Soutwestern Arizona

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October 23rd, 2008

ALAMO LAKE – Well folks, you have not missed a lot out here this last week.  The winds have blowing everyone off the lake for the most part.  Anglers have reported a decent topwater bite when they could get out.  Pop R’s and buzzbaits are working well.  Throw right up in the brush and hold your pole. Anglers are also doing well throwing plastics in 10 to 15 feet of water.  It’s no problem to go out and catch a boat load of dinks, but bigger fish are harder to come by.

Kevin and Glenna, (bubble gum lady) brought there cousins Gillian and Naome Middlebrook out here for the weekend. The young ladies are visiting from Oregon and this is there first time out bass fishing.  As of yesterday Gillian had hooked into three bass, and boated one.  Naome had yet to hook into anything but the day’s not over yet.   I got my money on Naome being the under dog, and hopefully the come back kid!  This just in: Naome boated a bass today. Way to go girls, I’m proud of you!

O.K. I need to take a minute and go back to last weekend. The Arizona Anglers family club had a tournament out here and I want to take a minute and give a congratulations to Charlotte Grisson for winning the women’s division with a weight of 8.10 pounds.   Keith Espe won the men’s with a weight of 15.4 pounds.  Brittany Bennette won the kid’s division with 2.87 pounds.  Joshua Cassidy won the Junior division with 5.48 pounds, and Chris Rudder won the intermediate division with 3.55 pounds.  Sorry it took so long to get this posted for yah but better late than never.
Back to the present.

I have not heard of anyone doing any good on crappie.  Last week the Petersons from Cottonwood caught two crappies trolling straight across from the main ramp.  They caught them on a twin-tailed jig while going for bass.   It will not be long before there back in the upper end of the lake, but right now your guess is as good as mine.  Cat fishing is fair.  Night crawlers seem to be the bait of choice.

The lake level is at 1118 with releases of 40 cfs.   Were working on the new store and are determined to have it open in January.  Both ramps are in operation at this time.  That’s all I got.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department recently conducted their annual fall fish surveys at Alamo Lake.  We processed near-record numbers of largemouth bass, so there are plenty of fish in the lake for anglers to have fun with.  A higher proportion of bass appear to have grown out of the upper end of the slot than we have seen in past surveys, although significant numbers in the slot still exist.

There are also very large numbers of smaller fish, indicating that we have had very good spawns the past two years, which bodes well for the continued robust population of largemouth bass in the lake.

In addition, we noted a much larger number of decent-sized redear sunfish, up to a pound.  This species commonly reaches sizes of two pounds or better in the Colorado River, and we are hoping that this trend of larger redears in Alamo Lake continues. Big redear sunfish would add another interesting facet to the already popular largemouth bass and crappie fishery at Alamo Lake.

An often overlooked species in Alamo Lake is channel catfish.  In conjunction with our surveys, we set some hoop nets targeting channel catfish. In one set of three nets at the upper end of the lake, we captured 580 catfish!  Last year, at about the same time, a three-net set in the same general area produced 496 catfish.  At the time, we thought it was just a fluke, but apparently it was not. There is an incredible biomass of channel catfish in Alamo Lake, an essentially untapped resource.

The majority of the fish netted were on the small side (less than a pound), but we also netted significant numbers in the 2-3 pound range, as well as a few individuals in the 7-8 pound range.  Channel catfish are found throughout the reservoir, but are most concentrated at the upper end of the lake. Catfish are a good species to introduce young anglers to the sport of fishing, as they are plentiful and ready biters, as well as being mighty tasty in the frying pan.  Take some care in handling them, however, as the pectoral and dorsal spines, especially on the smaller catfish, are pretty sharp (a fact that a fisheries biologist, after handling 500 catfish, can attest to…).

LAKE HAVASU/TOPOCK GORGE –  Fishing for largemouth bass, as well as smallmouth bass, is should be good to excellent. Sizes 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.

