Category Archives: The Reel Deal

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Top picks this week are Ashurst Lake near Flagstaff, trout stocked Community fishing waters, Alamo Lake, and a handful of Colorado River waters:  Lake Havasu, Parker Strip, and below Davis Dam.

Other good bets are Parker Canyon Lake southeast of Tucson for trout, and in the White Mountains,  Big Lake and Woods Canyon Lake.

Head to Ashurst while you can — the gates will probably close soon. For now this is the spot to go in the Flagstaff region.

Our recent surveys have shown excellent numbers of fish at Alamo, Havasu and Parker Strip. We expect great fishing at all three through spring. See the full report for more details.

Water temperatures are falling as overnight lows in desert regions are cracking the low-40s — Bartlett Lake has dropped to around 56 degrees.  If you’re fishing Phoenix-area impoundments such as Bartlett Lake, the best bet is throwing crankbaits during mornings and smaller plastic baits (Roboworms or baby brush hogs) on Texas rigs or dropshots in 15-25 feet of water.

At Parker Canyon Lake southeast of Tucson, some anglers are catching limits of stocked rainbow from shore on spinners and PowerBait.

Believe it or not, this is great weather for trout fishing. At least it is in mid-elevation and lower elevation waters where we do our trout stockings. Grab friends, family, gear and go “Fish AZ.”

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Water Ranch Lake (Gilbert)
 

M. Gio caught this 1.5-pound, 15-inch rainbow trout on Nov. 22 at Water Ranch Lake using salmon peach PowerBait.  Every now and then we stock such an “albino” rainbow trout. Although they are not “true” albinos, they lack the normal rainbow trout pigment which makes them this bright-yellow color. This is a natural and rare mutation that occasionally occurs in aquaculture.

See previous Angler Reports

Stocking reports

By  Sunday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):

Trout

Dead Horse Lakes, Fain Lake, Apache Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Roper Lake, Fortuna Pond, Redondo Pond, “Expansion/Custom” Community waters Chaparral Lake, Silverbell Lake, Kennedy Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Lakeside Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Veterans Oasis, Desert Breeze Lake, Tempe Kiwanis.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Friday, Dec. 1 — Green Valley Lakes,  Red Mountain Lake, Freestone Pond, Evelyn Hallman Pond, Papago Ponds, Steele Indian School Pond, Encanto Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Surprise Lake, Pioneer Lake, Desert West Lake. Thursday, Nov. 30 — Wet Beaver Creek.

See all the stocking schedules

Thank you, anglers!

Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984.

Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: Nov. 30, 2017

Top picks this week are trout-stocked waters such as Goldwater Lake, Lower Salt River, Frances Short Pond or Community waters.

Other good trout reports this week have come from Fain Lake in Prescott and Lower Lake Mary in Flagstaff.

Bass fishing has been reported as excellent at Roosevelt Lake and Lake Pleasant. Jigging spoons is a technique that has picked up and will continue to be an effective way to hook bass in deeper water through the winter. These spoons mimic falling shad. Bass will be feeding relatively heavily until water temperatures fall into the low 50s and bass metabolism slows. Water temperatures recently have reached the low- to mid-60s at Bartlett Lake and Roosevelt Lake.

Good crappie reports have come from Roosevelt and Apache lakes with large schools in 20- to 50-foot depths, usually near cover. Alamo Lake should be excellent for crappie, too.

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Lower Lake Mary

Steve S., along with his son Jed, son-in-law Riley, and four grandkids, caught these 11 rainbows in less than 2 hours on Saturday after Thanksgiving Day.

Biggest was 17 inches, then 16.5 “, 16”, 15.5”… nothing smaller than 13”. Biting on worms on bottom and bobbers.

See previous Angler Reports

Stocking reports

By  Sunday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):

Trout

Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek, Goldwater Lake, Lower Salt River.

“Core” Community waters. See the latest Community news regarding waters that will not be stocked this week.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Tuesday, Nov. 21 — “Phoenix/Maricopa area expansion and custom waters” ; Verde River (middle), Cluff Reservoir #3, Roper Lake, Dankworth Ponds, Tempe Town Lake, Patagonia Lake.  Monday, Nov. 20 — Dead Horse Lakes, Oak Creek.

See all the stocking schedules

Family fishing events

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

Saturday

Town of Gilbert – Youth Fishing Day. 8 a.m. – noon. Freestone Pond 1045 E. Juniper Ave. Gilbert.

