Central Arizona

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October 14th, 2008

URBAN LAKES – Arizona Game and Fish stocked channel catfish last week at all 20 Urban Fishing Program waters in Phoenix and Tucson areas.  The next catfish stocking will be the week of the Oct 13.  See our website for a schedule of fish stockings (http://www.azgfd.gov/).  Catfish will be stocked two more times through October. We will stock sunfish at the end of October. Trout stockings resume in mid November.

The much anticipated Veterans Oasis Lake located on the northeast corner of Chandler Heights and Lindsay roads received their first batch of catfish a couple weeks ago. Later this fall Game and Fish will stock the lake with young largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish. It will take one or more years for the new lake ecosystem and bass/bluegill fishery to develop – so be patient and don’t expect big bass and sunfish just yet. The lake has good fish habitat with lake depths to 14 feet, plenty of spawning gravels and rock reefs, excellent aeration and circulation, and a good food base.

You can catch catfish using worms, stink baits, shrimp or hot dogs fished on the bottom.  Mornings and evenings are the best times to catch Mr. Whiskers since they like to feed under dim or dark conditions. Bluegill fishing is best along the shorelines in 4-8 feet of water with mealworms under a small bobber.  As lake temperatures fall below 78 degrees, expect better action for largemouth bass, especially in the early morning.


Angler reports:

Where:Desert West park
When:09/20/08
Caught:2-2 1/2 pound cat fish, and many blue gill,
Technique:fished on bottom of lake using chicken liver and night crawlers for catfish. For bluegill fish the shore line using very small hooks & small chunks of night crawler on the end.
Comments:great bluegill action good for the kids!
Name:Daniel cano

Where:Chaparral
When:09/21/08
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.
Comments:Go early in the morning shad boils will await you cast into the schools.
Name:joe curtis

Where:Water Ranch Lake
When:09/18/08
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

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Fishing should be good for bass, catfish and bluegill at times. Try using night crawlers or artificial works fished on the bottom for bills and bass, or stink bait and hot dogs for the cats.

Where:tempe town lake
When:09/27/08
Caught:2 catfish
Technique:fished the pillars with leftovers.
Comments:my son lane who is 8 caught a 7-pound catfish and we caught another one that was around 4 between 10 and midnight
Name:ron lowe


LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1,647 ft, which is 48 percent full.
Some anglers have reported a light algae bloom, but the water is still clear with visibility in the 4-5 foot range.  Shad boils not as prevalent on the main lake, but anglers were picking up a few largemouth bass and white bass using a variety of lures such as cranks, small swim baits, white flukes and 6-inch Robo worms.

Fishermen fished for stripers at night using anchovies under green lights at depths between 30 and 40 feet with some success with the small stripers and catfish. A front possibly affected the bite last weekend and another front is expected this weekend. Anglers reported catching fish in the main lake, near the tires and at the mouth of coves – so pretty much everywhere and no real hot spots to speak of this time around.  One angler saw a gargantuan striper estimated about 20 pounds hanging around the edge of the lights.
Where:Pleasant
When:09/20/08
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
When:09/17/08
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:Pleasant
When:09/29/08
Caught:11 Stripers, 2 Cats
Technique:Anchovie chunks at 40′ in 50′+ areas of South of 4 lane (Castle Creek)
Comments:Fished from 6 AM – 11AM, all fish were caught prior to 9:30, all fish were 1 – 3 lbs and aggressive
Name:J. Morrison
Where:Lake Pleasant
When:09/06/08
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 ft (89-percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is at 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 307 cfs.

Fishing still reported as kind of slow but still quite a few shad boils. Topwater lures early in the morning, then flipping plastic worms in the brush or structure. Spinners and blades are producing a bit. Try live bait near the submerged structure.

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.

Where:Roosevelt
When:09/30/08
Caught:8 LM Bass
Technique:Texas rigged Robo worms and flippin Senkos wacky rigged.
Comments:It’s still pretty slow but had pretty good luck flippin 5-inch Senkos wacky rigged up in the Tonto end of lake. Try the real green trees and brush, they seemed to hold the most fish. caught a 4 lb.+ on a Texas rig after dark right by the dam.
Name:Shawn Kilpatrick
Where:ROOSEVELT LAKE
When:09/20/08
Caught:Largemouth Bass
Technique:using a sliver and blue Cotton Cordell Super Spot, I caught 17 (slot 15-16 inch) Bass near the Salt River end of the lake all between 5:30pm to 6:30pm.
Comments:I had many bites and a few that go of the hook at the boat, fish a fast retrieve about 2 feet deep.
Name:Neal Wilkins

Where:Roosevelt Lake
When:09/20/08
Caught:No fish
Technique:Fished for largemouth bass. We tried various plastics rigged every way known to man. Fished top water, fished crankbait. Fished various depths. We had 3 bites all day. I’m guessing the full moon had fish feeding at night?
Name:brian sawyer

APACHE – Lake elevation is 1,904 ft (90-percent full). Game and Fish is surveying Apache this week, so I’ll have a preliminary update next week. Keep in mind that Apache sits right in the middle of prime Gambel’s quail habitat. This is a perfect lake for a cast-n-blast adventure.

