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Nov. 9 Fishing Report

Posted in: Fishing Report
Nov 9, 2012
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Hello anglers!

The weather is changing dramatically late this week, with precipitation in some areas and much cooler temperatures. Highs in the desert areas over the weekend will be in the 60s, with lows in the 40s. High country temperatures will range from from 30s during the day to the teens at night.



Largemouth bass virus detected in Lake Pleasant
Fish disease poses no risk for people, pets or water supply

Arizona Game and Fish Department officials have confirmed the presence of largemouth bass virus in Lake Pleasant.

Lab tests on largemouth bass tissue samples collected during a routine survey in October by Arizona Game and Fish and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel showed presence of the disease in some samples. 

While the virus can affect largemouth bass, it doesn’t pose a risk to people and pets, and the water is safe for drinking water supply and recreation.

“Largemouth bass virus is not known to infect any warm-blooded animals, and any fish that are caught by anglers are safe to eat,” said Marc Dahlberg, Game and Fish water quality program manager. “However, we always recommend that people thoroughly cook any fish they intend to eat, and never use fish found dead or dying for food.”

Game and Fish has not documented any fish kills at Lake Pleasant associated with largemouth bass virus to date. At this time, fishing is still very productive and there have been no recreational impacts. Lake Pleasant is the top fishing recreation site in Arizona, producing more than 520,000 angler use days.

Prior to this sampling, the only fish health survey that had been conducted at Lake Pleasant was in 2002, and largemouth bass virus was not detected then. Therefore, the virus most likely entered the Lake Pleasant fishery within the past 10 years.

Dahlberg explained that although the virus can cause mortality in largemouth bass, not all bass become infected, and not every fish becomes sick. For instance, only five lakes in Texas suffered fish kills even though the virus was found in 23 of the state’s reservoirs.

“Usually the number of infected fish that die is relatively low compared to the entire population, with the virus mostly affecting older and larger fish,” said Dahlberg.

The virus has been found in 18 states dating back to 1991. In Arizona, Saguaro Lake, Bartlett Lake, Roosevelt Lake, and now Lake Pleasant have tested positive for the disease. There have been no impacts attributable to largemouth bass virus at Saguaro, Bartlett or Roosevelt to date.

Although other fish species can carry the virus, it only affects largemouth bass. It is not precisely known what triggers the activation of the virus into a disease outbreak, but it has been associated with stress events, such as high water temperatures. The virus appears to diminish over time.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department emphasizes that there are precautions the public can take to help stop the spread of the virus, as well as other aquatic invasive species, such as quagga mussels. One preventive measure that is vital is that people absolutely avoid transporting live fish or water from one body of water to another.

“You might be spreading an unwanted disease or even introducing an unwanted organism, such as quagga mussels, that could substantially affect a fishery or lake ecosystem,” said Dahlberg. “Don’t transport live fish caught from a lake – period. It’s the wrong thing to do and it’s unlawful.” 

It’s also important to clean, drain and dry your boat before leaving any lake at any time, and to disinfect your boat or wait at least five days before launching your boat on another water. In fact, at several lakes, including Lake Pleasant, it’s now the law that you do so. This is extremely important as the bass virus can live for up to seven days in standing water.

Other ways anglers and boaters can help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species:

  • Dispose of all unused bait in the trash, never in the water.
  • Never transfer live fish from one body of water to another.
  • Rinse any mud and/or debris from equipment and wading gear.
  • Drain any water from boats, bilge, bait buckets, and live wells before leaving the launch area. A mild mixture of bleach and water can be used to disinfect your equipment. Allow everything to air dry before moving to another body of water.
  • If you see any dead or dying fish, please report your observation to Arizona Game and Fish at (623) 236-7257.
  • Educate others to follow these steps.

More information on largemouth bass virus is available at:


National Park Service issues mussel monitoring update for Lake Powell
National Park Service (Glen Canyon) news release from Nov. 1, 2012

Recent monitoring samples from Lake Powell have revealed evidence of microscopic quagga mussel larvae and the National Park Service (NPS) has accelerated laboratory and field efforts to identify the source, reported Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Superintendent Todd Brindle. Quagga mussel larvae and DNA were found in separate water samples collected near Antelope Point and Glen Canyon Dam. "We don't know yet if there is a population trying to establish in the lake," said Brindle. "The DNA can last after the organism is dead, so there is a possibility that it could have washed off boats that had been in other infested waters."  

