Central Arizona

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November 26th, 2008

URBAN LAKES – Rainbow trout stockings have started and will continue all winter long at two week intervals.  Trout range in size from 11-12 inches in length, with some recently stocked fish in the 14-18 inch range.  Fishing is good to excellent for anglers using scented dough baits (such as Power Bait), worms or small trout lures.  Small spinners such as Rooster Tails and Panther Martins, or spoons such as KastMasters and Super Dupers work well for trout in the early morning. In addition to a good morning bite, some anglers have reported excellent fishing midday and late afternoon. Patience is the key, as the trout bite sporadically throughout the day. When the bite is on, anglers are catching limits in an hour.  Action for catfish, bass and bluegill is poor due to colder water temperatures that slow down the activity of these warm water species. Trout fishing is good to excellent at Green Valley lakes in Payson with Power Bait, worms and small spinners working best.

Stocking update:
* Phoenix Area Lakes – Last stocked trout Nov. 13. Next stocking, trout week of Nov. 24-29.
* Tucson Area Lakes – Last stocked trout Nov. 13. Next stocking, trout week of Nov. 24-29.
* Green Valley Lakes (Payson) – Last stocked trout Nov. 13. Next stocking, trout week of Nov. 24-29.

Where:Veterans Oasis Lake – City of Chandler
Caught:14 Catfish
Technique:Hotdogs and Stink Bait off the bottom.
Comments:Went in the early morning, arrived at 6am, fished with Family until 8:30 when we ran out of bait. Hotdogs were HOT, they would barly hit the bottom and the cats would hit the line!

Where:Red Mountain Park
Caught:10 Juvenile bass
Technique:Small Shiny blue jig, bounced across the stocking ramp at the south east end of the lake
Comments:Small bluegill caught as well

Where:desert breeze
Caught:rainbow trout
Technique:panther martin lure
Comments:allow lure to sink for 3 seconds then lure slowly this is the best way to catch at this urban lake!!

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Stocked with 3,500 rainbow trout (including about 150 incentive fish up to 16 inches long) on Nov. 25 during the annual “Welcome Back the Trout” celebration, plus, we stocked trout last week as well, so fishing should be pretty good for the holiday weekend. The water temperature was 63 F, which is pretty good for trout (it should drop more with this cooler weather).

This year, Bass Pro and Cabelas’ came out to help with this annual feshing festival to celebrate our winter trout fishing season.

Try Power Bait, salmon eggs, corn, in-line spinners or small spoons such as quarter-ounce KastMasters. This lake will be stocked weekly during the December holidays, making it a superb place to kick back and relax after shopping (or when avoiding the shopping malls). A lot of the kids at the fishing festival on Tuesday caught feisty yellow bass on small pieces of night crawlers.

Paul fished Tempe Town Lake and caught two bass and one crappie last weekend using a grey Rooster Tail Spinner with a black skirt.  A small bass went after that lure as well.  Other lures didn’t entice anything.  Hot dog bait caught the attention of a carp.
LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1,660 ft, which is 56-percent full.
Stripers are seeking anchovies in the afternoon and according to one angler shad boils started around 4:30 p.m. and topwater lures worked great.  Largemouth bass get into the boils as well.  The stripers were hanging out in the Aqua Fria and they were staging at 10 to 20 feet deep, for the anchovy bite.
Some anglers are having luck using swim baits, but it seems to be a hit-or-miss situation so have them on hand.
Andrew fished Lake Pleasant and caught a 2-pound striper using anchovies from shore.
The striper fishing has been a little slow; anglers are having difficulty locating shad boils.  The boils are few and far between and they don’t last very long.  Perhaps it is a temporary situation.  The stripers are in the northern coves, and in the Aqua Fria.  Some activity is in the main lake but if it’s windy it’s difficult to see signs.

Ron and Linda fished Lake Pleasant and caught seven stripers.  They trolled 35-40 feet deep at 2 mph with 4-inch grubs in shad color pearl or chart.

Another angler who reported on the Been Fishing site was J. Morrison and he caught nine stripers using pieces of anchovies 40 feet deep, south of Castle Creek.  The fish were between 1 and 3 pounds and very aggressive.

Some anglers are having luck catching stripers near the mouth of the Aqua Fria around dusk.

Stripers have moved more into the northern coves, especially the Agua Fria Arm of the lake. Go armed with topwater lures, lipless crankbaits and casting spoons (KastMasters work great). If you can net some live shad (there are huge schools roaming about), they make superb bait either straight-lined or slow trolled. Frozen anchovies can work especially well for roving schools of stripers patrolling the submerged creek channels. Don’t forget to chum.

Angler report from Ron Swierski: 8-10:30 a.m. trolling at 40 feet with 4-inch shad pearl or chart at 2 mph caught 14 stripers for 19 pounds.

