Central Arizona Fishing Report

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July 1st, 2009

URBAN FISHING REPORT – This last week of June is the final delivery of eight every-other-week spring catfish stockings.  Warming lake temperatures and air temperatures make it impractical to haul live fish into Arizona’s Urban Lakes and Ponds.  There are no scheduled fish stockings for July, August, and the first half of September.  Catfish stockings will resume this fall in mid-September when lake and air temperatures cool enough to safely transport fish across the hot desert and into the Urban waters.  Anglers can still fish for catfish, bass and bluegill at Urban waters throughout the summer, but the action is generally slower.

Fishing for catfish continues to be good to excellent the week of stocking.  Now that warmer air and lake temperatures have arrived, the best catfish action is during low light or nighttime conditions.  Anglers are having luck using stink baits or shrimp fished on the bottom.  Sunfish continue to bite well on small worms fished under a bobber.  The June 22-27 catfish stocking will be the final fish delivery of the spring stocking season.  After that, catfish stockings will not resume until late September.  At Green Valley lakes (Payson) most of the trout have been caught out, but anglers are enjoying great action on bluegill, crappie and bass.  Try small jigs and worms fished under a bobber at Green Valley.
Several Urban Lakes and Ponds will be receiving white amurs along with the regular catfish delivery the week of June 22-27.  These aquatic ‘cows’ will spend the summer grazing on the weeds just beginning to grow in many of the lakes in the Maricopa County area.  White amurs, also known as grass carp, can be distinguished from the common carp by two specific features:  amurs have a short dorsal fin while the common carp has a long dorsal fin that runs nearly the entire length of its back, and amurs lack the barbells around the mouth that the common carp has on each side of the upper jaw.  This is important to note because while there is no bag limit on the common carp, there is a limit of only one amur per day at Urban Lakes and Ponds and the amur must be longer than 30 inches in length.  Anglers are asked to release unharmed any amurs under 30 inches.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Bass fishing is slow during the day.  Fish can be caught before 8 am and after 6 pm at times. Try crank baits and rubber worms around the ledges and docks.  Minnows under a slip bobber will work as well.  A good mixed bag of yellows, catfish and sunfish can also be caught this way.  A good place to try is under the loop 202 underpass in the northeast side of the lake. Yellow bass and bluegill are plentiful in the 5- to 7-inch range and will bite mealworms or night crawlers. Channel catfish averaging 1 to 2 pounds will bite stink baits, hotdogs and shrimp. Carp fishing is excellent.

Where: Tempe Town Lake & ASU Research Park

When: 06/13/09

Caught: TTL: 2 bluegill ASURP: 2 Bass, 2 Bluegill, 1 catfish

Technique: Went to Tempe Town Lake. Very, very slow day. Nothing caught except 3 tiny bluegill, but there’s nothing to get excited about. We left TTL and went to the ASU research park, and man, we should’ve went there first. Within 10 seconds of casting out, I caught a nice hand sized bluegill that put up a great fight. Within 5 minutes, a friend caught a big largemouth, and I followed soon after with another big bass.

Comments:  Not as many people as I expected to be fishing today.

Name: Tim Y.

LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1,682 ft, which is 78-percent full.

Anglers are catching stripers.  This time of year you can catch them with anchovies near the tires and in front of the dam. Also try frozen anchovies fished at night over the submerged creek channels. Don’t expect submersible lights to be as effective as the moon approaches full.

Many anglers are waiting for the shad boils to hit full force but stripers are taking crankbaits and some spinners in the deeper water.  Submersible lights might not work well with a waxing moon that is almost full, but fishing at night should still be vialbe using cut anchovies fished over the submerged creek channels in the northern coves, or possibly near the dam.
There is a nice morning topwater bite, but when the breeze quits, or shifts, the bite can vanish.

Where: Lake Pleasant

When: 06/15/09

Caught: two catfish

Technique: anchovies

Name: Andrew Althaus

Where: Lake Pleasant

When:  06/11/09

Caught:  nothing

Technique: anchovies crank baits spinners topwater dropshot

Comments: when drifting a anchovies I hooked up with a striper in the main lake at night but when he had got to my raft so I could see him he got free then my motor battery died so I had to paddle back

Name: Andrew Althaus

Where: Lake Pleasant

When: 06/09/09

Caught: one 4 pound channel catfish

Technique: anchovies lots of bites but and one slammed it

Comments:  I really want to catch some stripers and have been trying hard for about a year and only caught one.  Fishing from a boat is better because I can’t catch them from shore

ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake Elevation is 2147 ft (95-percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is at 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 168 cfs.

Anglers are catching good numbers of bass using topwater, dropshot, jerks and cranks.  The Salt end is productive for many and of course early morning and late evening is best for fish and fishermen alike.  As long as the wind isn’t whipping around, nighttime crappie fishing is a little more pleasant with regards to the air temps.  A couple anglers caught 7 on topwater, 4 using dropshot, 3 on cranks and 3 on jerksbaits in the early morning hours.

Another couple anglers fished early morning and fished all day; they caught 40 to 45 bass.  Topwater was the ticket early morning around the points and backs of coves.  Jerkbait worked a little later on the smaller bass.  Largemouth were also hanging in the submerged trees and took jigs and worms.

