AZGFD Fishing Report - October 2021       

Jerry V. caught this nice brown on a nightcrawler at Bunch Reservoir near Greer. Measured 30.75 inches.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of AZGF

by Arizona Game & Fish Department


Temperatures are forecast to come down a bit early next week, with highs in the low to mid 80s in the desert regions, low to mid 60s at higher elevations. Winds will pick up over the weekend and early next week, especially in the high country.

Central Arizona

Three good bets among the central Arizona reservoirs are Roosevelt, Bartlett and Pleasant. At Roosevelt, anglers have been reporting early morning topwater fishing is good for largemouth bass. Fish should have plenty of habitat at multiple water levels thanks to all the hard work by AZGFD's partners and volunteers on fish habitat improvement sites in some lakes.

North Central Arizona

One angler reported fishing was good at Lynx Lake after the recent trout stocking. "Caught my limit in the first hour, averaged about 16 inches and almost 2 pounds each."

Northern Arizona

In the Flagstaff area, please note that Frances Short Pond has not been stocked. The department's water quality specialist checked the pond last week and the dissolved oxygen level has not yet recovered to a point where trout would survive.

In the Williams area, Kaibab Lake, Dogtown and City reservoirs were stocked last week using fish purchased from our Colorado vendor. At Kaibab, the lake is open but the campground is closed. AZGFD personnel on Saturday and Sunday observed a few trout being caught on worms by the dam. We spoke with another angler who was catching trout on garlic PowerBait, and another who was catching trout on crappie jigs under a bobber.

At Dogtown, the lake is open but the campground is closed. Fishing was good to excellent for trout when department personnel were out Saturday and Sunday. Folks using garlic PowerBait were doing well fishing on the bottom on both sides of the lake. We also spoke with a couple of fly anglers who were catching trout on jibs. There were lots of little bass in the shallows.

At Cataract Lake, the gate is closed on the east side of the lake, but you can walk in to fish.

At Whitehorse Lake, the road to the lake is closed, but anglers can walk in and fish.

At Ashurst Lake, the lake is open but the campground is closed. Upper Lake Mary and Kinnikinick Lake are open.

Mogollon Rim

Differing reports recently at Woods Canyon Lake. Some anglers say it's slow, others say it's decent. PowerBait and nightcrawlers are working for rainbow trout. Also try casting spinners in the shallows.

Western Arizona

At Lake Havasu, John Galbraith (Bass Tackle Master) reports that the afternoon striper bite has been good from Lake Havasu State Park south to California and Thompson Bays. Anglers are catching stripers on diving baits like Rat-L-Traps (in white), Sassy Shads, Pointer 128/158s and some topwater lures like Chug Bugs, Sammy’s and Super Spooks. Bait anglers are catching stripers at 30- to 45-foot depths after 9 a.m. and through the late afternoon hours. There have been some reports of morning boils of large stripers from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

October is considered the peak month for big catfish at Lake Havasu. Both species are feeding heavily before the lake cools off for winter. The channel catfish bite is excellent and they currently prefer cut mackerel or squid in the evenings and after dark. The Havasu flathead cats are biting well too. Try small- to medium-size bluegills or redear sunfish from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Then hold on for the ride.

Largemouth bass fishing is currently pretty good at Havasu. Try flipping or pitching jigs with craw trailers like the chigger craw, Senkos and tubes in tulles and weed line edges in 1- to 4-feet of water.

The Havasu smallmouth bass are biting well around gravel flats and rocky outcroppings on green pumpkin Hula Grubs with a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce football head and exposed hook. Smallies usually bite these jigs as they fall, so be ready and keep the slack out of your line as the jig descends.

At Alamo Lake, angler Jose S. had a good outing last week. "It was a fairly warm morning with hardly any wind and nice calm water," he said. "Caught me 11 total largemouth, three on the top water. I caught the other eight just trolling around with my jerk bait. These fish are a lot of fun, I really appreciate the fight they had in them."

Lake Powell

See report from Wayne Gustaveson.

Southern Arizona

At Roper Lake, Arizona State Parks Ranger Michael DeLeon reports that the topwater bass bite is good right now. The bass are going after dragonflies and can be seen leaping out of the water regularly throughout the day to gulp one down. Anglers are catching fish on a variety of topwater lures that resemble dragonflies or frogs. Other bass anglers have reported success with Texas-rigged worms in green or blue.

Some catfish are finally "showing up" at Roper on a regular basis. Fishing from the piers after dark is your best bet with nightcrawlers, anchovies, shrimp, or other common catfish offerings. Carp fishing is really good for anglers using dough balls or corn fished on the bottom. Bluegill and sunfish are being caught regularly with small bright-colored jigs around structure, or mealworms under a bobber.

At Dankworth Pond, there aren’t a lot of reports coming in from bass anglers. Try topwater presentations or weedless lures because the underwater vegetation is still super thick. Bluegill and sunfish angling is hot right now. Nightcrawlers or mealworms are your best bet. No reports from carp or catfish anglers.

At Rose Canyon Lake, one angler who was fishing with his sons said fishing was very good last week.

Community Fishing Program waters

Catfish were stocked in many of the Community Fishing Program waters per the schedule. AZGFD's Community Fishing Program also stocked some sub-legal (6-8 inch) largemouth bass last week. Normally bass stocking is done in the spring, but the department had the opportunity to acquire appropriate size bass this fall. AZGFD is aware of some instances of higher-than-normal mortality among these bass and is working with our vendor on replacement fish.

Angler posts

For each edition of the Fishing Report, we'll select some photos and reports submitted by members of the angling public either through the Fish AZ Facebook Group or through the email address. If you'd like your photo/report considered for publication here, please indicate the species, place, date, name (we only publish first name and last initial), and any other information you'd like to provide. For more photos (including new photos each day), visit the Fish AZ Facebook Group.

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