Tag Archives: arizona fishing

Angler Reports: Oct. 15, 2014

BigBrownLeesFerryLees Ferry

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.

TopWaterMohaveLake 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!

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.

FreestoneCatfishFreestone Pond (Gilbert)

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

Roosevelt Lake/Mogollon RIm lakes/streams

Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods with an Oct. 11 report:

The talk around Rim Country continues to be the water flow into Roosevelt Lake. This past week, the rain has been hard at times and even flooded some roads in the area. This has resulted in big increases to the water flowing into the lake.

Both the Salt River and the Tonto Creek are flowing at well over 100 percent of what is normal for this time of year. The water coming into the lake continues to be a chocolate brown color and the closer you get to the ends of the lake, the worse the water conditions get. Not only is the water chocolate colored, the temperature of the water entering the lake is significantly colder than the main lake water temperature.

Anglers I spoke with this past week stated that they are only fishing the main lake areas from the Windy Hill ramp to the Cholla ramp. The good news is that bass fishing was called excellent this past week. I spoke with Ted Morton of Tonto Basin who reported catching 30-plus bass on two guide trips this week as well as other anglers who reported good numbers. Points and drop-off areas were identified as prime locations.

Top-water baits such as a Rio-Rico and a Zara Spook are working for schooling bass. Deep diving crankbaits were reported successful this past week and lots of fish are still being caught on a drop-shot technique using almost any color 4- to 6-inch worm and fishing in 10-20 feet depths. One other technique discussed was using a spinner-bait to to fish areas where the rising water level has covered grass along the shoreline.

Crappie fishing was called poor this past week. However, with the stable weather outlook for this coming week, the crappie bite is expected to improve. Look for crappie in 25-35 feet water, near rock piles or brush. Traditionally, November is the best crappie fishing on Roosevelt Lake due to the stable weather that month. So you crappie anglers, hang in there, your time is coming.

The winter trout stockings have been announced by AZGFD. Due to the cold weather on the Rim, those lakes and streams traditionally are not included in the winter stockings. You can see a complete list of all the planned stockings on the AZGFD website. Great news for the Community trout stocking program. Green Valley Lake, right here in Payson, will be stocked with trout for three consecutive weeks beginning this week. So if this is your favorite lake, it’s time to get ready. There are different regulations and bag limits for the Community Fishing Program so be sure to review the pamphlet you received with your license or review the Community Fishing Program rules online, before you fish.

Rim Country Custom Rods builds and repairs all kinds of fishing rods. If you have a treasured fishing rod that you would like to have restored to near new condition, give Rim Country Custom Rods a call to get a free quote. Rim Country Custom Rods is located in Payson and can be reached at 928-468-0263 or http://www.rimcountrycustomrods.com.

Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

AZ Angler Reports: Avoid debris in Roosevelt Lake; catch cats in Tucson

Roosevelt Lake

Roosevelt Lake
Roosevelt Lake

From Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

I have major updates on Roosevelt Lake this week, so let’s get right to them.

First, the lake level remained constant this past week at 38-percent full but you’ll recall last week the water level increased for the first time in a long time. The water level has come up about a foot of the past two weeks.

More good news is that the Salt River is flowing at about 500 cpfs and the Tonto Creek is flowing at about 50 cfps. The water coming into the lake is a chocolate brown color at both ends of the lake. On the Tonto end the discolored water is down to Rock Creek and on the Salt River end it’s as far as the Grapevine ramp. Along with the dark brown water, there is a lot of debris that has been pushed into the lake. Be extremely careful it you’re boating this week especially where water is flowing into the lake.

The water flowing into the lake is also impacting the water temperature. The freshwater entering the lake is in the low 70s while the clearer water in the main portion of the lake near the dam, is in the high 70s to low 80s.  The increased water level and the nutrients the freshwater brings to the lake are vital to the success of the fishery.

The water changes in the lake didn’t seem to have much impact on fishing reports. Fishing overall was called “good” this past week. For the first time this fall, I received reports that jigging spoons was catching good numbers of fish in 30 feet water.

Bass are feeding heavily right now on shad, and bass that are being caught have full bellies. These schools of bass chasing shad can be seen in the backs of coves, main lake points or along cuts on the shoreline. This time of year, you should always have a clear or silver color Rio Rico tied on a rod and ready to go.

Crankbaits were reported successful this past week and lots of fish are still being caught on a dropshot technique using almost any colored 4-6-inch worm and fishing in 10-20 feet depths.

Crappie fishing was called “pretty tough” this past week. With all the changes to the water condition this past week, crappie just seemed to be nowhere. If you’re planning to crappie fish this week, look to the mid lake areas. Experienced crappie anglers are using a vertical technique and fishing in 25-35 feet of water and always in brush or trees.

A 5-foot-6 to 6-foot ultra or light power and an extra-fast action rod is required to feel the bait through the brush. When fishing vertically for crappie, 95 percent of the time the hook will be in the roof of the mouth, so don’t be afraid to set that hook when you feel the bite.

Mogllon Rim lakes and streams

Trout stockings of the Rim lakes and streams has ended but there are lots of good trout still in Rim Country waters. Fall has arrived on the Rim, so if you’re planning a fishing trip, be sure to dress in layers. It will be around 40 degrees in the mornings and a very pleasant 65 degrees in the afternoons.

Green Valley Lake

Also, the Community trout stocking program is about start stocking trout into Green Valley Lake right here in Payson. The first stocking will occur the week of Oct. 13-17. You’ll recall that AZGFD changed the rules earlier this year so the Community Fishing Program is now included as part of your standard Arizona fishing license, no special tag is required.

Call Rim Country Custom Rods if you have any fishing rod questions or would like to know how a custom built rod will make you a better angler. Rim Country Custom Rods can be reached at 928-468-0263.

Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Willow Springs Lake

Shane V.: Saturday, Oct. 4 — Fishing from shore was hit and miss.  Seems yellow/green PowerBait was the ticket.  Got the boat out about 1 p.m.  Trolling where the main part of the lake enters the two arms and we’re catching pretty regular up until around 5 p.m.  While trolling, we caught fish on all of the following: bright green rooster tails; dark green and silver rooster tails; trout pattern rooster tails; yellow and red panther martins; rainbow trout pattern floating Rapalas.

WhtMtnTroutCrescent Lake/Big Lake

Ann M.: I took my family to the White Mountains … we fished four days at Crescent Lake and a couple days at Big Lake. My wife caught this 20-inch rainbow trout on Oct. 1 at Big Lake. A friend we fished with also caught an 18-inch rainbow trout the same day. Overall the fishing was slow. They were both caught using mice tails fished off bottom.

Rose Canyon Lake, Tucson

Mary S.: My son, daughter, and I went fishing at Rose Canyon Lake yesterday.   I talked with the forest ranger.  It closes on October 26.  We ended up catching 5 fish, but we saw others catching much more.  Considering it was stocked last week, we were not surprised.  It was a beautiful day there yesterday.  Couldn’t have asked for better!

Catfish from Silverbell Lake in TucsonSilverbell Lake, Tucson

Jared H.: Spent Saturday and Sunday morning (Oct. 4-5) at Silverbell Lake in Tucson.  The stocked cats were biting both mornings, especially Saturday.  All four fish caught Saturday were pushing, or more than, 2 pounds.  Sunday was the kicker with a 24-inch channel cat.  It was most likely more than 5 pounds and was a big surprise — so much fun to fight and land.  Included a couple pictures.  Really appreciate the urban stocking system.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Fall fishing is here, so let’s get right to it. Here’s a rundown of what’s changed since last week.

Kinnikinick Lake turns “brown”

Great news for Kinnikinick Lake — we just completed stocking about 10,000 brown trout. The fish averaged 5-14 inches. Fishing should be excellent this fall. If you’re on Facebook, see more details from our Flagstaff Regional Facebook page.

Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona reopens

See the story from fox10phoenix.com.

On Tuesday, however, the upper reach of Oak Creek didn’t look good. Our biologists didn’t see any fish, but they didn’t electrofish the creek so some fish could remain. There was a lot of gray silt on the bottom of the creek and biologists didn’t find many bugs under the rocks they turned over for fish to eat. The creek was also pretty murky. Because of this, the Department decided not to stock the upper part of the creek. The hatchery will continue stocking the portion down from Sedona.

Seasonal trout fishery at Silver Creek reopens

On Wednesday, the Silver Creek catch-and-release season reopened.

