Fishing Report: May 11, 2017
Posted May 11, 2017
(Updated May 11; Editor Nick Walter, 623-236-7214)
ROOSEVELT LAKE — (2,125 feet, 70-percent full). Water temperatures high-60s to low-70s during afternoons.
May 11 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:
Fishing conditions were called fair to good by local experienced anglers. There were several conditions cited as possible impacts to the fishing. The first is the water temperature. It has been steadily increasing and is now warm enough that algae is blooming on the surface. This is a normal occurrence when the first summer temperature occur. Another factor is that water is now being taken out of the lake for downstream use. For now, it’s nearly matching the amount coming into the lake but as the need increases, more water will be drawn from the lake. Those falling water conditions can disturb the fish, especially spawning fish. It’s mid-May but the full moon will bring yet another wave of bass onto the spawning flats. Most anglers have given up pursuing spawning bass, but experienced anglers understand fish patterns better than most angler.
The crappie spawn continues on Roosevelt Lake, however, the water conditions continue to make sight-fishing difficult. This is frustrating some crappie anglers, however if it enhances the success of the spawn, crappie anglers will be very happy in a year or two.
David M.: Caught some nice crappie and a few yellows April 22 night fishing with minnows.
LAKE PLEASANT – (Lake elevation 1,697 feet, 95 % full).
May 5 report from Barry Worman, moderator of the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page.
“Escaping the heat early and fill the cooler with striper”
Well I know this triple-digit weather can take the wind out of an anglers’ sails but there are still some great opportunities in this late spring season. The striper are in the process of spawning or post spawn — finally — which means they will be more intrigued and aggressive to eat.
With the air temperatures really heating up there is a small window of time to enjoy catching striper. Anglers want to be on the water 30 minutes before sunrise until about 9 a.m. or from 5 p.m. to 30 minutes after sunset. During these times of day the shad will be found in shallower water still and the gamefish will be out to gorge on them. There have been reports of some top water activity with some anglers catching striper using white color spooks.
Me and some friends had great success using paddletail ASF swimbaits in 18-35 feet of water in the back of the northern coves. Live shad are still producing great results for anglers, but they more difficult to find since they are beginning to move deeper. Try covering lots of water and be sure to watch that fish-finder. If you located a school, drop a live shad or anchovies on a dropshot rig and it should produce some fish.
The schools are constantly moving and searching for food so you need to cover water, and take advantage of the moment when you find them. Watch for blue herons, and other bird activity when it comes to feeding on bait fish. This will tell you if you’re in an area that as signs of possible baitfish.
Great colors for swimbaits right now are white, sexy shad, money shot, and Bone white. Chartreuse green tail with the red eye has been on fire! Night fishing has not taken off yet with anglers reporting below-average catches. Once the water temperature warms up and the fish adjust to the transition, the action should pick up in about 4-6 weeks. Once we get to June, the night fishing will be the ticket and the best method fill the boat with fish.
Dick K.: Took a long time friend, Jerry Corell to Lake Pleasant yesterday (May 12). Jerry had never fished for stipers before so we had high hopes the fish would co-operate which they did. We couldn’t find and schooling fish within the first couple hours so we started off trolling live threadfin shad below Off-Shore OR 12 planer boards. Jerry had me at about 8-3 when I passed over a huge school of stripers. Quickly we switched to dropshot rigs and for a couple hours we could hardly keep up! Had a great day with around 35 Stripers. Great introduction to striper fishing, Jerry!
BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,797 feet, feet, 99 % full.
Water temperature has been 67-70 degrees. Majority of bass are in post-spawn. The top-water bite had been poor last weekend, but with calm, warm weather this week, top-water action could pick up. Try fishing shallow early in the morning (2-5 feet) with crankbaits, spinnerbaits and chatterbaits and switching to dropshots and Texa rigs. Gary Senft, the Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass ProShops, said Texas-rigged baby brush hogs in watermelon red and watermelon gold, as well as morning dawn Roboworms, have been effective.
Senft said the trick is to keep moving and cover a lot of water, fishing shoreline points, islands and REEF buoys.
