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Fishing report, Oct. 24

Posted in: Fishing Report
Oct 24, 2013
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Hello, anglers,

The second cast at Bartlett Lake Saturday morning, which sent a crankbait to touchdown just off a rocky point near the shoreline, produced that pop and pull from a bass we all surely love.

The 3-inch crankbait, diving and rising, duped a largemouth bass just after 8 a.m. Many more followed. The weather was bright and cool and clean with a party of four that included boat operator Skyler Clark, the fishing manager at the Mesa-based Sportsman’s Warehouse. Just a whip of wind. Now's a great time to fish any desert lake such as Bartlett.

Largemouth bass were hitting just off the shoreline on deep-diving crankbaits. The above presentation involved reeling the crankbait quickly a few times, pausing around 4 seconds to let it rise, and then reeling quickly again. Repeating this process was effective until around 1 p.m., targeting shoreline points and ledges in around 20 feet of water. Water temperatures reached a high of 71 degrees.

The ledges and reefs in around 20 feet of water also could be targeted with green pumpkin Gary Yamamoto jigs and dropshot-rigged Roboworms (morning dawn.)  Fishing leisurely, we caught about 20 bass during the morning.

Crappie lovers, be on alert: Roosevelt Lake is reportedly the hot spot for these piscatorial delicacies.

At Lake Pleasant, there reportedly was a 29-pound striper that was weighed in at Lake Pleasant Marina. But the fish apparently didn't top the 29-pound, 13.76-ounce striper that is the inland waters, hook-and-line state record.

It's not too late visit Upper Lake Mary near Flagstaff.  The northern pike bite should be OK. Anglers also can target walleye and yellow perch and largemouth bass. Best part is there are no boat motor restrictions.

Ashurst Lake, also in the Flagstaff area, should be a good bet. Trout anglers sometimes hook into pike. Ashurst typically is one of the more reliable trout lakes in the summer.

Dogtown Lake near Williams can a fantastic fall lake. It typically harbors some decent brown trout that should be staging to spawn. From different parts of this lake, anglers can see Bill Williams Mountain and the San Francisco Peaks.

Don't forget about Kaibab Lake near Williams. It's an incredible launching place to visit the Grand Canyon -- it's only about an hour or so drive away.

And get to Big Lake while you can. Fishing may be a bit slow at times, but there's some opportunity for some big rainbow and cutthroat trout, said Ray at the Big Lake Store. There have been reports of trout to 2 and even 4 pounds in the past week caught in shallow water with some spinners. But nightcrawlers are outfishing everything. Boats are still available for rent. By the time the store closes in about three weeks, the fishing should be perfect.

The Urban trout stocking program is underway and Payson's Green Valley Lake has received its first rainbow trout stocking. The stockings will continue every other week for the next several months with the next stocking happen the week of Oct. 28. By the way, Green Valley Urban Lakes are the only urban lakes to receive trout this early. The remaining urban lakes won't see any trout stockings until mid November. Salmon eggs, power bait and worms were reported successful this past week by local anglers.

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.


(Send your fishing reports and photos to

John S. made a trip out to Silver Creek Fri., Oct. 18, fishing first thing in the morning: Fished from sunrise until 9 a.m. Landed eight beautiful rainbows, all around 20 inches, all released in great condition. The fish fought very hard and were a blast to catch on ultralight gear. Caught them all on small grubs in a john deere color.  Kudos to AZGFD and the conservation groups involved with Silver Creek.

Charles S. fished the Colorado River, from the Imperial Dam to Picacho State Park, the past two weeks: Cooler evening and day temperatures have been keeping the water surface temps close to 68-69 degrees.

We dealt with 15-20 mph shifting winds the entire six days we fished and really look forward to some calmer days. Main river channel fishing for largemouth has been a little slow for us, most of the largemouth bass action was in Ferguson Lake fishing the rock points with chrome Rat-L-Traps, though we did pick up two decent largemouth bass in the channel on crawfish creatures, think crazy leg chiggers. Middle Martinez Lake by the military launch had also gave up some decent stripers. Again, the action came on casting square-lipped crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps in open water, as well as along the windblown banks.

