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Fishing Report - August 7, 2014

Posted in: Fishing Report
Aug 7, 2014
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RosyDubHookup_1.jpg
Double top-water hook-ups like this one at Roosevelt Lake are possible as fish awaken from their summer doldrums.
A couple biological factors could pep the bite this weekend. Our waxing gibbons moon (as of Thursday) is “growing” into a full moon, and fish simply bite better during a full moon, especially at night.

Also consider that monsoon rains have drenched different areas, and moderate rains are predicted this weekend throughout the state. If your lake of choice has been blanketed with a good dose of rain, fish near a feeder creek. This area, with its influx of nutrients, can be a good place to locate bait fish, and in turn the sportfish you hope to dupe into visiting your boat.

Sportfish are starting to spring from their summer doldrums and wreck surface lures. The surface action seems to be picking up at Lake Powell (famous for triple-digit days), Lake Pleasant, Lake Havasu, Saguaro, Canyon, Rosy – pretty much name it.

This time of the year, these sportfish start to get more active chasing shad at or near the surface. Sometimes this results in boils, where the shad jump out of the water to escape predators.

At first and last light, try poppers, chuggers, buzzbaits and stick baits such as a Zara Spook, where you “walk the dog,” making the lure dart back and forth, dancing on the surface as though it’s a wounded shad. Never know when a bass will surprise you by blasting the lure and scattering the surface. Nothing like it.

But for pure numbers, a dropshot rig is the best summertime largemouth bass technique.

Catfish catchers -- it sounds like Lake Havasu is a hot spot for channel catfish. See the new report from Havasu.

Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods said trout fishing remains good to excellent on the Mogollon Rim. Lots of trout are being caught at all of the popular rim trout lakes on PowerBaits, worms, and flies such as a wooly bugger, he said. Early mornings, and just before dark, were reported as active feeding periods for trout.

That should give you the best weekend option. See the full report for more and check the angler reports for late-breaking fish bites. Our Fish&Boat Arizona map will show plenty of 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.


ANGLER REPORTS

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

CCCragin.jpg
Blue Ridge Reservoir (C.C. Cragin)

Tom T. of Fountain Hills: Went to the old Blue Ridge Reservoir Saturday, Aug. 2, with a 14-foot rim lakes-type boat. Launching was about as bad as it gets.

Backed down one lane about 1,000 feet dodging kayakers on both sides, especially at the bottom. Water is so low the last half of the “ramp” was bouncing over normally submerged rocky terrain.

Parking was the longest, steepest walk I have ever done in 25 years of fishing in mountain lakes. With muddy roads, rain, and launching hassles I thought this could be epic as fishing pressure should be light. My guess was right.

We used three different patterns of needlefish at 6 feet, under downriggers, and caught over 20 rainbows and lost 10 in 3.5 hours. There were only three boats fishing.

I took Cooper Loyet and Zach Langer of Fountain Hills out for the first time. They are hooked! This is a beautiful flooded canyon lake best fished from boat. Very little access of any other kind as the walls are all rock and very steep.
 
Colorado River (Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam)

Charles S.: Peggy and I fished for three days last weekend and the water temperature in the current was around 87-88 degrees and about the same in Martinez Lake.

A pair of weekend storms put a lot of runoff and debris into the water, water clarity was extremely poor, thus making fishing quite difficult.

On Saturday and  Sunday, we only caught two keepers and four dinks during those two particular days of fishing, and all of them were taken off-current. On Monday morning the water in the river was even worse than the days before -- it actually looked like chocolate milk was flowing through the river.

But not all was lost, as we found some areas with really nice water in Martinez Lake. On Monday we caught four keeper bass and three dinks, all of them came on swimbaits, which have been working quite well for the last few weeks.

I am not sure if it was a fluke, or that the bass are really desperate for food and getting out of their comfort zones, but one of the keeper fish that we had caught in the tail-end of a backwater was a nice smallmouth bass. It’s not as uncommon as one would think to catch stripers or flatheads in the shallow backwaters, but catching a smallmouth in a shallow backwater was a first for me.

