San Carlos is a popular lake for catching monster bass, flathead catfish and black crappie. It's located on the San Carlos Indian Reservation so be sure to purchase a permit from one of there licensed vendors before heading out. For instructions on how to do that visit our "Permits and Passes Page". Do not forget to do this. They want that money.
There's a nice little article on the San Carlos web site about fishing tips for crappie and largemouth it says " In any given year, black crappie fishing typically starts early in the year (March – April) when water temperatures reach approximately 60 degrees. Black crappie form large schools that are typically caught in 15 to 20 ft of water adjacent to brushy shorelines during pre-spawn conditions. When water temperatures reach the mid-60’s, black crappie move closer to shoreline and begin to spawn in and among the submerged points and cover. During the peak of spawning, crappie are caught in 2-4 ft of water. Crappie anglers use a variety of techniques including trolling or drifting crappie jigs, twister tails, or minnows, or still fishing with minnows under a bobber. During the peak of spawning, shoreline anglers are also successful in catching limits of crappie. Springtime largemouth bass fishing typically starts shortly after the crappie spawn when water temperatures reach the mid- to upper-60’s. Largemouth bass begin to move to shallow water adjacent to cover to begin spawning. Largemouth bass remain near shore until the spawning season is over, during which time fish can be caught using jigs, spinner baits, plastic worms, and top water baits. After largemouth bass spawn and early-summer approaches, bass can be caught using top water baits early in the morning, and as the day progresses, crank bait"
I visited this lake on May 30 2010. It was a hot day toward the end of spring about 2:30 in the afternoon when I started fishing. I remembered the article above from the San Carlos site were they mentioned using crank baits for post spawn bass. It worked! I caught a small largemouth bass in the first 10 minutes of trolling a citrus colored 10-15 foot deep Norman crank bait. They really like the light colored lures there I was getting bites on all the citrus and white lures. I lost all three of my light colored lures do-to-snags from under water brush and had to switch up to the dark ones and they were not liking them. In the 3 hours I fished this lake I saw at least 10 good size largemouth breaking water around my boat. I was in my Jon-Boat coming from Point of Pines so I couldn't make it to more of the lake with that boat or even try the channel, but this lake is full of fish and a under fished at that. - Tom
You wont find any information on the Game and Fish site about San Carlos so if you decide to head out contact the San Carlos Apache Tribe Recreation & Wildlife at 1-888-475-2344