Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

A new moon with summer nights made chill by spats of rain showers — this can be the time to fish in the high country of Arizona.

Increased rainfall predicted for high country regions can also eventually favor anglers, bringing inflows and nutrients, and in turn baitfish and predatory fish. Target areas with recent inflows.

Monsoon season is here so be safe. Get off the water if there’s lightning and if you get trapped on the water find a protected cove or small bay and wait the storm out.

Submersible lights at night for stripers will be a great option if the weather is calm. Be sure to check the latest wind and weather forecasts. Anglers can fish in snow, ice, some heat (be safe) and rain – but keep those lightning (fishing) rods off the water.

Anglers also have reported success this week with bass at Pena Blanca Lake,  walleye at Upper Lake Mary, and flathead catfish on the Upper Salt River and striper fishing on the Colorado River Below Davis Dam, where Chris caught this 32.6-pound striper:

Overall, angling can be tough in July, but be selective in your spot and time, and you might go away with a heavy stringer, or at least a camera full of memories. Grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go.

Some fire restrictions lifted

Due to significant widespread rain and decreasing fire danger, the Coconino, Coronado, Apache-Sitgreaves, and Kaibab National Forests have lifted campfire and smoking restrictions. But remain safe when building campfires!  Read more.

Time to catch and cook those trout!

Also, see a full list of fire restrictions in Arizona.

 

Fishing tournaments resume at Apache, Canyon lakes

Apache Lake on the Salt River chain of lakes is relatively undeveloped and is an excellent fishery for bass and catfish.

Fishing tournaments at Apache and Canyon Lakes can resume, effective immediately. Tournaments on Apache, Canyon and Saguaro lakes were temporarily suspended when golden alga blooms developed over large portions of the lakes. Saguaro Lake tournaments remain suspended. Read more.

Cluff Pond No. 3 reopens

We reopened Cluff Ranch Pond #3 to recreational activities Saturday, July 15, after it was closed in June for use by U.S. Forest Service crews to help suppress the Frye Fire. The Cluff Ranch Ponds are located in the Cluff Ranch Wildlife Area off Cluff Ranch Road at the base of the Pinaleno Mountains.

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Upper Lake Mary

David M. caught two walleye, including this one, Saturday, July 15, trolling a swimbait 10-feet deep.

See previous Angler Reports

Stocking reports

By  Saturday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for real-time and confirmed stocking reports):

Fool Hollow Lake; Show Low Lake; Silver Creek; East Fork Black River; Little Colorado River-Greer; Christopher Creek; Canyon Creek, East Verde River; Haigler Creek, Tonto Creek; Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake; Oak Creek Goldwater Lake; Rose Canyon Lake.

Previous stockings
Rainbow trout

Friday, June 14 — East Verde River, Canyon Creek, Woods Canyon Lake. Thursday, June 13 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek. Wednesday, June 12 — Show Low Creek. Tuesday, June 11 — Bear Canyon Lake, Huffer Tank. Monday, June 10 –– Canyon Creek, West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Silver Creek, Dogtown Lake, Cataract Lake.

See all the stocking schedules

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Top-5 AZ family summertime camping and fishing spots

Family fishing and camping during summers in Arizona can produce some of the best memories life can spawn.

What makes for good camping and fishing during triple-digit months of sweat? A lot of stocked or self-sustaining fish, quality camping amenities and high country scenery that’s as cool as the air temps.

Here’s our top-5 list of family camping and fishing spots. Do you agree?

5. Kaibab Lake

Kaibab Lake is usually the jump off to the Grand Canyon, and has been stocked with some of the quarter-million more trout.

This family-friendly camping area is a few miles from Williams and an hour’s drive from the Grand Canyon to the north. Anglers have been catching trout on worms fished about 2 feet under a bobber or with yellow garlic PowerBait.

Directions: Located less than 2 miles from downtown Show Low, off Old Linden Road. Access Old Linden Road either from U.S. Route 60 in town or at its western end from State Route 260.  See a Google map.

4. Show Low Lake (and Show Low Creek)

Show Low Lake is scenic and just an hour from the town of Show Low.

Possibly the state’s premiere walleye fishery. Has a year-round concession with 75 campsites (seven have electric hook-ups). New facility improvements, including a new fish cleaning station,  restrooms, stairs from the upper parking lot down to the boat launch, and ADA boat trailer parking are now open.

