Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Fish stocking seasons are in transition, reaction baits are drawing strikes, and free public fishing events are breaking out and statewide — it’s still one of the best times of the year to fish. So here’s a quick rundown of the Arizona fishing scene:

  • The winter stocking schedule is out. Plan ahead for a desert trout-fishing trip in a warm winter climate (summer trout stockings have ended.)

    In our Community Fishing Program waters, channel catfish are back. See all the stocking schedules. And, while you’re at it, complement your piscatorial strategizing by finding your ideal honey hole with our Fish & Boat AZ map.

    Have fun, and be sure to buy a license online, which helps make sure there are fishing options for future generations.
  • We’re knee-deep into our free public events schedule. Last weekend, we hosted a couple note-worthy events.

    There was the clinic in Ajo, where families that don’t normally get to fish hung out and caught catfish in a swimming pool. For many, it was their first fish.

    Also, last Saturday’s fishing event at the Power Ranch Community Association provided lots of fun and big fish.

    See if there’s an event near you this month.

  • From the high country to our spectacular desert lakes, fall-like weather has put many fish on the move for a better reaction bite. Lake Pleasant is showing great action for stripers and largemouth bass. Look for striper boils and throw top-water plugs and swimbaits. Some good largemouths are being caught on soft jerkbaits.
  • There’s a full moon smearing our nights with light. That means using submersible lights for stripers won’t be as effective during the next week.
  • The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has lifted its fish consumption advisory for the Gila River (near Phoenix) and its tributaries. Read more.

  • Finally, a big “thank you” to the Mogollon Sportfishing Association for their $30,000 donation on Thursday night that will go toward Mogollon Rim stream habitat enhancements.

(Send your fishing reports and photos to

Silver Creek
Mark T.: Attached are pictures of my Grand Daughter Skylar. With her Barbie fishing pole, she had caught her first and several Rainbows at Silver Creek this weekend. As a Grand Father, it was a priceless experience.
Thank you for your commitment to help make this happen for our youth.

Canyon Lake
Edward C.:
6 p.m., Sept. 6. Used a top-water frog popper – 7 pounds, one ounce.

Woods Canyon Lake
Jim L.: Angelo Lara caught this 15-inch trout, slow trolling at Woods Canyon Lake.

Paul J.: My wife Flo, her twin sister Eva, and I, fished Woods Canyon Lake to the right of the boat launch on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Caught 10 trout with three more than 12 inches….left by 11:30 a.m.. Most on green PowerBait and two on spinners. Tried flies early morning but the water is too shallow by the launch. Several trout would take the fly but not hooked well and would ‘get off’ the line.

Lost several spinners on the rocky bottom near the launch and plenty of sinkers (both split shot and slide sinkers) fishing. Most folks along that part of the bank caught trout.

Folks in the cove to the left of the parking lot also did well on spinners and PowerBait…didn’t see what color. Perfect morning…no clouds. Wind came up about 10:30 a.m.. Didn’t see any folks in the many boats catching trout. Resident bald eagles put on the spectacular air show. Elk bugled until 8 a.m. or so. Great day.

Kinnikinick Lake
Doug P.: Fished Kinnikinick Lake on Tuesday for about 3 1/2 hours. Not so much as a nibble! Four others fishing in two parties also reported the same. Baits ranged from worms, PowerBait, Power Eggs and multiple lures. Everyone was fishing from shore. Very little surface activity observed. The water temperature is still fairly warm so the fish are probably deep. Once the water temps drop 10 degrees action should pick up.

ADEQ Lifts Fish Consumption Advisory for Gila River and Tributaries

From the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality:

PHOENIX (September 30, 2015) – The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced today that it has lifted the consumption advisory for fish caught in the Gila River and its tributaries within and downstream of the Phoenix metropolitan area – this includes 100 miles of streams and 286 acres of lakes. Fish caught from these waters are no longer unsafe to eat due to banned pesticides (DDT, chlordane or toxaphene).

“This is the first time ADEQ has lifted a fish consumption advisory,” said ADEQ Water Quality Division Director Trevor Baggiore. “Fish tested by ADEQ and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that banned pesticides no longer pose a health risk in the Gila River and its tributaries.”

