by Clifford Pirch
One of the keys to catching fish in the summer is locating good structure. By structure, I'm talking about topographic features that draw fish to a specific area. Most commonly these areas are points and underwater reefs. But, they can also be more subtle like a ditch in the middle of a vast flat or just a bend in a creek channel. After the spawn is over, fish really start to gang up on these types of areas. If you locate one, you could load the boat without having to move far at all.
Alamo: Fishing is good. White spinnerbaits and topwaters are catching fish early. Caroline rigged lizards are working well throughout the day. Crappie fishing is still good.
Apache: Fishing is fair. Topwaters and jerkbaits fished over ledges are producing some bass. Try steep bluffs at night with a Texas rigged worm or craw.
Bartlett: Fishing is fair. Try fishing artificial structure and brush in 10-15 feet with a Yamamoto Senko. This is also a good flathead lake to try. Live bait near the mouth of the Verde River should catch some big cats.
Canyon: Fishing is fair. Try fishing walls at night with Westy Worms and Texas rigs for a monster bass.
Pleasant: Fishing is good. Topwaters and jerkbaits over points should produce some fish early. Plastics on a split-shot or Caroline rig are catching fish during the day.
Roosevelt: Fishing is slow. Some topwater action still going on early and late in the day. Best action coming from worms and lizards fished on deep points. Catfishing has been good. Live bait is working best.
Saguaro: Fishing is fair. Yamamoto Senkos fished on a slack line are catching some big bass. Also try Westy worms on bluffs and points.
Cliff's Tip of the Week
Sometimes looking at a lake as a whole can be overwhelming. Try to keep things simple and pick a small area to start with. Look for the obvious structures in this area and pick them apart systematically with some of your confidence lures.
When you figure out what is going on in this area, you can apply that knowledge to the similar areas of the lake.
Cliff Pirch's Guide Service can be reached at (520) 978-3518.
Other fishing hot spots
Chevelon Canyon: Trout fishing is fair. Most fish being caught are within the slot and release is required. Best fishing is with KaslMaster, Z-ray, or Super Duper lures. Trout may be taken with artificial lures and flies only, and trout between 10 and 14 inches may not be possessed.
Bear Canyon: Trout fishing is fair. Best baits are green or rainbow Power Bait and worms. Recently stocked with catchable-sized trout.
Black Canyon: Trout fishing is fair to good. Best fishing is at sunrise or sunset. Try worms or Power Bait from shore and small lures or wooly worms in black, brown, or green colors from boats. Water level is up to the launch ramp.
Willow Springs: Trout fishing is fair to good. Green or rainbow Power Bait is working best from shore. Boaters should try trolling with small lures or flies or wooly worms; also try bottom fishing close to shore with worms if trolling isn't working well. Recently stocked with catchable-sized trout.
Woods Canyon: Trout fishing is fair: use worms or green or rainbow Power Bait from shore or troll small lures, such as Z-rays or Crickhoppers, or flies and wooly worms from boats. There is a store concession at the lake with boat rentals available. Recently stocked with catchable-sized trout.