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

The new news is that the lake level is 553.55 and rising with no generation. It is at a good level now but they had better let some out. This is bordering on mismanagement and incompetance. Some of the so-called lake organizations need to be contacting the Corps of Engineers and asking why the level is not being dropped to create some surge for the spring rains. Yes, the worthless minimum flow did take away 1.75 feet of flood capacity and changed the numbers and how the lake is being managed, but the newer way of lake management has a bad history. Hold and hope is not a very thoughtful policy. When they used to take the lake down to the 540's in the winter and generate when it rains, we had far less problems. The level should never be allowed to exceed 552 if possible. They can control how much goes out but not how much goes in. They just keep doing the same thing and hope for different results. It was cloudy and raining on and off all of the time I was fishing yesterday but the fish started biting a little earlier than in the last few days. I caught several nice crappie, bass and bluegill casting the grub to the bank from 3:PM until dark. They had started biting at 4:PM before. The wind was just a little too much for the slip float. One crappie was very large and was bigger than the one caught the day before and I did not think that was possible. I came in a little early before my photographer left work to get a picture of it. It was bigger than the ones I have mounted but I did not want to kill it so under the dock it went. Other guests caught a few stripers in the 12-lb. range and some hybrids in the 6-7 lb. range but I convinced them to release them and take some of my smaller crappie. I seldom kill bass unless a couple of kentuckys are needed for supper. White bass can still be caught almost at will and are what should be harvested. They reproduce unlike the semi put and take stripers and hybrids. It was good to see how many wallleye were stocked this year. They reproduce in the lake but many are harvested and few legal ones are released.  Several years ago it was very difficult to get a legal walleye but now the population is much better. Once, several years ago a 2-lb. walleye won the yearly Scuba tournament for biggest fish with very few legal ones brought in.