Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Some record-breaking high temperatures, and unstable weather patterns, struck the state during October. In some ways they seemed halt the fall bite. This week’s brief cool-off, followed by a few days of warm, stable weather, could help the bass bite pick up in the central region.

So sounds like the best bet overall this weekend for some peak fishing action could in the high country.

Fishing is still hot at places such as Kinnikinick Lake southeast of Flagstaff.  See one effective way to fish Kinnikinick.

The bite should be on at Big Lake right now. No telling when snow will fly and this great fishery will be inaccessible until spring. Go while you can.

Other good reports have come from clear-water spots on the Verde River near Cottonwood (on flies), Fossil Creek for roundtail chub, and at Oak Creek, where stockings continue for a couple more weeks.  Try crick hoppers, small inline spinners, worm, salmon eggs, or small Panther Martins on 2-4-pound test.

See an article on how fishing has picked up on the Verde River.

This video about how to catch and clean fall trout also might help.

A couple more tips for this week: striper fishing remains excellent at Lake Pleasant (Zara Super Spooks have been successful) and at Lake Mohave (swimbaits were picking up some lunker striper).

Trout have been stocked at Canyon, Apache and Saguaro lakes (throw big trout swimbaits for big bass), and, for the first time this fall/winter, at Patagonia Lake.

Finally, see last week’s report on other hot spots to hit.

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

Catch of the Week

(Send your Angler Reports to — one will be selected as Catch of the Week)


Four-year-old Dallon S. with his first tiger trout caught last weekend on a Rebel maroon-colored crankbait at Woods Canyon Lake.

See all the Angler Reports


Upcoming free fishing events

Free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.

Saturday — Chandler Safety Days, 8 a.m. – noon, Veterans Oasis Park (4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd.)

Read the full schedule.

Stocking report

These are confirmed stockings from last week. See the stocking schedules.

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

Tuesday, Oct. 25 — Parker Canyon Lake. Monday, Oct. 24 — Goldwater Lake, Oak Creek, Frances Short Pond, Lynx Lake. 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.

See the full schedule.


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