Fishing Report


The following reports were issued Nov. 29.


Rainbow trout stockings have started and will continue all winter at two-week intervals. Trout range in size from 11-12 inches in length.

Fishing is good to excellent for anglers using scented dough baits (such as Power Bait), worms or cheese. Small spinners such as Roostertails and Panther Martins, or spoons such as Kastmasters and Super Dupers work well for trout.

In addition to a good morning bite, some anglers have reported excellent fishing midday and late afternoon. Patience is the key, as the trout bite sporadically throughout the day. When the bite is on, anglers are catching limits in an hour. Action for catfish, bass and bluegill has slowed due to colder water.

Trout fishing is good to excellent at Green Valley Lakes in Payson with Power Bait, worms and small spoons working best. Top flies for fly fishermen have been copper Johns, wooly buggers, simi seal leaches and pheasant tail nymphs. An angler caught a 3.5-pound trout from Red Mountain Park using Power Bait. 

In the midst of the holiday rush, don’t forget to buy your 2012 Class U (Urban) fishing license for the New Year. Urban fishing licenses are on sale for $18.50 at over 330 license dealers statewide, any Game and Fish office or online. The Class U license is valid only at the 21 designated Urban Fishing Program waters and is good for all fish species (including trout).

If you want one fishing license that covers all waters in the state, then the Class L, Super Conservation Fishing license is the way to go. At $53 for residents and only $63 for non-residents, this super license includes the state fishing license, trout stamp and urban license — all in one package deal. You can even buy fishing licenses ahead of time as Christmas gifts for friends and family as long as you know the personal information that needs to go on the license. All anglers age 14 and over must purchase a license to fish in Arizona.

LAKE PLEASANT – Lake elevation 1,659 feet (55 percent full). Mike McFarland, a guide at Pleasant, says the striped bass and largemouth bass can once again be found in the coves chasing shad. He said the bass are right up against the shoreline to ambush shad, but the stripers are typically holding along the submerged creek channels or submerged arroyos. In the main lake basin, pound-plus striped bass can also be found holding deep at 50 to 70. Try using frozen anchovies. The guides at Pleasant are still trying to dial-in the huge stripers at 100-plus-feet deep.

ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake Elevation is 2,119 feet (64 percent full). Tonto Creek runoff is 22 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 140 cfs. Buzzbait and drop shot seemed to be the ticket for a few anglers. They hauled in a couple 1.5-pound bass.

APACHE – Lake elevation is 1,907 feet (93 percent full).  Anglers have caught largemouth bass and channel catfish using night crawlers. The dropshot rig with morning dawn and other green and red Roboworms is also working for some anglers.  Yellow bass are susceptible on the ledges near the drop offs with KastMasters either jigging or reeled in on the bottom with jerky motions where the lure pops up and wafts to the bottom. 

CANYON LAKE – Lake elevation is 1657 ft, which is 96 percent full. Trout are scheduled to be stocked the week of Dec. 5. Trolling crankbaits around 20 feet deep enticed a couple bass for one angler. Another angler caught a 6.8-pound largemouth bass on a large, gold KastMaster in 40 feet of water. The smaller spoons worked on a few smaller bass and yellow bass. The angler fished in the morning till about 12:30 p.m.

SAGUARO – Lake elevation 1,525 feet at 94 percent full.

An angler fished from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. using spoons in deep water. Water temperature was 63 degrees and he caught a 12-pound catfish and largemouth bass 17, 19 and 20 inches among some smaller ones.  

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,757 feet, which is 49 percent full. Reservoir release is 275 cfs. Some anglers had some slow fishing days but cranks and dropshot worked a little bit. No info on where or what time of day. Just experiment and find out what the bass are interested in right now. White Spinnerbaits has been working well for quite some time. Craw imitations worked well last week. Don’t forget to use spoons, especially Kastmasters; pop it up and let it drop while you reel it in. Old technique but it works well, especially on the ledges close to drop-offs.

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 241 cubic feet per second. Release from Bartlett Lake is 625 cfs.

SALT RIVER (above Roosevelt) – Salt River into Roosevelt is 140 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 165 cfs. They are releasing 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Stocked last week with rainbow trout. The Lower Salt also has some pretty nifty bass to catch as well. Right now, there isn’t much water coming out of Stewart Mountain Dam.

Information courtesy of the Arizona Game and Fish Department.


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