Central Arizona

Share or Bookmark:
| More
September 5th, 2008

URBAN LAKES – Catfish stockings should commence in the next couple of weeks once lake temperatures begin to decrease – stay tuned.

Four catfish stockings are planned at two-week intervals before we switch to rainbow trout in mid November.

Catfish up to four pounds are still being reported along with fish in the two-pound range, but catch rates are poor overall.

Sunfish continue to on small worms fished under a bobber; mornings are best.  Largemouth fishing is slow with the best activity around dawn for anglers using finesse worms rigged drop-shot or split-shot style, or try topwater at first light
Angler reports:

Where: Red Mountain

When: 08/30/08

Caught:a 11in bass

Technique:Banjo Minnow


TEMPE TOWN LAKE – The recent reports indicate fishing has been slow, but like other lakes, it could have been impacted by the three storms blasting through the Valley.

Where:Tempe Town Lake


Caught:catfish (5lbs+)

Technique: Zebco 202 using night crawlers by the Mill Ave Bridge

Comments: Caught by Lauren 5 years old. Released to be caught again.

Name:kerry cooper

Where:tempe town lake


Caught: 5 catfish, 1 Israeli carp

Technique: family secret

Comments:caught 2 cats; one 12 pounds one 14 pounds. An Israeli carp at 5 pounds. Good night of fishing — bites went on all night.

Name:ron and randy lowe
LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1,655 ft, which is 75-percent full.

Good fishing reported at Lake Pleasant.  Shad boils are lasting till 10 a.m. but they are all over the place and in different areas from day to day.  According to one ultra experienced angler, you can pick up over 20 assorted fish in a cove on one day and no fish in that same cove the next. The boils are erupting in the evenings as well.

Stripers, whites and largemouth bass are partaking in the shad boils. The whites and largemouth bass are large and of course you can pick up some hefty stripers.  They are hitting top water lures.

This action will build to an exciting crescendo this month – get out when you can, as often as you can. Sometimes to fish will ignore your offerings – go equipped with poles rigged with different baits. Experiment to see what works – the ultimate fall back is using a flutter-down spoon to catch the big bass below the actively feeding bass at the surface.

Don’t forget the catfish. Channel catfish are plentiful and can be easily caught from shore using corn, hot dogs, or stink bait. This lake also has some huge flathead catfish.
Angler reports:


When: 08/20/08

Caught: 4 Stripers, 1 cat

Technique: YO YO silver Croc and Anchovies

Comments: Castle Creek from 3-8 p.m. Metered school regularly but they are not as aggressive in the evening.

Name:J. Morrison

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 2143 ft (91-percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is at 35 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 1,640 cfs.

The fishing report has no been so rosy for Roosevelt Lake thanks to all the storms blasting through – but have patience, this too shall pass. Or actually, fishing has probably picked right back up as you are reading this.

The salt end isn’t that great for largemouth bass, although some anglers are catching bass using cranks close to shore. Texas-rigged worms in about 15-20 feet deep are working for some anglers and flipping your favorite worms and hawgs in submerged vegetation and overhanging trees might get you some action.   I didn’t hear any reports for the Tonto end, doesn’t mean their not biting.  Don’t forget the minnows.

Flathead anglers have been doing well, with some 40- to 50-pound monsters being caught at both ends of the lake. Live bluegills are the key.

Just a friendly reminder to all the boaters out there – don’t forget to put the plug in.
APACHE – Lake elevation is 1908 feet, which is 94-percent full..

Fishing is slow, but should pick up soon. Best bet is to try for yellow bass using gold KastMasters.
Where: Apache lake
Technique:worms, lures, plugs, liver, plastic, cicada, tuna, crayfish, cheese bait, corn, blue gill, fished deep and shallow, day and all night, in coves, near rocks, out in open water, covering 10 miles of lake-Nada.
Comments: all we saw was algae bloom, two dying shad and one fresh dead blue-gill, and lots of carp jumping for flies. We got no bites and fished between the marina and burnt corral. I suspect that the algae bloom depresses the fishes appetite.
Name:Russ Dryer

CANYON – Lake elevation is 1,657 ft, which is 96-percent full. Fishing is good at Canyon Lake; an angler in a float tube fished for two hours in the evening and caught several yellow bass, a few largemouth bass, lots of bluegill and a carp. No info on what he was using, but this particular fisherman was a fly fisherman so he probably used copper johns or pheasant tailed nymphs.