Like Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low lake and creek are great for putting the family on trout and crawdads.

Directions: From Show Low, take Show Low Road southeast one mile from Highway 260.  See a Google map.

3. Fool Hollow Lake

AZGFD biologists regularly stock Fool Hollow Lake with trout.

An excellent fishery for getting the family into the outdoors and onto sunfish and mudbugs (freshwater lobster). Has excellent family-fishing amenities such as clean and spacious campgrounds, picnic areas and fishing piers.

Kids can catch sunfish off piers and over rocky shoreline areas using No. 12 hooks and small pieces of worms. Crawdad can be trapped here as well.  Read more about how to catch both.

The lake has self-sustaining populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass, sunfish, walleye, carp and black crappie. Fishing also is good for 12-inch stocked rainbow trout — try fishing about 10 feet deep.

Directions: Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area is located in east-central Arizona, two miles north of US 60 off Highway 260 in Show Low. See a Google map.

2. Woods Canyon Lake

Woods Canyon Lake has been stocked with aggressive tiger trout.

A family fishing mecca. Woods has been stocked with tiger trout. For a novice angler – or for a kid’s first fish – try putting a small piece of a worm on a small hook (No. 12 or smaller) and dangle it in shallow water between rocks for sunfish.

Directions: From Phoenix, take Highway 87 (Beeline Highway) northeast to Payson and then Highway 260 East to Forest Road 300 (Rim Road). Then turn north onto paved Forest Road 105 and proceed about a mile to the lake. The lake is about 30 miles east of Payson. See a Google map.

1. Big Lake

An Arizona summertime family staple. Cutthroats have been biting on and off, there are plenty excellent campground amenities. Shore-angling is still an option, but as the summer goes along, you might want a boat (rentals are available at the store) because most trout will be deep.

Directions: Big Lake is accessed via state routes 260 and 273 (Forest Road 113).  See a Google map.


Remember to check fire restrictions, as well as any special regulations, that are in place.

So grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go. You won’t regret the memories.

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

The Coconino National Forest has dropped to Stage I fire restrictions. Time to camp at Ashurst Lake (one of the spots where we’ve stocked some of the quarter-million more fish) or Forked Pine Campgrounds, and grill up some fresh trout like these:

This week, some other hot spots that have received trout are:

  • Dogtown Lake, Kaibab Lake, Lower Lake Mary and Kinnikinick Lake in the Flagstaff/Williams area. With the warmer weather, the fishing is starting to slow down but is still good early in the morning and late in the evening on Ashurst, Kaibab and Dogtown.  Folks are catching big trout on Lower Lake Mary early in the morning and late in the evening out of boats and float tubes;
  • Goldwater Lake and scenic Oak Creek in the Prescott/Sedona region;
  • White Mountains/Mogollon Rim region: Silver Creek, West Fork of the Little Colorado River in Greer, Silver Creek, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake and all the family-friendly creeks below the Mogollon Rim.

Striped bass story

Striped bass fishing is excellent at Lake Powell. Some of the best top-water boils have been at Lake  Mead, and striper fishing is also good at Willow Beach on the Colorado River and Lake Mohave. The top-water striper bite at Lake Pleasant has been slow. Look for striper fishing to pick up through the summer and fall.

Bass battle at the Alamo

At Alamo Lake, things are getting back to normal with bass fishing.  There’s a decent top-water bite going from 4:30 a.m. until around 6 a.m.  Then switch to crankbaits or plastics.

By the way, Bartlett Lake has had the most consistent bass fishing in the Phoenix area.  See the full report for details.

A Big deal

At Big Lake, anglers are catching some big rainbow trout to 4 pounds primarily on PowerBait. Fish are moving deeper but anglers still can reach them from shore. It’s quality over quantity right now at Big Lake.

Gateway to AZ adventure

Save time and buy online. Grab your gear and that fishing license24/7, and get ready for a pine-scented (or maybe bass-busting) weekend!

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Craig A. caught some big rainbow trout Wednesday morning under clear skies trolling blue cowbells deep. Another successful technique was dropping nightcrawlers right off the bottom.

