Central Arizona

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April 28th, 2008
Central Arizona

URBAN LAKES – Papago Ponds – An angler fished Papago last weekend and caught 17 largemouth bass, three channel catfish, and six large bluegills. The largest fish was 3 pounds and he used Senkos, Rat-L-Traps and spinnerbaits.

Fishing for catfish is good to excellent with new stockings every two weeks. Next catfish stocking will be during the week of April 28. Try shrimp, hot dogs or worms fished on the bottom for the channel cats. Fishing is poor at Water Ranch, Chaparral and Surprise lakes due to water quality problems and cancelled or reduced fish stockings.

Recently stocked sunfish continue to provide excellent fishing for anglers using meal worms, worms and small jigs.

At Green Valley Lakes (Payson) fishing is good to excellent for trout with trout stockings scheduled to continue at this higher elevation lake until mid May. Some nice 1- to 3-pound rainbows were recently stocked. Try Power Bait, worms or salmon eggs for the trout. Largemouth bass and bluegill are actively biting through the spring spawning period. Please practice catch-and-release for all bass during this critical spawning period.

Angler reports:
Where: Rio Vista Pond – City of Peoria
When: 04/22/08
Caught: 8 lb. and (2) 1.5 lb. channel catfish
Technique: Fishing after 8:30 pm off the bottom with worms using a sliding egg sinker and a number 6 hook.
Comments: We went with the whole family and my wife Kim and my youngest daughter Abigail each caught their first fish about 1.5 lbs. each but I got to catch the big one. It took about 10 to 15 minutes to bring in.

Where:Rio Vista Pond – City of Peoria
Caught:(1) 3 lb. & (2) 2 lb. channel catfish
Technique:Fishing the early am to noon off the bottom with worms using a sliding egg sinker and a number 6 hook.
The 3 lb. was my 8-year-old son Mark’s biggest catch and on my 6-year-old son Joseph’s birthday caught his biggest a 2 lb.
Name:Joe Mitcham

Editors Note: Happy birthday to Joseph and congratulations to both boys. Send a digital picture and we will run it.
Where:Red Mountain
Technique:Bottom fishing with emerald shiners and dough bait, and top fishing with a variety of spinner and crankbaits
Comments:The lake seems to be in bad condition right now with a large algal bloom and lots of floating dead fish; I fished for about 5 hours with only 1 nibble, I washing fishing with 2 poles 1 for Bass and 1 for Catfish. I hope the water and fishing will improve soon!
Name:Ryan Kann

Note: Tentatively, it appears some catfish had a virus, kind of like a catfish flu – there is not known human heath issue. As always, it’s just a wise precaution to cook any fish thoroughly before eating.
Where:Water Ranch Lake
Caught:22 sunfish (catch and release)
Technique:I was using a bobber with 2 weights and a small hook, casting about 15 feet out. I was using Canadian night crawlers.
Comments:They are still many sunfish in there, did get a lot of bites from catfish early in the morning in the middle of the lake. The sunfish were fighting really good
Name:Alec Richardson
Where:Cortez park
Caught: nothing
Technique:live bait worms leeches and corn
Comments:I didn’t see one fish not even a bluegill not one bite. Never in 20 years of fishing have I not caught a fish using leeches. Water doesn’t look good either-very brown and dirty looking
Name:james kowalsky

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Shad are busting the surface at Tempe Town Lake, but still catching fish seems to be hit-or-miss. Try to find structure around the docks or near bridges. Texas-rigged Robo Worms are a good bet as well as KastMasters or Rat-L-Traps thrown into shad boils
Angler report:

Where:Tempe Town Lake
Caught:Largemouth Bass
Technique:3/8 oz. spinnerbait white/white trailer
Comments:Fished the lake three times this week with the same bait and caught two one day and one the very next day. Good in town lake
Name:Wayne Radtke

