Home Fishing Tips Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Early Spring at Rainbow Lake, AZ

Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Early Spring at Rainbow Lake, AZ

Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Early Spring at Rainbow Lake, AZ

Got’im! We got’im. Got’im on that Ned-rig. [cackling] Look at that. Little Rainbow Lake bass. Come on baby. It’s that time of year, finally. Got’im! [cackling] Little Rainbow Lake bass right there. Folks, it is that time of year.

Caught him on a little Ned-rig. I threw that little tiny bait up in there because I knew that little guy would just go ape over it. It’s a great little bed-fish bait when you’re trying to catch the little ones.

You know, we’re at Rainbow Lake. A place where I learned my ABCs of bass fishing. I live about– less than half a mile from here. And uh, I’ll tell you what, uh– this lake has always been a blast.

It’s cleared up really nice. You know, when the lakes down below are all done and– and the– the spawn is over, the spawn starts taking over here in the White Mountains. Uh, the fishing’s a little tougher up here.

The quality of fish are great, uh, but we have a lot of lakes that offer some bass fishing up here that’s a lot of fun. Number one is Rainbow. I’ll get on Rainbow anywhere’s from, you know, mid April, all the way up through June.

After that– pretty much done because it’s weeded up so bad. It’s tough to get on it. And unless you like throwing frogs and pulling weeds out of your– out of your uh– trolling motor every two seconds uh– yeah, I normally don’t get out here.

I’ll go hit Fool’s Hollow or something like that. But uh, we have Fool Hollow Lake, Scott’s Reservoir, Show Low Lake, uh, Willow Springs– you know, all those lakes up here have bass.

Today, of course, we’re gonna be fishing Rainbow Lake. You’re gonna see a lot of cool stuff here– like I said, growing up here– we have a lot of docks. It’s almost like fishing a Florida lake.

And what I mean by that is it’s real shallow water. This lake’s 13 feet deep at its deepest. It’s clear water, and then of course, we have a lot of flooded brush and uh, we have a ton of docks.

You have to learn how to skip docks, work docks– things like that. And over the years of working docks– that’s one of the reasons I like to go to lakes that have docks on them, like say, a Clear Lake in California, is because I grew up fishing docks.

So I understand them a little bit more. But other than that, we’re going to go around and see if we can catch us some quality fish. That was a nice little bed-fish there to start the day with and, like I said, they’re just moving up.

So we’ll have a lot of fun and see if we can’t catch more right here at Rainbow Lake. Got one! Right there. I got the small one. I got the small one on that Fat Ika. Right here at the ramp, folks. [cackling] We haven’t even moved yet.

Haven’t even moved yet. Got the small one. There’s a bigger one in there. Let’s get it– get it and let it loose. Look– the quality of these fish here, huh? That’s a weightless Fat Ika’s what I’m throwing.

Here, you learn to throw a lot of weightless stuff as well, with all the weeds. But they look like little footballs man. Look at that! Healthy fish. Thanks buddy. I’m gonna hurry up and try to get in there and catch that bigger one.

She was going over for it and got spooked off from the male. See if she’ll get up in there. Yeah, that’s a 2 1/2 pounder here. Tell you what, you never know the power of having Power-Poles until you need them.

I try to tell– explain to people– you know when you’re fishing this shallow water like this, it’s always good to have Power-Poles. Man, look at that fish. It’s so beautiful right here.

I’m gonna try to get’im. Now usually when I don’t get a fish– he’s interested in this bait, but it’s hard for me to see it, so I have to throw something I can see. It’s very important to throw something you can see.

Now I’m gonna try my little craw. If this doesn’t intimidate her enough to bite, then I’ll throw my big craw. See, now I can see the bait. Got her! Oh! I had her on! [sighs] [grunts] There’s a jig-fish right there.

[laughs] Yep. We hit our first dock, folks. And caught us a jig-fish. And this fish has been caught before and culled. I can feel the little hole right there. Somebody had culled that fish, believe it or not.

I’m throwing that Persuader E-chip jig. And it’s a flipping jig– which is awesome– but it’s got that little E-chip in there. It’s a little crystal deal in there that actually– when it hits the bottom and it’s hitting rocks– puts off an electrical pulsation there that’s equal to– like running crawdads or running bait fish or something and– and it just really gets’em going.

And on top of that, I just threw a little Beaver on the back of it and uh, I got it dangling off the back there. We just caught that fish out from underneath that dock. But this is an awesome jig and it– it sends out that little– that little indication man, for fish to just to go nuts on it.

