Arizona Lake Reports

Limit:

Friday, January 15th, 2016

    • Report: From AZGFD
      CANYON LAKE – Lake level is 1,656 feet (93-percent full.) Lake level has dropped 3 feet during the past week. Bass fishing is fair, although there have been reports of some monster largemouth bass being caught.

      Wintertime spoon-fishing also can be a good option. See a video of how a pair of fishing experts from Bass Pro Shops, Matt Shura and Gary Senft, went after bass during a December trip with plastics worms and Rapala Jigging Wraps (variation of a spoon).

      Don’t be afraid to throw a rainbow trout-imitation swimbait for some monster bass (trout were stocked the first week of December.)

      Shore fishing for channel catfish and carp can also be viable both day and night right now.

      AZGFD will classify Canyon Lake as an AIS-affected water under AIS Directors Orders #2. Read more.

      Finally, the fishing pier at the Boulders remains closed for repairs. The area is open for drivers/shoreline fishing.

    • Report: From AZGFD
      Jan. 15 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

      AZGFD announced the results of the most recent fish survey done on Roosevelt Lake. The survey data clearly shows a significant increase in the 4- to 10-inch bass in the lake. The size of these fish are proportional to the Florida-strain Bass that were placed into the Bubbling Ponds Hatchery last spring at the same time Roosevelt Lake was stocked. This is the first survey since the bass were released, but if these findings continue, Roosevelt Lake may be on the road to recovery and would be excellent news for bass anglers.

      More good news is that large amounts of water continue to flow into Roosevelt Lake. Both the Tonto Creek and Salt River are flowing at above normal rates and the lake level increased another percent and currently stands at 45-percent full. The water temperate is right at the 50 degree mark which slows fish metabolism and can make for some slow days of fishing. During the winter a slow technique for jigs and worms is the best approach. If you find schools of suspended bass, a new bait has been brought to my attention. It's made by Rapala and it's called a Jigging Rap. It's an alternative to a typical Kastmaster or similar spoon for wintertime fishing.

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

    • Report: From AZGFD
      Well here we go again. Another in a series of winter storms passed through Rim Country and dumped large amounts of rainfall and snow on the higher elevations. Subsequently, the water flows into Roosevelt Lake have increased dramatically. The average January flow of the Salt River is around 400 CFPS, recently that flow increased to over 2,000 CFPS. The Tonto Creek normal flow rate is around 50 CFPS and is flowing at over 1,600 CFPS. These increases have pushed the lake level to 44% full and it is continuing to rise.

      This is great news for Roosevelt Lake, but it also brings some cautions. The water coming into the lake is pushing full-sized trees into the lake as well as many smaller sized boating hazards. Exacerbating the problem, the water color is a chocolate brown making it difficult to see this floating debris until it's too late to maneuver around it. If you are planning on fishing Roosevelt Lake during the next few weeks, use extreme caution when boating. If you're a passenger in a boat, don't hesitate to point out any debris you see to the driver.

      This large inflow of colder water has slowed fishing considerably however, as things start to calm down and the water becomes more clear, the fishing conditions will improve rapidly. Remember that bass will typically swim to where large amounts of water are coming into the lake. Fish understand this water is bringing bait fish and nutrients so they will move to the ends of the lake in search of that food source. How close they get to the actual ends of the lake, will depend on the water temperature and clarity.

      Recent crappie fishing reports are poor, again mostly due to the recent stormy weather. As we have been reporting for the past month, crappie prefer stable weather and clear water so it’s going to be a couple of weeks for the lake to get back to those conditions. Crappie are moving to deeper water so a trolling technique, fishing in 20-30 feet depths is the place to fish for crappie.

      There is very limited access to trout lakes on the Rim. These lakes are not stocked during the winter months and many have frozen over or the roads leading to them are closed due to weather. Lower level streams like the Tonto, East Verde and Haigler Creeks are fishable, however the number of holdover trout in these streams is very low. The one bright spot for winter trout fishing is Green Valley Lake in Payson. There are actually three lakes at Green Valley and they are stocked every other week during the winter months with rainbow trout.

