Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Mark R.: Beautiful brown, 22.5 inches, 4 pounds, caught Oct. 1 at the Little Colorado River a few miles upstream of Greer.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of AZFG

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

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.

More Reports

Zach G.: Caught Sept. 22 on chartreuse Extra Scent (Berkley PowerBait). ...... Read More

Top picks for this weekend are Kinnikinick Lake (stocked with brown trout this week), Ashurst Lake, Silver Creek (catch-and-release season...... Read More