News

Get the latest information about News
Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements

Fishing Report: Nov. 30, 2017

Posted November 30, 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 Nov. 22; Editor Nick Walter, 623-236-7214)

ROOSEVELT LAKE — (2,111 feet, 57-percent full).

Nov. 30 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

Bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake continues to be ranked as excellent. The dropping water temperatures and shorter days transition the bass into a feeding frenzy before the bass metabolism slows to a point where bass can’t actively chase bait. This happens generally when the water temperature reaches 50 degrees.  The water temperature for the last week of November is in the low 60’s in the morning reaching the mid 60’s in the afternoon, however, with each day, the temperatures are trending lower. Bass are following schools of bait fish and are feeding heavily, often gorging themselves. Anglers are also reporting that a bass may have several shad in its mouth when caught. Anglers are reporting bass being caught in the 40-50 foot depth range on spoons, Trendsetter jigs, and Kastmasters.  These baits replicate falling shad and are excellent choices to target deeper water bass.  On warmer sunny days, be sure to check the shallow waters in the backs of coves in the afternoon when the water has warmed up by a degree or two. Small spinner baits or crank-baits in a shad pattern are recommended.

Crappie fishing also continues to be reported as excellent on Roosevelt and Apache Lakes. Large schools of crappie recently have been reported in 20 to 50 foot depths.  These crappie schools are always near cover. Structural changes, such as a natural ledge or drop-off, are excellent areas to fish for crappie.  Bass anglers recently reported catching several nice crappie in the 2 pound range while bass fishing using a spoon.

Roosevelt Lake level remains at 57% full. The lake level has varied less than one foot over the past month. The amount of water coming into the lake from the Salt River is at about 50% of the normal flow rate. The Tonto Creek is flowing at about 25% of its normal flow.

BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,774 feet, feet, 68 % full.

The water level has dropped 1 foot during the past week and water temperature has been around 63 degrees and falling.

Gary Senft of the Mesa Bass Pro Shops said largemouth bass have been moving deeper to around 15-20 feet and jigging spoons have become a more effective technique. The top-water bite has been slow but the morning crankbait bite has been good. Switch to dropshot-rigged Roboworms or Texas-rigged brush hogs as the sun comes up.

Scooter Griffith from  The Arizona Fishing Guides  said the fishing has been fair to good with high numbers of fish. Some of the bigger fish are being caught on top water. Buzz baits and walking baits are the key. As the sun comes up go to soft plastics Texas rig baits and drop shot in 10-15 feet.

Gary Senft, Bass Pro at the the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, fished the lake Friday, Nov. 3 during a full moon. With falling water temperatures, largemouth bass had started feeding more heavily in preparation for winter. Top baits early morning were Rat-L-Traps (great for colder weather) in silver. Other top performing baits were 1/4-ounce Texas rigged brush hogs in watermelon candy and Z-Man Finesse ShroomZ JigheadZ with 4 1/2-inch Roboworms and Powerworms around 9:30 a.m. in 10-12 feet of water. Once the bait hits bottom, work it slowly.

Flathead catfishing also can be 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.

LAKE PLEASANT – (Lake elevation 1,670 feet, 65 % full).

Scooter Griffith from  The Arizona Fishing Guides  said  Nov. 22 the lake has been fishing extremely well. “We are catching big numbers of stripers,  white bass and largemouth,” he reported. “Somedays you can catch them 40 feet and deeper on spoons and other days you catch them in 3 feet or less. Half ounce to 1 ounce spoons and @arizonacustombaits retail swim baits in glimmer shad and scooters special have been most productive.”

Carmen from the Hook Up Outfitters  previously said water temperatures have been in the low-70s and largemouth action has been picking up as we head into a fall-time bite. Largemouth have been hitting top-water lures such as Zara Spooks, not only during the first light but from mid-morning until the early afternoon as well. A dropshot rig  and paddletail swimbaits also continue to be effective for largemouth.

Striped bass are primarily in 20-60 feet of water — along with shad — and are mainly suspending on main lake points on drop-offs and can be caught on A-rigs, paddletail swimbaits, as spoons and spin baits.

Shad have usually been in 30 feet of water in main lake areas, although sometimes move outside of the northern coves.

SAGUARO LAKE – The lake is 1,525 feet (94-percent full).

The lake was stocked with rainbow trout last week. Scooter Griffith from The Arizona Fishing Guides said  the lake is putting out numbers of big fish. Most of them have been coming out in the deep grass using a drop shot or a shaky head technique.

