OK, let’s start with Mother’s Day ideas. (It's Sunday, remember?) Consider planning a trip to the high country where pine scents linger and rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout can make mom set her hook and etch a memory. Plus, if you live in lower elevations, it’s a cool relief. Mom deserves it. Or just bring family and friends. Heck, go alone. Woods Canyon Lake has a store and boat rentals. We’ll have stocked 2,000 rainbow trout into Woods Canyon through Friday, and it is stocked weekly with rainbows throughout the prime trout fishing season. We call it a classic “put and take” lake. Get the fish within 7-10 days after the stocking.
Or try some creek fishing (kids love it.) This week we're stocking Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek and the East Verde River.
Making fishy memories can be pretty simple – and cheap. For example, a Youth Combination Hunt and Fish license is only $5. This is required for youth ages 10-17. Like all our licenses, it’s now valid 365 days from the date of purchase. Why get kids into fishing? If you’ve ever heard a mother or father talk about taking their kids fishing for the first time, and what an incredible experience they had, you’ll know why.
Need a license? (Thought you'd never ask.) You can purchase one online.
MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
Note: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, State Trust lands, and Arizona Game and Fish Department Wildlife Areas.
BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.
BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. Anglers are catching trout on PowerBait in the mornings and evenings. The lake will be stocked this week with 1,580 rainbow trout. The lake level is down about 10 feet and launching boats is difficult.
CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good for carry-over trout.
WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake will be stocked this week with 1,896 rainbow trout.
WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent. The lake was stocked last week and will be stocked again this week with 2,000 rainbow trout. The Woods Canyon Lake store is open and boat rentals are available.
ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,103 feet, 49-percent full.
Gary Senft, Bass Pro at the Mesa BassPro Shops, reported seeing a ton of fry in the coves where there was trees and brush. So the latest waves of spawns seemed to be relatively successful.
May 3 report from James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:
Good morning, Rim Country anglers,
Bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake was called excellent this past week. The majority of fish are either spawning or in a post spawn. The post spawn fish are mostly being targeted by experienced anglers. These bass are crushing top-water baits, reaction baits and slowly-moving worm and crawdad imitation baits.
So basically, the bass are feeding heavily after spawning to regain strength and size. The top-water bite is happening from first light until mid-morning on most days, so look for bass chasing shad on the surface in shallow water along the shorelines, backs of covers or long shallow points. Reaction bites such as a spinner bait or crankbait were called good last week and even better on the windy days.
Later in the day, anglers reported using jigs, Texas rigs, Senkos, dropshot with a worm or crawdad imitation bait. Several anglers reported that the spawn activity slowed down considerably last week. But keep in mind, that bass will spawn well into June.
Two hot spots were reported last week; both are mid-lake locations -- Chub Bay and the Islands which are directly across the lake from the dam were recommended.
The crappie fishing was called poor this past week and a lot of anglers blamed the high winds. The crappie spawn is also winding down, so crappie should be schooling, but experienced crappie anglers are struggling to find even five crappie per trip. Hopefully the new moon this week and calmer waters next week will help the anglers. Trolling a 1/16-3/16-ounce jig hook with a 1-inch green & yellow (called a John Deere) or pumpkin & chartreuse color grub tail were reported slightly successful.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.