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Fishing report, Oct. 10

Posted in: Fishing Report
Oct 10, 2013
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Hello, anglers,

Some of the coldest temperatures to swallow the state for some time rolled through on Thursday, making predictions of fish activity difficult.

In the desert impoundments, predatory fish might become more active at night. The crankbait bite certainly is picking up.

Also, winter trout stockings have begun. See the full schedule. Last week, Francis Short Pond, Oak Creek, Goldwater Lake and Lynx Lake all received loads. Beginning Oct. 14, more stockings will go toward Oak Creek and Francis Short.

On Oct. 19, the kickoffs to the trout stockings at Green Valley lakes in Payson will begin. About 450 pounds of rainbow trout – an above-average number of trout for this kickoff – will be stocked. Most will run 10-12 inches; some will exceed 15 inches.

Here then, once again, is the list of recommended fishing waters:

Hunting and fishing opportunities abound in Arizona
despite federal government shutdown


Many hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreationists have been wondering how the current federal government shutdown, which began Oct. 1, will impact their upcoming outings.

Despite closures by federal land management agencies of their administrative offices and some controlled access points and facilities, there are numerous opportunities available to Arizonans for outdoor recreation.

Please keep in mind that, with regard to federal lands, official information on closures is the responsibility of the respective federal land management agencies. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is providing this unofficial update as a service to constituents based on the best information we have available at this time, and that information is subject to change.
 
Great angling opportunities exist at these waters:
 
•    Lake Pleasant. The striper bite at this lake northwest of Phoenix is one of the state’s best right now. This is a great boating lake as well. Lake Pleasant Regional Park is under the jurisdiction of Maricopa County.
•    Lake Havasu. It’s an ideal time to visit this 19,000-acre impoundment in western Arizona that’s a haven for stripers, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. It’s very popular with boaters as well. Most of the busier launch sites remain open, and Havasu is a community that welcomes and caters to anglers. For more information, visit www.golakehavasu.com and see how to “Play like you mean it.”
•    Alamo Lake, a 3,500-acre impoundment northwest of Wickenburg, is particularly excellent for largemouth bass, crappie and catfish.
•    Urban Fishing Program waters in Phoenix, Tucson and Payson are excellent for fishing. Fall catfish stockings have resumed at the Phoenix and Tucson Urban Fishing Program lakes, and those lakes are being stocked again with channel catfish this week (Sept. 30-Oct. 5).
•    Community ponds in Yuma, West Wetlands Park Pond, Fortuna Pond, Redondo Pond and the Council Park Pond in Somerton also are sure-fire fishing bets.
•    In the Tucson area, Cluff Ranch, Roper Lake, Dankworth Pond and Patagonia Lake all remain open and are viable fishing options.
•    Around Cottonwood, anglers can head to the lagoons at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, as well as to the Verde River.
•    The striper bite has picked up in the Colorado River below Davis Dam, in the Big Bend area.
•    In the Prescott Area, Fain Lake, Goldwater Lake, Watson Lake and Willow Creek Reservoir are options. It is the department’s understanding that an angler can still walk into Lynx and Mingus lakes from outside the locked gates (water is off and restrooms are locked.)
•    Although Forest Service boat ramps are reportedly closed at Roosevelt, Apache, Canyon, Saguaro and Bartlett lakes, walk-in access is reportedly open at those lakes and on the Lower Salt River. Also, privately operated marinas and their launch facilities on those lakes are currently open, but some may involve fees. Call ahead to confirm.
•    Boat ramp access to most lakes on Forest Service lands on the Mogollon Rim and in the White Mountains reportedly remains open at this time, but in the event this changes, walk-in access should still be available. Developed campgrounds and associated infrastructure (restrooms, trash containers) may be closed.
•    Mogollon Rim creeks such as Tonto Creek are open, and fishing for trout in the fall can be excellent. Dispersed camping is still available on undeveloped sites.  
•    Arizona state parks, such as Lyman Lake State Park near St. Johns, Fool Hollow Lake in Show Low, and Patagonia Lake near Nogales are open for camping and fishing.
•    All Arizona Game and Fish Department offices, shooting ranges, fish hatcheries, wildlife areas, and other department facilities and properties will remain open during their normal business hours.
This is the most current information we have as of the time of this communication. Please use it as a guide, not a definitive listing.

