5 best bass baits for Bartlett/Roosevelt this weekend
Bartlett and Roosevelt lakes in the Tonto National Forest are two possible hot spots for weekend bass fishing. Expect a big wave of spawning bass during this weekend’s full moon and water temperatures in the mid-60s.
Here are 5 best baits to throw, according to guide and Bass Pro Gary Senft.
Early morning: expect a reaction bite
Hit the water around 6 a.m. and start throwing into 2-5 feet of water squarebill crankbaits or shallow (5-6 feet) diving crankbaits. Try crawdad (above) or sexy shad colors.
Senft’s best colors of spinnerbaits are white with white blades or chartreuse/white blades. Other anglers are having luck with silver or copper blades.
Late morning/afternoon: finesse time
Once the early morning bite dies, and sun begins to rise, fish that were in 2-5 feet of water (you may only see 1-2 feet down with these stained waters) will move into around 6-10 feet. Switch to a dropshot rig with plastic worms in ox blood, morning dawn, or try curly tail worms. For a distinct advantage in dirty water, dip the tail in a chartreuse-colored, garlic-scented dye.
Try a bobber stopper under a 1/8- or 3/16-ounce weight and a 12-inch leader using plastic worms, baby brush hogs or chigger craws.
If the dropshot or Carolina rigs aren’t producing, switch to a Texas rig. Stick with smaller worms (4-inch) — they can be straight tails, but again, spike the tail with a chartreuse/garlic scented dye.
There’s 5 baits to get you going. For more information, see Senft’s YouTube channel. Fish are spawning and scattered, so keep moving and cover a lot of water. Sandy, rocky shorelines have been the best areas to target (as opposed to steep, rocky shorelines).
Another tip: If you feel anything that resembles a bite, be ready to set the hook. If you don’t set the hook quickly, the bass will spit your bait. Unfortunately, many anglers aren’t ready until they’ve lost a couple bass and get a feel for this unique bite.
Go make some memories this weekend and send your best report and photo to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.