Central Arizona

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June 23rd, 2008
Central Arizona

URBAN LAKES — Spring catfish stockings to end. There is one more catfish stocking the week of June 23-28.  Over 7,000 catfish were stocked every other week in the 19 Urban Fishing Program waters in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.  It takes two large stocking trucks with 20 compartments per truck to safely deliver the nearly two-pound catfish all the way from Arkansas.  As summer approaches and temperatures routinely exceed 100 degrees, it becomes impractical to haul live fish into Arizona’s urban lakes. No fish stockings will be scheduled during July, August and the first half of September. Fall catfish stockings will resume in mid-September.  Anglers can still fish for catfish, bass and bluegill at urban waters throughout the summer, but the action is generally slower.

Urban fishing report: Fishing for catfish continues to be good to excellent the week of stocking.  Anglers are having luck using stink baits or shrimp fished on the bottom.  Sunfish continue to bite well on small worms fished under a bobber.  The cool weather is keeping lake temperatures low allowing fish to be active throughout the day.

At Green Valley lakes (Payson) fishing is slowing down for trout, but anglers are still getting bites using worms or Power Bait.  Bluegill, crappie and bass are still biting well on small jigs and worms fished under a bobber at Green Valley.


Where: Red Mountain
When: 06/12/08
Caught: 2 1/2 lb catfish
Technique: fished the bottom with a treble hook with chicken liver stink bait.
Comments: Fished from 7:30 to 10:00 caught it right around 10:00. The lake was the most crowded I have ever seen it.
Name: Ryan Kann

Where: Kiwanis
When: 06/13/08
Caught: 5 pound catfish and 3 pound and 2 pound
Technique: stink bait worms
Comments: On 6-11-08 my son joe hooked a 5-pound catfish 23 long.  Two days later I hooked a 5-pound catfish 25″1/2 and my other son Andrew hooked two 3 pounders and my daughter Jolene hooked 2 1/2 pound catfish; really good year for me and my family. Thanks for ever thing keep up the good work
Name: Joe Chavez

Where: Chaparral Lake
When: 06/08/08
Caught: 2lb Catfish
Technique: Used Night crawlers all morning with Large hook for catfish and had a lot of bites (sunfish) but could not hook anything. I switched to smaller hook and used Power Bait for sunfish and caught 2lb Catfish. Ironic, but a nice catch.
Comments: Another gentleman caught 4. Between 2 and 5 lb cats.
Name: Phill

Where: Surprise Lake
When: 06/01/08
Caught: catfish
Technique: 1/4 oz sliding weight with swivel, and number 6 or 8 snelled hook, stink bait-blood smell
Comments: over 21 in.
Name: rizek housari
Where: Desert West
When: 05/18/08
Caught: Caught a 6 and a half pound catfish
Technique: Caught early morning, using 10 lb. test line, no.6 hook. With a small steal leader. I use worms most of the time. That’s what I was use worms that morning.
Comments: I did take some pictures. Have to get them develop.
Name: Tim Meisenhoelder

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Don’t forget when fishing Tempe Town Lake the east end of the lake is more productive and fish near structure.  In that lake that means the bridge abutments or piers. I’m not saying that where all the fish are but your chances are a little better there. A couple fishermen reported catching bass on drop shots and spinners.  Watch for the shad boils.

Worms are enticing the catfish to bite. Another fisherman stopped by in the evening for a half hour and caught two bass fishing from shore using a green spinner bait.
One angler stopped by Tempe Town Lake for an hour one morning and using corn on the bottom caught a rainbow trout and a channel catfish.
Angler report:
An angler caught a nice bass in a couple hours from shore on a very windy day last week.  He used a chatterbait with a white skirt.
Where: Tempe Town Lake
When: 06/11/08
Caught: Chanel Catfish
Technique: 4 cats, including a 9 pounder. All using cut bait on the bottom from pontoon boat. Also released a 7# cat that had some skin irritation on it!
Comments: All fish caught in less than 2 hours, early in the morning
Name: Mike Gilbert

