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Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Fool’s Hollow Lake, AZ – Winter Bite? – Late Oct., 2015


– Got him. Got that fish. He’s a big one, buddy. He’s a fish. By golly,
a little spinnerbait bass. I mean a little spinnerbait
bass, folks. Look at that little guy. Hopefully we can catch
bigger fish than that today. We’re at Fool’s Hollow Lake here
in beautiful Show Low, Arizona, and I’ll tell you what. I love this lake,
I grew up on this lake, and we’re up here
in the White Mountains, and I normally don’t even get
on the water this time of year. Up here, it’s getting cold. There was ice
on the windshields this morning, and I thought, “Man, the water temperature’s got
to be cooling down good enough to where
maybe a good spinnerbait bite or something
like that might work good.” The last time
I was on this lake, I had fished a Bass Club
Championship and won it. Had 12 pounds of bass. I was actually drop-shotting
and throwing some wacky Senkos, but in saying that, I want to see if we can catch
something on this spinnerbait. Today, I’m throwing
that Persuader spinnerbait. I persuaded that fish to bite, so, you know, it’s got
that little E-Chip, and we’ve done shows
on this bait, but I went to the chartreuse and
white because the water’s– we got a lot of rain up here
in the White Mountains, and so we’ve had a lot
of–our waters are dingy-ing up a little bit. We got a little bit of breeze,
perfect for the spinnerbait, and I’ve been waiting for this. And then I’ve got
my little grub tail on there, which he kind of chopped off
a little bit. We’ll put a new one on,
but that little E-Chip right there
with this Persuader spinnerbait is an awesome little ticket
for fishing weed, stumps. You know, any time
you’re fishing this bait, because any time
you either stop it, pause it, twitch it or it hits something, there’s a little BB in there
that hits the back of a chip, and it pulsates little action
in there–you know, sound waves in that thing
to where you get the noise of maybe an injured fish
or something like that. So it’s really an awesome
little deal that they’ve
put on this spinnerbait, because it’s fun
to have a little bit of rattle. And then we’re gonna
go with maximum flash, which you can see
what I’ve got here. One silver, one gold blade, and it’s hammered on the end
a little bit ’cause I want maximum flash. Like I said,
the water’s not muddy muddy, but it’s dingy. So if it was really muddy muddy, I’d probably go with maybe,
you know, all gold or something like that, but I like the combination
of the silver and gold blades here in the White Mountains. It works really good. We have a lot of bluegill. No shad, so in saying that, I’d like to throw something
with a little chartreuse in it. There’s smallmouth in this lake,
largemouth, walleye. I’m amazed
we haven’t caught a walleye yet. And then some pike
too that we’re– pike they’re
trying to get out of the lake, but the walleye– man, I’ll tell you what, this is
the time of year–believe it or not, we’re at the last week
of October, and this is the time of year when the water
starts cooling down when these walleye will actually
start getting active, and you can start
catching them as well, and if it’s a state record you’re looking for, here in
the beautiful White Mountains, that’s the place to get it,
because Show Low Lake and Fool’s Hollow both have
giant walleye for our state here, and I think we hold the record
as a matter of fact. But in saying that, I’m throwing
this on a medium-heavy Johnny Morris CarbonLite rod, and of course
I’m using a 6.4 to 1 ratio reel, and I’m slow rolling it. The Johnny Morris signature
series reel. I love it, and you got
to throw this on 17-pound test line or at least 14. Fluorocarbon line. Some guys like to use braid, but I like the fluorocarbon. It’s virtually invisible. I don’t know
if it really matters, but it matters here,
and that’s the one thing to always remember
about your fishing is you’ve got to have confidence
in the tackle and the things that you’re throwing because
if you don’t have confidence, it’s hard to catch fish on it,
y’all. You’ve got
to have that confidence. My confidence goes with the
fluorocarbon for this technique, and I love the braid
when I’m throwing a buzzbait, but in saying that,
I don’t know about that line coming through the water
and the fish seeing it. I don’t know,
it just does something for me, and I know a lot
of guys at home are saying, “Eh, we throw it on braid,”
