The Wild West Bass Trail Team Tournament held on Roosevelt Lake recently was a huge success. There were several local experienced anglers who predicted that it would take 20 pounds to win. They were a little off, it took 21.26 pounds. Congratulation to the over 30 Rim Country anglers who represented Rim Country. If you missed the excitement this time, mark your calendar for May 10-12th, when the Wild West Bass Trail will return to Roosevelt Lake for its Arizona Team Championship with the final day weigh-in at Green Valley Park.
One experienced local angler reported that the cold front passing through Rim Country just before the tournament cooled the water temperature to the mid 50’s causing many bass to retreat into deeper water. The Carolina-rig and Drop-shot were reported to be successful techniques in depths ranging from 10 feet down to 50 feet. The water clarity is being called clear in the main portions of the lake. Anglers reported being able to see the bottom at 15 feet. A few anglers caught a limit of pre-spawn bass in 15-25 foot depths, however, those fish didn’t have the size or weight anglers were wanting.
The series of cold fronts moving across the Rim will continue to impact daily fishing conditions. Bass tend to spawn when the water temperature reaches 60 degrees which will be happening as soon as the storms and winds dissipate. The full moon phase the first week of March will contribute to the spawning activity. Anglers will be looking forward to the next full moon on March 31st.
Roosevelt Lake is currently 58 percent full with the Salt River and Tonto Creek flowing at less than 20% of their normal rates for this time of year. The recent storms have brought some moisture to the area, however, the amount of water reaching the lake is minimal. In a normal year, we would be talking about high flow rates and debris floating in the lake. Let’s hope the storms continue into early spring.
On Saturday, May 12, Green Valley Park comes alive with a multitude of wildlife and outdoor fun activities for the whole family, at the 24th Annual Payson Wildlife Fair. Catch a monster-sized trout, cruise the lake in a canoe, try your hand at archery, or touch a live snake… there is something for everyone. People come from all over the State for this outdoor event. It’s a great day up in the cool mountain air of Payson at a time of year when the Valley is really heating up. And it’s all free.
There will be booths from many local and State organizations, pellet gun and archery ranges, and door prizes for the kids such as fishing rods and lures. Live birds of prey will be on display, as well as snakes, Gila monsters, tortoises and other wildlife. The fair celebrates Arizona’s great outdoors and our state’s diverse wildlife.
Green Valley Lake will receive more than double its normal stocking of trout in preparation for the Fair. No fishing license is required for fair attendees, and equipment and bait are provided at the free fishing booth at the fair.
The Payson Wildlife Fair is a cooperative effort between the Arizona Game and Fish Department, USDA Forest Service, Mogollon Sporting Association, and Payson Parks and Recreation Department. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 12 at Green Valley Park in Payson.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.
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