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Arizona Fishing Report – October ReCap

Fall is here and the holiday season is right around the corner!

So what has Fall brought to us thus far; cooler weather, the occasional front which has produced up and down fishing, football and hockey!  This really is our favorite time of year and we say it often, however it is hard not to stress how much we enjoy Fall.

As with most of the year, we have been scattered around the state, chasing everything from Striper and Bass to Trout, Dove and Quail!  As is usually the case, some days have been productive, others not so much.  As we get deeper into the season and closer to the holidays, the fishing will begin to become more typical of the time of year.  Simply stated…..difficult!  However, there are other options, if you are willing to change gears, take a drive and do some things that you may not normally do.

 

The Striper fishing has really become hit and miss as of late.  The consistent action that we were seeing with Topwaters, Jerkbaits and Swimbaits just is not there.  We have had a few days with winds topping 40 mph plus, we have had a couple of fronts and we have had fluctuating water levels.  All of these factors have combined to really put the Striper in a funk.

The interesting thing has been that the fish are still there.  When you get in the right area, you will be amazed at the numbers of fish you see on the graph, the fish just are not very active.  Swimbaits such as Reaction Innovation Little Dippers have continued to put fish in the boat, just not as consistently.  What we have found is that “A”-Rigs and Spoons have been the ticket.  Again, these fish are not real deep (15 – 40 foot), they are just not very active.

In addition to the Swimbaits, “A”-Rigs and Spoons, the Anchovy bite is there, but this too has been slowed.  Typical Anchovy rigging continues to be the way to go; Drop Shot, Split Shot and weightless.  Whether you are fishing lures or bait, you will still catch fish, but be prepared to work for them.

The Largemouth fishing has slowed down considerably, however the fish that are being caught are good fish.  As for patterns, good luck finding one!  Each lake, each day, each hour has been different.  Some lakes that usually produce smaller fish are producing some nice weights while other lakes that are known for big weights are fishing quite difficult.

As with the Stripers, one of the best baits to throw has been an “A”-Rig.  The Largemouth are eating these rigs quite well.  The topwater bite has all but disappeared and the drop shot fishing continues to be what it is, a slow but steady way to put a few fish in the boat.  In addition to these techniques, Swimbaits, Spinnerbaits, Spoons and Jigs have been producing as well.  The best advise we can give right now with regards to chasing Largemouth…..bring everything you own and do not be afraid to try all of it!

If you want some good fishing right now and through out the rest of the Fall and Winter months, give Trout a go!

The Trout fishing has been fantastic.  The big Browns are starting to move into the shallows, preparing to spawn and the Rainbows are putting the Fall feed bag on.  Yes, the weather here in the valley is cooling down (which is welcomed), but for those who truly love the cooler weather, the scenery of the higher elevations and Trout, now is the time!

As for where to go…..it really does not matter.  Lee’s Ferry, the White Mountains and the San Juan are all fishing well.  Let’s also not forget some of the high country lakes in southern Utah and of course Colorado.  For the Trout angler, now is the time to be on the water!

There is still some dry fly activity however now is the time to fish your nymph rigs and streamers.  There is no better time to catch a truly large fish, than in the next two months, on streamers.  Just do not get too caught up on throwing big flies only, unless you are prepared to fish one or two days for less than a handful of bites…..but they are bites anyone will want!  As the weather cools off and turns cold, be ready to go small with your nymphs.  We are talking about size 16 to size 18 bead heads and size 18 to size 22 or 24 midges.  Do not be afraid to throw these smaller sized flies as small flies do bring home big fish (20 inch plus fish)!

Get out there, enjoy the weather, enjoy the season and most importantly…..have fun!

Arizona Fishing Report – September 23

The time has finally come…..

The weather is starting to cool off a bit here in the Phoenix area, the high country is just about in full Fall mode with cooling weather, cooler nights, trees beginning to change color and Bull Elk starting to bugle and gather their cows for the mating season.  The fishing has also started to pick up state wide.  Striper have become more active, Largemouth have been showing a tendency to hit topwater and Trout are getting very active.  Add to this, the college and NFL football seasons in full swing and the NHL season right around the corner and there really is not a better time of year!