The most exciting news I have to share is that we decided to venture up river to Walters Camp. The trip gave us an opportunity to fine tune existing GPS waypoints, as well as add some new navigation waypoints to our GPS map of the Colorado River. We also searched out some new out-of-the-way fishing spots, as in locations that quite possibly could have been spared from the constant and often heavy tournament pressure.

We fished little pockets here and there on the channel with a mix of lures, but it was at the end of a long stretch of rock that we finally caught up with a school of nice smallmouth. I was casting pumpkin colored crazy leg chiggers, and all of a sudden, boom! There in the water before me I saw what must have been six or seven smallmouth bass trying to get the bait from the fish on the end of my line. They were not the size of the smallmouth you would catch on Lake Superior or something.

Nonetheless, pinch them, and they were close to 18 inches each, which was a pretty mind blowing, especially when you consider most of the smallmouth bass I have seen or caught on the river were 12 inches at best. We caught and released five of the beautiful smallmouth during that run. Despite the wind, it was a good trip overall.


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

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. 18 report from James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods. The water level remained at 45 percent full again this past week.  The amount of water being taking from the lake for downstream use has slowed considerably so hopefully we'll get rain and snow over the next few months to help full the lake.

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 that moisture from rain or snow.

Bass fishing was called good this past week by experienced anglers. We've been talking for the past couple of weeks about the crappie schooling and now the bass seem to be schooling as well. We don't want to give up on the top-water bite, a Texas rig or a dropshot we've been recommending the past few weeks.

But it’s time to start trying a spoon to target the schooling bass. Two great jigging spoons are the Cripple Herring and a Stratus spoon. There are two techniques used for spoon fishing. The first is to cast the spoon as far as you can and let it drop down into the schooling bass. The second is to vertically drop the spoon to the bottom then reel it up to the depth where the school is located and jig the spoon up 3feet and let it fall back down until the line is taut.

If you find a large school, it is not uncommon to catch several fish on consecutive casts using these techniques.

With the stable weather we've been experiencing, the crappie bite is becoming very consistent and was called good this past week. Crappie anglers are using a vertical technique and fishing in 25-35 feet of water and targeting crappie suspended in brush. An ultralight 5-foot-6 fishing rod and 4-pound PowerPro test line in the yellow color are a must for crappie anglers.  

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

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – he best place for largemouth bass is in around the structure along the overpasses.  If you are fishing at night realize that bass naturally gravitate toward shore on their quest to nab shad that are following the zoo plankton.  There are some crappie in the lake so wouldn’t hurt to try your crappie lights and see what else will show up.  Yellow bass are plentiful and more pelagic.  Be cognizant of the special regulations if you bring a boat.

“The Welcome Back the Trout" celebration is Nov. 26 from 3-5:30 p.m.

Anglers had beenAll rainbow trout, which come from the Paige Sprins Hatcherym will be 9-10 inches long. Bring your own poles if you have them; more than 100 pole will be available for rent.

Angler's previous 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.

BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,796 feet, 98 % full. On Saturday, shortly after 8 a.m., largemouth bass were hitting just off the shoreline on deep-diving crankbaits. One effective technique involved letting the crankbait drop for about 4 seconds, reeling quickly three times and letting the crankbait fall again. Repeating this process was an effective throughout the day, targeting shoreline points, and ledges in around 20 feet of water.

The ledges also could be targeted with various jigs and dropshot-rigged Roboworms (morning dawn.)
Fishing leisurely, we caught about 20 bass during the morning. There couldn’t be better weather to enjoy.

SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,526 feet (95 percent full).

The Department has received reports of dead and decomposing material floating on the surface of Saguaro Lake, most notably in the upstream river section.  Biologists have confirmed that these are Asian clams, a nonnative clam species that is distributed throughout parts of the U.S.  Biologists are currently investigating the cause of this mortality event.  Click here for more information on Asian clams.

Also, the top-water morning action had been hot. 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.

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

Haigler Creek – No recent reports, but this is a good time to try for leftover stocked trout. Try attractor patterns and small beadhead nymphs like hares ear, copper john and prince nymphs.  
Canyon Creek – This time of year terrestrials can provide some good action.  Try using a grasshopper or cicada pattern and dropping a small beadhead nymph off of it. Don’t be afraid to fish for the larger browns after dark.  Try using wolly buggers, muddler minnows or even a floating mouse pattern.  Fishing can be slow but you might be rewarded with a large brown trout.   

