Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Here are the latest fishing updates:

  • Crappie fishing has slowed at Bartlett Lake, but the nighttime bite at Alamo Lake by the dam is still good.
  • Fishing on Tuesday was hot on Dogtown Lake (near Williams) with anglers catching fish on roostertails and yellow cheese PowerBait fished on the bottom. The cooler weather and water temperatures slowed down the bite on Whitehorse Lake (also near Williams), but anglers are still catching crappie using bead head prince nymph, damsel nymph flies and small white crappie jigs in the shallow areas along the south side of the dam and in the shallows on the right side of the boat ramp.
  • There’s good striper action at Lake Pleasant and Lake Havasu. At Havasu, fish from 6-8 a.m. from the mouth of the river south to California Bay. The catfish bite also has been excellent during the evening.
  • Near Pinetop, Anthony and Nancy caught this 6.5-pound, 30.5-inch northern pike Monday, July 20, at Rainbow Lake.

 

Keep up with the state’s fire restrictions from the Bureau of Land Management website.

 

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.

 

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

Colorado River (Near Martinez Lake)
Ted M.: Another great, hot, summer night in Arizona to go fishing. We were fishing for flathead catfish and caught this 25-pound beauty near Martinez Lake on the Colorado River. Also pictured is my fishing partner John Taylor. That night we caught eight fish totaling more than 100 pounds. All fish were returned safely back to the water and we took pictures for the memories. We encourage everyone to go out and enjoy the Arizona fishery. Thanks, Arizona Game and Fish.


J.D. Dam
What happened to the fish in J.D.? I’ve been fishing there for many years and have a good knowledge of what flies to use to catch at least a few every time I go there.


But after the big runoff this spring the lake was like chocolate milk for some time. Now there seem to be no fish. Even the ospreys have given up on fishing there.



Big Lake
Bobby C.: July 10-13 was the worst fishing trip I have ever experienced in all my years that I have been on going up to Big Lake. We started out fishing at Big Lake at several spots that have always been good to us. One fish the whole day between six of us. The following day we moved to Sheep’s Crossing and the same thing: one fish and I have always limited out there. Everyone we talked to had the same story, NOTHING. Sunday we travel to E. Fork of the Black river a handful of people fishing and no one had anything good to say. I ran into a G.F. Rep who was conducting surveys and she had the same story that no one that she had encountered had caught anything. She suggested several ideas to which I had tried, but nothing. The only good thing that came out of it was my grandkids really had a great time catching crawdads and that was the highlight of the fishing trip.

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

 

With a new moon July 18, this is a perfect time to fish at night under the stars using a submersible light.

Trout stockings are in full effect so be sure to check our summer stocking schedule before heading out, and consult our Fish & Boat AZ map to find the locations of our state’s top fishing holes.

Nighttime fishing is still ideal as we head deeper into summer. Crappie fishing shuld still be a good bet at Alamo Lake. Try fishing by the dam using crappie lights and jigging minnows. At Roosevelt Lake, some crappie anglers have reported that the crappie fishing has finally picked up.

See the full report for regional reports.

Keep up with the state’s fire restrictions from the Bureau of Land Management website.

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.

ANGLER REPORTS

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

Ashurst Lake
Loren C.: Ashurst Lake is great in the early morning and late afternoon. Caught nice-sized hold overs using cowbells and PowerBait scented worms. Artificial waterdog-looking baits get a lot of attention but do not seal the deal. Fish are delicious and nicely colored. Spinners and trolling baits are a waste of time right now.

Canyon Lake
Anonymous: My son and I went out on Canyon Lake, in our tandem kayak, around 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 1. A bit of wind but mostly quiet, only a few motors around. We paddled back into the river opening, didn’t get anything. Made our way out around 7:30 p.m., just before entering the lake again, stopped in a small cover, dropped a line and hooked a line baited with a worm, caught this nice channel cat. Great time pulling her in. Ended up being just over 4 pounds. Great taste, not at all like the tasteless versions bought in the grocers.

Bartlett Lake
Shane W.: I figure I would share a bass I caught at Bartlett (around 6 p.m.) while fishing for cats in case you want to put it in the fishing report. Catch and release … she was a fighter.

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.

