Central Waters Fishing Report

Share or Bookmark:
| More
October 21st, 2009

URBAN LAKES – Catfishing at Urban lakes continues to be good to excellent with fall stockings well underway.  Not much change in the top baits for channel cats: shrimp, stink baits and hot dogs.  Activity is best in the evening and early morning with cooler temperatures making the cats active during mid-day periods as well.

Bluegill and bass are biting well in the early mornings as they seek to fatten up before winter sets in.  The special fall stocking of bluegill is scheduled for the week of Oct. 26-31, so make sure to take the kids, grandkids or a friend.  Earthworms, mealworms or a piece of hot dog on a small hook under a small bobber will keep you and the youngsters busy catching bluegill.

The Green Valley Lakes (Payson) received the first delivery of rainbow trout on Oct. 20, kicking off an eight-month trout stocking season.  Fishing should be excellent for the 11-14 inch trout.  Best trout baits include Power Bait, small spinners and lures, and worms.  Green Valley anglers continue to have success catching bass, bluegill and crappie.


  • All UFP waters in Phoenix area and Tucson area - Last stocked catfish Oct. 9 (second of four fall stockings). Next stocking, catfish the week of Oct. 19-24 and sunfish the week of Oct. 26-31.
  • Green Valley Lakes (Payson) - Stocked with trout on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – This lake has been named the “Best in Phoenix” by the New Times. Get out and experience what makes this lake so special.

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 1,651 ft (47-percent full) and slowly rising as it is filled with CAP water. 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.
ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake Elevation is 2,132 ft (77% full).  Tonto Creek runoff is 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 121 cfs.

An angler fished from 6 to 11 a.m. and landed 10 bass, all slots and unders.  Most fish were caught before 9 a.m. and drop shot was the best technique for this fishermen.  Crankbait nabbed a couple fish.  Vixens elicited a good response but fish weren’t committed. There were a few smallies.

A trio of fishermen trolled the Tonto end and caught 11 largemouth (5 slots and 6 unders), 7 crappies, 6 bluegills, and 4 yellow bass.  The best bite was from noon until 1 p.m.

APACHE - Lake elevation is 1904 feet (90% full).

Here is a good report:
“I fished Apache twice during the week of Oct 10, a total of 14 hours + or -. I caught about 15 fish, all LM except 1 SM. The two or three largest were maybe 13″, about half between 11″ and 13″, the smallest few were very small, clearly this year’s spawn. The SM was about 13″. All fish seemed healthy; the larger fish were chunky and well developed.”

This is from Bill of Game and Fish who conducted the survey on Apache a couple weeks ago at Apache:
“Things are looking great. Both LMB and SMB were very healthy and it looks like we have some smallmouth recruitment. We also caught a lot of small walleye (8-10”) and just about one at every site.
Largemouth Bass

Below Slot: 639
Within Slot: 60
Above Slot: 9
Total: 708

27 recaptures

Young of year: 17
Below Slot: 23
Within Slot: 4
Above Slot: 0
Total: 44

27 recaptures

< 12 inches: 166
> 12 inches: 9
Total: 175”

Angler report:


First time reporting to you. Thank you for your reports I have read them every week and the information is very useful.

This past weekend my family and I fished Apache Lake from the shoreline. We had 6 small bass on worms from the bottom. In the early afternoon I started to throw a chartreuse and gold bladed bass spinner, it was rigged with an extra stinger hook that I place a 3″ silver swim bait body on it. Stared by the west boat ramp and dragged it through the shadows cast by the wall. Four bass about 17 inches were caught there. We moved to the point over by the ranger station and drifted worms there. We caught 2 8-inch channel cats there and one 22″ cat took the spinnerbait I was throwing earlier, never had that happen before. Took 3 more largemouths off that point. Had some hits that I missed on the spinnerbait that chewed the plastic bait up suspect walleyes were chasing it. We spent only 5 hours there but the kids loved the fishing consistent enough to keep them focused.

All in all
7 Largemouth’s
3 Channels
Night crawlers
Chartreuse And gold willow blade 1/4 ounce Spinner with Plastic silver and white swim bait on the stinger hook.

Eric Seif

CANYON LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,657 ft, which is 95% full.
No recent reports. This lake can be tough to fish, but experienced anglers might just land a new state largemouth bass record. This lake is also full of fesity yellow bass — try gold KastMasters or yellow spinners.

Two fishermen the week before and fished from 6 to 11a.m.  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 91-percent full.  This is a good lake to catch a mixed bag of largemouth bass, yellow bass and bluegill.

No new reports this week, but the week before a trio of experienced anglers fished from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and caught 151 fish.  The majority of the fish were caught before 9 a.m.  They caught 80 yellow bass with a lot between 9 and 10 inches.  Sixty three largemouth bass and most were between 11 and 13 inches, and 8 bluegills were about 3-4 inches.  Water temp was 74 and the shad were busting the surface all over the lake until about 8:30 a.m.  The fish were suspended 10 to 15 feet deep over 72 feet of water.  Use KastMasters to their depth the jig a bit and they were after the lure.  Fish were also hanging on the ledges near drop offs but not as thick there.

Shore fishing at Butcher Jones is pretty good.  An angler caught a few bass using a Heddon  baby bass spook and roboworms.

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,776 feet, which is 70% full.  Reservoir release is 1,100 cfs.
An angler reports having a slow day on the water at Bartlett and caught only 5 small largemouth.  The duo trolled from the Yellow Cliffs to the river.  A crappie angler fished early till noon and didn’t catch any crappie.

Another couple anglers reports a slow day only catching 3 bass, 2 bluegill, 1 channel catfish and 4 crappie.  No details given though.

Despite the poor results for these anglers, most fish should be feeding aggressively at times to put on fat before winter conditions settle in.

HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 1964 feet; no pool.  They are releasing water at 25 cfs.

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 141 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 1100 cfs..

SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 121 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 110 cfs.  They are releasing 400 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.  .

LOWER SALT RIVER — Stewart Mtn. Dam (below Saguaro Lake) release is 400 cfs.  This stretch of river near Tempe and Mesa is scheduled to start getting its winter trout stockings on the first week of November, but it is still possible to catch bass and even some holdover trout in the deeper pools.
Terrestrials are fading fast, but wooly bugger and minnow streamers are doing pretty well for the wild browns.  Nymphs, hares ears and pheasant tails are also enticing the bite..

* 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.

Leave a Reply