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

Caught fishing with Bink yesterday on the spoon. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 571.12 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with a little more generation. The White River at Newport is at 12-feet + now and they are spreading the discharge out over several lakes. If it stays as dry as it is now maybe it will go down by Labor day. They have done an excellent job of starting at a high level in the spring and holding it up all year. The lake in general is in very good condition for boating, fishing and swimming. The clarity has diminished in the last few days but that always happens with the hot weather. I will go diving later and get a new report. Some fish are schooling early AM but are scattered with the bait fish staying under cover in the buckbrush. As the lake lowers, and the thermocline lowers  they will move out further and stay near it. The red meat fish are deep as usual this time of year and the spooners are getting some good ones but also many small ones in the 7-10 lb. range. They all die when pulled up from deep water so if you do not want to kill them do not fish for them there. Pictures of dock floors full of small dead stripers are not impressive. They are all stocked fish and do not reproduce.  Anybody with a good fish finder can hang 6-8 poles with live bait over the boat and troll long enough through shad and get fish on and then hand the pole to someone else and let them reel it in. That is not sport to me. They do not dress out very well anyway if you are a meat hunter. A lot of fish being cleaned now are full of crawdads so the big fish are going to the bank some time or other to feed. I have a lot of both gizzard and threadfin shad under my dock now which is 30+ feet deep and some large bass are hanging around there. I assume this is happening in other places. Big bluegills are biting well on crickets off docks now. Some over a pound. Now those are good eating. Some walleye are off the bluffs in 24-ft. of water. The bigger ones are lone wolves but smaller ones are schooled and roaming and some are deep with the stripers. Bass fishermen are doing well after dark on saltcraws.