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

All fish caught on the White 1/2 ounce Bink's Spoon. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 559.73 and has risen 4-inches in the last 24-hours with little generation. They cannot manage it correctly in the winter let alone summer. They need to be replaced. This 12-feet rule at Newport needs to be reviewed and the level should be changed to 21-feet after harvest down stream and kept there until the lakes are well below power pool by April 1st before the spring rains. News alert: Hold and hope does not work. The brown water from the heavy runoff is clearing and the fish are biting again back in the creeks. The lake is clearer the farther down stream you go but that is not necessarily good for fishing. The surface temperature was 50+ when I went out yesterday morning with Bink. We waited until the fog had cleared and went for open water fish. We found many of them in 60-80 ft. of water near the bottom but fishing was slow. He did catch a crappie at 80-feet on the bottom and that was the first time either one of us had done that. We fished a couple of brush piles with little success and then went back where the open water fish were found earlier. We found large schools in 70-80 feet of water and they were scattered from from 30-feet to the bottom. The deep ones would not bite again but we started working our spoons up and down in the water column and started catching fish at 50-ft. It seems they moved from the bottom to 50-ft. to feed and the ones on the bottom would not bite. Once we found that out we caught a lot of fish.I switched from a 3/8 ounce spoon to a 1/2 ounce and that helped too. It was warm out with light wind and a perfect day for fishing.  Especially for the middle of january. I do not fish open water much but this was fun. We caught stripers, hybrids and white bass. The fish were not as large a we wanted but were glad to find schools of white bass which have been elusive since spring. Bink knows how to find open water fish and how to catch them. We caught and released dozens and kept just a few for his friend. I prefer walleye, crappie, kentucky bass and flathead catfish but this was a very fun day. My turn to take him brush pile fishing next. People fishing out of the resort are catching some nice ones every day.  Cold weather is on the way but we are more than 1/2 way through January and we have lots of nice days in February. I will be out there and give you a report.