By: James Goughnour
Rim Country Custom Rods
The Arizona Game and Fish Department has released the proposed hunting guidelines and the Department is seeking public comments for the 2018-19 through 2022-23 hunting seasons. The proposed guidelines can be viewed on the Department’s website at www.azgfd.com/hunting/guidelines. Inputs may be submitted through August 2nd on-line or mailed directly to Amber Munig, Arizona Game and Fish Department, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086. This topic is important to many Rim Country hunters and has been the topic of many debates. This AZGFD request is a significant tool for hunters to provide recommendations affecting specific hunt units.
The Roosevelt Lake water level continues to fall and now sits at 66 percent full. downstream demand is over 2,000 acre feet nearly every day, which is typical of summertime demand. The Salt River is flowing at 42% of its normal rate for this time of year. The Tonto Creek stopped flowing a few weeks ago. The water clarity is being called slightly stained with visibility down to about 10 foot.
Summertime bass fishing conditions on Roosevelt Lake are good in spite of the high temperatures. The ambient temperatures remain at over 100 degrees and the temperature of the water in the lake is in the mid to high 80’s. These high temperatures impact both the fish and the anglers. Fish are the most active in the very early morning, evenings and during the night. During the hottest time of the day, a drop-shot and Carolina-rig techniques are the most effective. Bass can be found on main lake points in 15-25 foot depths. However, not all points will hold schools of bass. Those points with adjacent deep water access are the best to investigate. The current full moon phase provides a enjoyable night fishing experience. Always verify the weather when night fishing and beware of fast approaching monsoon storms. Have a plan to get off the water or where to seek shelter before the storm arrives.
Crappie anglers are expressing frustration with the heat and low number of crappie being caught. A few crappie are being caught but overall crappie fishing is poor on Roosevelt Lake. Anglers are reporting small schools of crappie in the 20 to 25 foot depth but not large numbers of schools that would be expected at this time of year. Vertical fishing using a light line and a small 2″ grub-tail bait is the most effective summer crappie fishing technique.
The best fishing being reported is Rim Country trout fishing which is excellent. Good numbers and quality of trout are being caught throughout Rim Country lakes and streams. The AZGFD Summer Trout Stocking program is keeping many Rim Country lakes and streams stocked with large numbers of rainbow trout. The entire AZGFD Summer Stocking Schedule is available at azgfd.gov. Powerbait, Z-Rays, in line spinner-baits, worms and salmon eggs were all reported successful. Fly anglers are reporting nymph imitations for stream fishing. Many Rim Country lakes and streams have received higher numbers of stockings recently. If you are a novice trout angler, the East Verde River provides easy access at the Crossings. Watch for the signs as you drive on Houston Mesa Road. Each site has easy access to the river, restrooms and ample parking.
The ever expanding Quagga Mussels have been found in Canyon Lake. These mussels attach to anything metal like a boat, motor, prop, trolling motor, etc. They also attach to metal parts of docks and dams which result in expensive repairs. All boat owner are reminded to remove the boat plug, clean, drain and dry your boat after being on any Arizona lake.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.