Articles, Blog

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 deckI’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 reasonfor 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *