Central Arizona

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November 15th, 2007
Central Arizona

URBAN LAKES – Andrew Huynh fished Alvord using raw shrimp and caught his largest fish ever – a channel catfish. “I took lots of pictures with the fish, got measurements and then released it. Its head was six-inches wide and from mouth tip to the tip of the tail it was 25.5 inches.”

The trout stocking is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 15 in the Phoenix and Tucson Urban Lakes. They range from 10 to 12 inches and will be stocked at rates of 80-100 fish per lake surface acre for urban lakes and at lower rates for urban ponds. Trout stockings will continue at two-week intervals throughout the winter.  More than 100,000 trout from Colorado have been ordered for delivery to the Urban Fishing Program lakes during the four-month stocking season. With the colder temperatures at Payson’s Green Valley Lakes, trout stocking started on Oct. 17 and will continue every other week for seven months. 

The best bait for trout include Power Bait, salmon eggs, worms and small spinners. A light weight pole with 4 to 6 pound test line is optimum. The lighter the line, the better the sensitivity and the trout won’t see the line as easily. Another FYI for trout fishing in general, the more flexible rod you have the least likely you are to rip the lip of the trout.  This is a function of the low test line and the rod “giving” as opposed to the trout’s lip ripping.  Setting the hook real hard isn’t a real good idea with trout; you end up loosing your fish.  

Don’t forget the 2007 Class U Urban fishing licenses will be available at half price for $9.25 for the period from November 1 through December 31, 2007.  License dealers may be unfamiliar with this so bring your fishing regulations if they need verification.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – The Welcome Back the Trout celebration is from 3-5 p.m. on Nov. 20, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Come catch some trout, bluegill, bass or carp and celebrate the return of the rainbows for the new season.

Let us know how you do!

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 1,648 ft which is 46% full.
The bite was off this last weekend.  That is typical with cooler weather and changing water temperatures.  Keep trying, it will pick up again as soon as they adjust.  Keep an eye on the weather, high pressure is usually when they bite. . as long as the water temps are stable. 

ROOSEVELT LAKE – Water elevation remains at 2,099 feet, which is 45-percent full.

Mark Dornbusch fished Rose from Friday through using Rat-L-Traps worked before sun up and buzzbait at sunrise. He suggests following the baitfish! “Look for the birds perched along the shallows and you will find the baitfish and the bass. No birds – move on! The bite then died an hour after sunrise. Bass have been feeding during periods of moonlight. With the new moon things will improve during the day.”

Steve and Amber Owens from Flagstaff fished Saturday and Sunday and finally found the in the back of the coves at about 2 feet of water. “We picked up some Bass with pumpkin-colored spider jigs. We then went out to deeper water, finding no fish until about 20 feet deep off of the steeper rocky shores. We then had another great bite on deep-diving crankbaits. My Wife landed an 18-inch largemouth, 3-plus pounder!! Weather was great and we caught a total of 24 Bass.”

APACHE – Water elevation is at 1,908 feet, which is 94-percent full. Canyon Creek hatchery had 21,000 surplus rainbows.  They were stocked at Apache Lake Nov. 6 and 7 last week, half at the main launch and half at Burnt Coral.  The water temperature at the time of stocking was 60oF and the pH was 8.  They averaged around 6 1/2 – 7 1/2 inches.  Tonto also had some surplus rainbows and they stocked them in Apache last week as well, but they were a little smaller.  Although the trout are a little small, I’m sure they are getting the bass and walleye a little excited.  Try throwing out some “trout looking lures” to nab the big ones.  Also don’t forget the yellow bass in Apache. . . they like to hang near the drop offs at the points.  Try KastMasters and spoons.    

We re-stocked Apache with some smallmouth bass recently– please practice catch and release on any smallies. Hopefully, these fish will be the founding parents for millions of future bronzebacks in this scenic lake along the Salt River. Let’s give them a chance to mature, spawn, and spawn again (and again and again).

During a recent survey, Game and Fish biologists turned up some pretty nice looking largemouth bass. All were real plump and healthy looking. Biologists caught them along the shoreline at night while the bass were cruising for food (doing the same at Saguaro this week).

CANYON – Closed to boaters – lake elevation is 1604 which is 29 % full. Drawdown started Sept. 29 and will last until Jan. 26, 2008. 

Game and Fish will be installing fish habitat at Canyon Lake this weekend as long as we have enough volunteers. It looks like we have a good group of volunteers for Saturday, Nov.17, but we are in need of volunteers for Sunday; only three people have signed up.  If you are interested in helping please call Natalie Robb at (480) 324-3541.

