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Fishing report, Aug. 29

Posted in: Fishing Report
Aug 29, 2013
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The end of summer is near – why not gather family and friends and get up to the pine-scented mountains? They're lush and cool and have been scoured with refreshing mountains rains. Might as well tame some trout, too.

The White Mountains in particular this summer have received slightly above-average precipitation compared to the past 10-12 years. The rains have helped cool lakes and prevent overgrowth of vegetation that can hurt a lake’s oxygen supply. In turn, fish tend to be more active feeders.

No. 1 rule of fishing? Find the fish. This week’s stockings include: Tonto Creek, Haigler Creek, East Verde River, Woods Canyon Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake, Little Colorado River in Greer and Sheeps Crossing.

With some luck, your ears might perk in wonder at the sound of bugling elk – this is the leading edge of the rut. Don’t forget to send your fishing memories to

Also, if you’ve discovered Twitter, you can find me @NickFishAZ. Let's share some tips. Twitter's just another hub of information, but at the speed of a click.

Then again, fishing is about taking your time. Being patient. Because as night grows longer and cooler, and days shorten, fish in all our lakes will become more and more active as they transition into autumn activity patterns. We can’t wait.

Looking for other Labor Day getaway spots? See the fishing report from Aug. 22, and another from Aug. 15.

Staying in the Phoenix area? Try Tempe Town Lake, where Texas-rigged worms or dropshots along shade lines and beneath bridges is a great bet. We’re also close to resuming Urban stockings: Deliveries of 1.5- to 2-pound catfish are scheduled to restart the week of Sept. 16-21.

Top-water action is decent, but weeks from peaking, at Lake Pleasant, Lake Havasu, Roosevelt, Apache, Saguaro, Bartlett, Canyon and Alamo. Still, predatory fish such as bass are actively feeding on shad balls that, depending on the fishery, have been milling around in an average depth of 15-30 feet of water.

It’s a great weekend to do some night fishing for catfish. Think stink when targeting channel cats. Use live bait such as bluegill and carp (make sure the bait is legal for the fishery) for some monster flatheads. Speaking of big flatheads, here’s the latest news:

The way some anglers look at Arizona as a fishing destination has begun to change since April when “Flathead” Ed Wilcoxson landed the heaviest recorded fish in the state’s history.

Word is getting out that The Grand Canyon State is home to many gargantuan flathead catfish.

Wilcoxson, after photos of his 76.54-pound flathead catfish taken out of Bartlett Lake were shared on fishing forums and media outlets across the World Wide Web, has received phone calls from interested anglers as far away as Africa, England and Australia. He said producers from the hit show “Duck Dynasty” on A&E requested Wilcoxson send them a short video of him fishing.

With Labor Day weekend just ahead, anglers can escape the heat and fish the night for this square-tailed catfish that may attain weights up to 100 pounds.

“I believe there’s bigger ones than (my record) out there,” Wilcoxson said. “I hooked two last year that absolutely broke me off. Even fishing as much as I do, it took me by surprise.”

Arizona is gaining notoriety for its unique potential for trophy flathead catfish. In the past two months, for example, Bartlett Lake has given up a 41.82-pound flathead catfish, and Lake Pleasant has produced an estimated 70-pound flathead catfish. The lower Colorado River also is notorious for monster catfish, as was evident in 2008 by the 89.4-pound flathead catfish that was weighed and released by the Arizona Game and Fish Department through an electrofishing survey. Roosevelt Lake also is an exceptional flathead fishery. See the department’s June 27 fishing report for photos and details.

During a fishing trip on Friday, Aug. 17 at Lake Pleasant, Wilcoxson sat down with Arizona Game and Fish Public Information Officer Nick Walter for a question-and-answer session about his record fish, advice for newbie flathead anglers, and the sudden catfish craze. See the video.

Said Phoenix-based catfish enthusiast Bobby Wright: “I haven’t seen so many people fishing for catfish since Ed caught his.”

The local economy is benefitting as well. Some Phoenix-based tackle shops have enjoyed marginal increases in sales of heavy-duty catfish rods, hooks and baits.

Steve Ortiz, store manager at the Mesa Sportsman’s Warehouse, said since the record went down in April, he’s seen an increase in sales of 7-foot, heavy-action, fiberglass spinning and bait-casting rods. In particular, he’s seen a spike in sales of outfits with reels that have a ”clicking” mechanism, which allows an angler who is not holding the rod to hear the clicking of line being taken from the spool – a popular method of waiting for a bite when targeting big flatheads.

“A lot of people have become aware of how big these fish are on the Verde chain,” Ortiz said.

Brent Klinger, assistant fishing manager at the Phoenix Cabela’s, said just after Wilcoxson’s record, he saw a 10-percent increase in King Kat catfishing rods, as well as stink baits. Large 10/0 and 12/0 circle hooks also are reportedly selling off the Cabela shelves.

“We have pictures of big cats people have caught up on a board in my department,” Klinger said. “People come into town and say, ’Wow, what can we use to get them?’”

Said Phil Brewer, an outfitter in the Cabela’s fishing department: “I’ve been here three years, and I’d say we’ve sold more tackle in the last year than the previous two years (combined) to guys going after flatheads.”

Wilcoxson, meanwhile, continues taking anglers fishing who travel from states rich in fishing tradition such as Texas.

“They come out here and I put them on a little 38-pounder and they’re just ecstatic,” Wilcoxson said. “I have people calling me from all over the world talking about this flathead.”



(Send your fishing reports and photos to

Gilbert C. with an update from Arrivaca: The vegetation on the road is green, indicating recent rains, but not enough to bring the lake up.  The launch area, as well as the first cove, are completely grown over.  Water could be seen at a distance, but there was an algae bloom on the surface.  I am hoping the fish survive.  There were rains in the area on Aug. 22, but it will take several good storms to make the lake accessible to anyone other than float tubers who portage in.



