this morning. It is not to get above freezing today and a little colder tonight. Saturday looks to be warmer with temperatures in the 50's for sunday and monday and then another cold front just as bad as this one in the middle of next week. We are in a pattern but are avoiding the ice and storms so far. I went out a little earlier in anticipation of the snow and wind and it was not bad but I did not push the issue and came in about 3:30PM. I do not hate them that bad. I  spooned a couple of brush piles and caught a few crappie and a couple of Kentucky Bass to check out the conditions. Fishing is almost always the best right before the cold front gets here. It looks like sunday afternoon and monday will be good days for fishing. We will see. I do not like taking days off but have some indoor projects to work on anyway. I will continue to go and check out the conditions even if for a short time as long as my old boat will start. It froze up the line to my water pressure gauge and squirts water in my shoe but it is not a very big line and we do not sweat the small stuff. It looks like this snow will stick longer than the last one. Most places are having significant price increases for 2022 but Blackburns is not raising anything except boat gas. We do not want to charge our friends too much and want you to continue to have an affordable vacation with all of the inflation in other areas. Come on down and check out all of our improvements.  You will like what you see. We are open all winter and are not for sale. I do not know where that is coming from. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountain Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

The Ellner family from Elcho, Wisconsin had a good time here and are very nice people. Image title

The lake level is 553.98 and has risen 1.2 inches in the last 24-hours with just a little generation. The surface water temperature was 49-degrees yesterday afternoon and it was a nice day with temperatures in the 50's and light wind. The water is still stained in both the creeks and the main lake but a good color for fishing. We have reached our high for today and the temperatures are dropping and  weather of some kind or other is to hit  this afternoon followed by a cold front and very cold temperatures for the next three days. I called our customers that were scheduled to come in told them to wait. Single diget wind chill will just not work. It costs more to heat and clean the cabins than we charge plus it is not fun fishing with ice in the rod eyelets and your drag frozen. This should go away by sunday but another one is coming. Fishing was pretty good yesterday for bass and crappie but that is all that I am fishing for. Others are fishing temperate bass in deep water. There are more guides out there chasing a very few customers than I have ever seen in the past. They are hunting down and killing off-season stripers and not even getting paid for it. It will take a big marketing effort to convince people that a lake that used to produce 30-40 lb. stripers are now producing 7-8 pound ones that these are big fish. You would think  quitting killing them and not fishing for therm in deep water when they are out with no customers would be wise and they would let them grow  but it is like one is trying to out advertise the next one. We get a few new ones and lose a few every year but have more fishing experts than ever and they are attaining this level in record time. Leave the fish for the paying customers who pay out of state licenses. The cold weather will drop the surface water temperature some but not drastically when we reach this time of year and this temperature. We had ice in the creeks out to the main lake with a shad kill last year and this is much better. It is dangerous to go into the spring at this water level but maybe it will work out but I am not counting on it. Many people that come here camping are getting tired of the high water all summer and going elsewhere and that is a shame since they really like it here and do not want to go. We have several very nice campsites and swim beaches but they are no good 10-ft. under water. I am still catching some nice crappie, bass and bluegill everydaty and the evening bite is the best. Striper fishermen are catching several fish now but that usually slows with the cold weather and they move to between the bridges next to the old river channel and get lethargic. This mostly happens in January but has not yet and they are feeding getting ready for it. There are more bass in open water on shad than normal and fewer on their winter banks which are south facing with the predominate north wind. There are some there though and they move shallow in the evening from cover in 20-25 ft. during the day. Some crappie are in open water but some are on brush at about 25-ft. of water. Some big ones are mixed in eith the 11-inchers. White Bass fishing is getting better and Hybrid stripers are about normal. The high water does not affect them much. I am not looking forward to this cold weather. 

Norfork lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.88 and has risen 3/4 of an inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is 16.5 feet and dropping rapidly. The surface water temperature was 49-degrees yesterday afternoon and the wind was light fron the southeast on the main lake and calm in Blackburns Creek. The lake was about the same as far as clarity was concerned and I could see my lure down about 3-feet in the sunshine and less when it was cloudy. The ambient temperature was 43 degrees and pleasant with the light wind. It is to be in the 50's today and then the wind is to pick up and another cold front is coming through with the coldest three nights of the season. Windy with temperatures in the low teens will make it hard to keep things from freezing up. The highs are to not be above freezing until  next weekend. Just keep the ice and storms away and we will be fine. The fishing was pretty good and I caught my self-imposed limit of five crappie off a brush pile with a 1/4 ounce Bink's Spoon and then moved to the bank with the green grub and caught two keeper bass and came in. Nothing spectacular but it was a pleasant afternoon. The rates posted on this web site are for this year with no changes. No surprises coming here. The money you save by staying at Blackburns will help pay for the increased fuel prices and they just keep going up along with everything else. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some of yesterday's catch. The snow is gone,.Image title

The lake level is 553.84 and has risen 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with no generation since noon yesterday but they have started now. The White River at Newport is at 17.4 feet and we are back in the power pool.The little snow lowered the surface water temperature but it is still in the high 40's. I had between 49 and 50 yesterday afternoon but it varies a bit from main lake to creeks. The shallower the water the cooler the temperature. The water is still stained green and you can see your lure down about 3-feet. It is sunny today with highs in the 40's, a little warmer tomorrow , and then cool back down again. Typical January. The full moon is today. I am still catching crappie on brush in 25-ft. of water near the bottom and a few bass are with them and also at sunset on the grub for both bass and crappie near the shore in chunk rock. Bink is still on temperate bass deep in 60-80 feet of water near the bottom on his spoon. I am using the grub, spoon and Bobby Garland jig exclusively now and am catching bass, crappie and bluegill. Others are catching stripers and hybrids about the same size and several white bass but most of them are small but not all. Nothing is showing any signs of moving much except for fish on the shad which are following them They may be moving in and out depending on the time of day but not different general locations. The water temperature has ranged only from about 52-49 in several weeks, the level has been nearly the same, the visibility has varied a bit but comes right back and nothing is changing much except the calendar. Temperate bass, crappie, bass and bluegill are the best bite with none being exceptional but all having their days if you happen to hit it right. Cold fronts affect it the most. The clear cold days right after one gets here are not usually the best but you can still catch some fish especially if you stick to the jigging spoon but I do not use it in the wind. It is just good to be out and I try to go out every day unless I cannot get out of the wind. It is not my friend. We are past the middle of January and are headed in the right direction. We have missed almost all of the bad weather this last year and have been very fortunate. No storms and no ice and no price increases. These are all good. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service on friday.Image title

The lake level is 553.63 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of generation. The White River at Newport is 17+ft.  We are headed in the wrong direction and are about out of the power pool of 553.75 which used to be 552 before the wothless mimimum flow to help the put and take trout in the plastic rivers and taking away flood capacity. Let out water from dam, river. Shut off water, dry.  If they cannot drop it in the middle of January they must not be going to do so. At least the water is at a good level in the winter when nobody is here. The surface water temperature is about 50-degrees and lower in the backs of the creeks. My rain gauge is frozen up but KTLO reports about 1-inch of total moisture with most of it being rain and a little less than 2-inches of snow. It did not quite cover the ground and should be gone by tomorrow. The snow flakes were huge and just floated down with no wind. The wind is to pick up tomorrow and then get cold again later this week. Our normal high is 43-degrees. Bink is doing the best now and is catching all kinds of temperate bass in the same spot with a lot of white bass. They have been in the same area for a month and are showing no signs of leaving. He is fishing the Big Creek area. The threat of snow run off several of our guests but they caught fish right up until they left and good ones too. Several white bass are from out front of the docks on Mallard Point to Southwest of Cranfield Island with some Hybrids mixed in. Some of them will move upstream to spawn in Late February and March but have shown no signs of doing so. The water temperature needs to be above 54-degrees. The ones being cleaned at my dock have eggs but nowhere near ready with no bloodlines. Like the walleye the so called run is not nearly what it used to be but the numbers are starting to come back. I do not know what percentage of walleye spawn in Norfork but the total numbers are higher than I have ever seen them and they are getting bigger. In May when the thermocline forms is the best time to catch walleye on main lake points in 16-20-ft. of water. Bink catches them deep in the summer but I do not fish deep anymore. I received my Norfork Lake fish cover permit yesterday and am getting ready to put in brush and know just the places where I want them. You will have some good places to fish when you get here. We do it for our customers and it would be nice if more people would do it. They really help. I am getting really tired of this inflation and high gas prices but the money you save by staying at Blackburns covers most of it if not all.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Dave Titus with some nice ones. Image title

The lake level is 553.25 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of generation. The surface water temperature was 50.5 last eveing and the water did not clear any from the day before and maybe got a little more cloudy. I cauld see my lure down about 3-feet. The White River at Newport is 17.85 and dropping fast. The ambient temperature was in the low 60's and the wind had shifted to the northwest at about 5-10 but it was easy to get out of it. I fished brush on a south facing bank and caught my limit of five crappie and the wind stopped about 4:PM and then I moved to my winter bass bank and caught two nice bass, one a Kentucky and the other a largemouth, lost my grub on a rock and came in just at dark. I do not like to fish when I cannot see my line but just do not want to give up on the day. It was a very nice winter day and I was happy to be out. Other people fishing out of the resort got several stripers, bass and crappie. Striper fishing is pretty good at this time as is crappie. Several crappie are about 11-inches but a few are about 13-inches. The people catching stripers are spooning for them in 45-50 ft. of water near Blackburns but Bink is catching all kinds of temperate bass deep with his 3/4 ounce spoon. He has found them and they have not moved for about three weeks. The ones in this area are moving around but not too far. They are just roaming after shad. The largest ones are just under 10-pouinds. Some nice hybrids and white bass are with them. The bite has held on with the warm water temperatures later than normal. Usually January can be tough. The crappie were biting in or close to brush in 25-ft. of water. The moon is getting big again and bluegill and stripers like it just before it gets full and the bluegill started biting again yesterday where I had not been catching many until then. Catch two big ones, fry up the four fillets, add black pepper and slice of onion on some buttered bread and nothing else. It does not get any better than that. Two sandwitches are just right. You can substitute crappie, walleye or Kentucky Bass and get almost the same results. All fish are good out of Norfork Lake. Today may be the best fishing day for a few so I must get my work done and get out. Best bite, 3:30-5:30 PM. Looks like some weather moving in tomorrow and then warm back up next week. January is a long month but it has not been bad so far and it is 1/2 over tomorrow. I wish the lake was about 6-feet lower going into the spring. No price increases here at Blackburns this year and your first boat stall is free unless you bring the Queen Mary. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The Hayleys from Wisconsin are catching some good fish of different species. Image title

The lake level is 553.28 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of generation. The White River at Newport is now at 18.5 feet and dropping. The water there is certainly not coming from Norfork. We are approaching the middle of January and there are no signs of any effort to drop the lake for the winter. 560 is the level where there starts to be problems and we are not far away from that. The water temperature was 52 degrees yesterday afternoon when I went out and the lake is clearing everyday and is a good color for fishing and the fishing was good. We had fishermen out from Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin and they all caught fish. Striper, crappie and bass were the species most caught with walleye, bluegill and catfish slowing. The ambient temperature was in the early 60's and the sun was shining with light winds and the conditions were perfect. When the sun goes down it cools off fast. You may think you do not need a coat when you go out but you will if you fish until dark. The best bite was starting at about 4:PM until sunset and then slowed way down at dark. You can just say it quit. Most crappie were in the 11-inch range but a couple of pretty big ones were also caught along with a few throwbacks. A few bass were with the crappie and most were next to the brush on the bottom in about 25-ft. None were caught in over 30-feet. It was a good day. Bink is on the temperate bass in deep water in Big Creek using his spoon. I am not fishing for them but some are near Cranfield Island on the south side. It was a good day but changes are coming Saturday and another cold front by monday. Come on down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much. Please get your deposits in for cabins and boats reserved for later this year to hold them. We are getting many more calls than normal and we do not want you to have to pay more somewhere else. It looks to be a good year so far and we have been getting ready all winter for spring. Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Tom Kelly with some pretty good ones.Image title

The lake level is 553.34 and is the same as it was yesterday at this time with just a couple of hours of generation. They just started again. The White River at Newport is still 19-ft. and the water surface temperature is 51 degrees and has been the same for over a week. The lake is still stained green but is getting a little more clear everyday and needed to. The weather has been beautiful with sunny skies and light winds and temperatures in the high 50's. That is to change on Saturday when another cold front is coming through with a good chance of snow. Just keep away the ice and wind and we will be fine. It is going to have to get a lot colder if there is going to be a shad kill like last year and the days are now getting longer. We have a good population of shad but I suspect there were more that died than originally thought. Several were floating but many more sunk to the bottom. Last December and January were very cold and there was ice in the creeks. That has only happened a few times since I have lived here for 28-seasons. I moved here when I was a very young and  small child and fell off the turnip wagon and was abandoned by my parents. Blackburns has several good fishermen here from all over the country and all are catching fish but not in high numbers. Some are striper fishing, some are bass fishing, some are crappie fishing and some are fishing for anything they can catch but they all are liking the weather. I am making as many improvements on the resort as I can and then going out fishing in the afternoon. It is hard to believe how fast prices are increasing on everything but I will hold prices here at Blackburns for as long as I can.    

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some nice ones. Image title

The lake level is 553.34 and has dropped less than one inch in the last 24-hours with just a few hours of generation. The White River at Newport is at just over 19-ft and dropping. Some of the brown had dropped out of the water near Blackburns where I was fishing yesterday and it was still stained but a little more green. I could see my lure down a couple of feet. It was very nice out after it warmed up and the wind was light except between the bridges and I was able to get completely out of it so I fished brush for crappie with the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon. Between the bridges is usually the windiest place on the lake. It is better to fish over brush when you do not have to use your trolling motor very much and I use it a sparingly as possible and keep the spoon straight up and down bumping the brush for crappie and bluegill or bottom right next to it for bass and walleye.  I caught my self-imposed limit of five in the range of 11-13 inches and then moverd to the bank in chunk rock at sunset with the grub. Fishing was slow but steady and four bass, two Kentucky and two Largemouth were caught and released on site. There are two places where the fish have been biting consistently for me and they are just off the first dropoff on the ledge in 10-12-feet of water. There are a few big crappie with them. The bass are keeper sized but not as big as usually caught this time of year. The surface water temperature was exactly 51 everywhere I went. The weather is to be very nice for the next several days with high pressure holding in until the next cold front and wind. The warm weather brought out more fishermen yesterday and several of them are staying at Blackburns. I go out in the warmest part of the day and come in when it gets cold but those Michigan and Wisconsin people start early and come in late and do not complain about anything.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

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

The lake level is 553.41 and has dropped over 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours beginning in the evening and then again this morning. The White River at Newport is 19.75 feet and shows what they can do if they want to. Electricity must be needed somewhere. The wind was brutal from the north yesterday with almost white caps in Blackburns Creek which is unusual. It was worse on the main lake so I did not stay out very long. The ambient temperature was in the low 40's but the wind chill was very cold.  When I tried to get out of the wind it was swirling and following the river channel. I caught one smallmouth bass and that was it. Several of our customers were out there all day and caught some fish including hybrid stripers and bass and said it was better than where they come from. One group was from Remus, Michigan, another from Sandwich, Illinois and another just got here from Northern Wisconsin. I promised them better weather today and will show them some good crappie places. They were not complaining and said it was better here than where they came from. The cold front has come on through now and it is sunny. It got down to 19 last night but the lows are to get above freezing again starting tomorrow. The sunshine and light winds are making conditions much better already. The cold fronts just keep coming through but it is winter. Bink is still fishing deep water on temperate bass and catching some good ones on his spoon. The wind blew the brown water into the creek and the color is just like after a big rain and we have had just a very little since the 3-inch one on January 2nd.  In the winter if the color changes it is usually just a different shade of green. Open water fishermen are finding temperate bass and black bass on shad using the spoon but it is hard to stay on them in the wind. Should be much better today. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.56 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours with no generation since early afternoon yesterday. The White River at Newport is over 19-feet and is still rising so do not expect much generation for a while. We just got a little rain but there was more south of us. The water on the main lake was still over 50 degrees where I was fishing yesterday and it was even more murky than the day before. It was a brownish color indicating it was runoff. The visibility was almost zero in the main lake and a couple of feet in Blackburns Creek. My blue light is about 8-ft. deep and you could barely see any from the surface. It has been very bright. Visibility is usually much better in January. It must have been from the rain we received on January 2nd when they had flash floods north of us. We have had two major rains in several months accounting for most of the total. December 19th when it raised the lake to 554.82 and the one a week ago. The lake level was 554.82 on December 19th and we have just dropped 1.3 feet since then. The cold front is moving through with wind and then better conditions are expected for most of next week. It was about 39-degrees and the water was choppy and just short of whitecaps at about 3:30 PM on the main lake. I fished for bass and then got tired of fighting the wind and moved back into the creek to crappie fish and caught four keepers but no big ones. No picture fish. It looks to be good fishing conditions starting tomorrow with ambient temperatures get well into the 50. I like that if the wind goes down. Bass are biting well on windblown banks on grubs and jigs and crappie are just fair in brush early and then near the bank part way back in the creek in the evening. Trollers are dragging umbrellas through shad and catching some temperate bass. Bass fishing is the best. Bink is spooning deep water for white bass and hybrids and a few stripers just around a main lake point and catching several. I am fishing an area between Robinson Island and Cranfield Island. Cranfield island is preferred but I just move south as the water color suits me which is stained a little green. Fish will bite in brown water but it is not my favorite and I get out of it when I can. Where brown and green water meet is a good place also part way back in a creek after a rain. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Winter Bassin on Norfork Lake out of Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.Image title

The lake level is 553.49 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with on and off generation, mostly off. The White River at Newport is still over 18-ft. so we cannot expect much drop anytime soon and rain is predicted starting this afternoon. It looks like the nasty stuff and heavy rain will go south of us. The forecast calls for much warmer daytime highs above average for the next week and temperatures to be in the 50's next week. That sounds good but usually it comes with wind. It did not get up to freezing yesterday but the wind was light and not too bad of fishing conditions. The warmer weather and rain will take out the snow that is left by tomorrow. It was not enought to cause much trouble. I had a a surface water temperature of between 50 and 51 on the main lake where I was fishing yesterday and the water was stained. It is worse in the creeks. I have mostly been bass fishing for the last few days but cannot resist dropping a spoon into a brush pile with fish in it when I go by. The threadfin shad are schooled and most of the schools are not scattered and show no predator fish on them but some do. Several black bass are in chunk rock on their usual winter banks but some are on the shad. I have not caught any large smallmouth yet but bet I will. Several Kentucky bass are with the crappie on brush but both are moving near the bank in the evening just before dark. You can get a few very large crappie shallow now from 4:PM until dark. I have switched from the Bobby Garland blue ice jig to the white 2-inch twister tail tipped with a live minnow at sunset and the rest of the time I am using the 3-inch green stingray grub from the bank to about 30-ft. of water on the bottom. On brush I am using the 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon white with a green back. All three of these are working but the big largemouth like that green grub. I use a 3/16th ounce jig head and Bink uses a 1/4 and he fishes deeper water than I do and sets his boat in 35-50 ft. of water and keeps the grub sinking and not dragging the bottom and uses his rod as the lure comes nearer the boat and is straight up and down and then vertical jigs it a bit before repeating. He can do this better than anybody I have ever seen. Now he is spooning in deep water on a certain point for temperate bass and catching several. I do not fish in deep water anymore but do not guide for a living. Ambient temperatures of over 40 with light winds are just right for me. I hope they draw my name for brush piles. Several of us work together to put them in and it really helps fishing. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.57 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with on and off generation about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is still about 19-feet so they are at least trying. The water temperature was just under 50-degrees in Blackburns Creek last evening when I went out and the ambient air was cold. It is colder this morning. My old 1986 Mercury 2-stroke motor did not want to start but it finally did and the boat had snow in it even though it was on the lift and the steering was a little stiff but I did not have to go far. On the way out to the mouth of Blackburns Creek, in the creek channel, I noticed a big school of shad with fish on them. I dropped a spoon and they were biting. Largemouth and Kentucky bass. I released about a dozen fish and my reel was freezing up and the drag did not work. I switched to a spinning reel and cast a crappie jig over a Blackburns brush pile and caught a couple of crappie in the 10-11 inch range and came in. It was not a day to take a long trip. The new thing besides the drop in surface water temperature was the visibility. It was almost zero in the creek and very murky near the main lake. It must be the water coming down from the north after the earlier 3-inch rain. The creeks change almost daily anyway. Usually snow and cold temperatures clear the lake this time of year but not so now. It is to rain the next couple of days and then warm up to the 40's followed by another cold front and then warm up again. Overall it does not look too bad but we could get quite a bit of rain before it goes away. I can just go jump into my boat and fish close and get out of it quickly anyway. There happen to be a lot of good brush piles close. Speaking of brush piles, this is the last day to go to the Corps of Engineers office and fill out a form to put them in Norfork lake yourself and not just use other people's. Get there before 4:30 PM.  When I see other people camping on the brush that I put in I just do not put any there anymore and move on. Replentished brush are the best places for crappie and walleye. Old brush does hold bass and catfish. The more the better for everyone. It is good for fishing and we like that.  It is good when everyone catches fish. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

This is what it looks like out my front door. Image title

The lake level is 553.68 and has dropped just over an inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 1/2 the time. We are now back into the power pool and our future is up to the Power Administration. Neither government agency is doing much about dropping the area lakes for the winter. We had less than average rainfall for the entire year of 2021 and still were flooded out all spring and summer. It is mismanagement not too much rain. They go into the spring too high and then quit generating when it rains. The lake surface water was 52 degrees when I went out yesterday afternoon. I waited until the wind layed and the ambient temperature was in the early 40's. I fished until after dark mostly for bass but tried one brush pile for crappie and caught just two about 11-inches. I have been off the big ones for a while but like bass fishing just as much. They are on their winter banks now and the best bite is from 4:PM until dark just around the corner on the inside points of the main lake for about 100-yards. Some big crappie are behind them and they are right on the bank. The bass are a little further out. I am using the 1/4 ounce Bink's Spoon in the brush and the 3-inch green stingray grub on a 3/16th jig head and touching bottom. It does not have much action but works anyway. You can also jig it straight up and dowm.  Be prepared to lose a few. The snow has quit and it has now covered the ground and it is to get cold tonight. Both snow and cold will drop the lake surface water to about 50.  I will go out and try to catch a bass later this afternoon and see what tomorrow brings. It is to warm back up later this weekend and it needs to. The normal high is 43. 

