Fishing Report: Central region
The water level in Roosevelt Lake has remained at 38-percent full for the past couple of weeks with the Salt River flowing at 110% of its average rate for this time of year. The Tonto Creek has started flowing again, thanks to the recent storm that passed through the State recently. Rim Country received about 4 to 8 inches of rain from recent storms, so a lot of water is making its way into Roosevelt Lake.
The hard transition from the Salt River to the Verde River, for lower elevation water needs, which normally occurs at the end of October, will be delayed this year due to the water level of Bartlett Lake. Many will recall that the water level in Bartlett Lake was lowered this past spring to conduct needed repairs. The water level in Bartlett has remained low due to the drought conditions. Therefore, a slow and gradual transition to the Verde River will occur, depending on the amount of water available in each river system due the next several months.
The water temperature at Roosevelt Lake is in the low 80s and the bass instinctively know that the lower metabolism rate is not far off. Bass are feeding heavily in preparation for the cold winter months. Experienced anglers know and understand the old adage of “fish the fall like the spring” meaning that conditions are excellent right now for just about any type of bait. Reaction baits, dropshot and Texas rigged artificial worms and jigs are all reported as successful bait choices.
Crappie anglers are also reporting good or excellent crappie conditions. Crappie schools will nearly always be located near some type of cover. Live minnows rigged either in a drop-shot or jig configuration have been successful. Artificial baits such as a small curly-tail bait or a small minnow imitation bait fished on a jig-head will catch a limit of crappie once a school is located. Look for crappie in 20 to 30 foot depths.