Fishing Report: Bartlett Lake reaction bite hot for bass

Bartlett Lake - Carefree, AZ (Maricopa County)

A largemouth bass caught with guide Gary Senft Sunday, Nov. 2.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Arizona Game & Fish

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

Water temperature: 64 degrees

Lake level: 1,766 feet; 58 percent. See the water report.

Horseshoe Lake dropped 2 feet in elevation from Oct. 15-Nov. 3, and Bass Pro Gary Senft said he’s seeing an influx of 6- to 8-inch largemouth bass (likely from this spring’s excellent spawn) at Bartlett, which has fallen 6 feet during the past week.  Due to these falling water levels, there may be AZGFD’s artificial habitat structures exposed — please do not contact AZGFD as they are at their proper depths and with enough increased rainfall would be back underwater. That said, the underwater structures could be prime fishing spots — see a map of these structures. 

Bass fishing has been excellent, especially during periods with a dropping barometer (prior a storm). Bass Pro Gary Senft said the reaction bite (using crankbaits, etc.) has been great during these periods of decreasing air pressure or during mornings when fish are within 3 feet of the banks. Best crankbait for Senft has been a small Rapala Shad Rap. A 1/2-ounce spinnerbait in white with a gold or silver willow leaf blade also has produced bass up to 4 pounds. Around 9 a.m., fish have been moving into 10-20 feet of water depth. Consider switching to Texas rigs using 4 1/2-inch curly tail brush hogs in watermelon/green pumpkin and a 3/16-ounce weight.

Senft said even around noon, fish still may be prone to chasing shad at the surface — have a top-water lure rigged and ready.

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