Southern Waters Fishing Report

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October 2nd, 2009

URBAN WATERS – Fish stocking of channel catfish resumed last week at all 20 Urban Fishing Program waters in the greater Phoenix and Tucson areas.  Over 14,000 pounds of 1.5 to 2 pound catfish were transported by our fish contractor all the way from Arkansas.

The farm-raised catfish have had a good summer growing season and most fish should be in the two pound plus range.  Anglers might want to put some fresh line on their reels since the larger, hard fighting cats can put equipment to the test and bust old line.

Game and Fish biologists accompanied each lake delivery to ensure that all stocking operations run smoothly and successfully, and that all fish pass our high inspection standards for excellent condition and health.  All lakes were recently checked for compliance with our water quality stocking guidelines and all lakes passed inspection.

The fall catfish stocking season includes a total of four stockings at two week intervals through early November.  Stockings will occur on random days during the designated stocking week (Mondays through Saturday).  This alternating week schedule will only change if fish delivery problems occur (we have a 99% “on-time” delivery success) or conditions at an individual lake are unsuitable for stocking (for example high pH levels).  Best baits for catfish are worms, stink/dough bait, shrimp or hot dogs.  Catfish bag limits are 4 fish at the Urban Lakes or 2 fish at the Urban Ponds.

Mornings and evenings are the best times as catfish prefer to feed under dim or dark conditions.  Fishing for bluegill is good along the shorelines in 4-8 feet of water. Try mealworms under a small, thin bobber for great action.  As lake temperatures fall below 78 degrees, expect better action for largemouth bass, especially in the early morning periods.

Try finesse plastics rigged drop shot or Texas style for the bass and mix it up with small crankbaits, soft jerkbaits or spinnerbaits.
RIGGS FLAT — Due to poor water quality this lake will not be stocked until conditions improve.  Although the lake has not been stocked recently, fishing continues to be fair for rainbow trout, brook trout and brown trout on worms and corn. This lake typically stays open until mid November, but the closing date is weather and snow dependent.

CLUFF RANCH — No recent reports of success.  A new fishing pier has been installed which should provide a large increase in access for shore anglers.  For lake information call (928) 485-9430.

ROPER LAKE — No recent reports of success. The lake is down a bit due to problems with the pumps on the well.  For lake information call (928) 428-6760.

DANKWORTH POND — Sunfish are biting in the early morning before the day begins to heat up. Aquatic vegetation continues to be a problem for anglers.  For lake information call (928) 428-6760.

FRYE MESA RESERVIOR – Anglers continue to have the best success when fishing the early hours around sunrise.

KEARNY LAKES — This small lake remains fishless due to impacts of golden algae.

ARIVACA — The fishing is  good in the evenings and early mornings. The topwater bite has been consistent.  The lake is down and the launching of boats is extremely difficult.  Please use caution.  Anglers are asked to please be aware of your wake so as not to disrupt other anglers fishing from other boats and the shore.  Remember that all bass must be immediately released back to the water.

PENA BLANCA – Pena Blanca Lake remains closed.  The removal of the sediment has been completed and the lake is now beginning to re-fill as runoff from rain fall events allows.

PATAGONIA —  The lake is full.  With the cooler weather, fishing should be decent throughout the day.  Anglers wanting to catch flathead catfish should try live bluegills off the points and along the rock walls in Ash canyon.  Deep cove on the southwest side of the lake is also a good spot for flatheads.  Fish the mouth of this cove near the buoys.   A local angler recently reported success on catfish using hot dogs and live shad caught at the lake.

PARKER CANYON — The store has been re-opened at the lake. Information on the store and current conditions can be found at The fishing is reported to be good for bass and sunfish with a few hold over trout being reported as well. Scheduled for stocking with trout the third week of October.

ROSE CANYON LAKE — The road is open and the lake has been stocked.  Anglers continue to have success with flies on the surface and Power Bait.

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