Roosevelt Lake Arizona: Fishing report and lake information

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  1. Report
    (2,102 feet, 49-percent full)

    The lake level has risen 14 feet during the past month.

    The talk among all anglers is the amount of water flowing into all of the lakes and streams throughout Rim Country and Northern Arizona. The snowfall records from the last storm will ensure a steady flow of water into Roosevelt Lake for the next couple of months. The lake level has increased more than 16 vertical feet during the past month going from 36 percent full to 49 percent full.

    The water condition is very stained throughout most of the lake. The water entering the lake is very cold with the water temperature in the middle of the lake recording 52 degrees. Anglers willing to brave the cold weather are fishing the backs of coves where the water temperature may be a few degrees warmer during the afternoons on sunny days. Successful baits reported are crank-baits and jigs.

    The next AZGFD aquatic reef ball habitat building days are schedule for February 3rd & 4th at the Game and Fish Mesa office. These habitat reef balls are planned to be deployed into Roosevelt Lake in a couple of months. This is a great volunteer project for any bass club or organization. You can get more details by contacting Amberle Jones at akjones@azgfd.gov or call her at 623-236-7593.

    Crappie anglers are reporting a poor to fair bite. Most crappie anglers are waiting for the high water flows to recede before resuming the search for the large schools of crappie that were plentiful a month ago. Schools of crappie are in the 15-20 foot depths however, the bite during colder months can be very slight. Trolling 1/8 oz jig-head hook and a black, blue and chartreuse color 2-inch grub-tail bait will produce good crappie results.

    Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.
  2. Tom.
    "2,107 feet, 53-percent full"
    Feb 9, 2017
    (2,107 feet, 53-percent full)

    The lake level has risen 14 feet during the past month.

    Fishing conditions have improved recently and anglers are attributing the improvement to the stable weather. The water temperature is still in the low to mid 50s but the bright afternoon sun heating the water even slightly, can coax lethargic bass into chasing shad. Recently two local anglers fished Apache during the late afternoon and weighed 35 pounds for their best five fish. "All of these fish were caught on crank-baits and a Spider-bait," (which are reactionary type baits) said one of the anglers.

    Large amounts of water continue to enter Roosevelt Lake from both the Salt River and the Tonto Creek.

    Due to the recent storms and snowfall throughout the watershed, both inlets are flowing at far above the normal average flow rates for this time of year. The lake level continues to rise and is now above the 53 percent full mark.

    The lake has risen more than 16 vertical feet during the last month. Recently, the water reached the Indian Point ramp which has not been submerged in several years. This is all great news to anglers who are anxiously awaiting the spring bass fishing season. It is also great news for the Wild West Bass Trail, which will be conducting their Arizona Team Championship Tournament on Roosevelt Lake May 4-6, 2017.

    A word of caution to all boaters on Roosevelt Lake, there have been several reports of debris floating and slightly submerged due to the increased water flow. Always be aware of hazards when operating a boat and ask passengers in the boat to alert the driver of any issues seen.
  3. Jose
    Feb 17, 2017
    (2,110 feet, 55-percent full)

    Water temperatures on Thursday, Feb. 9 were 60 degrees on the Tonto end of the lake. Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass ProShop, said largemouth bass fishing has been difficult at Roosevelt. He said the Tonto end of the lake has stained water and from the dam to the Salt River, it’s muddy. Best bets this weekend is using spinnerbaits, dropshots and Texas-rigged plastic worms.

    Feb. 16 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

    Fishing conditions on Roosevelt continue to improve. Local anglers are calling fishing "good." The water temperature is in the low to mid 50s and a the water condition in a large portion of the lake is stained. However, during the afternoon when the water temperature is slightly higher, fish become more active. Reaction baits and jigs were reported the most successful recently. Anglers reported more success fishing clear water areas throughout the lake.

    The high water flow into Roosevelt Lake from both the Salt River and the Tonto Creek is making Roosevelt Lake a better fishery each day. The lake level continues to rise and is now above the 55% full mark and has risen 1% every three days for the past couple of weeks. Lots of brush and small tress that lined the long points and shoreline are now submerged and providing excellent habitat for the fish. If these conditions continue for the next month, it will create excellent spawning conditions.

    Crappie anglers are reporting an average bite. Crappie anglers can be seen trolling along shorelines and submerged points. Clear water is a must for crappie fishing so most crappie are being caught in the mid-lake sections in deeper water. Trolling a 1/4 oz jig head and a grub tailed tipped with a minnow is a typical winter technique for crappie anglers on Roosevelt and Apache.
  4. Jeff k
    Mar 9, 2017
    (2,118 feet, 63-percent full).

    The lake level has increased seven feet during the past week. This week last year, the lake was at 51 percent full.