Feature Cabin #11 at Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental on Norfork Lake near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region

Cabin #11 has 3-bedroom and 2-full bath with screened-in porch. Image titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage title

We are finished with cabin #11 and it is ready for this up coming season. We think you will like it when you get here. 3-bedroon, two full baths with dishwasher and screened-in porch with beverage refrigerator. New roof, flooring, siding, counter top. cabinets and heat and air in every room. Check it out. There are no price increases for 2022.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountain Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

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The lake level is 553.80 and is just about what it was at this time yesterday with very limited generation. The White River at Newport is still at over 19-feet so do not expect much for a while. At least they are trying. The water surface temperature was 52.5 on the main lake when I went out yesterday afternoon bass fishing. I found several schools of fish in open water on the way but they were just white bass and small stripers. Some of the white bass were a couple of pounds but I do not take pictures of white bass. The wind was not bad but kept me from doing what and where I wanted to go. When I went to a brush pile just off the main lake and partially out of the wind the fish were biting but mostly small bass, 10-11 inch crappie and big bluegill so I moved. Usually the wind drops about 4:PM if it is going to so I moved to the main lake and found some nice largemouth bass. The wind finally layed just when it got dark. The fish were still in chunk rocks just off the bank in 10-ft. of water and were biting the green grub. I caught two nice Kentucky Bass and then a couple of big largemouth for Tom Kelly's trophy pond and came in at dark. I really like winter bassin but it has been a long time coming this season and better fishing is expected. The wind is calm this morning and it did not get cold last night and I expect some open water fishermen to find some more temperate bass today as they are everywhere at this time. I just wish they would quit killing those small stripers. Fishing overall is still just fair but is getting better and it needed to. Another cold front is coming and bringing more wind. Wind lovers should be happy. I did not catch a walleye but did catch a couple of white bass, smaller crappie, kentucky bass , bluegill and nice largemouth in a couple of hours of fishing. The green stingray grub and spoon are the best lures.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.82 and has dropped 1/2 inch with alternating several hours of both generators, one generator and then nothing. The White River at Newport is at 19-feet so they are doing what they can to mitigate the rise in the area lakes. With the cold weather going all the way down to the gulf you would thing they need electricity somewhere but we are still barely in the flood pool. We will see waht happens when it gets below 553.75 again. Time is running out to drop the lake for the winter. It was sunny with light winds when I went out yesterday afternoon with an ambient temperature of near 40 and not bad at all. I was able to fish with light gloves and no ice in my reel. Much better than the day before but it cooled off fast at sunset. The surface water temperature was 55-degrees on the main lake where I was fishing and the water was not as clear as earlier. You could see your lure down a couple of feet but that changes almost daily. The lake usually clears when the water temperature drops in the winter but there is no normal anymore. You have to be out there almost everyday to write an accurate report. I am surprised that more temperate bass are not coming in as I saw big schools of shad with fish under them on my way to my fishing bank. I am not after them but several people are still trying to finish cleaning the larger ones still there out. I fished until dark and caught only two keeper Kentucky Bass and two crappie and none were big or picture fish. It was slow to say the best and there were only four bites in 2+ hours using the green stingray grub near the bank. All fish were in chunk rocks in about 10-ft. of water on  drop-offs. It is warmer today but the wind is coming up. It is 40-degrees out and it is not noon yet. The normal high is 43. It is to get cold again thursday night and then warm up to near 50 but with gusty winds moving back and forth from the north to the south. The creeks are stained but the brown has settled out at least in this area. It did not quite make it to my dock. The three inches of rain did wash out the road a little but I will fix that. It was not nearly as bad as the last big rain but was enough. It is time again for the Corps of Engineers to issure fish cover permits for Norfork Lake. They do this every other year now instead of every year. Bull Shoals is every year. That makes sense as the Norfork basin was cleared of trees when preparing to flood and Bull Shoals was not. Go figure. Norfork needs the cover more. Here are the new rules as I see them for getting a permit. Go to the Corps office before 4:30 PM by this friday and fill out a form. They will draw out 50-names for each lake to determine who gets the permits. I went yesterday.  This is a good chance for people to put in their own brush and not just go to places where others have worked hard to do so. Resort owners should do this for their customers. The Game and Fish did a good job of replentishing the old Corps brush piles that had been neglected for several years but that was over two years ago and the best ones need freshened up yearly. I sure hope I get one but if not I will help others who do. The more cover the more fish especially for us that do not just chase them around in open water following the birds and dragging stuff through them. No Fireball or Blackberry Brandy are allowed on the boats putting in trees when it is cold. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.89 and has risen just a bit from this time yesterday with generation for several hours during the day, then they took the rest of the night off and have just started again. We are now back in the flood pool and cannot seem to get much below the power pool of 553.75 which sets us up for another high water year. We can handle high water here at Blackburns but it makes it really difficult and inconvenient for day users and campers and restricts launching and parking. It would be nice if they would try dropping the level in the winter and giving it a chance to take spring rains rather than keeping us just one big rain away from being too high. The surface water temperature had dropped to 52 degrees in the creek that I was fishing yesterday afternoon and it was cold with highs in the mid 20's with a breezy north wind. I am not a fan of walk through windshields but it would have been nice yesterday.The water was a little more stained than the day before but was still a good color for fishing. I did not check the temperature on the main lake as I was in a hurry to get out of the wind even though it was not high but very cold despite my all electric gear. I cannot fish very well with big gloves and the water was freezing as it came off the line onto my reel. It was cloudy or it would have been colder. I caught a few fish on the spoon and came in. No picture fish. My old mercury motor did not want to start very well but finally did. I will give it another try this afternoon. It should be better for the next couple of days and then the bottom drops out again on thursday then better for the weekend. Sunday looks to be the best day. I am also bass fishing with the grub on the bottom from the shore back to the boat that is setting in about 30-ft. of water and the bite is pretty good late evening but it gets very cold after sunset and fast. Some crappie are with the bass and a few walleye. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountain Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Rum Binkley with some New Year's White Bass. These are some of the biggest ones that I have seen in two years. All caught on the Bink's Spoon. Image title

The lake level is 553.84 and has risen 3-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 1/3rd the time. We received about three inches of rain in the last two days here at Blackburns and the creeks run but not nearly as hard as the last time. There is some brown water in the backs of the creeks but not bad. It rained most of the day and we finished up several projects at the resort and went out fishing about 3:30 PM and fished until dark. The surface water temperature was 57 degrees and the lake had stained a bit. The wind came up and the temperature started to drop about 4:30 PM and then the cold front came in. It is cold now and it will warm up again to normal until thursday when it gets cold again. We have missed all of the storms and bad weather so far and this is our first taste of winter. It will be lucky to reach freezing today.  Several fish were caught including bass, crappie and walleye but we had three different groups out there and not high numbers of fish. We have been fortunate to have had until the new year to work on outdoor projects and it is only two more months until we get busy at the resort again. That is why we cannot wait until spring to make improvements as people are anxious to get out and go fishing as soon as spring breaks. March can have very variable weather with warm days followed by cold fronts every week and it is hard to plan a trip for the best fishing. If you do not have to plan very far ahead just read this blog or send me an E-mail to find out what is going on. I will be here every day and will help you and will not be on vacation. You cannot drive the train if you are not on it. The cabin improvements are all done and now is the time to work on rental boats. Things are going well so far. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. My cold weather gear is all charged up and ready to go but I do not like it and my old Champion Boat does not like it either. If you have not serviced your boat motor it would be best to keep the lower unit in the water rather than on the lift or with the trim up.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tom Kelly with some of yesterday's catch. He will be wearing more than a T-shirt tomorrow. Image title

The lake level is 553.51 and has risen over one inch in the last 24-hours with no generation since last evening and one generator running before then. The White River at Newport is 9.9 feet and dropping and there is no effort to lower the lake for the winter and we are in the New Year. So much for letting the government run anything. We have received over 2-inches of rain in the last 24-hours and it is still raining and the creeks are starting to run. It was in the low 70's yesterday and there was no wind until about 4:30 when it picked up. Everyone here was out fishing until dark and caught several fish including bass, crappie, white bass, bluegill, catfish and walleye. There is a cold front coming after the rain and then clearing off and turning very cold with lows in the high teens. After that the highs will be about normal, which is 44, for a couple of days and then warm up a little. Tomorrow will be the coldest day and barely get above freezing. Just keep the snow, ice and wind away and we will be fine. The lake overall is in excellent condition, at a good level, and fishing is fair with several fish being caught everyday except not high numbers. I do not care about high numbers anyway. Those are for meat hunters. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few for the future. Bass fishing is improving especially in the evening on shadowy banks just before dark on drop-offs in about 10-ft. of water on the grub on the bottom. There are also some big crappie there. The surface water temperature was over 57-degrees and the lake had cleared a bit from the day before but I do not know what to expect today after the rain but will find out. I can fish in Blackburns creek and dodge the showers. It is a good fishing creek anyway but gets fished heavily. We will see what this cold front does to the fishing tomorrow and I will get my electric gear out and be ready. After the new year we are heading in the right direction and the days are getting longer. The new moon is tomorrow and most fish except stripers and bluegill like that. I am advising my customers to wait until the middle of next week to come fish depending on how long this coming high pressure lasts. I will be out there until my eyelets freeze and ice gets in to the reel drag. Eyelets meaning on both the front of my head and on my fishing rod. And rod meaning what my reel hooks on to. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Cabins 5-8 all have new counter tops and cabinets and heater/air conditioners. No wonder I am broke. No vacation for me. I will just go fishing. Image title

New vanity in cabin #4Image title

James Soltysiak with a nice one. Image title

The lake level is 553.41 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with the generation being cut way down to just a few hours a day. Now we are going into the new year without any drop for the winter keeping us just one big rain away from being too high again. Come on boys, let some water out and get it down to 547 before the spring rains. You have had plenty of chances. The White River a Newport is at 10-ft and dropping. We could get significant rain tomorrow night before the cold front moves in drastically reducing temperatures for a couple of days. Our normal high is 45 and monday it is to get to about 30-for a high and a low in the teens and then warm up to about normal or a little higher. We have been working hard all winter getting things ready for your visit. We just finished putting new air conditioners /heaters in cabins 5-8 along with counter tops and cabinets. Five and eight also have new queen beds and bedding. #4 has a new bathroom vanity and #1 a new kitchen stove. #12&14 also have new king mattresses and cabinets and counter tops.  Many other mattresses and furniture have been added and things are really looking good for your visit. There will be no price increases here at Blackburns for 2022 so you can continue to have a affordable vacation.  A special thanks to Furniture Depot for supplying us with many items and at a good price. Nice people. They have inventory where you have to order from others and are locally and family owned. Now it is time to service boats. It was a beautiful day yesterday with warm temperatures and light wind. We worked until mid afternoon and all went fishing. The water temperature was 57 and the lake continues to clear. The calendar says it is time to bass fish no matter what the water temperature. I fished brush in 25-28 ft. of water until about 4:PM and then went to my favorite winter bass bank. Kentucky Bass and a few crappie were biting on the brush but it was slow but it was not slow on the main lake river channel bank with big chunk rock. Fish of different species were in the rocks at about 10-ft deep on the bottom. The green 3-inch grub on a 3/16th ounce jig head was working. Binks uses a 1/4 ounce jig head so it will sink faster but I get hung up too much in the shallow water so I lower it a bit. I caught smallmouth, largemouth, Kentuckies and one giant crappie on about 100 yards of steep bank right on the dropoff until dark.  Mike, James, Craig, Tom and John all caught fish but reported it was a little slow. I am ready for some 4-lb. smallmouth to stretch my line out a little. I like winter bassin. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountain Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

John Bornhop with some good ones. He was unwilling to release them. Image title

The lake level is 553.45 and has dropped a little less than 2-inches in 24-hours with both generators running about 1/2 the time. The White River a Newport is just above 10-ft. and dropping. The surface water temperature is about 55 degrees and the creeks are very stained and the mainlake is partly clear and you can see your lure down about 3-4 feet. The lake overall is in excellent condition, at a good level but the fishing is only fair.  We received a little over 1/4 of an inch of rain yesterday and more is coming tomorrow. The daffodils are emerging and the grass is getting green and this might be a little premature if the weather forecast holds for saturday night with a hard freeze predicted. They should be smart enought to not come up before January 1st anyway. The forecast varies from day to day but it looks like the low will get into the high teens with clear cold skies with a couple of days of cold temperatures to ring in the new year and then warm up a bit. We have been very fortunate to not have had any winter so far. We got a lot of work done and then several of us went out fishing in the afternoon. Bass, crappie walleye, white bass, bluegill and walleye were all caught but not in high numbers. Most were using the spoon but some were using live minnows with a slip float. Both caught fish equally. Most were on Blackburns Brush piles in 25-25 ft. of water but some were in open water on shad at 40-ft. suspended. Lots of shad are moving back into the creeks. Fishing overall is not the best but has it's moments in the afternoon. Bink is on temperate bass of all species in deep water near 80-ft. about 6-ft. from the bottom. Please get your deposits in by January 15th for the cabins and boats that you reserved last year to insure that you get the ones that you prefer. We have more advanced reservations than in the last several years so give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115.  There are no price increases for 2022 and your first boat stall is free unless you bring the Queen Mary. They need them in Lake of the Ozarks anyway. Be glad to see you again and thanks for your 2021 business. You will like the new improvements when you get here and again no we are not for sale. People keep asking and yes we are open all year.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Lake condition and fishing report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some of yesterday's catch. Image title

The lake level is 553.62 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 1/2 the time. We did receive about 1/4 of an inch of rain in the morning. The level is now below the power pool and is mostly in the hands of Southwest Power. The White River at Newport is now at 11-1/2 ft.  It was cloudy in the afternoon with an ambient temperature of near 60 when I went out fishing. It cooled quickly in the evening but the wind was very light an non-existent as the sun went down. The surface water temperature dropped just a bit and is now just under 56 degrees. Cloudy with light rain until saturday with temperatures dropping during the day and very cold lows saturday night. It should not last too long. We will see what actually happens. Fishing has not been the best the last few days but some nice fish are being caught but not in high numbers except for Bink which is on the temperate bass on the south end of the lake in deep water on the bottom. The rest of us are catching bass, crappie bluegill and a few walleye but are having to work for them. I saw some fish surfacing at about 4:PM throughout the main lake and lots of shad with fish on them in Blackburns Creek. I was ready to come in so I left them alone. Tomorrow is to be the pick day of the week as far as weather goes and then the cold front and wind comes in. Spooning is still the best lure right now but some live bait trollers are still catching and killing small stripers. We have not had any winter yet but it looks like the cold will hit us soon. If you have not checked your lower units for water and line behind the prop you better keep them off the lift and the trim in the water on saturday. IO's better be winterized or brought in. Just sayin.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

James Soltysiak with some of yesterdays catch. Image title

The lake level is 553.79 and has dropped 3-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 3/4ths the time. The White River is just over 11-feet at Newport and dropping. We are approaching the power pool of 553.75 and we will see what happens then. The last several times we got here they cut the generation drastically. We are almost to January and if they are going to drop the lake it is time. Otherwise they might as well not even open the campgrounds. The lake is at a good level now though and is in excellent condition with a surface water temperature of 57. The warm weather is bringing out more fishermen than normal for this time of year and I saw quite a few boats out there yesterday and also trailers at the ramps. Several fish were caught by several fishermen but not as many as the day before. Bink reports he is still spooning open water for temperate bass and walleye and catching several in deep water on the bottom. Tom Kelly was fishing near the shore for bass in 12-16 feet of water with his whacky worm and the rest of us were spooning brush. Bass fishing was the best for us brush fishermen with crappie slowing a bit. Some very nice bass, mostly Kentuckies, were caught along with a few crappie but they were very large. It was a little breezy in the afternoon but not bad and it layed in the evening. It looks like a cold front is going to hit here right after new years but the warm weather got us through 2021 with no winter yet and that is very good. After January 1st. spring is on the way. A lot of shad are moving part way back in the creeks in about 40-45 ft. right in the creek channel with different species of fish in them but they are not biting very well. The white bass on them are not very big but the ones Bink is catching are good sized. Smallmouth Bass are showing up but are mostly small. I am ready to get after them when they grow up and I am hoping soon. Main lake river channel banks near the shore is the place to start looking for them with the grub on the bottom. A lot of work is getting done around here but a little fishing also. I have cold weather gear but was hoping not to have to get it out but it looks like early next week I will have to. It will weed out several fair weather fishermen. Your first boat stall is free here at Blackburns and we have different sized ones for different boats. No 1-size fits all. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Tom Kelly with some nice bass.Image title

The lake level is 554.05 and has dropped a little over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 1/2 the time. It has dropped about 9-inches from it's high of 554.82 last week. It is approaching the bottom of the power pool where Southwest power takes over and they typically slow generation when they take over and then keep generating after the lake gets at a good level without regard for how low it gets. Both are incompetent but you cannot expect much from the government. When the water gets high this year they cannot say they did not have a chance to lower it in the winter. The last time the power company took over they let the White River at Newport get almost dry and refused to generate. The main lake is pretty clear and the creeks are still stained a bit but we are at a good level now and the water is a good color for fishing and is about 57-degrees. Blackburns is nearly full of fishermen and they are all catching fish and helping each other. It got a little windy again yesterday and was just short of white caps. It was warm and in the early 70's and a very nice late December day. We are headed for spring and they can keep the wind, ice and snow for the people that like it. The bass, crappie and bluegill remain the best bite and are being caught by various methods. Open water fish are showing up part way back in the creeks and different species are together. White bass, hybrids and small stripers are all together with a few largemouth mixed in. Big crappie, bass and bluegill are on brush in 35-ft. of water at various depths. They do not bite for several hours and then all start at once so you have to be persistent and you will catch fish. We are getting several calls and E-mails everyday with the same questions. 1) No we are not for sale. I guess several are. 2) No we are not raising prices. I guess several are. 3) No we are not closed. I guess several are. 4) No we are not on vacation. I guess several are. We are spending your money on improvements not vacations and could use a little more so come on down. You will be welcome, we will help you catch fish and will not charge you too much. Veterans and law enforcement are especially welcome. We like them. Big fishing day today.

