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Fishing Report: June 1, 2017

Posted June 1, 2017

See “The Reel Deal” statewide summary

Central Waters

(Updated June 1; Editor Nick Walter, 623-236-7214)

ROOSEVELT LAKE — (2,125 feet, 69-percent full).

June 2 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

Bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake is good. As bass transition to a summer pattern, anglers are using drop-shot, Texas-Rig and Carolina-Rig techniques. Artificial baits such as worms, lizards, crawdads were all recently reported successful by experienced anglers. The water condition has improved dramatically and  is now clear down to 15 foot. The more stable June temperatures will steadily increase the lake water temperature. Anglers who enjoy night-time fishing are anticipating the upcoming full moon to launch an hour before sunset and fish “after-dark.”

Crappie anglers reported fair fishing conditions recently on Roosevelt Lake. Crappie anglers are using a vertical fishing technique for crappie and fishing in 15-20 foot depths. June is always an excellent month for crappie fishing. Crappie prefer the warmer and more stable weather and congregate into large schools at this time of year. A small 1/16th oz. jig-head hook with a grub tail is a favorite choice of local crappie anglers.

The AZGFD has requested that all bass fishing tournaments on the Salt River lakes other than Roosevelt Lake be suspended for the next couple of months due to the golden algae growth. The algae is so thick in some areas of Apache Lake that anglers referred to it as “pea soup”.  Specifically, golden algae is deadly to aquatic species and fish will avoid it whenever possible. However, when tournaments release bass into the lake near areas of golden algae growth, they can not escape.

Warmer temperature and slow moving water will create algae growth in Arizona lakes, this year the algae growth has been more widespread than the past several years. The recent increased flows out of Roosevelt Lake will help move more water the down river which aids in dispersing the algae.  Local tournament directors understand the need for this conservation measure and are rescheduling events or moving them to Roosevelt Lake.



Angler Report:

David M.: Caught some nice crappie and a few yellows April 22 night fishing with minnows.

LAKE PLEASANT – (Lake elevation 1,699 feet, 97 % full).

May 31 report from Barry Worman, moderator of the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page.


“Summer season is here and so are the hot temps!”

The kids are out of school and all the anglers have the desire to hit the refreshing lakes to cool off. The striper are now in post-spawn behavior and are slow to adjust to the warmer air and water temps. On average the water temp was only 75 degrees at Lake Pleasant.

Anglers are reporting the best results from 4:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in 25-45 feet of water depth, and with busting shad close to shore. After 9 a.m. the striper go deeper and the bite somewhat dies off.  Anglers are having luck with top-water lures such as spooks, skitter walkers & Rico’s.  The other favorite technique is to use a paddle tail swimbait that come in 3.5 or 5 inches long. Skinny dippers, Bass Assassin reaction innovations, or Gil Reaper swimbaits all have been extremely successful.  Be sure to use White, Money shot, smoking grey, sexy shad or the ASF white/Chartreuse colors with fishing swimbaits.  A-rigs have also have been doing very well.

With the hot temperatures, many anglers are very happy to be night fishing for striper.  The air temperature is incredible to fish in but the huge summer limits (60-100-plus fish) that anglers are known to catch have not kicked in yet. The bite is slow and the fish are still finicky. This will improve greatly in a few weeks when the water temperature gets in the mid 80s and the fish get more active. Remember a good underwater light, fish finder, chumming, and a good drop shot/Carolina rig is key to a successful night of striper fishing.

Anglers should also be prepared for a lot of dink-size fish in upcoming months.  I fished one of the northern coves last weekend and there were thousands of 2-3-ounce shad boiling for more than 2 hours eating shad larvae and other tiny baitfish. The striper are thriving and the bait population is thriving as well.

Some bigger striper were around but you will need to use a weighted jighead or weighted crankbait to get the down deep where the bigger fish are lurking under the dinks.

The only eagle nest closure currently remaining this season on the Agua Fria arm of Lake Pleasant (Whiskey Springs nest) has been lifted due to failure of the nest site, effective May 13.  This means that anglers will now be able to boat from the main body of the lake, all the way up the Agua Fria arm to the Agua Fria boat ramp.

