Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Region fishing report and lake condition by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

The lake level is 553.82 and has dropped 1/2 inch with alternating several hours of both generators, one generator and then nothing. The White River at Newport is at 19-feet so they are doing what they can to mitigate the rise in the area lakes. With the cold weather going all the way down to the gulf you would thing they need electricity somewhere but we are still barely in the flood pool. We will see waht happens when it gets below 553.75 again. Time is running out to drop the lake for the winter. It was sunny with light winds when I went out yesterday afternoon with an ambient temperature of near 40 and not bad at all. I was able to fish with light gloves and no ice in my reel. Much better than the day before but it cooled off fast at sunset. The surface water temperature was 55-degrees on the main lake where I was fishing and the water was not as clear as earlier. You could see your lure down a couple of feet but that changes almost daily. The lake usually clears when the water temperature drops in the winter but there is no normal anymore. You have to be out there almost everyday to write an accurate report. I am surprised that more temperate bass are not coming in as I saw big schools of shad with fish under them on my way to my fishing bank. I am not after them but several people are still trying to finish cleaning the larger ones still there out. I fished until dark and caught only two keeper Kentucky Bass and two crappie and none were big or picture fish. It was slow to say the best and there were only four bites in 2+ hours using the green stingray grub near the bank. All fish were in chunk rocks in about 10-ft. of water on  drop-offs. It is warmer today but the wind is coming up. It is 40-degrees out and it is not noon yet. The normal high is 43. It is to get cold again thursday night and then warm up to near 50 but with gusty winds moving back and forth from the north to the south. The creeks are stained but the brown has settled out at least in this area. It did not quite make it to my dock. The three inches of rain did wash out the road a little but I will fix that. It was not nearly as bad as the last big rain but was enough. It is time again for the Corps of Engineers to issure fish cover permits for Norfork Lake. They do this every other year now instead of every year. Bull Shoals is every year. That makes sense as the Norfork basin was cleared of trees when preparing to flood and Bull Shoals was not. Go figure. Norfork needs the cover more. Here are the new rules as I see them for getting a permit. Go to the Corps office before 4:30 PM by this friday and fill out a form. They will draw out 50-names for each lake to determine who gets the permits. I went yesterday.  This is a good chance for people to put in their own brush and not just go to places where others have worked hard to do so. Resort owners should do this for their customers. The Game and Fish did a good job of replentishing the old Corps brush piles that had been neglected for several years but that was over two years ago and the best ones need freshened up yearly. I sure hope I get one but if not I will help others who do. The more cover the more fish especially for us that do not just chase them around in open water following the birds and dragging stuff through them. No Fireball or Blackberry Brandy are allowed on the boats putting in trees when it is cold.