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Fishing Report: July 27, 2017

Posted July 27, 2017

See “The Reel Deal” statewide summary

 

Editor’s note: The AZGFD fishing report is a free resource meant to inform anglers, and remember that nothing beats spending time on the water to figure out what’s biting. Help us keep these reports fresh for your fellow anglers by sending your reports and photos to BFishing @AZGFD.gov – one will be selected for Catch of the Week.

Finally, reports from guides, tackle shops or angler groups are not endorsements.

OK, on to the  full report.

 

Central Waters

(Updated July 27; Editor Nick Walter, 623-236-7214)

Roosevelt Lake

ROOSEVELT LAKE — (2,120 feet, 65-percent full).

July 27 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

Many bass anglers are reporting large numbers of 4- to 6-inch bass in Roosevelt Lake.  Anglers agree that this is confirmation of a very successful 2017 spawn. Last spring during the spawn, there was a lot of water entering the lake from run-off which stained the water and protected many spawning areas. Anglers recalled that  during the February through June full moon phases, there was stable weather which contributed to the successful spawn.

The Roosevelt Lake water level has remained at 65% full due to monsoon storms. The flows on the Salt River and Tonto Creek are above normal rates but they fluctuate greatly with the timing of the monsoon storms. As a result, some days the water level increases and on other days the level drops.

Bass fishing is good. The water clarity has improved dramatically especially in the middle portions of the lake. The water temperature is gradually getting lower with temperatures in the mid to high 80s. Anglers are reporting an active top-water bite on a Zara Spook Jr., Spro Frog and a Labino Lures Rico bait.  Square-bill crankbaits and jerk-baits in green colors were also reported successful. A dropshot, Texas rig and Carolina rig techniques for worm fishing are always successful summertime techniques. Favorite colors include Roboworm Morning Dawn and Camo. Lil Chunk Baits, made here in Rim Country, offers an excellent variety of soft plastic baits. Lil Chunk Baits can be reached at 928-978-0441.

 

LAKE PLEASANT – (Lake elevation 1,674 feet, 70 % full).

Surface water temperature has been around 85 degrees.

One angler from Friday night (July 21) reported success striper fishing in northern coves dropping jigging spoons into boils for striped and white bass. Another angler on Friday had luck fishing a steep embankment on the main lake, east shoreline, between the entrance to the Agua Fria River and Humbug Bay, using anchovies in 25-30 feet of water depth.

Another angler reported luck last weekend in northern coves throwing a jigging spoon into shad boils for striped and white bass. Boils were occasional and top-water lures were not too successful.

A first quarter moon is this week and submersible lights at night will be somewhat effective at drawing in the plankton-shad-predatory fish chain.

As summer goes along, shore anglers will have a tougher time reaching bass, which move deeper. Best bet right now is fishing at night by the marina, or targeting carp and catfish.

Flathead catfishing also is excellent. Fish shallow during the nighttime with bluegill or carp as bait.

 

Note: The Arizona Catfish Conservation Association, a 501c3 non-profit club based in Arizona, is asking anyone who catches a tagged flathead or channel catfish at Lake Pleasant or Bartlett Lake to note the number of the tag, along with any other information such as weight, length or girth, GPS coordinates (if available) and then visit www.catfishaz.com.

BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,795 feet, feet, 96 % full.

Water temperature has been up to 88 degrees.

Successful techniques for some anglers from a recent Midweek  Bass Anglers tournament reported successful techniques for largemouth bass fishing have been crankbaits, TRD Ned Rigs, black Westy worms, Texas rigs, flick shakes, Carolina rigs, and jigs. The dropshot rig produced the most consistent bite for some anglers, including a 4-inch black and chartreuse Power Worm just after dark.

The crankbait bite has been particularly productive just after dark as well, although some anglers have had success throwing cranks during the day.

Target ledges, points and small islands. In general, the typical summer pattern holds true — fish shallow early and deeper as the sun comes up using dropshots, Texas rigs, etc.

