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

Rum Binkley can teach a lot of us how to do a better job of Spooning. She can do it with a rod in both hands and hardly ever misses a fish. Image title

The lake level is 566.39 and has dropped 2-1/2 inches in the last 24 hours with generation about 60% of the time. The lake surface temperature has dropped just below 90 degrees again with the cooler nights. It has to be really hot to keep it above 90 degrees but ambient temperatures in the mid 90's are coming back again late this week and early next week. This is normal for late July and early August. They are typically the two hottest weeks of the year. I do not complain about the hot weather as I have had my share of cold weather living in Minnesota and Maine. Cross country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing does not interest me anymore. Neither do black flies and mosquitoes and the absence of these is one reason why I live here in Northern Arkansas. The Purple Martins have left the area for the year and I miss them already. I love hearing and watching them and they keep the flying insects in check. We keep getting more each year and I keep adding houses. Blackburns is an official Arkansas State Bird Sanctuary and have many birds and houses of all kinds. Their feed bill is more than my grocery bill but I do not mind. Blackburns is full again this week with several boats rented but have a few openings for next week. There is still time for a short vacation before the children start school so come on down. We will not charge you too much.  Fishing has not changed except the top-water bite is scarce now and you cannot depend on it. Spoons are the best bait  and trollers are having a hard time. I do not do trolling and do not get much kick out of dragging several lines with rods in holders  using either live bait or crank baits. They miss too many fish and you do not feel the bite or set the hook at the right time. I can barely drive one rod without getting into trouble.  You can lose fish jigging the spoon also if you do not know the right technique. Drop the spoon to the bottom, crank the spoon up two feet per reel turn, depending on the datio, most are 2-1, to the desired depth. Crank your drag down tight. Snap your line up three to five feet and allow it to drop on slack line. Do not snap it up higher than you can set your hook even if they hit at the top. Many beginners do this. Set the hook good as stripers have a hard mouth. I have had several big fish come loose in the net when the line went slack even after I tried to set the hook and brought them in. After the hook is set loosen the drag quickly, keeping your thumb on the reel and then adjust as to the size of the fish. You cannot do this with the rod in the holder and this is why trollers miss so many fish and good spooners do not. It does take some practice but is worth it as we spoon for much of the year. It takes more practice to not lose spoons when fishing in brush but I will go into that some other time. I seldom lose spoons unless I hook another line than has been broken off and is still hung up in the brush. That is very hard to get out especially when the guy that lost his lure in the first place used heavy line or braided line. I never use braided line on Norfork even in stained water. I just put on 4-lb.clear flourocarbon on my crappie reel, 6-lb on my bass and walleye reel, both bait caster and spinning, and 8-lb on my bait caster for striper and hybrids. I feel more confortable bringing in a big fish on a baitcaster for some reason. Bink uses a little heavier on his bait caster and I used to but most of the big stripers are gone. I seldom get broken off, amost never. I only use a swivels on spoons to keep the line from twisting and no snaps. Everything else I tie directly to the lure. Re-tie after each walleye. Also Northerns but we do not have them here. Blackburns continues to be the headquarters for Veterans and Police and especially welcome them here.