Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal


With many getting ready to head back to school, it’s time for a final summer fishing excursion.

Mogollon Rim country is an excellent choice. In case you missed it from www.fishazblog.com, we explained one way that we determine amounts of fish to stock. We’ve been involved in a project involving some Mogollon Rim streams to figure out the most efficient way to stock trout. Read more. Be sure to “follow” the blog so that you receive an email each time tips, news, reports and off-the-water stories come out.

Back to a couple excursion ideas. Big Lake near Pinetop has excellent campground amenities, although shoreline fishing might be poor right know since most trout are deep. Fortunately, the Big Lake Store offers boat rentals.

Sounds like there may be some good fishing at Nelson Reservoir. A co-worker of mine said a friend had success on Friday, July 24, with a simple PowerBait-on-the-bottom method for 14-15-inch rainbow trout.

Otherwise, take your pick from our summer stocking schedule.

Troy Ackerman came to our Phoenix headquarters Tuesday with this 1.44-pound slab green/redear sunfish hybrid taken from Lake Pleasant.

Keep up with the state’s fire restrictions from the Bureau of Land Management website.

And if you don’t have a license, purchase one online. They’re valid for 365 days from the date of purchase and help conserve wildlife.


(Please send your fishing reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)

Woods Canyon Lake
Nick H. of Tempe: My girlfriend and I spent Saturday morning at Woods Canyon Lake and killed it, with six rainbows 11-12 inches and a few smaller. All caught on PowerBait; color/flavor didn’t seem to matter, but a long, light leader with small bait was key.

Knoll Lake
Bill L.: Caught two and had more bites (and line breaks) over a short 90-minute session on the early evening of 7-24. They were biting on yellow PowerBait. More interest the next morning, but no more caught.

Lake Pleasant
Mike V.: Our family went out fishing on Lake Pleasant the evening of July 29. Despite the strong winds and light rain, we caught three stripers at about a pound each and one small catfish using anchovies. All were caught within a 20-minute period. Once the winds picked up, it was all over.

Tempe Town Lake
Wednesday, July 22: Started fishing from 7:30 p.m. until midnight. Fished the southeast side of the lake from the shore (construction side of the lake). Tried fishing different depths as well as distance from shore. Found that fishing the bottom only 20-25 feet from the shore was the most active. Bait was turkey hot dogs. Caught three catfish with the largest at 3.5 pounds. Bluegill fed actively on the hot dogs. Having to rebait often. Most active fishing from 9-11 p.m.

Thursday July 23: Fished from 8 p.m. -midnight. Southeast side. Bite was sporadic. Caught fish 100 feet out as well as 10 feet out and at all different times. Same bait hot dogs. Caught four cats from 1-2.5 pounds.

Friday July 24: Fished from 7 a.m.-noon. Southeast side. Bite started very slow. Tried fishing all depths and distance. Started out with hot dogs but after losing a few baits to bluegills, I decided to switch tactics. Caught some bluegill, cut into 1 by 1 chunks on No. 4 hooks. Started going crazy 10 minutes into the first cast. Caught six within 3 hours which is one of my best so far this year at TTL. Largest was 8.2 pounds. (Photos attached of a few of the fish).

I find the lake can get very bust at night and can be hard to get a spot. Additionally the high volume of fishermen increases pressure. I see people all around me rebaiting 10 times an hour. And making a lot of movement near the shore. I think the key to my success are from the following: good clean presentation of bait to the fish; fresh hooks and leaders; little to no movement from the shore; patience with the fish. Leave the bait out a while. I see three of five fishermen making these mistakes. Also, if you’re not going to eat the fish, release it.

Wednesday, July 29: Fished from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Set out corn about 10-20 feet from the shoreline. Caught one channel catfish weighing 2.5 pounds, two mirror carp weighing 7.5 and 10 pounds. All on corn. Lake water is normal, bite is good. Very few people fishing the lake. Thanks!

All fish were caught and released!

Willow Springs Lake
Tom T. of Fountain Hills: My buddy Tracy came in from Reno to visit. Too hot in the valley so we headed for Willow Springs on Tuesday, July 21. Beautiful lake. Beautiful day. We trolled from noon to about 4 p.m. We landed 25 fish during those 4 hours and missed six more. All were released.


Watson Lake
Dave Z.: At a recent outing at Watson Lake in Prescott, this was my catch for the day. No bass action from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Now, if the bass would just feed on these big guys! Killed it on the crawfish though. Boil on Saturday!

Saguaro Lake
Kendra S.: Writing you on behalf of my boyfriend, Thomas M., and his Friend Zack, landed some nice size fish, caught on Saguaro Lake around 9 – 10 p.m. on Sunday, July, 19 from the boat. They both were using green rubber worms, Texas rig. Thomas’ fish was catch in release. Zack’s fish became his dinner and was told it was good eating.



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