Word out of Roosevelt Lake is the crappie fishing is heating up.
According to recent reports from Arizona Game and Fish, action is "starting to pick up" and fisherman are boating 15 to 20 fish per day.
Word-of-mouth reports from anglers who've visited the lake recently are much more enthusiastic.
Some anglers have had catches of 40-plus fish most of which were over the one-pound mark. Small jigs, minnows and curly tailed grubs fished about 20 feet deep over a 40-foot bottom have been successful fishing strategies.
Seasoned fishermen attribute the good angling to the warm, sunny weather that encompassed Gila County most of last week.
For bass fishermen, angling is also reported good with numbers of slot bass being caught. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are popular choices.
During the winter months, most choose to fish in 30-plus feet of water where most of the action is.
A handful of wiley veterans, however, opt for water less than 15 feet deep where huge lunkers come up every few days searching for food. The fish are usually only in the shallows for a few hours, so good luck plays a roll in filling your creel.
I don't know if it's a proven scientific fact or an old wives' tale, but my father a darn good bass angler said the best shallow bite occurs during the time of a full moon.
Pa, who fished mostly Lake Mead and Powell but said his strategies worked most anywhere, always fished near the rocky shores using crawdad-colored crankbaits and jigs.
His theory was female bass needed crawdads during the fall and winter to develop properly.
The water level at Roosevelt has risen to 25 percent of capacity. That makes the lake a 9,259 surface acre sized body of water.
If you're looking for an expert guide to help out on your next outing, there are two excellent ones living near the lake Curt Rambo (479-2512) and Clifford Pirch (520-978-3518)