What’s Biting And Where?

By Arizona Game And Fish Department

In the high country, the cool, refreshing rain forecast for early this week might just be the ticket to lower water temperatures that get the bite going, assuming that associated runoff doesn’t make the water turbid. Trout don’t always like cloudy water.

This might just be the event to bring the trout into the shallows at places like Big Lake, Woods Canyon, Willow Springs, etc.

Fall Fishing Forecast: White Mountains & Mogollon Rim:

Becker Lake
Fishing rating: Good

Big Lake
Fishing rating: Fair

Greer Lakes (Bunch, Tunnel, River)
Fishing rating: Fair

Carnero Lake
Fishing rating: Good

Clear Creek Reservoir
Rating: Fair

Concho Lake
Rating: Poor

Crescent Lake
Rating: Fair

Fool Hollow Lake
Rating: Good

Lee Valley Lake
Rating: Good

Luna Lake
Rating: Fair

Lyman Lake
Rating: Fair

Nelson Reservoir
Rating: Good

Patterson Ponds
Rating: Good

Rainbow Lake
Rating: Fair

Scott Reservoir
Rating: Fair

Show Low Lake
Rating: Good

Woodland Lake
Rating: Fair

See the full fishing forecast:

The first day of fall, also known as the autumn equinox, is Monday. Air temperatures in desert regions are dropping to the low-70s at night. For “Fish AZ” fanatics, this means:

  • The fall/winter trout stocking schedule is out. Stockings at some streams are over, but anglers still can try for holdovers. At  times, anglers may have their own stretch of stream. Please remember to check for any Special Regulations before heading out. For example, Lower Canyon Creek (From the O.W. Bridge to the Fort Apache Indian Reservation) is catch-and-release only for trout, artificial flies and lures only, with single-pointed barbless hooks. No trout may be kept.
  • Bass and trout fishing should improve a bit with this cool off. As mentioned in last week’s report, more and more, bass should be chasing reaction baits such as crankbaits, top-water lures and buzzbaits. Flathead catfish in November typically feed heavily to prepare for winter.
  • Channel catfish return this week in Community Fishing waters. See the schedule.  Remember that along with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, we’ve released a “green light” list of fish species from specific waters that may be consumed without limits — and that includes all of the channel catfish supplied for the Community Fishing Program. The “green light” list — not to be confused with daily bag limits — also includes ALL trout statewide as well as notables such as largemouth bass at Lake Havasu and flathead catfish on the Colorado River in Yuma. See the map.
  • The Fall Fishing Forecast is out.  Your complete guide of rating and reports for more than 70 waters statewide is by our regional fishing experts. See the forecasts.
  • On Saturday, Oct. 1, the catch-and-release season at Silver Creek opens — and that means the upper section also opens to fishing for the first time since early spring. This catch-and-release section of Silver Creek requires trout to be immediately released unharmed, and is artificial flies and lures only with single-pointed barbless hooks. No trout may be kept. This segment of Silver Creek is open for fishing from Oct. 1 through March 31 of each year.

What’s been stocked this week
(Water temp in parenthesis if available)
Rainbow trout: 

  • Rose Canyon Lake (74)
  • Santa Fe Reservoir (60)
  • Goldwater Lake (72)

Thank you, anglers!

Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984. Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.