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Nov. 23 Fishing Report

Posted in: Fishing Report
Nov 23, 2012
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“Fishing Stories”

Turkey-2.jpg
Can you believe that it is Thanksgiving already?  Boy, where does the time fly? Here are the things that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends, my health and the chance to be able to live in a country like  ours where our freedom and the ability to make our own choices.  I would like to extend my thanks to all of our military service members past present and future. Those who have served our county to guarantee our freedom, I am grateful.  Thanks to all police officers and fire fighters for their service to our community, while we sleep soundly in our beds, they are standing the watch in our communities. Thank you to all the readers of this fishing report for your participation in keeping the tradition of outdoor recreation and teaching the next generation of sportsmen and women, because they are the future of conservation in Arizona.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


This report and picture just came in from Dan.
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“I read the fishing report today and we went to Williams to fish.  In 15 minutes my grandson landed this 18” brown, which is very heavy and thick.   It was our best fish of the year. We fish regularly up here in Flagstaff and Williams.

Thanks to AZGFD for managing our fish and doing a great job!    We appreciate the great work you all do for fishing and hunting!”

Dan A.
Josh P. (Grandson/fisherman)

I need more of your stories and photos to post so keep fishing and send in those stories to BFishing@azgfd.gov

It's still not too late to submit your entry for the "BIG FISH of THE YEAR" such as this entry by Gordon Maka and
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his 13lbs 8oz, 31 inch Brown Trout submitted on 09/27/2012




OK, on to the report.


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.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Fishing continues to be good, especially for largemouth bass. The best bite at first and last light for bass and sunfish. This is a good time to try for channel catfish and carp using corn or dough baits after dark. Keep in mind that although this fishery in the city, it is not part of the Urban Fishing Program, so you will need the regular state fishing license to fish here.

LAKE PLEASANT - Lake level is at 1,645 feet, 45 percent full, with approximately 6,285 surface acres.  Stripers are still going crazy during the early mornings and late evening now that the outside temperatures are slowly decreasing. Shad boils are being seen in the hallows and coves causing great fishing Try using topwater lures, swim baits, Alabama rigs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits or jerkbaits. Fishing from shore has been decent for smallmouth and largemouth bass. Word is that the water temperature is slowly declining, causing the shad to move in towards shore. Small coves and deep holes are the best area. Try using anything that looks like shad, or live baits. Nighttime fishing for catfish, especially from shore, should be good using stink bait. Try stink baits or blood baits, such as chicken liver. Corn can also work for both catfish and carp. Frozen anchovies fished on the bottom are another good choice -- you might even catch a striped bass.

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation remains at 2,096 feet and the lake level is 43 percent. Try fishing in the shallows (1 to 4 feet) with surface lures in the backs of coves and over rock piles. Drop shot works pretty well on the outside points, flats and backs of coves in 30 to 10 feet of water but altering the drop shot technique to a Texas nose hook and whacky style setup is productive especially when the typical setup does not hit the mark. The technique of how you reel the drop shot in is real important. Slow and steady or slow with little jerks or jerk and let it fall over and over again are some styles to play around with. Rock piles are typically productive using plastics bouncing along the substrate. This is still a good time to try for channel catfish using sink bait. For flatheads, live bait such as bluegills or small carp work best. For channel catfish, try any stinkbait, chicken liver or blood baits. Although you can catch channels during the day, the prime bite has likely shifted to the nighttime hours.

APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,907 feet (93 percent full). No recent reports. Apache is typically a good fall producer.

CANYON LAKE – Canyon Lake- Boulder Rec. Area, back half is closed for season and the floating fishing pier is closed as well. 
Lake elevation is still holding at around 1,657 feet, which is 95 percent full. No recent angler reports. If you have been fishing here, send in your report to BFishing@azgfd.gov. Anglers are having good luck fishing along the cliffs and on the ledges. Water temps are declining, so all-day fishing should be good.

SAGUARO LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,525 feet at 94 percent full. Anglers are having better luck using spoons along the ledges close to drop offs. Let the spoon drop then bounce it along the bottom. Bass are feeding heavily on shad, so if you find them in action, topwater would work. Send in a report if you have fished here recently.

BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation has been holding at 1,760 feet, 51 percent full. Should be good topwater action for bass off-and-on throughout the day night now. Some are using the dropshot method over the ledges and adjacent to cliffs. Shad boils have been seen late in the morning that lasted till about 2 p.m. in the southern end of the lake. Clear Zara Puppy and Ice Fluke topwater lures worked like a charm to catch another 12 bass.

HORSESHOE LAKE - One-percent full. Salt River Project tends to use Horseshoe as a flood retention reservoir, but steadily releases the water downstream into Bartlett Lake.
LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Releases were 500 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro. You might be able to catch some bass or sunfish in the deeper holes.

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

LAKE POWELL AND LEES FERRY
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.

LAKE POWELL – See the National Park Service's quagga mussel monitoring update for Lake Powell under "Fishing News" at the beginning of this report. No new fishing report for Lake Powell - visit www.wayneswords.com for Oct. 23 report. Remember to “clean, drain and dry your boat” to stop the spread of invasive species.

LEES FERRY – Report by Terry Gunn submitted Nov 15, 2012
www.leesferry.com

Fly Fishing Up-River:
Since Nov. 1, water flows have been fluctuating between 7,000 to 9,000-cfs daily as part of the upcoming experimental high flow event.
Here are the details of the HFE Event that begins Nov. 19.
• Begin ramp-up from 9,000 cfs at 11:00 pm on Nov. 18 (Sunday);
• Reach powerplant capacity at 11:00 am on Nov. 19 (Monday);
• Open bypass tubes at 12:00 pm Nov. 19;
• Reach full bypass at 9:00 pm on Nov. 19;
• First step down from bypass at 9:00 pm on Nov. 20 (Tuesday);
• Reach ~31,300 cfs at 4:00 am on Nov. 23 (Friday)
• Reach powerplant capacity at 7:00 am on Nov. 23
• Complete HFE (back to 9,000 cfs) at 8:00 pm on Nov. 23
A fall flood in no way mimics a natural event. I think that you know that I consider these flows a waste of time and money. The beaches are built then the rain and wind comes and the sand goes back into the river only to be transported further downstream.

I’m not sure what this flow is going to do to the fish and the food base. The other two spring high flow experiments had no impact on the fishery or food base, while the one HFE fall even did impact our scud population. Other great trout rivers routinely experience floods that are of a magnitude much greater than what will occur here. I’m in the process of writing a book on The 50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish and I have been visiting with guides from all over the country. Yesterday, I spoke to a fellow back east who mentioned that his river had just came down from 60,000-cfs and was now back to 6,000-cfs.

The good news is that there is a tremendous amount of monitoring of the food base, fish population and fish movement surrounding this experiment. This is the first time that this level of scientific monitoring has been included with an experimental flow and will include detailed pre- and post-data collection of food base species and abundance along with measuring the time for biomass recovery. We have been promised that if the aquatic food base or trout populations are harmed, there will changes in the flows going forward.
For those brave anglers who want to take a chance on having what just might be the best fishing experience of their lives, you might want to consider coming up to the Ferry just after the high flow subsides. The last time the fall event occurred, the fish got into a feeding frenzy on the scuds and worms that the high flows stirred up. All this food, and the fish, was stacked around the inside corners of the river bends. I remember having a 200 fish day with two clients, sight-casting to individual cruising trout. I can’t promise that it will be like that again, however, it just might be.

This is the last year of the experimental 8,000 constant flow that occurred in Sept. and Oct. For the past several years, this experiment has been conducted to try to measure any benefit that the steady flows might have on the endangered Hump Back Chub which live down river in the Little Colorado River. Current evidence points to the fact that there is no benefit to the chub from these low and steady flows.
The fish look great; they are in superb condition and health. The trout population is better than it has been in a couple of decades. The river has all sizes of fish from fingerlings to many 18-inch fish. Unless something catastrophic happens, that trend should continue.
For details on Lake Powell conditions and snow-pack, go here: http://lakepowell.water-data.com/
For a real-time graphic view of water releases and ramp rates go here: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/az/nwis/uv?09380000

Whirling disease detected for second time at Lees Ferry.