Updated reports:

Note: If you have a fishing report or good fishing pictures to share (JPEG), send them to our "Been Fishing" site at

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,097 feet, 44-percent full, water temperature 80-87 degrees). Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods submitted this Aug. 23 report: Good morning Rim Country Anglers –The water level in Roosevelt Lake dropped 1% this week and currently stands at 44% full.  The Salt River is flowing at just under 400 CFPS which is about double its rate for this time of year and the Tonto Creek is just slightly flowing. The water temperature in the lake is in the mid 80s in the morning, increasing to the high 80s in the afternoon.

It has been said many times that Roosevelt Lake can be like two different lakes since its fed by two major waterways. This week, the water condition on the Salt River end of the lake was reported to be stained and a waterline, where the clear water meets the stained water, was producing some good action. The Tonto Creek at the other end of the lake is barely flowing and the water clarity at that end of the lake was called clear. 

Bass fishing was called fair this past week with most of the positive reports coming from the Salt River end of the lake. This is probably due to the increased flow of water.  The best reported bait this past week was a dark colored jig using a flipping technique; second was a dark-color worm on a drop shot; and third was a 7-inch curly tail camo worm on the Carolina rig. The early top water bite didn't appear to be happening this past week; however, experienced anglers are continuing to report that a gradual transition from the summer pattern to a late summer-early fall pattern is underway. Fall fishing can be some of the most fun times to be on the water and I for one, am looking forward to the cooler weather and being able to spend more time on the water.  

The crappie bite was also called fair this past week.  Small schools of crappie are still being caught in brush that is in 25-30 feet of water. A lot of patience is required and you may need to catch a couple from one location then move to another spot. Ideally, if 4-5 spots are know, you can rotate between them and not put too much fishing pressure on any one spot. Small 2-inch grub tail baits on the 1/16 or 1/8 oz jig head are required as well as 4-6 pound test line.     

Trout fishing on all of our Rim Lakes continues to be reported as good to excellent. Visit the AZGFD website for stocking schedules of rim country lakes and streams. Many successful baits were reported this past week including cicadas, Power Baits, grubs, and dry flies

Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Gary Senft, Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, fished Roosevelt on Sunday. Although many anglers are reporting fishing to be slow, Senft said he caught 24 largemouth bass using Roboworm dropshots in reds, oranges and browns.

APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,907 feet (92 percent full). Water temperature 80-81 degrees. Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at Bass Pro Shops, fished the lake from 5:30 to noon on Monday. In the first four hours, fishing was poor throwing crankbaits, spinner baits, top-water lures and even frogs. But from 9:30 a.m. to noon, a dropshot-rigged Roboworm  produced a dozen largemouth bass from 1-3.5 pounds. Shad balls at Apache (and Roosevelt) averaged to be in 15-30 feet of water depth.

Apache has been good for high numbers of bass lately, but Canyon and Saguaro have reportedly been better for size.

Try working the major points using soft plastic crayfish like lures worked along the bottom. Crankbaits can also work well at times. You might catch a few good-sized smallies -- 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.

CREEKS BELOW THE MOGOLLON RIM – One angler also reported that Pautzke eggs (two on a No. 12 hook) continue worked great fishing the ripples. Tonto Creek and the East Verde River are great bets. Tonto Creek has been stocked with 10-16-inch rainbow trout and the East Verde is simply receiving a huge stocking. When fishing these creeks, it’s not necessary to bring too much tackle. Fish with grubs or grasshoppers if you can find them and float them through the ripples with no weights on a small hook (No. 10 or 12) and light lines (around 6-pound test: fluorocarbon if you can afford it). 

Tonto Creek Hatchery stocking report
Aug. 11 – Aug. 17
Tonto Creek – 360 rainbow trout
Haigler Creek – 360 rainbow trout
East Verde River – 1,215 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 5,082 rainbow trout

Aug. 18 – Aug. 24
Tonto Creek (61 degree water temp)  – 360 rainbow trout
Haigler Creek (69) – 360 rainbow trout
East Verde River (60) – 1,222 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake (68) – 2,858 rainbow trout

Angler’s previous report -- Dustin B. scored big in his first trip to Tonto Creek: Went up for ASU's scrimmage at Camp T and thought I'd fish the creek by Horton's Trail. Took a while to find a spot with enough depth, mainly because I had never fished Tonto before. Once I did I caught about 10 in about 2 hours. Used the fly pole with just a small treble hook and some Gulp Power Bait. What really hit the best though was some Panther Martins. They were attacking the gold like crazy.  Biggest one was about 16 inches.

Haigler Creek made Paul V.’s day on the weekend of Aug. 11: My wife Suzi and I spent the weekend on the Rim fishing. Did well at Bear Canyon, but she caught her limit in less than 20 minutes at Haigler Creek. Very nice rainbows.

Previous reports:

Please send your reports to

LAKE PLEASANT - Jeremy Hoffman, fishing manager at the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse, said he had a report of a 10-pound striper caught this last week on a Zara Spook.  Previously, he reported that top-water action in the morning is sporadic for stripers. He said some mornings you’ll be on them for hours, others you’re lucky to find a bite. He’s hearing there’s not much for size, except for a few reports of 4-6 pounders, and the occasional largemouth, coming out of the large boils.

Angler’s  previous reports: Barry W. has had great action at Lake Pleasant the past two Saturdays: Hope life is treating you well.  I have been fishing the northern coves at first sunrise the last two Saturdays. The top water action has been amazing.  Boils are lasting 30 minutes to 2 hours long depending on the spots. You have to try different top water lures to see what they will go for.  Two to three hours after sunset when the boils have slowed down I have been bouncing ¾ (larger silver KastMasters) in about 35-45 feet and just hooking the white bass and stripers like crazy. The wonderful thing about doing this is you can also hook some nice largemouth bass. We caught a few nice largemouth with this technique as well. Other boats around us were trying anchovies, which seemed to work but was much slower. The closest boat to us asked us what our secret was. Once I told him what we were doing, he offered to buy our tackle from us. Lol Great time to be on Pleasant and I hope this report helps others catch these great fish. Happy Fishing.

SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,526 feet (95 percent full): Senft said Saguaro is a hot spot for big bass, and many angler are having success with 4.5-inch dropshot Roboworms in red crawler and morning dawn with a chartreuse tip. Target humps, points and boulders, as well as reef signs and grass.

Previously, Skyler Clark, the Mesa Sportsman’s Warehouse fishing manager, said he had been receiving more reports of fish chasing shad in the mornings by no wake buoys – many boaters have been targeting these pods of bait, so you may have to deal with heavy boat traffic. Try spoons such as KastMasters as well, which are effective but Clark said many anglers have not reported using. Spoons work well this time of year when fish are keying on shad.

Still, the most consistent bite has been off dropshots, but not over grass, as had been the case in early summer. Fish apparently took quite a pounding in those areas.

Angler’s previous report: Jim F. at Saguaro The wife and I hit Saguaro Lake yesterday at first light and did pretty good, catching a nice handful of largemouth bass and a scrappy 5 pound channel cat- all on small to medium sized crank baits. Looking around at some of the other fishermen in the area we noticed that almost everyone was catching fish in good numbers. One man not too far from us hooped and hollered and loudly announced that he had just caught a 9-pounder.

Previously, Mike McFarland of the Hook Up Outfitters said Saguaro has been proving excellent largemouth bass fishing opportunities. Try jigs, crankbaits, and top-water lures early and late.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Reports indicate the river is excellent for suckers, but not so much for trout. Try night crawlers, small spinners, KastMasters and flies in this unique desert river trout fishery. You might be able to catch some bass or sunfish in the deeper holes. Good time for tubing the Salt -- take along a fishing rod.

BARTLETT LAKE (85 degree surface high temp.) – Lake elevation is 1,796 feet, 98 % full.: Water temperature range from 80 to high 80s. – Hoffman of the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse had the following report: Night fishing is fair. Football head jigs, Texas-rigged 7-inch worms in black, and other large-profiled baits should produce fish. Had a report from a gentleman who was fishing a ½-ounce football head jig the other night, got a bite, set the hook, and was spooled within a matter of seconds. Can you say FLATHEAD! It’s definitely not uncommon to catch flatheads at night while fishing for bass so hang on!!

CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,659 feet (97-percent full). Clark said action has slowed in general as a once great cliff-wall bite with dropshots has slowed considerably. Canyon is still giving up bigger fish than at Saguaro, Clark said, with a lot of 5-10-pound largemouth bass being caught. In the “dog days” of Aug., anglers can also try drawing reaction strikes with top-water lures and jerk baits when fish are active.

Don’t forget that Aug.-Sept. can produce some of the best night-fishing of the year.

URBAN WATERS – Fishing for catfish is slow at all Urban Fishing waters statewide through the summer (no stocking period). For holdover catfish, try the larger lakes of more than 5 acres. Some catfish and bass are being caught, but it takes persistence and some good timing in the early morning and evening hours.
Fishing has been good all summer for the plentiful bluegill that frequent the shoreline areas in search of food. Mealworms fished on the bottom or a few feet under a bobber can catch sunfish throughout the day, especially if anglers use smaller bobbers and light line in the 2-4 pound range.

Cloud cover, rain and falling temperatures from monsoon storms can trigger some good fishing periods. At Green Valley lakes (Payson), anglers are having some success for crappie, bluegill and bass, but the weeds are making fishing difficult. Smaller nightcrawlers (Dillys) and mealworms are working 4-6 feet below a small bobber. At all lakes, remember to release any of the weed-eating white amur (grass carp) right away so they can go back out and munch on the weeds.

Catfish stockings will resume at all Phoenix and Tucson area Urban waters the week of September 16-21. Green Valley Lakes stockings (trout) will resume in October.

Catfish stockings to resume week of Sept. 16-21

Deliveries of 1.5- to 2-pound catfish are scheduled to restart the week of Sept. 16-21. During the hot summer months from June 25 through Sept. 15, there are no scheduled catfish stockings at Urban Fishing Program waters. Once lake temperatures begin to drop entering the fall season, then catfish stockings can resume again.

Every fall, a total of four catfish stockings are scheduled at two week intervals before fish stockings switch over to rainbow trout in mid-November. Fishing at Urban Program waters will remain slow throughout the summer. Catfish can still be caught, especially from the larger lakes, with bluegill and bass providing some fun for patient anglers.

HORSESHOE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,951 feet, 0-percent full.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Anglers are catching glass carp, largemouth bass, crappie and even some rainbow trout. The best bite has been in the early morning. Top baits have been salmon eggs and worms (worms being the best), fished not far from the shoreline.


Updated reports:

Recommended Waters to Fish
Fishing is fair to good at Show Low Creek, Little Colorado River in Greer, Sheeps Crossing, Woods Canyon Lake and Willow Springs Lake, and fair at Big Lake, Crescent Lake and Nelson Reservoir. 

Trout Stocking Schedule
Week of August 19 - 23
Bear Canyon Lake - 225 rainbow trout
Willow Springs Lake - 1,200 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake - 1,825 rainbow trout
East Fork Black River - 784 Apache trout
West Fork Black River - 50 Apache trout
Little Colorado in Greer - 250 Apache trout
Sheeps Crossing - 258 Apache trout
Show Low Creek - 250 rainbow trout
Silver Creek - 528 Apache trout

Week of August 26 - 30
Bear Canyon Lake - 220 rainbow trout
Willow Springs Lake - 1,200 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake - 4,000 rainbow trout
Little Colorado River in Greer - 250 Apache trout
Sheeps Crossing - 258 Apache trout

Note: Warm water temperatures have pushed trout into deeper water. Fish deep and target early morning or evening hours.

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake will be stocked this week with 220 rainbow trout.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair for trout. Anglers have been catching some rainbow trout and bass. Sunfish are numerous in the shallows. They can be easily caught with a small hook and nightcrawler. The water level is low, and launching trailered boats will be difficult.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair for boat anglers using lures and fair for shore anglers.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake will be stocked this week with 1,200 rainbow trout. Some boat anglers were having luck drifting bait 15 to 20 feet under the boat.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake will be stocked this week with 4,000 rainbow trout. The store is open, and boat rentals are available.


Note: Warm water temperatures have pushed trout into deeper water. Fish deep and target early morning or evening hours.

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair. Fish early or late in the day for best results. With warm water temperatures, please play and release the fish quickly without taking them from the water to minimize stress and reduce mortalities. Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release fishing, with artificial fly and lure only, and single barbless hooks only.

BIG LAKE – Fishing is fair. Warm water temperatures have pushed fish into deeper water, so anglers should be fishing deep. The best action has been in early morning and late evening with nightcrawlers and Power Bait. Shore anglers should try fishing off outer rocky points adjacent to deep water. Avoid fishing small coves since they are shallower and will have warmer water. The algae bloom is disappearing.  Boat anglers should try anchoring or drift fishing in deep water. The store is open, and boat rentals are available. The lake level is somewhat low, but boat ramps near the store and at South Cove are accessible. The boat ramp at Railroad Cove is very low, and launching trailered boats here will be difficult.

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is poor. The lake is very weedy.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for trout, but fair to good for bullheads, bass and catfish. Boats can be launched at the official boat ramp, but will have difficulty reaching the canyon above the highway bridge due to shallow water and vegetation.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is poor. The lake is very low and weedy.
CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching rainbow trout on Power Bait and nightcrawlers. Fish early and late in the evening. The store is closed. Access to the boat ramps on the west and south sides is good.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair for trout and good for catfish and sunfish.  Anglers are catching catfish at night on worms and prepared catfish baits. Sunfish are numerous around the fishing piers. Use a very small hook and a tiny piece of worm to catch these sunfish.

GREER LAKES – All Greer lakes (River, Tunnel and Bunch Reservoirs) are low, and fishing is poor to fair. Water levels at River and Bunch are below the concrete curb at the end of each boat ramp. Boats will have to be carried to the water. Boat launching at Tunnel Reservoir is still accessible, but the lake is low.

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.

LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is poor. Recent surveys caught Arctic grayling averaging eight inches, but also found the pH to be very high. There is a strong algae bloom on the lake that appears to have killed the Apache trout and are likely stressing the grayling. The lake is low, and launching a trailered boat is difficult.
LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair. Some anglers are catching trout on Power Bait in the early morning and late evening hours. Recent surveys caught rainbow trout ranging from 13 to 14 inches.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open to overnight camping, which will be allowed through November 4. Fishing is poor for bass and fair to good for catfish. 

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair. Anglers are catching rainbow trout on Power Bait and worms. Fish early in the morning and late in the evening in deeper water.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is poor for trout and fair for catfish and bullheads. The lake is very weedy, and boating is difficult. White Amur (grass carp) were stocked into the lake under a special permit to control the nuisance aquatic weeds that plague Rainbow Lake every year. Please release these fish if incidentally caught so they can do their job at eating weeds.

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor to fair. Fish early in the morning or late in the evening for trout. The water is turbid, but the lake level is good. Try catfishing at night with worms, chicken livers and prepared baits.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. Anglers are catching some catfish on chicken livers and prepared baits and a few trout on worms. The concession store is open, and boat rentals are available.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is poor for trout, but fair for bass and catfish. The lake is weedy around the shoreline areas.


Note: All campgrounds along the East Fork Black River have reopened along the entire length of Forest Road (FR) 276. Monsoon rains last weekend have caused high flows and muddy conditions, making fishing difficult.

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is poor to fair. The river is running high and muddy from strong thunderstorms in the area. The stream may be stocked this week with Apache trout if water conditions improve, otherwise stocking will be canceled. All campgrounds along the East Fork are now open, and FR 276 has reopened along its entire length. The East Fork Black River is now accessible from Buffalo Crossing and from the north.

WEST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is poor to fair at the FR 68 road crossing. The river is running high and muddy from strong thunderstorms in the area. The stream may be stocked this week with Apache trout at the FR 68 road crossing if water conditions improve, otherwise stocking will be canceled. Vehicle access to the West Fork Campground will remain closed through this year.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is fair. The stream is running somewhat high (25 to 30 cfs) and off-color due to strong thunderstorms in the area, but it should come down, depending upon additional storms. The stream will be stocked this week with Apache trout if conditions don’t get worse.

SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is fair to good. The stream will be stocked this week with 258 Apache trout. Monsoon rains have caused some spikes in flows, but they usually come down fairly quickly.

SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is fair to good in the large pool below the dam. The stream was stocked last week with 250 rainbow trout.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is poor to fair.  The stream is running high and muddy from strong thunderstorms in the area. The stream may be stocked this week with Apache trout if conditions improve enough to stock, otherwise stocking will be canceled. The stream is open to general fishing regulations (bait, lures and flies are legal, with a six-fish daily bag limit) from April 1 through September 30. The upper section is closed to angling during the general regulation season.  



Updated reports:

LAKE POWELL -  Aug. 28  report from Wayne Gustaveson at

It was much cooler this week with much needed rain and cool weather.  Water temperature is slowly dropping but water is still warm leaving fish in the deeper zone.  Overall fishing success has not changed much in a week. Striped bass are still looking for bait in 20-40 feet of water along the main channel walls. Smallmouth bass are very agreeable and catfish are really excited about joining the party.

Let’s start with smallmouth. We went to the corner of Gunsight Canyon and Main Channel looking for rocky structure. On the east side of the intersection resides a bumpy, flat, rocky area.   Some rocks stick out of the water with shallow cuts interspersed between visible rocks.  Most of this rocky flat was too shallow for consistent bass action so we looked for shady drop-offs.  We lowered our drop-shot rigs when we found a deep water edge with a drop from 5 feet to 30 feet.  The boat was placed right over the drop-off and baits allowed to sink straight to the bottom. My first 8 drops resulted in 6 smallmouth caught that ranged in size from 10-inches to 2 pounds.

