Tag Archives: arizona fishing

Jojoba boat ramp reopens at Bartlett Lake

Fishing is about to take off at Bartlett Lake in Arizona, and the main, Jojoba ramp is once again open for launching boats.
Bartlett Lake


*** UPDATE: As of Feb. 23, the Jojoba ramp has once again closed as SRP pumps water out of Bartlett Lake. The Yellow Cliffs Ramp is closed as well.


PHOENIX — Boaters and anglers itching to launch into Bartlett Lake can now access the reservoir after the Jojoba boat ramp recently reopened to traffic.

The developed Jojoba ramp reopened Jan. 21, however, the Yellow Cliffs ramp remains closed due to low water levels, according to the Tonto National Forest.The lake, which sits about 40 miles northeast of Scottsdale, is a popular draw for anglers and boaters from throughout the state.Bartlett Lake is a federal fee area and a valid

Tonto Pass is required for vehicles and watercraft. The Tonto Pass is available at the lake’s marina store and many other local vendors. For more information on the Tonto Pass, go to www.fs.usda.gov/tonto and click on “Tonto Pass.”Those planning to fish at Bartlett or any waterway in Arizona must also have a current fishing license. Daily or annual licenses can be purchased online.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds all watercraft users that boats in Arizona must have a life jacket aboard for every passenger and those 12 years old and younger must wear a life jacket at all times, under state law.

Users should also check to make sure a life jacket fits properly by ensuring there is no excess room above the openings of the jacket and that it does not ride up over the chin or face.For more information on boating in Arizona or to sign up for a safety course, visit www.azgfd.gov/boating.

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.

ADEQ Lifts Fish Consumption Advisory for Gila River and Tributaries

From the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality:

PHOENIX (September 30, 2015) – The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced today that it has lifted the consumption advisory for fish caught in the Gila River and its tributaries within and downstream of the Phoenix metropolitan area – this includes 100 miles of streams and 286 acres of lakes. Fish caught from these waters are no longer unsafe to eat due to banned pesticides (DDT, chlordane or toxaphene).

“This is the first time ADEQ has lifted a fish consumption advisory,” said ADEQ Water Quality Division Director Trevor Baggiore. “Fish tested by ADEQ and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that banned pesticides no longer pose a health risk in the Gila River and its tributaries.”

Lifting this advisory, which has been in place for 24 years, is credited to the cessation of the use of the pesticides in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Detailed information about the delisting of the Gila River and its tributaries can be found at:


ADEQ and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tested 67 fish tissue samples from 8 different fish species in the Gila River and several of its tributaries west of Phoenix during 2011 and 2012. Fish tissue data demonstrated banned pesticide levels (DDT, toxaphene and chlordane) dropped from more than 160 times higher than the threshold levels designed to protect human health in the 1990’s to 16 times lower than these thresholds in 2011 and 2012.

On March 10, 2015, ADEQ requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remove the Gila River and its tributaries from Arizona’s Impaired Waters List, which EPA approved August 7, 2015. Each water body removed from the list also had a fish consumption advisory in effect. ADEQ has lifted the fish consumption advisory for the following waterbodies:








 ADEQ Fish Consumption Advisory Fact Sheet:


ADEQ Water Quality Division Monitoring and Assessment:


Arizona Game and Fish Department – Arizona Fish Consumption Advisory List: http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/fish_consumption.shtml  


About ADEQ

Established by the Arizona Legislature under the Environmental Quality Act of 1986, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is the state agency responsible for protecting and enhancing public health and the environment of Arizona.


Take your family fishing on Arizona’s free fishing day


Several free fishing clinics also to be held during National Fishing and Boating week June 6-14


PHOENIX — You can fish Arizona waters for free this Saturday, making this an ideal time to take the family out for some fun and relaxing outdoor recreation.

Arizona’s Free Fishing Day will be celebrated on June 6 this year as part of National Fishing and Boating Week, which runs June 6-14. This Saturday, no fishing licenses are required for persons fishing any public waters in Arizona.

“Whether you’re an experienced angler who wants to introduce a newcomer to the sport, or someone who’s always been interested but never took that next step, this is an ideal time to gather up some friends and family members and head out to your nearest community lake, or head up to the cooler country to fish a lake or stream,” said Nick Walter, editor of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Weekly Fishing Report.

