The lake level is 570.03 and rising much more slowly. The surface temperature is 87 degrees and the lake is high but in good condition. There is some floating debris so I do not recommend boating after dark. It is not a lot but enough to ruin your prop if you do not pay attention. The striper fishing continues to be good over the old river channels and they vary in depth but you can find them easily with a good locator. Drop a spoon right on their head. Bink caught a 41-lb. and 31-lb. this morning on his Many Shad Spoon. You can still drive or walk to Blackburns Dock and park on the side of the road and walk about 40-ft. to the dock. We are recommending customers launch their boats at Panther Bay and drive them to Blackburns Dock. A lot of people do not have launching capabilities anyway. We have a big crowd and a lot of nice people. Come on down. We are in the dog days of summer and it is very warm.
The lake continues to rise but Norfork seems to be the best alternative to the other area lakes. You can still drive or walk to Blackburns dock and go down some steps and get on the dock and park on the road. We have no diminished services. I am still launching boats here but you might want to launch your boat at Panther Bay and drive your boat to Blackburns dock where it can remain for the length of your stay. With no rain coming for the next week they will have to let some water out sooner or later. I do not understand why they are still trying to regulate Newport at 12-feet. The lake is not muddy or dirty and is actually pretty clear. We have not received the rain compared to other places and the creeks have not run. We are just holding other people’s water with very little generation not keeping up with the river inflow. Guests here are enjoying the lake and having fun. Many areas have no dock or lake access but Blackburns has. Come on down. We just have more lake to play in.
Typical summer with pop up showers in the heat of the day. It was a very busy holiday with high boat traffic. Things are much better now. Some people are really rough on things but I guess that is now the nature of the business. When I was young and my family stayed at a resort we would work very hard to leave things as they were when we got there. We would not relocate grills, picnic tables and rearrange furniture in the cabins. When we left the dishes were washed and trash was hauled and things were in good shape. We wanted the owners to not think we were pigs and would be glad to see us back. My father and mother taught us respect. Things they are a changin. Blackburns is fortunate that we have many repeat customers that are our friends and help with everything. It just takes a few people with no respect to go a long way. It makes Debbie and Susan want to cry when they see how some people leave things after they worked so hard to make them nice.
Bink reports stripers are 40-60 feet deep suspended over the old creek channel. They may be in 100 feet of water but are all over the lake . Creek channel is the key and spoon is the best bait. It can be fished at any depth in a matter of seconds and it looks and sounds like shad. He is catching a lot of big fish everyday.
Fortunately we were dry and the creeks did not run but the lake has come up about 6-inches with little generation. They are going to keep Newport at below 12-feet for some reason and let little water out. Most of the raise came last night about 24-hours after the rain indicating it came from Missouri. Fortunately Norfork is in good condition and pretty clear. I went diving yesterday and had good luck. The thermocline is at 23 feet with cold water at 26-feet. I found the walleye in front of a brush pile at 30-feet. There is an increase in boat traffic with most of it being people on pontoons dragging kids around on chaise loungers. I wonder what happened to water skiing? I am out there everyday and see very few skiers. Bink reports the stripers are in 45-60 feet of water and can be caught on a jigging spoon. He is catching several everyday. I am seeing no crappie except just a few caught off docks. My brush piles are in 40-ft. of water or more and are just too deep. I do not fish other people’s brush. I am getting some good walleye diving everyday but am seeing very few fish from 0-40 foot. They must all be suspended on shad except smallmouth bass which are in 19-28 feet on bass fry. It is very hard for a diver to spear suspended fish. Be prepared to swim quite a ways between keeper fish. I would put in brush now at 30-feet if I could. The trees would be easily got and the fish would go right to them. I cannot because my permit expired on April 30th. The lake is creeping up but we are in much better shape than most other lakes except Table Rock where they will never let it get high due to Branson. It is all about the money and politics. Looks to be a very busy holiday. It is not something I look forward to. There is little debris in the lake but be very careful when going out after dark and scout your path before dark and take it easy. We do not have a no wake law like Lake of The Ozarks but it is a good Idea after dark. Everything happens on Saturday night and when you couple that with the 4th of July safety should be of the highest concern. There will be a lot of law out there. Do not be in the paper on Monday.