The fishing staff from Cabela’s was on hand, just like in years past. Also once again this year the Phoenix and Sierra Vista South Arizona Chapters of Project Healing Waters attended opening day.

Both Apache trout and rainbow trout were stocked again this year, with some fish tipping the scales at more than 3 pounds or so. A few trout are around 10 pounds.

The seasonal fishery is catch-and-release only.

Silver Creek is five miles east of Show Low on U.S. Route 60. Turn north off Highway 60 onto Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Road. Then head east on Hatchery Road 1 mile to the Silver Creek Hatchery, park in the parking lot, and follow the signs to the creek.

Remember that trout from this seasonal fishery must be immediately released unharmed – no trout may be kept. It is artificial lure and fly only with barbless hooks. The catch-and-release season is Oct. 1 to March 31.

Besides being a seasonal fishery, Silver Creek does have another unique quality – because the creek is spring fed and stays at a constant temperature it is not subject to freezing, which provides anglers a nice high country trout fishery to visit during winter.

Fossil Creek will open to fishing this Saturday, Oct. 4

Remember Fossil Creek is a catch and release chub fishery with a fly and lure single barbless hook regulation.
In case you missed it, our fall/winter trout stocking schedule is out. See the schedule and plan out some trout-fishing excursions.

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.)

Tempe Town Lake
Richard S.: I went bass fishing on the early morning of Friday, Aug. 26. I caught nine bass and one channel catfish in about three hours. Drop-shotting was the ticket, though one bass and the cat came trolling a Rooster Tail in white and red color.

I fished mostly the east end, by the buoys that protect the dam. Best color was a light blue, funny enough morning down did not work at all! Second best color was “holographic shad” from roboworm. One advice: get there early, by 8 AM the byte really slows down. And remember to use navigation lights if you launch the boat at 5 AM as I did, it’s still dark but row boats with their lights are around.

Chevelon Canyon Lake
Travis D. and Joel C. fished on Monday: Other than an underwater dam repair crew, we had the whole lake to ourselves, not another soul. The spillway was flowing fast and fairly deep. We hit the water late at about 7:30 a.m. but within 30 minutes we were getting strikes

Using a canoe we went upstream towards the inlet of the creek, only hitting a 20-minute stretch of nasty headwind. About a quarter-mile downstream of the inlet we started picking up some nice ones, including a fat 3.13-pound brown and several rainbows between 2-3 pounds. Their colors were beautiful and they put up some awesome fights on light tackle. Except for a couple smaller ones caught on spinners, most, including the larger ones, were caught on spoons while we trolled.

Total tally for day was 21, with only a few being less than ten inches. We got off the lake at 5 p.m. and debated hiking down to the pool below the spillway to try our luck there, but we knew we had a long trek ahead of us, pulling the canoe up the road by foot.

Though the difficulty of getting a larger boat to the lake and then back up again was an extreme obstacle, it was completely worth it and will be done again.


Northern Colorado River to receive trout

First stocking south of Davis Dam in nearly a year

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. –– Trout stocking south of Davis Dam has been on hiatus for nearly a year, but that will change beginning Oct. 1.

Trout from Arizona Game and Fish hatcheries, and raised by the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery, are ready for the first stocking south of Davis Dam since late 2013.

“This is great news and a fantastic opportunity for anglers on the Colorado River,” said Matt Chmiel, the Fisheries Program Manager for the Game and Fish Region 3 office in Kingman. “While fishing in the area has remained strong, trout have been recognizably absent for nearly a year.”

On Nov. 21, 2013, the Willow Beach hatchery conducted an emergency stocking of 11,000 rainbow trout when the low lake level made it impossible to draw in water due to a damaged lower-level pipeline. This fact, along with additional federal budget cuts, resulted in the closing of the sport fish part of the hatchery.

In early 2014, Game and Fish provided the national hatchery with 22,000 sub-catchable rainbow trout to raise to a catchable size while lake levels were high enough for the one functioning pipeline to draw in water.

“However, the lake level will soon be dropping and the time has come to stock the fish,” Chmiel said. “The timing is critical. All 22,000 fish must enter the river before water levels drop below the intake valve.”

Chmiel explained stockings will continue for several weeks in October at Rotary Park and Davis Camp.