KastMasters and silver spinners also work well for yellow bass, largemouth bass and bluegill.

Where:canyon lake


Caught:3 large mouth and 1 yellow bass

Technique:small Rat-L-Traps

Comments:They were hitting in about 15 feet of water. We had to add weight to our lures to get them down

Name: jay mott

SAGUARO – Lake elevation 1,524 feet at 92-percent full. Saguaro is gangbusters right now – yellow bass and bluegill can be hard to keep off your lure.

I have another successful fishing trip to report from a couple experienced anglers.  They fished from 7 to 2:30 p.m.  The fish were scattered about the lake mostly on the outside points in 9-11 feet of water next to drop-offs. The lures of choice were 1/8-ounce KastMasters.  The final tally was 105 fish.  They caught 33 yellow bass (averaging 8-12 in), 33 largemouth bass (20 between 6-7 in and the rest were 9-11 inches), 30 bluegills (only 6 over 7 inches), 4 channel catfish (17-24 inches), 4 green sunfish (avg. 5 inches), 1 carp at 30 inches.  All the fish were healthy and they graphed large schools of shad throughout the lake.

Another couple fishermen fished Saguaro and caught about 50 fish using a variety of lures and baits including, cranks, jerkbaits, Carolina- and Texas-rigged worms and other critters.  Anglers have noticed the blue-green algae bloom is clearing up and visibility is around 4 feet.  Water temp on the main lake was 85oF.  Reaction baits were working for channel cats and bluegill.

Two largemouth bass fishermen had some good luck boating about 30 bass for the morning.  The bass were hitting artificial worms and liked the drop shot method.

Don’t ignore the plentiful channel catfish. You can load up with some good critters for a fall fish fry.

Where: Saguaro


Caught:Largemouth bass and catfish

Technique:Rapala Shad Rap and perch colored Rapala

Comments: Water clarity is improving dramatically. Plenty of baitfish in the lake.

Name:Charles Greco

Where: Saguaro

When: 08/23/08

Caught: Largemouth Bass

Technique:Drop shot 1, Jig 1, Yum Dinger 1 Also fished big cranks, topwater, spoons, and small hard baits in water from 1-30 feet

Comments:Not a good night. Fished from midnight until 7 a.m. 2 fish about 1 lb and a dink at sunrise.

Name: Mark



Caught:Large mouth and catfish

Technique:Rapala Shad Rap. Silver

Comments:The water is begging to clear up and fishing has improved. Fish are still relatively small but abundant.

Name:Charles Greco

Where:Saguaro Lake

When: 08/19/08

Caught:23 largemouth bass and 1 catfish

Technique:Slowly jigging power worms pegged on a darterhead in the shallows (3-15ft)

Comments:The bass were very aggressive on this night. I boated 23 largemouth the largest/many of which were 1 and half pounds. All bass looked very healthy yet I am still wondering where all the lunkers went from this lake. Hopefully they all didn’t die off in the golden algae. Black light and at night, fished from approx 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. I’ve been out few times in last month to Saguaro and seem to catch yet are a lot of lil guys (stockers most likely). Can’t wait a few years till they all gain some poundage.

Name:Kevin Hunter
BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,796 feet, which is 98-percent full. Watch for floating debris – the recent storms sent lots of stuff down the river, including logs. At this lake level, there is not much shoreline space for campers on Bartlett Flats. The storms also wreaked havoc on fishing for bass – they went deep. Bluegill fishing has remained fantastic using bobbers and mealworms.

The water temperature is around 87oF and the lake is way up, which is good news going into winter when Salt River Project typically draws from the Bartlett side of the irrigation equation.

Anglers are reporting topwater action is slow, but it should pick up any time – possibly by the time you are reading this. When the fall surface action starts, focus on major points, islands and reefs from the main basin to the narrows. It’s a ball.

Right now, largemouth bass are hitting reaction bait in overhanging and floating vegetation.

Anglers suggest going early to catch the early topwater bite and then try going deep along extended points or the numerous rock stringers using cranks, jigs, drop shots, and Texas-rigged worms (or lizards) if the topwater bite is lacking.

Crappie fishermen are pretty happy. According to one fisherman, jigs aren’t working all that well but trolling minnows are enticing a bite. Catfish are also taking the minnows.


