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.

John Bornhop is catching and releasing several of these daily using a Bink's Spoon. Image title

The lake level is 553.66 and has been the same for two days with no dam discharge except for minimum flow. It is getting dry again and we could use some rain. The surface water temperature is 50-degrees and dropping with the cold weather. Highs are in the low 40's and lows in the 20's. Tomorrow looks to be a little warmer and then cold again. We have had no winter so far. The water has stained a bit on the main lake but clears as you go south. The surface water temperature was 50-degrees, the level was 553.49 and the water stained up on this exact date last year. The only problem is that they flooded us out the end of March last year when they again refused to drop the lake level in the winter. They say we may need higher levels if we have a drought. They might not be able to control how much water flows into the lakes but they can sure control how much goes out. I seems very simple to me. Just do not let out any water when it gets too low. They are good at doing that. They just seem to like to keep us just one big rain from flooding out. 548 would be a good level going into May and quit shutting everything down everytime it rains. Blackburns has several good fishermen in and they are catching some fish but not a lot. The trollers are catching a few White Bass and small Stripers but are working hard and looking long for them. I get a kick out of some of them. They pay $3,000 for a live scope, $3,000 for a fish finder and then follow the birds. If you want to draw a covey of center console boats just go over by the bridges and feed the Sea Gulls. Others buy the same things and beat the bank. Bass fishing is getting better but not as many are on their normal winter banks as usual and remain in open water on shad along with some of the large Crappie and Walleye. I am not sure why but it could be they are taking the place of the big stripers that are gone or it also could be that the lake brush piles are getting old. The Game and Fish replentished all of the so called Corps of Engineers brush piles in November of 2018 which had been neglected until then and it really helped the fishing. The artificial cover also installed just does not work as well as a fresh green cedar tree. Another factor is the Corps of Engineers are not issuing Norfork lake fish cover permits and have not for several years. Norfork is the oldest lake and they cleared out the basin before flooding. All cover has to be put in. They realized this was a mistake and did not remove cover later when Bull Shoals was built. The main reason Norfork was built was to create government jobs and removal of cover created a lot of them. They were not needed nearly as bad when Bull Shoals was built. They allow cover permits for Bull Shoals most years and do not allow on Norfork. One needs them the other does not. I know there are a lot of dead trees on the shoreline on Norfork but that is because the lake has been held too high for too long killing the trees. Limb lines are about a thing of the past. Even the buckbrush is dead. Blackburns has 28-acres of Cedar forrest and will cut some of these and haul to the lake to replentish and install new brush piles for our customers starting next week. They need thinned out anyway. Come on down and we will show you where they are located. I wish more people would do this.  It really helps the lake and fishing. Maybe Game and Fish can do their thing again. They have better equipment.