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. Someone caught a 12 inch walleye; no details on the location.  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 1,657 feet, which is 95-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
When:10/03/08
Caught:Largemouth Bass
Technique:Crainkbaits
Comments:Fishing was slow, many small largemouth nothing special
Where:Canyon Lake
When:09/21/08
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 – Lake elevation 1,526 feet at 95-percent full.
Saguaro Lake is still the place to catch fish. Topwater and six-inch plastic worms with the drop shot method in open water worked well for one group of anglers.
KastMasters might get you small largemouth bass, yellow bass and bluegill.

Catfish are pretty hungry out there.

Department biologists creeled Saguaro recently 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.
Where:Saguaro
When:09/24/08
Caught:black bass,
Technique:Plastic worm and castmasters
Comments:Nothing large..
Name:Robert E. Konradt Sr
Where:Saguaro
When:09/25/08
Caught:Bass
Technique:Drop shot and Fat Rap in shad color.
Comments:Early hours are best, still plenty of smaller fish to be had, the big boys are still illusive. Between two fisherman we caught twelve fish, a great day.
Name:Charles Greco
Where:Saguaro Lake
When:09/29/08
Caught:Largemouth
Technique:
Black\ Red flake, Red, Purple curly tail rubber worms and shad type swim bait.
Comments:Went on two separate days and fished in the same spots both times and caught and released 7 total between 10-12 inches. Saw golden alge stained on the rocks but, the water seemed pretty clear and the fish looked healthy. AZJoe
Name:AzJoe

Where:SAGUARO upper lake flats
When:09/30/08
Caught:Catfish 5+ lbs
Technique:hot dogs
Name:David Price

Where:Saguaro Lake
When:09/27/08
Caught:20 (small) Black Bass and 3 decent largemouth
Technique:Gold & Patterned KastMasters. Small (Pumpkin) Grubs. Power Worm (Motor Oil) Carolina rigged.
Comments:Fished from 1pm until the storm hit which was about 5:00-5:30pm. First hour of fishing was slow but as the storm moved closer the bite turned on. Most of the bass were really small (4-6″) and were taken in about 30 feet of water near Butcher Jones. Four fish were in 1-2lb range and put up an awesome fight. These fish were (off plastics) close to shore in 15 feet of water. This is first time I’ve had my boat on ‘a’ lake since it has broken down. Wish I could have stayed out there longer but the weather changed things for the worst. This has been the best day all summer at our desert lakes. I’ll be going back to Saguaro this weekend, my new favorite!
Name:Dave Nielson

Where:Saguaro
When:09/27/08
Caught:LM & SM Bass, Yellow Bass, Bream. 20 caught, kept 15
Technique:Curly tail jigs and Z-rays on 4 lb lines.
Comments:Found a boil in Crazy Cove, but no hook ups. All the bream and LM bass caught in the Snags from daybreak to 9 a.m. Found a small boil in Butcher Jones and hooked 3 yellow bass.
Name:Chuck Bigham

Where:Saguaro
When:09/22/08
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 1,789 feet, which is 87-percent full. Plastic worms on drop shot are enticing quite a few fish and boils are plentiful. The white or clear topwater lures that look like shad are producing.  When the wind picks up, try spinnerbaits or inline spinners. Crankbaits worked along the rock stringers, points, islands and reefs can produce as well. If you can figure out the pattern, you can clean up on nice 1- to 3-pound bass here.

However, anglers who have been dialing in on the bite pattern have been cleaning up here at times for largemouth bass.

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.

We aren’t hearing much about the crappie fishing. Try around the Yellow Cliffs at night under lights.

Where:Bartlett Lake
When:10/06/08
Caught:largemouth and 1bluegill
Technique:white 1/4 oz. spinner, silver and blue Rat-L-Traps, and a 8 ft diver bomber green
Comments:great day we fish the Yellow Cliffs and the Bartlett Flats; our best fish came off the inside of main channel points
Name:josh

Where:Bartlett Lake
When:09/29/08
Caught:large mouth
Technique:drop shot with morning dawn Robos at no wake area by the island and along the eastern shoreline heading out of the no wake zone towards the coves. We caught 20 to 25 bass and lost count after that.
Comments:7″ electric grape and 6″ purple lizards worked well also 2/0 with split shot 2′ up the line.

Where:Bartlett – Rattlesnake
When:09/29/08
Caught:2 Largemouth Bass
Technique:Crankbaits and Senkos
Comments:Fished from shore from 2:00pm to just after sunset. Once the wind finally died down i managed to land both fish. Bothe were very small (6-8″).
Name:Dave Nielson

Where:Bartlett lake
When:09/10/08
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
When:09/18/08
Caught:Bass
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
When:09/21/08
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

HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is at 1,950 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 131 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 1,250 cfs.

Where:Verde River, below Bartlett
When:08/31/08
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 307 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 244 cfs.  They are releasing 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.  .

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 are all past the confluence with the Verde River). 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.

Where:Lower Salt River
When:10/01/08
Caught:13 INCH LARGEMOUTH.
Technique:fLY FISHING
Comments: LAST WEEK I CANOED FROM BELOW THE SAGUARO LAKE DAM TO THE BRIDGE AND SAW AGOOD AMOUNT OF FISH JUMPING. I RIGGED AN ANCHOR AND CAME BACK TO DRIFT FISH THE SECTION AND THE WATER WAS ALMOST GONE. THE LARGE POOLS HAD SMALL BASS AND CARP. I WOULD HIT IT AGAIN TO SEE WHAT I CAN GET OUT OF THE BIG POOLS. NO WAY TO CANOE THE RIVER FOR NOW.
Name:Todd Deangelis

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
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.

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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