Central Arizona

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July 9th, 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:Water Ranch Lake
Caught:1 catfish 18″ (released)
Comments:Albino catfish
Name: John Richards
Where:Papago Ponds
Caught:3 Catfish all 12 to 15 inches
Technique:Hot Dogs fished on the bottom
Comments: Early morning. Bite lasted about 20 minutes

Where:Gilbert Water Ranch
Rotten Hot Dogs fished on the bottom.
Comments:No other bites. Tough 3 hours.

Where:Red Mountain
Caught:14 channel cats in 4 days!
Technique:Chummed water with blended hotdogs/Hot Dogs on bottom
Comments: I caught the limit twice and the other two days I lost two nice cats at the shore. All fish caught between 8:30 -10:00 PM
Name: Rob Harper
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!

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
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:
Where:Tempe Town Lake
Caught:channel catfish
Technique:Used hot dogs dipped in stink bait. Also chumming seemed to help. Fished south shore east of Mill.
Fished from 8 p.m. to 10:30. Landed 5 mostly small with one good 4-pound fish. My son broke off about a 5 pounder at the lake wall. One of the fish had a slightly damaged ketchup packet from In “N” Out burger in its stomach. Also several fish had recently eaten crawdads.
Name: Joe Pettinato

Where:Tempe Town Lake
Caught:NothingTechnique:Fishing for LM Bass from concrete pier and under Scottsdale road bridge. Used Blue Fox and Rooster Tail spinners.
Name: David T

Where:tempe town lake
Caught:12 lb catfish
Technique:using cut bait with 1/4oz weight off of drop offs
went to do a few hours of sunset fishing was pretty slow till around 9 then it started to pick up
Name: ron lowe

Where:Tempe Town Lake
Caught:1 Sunfish, 7 catfish from 1lb to 5 lbs
Technique:Sunnie caught on a bleeding shad, and catfish caught on hot dogs and chicken liver
Comments:We were there for about 5 hours and had tons of catfish bait stolen by the little guys. Loads of fun and a few good catches. All catches from shore.
Name: Patrick Cardone
LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1,682 feet, which is 78-percent full.

Fishermen are reporting real good early morning striper and white bass fishing.  Check out the various coves and flats for the shad boils. The boils tend to die down after 8:30 – 9 a.m. The topwater lures that people are having good luck with are the vixens, Rapalas and Rebel Wee R’s.

The stripers are being reported as pretty aggressive.  There is no limit on these two species and they are delicious. You have to remove the blood vein in the stripers and it really helps to bleed them out for a tasty treat.  The prep isn’t quite as important on the whites. If you keep the stripers the largemouth bass fishermen will sing your praises.

The early morning temperature at Castle Creek is nearly 84 F.  A couple anglers did well catching whites and stripers in the northern coves and the northern shelf areas in the early morning.  Swim baits worked for them and they ended up catching about 16 fish. The biggest stripers and whites were about 2 pounds.

Another early morning angler had good luck catching stripers with topwater lures in the Aqua Fria. He caught whites near the shoreline on the west side of the lake on topwater lures as well.  The clear lures are enticing the fish better than the darker colored ones.

One angler mentioned some striper action using small swim baits when shad would boil near his boat.  The boil didn’t last very long so you had to be ready. Several anglers have mentioned that the stripers are eating lots of small shad.

Two anglers report casting (at boils) or slowly trolling small KastMasters (1/16-ounce) across the mouths of major coves at first and last light to catch 60 or more stripers.

We have mixed report from night anglers. Some are cleaning up on stripers using frozen anchovies. Others can’t seem to buy a bite.

