Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

For the high country, this is the time when trout are starting to head deeper. You will likely have the best luck at first and last light. You can expect the action to be a little slower during the warmer hours of the day. Fishing the bottom or trolling seems to be the best techniques once trout enter their summer patterns.

The deeper lakes, such as Big Lake, Willow Springs, Bear Canyon, Blue Ridge and Chevelon, will often have a little better action as we move into summer conditions.

Try Show Low Lake for a shot at a big, tasty walleye. An 8-pound, 1.12-ounce, 29.25-inch walleye (pictured above) was caught on a Rapala on June 11 by Ronald Sankey. The fish is a Big Fish of the Year leader for walleye.

Hot spots statewide include: Bartlett Lake for 10-13-inch largemouth bass, striper fishing at at Lake Pleasant; Alamo Lake for mirning crankbait bass. See the full report for all the details.

Check out our summer stocking schedule and Fish&Boat Arizona map before heading out.

Attention East Verde River anglers: Please return tags

Those visiting the East Verde River (where the fishing has been exceptional) are again reminded that if a trout with an external radio tag is caught, they may keep OR release the fish.

If you catch a tagged fish, please call the number on the colored tag (623-236-7538) with the following information:

  • Location of the caught trout
  • Identification number on the colored external tag
  • Date the fish was caught


See all the details of our program that is examining stocked trout movement and fate.

 Fire restrictions


Mogollon Rim lakes

Note: Stage II Fire Restrictions are currently in effect on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, State Trust lands, and Arizona Game and Fish Department Wildlife Areas. The following areas are closed to public entry: Rodeo/Chediski/Show Low South areas, Timber Mesa area, Southwest Vernon area. Forest closure maps are available at USFS offices.

White Mountain lakes

Note: Stage II Fire Restrictions are currently in effect on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, State Trust lands, and Arizona Game and Fish Department Wildlife Areas

See a full list of fire restrictions in Arizona.

Follow the Fish AZ blog

For all things fishing in one spot, including breaking news, fishing reports that you’ll see long before anglers who do not read the blog, as well as tips, tricks, fishing basics, stocking schedules, public events, and more, follow our new Fish AZ blog!

Click here to go to the blog.

ANGLER REPORTS

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

Joshua 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 chartreuse 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.

Todd 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!


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.

FISH STORIES

What’s YOUR fish story? In the 10TH segment of Fish Stories, truck driver Roman Rodriguez fishes from Silverbell Lake and talks about he chooses fishing over massages, hunting over vacations. And it’s all about truckin’ and fishin’.

Enjoy the latest segment of Fish Stories from the AZGFD YouTube site!

Have a fond memory? An exciting experience? Or, just a special day on the water with family and friends enjoying Arizona’s amazing outdoors? Email your story to bfishing@azgfd.gov, and we may share it with others online, in print, or on television.

Stay tuned for future additions of “Fish Stories,” which will frequently appear here in print, online or on television.


See the full report

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