Southwestern Arizona

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July 24th, 2008
Southwestern Arizona

Alamo Lake:

We analyzed some samples of bass from Alamo Lake at our Fisheries Health Lab in Pinetop, and were not able to make any conclusions on the “red spots” present on some of the fish.  We’re pretty certain that it is not one of the grubs or other fairly large parasites, as we were able to detect nothing in the sores, not even microscopically.  While a fair number of bass exhibited these “spots,” it did not appear to be affecting their health and vigor, and the bass that showed the spots seemed to be very lightly infected.  It appears to be an infection on the skin, which doesn’t affect the meat of the fish.  We’re continuing to look into it.

Angler report:

Report courtesy Mark Knapp with the Alamo Lake State Park. Well folks, this week your not missing allot out here.  It’s been humid and windy.  The monsoons keep threatening, but only deliver enough rain to mess up the windows on your car.  We did get about 1/16 of an inch a few days ago, but that’s about it.  Bass fishing is still pretty good.  I talked with Brent Riesop and Victor Gheorghe who stated they caught 13 bass and 3 catfish fishing at night this last weekend.  Working points and throwing black worms worked well for them.   I have found the evening bite has tapered off a little.  I’m only catching 10 to 15 bass a night.  I have found that using red flake lizards during the day and switching to dark colored wolly hog tails right at dark works well.   If the wind is blowing, which is 90 % of the time, I get on the back side of a point and work the bait slowly back into 20 foot of water.   You can usually pull 4 to 5 fish off of the same point.  Anyway, from all the people I’ve talked to the evening is still the best time to fish.  No reports on a morning bite.  I talked with William Miller who said he caught 50 crappie last Saturday night.  He went on to say the bite started at 2 a.m. and was over by 4.   If you don’t do any good up by the dam then try the coves between the main ramp and Cholla.   No reports on shore fishing.  The lake level is at 1121 with releases of 50 cfs.  You know the rest of the story – bring bug spray and sun block.

Angler report:

Where: lake Alamo
When: 07/05/08
Caught: Bass
Technique: pumpkin lizard, tube and craws, almost any color dark seemed to work
Comments: My partner Jerry Coperider and I caught 91 bass over two days. Evening bite was great, morning was not so good. We caught 8 of the 91 in the morning also caught a 5.2 and a 3.8 so it was a great weekend. We also caught a 5.12 on 5/25/08 drop shot on a point headed up to the dam.
Name: Mark Chambers

Mittry Lake:

AGFD has been conducting monthly hoop-netting surveys to get an idea of channel catfish numbers in Mittry Lake.  Results from April, May and June indicate we have a very robust population of channel catfish throughout the lake.  Most individuals are on the small side, but there are significant numbers of channel catfish in the 2 to 6-pound range, and larger.  Shoreline access is somewhat limited at Mittry Lake, but there are a number of fishing jetties on the east side of the lake that can produce catfish.  Boaters will have a better chance at large numbers of catfish throughout the lake, especially in Teal Alley.


SUMMER OUTLOOK:

Alamo Lake:

The lake elevation continues to be good, presently 1121 feet. Alamo Lake has had a couple years of good reproduction, and the fishing should be excellent for largemouth bass and crappie. There are a fair number of bass over the protected slot, and a couple of strong year classes of smaller bass that have grown into, or are just about to enter the slot.  We believe that the bass population would benefit from a higher harvest of the smaller bass.  Fishing for channel catfish is expected to excellent this year. Our netting surveys indicate there are incredible numbers of smaller catfish in the upper portion of the lake. Given the ideal water levels, all of the boat ramps will be useable this summer.

The store at the lake has not yet opened, so you need to bring everything with you. If you run short of supplies, you might be able to pick it up at the Wayside Inn in Wayside, or in Wenden. The certified scale that was located at the store is now located at the Alamo State Park office. The Park office also carries live bait.

