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.
(Updated Oct. 26; Editor Nick Walter, 623-236-7214)
ROOSEVELT LAKE — (2,112 feet, 58-percent full).
Oct. 26 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:
The amount of water being drawn out of Roosevelt Lake has decreased significantly in recent weeks. The amount taken each day is in the 100’s of cubic acre feet vs. the 1000’s of cubic acre feet taken during the summer months. The lake currently stands at 58 percent full. During October, the vertical drop of the water level in the lake has been less than two feet. During September, the lake level dropped four feet. The water temperature continues to drop and is now in the high 60’s in the mornings increasing to the low 70’s later in the day. The clarity is very clear with visibility into the water at 20 feet. The ambient temperature at the lake ranges from the mid 40’s in the early morning increasing to the high 80’s or low 90’s during warmest time of the day.
The two main baits for bass are shad and crawfish. At this time of year, both of these baits are abundant and the bass population will gorge on them. As the water temperature cools, bass will tend to use more depths of the water column. Many surface baits such as buzz-bait and poppers are successful. Mid to deep diving crank-baits, paddle tail swimbaits, spider-baits, spinner-baits are also catching good numbers. Drop-shot and Texas-rig techniques are successful for bass in the 20-25 foot depth range.
Crappie anglers are reporting fair to good conditions. The stable weather is a big factor for successful crappie fishing. Anglers are reporting that a vertical fishing technique is producing better than trolling. An ultra-light, fast action rod using a small diameter braided line and a 2/0 hook makes the perfect crappie vertical fishing combination.
The Community Fishing Program will stock Green Valley Lakes with the second stocking of 10″ to 13″ rainbow trout during the first week of November. Some very excited anglers at Green Valley were happy to display the trout that they caught on Powerbait and salmon eggs. Fishing your favorite urban lake is now included on your standard Arizona fishing license. More information related to urban lakes rules and regulations can be found at www.azgfd.gov.
SAGUARO LAKE – The lake is 1,525 feet (94-percent full).
Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, has had success catching big largemouth bass near the river, or up the river, where there is more current and fresher water coming to, or from, Canyon Lake. He used Texas-rigged baby brush hogs in watermelon candy. See a how-to video, “Return to the land of giant bass,” of Senft fishing the lake during a recent weekend.
Other anglers in the same areas reported having success fishing frogs again the tules, buzzbaits over grass or 10-foot diving crankbaits. Most anglers have success using dropshot-rigged Roboworms.
Scooter Griffith from The Arizona Fishing Guides reported Thursday, Sept. 14 that the largemouth bass bite during the day is still pretty good — it’s been a consistent bite around shallow, grass areas. Continue throwing frogs, and deep-diving crankbaits as the sun gets higher.
Yellow bass is an option if the largemouth bass are finicky. Try nightcrawlers on dropshot rigs.
LAKE PLEASANT – (Lake elevation 1,660 feet, 57 % full).
Scooter Griffith from The Arizona Fishing Guides reported Thursday, Oct. 12 that this time of year, it can be easy to catch good numbers of plus-size largemouth bass. “Chase the boils and be pleasantly surprised by the numbers of big largemouth,” he said. “We have been catching them on Arizona Custom Baits ringtail swimbait in none other than Scooter’s Special.”
Other reports are that striped boils have died out during the mornings but there is still a lot of shad in the backs of coves.
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 1,785 feet, feet, 81 % full.
Gary Senft, Bass Pro at the the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, fished the lake Saturday. Water temperature was 72-73 degrees. Successful baits during the morning for largemouth bass were Texas rigged brush hogs in watermelon and green pumpkin in 4-16 feet of water, as well as square-bill crankbaits and smaller, 4- to 6-foot divers. Another successful bait has been a 4 1/2-inch watermelon flick shake plastic worm in watermelon red.
Scooter Griffith of The Arizona Fishing Guides said Thursday, Oct. 12 the lake is great for high numbers of largemouth bass with a few big fish being caught. The top-water bite is good all day long in the main lake as well as the dropshot rig off main lake points.
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.
CANYON LAKE – Lake level is 1,657 feet (95-percent full.)
Some anglers are having success casting crankbaits to the shore in 15-20 feet of water. Scooter Griffith from The Arizona Fishing Guides said Thursday, Sept. 14 that largemouth bass fishing has been great at night in the shallow grass and during the day a little deeper around 15 feet on grass lines with a drposhot or moving baits, such as crankbaits.
A fishing pier is now open to the public as of Aug. 21 at the Boulder recreation site of Canyon Lake.
