Arizona Game and FIsh Department - Managing Today for Wildlife Tomorrow: azgfd.gov Arizona Game and Fish Department
Operation Game Thief: 1-800-352-0700Customer Service
 
   
 
 
    Follow AZGFD on Twitter  
BUY LICENSES | BIG GAME DRAW | eNEWS | CALENDAR | VIDEO | HUNTING | FISHING | WILDLIFE VIEWING | CONSERVATION | EDUCATION | BOATING | SHOOTING | OHV | SITE MAP | EMPLOYMENT

Fishing report, Oct. 18, 2013

Posted in: Fishing Report
Oct 18, 2013
Share or Bookmark:
| More
Digg this story!

Printer friendly page

FamilyPromo.jpg
Tempe Town Lake
Hello, anglers,

The Federal government shutdown has ended, and lands and facilities that had been closed as a result of the shutdown are anticipated to be opened.

On Oct. 16, the U.S. Senate and House passed a bill, signed by the President, that would reopen the federal government, ending the 16-day partial shutdown. Federal employees were instructed to return to work Oct. 17.

At this point we do not have information as to how quickly lands and recreation sites (national wildlife refuges, campgrounds, boat ramps) that had been closed during the shutdown will be reopened. More information will be posted as it becomes available from the federal government.

Contact the appropriate land management agency prior to heading out.

At Lees, Ferry, walk-in fly fishing is as good as it’s been all year, with low water that allows access to the entire boulder field. These low flows, caused by water levels in Lake Powell, are expected to continue into November. When the fishing is hot at the Ferry, it contends well with any other wild trout fishing in the West.

If you want taut trout lines, make sure you check out the winter trout stocking schedule. And see more information below about the return of trout stockings to Green Valley lakes in Payson on Saturday.

Although the crappie bite at Alamo is slow (many anglers have reported five per day), bass fishing has been hot in the vegetation/weeds that grow in 2-5 feet of water. Mark Knapp, the park ranger at Alamo Lake State Park, said anglers have been targeting some toads in there on Texas-rigged lizards.

Also, it’s an exciting time for Urban Fishing Program anglers.  Anglers sent in some great reports and photos of catfish taken from the Urban lakes, including Evelyn Hallman Park and the Water Ranch in Gilbert. (See Angler Reports).

Beginning in 2014, the Department is adding 70 percent more waters to the UFP waters, which will be known at Community Fishing Program. Stay tuned for more information of this exciting expansion. 

In the high country, trout and bass in the desert lakes are easing into their fall patterns.  Hopefully the great fall bite will last until November. Skyler Clark, fishing manager at Sportsman’s Warehouse, reported that on Thursday largemouth bass were biting well at Saguaro Lake on an Alabama Rig. On Wednesday at Lake Pleasant, he got into a mix bag of largemouth, white and striped bass. Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, said anglers fishing Pleasant can find some morning top-water action in the river around the no-wake buoys.

The full moon began Friday, so submersible lights at night won’t be as effective. But in desert lakes try fishing dark colored Roboworms at night: fish can really pick up on the silhouette of a dark worm against a bright moon.

Crappie fishing can be good at night under a full moon.  The crappie bite at Roosevelt Lake reportedly has been very good. James Goughnour of Rim Country Anglers said experienced crappie anglers have been using a vertical technique fishing in 23-32 feet of water. The top crappie baits have been 2-inch grub tails on a 1/16- to 1/8-ounce weighted hook.

Boating access improvement project begins

at C.C. Cragin Reservoir

Vehicular access will be unavailable during construction

The Arizona Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the Coconino National Forest, will commence a boating access improvement project at C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir this week to widen the existing boat ramp, install rockfall protection netting, and complete several other safety features. The reservoir is located on the Mogollon Rim east of Clints Well.

This work will require closure of Forest Road 751 approximately 2 miles east of State Route 87 near Rock Crossing Campground, effective Thursday, October 17, 2013, and continuing through mid-December. There will be no vehicular access to the lake during this period.

When completed, this project will enhance recreational boating access, safety and fishing opportunities for the future. Access to the lake is anticipated to resume in the spring of next year, as weather and road conditions allow.

For additional information about the project, please contact Ron Christofferson, Boating Facilities Program Manager for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, at (623) 236-7481.

Welcome Back the Trout

to Green Valley Lake in Payson

rainbowtrout_1.jpg
PHOENIX – After a four month wait, Payson residents and visitors can welcome back the rainbow trout to beautiful Green Valley Park at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19.

“Fall is a wonderful time to visit the rim country, see the colors and relax and fish along the grassy shorelines of this popular urban fishery,” said Eric Swanson, Urban Fishing Program manager at the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The Green Valley lakes are located a mile west of Highway 87 on Main Street.

More than 700 Colorado-grown rainbow trout will arrive to kick off a trout season that features 11- to 14-inch fish delivered every two weeks until early May. Some 2-3 pound lunkers will be included.

No other fish species is stocked at Green Valley; however, good populations of bass, crappie, catfish and sunfish can be found in this productive lake ecosystem.

Trout can be caught on small spinners and spoons and with baits such as scented dough balls, worms or salmon eggs. Popular flies for trout are peacock lady and zebra midges fished slowly, 4-6 feet below the surface.

Swanson said that to catch more trout use lighter line in the 2-6 pound range, smaller hooks and a minimal amount of weight. Limits on trout are four per day for licensed anglers and two trout for children under age 14.

Anglers age 14 and over must have an Urban Fishing License or Super Conservation Fishing License to fish Green Valley Lakes. The 2013 Urban licenses are $18.50, but are reduced to $9.25 starting Nov. 1.

ANGLER REPORTS

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

WaterRanchCarp.jpg
Chris O. has enjoyed some great Urban fishing -- including this monster carp --  at the Water Ranch in Gilbert: Fishing has been really great this past week. I have caught channel catfish, bluegill and large carp all off of corn on a size No. 12 treble hook fished about 2.5 feet below a bobber with 8-pound test line. But I attached pics of a monster -- it took over an hour online to land him.

Bill V. found out Oct. 13 that “Luck is what you make of it”: The guide was a young man, not exactly what I would call well-seasoned, but he was trying.  He claimed that he fished the tournament circuits with a "well known professional" that remained un-named.

We had gotten a late start because two rude people had not planned their morning well, and our guide delayed our departure for at least 30 minutes while we waited on them.

With everyone finally on board we idled out of the launching area and the 250 horse Mercury took over.  He throttled it up and we were pushed back into our seats.  When we caught up with the boat he throttled up again, and again we were slammed back by the force of acceleration.  Then a third time.  If it were possible for a boat to burn rubber this one had done it in all three gears.  It felt like a jet plane during takeoff.

We were at Jackass Cove in less than three minutes.  We idled into the area as he watched the Lowrance Fish Finder.  He found the spot he liked and dropped anchor.  Within a few minutes we were all outfitted with baited hooks and being instructed in the use of them.  We fished there for about an hour.  The fish were there.  You could see them on the screen, but they would just tap at the bait.  There were eight people on the boat, two young boys and one woman.  No one was able to set a hook.

Our guide lifted anchor and we rocketed to Sheriff's Cove.  More of the same story.  Nathan, one of the boys finally hooked two small stripers about the size of a hot dog. The guide was scratching his head and saying he had never seen the fish act like this.  He again pulled anchor and we blasted off for Honeymoon Cove.

We were using small sardine-like fish that were frozen for bait.  The guide would cut them into pieces approximately 3/4 inch long and discard the heads and tails, getting three pieces of bait from each fish.  The heads and tails would go over the side to act as chum.

