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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

Image title

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)

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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.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The lake level is 553.15 and has been within 1/2 inch of this level for nine days with one generator running for three hours. It would be nice if they would keep it stable in the spring for the spawn but fat chance of that. Hold and hope is the name and flood us out every year is the game. A lot could be done to prevent this if there was an effort and a reasonable plan. The lake surface water temperature was 73+ degrees when I went out yesterday and it was a bit windy as usual in the afternoon. It is calmer early before it warms and later in the evening after the heat of the day. The weather has been beautiful and the fishing is picking up a bit before the lake turn. We had divers in and they said the visibility was good in some places and poor in others. Poor mostly off mud banks and better off rocky ones. They found mostly crappie off brush and a few walleye but they were mostly short. No catfish. The theromocline was strill about 30-32 ft. with cold water lower than that. The lake turnover is almost always in October but the surface water temperature has to drop lower than the top of the thermocline for the layer to invert and we are not there yet. Crappie and bluegill fishing is the best now but trollers are catching some temperate bass as predicted but are dragging lures or live bait a long way to catch something. Some are near the bank at dark and before sunrise. Many species of fish are in open water on shad in the absence of numbers of large stripers competing for them.  If you are spooning brush in about 30-ft. of water it is hard to tell what you will catch. I am still catching small white bass accidently but very few larger ones. Blugill and crappie are on main lake brush with a few Kentucky bass. A few largemouth are on the bank but not many.  They are mostly in open water on shad and beating the bank is not producing much except smaller bass which are on minnows and fry just outside the dead buckbrush. It should get better for a few days before the turn if we do not get a big cold front. Bluegill like this full moon and they are biting and big ones too. It is nice to just be out there in the sunshine. Drop a small spoon in the brush and learn how to not get it hung up. Keep it straight up and down and do not drag it. If it is too windy change to a jig, go against the wind and use your trolling motor only as much as you need to to stay put. Turn off the spot lock. They wander around too much over the best areas. Crappie are easily spooked. If you cannot hold drift over the brush and use your trolling motor to go around and drift over again. Drop a marker buoy. If you see an unattended marker buoy just leave it alone. It belongs to someone and he will be back. Blackburns still especially welcomes Veterans and Police. You have a sanctuary and friends here.  

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

The lake level is 553.16 and has been the same for the last 4-days with less than three hours of running one generator. The White River at Newport is now less than 5-ft. and is about ready to dry up. November is our rainiest month. They need to take it down to 547-48 and hold it there for as long as they can without flooding anybody out. That seems to be a simple and good plan but is too complicated for the government. The creeks are stained green but are clear near the bank and on the main lake you can see your lure down about 5-ft. The shallower creeks are cooling faster at night but are also warming more quickly in the afternoon sun. I am still getting a main lake surface water temperature of 72-73 degrees in the afternoons and the ambient temperature is to remain in the 70's and get even in the high 70's later this week. Trollers are starting to pick up some stripers that are left in shallow water on planer boards with big live bait as predicted earlier with the full moon and after a cold front that blows the plankton to the bank and the shad will follow. They can also be caught from late evening to morning on stick baits. This usually happens in November and may continue into the full moon next month. Nobody can predict when this will happen or if it will happen. It used to happen every year but has not most of the last several due to the absence of most of the big stripers. A 30-40 lb. striper used to be big and now they are bragging about 10-15 and there are few of them. Every striper needs to be released until they make a comeback and people need to quit fishing for them deep. Big schools of large white bass are also scarce but a few are showing up as all of the temperate bass are schooled up together along with the bigger largemouth. Some crappie, walleye and catfish are also with them. Several fish are coming to the light under my dock at night. I am still fishing brush piles and the fish are biting anywhere from 18-32 ft. of brush at various levels of suspension. I am catching no picture fish but some pretty good ones.  Big bluegill are biting as well or better than anything and people are having a lot of fun carching them. They also eat well. There are a lot of minnows and fingerling sports fish back in the creeks near the bank and under docks and the Kentucky bass are after them but not many largemouth. The smallmouth were starting to show up but not many now for some reason. They will as there is a good population of them also. Norfork is a good bass, bluegill, crappie, walleye and catfish lake but not all species bite all of the time. There are getting to be too many gar. I wish the Bass Catters good luck friday and saturday. Blackburns is full of them with people taking advantage of the $59/day cabin rental and the first boat stall being free along with launching on site and ample boat and trailer parking with electrical. We are also very close to the take-off point. We are glad to have them back. They should just stay here. We like them. The fall foliage is not changing much and we will keep you informed. Again, I do not expect a brilliant color this year but It could change. Now browns and yellows. The sumac is even going straight to brown with little red. This is not a good sign.   