The most successful drop-shot baits were Yamamoto shad shaped worms in baby bass color.  Baits were nose hooked with small octopus hooks (size 4) and drop-shot weights were 1/8 to 1/4 ounce.

We could have worked the big drop-off for a long time and caught many bass but the wind came up and rain threatened so we moved on.  Satisfied that bass fishing was still excellent we moved to the striper wall at Buoy 25.
At green Buoy 25  look to the right (south) to see a tall red cliff wall. A smaller white wall joins the red wall on the upstream side.  That spot where tall wall and short wall meet seems to be the best fishing location for bait eating stripers. Depending on time of day the shade line marks the precise striper school location. A handful of chum followed by a small piece of bait on a light jig head or circle hook results in constant hookups. If the bait descends to 30 feet without catching a fish reel it back in and cast again. The active fish are shallow.

Lakewide bait feeding stripers are being caught at the same locations that have been hot all summer including the dam, intake, Lake Canyon mouth, Halls Creek mouth, and Deep Canyon. Some boils and excellent spoon fishing results are found at the inflow areas where near Trachyte and the upper San Juan.
Bigger stripers show signs of spending the summer without adequate food.  Smaller fish are in good shape and are the best fish to fillet. Keep all stripers to keep the fisheries in balance. Less fish next spring will be able to share the new shad crop more efficiently and rejuvenate the striper fishery.

Catfish are really active on the sandy beaches where houseboats park. Fishing is fast in the evening and will provide excellent entertainment for kids and parents alike. Use the same fishing outfit for cats that was successful for stripers. Just a plain hook with a chunk of bait and no weight allowed to rest on the bottom in 10-15 feet of water will catch many fish.  Catfish tend to tug on the bait and then drop it. They taste it first and then come back to eat it. Resistance from a heavy weight may discourage their return. Free floating bait may out fish a weighted offering. The only way to decide is to try it for yourself. Let me know which technique works best for you.

It's been a great summer for fishing success. With water cooling, the action will only get better in September.

LEES FERRY – Aug. 25 report from

Recent fish ratings

Upriver: 6.5 to 8.5

Walk-In: 6 to 8.5

Spin-Fishing: 5 to 8

Key: 1 = Go fish somewhere else 10 = Rent a helicopter and get here now!
Today’s Weather: Sunny, Low 67 High 80

Monsoons, lower water arriving in Sept., and great fishing; this pretty much describes what is currently happening at Lees Ferry.

Crowd Rating:

Upriver: 1-3 No Crowds during the week & 3.5 on the weekends

Walk In: 1 Nobody here during the week & 3 to 5 on the weekends

Key: 1 = Sleep late and fish where you want. 10 = Very crowded, get up early

Fly Fishing Up-River (By Terry Gunn):

The trout fishing at Lees Ferry continues to be better than we have seen in many years.  The trout are in superb condition, growing fast, and we are seeing fish of all sizes in the system which is indicative of a very healthy fishery and should continue that way for the foreseeable future. I would guess that the current trout population is the same or higher than the boom years of the late 1990s.

It was just a fair season for cicadas -- the hatch started early and finished early. We spent most of the summer drifting nymphs while wading and from the boat.

We have had some banner days this summer and everything looks favorable for the fishing to stay as good and possibly improve with the lower flows that begin on Sept.1.

It is difficult to predict the fishing, however, early Sept. is usually the best fishing of the year due to the fact that the water has been high all summer and the fish have been feeding like crazy. When the flows drop in Sept., the fish are still eager to eat and they are hanging out in areas that are easy to access via wading and the low fall flows are perfect wading flows. The current flow forecast is for the flows to remain low through October.

The trout continue to eat midges in most areas of the river and your best bet is to fish a double midge rig on a long leader with a small split shot. Assorted zebra midges are the ticket and the larger sizes work best.

I have been surprised at the intensity of the midge hatches in the higher water. I usually associate prolific midge hatches to lower flow releases but that has not been the case. The streamer fishing has been steady in the high summer flows, but will likely slow down when the flows drop. The productive flies change on a daily basis and every day the LFA guides and lets everyone at the shop know the top producing flies and how to use them. So be sure to stop by and see the flies that are working.

Our monsoon season has arrived, bringing clouds and welcomed cooler weather. We have been the proverbial “hole in the donut” as far as getting any rain here is our valley. However, the surrounding region has gotten more than most years.

There was a recent flash flood that occurred near Page, that washed incredible amounts of sand into the river at 13 mile, (just below the power lines) and at 4 mile. There was more sand brought into the river than I have seen previously in my 30 years on the river -- the sand can likely be measured in the thousands of tons. I look at this as a whole bunch of nutrients that accompanied the sand and have just entered the system and should help sustain and nourish the river.

Walk In Fly Fishing Report (By Dean Wyndam):

The fishing has been very good the past few weeks and everyone seems to be catching fish. Some of the smaller fish have been showing up, especially in the upper boulder area but larger fish in the 17-inch-plus range are being caught all up and down the walk in section. Midges and San Juan worms are working best with streamers doing well in the evening or late afternoon.

The lower flows that start on Sept., 1 is going to change the fishing in this area of the river dramatically. The lower flows will allow wading access just about anywhere and the fishing should be off the charts. If you have been thinking about coming to fish the walk-in, you should be making your plans to be here after Sept., 1.

With the current higher flows the upper boulder field is doing best in the early morning when the flows are at the lowest. Midges and San Juan worms are the best combo here.

From the large boulder down to the Paria River streamers have been working very well. This might be an area to try some cicada patterns with a dropper. Remember with the higher flows wading in this area is hazardous with all of the slick rocks and fast water. The fish here will be closer to the shore that they were last month so many takes will be at the end of the drift.

