Saturday, March 26, 2016

Goodbye Arizona

Fishing Time: March 21 to 27, 2016
Weather:  Windy, T-90s
Water Temp:  Morning: 68 degrees, Afternoon:  75 degrees
Moon Phase:  Full Moon
Location:  Colorado River, Arizona
Best Bait:  Shad spinnerbait
Who Went:  Dunc
I had a good last week of fishing before saying goodbye to my waterfront home in Arizona.  The weather has been hot and the fishing is getting tough midday.  It’s the mornings and evenings that produce fish.  The burros are getting active as well.  They walk up and down my street all night heehawing loudly.  Crazy animals. 
A couple days this week a front moved through and that turned the fishing on!  I landed my biggest fish of the trip during this cold front on a spinnerbait thrown in the back of a cove where the wind was pushing all the baitfish.  I didn’t get a chance to weigh it, but it was all of 5 pounds.
A few more good fish were landed this week and it made it hard to want to leave.  However, I miss my family and the time has come to say goodbye to Arizona.  May we meet again someday?  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Post Spawn Blues

Fishing Time:  March 14 to 20, 2016
Weather:  Hot, calm, T-90s
Moon Phase:  38 to 93 % Moon
Water Temp:  Morning - 68 deg, Afternoon - 73 deg
Location:  Colorado River, Arizona
Best Bait:  KieTech noisy flapper (topwater frog)
Who Went:  Dunc
This was a fun but challenging week of fishing.  I think I caught a total of 2 or 3 fish through the entire work week.  All caught on a Texas-rigged green pumpkin senko thrown near boat docks.
To start the weekend off I took a slightly different approach.  Live shiners!  It’s definitely a post spawn bite and the fish are extremely finicky, so why not see if they can resist some live bait.
I got off work a bit early on Friday, so I stopped by the bait shop and picked up 20 live shiners.  You can’t fish with live bait in Utah, so I figured it might be fun to try it.  Unfortunately, the shiners produced two bites that evening, but no fish.  I started to get a bit bored sitting there staring at a bobber and noticed just before dusk the fish started rising near shore.  I put on a Kietech noisy flapper (topwater frog) that I have been itching to try.  Two casts later I had two fish in the boat including a fun surprise with this beast crappie. 
Saturday I got on the water early only to be met by about 50 bass boats sitting in front of the docks waiting to take off.
This place is crazy with bass tournaments and this one must have been a big one.  There is only one little outlet to get on the river from the lake I live on and the tournament boats felt they had the right to block the inlet to the river.  Wow, Just another reason to dislike these “elite fisherman”.  More on that later. 

I weaved my way through the masses getting dirty looks the entire way, and then took off upriver in darkness to get to my spot before the rush of idiots followed.  I went back to the same spot where topwater produced the night before and started throwing it again.  It didn’t take long before I got a few hits and landed a couple bass.  Topwater is a blast and I love working it in and out of grass like in the photo below.
Soon the sun came up and everything went dead.  I decided to try the live shiners again and got one taker, but again couldn’t set the hook.  Apparently I need some learnin on live bait fishing.

Then came the idiotic masses in there sponsor covered shirts and their $80,000 bass boats.  Man they look cool.  I wonder if all that flare puts bass in the boat?  Apparently it doesn't because each one of them that fished passed me (way to close) were whining about the tough bite.  And then it happened.  As I’m sitting there fishing live bait, two morons all jazzed out in bass flare come working down my shoreline.  I’m not moving because I’m fishing live bait, which as we all know, is cheating in their book.  As they motored closer I started wondering, will they ever go around me?  Then I hear a splash right next to my boat.  These "elite fisherman" were casting within 2 feet from my boat, and to make it worse, one had the gall to ask me how the fishing is.  I stared back at him in disgust and shook my head and didn’t say a word.  Seriously people!  I have no problem sharing the lake, but give me a little distance!
 
Now that we know how I feel about tournament fisherman back to the fishing.  I could quickly tell the fishing was not heating up so I tried something a bit different.  Being that Lake Martinez is only 10 feet deep and full of sunken trees, I dropped a live minnow down about 9 feet and let the breeze blow me across the lake while I enjoyed the warm sunny morning.  Not long into my drift my rod doubled over and about went into the lake.  I grabbed it just in time and sure enough I had a fish on.  However, this was no largemouth bass and I could tell while fighting him.  After a worthy battle I found this small striped bass on the end of my line.
I knew they were in here, but hadn't found them yet.  Now I had found a whole school of juveniles.  I wasted some live bait and caught a couple more before the sun started beating down hard then I ran for AC.
 