I went diving yesterday and the walleye have moved a bit deeper and are in their normal places in front of brush piles in 26-28 feet of water. Normally they are in the brush but it is still too deep. They are feeding on bass fingerlings. This provides an opportunity for those who like to troll nightcrawlers since they will not get snagged in brush nearly as much. I got two very nice ones in the 3-4 pound range in 28 feet on the bottom or just a couple of feet above. The visibility is still diminishing and the fish are in the cloudy water below the thermocline which is also dropping. You have to move slow with no quick motions. They are more spooky than normal. I have to swim quite a ways before I find any fish and then there they are. I am also starting to see schools of White Bass near the walleye but very few others. Smallmouth bass are shallower and are everywhere with a lot of small ones. I am seeing very few black bass but am after walleye anyway. If you are going spearfishing go sooner than later due to visibility. I am fishing in the Tracy ferry area on the main lake. There are some big ones.
We could get some rain later this week. It is getting dry again. Lake level is stable and when they generate a little it goes down and rises very slowly when they don’t which is most of the time. It has been the same for three days. Level at Newport is below 12 feet but they are still holding like it is never going to rain again. The lake is in good condition with a surface temperature in the mid 80’s. The boat traffic is picking up a little with the upcoming holiday but not bad. Striper fishing remains good and I am getting some very nice walleye diving. They are part way around main lake points below the thermocline at 26-feet near or on the bottom.
It was a wonderful weekend and it continues today. Blackburns has a lot of nice people in with plenty of children and they report having a lot of fun. Blackburns is your family, fishing and diving headquarters. The lake level is stable with a surface temperature in the mid 80’s. Bink reports he has a few openings and is really on the fish. You go with him either morning or evening and he guarantees fish or you do not pay. That is a pretty good deal and he also has the lowest prices and nicest boat. You can stay at Blackburns, go out with Bink and be back to take the family out on the lake. His prices are for two people. Call 870-499-7384 and learn a lot about fishing Norfork Lake with artificial bait. You do not have to go out at 4AM and catch shad with a throw net and troll around until a fish bites and someone hands you a rod. You can do it on your own and do it again the next day with no special equipment. Come on down.
It was badly needed. We were getting dry with the hot sunny skies. It has cooled off to the 80’s now and is very comfortable. We missed the heavy rain they got in Northwest Arkansas and Missouri. Everything is green and the lake is in excellent condition. You do have to walk down some steps to get to the dock but do not have to go somewhere else to launch. I saw a turkey with six chicks, four other big Tom turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, several deer and two Eagles yesterday between the resort and dock. There is wildlife everywhere. Stripers are scattered but are in deeper water and suspended on shad and can be caught on a spoon. The best thing now is to get a good locator and learn how to use it. If you do you can see your spoon going right through the shad on the graph. There is a lot of baitfish outside of the buckbrush and when you see this you can be sure some predators will be near. I like the break from the heat but you can be sure August will bring it back. We are about 1/2 inch above average rainfall for June and the lake has risen a little less than two feet in the last two weeks and remains pretty clear. Come on down and rent a boat. We will not charge you for most boat stalls or trolling motors for pontoons. All cabins have covered porches and are individual with no duplexes. Child and pet friendly.
The visibility has diminished a bit but is still OK. The thermocline is at 21 feet with cold water at 25 feet. I found the big walleye in 22-feet on the insides of main lake points outside of the buckbrush. What I thought was shad in 18-25 feet on the locator turned out to be very large schools of small bass ranging from fry to two or three inches long. The spawn was good because they are everywhere as are smallmouth bass in the 6-8 inch long category. I am not seeing very many big black bass. They must be in open water on shad. There are some though. I am not seeing any white bass yet but several channel cat shallow in the buckbrush. Bluegill are everywhere at about 14-16 feet. Smaller striper in the 8-10 pound range and some hybrids are being brought in everyday but no giant ones. A lot of crappie were caught last week but few this week. Get out early, take the middle of the day off and fish until almost dark for best results. Just finished grading the dock road and everything is ready for your visit and we will not charge you too much.