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Note: The Arizona Game and Fish Commission on Oct. 11 voted to create slot limits at Saguaro, Canyon and Apache lakes starting in 2009 just like the one already in place on Roosevelt Lake in an effort to give these popular fisheries another nudge down the comeback trail after being blitzed by golden alga blooms in recent years.
In addition, possession of one fish out the protected slot limit will be allowed at Roosevelt and this provision is also part of the new slot regulations at Saguaro, Canyon and Apache.
URBAN LAKES – Fishing is good for channel catfish, which were stocked last week. Fishing for catfish at the Urban Lakes is good to excellent in the mornings and evenings. It’s been reported pretty dismal during the daytime. Use shrimp, stink bait and hot dogs for the best results. Sunfish and bass are biting well in the early mornings as they seek to fatten up for the winter.
All 20 Urban Lakes in Phoenix and Tucson will receive 5-8 inch hybrid sunfish this week. Each lake will get about 80-100 fish per surface acre. Sunfish are fun to catch for all ages and will bite all day long. Try using small pieces of worms or mealworms on small hooks fished under a bobber. Daily bag limits for sunfish are 10 fish per person at Urban Lakes and 5 fish per day at Urban Ponds.
Trout stocking in Phoenix and Tucson Urban Lakes and Ponds will begin the week of November 10-15.
Largemouth bass (6-9 inches) will be stocked at the Urban Lakes and Ponds in the next five weeks.
A 6.5 pound largemouth bass was caught and released at Red Mountain.
If you don’t have a 2008 Urban fishing license, they will be 50-percent off from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.
More than 700 rainbow trout were stocked last week at Green Valley Lakes in Payson (yes, these are Urban Program Lakes in the cool pines). Limits on trout are 4 per day for licensed anglers and two for unlicensed youth under age 14.
Where: Veterans Oasis
Technique: Doughbait, Nightcrawlers
Comments: Fish were good..nice fight and lots of bites…Went with Wife who caught 3..I caught 2…and my Dad caught 2…Each just about a pound with my wife with the biggest of the day at 1 1/2 pounds. If you can hook’em you will have a good day. Watch the shoreline though as its very weedy!
Caught: avage 2 lbs reless
Technique: worem 18″ leder slidding 3/8 whight on the bottom
Comments: cats about 25 yards out not far at all . thay tare it up earley mornning hours sunerise. cat bass sunfish.slowe after 9 am
Name: Ernie R Smith
Where: Green Valley Payson
Technique: Small spinners/they were not hitting any bait.
Comments: Heard the lakes were stocked. Had a great time and the weather was perfect. Caught a bunch and all were released. Very healthy and a lot bigger than the average stockers. Great job Game and Fish keep up the good work!
Caught: 3 healthy bass
Technique: rooster tail
Comments: My buddy also caught a LARGE (about 10 lbs.) carp on a rooster tail. Neither of us had ever seen a carp take a rooster tail before.
LAKE PLEASANT – The Scorpion Bay Marina is expected to be open this week pending the passing of the last safety inspection.
Striper fishing is an on-and-off thing at Pleasant, or at least, the bite and boils are shifting from one spot to another. Anglers are seeing the boils off the main lake points and the mouths of coves. The boils were small and short lived, but you know how it is one day you’re struggling to find good boils and the next day is a bonanza. Keep plugging away.
We have also received reports from anglers having striper encounters of the night kind in the Agua Fria arm of the lake at night under lights. Just like the daytime fishing, if you hit it right, you can clean up on these schooling fish.
Where: Lake Pleasant
Caught: 2lb largemouth, 1 to 2lb white bass & 2 to 3 lb Stripers
Technique: Largemouth on drop – shot White bass and Stripers topwater clear zara spook and clear torpedos
Comments: Started fishing at 6:30 a.m. at Castle Creek area, largemouth caught near shore on Robo worm drop – shot. Went east / north of Castle Creek when water was like glass at 11 a.m. and found shad boils of which lasted for 1 1/2hrs. Plenty of action with clear topwater baits casting into the boils! You could not miss!
Name: Warren Risberg
Caught:11 stripers for 16 lbs
Technique:trolling at 50 ft art/bait speed 1.8 mph using 4 hp kicker
Name:ron and linda suncy west
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 355 cfs.
Largemouth bass and crappie fishing still seems a little tough here. This lake is so loaded with threadfin shad and other groceries that it could be the sport-fish are gorging on available food and aren’t as aggressive the rest of the time.
A couple experienced anglers fished the Tonto end in the morning. They caught two largemouth bass on crankbaits, 13 yellow bass and 1 bluegill on spoons in 15 feet of water
White worms are working for some anglers as well as some John Deer grubs in the Tonto Arm and coves on that end. The Salt end seems to attracting some angler attention as well.
Topwater lures are working well for some anglers in the early morning and then try switching to Texas-rigs and flipping worms below overhanging vegetation or near structure. Angers are reporting largemouth spitting up crawdads, so try bumping crawdad imitations along the bottom in shallow water.
Other anglers are reporting catching fish with plastic worms on Carolina rigs from 20 to 50 feet in depth. The drop-shot method seems to always work. Swim baits and other reaction baits are attracting some bass attention as well as shallow crankbaits and jerkbaits in blue and yellow colors.
Crappie fishing is a bit slow, but some are having luck trolling jigs in late morning, largemouth bass are also hitting the jigs.
APACHE – Lake elevation is 1904 ft (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.
This lake is also in prime Gambel’s quail country, so it is a great spot for a cast-and-blast camp out.