Remember that bag limits and other fishing regulations are in full effect and must be observed on Free Fishing Days. Kids under the age of 10 can fish for free all year long in Arizona, so this special fishing license exemption day means that the older kids and parents get a free pass for the day. Try fishing — you’ll like it!

The Arizona Game and Fish Department will also sponsor some free fishing day clinics/events to give people the opportunity to try out this fun, family-oriented pastime. Loaner fishing rods, bait and instruction are provided for free at most of these venues.

In addition, as part of National Get Outdoors Day on June 13, the Coronado National Forest will waive the day-use fees associated with many recreation sites or amenities on the forest in celebration of this day.

Day-use fees in the Red Rock Ranger District in the Coconino National Forest also are waved June 13, with the exception of the following sites: Grasshopper Point, Crescent Moon and the West Fork of Oak Creek Trail.

Bait is provided and loaner rods are available for fishing events. Times and locations of the events are:

Saturday, June 6:

  • Deadhorse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, 8 a.m.-noon. Entrance fees for participants are waived during this time period only.
  • Garret Tank, Seligman, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to public. No signups.
  • Goldwater Lake First Fish Fishing Clinic, Prescott, 9 a.m.-noon.
  • Fishing for Smiles clinic at Dunton Ranch pond, Kingman area, 7 a.m.-11 a.m. For kids ages 5-15. Sign-ups were Saturday, May 30.

Saturday, June 13:

  • Family Fun Fishing Clinic at Lake Pleasant, 7-10 a.m. Bring the family and come try some fishing. This Arizona Game and Fish Department partnership fishing clinic supplies all equipment and some bait. People who register for the fishing clinic and fish during clinic hours in the designated area do not need fishing license while they are with the ranger. Once inside Lake Pleasant Regional Park, follow the “Family Fun Fishing” signs to the fishing area. Bring shade tents, chairs, water, snacks and bait of your choice. Registration is not required: There is a $6 per vehicle park entry fee. For more information, contact Terry Gerber, Interpretive Ranger, at 602-372-7470 ext. 211. Take Highway 74 to mile post 19, turn onto Castle Hot Springs Rd., then turn right into park and follow signs to program.
  • Parker Canyon Lake, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The AZGFD will be conducting a free fishing clinic as part of a National Get Outdoors Day celebration organized by the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District. Arizona Game and Fish Department personnel will provide free fishing tackle, bait and instruction. Fish in Parker Canyon Lake include rainbow trout, largemouth bass, sunfish and channel catfish. Parker Canyon Lake Marina will offer a discount on fishing tackle. From Tucson, travel east on I-10 to SR 83 and turn right. Continue south on SR 83 through Sonoita approximately 68 miles and follow signs to the lake.

Cholla Ramp closed at Alamo Lake until at least Aug. 31

Alamo6_JFRCholla Ramp at Alamo Lake, which Alamo Lake State Park ranger Mark Knapp  said is unsafe, will be closed until at least Aug. 31.

Also, beginning June 15, the campground by Cholla Ramp will be closed as well until Aug. 31.

Lower water levels have exposed prop washes and a few boaters during Memorial Day weekend reportedly busted their props.

Alamo Lake is a 3,500-acre impoundment created by Alamo Dam. It is located on the Bill Williams River below the confluence of the Big Sandy, Santa Maria, and Date Creek tributaries.It was created with the completion of Alamo Dam in 1968. The earthen dam is approximately 39 miles upstream of the Colorado River at Lake Havasu.

Fishing Alamo Lake

Alamo7_JFRFluctuating water levels are common in the reservoir and increases of water level up to 7 vertical feet in twenty-four hours is possible.   The current water elevation for Alamo Lake is updated regularly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The “target” lake elevation of 1125 feet (subject to the vagaries of nature) creates an impoundment of 3683 acres.

Alamo Lake is popular for its good to excellent largemouth bass, crappie, and channel catfish fishing. However, sunfish, tilapia, and carp fishing can also be good.

Bass fishing at Alamo Lake can be some of the best in Arizona.

