Southeastern Arizona Fishing Report

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October 29th, 2009

HAVASU –No recent angler reports, but this is the time of year to experience topwater action for striped bass, smallouth bass and largemouth bass. Let us know how you do.
Topock Gorge Fishing Report from Capt. Doyle’s Guide Service. Crappie are on the bite at both the South and the North Dyke and are being caught on minnows. Water temperature in the Topock Gorge is holding at 68º, the fish are fattening up for the winter, and anglers are hoping the bite will last for a couple more months! The smallmouth bass are free swimming while the largemouth bass are holding tight against the tulles. Although anglers area averaging a limit, they are returning them to the water to be caught another day. Both species prefer the darker colored plastic. Sizes for the largemouth bass have been running between 1- and 4-pounds, and the smallmouth bass are averaging between a pound and 3-pounds. The catfish bite has been steady. Needless to say they are favoring anchovy. Bluegill are also on the bite. Cruising at the edge of the tulles, the panfish can be picked up on both plastics and night crawlers.


Sandpoint Fish Report for Oct. 22, 2009


10-16 Joe Egan of San Diego, CA got 5 stripers one and a half pounds to two and a half pounds using anchovies near the pump station

10-18 Joe Egan of San Diego, CA got a 3 pound small mouth bass using a rattle trap off the Jetty
Karen Coats of Sandpoint got a one and a half pound striper off the point using Rat-L-Trap

10-19 Joe Egan got a 3 pound striper using a stump jumper off the jetty

10-21 Sal Vasquez of Visalia, CA got a 3 pound 1 ounce small mouth and a 2 pound 3 ounce striper using a smokey joe red fin off the jetty

You can ring the buzzer on the gas dock to get gas from 2pm-5pm.

Fishing Report provided to you by Karen Coats (Sandpoint Bait and Tackle Shop Supervisor)

ALAMO LAKE – Report courtesy Mark Knapp, Alamo Lake State Park. Well folks, there’s not to report again this week as far as fishing goes.  As I write this the temp is dropping and there calling for high winds for the next couple of days.  In a nutshell I would suggest going golfing.  The high tomorrow is only going to be in the mid 60’s.  Were in the 80’s today.  This front is going to push the bass into deeper waters.   A few anglers are picking up bass in 28 foot of water throwing plastics and drop shot-ting.  Spoons are also working.  No good reports on crappie fishing.  No reports on cat fishing.  Cholla campground got hit over the weekend.  In total four campsites got riped off.  All four campsites had fishing poles in there boats.  You have to put your stuff away.  The rangers will be telling you this as you come to the park.  I need anyone that hears anything or sees anything to let me know.  There coming in between 11 and 4 in the morning.  There targeting weekends right now.   If you hear or see anything that looks out of place, please write it down and let me know.  Flyer’s are posted through out the campground with our phone number on it.  If something is going on call us.  We will be there anytime day or night.  Wish I had better news.  Mark


Alamo Lake:

The lake level is still good; we’ll be heading into the fall with an elevation of about 1,118 feet, which equates to 3,500 surface acres. Both the main and Cholla ramps will be usable.  While largemouth bass are present in all sizes, fisheries surveys in the spring indicated that there seem to be an unusually high proportion of bass within the protected slot limit (you are allowed to take one bass in the protected 13-16 inch slot). Hopefully fisheries surveys in the fall will reveal that these fish have grown beyond 16 inches. Regardless, bass fishing should begin to pick up when the weather cools a bit, and is expected to be good to excellent throughout the fall. All types of bait, plastics, spinner baits and top-water lures should work. As the weather cools off, try slowly working plastics in deeper water.

Crappie fishing has been a little spotty throughout the summer, but expect it to be fair to good this fall.

There is a very robust population of channel catfish in Alamo Lake that are probably under-fished. AGFD conducted hoop-netting surveys in June, and netted and released over 400 catfish, up to about 7 pounds, with plenty in the 2 to 4 pound size. The best concentrations of channel catfish seem to be found along the upper two thirds of the shoreline, on the western side of the lake. For channel catfish any of the prepared catfish baits will work, as well as chicken livers or your own secret concoctions.

There are other fish present such as bluegill, redear sunfish, tilapia and carp that are a lot of fun to catch. More decent-sized bluegills and redear sunfish, up to about a pound, have been showing up in recent surveys, a trend we hope continues. When Alamo Lake was first impounded, it was widely known as the place to go for sunfish. Sunfish can be caught on a variety of baits and lures. They are particularly susceptible to fly-fishing, and are very enjoyable when caught on light fly-fishing tackle.

