Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Fall fishing means crankbaits, top-water lures, buzzbaits and jigs are drawing increasingly more bass strikes.

This is the also time for flathead catfish. At Bartlett Lake, in particular, they’re roaming the waters looking for meals to add some winter fat. Check out a video that includes how-to information for flathead newbies:

 

Here are some more highlights:

Brown trout fall spawn

 

Brown trout anglers in AZ target fall as one of the best times of the year for this aggressive-fighting species.
Brown trout anglers in AZ target fall as one of the best times of the year for this aggressive-fighting species.

Keep in mind that brown trout go into their spawning behavior in the fall. Float tubers who are in good shape may want to hike into Chevelon Lake on the Mogollon Rim for the big browns and plentiful ‘bows.

 

A fishing license in AZ

Good to time purchase renew that fishing license before the fall fishing frenzy — get one online, which helps conserve all species of wildlife, and get ready for fall fishing galore.

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Silver Creek is one of the best winter trout fishing spots in the state.

Catch-and-release Silver Creek trout fishing opens Oct. 1

Fall fishing in Arizona doesn’t really kick off until the catch-and-release season at Silver Creek. This scenic, White Mountains trout fishing classic is great for beginners and experts. On Saturday, the catch-and-release season opens — and that means the upper section also opens to fishing for the first time since early spring. Read more.

Upcoming free fishing clinics

Saturday — Free fishing clinic about fall fishing in northern Arizona, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Kinnikinick Lake.
Saturday — Family Fishing Even at Pena Blanca Lake, off SR 289, Nogales, 8 a.m. – noon.

Stocking report

Catfish

Thursday, Sept. 22 — Lynx Lake, Surprise Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Pioneer Lake, Cortez Lake, Steele Indian School, Encanto Lake, Desert West Lake, Alvord Lake, Kiwanis Lake, Desert Breeze Lake.

Rainbow trout

Friday, Sept. 23 — River Reservoir, Canyon Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Frances Short Pond, Silver Creek; Tuesday, Sept. 20 — Lynx Lake, Woods Canyon Lake; Monday, Sept. 19 — Kinnikinick Lake, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek; Friday, Sept. 16 — Canyon Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Colorado River (Davis Dam); Thursday, Sept. 15 — Tonto Creek.

Our winter trout stockings will be ramping up! See the schedule.

Can’t forget the cats. In our Community Fishing Program waters, channel catfish are back. Check out our CFP stocking schedule.

See all stocking schedules.

Angler Reports

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

cityresCity Reservoir (Williams)

Michael W.: Caught and released 28 rainbow trout, ranging from 7-16 inches Sept. 19. Trout are extremely aggressive. Caught all fish on 1.5-inch crappie tubes in 2 hours!

goldwater

Goldwater Lake (Prescott)

Michael W.: Caught two Gila trout, ranging from 2.5-2.6 pounds Sept. 14. Caught fish on 1.5-inch crappie tubes. You can still see an occasional Gila trout darting up to the surface and back down again. They look to be in the 3 -4-pound range.

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 funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.

NOTE: Full report will be updated Friday, Sept. 30

Fall fishing is official with Saturday’s Silver Creek opener

Sun-up at Silver Creek can be a fishing adventure of a lifetime.
Sun-up at Silver Creek can be a fishing adventure of a lifetime.

 

Fall fishing in Arizona doesn’t really kick off until the catch-and-release season at Silver Creek. This scenic, White Mountains trout fishing classic is great for beginners and experts. On Saturday, the catch-and-release season opens — and that means the upper section also opens to fishing for the first time since early spring.

Silver Creek is also one of the best winter fishing options in AZ.

This catch-and-release section of Silver Creek requires trout to be immediately released unharmed, and is artificial flies and lures only with single  barbless hooks. This segment of Silver Creek is open for fishing from Oct. 1 through March 31 of each year. See more fishing regulations.

Silver Creek is located east of Show Low about 5 miles on Highway 60. Turn north off 60 onto Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Way Road. Turn east on Hatchery Way Road for 1 mile to where you can park at the Silver Creek Hatchery. Then simply follow the signs.

