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Arizona waters offer new fishing experience

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POSTED December 30, 2011 1:23 a.m.

Just about this time every year I find myself in Arizona.

My wife is from Arizona, so we usually try and visit before the end of the year. It’s the perfect time to visit because the weather is hovering around 80 degrees. The fishing isn’t the greatest but the rising water temperatures are causing the bass to enter into their pre-spawn rituals.

Several years ago I met up with a local who offered to take me out fishing. I ended up having a great time and got to experience a whole different type of fishing than what I was accustomed to.

I did manage to catch fish but wasn’t that impressed with the size and numbers we were catching. What was really interesting was the river system we were fishing. The water was extremely clear and shallow, several times we had to get out of the boat and push it over sand bars or through narrow canals.

There were also a lot of little backwater areas that one could easily get lost in. I also got to see wild burrows along the shorelines. I had never seen anything like that in all of my travels.

Originally, I thought we were fishing around some rancher’s property until I was told that Arizona has wild burrows that were left to fend for themselves once the gold miners moved on. I’m not sure what it was about them but I found them to be some of the most intriguing animals to view out in the wild.

I also found out that they are protected from capture in order to preserve Arizona’s rich gold mining history. I didn’t bring my fishing equipment this time but I did bring my camera to hopefully capture the wild burrow on film.

Delta

Dealing with the fog has been the biggest problems for anglers lately on the Delta. The striped bass bite is decent for those drifting live bait or trolling broken backed rebels. Also, anglers are doing well while fishing with pencil poppers and fish traps in shad colors.

Bass fishing is good for those anglers who know how to effectively fish a jig. Black and blue is a good color right now. Look for areas where the water is a little deeper but close to shallow water. Some anglers are choosing to fish the backs of sloughs while targeting wood.

Lake New Melones

Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sporting Goods reports:

“Trout fishing remains very good with the heavy plants from the Department and Fish and Game over the past few months. Bank anglers are doing well using Power Bait or night crawlers to catch their limits. For those fishing from the shore it’s best to move up and down the shoreline until you locate a school of fish. Trollers are scoring with blade/crawler combinations, Needlefish, Excels, or Vance’s spoons in shad patterns such as: natural shad, chrome, or Cop Car. Brown trout have been taken on plugs such as Rapala J9’s, Sebile Magic Swimmer’s, or a River2Sea S-waver trolled fast over structure.” 

Bass fishing has gotten tough, as almost all of the fish being caught are being found deep. Anglers are using drop-shotted worms and spoons to catch bass once they’re located.    

Lake Don Pedro

Bank fishing is good for anglers fishing for trout. The Department of Fish and Game has been planting trout in the lake regularly. Anglers fishing for trout are doing great while using live minnows under a bobber.

Bass fishing has gotten tougher as the water has gotten colder. This time of year it’s important to work your baits slowly as the fish have become very lethargic. 

Lake Camanche

Anglers fishing off the bank are enjoying the action as the trout are biting. Most of the anglers catching them are using power bait fished off the bottom in 25 feet of water. Bass fishing is tough right now as it’s been really hard to find them.

Anglers having any success are reading the bottom with their depth finders and locating small schools. Once finding those schools they are dragging small jigs or drop-shotted worms through and around the school for limited bites.

Lake Amador

Heavy loads of trout are being planted into the lake on what seems like a daily basis. Anglers fishing off the bank are doing well while using Power Bait either fished off the bottom or beneath a bobber.

Tip of the Week

Many people are unaware of the money saving possibilities that are available to them when it comes to purchasing their annual fishing license. I highly recommend going to the Department of Fish and Game’s website and researching the available discounts before going out and paying full price.

 

To contact Jarod Ballardo, email jgbbass@yahoo.com.

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