Other dates we need help are Nov. 24, 25, 29, and 30.  December work days are December 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 14, and 16.  If we don’t get enough volunteers, that work day will be cancelled.  Work duties will involve moving construction materials, tree limbs, cement blocks and pallets from a fenced storage yard to the lakeshore nearby, then transport of these materials across the lake to the pre-selected habitat development sites.  Items will then be off loaded lakeside and materials will need to be moved to the exact location for actual construction. There will be some light-duty machinery available for moving materials to and from the shoreline, but a majority of items will need to be moved by hand due to the proximity and loading weight of the pontoon boats/barges involved.  

Work hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Volunteers are asked to bring their own beverages, meals and appropriate clothes to suit the weather. AGFD will have gloves available at the work site in addition to bottled water. 

Your volunteer time and effort not only helps build new habitat for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, black crappie and channel catfish but also counts as “match” for the department to receive more Federal Sportfish Restoration dollars.  

SAGUARO – Lake elevation 1,526 feet at 94 percent full.
One angler, who didn’t give his name, tried fishing topwater for 30 min with no luck, we switched to spinner and golden spoon and for a little over one hour. “It was heaven. We caught 12 yellow bass including a 1-pound, 5-ounce; seven 1-pound largemouth bass, and one bluegill the size of my hand. We also lost about a dozen other fish. My partner sat down to eat a granola bar and before he finished I caught two yellows and a largemouth. What a fantastic day out on the lake.”

Arizona Game and Fish stocked 6-8 inch largemouth bass with the help of several fishermen. Thanks to the fishermen for all your help distributing the fish around the lake.

The stocking went well although there was some mortality that occurred at the hatchery, probably due to the stress of moving the fish from Texas, tagging the fish last week at the hatchery and the crowded raceway conditions.  We used wire-coded tags in the nape of the neck so we will be able to tell stocked fish versus naturally spawned fish in subsequent surveys and creels. 

There are still some good sized largemouth bass in there; try some of the vegetated coves. A recent survey showed lots of yellow bass, including record-size ones. I suggest you go after the yellow bass by using KastMasters and spoons around the Butcher Jones area. Yellows are quite prolific, so keep some for dinner (they are great eating).  Cast toward shore and lead it into the deeper water. They like to hang out at the drop offs and grab the lure as it goes into the depths.   

BARTLETT – Manti Galbraith said he took Paul (10) and Josh (11) Plumb from Casa Grande fishing at Bartlett Lake. “Their father is a friend of mine and is serving in the military. They really wanted to go fishing, so I took them. We were in my boat fishing about 50 yards from one of the fish habitats near Rattlesnake Cove when Paul snagged a monster from the deep. He set the hook and a fight ensued. He was using a night crawler and fishing on the bottom in about 40 feet of water. He struggled for about 5 minutes to get the fish to the surface. His brother Josh was jumping around and nearly capsized the small 14-foot boat. We finally netted the beast (a catfish) and stood in awe. It was more than my 10-pound fish scale would measure. I put the fish at about 13 pounds. They can’t wait to go back.”
Water elevation is 1,753 ft, which is 44-percent full. Bass are hitting crankbaits and buzzbaits. Water dogs are good for catfish and not too bad for bass as well. Also try tolling minnows or 2-inch grubs in 17-20 feet of water for crappie.

With a waning moon and unseasonably warm (darn hot actually) conditions, this might be the last opportunity to fish at night under lights for crappie. Is this really November? Wow.

This is also a superb time to target flathead catfish. Try using live bluegills or small carp as bait in the deeper holes up-lake passed the No Wake buoys.

HORSESHOE LAKE – Water elevation is 1954 ft, which is 3-percent full (no pool). No reports from anglers. Not even sure if this area will produce any decent duck hunting this year.

VERDE RIVER – No reports. Verde River flow at Tangle is 168 cubic feet per second (CFS) and it’s 53 CFS at Camp Verde.
LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Trout are being stocked at Phon D Sutton and Granite Reef. 

Lori Firestone wrote that she used night crawlers with a small weight and let them float downstream and although she did not catch any trout, she caught seven catfish, with two over 3 pounds, and three small bass. “The catfish were biting all day. Would have liked to see some trout, though!”

Try some Power Bait or worms.  Fishermen are also reporting successful largemouth bass fishing in the slower, deeper water using night crawlers or jerk baits. Crappie jigs are producing some results in the faster water.

In the upper reaches (below Saguaro Lake), it is still possible to catch bass, catfish and bluegills in the deeper holes. Live bait such as worms or flashy lures, such as inline spinners, are best. On angler caught a 3-pound bass on Monday morning.
GREEN VALLEY LAKE, PAYSON – This is an urban program lake has been stocked with rainbow trout. 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.

CREEKS – Haigler, Canyon, Tonto, East Verde and Workman are not currently being stocked, but they have plenty of fish and are still worth visiting. Browns should be staging for the spawn and there are plenty of rainbows to catch. Try Pheasant tail nymphs, copper Johns, big wooly buggers and semi-seal leaches. Spin anglers should try night crawlers or salmon eggs.


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