Norfork Lake Conditions and fishing report By Scuba Steve From Blackburns Resort and Boat Rental Near Mountain Home (click here for comments)

It was warm with several boats out yesterday. The lake level is at 552.96 and stable with no generation for two days except the wonderful minimum flow. I started out spooning brush piles in the 25-30 ft. range and could catch nothing but small fish. Not interested in that so I went looking. I was surprised to find good sized crappie (11-12inches) shallow and near the bank. Caught several of those for the pond casting the grub and minnow and went bass fishing. Being determined to find fish on the wind blown banks I worked them for about an hour and again caught nothing but small fish. Going back to the south facing main lake steep river channel banks produced some more crappie and good keeper smallmouth bass. I am surprised to find as many larger fish shallow now but it is a reflection of the shad location. It may be an indication of red meat fish moving in to feed shallow but I am not sure.  Small fish on brush are quite easily caught if that is what you want. Now is the challenge to get the big ones. I go for size not numbers and you have to be versatile. Catfishers can catch some good channels on trotlines with live bait part way back in the creeks. Some are also biting spoons.  I have several under the dock now but prefer to keep them, crappie and bluegill for the children. They have so much fun catching them and I feed them multi-times a day. It is near 80 degrees today with a cold front moving in late tonight or early morning with highs dropping to the high 50's. Normal high is 63. Some walleye are feeding just at dark near the bank, moving in ftom the flats and main lake points. There are a lot of fish around Cranfield Island but again many are small including stripers and white bass. I am finding some big schools of shad outside the brushpiles in 40-45 ft. of water but am unable to get anything from them. Fall foliage is pretty much a dud but some browns and yellows are showing up.  It is about a week later than normal but is not worth driving here for. The wind blew a lot off.  The lake and hillsides are still beautiful though and I really enjoy being out there. There are a lot of wild life and peace and quiet. There will be a lot of changes before the 200 boat fishing tournament the first week of December. December has been our coldest month for several of the past few years but we did not have much winter last year. The bass are there and the big boys will catch them. They always do.