There should be a decent top-water bite  during the morning. Other successful baits reported were walking baits and Ricos and dropshot-rigged Roboworms in 15 feet of water.

Yellow bass is an option if the largemouth bass are finicky — jigging spoons deep is an excellent winter tactic here and at Apache lake. Also try nightcrawlers on dropshot rigs.

 See a how-to video “Return to the land of giant bass.” 

Flathead catfishing also can be excellent. Fish shallow during the nighttime with bluegill or carp as bait. This is the time the flatheads fatten up for the winter.

 

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.

 

CANYON LAKE – Lake level is 1,656 feet (94-percent full.)

The lake was stocked with rainbow trout the first week of November. Scooter Griffith from The Arizona Fishing Guides said Nov. 22 that the lake is still putting out numbers of big fish. Most of them have been coming out in the deep grass using a drop shot or a shaky head technique.

A fishing pier is now open to the public at the Boulder recreation site of Canyon Lake. Trout are stocked in this area.

Located in the Tonto National Forest’s Canyon Lake, the Boulder recreation site is 15 miles northeast of Apache Junction on State Route 88.

The pier is the culmination of a joint effort between the U.S. Forest Service, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and Canyon Lake Marina to remove the original, 20-plus-year-old pier damaged by storms during the summer of 2015 and replace it with a modern pier.

Funding for the pier came from Forest Service fees collected at developed recreation sites, such as picnic areas, campgrounds and boat launch areas.

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

The lake was stocked with rainbow trout the first week of November. Fishing has been somewhat slow during the past few weeks for bass as water levels had increased.

The ticket is jigging spoons deep for bass. This is an excellent winter tactic here and at Saguaro Lake, especially for yellow bass.

Scooter Griffith from  The Arizona Fishing Guides  also said the fishing at Apache has been tough but is slowly back on the incline. “Your best bet is to try to find schools deep on spoons,” he said.

COMMUNITY FISHING WATERS —  Trout stockings continue, but will be delayed for some CFP waters until next week. See more Community fishing news. 

HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,965 feet (5-percent full).

Lake has dropped 3 feet during the past week. When the lake is full, there are a lot of spawning fish. No new reports.

LOWER SALT RIVER – On Wednesday afternoon, the river was flowing at 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain. The river was stocked last week and is scheduled to be stocked again with trout next week. 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.

Creeks below the Mogollon Rim

Stream trout stockings have ended but trout fishing on the Rim streams remains good. On the right day, anglers can have a stream all to themselves. Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods reported that stream anglers are reporting having the streams to themselves or sharing a stretch of water with only one other angler. A Copper John fly in a mayfly nymph pattern, Rooster-tails and PowerBait were all reported successful.


 

Mogollon Rim and White Mountains

(Updated Nov. 27; Editor Mike Lopez, 928-532-3692)

Recommended Waters to Fish

Fishing is fair to good at Show Low Creek meadows at the Show Low Bluff trailhead and Patterson Ponds, which were both stocked with rainbow trout in early November.  Brown trout are still active at the Greer Lakes, Chevelon Lake, and the East Fork Black River.  Overall trout fishing is good at Big Lake, Carnero Lake, Luna Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, and Show Low Lake.


MOGOLLON RIM LAKES

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good.  Rainbow trout were last stocked in late August, but there are still plenty remaining from earlier stockings.  And water temperatures are still good for trout activity throughout the lake. Try PowerBait and nightcrawlers.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair.  The lake was stocked last in June. The lake is 6.5 feet below spill and the new boat ramp is still fully functional.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair for stocked rainbows and wild brown trout.  The brown trout should be active and can be caught with Z-rays, Kastmasters, or black streamers.  Water temperatures are optimum for trout activity throughout the lake. Chevelon Lake is a hike-in lake with a two trout limit and artificial fly/lure only regulations.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is fair for rainbow trout and tiger trout.  Try PowerBait, worms, Kastmasters, or Panther Martin spinners for rainbows, and lures or flies for tiger trout.  Water temperatures are optimum for trout activity throughout the lake.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good for rainbow trout and fair for tiger trout.  Try PowerBait, worms, Kastmasters, or Panther Martin spinners for rainbows, and lures or flies for tiger trout.  Water temperatures are optimum for trout activity throughout the lake.