Tonto Creek –   Try the Upper Tonto Creek (above Hwy 260) for holdover rainbow trout. Try the usual stuff.
Christopher Creek – No recent reports, but you might be able to catch some holdover rainbows.  Stocking season has ended.

East Verde River -- No recent reports. You should be able to catch some carryover trout in the deeper pools and runs.

Previous reports:

CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,659 feet (97-percent full). 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.

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.


New reports:

Recommended Waters to Fish

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

Trout Stocking Schedule

The trout stocking season has ended for the year.


BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is 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.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good.


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 feed more actively with cooler water. 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. A 10-pound channel catfish was recently caught here with chicken livers.      

GREER LAKES – Fishing is fair. River Reservoir is now full, and boats can be launched. High flows from an exceptional monsoon season have filled the lake early. Bunch and Tunnel Reservoirs are filling 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 fair for Arctic grayling. The lake level has come up a few feet, and the boat ramp is usable again. The algae bloom is gone, and the pH level is normal. Watch for surface action in the evening to catch grayling. 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.

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. 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) was 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 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.


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 good to excellent. Anglers are catching 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 on the first of October with 500 Apache trout and 900 large rainbow trout to kick off the catch-and-release season, which runs from Oct. 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.    


New reports:

LAKE POWELL – Oct. 23 report from Wayne Gustaveson at
Lake Elevation: 3,591 feet

Water Temperature 64-67 degrees

When the full moon came out fishing success abruptly declined, but at Lake Powell there is always a way to catch fish. Bass are very predictable as they inhabit shallow water near brush and structure at the backs of canyons and coves. My first stop on my weekly trip was a short flood plain cove half way between Warm Creek and Padre Bay. My first hit from a small bass was on the edge of a shallow rocky ledge extending toward the center of the canyon. I then caught a 2-pound smallmouth when the lure landed in 6 inches of water near shore.  My best largemouth was taken in the back of Rock Creek on the same Jumpin’ Minnow near a clump of sunken debris in 4 feet of water. Fish shallow water with structure for bass.

Cattail clumps and small stumps washed down into the lake during the recent storm events. The debris floated for a while but then submerged to provide bass habitat in otherwise barren coves and is found lakewide. Largemouth bass will be near stickup debris in 5 feet of water near the backs of canyons. Smallmouth bass are in the same vicinity but tend to roam along the shoreline. Find both species by casting surface lures in the backs of canyons and coves. When a concentration of bass is located deploy the standard plastic baits and crankbaits to maximize catch.

My next stop was in the short canyon just upstream from Dove Canyon. Only a few fish traces were seen on the graph but the spoons were deployed based on past experience. On the second cast a small suspended striper hit and was quickly flipped in the boat. That rod and fish was dropped on the deck and another rod with spoon was ripped from the rod holder and cast to the school with the same result.  Fish number 2 hit the deck while my last spoon rod was grabbed and cast. The third fish also struck at 15 feet. While reeling in number 3 a quick glance at the deck revealed that the first fish had come unhooked.  I exchanged rod 3 for rod 1 and hooked striper 4.  Unfortunately the other 3 fish on the deck had performed a square dance and tied a huge knot which did not come out without 5 minutes of tedious untangling. The boat drifted off the spot and the small striper school moved away.  We did not relocate each other and no more fish were found in the canyon.    

Stripers are a schooling fish that react immediately to feeding behavior. When one fish strikes a lure other stripers in the school are instantly on the prowl. That is why quick reaction to get a second and third lure into the school is important. It is wise to keep a hooked fish in the water until the next cast can be made. If the first small striper had been unhooked, admired, and placed in the ice chest prior to the next cast, it is likely that only one fish would have been caught from that school. With quick action my catch was increased to 4.  When spooning, react quickly to keep the school in range and to increase number of fish caught.

