Central Waters Fishing Report

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October 2nd, 2009

URBAN LAKES – Fish stocking of channel catfish resumed last week at all 20 Urban Fishing Program waters in the greater Phoenix and Tucson areas.  Over 14,000 pounds of 1.5 to 2 pound catfish were transported by our fish contractor all the way from Arkansas.

The farm-raised catfish have had a good summer growing season and most fish should be in the two pound plus range.  Anglers might want to put some fresh line on their reels since the larger, hard fighting cats can put equipment to the test and bust old line.

Game and Fish biologists accompanied each lake delivery to ensure that all stocking operations run smoothly and successfully, and that all fish pass our high inspection standards for excellent condition and health.  All lakes were recently checked for compliance with our water quality stocking guidelines and all lakes passed inspection.

The fall catfish stocking season includes a total of four stockings at two week intervals through early November.  Stockings will occur on random days during the designated stocking week (Mondays through Saturday).  This alternating week schedule will only change if fish delivery problems occur (we have a 99% “on-time” delivery success) or conditions at an individual lake are unsuitable for stocking (for example high pH levels).  Best baits for catfish are worms, stink/dough bait, shrimp or hot dogs.  Catfish bag limits are 4 fish at the Urban Lakes or 2 fish at the Urban Ponds.
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 October 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 – Don’t forget about this lake, it’s 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 ft (47-percent full). Many anglers are saying the topwater bass bite in the early morning is not very good at all unless you find a boil. Buzzbaits near shore are working for many in the early morning. Drop shots are productive as well.

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 2,133 ft (78-percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 123 cfs.

A couple anglers caught 12 crappie, many were two pounds with a three pounder breaking them off at the boat.  They were caught using minnows around 12 feet deep.  The bite is soft so keep a tight line.
Another couple anglers fished from 7am to 11am in the main lake.  They caught 18 largemouth bass and 1 three pound flathead.  Fish were falling for drop shot for the most part in 25 to 40 feet of water off points.

APACHE - Lake elevation is 1,908 feet (93-percent full).

An angler decided to give Apache a try and fished 6 a.m. to noon and caught 20 largemouth.  Twelve were under the 13-16 inch slot, 4 were over and 4 were in the slot.  The ones below 13 inches were all pretty small and the large ones were over 3 pounds. Crankbaits were the ticket but they sure didn’t jump in the boat.  Water temp was 67 degrees in that deep lake.

CANYON LAKE – Lake elevation is 1657 ft, which is 95% full.
Two fishermen fished from 6am to 11am.  It was slow in the morning.  They caught a total of 7 and all were small.  Crankbait and jerkbait is what they fell for.  They caught a big bluegill on drop shot.  Topwater didn’t produce.

Another angler caught some on topwater in the afternoon.  Most the fish went for drop shot and jigs.  Most the fish were in 15 to 25 feet of water.

SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation 1,525 feet at 94-percent full.

Two experienced anglers fished from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and caught 60 fish. The breakdown was: 30 largemouth bass with 4 in the slot and quite a few unders, 25 yellow bass with a few keepers and 5 bluegill.  Most fish were just below 25 feet of water off ledges.  Fishing was slow in the morning but picked up as the day went on.  Drop shot worked well for the largemouth.  The yellow bass went after the kastmasters fished by dragging it on the bottom.

Angler comment:

Sept 24. Went to Saguaro and tied on a Rico top water around 7 a.m.
Wasfishing along the cliffs before you get to ship rock. Picked up 15 Large Mouth Bass in 45 minutes. All were either in the slot or just under. Great fishing…There were boils all over the place.

Dick Azzi

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1790 ft, which is 89% full.  Reservoir release is 625 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..

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 141 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 625 cfs.

Where:On the Verde river, between horseshoe lake and Bartlett lake
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.

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 123 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 110 cfs.  They are releasing 950 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.  .

LOWER SALT RIVER — Stewart Mtn. Dam (below Saguaro Lake) release is 950 cfs. Did have once recent trout angler reporting good results floating the river and fishing for trout and bass in the deeper holes. This stretch of river has not been stocked with trout since last spring, so the fish caught were likely larger holdovers. The angler declined to share his sercret techniques.
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.

2 Responses to “Central Waters Fishing Report”

  1. Lake Pleasant 10-3–9 had a good day,caught 6 Largemouth bass texas rig Gary Yamamoto Senkos worms Purple and Black 5″ walking the bank,worked very hard 8 hours hotting the points especially the ones that are steep,fished spinner bait 1 hour not a tap went back to worm bam!, got a fish in 5 minutes all were about 12 to 14″ long nice fighters and the healthiest looking bass I have seen in years,the water is crystal clear at Lake Pleasant,used 10# Berkely Flourocarbon number #2 JB hook 3/16 bullet weight.All fish were released,they are defineately picking up with the lower water temp,good luck Ike Sutherland

  2. Lake Pleasant 10-12-09 had the best day ever on this lake Pleasant, fished steep bluffs Humbug cove, Texas rigged worms watermelon zoom 6″,got 30+ Largemouth also missed a bunch all small (12″to 13″) but a barrel of fun cast Thump Thump Pow!LOL,all realeased.I tryed spinner bait for a while when the bite slowed up,always try to be versatile,its easy to get stuck in a 1 bait mode,had 7 rods on the floor used 2 all day LOL, but my confidence was so strong with the worm I could not give the spinner bait a chance I am sure it would have worked,I put it down after 15 casts or so grab the worm rig and bam!LOL my thumb was raw by the end of the day LOL what a fun day get out and hit those steep bluff banks and have some fun could be some of the best fishing in years-Good Luck Ike

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