 

PINETOP/SHOW LOW LAKES

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout.  Supercatchable rainbows (12”+) were last stocked in late August and there are still a few around. Water temperatures are optimum for trout activity throughout the lake.  The fishing piers and platforms are accessible.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is poor for trout, but fair for sunfish and bullheads.  The lake level is very low and the weeds are thick in the shallow areas.  The fishing pier is not very useful, since it is very shallow off the end of the pier.

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor. The lake level is extremely low and turbid due to irrigation releases. Can’t launch boats from the boat ramp. Try fishing from the shore with chicken livers on the bottom for catfish.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout.  Supercatchable size (12”+) rainbow trout were last stocked in late August and there are still a few around.  Water temperatures are optimum for trout activity throughout the lake.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is poor.  Fish were last stocked in late-May and there are likely few left.  The lake is low and weedy, but the fishing dock is accessible.

PATTERSON PONDS – Fishing is fair to good for trout. Rainbow trout were stocked in early November in the upper pond, including some Golden Rainbow Trout, which are a bright gold-colored rainbow trout (not related to the California Golden Trout). Channel catfish were last stocked at the end of September.  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.

 

WHITE MOUNTAIN LAKES 

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is good. Anglers are catching big rainbow trout on lures and streamers. 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.

BIG LAKE – Fishing is good for lots of small rainbows and larger cutthroats. Try flyfishing, lures, or nightcrawlers for cutthroat trout. Some brook trout are also being caught.

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is good for rainbow trout and fair for tiger trout. A recent fish survey found a lot of 14-16” rainbow trout, with the largest topping out at 19”, and several tiger trout up to 16”.  The lake is a little low and weedy around the shorelines, but the middle is mostly open water.  A pontoon, canoe, or kayak (something that glides over the surface weeds) is best, but a small boat could work by lifting it off and on your trailer, then paddling over the shoreline weeds out to the open water.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for trout, but fair for sunfish and bullheads.  Sunfish can be caught 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.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is poor.  Trout were last stocked in April and likely few are left.  The lake is low.

CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair.  The water quality has improved significantly since the summer, but still has somewhat of an algae bloom.  A recent survey found good numbers of rainbow trout up to 16” and some brook trout to 14”. The brook trout were all in spawning condition.

GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – Fishing is fair at River, Tunnel, and Bunch reservoirs.  Wild brown trout are still active and can be caught on lures or dark streamers.  Lake levels are still low but coming up slowly as these irrigation reservoirs are filled during the fall and winter.  The boat ramps are not usable at River and Tunnel, but the ramp at Bunch Reservoir is usable because this lake is being filled first.

HULSEY LAKE – Fishing is fair for rainbow trout. Trout stocked earlier in the year are now active in the cooler water.

LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is poor.  A recent fish survey found that some Arctic grayling still exist in the lake, but very few, all measuring just over 13 inches.

LUNA LAKE –Fishing is good.  Although there is a strong algae (diatoms) bloom, the fishing has picked up with cooler water temperatures.  Anglers are reporting catching lots of 10-11 inch rainbow and cutthroat trout, and an occasional large cutthroat.

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

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair.  The current regulation is unlimited bag limit for trout (Sept 1 through March 31).  The lake is full.

 

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair for stocked rainbows and wild brown trout. Rainbow trout were last stocked just before Labor Day weekend, but some may still be present.  The flows are low and clear. Wild brown trout are active.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is fair for stocked rainbows and wild brown trout.  Rainbow trout were last stocked just before Labor Day weekend, but some may still be present. Wild brown trout are active. There is some skim ice on the pools in early morning.

SHOW LOW CREEK TAILWATER – Fishing is poor.  The creek just below the Show Low Lake dam was last stocked just before Labor Day weekend and most of the fish are likely caught out.

SHOW LOW CREEK MEADOWS (COMMUNITY FISHING WATER) – Fishing is fair to good at this new Community Fishing Water located at the Show Low Bluff trailhead in Show Low.  It was stocked with rainbow trout in early November in the Show Low meadow from the Bluff trail upstream to the Hampton Inn. Bait can be used, but daily bag limits are 2 trout, 2 catfish, 1 bass (minimum size 13”) and 5 sunfish.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is fair to good.  Seasonal Catch-and-Release regulations (with artificial lure and fly only with single barbless hooks) are in effect and will continue through March 31.  All trout must be released immediately and please use proper catch-and-release techniques to ensure the trout survive after swimming away.  The upper section is now open.

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


Central Mountains

Angler Reports:

Knoll Lake

Robert H.: I fished knoll Lake Nov. 16. I caught three rainbow trout sizes 9 to 11 inches on a spinner fly. Early in the morning, had a few hits but after 8 am. No more hits.