“But there’s no need to focus on just those two locations,” he said. “Trout disperse quickly and many areas along that stretch of the river will work.”

For rainbow trout, Chmiel said small spinners and PowerBait are often effective, although marshmallows can work.

“Fishing is just a great way to relax and spend some time with the family with few interruptions,” Chmiel said. “Getting kids outside and away from the computers helps create an important connection with the outdoors.”

A fishing license is $37 for in-state residents and $5 for all youth ages 10-17. The license is good for trout and is valid for 12 months.

For a statewide fishing report, log on to the Game and Fish Department’s website at azgfd.gov. Licenses are available at the any of the Game and Fish regional offices or headquarters as well as at license dealers throughout the state and online at www.azgfd.gov/fishing.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

The window of sunlight that scours our waters is increasingly short-lived. Top-water action is picking up statewide. Elk have been heard bugling in the high country, there’s less boat traffic, fewer anglers, and yet far better fishing – welcome to anglers’ paradise.

First, before we consider conditions and what’s biting, let’s recognize the foundations of wildlife management. Good a time as any with National Hunting and Fishing Day Saturday, Sept. 27.

On May 2, 1972, President Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day, writing: “I urge citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in ensuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations.”

And with that, we recognize the hunters and anglers who, more than 100 years ago, were the most boisterous supporters of conservation and scientific management. They were led by fellow sportsman, President Theodore Roosevelt. Let’s celebrate with tight line and successful hunts.

It’s a transition phase into fall in many senses. The final summer trout stockings just took place at Woods Canyon Lake and Willow Springs Lake. Bull elk should be calling like crazy. A great fall spot for elk calling is Knoll Lake on the Mogollon Rim, which not only is a nice trout lake, it’s a scenic drive there along the famous Rim Road. Soon, the aspens should be showing off a new, fall wardrobe. Catfish stockings began last week at many Community Fishing Program lakes and ponds. And don’t forget that Oct. 3 marks the opening day of the quail, squirrel and duck hunting season.

Soon, the winter trout stocking schedule will be posted online. The first stockings the week of Oct. 5 will go to Huffer Pond, Beaver Creek (wet), Mingus Lake, West Clear Creek, Fain Lake, Lynx Lake and the Lower Salt River. See our Fish&Boat Arizona map for locations.

This is also a great time of the year to visit Lees Ferry. Fishing’s good, but anglers are few. This is the off-season as many trout anglers are probably off experiencing a good trout bite where the landscape’s clad in autumn colors.

This time last year, crappie fishing really began picking up at Roosevelt Lake. Check your fishing log, if you keep one, and see if that was your experience.

Other good bets this weekend are throwing your favorite top-water baits at Saguaro, Canyon, Apache and Roosevelt. Stripers are still stripping anglers’ line at Lake Pleasant (see the newest Anglers Report.)

Good luck, 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.

Silver Creek seasonal trout fishery opens Oct. 1

SHOW LOW, Ariz. — Get your most festive trout fishing hat ready – the seasonal trout fishery at Silver Creek opens Oct. 1.

“The opening has become a fun fishing get together,” said Hatchery Manager Ken McGown. “The cadre of opening day participants seems to grow each year.”

McGown said the fishing staff from Cabela’s will be on hand to help out, just like in years past. Also once again this year the Phoenix and Sierra Vista South Arizona Chapters of Project Healing Waters will be attending opening day.

“The anglers themselves have turned this into kind of an informal opening day fishing festival of sorts,” McGown said.

There will be both Apache trout and rainbow trout stocked again this year, with some fish tipping the scales at more than 3 pounds or so. A few trout will be around 10 pounds.

However, don’t expect to take anything home but smiles and memories – this seasonal fishery is catch-and-release only.

Silver Creek is five miles east of Show Low on U.S. Route 60. Turn north off Highway 60 onto Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Road. Then head east on Hatchery Road 1 mile to the Silver Creek Hatchery, park in the parking lot, and follow the signs to the creek.

Remember that trout from this seasonal fishery must be immediately released unharmed – no trout may be kept. It is artificial lure and fly only with barbless hooks. The catch-and-release season is Oct. 1 to March 31.