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 1,905 feet (91-percent full).
Gary Senft reported that crankbaits and reaction baits have been slow for him, with the best bite for bass coming on plastics on a dropshot or Texas rig, as well as Texas-rigged Yamoto jigs.
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 have returned to Community waters — “core” waters will be stocked again this week. There won’t be stockings at Rio Vista Pond in Peoria or Steele Indian School in Scottsdale. The program has added two new waters — Show Low Creek and Greenfield Pond in Mesa.
HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,972 feet (10-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 23 cfs out of Stewart Mountain. The river is scheduled to be stocked with rainbow trout the week of Oct. 30. 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
East Verde River
Fished both the headwaters and the main stem near second crossing this morning. Fishing was slow, but the two non-fingerlings I did catch were excellent. Most my bites were on a copper john. A couple of pictures are attached.
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 Oct. 25; Editor Mike Lopez, 928-532-3692)
Recommended Waters to Fish
Fishing is good at Show Low Creek meadows at the Show Low Bluff trailhead and Patterson Ponds, which were both stocked with rainbow trout last week. Brown trout are 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, Willow Springs Lake, and Show Low Lake.
MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. Rainbow trout were last stocked in late August. Try PowerBait and nightcrawlers. Water temperatures are cooling down and the trout are more active throughout the lake.
BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake was stocked last in June. Try PowerBait and nightcrawlers. Water temperatures are cooling down and the trout are more active throughout the lake. There is still a bit of an algae bloom. The lake is almost 6 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 cooling down and trout are more active 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 to good for rainbow trout and fair for tiger trout. Try PowerBait with garlic, worms, Kastmasters, or Panther Martin spinners for rainbows, and lures or flies for tiger trout. Water temperatures are cooling down and the trout are more active throughout the lake.
WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good for rainbow trout and fair for tiger trout. Try PowerBait with garlic, worms, Kastmasters, or Panther Martin spinners for rainbows, and lures or flies for tiger trout. Water temperatures are cooling down and the trout are more active 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. Water temperatures are cooling down and the trout are more active throughout the lake. Fish the mornings for best action with trout. The fishing piers and platforms are accessible.
RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is poor for trout, but fair for sunfish, bass, and bullheads. The lake level is very low and the weeds are thick in the shallow areas.
SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair for catfish. Try chicken livers on the bottom. The lake level is very low and turbid due to irrigation releases.
SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout. Supercatchable size (12”+) rainbow trout were last stocked in late August. Water temperatures are cooling down and trout are more active. Fish in the morning for best action.
WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is poor. Fish were last stocked in late-May and the lake is weedy. The fishing dock is accessible.
PATTERSON PONDS – Fishing is good for trout! Rainbow trout were stocked last week in the upper pond. 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 fair to 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.
BIG LAKE – Fishing is good for lots of small rainbows, with some larger cutthroats. Try flyfishing or lures for cutthroat trout, including crayfish imitations. Brook trout may still be spawning in the shallows.
CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is good for rainbow trout and 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, bullheads, and bass. 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 the lake is low. Try catching catfish.
CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair. The water quality has improved significantly since the summer, but still somewhat of an algae bloom. Stocked rainbow and brook trout should be active.
GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – Fishing is fair at Tunnel, and fair to good at River and Bunch reservoirs. The wild brown trout are 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. All 3 lakes are turbid. The boat ramps are not usable at River and Tunnel, but may be okay at Bunch.
HULSEY LAKE – Fishing is fair for rainbow trout. Trout stocked earlier in the year are 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, all measuring just over 13 inches.
LUNA LAKE – Fishing is good. Although there is still a strong algae 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 bass and carp, and good for 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 to good for stocked rainbows and good for wild brown trout. Rainbow trout were last stocked just before Labor Day weekend, but some stockers are still present. Wild brown trout are active in the cooler water.
LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is fair for stocked rainbows. Rainbow trout were last stocked just before Labor Day weekend, but plenty of stockers are still present. Stocking is done for the year. Wild brown trout are active in the cooler water.
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 good at this new Community Fishing Water located at the Show Low Bluff trailhead in Show Low. This fishery is a cooperative endeavor by the City of Show Low and Arizona Game and Fish Department to provide fishing opportunities close to home for kids and families. Bait can be used, but daily bag limits are 2 trout, 2 catfish, 1 bass (minimum size 13”) and 5 sunfish. It was stocked with rainbow trout last week in the Show Low meadow from the Bluff trail upstream to the Hampton Inn.
SILVER CREEK – Fishing is 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. Large rainbow trout were stocked on October 1 throughout the stream, including the big pool at the upper end.
SHEEPS CROSSING/West Fork LCR – Fishing is poor and this stream was not stocked this year.
Caught October 13th by August F., age 7, first ever caught fish! 24″ Northern Pike, 4lbs., caught on a small trout lure from shore. Submitted by a proud Grandpa.
(New reports Sept. 27; 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.)
Fishing is starting to pick up with the cooler weather. I had a report last week of an angler catching bass and trout on small jigs along the north side of the lake. I also had a report of folks catching trout on worms and PowerBait.
Folks are catching fish on flies on the upper part of the lake. Trout fishing should be picking up with the cooler weather.
No reports, but trout fishing should be starting to pick up.
Santa Fe Reservoir
Has been stocked with channel catfish.
Flagstaff area lakes
There was still a pretty heavy algae bloom on Ashurst Lake this morning when I checked it. The bloom was lighter on the side of the lake than from the boat ramp than on the boat ramp side. According to the campground host I talked to folks are still catching some trout on the lake, especially on the side across from the boat ramp.
Frances Short Pond
The oxygen level at Frances Short Pond was better yesterday when I checked It. Frances Short should be stocked this week.
Lower Lake Mary
My coworker caught seven trout in 2 hours on Saturday using bead headed flies. He also said other folks were catching fish on worms under a bobber.
Brown trout were stocked last week. I had a report from an angler that he was catching them on spinners and spoons. The angler said he also saw some bigger browns chasing minnows early in the Morning.
Blueridge Reservoir (CC Cragin)
The road is closed for the year to work on the ramp and parking area.
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.)
(Updated Aug. 3; Editor Gregg Cummins, 928-263-8868)
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 at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.
LAKE MEAD – The current elevation is 1079 feet above msl. South Cove launch ramp is getting runoff material deposited on the launch ramp due to the heavy rains that have hit the area. Because of this debris 4×4 may insure successful launch and retrieval. The next new moon is August 21st. Catfish and striper fishing is hot so take advantage of the unlimited take on less than 20 inch stripers. Use anchovies for stripers and catfish. The black bass bite is on but are a little harder to find. Fish the coves and aquatic vegetation either very early in the morning or at dusk.
LAKE MOHAVE –The lake level is currently 645 feet above msl. The fishing dock at Katherine’s Landing can produce some nice fish. The striper bite has returned according to reports. Near the dam lures like a Long A or a Savage Glide Swimmer are great hard baits. Down deep by the dam and above the power lines are reported as the hottest spots. Lures that mimic trout are working for stripers as well as the old tried and true anchovies. Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. The next new moon will be August 21st. For Largemouth Bass try spinner baits and various plastics in a purple with flakes or pumpkin color.
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, Princess and Arrowhead. Prospect Cove (1st cove south of Princess Launch Ramp) is the latest addition on the Arizona side of the lake to get habitat deployed. Fish habitat consists of PVC structures, tamarisk bundles and a new type of habitat we call poly shrubs. 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 email@example.com so I can share your successes with others.
WILLOW BEACH – No reports from Willow Beach recently. Try using lures that mimic trout or the tried and true anchovies.
TOPOCK GORGE– Use swimmer baits and pencil poppers if anchovies aren’t working. Stripers are being taken and are ranging between 1-4 pounds.
TOPOCK MARSH –Try chicken livers or worms for catfish. You can access the marsh by boat at the North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. Get out early due to the hot weather but the recent rains have cooled the area off and help stimulate the bite. 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.
DEAD HORSE RANCH STATE PARK –Bring a variety of baits just in case the fish aren’t biting. Try small spinners or spoons, night crawlers or any other bait. Bass bite is still hot as Michael reports. He caught and released 6 nice Largemouth Bass, ranging from 2½ to 5 lbs. All of his fish were caught on spinnerbaits. If you fish Dead Horse please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share your successes with others.
VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) –The smallmouth bass and catfish bite increased but the bass that are caught are on the small side and you can keep all you catch. Bring a variety of bait so you can change if the bite is absent.
FAIN LAKE — The channel catfish that were stocked in June are not being taken out as frequently as before but there should be some holdovers.
GOLDWATER LAKE —Try several colors of power bait and power eggs and if you don’t get bites try night crawlers or small spinners. They are a great option if you are not getting bites with other baits. Michael reports that 1½ inch Crappie Tubes & Acme Castmasters lures work very well on the trout.
If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at email@example.com so I can share your successes with others.
