Colorado River 3/2/2012

ARIZONA FISHING REPORTS: The Arizona Game and Fish Department compiles a weekly report for most waters in the state, including the Colorado Rivers. Anglers can read the report at azgfd.net/artman/publish/FishingReport/.

FLOW INFORMATION: Reservoir elevation levels and flow releases for the entire lower Colorado River are available at this website, with information updated hourly: usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/rivops.html.

LAKE MEAD: The striper action has been tough, with the best bite at night during dark moon phases under lights, with anchovies or sardines under balls of shad. Some fish for trollers morning and evening. Most fish under 4 pounds. The largemouth and smallmouth bass are slow to fair with the best action on slow presentation. The fish are still mostly in 20 to 30 feet of water with few moving up shallow yet. Redear and bluegill bite is fair with most fish in six to 20 feet of water. Catfish also very spotty with some on cut baits. Water level is about 40 feet above the level at this time last year with lots of flooded brush, even if fairly deep water. That’s where the bass and panfish have been hanging out to ambush the shad.

WILLOW BEACH: The striped bass action has been picking up over the past two weeks and the action remains good with a lot of quality fish showing from mile marker 49 to marker 52. The trout bite remains good on salmon eggs, PowerBait, worms, Super Dupers and other small lures and jigs after the weekly plants of 3,000 rainbows. Lots of limits reported. Information: Willow Beach Resort at (928) 767-4747.

LAKE MOHAVE: The black bass are hitting soft baits when worked slowly, especially on grass beds in 20 to 30 foot depths in the early morning, with blue, black and purple and black grubs and worms. Some fish are starting to move up a little, but the movement to shallows for the spawn is still a ways off here. Some stripers are showing for trollers working anchovies in 30 to 50 feet, with a few fish to 10 pounds reported in Cottonwood Basin and at the Power Lines near the dam. The catfish bite has been improving in the bays and off the points on cut baits. No panfish reports. Information: Cottonwood Cove at (702) 297-1464, Katherine’s Landing at (928) 754-3245. Interesting website for Willow Beach and Lake Mohave striper anglers: lakemohavestripers.com.

LAUGHLIN-BULLHEAD AREA: The trout bite has continued good over the past week, with a lot of planted rainbows at Davis Camp, Rotary Park, the Nature Center and the old Bullhead City region. The fish are fresh planters up to holdover fish to 4 or 5 pounds. Mike Gobats, Bullhead City, landed a 3.88-pounder, while Richard Underwood, also Bullhead, had a 2.74-pound rainbow. The best action has been on nightcrawlers, but small lures and floating dough baits are also getting quite a few fish. The most recent trout plant was Feb. 14. The plants are made the second Tuesday each month through March, with 4,000 pounds normally split between the three locations: the casino stretch, Sportsman’s Access, and Rotary Park. However, the Sportsman’s Access may be closed for some time, so all the fish are being planted at the other two locations. The striper bite has been very slow, but it appears more are starting to show now. Also some slight improvement in the catfish, panfish and smallmouth bass reports. Information: Riviera Marina at (928) 763-8550.

NEEDLES AREA: Very spotty fishing in this stretch of river. A few smallmouths are showing along riprap, with the action better the farther south you go. Also still a few stripers showing on cut baits and cranks being caught along with the occasional catfish. Few reports. Information: Needles Marina at (760) 326-2197.

TOPOCK AREA: The warmer-than-normal temperatures of the past month have the bite well ahead of schedule in the gorge with fair and improving action on striped bass, smallmouth, largemouth, and redear/bluegill. The smallies are running up to two pounds, and largemouth to 3-8 have been reported, with both species mostly showing on nightcrawlers. The bass are starting to move shallow for the spawn. Catfish finally improving, too. In Topoc Marsh, the catfish bite has been much better with quite a few fish showing off North Dike on minnows and worms. There also has been a consistent but just fair crappie bite. 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 steadily improved over the past week and a lot of the fish are already moving up into the shallows in a major pre-spawn movement of fish and some fish are already making beds. The smallmouth and largemouth are already showing up in four feet of water 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 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 with ‘crawlers under a bobber. 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: The largemouth bass bite is looking to kick into gear with a lot of fish moving around in the shallows as we move into the spawn. More and more fishing on plastics and reaction baits this past week. The smallmouth bass are fair and improving on crawdad-like crankbaits and plastics in the main river along the rip-rap. The tilapia and panfish bites have been improving with the warmer weather and there have been more and more flathead catfish reported with fish to nearly 40 pounds reported in the past week. Also fair to good channel catfish action. No striper reports from the diversion dam. Information: B&B Bait (760) 921-2248.

PALO VERDE: The water level has come way up, higher than in the past two months, and the action is also way up. The bass are starting to show in pretty good numbers in the lagoon and main river, and panfish bite is already kicking into gear with some good catches of half-pound bluegill reported this past week. The catfish, both channels and flatheads, are also improving, but the best flathead reported this week was just in the 10-pound class. Information: Walter’s Camp (760) 854-3322 Thursday-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 fair to good on plastics, jigs, and live bait, as the 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-Monday or martinezlake.com.

YUMA AREA: Largemouth bass action is fair to 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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