Lake Havasu & Topock Gorge:

Fishing for largemouth bass, as well as smallmouth bass, is expected to be good to excellent. The size will range from 13 inches and up, with an occasional fish greater than 4 pounds. A 12-pounder was landed this spring. Striped bass will continue to be excellent for small fish (12-18 inches), with occasional fish over 8 pounds. Fishing for channel catfish, as well as bluegill and large redear sunfish, will be fair to good. If your interest is flathead catfish, fishing should be fair at the lower end of the lake (the Bill Williams River arm) late in June, and on through the summer. Flathead catfish in Lake Havasu have been caught as large as 40 pounds, although they can potentially become much larger.

Colorado River (Parker Strip Area, between Parker Dam and Headgate Rock):

Fishing is expected to be good to excellent for smallmouth bass, with fish over two pounds in size common. The best smallmouth bass fishing can be found in the upper half of the Parker Strip, while largemouth bass are more numerous in the lower half, in very respectable numbers. In addition, redear sunfish should also be good to excellent in the pound-plus sizes. Our surveys last fall turned up good numbers of redear sunfish in the two-pound range. That is dinner-plate sized, folks! Channel and flathead catfish are always fair to good in this section of the Colorado River.

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

This area should be fair for both smallmouth bass (in the channel) up river from the I-10 Bridge 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 smaller ones, in the 2 to 5 pound size range, with an occasional fish over 20 pounds. Our annual surveys in the spring each year generally turn up a couple of fish in the 40 to 50 pound range, so trophy flatheads are always a possibility. Look for large deep pools formed at eddies for the larger fish. The best time for fishing for both species of catfish will be all summer and on into the fall months. Generally, the hotter the weather is, the better the cat-fishing.  Nighttime is the best time to go after both species of catfish.

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 good to excellent for flathead catfish with sizes reaching over 40 pounds. The best time will be summer and on into the fall months. The hotter the temperature the better the fishing is. The various backwaters will be good for largemouth bass and other sunfish (bluegill & redear). Other species available in the main river are smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and striped bass.

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

This area is expected to be good to excellent for largemouth bass, channel catfish, and flathead catfish. Bass and channel catfish in excess of 5 pounds are relatively numerous, along with flathead catfish as large as 40 pounds. Our survey this spring turned up an 89-pound monster that should still be lurking in the waters where it was found. Bluegill are also present in the various backwaters. Occasional striped bass will be caught in the main river channel, especially near Imperial Dam. Fishermen did quite well on small stripers this spring between Martinez Lake and Imperial Dam.

Colorado River (between Laguna and Morelos dams):

This area will be good for largemouth bass and flathead catfish. Accessing the water can be a problem, as river flows are much lower than historically, and launching a boat can be a challenge. Accessibility to the river is dependent on the amount of water being released upstream. A small shallow-draft boat or float tube should get you into some good fishing. Bass in excess of 5 pounds are common, and larger ones definitely exist. Flathead catfish over 20 pounds are also a good bet in the deeper pools. The lower end has had some dredging work done, and larger boats may be able to get on the river in that area.

Because of the increase in border issues and illegal activity on the lower end of this stretch of the river, we recommend using extreme caution while fishing the area from Pilot Knob to Morelos Dam.

If I were to pick a hot fishing area for summer in the Yuma region, I  would have to go with the Colorado River below the Palo Verde Diversion Dam (near Blythe), all the way down to Imperial Dam (near Yuma) for flathead catfish. There is an incredible amount of flathead catfish biomass in the river. In seven days of survey this spring, we handled (and released) a total of 2500 pounds of flathead catfish.  Another good bet would be Alamo Lake. It should be good to excellent for largemouth bass, crappie, and channel catfish, with the bluegill fishery also picking up.

If you need any additional information or additional areas covered don’t hesitate to contact the Yuma Regional office, at (928) 342-0091, and we will be happy to accommodate you.

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