Don’t forget the Bartlett Lake Marina is now open. See www.bartlettlake.com or contact 480-221-0503 for more information.
COMMUNITY FISHING WATERS —
Angler Report from Desert Breeze Lake in Chandler:
“Bill P.: Caught this guy (catfish) this morning at Desert Breeze on a nightcrawler. My wife’s kitchen scale said 10 pounds, 1 ounce.”
Angler Report from Riverview Lake in Mesa:
“April 23, evening, 10.65 pound (channel catfish) on cut shad at Riverview Park.
Also the recently stocked crappie have dispersed through the lake and are doing well. (I have caught a few at multiple locations, when cast-netting for shad. I have been fortunate to have a few 6-inch shad swim under the net. What I find interesting is I have yet to have a bass take a free-swimming shad under a float (day break or evening). I know the bass are there because they show up in my net. Just makes me think there is a lot of food. To pass up such a live offering ?
Last, I let a young boy (under 10) struggle to land a 4-pound cat while his dad captured the moment with his phone. The best being when it finally surfaced.
Thank you for all the work you do, and then taking the time to put out the fishing report.”
Largemouth bass and sunfish have been stocked. See the latest Community fishing news.
Also, see the stocking schedule through the summer.
SAGUARO LAKE – The lake is 1,525 feet (92-percent full).
Many bass are in a post-spawn mode. Fishing should pick up with this stretch of warm, calm weather and top-water action should pick up once again. Try frogs, Pop-R’s, and Ricos. Crappie fishing has slowed.
As the sun rises, try Texas-rigged lizards. Drifting gizzard shad swimbaits had been hooking some bass. Water should be clearing.
One angler had success night-fishing with a wacky-rigged 5-inch watermelon red flake Flick’m Shimmy worms, in 4 to 10 feet of water.
Yellow bass is an option if the largemouth bass are finicky. Try nightcrawlers on dropshot rigs.
CANYON LAKE – Lake level is 1,657 feet (97-percent full.)
“The bass bite is on! I love encouraging others to get outdoors. I caught these four bass off my kayak in a little over a week … drop-shotting plastics.
Many bass are in a post-spawn mode and with some windy weather this weekend, fishing could be tough (like at many Salt River-chain lakes). Top-water action had been picking up with a spell of warmer weather and some anglers were having success with frogs, Pop-r, and Ricos. With a string of predicted 90-degrees temperatures next week, th ssurface action should pick up again. Crappie fishing has slowed.”
Majority of bass are in post spawn, as is the case at all central Arizona lakes.
Swimmers are cautioned that there have been reported of “swimmer’s itch” at Canyon. See some steps to minimize Swimmer’s Itch at desert lakes.
Some anglers are having luck with Texas-rigged baby brush hogs, as well as assorted jerkbaits, top-water lures and jigs, Try fishing in 2-15 feet of water.
Canyon is the land of lunkers when it comes to bass. For better numbers, try Bartlett or Saguaro.
A new fishing pier is under construction in the Boulder Creek Recreation Area. This pier serves as excellent structure for sunfish.
Some anglers have had success throwing dropshot Roboworms in morning dawn near cattails in 10-20 feet of water.
APACHE LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,913 feet (96-percent full).
Majority of bass are in post spawn, as is the case at all central Arizona lakes. Bring a variety of baits. Spinners have been successful with smallmouth bass. Crankbaits and jigs also have been effective.
Try reaction baits in the morning and during afternoons, jigs or dropshots. Not a bad time to drift along and throw crankbaits or spiinnerbaits.
Various jigs also can be effective – try crawdad imitations. Points, islands and rocky structures tend to hold the majority of largemouth bass – keep moving.
Walleye fishing could be decent at first and last light using nightcrawler rigs, or jigs tipped with a worm. Apache is also full of some really nice yellow bass. Try gold KastMasters or yellow/gold Rooster Tails.
HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is 2,003 feet (52-percent full).
When the lake is full, there are a lot of spawning fish. No new reports.
LOWER SALT RIVER – On Thursday afternoon, the river was flowing at 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain. Was being stocked with trout last week. No new reports of success.