      The Wild West Bass Trail will conduct its Team Tournament on Roosevelt Lake on February 13, 2016. You can register and read all of the details at www.wildwestbasstrail.com or you can contact the Tournament Director, Paul Alpers directly at 573.280.8020

      Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

    • Report: From AZGFD
      CANYON LAKE – Lake level is 1,659 feet (97-percent full.) Bass fishing is fair, although there have been reports of some monster largemouth bass being caught.

      Wintertime spoon-fishing also can be a good option. See a video of how a pair of fishing experts from Bass Pro Shops, Matt Shura and Gary Senft, went after bass during a December trip with plastics worms and Rapala Jigging Wraps (variation of a spoon).

      Don’t be afraid to throw a rainbow trout-imitation swimbait for some monster bass (trout were stocked the first week of December.)

      Shore fishing for channel catfish and carp can also be viable both day and night right now.

      The fishing pier at the Boulders remains closed for repairs. The area is open for drivers/shoreline fishing.

    • Report: From AZGFD
      SAGUARO LAKE – Lake level is 1,525 feet (92-percent full.)
      Gary Senft, Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, fished the lake Wednesday, Dec. 30, catching just one fish on a swimbait – but it was 9.75 pounds (right). His partner caught a 10.25-pound bass.

      Anglers can do well for bass using rainbow swim baits. Yellow bass fishing tend to be good -- try using a silver and blue Kastmasters or similar. Saguaro will be stocked again the week of January 9 with rainbow trout. Try for rainbows in the Butcher Jones area. Saguaro was stocked with trout last week.

      Also work the edges of the grass in 10 feet of water using dropshots for bucketmouths.

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD
      LAKE PLEASANT – (Lake elevation 1,676 feet, 65 % full)
      Striper fishing has slowed. Try anchovies on dropshots, fishing 15-60 feet deep. Water temperature before this week’s storms was around 55 degrees. Spoons and swimbaits also can be effective.


      Dec. 22 report from Warren Risberg:

      Hello, anglers: Happy Holidays!

      As a full time guide exclusively at Lake Pleasant I have fished December alone every other day, just about averaging 14 days thus far for this month. I can tell you from experience you do not need anything fancy to catch striped bass, channel cats, carp, flatheads and white bass other than frozen cut anchovies!

      Keep your rigs simple with a hook and a split shot about 18 inches from the hook and 9-10-pound fluorocarbon fishing line. Castle Creek is consistent with current water temps at 57.5 today (Dec. 22) and dropping. Boaters pick spots in Castle Creek and anchor and work different depths, and all you shore fishermen walk as far north into Castle Creek as you’re willing to go and use one bait on the bottom and on another, use a slip bobber and set the bait off the bottom. Maximize your chances!

      Fishing today in Castle Creek if you were willing to layer up was fantastic as I alone caught a good handful of nice striped bass the 4-5-pound range.

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD
      PATAGONIA — The lake is at capacity. Expect warm water fishing to slow as temperatures begin to cool off. Trout season is underway and the lake has been stocked. Patagonia Lake is one of the state's best fishing holes during the winter

    • Report: From AZGFD
      SAGUARO LAKE – Lake level is 1,524 feet (91-percent full.)

      The bite tends to really take off when Salt River Project is doing a pump-back (releasing water and then pumping it back for hydroelectric power), which creates a current. At those times, there is a tremendous top-water bite.

      Also work the edges of the grass in 10 feet of water using dropshots for bucketmouths.

Friday, December 18th, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD
      BARTLETT LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,748 feet, feet, 49 % full.

      The Yellow Cliffs boat ramp is closed due to low water level; the Jojoba ramp remains open.

      Gary Senft, Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, fished Dec. 6 and reported the fish are going deeper, but still biting. Smaller fish from this spring are getting a lot bigger. He threw dropshots, Texas rigs, crankbaits and spinner baits.

      Once the sun comes up, anglers should consider switching to dropshot-rigged worms (most colors have been effective) fishing points, reefs and islands.

      Anglers also can try jigs, shakyhead rigged worms in green pumpkin, and 3-inch Rapala Shad Raps.