and that’s fine. If it’s working for you, do it, because there’s
nothing wrong with it because you’re actually
throwing a reaction bait. So in saying that, throwing a reaction beat means the bait’s moving
constantly, or it’s twitching, or it’s doing something
where the fish just kind of has to focus in on the bait instead
of focusing in on your line. You have that kind
of stuff going on, and I’ll tell you what,
you’ll probably catch a lot more fish if you
like braid versus fluorocarbon, but I like the fluorocarbon. I’ll tell you what,
Fool’s Hollow Lake, here almost going into winter, it’s just warmed up enough for
me to take off my sweatshirt, and we’ll see if we can’t
catch you a few bass right here. – It always pays
to have a few baits out on the deck of your boat because you could go by in areas
like this, and you want to slow down
and fish it a little bit before you move on. What I’ve got on right
now is a little wacky Senko. I’m trying to– hopefully I can catch something
from underneath the docks, but I don’t like
to pass the docks up, so I’ll kind of hit the edges that I think the fish
might be in, and a lot of times
this time of year, if you’re in a situation where you’re not catching them
on a jig, a Senko, or a drop shot or anything like that, you have to almost catch them
on a reaction, you know. Throw that spinnerbait or, you know, crankbait
or something like that. It’d be a little tough
to throw the crankbait in this little area here
’cause we’re in a lot of weeds. It doesn’t matter what time
of year you’re fishing, if you’ve got glass in
the morning, things like that, and you’re worming and fishing’s kind of slow, when the wind starts picking up
like this and rippling the top of the water, don’t be afraid
to pick up a reaction bait. You know, a spinnerbait,
crankbait, because I’ll tell you what, these fish can turn on
in just a moment’s notice. In the championship
that I came and fished, I didn’t get a chance
to practice at all, and what ended up happening is I
had absolutely no fish at 10:00. The wind started blowing. It made the fish more active, and when the wind
started blowing, I started catching fish. So it does help sometimes. So don’t ever get
too discouraged about having some wind. A lot of people don’t like wind, and there’s times
it’s just blowing so hard it’s almost tough to fish, but wind can be your friend. – Hey, folks.
For my Tip of the Week, I think one thing real important when you’re fishing a lot
of weeds and you’re throwing
a spinnerbait is your spinnerbait blades sometimes are gonna get caught
in those weeds, and a lot of folks,
I’ve seen them, they reel in, and they get caught
in the weeds, and they go, “Oh, I’m stuck,”
and they just start reeling, but let me tell you something. Sometimes,
you can initiate a strike by popping your bait loose
from the weeds. So let’s say you get hung up in
a weed or something like that. Just pop your bait
really hard like that. Pop it again. Just try to get the weed off, if you can see the bait,
and pop it, and a lot of times, popping it off the weed like
that will initiate a strike, and you’ll catch a fish right after popping yourself
off the weed. So I’ll tell you what, I’ve
caught a lot of fish doing that, and if you learn how to do that, it might help
you catch some more fish. [slow rock music] ♪ ♪ Talk about throwing everything
but the kitchen sink in on ’em. [laughs] Sometimes, the fishing
can just be tough, and you got to deal with it. You got to try everything. I’ve thrown everything
at these fish. I’ve tried different depths, and sometimes the fishing
can be tough, but make no mistake, there’s
some big fish in this lake. Like I said, my cousin and I won a tournament here
about a month ago, the last tournament
of the Bass Club, but the water’s getting cold. It looks like there might be
a slight turnover happening. We’re having our nights
freeze on us up here now, and make no mistake, when these fish
are gone during the fall, topwater can be a lot
of fun as well, and one of my favorite baits
is that Rico, and man, a smallmouth
will come after that bait sometimes and just crush it. I’ve had–I’ve had fish come
after my bait two, three times before they’ve taken it. So I’ve had a lot of fun
on this lake, and, you know, you go to a lake
like this if you’re not–here’s the cool thing about living up
in the White Mountains. You know,
we’ve stayed here all day, but the real cool thing
about living here is the fact that if you’re not catching fish
