Arizona Lake Fishing Report


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

      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

      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.

    • Report: From AZGFD
      Fish was slow today and the winds were up. Tried drop shot and no bites. Was able to hit this bass off a silver rattle trap on the edge of the weeds. 8 lbs 4 oz on the scale.

Friday, September 4th, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD
      Tim G: I had a great time last evening on Lake Pleasant. A novice fisherman, I took my little boat out to an area just south of the main boat ramp. At dusk the strippers were breaking water chasing bait fish. I cast my surface popper just beyond the splashes and reeled into it. Although I only caught four medium strippers, in that hour at sunset I had a RIOT. So that's what it's all about. You don't have to have the big boat and top gear to have a great time. Just GO!

Friday, August 21st, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD

      Canyon Lake
      Dana Y.: Dale Yeager caught this 9-pound Canyon Lake bass on Aug. 8. We only caught four fish, but this one made his day. A Yeager Family Record.

      He caught the fish about 8:30 a.m. at the upper end of the lake. He was using a Scrounger jighead and I am not sure what kind of minnow soft bait attached. We went back again Saturday the 15th. We only caught one fish in 5 hours up-stream. When we got back to the boat dock, there were lots of people. Fish were boiling right by the dock though, and we caught four bass in less than a half an hour. Go figure. This is the smaller boat dock above the second bridge.

    • Report: From AZGFD
      The nighttime striper bite at Lake Pleasant still is one of the best bets going. Take anchovies, set out a high-quality submersible light, drop some ‘chovies deep (80-plus feet), and wait for the “zing.” We're at the tail end of the new moon phase (quarter moon Aug. 22) and using submersible lights at night will still be effective

    • Report: From AZGFD

      Bassin’ is also "average to good" at Roosevelt Lake. Feeding patterns have included top-water or subsurface reaction bites, as well as bass swimming in schools called “wolf-packs.”

    • Report: From AZGFD
      Looking for bass of the largemouth variety? Try Saguaro Lake. Night fishing has been excellent, and in the morning, bass are chasing bait. Try top-water lures and swimbaits in the mornings. As the morning progresses, throw dropshot-rigged Roboworms (morning dawn with a chartreuse tip and red crawler are good colors). Anglers can target humps, points, boulders, reef signs and grass bottoms. Of course, locate the food source (shad, for example) and you’ve found the fish.

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

    • Report: Lake Pleasant
      Jim N.: Fishing at Lake Pleasant is great, while fishing the mouth of Humbug cove at 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. we boated top-water white bass, striped bass, largemouth to 2 pounds -- considering the water temp of 83 degrees and that species like whites and stripes can lose weight in such temps makes them feed heavily but for shorter periods making them harder to find for most anglers.

      We followed the stripers out of the cove, saw largemouth in the water by rock piles where stripers and whites were. Stripers went deep, bass stayed shallow by islands west side of Humbug/main bay. We used the Keitech swim minnow with the painted minnowhead. We boated bass on drop-shot with my son getting a nice channel too.

      My son and I can hardly wait for the cooler fall temps and dangerous storm season to pass.

    • Report: From AZGFD
      Saguaro Lake
      Gene M.: My son and I fished Saguaro on Saturday Aug. 8 before sunrise. On my second cast I caught this 5-pounder and an hour later my son caught this 8-pounder. We both caught several 3.5-pound largemouth. We caught a total of seven largemouth all on frogs in the snags. It was a great morning of fishing with my son.

Friday, August 7th, 2015

    • Report: From AZGFD Release

      Lake Pleasant
      Rob C. of Goodyear: Some friends and I have gone night fishing for stripers the last three Fridays. We've had some pretty good luck each time catching a lot of fish in the 12-15-inch range, and some in the 20-23-inch range using anchovies under a light in the northern end of the lake. Bigger fish tend to be around 40-50 feet deep, but it’s hard to get down that far because the little runts keep intercepting the bait at about 30 feet. It takes a while to attract the shad, but once they move in the big fish aren't far behind. Last week was a 37-fish night. Looking forward to going out again this Friday!

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

    • Report: Lake elevation is 1,525 feet (93-percent full). Largemouth bass fishing is good and some monsters are being landed recently – up to 10 pounds.