Striper fishing has been quite good the last couple of weeks with fish boiling in the early morning, as well as through out the day on certain days.  We still are not seeing the large “blitzes” that set the water a blaze, however we have seen enough to keep all parties interested.  At times, these boils have been more single fish busting such as a fish busting here, a fish busting there, there is another fish busting…..but it has been enough to allow us to keep our focus on this type of fishing.  The baits that we have been throwing have not changed much from a couple of weeks ago.  We are still throwing Reaction Innovations Little Dippers, Lucky Craft Pointer 78′s, Megabass Vision 110 Jr’s, Zara Spooks, Lucky Craft Sammies and Megabass Dog-X’s.  The action has been pretty consistent most mornings.  Again, the key is to be on the water at day break and being in the right cove at the right time.  Some days, the topwater action has lasted until 09:00 and then it starts to tail off.  Other days we have seen a nice mid-day topwater bite, between 11:00 and 14:00.  This bite does not happen every day, but it has occured more times than not!

The Anchovy bite is still there, with most fish in the 40-60 foot range.  The Anchovy rigs are the same as they always are; Drop-Shot Rigs or Split-Shot Rigs.  Drop these rigs down to the bottom and work the lower 6 feet of the water column.  We have been seeing some larger fish while doing this.  If sitting on an Anchovy bite is not for you, there has been a spoon bite.  This bite is rather random and hard to find, but should you hit it right, it can be a lot of fun.  As the water temperatures begin to drop, the spoon bite will only get better, especially once the temperatures stabilize in late Fall and Winter.

The Largemouth bite has gotten better and the quality of the fish has been good.  Not all of these fish are large, however they are all very, very healthy.  Yes, our Bass fisheries may not get the attention that the more noted fisheries across the country get and at times, even we question whether or not these fish exist in our lakes, but they are here.  And the good news is, these fish are healthy!  The Largemouth are sporting very solid bellies, they have great colors and their fins are in excellent shape.  This bodes well for the future of these fish and these fisheries!

We have been throwing topwaters for these fish more or less all day!  The early morning bite is usually there, the mid-day bite has been hit and miss and the evening bite is a wild card at times.  However, when you hit it right, you can fish topwater from day break until dark!  Not many things can compete with fishing topwater, under bright skies, in the middle of the day and catching healthy Largemouth!  Poppers have been effective, however we have been working walking baits (Lucky Craft Sammies, Megabass Dog-X’s, Zara Spooks and Strike King Sexy Dawg’s) with the most success.  The key with these walking baits has been to work them fast!  The normal cadence will still produce fish, but we are finding that the faster you work the bait, the better the results.  Typical for this time of year, there has also been a buzzbait bite.  If the fish are not coming on top, we have been running spinnerbaits on windy days with success, along with jerkbaits and crankbaits.  Many think jerkbaits are restricted to Winter and Spring fishing, but we fish them all year and they are an underutilized bait at this time of year!

Trout fishing in the high country has been very good and it will only get better.  There are a lot of stillwater lakes that can be fished and they are doing fairly well, however, we like to keep our efforts focused on the moving water.  Both Rainbows and Browns are beginning to become very active and the Browns are starting to sport their beautiful, Fall colors.  There really isn’t a better time of year to be in the high country.  Not only is the fishing improving daily, the Aspens are beginning to change color and the Elk are starting to get very vocal.  Although the actual rut is still not here, bulls and cows are communicating and similarly sized bulls are starting to spar!  For those who have never heard a bull, it is something you need to experience.  There is nothing like standing your favorite stream, fishing dry flies to rising Trout as the sun sets and hearing elk in the distance!  This is the time of year we live for!

Fly selection does not have to be too complicated right now.  We are still fishing general attractor dries, terrestrials and common nymphs.  This is the time however where we begin to do a bit more searching with streamers.  The streamer bite and the time when we like to throw BIG streamers is coming up, but right now it is all about streamers and buggers in sizes ranging from 10 to 6.  As we get deeper into Fall, as the dry fly bite begins to fade and as we focus more on throwing “meat”, that is when we start breaking out streamers that are in sizes 4, 2, 1/0 and that range up to 6 inches in length!  Big Browns are meat eaters and these flies will bring these fish out.  You may fish for one bite all day, but it will be worth it!