After fishing here for some time, with lots of hits but no hooks, the guide suggested that someone needed to bite the head off a sardine for luck, although he admitted that he had never actually seen someone do it.  This got some laughs, but no takers.  Another fifteen minutes and we were all a little discouraged, so I decided to improvise.  After all, luck is what you make of it.  I had a bag of beef jerky in my jacket pocket and retrieved a good size chew, then when no one was watching I took a sardine off the stack and pulled off its head making a distinctive difference from the razor cuts on the other fish. I waited until the guide started to look my way and tossed the sardine back on the pile.  Chewing on the jerky, and with a slight look of displeasure on my face, I said, "Well now, you can't say you haven't seen it".

The guide's jaw dropped to his chest, the two boy's eyes popped out, and the woman started to gag.  I just chewed the jerky and swallowed hard.

Within the next ten minutes I caught a 2 1/2 pound striper and a 3 1/2 pound catfish, all the while coaxing the others that if they wanted to catch fish, they needed to eat a fish head.  None had the nerve to do it, but I know two young boys that will never forget this fishing trip.

Tom S. had some good luck Oct. 6-8 at Willow Springs Lake, including catching a 4-pound smallmouth bass: Hey guys this is my first time sending a report in so I hope it’s okay. My wife and I went up to the rim to camp and fish for the last time this year.

We fished Willow Springs Lake and usually have good luck catching average-to-good size trout. The boat ramp was open, but all the restrooms were closed -- kind of dumb.

This trip we caught quality instead of quantity. To make it short, in the three days we fished, we only caught six fish, but the highlight of this is my wife caught a 2-pound trout and I was lucky enough to catch a 4-pound, 20-inch long smallmouth bass. I was trolling a night crawler on a trout rig with red beads and a silver spinner with one No. 10 hook!

My rod was bent in half from the time I hooked her until 15 minutes later when my wife got it netted. To say the least it was a good trip until Tuesday afternoon when the wind started to gust 50 mph and we had to break down camp! Can’t wait until next season. See pictures attached.

EvHallCat_1.jpeg
Greg E. sent in a picture of his daughter’s first catfish from Evelyn Hallman Park caught Oct. 1 with a cut bluegill fished on the bottom: I really enjoy your fishing reports so I thought I'd send some recent fishing pictures that I took with my girls!  I've included a picture of Angelise (age 10) with her FIRST cat.  Also included me with an 8-pound cat, and one of all six that we kept from that night (Oct. 1).

Ed. E. found a nice crappie bite Oct. 11 at Tempe Town Lake: Well I tried Tempe Town Lake today  and I was trying to catch some crappie because I caught a nice 12-inch slab last Friday (Oct. 4).

I was using 2-pound test and trolling grubs when I caught a nice 21-inch, possibly 7-pound largemouth bass.

I lost a few more nice ones, because of my light line, so I decided to just go after bass with a heavier line.

I started around 6 a.m. and finished at 10 a.m. after catching and releasing 20 fish. Most were caught on spinners.

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: This report was up to date as of Wednesday. Please contact appropriate Federal land management agency before heading out for details on accessibility.

New reports: 

LAKE PLEASANT – Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, said anglers fishing in the heavy boat traffic had a tough time this past week. But Senft was able to get a good number of fish to hit dropshots and Texas rigs.

He said there is some top-water action in the river around the no-wake buoys. A lot of stripers are hitting top-water lures or white flukes. Senft said the crankbait bite wasn’t good for him.

With dropshots, Roboworms in morning dawn an ox blood were most effective.

Senft said the key is to move form spot to spot; anglers can focus on no-wake buoys. He said bass were not preying on shad in the backs of coves. “Not at all,” he said. “The cold weather took care of that.” He added that boat traffic had kept shad deep in the water column.

He mentioned that one shore angler was cutting up anchovies near the 10-lane boat ramp, catching a good amount of stripers. Senft said the man was free-lining the bait on 8-pound test line in the morning (chumming pieces of anchovies and hooking a portion of the tail and body.)

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 top-water 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.

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,098 feet, 45-percent full. Oct. 15 report from James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods. Good morning Rim Country Anglers -- A huge thanks this morning to Nick Walter with the AZGFD for communicating information regarding the status of Arizona's lakes and streams. If you go to the AZGFD website and click on the Weekly Fishing Report, you'll see the impact the federal government shutdown is having on lakes throughout the state.

