Tag Archives: Want to take my kid fishing

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Some erratic weather is making fishing hit-and-miss in general across the state, but, no doubt, this is the time to be ready for break-out fishing. Watersheds across the state are receiving record moisture — Roosevelt Lake will likely exceed 70-percent full during the next two weeks.

Let’s get right to some Fish AZ news:

  • Channel catfish are back in core Community waters. See the stocking schedule through the summer.  They were stocked Thursday, March 23 and word is the fish are large and healthy.
  • The gate to Willow Springs Lake is open and reports are that fish are biting. There are tiger trout here — go see how much they may have grown during the winter …

    Willow Springs Lake on Tuesday, March 21.
  • All of the Williams-area lakes are full.  Since all of the lakes are full this year, we don’t have enough trout to stock all of the lakes (if you don’t stock enough fish in a lake, folks can’t catch them).  This year we are only planning on stocking Kaibab Lake and Dogtown Lake with rainbow trout.  As soon as the lakes stop spilling we will start stocking Kaibab and Dogtown.
  • Most Flagstaff area lakes are full and spilling.  Ashurst Lake, Lower Lake Mary, and Frances Short Pond will be stocked with trout this year. Lower Lake Mary has had about 16,000 larger (10-inch plus) rainbow trout stocked during the past couple of weeks along with about 8,600 smaller (6-8 inch) rainbows.
  • Ashurst Lake is full. The road is open and the first load of 2,700 rainbow trout was stocked last week.
  • Bartlett Lake is full and the water is clearing up. Bass fishing is good in 2-12 feet from the dam to the river using crankbaits, spinner baits (white or chartreuse) and baby brush hogs.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Thursday, March 23 — Channel catfish in “core” Community waters. Thursday, March 16 — Lower Salt River, Oak Creek, Frances Short Pond. Tuesday, March 14 — Patagonia Lake, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek. Monday, March 13 – Verde River (middle), Lynx Lake, Frances Short Pond, Lower Lake Mary. Sunday, March 9 — Concho Lake, Cluff Res. 3, Roper Lake, Lower Lake Mary.

 

See the full schedule.

Catch of the Week

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

Jack caught this monster 48-pound, 13-ounce striper in about 10 feet of water in the flats across from South Cove.

See all the Angler Reports

Public fishing events

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

Saturday, April 8 — Youth Fishing Day, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Bonsall Pond (5840 W. Bethany Home Rd., Glendale). The AZGFD and city of Glendale will give out up to 1,000 free youth license on a first-come, first-serve basis.

See the full schedule

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Winter fishing is OVER. Highs for the next week are predicted to be in the mid-to-high 80s in desert regions and 60s in the high country.

Spring perfume is in the air, we have a full moon this weekend, and trout stockings are kicking off again in the Flagstaff/Williams region. (Friday update: from Thursday to Friday we stocked a total of about 12,000 rainbow trout into Lower Lake Mary. )

Anglers braved a tough winter of erratic weather and now it’s time to hook, and  maybe cook, some fish. Warm water temps plus a full moon Sunday means there could be some great bass fishing in shallow water this weekend, and next week, and maybe through May. With all the rains and increased ground cover, those shallow spots will likely be in new areas. Explore away.

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

Poppies along Bush Highway north of Saguaro Lake

Some highlights:

  • Lake Powell. Walleye and largemouth bass fishing is raring to go at Lake Powell. Water temperatures will reach the mid-50s by the weekend. Largemouth bass are the first to respond to this warming, followed by smallmouth bass. Wayne Gustaveson’s report will give you all the Powell tips you need.
  • Bartlett Lake. The lake is 99-percent full and water temperatures on Wednesday were 54 degrees and warming to 58.
  • Flagstaff/Williams area. Fish stockings have resumed, including at Lower Lake Mary, which is around half-full for the first time since 2010. Read more.
  • First major wave of spring bass spawning. It’s the first full moon in March — more bass will be moving in  shallow to spawn. It’s already been a banner spring bass fishing season. See some springtime bassin’ tips. 
  • Saguaro Lake levels are down. The lake levels dropped 11% in 3 days. The levels were decreased to accommodate maintenance at Mormon Flat Dam. The dam outage is expected to last until around mid-March. But some bass already are spawning.
  • Tonto National Forest campground openings. As water has receded, many campgrounds have reopened. Keep up with the latest updates.
  • Community fishing stocking transition. The final scheduled trout stockings of the winter season took place this week.  Catfish will return to Community waters  the week of March 20. See the latest Community news.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Monday, March 6 — Frances Short Pond, Goldwater Lake, Oak Creek, Dead Horse lagoons; Tuesday, Feb. 28 — Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake; Monday, Feb. 27 — Verde River (middle), Salt River. See the full schedule.