Hopefully by the time the weekend rolls around the river will have partially flushed itself out and water clarity has started to improve. I have some new homegrown rigs that I want to test out in the current, but they need good water clarity to be 100-percent effective.

16lbcatDavisDam.jpg
Davis Dam

David W.: August 1, 9 p.m., Davis Dam. Side right by the buoy line ... my pole got slammed. I reeled up a 16-pound, 31-inch monster catfish after a good fight and almost getting spooled ... thanks to my son Daniel for helping me net this monster. Not sure I could of done it without him.

Caught this beast of a catfish off anchovies. Stay tuned for our next report, and keep your lines tight!

 

CENTRAL WATERS

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.

New reports:

ROOSEVELT LAKE – (2.091 feet, 39-percent full). Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods with a Aug. 2 report:

Good morning, Rim Country anglers,

Bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake was called “good” this past week by local anglers. The bass are in a summer pattern and anglers are reporting a good bite in the early morning and after sunset until about midnight.

A lot of water is being taken out of the lake for downstream use, and fortunately it was offset this week by the rain.

The Salt River is flowing at 200 CFPS which is almost 65 percent of its normal flow for this time of year while the Tonto Creek is not flowing.

Now as soon as the monsoons slow down, the flow rates into the lake drop accordingly. But we're all glad to see water coming in to help the lake.

A Carolina rig using a lizard was the most successful technique and bait used last week followed by a dropshot using a 6-inch worm. However, Texas Rig technique and jigs were also reported successful.

Most anglers are fishing main lake points or drop-off areas near flats such as Goose Flats or Connor's Ledge, which were reported as hot spots this past week.

Most bass are in the 15-25-foot depth, but some are being caught at 30 feet. I also received a couple of reports of suspended bass in 30-40 feet of water where a spoon would be effective.

Now this is typically is a late summer or fall pattern, but if you see suspended fish on your graph, a Crippled Herring spoon might get some good action. I'm also getting sporadic reports of an early morning/dusk top-water bite again, so watch for bass chasing shad on the surface.

The crappie bite was called good last week due to the nighttime fishing. Crappie were reported to be right in the brush or under a ledge. Vertical fishing with an ultralight rod and 4-pound test line was reported to get baits into the brush where the crappie school. Two baits were recommended this week: A Lil' fishy in the blue pearl color and a 2-inch motor oil and chartreuse tail grub.

The big news around Rim Country is the Gila County Roundtable meeting that will be held Monday, July 28 at 6 p.m. in the Tonto Basin Chamber of Commerce building in Tonto Basin.

Meeting attendance has been averaging 50 people and we hope to exceed that number at this meeting. The AZGFD will update us on the efforts to improve the fishing at Roosevelt Lake. They will also review the proposed 2015 fishing regulations.

The more people who attend the meetings the more attention is given by AZGFD; I hope to see many of you there.

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.

Semipro angler Gary Senft (and Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops) said fishing is good for smaller bass using a dropshot technique. Many bass are 6-12 inches, with fewer being 13-15 inches. The crankbait and top-water bites are poor to fair. "You can't get a lure past the little ones before a bigger one can bite it," Senft said.

Move around and stop at all points, looking at a depth finder to locate some shad within 20 feet of the surface and begin throwing a dropshot rig by the shad.

As summer progresses, bass are moving more quickly into deeper water as the sun rises.

Crappie fishing reportedly has been poor to fair, but anglers can try throwing minnows or crappie jigs. There might also be a top-water bite right before monsoon-generated storms hit. But be sure to get off the water of there is lightning.

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.

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.

Senft said that he fished Saguaro 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 1,658 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.

LOWER SALT RIVER – On Thursday they were releasing 1,000 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.

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.

Previous reports:

(If you've fished these waters, please send a report to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.)

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.

APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,908 feet (93-percent full). Bass fishing remains fair to good.