Techniques for bass fishing vary widely. However in general, when fishing for bass in the cooler months, when bass are less active, fish deeper water with jigs, swimbaits, or plastics, using a slow retrieve.

As the water warms up in the spring and summer, bass become more active and move to shallower water. During thus time most people use plastics, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, or crankbaits with a faster retrieve. Plastic baits resembling worms, crawdads, frogs, or lizards can also work well. For best results, fish around structure such as weedbeds, emergent vegetation, brush, or tree stumps.

Channel catfish, sunfish, tilapia and carp fishing can also be good at Alamo Lake. For channel catfish use nightcrawlers, chicken liver, stinkbait or some other form of “smelly” bait. Catfishing is usually best at night. Sunfish can be caught on meal worms, night crawlers, or small crappie jigs. Tilapia and carp fishing is often overlooked but Alamo Lake can produce some real trophies.

The upper end of Alamo Lake has a lot of dead standing vegetation and debris, often just below the water surface. This is great cover for fish, but presents a hazard to boating. Be aware that there are no navigational hazard markers at the upper portion of the lake, once you pass the second buoy line.

Alamo Lake State Park, located on the southwest end of Alamo Lake, provides both primitive and improved camping, and paved boat launches.

There is a small store in the Park, where you can get ice, snacks, fishing tackle and bait, as well as information on current fishing. A certified scale is located at the store. No fuel is available at Alamo Lake. It is sold at Wenden, and nearby Wayside.

“Striper Snatcher” scores with swimbaits May 7 at Lake Pleasant


LAKE PLEASANT — For predators such as schooling striped bass, a recent hatch of shad means the groceries are in the ‘fridge.

Flying through the water column  and chasing fry Thursday, May 7 at Lake Pleasant, these stripers cause fleeing fry to intermittently pop and boil on the rippling surface.

A south wind of around 10-15 mph is folding and shoving flaps of water northbound.

That’s where Derrick Franks the “Striper Snatcher” is headed — the windblown, northern coves of this 9,500-acre lake  just northwest of Phoenix.

Many stripers had likely fed during a full moon on masses of creeping crawdads. But trolling choppy water that had ideal temperatures of 72-75 degrees, the Striper Snatcher still targeted schooling fish with 3 1/2-inch paddletail swimbaits on 1/4-ounce darterheads with 10-pound fluorocarbon line on ultralight spinning outfits:


Franks, a licensed professional fishing guide, dyes his clear paddle tail baits with these pink/purple/green hues to mimic the purple the shad fry have been glowing. That said, for the next 2-3 months, he recommends throwing 2-inch swimbaits on 1/8-ounce jigheads — the fry we spotted were around that size.

Derrick Franks
Derrick Franks

We trolled at about 2 mph.


The schools of stripers cooperated. In this video, Franks lands an average-size striper of about 12 inches — a perfect eating size. The daily bag limit of stripers is unlimited at Lake Pleasant.

“The water temperature is starting to warm up,” Franks said. “This lake has changed so much depth-wise this year. We’re actually 8 feet higher than this time last year and that affects the water temperature significantly. So that delayed the spring-time pattern a bit.”

Anglers also can target the big stripers, largemouth bass and white bass on points, ledges and brush off windblown shorelines.


All told, a party of three caught about 15 stripers — keeping 11 — weighing up  to 3 pounds. We fished from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (the full moon had not yet taken a peek at the lake.)


Anglers who need a license can purchase one online and help conserve wildlife for future generations.

See more information on how to “Fish AZ.”

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal


Spring is sprinting through the state, including consistent 80-degree daytime highs in the desert regions. Bass will soon be guarding beds en masse. Crappie may be following suit, as this full moon can be key to a spawn of these speckled beauties.

Daytime surface water temperatures in the desert lakes have been in the high-50s to low-60s. But of course they are on the rise.

The final trout stocking in the Phoenix/Tucson Community Fishing Program waters is taking place (until Saturday, March 7) and the first channel catfish stocking in the community waters will be March 19.

See the Community fishing stocking schedule.

If you’re headed to Bartlett Lake, keep this in mind: the Salt River Project has advised it began releasing water from Horseshoe Lake on March 3. Already the lake elevation has increased 8 feet and water flow in the Verde River between Horseshoe and Bartlett may reach 3,000 cubic feet per second. Campers are advised to camp at least 20-30 feet above the shoreline.