READ THE FULL REPORT

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

CORiverStriper fishing is generally average to “gangbusters” at Lake Pleasant, Lake Mead, and the Colorado River below Davis Dam, where the Tyler family (above) all caught fish, the largest being 16.3 pounds, followed by a 6.6-pounder. Anchovies have been best for catfish and stripers in this area on the scenic Colorado.

Flathead catfish are also a good bet at Pleasant, where top-water action can also be a hot spot this time of the year.

The big bass hot spot in the state is Saguaro Lake. Michelle Sheer (left) caught this largemouth bass, estimated at nearly 10 pounds, at Saguaro on June 24 on a green plastic worm on a dropshot rig. It was caught just before sundown, around 6:30 p.m. This spectacular largie was released in good condition.

Nighttime fishing is ideal as we head deeper into summer. With a last quarter moon (and new moon the following week) submersible lights will be more effective.

Arizona crappie fishing

Crappie fishing is picking up at Alamo Lake. Mark Knapp, park ranger at Alamo Lake State Park, reported that nighttime anglers are catching 20-30 crappie a night by the dam using crappie lights and jigging minnows.

Bartlett Lake bass

At Bartlett Lake, bass are chasing shad and fishing continues to be excellent for average-size largemouth. Read our Fish AZ blog — your best resource for immediate Arizona fishing information — about an angler who caught two bass on one crankbait.

Also browse last week’s fishing report for more hot spots, and hit your favorite trout hole before temperatures get too hot.

See our summer trout stocking schedule as well.

Licensed to fish Arizona

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. In case you didn’t know, hunter and anglers were the original conservationists — their efforts ended unregulated market hunting that wiped out or threatened many wildlife species and helped create today’s regulated, science-based management that has brought back sustainable, thriving populations of many wildlife species.

Thank you for helping us pay for wildlife conservation through your purchases of licenses, tags and stamps and excise taxes on hunting and fishing gear.

Finally, before heading out to fish, find the location of our state’s primary fishing waters using our Fish & Boat Arizona map.

 

ANGLER REPORTS


Saguaro Lake
Kendra S.: This was caught yesterday (July 5) around 4 p.m. at Saguaro Lake on a plastic minnow looking lure. Unfortunately we didn’t get to weigh the fish but it had to be a good 4-5-pound bass. We turned him loose at the dock for someone else to get the thrill to catch as he was a fighter getting him into the boat.

 

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Two largemouth bass on one lure: Phoenix man scores big July 6 at Bartlett Lake

Jerry Lowery of Phoenix with his double-bass hook-up from the morning of July 6, 2015, at Bartlett Lake in the Tonto National Forest, about a 2-hour drive northeast of Phoenix.
Jerry Lowery of Phoenix with his double-bass hook-up from the morning of July 6, 2015, at Bartlett Lake in the Tonto National Forest, about a 2-hour drive northeast of Phoenix.

 

Two bass. One lure.

This morning (July 8) at Bartlett Lake, Jerry Lowery of Phoenix showed the largemouth bass continue to be on a summertime feeding frenzy.

In the middle of the north end of the lake, around 6 a.m., Lowery was throwing a pink-lipped Rat-L-Trap across shad boils. He hooked into what he said felt like a 10-12-pound bass. Little did he know …

After a 10-minute fight, he brought it to the boat – he’d caught two bass on the same crankbait.LMBcloseup

 

 

 

“It was amazing,” Lowery said. “I’ve never done that and I’ve been fishing Bartlett on and off for 18 years.”

 

“Bartlett bass” a fishing blast at lake northeast of Phoenix

At Bartlett, the majority of the bass are 10-12 inches, and this mediocre size of bass are called by locals “Bartlett bass.” But there are so many bass at Bartlett that fishing has been on fire.  And “Bartlett bass” are a great eating size. Largemouth bass are chasing shad, and that’s what Lowery was targeting with his Rat-L-Trap – shad popping on the surface, something that resembles a pod of light rain touching down on the water.

He just didn’t know he would hook into a double-bass bonus.

When to fish for bass at Bartlett Lake

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Bartlett Lake

His double hook-up is a testament to how aggressive and opportunistic and plentiful Bartlett bass are as water temperatures remain not too hot, and not too cold. Fish while the fishing’s good. Try starting at first light like Lowery, or begin a trip at 4 p.m. and fish as the sun – and temperatures – go down.

