Central Arizona

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February 28th, 2008
Central Arizona

URBAN LAKES – Trout will be stocked the week of March 3 at the Phoenix, Tucson and Green Valley Lakes in Payson. We stocked 500 additional trout at Red Mountain Park last week for a fishing clinic. Trout are hitting small spinners such as Rooster Tails and Panther Martins, spoons such as KastMasters and a variety of bait fished under bobbers such as worms, corn, Power Bait and minnows. Fishing is best in the mornings before 10 a.m. and fishing in the evenings is certainly better than mid day. Fly anglers can have success using wooly buggers and small beadhead nymphs as well as peacock lady, prince nymph or hare’s ear.


Angler report:
Where:Red Mountain Lake – City of Mesa
When:02/10/08
Caught:1 good size largemouth bass and 4 lake-size rainbow trout
Technique: worms under a bobber for trout and trout live Power Bait. the bass love poppers
Comments:most of my life I use a Rooster Tail with 2 weights about 2 feet from the spinner: gets them every time
Name: ??
Where:Desert Breeze park in Chandler
When: 02/09/08
Caught: 5 trout
Technique:Power Bait white salmon eggs
Comments: me and my son caught five fish
Name: Domingo Salinas

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – People are starting to catch fish again, but the bite disappears around 10 a.m. Some nice bass were taken on the north side of the lake with crayfish imitations, you have to fish deep and slow. Sunfish are starting to bite when the water warms up a bit. Look for structure and shallow areas for the sunfish.

Angler report:
Where:Tempe Town Lake
When: 02/18/08
Caught:2 Largemouth bass, 2 ½ pounds , 2 pounds
Technique:Drop Shotting plastic worm in still water areas.
Comments:Bass fishing is slow. Averaging one bass per hour right now. Water clarity is close to zero as high flows continue to make water murky. Best bet is to find areas where debris is collecting and fish lure into it.
Name: James Cheng
LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1691 ft, which is 89-percent full.
A shore fisherman reported catching four stripers in the 3-5-pound range in the Castle Creek area using anchovies. Another angler caught five stripers and one largemouth from shore in about one hour using white-colored topwater lure in a narrow cove when the fish were chasing shad at the surface.

Angler reports:

Where:Lake Pleasant – Scorpion Dock
When:02/22/08
Caught:Largemouth Bass
Technique: plastic worm – Motor Oil color. Live Night Crawlers with bobber
Comments: Very slow bite. Only two fish were only two strikes. About a two pounder on night crawler and about a one pounder on the plastic worm. Rain really slowed things down.
Name:
Scott
Where:
LAKE PLEASANT
When:
02/24/08
Caught:
1 LARGEMOUTH AND 1 CRAPPIE
Technique:
The bass was only 13 inches and was caught in Castle Creek arm off a sharp drop into about 50 feet of water (surface temp of water was 55.9) using a small green spinner. The crappie was the surprise of the day. Was caught almost in the channel of Castle Creek arm at about 60 feet of water. The crappie was bigger than the bass and was caught using a good sized deep-diving crankbait.

Comments:

Slow day but makes an exciting outlook for when the water warms up a bit
Name:
Chad Blazer

Where:
Lake Pleasant
When:
02/17/08
Caught:
Largemouth
Technique:
Carolina-rigged water dog
Comments:
I caught five nice largemouth in about 4 hours of fishing Sunday between 9a.m. and 1 p.m. All were between 2 and 4 pounds in less than 20 feet of water around structure. Three of the fish had already turned a dark green and the other two remained pale in color. I believe the fish are starting to move shallow with a surface water temp of 53 degrees. I’m going back this weekend for an all day trip. Good luck
Name:
Tracy Leake

Where:

Lake Pleasant
When:
02/19/08
Caught:
stripers
Technique:
Hook an anchovy {red j hook}, and let it flutter down to the bottom and keep doing it like a lure. These were not caught by me, but I believe a wise fisherman, David, that told me….no fish stories!!! I am Loren Saubel, 17 years old and I’m going to try it out on Saturday. Since they are in the pre-spawn, I’m also going to try to use a chugger for some awesome topwater action. There’s nothing like watching a bass jump out for the bait.

Comments:
It’s difficult to get it out there if its not frozen. these fish are caught off of the end of castle creek over by the buoys that say, no wakes.
Name:
Loren Saubel
ROOSEVELT LAKE — Lake Elevation is 2,141 ft (87-percent full). Salt River Project expects this lake to fill and spill this year, for the first time since the dam was raised in 1996. Tonto Creek runoff is at 827 cfs while inflow from the Salt River was at 2750cfs.

