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Fishing Report: May 25, 2017

Posted May 25, 2017


See “The Reel Deal” statewide summary

Central Waters

(Updated May 25; Editor Nick Walter, 623-236-7214)

ROOSEVELT LAKE — (2,126 feet, 71-percent full).

May 25 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

Fishing conditions continue to improve on Roosevelt Lake. Many fish have transitioned to a summer pattern which means more active feeding during low light conditions and longer rest periods during the hottest and brightest time of the day. From safe light until the sunlight hits the water, bass can be seen actively driving and feeding on shad in shallow water areas of main lake points. Many of the birds at the lake are taking advantage of the easy prey and can be seen on the shoreline or diving into the water to gobble up as much bait as possible. This scenario reappears within the last hour of sunlight in the evening.

Several baits which resemble Thread Thin Shad or Gizzard Shad are extremely successful. Reaction baits such as crank-baits, jerk-baits, spinner-baits were all reported successful. Top water baits such as Buzz-baits, Rico’s and frog baits are effective in the early morning and late evening.  As the coolness of the morning dissipates and is replaced with warmer breezes after the sun rises, bass will retreat to deeper water. However, that doesn’t mean they stop feeding. Bass in 20 foot deep water will attack a Senko or Roboworm, a jig or Texas rigged worm. A drop-shot technique which is always an excellent late spring through summer technique, was reported as excellent recently.

Crappie anglers reported fair fishing recently on Roosevelt Lake. Experienced crappie anglers are using a vertical fishing technique for crappie and fishing in 15-20 foot depths. The crappie spawn is largely completed and crappie will gather during early summer into larger schools. Small 1/16th oz. jig-head hooks with a grub tail is a favorite choice of local crappie anglers.

Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.

Angler Report:

David M.: Caught some nice crappie and a few yellows April 22 night fishing with minnows.

LAKE PLEASANT – (Lake elevation 1,698 feet, 96 % full).

The only eagle nest closure currently remaining this season on the Agua Fria arm of Lake Pleasant (Whiskey Springs nest) has been lifted due to failure of the nest site, effective May 13.  This means that anglers will now be able to boat from the main body of the lake, all the way up the Agua Fria arm to the Agua Fria boat ramp.

With rising water level, Agua Fria River can be good for top water-action on stripers and white bass. For fishing report editor Nick Walter, bringing a second rod along for catfish proved effective (along with chumming and baiting with corn) when the top-water bite was slow:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKZi6uBiUr8

Flathead catfishing also is excellent. Fish shallow during the nighttime with bluegill or carp as bait.

There had been a good crappie bite this spring at Pleasant. Crappie fishing should be fair.

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.

Note: The Arizona Catfish Conservation Association, a 501c3 non-profit club based in Arizona, is asking anyone who catches a tagged flathead or channel catfish at Lake Pleasant or Bartlett Lake to note the number of the tag, along with any other information such as weight, length or girth, GPS coordinates (if available) and then visit www.catfishaz.com.

Angler Report:

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 1,791 feet, feet, 92 % full.

Water temperature has been 69-70 degrees. Majority of bass are in post-spawn.

Bass fishing is good to excellent. The top-water bite has improved and will only get better with predicted steady, hot temperatures. Gary Senft of the Mesa Bass ProShops reported that the morning bite for largemouth bass has been active with small crankbaits in 8-10 feet of water, as well as with top-water lures. Senft also recommends wacky-rigged Senkos in 2-6 feet.

When the sun comes up switch to 10-12 feet and throw your favorite go-to plastic rig and bait — Carolina, Texas or dropshot.  “This is a good time to practice your favorite way to fish,” Senft said.

Senft said the trick is to keep moving and cover a lot of water, fishing shoreline points, islands and REEF buoys.

Flathead catfishing also is excellent. Fish shallow during the nighttime with bluegill or carp as bait.

Don’t forget the Bartlett Lake Marina is now open. See www.bartlettlake.com or contact 480-221-0503 for more information.

Note: The Arizona Catfish Conservation Association, a 501c3 non-profit club based in Arizona, is asking anyone who catches a tagged flathead or channel catfish at Lake Pleasant or Bartlett Lake to note the number of the tag, along with any other information such as weight, length or girth, GPS coordinates (if available) and then visit www.catfishaz.com.

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 1,524 feet (91-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 (95-percent full.)

Angler Report:

“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 1,907 feet (93-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 1,995 feet (39-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 652 cfs out of Stewart Mountain. Was being stocked with trout last week. No new reports of success.

Creeks below the Mogollon Rim

Angler report from Max W. from the East Verde River: three of us fished from the Washington Park Trailhead all the way down to Second Crossing on Saturday. Great conditions all around, though the fish were picky– the only bites came on copper john’s and other similar beadheads. Washington Park was particularly good, with tons of fingerlings and one 14 incher. The 3rd to 2nd Crossing section was great for small stockers, though we did catch one fish in the 12-inch range.

Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods reported, “trout fishing on any Rim Country stream or lake is excellent. AZGFD recently increased stockings of rainbow trout due to the anticipated number of holiday visitors to Rim Country. Early morning and late evening are prime times for summertime trout fishing. For fly anglers, dry flies in a black or dark green pattern are very effective. For those trolling or fishing from the shoreline,  Powerbait and small spinner-baits were reported successful. ”

 

Mogollon Rim and White Mountains

(Updated May 18, Editor Sally Petre 928-532-2307)

Recommended Waters to Fish

Spring fishing is here and streams are stocked this week! This is the time to get out and fish! Fishing is great almost everywhere you go. This week, because of the wind, fishing might be tough!  Check the weather before you go out.  Because of the wind I would try shore fishing at Woods Canyon, Willow Springs, Fool Hollow, or Hulsey Lakes.  These lakes should be great right now.  Find a place where you can tuck out of the wind!  Don’t forget to try you luck at a tiger trout when you’re trying to hide from the wind on Woods Canyon or Willow Springs lakes.  Don’t forget about the back side of Sardine point at Willow Springs Lake.  If the wind it really bad, try any of the streams stocked below.  If you do head out on a boat, please be safe and wear your life jackets.  The water in these lakes is in the 40s and 50s.  It’s still cold, especially with that wind.  We are looking forward to next week, low wind and highs in the 70s. That’s perfect fishing weather, plus lots of places are getting stocked!

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.  This lake will be stocked this week.  Many people are reporting catching limits on PowerBait. Roads are open.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good.  Last 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 earlier this month, 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, rainbow trout are stocked every week.  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!  Tiger Trout were stocked in late April, rainbow trout are stocked every week.  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! Lake was stocked last 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 for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout and bass! Lake was stocked last 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 the bottom for bullhead or catfish! I’ve heard reports of catfish, bullhead, rainbow trout and pike being caught off the dam. The White Mountain Bass Fishing club recently adopted the lake and cleaned up 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 was stocked last week!

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout and bass!  The lake was stocked last 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.  ADA accessible improvements are next on the docket! Stay tuned!

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is excellent.  Fish were stocked last week 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!  Remember, Becker Lake is a windy lake—maybe not the best this week!

BIG LAKE – Fishing is good and will get better.  Some days are limit days, others are slow.  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.  Railroad cove and south cove are okay places to launch boats, south cove is probably better than Railroad.

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is excellent. Fish surveys show large and healthy 20-inch rainbows and 15+ tigers. Weeds are low and the lake is high! More tiger trout were stocked last 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 good/fair for trout, but fair for sunfish, bullheads, and bass.  Trout will be stocked this week 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 will be stocked this week.  Large holdover brown trout (20-28 inch) and rainbow trout are being caught in River and Tunnel.  Last week Tunnel was 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 were stocked last week. Fish are being caught on any kind of PowerBait.  Great place to get out of the wind this week!

LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is poor.  Few fish remain here, although we are not predicting a winterkill, because it was not stocked last year and won’t be this year either.

LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. 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.

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 good. Fish were stocked last 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.

Central Mountains

 Angler Report

LOWER LAKE MARY — Deb and Bill R.: My fishing buddy and I fished Lower Lake Mary yesterday, May 17, from 7:30 till 10:30 , caught these beauties, quality fish. Largest was over 18 inches and several over 17. Fished worms under a bobber (old school still works). Several others fishing the lake and all catching. Great to see the water level is up and hopefully it will stay that way, if it does fall fishing will be killer!

(Editor Chuck Benedict, 928-214-1244)

New reports (May 25):

(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.)

Lower Lake Mary – Folks are catching limits of large trout on Lower Lake Mary using worms, powerbait, or small lures.  We are hearing reports of fish up to 21 inches out of the lake with lots of fish over 13 inches.

Kaibab Lake – Kaibab got a load of 9,000 bonus Rainbow Trout from Colorado on Saturday along with 6,000 Rainbows from our hatcheries in the last 2 weeks.  Fishing is better than excellent according to one angler I talked to this week.  Folks were catching fish on green garlic powerbait and salmon egg powerbait.  Worms, flies and roostertails were also working great.  Everyone is catching there limit!!!

Ashurst Lake– Ashurst got a load of 9,000 bonus Rainbow Trout from Colorado last Wednesday along with 6,000 Rainbows from our hatcheries in the last 2 weeks. Fishing was red hot over the weekend with lots of limits being caught.   Yesterday we talked to a couple of anglers who had caught 3 big fat Rainbow Trout and a 13 inch Brown Trout in the hour they had been there using small lures and powerbait.

Frances Short Pond and City Reservoir both were stocked with their first loads of channel catfish last Wednesday.  I went fishing on Frances Short on Thursday morning and caught 4 cats in about 2 hours using hotdogs.  A couple of other folks were catching them on powerbait.  I heard a report of one catfish over 6 lbs being caught.

Dogtown Lake

According to the campground host at the lake folks have been catching some really nice trout on Dogtown.   He didn’t have any info on what people were using, but the one person I talked to today was using green garlic powerbait.  The lake was stocked with trout this week.

 

City Reservoir

Stocked with Channel Catfish last week.

 

Frances Short Pond

Frances Short Pond was stocked last week with catfish and should be stocked with trout this week. Folks using hotdogs were catching catfish along with folks using powerbait when I was fishing last Thursday.  I also talked to some folks who were catching fish on pistol petes, and white roostertails.

 

Blueridge Reservoir (CC Cragin) will not be stocked this year.

Knoll Lake – Stocked last week and Stocked this week

 

 

Colorado River Waters

New Reports:

(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, 928-263-8868)

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 MEAD — Took Glendale residents Vince Griffis and Mary Clipping out of South Cove on Lake Mead for stripers and catfish.

Had to wait out some bad weather, and didn’t start fishing till 11 p.m.

By 2 a.m. we had one ice chest filled and  by 6:15 a.m.we had TWO ice chests and a bucket filled with fish.

Turns out we caught 95 fish, 76 stripers (BF 2 lbs. 12 oz) 18 channel cats (BF 3 lbs. 2 oz.) and a carp that weighed 9 lbs. 8 oz.

Prescott-area waters

On May 24 the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocked approximately 3,300 pounds of beautiful rainbow trout split between Lynx and Goldwater Lakes. That equals about 1,320 trout per lake. The picture is of Lynx Lake during the stocking. The lake is full which increases the amount of shore access.

Lake Powell and Lees Ferry

LAKE POWELL —

“Memorial Day report”

Lake Powell is rising rapidly. If coming over the Memorial Day weekend make sure to readjust tie lines at least once a day for boats tied to shore.  Don’t leave cars parked on low flat spots near the lake shore at Lone Rock or other camping areas where the lake could come up rapidly and cover the car while you are camping uplake.  Once the equipment is safe then you are free to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of Lake Powell.

 

See the full May 16 report from Wayne Gustaveson (www.wayneswords.com).

LEES FERRY – See the full March 21 fishing report from Lees Ferry Anglers.

 

Southwestern Waters

ALAMO LAKE – The restriction on water skiing and the use of towable devices at Alamo Lake has been lifted as of Wednesday, May 24.

The northern-most portion of the lake remains closed to water skiing and the use of towable devices due to the presence of submerged trees and other hazards (same as in the past).  The boundary of this controlled use area is clearly marked with a buoy line across the lake, which will serve the purpose of both a “no ski” line, and to provide informational signage indicating that hazards are not marked north (upstream) of the buoy line.  Signage for the latter purpose is pending, and will be installed shortly.

May 24 report from Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park:

Well folk, it’s be awhile.  You have not been missing a lot.  Although the lake is up, the fish are not cooperating in the biting department.  I think several things are contributing to this:  1. The lake has never completely settled down;  2. There’s more shad in the lake then there are fish.

High winds and storms just keep coming through.  That’s my conclusion in a nutshell.  You’re more than welcome to come on out and give it a try.  Both ramps are open.  We have docks at both ramps.

Just so you’re warned, we are going to be slammed Memorial Day weekend.  Bring a lot of water, sound block, etc.  Make sure your boat is up to snuff with registration, life jackets and all the good stuff.  Now, for the news a lot of you have been waiting for.  The “no ski – or towable devices”  has been lifted.  You can ski from the body line to the closure area at the dam.  Well, gotta go.  When fishing really turns on I will post something.  Mark

Angler Reports:

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.

Southern Waters

New report:

The White Sulphur Springs NFH released more than 1,800 Gila trout in Frye Mesa Reservoir on Monday afternoon, May 15.

ROSE CANYON LAKE – Rose Canyon Lake and the campground has been temporarily closed during search for potentially rabid fox.

The lake was scheduled to 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.

Angler Report:

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.

Cheers,

Rod

(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.

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