Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

In the desert impoundments, predatory fish have become more active. Crankbaits and buzzbaits and jigs are drawing increasingly more largemouth bass strikes. But with a full moon Oct. 8, using submersible lights to attract the plankton-shad-bass food-chain links is not as viable — for now. Another possibility is that the best fishing could be at first and last light, which isn’t all that abnormal.

Regardless, this weather makes it pretty nice to be outside. Grab a final slice of summer, or the first nibble of fall, and take advantage of one of many fishing options. This is the time for flathead catfish. At Bartlett Lake, in particular, they’re roaming the waters looking for meals to add some winter fat. It’s that time! See a video that includes how-to information for flathead newbies.

Our winter trout stocking program is slowly but surely ramping up! See the schedule.

Last week, Fain and Lynx lakes in the Prescott area were stocked, and this week Goldwater Lake is getting a load of rainbows. After you catch some rainbows at one of these lakes, be sure to visit the Sharlot Hall Museum just a block away from the Prescott Town Square (http://sharlot.org/). It’s really an interesting place the whole family will enjoy. There is even an old one-room school house (right) from the Territorial Days of Arizona’s colorful past.

This coming week, we’re also stocking Francis Short Pond and Marshall Lake in Flagstaff.

At Big Lake, PowerBait fished on the bottom remains the primary option. Anglers reported catching rainbows as large as 6 pounds, according to Ray at the Big Lake Store. Despite some heavy rains, the fall leaves haven’t fallen, so get out and enjoy the sights of autumn, and sounds of line zinging away, while you can.

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

Catch a license

Good luck fishing, and remember that 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.)

Willow Springs Lake

Shane V.: Saturday, Oct. 4 — Fishing from shore was hit and miss. Seems yellow/green PowerBait was the ticket. Got the boat out about 1 p.m. Trolling where the main part of the lake enters the two arms and we’re catching pretty regular up until around 5 p.m. While trolling, we caught fish on all of the following: bright green rooster tails; dark green and silver rooster tails; trout pattern rooster tails; yellow and red panther martins; rainbow trout pattern floating Rapalas.

Crescent Lake/Big Lake

Ann M.: I took my family to the White Mountains … we fished four days at Crescent Lake and a couple days at Big Lake. My wife caught this 20-inch rainbow trout on Oct. 1 at Big Lake. A friend we fished with also caught an 18-inch rainbow trout the same day. Overall the fishing was slow. They were both caught using mice tails fished off bottom.

Rose Canyon Lake, Tucson

Mary S.: My son, daughter, and I went fishing at Rose Canyon Lake yesterday. It is not closed yet, as reported in your newsletter. I talked with the forest ranger. It closes on October 26. We ended up catching 5 fish, but we saw others catching much more. Considering it was stocked last week, we were not surprised. It was a beautiful day there yesterday. Couldn’t have asked for better!

Silverbell Lake, Tucson

Jared H.: Spent Saturday and Sunday morning (Oct. 4-5) at Silverbell Lake in Tucson. The stocked cats were biting both mornings, especially Saturday. All four fish caught Saturday were pushing, or more than, 2 pounds. Sunday was the kicker with a 24-inch channel cat. It was most likely more than 5 pounds and was a big surprise — so much fun to fight and land. Included a couple pictures. Really appreciate the urban stocking system.

Kevin G.: We used worms and light tackle for bluegill. My technique is to be patient, but sometimes I’m not. We go around to weed beds where fish are, but mostly near the stocking-fish gate.

Canyon Lake

I took the family fishing on Oct. 7 at Canyon Lake. I was lucky enough to land this 20-inch bass.

Kinnikinick Lake

Jeff G.: Just wanted to share our experience from Kinnikinick Lake yesterday. My fishing buddy Joe and I had never been to Kinnikinick nor had we ever caught Brown Trout before. Fishing mainly lures we managed to land 7 browns and 3 rainbows and we were off the water by 2:30pm. One of the browns was just under 3 pounds. We hooked up with many other fish but the browns proved to be tricky to land as we lost several inches from the shore. The lure of choice was a green rooster tail. All but two of the fish we wrangled took the green rooster tail with a welcome aggressiveness.


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