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Fishing report, July 11

Posted in: Fishing Report
Jul 10, 2013
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Trout fishing is only picking up with monsoon activity.  Many high country fisheries are scheduled to be stocked this week.

But first some great news from Patagonia Lake! We have successfully excavated a channel to deeper water and the lake caught significant water overnight.  It is currently about 22 inches down from the normal high water level, and all boats should be able to launch with no problem. We don't anticipate any issues for the main boat ramp for the remainder of 2013.

On a quick stocking note, this week the Tonto Creek Hatchery is dumping fish into Tonto Creek, Haigler Creek, Christopher Creek, East Verde River and Woods Canyon Lake. 

Unfortunately, all lands that are owned or managed by the state, including Department wildlife area, remain under stage II fire restrictions. One thing this means is no campfires.

We sure could use some more heavy monsoon rains. As far as this writer’s concerned, there’s nothing like a campfire for good story-telling, fresh-cooked trout and even dodging those plumes of smoke.

For further information about fire restrictions on public lands in Arizona and New Mexico, call toll free 1-877-864-6985 or visit

And how about this feat from a young, precocious angler: On July 5 at Parker Strip on the Colorado River, this young man was catching and using crawdad, goggles and all, eventually landing this 14-inch smallmouth bass. Good to see enthusiastic young anglers.

Remember that at Blue Ridge (C.C. Cragin) there is no bag or possession limit. The road is open and SRP has begun to draw the lake down for necessary repairs to the dam and associated piping.  There have been reports of some nice holdover trout being caught.  The lake will not be stocked this year due to plans to drain the lake for repairs.

Angler's reports that have been emailed to have been pouring in. At Willow Springs, one angler (see Todd B.'s angler's report) had a great tip for anglers: he noticed that too many anglers last weekend were trolling too fast, which was keeping their rig too high in the water column. Great tip, Todd, and thanks.

Also, if you have any questions in regards to fishing, send your question to the same address,, and we might feature your question, and our answer, in the "Q & A" section. Regardless, we will answer your question.

Finally, something to note: Frances Short Pond suffered a partial fish kill over the weekend.  Arizona Game and Fish Department interns noticed dead fish on Sunday, July 7.   The partial kill included catfish, bluegill, bass, and trout.  Some catfish were observed alive surfacing.  Many dead fish were cleaned up. 


Largemouth bass virus among additions to Aquatic Invasive Species Director’s Orders list

PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Department has added largemouth bass virus (LMB virus), whirling disease and all snakehead fish to the Director’s Orders aquatic invasive species (AIS) list.

LMB virus, which primarily affects adult largemouth and smallmouth bass during the summertime, has been discovered at Lake Pleasant (Maricopa County Parks) and Bartlett, Saguaro, and Roosevelt lakes on the Tonto National Forest. All watercraft users leaving those lakes will now be required by law to clean, drain and dry their boats, which includes pulling the boat plug when exiting (A.R.S. §17-255). This already was a requirement by law at Lake Pleasant.

Whirling disease, meanwhile, has been confirmed at Lees Ferry, a trophy trout fishery just below Lake Powell on the Colorado River.

Snakehead fish have not yet been documented in Arizona.

While the LMB virus can affect largemouth bass, it doesn’t pose a risk to people and pets, and the water is safe for drinking water supply and recreation.

“Largemouth bass virus is not known to infect any warm-blooded animals, and any fish that are caught by anglers are safe to eat,” said Marc Dahlberg, Game and Fish water quality program manager. “However, we always recommend that people thoroughly cook any fish they intend to eat, and never use fish found dead or dying for food.”

At this time, fishing at these waterbodies is still productive and there have been no recreational impacts.

Dahlberg explained that although the virus can cause mortality in largemouth bass, not all bass become infected, and not every fish becomes sick. For instance, only five lakes in Texas suffered fish kills even though the virus was found in 23 of the state’s reservoirs.

“Usually the number of infected fish that die is relatively low compared to the entire population, with the virus mostly affecting older and larger fish,” said Dahlberg.

The virus has been found in 18 states dating back to 1991. In Arizona, Saguaro Lake, Bartlett Lake, Roosevelt Lake, and Lake Pleasant have tested positive for the disease.

Although other fish species can carry the virus, it only affects largemouth bass. It is not known exactly what triggers the activation of the virus into a disease outbreak, but it has been associated with stress events such as high water temperatures. The virus appears to diminish over time.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department emphasizes that there are precautions the public can take to help stop the spread of the virus, as well as other aquatic invasive species such as quagga mussels. One preventive measure that is vital is that people absolutely avoid transporting live fish or water from one body of water to another.

“You might be spreading an unwanted disease or even introducing an unwanted organism, such as quagga mussels, that could substantially affect a fishery or lake ecosystem,” said Dahlberg. “Don’t transport live fish caught from a lake – period. It’s the wrong thing to do and it’s unlawful.”

That’s why it’s important to clean, drain and dry your boat before leaving any lake at any time. In other words, remember to wipe down your boat, pull your plug, and dry your watercraft and equipment for at least five days before launching your boat on another water. Bass virus can live for up to seven days in standing water.

