APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,906 feet (92 percent full). Only have a couple of reports, but those are very good for a mixed bag of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye and buffalo fish.

Both anglers who left messages also saw bighorns on the uplands toward the dam.

You might also find bass chasing shad at the surface, especially at first light. Try working the major points using soft plastic crayfish like lures worked along the bottom. Crankbaits can also work well at times. A few good-sized smallies are being caught -- please practice catch-and-release on these fish, which are in the comeback mode. Walleye fishing should be decent at first and last light using night crawler rigs, or jigs tipped with worms. Apache is also full of some really nice yellow bass. Try gold KastMasters or yellow/gold Rooster Tails. Catfishing should be good. Carp fishing is very good. You might even catch one of the monster buffalo fish.


BARTLETT LAKE Lake elevation 1,756 feet, 44 percent full. This is probably the most consistent lake for 1- t0 2-pound bass, with good action throughout most of the day, including some nice topwater action at times.

Haven't heard much for crappie anglers here, but the speckled beauties should be congregating in larger schools suspended in deeper water, quite often off extended underwater points or along the Yellow Cliffs.

Look for a first-light topwater bass bite. Sometimes it is sporadic to non-existent. But if you hit it right, you might be able to get some good action. This bite should continue getting better and better as the season progresses. There might also be a topwater bite right before monsoon-generated storms hit. But be sure to get off the water of there is lightning.

This is the prime flathead catfish season. Try live bluegill or small carp as bait. Look for the deeper holes, especially uplake where there is a little current. For bluegills, try the backs of rocky coves using night crawlers or meal worms on light tackle.


CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is still holding at around 1,659 feet, which is 98 percent full.

While Canyon is the land of the lunkers, it can be tough to fish, especially for novice anglers. Catch rates are typically low and even veteran anglers get skunked here. But the possibility of catching a hawg keeps many anglers coming back time and again. This is a pretty good lake for bluegill and yellow bass. Try small crappie-like lures, such as 2-inch curly tails, along the rocky shoreline. Shore fishing for channel catfish and carp can also be viable both day and night right now. As the season progresses, the better fishing for bottom dwellers will transition to the nighttime hours.


LAKE PLEASANT- Lake level 1,675, 70 percent full with 8,073 surface acres. Full moon this weekend, so fishing under lights won't be as viable.

Mike McFarland, a guide with HookUp Outfitters, said that since the major storms brought water and nutrients to the lake two weeks ago, the bite has been slow -- but that may change by this weekend.

The best bet is to be versatile -- go prepared for topwater, but be ready with drop shots and other deeper water techniques. For striped bass, anchovies are typically a good choice. The depth may vary for active fish though, so experiment.

Nighttime fishing for catfish, especially from shore, should be good using stink abit. This is prime catfish time. Try stink baits such as chicken liver. Corn can also work for both catfish and carp. Frozen anchovies fished on the bottom are another good choice -- you might even catch a striped bass.


ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,103 feet and the lake level is 50 percent. Roosevelt did get some nice inflows last week from the Salt River and Tonto Creek due to heavy rainfall in the drainage. However, the bite has been slow or at best, sporadic since then. That may change any day.

There is a full moon this week for Labor Day, which will make it more difficult to fish at night using submersible lights.

Be versatile and go prepared with everything from topwater to drop shots, then see what works best.

This is definitely prime catfish season. For channels, think sink bait. For flatheads, live bait such as bluegills or small carp work best. For channel catfish, try any stinkbait. Although you can catch channels during the day, the prime bite has likely shifted to the nighttime hours.

Not hearing much on the crappie front, but the speckled beauties should be congregated in larger schools, mostly over open water. Once you find them, live minnows and mini-jigs can do the trick.


SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,526 feet at 95 percent full. This has been a fishing hot spot, especially during the week, but recreational boating can make it a challenge on busy weekends.

Largemouth bass fishing is fair to good when the recreational boating pressure is lower, especially at night.

With a full moon this weekend, fishing under submersible lights won't be as effective. A good tip might for Labor Day might be to get on the lake before first light and then get off before the hordes of recreational boaters arrive.

This is also a great place to take the youngsters at night for some sunfish action on one of the many fishing piers. Try meal worms or night crawlers under a bobber.


TEMPE TOWN LAKE Fishing is fair, especially for largemouth bass. the best bite at first and last light for bass and sunfish. This is a good time to try for channel catfish and carp using corn or dough baits after dark. Keep in mind that although this fishery in in the city, it is not part of the Urban Fishing Program, so you will need the regular state fishing license to fish here.   back...
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