Southeastern Arizona Fishing Report

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October 21st, 2009

HAVASU –No recent angler reports, but this is the time of year to experience topwater action for striped bass, smallouth bass and largemouth bass. Let us know how you do.

Topock Gorge Fishing Report from Capt. Doyle’s Guide Service. Crappie are on the bite at both the South and the North Dyke and are being caught on minnows. Water temperature in the Topock Gorge is holding at 68º, the fish are fattening up for the winter, and anglers are hoping the bite will last for a couple more months! The smallmouth bass are free swimming while the largemouth bass are holding tight against the tulles. Although anglers area averaging a limit, they are returning them to the water to be caught another day. Both species prefer the darker colored plastic. Sizes for the largemouth bass have been running between 1- and 4-pounds, and the smallmouth bass are averaging between a pound and 3-pounds. The catfish bite has been steady. Needless to say they are favoring anchovy. Bluegill are also on the bite. Cruising at the edge of the tulles, the panfish can be picked up on both plastics and night crawlers.


Sandpoint Fish Report for October 15, 2009


10-9 Gunnar Mansfield of Orange, CA got a 7 pound 2 ounce cat fish using anchovies at the Bill Williams arm

10-10 Gunnar and Brody Mansfield of Orange, CA got 3 Stripers 3 pounds up to 3 and a half pounds and 2 cat fish up to 4 and a half pounds using anchovies and rattle traps across from 5 fingers

10-14 Karen Coats of Sandpoint got 2 stripers up to 2 and a half pounds on anchovies and rattle traps at Karens point.

Fishing in the evening is picking up. Both on the shore line and out in the middle of the lake.
Chum chum chum

You can ring the buzzer on the gas dock to get gas from 2pm-5pm.

Fishing Report provided to you by Karen Coats (Sandpoint Bait and Tackle Shop Supervisor)

ALAMO LAKE – Report courtesy Mark Knapp, Alamo Lake State Park. Well folks, there’s not allot to report this week. A storm front blew in yesterday and has pretty much shut everything down. Anglers got blown off the lake today and have been in the office giving the bass fishing a thumbs down. Spoons and plastics seem to be working the best right now. Most of the bass are hiding in about 25 to 30 foot of water.  The average catch this morning was 3 to 5 bass. All dinks.

Crappie fishing still has not turned on yet. The one, and only, crappie caught today was on a crankbait!  At least we know there starting to get hungry.

Cat fishing is o.k.  Anglers are catching the cats in the back of coves using night crawlers for bait.  If it were me, I would stay home and go golfing this week.  Things should pick up once the weather chills out.

The lake level is at 1116 with pulse releases of 40 cfs.  Both ramps are in operation at this time.  You really have to watch for wildlife on the way out here.  So far this week a cow and a burrow have been hit.  I hit a giant jackrabbit the other night with my wife’s car and am finding out a grill for a Nissan is not cheap.   Anyway, be careful coming out here.  Hopefully next week I have better news.  That’s all I got.  Mark

Alamo Lake:
The lake elevation continues to be good, presently at about 1,121.5 feet. Largemouth bass surveys conducted by AGFD in April indicate that bass are very abundant, although a large proportion of the population remains in the protected slot.  Fish are still in poorer condition than they were a year ago, which may be a result of low shad numbers. Fishing is expected to be good throughout the summer.

Channel catfish should be good to excellent throughout the summer. Alamo Lake is loaded with small channel catfish, especially at the upper end of the lake, but larger fish are present.  During the spring surveys, AGFD encountered far more channel catfish than usual, the majority in the 2-6 lb range, and they were in very good condition.  A hoop-netting survey specifically targeting channel catfish was conducted in early June, with abundant catfish captured, up to 7 pounds.  Based on the sampling, the most productive area appears to be on the western side of the lake, especially the middle third of the lake shoreline.

There are other fish present such as bluegill, redear sunfish and carp that are a lot of fun to catch.  All types of bait should work.  Large tilapia in the 5-6 pound range are abundant, and are an unexploited resource.  As the weather warms, shift from slowly working plastics in deeper water to crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and top-water lures for bass.  For channel catfish, any of the prepared catfish baits, as well as chicken livers and shrimp will work.  Occasionally channel catfish are even caught on bass lures.

Both of the boat ramps are useable at this time.  The store at the lake is now open, although fuel is not available.  The certified scale that was previously located at the Park office is now located in the store.  At the store you can get ice, snacks, fishing tackle and bait, as well as information on the fishing bring everything with you. If you run short of supplies, you might be able to pick it up at the Wayside Inn in Wayside, or in Wenden.

Lake Havasu & Topock Gorge:
Fishing for largemouth bass, as well as smallmouth bass, is expected to remain good through the summer. The size will range from 13 inches and up (remember, there is a 13-inch minimum size limit on the lower Colorado River), with an occasional fish greater than 5 pounds.

Striped bass fishing continues to be somewhat problematic this year, with catch rates far below what has been experienced the past couple of years.  Shad numbers are lower this year, which affects the striper fishing, as striped bass tend to concentrate mainly on shad.  Remember, shad schools move around, and populations tend to fluctuate, so spots that have been “hot” in the past may no longer be so if the shad have moved elsewhere, or are in lower numbers.  The majority of striped bass in Lake Havasu tend to be smaller fish of 1 to 2 pounds, but the occasional 20-30 pound fish is caught.