This is the second time that WD has been detected at Lees Ferry. The first detection was in 2007; this was the year that Lake Powell dropped to its lowest level and, as a result, the discharge temperatures from the dam were more than 60 degrees. This past year the discharge temperatures increased again, this time it was a result of the huge inflows into the lake which caused another 60 degree discharge. There has always been the thought that it was our cold water that prevented Lees Ferry from being infected with WD and I find it an interesting coincidence that both detections were made during periods of warm water. Water temps returned to normal (48 degrees) last Dec.

Fishing here this year has been off the charts good and most all the fish that we are catching are in prime+ condition.  Like the Green and San Juan, I’m not expecting this WD detection to have an impact on the Lees Ferry fishery. The one thing that it should impact is our awareness to make sure that we all take the necessary steps to clean our gear so that WD is not spread to other waters in Ariz. or elsewhere.

COLORADO RIVER NORTHWEST

LAKE MEAD – The current elevation has dropped a little too 1115 feet above msl.  Be careful boating because structure previously submerged may be at the surface and watch for floating debris. 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.  Check the moon phases before you go –last new moon was November 13th.   The next new moon will be December 13th.  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 50-60 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.  The bite for largemouth and smallmouth was reported good using plastic worms and crawdads with purple and browns in them.  Several fishermen said that top water lures were working for them.  All the fishermen contacted were hopeful for the coming years with rising water conditions and the abundance of baitfish they have seen this year.   

Launching conditions at South Cove have improved as the water level has gone up. There are currently four lanes.  As the water raises logs and other debris can become hazards, so be careful boating.

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 www.azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level has risen a little too 635 feet above msl.  The black bass are hitting soft baits when worked slowly especially on grass beds in 20 to 30 feet deep.  Trolling with anchovies in 30-50ft has been producing some stripers, while catfish are on the bottom.  While the number of stripers in Mohave has been decreasing, the quality of the fish caught has increased.  Reports of good bluegill action off the structures mentioned in the paragraph below. Reports of better activity from the stripers with the fall conditions.  The most productive time for stripers is dusk till dark.  The fish being caught are ranging from 3 to 7 pounds.  The fisherman that reported this information used swim bait for his largest fish.  He reports that the smallmouth are also active.  Ron caught a nice 2.84 pound channel catfish on an anchovy near Katherine’s Landing.

Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Next new moon is December 13th.  Cut anchovies usually work the best. 

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.

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 live well 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 www.azgfd.gov  or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

WILLOW BEACH – The Willow Beach Launch Ramp has been open sense November 8th.  Willow Beach is stocked every Friday with 3,000 13” rainbow trout.  Rainbow, peach, garlic and yellow Power Baits and Powerworms were being used most for trout.  Jakes original and Jakes Juniors, Panther Martin and Rooster Tails are also usually effective.   Fishing is usually best near the fishing pier after the Friday stocking.  Most of the nice stripers and trout are seem to be caught between river mile 49 and 53.  A picture of a large striper was sent in and was caught around mile 52.  Willow Beach can be hit or miss bait fishing.  Try different baits including swim baits when nobody seems to be hooking anything. 

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

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – Trout continue to bite in the casino area with some larger fish in the deep holes.  Large trout are being caught in the Laughlin area. 

Topock Gorge- Most bass are being taken on minnows and night crawlers. Reports are that stripers are returning to the Gorge.  The best bass bite is in the mid-morning. 

Rainbow trout are stocked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service monthly during the winter. The fish are normally stocked in two locations; Davis Camp and near The Riverside. Stocking at Rotary Park has made another access point to the river for fishing and has made many people happy.  Trout fishing at the stocking sites is great immediately following the stockings, then the fish move out and you need to find them.

Rainbow trout are located throughout the river below Davis dam, but anglers typically report catching trout on the Arizona side across from the Riverside, off the shore of Davis Camp and in the big bend area. This year we have received multiple reports of larger holdover trout being caught.  Remember to fish for trout, you need a trout stamp on Class A and Lifetime fishing licenses.