Anglers are reporting that a number of presentations are working such as plastic worms on a dropshot, Texas or Carolina rig, jigs, crankbaits and, to a lesser extent, top-water plugs.

All you need to fish for “Bartlett bass” is gear and a fishing license — purchase one onlineThis also helps conserve wildlife.

A Tonto pass also is required to visit the Tonto National Forest.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Let’s get right to some recommended Fourth of July weekend fishing waters, starting with the high country:

  • Ackre Lake (south of Alpine)

    Arctic grayling and Apache trout are biting at this remote lake (right). There’s been a report of grayling hitting No. 16-18 royal coachman flies on the surface, native Apache trout also are striking black wooly buggers fished subsurface. This is a lesser known area, but a gorgeous one.

  • Dogtown Lake (Williams area)

    Many anglers at Dogtown last weekend were catching trout on the picnic side of the lake using PowerBait fished on the bottom. Hot colors continue to be green, yellow, white and rainbow. Dogtown was stocked last week and is getting more trout this week.

  • Whitehorse Lake (Williams area)

    Anglers last weekend were catching crappie and trout using bead head prince nymph flies and small chartreuse crappie jigs in a shallow area to the left of the boat ramp.

  • Oak Creek (Sedona)

    In anticipation of holiday crowds, we stocked Oak Creek twice this week (right). Our hatchery folks are even seeing holdover trout in the pools they stock, which is unusual for this time of year.

  • White Mountains streams

    Fishing is good to excellent at the east and west forks of the Black River, the Little Colorado River-Greer, Sheeps Crossing, and Silver Creek. Trout are being stocked every week at these creeks. We are implanting radio tags into a small percentage of hatchery-raised Apache trout that are being stocked into the East Fork of the Black and the Little Colorado River to examine stocked trout movement and fate. The stockings began in May and coincide with the summer trout stocking schedule. If you catch a trout with external tags you may keep or release the fish. These fish are safe for human consumption. Read more, and thanks for your help!

  • Lake Pleasant, Lake Mead, Colorado River near Davis Dam

    Nighttime striper fishing remains hot at all these waters. A full moon (100-percent full on July 2) means submersible lights won’t be as effective, but these are still worth a try. See the latest Angler Report and the Full Report for more tips.

  • Bartlett Lake (Tonto National Forest)

    Largemouth bass are chasing shad and fishing is on fire. Consider arriving around 4 p.m. and fishing into the night. Sounds like everything’s working, especially crankbaits (crawdad and shad patterns) and plastic worms on a dropshot, Texas rig or Carolina rig. Around 4 p.m., the bass are in 12-15 feet, and by about 9 p.m., they’ve been moving right up on the bank. As opposed to starting in the morning, beginning a trip in the later afternoon means temperatures only get cooler.

  • Rose Canyon Lake (Tucson area)

    This lake just northeast of Tucson is being stocked with rainbow trout this week and again next week (July 6-10).


Also, see 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.


Find the location of our state’s primary fishing waters using our Fish & Boat Arizona map.

 

ANGLER REPORTS

Lake Pleasant
Dustin C.: Four of us headed to Lake Pleasant on June 25 to chase some striped bass at night. We got on the water as the sun was setting around 7:45 p.m. and launched from the 10-lane boat ramp. We headed north and fished the coves and islands around that area.

It was pretty rough with the wind blowing us off our anchor and one bite in the first two hours. We moved three times to try and find some shelter from the wind and finally wound up in spot with some fish on the graph that was at the ideal depth of around 50 feet. We had fished that spot for around 30 minutes and had one fish to show for it. We are getting ready to call it a night when the school finally moved in. From that point on, it was non-stop action ‘till 1 a.m. when we called it quits. The fish were very fat, healthy and put up a great fight. Their size was very impressive, too, with many fish 3-pounds plus and this big guy that almost broke my ultralight pole.

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.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Fishing report: White Mountains and Mogollon Rim lakes

AkreLake
Ackre Lake, south of Alpine, is good for the above artic grayling. Try No. 16-18 royal coachman flies on the surface.

