Central Arizona

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October 6th, 2008

URBAN LAKES – Catfishing at Urban lakes has been good to excellent now that the fall stocking season has begun.
Anglers are catching 2-pound channel cats on shrimp, stink baits and hot dogs.  Activity is best in the evening and early morning, but action is starting to pick up during mid-day periods too. A couple nice 3- to 4-pound catfish were caught in the past week, and anglers are reeling in an occasional albino catfish, white in color, much to their surprise.

Bluegill and bass are starting to bite in the early mornings as cooler temperatures bring them closer to shore. Earthworms, mealworms or a piece of hot dog on a small hook under a small bobber will keep you and the youngsters busy catching bluegill.

A 6.5 pound largemouth bass was recently caught and released at Red Mountain.

At Green Valley Lakes (Payson) fishing for bass, bluegill and crappie is picking up for anglers using meal worms, curly tail grubs and small jigs.  Trout stockings are coming soon to Green Valley by mid October.

Angler reports:
Caught:5 largemouth 10 sunnys
Technique:Bass fishing is hot fish by the playground use 5-inch Robo Worms. Caught 5 lost a couple including a 17+ incher also for bluegill use hot dog fished under a small bobber and bluegills are every were.
Go early in the morning shad boils will await you cast into the schools.
Name:joe curtis

Where:Water Ranch Lake
Caught:3 Catfish
Technique:Hot dogs, chicken livers and stink bait. Got bites on all 3, but the hot dogs worked the best. Got there about 6 p.m., and left before 9 p.m.
Comments:These fish were fine, fat and Feisty! Also, this was the best I have seen this lake looking. The water was clear and there were many, many minnows and sunfish swarming the shallows.
Name:Kristin Purcell

LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1,649 ft, which is 75-pecent full.
**A note to everyone at all the lakes: When launching your boat in low light conditions please switch to your parking lights so others launching boats aren’t blinded by your headlights.

You also need to make sure you have your boat navigation lights on when traversing the water way in low light conditions.  I’ve heard reports of some close calls on the water especially right before safelight.*

Anglers have seen large concentrations of shad along the shorelines where the largemouth bass get in on the feast, then the shad go to open water where stripers take their pound of flesh so to speak.

Boils abound and topwater fishing is productive. Don’t take this report as a guaranteed fishing bonanza; the shad boils are ephemeral you have to look for them.

From the reports I’m receiving, the boils are erupting all over the lake some days, and other days they forget to show up for breakfast.  Sometimes the boils are concentrated on the west side of the lake and other times it’s the east side, northern coves are still producing – you name it. There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason.

Fishing has been great on the full moon then great on a new moon. Other days you can’t buy a fish. The mystery just makes it that much more exciting.

Anglers are catching stripers up to 4 pounds especially down lake. The stripers in the northern coves seem to be a little smaller but hungrier. The shad population seems to be doing just fine, producing plenty of food for stripers, whites and largemouth bass.

Caught:21 stripers, 10 whites and 11 cats
Technique:Anchovies and shad in Castle Creek and at the entrance to Humbug. Fished from 7PM to 11AM
Comments:Shad population appears to be very good. Plenty came up under light. Used a butterfly net to gather bait. Fished in 60-foot-plus areas and caught all fish 40 feet deep.
Name:J. Morrison

Where:Lake Pleasant
Caught:Large mouth bass
Technique:Drop shot.. Partner caught six small but feisty bass. I caught one.
Comments:Cranks in clear water, useless. Water temp. 84 degrees
Name:Charles Greco
Where:Lake Pleasant
Caught:8 stripers
Technique: anchovies
Comments: My son and I fished from kayaks 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. using anchovy and lights in 30 to 40 feet of water
Name: John W.
ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake elevation is 2,142 feet (89-percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is at 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 227 cfs.

Some anglers are catching largemouth bass in the southern coves of the lake using plastic worms with the drop shot method.

I’ve seen reports of lots of shad out there. Some anglers are pretty happy on the Salt end along the brush line over relatively deep water using cranks.  Watch for the boils; good fishing if you find them. If not head for the brush with your plastic worms.  Try some real worms if you’re game.

Flathead catfish angling should still be going great guns, although we have not been getting any recent reports. Flatheads are typically very active in fall until the lake turns over.

We have no reports of the topwater action, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

APACHE - Lake elevation is 1,904 feet (90-percent full).

We are seeing a few more fishermen at Apache.  Anglers reported catching channel catfish around the marina, Hackberry Cove and Goat Ledge; large carp are in the coves (use corn); yellow bass are hanging out on the points where the substrate levels off, and someone caught a 12-inch walleye, no details on the location of the walleye.

KastMasters and silver spinners are attracting the yellow bass and sunfish.  Try using Robo Worms around the overhanging vegetation for largemouth bass and try areas with boulders and big cobbles for the smallmouth bass.

CANYON LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,658 feet, which is 96-percent full.

Bass fishermen are doing well at Canyon using Robo Worms and the like. Fish near overhanging vegetation. The drop shot method seems to be producing some pretty decent sized bass. Also try for bluegills in the backs of coves.

For walleye, try working the steep, shaded submerged rock faces in the evening using jigs with pieces of night crawlers attached.

The Boulder Recreation area is a good place for channel catfish and bluegill, with a fair chance at bass as well. There is a superb fishing pier there. Boats aren’t allowed in this large fishing pond within lake.