on this lake, you’re five minutes
away from more lakes. You got Show Low Lake, which is a great, fun lake
to fish if you like walleye,
smallmouth bass fishing, and you’ve got largemouth
in there too, Rainbow Lake, one of the places I grew up, and, you know,
it’s not too far from here. I think it’s about 5 or 6 miles
from here, and you could be
on that lake bass fishing or trout fishing there as well,
and, you know, it offers a wide variety
of different looks as far as, you know, you got docks
and weeds at Rainbow Lake. Here you’ve got a little
bit more deeper structure you can fish, but Rainbow Lake by far
is another great lake, and the White Mountain Bass Club
even hits that one, along with Willow Springs, but I’ll tell you what, Willow Springs, Rainbow Lake, Fool’s Hollow Lake, these lakes are a lot of fun
to fish for bass if you love bass fishing, and the Bass Club even
went to Show Low Lake this year, and we had a lot of fun, but finding out that
there’s a lot more smallmouth in there than we thought. So, you know,
we’re catching some smallies in there and walleye, but you can definitely get up
here and catch a lot of fish. Topwaters, spinnerbaits, drop shots. Senkos are huge on these waters. Senkos–you know, anything weightless,
like a weightless lizard. That used to be my bread and butter
on these lakes up here, because a lot
of them are shallow. Rainbow Lake’s 13 feet
deep at its deepest, and, you know,
I get a lot of questions asked me, “Can you take a big boat out?” Well, you see me
bring the big boat out. It’s not because I’m special. You can bring your big boat out, you just can’t run
the big motor. You know, I like bringing– the Bass Club
loves using our bass boats because we have live wells
that work, keep the fish alive. We keep ’em, you know,
everything really good there. Something jumped right there, but we keep the fish
alive and well. The other thing is is that
at the end of the day, my ankles aren’t killing me from the boat
rocking back and forth like it used to on the 14-foot
aluminum or something. So use a trolling motor all day, make sure
your batteries are charged, and you’ll be just fine, and I’ll tell you what,
you can come up here and have a lot of fun
here in the White Mountains. – Oh, that’s a monster. Oh, that’s a monster. [chuckles] Oh, that’s a good fish, folks. This could take a minute, man. I’m using 6-pound test
line with a– with some braid here. Oh, look at that fish.
Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. It’s a big smallmouth, folks. Big smallmouth. This is where having your drag
set really means a lot. I ain’t letting this thing
jump around. We’re getting this thing
to the boat. This is a big fish here. Here he comes. Here he comes. Ooh, look at that fish. That’s a nice smallmouth. I got to get everything
out the way. Oh, easy does it. Don’t you jump on me. Come on. You got to play these out, man. You got to–they have shoulders
here at Fool’s Hollow, let me tell you. Oh, man. That’s a nice fish. I got him hooked right
on the lip. Come on, baby. Don’t jump.
Don’t jump. Come on.
Come on. Yeah! Little bass. Pulled out that quail tail. It has been tough today. Tough on this lake. I might’ve figured
a little something out though. Look at that fish. Isn’t she beautiful? Beautiful smallmouth bass right
there. That’s a 2.5-pounder
right there. That’s a chunk. That is a chunk. Beautiful fish. We’ll let it go. Look how fat that fish is. See? These fish are footballs here. Just footballs. Look how–look
how fat that fish is. Just unbelievable. All right. Well, the fish still seem to be
hanging out in the areas where I won that last tournament
a month ago, but what we had to do was go
out deep, and it’s been tough. I’ve been
spinnerbaiting this lake– I’ve been all over this lake, and I really thought
that bite would turn on, and it hasn’t, and this lake
can be finicky like that. You know, the lake dirtied up. We’ve had a lot of rain. We had a little breeze. I thought that would really
turn the spinnerbait fishing on, and it just didn’t do it, and so what else do you do? You know? You go to that– I’m gonna go to what I won
that tournament on, which was drop-shotting and that wacky Senko, and that was a really nice fish. I’m here at the dam area
at Fool Hollow Lake, and I’ll tell you, one of the reasons
I had to play that game a little bit smart was
because here’s what I’m throwing is this 6.5-foot rod, obviously. Actually, it’s a 7 foot rod.
