Lake Pleasant Fish Report

Lake Pleasant - New River , AZ

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

Flathead catfish action is taking off. "Flathead" Ed Wilcoxson said Dec. 3 that the water has "turned over" for the winter (warm water to the top) and this has triggered the flathead catfish to really begin feeding and fattening up for the winter. On Wednesday, in fact, we had an angler call in reporting a catch of a 40-pound flathead.

Wilcoxson said the best flathead fishing has been in the Agua Fria arm, as well as Castle Creek and Humbug. Wilcoxson, who said he fished 44 weekends on the water for flatheads this year, reported having caught an average of 25 flatheads per trip up to 40 pounds in 45 feet of water.

"They know winter's coming up," Wilcoxson said. "They all were full of that big, yellow fat. They've gone crazy the whole month now. We're averaging 100 pounds of fish a night."

Wilcoxson said the flathead fishing should be good another few weeks.

Angler Barry W. previously reported: Fished lake pleasant earlier this week -- 2 hours before sunset and 2 hours after.

While the sun is up the weather is in the low 70s, and it couldn't be better. We caught about 20 striper before sunset using plastic swim baits (smoking shad color) -ounce jig head. A silver -ounce Kastmaster has also been very successful. The fish are a lot shallower now ranging from 4- 25 feet close to shore.

I would recommend any of the northern coves. Once the sun goes down you will need to layer up since the temperature drops quickly. Don't forget the gloves and hat! Anchovies on a dropshot is still the preferred method but it's critical to chum at the beginning to hold the school beneath you. The fish are suspended at about 20-30 feet and fishing near the dam has been average.

We never caught any striper over the size of 2 pounds, but these were the perfect size for the freezer. The action is not awesome compared to the summer months, but it's still good.

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