      Finally, anglers are likely catching some huge flatheads at Bartlett right now using small bluegills (3 to 4 inchers) as bait.

      These voracious monsters that can tips the scales well above 50 pounds are actively roaming the lake right now looking for meals, so this is still a great time to catch them. Stout poles and heavy line (20 pounds or better) are the order of the day.

    • Report: ROOSEVELT LAKE -- (2,093 feet, 41-percent full)

      Dec. 18 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

      The colder weather in Rim Country clearly has impacted the fishing. Many anglers reported a slow bite on the clear days following the recent rain and snow storms. The water temperature continues to fall in Roosevelt Lake and is now in the high 50s degrees during the warmest time of the day. In addition, the flows into the lake have returned to normal levels for this time of year for both the Salt River and Tonto Creek.

      The lake level increased to 42-percent full which is one percent ahead of the same time last year and two percent ahead of two years ago. Although that is not a huge percentage change, it does equate to a lot more water in Roosevelt Lake this year. The best news is that there is a lot of snow on the Rim, which is the real key to replenishing the lake in the spring as that snow melts and runs into the lake.


      Recent crappie fishing reports have slowed again due to the weather change. The good news is that as the stable weather pattern continues, the crappie bite will improve. Crappie are still being reported in 25-35 feet deep water and always close to cover or rocky structure. A hot-spot recently reported is Windy Hill ramp area.

      The Mesa office of the AZGFD is requesting volunteers to help build reef balls for Roosevelt Lake habitat on January 12 and 15. Once the approvals are given, this habitat will be placed into Roosevelt Lake to improve the fishing conditions. This is a great conservation project for a bass club or youth organization. To get involved, contact Amberle Jones at akjones@azgfd.com or you can call Amberle at 623.236.7593

      Rim Country Custom Rods has gift certificates available for a perfect Christmas gift for your favorite angler. Call for a free quote on any custom rod at 928-468-0263 or visit our website at www.rimcountrycustomrods.com. We also want to thank all of our customers and fans for all your support during 2015. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

      Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD
      ALAMO LAKE – Dec. 9 report from Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park:

      Well folks, all in all not much has changed this week. Crappie fishing is still decent up around the buoy line. Anglers have been catching approximately 6-15 a day using the road runner minnow combo and trolling. Since we’re only seeing about 10 anglers out here a week, the fish are not spooked and are yours for the taking.

      We have a storm front moving in at the end of the week and I'm sure it's going to mess things up by the time I write this next week.

      A friend of mine took his grand kids out fishing today and they caught seven catfish and missed a few. They were fishing in about 7 feet of water in the upper end of the lake. Bass fishing is slow. I have not heard of anyone catching bass during the last couple of weeks. Shorefishing is also slow. The lake is dropping, but we’re holding our own at the old rental boat ramp. That's about it for this week. -- Mark

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD
      BARTLETT LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,748 feet, feet, 49 % full.

      The Yellow Cliffs boat ramp is closed due to low water level; the Jojoba ramp remains open.

      Gary Senft, Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, fished Dec. 6 and reported the fish are going deeper, but still biting. Smaller fish from this spring are getting a lot bigger. He threw dropshots, Texas rigs, crankbaits and spinner baits.

      Once the sun comes up, anglers should consider switching to dropshot-rigged worms (most colors have been effective) fishing points, reefs and islands.

      Anglers also can try jigs, shakyhead rigged worms in green pumpkin, and 3-inch Rapala Shad Raps.

      Finally, anglers are likely catching some huge flatheads at Bartlett right now using small bluegills (3 to 4 inchers) as bait.

      These voracious monsters that can tips the scales well above 50 pounds are actively roaming the lake right now looking for meals, so this is still a great time to catch them. Stout poles and heavy line (20 pounds or better) are the order of the day.

    • Report: From AZGFD
      ROOSEVELT LAKE -- (2,093 feet, 41-percent full)

      Dec. 5 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

      Water conditions on Roosevelt Lake are undergoing significant changes beginning with the water temperature which is now below 60 degrees during the warmest time of the day. In addition, the increased flows into the lake is causing the water clarity to become stained even towards the mid-lake areas near the dam. The lake currently is just below the 42% full mark and the flows into the lake continue significantly above the normal rates for this time of year.

