ROOSEVELT LAKE: - Bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake was called good this past week. Bass are chasing shad in the shallow portions of coves at first light. The duration of that bite varies day to day but seems to be getting slightly better each week.
Several top-water baits were successful and a just-under-the-water bait such as a Super Fluke produced good numbers. As soon as the sun comes over the mountains, its time to switch to the bottom. Experienced anglers are fishing 3/8-1/2-ounce jigs made by Clifford Pirch Outdoors or a Texas-rigged Roboworm.
During the midday, bites are hard to come by, but at dusk until well after dark, the bite picks up again mostly on a dropshot technique or a jig. Tomorrow we'll have a full moon, so nighttime fishing will be a lot of fun this coming week.
The water level dropped one percent this past week and is currently at 39-percent full.
There is still more than a million acre-feet of water in the lake, so even though the level is down at this time of year, we don't have a risk of the water getting too low. A concern with the lower Salt River and Tonto flows into the lake is an algae bloom which can kill fish. This year so far, we have avoided any significant issues, but we'll always take more rain and flow into our lakes.
The two major ramps at Windy Hill and Cholla Recreational Sites are in great shape and there are no issues launching your boat from those ramps. The water temperature is in the mid-80s in the morning, increasing to the high-80s or low-90s in the afternoon. Those water temperatures tell you why anglers are fishing in 20-feet-or-more depths of water where the water temperatures are lower.
The crappie bite was called good this past week. According to Curt Rambo, a very experienced Tonto Basin crappie angler, crappie prefer more stable weather and will remain in larger schools given those conditions. So as long as the monsoon storms aren't too strong, the crappie bite should continue to be active.
A vertical presentation directly into a submerged brush or log using a Lil Fishy or a 2-inch green and chartreuse grub tail bait, was the most successful technique reported. Anglers are reporting crappie to be mainly in 20-30 foot depths.
Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom