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 554.23 and has dropped three inches in the last 24-hours with both generators running continuously. It is up 2.25 feet from it's low of 551.98 earlier in february.  The White River at Newport is 22-feet and that is good. The ambient temperature was 53 degrees, it was sunny with light winds from the west and a beautiful afternoon when I went out fishing yesterday. The high pressure is here for a while and it is to get warmer for the next several days until it hits 70 just in time to welcome march tomorrow. Most of the packed sleet is gone but not all. It is slow melting and I still had ice in the back of my boat. The main lake was very clear and you could see your lure down about 7-8 feet and the creeks were stained a little more. The surface water temperature was 46-degrees. I fished 25-ft. brush with both grubs and jigs for about two hours and struggled with my fish locator but mostly knew where the brush piles were anyway. I guess I am going to have to trade in my 4-ID Hummingbird that I bought in 1986. I hear they have colored ones now. I wonder if they can tell brown fish from silver ones. I caught four bass and four crappie but no picture fish. Fishing overall was just fair. I did not lose any or break anything off but they were all keepers. There was no drama.  People ask me how to catch open water temperate bass. I do not fish for them much anymore but the way I see it is to buy a $3,000 36-volt trolling motor that self deploys with the transducer built in the head and has spotlock or anchor and remote control so you do not have to move from your seat. The three gel batteries cost anout $600. Next is to buy a $3,000 fish locator with down and side imaging with GPS and many colored big screens that interacts with your new trolling motor. You then need a livescope with 360 degree imaging at about $1,800 so you can see the fish better. Get yourself a good throw net and learn how to use it and a round live tank with aeration and get up before first light and find and net some shad. Get a center console boat with six or eight rod holders, a couple of downriggers, mulitiple planer boards and a big package of balloons, and you are nearly ready after you get multiple fishing poles for the rod holders. You can substitute what they call umbrella rigs with big weighted lures on wire spreader bars with multiple hooks that weigh about 5-lbs for the live bait rigs or just clip  a weight on the line in front of a crankbait to get it down further. Now you are ready. Fill up with gas and then head out to the lake and look for birds. (Usually Gulls or Loons) Troll the before mentioned items through the birds, who know where the fish are, until a fish bites on the rods in your rod holder and reel them in. There can be mulitple bites at the same time so learn how to untangle lines. You must know how fast you are trolling to know how deep your rig is running to get through the birds and on the shad under them. It is important to use what nature provides until they migrate and then you have to learn how to use the other items to find fish. Bass fishermen need this stuff also including power poles to keep you from going downstream in current rivers and holding their position. They are not used much in a 200-ft. deep lake like Norfork because the poles have to be so tall and are hard to transport under bridges.They then arbitrarily beat the banks with a hand painted $25 crankbait staying several feet from the shore, usually as far as they can cast. Be careful when you hang the lure up on a tree or rock on the shore and try to retrieve it that you do not destroy the trolling motor. It is worth much more than the $25 lure.That about sums it up. It about prices out some of us poor people but a few of us catch a few fish anyway. Jig heads and soft plastics cost enough let alone the gas to troll. If you wear out your big motor trolling you can get a new 150-HP for about $13,000 and that is better than a new $75,000 boat. Spare no costs to get those fish. I am not sure if live scopes make the fish bite or not but I have a lot of people with them say they can see the fish down there but cannot catch them. There lies the eternal problem. Getting them to bite. I already know where they are.