A salute to wounded veterans

This day also includes a wounded veterans fly fishing event through Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. Although Silver Creek is open to the public, the event is a for closed group.

 

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The upper section of Silver Creek opens Saturday, Oct. 1, and that means some big trout that haven’t seen a fly or lure since spring.

 

How to fish Silver Creek

Try small lures such as Mepps, Rooster Tails, and Panther Martin spinners.  Fly-fishers may want to try wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, shrimp patterns, midge patterns, and small bead head nymphs.

Again, hooks must be barbless.

Don’t forget a fishing license that helps conserve wildlife.

See more information about fishing in Arizona.

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Feels like fall-time fishing at high country classics such as Big Lake, where elk are bugling and fall leaves are turning a light yellow as trout become a bit more active.

Down in the desert on Thursday, catfish returned to Community fishing waters. One stocking truck started at waters such as Sahuarita Lake:

Community fishing stocking at Sahuarita lake in Arizona.
Community fish stockings in Arizona extend from Payson south to this scenic urban spot — Sahuarita Lake.
Another, on a Phoenix-area run, hit waters such as Rio Vista Pond in Peoria:

 

The Community catfish stocking route included all “core” waters from Sahuarita to Surprise. Catfish typically are caught on the bottom suing a hook-and-sinker setup using strong-smelling baits such as liver, as well as worms, hot dogs shrimp, cheese, dough balls, and so on.

Fishing clinics are breaking out statewide, seasonal fisheries are opening, and anglers up for a “cast and blast” can rejoice in the opening of fall hunting seasons.

The winter trout stocking schedule is out, too.

Striped bass fishing has been excellent at Lake Pleasant. See some striped bass recipes.

Largemouth and striped bass bites are getting more frequent. As desert temperatures drop a bit, go to fall fishing techniques such as top-water lures at sun-up and sundown as well as jerkbaits and crankbaits. Look for shad popping on the surface as they’re being pursued by hungry bass, and cast beyond the surface boils and reel back into the frenzy.

A recent stringer of stripers caught at Lake Pleasant.
A recent stringer of stripers caught at Lake Pleasant.
Summer trout stockings are coming to an end, but there is some great trout fishing at high elevation lakes such as Kinnikinick Lake (southeast of Flagstaff, where as of Sept. 20 we have stocked about 43,000 rainbow trout and 10,000 brown trout) and Big Lake, where trout having begun to feed on the surface more often.

The weekend also marks the opening of fall small game hunting seasons – quail season begins Friday, Sept. 30. Head to Flagstaff Oct. 1 for a fishing clinic that also will include small game hunting tips.

Good to time renew that fishing license. Get one online, which helps conserve all species of wildlife, and get ready for some fall fishing glory.

Fishing in Arizona hits peak with
Oct. 1 opening at Silver Creek

This opening has become a festival of sorts and the public is invited. This seasonal fishery is catch-and-release only.

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

Fossil Creek is a great place in AZ to take the kids this weekend.
Fossil Creek is a great place in AZ to take the kids this weekend.

Fossil Creek fishery opens Oct. 1

Calling all kids (and adults). Enjoy a unique fishing experience of catching native roundtail and headwater chub. Camping is no longer allowed. See the Coconino National Forest website for more information.

C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge Reservoir) closed to fishing

Blue Ridge Res/CC Cragin is closed to fishing due to low water levels. All accessible water is in an area closed for the next phase of the ongoing renovation of boating access facilities. Road is closed at Rock Crossing campground.

Stocking reports

Rainbow trout

Friday, Sept. 16 — Colorado River (Davis Dam); Thursday, Sept. 15 — Tonto Creek; Wednesday, Sept. 14 — Kinnikinick Lake, Rose Canyon Lake; Monday, Sept. 12 — Canyon Creek, Mingus Lake; Friday, Sept. 9 — Willow Springs Lake, Canyon Creek.

Read more.

Upcoming free fishing clinics

Saturday — Verde River Days,   Dead Horse Ranch State Park,  675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd, Cottonwood, Ariz., 8 a.m. – noon.

Saturday, Oct. 1 — Free fishing clinic about fall fishing in northern Arizona, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Kinnikinick Lake.

