Rory’s Tip

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May 28th, 2008
Rory’s Tip

This is the tail-end of the best trout fishing in the high country. With triple-digit heat returning to the desert, the lure of high county trout can become irresistible, and with good reason.

There are still larger holdover fish to be caught along with the plentiful rainbow and Apache stockers. A lot of trout waters are getting into water temperature ranges well suited for increased trout activity. This will change during the next several weeks when water temperatures exceed trout comfort zones and the fish become less active.

So go now while the fishing is great and beat the summer rush.

In the desert lakes, it’s prime carp and catfish time (see the pic with the Lake Pleasant report below). Come to Camp Carp at Roosevelt this weekend and learn how to (see information below).

This is mostly the post-spawn time for bass in the desert lakes, although there are still some bass on beds – typically in deeper water and not necessarily accessible to most anglers. I have seen bass on beds as late as August. The largemouth bass spawn can be very spread out.

Look for bass in the backs of coves at first and last light, but during the day, try the main lake points, islands and reefs for the more active fish. Submerged humps can be bass gold mines. Drop shots near the bottom and topwater lures near the top, with crankbaits for the suspended bass – arm yourself for all eventualities.

This is also the time to start fishing at night – we have a waning moon with the New Moon on June 3. The last quarter is an excellent time to night fish – your submersible lights can work well, but you don’t have to contend with pitch-black conditions (except when the moon sets). Be sure to check out moon rise and set times.

It’s also bluegill time – kids love catching these fun little fighters. They are also the cotton candy of fish – sweet tasting.

Bluegills offer a great opportunity for practicing filleting techniques. Try just a dusting of flour and get the oil hot enough to make a water droplet dance, but not hot enough to burn the fish – kind of like cooking your own tortilla chips. Which brings up the subject of bluegill tacos. . .try using strawberry salsa on them (cut fresh strawberries very small and add them to your favorite salsa). For filleting, watch this video:

Bluegills are abundant in the backs of coves at most of our desert lakes – look for rock outcroppings for the best results. But it’s tough to beat Saguaro Lake. Lunker bass numbers are down, so the bluegills have been lacking that typical population control mechanism. A 1-pound bluegill is something to see.

Here’s a tip for bass anglers right now – get some bluegill-like swim baits and go searching for hawg city. Even though it has been a strange year for Canyon Lake, it is still one of my top choices for lunkers. Next choice would be Roosevelt.

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