Topock Marsh and Colorado river

Discussion in 'CALIFORNIA RIVERS TALK' started by plumbertom1, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Joined up with Bay Runner Ray at his house Sunday morning around 7:30 and loaded my gear into his RV. Ray had prepared his boat and trailer ahead of time so I just had to park my truck in his yard to avoid a parking fine and away we went.
    Ray drove outthe 91 freeway to the 60 cutoff to I-10 and I-10 into Blythe, where we stopede to pick up groceries and then went to the bait shop north of town to get live bait. All they had were goldfish about 4" long, so we bought a dozen. I would have liked to have some shiners but you have to take what you can get (see Rays post for a pic of the bait shop sign festooned with catfish heads).
    From Blythe we drove up Ca. 95 to 62 and took 62 across the river into Parker Az. From Parker we went north on Az. 95 past Parker Dam and through Lake Havasu City to I-40 west and just before we crossed back over the river, turned north on Old US-Route 66 to go to Topock Marsh.
    Just up the road a couple of miles we turned off at a place called Catfish Paradise and walked out to the end of the dock to fish (Google Earth co-ord.34*44'32.90" N 114*29'15.30"W).
    Now this looks like a killer spot for cats, but we fished through the afternoon and into the night with no luck. Used cut mackeral, chicken livers, Danny Kings for channels and goldfish for flatheads. Moved further up the marsh in the morning.
    THIS IS A CONTINUING THREAD PLEASE WAIT TO COMMENT UNTIL FINISHED.
     

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  2. askins00

    askins00 New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    California
    too bad you didn't catch anything. Maybe next time you should try the Bill Williams arm. It is a little closer. You know that long bridge you go on 95 just past parker dam. That waterway is the Bill Williams Arm. You should try it next time I've always had good luck there.
     

  3. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    CONTINUED
    Monday morning we stopped at Five Mile Landing and got a campsite for a couple of days so we could continue to fish the marsh. We then drove to the north end of the marsh and launched Ray's 12' boat. It's kind of small for two guy's of our size but it does have a fairly shallow draft. Turns out we needed it.
    From the launch ramp out into the marsh there is a dredged channel but it is unmarked so if you go there make sure your depth finder is working.
    We motored around the marsh channel and fished a few different spots that looked likely and did get a couple of bites in one spot but the way they hit i think it was a school of small stripers moving up the channel.
    We didn't catch any thing there. Pulled the boat out and went back to Five Mile landing.
    That evening we shore fished with the usual baits. I did manage to catch one cat of decent size before night fall but the rest were dinks. Oh... Scattered showers during the day, but beautiful sunset.
    CONTINUED
     

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  4. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    CONTINUED
    Tuesday morning we Launched at the camp ground and went south for a try at some crappie. the water level in the marsh was down a lot (three feet) from the high water mark, which makes for very shallow running in a area where the average depth at high water is only 6'.
    Anyway we slow trolled along, Ray using a shallow running spinner and myself using a white 3" curly tail jig with a 1/16oz lead head but no crappie wanted to play, I did catch a 12" largemouth. The LM I caught was almost white with a very thin lateral stripe, never seen one with such a lack of color.
    Headed back to camp for lunch and refill the cooler and then went north from the landing.
    Fished bait all afternoon with no cats. I did catch another LMB about the same size as the earlyer one with a little darker color, on mackerel of all things, guess that's a first for me.
    Went back to camp for a good BBQ by Chef Ray and turned in early.
    CONTINUED
     

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  5. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    CONTINUED
    Wednesday morning we loaded up and went south pats catfish paradise to a place called Topock landing that offers access to both the south end of the marsh and the river. We launched the boat and went out into the river.
    First we went upriver and fished along the wing weirs at a camp ground about 2 miles from the landing then we went down river to the start of Topock Gorge and tried fishing all the deep water spots we could find hoping that maybe we might get one of those huge stripers Topock Gorge is famous for, but no such luck.
    We went back to the landing for a sandwich and then headed up into the lower end of the marsh to the outlet weir, found a little deeper water (9 foot) and fished there till around 10pm. Only thing it produced was one small striper (10 inches) on cut mackerel. Again Ray was without a bite.
    I'm beginning to think he adopted my pet skunk.
    We went back to the landing and had a bowl of soup and bed.
    CONTINUED
     