Water levels on the river fluctuate, so be careful. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions 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 MARSH – The action at Topock Marsh has been steady. Night crawlers and live minnows have been tempting catfish from North Dyke. Small crappies are being taken throughout the marsh.  Remember the minimum of 13 inches for largemouth bass in the Marsh.

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.

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 live well 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 www.azgfd.gov  or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

SOUTHWESTERN WATERS

Note: If you would like more information on southwestern waters, visit http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/where_fish_southwest.shtml. Our Yuma Regional office has recently updated all the information to provide you more insight into these fisheries. If you have a fishing report or good fishing pictures to share (JPEG), send them to our "Been Fishing" site at BFishing@azgfd.gov. For more information, visit the "Where to Fish" pages at http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/where_fish_southwest.shtml.

LAKE HAVASU – Fair afternoon striper bite from Windsor State Park south to California Bay/Thompson Bay using diving baits like the white Rat-L-Traps, Sassy Shads, Pointer 128s and some topwater plugs like Chugbugs, Sammys and Super Spooks. Bait fishing fair in 35- to 45-foot depths after 9 a.m. through the late afternoon hours. Reports of some spotty evening boils of larger stripers after 4 p.m. till dark. Channel catfish bite excellent on cut mackerel and squid in the evening and after dark hours. October had been a good month for "big" cats as they feed heavily before the lake cools off for the winter. Flathead cats were good, too, using live bait like small to medium size bluegills or redears. They bite best from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Largemouth bass biting good on jigs with pork trailers, Senkos and tubes flipped & pitched on tulles and weed line edges in 1 to 4 feet of water. Smallmouth bass biting good on cinnamon or green pumpkin hula grubs with a 3/8 or 1/2 oz. football head fished with an exposed hook. Use these around gravel flats and rocky outcrops. Smallies will usually bite these jigs in the fall, so be ready and keep the slack out of your line as the jig descends.

ALAMO LAKE – Report by Mark Knapp
Park Manager, Alamo Lake State Park

Mark is on Vacation right now and was not able to give us his usual animated report from Alamo Lake. He will be back next week...so stay tuned

COLORADO RIVER (PARKER STRIP AREA) – With that area along the Colorado River finally cooling down, fishing should start to pick up. The Parker Strip is well known for its smallmouth bass fishing, especially in the area from the dam to several miles downstream. The Parker Strip is also home to some really impressive, dinner-plate-sized redear sunfish of 2 pounds or larger.

COLORADO RIVER (Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam, including backwaters and Martinez Lake) - This stretch of the river is best known for its trophy-sized flathead catfish, with some over 70 pounds, and largemouth bass, with some over 10 pounds. However, it can also be good for channel catfish, sunfish and carp, and to a lesser extent, striped bass, crappie and tilapia. Largemouth bass fishing is generally best in the backwaters or near the mouth of the backwaters. There are many different techniques used for largemouth bass. As a general rule, most people will use topwater lures such as buzzbaits or spinnerbaits in the early morning and then switch to jigs, crankbaits, or swimbaits as the day progresses. Using plastic baits that resemble worms, crawdads, frogs, or lizards often work well. It is generally best to fish around structure such as weedbeds, emergent vegetation, tree stumps, brush, or boat docks. Fishing picks up as the water temperatures warm up in the spring and summer, but largemouth can be taken any time of the year. Flathead fishing is generally best in slack water areas, deep holes, or near overhanging vegetation along the main channel of the river. Flatheads prefer live bait such as bluegill or small carp, and fishing is best at night during the summer months. Channel catfish are widespread in the main river channel and backwaters and will bite on night crawlers, chicken liver, stinkbait, or about any other “smelly” bait. They can be caught year-round but probably bite best at night. Bluegills are also widespread but are most likely to be found around structure in the backwaters or slackwater areas. Bluegill will bite on meal worms, night crawlers or small crappie jigs.

