The Arizona summertime temperatures have finally arrived and those 110-degree days make it difficult to be out in that midday sun.
Roosevelt Lake, at an elevation of 2,100 feet, can be a real scorcher for anglers trying to spend a day fishing for bass. This is the time of year when local bass enthusiasts change their strategy and wait for that afternoon sun to sink below Four Peaks before they launch at Cholla.
In the reduced light after sunset and the first couple of hours of darkness, bass and other fish increase their feeding activity. They tend to move to shallower water in pursuit of baitfish and crawdads which are their main food supply.
The last hour of daylight can be a great topwater bite if one can locate those huge schools of shad that are being attacked by marauding bass on the prowl for their next meal. The key is to watch for the feeding frenzy and cast a Pop-R, Gunfish or Rico to that location. Then, get ready for the explosion as that bait is inhaled by a predatory bass.
Main lake points as well as secondary points at the mouth of a cove should be the target areas, because these structures have shallow feeding areas with quick escape routes to deeper water. It is common at this time of year to observe bass boats significantly offshore where they have found a shallow water extended point or hump that is holding a school of hungry largemouths.
If the fish are not feeding on the surface, these anglers have switched their tactics to a deeper water pattern called a Carolina rig.
The target area with this technique might be 15 to 30 feet, where the bait is slowly moved along the rocky structure in hopes of enticing a hungry bass. Because of the deeper depths a three-quarter or one-ounce slip sinker may be needed to get that soft bait into the fish zone quicker.
An excellent soft plastic bait for this deep water technique would be a Berkley power worm or lizard in a darker color like green pumpkin or motor oil.
The Berkley baits have a scent attractor which actually increases the time a bass will hold the soft plastic which helps in catching more fish. Fishermen who are willing to experiment with size and color can find the perfect pattern which may work for most of the summer months.
Local Tonto Basin angler, Bill Kile, prefers the drop-shotting technique with a medium weight and action spinning rod which makes for a greater sensitivity that helps in catching summertime bass.
Bill’s favorite baits for drop-shotting are Robo worms, and he stated, “with the deep water bite, color may not be as important as finding that right main lake point where the fish are located.”
Keep in mind, that bigger baits tend to catch bigger fish and that also pertains to the summer months when going deep may be the best angling advice for plenty of bass fishing action. The Carolina rig and the drop-shot are highly effective for that after dark trip when you are trying to beat the heat of those unbearable desert daytime temperatures!
For an up to the minute fishing forecast, it is always a good idea to stop by one of the Tonto Basin tackle and bait stores where they can give you the expertise that will make that next trip more productive in catching hot weather bass on Roosevelt Lake. Highway 188 Tackle at 479-2535 or The Tackle Box at 479-2108 both have a pro staff that can provide excellent advice and maybe that special tip so the big one does not get away.
Both stores also have additional information on local bass club competitions which are going on during the summer months on Tuesday and Saturday evenings.
Hook up that bass boat, join in the fun on Tuesday evenings, and head to Roosevelt Lake for some friendly bass fishing competition.
“See you on the water” and enjoy the Arizona outdoors, God’s creation.