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains region by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Fishing Report and Lake Condition

Debbie, Savannah and Nicole with some more Christmas Crappie on Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental's Dock yesterday. Image titleImage titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 554.21 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 1/2 the time. I finished grading the road that the big rain washed out last week and then went fishing. It looks pretty good now and is getting wider and wider and you can meet another car on it. The surface water temperature was 57 degrees and the ambient temperature was in the 70's and it was sunny with light winds. The wind completey stopped about 4:PM and the water was like glass. That was really a welcome change from the wind. The water is clearing and you could see your lure down about 4-feet and I could use a spoon straight down which is the best lure at this time. I went to a different brush pile that I had not fished in a while because it is right on a windy bank that you cannot get out of and found a few fish. Not as big as the day before but still some nice ones. Bass, bluegill and crappie were all in the same place but were at different depths with the bluegill being the shallowest followed by the crappie and then the bass. I was using the Bink's white with a red eye 1/4 ounce spoon with 4-lb. test clear line and keeping it straight up and down and tapping bottom. When the line goes slack when falling it is usually a bluegill or crappie so set the hook. If not do not set the hook unless you are sure it is a fish or you will lose your spoon. The spoon going through brush feels almost like a fish and you will bury your trebble hook in it. If it is a bass you can set the hook after he clears the brush maybe a couple of times. Try to keep him from jumping if you can but set the hook before he does again. If you keep light tension on him he will not jump as much. Use the net and do not do it like the guys on tv do and swing him in the boat or you will hear a pop and he will be gone much of the time. They like to suck the lure down and jump and spit. I have hooked big bass in my less experienced days and fought them with too much drag until they jumped and were gone. I liked to use bass assassins in those days with a weighted nose hook and the hook that came up through the bottom of the lure was not even pulled up through the plastic after fighting a big fish. He was never hooked and just spit it out. Bottom line: try to not let him jump by not setting the drag too tight and reeling too fast. Use your rod.  If you cannot stop him set the hook again before he does and set it hard. The wind is light again today and fishing looks good and the lake is in excellent condition. Blackburns has a bunch of good fishermen in this week and it looks to be a fun time. Maybe rain in the middle of the week but we can dodge that.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountain Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The dock was busy yesterday. They assured me that there were not any wanted posters out on them but I am not so sure. Fun at Blackburns. Image titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 554.31 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 1/2 the time. The White River at Newport is 13-1/2 feet. After the crowd left the dock yesterday and the presents were opened I went out fishing. It was warm with an ambient temperature in the low 70's  and the wind was gusty from the southeast and hard to stay in one place with the swirling wind. The surface water was 56 degrees and the lake is clearing a little everyday. The wind is to hang around for a couple more days with a cold front coming in and then getting windy again. Wind lovers are very happy but are not out there in it. I did not see any other boats but the fish were biting especially the big crappie. I used both the slip float with a live minnow and a twister tail grub tipped with a minnow. I could not keep the spoon straight up and down.  Bass and bluegill were also biting. Again it was steady for about an hour and then the big crappie started biting at about 4:PM fast and then quit at 5:PM just when it started to get dark. I kept my limit of five very large crappie and came in. The wind did slow a little then but is back at it now. Bink reports catching several white bass and hybrids right on the bottom in 60-ft. of water on his spoon with some of the white bass being good sized. Several fishermen are coming in tomorrow and we will se how they do. I am getting reports of several small stripers in the 5-8 pound range being caught but have not talked to any of them personally. It seems to be a war of the guides to see who can erradicate the stripers first. They are getting smaller and smaller. I have not caught a walleye in almost a week but am not targeting them as the big crappie are my favorite when the walleye are scarce. A couple of good walleye fishermen are coming in and we will see. Every warm day that goes by is one day closer to spring. The days are getting longer but not so much as you can notice it but at least we are headed in the right direction. The moon is getting smaller.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tom Kelly caught some nice ones on his whacky worm in Float creek.Image title

The lake level is 554.40 and has dropped about 3/4 of an inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 1/2 the time. The surface water temperature was between 55 and 56 depending on where you were yesterday afternoon and the ambient temperature was 60 degrees. It was a little breezy but no white caps. It is to be sunny and warm with temperatures in the 70's for a few days with very gusty winds and then another cold front is coming through. The people that love high winds should be really happy, but me not so much. I did see one other boat out there in Blackburns area and he was fishing open water between Hensley's creek and Mallard point docks. I do not know if he caught anything or not but he was in the same place for quite a while and then left. I was fishing a couple of brush piles further up river. The fish were slow but steady for about an hour and then the big crappie started to bite about 4:PM.  I had been catching bass, big bluegill and crappie in the 11-inch range until then when I switched to the white grub and minnow. I was casting it past the brush and letting it sink into it and they were hitting it on the drop about 15-ft. down in 30-ft. of water. Big ones too, maybe the largest of the year. I do not know if they were always there or a school just moved in. I kept my self imposed limit of five for a friend that cannot fish anymore for a Christmas present. 10 fillets almost filled a 1-gallon zip lock. I needed some as I do not have any inventory and Christmas is almost here. The other fish were released under the dock and the school there is getting big. Children were fishing off the dock, feeding the fish and having a good time. It is busy here at Blackburns and will get busier next week. Several places are shut down and people are trying us out because we are open all year and do not leave for vacation. We hope they like it here. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

One of my favorite people, Rum Binkley with a fist full of Christmas Crappie caught on the Bink's Spoon. Image title

The lake level is 554.49 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 2/3rds the time. The White River at Newport is 14.89 and dropping. The last big rain has moved on down the line. December is now almost gone and the lake needs to keep dropping before we get into the spring. It is at a good level now but we are too close to that 560 mark when problems start to occur. I like to be at 547-48 on May 1st and then hold in the 550's for the whole year. The lake surface temperature was 53 when I went out yesterday and the water is stained a bit but a good color for fishing. The rain did not affect the fishing and it is even better now especially for bass and crappie. They are starting to catch and kill the small stripers again and I guess they are trying to eradicate them. The striper fishermen are cutting their own throats but old habits are hard to break. They should all be released this time of year and again in the spring top-water until the big ones come back and quit fishing for them deep but nobody seems to care. I do even though I do not fish for them much. We will turn into another Lake Texoma and our stripers do not even reproduce in Norfork. The crappie and bass do though and they are biting. I have never caught so many big bluegill and they are very tasty and it has been a banner year for catfish. More and more walleye are being caught and the size is increasing. The Kentucky Bass population is very high and they are a staple when the other fish are hard to catch and are also excellent eating. The Game and Fish conducted a Norfork lake Angler Creel survey as to what fish people were targeting. They interviewed over 1,000 fishermen at the boat ramps and found that 63% were after Black Bass (large and smallmouth), Crappie were #2 with 12.5% followed by anything at 9.2% and Striped Bass at 9%. This survey was for 2020 and 2021. I guess this is the reason that there is a push for changes in the bass fishing regulations and many more people are after black bass than anything else. They are scientific and at the same time of the creel survey they were sampling fish populations of the lake and are trying to make everything balance. Norfork lake is very old and does not reproduce like a newer lake and needs to be managed. Our Biologists care about the lake and know what is best for it and try hard to make it happen. We are fortunate to have them. I am not a fan of big government to say the least but this is an exception. Without them the meat hunters would fish the lake out. With most of the big stripers gone I am not seeing nearly as many small bass as I was a few years ago but am seeing more in open water on shad than before. Everything in Norfork is getting all the food they want and all of the fish that I am catching are very fat. I have seen the shad population higher but at the same time am seeing many schools of them with no game fish on them. Some species of fish's population is controlled by daily limits more than others. For an example it is hard to get anybody to release a keeper walleye so the limit is important. On the other hand many bass fishermen release their fish and the limit does not affect the population as much. I think 15 is too high for crappie limit but also understand the tendency to keep Missouri and Arkansas rules the same. Very few people like to see huge stringers or dock floors full of dead fish anymore no matter what the limit is. That is something to be ashamed of not brag about.  Arkansas changed the law for possession limits from twice the daily limits to three times the daily limits this year. I am not sure I agree with that but they are not out there checking most people's freezers anyway. In general I believe the area lakes are managed very well and do not want Norfork to have the same problems as the Tennessee River lakes, especially Kentucky Lake which has been managed terribly. Many fishermen that used to go there are now coming to Norfork. The fishing pressure has increased dramatically in the last few years and it is not the same as it was but is still the best around when you take in account everything. I just want to keep it this way. As long as I can go down to the dock and use my trolling motor to get to a Blackburns Resort brush pile and catch a few fish I will be fine but it is not as easy as it used to be. Once a person finds one and catches a fish they camp on it for the rest of their lives.  They should put in their own. It is to get very warm and windy for a few days so we will see what happens. I will be out there. Blackburns is open all year and is not on vacation. Why would I want to go any place else? 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

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

The lake level is 554.63 and is the same as it was at this time yesterday. They quit generating about 9:PM last night and just started back. It started to rise a little when they quit but not bad indicating that the slug is moving through the system. The White River at Newport is at 16-ft so they are doing what they can to hold the levels but are still running Bull Shoals hard even though it is below power pool and Norfork is above. There has been little effects of the big rain, except for the three foot rise in water level, in Blackburn's area so far and anything has had ample time to get here if it was going to. The low point was 551.34 before the rain on December 17th. It's high was 554.83 and has actually dropped just a little since then with the heavy generation. As far as my and several other people's fishing out of Blackburns is concerned the fishing has not changed much with some nice Kentucky Bass, crappie and bluegill being caught everyday and mostly on the spoon. The water is a little more stained but not a lot. The surface water temperature is dropping very slowly and is 554 this morning and it was very frosty. The ambient temperature has not warmed up as quickly as originally predicted but they are still saying 70 by friday but the sun is shining and the wind speed is low. I talked to one troller and he said he had not caught a fish in three days. When people do not write a report it is usually bacause they are not catching much not because they are not fishing. I just try and report what is happening for my customers so they do not get a surprise when they get here. Some others are getting a surprise when they find out the new price increases almost everywhere except Blackburns. They had better watch unless they just have too much money. I instructed a purchasing agent at one of the places where I managed to put up a sign on his wall that said " first one up-first one out" and it really made the sales people that came to see him think before raising prices. We will hold out for as long as possible before anything is raised here at Blackburns and there will be none for 2022 but it has not stopped the improvements. I took several boat seats out to ITS in Midway for reupholstery and a boat for a new top. Those people really do a good job and at a fair price. The new counter tops and cabinets are placed in cabins 5-8 and are ready for installation along with a new vanity in cabin #4. Hopefully this will happen next week. You will like what you see when you get here and there will be new brush piles. I wish we had more help from others doing this.    

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some of yesterday's catch. Image title

The lake level is 554.62 and has dropped over 2-inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. I hope they keep this up but the White River at Newport is at 15 feet. Maybe they will cut down on generation on Bull Shoals first as they are below power pool and Norfork is still above. You cannot tell what they will do but at least they are trying to help now. The level drop will stick some of the debris on the shore upstream and prevent it from coming here. As of last night at dark I saw no evidence of anything that had made it's way to Blackburns area and the lake is in good condition here despite predictions of doom from some people. You have to be around here for a long time to predict what will happen on Norfork Lake. I have been here 27-years and still cannot do this. I might be a little slow on the draw but all I can do is report what is happening and I am out there almost everyday either on or below the water. I went out yesterday morning to check out conditions and it was foggy. The lake surface water temperature was 54.5 and it was very still. I decided to go out on the boat in Blackburns Creek and headed out to crappie rock to check things out. There was a big school of bass in the creek channel in about 25-ft. of water and they were biting. Mike came out and enjoyed the fun as they were biting at every drop of the spoon. They quit after about an hour and I came in and went back out late in the afternoon and caught some nice crappie as did Mike. The fishing overall was the best that it has been for a while and there seemed to be no negative effects of the big rain. The water was stained green but I could still see my lure down a few feet in the main lake and less in the creek. It was foggy again this morning but is gone now. It is to get into the 70's again for Christmas Eve day which is friday. This is the shortest day of the year and from now on it is heading in the right direction. If it was not for Kentucky Bass, crappie and bluegill, fishing would be tough for me but I do not fish open water much and am happy with what is biting. I did not check winter bass banks for black bass last evening but will today. The lake surface water temperature is dropping very slowly and probably will stop dropping with the warm weather at least for a while. I remember one year where it did not get below 50. Things are a lot better than last winter so far and it is just good to be out and I am thankful that I do not live in a city but Mountain Home is growing into one and very quickly. I am not sure how much I like that but we have to make the best of what we are dealt and count our blessings and I have many. My idea of planning a fishing trip is when I go down to the dock to feed the fish I decide if I want to go out or not. The answer is mostly yes. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 554.82 and has risen just a bit in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. When they generate it stays the same and when they quit it rises. It is up to them how high it gets. It has risen just about 3.3 feet since the rain and it's low earlier this month which was 551.68 which is not bad considering we  got over 6-inches total here at Blackburns. I was worried it would be worse when I heard of the floods in Ava Missouri.  May of 2017 still is in my memory and sure do not want that to happen again. Things have not been the same since the Dawt Mill dam is gone as far as Norfork Lake conditions go. The Norfork River is now free-flowing for several more miles than before and has changed how fish migrate for spawn and what is washed into the river. Temperate Bass are now showing up further up the river as are walleye. I saw no brown water in Blackburns area last evening when I went out but there was some trash floating from scouring out the creeks that have not flowed for a few months because of the dry weather. The creek coming into Blackburns is clearing up already. I have lived here for a long time and the one thing you can predict is that things are unpredictable and that is why I just report on what is happening. There is no reason to fear doom at this time but we will have to see what happens to the debris that is coming south with the current that is caused by the heavy generation. It was not here last evening. The surface water temperature was 55 degrees and the water was stained just a bit from the day before. I caught some fish but overall it was not the best fishing. There was nothing to be scared of or any more danger than normal. People that fish here in the winter do not need to be told how to be safe, they have been doing it for a long time and can catch fish in most conditions. You have to fish here year around for several years to know the lake. I am still learning and need to learn more. It is not easy but is satisfying when you can catch fish almost everyday. Some are a lot better than others. It was very foggy this morning but is better now. I have some work to do and will go out later and let you know the conditions. I hope they keep generating. They can if they want to but who knows. They do not account to anybody. 555 is way too high for the end of the year. The White River at Newport is at 10-feet. That will be the limiting factor. Update: The Kentucky Bass are in the cove this morning 1/2 way back  in 28-30 ft. of water and hitting the spoon. Big school and some nice sized ones. The bite lasted about an hour and has now quit. There is a little more stuff in the water but mostly small twigs that are not hurting anything. The water is stained green and is 54.5 degrees. Sun is shining.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Scuba Steve with a couple of yesterday's catch. It was cool out but not bad. Image title

The lake level is 554.80 and has risen 2.2 feet in 24-hours and they finally started generation last evening for about 1/2 the time. We received about 6-inches total of rainfall total for the last three days. A high pressure system is here now with sunshine for the next week and temperatures are to reach 60 by friday. It was cold last night but temperatures are creeping up. There is a slug of brown water heading here from Missouri and should be in this area soon. It looks like the lake will keep rising with the heavy rain and flash floods in southern Missouri in the Norfork River water basin unless they generate more. They have had two months of very dry weather to drop the lakes and refused to do so and now we are one big rain away from being too high again. Anything over 560 is too high and starts to cause problems. If they cannot manage it in December fat chance of doing it in the spring. If we had been at 547 when this last one came we would be at a little over 550 and no problem. Now we are back out of the power pool and the decisions are up to the Corps of Engineers rather than the power administration. It does not matter much as both are government. At least it is not like April of 2017 which was devestating even after they dropped the lake to near 546 in the winter like they should have.  We have a much better chance if we start out lower. Going into the spring in the mid 550's does not give us much of a chance. The backs of the creeks are actually starting to clear up already and the brown coming this way will clear as it moves south with the generation current. There is no secret that I do not like to fish brown water. You can catch some fish in it but it is like the wind, I prefer to get out of it. The people that love high wind would probably really like Kentucky last week. The surface water temperature was 56.5 last evening when I went out and the crappie were biting. I caught my self-imposed limit of five from 4:PM until dark with one short walleye and a couple of Kentucky Bass. I saw no other boats and the water clarity on the main lake where I was fishing was pretty good and you could see your lure down 4-5 feet. The spoon is still the best lure for me and I did not get a report from any live bait fishermen or other trollers. We will see what today brings. Thanks to the crew at Vision Amp who worked on my web site and blog  providers all weekend and got me back up. Several high traffic web sites got hacked and they rose to the occasion. The moon is big and the creeks are rising. Tuesday is the shortest day of the year and after that we are headed in the right direction. Have to go down and move the dock.

Norfork Lake condition friday afternoon by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Late afternoon bulletin from Scuba Steve. I just checked my rain gauge and it was full indicating over 4-inches of rain. The creeks are running rapidly and where the water enters the lake is brown and growing in size. The creeks have not been flushed for several months and debris is running in the lake.  The lake has risen one inch in the last hour and they quit generating like they always do when it rains in order to maximize the rate of rise for some reason. It is now at 551.41 and will be over 551.50 next hour and will keep rising and the amount will be determined by how much rain they get north of us in the Norfork River basin. Local rains have an affect but not nearly as much as there. I will let you know and am heading back to the lake now at 3:30 PM. We are no longer dry that is for sure and it is not over. I tend to get more rain down in the valley close to the lake than people on hillsides and in town. I will compare and have a good rain gauge in a good place. I just got the road down to the dock in good shape and have to do it again. After the cold front comes in the temperature will drop dramatically with a hard freeze.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Mike Eakle with some nice ones.Image title

The lake level is 551.34 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with 9-hours of running both generators. They accomplished this while keeping the White River at Newport at 4-feet. We have received about 1/2 inch of rain so far but the biggest is still to come. It is raining now. It was cloudy yesterday afternoon but at least the wind was not howling and the fishing was pretty good but not great. Fish were biting but not very big. Crappie, bluegill, Kentucky Bass and small stripers were caught and Mike and I both caught a keeper walleye on different brush piles. Even though the lake surface water is not dropping yet and is still at almost 57 degrees, some fish are moving to the bank in the evening to feed i.e. crappie and bass. Sometimes nature takes over even if the weather does not. It should drop some this weekend with the cold nightime lows. You will start to see some pictures of some bigger black bass soon. I am still amazed at people bragging about catching and killing these small stripers. Old habits are hard to die. Game and fish did stock their normal amount this year but none last year. The class of 2020 is absent. The two biggest reasons that there was not a large striper kill this year is 1) they are mostly gone compared to a few years ago. 2) Vegetation and trees that create oxygen demand when decaying are already dead with so many years of high water and the fish did not go to the bubble in deep water in the heat of the summer. If you must fish for them let them go to grow. A 5-9 pound striper is not a prize. I wish they would lower the limit on them until (if) they make a comeback. I personally do not intensionally fish for them and never fish in deep water where they always die when brought up. They may swim away but will not make it. Venting does not and has never worked. It allows them to go back down with their float bladder punctured but that is it. Low ozygen in the summer and the stress of being caught does them in. More and more people are releasing them now and that is good but not enough. My drought of not catching a walleye for over a week is over. I caught one over 20-inches and released it in Tom Kelly's trophy pond. I keep a tally and have caught 101 crappie over 15-inches and 24-walleye over 20-inches this year. Most were released. That means the lake is in pretty good condition for fishing despite the high water through august. Walleye fishing is getting more and more popular here. I sure do like it that is for sure. You do not have to watch for price increases here at Blackburns because there will not be any this year despite all of the inflation and increased prices in everything. We want you to continue to have a good affordable vacation. Most of our customers are repeat and we do not want to charge them too much. I drive the oldest car, fish out of the oldest boat and do not need a lot. You will not be paying for my vacation elsewhere. I like it here. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Jim Bornhop with a few of yesterday's catch. I told him to go home and give brother John a lesson. He will be here soon. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 551.57 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of running both generators. The White River at Newport is about 4+ feet. The fishing is changing even though the water temperature has not. It is hanging in there at 57-degrees. People that love the wind should be happy about yesterday but I did not see many of them out there. It was still windy at 4:PM when it usually quits if it is going to do so. Jim is back and is catching crappie and catfish. He reported finding fish much shallower yestersay and so did I. The crappie were in 15-ft. of water in front of brushpiles with some nice bluegill and were biting pretty good. He switched to a slip float and minnow in the shallow water as it was nearly too shallow for a good spoon presentation. Crappie typically do this when the water cools in the late evening in December as do Kentucky Bass. The two seem to like the same thing. Bink reports catching open water temperate bass of all species on his spoon 40-ft. down no matter how deep the water. Mostly they were in 40-50 ft. of water but most all were in the 40-ft. range. He found a large school of white bass about 8-9 inches long and that is a good sign they are coming back. He also caught a few good ones. Several good sized hybrids are showing up also along with stripers from 5-9 pounds. This is a good time to catch Stripers as they will move to near the bridges when it gets cold and go next to the river channel and get hard to catch. They will be in about 50-60 ft. of water and just stay there. People predict striper fishing will get better as the water gets cold but I do not agree. Tom Kelly reports catching some Smallmouth bass back in Float creek in about 16-ft. of water on his whacky worm. I have not caught any yet but am ready. He also caught a few largemouth bass. They will move to their winter banks soon. Dave is catching some nice crappie but not a lot. He is using both the spoon and minnows on a slip float and is mostly fishing Blackburns Brush piles. It rained a little so far this morning and it is to continue for a couple more days and then another cold front is coming and dropping the temperatures drastically again. We could get 2-3 inches but I suspect we will not get that much. We are on the north part of the front but will get some for sure and it will not hurt anything unless it comes too fast. Several of us will be out there and let you know what is happening. That is what we do. I have not caught a walleye in a week now but am not targeting them but that is not an excuse. I would like to catch a couple everyday. Right now crappie, catfish, bluegill and Kentucky Bass are the best bite for me and Bink is fishing open water on flats for all temperate bass. He is using the 1/2 ounce white spoon and I am using the 1/4 ounce white with red eye most of the time and switching to the Bobby Garland baby shad when it is windy. I bought some 1/16th ounce white jig heads with a red eye yesterday with a sickle hook. I usually do not like them but Mike at Nabatak said they were good so I am trying them. They are a little bigger than the #4 which is my favorite size but Mike almost always knows what is best. We disagree on goldfish for catfish bait as I never catch anything on them but others do. I guess. It might be said that I catch a few catfish. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

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

The lake level is 551.68 and has dropped 1-1/3 inch in the last 24-hours with a few hours of running both generators. The surface water temperature was 57 degrees and has stayed almost the same for several weeks. We received about 1/4 of an inch of rain yesterday but the conditions were good when I went out in the afternoon. It was cloudy with an ambient temperature in the early 60's with a light southeasterly wind. I went over to one of Blackburns brush piles on a river channel bank where the water dropped off quickly. I had placed the brush right on the dropoff where it was 25-ft. on the shallow side and 35-ft. on the seep side. It is in a perfect position and the fish were right on it. I fished it for about an hour and caught four nice Kentucky Bass, two 12-inch crappie and a couple of big bluegill. I would have to say that the fishing had went from just fair to good in just one day at least for these kinds of fish but that is all that I am fishing for except for walleye this time of year. I am leaving the temperate bass alone until they make a comeback. There are many other good fish out there and better to eat also and you do not have to cut out the red meat. Jim Bornhop caught a big crappie and a channel cat. Dave,Tom, Mike and Bink all caught fish.They were all using the spoon except for Tom which uses a finesse worm. The wind came up at sunset and I came in after I lost my spoon. It was the first one that has been lost for about a month and I am not happy about it. I cannot afford the $5 as all of my money has been spent on resort improvements. Maybe I can get Bink to loan be a couple of used ones. I like the 1/4 ounce with a green back and red eye the overall best this time of year. They were hitting it very well when it went missing about 5:PM. It looks like the people that love to fish in high winds are going to get their wish for the next several days. We have a chance of getting up to three inches of rain by this weekend when the cold front gets here. We are very dry and can take a couple without any trouble if it does not come too fast.  It should be good fishing with the low pressure until then. The same conditions that created all of the nasty storms last week are going to happen again but it looks like they will be further north. When the very warm moist fronts collide with the cold fronts nothing good happens and this is going to happen it is just where. I wish nowhere but for sure not here. It was close enough last time. The lake overal is in excellent condition and the fishing has gone from fair to almost good.  Yes we are open all year and that includes before and just after Christmas. No need for me to go on any vacation as all I want is here on Norfork lake now that my daugher lives right up the road. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.    