In the Agua Fria Conservation Area, motorized vehicular access will be closed to this weekend. Read more.

Great news from Willow Beach on the Colorado RIver (and for all Arizona anglers.) An agreement has been executed to ensure trout stockings will continue in the Colorado River. Check out the details.

Also, we’re getting modern with our stocking schedules. See what the hype is about.

Bill Luke Bass Days March 13-15

OK, we’ve got some pretty big events coming up. The biggest is Bill Luke Bass Days, March 13-15, at Pleasant Harbor Marina. Bill Luke Bass Days is the Southwest’s largest family fishing tournament and festival. Everyone can partake in day and nighttime festivals featuring a Cornhole Tournament, food, vendors, carnival rides, wildlife exhibits and live music. See all the information.

Arizona Game and Fish Department Expo is coming in late March

The Department will be hosting its annual Outdoor Expo, Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29

The event is FREE and will have tons of events for the whole family to enjoy.

Last year’s Expo and Youth Day drew a total of 48,000 attendees, the highest three-day total in the event’s history.

Check out the kids fishing tanks and take home a free photo, a NEW OHV track, see all sorts of live wildlife, learn target archery and try other shooting sports in a safe, supervised, controlled environment on the range.

Get a feel for specialty shooting disciplines like clay target, cowboy action, practical pistol, black powder, and air gun. Check out the many firearms manufacturers, or see our new side-by-side OHV track!

Concessionaires will have food and beverages available for purchase, and many accept only cash — ATMs will be on site.

Expo hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Outdoor Expo is easy to find, located on Carefree Highway, about 1/2 mile west of I-17 in Phoenix.

Also, visit our Fish AZ blog for the latest free public fishing events, as well as timely fishing reports, fish stories and more.


(Please send your fishing reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)

Tempe Kiwanis

Phan N.: 9.5-pound catfish (Saturday, Feb. 28) 35-pound white armor (at left, Sunday, Feb. 29).

Lower Salt River

Dave H.: Went fly fishing this week on the Lower Salt. The Sonora suckers are really active. I caught several of them in larger pools using a beaded woolly bugger. All were in the 2-3 pound range and put up a great fight.

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.


Free Family Fishing Event Jan. 17 in Phoenix

Biscuit Tank
Biscuit Tank

Break in your new year’s fishing equipment!

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is holding a free fishing seminar on Saturday, Jan. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hirsch Conservation Education Area (Biscuit Tank). The area is located in the Ben Avery Shooting Facility on 4044 W. Black Canyon Blvd. in Phoenix.

See a map of the facility.

The event will allow the opportunity for you and your family to break in your new fishing tackle and equipment. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to help you set up and tune your rod and reel for a new year of fishing.  Come on out even if you don’t have your own equipment.  We will have loaner rods, and bait to entice the fish.

This is a “catch-and-release only” activity, and we’ll show how to safely handle the finned and whiskered fish and let them go for another day.  The entire event, including the use of loaner equipment, is free of charge!

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal


With cooler temperatures, bass are chasing down crankbaits, buzzbaits and top-water lures in some of our desert impoundments. Rainbow trout stockings are coming from Phoenix to Yuma. If you didn’t know, it’s absolutely one of the best times to “Fish AZ.”

The Salt River chain lakes Saguaro, Apache and Canyon will be stocked with trout next week. The lower Salt River and the “core” Community Fishing Program waters in Phoenix, Tucson and Payson will get their trout loads the following week (Nov. 9-15), followed by Tempe Town Lake and Yuma waters Fortuna, Redondo, Somerton and Yuma West (Nov. 16-22).

Get out for trout. If you happen to wet a hook just after fish are stocked, try fishing near the surface (and on the surface), especially around first light.

BartlettBassOr go for some good ol’ “Bartlett bass.” Bartlett Lake remains a hot spot for these smaller largies. although some lately have been reported up to 2.5 pounds. Best bites are on top-water lures (such as Ricos), crankbaits, buzzbaits, and Berkley Powerworms on Texas rigs and shaky-head rigs. Many bass are in 2-10 feet of water. Shoreline anglers can go to Rattlesnake Cove and fish some of the points (tip: try casting parallel to the shore inside of just outward). Surprised we aren’t getting more Angler Reports from Bartlett. Send your photos and reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.

