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Fishing report, Oct. 31

Posted in: Fishing Report
Oct 31, 2013
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With nights in the 50s, it won't be long until fish will be in their more lethargic winter feeding patterns. In essence, their metabolism slows down and they might only have to eat a single shad every day or two to maintain their body condition.

On the other hand, during the prime fall bite, a bass might gobble up lots of shad and feed four, five or six times each day. That's why catch rates can increase in the fall, and decrease significantly in winter. Right now, we could be in that in-between stage with bass not quite in winter patterns, but not really in full autumn feeding patters.

Go prepared to fish at 15-30 feet deep, but also be prepared with your topwater arsenal just in case you discover fishing gold -- bass chasing shad at the surface.

Finally, the Tonto Creek Hatchery just finished stocking trout into Big Lake (14,750 trout), Lynx Lake (20,739) and Fain Lake (5,512).

One of the beauties of fishing is finding your secret spot. Have you found yours, yet? The above angler, Jerry G., said he caught his biggest ever rainbow trout on 6-pound test line and an ultralight rod and reel -- at his secret spot.

2013 Urban Fishing Licenses and General Class A Fishing Half-Off Sale

If you recently found out about the great fishing in the urban lakes and the start of the trout stocking season, we have a deal for you. Starting Nov. 1, the 2013 Class U, Urban Fishing Program license goes on sale for 50-percent off during the last two months of 2013.

Stop by a Game and Fish office or any of our sporting goods or retail license dealers and ask for your 2013 discount Urban fishing license for $9.25 (same price for non-residents). The Urban license is valid for all fish species including trout, catfish, bluegill and bass. Youth ages 13 and under do not need a license to fish.

Also, the General Class A license, normally $23.50, goes on sale for $11.75.

The Class I family license is half off as well -- primary is $24.50 and the additional spouse is $19.60. 

Purchase a license.


(Send your fishing reports and photos to

Wayne took his grandson to Patagonia Lake on his first fishing trip, and now the grandson is “Hooked on Fishing”: My Grandson's first fishing trip and he is now hooked on it. He had a great time at Patagonia Lake. The lake is excellent for people of all ages and has a very large no wake zone for those who like to get the kids out and do some "MAYBERRY" type fishing -- worms, bobbers and conversation.

Lake is down about 20 inches from the summer high level with some stumps starting to show again; care should be taken in the shallow areas.

The best fishing is around the reeds on the eastern end where the creek cut a new channel last summer. Flatheads in the channel and bass just inside the reeds. Happy fishing.

Charles S. fished the Colorado River, from the Imperial Dam to Picacho State Park, last weekend: Surface water temps are still hovering around 69-70 degrees and appear to be fairly stable, even on windy days. This week we went back to an earlier fall pattern that had been producing our largest fish -- we were not disappointed!

That pattern was slow going for the last two weeks or so, but this weekend it was all that and then some. We were fishing (Berkley Power Bait) Chigger Craws in the main channel troughs and quick transitions to deeper water (but not too deep) with 10-12 feet of water being ideal. We also didn’t use any crankbaits or anything else for all that matters.

The smallmouth bass bite was 4-1 against the largemouth bass and they were swarming the baits in the first three hours of sunlight, as well as later in afternoon around 2-3. The mob mentality that smallmouth tend to display was in full swing and we expect that to continue for the next few weeks.

We worked crawfish baits for most of the week; this week we just tossed them towards the bank line and let them drop to the bottom, and then depending on the flow, we lightly or heavily bounced them along the river floor alongside the boat while we slid with the current.

I should clarify that many, if not most, of the bites came right while we were bouncing or lifting the bait off the bottom and preparing for another flip. To put the madness in perspective, I caught four bass while I actually had the line in my hand and was pulling the rod up in preparation for another flip and Peggy had one actually follow and blow out of the water and take it mid-air after she had already pulled it 12 inches out of the water!

I normally fish between Walters camp to the Imperial dam, which are zones 4 and 5 on the river map, though much of my fishing is concentrated in the Picacho area, give or take 4 miles either way. If you’re planning on fishing the river in the near future make sure you consider the low water levels and fierce competition for food among the many species of fish along the river. Peggy and I are finding pockets that are holding largemouth, as well as smallmouth and stripers, all within a 5-foot proximity of each other.