Saturday, Oct. 1 — Family Fishing Even at Pena Blanca Lake, off SR 289, Nogales, 8 a.m. – noon.

See more details.

Angler Reports

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

apachelmb

Apache Lake

Jake H.: A 7.88-pound largemouth on a jig. 23 inch with 17.5 inch girth.

steeleindiancats

Steele Indian School Pond

Ryan H. caught these big catfish on Zebco micro rods on Sunday —  days before the return of catfish to Community waters. Read his full story.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Phoenix man nets big catfish catch Sunday

Catfish stockings to return to Community waters Thursday

 

Of all the big catfish tackle to choose, he used Zebco micro rods and 4-pound test line.

Channel catfish stockings in Community waters hadn’t even begun, but there was Ryan Handeland on Sunday at School Indian Steele Pond in Phoenix, yanking in a pair of line-zinging catfish.

Cats are coming back Thursday in many Community fishing waters, including Steele Indian School Pond, but this is more proof they can be caught year-round.

“That’s a phenomenal catch,” AZGFD Community Fishing Program specialist Joann Hill said. “Considering catfish haven’t been stocked in a little more than 3 months, and that they came out of that little pond — that’s incredible.”

Steele Indian School Pond overlooks a downtown Phoenix skyline.
Steele Indian School Pond on 300 E. Indian School Rd.  overlooks a downtown Phoenix skyline.
Here’s what the Phoenix resident — and Arizona  native — had to say about catching his two catfish limit:

steeleindiancats
Ryan Handeland’s pre-fall stocking catfish.

So, Sunday the 18th around 12:30 p.m. I got to the pond and started setting up.

I had been there the Sunday before and caught a smaller cat and a medium cat on chicken liver. There were other fishermen there on adjacent banks the previous Sunday and I had made them jealous because I was getting lots of bites, so much so that one of the other fishermen (who was using hot dogs with no luck) said it was probably just bluegills nibbling at the bait.

I did however have two catfish on my stringer and they had none.

So the 18th I headed back out….I was using two Zebco 33 micro rods with 4-pound test Cajun line and a 6-pound leader rigged Carolina style with I believe a size 4 treble (I would have to check the hooks to be for sure on size). I cast out both lines and almost instantly started getting bites.

They were not the “normal” catfish bites. Except for a few occasions they never took the (bait) and ran. They would just tap the pole basically enough to steal the bait. You would have to catch the right “tap” to actually get a hook-set.

It took about an hour to hook the first big cat. I set the hook then realized — that’s a pretty big fish. I then instantly set the drag so that my 4-pound test wouldn’t break on one of its runs. I then began to play the fish to bring it in by slowly lifting my rod tip to vertical then dropping it and reeling up the slack. Both fish took some pretty good runs … some so big I was afraid I was going to run out of line on my little reel.

Finally after about 5 minutes for each, I tired them out enough that I could bring them in and just pick em up out of the water.
It was a lot of fun and I have not caught catfish that big in awhile.

So go get yours. Grab a license online (helping conserve all species of wildlife in the process) just in time for the fall Community catfish season.

Here’s a quick how-to video to catch Community catfish:

For more fishing information, visit our website’s fishing page.

Striped bass recipes: simple means to a tasty end

We are in one of the best times of year for striper fishing. With anglers filling their coolers with these awesome tasting fish, I thought it would be a great idea to share some cooking recipes with you.

I always get asked from anglers: what are some ways to cook these fish?

Well, here you go:

fish-taco-meat
Striped bass fillets are white meat that is flaky and tasty when cooked — just cut out the blood line in the middle before cooking.

Striper taco Tuesday

If you like fish tacos, try this recipe. Take fillets and cut them into 5-inch long and 1.5-inch wide strips. Use an egg wash (beat eggs in a bowl) to coat fish.

After coating the fish with the egg wash, bread them with a corn meal and panko bread crumbs mixture. Be sure to also season the dry mixture with some Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Heat vegetable oil to 375- 400 degrees and make sure there is enough oil for the fillets to float. Fish should sizzle the fish hit the oil. If not your oil is not hot enough yet, pull the fish out when they are a golden color. Normally takes about 2 minutes. Make a slaw out of sliced cabbage and put it into a corn/flour tortilla. All you need now is a cold beer to go with it.

