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Bass fishing at Martinez Lake, Arizona USA, Seewald fishing at the Colorado riverChristmas At
Martinez Lake A Colorado River Fishing Adventure 12.27.'02 By Michael Seewald

 

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Seewald at Clear Lake, CA., 7-'08. Click to enlarge.

Christmas At
Martinez Lake

A Colorado River Fishing Adventure

12.27.'02
By Michael Seewald


click to enlarge.

Valerie and I went to one of my old 'fishing holes' and a home away from home in my youth, for the recent holidays.  The lake sits some 30 miles north east from Yuma, Arizona.  Yuma is usually 110 degrees in the shade, or 40 below in the sun, depending if your there in the dead of summer or the dead of winter.  We were there in the dead of winter.  We had reserved a hotel room there for three nights, and left Christmas eve around 2 pm for the, as I remembered, three hour drive.  We arrived there at about 9 p.m., after getting lost for a couple of hours in a very dark desert.  (It had been some 25 years since I was there last, and things -roads, landmarks, memory,- had changed). 

When we got there the office was already closed, being Christmas eve and all. Luckily, there was a note that sent latecomers to the bar.  We walked up the hill and found it closed up tighter that a drum.  I decided to walk around the trailer park, which is mostly what the place is, a see if we could find someone who knew anyone that ran the place.  The first man we found ended up being the assistant chef! He opened up the cantina for us and retrieved the room key.  We were the only ones staying in the small motel, and we excitedly hit the sack after reading up on bass fishing (at least I did, Valerie had a mystery book) and getting
the room warmed up from the space heater.

The next day we found that all was closed, although we were told we could rent a boat when we had called and booked the motel reservations. 

   

We then decided to celebrate Christmas by driving back to Yuma, and after getting a late and tasty steak and eggs breakfast at Tyler's Texas Bar-B-Q, we drove around looking for a theater that might have the new Lord of the Rings movie on, The Two Towers. 

At about 2 pm we finally found their third movie theatre and was showing our movie.  It was located in the old city center, by the old Yuma Territorial Prison.  But, we had to kill a few hours as all showings before 6 pm were sold out!  Yuma has about two main streets, about two miles long each.  We decided since nothing was probably open that we would drive along and memorize the names of the businesses on one side of the street, but after 9 or 10 stores the fun wore off and it became work.  (Mary Elizabeth Post School, Montoya Insurance strip mall, Chevron gas station, Shell, Little Caesar's Pizza, etc.)  We decided to search for stores that might be open, Longs, etc., and find some after Christmas bargains. 

The first place we saw was a liquor store.  Figuring it was better than nothing we stopped and found it had been transformed into a cheap sporting goods store, cool.  We drove on and then found a grand opening of a new food store.  Wow.  And later still, surprisingly, a Walgreen's store.  Valerie was in hog heaven, and after 5 minutes I was bored enough that I decided to help the store by replacing all of the jumbled magazine racks back into proper order, and picked up dozens of subscription cards laying on the ground.

They eventually closed the store on us, and as we drove down the street at 4:55 looking for anything else, figuring we had one more hour, I drove by a time/ temperature sign that read 5:55 pm.  But how could that be?  Oh yeah, the one hour time zone change.  We had forgot about it, and I figured two days without changing it would not be problem.  Now we were late, unless I could zip two miles through town without hitting all 10 traffic lights.  We got there at 6:05.  I had enough foresight to get permission from the attendant, as we flew past, to switch to a later showing if we could not find a decent seat...no fun breaking necks in the front row.  Sure enough, after entering the theatre, nothing available but front row, so we came back out and traded tickets for the 7 pm. showing.  Great, another hour to kill.  The good thing was we were the first in line for it.  Eventually we saw the three hour movie from our choice of seats in another sold out theatre.  What a great movie.

We got back to Martinez about midnight and to bed after 1 am.  (After opening up all of my new Christmas fishing gear and finding room to store it in the new giant tackle box I now owned).  The next morning we slept in, as the boat rental shop did not open until 9 am.  We went there about 10 am and found rentals were $50 for full day, and that was considered 9 am till 4 pm.  They said if we wanted we could get the half day rate- $30, (noon to 4 pm).   

So off to the cantina to get a burger for breakfast. (On weekdays they don't open till 11 am and don't serve breakfast).  We greeted the elderly waitress with our happy smiles and friendly small talk, asking how her Christmas went.  She was as excited and happy as a fisherman with no bait at a dried up lake.  We found out burgers did not taste as good served from un-happy waitresses.  Being that it's over a 1/2 hour drive to the outskirts of Yuma, the next closest place, she probably figured we had nowhere else to go, which was partially true, and it did not matter how she behaved.  But she figured wrong and we decided to take meals, drive and all, in Yuma from then on.

