Fishing Report: Roosevelt Lake & Mogollon Rim
Winter fishing conditions continue to dominate angler discussions regarding Roosevelt Lake. Dropping ambient and water temperatures, wind and big swings in barometric pressure are all contributing to reports of poor to fair fishing conditions. The Roosevelt Lake water temperature is in the mid to high 50s with a clear downward trend over recent weeks. Temperatures rise during the day, but only slightly due to the shortened amount daylight hours and the position of the sun during the winter. Overnight low temperatures around the lake are near freezing. Daytime temperatures are in the high 50s with sustained winds of 5-10 mph and 15 mph gusts.
The water level in Roosevelt Lake remains at 39-percent full. Both the Salt River and Tonto Creek are flowing at about 65 percent of normal flows for this time of year. Anglers are reporting the best success on spoons fished in 30-40 foot depths. Crankbaits, chatter-baits and lipless crankbaits that run in the 25-foot depth range were also reported successful.
The crappie have developed a case of “lock jaw” over the past couple of weeks. Crappie anglers are reporting a very short duration of action during the mid-morning hours followed by long periods of zero activity. Experienced anglers know that the key to winter fishing conditions is to find the bait. Large schools of baitfish will always have bass and crappie close by. The reason spoon baits are successful during the winter months is that they imitate a dying shad, exposed to colder water conditions, falling to the bottom.
Community fishing update: Green Valley Lakes in Payson
AZGFD Community Fishing Program is continuing to stock Green Valley Lakes every two weeks with rainbow trout. Due the recent health issues of the trout supplier, the number of trout being stocked has been about 75% of the normal amount. The great news is that the trout supplier is feeling better and has committed to stocking higher numbers of trout into our lakes once he gets back to 100% health.
Mogollon Rim lakes trout fishing rated as good
Trout fishing reports on all Rim Lakes is fair with a couple of lakes reporting good fishing. The overnight low temperature across the Rim is in the low 20s. The gate at Woods Canyon Lake is closed but the SR 300 road remains open. Right now the hike from the road to the lake is about a mile. However, when the SR300 road closes due to snow, the hike will be more like seven miles. Some Rim lakes continue to report ice and partial ice conditions and some roads to the lakes have been closed. Anglers considering heading to any of the lakes on the Rim are advised to call a local bait shop, gas station or sporting store in the area to check road and lake conditions.
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