Caught a tiger trout, yet? Try fishing the shorelines at Woods Canyon Lake.
Some of our fish biologists were on the water at Woods Canyon, located on the Mogollon Rim, electrofishing from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. — Wednesday through Thursday — and caught more than 100 tiger trout.
“This number of tiger trout was interesting to us because we usually pick up few trout by boat electrofishing,” AZGFD Reservoir Biologist Sally Petre said. “It seems as though the tiger trout behave a bit differently than rainbow trout and hang out in the shallows — where we shock — instead of deeper water. ”
Anglers: with about another month remaining before lakes begin to freeze in higher elevations, it’s time to get out and wrestle with a tiger.
Also, many tigers seem to be growing larger and developing bolder lines and darker scales.
The best fishing for tiger trout, which can be distinguished from rainbow trout by their tiger-like or blotchy pattern on their body (compared to the rainbow trout’s small black spots), has typically been at Woods Canyon Lake.
Tiger trout fishing tactics
All trout species can be found at all depths with falling water temperatures. Tiger trout recently have been coming up to the shorelines and corralling baitfish — so fishing deep is not a must.
Some fly anglers have had success fishing from a float tube, and casting flies such as woolly buggers from deeper water toward the shorelines and stripping quickly back.
Also try meal worms, nightcrawlers, Panther Martins, Kastmasters, spoons, and Roostertails. Another successful fly has been almost any nymph.
See regulations before heading out. At Willow Springs and Woods Canyon, tiger trout count toward your six trout bag limit.
More fall netting survey results
Recent netting surveys at Carnero and Becker lakes resulted in tiger trout approximately 13 inches in length. But too few tiger trout were caught at either lake to determine much about their growth.
At Carnero, fishing is difficult for tiger trout because of the low water and thick weeds, but can be good if you can get to an open spot of water.
There is a two-fish bag limit at Carnero and it’s restricted to artificial flies and lures only.
Becker Lake, which has fewer weeds than Carnero, is open to catch-and-release only for trout (no trout may be kept) with only artificial lures and flies with single barbless hooks.