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.

Darrel Binkley with a good one. Released. Image title

The lake level is 552.62 and has risen a little over 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with two hours of generation. The White River at Newport is 9+ ft. The surface water temperature was 45 and the ambient temperature was 47 when I went out yesterday. The lake clarity is still the same and you could see your lure down about 5-6 feet. It is to be warm today and tomorrow with a low pressure moving in on wednesday afternoon and we could get some significant rain and some wind. We are not in the bullseye for the severe weather which should go south of us but are on the border. The ground is pretty saturated and we could get runoff and a lake rise. They always seem to quit generating when it rains for some reason but they are not doing much of that anyway. Our average rainfall for february is about three inches for the last 10-years and our average high temperature is 50 for this date. February is usually a good fishing month and better than march and then in April it really picks up with May being the best combination of weather and mixed fishing with about everything biting.  April and May are very busy here with people taking advantage of the best prices in the Ozarks here at Blackburns. I am still fishing for bass and crappie with not much luck with walleye. Some days are better than others but I am catching some everyday with most being on brush at 25-27 feet with the bass on the bottom and the crappie about 20-ft. down. Very few fish are hitting on the drop with the bite coming by jigging the spoon or jig straight up and down slowly and touching bottom. When fishing the bank in the evening for bass try to keep your lure near the bottom with out dragging it and keeping it moving. Keep you jig moving also but not a lot. I respooled several reels with 6-pound clear monofiliment yesterday. It has more stretch but has less memory. especially in colder water. I will change back to flourocarbon when it warms up. The new flourocarbon is getting better though.  Do not overspool your spinnning reel and leave a little room on it so it does not slide over the spool. It may not cast quite as smooth but will prevent tangling especially when it gets dark and you have to go by feel. I do not wear glasses but do not have the night vision that I used to have. Also, for some reason, I feel more comfortable bringing a big fish in on a baitcaster. I always spoon with a baitcaster even with small spoons. Big fish bite on little spoons. The only reason that I go to a bigger spoon is to get the lure down faster in deeper water or in the wind and keep the spoon straight up and down and not dragging it. A 1/4 ounce or 3/8th ounce is big enough for about anything unless you are fishing in water over 35 or 40-ft. White is a good color for clear water and I like red eyes with a little red on the spoon and an Arkansas Shiner, black, blue or pink back. The 1-ounce many Shad is good for deep water but I seldom fish in deep water any more to keep from killing the fish when brought up. My favorite jig is the Bobby Garland blue ice baby shad which is 2-inches long and also the blue ice swimmer. It is a little longer and has a small paddle tail which is good for vertical jigging and has a little more action. Do not use more than 6-lb. test line and no snaps, swivels  or other hardware except for the swivel that comes on the spoon to keep it from twisting. I tie my jigs directly to the lead head and use 1/16th ounce white with a red eye. I like a little red on about everything when possible.  4-lb. test is best for crappie and use nothing but clear line on Norfork. You can get by with green line when the water is stained or fishing deep but there is no sense in putting it on. For crappie do not use the multi-hook crappie rigs with the flourescent spreader bars. They work very poorly in Norfork. Try to make the jig or spoon look like it is by itself and not dragging anything especially braided colored line and any hardware and keep it moving. A limber pole is best. When fishing in big schools of shad try and make your lure easier to catch than the shad. Keep it moving but slowly in cold water. When the shad spook your jig or spoon with be the only thing left and the fish will get it. Maybe. Do everything slow in cold water.