It's cicada time, so anglers can make a trip to Lees Ferry for some wild trout. This entryway to the Grand Canyon will also enthrall you with time-etched pink sandstone cliffs towering a thousand feet or more above the mighty Colorado. It's truly the sandstone cathedral of fly fishing -- there is nothing else quite like it on this planet.
Can’t forget another world class fishery – Lake Powell. Stripers are boiling, which means these boilers likely will hit any appropriate lure within the boils. Powell has around 1,700 miles of shoreline to explore and dozens of lonely hidden canyons that might not see a fisherman in weeks or even years. Catch striped bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and walleye that linger into dreams.
Lake Pleasant also remains a hot option for stripers. Hit the northern coves for some daybreak, top-water action. Top-water fishing truly is a unique experience – you actually see the fish skyrocket from the water and crash a lure.
At Big Lake, some anglers are limiting out on rainbow and cutthroat trout using PowerBait and nightcrawlers in 20 feet of water, said Joni from the Big Lake Store. Some 80 degree days have pushed trout down a bit, and so having a boat to reach these fish will be a particular advantage. Garlic-flavored PowerBaits have been effective.
Stocking some stockers? Here a rundown of what stocker trout are being dumped in the White Mountains: Willow Springs Lake (1,895 rainbow trout); Woods Canyon Lake (2,450 rainbow trout); East Fork Black River (1,000 Apache trout); West Fork Black River (50 Apache trout); Little Colorado River in Greer (500 Apache trout); Sheeps Crossing (500 Apache trout); Silver Creek (625 Apache trout).
That should give you some options. See the full report and check the angler reports for late-breaking fish bites. 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.
Trout propagation program at Willow Beach Hatchery
a step closer to reinstatement
The full House Natural Resources Committee voted to move H.R. 5026, the Fish Hatchery Protection Act, to the House floor at a “markup” committee meeting held July 30.
Consequently, the trout propagation program at the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery could be a step closer to being reinstated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
(Send your fishing reports and photos to Bfishing@AZGFD.gov.)
Willow Springs Lake
Francis Short Pond
Matt K.: Action there now is really good in the morning until about 9 a.m., or late afternoon after a storm. The catfish are biting on hot dogs under a sinker off the bottom.
I also caught quite a few panfish on a fly rod using a wet black ant. They also like poppers with a short darting motion across the surface, and damselflies, but the black ant is most effective, especially in the shallows near vegetation in the water.
Deadhorse Ranch State Park
Bryan S.: Kids enjoyed catching bluegills, center lagoon, nightcrawlers, then just a piece of plastic worm. They would bite at empty hooks, so big fun for the Family. Some small, 6-8 inch bass were swimming around, but no bites. For the weedy bottom shore use the casting stations and top-water lures.
Brandon B.: To all my fellow anglers,
For anyone who thinks they need a boat, underwater sonar or high tech equipment in order to catch fish, not so.
My brother and I caught numerous fish on shore over the weekend of July 18-21 at Lake Apache with only our fishing poles, rods, and our go to bait, cooked hot dogs and nightcrawlers. Best times to fish are between 2-8 a.m.
My brother and I caught several large and smallmouth bass, the largest weighing in at more than 4 pounds.
Other species of fish we caught were yellow striped bass, bluegill, sunfish, carp, channel and bullhead catfish. Average weight for catfish were between 8-12 pounds. The carp in the picture was an astonishing 32 pounds.
Overall, an unforgettable weekend at one of our favorite lakes. So grab your poles and your favorite bait and get out there.
Caught 35 fish between two adults and three kids -- 20 were keepers. Two were 17-inch rainbows and everything else was 14-16 inches. Used different combinations of PowerBait each day.
Colorado River (Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam)
Lake and backwater temps are close to 90 degrees in some areas. And of course air temps this time of the year range between 109-115 degrees. I noticed that vegetation is starting to emerge in some backwaters and lake areas, so you may want to try fishing some of the matted areas -- frogs are always a good choice.
But being the river rats that we are, Peggy and I did just about all of our fishing in the current and I must say that we did pretty well casting swimbaits in the mornings and flipping creature baits in the afternoons. We certainly caught our fair share of dinks, but we also caught a good amount of largemouth in the 4-pound range. We fished in the rain and between multiple storms, one key factor for catching fish was when the low barometric pressure would move in, the bigger bass would really hit the baits with a vengeance.
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 – (2.092 feet, 40-percent full). Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods with a July 26 report:
Good morning, Rim Country anglers,
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.
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.
Due to the run-off from all the rain, the lake remained constant this past week at 41-percent full. A lot of water is being taken out of the lake for downstream use, so 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 drop shot 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 and 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.
Trout fishing remains very good to excellent on the 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.
Early morning and just before dark were reported as active feeding periods for trout.
Have a great week of fishing next week and I hope see you on the water.
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.
COMMUNITY FISHING WATERS – Catfish stockings have ended for the summer. See the latest Community Fishing Bulletin.
BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,777 feet, 71 % full. Not much has changed since the previous week's report.
The lake level has remained level during the past week, but the water level rose drastically the past couple months. With the muddy water rising as well, fishing may be tough, but some anglers are reporting a decent first-light top-water and daytime crankbait bite along rock stringers or around points, islands and reefs. Try fishing by the dam or the marina.
