Rory’s Tip

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November 26th, 2008

I’m writing this while rain is coming down outside – this is great weather for ducks and trout. So break out the rain gear and the trout tackle.

Here’s another idea – turn Black Friday into Blue Friday or maybe Rainbow Friday – don’t go shopping, go fishing. It’s a great way to trim off the turkey and all the trimmings. You can burn calories and catch a low-calorie meal at the same time. Then you can smile inwardly (or outwardly) every time you think about the crowded shopping malls you are not at.

Don’t forget that the Mearns’ quail season opens Friday – and this is going to be a Mearns’ season they will be talking about for years, if not decades.

We stocked 3,500 trout in Tempe Town Lake (see picture above) – it was a superb fishing festival once again. Just want to thank to the good folks at Tempe Town Lake, Cabelas’ and Bass Pro for helping to make it such an exciting event. The kayaks proved to be a superb addition – great going Okie.

For all you anglers, that means the Town Lake is primed and ready to provide rainbow action. Saguaro and Canyon lakes have both been stocked with rainbows. They have been catching rainbows along the Lower Salt River for a couple of weeks now.

Also try Parker Canyon or Patagonia lakes in southern Arizona (Mearns’ quail territories).

This weather should cool down all the lakes, making them happier places for trout to abide, but the same weather will probably send the warmwater fish down deep. That means it is time to go deeper, as least most of the time.

It’s tough to beat drop shots this time of year. Keep in mind that even in winter, bass will still come into the shallows at times, especially in the warmer afternoons. Try reaction baits such as spinners, buzzbaits and the like to locate these bass (they will often hit late but reveal their presence), and then be ready with a flutter down bait strategically cast to the spot where the miss occurs.

But striped bass fishing at Lake Pleasant might still be decent. Just don’t expect to find many stripers in the main body of the lake – they typically congregate along submerged creek channels (fish freeways) in places like the Agua Fria Arm of Pleasant. Try slow trolling, or even back-trolling, using frozen anchovies on one rod and maybe a Rapala Countdown on another, then have another rod rigged and ready with a small KastMaster. Once you hook into one striper, keep in mind that stripers are schooling fish — chum with bits of anchovy to hold the school in place so you can catch others.

You will likely still find crappies at times as they start to congregate into larger schools in open water. The active crappies will often be 15 feet deep, even if the water depth can range from 30 to 50 feet deep. When the large crappie schools form, they will look like inverted Christmas trees on your fishing finder – which is appropriate for this time of year. It’s a little early yet, but it could happen.

This is also a good time of year to target yellow bass (in the Midwest they call then stripies) using live minnows or small quarter-ounce KastMasters (gold can often work best). They might not be big in size, but they sure fight. Not bad eating either. Yellows can be found in Saguaro Lake (my recommended spot), Canyon Lake and Apache Lake.

Once this weather front passes, consider a trip to Lees Ferry (or take your rain gear and go). The trout fishing has been spectacular, the weather nice and ironically, few anglers out enjoying some of the best trout fishing in the West. Go figure.

So go out and enjoy some wet weather for a change. Isn’t it great to start the winter off once again with saturated soils? If we can get some snow pack on top of those soils, you may want to have Santa bring you lots of new fishing tackle.

Maybe I’ll see you out there.

One Response to “Rory’s Tip”

  1. Dear Roy,

    For Southern Arizona, where are guaranteed places to find Mearn’s Quail? Can you please be pretty specific and how to get to these places?

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