      A local pro fishing team shared a few of their secrets recently for late fall fishing. These two anglers recommended square-bill crank-baits that run down to a 15 ft. depth. They were also using Texas rigged worms and jigs. They reported that spoons are successful for bass staging in deeper water. This technique will continue to be successful since deeper water is warmer than the water temperature at the surface during the winter months.

      Crappie fishing reports continue to be the best we've received in the past several years. Larger sized crappie and larger schools are being reported with hot spots being reported throughout the lake. Experienced crappie anglers are fishing vertically, in 25-35 feet deep water. A small jig using a 2-inch grub-tail, lowered into the middle of cover, where the crappie schools are gathered, was the successful technique reported.

      Green Valley Lake in Payson is part of the Community Fishing Program and is producing excellent rainbow trout results. The lakes are stocked every other week during the winter months. Power-Baits, salmon eggs, Z-Rays and small spinner baits in a size 0 are all great choices of baits during the winter months.

      Rim Country Custom Rods has gift certificates available as well as some inventory to select from for a perfect Christmas gift for your favorite angler. Call for a free quote on any custom rod at 928-468-0263 or visit our website at www.rimcountrycustomrods.com

      Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Friday, December 4th, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD
      LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open. Fishing is fair for bass, carp and catfish. Use corn or night crawlers for carp and catfish.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD
      ALAMO LAKE – Dec. 2 report from Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park:

      Well folks, it's been awhile since I've had a chance to write anything. Bass fishing has slowed way down. Anglers are catching 2-3 a day throwing plastics. I have not heard of anyone catching catfish in over a week. I would suggest going to the upper end of the lake and using nightcrawlers or hot dogs. Once you get up past the buoy line, slow down. The lake level goes from 30 feet of water to 10 in a matter of feet.

      We did not get any water to speak of this year. We’re still using the old rental boat road area. It still works just fine. We even moved the dock back over there. Crappie fishing has been decent for the most part. They’re up around the buoy line.

      Roadrunner jigs with a minnow seem to be the same ol’ trick. Some anglers are catching 15-20 a day. I did talk to a guy yesterday who only caught one. So it's hit-and-miss at this point, I guess.

      One new thing coming our way at the park is cabins. Our staff poured the pads for four cabins that will be located in the ‘A’ campground. We’re hoping to have them up and running by mid-February -- at the latest.

      Watch our website for updates. I will go into more detail as I get it.

      No word on the bulkhead or major changes to the lake elevations as of today. I'm going to keep this first one short so I can get it to Nick. I'm happy to be back. -- Mark

Monday, November 30th, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD
      APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,905 feet (91-percent full). Senft reported that some smallmouth bass had been hitting surface plugs early in the morning. Smallmouth and largemouth bass have been hitting dropshot-rigged Roboworms in around 12 feet of water.

      Various jigs also can be effective – try crawdad imitations. Points, islands and rocky structures tend to hold the majority of largemouth bass – keep moving.

      Apache is also full of some really nice yellow bass. Try gold Kastmasters or yellow/gold Rooster Tails.

      Catfishing should be good. Carp fishing can be great. You might even catch one of the monster buffalo fish.

    • Report: From AZGFD
      CANYON LAKE – Lake level is 1,659 feet (96-percent full.) Bass fishing is fair, although there have been reports of some monster largemouth bass being caught.

      Like Saguaro, anglers can draw reaction strikes using jerk baits, crankbaits and, at certain times, spinnerbaits and top-water baits can really come into play. The jerk bait is the main bait.

      This is a pretty good lake for bluegill and yellow bass. Try small crappie-like lures, such as 2-inch curly tails, along the rocky shoreline. Shore fishing for channel catfish and carp can also be viable both day and night right now. As the season progresses, the better fishing for bottom dwellers will transition to the nighttime hours.