See previous Angler Reports

Notable wildfire openings/closures

  • Access to Black Canyon Lake has been reopened (Gentry Fire).
  • Access to Riggs Flat Lake, Frye Mesa Reservoir and Ash Creek is closed due to the Frye Fire.
  • The popular Lynx Lake North Shore and South Shore Day Use Sites have re-opened (Goodwin Fire).  The bald eagle closure at Lynx has been lifted.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Friday, July 7 — East Verde River, East Fork Black River, Show Low Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake.

Thursday, July 6 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek.

Monday, July 3 — West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek, Cataract Lake, Goldwater Lake, Oak Creek.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Striper fishing can be average to “gangbusters” at Lake Pleasant, Lake Mead, Lake Havasu, and the Colorado River below Davis Dam. See tips on fishing boils — the action should still be great at night. This week’s full moon will make lakes easier to navigate, and arguably produce periods of better fishing.

Rainstorms are predicted for this weekend in the desert regions and early next week in the high country. — this could be the cool off needed to trigger another good trout bite. Try trout fishing just before a storm comes through.

At Kaibab Lake near Williams, the morning and afternoon bite seems to help produce a good rainbow trout bite. Try worms fished 2 feet under a bobber, or yellow garlic PowerBait.

At Ashurst Lake southeast of Flagstaff, some anglers Wednesday were catching good numbers of trout using white, brown or green PowerBait on the bottom.  Others fishing in the shallow areas of the lake were doing better than those fishing in the deep areas off of the rocky areas.

Flathead catfish are also a good bet at Pleasant, where top-water action can also be a hot spot this time of the year.

Crappie fishing should be picking up at Alamo Lake. This time of the year, nighttime anglers can catch 20-30 crappie a night by the dam using crappie lights and jigging minnows.

Don’t forget to send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

How do you get an AZ fishing license?

So you hate long lines. We agree: clicking is easier. Just head online and click away for a fishing license. Our licenses are valid 365 days from the date of purchase. Get yours.

Notable fire closures/openings

  • Due to the Gentry Fire, access to Black Canyon Lake has been reopened, as well at Forest Roads 300 and 86.
  • Access to Riggs Flat Lake is temporarily closed due to the Frye Fire.
  • Knoll Lake on the Mogollon Rim is once again open. We have not received any recent reports.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Friday, June 30 — East Verde River, Silver Creek, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake, Canyon Creek, East Fork Black River,

Thursday, June 29 — Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake, Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek.

Wednesday, June 28 — Show Low Creek.

Tuesday, June 27 — Cataract Lake, Canyon Creek, Oak Creek.

Monday, June 26 — Silver Creek, West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer.

 

Public fishing events

At these free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required for those who register during event hours.

Friday and Saturday — Women’s Only Fly Fishing Clinic, instruction Friday evening at the Pinetop Regional Office, Saturday morning at Silver Creek outside Show Low (pre-registration required).

See the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

 

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Great time for chasing the all-American catfish — especially during the cooler nights. Just see our Catch of the Week below — Arizona truly is a flathead catfish destination.

Other than that, as desert temperatures consistently crack 100 degrees, visit the mountain regions before the summer heat raises lake temperatures and trout activity patterns slow down. Summer has officially started, yet great spring-like fishing remains – for now.

See our summer trout stocking schedule. From May through June, we’ll have stocked an extra quarter-million fish statewide. Grab a license online, 24/7, and go.

Due to evacuation of the Tonto Creek Hatchery earlier this month during the Highline Fire, Willow Springs Lake on the Mogollon Rim was stocked extra-heavy with 7,080 catchable rainbow trout and a similar number of tiger trout. Also, nearby Woods Canyon Lake was stocked this week with 7,800 catchable rainbow trout as well as tiger trout.

At Lower Lake Mary in Flagstaff, this was the windy scene Wednesday with anglers having success with PowerBait and spinners:

There are many scenic, family-friendly streams in Rim country that are consistently stocked, such as Tonto Creek, Canyon Creek and the East Verde River. In the White Mountains, try the East Fork of the Black River, Little Colorado River in Greer, Show Low Creek or Silver Creek – all are fishing excellent.

In the Flagstaff region, possible hot spots to try are Ashurst, Kaibab and Dogtown lakes.

 

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Kent Taylor hauled in — and released — this 62.56-pound flathead catfish Saturday at Martinez Lake on a live bluegill. Full story.

