ROOSEVELT LAKE: Lake elevation is 2143 ft. (91 percent full). Tonto Creek runoff is 25 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 171 cfs. An angler mentioned the surface water temperature was at 51 degrees. Another fisherman had a hard time finding crappie in mid-lake one day last week and conducted a search and found some had moved up lake into the trees that are partially submerged. Typically the males come close to shore in preparation of the spawning event when the temperatures are between 60 and 65 degrees. Inflow due to rain events tends to make the crappie disperse. They are also line shy so 4-pound test is about as heavy as you want to have. It’s best to fish with 1/32 oz. and lighter jigs, tube jigs and curly tail jigs work as well as grubs. Tip it with a minnow to increase your chance. When you troll, 2 miles per hour is the speed you want to maintain and fish at depths 15 to 20 feet deep near drop offs or structure. If that depth doesn’t work for you, play around with it a bit, but it’s a good starting point. One angler this last weekend found white grubs worked well for him and he enjoyed some pretty aggressive bites. That isn’t always the case; they will often bite soft.
Don’t forget the Tonto end. One group caught seven crappie of moderate size and another group fished the Salt end and caught eight large crappie on the same day.
The annual waterfowl closure was lifted Feb. 15 opening up access to Horsepasture and Goose Flats area. The Tonto Creek inlet to Roosevelt Lake is still closed to vehicle and foot entry within 1,000 feet of the eagle’s nest on land and to watercraft within 300 on water until June 30 for the bald eagle closure; the area is buoyed.
APACHE: Lake elevation is 1,908 feet (94 percent full). Fishing had been picking up, but not sure how the expected weather fronts will impact the bite. This is a good time of year to target walleye. Try small jigs tipped with pieces of night crawler. One angler fishing for smallmouth and largemouth hooked a small walleye using a crayfish-colored crankbait along a shelf — the walleye was hanging at the darker edge of the shelf.
CANYON: Lake elevation is 1,659 ft., which is 98 percent full. The last trout stocking of the season was two weeks ago. Still plenty of time to work those swim baits to catch a possible lunker. Although Canyon is known for its lunker bass, this is not a lake to experience high catch rates. Even veteran anglers can go home skunked.