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 Welch family from Elcho, Wisconsin continue to catch some nice fish here at Blackburns. Nice people. Image titleImage title

The lake level is 554.11 and has risen 1-inch in the last 24-hours. We received 0.9 inches of rain in the storm last evening. It has been windy. The White River at Newport is 7.68 feet and rising indicating more water is being released into the White River. Norfork is running minimum flow and have sluice gates open just a fraction of a generator. I thought they may be rusted shut. They could have the White River at 12- feet or as much as 21-feet if they wanted to but have kept it a 2-3 feet most of the fall and all winter until now. It would be nice to have Norfork at about 548 going into May to give us a little surge capacity going into the spring rains. The surface water temperature is 49-degrees but should drop quickly with the upcoming cold weather. There are big flocks of Junco (Snow Birds) at my feeders and in the past that has indicated foul weather is on the way. They are seldom wrong and feed up before bad weather. I could see my lure down about 4-5 feet last evening and the water clarity is not as good as in the past at this time of year. The people that like wind and bad weather to catch fish are going to get their way. The wind is not my friend but I do not see them out there anyway. The striper trollers are all in a covey in the same place and center console boats are wall to wall and they are catching stripers and hybrids in the 5-7 pound range with an occasional one at 10-lbs. A few larger crappie are on the shad with them. They are also catching White Bass but I do not count them. One of my favorite sayings is " White Bass are for people that cannot catch anything else and trout are for people that cannot catch White Bass". At least they reproduce and are not put and take and have to be stocked.  Walleye reproduce naturally somewhat in Norfork Lake but I would like to see more stocked. They have a high mortality rate with few people catching and releasing them and most killing all they catch. With the fishing pressure increasing so much on Norfork Lake they do not have much of a chance to grow very big. A 4-pounder is big for the lake but I have caught as big as 10-lbs. 8-ounces but not very many. Most are in the 18-22 inch range with a lot of undersized ones. The current thinking is that high water in the spring makes for a good spawn and is much more effective than stocking. I remember several years ago when Black-Nosed Crappie were intoduced into Norfork to see the effects of cross-breeding with White and Black Crappie and how the overall crappie population would be affected. Now there are Black-Nosed Crappie everywhere. That must mean stocking helps at least somewhat. I like walleye, crappie, bass and catfish the best but a big old red-ear bluegill is not bad either and you do not have to cut out the red meat. Please get your deposits in to hold the cabin and boat of your choice so you will not be disappointed and lose your seniority by January 15th. Debbie reports never having so many advance bookings for spring and summer. Give her a call at 870-492-5115. We have made a lot of improvements and you will like what you see when you get here and like our no price increases better. We want you to have an affordable vacation and will not charge you too much. No we are not for sale and you will not have to break in new owners. We like it here.