NPS aquatic ecologist Mark Anderson provided additional details on the sampling results. "The bodies of four larval mussels were found in four different samples near the Glen Canyon Dam. The sampling process kills mussel larvae so it is not known if any of them were alive in the lake," stated Anderson. "One of them had a broken shell, suggesting that it was dead when it was collected."

Anderson explained that testing occurs using two separate methods: DNA and microscopy. The DNA method is more sensitive and potentially detects the presence earlier, but can be less accurate. Detection using microscopes is more accurate but requires an organism or piece of organism that is large enough to be visible in the microscope. Samples are taken using both methods at multiple sites around Lake Powell.  

Superintendent Brindle remains hopeful that the monitoring results are not evidence of an established population of mussels. If it is an early detection, the mussels may not establish and grow into adults, said Brindle. "Scientists are not sure why, but many western waters have shown similar findings and then never developed a noticeable population, such as at Lake Granby, Lake Pueblo, Electric Lake, Red Fleet, Navajo Lake, Grand, Shadow Mountain, Willow Creek, and even Lake Powell in 2007."  

In the meantime, monitoring and testing by the NPS will continue.  "It is possible that these results will not be duplicated and a population of quagga mussels is not developing," said Anderson. In addition to the water sampling, NPS divers and underwater remote operated vessels will be used to search for adult mussels. "However, if test results continue to show positive for DNA or if there are adult mussels visible, it could indicate that a population is starting," Anderson said.  

If there is a population of mussels, Superintendent Brindle said he is committed to working with all agencies and partners to determine the extent of the population and investigate and implement strategies for control. Depending on the extent of an early population, removing, wrapping or burying the mussel colony might be effective in preventing additional reproduction.

"We will continue the boat inspections that are currently in place," Anderson stated. "Prevention is still the most effective way to fight invasive species. Continue to clean, drain, and dry your boat and equipment after every use."  

Additional monitoring information and updates are posted on the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area webpage at


High-flow release at Glen Canyon Dam will be conducted on Nov. 19

PAGE, Ariz. – The U.S. Department of the Interior will trigger the first “high-flow release” at Glen Canyon Dam since 2008 on Monday, Nov. 19. The release is part of a new long-term strategy announced in May by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to meet water and power needs, as well as to allow better conservation of sediment downstream and to better address the important resources in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam.

In cooperation with five Interior agencies, the upcoming release is designed to take advantage of sediment deposited by Colorado River tributaries as a result of recent rainstorms and monsoons. Scientists have determined that the right conditions exist to conduct a high-flow release to benefit downstream resources.

The total maximum release from the dam will reach approximately 42,300 cubic-feet-per-second, consisting of 27,300 cfs of full powerplant capacity releases and a bypass release through the four river outlet tubes sending an additional 15,000 cfs of water out over the Colorado River. The total duration of the high-flow release will be nearly five days, but only about 24 hours at the peak release rate.

Fishing at Lees Ferry, 16 miles downstream from the dam, has been excellent this year, and this high-flow event should have no notable effects on fishing this fall or winter. The effect of this release is to loosen up some of the gravel beds and prepare them for an excellent spawn by trout this spring. More is being learned every year about how to use the operations of the dam to better conserve resources and to enhance fishing opportunities. Fall is a good time to go Lees Ferry and partake of a unique fishing experience that you just can't find anywhere else.  

For more information on the high-flow event, visit


Trout stockings start Nov. 15 at Phoenix and Tucson urban lakes

The winter trout stocking season at Phoenix and Tucson Urban Fishing Program lakes is scheduled to begin Thursday, Nov. 15. This marks the switchover from catfish stockings to trout. Rainbow trout ranging from 10-14 inches will be stocked at two-week intervals throughout the winter. More than 100,000 trout from Colorado have been ordered for delivery to urban waters during the four-month stocking season that lasts from November to March. Trout stockings at Green Valley Lakes in Payson began in mid October and will be every other week until May.



Along the Colorado River, the National Park Service reports that the launch ramps on Lake Mohave have reopened to trailered boats. They were temporarily closed Oct. 29 when water levels were drawn down for a Bureau of Reclamation endangered species conservation project. Water levels have returned to 633 feet and they are projected to rise over the next couple of weeks to a target depth of 636 feet.

In southern Arizona, there is an algal bloom occurring at Pena Blanca Lake which could slow fishing activity. Rose Canyon Lake is now closed to vehicle access for the winter. Anglers are permitted to walk into the lake from the parking lot on the main road.

In the high country, we've received several reports of some nice walleye being caught out of Show Low Lake.