Public fishing events

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

Anglers wetting lines at the last clinic, the Just For Kids Fishing Festival at Kiwanis Lake on Feb. 25.

Saturday, March 11 — Family and Community Fishing Event, 8 a.m. – noon, Roper Lake State Park (101 E. Roper Lake Rd., Safford). For more information please contact Kelly Wright at Roper Lake State Park at (928) 428-6760 or the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240.

See the full schedule

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Although reports have slowed as Christmas creeps, the fishing likely has not slowed at certain low- to mid-elevation lakes.

For one, trout fishing in Community waters is one of the best options in the state. We’ve stocked the “core” Community waters — see the schedule.  One angler reported catching a 4-pound bass this week from Red Mountain Lake.

Also, the Lower Salt River — our No. 1-ranked fishin’ hole for this winter — and Saguaro Lake (pictured above) make a great one-two punch since they’re located close to each other.  Try nightcrawlers (on a dropshot rig if you’re able) for largemouth bass, yellow bass, bluegill and even catfish.

See a recent report for crappie tips — they have been caught in fairly shallow water (15 feet) at lakes such as Roosevelt Lake. Fishing for crappie has been poor at Alamo Lake — but that should change as water temperatures cool.

(Send your Angler Reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week)

Stocking report

This week we were scheduled to stock the “core” Community fishing waters, as well as Mingus Lake, Goldwater Lake, Canyon Lake, the Lower Salt River, Parker Canyon Lake, Patagonia Lake, and Pena Blanca Lake. See the schedule.

These are confirmed stockings from last week:

Rainbow trout

Monday, Dec. 12 — Goldwater Lake, Verde River (middle). Tuesday, Dec. 6 — Cluff Reservoir #3, Roper Lake, Dankworth Ponds, Fortuna Pond, Redondo Lake. Monday, Dec. 5 — Apache Lake, Deadhose Lake.

See the full schedule.

Licensed to fish

Buy a license online, 24/7, and help conserve wildlife for future generations.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

This might be the last weekend to fish high country hideaways such as Big Lake before skim ice — or unsafe ice — begins to form. The Big Lake Store is officially closed for winter.

Meanwhile, late fall/winter fishing is just beginning in the desert regions.

But first, great news — today through Sunday we’re offering a 50-percent discount on short-term (one-day) combination fishing/hunting licenses purchased online. That means only $7.50 per day for Arizona residents and $10 per day for non-residents.

Bring the kids along — youth licenses (required for ages 10-17) are only $5 and are valid for a year.

Buy a license, and help conserve wildlife for future generations.

OK, back to the report. Trout are back in Community waters! See when and where they’re being stocked. On Tuesday afternoon we stocked 665 pounds of trout into Tempe Town Lake. Watch video of this stocking (from under the pipe).

The next new moon is Nov. 29, which means using submersible lights at night to attract fish such as striped bass and crappie will become increasingly more effective.

 

Catch of the Week

(Send your Angler Reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week)

sagbass1116
Charles S. caught this giant Saguaro Lake largemouth bass on a Zoom Trick worm in shallow water.

See all the Angler Reports

Upcoming free fishing events

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

Saturday, Dec. 3 — Town of Gilbert’s Youth Fishing Day, 8 a.m. — noon, Freestone Pond (1045 E. Juniper Ave., Gilbert). Sponsored by AZGFD and town of Gilbert. Loaner rods provided to first 100 participants. Bait and fishing information available.  Contact Jennifer Lauria, Gilbert Parks & Rec., 480-503-6234 or the AZGFD Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240.

