Try Shallow Water For Spawning Fish



On a recent trip to the lake, I heard several different fishermen talking about how good the fishing was last week. They were fishing around some secondary points just outside of a small cut, but they were no longer catching many fish.

When I heard this, I went inside to shallower water and immediately started catching fish. The fish had moved in shallower to spawn. This is a typical spawning migration during the spring.

Fortunately, there are many different waves of fish that move in to spawn. If you miss a group, it's not too late because there will be more.

But, there are a couple things you can do to keep up with the fish as they go through this process.

You need to adjust to the depth the fish are in each time you go. This means try shallower or deeper than the last time depending on where they're at in the spawn.

A good rule you can follow anytime you find fish in the spring is to keep moving shallower with them until they hit the bank. Then you just reverse the process and follow them back out after they spawn.

The major movements will follow creek channels and the fish will stop to feed on features that hold up food like points or pockets.

For any of your tackle needs or to go fishing with Clifford Pirch, call (928) 978-3518.

Lake Reports

Apache: Fishing is good. Spinnerbaits have been working well anytime the wind is blowing. Anglers have been catching lots of bass in the three pound range. Also try split shotting worms on flats and shallow points.

Bartlett: Fishing is good. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits have been working well early in the day. Plastic worms and lizards have been a good choice for probing the shallows throughout the day.

Pleasant: Fishing is fair to good. Jerkbaits and shad colored crankbaits have been working well, especially for white bass. Look for the best action in the back of all the creek channels.

Roosevelt: Fishing is fair. The crappies have been fairly sporadic. Some days have seen pretty good action and others have been slow. Bass fishing has been decent with shallow cranks and spinnerbaits. The key is to cover lots of shallow water.

Saguaro: Fishing is fair to good. Carolina rigged lizards and worms are working well along the edges of the channel and on shallow flats. Jerkbaits have also been productive on windy banks.

Other Arizona fishing spots

Mogollon Rim

Note to anglers: Forest Service Road 300 (the Rim Road) is closed due to winter snow. Contact the Black Mesa Ranger District office in Heber for up-to-date information on road conditions. Ice can still be expected on some of the rim lakes. However, ice should be considered unsafe due to warming conditions this time of year.

Chevelon Canyon: Winter snow conditions prevail. Access roads are closed.

Bear Canyon: Winter snow conditions prevail. Access roads in the area are closed.

Black Canyon: Scheduled for stocking this week. The lake is open but there are 6 to 10 inches of snow on the ground. The road about two miles from the lake is snow packed and muddy. Oxygen and pH readings look good and the water temperature was 44 degrees March 14. The lake level has risen four feet. The lake was stocked with catchable and fingerling rainbow trout in November.

Willow Springs: Winter snow conditions prevail. Gate is closed. It is scheduled for stocking this week if the truck can get in. Received bonus stockings of trout last season, so should have plenty of holdover trout.

Woods Canyon: Winter conditions prevail. Gate is closed. Not accessible. Received bonus stockings of trout last year, so it should have plenty of holdovers.

Green Valley Lake: Fishing has been good to excellent, with most anglers catching limits of feisty trout. 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 Canyon: Winter conditions prevail.

Northern Arizona waters

Note to anglers: Many lakes may have muddy water due to runoff, which may make angling difficult. The lakes in the Williams area have received sufficient runoff to allow them to be stocked.

Flagstaff lakes

Lower Lake Mary: Lake is filling. Stocked with 5,600 trout last week.

Upper Lake Mary: Lake is filling. A 20-pound northern pike has been caught this year.

Ashurst: Will be stocked this week. A 17-pound northern pike was in January on a lure. The ditch from Coconino is running. Fish near the ditch for trout and pike.

Kinnikinick: No report. Scheduled for stocking the week of April 21, but received bonus stockings of trout last season and may have holdovers.

Oak Creek: High flows this week have impacted fishing - Brown trout were being caught last week during the short time of lower flows. Look for brown trout fishing to be good when flows recede. Scheduled for stocking is flows allow.

Long Lake: Lake is open. Large catches of northern pike have been reported the past two weeks. The trout should start getting active.

Soldiers and Soldiers Annex: Soldiers Lake is full and Soldiers Annex is filling.

Williams lakes

Kaibab: Lake is open. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

Cataract: Lake is open. Scheduled to be stocked next week.

City Reservoir: No fish. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

Dogtown: The Lake will be closed to all users, including anglers, this year to allow the Forest Service to renovate the campground and picnic areas.

Whitehorse: No fish. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

JD Dam: The lake is open, but access is difficult. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

Santa Fe: Lake is filling. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

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