Also, it’s important for boaters and anglers to remember that, under Arizona law, individuals who take their boats out of waters designated as having aquatic invasive species must clean, drain and dry. This means wiping down your boat, pulling your plug and drying your watercraft and equipment for at least five days before launching your boat into a different body of water.

In particular, more boaters and anglers may be using Lake Pleasant during this time, and it’s imperative that they clean, drain and dry their boats to help prevent the spread of quagga mussels to non-infested waters. Other quagga-infested waters are Lake Powell, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Havasu, and all lower Colorado River waters to the international border with Mexico. These waters are listed in the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Director’s Orders located at www.azgfd.gov/ais.

For more information on how federal land management agencies are dealing with the federal government shutdown, visit www.doi.gov/shutdown/index.cfm or www.usda.gov/documents/usda-fs-shutdown-plan.pdf.
Updates will be posted at www.azgfd.gov/h_f/govt_closures.shtml as they occur.

ANGLER REPORTS

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

ZachhoryBass.jpeg
Another first fish for a young angler: Zahkcory is at it again -- he caught his first largemouth bass at Papago ponds (pond 2) on a Roboworm in the early morning hours just after sunrise Oct 7.

Bartlett Lake was good to Gary N. on Oct. 6-7: After all the confusion regarding the gov’t shutdown, (one of the news channels said that the marinas were open but the lake itself was closed!) I contacted the Bartlett Marina and they assured me that they were open and that the lake was not overly busy.

They launched my boat for a fee, and we were on our way.  We fished main lake points from 3PM to Full Dark, catching about 20 fish total, biggest was 2 ½ lbs. (photo attached) Bass were not pushing shad into the coves that we covered.

The next morning fishing was much slower, producing 4 fish in the 1 pound range.

Small fish were hitting drop shots with Green Pumpkin dream shot lures, along with Texas-rigged 4” black Senkos.  Most were caught on square-bill crankbaits in copper perch, and the biggest was fooled by a Texas-rigged Strike King rodent in Okechobee craw color.

Perfect weather and a great time on the lake.

Charles S. fished the Colorado River from Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam for three days last weekend and finally had success on largemouth bass with crankbaits off rock points: I didn’t get to do any fishing the last two weeks of Sept., but I did manage to get on the river for three days this past weekend. One big change I noticed was the huge drop in surface water temperature.

Just a few weeks ago the surface temps were running around 89-91 degrees in most areas, and now the temps are teetering around 70 degrees, maybe a few degrees less if you’re on the water before sunrise.
Regrettably I spent one of my precious fishing days fixing the boat’s charging system for the trolling motor and installing some well needed ventilation for the livewell and of course a few of Peggy’s “honey do’s”. On Saturday, desert bass held a tournament and from what I could tell a good portion of the boats brought in limits of bass.

Since I got railroaded into helping Game and Fish with the release of the tagged fish, I also had the privilege of seeing many of the bass that were caught. For the most part the fish were average size. While not earth shattering in size, there were also some above-average fish brought to the scales.

Peggy and I fished various parts of the main channel (up by Picacho) on Saturday, but it was slow going. The constant wind and occasional heavy gusts made it difficult to line watch, as well as keep the boat in position for any length of time. While we caught a few dinks, had fish toss lures, etc., we really didn’t hook into any photo worthy bass.

By the time Sunday rolled around the high winds had pretty much diminished, we fished Ferguson Lake most of the day and did pretty well fishing crème and silver crankbaits off the rock points. Most of our keeper fish were caught 12-15 feet off the shoreline in 8-10 feet water. I am getting ready to embark on a five or six day fishing trip on the river -- hopefully the fish gods will smile upon me and I will have a lot more to report.

Catch and release today and you can catch again tomorrow!