There is still a lot of debris in the water, but temps are warming up. This is going to be an awesome year for crappie and largemouth bass. The fishing could pick up by this weekend, but there is not guarantee – there is a lot of water there to warm up and the lake is still filling from cold runoff. In fact, warm weather may accelerate the runoff.

The fishing may be best mid lake, especially in more sheltered, shallow coves such as Salome. It may be a bit early, but it may be possible to see some stagers – let us know if you do.

Angler report:

Where:
Roosevelt Lake
When:
02/17/08
Caught:
12.78-pound bass
Technique:
Chartreuse spinner, Colorado blades
Comments:
Slow week end with the lake so tepid. debris everywhere.
Name:
Robert G. “Bob ” Coulter

Where:
ROOSEVELT LAKE
When:
02/09/08
Caught:
1
Technique:
CRANKS SPINNERS JIGS SPOONS TOPWATER ALL !!!!!!!!
Comments:
WATER IS THICK LIKE CHOCOLATE MILK AVERGE TEMP OF 45 DEGREES DANGEROUS DEBRIS IN WATER EVERYWHERE NEEDS AT LEAST A WEEK OR MORE TO WARM & CLEAR UP. SCHOOLHOUSE LAUNCH PACKED WITH DEBRIS\ MARINA LAUNCH UNDER WATER \ OWNERS ARE BUILDING NEW ONE LANE LAUNCH AS WE SPEAK .

Name:

MARK KUNKELl

Fishermen are reporting the bite is off right now due to the incredible amount of debris on the lake. Water temps as of this last weekend was 51-53oF in the mornings and it warmed up to 61 in the afternoon. The water is full of sediment and is a chocolate milk color. In the late afternoons, fish might be found in the warmer shallows, especially in those pockets of clearer water tucked between vegetation and the shore.

APACHE — Lake elevation is 1911 ft (97-percent full).

Last week we received a report that the yellow bass fishing is starting to pick up at Apache Lake. Try using and 1/8 oz KastMaster for yellows. Also, Apache Lake received nearly all of the rainbow trout intended for Canyon Lake this year due to the reservoir draw down. There should be plenty of trout in Apache to catch. Try using panther martins, rooster tails, and Mepps spinners.

CANYON – Lake elevation is 1658 ft, which is 97-percent full.
Canyon is getting 2,500 trout this week. They were a little more than half the trout that was allotted to Temp Town Lake over the last three weeks that could not be stocked due to the GA issue they had (it’s okay now), high flows and high pH.
Water clarity is slowly improving, last I heard it was at 2 – 3 feet and water temps are reaching 56o F by evenings. Bass are biting; try some frogs and crayfish imitations. With the murky water try dark lures and Rat-L-Traps.

SAGUARO – Lake elevation 1,527 feet at 97-percent full.
Game and Fish biologists will stock 2,000 trout in Saguaro this week. They are part of the trout allotment for Tempe Town Lake that we were unable to stock.
Not all the bass in Saguaro are small; one fisherman caught a nice 18.5-inch female loaded with eggs this last weekend. He used a spinnerbait with a trailer hook. Another fisherman hooked a 3 pounder in 7 feet of water using a blue/silver spinnerbait. Water temps are creeping up there. The shallow water is warming up to 60oF.

Angler reports:
Where:
Saguaro
When:
02/23/08
Caught:
2 trout, 5 bass, 1 bluegill.
Technique:
Spinners and worms.
Comments:
2 of us fishing from a canoe for 3 hours in the afternoon.
Name:
Todd DeAngelis
A couple fishermen last week caught eight yellow bass in 5.5 hours of jigging spoons and KastMasters. Most were keepers. They were in 30-35 feet of water in the second basin but the bite was real slow. They caught one big bluegill and one small largemouth bass.

Three hundred pounds of rainbow trout were delivered a few weeks ago.

Angler report:
Where:
Saguaro Lake
When:
02/16/08
Caught:
7″ trout
Technique:
Green Power Bait Marsh Mellows
Comments:
On a very cloudy cool day, not many anglers were catching anything. Lots and lots of dead fish in the water. Water was cold.
Name:
Tim

Where:
Saguaro Lake
When:
02/10/08
Caught:
1 Yellow Bass, 2 Bluegill, 3 Rainbow Trout

Technique:

All fish caught from the fishing docks. Yellow Bass/Bluegill caught using mealworms and night crawlers sunk to the bottom and reeled up three times. Rainbow trout caught using minnows about 3 feet under a bobber.

Comments:

It was really busy on Sunday. Not many people catching fish around us, but we did well.

