Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

FISH IN FRIENDSHIP?
FISH IN AVONDALE’S FRIENDSHIP PARK?

With cooler temperatures, bass are chasing down crankbaits, buzzbaits and top-water lures in some of our desert impoundments. Rainbow trout stockings are coming from Phoenix to Yuma. If you didn’t know, it’s absolutely one of the best times to “Fish AZ.”

The Salt River chain lakes Saguaro, Apache and Canyon will be stocked with trout next week. The lower Salt River and the “core” Community Fishing Program waters in Phoenix, Tucson and Payson will get their trout loads the following week (Nov. 9-15), followed by Tempe Town Lake and Yuma waters Fortuna, Redondo, Somerton and Yuma West (Nov. 16-22).

Get out for trout. If you happen to wet a hook just after fish are stocked, try fishing near the surface (and on the surface), especially around first light.

BartlettBassOr go for some good ol’ “Bartlett bass.” Bartlett Lake remains a hot spot for these smaller largies. although some lately have been reported up to 2.5 pounds. Best bites are on top-water lures (such as Ricos), crankbaits, buzzbaits, and Berkley Powerworms on Texas rigs and shaky-head rigs. Many bass are in 2-10 feet of water. Shoreline anglers can go to Rattlesnake Cove and fish some of the points (tip: try casting parallel to the shore inside of just outward). Surprised we aren’t getting more Angler Reports from Bartlett. Send your photos and reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.

Speaking of Angler Reports, follow our new Fish AZ blog for more updated information and occasional from-the-water articles and videos, such as those from a recent kayak, fly-fishing excursion for trout, bluegill and crappie at Payson’s Green Valley lakes (which were recently stocked).

Or follow me on Twitter @NickFishAZ.

Get out while the bass bite is hot. With upcoming desert-region nights in the 50s, it probably won’t be long until fish will be in more lethargic winter feeding patterns. In essence, their metabolism slows down and they might only have to eat a single shad every day or two to maintain their body condition.

On the other hand, during the prime fall bite, a bass might gobble up lots of shad and feed four, five or six times each day. That’s why catch rates can increase in the fall, and decrease significantly in winter. Right now, we could be in that in-between stage with bass not quite in winter patterns, but not really in full autumn feeding patterns.

Go prepared to fish at 15-30 feet deep, but also be prepared with your top-water arsenal just in case you discover fishing gold — bass chasing shad at the surface.

See our Fish&Boat Arizona map for directions to these waters and other top fisheries.

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.

Catch a license

Good luck fishing, and remember that buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones.

ANGLER REPORTS

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

Send your Angler Reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.

Here’s what anglers said was biting over the weekend across Arizona:

BigLakecuttroatBig Lake
Dennis D./James T. of Sierra Vista: Hello, my son-in-law and I camped at Big Lake Oct. 17 – Oct. 22 and it was a great week of fishing and relaxing. We managed to catch three cutthroat trout (one pictured above), the biggest weighing in at nearly 4 pounds. In one day we caught 11 fish, lost four, and on another day we caught around 10. The weather is turning to cold, we had nightly rain, cold temps (lowest was 32) and in the daytime temps were in the 60s. Happy Fishing!

Long Lake
Steve C.:
Went to Long Lake on Oct. 24 with five guys in party. Fished all day with no luck. Water VERY low, ramp out at least 30 feet. We were hoping for pike and were not sure if Game and Fish removed pike like they did at Ashurst. Any feedback would be helpful to avoid spending money and time chasing fish that are not there.

  • Steve: We’ve only removed pike from Ashurst Lake. Because the water level at Long Lake is so low, there may not be many pike remaining. Likely, the big pike have eaten the smaller ones. Consider trying nearby Soldier Lake. Lake levels are higher, and there’s pike, walleye, largemouth bass, and some giant bluegill – if you can get them to bite. Good luck. — Nick

Davis Dam, Colorado River
Bob S. from Orange, Calif.: Caught at Davis Dam, No. 12 hook, on cut anchovies (left).

BearCanyonTroutBear Canyon Lake
Ryan W.: Caught this rainbow (22-inch, 5- pound) at Bear Canyon Lake on Oct. 18 at 11:30 a.m. using a small Kastmaster with 6-pound test and a ultralight rod. What a fight.

Colorado River (Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam)
Charles S.: Water temp. in the current was 75.5 degrees,and 78 degrees near the back end of the lakes. Peggy and I primarily fished the upper reaches of Picacho State Park and fishing was fair at best.