Previously, Gary Senft of the Mesa Bass ProShops fished the lake eight times during the past week and a half and said this has produced the most consistent bass fishing in the Phoenix region. Bass have been biting more frequently during bright moons (especially full or half) and cloudless nights. In theory, this would make fishing the daytime this weekend during a new moon an advantage.

Try night fishing throwing Texas rigged or dropshot-rigged plastic worms over points and islands in 4-18 feet of water. Also, jigging crawdad plastics has been effective in 4-5 feet of water. Use dark colors at night — especially during full moons.

Flathead catfishing also is excellent. Fish shallow during the nighttime with bluegill or carp as bait.

Don’t forget the Bartlett Lake Marina is now open. See www.bartlettlake.com or contact 480-221-0503 for more information.

Note: The Arizona Catfish Conservation Association, a 501c3 non-profit club based in Arizona, is asking anyone who catches a tagged flathead or channel catfish at Lake Pleasant or Bartlett Lake to note the number of the tag, along with any other information such as weight, length or girth, GPS coordinates (if available) and then visit www.catfishaz.com.

SAGUARO LAKE – The lake is 1,524 feet (92-percent full).

The lake is very stained with recent rains. Try spinnerbaits with gold or copper blades in this type of water. Bass fishing is hit and miss — golden algae level remains high and tournaments on the lake remain suspended.

Angler success has still been dependent on if water is released from Canyon Lake into Saguaro. The upper end of Saguaro has been good while water is released. Some anglers are having success with average-to-large largemouth bass using swimbaits (shad patterns) and crankbaits. Crawdad imitations at night also have been effective.

Yellow bass is an option if the largemouth bass are finicky. Try nightcrawlers on dropshot rigs.

CANYON LAKE – Lake level is 1,658 feet (96-percent full.)

The water is muddy but the bite can be good with spinnerbaits (try gold or copper blades) and top-water frogs. Work the spinnerbait just quickly enough to feel the blades working. Bass fishing remains above average for this time of the year for Canyon. Typical summer pattern is in effect — top-water lure early in the morning, and dropshots and Texas rigged worms as the sun comes up. Richard from Liar’s Corner reported numerous 5- and 6-pound largemouth bass being caught, and verified that bass fishing seem to be exceptionally good.

Traditionally, Canyon is the land of lunkers when it comes to bass. For better numbers, try Bartlett or Saguaro.

A new fishing pier is under construction in the Boulder Creek Recreation Area. This pier serves as excellent structure for sunfish.

APACHE LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,908 feet (94-percent full).

The water quality is good.  Bass fishing is good. The water temperature is gradually getting lower with temperatures in the mid to high 80’s. Anglers are reporting an active top-water bite on a Zara Spook Jr., Spro Frog and a Labino Lures Rico bait.  Square-bill crank-baits and jerk-baits in green colors were also reported successful. A drop-shot, Texas-rig and Carolina-rig techniques for worm fishing are always successful summertime techniques. Favorite colors include Roboworm Morning Dawn and Camo.

 

Apache is also full of some really nice yellow bass. Fish deep with gold KastMasters or yellow/gold Rooster Tails.

COMMUNITY FISHING WATERS —  See the latest Community fishing news. Catfish stockings are on hiatus for the summer. Keep in mind that some parks close at hours designated by their respective city. Be sure to consult the latest CFP  guidebook for closing times at spots such as Steele Indian School Pond, Surprise Lake, Pioneer Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Friendship Pond, Bonsall Pond, and Tempe Town Lake (closes on the marina side).

HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,965 feet (4-percent full).

The lake has risen 3 percent during the past week. When the lake is full, there are a lot of spawning fish. No new reports.

LOWER SALT RIVER – On Thursday afternoon, the river was flowing at 382 cfs out of Stewart Mountain. The final trout stocking of the season was 2 weeks ago.

No new reports of success. Remember that the walk to the shoreline is steep, and don’t wade into the river because of quick-sand spots. Try nightcrawlers, small spinners, Kastmasters and flies in this unique desert river trout fishery. You might be able to catch some bass or sunfish in the deeper holes. Good time for tubing the Salt — take along a fishing rod.

Creeks below the Mogollon Rim

Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods reported:

“Trout fishing conditions on the Rim Country streams is excellent. Most streams continue to run strong from the storms resulting in very stained water conditions. Darker baits and flies are recommended for stained water conditions. Fishing on the Rim Country lakes is also reported to be excellent due to the AZGFD summer trout stocking program. From the shoreline, try a Z-Ray, Pop-R, salmon eggs or worms. If you have a boat, troll a small Fire Tiger color crank-bait, a black nymph fly or in-line spinners. The success of the AZGFD trout fishing program should be recognized. If you’re in Rim Country, stop by the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery and thank those AZGFD employees that do the hard work of stocking the trout for us to enjoy catching.”

 

Mogollon Rim and White Mountains

New report

Top-5 AZ family camping and fishing spots for August

(Full report updated July 18, Editor Sally Petre 928-532-2307)

Recommended Waters to Fish

This angler caught some big rainbow trout Wednesday off the bottom with blue cowbells and nightcrawlers. Try blue cowbells particularly during sunny mornings.

 

This time of year if you want to catch trout, try fishing in any of our stocked streams including Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, Little Colorado River in Greer or Show Low Creek, just downstream of Show Low Lake.  Fishing here should be excellent.  Woods Canyon and Willow Springs should also have good fishing.  Try fishing about 10 feet down.  If trout aren’t biting in in-town lakes, try fishing for catfish, bass, bullhead, or sunfish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOGOLLON RIM LAKES

*Questions about roads, campgrounds, fire restrictions, and wildfires should be directed to the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.    

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair.  This lake was stocked last in June.  Try PowerBait and nightcrawlers a few feet down.  The top water is warm.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair.  This lake was stocked last in June.  Try PowerBait and nightcrawlers a few feet down.  The top water is warm.  The lake is a few feet down and the new boat ramp is still fully functional.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair for rainbows and large wild brown trout. Catchable rainbow trout were stocked in early May.  Chevelon Lake is a hike in lake with a two trout limit.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good/fair for rainbow and tiger trout.  The lake will be stocked this week.  Try PowerBait with garlic, worms, or Roostertail spinners for rainbows; and try Kastmasters, small Rapalas, Panther Martin spinners, or flies for tiger trout.  Also, try fishing about 10 feet down for trout — the surface water is getting warm.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good/fair for rainbow and tiger trout. The lake will be stocked this week.  Try PowerBait with garlic, worms, or Roostertail spinners for rainbows.  Try Kastmasters, small Rapalas, Panther Martin spinners, or flies for tiger trout.  If the trout aren’t biting, green sunfish are easily caught along the shoreline rocks on worms. Also, try fishing about 10 feet down for trout — the surface water is getting warm.

 

PINETOP/SHOW LOW/ST. JOHNS LAKES

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout!  Supercatchable rainbows (12”+) will be stocked this week. Fish about 10-15 feet down for trout.  The lake level is still fairly high.  Fishing pier and platforms are accessible!  Bass and large catfish are also being caught.  Try to catch sunfish on a size 12 hook with a small piece of worm in rocky or weedy areas, or black bullhead on the bottom with a size 6 hook and a half or full  worm.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is poor for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout.  Stocking is done here for the year.  The lake level is a few feet down and the weeds are starting to come up in portions of the lake. Trolling in the main channel is still doable, but the weeds are present.  If the trout are not biting, try to catch sunfish on a size 12 hook with a small piece of worm in rocky or weedy areas, or black bullhead on the bottom with a size 6 hook and a half or full worm.  The White Mountain Bass Fishing club recently adopted the lake and cleaned up trash along the public shoreline.  Please don’t leave your trash around!