See a full events schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Planning a Thanksgiving day trip with family? Rainbow trout are back in Community fishing waters. On Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,000 pounds of trout were stocked into Tempe Town Lake for the annual Welcome Back the Trout event.

George Andrejko/AZGFD

Always a great day for friends and families to catch fish, learn some tips from our experts and watch the sun go down on the Tempe skyline.

George Andrejko/AZGFD

See the stocking schedules below.

Trout fishing hot in AZ high country

Andy was fly fishing Silver Creek using nymphs to catch some 20-plus-inch rainbow trout like this.

Water temperatures are prime for trout fishing. Some great action has been reported from Lower Lake Mary, Big Lake, Becker Lake,  Carnero Lake, Luna Lake, Greer lakes (see the Catch of the Week) Woods Canyon Lake, Silver Creek, and Show Low Lake.

Go before winter conditions prevail.

A Pleasant bass report

Bryan E. with a reported 3-pound largemouth bass caught Tuesday at Lake Pleasant on a top-water Whopper Plopper 130.

Lake Pleasant has been fishing extremely well with some anglers catching high numbers of white, largemouth and striped bass. Try swimbaits, spoons and Whopper Ploppers (top water). Finding schools of shad and their depth is the trick — some bass are being caught in at little as 3 feet of water and others in more than 40 feet of depth.

Other good bass fishing has been at Alamo, Bartlett Lake, Roosevelt Lake and for bigger fish, Saguaro and Canyon lakes.

At Lake Powell, water temperatures are still in the 60s. Striped bass have been feeding in shallow water as they are prone to do during October.

25% off: Catch a memory worth saving

Great news: through Dec. 1, we’re offering a 25% discount on Arizona adult general fishing licenses and community fishing licenses purchased online. And as always, youth licenses (for ages 10-17) are only $5.

This is a great time of year to get outdoors, enjoy Arizona’s spectacular weather and scenery, and spend quality time fishing with family, friends and out-of-town visitors. Invite them to experience their own Arizona outdoor adventure!

Thank you for making Arizona’s outdoor heritage a part of your life.

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Greer lakes

Brenton Lawlor caught this 6.3-pound, 24-inch rainbow trout out of Greer lakes Saturday morning using a black-and-white jointed Rapala.

See previous Angler Reports

Stocking reports

By  Sunday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):

Trout

Frances Short Pond, Oak Creek, Dead Horse Lakes, Tempe Town Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Pena Blanca Lake, Roper Lake,  “Phoenix/Maricopa area expansion and custom waters”

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Nov. 16 — “Core” Community waters.  Wednesday, Nov. 15 — Lower Salt River, Lynx Lake, Goldwater Lake. Tuesday, Nov. 14 — Parker Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake, Verde River (middle). Monday, Nov. 13 — Watson Lake, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek, Santa Fe Reservoir, Frances Short Pond.

See all the stocking schedules

Family fishing events

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

Saturday, Dec. 2

Town of Gilbert – Youth Fishing Day. 8 a.m. – noon. Freestone Pond 1045 E. Juniper Ave. Gilbert.

See a full events schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

A November crescendo of rainbow trout stockings is getting anglers onto some serious stringers of fish. See the stocking schedules below for details — this week, trout are being stocked for the first time of the season into Salt River-chain lakes Apache and Canyon and Tucson/Safford-area waters Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake and Roper Lake.

Best part is the Green Light Fisheries list of fish species from specific waters that may be consumed without limits includes all trout statewide. This is not to be confused with bag limits. Trout have been tested to be extremely low in mercury and so there are no recommended consumption limits.

Also, trout return to Community waters Nov. 16!

There will not be a fishing report next week so check back here or head to our azgfd.gov fishing page for updates and a ton of resources.

Some other recent reports include:

Goldwater Lake was stocked with rainbow trout last week.
  • Goldwater Lake has been stocked twice this season and water quality has been clear and excellent. Our Catch of the Week (below) came from this pine-scented, mid-elevation lake.
  • One angler reported great action at Bear Canyon Lake last Saturday on the shore opposite the dam fly fishing green woolly worms (without a strike indicator), stripping quickly.
  • With falling water temperatures at Bartlett Lake (high 60-degree water temperatures) largemouth bass have started feeding more heavily in preparation for winter. Top baits during an early morning for Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, were Rat-L-Traps (great for colder weather) in silver, and during late mornings, 1/4-ounce Texas rigged brush hogs in watermelon candy and Z-Man Finesse ShroomZ JigheadZ with 4 1/2-inch Roboworms and Powerworms in 10-12 feet of water.