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

These were my best fish yesterday evening.Image title

The lake level is 551.79 and has dropped 1-3/4 inches in the last 24-hours with genetation for about 6-hours alternating between one and both generators. It is about 2-feet lower than at this time last year and that is good. I hope we are headed to 547-548 by March and they try to hold it there for as long as they can. The very dry weather is helping. Just the little amount of generation is dropping the lake. The surface water tmeperature is between 56 and 57 degrees and is holding steady with the warmer weather. We are to have good chances for rain in the next three days and it is badly needed but the wind is also to pick up again. It has been nice to have light wind for a few days. The fishing picked up a little yesterday a few days after the high pressure set in. The open water fishermen found a school of 2-3 pound largemouth and another one of white bass just over a foot long. They are looking very hard and long to find them but when they finally do they are able to stay on them better without the wind. The white bass seem to be staying put and not traveling as fast but I do not fish for them anyway. People are still trying to hunt down and kill the stripers that are left for meat but more and more are releasing them to grow. That is good for the lake. A 5-8 pound stocked striper is not much of a catch but old habits are hard to die. People need the meat bad. The white bass are low in numbers but at least they reproduce themselves and seem to be coming back somewhat but not nearly what they were. Hybrids are about the same but not nearly as many are stocked. More crappie are starting to move back in from the deeper water back to the brush but not the shallow brush. I am carching a few big ones shallower but the numbers are deeper. A lot of fish of different species are now suspended about 40-ft. down no matter the depth. The walleye continue to elude me for about 4-days now but I have not specifically targeted them as I am still on the crappie, bluegill and Kentucky bass. I have a place where I was catching them but have not been back there for a few days and will give it a try when the wind comes from the south. Fishing looks pretty good for ther next several days. Stay out there until it rains you out with the 1/2 ounce Bink's Spoon. Right now the Arkansas Shiner is working best for me the the white with green back is second. I switch to the Bobby Garland baby shad when it is windy and I cannot keep my spoon straight up and down. If you drag your spoon in brush you will lose it but not so in open water unless you are tapping bottom which I do a lot. I still check for smallmouth on the shadowy banks just before I come in but nothing so far. Open water fishing is OK but I get tired of looking and looking to find feeding fish. You see pictures when they finally find some but nothing for days when they do not and there are several of them. The lake overall is in excellent condition and at a good level.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region lake condition and fishing report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

This was Scuba Steve's best fish yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 551.93 and has dropped two inches in the last 24-hours with them alternationg between 1 and 2 generators for several hours. It is dropping much more rapidly now and should keep it up unless we get a big rain. It is very dry here and we could take an inch or two with no problem. Bull Shoals is 4-feet below the top of the power pool and we are about 2-feet. The surface water temperature was over 56 when I went out yesterday and the lake was pretty clear and you could see your lure down about 6-feet in deep water and much clearer near the shore. Most of the crappie have moved out into deeper water for some reason and I am fishing my deeper brush piles for them, bluegill and Kentucky Bass. Walleye have eluded me for a few days. The catfish are still biting on the steeper river channel banks just at the drop-off. I am catching them on spoons. White Bass are just outside of brush about 40-ft. down no matter what the water depth is. Most of them are about two years old and about a foot long. Last year they were about 8-inches long. A few bigger ones are with them but not many. If people would leave them alone for a couple of months we could have a good spawn and be on our way to them making a comeback but some need the meat bad. The trollers are catching several of them and a few stripers in the 5-8 lb. range. I found a school of them on one of Harvey Hall's brush piles near Cranfield Island but left them alone when I found out what they were. We need the white bass to be more numerous as they are easily caught and people really like to catch them. One of my favorite sayings is white bass are for people who cannot catch anything else and trout are for people who cannot catch white bass. It was much more pleasant with the diminished wind and warmer temperatures and is beautiful again today. We are to get some rain later this week but I hope the cold front does not collide with the warm air like this weekend. It could happen. Fishing overall is just fair but the lake is in excellent condition but is warmer than normal for the middle of December. Go out in the nice weather and catch a few. The rates on this web page are the rates for 2022 with no increases. Write them down and look for changes. There will not be any. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike with a nice catfish caught on a brush pile in Blackburns Creek on the Bink's Spoon. Image title

The lake level is 552.13 and has dropped over 2-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with alternating one and both generators for several hours. The White River at Newport is 3-1/2 feet. The lake should keep dropping with the dry conditions if it does not rain and they need any electricity anywhere. We need it to be 547-48 going into the spring rains. It is at a good level now. The water is clearing and the surface temperature was 58 when I went out yesterday. The wind was blowing white caps all day and did not slow down until about 4:PM finally. It is sunny now with light winds. A little walleye chop is ok but this has been ridiculous. The crappie and walleye fishing has slowed down and bass fishing is not the best. Trollers are catching white bass and small stripers just what we do not need taken out of the lake now with the reduced numbers and spawn just around the corner for the White Bass. Everybody is catching catfish with them feeding before they go dormant when the water temperature drops. I catch a lot of catfish but they are showing up in places that I have never seen them before. A lot of things have changed with the absence of most of the big stripers and the Dawt Mill dam being now gone after the flood of 2017. Fish of different species can now swim unimpeded for several more miles upstream and are showing up futher north in the Norfork River. Also there is much more moss along the bank in Blackburns part of the lake. We never used to have hardly any before. I caught crappie, catfish and bluegill and released a few White Bass so they can spawn in February and came in at dark. Fishing was slow. There were several boats out there in the wind but not nearly as many as a usual saturday which is the busiest day of the week. It is to get very warm again early next week and then rain. We can certainly use the rain. Please no wind and storms. You can keep the windy cold fronts but I will be out there anyway. I do not see how many fish I can kill just like to be out. Yes, Blackburns is open all year, not for sale and are not closed for vacation or for the whole winter but are continually making improvements without raising prices.  I have no other places that I would like to be more than here. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Dave Titus with some good ones. They are hard to come by. Image title

The lake level is 552.35 and has dropped a little over an inch in the last 24-hours with about six hours of running both generators. The surface water temperature was 58.5 last evening when I came in. It stormed east of us last night but no rain or damage here. We received several calls this morning about the storm but assured everyone that it is fine here at Mountain Home. It was very bad in other places and we are fortunate and wish everyone affected well. Several of us went out from Blackburns yesterday morning and caught a few fish before the wind came up. Mike was fishing for walleye and found a school of White Bass that were about 11-12 inches long. He caught several and released them so they could spawn in a couple of months. Their numbers are down and we want them to make a comeback as they are fun to catch. We do not promote killing large numbers of fish but people can do what they want. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few is my motto. I just do not take pictures of dock floors full of dead fish. Catfish, bass, crappie, white bass and bluegill were all caught until the wind came up and there were white caps until late afternoon. I just do not like fishing in the high winds. I do not hate the fish that bad. Fishing overall is just fair and crappie fishing is tough with just a few being caught. It is cold again after the front came through but is to warm up again starting tomorrow and keep getting warmer until the next one. This has been happening at least weekly for about two months now. The lake has dropped 1.32 feet since the first of November. That is not very much but better than rising. It is very dry here and that is not a good going into the coldest part of the winter with litte or no ground water. Overall the lake is at a good level and is in good condition for fishing but the surface water temperature is just too high for the bass to move to their winter banks. They will and I will let you know. I keep checking. Drop a spoon in the brush at 15-35 feet for best results. It is hard to stay on open water fish in high winds when they are roaming. It was 72 degrees for a high yesterday and 48 today. 47 is normal.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

James Soltysiak with a sample of what we are catching now at Blackburns mostly everyday. Image title

The lake level is 552.44 and has dropped a little less than one inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running for several hours. 552 is what was normal pool for years before they started messing with the numbers and moving them upward for the so-called minimum flow for the put and take trout in the rivers. They changed it to 553.75 and took away 1.75 feet of flood capacity when they implemented that law. It was windy with white caps when Bink and I went out yesterday at about 8:AM bass fishing and was partly cloudy and cool but not cold. We went back into Diamond Bay to get out of the wind on a known winter bass bank using the green grub on the bottom. The water surface temperature was just under 58 degrees. We usually fish this area just after Christmas but wanted to check if they big largemouth had moved in yet. Bink caught a couple of nice Kentucky Bass but the largemouth were not there yet. We moved further back in the bay and switched to brush piles using the spoon and caught a few more Kentuckies and several very large bluegill. No crappie ot largemouth. Bink is one good bass fisherman and I learn something every time I go with him. When moving around we saw a few schools of white bass at varying depths but al about 40-ft. down suspended but they were small. We came in about noon and had a great day as the sun came out and warmed things up. I do not fish the south end of the lake much and it was a good change for me but the fishing was about the same as in Blackburn's area but less crappie. We saw only one other boat but there were several trailers at the boat ramp at Quarry when we came in indicating that there were some out there somewhere. We will see what the day brings. Others fishing out of Blackburns also caught several bass and a few crappie and some catfish. This has been a good year for catfish especially in open water on shad for some reason. There weather is to warm with wind today and then another cold front is coming in. Fishing overall is just fair and the lake is in excellent condition for fishing and the water is clear especially near the bank. Do not expect high numbers at this time. Our normal high for this time of year is 48 and it is very cool early, warms up in the middle of the day and cools off quickly at sunset. Bring appropriate clothes. I can pick the best fishing days before the cold front and wind but it is impossible to do so for several days in advance so if you are coming here to fish expect some pretty good days and some not so good. I catch fish everyday but some are much better that others. It is hard to find feeding fish in open water but if you do it is also hard to stay on them. The schooled fish are moving continually but some can be caught and several species are together on shad. I just get tired of following them around and know where the brush piles are and they do not move and I put some of them where I can get out of the wind most of the time. We have had lower than average rainfall for the last 5-months and the ground water is low and conditions are dry. Otherwise the lake level would be higher.They are not doing anything to drop the lake much and we are lucky to be where we are now. Dropping slowly is better than no drop at all. Just keep the level between 547 and 559 and everything will be fine.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with a couple of nice walleye on the spoon. Image title

The lake level is 552.52 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with several hours of alternation between one and two generators. The White River at Newport is just over 3-ft. and we remain below average on rainfall. The surface water was 58 degrees yesterday afternoon with the sun warming the water when I went out and it was a nice day with the ambient temperature in the high 50's with a light southeastern wind. Again I alternated lures from a spoon to a jig with most fish coming on the spoon. I caught four keeper bass and two nice crappie from 3:PM to 5:PM fishing main lake points brush in 25-35 ft. of water allowing the lures to touch the bottom. I did not see many fish on top of the brush except for a few bluegill. It cooled off quickly at sunset so I came in. Fishing overall was a little better and it needed to be and I did see a couple of other boats out there but not many. I am going out with Bink this morning to get an annual fishing lesson and will be on the radio at 8:45 AM on KTLO 97.9 with LIve in the Boat. I will give a report. Mike caught some nice walleye and Tom caught some bass in Float Creek. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

I like it when the crappie are as big as the bass. Image title

The lake level is 552.64 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 4-hours. The White River at Norfork is at 3-ft. The surface water temperature was 55.5 when I went out yesterday and it was exactly the same conditions as the day before. The wind quit at 4:PM again and the fishing was slow until then and the fish started biting for a few minute at sunset. Nice fish, low numbers. It is warming a little today and to get warmer as the week progresses and then another cold front. Here is the progression. Hight pressure sets in after a windy cold front with slow fishing right after. The longer the high pressure stays the better the fishing gets. It clouds up and the fishing is the best until right after the rain and wind with the new cold front comes in folowed by clear skies This happens over and over all winter. Personally I like to fish during the hardest times when most people cannot catch fish. This is when you have to drop the spoon right on their heads and get reaction strikes. You do not catch high numbers but can get some very large fish. Trollers have a very hard time during this period. What you will see many times is when you drop your spoon it just quits dropping before you hit the bottom. Either your reel is frozen up or a fish has kept it from falling. Set the hook. Do not have your rod high when the lure is dropping otherwise you will not have enough to set the hook and miss the fish. Do not miss any as there will not be very many chances. I really like to catch fish when others are having a hard time. I do not fish for high numbers anyway. This is a good time for peace and quiet. No wake boats and no jet skis. The phone is ringing. No, we are not for sale, closed or on vacation. We are busy making improvements on the resort and are open all year. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

This was my biggest fish. The bass was about the same size. Image title

The lake level is 552.72 and has dropped about 1-1/4 inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running about 7-8 hours. The White River at Newport is just over 3-ft. It was cool with an ambient temperature in the early 40's  with a northwest wind about 10 MPH when I went out yesterday afternoon. I saw no other boats for the entire time I was fishing. I caught no fish until about 4:PM when the wind completely died and the lake was calm. The crescent moon came up and it was very clear and got cold at dark. I caught one very large crappie on a brush pile and that was it so I moved around the corner to the inside of a point and worked the bank for bass and caught a very nice one. That was it. Fishing was slow overall when only two fish were caught in about 2-hours of hard fishing. For the first hour it looked like I might be shut out for the first time in several years. Sometimes I have had to stay out longer than I wanted to as to keep it from happening. I suspected this might be the case after the cold front but it did not matter. Catching fish when it is difficult is more rewarding than when it is easy and everybody can do it. It is to get warmer starting tomorrow and maybe some others might go out. We report slow as well as fast. The surface water temperature has dropped just a bit to 56.5 where I was fishing one place and 57 another and the water had cleared a little from the day before. It was really quiet out there. I like that. A tire for one of my trailers was $42 yesterday. It was $24 a couple of years ago. What is happening? We have already published our prices for 2022 here at Blackburns and they are the same. Others are raising. Check before you book. Friends do not charge friends too much.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike with some of last evening's catch. I do not usually take pictures of white bass but this was a pretty good one compared to the others. Image title

The lake level is 552.83 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of running both generators and 3-hours of running one. The White River at Newport is now 3-1/2 feet. It was warm and windy when I went out yesterday afternoon with an ambient temperature of about 70 and a surface water temperature of about 59. Thhe wind was coming from the south and there were whitecaps but the fish were biting. I caught walleye, bass, crappie and bluegill and Mike caught the same except he caught several white bass that were schooled on one brush pile. Dave caught some nice crappie and Tom some bass. The wind died about 4:PM and it was easier to fish until dark. We were all using Bink's Spoons except tom who was bass fishing with his plastic worm.  I switched back and forth to the jig in the heavy wind and back to the spoon when it quit and caught fish on both.  It stormed last night and we received about 3/4 of an inch of rain here at Blackburns and now it is cold with the cold front doing it's job very well. They just keep coming through this time of year but it is to warm back up in the middle of the week. It is to be in the mid 40's for the next couple of days for a high and the normal high is 49. This should weed out the fair weather fishermen.  Everyone was fishing brush piles in 25-35 feet of water and several species of fish were all there. It was too windy for open water fishing but I do not do that much anymore anyway. We will see how the cold front affects fishing this time. It never does it any good but usually does not stop the bite but just slows it. Sometimes a lot. The wind stained up the lake a little but it is still in excellent condition for fishing and at a good level. Needless to say I do not like winter and never complain about how hot it is. I served my time in cold states and have no desire for snomobiling, cross-country skiing or ice fishing. Did that.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Jim Bornhop caught some very nice fish. His brother could take a lesson from him. Image title

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The lake level is 552.96 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running for 6-hours and one generator running for two. The White River at Newport is now at 3.5 feet. This is the first time the lake has been under 553 for months. It was a beautiful day yesterday and the warmth continues today with storms tonight and then cool weather the first of  next week with highs in the 40's. Our normal high is 49. The water had cleared a bit yesterday and the creeks were much clearer especially near the shore. The surface water was still at 59 degrees and the wind was from the northwest at about 5-10. It was pretty good fishing conditions and the lake is in excellent conditions. Fishing overall is just fair for numbers but some nice sized fish are coming in, especially walleye, crappie and Kentucky Bass. For me I am not catching large numbers like last week but the ones that I am catching are good sized. I was catching my self imposed limit of five crappie in about an hour but now it is taking me two if at all. They are still biting best right after sundown until dark. I am still not catching any big black bass but the Kentuckies are over 2-lbs and fat and all of our fishermen are catching them. The spoon is still the best lure with a jig second. White bass are with the crappie in about 35-ft. of water but not very many and not very big. Jim Bornhop caught some big crappie and a 24-inch walleye but also said the numbers are down. Some are catching nothing but we are trying to help them. That is what we do here at Blackburns. We want everyone to catch fish. We show them how to rig their poles and where the brush piles are and how to fish them. The ones that stick to the advice catch fish sooner or later and the ones that go back to their northern, shallow, dark water with vegetation techniques do not. When I see their poles rigged with 20-lb spider wire with a colored leader with a snap on a big ole buzz bait I do not have much hope. When they say they threw everything in the tackle box at them and they still won't bite I give up. Most people listen and start catching fish before they leave and are anxious to come back but some are just disgruntled and want to try another lake. Trust me it is not the lake. It is full of fish but they do not always bite but when they do you have to have the right lure on. Jerk bait in the early spring, use it as a stick bait in the fall, grubs and creature baits late spring and late fall and winter, top-water baits in May and early June and spoons the rest of the time or when the others do not work. I use jigging spoons over 1/2 of all the times I fish. That is about all you need. Bass fishermen use a gitzet to catch fish off the beds in May and early June. I do not do this but it works. Some Crappie fishermen us a light clear line with a balsa slip float and live minnow fished directly over brush. I use a Bobby Garland blue ice baby shad jig.   For catfishing live shiners and bluegill are always the best but some that do not want to pay for the bait use cut bait. I fish for flatheads and they will not bite dead bait. If you are a troller get a good fishfinder, find some shad with fish on them and drag an umbrella or clip a weight on a crankbait and go the right speed to get the rig through the school. If you do this long enough and drag through enough schools you will also catch fish. You can substitute a live gizzard shad for the umbrella if you can find some. This requires a throw net, round bait tank with aearator and going out before daylight. This is not for me either but it works. I takes all kinds and that is what makes Norfork Special but not easy. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountain Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Tom Kelly with a couple of nice ones.Image title