I continued to fish the early mornings and evenings through the weekend and my topwater frog was pretty consistent putting a couple fish in the boat each trip out.  The daytime was dead and I never did find a pattern.  Only one week left here in paradise… 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bad Weather Makes for Tough Fishing

Fishing Time:  March 9 to 10, 2016
Weather:  Cold and windy, T-60s
Moon Phase:  1 to 4 % Moon
Water Temp:  Morning - 59 deg, Afternoon - 63 deg
Location:  Colorado River, Arizona
Best Bait:  Super white KVD spinnerbait (3/8 oz)
Who Went:  Dunc

A storm front moved in this week and Monday through Wednesday was pretty cold and windy.  I didn’t even attempt to fish on Monday or Tuesday.  Wednesday the lake felt different.  The water temps were back down to the low 60s and not many fish were hanging in the shallows.  I found this bat hunkered down on my hallway attached to the stucko.  He too didn't seem to like the colder temps.  
I started the evening throwing a white/pearl Zoom Fluke (Texas-rigged), and then turned to the wacky rigged white/blue pearl Gamakatsu Senko.  Neither of which scored me any fish.  Just before dusk I began throwing a white spinnerbait and within a few casts I had my first bass of the night and the best bass of my trip.  It weighed in at 4 lbs 10 oz.  Finally a decent bass!
Only a few casts later I landed another nice chunky 3 pound bass.  The spinnerbait was on fire, but unfortunately it got dark soon after and the bite shutoff.
Thursday evening I went straight to the spinnerbait and fished it all night.  I landed one small bass right at dark next to my dock, but that was it.  Weird how one night can be so different from the next.

I didn’t get to fish Friday through Sunday because I met my wife in San Diego.  I guess I can take one weekend off to hang with the wifeJ

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Plenty of Bass this Week

Fishing Time:  February 29 to March 6, 2016
Weather:  Sunny and clear, T-90s
Moon Phase:  62 to 8% Moon
Water Temp:  Morning - 65, Afternoon - 70 deg
Location:  Colorado River, Arizona
Best Bait:  Wacky rigged white w/blue pearl senko on a 3/0 (1/8 oz wt) gamakatsu weedless hook
Who Went:  Dunc
The family is gone and it’s time to get serious about fishing again.  The bass are on beds, but they are extremely finicky.  Probably due to the amount of pressure they see every day.  I caught plenty of bass this week fishing evenings after work, but size is still a problem.  I’m at least sprinkling in a few 3 pounders here and there, but most are still 1-2 pounds.
I did find a bait that seems to drive the bed fish nuts.  Not having much success with my typical Texas rigged senko, I started trying an assortment of plastics and different types of rigs trying to get the bed fish to bite.  I found one in particular that has worked wonders.  It’s still using a senko, but I’ve switched to white pearl and started rigging it wacky.  I can’t believe how many more bed fish I’m catching with this set up.
One evening I walked down to my dock and saw a little male on a bed.  Out of nowhere from deeper water came an inquiring female and WOW!  She must have been 7-8 pounds.  I took some film, but unfortunately with the glare on the water you can’t see much.  I threw everything I had at her and even had her nose down on a roboworm on a drop shot rig.  My heart was pounding in anticipation, but she soon turned and swam away into deeper water never to be seen again.  Dang it, that was my chance!

On Saturday I went on an adventure to Martinez Lake.  I found a bunch of coves with beds everywhere and it turned into a lot of fun.  I must have landed 20 bass, but again nothing over 2 pounds.  Either way it was a blast.  All caught on my new wacky rig.
I explored more of Martinez Lake and found another bruiser in the shallows.  This one was probably in the 6 pound range and just like the 8 pounder wouldn’t touch a thing.  I must have toyed with her for an hour before giving up.  She just wasn’t interested in anything.  It’s frustrating.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Family Fun in the Arizona Sun

Fishing Time:  February 25 to 28, 2016
Weather:  Sunny and clear, T-90s
Moon Phase:  92 to 71% Moon
Water Temp:  Morning - 65, Afternoon - 70 deg
Location:  Colorado River, Arizona
Best Bait:  Texas rigged white pearl senko (8 oz wt)
Who Went:  Devin, Addison, Dayton, Dunc
The family is here and it’s not quiet around anymore!  The kids love the lake house and especially the dock.  Surprisingly the dock is more exciting to fish from than the boat.  I can’t blame them since there are bass on beds all over near the dock.  The photo above is Dayton trying to entice a male bass guarding a bed two feet from shore.  Unfortunately with all the commotion the bass on beds were not biting.  Try explaining to a 4, 5, and 6 year old that you need to be quiet and sneak up on them.  Yeah right. 
One day we went down to the bait shop to get some live bait.  I figured this might be there best chance at catching a fish.  Well… the live bait instantly became our pets and not many ever made it on a hook. 

Devin did finally land a bass fishing from the back of the boat.  It makes my day watching the kids reel in fish. 

About an hour later we were out on the boat and Dev had a snag (we had a lot of those), and I had just barely casted a senko into shallow water.  I gave the rod to Dayton (4 years old) and told him to reel it in really slow while daddy fixed Devin’s snag.  I got the snag out and turned around to find Dayton reeling in a fish!  Awesome!  
He got it all the way to the boat, but unfortunately it popped off right before I could grab it.  This was our last fish of the trip.  The kids had a blast, but keeping their attention to fish was near impossible. 
One night we ran up river a few miles, turned the motor off, and floated all the way back home during sunset.  I fished the whole way down river, but no fish were found in the cold river water.  Floating in silence and hanging with the family was really fun.  It was a great time having my family visit me at the Arizona lake house.