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Oct 26 Fishing Report

Posted in: News Media, Fishing Report
Oct 26, 2012
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Hello, anglers!

I’ve been on the road and we’re a little short-staffed this week, so we weren’t able to compile any “fishing stories” for this week's edition of the Fishing Report. We’ll include some next week.

Here are some news items to be aware of:

Striped bass consumption advisory for mercury in southern Lake Powell

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, in association with other environmental, health and wildlife agencies for both Arizona and Utah (including the Arizona Game and Fish Department), has issued a fish consumption advisory recommending that people limit consumption of striped bass caught in the southern portion of Lake Powell, from Dangling Rope Marina in Utah to Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona.

Since 2005, the state of Utah has collected and analyzed tissue samples from fish caught from Lake Powell for elevated levels of mercury. The advisory recommends that members of the public limit their consumption of striped bass as follows: 

  • Pregnant women and children under six years of age should limit their consumption of striped bass to one 4-ounce meal per month. 
  • Women of childbearing age and children between 6 to 16 years of age should limit their consumption of striped bass to two 8-ounce meals per month.   
  • Adult women past childbearing age and men older than 16 years of age should limit their consumption of striped bass to eight 8-ounce meals per month.

The advisory does not limit the consumption of other fish species taken from Lake Powell or the use of the lake for swimming, boating or other recreational uses or as a drinking water source.

Any health risks associated with eating fish from fish advisory areas are based on long-term consumption rates and are not tied to eating fish occasionally. Fish are an excellent source of protein and can be an important part of a healthy, diverse diet as they are low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals eat at least two fish or seafood meals weekly.  An 8-ounce serving, before cooking, is equivalent to the size of two decks of playing cards.

Because mercury has been detected in some fish from Lake Powell, it is prudent to advise the public and offer this consumption advisory.  ADEQ officials are continuing to work with the state of Utah to identify the sources of mercury. The advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

To read the full article, click here.

Bluegills to be stocked in Phoenix and Tucson urban waters

A truckload of 15,000 bluegills will be delivered to all Phoenix and Tucson Urban Fishing Program waters during the week of Oct. 29-Nov. 3. Bluegills are fun to catch for anglers of all ages and will bite all day long. The best baits are mealworms or small pieces of night crawlers. Use lighter tackle, smaller hooks in the size 10-12 range, and small bobbers for the best bites. Daily bag limits for bluegill and other sunfish are 10 fish per person at Urban Lakes and 5 fish per day at Urban Ponds.

Urban Fishing Program stocking schedule is available

The Fall 2012 (October through December) stocking schedule for Urban Fishing Program waters is available. Just visit http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/documents/12Oct-Dec.pdf to find out the stocking information for your favorite urban lake or pond!

OK, on to the Fishing 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.

URBAN WATERS – Bluegills will be stocked in Phoenix and Tucson Urban Fishing Program waters during the week of Oct. 29-Nov. 3 (see article above). Catfish are scheduled to be stocked in Phoenix and Tucson urban waters next week. Trout are scheduled to be stock at Green Valley Lakes in Payson next week.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Brian M. reported that he recently caught a catfish just shy of 12 pounds at Tempe Town Lake using an ultralite rod with 2-pound line while fishing for bluegill. He said it put up a good fight and it was a struggle to land it. He fished for about an hour just after dawn, catching three catfish (about a pound, released) and four bluegill (released).

LAKE PLEASANT - Lake elevation is 1,638 feet, 39 percent full with approximately 5,957 surface acres. No new reports. See the Oct. 11 edition of the Fishing Report for preliminary Lake Pleasant survey data.

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,097 feet and the lake level is 44 percent. No new reports. 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. 

APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,906 feet (92 percent full). No new reports. Apache is typically a good fall producer.

CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is at 1,659 feet, which is 97 percent full. No new reports. While Canyon is the land of the lunkers, it can be tough to fish, especially for novice anglers. Catch rates are typically low and even veteran anglers get skunked here. But the possibility of catching a hawg keeps many anglers coming back time and again. This is a pretty good lake for bluegill and yellow bass. Try small crappie-like lures, such as 2-inch curly tails, along the rocky shoreline. Shore fishing for channel catfish and carp can also be viable both day and night right now. 