 

Recommended White Mountains and Mogollon Rim waters to fish

Woods Canyon Lake and Willow Springs Lake are good for stocked trout in the Rim Lakes area.  Show Low Lake is good for recently stocked supercatchable size (12-13”) rainbow trout.  Fool Hollow Lake is good for bass and sunfish. Big Lake is good for holdover rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout.  Fishing at East Fork of Black River, LCR in Greer, Sheeps Crossing, Silver Creek, and Show Low Creek are also good as monsoonal storms are increasing.

See our Fish & Boat Arizona map for Google-map locations of the following:

 

Water Fishing Rating Stocked 6/29-7/3 Stocked 6/22-6/26
Excellent Good Fair Poor
Mogollon Rim Lakes
Bear Canyon Lake x x
Black Canyon Lake x x
Chevelon Lake x x
Willow Springs Lake x x x
Woods Canyon Lake x x x
In-Town Lakes (Pinetop/Show Low)
Fool Hollow Lake x x
Rainbow Lake x
Scott Reservoir x x
Show Low Lake x x
Woodland Lake x
White Mountain Lakes
Becker Lake x
Big Lake x
Bunch Reservoir x x
Carnero Lake x x
Clear Creek Reservoir x x
Concho Lake x
Crescent Lake x x
Lee Valley Lake x
Luna Lake x x
Lyman Lake x
Nelson Reservoir x
River Reservoir x x
Tunnel Reservoir x
White Mountain Streams
East Fork Black River x x x x
West Fork Black River x x x x
Little Colorado River/Greer x x x x
Sheeps Crossing x x x
Show Low Creek x x
Silver Creek x x x x
Other
Long Tom Tank x x

Jim Goughnor of Rim Country Custom Rods wrote the following report:

“The rim lakes and streams continue to produce some great fishing trips. Trout stockings are underway and most anglers are reporting excellent fishing on most every lake and stream. Several baits were reported successful so you will need to experiment. Small crankbaits in a crawfish color, Z-Rays, Mepps size 0 spinners and Powerbait were all reported successful recently.

Fly anglers are reporting that dry flies fished extremely slow is the best summertime technique. Mornings and evenings were the best times reported which is a typical summer time pattern. If you’re trout fishing in a stream, watch for areas where the water slows and makes a small pool in the stream. Trout will always be attracted to those areas. If you catch a trout with a identification tag near the dorsal fin, call the game and fish office. So trout have transmitter in them to track their movement.”

Rattlesnake fishing pier closed until further notice

PHOENIX — A heads up to those wanting to fish from shore at Bartlett Lake. Rattlesnake fishing pier in Rattlesnake Cove is closed after a weld broke earlier this week.

The pier will remain closed to the public until necessary repairs can be determined.

There is no estimate of how quickly the repairs can be completed to ensure the pier is safe to use again.

The U.S. Forest Service is working on a solution and asks for your patience.

Trout fishing in the cool pines a refreshing remedy to triple-digit doldrums

 

PHOENIX – For desert dwellers itching to escape the triple-digit doldrums, there’s a refreshing remedy – head to the cool, pine-scented high country for some of the 500,000 “farm fresh” trout that Arizona Game and Fish Department employees and volunteers stock during May and June.

As desert temperatures consistently crack 100 degrees, visit the mountain regions before the summer heat raises lake temperatures and trout activity patterns slow down. Summer has officially started, yet great spring fishing remains – for now.

See 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.

How Arizona fish hatcheries are funded

More than half of the money used for the AZGFD hatchery program comes from 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.

Desert rats: here’s some summer bass-fishing techniques

For those who love the blistering heat, here are some summer bass-fishing techniques. For the desert lakes, get up early and fish at, or even just before, first light. At most large desert impoundments, anglers should be able to find aggressive bass feeding on shad at the surface, creating “boils.” This provides some of the most exciting fishing of the year.

Use top-water baits, crankbaits, casting spoons or in-line spinners such as Mepps and Rooster Tails.

If you want to know what’s biting and where, as well as a list of public fishing events and some of the latest big fish stories, visit the department’s new fishing commentary at www.fishazblog.com.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal



The anglers have spoken. We received a ton of angler reports that will give us a good feel for what could be biting during the next week or so. We do know it’s hot outside. Now let’s see the locations of some hot bites.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Lynx Lake for brown trout

If you prefer browns over rainbows, Lynx Lake in Prescott is the place for you. We’ve just stocked more than 6,000 browns into Lynx that average 9 inches. There also are larger, holdover browns from previous stockings.