MITTRY LAKE - Topwater bait should still be going here as well as any stink bait for those nice-size catfish that typically come out of these waters. Mittry Lake is located just above Laguna Dam and supports a good population of largemouth bass and channel catfish, and even some good-sized flathead catfish. There are shoreline fishing opportunities at this lake in the form of about a dozen rock jetties, but you’ll probably have the best success in a small boat. Mittry Lake can be frustrating, as the bite seems to be real variable, but the fish are there. It is just a question of getting them to respond to your presentation. The water tends to be very murky most of the year, except for the upper end of Teal Alley where the lake inflow comes in, so play to the fish’s sense of hearing and smell, rather than sight. There are also crappie and sunfish to be caught, although they tend to average relatively small in size. Mittry Lake is well-known locally for the quality largemouth bass it produces, and fishing during the spring spawn will increase your chances of success.

YUMA AREA PONDS - The department has stepped up efforts to encourage the recruitment of new anglers, and retention of existing ones. To this end, the department has increased stocking efforts in a few ponds in the Yuma area that are easily accessed without a boat, within a short distance of the urban center. Those ponds are the Yuma West Wetlands pond, located in the City Park, and Redondo and Fortuna ponds, located about 10 miles northeast of Yuma. Access to Redondo Pond was recently improved with the addition of an ADA-compliant fishing pier, and thick cattail growth was removed at Fortuna Pond this summer, improving shoreline access by many orders of magnitude. All of these waters received multiple stockings of rainbow trout in the winter months. Redondo Pond will be stocked with channel catfish during the spring, and the Yuma West Wetlands pond will receive channel catfish and bluegills. Depending on available funding, we hope to continue regular stockings into all three of these shoreline-accessible waters, and perhaps add additional waters to our stocking schedule. These ponds provide an ideal place to take the family.  All three waters now are provided with restroom and trash facilities. Special regulations on fish limits are in effect for these waters, so be sure to consult the regulations before you take fish.

If you need any additional information or assistance, don't hesitate to contact the Yuma regional office at (928) 342-0091, and we will be happy to give you whatever information we have. A resource for local fishing information in the Yuma area is the website and forum at http://www.yumabassman.com/.
 
CENTRAL MOUNTAINS

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. With the cooler fall temperature this is the time of year to fish for trout on the lakes near Flagstaff and Williams. Upper Lake Mary was stocked with trout. Fossil Creek is open to fishing.  Remember, Fossil Creek is managed as a catch and release fishery. Only flies and lures with single barbless hooks are allowed on Fossil Creek. 

WILLIAMS LAKES:
With the cooler fall temperature this is the time of year to fish for trout on the lakes near Flagstaff and Williams.
Upper Lake Mary was stocked with trout.
 
Fossil Creek is open to fishing.  Remember Fossil Creek is managed as a catch and release fishery.  Only flies and lures with single barbless hooks are allowed on Fossil Creek.  

KAIBAB LAKE —  Campground is closed.  No report

CATARACT LAKE —  Campground is closed.   A nice brown trout was caught Saturday. 

CITY RESERVOIR
—  No report

DOGTOWN LAKE —  Campground is closed.

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

RUSSELL TANK -   The lake is to shallow to stock.

SANTA FE — No report 

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is closed.   

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:

LOWER LAKE MARY —  dry.

UPPER LAKE MARY —   Upper Lake Mary was stocked with catchable trout  Water quality problems at many of our trout lakes has led to us stocking Upper Lake Mary.   Water levels are dropping and larger boats can only be launched at the second boat ramp.  Boat anglers are doing well fishing for northern pike and walleye.  There have been reports of folks catching trout from shore but in general fishing is fair from the shore,

ASHURST LAKE —   No report  

FRANCIS SHORT POND –  No report.  Scheduled to be stocked this week.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Road is open.  This is the time of year to catch a nice brown trout on the lake.  Brown trout should be feeding preparing for the spawn next month.

OAK CREEK — No report. Scheduled to be stocked this week. 

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

BEAVER CREEK –  No report  stocked last week.

WEST CLEAR CREEK-. No report  Has been stocked

STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.