Anything that’s got a little bit of noise, whether it’s a rattle, you know, you can throw– man, you know– you can put rattles in your baits or you can get rattle-back type jigs or something. But the Persuader jig, already having that on there, is pretty awesome.

And I like it because it already comes with the skirt pretty well shortened up for you, ready to go. You know– it doesn’t come with an extra long skirt. And uh, you know– it’s an awesome little jig.

I was here throwing this jig at a bass club tournament two weeks ago. I got second place. I broke off a– a nice fish that I think would’ve gave me first but– I got second place. I had four fish. Real nice fish.

And I think my big one was almost 5 pounds so– you know– off this jig so– you know, they’re here. They’re doing something a little bit different from two weeks ago. You were looking at a real good pre-spawn there.

Now, I think they’re moving up a little bit and there a lot more active. A lot more active today. I think the water temperature was 52 or 54°, now it’s up to 61. Because this is such a shallow lake, it warms up quick.

[laid back rock music] This fish has taken off one pincer already. Trying to get it fired up and take one more. [grunts and laughs] My reflexes ain’t what they used to be. Tell you one thing, this fish has been a nightmare.

I’m ready to catch it. Got’im that time! [cackling] That’s what I’m talking about son! That’s a nice Rainbow Lake bass. Alright, come on buddy! Got all my lures out on the– on the deck. Come on. Come on, I’m gonna let you go.

I’m gonna let you go. That’s the good news. Look at the ‘football’ look on these fish man! These fish are so healthy. Look at that. Just a football. [laughs] That fish, we had to catch sight-fishing. It took me a little while to catch that fish man.

You gotta get’em in that mood, you know? But uh, we ended up catching it. There’s a big female up in there but I don’t think she’ll move up in there. Maybe I’m wrong. See if she did. Yeah, there is a big female moved up in there.

They’re swimming around. They’re just now getting to where they’re swimming around. You know, I had to catch that fish on a– on a little craw– little white craw– so I could see it.

And I kinda had to aggravate it a little bit, but I finally got it going. And uh, sometimes that’s what it takes. But make no mistake, this time of year it’s so much fun, because you can take your Senko’s– you know, I’ve got all kinds of lures out here on the deck I’m having fun with but– And of course, I’ve got my big dog in case I see the big female, which is my big craw that I like to throw.

But we’ve caught a lot of fish on this. You don’t want to throw this without 17 pound test line. Now, that lure I was just throwing, was just a Texas-rigged– I’ll show it to you– just a Texas-rigged little craw.

Now, you don’t have to use white, you can use– I use white so I can see it– you can use natural colors and still Texas-rig and things like that. But I’m throwing it on lighter line and I– the reason why I have it on the spinning out– outfit, is so I can get precise casts really easy with my light tackle.

So I can just flicker it out there without the fish really seeing me. So I can just take it and flicker it out there and, you know, just throw it out there and just see what happens. But I can make precise casts this way.

It’s funny, because that big female moved in, but boy, she’s spooky as all get out. [country music] Got’im! I got’im! [cackling] That’s a nice one, folks! That’s a nice fish! That’s a brute! [cackling] Little Rainbow Lake bass.

Oh yeah! Come on buddy. [chuckles] Oh my goodness, I love this time of year. Alright, you’re done. Oh, you look so good. They are so healthy and they look good, and they got big ol’ jaws.. Look at that.

These fish are all beef, let me tell you. –Or all fish. Look at that. Beautiful bass right here– Rainbow Lake. And you notice they all look beautiful green. They got– they’re– they’re nice and wide.

They eat good. Now, you gotta remember something about Rainbow– See you buddy. Watch him.. Bye! — You know, we don’t have shad in these lakes. We got frogs, bluegills, trout, you know uh, catfish, things like that but– sunfish– but.

. Oh, and they’ve added grass carp here to.. The reason for the grass carp is because this lake gets really weedy. Remember I was telling you– after June, this lake’s pretty much done.

Well, I’m noticing a lot less grass. They put a bunch of those grass carp in. All they do is eat the grass and– and– and weeds and things like that, so– It’s helping the lake out to an extent. But I don’t think you’ll ever be able to get all of the grass out of this lake.

It’s just– it’s a shallow lake. It– it’ll grow quicker than they can eat it. But, in saying that, it keeps it clean for a while. The only thing good about the weeds, is it clears the lake up quick.

