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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am originally from PA and thought I was a pretty good bass angler there. But now that I am AZ I seem to suck, especially from November through February. The bass in the reservoirs out here (like Pleasant, Canyon, and Bartlett) seem to disappear. I can't get anything to hit shallow or in cover, and it's really hard to fish deeper because the fish I mark are suspended at 30 feet in 50 feet of water with no obvious structure below. I've spent hours trying to vertical jig with NO success. Any suggestions??
 

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What are you jigging with??? Cotton Cordell, Jiggin' Spoon's, Kastmasters and other typical jigging spoons seem to be the ticket. I know it helps to use your graph to mark your bait as well, have you tried that to make sure you're getting it in their face? Also a Med Heavy rod helps a LOT to ensure you get a good hook set at those depths. I'm a Tucson boy but I try to get to Saguaro once a month. I have a white Pro Craft 180 with a green stripe (...with glitter boat cop... :wink: ) and a Merc 150. Swing by and say "HI" if you ever see me out there and I'll help you anyway I can. ...but they don't call me Skunked for nuttin :roll: so don't expect too much. :wink: :lol:
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
b.

At pleasant up until last week 90% of my fish came in less than 5 feet of water.


I also catch them at 30-40 feet all year But I dont like to unless I am desparate for a limit.



Delw
 

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That's because they all migrate to Saguaro for the winter. As stated above, you can catch fish shallow to deep all year long in Az. One of my biggest large mouth came on top water in Dec. In deep water look for balls of shad and drop a spoon. Sometimes spoon size matters, due to fall rate. Best bet, pull up to someone you see catching fish and ask them what they are doing, especially Del. Seriously if you approach MOST of us on the water, we will share some ideas. There are some good guides(Ken Levy, Joe Owens, Art Chamberlin) that roam these pages and know how to catch those fish. You can learn alot from them about fishing techniques and how to set up your graph for the best results.
 

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Winter bass fishing is slower in the sense that you generally get less bites and the fish bite lighter all based upon water temperature and the fact that a fish’s metablisium is controlled by the water temperature. It is also a fact that fish can be caught from 0’ to 60’ (even deeper) in the winter months. Also, suspended fish are real hard to catch. If they are not feeding in suspended schools of shad they are almost impossible to catch suspended.

Another interesting fact is that is seems that each lake develops its own character when it comes to winter basin. Here is what I’ve learned over the years.

Alamo – It seems this lakes shuts down hard in when the water turns cold. Hard to catch anything. (I’m sure somebody knows how to catch fish but not anybody I know.)

Pleasant – The creek channels in 30’-50’ is a good place to start. Use the dropshot. Very shallow is also good 0’-5’ in sun warmed areas.

Roosevelt – This is a great winter lake. The key is to learn to fish structure, points, humps and channels. Jigs and WiredWorms real slow on the bottom will produce. Also, cranks shallow always seem to work, either early in the morning or later when the sun warms the water.

Bartlett – Again deep and shallow are best bets. This deep structure points and ledges. Also there is a very shallow rock out cropping jig bite.

Apache – This is an interesting case. That lake if full of largemouth bass that become almost impossible to catch in winter. But the smallmouth move shallow and are can be caught with in-line spinners and crankbaits. Jigs work as well. Think shallow.

In general fish slow. Larger baits are sometimes better. Heavy jigs and 6” WiredWorms for structure fishing. I would go to smaller cranks baits size 5 Fatraps and Bandit 200’s. Spoons can work in the winter but it seems that by then end of December the spoon bite goes away. I think the fish get off the schools of shad and move back to structure. This happens a Roosevelt.

Disclaimer: These are my observations and may not agree with others who fish differently than I.
 

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Captain McSh*tty
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One more thing...fishing in Az is differnt, and I will admit, its HARDER than So. Cal (where I learned how to fish and the bass know all the stock numbers to every robo worm out there) but with the help of the folks on this page and lots of time on the water....I have learned how to get them. Good luck! If you ever need someone to fill the back seat, let me k now.
Jason
 

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What a great forum - thanks!

Wow, this forum has a great group! Thanks to Josh Bertrand (bertrandaz) for steering me to it! :D

I formally registered with the site today and will be participating regularly from now on. Thanks!
 

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Welcome Brian. Glad you like this place. I would still be getting blanked every trip if it weren't for the people here. Everyone is a great help and you'll make a lot of new friends. Stick around, this is like a second home for me. Josh
 

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welcome dude! look at it this way, you had to learn a style and pattern for where you came from by putting time in and being open, creative, and patient (didn't mean to get all dr. phil on you) in order to be successful. it's no different here. link up every chance you get and take notes on patterns. look at it as an opportunity to learn and i'm sure you'll do just fine. oh by the way it kind of helps to be a bass biologist :wink: be cool and good luck!
 

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Great post Joe! (conquistador)

And welcome to the site B Mc B! Be sure to ask Skunked to show you a KSW when you see him on Saguaro.
 

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Feeling Welcome

You all really know how to make a guy feel welcome. Thanks again, especially to Conquistador for the detailed posting -- I can't wait to try the suggestions.

I'll spend the rest of the evening pondering KSW....
..."Kinda Slow Worm"?..."Killer Spooning Weight"?..."Kickass Swimming Waterdog"?..."Ken's Super Widget"?... :wink:
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Do what everybody else says and you will be fine.

Funny thing about fishing in AZ you will catch them all yearlong in shallow water on anything realy it just depends on how long you throw that certain bait. I chunked blades on Pleasant for a long time last week and it finaly paid off while at the same time in the front of the boat my brother was dropping a spoon ( crippled herring ) both the 1/8 and the 1/2 ounce and in both colors silver and all white then we went around the corner and I threw a 4 inch lizard and caugth one in 5 foot of water at 8:30 in the morning while still in the front my brother was bringing 1 in from the 30ft
range on a drop shot worm. If you want to get bit on Sag. Canyon
Pleasant or Apache in the Am before 8 throw either a topwater
sammy or a blade 1/2 ounce silver headed blade with willowleaf blades in silver and gold for the sammy ghost white or a clear spook if you are fishing the sunny side of the lake you should pick something up on either lake. If it is windy then throw shad colored cranks unless water clarity is a factor then bump up to a loud rattling firetiger BUT still throw it shallow and work it out deep.
You want a search bait and have good forearms then throw a jerkbait down a rocky bank or if you are cold it will warm you up with motion and fish. Like conquistador? said on Apache the same goes for INLINE spinners funny no names were given but panther martins and yellow jackets black and yellow THE KEY with these is you have to get them to the bottom and reel SLOWLY in about 20ft for the good tourney size smallmouth. Listen to FRANKLIN ans JASON on SAG. or CANYON in the winter you must at all times have a swimbait tied on I dont care if you tie it on your docking rope as long as you can throw it out at least 30ft and bring it in it is worth it. On Pleasant last week I heard the winner was also using a LIL GEORGE in silver its a little tail spinner and you can work it deep slowrolling it like a blade. As with anything it will come in time the patterns and tricks but the tricks of tourney guys and non-tourney guys differ in the way they approach a lake and the goals are different but the end result are the same
and thats to catch fish. GOOD LUCK

gcbaitman.
 
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