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

The lake level is 552.35 and is up about 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with no generation. They just started one generator. The White River at Newport is now at 9+ feet and about ready to dry up. They are doing an excellent job of holding all of the area lakes up as high as possible for as long as possible for what nobody knows. Yesterday was cloudy but we did not get the predicted rain. It was a melting day but did not get above 46 in the clouds. It is sunny today with highs in the mid 50's with a southwest wind and it should take out more snow and warmer tomorrow. I still have about an inch of ice under my dock and on the launch so you will have to go to Panther Bay to launch until it is gone. I will let you know. The snow is gone on the lake and has been replaced by slush with ice under. Not very conducive to the warming of the water very quickly. The very backs of the creeks are melting and the ice line is moving towards my dock from the main lake albeit slowly. The threadfin shad continue to die off and many are going through the generators when they finally decide to run any. Bink reports the birds are feasting just below the dam when there is generation. He lives on the river right below the dam. This will continue until the water temperature gets back up into the early 40's. The fish are also feasting on the dead and dying shad and will be hard to catch for a several days. You will have to find shad near the bluffs that have not died yet and are near the surface and moving slowly and use the stick bait. Look on the banks where the prevailing wind has ben blowing. Get as far away from the bank as you can cast and crank the suspending bait down three or four times or simulate the depth of the shad and jerk three or four times and let set for several seconds. Do not get in a hurry. You must make the lure more available than the shad for the feeding fish. This technique will be better in several days after the shad either sink or get eaten up. It will take longer than in the past with many of the big stripers gone. Bass fishing will be the best now but it will not be very good for a while. I will try crappie fishing as soon as I can get my boat out of the dock. You may want to rush out there but you can expect slow fishing until the end of the month. In a week it will get better unless it gets cold again. March is very variable. After March 15th I expect excellent fishing.