See the full schedule.

Stocking report

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

Rainbow trout
Friday, Nov. 18 —
Community waters: Desert Breeze, Veterans Oasis, Copper Sky, Red Mountain, Riverview, Rio VIsta, Alvord, Cortez, Desert West, Encanto, Papago Ponds, Steele Indian School, Chaparral, Surprise, Evelyn Hallman, Tempe Kiwanis, Kennedy, Lakeside, Silverbell, Sahuarita, Water Ranch Lake. ** Pioneer Lake and Green Valley lakes did not get stocked due to water quality issues (both are expected to be stocked the week of Nov. 28).

See the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

There are only a few weeks left before winter conditions prevail in the high country, so if you’re looking for scents of pine, scenes of eagles and tight lines from trout, go now.

The trout bite is hot at spots such as Dogtown, Kinnikinick, Reservation, and Willow Springs lakes.

Ready to catch the elusive tiger trout? They were biting on Monday afternoon, rising to the surface in shallow water at Willow Springs Lake for dry flies.

See a video from Monday of a tiger trout wrecking the surface to take a dry fly:

Speaking of trout, the first winter trout stockings are coming next week to Community fishing waters. See the schedule.

On Monday, Oak Creek and Saguaro Lake were stocked with trout.

See all the angler reports, because there are a ton of fishing options from carp to monster largemouth bass and flathead catfish.

Looking for more hot spots? See another recent report.

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

Catch of the Week

(Send your Angler Reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week)

showlowlake

This 3 year old helped catch three stocked rainbows in 30 minutes at Show Low Lake.

See all the Angler Reports

 

 

Upcoming free fishing events

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

Saturday — 3rd annual Fishing Expo at Eldorado Pond (Eldorado Park, 2311 N. Miller Rd., Scottsdale) , 8 – 11 a.m.

Read the full schedule.

 

Stocking report

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

Channel catfish
Wednesday, Oct. 19 — Surprise Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Pioneer Lake, Cortez Lake, Steele Indian School, Encanto Lake, Desert West Lake, Papago ponds, Desert Breeze Lake, Tempe Kiwanis Lake, Chaparral Lake, Water Ranch Lake, Red Mountain Lake, Riverview Lake, Tempe Town Lake, Lakeside Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Kennedy Lake, Silverbell Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Green Valley Lake #3.

Rainbow trout
Monday, Nov. 7 — Oak Creek, Saguaro Lake. Friday, Nov. 4 — Frances Short Pond, Green Valley Lakes 1 and 3. Tuesday, Oct. 25 — Parker Canyon Lake. Monday, Oct. 24 — Goldwater Lake, Oak Creek, Frances Short Pond, Lynx Lake. Friday, Oct. 21 — Salt River, Tonto Creek. Thursday, Oct. 20 — Apache Lake,  Lynx Lake. Wednesday, Oct. 19 — Colorado River (Davis Dam), Salt River, Green Valley Lake #3. Tuesday, Oct. 18 — Saguaro Lake  Canyon Lake, Mingus Lake.

See the full schedule.

READ THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

With falling water temperatures, a new moon weekend and fish stockings galore, there’s lots of options for a fall-time fishing adventure. Let’s get right to it:

  • Lake Powell. Water temperature is in the mid 60s, which means that all fish species can basically move wherever they want. See a full report.
  • Crappie and flathead catfish at Roosevelt. Word is that this may be the best crappie fishing we’ve had at 5 years at Rosy. Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods recommends crappie schools in about 20 feet depths using a vertical fishing technique with small, curly-tail baits. Some anglers also are saying the flathead fishing at Roosevelt has been the best in the area.
  • Tiger trout at Woods Canyon Lake.  Read more. Our electrofishing surveys showed high populations of tiger trout in shallow water.
  • Striper fishing at Pleasant, Mead, Mohave or the lower Colorado River. A new moon weekend means using submersible lights at night will be effective at attracting the plankton-baitfish-predatory fish chain.