Where:
Saguaro
When:
02/08/08
Caught:
5 LM Bass
Technique:
snell with #6 red hook, 1/8 ounce slip sinker. live bait, minnows and night crawlers
Comments:
The previous 3 weeks on Saturday (1/19- 1/26- 2/2) we had caught 12 LM Bass. All 17 bass were caught around the same point by Captins Nook. All bass were in the 8 – 10 inch size, very healthy looking. All were caught between 2 p.m. and sunset. Very slow presentation needed to be used. Most of the bass were caught in approx 20′ of water. All were released right away. It has been fun, the future sure looks bright for some nice bass.

Footnote: I moved down from MN 8/06. It was hard to learn how to fish the reservoirs down here. I think I’m actually getting the hang of it.

Name:
Rick Karpinske

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,797 ft, which is 99-percent full.
Crankbait in shallow water seems to be the ticket at Bartlett right now. Water clarity is still real shallow at 1½ to 2 feet, but it’s improving.
Angler report:
Where:
Bartlett
When:
02/17/08
Caught:
1 pan-sized bass
Technique:
Rat-L-Traps, spinnerbaits
Comments:
SLOOOOOOOOW fishing, the water is so chocolate brown that you can’t see your lure 3 inches under
Name:
Adam

Where:
BARTLETT
When:
02/09/08
Caught:
BASS [6]
Technique:
INLINE SPINNERS AT 10 FT POINTS AND IN BACKS OF COVES
Comments:
MUDDY WATER TEMP AT 51
Name:
Ruth Hurley

HORSESHOE — Lake elevation is at 2025feet, which is 99% full! Enjoy it while you can they are releasing water at 2400 cfs. Verde River flow at Tangle is 2273 cubic feet per second (cfs) and cfs at Camp Verde is at 1230. Releases from Bartlett Lake are currently at 2600 cfs

VERDE RIVER — Verde River flow at Tangle Creek is 1,551 cubic feet per second (cfs) and at Camp Verde is at 1,290 cfs. Releases from Bartlett Lake are currently at 1,200 cfs.

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 2,880 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 1,584 cfs. They are releasing 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro as of today, but with all the expected runoff, that may increase.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Salt River into Roosevelt is 2750 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 1,528 cfs. They are releasing 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro. Stocked last week with rainbow trout. Fishing should be pretty good.

A quote from one fishermen, “Its (fishing) been good all day long; try chartreuse spinnerbaits or Yamamoto Kreatures T-rigged in watermelon/red/black up against the weeds and deeper pools.”

Another fisherman said he went to Coon Bluff for a few hours Sunday and the trout were scarce, but the bass were back – not big though. He caught 24 bass (only a few were sizable) in 5 hours using worms, but most action was from jointed Rapalas and spinners.

CREEKS — Fishermen are still waiting for the flows to taper off a bit, but are anticipating some good fly fishing once the flow settles and fishing sites are accessible. With the decent snow pack it ought to be a pretty good spring.
HORSETHIEF BASIN LAKE – No reports.

10 Responses to “Central Arizona”

  1. Crappie Fishing on February 29th, 2008 at 1:17 am

    I think it’s going to be the bEST year ever and can’t wait
    to get on the water.

  2. Is there any good Crappie bites happening? I have two young boys and a 20hp alum boat w/ troll. I was hoping to hear something early this year.

  3. I haven’t had a good crappie report yet (but I haven’t read all the e-mails either this morning), but they could turn on any day, or any second. The best spots should be Roosevelt, Alamo, and Bartlett. It’s a little early for the spawn (except at Alamo). By the end of March and early April, the bite should be going gangbusters.

    Rory

  4. The crappie are starting to hit very well at san carlos lake around the mouth of the river. We caught 17 2 pounders last week.

  5. The crappie are bitting good at San Carlos. Last weekend we caught 72 in three days. All were caught and released, the average was approx. 1.8 lbs the biggest was 2.77. The bite will only get better.

  6. Caught 37 crappie at San Carlos on Thursday, slow trolling jigs in about 20 feet of water. Averaged 14 inches, one 19 incher. Don’t know how folks are doing from the bank, yet. Watch out for the wind.
    The wind can make for a rough day.

  7. Rez Man–do you ever fish Talkali?

  8. I have never been to san carlos can you fish for crappies off
    shore?
    Thks kat

  9. Kat;

    I don’t know San Carlos well enough to advise you well on shore fishing. Generally, it is possible to fish for crappie from shore when they are spawning – if you can get shore access to the cove or submerged flat where they are spawning. The spawning areas can change with lake level changes. So it may be possible. It might not be.

    The only lake where I have successfully caught crappies from shore is Bartlett, both in Rattlesnake Cove (there is a fishing pier there) and SB Cove using slip bobbers and live minnows, or casting small jigs and letting them fall gently before doing a slow retrieve. There is even an anglers’ trail from Rattlesnake to SB.

    Rory

  10. Rory
    Thanks for all the imfo I really appreciate it.
    Kat

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