Lifting this advisory, which has been in place for 24 years, is credited to the cessation of the use of the pesticides in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Detailed information about the delisting of the Gila River and its tributaries can be found at:


ADEQ and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tested 67 fish tissue samples from 8 different fish species in the Gila River and several of its tributaries west of Phoenix during 2011 and 2012. Fish tissue data demonstrated banned pesticide levels (DDT, toxaphene and chlordane) dropped from more than 160 times higher than the threshold levels designed to protect human health in the 1990’s to 16 times lower than these thresholds in 2011 and 2012.

On March 10, 2015, ADEQ requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remove the Gila River and its tributaries from Arizona’s Impaired Waters List, which EPA approved August 7, 2015. Each water body removed from the list also had a fish consumption advisory in effect. ADEQ has lifted the fish consumption advisory for the following waterbodies:








 ADEQ Fish Consumption Advisory Fact Sheet:


ADEQ Water Quality Division Monitoring and Assessment:


Arizona Game and Fish Department – Arizona Fish Consumption Advisory List: http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/fish_consumption.shtml  


About ADEQ

Established by the Arizona Legislature under the Environmental Quality Act of 1986, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is the state agency responsible for protecting and enhancing public health and the environment of Arizona.


Improvements at Francis Short Pond (Flagstaff)

Francis Short Pond

Good day,

I just wanted to give the City of Flagstaff and the Arizona Game and Fish kudos for the improvements made at Francis Short Pond. I stopped by today for the first time since the “weed removal” project. I have to say WOW!!!

It looks amazing. Tons of new shore space for anglers (there were multiple times in the past I had to turn around and go home due to no room to drop a line). The pond is also full of water from the recent rains. I was unable to fish today but saw a couple guys catching bluegills one after another. I can’t wait until it is stocked this fall for trout.

As an angler of this pond for over six years now I am excited to see what the future holds. Thanks again for making this a great local fishing hole.

— Daniel L.

Striped bass abundant, tasty, at Lake Pleasant


Barry Worman, administrator of the Facebook page “Arizona Striper Fishing,” with an average 12-inch striper caught Friday, Sept. 18 from Lake Pleasant.


Some misspell them, “strippers.” True enough, they are just that: strippers of line.

Today, though, we’ll be talking about stripers.

Just northwest of Phoenix, the striped bass fishery is buzzing. Lake Pleasant is a haven for these linesiders, known for their line-stripping potential, excellent table fare (their mild, white meat is great for fish tacos) and, under special regulations at this 9,500-lake, no bag limit.

Great to eat. No bag limit.

Yep, and this type of fishing is suitable for men and women, great-grandparents and children.

So during the next month or so, here’s one way to catch these feisty fighters.

Summer and early fall striper fishing at Lake Pleasant, Arizona




Fishing at night is usually the best option during the summer and early fall. The process can be simple: submersible lights below the boat at Lake Pleasant (above) attract tiny shad, and the shad attract the predatory striped bass. The green-tinted surface shows juvenile stripers chasing and flashing and dicing balls of one-inch shad. Nature’s aquarium.

A key is to find darkness. Again, fish at night. And away from full moons and removed from other boaters who are dropping submersible lights. Check a solunar calendar before heading out.

On Friday, Sept. 18, multiple boats — 13 in an 80-yard radius — flashed their green submersible lights. Coupled with red-and-yellow lights streaking off the dam, the scene hinted at Christmas:


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It also meant the lights weren’t as effective because, in this scenario, the shad  disperse among the additional light. Anglers want them congregated. Find a lonely cove on a new-to-quarter moon. Corner the shad market.

Boat anglers can head out with medium-action spinning rods filled with 12-pound fluorocarbon line (or monofilament to save some money.) Rig up a dropshot with No. 2 baitholder or circle hooks and 1/2-ounce weights. Do not set the hook with circle hooks; baitholder hooks, on the other hand, will allow the angler to set the hook, an advantage with light, bait-thieving bites.

Don’t forget the fishing license – purchase one online to help conserve wildlife for our future fisher-children, and grandchildren 

Also pick up some anchovies (the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse and most WalMarts have them) and keep them frozen in an ice chest. Head out to 50 to 100 feet of water and lower the submersible lights, chum the waters with bits of anchovies, kick back, and tell your fishing buddy a couple old line-soaking stories (true or not) as the food chain under the boat forms like bubbles into foam.

In general, quality stripers tend to suspend right off the bottom, and aggressive, smaller fish around the middle of the water column.