Department biologists surveyed Apache Lake and the best place to catch walleye is above Burn Corral on the points. We caught a few nice ones. We also caught quite a few catfish at both ends of the lake in coves. Largemouth bass seemed to be dispersed pretty evenly although some anglers said Burnt Corral was a good place to nab them, using plastic worms and jigs.
CANYON LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,658 feet, which is 96-percent full.
Some people are getting frustrated with Canyon, although the Boulder Recreation fishing area is producing some sunfish and bass. Other anglers are doing well, but aren’t forthcoming with their secrets.
Although this is the land of the lunkers, it has typically been a tough lake to fish, although it attracts experienced anglers looking for that super hawg.
Don’t forget about the fishing habitat that was installed at Beaver Landing, Teddy Bear and Mormon Flat. One knowledgeable angler suggests throwing jerkbaits or spinnerbaits along the banks around Tortilla Bay at the drop-offs. Texas -rigs and drop-shotting plastic worms are producing results.
Caught:7 Largemouth Bass
Technique:Silver and blue Rat-L-Trap and 4″ Senkos
Comments:Good to see Canyon coming back. Latched a 4 lb, 2 lb, and 1.5 lb. The rest were small but fun. All fish released.
SAGUARO LAKE – Anglers are continuing to catch bass at Saguaro using drop shot in the main lake area. Other anglers are doing well using plastics on Texas riggs and jigs. Yellow bass are taking crankbait near the river and kastmasters on the shelves and points. Lots of smaller fish are being caught but there are a few big bass being caught at various locations.
Just a warning to all boaters there are some unmarked hazards in the river sections so be aware.
Lake elevation 1,525 feet at 93-percent full. This is a hot spot for small largemouth bass around 1 to 2 pounds, plentiful yellow bass, east-to-catch bluegills and fat channel catfish.
Bass fishing is good using crankbait and jerk baits. A few big ones are being caught. They seem to be hanging out on the points and the bigger fish are deeper around 20 feet or so using plastic worms with the drop shot method.
Largemouth bass are partial to the plastic worms but KastMasters are working for the rest of the fish. One small group of anglers caught a few small bluegills, a nice channel catfish, quite a few largemouth bass, and 92 yellow bass, most were caught in the upper lake.
Technique: Robo worms and Chas cranks
Comments: Water temp. is 71 midday, water clearity is getting better and better. Fewer pleasure boaters make the lake experience perfect. Plenty of little guys but the size is improving, two pounders are getting caught.
Name: Charles Greco
Caught: Large Mouth
Technique: Drop Shot with Robo worms
Comments: Caught about 14 fish with 3 of us in the boat. We only fished for a couple of hours. Some were good size (for Saguaro). Largest were 13-14″ Got out late and were fishing in the early afternoon.
Name: Michael Rathgeber
Technique:Robo worms and Chad Rap
Comments:We let the Robo go straight to the bottom. Drop shot was effective but little results. The morning bite is great but by eleven it’s time to pack it up and mow the lawn. The big bass are still very illusive.
BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,783 ft, which is 78-percent full. Reservoir release is 1,075 cfs.
Good fishing at Bartlett, bass were hitting a variety of topwater lures and shad cranks. The fish are hanging real close to cover and points. Once the sun hits the water the reaction bite disappears and deeper fishing is the way to go, with crayfish imitations and other plastics.
This report from Bartlett was posted on our Been Fishing section of the website. Joe fished from 5 to 10:30 p.m. and caught 20 bass using crankbait, Storm Wiggle Wart, and Warmouth color Robo Worms. The drop shot method worked well for him.
Bass anglers are pretty happy. A group of anglers and caught quite a few bass on drop shot and topwater lures. The boils are short lived but are all over the lake. The water is dropping fast, so use caution when boating – this lake has lots of reefs and rocks.
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 pretty well.
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.
Try fishing under the no wake line by the Jojoba Boat Ramp in 5-8 feet of water. Look for the submerged yellow pipe; the bass like to hang out there. Last year at this time the fish were being caught in the west end of the lake in the mornings and on the east end of the lake in the evenings.
For crappie, fish near the orange fish habitat buoys, but don’t fish right over them. You need to be 15 – 30 feet away from them and cast jigs towards the buoys. Crappie fishing at night might be productive this week during the waning quarter moon (new moon is Oct. 28).
Caught: One 5in largemouth
Technique: Minnow on crappie grub under bobber
Comments: 5 of us fished from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Lots of boats were there for the tournament. Saw at checkin they were putting back several bass a piece. Only one other bite on a spinner bait. We must be doning something wrong!
Name: Andy E
Comments:fast retrieve caught and released 9 bass, 2-pound average
Where: Bartlett Lake
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
HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is at 1,950 feet, no pool. This is barely more than a wide spot in the river. 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 1,075 cfs.
SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 355 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 312 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 the week of Nov. 3, 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.
CREEKS – The creeks below the Mogollon Rim are not currently being stocked, but it is still possible to find trout in the deeper pools for those willing to invest the time and fun to find them.
Anglers are still using some terrestrials like the hoppers but it’s slowed down with the colder weather. Anglers are having better luck using copper johns, small flies, pheasant tailed flashbacks, Simi Seal leeches, and zug bugs.
Haigler Creek – Use small dry flies
Canyon Creek – Midge patterns
Tonto Creek – Midge patterns
Christopher Creek – No recent reports, but try live night crawlers on light line.
East Verde – One angler reported good fishing for larger trout in the deeper pools.
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.