Where: river view
When: 06/11/08
Caught: catfish
Technique: stink bait
Name: david barfuss
LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1,692 ft, which is 89-percent full. Good bass fishing if you are using drop shots and Carolina-rigged plastic worms. The striper bite seems to be off a bit right now for the night fishermen; keep trying. A couple anglers had luck with the stripers trolling minnows between 12 and 35 feet of water.  They fished in the morning.
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: 06/06/08
Caught: 7 Stripers 1-3 lbs
Technique: Frozen anchovies with a spilt shot dropped to about 50-60 feet west of the 10 lane launch ramp.
Comments: Good consistent night bite from 9 p.m. until 12 a.m. Dad was skunked (0 fish) but he was a great help baiting our hooks and throwing chum for us.
Name: Matthew (8 yrs) and Luke (5 yrs) Liberatore

Editor’s note: Great going Matthew and Luke – it does us old dads good to be skunked by the youngsters once in awhile – helps keep us humble.
Where: lake pleasant (humbug)
When: 06/16/08
Caught: two largemouth bass 1.5# and 1#
Technique: dropshot with Robo worms, Senkos, Luhr Jensen crankbaits
Comments: Fished twice in the last week from 6 a.m. – 12. Caught three fish one day and two the next. Found fish in almost every cove just not feeding very aggressively. Still might have a little post spawn blues I guess.
Name: rick martin

Where: Lake Pleasant
When: 06/16/08
Caught: 10 stripers, 4 white bass, and 1 largemouth
Technique: Used crankbaits and top-water lures
Comments: Caught most while they were feeding on shad
Name: Andrew Peru

Where: Lake Pleasant (all over the place)
When: 06/14/08
Caught: 1 Largemouth Bass (released)
Technique: Topwater (Super Spook) rattle bait (Silver/shad)
Comments: I haven’t been fishing like a lot of the veterans on this lake but where is that June to water madness? I guess the wacky weather we had this spring is making things a little harder to predict on the water. Also a side note to fishing; I noticed a lot of littering boaters out there this weekend. Really, is that that hard to keep trash bags on your boat?
Name: D.N.

Where: Lake Pleasant
When: 06/10/08
Caught: 9-Largemouth Bass
Technique: Bass Assassins-Worked slowly about 2-3 feet below the surface. Worked in the brush in the northern coves.
Comments: Fished from 6:15 am until 11:30 when the bite just died. Several fish seen near the tires at the marina, but wind was pushing us too fast to work them slowly enough.
Name: Ron Nixon

Where: LAKE PLEASANT
When: 06/02/08
Caught: STRIPER
Technique: FISHING TIRE AREA WITH DROP LIGHTS AT EARLY EVENING WITH CUT SARDINES IN 40-60 FT
Comments: CAUGHT 30 PLUS FISH IN 3 HRS
Name: JOHN SWANK
A 12.1-pound bass from Roosevelt. Caught Saturday morning during the topwater bite between 4-5 a.m. Caught bass using a buzzbaits and plugs. The bass were feeding heavily, so bring your fly rod and have some big fun.

ROOSEVELT LAKE – Bass and crappie fishing have slowed somewhat, but catfish angling is picking up by leaps and bounds. This is also an excellent time to target bluegills. Try the flooded brush in the backs of coves using mealworms under bobbers – the kids will have a ball – they eat pretty well too.
Where: ROOSEVELT LAKE
When: 06/06/08
Caught: Bass, Cats
Technique: Black Buzz and Crawlers
Comments: Fishing is slow; one slot bass at dawn at Windy Hill did better for cats on crawlers on the Salt River end. Drowned four dozen minnows and never found a crappie. The only thing hot was the weather but had a great time with my son and father in law
Name: Mike

Where: Roosevelt lake
When: 06/02/08
Caught: 7 bucket mouths, 2 small mouth, 1 crappie
Technique: Used spinner baits and drop shot.
Comments: Fished all night from 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. caught 1 crappie that night then nothing the rest of the night, until about 4 a.m. then the fun began started on spinners then switched to drop shot caught ten fish all together not as good news for my buddy that went with he got the goose egg… needless to say he was not to happy with me I might need a new fishing buddy now. All were keepers 3 overs and the rest unders.
Name: Scott Williams

APACHE – Analysis by biologists indicates high levels of golden alga at all locations.  Threadfin shad have been dying since May 13.
.

