Fishing Report: Bartlett Lake
Bartlett Lake (elevation 1,752, 45 %) is still one of the Central region’s top options for largemouth bass fishing.
Some hotter, steadier weather ahead should raise the 70-degree water temperatures high enough to trigger bass to feed aggressively once again and make reaction baits more viable.
Gary Senft of the Mesa Bass Pro Shops has been fishing the lake recently, including during Wednesday’s cold front (20-25 mph winds). He said fish would not hit top-water lures or reaction baits such as spinnerbaits, crankbaits, or flukes. Instead, he fished deeper and slower on points and islands using Ned rigs and Carolina-rigged brush hogs for some success. Anglers should remember this for the next front that blows through. Bass are effected by the rising barometer as a storm comes through and the bite typically shuts down during and after a storm.
Top-water action remains slow. Bigger fish are in the main lake and sticking to structures such as points and islands. Smaller fish are moving up the Verde River.
Shad have been spawning in shallow water at the lake for a couple weeks – try shad imitation crankbaits or top-water lures that are 2-3 inches in length, especially during early mornings.
Senft said 90 percent of bass at Bartlett have spawned and are in a post-spawn mode, skinny and feeding heavily. A lot of fish remain in 30-45 foot depths.