Speaking of Angler Reports, follow our new Fish AZ blog for more updated information and occasional from-the-water articles and videos, such as those from a recent kayak, fly-fishing excursion for trout, bluegill and crappie at Payson’s Green Valley lakes (which were recently stocked).

Or follow me on Twitter @NickFishAZ.

Get out while the bass bite is hot. With upcoming desert-region nights in the 50s, it probably won’t be long until fish will be in more lethargic winter feeding patterns. In essence, their metabolism slows down and they might only have to eat a single shad every day or two to maintain their body condition.

On the other hand, during the prime fall bite, a bass might gobble up lots of shad and feed four, five or six times each day. That’s why catch rates can increase in the fall, and decrease significantly in winter. Right now, we could be in that in-between stage with bass not quite in winter patterns, but not really in full autumn feeding patterns.

Go prepared to fish at 15-30 feet deep, but also be prepared with your top-water arsenal just in case you discover fishing gold — bass chasing shad at the surface.

See our Fish&Boat Arizona map for directions to these waters and other top fisheries.

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.

Catch a license

Good luck fishing, and remember that buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones.


(Send your fishing reports and photos to Bfishing@AZGFD.gov.)

Send your Angler Reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.

Here’s what anglers said was biting over the weekend across Arizona:

BigLakecuttroatBig Lake
Dennis D./James T. of Sierra Vista: Hello, my son-in-law and I camped at Big Lake Oct. 17 – Oct. 22 and it was a great week of fishing and relaxing. We managed to catch three cutthroat trout (one pictured above), the biggest weighing in at nearly 4 pounds. In one day we caught 11 fish, lost four, and on another day we caught around 10. The weather is turning to cold, we had nightly rain, cold temps (lowest was 32) and in the daytime temps were in the 60s. Happy Fishing!

Long Lake
Steve C.:
Went to Long Lake on Oct. 24 with five guys in party. Fished all day with no luck. Water VERY low, ramp out at least 30 feet. We were hoping for pike and were not sure if Game and Fish removed pike like they did at Ashurst. Any feedback would be helpful to avoid spending money and time chasing fish that are not there.

  • Steve: We’ve only removed pike from Ashurst Lake. Because the water level at Long Lake is so low, there may not be many pike remaining. Likely, the big pike have eaten the smaller ones. Consider trying nearby Soldier Lake. Lake levels are higher, and there’s pike, walleye, largemouth bass, and some giant bluegill – if you can get them to bite. Good luck. — Nick

Davis Dam, Colorado River
Bob S. from Orange, Calif.: Caught at Davis Dam, No. 12 hook, on cut anchovies (left).

BearCanyonTroutBear Canyon Lake
Ryan W.: Caught this rainbow (22-inch, 5- pound) at Bear Canyon Lake on Oct. 18 at 11:30 a.m. using a small Kastmaster with 6-pound test and a ultralight rod. What a fight.

Colorado River (Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam)
Charles S.: Water temp. in the current was 75.5 degrees,and 78 degrees near the back end of the lakes. Peggy and I primarily fished the upper reaches of Picacho State Park and fishing was fair at best.

Most of the fish we caught in the current were smallmouth, with a few largemouth here and there. We really didn’t catch many bass that were much more than 2 pounds, though we did boat one largemouth that was 3.5 pounds. All of the fish were caught with creature baits; they didn’t hit crankbaits at all for us.

If you’re planning on fishing in the upcoming weeks, plan on moving around because the fish don’t appear to be bunched up, nor do they appear to be very hungry. We also didn’t hear any reports of anyone catching any big fish, not even in the Saturday bass tournament.


Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

One of the state’s hot spots might be the lower Colorado River below Davis Dam, where this month we’re dumping 22,000 trout. It’s the first stocking reared by the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery in nearly a year!

There is a huge fishing pier at Willow Beach. You might even see some desert bighorn sheep. It’s also a great place to rent a kayak and explore the Black Canyon area below Hoover Dam.

