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

Scuba Steve with the fish of the day yesterday released under the dock. Image title

The lake level is 560.95 and is exactly what it was at this time yesterday. They dropped to one generator last evening and are still running just one. The lake stays the same with one generator running, drops slowly when there is two and rises when they shut both of them off. We are to get a good chance of a little rain tonight and tomorrow but nothing serious. It is to get very cold Wednesday and Thursday nights with frost warnings out and then very nice for the weekend with highs near 80 again Sunday and Monday. The March and early April rollercoaster is at it's best now with cold fronts moving in and out regularly.  The lake surface temperature is stuck in the 50's and does not have much hope of raising anytime soon until the late weekend. The big crappie have left the main lake for the creeks leaving only the small ones that are either too young to spawn or not ready yet. I fished  main lake brush piles and caught only fish in the 6-7 inch range and no big ones.  The males are on the bank and getting ready to make nests but have not done so yet. The females are in a little deeper water under cover like docks or brush and feeding. This is not the time to see how many crappie you can kill. Leave some of the males on the banks. After the spawn if you catch the males off the nests the bluegill will eat the eggs faster than you can kiss a duck if there is nothing left to protect them. The Game and Fish do not stock crappie in Norfork Lake anymore so we have to rely on natural reproduction only now. A little bit of catch and release can help a lot in the next few weeks on about everything. Pictures of huge numbers of crappie dead on dock floors are not impressive but about as repulsive as the same with stripers. Nobody wants to see those anymore. Keep a few and release a few and everyone benefits. Try casting a Bobby Garland baby shad or a two inch twister tail tiipped with a live minnow on a 1/16th ounce jig head on 4-lb. test or a maximum of 6-lb. to the bank and keep the jig head dropping as much as possible near the bottom. The water is clearest near the shore so do use clear line not colored or spider line. You will catch both bass and crappie. Also use a 3-inch creature bait like a grub or crawdad on a 3/16th jig head and work the shoreline near the bottom. Soft 5-inch plastics will also work for both bass and crappie but walleye the best. This is a fun time to fish but not easy. You have to go out there regularly and be persistent. They will start to bite just when you are ready to give up. Go in the wind blown creeks and that changes almost daily with the incessant variable, gusty winds of late March and early April and cold fronts moving in and out. The top-water bite will be here soon with the warm overnight lows. I am seeing just a bit in the evenings but not much. It is just too cold early mornings.