The lake level is 553.11 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with about 4-hours of generation. The surface water temperature was 60 when I went out yesterday and the water seemed to clear a little especially in the creeks. It was very warm and great to be out. We have a good chance of rain tonight and tomorrow and then the cold weather is to return with highs in the 40's. It was nice while it lasted but it looks like winter will be here soon. December has been our coldest month the last several years and it was very cold last winter as the lake froze part way out of the creeks in January. That does not happen very often but has about three times in my 27-years of living here. Just keep the ice away and we will be fine. No more ice storms. Fishing changed a little bit for me yesterday. I could not get the crappie to bite on top of the brush and had to fish for them deeper near the bottom and that was slow. There were some white bass with the crappie but most were small and the biggest one was about 1-1/2 pounds. Tom, Dave, Mike and Jim all caught fish but had to work for them. I caught a couple and switched to bass fishing. They were on the bottom in 30+ feet of water and mostly Kentuckies. If it was not for white bass and Kentuckies it would have been a very slow day for fishing. Almost all fish were caught on the spoon and the crappie would not hit a minnow on a slip float. We had one troller using an umbrella rig and chugged all day for two fish. At least he caught something. This was the slowest day in several weeks but everyone caught a few fish and it was nice to be out in the warmth. That is about over but nice while it lasted. When the water cools to the 50's the black bass should move to their winter banks. I am ready for that especially the smallmouth. It is the dark of the moon and when it gets dark it gets dark and when the sun sets it cools down fast. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Dave Titus with a couple of yesterday's catch. Caught more too. Image title

The lake level is 553.22 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with several hours of running one generator and they are now running both for the first time in months. The White River at Newport is up to 3-ft. from a low of 1.5 feet yesterday. The surface water temperature was 60+ when I went out yesterday afternoon and 59 when I came in at dark and the water was stained a little green in both the creeks and main lake and you could see your lure down just a few feet. It is much clearer near the shore. Some very nice fish were caught by several good fishermen yesterday with some walleye in the 3-4 pound range and crappie at about 15-inches. Everybody caught fish. I am determined to catch some larger black bass but am having a hard time. I worked a good bank yesterday and fished it hard and only caught three keeper Kentucky Bass. They were nice sized but not what I was looking for. I have been catching crappie almost at will and wanted a little change. The larger crappie caught were deeper than in previous days and were near the 40-ft. range on the deep brush on a 1/2 ounce Bink's Jigging Spoon. I had been fishing 25-30 ft. brush on the 1/4 ounce spoon but the fish were smaller. Not these. I just caught a few deep as they all die and my self imposed limit is 5-day. I fish everyday and do not want or need a big ole stringer of dead fish to try and impress anyone. Those days are over. All that happens is you fish out all of the good places. Catch a few keep a few and release a few. Walleye fishing continues to be pretty good with some nice ones coming in but not a lot. White Bass are showing up on the deep brush with the crappie but are mostly small. I see several trollers out there chugging around dragging umbrellas and clipping weights on crank baits but the fish they are catching are mostly small and they have to go several miles to catch much. There are a lot of schools of shad that have no predator fish on them but if you drag something through enough schools of shad long enough you will catch some fish. I prefer feeling the hit and setting the hook instead of letting the rod holder do this and just reel them in. I guess that is ok if that is all you know how to do. Several trollers have turned into spooners and several striper fishermen have turned into crappie and walleye fishermen. Go out a little deeper and size up a little on the spoon to get down there faster and also keep your spoon straight up and down. Try to keep right on the brush as much as possible. Go against the wind with your trolling motor and use it as sparingly as possible and shut off the anchor or spot lock which just keeps hunting and spooks the crappie. You might catch some crappie using the anchor but they will not be the big ones as they are too spooky.  This is a fun time of year and I will find those larger bass without trolling miles to do so. They just are not on their winter banks yet. They will be. I like catching those smallmouth bass but release all of them. Keep the Kentuckies and release the largemouth and smallmouth. They eat better anyway and that is what they are in there for. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

This was Scuba Steve's Biggest Crappie yesterday evening.Image title

The lake level is 553.36 and has dropped just a bit with a few hours of running one generator. It looks like they do not need any electricity until it gets cold and then they probably will lower the lake to an unacceptable level especially if it stays as dry as it is. During a big rain they have very little control of how high the lake gets but they always have control of how low it gets. Just quit generating. We have not had too low for a long time and that year they just kept generating until they got almost to the water intake for the city. The current bottom of the power pool is 510 and that is unrealistic. It needs to be raised to about 545. You cannot tell what the federal government will do. Somebody needs to address this.  They have no accountability. The Arkansas Game and Fish always ask public input before making any major changes and have the good of the lake in mind. We had another day of light wind yesterday but it looks like that will change later today. This has been the longest time since a cold front has come through in several weeks and it has been nice. The fishing has not been great but it has been steady with crappie and bluegill being the best bite followed by bass, walleye, catfish and a few small stripers. When bass fishermen are showing off stripers, striper fishermen are showing off catfish and crappie, you know it is not the best. The surface water temperature is still a little over 60 and the winter bass fishing just has not started yet. It will. They are there, both largemouth and smallmouth. They have just not moved to the known winter banks yet where they stay for several weeks.  I will be there when they do and have my 3-inch green stingray grub on a 1/4 ounce jig head ready. Until then I will just keep vertical jigging a spoon when the wind is light and a Bobby Garland jig when it is windy and I cannot keep the spoon straight up and down and keep right on the brush pile where it comes closest to the surface for crappie and very near the perimeter of the brush for Kentucky Bass and Walleye. A few catfish are still being caught but that will change when it gets cold and they will slow way down. What has changed is the number of different species that are on shad in open water instead of in brush on other minnows. I suspect this is due to the depleted number of big stripers causing less competition and the shad are easier to catch than the minnows in brush. The crappie that I am catching are not in big schools but just a few on each brush pile. I do not put brush in to lure fish there but to make the habitat better for the places that they already like making them stay. A big brush pile in the wrong place does not work just because it is there. The same ones hold the most fish over the years and the better it is the better the fishing. I like this weather.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some good ones on the spoon.Image title

The lake level is 553.38 and has risen just a bit with absolutely no generation for the last 24-hours. We are now in December and still no sign of dropping the lake for the winter. It was sunny and warm with a high in the high 60's with no wind when I went out yesterday afternoon. I was targeting crappie on Blackburns brush piles and enjoying the warmth and being able to stay on the brush easily with no wind and getting plenty of vitamin D. I was using a Bobby Garland blue Ice jig on a 1/16th ounce white with red eye jig head and jigging straight up and down right in the brush near the bottom. The fishing was not fast and furious and nothing hammered or slammed anything or was in a feeding frenzy but several nice fish were caught until just before dark. There were no giant ones but most were in the 11-12 inch range with no short ones. More fish of other species were expected but only one small bass and one bluegill were caught. No Kentucky bass like I have been catching other days. The water had stained a bit with a lot of moss floating near the shore or attached to rocks and the brown cedar pollen was floating everywhere. You could see your lure down only about 3-4 feet even in the bright sunshine. The very low generation rate is not washing much away downstream and there is quite a bit in the windblown cuts. The surface water was 60 and then dropped to 59 after sunset. It has not changed much in several weeks Even if it gets warm it will not change much with the short days and cool nights.  I cannot report on other species now as I did not catch any yesterday. Things change almost daily this time of year with the cold fronts and a week old fishing report is no good. You have to be out there everyday. Fishing overall is just fair but the lake is in good overall condition and at a good level. Those striper fishermen better quit killing those small stripers or we will be another Lake Texoma with small fish and our fish are Marine Species and do not spawn here like they do in the Red River. I guess they will just keep hunting them down and killing them until they are all gone except the small ones which are stocked to the tune of well over a hundred thousand a year. I would like to see the limit lowered until the fish make a comeback if they do. I want to see it the way it was several years ago when people bragged about a 40-lb fish not an 8-pound one. The Game and Fish introduced a North Carolina strain of stripers in Norfork this summer in hopes they will not die off like the ones in the last several years. If this does not work I suspect they will stock more hybrid stripers and less ocean stripers. They will not find this out if people kill all of them off before they have a chance to grow. The results will take several years to analyze. Me, I will stick to crappie, walleye, bass, bluegill and catfish until this gets straightened out and quit fishing deep. Old habits are hard to die. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

John Bornhop with a very nice one fishing brush in 32-ft. of water on the Bink's Spoon. Image title

The lake level is 553.35 and has risen just a bit with two hours of running one generator in the last 24-hours. The White River is now at 1.46 feet at Newport and they cannot launch a boat there. December starts tomorrow and they have shown no signs of dropping the lake for the winter. It is a good thing it has been dry or it would be higher. Maybe their plan is to drop it later to an unreasonable level to prove a point. How do you want your steak, raw or burned? I will take mine medium at 546-48 in the winter and from 552-559 in the summer. The surface water temperature was 59 again when I went out yesterday and it was sunny and nice with the wind coming from the southeast and a high in the mid 60's. The crappie fishing was not as good and I had to work harder to catch them but I did. Again, the fishing was slow until about 4:PM and then picked up and then stopped again just at dark. I cannot see in the dark anymore anyway. Bass fishing is picking up but not where it should be yet. It will be. They are there. Crappie, walleye, catfish, bluegill and Kentucky bass are all in the same place on brush from 25-40 feet either on the bottom or suspended at various depths. Crappie are coming up shallow late evening as are bass. Work the windblown shoreline part way back in the creeks out to about 15-ft between the brush and the bank. I am using a 2-inch white twister tail grub on a 1/16th ounce jig head tipped with a crappie minnow from about 4:30 PM until dark. You do not have to tip the grub but you will catch twice as many fish if you do. Open water fishermen are trying hard but only catching a few fish. Normally temperate bass fishing is very good now until it gets cold but not so much this year. Some are being caught though. I watched the video on Black Bass management and prescribed fishing regulation changes for Norfork Lake. I really like winter bass fishing and feel that it is as good as it has been for years and I compliment the Game and Fish for making it happen. As far as regulations are concerned, I do not keep any largemouth or Smallmouth Bass and do not have a problem with the 15-inch limit. Many people do not keep bass anymore and I do not think the regulations affect the population as much as several years ago when meat hunters killed everything they caught like the walleye and striper fishermen do now.  Kentucky Bass are for eating and there are plenty of them. Taking the size limit off them does not bother me but they can be caught more easily when the black bass get scarce. Many people want to catch fish no matter what species they are. Bluegill (bream) are big and plentiful this year and people are having a good time catching them. They are also the best eating. While catching bass over 5-lbs. is good for tournament fishing and hard core bass fishermen a lot of people just want to catch fish. When they cannot catch any they are not happy. It is really fun watching children catching crappie and bluegill off my dock. They get so excited. I do not think there is an over abundance of bass in this lake and too much competition for food especially with the absence of the large stripers. I am sure they will do what is best for the lake and that is what the local Biologists want. I just like to see people catch fish, big ot little.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Craig DeHoet with some nice ones.Image title

The lake level is 553.35 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday with about two hours of running one generator. They have now dropped the White River a Newport to a little over 2-feet and are letting it almost dry up in order to keep from dropping the lake for the winter. If they have a plan is is greatly disguised. I suspect they want to hold it up all winter and then when the spring rains come hold and hope again, blame it on the rain and say that is what the dams are for when it gets high. That is getting old. It was a beautiful day again yesterday when I went out in the afternoon. The other resort fishermen mostly went out in the morning and caught some nice fish including bass, crappie and walleye. I caught my self imposed limit of five crappie, a few very large bluegill and then went bass fishing and caught some nice Kentucky Bass just off the bank in about 12-ft. of water. The fish again started biting well at about 4:PM and quit just before dark at about 5:PM. It was slow before that. Right at sunset is the best time for me. We are to get warm weather with highs in the 60's to early 70's for at least the next 5-days with sunny skies and I like that. It was in the high 50's yesterday and the water temperature remained at about 59 degrees and it looked like it stained up at little but not much. When I came in there were huge bass, crappie and bluegill under my light on the dock. I feed them chicked feed pellets which sinks slowly and floating catfish food and they were swarming around it. It was fun to watch them. There were few boats out there in the evening but several in the morning. It was foggy this morning but it burned off just before 8AM. I have more plumbing to do today and then will hit it again this afternoon. There will be no price increases here at Blackburns this year and we remain the lowest priced major resort in the area but that has not stopped the improvements. Our repeat customers like that and we have a lot of them.You will like what you see when you get here and we will not charge you too much.      

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

James Soltysiak with a few of yesterday morning's catch. He caught more in the afternoon.Image title

The lake level is 553.34 and has risen just a bit in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation. The White River at Newport is still at 3-ft but is up from 2-1/2 feet yesterday with December approaching and still no effort to drop the lake for the winter. The lake has been within 1/2 foot of the power pool for weeks. We need the government to run more things. It was a beautiful day yesterday and the fishing was excellent for myself and Blackburn's several guests. The fish that usually show up for Thanksgiving came forth and were only a couple of days late. The big crappie and bass were biting and also a couple of nice walleye. Everyone was using the spoon on brush. A few White Bass were also caught but they were small and I usually do not take pictures of White Bass unless I cannot catch anything else. Dropping the spoon in and around brush in 30-ft. of water produced fish for everyone. It was sunny and warm with light winds and a perfect late fall day. It started off cool and then warmed. The surface water temperature was between 59 and 60 and the water was clear and you could see your lure down about 6-ft. on the main lake. Several are out now in the beautiful sunshine and we will see how they do fishing. I have some work to do and then will be out later. This is an example of how putting in brush piles pays off for Blackburns customers. More resort owners should do this for the good of the lake. The ones refurbished by Game and Fish a couple of years ago are starting to get old now and could use some freshening. That had not been done for several years and needed it badly and they did an good thing. It kept some people off of mine for a while. This is the time to catch some big fish including largemouth bass which had been eluding me for a while until now. Some of the crappie caught yesterday were giant. If you stay at Blackburns you will not have to pay for your first boat stall and not have to stay in a duplex with no porch while paying too much. We especially welcome Veterans and Police. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.32 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with 4-hours of running 1-1/2 generators. The White River at Newport is 2-1/2 feet and is about ready to dry up. It is good for wade fishing but not for boats. It is the same for Calico Rock. It was a beautiful day yesterday with an ambient temperature in the mid 50's and sunny with a south wind. I did see several boats out there between Cranfield Island and the campground in the middle of the lake striper fishing. There were a lot of bait fish out there but not very many fish. The ones that were caught were small and it was a shame to kill them but they just keep doing it. There are several in the 4-8 pound range but they are getting smaller and smaller with no time to grow. They are getting to be almost like the put and take trout in the river. Bink, Tom, Mike, Craig, James, John and Scuba Steve all caught fish but we were fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill. The water is clear and has cooled a bit but that will not continue for the next several days with warm weather scheduled. It does not matter to me what the weather is as long as the wind does not blow. I can dodge the rain. I keep trying to work the area between the brush and the bank in the evening for largemouth and smallmouth bass but am only catching Kentuckies. They are usually there by Thanksgiving but I am not finding them yet. The bait fish are there so it is just a matter of time. We put in a couple of trees under the dock and in front of it cut from my property and the fish are on them already. Blackburns has 28-acres and plenty of cedar trees which are the best ones. We also have the best resort, best prices and your first boat stall is frre with each cabin rented. We will help you catch fish.

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountain Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Mike Eakle with some nice Thanksgiving crappie. Image title

The lake level is 553.37 and has dropped 1-inch in the last 24-hours with 1-1/2 generator running for about 4-hours. The lake has really cleared after the rain , especially in the creeks. You can see your lure down several feet. The wind was brisk and cold yesterday. The cold continued last night as the skies cleared and it was the coldest night of the season with a low reaching 24-degrees. It is sunny with light winds now and it is to warm up to the mid 50's today and then into the 60's for about a week. The windy conditions were getting very old as the cold fronts just keep coming on through. Fishing has not been the best but we know the good brush piles here at Blackburns because we put them in and are catching some good fish everyday but not high numbers. crappie, bluegill and Kentucky Bass continue to be the best bite. Work that 25-30 ft. brush with spoons, jigs and minnows with slip floats about 8-10 ft. down. Shallower in the late evening. Bass and crappie are moving off the brush to the bank in about 12-ft. of water to feed on baitfish in front of the buck brush about 4:PM until dark around the corner from main lake points. I have not checked the surface water temperature today but it should have dropped below 60 for thr first time on the main lake.I will see a little later as it warms up a bit. I am not much into charging out there in the dark at the coldest time of day but that is the only time some people can catch any fish. I wait until it warms up to the warmest time of the day and then come in after sunset when it starts to cool down. And it does cool down fast this time of year. The cold weather is not my favorite but the fishing is pretty good as the water cools down to the mid to late 50's especially for big crappie and bass. We will see what happens as the water temperature has remained at about 60 for a long time. It will not drop much in the next week with the extended warm weather. The big largemouth are still not biting for me yet but if you see and old brown Champion Bass boat out there it will probably be me. I have the cold weather gear but do not want to have to use it. It is hard to cast with big electric gloves and the drag on my reel ices up but we must do what we must do. At least we do not have to drill holes in our water and cannot walk on it. I am done with that for sure. Blackburns is open all year and there will be no price increases for 2022 and you still do not have to pay for your first boat stall.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

James Soltysiak and Craig DeHoet caught some good ones this morning. Blackburns is the fishing place.Image title

The lake level is 553.48 and has risen one inch in the ;ast 24-hours with 3-hours of running one generator. Mountain Home reported 3/4 of an inch of rain last night but we received 1-1/2 here at Blackburns. The surface water temperature was 60 degrees when I went out yesterday afternoon and the ambient was about the same. The cold front is here now and the temperature is dropping fast and it is to clear and get very cold here tonight and then warm back up again with temperatures back near 60. The cold fronts just keep coming and you have to learn how to fish them or you will have trouble catching fish. When they quit biting you have to drop that spoon right on their heads and get a reaction strike. Crappie, bluegill and Kentucky Bass continue to be the best bite. I caught my limit of 5-crappie along with two big bluegill and also two Kentucky bass. The fish are all very fat and healthy. There is a lot of baitfish out there. Again the fishing was slow until 4:PM and then they started and then quit again about 1/2 hour later. There is no sense for me to stay after dark. Some fish are coming up under my light on the dock at about 9:PM after the minnows that come to it. There were big schools of shad coming up but not lately. Just creek minnows. I have not caught a walleye in three days. I have to winterize a few cabins after Thanksgiving dinner with the cold night coming. It is too early for 22-degrees. We have a big crowd here at Blackburns and we have cooked two turkeys and a ham. I hope it is enough. I like Thanksgiving and feel so blessed. No drama here.

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Two of the biggest crappie caught by Scuba Steve yesterday. Image title

The lake level is 553.40 and is down 1-inch in the last 24-hours with one generator running about 4-hours. The White River at Newport is 3+ feet and there is still no effort to drop the lake and we are headed for December. The lake surface water is hanging in there at about 60 degrees. A little lower early morning. The water is clear and you can see your lure down to about 5-6 feet when the sun is shining. I started out on a 30-ft. brush pile about 3:PM and it was windy from the south east. I started spooning near the bottom and caught three Kentucky bass and a bluegill in about an hour. No crappie. I could see them down there but no bites. I switched to a Bobby Garland baby shad and started fishing shallower. The crappie had moved up to about 9-10 ft. down and started to bite for about 30-minutes on the drop and then quit. The wind would slow for a couple of minutes and then gust up white caps again. My self imposed limit is five so I quit and came in. Usually I would work the bank at this time until dark but just came in instead. For the last several days the crappie had not been big (11-12 inches) but today they got bigger as the evening progressed until they quit. Shown above are two of the biggest ones. These are what I have been looking for. Bink reports that he is on the temperate bass of all kinds in a bay near his boat. He says large schools would pass under the boat and then when he would drop the spoon and catch one they would disappear again and he would move slowly with his trolling motor until he found them again and catch another one. They are not moving far. Some of the stripers are approaching 10-lbs but most are smaller. There is a distinct absence of large white bass. There are some but not nearly as many as a couple of years ago. He likes to catch them. I will stick to walleye, crappie, Kentucky Bass, Bluegill and catfish. He says he will start fishing for bass on creature baits soon when the water temperature gets to be about 57. We both have not been catching hardly any big largemouth but he assured me they are there and in good numbers. Smallmouth will start to show up also soon. Come on down to Blackburns and we will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. If you must pay more just stay here and give the difference to Disabled Veterans. They need it worse.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Caught fishing with Bink's Guide Service on his spoon. He was using the 1/2 ounce many-shad. Image title

The lake level is 553.48 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with two hours of running one generator in the evening. They just started running one last hour and there is no effort to drop the lake with the White River at Newport at 3+ feet when it should be at 12. The lake surface water temperature was just over 60 degrees and the water was clear on both the main lake and creeks when I went out yesterday. I went to a close Blackburns resort brush pile and caught several crappie in the 11-12 inch range, a few big bluegill,  and then switched to bass fishing at dusk and caught a few bass but they were just barely keepers and not worth a picture and were releasd immediately. I do not take pictures of small fish just to take one.  The results were the same as the day before with no changes. Bink is on the stripers and catching some pretty good ones everyday but not a lot. You have to know where and how. Fishing overall is just fair but crappie, bluegill, bass and stripers are the best bite. I am still catching a few walleye and catfish but not very big ones. Drop a spoon in 25-30 ft. brush near the bottom and you will be surprised what you will catch. Bink's stripers are in 45-50 ft. near the bottom part way back in a creek. I do not fish open water anymore but occassionally get into a school of mixed white bass and hybrids in the evening just outside brush piles on shad in 35-ft. of water on wind blown banks. Some crappie are coming up shallow in the late evening. I just bought 2-more king mattresses for cabins #12 and 14 yesterday from Furniture Depot. They are fine people and have the best selection in town and the best prices. We are still on our policy of continued improvement here at Blackburns without raising our prices. We are open all year and keep 5-6 cabins open and especially welcome Veterans and Police. We will help get you on fish and show you where our brush piles are. I wish more resorts would put them in. Fish habitat is important.   