    lowercostriper
    A 20-plus pound striper taken recently from the lower Colorado River.
  • Lake Havasu. There are reports that the water is clearing and top-water action is picking up.
  • Willow Springs Lake.  Fishing’s been on fire even though the lake was stocked with rainbow trout last month for the final time this fall/winter. Trout can be found at all depths.
  • Kinnikinick Lake and Dogtown Reservoir. Throw small flies and lures such as Joes flies, spinners and Kastmasters – move them as slowly as possible.
  • Community catfish. There have been four stockings of catfish in Community waters during the past month. See the top-5 baits to use  (and join the Fish AZ Blog discussion on what works best!) and check out the stocking the schedule.
  • Rainbow trout at Lynx Lake (Prescott). Water temperatures are perfect for trout at many mid- to –high elevation trout lakes. And there has been several reports of good rainbow trout fishing at Lynx Lake.  Winter stockings are rampant statewide – this week we are schedule to stock 13 waters. See the schedule. For real-time stocking updates, a great mapping app, and a year’s subscription to Arizona Wildlife Views Magazine, sign up for an I Support Wildlife membership.

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

Upcoming free fishing events

Saturday — “Celebrating Community, Celebrating Diversity,”, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Cortez Park (Dunlap and 35th Ave.)

Free event includes fishing, crime prevention and safety resources, jump houses, live entertainment food trucks, health services, and more.

Read the full schedule.

Stocking report

Channel catfish
Wednesday, Oct. 19 — Surprise Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Pioneer Lake, Cortez Lake, Steele Indian School, Encanto Lake, Desert West Lake, Papago ponds, Desert Breeze Lake, Tempe Kiwanis Lake, Chaparral Lake, Water Ranch Lake, Red Mountain Lake, Riverview Lake, Tempe Town Lake, Lakeside Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Kennedy Lake, Silverbell Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Green Valley Lake #3.

Rainbow trout
Friday, Oct. 21 — Salt River, Tonto Creek. Thursday, Oct. 20 — Apache Lake,  Lynx Lake. Wednesday, Oct. 19 — Colorado River (Davis Dam), Salt River, Green Valley Lake #3. Tuesday, Oct. 18 — Saguaro Lake  Canyon Lake, Mingus Lake. Monday, Oct. 17 –– Francis Short Pond, Oak Creek, Lynx Lake, Big Lake (fingerlings). Thursday, Oct. 11 — Parker Canyon Lake.

See the full schedule.

Catch of the Week

showlowtrout

Mckyle, 12, with some lunker rainbow trout up to 20 inches caught at Show Low Lake 8 feet under a bobber.

(Send your photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov for a chance at being featured)

Angler Reports

(Send to BFishingAZGFD.gov)


Apache Lake

apachelake
Wayne and Rachel B.: Here is a report for your AZGFD fishing report that I love receiving and reading each week. Hope you can use these photos and brief write up.

My wife and I camped for a few days last week (October 18 – 20th) and experienced some awesome catch and release sport on Apache Lake.

Fishing with sweet & fruity dough balls, we caught lots of Channel Cats and Common Carp.

We were also looking to catch some Buffalo carp but it wasn’t to be again this time out. Will try again in a few weeks…

Here are a few photos of the fish that came thick and fast during the 1st and last few hours of light each day.

The scenery all along the Apache Highway is nothing less than breath taking and we explored it to the full each day we were camped especially with night temps  now down to low 60s with highs hovering around 90 it was very comfortable…

Big Lake

biglake-trouts
Kenneth K.:  Caught these beauties at Big Lake on Oct. 14.

Lynx Lake (Prescott)

lynx

Michael W.: October 27, 2016. Incredible Day of Fishing! After 6 1/2 hours of fishing, when I check my fish counter, I had realized I had caught & released 146 beautiful rainbow and brown trout ranging from 8-16 inches… I was bank-fishing from the Southshore cove of lake… All fish caught on 1.5-inch crappie tubes.  I shared my lures and techniques with surrounding fisherman, so they too could enjoy an incredible fishing experience!