With rising water level, Agua Fria River can be good for top water-action on stripers and white bass. For fishing report editor Nick Walter, bringing a second rod along for catfish proved effective (along with chumming and baiting with corn) when the top-water bite was slow:

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

There had been a good crappie bite this spring at Pleasant. Crappie fishing should be fair.



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




BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,791 feet, feet, 92 % full.

Water temperature has been 69-70 degrees. Majority of bass are in post-spawn.

Bass fishing is good to excellent. The top-water bite has improved and will only get better with predicted steady, hot temperatures. Gary Senft of the Mesa Bass ProShops reported that the morning bite for largemouth bass has been active with small crankbaits in 8-10 feet of water, as well as with top-water lures. Senft also recommends wacky-rigged Senkos in 2-6 feet.

When the sun comes up switch to 10-12 feet and throw your favorite go-to plastic rig and bait — Carolina, Texas or dropshot.  “This is a good time to practice your favorite way to fish,” Senft said.

Senft said the trick is to keep moving and cover a lot of water, fishing shoreline points, islands and REEF buoys.

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 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


SAGUARO LAKE – The lake is 1,526 feet (93-percent full).

Many bass are in a post-spawn mode. Fishing should pick up with this stretch of warm, calm weather and top-water action should pick up once again. Try  frogs, Pop-R’s, and Ricos. Crappie fishing has slowed.

As the sun rises, try Texas-rigged lizards. Drifting gizzard shad swimbaits had been hooking some bass. Water should be clearing.

One angler had success night-fishing with a wacky-rigged 5-inch watermelon red flake Flick’m Shimmy worms, in 4 to 10 feet of water.

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

CANYON LAKE – Lake level is 1,657 feet (95-percent full.)

Angler Report:

“The bass bite is on! I love encouraging others to get outdoors. I caught these four bass off my kayak in a little over a week … drop-shotting plastics.

Many bass are in a post-spawn mode and with some windy weather this weekend, fishing could be tough (like at many Salt River-chain lakes). Top-water action had been picking up with a spell of warmer weather and some anglers were having success with frogs, Pop-r, and Ricos. With a string of predicted 90-degrees temperatures next week, th ssurface action should pick up again. Crappie fishing has slowed.”

Majority of bass  are in post spawn, as is the case at all central Arizona lakes.

Swimmers are cautioned that there have been reported of “swimmer’s itch” at Canyon. See some steps to minimize Swimmer’s Itch at desert lakes.

Some anglers are having luck with Texas-rigged baby brush hogs, as well as assorted jerkbaits, top-water lures and jigs, Try fishing in 2-15 feet of water.

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.

Some anglers have had success throwing dropshot Roboworms in morning dawn near cattails in 10-20 feet of water.

APACHE LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,906 feet (92-percent full).

Majority of bass  are in post spawn, as is the case at all central Arizona lakes. Bring a variety of baits. Spinners have been successful with smallmouth bass. Crankbaits and jigs also have been effective.

Try reaction baits in the morning and during afternoons, jigs or dropshots. Not a bad time to drift along and throw crankbaits or spiinnerbaits.

Various jigs also can be effective – try crawdad imitations. Points, islands and rocky structures tend to hold the majority of largemouth bass – keep moving.

Walleye fishing could be decent at first and last light using nightcrawler rigs, or jigs tipped with a worm. Apache is also full of some really nice yellow bass. Try gold KastMasters or yellow/gold Rooster Tails.

COMMUNITY FISHING WATERS —  See the latest Community fishing news.

This week we’re bringing in three fully-loaded hauling trucks with 24,500 pounds of catfish destined for the Core program waters. Additional catfish are destined for Lynx, Fain, Deadhorse State Park, and Garret Tank. The final catfish stocking of the season will take place during the week of June 12-17. We cease all fish stocking in Community Fishing Program waters during the hottest months of the year (mid-June to mid-September). Cortez and Rio Vista lakes will not be stocked for the remainder of the season (see below).

HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,993 feet (35-percent full).

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 533 cfs out of Stewart Mountain. Was being stocked with trout last week. No new reports of success.

Creeks below the Mogollon Rim

Angler report from Max W. from the East Verde River: three of us fished from the Washington Park Trailhead all the way down to Second Crossing on Saturday. Great conditions all around, though the fish were picky– the only bites came on copper john’s and other similar beadheads. Washington Park was particularly good, with tons of fingerlings and one 14 incher. The 3rd to 2nd Crossing section was great for small stockers, though we did catch one fish in the 12-inch range.

Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods reported, “trout fishing on any Rim Country stream or lake is excellent. AZGFD recently increased stockings of rainbow trout due to the anticipated number of holiday visitors to Rim Country. Early morning and late evening are prime times for summertime trout fishing. For fly anglers, dry flies in a black or dark green pattern are very effective. For those trolling or fishing from the shoreline,  Powerbait and small spinner-baits were reported successful. ”


Mogollon Rim and White Mountains

(Updated May 30, Editor Sally Petre 928-532-2307)


Recommended Waters to Fish

Fishing is excellent at Willow Springs Lake and Woods Canyon Lake in the Rim area, Woodland Lake, Show Low Creek, and Patterson Ponds in Pinetop and St. Johns, and Carnero Lake, Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, and Little Colorado River in Greer.  12” trout were also stocked in Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Rainbow Lake, and Tunnel Reservoir last week.  A load of catchable rainbow trout were also stocked into Big Lake last week to help improve fishing there.



*All roads should be open.  Questions about roads and campground opening should be directed towards the Forest Service.    

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good.  This lake was stocked two weeks ago with rainbow trout.  Anglers are catching trout on PowerBait and nightcrawlers.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  Last stocked in mid-May.  The lake is full and has a new boat ramp. Accessible on Forest Road 86.  Try PowerBait for rainbow trout.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair for large wild brown trout. The spring survey showed few rainbow trout, but some large brown trout.  Catchable rainbow trout were stocked in early May, which should have improved fishing.  Chevelon Lake is a hike in lake.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is excellent for rainbow and tiger trout.  Tiger trout were stocked in late April; rainbow trout are stocked every week.  Try Kastmasters, small Rapalas, Panther Martins or flies for tigers.  Try PowerBait with garlic, worms, or roostertails for rainbows.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is excellent for rainbow and tiger trout. Store and boat rentals are open!  Tiger trout were stocked in late April; rainbow trout are stocked every week.  The biggest reported tiger trout so far has been 14 inches.  Green sunfish are easily caught on worms. Try Kastmasters, small Rapalas, Panther Martins or flies for tigers.  Try PowerBait with garlic, worms, or roostertails for rainbows.



FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout! Lake was stocked last week. The lake is full for the first time in several years.  Fishing pier and platforms are accessible!  Bass and large catfish are also being caught.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout! Lake was stocked last week.  Lake is full and the weeds are not bad yet. If the trout are not biting, try a nightcrawler on the bottom for bullheads. 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, and feel free to help out and pick up trash you see!

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is good for stocked rainbow trout! This lake was stocked last week.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout!  The lake was stocked last week with rainbow trout from our local hatcheries and an extra load of 12” rainbow trout from Colorado!  The lake is nearly full. New facility improvements, including a new fish cleaning station, stairs from the upper parking lot down to the boat launch, and ADA boat trailer parking, are now open!  The new restroom is currently closed for repair.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is excellent.  Fish were stocked last week with rainbow trout from our local hatcheries and an extra load of 12” rainbow trout from Colorado!  The fishing dock is now accessible.

PATTERSON PONDS – Fishing is excellent for catfish!  Channel catfish were stocked last week!  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.



BECKER LAKE – Fishing is good.  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 8-10 feet. Tiger trout are also being caught.  The Becker Lake hosts are back, be sure to ask them what is biting and welcome them back!

BIG LAKE – Fishing is fair. Try cow bells, PowerBait, or worms fished off the bottom for rainbows, or flyfishing for cutthroats. There has been an active surface bite just before dark. Railroad Cove and South Cove are okay places to launch boats, South Cove is probably better than Railroad.

