Fish& Tips

Fish aren't biting? Maybe it's time to change your bait

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I've heard countless theories why there is such tough fishing at Roosevelt this summer. Many blame the record daytime temperatures that we encountered in early May. Some people blame an algae bloom that became visible several weeks ago. Others point to falling water levels due to summer irrigation as the reason the fish are not biting.

These are all good observations but they are also something that the fish encounter every year to some degree.

If you look at some of the conditions that existed throughout the spring, there are clues that lead us to the fishing we are experiencing this June. In February and March we had ample rainfall that was broken weekly with sunny days. This allowed for tremendous weed growth along the shores of our low desert lakes like Roosevelt. Then take into account the rising water level that never once dropped due to pre-irrigation for agriculture. All of these factors produced one of the most successful spawns in recent history. A successful spawn makes food so plentiful that the fish don't have to make much of an effort to eat.

What does all of this mean to a fisherman, you ask? Why chase a fast moving bait when a baby crappie will curiously swim by in another minute or so? That's why the few fish that you catch are fat as a football and hard to fool.

Lake Reports

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 good. Topwater crankbaits are working well. Fishing after dark with plastics has been veru productive. Try fishing steep areas around Burnt Corral, Turtle Island and the dam. The flathead fishing is good in the river.

Bartlett: Fishing is fair. The Westy Worm bite is picking up on points and rockpiles. Fishing is good for both channel and flathead catfish.

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 are producing some fish early and late in the day. However, the best bite is coming from 5-10 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. Also try small shad and crappie imitations. Catfishing has been good. Live bait is working best Crappie fishing is fair at 16 to 20 feet.

Saguaro: Fishing is fair. Try fishing Westy worms and flipping jigs on bluffs and points.

If the fish aren't biting, down-size your baits and slow down your retrieve speed. Try to present the fish with a good imitation of the baby shad, crappie and bass that are so plentiful this summer. Colors like silver, clear and bass green are all good choices right now.

Pirch's Guide Service can be reached at (520) 978-3518.

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