Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Excerpts From AZGFD Fishing Report

Widespread Rains Have Dropped Water Temps

Lake levels at the Salt River chain lakes did not rise as much as some anglers might expect, but there was enough rain to cool the water temperatures. Many anglers are reporting the bite at desert lakes had been slowing considerably after the sun comes up -- get out early.

If you do brave the high sun, find the depth the fish are at, then see what color is hot. Be persistent when finding the right color - a simple change from a morning dawn Powerworm to a red crawler, for example, can make a big difference.

The Reel Deal

Widespread rains, and early-week flooding in the Phoenix areas, have generally helped drop water temperatures. Look for fish to possibly get more active. It can take a couple of days or more for the fish to get active again, but when they do you will likely see them enter more aggressive feeding patterns.

For starters, the top-water striper bite, especially at Lake Pleasant, should begin to pick up. Get there at first light or you might miss the boils. Cover lots of water and look for birds or surface activity. Try top-water lures, jerkbaits and flies. (Zara Spook Juniors and buzzbaits tend to be successful this time of the year.)

As water temperatures slowly drop during this fall transition, fish will move up in the water column, along with shad. Top-water options will improve. This is a good weekend to try surface plugs.

Lake Powell

Be sure to check out the Lake Powell information in the full report. You might run into some of the best fishing you'll find this year for striped bass, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.

High Country

In the high country, the cool, refreshing rain might just be the ticket to lower water temperatues that get the bite going there as well, 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 and the like. Already last week at Big Lake, some trout were busting surface bugs in the shallows at sunset.

Community Fishing Program: Return Of Catfish

Deliveries of 1.5- to 2-pound catfish were scheduled to restart the week of Sept. 14-19 at the CFP "core" waters. During the hot summer months from June 25 through Sept. 15, there are no scheduled catfish stockings at Urban Fishing Program waters. Once lake temperatures begin to drop entering the fall season, then catfish stockings can resume again.

The core waters are as follow: Desert Breeze and Veterans Oasis in Chandler; Copper Sky in Maricopa; Red Mountain and Riverview in Mesa; Pioneer and Rio Vista in Peoria; Alvord, Cortez, Desert West, Papago Ponds, and Steel Indian School Pond in Phoenix; Chaparral Lake in Scottsdale; Surprise Lake; Evelyn Hallman Pond and Kiwanis Lake in Tempe.

Changes In Gilbert

Water Ranch Lake in Gilbert has been approved to become a special-regulations water beginning Jan. 1. Regulations will be catch and release for bass and sunfish and catch and keep for trout, catfish and other species. The lake will be stocked once per month. Until Jan. 1, daily bag limits will remain four catfish and four trout.

Finally, Freestone Park Pond in Gilbert will be added to the CFP. The Arizona Game and Fish Department will begin stocking the pond in October.

Silver Creek Seasonal Trout Fishery Opens Oct. 1

This festive fishing get-together seems to draw more participants each year. This is the opening of the catch-and-release season (Oct. 1 - March 31.).

Silver Creek is five miles east of Show Low on U.S. Route 60. Turn north off Highway 60 onto Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Road. Then head eat on Hatchery Road 1 mile to the Silver Creek Hatchery, park in the parking lot, and follow the signs to the creek.

Trout from this seasonal fishery must be immediately released unharmed - no trout may be kept. It is artificial fly and lure only with single, barbless hooks.

A seasonal fishery, Silver Creek is spring fed and stays at a constant temperature. Because it is not subject to freezing, it provides anglers ideal wintertime, high-country trout stream angling.

Take Note Times Two

1) Buying a license online helps conserve wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. Help yourself and your future loved ones. 2) Check out our Fish&Boat AZ map for locations of the state's top fisheries, including the CFP waters.


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