Fishing Report: Roosevelt Lake & Mogollon Rim
Concern continues to rise among Rim Country anglers about the lack of rain and snow. Just like last winter, we got off to a good start in November but very little moisture has fallen since. In a typical year, there would be snow on the Rim and rain throughout the Roosevelt Lake watershed. The lack of water could have a huge impact on all of our fisheries next spring and contribute to deadly algae blooms in the Salt River lakes.
The water level in Roosevelt Lake rose one percent and now stands at 40-percent full; however, overall the lake has remained at the constant level for the past three months. The amount of water flowing into the lake from the Tonto Creek and Salt River is about half of the average flow rates for this time of year. The amount of water flowing into the lake continues to fall nearly every week.
Fishing on Roosevelt Lake is reported to be good. Fish are scattered throughout the water column and can be caught at several locations around the lake. Anglers reported using crankbaits, jerk-baits and spinnerbaits in 5 to 15 foot depths. A deep dropshot technique is successful at 10 to 20 foot depths on main lake points and spoons were reported successful in 30 foot and deeper depths. The hot spot for bass is at the ends of the lake where the water is entering the lake. During December, bait fish will move on instinct to flowing water and the bass will be in pursuit.
The water temperature is in the mid to high 50s degrees and is expected to continue to fall as overnight low temperatures drop. The water flowing into the lake is colder than in the water in the main portion of the lake. As the water temperature cools, fish metabolism will slow and they will retreat to deeper depths.
Crappie fishing improved recently and most anglers are saying that crappie fishing is good on Roosevelt Lake. Large schools of crappie are being located in 15-25 foot depths. Most crappie anglers continue to fish over the AZGFD artificical habitat structures (the habitat map has been updated with 3 NEW sites); however, a few anglers are slow trolling at a speed of less than 1 mph and a 1/8-ounce jighead with a curly tail grub. Shades of green, blue and silver, black and chartreuse are catching good numbers of crappie.
Mogollon Rim trout fishing slowing
The Mogollon Rim lakes fishing activity is slowing. It’s very cold on top of the Rim with a lot of wind. Some lakes are reporting partial ice cover and others are clear of ice. Fishing at Green Valley Lake continues to be excellent. The AZGFD Community Fishing Program provides stockings every other week during the cooler months. Green Valley Lake will be stocked next week with rainbow trout. Wet and dry flies, PowerBait, and small spinner-baits were the favorite baits reported by several shoreline anglers.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.