Norfork Lake Arkansas near Mountain Home in the Ozarks Mountains Fishing Report and Lake Condition and Fall Foliage Report by Scuba Steve from Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental.

Why do so many trick or treaters come to Blackburns?  Because Debbie gives them a lot of loot. And I mean a lot. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 552.89 and has risen a little less than 1/2 inch in the last 24-hours with 1/2 generator running for 1-hour. The White River at Newport is 3.2 ft. so not much water is being let out anywhere. The weather has been beautiful with highs in the 70's with sunny skies and light wind. It is to continue all week except for Saturday when there is a chance of rain and then continue again. The fall foliage has peaked and there is not much color on the hillsides around the lake but it is pretty good on some roadways in the country and in people's yards with ornamental plants. The incessant wind has blown much of it off and I am glad that is over for now. It was getting old. The high pressure, light wind and sunny skies has not done much for fishing but it is nice to be out in. The surface water temperature is still about 66 in the mornings and warms a little in the afternoon sunshine especially in the creeks. The water appears pretty clear form the surface, especially near the shore but is cloudy starting at about 10-12 feet down with little visibility at 25-ft. It usually clears way up in October but not this year. Now that it is November we have been able to Scuba Dive in seven months this year. That is pretty good. We should be able to get in at least another week. I hate to give up on a season. Dive on sunny days and pole fish on cloudy ones. Not too bad of a schedule.  There is usually steady cooling this time of year but not this year. The water cools for a few days and the fish move out into the main lake in the warmer water and then it warms back up again, especially in the creeks which warm and cool faster, and then they move back. When it warms up and the wind blows from the south into the south facing creeks the fish are there near the shore and then when the opposite happens they move out into open water. This has happened a few times this fall already. Nothing is very hungry with all of the shad in open water and creek minnows, bass minnows, crappie minnows and bluegill minnows around all cover in the creeks. I do not understand the talk about a top-water bite in November. I have not heard of it. There was one earlier in October and that is normal. Others wanting the water to cool for striper fishing may not want too much of that. Many years, when it gets cold in December and January the stripers move on the edge of the creek channels in deep water around the bridges and get lockjaw. Boats are trolling all over the place across from Panther Bay with very few fish being caught. The best bet for a striper bite is just before the full moon and up to it in November which is the 8th, when they move to their normal banks to feed at dark. This does not always happen but you have you get out there to find out. As far as I know it is not predictable but it can be fun. I used to go with Bink every year and catch some giant fish but not the last few years when it has not happened. I do not know if something has changed or just that most of the big stripers are gone.  There is not much exciting happening or about to happen but several schools of temperate bass will move to the mouths of the creeks in open water and trollers can catch them dragging stuff through shad. Me, I will be spooning and jigging brushpiles for crappie, walleye and bass during the day and hitting the shoreline in the evening just before dark on wind blown banks with a grub.  Overall fishing now is just fair. Blackburns is still the home of the $59/day one bedroom cabins and $77/day two bedroom cabins and they come with a free stall for your boat. 3&4 bedrooms are prices accordingly. Right now is an excellent time to visit. Why pay more unless you just have too much money? If you do, stay here and give the difference to disabled Veterans. Time change is Saturday night the 5th of this month. I do not like it getting dark so early but if it keeps children from having to get on the school bus in the dark it is fine with me. My only concern is what it does to happy hour. I get confused when it starts but get confused quite easily anyway but do know where the fish are. That you can be sure of.