APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,906 feet (91 percent full). This continues to be a hot spot for largemouth bass, with some reports spilling into the north Phoenix Sportsmans Warehouse of bass weighing 10-pound-plus. Target deep-water ledges, such as ones that go immediately from 10 to 100 feet of depth. The reports indicate the fish are spread out from the marina to the dam. Try dropshots with ox blood Roboworms. When bed fishing, use jigs or soft plastics in lighter colors so you can see your bait. But consider releasing the spawning bass to preserve their populations.

BARTLETT LAKE McFarland repoted that largemouth bass are in 12-20 feet of water and hitting Carolina rigs and deep-diving crank baits in 12-25 feet of water. Go to the main lake and hit the wind-blown points.

Gary Senft, a local professional and a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, said many bass are in transition from their spawning spots to their summer patterns. The first hour can produce a good top-water bite close to the bank. There is still a jig bite, he said, and hes still catching bas on ½-ounce Gary Yamamoto jigs. Texas rigs and dropshots are effective as well.

But the trick is as the sun rises, move to points and island and drop worms or use deep-diving crankbaits around ledges for some big boys.

Also around midday, use finesse baits such as baby brush hogs, worms and dropshots.

Senft said he hasnt seen spawning shad a Bartlett, yet, but that could change this weekend.

Previously, Jeremy Hoffman, fishing manager at the north Phoenix Sportsmans Warehouse, said folks are saying topwater has been incredible in the morning, and the afternoon bite has also been fantastic.

Techniques such as dropshotting, wacky rigging senkos, and lipless crankbaits are proving effective. When fishing lipless crankbaits, Hoffman suggests, let the lure fall all the way to the bottom before starting your retrieve, and then once you start bringing your crankbait back in, reel for a few seconds, pause briefly, and then start reeling once again.

Also try reeling in steady and then speeding it up for a few seconds, then return to your previous retrieval speed. As a result of both of the techniques, the fish will usually strike hard due to the sporadic action of these retrievals.

CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,659 feet (97 percent full). Skyler Clark of Sportmans Warehouse said hes fished both Canyon and Saguaro in the past week, and techniques are similar.

LAKE PLEASANT Mike McFarland, a professional fishing guide for Hook Up Outfitters, reported that stripers are still in a funk. However, there is a good early-morning top-water bite (try walking baits and skinny dippers). If youre using a throw net to get live shad, fish them in the creek channel at 20-25 feet of water depth. The shad are spawning in the early mornings along the banks.

For largemouth bass, try top-water lures early, as well as crankbaits. Dropshots also are working on shallow-water shoreline points. Get ready: Another huge wave of spawners is coming. Also, the anchovy bite is hit and miss in 60 feet of water.

A previous report from Jeremy Hoffman, fishing manager at the north Phoenix Sportsmans Warehouse: Went up to Pleasant yesterday evening, found a good spot up a northern cove just before sundown and started killin the stripers!

We were just cruising around and started to see boils everywhere, so we stopped there and threw topwater for a while with no luck. Although we got no love on topwater, there were obviously already lots of fish and shad stacked in this particular area so thats where we posted up for the evening. As soon as we started with anchovies the action was on. We did catch our fair share of dinks in the 8-10 inch range, but our average size striper was in the 1.5 to 2-pound range. We fished the same spot for six hours before calling it a night, and would have to say that we had a blast. Came home with 18 of the bigger ones and had one heck of a striper cookout this evening. Beer, garlic, lemon, and some Mexican pepper inside of a little tinfoil grilling pan -- excellence!

Id recommend anyone interested in some excellent night fishing to go out this week before the moon starts coming back. This is a great opportunity to take someone who is just starting to get interested in fishing, or someone that has had some bad fishing trips where theyve been skunked and lost some interest, because its not hard to find the fish right now and you can sit there and catch them until you get bored, tired, or run out of bait. Make sure to grab at least two bags of anchovies for each person going! Those little fish are clever when it comes to thieving bait off of your hook, so be prepared.

Also, there are carp everywhere in the backs of coves right now. Wish I would have had my bowfishing setup with me because the carp were thick. Did not see lots of big ones, but the numbers were there. Water temp was right at 70 degrees before sunset FYI.

After turkey season is over the next new moon should be here again and Ill definitely be out there giving it a shot once more!

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,109 feet, 54 percent full). James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods submitted this report: Good morning rim country anglers We reported last week that the bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake was going to be great this week and we were not disappointed. Even with the wind, which blew 30 mph at times, the fishing was great.

The water clarity has gotten a little worse due to the wind churning up the water but bass fishing overall was called excellent. I talked with several anglers who were pre-fishing the WON tournament last weekend and catching good numbers and size of bass. One bass over 12 pounds was caught on Thursday, May 2 using a Carolina rig in15 feet water.

The Tonto Creek and Salt River are flowing at about half their normal rates for this time of year which is a decrease from two weeks ago. Yet the lake remains at 55-percent full. The lake water temperature is in the 70s. The top-water bite will again be hot this coming week so look for bass chasing shad on the surface in shallow water along the shorelines, backs of covers or long shallow points. Several top-water baits were reported successful including a Rio-Rico, buzz baits, Pop-R and a paddle tail swimbait made by Reaction Innovation. Spinner baits with a white skirt and double willow-leaf blades were reported more successful than crankbaits for the first time this spring. Jigs, Texas rig worms, senkos, dropshots using a 6-inch Roboworm or a Carolina rig using a 6-inch green pumpkin lizard were also reported successful.

The Crappie fishing was called poor this past week. Anglers reported better crappie fishing at night using live minnows. Crappie lights will be effective this coming week. But check the weather before planning any night time fishing. Salome Cove and around Windy Hill were reported hot spots for crappie again this past week. A 1/32- or 1/16-ounce jig hook with a 1-inch pumpkin/chartreuse or black-and-blue color grub tail were reported successful. The crappie spawn appears to be winding down, so look for larger schools of crappie in submerged brush in 15-25 feet water.

SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,526 feet (95 percent full):

Anglers report: Jim F. of Tempe brought his wife to Saguaro Lake at first light on Saturday, May 11: My wife and I hit Saguaro Lake right at first light Saturday morning.

First we hit several coves using a variety of baits: jerks, cranks and soft plastics of various sizes and colors. But we had no luck. We then got out the night crawlers and hit a few coves, placing the bait about 2.5 feet under a bobber and quickly realizing the bluegill bite was in full bloom. We quickly caught as many as we could use for a good meal or two. Some were huge!

We were careful to examine them and threw back any that looked like they were in spawning mode. We continued to catch and release panfish for the next few hours and had a blast. I know a lot of guys who will strike out on the bass bite and then pack up and go home rather than fish for pan fish. They don't know what fun they're missing!

At about 4 p.m. we tried for some bass again. We caught a few on jerk baits and soft plastics near the reeds across from the snags. All in all it was a nearly perfect day. Caught lots of fish, saw a lot of wildlife and soaked up the sun and picturesque scenery. If your wife likes to fish as much as mine does, you are truly living the dream!

Previously, Skyler Clark, fishing manager at the Mesa Sportsmans Warehouse, said the bass spawn is beginning to wrap up, although some bass remain on their beds. Bluegill and shad are starting to spawn as well as water temperatures are rising to more than 70 degrees.

The top-water bite should be going as well. Top water lures, jerk baits, drop shot Roboworms and senkos are picking up most of the fish.

The bluegill bite is wide open, and small nymphs fished near the bottom in 5-7 feet of water should catch all the bluegill you want. Also, Clark said an angler was using a small crappie jig tipped with a worm near marina docks for some good-sized bluegill.   back...
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