Fishing Report: Roosevelt Lake, Mogollon Rim
From Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:
The water level in Roosevelt Lake continues to be a concern for many. The water level fell in the first ten days of May nearly one vertical foot after falling over two vertical feet during April. Currently the water level stands at 55% full and the flow into the lake from the Salt River is at 12% of the normal rate for this time of year. For the first time in many years, the Salt River flow into Roosevelt Lake fell below 100 CFPS, it currently stands at 98 CFPS. Tonto Creek stopped flowing several weeks ago. With ambient temperatures at the lake now over 100 degrees, these conditions could develop into a serious situation for the fishery.
Bass fishing reports continues to be good to very good. A small crank-bait in the SR5 size is catching good numbers of bass in the 12″ to 14″ range. This bait targets bass in 10 feet of water or less. With the spawning activities generally over and the temperatures increasing, bass are moving to deeper depths for cooler water and safety. Anglers are finding success using an artificial worm on a drop-shot technique and a jig fished on a Texas-rig. These techniques will catch fish at a depth of 15 feet to 25 feet.
Spring crappie fishing reports have been good but have fallen off recently. The amount of water drawn out of the lake during April most likely had an affect on the crappie spawn. Just as anglers reported seeing crappie spawn, the water level began to fall. When that happens crappie will abandon beds to move to safety at deeper depths. Anglers are reporting crappie are orienting to cover such as trees and brush or structure including ledge overhangs and drop off areas. Look for schools of crappie in the 20 foot to 25 foot range.
Mogollon Rim fishing report
Trout anglers are enjoying lakes and streams throughout Rim Country. Stocked lakes include Woods Canyon, Willow Springs and Bear Canyon while streams include Canyon, Christopher, Haigler, Tonto, East Verde and more. The AZGFD summer trout stocking program provides trout fishing at easy access locations and quality fish for the entire family to enjoy. PowerBait, spinners and small nymphs are good choices for spinning rod applications. For fly fishing enthusiasts terrestrials, nymphs and at some elevations, cicada imitations are catching quality native and stocked trout.
Mogollon Sporting Association banquet
Rim Country and the Town of Payson are filled with excitement during May. Many outdoor enthusiasts are talking about the Mogollon Sporting Association banquet which awarded over 70 high quality firearms and hunting bows. A record number of people attended the banquet this year and early indications are that it was a very successful night for Rim Country youth and wildlife projects. Anglers are also excited about the Wild West Bass Trail Team Championship and the final day weigh-in at Green Valley Park. Several local angling teams have represented Rim Country by qualifying for the Championship event. Other exciting news is the Payson Wildlife Fair at Green Valley Park. The AZGFD waived a fishing license for this event and the Mogollon Sporting Association allocated funding for an additional stocking of rainbow trout. The Payson Wildlife Fair is an excellent opportunity for youth to experience wildlife, conservation and enjoy a day of free fishing.
Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods can be reached at 480-495-1351