Fishing Report: White Mountains/Mogollon Rim
Trout are still being stocked at Show Low Lake, Show Low Creek below the dam, and Fool Hollow Lake. Trout fishing will be best in the early morning or evening. Try targeting other species like sunfish and catfish in the middle of the day or with kids. Black bullhead in Rainbow Lake are easy to catch with a worm on bottom and fun for kids.
At Fool Hollow, use a small piece of nightcrawler on a small hook and sight fish for bluegill and green sunfish off the fishing piers. Scott Reservoir was stocked with 1,500 pounds of catchable channel catfish in May; use worms, corn or other smelly baits to take dinner home.
White Mountains lake fishing: target mornings or sunset
Derek caught this 9-pound, 26.5-inch rainbow trout July 4 using PowerBait. The fish had an 18-inch girth. Leann from the Big Lake Store said she took this picture and the fish was weighed on an Arizona Game and Fish-certified scale. She said the fish was caught about 4-5 feet down. “At first when I saw the fish I thought it was fake,” she said. “Then it started moving and I said, ‘Oh, that’s a beautiful fish.’ … We usually get around two catches like that a year. The biggest fish that had come in this year was 6 pounds.”
She said fish are spawning late this year and around typically around 50 feet from shore and 4-8 feet deep. Fish this week have been caught primarily on flies and worms. She added that the biggest rainbow out of Big Lake was 14 pounds.
The state record inland waters, hook-and-line state record of 15 pounds, 9.12 ounces and 32.5 inches from Willow Springs Lake was caught by Harold Wright of Sun City Sept. 29, 2006
Trout fishing in lakes may be slow as the days are warming up. If you’re looking for trout, aim to fish in the morning or wait until sunset. In the White Mountains, Big Lake, Luna Lake and Nelson Reservoir should all have good trout fishing throughout the summer. By July, the best place to catch trout is the streams; stocking continues on the East Fork Black River between Diamond Rock campground and Buffalo Crossing, West Fork Black River at West Fork Campground, West Fork Little Colorado River at Sheep’s Crossing, and Little Colorado River through Greer until September. Target Apache and rainbow trout in these streams using nightcrawlers, PowerBait, or small flies like Adams, hoppers or Caddis.
Mogollon Rim opportunities
Willow Springs Lake and Woods Canyon Lake are stocked every week, as are Canyon Creek, Christopher Creek and Tonto Creek. Small lures, PowerBait, nightcrawlers, and dry flies should all work this time of year. Bear Canyon Lake and Black Canyon Lake have not been stocked since June; fishing might be slow, but the boating will be beautiful. Enjoy the warm weather and cool water from your boat or kayak. Remember: wear your life jacket every trip, every time.