Where:Lake Pleasant/ west of 4 lane boat dock /castle creek coves
Caught:15 1b. Flat Head and 3lb. Large Mouth
Technique:Slip Sinker w/ a 2ft. lead fishing from the bottom, off my grandfather’s 14 ft. boat.
Comments:Michael, Jovani and Amani had a great time reeling in that big flathead !
Name:Mike Montes
Where:Lake Pleasant
Caught:3 channel catfish and 1 striper
Technique:used canned anchovies for the channel cats. While my partner was paddling our tandem kayak, I hooked the striper on anchovy.
Comments:Catfish are hitting well in the castle creek arm just about sundown and a little after.
Name:T. Wagoner
Where:lk pleasant
Caught:7 stripers for 11lbs 4oz
Technique:trolling at 35-40ft 2mph with 4in grubs or shad color pearl or chart
Name:Ron and Linda Sun City West
Caught:9 strippers
Technique:Anchovy pieces at 40′ South of Castle Creek in 74′ areas
Comments:Fished from 0600 – 1000. Metered a lot of bait activity from 30-50′ and anchored on it. Bite started about 0700. Fish were 1-3 lbs and very aggressive, fun on light tackle.
Name:J. Morrison
ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake Elevation is 2,142 ft (89-percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is at 1 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 184 cfs.

Daniel fished Roosevelt Lake and submitted a Been Fishing report on the Game and Fish website.  He caught channel catfish and largemouth bass.  He threw his 2 ½-inch white feather tail into shallow brushy area and caught three largemouth bass.  He also caught a few more (one 3 pounder) using a spinnerbait in the brush.   Around noon the catfish succumbed to shrimp.  All these fish caught were in the Grapevine area.

Another couple anglers fished pretty much all day in the main lake and a little bit in the Salt arm.  They trolled and cast grubs near structure and caught 12 crappie, 15 bluegill, 10 bass and nice 17 inch smallmouth bass.

Joe made a report on Been Fishing on the Game and Fish Web site and he and his friend caught three largemouth bass over the slot limit on buzzbaits.  They also caught some nice bass slow rolling blades and dragging jigs off secondary points.

One experienced angler and his buddy fished from about 6:45 to 11 a.m. and caught two crappies and three bluegills trolling in the Tonto end.

Where:roosevelt lake
Caught:catfish & largemouth
Technique:3 lrg mouth bass at the crack of light. Using a 2 and a half inch white top water lure with a white feather tail throwing it shallow into brush. Around 9am switched over to a spinner bait shallow into brush and caught a few one nice 3 pounder. Catfish were caught later around noon using shrimp. all fish were caught in the grapevine area.
Name:Daniel J. Baiza
Where:Roosevelt & Canyon
Caught:Largemouth bass
Technique:We fished on both Roosevelt and Canyon this week and did very well. On Rosy we caught 3 overs on buzzbaits and also caught some nice bass slow rolling blades and dragging jigs off secondary points. We caught some pretty good bass including a 5 1/2 pounder on Canyon by working a few things on the walls. Our fish were suspended and hit the bait’s on the initial drop. Good luck…..Joe
Name:Joe Owens
APACHE – Lake elevation is 1905 ft (91% full).

An angler caught a 17-inch Rainbow trout close to Turtle Island.  There is still good catfishing reported near the marina and they like the worms.  Carp fishing is always good in the coves.  Cover a treble hook with corn, set your drag on low and get ready for a big carp.  They are fun to catch.

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 1657 ft, which is 94% full.
I fished Laguna from shore and caught a small trout on a blue fox spinner in the afternoon.  With trout being stocked your swim baits will start producing for you.

The Been Fishing reporter, Joe, and his friend fished Canyon Lake and they caught a 5.5-pound bass near the walls.  The fish were suspended and hit the bait on the initial drop.

Some good reports coming from the Boulder Recreation Area for largemouth bass and bluegill.  Try spinnerbaits, KastMasters, and plastic worms bounced off the bottom.

Where:canyon lake
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.
Name:Bud Russman
SAGUARO LAKE – Lake elevation 1,524 feet at 91-percent full. Was stocked with 1,500 rainbow trout last week and the water temperature was 70 degrees.

Caught:5 rainbow trout
Technique:green sparkly power bait and night crawlers
Caught:Eight bass
Technique:Drop shot and Yamamoto 4 inch root beer wacky worm style.
Comments:Water temp is down to 68 degrees and the bite has slowed some in the last two weeks, persistence pays off however the fish are getting bigger. catch and release should be the rule until the fishery recovers from the golden algae of last season.
Name:CJ Greco

Where:Saguaro Lake
Caught:Largemouth & yellow bass
Technique:small cherry seed worm Tx. rig. Slow retreat from shore to boat. Also shad crankbaits trolled in 15-20 ft. of water.
Comments:Very back of the Lake. Worked the plastic worms near reeds & under overhanging trees. caught 12 Largemouth between 0900 & 1200 hrs. At middle of the lake trolled with shad crankbaits. caught 23 largemouth & yellow bass between 1400 & 1800 hrs. All caught & released.
Name:Danny Ramirez

Ryan submitted a Been Fishing report regarding his fishing experiences at Saguaro Lake.  He and a friend boated 29 largemouth bass using a deep-diving crankbait.  Then he went out again to the same spot using the same crankbait and boated 39 largemouth bass.  All the fish were in the 1- to 2-pound range.