BLUE RIDGE —  Boat ramp is open
KNOLL LAKE —no report

VERDE VALLEY:

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK
– Catfish were last stocked for the Verde River Days event.  The last scheduled stocking is scheduled for this week, the week of November 19th.  The catfish and largemouth bite has been fair.  Catfish are still being caught on night crawlers, chicken liver, and stinkbait.  The bass are being caught on small plastic worms and Gitzit-type plastic grubs, bounced slowly along the bottom. Sunfish have been doing well on worms, salmon eggs, or small piece of Power Bait under a bobber. They bite best in the early morning hours and the evening.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – The next scheduled stocking is scheduled for this week, the week of November 19th.  Carp fishing has been good using corn or dough baits. Always check your regulations before fishing this area with live bait. Game and Fish Commission Rule requires anglers to only use live bait that has been caught in the river. No transporting of live baitfish or crayfish is allowed. 

Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — The last scheduled stocking was the week of November 11th.        

The reports from regulars at the lake say the trout are biting, but the morning bite is the best. Anglers are having luck throughout the day using Power Bait and Berkley Gulp. Rainbow and yellow seem to be the popular colors.

Fishermen using their fly rod gear are having the best luck.  Flies are less likely to get swallowed so releasing the fish is much easier.  

GOLDWATER LAKE — No report      

 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 –If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others. 

LYNX LAKE – Stocking resumed the week of Sept. 4. The next scheduled stocking will be the week of November 11th.     
      
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 – Stocking resumed the week of Sept. 4 and the last stocking of the winter on the week of October 14th.     

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 – Reports of bass that are plentiful and decent size from the shore should make Watson more attractive for fishing.  David reports that he has had good luck with crank baits, spinners, poppers, night crawlers and flies (basically everything) for the bass. He has been using chicken livers and night crawlers for the catfish with a slip sinker rig on the bottom.

The Wildlife Manager for the Watson area sent me a picture of some nice trout an angler caught from shore. Both of these fish looked like they had been in the lake for a period of time because of the size and condition of the fish.  If you have fished Watson Lake please send me a report of your trip to share with folks. 


Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Watson recently and found the bass, sunfish, and bullhead to be plentiful.  Crappies were also doing well.  Look for the crappie fishing to pick up in a year or two. 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 –   The challenge with this lake is finding access to the shore and fighting the aquatic vegetation.  If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

WHITE MOUNTAINS AND MOGOLLON RIM LAKES

WHITE MOUNTAINS LAKES:

Recommended Waters to Fish
Fishing is fair to good for rainbow and cutthroat trout at Big Lake, good for rainbow trout at Nelson Reservoir, fair for rainbow trout and walleye at Show Low Lake, and fair to good for rainbow trout at Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes.  For fly fishing anglers, Becker Lake and Silver Creek are good.  Both Becker Lake and Silver Creek are currently artificial lure and fly and catch-and-release angling only.

Trout Stocking Schedule
The trout stocking season in the White Mountains and Rim Lakes areas has ended for the year, and will resume in the spring of 2013.

MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
Note:  Regular trout stocking has ended for the season.  All campgrounds are closed for the season.

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good for trout.   

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair.  The water level is extremely low, and the boat launching ramp is closed.  Small kayaks, canoes and float tubes can be carried to the water.    

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  Anglers have been catching trout on spinners (Panther Martin and Rooster tails), Z-Rays and Kastmaster spoons.   Brown trout should be located near the mouth of Chevelon Creek as they spawn in mid-October and into November.  Anglers should try large streamers (black, brown or green) and Rapala lures.   

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE
– Fishing is fair to good for shore and boat anglers.  Anglers have been catching trout on nightcrawlers and PowerBait. 

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.   Shore anglers have been catching trout on PowerBait and nightcrawlers.  Boat anglers should try trolling slowly with cowbells with an attached nightcrawler, fly or small lure.  The store is closed for the season.  
Woods_Troll.JPG


WHITE MOUNTAINS LAKES
Note:  Regular trout stocking has ended for the season.   Most campgrounds are closed for the season:
  • Scott Reservoir is open to day-use only
  • Fool Hollow Lake’s main campground is open year-round and operated by Arizona State Parks, while the north and northeast campgrounds are closed
  • South Fork campground is open to day-use only
Ice may be present in the mornings on the highest elevation lakes due to cold nighttime temperatures.