Well that’s it for now – it’s time to pack for another four-day fishing trip. Don’t forget that fall is also a good time to view the local wildlife along the river. We have been regularly spotting rams, as well as bobcats, and even eagles.


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

New reports:

Lake elevation is 2,098 feet, 45-percent full. Oct. 25 report from James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:  The Arizona Game and Fish Department is planned to conduct a fish survey on Roosevelt Lake Monday through Wednesday. This new data will help determine the impact and a solution for the gizzard shad in the lake. There will be a meeting in Tonto Basin during Nov. where the results will be communicated.

Bass fishing was called good this past week by experienced anglers. With the drop in water temperature, a fall fishing pattern is well underway. Experienced anglers will tell you to fish the fall just like you fish the spring, and from inputs I've received, those spring time techniques such as spinner baits, crankbaits, Texas rig and a dropshot technique have been producing good numbers of fish.  

The crappie bite this fall is 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.

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 scheduled for next week.  Urban lake trout fishing is lots of fun for the family and we are extremely fortunate to have an Urban lake here in town. So take the family fishing and make some memories. Power Bait and small crankbaits and spinners were reported successful this past week by local anglers.

Finally, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has again extended the public input period on the planned release of Mexican Gray Wolves into Rim country. The new closing date for public comments is Dec. 17.

In addition, public meetings will be held in Denver, Colo., Albuquerque, N.M., Sacramento, Calif. and due to strong demand from the people of Arizona, a meeting has been added for Pinetop. The Pinetop meeting will be held on December 3 at the Hon-Dah Hotel and Casino Conference Center. The public information meeting will be from 3:30-5 p.m. followed by a public hearing for recording comments from 6-8:30 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to attend the Pinetop meeting and go on-line to to state your position on this important topic.

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

URBAN WATERS – See the latest Urban Fishing Bulletin here.

Previous reports:

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.

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.

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.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – The 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.

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

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.


New reports:

Recommended Waters to Fish
Fishing is good to excellent at Silver Creek, and good at Show Low Lake, 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 the boat ramp has a drop off at the end, so launching trailered boats will be difficult.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good. Anglers have been catching trout up to 13” by trolling roostertail spinners in the middle of the lake.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. Trout have been rising to an insect hatch in the evening. The store is open, but the campgrounds are closed for the season.


BECKER LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Large trout are becoming more active with cool water temperatures. 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 still present but 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 plenty of open water in the center once you get past the weedy shoreline. Water levels had come up with the heavy monsoon rains. There are not a lot of fish in the lake, but those that are left are running about 2 pounds.

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 at 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 to good. River Reservoir is full and boats can be launched. High flows from an exceptional monsoon season have filled the lake early. Anglers have recently caught a few rainbow and brown trout by trolling KastMaster lures. 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.
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 November 4. Fishing is poor for bass and fair to good for catfish.  

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair. The lake is full. From September 1 through March 31, the bag limits on trout at Nelson are unlimited; it will change back to a six-trout limit on April 1.

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

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is 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 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. The stocking season has ended for the year.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good to excellent. Anglers are catching larger rainbows on flies in the upper section, with good numbers of Apache Trout in the rest of the creek. Try bead-headed wooly buggers, yellow and orange egg patterns, brown or olive simi seal leeches and bead-headed prince nymphs. Silver Creek was stocked on the first of October 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 by playing the fish quickly, keeping the fish in the water as much as possible (don’t lay them on the bank), and revive the fish carefully when releasing them.


New reports:

Oct. 30 report from Wayne Gustaveson at (Final report of the year).

During October we fished the same spots in the southern lake each week while checking current results for the fish report. Results ranged from superb early in the month to difficult after full moon.  I am pleased to report that this week’s report is right back at the top of the charts. Fishing success has recovered for striped bass that have been holding in the same locations all month long. They have just responded differently on the various trips at the times that we fished there.  Fishing success has improved over the length of Lake Powell.

First stop on the most recent trip was a short U-shaped canyon with flash flood debris in the back. Stripers have been holding at 60-70 feet at the mouth of this narrow canyon guarding from the deep water area to prevent forage fish from leaving the shallow area and heading for a new location. When these striper schools were found during the first week of October they could be readily caught spooning on the bottom or speed reeling spoons toward the surface with many 1-2.5 pound fish caught. On the next trip no fish were caught. On the full moon trip a few small stripers were caught near the surface.  Then this trip spoons worked on the bottom and speed reeling toward the surface with many fish being caught.  Using the same tackle at the same locations is a good indication of how stripers are responding to anglers on a regular basis.

Our next stop in Rock Creek presented slightly different results. During the first week of October spooning worked great resulting in a huge catch of 1-2.5 pound stripers. As the moon brightened stripers moved from the 60-foot contour into shallower water in this larger bay too wide to be watched and guarded by schools of stripers. Here stripers could be caught occasionally flat-line trolling in the 10-20 foot portion of the water column over a 20-45 foot bottom.   On successive trips trolling was spotty, then good and finally great on this week’s trip. The best lures ran from 8-12 feet where plankton eating stripers were found. Our best luck came on Glass Shad Raps and deep diving Lucky Craft Pointers.

Bass fishing was steady but not fast all month on surface lures and standard plastic grubs, tubes and dropshot shad shaped worms.  Largemouth bass anglers will be pleased to see big mounds of aquatic weeds (grass) growing on sandy bottoms in coves and flats in the backs of canyons. The steady lake level during October has allowed this grass to grow in shallow water without being desiccated as lake level declined.

Uplake, night fishing for stripers with bait has improved in the Bullfrog area.  Here the same spooning and trolling techniques mentioned above work as striper schools are found randomly while graphing the backs of canyons.

Further north more shad are found hiding in the backs of protected coves. Shad schools are much larger here and attract all game fish to the coves. These coves can be found by watching for unusual bird and wildlife activity.   This time of year ravens perched near shore may be watching feeding fish instead of unsuspecting houseboats where a feeding opportunity may occur.  When a shad cove is located expect to find bass, crappie, stripers and walleye in close proximity. Spoons, bucktail jigs, swim baits and crankbaits work well for game fish located in and around these community fishing centers.

Wayne and Crew will be out on Lake Powell during November sampling with gill nets. This will be the last weekly fish report for the year.  After gill netting concludes mid-month random fish reports will be distributed on the website at  Look there for fishing information during the winter. You can ask questions about fishing or general information about Lake Powell on the Bulletin Board and get an answer the same day.

See you next year --  Wayne Gustaveson.

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

Well folks, this a day late, but with a little luck it will hit print this week. Nothing has changed with fishing.  I think it was San Diego Bass Masters that were here last weekend and said it was tough. I think 20ish pounds won it.

No reports on crappie fishing. I gotta give these guys credit.  They come in, buy their bait, and off they go across the cold lake first thing in the morning.  I see them the next morning and same thing.  Most of the days it's zero crappie or one at the most.  Shore fishing is about the same.  In a nut shell I would go golfing if it were me.

We had our BWSC meeting yesterday.  I'm happy to say that the CORE does not think it is likely to have plans in place to inspect the bulkhead.  So, were good to spring.  All we can hope for is a ton of water to fill the lake this winter.   The ramps are now set to handle up to 1170.  I'm hoping to see that again before leaving.  That's it --  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.


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.


  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 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:

The lake is open to the public.  Trout stocking begins the first week in November and the2013-2014 winter trout stocking schedule can be seen at  

Angler’s report -- Wayne took his grandson to Patagonia Lake on his first fishing trip, and now the grandson is “Hooked on Fishing”: My Grandson's first fishing trip and he is now hooked on it. He had a great time at Patagonia Lake. The lake is excellent for people of all ages and has a very large no wake zone for those who like to get the kids out and do some "MAYBERRY" type fishing -- worms, bobbers and conversation.
Lake is down about 20 inches from the summer high level with some stumps starting to show again; care should be taken in the shallow areas.

The best fishing is around the reeds on the eastern end where the creek cut a new channel last summer. Flatheads in the channel and bass just inside the reeds. Happy fishing.

Previous reports:

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

CLUFF RANCH — Trout stocking begins the first week in November and the2013-2014 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.

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.  

PARKER CANYON — The lake is open and current fishing reports have not had much success.  Trout were stocked the week of Oct 21st and you can see the winter stocking schedule at

PENA BLANCA –  The lake is open and trout stocking begins the first week in November and the2013-2014 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 stocking begins 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.

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