Channel catfish as well as bluegill and redear sunfish will be fair to good. Flathead catfish fishing should be fair at the lower end of the lake (Bill Williams River Arm) throughout the fall. Flathead catfish can reach 40 pounds or better in the lower portion of the lake. 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, etc.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lake Havasu Field Office, working in cooperation with LaPaz County, will close Lake Havasu’s Take Off Point
Recreation Site and Boat Launch beginning on Monday, Nov. 3, to begin a
major construction project.

The following report is courtesy Georgia with Capt. Doyle’s River Excursions/Fun Fishing Guide Service: Striper action in the Topock Gorge remains the same and although there was a nice 6-pounder taken on an anchovy, the average size is holding at the 1-pound mark. The channel catfish are on the bite! Several between 3- and 10 ½ -pounds have been picked up. Spam and anchovy were the attractors

Angler report: I thought you might want to know for the fishing report that Topock Marsh water level has drop down really low again… as it unfortunately does every time this part of the year. My dad and his friend could not even put his  boat in.

Matt  from-La Mirada CA

Where: Lake Havasu
When:10/01/08
Caught: Catfish
Technique: All fish caught on mackerel
Comments: Left Windsor Ramp about 7:15 AM, went down the lake to the Steamboat area. Caught nothing until 11:30 AM and then fish went on a bite. We caught 6 nice cats from 2# to about 5# in about 45 minutes and then bite shutoff. At the cleaning station found most fish to be feeding on crawdads.
Name:Frank

OUTLOOK:


SOUTHWESTERN WATERS (Fall Outlook 2008):

Alamo Lake:

The lake elevation continues to be good, at 1,115-1,118 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 fall.  Recent fisheries 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 well and fishing should be good throughout the fall.

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, spinner baits and top-water 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. Bass anglers even catch channels on crankbaits here.

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. Currently the Alamo State Park Office and the park office sells live bait for crappie fishermen.

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 greater than 4 pounds. Striped bass will continue to be excellent for small fish (12-18 inches) with occasional fish over 8 pounds. Channel catfish as well as bluegill and redear sunfish will be fair to good. Flathead catfish fishing should be fair at the lower end of the lake (Bill Williams River Arm) throughout the fall. Flathead catfish can reach 40 pounds or better in the lower portion of the lake. 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, etc.

Colorado River (Parker Strip Area):

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

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, or larger.  Bluegills 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.

2 Responses to “Soutwestern Arizona”

  1. Went fishing @ Alamo 10/27 thru 10/30. Very warm there as temps hovered into the low 90’s, with night time temps around the middle 60’s. In the time spent fishing caught over 50+ bass with most into the slot limit size. A few dinks, but great fishing there, but man was it HOT! Our biggest fish came from trolling @ the upper end through the trees. Yep, cost us several baits but all fish were in the 3-4 lb size, except for the occasional crappie we caught trolling, and those were really nice size too. Lots of bait fish balls located there but otherwise not many fish cruising around up at that end. We caught most Bass on Watermelon Flake rigged Texas weed-less style on the opposite side of the lake from the boat ramp and off well defined points near the upper end. Caught a few on dark multi color worms as well, but most (40+) using the Watermelon Flake Green worm. Tried spinner baits (no luck) and top water (nothing), but worms WERE the ticket. No fishing pressure to speak of and never more than 5 boat trailers in the parking lot at any given time. We usually quit around 1330 hours and headed back for the day. We practiced catch and release with ALL bass and kept the crappie and cooked them up. They (Rangers?) were working on the store quite often and it seems to be coming along nicely. Has or will have a nice wooden deck it seems. I think we are going to like having it (store) there again. Things in general were very clean and in good order at the Park and it was an enjoyable time, I’m happy to report. Jim

  2. Jim;

    It’s tough to beat Alamo – it is a pure fishing lake full of action for bass, crappie and catfish. It sounds like you hit it right. I have had some dream fall fishing trips there, and like you, didn’t see a lot of other anglers. Now that the air temps have cooled, it’s a superb place to camp and fish for a weekend.

    Rory

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