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  6. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    CONTINUED
    Thursday morning we loaded up the boat and decided to check out the Oxbows on the Az. side of the river in the Blythe area (Thank you, RiverBud).
    We went east on I-40 to Az. 95 south to Parker Az. and then south on Mojave Rd. across the C.R.I.T. reservation into Ehrenberg Az. Just south of I-10 we turned down Oxbow Rd. and found a spot that looked promising. We stopped and fished a while with no result other than a conversation with a snow bird about fishing so we figured we would go check out my best Az. fishing spot.
    We headed east on I-10 to Quartzite Az. and south on Az.95 across the Yuma Proving Grounds and into the Yuma Valley where we found the turn to the west and Mittry Lake. Once we got to Mittry we found my favorite spot on the Gila Main Canal and started fishing.
    I was fishing cut mackerel on a #4 hook with 2oz no roll on a Plastic slider.
    Not 15 minutes after my bait hit the water I got slammed. I grabbed up my rod and set the hook on what I first thought was going to be too big a fish for my 12LB line, but after an initial drag burning run I convinced it to turn up current and head back in my general direction. We went back and forth for while longer until I managed to work it up to the bank and it was revealed to be a barrel of a carp about 18LBs. Ray released it from the waters edge without removing it from the water. Wrong type but a thrill none the less.
    After replacing my hook that was partially straightened by the big fish and baiting with more mack I set my line out.
    A short while later my rod went bendo again. I picked it up and set the hook on another good sized fish and the battle was on. It ran with the current and almost pulled my line into some mesquite brush that was overhanging the canal but I managed to get it to turn uphill and worked it into the bank where Ray was waiting with that long handled net of his.
    This time it turned out to be the right type, a channel cat about 6LBs.
    So back to the cut mackerel for another go.
    Now, while I'm catching fish, Ray is fishing one line with a goldfish, doing the long wait for a flathead and another line with some Danny Kings.
    Finally he gets a bite pulls it in and before I can get the net ready he pops a channel about 14 inches out of the water and up next to where he was standing. It may of not been very big but it meant that the skunk was off him.
    Meanwhile I'm fishing my cut mack and about an hour later, BANG, My pole goes bendo again and this time when i set the hook I'm on a fish that is obviously larger than the last one. Well. it ran hard down stream until I convinced it to turn around but it still wasn't ready to give up so around it went in the water in front of us, back and forth until little by little I worked it into reach of Ray's net. He pulled it up to show me a nice channel cat about 12LBs after removing the hook we photographed it and it was subsequently released.
    A while later Ray gets another bite on the D.K.s and this time its a good one, he worked it to the bank where I was waiting with the net. It looked like the twin to the smaller one that I caught earlier, maybe a little larger.
    Any way we fished until about 1AM with no further bites so we called it a night.
    In the morning we headed back to I-8 and turned towards home with a stop at the hot springs for a quick soak, then on to route 86 past the Salton Sea into Indio and I-10 to L.A.
    Now. when cleaning those fish we kept I noticed that they seemed thin and their bellies were full of vegetation and no craw fish or bait fish that I usually find. It seems as if this cold winter has killed off the bait fish in the shallow waters so the bite is not red hot. When the weather warms up the bait fish should work their way back to the shallows and the fish should be healthy again.
     

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  7. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    A few extra pics
     

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  8. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    And some more. Kind of hard to believe that's a canal, isn't it?
     

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  9. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    You should have read the complete post, then you would have the full story instead of getting in the middle.
     
  10. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Messages:
    11,521
    State:
    Clovis Cali
    Thanks Tom. Very nice fish as well. Love your story to. Just like being there. Now the skunk is off both ya'll.:big_smile:
     
  11. orchardhills

    orchardhills New Member

    Messages:
    86
    State:
    CA
    Great report Tom! It's just like reading a story. You always give a lot of detail and really let the reader know a lot about the location. The picture of the sunset is very nice too.

    Thank you very very much.

    Bob
     
  12. shania

    shania New Member

    Messages:
    5,942
    State:
    San Leandro, Ca
    Hey Tom,
    I enjoyed the story, "Alot" :big_smile: , & those were some nice pictures you took & some nice Cats as well:eek:oooh: .

    Thanks for sharing all of those with us.
    :0a31:

    You take it easy & I'll see you on the 8th Buddy.
    Bert:cool2: & Shania:0010:

    :worship: :0a23:
    Bert & Phil
     
  13. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    I tell you we had a great time on "The River". Ray is a pleasure to travel and fish with. He's well organized and thinks of everything, unlike myself who just tosses things together at the last minute. Heck, I wore my sandals when we left and couldn't even remember if I brought my shoes. (I did.)
    Just another week and a few days and we will be fishing the Delta and I haven't figured out what to bring with me.
    But I am looking forward to the trip and the chance to meet many of you whom I haven't met before.
    We're going to have a great boat ride and with a little luck catch some good fish also.
     
  14. thunderchicken

    thunderchicken New Member

    Messages:
    769
    State:
    Yuma Az
    Wow Tom, great post! You make the reader feel like they are fishing with you. You were right in my backyard too as I live in Yuma and I fish the areas you mentioned a lot on the Gila. My biggest fish ever was taken from Mittry years ago. The only place I didn't recognize was the pic of the rv overlooking the bluff. Didn't know you could drive that close to the water around there. Being on crutches I look for places like that myself. Looking forward to more posts from you. Best of luck and good fishing.
    :cool2:
    p.s. I loved the pics.
     
  15. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Mike thanks for the kudos.
    although I no longer require the use of a cane to get around (most of the time), I do also have limited mobility so I am always looking for easy access to fishing spots.
    That photo you referred to was taken on the Az. side of the River at Blythe (actually just south of Ehrenberg) next to one of the ox-bow lakes there. Google Earth or GPS co-ordiinates 33*34'23.40"N-114*32'00.70"W.
     
  16. catstalker1

    catstalker1 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    california
    Down by walters camp on the AZ side is a good spot.
    Thats where the current record came from.