Where:Tempe Town Lake
Technique:Pointer SP jerk bait
Comments:Well I went out there hoping for some nice bass. I was fishing around the Mill bridge from 1pm to around 3, and I had only caught 1 trout. it was a little dude, but I thought I would do a lot better=[ but I did manage to see about a 5 pound bass floating
Where:Tempe Town Lake
Technique:You name it. Topwater, deepwater, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, worms, KastMasters…
Comments:30mph+ gusts didn’t help that’s for sure. Parked the boat in between the second and third pylons on the north side of the lake under the far east bridge. Spent two hours with a buddy throwing everything we had out and caught nothing. Fortunately there is some kind of cable at the bottom that the anchor caught so in terms of where we fished it was ideal on paper. Just no fish to be found! We did get one bite from the dock. A bass by the splash and good sized at that from a crankbait. Saw 10+ good sized carp but had no corn. Still beat working!
Where:Tempe Town Lake
Caught:7 catfish 2 carp
Technique:Chummed with corn and fished with hot dogs on the bottom. Hint…we dipped our baits in something so smelly the stuff could drive a hog wild…
Comments:Fished the south side east of Mill Ave Bridge. It was one-stop-shopping for my 15-year-old son and me. We were there about three hours in the morning. Four of the cats were over three pounds. The carp were caught on corn baits and were about two pounds
Name:Joe and Mark Pettinato

LAKE PLEASANT –Water elevation is 1,692 ft, which is 99-percent full.

For the second week, the Table Mesa Road entry into the Agua Fria Arm of Lake Pleasant has been opened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Arizona Game and Fish Officers have been manning the entryway to direct people – there is a flagged route to follow and a flagged area to park. Department officers allowed access to more than 265 individuals. This is over double from those seeking access the previous weekend (122). Our officers estimated that approx 85-percent were anglers.

There is good fishing in the northern coves of the lake especially Humbug and Coles. A fisherman caught a 9.5-pound largemouth using the drop-shot method in 4 feet of water. This same person had two 20- to 25-fish days last weekend. Many of the fish were “dinks” as he puts it, but he still had fun fishing and they weren’t all “dinks.”
Another angler says the fish seemed to be in shallow water – around five feet deep. Water temps are 63-64oF. Pleasure boats are coming out in force on the weekends. Fish during the week if you can or early on the weekends if you want some peace and quiet, or fish at night.

With the waning moon, night fishing is a viable option at this lake, especially for striped bass using frozen anchovies fished with little or no weight.

Important notice: DON’T MOVE A MUSSEL. With the discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Lake Pleasant, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders (helps protect your boat as well). Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.
Angler reports:

Where:lake pleasant
When: 04/21/08
Caught:4 nice large mouth bass
Technique:red crawler / find the warmest water possible
Comments:would have gottin more but partner had to leave should of made him swim back /dang him
Name:Glenn peters
Where:Lake Pleasant
Caught:20- Largemouth Bass/ 1-Smallmouth Bass
Technique:Drop Shot and a RoboWorm
Comments:Probably would have been close to a 15lb bag w/ my top 5 fish. Caught a Smally for the first time in Pleasant that I’ve seen.. he was a good 2.5 lbs and put up a great fight.. all fish were released…
Name:Brian Gorman

Where:lake pleasant
Technique:Frozen anchovy free floating on 4/0 circle hook.
Comments:North boat ramp right off of the end of the parking lots. Fish are active right now
Where:lake pleasant
Caught:lots of carp
Technique:we used dough bait on hair rigs
Comments:the fishing was steady but still a little on the slow side, we still caught plenty though, and drew quite a crowd with all the action and laughter
Name:bill wilson
Caught:4 large mouth
Technique:Used a small worm Texas rig and crankbait Bill Lewis baby bass..
Comments:You can see these fish in the coves. Just make sure the sun is not at your back.
Name:nathan curtis
Where:Lake Pleasant, Castle Creek
Caught:nesting Bass
Technique:Deep diver (floating), slow retrieve, in 6 feet or less, between half submerged wood, in muddy water. Water about 63 degrees. Just after first light.
Comments:I caught the buck first and in seconds after putting him in the live well I caught the female from the same spot. She left eggs in the live well. C/R both. Monday the 31st in the same situation caught one buck on a spinner bait. C/R
Name:John Ptuyac

