Norfork Lake Conditions and Fishing Report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat rental On Norfork Lake (Click Here to Make Comments)

It was 60 degrees with a 48 degree water temperature when I went out yesterday with no wind. The water color is changing a bit to a little more green than brown but is still dropping 6-inches per day. The level is 560 and they should slow the discharge way down as it approaches 553.75 where the power company takes over part of the control. The corps likes to keep it just above that for some reason. It should take about 12 days for this to happen barring a heavy rain. It needs to be at 550 or less and stable going into spring. There are continuous shad from Blackburns Creek to north of Cranfield and it is a little difficult to find feeding fish because there is so much bait. There is no reason for the predators to go to the bank to feed but there are more fish on shad in 25-30 feet of water than in deeper water. A lot of shad are in 60-80 feet of water about 25-35 feet down but no fish on them. Find shad on the flats in 25-30 feet and you will have a better chance of catching some using a 1/2 ounce jigging spoon. I saw several trollers yesterday but very few fish caught. There are also some bass on the bottom part way back in the creeks in 30-feet and can be caught on the grub. But they are slow too.  There is not really much reason for the big fish to leave the open water. There are very few fish on my brush piles now. The surface temperature is 48 degrees and has been there for several days. I found some 46.5 degree water near the bank by twin coves. We still have a good chance of having a good night bite in March when stripers and walleye move to the bank. Some walleye move up the river to spawn in the next couple of weeks and some stay in the Cranfield area and near the dam. I fish for walleye on shadowy banks before dark with soft plastics and switch to stick baits for stripers at dark. The night bite for stripers does not always happen in the fall when they go to the bank to feed but always does in the spring when they simulate their spawn. It should take about 12 days for the lake to stabilize and start to clear and things will get better fast. Sorry I do not have better news for now. I am not much on football and commercials(they forgot to send me a check again) so I will probably be the only one out there today.  I love to be outside even if I just catch a few fish. Do not keep many anyway. Do not forget the Striper Club meeting on Monday the 22nd. Read an earlier January 22nd blog for details. The AGFC need to know we are interested in the fish stockings.