Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Fish stocking seasons are in transition, reaction baits are drawing strikes, and free public fishing events are breaking out and statewide — it’s still one of the best times of the year to fish. So here’s a quick rundown of the Arizona fishing scene:

  • The winter stocking schedule is out. Plan ahead for a desert trout-fishing trip in a warm winter climate (summer trout stockings have ended.)

    In our Community Fishing Program waters, channel catfish are back. See all the stocking schedules. And, while you’re at it, complement your piscatorial strategizing by finding your ideal honey hole with our Fish & Boat AZ map.

    Have fun, and be sure to buy a license online, which helps make sure there are fishing options for future generations.
  • We’re knee-deep into our free public events schedule. Last weekend, we hosted a couple note-worthy events.

    There was the clinic in Ajo, where families that don’t normally get to fish hung out and caught catfish in a swimming pool. For many, it was their first fish.

    Also, last Saturday’s fishing event at the Power Ranch Community Association provided lots of fun and big fish.

    See if there’s an event near you this month.

  • From the high country to our spectacular desert lakes, fall-like weather has put many fish on the move for a better reaction bite. Lake Pleasant is showing great action for stripers and largemouth bass. Look for striper boils and throw top-water plugs and swimbaits. Some good largemouths are being caught on soft jerkbaits.
  • There’s a full moon smearing our nights with light. That means using submersible lights for stripers won’t be as effective during the next week.
  • The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has lifted its fish consumption advisory for the Gila River (near Phoenix) and its tributaries. Read more.

  • Finally, a big “thank you” to the Mogollon Sportfishing Association for their $30,000 donation on Thursday night that will go toward Mogollon Rim stream habitat enhancements.

(Send your fishing reports and photos to

Silver Creek
Mark T.: Attached are pictures of my Grand Daughter Skylar. With her Barbie fishing pole, she had caught her first and several Rainbows at Silver Creek this weekend. As a Grand Father, it was a priceless experience.
Thank you for your commitment to help make this happen for our youth.

Canyon Lake
Edward C.:
6 p.m., Sept. 6. Used a top-water frog popper – 7 pounds, one ounce.

Woods Canyon Lake
Jim L.: Angelo Lara caught this 15-inch trout, slow trolling at Woods Canyon Lake.

Paul J.: My wife Flo, her twin sister Eva, and I, fished Woods Canyon Lake to the right of the boat launch on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Caught 10 trout with three more than 12 inches….left by 11:30 a.m.. Most on green PowerBait and two on spinners. Tried flies early morning but the water is too shallow by the launch. Several trout would take the fly but not hooked well and would ‘get off’ the line.

Lost several spinners on the rocky bottom near the launch and plenty of sinkers (both split shot and slide sinkers) fishing. Most folks along that part of the bank caught trout.

Folks in the cove to the left of the parking lot also did well on spinners and PowerBait…didn’t see what color. Perfect morning…no clouds. Wind came up about 10:30 a.m.. Didn’t see any folks in the many boats catching trout. Resident bald eagles put on the spectacular air show. Elk bugled until 8 a.m. or so. Great day.

Kinnikinick Lake
Doug P.: Fished Kinnikinick Lake on Tuesday for about 3 1/2 hours. Not so much as a nibble! Four others fishing in two parties also reported the same. Baits ranged from worms, PowerBait, Power Eggs and multiple lures. Everyone was fishing from shore. Very little surface activity observed. The water temperature is still fairly warm so the fish are probably deep. Once the water temps drop 10 degrees action should pick up.

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