With an abundance of new, flooded vegetation in most of our desert lakes, it can be hard to pinpoint the prime targets where fish are holding.
Many of our lakes went from little or no cover, to so much of it that it all looks good.
When you get too much cover, you have to really pay attention to where you catch each fish. You can often build a pattern by isolating a certain feature that makes one piece of cover better than another.
You may find that the vegetation that grows around a rock vein might hold a lot more fish than vegetation that covers flat ground.
However, most of the areas that support good vegetation growth are sandy or silted in. That's when you have to look for more subtle features like ditches or areas where a thick line of vegetation makes a sharp point or an inlet.
These kinds of features make great ambush points for hiding predators.
For any of your tackle needs or to go fishing with Clifford Pirch call (928) 978-3518.
Cliff's Tip of the Week
Now that most of the fishing will be done in the shallows it is important to keep boat noise to a minimum. Try to keep from dropping things on the floor of the boat because this puts any fish in the area on high alert.
Apache: Fishing is fair. Fishing with live minnows for all species has been productive. A number of soft plastics are also good for targeting the massive numbers of fish in the shallows.
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. White bass have been providing the best action, but largemouth, crappies and stripers have all been active in recent days. Key on shallows and secondary points that lead to the shallows.
Roosevelt: Fishing is fair. There have been a few good reports for crappies. Small grubs or minnows in 5-10 feet seem to be the best strategy. Bass fishing has gotten a little tougher. Some action has come on split shot rigs and rattling cranks.
Saguaro: Fishing is fair to good. Carolina rigged lizards and worms are working well along the edges of the channel and on shallow flats. This is a great place to go if you're looking for some quality largemouth.
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: Winter snow conditions prevail. 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.
Woods Canyon: Winter conditions prevail. Gate is closed. Not accessible.
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.
Note to anglers: Winter conditions prevail at most higher elevation lakes -- expect ice and lots of snow. Roads may be closed to some waters.
Becker: Fishing is fair. Anglers should try flies, such as wooly worms in brown or black colors. Small spinners (Mepps and Panther Martins), Z-rays and KastMasters are also effective. The lake may only be fished using artificial lures and flies through May 24. There is a two-fish limit. The lake level has risen and the boat ramp is usable. The water temperature was 48 degrees.