Central Arizona Fishing Report

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July 16th, 2009

URBAN FISHING REPORT – Fishing has tapered off at all Urban Fishing waters statewide now that the spring fish stocking season has ended.  Fish stockings will resume in mid September once temperatures start to cool once again.  Fishing is still fair at lakes as many catfish still remain, bluegill and other sunfish species are still plentiful, and bass are still lurking around.  To be successful, anglers may have to try some new bait and methods, mixed with some persistence and patience to have regular success (see above article).  With water temperatures creeping towards 90 degrees, the resident fish are becoming more lethargic.  Fish activity is best after dark or in the early morning during these summer months.  The usual catfish baits such as worms, shrimp, and dough/stink baits are good to try, but this is a good time to experiment and combine baits or mix up a new catfish bait concoction you discovered on the internet.  At Green Valley lakes (Payson) the best fishing is for crappie, bluegill, bass and catfish.  Try small marabou jigs or curly tail grubs for the sunfish and bass.  Catfish are biting on worms and liver.  With no trout stockings at Green Valley for two months, there’s not much action for these cold water fish.

Angler report:
Where:  Cortez Park
When: 07/01/09
Caught: catfish
Technique: a small hook or at least not too big with a slip weight stopped by a swivel  about 5in. up with enough worm to cover the hook and then some dangling off
Comments: I’m 13 and the kid next to me went to the bathroom so while I was watching  his stuff he got a bite so I reeled her in and got to keep her. When I cleaned her  she was full of eggs.
Name: Justin

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Fishing is a little slow right now. Anglers are okay for largemouth fishing next to the bridge and railroad structure in the early mornings with the drop-shot technique.  White colored and shad colored crankbaits can be productive.  The yellow bass and largemouth population is up compared to last year’s survey.  One group of anglers two weeks ago caught 20 bass drop shotting and 12 more with cranks.  Most of the largemouth bass were between 12 and 16 inches.  One was 4.3 pounds.  They also caught 1 yellow bass.  Don’t forget the current bag limit for largemouth bass at Town Lake is four fish per day with a 13-inch minimum length restriction.
There are also no gas powered boats allowed on the lake and Tempe Town Lake permits are available at the City of Tempe Town Lake Operations Center, 620 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281. Phone: (480) 350-8625.

LAKE PLEASANT - Lake elevation is 1,678 at 73 percent full. Night fishing can be the way to go, but day-time topwater action can be good at times, although it is still sproadic.
Anglers report that the best night fishing has been from midnight to 5 a.m. in 25 to 25 feet of water.  At night, try using frozen anchovies (cut into thirds) with little or no weight. When you graph a school of fish, chum with pieces of anchovies. Striper schools (and whites) will be on the prowl and can move rapidly. You need to provide a food supply to hold them in place. This holds true if you catch one — immediately chum to hold the others in the school. Don’t tie up to the tires or any buoys, you could be cited.
During daylight, at or before first light work the coves. Binoculars can help spotting topwater boils, or slurps. Cast past the boil with a topwater lure, then work it back over the spot in an eratic fashion, like a wounded shad. Once the bite has slackened in the coves, work the outside points, islands and reefs. Once again, binoculars help.

Where:Lake Pleasant
Caught:15-inch largemouth and one really small striped bass.
Technique:drop shot for large mouth and jig for striper; lost one on a shad colored crank bait
Comments:Boils were ok just really short with lots of nice large mouth moving around and small striper are hitting in mouths of coves.  I didn’t see any white bass.
Name:Andrew Althaus
A couple anglers fished from about 8 pm to midnight and caught 14 stripers.  The largest was 4 pounds although most were in the 1-2 pound range.  They were using anchovies in 25 to 35 feet of water in the northern coves.
Another angler caught 4 nice catfish at night.

Not every angler is reeling them in but a little patience and the right bait choice at the right time goes a long way.  The larger stripers are deep so get your bait down fast to avoid the little sneaky ones from stealing your bait.  Don’t forget if you don’t use anchovies they eat shad 99-percent of the time so you need to present an irresistible morsel they recognize or at least tricks them.

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake Elevation is 2,145 ft (93-percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 129 cfs.

The evening and nighttime bite are pretty good.  A couple anglers launched from Cholla and were a little concerned about a couple weather disturbances in the distance, but all looked good on the lake.  Crankbaits worked right off the bat resulting in 6 upper slot largemouth bass.  Topwater didn’t work for these two at that time. Throwing flukes worked just fine and so did jigs.  Texas-rigged and drop-shot worms fished between 30 and 40 feet caught smaller fish.  They caught a slew of fish.

Another group of night fishermen caught a bunch of largemouth bass using 4- to 7-inch worms on Texas rigs.  Most fish were caught between 15 and 30 feet.  The worm color didn’t matter, course it was at night.  A lot fish are hanging on steep banks.