As we rented the boat the young lady working there called her boss and informed them that had two lives ones.  They told her to have us get it back by 3:30 pm, instead of 4 pm (and to levy a $20 fine if we were late by 10 minutes)  Wow!  Are times tough or what?  So we rented it and hurriedly loaded up the boat and set off. We worked the lake and the rivers edges for a couple of hours.  I decided to go back to get my trolling motor so we could do a better job of maneuvering around the rivers edges.  It is electric and quite quiet compared to the gas one they supplied.


Boat Ramp, Martinez Lake.  Click image to enlarge.

We went back out to the entrance of the river and I caught a nice stripped bass of about 2 pounds on a new lure for me, a Rapala rap shad. (See photo below). We were deciding to head back up the river when I realized that the 2:20 time WAS REALLY 3:20, there time!!!  RATS.  Just when we were getting into it.  (I now realize that also meant we must have took it out at 1 pm.  They must have been wondering 'why bother'?)  At that point I was wondering it myself.

I must say, the young man helping us at the boat docks was very nice, and offered to let us rent the boat (pre-pay and sign all of the contracts) that night so we could get a head start out on the lake the next day.  But knowing we had to be back two hours before sunset, when the fish usually bite the best, was just too disheartening

The next day we opted to leave and head back to San Diego and to possibly fish San Vicente in the afternoon.  (We did, and hit 'Anglers Edge' in Lakeside for some more bass fishing supplies beforehand).  We got to San Vicente later than I would have wanted, about 3 p.m., but  I still caught a nice 2+ pound, 16" bass at sunset.  I was walking the shore and using a green and brown 7" Roboworm.  The fight was spectacular and he made many jumps, making our trips ending just perfect.

Time to dream of that lunker bass out there with my name on it.  I will go back to Martinez when and if I have my own boat.  Lord willing, that won't be too long from now.  (Note, now we have one... Here we come.)

Happy fishing...

Michael with a small striper on the Colorado River, just off the entrance to Martinez Lake.  Photo copyright by Valerie Seewald.

 

More on Martinez Lake area: Bob La Londe - Yumabassman

 


For the article and images from our Christmas 2004 Colorado River trip (Fishers Landing, Squaw Lake, Senators Wash and Mittry Lake)
and our great fishing success there click here.




Fishers Landing, Arizona, below Martinez Lake.
 

 

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Bass fishing at Martinez Lake, Arizona USA, Seewald fishing at the Colorado riverChristmas At
Martinez Lake A Colorado River Fishing Adventure 12.27.'02 By Michael Seewald
Valerie and I went to one of my old 'fishing holes' and a home away from home in my youth, for the recent holidays. The lake sits some 30 miles north east from Yuma, Arizona. Yuma is usually 110 degrees in the shade, or 40 below in the sun, depending if your there in the dead of summer or the dead of winter. We were there in the dead of winter. We had reserved a hotel room there for three nights, and left Christmas eve around 2 pm for the, as I remembered, three hour drive. We arrived there at about 9 p.m., after getting lost for a couple of hours in a very dark desert. (It had been some 25 years since I was there last, and things -roads, landmarks, memory,- had changed).
When we got there the office was already closed, being Christmas eve and all. Luckily, there was a note that sent latecomers to the bar. We walked up the hill and found it closed up tighter that a drum. I decided to walk around the trailer park, which is mostly what the place is, a see if we could find someone who knew anyone that ran the place. The first man we found ended up being the assistant chef! He opened up the cantina for us and retrieved the room key. We were the only ones staying in the small motel, and we excitedly hit the sack after reading up on bass fishing (at least I did, Valerie had a mystery book) and getting the room warmed up from the space heater.
The next day we found that all was closed, although we were told we could rent a boat when we had called and booked the motel reservations.
We then decided to celebrate Christmas by driving back to Yuma, and after getting a late and tasty steak and eggs breakfast at Tyler's Texas Bar-B-Q, we drove around looking for a theater that might have the new Lord of the Rings movie on, The Two Towers.
At about 2 pm we finally found their third movie theatre and was showing our movie. It was located in the old city center, by the old Yuma Territorial Prison. But, we had to kill a few hours as all showings before 6 pm were sold out! Yuma has about two main streets, about two miles long each. We decided since nothing was probably open that we would drive along and memorize the names of the businesses on one side of the street, but after 9 or 10 stores the fun wore off and it became work. (Mary Elizabeth Post School, Montoya Insurance strip mall, Chevron gas station, Shell, Little Caesar's Pizza, etc.) We decided to search for stores that might be open, Longs, etc., and find some after Christmas bargains.
The first place we saw was a liquor store. Figuring it was better than nothing we stopped and found it had been transformed into a cheap sporting goods store, cool. We drove on and then found a grand opening of a new food store. Wow. And later still, surprisingly, a Walgreen's store. Valerie was in hog heaven, and after 5 minutes I was bored enough that I decided to help the store by replacing all of the jumbled magazine racks back into proper order, and picked up dozens of subscription cards laying on the ground.
They eventually closed the store on us, and as we drove down the street at 4:55 looking for anything else, figuring we had one more hour, I drove by a time/ temperature sign that read 5:55 pm. But how could that be? Oh yeah, the one hour time zone change. We had forgot about it, and I figured two days without changing it would not be problem. Now we were late, unless I could zip two miles through town without hitting all 10 traffic lights. We got there at 6:05. I had enough foresight to get permission from the attendant, as we flew past, to switch to a later showing if we could not find a decent seat...no fun breaking necks in the front row. Sure enough, after entering the theatre, nothing available but front row, so we came back out and traded tickets for the 7 pm. showing. Great, another hour to kill. The good thing was we were the first in line for it. Eventually we saw the three hour movie from our choice of seats in another sold out theatre. What a great movie.