Monitor the fish finder for the indications of fish. If you’re fishing from a kayak/canoe, cover a lot of water until you find the bite.

Cut one-inch sections of anchovies (frozen anchovies stay on the hook much longer). Hook a piece anchovy through one side of the skin, rotate the hook 180 degrees, and hook it back through the anchovy. If your fish finder is marking fish at, say, 30 feet, or on the bottom, drop the rig into the water, counting the seconds it takes for the bait to get into the target area. Keep that count in your mind — once you’ve found the depth of the fish, it’ll be time to figure out the next number on the fish-finding combination: the bite and hook-set.

“There are three types of bites here,” said Barry Worman, moderator of the popular Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page and, during this calm, star-smeared night, boat operator.

“One is the ‘dink, dink dink,’ really weak bites: these guys are master thieves at getting anchovies off. The second is where you get two feet of slack (in your line). They’re coming up, so you’ve got to reel in the slack and whack them. The third bite is your rods just bends.”

Arizona fishing offers more than just striper action at Lake Pleasant, so see our www.azgfd.gov fishing page for a mixed bag of resources, such as stocking schedules, maps of our top fisheries (including access points to Lake Pleasant), and details of where to fish.

Mmm … fish tacos


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Stripers make for great fish tacos because of their mild, flaky, white meat, and medium texture. Also, the average-sized striper (10-12 inches) naturally fits into taco shells. If anything were meant to be …

And here’s why: once an angler fillets a striper, he or she should cut out the blood line along the center. With average stripers, that leaves two strips tailor-made to relax in those crunchy or soft, curved-corn delicacies.

Here one way to prepare them: dip the fillets in an egg wash and roll ‘em a bed of white corn meal and either Panko bread crumbs or your favorite spices (I used a creole seasoning). Heat vegetable oil (enough in the pan so the fillets float) to the point that a pinch of corn meal flicked into the oil will sizzle. Fry for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the fillets.

Fish tacos can be as simple as adding your favorite salsa and greens. Simple can be delicious.

As head we deeper into fall, expect successful striper techniques to involve jigs and swimbaits. Stay tuned to this blog for updates. Also, the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page has a helpful article on jigging for stripers.

In the end, whether you’re catching stripers or “strippers,” the result is the same: lots of action, unlimited bag limits, and local, organic fish.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal


With desert nights dipping into the 70s and mountain nights dropping to the 40s, fall fishing conditions are in effect.

Community conditions are in effect, too. The first Community Fishing Program catfish stockings are next week! So by next weekend (Sept. 26-27), anglers can head to many of the community lakes and ponds and drop something stinky to the bottom for some tasty Arkansas-raised catfish. See a Community stocking schedule for details of which waters will be stocked.

Water temperatures are in prime activity ranges for bass in warmwater lakes and trout in mountain waters — stripers are going crazy at Lake Pleasant.

Although high-country summer trout stockings are winding down, fishing typically picks up at Big Lake this time of the year. Last week, two anglers caught cutthroat trout (23 and 24 inches) while fly fishing. Bull elk tend to call like crazy there, too.

Knoll Lake along the Mogollon Rim can be an elk-calling cathedral. Aspens should soon be turning colors along the famous Rim Road, which basically follows the General Cook Trail.

Have fun, and be sure to buy a license online, which helps make sure there are fishing options for future generations.

Want to learn how to fish for free?

We have a bunch of free fishing clinics statewide. See our Fish AZ blog Free Public Events page for upcoming events.

Another reminder that the Silver Creek catch-and-release season is Oct. 1. This opening has become a festival of sorts and the public is invited. This seasonal fishery is catch-and-release only.



(Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)

Mittry Lake

Michael H.: 8-pound bass caught from Mittry Lake.

I actually put him back only to get bigger.

I want Mittry lake to have potential to hold the world’s biggest bass.

Thank you, anglers!

Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984.

Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal


The first hints of fall means fishing is about to bust loose. Moderate chances of rain are predicted for many statewide regions during the next week, a welcome cool-off that will put bass in the mood to chase reaction baits and trigger some of the best high country trout fishing of the year.

Channel catfish are scheduled to return to most Community Fishing Program lakes and ponds the week of Sept. 21-26. Meanwhile, summer trout stockings are winding down.