Most of the fish we caught in the current were smallmouth, with a few largemouth here and there. We really didn’t catch many bass that were much more than 2 pounds, though we did boat one largemouth that was 3.5 pounds. All of the fish were caught with creature baits; they didn’t hit crankbaits at all for us.

If you’re planning on fishing in the upcoming weeks, plan on moving around because the fish don’t appear to be bunched up, nor do they appear to be very hungry. We also didn’t hear any reports of anyone catching any big fish, not even in the Saturday bass tournament.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Angler Reports, Oct. 28, 2014

Send your Angler Reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.

Here’s what anglers said was biting over the weekend across Arizona:

BigLakecuttroatBig Lake

Dennis D./James T. of Sierra Vista: Hello, my son-in-law and I camped at Big Lake Oct. 17 – Oct. 22 and it was a great week of fishing and relaxing. We managed to catch three cutthroat trout (one pictured above), the biggest weighing in at nearly 4 pounds. In one day we caught 11 fish, lost four, and on another day we caught around 10. The weather is turning to cold, we had nightly rain, cold temps (lowest was 32) and in the daytime temps were in the 60s. Happy Fishing!

 Long Lake

Steve C.: Went to Long Lake on Oct. 24 with five guys in party. Fished all day with no luck. Water VERY low, ramp out at least 30 feet. We were hoping for pike and were not sure if Game and Fish removed pike like they did at Ashurst. Any feedback would be helpful to avoid spending money and time chasing fish that are not there.

  • Steve: We’ve only removed pike from Ashurst Lake. Because the water level at Long Lake is so low, there may not be many pike remaining. Likely, the big pike have eaten the smaller ones. Consider trying nearby Soldier Lake. Lake levels are higher, and there’s pike, walleye, largemouth bass, and some giant bluegill – if you can get them to bite. — Nick

BobSdavisdamDavis Dam, Colorado River

Bob S. from Orange, Calif.: Caught at Davis Dam, No. 12 hook, on cut anchovies (right).

Bear Canyon Lake

Ryan W.: Caught this rainbow (22-inch, 5- pound) at Bear Canyon Lake on Oct. 18 at 11:30 a.m. using a small Kastmaster with 6-pound test and a ultralight rod. What a fight.

Here’s an opportunity to help keep our public lands beautiful, safe and accessible for all to enjoy! Round up family and friends for the annual Four Peaks Cleanup this Saturday, Nov. 1, just east of the Four Peaks turnoff from Highway 87. Read more.

Community Fishing Bulletin: Oct. 27, 2014


Trout stocking to begin in November

The last catfish stocking of the season will occur this week in our core waters. Trout stockings will begin Nov. 10-15 for core waters. Grab the fishing poles and pack a picnic basket — take the family to the park to make some memories!


Injured wildlife at city parks

We occasionally receive calls regarding injured waterfowl or turtles at Community Fishing Program waters. Improperly disposed fishing line is a significant factor that often can injure wildlife that use these same waters. Please do your part to properly dispose of fishing line and hooks, and if you see an injured bird or other wildlife, it’s always best to leave the animal alone and call for help.

You can call the Department’s Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center at (623) 582-9806, or go to our website and find one of several licensed wildlife rehabilitators that we work with.


Did you know AZGFD conducts FREE Sportfishing Education clinics?

The Department has several “open to the public” fishing programs that have sport-fishing instructors available to teach youths and adults how to fish. The Department provides the rods, reels and bait, and a license is not required to participate in the clinics. For more information, call the Education Branch at (623) 236-7235 or (623) 236-7219.

TURN IN POACHERS! Call Operation GAME THIEF (1-800-352-0700)

You may notice some additional Law Enforcement Officers at CFP waters. Please help by reporting known or suspected violations. Although the Department may not be able to send an officer to each reported violation, simply reporting the incident to the Department helps establish where and when we have poaching problems. Every call is logged into a database and will be used to direct enforcement activities on your Community Fishing Waters.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Upper Lake Mary is full of large walleye and they are actively feeding and preparing for the winter.

Our routine sampling returned more of these fish – many 18-24 inches — than some of our biologists have ever seen in this lake.

We also captured some nice yellow bass and crappie.

Come on out and take advantage of this opportunity. We don’t know how long it will last.

Also, here is what we found in the White Mountains:

  • Crescent Lake: fair numbers of rainbow trout, most were 16 inches, some up to 21 inches and 3.5 pounds.
  • Carnero Lake: good numbers of rainbow trout, most were 13-15 inches, some up to 22 inches and 4 pounds.
  • Lee Valley Lake: few Apache trout from 13-17 inches, good numbers of grayling up to 13.9 inches and one pound (the state record is currently 14.65 inches and 1.61 pounds).

See our Fish&Boat Arizona map for directions to these waters and other top fisheries.

Typically this time of the year, Lees Ferry will have some of the hottest fishing in the state, both at the walk-in portion and upriver. When the Ferry it hot, it contends well with any other wild trout fishery in the West for top fishing honors.

Oct. 23 kicked off a new moon. For practical purposes, this means submersible lights will work great throughout the weekend.

Community Fishing Program rainbow trout stockings are back at Payson’s Green Valley lakes.

See a Fish AZ blog article about fly-fishing from a kayak Friday, Oct. 17. (Includes GoPro video of a trout being caught.)

Take advantage of Green Valley lakes, and anglers who fish the Community lakes/ponds in Phoenix/Tucson and Yuma can look forward to their first trout stockings in mid-November.

Catch a license

Good luck fishing, and remember that buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones.

ANGLER REPORTS

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

Patagonia Lake

Cesar B.: It was a 15.60-pound catfish. Caught it on nightcrawlers, fought for at least 20 minutes. Was a good weekend at Patagonia Lake on Oct. 18 across from the beach area around 2 p.m.

Fool Hollow Lake

Bob and Bryce: My son and I spent five days fishing the lake. Caught three catfish during the stay, all around 9 p.m.. On last day learned that someone had put pike in the lake and that they have wiped out (eaten) all of the trout, bass and panfish. Until the pike issue is dealt with there is virtually no fishing to be had there.

Riverview Park (Mesa)

Folima Tuileva “Tui” : This large catfish was caught by using a hotdog for bait at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20. Fish weighed 9.65 pounds according to a hand held digital scale.

Brock P.: Went out Oct. 18 to Mesa Riverview. Caught and released two nice-sized channel cats about 12-16 inches in length, then released them back. Seems like there are no largemouths or other fish for that matter as everyone I talked to had caught just channels also. Was using a drop shot setup with dead crickets. Feel like you gotta throw something that nobody else is trying as these fish are just too used to worms, PowerBait, etc.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Welcoming trout to Payson’s Green Valley lakes with fly-fishing, filleting, frying

GreenValley1PAYSON — Heard some tasty rainbow trout had just been stocked into Green Valley Park lakes, just 1 hour, 45 minutes northeast of Phoenix.

So on Friday, Oct. 15, two days after the lake had been stocked, I threw a lime-green kayak into a silver Ford F-150 and headed up to this lush Community Fishing Program lake for some fly-fishing action — and hopefully an awesome dinner.

Like many fish species, trout tend to bite best during first and last light. Yet arriving at 9 a.m. at the main, 10-acre Green Valley lake, probably during the tail end of this “bite window,” a rainbow trout took an offer of a black woolly bugger fished 3 feet under a strike indicator cork.

See this video of a trout taking a No. 10 woolly bugger tied to a 3-pound tippet.

Watch the trout skyrocket!

The fish selfie followed…

NickTrout

Or it is a fishelfie?

Regardless — why the use of flies? Green Valley lakes, located a mile west of Highway 87 on Main Street, was stocked on Wednesday, Oct. 15 with 340 pounds of trout. This trip took place two days afterward. Typically during the following few days after a trout stocking, these iridescent fish will remain near the surface, often cruising shorelines.

Dropping a fly a couple feet under a cork puts the bait right in the likely target zone. (Be sure to bring PowerBait to Green Valley lakes, because trout will primarily be deep once the stocked trout settle down, especially once the sun comes up.)

But trout were not hitting flies near the shorelines, although sunfish were taking refuge — and woolly buggers – near the cattails. So the thinking was that the fountains, which cool and clear the water and increase the surrounding oxygen supply, would entice these stockers, likely craving a dose of fresh water and extra oxygen after their long trek from Colorado.

Can’t blame ‘em.

This is where this fish was caught using a 9-foot, 5-weight fly rod. Another trout twice came to the surface and tried to gobble the strike indicator cork. Then the trout bite shut off.

The most consistent bite until about 3 p.m. was on crappie along the cattails. Hardly a better tasting fish.

Bluegill also bit black or olive-colored No. 10 woolly buggers just off the tules. The secret for sunfish was pulling the cork across the surface about a foot, pausing for a few seconds, then stripping in the slack. Bites came as the bait was still.