We got back to Martinez about midnight and to bed after 1 am. (After opening up all of my new Christmas fishing gear and finding room to store it in the new giant tackle box I now owned). The next morning we slept in, as the boat rental shop did not open until 9 am. We went there about 10 am and found rentals were $50 for full day, and that was considered 9 am till 4 pm. They said if we wanted we could get the half day rate- $30, (noon to 4 pm).
So off to the cantina to get a burger for breakfast. (On weekdays they don't open till 11 am and don't serve breakfast). We greeted the elderly waitress with our happy smiles and friendly small talk, asking how her Christmas went. She was as excited and happy as a fisherman with no bait at a dried up lake. We found out burgers did not taste as good served from un-happy waitresses. Being that it's over a 1/2 hour drive to the outskirts of Yuma, the next closest place, she probably figured we had nowhere else to go, which was partially true, and it did not matter how she behaved. But she figured wrong and we decided to take meals, drive and all, in Yuma from then on. As we rented the boat the young lady working there called her boss and informed them that had two lives ones. They told her to have us get it back by 3:30 pm, instead of 4 pm (and to levy a $20 fine if we were late by 10 minutes) Wow! Are times tough or what? So we rented it and hurriedly loaded up the boat and set off. We worked the lake and the rivers edges for a couple of hours. I decided to go back to get my trolling motor so we could do a better job of maneuvering around the rivers edges. It is electric and quite quiet compared to the gas one they supplied.Boat Ramp, Martinez Lake. Click image to enlarge. We went back out to the entrance of the river and I caught a nice stripped bass of about 2 pounds on a new lure for me, a Rapala rap shad. (See photo below). We were deciding to head back up the river when I realized that the 2:20 time WAS REALLY 3:20, there time!!! RATS. Just when we were getting into it. (I now realize that also meant we must have took it out at 1 pm. They must have been wondering 'why bother'?) At that point I was wondering it myself. I must say, the young man helping us at the boat docks was very nice, and offered to let us rent the boat (pre-pay and sign all of the contracts) that night so we could get a head start out on the lake the next day. But knowing we had to be back two hours before sunset, when the fish usually bite the best, was just too disheartening The next day we opted to leave and head back to San Diego and to possibly fish San Vicente in the afternoon. (We did, and hit 'Anglers Edge' in Lakeside for some more bass fishing supplies beforehand). We got to San Vicente later than I would have wanted, about 3 p.m., but I still caught a nice 2+ pound, 16" bass at sunset. I was walking the shore and using a green and brown 7" Roboworm. The fight was spectacular and he made many jumps, making our trips ending just perfect. Time to dream of that lunker bass out there with my name on it. I will go back to Martinez when and if I have my own boat. Lord willing, that won't be too long from now. (Note, now we have one... Here we come.)Happy fishing.Michael with a small striper on the Colorado River, just off the entrance to Martinez Lake. Photo copyright by Valerie Seewald.More on Martinez Lake area: Bob La Londe - Yumabassman

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