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

The lake level is 570.85 and has dropped 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 60% of the time. It took 8-days to drop the last foot with almost no rainfall and dry conditions. The bowl is getting a little smaller and the level should drop more even though they do not generate more. The lower it gets the faster it drops. The very top is the hardest part especially when there is no effort to drop. The surface water temperature is 85 degrees and the lake is clearing after the holiday traffic. It is as clear as it has been in years. If the lake level gets into the 550's it looks to be very good fishing in the fall when the brush piles get back to the right level. I started putting in brush piles shallower a few years ago when they changed the water level management and started keeping the lake flooded all spring and summer.  There is a limit to how effective this is when the level of the old shoreline is in 20-25 ft. of water and there is cover everywhere. I like to put in cover on main lake points on rocky banks with no buckbrush where the fish can get to deep water quickly. Walleye and crappie like that. Stripers are mostly on shad but also like just outside brush on drop-offs. Stripers are now in deep water, over 100-ft., suspended 60-80-ft. down and can be caught on 1-ounce spoons. Walleye are on main lake points in 32-ft. of water near the bottom and are also biting jigging spoons. The Game and Fish made a run to North carolina and brought back 220,000 fingerling stripers to stock. One third of them have gone in Norfork. Maybe these fish will be more suitable to high water and low ozygen level in the summer. I hope so. Those guys really care about the area lakes and do a great job. A lot of people like to catch stripers and come here just for that. It would be nice to have the numbers of 20-30 pounders back to where they were. Instead, they just continue to kill smaller and smaller ones and convince people they are big when they are not. I do not fish for them in the summer when they are deep as all of them die and releasing them does no good. Crappie are showing up under docks in the shade as are big bluegill. Some big crappie are just off steep banks on the main lake at the drop-off. It is a typical July for fishing. Bass are coming into the bank in the evening to feed on this year's spawn and can be caught on spinner baits, swim baits, salt craws and crank baits. Plan on losing some lures in the brush.