Tasty crappie
Tasty crappie

Filleting the trout, crappie and bluegill

Fish kept — a trout, two crappie and a bluegill — were cleaned with a 4-inch Rapala Finlander knife, an excellent all-around blade that can be purchased at Wal-Mart for about $13.

FIshFillets

Fresh, fried fish for dinner

Fried in peanut oil in some Louisiana Fish Fry seasonings (the local Safeway was out of white corn meal), along with a side of cheesy broccoli (brown) rice, the catch-and-cook cycle is complete.

Fresh, healthy, organic dinner! (Well, the fish were organic anyway.)

FIshCooked

Fishing Green Valley and other Community Fishing Program lakes/ponds

No other fish species is stocked at Green Valley; however, good populations of bass, crappie, catfish and sunfish can be found in this productive lake ecosystem.

Trout will be stocked at Green Valley lakes every two weeks until early May.

See more information on the Community Fishing Program.

Trout can also be caught on small spinners and spoons and with baits such as scented dough balls, worms or salmon eggs. Popular flies for trout are peacock lady and zebra midges fished slowly, 4-6 feet below the surface.

To catch more trout, use lighter line in the 2-6 pound range, smaller hooks and a minimal amount of weight. Limits on trout are four per day for licensed anglers.

GreenValleyKids

Anglers age 10 and over must have a General Fishing, Combination Hunt and Fishing (ages 10-17), Combination Hunt and Fish or Community Fishing license to fish Green Valley Lakes. The Community Fishing license is $24, and like all licenses, is now valid 365 days from the date of purchase.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

One of the state’s hot spots might be the lower Colorado River below Davis Dam, where this month we’re dumping 22,000 trout. It’s the first stocking reared by the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery in nearly a year!

There is a huge fishing pier at Willow Beach. You might even see some desert bighorn sheep. It’s also a great place to rent a kayak and explore the Black Canyon area below Hoover Dam.

Thinking of heading to the White Mountains for a final fall excursion? The best fishing is currently at Big Lake, where large cutthroat and some rainbows are coming into the shallow water. Most are still being caught on bait, but fly and lure fishing should get better from here on out.

Other good fishing spots are Silver Creek (catch-and-release only, artificial lure and fly only), Woods Canyon Lake, and Willow Springs Lake.


Also, the lower Salt River is scheduled to be stocked this week. See the full winter trout stocking schedule.

Welcome Back the Trout to Green Valley Lake in Payson

PHOENIX – After a four month wait, Payson residents and visitors can welcome back the rainbow trout to beautiful Green Valley Park this week.

“Fall is a wonderful time to visit the rim country, see the colors and relax and fish along the grassy shorelines of this popular urban fishery,” said Scott Gurtin, Community Fishing Program manager at the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The Green Valley lakes are located a mile west of Highway 87 on Main Street.

About 340 pounds of rainbow trout, averaging ¾ pounds, are arriving this week to kick off a trout season that features 11- to 14-inch fish delivered every two weeks until early May. Some 2-3 pound lunkers will be included.

No other fish species is stocked at Green Valley; however, good populations of bass, crappie, catfish and sunfish can be found in this productive lake ecosystem.

Trout can be caught on small spinners and spoons and with baits such as scented dough balls, worms or salmon eggs. Popular flies for trout are peacock lady and zebra midges fished slowly, 4-6 feet below the surface.

To catch more trout, use lighter line in the 2-6 pound range, smaller hooks and a minimal amount of weight. Limits on trout are four per day for licensed anglers.

Anglers age 10 and over must have a General Fishing, Combination Hunt and Fishing (ages 10-17), Combination Hunt and Fish or Community Fishing license to fish Green Valley Lakes. The Community Fishing license is $24, and like all licenses, is now valid 365 days from the date of purchase

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.

Catch a license

Good luck fishing, and remember that buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones.

ANGLER REPORTS

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

Bartlett Lake

Bill S.: So I took my son (Beckett) and daughter (Sienna) out fishing yesterday off the pier in Rattlesnake Cove at Bartlett.

My daughter caught her first fish (bluegill) which was quite entertaining. I snapped a few photos from the day. I think the pictures are super cute, but I am biased. :)

Grant A.: My name is Grant A., 60 years old, Mesa resident 30 years, have fished Bartlett off and on for about 25 years. Had one of my best mornings ever Wednesday, Oct. 15. I was on the lake just before dawn — you could see to drive the boat, but the sun had not appeared. I launched at the ramp near the marina and caught my first bass about 200 yards out.

