Fishing overall on Roosevelt and Apache lakes is being called excellent by local anglers. Bass continue to feed heavily on shad and crawfish which are abundant in the lakes right now. Bass are beginning to move to deeper water in some areas of the lake. A few anglers are using Trendsetter jigs and traditional casting spoons to target these deeper water bass. Fishing for these deep water schools of bass is great fun and can be very productive when the conditions are favorable. The two preferred techniques are to make a long cast and let the bait fall on a taunt line in a pendulum motion. The other is to drop the bait vertically and jig it up and down at the proper depth. Many reaction baits are continuing to produce good numbers of bass. These baits include crank-baits, spider-baits, Flukes and chatter-baits. Drop-shot and Texas-rig techniques are also successful for bass in the 20 to 25 foot depth range. The current water temperature and pending colder water temperature are major contributors to making these successful fishing conditions. In addition, some experienced anglers feel that the current full moon phase (Nov. 3rd) enhances fishing conditions during morning and evening low light conditions.
Roosevelt Lake level is at 58% full and has been at that level for the past several weeks. The water temperature is in the high 60’s in the mornings increasing to the low 70’s during the warmest time of the day. The Salt River is flowing at about 50% of the normal rate for this time of year, however, the Tonto Creek is not flowing. Many anglers are hoping for a wet winter which will benefit Roosevelt Lake with a higher water level next spring.
Local crappie anglers are reporting fair to good fishing conditions. Curt Rambo of Tonto Basin, credits the stable weather and the water level for the recent success of crappie anglers. Crappie are in larger schools this time of year and when a school is located, several can be caught in a short period of time. A vertical fishing technique is producing good numbers of crappie in depths from 20 to 30 feet. On a recent trip, three crappie anglers reported catching limits after fishing for just a couple hours using a Lil’ Fishy bait on a small, weighted jig-head hook.
The AZGFD Community Fishing Program is underway. Green Valley Lakes in Payson will be stocked every other week throughout the cooler winter months. This is a great place to introduce youth to fishing. In addition, Green Valley Park is an open area allowing those wishing to learn fly casting techniques a great place to learn. Powerbait, worms, salmon eggs and flies in a nymph pattern were recently reported successful at the Green Valley Lakes. A complete listing of the stocking schedule can be found at www.azgfd.gov.
Big game hunters who harvest an animal are being encouraged by the Arizona Game & Fish Department to unbolt the GPS or VHF tracking collar and return that collar to any Statewide Game and Fish Office. The collar is easily removed by unscrewing the two nuts holding the collar together.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.