 

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Goldwater Lake

 

Tom and his father caught this nice stringer of rainbow trout trolling Kastmasters, Super Dupers, and Canadian nightcrawlers. The pair caught nine total.

See previous Angler Reports

 

Fishing license reminder

Need a license? Or did it expire? Get one online, 24/7

 

Stocking reports

By  Sunday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):

Trout

Frances Short Pond, Oak Creek, Dead Horse Lakes, Fain Lake, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake, Roper Lake, Fortuna Pond, Redondo Pond.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Friday, Nov. 3 — Patterson Ponds (St. Johns), Show Low Creek, Green Valley Lake, Frances Short Pond.

Channel catfish

Thursday, Nov. 2 — “Core” Community waters.

See all the stocking schedules

 

Family fishing events

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

Saturday

Family Fishing Fun at Pena Blanca Lake, 8 a.m. – noon. Pena Blanca Lake Off of SR 289 Nogales.

Contact: For more information please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240

See a full events schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

The transition to fall fishing is here as nighttime air temperatures  are forecast to drop into the high-50s in desert regions and mid-30s in high elevation areas such as Pinetop by next week.

Top picks for the weekend are trout-stocked waters such as Goldwater Lake in Prescott. Water temperatures at mid-elevation lakes such as Goldwater and Lynx are down to the mid-60s and falling — great for trout fishing.
We’ve also recently stocked Rose Canyon Lake (56-degree water temp) and Parker Canyon Lake (67) in the Tucson area, Green Valley lakes in Payson,  Lynx  Lake in the Prescott area, Oak Creek and the Lower Salt River.

In the White Mountains region
, consider fishing the Show Low Creek meadows at the Show Low Bluff trailhead and Patterson Ponds in St Johns, which were both stocked with rainbow trout two weeks ago and will be excellent after both are stocked again this week.

Brown trout are still active
at the Greer Lakes, Chevelon Lake, and the East Fork Black River.

Bass fishing is picking up, and at Bartlett Lake in the Tonto National Forest, this is the time of year your favorite bass rig could do some damage (try top-water lures, crankbaits, Texas-rigged brush hogs or dropshot-rigged Roboworms). Water temperatures are in the low-70s.  Take a kid and go.

Battle of the Alamo

Alamo Lake is up 30-plus feet from last year and the fish seem to be fat and healthy. Water temperatures are in the low 70s and the largemouth bass and black crappie are biting pretty good. Read a full angler report.

Greenfield Pond in Mesa to open Saturday

Located just north of Water Ranch Lake in Gilbert, Greenfield will be stocked with catfish prior to its opening on Saturday.

A Greenfield Pond Grand Opening event will be held 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the park on  4105 E. Diamond Ave. in Mesa. The event includes a free fishing clinic (no license required for those who register; bait and loaner rods provided).

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Woods Canyon Lake

 

Scott S. III with his first rainbow trout caught in early October.

See previous Angler Reports

Fishing license reminder

Need a license? Or did it expire? Get one online, 24/7

Stocking reports

By  Sunday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):

Trout

Show Low Creek (above average), Oak Creek, Patterson Ponds (St. Johns).

Catfish

“Core” Community waters.

Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek, Goldwater Lake, Lower Salt River.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Oct. 27 — Mingus Lake, Fain Lake.  Oct. 24 — Rose Canyon Lake, Parker Canyon Lake.

See all the stocking schedules

 

Family fishing events

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

Saturday

Chandler Safety Days Youth and Family Fishing. 8 a.m. – noon. Veterans Oasis Park 4050 E Chandler Heights Rd. Chandler.

Greenfield Pond Grand Opening event, Mesa, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.,  4105 E. Diamond Ave., Mesa.

See a full events schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Hot spots to hit this weekend:

Mogollon Rim/White Mountains waters

Trout fishing is picking up with cooler water temperatures. With fall colors drenching the landscape, elk bugling and rainbow trout being stocked, anglers would be wise to hit Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Knoll Lake, Chevelon Canyon Lake (brown trout are active) or Black Canyon Lake. In particular, trout fishing is picking up at Big Lake, Luna Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake, and Show Low Lake.

Winter stockings have already begun for rainbows and it’s a great time to touch up on those fishing skills before your next trip — check out a how-to article and see the stocking reports below.