Sorry. 7.2, and medium action, and I’m throwing a braid, and with that braid– it’s a 10-pound braid
with a 6-pound leader on it, and you can see my leader there, but it’s fluorocarbon, and I’m using
the fluorocarbon leader. Just tied this thing up, and I thought, “Man,
I got to give it a shot now.” Of course, the ticket is– check this out. My little quail tail worm,
made by Cactus Wren Outdoors, and this is what I caught ’em
on in the tournament as well, and so that little curl
tail worm is just awesome. The color of it is scorpion. That’s the color that they call
this is the scorpion worm. They put their own scent in it so you don’t have to worry about
spraying scent in all the time. So they’re impregnated
with the scent, and it’s just a good,
soft, good drop shot worm, and that’s pretty much
what I’m–what I was throwing and what I’m throwing now, but we definitely–
it’s been tough. It’s been a tough day. Trying to figure out
what these fish are doing, and I refuse to go home. I wasn’t quite sure
if we had a fall turnover going over here or what, because, you know, usually
you smell the fall turnover. In other words, when the lake– when the hot water meets
the cold and the lake flips, it’ll flip some of the mud
off the bottom, and you’ll get a little bit
of stench, stink, you know? And that’s how you kind of know,
and if it’s doing that, you might be better off
just pulling up and going to another lake at that point
for a couple of weeks, but a lot of our lakes
in Arizona, you know, don’t really do that,
but our lakes up here in the White Mountains
will do that because, I mean, we go from, you know, 70, or let’s just say 85 degree
water temperatures down to, you know, freezing days,
so, you know, snow. So these lakes will flip. So you have to be real careful
with that, and I thought, “Man,
maybe we’re on that part of it.” We could be. It could be just starting
to turn, I don’t know. – One other big hint
I can give you about fishing in the White Mountains
is to stay with colors that are your crawdad colors
or your frog colors. Remember, we don’t have shad, so
I like the purples, the browns, those types of colors. Like with my quill teller,
with my jigs. If you’re gonna
throw the spinnerbait, white spinnerbaits work great
with a little color to them, like maybe a little chartreuse
in them or something like that where they more imitate the trout or something
like that, or the bluegill, and you’ll catch a lot more fish here in the White Mountains
with those colors. – You know, Fool’s Hollow Lake and the White Mountain lakes
are a lot of fun to fish. They can be tough, however.
You know? But remember that when October
gets to the White Mountains, it’s about trout weather, and the water temperature
cools down so much, and it gets harder and harder
to catch those fish. Matter of fact, our Bass Club
starts the end of April and goes to the 1st of October. After that, over the years we’ve learned
that it’s just gotten so– it’s tougher to catch fish. It’s not that you can’t do it. It’s just a lot tougher. We came out to
Fool’s Hollow Lake and actually caught some fish out there for you
at the end of October, and by then, I usually
don’t even fish those lakes up there for bass. You start going for the trout
at that point because the water
just gets so cold. We start hitting
freezing temperatures at home, and a lot of times, we get our first snow, you know, here
on the mountain, my goodness, right around Halloween. So, you know,
it can get a lot tougher, and that’s when you come down
to the lower lakes and actually still be
throwing your topwaters and your buzzbaits, and they’re into a fall feeding frenzy
like you wouldn’t believe, so I actually enjoy coming down
to the lower lakes and having a lot of fun still being able
to throw topwater, and had a lot of fun
with the bass down here, starting at Roosevelt on down, but I can tell you
that’s my biggest ticket that I can tell you, ’cause I
get a lot of folks that ask me, and they’ll call me in March or they’ll email me
in March and February, “Hey, I’m coming
up to do some bass fishing. Where’s a good place to go?”
I’m not gonna tell you you can’t catch ’em
because they’re in the lakes, but I’m telling you right now, the best time to catch those fish
if you want to come up and bass fish
in the beautiful White Mountains is April to about October 1st,
in that neighborhood. Maybe the 15th of October,
in that neighborhood. And then of course, you know, don’t forget walleye fishing
as well. Fool’s Hollow, Show Low Lake, if you want to catch
a state record walleye, a lot of times
it happens in November when the water really gets cold. So that’s something else
to think about, but definitely, without a doubt,
remember that April to October is about your best time
to fish these upper lakes.

4
Comments
  • Good vid, Johnny. Hope to see you more on Youtube. I have always enjoyed your videos. Can't get your TV show on our cable lineup.

  • I'm just curious if you can fish any of these lakes in show low without a boat and just fish off the bank…. your opinion?

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