(New reports, Monday, Nov. 30; Editor Chuck Benedict, 928-214-1244)

ASHURST LAKE – There were two folks fishing the lake Thursday. One was using worms under a bobber and said it was pretty slow today, (he caught 1 rainbow ), he did catch several yesterday.  The other angler was using Gulp minnows in grey/silver color.  He had caught three rainbows and had a bite while I was talking to him.  He was fishing them both under a bobber and on a fly rod.   He said they were hitting on the fly rod today.  He was letting them sink then bringing them in slow. They both said the small pike were hitting there rigs.  The guy using the gulp minnow said the rainbows  he has been catching have been full of minnows.

Angler Report, Nov. 30

Nikita L.: After finding a good spot on opposite side of the boat launch hooked into a 20″ rainbow (no pic) on a black panther Pistol Pete rig. He got off right by my net! Hooked into three more all on the Pistol Pete. One I released which had been attacked by Pike, one I kept, and another got off. All in all seemed like trout were active and spread out around lake. I was there between 12pm-3pm.

 


Colorado River/Prescott area Waters

New reports:

Colorado River (below Davis Dam)

Trout are being stocked weekly and meal worms, nigh crawlers and power baits are working near the stocking sites. Spinner baits are also producing results, especially spinners with red spots. Striped bass and channel catfish are being caught with anchovies and the best lures for stripers include the Long A Bomber or the Savage Gear Glide Swimmer.

Lynx Lake

From a Monday, No .20 AZGFD creel survey, of the 37 people interviewed, 12 people have caught fish —  26 trout and three nice catfish.

PowerBait worked for the trout and worms for the catfish.  Small spinners are a must just in case the trout aren’t interested in the PowerBait.

Angler Reports:

Fain Lake (Cottonwood), Nov. 27

Fishing Remains HOT At Fain Lake!  In 2 hours 20 minutes, I caught & released 50 Rainbow Trout… Ranging from 8 to 12 inches.  All fish caught on Crappie Tubes next to dam.  Smaller fish caught a depth of 2 to 6 feet while, larger fish caught at a depth of 12 to 16 feet.  Weather Conditions: Cloudy and Windy.  Water Conditions:  Stained

 

 

 

(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.)

 

See more lake-specific information


Lake Powell and Lees Ferry

LAKE POWELL —

“Thanksgiving report”

Following three weeks of gill netting over the length of the lake I finally got back out on the southern lake to see how fish were responding to angling techniques.  The biggest surprise was water temperature which was still in the 60s near Thanksgiving.  Next the shoreline brush was still covered by the slowly declining lake level.  Finally, the behavior of striped bass was unusual for this time of year.

See the details in the full Nov. 22 report from Wayne Gustaveson (www.wayneswords.com).

LEES FERRY – Latest report:

 

See the full report from Lees Ferry Anglers.


Southwestern Waters

ALAMO LAKE –

 

No new reports.

See more Angler Reports

 


LAKE HAVASU

Sept. 6 report — John Galbearth of Bass Tackle Masters reported:  The striped bass action is good with boils of 1 to 3 stripers chasing shad in the morning and late afternoon hours. Trolling super spooks, sassy shads, and Rat-L-Traps in white chrome/blue is working best.

Black Rock cove north to the entrance to the river has been the best place to search for the “boils.”

Channel catfish bite is excellent with numerous cats being caught on cut markerel and shrimp off deeper points and coves in 15 to 35 feet of water.

Smallmouth bass biting good on Hula grubs in green pumpkin color rigged on 3/8-ounce football jigs  fished around rocky points and gravel shorelines in 6 to 15 feet of water.

Top-water poppers, Sammys and buzzbaits are also working well for smallmouth and largemouth over gravel flats and submerged weedbeds in the morning and late afternoon hours.

Send your reports to BFishing@azgfd.gov.

PARKER STRIP – No report.

YUMA AREA PONDS – Trout stockings return Nov. 16! 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

Angler Reports:

Parker Canyon Lake

Thursday, Feb. 16, caught three bass about 12 in. each on dropshot 4-inch worm casting to large openings in weed beds while walking 1 to 1 1/2 miles to right of dock area from 9:15 to 2:30. Caught one 9-inch, green sunfish from a dock on piece of nightcrawler at 3 p.m. before leaving for the day.

 

(Editor Don Mitchell, 520-388-4451)

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

No report.

 

 

See more lake-specific information

Advertisements
Advertisements