APACHE - Lake is 96-percent full at 1,910 feet. No recent reports but fishing should be good for yellow bass down by the dam. Yellow bass should hit jigs and spoons. Fish for them around balls of shad in 20-60 feet of water. Cut bait also works well for them. Remember, as of January 1, you are only allowed to possess one fish between 13 and 16 inches and all bass harvested must be gutted only so the legal length can be determined. All other fish such as crappie, catfish and bluegill harvested from the lake must have a piece of skin attached to the fillets so species can be determined.


BARTLETT The best fishing will likely be at first light, and then in the afternoons. At first light, look for bass off the primary points in 15 to 30 feet of water. Anglers have reported catching bass that have discouraged crayfish. Try crawdad imitations and worm rigs (drop shots and Texas-rigs) for largemouth bass. A few weeks back crappie fishing was reported to be picking up, although most of the crappie being caught were small. I have not heard any recent reports on crappie.


CANYON - Lake is 96-percent full at 1,658 feet. Bass fishing has been slow by most reports. Guys seem to be having the best luck spooning. Canyon has been stocked with trout throughout the winter, making swim baits viable. For trout, try fishing in Boulder Cove with Panther Martins, KastMasters, or bait. A rainbow trout colored swim bait can usually produce a few largemouth after a stocking. You should be able to catch yellow bass spooning this time of year. Try points and drop offs in 30 60ft of water.


LAKE PLEASANT - As is usual this time of year, the water level is constantly rising as water from the Central Arizona Project is pumped into the lake for later irrigation and domestic use.

According to Mike McFarland of Hook Up Outfitters, the fishing is getting better. The water temperature in the main lake is around 54 degrees, but Mike has found some 60-degree water in the shallow coves in the afternoons. Sport-fish and bait fish can be attracted to the warmer water.

Mike says the fish -- especially striped bass and white bass -- have migrated back into shallow arms of the northern coves and typically the bite is best in the early mornings and afternoons. However, keep a watch on the surface activity (binoculars help) -- stripers and whites can sometimes be found chasing shad at the surface, so keep a topwater lure, casting spoon, or a crankbait handy.

When the bass are shallow, try Little Dippers on jig heads or curly tails on jigs. If the fish aren't active, try in the 15 to 30 foot range in the submerged creek channels. The guides have been catching lots of small white bass, and striped bass running from six inches to 3 pounds. But they have also been catching some largemouth bass as well from young jack bass to nice 3 pounders.


SAGUARO - Lake level is 1,525 feet (94-percent full). Saguaro is scheduled for a trout stocking this week. No recent reports, but like most lakes the bass fishing has been slow and hit or miss. Yellow bass fishing can be good, try using a silver and blue kastmaster or similar.


ROOSEVELT LAKE - The lake is 66-percent full at elevation 2,121 feet. Largemouth bass fishing is good but fishing is in the transition time to winter activity levels. Some of the better fishing right now is in the 20- to 30-foot range, especially off points. Drop-shotting and wired worms are the baits of choice. Crappie fishing is not bad trolling in the Tonto or Salt arms of the lake. Anglers have not been catching large numbers of crappie but the ones that they have been catching have been good size. Use John Deere grubs or black-blue-chartreuse (BBC) grubs on a 1/16-ounce jighead in about 25 feet of water or try fathead minnows under a slip bobber.

Catfishing for both flatheads and channels has been somewhat slow. Fishing for smallmouth bass can be good, especially on windy days. Try areas where waves are stirring up the rocky shoreline. Use in-line spinners and crayfish imitations especially off rocky points and cliff walls and live night crawlers. Remember the slot is in place for smallmouth as well.


TEMPE TOWN LAKE Rainbow trout have been stocked all winter long. At this point, you may find some larger holdovers as well as the stockers. Due to the warm weather and the shallow nature of this lake, action for warmwater fish such as largemouth bass and yellow bass should be picking up. Try fishing the shade lines of the bridges. Best fishing will typically be at first and last light.

You can try the usual methods for the rainbows (baits like powerbait, nightcrawlers, mealworms or try spinners and spoons such as panther martins, kastmasters¦) Remember no gas motors are allowed (electric trolling motors are) and you must have a boating permit, which can be obtained at the Town Lake operations center.

This is an excellent lake to learn how to bass fishing using simple rigs like plastic worms and lizards worked along the bottom. Cast out, let the plastic bait sink to the bottom, reel in any slack line to "make contact" with the bait, then lift up your rod tip (lifting the bait off the bottom), reel in a couple of times, then lower your rod tip and let the bait sink to the bottom again. The sport-fish will often hit when the bait is falling back to the bottom, so if your line moves sideways, set the hook.   back...
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