Besides being a seasonal fishery, Silver Creek does have another unique quality – because the creek is spring fed and stays at a constant temperature it is not subject to freezing, which provides anglers a nice high country trout fishery to visit during winter.


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

Colorado River (Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam)

Charles S.: After a few weeks off for some surgery, I finally managed to make it back to fishing the river. This particular weekend I guided a family on the river, water temps in the current hovered around 83.5 degrees in the current and 85 to 86 degrees in the lakes. Water quality is still pretty poor, with visibility around 10-12 inches in the areas that have any meaningful water flow. Water levels were low, which is normal for this time of year, though it seemed to have more flow than normal.

After spot-checking a bunch of key areas, we finally decided to go with crankbaits for the bulk of our lure selection, although we did do OK tossing smaller, soft swim baits in select areas. It’s been a while since I have fished with anyone other than my wife Peggy and almost forgot the joy that comes from taking others fishing. Pictured is Justin M. with a nice largemouth, Justin is a big man and his size makes the fish look small, even though it weighed in at 3.5 pounds. We caught a wide range of fish, big and small, and I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that we won’t see any major storms and that the water visibility will improve in a few more weeks.

From what I could tell the fish have pretty much gobbled up most of the baitfish balls, so crankbaits should continue to produce well for the next month or so.

Pena Blanca Lake

Doug L.: My friend Mike and I went to Pena Blanca yesterday, Sept. 20. Dodging a few light rains showers, we arrived at the lake about 8 a.m.

Water was running a small amount down the wash into the lake on its south end. The entire lake was chocolate brown. Getting on the water, we found what I call peat moss floating over a good portion of the lake, including branches and logs that had washed in.

The quarter of the lake in front of the dam was impossible to fish. We heard water going over the spillway. We eventually caught four small bass, which were released. All were caught drop-shotting. We gave up about 1:30 p.m. and headed home.

If you want to fish Pena Blanca for bass, I would recommend waiting a couple of weeks or longer to let the water and debris clear out some.

Patagonia Lake

Cody P.: So we got to Patagonia Lake Saturday morning at around 8 a.m. on Sept. 20. It was raining pretty good but it let up within the hour. We tried fishing during the day but only caught a bluegill. So we decided to wait until about 8 p.m. and went out again with our poles rigged for catfish.

The water was extremely murky from the rain but the catfish must have loved it because they were biting like crazy. I reeled in two large channel cats back to back that were about 5 and 6 pounds, maybe bigger or smaller; we didn’t have a scale. My brother in law reeled in a what felt like a 4-pounder and I caught about five small stockers with in about 2 1/2 hours. So all in all it was a very good night of fishing and I can’t wait to get back out there again.

Fortuna Pond, Yuma

John H.: The evening started off pretty slow for the channel cats, but about two hours after sundown the bite was on. He hit on chicken liver about two hours after sunset.

Bartlett Lake

Paul J.: Went to Bartlett Saturday. Expected to catch the usual one-pound bass — Bartlett is full of so you can understand my surprise when I caught a 5-pound bass on my third cast of the evening. Biggest fish I’ve caught at Bartlett.

Lake Pleasant

Derrick F., Striper Snatcher Guide Service: Despite a wrench in the late-summer fishing pattern with an incredible amount of rainfall and run-off, the fish are still capable of being caught. I’ve been seeing a consistent amount of shad fry, striper fry and full-size shad gradually rising in the water column in most northern creek arms.

It is important to match these baits they are chasing. I prefer reaction baits like the 1/4 and ½-ounce Rat-L-Trap with a chrome/blue pattern being a neutral choice.

During the day, great-sized striper are capable of falling to a one-ounce spoon in the same color as the reaction baits mentioned. At night, the secret to catching big striper is simple: go somewhere where the small striper will not venture — for me that is a minimum of 100 feet of water and off main lake points with structure nearby.


Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Near-record striper bass from Lake Pleasant -- 28.38 pounds
Near-record striper bass from Lake Pleasant — 28.38 pounds

This week’s report features an all-star striper.

It’s well-known that Lake Pleasant is an excellent spot to target striped bass, but Jason Blauvelt of Peoria nearly set an inland waters, hook-and-line state record for stripers at the lake just northwest of Phoenix on Saturday, Sept. 13.

Read all about the catch.

Striper fishing at Pleasant has been good in 40-70 feet of water using anchovies and spoons.

