The late winter storms have continued to bring massive amounts of snow to the Rim Country, and rain to the lower elevations. Every canyon seems to have a live water flow, and those east of the Beeline Highway eventually drain into Tonto or Canyon Creek and finally into Roosevelt Lake.
With the lake already at the high mark of 100 percent, most of this water is flowing through the Salt River chain of lakes and making its way into the normally dry Salt River channel in the metropolitan Phoenix area.
This unstable weather pattern and cooler water temperatures have slowed the initial springtime crappie bite for a week or two. But, get ready, those slab-sized pan fish are staging in 30 to 40 feet of water and are preparing for the shoreline spawn, which isn’t far off.
Slow trolling a Kalin’s bait with a one-eighth ounce jighead where the grub can target the fish zone of 12-15 feet of water can catch these suspended fish.
One of the most effective and popular crappie baits is the two-inch triple threat grub in either John Deere or Black N’ Blue Chartreuse colors. These color combinations are so effective in the peak period of the springtime spawn that most local tackle stores are frequently sold out.
The mouth of Tonto Creek along the buoy line or the other end of the lake near the Salt River are the most effective early season trolling locations. I would recommend using an eighth-ounce “Kalin’s Keeper Jighead” which has a light wire protruding from the hook shank that keeps the grub firmly on the hook. This new innovation has been on the market for a year, and anglers have given this new jighead a “thumbs up” for effectively catching more fish.
Each spring day will bring more boats to these areas, so finding the fish is generally not a problem.
Some weekend days will have more than 100 boats slow trolling a John Deere or BBC grub, sometimes tipped with a live minnow. Keep in mind, changing tactics can improve fishing when the bite slows.
Sometimes a change in color can make the difference, so Kalins has a wide variety of proven combinations that are worth trying when the bite has slowed. It would be a good bet to have a supply of Acid Rain, Notre Dame or Arkansas Shad triple threats when a change is needed.
Fishing is often a “trial and error” situation, when a different color scheme can make the difference in a successful day on the water.
This spring, before you make that trip to the lake, it would be wise to have a well-stocked tackle box of triple threat grubs in a variety of colors when the crappies start biting.
Begin the day fishing with a John Deere or Black, Blue and Chartreuse grub, then make the color switch if it is necessary. With a few warm days and the water temperature inching to 62-65 degrees, it won’t be far away.
Crappie fishing on Roosevelt Lake is some of the best in the country!
With tremendous spawn the last two years, there are plenty of one- to two-pound fish that make excellent fillets for a tasty fish dinner.
Take a friend springtime fishing and enjoy God’s creation.