Where:Lake Pleasant (Castle Creek)
Caught:LM Bass
Technique:Senko, no weight, let sink naturally 10-20 seconds, little jerk every 10 or so seconds. 15-25 ft of water.
Where:Lake Pleasant
Caught:2 Bass, 12 Strippers, 1 Cat, 1 Carp.
Technique:Jerk bait, anchovies, and mashed up Dorito chips with water added.
Comments:caught 6+ pound carp on ultra light rod and reel. All caught from shore.
Name:Mike Chism

Where:Lake Pleasant
Caught:2# Striper & 1#+ Lg. Mo. Bass
Technique:Shore @ night- Husky-Jerk = 2# Striper on U/L gear…FUN! From the boat: Sight Fishing with standard spinning gear, plastic/worm = 1+# LMB (ho-hum)
Comments:Windy conditions limited exposure, Maybe a Storm moving in?
Name:Tom Davis

ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake Elevation is 2,150 ft (99-percent full). Tonto Creek runoff is at 71 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 1,250 cfs.

A 5½-pound smallmouth was caught, but no details on where or what was used to nab this beauty.

A group fished from 9-5 and they used just about everything in the tackle box, Senkos, cranks, spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits to name a few. The fish (largemouth) were biting on everything but nothing really stood out as the bait of choice. They caught about 15 fish and one bass was at least a 5 pounder measuring 21 inches.

Another group fished half a day near Cholla and caught a nice 7 pound largemouth on a white buzzbait; white spinnerbaits and Senkos seemed to work as well.

The morning bite seemed a little slow midweek. Wind has been a factor on some days. While there are still bass on beds, anglers seem to be catching more and more post-spawn bass.

Crappie fishing seems to be hit-or-miss, but with the waning moon, this is the time to try fishing at night under submersible lights.
Angler reports:

Where:Roosevelt Lake
Caught:8 Smallmouth Bass, 2 Catfish ,1 Crappie, 2 Largemouth Bass
Technique:All were caught on minnows about 3 feet deep an 1 foot from bank. We fished in Salamae Bay.
Comments:We were looking for crappie but they would not hit. The smallmouth were such fun to catch. Several catfish and/or smallmouth broke our lines. We had 6# test for crappie. Water temp was 67 when we left at 1:30. The fish were biting from 730-10:30 consistantly. After that it slowed way down.
Name:Tim C.
APACHE – Lake elevation is 1911 ft (97percent full).

People are starting to catch more fish at Apache. Walleye are biting and some of the good areas in the past have been Hackberry Cove in the upper lake above the no-ski buoys. The best spots are off the two points and the sand bar. Another good spot is off Bronco Creek. Troll shad-patterned crankbaits between 10-30 feet deep. Work that depth. Another good spot is straight across from the marina. You want something with a big lip to dive deep and a 2- to 3-inch body. Silver Shad Raps or something similar with a blue or black dorsal side are good. The shiny ones work the best. The key to fishing for walleye is to fish slow.
Where:Apache Lake
Caught:flathead catfish
Technique:liver huge treble hook
Comments:this fish was a monster

CANYON — Lake elevation is 1,658 ft, which is 97-percent full.
Two- and 3-pound largemouth bass are biting shad imitations at Canyon.

Angler reports:

Where:canyon lake
Caught:2 catfish 5lbs a piece
Technique:silver rattle trap cast toward the shore
Name:jay mott
Where:Canyon Lake
Caught:2 Largemouth bass and 1 catfish
Technique:Westy worm dead-sticking in shallows
Comments:We caught 2 emerald “Canyon Lake Footballs” between 3 -6 pm. Jigging the shoreline in 2 to 10 feet of water. We released the 4.3 lbs and 3.5 lbs spawning bass to be caught again. The catfish was caught on a Westy Worm early evening. Hunter bros
Where:Canyon Lake
Caught:Catfish, Yellow Bass, Bluegill
Technique:Worms and minnows
Comments:Fished all night, three anglers caught 3 catfish, 2 yellow bass and 1 bluegill. One catfish was 12 pounds. Slow fishing, catfish bite not on yet, in a couple of weeks when the water warms up, and then it should be good fishing.
Where:Canyon Lake
Caught:4 lb Largemouth, One Big Yellow Bass!
Technique:The Bass was caught on a 6-inch worm. The Big yellow bass was caught on a 3-inch grub with a 1/8 oz jig head.
Comments:What a blast! This lake is starting to come back.
Name:Mark Greggersen
SAGUARO — Lake elevation 1,527 feet at 97-percent full.
A 16-inch rainbow was harvested last weekend along with good sized bluegill and channel catfish. Bluegills are taking 1/8-inch KastMasters, channel catfish are taking worms, chicken livers, minnows and stink baits.