If you want to catch a giant fish, it helps to use a big fish as bait. It’s one of the reasons anglers use life-sized lures called swim baits.

Please keep in mind that it is not legal to use striped bass or other sport fish as live bait to catch, well, other sportfish. But check the regulations at Lake Pleasant, Alamo Lake and the impoundments along the Verde and Salt rivers — it is OK to use live carp or sunfish as live bait (collected onsite only).

The nights in the deserts are dropping into the seventies and mountain nights are sinking into the chilly 40s — fall fishing conditions are underway.

Those lowering nighttime temperatures, and the shortened daylight hours, combine to drop water temperatures into the prime activity ranges for bass in the warmwater lakes and trout in the mountain waters.

Fishing the Tucson area? Rains pounded those southern Arizona waters, making catfish a primary target because they tend to not be as affected by muddy, stained waters as bass and sunfish.

Catfish stockings have returned to many of the Community Fishing Program lakes. See more details about the stockings in our new-and-improved stocking schedule.

Angler reports

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

Brent G.: Thought I would send a pic from Friday, Sept.12. Went to Lake Mary for pike.. nothing for 2 and a half hours then BOOM, caught this 11-pound, 10-ounce pike. Still looking for the monsters that I know are in there.

Max B. from Thursday, Sept. 11: The trout are hitting on PowerBait floating off the bottom about 3 feet, and on flies in the morning and early evening.






Silver Creek seasonal trout fishery opens Oct. 1

This festive fishing get-together seems to draw more participants each year. This is the opening of the catch-and-release season (Oct. 1 – March 31.).

Silver Creek is five miles east of Show Low on U.S. Route 60. Turn north off Highway 60 onto Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Road. Then head eat on Hatchery Road 1 mile to the Silver Creek Hatchery, park in the parking lot, and follow the signs to the creek.

Trout from this seasonal fishery must be immediately released unharmed — no trout may be kept. It is artificial fly and lure only with single, barbless hooks.

A seasonal fishery, Silver Creek is spring fed and stays at a constant temperature. Because it is not subject to freezing, it provides anglers ideal wintertime, high-country trout stream angling.

See the full report.

Angler Reports, June 24, 2014

Mogollon Rim/Roosevelt Lake

June 21 abbreviated report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

IMG_3756Roosevelt Lake water level dropped another 1% this past week and currently stands at 45% full. The Tonto Creek has stopped flowing the Salt River is flowing at 40% of its normal rate for this time of year.

The water temperature is increasing with morning temperatures in the low 80s increasing to the mid-to-high 80s during the afternoon.

The water clarity increased this past week and is now being called clear or slightly stained depending on where you’re fishing on the lake. The Tonto end of the lake is reported to be more clear than the Salt River end.

Bass fishing was called good this past week. Post-spawn bass are still chasing shad on the surface, but that bite clearly slowed this past week. The best success was reported this past week on Texas-rig and Carolina rig 6-inch green lizards.

A dropshot technique using a morning dawn or camo-colored Roboworm and a weightless Senko were also reported successful.

Most anglers reported fishing main lake points in 15-25 feet water.

The best time to fish reported this past week was the late afternoon until dark when the fish begin moving to shallow water. One experienced angler reported a good jerk bait bite in shallow water that lasted from sunset until after dark.

Crappie reported “fair” at Roosevelt

Night time crappie fishing was reported to be fair this past week. The moon phase should make small jigs and small spinnerbaits effective this week, but most anglers prefer to use live minnows for night time crappie fishing.

Rim trout fishing

If you haven’t made a trip onto the Rim for some trout fishing, you need to make plans. The Rim lakes are well stocked and anglers are having great success.

Lots of baits were reported successful this past week. So just about any trout bait you like to fish will catch trout. Fly anglers are gradually switching to dry flies as many insects can now be seen on the surface.

If you’re a fly angler, the old adage of matching the hatch will apply to the rim trout lakes. Now if you are camping this weekend, please read the AZGFD website related to the level II fire restrictions. The forest is extremely dry in most areas so be extremely careful.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Saguaro Lake

Jim F. of Tempe had fun with a summer-pattern bass at Saguaro Lake: Looks like the good summer fishing patterns are finally here. My buddy and I hit Saguaro slightly before first light on Saturday (June 21) and caught well over a dozen nice bass within a couple of hours.

