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

Scuba Steve with his two biggest ones yesterday.Image title

The lake level is 553.61 and has risen 1-inch in the last 24-hours with absolutely no generation. They refuse to drop the area lakes and the White River is below 11-feet at Newport.  It has been about a normal January so far and we have missed all of the snow and ice that has been predicted.  The surface water temperature has remained above the middle 40's and has not varied very much lately. There are about two cold fronts a week coming through. It warms up for a couple of days and then another cold front preceded by wind comes in for about the same time and then a high pressure with wind comes in with clear skies and cold night time temperatures followed by warming days and then the whole process repeats itself. When high pressure is present the winds die off in the evening. I wait until the warmest part of the day to go out and come in when the sun goes down. That way you miss most of the wind and coldest temperatures. Some like to charge out there before sunrise in the wind and fish until it gets warm and then come in. To each there own. I catch fish both ways but am not a cold weather fan. I lived in northern Maine and Minnesota and am through with snomobiling, cross country skiing and ice fishing. I like it here where you cannot drill holes in our water or walk on it but still have four seasons of which winter is the shortest. Winter fishing is very good here but I always look foreward to spring and summer scuba diving. The lake now is in excellent condition and at a good level and Blackburns Brush Piles are at a good depth. Bass and crappie continue to be the best bite now and a few white bass are still biting in open water just outside brush in 40-45 feet. Most of them are small but some are about 1-1/2 lbs. Hybrid fishing is fair and about normal. Stripers are scarce and big ones are extinct. The big ones that are left should show up for top-water bite this spring and the meat hunters should just about finish them off. The number of stripers in the 5-10 lb. range is still pretty good as are the ones just at or below 20-inches. The absence of the 2020 class due to Covid will hurt the future as will people killing more and more of the small ones thinking they are doing good. People bragging and taking pictures about killing fish below 10-lbs have replaced the ones of people bragging and taking pictures of 30-40 pounders. It will be a hard sell to the public. At least to the people that know better and have been around here for a while. The temperate bass usually go deep just off the old river channels near the bridges sometime in January and get lockjaw. Some may have done that now with people fishing in front of Cow Point and on the flats if Front of Mallard Point docks not catching much the last few days. I suspect some of it may be do to the cold front but maybe not all. We here at Blackburns are catching some very nice crappie but the bass fishing has slowed a bit. Fishing overall is just fair. You cannot go out avery three or four days and report a pattern. Things they are a changin.