CANYON — Lake elevation is 1659 ft, which is 93-percent full.
Good fishing at Canyon if you use worms.  A couple fishermen fished in the morning using worms and they caught 30 “good sized” bluegills, 10 yellow bass, a couple small largemouth bass and three channel catfish.

Angler reports:

Where: Canyon Lake
When: 06/15/08
Caught: Nothing
Technique: Lures/live shad
Comments: Shad are starting to run pretty good, but not much is chasing them
Name: Jason
Where: Canyon Lake
When: 06/13/08
Caught: Nothing
Technique: Worms, Buzzbaits, Crankbaits
Comments: Very Disappointed with the condition of the lake… The water quality was very poor and we spent more time dodging huge pieces of driftwood than we did fishing… With high fees charged now, you think they could afford to do a little clean up… We couldn’t even take advantage of the whole lake due to a huge debris field about 3/4 the way up.
Name: T. Baldwin

Where: Lake Pleasant
When: 06/07/08
Caught: 6 Largemouths 1 Channel Cat
Technique: Carolina rig worms & lizards fished from shore from 6-10am. Had fun in the sun!!!

SAGUARO — Lake elevation 1526 feet at 95-percent full.
Game and Fish along with several volunteers from United Arizona Anglers Foundation stocked 50,000 two inch largemouth bass at Saguaro Lake.  There were some delays in the fish delivery and only half of our order was delivered (Gee – welcome to our world).  Once delivered, the fish had to soak in a 6-hour ‘bath’ to receive a mark that enables biologists to differentiate stocked fish from naturally reproduced fish in the system.  From Saguaro Lake the marked fish for Canyon and Apache lakes were offloaded into separate stocking trucks.  Despite the significant delay, many volunteers still helped with the stocking at Saguaro and Canyon lakes.  We would like to give a big thank you to the volunteers from United Arizona Anglers Foundation who made the stocking effort a very smooth transaction – and our apologies for the delay.

This is a hot spot for large bluegill. Perfect for youngsters fishing worms under a bobber. There are also plentiful yellow bass, channel catfish galore, and plenty of yearling bass to catch.

Where: Saguaro Lake
When: 06/06/08
Caught: 6 Largemouth bass
Technique: Shad color Wiggle Wart, 4 1/2″ A’s Magic Robo Worm
Comments: 3 on the Wart, 3 on the Robo. Missed a bunch!! The snags and the beach up river.
Name: Joel Illig
BARTLETT – The crappie bite has slowed down but anglers are still catching them with BBC jigs and minnows. Bass being caught on Texas rigs, drop shots and on topwater (first and last light). No reports from flathead anglers, but this is the prime season.

Where: Bartlett
When: 06/14/08
Caught: 3 largemouth bass
Technique: Rapala deep diving crank baits, perch and sunfish colored.
Comments: I have been using the tried and true shad colored, large crank baits with no result. Tried small sunfish and perch colored crankbaits and got action late in the morning. The fish were stacked up in the river above yellow cliffs and seemed to be hitting well there. Nothing was biting on the lake.
Name: Grant Armendariz

Where: Bartlett lake
When: 06/12/08
Caught: bass
Technique: Carolina rigs with Senkos, spider jigs in 20+ feet water, Rat–Traps.
Comments: tough fishing but the Carolina rigs off the edges of the islands and points in 20 feet of water are what worked the best, 6 nice 2# bass. The Senkos seem to get better response than a regular worm or a crawdad replica. Also trolled some Rat-L-Traps a little and caught three on that.
Name: Harvey Nelson
HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 2,015 feet, which is 75percent full.  They are releasing water at 900 cfs.

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 90 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 950 cfs.

