Arizona G&F Fall Fishing Forecast

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department has released its Fishing Forecast for this fall. This quarterly forecast includes primary water bodies for seven regions statewide.

Fishing reports, updates, and more, will be still posted on AZGFD’s Fish AZ site.

Anglers also can sign up for a free Fishing Report newsletter delivered via e-mail.


Lake temperatures are in the 80s and expected to reach the 70s by November. Anglers have been enjoying some of the best largemouth bass action in years at Roosevelt, particularly on bass in the 3-pound class. A recent tournament had 5-fish bags weighing an exceptional 25 pounds. Anglers also are saying crappie are holding tight to fish habitat.

The shad spawns this year on the lake were highly successful; accordingly, anglers should consider using shad-imitation crankbaits.

Decreases in winter and summer precipitation means lower water levels as we get farther into the year. However, unless this coming winter has better precipitation and snowpack the water levels could continue to drop next year. See the current lake elevation. Despite lower water levels, fish should have plenty of habitat thanks to all the hard work by all our partners and volunteers on fish habitat improvement sites.

Fish tend to be most active during the 90-minute windows surrounding the sun and moon rise and fall.  When the moon is at full or new moon stage, the effect is stronger. There are many apps that you can use that display this information for you.

As fishermen know, severe weather changes have an impact on the way fish feed. If a cold front is approaching the fish tend to move deeper into the water and lay low.  Barometric pressure is a good indicator. If the pressure changes quickly the fish tend to be less likely to show interest in your bait. If the pressure change is gradual the fish will respond favorably.

Largemouth bass are present in all sizes and fishing for them is expected to be good throughout the fall. As the weather cools and fish become more active, shift to working top-water baits and fishing in shallower water. When in doubt throw a live worm on the bottom and see what bites!

It’s expected to continue being a good year for crappie and we anticipate fishing to be good. Try heading towards the Salt River arm and fishing around the submerged trees or around the newly placed habitat. Fishing for channel catfish and flathead catfish should be excellent throughout the winter. The best place to fish for trophy-size flathead is the entire Salt River arm.

Make sure you have your Tonto Pass, which can be purchased online and from a variety of convenience stores and sporting goods stores.


Fishing at Tempe Town Lake is likely to be fair due to a severe fish kill that lasted several weeks to months from late winter to early spring. Fish stockings were suspended until follow-up testing determined golden algae was no longer detected. Golden algae related kills have tapered off at Tempe Town Lake and fish stockings have resumed!

The Community Fishing Program stocked channel catfish during the summer. As water temperatures cool down stocking will return at the beginning of October. To catch stocked channel catfish, try using baits on the bottom like hot dogs, bacon, nightcrawlers, shrimp, chicken livers, or stink baits. Largemouth bass, yellow bass, sunfish, tilapia, and carp populations have greatly decreased with the late winter fish kill and are likely to remain slow-fishing until populations increase.

Boating anglers beware: power boats are restricted to single electric motors and operators must have a City of Tempe annual boating permit. Proper floatation devices are required on board. The boat ramp is located on the north side of the lake near the marina.Shore anglers may want to find some shade around the lake. A good spot is under the Mill Ave or Scottsdale Road bridges on both the north and south side of the lake.

The full fishing forecast for all areas of Arizona can be seen at

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