FAQ’s of TVR Fishing

April 1, 2010

by Rich Stanton

photo by Roni Ziemba

What kind of fish are in Lake Corchran?

Largemouth bass, the top predator and most popular warm water fish species in America;  channel catfish, fast growing and hard fighting;  bluegill sunfish, prolific breeders and fairly easy to catch, preyed upon by the bass;  redear sunfish, closely resemble bluegills, harder to catch;  grass carp, also known as white amur, a vegetarian fish named after the Amur River in Asia, used to control aquatic vegetation, very difficult to catch; and last but not least, gambusia, also known as mosquitofish because they eat mosquito larvae, a small minnow which is an important part of the diet of young bass, bluegills, and redears.

What’s the biggest fish in the lake?

The grass carp are by far the largest species.  As of this writing the largest ones are approximately thirty six inches in length (That’s three feet!) and weigh about eight pounds.  They are capable of eating two to three times their weight per day making them invaluable in controlling the aquatic grasses.

How big are the other species?

The largest bass caught and measured was twenty inches.  The biggest catfish was twenty-two inches and weighed about three and a half pounds.  The jumbo bluegill was nine inches and fat.  Only one redear has been caught and it was only a few inches long.

What do you use for bait?

Oddly enough, cheese is the favored bait, and recently small pieces of breakfast sausage have been added, thanks to Steve Lee, an expert angler from England.  Both baits work remarkably well. They are easy to put on a hook, unlike worms which can be tricky, and some folks find impaling worms onto hooks distasteful or cruel.  Also, the fish have shown no preference as to which kind of cheese they like best.  Some of the ranch guests prefer to use artificial baits, especially for the bass, and a small assortment of plastic baits are provided.

Is Lake Corchran a natural lake?

Nope, it’s man-made just like almost all of the other lakes in Arizona.  Only Mormon Lake and Stoneman Lake, both near Flagstaff in northern Arizona, are natural lakes.  The water in our lake is pumped in from wells on the ranch property.

Do you stock the lake?

That seems to be a simple question, but the answer isn’t so simple.  Stocking of fish is used for a few reasons, the most common one being for anglers to harvest fish, especially in waters where the fish will not reproduce.  Another reason for stocking is to get a fishery started.  The fish have to come from somewhere.  Finally, stocking is used as a fishery management tool, sometimes to create a better balance of species sharing the same waters.  At Tanque Verde Ranch we have stocked to get the fishery going again and to balance numbers.  Since we practice catch and release we don’t need to stock for harvest.  The fish population will reproduce naturally and continue to provide excellent angling opportunities in the future.

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