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In the past couple weeks I’ve basically heard more of the same. Trolling cranks and grubs early in the morning or late in the afternoon and night fishing under lights are your best bets.
I’ve also heard from a few anglers of good results using Bass Pro Shops “Crappie Beavers”. Cast and retrieve them or troll them, it doesn’t matter. Alamo, Roosevelt and San Carlos have all been producing good numbers of 1 ½ to 2 lb. Crappie with some super sized slabs mixed in. I haven’t heard a peep from Bartlett or Pleasant but that doesn’t mean they’re not worthy of trying.
Any one of these lakes could produce a new state record Crappie. The current record of 4 lb. 10 oz. out of San Carlos has stood since 1959. I believe that record may fall soon. There have been several really big slabs caught this summer and the shad spawns have been incredible.
Give the fish all winter to feed up and this coming spring when the females fill up with eggs, look out! Because of Roosevelt’s size, amount of flooded tress and brush and a huge population of shad, that’s where I’m looking to see the next state record. If not, we’re going to hear about a lot of 3 and 4 lbers for sure.
With the end of the monsoon season close and cooler night time temps, the water temps will slowly start to drop. Soon the Crappie will start to move out more into open water and school up big time.
Use your electronics to find the schools of shad and watch for grebes (birds) driving to catch them. That should give you a good idea of where the schools of Crappie should be. Troll these areas at different depths using several baits to find a pattern.
Once you find a pattern, fish it until it doesn’t work anymore. If you find a big school of Crappies, don’t be afraid to stop and fish it vertically. The “Slab Daddy” feather jigs at Bass Pro are a great vertical jig and they hold spray on fish attractant better. Try the Yum brand shad favor.
There are several ways to learn more about Crappie fishing our Arizona Lakes. The fastest way is to go on a guided trip. There are several guides around AZ but for Crappie I’d recommend Art Chamberlin of C&C Guide service out of Tonto Basin or Leroy Price out of Globe. Both are experts at Crappie fishing Roosevelt Lake are they’re great guys as well. You can learn more in one day with a good guide than you can learn in years on your own.
Also watch local internet reports like www.azbasszone.com. There is a special “Crappie Forum” on this site where people from all over the state post. Or join the Arizona Crappie Association, for more info on the AZCA check out the Crappie forum on the bass zone. We meet ever month to fish and we share tips and reports our private internet forum. And of course you can come see me at Bass Pro Shops in the Fishing Department. I would be happy to help you with your tackle, give you some tips or even show you some good spots on a map.
Bill (Piscolli) Eveland