Lake Is Settling Down, Triggering Good Spring Fishing


Crappie fishing on Roosevelt Lake is usually in high gear by April 1, with numerous stories of catching big numbers of these tasty panfish.

With the heavy runoff and the rapidly rising lake levels, these fish have actually slowed their annual spawning run tohe shallow waternto many of the popular coves.
Most springtime crappie fishermen are trying to figure out the new lake with thousands of acres ofelcomed submerged brush and shorelines thatre hundreds of yards from last seasons high-water mark.


Jim Goughnour, owner of Rim Country Custom Rods, with a large, black crappie caught while fishing at Roosevelt Lake.

If youave drawn a blank from March visits to the lake, don't get discouraged, the lake is settling down and water temperatures are gradually rising, which is triggering the springtime crappie bite.

Concentrate your fishingt the mouth of the Salt or the Tonto Creek area, becausehe water temperature in these two areas warms far quicker than the main body of the lake. Longtime Tonto Basin resident and avid crappie fisherman, Curt Rambo says, "the warmer nighttime temperatures are critical in triggering the spawn where the fish will be in 5 feet of water or less."

I particularly enjoy this time of year on Roosevelt where sight fishing for crappies can greatly increase your chances of putting a few fish in the livewell.

Obviously, finding clearer water is very important when one is looking for those shadows in the submerged brush or in shallow water. Wearing auality pair of polarized sunglasses with a yellow or amber lens greatly improves your chances of seeing the fish before they see you.

Watching the fish actually strike the bait is a bit unnerving and certainly adds to the excitement. Small, soft plastics are very effective with a 1/32 ounce jighead.

The light weight is very important in keeping the bait in the fish zone longer, especially when the water could be as shallow as 3 feet.

The Berkley 2-inch power grubs one ofhe best artificial crappie baits on the market because of the impregnated fish attractant and the action of the curly tail. Another soft plastic bait to have in your crappie arsenal would be the Kalin's 2-inch grub in the colorsohn Deere or BBC.

By the way, BBC stands for the color pattern black, blue and chartreuse.

Of course, the live minnow and a small bobber is hard to beat when enjoying a warm springtime afternoon leisurely trolling one of the hundreds of coves on Roosevelt Lake.

Now is the time to catch those crappies, which will make some of the tastiest fish filets you have ever eaten.

Contrary to popular belief by two bass purists, Dean Pederson and John Huffman, they are not flat carp andhey are great sport fish caught on ultralight fishing gear.

This weekend, take a trip to Roosevelt Lake, God's creation.

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