Good fishing abounds here. One group of anglers fished from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the week. They caught 35 bluegills and kept 21 that were over 7 inches. They also caught 20 yellow bass and kept three that were over 10 inches. They only caught three largemouth bass, 12 inches, 6 inches and a baby at 2 ½ inches. All were caught along ledge drop offs in the upper lake using 1/8-ounce KastMasters.

Angler reports
Where:Saguaro Lake
Caught:Trout, Yellow bass, Largemouth bass, Bluegill
Technique:we used cut bait
Comments:All yellow bass caught are still males. Stocker LMbass. The trout bite is slowing way down
Name:DL Alvis

3 black bass
rocket shad white, live minnows
Caught 3 black bass, had 4 follow .. released all bass that were caught.. Caught blue gill in large numbers.. used night crawlers and minnows.. Kept 70
Robert Sr. & Robert Jr. Konradt

Largemouth, Catfish
Jigs, spinners
caught about 6 largemouths myself all about a pound. My friend showed me up with 12 largemouths the biggest about a pound and a half, and a 5 pound flathead.
John L Dowden

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1797 ft, which is 100-percent full.
Water temps are 65-66o F and water clarity is between 1/5 to 2 feet. A couple fishermen caught a 2-pound and a 3-pound largemouth using a jerk bait and a shad pattern bomber. Some bass were on beds but were easily spooked and shad were congregating in coves. Carolina-rigged baits were enticing fish to strike.
Another group of anglers fished from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and caught 18 fish, most of which were in the 1- to 2-pound range. Spinnerbaits are good in the morning but drop shots seem best later on. It was windy and the bite was light.
Haven’t heard much from crappie anglers, but the spawn is likely over, or tailing off. With a waning moon, this should be the start of the decent night bite under submersible lights using mini-jigs and live minnows.
3 Bass, 1 Crappie, 1 Bluegill
1/8 oz Crappie Thunder (Road Runner) Blue and White and all white. These have spinners on them. Also wildeyed swim shad. It was a slow day on Monday. It was pretty windy in the morning and our first bite didn’t come until 11:30ish, we put the kayaks in at 9:45. We pulled out at 3:30. Others coming out didn’t catch anything.
To the guy who couldn’t get his motor down. We could have towed you around with us so you could have caught something. Next time! Oh the wife caught the 2 Bass and Crappie. She beat me again.
Dave and Robin Seidell
Where: Bartlett
When: 04/09/08
Caught: 8 Bass and 1 Crappie
Technique: Spent the day (5 hours) casting from the kayaks between Rattlesnake Cove to south of Jojoba launch. This was by far the windiest day we have fished from the kayaks and what a fight it was. The wife finally caught her Crappie and was she tickled pink. It was a rough day but excellent for the fish we brought home. Going to try our luck again Monday.
Comments: Used all white Crappie Thunder Road Runner for both the Bass and the Crappie. Robin did get 5 Bass and the Crappie.
Name: Dave and Robin Seidell

Where: Bartlett Lake
When: 04/19/08
Technique:Spinerbaits, Senko, Plastics, crankbaits, Minnows
Comments: Worked hard for 7 hours .. 2′to 25 feet only 4 hits. One bluegill. I am perplexed weather was perfect
Name:Robin Franklin

HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 2,025 feet, which is 98-percent full. They are releasing water at 200 cfs. No reports from anglers. The area just below the dam might be viable for huge flathead catfish using live bluegills or small carp as bait.

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 188 cfs. Release from Bartlett Lake is 200 cfs.

SALT RIVER — Salt River into Roosevelt is 1,250 cfs, and in Salt River Canyon is 1,038 cfs. They are releasing 1,175 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro.

Where:Tick Flats, Black River
Caught:Small Mouth Bass
Technique:Split tail grubs, smoke and yellow color
Comments:the flesh had small white worm-like spots all thru-out. What would that be and was it dangerous for consumption?
Name:Gene Marshall
LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – The water flows from Stewart Mountain Dam are still a little high – 1,175 cfs and the water temperature is still in the mid fifties for the upper reaches. Trout have now been stocked two times in the upper reach at the Water Users (where tubers put in) and the Blue Point Bridge along Bush Highway. This is a unique river trout fishing in the desert, give it a try.
A good technique for spin anglers (ultra-light or lightweight rods) is to use night crawlers with little or no weight cast slightly upstream into the riffles. Let the current carry the bait downstream to any deep pool or back eddy.

For small spinners (or casting spoons like small KastMasters), cast perpendicular to the flowing current and maintain tension on the spinner by slowly reeling in as the current sweeps the lure downstream. Typically, once the spinner gets at least to a 45- to 60-degree angler downstream from you, it will spin with increased action, which can often cause a trout to hit.

Angler reports:
Where:Lower Salt River
Technique:Fly fishing- gold ribbed hairs ear, beaded nymphs, parachute Adams, caddis fly, among others.
Comments:started at the bridge around 8:30am. Fish were rising till about 9:30am. Fished the whole way up to the upper parking. Had one bite. Went back down to the bridge around 5:30pm where fish were rising. Here we noticed that it was not trout coming to the surface but suckers. Saw one person catch a fish around this time (not sure what it was) just up steam from the bridge.
Where:Lower Salt River below saguaro lake
Caught:small large mouth bass
Technique:live worms
Comments:Lost another small 10 to 12 inch bass on a plastic crayfish the hook didn’t penetrate the plastic properly. The water was still very cold and running very swiftly.
Name:Cosme Velazquez
Lower Salt River
Caught:Rainbow Trout
Technique:Spinners & Power Bait
Comments:Thanks so much for the heads up on the stocking at Blue Point, Rory. My buddy and I were able to take his kids down so they could pull a few in. The boys had a good time, and so did we since they actually caught a few and weren’t bored.
Matt Waite
Note: All the creeks were scheduled for stocking last week. This is a great time to fish them.

Canyon Creek – Canyon Creek – Has been recently stocked with rainbow trout. Rainbows and browns are going after a variety of nymphs. The pools are deep and the intermediate water between the pools is about 3 feet deep in some areas so it’s deep enough to fish between the pools. Some of the silt has been scoured out, so that means nice interstitial space for all kinds of bugs and small fish.

Christopher Creek – Fishing should be good.

East Verde — The water is clear. Silt and other debris were scoured out leaving behind some real nice looking habitat.

Where:Horsethief Lake
Caught:Largemouth Bass & Bluegills
Technique:Worms under a bobber
Comments:The lake has risen about 5 vertical feet, to just below the spillway line on the east end of the dam. Large bluegills and small largemouth bass can be seen along the entire shoreline. The bluegills are very shallow and appear to be on the beds, protecting / spawning offspring. The bass are keeping a short distance from the bluegills. Close enough to be looking for an easy meal, but staying out of an aggressive bluegill’s imaginary “don’t get too close” line. This place has made a dramatic improvement from the same conditions last year at this time. Let’s hope it stays that way. The road past Crown King seems much rougher than last time I came up here (and I was in a 4WD). Crown King had an impressive amount of snow (for them) this winter and I wonder if this may be the reason. Take it slow and very easy to avoid tearing up your truck. I wouldn’t recommend a low clearance vehicle. Watch out for idiots, there were many of them all over the area, driving way to fast for the conditions.
Name:Mike Parks

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