Other ways anglers and boaters can help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species:

  • Dispose of all unused bait in the trash, never in the water.
  • Never transfer live fish from one body of water to another.
  • Rinse any mud and/or debris from equipment and wading gear.
  • Drain any water from boats, bilge, bait buckets, and livewells before leaving the launch area. A mild mixture of bleach and water can be used to disinfect your equipment
  • Allow everything to air dry before moving to another body of water.
  • If you see any dead or dying fish, please report your observation to Arizona Game and Fish at (623) 236-7257.
  • Educate others to follow these steps.

The AIS list now includes quagga and zebra mussel, rusty crayfish, red claw crayfish, New Zealand mudsnail, didymo (a.k.a. rock snot), giant salvinia, Asian carp (silver, black and bighead), apple snail, whirling disease, LMB virus, and all snakehead species.

In 2009, the Arizona Legislature passed the Aquatic Invasive Species Interdiction Act, which authorized the regulatory measures known as “Director’s Orders”. They give the Arizona Game and Fish Department certain authorities and responsibilities, such as identifying and assessing aquatic invasive species presence, identifying affected waters, and establishing protocols and mandatory conditions for moving watercraft and other equipment so the public does not transport or possess these invasive organisms to other Arizona waterbodies.

For more information on AIS, including listed species, waters, and invasive species risk analyses, visit

More information on largemouth bass virus is available at:



Sam B. had a good day with brown trout fly fishing Christopher Creek on July 6:It was definitely a tough go as water levels are on the low side and a very technical fishing day, but ended up catching eight brownies ranging from 6-12 inches.  Beautiful, healthy, vigorous little guys!  Best patterns were mayflies and caddis in No. 14 size, although I brought a somewhat limited selection.  If you enjoy "the hunt," having limited pressure/crowds and are not averse to covering a lot of uneven terrain, it's a great day.

Todd B., new to Arizona, spent the fourth of July on the Mogollon Rim: We stayed in Tonto Village for a few days to fish and hike up on the rim. 

We spent three hours midday on the 4th at Willows Springs and knocked the socks off of those fish.  They must have not seen us coming.   We landed 15 trout in three hours between the four of us.  We fished with garlic mellows or a single salmon egg right on the bottom.  Lots of boats were out with little success.

We hiked in past the dam up into the northwestern point about 1 mile from the parking lot. Word of advice for the trolling folk out there, "You're trolling too fast and it is keeping your rig too high up in the column.”

 I could see a few of the boat’s rigs dragging across the top of the water.  My best setup fishing in the Washington lakes without a down rigger was the mainline/half-ounce crescent weight/4-6 foot leader/lure-bait trolling with just enough speed to keep the rig off the bottom and spinning.  Lots of fish that caught up there that way. 

Next day we hiked up and around just past the village for a few hours and had a blast: even jumped a few cow elk, and saw the biggest Garter Snake I have ever seen, and watch the cattle roam with their babies.  We had a real nice day topped off by an evening splash in Tonto Creek below the Hatchery. 

I am loving Arizona more and more every day.

Ben P. on Saturday, June 29, fished beginning at dark at Rigg’s Flat with success on Power Bait and flies behind a torpedo bobber: Right at dark, I throw out a lure and tell my 4-year-old son Lee to reel it in. He says he thinks he has one and starts to reel it in. As it gets near the boat he starts struggling and the fish starts taking out drag and diving down.

I can tell we have something bigger than a stocker rainbow. After a couple of missed net attempts, I grab the rod and get the fish in the net. He pulled in a 17 inch brown trout all on his own! He couldn't stop telling everybody nearby and at camp that he caught a huge fish for the rest of the night! That's my boy!

A few people were getting some on Power Bait. I used flies behind a torpedo bobber all weekend from a boat to get past the weeds. Best producers were black or olive simi-seal leaches or olive boufaces.

Q & A

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following fishing report from David A. has been moved to the Q&A section in order to address this angler's concern.)

Howdy, just a bit of a report for Patagonia Lake.

Lake level is still dangerously low, and my wife and I watch two folks on a paddle boat not following the markers ground themselves on the rocks which are normally submerged.  The entire campground boat ramp is out of the water, and is completely closed.  The main boat ramp is completely exposed as well, however anglers using larger trucks have seemed to have no issues launching their boats.  However I heard several talk about if you back your trailer in too much that there is a very steep dropoff it will head down.  However, the ground appears to be solid and able to hold up without any issues.  The dock that is normally there has been removed.  The water level is down approximately 5 feet from last year.

On to the fish.  Sunfish are biting basically all day on nightcrawlers and meal worms: you just have to find them.  The mouth of the water exiting the Marina had lots of good bites -- in a 2-hour period we probably caught 20 or more, none really big enough to keep, but a lot of fun to catch.  The bass are very active top water in the early morning and evening.  We didn't have our boat so were shore fishing, but we did catch a 2-pound bass on just a bobber and nightcrawler.  We did not have any luck with catfish, however one angler came in as we were searching for crawdads and said he caught seven catfish, three bass, and five crappies all on the eastern no wake side of the lake.  If you're into crawdad fishing they are everywhere; you cannot pick up a rock without finding one hiding underneath, from small to edible in size. 

  • David: In case anyone missed this news above regarding Patagonia Lake, we have successfully excavated a channel to deeper water and the lake caught significant water overnight. It is currently about 22 inches down from the normal hgh water level, and all boats should be able to launch with no problem. We don't anticipate any issues for the main boat ramp for the remainder of 2013.

    Thanks for your report - Nick

OK, on to the full report.



