Central Arizona

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July 3rd, 2008
Central Arizona

URBAN LAKES — The last of eight, every-other-week spring catfish stockings was 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 should still be pretty good, so the urban lakes provide a good opportunity for anglers who want to avoid high gas prices this holiday weekend.

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

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 1685 ft, which is 81-percent full.
Stripers and largemouth bass are taking jerkbait in the evenings near the Aqua Fria mouth and upriver a bit.  Drop shot method is producing some action in the same areas.

Anchovies are still a good choice in the same area and near the tires for stripers.  Largemouth bass are hitting brush hogs on the fringes of the main lake.

Water temp for one fisherman who fished in the early morning was 83 F and the clarity was 15 feet.  He was having good luck using clear topwater lures in busting shad.  It helps if there is a little color on the belly of the lure.

Once the sun hit the water, stripers went deep but the small whites were still taking the smaller clear topwater lures.  The shad boil stopped around 9 a.m.  This fisherman caught 20-25 fish, mostly whites in one morning of fishing.  The biggest striper was 6 pounds and three of the whites were 3 pounds.  The best fishing for this fisherman was in the western coves.  Try clear swimbaits if the topwater action is not working for you.

Night anglers report that the bite is more sporadic now for stripers using anchovies, but it is still possible to load up the livewell when you find a school of actively feeding stripers. Chumming is the key once you graph a school of fish. Try over submerged creek or river channels at night.

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 (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
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
APACHE – Lake elevation is 1911 ft (97% full).

Fishing is picking up and people are catching fish around the marina.  Be sure to try the points where the substrate drops off where the yellow bass and walleye hang out.  KastMasters are good lures to use.

Catfish, bass and yellow bass will hit worms.  Shore fishermen have pretty good luck with worms or minnows.  Get your minnows on the way to the lake since they are not sold at Apache Lake..

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 97% full. A family caught quite a few catfish and a yellow bass using shrimp. Although some anglers find the bite tough for lunker bass, others are cleaning up on gills and yellows.

Here is a special report from a well-known angling correspondent — Jime Warnecke — who retired recently as a fisheries biologist with Game and Fish.

Had to try the 1/8-ounce KastMaster magic at Canyon Lake just to see if the catching patterns held there like at Saguaro Lake…..short answer…….YES!

I joined friend Paul and buddy Joe yesterday at Canyon and started at 7:30 a.m. and ended fishing at 3:30 p.m. We caught fish at nearly all of the seven locations we tried, but some better than others particularly if they were on an outside point or outside shelf.

Best catch areas were Beaver Landing, Teddy Bear Point, a point near the peregrine nest up channel and Beer Can Point (we were up shallow and not over or into the new habitat, sorry).

Tally for the day was 63 fish as such: yellow bass-41 and kept 9 over 10 1/2 inches (see photo of 12 incher), largemouth bass-seven three of which were 4 inches!, bluegills-12 and kept 3 over 8 inches.(photo attached), threadfin shad-2 at 3 inches, channel catfish-1 at 16 inches.

Most fish were in 2-6 feet of water and best catching upto 1:30 in afternoon.  We had two fish on that we couldn’t even turn once hooked and following with the trolling motor didn’t help as we couldn’t catch up to ‘em before they simply broke off!  I said carpses, other two buddies said giant catfish although we didn’t get to see the mack trucks that took off with our lures!
Water was algae colored like Saguaro, but few dead fish seen except some that failed to survive our release techniques.  The 113F didn’t seemed to matter when you’re catching fish, AGFD does a good job of fish management!……(it’s sopa de pesca tonight!)……..JW.
SAGUARO — Lake elevation 1,526 feet at 94-percent full. An angler fished in the evening and caught nine largemouth bass using Rat-L-Trap lures and crankbaits.  Drop-shot plastic worms or try flipping them in brush.

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.

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 80 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 950 cfs.

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 0 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 169 cfs.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Flows are 575 cfs from Stewart Mountain Dam. Trout were stocked last week for the last time until autumn, but it is still possible to catch some. The best fishing for trout is at first light. However, it’s possible to find bass and other warmwater fish in the deeper holes. Don’t forget your Tonto Pass.

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…
CREEKS – Fly-fishing has slowed some in the streams.

Haigler Creek – Nymphs and leaches are a good bet.

Canyon Creek – Caddis flies and hoppers are working for the fly fishermen.

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

Tonto Creek – Dry flies, Caddis flies, hares ears on droppers are all working pretty well.

East Verde – No reports.

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

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