Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal
If you haven’t heard, channel catfish returned this week to Community Fishing Program waters. See the fall/winter Community stocking schedule.
We were out at one of the newest Communty waters, Mansel-Carter Oasis Lake in Queen Creek, for that lake’s fish sport-fish stocking.
Still a great time to be in the high country. Another hot spot is Big Lake, where there have been reports that cutthroat trout are rising to the surface around sunset. In the White Mountains, Becker and Greer lakes also are producing some memories. Remember that special regulations are in effect at Becker Lake.
Keep in mind that brown trout go into their spawning behavior during the fall. Float tubers who are in good shape may want to hike into Chevelon Lake on the Mogollon Rim for the big browns and plentiful ‘bows.
Now’s the time to plan that fall fishing trip. We just posted out our Fall Fishing Forecast and it includes all major waters statewide. We predict fall fishing hot spots will include Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest, Alamo Lake in Western Arizona, Ashurst Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, Frances Short Pond in the Flagstaff/Williams region, Goldwater Lake in Prescott, and in the White Mountain region, the Little Colorado River at Sheeps Crossing, Show Low Creek Meadows, Silver Creek. See the forecast.
Catch and release season opens at Silver Creek Oct. 1
On Monday, Oct. 1 the catch-and-release season opens — and that means the upper section also opens to fishing for the first time since early spring. This catch-and-release section of Silver Creek requires trout to be immediately released unharmed (no trout may be kept), and is artificial flies and lures only with single barbless hooks. This segment of Silver Creek is open for fishing from Oct. 1 through March 31 of each year. See more fishing regulations.
This week’s stockings
(Water temps in parentheses, if available)
Rainbow trout: Tonto Creek (55-57), Bear Canyon Lake (68), Lynx Lake (66).
Brown trout: Kinnikinick Lake.
Apache trout: Silver Creek (65).
Channel catfish: “Core” Community fishing waters.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.
Colorado River (Laughlin/Bullhead)
Mike D. caught this striped bass reported at 10-plus pounds on the Colorado River in Laughlin/Bullhead last weekend. The group reported throwing soft baits towards shore while drifting for a two-day total of more than 40 striped and smallmouth bass.
Family Fishing Events
Note: At these free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required for those who register during event hours.
Saturday, Sept. 29: Verde River Days, 8 a.m.-noon; Dead Horse Ranch State Park, 675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd. Cottonwood.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department has coordinated with Arizona State Parks to bring you free fishing during Verde River Days! Bring your family out to enjoy free fishing and instruction from AZGFD Sport Fishing Education Program and volunteers. While the Verde River Days festivities will go from 9 a.m-3 p.m., the family fishing will occur from 8 a.m-noon only. Fishing licenses are not required during the planned hours of the event for those who register at the AZGFD booth. For more information, please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240 or go to: http://www.verderiverday.com/ .
Thank you, anglers!
Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984.
Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.
Save time, buy online
Grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go “Fish AZ”.