ROOSEVELT LAKE: - (2,118 feet, 63-percent full).
Excellent fishing conditions are being reported from Roosevelt and Apache lakes. As ambient and water temperatures begin to fall, bass become more active and aggressive. In the early morning before the sun comes up, its not uncommon to see bass pushing schools of shad into shallow areas along major lake points.
Bass breaking the surface can also be seen in the middle of the lake in over 100 foot of water depth when bass surround a school of shad and push them to the surface. Quite often, birds will join into this feeding frenzy by diving into the shad ball. If you see bass pushing shad either in shallow or deep water, a reaction bait is the only thing to throw. The shad are literally swimming for their lives and the bass are looking for any sign of weak or wounded shad. So reactions by the bass are happening quickly.
Its not uncommon to get a strike as soon as your bait hits the water or upon the first movement of the bait. With any top water bait, crank-bait or jerk-bait, anglers must resist the learned response to make a huge hook-set at the slightest response to a fish engaging a bait. The most successful technique is to let the fish take the bait and begin to swim off. When the rod is fully loaded with pressure, then begin to reel in the fish. A quick hook-set when using these baits, will often rip the hook from the fish. Other successful techniques recently reported include a dropshot and Texas rig techniques in depths of 25 foot with nearby deep water access.
Roosevelt Lake water level has remained at 65 percent full since early July. Anglers can thank an above-average amount of monsoon rainfall for the elevated lake level and water flows into the lake. The flows into the lake from the Salt River are at 150% of the normal rates and the Tonto Creek is flowing at about 50%. The water temperature continues to trend down and is now the low to mid 80s even on clear days. The water is mostly clear throughout the lake with only some stained areas at the ends of the lake.