Central Arizona

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July 24th, 2008
Central Arizona

URBAN LAKES – June 23-28 was the last week for catfish stockings at the urban lakes this summer.  With the 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.  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.  The best catfish action is during low light or nighttime conditions and sunfish continue to bite well on small worms fished under a bobber.  At Green Valley lakes most of the trout have been fished out, but anglers are enjoying great action on bluegill, crappie and bass.  Try small jigs and worms fished under a bobber at Green Valley.

Caught at Tempe Town Lake, Jim HarkenTEMPE TOWN LAKE

Shore anglers are catching largemouth bass on Crankbait and jigs.

LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1678 ft, which is 75% full.

Anglers are reporting fewer shad boils, but a couple fishermen didn’t let that get them down.  They fished in the northern coves with 4 inch swimbaits and caught mostly stripers and whites.  The largemouth bass they caught were around a pound or pound and a half in size.  When the bite slowed in the coves they fished mid lake with Carolina rigged worms and other plastic critters and had some luck with that technique.

Lots of night fishermen saw an obvious reduction in striper action during the full moon phase.  Fishing was good until the moon came up then the bite turned off.

Water conditions reported as hovering around 85oF.   Be diligent and find shad boils and use top water lures such as Spooks, Vixens, Zara Puppy’s and the like.  Clear lures are working well.  Kastmasters are also spoken highly of by many anglers.  Jigs are also working for a variety of fish along with Carolina Rigged plastics.

Striper fishing is fantastic, not only in the northern coves but boils are surfacing all over the lake, usually in the morning.  Try the clear topwater lures.  An angler got into the boils and he caught over 50 stripers in a morning of fishing, also about 12 whites and 5 largemouth bass.

Angler report:

Where: lake pleasant
When: 07/17/08
Caught: 1 channel cat
Technique: anchovy
Comments: lots of bites till sun went down
Name: Andrew Althaus

Where: lake pleasant
When: 07/19/08
Caught: Stripers
Technique: tubes and grubs on a trolling down rig
Comments: night fishing on a full moon night
Name: Terry

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.

ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake elevation is 2146 ft (94% full).

Tonto Creek runoff is at 44 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 230 cfs.

One nighttime angler mentioned a slow bite at Roosevelt, but he did catch about 20 largemouth bass and all were in the slot.  The drop shot method and Texas rigged plastics worked well.  Another fisherman mentioned top water poppers are working for him in the morning.

Another night angler caught over 40 fish using drop shots and crankbaits in the boils.  When the bite slowed around 8:30pm he turned to Carolina rigged plastics and caught another 10-15 more.  He caught 3 bass in the morning.  Water temperature was 84 F and water clarity was 8-10 feet.

Fishing reports for Rosey has been a bit sparse, but some anglers are having luck with worms using the drop shot method; Texas rigged and Carolina rigged plastics thrown in the bushes is working as well.  The frogs are out so try some frog imitations.  Try Another thing that will get you some action is putting a cicada on a hook, don’t use a weight, throw it as far as you can then let some more line out and slowly retrieve it.  This works pretty good for shore anglers.

APACHE – Lake elevation is 1909 ft (95% full).

Anglers are catching bass and catfish in the Crabtree area.  Worms are working pretty well and if you have minnows throw one of those in there.  Don’t forget Apache is a very good yellow bass lake, with some absolute lunkers hanging out on the points where the substrate takes a dip.  Look at your sonar and find out where they are hanging and throw Kastmasters if you have them.  The silver and blue ones are working pretty well for anglers right now.  You might come up with a walleye if you use shad like lures.

CANYON – Lake elevation is 1657 ft, which is 95% full.

I’m still hearing good things about fishing at Canyon Lake; water clarity is a bit low but fish are lively and healthy.
Excellent fishing reported at Canyon Lake.  A knowledgeable angler used 1/8 oz kastmasters and caught 68 fish.  His fishing spots were at Beaver Landing, Teddy Bear Pt, and Beer Can Pt.   The bite was pretty much over after 12:30pm.  The tally was 41 yellow bass, most were between 8.5 and 11 inches, 17 bluegill most between 4-7 inches, 8 largemouth bass 4.5 to 8 inches, and 2 channel catfish 12 and 14 inches.  Water clarity was poor but fish were lively and healthy.
Shore fishing at Canyon Lake is pretty good as well.  A family used worms and caught quite a few bluegill and several catfish from the Acacia picnic site.

Angler report:

Where: Canyon
When: 7/15/08
Caught: Cat and bluegill
Technique: top water foot under with stinkbait for the cat. small worm top water about 6 inch under for blue gill
Comments: Started at 4 and fished till 9 and ended up with 4 cats and 8 blue gill. Cats were a little small up to 2.5 lbs blue gill were really small but more around then I new what to do with.
Name: Tyler

SAGUARO – Lake elevation 1525 feet at 93% full.

A couple fishermen reporting the bite was off a bit a Saguaro last week and they only caught 14 fish between the two of them.  They used kastmasters and 1/16th oz jigs and caught 3 largemouth of varying sizes, 6 bluegill (two were 8 inches), 4 channel catfish and only 1 yellow bass.  A couple good spots include Eagle’s Grotto area, Skunks Wash and the Meadows.  The water clarity was poor but all fish caught were healthy and spunky.

A couple anglers caught over 60 fish in about 7 hours.  They caught mostly largemouth bass using kastmasters and bottom bumping a plastic worm on a jig heads.  They also caught a fair number of bluegill, yellow bass and a couple channel catfish. These guys are avid fishermen and they noticed the largemouth bass are growing nicely.

Angler report:

Where: Saguaro Lake
When: 07/20/08
Caught: 10 Largemouth Bass
Technique: Drop Shot and crank bait
Comments: Several of the fish were well over 12″.
Name: Michael Rathgeber
BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1789 ft, which is 86% full.

One angler mentioned fishing was tough and he only caught 6 fish on his fishing trip.  He did have success using plastics and jigs off the main lake points.

Another angler says the fishing is real good.  Dropshot method, jigs and crankbait worked for him on 1-2 pounders.  He also says to fish the points in about 20 feet of water.  Bluegill are aggressive near shore around the rocky areas.

Anglers are having good luck catching flathead catfish on just about anything they throw out.  Typically you catch them using live bait, they must be pretty Hungary to go after lures and plastic worms.  Try throwing a decent sized minnow or better yet a waterdog and see what lunker hits your bait.

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.

Angler Report:

Where: Bartlett
When: 07/13/08
Caught: 4 Largemouth
Technique: Topwater, poppers only!
Comments: They did not want sammy, props, or buzz baits. Also tried skinny dippers, no luck. Water stopped boiling around 9:30am. Left around 10:00am. Decent 2lb 4oz out of the bunch while one was a pounder and other two were little guys. Also had a hit on a flick shake but couldn’t get them to bite it again.
Name: Efrain Betancourt Jr.

San Carlos Lake

Angler report:

Where: san carlos lake
When: 07/10/08
Caught: large mouth bass
Technique: 4 inch purple with fire tail, fishing along the steep rocky cliffs north of the dam! also caught crappies
Comments: using a 32 oz jig head with a 4 inch worm, any color worked for me, motor oil was the best right at about 3pm to about 11pm.caught about 25 bass, all over 4lbs, and 4 were 5, 5 1/2 and a 6 pounder! my dad caught about 35 crappie in the same area! had to be the best single day of weight and fishing in my life!! the bite stopped right about 11 pm, the lake is coming alive!!

HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 1988 feet, which is 28% full.  They are releasing water at 400 cfs.

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 143 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 400 cfs.

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 230 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 143 cfs.  They are releasing 875 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake)
No more trout stocking for the summer, but you can still catch bass, catfish, carp and sunfish.   Worms are a good all around bait and jigs will work for the sunfish and bass.  Corn will entice the carp.  Its cicada season, so try putting one of them on your hook and throw it out as far as you can, let the current take it a bit then slowly reel it in.  No weight on the line though.  Try it around overhanging vegetation.  You can also catch roundtail chub in the deep water around Coon Bluff, Phon D. Sutton and Granite reef areas.  They will hang out in the pools.  You can catch them with trout lures, Kastmasters, Meps or worms.  The tubers typically take out near blue point so if you fish downstream there won’t be as many of the tubers in your way.  Make sure you have your Tonto Pass which can be purchased from a variety of convenience stores including, circle K’s and Big Five Sporting Goods stores.

CREEKS – Terrestrial patterns are working well according to the fishermen and fishing supply vendors.

Haigler Creek – Dry flies, cicada patterns, ant patterns and hoppers are doing well for fly fishermen right now.

Canyon Creek – Try terrestrial patterns such as cicada, ants and hoppers.  One angler caught a 14 inch wild rainbow on a hopper.

Tonto Creek – Terrestrial patterns including hoppers, ant patterns and cicadas are all working pretty well.

Christopher Creek – Trout are hitting terrestrial patterns.  If you catch a bass keep it they need to be fished out.

East Verde – Terrestrial patterns

Workman Creek – Terrestrials

Angler report:

Where: Workman Creek
When: 07/19/08
Caught: Rainbow trout
Technique: Mepps #1 spinner
Comments: Caught about 10-12 nice sized rainbows. River was hard to fish as the flow is down. Water was very clear and it was fun to watch them chase and hit the lure.
Name: Jason Williams

Horsethief Basin Lake – Lake Level is up, fishing is nominal.

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