EncantoCat.jpg
Vini U. hit Encato Park for a nice channel catfish: I caught this 8-pound channel cat at Encanto Park Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. right where the channel meets the big lake, in front of the ice machine (as a reference point).

I used 10-pound monofilament line, a 1-ounce slip sinker, and dark grey swivel on 10-pouund flourocarbon and a size No. 4 hook on No. 2 plastic worms and dip bait.

Take the worms and generously dip them in the bait. You want to cast right where the channel water meets the big lake.

Dave H. found a good chub bite at Fossil Creek on Monday: Went to Fossil creek on Monday and had the entire length of stream to myself. Checked several pools below the bridge and most were empty of fish. Finally found a good pool and caught several chub. They are very curious fish and will follow lures and flies readily. Getting them to take is another matter, but I blame that on my inelegant fishing manner. Still caught enough using my Tenkara rod to leave me satisfied. All the chubs I caught were healthy and feisty. It was great fishing for true Arizona natives.


CENTRAL WATERS

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

Disclaimer: With regard to federal lands, official information on closures due to the Federal government shutdown is the responsibility of the respective federal land management agencies. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is providing this fishing report as a service to constituents based on the best information we have available at this time, and that information is subject to change.

Previous reports:

NOTE: Although Forest Service boat ramps are reportedly closed at Roosevelt, Apache, Canyon, Saguaro and Bartlett lakes, walk-in access is reportedly open at those lakes and on the Lower Salt River. Also, privately operated marinas and their launch facilities on those lakes are currently open, but some may involve fees. Call ahead to confirm.

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,098 feet, 45-percent full. Oct. 2 report from James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods. Good morning Rim Country Anglers -- The big news this week in Rim Country is the closure of the campgrounds and public ramps at Roosevelt Lake at the direction of the U.S. Forest Service. Gates have been installed at the entrances to all of the campgrounds. However, at the time I'm writing this report, the privately owned ramp located at the Roosevelt Lake Marina is open to the public for a fee. There is a pay booth as you enter into this area.   

The water level in the lake dropped back to 45-percent full this past week which is a 1 percent reduction. The Salt River is flowing at about 200 CFPS and the Tonto Creek is just slightly flowing.

The water temperature fell again this week. If you're fishing this week you'll find the early morning water temperature in the mid-70s reaching the mid-80s in the after. Bass reports indicate good fishing in shallow waters from 1-10 feet. Top-water baits such as Zara Spook, buzz baits and a frog were reported successful this past week in the backs of coves and on flats.

Good numbers of bass were caught on crankbaits, Luck Craft pointers and lipless crankbaits in the 15-20 feet depts.  Other successful baits reported included Texas-rigged 6-inch worms, Senkos fished weightless, jigs, and as always anglers always can catch bass using a dropshot technique.

The crappie bite was again called very good this past week. The crappie are schooling better now so they are easier to locate and catch.  Experienced crappie anglers are using a vertical technique and fishing in 23-32 feet of water and always in brush or trees. A 5-foot, 6-inch to 6-foot ultra light power and extra fast action rod is required to feel the bait through the brush, then fell the bite and quickly set that hook. When fishing vertically for crappie, 95 percent of the time the hook will be in the roof of the mouth, so don't be afraid to set that hook when you feel the bite.

Trout stockings of the Rim lakes and streams has ended, but there are lots of good trout still in Rim Country waters. Also, the Urban trout stocking program is about start stocking trout into Green Valley Lake right here in Payson. The first stocking will occur Oct. 13-19. So if you're one of the Green Valley Anglers, it’s time to start checking out your fishing tackle. Your time is right around the corner.  

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

LAKE PLEASANT – The striper bite at this lake northwest of Phoenix is one of the state’s best right now. This is a great boating lake as well. Lake Pleasant Regional Park is under the jurisdiction of Maricopa County.

Senft said stripers are heading into coves. Anglers can have a blast targeting stripers, as well as white and black bass, in coves. Humbug reportedly has been a hot spot.

