Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Hello, anglers,

We just got done stocking rainbow trout into Beaver Creek (900 trout), Verde River (2,400), Deadhorse lakes (3,200), Lynx Lake, Goldwater Lake, Fain Lake, Patagonia Lake (2,250), Pena Blanca Lake (2,000), Cluff, Dankworth Pond, Roper Lake, Graham County Fairgounds Pond, Apache Lake (1,000), Canyon Lake (1,500) and Saguaro Lake (1,500).

See our Fish&Boat Arizona map for directions to these waters and other top fisheries.

Not sure I have a great feel for what is happening on the desert impoundments right now. This is the transition period from the fall activity patterns to the winter ones. Fish are edging deep and as the water cools, their metabolism slows down. Bass can still be found chasing shad at the surface at times, but for most lakes, expect top-water action to be sporadic (but worthwhile).

For all you wing shooters, don’t forget that the late dove season opens on Friday, Nov. 21. Maybe catch the morning bite, then the late afternoon flight.

Big congrats to Ben Davis of Sierra Vista, who on Nov. 8 caught this Colorado River catch-and-release state record channel catfish of 26 inches. The fish was caught at the Betty’s Kitchen area of the Colorado River. Of course, this was the only such record that has been submitted for this category. So naturally, it’s a record. I bet someone can beat it.

Speaking of the Colorado River, quality is trumping size, especially for stripers and catfish according to the Mohave Daily News. Read more.

The cooler weather is a great time to trout fish. Check our stocking schedule, get out and about, and this time of the year you might have a lake all to yourself.

See the full report for more details, enjoy this awesome weather, and please share your memories with us at BFishing@AZGFD.gov.

Time for a winter-trout celebration! The City of Tempe and the Arizona Game and Fish Department will host the annual Welcome Back the Trout Celebration on that Tuesday at SRP Tempe Town Lake Marina from 4-6 p.m. Families and community members are invited to come down and watch as thousands of rainbow trout are released into the lake. The Department will conduct a fishing clinic starting at 4 p.m. Again, there are free loaner rods, reels and bait that will be available during the event, along with instruction and tips from seasoned anglers.

It really is an exciting time to be an angler in Arizona. Those who purchase a license do much more than give themselves opportunities to fish. They help create such expansions of the Community Fishing Program lakes that will hopefully be around for generations. Let’s conserve the wildlife opportunities we love in the face of a growing human population and distractions that have kept younger generations stuck in their seats in front of fantasy worlds through video games, cell phones, televisions, and so on.


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

Here’s what anglers said was biting over the weekend across Arizona:

Lake Pleasant
Barry W.: Fished lake pleasant earlier this week — 2 hours before sunset and 2 hours after. While the sun is up the weather is in the low 70s, and it couldn’t be better. We caught about 20 striper before sunset using plastic swim baits (smoking shad color) ¼-ounce jig head. A silver ½-ounce Kastmaster has also been very successful. The fish are a lot shallower now ranging from 4- 25 feet close to shore.

I would recommend any of the northern coves. Once the sun goes down you will need to layer up since the temperature drops quickly. Don’t forget the gloves and hat! Anchovies on a dropshot is still the preferred method but it’s critical to chum at the beginning to hold the school beneath you. The fish are suspended at about 20-30 feet and fishing near the dam has been average.

We never caught any striper over the size of 2 pounds, but these were the perfect size for the freezer. The action is not awesome compared to the summer months, but it’s still good. Good luck to everybody and Tight Lines!

Big Lake
Brian H.: Caught a German brown and rainbow trout, eighteen inches, 2.5 pounds. Nice, fat fish. Beautiful day, warm and no wind.

Dogtown Lake
Here is the picture of the 20 inch brown caught yesterday out of Dogtown. The gentlemen gave me permission to take his picture. There was a second guy that also caught a nice brown while we were there.


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