SAGUARO LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,525 feet, which is 93 percent full. This report came in last week from Kevin Bergersen, one of the Arizona Game and Fish Department's officers and the Arizona Boating Law Administrator. "Yellow bass fishing at Saguaro Lake is heating up.  Look for them in 20 to 30 feet of water under schools of shad. Jig just off the bottom using small metal jigs and spoons in early to mid-morning for best results. Anglers are catching good numbers of yellow bass with incidental catches of channel catfish and largemouth bass while jigging.” 

BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,759 feet, which is 51 percent full. No new reports. Should be good topwater action for bass off-and-on throughout the day. Try working the main lake points, islands and reefs, but don't ignore the deeper coves, especially in the morning. Sometimes you can find bass feeding on large schools of shad in the coves. For bluegills, try the backs of rocky coves using night crawlers or meal worms on light tackle. Also look for large rafts of bluegill, especially up in the narrows. When you find them, small spinners, crappie jigs and worms can get you lots of fish to fry.

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 744 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.

 

COLORADO RIVER NORTHWEST

Note: See the first article at the top of the Fishing Report regarding the consumption advisory for striped bass caught in the southern portion of Lake Powell.

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 – Report courtesy of Wayne Gustaveson, www.wayneswords.com. Report from Oct. 23, 2012. Lake elevation: 3,620 feet. Water temperature: 66-70 F. This will be the last regular fishing report for 2012. I leave on vacation this week and return just in time to sample with gill nets during the first two weeks of November. It has been an interesting year with more highs than lows. Bass and walleye fishing in the spring was awesome, followed by a great run of surface fishing for juvenile stripers in summer.  Now going into winter it’s a mixed bag with unexpected fishing opportunities occurring each day.

For example, on Saturday we took a side trip into Cathedral in the Desert at the back of Clear Creek Canyon on the Escalante. The lake level now is at the base of the second waterfall with the main cathedral well under water. We viewed the falls and then retraced our steps. While passing over the first falls (10 feet deep) marking the cathedral, we noticed a school of fish sunning themselves near the surface of the 50 feet deep chamber. A Kastmaster spoon tossed to the basking fish proved them to be largemouth bass. A slab spoon simultaneously dropped to the bottom of the chamber resulted in a 5-pound striper. The next two drops to the 50-foot bottom produced two walleye. Then the fish quit. That is a good summary of fishing this week. There are fish to catch in a wide variety of places but it takes a subtle key to understand when fish are vulnerable.

Shad in the main lake are scattered in small groups of 100 fish hiding here and there trying to avoid predators. When bass or stripers find a small school of forage fish, the area lights up with a short feeding frenzy and then quiets to a peaceful calm state. Shad are found in the backs of most canyons and coves while the open water is without forage fish. Crayfish are carrying the predatory burden in the open clear water. Fish slowly on the bottom near rocks to take advantage of this clear water crayfish key.

Shad at the inflow areas have been untouched while protected by the colored water and warm temperatures. That is now changing. Expect fishing to improve dramatically for bass, stripers, walleye and crappie near Hite and in the upper San Juan during November. Some boils are yet to occur in shad dense areas, but more fish will be caught trolling shad imitating lures and spooning along the bottom.

The best key to finding fish lakewide is to graph from the shallows out to the first drop. Striped bass are most often found on the top of a ledge that drops down to deeper water. Graph a school of fish, mark the spot with a floating marker, and then fish the area with your choice of techniques. The best option is to chum with cut-up anchovies to keep the fish in the area and then fish with spoons, bait or deep trolled lures to catch schooling fish.

Large numbers of stripers are being caught when a school is found, but many anglers are missing the subtle keys and going fishless. Pay close attention to the graph, and when a school is located, react quickly to get the school excited. Bait fishing is much more effective now than it was in the summer.  

There is still one major event to look forward to in November. As the water cools into the 50s, shad will be forced into deeper water to find stable temperatures. At that point stripers will follow. Both species will become more stationary. Then fishing will peak as finding one school will result in many more fish being caught from each school encountered.