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is fair to good for trophy-sized rainbow trout.  Rainbows up to 21 inches have been reported recently.  Large white streamers near the bottom have been effective.  Becker Lake is catch-and-release only, with artificial lures and flies only with single, barbless hook.
 
BIG LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  Boat anglers are catching trout by trolling cowbells with worms or drifting slowly with nightcrawlers, lures (Crickhoppers, Panther Martin spinners and Z-Rays) and flies.  Shore anglers should try fishing with salmon eggs, worms or orange, rainbow or purple PowerBait.  Fly fishers are catching rainbow and cutthroat trout in shallow coves on Yaeger buggers and KP buggers.  Few brook trout are being caught.  The store is closed for the season.    

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is fair to good for stocked rainbow trout.  The lake is very weedy, but there are a few small, open water areas near the northeastern section.  Anglers should try fishing with a kayak or pontoon boat to get to open water areas.  Fly fishermen have been catching trout on small nymphs and dry flies, such as caddis patterns and Parachute Adams.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for trout and fair for warm water species.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is poor.
 
CRESCENT LAKE
– Fishing has been fair.  The lake may have thin ice in the morning following low nighttime temperatures.  The store is closed.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing has been poor to fair for trout and fair for channel catfish.  Channel catfish have been caught on nightcrawlers, catfish-prepared baits, chicken livers and hot dogs at night.  Small walleyes have been caught along the dam on lures. 

GREER LAKES – Fishing is fair at Bunch, River, and Tunnel Reservoirs.  All three reservoirs are very low, but are slowly filling.  The water level is down below the ramp at River Reservoir, and launching a boat is difficult.  Bunch reservoir has risen a little and the concrete lip of the boat ramp is under water, so use caution when launching a boat

HULSEY LAKE – The lake was drained immediately following the Wallow Fire to help reduce expected flooding on Escudilla Mountain and will not be stocked this year.

LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is fair for Apache trout and Arctic grayling.  Recent surveys found moderate numbers of 8- to 9-inch grayling.  The lake may have a thin layer of ice on it due to low nighttime temperatures. The lake level is very low. 
  
LUNA LAKE – Fishing is poor.  The lake has a very strong algae bloom and pH levels are very high.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open to day-use only through November, then the State Park and access to Lyman Lake will close for the season on December 1. 

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is good.  Try bright-colored PowerBait or nightcrawlers.      
 
RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is poor for trout, but fair for sunfish, small bass and bullheads.  Parts of the lake are very weedy, but not bad for boating in the main portions of the lake.  The lake level is low and may be difficult to launch larger boats. 

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair for trout and channel catfish, bass and sunfish.  Catfish have been caught on stinkbaits, hotdogs and worms at night.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair for stocked trout and walleye.  Boat anglers are catching trout and walleye on cowbells with worms, flies and lures when trolling slowly.  Shore anglers are catching a few walleye and trout on nightcrawlers off the fishing piers.  Several large walleye have been caught recently, mostly with Rapala lures at night.  The upper parking lot is temporarily closed until improvements to the lake access from that lot are completed.  The main parking lot that includes the boat trailer parking is still open to all vehicle parking, but the restrooms are closed for the season.  The concession store is closed for the season, and boat rentals are no longer available.  The spillway campground is closed for the season, but the main campground on the west side of Show Low Lake Road will remain open through the winter.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is poor for trout and fair for largemouth bass and catfish.  The lake is weedy and low.  Anglers are catching a few catfish on the bottom with bait.  Largemouth bass are being caught on lures.  The trout bag and possession limit here is four trout. 


WHITE MOUNTAINS STREAMS

Note: Regular trout stocking in the streams has ended for the season. Ice may be present on the streams due to low nighttime temperatures. 

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing for wild brown trout and hold-over stocked Apache trout is fair.  Forest Road (FR) 276 and associated campgrounds on the East Fork Black River are open.  Trout stockings in the East Fork have ended for the season.
   
