Colorado River 3/16/2012

By: [Byline]

3/16/2012

TOPOCK AREA: The bass action is very good with a lot of fish starting to move into the warmer river backwaters for the spawn. The redear/bluegill bite is also improving. Stripers and catfish spotty. In Topoc Marsh, the bite on everything is steadily improving. There have been catfish showing on North Dyke, and the bass are showing throughout the marsh. Also fair to good action on small crappie throughout the marsh. You can access the marsh by boat at the North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of area for shoreline fishing too. For more information on the marsh, contact the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge at (760) 326-3853 or fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/havasu/index.html. Topock Marsh can be accessed by boat at North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. Information: Phil’s Western Trader at (928) 768-4954 or Capt. Doyle’s Fun Fishing guide service at (928) 768-2667.

HAVASU: The black bass bite has continued to improve each week with the warmer weather and the fish are in a full-on spawn mode with a lot of fish on beds. The smallmouth and largemouth are showing up in water as shallow as 4 feet, with the best action on plastics, reaction baits and swimbaits. Also, a lot of fish showing on modified Alabama rigs (to make them Arizona-legal with just two hooks). Stripers remain mostly slow with the only action still mostly in the south end of the lake at the dam and in the Havasu Springs area where the shad a schooled up. The few stripers being landed and showing under these balls of shad on jigging spoons and bait. Other species have also been very slow, with few reports of redear or catfish. The only redear reports have been up into the river in Topoc Gorge in the sun-warmed backwaters, mostly on nightcrawlers. Information: Bass Tackle Master at (928) 854-2277.

PARKER STRIP: Fair to good smallmouth bass along the riprap on small cranks, plastics and jigs. The catfish are fair to good on cut baits in the bigger pools and eddies. Bluegill and redear are good in the backwaters and quiet water in the main river. No flathead reports.

BLYTHE: Good action on flatheads, channels and largemouth bass. The bass are mostly in the shallows in a spawn mode, with the best bite on plastics, jigs, nightcrawlers and reaction baits. The catfish have been good, mostly on cut baits and live bluegill or goldfish. John Daniels, Mesa, Ariz., landed a 38-pound flathead last Friday south of Poston. Jimbo and John Sargeant, Riverside, had several flatheads from 8 to 37 pounds recently right around Blythe on live goldfish. While there have been few striper reports, Albaro Cabrera, Blythe, landed a 20-pounder on a crankbait last week. The smallmouth bass are fair and improving on crawdad-like crankbaits and plastics in the main river along the riprap. The tilapia and panfish bites have been getting better by the day. Information: B&B Bait (760) 921-2248.

PALO VERDE: High water this past week has made for tougher largemouth bass fishing with the fish deep in backwater tules in many places, but still overall a good bite. The smallmouth action in the main river is very good on small reaction baits, cranks, and jigs. The catfish action is also really starting to take off with good reports from both the main river and lagoon this past week. The panfish bite is already kicking into gear with some good catches of half-pound bluegill. Cibola Lake, a popular fishing backwater lake on the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, reopened to fishing March 15. Information: Walter’s Camp (760) 854-3322 Thursday through Monday.

PICACHO AREA: The bass are fair to good on plastics and live baits with some fish still showing on reaction baits. Generally fair and improving action on catfish, and the bluegill bite is starting to improve, especially in the sun-warmed backwaters.

MARTINEZ LAKE AREA: Largemouth bass action has been good on plastics, jigs, and live bait, as more and more fish move shallow for the spawn. Channel catfish action is fair to good on stink baits, and the quality flathead action is picking up with some nice fish to 20-pounds-plus this past week. Bluegill are fair and improving, too, but still no crappie reports. Information: (928) 783-9589 Thursday through Monday or martinezlake.com.

YUMA AREA: Largemouth bass action is good and getting better by the day with the best action on plastics, nightcrawlers and reaction baits in the warmer backwaters with some fish already in shallow water on beds for the spawn. The channel catfish action also fair to good. Flatheads also fair on live bluegill, tilapia, or goldfish. Fair bluegill bite in most backwaters and this bite is getting better by the day.

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