GRANITE BASIN LAKE – Bite has been slow to nonexistent. If you fish Granite Basin Lake and are having luck, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share your successes with others.
LYNX LAKE –Change baits if you are not having any luck and move down the shore a few hundred feet. Later in the morning the trout move to the 14-35 feet in depth. Try yellow colored power bait or power eggs for trout if the spinners don’t work. The gold colored Super Duper is a distant second. Night crawlers are always good bait that can work on most fish.
Lynx also can be an exciting place to fish for carp. Common carp are very strong fighters and will provide 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.
MINGUS LAKE –Trout were stocked in mid-June and will be stocked again the first week of September. The best bait is white or pink Powerbait, fished under a bobber or a spinner with a silver blade are doing well.
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 –Try top-water baits or weedless frogs for bass. Bring nightcrawlers if your other baits are not working.
If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at email@example.com so I can share your successes with others.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR – Try top water baits or weedless frogs for bass. Bring night crawlers if your other baits are not working.
Lake Powell and Lees Ferry
LAKE POWELL —
“Fall Fishing Report”
The 10 day weather forecast is for calm water and perfect daytime temperatures in the 70s. Fishing success has been mixed recently with wind, dropping temperatures and finicky fish. My prediction is that that last two weeks of October will provide some excellent fishing success.
See the details in the full Oct. 17 report from Wayne Gustaveson (www.wayneswords.com).
LEES FERRY – Sept. 21 report:
See the full report from Lees Ferry Anglers.
ALAMO LAKE – Aug. 22 report from Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park:
Lake level: 1,115 feet.
Well folks, I found a free moment in life and figured you all need and update from out here. Right now bass fishing is pretty decent early morning and evenings. If you’re in to catching a lot of dinks then you’re going to have a blast.
The average bass being caught is 8 inches long. They’re still fun to catch though. Junior and I made it out a couple of times last week and that’s all we caught. We threw plastics and training wheels and caught a few on each. Everything we caught were up in 2 to 5 feet of water.
Catfishing is still decent. We caught some nice-sized cats on plastics, so about anything should work for them. Crappie fishing has finally turned on up by the dam. I’m not sure what time the night bite starts but they’re catching 15 -20 a night. Some going 2 pounds.
Both ramps are still in operation. Bring bug spray and lots of water. We’re still hitting 110 degrees out. It’s kind of a chilly 110, but warmish anyway.
If you want a lake to your self, now is the time to come out. And, I’m happy to say, I’ll see you out there. — Mark
By Dan Roddy,
Assistant Park Manager Cattail Cove State Park
Imagine being out at night on the shores of Cattail Cove State Park. Everything is calm and peaceful, and then, in an instant, the quiet night turns chaotic.
Our friend Jimmy had that experience on Thursday, Oct. 19 when he hooked a channel catfish in Lake Havasu. He didn’t know it right away since the battle lasted more than 45 minutes, but Jimmy had hooked a whopper!
Unofficially, the fish weighed 68 pounds and measured five and a half feet. Plus, it was a fighter, making several runs of at least 300 feet. Fortunately, Jimmy had some friends nearby to help haul the prized catch out of the water.
As a person who has been visiting Cattail Cove for 40-plus years, he thought he had seen it all. He’s happy to say that Cattail Cove provides new adventures every time he visits! And when someone asks, “How’s the fishing?” we have quite a story to tell!
For more information on Catttail Cove State Park, visit azstateparks.gov
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 – Catfish stockings return 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.
(Editor Don Mitchell, 520-388-4451)
Please send your fishing reports from Southern Arizona to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several free fishing clinics to be held during National Fishing and Boating week June 3-11
PHOENIX — You can fish Arizona waters for free this Saturday, making this an ideal time to take the family out for some fun and relaxing outdoor recreation.
Arizona’s Free Fishing Day will be celebrated on June 3 this year as part of National Fishing and Boating Week, which runs June 3-11. This Saturday, no fishing licenses are required for persons fishing any public waters in Arizona.
This comes at a time when the Arizona Game and Fish Department is stocking an extra quarter-million bass, trout and sunfish statewide through June.
Remember that bag limits and other fishing regulations are in full effect and must be observed on Free Fishing Days. Kids under the age of 10 can fish for free all year long in Arizona, so this special fishing license exemption day means that the older kids and parents get a free pass for the day. Try fishing — you’ll like it!
AZGFD will also sponsor some free fishing day clinics/events to give people the opportunity to try out this fun, family-oriented pastime. Loaner fishing rods, bait and instruction are provided for free at most of these venues.