Thinking of heading to the White Mountains for a final fall excursion? The best fishing is currently at Big Lake, where large cutthroat and some rainbows are coming into the shallow water. Most are still being caught on bait, but fly and lure fishing should get better from here on out.

Other good fishing spots are Silver Creek (catch-and-release only, artificial lure and fly only), Woods Canyon Lake, and Willow Springs Lake.

Also, the lower Salt River is scheduled to be stocked this week. See the full winter trout stocking schedule.

Welcome Back the Trout to Green Valley Lake in Payson

PHOENIX – After a four month wait, Payson residents and visitors can welcome back the rainbow trout to beautiful Green Valley Park this week.

“Fall is a wonderful time to visit the rim country, see the colors and relax and fish along the grassy shorelines of this popular urban fishery,” said Scott Gurtin, Community Fishing Program manager at the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The Green Valley lakes are located a mile west of Highway 87 on Main Street.

About 340 pounds of rainbow trout, averaging ¾ pounds, are arriving this week to kick off a trout season that features 11- to 14-inch fish delivered every two weeks until early May. Some 2-3 pound lunkers will be included.

No other fish species is stocked at Green Valley; however, good populations of bass, crappie, catfish and sunfish can be found in this productive lake ecosystem.

Trout can be caught on small spinners and spoons and with baits such as scented dough balls, worms or salmon eggs. Popular flies for trout are peacock lady and zebra midges fished slowly, 4-6 feet below the surface.

To catch more trout, use lighter line in the 2-6 pound range, smaller hooks and a minimal amount of weight. Limits on trout are four per day for licensed anglers.

Anglers age 10 and over must have a General Fishing, Combination Hunt and Fishing (ages 10-17), Combination Hunt and Fish or Community Fishing license to fish Green Valley Lakes. The Community Fishing license is $24, and like all licenses, is now valid 365 days from the date of purchase

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.

Catch a license

Good luck fishing, and remember that buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones.


(Send your fishing reports and photos to Bfishing@AZGFD.gov.)

Bartlett Lake

Bill S.: So I took my son (Beckett) and daughter (Sienna) out fishing yesterday off the pier in Rattlesnake Cove at Bartlett.

My daughter caught her first fish (bluegill) which was quite entertaining. I snapped a few photos from the day. I think the pictures are super cute, but I am biased. 🙂

Grant A.: My name is Grant A., 60 years old, Mesa resident 30 years, have fished Bartlett off and on for about 25 years. Had one of my best mornings ever Wednesday, Oct. 15. I was on the lake just before dawn — you could see to drive the boat, but the sun had not appeared. I launched at the ramp near the marina and caught my first bass about 200 yards out.

I fished the mouth of coves trolling shad-type diving lures. In early morning the wind was intense enough, so I put my life jacket on. But I kept getting strikes, so I kept fishing. Trolling shad deep-diving lures I caught 12 largemouth bass before 10 a.m. Only two were dinks, the others were more than 14 inches, nice and fat. I fished catch-and-release that day. I had constant hits and I think it was little bass hitting the lure and being shook free. I was trolling using the gasoline motor to control the boat in the waves and was moving faster than normal.

I’m a regular fisher guy and if it is this good for me you will slay them. I would suggest fishing more than just the shore area; I saw a lot of guys doing that and I’m pretty sure the bass were in 35-75 feet of water.

Lees Ferry

Darren W.: Just wanted to send in these pics from a huge Lees Ferry brown! Caught and released on Sunday, October 12, using panther martin.

As this is my first reporting of this fish, is there any way to see if it holds up to a record, only using the supplied photographs? Just wondering.

Fool Hollow Lake

Jim: Fishing here is poor to nothing. Been fishing here for three days with out a bite. Have talked to everyone I’ve seen all say they’ve caught nothing.

Lake Mohave

Russ L.: Oct. 13, Caught these on top waters, several more strikes and sightings from the shore at Lake Mohave. They seem to be all around the lake. We were using Zara Spooks and silver Pop Its between 4:30 p.m. and dark, all in one cove out of the wind!

Freestone Pond (Gilbert)

Aaron J.: Wonderful Saturday morning on Freestone pond in Gilbert. Thanks for stocking!!