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

Dave Titus with some of yesterday's catch. Released under the dock.Image titleImage title

The lake level is 558.82 and continues to drop about three inches per day.I hope they continue. We received about 0.2 inches of badly needed rain yesterday and it really greened things up. In just a few minutes after it stopped buds were bursting open on trees and shrubs and grass turned about three shades of darker green. It was good to have the dust settled. The main lake surface water temperature is stubbornly holding in there at about 60-degrees and the creeks can vary as much as 5-6 degrees a day depending on wind, ambient temperature and how close to the banks you are. This is a weird year for spawn. I caught a white bass about 2-1/2 pounds and it did not have bloodlines in the eggs and was not ready yet.  They usuall spawn in February. Some smaller crappie in the 10-12 inch range are ready to spawn and larger ones are not. I had always found the larger ones spawned first and then moved to main lake brush. This same thing happened last year and the spawn continued well into late May. The flatheads that I am catching have no eggs but they are the last fish in the lake to spawn. The top-water bite for stripers and white bass is just starting on some days and begins about 7:Am and does not last long. The stripers that I have seen being caught are small and should have been released. Keep killing those little ones boys and brag about it and they will be all gone. The night bite for spawning stripers was a fizzle. I do not know if they are just not there or just late but it usually happens before now. Maybe since the big ones are gone the smaller ones are not ready yet. The smallmouth bass fishing is very good now and they are right on the bank in the buckbrush and can be caught on a 3-inch creature bait on a 3/16th or 1/4 jig head walking the bottom. Be prepared to lose a few lures. Use clear 6-lb. line on a 6-1/2 ft. medium heavy rod. More walleye are in the same places as are some crappie. Expect to catch all three. The same walleye that were in the 15-inch range last year are just about keeper size which is 18-inches. Some are just a bit short but more keepers are being caught than last year.  Bluegill fishing has been slow for some reason. There are a lot of them down there but they will not bite very well at least for me. A couple of them fried up like potato chips are pretty good eating. The lake overall is in good condition and the fishing is fair to good and is getting better. You can catch fish all day in this cloudy weather. Try a 2-inch white twister tail tipped with a small crappie minnow on a 1/16th ounce white with a red eye jig head on 4-lb line just for fun. Turn the tail up and hook the minnow through the lips. You will be surprised at what you catch. Tip of the year.