“Grandson’s first bass” by Jerold L. Clark, Jr.

“Last Sunday I took my 4-year-old grandson, LJ Clark, out bass fishing on a couple of holes on a small river here in Southern Arizona. I was throwing a small crawdad bait and had him using a kid’s pole with a worm below a bobber. He said to me, "Grandpa, I got one!" Looking over, I expected to see his bobber under water, but he had already reeled it in. This was only his second time fishing and it was his first bass. He was pretty excited, but maybe not as excited as me! Probably my best bass fishing trip this year.”

More angler reports are in the regional sections in the body of the Fishing Report below.

OK, on to the report.



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

URBAN LAKES – Angler Jay I. sent in this report: “Seven-year-old Isabella I. caught this flathead catfish (photo at right) at Rio Vista Pond. Her twin brother Jack, caught one of the stocked channel catfish also. Both catfish were caught using stink bait. We are new to fishing. Just started taking them this year. Thanks for the information on your website. My kids are “hooked.” Thanks for the report, Jay.

The last catfish stocking of the season at Phoenix and Tucson Urban Fishing Program lakes took place the week of Oct. 29-Nov. 3. Also, about 15,000 bluegill were stocked in those lakes that same week. The beginning of the trout stocking season begins Thursday, Nov. 15. To see the stocking schedule for urban lakes, visit

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 - See the information on the detection of largemouth bass virus under "Fishing News" at the beginning of this report. 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 – Angler Jason R. submitted this report: “My friend and I fish at night, only at night. We have been going at least once a week for many years. I usually catch more than him, but he makes up for it with lunkers. Fishing has been slow, but we have been pulling out an average of five largemouth bass every night we go. Some of them are in the 8 to 9-pound range (his, not mine). We are catching them on swim baits from shore. Last year at this time, we were doing much better. This year we have pulled in 75 fish total (mostly bass). Last year was more than double that. We even had a night that we pulled in 27 in about 5 hours. There were a lot more shad swimming in the shallows. I don't know what happened to the shad population. I have even used a fish light to attract them and found none.  I have been keeping a fishing log for a couple of years now trying to figure out this lake. The water level has been a lot lower on average as well. We have been fishing this lake for around 20 years. It is my home away from home where, even if we don't catch much, it’s nice to get out and shoot the breeze in a beautiful environment with good company. Thanks for the report, Jason.   

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 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.

BARTLETT LAKE – Harvey H. Gave us this report last week from Bartlett Lake: “Hi Guys, Went fishing at Bartlett last Thursday, arrived 6:30 a.m., left around 1 p.m. Went upriver to flip the brush along the banks and backs of coves as we did two weeks ago, but no success with that. Pulled off the brush to about 10 feet water and caught a few little ones, got a couple more little ones dropshotting along the Yellow Cliffs. Got to about 10:30 and we headed to the islands and rockpiles across from the main ramp. Lots of fish holding deep at 35 feet on mountain tops, in little depressions and on rockpiles, so we went to heavy football head jigs w/crawdad bodies, caught the best fish of the day then. Started getting the 2-3 pounders. A buddy got a couple on dropshots deep also. I make bucktail jigs and I caught the best fish of the trip on one I made, mostly white with a stripe of yellow, got a 3-pounder on it. Saw another guy catching them well using the same baits as us. We ended with about nine fish, all released. 

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. 



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

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 for Oct. 23 report. Remember to “clean, drain and dry your boat” to stop the spread of invasive species.

LEES FERRY – See the information about the Nov. 19 high-flow event at Glen Canyon Dam under "Fishing News" at the beginning of this report. Lees Ferry will still be navigable during the event, and it shouldn't hinder anyone from taking advantage of the great trout fishign that has been experienced here over the past year. No new fishing report for Lees Ferry - visit for Oct. 19 report.



LAKE MEAD – The current elevation has dropped a little to just under 1,117 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 Oct. 15.  The next new moon will be Tuesday, Nov. 13. 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 topwater 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 or visit

LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level has risen a little to 632 feet above msl from last week. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area had temporarily closed six launch ramps on Lake Mohave (Willow Beach, Cottonwood Cove, Katherine Landing, Princess Cove, Arizona Telephone Cove and Nevada Telephone Cove). They were scheduled to reopen Nov. 8. The black bass are hitting soft baits when worked slowly, especially on grass beds in 20 to 30 feet deep. Trolling with anchovies in 30-50 feet 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 smallmouths are also active. Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Next new moon is Tuesday, Nov. 15. 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 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 or visit

