AZ Lakes/AZ Pros: Marty Lawrence at Bartlett Lake

Bartlett Fishing Has Been Good This Summer

By Margie Anderson

AZ Lakes/AZ Pros: Marty Lawrence at Bartlett Lake
Marty Lawrence

Yamamoto Pro MartyLawrence fishes a lot of night tournaments in the summer, and summer in Arizona means monsoon storms. These storms usually do roll in at night and if you’re out on the water, it can mean that jigs and reaction baits can fill the boat in a hurry. He says that a fisherman’s best friend in a storm is a Minnkota Ultrex because it will hold your position all night, even if water is coming over the bow. He has actually stayed on the water in those conditions – he just sets the Ultrex and fishes from the back!

After The Storm

After the storm is a whole lot different though. Once a storm front has moved through and there is a high pressure front with clear skies, it’s time to pick up a drop shot or a jig and drag the bottom, says Marty. He says that high pressure tends to make them suspend over something, but they will still eat if you can target their depth.

We actually went out with Yamamoto Pro Marty Lawrence the day after a storm, and faced those dreaded bright skies and high pressure. He headed for a small cove with a long point off the main lake and threw a crankbait first thing. He fishes them on fluorocarbon line to help get them down a bit, and fishes them on rock piles and points up to twenty feet deep. His Dobyns Champion 806 has a nice soft tip but plenty of backbone so it makes the crankbait easy to cast. He recommends a slower reel, about 5:1, so you don’t fish the bait too fast. If there is a lot of brush, he goes up to 20-pound-test fluorocarbon.

Love The Little Crankbaits

“I love the little square bill crankbaits,” Marty says, “because they’ll eat that just about everywhere I’ve been, but it only goes down about three to four feet.” He’ll throw the square bill just before sunset or at first light, then switch to a deep crank, jig, Texas rig, spinnerbait, or Senko. Marty is a power fisherman and he flat covers water, looking for active bass.

He loves reaction baits, but if you can’t get a reaction bite going, he says a wacky-rigged Senko can’t be beat. To wacky rig a Senko you just put the hook right through the middle of the Senko and let it wiggle around on both sides. Just toss it out, let it fall, reel up a bit, and let it fall again. They usually eat it on the fall.

Take A Tip From Marty

As you power fish along the bank at Bartlett, take a tip from Marty: I noticed that when the structure changes, he changes baits. Choose a bait that will get close to the bottom and stay in the zone. He likes to fish a Yamamoto Stretch 40 on a Texas rig with the lightest tungsten bait he can get away with. This gives it a small profile. The Stretch 40 is like a Senko with a tail and he catches a lot of fish on it, especially on those 45 degree banks. He sticks to basic colors like green pumpkin. Just let it hit bottom, give it a little shake, and drag it over the rocks really slowly. With a tungsten weight, he says, you can feel every rock. Sometimes they peck at it, and other times they just hold on to it. You lift the bait and you feel pressure. That’s when to set the hook.

Go Catch Some Fish At Bartlett

Bartlett has been producing good numbers of fish this summer, so if you get a chance to go, head on out there and catch some fish.

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