Bartlett Lake Fishing Report

Bartlett Lake - Carefree, AZ (Maricopa County)

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

The lake level has been dropping 8-10 inches daily. Bass fishing has been uncharacteristically slow, and this may be due to rapidly dropping water from Bartlett into Horseshoe Lake. There are reports that bass that were in 30 feet of water went to around 50 feet deep -- along with schools of shad.

Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, suggests fishing deep early in the morning and as the water warms, fish in 15-20 feet of water. Try Ricos, Pop-R's, small crankbaits, and with plastics -- Carolina rigs, dropshots and Texas rigs.

In general, effective largemouth bass methods this time of the year tend to be baby brush hogs in green pumpkin or watermelon candy with a dropshot or Texas rig. Also try top water poppers, buzz baits and Rat-L-Traps. Fish drop-offs, points, ledges and reefs in 15 to 18 feet of water. This bite should continue getting better and better as the season progresses.

Bartlett does have good shoreline options at Rattlesnake Cove. In general, this is the perfect place to go to introduce someone to fishing or to get the kids on a lot of fish.

Crappie should be congregating in larger schools suspended in deeper water, quite often off extended underwater points or along the Yellow Cliffs.

This is the prime flathead catfish season. Try live bluegill or small carp as bait. Look for the deeper holes, especially up-lake where there is a little current. For bluegills, try the backs of rocky coves using nightcrawlers or meal worms on light tackle.

Lake elevation is 1,770 feet, feet, 62 % full.

More Reports

Nov. 3 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods: The big news among Rim Country anglers is the decreased amount of water being taken out of Roosevelt Lake to meet downstream demands. Each year during the winter months, water from Bartlett Lake and the Verde River is used as the primary downstream water source allowing Roosevelt Lake to replenish during the winter months. The Verde River runs into the Salt River just north of Mesa which permits the use...... Read More

With the salmon fishing season closing October 31, the season limps along with very little to show for it. Only 1 charter boat ventured out to record 4 salmon to 22 pounds for 10 anglers. They claim that most of the salmon for the Fall run have already moved through the bay and into their natal streams, primarily the Sacramento River. Meanwhile the rock fishing is yielding 10 fish limits from Monterey to Bodega Bay with a sprinkling of cabazone...... Read More