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair for stocked rainbow trout. Try for catfish with a worm on the bottom.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout.  Supercatchable size (12”+) rainbow trout will be stocked this week.  Fish about 10-15 feet down for trout.  The lake level is still fairly good. New facility improvements, including a new fish cleaning station, new restrooms, stairs from the upper parking lot down to the boat launch, and ADA boat trailer parking are now open!  Try to catch sunfish on a size 12 hook with a small piece of worm in rocky or weedy areas, or black bullhead on the bottom with a size 6 hook and a half or full  worm.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is poor.  Fish were last stocked in late-May. The fishing dock is accessible.  Try to catch sunfish on a size 12 hook with a small piece of worm in rocky or weedy areas, or black bullhead on the bottom with a size 6 hook and a half or full  worm.

PATTERSON PONDS – Fishing is good for catfish!  Channel catfish were stocked last month!  A regular fishing license or a community fishing license is required to fish here.  The pond daily bag limits in community fishing waters (2 trout; 2 catfish; 5 sunfish) apply.  Please use good catch and release methods if you are releasing fish, many fish have been found dead due to improper catch and release methods. If the gills are bleeding, the fish will die.  Cut the line if the hook has been swallowed or is stuck.

 

WHITE MOUNTAIN LAKES

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is fair.  Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release only for trout, artificial fly and lure only; single barbless hooks only. No bait. No trout may be kept. Large rainbow trout are being caught nymph fishing under a strike indicator at 10-12 feet. Tiger trout are also being caught.  Fishing is on and off, however.

BIG LAKE – Fishing is fair for rainbows, but good for cutthroat trout. Rainbow trout were stocked in last month.  Try fly fishing for cutthroat trout in the shallows.  You can use a fly with a casting bubble if you don’t own or know how to use a fly rod.

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is fair/poor. Spring fish surveys showed large healthy 20” rainbows and 15”+ tigers.  There was an unconfirmed report of an 18” tiger trout caught recently. Fish are biting on black wooly buggers and nymphs.  Also try gold lures.  Smaller fish are being caught since we recently stocked.  Warm is warming up, so fishing has slowed.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for trout, but fair/good for sunfish, bullheads, and bass.  Trout were last stocked in mid-May in the narrow near the county facilities (just downstream of the bridge).

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is poor.  Trout were last stocked in April.  Try catching catfish.

CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is poor.  pH levels are high and lake is weedy.  Spring surveys showed good holdover numbers on brook trout and carryover rainbow trout (16in).  The lake was also heavily stocked with more brook trout and rainbow trout.  Fishing pier and boat docks are accessible!  Stop here before you get to Big Lake in the morning, you might be surprised!  We look forward to fall fishing here!

GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – Fishing is fair at all three lakes.  All three lakes were stocked last month.  Boats are not launchable.

HULSEY LAKE – Fishing is fair/poor for rainbow trout. Fish were last stocked in mid-May. Fish are being caught on flies, no as much on bait.  pH levels are elevated, but fall fishing should be good.

LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is poor.  Few fish remain here and will not be stocked this year.

LUNA LAKE –Fishing is fair. An algae bloom has developed, influencing water quality and the fishing has slowed.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open. Fishing is fair for bass, walleye, carp and catfish. Use corn or night crawlers for carp and catfish.

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is good/fair!  The lake has stopped spilling and the lake was stocked heavily last month with 8,500 rainbow trout.  If trout aren’t biting, try for some green sunfish.

 

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is excellent!  Rainbow trout will be stocked this week.  Fishing is fair for wild brown trout.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is excellent!  Rainbow trout will be stocked this week.

SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is good. Rainbow trout were stocked last week. The road over the dam is open, but please do not park on the dam.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is excellent. Rainbow trout were stocked this week.  Current regulations are catch-and-keep with bait and 6 trout daily limit apply. The upper section is closed to fishing.