The store at the lake is now open, although fuel is not available. The certified scale that was previously located at the Park office is now located in the store. At the store you can get ice, snacks, fishing tackle and bait, as well as information on current fishing. The gas station (Grower’s Oil) in Wenden is now an AZGFD license dealer. Their normal hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., 7 days a week.  They carry a small assortment of basic fishing gear. They may carry worms and catfish bait in the future, but currently do not.

Lake Havasu & Topock Gorge:

Fishing for largemouth bass, as well as smallmouth bass, is expected to be good to excellent. Sizes will range from 13 inches and up, with an occasional fish in the 4-6 pound range. Every year, smallmouth bass are becoming more and more numerous in Lake Havasu and upriver. Bass tournaments now often experience nearly a 50/50 ratio of smallmouth to largemouth bass. Striped bass fishing has been pretty slow over the past year, but this summer we’ve gotten reports of a rebounding shad population, and striper “boils” on schools of shad are becoming much more common. Hopefully this signals a turnaround in the striped bass fishery, and it may be good to excellent by the fall. Most of the striped bass in Lake Havasu tend toward the small side (12-18 inches) but occasional fish over 8 pounds are not uncommon. During the annual striper derby held last May, the number of stripers caught was down significantly, but more large fish were weighed in than usual, including 31, 28, 24 and 15-lb fish. Channel catfish as well as bluegill and redear sunfish fishing should be fair to good. Flathead catfish fishing should be fair at the lower end of the lake throughout the fall. Flathead catfish can reach 40 pounds or better in the lower portion of the lake. To find them, select the interior points in the coves and the areas where artificial structure has been placed.

The cooler weather causes the bite to slow down, so it is important to work your lures more slowly, and in deeper water.  Put away your topwater lures and switch to plastics, crank baits, spinner baits, jigs, etc.

Colorado River (Parker Strip Area):

Smallmouth bass, with fish over two pounds in size are expected to be good this fall.  In addition, redear sunfish should also be fair in the pound-plus sizes.   The Parker Strip is well known for its smallmouth bass fishing, especially in the area from the dam to several miles downstream.  The Parker Strip is also home to some really impressive, dinner-plate sized redear sunfish of two pounds or better.  Channel and flathead catfish fishing is always fair in this section of the Colorado River.  Below the dam, striper fishing may pick up this fall, using live shad or anchovies.

Colorado River (between Palo Verde Diversion Dam and Walter’s Camp):

This area should be fair for both smallmouth bass (in the channel) and largemouth bass (in the backwaters) throughout the entire area. Channel and flathead catfish are always fair to good in this section of the Colorado River. Most of the flathead catfish will be in the 2 to 5 pound size range, with an occasional fish over 30 pounds. The time for fishing for both species of catfish is in the evening to midnight. As the weather cools, so will the cat-fishing action.

Colorado River (between Walter’s Camp and Picacho State Park):

This section of the Colorado River is relatively remote and can only be accessed by boat from either end. Fishing is expected to be fair to good for flathead catfish with sizes over 40 pounds. The best time for fishing for both species of catfish will be in the evening to midnight.  Largemouth bass and bluegill are also present in the various backwaters and slack water areas. Other species available in the main river are smallmouth bass and striped bass.

Colorado River (between Picacho State Park and Imperial Dam):

This area is expected to be fair to good for largemouth bass, channel catfish, and flathead catfish. Bass and channel catfish in excess of 5 pounds are present along with flathead catfish as large as 40 pounds, or larger.  Bluegill are also present in the various backwaters and an occasional striped bass will be caught in the main river channel.

Colorado River (between Laguna and Morelos dams):

This area will be fair for largemouth bass and flathead catfish. Bass in excess of 5 pounds are common and flathead catfish over 20 pounds are a good bet. In this area accessibility to the river is dependent on the amount of water being released. Usually shallow draft boats work the best. The lower end has had some dredging work done and larger boats may be able to get on the river in that area.

With the increase in border issues and illegal activity on the lower end of this stretch, we recommend exercising extreme caution, avoiding nighttime use, or even staying away from the area between Pilot Knob to Moreles Dam, altogether.

Regional Hot Spots:

Alamo Lake will be the hot spot for largemouth bass and channel catfish.  There are many fish in the lake at the present time (especially channel catfish), and keeping some to eat will not impact the population in the slightest, and will perhaps even enhance it.  Next choice would be Lake Havasu for striped bass, Lake Havasu and the Parker Strip for smallmouth bass and sunfish, and Martinez Lake and Imperial Division backwaters for largemouth bass.   For the die-hard flathead catfish angler, large catfish can still be caught from Walter’s Camp down to Imperial Dam, although fishing likely won’t be as effective as in the warmer months.

If you need any additional information or assistance don’t hesitate to contact the Yuma Regional office at (928) 342-0091 and we will be happy to give you whatever information we have.

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