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountain Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Tom Kelly with some nice ones. He releases all of his fish. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.53 and is the same as yesterday with two hours of running one generator. The White River at Newport is at 4-ft. Surface water temperature was 61 when I went out yesterday afternoon and it was nice with light winds with an ambient temperature of 60.  Water clarity was about the same but maybe just a bit clearer. I saw only a couple of other boats out there and it was peaceful and quiet. I spooned a different brushpile and the crappie were there also with big bluegill and a few Kentucky Bass. Just before dark I went bass fishing on a wind blown bank just off the main lake and picked up a few largemouth bass and a short smallmouth. They were between the bank and the brush in about 12-15 ft. of water on the bottom. I fished until I could not see where my lure was landing and came in. It was very enjoyable. Fishing overall is just fair but I am catching a few everyday from about 3:30 PM until dark. I go out in the warmest part of the day and come in when I cannot see. I used to be able to see in the dark but those days are over. I could go out in the dark early morning when it is the coldest and come in when it starts to warm up but I do not hate them that much. Most are released anyway unless I need to get some crappie for my friends who cannot fish. It is time to winterize some cabins but we leave several open all year. The price of anti freeze has risen dramatically if you can find it along with everything else and it is getting to be irritating. Very irritating. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountain Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Dave Titus with some good ones. Image title

The lake level is 553.56 and has risen just a bit with a little over 2-hours of a little over one generator running. Still no effort to drop the lake. The surface water temperature was 61 when I went out yesterday afternoon and it was in the 50's for an ambient temperature and the wind was blowing from the southeast but not bad. It picked up at dark instad of diminishing. There is no change in the water clarity. I saw only an few other boats and there were two of them camped together about 1/2 way around Mallard Point on the way to Cranfield in the middle of the lake in about 50-60 ft. of water. Otherwise only about one other one went by. I saw some shad with a few white bass and small stripers on them in that area yesterday. This is prime time for them and I expected more and bigger ones to be caught. The open water fishermen are trying very hard and long for a few fish. They are roaming and it is hard to stay on them but this is as good as it gets until the top-water bite in April and May. The schools are smaller and further in between but it looks like some are still hunting down and killing the small ones. I was trying to stay out of the wind on brush and catching my usual crappie, Kentucky Bass and bluegill on the 1/4 ounce spoon. Again fishing was slow but steady and I caught several of each until just before dark when the bite completely stopped. The big crappie in the 15-17-inch range are eluding me for some reason but the ones that I am catching are up to 13-inches and very fat. I wanted to smallmouth bass fish but it was just too windy for where I wanted to go. I know bass bite well in the wind but I just do not like to fight it. The conditions will be right for me soon and then it will be time. My pole is rigged and ready. It is raining a bit now but is to quit soon and should make for good fishing conditions before the cold front. I bought a new bathroom vanity and cabinet for cabin #4 and a new kitchen stove for cabin #1  and they need installed before the next group comes in but should be able to get in some fishing a little later today. I do not have to plan very far ahead. Go 400-yards to the dock, drop the boat off the lift and head out. Noe that is a plan. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountain Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.54 and is exactly what is was at this time yesterday with one hour of generation. They are set on keeping the White River at Newport at between 4 and 6 ft. for some unknown reason and holding Norfork at right at the power pool of 553.75 which has been close to that for several weeks. At least I have not had to move my dock. The surface water temperature is in the early 60's and has not changed much either. The water has quit getting more clear and is also remaining about the same where you can see your lure down about 6-feet and a little more in the sunshine. None of this is bad and the lake in general is in good condition and at a good level but with not much room for a big rain which we will get. The fishing varies with the cold fronts which come through at least once a week and sometimes twice. The few stripers that are being caught are mostly small and need to be released if we are ever to get very many big ones back. Otherwise these guides are cutting their own throats. Some are either going to Bull Shoals walleye fishing or switching to crappie fishing and that is good. If they keep killing all of these small ones Game and Fish might  just as well quit stocking them and give up. I personally would like to see the big ones back like they were but do not fish for them much anyway, but a lot of people do. When I lived out west they were called sea bass and they did not fish for them unless they could not catch anything else. They were on shallow reefs and you could catch them as fast as you could drop a hair jig in the water and the boat hands did not like them as they had to cut the red meat out of them when cleaning and not much was left. Most people did not keep them. Everybody likes to catch a big fish no matter what kind it is. Some people can make any fish palatable out of a clean lake like Norfork, even gar and carp. As for me they can keep them all. I prefer a nice big fat walleye, crappie, bluegill, Kentucky Bass and flathead catfish and you can keep the rest as far as eating goes. We need more carp and gar fishermen. It had warmed up[ a little when I went out yesterday and was just fine. It is a little warmer today but the wind is to pick up before the next cold front sometime late tomorrow. I again stayed close to Blackburns and have no need to go very far away. Also I am too cheap to pay these outrageous gas prices. I had to put in a new pressure tank for my well yesterday and the price had gone up $100 in the last few weeks and I had to wait three weeks to get it. I bought out all of the kitchen counter tops and cabinets out of both stores and they had doubled in price since I had bought the last ones. Now Blackburns will have new ones in almost every cabin. Inflation is going rampant and propane prices have doubled. Insurance rates are skyrocketing. We have published our 2022 prices already and we are not raising them here at Blackburns. Others are getting creative on how to hide price increases so you have to watch closely. Almost all of our customers are repeat and are our friends. We just do not want to charge them too much and price them out of a vacation. Friends do not do that to friends. I caught crappie, bass and bluegill again but not high numbers and no big fish but some pretty good ones. I do not take pictures or keep huge stringers of fish or dock floors full of dead fish. People just do not like that anymore. Catch a lot. Keep a few. The fishing pressure on this lake is growing as fast as inflation. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas Near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountain Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

This is what it looked like last night. Almost daytime. Image title

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

The lake level is 553.55 and has dropped over an inch in the last 24-hours with several hours of running one generator as predicted. The White River at Newport is 3+ feet and hard to navigate and launch. Bull Shoals is now 6-feet below power pool and that is about where Norfork should be instead of just at power pool level. The surface water temperature was 62 when I went out yesterday and the ambient temperature did not warm up much. It struggled to get to 50 but was sunny but breezy and then finally calmed down. Largemouth bass fishing is picking up and crappie and walleye fishing is just fair. You can catch some if you know where but they are not in a feeding frenzy, hammering anything or jumping in the boat. Open water fishermen are catching some stripers but they are not very big and they have to look hard and long for them. I was out until after dark and saw no striper fishermen in the full moon which was very bright rising from the north east. It gets cool fast after sundown.  The month is 2/3rds over and we have not had much rain as of yet but there is a good chance again Sunday. It is to warm up a bit with a high near 60. Everybody caught a mixed bag of fish yesterday but not a lot. It was just slow and steady. Bink is on stripers and walleye, Dave and Mike are catching crappie and Kentucky Bass and Tom is catching Largemouth and Kentucky Bass. Scuba Steve is catching crappie, Kentucky Bass, bluegill and an occassional walleye. Several others report slow fishing. I will start smallmouth bass fishing soon. We have a good crew painting, doing carpenter work, plumbing and cleaning gutters and raking leaves. It is a busy time here at Blackburns and we will get as much done as possible as long as the weather holds. This is the time to get it done because spring comes fast and people want to get out and we have to be ready.  We get busy again by mid March. Blackburns is open all year and we will not charge you too much and will help you with fishing. We do not claim to be experts but do catch a lot of fish and have several good brush piles. 

Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountain Region fishing report and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

Mike Eakle with some good ones. Image title

The lake level is 553.66 and has dropped just a bit with three hours of running one generator. The White River at Newport is 4-ft. and they are making no effort to drop the lake. They cannot say they had no chance this year when they let it get too high. It was partly cloudy and very warm with ambient temperatures in the early 70's when I went out yesterday afternoon. The lake surface temperature was 63 degrees and the lake was clear and there were light winds from the south. I spooned in 30-ft. brush piles until about dark and caught a few bass, crappie and bluegill and all of a sudden things changed. The wind shifted to the north west and it started raining hard and there were whitecaps and the temperature dropped several degrees. Now that was a cold front. The fish stopped biting completely. This morning it is sunny and cold and is only to get to 50-degrees. We did not get much rain but here comes the wind again. Bink reports getting some nice stripers and bass in Diamond Bay on the bottom at 30-ft on the spoon. Several different fish are at that depth now and are at the bottom. Crappie are coming up shallow at dusk but are hard to catch. The ones that I am catching are about 14-ft. down suspended over brush and just a little deeper than the bluegill which are everywhere. Fishing overall for me is just fair as it is for several people but I am still catching some good ones. Bass fishing is picking up and I am not seeing anybody striper fishing after dark. The moon will be bright and full tonight. Not as many baitfish are coming up under my light at the dock as before. The whole stall used to be full of them.  A lot of baitfish are north of Cranfield Island  on the points near the walleye rearing pond so there should be some stripers there at dark. During the day they are deeper but not many schools hold any predator fish. Maybe they are feeding during the night or just not there. They should be but there are definitely many less overall than before. I am atill catching a keeper walleye or two almost everyday just before dark. Nothing big.  

Norfork Lake Arkansas 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 553.69 and is exactly the same as this time yesterday with 3-hours of running one generator. The surface water temperature was 62+ when I went out yesterday evening and the wind was blowing white caps from the south. I went into a north facing cut to get out of most of it and was using a Bobby Garland jig. The fish were biting slowly but steady with most being big bluegill and crappie. The crappie were not large but were all in the 11-inch range and the bluegill were as large as your hand. I ended up catching about 8-fish in an hour and 1/2 from 4-PM until dark. They quit biting just before dark. I took them to Tom Kelly's trophy pond and released them. It is now fully stocked with bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish and walleye for the winter. I always put in a bucket full of tuffies from Nabatak with the fish to feed them until spawn. Bink reports catching stripers everyday with the full moon in November being prime time for them. It is not easy with the reduced numbers but he knows where they are. Tom Kelly is catching some nice bass in Float creek and others catching crappie, bluegill and some channel cats. A few White Bass are with the stripers and hybrids. It is cloudy and warm today and I expect some nice fish to be brought in before the cold front comes through later. There is a good chance of rain this afternoon and night but not much total. November is historically the wettest month of the year here but we are more than 1/2 way through and not much yet. That could change with one rain. The lake is general is in excellent condition and the water is clear. You can see your lure down several feet in this area in both the creeks and main lake. Overall fishing is just fair but some nice fish are being caught every day but not high numbers. We continue to make improvements here at Blackburns but are are not increasing our prices. Some are. We do not want to charge you too much. 

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

Tom Kelly has switched from open water striper fisherman to bass fishing and is good at it. He is also a good conservationalist. Image title

The lake level is 553.68 and has dropped just a very little bit with about 6-hours of running one generator. The White River at Newport remains and 3-1/2 feet and is nearly drying up. Middle of November and still no effort to drop the lake for the winter. It needs to be at 547-48 by March. The water surface temerature was 63 degrees when I went out yesterday afternoon. I had to work at the resort until about 4:pM and fished until dark or a little after 5. The crappie started biting just at sunset and I caught several nice ones and then it was too dark to see. The bite was not fast and furious but steady and I did not lose any. I talked to another guide and he said he was having trouble catching stripers but was also doing well on crappie. All of Blackburns other fishermen were in before me and I did not talk to any except for Tom Kelly who was bass fishing in Float creek and caught some nice Kentucky Bass. Tom releases all of his fish on site but sent me a picture of one of them. He was using a shakey head worm near the bank. The wind was coming from the south west and I was able to get out of it and fish a brush pile close to the resort straight down with a 1/4 ounce Bink's Spoon. It was a beautiful evening and I was happy to be out. It is to be warm again today with a cold fronf moving through again late tomorrow night or Thursday morning bringing more wind. The cycle continues. I am not a big fan of winter but am able to go fishing more and catch a lot of fish then, especially big ones. I am about ready to go smallmouth bass fishing but not quite yet. The water needs to get to about 60 and this usually occurs just before Thanksgiving. The surface water temperature has been very stable and the water continues to get clearer every day. The lake is in excellent condition but the fishing overall is just fair. The best bite is in the evening from 3:30PM until dark. I have not had any reports on the after dark striper fishing. Not many do that anymore but we used to catch some big ones.  I bought Home Depot out of kitchen cabinets and counter tops for the resort improvements and it was a good thing they did not have any more. I run out of money at the same time. It is not so bad being poor. The girls are staining and repainting all of the picnic tables here at Blackburns. We take pride in not having junky tables and grills. It looks nice here inside and out and the price is right.  

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

Dave Titus with some good ones. Image title

The lake level is 553.71 and has dropped 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours with about 5-hours of running one generator. The White River is at 3-1/2 feet so they must not be generating much. I know of no areas around here that are flooding. They only follow the rules when it suits them. They have dropped Bull Shoals to several feet below the power pool and if there were any rhyme or reason to their madness they would start a little more generation on Norfork. It is right at power pool which is 553.75.  The surface water temperature is about 62 degrees and falling slowly. It will not fall much in the next three days do to the very warm temperatures then another cold front is coming through. The wind has shifted to the southwest and it is warming up already. About the only thing that is consistent is the wind and I am getting tired of it. It is not so bad this morning but is to change soon.You have to get out at sunrise to get in a few hours before it starts again. It usually diminishes in the evening but not always. I talked to some striper trollers yesterday and they caught nothing. When you see a report that the fish are in a feeding frenzy and jumping in the boat be careful. Some of these guys are fishing for two or three days to just get a picture. They also miss more fish than most people catch. Experts do not miss many fish. If you are having trouble catching fish we will help you when you get here. We do not claim to be experts but several of us have been successfully catching Norfork Lake fish for quite a few years and are not just trying to get you to come down here even if the fishing is tough. Sometimes it is and sometimes it is not. Watch this blog for what is actually happening. Several of us are out there almost every single day when possible and I have some very good fishermen reporting to me daily. If you do not see a report is is usually because no fish are being caught. Fishing was not the best yesterday but several fish were caught. Working the bank with worms and soft plastics is starting to catch some fish and spooning continues to be the best method both on brush and in open water. The walleye that I am catching are full of crawdads and creek minnows so they are coming in shallow sometimes. Drop the spoon touching bottom beside brush piles with a 3/8th ounce spoon for them and catfish and a 1/4 ounce spoon for crappie, Kentucky bass, and bluegill right in the brush near where the top of the brush is the biggest and comes the closest to the surface. Fish are roaming so try different places until you find them. They do not go that far. Use light clear line especially this time of year as the water is getting very clear and the fish are line shy. I use a very small swivel on the spoon to keep it from twisting the line, otherwise I use no hardware.  I purchased new cabinets and counter tops for cabins 5-8 yesterday and new air conditioner/heaters for them also and am broke again but we still are not raising the price and continue our policy of continued improvement for you.We do not want to charge our friends too much. It was busy here yesterday and will be again Thanksgiving week. I need some cloudy weather with light winds and you will see some big crappie. Some white bass and hybrids should start showing up with all of the trollers out there. It is time.Look at the mouths of the creeks just off the main lake. The moon is getting big.  

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

John Bornhop with some good ones.Image title

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.77 and has dropped just a bit with one generator running 3-hours. The White River at Newport is 3+ feet and it is hard to launch a boat. It should be at 12-feet until Norfork gets down to 547-48 and then every effort should be made to keep it there for as long as they can in the spring without flooding anybody out downstream. That would be lake management instead of just keep it high all winter and then hold and hope. It was another cold day yesterday with the temperature struggling to get to 50. It is to get a little warmer today and then much warmer until about wednesday when another cold front is to come through. This is expected and very common in November. It should be good fishing until this happens and then we go through the same cycle again. The water is getting clearer everyday. The surface water tmeperature is just about 62 degrees and dropping. More fish of different species are in open water on shad than in the past with the absence of the larger stripers and the reduced numbers of White Bass. Usually largemouth bass are mostly near the bank on creek minnows and small bluegill. Some still are but not nearly as many. If you find schools of bluegill on brush there will be catfish, walleye, crappie and Kentucky Bass there also. Many schools of open water shad are holding few or no fish but some are. You just have to look for them and sometimes it is a long look but when you find them the bite can be fast and then it is over. People fishing off the dock in the brush are catching channel catfish in the 2-3 lb. range and big bluegill. Last night in Blackburns Creek the fish started coming up half way back just before dark. If the red meat fish are to come to the bank for the November night bite it is about time. It should happen just before the full moon which is on the 19th. It used to happen every year but lately not so much. I used to fish for walleye on certain shadowy banks on soft plastics in the evening this time of year and then switch to the stick bait after sunset. The walleye bite continues and is getting better but the striper bite does not happen much anymore and I just come in at dark. It may happen this year though. I had expected to see more stripers come in with this being an excellent time to catch them but so far just a very few. Crappie, walleye and bass continue to be the best bite with some channel cats and white bass also and just a few hybrids. Not many people out there now with the cold windy weather but that should change starting tomorrow. I am surprised at the number of boats out there during the week.   

Norfork Lake Condition and fishing report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat rental

Tom Kelly (AKA) Santa with a couple of nice ones released under the dock. Caught more too. Image title

The lake level is 553.77 and has dropped a very little bit with very little generation. It rained just a little yesterday morning but is clear and sunny today. The lake level is stable, the moon is getting big, the surface water temperature is dropping and is now 62 this morning and the lake continues to clear. Overall the lake is in excellent condition but the cold fronts and wind just continue to come through. it was a cold gusty wind and vatiable and changing directions about every minute and it was hard to fish if you did not get out there early. Get out about 6:30 AM to miss most of it. It was still howling in the evening and was cold. Bass fishing is getting a little better and catfishing has slowed for fish of much size. Some small channels are being caught off the dock but not worth a picture. Bluegill were biting the small spoon as fast as you could drop it and I had to upsize to the 1/2 ounce to keep them off. Crappie were the best bite with several being caught. We all came in early and were just tired of the wind. It was just not woth it. I do not hate the fish that bad. It was like December. I do not have much faith in the day after a cold front for fishing anyway and was unable to catch any walleye. Everybody caught some fish though and there were several of us out until mid-morning. More fish were caught this morning and the wind was much better. Crappie, bluegill and Kentucky bass are still the best bite and walleye were good until yesterday. 

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

Mike Eakle with some good ones caught on the spoon on Blackburns Brush Piles. Image title

The lake level is 553.79 and has risen over 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation. The White River at Newport is now just below 4-ft. This is unbelievable. There is no effort as of today to drop the lake for the winter. All I would like to see is for them to drop it to 547-48 and try to hold it there for as long as they can without flooding anybody out downstream. It would give us a much better chance of not having high water. Get rid of the 12-ft. rule. The bottom of the power pool, which is how low they can drop it if they want to is 510. This is unrealistic and needs to be raised to about 540. This is easily controlled by just quitting generation. The level of 560 is when problems for lake access begins for a lot of people. There are a several out there trolling around for stripers and are working hard for a few fish. I talked to people in one boat that said they had been fishing all day and caught one fish. I gues some are trying to kill off the rest of the stripers that are left and brag about it. Maybe they just cannot catch anything else. There are still several in the 6-9 pound range left but are not getting much of a chance to grow with the fishing pressure.  Walleye are quickly replacing stripers and the most sought after fish and I have a report from Game and Fish about them. The walleye rearing pond was not in use this year due to a collapsed pipe. The piping is old and from the 1960's and needs replaced. They are trying to get funds to do this but in the mean time there were some extra walleye fingerlings left over from the state system and they were requested by our local biologists and were stocked in Norfork. These 100,300 combined with the 223,619 stocked by Missouri made for a goodly amount. This is very good. They also told me the same was requested for next year but had not been approved yet. I sure hope they get them. Crappie are what many people also want to catch and their numbers are good and they are not stocked anymore. The Blacknosed crappie  were for a short period of time for an experiment but that was discontinued. There are now a lot of blacked nosed crappie out there now along with the black and white ones. Bass take care of themselves and are doing quite well. The black bass population is good and the fish are getting bigger. They are stocking the Florida strain in some lakes but not here.  It was windy yesterday but still nice out. Everyone knows fish bite well in the wind but I still do not like it but have to get used to it this time of year. Largemouth especially like it. Crankbaits are the lure of choice in the wind. The surface water temperature is still in the 64-65 range depending on where and when and has been very stable for several weeks as has the lake level. The water is clearing in this part of the lake and overall is in excellent condition.Crappie, bluegill and Kentucky Bass are the best bite followed by walleye and jigging spoons are the best lure. Catfishing has slowed. Overall fishing is just fair most days but good at the prime time which is just before the rain. Not so good right after a cold front and a day or two after the high pressure moves back in. 

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

This is a picture of my father and his brothers who all served in combat in WW-2. I am a Veteran but could never measure up to any of them. I am proud.Image title

The lake level is 553.74 and has risen over one inch in the last 24-hours with no generation and 0.6 inches of rain last night. It thundered but not much else. The lake has turned in this area and is getting clearer every day. It turns from North to South and Bink Reports it is now in the process in The Big Creek area which is way South past the dam. I is about 20-miles by boat from here to there. He fishes there a lot and knows what is happening. I only go to that area when I fish with him. It is just too far for me as I catch all of the fish that I want close to Blackburns which is more in the center of the lake. It gets very quiet down there in the winter.  Marinas have reduced hours after Labor Day and You do not want to get caught way down there and low on gas. Buzzard Roost marina has 24-hour gas and is the only one that I know that has that service. I wish more did. Blackburns rents a lot of boats and we constantly have people running low or out of gas who are wanting to see the dam and are disappointed when they get there. Fishing is getting better and better as the month of November progresses except for right after cold fronts move through and then the sun starts shining. Sunshine means high pressure and it takes a few days until it has been around a while or until it gets cloudy and low pressure and rain moves back in. Low pressure is usually followed by a cold front especially in the late fall and winter and again in early Spring in March, but not necessarily. November is our wettest month and the cold fronts preceded by low pressure continually move through. The best overall advice is to fish until it rains you out. We seldom get severe weather in November but can get heavy rain. You will have a notice when the wind picks and clouds get dark from the west  what is happening. It will pick up again preceding all fronts.  Just stay closer to Blackburns Dock which is a good place to fish anyway and duck in when it starts to rain. I always catch the most fish right before and when it starts to rain.  Yesterday was a good day for about everyone. Bass, walleye, crappie and bluegill all were caught and also a couple of small stripers in the 6-8 pound range. It is sunny and beautiful now with wind to pick up and be gusty later. Some people pounding the bank are catching a few bass and Tom Kelly caught some decent bass in Float Creek on his  shakey head plastics. Big crappie are biting on small spoons on brush as are walleye.  I did not talk to any trollers yesterday but there are several of them out there. If you like big bluegill this is the time. 

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

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

The lake level is 553.65 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with just 1-2 hours of one generator running. The White River at Newport is 4-ft. and there is no effort to drop the lake. It is to be another nice day today with rain coming in from Oklahoma tonight followed by windy conditions preceding another cold front. Happy birthday US Marine Corps. 246-years young today. I know we are to eat cake cut by a sword and drink beer today but I am not much on cake. Tomorrow is Veterans Day and I sure hope they do not try to cancel that. It might not be the smartest thing that they ever cancelled. Blackburns welcomes all Veterans and you can add Policemen to that list. It was 70-degrees and cloudy with the sun breaking through every once in a while with light winds when I went out yesterday. The water surface temperature was 65 degrees and the water continues to clear. There was patchy fog this morning but not bad. Everybody reporting to me about fishing yesterday caught fish. Tom, Mike, Bink, Dave and Scuba Steve had good days but we know where Blackburns Brush Plles are. There are fish on the bank and in open water but brush is producing the best fish. Walleye fishing is getting good again as predicted and some very large crappie are coming in and some good largemouth are being caught but not a lot. I caught 2-walleye, four crappie and two keeper bass and several nice bluegill in about two hours of fishing. No catfish yesterday. They will slow down as the water gets cold. I will fish for walleye, crappie and Kentucky Bass until the wind picks up from the north later and then try for some smallmouth bass. It is time for them and I really like to catch smallmouth but never kill any. Kentucky Bass are for eating not largemouth and smallmouth. The biggest change in the lake is how many fishermen there are out there.  Several years ago I would be nearly the only boat out there this time of year and now they are everywhere. Fish kills are not the only reason the striper numbers are way down, fishing pressure is also a big contributor. People are learning how to catch them much easier. I do not target them anymore and do not fish for them in deep water. Any accidently caught are immediately released to grow otherwise we will be a lake of 7-8 pound stripers. The crappie are not getting smaller though and we have found some giant ones. All fish being caught now are very healthy. There must be plenty of food because most of the schools of baitfish are holding few if any predator fish and the schools of temperate bass that I am finding are much smaller. We will see what happens later next week as the full moon approaches if the people still night fishing start to show off dock floors full of dead small stripers. I bet they will. I will not. We all need to quit showing off and killing huge stringers of fish no matter what the legal limit is. There is just too much fishing pressure to sustain this. Norfork is not that big. I remember when it was difficult to catch any fish on Norfork. We do not want to go back to that.

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

Image title

Scuba Steve with some of yesterday's CatchImage title

The lake level is 553.62 and continues to rise just a bit with no generation for 24-hours. The lake surface water is 66 degrees and has been about the same for a couple of weeks. We have had warm sunny weather for several days and it is cloudy now with a good chance of rain tomorrow night followed by a cold front. It got a little windy for a couple of hours in the afternoon but calmed before sunset. The lake is getting more clear every day and is a good color and level for fishing. I started catching walleye, crappie and bass as soon as I went out with no bluegill which was a complete turnaround from the day before when I could not keep them off my spoon until almost sunset.  There were several boats out there enjoying the great weather with as many pontoons as fishing boats. One courtous deck boat driver just about rocked me off the dock as he sped by way back in the creek. He was in a hurry to enjoy the day. I have some work to do today and am anxious to get out there in this cloudy weather. I hope fishing is as good as yesterday. Everyone here caught fish and I am glad to report it was better. It needed to. I have been catching fish everyday but it was not easy. Yesterday it was easy. Improvements continue at Blackburns and we are staining and painting everything possible outdoors in the good weather. Spring comes early with people anxious to get out and there is no time then. We are holding our prices but it is getting very hard with increased costs everywhere. Many are not. Compare before you throw your money away and pay too much elsewhere. Propane and boat fuel are going through the roof and the electric company sent out a news letter to expect significant price increases. We need to shut down a few more pipelines to get this fuel up where it should be.  We do not want our many repeat customers to pay too much. They are our friends. Veterans and Police especially. 

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

The lake level is 553.58 and is up just a bit with no generation for 24-hours. They just started one generator last hour. The White River at Newport is now at 4+ feet and about ready to dry up. It is not a real river anyway. It has water when they run the generators and is dry when they do not. The Buffalo is a real river. It is a beautiful day today with ample sunshine. The low temperature did not get down enough last night to cause fog and that was welcome. The surface water temperature is dropping slowly despite the warm weather and was 65 when I went out yesterday. The water had gotten noticeably clearer from the day before and you could see your lure down a couple more feet and is now about 7-8 feet. The creeks have also cleared. You could not see my submerged light off the dock a few days ago and now it is bright and there are a lot of fish on it. Bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. The carp are gone. A couple of the bass are giant and everyone is trying to catch them. It was sunny with a little wind when I went out yesterday afternoon and the bite started off slow.  I caught two medium sized crappie and several nice bluegill on my 1/4 ounce spoon  in about an hour. Then I moved to a big brush pile that I have been building for several years and caught big bluegill as fast as I could bring them in but no crappie. They were down there but would no bite. The sun was going down and the wind went still and the crappie started. Six were caught by sunset in about 4-minutes along with a 2-lb. Kentucky bass. The bluegill mostly quit hitting the larger spoon. What a nice day. There were several boats out there and said they were having trouble catching fish. Three were trolling back and forth for a long time with nothing. I call them chuggers. One was trolling and taking his big motor in and out of gear about every minute to slow down and did that for a couple of hours. He will need repairs soon. I just do not see the fun in clipping a weight on a crankbait to get it down and dragging it around but to each their own. Not much sport in it or much skills and they lose a lot of fish when one does bite. It is hard to fish brush with minnows now as you cannot keep the bluegill off them but they seem to almost quit biting as the sun sets and it starts to get dusk. Now that the time change is in effect I still wonder how that changes happy hour. I am asking for a friend. It does not affect me much as I do not pay any attention to time anyway. Go out at day break and fish for a couple of hours. Go out again in the afternoon and fish until dark. It does not really matter what time it is. I like this time of year when things slow down. If you have not made it by now you are not going to make it. The day after tomorrow on wednesday should be good fishing. It is to rain before a cold front on wednesday night and there should be a good evening bite when the clouds come in and the wind picks up. I will not be trolling. The lake in general is in excellent condition and is at a perfect level for fishing. Now to find some of those big largemouth and smallmouth which have been eluding me mostly. The crappie, bluegill, Kentucky Bass and catfish have not. The fall foliage was a bust with rusty yellows and brownish reds. Three days of frost did not help any color and now we are past peak. Sorry. Maybe next year. It is still very nice here The color does not last very long anyway but it is still good to be out on a crisp fall day with brilliant colors around. Just not this year. The beautiful weather is making for an excellent time to make improvements to the resort and we are hard at it. You will like what you see when you get here and we are not raising prices this year. Others are. Check before you book. There are some big differences. You can use the savings to buy gas or better yet donate to disabled Veterans. 

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

The lake level is 553.54 and is rising very slowly with no generation to speak of. The White River at Newport is at 5+ feet. The lake surface water temperature was 67 when I went out yesterday afternoon and 66.5 in the shady water when I came in just before dark. The cool nights with ambient temperatures below the surface water temperature is creating  very foggy conditions until about 8:45 AM. It used to be 9:45 until the time change last night. It is not safe to be out there until then and you are not only putting yourself but others in danger if you do. It is very thick and hard to tell which direction sound is coming from. There were some out there yesterday and this morning but I  advised our customers to wait until it cleared. As long as we have warm days and cool nights it will continue. It always happens in November until the water cools which is a little slower this year. The wind was light and it was sunny and warm and good to be out. The first brush pile that I went to had fish all over it but nothing would bite except bluegill. It is fun to catch them and they are nice sized for dinner but I was looking for crappie. They were there but not biting. They started biting about an hour before sunset and continued until almost dark when I came in. Several were caught but only four of the largest ones were kept along with a few bluegill for a friend who asked for some. A couple of nice Kentucky Bass were also caught and a short walleye. It was a very enjoyable afternoon with light boat traffic. A 1/4 ounce Bink's jigging spoon was used exclusively in the light wind straight down and the fish mostly hit on the drop near the bottom. 26-28 ft. brush seemed to be the best depth. I tried a brush pile back in the creek but it was too shallow with no fish. They will be there later though especially when it gets cold and they feed and come up shallow in the evening. I am still not getting any big largemouth bass but the smallmouth fishing is picking up. You will start seeing many more of them soon. Many baitfish are on the bank and shallow just at sunset and there is a little top-water action part way back in the creeks but the fish are not very big. Some red meat fish are being caught and it should get better as the full moon approaches. It is only crescent sized now but will be full on the 19th. Just before that will be the best. People catching them now are fishing long and hard to get a few and some of the Hybrids are pretty good sized in the 7-8 pound range but the stripers are small. White Bass are mixed in size with most being small but a few larger ones are with them. There are much less schools of them than in the past. The next few days should continue to have nice weather before the next cold front comes through. The water seemed to be a little clearer yesterday and is an excellent color for fishing with visibility down to about 5-6 feet depending on the amount of sunshine. Fishing overall is still just fair. 

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

Pat and Karen Whener and Jim Bornhop with some of yesterday's catch. Image titleImage titleImage title

The lake level is 553.51 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation. The surface water temperature was 66 degrees in the beautiful sunshine and light winds when I went out yesterday afternoon. I had to catch a few bluegill and crappie for my friend who is a shut in and he loves bluegill and crappie. So do I.  I fished two brush piles for a total of about 2-hours and caught a mixed bag of 8-fish including 4-each very large bluegill and four not so large crappie. No picture fish but I had already posted a huge bluegill that I caught earlier in the week. My flip phone does not have a camera but I forgot to take it with me anyway. I also do not have a selfie stick and do not take pictures of myself with a fish held up by my face. I have never even seen a selfie stick but am trying to move into the 20th century. The seagulls are about ready to migrate back to Norfork. People buy $3,500 fish finders with down imaging, side imaging and live scope, $3,000 trolling motors with transducers, spot lock and that self deploy and then follow the birds. Better yet add a couple of $1,500 power poles and then beat the bank and do not use any of them except that they can put the trolling motor in without having to do anything. See how the self deploy works after you take off and forget to put it back up a few times. I do forget my marker bouy quite a bit and have to go back for it. If you do this you better hurry to go back to get it beacuse people pick them up quickly even though they know they do not belong to them. If you see these just leave them alone.  It is good to add a few hand painted crank baits at $25/each and then they are ready. I just use my old X-135 to find brush piles with fish, a plastic marker buoy to mark them and put on a $4.00 1/4 ounce jigging spoon and go against the wind with my trolling motor to stay on the brush. If the rope breaks on my trolling motor I just use my finger to slide the little silver rod to release it. I have actually had fishermen cancel a trip and go home because their trolling motor would not self deploy. My point is that you do not have to spend a fortune to catch fish. I paid $2,500 for my boat 10-years ago and I still like Champion boats.even though they have not made them now for a long time. My fish locator was given to me by a guest that upgraded and I bought my trolling motor for $200 used from a person who also upgraded. 24-volt trolling motors are good but I have no use for a 36-volt. Three batteries are enough for me to keep going let alone four. My old 175-Hp 2-stroke Mercury motor goes pretty good and it does use a lot of gas but I do not have to go far because we work hard to put in brush piles close to Blackburns. We own 28-acres of cedar forest and just cut them and drag them to the launch. A tank of gas lasts me about 2-3 weeks if I go out every day but I take off slow and barely go on plane and then go about 30-miles an hour. If I was in a hurry I should have started sooner and I use my trolling motor most of the time and do not troll with my big motor or have a kicker motor. All of this being said I do catch quite a few fish and do not spend much money and go too far but have a good time. We fish all year long here at Blackburns but often wonder if people paying $70-80,000 for a boat still have payments during the winter when they put them away. The lake did not clear any yesterday and may have had a little less visibility. The fish that I caught were in 18-28 feet of water and near the bottom on the 1/4 ounce white with green back and a black circle. One bass was caught but immediately released. Fishing overall is just fair now but the lake is in good condition and at a good level. Blackburns still has $59/day cabins and your first boat stall is free. 

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

The lake level is 553.50 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with 1/2 generator running for several hours.They have just started up a full generator for the first time in several days. The Norfork lake Striper Club posted a dissolved oxygen report and it was interesting and we thank them for doing it. It explains a lot of things. The Striper comfort zone for dissolved Oxygen is 5-6 parts per million and it is now above that down by the dam down to 75-ft. and by the Highway 62-bridge down to 70-ft. and nearly zero below that. Now that the lake has turned over there is no reason for the fish to be in any special place except for cover and food. This is when brush piles really come into play, especially for walleye, crappie, bluegill, bass and catfish. The red meat fish will mostly be on shad which will follow the wind blown plankton as will some largemouth bass. There will be a few fish coming up part way back in the creeks as the sun warms the very top of the water towards late afternoon.  In 2019 we had a white bass die-off in May resulting in a much reduced population which still exists. In 2002,2008,2011,2017,2019,2020 and 2021 we had high water years for extended periods of time resulting in striper kills in september which has  greatly reduced the numbers of the larger fish. For some reason we did not have a striper kill this fall after high water but it may be because all of the big ones are gone. The damage already been done coupled with no stockings by Game and Fish in 2020 due to covid has really reduced our temperate bass populations but people continue to kill them and brag about it. I personally do not fish for them in deep water and release all that I catch accidently. Dock floors full of dead small stripers is not doing any good and increases the time it will take for them to replentish. The high water years and fish kills in september affects Norfork Lake the most and I do not know why for sure but it has to do with a dissolved oxygen bubble. If the high water continues for extedended periods of time for very many more years it would not make any sense to keep stocking them and I am sure this is being studied by Game and Fish. Over fishing is not helping things out any either. People have really learned how to catch them easily. Some guides are already moving to other lakes and fishing for walleye or switching to bass and crappie on Norfork. People that are used to catching 20-30 and even 40-lb. stripers are just not willing to settle for 6-9 pounders and it is going to be hard to convince them that small is big. Some are not coming back striper fishing anymore.  We sure did have some good years striper fishing though.  But in their absence other species are picking up the slack in numbers and size due to the decreased pressure on the shad. The bass are really healthy and growing fast. It takes four years for a largemouth bass to reach the keeper size of 15-inches and we have a lot of them. I wish there were more walleye stocked but at least they do reproduce somewhat in the lake unlike the stripers and hybrids. Crappie , bass, bluegill, walleye and catfishing is just fine and I hope the stripers come back. We will see. Release a few of those white bass until they get their numbers back. At least they replentish themselves quickly. The lake is clearing a little everyday after the turnover and the fishing is getting better but is still just fair. The surface water temperature is between 64and 65 depending what time of day and where and if the sun is shining. It should stabilize with the warmer weather coming Monday  with highs to be in the low 70's. I saw a jet ski out there yesterday. I had hoped they were all winterized and put away.  They seem to have this intense desire to run them back in the creeks close to docks and close to other fishing boats. I sometimes think I should put a seatbelt on my front bass boat seat. I just got several rental boat seats reupholstered at ITS in Midway back yesterday. They sure due an excellent job and for a fair price. I have another load to take up. Nice people. It is about time to winterize some of Blackburns cabins but we keep a few open all year and do not close to go on vacation. I have everything I want here. No need to leave when you live in the best place. 

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

The lake level is 553.56 and has dropped 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with 1/2 generator running most of the time. The White River at Newport is at 5.8 feet and should be 12-ft. They are keeping the level just below the power pool of 553.75. The surface water temperature was 65 when I went out yesterday and it was cool but nice out. It was just below freezing this morning and very foggy. Wait for the fog to lift and do not run on GPS for safety's sake. These new 4-stroke motors are very quiet and you cannot rely on hearing them. I have had people go flying by me on GPS with absolutely no idea if there were any boats near. I just fish in Blackburns Creek until it is gone and go slowly near the shoreline but it is best to just wait. Some big crappie are starting to show up where the ones that I had been catching were 11-12 inches. Now they are 13-15 inches but the numbers are not high. The smallmouth bass are starting to bite as predicted and they are nice sized too, 3-4 pounds but you have to catch several small ones to get a big one. They are right near the bank part way back in the creeks behind brush.The fish that were on the main lake brush have moved so check out the brush on secondary points in 20-30 ft. of water and drop the spoon. If there is no wind the 1/8th ounce spoon works the best on 4-lb. test clear line. It is harder to tell if the small spoons hangs on itself so check it regularly. If you wait until it is finished dropping before jigging it will not hang as bad. If you do not check it you are wasting your time. I have never caught a fish on a hung up spoon but you can usually tell by the way the resistence changes if it is fouled but it is harder with the small ones. Crappie and bluegill love small white with red eyed spoons dropped right in the brush. If you are in the sunshine try the gold one. The lake is clearing a bit after the turn and fishing is getting better everyday. It is to get near 60 this weekend and 70 early next week so it is a good time to fish Norfork and come down to Blackburns. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. I talked to some open water fishermen yeaterday and they did not catch anything. It is hard to find open water temperate bass and if you do have them feeding. The best way is to drop the spoon right on their heads and get a reaction strike.  

