A couple biological factors could pep the bite this weekend. Our waxing gibbons moon (as of Thursday) is “growing” into a full moon, and fish simply bite better during a full moon, especially at night.
Also consider that monsoon rains have drenched different areas, and moderate rains are predicted this weekend throughout the state. If your lake of choice has been blanketed with a good dose of rain, fish near a feeder creek. This area, with its influx of nutrients, can be a good place to locate bait fish, and in turn the sportfish you hope to dupe into visiting your boat.
Sportfish are starting to spring from their summer doldrums and wreck surface lures. The surface action seems to be picking up at Lake Powell (famous for triple-digit days), Lake Pleasant, Lake Havasu, Saguaro, Canyon, Rosy – pretty much name it.
This time of the year, these sportfish start to get more active chasing shad at or near the surface. Sometimes this results in boils, where the shad jump out of the water to escape predators.
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.
Catfish catchers — it sounds like Lake Havasu is a hot spot for channel catfish. See the new report from Havasu.
Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods said trout fishing remains good to excellent on the Mogollon Rim. Lots of trout are being caught at all of the popular rim trout lakes on PowerBaits, worms, and flies such as a wooly bugger, he said. Early mornings, and just before dark, were reported as active feeding periods for trout.
That should give you the best weekend option. See the full report for more and check the angler reports for late-breaking fish bites. Our Fish&Boat Arizona map will show plenty of options.
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(Send your fishing reports and photos to Bfishing@AZGFD.gov.)
Blue Ridge Reservoir (C.C. Cragin)
Tom T. of Fountain Hills: Went to the old Blue Ridge Reservoir Saturday, Aug. 2, with a 14-foot rim lakes-type boat. Launching was about as bad as it gets.
Backed down one lane about 1,000 feet dodging kayakers on both sides, especially at the bottom. Water is so low the last half of the “ramp” was bouncing over normally submerged rocky terrain.
Parking was the longest, steepest walk I have ever done in 25 years of fishing in mountain lakes. With muddy roads, rain, and launching hassles I thought this could be epic as fishing pressure should be light. My guess was right.
We used three different patterns of needlefish at 6 feet, under downriggers, and caught over 20 rainbows and lost 10 in 3.5 hours. There were only three boats fishing.
I took Cooper Loyet and Zach Langer of Fountain Hills out for the first time. They are hooked! This is a beautiful flooded canyon lake best fished from boat. Very little access of any other kind as the walls are all rock and very steep.
Colorado River (Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam)
Charles S.: Peggy and I fished for three days last weekend and the water temperature in the current was around 87-88 degrees and about the same in Martinez Lake.
A pair of weekend storms put a lot of runoff and debris into the water, water clarity was extremely poor, thus making fishing quite difficult.
On Saturday and Sunday, we only caught two keepers and four dinks during those two particular days of fishing, and all of them were taken off-current. On Monday morning the water in the river was even worse than the days before — it actually looked like chocolate milk was flowing through the river.
But not all was lost, as we found some areas with really nice water in Martinez Lake. On Monday we caught four keeper bass and three dinks, all of them came on swimbaits, which have been working quite well for the last few weeks.
I am not sure if it was a fluke, or that the bass are really desperate for food and getting out of their comfort zones, but one of the keeper fish that we had caught in the tail-end of a backwater was a nice smallmouth bass. It’s not as uncommon as one would think to catch stripers or flatheads in the shallow backwaters, but catching a smallmouth in a shallow backwater was a first for me.
Hopefully by the time the weekend rolls around the river will have partially flushed itself out and water clarity has started to improve. I have some new homegrown rigs that I want to test out in the current, but they need good water clarity to be 100-percent effective.
David W.: August 1, 9 p.m., Davis Dam. Side right by the buoy line … my pole got slammed. I reeled up a 16-pound, 31-inch monster catfish after a good fight and almost getting spooled … thanks to my son Daniel for helping me net this monster. Not sure I could of done it without him.
Caught this beast of a catfish off anchovies. Stay tuned for our next report, and keep your lines tight!
See the full report