Key To Finding Fish Is Depth

FISH & TIPS

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With the fishing still fairly slow at Roosevelt, most anglers have been opting for Apache Lake. One of the keys to catching bass at Apache lately is fishing shad patterns. Usually January is one of the strongest months for fishing crawdad patterns, but it just hasn't happened yet this year. Most of the high tournament finishes have come on jigging spoons, jerkbaits and inline spinners in recent weeks. All of these patterns depend on the depth of the shad. The key to catching these fish is finding the right tool to cover the proper depth. I've noticed that during the daytime when the sun is brightest, the shad retreat to a depth of around 40 feet. That's where the jigging spoon becomes the ideal tool to target this zone.

During the low light hours, I've watched the shad move closer and closer to the surface -- especially in the late evening. All of the active fish usually follow these shad, and the shallow fishing starts to improve. Inline spinners and jerkbaits start to work well as they are fished through this shallow zone.

Don't be afraid to experiment with new techniques, but be sure to keep the standby shad patterns in your arsenal for now.

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. Crankbaits and inline spinners have been working well for smallmouth bass. Following schools of shad with a jigging spoon has been productive for all species. The best action has been in the afternoon and evening hours.

Canyon: Fishing is slow. Yellow bass continue to be the most active fish. Jigging spoons and tailspinners are working best. Some giant largemouth have been falling for Castaic Trout swimbaits.

Pleasant: Fishing is fair to good. Drop shot rigs and spoons are working well for bass mainly in 20-40 feet. Stripers and white bass have been failing for spoons if you can locate the shad.

Roosevelt: Fishing is slow. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished shallow are catching a few bass. Several anglers have also been catching bass on split shot rigged Roboworms.

Saguaro: Fishing is slow. Some trout have been falling for small spinners like Panther Martins or Don's Dragonfly near the boat ramps. Bass fishermen have had some success with worms on points and ledges.

Mogollon Rim

Angler's Note: Check the weather and road conditions. Expect ice. Colder weather at night will cause the higher elevation lakes to freeze over.

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. Roads may be closed.

Becker: Has opened up during the milder weather. Thin-ice conditions may exist around the rim of the lake in the morning. No fishing reports.

Big Lake: Winter conditions prevail.

Concho Lake: Has opened up during the milder weather. Thin-ice conditions may exist around the rim of the lake in the morning. No fishing reports.

Crescent: Winter conditions prevail.

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