The point where the Paria River enters the Colorado is also a good place to fish but with the higher flows this can be a difficult area to wade; if you wade here, a wading staff is recommended. Midges and San Juan worms seem to be working well here also. Streamers work well as the water rises in the afternoon.

I would rate the walk in a solid 8 for the past few weeks. Hope to see you on the water.

Walk in Spin Fishing Report:

Spin fishing has not been really good at the walk in area. The best spin fishing has been of off Paria Beach. However, with the lower flows everything will be changing for the better.  Kastmasters and panther martins are the best producing lures here at the Ferry.

The only area that is really productive for spinners is Paria Beach or the area where the Paria River enters the Colorado River. There are some deeper holes here and some really nice seams where larger fish have been taken. Just a reminder be very cautious when wading in this area, a wading staff is recommended. Also you will need to have new line on your reel, we recommend 4lb test. If you see me at the river please come by and say hello.

I would rate the spin fishing at 6, rising to a 7.


Updated reports:

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 or visit

LAKE MEAD – The elevation has dropped very little to 1105.7 feet above msl.  Be careful boating because of fluctuating water levels and watch for floating debris dislodged from rising water levels. There seems to be an abundance of shad currently which may be the reason for the lack of bite.  Cut anchovies are still the bait of choice for stripers.  Check the moon phases before you go –last new moon was Aug. 6.  The next new moon will be Sept. 5.  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 were shad are found and best done in the early mornings and evenings.  Top water plugs or lures are doing well for largemouth. 

LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level has risen to around 642 feet above msl.  The latest report states that the lake bite has slowed a little bit. 
Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Next new moon will be Sept.  5.  Cut anchovies usually work the best for stripers.   

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, and Arrowhead.  Fish habitat consists of PVC structures, wood pallet structures, tamarisk bundles, and some Christmas trees. 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 so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW BEACH – Willow Beach is stocked every Friday with 3,000 13” rainbow trout.  Rainbow, peach, garlic and yellow Power Baits and Power Worms were being used most for trout.  Jakes original and Jakes Juniors, Panther Martin and Rooster Tails are also usually effective.  Willow Beach can be hit or miss bait fishing.  Try different baits including swim baits when nobody seems to be hooking anything.  Haven’t heard much from the area.

If you fish Willow beach and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – The striper bite has picked up along the river in the Big Bend area.  The occasional large stripers are still being caught from the dam down to the Gorge.  Many of these fish are in the 3-12 pound range.  Anchovies seem to the bait of choice for stripers.  Reports are that pencil poppers are working well for stripers in the mornings from the casinos to the Big Bend area.  Rusty at Riviera Marina sent in pictures of some nice fish caught in the river. Justin’s 4.98 lbs. and 4.82 lbs. stripers he caught with lures were perfect for the grill.

Water levels on the river fluctuate, so be careful. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

TOPOCK GORGE - Captain Doyle’s Fun Fishing service sent in a report of stripers caught between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.  Dave caught several 3-12 pound stripers on his favorite lure, the Bomber Long A.  The Gorge is giving up several smallmouth bass as Lester from Hale Center, Texas would attest to.  He caught nine full-bodied smallies weighing between 3-4.5 pounds on half dead night crawlers.  Earl, from California, and family caught twenty smallmouths ranging from dinks to 3 pounds with nightcrawlers.  David and his daughter Kylee caught and released nine 1-2 pound smallmouth bass on nightcrawlers once again.  Thanks again to Capt. Doyle’s Fishing Service for the report.

TOPOCK MARSH – Topock is producing some largemouth and stripers.  Dayton and Gene brought in to Rusty’s a couple of just under 2 lbs. largemouth and a whopping 10.14 lbs. striper.  Remember the minimum of 13 inches for largemouth bass in the Marsh.

If you notice illegal activities please call the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-352-0700 or online at  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


DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Catfish were stocked for the Verde River Days event and were last stocked for Free Fishing Day on June 1.  Catfish and bass bite should increase because of warmer temperatures. 

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – 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 Lake experienced a flood that brought in large amounts of sediment and woody debris.  Several catfish were observed dead and others struggling at the surface.  The town officials are working very hard to clean up the debris from the flooding.         

GOLDWATER LAKE — Report are that some trout are being caught but it can be hit and miss.  I haven’t received a recent report from Goldwater.  The last trout stocking was June 8.       
If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

GRANITE BASIN LAKE – The lake is closed due to Doce Fire and the rehabilitation of the damaged area. 

LYNX LAKE – The last scheduled trout stocking was the week of June 3.  Catfish were stocked the Friday before Free Fishing Day (June 1st).  Reports are that the lake level is extremely low, so be careful if you venture to the lake.
Cut anchovies, night crawlers or hot dog are your best bet for catfish. Lynx also can be an exciting place to fish for carp.  Common carp are very strong fighters and will provide an excellent table fair.  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 last scheduled stocking was the week of June 10.  

For trout the best bait is usually orange, pink, or white Power Bait, fished on the bottom with a treble hook and an egg sinker.  Fishing can be really good at times, because angler use is lower than other lakes in the area.

Yellow bullhead catfish are active and easy to catch with nightcrawlers on the bottom.

This lake is more remote than the other Prescott area lakes and not very big.  The lake is open as weather permits.  Forest Road 104 is relatively impassable when wet.  The lake is still open to foot traffic.

Someone illegally stocked yellow bullhead into Mingus several years ago. These fish compete directly with the trout and keep growth rates very low. If you witness anyone, anywhere, moving fish like bass, bluegill, catfish and stocking them, please report it to our Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700.  Illegal stockings cost YOU money!

WATSON – Trout were last stocked the week of March 18.
If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR –   Arizona Game and Fish Department completed a fish survey using gillnets and Electrofishing on April 17th, with the help of Prescott Parks and Recreation personnel.  We caught several largemouth bass in the 2-3 pound range.  Largemouth bass are the predominant species in this lake. If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.