Thanks for reading my ramblings and for helping to improve fishing for all species at Lake Powell by harvesting striped bass.

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

LEES FERRY – Report courtesy of Terry Gunn, Lees Ferry Anglers, www.leesferry.com.

Fly Fishing Up-River:

The fishing has recently begun to slow down compared to what it has been like for most of the fall season. I attribute this to decline in the midge hatches, the loss of sunlight in the canyon and the cooling weather. As the sun begins to travel in a more southerly trajectory, the sun travels behind the cliffs and shade invades the canyon and areas that had full sun a couple weeks ago are now without any sun whatsoever and will be in the shade for the coming months. The sun/shade cycle is what stimulates the midge hatches so with constant shade the hatches diminish. The 8,000-cfs constant flows do not create enough velocity to move the scuds and worms around so without a lot of food in the water the fish are not as eager to eat. Fishing is still good; however, it is becoming very site specific and not good at every spot on the river. So if you are in the right spot at the right time, fishing can still be good to great.

The flows are scheduled to change on Nov. 1, which should improve the fishing. The fluctuating flows should get some food moving and the fish feeding. Not really sure what the flows will be, but I would expect the low to be around 8,000-cfs and the high around 14,000-cfs with lower flows on the weekends.

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 fingerling to many 17-inch fish. Unless something catastrophic happens, that current trend should continue.

Walk-in Report (By Dean Windham):

The weather has been great the last few weeks. Temps are in the upper 70s to mid-80s with the nights getting down to the low 50’s. We did have a rain event last week but it did not seem to hurt the fishing. Everyone is catching fish, with some larger fish being reported. Now is the perfect time to visit the Ferry.

Midges, scuds and streamers have been the best flies recently. San Juan worms also work at times. There also has been a surface bite about an hour before dark. A dry dropper has been working well. There are lots of smaller fish in the walk in area and they are super aggressive. Just be patient and the larger fish are there just not super aggressive.

The upper boulder has been fishing well all day long with mid-morning and later evening just before dark. The steady flows have made the boulder field a great place to start your day.

The seam water by the big rock has been productive but not as consistent as other areas. This area is best later in the afternoon and streamers will work well here. I always try to find the transition water where the water slows down a little bit.

The area by where the Paria enters the Colorado River is a great place to catch some larger fish. A word of warning, do not wade across the Paria River, as it has lots of silt and can be like quicksand. Someone came into the shop recently who said he lost a boot due to getting stuck in the muck. It is better to walk from the parking lot by the Paria bridge than attempting to cross the Paria River.

So the fishing has been consistently great with larger fish being caught, just not in the numbers we saw in early September.

Spin Fishing Up-River:

With the flows remaining the same, so has much of the spin fishing. Drifting glo bugs upriver is always a guide recommendation. Dean Windham says, “Don’t be afraid to experiment and change things up regularly!”

It is also important for spin fisherman to understand that this river is very different than others they have probably fished. It moves very fast and is big water. This leads to more opportunity for trout but at the same time more technical challenges. Jigs always work well and are an easy way to go. If you are using lures, test it out a few times and pay attention to how they move in the water. If you have any questions, head on down to the shop and we can give you a quick refresher course on spin fishing the Colorado River.

Spin Fishing at the Walk In:

The usual spots are fishing well at the walk in. The upper boulder field and down by where the Paria River flows in are excellent places especially since it hasn’t flashed down there in a while. Another worthwhile spot is down on Paria Beach. It can be the perfect place for spin fishing all day or for taking the family and enjoying the day both playing and fishing. Gold flash is still our recommendation for lures. We have a selection of the most effective lures at the shop.

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.

 

COLORADO RIVER

LAKE MEAD – The current elevation has risen a little to just over 1,116 feet above msl. Be careful boating because structure previously submerged may be at the surface. 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 www.azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level has dropped two more feet to 635 feet above msl from last week. 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 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 – 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. 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.

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/.

