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

The lake level is 556.20 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours. They quit generating last evening and have not started back up. We are approaching the power pool of 555.75 and they do not want to get there for some reason. They like to keep control and also keep the lake one big rain from being high again. We are very dry and need some rain. The lake is clear again after the holiday and the surface water temperature is 83 degrees. The warm weather and low prices after the summer are still bringing people out to the lake. We are full here at Blackburns and have six boats rented today but have openings starting tomorrow. You can throw all of the past away predicting what will happen according to business and lake traffic. I thought Covid and high water would slow things down but it has been a record year and I have been here for 27 seasons. We took a couple of days to put in new counter tops and cabinets in cabins 5, 12 and 14 and they filled back up the next day. We will resume when Lowe's get more in. Like everything else they are back ordered. This is an economical time to visit Norfork Lake and Blackburns and take advantage of the best prices in the Ozarks. Our pool is still open and it is nearly full as we speak. The weather is great, the water is warm and clear and the price is right. Fishing has changed a bit. Walleye are slowing down except the smaller ones which are schooled where the big ones used to be. The big ones have moved. and may be suspended in deeper water but at the same depth. I have seen this happen before. Much has changed with the absence of the big stripers and there is less competition for food. Many schools of shad do not have any game fish dogging them and are schooled tight. I have never seen more bait fish as I have seen now. I have seen more shad before but not nearly as many fingerling bluegill, bass and creek minnows. They are everywhere. Trollers are catching and killing some stripers in 30-35 ft. range but they are small and about 5-6 lbs. I do not expect a striper kill this year mostly because they did not go deep to find an oxygen bubble and the oxygen stayed good in the 30-ft. range and also because the big ones are already gone. It will take several years to get them back and it will not happen if they keep killing the ones that are just starting to grow and the absence of the 2020 stockings due to Covid. That class is non-existent. A private person did stock a few thousand but nothing compared to a normal year.  The crappie that I am catching are all good sized and all on brush ranging from 27-33 feet about 20-25 ft. down. Kentucky bass and catfish are on the bottom in the same brush. Some bass are on shad back in the creeks in the evening and others are on the bank on other bait fish. Big Bluegill are under docks and biting crickets.