All were caught on top-water lures and all attacked the bait voraciously. We mainly used Zara Spooks, but also got a couple of hits using a medium-sized frog.

After the top-water action fell off we went into a cove and threw jerk baits for a while. My buddy hooked up on a good sized bluegill and as he brought it near the boat a really big bass inhaled the bluegill.
Apparently most of the treble hooks were in the bluegill, because as he brought it up to the top of the water the bass opened his mouth and slid away. Maybe we’ll get him next time!
Anyway, the bite is on, so get out there and have a blast like we did.

Canyon Lake

CanyonLakeBiggieI caught this monster bass on a shad about 7am last Thursday. Don’t know how much he weighed but, I’ll get a scale now. Cory Kunselman

Roper Lake

RoperLakefishHi, my name is Mike M. and I took the kids fishing on Roper Lake June 19-21. It was great. We caught 22 largemouth total. The first eight were caught Thursday afternoon ‘till dark. All eight were a pound or less.

On Friday, 12 more were caught, and four of them in the 2-3-pound range, and the other eight were less than that. Fished from 6 a.m. -12, than again after 4:30 p.m. ‘till 7 p.m.

On Saturday morning, we only caught two in the morning from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. from the shore. All the other fish were caught from a 12-foot jon boat. All fish were caught on a shallow crankbait, the same one but two different colors.

Lake Pleasant

PleasantStriperLook at these striper I caught at Lake Pleasant June 17. Do not know how much they weigh, but they were big…. got them on anchovies about 30 feet down.

Tempe Town Lake

Brothers J.C. and Scott always do relatively well on Tempe Town Lake. Key is to get there at first light. We fished the east end of the lake by the small dam Thursday, and caught at least one of every type fish in the lake, except for trout.

Large and smallmouth bass, bluegill, several nice catfish, and a 12-pound carp. All were hitting on Mepps minnow spinners and red/white striped spoons.

JC said. “I must have bounced the red and white spoon right in front of the carp, as it’s unusual for them to hit lures. Had a great 15-minute battle to wear him down and get him in the net. He barely fit! We caught 13 fish, all released, within the first two hours. Then it slowed steadily as the day warmed up. One of the nicer bass is pictured above, by Scott. You don’t need to get out of town to catch fish, just get up early and hit the local lakes.”


Take your family fishing on Arizona’s Free Fishing Day

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 7 this year as part of National Fishing and Boating Week. 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 14, 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.

Times and locations of events are:

  • Lake Pleasant Regional Park, Saturday, June 7, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Phoenix):

    Lake Pleasant Regional Park will be providing loaner fishing gear and some bait. No registration is required, although there is a $6-per-vehicle park entry fee. Once inside the park, simply follow the program signs.

  • Dunton Fort Rock Ranch, Saturday, June 7, 7 a.m. to noon. (Near Kingman):

    This “Fishing for Smiles” event is open to kids 5-15 years. Kids must bring a parent. Lunch and refreshments are provided. Use loaner equipment, or bring your own rod and reel. Registration is available at the KRMC Kids Day at the Kingman Regional Medical Center (Saturday, May 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), or pre-registration is available at: Bob Kay State Farm Inc., 2425 Hualapai Mtn. Rd.; East Side Shell, 2901 E. Andy Devine; or Arizona Game and Fish Department Kingman regional office on 5325 Stockton Hill Rd. To get to Dunton Fort Rock Ranch, drive east on I-40 to Fort Rock Rd. (exit 91), turn left, and drive about 200 yards to Dunton Fort Rock Ranch. Go through the gate and follow the signs. For more information, contact Bob Kay at (928) 718-9500 or Bill Shilling at (928) 279-9201.

  • Goldwater Lake, Saturday, June 7, 9 a.m. to noon. (Near Prescott)

    During this fishing clinic, loaner rods and reels will be provided, bait will be available, and no fishing license is required for those who register. An Arizona Game and Fish Department expert will be on hand to tie knots and answer any fishing-related questions. Goldwater is scheduled to be stocked May 26-June 1.