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

Mike released this one under the dock.Image title

The lake level is 553.61 and has dropped just a bit with several hours of running 1/2 generator. There is still no effort to drop the lake. 553.61 is a good level but leaves no surge capacity for a big rain. It is almost like they want us to flood out in the spring. If not they are sure doing a good job of making it look like it. I do not want it to get low just around 547-48 by March 15th and try to keep it below 560 for as long as they can without flooding anybody down stream out.  The lake surface water temperature is 66-67 on the main lake and dropping with the cooler than normal temperatures and cooler in the creeks and up north in the river channel. It is to get near 60-degrees for an ambient temperature this week end and that will be welcome. The people wanting it to cool off are getting their way but I am not one of them. I never complain about hot weather knowing winter is coming. The lake is clearing in this area after the turn but I have not been farther south to check it out. I will ask Bink. He fishes the Big Creek area a lot. Crappie, bluegill,Kentucky Bass and Catfish are all on brush anywhere from 18-40-ft with the bluegill and crappie being where the brush is closest to the surface and biggest and the catfish are on the bottom in the same brush. Some big channels are being caught with some in the 9-10 lb. range. Temperate bass are schooled together in open water on shad and trollers are starting to catch some dragging stuff through the shad. Others are using spoon. There are getting to be less live bait fishermen and more spooners. Some crappie and Kentucky Bass are part way back in the creeks between the brush and the bank in the evenings. I am using a two inch twister tail grub white in color on a 1/16th ounce white with red eye jig head on 4-lb. test clear line tipped with a small minnow. You do not have to tip the grub but you will catch many miore fish if you do. On brush I am using a Bobby Garland Blue Ice baby shad, minnow on a slip float or a 1/4 ounce Bink's spoon and switching back and forth. They all work. I fish the same place for quite a while sometimes and a change seems to get them started again. Bass, bluefill and crappie all bite on all of them. Come on down to Blackburns. We have the best place with the best price and your first boat stall is free. Before you book, ask the price, if they charge for boat stalls, if they have covered porches and if the cabin is a duplex. Duplexes are cheaper to build but I just do not like to hear everything my neighbor is doing. 

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

This bush is beautiful as you drive into the resort. Image title

The lake level is 553.64 and has dropped just a bit in the last 24-hours with 1/2 generator running several hours. The White River at Newport is at 5+ feet. We have basically been at the same level for several weeks with just enough generation the handle the river inflow. The surface water temperature is 66-degrees in the mornings and the lake is turning over from north to south and is finished in some places. The water is starting to clear again in Blackburns area. It was not a violent turn but gradual as it has been mostly in the last several years. We do not have a violent turn with debris coming up and the water getting muddy as they do in shallower natural lakes and it does not stop fishing. It just scatters the fish out a bit now that they are not a slave to oxygen level and will locate in proximity to cover and food. The water temperature and oxygen will be nearly the same down to about 40-ft. or a little more. As the surface water cools again the lake will clear and fishing will get better. This is when the bass fishermen beating the bank will catch a lot of fish. Crappie will be there also, especially in the late evening. We will see if the stripers go to the bank to feed near dark just before full moon which is the 19th. Sometimes yes sometimes no. It will be worth a try to get those stick baits out and make sure they run true at slow speeds and not pull off to the side. This is my favorite time of year to catch crappie, smallmouth bass and the bigger largemouth. Kentucky bass are alway good this time of year. Walleye will be on shadowy banks at sunset and be near the same banks as the stripers. Go to the walleye rearing pond north of Cranfield island and fish the points. Spoon the steep banks on the south east side of Cranfield marina in the afternoon. Fishing now is just fair but improving. The fish are not feeding heavily, in a feeding frenzy or hammering anything but you can catch some good ones if you are persistent. Drop a spoon on their heads in open water. There are a few schools of mixed white bass, hybrids and small stripers out there and they are starting to hang out at the mouths of the creeks in open water. This is a good time of year overall but the cold fronts just keep coming through hurting the fishing. Fish right up until it rains you out. Do not walk around, fretting if it is going to rain, and stare at your phone if you want to catch fish.  After the skies clear and it gets cool and conditions are better for you the fishing will slow for a few days. November 10th is the Marines' birthday and they will be 246 years old and the fishing is almost good by then. The fall foliage report remains not so good but we will see what happens after the frost tomorrow night. My Burning Bush here at Blackburns is very beautiful but that is about it. Come on down to Blackburns and join in on the fun. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. We hauled new furniture and mattresses all day yesterday and spent all of my money. We need more customers to buy more. You will like what you see when you get here and we will not charge you too much. Ten of our cabins all now have either king or queen beds or both. Not bad. We are proud of this place and are open all year. We have no need to go anywhere else.  Furniture Depot is the best place in the area and has the best stuff at the best price and a big inventory. They have it all right at the store. No need to order and wait.     

Norfork Lake Condition, Fall Foliage and Fishing Reports by Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comments)

Scuba Steve with a pretty good one. Image title

Norfork lake, north central Arkansas, Mountain Home and Ozark Mountain Region fall foliage report. It is now November first and the fall foliage is a bust so far this year and it does not look to get much better. Peak is usually the very last of October but we have not had a frost yet and it has been windy most days and many leaves have blown off the trees. It is to frost wednesday night and if there is any chance of color it will be right after that. It is getting late. It looks better in the sunshine.  The road sides have a little brownish-red and rusty yellow colors but the hillsides have very little. It is still very nice out though but not worth a trip from very far away to just peep leaves. The fall is beautiful here no matter what the color. The lake level is 553.67 and is just what it was at this time yesterday and they are running 1/2 generator for several hours. The lake is at a good level now, not too high and not too low. The Corps Of Engineerrs closed some campgrounds today for the winter and it doesn't really matter as they have been flooded all summer anyway. Some of them never really got opened up fully and not all facilities were repaired. Camping was very limited. We had two different groups from the Kentucky Lake area in last week and they had a bad report. They said the Asian Carp have taken over the lake and most of the crappie are gone. It has also affected the businesses on the lake and many are closing. This was a good crappie fishery and I am sorry for them. I hope it does not happen here. They also said it was a problem on both the Tennesse and Illinois Rivers and affecting lakes there. Kentucky lake is on the Tennessee River as are several nice lakes. This is not good. I have seen none of them here and hope they do not get into the White River let alone the Norfork River. I am sure our capable biologists are watching for them. If anyone has any land for sale near Norfork Lake or around Mountain Home send me a message. I have a couple of people looking and are ready to build. Fishing remains slow but steady with the lake turning over and about every species is being caught but not in large numbers. Temperate Bass are schooled and roaming with the shad and others are scattered. There are a lot of bait fish on the bank and predator fish will move to them soon. Some are there now but a lot more will as the water cools. Bass, bluegill and crappie fishing is the best now with a few red meat fish being caught. All will improve as we move into November and the lake clears. Blackburns is open all year and have the best prices on the lake. Call Debbie at 870-492-5115 for a reservation. We will not charge you too much and especially welcome police and veterans. 

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

Don Choc from Festus, Missouri shows off some nice ones. Welcome to Blackburns. Image title

The lake level is 553.68 and is rising slowly with 1/2 generator running for several hours. It came up 3/4 inch in the last 24-hours. Power pool is 553.75 and it will be interesting to see how the lake is managed then. I suspect they will keep it just above that for as long as they can. We usually get nearly 5-inches of rain in November. The lake surface water is 67 degrees and also dropping slowly. It should go faster with the very cool nights later this week after another cold front comes through. We are to get our first frost either wednesday or thursday night. It sure was beautiful today, sunny with a high in the upper 60's. but the wind started to pick up this afternoon. Blackburns has people working on the new Burke's store where Stage used to be, people looking for real estate, people that have not been here for a while, and others fishing. It is a good group. Bink took out Don and Diane Choc from Festus, Missouri and they has a good time. They are very nice people and are welcome. Diane has been here before and this is Don's first time. Hope he likes it. They caught crappie, stripers and bass and are out fishing on a pontoon rental boat today. The lake is still turning and is a little off-color. The fall fishing will start soon. Some people are catching a few red meat fish but are working hard to get them. They fish all day for two or three fish and sometimes two days. They are not jumping in the boat.  It will get better soon. Time change is the first Sunday in November which is the 7th and the full moon is the 19th. Fishing usually gets good by time change. We will see. There are a lot of creek minnows on the bank. The lake will be clearing by then. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and your first boat stall is free. 

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

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

The lake level is 553.61 and has risen 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with little generation. It is amazing how steady they can keep the level if they want to. Rules only seem to matter if they are trying to flood us out. It is a good level now though and I would like it to stay here all of the time. The lake is still turning over with the lake surface temperature dropping every day and is now 66-67 degrees in Blackburn's area. It is lower up river where the water is shallower. The wind is also dropping the surface temperature and stirring up the water. The visibility is worse in the creeks but they will also clear more quickly. The color has gone from stained green to just a darker color and bubbles are coming up in the shallower water. We are to get our first freeze in the middle of next week and the cold fronts just keep coming through bringing with them wind. It is to be nice today and tomorrow with highs in the 60's. Some White Bass abd Small Hybrids are schooled and have moved out in front of and around Mallard Point to the west. They always do this every year at this time but the schools are much smaller. The White Bass are decent size but there are not many of them. They will spawn in february and march and it is a shame to kill them as they are trying to make a comeback but some people need the meat. I saw no evidence of a fish kill this fall and I do not know if it was because the big fish are gone or most of the vegetation has already died with past floods and did not create a heavy oxygen demand. One thing for sure there was little effort to drop the lakes until the summer was over. I am still catching crappie, bass, bluegill and catfish on main lake points on brush but they are scattered and spread out all over the lake. No big schools. I have not caught a walleye in over a week and longer than that for a keeper.  The catfish are still on the same brush as the crappie but on the bottom. Let your spoon touch bottom and you will be surprised what you catch. It could be about anything. Fishing overall is just fair but you can catch some if you know where and how. Bink is out with some of Blackburns guests this morning and we will see how he does. I bet the red meat fish have slowed and he will be on something else. He takes about 100 guided trips out of Blackburns a year and the vast majority have a great time. I know I do when he takes me out to sharpen my fishing skills. It is usually this time of year but he has not called me yet. The fishing will get better as the lake cools and clears and that is coming soon. I would like to see a warm cloudy day with little wind but will take what I get. I went to the grocery store, filled my car up with gas and bought oil and a battery for a boat and cannot believe the price increases. They are big and everywhere except for Blackburns where you can get a one bedroom cabin for $59/day and a two bedroom for $77/day with three and four bedrooms priced accordingly. We will hold the prices as long as we can and your first boat stall is free. Stay at the best place and get the best price. Cannot beat that. November is shaping up for a good fishing month so far and is right on schedule. I really like smallmouth fishing and it is starting. Leave some of those white bass for spawn. No sense catching huge stringers of fish no matter what the legal limit is. I will miss Bob Knight. He was one good person and I did business with him for 27-years and listened to him on KTLO everyday. He had a vast amount of knowledge on many subjects.  

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

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.55 and is exactly what it was over three weeks ago. It is back on it's way to the power pool of 553.75 and they are doing nothing about it. I guess there is no need for electricity any where in the Southwest region. We got another 0.7 inches of rain here at Blackburns yesterday but the creeks did not run.  I sure hope they do not say the rain caused the high water this year and the dams are just for holding water. This excuse will not fly anymore. They have had ample chances this fall to drop the lake. The lake surface water in Blackburns creek was 67+ degrees last eveing when I went out and the lake is starting to turn over. It is a little late but not too much. It is the same for the fall foliage. It is starting to turn a little but most of the colors are brown and rusty yellow. Even the sumac, which is usually red on the road sides, is mostly brown.  So far it is a bust for brilliant colors but the area is still beautiful this time of year and it looks better on sunny days of which we have not had very many lately. Everytime a little color shows the wind blows it off. It is to be nice with highs in the mid 60's this weekend and then get cool with lows in the high 30's. We have not been near a frost yet. Blackburns is in a valley just above lake level and it gets several degrees cooler at night than on the hill sides but is also protected from wind and storms. People used to come down to Blackburns in the old days to get out of storms and severe weather as it is well protected on three sides. Bink is still on the red meat fish and has been for about three weeks. They have moved out to a little over 50-ft. of water close to shallower water. The Striper club had a fishing tournament and not one fish was caught. That should tell you something. Either they are not there or they should quit trolling and start spooning. A few good sized White Bass are mixed in with the hybrids and small stripers but not very many. Their numbers are way down but not the crappie, bass, catfish, bluegill and walleye. There are a lot of fish in this lake but the fishing will be at the mercy of the cold fronts and turnover for the next several days. Some good fish will continue to be caught though just not as many unless you can find schools of roaming fish that are feeding then it is good for a while. I do not fish open water much anymore but several do especially when the seagulls come back and then they can follow the birds.  They get used to that and are lost when the birds go away again and are forced to find them on their own. I watch them over and over flying down the lake, see a school of shad on their screen, stop and back up and then hit the spot lock, and then look and look for the fish and then go on. The crappie that I am catching are not the big ones but are about 11-12 inches long and the bite is sporatic. They will not bite for two hours and then start for about 5-10 minutes. I probably fish some places too long but prefer to go to brush where I know there are fish and wait them out and seem to do pretty well. Crappie are easily spooked, expecially the big ones. Use clear 4-6 lb. line, either monofilament or flourocarbon and take off all of the hardware. Sometimes you can get away with colored or braided when the water is stained but there is no sense it using it here. It you use clear you will be ready. Crappie are very line shy in the clear water and we are approaching the time of year when it will get the clearest. The light line is still very strong and allows the lure to work better. Heavy colored line will greatly reduce your catch on Norfork Lake. Your trolling motor will also spook them. Go against the wind and use it just as much as you need to to stay on the brush or drift over it and use it to go back around and do it again.  Blackburns brush piles are at perfect depths now and there are fish on them including Kentucky Bass, Crappie, bluegill and catfish. Walleye fishing has slowed for me but should pick back up later this month as will the smallmouth bass. This is a good time of year and the boat traffic is very low. I like it. 

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

John Bornhop with a nice Hybrid.Image title

The lake level is 553.37 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with less than 1/2 generator running for a few hours. Again, there is no effort to drop the lake. We have received over 2-inches of rain here at Blackburns since yesterday and it is still raining with no signs of stopping. The creeks are not running yet. It is cool and the wind is to pick up and get stiff again later today. These cold fronts and wind just keep coming through this time of year and that is why November is our rainiest month. It is getting a little early start this year after very dry weather this summer. The ground is getting saturated and if there is rain in the Norfork watershed in Missouri the lake will rise more quickly, especially if they refuse to generate. The surface water temperature is just under 70 degrees here on the main lake and it will start to turn over soon. The more quickly the ambient temperature drops the more quickly it will turn. The last few years it has been gradual but always seems to at least get started or even finished by the end of October. The water will clear after it finishes barring any big rains and the good fishing will begin. The full moon in November, which is the 19th, is typically a good time for striper fishing. It will be very interesting to see how this pans out this year. Last year the night bite for them feeding on the bank just at dark did not happen but it has many years in the past. This used to be a good time to catch the very large ones. I would go out on the shadowy banks in the evening and fish soft plastics for walleye and then switch to a stick bait as dark approached with good results. Things sure do change. The March night bite on the bank during spawn is not even happening much and it used to be the best time except for the top-water bite starting in April. I remember seeing acres of stripers, hybrids and white bass surfacing in April in Panther Creek in the mornings. Not so now. The best top-water bite now on Norfork is the bass with a few temperate bass mixed in.  I sure hope the stripers make a comeback and they would if they would not keep the water so high all summer and people would quit over-fishing and killing them.  I hope game and fish do not quit stocking them but they could. Walleye fishing is picking up nicely and there are a lot of fish just short of the 18-inch limit and should reach that length next year. It was cool and rainy when I went out yesterday and not much had changed. Fishing was fair with crappie, bluegill, catfish and Kentucky bass baing the best bite. I caught some for Tom Kelly's trophy pond, delivered them and went back to plumbing and moving in new furniture. We cannot wait for spring to make improvements here at Blackburns as the season gets very busy early in March and we are making a lot of them. We have installed kitchen cabinets, counter tops, air conditioners with heaters and many new mattresses, furniture and recliners. The people at Furniture  Depot are very nice, have high quality furniture, a good inventory and very good prices. I recommend them highly. We are trying very hard and are committed to holding the $59/day cabin rental price in the off-season but it is getting very difficult. Very difficult. We just do not want to charge our customers too much. You should just not do that to your friends. By the time most people fill up with gas and buy food there is just not much left and we want them to come here on vacation. We have been here for a long time and do not need much and spend almost all we make on improvements when we can get the stuff. Several resorts on Norfork are for sale but Blackburns is not. We want it to stay in the family for years to come and are proud of it.

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

There is some fall foliage color but not a lot and it is starting to get late and the wind will not help anything. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.25 and is the same as it was yesterday with 1/2 generator running for a few hours. No effort to drop the lake. The lake surface water was 70.6 yesterday on the main lake with vsibility stained and you can see your lure down just a few feet. Not much has changed but it is now cloudy and there is a good chance of rain for the next two days with more wind. It was calm earlier but is picking up now. One guest reported catching eight fish with most of them crappie with a few nice bluegill. Open water temperate bass are showing up as predicted after a very slow September and early October. Bink has been on them for about three weeks. I do not fish for them anymore with the reduced numbers and want them to grow for a few years and will stick to crappie, walleye , Kentucky Bass and catfish. The lake will start turning over soon and the fish will scatter for a couple of weeks. It still looks like Thanksgiving will be good fishing. I am ready to catch some of those big smallmouth which will be going to the bank then and the large crappie. The lake is at a good level and good color and is in excellent condition for fishing. Tomorrow at 8:45 AM on KTLO Radio 97.9 FM and on cable channel 5 is the" live in the boat" radio show with Bink's Guide Service. I am anxious to hear what he has to say and if he is still on the fish. 

Fall Foliage report for Mountain Home, Norfork Lake, Ozark Mountain Region and Northern Arkansas by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental

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The color is starting to change a little with the cool nights. It is not spectacular but is better than I first thought. We may get some good color yet if the wind does not keep blowing it off. It is a couple of weeks later than normal but peak is not usually until the very last of October. This is my burning bush that was brown two days ago. Stay tuned.

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

Brian Stevens from Lake Station, Indiana shows off some good ones fishing Blackburns brush piles yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.25 and has risen a little less than 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with 1/2 generator running sparingly. They now have the White River at Newport at a little over 4-ft. and it is drying up. They only follow the generation guidelines when they want to. One more day of nice weather and then rain chances again with another low pressure coming in. The surface water temperature was 71.5 yesterday and is dropping very slowly. The fish were biting a little better yesterday with crappie, Kentucky Bass, bluegill and catfish being the best bite. Trollers are starting to pick up red meat fish as predicted with some nice sized White Bass being caught. They are making a comeback but slowly. Many are small. As I have said before we need the White Bass when other fish are hard to catch. White Bass are for people that cannot catch anything else and trout are for people that cannot catch White Bass. That has not been the case for a couple of years. Bink reports the fish are pushing deeper during the day. They were at 30-ft. then 40-ft. and now 50-ft. and still going deeper. He is using his 1/2 ounce jigging spoon. The fish are in the same places just out a little more. He has been on them for several weeks. Nothing is in a feeding frenzy or hammering anything but schools of mixed fish are continuously moving in and out the the same area and will bite if you drop the spoon right on their heads. He is catching all of his fish on the main lake and nothing in the creeks. I am still spooning and jigging brush from 25-32 ft. of water and catching crappie, bluegill, Kentucky Bass and catfish all in the same area. If you see baitfish near brush there are predator fish with them. More different species are on shad in open water now than before with the absence of the big stripers not hogging all of the food. I have never caught so many catfish on spoons than this year and they are fat and healthy. Anytime you find schools of bluegill you can bet there are catfish somewhere close. I am still not catching very many largemouth bass because I do not troll around in open water where a lot of them are now. They will move to the bank later as the water cools and more will start to show up. There are plenty of them in the lake. Big smallmouth will start biting soon. It is very peaceful out there now that the big fishing tournaments are over and the wake boats and jet skis are gone. The cold fronts just keep bringing the wind and you about have to get out early and go out again in the evening to get out of it. The lake will start to turn soon and how long it takes to do so will depend on how fast the water cools. After that is over and the water clears the fishing will get better again. It is usually in the process or finished by now but the temperature has held in the warm weather. Blackburns still has $59/day cabins and your first boat stall is free. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.    

Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing and Fall Foliage Report.

The lake level is 553.22 and has risen one inch in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation for three days. The White River at Newport is at 5-ft. We did receive 1-1/2 inches of rain last night but very little wind. Most of the severe weather went north of us again and we have been very fortunate all year. Others were not so fortunate. It was very windy with big white caps and not a good day to be out on the lake. It was better early but got worse as the day warmed with the cold front coming in. Steven Meador and Joey Penzo weighed-in five fish and won the Bass Cat Invitational with 13.29 pounds. It was better and the bass always seem to bite better in the wind. I do not like it though. Hope they have the tournament on Norfork again soon. The rumor is in three years. The lake has been very busy all of the month of October and it is hard to believe it is almost over. The surface water temperature was 72.5 and the water is stained on both main lake and in the creeks. The ambient temperature is to remain cool for several days and the lake should start it's turnover soon. We are right on schedule for a good month of fishing in November. The fall foliage turned a little color but the wind keeps blowing off the leaves. I thought it might be a complete dud but it might slavage some yet. My burning bush turned red almost over night. I though it was going straight to brown. It is still beautiful here on Norfork Lake no matter how brilliant the colors and Blackburns still has cabins for $59/day and are open all year. We will shut some down as the weather cools and the business slows but that has not happened yet. Come on down. We will not charge you too much and especially welcome Police and Veterans. We like them here.