Rory’s Tip

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November 28th, 2007
Rory’s Tip

There’s a great way to get into the spirit of giving this season – give of your time and labor to help ensure a bright fishing future at Canyon Lake, which is one of our rugged jewels along the Salt River.

We need volunteers during the next couple of weekends to help build artificial habitats, called Pisces pyramids, along the exposed lake bottom while this lake is drawn down for work on the dam.

By the way, we sat and watched a bobcat work along the shorelines while we were recently stocking Canyon with smallmouth bass.

Come be part of this historic habitat project. To volunteer, call Natalie Robb at (480) 324-3541 or Curt Gill at (480) 324-3545.

I am getting lots of great reports from Saguaro Lake recently. One angler hit the bonanza, or is that smorgasbord, at Saguaro Lake recently and caught largemouth bass, yellow bass, rainbow trout and bluegill using 1/8-ounce silver KastMasters and Yamamoto 5-inch watermelon and red flake cut tail worms Texas-rigged – in fact, trout hit the plastics.

Saguaro may have taken it on the chin from golden algae, but it is bouncing back. During a recent gill-net survey, we found hordes of young-of-the year bass. But what we also found was record-size yellow bass.If the snow level drops low enough with the coming winter storm and puts a blanket of white on the Four Peaks, you will want to take your camera with you when fishing Saguaro.

With the recent spat of colder weather and a cold winter storm possible in our future, it’s the time of year when we start saying “winter conditions prevail” at fisheries around the state.

For the warmwater fisheries, that often means down-sizing and slower things down – including the catching. But for trout anglers, there are opportunities galore, especially close to home for metro dwellers.

The colder temperatures might chill-down the bass bite, but the trout bite should come on strong now. If you are tied to the city this holiday season, try Tempe Town Lake or any of the urban lakes. Town Lake was stocked last week, with accompanying festivities, and the urban lakes are being stocked with rainbows this week.

The Lower Salt River is also a good bet below the confluence with the Verde River at the Phon D. Sutton Recreation Area. You might even see osprey, bald eagles and peregrine falcons putting on aerial shows above the river (and sometimes in it).

If you want one last high country fishing trip, be sure to check road and weather conditions before heading out. Plus, with the cold nighttime temperatures, expect to find some rimming ice, especially in the higher country.

For all of you crappie anglers, these speckled beauties will typically suspend over open water in winter and if possible, orient to brush on other woody structure. As the water temperatures drop, crappies will often congregate in larger and larger schools. This can result in some tremendous crappie fishing opportunities at Roosevelt, Alamo, and Bartlett lakes. Just keep reading this report. Appropriately for this time of year, crappie schools look like upside-down Christmas trees on the fish sonar screen.

Good luck. Maybe I’ll see you out there.


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