  • Parker Canyon Lake, Saturday, June 14, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Near Sierra Vista)

    The Sierra Vista Ranger District will celebrate National Get Outdoors Day at Parker Canyon Lake from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. National Get Outdoors Day is intended to encourage children to recreate outdoors, and all activities will be free of charge. Day-use fees will be waived. Visitors are encouraged to contact the Sierra Vista Ranger District at (520) 378-0311 to determine which recreation sites have fees waived, and if concessionaires will charge fees.

Community Fishing Bulletin, June 2, 2014

Catfish stocking cancelled at Water Ranch Lake due to golden alga

As part of routine water testing, the town of Gilbert’s contracted lake consulting company detected golden alga in last week’s water sample. The lake was promptly treated with an approved algaecide to control the golden alga bloom.

Golden alga is a microscopic plankton that, generally at high levels, releases toxins that can be lethal to fish. Present in Phoenix area lakes since 2005, the lethal algae poses no risk to humans or pets. A follow-up test on May 28 showed low levels of golden alga were still present in the lake water. Another treatment is scheduled for the lake to try to knock out this pesky algae. Catfish stockings for Water Ranch Lake are suspended until follow-up tests are negative for golden alga.

Anglers are reminded to take precautions to not move any water, live fish or wet objects from lake to lake. Remember to clean, drain and dry all items that come in contact with the lake water before moving to another lake.

Spring trout stocking season winding down

Rising temperatures signals that the end of the spring catfish stocking season is coming soon. There are only two catfish stockings left: one was the week of May 26-31, and another the week of June 9-14. There are no fish stockings scheduled between June 15 through September 14 for any of the CFP lakes and ponds.

Catfish stockings for CFP waters will resume the week of September 15-20.

See the CFP stocking schedule.

The new expansion waters will also receive one final spring stocking of catfish and bluegill. These will be stocked the week of June 2-7. These waters include the new additions in Yuma, Maricopa, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Glendale. For more information about these waters and fishing regulations visit our website at www.azgfd.gov.

Do your part and turn in poachers!

Call Operation GAME THIEF (1-800-352-0700)

We need your help in catching poachers. Fishing without a license and taking too many fish are common violations. This interferes with our ability to manage fishing lakes and reduces YOUR opportunities to catch fish.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Operation Game Thief is an anti-poaching program that encourages the public to report any suspicious activity or knowledge about a poaching violation. A toll-free hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-352-0700, or the information can be reported on the Department’s website (www.azgfd.gov).

Your report can remain CONFIDENTIAL upon request, and REWARDS of up to $8,000 are available for information leading to an arrest. Do your part in helping the Department by reporting poachers.

Arizona Game and Fish rescues more than a half-million trout from Sterling Springs Fish Hatchery

With Slide Fire raging nearby, fingerling trout transported to safety

SEDONA, Ariz.—With the Slide Fire bearing down on Sterling Springs Fish Hatchery, the Arizona Game and Fish Department on Saturday, May 25, rescued some 600,000 trout fingerlings from the hatchery and transported them to safe sites.

The Sterling Springs Fish Hatchery typically produces 1.6 million eggs annually. In addition, the hatchery is responsible for 68 percent of the trout production for stocking in state waters. The emergency fish rescue operation that began at 6 a.m. helped ensure Arizonans will have trout to catch, and protected a portion of threatened, native Apache trout.

Four trucks made two trips each to transport more than 350,000 rainbow trout and 150,000 brown trout to Page Springs Hatchery, as well as more than 80,000 Apache trout to Canyon Creek Hatchery. Another 200,000-plus fry remain in Sterling Springs Hatchery tanks, too small to move, yet relatively protected.


Before the rescue, the Slide Fire incident management team ensured the hatchery was safe enough to allow Game and Fish personnel to enter and exit with minimal risk.

“Wednesday afternoon, things were getting pretty bad close to here,” said Bryce Sisson, manager at the Sterling Springs Fish Hatchery. “We could see flames less than a quarter mile from the hatchery that afternoon when we left. A helicopter was dropping water real close to the hatchery. It was looking pretty scary on Wednesday.”

Water for the hatchery is delivered through a pipeline more than 1 mile long. Any fire compromise to the pipeline, which is fragile and above ground, would have quickly killed fish. Also, when monsoons come, water delivery again is at risk from a potential overland flow of ash, silt and debris that could put all trout in the hatchery runways at risk.