      The fishing pier at the Boulders remains closed for repairs. The area is open for drivers/shoreline fishing.

    • Report: From AZGFD
      LAKE PLEASANT – (Lake elevation 1,669 feet, 65 % full)

      Nov. 30 report from Barry Worman of the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page:

      I went fishing again last weekend. Me and many other members from Arizona Striper Fishing have been nailing huge striper in the current fall conditions. The north end of the lake keeps producing good fishing. The fish can be found in water from 2-35 feet deep with a lot of fish suspended about 21-30 feet down. The striper and white bass are chasing shad the first few hours at sunrise and last 2 hours before sunset. The Acosta family shared these awesome big striper that they caught casting with Alabama Rigs using hollow belly swim baits from AZ custom baits. The paddle tail swimbaits, Kastmaster spoons, and jigging spoons have been very successful. The last few trips we have been catching nice 2-3 pound largemouths also in the mix. Night fishing is still possible but I only saw one boat on the water once the sun went down. The temps are making it a little cold now to be night fishing but it is still possible if you’re willing to tough the conditions.

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD
      ROOSEVELT LAKE -- (2,093 feet, 41-percent full)

      Nov. 28 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

      Good morning, Rim Country anglers,

      For anglers fishing Roosevelt Lake, be sure to adhere to the waterfowl goose closure areas that went into effect Nov. 15. The buoys are up and well-marked at Bermuda Flats and Goose Flats areas of the lake. There is a map of the closure areas on the AZGFD website. These closures will be in place until Feb. 15, 2016.

      Bass fishing conditions on Roosevelt Lake continue to get better. The conditions at the lake are definitely late-fall, early-winter and fish sense the changing water conditions and are adjusting to them. With the water temperatures in the high 50s and low 60s experienced anglers know to look for warmer water where bass will be more active. The afternoon bite is clearly better than the early morning bite this time of year. Also bass are moving to deeper water where the water temperature is warmer than the surface temperature. Anglers are fishing deeper water using deep diving crankbaits such as a DD-22 or large casting spoons for these deeper bass.

      This time of year, the coves on the southern side of the lake which is the highway side, receive sunlight for longer periods than the coves on the north side. So in the afternoon, the shallow water on the south side will typically be slightly warmer and bass are actively feeding in these areas. Reaction baits such as a Super Fluke, paddletail, swimbait, and crankbaits in a SR5 or SR7 size were reported successful. Also Texas and dropshot techniques rigged worms, as well as 1-ounce jigs are excellent choices.

      Crappie fishing reports were mixed last week. Larger crappie schools are being reported, but the trick is to find them. Remember that crappie like more stable weather and some kind of structure or cover in 25-35 feet depth. A small jig using a 2-inch grub-tail, lowered into the middle of the school was the successful technique reported.

      The lake level has increased to 41-percent full from the recent snow run off and flows into the lake are higher than normal flows for this time of year. The Salt River is flowing at 300 percent and the Tonto Creek is at 150 percent. The water clarity remained very clear except for the very ends of the lake where the water flows in.

      The AZGFD has one of the best trout stocking programs in the country. Trout stockings in our state occur almost year round. During the summer, the rim lakes are stocked and during the winter the lower elevation lakes get trout. Green Valley Lake in Payson is part of the Community Fishing Program is producing excellent results. Power baits and salmon eggs were the choice of baits this past week. You can follow the weekly stocking activities of your favorite lake or stream at www.azgfd.gov.

      Rim Country Custom Rods has gift certificates available as well as some inventory to select from for a perfect Christmas gift for your favorite angler. Call for a free quote on any custom rod at 928-468-0263 or visit our website at www.rimcountrycustomrods.com

      Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Friday, November 27th, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD
      Lake Pleasant
      Jim N.: While fishing Lake Pleasant on Monday we found striper action in the Agua Fria, catching 1-3-pound fish on live bait, then the Castle Creek area at night catching 2-6-pound channel cats on homemade stinkbaits ,then a bonus fish: a 40-pound flathead catfish on live bait with a bright moon overhead. Good luck fishermen. Jim, Jimmy, Tyler, Team AZ.