Josh also submitted a report and he caught quite a few sunfish in coves using worms fished under a bobber.

The Been Fishing reports are producing some good information.  One angler had lots of bites and caught quite a few largemouth bass using Rapala X-Rap and Green Worm Drop Shot right off the fishing docks at Butcher Jones.
Another angler reports catching between 20 and 30 bass using small plastic worms and grubs fished very slow in 20 feet of water.  He mentioned that crankbaits are not working right now.

Technique:Root beer colored grubs on a football jig head worked best.
Comments:Cranks,and drop shots are useless, water temp. is 64 and the water remains mirky.
Name:CJ Greco
Technique:Crankbait hitting bottom
Comments:Went out the week before and boated 29 all largemouth. Then went out to the same spot with the same crank and boated 39 all largemouth. Best fishing I’ve seen there in awhile. All the fish where in the one to two pound range small but fun.
Name:Ryan Stradling

Where:Saguaro Lake
Technique:worms on bobbers
Comments:nothing bigger was biting for us, but we caught quite a few blue gill with this technique in the coves across from the restrooms.

BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,761 feet, which is 53-percent full.  Reservoir release is 800 cfs.

Warren fished Bartlett and caught five largemouth bass using a 4-inch drop shot Robo Worm and a Texas-rigged 4-inch watermelon lizard.  He also used a white Zara Spook – a very good lure.   The best fishing was 9 a.m. to 11:30 in 15 feet of water or less close to shore.  He said the chartreuse colors did very well fishing the bottom since the water was a bit stained.  Water temp was 67 degrees.  Thank you Warren for this Been Fishing report.

Brian submitted a Been Fishing report and he used minnows to catch 1 crappie, a bunch of bluegill and one channel catfish.

Just a note on crappie fishing; try a variety of jigs because color does tend to make a difference.  You’ll want to fish near some habitat such as downed trees and the like, trolling is a real good way to catch crappie.  One angler recommends 1/16-ounce heads on No. 6 hooks with 2-inch Kalin grubs tipped with minnows.  If you don’t have a trolling motor try casting out near the fish habitat buoys. Use the lightest jig you can throw. If the water is dark use a dark color. If it’s clear use white, yellow or a light color.

Another Been Fishing reporter, caught five 2-3 pound bass and one 5 pounder as well as some little ones using bass using crankbait, drop shot worms and Rapalas.  Shad looking Rapalas are a good lure choices.

One angler reported catching 15 bass in the 1- to 2-pound range using a crankbait and a drop shot.

Another couple anglers reported catching a nice 2-plus-pound bass by Yellow Cliffs along with some smaller bass and a nice crappie.

Caught:8 Bass,2 Catfish,4 Bluegills
Technique:Safety pin spinnerbait with a gulp minnow and a Panther Martin spinner. Drew used the Gulp and Dad the P.M. The Gulp caught the largest and most fish. We fished from the shoreline. Bass weighed 0.5-2 lbs.
Name:Douglas Miller
Technique:Drop shot Worm & Crank bait
Comments:5 2-3 pound bass and (1) 5 pounder (Beautiful fish) almost all these were caught on shad Rapalas. Caught a 5 or 6 little guys as well on drop shot.
Comments:fast retrieve caught and released 9 bass, 2-pound average
Name:Bud Tutrone
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
Name: josh

HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is at 1,957 feet, no pool. This is barely more than a wide spot in the river. They are releasing water at 150 cfs. An angler fished the below Horseshoe and caught eight channel catfish using worms in small pools.
VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 202 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 800 cfs.

An angler fished below Horseshoe and caught eight channel catfish using worms in small pools.

Where:verde river near the mesquite campground
Caught:14 channel cats 1 bullhead
Technique:chicken liver with a #4 hook and an egg sinker. My girlfriend anjyll and I (Eric) started around 8 a.m. and had dinner by 10 a.m.
Comments:11 of the channel cats were in the 1 to 2 lb range and were very delicious. 3 channels and 1 bullhead were too small to keep and are back in the water waiting for the next fisherman
Name:Eric and Anjyll

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 215 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 199 cfs.  They are releasing 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.  .

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Trout were stocked last week at the Phon Du. Sutton and Granite Reef areas. Trout will be stocked again on Thanksgiving week. The water temperature at the time of stocking last week was 63 degrees. Try live night crawlers or grasshoppers with little or no weight cast into the riffles for rainbows.

CREEKS – Brown trout spawning is just about over.  If you do see trout on reds please leave them alone.  The creeks have been running pretty clear making the fish real spooky.  Right now your best bet is throwing copper Johns, pheasant tailed nymphs and some semi seal leeches.  Rain is forecasted for later in the week water levels will go up and this will muddy up the creeks and maybe the fish won’t be so spooky.
Anglers are also 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 – No reports, but terrestrials should still work well.

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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