Bait is provided and loaner rods are available for fishing events. Times and locations of the events are:
Saturday, June 3:
- Lake Pleasant Regional Park, 7 a.m. – 10 a.m. There is a $6 vehicle park entrance fee. See more details.
- Woodland Lake, Pinetop, 8 a.m.- noon
- Goldwater Lake, Prescott, 9-1 p.m. As part of the National Free Fishing Day, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is planning this First Fish Family Fishing Event. For more information, please call the AZGFD Kingman Office at 928-692-7700 or the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240. Use #FirstFishPrescott.
- Dead Horse Ranch State Park lagoons, 675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd., Cottonwood, 8 a.m. – noon. Catfish will be stocked prior to this Verde Valley Fishing Fun Day. For more information, contact the park 928-634-5283.
- Fishing for Smiles at Dunton Ranch Pond, off Fort Rock exit on I-40, 7 a.m. – noon
- Garret Tank near Seligman, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Kaibab Lake near Williams, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday, June 10
- Yuma West Wetlands Park, City of Yuma Family Fish Fiesta, 7 a.m. – 10 a.m.
- Patterson Ponds, St. Johns, 8 a.m. – noon
Enjoy our state’s free fishing day! Get Google map directions to many of these waters on our Fish & Boat AZ map.
Finally, see more fishing resources.
In first phase of long-term project on Tonto National Forest lakes, AZGFD biologists sink fish habitat structures
PHOENIX – They are manmade homes for fish, some made of concrete, others of PVC, and like building a neighborhood, provide the architecture for sustainable life.
The first step in placing fish habitat into the central Arizona reservoirs took place on Thursday, April 20 at Roosevelt Lake with Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists dropping Fishiding HighRise structures made of environmentally-safe PVC to the bottom of Roosevelt Lake. These recycled items, 8 feet tall and excellent habitat for crappie, became the first fish homes. AZGFD plans to expand them into fish cities.
For anglers, this Tonto National Forest Lakes Habitat Improvement Project will result in better fishing for generations to come in the region’s most popular fishing lakes.
Also in April, Roosevelt Lake was stocked with 12,000 crappie fingerlings, as well as 25,000 5-inch Florida-strain largemouth bass for the third consecutive year. Roosevelt Lake also is above 70-percent full for the first time since October of 2011. The higher water level has flooded shoreline brush that provides more cover and habitat for spawning fish. The fish habitat improvement project includes placing multiple types of fish habitat around the lake at varied depths to ensure there is plenty of fish habitat available for when water level fluctuates.
Similar work is planned for other lakes along the Salt River chain and Bartlett Lake. The next planned step involves AZGFD biologists using a 36-foot pontoon boat to transport and lower heavier concrete fish habitat structures — critical to anglers’ fishing opportunities — into Roosevelt Lake.
This fish habitat project is a cooperative effort with numerous anglers, as well as volunteers from organizations such as Gila Basin Angler Roundtable and Midweek Bass Anglers. Supporting agency partners include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration Program, Tonto National Forest, and the National Fish Habitat Partnership-Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership. Volunteers have been helping build concrete fish balls and Georgia cubes for two years and have donated hundreds of hours to the project.
Natural and artificial habitat are critical for fish spawning, recruitment, and growth. The reservoirs of central Arizona lack sufficient hiding and ambush cover and habitat for growth and survival of young fish. The artificial structures provide a surface for microscopic animals to grow, which attracts bait fish and in turn the predatory fish for anglers to target.
Fishing is one of Arizona’s most popular outdoor activities. Providing good places for anglers to fish is one of AZGFD’s primary goals. Five of the biggest and most popular lakes to fish are located in central Arizona and are managed by Salt River Project for the valley’s water supply: Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake, and Bartlett Lake.
In 2014 the Department embarked on a program to improve fisheries habitat in the reservoirs of central Arizona and restore the fisheries to their former glory days. All five of these lakes are more than 70 years old, and Roosevelt Lake is more than 100 years old. Over time, reservoirs lose quality fish habitat through decomposition of the natural vegetation that was flooded, particularly where water levels fluctuate wildly, such as at Roosevelt.
Similarly, one of the largest and most successful fish habitat projects in the nation, the Lake Havasu Fishery Improvement Program, has been ongoing since 1993 and is credited with improving sport fish habitat in this Colorado River reservoir.
The Tonto National Forest is the land management agency for five of the biggest and busiest fishing lakes in Arizona. In 2013, the economic value to the state of Arizona associated with these five lakes was estimated to be more than $318 million.
See more about fishing in Arizona.