Hot spots include Pleasant, Woods Canyon, Silver Creek, Saguaro, Bartlett, Apache, Havasu, Powell, Canyon Creek, and Kinnikinick. We also just stocked Rose Canyon Lake near Tucson. Scenic Oak Creek has been stocked weekly.

In the full report, we have fresh reports for Lake Havasu, Lees Ferry, Lake Powell and Roosevelt Lake — all are also top-notch options.

At Silver Creek, the seasonal trout fishery  opens Oct. 1. This opening has become a festival of sorts and the public is invited. This seasonal fishery is catch-and-release only.

Silver Creek is five miles east of Show Low on U.S. Route 60. Turn north off Highway 60 onto Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Road. Then head east on Hatchery Road 1 mile to the Silver Creek Hatchery, park in the parking lot, and follow the signs to the creek.

Buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones.


Nelson Reservoir
Aaron C.: We had a great day on the lake (Labor Day weekend) at Nelson Reservoir. We fished the southern end just before the thick algae bloom. Worms on the bottom was the ticket all day with consistent bites. My 5-year-old daughter was able to catch her very first fish.

We also landed this very nice 16-inch rainbow too. Memories and fun times is what fishing is all about.

Saguaro Lake
Tim M.: Here are some pics from my trip to Saguaro Lake on Aug. 30. The first one is a 4.5-pound. largemouth bass and the next is a 4 pounder. I caught one 4.5 lb., two 4 pounds and one 1.5 lb. that day.

Tempe Town Lake
Richard S.: I fished Tempe Town Lake Sept. 5, 5:30 through 10:30 a.m.. Fishing was difficult, with bites far between. Only three fish for 5 hours. What worked: dropshot with Roboworm in Aron’s Magic shad color, with a garlic scent chartreuse dip about 1/4 of an inch. Bite was really subtle, hard to detect… I might have missed some. A pair of fisherman in kayaks did better with crankbaits, though looking from a distance I could not tell exactly what, each got about 10 bass. I tried some I had (no luck), but I’m a plastics person and returned to dropshot.


Nick Walter, Fish AZ blog editor, on vacation until Sept. 8

Well, it’s time to take a break from reporting fishing, to hopefully doing a little fishing — away from work.

I will be on vacation until Sept. 8, but you can follow me on Twitter @NickFishAZ because with any luck I’ll be on the water, posting a couple fish, or dove hunting, pictures.

For more fishing information, be sure to visit the fishing page of our main website.

Otherwise, here’s to  fall fishing in Arizona, just on the horizon.

And thank you for reading the Fish AZ blog. Stay tuned for more fishing stories and continued improvement on this site to help you to “Fish AZ” with success.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal


It’s the forehead-soaked homestretch of summer. Consider fishing the night, morning or high country. First, though, pick a species.

So what are you looking to catch?


The nighttime striper bite at Lake Pleasant still is one of the best bets going. Take anchovies, set out a high-quality submersible light, drop some ‘chovies deep (80-plus feet), and wait for the “zing.” We’re at the tail end of the new moon phase (quarter moon Aug. 22) and using submersible lights at night will still be effective.

Looking for bass of the largemouth variety? Try Saguaro Lake. Night fishing has been excellent, and in the morning, bass are chasing bait. Try top-water lures and swimbaits in the mornings. As the morning progresses, throw dropshot-rigged Roboworms (morning dawn with a chartreuse tip and red crawler are good colors). Anglers can target humps, points, boulders, reef signs and grass bottoms. Of course, locate the food source (shad, for example) and you’ve found the fish.

Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, caught this hawg last week on a dropshot-rigged Roboworm.

Bassin’ is also “average to good” at Roosevelt Lake. Feeding patterns have included top-water or subsurface reaction bites, as well as bass swimming in schools called “wolf-packs.”


OK, here are some hot spots. Woods Canyon Lake and Willow Springs Lake are good for stocked trout in the Rim lakes area. Fool Hollow Lake is good for bass and sunfish. Show Low Lake is fair for walleye at night or early morning and good for trout. Nelson Reservoir is good for green sunfish and stocked rainbow trout. Fishing at the lower Colorado River in Greer, Sheeps Crossing, and Silver Creek are also good to excellent.

In the Flagstaff area, Kinnikinick is a viable option. Escape the crowds, and because it’s spring fed, it often has a nice summer bite. Some decent browns linger here as well. About 14,000 rainbow trout have been stocked in Kinnikinick Lake during the past two weeks.

