Tom Kelly caught and released this guy under the dock yesterday.
The lake level is 553.42 and has risen 3/4 of an inch in the last 24-hours with only one hour of running one generator. The White river at Newport is 6.65 ft.. Southwestern Power just does not want to generate electricity. The lake is at a good level now but there is not much room for any water level surge. We start having problems at 560 ft. We shoild be at 548 by now. Binks, John, Mike, Tom and myself all went fishing yesterday and caught fish. We are not trying to write reports from vacation remotely but are out there everyday. None of us troll but we talked to a troller and he said he caught some white bass and smaller stripers dragging an umbrella and a crankbait with a weight clipped on the line to get it down but had to go for a long ways to get some. We were all spooning brush piles. I also saw a boat putting in a couple of Christmas Trees in Blackburns Creek and that was a welcome sight. Every little bit helps and it would be good if more people do it to help the fishing. Lots of fishermen like to fish brush but few help put any in. I never fish any but the ones that I have installed but do not need to. I have been putting them in for 28-years and they really hold fish. We will start as soon as we can get a permit from the Corps of Engineers in January but if they do not issue any we will cut cedar trees from my 28-acres of wooded area and trailer them to the lake. Blackburns has plenty of them and they need thinning. The surface water temperature is 49-degrees in this area and still 50 near the dam. As long as it does not get below 40 we will not have a significant shad kill. They are very abundant now and many schools are not holding any fish and that is why trollers are having a hard time but if you drag stuff through enough shad you will eventually catch some. It is very monotonous, burns a lot of gas and is hard on boat motors especially if you shift them in and out of gear. There is not much skill involved but you can catch some fish if you do not know any other way. I like feeling the thump and setting the hook but if you are a meat hunter it works. There were several boats out there yesterday in the warm weather with light wind. Fishing pressure is getting greater and greater as more people move here and it sure is not like what it was several years ago when I would be nearly the only boat out in cold weather. The boat traffic is the greatest in this area that is closest to town and Panther Bay boat ramp was full. When I was out with Bink the day before we never saw one other boat near the dam and everything was deserted. Overall fishing is getting a little better but still not the best except for spooning white bass in deep water on the bottom. I am not much interested in them but will try for a few crappie later today after my work is done. I will stick to walleye and crappie but still like those catfish and bass also. Give Debbie a call at 870-492-5115 for your spring trip. There will be no price increases here at Blackburns again this year but that has not stopped us from our policy of continuous improvement. You will like what you see when you get here and we will not charge you too much. Friends do not charge friends too much or increase their price.