Heading away from a full moon, the use of submersible lights will become a more effective option for catching stripers in such lakes as Lake Pleasant. In general, the top-water bite seems to be worth a shot, but hardly on fire.
It’s also a great time to fish the creeks below the Mogollon Rim. They are family memory makers, too. When fishing these creeks, it’s not necessary to bring the master tackle box. Fish with grubs or grasshoppers if you can find them and float them through the ripples with no weights on a small hook (No. 10 or 12) and light lines (around 6-pound test -- fluorocarbon if possible).
Despite the fishing pressure, Woods Canyon Lake continues to be a hot spot. It’s no wonder. We stock about 55,000 fish per year into Woods. We just stocked another 3,030 rainbow trout into this department-built fishery on the edge of the Mogollon Rim. Nearby Willow Springs Lake is another great bet, although probably crowded as well on weekends. Get to both early for a camping spot. Fish deep in the early morning or late afternoons.
Also being stocked in the White Mountains are: Fool Hollow Lake (400 large, 13-inch rainbow trout); Show Low Lake (850 large, 13-inch rainbow trout); Willow Springs Lake (1,895 rainbow trout); and Silver Creek (500 Apache trout).
WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked twice last week and will be stocked twice again this week with 3,030 rainbow trout. Fish early morning or evening when the fish are most active. Otherwise the fish congregate just above the thermocline and will be suspended in a narrow band within the water column somewhere between 15 to 20 feet deep, depending upon where the thermocline is located. The Woods Canyon Lake store is open and boat rentals are available.ROOSEVELT LAKE – (2.090 feet, 39-percent full). Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods with an Aug. 9 report: Bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake was called good this past week. Bass are chasing shad in the shallow portions of coves at first light. The duration of that bite varies day to day but seems to be getting slightly better each week.
Several top-water baits were successful and a just-under-the-water bait such as a Super Fluke produced good numbers. As soon as the sun comes over the mountains, it’s time to switch to the bottom. Experienced anglers are fishing 3/8-1/2-ounce jigs made by Clifford Pirch Outdoors or a Texas-rigged Roboworm.
During the midday, bites are hard to come by, but at dusk until well after dark, the bite picks up again mostly on a dropshot technique or a jig. Tomorrow we'll have a full moon, so nighttime fishing will be a lot of fun this coming week.
The water level dropped one percent this past week and is currently at 39-percent full.
There is still more than a million acre-feet of water in the lake, so even though the level is down at this time of year, we don't have a risk of the water getting too low. A concern with the lower Salt River and Tonto flows into the lake is an algae bloom which can kill fish. This year so far, we have avoided any significant issues, but we'll always take more rain and flow into our lakes.
The two major ramps at Windy Hill and Cholla Recreational Sites are in great shape and there are no issues launching your boat from those ramps. The water temperature is in the mid-80s in the morning, increasing to the high-80s or low-90s in the afternoon. Those water temperatures tell you why anglers are fishing in 20-feet-or-more depths of water where the water temperatures are lower.
The crappie bite was called good this past week. According to Curt Rambo, a very experienced Tonto Basin crappie angler, crappie prefer more stable weather and will remain in larger schools given those conditions. So as long as the monsoon storms aren't too strong, the crappie bite should continue to be active.
A vertical presentation directly into a submerged brush or log using a Lil Fishy or a 2-inch green and chartreuse grub tail bait, was the most successful technique reported. Anglers are reporting crappie to be mainly in 20-30 foot depths.
Trout stockings by the AZGFD are continuing for many of the Rim lakes and streams. However towards the end of September, the stockings begin to wind down. The crowds are lower right now so it's a great time for some relaxing fishing with the family. Powerbaits, salmon eggs and worms are great summertime trout baits. Dry flies on a 5-weight rod is a favorite setup by experienced fly anglers fishing Rim lakes.