Rim country anglers need to know that the forest service campgrounds and boat ramps are 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 may involve fees. If you plan to use one of these private marinas you'll want to call ahead to confirm current fees.

Boat ramp access to most lakes on forest service lands on the Mogollon Rim and in the White Mountains reportedly remain open at this time, but in the event this changes, walk-in access should still be available. Developed campgrounds and associated infrastructure such as restrooms, trash containers, fish cleaning stations, etc. are closed.
Mogollon Rim creeks such as Tonto Creek are open, and dispersed camping is still available on undeveloped sites. 

As you can tell, all of this is a very fluid situation, so we are recommending that you call ahead to confirm the status of any lake you plan to fish in Arizona. Let’s hope all of the political posturing ends soon so we can get back to fishing.

The water level in Roosevelt lake remained at 45 percent full this past week.  As the monsoons subside, the flows into the lake are slowing. Currently the Salt River is flowing at about 200 CFPS and the Tonto Creek is just slightly flowing. These flow rates are normal for this time of year and should continue until we get more moisture from rain or snow.

Bass reports continue to include good fishing in shallow water using top-water baits such as Zara Spook, buzz baits, Ricos and frogs.  However, the most successful reported bait this past week were crankbaits that run in the 15-20 foot range. The technique is to crank the bait down and pause for 5 seconds before making 2 to 3 handle cranks on your reel followed by another 5 second pause.  Other successful baits reported included Texas rigged 6-inch worms, Senkos fished weightless, jigs and a dropshot technique.

The crappie bite was again called very good this past week. Crappie anglers are telling me that they are moving from one brush location to another and catching good numbers. Experienced crappie anglers are using a vertical technique and fishing in 23-32 feet of water. Favorite crappie baits are 2-inch grub tails on a 1/16 to 1/8-ounce weighted hook. Night time fishing is still very popular and exciting. You'll want to use a live minnow if fishing at night for crappie.

The Urban trout stocking program has started and according to AZGFD this stocking program is not impacted by the shutdown. Payson's Green Valley Lake received its first stocking last week and stockings will continue every other week for the next several months. Salmon eggs, Power Bait and worms were reported successful this past week by local anglers.

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

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 report -- Ed. E. found a nice crappie bite Oct. 11 at Tempe Town Lake: Well I tried Tempe Town Lake today and I was trying to catch some crappie because I caught a nice 12-inch slab last Friday (Oct. 4).

I was using 2-pound test and trolling grubs when I caught a nice 21-inch, possibly 7-pound largemouth bass.

I lost a few more nice ones, because of my light line, so I decided to just go after bass with a heavier line.

I started around 6 a.m. and finished at 10 a.m. after catching and releasing 20 fish. Most were caught on spinners.

Previous reports:

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.

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.

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: This report was up to date as of Wednesday. Please contact appropriate land management agency before heading out for details on accessibility.

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.  The trout stocking season has ended for the year.

MOGOLLON RIM LAKES

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. The water level is low, and launching trailered boats will be difficult.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good.

Angler's report -- Tom S. had some good luck Oct. 6-8 at Willow Springs Lake, including catching a 4-pound smallmouth bass: Hey guys this is my first time sending a report in so I hope it’s okay. My wife and I went up to the rim to camp and fish for the last time this year.

We fished Willow Springs Lake and usually have good luck catching average-to-good size trout. The boat ramp was open, but all the restrooms were closed -- kind of dumb.

This trip we caught quality instead of quantity. To make it short, in the three days we fished, we only caught six fish, but the highlight of this is my wife caught a 2-pound trout and I was lucky enough to catch a 4-pound, 20-inch long smallmouth bass. I was trolling a night crawler on a trout rig with red beads and a silver spinner with one No. 10 hook!

