Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozark Mountains Region Fishing Report and Lake Conditions by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Jim Bornhop caught some very nice fish. His brother could take a lesson from him. Image title

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The lake level is 552.96 and has dropped 1-1/2 inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running for 6-hours and one generator running for two. The White River at Newport is now at 3.5 feet. This is the first time the lake has been under 553 for months. It was a beautiful day yesterday and the warmth continues today with storms tonight and then cool weather the first of  next week with highs in the 40's. Our normal high is 49. The water had cleared a bit yesterday and the creeks were much clearer especially near the shore. The surface water was still at 59 degrees and the wind was from the northwest at about 5-10. It was pretty good fishing conditions and the lake is in excellent conditions. Fishing overall is just fair for numbers but some nice sized fish are coming in, especially walleye, crappie and Kentucky Bass. For me I am not catching large numbers like last week but the ones that I am catching are good sized. I was catching my self imposed limit of five crappie in about an hour but now it is taking me two if at all. They are still biting best right after sundown until dark. I am still not catching any big black bass but the Kentuckies are over 2-lbs and fat and all of our fishermen are catching them. The spoon is still the best lure with a jig second. White bass are with the crappie in about 35-ft. of water but not very many and not very big. Jim Bornhop caught some big crappie and a 24-inch walleye but also said the numbers are down. Some are catching nothing but we are trying to help them. That is what we do here at Blackburns. We want everyone to catch fish. We show them how to rig their poles and where the brush piles are and how to fish them. The ones that stick to the advice catch fish sooner or later and the ones that go back to their northern, shallow, dark water with vegetation techniques do not. When I see their poles rigged with 20-lb spider wire with a colored leader with a snap on a big ole buzz bait I do not have much hope. When they say they threw everything in the tackle box at them and they still won't bite I give up. Most people listen and start catching fish before they leave and are anxious to come back but some are just disgruntled and want to try another lake. Trust me it is not the lake. It is full of fish but they do not always bite but when they do you have to have the right lure on. Jerk bait in the early spring, use it as a stick bait in the fall, grubs and creature baits late spring and late fall and winter, top-water baits in May and early June and spoons the rest of the time or when the others do not work. I use jigging spoons over 1/2 of all the times I fish. That is about all you need. Bass fishermen use a gitzet to catch fish off the beds in May and early June. I do not do this but it works. Some Crappie fishermen us a light clear line with a balsa slip float and live minnow fished directly over brush. I use a Bobby Garland blue ice baby shad jig.   For catfishing live shiners and bluegill are always the best but some that do not want to pay for the bait use cut bait. I fish for flatheads and they will not bite dead bait. If you are a troller get a good fishfinder, find some shad with fish on them and drag an umbrella or clip a weight on a crankbait and go the right speed to get the rig through the school. If you do this long enough and drag through enough schools you will also catch fish. You can substitute a live gizzard shad for the umbrella if you can find some. This requires a throw net, round bait tank with aearator and going out before daylight. This is not for me either but it works. I takes all kinds and that is what makes Norfork Special but not easy.