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – 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. Rusty from Riviera Marina sent several pictures of successful trips including Shelly’s nice bluegill and Andrew’s largemouth bass that tipped the scales at 3.82 pounds caught in the Big Bend area. Dillon, Justin and Wayne had great luck now that the stocking is at full swing.

TOPOCK GORGE - Most bass are being taken on minnows and night crawlers. Reports are that stripers are returning to the Gorge. Wendell, Golden Shores local, caught and revived a hefty 10-pounder and released back into the river. Doug and Rod had a great time limiting out on smallmouth and 16 sunfish, all caught on night crawlers. They also caught a large 4.5-pound catfish.  Pat and John, from Topock, boated a nice 2-pound channel along with a monster 13-pounder. 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, in order 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 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.

LAKE HAVASU – This report came in from one of our Watercraft Patrol Officers working Lake Havasu the weekend before last: “Patrolled on Lake Havasu on Sunday and talked to 20 fishermen. People were having luck catching largemouth and smallmouth bass off of the structures using jigs. One group had also caught some nice redears.

ALAMO LAKE -- Report courtesy of Mark Knapp, Alamo Lake State Park. Well folks, this is going to be as simple as it gets. We have had a lot of people out here this last week. Everyone is reporting bass fishing as slow. A few fish are being caught on topwater in the mornings and that's about it. To the two guys that wrote their names down and I told them I would put them in the report this week, sorry, I lost the darn paper with the names. You know who you are, and I thank you for the report. They caught six bass on plastics. A lot of people came by and said they got skunked completely after being out all day. This goes for the night fishermen, too. A couple of catfish are being caught throughout the lake. No report on the crappie. In a nutshell, nothing has turned on yet. The lake level is at 1,198-ish with releases of 15 cfs. Cholla Ramp is still in operation. With all the construction going on, we are encouraging everyone to launch there. That's it.    …Mark
 
COLORADO RIVER (PARKER STRIP AREA) – No new reports. Fishing for smallmouth bass over 2 pounds in size is expected to be good to excellent. In addition, redear sunfish should also be good in the pound-plus sizes. 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. Channel and flathead catfish fishing is always fair in this section of the Colorado River. Below the dam, striper fishing should also be fair, using live shad or anchovies. Largemouth bass are abundant, especially in the downstream portions of the Parker Strip. Take precautions to make sure your boat and equipment are clean before leaving the water to make sure you don’t spread quagga mussels to other water by accident. 
 
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 - The topwater bite should still be going here. 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.

REGIONAL HOT SPOTS - Alamo Lake will continue to be a hot spot for plentiful largemouth bass and channel catfish, although trophy-sized fish will be uncommon. Lake Havasu is probably currently the premier lake in our region (and perhaps the state) for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and red ear sunfish. Numbers caught will likely be lower, but the quality of the fish much higher. The Parker Strip should remain excellent for smallmouth bass and red ear sunfish, and the Colorado River below Walter’s Camp down to Imperial Dam the best bet for large and plentiful flathead catfish. Our spring surveys indicated that there is a very impressive population of flathead catfish in the lower Imperial Division between Picacho State Park and Imperial Dam. Expect many in the 5- to 10-pound size class, but we know of at least one state record lurking in those waters. Backwaters in the Imperial Division above Imperial Dam will continue to yield impressive largemouth bass, up to and exceeding 10 pounds. 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 very good resource for local fishing information in the Yuma area is the website and forum at http://www.yumabassman.com/.

CENTRAL MOUNTAINS

With the cooler fall temperatures, 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:  

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. Over the weekend, the few anglers who walked in were catching some nice trout on worms. Please try to leave the larger bass in the lake to spawn.

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 too 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 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.

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. Stocked last 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. Stocked last week.

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. Trout are scheduled for the first week in November. 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) – Trout are scheduled for the first week in November. 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 - Stocking resumed the week of Sept. 4. Three weeks ago small brown trout were stocked. Although these fish are small fly fishermen can be very successful. 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 - Stocking resumed the week of Sept. 10. The next scheduled stocking is the week of Nov. 4. Frank and Herschel caught their limit in 1½ hours using rainbow power bait last week and as you can imagine had a great time. 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 – No new report.  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. Rainbows were last stocked three weeks ago and sub catchable browns were stocked three weeks ago. 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 for 500 rainbow trout. Rainbow trout were last stocked the week of Oct. 14. 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. 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

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.

