Southwestern Arizona

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March 30th, 2009
LAKE HAVASU — Lake Level 448.24
Lake Havasu Fishing Report for March 15-21 provided by Water temps are 58-61 degrees. Fishing was slow in general this week. Bites were few and far between but the quality of fish made up for it. Stripers to 15 pounds were reported in the Havasu Springs area on cut anchovies and lots of chumming. A few stripers were also being taken trolling anchovies. Fishermen from the docks reported catching some smaller stripers at night in the Parker Dam area. Bass are on the beds but don’t seem to want to bite, a few have been reported on soft plastics. Panfish are being caught in the coves with structure using cut night crawlers on a bobber. Catfishing has been slow.

ALAMO LAKE – This is a bass and crappie hot spot. This warm weather has turned on the fishing – it’s time to fish this lake..
The large crappie flotilla should be active in the huge flats on the eastern end of the lake where the Bill Williams River enters the lake. The recent storm last week caused a slight increase in the inflows, but probably not enough to impact the bite. For crappies, try live minnows, Road Runners and 1/16-ounce jigs.

You might even find some largemouth bass staging for the spawn – it’s possible this time of year.
Also try for the abundant channel catfish. Live minnows might just be the ticket for these bottom feeders. Channel catfish here will also feed in the threadfin shad, and anglers using crankbaits can sometimes find catfish surprises on the end of their lines.
The following report is courtesy Mark Knapp, Alamo Lake State Park: Well folks, all in all fishing is pretty good out here. The lake is on the rise as I write this. Bass fishing turned on early this year. You can catch bass in 1 to 15 feet of water throwing training wheels (crankbaits and spinnerbaits)  I’m still holding my own with Wolly hog tails and 4-inch lizards. Watermelon green is still the hot ticket.
Crappie fishing is decent.  It’s hard to miss the flotilla in the upper end of the lake.  If you’re new at this type of fishing, there’s a couple of things to consider. First off, everyone is trolling in the same direction and has about 30 to 40 feet of line out behind each boat. If you go plowing through the middle of everyone, then have the nerve to throw out a marker buoy once you catch a fish, and  tell everyone else to stay out of there, then be prepared to be verbally abused and then some.  This happened this last weekend out here.  You talk about some honked off fisherman.  Try to play nice out there. The crappies are in 20 feet of water right now.  Any color roadrunner jig with a minnow trailer will work fine.

Cat fishing is really good in the upper end of the lake.  If you get up where the river is flowing in and throw night crawlers or stink bait you should be able to boat 8 to 10 cat fish.  Shore fishing is still kinda slow. Both ramps are in operation at this time.  The lake level is at 1,124ish with releases of 40 cfs, but is subject to change any day now.  That’s all I got.  Mark

Where: Alamo
When: 03/11/09
Caught: Bass
Technique: Spinnerbait
Comments: They are in a pre-spawn pattern. Water temp 60/62. Most came in 9 to 13 ft of water. They were not tight on the cover.
Name: Lawrence Mooneyham

Where: Alamo
When: 03/08/09
Caught: Largemouth
Technique: Spinners and watermelon seed brush hogs
Comments: 0700 – 1000 caught 12 on spinners. Made a quick trip back to the jeep (forgot the coffee) went across from Cholla Ramp and fished coves and points caught em every where we went, from 1 1/2 lbs to 3 1/2 lbs. My buddy Dave topped it off with two 4 pounders and a 6 lb Toad, one of the 4’s was the last fish of the day. Best day of fishin for both of us, ended up boating well over 20 Lmb each and missed at least 10-15, lost count around 10 each. Too many and way too much fun to worry about counting. All fish after 1000 were on brush hogs and 10-15 ft deep. Next week Rosey.
Name: J. Anderson, Dave Pence

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.

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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