Bartlett Lake, Lake Pleasant, Colorado River near Martinez Lake for flathead catfish

Fish the night for these bruisers. Bartlett Lake is always an excellent producer for flatheads, and an angler reported catching a 44-pound flathead on a live bluegill. “Flathead” Ed Wilcoxson said that at Pleasant, flatheads have been in 30-35 feet of water depth, along with one of their favorite food sources, bluegill. Also, Dean Linne on May 31 bow-fished for this non-hook and line state record flathead catfish (left) from Roosevelt Lake. It weighed exactly 60 pounds and measured 47 inches.

Lake Pleasant for stripers

With hot days, it’s a great time to fish the night for stripers at Pleasant. Coming off a new moon, and heading into a first quarter moon, submersible lights will be effective. Anchovies and small swimbaits are a couple baits that have been effective. Try trolling some of the northern coves with small swim baits for schooling stripers, and anchoring up, chumming and baiting with anchovies for larger stripers. Don’t forget the Colorado River for stripers.


Saguaro Lake and Bartlett Lake for bass

Go to Saguaro for the monsters and Bartlett Lake for quantity over size. Bartlett Lake is a good bet for beginners who want to jusr fish a dropshot rig with a Roboworm. Top-water action is pretty good at Saguaro and Bartlett; get there just before first light. As the sun comes up, fish deep (up to about 40 feet) with dropshots or Texas rigs, and keep a top-water lure such as a Zara Spook Jr. rigged and ready in case you spot surface boils.

Dogtown Lake, Bunch Reservoir, Willow Springs Lake, Frye Mesa Reservoir for trout

Anglers reported that Bunch and Dogtown (right) were productive recently, and we’ve receive multiple reports of trout cooperating at Willow Springs Lake on PowerBait and spinners such as trolled rooster tails. Frye Mesa Reservoir was stocked with a BUNCH of big, native Gila trout — an angler just caught one that weighed just over 3 pounds! (See picture below).

Check our summer stocking schedule, and find all these spots and more using our Fish & Boat Arizona map.

Don’t forget your license! Buy one online, which helps conserve wildlife for our children and grandchildren …


ANGLER REPORTS

Colorado River near Martinez Lake
Ted M.: Fishing with my buddy John Taylor, I caught this 44-pound flathead catfish using live bluegill near Martinez Lake on June 13. A great night of fishing. We caught 11 catfish total.

Bartlett Lake
Barry from Cave Creek: If you can stand the heat bass fishing has been beyond excellent at Bartlett the past few weeks.

Rico top water on main lake points before the sun hits the water and after it leaves in the early evening. Mid mornings we have been tossing 5″ smoke and pepper grubs on a jig head in 12-15ft of water, bouncing it back to the boat through the water column, and picking up plenty of suspended bass but you really have to be a line watcher as the bite on this technique is very subtle. Midday been hitting them on drop shot and shaky heads at 12-25 ft. using Robo and Zoom finesse worms and keeping a clear Zara Spook Jr. handy throughout the day to target bass busting shad. Go out and enjoy and bring a boat dog with you to kiss and release your bass!

Dogtown Lake
Gilbert M.: Took my dad Gilbert M. to Dogtown Lake in Williams. Thank you for the report on what they were biting on. Green power bait got bites all day even in rain (picture in Dogtown section above). Took four home released a bunch.

Saguaro Lake
Jim F. of Tempe: My wife and I hit Saguaro at first light Friday morning, June 12. We almost went to Bartlett or Canyon — man am I glad we didn’t! We threw top-water lures and got several hits right away, but didn’t hook up on any. About 7 a.m. my wife had her lure smoked and asked me to get the net because she thought she had a sizeable fish. After doing a masterful job of tiring the thing out I could hardly believe my eyes as I netted not one, but two, fish. They both hit the lure at the same time — one was caught on the front treble hook and the other was hooked on the rear. The larger of the two fish weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces, and measured 24 ½ inches. The smaller one weighed 3 pounds, 6 ounces and measured 18 inches. To top it off she was using a light spinning rig with 8-pound monofilament. It’s one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen.

