Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Top picks to fish this week are the trout-stocked Community Fishing Program waters, Lake Pleasant for flathead catfish, Bartlett Lake for high numbers of largemouth bass, and Alamo Lake for decent crappie action.

See an update from the community waters from our Fish AZ blog.

Be sure to check the ADOT website for road conditions before traveling this weekend – the Kinnikinick Road, for one, is now closed for the winter.

Heading into the winter doldrums, the metabolism of fish such as largemouth bass slows. With this weekend’s rainy (and in higher elevations, snowy) weather, fishing tends to slow down. These can be difficult months to fish. For bass, try something such as a Carolina rig with a long leader and work a plastic worm slowly.

The best place to trout fish statewide can be at the Community Fishing Program waters.

Also, Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods reported: “We’re finally getting some snow up on the (Mogollon) Rim, which overall is a good thing. During the next couple of months, we’ll be talking about frozen lakes and closed roads, but keep in mind that a large portion of that snow ultimately ends up in Roosevelt Lake. When that snow melts, it will ensure a steady flow of fresh nutritional water into the lake well into the spring of 2015.

Trout angling on the Rim may be limited but there are still plenty of streams and lower level lakes reporting excellent trout fishing conditions. Green Valley Lake in Payson, continues to reports excellent results of 12-14-inch stocked rainbow trout. PowerBaits, salmon eggs and small spinner baits were working yesterday.”

See our Fish&Boat Arizona map for directions to our state’s primary fisheries.

See the full report for more details, and please share your fishing memories and pictures with us at BFishing@AZGFD.gov.


Kinnikinick Lake
Doug P. of Clarkdale: Was there Tuesday, Dec. 9. Pretty chilly, 27 degrees at 10 a.m. and very foggy. Caught 10 brown trout over about 2.5 hours, kept five. Several were obviously full off eggs so put those back to hopefully spawn. The road is muddy and rough but passable after last rains.

Chevelon Lake
Kenny W.: I was fishing (Dec. 6) in middle of Chevelon with my favorite Rapala (german brown) about middle morning. It’s all about location when fishing this lake. I been fishing that Lake for more than 35 years. In the last 15 years it is only lake I have been to. I work to hard, figure out the habits of where and when they will be feeding so that I can tell the public.

Red Mountain Lake
River B.: I just saw the photo of the nice trout out of Red Mountain. I can attest to the size of the trout that are swimming around in that lake. Although it is trout season on the lake, I still chase after that monster bass I once hooked into one that shook my top-water loose. I named him Hermon from the Adams Family because he was a giant like that character.

I spend at least once a week cruising the shore through spinnerbaits and topwater poppers, and I see numerous trout swimming around foraging for food. I am very impressed with this year’s brood of trout planted. They are larger than last year’s, as the picture in the Dec. 11 report shows. If I was to trout fish, and being from Washington state where trout fishing is one of the main past times, I would go shallow for these fish.

A short leader is all you will need in the shallow water. The fish are hugging the shore this time of year because the water temp is getting lower, and they like the cooler water. The shore is where the food supply will be for these fish. It is not uncommon for me to see the schools of trout just a few feet away from the concrete walls as I pass them by.

If you’re not getting any action at first, wait patiently. The next school will be swimming by shortly. If you keep retrieving and casting out, the splash is likely to spook the fish back in the direction they came from. Trout, like bass, are very sensitive to the vibration from the splashes, so keep them to a minimum. Bottom line, fish closer to shore, and don’t be afraid to let the bait soak. The fish can smell it, and will be cruising around looking for it. If the bait keeps moving, it is harder for them to zero in on it. Thank you.

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.


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