Previously, Brian Senick of the Hook-Up Outfitters said the striper bite has been consistent. The key is getting on the water for striper boils at first light -- if you have lights, try being on the water just before first light, which has been at about 5:10 a.m. Throw topwater lures, jerkbaits or flies. Anglers had been catching dinks, but now are getting into some decent 14- to 18-inch stripers. Once the sun comes up, fish cut anchovies in 40-60 feet of water for stripers and, for a hit-and-miss largemouth bass bite, go to dropshots and Texas-rigged plastic worms. The top-water striper bite should continue to improve until the first cold snap.

Angler’s previous report -- Derrick F. sent some proof along with his report that striper fishing on Lake Pleasant is getting going: Night time angler Derrick F. with fished Lake Pleasant from 8-11 p.m. with his wingman catching over 100 striper in the 14-18 inch range, fishing humps in 35 feet of water with deeper water nearby.

Used frozen anchovies and a powerful submersible light. On Wednesday, Franks reported that he continues to catch an average of 75 striper per night fishing in an average of 50 feet of water with near deep water. The lowering water temperature is bringing bigger striper into action at night.

SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,526 feet (95 percent full). Top-water morning action is hot.

Previously, Skyler Clark, fishing manager at the Mesa-based Sportsman’s Warehouse, said hot spots for largemouth bass have been where the majority of shad boils have been: at Bagley Flats into the river. The bite has been somewhat current oriented as well. When more water is released, more current seems to get the fish active. The transition into a good reaction bite has begun, and the main bait this time of the year for bass is a jerkbait. Look for shad boils, although the presence of boils can be hit and miss on a given day. If boils disappear around midday, fish in 30-plus feet with spoons and Alabama rigs.

Angler's previous report -- Barry W. fished Saguaro Lake on Saturday, Sept. 28, and found some great bass action: Good morning. I went to Saguaro Lake last Sunday after hearing how great the bass action has been over the last few weeks. I was on the water at 5:15 a.m. before sunrise so I could take advantage of the top-water bass boils. Near the "no wake" markers was awesome! My second cast I caught the bass you are looking at in the picture I provided, 4-5 pounds, I think.

I was using top-water Jr. Spooks with a slow return back to the boat. I witnessed a bass that was well over 9 pounds miss striking my lure and it almost gave me a heart attack. Sadly he never surfaced again. Once the sun came up I used a Texas rig with crawdad looking plastics. I caught a few more bass but only around the 1-pound range. The bass are healthy and great color. Did I mention they have big belly’s right now?

CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,659 feet (97-percent full). Clark said many anglers have reported little success using dropshots. Instead, first thing in the morning, angler can spot shad boils and throw jerk baits and small swim baits. Like Saguaro, anglers can draw reaction strikes using jerk baits, crankbaits and, at certain times, spinner baits and top-water baits can really come into play. The jerk bait is the main bait.
Matching the hatch can be particularly crucial. Use small baits, such as a small swim bait on a ¼-ounce jighead.

BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,796 feet, 98 % full. Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at Bass Pro Shops, said shad have started migrating to the backs of coves, where bass are chasing. Senft also heard the top-water bite is excellent just before dark, from about 5-6:30 p.m.

This is the tail end of the prime flathead catfish season, but there are anglers who fish Bartlett all winter long for these huge voracious fish. Try live bluegill or small carp as bait. Look for the deeper holes, especially uplake where there is a little current.

For bluegills, try the backs of rocky coves using night crawlers or meal worms on light tackle. Also look for large rafts of bluegill, especially up in the narrows. When you find them, small spinners, crappie jigs and worms can get you lots of fish to fry.

APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,907 feet (92 percent full). Water temperature 80-81 degrees. Senft said anglers have been doing well on dropshots and Texas rigs in the colors that have typically been successful – red crawler and morning dawn. Brush hogs also have been successful. Senft has caught the majority of his largemouth bass in 15-30 feet of water. Sometimes he found a shallow crankbait bite. Senft this weekend recommends starting with a crankbait because of cooler morning temperatures that drive the fish into shallow waters.

URBAN WATERS – See the latest Urban Fishing Bulletin here.

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.

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.