I fished the mouth of coves trolling shad-type diving lures. In early morning the wind was intense enough, so I put my life jacket on. But I kept getting strikes, so I kept fishing. Trolling shad deep-diving lures I caught 12 largemouth bass before 10 a.m. Only two were dinks, the others were more than 14 inches, nice and fat. I fished catch-and-release that day. I had constant hits and I think it was little bass hitting the lure and being shook free. I was trolling using the gasoline motor to control the boat in the waves and was moving faster than normal.

I’m a regular fisher guy and if it is this good for me you will slay them. I would suggest fishing more than just the shore area; I saw a lot of guys doing that and I’m pretty sure the bass were in 35-75 feet of water.

Lees Ferry

Darren W.: Just wanted to send in these pics from a huge Lees Ferry brown! Caught and released on Sunday, October 12, using panther martin.

As this is my first reporting of this fish, is there any way to see if it holds up to a record, only using the supplied photographs? Just wondering.

Fool Hollow Lake

Jim: Fishing here is poor to nothing. Been fishing here for three days with out a bite. Have talked to everyone I’ve seen all say they’ve caught nothing.

Lake Mohave

Russ L.: Oct. 13, Caught these on top waters, several more strikes and sightings from the shore at Lake Mohave. They seem to be all around the lake. We were using Zara Spooks and silver Pop Its between 4:30 p.m. and dark, all in one cove out of the wind!


Freestone Pond (Gilbert)

Aaron J.: Wonderful Saturday morning on Freestone pond in Gilbert. Thanks for stocking!!

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Angler Reports: Oct. 15, 2014

BigBrownLeesFerryLees Ferry

Just wanted to send in these pics from a huge Lees Ferry brown! Caught and released on Sunday, October 12, using panther martin.

As this is my first reporting of this fish, is there any way to see if it holds up to a record, only using the supplied photographs? Just wondering.

TopWaterMohaveLake Mohave

Russ L.: Oct. 13, Caught these on top waters, several more strikes and sightings from the shore at Lake Mohave. They seem to be all around the lake. We were using Zara Spooks and silver Pop Its between 4:30 p.m. and dark, all in one cove out of the wind!

Fool Hollow Lake

Jim: Fishing here is poor to nothing. Been fishing here for three days with out a bite. Have talked to everyone I’ve seen all say they’ve caught nothing.

FreestoneCatfishFreestone Pond (Gilbert)

Aaron J.: Wonderful Saturday morning on Freestone pond in Gilbert. Thanks for stocking!!

Roosevelt Lake/Mogollon RIm lakes/streams

Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods with an Oct. 11 report:

The talk around Rim Country continues to be the water flow into Roosevelt Lake. This past week, the rain has been hard at times and even flooded some roads in the area. This has resulted in big increases to the water flowing into the lake.

Both the Salt River and the Tonto Creek are flowing at well over 100 percent of what is normal for this time of year. The water coming into the lake continues to be a chocolate brown color and the closer you get to the ends of the lake, the worse the water conditions get. Not only is the water chocolate colored, the temperature of the water entering the lake is significantly colder than the main lake water temperature.

Anglers I spoke with this past week stated that they are only fishing the main lake areas from the Windy Hill ramp to the Cholla ramp. The good news is that bass fishing was called excellent this past week. I spoke with Ted Morton of Tonto Basin who reported catching 30-plus bass on two guide trips this week as well as other anglers who reported good numbers. Points and drop-off areas were identified as prime locations.

Top-water baits such as a Rio-Rico and a Zara Spook are working for schooling bass. Deep diving crankbaits were reported successful this past week and lots of fish are still being caught on a drop-shot technique using almost any color 4- to 6-inch worm and fishing in 10-20 feet depths. One other technique discussed was using a spinner-bait to to fish areas where the rising water level has covered grass along the shoreline.

Crappie fishing was called poor this past week. However, with the stable weather outlook for this coming week, the crappie bite is expected to improve. Look for crappie in 25-35 feet water, near rock piles or brush. Traditionally, November is the best crappie fishing on Roosevelt Lake due to the stable weather that month. So you crappie anglers, hang in there, your time is coming.