Updated reports:

Note: If you would like more information on southwestern waters, visit Our Yuma Regional office has recently updated all the information to provide you more insight into these fisheries. If you have a fishing report or good fishing pictures to share (JPEG), send them to our "Been Fishing" site at For more information, visit the "Where to Fish" pages at

ALAMO LAKE – Aug. 29 report from Mark Knapp, Park Ranger at Alamo Lake State Park:

Well folks, in between storms I have managed to get out fishing a couple of days in a row.  To answer the No. 1 question, no, we did not get enough rain to bring the lake up more than an inch or so.

We lost that in releases in the next day.  After missing a lot of fish last time out, I regrouped and changed my routine.  I re-spooled my open-face reels with 6-pound test and tied on a 1/8-ounce jighead with a white skirt.  That was the ticket.

I caught 17 bass in a couple of hours. One went about 2.5 pounds.  The rest were about 8-10 inches long.  Every fish was holding in about 2 feet of water.  I was throwing right up on the bank, waiting a few seconds, then slowly pulling the bait into the water. Within a couple of jerks I had a fish on.  What a blast.  I think the little ones put up a better fight than the bigger ones.

Since I was the only one on the lake I don't have any other reports to offer.  A few friends of mine are catching catfish in the upper end of the lake.  No reports on crappie fishing.  Shore fishing is OK at best.  It sure is nice to have an extra boat at your disposal.

I mentioned a few weeks ago I hit the point that is just under water at the old rental boat road.  That was with my Ranger boat.  I did not do too much damage and put a couple of new dings on the prop.  I decided to use the boat I'm baby-sitting and was not so lucky.

I came pulling into the cove and sure enough I hit the point again.  I took the prop in to have it rebuilt -- $65 bucks later.

So, tonight I am going to take a couple of buoys and walk out and mark the points.  I meant to do that last night but it got dark before I came off the water.  I still would suggest using Cholla ramp.    I did see a couple of boils late in the afternoon.  They were small and did not last long.

I think the fish that were chasing the shad were dinks.   I sure miss the old days when you could go out and catch 30 bass easy chasing the boils around.

As some of you have noticed you don't see Junior mentioned much anymore.  He found love a few months ago and does not fish much anymore.  I pretty much gave up asking him to go out.  I know he likes to take his girlfriend out on the extra boat, but he will shocked when he looks in my driveway and finds it gone.  Once I get the prop back I'm going to head over and fish the Parker Strip for a few days. I used to fish it daily from 1989 till 1997.

I caught a lot of bass out of there.   Now it's full of smallmouth and they’re a blast to catch.

The lake level is at 1092ish with releases of 25 cfs.

Well, that's all I got --  Mark

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.

Small mouth 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.

COLORADO RIVER - Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam, including backwaters and Martinez Lake) – No new reports.

Last week, Charles S. fished four days on the lower Colorado from Picacho State Park to the Imperial Dam: Backwater bass fishing is poor, expect some juvenile fish and 88-degree water temps and lower water levels. The majority of the quality bass taken are coming from the main river channel (a 4.5-pound largemouth bass is pictured to the right.) Baits getting the most bites are creature baits, crawfish baits, and plastic worms. Fish tight to the vegetation along the banks and fishing is fair to good. Continued triple digit temps are also a factor, so bring lots of drinking water. Carp fisherman may want to check out the backwaters of Picacho State Park, where they will find an abundance of large carp.

From last week: A 7.75-pound bass was recently taken from a backwater spot. This stretch of the river is best known for its trophy-sized flathead catfish, with some over 70 pounds and largemouth bass, with some over 10 pounds. However, it can also be good for channel catfish, sunfish and carp and to a lesser extent striped bass, crappie and tilapia.

Largemouth bass fishing is generally best in the backwaters or near the mouth of the backwaters. There are many different techniques used for largemouth bass. As a general rule, most people will use topwater lures such as buzzbaits or spinnerbaits in the early morning and then switch to jigs, crankbaits, or swimbaits as the day progresses. Using plastic baits that resemble worms, crawdads, frogs, or lizards often work well. It is generally best to fish around structure such as weed beds, emergent vegetation, tree stumps, brush, or boat docks. Fishing picks up as the water temperatures warm up in the spring and summer but largemouth can be taken any time of the year.

Flathead fishing is generally best in slack water areas, deep holes, or near overhanging vegetation along the main channel of the river. Flatheads prefer live bait such as bluegill or small carp and fishing is best at night during the summer months. Channel catfish are wide spread in the main river channel and backwaters and will bite on night crawlers, chicken liver, stink bait, or about any other "smelly" bait. They can be caught year-round but probably bite best at night.

Bluegill are also widespread, but are most likely to be found around structure in the backwaters or slack water areas.

Bluegill will bite on meal worms, night crawlers or small crappie jigs.

MITTRY LAKE - No new reports. From last week: 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 time, 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 - Final stockings of trout have been made in Yuma area ponds for the season. Fortuna and Redondo ponds were stocked on Feb. 16, and the Yuma West Wetlands and Council Park (Somerton) ponds were stocked on Feb. 23.

LAKE HAVASU - Lake Level: 449.15. June 12 report from John Galbraith of in Lake Havasu City:

Lake level: 448.95

The striper bite is good with some morning top-water action (5 a.m.-7:30 a.m.) from the north end of the main basin south to black rock/Calif. bay.

LuckyCraft Pointer 100/128s or pencil poppers are good choices now. Trolling and Casting has been effective.
Cut-bait fishing using anchovies or sardines is producing smaller limits than using artificial lures.

Evening/night fishing for bigger channel and flathead catfish has been excellent. The best time is 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Use live sunfish or bluegills from 2.5-4 inches long rigged on a Carolina rig with 3/4 to one-ounce sinkers with 12-15-pound test with a 24-36 inch leader.

Redear fishing with night crawlers around submerged grass beds has been producing some quality redears of more than two pounds.