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 632 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 599 cfs.  They are releasing 575 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) –Stocked the week of June 9 and is scheduled for June 23 at Blue Point Bridge and Water Users.  Don’t forget your Tonto Pass – you have to buy it before going (it’s a Forest Service deal, the Game and Fish Department is not involved).

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.
Where: Lower Salt River
When: 06/08/08
Caught: rainbow trout
Technique: fly rod…
Comments: Once again, another fine day at the river. A little tough, actually had to work to catch fish this time. A lot warmer and the water level WAY down from last week. Go now before gas hits 5 bucks…

Where: Lower Salt River
When: 05/30/08
Caught: 1 large mouth bass (1.5 lbs, 15 inches)
Technique: 6 inch silver and black Rapala Floating Minnow.
Comments: Fished in the early evening. Started out finesse fishing, but had no luck. Switched to topwater just before dusk and caught a bass within minutes. Other anglers were having good luck with bass on Hula Poppers.
Name: Dr. Corey Devin Anderson

CREEKS – Fly-fishing is picking up in the streams.

Haigler Creek – Nymphs and leaches are a good bet.

Canyon Creek – Try nymph patterns, caddis, pheasant tails, hares ears and midges, mostly in the mornings and evenings.  Try dry fly action in the evening.

Christopher Creek — Desert Sportsman suggests using a dry dropper with a nymph below, not just in Christopher but other streams as well.

Tonto Creek – Fly fishermen are reporting good fishing but I have no details to give.

East Verde – No reports.

HORSETHIEF BASIN LAKE – Lake level is up, fishing is okay.

Colorado River Northwest

LAKE POWELL – By Wayne Gustaveson  Runoff is slowing down but the lake is still going up. The wall of incoming water still measures 87,000 acre feet per day. That amount is double the spike flood released earlier in the year. Flood waters have muddied the water upstream from Bullfrog and picked all driftwood that has been resting on the shoreline for the past decade. It is not a good idea to go upstream yet. Wait two more weeks for water to clear, wood to settle and fish to regain visibility.

Its not a boat wake -Those are stripers!

The good news is a large shad spawn occurred in the upper lake. These small fish are protected from intense predation by low visibility. As soon as the small stripers can see shad there will be day-long boils in the upper lake.

In the lower lake the slurp boils are heating up. Tiny shad are being discovered in more and more canyons. Now Rock Creek has come alive with 8-12 inch stripers slurping in larval shad less than an inch long. These micro boils are going strong in Navajo Canyon, San Juan between Cha and Piute Canyons, Last Chance and other canyons yet to be discovered.

There are many stripers that didn’t get the shad memo. They remain in the channels eating plankton. There has been a resurgence of steady catching at the Dam, Navajo Canyon, Padre Bay, Last Chance, Lake Canyon, Halls Creek at mouth and Moki Canyon mouth.

If stripers elude your best efforts, realize that they are making a transition between the open clear water and shad water in the back of the canyon. When regular spots don’t produce, look toward the back of the canyon to find migrating stripers. The search image is changing from plankton to shad. Anchovies will work better in clear deep water while a small white jig or small spoon may be better in the murky, shallower water.

Bass are still two weeks away from settling down into a summer pattern. There are small bass shallow on shore but larger fish are randomly scattered enjoying the new brush forest they have been given by rising water.

Walleye did not put on much of a show this spring. Now may be the time. It is mid June but the water temperature is now at the point that walleye have become very active and are showing up in greater numbers than any time this spring. They seem to like the water in the 70’s for stronger activity.

Catfish are providing a strong evening fishery and many bonus cats are being caught by anchovy fishermen whose bait gets too close to the bottom.

Fishing is still great at this amazing fishery. Cast in front of the leading fish – Don’t throw into the middle of the school.

