Norfork Lake Condition and Fishing Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental (click here for comments)

John Bornhop with a nice Hybrid.Image title

The lake level is 553.37 and has risen 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with less than 1/2 generator running for a few hours. Again, there is no effort to drop the lake. We have received over 2-inches of rain here at Blackburns since yesterday and it is still raining with no signs of stopping. The creeks are not running yet. It is cool and the wind is to pick up and get stiff again later today. These cold fronts and wind just keep coming through this time of year and that is why November is our rainiest month. It is getting a little early start this year after very dry weather this summer. The ground is getting saturated and if there is rain in the Norfork watershed in Missouri the lake will rise more quickly, especially if they refuse to generate. The surface water temperature is just under 70 degrees here on the main lake and it will start to turn over soon. The more quickly the ambient temperature drops the more quickly it will turn. The last few years it has been gradual but always seems to at least get started or even finished by the end of October. The water will clear after it finishes barring any big rains and the good fishing will begin. The full moon in November, which is the 19th, is typically a good time for striper fishing. It will be very interesting to see how this pans out this year. Last year the night bite for them feeding on the bank just at dark did not happen but it has many years in the past. This used to be a good time to catch the very large ones. I would go out on the shadowy banks in the evening and fish soft plastics for walleye and then switch to a stick bait as dark approached with good results. Things sure do change. The March night bite on the bank during spawn is not even happening much and it used to be the best time except for the top-water bite starting in April. I remember seeing acres of stripers, hybrids and white bass surfacing in April in Panther Creek in the mornings. Not so now. The best top-water bite now on Norfork is the bass with a few temperate bass mixed in.  I sure hope the stripers make a comeback and they would if they would not keep the water so high all summer and people would quit over-fishing and killing them.  I hope game and fish do not quit stocking them but they could. Walleye fishing is picking up nicely and there are a lot of fish just short of the 18-inch limit and should reach that length next year. It was cool and rainy when I went out yesterday and not much had changed. Fishing was fair with crappie, bluegill, catfish and Kentucky bass baing the best bite. I caught some for Tom Kelly's trophy pond, delivered them and went back to plumbing and moving in new furniture. We cannot wait for spring to make improvements here at Blackburns as the season gets very busy early in March and we are making a lot of them. We have installed kitchen cabinets, counter tops, air conditioners with heaters and many new mattresses, furniture and recliners. The people at Furniture  Depot are very nice, have high quality furniture, a good inventory and very good prices. I recommend them highly. We are trying very hard and are committed to holding the $59/day cabin rental price in the off-season but it is getting very difficult. Very difficult. We just do not want to charge our customers too much. You should just not do that to your friends. By the time most people fill up with gas and buy food there is just not much left and we want them to come here on vacation. We have been here for a long time and do not need much and spend almost all we make on improvements when we can get the stuff. Several resorts on Norfork are for sale but Blackburns is not. We want it to stay in the family for years to come and are proud of it.