Dennis Pirch, who writes the Outdoors Under the Rim column for the Payson Roundup, has been fishing the Rim Country for more than a couple of decades. His oldest son, Clifford, is a professional bass fisherman. Here are a few fishing tips Pirch has offered in his Roundup columns.
Get ready for an early crappie season
With the prolonged warm weather and a full lake, the springtime crappie bite may start sooner than usual. When they move to the shallows, lighter equipment and smaller baits seem to be the most effective in catching these tasty panfish.
If crappies are your goal, then no doubt you have heard of the Kalin’s grubs, which are owned by the Uncle Josh Bait Company. Two of the most popular colors for Roosevelt Lake are the old reliable John Deere and BBC, which means black, blue, and chartreuse. Throughout the country these two colors have probably caught more slabs than all other baits combined.
Before I make a trip to the lake at this time of year, I always make sure these two colors are in good supply in my tackle box. Sometimes a new color hits the market that can be even more effective catching fish.
The Junebug/chartreuse single tail has been dynamite at Alamo and San Carlos this past month. With the spring crappie season at these two lakes launching about a month sooner than Roosevelt, various baits are tried to find the best color combination that will catch fish. This color is certainly worth trying in any future fishing trip to Roosevelt.
Fishing the shallows in the brush can be a problem with snags and keeping the soft grub on the shank of the hook. Uncle Josh has a new jighead with a small metal keeper near the leadhead, which is a big improvement. This technology will keep the bait in the correct position creating a better action, which correlates to more bites.
If you are going to fish shallow, I would recommend using a thirty-second ounce jighead with the new keeper made by Uncle Josh. Keep in mind, a heavier eighth or sixteenth ounce jighead is necessary for deeper water.
Another new bait is the 1-1/2-inch Kalin’s crappie scrub, which is a double tail version that creates even more action when fishing in the brush. The added action of the extra tail can certainly make the difference when those crappies get a bit more tentative.
The crappie scrub softbait comes in most of the Kalin’s colors and would be another excellent diversion when fishing starts to slow down and a change is needed. Remember, a change in the color pattern may get those fish to bite again.
Most local Tonto Basin tackle stores and Walmart will carry the Kalin’s grubs in a variety of styles and colors. If you don’t find what you are looking for, then go to the Internet and type in unclejosh.com for a complete selection of all of their crappie baits.
Don’t forget to bring a variety of different colors of Kalin’s grubs when those crappies get a little tougher to catch!
The perfect bass bait
Every bass angler wants that perfect bait to catch that lunker largemouth which will give him a paycheck at a tournament or at least bragging rights among his friends. Local fisherman, Kirk Russell, like many other anglers has joined the rapidly growing number of swim bait enthusiasts who are finding bigger fish by casting soft plastic replicas of bait fish at Roosevelt Lake.
With his interest in innovation, he developed a bait that is very lifelike in the water and big bass seem to eat it with regularity. Kirk created the mold and made frequent trips to Roosevelt Lake to field test his newly engineered swim bait. With each trip he finely tuned his bait to swim a little better and be that much more lifelike in the all-important bass zone.
New baits need results and that means catching big bass. Kirk gave his baits to a number of veteran bass anglers who had immediate results on Roosevelt with some very impressive catches. Tournament fisherman Buddy Randall has caught a number of four- to five-pounders on the new Russell swim bait called “Lil Chunk.” Another bass angler from Mesa landed a seven-pounder on a “Lil Chunk” in a blue back shad color.
Kirk currently has his swim bait in 6 different colors with bluegill and smoke shad being the most effective and in greatest demand. The “Lil Chunk” swim bait comes in two sizes and both being effective on Roosevelt Lake. The price is very reasonable with the cost ranging from $9-$12 depending on the size and color style.
When a bait swims just a little differently with a color that matches the food source, good results can follow. Payson angler, Kirk Russell, has created a new swim bait that is producing big results on Roosevelt Lake. If you are interested in any further information, give him a call at (928) 951-2714.