Central Waters Fishing Report

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September 24th, 2009

URBAN LAKES – Fishing for catfish should be good to excellent following the stockings this week. Expect the regular stockings to be 1.5-2 pound channel catfish into all 20 Urban Program lakes. Lakes will be stocked at rates of 35-70 catfish per acre every two weeks through early November.

Catfish bite well on worms, stink baits, shrimp or hot dogs fished on the bottom. Mornings and evenings are the best times as catfish prefer to feed under dim or dark conditions.

Fishing for bluegill is good along the shorelines in 4-8 feet of water.  Try mealworms under a small, thin bobber for great action.

As lake temperatures fall below 78 degrees, expect better action for largemouth bass, especially in the early morning periods. Try finesse plastics rigged drop shot or Texas style for the bass and mix it up with small crankbaits, soft jerkbaits or spinnerbaits.  At Green Valley Lakes (Payson) fishing for bass, bluegill and crappie is fair and should improve by the end of September as lake temperatures cool and fish activity increases.

Fish stockings (trout only) at Green Valley will resume the week of Oct. 19-24.  At all lakes remember to release any of the weed eating white amur right away so they can go back to munching on the nuisance water weeds.
TEMPE TOWN LAKE – This lake is convenient for both boaters and shore anglers.  For boaters try fishing around the bridge pillars and any overhanging vegetation.  The shore fishing areas can be productive.  Mealworms or earthworms usually will get you bass, catfish or redear if fished off the bottom with a weighted leader of about 18 inches.  Bluegill will take mealworms or worm pieces fished under a bobber.  Try crayfish imitations both the soft plastics and crankbait as an alternative.

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 1,649 feet (47-percent full). Striper fishermen are having good luck using combo white and green lights in deep water or the Aqua Fria. There are quite a few small ones but the bigger ones are lower.  One angler in the know report the best fishing is before sundown and around sun up.  Anchovies and shrimp work well.

An angler reported catching 30 fish at Pleasant, although they were not real big. No indication what they caught or what techniques were employed.

The wind and reduced night temperatures this week likely cooled down the lake some. This could be the catalyst for the good fall topwater bite, especially for striped bass. This would be a good time to go exploring for daytime striper boils. Quite often, the action will start in the coves at first light and then transition to the main lake. You might even find boils in open water well aware from shore. Take along binoculars to spot boils at the surface. Also watch for bird action — herons, gulls and migratng osprey swooping into the water can be a decent indication that there is a surface boil.

Where:lake pleasantWhen:09/13/09
Caught:same as last time a few large mouth small though
Technique:drop shot Robo worm try everything else but that’s about all live caught anything on this year
Name:andrew althaus

An angler fished Lake Pleasant and brought home 32 stripers and four catfish.  He used anchovies.  Mid-lake near the eastern shore was a good area, but it wasn’t the only good spot.  Fish were around 50 and 60 feet deep.  Other fishermen are still doing well near the tires, but you do have to sink your bait fast to avoid the little guys from nabbing the bait.

ROOSEVELT LAKE — Lake Elevation is 2,134 feet (80percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 219 cfs.

The windy weather this week and cooler night temperatures likely cooled the water down. This could prompt the predatory fish to feed more aggressively. Look for topwater action, or use spinnerbaits and buzzbaits for a reaction bite. Carry a pole rigged with a flutter-down lure such as a Senko or curly tail jig to cast if a bass strikes short.

Rip baits can also work well this time of year. Try any of the hard-plastic jerkbaits, but especially the ones with neutral buoyancy.

One report stated hitting the banks with spinner baits and pitching jigs into the trees produced 12 fish including a nice catfish.  They were all shallow between 5 and 12 feet deep.

A couple fishermen reported catching a few bass with chatterbaits way in the backs of coves in lots of cover.

APACHE - Lake elevation is 1,907 feet (93-percent full). Anglers are catching catfish by marina and bass in family cove using worms. This is a good time of year to try for yellow bass using gold KastMasters or yellow spinners.

CANYON LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,657 feet, which is 95-percent full. This lake typically has lower catch rates, but for larger bass. It is not always the best lake for novice anglers to learn, but then again one big bass can make a great trip for many.

Where: Canyon Lake
When: 09/15/09
Caught: Largemouth, Bluegill, Green Sunfish
Technique: Small jigs with 1″ twister tails for bluegill, roadrunner with 3″ twisters or plastic craws for the bass, the faster the retrieve the more interest in the offering!
Comments: Fished main lake shoreline rock outcroppings for bass and anywhere for the bluegill, especially the in the coves; 96 total with 26 bass- some of the bass were 6″ long but aggressive, saw lots of fingerling bass an encouraging sign of the future. All the bass were in the slot or unders.
Name: Jim Lindquist.

SAGUARO LAKE – Lake elevation 1,525 feet at 93-percent full. This lake should be cooling down, just like the others. Action should be picking up for largemouth and yellow bass.

An angler caught 15 fishing from 5:30 to 2 p.m.  Most were small with only one over 16 inches.  He caught them on cranks and dropshot and some on Texas rigged worms along the cliffs.

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,793 feet, which is 92-percent full. This was a fishing hot spot the past weekend, and fishing should be getting even better with the cooler nights dropping water temperatures. Reservoir release is 300 cfs.

A couple anglers went out and drop shot produced 16 fish total at a couple different points.

Topwater worked well when a couple surface boils popped up. The largest bass were shallow and went after crankbait. Jigs produced a half dozen decent sized bass, but patience was a big factor.
Bartlett is kicking in for quite a few folks.

A couple anglers fished from about 2:30 to dark.  Fishing picked up after a little while using white spinnerbaits.  They caught 26 fish with several over 16 inches and quite a few around 14 and 15 inches.  Drop shot worked okay.

Three fishermen caught 27 bass but nothing over 2 pounds.  Crankbait, jigs and the fairy wand were the big producers.

HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 1951 feet; no pool.  They are releasing water at 150 cfs.

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle Creek is 151 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 300 cfs.

Where:On the Verde river, between horseshoe lake and Bartlett lake
When:08/22/09
Caught:15 lb Flathead and 8lb Channel
Technique:Worms and chicken liver
Comments:We caught most of our 25+ fish between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Released them all.
Name:Scott

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 219 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 148 cfs.  They are releasing 1300 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.  .

LOWER SALT RIVER — Stewart Mtn. Dam (below Saguaro Lake) release is 1300 cfs
CREEKS
The only Mogollon Rim creek still being stocked is Canyon Creek, although it is still possible to catch trout in all the creeks. Most creeks should be at their low autumn flows. But the when the creekside vegegation changes color, these riparian areas turn even more picturesque.

* Haigler Creek – Has not been stocked since July.
* Canyon Creek – No recent reports.  Stocked again last week with 180 rainbow trout.
* Tonto Creek –   No recent reports. Has not been stocked since August.
* Christopher Creek – Has been stocked since July.
* East Verde – No recent reports. Has not been stocked since July.
* Workman Creek – No recent reports. Has not bee stocked since May.

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