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

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The lake level is 553.82 and rising very slowly with very little generation. They are running one generator a few hours a day to keep up with river inflow and are reluctant to turn over the control to the power company. The White River is just over 16 feet at Newport. They have two months to get the level down to 548 before the spring rains. We will see if they do it or just maintain their policy of keeping the level up in the winter and then hold and hope. The lake is at a very good level now for fishing as is the color.  You can see your lure down about three feet. It is clearer closer to the shore. The fish seem to start biting about 9AM and again about 1-2 PM and then about 4-5 PM with periods of lockjaw in between. There does not seem to be any paticular pattern except there are not a lot of fish on the bank and the shad are roaming on plankton and blowing with the wind.  Bass, crappie and red meat fish are on some shad but you have to find several schools before one is feeding. More fish are on shad in open water than on brush but I am catching some good ones on brush but not high numbers. I caught one short walleye, several short bass, three bass keepers and seven keeper crappie with three of them very large in the over 15 inch range. If you are fishing in the afternoon make sure you are out at sundown until dark or you will be missing out on the best time of day. Especially for larger fish. The 3/8 and 1/2 ounce Bink's jigging spoon, white with black back and red eye are my bait of choice with the blue one next. Bink is using the Arkansas shiner. Otherwise I am throwing a Bobby Garland jig, light blue in color, tipped with a small minnow over brush in 25-ft. of water. Cast past the brush and let sink on it while retrieving slowly. Come on down to Blackburns. The weather is great and we are open all year and will not charge you too much. Your first boat stall is free. The surface temperature was just over 51 yesterday afternoon with the ambient temperature in the 60's. It cools down quickly after sundown. After this high pressure moves through and it gets cloudy will be an excellent time to hit Norfork lake and fish until it rains you out.