      Keep an eye out for surface boils -- it's top-water time. Get on the water at first light, or fishing at night.

      This is about to be a good time to load up on spawning bluegill.

      Saguaro is also a quality channel catfish lake. Try stink baits, hot dogs, chicken livers and the like. Also try chumming with corn.

      This is a good time to load up on spawning bluegill.

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

    • Report: Jim N.: Fished the flats using different rigs to catch bass. Mojo and splitshot, Carolina-rigged Roboworms and lizards work well around points and reefs with boulder piles on main points. Tyler D. and I caught and released 20 largemouth bass with a 2.5-pounder being the best. Good fishing!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

    • Report: June 9 report from Derrick Franks:

      “Lake Pleasant fishing report by Striper Snatcher Guide Service. The lake is currently 89 percent full with a water temperature of 80 degrees. Every logistical component I monitor daily is in perfect alignment right now and will stay that way for a couple more weeks. I'm seeing several thousand striped bass and white bass in the areas I fish. When -- not where -- is the deciding factor of a successful catch.

      Focus on shade lines. Find a west bank in the evening that provides shade and you will see shad and striper fry everywhere. With that said, it is extremely important to recognize the size and color of the bait in the water. I am currently using a 2-inch bait to emulate striper fry and a 4-inch striped bass pattern Rat-L-Trap to emulate the striped bass fry. The white bass are back like I've never seen before.

      I'm seeing schools of just white bass in certain areas of the lake. Night fishing is also a productive way of catching striped bass right now. Just to be different, I am using a double rigged swimbait setup and catching two fish at a time all night. For more information on Lake Pleasant intelligence, please visit my website at”

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

    • Report: June 6 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

      Good morning, Rim Country anglers,

      Excellent fishing reports continue to come in from Roosevelt Lake. Recently, during a Tuesday night tournament, Frank Powell and Mike Elliot of Tonto Basin reported very aggressive top-water and jerk-bait action. Last week Don McDowell, a pro angler from Phoenix, and his clients reported an exceptional top-water bite on a buzz-bait. The most action was reported just after sunrise and just before sunset. These reports are typical of a post-spawn phase and the timing of the full moons during the February through June timeframe, have likely contributed to the great spring and early summer fishing we are experiencing.

      Keep in mind that when the top-water bite slows in shallow water, those fish will only move several yards into deeper water during the brightest times of the day. It is not necessary to leave an area to find new fish. Just move out into 15-25 foot depths and most likely you'll see more fish on your graph. During the midday hours, jigs, Senko worms, crawfish imitations and Roboworms were all reported successful.

      Crappie fishing reports are steady but sporadic at times. Curt Rambo, of Tonto Basin, reported days when 20 crappie are caught and other days when five are caught. Crappie are collecting into schools following the spawn and most anglers are fishing in 15-30 feet of water. Crappie schools prefer to be near cover such as a bush or structure such as a rock pile. If there is a ledge with deeper water nearby, that's a plus when fishing for crappie. A vertical fishing technique in clear calm water is the typical summer technique for crappie fishing. A small shad imitation bait in a pearl white color fished around the islands across from the dam, could produce some good results.

      Water continues to be drawn out of Roosevelt Lake for downstream use. The lake level is currently at 47 percent full. The recent rains throughout Rim Country, although not a huge amount, will mostly end up in Roosevelt Lake, so like they say: "every little bit helps." The water temperature in the lake continues to be in the mid-high 70s and the water clarity is clear for most of the lake.

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

    • Report: Lake elevation is 1,776 feet, feet, 71 % full.

      Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, fished the lake Wednesday, June 3, and said good numbers largemouth bass can be caught as deep as 35 feet. Like at many desert lakes, fishing at night might be the best option because of cooler air temperatures and no jet skiing activity. Good artificial bait options are dropshot-rigged Roboworms. At night, use darker colors. Texas or Carolina rigged Berkley 7-inch Powerworms with ribbon tails also are effective because they displace the water and trigger movement in the lateral lines of night-feeding bass.

      “Flathead” Ed Wilcoxson said flathead catfishing slowed at Bartlett recently with an algal bloom. From Rattlesnake Cove, SB Cove and up the river, fishing is fair, he said, for 15-18-pound flatheads.