Uh, the lake is not clearing up nearly as fast as it usually does because we usually have a little bit more weed but hey, you know, it’s still a lot of fun. But uh, those grass carp definitely are making a difference and uh– as far as being able to get out here and go fishing and not get a bunch of weeds in your trolling motor.

At least this time of year. [up-tempo country music] Hey folks, for my Tip of the Week, one thing I want to show you.. You know, anytime you get into an area where you have bed-fish like we have and you have a tough time catching them, and you’ve tried downsizing to these little guys like this, you know– and I catch a lot of my fish off that.

Especially when they’re pressured or something like that, a lot of times they’ll be more willing to hit the little baits– but I have found something out.. Throw away the little baits, go to the real big ones.

. Do something to intimidate them, and a lot of times you get those big females going after something like that. And I’ll tell you what, going after a big bait like this, when you wouldn’t think even a little fish would hit it, would surprise you.

Anything that intimidates them on the bed, they’re going to go after. So try upsizing a little bit instead of downsizing, and you might catch bigger fish. You know, just a couple of baits that if you come to the White Mountains, you want to fish Rainbow Lake or Fool’s Hollow.

. Some– some standard baits that we use up here in the White Mountains.. Well, number one’s the Senko. You can throw that weightless and uh, do the 4 inch.. The 3 inch, the 4 inch and a 5 inch all work very well up here.

And of course, your jigs. Your standard jigs. Any kind of flipping-jig. Go with a craw pattern or or a dark– you know– black and blue. Something like that works really good. You also have spinner baits.

Now even though the water’s clear up here a lot of times, you can get away with a lot of chartreuses, because we have frogs and things like that– trout in the water– so you know, a little chartreuse on a white spinner bait goes a long ways up here in the White Mountains.

That’s a– that’s a good– usually a pretty good uh, key lure to throw. And then uh, you know, obviously the drop-shot will work up here very well. And some baits you can skip.. Tubes– uh you know– things like that.

But try to stay within the pattern of what’s– what’s going on as far as– you know– like I said. Shad stuff? You can throw it. You’ll catch fish on it but it’s– you know– it’s not the standard stuff that I’d want to throw.

If I’m going to throw, for example a stick-bait or something like that– or jerk-bait– I want it to look like a rainbow trout or a bluegill or something so– versus a shad. So there’s a few– few little tips there that will help you when you come up here to the White Mountains.

Like I said, I’ve been fishing this lake my whole life. Lizards work really good. And uh, I– I’ve had a lot of success on these lakes just with the four or five baits I just told you. And it’s pretty much standard every year you come fishing here.

You know? So.. You know, there’s a pretty good chance you’re gonna catch some fish. And don’t forget.. Throw a Texas-rig in there once in a while. Or when the– when the lake’s not so weedy, you can drag that Texas-rig, a little lizard or a 4 inch worm or a 7 inch Power Worm works pretty good up here so.

. With those few baits, I’m sure that’ll help you right here at Rainbow Lake. [laid-back guitar music] [whispering] Oh, there’s a bigger one right there. Bigger one. Oh, he’s going down for my bait. Got’im! I got’im! Nice fish! [grunting] Oh.

. I gotta keep them out of the dock! Oh! [cackling] I knew it! Little drop-shot bass. [laughing] Ooh! Oh my goodness! [chuckles] I saw that fish heading for my bait. I’m like– “He’s going for my bait”! Oh my goodness! Come on baby.

That is a nice fish. Nice fish! Ah– He’s got it hooked in the corner of his mouth. Come on baby. Come on.. Come on. I got him right in the corner.. Come on. Oh.. I don’t want to get the hook in me. And we got’im.

[grunts] Look at that. Look at that beautiful fish. And look.. Barely– in the corner of the mouth– look at that. That’s why you use your drag. Just in case you didn’t know. That’s a female getting ready to spawn.

Look at that. Isn’t she beautiful? I’ll tell you what.. Had a great day on the water today here at Rainbow Lake. These are the kind of fish you catch.. Big ol’ football fish. A fish that would normally look 2 pounds to you is gonna go 3 1/2 on this lake, I’m telling you.

These fish are just monsters. I’ve had a great time on the show. Thanks for joining us. Pick up some drop-shots and you’ll have a lot of fun. Till next week, I’ll see you on the water, I’m Johnny Johnson.


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