Rory’s Tip

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October 23rd, 2008

The return of summer weather in the middle of autumn got me confused, but the fish seemed to like the change and started feeding more aggressively again at many desert and mountain fisheries. It was just nice to have a weekend without the wind howling.

With a dry but cool weather front passing through, things could change some but with any luck, the fishing might even get better rather than slacken. I suspect that the fish will feed even more aggressively to put on fat before winter conditions arrive, and a lowering barometer should accelerate that behavior. At least, that’s the theory.

I have heard from a number of anglers that Saguaro Lake this past week has been bonkers for 1- to 2-pound bass, channel catfish, bluegills and yellow bass. This lake has been a fishing hot spot for a couple of months. If golden algae can just behave itself. . .

Lake Pleasant has also been on fire, mostly for daytime anglers but a couple of night time ones left a message that they loaded up on stripers and whites using lights over the submerged river channel in the Agua Fria. This is the time of year when the stripers and whites typically transition from primarily working the main lake and once again patrol the northern coves (probably because the water cools and the oxygen levels go back up), and will concentrate more heavily in the Agua Fria arm of the lake.

By the way, it appears that Scorpion Bay, the new marina at Lake Pleasant, may open this week. Give it a visit.

We received a couple of dandy reports from Lake Mohave with anglers hitting great striper action. This can be a good time to load up on stripers at Mohave, Mead, Havasu and Powell. These fall feeding frenzies can provide some of the best freshwater fishing action in North America at times.

With the moon in the last quarter, this is a good time for night fishing. Although we haven’t heard a lot of good reports from crappie anglers, this might be a good time to try Bartlett, Alamo or Roosevelt for these speckled beauties using submersible lights. It may be a bit of a crap shoot, but if you go, let us know how you do.

Bartlett Lake has also been terrific lately for bass on topwater and for big flatheads, although the news of a boating accident there this past weekend was sad indeed. Not sure of the details, yet. But please pay attention when boating out there, and boat defensively.

In the high country, it sounds like Big Lake, Willow Springs, Woods Canyon, Goldwater Lake, Whitehorse Lake and Ashurst Lake were all providing anglers some pretty decent fishing opportunities. This should be brown trout time, so also try Dogtown Lake, Chevelon Lake and Canyon Creek. Oak Creek Canyon is worth a visit.

Right now, you also have lots of other choices as our winter trout stocking program kicks into gear. Beaver Creek and West Clear Creek in the Verde Valley are being stocked this week, along with Parker Canyon Lake in southern Arizona.

The week of Nov. 3, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, the Verde River, the Lower Salt River (near Phoenix), Kearny Lake and Patagonia Lake will all be stocked for the first time.

The combination of having great fall fishing overlapping the leading edge of the winter trout stockings provides some of most diverse fishing opportunities of the year. The toughest part is just deciding where to go.

No matter what you decide, go catch some terrific autumn memories. Maybe I’ll see you out there.

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