In addition to a continuously good bass bite on dropshots Powerworms, Texas-rigged brush hogs and Carolina-rigged brush hogs and lizards, anglers have had success hooking into smallmouth bass in the river using small spinners, jerkbaits and crankbaits, according to the Arizona Fishing Guides.

You might also 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.

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

New reports:

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 July 28-August 1
Willow Springs Lake – 1,900 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 2,454 rainbow trout
East Fork Black River - 1,000 Apache trout
Little Colorado River in Greer - 500 Apache trout
Sheeps Crossing - 500 Apache trout
Silver Creek - 625 Apache trout

Week of August 4-8
Bear Canyon Lake – 1,755 rainbow trout
Willow Springs Lake – 1,895 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 3,030 rainbow trout
Show Low Creek – 1,190 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 inches 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 15-20 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 or 2 large rainbows on San Juan worms, small midges, dark semi seals, and hoppers 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 passing on a photo 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 poor to fair for trout, and good for bass and sunfish. Try small pieces of nightcrawlers 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. The lake experienced a small fish kill last week due to low oxygen, but is recovering. 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. Water temperatures are warm, so the trout will be deep. 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 stocked last week, but will not be stocked again this season until Labor Day weekend because of a shortage of trout in the hatchery. The water has been turbid after heavy monsoon rains.

WEST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is poor. The West Fork was not 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 stocked last week, but 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 stocked last week, but 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 will be stocked this week with 1,190 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 6 trout, but only in the lower section. The upper section is closed to fishing until Oct. 1.

 

CENTRAL MOUNTAINS

Previous reports:

The only places that are stockable right now are lower Oak Creek, Kinnikinick, City, and Dogtown.

WILLIAMS LAKES:

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.

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:

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

New reports:

LAKE POWELL – From Wayne Gustaveson: briangsmb_edited-1Stripers 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.

 

COLORADO RIVER

New report:

StriperFIshingCORiver.jpg
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 1081.01 feet above msl is the lowest the lake has been sense the reservoir filled in the 1930s. 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 fluctuating water levels and watch for floating debris dislodged from changing water levels. The striper bite is on in Lake Mead. Cut anchovies are still the bait of choice for stripers. Check the moon phases before you go – last new moon was July 26. The next new moon will be Aug. 25.

Dark nights work best when fishing under light. Fishing for stripers in 50-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. 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 642.3 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 bass. Latest report has nightcrawlers doing the best for bass on Lake Mohave. Stephen and son Dylan caught a beautiful 2.82-pound smallmouth near Princess Cove. That is one of the coves AZGFD and NDOW are installing fish habitat.

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.

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 gcummins@azgfd.gov 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 gcummins@azgfd.gov 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. Tony caught a perfect striper for a meal at 4.36 pounds and 24 inches long fishing from shore in the casino area. Dallas caught his beautiful 9.42 pounder across the river in the Davis Camp 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 gcummins@azgfd.gov 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.

If you notice illegal activities please call the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-352-0700 or online at www.azgfd.gov/thief. Please refer to our regulations booklet on how to be a good witness.

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.

VERDE VALLEY

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 gcummins@azgfd.gov 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.

PRESCOTT AREA

FAIN LAKE — Fain was stocked the week June 9 and will resume in September when the weather cools off. Fain will get 500 pounds of channel catfish this week.

GOLDWATER LAKE — Reports 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 the week of Aug. 11.

If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

GRANITE BASIN LAKE – The lake is now open. Bring a variety of baits for largemouth bass, spinner baits, 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 gcummins@azgfd.gov 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 are going to be stocked this week.

One thousand pounds are scheduled for stocking into Lynx. 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.

Cut anchovies, nightcrawlers or hot dogs 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 PowerBait, 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 gcummins@azgfd.gov 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 gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

 

SOUTHWESTERN WATERS

New report:

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.

Previous reports:

(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.

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.

SOUTHERN WATERS

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 dmitchell@azgfd.gov 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.

Previous reports:

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.

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