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With the new moon on Cinco de Mayo, this is definitely the time for crappie fishing at night under submersible or floating lights. Try Roosevelt, Alamo, Bartlett or Pleasant (Humbug).
Stripers under lights are also a fun option – don’t leave a pole unattended, you might lose it. Try frozen anchovies (cut) with little or no weight at Pleasant, Mead, Havasu or Mohave. Shore fishing can be viable off major lake points and other locales along the underwater fish highways.
On the theme of stripers et al, Powell has been challenged by wind recently, but if the weather pattern will ever calm down, this lake will provide some world-class fishing for stripers, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and walleye. Being located in some of the most spectacular scenery on earth isn’t too shabby either.
Pleasant and Roosevelt seem to have generated the most angler reports lately. Some are doing very well, while others have not found a successful bite pattern (I am in that second group lately).
This is the leading edge of the good catfish angling. Alamo and Saguaro are the early birds, but Pleasant, Bartlett, Roosevelt, and Canyon are worth a visit. You don’t need a boat for catching cats – shore angling is the best method.
For those of you who have been yearning for the high country, all the mountain lakes are now open and accessible. This is the time to catch the larger hold-over trout, but don’t necessarily expect high catch rates –most lakes still have water temperatures in the high 40s and low 50s. This is the leading edge of the best high country trout fishing.
Big Lake (on non-windy days) has been providing anglers terrific action for larger rainbows and cutthroats, with a few brook trout thrown in to keep things interesting. But this is also a good time to visit some of the White Mountain Apache Lakes (you’ll need their fishing permit) such as Reservation and Hawley. Those two lakes have some tremendous brown trout to catch.
Along the Mogollon Rim, Bear Canyon, Woods Canyon, Willow Springs and Chevelon lakes have all been doing very well for larger hold-over trout. Once again, winds have made fishing a little chilly and challenging at times, but the catching has been good regardless.
But wind doesn’t impact stream fishing as much, so try Christopher Creek, Canyon Creek, Haigler Creek, Tonto Creek or even Horton Creek along the Mogollon Rim, or Beaver Creek and West Clear Creek in the Verde Valley. For kids, it’s tough to beat using cane poles (yes, they still sell those) and dropping night crawlers, corn or other baits into the riffles above trout-harboring pools. It’s a ball.
But if gas prices are gouging your wallet too much during these challenging economic times, try the Lower Salt River for trout. This desert river below Saguaro Lake along Bush Highway is just a short drive for those in the Valley of the Sun. It’s a hoot to fish.
Another fun place to fish – especially for those who are mobility challenged, is Tempe Town Lake, which is full of largemouth bass, yellow bass, catfish, carp and sunfish. Try a double-hook set up with night corn on the bottom and night crawlers on a second hook set 14 to 16 inches above the bottom one; this should set you up for most of the fish species found there. The ASU side of the lake is even within walking distance of some landmark restaurants.
Go catch a memory. Maybe I’ll see you out there.