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November 21st, 2007


URBAN LAKES – Rainbow trout were stocked for the first time this season on Nov.15 at all Urban Fishing Program waters. Fishing should be good to excellent for anglers using scented dough baits (such as Power Bait), worms or small trout lures.

Trout stockings are scheduled for next week, Nov. 26 – Dec. 1 in the Phoenix and Tucson Urban Lakes. Rainbows will range from 10 to 12 inches and will be stocked at rates of 80 -100 fish per lake surface acre for Urban Lakes and at lower rates for urban ponds. Trout stockings will continue at two-week intervals throughout the winter.  Over 100,000 trout from Colorado have been ordered for delivery to the Urban Fishing Program lakes during the four month stocking season.

All lakes were recently stocked with bluegill and action is good for these feisty fighters. Try mealworms, corn or dough balls fished below a small bobber for the best action. Catfish action is fair now that the fall stockings are over. An eight-pound catfish was recently caught from Silverbell Lake in Tucson. Trout fishing is good to excellent at Green Valley lakes in Payson now that rainbow trout stockings are underway. Best baits for trout include Power Bait, salmon eggs, worms and small spinners.

A light weight pole with 4- to 6-pound test line is optimum. The lighter the line, the better the sensitivity and the trout won’t see the line as easily. Another FYI for trout fishing in general, the more flexible rod you have the least likely you are to rip the lip of the trout.  This is a function of the low test line and the rod “giving” as opposed to the trout’s lip ripping. Setting the hook real hard isn’t a real good idea with trout; you end up loosing your fish.  

Don’t forget the 2007 Class U Urban fishing licenses will be available at half price for $9.25 for the period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.  License dealers may be unfamiliar with this so bring your fishing regulations if they need verification.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Rainbow trout were stocked on Monday and Tuesday this week, so the fishing should be terrific. Try worms, scented dough baits (such as Power Bait), and small spinners.

This lake is also full of feisty yellow bass that love small spinners and meal worms. This has also become a quality bass fishery as well. Try Texas-rigged worms or drop shotted-worms worked along the bottom, especially along the shade lines from the bridges. Small bottom-bouncing crankbaits can also be effective at times.

Let us know how you do!

Remember no gas motors are allowed (trolling motors are) and you must have a boating permit, which can be obtained at the Town Lake operations center. 
LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1,648 ft which is 46-percent full.
The bite was off this last weekend.  That is typical with cooler weather and changing water temperatures.  Keep trying, it will pick up again as soon as they adjust.  Keep an eye on the weather, high pressure is usually when they bite. . as long as the water temps are stable. 

ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake Elevation is 2099 ft (45-percent full)
One report mentioned trolling proved to be successful for crappie on the Tonto end of the lake in about 15-20 feet of water. 

Jim and Donna Lindquist used buzzbaits on the shallow main lake points and landed a 5-pound largemouth, but said the fishing was slow although the weather was perfect.

Mark Dornbusch fished here for two days in early November using Rat-L-Traps worked before sun up and buzzbait at sunrise. He suggests following the baitfish! “Look for the birds perched along the shallows and you will find the baitfish and the bass. No birds – move on! The bite then died an hour after sunrise. Bass have been feeding during periods of moonlight. With the new moon things will improve during the day.”

Another angler named Boyer also said the fishing was slow, the water temperature is 69 degrees at Windy Hill and 70 degrees in the main lake, and the fish have now gone deep.

Steve and Amber Owens from Flagstaff fished for two days and finally found the bass in the back of the coves at about 2 feet of water. “We picked up some bass with pumpkin-colored spider jigs. We then went out to deeper water, finding no fish until about 20 feet deep off of the steeper rocky shores. We then had another great bite on deep-diving crankbaits. My Wife landed an 18-inch largemouth, 3-plus pounder!! Weather was great and we caught a total of 24 Bass.”

APACHE – Lake elevation is 1,909 feet, which is 94-percent full. Just a reminder, thousands of rainbow trout were stocked at the main launch and at Burnt Coral Nov. 6-8t, from Canyon Creek Hatchery and Tonto Hatchery.  The water temperature at the time of stocking was 60oF and the pH was 8.  The trout averaged around 6.5 – 7.5 inches from Canyon Creek but were a little smaller from Tonto.  Although the trout are a little small for the frying pan, I’m sure they are getting the bass and walleye a little excited. Try throwing out some “trout looking lures” to nab the big ones. Also don’t forget the yellow bass in Apache . . . they like to hang near the drop offs at the points.  Try KastMasters and spoons.    

CANYON – Closed to boaters – lake elevation is 1604 which is 29-percent full. Drawdown started Sept. 29 and will last until Jan. 26, 2008. 

Our first weekend of installing fish habitat at Canyon went well. Volunteers helped move block and pallets to Teddy Bear Point and Beaver Landing.  I would like to thank all the volunteers who helped; we couldn’t have done it without you.  There won’t be any work done on the Thanksgiving weekend, but our next work weekend will be Dec. 1 and 2.  If you are interested in helping, please call Natalie Robb at (480) 324-3541 or Curt Gill at (480) 324-3545.  Just a little reminder, December work days are Dec. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, and 16.  If we don’t get enough volunteers, that work day will be cancelled.

Work duties will involve moving construction materials, tree limbs, cement blocks and pallets from a fenced storage yard to the lakeshore nearby, then transport of these materials across the lake to the pre-selected habitat development sites.  Items will then be off loaded lakeside and materials will need to be moved to the exact location for actual construction.  There will be some light-duty machinery available for moving materials to and from the shoreline, but a majority of items will need to be moved by hand due to the proximity and loading weight of the pontoon boats/barges involved. 

We moved quite a bit of materials last weekend to two of the three sites and will soon be constructing the “Pisces pyramids,” which will involve stacking three pallets together to form tee-pee shaped structures on the dry lakebed. Cement blocks will be added as weight to the center of the tee-pee and finally trees and or tree limbs will be affixed to the sides of the pyramids.  All materials will be attached together using 2-3 foot zip-tie straps and structures will be secured to the lake bottom using duckbill anchors and galvanized cable to ensure that the pyramids will not float off site once the lake rises.   

Work hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Volunteers are asked to bring their own beverages, meals and appropriate clothes to suit the weather.  Game and Fish will have gloves available at the work site in addition to bottled water. 

Your volunteer time and effort not only helps build new habitat for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, black crappie and channel catfish but also counts as “match” for the Department to receive more Federal Sportfish Restoration dollars.  

SAGUARO – Lake elevation 1526 feet at 94 percent full.

 Jim Howell and his buddy, Bruce, fished from sunup to 2 p.m. and caught fish all day (around 50) in the Butcher Jones area and al the fish were very healthy and were released unharmed.
 I have some avid fishermen at Saguaro Lake that fished from 10:30 a.m. last Wednesday to about 2:30p.m.  They used 1/8-ounce silver and blue KastMasters and caught about 66 fish; 20 were bluegill, 16 were keeper size, 10 largemouth bass 6-8 inches and the rest were yellow bass, many were in the 6-inch range but about half of them were 9 inches and one whopper was at 12 inches.  They fished at the buoy line at the snags and off two points in that general vicinity, most fish were in 15-20 feet of water.

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,749 ft which is 41-percent full. Mixed reports. Some anglers said the fishing is terrible. Others are really hooking into the crappie and bass. Sounds like you can do well if you hit the right spot at the right time.

James Rogers caught a 17-pound and a 14-pound flathead using pieces of carp as bait. He also caught a bunch of carp on the morning, and then the bite just shut off.

Skeeter Schneider caught his limit of bass two days in a row using a blue Rapala worked close to the shore along the Yellow Cliffs.

Another angler, who did not give his name, said fishing was terrible – he only caught one bluegill all day using night crawlers.

For crappies, try small jigs and live minnows. For bass, try Texas-rigged worms or crankbaits along the rock stringers.

HORSESHOE LAKE – Water elevation is 1,954 ft, which is 3-percent full (no pool). No reports from anglers. Not even sure if this area will produce any decent duck hunting this year.

VERDE RIVER – No reports. Verde River flow at Tangle is 168 cubic feet per second (CFS) and it’s 53 CFS at Camp Verde.
LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Trout are being stocked at Phon D Sutton and Granite Reef. 

Lori Firestone wrote that she used night crawlers with a small weight and let them float downstream and although she did not catch any trout, she caught seven catfish, with two over 3 pounds, and three small bass. “The catfish were biting all day. Would have liked to see some trout, though!”

Try some Power Bait or worms.  Fishermen are also reporting successful largemouth bass fishing in the slower, deeper water using night crawlers or jerk baits. Crappie jigs are producing some results in the faster water.

In the upper reaches (below Saguaro Lake), it is still possible to catch bass, catfish and bluegills in the deeper holes. Live bait such as worms or flashy lures, such as inline spinners, are best. On angler caught a 3-pound bass on Monday morning.

GREEN VALLEY LAKE, PAYSON – This is an urban program lake has been stocked with rainbow trout. This is a great lake for the kids – give it a try.

HORSETHIEF BASIN LAKE – Mike Parks said the only thing he caught was a sunburn, but the weather was so perfect it was worth it. “Saw several largemouths. Lake is real low, lots of deer and javelina in the area.”

This tiny lake can be found up in the Bradshaw Mountains near Crown King. The lake sits in the pines and is good for a canoe or car topper. There are also improved campsites near the lake. During a recent survey, lots of largemouth bass averaging a pound and red ear sunfish nice pan size were observed. Redears love mealworms and night crawlers. No recent angler reports.

CREEKS – Haigler, Canyon, Tonto, East Verde and Workman are not currently being stocked, but they have plenty of fish and are still worth visiting. Browns should be staging for the spawn and there are plenty of rainbows to catch. Try Pheasant tail nymphs, copper Johns, big wooly buggers and semi-seal leaches. Spin anglers should try night crawlers or salmon eggs.

One Response to “CENTRAL ARIZONA”

  1. Rory’s tips are always useful. You must be a fishing-fool Rory! Thanks. Java.

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