ROOSEVELT LAKE: - (2,099 feet, 46-percent full)
Good morning, Rim Country anglers,
The good news continues for Roosevelt Lake. Due to the above-freezing temperatures in northern Arizona, both the Tonto Creek and Salt River are continuing to flow at above their normal rates for this time of year. The lake level currently stands at 45-percent full which is 3-4 percent higher than last year at this time.
The benefits of large amounts of fresh water coming into the lake cannot be overstated. In addition to lots of oxygen, the new water brings much needed nutrients to the fish. The higher water level from the increased flows means that all the vegetation growth along the shoreline is now underwater, adding to the food chain. Experienced anglers know the benefits of this new water and more importantly they know how the fish react when water starts flowing harder into the lake.
Bass in particular will move to where the water is flowing; they instinctually know the bait will be in those areas. This adds to the scattering of the bass. Typically during the winter, bass can be found throughout the lake. Some bass always seem to be in shallow water, while others prefer deeper areas of the lake. The bright sunshine days can warm the water slightly and sometimes that is all it takes for bass to move shallow and feed more aggressively.
Winter fishing on Roosevelt Lake can require some experimenting. On colder overcast days, a jigging spoon would probably the choice of most anglers. On sunny days and a full moon phase, perhaps a small crankbait or Roboworm using a dropshot technique. Any given day could even be a combination of these techniques. The early morning bite could be on a deep spoon where the water is slightly warmer than the surface. However, after the sun comes up and warms the surface water, bass will move to those shallow areas especially if a supply of bait is available.