Another fisherman fished under cloud cover and he caught over 100 bass with 20% being overs.  This knowledgeable fisherman caught most of them on soft jerkbaits.

A couple other anglers fished deep and pulled up some real nice largemouth with one just under 8 pounds.  Many fish were in the 3 to 5 pound range.  The nighttime bite is real good right now.

Don’t expect submersible lights to help you right now — the moon is almost full. Drop shots can work. Also think vibration and dark for lures. Black poppers and the like might get you some interesting action in the moonlight.

Catfishing should be good for both flatheads and channels. You can catch carp all day and all night if you find the right spot, from shore or boat.

Note: anglers are reminded of the slot bass size limit that remains in effect at Roosevelt. Bass between 13 to 16 inches must be released immediately. Also those bass below 13 inches and above 16 inches that are kept can only be gutted with the head and tail attached so the legal length can be determined. All other fish such as crappie, catfish and bluegill harvested from the lake must have a piece of skin attached to the fillets so species can be determined.
APACHE -With the lake level going down a bit the largemouth bass are hanging under drop-offs and around rocks.  Early morning and late evening are still the best times to fish.  Largemouth bass are taking spoons and yellow/green crankbaits with most pretty small, but the occasional big one will take the bait.   My fishing contact has caught quite a few channel catfish in the 4 to 8 pound range using worms with a split shot.  A few small smallmouth bass are hanging in the rocky areas.  If you find some submerged vegetation the sunfish will take mealworms and earthworms as well as some small spoons.

CANYON LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,657 ft, which is 95-percent full.

Canyon lake is fishing well right now and quite a few people know about it.  One angler caught 21 largemouth with most about 1.5 pounds, two were 2 pounders and one was over 6 pounds.  Frog imitations were working for this angler.  Action is pretty good with topwater lures before the sun hits the water in the coves.  The habitat that Game and Fish installed along with some real devoted anglers are holding some fish.  The habitat is off Teddy Bear point, Beaver Flat and just inside the Mormon Flat buoy line.

Where: Canyon Lake

When: 06/06/09

Caught:  Bluegill and WAY too many people.

Technique: meal worms / spinners

Comments: Okay I’ve officially had enough with the crowds of people so today I broke down and bought a kayak. No matter what lake, river, or pond I go to I cannot get any peace and quiet. NONE.

SAGUARO LAKE – Lake elevation 1525 feet at 93-percemt full.

Saguaro is still producing.  Largemouth bass are taking imitation crayfish on the points in 10 to 20 feet of water.  One angler using this technique caught several fish under 2 pounds.
Two fishermen caught 114 fish, mostly on 1/8th oz kastmasters and yellow 1/8th  oz Panther Martins in 8 feet of water next to drop offs on ledges.  Bagley Flat was especially productive.  They caught 89 bluegill with 35 keeper size, 35 yellow bass, only 6 keepers, 15 largemouth bass with 8 keepers and 5 channel catfish 3 of which were keepers.  Fish were eating crawdads and the bluegill were all over the place.

Angler report:

Joel Gross: Went fishing Friday night (June 26).  Fishing was slow until dark when it started picking up.  After dark caught a number of small catfish with 3 keepers between 1-1.5 lbs in 10′ water depth.  One was caught on fresh chicken livers.  Threw a number of small catfish back that were caught on worms.
BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1796 ft, which is 97% full.  Reservoir release is 115 cfs.

Largemouth are taking shad-colored buzz baits, 7-inch Robos of the green variety and brush hogs.  The fish were in the 25 to 30 foot range.

Also try topwater lures at first and last light along the points, islands and reefs. Once the morning breeze subsides, typically the topwater bit will as well. Switch to drop shots, small curly tails, or 4-inch lizards.

HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 190  feet, 0-percent full.  They are releasing water at 150 cfs.

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 126 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 151 cfs.

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 194 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 190 cfs.  They are releasing 1,575 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.
The upper Salt has quite a few flatheads that readily take live or dead red shiners and sunfish caught via live bait or in the case of shiners cast nets while you are out there.  Chicken liver will work as well.

LOWER SALT RIVER – (below Saguaro Lake) – The spring trout fishing has likely ended, but it may still be possible to pick some up in the deeper pools, along with some bass and catfish. Try inline spinners, Power Bait or drifting night crawlers.

Fishing is good in the early morning and late evening.  Nighttime fishing works real good for the browns around undercut banks and overhanging veg.
Haigler Creek –  Fly fishermen are having luck using dry droppers, hoppers, little midges and emergers.  Trout are also taking spinners.  If you hike up a bit from Fisherman’s Point there are some nice wild rainbow and large browns.
Canyon Creek – Fly fishermen are catching trout using hoppers, phantom tails, prince nymphs, hares ears and copper johns.  Above the OW Bridge you can keep 4 trout of any size and they are taking worms, spinners along with the flies.  Below the OW Bridge its catch and release only and you must use artificial flies and lures.  A fly fisherman caught a 28 inch rainbow, one of the incentive stockers.  Damsels are hatching so match the hatch.
Tonto Creek –   Again hoppers, ant patterns, phantom tails, prince nymphs, hares ears and copper johns.  If you decide to hike to some nice secluded fishing holes prepare to get wet.  Downstream of Bear Flat have quite a few wild rainbows and browns.

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