HORSESHOE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,951 feet, 0-percent full. Salt River Project tends to use Horseshoe as a flood retention reservoir, but steadily releases the water downstream into Bartlett Lake.

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


WHITE MOUNTAINS AND RIM LAKES

Disclaimer: With regard to federal lands, official information on closures due to the Federal government shutdown is the responsibility of the respective federal land management agencies. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is providing this fishing report as a service to constituents based on the best information we have available at this time, and that information is subject to change. 

New reports:

Recommended Waters to Fish

Fishing is excellent at Silver Creek, good to excellent at Show Low Lake, and good at Woods Canyon Lake and Willow Springs Lake.  

Trout Stocking Schedule
Week of September 30 - Oct. 4
Silver Creek - 500 Apache trout and 900 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake - 500 rainbow trout

MOGOLLON RIM LAKES

The trout stocking season has ended for the year.

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair for trout. Anglers have been catching a few 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.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked last week with 500 rainbow trout, the last trout stocking of the season. The store is open, and boat rentals are available.

WHITE MOUNTAINS LAKES

The trout stocking season has ended for the year.

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Large trout are becoming more active with cooler water temperatures, chasing schools of fathead minnows in the shallows. Water is being diverted into Becker via the fill ditch, which is a good sign for better water levels in the near future. 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. This is the time of year to try for larger cutthroat trout that begin to feed more actively with cooler water. Try trolling a crayfish imitation lure near the bottom and be ready for a fight. The algae bloom is slowly disappearing. 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 fair. It is difficult getting out to open water with kickboats, but there is some open water in the center once you get past the weedy shoreline.

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.
 
CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching some rainbow trout on PowerBait and nightcrawlers. The store is closed. Access to the boat ramps on the west and south sides is good.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching a few trout on nightcrawlers and PowerBait. A few bass are also being caught on lures by boat anglers.      

GREER LAKES – River Reservoir is now full, and boats can now be launched. High flows from an exceptional monsoon season have filled the lake early; however, the water is turbid, and fishing may be slow. Illegally stocked yellow perch are biting on nightcrawlers in the evening. Bunch and Tunnel Reservoirs are still fairly low, and fishing is poor to fair. The fill season started last week, so lake levels at Bunch and Tunnel should be coming up slowly.

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 lake level has come up a few feet and the boat ramp is usable again. The algae bloom is now gone and the pH level is normal. Watch for surface action in the evening to catch grayling. The Apache trout were killed by high pH levels over the summer.
   
LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair. Some anglers are catching trout on PowerBait and worms in the early morning and late evening hours. The lake is full and somewhat turbid.

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. The lake is full and spilling due to heavy summer monsoon flooding into the lake. Use bait (PowerBait or nightcrawlers) instead of lures since the water is turbid. From September 1 through March 31, the bag limits on trout at Nelson are unlimited; it will change back to a six trout limit on April 1.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is poor for trout and fair for catfish and bullheads. Weed conditions at Rainbow Lake are much improved over what they normally are this time of year. White Amur (grass carp) were stocked into the lake under a special permit to control the nuisance aquatic weeds. Please release these fish if incidentally caught so they can do their job at eating weeds. The water level is good, up from where it was in mid-summer, which helps when launching and operating boats in the lake.

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

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent for trout. The lake was stocked two weeks ago with 3,010 rainbow trout. Anglers are also catching some catfish on chicken livers and prepared baits and some bass on lures. A few walleye are being caught during the evening hours. 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.

WHITE MOUNTAINS STREAMS

The trout stocking season has ended for the year.

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair. The stocking season has ended for the year.

WEST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing fair. The stocking season has ended for the year. Vehicle access to the West Fork Campground will remain closed through this year.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is fair. The stocking season has ended for the year.

SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is fair. The stocking season has ended for the year.

SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is poor in the large pool below the dam. The stream was last stocked in late August, which was the last stocking scheduled for the year.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is excellent. Anglers are catching the larger rainbows on flies in the upper section. Try bead-headed wooly buggers, brown or olive simi seal leeches, and bead-headed prince nymphs. Silver Creek was stocked last week with 500 Apache trout and 900 large rainbow trout to kick off the catch-and-release season, which runs from October 1 through March 30. Silver Creek is now open to artificial lures and flies only, and barbless hooks. Please remember to practice good catch and release techniques to help maintain the fishery during this season.    

LAKE POWELL AND LEES FERRY

Disclaimer: With regard to federal lands, official information on closures due to the Federal government shutdown is the responsibility of the respective federal land management agencies. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is providing this fishing report as a service to constituents based on the best information we have available at this time, and that information is subject to change. 

New reports:

LAKE POWELL – Oct. 8 report from Wayne Gustaveson at www.wayneswords.com.
 
This is a very difficult report to write since it is less about fish and more about circumstances surrounding the closure of Lake Powell to any form of recreation including fishing.

The Federal Government directed the National Park Service to close all parks and recreation areas including Lake Powell. Most government and concession employees were sent home while law enforcement officers were charged with controlling access to the lake. Law enforcement officers man those accesses that are open while cement barricades block any travel to other areas.

Some visitors are still allowed to enter the NRA to care for personal equipment such as winterizing boats and caring for other equipment that may be in the park. Due to long distances that some have to travel to tend to their equipment some may be allowed to spend one night on their houseboats if authorized by the officer at the gate.  If so authorized the boat owner will have to sign in and out while at the NRA.

No recreational activities are allowed.

There are still a few boats in remote areas on Lake Powell. Visitors that were on the lake before the shutdown were allowed to complete their trip even if it was for an extended period. The fuel dock at Dangling Rope was allowed to remain open to provide fuel to those returning visitors.  Gas docks at Bullfrog, Halls and Wahweap cannot provide fuel to overnight visitors.

Those with houseboat or lodging reservation will find them cancelled. Bass tournaments, triathlons and other events scheduled this week have all been cancelled. New visitors to Lake Powell will have to patiently wait for the government to resolve their differences before access to and recreation on Lake Powell will be available once more.

I will provide current fishing information as soon as the lake opens to recreational use once more.  I hope this happens immediately if not sooner.  Regardless, I will let you know when the lake opens again.
Previous reports:

LEES FERRY – Most recent report is the Aug. 25 report from Lees Ferry Anglers.

COLORADO RIVER

Disclaimer: With regard to federal lands, official information on closures due to the Federal government shutdown is the responsibility of the respective federal land management agencies. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is providing this fishing report as a service to constituents based on the best information we have available at this time, and that information is subject to change.


Here are some great places to fish that will remain open. Around Cottonwood, anglers can head to the lagoons at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, as well as to the Verde River.

The striper bite has picked up in the Colorado River below Davis Dam, in the Big Bend area.

In the Prescott Area, Fain Lake, Goldwater Lake, Watson Lake and Willow Creek Reservoir are options. It is the department’s understanding that an angler can still walk into Lynx and Mingus lakes from outside the locked gates (water is off and restrooms are locked.)

Important notice: With the discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders.  Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department's web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

LAKE MEAD – The elevation has dropped a little to 1105.6 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 October 4th.  The next new moon will be November 3rd.  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 644 feet above msl.  The latest report states that the lake bite is picking up a bit.  Rusty sent pictures of local fisherman Lisa and her nice channel cat that weighed in at just under 4 pounds.  Report is that smallmouth and largemouth are hitting on the lake but that stripers are much harder to find.  

Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Next new moon will be November 3rd.  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 gcummins@azgfd.gov 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.  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 gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – 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 trout caught in the river. Ken’s 3 lbs. and Jim’s 2.8 lbs. rainbows will make a tasty meal.  Night crawlers seem to be the bait of choice for trout.  Unfortunately the shutdown will stop trout stocking in the area.

Catfish are being caught in the Big Bend area and are reported to average 3-5 pounds.  Plummer’s 10 lbs. channel was caught on anchovies in the upper Big Bend area.  Cole caught a beautiful 5 lbs. largemouth in the Sunshine Peninsula area on a long bomber.

