Central Arizona

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June 26th, 2008
Central Arizona

URBAN LAKES — Last catfish stocking will take place the week of June 23-28.  With lake temperatures climbing rapidly towards 90 degrees and air temperatures well above 100, 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 after lake and weather conditions improve enough to safely transport and stock catfish once again.  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.

Where:Chapparel
When:06/18/08
Caught:5 catfish- 2- 3lb, 1-small, 1 6lb beast
Technique:night crawlers- “green monsters”
Comments:use green monsters with a split shot 12 inches from the hook. let it sit there and bammm. good fighters!
Name:John

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

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 1,689 feet (three feet lower than last week), which is 85-percent full. Anglers fishing the submerged creek channels at night in the northern end of the lake while using frozen anchovies with little or no weight are sometimes filling their livewells with stripers. Please catch and keep all the stripers you can – there is not limit on them here.
There is also some striper action on topwater at first light in the backs of some coves – looks for boils of stripers chasing shad. Once the striper bite is over (not long after first light), start looking for the largemouth bass topwater action in the coves. The topwater action might be more subtle – look for small surface disturbances and cast past them, then work the topwater lure back.

Good bass fishing if you are using drop shots and Carolina-rigged plastic worms.

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: 06/18/08
Caught: 15 Stripers
Technique: Drop shot cut frozen anchovies
Comments: Tied up to the tire line in 75 feet of water at 8 p.m. and fished until 11:30. Fish were 20-30 feet down. I finally got a green submersible light and used that instead of a floating white light. What a difference! Most fish were 1-3 lb with one 4 pounder and one 6 pounder to round out the night. Really great night of fishing!
Name: Christian Luckock


Where: Lake Pleasant
When: 06/19/08
Caught: 1 White Bass, 1 Largemouth, 4 stripers, 1 Flathead
Technique: Trolling……with worms
Comments: The Bass were eating size, as long as you weren’t too hungry. Flathead was 20 lbs.
Name: John Cruse
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

ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake Elevation is 2,148 ft (96-percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is at 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 208 cfs.  There is a decent topwater bite at first light. After that, try working drop shots in 10 to 25 feet of water off the points, or along deeper brush lines.

The night crappie fishing should be picking up right now. Try live minnows or mini-jigs off the mouths of coves, or along extended brushy points in the main lake. Experiment to find the active crappies – remember, crappie feed upwards.
Night fishing for flatheads seems to be picking up big time, with some anglers catching monsters from 15 to 50 pounds at times using live bluegills or small carp as bait. Try below the Diversion Dam on the Salt River just above Roosevelt Lake.

Angler reports:
Joel Harris sent an e-mail saying that on Tuesday evening (June 17th), he caught a 6- pound 10-ounce largemouth bass on the surface in the Windy hill area.

Where: Roosevelt lake
When: 06/20/08
Caught: 3 Largemouth bass, 5 Bluegill
Technique: The five bluegills where caught with night crawler with a little size 8 hook and slip shot on bottom. The largemouth where all caught on a 1/0 lazer-sharp hook and a watermelon with red flake Senko rigged wacky style.
Comments: The bass would just hit and then not keep going for it so I lost about three others on a float tube at Grapevine. when they hit, pull up and hold on. All were slot and released.
Name: matthew burch

Where:Roosevelt Lake
When:06/14/08
Caught:Channels, crappie, yellows
Technique:Night crawlers, chicken livers, bluegills and everything in the box.
Comments:Got on the water about dusk and picked up one small yellow bass. Fished all night catching a small channel cat once in a while on worms. One crappie under the light, and another tiny yellow the next morning. According to this website, they’re not supposed to be in Roosevelt…?
Name:Kirk Brandon

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 smallmouth, 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 – Lake elevation is 1,912 ft (97-percent full). Game and Fish conducted fish surveys late April.  We set a total of 30 nets and 30 sites were sampled via electro-fishing.

Walleye: The best site for walleye was around Three Mile Island. All were very robust and over 20 inches long. They like to hang out around points where the substrate drops off.

Largemouth: The best site for largemouth bass was in the Crabtree Wash area.  One fish was over 5 pounds and many were over 2 pounds. We caught largemouth bass in most sites that were near good habitat. So wherever you have overhanging vegetation you might want to flip your worms in there. We also caught some young of year and some of our tagged stocked largemouth. The tagged ones were between 7 – 8 inches.

Smallmouth:  In October of 2007 we stocked smallmouth and they have distributed themselves all over the lake. We caught them at every site that had good smallie habitat. Look for nice rocky substrate that goes into the lake and they will be there.  They have grown a couple inches since we stocked them so they are now around 8 inches or so.  All were healthy and lively.

Carp and Buffalo Fish: The shallow coves had lots of huge carp and some buffalo fish.  One buffalo fish had to be over 50 pounds, I say that because he got away before we got him into the boat, but he was a monster.

Catfish: Many coves had some large catfish. Burt Corral area is a good place to fish for them.

Yellow Bass: We caught a lot of yellow bass. Most are off the points where the substrate drops off.  Some were very close to 2 pounds. Many were over a pound.  Apache Lake is a blue ribbon yellow bass fishery that many people just aren’t aware of.  They are fun to catch and even better to eat.

Crappie continues to be caught around the marina area as reported by fishermen.  Trout are still in the system, we caught many in our nets and anglers are reporting catching them all up and down the lake.

CANYON — Lake elevation is 1658 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: 06/20/08
Caught: none
Technique: worming Texas rig
Comments: fourth time to canyon lake in one month, with only one bass to show. What has happened to this fishery?
Name: tim dousette
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

SAGUARO — Lake elevation 1,525 feet at 93-percent full. 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
When: 06/13/08
Caught: Yellow Bass, Bluegill, Largemouth
Technique: Drifting Night Crawlers and Power Bait
Comments: My nephew, Drew Butler, was here on vacation. We went to Saguaro around Butcher Jones in Float Tubes. Keep in mind, this is Friday the 13th! Drew’s 1st fish of the day was a monster yellow! Fully 13 inches long and FAT! My scale broke, so I couldn’t get a weight on it, but it dwarfed all the other fish we caught! (Which included 2 nice largemouths he let go and about 7-8 dinner plate sized bluegills!)
Name: k kennedy
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 1,999 feet, which is 44-percent full.  They are releasing water at 400 cfs.

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 51 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 950 cfs.

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 208 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 189 cfs.  They are releasing 575 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro.  Some anglers are hauling in huge flatheads near the Diversion Dam above Roosevelt.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Next trout stocking is scheduled for the week of June 23 at Blue Ridge and Water Users. Don’t forget your Tonto Pass.
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: 06/22/08
Caught: beautiful healthy rainbow trout
Technique: fly rod…
Comments: A terrific day despite high temps and high fuel costs. Fishing was effortless. ALL fly techniques apply. Water level back up. . Sun screen recommended and Watch out for the tubers…
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.

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