Channel catfish as well as bluegill and redear sunfish will be good to excellent.  Lake Havasu is well known for large (2-3 pound) redear sunfish, and with the proliferation of the quagga mussel in the lake, we may see larger numbers of large redears.  Redear sunfish are also known as “shellcrackers,” due to their preference for eating clams and mussels, so they may actually benefit from the presence of the invasive quagga mussel.  There have also been reports of crappie fishing picking up, a species that used to be sought after in the lake, but has declined in recent years.  Flathead catfish fishing should be fair at the lower end of the lake (Bill Williams River Arm) through the spring, although surveys in the fall indicated that they are taking up residence farther north in the lake than in the past. Flathead catfish can reach as high as 40 pounds or better in Lake Havasu. When fishing for them, select the interior points in the coves and the areas where artificial structure has been placed.

Carp fishing is likely to be poor, for some time into the future, depending on the final result of the Koi Herpes Virus outbreak currently affecting the carp in Lake Havasu.

Take precautions to make sure your boat and equipment is clean before leaving the water to make sure you don’t spread quagga mussels to other waters by accident.  This invasive species certainly has profound effects on water delivery and control structures, boat engines, and likely on fish populations.  Quaggas are abundant and widely distributed in Lake Havasu, but are absent from many of our interior lakes.  Help keep those lakes quagga-free.  Make sure your boat and trailer are free of the mussels, drain all bilge and livewells before leaving the area, and most importantly, let your boat bake in the sun for 3-5 days in the sun before you launch it at another lake.

Colorado River (Parker Strip Area, between Parker Dam and Headgate Rock):
Fishing is expected to be good to excellent for smallmouth bass, with fish over two pounds in size common. The best smallmouth bass fishing can be found in the upper half of the Parker Strip, while largemouth bass are more numerous in the lower half, in very respectable numbers. In addition, redear sunfish should also be good to excellent in the pound-plus sizes. AZGFD’s most recent surveys turned up good numbers of redear sunfish in the two-pound range. That is dinner-plate sized, folks! Channel and flathead catfish are always fair to good in this section of the Colorado River.

Take precautions to make sure your boat and equipment is clean before leaving the water to make sure you don’t spread quagga mussels to other waters by accident.

Colorado River (between Palo Verde Diversion Dam and Walter’s Camp):
This area should be fair for both smallmouth bass (in the channel) up river from the I-10 Bridge and largemouth bass (in the backwaters) throughout the entire area. Channel and flathead catfish are always fair to good in this section of the Colorado River. Most of the flathead catfish will be smaller ones, in the 2 to 5 pound size range, with an occasional fish over 20 pounds. Annual fisheries surveys this spring turned up several fish in the 40 to 50 pound range, so trophy flatheads are always a possibility. Look for large deep pools formed at eddies for the larger fish. The best time for fishing for both species of catfish will be all summer and on into the fall months. Generally, the hotter the weather is, the better the cat-fishing.  Nighttime is the best time to go after both species of catfish.

This section of the Colorado River, all the way down to Yuma, is where the invasive vegetative species known as Giant Salvinia is located.  Quagga mussels are also found here.  If using a boat, make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean before leaving the area.  The last thing that we want to have happen is the movement of invasive species to other waters.

Colorado River (between Walter’s Camp and Picacho State Park):
This section of the Colorado River is relatively remote, and can only be accessed by boat from either end. Fishing is expected to be good to excellent for flathead catfish with sizes reaching over 40 pounds. The best time will be summer and on into the fall months. The hotter the temperature the better the fishing is. The various backwaters will be good for largemouth bass and other sunfish (bluegill and redear). Other species available in the main river are smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and striped bass.

This section of the Colorado River, all the way down to Yuma, is where the invasive vegetative species known as Giant Salvinia is located.  Quagga mussels are also found here.  If using a boat, make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean before leaving the area.  The last thing that we want to have happen is the movement of invasive species to other waters.

Colorado River (between Picacho State Park and Imperial Dam):
This area is expected to be good to excellent for largemouth bass, channel catfish, and flathead catfish. Bass and channel catfish in excess of 5 pounds are relatively numerous, along with flathead catfish as large as 40 pounds. Our survey this spring turned up an 89-pound monster that should still be lurking in the waters where it was found. Bluegill are also present in the various backwaters. Occasional striped bass will be caught in the main river channel, especially near Imperial Dam. Fishermen did quite well on small stripers this spring between Martinez Lake and Imperial Dam.

Colorado River (between Laguna and Morelos dams):
This area will be good for largemouth bass and flathead catfish. Accessing the water can be a problem, as river flows are much lower than historically, and launching a boat can be a challenge. Accessibility to the river is dependent on the amount of water being released upstream. A small shallow-draft boat or float tube should get you into some good fishing. Bass in excess of 5 pounds are common, and larger ones definitely exist. Flathead catfish over 20 pounds are also a good bet in the deeper pools. The lower end has had some dredging work done, and larger boats may be able to get on the river in that area.

Because of the increase in border issues and illegal activity on the lower end of this stretch of the river, we recommend using extreme caution while fishing the area from Pilot Knob to Morelos Dam.

Regional Hot Spots:
Alamo Lake will continue to be the hot spot for largemouth bass and channel catfish.  Since there appears to be an overabundance of small bass and channel catfish in the lake at present, we recommend keeping as many of the smaller bass and catfish as you can legally possess in order to try and reduce the population a little.  Remember, though, an advisory on mercury contamination is in effect for Alamo Lake, so refer to your fishing regulations for recommended consumption rates.  Next choice would be Lake Havasu for large and smallmouth bass and redears, Parker Strip for smallmouth bass and redear sunfish, and the Colorado River below Walter’s Camp for flathead catfish.  Our surveys in May revealed that there is a very impressive population of flathead catfish in the lower Imperial Division between Picacho State Park and Imperial Dam.  Expect many in the 5-10 pounds size class, but we know of at least one state record lurking in those waters.
If you need any additional information don’t hesitate to contact the Yuma Regional office at (928) 342-0091, and we will be happy to accommodate you.

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