Expert Advice For The Beginning Bass Fisherman

FISH & TIPS

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This week, Ben Leininger asks, "What is the best equipment for a first time, beginner bass fisherman?" Good question, Ben, because most beginning fishermen probably look at a fishing report and don't know one thing from another.

If you're just getting started, you're probably going to need a medium action spinning rod and reel. Something like an Allstar IM10X medium fast action would be a great choice. This is a good all-around rod that allows you to use a number of techniques from the same rod. For line, you want a clear or green tinted, low memory light line in about 8-pound test. The low memory is important if you're not going to be out on the water every day, and 8-pound is a good workable size for most techniques.

Finally, you want to choose a couple of lures that will work well during the spring season. I would recommend having a spinnerbait in white or chartreuse, a Rat-L-Trap in chrome blue, and a couple of good worm colors in a soft handpour like the Sweetwater Nightcrawler or Neon Melon.

Thanks for the question, and let me know how those lure choices work for you.

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

Lake Reports

Apache: Fishing is fair to good. In-line spinners, crankbaits and spinnerbaits have been producing some quality bass. Early morning and late afternoon has been the best time for action.

Bartlett: Fishing is good. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits have been working well. Jigs and worms are also catching some fish. Most of the fish are small, but the numbers have been good. Most of the lake is off colored to muddy from recent runoff, but it hasn't hurt the fishing much. Choose darker plastics for the muddy water.

Pleasant: Fishing is slow. Drop shotting or Carolina rigging have been the most productive strategies. Secondary points along creek channels are all holding fish. Soft jerkbaits are working at times, but don't count on it if the fishing pressure is heavy.

Roosevelt: Fishing is fair. The crappie fishing has been off and on. Many anglers have been catching five to 10 fish a day. The lake is coming up and fishing should continue to improve.

Saguaro: Fishing is fair to good. Jigs and worms fished along the edges of the channel have been fairly productive for bass. Also, try the Castaic swimbaits for a lunker. This is the place to catch some quality fish right now. An angler from Tonto Basin caught two fish over 9 pounds last week.

Other fishing hot spots

MOGOLLON RIM

Angler's Note: Check the weather and road conditions. Expect ice.

Chevelon Canyon: Winter conditions prevail.

Bear Canyon: Winter conditions prevail.

Black Canyon: Winter conditions prevail.

Willow Springs: Winter conditions prevail.

Woods Canyon: Winter conditions prevail.

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.

NORTHEASTERN ARIZONA

Note To Anglers: Winter conditions prevail at most higher elevation lakes --xpect ice. Roads may be closed.

Lyman: Fishing is fair. Try fishing near rocky outcroppings. Try using worms, power bait, crankbaits, Rapalas or jigs. There is a health advisory for Lyman Lake. Mercury levels were detected in the fish. Children under the age of six should not eat any fish from the lake.

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