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 2,103 feet, 50 percent full).  James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods submitted this week’s report:  Good morning rim country anglers -  The lake water level dropped another 1 percent this  past week and currently stands at 49 percent full. We've seen a huge drop off in the Tonto Creek flow the past couple of weeks and yesterday Tonto Creek stopped flowing. The Salt River remained  at 60 percent of its normal rate for this time of year.

The water temperature is increasing with morning temperatures in the low 80s increasing to the mid-to-high 80s during the afternoon. The water cleared up a lot this week and we're now seeing clear water most everywhere on the lake.  

Bass fishing was called fair to good this past week. The best success was reported this past week on Texas rig, dropshot and Carolina rig techniques. Baits ranged from Senkos, 10-inch ribbon tail worms, 6-inch curly tail and lizard imitations. Main lake points in 15-25 feet water is the most popular areas for summer time fishing.

Due to the daytime heat several anglers are now fishing from late afternoon until well after dark. As we do every year about this time, we remind anglers to check the weather. It’s a little early for monsoons; however, if you heard the thunder roaring in Payson yesterday, we know that is a warning that the monsoons are coming. 

Speaking of nighttime fishing, the after-dark crappie fishing was reported to be fair this past week. The full moon last week and mild weather made for some great fishing memories for several young and old anglers. Live minnows fished about 2 feet below a bobber, is the best bait for night time crappie fishing. 

LAKE PLEASANT – Mike McFarland of Hook Up Outfitters said the deep jerk bait bite has been hot. He recommends starting early in the morning with top-water lures and swim baits. If that's not working, go to deep jerk bait bites. Also, find surface boils and throw deep water baits below the boils for striper, white bass and largemouth bass.

The nighttime striper bite is picking up. Try a cut anchovy at the mouth of coves in 40-60 feet of water. Also try fishing under lights at night with anchovies or lve shad in the same areas.

Ideal times are early morning and late for top water.

If you want largemouth bass, you'll need a small drop shot. THe smaller the better. Try a tiny shakyhead, or slick shake (whacky style). Worms or curly tail Roboworms of less than 3 inches have been best.

Anglers continue to catch large flathead catfish in large numbers.

A prime option for catfishing in the past months, some big cats have been landed in the daytime and at night. The prime bite has been at night near bank with live bluegill or carp fished under a float on circle hooks. Target any type of underwater structure. In the summer, catfish move close to the banks at night (5-15 feet of water in general).

Angler Bobby Wright reported that on Father’s Day weekend, his oldest daughter, Kylie Wright, caught a 10-pound flathead catfish and his youngest, Tatum Wright, caught a 7-pound flat. All were caught and released.

Wright also reported on the monster catch of Phillip Smith, who boated a 50-inch flathead that also caught and released and bit a bluegill with 30-pound monofilament and a 10/0 Big River sickle hook at 1:30 a.m. on July 13.


BARTLETT LAKE (85 degree surface high temp.)– Lake elevation is 1,796 feet, 98 % full. Mike McFarland of Hook Up Outfitters fished the lake on Wednesday morning, catching fish on jigs, shallow-running crank baits and Rat-L-Traps in 5-10 feet of water.

Fish had been chasing shad balls up and down the banks in 8-12 feet of water.


Previously, Gary Senft, a local professional and a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, said he fished on Wednesday, starting at 6:30 a.m. with dropshots, catching largemouth bass immediately on Roboworms in red crawler, ox blood and morning dawn colors in about 10 feet of water. Water temperature in the morning was 82 degrees.

Around 10 or 11 a.m., he said the bite slowed down as the bass came down in the water column to about 20 feet. Senft said he proceeded to catch a few more on Texas rigs and baby brush hogs in watermelon and green pumpkin. Overall, the dropshot produced the best bite as Senft fished from the dam all the way to the river. He would stop as many spots, catch one or two bass, and then move on every 30 minutes or so.

He used 6-inch Roboworms with a 12-inch leader, fishing down the banks off long points and islands.

HORSESHOE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,949 feet, 0-percent full.

Previous reports:

Please send your reports to

URBAN WATERS – With catfish stockings at all Phoenix and Tucson urban waters on hold during the summer months, fishing becomes more challenging, requiring anglers to be adaptable, patient and persistent.

Plenty of wily catfish still lurk the depths of the lakes, especially larger lakes of more than 4 acres.

Catfishing is fair for anglers using worms, stink baits, or shrimp fished on the bottom. Catfish can be caught throughout the day, but are most active when the sun goes down. Most catfish are from 14-18 inches, but some lunkers over three pounds are being hauled out of the lakes.

The many catfish, bass and bluegill remaining in the lakes have been around for awhile and have seen a lot of the same baits, presented in the same way. Successful summer anglers have learned to change it up and experiment with new baits and new presentations. Try combining a piece of shrimp with a worm, or try using a “worm blower” to inflate the worm and elevate it above the bottom. Do a web search for “secret catfish baits” and discover an amazing selection of concoctions likely to increase your fishing success.

This is the time to make some rigging changes and try out some of the fluorocarbon fishing lines in lighter test weights to make your line practically invisible; or try fishing without weights and let your bait flutter to the bottom. For more bites, fish with 4-6 pound test line and keep your weights to a minimum. Keep trying new things, keep at it and have fun learning more about fishing this summer.

