Southwestern Arizona

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January 28th, 2009

LAKE HAVASU — Lake Level 446.87

Report courtesy John Galbraith of Anglers Pro Shop, Lake Havasu City
Striped bass bite good during predawn and after dark hours using snagged or throw netted live shad, hyper striper stump jumper jigs in pearl, gray and chartreuse shad with 4-inch hyper tails or Sassy Shads used as trailers.  Cast or troll these lures as slow as possible bumping the bottom whenever possible as the larger stripers are looking for wounded shad on the bottom for an easy meal; they don’t like to chase fast lures this time of year as they are gorged on the slow moving shad due to the cold water temps.

Smallmouth bass angling fair using craw pattern (brown or red) crankbaits or Rat L Traps. Shad patterns (white or chartreuse shad) are working good for the first hour and last hour of daylight in 8 to 20 ft. of water.

ALAMO LAKE – Courtesy Marp Knapp, Alamo Lake State Park.  Well folks, were on our way to the super bowl and fishing is picking up.Need I say more!

Bass fishing is doable. I went out for a few hours and boated 3 slot fish using plastics.   Rocky points with 45 degree angles worked for me. The bite was a “there” feeling so pay attention to line movement.  A friend of mine went out yesterday and threw a variety of training wheels and  caught a couple on spinner baits and one on a crankbait. He boated 6 bass total.  We both agree for bigger fish use plastics.

CRAPPIE FISHING IS PICKING UP.  Anglers are averaging 10 to 15 a day in the upper end of the lake.  You know the drill.  Go up and find the flotilla, throw out a roadrunner jig with a minnow and start trolling.  Kinda watch how the other boats are going.  You have to remember that each boat has about 30 feet of line out and everyone is kinda working in the same direction.  You go plowing through the middle of this and I’m telling you now, you’re not going to make any friends.  People will wave at yah, but there’s going to be a few fingers missing.

Cat fishing is decent. Get up past the flotilla and up in the river channel and try using shrimp, night crawlers or hot dogs.

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written but we have been busting buns to open the new store.  With that in mind we are open now.  We’re just down the road from the old ranger station.  When you come into the park and see the flags hang a right and head down the hill.   You will see our new store/ranger station on your right hand side.  It’s hard to miss.  We have been open for about a week now and as with any new operation there’s some “bugs” were working out.   For example, I spent several hours trying to figure out how to reprogram our cash register and add all these new items.  I walk away from it with a mind of mush, but feeling good that “I got er done.”  We open the store. Our first customer wants to buy a Alamo Lake State Park t-shirt, price 15 bucks to start.  I punch the button for t-shirts hit “total” and the price comes up $ 44.95.  As the lady is about to tell me where to stick the shirt I quickly explain that this is all new and we have a cheat sheet in place for these kinds of mistakes.  She got her shirt for the right price and was a happy camper so to speak.  That’s the way day one started.  The point is if you come in and buy some minnows and the cash register says $ 4,294.26 don’t freak out.

The lake level is at 1,123 with releases of 25 cfs.  Both ramps are working just fine.

Worm on Red and Green Jig heads
My son and I got on the lake about 11 a.m. fished in a bay with no luck, we went to a tree at the mouth of the bay. Dropped the jig head with worm down into the tree. My son caught 17 and I caught 21 we missed about 20 they hit like Bluegil real light. All were 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pound. We let them all go back to grow to 5 & 6 pounders
Bob Zvara

Junebug colored Berkley worms.
Cove on North side of lake. Caught 3 large mouth bass. Caught 1 catfish on live worm.

SOUTHWESTERN WATERS (Winter Outlook 2008-2009):

Winter Outlook 2009:

Alamo Lake:

The lake level rose six feet in December due to tremendous runoff that also filled the lake with nutrients. The lake elevation continues to be good, at 1120-1125 feet, and both the main and Cholla ramps will be usable.

Largemouth bass are present in all sizes and fishing is expected to be good to excellent throughout the winter.  Fall surveys showed a significant number of bass growing out of the slot, and there are many smaller fish below the slot.  Apparently we have had very good spawns the past two years, as there are plenty of young bass in the population.

Crappies are also doing OK and should be good throughout the winter.

There are an impressive number of channel catfish in Alamo Lake, especially in the upper portion of the lake.  Many of these are on the small side, but there are significant numbers in the 2 to 3-pound size range, as well as occasional individuals of 7 to 8 pounds, and larger.

There are other fish present such as bluegill, redear sunfish, tilapia and carp that are a lot of fun to catch.  During the fall surveys we noted an abundance of decent-sized redear sunfish, up to a pound. This species commonly reaches sizes of over two pounds, although we have not yet observed redear sunfish of this size in Alamo Lake.

All types of bait, plastics, spinnerbaits and topwater lures should work.  As the weather cools off, try slowly working plastics in deeper water for bass.  For channel catfish any of the prepared catfish baits will work, as well as chicken livers or your own secret concoctions.

Although the store at Alamo Lake is still closed at this point, the Alamo Lake State Park is planning on having it open by the first of the calendar year.  The store will be operated by the Park.

Gas, bait, ice and limited supplies and tackle will be available.  You should plan on bringing with you any supplies you will need, in case the store does not open as planned, or does not carry what you need.  If you run short of anything, you might be able to pick it up at the Wayside Inn in Wayside, or in Wenden. The certified scale is presently located at the Alamo Lake State Park office, but will likely be moved to the store (which is located in the same location as the old store), once that facility is open.

Lake Havasu & Topock Gorge:

Fishing for largemouth bass, as well as smallmouth bass, is expected to be fair. The size will range from 13 inches and up with an occasional fish greater than 4 pounds.  Striped bass will continue to be excellent for small fish (12-18 inches) with occasional fish over 8 pounds.

The lake is also full of smaller stripers, which will make it challenging to catch the larger fish.

Channel catfish as well as bluegill & redear sunfish will be fair to good. Flathead catfish fishing should be fair at the lower end of the lake (Bill Williams River Arm) through the fall. Sizes of flathead catfish can reach as high as 40 pounds. When fishing for 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, cut fish, live shad, etc.

Colorado River (Parker Strip Area):

Smallmouth bass with fish over two pounds in size are expected to be fair this winter.  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 larger.  Channel and flathead catfish are always fair in this section of the Colorado River.  Below the dam, striper fishing should also be fair, using live shad or anchovies this winter.

This stretch of the river will be low during the month of January so access will be limited.  The good news is that the fish will be concentrated during that time period.

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.

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. 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 altogether (Pilot Knob to Moreles Dam).

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 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) 341-4052 and we will be happy to give you whatever information we have.

One Response to “Southwestern Arizona”

  1. just moved to town a few months ago. Finally got a boat and license, cant wait to get on the water. thanks for the tips online. Ill let you know how i did.

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