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

The lake level is 554.24 and has risen a little over 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening and just started up again. The weather has been beautiful but the fishing not so good. The water temperature came up a little yesterday to about 47-degrees and the water seems to be clearing just a bit. You can see your lure down about 3-4 feet but it is still a greenish color. I started out fishing a main lake brush pile in about 30-feet of water with a spoon and a big shadow came up in the water all around my boat and it was a school of shad from the surface to about 20-feet down. I was catching a shad everytime I dropped the spoon and decided my one lure had too much competition with about a million shad. They were in no hurry to move and there was nothing chasing them so I was the one that moved. I started just going very slow across the main lake to check things out. The water temperature was the same everywhere I went and there were no bait fish.  Almost all of them are either back in the creeks of if they are on the main lake they are next to the wind blown banks. There are much less birds out there now scarfing the floating and stunted shad and I am seeing very few dead ones floating. Bink reports the same below the dam indicating not nearly as many shad are going through the generators. There are still many schools of shad out there and this kill did not hurt anything but the immediate fishing. Normally the big stripers would be going crazy feeding now but they simply are not there, in any numbers anyway. There are just too many big schools of baitfish with no predator fish under them. Shad kills have happened several times in my 26-years of living on this lake but the big stripers have been out there to clean them up quickly. Not this year. I am having a hard time catching a couple of fish in an outing and they are so stuffed full of bait that they are ready to explode. Everyone seems to know when this is going to change but could not predict it happening. They say it needs to warm up when it is cold and say it needs to cool down when it is hot. All I know is that we do not need any more rain for quite some time.  I do not know what will make it will change except for time. The stripers should go to the bank later this month near the full moon to simulate a spawn. The walleye should be going up river now. The White Bass should make their run but many of them are also gone from a kill a couple of years ago.  The bass should move back into the creeks. I can tell right when this happens when small bluegill move in under my dock in big numbers. The top water bite will start sometime after the middle of Apil part way back in the major creeks and the male crappie will move in shallow in the backs of the creeks. All of these things will happen but nobody know just when. You just have to be out there and be ready. I am not promoting any of my customers to make a trip here at this time but they will be the first to know when things get better because I will tell them. I will also show them where my new brush piles are. We have some good ones.