Bluegill fishing is fair for anglers using worms and mealworms fished under a small bobber set at 4-6 foot depths or fished on the bottom. For more bluegill success, use 2 pound line, size No. 12 hooks, and just enough bait to cover the hook. Action for largemouth bass is fair with the best baits finesse plastics fished in the early morning hours.

At Green Valley lakes (Payson) fishing is best for bass, bluegill and crappie. Anglers using worms and meal worms under a small slip bobber are enjoying plenty of action, especially when fishing the outside edge of the weed-lines. Also try small curly tail grubs, marabou jigs or Trout Magnets for crappie. Fishing is poor for trout and catfish.

CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,659 feet (97 percent full). Skyler Clark said there is good fishing to be had off vertical walls during the day with dropshots or Senkos. Fish as close to the wall as possible and look for shade pockets to target. Try dropshots and shaky head worms. Clark is seeing more fish chasing shad at Canyon than at Saguaro. Try Zara Spooks or Ricos. The night fishing is still tough, however.

Reports are that dropshots have produced the best bite and there have been reports of some bass being caught up to 7 pounds.

SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,526 feet (93 percent full): Skyler Clark, the Mesa Sportsman’s Warehouse fishing manager, said it’s been hard this year to get bites anywhere unless you are fishing around some grass. So try going down a bank, dragging and slowly popping dropshots or Texas rigged Roboworms through some grass on any deeper flats of 10-20 feet.

Angler’s previous report: Justin W. said fishing was decent at Saguaro Lake the past two weekends, and issued a warning for boaters who haven’t been using lights at night -- The last couple weekends kids and I fished Saguaro for couple small bass, lots of bluegills and three nice 4-pound channel cats. Fished points in 12 feet of water for cats and picked up ‘gills and bass in a cove about 3-15 feet deep. Also, lots of thick grass is growing all over coves so weedless is a must. And be careful of all the crazy people not using lights at night and bass boats driving 40-plus mph inside no wake zones crazy! But fishing is good, especially on cats, after 9 p.m. Good luck fishing, and please be safe.

Previously, Mike McFarland of Hook-Up Outfitters said getting an early-morning top-water bite followed by midday dropshots in 2-30 feet of water is a reliable pattern.

McFarland said the trick to remember at Saguaro is that the fish are not eating big baits. Use small baits and small dropshots.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Flow of 1,160 cfs  on June 18 - Tonto Creek Hatchery two weeks ago stocked the river with rainbow trout. 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.

Previously, Mike McFarland, a Professional Fishing Guide at Hook-Up Outfitters, said there had been a pretty decent top-water bite all over the lake. “It can be wide open in the middle of nowhere,” he said. Anglers can hit an early-and-late afternoon top-water bite. In between, anglers can dropshot soft plastics along the banks for largemouth bass. Good Roboworm colors will be morning dawn or any prism shad colors such as prism crawler.

Bass fishing in general had been good along the shorelines, he said. Many of the post-spawn fish are recovered and eating more frequently in all areas of the lake in shallow water.

Striper boils are happening from the middle of the lake to 200 feet of water depth.

CREEKS BELOW THE MOGOLLON RIM - Weekly stockings into the trout streams have ended for most species.

APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,906 feet (94 percent full). Senft said on Saturday, tournament anglers reported the largemouth bass more 3 pounds continue to be productive. The dropshot reportedly produced the best bite off rocky banks and points. Westy Worms and to-water lures in the morning also were productive.  Try top water lures in the morning and as bass do deeper as the water warms, switch to crankbaits and spinner baits.

Angler’s previous  report: Steve M. had an incredible time on bass at Apache: Started off with a few different set ups but nothing could compete with a drop shot.

Drop shot set up: 8-pound flourocarbon with a size 1 drop shot hook with about 14-inch tag end to a ¼-ounce drop shot weight. Used both straight and curly tail Roboworms, nose hooked.  We fished the marina side of the lake downstream from the marina in 25-30 inches of water close to any submerged rock structures and steep banks. Finished Friday with 26 bass.

On June 22, we continued along the marina side of the lake downstream closer to the damn. Used the same drop shot set up but hooked the worm through the center of the body like a wacky worm on a drop shot. It didn't seem to matter what color we used but I did load up on oxblood, orange crusher and sxe shad from previous reports and experience. Also had success with KVD finesse and dream shot in dirt color. Finished Saturday with 37 bass.

Overall this was our best Apache trip with 63 bass in a day and a half. Largest was 3-pound, 5 ounces. (Pictures are of Kaleena Jones and son Jaxson Jones, age 6, proudly holding his own fish. )

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.

Angler’s previous report: Syed A. took advantage of the Super Moon June 23 at Tempe Town Lake: I had a plan to catch good amount of fishes in a full moon night but could not match my work schedule to hit the water.

At last, on the 23rd of June, Sunday, after my work at 6 pm, I thought this would the best time to hit the Tempe Town Lake.

I should catch at least five fishes in this full moon night. This full moon would represent the moon’s closest encounter with Earth for all of 2013. The moon will not be so close again until August, 2014. In other words, it’s not just a super moon. It’s the closest super moon of 2013. I knew I will catch some good amount of fishes that evening.

My first catch was just after 20 minutes of casting the first rod. I got excited. Hit the second fish after 35 minutes of catching the first one. And then I had a hard time till 8.33 p.m. due to changes of wind direction and all of a sudden, the lake became very calm.