MOGOLLON RIM LAKES

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

  • Sinkhole, Crook and Woods Canyon campgrounds are open until Oct. 31.
  • Canyon Point, Aspen and Spillway campgrounds are open until Nov. 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 staging at the mouth of Chevelon Creek, as they spawn in late 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 Power Bait.

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 Power Bait 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. 

WHITE MOUNTAINS LAKES

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.
  • Caldwell Cabin will remain open until Oct. 29.
  • Lakeside and Scott Reservoir campgrounds in Pinetop-Lakeside are open until Nov. 1.
  • Fool Hollow Lake campground is open year-round.
  • Apache Trout, Grayling, Brookchar, Benny Creek and Winn campgrounds in the Greer-Big Lake area are open until Nov. 1.
  • 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 to excellent. Large white streamers near the bottom have been effective. Rainbows up to 23 inches have been reported recently. 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 Power Bait. Rainbow trout are being caught at depths of 10-15 feet. Fly Fishers are catching rainbow and cutthroat trout 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. There are a few small, open water areas near the northeastern section of the lake. The lake is very weedy. 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 very low, muddy and weed-covered.
 
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 lake is weedy with a strong algae bloom. 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 last week on a jig with an attached nightcrawler at night.

GREER LAKES – Fishing is fair at Bunch, River and Tunnel Reservoirs. All three reservoirs are very low. The water levels are down below the ramps at Bunch and River Reservoirs, and launching boats there will be very difficult. The lakes are slowly filling up as water is flowing in from the irrigation canal.

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.
  
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 fishing and limited camping through October.  In November, it will be open to day-use only, then the State Park and access to Lyman Lake will close for the season on Dec. 1.

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair to good. Try bright-colored Power Bait 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 the weeds in much of the main body of the lake are senescing and sinking to the bottom, resulting in quite a bit of open water for boating in the middle of the lake. Some shorelines and most of the south end of the lake remain extremely weedy. 

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.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to good for stocked trout and walleye. Boat anglers are catching trout and walleye on cowbells with worms, flies and lures. Boat anglers should troll slowly. Shore anglers are catching a few walleye and trout on nightcrawlers off the fishing piers. The store is closed for the season. Campgrounds are closed on the north end of the lake. Boat rentals are not available.

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.

WHITE MOUNTAINS STREAMS

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

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. T he 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 poor to fair in the large pool immediately below the outlet of Show Low Lake dam. Anglers have been catching trout on worms and spinners. 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. Silver Creek is currently open to catch-and-release, artificial lure and fly with barbless hooks only fishing from Oct. 1 through March 31. The upper section is now open to angling. The stream was stocked heavily with large rainbow trout (up to six pounds) and Apache trout on Oct. 1 to kick off this catch-and-release season.

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 e-mail to dmitchell@azgfd.gov. These reports will then be complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.

The temperatures are cooling in the evenings and early mornings. Anglers should continue to avoid the hottest parts of the day for success. The winter trout stocking schedule is available at  www.azgfd.gov/pdfs/h_f/fishing/stocking/TroutStockingSchedule.pdf.

Need ideas on where to go fishing?  Try the Departments new interactive Fish and Boat Map at  http://gis.azgfd.gov/fishandboat/.

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. Most recent stocking was the week of Nov. 18. 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. Most recent stocking was the week of Nov. 18. 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 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. Due to be stocked this week. 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 – Due to be stocked this week. 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 – An angler reported this week that bluegill fishing had been pretty good, caught about 30 on Monday. Most were on the skinny side, not feeding up for winter yet. The weeds at the lake are very heavy, making bank fishing a real challenge, but boat fishing the outer edges is great. Fishing generally 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.

ROSE CANYON LAKE - Anglers continue to report success in the early mornings and late evenings. The lake will close to vehicle access around Nov. 15.

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