Central Arizona

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October 18th, 2007
Central Arizona

URBAN LAKES – Urban program lakes will be stocked with catfish this week. Use worms, hot dogs (cheese dogs work especially well), dough baits and shrimp. The next catfish stocking will be between Oct 1 and 6.  Same rules apply. Once stocked, it takes the fish a few hours to get “comfortable,” then the bite is on.

B.J. Johnson wrote that his technique was “dumb luck” at Red Mountain Lake, but has a whopping of a tale (or is that tail) to tell. After not catching anything, he was reeling in his line to leave and it seemed to snag on something, “So I kept reeling it in thinking I had caught a log or something.” But what he caught was a 6 to 7-pound largemouth bass – hooked in the tail. But that’s not all. When B.J. went to put the monster bass on his stringer, the behemoth flipped its tail and landed right back in the lake, where it promptly took off. “It just wasn’t meant to be. It took a few beers to get over it.”

Four-year-old Wyatt Williams fished along with his dad and caught a 19-inch catfish and a 5-inch sunfish using a Scooby Doo fishing pole, a hot dog and chicken liver. “It was awesome to see him catch his first fish,” dad said.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Bass fishing is picking up and anglers are also catching catfish, bluegills and yellow bass. Plastics and crankbaits worked around the ledges and docks can work well during the early morning and right before dark. Channel catfish averaging 1 to 2 pounds will bite stink baits, hot dogs and shrimp. Carp fishing is excellent using corn and dough bait. Remember no gas motors are allowed (trolling motors are) and you must have a boating permit, which can be obtained at the Town Lake operations center. 
LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is at 1,640 ft (43-percent full).  Marcus Rosales used night crawlers fished on the bottom in the northern part of the lake to catch some nice catfish, including a 5 pounder, but didn’t have any luck using anchovies.

Some have reported good boils at first light, with the action tapering off rapidly as the sun rises. Others have found good action all morning. It may depend on location.

Try using poppers, stick baits and jerkbaits at first light. Sometimes, white spinners or curly tails can produce good results, especially for stripers and whites. Slowly retrieving small spoons can also work at times. The topwater action can continue off-and-on throughout the day. There can be a crescendo of action right at sunset.

Once the surface action wanes, try drop shots, Texas-rigged plastics, or Carolina-rigged plastics off the main lake points, islands, reefs and submerged humps.

Late morning stay in the northern portion near the “fingers” of the lake in around 50 feet of water and try KastMasters and Hopkins spoons.

ROOSEVELT LAKE – Water elevation remains at 2,099 feet, which is 42-percent full. Largemouth bass fishing is pretty good in the late morning using crankbaits and jerkbaits.Local guide Art Chamberlin says crappies are biting in 18 to 20 feet of water on 1/1 6-ounce jigs with a split hot attached about 3 feet above it. Try the Tonto end of the lake.

APACHE – Water elevation is at 1,907 feet, which is 93-percent full. Liar’s Corner reported someone catching catfish, but not what bait was working. This should be a good time of year to catch the plentiful yellow bass.   

This lake will be stocked with rainbow trout this winter.

CANYON – Water level is dropping rapidly. Closed to boating, but fishing along the shoreline is okay – be careful. The lake is being lowered 50 feet for routine dam maintenance, which will last until Jan. 26.

Because of safety concerns and the smaller capacity of Canyon Lake, the lake will be closed to all recreational boating during the majority of the drawdown. Updates of the drawdown will be available at http://www.srpnet.com/water/dams/lowlevels.aspx. 

SAGUARO – Water elevation is 1,528 ft, which is 98-percent full. Fishermen are catching lots of 6- to 8-inch largemouth bass on small spinners and spoons all around the lake. The plentiful young bass are good news for the future of this fishery. There are also reports of small channel catfish, which means they had a good spawn as well. Yellow bass are plentiful.

BARTLETT – Water elevation is 1,758 ft, which is 50-percent full.Scott A. Webster fished with Chris and Mark Miconi and caught bass using plastics, Senkos and Fat Free Shad, but added that the crankbaits had to hit rocks to produce fish.

Anglers report that jigs are working well for largemouth bass and crappie. The topwater action may be a little slow – some say the action is good right at dawn, but quits soon afterward.

Also try spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs and black/silver glitter Hula Grubs. Using drop shots is still a good technique to try. One angler mentioned that crankbaits work pretty well until about 9 a.m., but suggested going deeper after that time frame.

Bass fishing is still good, especially under the no wake line by the Jojoba Boat Ramp fishing in 5 to 8 feet of water. Look for submerged yellow pipe, although it might be difficult to see just looking overboard – you should pick up it with your fish finder. The bass like to hang out there.

This time of year, the fish are being caught in the west end of the lake in the mornings and on the east end of the lake in the evenings.

Flathead catfish are being caught at the upper end of the lake by Ship Rock at night. Fishing is excellent when the moon is full (Oct. 25).

HORSESHOE LAKE – Water elevation is 1953 ft, which is 3-percent full. One angler provided a dismal report.