Red Mountain Lake
Romeo R. Caught this 7-pound, 27-inch catfish at around 9 p.m. with cut bait on a 3-way swivel rig by the Playground. Thanks for stocking these sizes in the lake for us bank anglers. Had a good time fighting with this fish.

Frye Mesa Reservoir
Robert H.: I have pictures of a 3 1/3-pound, 17 1/2-inch Gila trout that I caught today at 6 a.m. at Fry Mesa Reservoir. I caught this Gila trout using a bubble and a fly on 4 pound line. I also had one the night before that broke my line. I saw larger ones around the weeds but they are hard to get to.

Apache Lake
Chad B.: My fiancé and I kayaked 4 miles back into Alder Creek area and had an amazing time. Wasn’t as hot as it was in the valley and was absolutely amazing scenery. Once we found a good camp site I found some time to sink a couple lines. Once dark hit, I took my crankbaits and plastic worms off and started using nightcrawlers and hot dogs. I landed a 32-pound carp on my ultralight pole with 7-pound test. (See picture.) It took about a good 7-8 minutes before the carp wore out enough to bring her to shore. So much fun! Also caught a 20-pound carp the very next morning. Missed a couple other bites due to hunting down some firewood. Was a great get away!

Lake Pleasant
Frank B. of Avondale: My personal guide, Paul Castaldo, and I went to Lake Pleasant for a Saturday/Sunday overnight striper expedition. We were fishing in the north end no-wake zone. We were using sardines and did have our hits but no takers. We felt like the burros were laughing at us all afternoon.

We ended up doing some bass fishing in some small secluded area. Hits on nightcrawlers, nothing on plastics. Paul was able to end his slump with a bluegill. He gave it to me for catfish bait. We ended up going to sleep with three lines out with the burros still laughing at us. At 2:30 a.m., I had a big hit on that bluegill. Couldn’t get an accurate weight since it pegged the scale at 15 pounds so we are guessing 20 pounds. Went back to sleep then Paul hooks up a 5-pound flathead on nightcrawlers. Sunday we struck out on the bass so we finished the day feeding stripers but did manage a small channel cat on the anchovies.

Overall, great trip. Caught my largest flathead AND my smallest bass using a 2-inch spoon.

Kiwanis Lake (Tempe)
Brock P.: Caught this guy on a size 10 simi seal red and black at Kiwanis Park. Was fun bringing this guy in. Caught three bass while I was there, also using the same fly. Simi seals seem to be working great right now for bass and sunfish. Let the fly go to the bottom and just strip in slowly — the fish are deep in the urban lakes due to the heat. FYI, that’s a size 13 shoe so I guess he’s around an 8-10 pounder.


Greer area
Melissa M.: My dad and I went on a fishing trip to Greer this past week with the following to report:

River Reservoir: totally skunked

Tunnel: On the first cast my Dad, Greg May, hooked this giant rainbow on PowerBait! It was a struggle to land this big boy, but he prevailed and got himself a 24-inch 3.11-pound rainbow.

This fish made his top three biggest trout ever!

I also attached a picture of the big boy on a cutting board next to two Apaches we caught at Sheep’s Crossing earlier in the day. We have been fishing the Greer lakes a week in June for the past decade and this was the biggest fish we have ever seen out of these lakes. It really made our trip.

Bunch: Plenty of rainbows on PowerBait — everyone seemed to be doing very well.

Sheeps Crossing: Just stocked. We caught two fish with radio tags, very exciting. Actually we went there just to see if we could catch one. We talked to a game and fish guy tracking them who was very personable and knowledgeable. We released both of them.

Black River: (Buffalo Crossing) Plenty of small browns and chubs. No smallmouth bass. There seems to be conflicting info on whether or not they have made it that far. There were definitely some nice spots where you would expect them to be.

Silver Creek: A few Apaches — must not have been stocked when we went. Usually it’s gangbusters.

Big Lake: Limited out on rainbows — all very small.

Thank you — I read your reports every week and always like to see everybody’s pictures of their hauls.