LEES FERRY – Report by: Ted Welling, Lees Ferry Anglers:

Fly Fishing: There are so many locations to catch fish right now. We are working back eddies, deep runs, and riffles. About the only time to consider wading is during the early morning hours.  Otherwise plan on drifting along the outside seams and through deep runs with a weighted nymph rig. As of late the best bite is zebra midges. They have stopped taking to the scud and San Juan worm, I am still using these patterns for attractors however. The trout are bumping large patterns at the surface, which I see as great news. I heard a couple cicadas buzzing during the afternoon on Friday. Any day now! It’s my favorite time of the year! Our season for cicadas starts typically around the third week of June. If you’re looking for some the best top water fishing our river has to offer, make the time to fish with us from the third week of June through the second week of August! Call# 800-962-9755 for more information and details about our guide service and lodge.

Walk in: No new reports have been received during the last couple of days. The fishing at this section has been pretty good here as well.
The flies of choice are scuds, and zebra midges.

Spin Fishing: Spin fishing is still great! Stop in and pick up some egg patterns and ask us about the recommended rig and best areas to fish. The marabou jigs are also working.  We do have maps available in the fly shop as well.


LAKE MEAD – Lake Mead water levels continue to drop as the elevation is currently at around 1,106 feet above msl.  Water temperatures are running between 67 and 72 depending where you are on the lake.  Backs of coves are warming up nicely and largemouth bass are in shallow, some on nests.  Nighttime Striper fishing is picking up again.  Anglers using artificial lights were catching as many 13 to 18-inch stripers as they wanted to clean.  Catfishing under lights was also very productive using anchovies.  Artificial lights tend to be most productive if fished with a new moon.  June 3rd is the new moon so trolling crankbaits during the day will drop off a little.  Launching conditions at South Cove have continued to deteriorate with the dropping water.  The new concrete ramp the National Park Service just completed is one lane with buoys marking the edges.  Use caution not to go off the sides of the metal extensions at either side.  According to the Bureau of Reclamation, water levels are projected to be at its lowest levels later this month before rebounding slightly by October.

Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders.  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.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

LAKE MOHAVE –The fishing is picking up a little on the upper end of the lake.  The lake is running high at 644.6 feet above msl. The stripers seen in the fall were fat and full of shad, with schools of shad being chased by striped bass.  No sign of shad this spring so far.  If you can find schools of shad, throw a small crankbait.

Biologists from both Arizona Game and Fish Department and Nevada Division of Wildlife have continued to install fish habitat in both Carp cove and Box cove.  The largemouth and bluegill are really utilizing the new structures.  Additional habitat will be added at several locations over the next two years.  These structures are fish magnets.

There is a wheelchair accessible fishing pier just south of the main launch ramp at Katherine’s Landing. If you fish Mohave and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. 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.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.
Where:MOHAVE
When:06/01/08
Caught:LRG. & SMALL MOUTH
Technique:DROP SHOT , CRANKS
Comments:CAUGHT 6 LRG ON 6/1/08. 5 OUT OF ONE HOLE, BAM BAM BAM.ON 6/2/08 CAUGHT 4 SMALL MOUTH & 5 LRG ALL PUSHING 3LBS.COULD OF CAUGHT MORE BUT HAD TO GO.
Name:JIM Z
WILLOW BEACH – Trout are stocked every Friday. The fishing for trout has been good from shore immediately following the stocking.  Try using a Jake, Panther Martin, or other spinner’s or spoons.  If that doesn’t work you can always use Power Bait.  Some anglers are still picking up decent stripers around the Monkey Hole area.

Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. 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. If you fish Willow beach and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.
For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

TOPOCK MARSH –Water level is up, but still be careful while launching.  The catfish are biting on night crawlers and anchovies.  Bass bite is still not bad.  Crappies have shut down.  Try night crawlers or anchovies for catfish.

Game and Fish biologists surveyed the Marsh starting on the week of Jan. 15.  The largemouth bass population was observed to be very healthy, as well as channel catfish.  Crappie were also present, but in smaller numbers.

You can access the marsh by boat at North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of area for shoreline fishing too. For more information on the marsh, contact the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge at (760) 326-3853 or go to http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/havasu/index.html.

Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. 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.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM –The striper bite is picking up.  Trout were last stocked on March 24-25.  This was the last trout stocking until next winter.
Water levels on the river fluctuate, so be careful. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. 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.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

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