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.

Caught on Top-Water yesterday fishing with Bink's Guide Service. Bink books about 100 trips a year out of Blackburns. Image title

The lake level is 558.74 and has dropped 7-inches in the last 24-hours with one generator running continuously and spillway gates open to an equivalent of another 2.2 generators. They lowered the gates just a bit yesterday. The water is trying to clear despite the heavy water releases and incessant wind but is still tea colored in Blackburns area.  The wind has been making it hard to fish during the day. It is best to get out early until the wind builds with the ambient temperature and then again in the evening when it slows a bit when it cools but it has been persistent. It has been predominately from the south but switches to from the north with the weekly cold fronts which we are to get another again on Saturday when it is to get down to near freezing. This front coming up is concerning with possible severe weather. Somebody is to get 2-3 inches of rain, wind and hail but it could go just south of us. We are going to get something it just depends on where the warm air from the gulf meets the cold front. These just keep happening and we keep missing but we are in the bulls eye for this one on Thursday agains. After that the high pressure and cold air makes for some cold nightitme lows until it warms again and the whole thing starts over.  That is why fishing is so up and down. First the Black Bass do not like the quick dropping water level with the heavy releases and can feel the water falling around them and will not make a nest to spawn especially when the drop is consistent as it has been for the last two weeks. The Smallmouth bite had just started  when they started generating heavily and has now slowed. It will start again when the water stabilizes. Crappie are not as sensitive and the eggs hatch 2-3 days from fertilization and feed on the egg sacs for another 3 or 4 days and are then gone. That is why it is critical not to catch the male crappie off the nests for about a week after spawn or the nests are left unguarded and the bluegill with eat the eggs faster than you can kiss a duck. If you need meat or do not care about the fish population go ahead and catch dock floors full of them. It is easy and not much to brag about. Trolling the shoreline is the worse thing you can do. I wait until the fish spawn and move back to the brush piles. The same goes for bed fishing bass. I do not do that either. When you catch them then you know exactly what you are doing. Go out and catch and kill some White Bass or catfish for meat. What we need for a consistent morning top-water bite is warm nights. When the ambient nightime low is about 55-degrees the fish will come up big time in the mornings just at sunrise. On cold mornings they do not. They came up this morning and will come up tomorrow so try the normal places. Panther Creek is a good place to start.  Smaller Stripers, White Bass and walleye are all together. I have never seem so many walleye on top-water before. I attribute it to the absence of the big stripers but am not sure. That has been the biggest change in the lake except for another absence which is the Dawt Mill Dam. Those two things have changed the lake the most.  I caught my third tagged bass and again donated the reward back to the Game and Fish. I make my living off the lake and fishing is a part of it and they do a great job of keeping it a good fishery.  Some make their living on seeing how many fish they can kill. Catch a few, keep a few and release a few. Blackburns is the home of the $59/day one bedroom cabins and a free boat stall comes with your cabin. All are individual with no duplexes but have big covered porches to get out of the sun and rain. There is plenty of parking and you can launch your boat right here and do not have to try and drive down a cliff to get to the dock. Sorry we do not allow 4-wheelers or tents. Those are for campgrounds and all campgrounds are now open. I quit tent camping the day after I got out of the military and am not likely to do it again.  I carried that 1/2 tent for more miles than I want to remember.