Fall is a time of year when we are all busy; kids in school, kids in sports, trying to make time to watch our favorite teams, making sure the significant other knows that she is not forgotten and many times our passions come up last.  But this is the time of year you NEED to get out there!  Enjoy the weather, enjoy the colors, enjoy the scenery, enjoy the fishing and enjoy just being there!

 

Arizona Fishing Report – September 05, 2013

It is hard to believe the month of September is already upon us and that the Labor Day holiday has come and gone!  Where has this year gone?  Fall is quickly approaching, however, you would be hard pressed to believe it here in “the valley” (we have other words for it, they just are not PG rated).  Seriously!  Someone needs to go pound on Mother Nature’s door to advise her that it is September and 95 degrees at 7:30a.m. and highs of 112 degrees just do not cut it any more.  It is time for her cruel joke to be over!

The theme for our last report was The time is coming…..  Well, the time is just about here!  The Striper fishing has started to represent what is can and should be, the Bass fishing continues to be good, although we are starting to see a shift to Fall patterns and locations, Pike fishing is starting to improve and the Trout fishing is getting better.  The amount of traffic on the water is also starting to decline, making fishing more enjoyable and navigating the water ways a bit safer.  The best time of year is almost here and the fishing is getting better and the days more enjoyable (except for this crazy @zz weather)!

Striper fishing has steadily improved, with catch rates on certain days starting to resemble where they should be.  We are seeing boils early in the morning and these fish have been eating walking baits such as Sammies, Spooks and Dog-X’s.  Some of these fish have also been able to be taken on popping baits such as Ricos, Pop-X’s and G-Splashes.  If you are not having success with these boiling fish on topwater baits, get subsurface.  The key here is that you do not have to get too deep.  Fishing that zone from 4 inches under the surface down to about 4 feet under the surface is as deep as you need to go.  Some key baits for working this zone have been Vision 110′s, Vision 110 Jr’s and Pointer 78′s.  Any transparent bait with a little Blue, Green, Chartreuse or Purple should get you into the action.

Once the boils subside, or should you not see any boils, the fish on main lake structure have been on the Anchovy bite.  At times the bite is slow, other times it is as if you can do no wrong!  In fact, we had a trip out over the holiday weekend, 3 individuals and they managed to boat over 50 fish!  Those are the days that we long for and those are the days that have been too few and far between this year.  As the weather cools and the days shorten, the Striper should continue to boil and some days you may find boils all day long.  The Anchovy bite should also continue to improve for both numbers and size.  The best way to look at, Striper action should continue to improve up until our first real cold snap, or until the surface temperatures start dropping significantly.

Bass fishing has been fairly steady, with the night bite starting to transition to a bite that is more suited to the living, rather than tailored to the people of the night (Vampires, Zombies, Crazy Bass fisherman, whatever you want to call them).  We are starting to see a decent topwater bite in the morning that shifts to a deeper bite as the day progresses.  There have been no secrets here, just typical, desert Bass fishing.  On days when the wind is blowing, Spinnerbaits have been effective, as well as Crankbaits.  Drop Shot fishing has continued to produce and I do not think you can really ever go wrong there.  The BIG worm bite has tapered off and we are finding fish on more traditional sized worms and standard worm colors.  There is still a jig bite, but as we move into Fall, start looking for the Carolina Rig bite to start to pick up!  The Carolina Rig is a very effective rig that will allow you to cover water, much faster than some may think.  Get out there!

As the weather cools off and Fall approaches, for those who enjoy it, look for the Pike bite to start picking up.  The Pike is a cold water fish and prefers water temperatures in the upper 50′s and in the 60′s.  These fish will continue to feed during warmer summer months, but the most consistent action and the most aggressive fish will be found from very early Spring (think ice out) to late Spring and then again from early Fall to late Fall.  Typical baits such as lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and buzzbaits will continue to produce fish.  Simply slow down your retrieve speed to match the cooling water.

