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

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The lake level is 553.75 and has dropped one inch in the last 24-hours with a little over one generator running for 7-8 hours. It is very cloudy today with a good chance of light rain. It now looks like the best chance with be on Saturday with cloudy conditions until Sunday but not much accumulation. We need it badly. There is starting to be a top-water bite out early, mostly for bass, coming up on shad. Use a Spook Puppy and learn how to work the lure. A clear one is best if it is sunny and a white one if it is cloudy. The clear one glistens in the sun.  A medium heavy rod is best for this type of fishing to have some backbone to walk the dog. Once you get your lure working properly keep it going over the fish area steady and do not stop. Swish, swish, swish. Even if they quit coming to the surface they will come up to get it. When they go deeper switch to the spoon and drop it on their heads. Some bait fish are moving out into deeper water now that were right outside the brush.  The surface water temperature ranges from 78+ degrees in the morning to about 80 in the afternoon and should drop a little without little sunshine for the next several days. The water remains a little stained green with the reduced generation. I have been fishing mostly for Crappie and Kentucky Bass for the last few weeks with some good results on both the 1/4 and 3/8th ounce spoon and the 1/16th ounce jig. The crappie have ranged from about 11-inches to 15-inches with no throwbacks. I have seen no change in size and the bite has not been fast but very steady even in the middle of the day. The Kentucky Bass and Catfish have been right with them in the same brush but a different depths. You do not really know what you are going to catch. I am catching a few more fish in shallower brush than before but it is the same place just lower because of the lake level drop. I was sticking in 32-ft. of water, now not so much. Most of my brush ranges from 29-33 ft. at this time. I try to put them in at 25-ft. at 552 but have put more in at lower depths with the new norm of holding the lakes up for so high for so long. If they are too shallow there will be no fish on them in the summer as the thermocline drops to the 30-ft. range and vice versa if they are too deep. 25-ft. will be a good depth to fish after the turnover. After that happens I like to fish for crappie on a slip float and live minnows over 25-ft. brush and set the depth about 3-5 feet deeper than you can see your bait. Minnow fishing has just improved in the last few days and was very slow. Before you had to get reaction strikes by putting the lure right on their heads. There is no new fall  pattern or summer pattern just gradual changes. You cannot just do the same old thing and repeat without several disappointing days. The good bass fishermen are catching some nice largemouth but I have not started to fish for them or smallmouth yet. I do not use buzz baits, crank baits or spinner baits but they all work sometimes. If you took a spoon, top-water lure, stick bait, grub, creature bait and jig away from me I would be helpless. Blackburns is full again starting tomorrow with people still taking advantage of the best prices on both cabins and boat rentals in the area. You can still get a 1-bedroom cabin for $59/day with a free boat stall. All cabins are individual with no duplexes, have parking for your boat and trailer if you pull your boat out and have outside plug-ins. We are not huddled up on a hillside with very little parking and have launching on site. No need to go someplace else to launch your boat. We have it all here at Blackburns and at the best price. Come on down. We will not chage you too much. Fishing overall is just fair with crappie, bass, catfish and bluegill being the best bite.