LAKE PLEASANT: The kids are out of school and all the anglers have the desire to hit the refreshing lakes to cool off. The striper are now in post-spawn behavior and are slow to adjust to the warmer air and water temps. On average the water temp was only 75 degrees at Lake Pleasant.
Anglers are reporting the best results from 4:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in 25-45 feet of water depth, and with busting shad close to shore. After 9 a.m. the striper go deeper and the bite somewhat dies off. Anglers are having luck with top-water lures such as spooks, skitter walkers & Ricos. The other favorite technique is to use a paddle tail swimbait that come in 3.5 or 5 inches long. Skinny dippers, Bass Assassin reaction innovations, or Gil Reaper swimbaits all have been extremely successful. Be sure to use White, Money shot, smoking grey, sexy shad or the ASF white/Chartreuse colors with fishing swimbaits. A-rigs have also have been doing very well.
With the hot temperatures, many anglers are very happy to be night fishing for striper. The air temperature is incredible to fish in but the huge summer limits (60-100-plus fish) that anglers are known to catch have not kicked in yet. The bite is slow and the fish are still finicky. This will improve greatly in a few weeks when the water temperature gets in the mid 80s and the fish get more active. Remember a good underwater light, fish finder, chumming, and a good drop shot/Carolina rig is key to a successful night of striper fishing.
Anglers should also be prepared for a lot of dink-size fish in upcoming months. I fished one of the northern coves last weekend and there were thousands of 2-3-ounce shad boiling for more than 2 hours eating shad larvae and other tiny baitfish. The striper are thriving and the bait population is thriving as well.
Some bigger striper were around but you will need to use a weighted jighead or weighted crankbait to get the down deep where the bigger fish are lurking under the dinks.
The only eagle nest closure currently remaining this season on the Agua Fria arm of Lake Pleasant (Whiskey Springs nest) has been lifted due to failure of the nest site, effective May 13. This means that anglers will now be able to boat from the main body of the lake, all the way up the Agua Fria arm to the Agua Fria boat ramp.
With rising water level, Agua Fria River can be good for top water-action on stripers and white bass. For fishing report editor Nick Walter, bringing a second rod along for catfish proved effective (along with chumming and baiting with corn) when the top-water bite was slow: