Tag Archives: Bartlett Lake fishing

High flows from Bartlett Lake likely this weekend

Increased run-off from snow melt due to warmer weather, coupled with a storm forecast for this weekend, could result in releases between 5,000 and 10,000 cfs out of Bartlett Lake this weekend.

Already, the Verde River watershed is at more than 184-percent precipitation for the year; Bartlett Lake is at 83-percent full.

The flows would likely begin Sunday night, move through Granite Reef Dam and into the Lower Salt River early Monday morning. The flows in the lower Salt River could continue for several days depending on the amount of snow melt.

With these likely releases, please be aware of your location and do not cross flooded roadways.

At this time, the Roosevelt system has plenty of water storage capacity.

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Arizona Game and Fish Department  employees ready to ride out to several high elevation lakes on snowmobiles to monitor water quality under the winter ice. These lakes (Crescent Lake, Carnero Lake, and Lee Valley Lake) are all more than 9,000 feet in elevation and develop thick ice cover for 3-4 months during the winter. Because of the productive nature of these lakes, this ice cover can lead to a loss of oxygen and produce a winter fish kill, which greatly limits the fishing opportunities in these lakes. Biologists monitor the water quality conditions during the winter to gather data that will help them develop solutions to preventing or reducing the fish kills. Since the roads to these high elevation lakes are closed during the winter, snowmobiles are the only way to get there.

Water temperatures across the state have dropped to their winter standards, and rain and snow has slowed or stalled driving in the high country.

Be sure to check the Arizona Department of Transportation website for the latest road conditions.

Also boaters must use caution when fishing some of our high-inflow lakes such as Roosevelt Lake, where some boating hazards, including some full-sizes trees, had been knocked into the lake.

OK, ready for some winter fishing? First, anglers can pick a species to target, then figure out where you’ll go and how you’ll fish ’em. Here are some updates on a few popular species to target:


It’s a great time to take on our Arizona Trout Challenge and explore some new waters. Read about the Challenge. 

Also, this week we’re stocking larger-than-usual fish into Community Fishing Program lakes and ponds: 13-16 inches in length, and averaging 1 pound or greater. The fish are going into: Silverbell; Riverview; Papago #1; Kennedy; Green Valley #1; Papago #2; Sahuarita; Green Valley #2; Papago #3; Lakeside; Green Valley #3; Steel Indian; Copper Sky; Red Mountain; Encanto; Veterans Oasis; Water Ranch; Cortez; Desert Breeze; Chaparral; Rio Vista; Kiwanis; Evelyn Hallman; Surprise; Desert West; Alvord; Pioneer.

Also, our expansion waters last week received bonus trout.

These waters were: Friendship Pond, Avondale; Bonsall Pond, Glendale; Roadrunner Pond, Phoenix; McQueen Pond, Gilbert; Freestone Ponds, Gilbert; Discovery Ponds, Gilbert; Dave White Park Pond, Casa Grande; Pacana Park Pond, Maricopa.


It’s not an easy time to catch bass, so know your winter tactics. With typical wintertime water temperatures (surface temperature in the desert lakes are in the low-50s) a largemouth bass becomes lethargic and may feed once at first light and be satisfied for a couple days.

This isn’t to say avoid bass fishing. Just be prepared. Consider that about 10 percent of largemouth bass in our lakes will be staying shallow, or within the first 10 feet of the bank, throughout the day. As the sun comes up, many will travel deep where they might settle into a comfortable 66 degrees (say, 25 feet down.) This also is where the shad has been. In fact, as pointed out by  Gary Senft, Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, the deeper the water, the more plentiful the bait.

Target points, humps, reefs and islands.

And fish slowly. For example, creep a dropshot-rigged Roboworm (bass might be eating a lot of orange and red colors, such as Salt River craw) along the bottom. Wait for a possible, subtle bite as the bait is falling. This is where bite-feeling techniques such as holding or thumbing your line as the bait is falling can be critical to catching a bass. Also, this is when having better gear such as fluorocarbon line and sensitive rod tips can make a big difference. Check online about the advantages of having tungsten weights.



Recent storms haven’t helped crappie fishing. Crappie prefer stable weather and clear water. Expect crappie fishing to pick back up at crappie hot spots Roosevelt Lake and Alamo Lake in 1-2 weeks. (Apache Lake was a crappie hot spot this time last year.)


Your fishing license

Although this is the time many anglers renew their licenses, our licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. Buy your license online and fish our great state for a year (and help conserve all species of wildlife while doing so.)

Upcoming free fishing clinics

What: Youth and Family Fishing Day
When: Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Red Mountain Park , 7745 E. Brown Rd., Mesa, 85207
Comments: Arizona Game and Fish Department and City of Mesa Parks and Recreation invite you to a family fishing day at Red Mountain Park. Fishing license fees will be waived by registering with AZGFD during the hours of the event. Bait will be provided as well as loaner equipment will be available. There is no cost for this event!

See the rest of the fishing clinics schedule.

Angler reports


(Send your fishing reports and picture to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)

Freestone Park

Liz F.: I handed my rod to a 5 year old  (Jan. 14) and he reeled in a beautiful large trout. His first fish, too. It was the best watching him experience the excitement of the reel and landing it himself! Caught 4 today and earlier in the week caught upwards of a dozen since Sunday, but throw ‘em all back. Thanks for the fun!




Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal


With desert nights dipping into the 70s and mountain nights dropping to the 40s, fall fishing conditions are in effect.

Community conditions are in effect, too. The first Community Fishing Program catfish stockings are next week! So by next weekend (Sept. 26-27), anglers can head to many of the community lakes and ponds and drop something stinky to the bottom for some tasty Arkansas-raised catfish. See a Community stocking schedule for details of which waters will be stocked.

Water temperatures are in prime activity ranges for bass in warmwater lakes and trout in mountain waters — stripers are going crazy at Lake Pleasant.

Although high-country summer trout stockings are winding down, fishing typically picks up at Big Lake this time of the year. Last week, two anglers caught cutthroat trout (23 and 24 inches) while fly fishing. Bull elk tend to call like crazy there, too.

Knoll Lake along the Mogollon Rim can be an elk-calling cathedral. Aspens should soon be turning colors along the famous Rim Road, which basically follows the General Cook Trail.

Have fun, and be sure to buy a license online, which helps make sure there are fishing options for future generations.

Want to learn how to fish for free?

We have a bunch of free fishing clinics statewide. See our Fish AZ blog Free Public Events page for upcoming events.

Another reminder that the Silver Creek catch-and-release season is Oct. 1. This opening has become a festival of sorts and the public is invited. This seasonal fishery is catch-and-release only.



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

Mittry Lake

Michael H.: 8-pound bass caught from Mittry Lake.

I actually put him back only to get bigger.

I want Mittry lake to have potential to hold the world’s biggest bass.

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.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

In the desert impoundments, predatory fish have become more active. Crankbaits and buzzbaits and jigs are drawing increasingly more largemouth bass strikes. But with a full moon Oct. 8, using submersible lights to attract the plankton-shad-bass food-chain links is not as viable — for now. Another possibility is that the best fishing could be at first and last light, which isn’t all that abnormal.

Regardless, this weather makes it pretty nice to be outside. Grab a final slice of summer, or the first nibble of fall, and take advantage of one of many fishing options. This is the time for flathead catfish. At Bartlett Lake, in particular, they’re roaming the waters looking for meals to add some winter fat. It’s that time! See a video that includes how-to information for flathead newbies.

Our winter trout stocking program is slowly but surely ramping up! See the schedule.

Last week, Fain and Lynx lakes in the Prescott area were stocked, and this week Goldwater Lake is getting a load of rainbows. After you catch some rainbows at one of these lakes, be sure to visit the Sharlot Hall Museum just a block away from the Prescott Town Square (http://sharlot.org/). It’s really an interesting place the whole family will enjoy. There is even an old one-room school house (right) from the Territorial Days of Arizona’s colorful past.

This coming week, we’re also stocking Francis Short Pond and Marshall Lake in Flagstaff.

At Big Lake, PowerBait fished on the bottom remains the primary option. Anglers reported catching rainbows as large as 6 pounds, according to Ray at the Big Lake Store. Despite some heavy rains, the fall leaves haven’t fallen, so get out and enjoy the sights of autumn, and sounds of line zinging away, while you can.

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.)

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.

Crescent 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. It is not closed yet, as reported in your newsletter. 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!

Silverbell 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.

Kevin G.: We used worms and light tackle for bluegill. My technique is to be patient, but sometimes I’m not. We go around to weed beds where fish are, but mostly near the stocking-fish gate.

Canyon Lake

I took the family fishing on Oct. 7 at Canyon Lake. I was lucky enough to land this 20-inch bass.

Kinnikinick Lake

Jeff G.: Just wanted to share our experience from Kinnikinick Lake yesterday. My fishing buddy Joe and I had never been to Kinnikinick nor had we ever caught Brown Trout before. Fishing mainly lures we managed to land 7 browns and 3 rainbows and we were off the water by 2:30pm. One of the browns was just under 3 pounds. We hooked up with many other fish but the browns proved to be tricky to land as we lost several inches from the shore. The lure of choice was a green rooster tail. All but two of the fish we wrangled took the green rooster tail with a welcome aggressiveness.


Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Lake Powell-2 (3)

Widespread rains, and early-week flooding in the Phoenix areas, have generally helped drop water temperatures. Look for fish to possibly get more active. It can take a couple of days or more for the fish to get active again, but when they do you will likely see them enter more aggressive feeding patterns.

For starters, the top-water striper bite, especially at Lake Pleasant, should begin to pick up. Get there at first light or you might miss the boils. Cover lots of water and look for birds or surface activity. Try top-water lures, jerkbaits and flies. (Zara Spook Juniors and buzzbaits tend to be successful this time of the year.)

As water temperatures slowly drop during this fall transition, fish will move up in the water column, along with shad. Top-water options will improve. This is a good weekend to find out.

And be sure to check out the Lake Powell information in the full report. You might run into some of the best fishing you’ll find this year for striped bass, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.

In the high country, the cool, refreshing rain might just be the ticket to lower water temperatues that get the bite going there as well, assuming that associated runoff doesn’t make the water turbid. Trout don’t always like cloudy water.

This might just be the event to bring the trout into the shallows at places like Big Lake, Woods Canyon, Willow Springs and the like. Already last week at Big Lake, some trout were busting surface bugs in the shallows at sunset.

Buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones.

Community Fishing Program: return of catfish, Water Ranch in Gilbert special regulations

Catfish stockings resume next week!

Deliveries of 1.5- to 2-pound catfish are scheduled to restart the week of Sept. 14-19 at the CFP “core” waters.

During the hot summer months from June 25 through Sept. 15, there are no scheduled catfish stockings at Urban Fishing Program waters. Once lake temperatures begin to drop entering the fall season, then catfish stockings can resume again.

Welcome back, Mr. Whiskers.

The core waters are: Desert Breeze and Veterans Oasis in Chandler; Copper Sky in Maricopa; Red Mountain and Riverview in Mesa; Pioneer and Rio Vista in Peoria; Alvord, Cortez, Desert West, Papago Ponds, and Steel Indian School Pond in Phoenix; Chaparral Lake in Scottsdale; Surprise Lake; Evelyn Hallman Pond and Kiwanis Lake in Tempe.

Check out our Fish&Boat AZ map for locations of the state’s top fisheries, including the CFP waters.

Water Ranch Lake in Gilbert has been approved to become a special-regulations water beginning Jan. 1.
Regulations will be catch and release for bass and sunfish and catch and keep for trout, catfish and other species. The lake will be stocked once per month.

Until Jan. 1, daily bag limits will remain four catfish and four trout.

Finally, Freestone Park Pond in Gilbert will be added to the CFP. The Arizona Game and Fish Department will begin stocking the pond in October.

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.


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

Apache Lake

Tom A.: Had a very good time fishing on Apache Lake this weekend. We used Rapala Nos. 5 and 7. The weather is cooling a bit, and the yellow bass were out in force as well, like we haven’t seen all summer. These pictures say it all.

Sunrise Lake

Eric K.: My dad and I took my 4-year-old daughter up to Sunrise Lake on Saturday, Sept. 6. This was her first fishing trip and just like I had learned from my dad, it was time to pass on the tradition.

My father and I didn’t have the highest expectations from neither my daughter nor the fishing, but wanted to get out anyways. We arrived around 9:15 a.m. and rented a boat for 2 hours. The gentlemen mentioned that people were catching by the dam and we noticed around 20-plus people fishing from shore. We decided to venture out around the island on the east side of the lake.

We anchored, and after a few quick photos for mom, we showed my daughter how to cast. Like most kids and the lack of patience my daughter immediately asked if she could reel in. Before I could finish my explanation of the need to leave the bait in the water, I noticed her rod tip bouncing like her brother after a late-night dessert. As I watched her eyes light up with excitement and terror of not knowing what to do next, I quickly showed her how to reel up the line.

She was too excited for words, and at that moment I knew she was hooked. Her first fish was a rainbow trout and was around 13 inches. She watched as we took the fish and put it on the stringer. She quickly cast back out and within minutes was pulling in another fish. And then another shortly after.

As much as my dad and I were excited for her, we started to get frustrated at the fact we hadn’t caught one.

Just as we sarcastically joked about it my dad caught a huge trout. Had to have been 18-20 inches and weighed at least 3-4-plus pounds. He was shocked to see the size of this trout and looked at me to help get it in the boat.

Unfortunately, we didn’t bring a net as most of our fishing trips in Arizona have never required one. The fish shook the hook as my dad tried to lift the fish out of the water and in the boat. On my dad’s very next cast he caught a fish similar in size to the other ones my daughter caught.

Before long I started to catch them as well. I was amazed at how great the fishing was. Before long, and in less than 2 hours, we caught our limit. As we pulled anchor and took a few more photos, my daughter looked to me and her grandpa and said that “it was the best day ever!”

I must say that I was surprised to have such success in such a minimal amount of time on the water. We enjoyed everything about going to Sunrise Lake that day and can’t wait to go back up very soon!


Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Storms early in the week dumped on many fisheries statewide, which not only cranked up any inflows, it created a jolt of nutrients and oxygen that turned some fish on.

At some lakes, the inflows may be a bit turbid. A key can be fishing the edge of a stain line. Also fish near a feeder creek where there is an influx of nutrients that brings in bait fish, and in turn, sport fish.

That said, it sounds like the lower Colorado River from Picacho State Park to the Imperial Dam has been much better for flathead catfish than bass. The bass bite reportedly was poor due to the storms lowering the water temperature and making the water murky.

But Rich Fritz isn’t complaining. He caught the above flathead catfish out of the Colorado River in Yuma on Aug. 24 that measured 48.25 inches and weighed 55 pounds and 11.84 ounces. It’s a new Big Fish of the Year leader for the flathead catch-and-keep category. Catfishing also is great at Alamo Lake and Bartlett Lake.

Catfish stocking will return to the Community Fishing Program lakes on Sept. 14. Get rigged and ready.

The high-country summer trout stockings are winding down. In the White Mountains, we’re stocking Fool Hollow Lake (400 13-inch rainbow trout), Show Low Lake – (850 13-inch rainbows), Willow Springs Lake (1,895 rainbows), Woods Canyon Lake (3,060 rainbows), East Fork Black River (1,000 Apache trout), Little Colorado River in Greer (500 Apache trout), Sheeps Crossing (500 Apache trout), and Silver Creek (500 Apache trout).

Our Fish&Boat Arizona map will show plenty of other options.

Also, see a full list of fire restrictions in Arizona.

Buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend by kicking back with a rod in hand and an ice chest full of fish.


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

Encanto Lake

Vini U.: It’s been a great week to fish for carp at Encanto Lagoon, day or night. They’ve even been biting in the pouring rain. I caught all three of these fish off of 4-pound test on an Ultra-Light rod. Use a few pieces of corn and a No. 6 hook and you’ve got yourself a great fight on Ultra-Light tackle.

Colorado River (Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam)

Charles S.: I fished the river on Sunday and Monday and the bass bite was extremely poor. Recent storms and lower air temps have lowered the water temps by about 5 degrees, with average surface temps around 83.5 degrees, water is still murky. We fished both current and a few of the lakes and only caught a few dinks over the entire weekend. We were asked by a few bass fishermen if we were able to establish any type of pattern and I could only hang my head in shame. With the Labor Day weekend upon us, I doubt I will do much fishing until after the holiday. The good news is that almost everyone that fishes for flatheads are reporting that they are catching lots of double-digit fish as well as a few trophy fish.

