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The panfish are out there, too

September 28, 2018

BULLHEAD CITY — While most fishermen in the Tri-state target stripers or trout — or maybe largemouth and smallmouth bass or catfish — there are other fish out there.

Providing proof were Steve Jansen and Joel Pyne, who caught 25 panfish in near and in Topock Gorge.

“Going down river below Davis Dam along the Colorado River near and below the gorge, you will find some great panfish activity,” said Rusty Braun, proprietor of Riviera Marina in Bullhead City. “These fish are best found in the plant life areas along the shore lines.”

According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona panfish include bluegill, redear sunfish and hybrid sunfish, among other species. The fish are smaller that other species — a 3-pounder is considered huge — and they tend to live in stiller waters such as lakes, reservoirs and ponds.

“The panfish bite is doing well but not of much size,” Braun said.

Meanwhile, the striper bite seems to be better on the river than on Lake Mohave, Braun said.

“Lake Mohave is not producing much in the way of our striped bass,” he said. “There is some largemouth and smallmouth action. The coves around the dam and near the power lines are producing some largemouth bass while the shelves are having some smallies going after mostly plastics. The dark hula tails and pumpkin color are working well.”

On the south side of the dam, the striper bite is ongoing.

“Along the casino row, you can find some striper action,” Braun said. Ernie and Kayden Calma brought in four nice fish, one at 2.84 pounds and 201⁄2 inches.

“The father and son team were using lures,” Braun said. “They were having the best luck with Savage Gear hard baits in a white swim pattern.”

Braun said he has heard the striper bite still is doing well below Community Park and in the Big Bend area.

“Rotary Park is a go-to spot for you trout anglers,” he said. “We are getting more rainbow trout soon and remember, the limit of trout is five below Davis Dam. These trout are being brought to us from the Willow Beach hatchery. This is a federal hatchery that is up and running and it looks like it’s going to be a great trout season.”

If you are having some success and want to share the news with others — and get your catch recorded for posterity — visit Braun at Riviera Marina, 520 Riviera Blvd. in Bullhead City, or give him a call at 928-763-8550.

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