BARTLETT LAKE: Lake elevation is 1,774 feet, 68 % full.
The water level has dropped 9 feet during the past month (3 more feet since last week) but Bartlett remains a hot spot for largemouth bass.
An angler repoted catching 20-plus largemouth bass Nov. 9, with two around 2 pounds, fishing from 10:30 a.m. to sunset, from the area around the trees upstream. Effective baits was a white swimbait (5 inches) and dropshot Gary Yamamoto green craws.
Other best reported bites are top-water, crankbaits, bizzbaits, Ricos, and Berkley 7-inch Powerworms on Texas rigs and shaky head rigs. Many bass are in 2-10 feet of water.
Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, fished Saturday, Oct. 25, and said the top-water bite was good beginning at 6:30 a.m. and ending around 8:30 a.m. using Ricos and buzzbaits. Switching to various, 3-inch white crankbaits and spinnerbaits produced fish as well.
When Texas rigging, Senft threw Berkley 7-inch Powerworms and Zoom trick worms. He reported fishing shorelines at the main lake area and near the dam.
Look for largemouth bass hitting just off the shoreline as well as in 35-75 feet of water on deep-diving crankbaits. One possible effective technique involves letting the crankbait drop for about 4 seconds, reeling quickly three times and letting the crankbait rise again. Target shoreline points, and ledges in around 20 feet of water.
The ledges also can be targeted with various jigs and dropshot-rigged Roboworms (morning dawn.)
Anglers are likely catching some huge flatheads at Bartlett right now using small bluegills (3 to 4 inchers) as bait.
These voracious monsters that can tips the scales well above 50 pounds are actively roaming the lake right now looking for meals, so this is a great time to catch them. Stout poles and heavy line (20 pounds or better) are the order of the day.
This is the tail end of the prime flathead catfish season, but there are anglers who fish Bartlett all winter long for these huge voracious fish. Try live bluegill or small carp as bait. Look for the deeper holes, especially uplake where there is a little current.
For bluegills, try the backs of rocky coves using night crawlers or meal worms on light tackle. Also look for large rafts of bluegill, especially up in the narrows. When you find them, small spinners, crappie jigs and worms can get you lots of fish to fry.