When: 08/23/08

Caught:Flatheads & Bluegills

Technique:Worms, Chicken Livers, Live Bluegills,

Comments:Water level is extremely high, camping on the Flats is nearly impossible. The kids had a riot catching Bluegills that we used for bait later. Caught 2 of the smallest Flatheads I’ve ever seen in my life; 1 – 3″ and 1 – 4″. Tried corn for Carp and got skunked (1st time in a long time getting skunked for Carp). Campers beware untill the lake comes down into the 80-percent full range. Camping just too hard right now.

Name:Mike & Family

Where: Bartlett Lake, Rattlesnake Cove


Caught:Sunfish, Blue Gill

Technique: Salmon eggs, on a bobber. I tried my hand for some bass in the morning from around 8-10:30 a.m. I was pretty excited at first, there was a lot of topwater activity and fish chasing shad boils near the shoreline, I tried everything in the book: topwater, crankbaits, spinners, Shad Raps nothing worked…you could see larger bass following the shad, they just looked at my bait and didn’t even flinch. I finally gave up and went for some fun with the bluegill and sunfish I saw in the shade near a submerged tree in the cove. They were really aggressive and I caught about 5-6 in no time. I still saw good size largemouth moving really quick just off shore…threw a few deep diving crankbaits but still no luck. I’m not sure why the fish were moving so fast, never seen that before.

Comments:Just after the rain. Weather was cool, slight over cast 85-90, light winds.

Name:L. Lawrence

Where: Bartlett (Flats)


Caught: 1 2-pound Largemouth

Technique:Crankbait trolled off main lake points and what is left of the shoreline @ the flats.

Comments:There is not much shore line left near the flats and the water is very high. I did not notice as much debris floating around but be mindful of those monsoons drifting off the rim!

Name: Dave Nielson

Where:Bartlet, Jackass Cove


Caught: 1 3-lb largemouth

Technique:deep diver 22 (Norman lure) fishing along the bank.

Comments: Lake was murky, caught bass in 25 ft of water. Caught the bass just before dark. Fished primarily for catfish with anchovies. Didn’t get a bite. Fished near the dam for cats. Not one bite. Where are the cats?

Name:John Ptuyac & David Clark

Fishing editor’s note: With increased flows and nutrients coming into the lake from recent storms/runoff, catfish and even carp will often orient to take advantage of the inflows – it’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Fish accordingly.
HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 1,951 feet, no pool.  They are releasing water at 250 cfs.
VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 188 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 100 cfs.

Where:Verde River, below Bartlett

When: 08/31/08

Caught: 1 smallmouth, 4 largemouth, 1 Roundtail (i think)

Rapala black and sliver, floater, and a white spinner. Caught 2 largemouth right away; 1 came off right at the shore decent size 12-13 in. Then I caught 1 Roundtail chub, at least I think that’s what it was, I thought it was a trout at first, then when I got it in it looked like some kind of sucker. I’m not sure, it was decent size again around 12-13, it had a fat belly and put up a decent fight. After a while I switched to a spinner and on the 3-4 cast I hooked up a really decent smallmouth it was at least 2 lbs with a really fat belly. When I go it in I noticed some kind of sores all over the back half of the fish, it freaked me out a little, I didn’t even want to touch it. I ended up hooking 2 more smaller largemouth on the spinner and called it a day after about 2 1/2 hrs.

Comments:Later afternoon, weather was sunny 90-95, light breeze.

Name: L. Lawrence

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 1640 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 1593 cfs.  They are releasing 900 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake)  No more trout stocking until November, 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.  You can catch roundtail chub (a delectable native fish) 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, Mepps or worms. Make sure you have your Tonto Pass which can be purchased from a variety of convenience stores and sporting goods stores.
CREEKS – Terrestrial patterns are still working according to the fishermen and fishing supply vendors. However, most streams have warmed up and some times, torrential summer downpours can cause them to be turbid. Zug bugs are working as well.
Haigler Creek – Dry flies, cicada patterns, ant patterns and hoppers are doing well for fly fishermen right now.

Where: Haigler Creek

When: 08/24/08

Caught: Rainbow Trout

Technique: White Rooster Tail

Comments: Caught 3 nice size trout in about 10 minutes. I wanted to fish a longer but it started to rain pretty hard.

Name: Gary Fraser

Canyon Creek – Hoppers with nymph droppers are working well, but get here early to beat the crowds – the word is out.
Tonto Creek – Anglers report good fishing using hoppers with nymph droppers.
Christopher Creek – No recent reports, but try live night crawlers on light line.
East Verde – Some big trout have been caught in deep pools recently.
Workman Creek – Terrestrials are the ticket – especially hoppers.

Leave a Reply