Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

With falling water temperatures, a new moon weekend and fish stockings galore, there’s lots of options for a fall-time fishing adventure. Let’s get right to it:

  • Lake Powell. Water temperature is in the mid 60s, which means that all fish species can basically move wherever they want. See a full report.
  • Crappie and flathead catfish at Roosevelt. Word is that this may be the best crappie fishing we’ve had at 5 years at Rosy. Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods recommends crappie schools in about 20 feet depths using a vertical fishing technique with small, curly-tail baits. Some anglers also are saying the flathead fishing at Roosevelt has been the best in the area.
  • Tiger trout at Woods Canyon Lake.  Read more. Our electrofishing surveys showed high populations of tiger trout in shallow water.
  • Striper fishing at Pleasant, Mead, Mohave or the lower Colorado River. A new moon weekend means using submersible lights at night will be effective at attracting the plankton-baitfish-predatory fish chain.

    A 20-plus pound striper taken recently from the lower Colorado River.
  • Lake Havasu. There are reports that the water is clearing and top-water action is picking up.
  • Willow Springs Lake.  Fishing’s been on fire even though the lake was stocked with rainbow trout last month for the final time this fall/winter. Trout can be found at all depths.
  • Kinnikinick Lake and Dogtown Reservoir. Throw small flies and lures such as Joes flies, spinners and Kastmasters – move them as slowly as possible.
  • Community catfish. There have been four stockings of catfish in Community waters during the past month. See the top-5 baits to use  (and join the Fish AZ Blog discussion on what works best!) and check out the stocking the schedule.
  • Rainbow trout at Lynx Lake (Prescott). Water temperatures are perfect for trout at many mid- to –high elevation trout lakes. And there has been several reports of good rainbow trout fishing at Lynx Lake.  Winter stockings are rampant statewide – this week we are schedule to stock 13 waters. See the schedule. For real-time stocking updates, a great mapping app, and a year’s subscription to Arizona Wildlife Views Magazine, sign up for an I Support Wildlife membership.

Grab a license online, 24/7 (and help conserve all species of wildlife).

Upcoming free fishing events

Saturday — “Celebrating Community, Celebrating Diversity,”, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Cortez Park (Dunlap and 35th Ave.)

Free event includes fishing, crime prevention and safety resources, jump houses, live entertainment food trucks, health services, and more.

Read the full schedule.

Stocking report

Channel catfish
Wednesday, Oct. 19 — Surprise Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Pioneer Lake, Cortez Lake, Steele Indian School, Encanto Lake, Desert West Lake, Papago ponds, Desert Breeze Lake, Tempe Kiwanis Lake, Chaparral Lake, Water Ranch Lake, Red Mountain Lake, Riverview Lake, Tempe Town Lake, Lakeside Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Kennedy Lake, Silverbell Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Green Valley Lake #3.

Rainbow trout
Friday, Oct. 21 — Salt River, Tonto Creek. Thursday, Oct. 20 — Apache Lake,  Lynx Lake. Wednesday, Oct. 19 — Colorado River (Davis Dam), Salt River, Green Valley Lake #3. Tuesday, Oct. 18 — Saguaro Lake  Canyon Lake, Mingus Lake. Monday, Oct. 17 –– Francis Short Pond, Oak Creek, Lynx Lake, Big Lake (fingerlings). Thursday, Oct. 11 — Parker Canyon Lake.

See the full schedule.

Catch of the Week


Mckyle, 12, with some lunker rainbow trout up to 20 inches caught at Show Low Lake 8 feet under a bobber.

(Send your photos to for a chance at being featured)

Angler Reports

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Apache Lake

Wayne and Rachel B.: Here is a report for your AZGFD fishing report that I love receiving and reading each week. Hope you can use these photos and brief write up.

My wife and I camped for a few days last week (October 18 – 20th) and experienced some awesome catch and release sport on Apache Lake.

Fishing with sweet & fruity dough balls, we caught lots of Channel Cats and Common Carp.

We were also looking to catch some Buffalo carp but it wasn’t to be again this time out. Will try again in a few weeks…

Here are a few photos of the fish that came thick and fast during the 1st and last few hours of light each day.

The scenery all along the Apache Highway is nothing less than breath taking and we explored it to the full each day we were camped especially with night temps  now down to low 60s with highs hovering around 90 it was very comfortable…

Big Lake

Kenneth K.:  Caught these beauties at Big Lake on Oct. 14.

Lynx Lake (Prescott)


Michael W.: October 27, 2016. Incredible Day of Fishing! After 6 1/2 hours of fishing, when I check my fish counter, I had realized I had caught & released 146 beautiful rainbow and brown trout ranging from 8-16 inches… I was bank-fishing from the Southshore cove of lake… All fish caught on 1.5-inch crappie tubes.  I shared my lures and techniques with surrounding fisherman, so they too could enjoy an incredible fishing experience!

Black Canyon Lake road/parking lot closed through Saturday

The access road and parking areas at Black Canyon Lake closure to all vehicle traffic for a paving project has been extended through Saturday.  Pedestrian access to the lake’s shore is allowed, but parking is not allowed on the adjacent, maintained forest service roads.


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