Where:Canyon Lake
Caught:Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Bass
Technique:Crankbait and soft plastic worms.
Comments:The catfish were hitting hard on my plastic worm, ranged from 2-5lbs put a nice fight, which is always good times. Wish I could find the decent size Bass, any ideas are always welcome. Be back out there this weekend to try my luck for the lunkers!
SAGUARO LAKE – Department biologists creeled Saguaro this past weekend and were busy with fishermen providing fish stories galore. Most were using Robo Worms or other worm brands.  The group that had the most success was using the drop-shot method.  They said they weren’t having much luck with Texas-rigged worms.  No info on fishing spots; I didn’t want to be too nosey.  Cat fishermen were out as well and they had success using chicken liver.

Another couple anglers caught largemouth bass using jerkbaits and Robo Worms on drop shots and Texas rigs.  Yellow bass are hitting KastMasters and small spinners.  Bluegills are hitting small spinners and mealworms.

Caught:Bass @ yellow bass
Technique:Shad-colored Rapala, motor oil Robo Worm. Look for boiling water and water temps. in the 79-degree range. Early morning is best.
Comments:Most everyone I spoke to did well; the heavier fish were all caught in the morning hours.
Name:Charles Greco
BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,795 ft, which is 96-percent full.

Bartlett water temperature is 81 F, which is still pretty high for crappie and subsequently the crappie fishing is a bit slow, but not impossible. The new moon was Monday, making this a good week for using submersible crappie lights at night.

Windy conditions as of late haven’t been helpful. A group of three went out for the morning and caught 4 big crappies and a small one, as well as a few small largemouth bass and 2 good sized sunfish. They caught the crappie with blue-black chartreuse jigs and minnows.

However, anglers who have been dialing in on the bite pattern have been cleaning up here at times for largemouth bass. This time of year, bass are feeding more aggressively, and sometimes the bite pattern can change from day-to-day. What we can almost guarantee is that bass will feed multiple times a day to put on body fat before winter conditions arrive. The season is changing even if the daytime air temperatures aren’t yet.

Don’t forget Bartlett is a very good catfish lake; shore and boat fishermen both do very well.  Use chicken liver, worms or any kind of leftovers you might have that will stay on your hook. Channel catfish are taking jigs and spinnerbaits as well.  For flatheads try some live bait in the upper end of the lake by ship rock at night.  They like the full moon.
Where:Bartlett lake
Caught:3 Largemouth
Technique:Panther Martin rubber minnow, the bite was kind weird, it felt more like a gentle tug than an actual bite. fish were caught in the back of Rattlesnake Cove around 7:30-8 a.m., near the brush of 2 submerged trees. real decent size fish, one was at least 4 1/2 lbs, it was the largest I’ve caught; good day of fishing.
Name:L Lawrence
Where:Bartlett Lake
Technique:Clear Heddon torpedo topwater lures, hedgehogs, Senkos on Carolina rig, white tube, motor oil worm, (Texas rig)
Comments:Friend and I started at daybreak upriver and caught 8 small 10-inch bass in a shad boil on topwaters just one after the other until boil ended. Flipped Brush Hogs and Senkos in bushes with a few caught that way. After sun was up good went deeper, 15-20 feet off points and islands, and caught some 1-2 lbs with Carolina and Texas rigs, caught the biggest 3 lber with a white tube 2:30 in afternoon in shallow water under a tree, probably chasing baby bluegills. Finished at 2:30 with 16 fish all live released.
Name:Harvey Nelson
Where:Bartlett Lake
Caught:Largemouth Bass and Bluegill
Technique:Rooster Tail – All White. Throwing it near submerged brush and trees.
Comments:We were kayaking back in the flats through all of the small coves that have formed since the lake is full. Didn’t fish much, but every spot we stopped at to let the dog run around we caught a small bass or some bluegill. This will be fun fishing when the fish start moving to some shallower water! The water clarity was as clear as I have seen it at Bartlett.
Name:B.G. Davison
Where:Bartlett lake
Caught:8 2-pound Bass, two crappie, couple small bass
Trolled small Rapala crankbaits in 30 to 50 feet of water. Trolled very slowly in the channel part of the river.
Comments:Bass and Crappie were stacked up in the river near Yellow Cliffs. Everybody was catching fish. I had a couple double hookups and a lot of action. The main portion of the lake seemed empty of fish except for the small bass. A bass tournament was being held on Saturday and those fisherman mostly went to the dam side of the lake. I am not sure how well they did. But I guess they know better than me. I went the opposite side of the lake to beat the crowd of boats and had my best action of the year.
Name:Grant Armendariz

HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is at 1,952 feet, no pool. This is barely more than a wide spot in the river. With recent runoff, it is probably turbid and full of debris. They are releasing water at 150 cfs.

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 137 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 1,275 cfs.

Where:Verde River, below Bartlett
Caught:1 smallmouth, 4 largemouth, 1 Roundtail (I think)
Technique: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, and I didn’t even want to touch it. I ended up hooking 2 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 227 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 197 cfs.  They are releasing 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.  Expect this pattern to continue.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Trout stockings are not scheduled again 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 – Anglers are still having luck with the terrestrials, especially the hoppers.  I’ve heard reports that dry fly action is picking up.  If the creeks you are fishing are clear use hoppers with nymph or cadis larva or pupa droppers.  If the stream is muddy, use simi-seal leeches; big streamers are the way to go if it’s fast water.

Haigler Creek – Use dry flies.

Where:Haigler Creek
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.

Tonto Creek –No recent reports, but try 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.

HORSETHEIF BASIN LAKE – Probably not worth driving to just for fishing, but it might be worth a visit if you are prowling the Bradshaw Mountains and want to wet a line for some small sunfish or bass.

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