We are also approaching the time of year that us fly anglers absolutely love!  These big, aggressive fish, terrorizing our offerings of fur and feathers that represent something more in tune to a half chicken!  Now, do not get me wrong, I enjoy the challenge of tricking a beautiful Brown or Rainbow Trout with small dries or larger terrestrials.  However, lets not kid ourselves, who wouldn’t rather throw an 8 weight, with a 6 inch streamer, for the opportunity to stick a fish in the upper 30″, to over 40″ range?

Speaking of those dainty Trout, they have been cooperating quite well.  For those who have been in the high country over the past couple of weeks, they have seen that the most common theme has been GREEN!  With the daily showers in the higher elevations, everything is Green and healthy!  While Fall is our preferred time to be in the mountains, the beauty of the deep Green grass, green trees, healthy animals and flowers still in full bloom are a drastic, but welcomed change from the drab, dry desert!  Fish are still eating Terrestrials and attractor type dries, however we are starting to see some shift to Blue Winged Olives and Tricos, with a fairly decent nymph bite as well.  Just because Fall is around the corner, do not put those big bushy dries away until next year!  These fish will continue to take your Terrestrials, right on up until the cold weather arrives.  Just because the ‘Hoppers will start to tail off and you begin seeing less of them, do not be afraid to throw them.  These fish will continue to take them.  You may not get as many takes, but they will usually be better fish!

In addition to the high country streams and lakes, we are approaching the time of year where we love to fish Lee’s Ferry, the San Juan and other tailwater fisheries!  There are fewer people, large fish and beautiful scenery.  These waters will fish well throughout the Winter and will provide some very good, uncrowded fishing to cure your cabin blues!  You may not be as warm, the fish may come farther apart, but you will be fishing and the waters will be empty.

Now, I can not write this, on opening day of the NFL season, with out making my prediction.  Bears win!  Seriously.  I’m not saying they win it all, they just win!  Enjoy a full weekend of college (Gig ‘em Texas A&M Aggies) and NFL football, enjoy the fact that the kids are back in school and enjoy the thoughts of cooler weather, since Mother Nature is not cooperating just yet!  Until next time, get out there and fish!

Arizona Fishing Report – August 19, 2013

The time is coming…..

We continue to say it, but from this point forward, until the first real good cold spell of late October or November, the fishing is going to continue to improve.  Whether you fish Bass, Striper, Pike or Trout, you are going to want to be out there these next couple of months.  Cooling air temperatures, cooling water temperatures, the shortening of the days, they all combine to create more active, more aggressive fish, that want to feed!  From the desert lakes to the lower Colorado River, from the Flagstaff area lakes to the “Rim” and from the White Mountains to Lee’s Ferry, the weather is going to be getting nicer, the scenery more beautiful and the fishing is going to be some of the best that this year has had to offer.

The time is coming…..

Bass fishing has continued to improve and the techniques used to land these fish continue to be all over the board!  First light has produced a sporadic, but fun when you find it, topwater bite.  As that sun climbs and the sky brightens, these fish start to push to deeper water where Drop Shot fishing ROBO worms and Reaction Innovation Flirt worms (Morning Dawn, Halogram Dawn, Red Crawler, Sprayed Grass, Magic Crawler Red) has produced.  Dragging jigs and big worms such as the Reaction Innovations Big Unit on ledges and offshore structure has been effective as well.  A decent spinnerbait bite has also shown up  with the little cloud cover that we have seen on the rare occasion this past week, along with a slight chop when the wind blows.  Due to the extremely warm days we have experienced this past week, the night bite has continued for those looking to avoid the sun and capitalize on a more consistent bite.  When it comes to the Bass fishing, the depths and techniques continue to be varied, but there will be a shift to more specific techniques as we move forward into Fall.  For now, the mentality of getting out there and fishing to your strengths should be at the forefront of your thinking.  It does not matter if you are a power fisherman or a finesse fisherman, you all will catch fish.

The time is coming…..