Creeks below the Mogollon Rim
Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods reported Trout fishing in Rim Country streams is excellent. Nearly all Rim Country trout streams being stocked weekly near easy access parking and pull-off areas along the streams. Experienced fly anglers are recommending Christopher Creek, Canyon Creek, East Verde, Haigler and Tonto Creeks. Power-bait using a small trebled hook can almost guarantee a limit of trout.
Mogollon Rim and White Mountains
Bear Canyon Lake
Mike B.: I just wanted to give you an update on the fishing at Bear Canyon Lake. We went this past weekend May 5-7. Our group of five adults and nine boys started fishing Friday evening and caught 30 on mainly lures a few on PowerBait. Saturday the wind started picking up so we switched to PowerBait and caught 54 in the morning up until noon. We went back that evening.
The wind was blowing and cold set in but we still got five more. The next morning the temp was 42 degrees and the wind was blowing again. We stuck with PowerBait and finished with 38 again stopping around noon. I attached a picture of our Sunday catch that we kept. My son Levi on the right and my buddy’s son Trevin on the left. We had a wonderful time with fathers and sons fishing trip. God surely blessed our trip and time together.
We used mainly pink, lime twist, rainbow, and captain america for PowerBait.
We used Lil Jakes for lures.
(May 11 report. Editor Sally Petre 928-532-2307)
Recommended Waters to Fish
Spring fishing is here and streams are stocked this week! Willow Springs, Woods Canyon, Fool Hollow, Rainbow, Woodland, Show Low Lake and Creek, Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, the Little Colorado River in Greer and all were stocked with rainbow trout this week! This is the time to get out and fish! Fishing is great almost everywhere you go. I suggest hitting Crescent Lake, Luna, Rainbow and Black Canyon Lakes. These lakes should be great right now and besides Rainbow Lake, gets you out of the crowds. Try any of the streams stocked below. The Greer area was fully stocked last week and Bunch Reservoir is now open. Have you caught a Tiger Trout yet? Carnero and Becker Lake are being stocked this week with them and Woods Canyon and Willow Springs Lakes were stocked in late April with them—go try your luck! Please be safe and wear your life jackets when you are out. The water in these lakes is in the 40s and 50s! It’s still cold!
MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
*All roads should be open. Questions about roads and campground opening should be directed towards the Forest Service.
BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is excellent. Many people are reporting catching limits on PowerBait. Roads are open. Stocked in late April
BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. Stocked in late April. The lake is full and has a new boat ramp. Accessible on Forest Road 86. Try PowerBait for rainbow trout. Recent survey found 16 inch holdover rainbow trout and many large >3 lb largemouth bass. Use flashy lures for largemouth bass.
CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair for large wild brown trout. Recent survey showed few rainbow trout, but some large brown trout. Catchable rainbow trout were stocked last week, improving fishing. All roads are open. Remember Chevelon Lake is a hike in lake.
WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is currently excellent for rainbow and tiger trout. Tiger Trout were stocked in late April. Try Kastmasters, small Rapalas, Panther Martins or flys for tigers. Try green powerbait with garlic, worms, or roostertails for rainbows.
WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is excellent. Store and boat rentals are open! The biggest reported Tiger Trout so far has been 14 inches. Green sunfish are easily caught on worms. A 2.5lb rainbow was caught last weekend! Rainbow trout will be stocked this week and tiger trout were stocked in late April. Fish are hungry and biting hooks! Try roostertails with green or copper kastmasters, powerbait and worms.
PINETOP/SHOW LOW/ST. JOHNS LAKES
FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is excellent for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout and bass! Will be stocked this week. The lake is full for the first time in several years. Fishing pier and platforms are accessible! Large catfish were found in the shallow southern portion during a recent fish population survey.
RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is excellent/good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout and bass! This lake will be stocked this week. Lake is full and spilling still! Try your luck for largemouth bass with lures. Or try hanging a worm in the rocks for green sunfish or on the bottom for bullhead or catfish! I’ve heard reports of catfish, bullhead, rainbow trout and pike being caught all off the dam. Also, the White Mountain Bass Fishing club recently adopted Rainbow Lake and cleaned up the trash along the public shoreline. Please don’t leave your trash around, and feel free to help out and pick up trash you see!
SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is good for stocked rainbow trout! This lake will be stocked this week!
SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout and bass! The lake will be stocked this week with regular rainbow trout home grown here at our local hatcheries and with an extra load of 12” rainbow trout from Colorado! An almost 7lb smallmouth bass (almost state record) was caught earlier this year! The lake is nearly full. Holdover rainbow trout and lots of cutthroat trout should be fishing well. The road over the dam is now open. There is a new restroom, fish cleaning station, and stairs from the upper parking lot down to the boat launch! These will open soon. Stay tuned!
WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is excellent. Fish will be stocked this week! The lake will also be stocked this week with regular rainbow trout home grown here at our local hatcheries and with an extra load of 12” rainbow trout from Colorado! Try your luck catching some of these beautiful fish. The lake is full. Fishing dock is now accessible. Thank you Pinetop-Lakeside for getting that fixed so people can fish in deep water!
PATTERSON PONDS – Fishing is good! This is a community fishing water in St. John’s. A regular fishing license or a community fishing license is required to fish here. Channel catfish and sunfish fishing good, they were stocked in late April! The pond daily bag limits in community fishing waters (2 trout; 2 catfish; 5 sunfish) apply.
WHITE MOUNTAIN LAKES
* Highways 261 and 273 roads are OPEN. All lakes are open and accessible. Contact the Forest Service with questions about road closures and camping.
BECKER LAKE – Fishing is excellent. Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release only for trout, artificial fly and lure only; single barbless hooks only. No bait. No trout may be kept. Many large, thick rainbow trout are being caught nymph fishing under a strike indicator at 8-10 feet. Tiger trout are also being caught. More tiger trout will be stocked this week. To apply for the state record or fish of the year, a picture of the fish must be taken on a reliable ruler. See pg. 42 of our regulations for more details! Our Becker Lake hosts are back, be sure to ask them what is biting and welcome them back!
BIG LAKE – Fishing is good and will get better. Some days are limit days, others are slow. Highways 261 and 273 are OPEN. Surface water temperature has only been up to 47 degrees. A warming bump in the water temperature could get fish active once again. Most anglers are catching larger rainbow trout only — try baby cow bells or worms fished off the bottom. Orange PowerBait also has been effective. Fish are deeper and still in a winter-type feeding pattern. Try fishing at the mouths of coves. Some fly anglers are having luck with woolly buggers or Warden’s Worry flies.
CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is excellent. Fish surveys show large healthy 20 inch rainbows and 15+ tigers. Weeds are low and the lake is high! More tiger trout will be stocked this week. To apply for the state record or fish of the year, a picture of the fish must be taken on a reliable ruler. See pg. 42 of our regulations for more details! Fish are biting on black wooly buggers and nymphs.
CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair for trout, but fair for sunfish, bullheads, and bass. Try fishing near the dam for trout, they were stocked at that boat ramp. Stocking in May will be at the upper end.
CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked in early March with trout and again in late April!
CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is excellent! Fish population survey show good holdover numbers on brook trout and nice healthy rainbow trout (16in). We have stocked this lake heavily this year with more brook trout and rainbow trout. Go try out your luck before you even hit Big Lake! Brook trout are being caught, as are rainbow trout. Try black or olive green wooly buggers. Large rainbows 14-18 inches are being caught from boats and shore! Fishing pier and boat docks are accessible.
GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – Fishing is excellent/good at all three lakes. They were stocked last week. Large holdover brown trout (20-28 inch) and rainbow trout are being caught in River and Tunnel. This week Tunnel will be stocked with an extra load of 12” rainbow trout from Colorado! Try your luck catching some of these beautiful fish.
HULSEY LAKE – Fishing is good for holdover and stocked rainbow trout. Fish will be stocked this week. A recent fish survey found holdover rainbows up to 18 inches. Fish are being caught on any kind of PowerBait.
LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is poor. Few fish remain here, although we are not predicting a winterkill, since it was not stocked last year.
LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake is full and has no ice. Rainbow trout of all sizes are being caught, including some large fish. Fishing is not fast, but large rainbow trout are consistently being caught on worms. The Friends of Luna Lake Tournament big fish was just under 20 inches! Also, a man reported catching a 26 1/2-inch rainbow trout April 30 on a nightcrawler!
LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open. Fishing is fair for bass, walleye, carp and catfish. Use corn or night crawlers for carp and catfish.
NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is good. The lake is full and spilling. Holdover rainbow trout are being caught on PowerBait. The lake will not be stocked until it stops spilling.
WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS
EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is excellent! Fish will be stocked this week. Fishing is good for wild brown trout.
LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is excellent! Fish will be stocked this week.
SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is excellent. Fish will be stocked this week. The road over the dam is open.
SILVER CREEK – Fishing is excellent. Current regulations are catch-and-keep with bait and 6 trout daily limit apply. The upper section is closed to fishing.
SHEEPS CROSSING/LCR – Fishing is poor and this stream will not be stocked this year.
Michael W.: Thursday, April 27 report:
In 3 hours of fishing in difficult weather conditions, my fellow fisherman & I caught and released (1) 2-pound brown trout, (3) 12 to 14 inch rainbow trout, (1) 9-inch white crappie, and had (1) 3-pound brown trout and (1) 2-pound rainbow trout that we were unable to land, before the hook popped out of their mouths! All fish caught on 2-inch Crappie Minnow Tubes. Weather Conditions: Winds 18 to 21 mph, with gust as high as 31 mph Water Conditions: Muddy.
(Editor Chuck Benedict, 928-214-1244)
(These are recommended fishing waters. Those not listed either are considered poor or there have been no reports. Been fishing? Please sense your reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.)
Folks were catching fish PowerBait on Sunday when my coworker was there fishing. He was catching fish from his boat fishing flies. He was moving them really slowly. He caught a 13” browns trout and 10 Rainbow Trout. Most of the fish were over 13” but he did catch some fresh stockers. Stocked this week.
About 8,600 rainbow trout have been stocked this year. I haven’t heard any reports from anglers about anyone catching fish. Stocked this week
There was a report posted on a fishing blog of an angler catching some trout on Cataract. Looking at the pictures posted it looks like some of the smaller fish that were stocked last fall to make room at the hatcheries have survived and grown big enough for folks to catch. It appeared the fish were caught on a spinner. No new reports
Santa Fe and City Reservoirs
No reports but both of these lakes were stocked at the same time last fall as Cataract with the smaller Rainbow Trout so you may be able to catch trout on these lakes.
Flagstaff Area Lakes
Ashurst is full!! The road is open and we have stocked about 12,000 rainbow trout in the lake along with about 5,000 smaller brown trout. The water in the lake is relatively clear so I would try fishing with lures for the fresh stockers. With the low water level of the lake prior to the spring runoff I don’t think many fish survived the winter. Stocked last week
Frances Short Pond
Frances Short pond was stocked last week and will be stocked this week. Folks were catching fish on Garlic rainbow PowerBait when I was out checking the Pond on Monday afternoon. Folks were also catching fish on worms, and salmon eggs. I also talked to some folks who were catching fish on pistol petes, and white roostertails. Stocked last week, scheduled to be stocked this week.
Lower Lake Mary
Lower Lake Mary has had about 22,000 larger (10 + inch) Rainbow Trout stocked in the last couple of weeks along with about 12,000 smaller (6-8 inch) rainbow trout. The stockings of rainbow trout contained some really nice trout with one being measured at about 18 inches. Fishing is starting to pick up a little bit with some fish being caught on PowerBait. I had a report from a fly angler who was catching some nice size trout on leach patterns. Stocked last week.
The road is open. I’ve had some reports of folks catching rainbow trout, brown trout and channel catfish.
Upper Lake Mary
A new state record channel catfish was caught on an anchovy 3/26. The fish was 39.5 inches long and weighed 33.36 lbs. The person who caught the fish also told us some of his friends have been catching some nice Northern Pike on anchovies. We have had some recent reports of Northern Pike being caught
Blueridge Reservoir (CC Cragin) will not be stocked this year. We will be stocking Knoll Lake.
