Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal


Unless you’re fishing as the sun takes its first peak at daytime, it’s night-fishing time. Fish statewide will tend to become more active at night with the drop in temperatures, and predatory fish become opportunistic.

Heading away from a full moon, the use of submersible lights will become a more effective option for catching stripers in such lakes as Lake Pleasant.

In general, the top-water bite seems to be worth a shot, but hardly on fire.

It’s also a great time to fish the creeks below the Mogollon Rim. They are family memory makers, too.

When fishing these creeks, it’s not necessary to bring the master tackle box. Fish with grubs or grasshoppers if you can find them and float them through the ripples with no weights on a small hook (No. 10 or 12) and light lines (around 6-pound test — fluorocarbon if possible).

Despite the fishing pressure, Woods Canyon Lake continues to be a hot spot. It’s no wonder. We stock about 55,000 fish per year into Woods. We just stocked another 3,030 rainbow trout into this department-built fishery on the edge of the Mogollon Rim. Nearby Willow Springs Lake is another great bet, although probably crowded as well on weekends. Get to both early for a camping spot. Fish deep in the early morning or late afternoons.

Also being stocked in the White Mountains are: Fool Hollow Lake (400 large, 13-inch rainbow trout); Show Low Lake (850 large, 13-inch rainbow trout); Willow Springs Lake (1,895 rainbow trout); and Silver Creek (500 Apache trout).

Our Fish&Boat Arizona map will show plenty of options.

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.

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

Green Valley Lakes
Andrew: I fished this morning, Aug. 10, and caught upwards of 20-30 bluegill on mealworms and nightcrawlers from the fishing dock, was catching crappie on trout magnets with a little bit of PowerBait on the hook before sundown last night.

Bear Canyon Lake/Saguaro Lake
Rich S.: Went to Bear Canyon last weekend. Caught trout on slip bobbers tipped with nightcrawlers set at about 10 feet. No lure hits at all. Also caught trout on pink sherbet PowerBait on a little bait hook with two splitshots about 12 inches up.

Went to Saguaro Wednesday (Aug. 6). Fished from 4-7 a.m. Had to go to work. Caught two nice 3-pounders on Carolina-rigged senkos, green color. Single boils only, no multiples. Some guy was throwing a spook and caught three tiny bass.

Colorado River (Imperial Dam to Picacho State Park)

Charles S.: I fished over the weekend and water temps were around 85-88 degrees; the current still had left over funk from last week’s storms.

Peggy and I spent most of Sunday trying to put together a decent pattern to fish on Monday and was tough going. We looked at a few of our haunts in the current but didn’t bother flipping the usual places and decided to move back into Martinez Lake where the fish had previously been hitting soft swimbaits.

But as fate would have it they wanted nothing to do with soft “fish” swimbaits. Ironically bass in Martinez were hitting Texas-rigged 6-inch lizards that swam through the vegetation — unfortunately all of the fish were small and…boring.

Later Sunday afternoon we went back out into the current. In an attempt to overcome the loss of visibility in the water, we started throwing substantially larger baits, in particular half-ounce jigs with rattles and large trailers. That decision seemed to do the trick, and we closed out the day with a nice fat 16-inch smallmouth bass.

On Monday morning we decided to go with the same pattern we fished the evening before and within the first 40 minutes we had boated four largemouth of more than 3 pounds and one at 5 pounds, all on the same jig combo.

Because the water clarity was still very poor in the current, the fish were holding extremely tight on the structure we were fishing. I think the large size of the bait teamed with the rattles really made a difference this outing — of course you also need a lot of luck!

Apache Lake

Ray C.: First trip to Apache, caught two small largemouth bass, an 8-inch smallmouth and this 5-pound cat.

Tried a lot of different techniques, drop shot rigged and Texas-rigged PowerBaits, Roboworms, crawdads, trolling. Caught the cat trolling a Hot Shot S.E. 25 in red and chrome off the points. Guess we should have brought hot dogs 🙂

See the full report

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