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?

Bass

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.”

Trout

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.

Catfish

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.

 

ANGLER REPORTS

(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.

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT

 

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.

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

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.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

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.

ANGLER REPORTS
(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.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

 

With many getting ready to head back to school, it’s time for a final summer fishing excursion.

Mogollon Rim country is an excellent choice. In case you missed it from www.fishazblog.com, we explained one way that we determine amounts of fish to stock. We’ve been involved in a project involving some Mogollon Rim streams to figure out the most efficient way to stock trout. Read more. Be sure to “follow” the blog so that you receive an email each time tips, news, reports and off-the-water stories come out.

Back to a couple excursion ideas. Big Lake near Pinetop has excellent campground amenities, although shoreline fishing might be poor right know since most trout are deep. Fortunately, the Big Lake Store offers boat rentals.

Sounds like there may be some good fishing at Nelson Reservoir. A co-worker of mine said a friend had success on Friday, July 24, with a simple PowerBait-on-the-bottom method for 14-15-inch rainbow trout.

Otherwise, take your pick from our summer stocking schedule.

Troy Ackerman came to our Phoenix headquarters Tuesday with this 1.44-pound slab green/redear sunfish hybrid taken from Lake Pleasant.

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)

Woods Canyon Lake
Nick H. of Tempe: My girlfriend and I spent Saturday morning at Woods Canyon Lake and killed it, with six rainbows 11-12 inches and a few smaller. All caught on PowerBait; color/flavor didn’t seem to matter, but a long, light leader with small bait was key.

Knoll Lake
Bill L.: Caught two and had more bites (and line breaks) over a short 90-minute session on the early evening of 7-24. They were biting on yellow PowerBait. More interest the next morning, but no more caught.

Lake Pleasant
Mike V.: Our family went out fishing on Lake Pleasant the evening of July 29. Despite the strong winds and light rain, we caught three stripers at about a pound each and one small catfish using anchovies. All were caught within a 20-minute period. Once the winds picked up, it was all over.

Tempe Town Lake
Wednesday, July 22: Started fishing from 7:30 p.m. until midnight. Fished the southeast side of the lake from the shore (construction side of the lake). Tried fishing different depths as well as distance from shore. Found that fishing the bottom only 20-25 feet from the shore was the most active. Bait was turkey hot dogs. Caught three catfish with the largest at 3.5 pounds. Bluegill fed actively on the hot dogs. Having to rebait often. Most active fishing from 9-11 p.m.

Thursday July 23: Fished from 8 p.m. -midnight. Southeast side. Bite was sporadic. Caught fish 100 feet out as well as 10 feet out and at all different times. Same bait hot dogs. Caught four cats from 1-2.5 pounds.

Friday July 24: Fished from 7 a.m.-noon. Southeast side. Bite started very slow. Tried fishing all depths and distance. Started out with hot dogs but after losing a few baits to bluegills, I decided to switch tactics. Caught some bluegill, cut into 1 by 1 chunks on No. 4 hooks. Started going crazy 10 minutes into the first cast. Caught six within 3 hours which is one of my best so far this year at TTL. Largest was 8.2 pounds. (Photos attached of a few of the fish).

I find the lake can get very bust at night and can be hard to get a spot. Additionally the high volume of fishermen increases pressure. I see people all around me rebaiting 10 times an hour. And making a lot of movement near the shore. I think the key to my success are from the following: good clean presentation of bait to the fish; fresh hooks and leaders; little to no movement from the shore; patience with the fish. Leave the bait out a while. I see three of five fishermen making these mistakes. Also, if you’re not going to eat the fish, release it.

Wednesday, July 29: Fished from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Set out corn about 10-20 feet from the shoreline. Caught one channel catfish weighing 2.5 pounds, two mirror carp weighing 7.5 and 10 pounds. All on corn. Lake water is normal, bite is good. Very few people fishing the lake. Thanks!

All fish were caught and released!

Willow Springs Lake
Tom T. of Fountain Hills: My buddy Tracy came in from Reno to visit. Too hot in the valley so we headed for Willow Springs on Tuesday, July 21. Beautiful lake. Beautiful day. We trolled from noon to about 4 p.m. We landed 25 fish during those 4 hours and missed six more. All were released.

