The nice thing about fall fishing is that you don't have to show up at the lake at the crack of dawn to be successful.
There are definitely some good opportunities for the early riser because the fishing has been excellent before the sun comes up. However, I've noticed that the best time to catch fish lately is right in the middle of the day when most of the fishermen have left the lake. Not only does the fishing get good, but most of the bigger fish that I've caught have come during this time period.
For all your tackle needs or to go fishing with Cliff Pirch, stop by The Tackle Box, located at milepost 261 in Tonto Basin.
Apache: Fishing is excellent. Buzzbaits and other topwaters have been working well. There is also a pretty decent crankbait bite on the main lake.
Pleasant: Fishing is good. Drop-shot worms and Carolina-rigged 4-inch lizards are catching quite a few bass. Topwater action is spotty but good if you find it.
Roosevelt: Fishing is excellent. Four-inch worms are catching tons of bass under the slot limit. For bigger fish, anglers have been successful with crankbaits, topwaters and spoons. Fishing for crappies has been great also. Most of the action has been from 10 to 20 feet trolling small grubs.
Saguaro: Fishing is fair. Topwaters and jerkbaits have been catching some fish. Drop-shotting has also been productive.
Chevelon Canyon: Fishing is fair to good for rainbow trout. Try Z-Rays, Panther Martin spinners, Rapalas and flies (wooly worms, wooly buggers and peacock ladies). Anglers are catching rainbow trout on wooly worms. Brown trout should be starting their spawning runs up Chevelon Creek. Try gold or silver Rapalas and crayfish-colored crankbaits.
Bear Canyon: Fishing is fair to good. Try worms, Power Bait, lures and flies. Trout should be cruising the shorelines.
Black Canyon: The boat ramp is accessible. Fishing is fair to good for rainbow trout. Try using worms and Power Bait, as well as Z-Rays, Panther Martin spinners and Crickhopper lures. Flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers and peacock ladies are also effective. There is no oxygen below 9 feet in the deeper parts of the lake, so fish shallow. A green algae bloom is still present.
Willow Springs: The boat ramp is accessible. Fishing is good. Try worms, Power Bait, lures or flies. This lake also has largemouth bass. An 11-pound rainbow trout was caught in mid-September. One angler reported good success on black wooly worms.
Woods Canyon: The boat ramp is accessible. The fishing is good. Try worms, Power Bait, lures and flies.
Green Valley Lake: There will be 1,000 rainbow trout stocked Oct. 17 to start the winter season. Fishing is fair to good. This lake is part of the urban fishing program. The lake contains rainbow trout, bluegill and catfish. Power Bait, salmon eggs and worms are effective. Try crappie jigs, small Rapalas, crankbaits and small spoons.
Chevelon Creek: Try worms, Power Bait, lures and flies in the deeper pools.