Past striper studies have shown that stripers are less prevalent in the large arms of the lake, such as the Agua Fria and Castle Creek areas, than they are in the more open, deeper, more oxygenated waters of the main basin, especially in those areas stretching across the major arms or in front of the major coves. These are natural ambush spots.
Where:lake pleasant
Caught:striped bass and flat head catfish
Technique:anchovy for striper and piece of striper meat caught the flathead; the striper was really small, flathead 5 pounds.
Name:andrew althaus

Where:Lake Pleasant
Caught:7 Stripers, 1 Carp, 1 Channel Cat
Technique:Tied up at the tire line around 9 p.m. and fishing until midnight. Cut Frozen Anchovies on the bottom (90 foot of water) for carp & catfish, drop shot in 15-30 feet of water for stripers.
Comments: Striper bite was ok but they were hard to catch. I must have missed about 10 of them and ended up spending more time baiting my hook then catching fish. The ones I did land were all under 2 pounds. The carp was a great surprise and weighed in at just under 12 pounds. The catfish was also decent sized at 6 pounds. Great night all in all.
Name: Christian Luckock

Where:Lake Pleasant
Caught:Largemouth Bass, Bluegills & Sunfish
Technique:3″ White curly tail grub… NOTHING ELSE !!!
More Bluegill & Sunfish than any 1 man should ever have to count. 4 largemouth at 1st light (1-2 lb range) – not bad for shore fish’in. Nothing else ALL DAY !!!
Name: Keith
Where:lake pleasant
Caught:three cat fish and one bass
Technique:sardines for cats, and the bass was caught on a bluegill colored deep-diving crankbait
fishing poor all night before and all the next day
Name: andrew althaus

Where:Lake Pleasant
Caught:2 white Bass, 3 Largemouth, 6 Stripers
Technique:Trolling………..with worms
Kept the 2 whites and 4 stripers. Others were sent back to grow up.
Name: John Cruse

Where:Lake Pleasant
Caught:16 Stripers
Technique:Anchovies and live schad. Fished in one of the channels from 9pm to 2am.
Comments: Average size was about 2lbs. Couple of 4 pounders. Baby stripers were chasing the schad around the lights. Had to sink the bait passed them quickly or cast it out and let sink. The bigger ones were hitting more consistantly on anchovies.
Name: Russell Mortensen

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 2,147 feet (96-percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is at 17 cfs, while inflow from the Salt River is at 468 cfs.

Topwater fishing seems to be a little slow. Anglers don’t report seeing all those nice early-morning boils. Either they aren’t occurring, or they are happening where our reporting anglers don’t go. Let us know what you see out there.

Curly tail jigs worked pretty well at night, first light and early morning.

The crappie bite seems to be an ephemeral thing. Trolling jigs in and around the submerged trees works real well when the bite is on.  If all else fails fish with some live minnows in and around the submerged trees and get some largemouth.

An angler fished in the Tonto arm till about 11 a.m. and caught one slot bass on a Senko and trolled for crappie and caught 7 nice bluegills.

We are hearing rumors of some huge flatheads coming out of Rosey. This is the time of year to fish for them using small bluegill and carp as bait.

Angler reports:

Caught:Jack Squat
Technique:Crankbait,Senkos,Westly Worms,spinners,buzz bait, jigs all colors and types.
Comments: Fished from day break until about 12:30 did see some Big Bass, Gills and a few suckes where the shallow road is. Not even a bite. Better luck next time.

Caught:big crappies ,channel cats,blugill,white bass
Technique:minnows under crappie lights.#6 hook with small split shot.
Comments: bite started at 11pm to 3am bite real light. water depth 40 ft.fish caught at varing depths
Name: ErnieGallegos

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
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 1910 ft (96% full).

Cat fishermen are doing pretty well.  Trout are still being caught near the marina.  Bass are jumping and no reports of any additional die-offs.

Be sure to try the points where the substrate drops off where the yellow bass and walleye hang out.  KastMasters is a good lure 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.

CANYON — Lake elevation is 1,658 feet, which is 97 percent full.

Here is a special report from a well-known angling correspondent — Jim 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 up to 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 carps; 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! JW.