See previous Angler Reports

Notable fire closures

  • Due to the Gentry Fire, access to Black Canyon Lake is closed until further notice.
  • Access to Riggs Flat Lake is closed due to the Frye Fire.

Remember: clean, drain, dry

All it takes is a few minutes to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species and keep our waters clean and beautiful for ourselves and future generations.

Remember to:

  • Clean boats, waders, equipment and gear by removing mud, plants, attached animals such as snails or quagga mussels. Freeze waders overnight eliminate fish pathogens and other hitchhikers.
  • Drain all residual water from engines and motors, ballast tanks, live wells and bait wells. Pull your bilge plug and leave out during transport. Store in a location where you will remember before launch, e.g. next to boat keys in glove box!
  • Dry out all equipment that comes in contact with water, such as life jackets, ropes, buoys, tubes, etc.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Friday, June 23 — East Verde River, East Fork Black River, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek, Tonto Creek.

Thursday, June 22 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Cataract Lake.

Monday, June 19 — West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Silver Creek, Mingus Lake, Fain Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, Canyon Creek.

Saturday, June 17 — Canyon, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake.

Public fishing events

At these free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required for those who register during event hours.

July 7-8 — Women’s Only Fly Fishing Clinic, instruction Friday evening at the Pinetop Regional Office, Saturday morning at Silver Creek outside Show Low (pre-registration required).

See the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Monster flathead catfish caught Saturday from Martinez Lake

Submitted by Ted McLoughlin

I wanted to tell you a little story about a big fish.

Kent Taylor, John Taylor, Patty Taylor and Ted “TBone” McLoughlin started Saturday, June 24  like any other Saturday night of fishing, good friends, hot weather and cold refreshments. Catfish season is in full swing and we spent the afternoon and early evening fishing for bait fish and had a blast filling the bucket with bluegill.

Once the sun began to set we found our way to a secret spot on the Colorado River near Martinez Lake. After setting up the boat with the rod holders, we began to fish for our favorite catfish “The Flathead,” king of the river.

It was a quiet start to the night, catching one 8-pound flathead. We continued to play cards to past the time as John Taylor, Kent Taylor have heard all of my fishing stories. The quiet was broken with the sound of Kent’s fishing reel peeling line out, and as he set the hook, we knew that night was going to be special.

After a great fight the 62.56-pound flathead catfish was landed — the excitement on the boat as you could imagine was unbelievable. This fish would be Kent’s personal best and after taking some pictures of the fish it was released back so that someone else can enjoy the feeling of pulling a monster flathead out of the water.

As the night progressed we also caught a 26-pounder — what a great night of fishing, it was definitely one for the books.

See more Angler Reports

Year of the Big Fish: 5 record certification tips for your next big catch

The Chinese Zodiak says 2017 is the year of the Rooster. We say it’s the year of the Big Fish.

There was a state record smallmouth bass catch from Lake Havasu in February, a channel catfish record from Upper Lake Mary in March, and even rumors coming out of Canyon Lake of a world record largemouth bass and even a man-sized catfish (which we just helped 12 News debunk).

As far as certified catches, the list goes on with all the Big Fish of the Year entries.

Question is: if and when you catch that state record fish, or Big Fish of the Year entry, what’s the best way to get the fish weighed and certified?

Glad you asked.

Five Fish AZ record certification tips

  1. Know locations of fish weighing scales. We have a list in our regulations (bookmark pg. 42 of the 2017-18 Fishing Regulations, and see below). Anglers also might give their local grocery store a call to see if a frozen food department will weigh wild fish. If possible, get the fish weighed soon after it’s caught. Note that Kilmer’s Kounty Corner outside of Globe has since gone out of business.
    * Kilmer’s Kounty Corner outside of Globe has since gone out of business.

     

  2. If you caught that record fish and plan on having it weighed within 24 hours, the best way to keep it fresh and at a maximum weight is keeping it immersed in ice. Storing the fish in the refrigerator overnight also is a decent option.
  3. Freezing a fish can make the fish lose a bit of weight, but may be the best option if you can’t get to a weighing scale within a day.
  4. Catch and release records require a clear photo verifying the species and length that must be included with an entry form (pg. 42 of fishing regulations booklet). The picture must include a tape measure, ruler or other measuring device next to the fish in the photograph. Entries cannot be considered without a measuring device in the photograph.
  5. Be familiar with any special regulations at your fishery to see if a certain fish species may legally be kept, or if it would be better to submit a catch-and-release record. We have a Special Regulations map to easily help sort this out.