My rod was bent in half from the time I hooked her until 15 minutes later when my wife got it netted. To say the least it was a good trip until Tuesday afternoon when the wind started to gust 50 mph and we had to break down camp! Can’t wait until next season. See pictures attached.

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

WHITE MOUNTAINS LAKES

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. The store is open, and boat rentals are available. 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 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 Power Bait 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 Power Bait. 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, but lake levels should be coming up slowly as the lakes are filled during the fall and winter.

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 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 in this lake were killed by high pH levels over the summer.

LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair. Some anglers are catching trout on Power Bait 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 Nov. 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 (Power Bait or nightcrawlers) instead of lures since the water is turbid. From Sept. 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. Worms fished off the bottom and flies are working well. The lake was stocked at the end of September with 3,010 rainbow trout. Some anglers are also catching some catfish on chicken livers and prepared baits and some bass on lures. October is the month to catch large walleye by trolling or casting Rapala-type lures in the shallows at night. The concession and boat rental store is closed for the season, but the campgrounds are still open.

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

WHITE MOUNTAINS STREAMS

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. No bait fishing is allowed during this season. Please remember to practice good catch-and-release techniques to help maintain the fishery during this season.  

LAKE POWELL AND LEES FERRY

New reports:

bgustriper.jpg
LAKE POWELL – Oct. 15 report from Wayne Gustaveson at www.wayneswords.com.

Wahweap, Antelope Point, Bullfrog and Halls launch ramps are all operating with mussel technicians at the top to provide certificates for launching. Lake level remains the same as it has been since the beginning of the new  "federal water year” starting Oct 1. Striper fishing is HOT with water temperatures in the 60s. Now all you have to do is get here to enjoy the sport.

Last report indicated stripers were guarding narrow canyons where recent flood events had placed brush in the water. We returned to see if this pattern was still holding true after a week off. My small hotspot canyon just upstream from Dove Canyon was still productive with a few really hungry adult stripers hitting spoons bounced on the bottom. But the schools of smaller, fat fish were missing in action. Bait fishing would have been good here but we moved on looking for faster action on artificial lures.

My next choice was Rock Creek where bait fishing along the west wall had been good in September. With the breeze blowing toward the back of the canyon we started fishing where bottom depth was 60 feet and drifted shallower as the wind pushed us right down the middle of the wide canyon. We used homemade spoons (1 to 1.5 ounce) in blue and white with a chartreuse Mylar trailer tied to the hook. The best technique allowed the spoon to hit bottom before being worked in quick 6-inch erratic jerks within a foot of the bottom. Stripers on the bottom were quick to investigate the shad-like presence. When one fish was hooked other schoolmates following the hooked fish could be caught speed reeling through the water column.

The boat drifted fairly fast so some schools were left behind but another school was soon in range. Stripers weighing 1-2 pounds were caught from 60 feet depths all the way to 15 feet in the back of the canyon. When shallow water was reached we returned to the 60 foot strata and made another equally successful drift. We ran out of time and left the fish still biting while we felt completely satisfied.

When filleting the fish it was found that almost all of the 1-2 pound stripers had shad in the stomachs. It appears that shad and stripers are now working hard in the backs of the main canyons in the southern lake. My guess is that canyons with long flood plains like Navajo, Warm Creek, Last Chance, West and Rock Creek will produce similar fishing results.

At midlake the spoon action is equally good with the added bonus of occasional small boils added. Expect the same all the way to Good Hope Bay and beyond.

These 1-2 pound stripers are replacing the adult generation who can no longer compete with their faster and stronger progeny. Shad are still limited but are now available to stripers at these lower temperatures. Most thin adults will not survive the winter while the shad eating youngsters will replace them next spring.

We threw a few casts in the backs of the canyons to test the bass fishing and found bass eager to come to the top for surface lures. Fishing was very successful and should remain so during the rest of October.


LEES FERRY –  Lees Ferry is open to fish and this is one of the best times of the year to fish this world-class tailwater fishery. Most recent report is the Oct. 17 report from Lees Ferry Anglers.

COLORADO RIVER

Disclaimer: This report was up to date as of Wednesday. Please contact appropriate land management agency before heading out for details on accessibility.

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/.

The Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which includes all of Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, is currently closed due the federal government shutdown.

LAKE MEAD – The Lake is closed due to the shutdown.  The elevation has continued to drop a little to 1104.7 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 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 Oct. 4.  The next new moon will be Nov. 3.  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 is closed due to the shutdown.  The lake level has dropped back down to around 640.7 feet above msl.  The latest report states that the lake bite is picking up a bit.  Reports are 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 Nov. 3.  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 closed due to the shutdown.  Sorry folks.

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-pound. and Jim’s 2.8-pound 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-pound channel was caught on anchovies in the upper Big Bend area.  Cole caught a beautiful 5-pound 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 flow predictions http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

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

TOPOCK MARSH – The marsh is closed due to the shutdown.  Topock is producing some largemouth and stripers.  Largemouths 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 Sept. 30.  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 Oct. 7.  The next stocking is tentatively scheduled for the week of Nov. 1.

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 Oct. 7.  The next stocking is tentatively scheduled for the week of Nov. 11.

The federal shutdown had 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 available.    

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 Sept. 30 and the next tentatively scheduled stocking is the week of Oct. 21. 


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

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

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

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

WATSON – Trout were last stocked the week of March 18.  The next tentatively scheduled trout stocking will be the week of Oct. 28.  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 17, 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: This report was up to date as of Wednesday. Please contact appropriate land management agency before heading out for details on accessibility.


ALAMO LAKE – Oct. 14 report from Mark Knapp, Park Ranger at Alamo Lake State Park:

Well folks, we had a lot of people out here for the weekend so I have some updated reports for you.

A group of anglers were here strictly to crappie fish.  They were averaging about five a day.  That's not very good.   I think the ones caught were on road runner jigs with a minnow trailer in approximately 10 feet of water.

The water surface temp is the high 60s so they should be turning on.   Who knows when?  It's been a mystery year for crappie fishing.  One angler reported that he tried the night bite up by the dam and never got a bite.

No reports on catfishing. Bass fishing was really good for those who fished in what we call mats.  That's the vegetation/weeds growing  in 2-5 feet of water.  There's some toads holding up in there.  Try throwing a Texas-rigged lizard right on top and let it sink into the anything that it can.  If the line moves, set the hook and hold your pole.  I had a guy go out of his way to come thank me for the tip and said he did very good, so I guess it works.

I was in New Mexico last week so I have not been out.  I have to keep this focused on fishing so I'm not going to be able to tell you about some of the cool adventures my grandson and I had while there.  The lake is back down to 1092ish and dropping.

The CORE has lowered the releases to 15 cfs,  which will help keep Cholla ramp in operation at this time.   We have a meeting scheduled for the Oct. 23 and hopefully I will know a lot more about the decision to inspect the bulkhead.  That's all I got. - 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: This report was up to date as of Wednesday. Please contact appropriate land management agency before heading out for details on accessibility.

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. 5.

WILLIAMS LAKES:  

KAIBAB LAKE —  Campground is closed.    Trout fishing should be good with the cooler weather

CATARACT LAKE —  Campground is closed.  Trout fishing should be good with the cooler weather 

CITY RESERVOIR — Open.  Trout fishing should be good with the cooler weather

DOGTOWN LAKE —  Campground is closed. Trout fishing should be good with the cooler weather

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

SANTA FE — Trout fishing should be good with the cooler weather

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   Scheduled to be stocked

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Try fishing now for pre-spawn brown trout.    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 –  Stocked last week.  No report.

WEST CLEAR CREEK -  Stocked last 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: This report was up to date as of Wednesday. Please contact appropriate land management agency before heading out for details on accessibility.

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.

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

Previous 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. 

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.

  Share or Bookmark:
| More
   

Home

Add this site to...


Mission | Customer Service | Web Policy | Send Comments | Employment | Commission Agenda | Office Locations | Site Map | Search | © 2008 AZGFD