Where:Canyon Lake
Caught:Nothing – Not even a Cold
Technique:Lures/Live Shad
Comments:Still slow. Very little shad this week.
Name: Jason

Where:Saguaro Lake
Caught:2 Channel Catfish
Technique:Night fishing, hotdogs and night crawlers. Bite was slow and both cats had all (I think) the hotdogs I had lost all night in their stomachs. Also tried for bluegill and yellow bass in the evening and morning, but nothing was biting.
The water was very murky and a reddish color. Did not see any dead fish.
Name: Kristin
SAGUARO — Lake elevation is 1,524 feet at 92-percent full.
Fishing is great at Saguaro in the mornings, especially for bluegills and yellow bass. One fisherman reported catching a 3.8-pound largemouth and the total catch from a morning of fishing by two anglers was about 15 fish. Five were largemouth and the rest were a variety of species, presumably yellow bass and bluegill.

Fish do tend to be finicky with the color of your lures, so try a variety and figure out the color of the day.  The fish were hitting drop-shot and Carolina-rigged presentations of anchovies or plastic worms, brush hogs and the like.  A couple lures that are working are jerkbaits and old reliable KastMasters.

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,788 ft, which is 85-percent full.
A couple fishermen caught some largemouth bass using drop-shot method and crankbait, but no other details revealed except impressive lighting serving up some electrical perturbations.  Be careful and cognizant of your surroundings when you are out there watching Mother Nature’s lightning shows.  Your fishing pole and metal lures make pretty good lightning rods; not to mention the fact that you are basically sitting in a big pool of highly conductive water.
Caught:Largemouth, bluegill
Technique:grubs, running the bottom.
Comments:Caught 8 bass 1 bluegill, two buddies caught another 15 bass between em on the 19th fishing from 5:30-11a.m. The 16th was a lot slower; no wind, real hot, caught 3 in 2 1/2 hours and called it quits. Hope for cooler temps and a slight breeze to break the water. Work the deeper out-crops of rocks real slow, the bite is VERY light
Name: John L Dowden

Where:Bartlett Lake
Caught:largemouth bass
Technique:various but best was Carolina rigs fished deep off the islands.
Comments: Fished once a week last 3 weeks, friend Bruce beat me the second trip at 6 to my 4, then last week he smoked me with 6 to my 2, again fishing Carolina rigs deep of the islands, I used 5″ Senko, Bruce used motoroil and orange tailed worm. Best action was after breeze picked up and stacked shad schools against the island points. Stacked fish seen on graph on front edges of the islands, we picked several out of each school.
Name: Harvey Nelson

Where:Bartlett Lake, Rattlesnake Cove
Caught:Largemouth Bass
Technique:Spin-casting, Silver Fox lure, shore casting
Comments: Caught a couple largemouth – one 12 inches – right at dusk
HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 1,993 feet, which is 35-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 400 cfs.

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 0 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 312 cfs.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Flows are 1,125 cfs from Stewart Mountain Dam. Trout were last stocked two weeks ago, but it might be 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
Caught:Rainbow Trout
Technique:Fly Rod…
Comments:Tough fishing this week. Really had to work at it. Heat, oxygen, and water temps a major factor ( both fish and tubers ). Water level up from last week. Some others catching fish on Power Bait. Again, sunscreen highly recommended and really watch out for the tubers. …, thanks to AZGFD for GREAT spring fishing so close to home and also for the beautiful healthy trout. Thanks again
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.

One Response to “Central Arizona”

  1. Kevin Hergenrader on July 13th, 2008 at 4:35 am

    I have a question as to why Game & Fish would post this in the Lake Pleasant fishing report.

    Where:lake pleasant
    Caught:striped bass and flat head catfish
    Technique:anchovy for striper and piece of striper meat caught the flathead; the striper was really small, flathead 5 pounds.
    Name:andrew althaus

    This is clearly a fishing violation, you can not use a game fish as bait to catch other fish even if the Striper was small. You have guilde lines in your fishing regulations booklet. We all ready have a major problem with Bass fishermen at Lake Plesant thinking it’s ok to throw fish on the bank to die or cut the gill plates out or even gut cut the Stripers and let them die. I would like someone from the Department to call me and explain this one. Your sending a bad message by writing this fishing report.


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