Fishing was slow on the Williams Lakes this past weekend, but we did hear a report that folks fishing Dogtown have been catching limits of trout between 5 and 7 a.m.


How about Bartlett Lake, home of the heaviest recorded fish of all time? Try toppling “Flathead” Ed Wilcoxson’s 76.54-pound flathead catfish landed last two years ago. Or just take something home that’s good to eat. Ted M. caught this 54-pound flathead catfish last week from the Colorado River near Martinez Lake. See more about his flathead fiesta below in the Angler Reports.

It’s prime flathead catfish season. Try live bluegill or small carp as bait. Look for the deeper holes, especially up-lake where there is a little current. For bluegills, try the backs of rocky coves using nightcrawlers or meal worms on light tackle.

Our Fish&Boat Arizona map will show plenty of other options, as well as the locations of those mentioned above.

Also, see a full list of fire restrictions in Arizona.

Buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones.

It’s also about time for a final high-country trout fishing excursion. Consult our summer trout stocking schedule.



(Please send your fishing reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)

Canyon Lake
Dana Y.: Dale Yeager caught this 9-pound Canyon Lake bass on Aug. 8. We only caught four fish, but this one made his day. A Yeager Family Record.

He caught the fish about 8:30 a.m. at the upper end of the lake. He was using a Scrounger jighead and I am not sure what kind of minnow soft bait attached. We went back again Saturday the 15th. We only caught one fish in 5 hours up-stream. When we got back to the boat dock, there were lots of people. Fish were boiling right by the dock though, and we caught four bass in less than a half an hour. Go figure. This is the smaller boat dock above the second bridge.

Colorado River (near Martinez Lake)
Ted M.: On a very hot, humid desert summer night and with very little breeze, John Taylor and I (Ted McLoughlin) were fishing on the Colorado River near Martinez Lake. Fishing for bait seemed to be difficult at times and it didn’t seem like we were going to have a very productive night.

In the early evening we had our first double run and caught our first flathead catfish (8 pounds). On the other pole the fish was lost; the hook was not set and pulled out of the fish’s mouth after a short battle.

As the evening progressed we had one of the poles take off ripping line out, as the hook was set we knew we had a large fish (54 pounds), during that action a second pole took off and was pulling line. I immediately grabbed that rod and set the hook so now the fight was on: two fish off the back of the boat at the same time. I quickly landed the smaller flathead (12 pounds) and began to help John with the larger flathead. Wow, what a rush to pull a large catfish out of the water.

During the night we caught seven flathead catfish totaling 131 pounds: 54, 35, 12, 10, 9, 8, 3. All fish were returned to the water safely. We encourage everyone to take a child out and teach them the joys of fishing and enjoy the Arizona fishery.

Upper Salt River

Claude R.: The (flathead catfish) was caught Sunday at 7:30 pm I used Walmart brand nightcrawlers and I used a mango spot LCD digital hook scale 110lbs/50 kg (to weigh the fish.) Took me about 45 mins to finally land the monster fish.




Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal


Hot desert nights are made for bottom dwellers — catfish and carp. Relax on the shoreline, wet a line with some stink bait, corn or both, watch the sky for meteor showers (plenty of shooting stars could be seen from boaters at Bartlett Lake Thursday night), and hook into Mr. Whiskers at the same time.

If you want bass, it’s time to either go deep or catch some surface action. Using drop shots is probably the best method right now for catching deep bass in our desert reservoirs. See a video n how to rig and use drop shots.

It’s also about time for a final high-country trout fishing excursion. Consult our summer trout stocking schedule.

And if you don’t have a license, purchase one online. They’re valid for 365 days from the date of purchase and help conserve wildlife.

(Please send your fishing reports to

Saguaro Lake
Gene M.: My son and I fished Saguaro on Saturday Aug. 8 before sunrise. On my second cast I caught this 5-pounder and an hour later my son caught this 8-pounder. We both caught several 3.5-pound largemouth. We caught a total of seven largemouth all on frogs in the snags. It was a great morning of fishing with my son.

Fool Hollow Lake
Dorman G.: Spend last weekend at Fool Hollow. Fished dawn and dusk and better part of each day with no success. Talked to every fisherman I saw and everyone said they hadn’t had a single bite. Just wondering how bad a lake must be before it’s rated “poor.”