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is excellent. Fish surveys show large healthy 20 inch rainbows and 15+ tigers.  There was an unconfirmed report of an 18-inch tiger trout caught this week. Weeds are low and the water level is high! To apply for the state record or fish of the year, a picture of the fish must be taken on a reliable ruler.  See pg. 42 of our regulations for more details! Fish are biting on black woolly buggers and nymphs.

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

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is fair.  Trout were last stocked in April.

CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair to good!  pH levels are starting to rise and the fishing is starting to slow a little.  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!

GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – Fishing is good at all three lakes.  All three lakes were stocked two weeks ago.  Tunnel was also stocked recently with an extra load of 12” rainbow trout from Colorado!

HULSEY LAKE – Fishing is good for holdover and stocked rainbow trout. Fish were last stocked 2 weeks ago. Fish are being caught on any kind of PowerBait.  Great place to get out of the wind!

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

LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Rainbow trout of all sizes are being caught, including some large rainbows and cutthroats.   Fishing is not fast, but large rainbow trout are consistently being caught on worms.

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

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair.  A few holdover rainbow trout are being caught on PowerBait.   The lake will not be stocked until it stops spilling.



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 were stocked this week.

SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is excellent. 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 June 1; 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

Fishing is excellent at Kaibab Lake and Ashurst Lake right now.  Folks are catching big trout on Lower Lake Mary early in the morning and late in the evening.

It is pine pollen season in the Flagstaff and Williams area so you may notice the yellow pine pollen floating on the lakes!

Dogtown Lake

We stocked a load of bonus trout from Colorado into Dogtown yesterday morning.  The fish averaged about ¾ of a pound.  Folks were catching them right after we stocked on spinners, spoons and PowerBait.  Fly anglers are catching lots of fish on the lake early in the morning including some bigger trout.

Kaibab Lake

Kaibab received a bonus stocking of rainbow trout from Colorado on Saturday and again Tuesday morning.  Fishing was excellent on Kaibab over the weekend with folks catching trout on garlic green PowerBait or salmon egg PowerBait.  I also talked to folks catching fish with worms, corn and lures.

Cataract Lake

There was a report posted on a fishing blog of an angler catching some trout on Cataract.  Looking at the pictures posted it looks like some of the smaller fish that were stocked last fall to make room at the hatcheries have survived and grown big enough for folks to catch.  It appeared the fish were caught on a spinner. No new reports.

City Reservoir

Stocked with channel catfish 2 weeks ago.  We should be getting more catfish stocked in the next couple of weeks.

Flagstaff Area Lakes

Ashurst Lake 

Ashurst was stocked with 9,000 bonus trout last Wednesday.  Folks were catching fish over the weekend.   Stocked this week.

Frances Short Pond

Frances Short Pond was stocked with catfish and should be stocked with trout last week and this week. Folks using hot dogs were catching catfish along with folks using PowerBait.  I also talked to some folks who were catching fish on pistol petes, and white roostertails.  More catfish are on the way.

Lower Lake Mary

Fishing has slowed on Lower Lake Mary during the middle of the day, but folks are still catching some really big trout early in the morning and in the evenings.  Fishing with worms under a bobber has been a good method to catch trout up to 21 inches with all of the fish being really fat.  Folks are also catching fish on flies and lures.

Kinnikinick Lake- I had a report from one of our Wildlife Managers that folks were catching rainbow trout and brown trout over the weekend.

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

Knoll Lake – Stocked last week.


Colorado River Waters

New Reports:

(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

(Editor Gregg Cummins, 928-263-8868)

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM — Local 4 year old angler Devin and uncle Cole landed a nice stringer of trout fishing from shore using night crawlers in the Lazy Harry’s Bay. By the dam, anchovies or your favorite lure is doing well for stripers. Near the casinos trout are the fish to target. Try night crawlers for trout if the power baits aren’t working. Small spinners can land trout when other baits are not working.

