Norfork Lake fishing, fall foliage and lake conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comments)

The lake level is 553.16 and has been the same for the last 4-days with less than three hours of running one generator. The White River at Newport is now less than 5-ft. and is about ready to dry up. November is our rainiest month. They need to take it down to 547-48 and hold it there for as long as they can without flooding anybody out. That seems to be a simple and good plan but is too complicated for the government. The creeks are stained green but are clear near the bank and on the main lake you can see your lure down about 5-ft. The shallower creeks are cooling faster at night but are also warming more quickly in the afternoon sun. I am still getting a main lake surface water temperature of 72-73 degrees in the afternoons and the ambient temperature is to remain in the 70's and get even in the high 70's later this week. Trollers are starting to pick up some stripers that are left in shallow water on planer boards with big live bait as predicted earlier with the full moon and after a cold front that blows the plankton to the bank and the shad will follow. They can also be caught from late evening to morning on stick baits. This usually happens in November and may continue into the full moon next month. Nobody can predict when this will happen or if it will happen. It used to happen every year but has not most of the last several due to the absence of most of the big stripers. A 30-40 lb. striper used to be big and now they are bragging about 10-15 and there are few of them. Every striper needs to be released until they make a comeback and people need to quit fishing for them deep. Big schools of large white bass are also scarce but a few are showing up as all of the temperate bass are schooled up together along with the bigger largemouth. Some crappie, walleye and catfish are also with them. Several fish are coming to the light under my dock at night. I am still fishing brush piles and the fish are biting anywhere from 18-32 ft. of brush at various levels of suspension. I am catching no picture fish but some pretty good ones.  Big bluegill are biting as well or better than anything and people are having a lot of fun carching them. They also eat well. There are a lot of minnows and fingerling sports fish back in the creeks near the bank and under docks and the Kentucky bass are after them but not many largemouth. The smallmouth were starting to show up but not many now for some reason. They will as there is a good population of them also. Norfork is a good bass, bluegill, crappie, walleye and catfish lake but not all species bite all of the time. There are getting to be too many gar. I wish the Bass Catters good luck friday and saturday. Blackburns is full of them with people taking advantage of the $59/day cabin rental and the first boat stall being free along with launching on site and ample boat and trailer parking with electrical. We are also very close to the take-off point. We are glad to have them back. They should just stay here. We like them. The fall foliage is not changing much and we will keep you informed. Again, I do not expect a brilliant color this year but It could change. Now browns and yellows. The sumac is even going straight to brown with little red. This is not a good sign.