 

Watson Lake
Dave Z.: At a recent outing at Watson Lake in Prescott, this was my catch for the day. No bass action from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Now, if the bass would just feed on these big guys! Killed it on the crawfish though. Boil on Saturday!

Saguaro Lake
Kendra S.: Writing you on behalf of my boyfriend, Thomas M., and his Friend Zack, landed some nice size fish, caught on Saguaro Lake around 9 – 10 p.m. on Sunday, July, 19 from the boat. They both were using green rubber worms, Texas rig. Thomas’ fish was catch in release. Zack’s fish became his dinner and was told it was good eating.

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT

AZGFD trout stockings fluctuating at Mogollon Rim streams

Arizona Game and Fish Department project aims at maximizing angler satisfaction with efficient spending

 

PHOENIX – Just how many trout should be stocked into each Arizona lake, river or stream?

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has been experimenting with various stocking rates as part of a project to evaluate how the state’s limited trout resources can be utilized most efficiently, especially in streams along the Mogollon Rim.

“One of the Department’s highest measures of success is angler satisfaction,” said AZGFD Chief of Fisheries Chris Cantrell. “We want to find the ‘sweet spot’ in stocking efficiently while still achieving target catch rates and angler satisfaction.”

Due in part to Arizona’s extended drought, Department fish hatcheries that use spring water to raise fish cannot produce enough trout to meet demand. During the past three years, data has suggested that the Department could stock fewer fish in certain areas and still maintain targeted catch rates.

Data now suggests that catch rates have risen at waters where stocking numbers were higher than during previous years, but at waters where stockings were lower than years past, catch rates changed minimally. Statewide, overall stocking numbers remained the same.

Details of the stocking study will be published once the project is complete. The Department is attempting to ensure angler dollars are well-spent by stocking the right quantities of fish to ensure strong catch rates and high angler satisfaction.

FishCloseUp

 

Anglers are encouraged to fish at multiple spots and streams to find the best fishing. Mogollon Rim country offers the opportunity for Arizona trout fishing with plenty of organized campground amenities. Anglers should use light lines (4- to 6-pound test), small hooks (Nos. 10-14) with salmon eggs, PowerBait, nightcrawlers, flies or small spinners, fishing undercut banks or the heads of pools at the base of a riffle.

 

“While you may find a stream with fewer fish today, it’s likely only temporary,” Cantrell said. ”The scientific study of fish stocking conditions helps assure a good supply of catchable fish into Arizona’s future.”

Before heading to Mogollon Rim streams, anglers are encouraged to visit azgfd.gov and sign up for an “I Support Wildlife” membership. Membership includes real-time stocking information for all Arizona streams and lakes.

Anglers can also consult our summer trout stocking schedule and find Google map locations of our state’s primary waters using our Fish & Boat Arizona map.

Nightcrawler-jigging catches sunfish hybrid and mixed bag July 28 at Lake Pleasant

BgillBlog
HYBRIDS NOT JUST FOR AUTOMOBILES

 

How can you catch multiple species of bass as well as a mixed bag of bluegill and catfish?

Jig a nightcrawler. But you already knew that. Right?

How to fish Arizona-style for multiple species

Here’s the rig Troy Ackerman of Cottonwood used on Tuesday, July 28 to catch a 1.44-pound slab of a redear/green sunfish hybrid, as well as bass and catfish, from Lake Pleasant: An outfit comprised of a flexible, medium-action 8-foot-6 Eagle Claw rod with a standard spinning reel, 6-pound monofilament test line and a 1/8 ounce leadhead jig (shaped like a pencil bobber) with a nightcrawler.

Slide the nightcrawler all the way onto the jig, which is bounced along the bottom in this pattern: jig, reel in the slack, wait for the bite as the jig is falling, and repeat the process.

Ackerman and a friend said they catch all the aforementioned species using this rig. The Eagle Claw rod and reel outfit can be purchased at Big 5 Sports for around $60 and the jigs are available at Walmart.

Arizona fishing has never been easier.

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

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