Previous reports:

With the recent rains fishing has picked up.  Trout were being caught on Dogtown Lake on Power Bait, and Ashurst is still good for trout on Power Bait   Warm water fish such as bass and yellow perch, bluegill and crappie are starting to get more active on the lakes around Williams with microjigs, small bead-head flies and worms fished under a bobber or on a fly rod working well.  Fossil Creek is closed to fishing.


KAIBAB LAKE —  Campground is open.  Fishing was slower over the weekend with all of the storms that have hit the area.  Trout were being caught on worms or Power Bait  fished off the bottom.  Some crappie bluegill and bass were being caught on worms fished about 3 feet under a bobber.  Anglers were also catching crappie and bluegill on small bead-headed flies.  We sampled the lake late last month and caught large numbers of largemouth bass near the submerged trees. Stocked last week.

CATARACT LAKE —  Campground is closed.   One angler reported catching a large catfish on a crayfish-colored crankbait. Try bead-headed flies or microjigs for the crappie and bluegill in the lake.  We sampled the lake late last month and caught quite a few largemouth bass along with one relatively large brown trout.
CITY RESERVOIR — Open.  No report 

DOGTOWN LAKE —  Campground is open. Trout fishing was good during the morning on Chartreuse Power Bait.  Crappie fishing was excellent on worms under a bobber and micro jigs some larger than normal crappie were checked by the creel clerk.

JD DAM — No report.  The lake is full. Remember the lake is managed as a catch-and-release fishery.

SANTA FE — Fishing is good on the upper end of the lake for yellow perch and crappie.  Most of the fish were being caught on worms fished about 3 feet under a bobber

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is open.  Lake Level is low. No report.


LOWER LAKE MARY —  Lower Lake Mary is pretty weedy and no one has been fishing it. 

UPPER LAKE MARY —   No recent reports but this is a good time to fish on Upper Lake.      

ASHURST LAKE —   Campground is open. No recent reports.  Stocked last week and scheduled to be stocked this week.

Previous report from Jeremy Hoffman, fishing manager at the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse:  Fishing is good. Lots of people limiting out in a matter of hours. Best bet would be to pinch a few split shots on your line about 18 inches above your hook and let that soak on the bottom with Power Bait. Use a size 10 bait holder hook or size 16 treble, and just put on enough to cover the hook. Putting on too much will make the bait sink and subject it to being quickly thieved by crawdads. Also salmon eggs 3 feet under a bobber prove to be effective for stocker trout, regardless of what water you’re fishing.

FRANCIS SHORT POND –  There has been a fish kill on Frances Short Pond caused by recent runoff from rain storms. 
Fishing for catfish can be good this time of year as the water warms.  The lake has a good sized population of brown trout with some being very large.  Try using small crawdad colored crankbaits fished deep or nightcrawlers early in the morning or just about dusk for brown trout.  A grasshopper kicking around on the surface in the evening might also work   

OAK CREEK — Anglers were reporting catching stocked trout over the weekend. Scheduled to be stocked this week. 

LONG LAKE — We have had a few reports that the pike fishing has been good on Long Lake.

BEAVER CREEK –  Trout stocking has stopped for the summer season.  No report.

WEST CLEAR CREEK -- Trout stocking has stopped for the summer season.  No report.


BLUE RIDGE —  Road is open and SRP has begun to draw the lake down for necessary repairs to the dam and associated piping.  We’ve heard reports of a some nice holdover trout being caught.  Will not be stocked this year due to plans to draw down the lake for repairs to the dam.

KNOLL LAKE — The road is open.  No report.


Previous reports

ROSE CANYON LAKE — Anglers have reported that the bite is on for rainbow trout.  Summer trout stocking is coming to a close with three more scheduled stockings.  To view the entire summer stocking schedule go here: 2013 Summer Stocking Schedule

ARIVACA — Open to anglers, water levels continue to be severely low and the lake continues to drop.   Anglers have reported that access from the Boat Ramp to the Water is close to 200 yards and the area is covered with 5 to 6 foot high weeds.  There is a very narrow path to the water on the west side of the lake.  All boat launching is at the risk of the owner.  Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be immediately released alive. 

DANKWORTH POND — The Park is currently open and anglers have been catching channel catfish.  The Department already began the restocking process with the introduction of bluegill sunfish and channel catfish.  The stocked fish were in good condition.  Largemouth bass will be stocked once the sunfish population has become established. 

CLUFF RANCH — No recent reports of success.  A recent fish survey showed a good population of sunfish and largemouth bass in the lake.  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.

FRYE MESA RESERVIOR – On June 4, 300 catchable Gila trout were stocked into the reservoir.  Anglers have reported success at catching Gila trout since the stocking.  Remember that the daily bag and possession limit for Gila trout is one fish. Frye Creek above the reservoir remains closed to fishing. 

PARKER CANYON — Fishing is poor to fair for bluegill fishing.  One angler said the bluegill were spooky and kept spitting out the bait.  Anglers have been reporting good success catching largemouth bass.  Water quality is fair with aquatic weeds covering a good portion of the shoreline.  Anglers are reminded that the bag/possession limit for channel catfish is now 4 fish.  Contact the Parker Canyon Lake Store for up to date information on lake levels and fishing activity at or by phone at (520)455-5847. 

PATAGONIA — Anglers have been having some success catching largemouth bass with the water temperature in the high 70s.  The lake level is back to normal from some great monsoon rains. 

PENA BLANCA – Anglers have had luck catching 8-13 inch largemouth bass from boat and shore.  Water quality is poor but the bite is definitely on.  Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be immediately released alive.  Additionally all mercury advisories against the eating of warmwater 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.   

RIGGS FLAT — Water was fairly clear and the bite was on last week.  One angler caught two rainbow trout before lunch time fishing in the middle of the lake on a kayak.  No future stocking are scheduled at this time. 

ROPER LAKE —  A recent AZGFD gill netting survey confirmed the presence of common carp in the lake.  Illegal stocking of carp into Roper Lake is suspected as the source.  Water temperature was 80 degrees.  For lake information (928) 428-6760. 


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