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

The lake is in great condition but not much fall color yet. It has been foggy early.Image title

Keith and Don with some of yesterday's catch.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 553.17 and rising very slowly with absolutely no generation for the last three days. The government is managing the lake about like they are managing the border. The water temperature drops all night with the lows in the early 40's and then warms back up in the sunshine with temperature is the 70's and is hanging in there in the mid 70's. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. Crappie and bluegill fishing is the best followed by Kentucky Bass and Catfish. I had thought the trollers would be picking up a few red meat fish by now with the full moon on Wednesday. Bink found some a few days ago but said it was not easy and it was the first time he had found schools of good sized fish in a long time. If he cannot find them nobody can. He knows where they should be this time of year. There has been no evidence of a fish kill this fall.  I am catching some white bass but they are very small. At least there are some coming back. All of the temperate bass are schooled up together but there are not a lot of them. Hybrids are doing the best. The fish that I caught yesterday were on big brush in 25-30 ft. of water about 12-ft. down right on top of the pile. They were a little over the 10-inch limit but not very big. Keith and Don Katashuk caught some larger ones. There were 212 boats in the Cystic tournament Saturday and I am a little disappointed in the resuts. At least it was better than the Phoenix the week before. Only 65 boats weighed in fish with a total of 216 fish weighing 473 pounds. The big bass was 4.8 pounds. It is still not bad for October. Typically the first of March and starting in the middle of October are the toughest time for bass fishing on Norfork and will continue until the lake turns and clears. November is a good month and Thanksgiving is always a good time to catch fish and April and May are better. Blackburns Has cabins for $59/day with your first boat stall free. You can launch right here, step on the dock and park your trailer in ample trailer parking. We are not huddled up on a hillside with everything jammed up. Come on down. We will not charge you too much. There is not much color for fall foliage yet after the rain and many leaves blew off in the wind. We will see what the next two weeks bring but do not get your hopes up too high. It is always beautiful here though. My burning bush is showing a little color but my Maple is not. 

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

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Don and Keith Katashuk with some nice ones.Image title

The lake level is 553.15 and has been the same for three days with very little generation. None today. The white River at Newport is 6-ft. The surface water temperature was back to 75 degrees this afternoon with an absolutely beautiful day. Sunny, light wind and 75 degrees. Blackburns had several fishermen out today and they did better than yesterday. Crappie and bluegill fishing is the best now followed by bass and catfish. Walleye have slowed down. Nothing is great but some are catching fish. The lake is in excellent condition for fishing and stained a little gree. More in the creeks. I though the Cystic boys would do a little better but 16-lbs is pretty goos for the middle of October. Better than the Phoenix last week. The lake is maintaining temperature so far and just dropping very slowly despite the very cool overnight lows. The sunshine helps. There should be no turnover before the Bass Cat next week and they should do well. Norfork is one busy lake. I caught some decent crappie and bluegill today with some throwback bass and it was nice out in the warm sunshine. Better than staying in the house and watching the kneelers with there political views on the back of their helmets. I miss baseball now that the Cardinals surrendered. The Dodgers were better anyway. Blackburns still has one bedroom open for Bass Cat. Call Debbie at 870-492-5115 before you pay more elsewhere. We have it all and at the best price. Come on down. We will not charge you too much.  Don and Keith Katashuk caught more fish than anybody here last week. Nice people. 

Cystic Fibrosis Bass Tournament Norfork Lake

It took 16 lbs. and change to win the tournament today. It went 16,15,14,13,and 12. They did much better than the Phoenix last week. It was well run and is a good cause. Next friday Bass Cat Invitational. Norfork is a busy lake. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Craig DeHoet caught a few more yesteday.Image title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Released under Blackburns Dock.Image title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caught Scuba Diving on Blackburns brush piles yesterday. Image title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday.Image titleImage title

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

Norfork Lake Master Plan Revision (click here for comments)

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

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

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

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

Scuba Steve 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caught on the Bink's spoon yesterday. Image title

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

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

Caught on the Bink's Spoon. Image title

Released under the dock.Image title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caught yesterday on the spoon. Image title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First walleye.Image title

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

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

Caught on the Bink's Spoon yesterday. Image title

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caught on the Bink's Spoon.Image title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday. Nice one.Image title

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

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

Image title

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

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

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

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

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