Lake Pleasant
Jim N.: Fishing at Lake Pleasant is great, while fishing the mouth of Humbug cove at 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. we boated top-water white bass, striped bass, largemouth to 2 pounds — considering the water temp of 83 degrees and that species like whites and stripes can lose weight in such temps makes them feed heavily but for shorter periods making them harder to find for most anglers.

We followed the stripers out of the cove, saw largemouth in the water by rock piles where stripers and whites were. Stripers went deep, bass stayed shallow by islands west side of Humbug/main bay. We used the Keitech swim minnow with the painted minnowhead. We boated bass on drop-shot with my son getting a nice channel too.

My son and I can hardly wait for the cooler fall temps and dangerous storm season to pass.


Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

This time of the year, sportfish start to spring from their summer doldrums and wreck surface lures. The surface action at dusk and dawn has started picking up during calm days at Lake Powell (famous for triple-digit days), Lake Pleasant, Lake Havasu, Saguaro, Canyon, Rosy – pretty much name it.

These sportfish start to get a bit more active in early August, chasing shad at or near the surface. Sometimes this results in boils, where the shad jump out of the water to escape predators.

This weekend could be hit-and-miss. At first and last light, try poppers, chuggers, buzzbaits and stick baits such as a Zara Spook, where you “walk the dog,” making the lure dart back and forth, dancing on the surface as though it’s a wounded shad. Never know when a bass will surprise you by blasting the lure and scattering the surface. Nothing like it.

But for pure numbers, a dropshot rig is the best summertime largemouth bass technique. Most bass anglers are fishing at night.

If you didn’t know, you can get real-time stocking schedules by becoming an “I Support Wildlife” member. Read more. It’s a must-have for Arizona anglers trying to pinpoint a bite. Otherwise, consult our summer trout stocking schedule.

And if you don’t have a license, purchase one online. They’re valid for 365 days from the date of purchase and help conserve wildlife.

(Please send your fishing reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)

Silverbell Lake (Tucson)
Erik M.: Caught this 41-inch white amur! This occurred July 19 at about 8 a.m. Bait used was at first corn, then switched to white bread. I had used a spinning reel with 20-pound test line. The white amur was 20 feet off the shore skimming the water as soon as the water warmed up. Originally was going for a bigger catfish but ended up catching my first fish over 22 inches, which was the white amur that was “unofficially” measured in my backyard at 41 inches from mouth to tail. I’m 5’6″ and the fish seemed to be about 2/3 my size.

Although I believe in catch and release, upon bringing the fish on the shore it had snagged on some sort of piping or metal object protruding out of the reeds which punctured and injured the fish in several places. At first I began to put it on a stringer to take a picture then release it, which I did, and I placed it back into the water while it was still on my stringer. About 15 minutes later the fish had showed signs of weakening and began to die basically. The maintenance guy on the ground had suggested I take it home to measure it and possibly fry it. Thanks! – Erik

Lake Pleasant
Rob C. of Goodyear: Some friends and I have gone night fishing for stripers the last three Fridays. We’ve had some pretty good luck each time catching a lot of fish in the 12-15-inch range, and some in the 20-23-inch range using anchovies under a light in the northern end of the lake. Bigger fish tend to be around 40-50 feet deep, but it’s hard to get down that far because the little runts keep intercepting the bait at about 30 feet. It takes a while to attract the shad, but once they move in the big fish aren’t far behind. Last week was a 37-fish night. Looking forward to going out again this Friday!

Penny A.: We caught these stripers at Scorpion Bay, Lake Pleasant, July 26. We used Rapalas. Lots of fun! Thanks AZ Fish & Game for keeping AZ fun!

Haigler Creek
Kellen L. of Mesa: Left Mesa early in the morning Tuesday, Aug. 4 and reached Haigler Canyon Campground by sunrise. Water was dark and murky. Used a dark-colored Panther Martin and caught at least one rainbow out of each hole as I walked up and down the creek.

All fish were released and all were stocker sized with the largest about 13 inches.

On a wildlife note. As I was switching out my leader, a group of five turkeys slowly walked along the ridge just 20 feet above me. Also saw a mature doe across from the campground as I left. This was my first time at Haigler Creek — a beautiful area — and will definitely be back.



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