WILLOW BEACH – The Willow Beach Launch Ramp will be temporarily closed. Willow Beach is stocked every Friday with 3,000 13-inch 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 seem to be caught between river mile 49 and 53. 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 so I can share your successes with others. For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department's web pages at or visit

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – Angler Bill D. provided the following report: “The weather has been great the last few weeks. Temps are in the mid to upper -80s with the nights getting down to the low 60’s. Fishing is very good below the Davis Dam at the north end of Davis Camp Park. Good fishing on the Arizona side of the Colorado River below Davis Dam, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., across the river from the casinos. The limit of trout was all about pan-sized and great fun to catch. Cool and windy weather and river water was very low. Spinners - small night crawlers – yellow power bait all worked the same, catching fish.” Thanks for the report and photo, Bill.

Trout continue to bite in the casino area with some larger fish in the deep holes. Several folks have called and spoken of very large trout 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 at 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 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

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 or visit

LAKE MOHAVE – The launch ramps on Lake Mohave have reopened to trailered boats. They were temporarily closed Oct. 29 when water levels were drawn down for a Bureau of Reclamation endangered species conservation project. Water levels have returned to 633 feet and they are projected to rise over the next couple of weeks to a target depth of 636 feet.



Note: If you would like more information on southwestern waters, visit 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 For more information, visit the "Where to Fish" pages at

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 – Received this angler report from Sarah: “Hi there. I am a rookie fisherwoman and just read your fishing report and figured I would let you know about Alamo Lake. We were there last weekend and fished a lot of the day on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3-4. We were fishing from the shore and caught a total of three fish. One got away before it got pulled out of the water, one got away before we even saw it, and the only one we could identify was this little guy that I included in the picture (at right). I caught him around late morning time with a 7'/18cm Power worm made by Berkley Power Bait. It had a plum colored with blue sparkly body and a chartreuse tail. And I sprayed this worm with garlic stinky spray. I doubt this spray did anything but figured I would include it. You need all the help you can get out there! Wish me luck, as I’m gonna try out Canyon Lake this weekend.” Thanks for the report, Sarah.

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



Note: If you have a fishing report or good fishing pictures to share (JPEG), send them to our "Been Fishing" site at 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. Fishing over the weekend was slower than the past couple of nice days, trout were being caught using powerbait or worms. The early morning bite wasn’t very good. Please try to leave the larger bass in the lake to spawn. 

CATARACT LAKE — Campground is closed. Folks are catching trout on Powerbait. Please try to leave the larger bass in the lake to spawn. 


DOGTOWN LAKE — Campground is closed.

JD DAM — Fish were active over the weekend. Remember, the lake is managed as a catch-and-release fishery.

RUSSELL TANK - The lake is too shallow to stock.

SANTA FE — No report. 

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is closed.



UPPER LAKE MARY — No new reports. Water quality problems at many of our trout lakes have 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.


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 the week of Nov. 18. 

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

BEAVER CREEK – Scheduled to be stocked the week of Nov. 11.

WEST CLEAR CREEK - No report. 


BLUE RIDGE — Boat ramp is open.

KNOLL LAKE — No report.


DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – The next trout stocking is scheduled for the week of Nov. 18. 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 trout stocking is scheduled for the week of Nov. 18. 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.  


FAIN LAKE — The next trout stocking is scheduled for the week of Nov. 11. 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 new report. If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

GRANITE BASIN LAKE – No new report. If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.  

LYNX LAKE – The next scheduled trout stocking will be the week of Nov. 11. 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 trout stocking was the week of Oct. 15. 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 – No new reports. 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 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 so I can share your successes with others.


Recommended Waters to Fish:
Fishing is good to excellent for rainbow and cutthroat trout at Big Lake, good for catfish at Fool Hollow Lake, and fair to good for rainbow trout and walleye at Show Low Lake. For fly fishing anglers, Becker Lake and Silver Creek are good to excellent. 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.


Note: Regular trout stocking has ended for the season. The following campgrounds are still open:

  • Canyon Point, Aspen and Spillway campgrounds are open until November 11. 
  • Chevelon Crossing and Chevelon Lake campgrounds are open until winter weather makes them inaccessible.

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good for stocked trout. The lake was last stocked in September with rainbow 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 down to the water.

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

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is fair to good for shore and boat anglers. The lake was last stocked in September with rainbow trout. Anglers have been catching trout on nightcrawlers and PowerBait.  

