Fishing Report: Roosevelt Lake and Mogollon Rim
Roosevelt Lake remains at 41% full with the Salt River and Tonto Creek flowing at average or slightly above average rates for this time of year. The monsoon rains and runoff into the lake is maintaining the current level. The water clarity is stained in areas of the lake where new water is flowing in and clear in the mid-sections of the lake. Another important parameter anglers are talking about is the falling water temperatures.
The ambient temperature in Tonto Basin is still reaching 100 degrees during the hottest time of the day, however, the night time lows are consistently falling due to shorter daylight hours. As a result, the water temperature is falling and is now in the high 70’s or low 80’s during the day. These lower water temperatures are not going unnoticed by the fish. They already sense that fall if approaching and are beginning to actively feed in preparation. Several reports of schools of bass commonly called “wolf packs” can be seen chasing large schools of shad throughout the lake. The shad spawns this year on Roosevelt Lake were highly successful resulting in a large amount of bait-fish. Anglers understand this and are replicating a shad colored imitation crank-baits to target bass. Early in the morning, bass are being caught in shallow water less than 20 foot deep. Later in the day and into the evening, that same shad colored bait with the capability of diving to 20 foot is reported to be highly successful.
Crappie anglers are also reporting catching limits of crappie within a few hours of fishing. Crappie schools will nearly always be located in or very near to some type of cover. The artificial habitat structures are providing a wonderful source of security and food supply for crappies. A small jig fished vertically, at a 25 foot depth is the most successful conditions reported.
The AZGFD is planning a Roosevelt Lake habitat building work project for September 28 & 29th at the Amphitheater parking lot near Windy Hill. The work will begin at 7AM each morning and continue until mid-afternoon. These habitat structures are vital the successful recovery of Roosevelt Lake. These events are great fun and an excellent opportunity to practice conservation. To sign up, contact Bryant Dickens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mogollon Rim trout fishing
Trout fishing on the Rim lakes and streams has been reported as excellent. The Summer Trout Stocking Program has ended for the East Verde River and Haigler Creek. Tonto Creek will be stocked through September. The crisp early mornings in Rim Country provides a perfect time to walk a streams and check out calm water pools.
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