Fishing also is excellent at Show Low Creek at the Show Low Bluff trailhead and Patterson Ponds, which were both stocked with rainbow trout this week.  Brown trout are active at the Greer Lakes, Chevelon Lake, and the East Fork Black River.

Community waters: trout return to Payson

Green Valley Lakes is getting its first load of trout this week. See the latest Community news.

For bass action, try reactions

Water temperature in desert impoundments such as Roosevelt Lake has dipped to the low- to mid-70s. Shad migrate to shallow water during the fall and anglers can target these schools with top-water plugs and shallow-running reaction baits.

Crappie fishing picks up at Roosevelt

Jim Goughnor of Rim Country Custom Rods said anglers are reporting improved conditions for crappie. Try targeting structure in 20 feet of water. We recently dropped hundreds of structures into the lake to improve fishing — see a video.

Fishing license reminder

Need a license? Or did it expire? Get one online, 24/7

 

Stocking reports

By  Sunday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):

Trout

Frances Short Pond in Flagstaff, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek, Fain Lake, Lynx Lake, and Parker Canyon Lake

Catfish

“Core” Community waters.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Oct. 6 — Tonto Creek.

Catfish

Week of Oct. 9 — Custom/expansion Community waters.

See all the stocking schedules

 

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Woods Canyon Lake

Derek Y. brought this group of four anglers (Aidan, Cameron, Dylan, Chelsea) and to their morning bounty of trout Monday. Check out the full story.

See previous Angler Reports

 

Family fishing events

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

Saturday

  • North Tempe Neighborhood Association and G.A.I.N. event, Evelyn Hallman Pond, Evelyn Halman Park, 1900 N. College Ave., Tempe, 2-6 p.m.
  • FREE 30th Annual Catfish Rodeo & 8th Annual Nature Fair in Yuma, 7 – 10:30 a.m.: Catfish Rodeo, West Wetlands Park; ages 13 and younger with a parent (after 10:30 a.m. – Ages 10 and older must have a fishing license) For more information call: Parks and Recreation at (928) 373-5200 or Dr. Ray Corona at (928) 726-1100

See a full events schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Days are getting shorter, air temperatures are cooling, and with the transition into fall, it takes some work to pinpoint the exact location of fish. Water temperatures in desert impoundments such as Roosevelt Lake are in the low-to-mid 70s. Cover a lot of water,  targeting different areas of the water column with various bait presentations.

Or just go get some trout. Winter stockings have already begun for rainbows. See the schedules — catfish stockings are ongoing, too.

Also, as we head into November, keep an eye on water temperatures in the high country. Each year, trout fishing picks up dramatically in the White Mountains when water temperatures are in the low-to-high 50s (depending on elevation). This is the ideal temperature range for trout and they will be actively trying to add weight before the onset of winter. Because there will be little difference between surface water temperature and water temperature in deep water, trout will be found at any depth.

Stocking reports

By  Sunday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):

Oak Creek, Mingus Lake, Fain Lake, Lynx Lake, expansion/custom Community waters.

Previous stockings

Catfish

Saturday, Oct. 7 — Community “core” waters.

Rainbow trout

Friday, Oct. 6 — Tonto Creek.

See all the stocking schedules

 

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Lower Lake Mary

 

Bailey and Abby Gonzales with a big catch of rainbow trout Sunday morning.

See previous Angler Reports

Family fishing events

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

Saturday, Oct. 21

  • North Tempe Neighborhood Association and G.A.I.N. event, Evelyn Hallman Pond, Evelyn Halman Park, 1900 N. College Ave., Tempe, 2-6 p.m.
  • FREE 30th Annual Catfish Rodeo & 8th Annual Nature Fair in Yuma, 7 – 10:30 a.m.: Catfish Rodeo, West Wetlands Park; ages 13 and younger with a parent (after 10:30am – Ages 10 and older must have a fishing license) For more information call: Parks and Recreation at (928) 373-5200 or Dr. Ray Corona at (928) 726-1100

See the full events schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Although some steady weather gracing the desert regions should make for some break-out bass fishing this weekend, it’s a great time to bring friends, family and fishing rods to the high country, too.

Elk are bugling in the White Mountains region, fall leaves are changing colors, and winter trout stockings have begun. Be sure to check out the full report and stake out your fishing destination.

