Central Waters

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August 12th, 2009

URBAN LAKES – Fishing is best at first and last light.  Live worms fished on the bottom with a lengthy leader will work for the picky eaters.  The fish are spooky, so don’t let them see you if you can avoid it.  Don’t forget the 13 inch minimum size limit.

Catfish stockings have ceased for the summer and won’t commence again until water temperatures and conditions improve in mid to late Sepetember. But anglers at many lakes are still catching catfish, bluegill and even bass. Don’t expect great catch rates, but these lakes are still worth a visit especially at first and last light.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Bluegill are biting meal worms under a bobber at the fishing docks.

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 1,662 ft (58-percent full).
Anglers are catching quite a few smaller stripers and largemouth bass with anchovies around the tire area.

Shad boils are small, ephemeral and full of dinks throughout the lake especially in the northern and main lake coves.

There are some large fish out there, but they are a bit deeper.  You might want to try bouncing your worms down the cliff walls to nab the lunkers hanging in the crevices.  If you can net some shad try putting them on a hook, they work well.  Last week an angler noticed large stripers he caught were full of crayfish, so use crayfish imitations.

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake Elevation is 2141 ft (87-percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 133 cfs.

Anglers are happy with Roosevelt.  It behooves you to pay attention to the moon phase and change in barometric pressure.  Fish tend to get lock jaw when the pressure changes over a short amount of time.  Once the fish grow accustom to the pressure the bite tends to be on.  Lots of fishermen know how important the sunrise and sunset is, but the moon rise and moon set is also real important.

But did you also know the peak new moon and peak full moon (as in completely full or completely new) is also important? Good fishing can last 3 to 5 days after the peak and three to four days before, with the peak being the best time.  Don’t forget to factor in the local weather.  If a rain storm is hitting right as you are fishing good things will happen, barring any nearby lightning strikes.

The barometric pressure change occurs when the system is being funneled in and the wind is whipping around. Many times if the barometric pressure is working against you, the peak moon phase will still work in your favor. Changes in season or photoperiod which triggers spawning activity can also be thrown into the mix. It isn’t as obvious in Arizona as it is in other states, but the fish can tell.  The water temperature is a measurable indicator that fishermen can easily key in on to indicate spawning activity.

An angler fished in the evening on the Salt end.  Crankbait worked a little bit but when the moon came up around 8:30 p.m. fishing was real good, he caught 10 largemouth bass over the slot, one under the slot and a bunch of slots.  He mentioned the fish were real aggressive.

Another group fished at the Salt end in the evening and the bluegill kept them busy for the first hour.  They crappie fished 25 feet deep over 40 feet of water and they caught 16 nice crappie.  The weather was pleasant as well.

APACHE -  Lake elevation is 1,906 ft (92-percent full). Anglers are catching quite a few bass using T-rigged green and yellow colored worms and also red and blue Robo Worms.  Use your dropshot the points where the substrate drops off.  Spinnerbaits are also enticing the bite.  Don’t forget to try Turtle Island, Goat Ledge and Mazatzal Bay. Use KastMasters or live worm pieces or mealworms at the drop-offs near the points and ledges for yellow bass. Carp are hanging in the shallow coves.  Apache Lake catfish like those live worms.

CANYON LAKE -Lake elevation is 1,657 ft, which is 94-percent full. Four fun loving carp fishermen had a great time at Canyon Lake.  They baited a promising yet shore accessible area for a week before their big adventure.  They fished 6 to 10:30 a.m. and caught 24 carp; none were less than 10 pounds.  The largest was about 20 pounds and all were caught on hair rigs using artificial and real corn (boiled feeder corn).  The carp were jumping as soon as the anglers showed up at the site and they had several double hook ups and one triple hook up.  They used 14-25 lb test and still had some that broke off.

Part of the same group fished Teddy Bear point and dropshotted worms from 9:30 to 11:00am and landed 19 largemouth bass and one smallmouth.  Most of the bass were between 10-14 inches and all were released unharmed.

SAGUARO LAKE – Lake elevation 1524 feet at 92-percent full.  A night angler fished from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and caught 7 slot bass dropshotting with 4 inch black and blue Robos.  He also T-rigged 10 inch Power Worms which enticed 5 more  bass; this technique resulted in a couple larger fish, one four pounder and two three pounders.

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1795 ft, which is 95-percent full.  Reservoir release is 115 cfs.

An angler night fished from 5 to 10 p.m. and caught a bunch of small largemouth bouncing an Excalibur Fat Free Shad crankbait in rocky areas.  Four inch Robo Worms on drop shots also brought in a few bass as well as T-rigged worms.  The largest bass was about 3.5 pounds.

Editor’s Note: With all its twists and turns, along with plentiful reefs, this can be a challenging lake to fish at night for those who are not familiar with it.  Full moon nights can be best, but don’t expect your submersible lights to work their magic like on darker nights.

Where: Bartlett
When: 07/28/09
Caught: one channel cat
Technique: live or cut bluegill
Comments: You can’t get back to the flats the lake is ridiculously full.  You need a boat to do any good fishing
Name: Chase Lupfer

Rory’s note: For short-hitting fish batting topwater lures around, try using a trailer hook, or even a front-runner-type of smaller lure fished in tandem with a larger one (Zara pooch in front or behind a Zara Spool for instance). Another technique is to have a small soft-plastic jerkbait like a Bass Assassin or fluke as a trailer for something like a Zara Spook or even a popper, then hesitate the walk-the-dog action and let the trailer flutter down – sometimes you’ll catch the hesitant hawgs that way.
HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 1,952 feet. No pool.  They are releasing water at 100 cfs. The best place for flatheads, bass and sunfish is in the deep pools just below the dam. A wiggling ball of multiple live night crawlers on a small treble hook might just get you the fight of the summer.
VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 162 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 115 cfs.

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 165 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 148 cfs.  They are releasing 1,425 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro.

LOWER SALT RIVER – (below Saguaro Lake) Stewart Mtn. Dam release is 1,675 cfs, making it great for tubing, canoes or kayaks. There still might be some trout left to catch, but mostly its bass, catfish and sunfish right now. Try floating while armed with a night crawler fished with a small split-shot weight. This stretch of river is perfect for the fishing kayaks.


Terrestrials are the ticket right now; hoppers, ant patterns and cicadas (if you hear them buzz).  You want to be there early or real late so you  are the first to get on the water and hit the undercut shoreline and deeper holes.  In our past sampling you would be amazed how many bigger fish are in what seems like little holes.

Haigler Creek –  Haigler received the full load of rainbow trout last week because the water temps were cold enough to support trout.  This is a week to week situation.  Fish the deeper holes that’s where they will be and get there early.

Canyon Creek – Low water spooky fish.  Dry flies (hoppers) size 8 to 14 are doing well along with dropper rigs sizes 14 to 18 nymphs below it.  Anglers are saying the better fishing is in the catch and release area.

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.

2 Responses to “Central Waters”

  1. I’m not sure if this is where we post our Angler’s reports or not, but I can’t seem to find any other spot to report it … My friends Rick, Jarrot and I hit Pleasant Friday night for some stripper fishing at the elevation marker. Using worms and shad, Jarrot was able to bring in his first 16 fish, Rick caught 16, and I brought in 29 for a total of 61 fish in just a few hours. When the wind picked up, the fish seemed to stop feeding as much. As soon as the wind died back down, they picked up again.

  2. Fished Lake Pleasant today wormed=Buzzed them-drop shot-they skunked me but I did not start till 9:00 it was getting hot by the minute,oh well thats fishing 8-25-09 Rev-Ike

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