The winter trout stockings have been announced by AZGFD. Due to the cold weather on the Rim, those lakes and streams traditionally are not included in the winter stockings. You can see a complete list of all the planned stockings on the AZGFD website. Great news for the Community trout stocking program. Green Valley Lake, right here in Payson, will be stocked with trout for three consecutive weeks beginning this week. So if this is your favorite lake, it’s time to get ready. There are different regulations and bag limits for the Community Fishing Program so be sure to review the pamphlet you received with your license or review the Community Fishing Program rules online, before you fish.

Rim Country Custom Rods builds and repairs all kinds of fishing rods. If you have a treasured fishing rod that you would like to have restored to near new condition, give Rim Country Custom Rods a call to get a free quote. Rim Country Custom Rods is located in Payson and can be reached at 928-468-0263 or http://www.rimcountrycustomrods.com.

Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

In the desert impoundments, predatory fish have become more active. Crankbaits and buzzbaits and jigs are drawing increasingly more largemouth bass strikes. But with a full moon Oct. 8, using submersible lights to attract the plankton-shad-bass food-chain links is not as viable — for now. Another possibility is that the best fishing could be at first and last light, which isn’t all that abnormal.

Regardless, this weather makes it pretty nice to be outside. Grab a final slice of summer, or the first nibble of fall, and take advantage of one of many fishing options. This is the time for flathead catfish. At Bartlett Lake, in particular, they’re roaming the waters looking for meals to add some winter fat. It’s that time! See a video that includes how-to information for flathead newbies.

Our winter trout stocking program is slowly but surely ramping up! See the schedule.

Last week, Fain and Lynx lakes in the Prescott area were stocked, and this week Goldwater Lake is getting a load of rainbows. After you catch some rainbows at one of these lakes, be sure to visit the Sharlot Hall Museum just a block away from the Prescott Town Square (http://sharlot.org/). It’s really an interesting place the whole family will enjoy. There is even an old one-room school house (right) from the Territorial Days of Arizona’s colorful past.

This coming week, we’re also stocking Francis Short Pond and Marshall Lake in Flagstaff.

At Big Lake, PowerBait fished on the bottom remains the primary option. Anglers reported catching rainbows as large as 6 pounds, according to Ray at the Big Lake Store. Despite some heavy rains, the fall leaves haven’t fallen, so get out and enjoy the sights of autumn, and sounds of line zinging away, while you can.

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.

Catch a license

Good luck fishing, and remember that buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones.

ANGLER REPORTS

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

Willow Springs Lake

Shane V.: Saturday, Oct. 4 — Fishing from shore was hit and miss. Seems yellow/green PowerBait was the ticket. Got the boat out about 1 p.m. Trolling where the main part of the lake enters the two arms and we’re catching pretty regular up until around 5 p.m. While trolling, we caught fish on all of the following: bright green rooster tails; dark green and silver rooster tails; trout pattern rooster tails; yellow and red panther martins; rainbow trout pattern floating Rapalas.

Crescent Lake/Big Lake

Ann M.: I took my family to the White Mountains … we fished four days at Crescent Lake and a couple days at Big Lake. My wife caught this 20-inch rainbow trout on Oct. 1 at Big Lake. A friend we fished with also caught an 18-inch rainbow trout the same day. Overall the fishing was slow. They were both caught using mice tails fished off bottom.

Rose Canyon Lake, Tucson

Mary S.: My son, daughter, and I went fishing at Rose Canyon Lake yesterday. It is not closed yet, as reported in your newsletter. I talked with the forest ranger. It closes on October 26. We ended up catching 5 fish, but we saw others catching much more. Considering it was stocked last week, we were not surprised. It was a beautiful day there yesterday. Couldn’t have asked for better!

Silverbell Lake, Tucson

Jared H.: Spent Saturday and Sunday morning (Oct. 4-5) at Silverbell Lake in Tucson. The stocked cats were biting both mornings, especially Saturday. All four fish caught Saturday were pushing, or more than, 2 pounds. Sunday was the kicker with a 24-inch channel cat. It was most likely more than 5 pounds and was a big surprise — so much fun to fight and land. Included a couple pictures. Really appreciate the urban stocking system.

Kevin G.: We used worms and light tackle for bluegill. My technique is to be patient, but sometimes I’m not. We go around to weed beds where fish are, but mostly near the stocking-fish gate.




Canyon Lake

I took the family fishing on Oct. 7 at Canyon Lake. I was lucky enough to land this 20-inch bass.