SHEEPS CROSSING/West Fork LCR – Fishing is poor and this stream will not be stocked this year.

 

Central Mountains

(New reports July 19; Editor Chuck Benedict, 928-214-1244)

(These are recommended fishing waters. Those not listed either are considered poor or there have been no reports. Been fishing? Please sense your reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.)

With the warm weather the fishing is starting to slow down but is still good early in the morning and late in the evening on Ashurst Lake, Kaibab Lake and Dogtown Lake.  Folks are catching big trout on Lower Lake Mary early in the morning and late in the evening out of boats and float tubes. 

Dogtown Lake

When we were on Dogtown Monday Morning collecting zooplankton samples trout were jumping all around the lake.  They seemed to be feeding on some small midges floating on the water.  Fishing is still good on Dogtown on PowerBait early in the morning.  I would use garlic PowerBait in any of the colors.

Kaibab Lake 

Folks are still catching a few trout on a variety of colors of PowerBait with the best fishing being early in the morning.  Folks also were catching fish whenever the sky clouded up.  Folks are catching crappie around the fishing dock on yellow or orange mini jigs.

Cataract Lake

Stocked with channel catfish.  Our hatchery has begun stocking small trout into Cataract Lake.  These fish average about 7-8 inches.  Cataract has done a good job of growing trout in the past so we are hoping these fish will be nice sized by fall.

City Reservoir

Has been stocked with channel catfish.  I would try worms under a bobber or hot dogs.

Santa Fe Reservoir

Has been stocked with channel catfish.

Flagstaff-area Lakes

Ashurst Lake 

Folks are still catching trout off of the rocks on the opposite side of the lake from the boat ramp.  I would try PowerBait fished off of the bottom.  Orange was working last week, but the green garlic seems to work everywhere.

Frances Short Pond

I had a report from an angler that he was catching catfish on corn last Tuesday morning when I was conducting a fishing clinic.  The kids at the clinic caught some bluegill on corn.

Lower Lake Mary

One of my coworkers caught some nice trout on  worms fished under a bobber early Saturday morning.  He said that he was catching fish from before dawn until about 8 a.m. Folks fishing from boats or wading past the weeds are still catching some really big trout early in the morning and in the evenings.

Kinnikinick Lake- Folks were catching some of the recently stocked tiger trout on Saturday.  I would try fishing small crayfish imitating crankbaits or small spoons to catch brown trout.  Another possible way to fish is to catch some grasshoppers around the lake and fish them on the surface in the evenings.  Very few fish can resist a big fat grasshopper kicking around on the surface of a lake or stream.   This is also the time of year when catfishing can be good on Kinnikinick.

Blueridge Reservoir (CC Cragin) will not be stocked this year.

 

 

 

Colorado River/Prescott area Waters

(These are recommended fishing waters. Those not listed either are considered poor or there have been no reports. Been fishing? Please sense your reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.)

(Editor Gregg Cummins, 928-263-8868

Angler Report

New report

Lake Mead

Don M.: Fishing is HOT in Virgin Canyon near South Cove.

Trip Monday night/Tuesday a.m.  produced 145 fish, including 126 stripers and 16 channel cats.

Trip on Tuesday night/Wednesday a.m.  produced 214 fish — 203 stripers, 10 channel cats and one 17-inch WALLEYE!

First time I’ve had one caught in my boat since 1972!

Walleye caught by 16 year old Jacob Jacoby of Flagstaff.  Caught on a  one inch piece of anchovy in Virgin Canyon at 2:34 a.m.

 

See more lake-specific information

Lake Powell and Lees Ferry

LAKE POWELL —

“Slurps Continue and Boils Start”

Striper slurps and boils are now available lakewide.

See a rundown of what to expect in the full July 26 report from Wayne Gustaveson (www.wayneswords.com).