Colorado River Waters
(These are recommended fishing waters. Those not listed either are considered poor or there have been no reports. Been fishing? Please sense your reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.)
Editor Gregg Cummins:
COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM — Local 4 year old angler Devin and uncle Cole landed a nice stringer of trout fishing from shore using night crawlers in the Lazy Harry’s Bay. By the dam, anchovies or your favorite lure is doing well for stripers. Near the casinos trout are the fish to target. Try night crawlers for trout if the power baits aren’t working. Small spinners can land trout when other baits are not working.
LAKE MOHAVE —
Plastics colored pumpkin or red/blue with flakes were getting some strikes and hookups with largemouth in coves and shelves with the smallmouth. The wind has been strong and steady but that should change soon.
Albert and his daughter Riah, with Utah relative Parker, holding their catch from the lake. The group were fishing from shore using anchovies. ”
Lake Powell and Lees Ferry
LAKE POWELL —
“Walleye and big stripers”
Bass have moved back on to the spawning beds after the cold spell that slowed things down last week.. Nests can now be seen from Bullfrog to Wahweap where visibility is still between 5-10 feet. There is no chance of sight fishing in the northern lake where visibility is 3 feet or less.
LEES FERRY – See the full March 21 fishing report from Lees Ferry Anglers.
ALAMO LAKE –
- Jamie Goodman and Don Martin caught five channel cats and lost three more on Sunday morning (April 30) while fishing at Alamo Lake. The cats were caught on nightcrawlers in 6 feet of water.
LAKE HAVASU –John Galbearth of Bass Tackle Masters reported: that bass are mostly in post spawn, redear sunfish are in full spawn. Bass fishing is as good as it gets as anglers are having luck with Senkos, spinnerbaits and Top-water lures like frogs.
Redear sunfish will be spawning for another month. Try A fluorescent jighead tipped with a nightcrawler, or just a worms with a split-shot/bobber rig. Crappie jigs also work for these tasty sunfish that at Havasu can get up to 5-6 pounds.
Stripers are in full spawn and so early morning top-water lures work. When the stripers move out to spawn, fish the old river channel in deeper water. Try cut baits in 30-55 feet of water in river to the north, or south where the lake begins to narrow where there is more current that stripers prefer to use to spawn.
Some big smallmouth bass are being caught as well.
Send your reports to BFishing@azgfd.gov.
PARKER STRIP – No report.
YUMA AREA PONDS – Council Avenue (Somerton), Yuma West Wetlands, Fortuna Pond, and Redondo Pond were all stocked with channel catfish and bluegill Wednesday, April 26. See the stocking:
COLORADO RIVER (between Picacho State Park and Imperial Dam, including backwaters and Martinez Lake) – No report.
MARTINEZ LAKE — No report. This tends to be one of the top early-bird bass lakes.
ROSE CANYON LAKE – Rose Canyon will be stocked 2 weeks before Memorial Day weekend with trout.
Andrew A. Fished sunrise to 11 a.m. before the lake closed due to the fire on Mt. Lemmon. Caught trout steadily the whole morning with trout-colored rooster tails. A friend and I took our limit. The lake is closed to vehicle access for the winter. Anglers can still access the lake by foot.
Rod’s April 10 Angler Report from Sahurita Lake:
Good Evening, all,
I figured if I only had a few hours in the afternoon with the anticipated breeze I would go and visit Sahuarita Lake and do some casting and catching. Hey the walking exercise was beneficial to me too. Lots of other anglers and families out there enjoying the wonderful AZ spring weather. The temperature was mild and the slight breeze sometimes worked in getting the light lures out there.
I managed to catch four largemouth bass within the first hour of casting. Bass number one was a welcome surprise after switching from casting a grub to a short 3-inch worm. Bass number two was quite the gift. After resetting the worm back on the hook from bass one, I tossed the bait back into the water and set the pole down while I put my pliers back into my backpack. I happen to notice the rod tip was bouncing, so I set the backpack down and tended to bass number two. A dead stick bass, a theme that worked most of the day. Low and slow along the bottom was the ticket.