Black Canyon Lake road/parking lot closed through Saturday

The access road and parking areas at Black Canyon Lake closure to all vehicle traffic for a paving project has been extended through Saturday.  Pedestrian access to the lake’s shore is allowed, but parking is not allowed on the adjacent, maintained forest service roads.

READ THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Days are getting shorter, air temperatures are cooling, and with the transition into fall, it can be a bit difficult to pinpoint the exact location of fish. In general, keep moving. Cover a lot of water, and try different areas of the water column and various bait presentations.

Or just go get some trout. Winter stockings have already begun for rainbows. We just stocked Davis Dam on the lower Colorado River (Senator McCain helped!). They’re coming to some of the prime Phoenix and Tucson-area lakes beginning the first week of November.

See the schedule.

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

Fishing in Arizona just got a boost with a big stocking of rainbow trout into the lower Colorado River at Davis Dam. These trout can be caught on a variety of lures and baits -- many anglers wait a week before heading to their favorite pocket on the river.
Fishing in Arizona just got a boost with a big stocking of rainbow trout into the lower Colorado River at Davis Dam. Senator John McCain, left, helped. These trout can be caught on a variety of lures and baits — many anglers wait a week before heading to their favorite pocket on the river.

By the way, let’s remember a reason that supporting conservation of all species of wildlife in Arizona is so crucial. The Arizona Game and Fish Department believes that future generations should have the same recreational opportunities, and the same abundance of memory-etching wildlife, that we do. We do not receive state tax dollars. So we rely on your participation, such as license sales and stuff like I Support Widlife memberships (includes real-time stocking updates and a great mapping app).

Then all you have to do is fish or engage in shooting sports or get out on a hunt — not a bad deal.

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

Upcoming free fishing events

Saturday, Nov. 5 — Chandler Safety Days, 8 a.m. – noon. Veterans Oasis Park, 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler.

AZ stocking report

Channel catfish

Friday, Oct. 14 — Friendship Park Pond, Bonsall Park, Roadrunner Lake, Eldorado Lake, Evelyn Hallman Pond, McQueen Pond, Discovery Park, Dave White Pond, Pacana Park, Redondo Lake, Fortuna Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond, Council Ave. Pond.

Rainbow trout

Tuesday, Oct. 4 — Salt River, Mingus Lake; Monday, Oct. 3 — Watson Lake, Lynx Lake, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek; Saturday, Oct. 1 — Silver Creek.

See the full schedule.

 

Black Canyon Lake road/parking lot closure extended

The access road and parking areas at Black Canyon Lake closure to all vehicle traffic for a paving project has been extended to Oct. 29.  Pedestrian access to the lake’s shore is allowed, but parking is not allowed on the adjacent, maintained forest service roads.

READ THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Time to head to the land of bugling elk, rusty leaves and feisty trout.

We’ve recently put some extra loads of rainbow trout into many Mogollon Rim and White Mountains lakes. At many trout creeks, anglers might have their own section of water. Shouldn’t be hard to talk the family into this one.

Here’s a quick rundown of some waters that  have received some extra trout during the past 2 weeks (between 4,000 and 8,000 at each): Bear Canyon Lake; Fool Hollow Lake; Show Low Lake; River Reservoir; Woods Canyon Lake;  Willow Springs Lake; Hawley Lake; Reservation Lake; Silver Creek.

Trout have been stocked once again at Woods Canyon Lake.
Trout have been stocked once again at Woods Canyon Lake.

Also, a bunch of smaller brown trout were stocked into Rose Canyon Lake on Thursday, Sept. 29.

Yuma anglers: catfish are scheduled to return to your area’s community waters (Council Ave Pond in Somerton; West Wetlands Pond, Redondo Lake, Fortuna Lake). See the Community fishing stocking schedule, and a full update in the full report – your “expansion waters” are scheduled to be stocked.

Grab a license online (and help conserve all species of wildlife), get rigged and ready and enjoy the peace and quiet of a  high country hideaway.