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.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Arizona trout hot spots

 

(Click on lake name for Google map directions)

Luna Lake: This 27-inch, 7.5-pound rainbow trout was recently caught. The lake has more large holdover trout. Thanks to The Friends of Luna Lake out of Alpine for helping us keep this a viable fishery. … Ashurst Lake: We just received a couple angler reports (below) of stockers and a holdover being caught. Nelson Reservoir. Fishing is excellent. It was stocked heavily last week and this week. Fish in the clearer water at the upper end. Lower Lake Mary: According to our wildlife managers working the lake this weekend, bait fishing was good to excellent on yellow garlic PowerBait.

Complement your trout catch with the abundant crayfish. Read how to do it in our Fish AZ commentary.

Be sure to check our summer trout stocking schedule.


Brookie and carp entries for Big Fish of the Year

  • Congrats to Trevor Dugan, who caught this 11-pound, 7.36-pound common carp caught June 2 out of Papago Pond No. 3. Papago Park is a Community Fishing Program pond in Phoenix.
  • Rob Gerlak fly fished on April 9 for this this gorgeous, 15-inch brook trout taken from Perkins Tank, located near Flagstaff.

 

Final stockings of Community Fishing Program

The final spring stocking of catfish is taking place this week.

Fishing is good to excellent for catfish using worms, stink baits, or shrimp fished on the bottom. If you want to use bobbers, rig up a slip bobber and fish 8-12 feet deep.

See the latest community waters news.

 

Arizona world record redear sunfish continues to grab headlines — in Texas

 

Our world record redear sunfish caught by Hector Brito last year is still making some Texas anglers drool.

Billy Kinder of Big Billy Kinder Outdoors radio in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area said on Wednesday that the picture of Brito’s 5.80-pound redear taken from Lake Havasu was just shared on the station’s Facebook page.

“Everybody went nuts over it,” Kinder said.

Kinder said he plans on interviewing Brito about his catch and, of course, visiting Lake Havasu to nab a tasty redear slab of his own. Redear at Havasu are in full spawn. Anglers are catching many 3-4 pounders in deeper water (25 feet) but higher numers of the sunfish are in shallow.

The world record redear picture was originally posted in Feb. of 2014, on the “T-Bone Outdoors with Travis Turner” Facebook page. To date, it has received 18,176 “likes,” 96,602 “shares” and 2,460 comments.

In other words, they like it.

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ANGLER REPORTS

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

Pacana Pond (Maricopa)
Seth R.: June 7: 9.5-pound channel catfish. Caught ‘em on a size 6 treble hook w/ hot dogs!

Riggs Flat Lake
My sister, Michelle Martin, a friend, Shervon Mendoza and myself took a day trip up to Riggs Flat Lake, knowing that the weather would still be cold at such a high elevation but we took the trip anyway. To our surprise it wasn’t so bad. We had the whole lake to ourselves after 1 p.m. and since it was stocked that week, we were pulling rainbows in one after another.

The smaller fish were on top while the larger ones were on the bottom. Shervon was catching them on yellow cheese PowerBait. Michelle and I were using Pistol Pete’s, small spinner flies. All in all we had an excellent day. We threw back all the small ones and kept the larger ones, taking home our limit.

Ashurst Lake
Anna P. of Flagstaff: We caught a 16-inch rainbow and a 14-incher, as well as six other rainbow trout ranging from 10-12 inches at Ashurst Tuesday! They were biting off of red salmon eggs and rainbow PowerBait.

Howard G.: Wife caught this 3-pound, 2-ounce rainbow on a nightcrawler on the bottom at 9:45 a.m. Fished until 1 p.m. and didn’t get another nibble. One bite — one dinner! It was excellent!

Bartlett Lake
Jim N.: Fished the flats using different rigs to catch bass. Mojo and splitshot, Carolina-rigged Roboworms and lizards work well around points and reefs with boulder piles on main points. Tyler D. and I caught and released 20 largemouth bass with a 2.5-pounder being the best. Good fishing!


Colorado River (Parker)
Kallee O.: This flathead catfish weighed about 30 pounds. Used cut bluegill.

Willow Springs Lake
Jim N.: Fished in the rain on Sat and trolled mini Kastmasters on 6-pound line and caught our limit in 2 hours with the east fork of the lake being most productive. Worms and power balls in green floated 2 feet off bottom worked well to the left side of the ramp. Trout were seen eating bugs knocked down by wind and rain.

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