Kinnikinick Lake

Jeff G.: Just wanted to share our experience from Kinnikinick Lake yesterday. My fishing buddy Joe and I had never been to Kinnikinick nor had we ever caught Brown Trout before. Fishing mainly lures we managed to land 7 browns and 3 rainbows and we were off the water by 2:30pm. One of the browns was just under 3 pounds. We hooked up with many other fish but the browns proved to be tricky to land as we lost several inches from the shore. The lure of choice was a green rooster tail. All but two of the fish we wrangled took the green rooster tail with a welcome aggressiveness.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

AZ Angler Reports: Avoid debris in Roosevelt Lake; catch cats in Tucson

Roosevelt Lake

Roosevelt Lake
Roosevelt Lake

From Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

I have major updates on Roosevelt Lake this week, so let’s get right to them.

First, the lake level remained constant this past week at 38-percent full but you’ll recall last week the water level increased for the first time in a long time. The water level has come up about a foot of the past two weeks.

More good news is that the Salt River is flowing at about 500 cpfs and the Tonto Creek is flowing at about 50 cfps. The water coming into the lake is a chocolate brown color at both ends of the lake. On the Tonto end the discolored water is down to Rock Creek and on the Salt River end it’s as far as the Grapevine ramp. Along with the dark brown water, there is a lot of debris that has been pushed into the lake. Be extremely careful it you’re boating this week especially where water is flowing into the lake.

The water flowing into the lake is also impacting the water temperature. The freshwater entering the lake is in the low 70s while the clearer water in the main portion of the lake near the dam, is in the high 70s to low 80s.  The increased water level and the nutrients the freshwater brings to the lake are vital to the success of the fishery.

The water changes in the lake didn’t seem to have much impact on fishing reports. Fishing overall was called “good” this past week. For the first time this fall, I received reports that jigging spoons was catching good numbers of fish in 30 feet water.

Bass are feeding heavily right now on shad, and bass that are being caught have full bellies. These schools of bass chasing shad can be seen in the backs of coves, main lake points or along cuts on the shoreline. This time of year, you should always have a clear or silver color Rio Rico tied on a rod and ready to go.

Crankbaits were reported successful this past week and lots of fish are still being caught on a dropshot technique using almost any colored 4-6-inch worm and fishing in 10-20 feet depths.

Crappie fishing was called “pretty tough” this past week. With all the changes to the water condition this past week, crappie just seemed to be nowhere. If you’re planning to crappie fish this week, look to the mid lake areas. Experienced crappie anglers are using a vertical technique and fishing in 25-35 feet of water and always in brush or trees.

A 5-foot-6 to 6-foot ultra or light power and an extra-fast action rod is required to feel the bait through the brush. When fishing vertically for crappie, 95 percent of the time the hook will be in the roof of the mouth, so don’t be afraid to set that hook when you feel the bite.

Mogllon Rim lakes and streams

Trout stockings of the Rim lakes and streams has ended but there are lots of good trout still in Rim Country waters. Fall has arrived on the Rim, so if you’re planning a fishing trip, be sure to dress in layers. It will be around 40 degrees in the mornings and a very pleasant 65 degrees in the afternoons.

Green Valley Lake

Also, the Community trout stocking program is about start stocking trout into Green Valley Lake right here in Payson. The first stocking will occur the week of Oct. 13-17. You’ll recall that AZGFD changed the rules earlier this year so the Community Fishing Program is now included as part of your standard Arizona fishing license, no special tag is required.

Call Rim Country Custom Rods if you have any fishing rod questions or would like to know how a custom built rod will make you a better angler. Rim Country Custom Rods can be reached at 928-468-0263.

Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Willow Springs Lake

Shane V.: Saturday, Oct. 4 — Fishing from shore was hit and miss.  Seems yellow/green PowerBait was the ticket.  Got the boat out about 1 p.m.  Trolling where the main part of the lake enters the two arms and we’re catching pretty regular up until around 5 p.m.  While trolling, we caught fish on all of the following: bright green rooster tails; dark green and silver rooster tails; trout pattern rooster tails; yellow and red panther martins; rainbow trout pattern floating Rapalas.

WhtMtnTroutCrescent Lake/Big Lake

Ann M.: I took my family to the White Mountains … we fished four days at Crescent Lake and a couple days at Big Lake. My wife caught this 20-inch rainbow trout on Oct. 1 at Big Lake. A friend we fished with also caught an 18-inch rainbow trout the same day. Overall the fishing was slow. They were both caught using mice tails fished off bottom.

