If you're headed to Roosevelt this weekend, be sure to take some gear for crappie fishing. The full moon this week should mark the peak of the spawn and provide some pretty good fishing.
If you're not into trolling or fishing in big crowds like me, you might try just fishing down the bank like you would for bass. Just take a 2-inch grub or a tiny tube bait and pitch it to the bank at targets like rocks or weeds. With the grub, you just retrieve it slowly back to the boat and set the hook at the slightest tick in the line. With the tube lure, you can add a small bobber at about two feet and target the same type of cover. This works really well because you can suspend your lure in a certain spot without moving it. Pitch this combination in to the bank and let it set for a couple seconds and then snap it once or twice to give it some action. If you don't get a fish after 15 seconds or so just reel in and throw to a new target.
For any of your tackle needs or to go fishing with Clifford Pirch call (928) 978-3518.
Apache: Fishing is fair to good. Jerkbaits, Senkos and splitshot-rigged worms are working well. Key on shallow flats and coves for the best action. Inline spinners are still working at times for smallmouth.
Bartlett: Fishing is good. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits have been working well early in the day. Plastic worms and lizards worked through shallow rocks and brush also has been productive.
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. Splitshot-rigged worms have been catching quite a few largemouth.
Roosevelt: Fishing is good. Fishing for crappies has been great with small grubs and minnows. Most fishermen have been trolling slowly in 8 to 14 feet of water. Casting to the shallows also has been good. Catfishing has been heating up as well.
Saguaro: Fishing is good. Jerkbaits and Senkos are working really well around shallow cover. Splitshot or Carolina rigged worms also are catching a lot of post-spawn bass on points.
Northern Arizona waters
Kaibab Lake: Lake is open. Stocked the week before last.
Cataract Lake: Lake is open. Water quality at the lake is not currently sufficient to stock trout.
City Reservoir: Stocked the week before last.
Dogtown Lake: Closed to all users this year, including anglers, to allow the Forest Service to renovate the campground and picnic areas.
Whitehorse Lake: Stocked the week before last. Lake is full.
JD Dam: Stocked the week before last.
Santa Fe: Stocked the week before last.
Lower Lake Mary: Was stocked with 5,600 trout two weeks ago. Prior to the cold windy weather last week, anglers were catching trout on Power Bait.
Upper Lake Mary: Lake is filling. A 20-pound northern pike was caught earlier this year.
Ashurst Lake: Stocked last week. A 17-pound northern pike was caught in January on a lure.
Kinnikinick Lake: No report. Scheduled for stocking the week of April 21 but received bonus stockings of trout last season and may have holdovers.
Oak Creek: Flows have reduced -- brown trout were being caught prior to the runoff. Look for brown trout fishing to be good. Scheduled for stocking with rainbow trout.
Long Lake: Lake is open. Large catches of northern pike have been reported the past two weeks. The trout should start getting active.
Soldiers & Soldiers Annex: Soldiers Lake is full and Soldiers Annex is filling.
Beaver & West Clear Creek: No report. Stocked last week.
Stoneman Lake: Has picked up some water, but no stocking is planned.
Blue Ridge: Open and accessible. Water level is high and it could have water over the spillway by the time you read this. Not scheduled for stocking until May but should have holdovers. It is expected to be a hot spot this spring.
Knoll Lake: Road is closed. Not scheduled for stocking until May.
Verde River: Fishing has been slow but a few trout were still being caught around the Tuzigoot Bridge and Bignotti. Trout were stocked at the White Bridge in Camp Verde over the weekend for a fishing workshop. Anglers were having great luck on these fish using Power Bait, corn, worms and spinners. Stockings have concluded for the season, as water temperatures will rise quickly in April.
Note to anglers: Many lakes may have muddy water due to runoff, which may make angling difficult. Windy and cold weather over the past week lowered angler use.
Lynx Lake: Trout are scheduled for stocking every week in April. Fishing improved last week with stockings of brown trout. Around 12,000 brown trout are scheduled for Lynx in April. Brown's will take spinners, flies, worms and small minnow lures. Brown trout do not take Power Bait as readily as rainbow trout do.
Fain Lake: Trout are due to be stocked next week. Some brown trout will be stocked into Fain as well this month.
Mogollon Rim waters
Note to anglers: Snow was expected this week, so check with the U.S. Forest Service about road conditions.
Chevelon Canyon Lake: The 300/169 road to the lake has some snowdrifts. The north end of FS 169 is open to the lake. It can be accessed by taking the FS 504 Road from Heber-Overgaard, or by coming down FS 169 from Winslow.
Bear Canyon Lake: The Forest Service 300 road has some snowdrifts and downed trees so access to the lake is still closed.
Black Canyon Lake: This fishery is open, accessible, full of water and recently stocked with rainbow trout. Haven't heard from anglers yet: give the Pinetop region or the Phoenix office a call.
Willow Springs Lake: The road to the lake is open. It's full of carryover trout. Fishing is fair to good. Many anglers have reported catching limits of trout averaging 12 inches long. Try worms, Power Bait, lures, and flies.
Woods Canyon Lake: The FS 300 (Rim Road) is still closed so the lake is not accessible.
Green Valley Lake: Fishing is fair to good 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.