Southwestern Arizona

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February 26th, 2009

LAKE HAVASU — Lake Level 448.24

Report courtesy John Galbraith of Anglers Pro Shop
Lake Havasu City

Striped bass bite is fair with limits of medium size stripers coming on trolled cut anchovies rigged on a 2/0 hook, 3-4 ft. leader and a 1.5 to 3-ounce banana sinker or fish seeker used to keep the anchovy skipping on the bottom.  Bottom bouncers work well too.  Still some action during the dark hours of the morning using Stump Jumpers, Pointers and glow Sassy Shads around Thompson bay and south at Havasu Springs.

Smallmouth bass hitting red craw colored crankbaits and drop shotted curly-tail Robo Worms in oxblood or red craw colors fished in 8 to 20 feet of water.

Fishing report for courtesy Karen Coats, Sandpoint Bait and Tackle Shop: A few small–and I stress small–catfish are being taken at North Dyke in the Topock Marsh. Fishing news from the Topock Gorge is light. Striper action may be off, but the smallmouth and largemouth bass bite remains solid.

The smallmouth bass are in pre-spawn and expected to hit their stride soon. But alas, another chill befell our area which sent the water back down to 50 degrees. It isn’t as cold, so bass aficionados expect the temperature to be back up in no time.

Some anglers have been power fishing with white and chartreuse spinnerbaits and others have been using white swim baits. Still others prefer finesse fishing with motor oil colored plastic worms. Both techniques have been producing fish up to 4-pounds.
ALAMO LAKE – Don’t forget that the Alamo Lake clean up is this weekend — meet 8 a.m. Saturday at the Cholla Launch Ramp.

Report courtesy Mark Knapp, Alamo Lake State Park. Well folks, a lot changes in a couple of days.  Last week fishing as pretty good.  Since then the lake has come up, the CORP”S started releasing water, and fishing is  bad for the most part.  Anglers are averaging  3 to 6 bass a day.  It’s a toss up between crankbaits and plastics.

One angler reported that he was catching bass throwing a white colored bomber at secondary structure and fished shallow.  I’m still holding my own throwing plastics and working points and flipping brush.

The upper end of the lake resembles a slight chocolate milkshake and is slowly working towards the dam.  Crappie fishing has really slowed down.  Anglers came in grumbling that they only caught 2 to 5 crappies all day. We’re going into the 80’s for the rest of the week and that should bring the water temp up, which will help the fish turn active. Both bass and crappie are full of eggs.

Since no mini flood is scheduled this year it should be an excellent spawn.   One thing to keep in mind is that every weekend in March and April are booked with bass tournemants.  There’s even a few booked during the week. So you might want to give us a call before coming out if your not into crowds and crowed ramps.

As I write this there raising the releases from 240 to 500 cfs.  This should really mess things up for the next week or so. Cat fishing is really good in the upper end of the lake. Go all the way up to the river channel and toss out a hot dog or night crawler.  Anglers are catching 20 to 25 cats a day.  The lake level is at 1125.5.  Both ramps are in operation at this time.   That’s all I got.

Angler reports:

Where:lake alamo
Caught:large mouth bass
Name:gary shanley

Where:Alamo Lake state park
Caught:largemouth bass
Technique:Texas-rigged watermelon red baby brush hogs, black and shad colored lizards, spinner baits and buzz baits
Comments:Jaime Zachea and Dave Newsom of Las Vegas fished Wednesday the 4th and Thursday the 5th. Great weather before the front moved in. Caught 20 on Wednesday between them and 12 more for half a day on Thursday. Top water bite at dusk on Wednesday in the back of coves on white/silver buzz bait. All cookie cutters in the 1 to 2 pound range with a couple a little larger. Good winter fishing!
Name:Jaime Zachea
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.

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