Rose Canyon Lake, Tucson

Mary S.: My son, daughter, and I went fishing at Rose Canyon Lake yesterday.   I talked with the forest ranger.  It closes on October 26.  We ended up catching 5 fish, but we saw others catching much more.  Considering it was stocked last week, we were not surprised.  It was a beautiful day there yesterday.  Couldn’t have asked for better!

Catfish from Silverbell Lake in TucsonSilverbell Lake, Tucson

Jared H.: Spent Saturday and Sunday morning (Oct. 4-5) at Silverbell Lake in Tucson.  The stocked cats were biting both mornings, especially Saturday.  All four fish caught Saturday were pushing, or more than, 2 pounds.  Sunday was the kicker with a 24-inch channel cat.  It was most likely more than 5 pounds and was a big surprise — so much fun to fight and land.  Included a couple pictures.  Really appreciate the urban stocking system.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Fall fishing is here, so let’s get right to it. Here’s a rundown of what’s changed since last week.

Kinnikinick Lake turns “brown”

Great news for Kinnikinick Lake — we just completed stocking about 10,000 brown trout. The fish averaged 5-14 inches. Fishing should be excellent this fall. If you’re on Facebook, see more details from our Flagstaff Regional Facebook page.

Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona reopens

See the story from fox10phoenix.com.

On Tuesday, however, the upper reach of Oak Creek didn’t look good. Our biologists didn’t see any fish, but they didn’t electrofish the creek so some fish could remain. There was a lot of gray silt on the bottom of the creek and biologists didn’t find many bugs under the rocks they turned over for fish to eat. The creek was also pretty murky. Because of this, the Department decided not to stock the upper part of the creek. The hatchery will continue stocking the portion down from Sedona.


Seasonal trout fishery at Silver Creek reopens

On Wednesday, the Silver Creek catch-and-release season reopened.

The fishing staff from Cabela’s was on hand, just like in years past. Also once again this year the Phoenix and Sierra Vista South Arizona Chapters of Project Healing Waters attended opening day.

Both Apache trout and rainbow trout were stocked again this year, with some fish tipping the scales at more than 3 pounds or so. A few trout are around 10 pounds.

The 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.

Remember that trout from this seasonal fishery must be immediately released unharmed – no trout may be kept. It is artificial lure and fly only with barbless hooks. The catch-and-release season is Oct. 1 to March 31.

Besides being a seasonal fishery, Silver Creek does have another unique quality – because the creek is spring fed and stays at a constant temperature it is not subject to freezing, which provides anglers a nice high country trout fishery to visit during winter.



Fossil Creek will open to fishing this Saturday, Oct. 4

Remember Fossil Creek is a catch and release chub fishery with a fly and lure single barbless hook regulation.
In case you missed it, our fall/winter trout stocking schedule is out. See the schedule and plan out some trout-fishing excursions.

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.

Catch a license

Good luck fishing, and remember that buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones.

ANGLER REPORTS

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

Tempe Town Lake
Richard S.: I went bass fishing on the early morning of Friday, Aug. 26. I caught nine bass and one channel catfish in about three hours. Drop-shotting was the ticket, though one bass and the cat came trolling a Rooster Tail in white and red color.

I fished mostly the east end, by the buoys that protect the dam. Best color was a light blue, funny enough morning down did not work at all! Second best color was “holographic shad” from roboworm. One advice: get there early, by 8 AM the byte really slows down. And remember to use navigation lights if you launch the boat at 5 AM as I did, it’s still dark but row boats with their lights are around.


Chevelon Canyon Lake
Travis D. and Joel C. fished on Monday: Other than an underwater dam repair crew, we had the whole lake to ourselves, not another soul. The spillway was flowing fast and fairly deep. We hit the water late at about 7:30 a.m. but within 30 minutes we were getting strikes
.

Using a canoe we went upstream towards the inlet of the creek, only hitting a 20-minute stretch of nasty headwind. About a quarter-mile downstream of the inlet we started picking up some nice ones, including a fat 3.13-pound brown and several rainbows between 2-3 pounds. Their colors were beautiful and they put up some awesome fights on light tackle. Except for a couple smaller ones caught on spinners, most, including the larger ones, were caught on spoons while we trolled.

Total tally for day was 21, with only a few being less than ten inches. We got off the lake at 5 p.m. and debated hiking down to the pool below the spillway to try our luck there, but we knew we had a long trek ahead of us, pulling the canoe up the road by foot.

Though the difficulty of getting a larger boat to the lake and then back up again was an extreme obstacle, it was completely worth it and will be done again.

SEE THE FULL REPORT.

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