Heading away from a full moon, the use of submersible lights will become a more effective option for catching stripers in such lakes as Lake Pleasant.
In general, the top-water bite seems to be worth a shot, but hardly on fire.
It’s also a great time to fish the creeks below the Mogollon Rim. They are family memory makers, too.
When fishing these creeks, it’s not necessary to bring the master tackle box. Fish with grubs or grasshoppers if you can find them and float them through the ripples with no weights on a small hook (No. 10 or 12) and light lines (around 6-pound test -- fluorocarbon if possible).
Despite the fishing pressure, Woods Canyon Lake continues to be a hot spot. It’s no wonder. We stock about 55,000 fish per year into Woods. We just stocked another 3,030 rainbow trout into this department-built fishery on the edge of the Mogollon Rim. Nearby Willow Springs Lake is another great bet, although probably crowded as well on weekends. Get to both early for a camping spot. Fish deep in the early morning or late afternoons.
Also being stocked in the White Mountains are: Fool Hollow Lake (400 large, 13-inch rainbow trout); Show Low Lake (850 large, 13-inch rainbow trout); Willow Springs Lake (1,895 rainbow trout); and Silver Creek (500 Apache trout).
Our Fish&Boat Arizona map will show plenty of options.
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.)
Andrew: I fished this morning, Aug. 10, and caught upwards of 20-30 bluegill on mealworms and nightcrawlers from the fishing dock, was catching crappie on trout magnets with a little bit of PowerBait on the hook before sundown last night.
Bear Canyon Lake/Saguaro Lake
Rich S.: Went to Bear Canyon last weekend. Caught trout on slip bobbers tipped with nightcrawlers set at about 10 feet. No lure hits at all. Also caught trout on pink sherbet PowerBait on a little bait hook with two splitshots about 12 inches up.
Went to Saguaro Wednesday (Aug. 6). Fished from 4-7 a.m. Had to go to work. Caught two nice 3-pounders on Carolina-rigged senkos, green color. Single boils only, no multiples. Some guy was throwing a spook and caught three tiny bass.
Charles S.: I fished over the weekend and water temps were around 85-88 degrees; the current still had left over funk from last week’s storms.
Peggy and I spent most of Sunday trying to put together a decent pattern to fish on Monday and was tough going. We looked at a few of our haunts in the current but didn’t bother flipping the usual places and decided to move back into Martinez Lake where the fish had previously been hitting soft swimbaits.
But as fate would have it they wanted nothing to do with soft “fish” swimbaits. Ironically bass in Martinez were hitting Texas-rigged 6-inch lizards that swam through the vegetation -- unfortunately all of the fish were small and…boring
Later Sunday afternoon we went back out into the current. In an attempt to overcome the loss of visibility in the water, we started throwing substantially larger baits, in particular half-ounce jigs with rattles and large trailers. That decision seemed to do the trick, and we closed out the day with a nice fat 16-inch smallmouth bass.
On Monday morning we decided to go with the same pattern we fished the evening before and within the first 40 minutes we had boated four largemouth of more than 3 pounds and one at 5 pounds, all on the same jig combo.
Because the water clarity was still very poor in the current, the fish were holding extremely tight on the structure we were fishing. I think the large size of the bait teamed with the rattles really made a difference this outing -- of course you also need a lot of luck!
Ray C.: First trip to Apache, caught two small largemouth bass, an 8-inch smallmouth and this 5-pound cat.
Tried a lot of different techniques, drop shot rigged and Texas-rigged PowerBaits, Roboworms, crawdads, trolling. Caught the cat trolling a Hot Shot S.E. 25 in red and chrome off the points. Guess we should have brought hot dogs :)
Note: 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.
ROOSEVELT LAKE – (2.090 feet, 39-percent full). Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods with an Aug. 9 report:
Good morning, Rim Country anglers,
Bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake was called good this past week. Bass are chasing shad in the shallow portions of coves at first light. The duration of that bite varies day to day but seems to be getting slightly better each week.
Several top-water baits were successful and a just-under-the-water bait such as a Super Fluke produced good numbers. As soon as the sun comes over the mountains, it’s time to switch to the bottom. Experienced anglers are fishing 3/8-1/2-ounce jigs made by Clifford Pirch Outdoors or a Texas-rigged Roboworm.
During the midday, bites are hard to come by, but at dusk until well after dark, the bite picks up again mostly on a dropshot technique or a jig. Tomorrow we'll have a full moon, so nighttime fishing will be a lot of fun this coming week.
The water level dropped one percent this past week and is currently at 39-percent full.
There is still more than a million acre-feet of water in the lake, so even though the level is down at this time of year, we don't have a risk of the water getting too low. A concern with the lower Salt River and Tonto flows into the lake is an algae bloom which can kill fish. This year so far, we have avoided any significant issues, but we'll always take more rain and flow into our lakes.
The two major ramps at Windy Hill and Cholla Recreational Sites are in great shape and there are no issues launching your boat from those ramps. The water temperature is in the mid-80s in the morning, increasing to the high-80s or low-90s in the afternoon. Those water temperatures tell you why anglers are fishing in 20-feet-or-more depths of water where the water temperatures are lower.
The crappie bite was called good this past week. According to Curt Rambo, a very experienced Tonto Basin crappie angler, crappie prefer more stable weather and will remain in larger schools given those conditions. So as long as the monsoon storms aren't too strong, the crappie bite should continue to be active.
A vertical presentation directly into a submerged brush or log using a Lil Fishy or a 2-inch green and chartreuse grub tail bait, was the most successful technique reported. Anglers are reporting crappie to be mainly in 20-30 foot depths.
Trout stockings by the AZGFD are continuing for many of the Rim lakes and streams. However towards the end of September, the stockings begin to wind down. The crowds are lower right now so it's a great time for some relaxing fishing with the family. Powerbaits, salmon eggs and worms are great summertime trout baits. Dry flies on a 5-weight rod is a favorite setup by experienced fly anglers fishing Rim lakes.
Have a great week of fishing next week and I hope see you on the water.
BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,777 feet, 71 % full.
Jeremy Hoffman from the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse said anglers are having success on largemouth bass night-fishing using black or black/blue jigs or soft plastics in 5-20 feet of water. Anglers also are having great summer action on flathead and channel catfish.
This is the prime flathead catfish season. Try live bluegill or small carp as bait. Look for the deeper holes, especially up lake where there is a little current. For bluegills, try the backs of rocky coves using nightcrawlers or meal worms on light tackle.
APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,908 feet (93-percent full). Bass fishing remains fair to good.
Bass Pro Gary Senft fished the lake the morning of Aug. 9 from 5:30 a.m. to noon and caught smallmouth bass in the 3-pound range, as well as largemouth bass on dropshot-rigged Roboworms in red crawler and morning dawn in 15-25 feet of water. The morning crankbait and top-water bite was poor, Senft said.
“If I had to pick a magic depth for bass,” Senft said, “I’d say 18 feet.”
The key to locating smallmouth bass was looking to the adjacent shoreline and seeing all the small rocks that crawdads would hide in. Smallmouth bass, as evident by their red-tinted mouths and claws sticking from their throats, were gorging on crawdads. The heavier largemouth and smallmouth bass were caught on Texas-rigged Roboworms and half-ounce football jigs with green pumpkin Yamamoto hula grubs (crawdad imitations).
You still might find bass chasing shad at the surface, especially at first light. Try working the major points using soft plastic crayfish like lures worked along the bottom. Crankbaits can also work well at times. A few good-sized smallies can be caught -- please practice catch-and-release on these fish, which are in the comeback mode. Walleye fishing should be decent at first and last light using night crawler rigs, or jigs tipped with worms. Apache is also full of some really nice yellow bass. Try gold KastMasters or yellow/gold Rooster Tails. Catfishing should be good. Carp fishing can be very good.
LOWER SALT RIVER – On Wednesday they were releasing 975 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro. You might still catch some trout, especially in the swifter runs or deeper holes. It's also possible to catch bass and other warmwater fish in the deeper holes. Good time for tubing the Salt -- take along a fishing rod.
SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,525 feet (92-percent full). Jack from Liars Korner in East Mesa said an early or late top-water bite is still viable (it’s top-water time so keep an eye out for surface boils.)
But the dropshot has been the most successful technique for largemouth bass lately.
Some anglers are catching a few fish on 10-12-inch Powerworms, he said.
Bass Pro and semiprofessional angler Gary Senft said that he fished Saguaro Lake more then a week ago on a Saturday, and despite boat and jet ski traffic, finally found a good largemouth bass bite around 8 a.m. in 25-30 feet of water in the middle of coves using dropshot-rigged Roboworms in red crawler and morning dawn. Find points, locate a shad school, and catch a bass from that school before locating another shad school.
Night fishing has been excellent and bass are chasing bait first thing in the mornings. Anglers have had success with top-water lures and swim baits, and then switching to a dropshot as the morning progresses.
Best bites have been during the middle of the night and at the last light.
Overall, largemouth bass fishing is fair to good when the recreational boating pressure is lower, especially at night. The bite is a little more sporadic right now.
CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,657 feet (95-percent full). Kyle from Liars Korner said the hot bite lately bass been on dropshot-rigged Roboworms -- try orange crusher or desert craw.
Overall, bass fishing has been decent. The Arizona Fishing Guides previously reported that bass have been caught on flat, grass bottoms throwing slowly-moving rigs such as a dropshot. Poppers also were successful at first light. Best bites have been first thing in the morning and even in the middle of the afternoon when water is pumped back and gets fish chasing baits.
This is also a good time to possibly see or hear desert bighorn sheep in the rut.
While Canyon is the land of the lunkers, it can be tough to fish, especially for novice anglers. Catch rates are typically low and even veteran anglers get skunked here. But the possibility of catching a hog keeps many anglers coming back time and again. This is a pretty good lake for bluegill and yellow bass. Try small crappie-like lures, such as 2-inch curly tails, along the rocky shoreline. Shore fishing for channel catfish and carp can also be viable both day and night right now. As the season progresses, the better fishing for bottom dwellers will transition to the nighttime hours.
HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,950 feet (0-percent full).
When the lake is full, there are a lot pf spawning fish. Lots of smaller fish were released into Bartlett Lake. Salt River Project tends to use Horseshoe as a flood retention reservoir, but steadily releases the water downstream into Bartlett Lake.
COMMUNITY FISHING WATERS – Catfish stockings have ended for the summer. See the latest Community Fishing Bulletin.
LAKE PLEASANT – Jesse Parks, a guide at the Hook-Up Outfitters, said the striper are busting on shad in the morning in the northern coves such as Castle Creek and Humbug at the break of day. Anglers have found some good top-water action.
As the day progresses, anglers can switch to a dropshot during the middle of the day, then look for busting fish and schooling stripers as the day progresses.
The best bite continues to be at night with submersible lights and fishing with anchovies.
Although some anglers use weights when fishing with anchovies, but Parks suggests free-lining the baits (weighless). Chum 6-7 anchovies, then following with a baited anchovy, free-lining it so the presentation looks natural like the falling chum.
The Arizona Fishing Guides previously reported that stripers have been caught up shallow in the mornings on top-water plugs and swimbaits. Largemouth bass fishing has been tough, but largies tend to hang out beneath stripers, and so anglers have the possibility of hooking into both in a given area. For example, a striper boil may bust up a bait pod and the largemouths will begin chewing.
For stripers, try fishing anchovies in 50-70 feet of water or jigging half-ounce or three-quarter ounce spoons in white or chrome.
TEMPE TOWN LAKE – This is a good time to try for channel catfish and carp using corn or dough baits after dark.
PREVIOUS ANGLERS REPORT: 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.
WHITE MOUNTAINS AND RIM LAKES
Recommended Waters to Fish
Fishing is good for trout at Show Low Creek, Silver Creek, Bear Canyon Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, and Big Lake.
Trout Stocking Schedule
Week of August 4-8
Bear Canyon Lake – 1,755 rainbow trout
Willow Springs Lake – 1,901 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 3,030 rainbow trout
Show Low Creek – 1,190 rainbow trout
Silver Creek - 500 Apache trout
Week of August 11-15
Fool Hollow Lake – 400 large (13 inch) rainbow trout
Show Low Lake – 850 large (13 inch) rainbow trout
Willow Springs Lake – 1,895 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 3,030 rainbow trout
Silver Creek - 500 Apache trout
MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake will be stocked this week with 1,755 rainbow trout.
BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is poor. The lake level is very low, down about 13 feet, and launching boats is extremely difficult.
CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair. Water temperatures are warm, so trout will be deep most of the day. The road to the dam has been improved, but is open only to vehicles 50” wide or less (ATVs). The hike into the lake is strenuous.
WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake was stocked last week and will be stocked again this week with 1,895 rainbow trout.
WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked twice last week and will be stocked twice again this week with 3,030 rainbow trout. Fish early morning or evening when the fish are most active. Otherwise the fish congregate just above the thermocline and will be suspended in a narrow band within the water column somewhere between 15 to 20 feet deep, depending upon where the thermocline is located. The Woods Canyon Lake store is open and boat rentals are available.
WHITE MOUNTAIN LAKES
Note: Forest Road 249 from Alpine to Big Lake is under construction. Access along this road is still open, but expect some delays.
BECKER LAKE – Fishing is fair. It has been hit or miss, depending upon the day. The bite can be hot on one day then slow the next. Anglers are still picking up 1-2 large rainbows on San Juan worms, small midges, dark semi seals, and hoppers or damsels on the surface, with 20-inch rainbows being common. Water temperatures are warm, so please play and release the fish quickly so they can get back to cooler water at the bottom as soon as possible. Unhooking the fish without taking it from the water and the photos will help these large trout survive to be caught again later. The fishing pier was recently repaired and is usable again. Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release only, artificial fly and lure only; single barbless hooks only. No trout may be kept.
BIG LAKE – Fishing is good. The fish are deep due to warm temperatures. Shore anglers are having the most success in deep water areas with worms or PowerBait. Boat and kayak rentals are available at the Big Lake Store. Forest Road 249 from Alpine to Big Lake is under construction. Access along this road is still open, but expect some delays.
CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake level is somewhat low and is very weedy. There is some open water in the middle where fly anglers are catching a few 14-15-inch rainbows. It is extremely difficult to launch at the parking area due to the low water and weeds.
CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for trout, and fair for sunfish, bullheads, and bass.
CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is poor. The lake is extremely weedy with very little open water.
CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair. Anglers are catching a few trout on worms and PowerBait, mostly off the rocky points.
FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair for trout, and good for bass and sunfish. The lake will be stocked this week with 400 large (13 inch) rainbow trout. Try fishing on the bottom with PowerBait or nightcrawlers for trout, or small pieces of nightcrawler and tiny hooks for bluegill around the fishing piers and rocky areas. The lake is very low so use caution when launching a boat. The fishing piers on the west side are usable, but the piers on the east side are out of the water. There are canoe and kayak rentals available at the east side boat ramp.
GREER LAKES – Fishing is fair for stocked trout and wild brown trout at all three reservoirs. All lakes are very low and launching boats is extremely difficult, particularly at River and Bunch.
HULSEY LAKE – The lake was drained following the Wallow Fire to help reduce expected flooding on Escudilla Mountain and has not been stocked since the fire in 2011.
LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is poor for Apache trout and small grayling. The lake is low and launching a boat is difficult. The current regulation requires artificial lures or flies, and a two fish limit.
LUNA LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair for stocked and large carry-over trout. Fish in the evening before dark during the highest oxygen levels for the day.
LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open. Fishing is fair to good for bass, catfish, and carp.
NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair. The water is warm and fish will be deep. Fish with nightcrawlers or PowerBait on the bottom.
RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is poor. The lake is low and very weedy. White Amur (grass carp) have been stocked under a special permit to address the nuisance weed problems in the lake. All grass carp must be released because they are under the minimum legal size of 30 inches.
SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair.
SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake will be stocked this week with 850 large (13 inch) rainbow trout. Water temperatures are warm, so the trout will be deep. Fish on the bottom with PowerBait or nightcrawlers, or troll deep and slow. Boat rentals are available at the concessionaire store.
WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is poor. The lake is extremely low and weedy. However, several large channel catfish have been caught recently in the small pool of muddy water remaining at the bottom. The fishing pier is closed for safety reasons.
WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS
Note: Forest Road 249 from Alpine to Big Lake is under construction. Access along this road is still open, but expect some delays.
EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair for stocked Apache trout and wild brown trout. The stream was not stocked last week or this week, and will not be stocked again this season until Labor Day weekend because of a shortage of trout in the hatchery. The water may be turbid after heavy monsoon rains.
WEST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is poor. The West Fork has not been stocked due to low inventory of trout in the hatchery. The campground is still closed following the Wallow Fire.
LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is fair for stocked Apache trout and wild brown trout. The stream was not stocked last week or this week, and will not be stocked again this season until Labor Day weekend because of a shortage of trout in the hatchery.
SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is fair for stocked Apache trout. The stream was not stocked last week or this week, and will not be stocked again this season until Labor Day weekend because of a shortage of trout in the hatchery.
SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is good. The large pool below Show Low Lake dam was stocked last week with rainbow trout.
SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good. The stream was stocked last week and will be stocked again this week with 500 Apache trout. Silver Creek is currently open (April 1 to Sept. 30) to statewide regulations, which allows bait and barbed hooks and the limit is six trout, but only in the lower section. The upper section is closed to fishing until Oct. 1.
The only places that are stockable right now are lower Oak Creek, Kinnikinick, City, and Dogtown.
KAIBAB LAKE — Campground is open. Water levels are really low this year. The lake is no longer stockable. Fishing for warm water species such as bluegill, black crappie and largemouth bass should be picking up with the warmer temperatures. Fish around the submerged trees.
CATARACT LAKE — Lake is day-use only, no camping allowed. Fishing for warm water species such as bluegill, black crappie and largemouth bass should be picking up with the warmer temperatures.
CITY RESERVOIR — Stocked last week with 2,800 trout. Folks were catching catfish over the weekend, but the fishing for stocked trout was a little slow. The trout were feeding on the surface and didn’t seem interested in bait fished on the bottom. One group of anglers were catching a few trout on worms fished under a bobber. Fishing with flies behind a bobber might be the trick to catch trout on the lake.
DOGTOWN LAKE — Campground is open. The water level still looks good and the water quality was OK when I checked it today. Scheduled to be stocked this week
JD DAM — No report.
SANTA FE — Open but water level is very low.
WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is open. Water level is really low this year. Stockings for this year have been canceled.
LOWER LAKE MARY -- Lake is very weedy so fishing is difficult. There is still some surface activity in the morning.
UPPER LAKE MARY -- Lake is pretty muddy and fishing has been slow.
ASHURST LAKE — Campground is open. The boat launch on Ashurst has been closed by the forest service because of unsafe launching conditions caused by low water levels. The water quality is no longer acceptable to stock trout so scheduled stockings have been canceled until water quality improves. I received a call from an angler that stated that he was catching trout including holdovers on the “back side” of the lake. By his description, he was talking about the east side of the lake. He also caught and removed a 25-pound pike on July 1.
FRANCIS SHORT POND – No report.
KINNIKINICK LAKE — The lake is full. When we sampled Kinnikinick we caught a lot of 14-16 inch brown trout along with a couple of 3-pound browns. We also caught several channel catfish in our nets with two being more than 7 pounds. The fish we collected were eating crayfish. The hatcheries plan is to on stock 15,000 catchable rainbows into Kinnikinick late this week -- if the road is OK. Check the Region 2 Facebook page for updates.
OAK CREEK — Stocking in the upper reaches of Oak Creek have been canceled as a result of the Slide Fire. Stocking locations downstream of Sedona are still being stocked.
LONG LAKE — Water levels are extremely low and boat launching is extremely difficult.
BEAVER CREEK – No report.
WEST CLEAR CREEK - No report.
STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.
BLUE RIDGE — Road is open.
KNOLL LAKE — Stocked last week. Scheduled to be stocked this week.
LAKE POWELL AND LEES FERRY
LAKE POWELL – From Wayne Gustaveson: Stripers are still boiling from Good Hope Bay to Trachyte and White Canyon. The intensity is not as strong as last week when stripers first found shad as the water cleared up and visibility increased. Now there is a morning and evening pattern developing with random boils occurring during the day.
See the full Wayne Gustaveson Aug. 6 report at http://www.wayneswords.com.
LEES FERRY – See the Aug. 1 report from Lees Ferry Anglers.
Important notice: With the discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.
For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department's web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.
LAKE MEAD –The elevation will continue to drop over the summer. The current elevation of 1080.33 feet above msl is the lowest the lake has been sense May of 1937 during the initial filling of the reservoir. The launch ramp at South Cove is becoming tricky due to the low water. The National Park Service has improved conditions at South Cove launch ramp. Be sure to check out launch area prior to launching. Be careful boating because of dropping of the water level, many new islands and near surface rocks have appeared. The striper bite is on in Lake Mead but mainly fishing the boils with Rat-L-Traps is probably your best type of lure. Cut anchovies are still the bait of choice for stripers when anchored at night. Check the moon phases before you go – last new moon was July 26.
The next new moon will be Aug. 25. I fished last Saturday night with an extremely bright moon and we only boated 12 stripers. Dark nights work best when fishing under light. Fishing for stripers in 40-plus feet of water will normally find the larger fish. If they are not taking the anchovies try swimming baits and see if you can get them to bite.
Jigging in 40-60 feet deep has been doing well on Mead. If you can locate the shad, the stripers are not far behind. Trolling usually works best in areas where shad are found and best done in the early mornings and evenings. Channel catfish are biting near the inflow area in pretty shallow water (10 feet deep) and the best bait is worms. Largemouth bass are hitting top-water baits in the mornings and afternoons. If you are lucky enough to be out on overcast mornings the top-water baits will do well even into late morning. Watch for monsoon weather. Waves and lightning can come up quick so be careful.
LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level today is 644.7 feet above msl. Reports are that smallmouth and largemouth are hitting on the lake in the coves and on the shelves near the dam but that stripers are much harder to find. The high lake level submerges shoreline vegetation which attracts bass. Reports of people catching both black bass species are common. Mixing up your colors with plastics is doing well on largemouth and smallmouth. Latest report has nightcrawlers doing the best for bass on Lake Mohave.
Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Next new moon will be Aug. 25. Cut anchovies usually work the best for stripers. The power line area has produced some striper action. Catfish are still being taken in the coves on both sides of the lake.
Biologists from both Arizona Game and Fish Department and Nevada Division of Wildlife with the help of volunteers, National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation personnel have continued to install fish habitat in Carp Cove, Box Cove, Shoshone, Princess and Arrowhead. Prospect Cove (1st cove south of Princess Launch Ramp) is the latest addition on the Arizona side of the lake to get habitat deployed. Fish habitat consists of PVC structures, tamarisk bundles and a new type of habitat we call poly shrubs. The largemouth, smallmouth, bluegill and catfish are really utilizing the new structures. Additional habitat will be added at several locations over the next two years. These structures are fish magnets.
There is a wheelchair accessible fishing pier just south of the main launch ramp at Katherine's Landing. If you fish Mohave and are having luck, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share your successes with others.
WILLOW BEACH – A temporary solution has been reached between AZGFD and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to continue stocking rainbow trout. The USFWS has agreed to rear 21,000 juvenile rainbow trout provided by AZGFD to be stocked by Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery. Stocking will begin when the trout reach catchable size and follows the protocol for stocking trout.
If you fish Willow beach and are having luck, please e-mail me at email@example.com so I can share your successes with others.
COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – Trout fishing will continue to dwindle without stocking although some holdovers will continue to be caught occasionally. The report is that the striper bite is on and lots of quality fish are being caught but most are in the 1-pound range. Ernie, both Sr. and Jr., had a striper catch that ranged from 13-17 inches. The 13 inchers weighed around 1.6 pounsd and the 17 inchers weighed in at around 2 pounds fished from the casino area. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share your successes with others.
TOPOCK GORGE- Reports of catfish and some stripers are being taken in the Gorge but the bite is slow. I have not heard much about fishing in the Gorge lately.
TOPOCK MARSH – Fishing has picked up at the marsh with the warm temps. Bass, catfish and crappie are active and feeding. Use night crawlers or spin/swim baits for bass. Dayton and Pete had some fun on the marsh and brought home 3.62, 2.88, and a 1.94 pounds largemouth and a 2.62-pound striper. The two were using green and white spinnerbaits. They caught several more largemouth bass that didn’t make the 13-inch minimum.
You can access the marsh by boat at the North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of area for shoreline fishing too. For more information on the marsh, contact the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge at (760) 326-3853 or go to http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/havasu/index.html.
DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Catfish were stocked the week of June 9. Bass and bluegill are being landed on an assortment of baits. If you fish Dead Horse please e-mail me at email@example.com so I can share your successes with others.
VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Report of numerous smallmouth being taken in the pools that are a little deeper. Unlimited smallmouth can be caught out of the Upper Verde River. Always check your regulations before fishing this area with live bait. Game and Fish Commission Rule requires anglers to only use live bait that has been caught in the river. No transporting of live baitfish or crayfish is allowed.
FAIN LAKE — Fain was stocked the week June 9 with trout and will resume in September when the weather cools off. Five hundred pounds of catfish were stocked last Friday, Aug. 1.
GOLDWATER LAKE — Report are that some trout are being caught but it can be hit and miss. I haven’t received a recent report from Goldwater. The last stocking was the week of July 7. The next tentatively scheduled stocking will be this week, the week of Aug. 11.
If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share your successes with others.
GRANITE BASIN LAKE – Bring a variety of baits for largemouth bass, spinnerbaits, and plastics and always bring night crawlers just in case they don’t bite artificial baits. Bluegills are usually pretty easy to catch at this lake and are great for kids to have fun. If you fish Granite Basin Lake and are having luck, please e-mail me at email@example.com so I can share your successes with others.
LYNX LAKE –The last scheduled rainbow trout stocking was the week of June 2. Catchable brown trout were stocked the week of May 12. Channel catfish were stocked June 12 and one thousand pounds were stocked last Friday, Aug. 1. Trout are not the only fish in Lynx Lake. Send your reports in, they are greatly appreciated. The fishing dock was removed due to the low water levels but shore access is basically unlimited. I witnessed a 16-inch trout being caught last week, so there are trout left over from the June 2 stocking.
Cut anchovies, night crawlers or hot dog are your best bet for catfish. Lynx also can be an exciting place to fish for carp. Common carp are very strong fighters and will provide an excellent table fare. A quick search on the internet will produce tasty recipes for these robust fish. Corn and an assortment of other baits will attract these fish. Lynx can be difficult to fish, if you are not catching anything try moving to a new spot. There are some good spots on the north end of the lake that don’t get fished as heavily as the south end does.
MINGUS LAKE – The latest stocking was the week of June 9.
For trout the best bait is usually orange, pink, or white Power Bait, fished on the bottom with a treble hook and an egg sinker. Fishing can be really good at times, because angler use is lower than other lakes in the area.
Yellow bullhead catfish are active and easy to catch with nightcrawlers on the bottom.
This lake is more remote than the other Prescott area lakes and not very big. The lake is open as weather permits. Forest Road 104 is relatively impassable when wet. The lake is still open to foot traffic.
Someone illegally stocked yellow bullhead into Mingus several years ago. These fish compete directly with the trout and keep growth rates very low. If you witness anyone, anywhere, moving fish like bass, bluegill, catfish and stocking them, please report it to our Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700. Illegal stockings cost YOU money!
WATSON – Trout were last stocked the week of Feb. 3. Largemouth bass should be feeding as well as bluegill.
If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share your successes with others.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR – Largemouth bass are the predominant species in this lake. If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at email@example.com so I can share your successes with others.
LAKE HAVASU – John Galbearth of Bass Tackle Masters reported on Thursday, Aug. 7 that stripers are boiling in the morning and evening – anywhere from 6-9:30 a.m., and then from 4-7 p.m. Most activity is at the main, Winsor basin and on the south side of the island going into California Bay.
Bass fishing for largemouth bass has been fair to good. A lot of choked-out weeds are in coves because of the heat, so anglers will be looking to throw mostly buzz baits, frogs, Senkos or a slowly-falling bait like a Hula grub, working weedlines and weed edges.
Smallmouth bass fishing has been fair. With the unfavorable high water temperatures, smallies are deep on submerged grass in 12-15 feet of water. A lot of times during the early mornings, anglers can see boils and catch smallies on the outlying edges of the striper boils. Otherwise, smallmouth fishing has been pretty dead during the daytime, Galbearth said.
Redear sunfish action has been marginal. The bigger redears are over deeper grass flats. Otherwise, redear in the 1-pound class can be caught in fairly shallow water.
Catfish action is crazy, Galbearth said. Tons of channel catfish are cruising around; even bass anglers are catching mostly catfish in coves. Galbearth reported one angler recently catching a 15-pound channel catfish on a crankbait. Night-fishing for flathead catfish, using bluegill as bait, also has been productive for some anglers.
(If you have reports from the following waters, please send them to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)
ALAMO LAKE -- July 29 report from Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park:
Well folks, I just don't have a lot to report this week. High winds and storms have kept me off the lake. We did have a lightning strike that caught a portion of the wildlife area on fire.
I'm happy to report that only about 4-5 acres burned and no wildlife was injured that we are aware of.
My hat goes off to the Game and Fish Dept. and state land department for getting this under control before it could do a lot of damage. If you’re on the lake in a boat, or just out swimming, get out of the water. Wait until the storm is over.
OK, good news for you crappie fishermen. It came from a good source that they’re catching 20-50 a night up in the trees at the east end of the lake. Tie off a tree in about 18 feet of water and drop a minnow down about 8-10 feet. Use submersible lights. The bite starts around 10:30 and goes until around midnight or when the storms blow you off the lake.
Catfishing is still decent. Anglers are still limiting out fishing on the north side of the old rental boat ramp area.
Looking down the roadway, it's the cove to your right. I closed Cholla Ramp down a couple of days ago.
We have signs marked through the park directing you to the old rental boat area. We’re working with the Game and Fish Dept. to move the dock from Cholla over to the barrel area. We found a place that we think will work for awhile.
Both state parks and the Game and Fish Dept. are getting bombarded with calls wondering what we’re going to do for launching as the lake goes down. We are doing our best to find spots that are safe for you to use.
Your safety is our number one priority. Right now, and like I have mentioned, the old rental boat road and area are the best we have.
I have spent a lot of time graphing areas and have a couple of different options in mind. I saw this video on YouTube about using a slingshot. I'm just kidding.
The fire restrictions have been lifted back to a stage one. This means you can have a fire in the campground inside a fire ring. No fires are allowed in the wildlife area or on the BLM lands around the park.
The "No ski, or tow-able devises" will remain in effect until the lake comes up. The lake level is at 1085ish with releases of 25 cfs. The lowest I have ever seen it in my 14 years out here is 1080.
The monsoons have not done squat raising the lake. The COE did their inspection on the bulkhead. It was not as bad as they thought it would be. If we got hit with 20-30 feet of water I don't think they would drain it down.
If we do not get major winter rains then by this time next year we will be at 1075 and they might want to do a more detailed inspection.
Well that's all I got for this week -- Mark
LAKE HAVASU – John Galbearth of Bass Tackle Masters reported on Tuesday, July 1 that for stripers the evening boils are the ticket. From 4 p.m. to sundown, troll of cast Super Spooks, pencil poppers or anything that runs shallow or on the surface. Locating bird activity can help spot the boils.
For bass, most areas are weeded in, so go with weedless lures such as frogs or buzz baits.
Redear sunfish are in deeper waters now -- nightcrawlers still are the best bait.
The morning has been producing the only bite for smallmouth bass. Try top-water plugs first thing in the morning. Smallies are moving deep as the sunrises.
PARKER STRIP - Falling overnight temperatures should start slowing the catfish bite down. The strip is home to both Flatheads and more commonly channel catfish. Channels cats can be found throughout the strip but are typically in the areas with shoreline vegetation. A variety of stink baits can be productive as are goldfish or small bluegills for both species of catfish. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are also found up and down the river. Many anglers have switched to sight fishing as water clarity has significantly increased since the introduction of the aquatic invasive quagga mussel.
Boaters are reminded to clean drain and dry their watercraft before taking them to another body of water.
MITTRY LAKE - No new reports. Mittry Lake offers many fishing opportunities. There are ten man-made jetties on the eastern shore for shoreline anglers, but the lake is most effectively fished by boat. There is a good concrete boat launch near the southern end of the lake, with a courtesy mooring dock. There is also a more primitive gravel ramp toward the northern end of the lake. There are restrooms and trash facilities at the main boat ramp, which also sports a large Ramada for public gatherings.
Mittry Lake can be a bit frustrating at times, especially for bass fishermen. There are plenty of bass in the lake, with a few in the eight to ten pound range, occasionally larger. However, the bass are sometimes finicky, and it can be challenging to bring any in on some days. Other days, the bite can be wide open. Windy or changing weather often brings on the bite. Techniques for bass fishing vary widely. When fishing for bass in the cooler months, and bass are less active, fish deeper water with jigs, swimbaits, or plastics using a slow retrieve. As the water warms up in the spring and summer, bass become more active and move to shallower water.
During that time most people use plastics, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, or crankbaits with a faster retrieve. Plastic baits resembling worms, crawdads, frogs, or lizards can also work well. For best results fish around structure such as weed beds, emergent vegetation or where shoreline brush edges the water.
YUMA AREA PONDS – Beginning the week of April 20, four Yuma-area waters in April joined the Community Fishing Program waters: West Wetlands Pond, Council Avenue Pond (in Somerton), Fortuna Lake and Redondo Lake. These ponds will continue to receive winter trout stockings. They will receive a catfish and bluegill stocking in June, and a catfish stocking in October.
Please send me your fishing reports from Southern Arizona! Fishing reports for southern waters can be sent to Don Mitchell, Regional Fisheries Program Manager by email at firstname.lastname@example.org These reports will then be complied and reported in these weekly fishing reports.
Need ideas on where to go fishing? Try the Department's Fish&Boat Arizona map.
Cluff Ranch Ponds
Ben B.: Bluegill and other panfish are far too easy. We've caught them on meal worms, bits of night crawlers, PowerBaits, etc. The bass have been a bit finicky, but we've had success with crankbaits in shady areas on the west side of the pond.
AZGFD: Anglers are reporting good success catching sunfish in the early evening. The pond is full and there should be no problems with boat launching. Visitors are reminded that it is illegal to obstruct the use of the boat ramp by anglers trying to launch the boats. No parking, standing, sitting, swimming or fishing is allowed on the boat ramp. For lake information call (928) 485-9430.
Graham County Fairgrounds pond
Ben B.: We've caught bass on curly-tailed grubs, crankbaits, and jigs. Bright colors seem to do better. Bright yellow, orange, neon green, etc. I think they see it better in that stained water. I often start around 5 a.m. until I have to go to work, but the bite doesn't seem to pick up until around 6 to 6:30 a.m..
ROSE CANYON LAKE – An angler reported a great pan-size trout bite July 2 on any color of PowerBait. This lake is scheduled to be re-opened to vehicular traffic on April 19th. Anglers have been reporting success during the walk in only period with small flies.
RIGGS FLAT LAKE – Anglers reported trout hitting on PowerBait and flies on top. Water levels reportedly are down 5-6 feet and anglers are fishing in muddy, weedy conditions. Yet sherbet PowerBait was reported successful for trout by one angler last week; corn and worms were not as effective. An angler reported catching a nice brown trout caught off the bottom on a nightcrawler just after sunset (7:15 p.m.). He advised anglers to load up the weight so you can launch your line past the seaweed, sit your bait on the bottom, and be patient.
Top water fishing only seemed to only produce smaller fish, the angler said.
Please contact the Forest Service of the latest lake information at (928) 428-4150.
Previously from Arivaca – Construction on the new boat ramp has been completed and anglers can now access the lake without restrictions. Water levels remain low however and anglers should use caution when launching boats from the lake shoreline. No reports of angler success have been received.
PENA BLANCA – Angler's report. Matt M. and a friend were fishing Pena Blanca Lake last weekend. Here's Matt's report: I got blanked for trout and bass, but he managed to pull in five bass. He was using a worm rigged weedless and was casting into the bank. One was about a pound and the others were way less than that.
From AZGFD: Anglers are reporting success fishing for largemouth bass in the shallows along the shoreline using crayfish patterns. Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be immediately released alive.
Additionally all mercury advisories against the eating of warm-water fish caught at Pena Blanca Lake remains in effect. Future testing will determine if and when these advisories will be lifted. Boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.
PATAGONIA — A 56.2-pound flathead catfish was reportedly caught at the lake while fishing for bass with a jig. Anglers are reporting good success with largemouth bass and sunfish.
PARKER CANYON — Anglers are reporting catching only a few trout at the lake, with the most success using power bait. Contact the Store for the latest updates on fishing at (520) 455-5847
ROPER LAKE — No recent reports have been received from this location. For lake information (928) 428-6760.