Fishing Report: Roosevelt Lake
Roosevelt Lake is 44% full. The monsoon rain has increased the flows into the lake, however, there has not been enough moisture to significantly change the lowering trend. The Salt River is flowing at 125 CFPS or about 50% of its normal rate for this time of year while the “on-again off-again” Tonto Creek is currently not flowing. During the month of July, the lake level has fallen over 4 vertical feet and water will continue to be drawn from the Salt River chain for the next 2 to 3 months. The water temperature in the lake is 82 degrees by mid-morning which is a normal summertime temperature. The water clarity remains very clear.
Anglers are reporting good to excellent fishing results for bass and crappie. Two recent night time bass fishing tournaments required over 20 pounds for a five fish limit to win the events. Most anglers recall a few years ago when the best Roosevelt Lake could produce was around 12 pounds. The aggregate results from skilled anglers who participate in bass tournaments is an important factor in determining if a fishery is changing. The early morning bite continues to produce good results. Anglers are reporting reaction baits such as crank-baits, jerk-baits, spinner-baits and chatter-baits catching large numbers of bass in a short time when bass are actively feeding. Texas and Carolina rigged worms, jigs and a drop-shot technique in 20-30 foot depths have also been producing an exceptional catch rate.
Crappie fishing reports remain positive this year as crappie are gathering into large schools. Crappie are being reported to be near cover or abrupt changes in structure in the 20-foot to 25-foot range. Live minnows or small artificial curly-tail grubs are the most popular baits choices for summer crappie fishing.
Trout fishing on the Rim lakes and steams has been reported as excellent. Anglers are reporting great fishing experiences on all Rim Country lakes and streams. During the monsoon season, always be aware approaching storms. Lightening and flash flooding can occur with very little warning.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.
Chuck Benedict is an AZGFD Aquatic Wildlife Specialist out of Flagstaff