Happy New Year,
I guess this report is better late than never and should come in handy for those fishing Lake Pleasant in future years. Tues Dec 30, 2014 I was fortunate enough to fish Lake Pleasant, AZ one last time before the end of the year with my buddy & Lake Pleasant fishing guide Derrick Franks "The Striper Snatcher". Derrick had a client from Chicago on a guide trip Jan 2 and wanted to get in a little prefish before that trip. The recent cold snap that hit Southern California and Arizona dropped the water temps into the 55-57 degree range and the shad/schooling size stripers started heading for the deep water channels around 50' - 60' in the northern coves.
Our first stop was to hit Humbug cove and as we hit the 5 mph bouys around 11AM we saw lots of boats fishing the area in the middle to backs of the coves but no one was catching any fish. When we spoke to a number of live bait fisherman anchored in 30' that we recognized on the lake they reported no bites for the day and were thinking about packing it up if things didn't improve soon. Back at the 5 mph bouys we saw a number of birds working bait fish diving in the middle of the cove in about 55' of water and stopped for a few min to test the spoon bite. First drop on a new spoon from P-Line called the Laser Minnow I picked up from BPS produced our first fish of the day around 16". We received a few more taps but nothing in the boat which were most likely small fish swiping at the bait.
As we headed shallower we saw some stripers working baitfish into the newly flooded brush/cow pasture and Derrick was able to catch a nice striper and largemouth throwing Rat-L-Traps towards the boils with a few new baits he was field testing for Rat-L-Trap. As we worked the flooded trees throughout the back of humbug we worked the same small swimbait pattern that had been working throughout the fall and hooked into 14 stripers working baitfish between the trees. The smallest we caught was just under 3lbs and the largest weighed in at 7lbs. This was a bit unusual as the past few weeks the bigger fish were out deep in 15'-30' on swimbaits and now we were catching them in less than 3'-7' of water in newly flooded brush. Typically this was what the smaller fish were doing but the cold snap must have pushed those fish out deep while the big girls were now up shallow.
We left Humbug around 2PM, grabbed a bite to eat at Dillan's Restaurant on the water at Scorpion Bay while scouting out a few locations in the south part of the lake. After lunch not seeing much activity on the graph down south we headed back to Coles and caught several more stripers shallow on the same small swimbait pattern.
As we left the lake around dusk we had a chance to talk to 3 other boats pulling off the lake at the same time. Everyone we spoke to that day fishing moving baits, cut anchovies on a dropshot and livebait reported either 1 fish or a zero for the day. The fishing is definitely starting to change from the fall to winter pattern and the majority of the fish are heading for the deeper water in 40'-100'. The shallow bite is starting to taper off numbers wise but if you do connect with a white bass, striped bass or largemouth in the shallows on a swimbait it will be above average in size.
If you find yourself in the Phoenix, AZ area and you're looking for some great fishing action feel free to look up Derrick Franks "The Striper Snatcher" to book a trip on the water.
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