Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal
Although some steady weather gracing the desert regions could make for some break-out bass fishing this weekend, it’s also a great time to bring friends, family and fishing rods to the high country.
A few top picks for the weekend: Kaibab Lake near Williams received a bonus stocking of 14-inch rainbow trout; Kinnikinick Lake, southeast of Flagstaff, has been stocked with brown trout and some anglers are catching them on lures; and Community Fishing Program waters have been loaded with catfish. Don’t forget Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes for some potential tiger trout action. Finally, Tonto Creek on the Mogollon Rim, flowing at a cool 52-57 degrees, has just been stocked with “supercatchable” rainbow trout. This should be the final Rim stream trout stocking of the fall/winter season.
Our Fall Fishing Forecast is still the most comprehensive source of fishing report information for major water bodies statewide.
In the desert regions, fish are again feeding heavily in preparation to the colder months ahead. Both bass and crappie fishing may be the best that it has been all year. As is the case in October, cooler surface temperatures have been bringing bass in shallow.
At Lake Pleasant, Scooter Griffith from The Arizona Fishing Guides reported that striper fishing has been getting better with cooler nighttime temperatures and longer nights. He said anglers can catch striper chasing bait in the morning, so make sure you have a top-water lure tied on at all times. Look for largemouth bass just underneath the stripers or on the bank chasing crawdads.
We even received a recent report from tournament anglers that fishing at Apache Lake has improved.
Fall “flats” frenzy
Flathead catfish also feed heavily during October and November. Lake Pleasant, Bartlett Lake, Roosevelt Lake and the Imperial Division of the Colorado River are excellent choices. During our recent survey at Lake Pleasant, our biologists caught flatheads up to around 45 pounds hanging in somewhat shallow water. Many seemed to be milling around near mouths of coves by points. Be sure to check pgs. 10-11 of the Fishing Regulations for legal species, areas and regulations of live baitfish.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@azgfd.gov —
one will be selected for Catch of the Week
Little Colorado River-Greer
Mark R.: Beautiful brown, 22.5 inches, 4 pounds, caught Oct. 1 at the Little Colorado River a few miles upstream of Greer.
What’s been stocked this week
(“Catchable” sizes only; water temp in parenthesis if available)
Rainbow trout: Silver Creek (60), Elk Tank (63), Middle Tank (65), Frances Short Pond (63), Tonto Creek (52-57).
Channel catfish: “Core” Community waters.
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”.