Striper fishing is continuing to improve while still being…..well, Striper fishing.  The bite is becoming more consistent and the techniques used are becoming more varied, which we like.  We all enjoy those rare occasions where you can set up offshore and wreck fish with Anchovies, however, being able to throw topwaters, swimbaits and jerkbaits makes things more exciting!  There are still fish that are being caught with your typical Anchovy rigs (split shot rigs and drop shot rigs), yet when we get out there ourselves for a few hours we haven’t bothered with this.  The reason?  Boils!

Did we mention, the time is coming?

The boils are starting to become more frequent, larger and they are lasting later into the day!  To make the most of it (and it is still fairly unpredictable), you need to be on the water at first light.  As for where….coves, main lake, river, it really has not mattered as of late.  The fish are there and they are starting to do what we all love, boil.  As in the past with these fish, topwater baits (both poppers and walking baits), jerkbaits and soft swimbaits (think Little Dippers) are doing the trick!  One of the biggest factors to success and one that is key when fishing the boils, is to shut down quite a ways away from the actual boil, move in quietly and make long casts.  The farther away you can stay, yet still reach the schools with your casts, the better your success rate will be!  Another thing we like to do, which can extend the bite, if you can contain your excitement and remember to do it, is work the edges of the schools first, then work your way deeper into the boil!  This may just get you an extra fish or two!

The time is coming…..

Trout fishing in the higher elevations continues to be good.  The almost daily afternoon rains on the “Rim” have things nice and Green.  Not only is it nice to see a color other than Brown, these rains are keeping water levels from getting too low, they are keeping a slight stain to the water which is keeping the fish from becoming too spooky and the rains are washing nutrients and food into the lakes and streams.  Most days are fairly predictable in terms of techniques and as long as you have some dries, some nymphs and some leech patterns, you will be well armed.  However, if we had one type of fly that we will not be leaving home with out for the next two months, it will be a hopper or other attractor type terrestrial.  It is one of the most enjoyable ways to fish and they will bring up some surprisingly big fish.  Also, if you are low or out, now is the time to start thinking about re-supplying yourself with streamers!  Before you know it, the streamer bite and big Browns will be here.  You may be fishing for one or two bites, but they will be well worth it (more on this down the road).

The time is coming…..and it is just beginning to start!

With the cooler temperatures and better fishing, which is right around the corner, there will also be less of this…..

 

 

Arizona Fishing Report – August 07, 2013

This past week has provided some lower temperatures (low 100′s), a little bit of precipitation and some better fishing.  The Largemouth bite continues to be an early, late and after dark bite, however we are still seeing some very nice fish.  This past Saturday, a local night tournament required just under 19lbs. to cash a check, while the winning team had 27.25lbs.!  Now that is what we would call, very good fishing!  The teams in this event caught fish at all depths and on a variety of techniques.  There has been a decent topwater bite at times, there has been a good Texas Rig bite, the Drop Shot fishing has been consistent as usual and there have been fish caught on Spinnerbaits, Jigs, Crankbaits, etc.  It is a fun time to be out there, as long as it is after dark, for the most part!

The past few days have also presented some very good opportunities to fish Stripers on or near the surface, as they have been boiling more than usual.  As is typical with the Striper and the boils, they are unpredictable and a lot of it is being in the right place at the right time.  However, if you are able to get in on this action, you are in for some very good fishing.  We have been able to take these more active fish on walking type baits such as Sammies and Spooks, some popping baits like the Rico and Pop-X, Jerkbaits like the Pointer 78 and Vision 110 and the newly available Vision 110 Jr. and Ito Shiner.  Then, there is always the fall back of fishing Skinny and Little Dippers to these fish in the typical colors such as Money Shot Violet, Money Shot Green, Statutory Grape, White Trash and Sexy Shad.

It is hard to believe, but next week will be the middle of August already!  The best fishing of the year is just around the corner, along with some much more pleasant weather!  Most kids are back in school, family vacations are winding down and the lakes are beginning to open up.  The next two to three months is when you want to be out there!

We are also hosting one of our Friday night tournaments this Friday, August 09, 2013.  The information for the tournament is listed below.

The tournaments will be starting from the South Ramp at Pleasant Harbor Marina, Lake Pleasant.

6:00 PM to 11:00 PM
$100 team entry fee (cash only)
80% payback, 1-10 payback (will round up)
1-10 entries pays 1 spot
11-20 entries pays 2 spots
21-30 entries pays 3 spots
3 bass (largemouth or smallmouth) limit

No live bait allowed
No dead fish allowed to be weighed in
No Unsportmanlike conduct
No whining
All teams must be weighed in or in-line by 11:00 PM, no exceptions.
Also there is a 2 person per boat limit.

If you have any questions please phone us at 623-412-3474. You can sign up at our new location until 4 pm, at our new shop, located at:

8990 West Windsor Drive
Suite #101
Peoria, Az 85381

Any one signing up at our new location will recieve 10% off on merchandise purchase while signing up.

You can also sign up at our Lake Pleasant store from 5-6pm. Again, if you have any questions please phone us at 623-412-3474.

July 2013 Recap

Well, here we are again providing a recap for the month, rather than a weekly report!  We admit, we have been lacking with our reports however it is our goal to keep this blog up to date, with weather and fishing information that is current.  Start checking back frequently for weekly reports!

Now for July of 2013…..wait, July, 2013…..what happened to the rest of 2013?

We entered the month of July with hot weather, it became even hotter (115 degrees plus, why do we live here?) and then Monsoon season started.  Needless to say, it is now hot and humid but the fishing has been pretty good considering.  We have been all over Arizona during July and we can report that we have had some great days, we had a few difficult days but we had a lot of fun and we managed to keep clients and ourselves on enough fish to keep everyone excited!

With this hot weather, the warm water fish have been active early and late, as well as after dark.  We have had some great mornings throwing flies at cruising and tailing Carp.  For those who have not had an opportunity to try this, we think you will enjoy it.  This type of fishing requires accurate casts, subtle presentations and reels with good drags!  Over time, we have developed a few different techniques for these fish.  Some are very traditional, others are a bit silly but they will all provide you with opportunities to land some of these big, powerful and extremely smart creatures!  There is something to be said for seeing a fish in the 8lb. to 10lb. range, slowly, methodically, cruising, looking to eat.  You sneak into position, lay a perfect cast three foot in front of the fish, give a slight twitch to your fly and then you see that fish turn.  It slowly turns and moves in on your fly, one more little twitch and your line goes tight.  You set the hook, there is a big cloud of silt and your line is peeling across the surface of the water with such speed it leaves a rooster tail!  You are tight to a big, strong and determined adversary!  It will get your blood pumping, guaranteed!

The Striper fishing has been nothing short of a challenge thus far!  We have been seeing some boils, however as usual, they are unpredictable.  Most of the surface activity has been very early in the day ( from first light until the sun hits the mountain peaks), but for those who have been lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time, the fishing has been fast and exciting.  Typical topwater baits have been productive when you come across these surface related fish.  Sammies, Spooks, Rico’s, etc. have all produced fish, along with jerkbaits such as Pointer Minnows, Vision 110′s, etc.  For those who prefer to throw the fly, if you happen to come across these surface feeders, one of our favorite techniques is throwing a streamer on a floating line.  Get that fly just under the surface, move it quickly and hang on!

More typical of our local Striper fishery and the least complicated (we hesitate to say easy, as the Striper fishing has rarely been easy) way to pursue them is on off shore structure with Anchovies.  Despite the hot weather, clear and dropping water, the active fish have been found between 35 foot and 60 foot.  There are numerous ways to rig your Anchovies when pursuing these offshore fish, but the most productive techniques have been with drop-shot and split shot rigs.  When things go right, you find the fish and they are willing to cooperate, you can get into some fast and furious action.  This is a great way to introduce the little ones to the sport!

Largemouth fishing this summer has been all over the board, depending on where you are fishing and when.  In typical, mid-Summer, desert fashion, the night bite has been the ticket to consistantly boating fish.  Even with the hot weather, there have been some VERY impressive fish landed and while the Monsoon season and humidity changed the bite, those who have been able to adjust accordingly have continued to land fish.  All of the “Valley” area reservoirs have produced fish and provided good action.  Early in the month, most fish, especially the better fish, were found in deeper water.  With the influx of fresh water, a little bit of added current and new sediment and invertibrates being introduced via the Monsoons, a good number of fish have moved from their deeper haunts and have started to patrol the flats and banks.  This is one time of the year where you can almost pick how you want to fish and go catch fish.  Some techniques will be better for numbers of fish, others will provide bigger bites, but all will get you bit.  Some of the techniques that we have utilized are; early morning topwater baits such as Sammies and Ricos, deep running cranks such as DD22′s, BIG Texas Rigged worms, small worms on Drop-Shot Rigs, Frogs and Jigs (both shallow and deep).  As you can see, it is all over the board.  All we can say in terms of the Largemouth fishing is, just get out there!

For the Trout angler, the higher elevations have been producing very well.  The summer rains have increased water levels (not much, but a little), put a slight stain to some of them and have made the fish less wary.  Typical nymphs such as Copper Johns, Stoneflies, Prince Nymphs, WD-40′s, Psycho Prince’s, etc. have all been productive when there seems to be a lack of surface activity.  Like many of you, we love fishing dries and when you see rising fish, be ready to tie on a BWO, an Adam’s or even a Trico.  Even if there is no visible surface activity, if you are on stillwaters with shoreline vegetation and tree cover, or if you are in a remote section of a stream, be sure to have a big attractor dry ready such as a Simulator or PMX.  There is nothing more exciting than seeing your larger than normal dry disappear in a swirl, only to be tight to a nice Brown, Rainbow, Cuttie or Apache.Lee’s Ferry, the White Mountains and the San Juan have all been fishing really well and the best news yet, the most productive time of year is right around the corner.  Cooler temperatures, big nasty dries such as Hoppers and active fish, it won’t be long!

With August here, kids are heading back to school, football season is only a few short weeks away and the lakes, streams and rivers will become less crowded.  Day time temperatures will be decreasing, the higher elevations will be seeing the beautiful colors of Fall, along with the screaming bugles of Bulls and the fishing is only going to get better.  We are quickly approaching our favorite time of year, which just so happens to be the some of the most productive fishing of the year as well.  Do not be afraid to phone us at the shop with questions you may have when it comes to Fall fishing.  Also, if you need information on the lastest and greatest in terms of rods, reels and tackle, we are here to help!  For those of you who did not know, we also opened a new, larger shop in Peoria (89th and Cactus).  Be sure to stop by and see what is new!

 

Arizona Fishing Report – April 1, 2013

Finally the spring fishing is opening up!  After having one of the coldest winters on record, the fishing was lagging a bit early on, but the bite is certainly on its way to red hot.

Lake Pleasant has gone from tough to great.  Largemouth are in solid spawn mode so if you love sight fishing in the shallows now is the time to get out.  The water visibility is 20 feet in many places, so this is exciting fishing!  The stripers are starting to group up in large numbers in their pre-spawn areas, and the vertical fishing with bait and jigs in fantastic.  If you get on the right school at the right time you can catch them literally every drop.  Size of fish depends on the schools moving through, and they are all fat and strong.

striper from lake pleasant

 

Fly fisherman can also mop up this time of the year on stripers if they have the patience to let a heavy sinking line sink into 40-50 feet.  A super fast strip is needed to trigger the fish in these big schools but they can absolutely rip the rod out of your hands when they hit.

Other good fishing for bass can be found at almost all of our central Arizona lakes.  Saguaro Lake continues to kick out good fish.  Davis had some clients last week catch a 7 and a 5 pounder off the same bed and dump a 12+ pounder that just didn’t eat right.  The only concern with Saguaro right now is the crowds, which are getting worse and worse.  For such a small lake it is getting a lot of pressure, but so far it has been able to withstand it!  Roosevelt and Apache Lakes are also picking up a lot right now as well.

Oak Creek in Sedona is flowing real nice and the fishing has been good.  Big brown trout have been sunning in the shallows and sipping in the afternoons.  The rainbows are starting to get active as well and anglers can expect action on both dry flies and nymphs.

Arizona fishing report for 12/19/12

Lake Pleasant fishing is really starting to mold into  its classic winter pattern. The recent winter storms have snapped the lake temps down by a few degrees(58 to 60 degrees) and the fish have really started schooling up and chasing the bait fish. Here is a pic of a school of stripers on an HDS sonar. The red spaghetti looking noodles in the center of the graph is a school of over a hundred fish.

 

For the conventional anglers Alabama rigs, crank baits and jerk baits in the creek arms are working well, half ounce to one ounce spoons (like the cripple herring) fished vertical in tree tops in the center of the creeks is also a great way to really sack em. Although the fish are deep fly guys can definately catch them on heavy sinking lines and large streamers.

Canyon lake has been producing some really huge bass this year. Trout swim baits are the ticket. Try throwing a  Huddleston Zero in  rainbow trout color. Fish around the marina and launch ramps. Remember to be patient. Some days you wont have any strikes but the days that you get strikes make it all worth it.

The high country has been hammered with snow and access to some of the mountain lakes and streams can be very difficult or even impossible. We will have some reports by the end of the week and keep you informed of any changes.

Our weather is supposed to be beautiful the next week so get out and enjoy some of Arizona’s great fishing. Good luck and happy holidays

Report by Mike McFarland

Arizona fishing report 12/17/12

For the first time in 2012 it actually feels like winter here in Arizona!  The high country got some major snow this week and the desert elevations got some much needed rain.  For anglers it’s exciting because the fish have been so confused with the warm temperatures that know they can hopefully adjust to their winter patterns.

At Lake Pleasant, stripers are both shallow and deep chasing schools of baitfish. There are big schools of larger fish in very deep water. By using the deep water application on the Lowrance HDS you can find them much easier. Heres  a picture of a large school of fish in open deep water (take note of the fishing lines dropping into the fish).

This pic was taken during a guide trip. The red ball at the bottom of the screen is a large school of stripers and the vertical lines are clients baits being dropped into the school.

Largemouth bass can be caught very shallow on jerkbaits, squarebill cranks and skinny dippers. Find the shad in the backs of the creek arms and stay with them; its all about timing.

 

High country trips might get a little tough due to the recent storm, we have a few trips going this week and we will keep you posted.

If your in town for the holidays or the bowl games and looking  for something really exciting to do besides watching football, our desert fishing is really picking up and you cant beat the beautiful weather. 

 

Arizona Fishing Report – November 14, 2012

2 big bass

The Hook Up's Kyle Mayes shows off 2 big largemouth he caught on 1 cast using a big swimbait spreader rig.

Fall fishing is some of the best fishing of the year.  Cooler night temperatures help bring the water temps down and the fish really start getting active.  This is the time of the year that the mornings are brisk (jacket weather) and the afternoons are warm (shorts/tshirts – usually), and life is good when you’re on the water.

Lake Pleasant has seen a ton of shad activity in the shallows.  The fall migration is in full swing and the bass and stripers are really starting to stack up on them in the shallows.  The next few weeks should be excellent for both fly anglers and conventional anglers fishing the bait balls in the backs of the creek arms.  Fly anglers will want to keep with the streamers in shad patterns (clousers, deceivers, diamond hairs, etc) and gear guys will want a mix of topwater walking baits, squarebills and swimbaits.  As with most of the year, the morning bite can be peak, but the afternoons are so nice that they just cant be ignored.  If you’re looking at scheduling a trip I would give the afternoon/sunset time a solid look; good fishing and great temperatures!

Oak Creek has really been fishing well also.  Most of the browns are getting their spawn on, and the rainbows have been really active.  Warmer afternoons will occasionally kick off a little hatch but most of the activity has been on the nymph on the drift.  Look for Oak Creek to stay good until the next major storm/cold front.  Hopefully through the holidays!

Saguaro Lake and Canyon Lake are also kicking out some nice fish.  The trout stocking have begun and if your timing is right chucking a big trout swimbait you could find yourself at the right place at the right time and score some big ones.  The big bass really feed up this time of the year on the stocker trout.  It can be exhausting fishing, and some days no bites but when you hit it right the payoff is usually great.

Lake Pleasant Sunset

Beautiful Fall sunset at Lake Pleasant