Pan-fried striper

Olive oil, rock salt, and pepper to taste.

Squeeze lemon over it while it cooks. Use as much or little as you want.

The best method is pan frying without skin. Pan fry on one side for 2-3 minutes and then the other side for 2-3 minutes (depending on thickness of filet). Make sure that pan is hot with the olive oil first to get a nice sear. When the fish starts to flake apart — it’s done.

Baked striper

Cover striper meat with olive oil or melted butter. Add a drop of lemon juice, and sprinkle with a bit of Montreal steak seasoning on a cooking sheet and bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Take out of the oven and add your favorite parmesan cheese. Put back in the oven and cook for about another 2-3 minutes.

Heavenly broiled bass

  • 2 pounds striped bass fillets
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon margarine, softened
  • 3 tablespoon reduced calorie mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion with tops
  • 1/4 tablespoon salt
  • Dash tabasco

Place fillets in single layer on well-oiled baking pan. Combine remaining ingredients and spread mixture on fish. Broil fish 6 inches from source of heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until top
is lightly browned and fish flakes easily when tested with fork. Serves six.

Note: Be careful not to broil fish too close to heat or topping will burn before fish is done.

Here is a printable page:

Striper recipes

 

Grab a fishing license online, get some great-fighting stripers, and share these recipes (or the finished product) with your friends.

Hardly a better tasting fish in Arizona waters.

 

Barry Worman is the moderator of the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

The first hints of fall means fishing is about to bust loose.  Nights are getting noticeably  cooler,  putting bass in the mood to chase reaction baits and trigger some of the best high country trout fishing of the year. Remember: as fall conditions set in, go with springtime tactics.

Meanwhile, summer trout stockings are winding down.

Hot spots include Pleasant, Woods Canyon, Silver CreekSaguaroBartlett, Apache, Havasu, Powell, Canyon Creek, and  Kinnikinick.  Scenic Oak Creek has been stocked weekly.

See complete fishing resources on our website’s fishing page.

Onto more updates:

Community cats are coming back

Channel catfish are scheduled to return to most Community Fishing Program lakes and ponds the week of Sept. 19-23.  See a video on what’s needed to get started fishing Community waters.

 

Good to time renew that fishing license.

Get one online, which helps conserve all species of wildlife, and get ready for fall fishing galore

Catch-and-release Silver Creek trout fishing opens Oct. 1

This opening has become a festival of sorts and the public is invited. This seasonal fishery is catch-and-release only.

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

C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge Reservoir) closed to fishing

Blue Ridge Res/CC Cragin is closed to fishing due to low water levels. All accessible water is in an area closed for the next phase of the ongoing renovation of boating access facilities.

AZ Trout Challenge:  Up for It?

Go explore our trout waters by taking the Arizona Trout Challenge.  See details, and  a map, of applicable waters.

Upcoming free fishing clinics

Saturday — Power Ranch’s Annual Breakfast and Bobbers catch-and-release clinic, 4444 E Haven Crest Dr., Gilbert, 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Arizona Game and Fish Department and Power Ranch HOA is planning a morning of free fishing for the whole family at Power Ranch’s Annual Breakfast & Bobbers. This is a catch-and-release only event. The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Sport Fishing Education Program and volunteers will be on hand to assist anglers. Bait will be provided and loaner rods available.

Read the full schedule.

 

ANGLER REPORTS

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

uprmarywalleyeUpper Lake Mary
Pan H.: A 23-inch walleye caught from Upper Lake Mary on Sunday, Sept. 4, using a chartreuse grub. Water is muddy, over 20 mph wind — beautiful day for fishing though.

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 funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Catfish coming to Community waters Sept. 22

Where are channel catfish coming to Arizona? Sept. 22! Mark your calendars, get some stink bait, and get going.
When are channel catfish coming to Arizona’s Community Fishing Program waters? Sept. 22! Mark your calendars, get some stink bait, and catch some cats.

 

Perhaps you know him as Mr. Whiskers.

Well, he’s coming back.

The tasty and pesky channel catfish are returning to Community Fishing Program waters, beginning with “core” waters on Thursday, Sept. 22.

