Rim Country Fishing Report August 11, 2016
An AZGFD article released this week details the Department’s plan to deploy artificial habitat into Roosevelt Lake later this fall. Even after a categorical exclusion was granted and the determination that no endangered species would be impacted, the deployment of habitat still seemed to be in question. Additional habitat, along with the Florida Strain Bass that have been stocked into the lake, was the solution recommended by the Department specialists almost three years ago. The article is posted on here on fishaz.org.
The water condition of Roosevelt Lake continues to be the talk among Rim Country anglers. Some anglers are reporting an additional inch of monsoon rain recently. The water flowing into Roosevelt Lake from the Tonto Creek and Salt River continue at above normal averages. The Tonto Creek was flowing hard enough recently that the crossing at Punkin Center had to be closed. However, as fast as the water is entering the lake, it’s being discharged equally as fast. The lake level currently stands at 40% full, so even with the additional rainfall, the lake level essentially has not changed over the past month. Last year at this time, the lake was 42% full however, in 2014 the level was 39%. The lake water temperature is in the low 80’s.
Bass fishing reports for both Roosevelt and Apache Lakes are being called excellent by local experienced anglers. The additional water coming into the lake creates excellent fishing conditions. Along with nutrients, the dirty water creates ambush areas for predator fish and cover for baitfish. Many anglers are fishing what is called “the mud line.” This is the area in the lake where the muddy or stained water transitions to crystal clear water. Bass are attracted to these areas and will move between the stained and clear water in search of bait. Crank-baits in bright colors were reported successful in depths ranging from 5 feet down to 20 feet. Anglers prefer to position their boats in the stained water and retrieve the bait from the clear water into the stained water. Texas-rigged worms and jigs are also being reported as successful techniques.
The crappie anglers are enjoying excellent fishing conditions. It has been a long time since we’ve discussed crappie anglers catching limits on Roosevelt, so this is really good news. Crappie anglers are fishing vertically using a John-Deere colored 2″ grub-tail in 20 to 25 feet deep water. Crappie swim in schools and will always relate to structure and cover. A good indication that perhaps the crappie conditions are improving is that anglers are reporting various sizes of crappie being caught. During the past couple of years, smaller sized crappie were not being caught in large numbers, so hopefully, this is a sign of an improved crappie population in the lake.
Trout fishing on the Rim streams and rivers continues to be called excellent. However, the summer stocking program is slowing. Within the next couple of weeks, stocking will end for the East Verde River and Haigler Creek. Canyon and Tonto Creeks will continue to be stocked until the end of September. Many dry flies resembling Mayflies were reported successful for fly fishing anglers. Power-bait and salmon eggs are working well in pools where the trout stocking occur in the streams. It’s a perfect time to enjoy Rim Country fishing. Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.
By: James Goughnour, Rim Country Custom Rods (480) 495-1351