    March 3 report from Jim Goughnor of Rim Country Custom Rods:

    The amount of rain and snow from the recent storms is again the major topic of Rim Country anglers. There has been much more moisture this year throughout the West and the additional two feet of snow on the Rim will ensure good water flows into Roosevelt Lake for the next couple of months.

    The lake has risen over 12 vertical feet in the past month and 25% since the beginning of the year. Experts are projecting the lake could fill to 80% this spring. Both the Salt River and Tonto Creek are flowing at many times their normal rates, resulting in the lake reaching the 62% full mark. Fishing conditions have decreased recently due to the increased flows and are being called poor to fair by experienced anglers.

    However, some anglers are reporting a reaction bite on SR5 sized crankbaits in darker colors. The water temperature is in the mid 50's and increasing to the high 50's in the afternoon on sunny days. Most of the water in the lake is stained and there are reports of debris floating throughout the lake.

    Anyone boating on Roosevelt Lake is advised to take extra caution. Most debris can be seen above the surface however, others are just below the surface. A submerged tree can cause significant damage to a prop or lower unit.

    Crappie anglers can be seen trolling along shorelines and submerged points. Experienced angler are reporting that the water condition is far from ideal for the crappie fishing. A few anglers reported fair to poor success on recent trips. However, all crappie anglers are anticipating an excellent spawn over the next couple of months. All of the newly submerged brush will provide excellent cover for spawning crappie. Until then, trolling a 1/4 oz jig head and a grub tail, tipped with a minnow, is a typical winter technique for crappie anglers on Roosevelt and Apache Lakes.
  5. Reports
    "2,122 feet, 67-percent full"
    Mar 26, 2017
    March 23 report from Jim Goughnor of Rim Country Custom Rods:

    Spring fishing and water flows continue to be the talk of Rim Country anglers. Bass are in pre, post and spawning phases which means many are feeding heavily and anglers are reporting successful trips to the lake. The water flows into Roosevelt Lake from the Salt River and the Tonto Creek are back to normal flow rates for this time of year. However, during March and April, flow rates into the lake are traditionally higher than most other times throughout the year. The water level is rising about 2% per week and currently stands at 67% full. Many Rim Country streams and creeks are still flowing at high rates and there is still snow at higher elevations. Higher lake levels are expected due to these continuing flows.

    Bass fishing is being called good to excellent on Roosevelt and Apache Lakes. The water temperature is reaching 65 degrees during the afternoons. The stained water promotes higher water temperatures which results in perfect spawning conditions for the bass. Many bass are located in shallow water, 25 foot deep or less and are being caught on a variety of reaction baits. With the stained water conditions, baits that create a noise such as a crank-bait, spinner-bait or chatter-bait can be extremely effective.

    The stained water condition is also having an impact on “sight-fishing” for bass. Anglers can see only about 12″ to 18″, since many bass spawn at deeper depths, many bass guarding beds will go undetected. Anglers are looking forward to the next full moon on April 10th which will likely bring another big wave of bass to the shallow flats for the spawn.

    Crappie anglers continue to troll along shorelines and are reporting improved fishing conditions. A few crappie have been seen near spawning areas but an experienced crappie angler reported seeing no spawning crappie on the Tonto end of the lake during a recent trip. The crappie spawn is probably still a few weeks away when the water temperature maintains the 65 degree level.
  6. HookedAZ
    "(2,126 feet, 71-percent full)"
    May 19, 2017
    . Water temperatures high-60s to low-70s during afternoons.

    May 18 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

    Fishing conditions are improving as the water is starting to flow out of Roosevelt Lake. Water is slowly being released for now, however, the rates will increase as the downstream demand grows for summer usage. The impact on the fishing has been that the algae in Roosevelt Lake mostly dissipated. Bass fishing conditions are being called good by local experienced anglers. The water temperature is in the mid 70\s and the water clarity is slightly stained.

    The recent full moon brought another wave of bass onto the spawning flats while others are transitioning into a post-spawn phase of aggressive feeding to rebuild their strength. Reaction baits such as crankbaits, jerk-baits, spinner-baits were all reported successful. As the ambient temperature becomes higher than the water temperature, top water baits become more effective. Buzz-baits, Rico’s and frog baits would be worth a try during late May. In the late spring early summer, top water baits are most effective during the early morning before the sunlight hits the water. For the finesse anglers, Senkos, Roboworms, jigs and craw-dad baits were are all reported successful for catching good quantities of fish.

    Crappie anglers reported poor to fair fishing recently on Roosevelt Lake. Anglers are searching for large schools but most are reporting finding smaller groups and some are reporting finding no crappie. Crappie prefer stable and warmer water temperature so perhaps the mild spring is keeping crappie in deeper water after the spawn than normal. As the summer temperatures increase and the wind becomes calm, crappie fishing will get hotter.