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake was last stocked in September with rainbow trout. Anglers have been catching trout on orange and rainbow-colored PowerBait in deep water. Boat anglers should try trolling slowly with cowbells with an attached nightcrawler, fly or small lure. The store is open until Nov. 15, and boat rentals are available.


Note: Regular trout stocking has ended for the season.  The following campgrounds are still open:

  • Buffalo Crossing, Horse Springs, Raccoon, Deer Creek, Aspen and Diamond Rock campgrounds on the East Fork Black River are open until winter weather makes them inaccessible. 
  • Luna Lake campground is open and will be available for ice fishing this winter. 
  • Alpine Divide, Upper Blue, Hannagan and KP Cienega campgrounds will remain open until winter weather makes them inaccessible. 
  • Scott Reservoir is open to day use only. 
  • Fool Hollow Lake campground is open year-round. 
  • Gabaldon campground will be open until winter weather makes it inaccessible. 
  • South Fork campground is open to day-use only. 

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is good for trophy-sized rainbow trout. Rainbows up to 26 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 good to excellent. 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 in deep water off rocky points with worms or orange, rainbow or purple PowerBait. Rainbow trout are being caught at depths of 10-15 feet. 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 open, and boat rentals are available.

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 of the lake. Anglers should try fishing with a kayak or pontoon boat to get to open water areas. Fly fishermen are 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 warmwater species. Some anglers are catching a few bass.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is poor. The lake is low and weedy.

CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching some nice brook trout and a few large (16-17 inches) rainbow trout in the deeper parts of the lake. The store is closed. Recent netting revealed good numbers of 13- to 14-inch rainbow and brook trout. There have been no reports of brook trout congregating to spawn.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is poor for trout and fair to good for channel catfish. Channel catfish are being caught on nightcrawlers, catfish-prepared baits, chicken livers and hot dogs at night. An 11-pound, 10-oz. walleye was caught recently on a Rapala lure. Small walleyes are being 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 levels are down below the ramps at Bunch and River Reservoirs, and launching boats there will be very difficult.

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. The lake level is very low, and there is a strong algae bloom present. Cooler water temperatures should trigger larger Apache trout to bite, plus an occasional Arctic grayling. Recent surveys found moderate numbers of 8-9 inch grayling.

LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair. There is a heavy algae bloom present in the lake. Cooler water temperatures should trigger the fish into feeding.

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. There is a strong algae bloom present in the lake.

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 loaw and it may be difficult to launch larger boats.

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair to good for trout during the evening hours and fair for channel catfish, bass and sunfish. Catfish are being caught on stinkbaits, hotdogs and worms at night. A 16-inch rainbow trout was reportedly caught last weekend.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Angler Jarrod P. reported that he recently caught two nice walleye early in the morning, one weighing 8 pounds, 8.8 ounces, the other 9 pounds, 11.52 ounces on 6-pound line at Show Low Lake (see photo at right). Thanks for the report, Jarrod.

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 within the last week, including 9.72, 8.55, and 7.63-pound walleyes, mostly caught 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 very weedy and low. Anglers are catching a few catfish on the bottom with bait. Largemouth bass are being caught in the early morning and late evening hours on lures.  The trout bag and possession limit here is four trout.


Note: Regular trout stocking in the streams has ended for the year.

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 to good 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.

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.

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 to good for wild Apache trout in the wilderness portions of the West Fork Little Colorado River.

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 to excellent for very large rainbow trout and some 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.



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 These reports will then be complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.

The next few days will see a chance of precipitation and then significantly lower temperatures over the weekend. The winter trout stocking schedule is available at Need ideas on where to go fishing? Try the departments new interactive Fish and Boat Map at

RIGGS FLAT — No recent reports. Anglers are being asked to immediately release unharmed all amurs they catch to aid in the removal of the aquatic vegetation and improved fishing conditions. Access is scheduled to be closed on Nov. 15.

CLUFF RANCH — No recent reports of success. Was scheduled to be stocked this [ast week. 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.

ROPER LAKE — No recent reports of success. For lake information, call (928) 428-6760.

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 one (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. Was scheduled to be stocked this past week. 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 remain 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.

PATAGONIA — The lake is nearly full. Fishing continues to be good with bass anglers having success working the shorelines in shallower water. Recent surveys at the lake show outstanding numbers of large healthy largemouth bass and redear sunfish. Don’t forget that the lake supports a very healthy flathead catfish population as well that can provide some exciting opportunities for anglers.

PARKER CANYON — Scheduled to be stocked in the coming week. 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 or by phone at (520) 455-5847. 

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

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