The attached photos are of bass number four. This was quite the surprise as it hit shortly after making a long cast out towards mid-cove. After the bait settled on the ground I only got one short drag before there was a thump on the line with rapidly growing tension. As this was happening there was a family walking by with a young one that stepped near me to watch what was going on. Oh gee, watch the where you sweep set! This is not an issue when I’m on the water but on shore there are pedestrians about. OH MY GOODNESS, the sweep set was met with a heavy load on the 4 lb mono and the drag slipping under the load. Then things really got interesting as the fish was not happy with me. Line peeled with the drag changing to a higher pitch based on the strength of the surge. The family was joined by another and soon I had more than a dozen folks cheering me on. The sound of the drag peeling was getting everyone excited to see just what was on the other end.
“Bring it in! Oh that is a BIG ONE! Don’t loose it!” — all comments from the well wishers watching me working the large bass closer to shore. As we all got a good look at it, there were two large remaining surges. Fortunately for me, Sahaurita Lake is a manmade lake with groomed edges and very few snags. The hard part is there is more than 1.5 feet down to the water level so it is a big stoop to reach down for the large fish as I’m not going to try and host it on the light line.
The fish had another large gauge hook in the gullet, but it was too far in to do anything about so it broke someone else off before having a go at my small 3-inch imitation worm. My small gauge hook was nicely positioned near the front roof of the mouth and lifted out easily as I crimped the barb to make things easier to deal with. A couple of quick photos and the fish returned nicely to the deep dark water.
I apologize for the quality of the selfie but I was motivated to return the fish as soon as possible to the water so there was no real opportunity to setup a proper photo session.
The rest of the day was spent strolling about the lake perimeter picking up small bass here and there. I did manage to tie into another large bass that appeared more than 2 pounds. At least that was the impression I got as the fish cleared the water just before I could get a hold of it. Hey, short distance release works too! Less slime on the finger. A great spring afternoon of casting and catching. It is a great time to get out there and enjoy.
(Updated Feb. 13; Editor Don Mitchell, 520-388-4451)
ARIVACA LAKE – Current lake level is 2.97 below the spillway. Launching conditions are good. No recent reports of success. Gasoline engines are restricted to 10 hp or less and boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.
CLUFF RANCH — The pond is 1.14 feet below the spillway with no reports of launching issues. Trout stocking is ongoing. The schedule can be found here. Anglers continue to report the fishing to be fair. Visitors are reminded that it is illegal to obstruct the use of the boat ramp by anglers trying to launch the boats. No parking, standing, sitting, swimming or fishing is allowed on the boat ramp. For lake information call (928) 485-9430.
PATAGONIA — The lake is full and no reported launching problems. Trout stockings are ongoing. Find the schedule here. No recent reports of success.
PARKER CANYON — See a recent Angler Report. The lake is at 2.82 feet below the spillway and there are no problems with launching. Trout stocking is ongoing. For future stockings check the schedule here. The bag limit on white amurs is one fish over 30 inches in length. Anglers are asked to immediately release any smaller amurs that they may catch unharmed. Anglers can also contact the Store at the lake for updates on fishing at (520) 455-5847. Gasoline engines are restricted to 10 hp or less and boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.
PENA BLANCA – The lake is full and water quality problems have improved and trout stocking is underway finally. The winter trout schedule can be found here. As the weather warms anglers are reminded of the recent change in the largemouth bass regulations at this lake. For details of those changes please see the current fishing regulations here: 2017 Fishing Regulations. Additionally all mercury advisories against the eating of warmwater fish caught at Pena Blanca Lake remains in effect. Future testing will determine if and when these advisories will be lifted. Gasoline engines are restricted to 10 hp or less and boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.
RIGGS FLAT LAKE – This lake is closed for the winter.
ROPER LAKE — The lake is full. No recent reports have been received from this location. Find the winter trout stocking schedule here. For lake information contact Roper Lake State Park at (928) 428-6760. Sunfish live or dead is not legal bait at this lake.