Cental Waters

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August 20th, 2009

URBAN LAKES – Fishing is a bit slow but for the persistent, early rising angler it can be productive.  Bass and catfish will both take live worms fished on the bottom with a foot or so leader.  If you are into bobber fishing throw a piece of worm or a meal worm below a bobber, adjust the length of line below the bobber to try different depths to catch sunfish.  Carp will take a hook completely covered with corn fished on the bottom with a leader.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Bluegill are biting meal worms under a bobber at the fishing docks.

Don’t forget the current bag limit for largemouth bass at Town Lake is four fish per day with a 13-inch minimum length restriction.

There are also no gas powered boats allowed on the lake and Tempe Town Lake permits are available at the City of Tempe Town Lake Operations Center, 620 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281. Phone: (480) 350-8625.
LAKE PLEASANT - Lake elevation 1,657 ft (55-percent full).
An angler fished the Aqua Fria and came upon a real good shad boil that lasted nearly an hour.  They boated 13 stripers and a couple white bass using top water lures.

Rich Stevenson, a retired Game and Fish biologist, fished the flats in 20 feet of water using anchovies as bait, and the bite was between 10:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. He and his son caught eight small stripers and three five keepers (two in the 3-pound range).

Where: Lake Pleasant
When: 08/15/09
Caught: Strippers & Largemouth Bass
Technique: Worms and shad
Comments: Jarrot, Rick, and James caught 60 strippers and one largemouth near the elevation marker, back about 100 feet from it. We used worms for the first half of the night with great success, then netted some shad for the second half. Jarrot caught his first 16 fish ever, Rick also caught 16, and James brought in 29. Great 6 hours of fishing!
Name: James

ROOSEVELT LAKE — Lake Elevation is 2,139 ft (86-percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 127 cfs.

A group of anglers employed the Carolina rig in 15 to 30 feet of water with dark colored Power Worms and Senkos and had a productive outing with everybody catching at least one bass.

We were out Saturday on a creel and noticed a few floating bass with extended swim bladders.  I know all catch and release anglers want the fish to survive after released. My suggestion is to employ the technique used by the better tournament sponsors.  Get a milk crate and a rope at least 30 feet in length.  You may need to attach a length of chain if your crate is on the light side.  Put your milk crate with attached chain and line over the fish and slowly let it down.  Make sure the substrate is no greater than 40 or 50 feet in depth.  Once the fish is deep enough they will swim out of the crate but may not swim out if they can’t see the ground.   They stand a much better chance if you do this rather than hoping they will right themselves on their own.
APACHE - Lake elevation is 1,907 ft (92-percent full).

An angler caught a 23 pound buffalo fish in the shallows using worms.  Worms are also enticing the largemouth and yellow bass as well as channel catfish.  The marina is still a good place to catch catfish and Turtle Island is holding largemouth bass.  The points near drop-offs are good spots for yellow bass.  Fish between 8 and 25 feet deep for the yellow bass.

CANYON LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,658 ft, which is 96-percent full.

Anglers are still doing well at Canyon.  Many large bass are hanging along the cliffs and taking T-rigged and drop shot worms.  Morning dawn Robo worms are working as well as darker colored worms.  You do have to work your worms real slow.

Where: Canyon
When: 08/13/09
Caught: Smallmouth, largemouth, bluegill, green sunfish
Technique: small jigs with 1 inch grubs or meal worms till they ran out.
Comments: I caught 103 fish between 9 am and 6 pm in 1-4 feet of water mostly bluegill all the bass were under the slot.
Name: Jim Lindquist

SAGUARO LAKE – Lake elevation 1525 feet at 93% full.

Saguaro bite is still very good.  Crankbaits, more specifically, the light colored Strike King Pro models are making anglers pretty happy by enticing bass, bluegill and channel cats.

Anglers are sharing some helpful info so fish main lake points in 5 to 25 feet of water and drop shot morning dawn Robo worms on an octopus hook with a 12 to 18 foot leader.

When bass are not desperate for a meal, dead sticking is the way to go with either your worm or a neutrally buoyant crankbait.

At night bass are cruising the shorelines.  Try using 12 inch ribbon tail, wired or Westie worms Texas rig style.  Fish slow.

Where: Saguaro
When: 08/11/09
Caught: Bluegill, largemouth
Technique: jigs with spinners and grubs in a depth 5-10 feet
Comments: bass were all in the slot 31 fish total. 9 am to 5 pm. mid-lake points.
Name: Jim Lindquist

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1794 ft, which is 94% full.  Reservoir release is 115 cfs.

Bass are taking buzzbaits pretty much all day.  Hard jerkbaits are also working for some although the smaller fish are more interested than the big bass as a couple anglers can attest.
Texas-rigged worms are effective for yellow bass at the points near drop-offs and largemouth bass.  The underwater structure is holding fish and it’s nice to hear anglers have been playing nice with the lake so popular.

HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 1950 feet, No pool.  They are releasing water at 75 cfs.
VERDE RIVER  — Verde River flow at Tangle is 85 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 115 cfs.

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 127 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 122 cfs.  They are releasing 1,575 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro.

LOWER SALT RIVER — Stewart Mtn. Dam (below Saguaro Lake) release is 1,575 cfs. An angler last week reported catching some nice bass and one surprise rainbow trout.


It hasn’t changed much yet.  Terrestrials are still working for fly anglers and the water is still low.  There are occasional rain events that cool the water.  Air temperatures are slowly getting lower and by mid September the nymphs will be working for you.  Right now you have more of a chance real early in the morning and late evening.

  • Haigler Creek – No recent reports. Will sample soon.
  • Canyon Creek – Good reports.  Get there early.
  • Tonto Creek –   Good fishing at Bear Flat
  • Christopher Creek – Good fishing. Get there early.
  • East Verde – No recent reports.
  • Workman Creek – No recent reports.

4 Responses to “Cental Waters”

  1. Christian Polak on August 24th, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    I hit Roosevelt for night fishing on Saturday 8/22 to target flathead, got there late so I threw out a submersible light to try and catch some bluegills for bait. Managed 6 good sized from under lights, plus a channel and a carp (broke my line near the boat). Fished from 11:00 pm through the night and caught one 10 pound flathead on live bluegill around 2:00 am. I was fishing near the marina and Sheriff’s boat dock. Not what I was hoping for but I am trying to add new areas onto my list in my efforts to find the next state record flathead. Been trying on the upper salt end for years, and only managed them up to 50 pounds, and I’m tired of the crowds. Roosevelt is huge, I need to expand into new areas!! Until the next new moon…

  2. Christian;

    Thanks for the report. Good luck in your big flathead quest. I have always wondered in the flats adjacent to the Tonto Creek inflows (when there are some) would provide fertile fishing grounds for bottom feeders. Let us know how you do.


  3. Hey Rory: I fished Lake Pleasant Mon. and Teus. Caught 1 channel. It was really windy non-stop for the duration of both days and nights. I’ve fished Lake Pleasant at least once or twice a week this year and last year and it seems to me that last year was alot better fishing. I just haven’t been having too much luck at Lake Pleasant this year. I was wondering if you think that the quagga mussels have affected the fishing at this lake. Since the lake level is low, you can see millions of them all over the rocks. Its a very disturbing sight and those little shells can really cut you up if you’re not careful. I just don’t recall it being like this last year. The quagga’s really seemed to have taken over. What’s your opinion?

  4. Fished Rosie Oct 7-9th. Best day was Thursday A.M using dark green Senko 25 to 30 of water. Just bouncing them on the bottom. Got 14 large mouth all slotters. Best luck edge of points across from Grapevine.

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