VERDE RIVER – No reports. Verde River flow at Tangle is 137 cubic feet per second (CFS) and it’s 35 CFS at Camp Verde.
LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Flows were 1,025 cfs from Stewart Mountain Dam and 105 from Bartlett Lake.

Chris Williams caught three bass over 5 pounds using a purple Westy Worm in a back eddy below Water Users.

Dennis Wyman caught 17 trout ranging from 10 to 17 inches by floating night crawlers with no weight in a hole just after the rapids near Blue Point. “I can’t believe we are catching trout in the Salt River this late in the year. They are very healthy! Most were released; however some tasty ones went home with us.”

William B. Warner recently fished at and below the Blue Point Bridge and caught 14 rainbow trout and three carp (plus three break-offs) drifting dough balls with no weight, adding that the higher flows have changed some of the holes, but riffles feeding into deeper water at doglegs and current eddies in deep holes are still producing well for trout, with many fish over 13 inches long.

CREEKS – Brown trout are staging for the spawn in the creeks along the Mogollon Rim. Fly fishing is the way to go using terrestrial dry flies or mayfly nymphs. Fishing should be pretty good for another week or two.

GREEN VALLEY LAKE, PAYSON – This is an urban program lake and it has been stocked this week with 450 pounds of rainbow trout – which is 100 pounds more than the traditional stocking amount. It should be going great gangbusters this weekend. This is a great lake for the kids – give it a try.

HORSETHIEF BASIN LAKE – Mike Parks said the only thing he caught was a sunburn, but the weather was so perfect it was worth it. “Saw several largemouths. Lake is real low, lots of deer and javelina in the area.”

This tiny lake can be found up in the Bradshaw Mountains near Crown King. The lake sits in the pines and is good for a canoe or car topper. There are also improved campsites near the lake. During a recent survey, lots of largemouth bass averaging a pound and red ear sunfish nice pan size were observed. Redears love mealworms and night crawlers. No recent angler reports.


7 Responses to “Central Arizona”

  1. fished tempe town lake from my 12ft jon from 6am-1pm did good caught fish on hulla jigs watermelon red in the afternoon and on crank baits and spinner blades and a couple on popers early in the AM i caught 17 largemouth bass with two 3.5 lber and a 5lb kicker caught one blue gill on the poper that was almost a pound and my wife trolling behind the boat with a night crawler caught 9 catfish biggest going 6lbs and caught 4 bass and 3 blue gill and one fish that looked to be a slab crappie but couldnt tell b/c it got off over all it was one of the best days ive been on tempe town lake beautiful day to.

  2. I fished at Tempe Town lake, 1st light on X-mas eve. Not a bite at all. Last time I went I didn’t get a bite either. I know there are fish in there, because I see them jumping all over. I’ve tried everything… trolling with numerous lures and baits, I’ve sat on the bottom… whatever. So, we decided to try Lake Pleasant. At about 1:00 pm it was kind of late and I wasn’t very hopeful. My husband and I went to through the Castle Creek area and trolled around… nothing. Then we got back in the middle of Kite Point and Castle Creek behind all of the brush and trees. We have a 2 person trolling boat, so it was easy to get around. (A normal motor boat wouldn’t be able to get back there.) My 2nd cast on a silver original floater I pulled up a nice striped bass. While my husband was helping me with the hook, his pole flew across the boat. He had a red and white rattlin rapala on his line. He pulled up a 5lb. largemouth bass. He also pulled up another smallmouth that we threw back, a striper, and another largemouth bass. He went again today, went to the same spot, and pulled up 2 stripers in less than 15 min on the same lure. He said there were other anglers in the area that were not catching anything though… Tonight were are going again. Trying out new lures. I’ve never had any luck with anchovies at that lake, day or night.

  3. we fished tempe town lake om the 3rd and 4th of this month.on the 3rd-thursaday-we caught carp by the bridges at the west end.we also caught3 catfish.we were fishing for the trought that were stocked there but the only evidence we saw of those trout were the big birds flying off with them on an occasional snatch and grab.friday the 4th we got skunked.both days we were using power bait,worms,corn and spinner baits.we also tired trolling too.i did snag a small chub friday trolling but that doesnt count.

  4. i went fishing saturday night sunday night and monday night and had no bites and there were 5 if us fishing. than i heard that its possible there is a disease in the lake killing all the fish

  5. Yes- golden algae or something. It has been treated and should be back to normal soon

  6. Michael;

    On the week of Jan. 8, Tempe Town Lake experienced a slight fish kill, mostly shad, due to a golden alga bloom. This is the first time golden alga was documented in the lake. The lake was treated with an algaecide. Expect fishing to be slow right now. The lake is scheduled for another trout stocking at the end of this month, but we will take water samples before proceeding with it. Hopefully, all will be well.

  7. Jason;
    I will be in staying at the Marriot-Buttes Resort in the middle of May. I would like to do some fishing during my stay. Just wondering what’s close and some general info of the area? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks

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