Alamo - Lots of stained water and some debris. Fishing has been slow to dead, but with some good weather, that should change soon. By the end of this month, Alamo should be on fire.
Bartlett - The lake has risen from about 40 percent to well over 80 percent. There is a ton of floating debris (especially up river), so be very careful when under way. There are some Crappie being caught above the Yellow Cliffs area trolling grubs.
Pleasant - Lots of debris. I haven’t heard a single report.
Roosevelt - Rosey is nearly back to 100 percent and there is a ton of floating debris. I have heard of a few Crappies being caught but nothing great.
San Carlos - Well, it’s a mess, but it looks like San Carlos will be OK, that least for now. It’s gone from under 2 percent to over 10 percent and with tons of snow in the mountains of Western New Mexico, there’s more water to come this spring. But the lake is still more than 20 feet lower than it was during last year’s incredible early spring bite. I don’t expect SC to produce anything like it did last year, but there should be some good fishing soon.
Give the lakes a few weeks to settle and get after them. I would say Alamo should be the best bet, with Rosey going off a couple weeks later. Bartlett should be good up in the river end, but will need more time to settle.
To ensure the future of our sport, the Arizona Crappie Association practices and promotes the release of all crappie less than 10” long. Our next meeting will be at Alamo Lake on Feb. 20. Go to www.azbass zone.com and check the Crappie Forum for more deals.
Fishing for trout continues to be good to excellent at most Urban Fishing Program waters. Winter storms have invigorated the trout, and anglers willing to brave the weather are rewarded with good action and little competition. Anglers using scented dough baits (such as Power Bait), worms fished under a bobber, corn on the bottom, or small trout lures have been successful.
Best times to fish for trout generally are early morning, but some anglers have reported excellent fishing late afternoon. Small spinners such as Rooster Tails and Panther Martins, or spoons such as Super Dupers are also working well for trout, especially during periods just before and after storms.
Lake waters at Green Valley Park in Payson and Lakeside in Tucson are brown colored and murky due to the high runoff from recent storms — making fishing tough. Trout continue to be stocked at Green Valley Lakes, but until the water clears up a bit more, the fishing is expected to remain slow.
LAKE PLEASANT - Lake elevation 1,689 feet (85-percent full). We aren’t getting a lot of angler reports right now. With the inflows, stripers should either be staging for the spawn in the Agua Fria Arm or spawning. Accessing this spawning area right now will have to be done by foot (or horseback), and it is muddy out there. If you do go and brave the elements, let us know how you do.
Spawning stripers can also gravitate to the tower inflows near the dam.
For largemouth bass, drop shot is getting a fish here and there. Try using a bead with the drop shot to attract the fish since they aren’t going to see your rig for a bit. Try Rat-L-Traps and some jerkbaits as well.
ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,149 ft. (98 percent full). Tonto Creek runoff is 599 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 1,740 cfs.
An angler reported the lake temperature at 54.5 degrees. He fished shallow and caught a three-pound largemouth on a spinnerbait. Water clarity was at about 2 to 3 feet. There is still a lot of debris on the lake with some clear areas. Watch out for the partially submerged logs lurking about.
APACHE - Lake elevation is 1,905 feet (91 percent full). A couple anglers noticed a nice shad school by the main launch, but no fish were accosting them. They fished around one of the islands and caught 4 largemouth bass in 30 minutes.
Apache is typically not as impacted by runoff events but the dynamics at this fishery can change significantly once Roosevelt fills and spills.
CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,658 feet, which is 96-percent full.. This lake has debris, which could make boating difficult, if not hazardous.
SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,526 feet at 94 percent full. Some hefty 3+ pound largemouth were nabbed using deep-diving crankbaits.
The debris on all the lakes is adding nutrients. The primary producers will take advantage, multiply and the effect will travel up the food chain.
Saguaro can be one of the first lakes to warm up and have bass staging for the spawn. A lot may depend also depend on flow-through water once Roosevelt fills and spills, so the dynamics can change significantly — stay tuned.
BARTLETT — Lake elevation is 1,792 ft, which is 91 percent full and rising. Reservoir release is 400 cfs.
A few anglers fishing last Sunday said they couldn’t find a bass bite, but did okay on catfish. Apache has huge flatheads and channel cats. The road into the Yellow Cliffs is still closed. The road into the riverine area below Bartlett is also closed.
HORSESHOE - Lake elevation is at 2,019 feet, 85 percent full. They are releasing water at 1,800 cfs. The road into Horseshoe is closed.
VERDE RIVER - Verde River flow at Tangle is 3,470 cubic feet per second. Release from Bartlett Lake is 400 cfs.
SALT RIVER - Salt River into Roosevelt is 1,740 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 1,350 cfs. They are releasing 650 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro.
LOWER SALT RIVER - Stewart Mountain Dam (below Saguaro Lake) release is 650 cfs. Trout are scheduled to be stocked this week, so this might be a decent choice for fishing this weekend.
CREEKS – Most of the Rim streams this week will probably be inaccessible due to snow, and stream flows are likely turbid.