What’s Biting And Where?

By Arizona Game And Fish Department


October can be the best time of year to fish for striped and white bass. As these fish adapt to cooling weather, they will become aggressive, feeding on anything from crawdads to shad as they fatten for the winter months. Lake Pleasant just northwest of Phoenix is an excellent bet for both species.

There’s some fantastic fall fishing to enjoy this weekend. The cool-off has been the ticket for good trout fishing in in the high country — get there before winter conditions prevail.

Top picks in the Flagstaff region are Kaibab Lake near Williams, Kinnikinick Lake, Ashurst Lake (pictured above) and Lower Lake Mary. Water temperatures in this North Central region have cooled off into the low-to-mid 60s. See a full regional report.

At Silver Creek northeast of Show Low, the catch-and-release season began Oct. 1. Harvest is not permitted during this season that runs through March 31. Only artificial lure or fly with single-point barbless hook may be used. Super-catchable rainbow trout (14-inch average) have been stocked. Silver Creek is a Game and Fish Commission-owned property; entry is only allowed from 30 minutes after sunrise to 30 minutes before sunset, or about 7 a.m.–5 p.m. During catch-and-release season in the fall and winter, both the upper and lower section may be fished. No unauthorized entry is ever allowed in the hatchery grounds.

In the desert impoundments, predatory fish have become more active. Crankbaits and buzzbaits and jigs are drawing increasingly more largemouth bass strikes. The full moon this weekend should enhance the bite and make for well-lit night fishing.

This is the time of year flathead catfish flatten up for the winter — in fact, our Catch of the Week pictured below is a flathead from Roosevelt.

Mark Knapp from Alamo Lake State Park said crappie fishing is best by the dam at night and bass and catfish action is fair. Fishing at Alamo and Havasu should be good all fall and winter since both can heat up quickly. At any given time from Nov. – Feb., Alamo can have some of the best crappie fishing in the state.

Our Fall Fishing Forecast is still the most comprehensive source of fishing report information for major water bodies statewide.


What’s been stocked this week
(“Catchable” sizes only; water temp in parenthesis if available)

Rainbow trout: