APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,908 feet (94-percent full). Apache is being stocked this week with rainbow trout. Gary Senft, Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, said largemouth bass fishing has become tough lately. He said the top-water bite on Wednesday, Oct. 22 was non-existent. The fish he caught were on Texas rigs, jigs and dropshots.

BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,780 feet, 75 % full.

The water level has dropped six feet over the past three weeks – but Bartlett remains a hot spot for largemouth bass. Best reported bites are top-water, crankbaits, bizzbaits, Ricos, and Berkley 7-inch Powerworms on Texas rigs and shaky head rigs. Many bass are in 2-10 feet of water.

Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, fished Saturday, Oct. 25, and said the top-water bite is good beginning at 6:30 a.m. and ending around 8:30 a.m. using Ricos and buzzbaits. Switching to various, 3-inch white crankbaits and spinnerbaits produced fish as well.

When Texas rigging, Senft threw Berkley 7-inch Powerworms and Zoom trick worms. He reported fishing shorelines at the main lake area and near the dam.

Look for largemouth bass hitting just off the shoreline as well as in 35-75 feet of water on deep-diving crankbaits. One possible effective technique involves letting the crankbait drop for about 4 seconds, reeling quickly three times and letting the crankbait rise again. Target shoreline points, and ledges in around 20 feet of water.

The ledges also can be targeted with various jigs and dropshot-rigged Roboworms (morning dawn.)

Anglers are likely catching some huge flatheads at Bartlett right now using small bluegills (3 to 4 inchers) as bait.

These voracious monsters that can tips the scales well above 50 pounds are actively roaming the lake right now looking for meals, so this is a great time to catch them. Stout poles and heavy line (20 pounds or better) are the order of the day

This is the tail end of the prime flathead catfish season, but there are anglers who fish Bartlett all winter long for these huge voracious fish. 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. Also look for large rafts of bluegill, especially up in the narrows. When you find them, small spinners, crappie jigs and worms can get you lots of fish to fry.

CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,654 feet (91-percent full). Canyon is being stocked this week with rainbow trout.

The Tonto National Forest has closed the fishing dock at the Boulder Recreation, possibly until Sept. 5, 2015.

Like Saguaro, anglers can draw reaction strikes using jerk baits, crankbaits and, at certain times, spinnerbaits and top-water baits can really come into play. The jerk bait is the main bait.

Matching the hatch can be particularly crucial. Use small baits, such as a small swim bait on a ¼-ounce jighead.

LAKE PLEASANT – (1,662 feet, 59-percent full): Derrik Franks of the Striper Snatcher Guide Service with a Oct. 21 report: “Fishing in the morning and evening continues to improve as we kick off our fall pattern. The water temperature is a brisk 75 degrees and migratory birds are arriving and calling Lake Pleasant home for the winter.

These birds are a good cue to finding the shad, as they will dive for bait when available.

I have continued to have success in the northern coves with the all-important south wind.

White bass are starting to come around, which to me is a sure sign of fall. Striper and white bass are suspended during the day in small groups and will later congregate and push shad higher into the water column. Trolling a swimbait on a jighead is an excellent way to locate the non-schooling fish during the midday. A more advanced tactic includes finding the transition areas where the river channel goes into a northern cove.”

Stripers might also be hitting top-water lures or white flukes. This time of the year, top-water action in the river around the no-wake buoys can be a good spot to try.

ROOSEVELT LAKE – (2,092 feet, 40-percent full). Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods with an Oct. 23 report:

Good morning Rim Country anglers,

Now that the water flows into Roosevelt Lake have slowed somewhat, the water condition is improving. You'll recall that during the past couple of weeks we've been suggesting fishing the mid-lake portions of the lake since they were more clear. This past week, most areas of the lake were slightly stained but much improved over the previous weeks and getting better each day. The run-off into the lake is still above 100% of the normal rates for this time of year from both the Salt River and the Tonto Creek. The lake currently stands at 39% full but continues to raise slightly each day with the above normal inflows.

I received calls from quite a few anglers reporting good to excellent days on Roosevelt Lake this past week. Most anglers reported using 4-6-inch worms on a drop-shot technique. Jigging and castings spoons are both catching deeper fish and crankbaits are catching good numbers of bass at all depths of water. Remember that in the Fall, its all about bass chasing shad, so if you see bait on your graph or breaking water on the surface, the bass will be close by.

Crappie fishing was called fair this past week. Reports indicate anglers are catching good numbers of crappie but no real large sizes. Look for crappie schools in 25-30 ft. water and always near rock piles, ledges or brush. Several different colored 2" curly tail grubs on a 1/16 oz. small jig-head hook were reported successful.

Call Rim Country Custom Rods for all your fishing rod needs or if you have questions related to fishing. If we can't answer your question, we'll get you in contact with an expert. Call for a free quote on any custom rod or repair. Rim Country Custom Rods is located in Payson and can be reached at 928-468-0263 or http://www.rimcountrycustomrods.com

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

SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,524 feet (91-percent full). Saguaro is being stocked this week with rainbow trout. Jeremy Hoffman, fishing manager at the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse, previously said the top-water bite is getting into gear, especially at first and last light, as well as night, although there have been sporadic boils throughout the day. Try Zara Spooks, Zara Puppies and Ricos. He said during the day, anglers are having success dropshotting or Texas-rigging between 20-30 feet. “People are sticking some monsters,” Hoffman said.

Previously, Jack from Liars Korner in East Mesa said there has been a decent top-water bite in the morning, followed by a good dropshot bite for largemouth bass in 15-25 feet of water.

Also previously, Bass Pro and semiprofessional angler Gary Senft said that he fished Saguaro Lake a few weeks ago and found a good largemouth bass bite around 8 a.m. in 25-30 feet of water in the middle of coves using dropshot-rigged Roboworms in red crawler and morning dawn.

Find points, locate a shad school, and catch a bass from that school before locating another shad school.

Night fishing has been excellent and bass are chasing bait first thing in the mornings.   back...
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