Another angler and his 10-year-old son caught between 70 and 80 largemouth bass between Friday and Saturday night.  The largest fish of the two nights was just shy of 8 pounds.  The fish were between 25 and 45 feet deep and they caught them on jigs, T and C rigs.   The fish were eating crayfish and anything that looked like a crayfish was enticing the bite.
We have no recent reports from catfish anglers, but night fishing for catfish should be terrific right now.  Look for flatheads where the Salt River enters the lake. Channel cats can be found anywhere, but should be especially prevalent on the flats.

APACHE – Lake elevation is 1,907 ft (92-percent full). My fishing contact, David, says the catfish are taking worms on the south side of the lake around rocks and boulders. The bass are deeper now and taking spinners although many are small.  Carp are active in the coves.

CANYON LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,657 feet, which is 95-percent full. This lake can be great for bluegill and catfish, especially in the evenings. For bass, the best fishing will be at night, but don’t expect high catch rates. However, this lake always has the potential for catching a hawg, maybe even a new state record.
An angler fished Canyon two weeks ago and caught 9 largemouth bass in three hours all before 11 a.m.  Bass tend to stack up along the cliff walls this time of year and they will go after your rigged worms bounced down the cliffs.  They like to hang in the nooks and crannies along the wall.  Fish on the shady side  .

SAGUARO LAKE – Lake elevation 1,525 feet at 92-percent full. A couple experienced anglers fished from 4:45 am to 10 am. Topwater lures didn’t produce at all. Spinnerbaits worked pretty good in the northern coves around Divider Reef.

Some nice bass are hanging along the cliffs. They are going after worms Texas rig style and on split shot. You need to fish slow and any color will do.
A night fisherman did real well using rigged worms and grubs 5 to 15 feet deep in the riverine section.  Water temp is 85 degrees and visibility only about 1 to 2 feet.
Be sure to watch the flows — this is a pump-back lake. Water is pumped back into Canyon Lake during non-peak times, and from Canyon into Saguaro during peak electric use times. This can create a tidal-pool-like environment. Predatory fish will face into the slight current to acitvely feed.

Where: Saguaro
When: 07/07/09
Caught: Largemouth, Bluegill, Green sunfish
Technique: Small jigs with 1″ grubs or micro craws ultralight tackle fished just off the bottom in 3-11 feet. Surface temp was 83.
Comments: Fished from 1 pm to 5:30 pm in backs of mid-lake coves, My grandson Derek caught his 1st, 2nd and 3rd fish ever! We ended up with 27 fish including 1 slot largemouth.
Name: Jim Lindquist

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,796 ft, which is 97-percent full.  Reservoir release is 140 cfs.
An angler fished from 5 p.m. till about 1 a.m.  Fishing was good before the sun went completely down and it tapered off until the moon came up then fishing picked back up again.  He fished boils with a shad imitation and caught 25 fish, all under 2 pounds.  He also changed techniques and caught a 10-inch smallie.  Larger fish were deeper and caught on 8 to 10 inch worms

HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 1950 feet. No pool.  They are releasing water at 110 cfs.

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 65 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 140 cfs.

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 129 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 114 cfs.  They are releasing 1,575 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro.

LOWER SALT RIVER – (below Saguaro Lake) Stewart Mtn. Dam release is 1,575 cfs. There still might be some trout left to catch, but mostly its bass, catfish and sunfish right now. But at the current flows, this river provies a decent float trip. Try floating while armed with a night crawler fished with a small split-shot weight.

CREEKS — A couple streams are too warm to stock trout and some of the smaller tributaries are starting to dry up.   But fish are congregating in the deeper pools.  Get there early.

Haigler Creek –  Water temperatures are too warm to stock trout so they will not get trout this week.  Hope for rain.

Canyon Creek – Fly fishermen are catching trout using hoppers and ant patterns.  If you want to cover your bases, use a caddis larvae or nymph dropper.  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.

Tonto Creek –   Terrestrials are the ticket so use hoppers and ant patterns and again use a caddis larvae or nympyh dropper.  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.

Christopher Creek – I’ve heard good reports from the upper See Canyon section. The lower section was not stocked due to water temperature issues. As with the other creeks, try terrestrials, especially grashoppers or cicadas.

East Verde -  Water temperatures are too warm to stock trout so they will not get trout this week.

Workman Creek – One recent report.

Chris: Hey Guys! went fishing weekend of the 4th Workmans Creek, what a great little secret it is!! Not sure if the fish I caught were recent stockers or holdovers from previous but all were fat and healthy including 1 18-inch whopper!! 7 total! Had a Blast!

Thx Az Game and Fish for all the work you do! You Guys are Great!!!!! A Fan!!

If you care to share a fishing report, please call Region 6, (480) 981-9400 and ask for Diana.

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