I was about to wrap up and thought, ‘That's all for tonight.’ But, suddenly, I felt a gentle breeze appearing from southeast of the Tempe Town Lake, and the lake became alive once again. I ended up catching six fishes by 10.45 p.m. The last catch was the biggest one. It was fun and an exciting evening to play with the fishes in a full moon night. I can't wait to visit once again.



Updated reports:

Recommended Waters to Fish

Fishing is fair to good at Crescent Lake, Big Lake, Nelson Reservoir and the Greer lakes in the Springerville and Greer areas; Woods Canyon and Willow Springs Lakes in the Rim Lakes area; and Show Low Creek and Silver Creek in the Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low areas.

Trout Stocking Schedule

Week of July 1-5

Bear Canyon Lake – 280 rainbow trout

East Fork of Black River – 1,000 Apache trout

Little Colorado in Greer – 605 rainbow trout

Sheeps Crossing – 512 Apache trout

Show Low Lake – 620 rainbow trout

Silver Creek – 528 rainbow trout

Willow Springs Lake – 1,500 rainbow trout

Woods Canyon Lake – 3,650 rainbow trout


Week of July 8-12

Bear Canyon Lake – 280 rainbow trout

East Fork Black River – 1,567 Apache trout

Little Colorado River in Greer – 605 Apache trout

Sheeps Crossing – 517 Apache trout

Show Low Creek – 500 rainbow trout

Show Low Lake – 620 rainbow trout

Silver Creek – 528 Apache trout

West Fork Black River – 50 Apache trout

Willow Springs Lake – 3,750 rainbow trout

Woods Canyon Lake – 3,000 rainbow trout



Note: Due to high and increasing fire danger, Stage 2 fire restrictions are now in effect on the entire Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and will remain in effect until further notice. Stage 2 fire restrictions prohibit the following: any type of campfire (except gas stoves) even in developed campgrounds; smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building; discharging a firearm except while engaged in a lawful hunt; and operating an internal combustion engine (motor vehicles operated on designated roads are exempt). 

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake will be stocked this week with 280 rainbow trout. 

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair. Anglers have been catching some stocked rainbows. The water level is 18.2 feet below spill, which is well below the boat ramp level. Launching boats will be very difficult. 

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

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is poor. The lake will be stocked this week with 3,750 rainbow trout.  The lake is full, but not spilling.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake will be stocked this week with 3,000 rainbow trout. The store is open, and boat rentals are available.



Note: Due to high and increasing fire danger, Stage 2 fire restrictions are now in effect on the entire Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and will remain in effect until further notice. Stage 2 fire restrictions prohibit the following: any type of campfire (except gas stoves) even in developed campgrounds; smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building; discharging a firearm except while engaged in a lawful hunt; and operating an internal combustion engine (motor vehicles operated on designated roads are exempt).

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is fair. Dry flies such as hoppers and damsel flies have been successful lately,  although action is slow. Fish early or late in the day. 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. The best action has been in early morning. Shore anglers have been doing well on worms, garlic and red, white and blue Power Bait. Boat anglers have been successful with spinners and lures (Panther Martin, Crickhoppers in black, gold or fire-tiger colors). The store is open, and boat rentals are available.

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is good. Anglers are catching stocker-sized rainbows. There won’t be any larger fish until this fall. 

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for trout. The lake was last stocked in May with rainbow trout. Fishing is good for bullheads, bass and catfish.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair. Anglers have been catching some trout on worms. The lake is low.

CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching rainbows up to 19 inches on bait, lures (Crickhoppers and KastMasters) and flies (peacock ladies and crystal buggers). The store is closed. Access to all boat ramps is good.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair. The bite is slowing down as warm water has driven trout into deeper water. Anglers are catching a few trout at night on worms and Power Bait. Anglers are also catching some bass and bluegill off the fishing piers.

GREER LAKES – All Greer lakes (River, Tunnel and Bunch Reservoirs) are getting low, but fishing is fair to good. All reservoirs were last stocked a couple weeks ago. 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 to fair. The lake has Apache trout and Arctic grayling. Fish very early or very late in the day for any success. Recent netting revealed grayling from 5- to 10-inches and Apache trout from 7- to 10-inches. The lake is almost six feet low, and launching a trailered boat is difficult. Float tubes, pontoon boats, Kayaks and canoes are recommended.

LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair. Some anglers are catching 14- to 15-inch trout on Power Bait in the early morning. Recent netting revealed rainbows ranging from 7- inches to 14-inches.

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

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is good. The lake was heavily stocked with almost 20,000 rainbow trout in May. There are also a few larger, carry-over trout from last year. Anglers are catching stocker rainbows on Power Bait and worms.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair. The trout bite is slowing down as the waters warm up and weeds are growing, but warm water fish are starting to bite. 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 fair. The lake was last stocked two weeks ago. The water is turbid, but the lake level is good.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. Anglers are catching trout on worms, Power Bait and lures. The lake will be stocked this week with 620 rainbow trout. The concession store is open, and boat rentals are available. The spillway campground and the road over the dam are open.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair for trout and fair to good for bass and catfish.



Note: Due to high and increasing fire danger, Stage 2 fire restrictions are now in effect on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in Apache, Navajo and Greenlee Counties and will remain in effect until further notice. Stage 2 fire restrictions prohibit the following: any type of campfire (except gas stoves) even in developed campgrounds; smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building; discharging a firearm except while engaged in a lawful hunt; and operating an internal combustion engine (motor vehicles operated on designated roads are exempt).

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching some Apache trout on Mepps spinners, flies and worms. The stream will be stocked this week with 1,567 Apache trout. Forest Road (FR) 276 is open along the East Fork. The river is running at base flows. Wild brown trout are also present.

WEST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair to good at the FR 68 Crossing. The stream will be stocked this week with 50 Apache trout at this crossing only. Fishing is poor to fair below and above this crossing due to impacts from the Wallow Fire. Vehicle access to the West Fork Campground will remain closed through this year. Wild brown trout are also present in the lower end.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is fair to good. The stream will be stocked this week with 605 Apache trout. The stream is flowing at base flows, approximately 7 cfs, but can briefly double in flow following a heavy monsoon rain. Wild brown trout are also present.

SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is fair to good. The stream will be stocked this week with 517 Apache trout.

SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is good in the large pool below the dam. The stream will be stocked this week with 500 rainbow trout.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good. Silver Creek will be stocked this week with 528 Apache trout. 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:

July 10 report by Wayne Gustaveson from

LAKE POWELL- July 10 report from

Lake Powell fishing strategy is determined by shad size and abundance.  Striped bass are feeding on the surface over the entire lake but where shad numbers are small so are the boils.  Where larger shad are numerous fishing success is terrific.

In the southern lake shad are tiny and scarce.  Little slurps are seen randomly throughout the day but stripers feed quickly on a small group of shad and then dive back to the depths. Stripers can be caught if they surface within casting range and anglers respond quickly with accurate casts.  Small rattletraps, or swim baits placed right in front of a slurping school may result in catching a very healthy 14-18 inch fish.  These stripers are eating shad and plankton and doing very well.

Larger stripers are still looking for something to eat in deeper water where small shad are not available.  Bait fishing is still much more effective from Wahweap to Rainbow.  Slick rock coves and ridges at depths of 20-40 feet are the prime habitat.  It is possible to troll and graph a cove to find willing fish or just randomly chum and fish a spot to see if stripers are present.  

The standard hotspots continue to produce.  The dam is good early and late each day.  The power plant intake has hot striper fishing at mid day.  Slick rock coves in Padre Bay are good all day long but now you must try a few spots before locating a school.   Once a school lights up on bait stripers can still be caught in huge numbers.

From the mouth of the San Juan to Trachyte Canyon slurps and boils rule.  Surface feeding action is strong each morning and evening when weather permits.  Cast surface lures, rattletraps and spoons to feeding fish for instant hookups. Repeat until the school dives and then find a new school and cast some more. Many have caught over 100 fish per day exclusively fishing for surface feeding stripers.

Smallmouth bass are the next most commonly caught fish. They are near broken rock and easiest to find on steep rocky slopes. Work drop shot rigged plastic worms progressively deeper down a slope until a bass hits.  Remember the depth where the first fish is caught, then drop to that depth on similar habitat. Depth and structure are the habitat keys that make a successful bass fishing day. Luckily smallmouth bass are quite willing to hit bass lures and baits in the current low forage conditions so bass fishing is great.

Catfish are the next most active fish.  Evening finds them cruising shallow beach areas looking for food. They will come to areas where boats and camps are common looking for table scraps or other food items left on the bottom.  When swimming and wakeboarding are done for the day the Lake Powell adventure can be extended into the cool evening by fishing on the beach for catfish. Houseboats parking spots in the backs of canyons provide the perfect habitat for catfish.  Fishing at Lake Powell remains great for a variety of species.

Previous report:

LEES FERRY  - June 22 report from  Lees Ferry Anglersis proud to announce we now have a walk-in guide. TJ Carrington will be guiding half day trips. This is ideal for the angler looking for special one-on-one fishing, where you will learn strategy and technique. Contact us today for availability and rates.

Up River                                                              Rating 6.5 to 8.5

With the new flows and the hot temperatures, it is best to hit the river early and wade before the water rises.  As the water flow increases, it’s mainly anchoring up on the edge of riffles or drifting with long nymph rigs. You can also try stripping with sink tip lines with bead head streamers.

We are starting to hear the buzz of the cicadas but the responsive bite is still a ways out. If dry fly fishing is your passion, we have been using dry droppers along the seams and seeing a little action. As the fish get used to the high flows the fishing will get better day by day.

Remember to dress appropriately, lightweight sun-protectant clothing and drink plenty of water. We recommend 1 gallon per person, per day. Beer does not count as a hydrant.


Walk In                                                                        Rating 6

High water flows started this month so there have been a few changes in the fishing. Early morning, when the flows are down, around 9,000 cfs, dry droppers have been the way to go. Large luna negras with a midge dropper have been the ticket. The upper boulder field to the Paria Riffle is still fishing well.

Mid-morning and early afternoon you will have to wade deeper for the fish. Deep nymphing with a double midge or double San Juan has been working great.

Remember when the flows are on the rise an abundance of worms and other food washed into the water. Long leaders of 14 feet, and several weights have been great when the water is up. Take caution when the water is high or rising.  Wading can be difficult. If you fish early, mark a spot where the water level is, and check it frequently. Be aware of rising water.

The dry fly bite is picking up. Griffeths gnat, hoppers, and cicada patterns are starting to work. The dry bite is a lower percentage but will be picking up as the days go on.


Updated report:

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 continued to drop about 1 foot per week to the current elevation of 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 June 8th.  The next new moon will be tonight,  July 8th.  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.  Josh J. caught a nice 28 lbs. striper jigging over some humps in 40 feet deep water.  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.  All the fishermen contacted were hopeful for the coming years with rising water conditions and the abundance of baitfish they have seen this year.   

LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level has maintained around 642 feet above msl.  The black bass are hitting soft baits when worked slowly especially on grass beds in 20 to 30 feet deep.  Large bluegills have been reported in the 1-2 pound range.  The striper bite has been slow on the lake.  Catfish have been taken near in the coves near Katherine’s Landing.
Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Next new moon will be tonight, July 8th.  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 Powerworms were being used most for trout.  Jakes original and Jakes Juniors, Panther Martin and Rooster Tails are also usually effective.  Billy sent a report of his 7 pound striper and a bigger fish that he lost after a 2 minute fight.  He was using a Bomber Long A.  Willow Beach can be hit or miss bait fishing.  Try different baits including swim baits when nobody seems to be hooking anything. 

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 occasional large stripers are still being caught from the dam down to the Gorge.  Many of these fish are in the 4-12 pound range.  Anchovies seem to the bait of choice for stripers. Ken caught a 6.5 lbs. striper in the lower casino area.  The word is that the stripers are in the Big Bend area and the trout have moved from there to the casino area.     

Rusty sent in some pictures of some beautiful fish. Eleven year old Isaac caught a nice 1.94 lbs. bluegill or redear on a mousetail in the Sunshine Cove area. Remember to fish for trout, you need a trout stamp on Class A and Lifetime fishing licenses.

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 - Most bass are being taken on minnows and night crawlers. Reports are that stripers are returning to the Gorge. 

TOPOCK MARSH –Topock is reported to be picking up for largemouth and an occasional striper.  Send me your fishing report if you go to the Marsh.   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


Verde Valley

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Catfish were stocked for the Verde River Days event and were last stocked for Free Fishing Day on June 1st.  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. 


Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — The last tentative scheduled trout stocking, and the last till September, was the week of June 24th.  Catfish were stocked before Free Fishing Day.  Reports are that a lot of people are fishing but not many are catching which means the catfish could be fished out from the last stocking.          

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 8th.            

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

GRANITE BASIN LAKE – Last report was the lake was closed due to Doce fire.  If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others. 

LYNX LAKE –The last scheduled trout stocking was the week of June 3rd.  Catfish were stocked the Friday before Free Fishing Day (June 1st). 


Cameron sent a report from May 5th about his group’s success catching 10 good sized rainbow trout using night crawlers with a single green power-egg on a number 8 hook about 18 inches off a sliding sinker.  He reported that 4 of the 10 were over 20 inches.  He prefers the morning bite over the evening bite and he thinks the larger fish stay at the northern end of 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.

MINGIS LAKE – The last scheduled stocking was the week of June 10th.  

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 18th.   

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.  Dwight sent a picture and a report of his successful day at Willow.  He caught a nice bass that put up a fight of over 4 minutes on the opposite side of the dam.  He was using a green weighted Woolley Booger.  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 -  July 9  report from Mark Knapp, Park Ranger at Alamo Lake State Park:

Well folks, not much has changed since last week.  It's still hot and muggy.  No rain, but a few clouds and wind.  While having a cold one at our local watering hole in Salome I ran into a couple of friends, Terry and Butch.  They went out super early Saturday morning.

In the past I have said that I thought the bite was so good that you could throw a spark plug in the water and the bass would eat it.   They both informed me that they did not know what spark plug I was throwing but it sure was not working for them.  Their version of a spark plug is top water.  My version of a spark plug is a 4-inch, watermelon-colored lizard, Texas-rigged, with a 1/4 ounce weight and a No. 1 hook.

Billy PinRod joined in on the conversation and his version of the idea “spark plug” is drop-shotting.  (I just wanted to take a minute and clear up the spark plug statement.)  Anyway, they gave top water and morning bass fishing an “OK” at best.  They picked up a few bass on top water but said it was over before it really got started.  When they switched to plastics they had better luck with motor-oil colored worms.

Terry caught a nice-sized catfish on top water so I would say catfishing would be decent.  If they’re hitting top water and plastics, then it's safe to say they will eat nightcrawlers and minnows.

One thing to keep in mind, and I mention this a lot: I fish in the evenings.  My routine is to dump the monkey suit at 4:30 p.m., load the cooler, and be on the lake by 5 p.m.  Usually I can start catching fish in the first 10-20 minutes out.  I start on points and work my way from 0-20 feet of water throwing plastics.  Once I find the depth they’re at and the color they want, I go all over the place and can have a 10-20 bass evening.  If I find a place where I can pull out 10 bass in 11 casts I will switch to training wheels (crankbaits) just to see if there's a deference.  There always is for me.  I double my fish count throwing plastics.

It's a bummer to see stuff poking up out of the water that I have not seen since 2003 and 04.  It just means the lake is going down at a fast rate.  Be careful.  This not the same as it was a couple of months ago.  I don't even go up past the second bouy line on plane anymore because of the trees that are just barely underwater.  I smacked a tree stump going about 40 a few weeks ago and still have not got the speedometer to works.  I was lucky not to tear up the lower unit or the transom of the boat.