LEES FERRY – See the full June 10 fishing report from Lees Ferry Anglers.

 

Southwestern Waters

ALAMO LAKE – July 10 report from Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park:

Lake level: 1,117 feet.

Well folks, once again it’s been awhile since I had a chance to sit down and write anything.  At least I have some good news for a change.  Let’s start with lake levels and releases. As of today (Monday, July 10) there are no scheduled releases that will have a major impact on the lake or launching.  This is great news for us. Both ramps are open and work great.  The releases are at 50 cfs.

The lake is dropping about a foot a month due to releases and evaporation.  This is normal and to be expected.  No news on CORE vs. bulkhead.

Now fishing.  Things are getting back to normal with bass fishing.  There’s a decent top water bite going from 4:30 a.m. till around 6 a.m.  Then switch to training wheels (crankbaits) or plastics. A friend of mine who hates throwing plastics even gave it thumb’s up.  When I asked what color, he said: “Green with red flakes.” Go figure.

Start throwing in about 2 to 10 foot of water.  Around 10 a.m. the fish are heading down to the 20 foot mark.  They’re in there off the points and bluffs until around 5 p.m., and then head back up to feed.  So, morning = shallow.  Midday = deep.  Evenings = both.

It’s really hard not to catch a couple of catfish on any day.  The lake is infested with them. Hot dogs and nightcrawlers work the best.  Anglers are even catching them on plastics and training wheels.

Crappie fishing is hit and miss in my book.  Word on the street is that some crappie are being caught on the night bite up by the dam.  That’s as far as I dare go with this. So, get some minnows and head up to the cliffs by the dam.  Throw out some crappie lights and watch for baitfish to come up.  Get your minnow down in about 10 foot of water and see what happens.  Please, let me know how you did.

Shore fishing is decent for catfishing and some bass.  This lake is not shoreline friendly.  If you’re determined, you will find a place to fish.  If not, stop by the ranger station and we will try to help you.

Finally I just want to say:  we’re hitting the triple digits out here on a regular basis. Bring lots of water and stay hydrated.  Sunblock is must.

That’s it for now.

LAKE HAVASU – John Galbearth of Bass Tackle Masters reported:  The striper bite is good in the morning hours from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. from the mouth of the river south to Califprnia Bay. Boils have been occurring sporadically during this time. Troll Rat-L-Traps or Pointer 128 minnow plugs in areas  where the Grebes (water birds) are  congregating over schools of shad.

The catfish bite is excellent in the evening hours in bays where grass isn’t too thick. Live bluegills, cut mackerel and anchovies work well now, be sure to throw out extra chum to attract cats from longer distances.

Smallmouth and largemouth bass are hitting poppers, buzzbaits and Super Spooks in the  early a.m. hours. Fish the outside edges  of floating weedmats.

Carolina-rigged plastics like brush hogs, curly tail Powerworms and senkos are working well over submerged weedbeds in 8-15 feet of water — 3/8- to 1/2-ounce weight with 10- or 12-pound test works well.

Send your reports to BFishing@azgfd.gov.

PARKER STRIP – No report.

YUMA AREA PONDS – No new reports. Catfish stockings are on hiatus for the summer. See the stocking schedule.

COLORADO RIVER (between Picacho State Park and Imperial Dam, including backwaters and Martinez Lake) –  Our May survey showed healthy populations of flatheads in the Imperial Division.

MARTINEZ LAKE — No report.

 

Southern Waters

(Editor Don Mitchell, 520-388-4451)

Please send your fishing reports from Southern Arizona to bfishing@azgfd.gov

No new reports.

Angler Report:

Pena Blanca Lake

Justin B.: Had a good day on the lake Saturday. Caught over 15 bass with the average around one pound. Caught this 4.1-pounder  on a brush hog early in the morning. Water was down a few feet and clarity was not good. Can’t complain overall and can’t wait to get back on a lake this weekend.

See more lake-specific information

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