If you've never been to Apache Lake, now is the time. The amazing rock formations and canyon walls are enough to draw most people there. Add great bass fishing and it could be a real treat. Apache has a reputation of being fairly stingy with its big largemouth and smallmouth bass, but this lake is my top pick of the week. With five limits of fish over 25 pounds weighed in at a tournament last weekend, you have a pretty good chance of catching the big one.
Alamo: Fishing is good. Topwaters are catching fish early. Carolina rigged lizards are working well throughout the day. Flipping plastics in heavy cover is also producing some largemouth. Crappie fishing is still good.
Apache: Fishing is excellent. topwaters, crankbaits and plastics are all working well. Try fishing steep areas around Burnt Corral, Turtle Island and the dam. Flatheads are biting well in the river.
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. Steve Molinari from Fisherman's Choice says topwaters and jerkbaits over points should produce some fish early and late in the day. Try Ricos and the Dog-X in shad colors. However, the best bite is coming from 5 to 10 in the evening on Westy Worms and Carolina rigs.
Roosevelt: Fishing is slow. Some bass are being caught on worms and lizards fished on deep points. Catfishing is good, with live bait working best. Crappie fishing is fair at 18 to 20 feet.
Saguaro: Fishing is fair. Molinari says try Westy worms and flipping jigs on bluffs and points.
Cliff's tip of the Week
Last week I talked about structure fishing in the summer. Structure areas are often good holding points for bass but they can even be better by locating a single piece of cover on the structure. When you pull up to your structure area pay attention to where your bites come from. There might be a stump or a bush where the fish are holding. You might also notice a change in the texture of the bottom by dragging your weight around the area. Patches of rocks on a clay bottom can make all the difference if that's where the fish are.
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 KastMaster, 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 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.