The Flathead Catfish are biting in Arizona - Record Striper caught at the Colorado River

Arizona Fish Report

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

Nighttime temperatures in the high country have dipped into the high 40's - the first wisps of fall are bringing a welcomed transition from summer to autumn. The increasingly active fish feeds coincide with dove and football season and if that isn't exciting...

The desert impoundments are on the verge of being fall conditions as well. Weekend nighttime temperatures are predicted to dip into the high 70's.

Labor Day boat traffic is in the past, and the cooler nighttime temperatures will make for superb camping conditions. At Lake Havasu, the throngs of recreational boaters likely are gone, so there should be room on the water to target a decent top-water bite.

And if you weren't aware of the remarkable flathead fishery Arizonans can boast (and boat) about, well, the above picture should say it all. The guide was "Flathead" Ed Wilcoxson, owner of the heaviest recorded fish in state history -- a flathead. Here's some more information about our flathead fisheries.

Speaking of records, another of sorts was set. Gionavvi C. of Willow Beach spear-fished a 41-inch striped bass, Photo #1 out of the Colorado River on Sept. 6. Because there previously hadn't been a Colorado River water, non-hook and line record for stripers, this one sets the bar. A dive-gear dandy.

Be sure to highlight Oct. 1 on your calendar. That's the opening of the seasonal catch-and-release fishery at Silver Creek. Rainbow and Apache trout - some a few scales more than 3 pounds - are stocked that first day into this White Mountains creek located on our Silver Creek Hatchery property just outside of Show Low (close to the airport.)

Keep in mind that the fall equinox is Sept. 22 - besides being the first day of fall, it's the time that nights become longer than days.

Just pick your favorite fishery and go. Angling action should be springing from its summer snooze at almost every lake in the state. At Roosevelt Lake, for one, bass fishing picked up significantly following some monsoon run-off.

On the urban scene, catfish stockings are right around the bend -- Sept. 16 marks the opening day. Get ready.

In northern Arizona, Lees Ferry is always the Disney World of fly fishing, but particularly so lately. Reports are that the current trout population is the same or higher than the boom years of the late 1990's. The trout are particularly fat as well and fishing should remain exceptional as lower flows have begun.

The Mogollon Rim lakes such as Bear Canyon, Knoll, Woods Canyon and Willow Springs remain excellent places to visit. Besides being scenic and superb as a trout fishery, bull elk should start mating soon, if they haven't already.

Want a quick tip on how to fillet a trout? See this short video.

Then teach it to a kid. Our proud fishing heritage is only passed along by passionate anglers who realize the importance, and benefits, of getting kids "hooked on fishing."

More Reports

Athletes win four national championships at Scholastic Clay Target Program Arizona was well-represented at the Scholastic Clay Target Program National Championships...... Read More

Aug. 27, 2013 Arizona is famous for many things, but opening day of dove season is downright legendary. Temperatures here may...... Read More