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

The lake level is 568.30 and has dropped about 2-inches in the last 24-hours with generation about 60% of the time. The surface water is 85 degrees and appears clear from the surface but there is a mud line at the thermocline at 27-28 feet. This is typical for the end of July but the lake is much clearer than in previous years. Bass in the late evening on worms and salt craws and walleye on 1/2 ounce jigging spoons in 30-32 feet of water near the bottom near brush are the best bite now but bluegill on crickets on shallow brush and under docks is not far behind. Several crappie are being caught but most are small. The live bait trollers are catching some small stripers. The Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a third fishing tournament for October this year on Norfork Lake. The Phoenix Bass Fishing League will have their tournament on October 7-9 and typically have nearly 200 boats followed by the Cystic Fibrosis tournament on the 16th and Bass Cat Invitational on the 22nd-23rd. These are great times to have tournaments with the spawn being over and the lake should be a lot closer to normal level with much better launching and parking facilities. It is better than the spring and a lot of fish will be caught. The lake will turn over during one of these times but it will not hurt bass fishing much. It has been gradual for the last several years and it is not like northern shallow lakes where they turn violently and debris is floated to the surcface and turn muddy killing the fishing.  We just have the thermocline invert and the water is nearly homogenous with equal oxygen, visibility and temperature down several feet. It does scatter the fish a bit as they have no reason to be in any special place except for cover and food. This is an excellent time for spooning brush piles and not just beat the bank. Many other fish will come shallower and follow shad in open water. When you can find baitfish near brush there will be fish there. Blackburns has already received several calls and reservations regarding all of these tournamnets and fishermen are taking advantage of our prices and proximity to Town, dining and shopping. It looks like the busy season will continue through October. We have cabins for $59/day then and you cannot beat that anywhere. All are individual with no duplexes and have covered porches where you can social distance. Launching is available here with plenty of parking and charging facility for your boats. We have the best place with the best price.