Black Canyon Lake road/parking lot closure

The access road and parking areas at Black Canyon Lake will be closed to all vehicle traffic from October 10-19 for a paving project.  Pedestrian access to the lake’s shore is allowed, but parking is not allowed on the adjacent, maintained forest service roads.

Upcoming free fishing events

Tuesday, Nov. 22 – Welcome Back the Trout to Tempe  Town Lake, 4-6 p.m.

Stocking report

Brown trout

Thursday, Sept. 29 — Rose Canyon Lake. Wednesday, Sept. 26 — Lynx Lake.

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Sept. 29 — Rose Canyon Lake,  Frances Short Pond, Hawley Lake, Reservation Lake. Wednesday, Sept. 28 — Bear Canyon Lake. Tuesday, Sept. 27 — Bear Canyon Lake. Monday, Sept. 26 — Kinnikinick Lake, Canyon Creek, Bear Canyon Lake. Sunday, Sept. 25 — Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Saturday, Sept. 24 — Fool Hollow Lake.

As you can see, winter trout stockings are ramping up. See the schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Fall fishing means crankbaits, top-water lures, buzzbaits and jigs are drawing increasingly more bass strikes.

This is the also time for flathead catfish. At Bartlett Lake, in particular, they’re roaming the waters looking for meals to add some winter fat. Check out a video that includes how-to information for flathead newbies:

 

Here are some more highlights:

Brown trout fall spawn

 

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

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

 

A fishing license in AZ

Good to time purchase or renew that fishing license before the fall fishing frenzy — get one online, which helps conserve all species of wildlife, and get ready for fall fishing galore.

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Silver Creek is one of the best winter trout fishing spots in the state.

Catch-and-release Silver Creek trout fishing opens Oct. 1

Fall fishing in Arizona doesn’t really kick off until the catch-and-release season at Silver Creek. This scenic, White Mountains trout fishing classic is great for beginners and experts. On Saturday, the catch-and-release season opens — and that means the upper section also opens to fishing for the first time since early spring. Read more.

Upcoming free fishing clinics

Saturday — Free fishing clinic about fall fishing in northern Arizona, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Kinnikinick Lake.
Saturday — Family Fishing Even at Pena Blanca Lake, off SR 289, Nogales, 8 a.m. – noon.

Stocking report

Catfish

Thursday, Sept. 22 — Lynx Lake, Deadhorse Lake, Surprise Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Pioneer Lake, Cortez Lake, Steele Indian School, Encanto Lake, Desert West Lake, Alvord Lake, Kiwanis Lake, Desert Breeze Lake, Veterans Oasis, Copper Sky, Red Mountain Lake, Riverview Lake, Papago Ponds, Chaparral Lake,  Evelyn Hallman, (TUCSON) Kennedy Lake, Lakeside Lake, SIlverbell Lake, Sahuarita Lake.

Rainbow trout

Friday, Sept. 23 — River Reservoir, Canyon Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Frances Short Pond, Silver Creek; Tuesday, Sept. 20 — Lynx Lake, Woods Canyon Lake; Monday, Sept. 19 — Kinnikinick Lake, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek; Friday, Sept. 16 — Canyon Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Colorado River (Davis Dam); Thursday, Sept. 15 — Tonto Creek.

Our winter trout stockings will be ramping up! See the schedule.

Can’t forget the cats. In our Community Fishing Program waters, channel catfish are back. Check out our CFP stocking schedule.

See all stocking schedules.

Angler Reports

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

cityresCity Reservoir (Williams)

Michael W.: Caught and released 28 rainbow trout, ranging from 7-16 inches, on Sept. 19. Trout are extremely aggressive. Caught all fish on 1.5-inch crappie tubes in 2 hours!

Goldwater Lake (Prescott)

Michael W.: Caught two Gila trout, ranging from 2.5-2.6 pounds, on Sept. 14. Caught fish on 1.5-inch crappie tubes. You can still see an occasional Gila trout darting up to the surface and back down again. They look to be in the 3 -4-pound range.

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 funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.

