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

Dave Titus is back and catching crappie. Image title

The lake level is 553.41 and has dropped about an inch in the last 24-hours with both generators running about eight hours. We missed the heavy rain that was predicted so far and most of it went south out of Norfork's watershead. I measured about one inch total in the last three days and it all sunk in with no runoff. It is not over yet but nothing serious should happen tonight and it is to clear and warm back up early next week to the 50's. The surface water temperature is about 48-49 depending on when and where you check it and is about normal for this time of year. When the surface temperature drops below 40-degrees the threadfin shad start to stress and the fishing gets easier. This does not happen every year and I prefer it not happen. I like a good steady supply of both gizzard and threadfin shad and do not think there can be too many. Too many does make fishing much more difficult but that just creates a challenge. It is fun to catch fish when nobody else can and the game fish have all they want to eat all of the time and all fish are healthy and fat. We have a good supply of shad on Norfork lake now. The local wildlife biologists indicate normal stocking will resume this year and that they have requested 154,000 striped bass, 44,000 hybrid striped bass and will be operating the walleye nursery pond this year. They almost always get what they request and this is very good news and a great start to getting the big striper population back on track.  What we do not need is high water for an extended period of time in late August or early September causing low oxygen and fish kills on the larger stripers. Otherwise we will become an 8-10 lb. striper lake. We are almost there now. They might be able to sell that to some pilgrims but people that have been here and experienced the great striper fishing in the past are not buying it. I sure hope it comes back. I would like to see the limit dropped to two fish per day instead of three and outlaw trolling umbrellas and promote catch and release until they come back. Bass fishing continues to be good on grubs on steep banks near deep water. Crappie fishing has slowed but some nice ones are being caught and the hybrid stripers are hanging in there. I am glad we have them. They take stress better than stripers. The White Bass are making a comeback and needed to. Catfish are still being caught. December can be out coldest month here and we will see what 2021 brings. I am looking forward to it. There are a lot of fish in Norfork and I am catching some evey day.