Arizona Lakes, Arizona Pros: Tony Gaillombardo At Bartlett Lake

Tony Gaillombardo Favors Chatterbaits

An old friend of ours, Tony Gaillombardo, has been fishing since he was five years old. He hosted Fishing Arizona, a local television show, for a year, and pro-staffer for Mepps and Mister Twister for many years. He’s got an extensive collection of antique lures, and although he specializes in bass fishing, he also fishes for trout, catfish, sunfish, and even crawdads. He took us up to Bartlett one fall and we caught a ton of fish.

As soon as the water starts to cool off in the fall, bass move up into shallower water and start to get easier to catch, Tony says.  They move more, too, so you can pick your topwater and reaction baits back up and start pounding the bank for fish.  Beats the heck out of sitting in one spot jiggling a drop shot rig! 

First Thing In The Morning

First thing in the morning, try a topwater like a buzzbait or Zara Spook and throw it over long points at the entrances to coves and flats next to channel bends.  Flats are deceptive — a lot of guys pass right by a good flat because they tend to look like a “nothing” bank.  But no flat is truly flat.  Examine the bank – you’ll probably see little cuts and channels and you can be sure that they run right out into the lake.  Those little dips in the bottom are just what the fish use to move up and down when they feed.

Vibrating jigs are dynamite baits on any lake.

One of his favorite reaction baits is a Chatterbait. The generic term for these baits is vibrating jig, and they have a peculiar blade in front with the tie-on right in the middle of it. You can trim these out with a skirt or a plastic bait and all you have to do is throw them out and reel them back to catch fish. These are great for kids.

Try Those Chatterbaits

We threw a bunch of Chatterbaits around the rocks near the dam at Bartlett and caught bass on them all – chartreuse, white, white and blue, chartreuse and white, gold blades, silver blades – it didn’t matter. They are a ton of fun to fish and you should definitely try them this fall no matter which lake you go to. They are killer!

You aren’t limited to rocks – throw them on any bank. If you want the bait to run deeper, just let the bait sink a bit before you start reeling. The fish generally just slam them – there’s usually no wondering if you have a bite. Fish them on the same rod you fish your spinnerbaits on. We usually have the best luck on shad colors. Put a Yamamoto Grub on the hook as a trailer and the fish really hang on. Good luck!

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