Graphing open water in Rock Creek produced very few fish traces which was completely different from my last trip there. Each day has a pattern that must be discovered before fish can be consistently caught.  Trolling toward the back of the canyon while graphing finally indicated that stripers were holding in 15-20 feet of water. Once found stripers were consistently caught trolling Shad Raps and Bomber flat A’s trolled at 2.5 to 3 mph.  Last trip spooning deep was the best technique, this time trolling shallow was better. All fish cleaned had plankton in the stomachs.  That means stripers were scattered in shallow water near plankton schools instead of pursuing shad throughout the water column. Find the pattern for the day and fishing success improves dramatically.

Uplake reports indicate stripers were caught spooning at 60 feet at the mouth of Bowns/Long Canyon. Some stripers were caught trolling over the length of the lake with down riggers, again at 60 feet.  As the bright moonlight fades fishing success will improve with each passing day. For now search the bottom at 60 feet for resting stripers with spoons and downriggers but make sure to check for 15 foot plankton eaters with trolled and cast shad imitating crank baits.  Smallmouth bass are the most consistently caught fish over the length of the lake.

A final thought is that best fishing success is found in murky water instead of crystal clear water found in the majority of the lake. Just like springtime with temperature in the 60s look for murky water for best success.

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.


New reports:

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

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department's web pages at or visit

LAKE MEAD – The elevation has continued to drop a little to 1104.3 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 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 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.  Rusty sent pictures of local fisherman Lisa and her nice channel cat that weighed in at just under 4 pounds.  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 so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW BEACH – Willow Beach is open again but I have not received any reports for a while.

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

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – 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 6.88 lbs. catfish was a prize catch for Ken and Puge.  They were using anchovies from shore in the Rotary Park area.  Justin’s striper catch weighed in at 3-4 lbs. each.  He likes using a subwalk for stripers.  Night crawlers seem to be the bait of choice for trout.  Unfortunately the shutdown will stop trout stocking in the area.

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

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

TOPOCK MARSH – 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  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


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.  


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 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 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.     
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 Sept. 30 and the next tentatively scheduled stocking is this week, 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 18th.  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 so I can share your successes with others.

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


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. 23 report from Mark Knapp, Park Ranger at Alamo Lake State Park:

Well folks, this is going to be short and simple.  Bass fishing is OK.

If you see the bass jumping after the dragon flies in the brush, throw something small in there.  I would suggest using at least 15-pound test.

Crappie fishing still gets a thumb down.  No good reports as of yesterday.   Catfishing has slowed way down.  Shore fishing is hit and miss.

I’m  writing this from Lake Havasu State Park while waiting for our BWSC meeting.  Hopefully by the end of the day we will know what the CORE plans to do with the lake and the bulkhead.  If it's really bad news I will try to do an amendment to this in the next day or so.

The lake level is around 1092ish still.  I went over yesterday with a tractor and leveled out Cholla ramp the best I could.  Try using the middle lane.  I got my feet wet so I know it's as deep as it gets. The releases have been lowered to 15 cfs, so that helps out a lot.  The county is putting in a guard rail through the pass so expect 15-20 minute delays.  The park is having their 7th annual Star's Party this Nov 2.  For all the details, go to AZ State Parks website.

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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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

New reports:

CLUFF RANCH — Trout stockings begin the first week in November, and the 2013-2014 winter trout stocking schedule can be seen at  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.

PARKER CANYON — The lake is open and anglers have not reported much success.  Trout were stocked the week of Oct. 2t and you can see the winter stocking schedule at

PATAGONIA — The lake is open to the public.  Trout stocking begins the first week in November and the 2013-2014 winter trout stocking schedule can be seen at  

PENA BLANCA –  The lake is open and trout stockings begin the first week in November and the 2013-2014 winter trout stocking schedule can be seen at  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 open.  No future stocking are scheduled at this time due to poor water quality.  

ROPER LAKE —  The lake is open to the public.  Trout stockings begin the first week in November and the2013-2014 winter trout stocking schedule can be seen at  For lake information (928) 428-6760.  

ROSE CANYON LAKE — The lake is now closed to vehicle access for the winter.  Anglers are still permitted to walk into the lake from the parking lot on the main road.

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 5-6 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 4, 300 catchable Gila trout were stocked into the reservoir.  Anglers have reported success at catching Gila trout since the stocking.  Remember that the daily bag and possession limit for Gila trout is 1 fish. Frye Creek above the reservoir remains closed to fishing. 

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