NOTE: Full report will be updated Friday, Sept. 30

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Feels like fall-time fishing at high country classics such as Big Lake, where elk are bugling and fall leaves are turning a light yellow as trout become a bit more active.

Down in the desert on Thursday, catfish returned to Community fishing waters. One stocking truck started at waters such as Sahuarita Lake:

Community fishing stocking at Sahuarita lake in Arizona.
Community fish stockings in Arizona extend from Payson south to this scenic urban spot — Sahuarita Lake.
Another, on a Phoenix-area run, hit waters such as Rio Vista Pond in Peoria:

 

The Community catfish stocking route included all “core” waters from Sahuarita to Surprise. Catfish typically are caught on the bottom suing a hook-and-sinker setup using strong-smelling baits such as liver, as well as worms, hot dogs shrimp, cheese, dough balls, and so on.

Fishing clinics are breaking out statewide, seasonal fisheries are opening, and anglers up for a “cast and blast” can rejoice in the opening of fall hunting seasons.

The winter trout stocking schedule is out, too.

Striped bass fishing has been excellent at Lake Pleasant. See some striped bass recipes.

Largemouth and striped bass bites are getting more frequent. As desert temperatures drop a bit, go to fall fishing techniques such as top-water lures at sun-up and sundown as well as jerkbaits and crankbaits. Look for shad popping on the surface as they’re being pursued by hungry bass, and cast beyond the surface boils and reel back into the frenzy.

A recent stringer of stripers caught at Lake Pleasant.
A recent stringer of stripers caught at Lake Pleasant.
Summer trout stockings are coming to an end, but there is some great trout fishing at high elevation lakes such as Kinnikinick Lake (southeast of Flagstaff, where as of Sept. 20 we have stocked about 43,000 rainbow trout and 10,000 brown trout) and Big Lake, where trout having begun to feed on the surface more often.

The weekend also marks the opening of fall small game hunting seasons – quail season begins Friday, Sept. 30. Head to Flagstaff Oct. 1 for a fishing clinic that also will include small game hunting tips.

Good to time renew that fishing license. Get one online, which helps conserve all species of wildlife, and get ready for some fall fishing glory.

Fishing in Arizona hits peak with
Oct. 1 opening at Silver Creek

This opening has become a festival of sorts and the public is invited. 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.

Fossil Creek is a great place in AZ to take the kids this weekend.
Fossil Creek is a great place in AZ to take the kids this weekend.

Fossil Creek fishery opens Oct. 1

Calling all kids (and adults). Enjoy a unique fishing experience of catching native roundtail and headwater chub. Camping is no longer allowed. See the Coconino National Forest website for more information.

C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge Reservoir) closed to fishing

Blue Ridge Res/CC Cragin is closed to fishing due to low water levels. All accessible water is in an area closed for the next phase of the ongoing renovation of boating access facilities. Road is closed at Rock Crossing campground.

Stocking reports

Rainbow trout

Friday, Sept. 16 — Colorado River (Davis Dam); Thursday, Sept. 15 — Tonto Creek; Wednesday, Sept. 14 — Kinnikinick Lake, Rose Canyon Lake; Monday, Sept. 12 — Canyon Creek, Mingus Lake; Friday, Sept. 9 — Willow Springs Lake, Canyon Creek.

Read more.

Upcoming free fishing clinics

Saturday — Verde River Days,   Dead Horse Ranch State Park,  675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd, Cottonwood, Ariz., 8 a.m. – noon.

Saturday, Oct. 1 — Free fishing clinic about fall fishing in northern Arizona, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Kinnikinick Lake.

Saturday, Oct. 1 — Family Fishing Even at Pena Blanca Lake, off SR 289, Nogales, 8 a.m. – noon.

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Angler Reports

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

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Apache Lake

Jake H.: A 7.88-pound largemouth on a jig. 23 inch with 17.5 inch girth.

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Steele Indian School Pond

Ryan H. caught these big catfish on Zebco micro rods on Sunday —  days before the return of catfish to Community waters. Read his full story.

SEE THE FULL REPORT