Fishing Report: Roosevelt Lake
The water level in Roosevelt Lake currently stands at 38% full with the Salt River flowing at 70% 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 3 to 5 inches of rain, depending on location, so a lot of water is making it’s way into Roosevelt Lake.
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, Drop-shot 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.
Unfortunately, with the ground being so dry, the flows into the lake are not even reaching normal historical flow rates. During September the lake water level dropped 3% or just under four vertical feet. This is a slight increase in the drawdown amount from August when the monsoon storms helped reduce the level by only two and one half vertical feet.
A huge thanks to the volunteers who assisted the AZGFD assemble just under 200 artificial habitat structures recently. Bryant Dickens, AZGFD Habitat Specialist, announced that the 185 Georgia Cubes and additional Mossback Trees will be deployed in a couple of weeks into Roosevelt Lake. Once the new structures are in place, Bryant will update the GPS locations of these new structures on the fishaz.azgfd.com website. The habitat structures are a vital part of the AZGFD Aquatics Branch plan to improve fishing conditions on Roosevelt Lake. Feedback from anglers and AZGFD representatives indicate the structures are holding many fish including bluegill which is a critical bait-fish for Roosevelt Lake sport fish.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.
Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods can be reached at 480-495-1351