Steele Indian School Park

Andrew R.: This bass was caught by my girlfriend on a Zoom plastic motor oil/ chartreuse 5-inch worm. Greatest catch of hers and weighed 2.4 pounds on site. Caught on Aug. 23 about 2 p.m. in about 10 feet of water between weed lines. Location was Indian School and Hayden. Indian School Park, I believe. Small, non-stocked lake.

She has been actively fishing for about one year and has excelled in every type of fishing that I have presented her. The motivation and willingness to learn has led to her catching catfish, trout, carp, bluegill, and largemouth bass. With a little know how and the right tools she can seek and destroy any type of fish she is after.

Ryon G.: At Steele Indian School Park, caught nice size catfish on dip bait on Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. Pounds unknown — did not have a scale with me, but it was 25.5 inches long.

Saguaro Lake

Steve: I fished Saguaro from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 15. Had some top-water nibbles from 5 a.m. to 5:30 a.m., but nothing hooked. I was using top-water hard bait.

Switched to a Texas rig in all colors from 5-30 feet of water… nothing. Rigged up a 3-inch swimbait for 5-10 feet of water and caught three largemouth bass in the 2-3.5-pound range.

The water temp was 85 degrees, no wind and very little traffic. Fished until 9 a.m. with no action after 7:30 a.m.

I went back to Saguaro on the 18th (Monday). Hit the water at 4 a.m. and fished until 9 a.m. There was a fishing tournament going on and there were about 27 boats at the boat ramp. Since they weren’t getting on the water until 5 a.m., I went around them. Usually I watch these guys and try to mimic their fishing methods — not today.

I got back to Shiprock (I think that’s the name). I noticed a load of fish at 5-10 feet and 25-30 feet with shad above and below the bigger fish.

I started throwing top water above the shad and got nothing. Switched to a 6-inch swimbait and hooked nine largemouth bass by 5:45 a.m. All were 2-4 pounds. The sonar showed the shad collecting from the surface to about 10 feet with the larger fish at 15 feet.

While tying on some different lures, I started seeing and hearing some serious top-water action. Threw some top-water bait and got nothing.

Switched to a shallow (1-3 foot depth) crankbait and pulled in a 4.5-pound and a 5-pounder in less than 10 minutes.

I followed the action west through the canyon toward the big water and caught another 10 largemouth.

Around 8:30 am the fish started going deep. I had to make a decision… keep fishing or go home a look for a job. Decided a job would be best if I want to keep the boat.

Lake Pleasant

Bruce B.: Stripers under lights in 60-70 feet, Aug. 22.

Arivaca Lake

Joe N. in Amado: I made a trip to Arivaca Lake this (Friday) morning. The lake is super low and there is a lot of vegetation between the boat ramp and the nearest point of water, which is approximately 200 yards.

Even with the rain it has received it is still very low.

The best bet for getting on the water would be a kayak, canoe, or something light you could throw in the bed of a truck or rooftop. Didn’t do any fishing, but I’m sure you could have some success early mornings and towards evening. This is going on the third year of not enough rain from the monsoons to fill the lake.

If it continues….it may be helpful to install some sort of a low water ramp or access farther down the lake where everyone unloads their boat. I’ve visited the lake several times and always find that I can’t get my boat in the water even though it’s only a little 12 feet.

You guys did an awesome job on the new boat ramp and floatable dock, but I think it’s gonna be a long time before it gets any use. I believe the water table needs to come up 4-5 feet before there will be any use of the new ramp and dock.

Other than that, the road leading down to the lake is in good shape. Good luck to those of you who can get on the water and enjoy the fishing. It’s still a very scenic and peaceful place to go and spend some time with the family.

Hope this helps as I haven’t seen any recent reports about Arivaca Lake.

Tempe Town Lake

C.P.: Rich S. reported he cracked the code… I went out there today and had a great time. Caught three largemouth bass in about an hour and a half using a Carolina rig.

All three were keepers, but I released them because I was just having fun.

This is the type of fishing that makes fishing fun. My Carolina rig: red No. 2 hook with a rubber crawdad on a 12-inch lead, swivel, red glass bead, half-ounce brass slide weight. Thanks, Rich S.


Game and Fish Department investigates

use of aircraft to harass wildlife

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating a reported incident of harassing wildlife with an aircraft. Multiple reports were received by the Department on Aug. 22 and 23, 2014 from a number of concerned archery hunters who witnessed the incidents. Read the full article.