Water levels on the river fluctuate, so be careful. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for predictions http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

TOPOCK GORGE - Reports of catfish and some stripers are being taken in the Gorge.

TOPOCK MARSH – Topock is producing some largemouth and stripers.  Largemouth are being taken in the Marsh using spinner baits in light green.  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 www.azgfd.gov/thief.  Please refer to our regulations booklet on how to be a good witness.   

You can access the marsh by boat at the North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of area for shoreline fishing too. For more information on the marsh, contact the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge at (760) 326-3853 or go to http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/havasu/index.html.

VERDE VALLEY:

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK –
Catfish 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 — Trout stocking has resumed at Fain Lake.  Fain was stocked the week of September 30th.  High water temperatures and low oxygen levels will make the bite less than what it should be.  Cooler temps will help this.

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 the week of September 9th.  The next stocking is tentatively scheduled for this week, the week of October 7th.      
       
If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

GRANITE BASIN LAKE – The Lake is not open.  I received a report from Robert that he went there and the gate was locked and a sign read that September 30th would be the opening of the lake.

LYNX LAKE – The last scheduled trout stocking was the week of September 2nd.  The next stocking is tentatively scheduled for this week, the week of October 7th.

The federal shutdown has closed access to Lynx.    

Reports are that the lake level is extremely low, so be careful if you venture to the lake.  The fishing dock was removed due to the low water levels but shore access is basically unlimited.
         
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 stocking was the week of September 16th and the next tentatively scheduled stocking was last week, the week of September 30th.   

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.  Trout are still being caught and they are nice size.  Eddie caught a nice 15 inch 2 lbs. trout on worm suspended 5 feet from the surface.  Carson enjoyed catching bass and bluegill off the dock using spinner baits.
    
If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR –   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 gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.


SOUTHWESTERN WATERS

New reports:

Disclaimer: With regard to federal lands, official information on closures due to the Federal government shutdown is the responsibility of the respective federal land management agencies. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is providing this fishing report as a service to constituents based on the best information we have available at this time, and that information is subject to change.

ALAMO LAKE – Oct. 2 report from Mark Knapp, Park Ranger at Alamo Lake State Park:
 
Well folks, depending who you talk to fishing is really good or really bad.  I fished three days in 35 mph winds and ended up with a scorecard that read: 18-22-28.

Everyone else I talked with either sat in the parking lot waiting for the wind to die down or hid in a cove.  I've been doing this for so many years I just bit the bullet and go for it.

All the fish I caught were in 5-10 feet of water.   The bite turned on about 30 minutes before the sunset and lasted until after dark.  I threw a lizard and a small withe grub with a ¼-ounce jig head.

No reports on crappie fishing.  No reports on catfishing.

The lake level is at 1092ish with releases of 25 cs.  Cholla ramp is still your best bet for launching.

That's about all I can go into – Mark.

LAKE HAVASU – Lake Havasu. It’s an ideal time to visit this 19,000-acre impoundment in western Arizona that’s a haven for stripers, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. It’s very popular with boaters as well. Most of the busier launch sites remain open, and Havasu is a community that welcomes and caters to anglers. For more information, visit www.golakehavasu.com and see how to “Play like you mean it.”

PARKER STRIP - Falling overnight temperatures should start slowing the catfish bite down. The strip is home to both Flatheads and more commonly Channel Catfish. Channels cats can be found throughout the strip but are typically in the areas with shoreline vegetation. A variety of stink baits can be productive as are goldfish or small bluegills for both species of catfish. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are also found up and down the river. Many anglers have switched to sight fishing as water clarity has significantly increased since the introduction of the aquatic invasive quagga mussel. Boaters are reminded to clean drain and dry their watercraft before taking them to another body of water.

MITTRY LAKE - No new reports. Mittry Lake offers many fishing opportunities. There are ten man-made jetties on the eastern shore for shoreline anglers, but the lake is most effectively fished by boat. There is a good concrete boat launch near the southern end of the lake, with a courtesy mooring dock. There is also a more primitive gravel ramp toward the northern end of the lake. There are restrooms and trash facilities at the main boat ramp, which also sports a large Ramada for public gatherings.

Mittry Lake can be a bit frustrating at 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 – No new report.


 
CENTRAL MOUNTAINS

Disclaimer: With regard to federal lands, official information on closures due to the Federal government shutdown is the responsibility of the respective federal land management agencies. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is providing this fishing report as a service to constituents based on the best information we have available at this time, and that information is subject to change.

New reports:

This is the time of year to fish for trout in the high country of Northern Ariz.  Cooler temperatures allow trout to be more active.     Warm water fish such as bass and yellow perch, bluegill and crappie are still active on the lakes around Williams and are being caught on microjigs, small bead-head flies and worms fished under a bobber or on a fly rod.  Fossil Creek will open to  fishing Saturday Oct. 5t.

WILLIAMS LAKES:

KAIBAB LAKE —
  Campground is closed.    Fish with worms and powerbait on the bottom to catch trout.    They were also catching fish on micro jigs fished under a bobber.   Some crappie, bluegill and bass were being caught on worms fished about 3 feet under a bobber.  

CATARACT LAKE —  Campground is closed.  Try bead headed flies or microjigs for the crappie and bluegill in the lake.  

CITY RESERVOIR — Open  No Report  

DOGTOWN LAKE —  Campground is closed..

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  Stocked last week.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is closed..  Lake Level is low. No report  Scheduled stocking was canceled

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:

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

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

ASHURST LAKE —   Campground is closed.. No recent reports.  

FRANCIS SHORT POND –  There has been a fish kill on Frances Short Pond caused by recent runoff from rain storms.  Trout were stocked this week
 
KINNIKINICK LAKE — 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.

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

BEAVER CREEK –  Scheduled to be stocked this week.  No report.

WEST CLEAR CREEK -- Scheduled to be stocked this week.  No report.

STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.

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.


SOUTHERN WATERS

Disclaimer: With regard to federal lands, official information on closures due to the Federal government shutdown is the responsibility of the respective federal land management agencies. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is providing this fishing report as a service to constituents based on the best information we have available at this time, and that information is subject to change.

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 akjones@azgfd.gov.  These reports will then be complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.

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

New reports:

PARKER CANYON — Currently the lake is closed to vehicle and boat access.  Walk-in access is available.  Bathrooms and other amenities are also not available at this time.  As of now, the winter trout stocking scheduled for the week of October 21st will occur.

PENA BLANCA –  Currently the lake is closed to vehicle and boat access.  Walk-in access is available.  Bathrooms and other amenities are also not available at this time.  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 —  Currently the lake is closed to vehicle and boat access.  Walk-in access is available.  Bathrooms and other amenities are also not available at this time.  No future stocking are scheduled at this time due to poor water quality.  

ROSE CANYON LAKE — Currently the lake is closed to vehicle and boat access.  Walk-in access is available.  Bathrooms and other amenities are also not available at this time.  

CLUFF RANCH — The lake is open to the public.  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.

PATAGONIA —The lake is open to the public.  The lake level is back to normal from some great monsoon rains.  Water visibility was fair to poor.

Angler’s previous report -- Wayne B. called Patagonia Lake the best-kept secret in Southern Arizona and, with a bit of sarcasm at the end, here’s why: I just spent three days at Lake Patagonia and the changing of the seasons is starting to take place. The lake level has dropped only a few inches in the past two weeks but remains at the full level. Boating is at a low during the week and most of the camp sites are vacant, now is a good time to get out and relax without the crowds and the noise from the Bud Lite groups that come with the summertime.

I had a third of the lake for myself and was glad that I came during the week and did not miss all the other boats that would normally be there. The best fishing to be found were the shaded areas and all species seemed to be very hungry, I was catching something every 3-5 minutes. The lake has a very healthy population of flatheads and redear perch, and depending the bait you are using they can take it all.


ROPER LAKE —  The lake is open to the public.  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° F.  For lake information (928) 428-6760.  

Previous reports:

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.  

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.

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