Fisherman John Powers from Payson High School asks, “What kind of river or lake bottoms are preferred by bass?”
It’s hard to make specific rules for bass, but there are some higher percentage spots to look. I usually choose a hard bottom where scattered rocks meet solid rock or clay. This is the type of area where lots of food can live and hide from predators like bass. This food population, however, tends to draw more predators to wait for baitfish or crawdads that stray too far away from cover.
I usually steer clear of areas that have been silted in by mud. These areas don’t provide a good place for fish to live unless there is some type of vegetation for cover. Thanks for the question, John, and keep close to that rock cover.
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Apache: Fishing is fair to good. Some topwater action has still been taking place. However, most anglers have had the best success with in-line spinners.
Canyon: Fishing is good if you like catching yellow bass. Spooning has been the most productive way to target these fish.
Pleasant: Fishing is tough. Some anglers have caught fish on 4” worms but they’re mostly small fish. There have been a few reports of good shad boils, but they’re very difficult to find. Fishing tubes and soft jerkbaits in the river have been productive at times.
Roosevelt: Fishing is good. Fishing Texas rigged worms and drop shotting worms has been very productive. Some anglers have also had good luck with spinnerbaits and crankbaits.
Mogollon Rim Waters
Chevelon Canyon Lake: Fishing is fair. The spawning season is under way for brown trout, and anglers should try fishing near the mouth of Chevelon Creek and up the creek. Use lures such as Z-Rays, Panther Martin spinners, and Rapalas. Flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, and peacock ladies should work. Trout between 10-14 inches may not be possessed.
Bear Canyon Lake: Fishing is fair. Anglers should try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, small lures and flies.
Black Canyon Lake: The road to the lake is open, but no trout survived after the fire. The lake is very low and contains ash and sediment from summer rains. Oxygen levels are still low. The lake is being monitored monthly.
Willow Springs Lake: Fishing is fair. 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. This lake also has largemouth bass.
Woods Canyon Lake: Fishing is fair. 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. This lake also has largemouth bass.
Green Valley Lake: This fishery is part of the urban fishing program and requires an urban fishing license. The lake contains rainbow trout, bluegills, and catfish. Power Bait, salmon eggs and worms are effective. Try Crappie jigs, small Rapalas, crankbaits and small spoons.
Chevelon Creek: Anglers should try bait (worms, Power Bait or salmon eggs), small lures and flies in the deeper pools of the creek.
Northern Arizona Waters
Santa Fe: Water level extremely low. Has not been stocked this year.
Lower Lake Mary: Lake is dry.
Upper Lake Mary: If you are interested in catching a large northern pike now is the time. Try any lure that looks like a minnow or rainbow trout.
Ashurst Lake: Fishing is good. Try worms, corn or Power Bait.
Kinnikinick Lake: Fishing is fair. Try worms, corn or Power Bait.
Oak Creek: Good for rainbows. Fair for browns. Try Power Bait, corn or worms.
Long Lake: Northern pike are being caught in large numbers. Now is your chance to catch a new state record. Try any lure that looks like a minnow. If coming from the valley, bring water dogs. Trout fishing has picked up and some very nice fish are being caught. Launching a large boat could be a problem as the boat ramp is out of the water and access is very shallow.
Blue Ridge: Trout fishing is excellent. Power Bait in any color is popular.
Knoll Lake: Trout fishing is excellent. Try corn, Power Bait or worms. Launching a boat can be difficult from a boat trailer. The ramp is approximately 30 feet out of the water.
Verde River: Trout stockings start this week, so fishing should be OK. The Deadhorse State Park in Cottonwood is open. Some folks have been having some limited success catching channel catfish at the Deadhorse lagoon. Please continue to use extreme caution as restrictions are still in place on open fires and smoking.
Lynx Lake: Trout were stocked two weeks ago. The next stocking is scheduled for the week of Nov. 17. Fishing was slow over the weekend. Remember that Lynx has little oxygen below six feet of water, so fish shallow. This condition will change later in the fall when the lake “turns over.” When this happens, the lake will have the same amount of oxygen from the deepest parts to the surface.