Rim Country Fishing Report October 20, 2016
By: James Goughnour, Rim Country Custom Rods, 480-495-1351
The talk among Rim Country anglers is the Wild West Bass Trail Team tournament held on Lake Pleasant recently. A huge congratulations to two well-known local anglers Matt Shura and Lon Armel on their winning weight of 17.69. The Rim Country team of Clifford Pirch and Buddy Randall finished in 7th place earning a good paycheck for their efforts. The Wild West Bass Trail will be holding their Team Championship Tournament on Roosevelt Lake next May. Payson will be the host town for the event with the final day weigh-in at Green Valley Park.
Local anglers are calling fishing conditions on Roosevelt Lake excellent. The water temperature continues to fall and now is in the low to mid 70’s depending on the cloud cover. Bass can sense the lower water temperatures and are actively feeding in preparation for the colder weather when their metabolism slows dramatically. Anglers are reporting success using a wide variety of baits. Top-water, spinner-baits, paddle-tail swimbaits, a drop-shot, Texas-rig and spoons have all been reported successful.
Roosevelt lake water level currently stands at 35% full however, daily downstream demands continue to exceed over a thousand acre feet per day which results in falling water conditions each day. The Salt River flow has slowed significantly and is currently at 70% of its normal rate for this time of year while the Tonto Creek has slowed to about 25%. The water clarity in the main lake remains very clear, with slightly stained water on the Salt River end of the lake.
Crappie anglers continue to report success locating crappie schools in about 20 feet depths. Most crappie anglers are fishing vertically using a small curly tail bait however, in about another month, anglers will begin using a trolling technique as crappie begin to suspend more at deeper depths. Experienced anglers know that crappie relate to two things in the water. The first is variation in structure, which is the natural bottom contour of the lake. A natural drop-off, overhang or creek bottom creates a variation in structure. The second thing crappie relate to is cover. Cover is defined as anything other than the natural bottom. Trees, brush, rock piles, sunken logs, marinas and docks are all examples of cover. When fishing for crappie, if a variation of structure or cover is not present, crappie will not be in that area.
The Rim trout lakes continue to produce good results. Small spinner-baits, crank-baits and Power Bait are all being reported successful by local anglers. Temperatures are dropping at higher elevations, so if you’re planning a trip to the top of the Rim, be sure to dress in layers.
The AZGFD Community Fishing stocking program is underway and Green Valley Lake has received its first trout stocking. Powerbait, small spinner-baits, Z-Rays are being used to catch 12″ stocked rainbow trout.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.