WEST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair in the lower reaches.  Access is open at the FR 25 bridge, FR 68 crossing and FR 116.  The West Fork campground will be closed through the year for safety reasons.  Regular trout stocking at the FR 68 crossing has ended for the season.  Fishing in the middle and upper reaches is fair for wild trout where the fire had little impact.  Fly fishermen have been catching small Apache trout on dry flies and small nymphs in the upper section.  The middle and upper reaches of the West Fork Black are open to catch-and-release, artificial lure and fly only, while the lower end is open to bait fishing with a six-trout bag limit. Ice may be present in the upper portions of the West Fork Black River due to cold nighttime temperatures.

BLACK RIVER – Fishing is poor.  The mainstem of the Black River was heavily impacted by the Wallow Fire last year.  Very few fish were found during intensive surveys this past summer.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER IN GREER
– Fishing is fair for wild brown trout and hold-over stocked rainbow trout.  Trout stocking has ended for the season. Ice may be present due to cold nighttime temperatures.

SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is fair for hold-over, stocked Apache trout at the Sheeps Crossing bridge.  Regular trout stocking has ended for the season.  Fishing is fair for wild Apache trout in the wilderness portions of the West Fork Little Colorado River. Ice may be present in the upper reaches due to cold nighttime temperatures.

SHOW LOW CREEK
– Fishing is fair in the large pool immediately below the outlet of Show Low Lake dam.  Anglers have been catching a few small, hold-over trout on worms and spinners.  Trout stockings in Show Low Creek have ended for the season.  Please do not park on the dam, which is a one lane road with insufficient pullouts.  Park at either end of the dam where there is dedicated parking.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good for large rainbow trout and Apache trout.  Silver Creek is currently open to catch-and-release, artificial lure and fly with barbless hooks only fishing from October 1 through March 31.  The upper section is now open to angling.


SOUTHERN WATERS

Please send me your fishing reports from Southern Arizona!  Fishing reports for southern waters can be sent to Don Mitchell, Regional Fish Program Manager by email at dmitchell@azgfd.gov.  These reports will then be complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.

Cooler temperatures means the trout fishing is getting hot!  The winter trout stocking season is underway and the schedule is now available here:    2012 Winter Stocking Schedule .  This schedule is updated as changes occur so check back often! 

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

RIGGS FLAT — Closed for the winter.

CLUFF RANCH —No recent reports of success.  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. 2012 Winter Stocking Schedule

ROPER LAKE —  High pH prevented the stocking of Roper Lake.  Stockings will remain suspended until conditions improve.  Fish slated for Roper have been stocked at Cluff Ranch.  No recent reports of success.  For lake information (928) 428-6760. 
2012 Winter Stocking Schedule
  
DANKWORTH POND — Still closed for renovations.  The lake is taking longer than expected to refill and it now looks like it will be January before it is ready for fish. 

FRYE MESA RESERVIOR –Anglers continue to report success in catching Gila trout.  Remember that the daily bag and possession limit for this species is 1 fish. Frye Creek above the reservoir remains closed to fishing. 

ARIVACA — Open to anglers, water levels continue to be severely low and the lake continues to drop.  All boat launching is at the risk of the owner.  Boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.  Sporadic success is being reported with fish being caught in the early mornings and late evenings.  Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be immediately released alive. 

PENA BLANCA –  No recent reports of success.  There is an algal bloom occurring which could slow fishing activity.  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.    2012 Winter Stocking Schedule

PATAGONIA — The lake is nearly full.  Fishing continues to be good with bass anglers having success working the shorelines in shallower water.  Don’t forget that the lake supports a very healthy flathead catfish population as well that can provide some exciting opportunities for anglers.  2012 Winter Stocking Schedule

PARKER CANYON — Fishing remains fair for all species.  The Department is currently working to establish a breeding population of channel catfish at the lake and is asking anglers to please limit the harvest of catfish at this time to allow larger members of the population the opportunity to spawn.  Contact the Parker Canyon Lake Store for up to date information on lake levels and fishing activity at www.parkercanyonlake.com or by phone at (520)455-5847.  2012 Winter Stocking Schedule

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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