Community catfish update

Water Ranch in Gilbert will not be stocked as indicated by our stocking schedule — instead, it is scheduled to be stocked the week of Oct. 16.
Also Riverview Lake in Mesa will not be stocked this week due to golden algae.

Stocking reports

By  Saturday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):

Frances Short Pond, Community “core” waters.

Previous stockings

 

Catfish

Thursday, Sept. 28 — Community expansion waters.

See all the stocking schedules

 

Show Low Creek stocked with trout

The first creek in the Community Fishing Program had its initial stocking of rainbow trout Monday. Located approximately 3 miles downstream of Show Low Lake, this portion of the creek starts near a Hampton Inn & Suites and runs downstream through the large, open meadow to the foot bridge at Show Low Bluff Trail.

Trout will be the primary species and more stockings are scheduled for November, March, and April. Catfish and sunfish will be stocked at least once during the summer months when the temperatures are too warm for trout.

Nets and waders: Working for You

Volunteers and AZGFD employees build Fishiding structures Monday, Oct. 4. George Andrejko/AZGFD

AZGFD employees and volunteers continued a Salt River chain-lakes habitat improvement project Monday through Wednesday by dropping various, environmentally safe structures like these to the bottom of Roosevelt Lake.

In short, we are making a “fish city” on the bottom of the mostly barren, bowl-like bottom of Roosevelt Lake.

Habitat is important for fish spawning, recruitment, growth, health and populations. These artificial structures attract bait fish, which then attract predatory fish for sport-fishing anglers to target.

 

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Canyon Lake

Eric M. caught this 8-pound largemouth bass at Canyon Lake Tuesday morning a watermelon yum wacky worm set up around 11 a.m. in 15 ft of water by the dam. He added a nice channel catfish to his day’s work, too.

See previous Angler Reports

 

Family fishing events

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

Saturday —  “Family Fishing Fun” at Cesar Chavez Park, Alvord Lake, in Phoenix, 8 a.m. to noon, 7858 S. 35th Ave.  SEE A FLYER.

Please join the AZGFD Sport Fishing Education Program, Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, along with partners Coconino County Supervisor Liz Archuleta, Phoenix Councilman Nowakowski-District 7, H.E.C.H.O. (Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting and the Outdoors), and the Laveen Baseball League for a morning of family fishing fun!  The Arizona Game and Fish Department  will be providing loaner rods and bait  for this event (or you may bring your own).

See the full events schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Fall fishing means crankbaits, top-water lures, buzzbaits and jigs drawing increasingly more bass strikes as water temperatures dip. At Bartlett Lake in the Tonto National Forest, the water temperature Saturday was 76 degrees — down about 10 degrees from 2 weeks ago.

This is the also time for flathead catfish. At Bartlett Lake, in particular, they’ll be roaming the waters looking for meals to add some winter fat.

Community catfish news

  • This week, Patterson Ponds (in St. Johns, pictured above), Stone Dam (Ash Fork), Yuma ponds are scheduled to get catfish for the first time this fall. “Core” waters are to be stocked again next week. See the stocking schedule.

Winter trout stocking schedule

Trout Challenge update; Frye Creek closed to fishing

  • We’re also temporarily suspending the requirement for anglers to catch a Gila trout in order to complete the Wild Trout Challenge. With the closure of Frye Creek t here is no longer a wild population of Gila trout open to fishing. See more information about AZGFD’s trout challenges.
  • We’ve closed Frye Creek in the Pinaleno Mountains, southwest of Safford, to fishing to allow for evaluation and restoration of the Gila trout population. We recently surveyed Frye and Ash creeks and did not find any fish. Read more. 

Catch and release season opens at Silver Creek Sunday

  • On Saturday, the catch-and-release season opens — and that means the upper section also opens to fishing for the first time since early spring. This catch-and-release section of Silver Creek requires trout to be immediately released unharmed, and is artificial flies and lures only with single barbless hooks. This segment of Silver Creek is open for fishing from Oct. 1 through March 31 of each year. See more fishing regulations.

Brown trout fall spawn

Brown trout anglers in AZ target fall as one of the best times of the year for this aggressive-fighting species

Keep in mind that brown trout go into their spawning behavior in the fall. Float tubers who are in good shape may want to hike into Chevelon Lake on the Mogollon Rim for the big browns and plentiful ‘bows.

Already, some anglers are hooking into some big brown close to shore — see the Catch of the Week below.