Cholla ramp is still your best bet for launching.  The lake is getting low enough where you can launch off the shoreline by the old rental boat road.  Small boats will have no problems but you will need 4-wheel drive to launch a Ranger or something like that.

No reports of crappie fishing.  Shore fishing is OK.  I would like to take a minute and end this by letting the family members of the "hot shot" fire crew know that they are in our thoughts and are sorry for their loss.

Sincerely – Mark


Previous report:

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.

Falling over night 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 (PARKER STRIP AREA) - Falling over night 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. From last week: A 7.75-pound bass was recently taken from a backwater spot (see photo). 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.



Trout fishing has improved with the onset of the monsoon season.  Cloudy/overcast days provide an opportunity to catch trout despite the warm temperatures, fish early in the morning and late in the evening for the best success.   Even with the hot weather trout fishing was good on Ashurst and Knoll Lake.  Warm water fish such as bass and crappie are starting to get more active on the lakes around Williams with microjigs and small bead-head flies fished under a bobber or on a fly rod working well.  Fossil Creek is closed to fishing.



KAIBAB LAKE—  Campground is open.  Anglers were catching crappie and bluegill on small bead headed flies. Trout fishing has picked up with monsoonal activity. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

CATARACT LAKE —  Campground is closed.   One angler reported catching a large catfish on a crayfish colored crankbait. Try bead headed flies of microjigs for the crappie and bluegill in the lake.  Bass can also be caught.  Scheduled to be stocked this week.

CITY RESERVOIR —  The lake is closed because of the fire danger.

DOGTOWN LAKE —  Campground is open. Trout were being caught early in the day on rainbow Power Bait and worms.  Crappie fishing was fair on Saturday. 

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

SANTA FE — Trout fishing was good over the weekend using nightcrawlers 3 feet below a bobber.  Anglers were catching crappie on small bead headed flies.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is open.  Lake Level is low.  Fishing was slow.



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.      A lot of pike were being caught on anchovies and fly anglers were also catching pike.  A few nice crappie were also caught.

ASHURST LAKE —   Campground is open. Anglers were catching trout up to 14 inches on Power Bait and worms.  We had a report from an angler that he was catching trout up to 18 inches last week, but didn’t give any details on the techniques that were working.  Scheduled to be stocked this week.

FRANCIS SHORT POND –  The pond suffered a partial fish kill due to low oxygen levels associated with monsoonal runoff.   

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Fishing for catfish can be good this time of year as the water warms.  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 drain the lake for repairs to the dam.

KNOLL LAKE — the road is open.  Lake is full.  Fishing was good over the weekend using Power Bait. 



Please send me your fishing reports from Southern Arizona!  Fishing reports for southern waters can be sent to Amberle Jones, Regional Sportfish Biologist by email at  These reports will then be complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.

Spring is here and with it comes increasing water temperatures meaning that fish are becoming more active.  Anglers can expect to see increased activity in the largemouth bass as they prepare to spawn.  Followed closely behind the largemouth bass will be the spawning of the sunfish species.  Anglers should concentrate their efforts in areas of likely spawning habitat near shore.

Trout stockings are all but over for the southern half of the state but anglers can still expect to find trout fishing opportunities up until water temperatures reach the mid 70’s

Need ideas on where to go fishing?  Try the Departments new interactive Fish and Boat Map: Fish and Boat Arizona


New Reports


PATAGONIA —The Department planned on a second removal of sediment the week of July 8th from the boat ramp.  At present, shallow draft boats are still being launched, but those with a draft beyond approximately 10" are not able to get out into the cove beyond the boat ramp.  The lake level is down and boaters should use caution as obstructions can appear as water levels continue to drop.  Anglers have reported extreme difficulty in loading and unloading their boat due to the low water levels.

RIGGS FLAT — Recently anglers have reported success fishing at Riggs Flat.  No future stockings are scheduled until August.  To view the entire summer stocking schedule go here: 2013 Summer Stocking Schedule

PARKER CANYON —Anglers have reported catching 4 to 6 lb largemouth bass this past week.  Anglers are reminded that the bag/possession limit for channel catfish is now 4 fish. The lake level is down and boaters should use caution as obstructions can appear as water levels drop.  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. 

Previous Reports


ROPER LAKE —  No recent reports of success.  For lake information (928) 428-6760.   

DANKWORTH POND — Still closed for renovations as State Parks puts the final touches on several construction projects.  The Department already began the restocking process with the introduction of bluegill sunfish and channel catfish.  The stocked fish were in good condition and should be ready to spawn as water temperatures rise.  Largemouth bass will be stocked once the sunfish population has become established. 

ARIVACA — Open to anglers, water levels continue to be severely low and the lake continues to drop. Water quality has been reported to be in bad condition however anglers are catching smaller fish in good condition.  All boat launching is at the risk of the owner.  Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be immediately released alive. 

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 4th 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 1 fish. Frye Creek above the reservoir remains closed to fishing. 

PENA BLANCA – Anglers have recently reported having a great time catching quite a few fish, largemouth bass and bluegill, at the lake.  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.   

ROSE CANYON LAKE — Rose Canyon is open.  Summer trout stockings has begun and will continue throughout the summer.  To view the entire summer stocking schedule go here: 2013 Summer Stocking Schedule.

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