 

Also, see the new Community Fishing Program stocking schedule.

Stockings will take place every two weeks. The expansion waters will get their first load of cats Oct. 10-14. The above schedule shows which waters are “core,” and which are expansion.

How to catch Community Fishing Program catfish

21-2-pound-channel-catfishFirst of all, all fishing and combo licenses allow the angler to fish with two poles or lines simultaneously (more than two poles may not be used at the same time). So try a couple different baits and stick to what works.

Worms, stink baits, hot dogs, liver and shrimp (anglers can get uncooked saltwater shrimp from some discount stores) all have been known to catch cats.

Try these baits on a hook and sinker setup. Find deeper holes, or fish after dark at parks that are open late.

Pick up a Community Fishing Program guidebook at all AZGFD offices, and grab a license online (Community licenses are $24, valid for 365 days from the date of purchase and conserve wildlife for future generations).

See more details on the Community Fishing Program.

Share your adventure: submit your photo

Whether it’s for bragging rights, just sharing your catch with fellow anglers, or getting some fresh food on the table,  Community fishing action is an opportunity to get families and friends in an outdoor environment close to your urban home.

So get out there and let us know how you do. Head to our website and click on the “Submit Your Photos” link on the top-left portion of the screen.

Slay early fall stripers at Pleasant

 

Striper2
A new moon phase makes it ideal to night fish for striped bass and gives the angler the advantage with an underwater light.

 

There is a lot to be excited for when it comes to striper fishing.

Anglers at Lake Pleasant have had great success catching striper at 58-85 feet deep using anchovies.  I also recommend using worms on a dropshot. The benefit to using worms is they stay on the hook longer and the striper need to work a little harder to get the bait off. This means increasing your odds at a successful hook-set.  Many anglers have caught 5-8 pound striper the last week using worms.

Sun-up, sundown: an influx of striper boils

There have been increased striper boils at sunrise and sunset.  Be sure to cast shad-like colors, such has small paddletail swim baits in clear, white, smoking shad, money shot or chartreuse colors,  silver Kastmasters, and Rat-L-Traps in a chrome color.  If you want to take the enjoyment to the next level, cast top-water lures like spooks, Rebel poppers, and Rapala skitter walkers.

Watching striper explode out of the water will make the hairs on the back of your neck stiff.

Some anglers have also had luck using jigging 1-ounce spoons size 1-2 ounce spoons. Be sure to let that spoon bounce off the bottom and try different retrieval speeds when retrieving. This will help trigger a fish strike.

In the mornings, the striper have also been pushing shad against the shores in the coves. In some areas, this action can happen in less than 10 feet of water.  I have been using a fly rod this summer and using clouser fly’s and fly spooks when top-water opportunities present themselves.


Striper1

There is no better feeling then catching a striper on a fly. Even a 2 pound striper will feel like a monster on a fly rod.

Hope everybody gets the chance to get out while the fishing is on fire at Pleasant.  Tight lines!

Barry Worman is the moderator of the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

A tiger trout caught recently from Woods Canyon Lake.
A tiger trout caught recently from Woods Canyon Lake.

 

Making some last-minute Labor Day weekend plans?

Woods Canyon Lake, where the above tiger trout was recently caught, and Willow Springs Lake, are being stocked this week with rainbow trout. Many campgrounds might be full by now, and last week’s report detailed some ideas. Here are a few more.

It’s a new moon and striper fishing will be bonkers at night at waters such as Lake Mead, Lake Powell and Lake Pleasant.

Stream trout fishing is in full swing. Try the East Fork of the Black River, the Little Colorado River in Greer or Silver Creek (but remember that monsoon storms can bring flooding at all these).

Also, C.C. Cragin Reservoir will be closed starting on Sept. 6 to allow for the next phase of the ongoing renovation of boating access facilities. See more details in the full report.

Finally, see a weekend fishing roundup from the Fish AZ blog.

Channel catfish will return to Community Fishing Program waters in late September. Stay tuned.

And thank you for your annual fishing license purchases – they go back into fish stocking and management and help conserve all species of wildlife (we receive NO state tax dollars). Grab a license online and conserve wildlife for future generations.



Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Aug. 25 — Tonto Creek, Haigler Creek; Wednesday, Aug. 24 — Show Low Lake; Tuesday, Aug. 23 — Show Low Lake, Rose Canyon Lake; Monday, Aug. 22 — Canyon Creek, Kinnikinick Lake, Silver Creek, Oak Creek, West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer; Friday, Aug. 19 — East Verde River, Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Canyon Creek. Read more.

Angler Reports

 

Lynx Lake
AnglerReportEhett G.: A big rainbow trout caught on garlic PowerBait.

Saguaro Lake
SagBassJim C. A largemouth bass caught Saturday at Saguaro Lake. The fish weighed more than 9 pounds and was caught in the last twilight of day in a main lake cove, next to a stump in about 10 feet of water on a Texas-rigged lizard.

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 funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Weekend fishing roundup: monsters at Becker, Saguaro lakes

Fishing at Becker Lake, a catch-and-release, trophy trout fishery in the White Mountains, is good even though waters are warming.
Fishing at Becker Lake, a catch-and-release, trophy trout fishery in the White Mountains, is good even though waters are warming.

 

When the man with the bent rod and his Fish Cat pontoon boat began to be towed across Becker Lake on Friday afternoon, our photographer George Andrejko knew this was not a snag.

And not just any ol’ fish.

“It was a big fish,” said Andrejko, following the fish from the shoreline with his Nikon digital camera. “And when he got out the net, and landed it — so to speak — it looked like the fish filled the net.”

Click-click-click. Shooting still pictures during a day peppered with rain storms, Andrejko nailed the above picture of what looks like a monster rainbow trout.

A closer look:

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A net-sized trout.

The fly angler  released the fish. Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release only for trout, artificial fly and lure only, and single barbless hooks only. No trout may be kept.  Please release trout immediately.

Also, see how to safely handle a trout.

Tiger trout were stocked at Becker earlier this year and are starting to bite on the surface and subsurface.  Try beetles or hoppers on top and simiseal leeches stripped subsurface.

Saturday lunker bass at Saguaro

Jim C. sent in this picture of a largemouth bass caught Saturday at Saguaro Lake. He said the fish weighed more than 9 pounds and was caught “in the last twilight of day in a main lake cove, next to a stump in about 10 feet of water on a Texas-rigged lizard.”

Saguaro Lake in Arizona is a well-known monster bass fishery
Saguaro Lake in Arizona is a well-known monster bass fishery

 

And finally, an August fishing report from the Arizona Fishing Guides:

  • Bartlett Lake: The last few weeks has been fishing pretty well with its ups and downs due to weather and water levels. We haven’t been catching them very deep — most of our fish have been up shallow within the first 20 feet. The best techniques have been slow moving baits like jigs and Shaky heads.
  • Lake Pleasant: Lately has been some of the best striper fishing we have enjoyed in the last few years with some of the biggest stripers as deep as 60 ft. There has been a ton of top-water action although it has been a lot of smaller fish; however, the occasional 3 pounder has been lurking below the big schools of smaller fish. Top-water and small swimbaits have been the ticket for the smaller ones and the bigger ones have been caught on spoons from 1/2 to 1.5 ounces.
  • Roosevelt Lake has been pretty quiet the last few weeks with not a lot of action. You can still catch fish on top-water and moving baits in the morning and late evening. After the reaction bite slows, a slow moving bait seems to be the best bet.
  • Apache Lake: This lake has been a bit of a dark horse. The topwater bite has been lots of fun first thing in the morning and up in the river when (SRP is) moving water. The bite slows down as the sun comes up and they fish tend to move deeper with the bait fish. When this happens try spoons and deep swimbaits to get those fish to bite.
  • Saguaro and Canyon lakes: The fishing has slowed down a bit due to pressure and monsoon storms. We have been able to catch them on dropshot,  worms and jigs. We are still waiting for that surge of top-water action to start up and that usually happens when the night time temps dip a little.

 

See more fishing information

FishAZblog

All fishing, all the time

Wawang Lake Resort

FISH: Walleye, Northern Pike, Perch, White Fish

The Fisheries Blog

Five fish scientists discuss fun and interesting topics about fish.