LAKE MEAD — Took Glendale residents Vince Griffis and Mary Clipping out of South Cove on Lake Mead for stripers and catfish.

Had to wait out some bad weather, and didn’t start fishing till 11 p.m.

By 2 a.m. we had one ice chest filled and  by 6:15 a.m.we had TWO ice chests and a bucket filled with fish.

Turns out we caught 95 fish, 76 stripers (BF 2 lbs. 12 oz) 18 channel cats (BF 3 lbs. 2 oz.) and a carp that weighed 9 lbs. 8 oz.

Prescott-area waters

On May 24 the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocked approximately 3,300 pounds of beautiful rainbow trout split between Lynx and Goldwater Lakes. That equals about 1,320 trout per lake. The picture is of Lynx Lake during the stocking. The lake is full which increases the amount of shore access.

See more lake-specific information


Lake Powell and Lees Ferry


“Fish are biting and spawning”

Lake Powell has risen 4 feet in the last week.  Expect the same for this week.  Inflow is over 80K acre feet with only 21K AF being released. Retie your boat anchor lines each morning and then enjoy the day.  Rapidly rising water is flooding vegetation that has not been wet for a while. This new habitat attracts largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie like a magnet.


See the full May 31 report from Wayne Gustaveson (


LEES FERRY – See the full March 21 fishing report from Lees Ferry Anglers.


Southwestern Waters

ALAMO LAKE – The restriction on water skiing and the use of towable devices at Alamo Lake has been lifted as of Wednesday, May 24.

The northern-most portion of the lake remains closed to water skiing and the use of towable devices due to the presence of submerged trees and other hazards (same as in the past).  The boundary of this controlled use area is clearly marked with a buoy line across the lake, which will serve the purpose of both a “no ski” line, and to provide informational signage indicating that hazards are not marked north (upstream) of the buoy line.  Signage for the latter purpose is pending, and will be installed shortly.

May 24 report from Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park:

Well folk, it’s be awhile.  You have not been missing a lot.  Although the lake is up, the fish are not cooperating in the biting department.  I think several things are contributing to this:  1. The lake has never completely settled down;  2. There’s more shad in the lake then there are fish.

High winds and storms just keep coming through.  That’s my conclusion in a nutshell.  You’re more than welcome to come on out and give it a try.  Both ramps are open.  We have docks at both ramps.

Just so you’re warned, we are going to be slammed Memorial Day weekend.  Bring a lot of water, sound block, etc.  Make sure your boat is up to snuff with registration, life jackets and all the good stuff.  Now, for the news a lot of you have been waiting for.  The “no ski – or towable devices”  has been lifted.  You can ski from the body line to the closure area at the dam.  Well, gotta go.  When fishing really turns on I will post something.  Mark

Angler Reports:

LAKE HAVASU – John Galbearth of Bass Tackle Masters reported: that bass are mostly in post spawn, redear sunfish are in full spawn. Bass fishing is as good as it gets as anglers are having luck with Senkos, spinnerbaits and Top-water lures like frogs.

Redear sunfish will be spawning for another month. Try A fluorescent jighead tipped with a nightcrawler, or just a worms with a split-shot/bobber rig. Crappie jigs also work for these tasty sunfish that at Havasu can get up to 5-6 pounds.

Stripers are in full spawn and so early morning top-water lures work. When the stripers move out to spawn, fish the old river channel in deeper water. Try cut baits in 30-55 feet of water in river to the north, or south where the lake begins to narrow where there is more current that stripers prefer to use to spawn.

Some big smallmouth bass are being caught as well.

Send your reports to

PARKER STRIP – No report.

YUMA AREA PONDS – No new reports. Catfish stockings are winding down for the summer — the final stocking is this week. 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. This tends to be one of the top early-bird bass lakes.


Southern Waters

(Editor Don Mitchell, 520-388-4451)


Visit FishAZ for all the latest information on fishing in Arizona.  Please send your fishing reports from Southern Arizona to


New report:

The White Sulphur Springs NFH released more than 1,800 Gila trout in Frye Mesa Reservoir on Monday afternoon, May 15.


See more lake-specific information