Stocking reports

By  Saturday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):

Canyon Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Tonto Creek, Oak Creek.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Friday, Sept. 22 — Woods Canyon Lake, Canyon Creek. Thursday, Sept. 21 — Tonto Creek. Wednesday, Sept. 20 — “core” Community fishing waters.

Brown trout

Thursday, Sept. 14 — Kinnikinick Lake.

See all the stocking schedules

 

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Reservation Lake

 

Cody T. caught this brown trout from Reservation Lake Sept. 22 on an olive-green bunny leech fly around 4 p.m. near the dam. Along with Jason D., the group reported catching a ton on a silver spinners and olive colored flies and releasing all fish.

See previous Angler Reports

 

Family fishing events

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

Saturday — “Verde River Days” at Dead Horse State Park in Cottonwood, 8 a.m. to noon, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, 675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd.

While the Verde River Days festivities will go from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., the family fishing will occur from 8 a.m. -noon only. For more information please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240 or go to: http://www.verderiverday.com/.

See the full events schedule.

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

The Autumn Equinox, or first day of fall in the northern hemisphere, is today. Accordingly, nighttime temperatures are predicted dip into the low-60s this weekend in desert regions. We’re on a new moon phase, which will be great for using submersible lights at night at striper honey holes such as Lake Pleasant, where large schools of shads are still boiling the surface as they flee from predatory striper.

This transition into fall triggers more exciting changes:

Community catfish return

Catfish were stocked Wednesday into Cortez Lake in Phoenix.
  • Channel catfish returned to the Community Fishing Program waters Wednesday — “core” waters have been stocked except Rio Vista Pond in Peoria and Steele Indian School Pond in Phoenix. See the schedule, which shows which waters are “core.”

Green light: Go Fish

  • Along with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, we’ve released a “green light” list of fish species from specific waters that may be consumed without limits — and that includes all of the channel catfish supplied for the Community Fishing Program. The “green light” list — not to be confused with daily bag limits — also includes ALL trout statewide as well as notables such as largemouth bass at Lake Havasu and flathead catfish on the Colorado River in Yuma. Read more, including the full list.

Winter trout stocking schedule

NHF Day is Saturday

  • Saturday is National Hunting and Fishing Day. Last chance to enter the NHF Day challenge and win some big prizes. Visit www.nhfday.org.

Frye Creek closed to fishing

  • Our Commission has temporarily closed Frye Creek in the Pinaleno Mountains, southwest of Safford, to fishing to allow for evaluation and restoration of the Gila trout population. We recently surveyed Frye and Ash creeks and did not find any fish.

Catch and release season at Silver Creek Oct. 1

  • On Saturday, Oct. 1, the catch-and-release season opens — and that means the upper section also opens to fishing for the first time since early spring. This catch-and-release section of Silver Creek requires trout to be immediately released unharmed, and is artificial flies and lures only with single barbless hooks. This segment of Silver Creek is open for fishing from Oct. 1 through March 31 of each year. See more fishing regulations.

Stocking reports

By  Saturday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for real-time and confirmed stocking reports):

Canyon Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Goldwater Lake, “core” Community Fishing Program lakes.

Rio Vista Pond, Steele Indian School Pond, Francis Short Pond and Ashurst Lake have not recently been stocked.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Friday, Sept. 15 — Woods Canyon Lake, Canyon Creek. Thursday, Sept. 14 — Goldwater Lake, Tonto Creek. Wednesday, Sept. 13 — Silver Creek, Colorado River.  Monday, Sept. 11 — Lynx Lake, Oak Creek. Friday, Sept. 8 — Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Canyon Creek. Thursday, Sept. 7 — Tonto Creek.

Brown trout

Thursday, Sept. 14 — Kinnikinick Lake.

See all the stocking schedules

 

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Canyon Lake

 

Mali caught this 6 1/2-pound largemouth bass from Canyon Lake Sept. 7 around 4 p.m on a crankbait casting to the shore with a steady retrieve in 10-25 feet of water. They were fishing close to the dam.

See previous Angler Reports

 

Save time, buy online

Grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go.

Family fishing events

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

Saturday, Sept. 30 — “Verde River Days” at Dead Horse State Park in Cottonwood, 8 a.m. to noon, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, 675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd.

While the Verde River Days festivities will go from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., the family fishing will occur from 8 a.m. -noon only. For more information please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240 or go to: http://www.verderiverday.com/.

See the full events schedule.

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT