This week I received an e-mail from a new Payson resident, Brian, with a question concerning the Green Valley Lakes.
Brian catches lots of small bass out of the lakes but never any big ones. He asked if they are all stunted or if there are any big bass.
Yes, there are big bass in the Green Valley Lakes. The problem is, they didn't get big by falling easily for a fishing lure.
Sometimes big bass can be extremely wary and equally as hard to fool. However, they are still predators that need to eat and therefore can be caught.
One of the keys to catching big bass is you have to fish for them, specifically. Big bass don't make a living by feeding on every little minnow that comes along. They have learned that it is easier to chase fewer prey items that are bigger meals. This means they would probably be more likely to eat a six-inch trout or crappie than chase minnows along the bank, which is what most of our lures imitate.
For a better chance at catching a big bass at Green Valley, I would recommend up-sizing your lures. Big topwaters like the Boze Sumo Frog or the Zara Spook in a trout pattern should work well this time of year.
Good luck fishing and let me know if you catch a big one!
To go fishing with Clifford Pirch, call (928) 468-5545 or you can e-mail any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apache: Fishing is fair. A few giant bass have been falling for topwater lures. Nighttime anglers have been successful fishing red- or bluegill-colored Wired Worms. Catfishing has been good with live bait for flatheads in the 10- to 20-pound range. Look for banks that hold lots of bluegills.
Bartlett: Fishing is excellent. Westy Worms and Yamamoto jigs are catching fish out of rock cover. There has also been great early morning topwater and crankbait action. Fish in the 1 1/2-pound range seem to be the most active.
Canyon: Fishing is fair. Topwater lures have been the best trick to catching stubborn bass. Some anglers have also had success with crankbaits in the morning hours.
Pleasant: Fishing is fair. Ten-inch Power Worms and Westy Worms are your best bet for bass. Stripers and white bass have been biting on topwaters and spoons. Watch for shad boils for the best action.
Roosevelt: Fishing is excellent. Look for fish to be feeding on shad near the surface. Topwater lures like the Sugoi Splash have been doing the trick this week. This seems to be the best bait to mimic the size of this spring's shad hatch. Fishermen are also still catching lots of bass on worms.
Saguaro: Fishing is good. Yellow bass have been providing lots of action. Try fishing small spoons and tailspinners. Fishing for largemouth has been best with worms. Six-inch straight-tail worms seem to be the best choice.
Other fishing hot spots
Chevelon Canyon Lake: Fishing is fair to good. Anglers should try small lures such as Z-Rays, Panther Martin spinners, and rainbow trout colored Rapalas. Small flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, and peacock ladies should work. Trout between 10-14 inches cannot be kept.
Bear Canyon Lake: Will be stocked this week. Fishing is fair to good. Anglers should try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, small lures and flies.
Willow Springs Lake: Is stocked weekly with catchable-sized rainbow trout. Has received recent bonus stockings of trout as well. Try Power Bait, worms or salmon eggs. Lures such as Z-Rays and Panther Martin spinners and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers are also effective. Fish early in the morning and late in the evening.
Woods Canyon Lake: Is stocked weekly with catchable-sized rainbow trout. Has received recent bonus stockings of trout as well. Try Power Bait, worms or salmon eggs. Lures such as Z-Rays and Panther Martin spinners and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers are also effective. Fish early in the morning and late in the evening.