Angler reports: What’s biting from the desert to the mountains

Arizona anglers’ fishing reports


LakePlezstripersJoshua M. had a striper bonanza at Lake Pleasant: Caught these in about 45-55 feet of water on frozen anchovies, and a drop light. The total depth of the location was just over 200 feet. I set the drop light at 15 feet or so, waited quietly for about 30 minutes, and then the action began and continued until dawn.

I had a great time, as it was my birthday and I caught all the fish needed for our fish fry! Thanks to the AZGFD and Pleasant Harbor for making times like these possible!

 Justin E. found that good ol’ nightcrawlers was the only last weekend ticket at Bear Canyon Lake: Figured I would send over my day out there. Got there around 4 p.m. for the afternoon/evening bite.

Used an assortment of Z-Ray’s in all different sizes, Kastmasters in different finishes and sizes, and a Mepps. Not a nibble on any lure, just miniature fish following it in.

Also tried chartruse Powerbait fished off the bottom, no bites either. Tried PowerBait with a bobber and nothing.

Lake was busy, walked almost the length of the lake on one side and couldn’t get more than 100 paces from another group of people. Tried the trailhead side of the lake from four different positions and sitting on the dam. No other groups reported much in the way of good luck. A few fish here and there all using good old fashioned night crawlers.

RedMtnBgillTodd B. reported that bluegill such as the one pictured were hitting nonstop at Red Mountain Lake the morning of June 13: I was using 1/8-ounce Rat-L-Traps, and small  Beetle Spins. I could not keep them off of the line.

Charles S. with a Colorado River report from Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam: Air temps have been triple digit and water temps in the current are hovering around 79 – 80 degrees. Backwater temps are around 81 and 84 (even higher in select areas).

Peggy and I did most of our fishing over the weekend in the current and caught probably 10 bass ranging between 2-4 pounds, and a handful of dinks, as well as a nice flathead in the 6-pound range.

Almost all of the fish were caught flipping brush hogs in the current and adjacent eddies. I had also hooked a good-size bass in one of the lakes, but it threw the hook after a very short tug of war. I imagine that if I had been rigged with a lighter, more standard weight, vs. the colossal weight I throw in current, that I would have boated it. The bass are definitely in their summer patterns and I expect the bite to be above average for the next month.

Hopefully the warmer waters will kick start the vegetation so we can do some frogging!

Travis W. caught these 13- and 14-inch largemouth bass from Rattlesnake Cove  June 7.
Travis W. caught these 13- and 14-inch largemouth bass from Lake Pleasant’s Rattlesnake Cove Saturday, June 7.

Dave King from the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse with reports from Bartlett Lake and Lake Pleasant: Bartlett has been hot. Been out the last three weeks pulling in 20-30 fish on half day trips.

Deep-diving crankbaits and dropshot rigs have worked great. Ox blood, watermelon and morning dawn have all been working. Bigger fish are holding on the drop-offs in the main lake.

Also the water from yellow cliffs up is dirty with a lot of debris.  Water is rising fast. Main lake still clear.

Lake Pleasant stripers have been biting good along the creek channels in humbug and castle. Anchovies and glow-in-the-dark spoons have made for good action. For largemouths we’ve been throwing top water first thing and then dropshots along the bluffs once the sun comes up. Clear Zara spooks or Rico’s for top water, watermelon red flake for dropshot.

Rich S. cracked the code at Tempe Town Lake last week: I am an avid largemouth bass angler. I am 26 and have been fishing for bass in Arizona since I was 6.

For the past three weeks on my lunch break I go down to Tempe Town Lake between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. For the first two weeks I could not get a bass to even bite my numerous different presentations.

This last week things turned for the better. I have been knocking them dead under the Mill North Bridge and the light rail/train bridge. I have been using a Carolina rig with a short 4-inch leader and a 6-inch green Senko.

Was out there from 12:45-1:30 p.m. on Father’s Day and had six fish on and brought four in. I showed some fellow anglers what I was using and wished them good luck.

My advice is to go slow on the bottom. Texas rig, drop shot, Carolina rig all will probably work, but my success has all come on a Carolina rig. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Stay tuned for the full Arizona Game and Fish Dept. Weekly Fishing Report scheduled to come out on Thursday

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