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.
As summer progresses, bass are moving more quickly into deeper water as the sun rises.
APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,908 feet (94-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.
SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,525 feet (93-percent full). Saguaro has been a bass hot spot.
Anglers have reported great top-water action once the sun comes up. One angler reported fast action on a 5-inch silver Slug-Go.
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.
Summer fishing patterns are here. An angler reported hitting Saguaro slightly before first light on Saturday (June 21) and catching well over a dozen nice bass within a couple of hours.
Keep an eye out for surface boils -- it's top-water time. One angler had success using Zara Spooks, but also got a couple of hits using a medium-sized frog.
CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,657 feet (95-percent full). Bass fishing is good. The Arizona Fishing Guides 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.
CREEKS BELOW THE MOGOLLON RIM – Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods said trout fishing on the Rim lakes and streams was called good to excellent this past week. Many of these lakes are being stocked every other week by AZGFD with 2,500- 5,000 rainbow trout depending on the week. Trolling small crankbaits is a very successful summer technique. However, salmon eggs and Power Bait are also excellent options. A light power, moderate action fishing rod works best for trout fishing. These trout have soft mouths and a hook can rip out easily. You don't have to set the hook very hard and the best technique is to just keep pressure on the fish with the rod tip high. Slow and steady pressure will get the trout into your net.
LOWER SALT RIVER – They are releasing from 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.
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.
HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,950 feet (0-percent full).
When the lake is full, there are a lot pf spawning fish. There could be a lot of smaller fish. Salt River Project tends to use Horseshoe as a flood retention reservoir, but steadily releases the water downstream into Bartlett Lake.
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.
WHITE MOUNTAINS AND RIM LAKES
Recommended Waters to Fish
Fishing is good for trout at Show Low Creek, Silver Creek, Woods Canyon Lake, and Big Lake.
Trout Stocking Schedule
Week of July 21-25
Willow Springs Lake – 2,371 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 2,454 rainbow trout
East Fork Black River - 1,000 Apache trout
West Fork Black River - 50 Apache trout
Little Colorado River in Greer - 500 Apache trout
Sheeps Crossing - 500 Apache trout
Show Low Creek – 1,190 rainbow trout
Silver Creek - 625 Apache trout
Week of July 28-August 1
Willow Springs Lake – 1,895 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 2,450 rainbow trout
East Fork Black River - 1,000 Apache trout
West Fork Black River - 50 Apache trout
Little Colorado River in Greer - 500 Apache trout
Sheeps Crossing - 500 Apache trout
Silver Creek - 625 Apache trout
MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair.
BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair for trout and fair for bass and sunfish. The lake level is very low, down about 18 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 2,450 rainbow trout. 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 was hot for several days last week, then has been slow for the last several days. Anglers are still picking up 1 or 2 large rainbows on San Juan worms, small midges, dark semi seals, and hoppers on the surface. 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 – At Big Lake, some anglers are limiting out on rainbow and cutthroat trout using PowerBait and nightcrawlers in 20 feet of water, said Joni from the Big Lake Store. Some 80 degree days have pushed trout down a bit, and so having a boat to reach these fish will be a particular advantage. Garlic-flavored PowerBaits have been effective.
Shore anglers are having the most success in deep water areas with worms or PowerBait as well. 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” 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 PowerBait or nightcrawler on the bottom in deep water 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 3 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 2 fish limit.
LUNA LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair for stocked and large carry-over trout. The lake experienced a small fish kill 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”.
SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair.
SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair for stocked trout and fair to good for bass and walleye. Boat rentals are available at the concessionaire store.
WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is poor. The lake is extremely low and weedy. The fishing pier is closed for safety reasons.
WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS
EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair to good for stocked Apache trout and fair for wild brown trout. The stream was stocked last week and will be stocked again this week with 1,000 Apache trout. The water may be 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 to good for stocked Apache trout and fair for wild brown trout. It was stocked last week and will be stocked again this week with 500 Apache trout.
SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is fair to good for stocked Apache trout. It was stocked last week and will be stocked again this week with 500 Apache trout.
SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is good. The large pool below Show Low Lake dam was stocked last week with 1,190 rainbow trout.
SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good. The stream was stocked last week and will be stocked this week with 625 Apache trout. Silver Creek is currently open (April 1 to September 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 October 1.
LAKE POWELL AND LEES FERRY
LAKE POWELL – From Wayne Gustaveson: Big news began pouring in on July 25. Stripers were boiling in the northern Lake from Good Hope Bay to White Canyon. As the week progressed more reports followed. Stripers were seen feeding on the surface all day long from Good Hope Bay upstream. Even better news confirms that these are “boils” and not “slurps”.
See the full Wayne Gustaveson July 30 report at http://www.wayneswords.com.
LEES FERRY – From Lees Ferry Anglers: For fly fishing up river, summer weather and the corresponding higher water flows have arrived right on schedule. It took a few days – really maybe 72 hours – for fish to settle into their high water mode, but once they did it was business as usual.
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 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. 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 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.
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.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 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 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.
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.
(If you have reports from the following waters, please send them to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)
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.
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 to 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 5am until I have to go to work, but the bite doesn't seem to pick up until around 6 to 6:30.
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.