Bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake continues to be ranked as excellent. The dropping water temperatures and shorter days transition the bass into a feeding frenzy before the bass metabolism slows to a point where bass can’t actively chase bait. This happens generally when the water temperature reaches 50 degrees. The water temperature for the last week of November is in the low 60’s in the morning reaching the mid 60’s in the afternoon, however, with each day, the temperatures are trending lower. Bass are following schools of bait fish and are feeding heavily, often gorging themselves. Anglers are also reporting that a bass may have several shad in its mouth when caught. Anglers are reporting bass being caught in the 40-50 foot depth range on spoons, Trendsetter jigs, and kastmasters. These baits replicate falling shad and are excellent choices to target deeper water bass. On warmer sunny days, be sure to check the shallow waters in the backs of coves in the afternoon when the water has warmed up by a degree or two. Small spinner baits or crank-baits in a shad pattern are recommended.
Crappie fishing also continues to be reported as excellent on Roosevelt and Apache Lakes. Large schools of crappie recently have been reported in 20 to 50 foot depths. These crappie schools are always near cover. Structural changes, such as a natural ledge or drop-off, are excellent areas to fish for crappie. Bass anglers recently reported catching several nice crappie in the 2 pound range while bass fishing using a spoon.
Roosevelt Lake level remains at 57% full. The lake level has varied less than one foot over the past month. The amount of water coming into the lake from the Salt River is at about 50% of the normal flow rate. The Tonto Creek is flowing at about 25% of its normal flow.
Several bass fishing tournaments are scheduled for Roosevelt Lake over the next couple of months. Tournament and recreational anglers are reminded of the “No Entry” buoys around Goose Flats and Bermuda Flats on the Tonto Creek end of the lake. These closures will be in place until February, 2018. Tournament anglers may be disqualified from the event if ticketed for fishing in the no entry areas.
Trout fishing throughout Rim Country and up onto the Rim is excellent. Several nice trout were caught on Lake Mary and Woods Canyon Lake recently. Temperatures are below freezing on the Rim, so dress according. If you’re not into getting cold, Green Valley Lake in Payson is being stocked every other week with Rainbow Trout. For any trout fishing trip, Powerbait, salmon eggs, worms, and wet-flies are all great bait choices. A complete listing of the stocking schedule can be found at www.azgfd.gov.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.