Angler reports: What’s biting from the desert to the mountains

Arizona anglers’ fishing reports


LakePlezstripersJoshua M. had a striper bonanza at Lake Pleasant: Caught these in about 45-55 feet of water on frozen anchovies, and a drop light. The total depth of the location was just over 200 feet. I set the drop light at 15 feet or so, waited quietly for about 30 minutes, and then the action began and continued until dawn.

I had a great time, as it was my birthday and I caught all the fish needed for our fish fry! Thanks to the AZGFD and Pleasant Harbor for making times like these possible!

 Justin E. found that good ol’ nightcrawlers was the only last weekend ticket at Bear Canyon Lake: Figured I would send over my day out there. Got there around 4 p.m. for the afternoon/evening bite.

Used an assortment of Z-Ray’s in all different sizes, Kastmasters in different finishes and sizes, and a Mepps. Not a nibble on any lure, just miniature fish following it in.

Also tried chartruse Powerbait fished off the bottom, no bites either. Tried PowerBait with a bobber and nothing.

Lake was busy, walked almost the length of the lake on one side and couldn’t get more than 100 paces from another group of people. Tried the trailhead side of the lake from four different positions and sitting on the dam. No other groups reported much in the way of good luck. A few fish here and there all using good old fashioned night crawlers.

RedMtnBgillTodd B. reported that bluegill such as the one pictured were hitting nonstop at Red Mountain Lake the morning of June 13: I was using 1/8-ounce Rat-L-Traps, and small  Beetle Spins. I could not keep them off of the line.

Charles S. with a Colorado River report from Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam: Air temps have been triple digit and water temps in the current are hovering around 79 – 80 degrees. Backwater temps are around 81 and 84 (even higher in select areas).

Peggy and I did most of our fishing over the weekend in the current and caught probably 10 bass ranging between 2-4 pounds, and a handful of dinks, as well as a nice flathead in the 6-pound range.

Almost all of the fish were caught flipping brush hogs in the current and adjacent eddies. I had also hooked a good-size bass in one of the lakes, but it threw the hook after a very short tug of war. I imagine that if I had been rigged with a lighter, more standard weight, vs. the colossal weight I throw in current, that I would have boated it. The bass are definitely in their summer patterns and I expect the bite to be above average for the next month.

Hopefully the warmer waters will kick start the vegetation so we can do some frogging!

Travis W. caught these 13- and 14-inch largemouth bass from Rattlesnake Cove  June 7.
Travis W. caught these 13- and 14-inch largemouth bass from Lake Pleasant’s Rattlesnake Cove Saturday, June 7.

Dave King from the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse with reports from Bartlett Lake and Lake Pleasant: Bartlett has been hot. Been out the last three weeks pulling in 20-30 fish on half day trips.

Deep-diving crankbaits and dropshot rigs have worked great. Ox blood, watermelon and morning dawn have all been working. Bigger fish are holding on the drop-offs in the main lake.

Also the water from yellow cliffs up is dirty with a lot of debris.  Water is rising fast. Main lake still clear.

Lake Pleasant stripers have been biting good along the creek channels in humbug and castle. Anchovies and glow-in-the-dark spoons have made for good action. For largemouths we’ve been throwing top water first thing and then dropshots along the bluffs once the sun comes up. Clear Zara spooks or Rico’s for top water, watermelon red flake for dropshot.

Rich S. cracked the code at Tempe Town Lake last week: I am an avid largemouth bass angler. I am 26 and have been fishing for bass in Arizona since I was 6.

For the past three weeks on my lunch break I go down to Tempe Town Lake between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. For the first two weeks I could not get a bass to even bite my numerous different presentations.

This last week things turned for the better. I have been knocking them dead under the Mill North Bridge and the light rail/train bridge. I have been using a Carolina rig with a short 4-inch leader and a 6-inch green Senko.

Was out there from 12:45-1:30 p.m. on Father’s Day and had six fish on and brought four in. I showed some fellow anglers what I was using and wished them good luck.

My advice is to go slow on the bottom. Texas rig, drop shot, Carolina rig all will probably work, but my success has all come on a Carolina rig. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Stay tuned for the full Arizona Game and Fish Dept. Weekly Fishing Report scheduled to come out on Thursday