Time to chase tiger trout records

At Willow Springs and Woods Canyon lakes, try Kastmasters, small Rapalas, Panther Martin spinners, or flies for tiger trout.

Heading into the summer, it’s an excellent time to keep cool and try and catch a state record tiger trout.

On March 27, Roger Thompson of Concho caught the above catch-and-keep tiger trout Big Fish of the Year from Carnero Lake. This dandy tiger went 15.4 inches and 1.49 pounds. There are special regulations at Carnero.

In addition to Carnero, the Department has stocked tigers into Becker Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake and, for the first time, Marshall Lake.

Quarter-million extra fish

Community Fishing Program Specialist Joann Hill stocks channel catfish into Cortez Lake in Phoenix.

By now you’ve probably heard that by the end of July, the Department will have stocked an additional quarter-million fish into waters statewide. For another couple weeks, those fish are still pouring into some of your favorite honey holes. Grab a license online, 24/7, and Fish AZ.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Top picks for this week are fishing nights during this new moon in the desert regions, and luring rainbow trout — all day and night if you like — in the high country. Top-water action will be picking up, too!

Community Fishing Program catfish stockings are on hiatus for the summer. Check out the summer trout stocking schedule, or sign up for an I Support Wildlife membership to get those daily fish stocking updates (and more).

See stockings from the past week.

Fishin’ in the dark: new moon stripers

Night fishing is a great way to escape the desert heat.

OK, we have a new moon and so heading to Lake Pleasant, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Powell (the top-water bite has been active anytime during the day) or Lake Havasu are some great options for nighttime striper fishing under lights. Escape the heat and catch some tasty striper. Regulations vary on bag limits (it’s unlimited at Pleasant, where water temperatures are 79-80 degrees).

See our awesome Special Regulations Waters map.

Many anglers will use anchovies on dropshot rigs with fluorocarbon leaders.

Community cats at night

If you’re going to fish at night for catfish in Community Fishing Program waters – still a good option — keep in mind that some parks close at hours designated by its respective city. Be sure to consult the latest CFP  guidebook for closing times at spots such as Steele Indian School Pond, Surprise Lake, Pioneer Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Friendship Pond, Bonsall Pond, and Tempe Town Lake (closes on the marina side).

Some other things to note before you head out this weekend:

  • In the White Mountains, stockings slated for the rest of June were stocked last week in preparation of evacuation of the Tonto National Fish Hatchery due to the Highline Fire.  As of Wednesday, the fire was 91 percent contained.These stockings were stocked late in the week or even during the weekend.  For example, stockings scheduled for this week at Fool Hollow and Show Low were stocked Saturday, June 17.
  • Knoll Lake is closed to access because of the Highline Fire. See more info.
  • Cluff Ranch Pond #3 is temporarily closed to recreational recreational activities so that it may be used by  U.S. Forest Service crews to help suppress the Frye Fire. The Cluff Ranch Ponds are located in the Cluff Ranch Wildlife Area off Cluff Ranch Road at the base of the Pinaleno Mountains.
  • At Patagonia Lake, the panfish bite has been going strong.
  • Trout are still hitting at Woods Canyon Lake.
  • Go to Saguaro Lake in the Tonto National Forest for the monster bass and Bartlett Lake for quantity over size. Bartlett Lake is a good bet for beginners who want to just fish a dropshot rig with a Roboworm. Top-water action is pretty good at Saguaro and Bartlett; get there just before first light. As the sun comes up, fish deep (up to about 40 feet) with dropshots or Texas rigs, and keep a top-water lure such as a Zara Spook  Jr. rigged and ready in case you spot surface boils.

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Paul Deming caught this brown trout on the Black River Monday morning (June 19) that weighed nearly 5 pounds.

See previous Angler Reports

Public fishing events

At these free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required for those who register during event hours.

Saturday — Hatch Toyota Fishing Derby, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. See the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Bass are generally in post-spawn mode and scattered across lakes. Look for the night bite on bass to improve in the coming weeks as triple-digit high temperatures remain consistent.

There’s also a full moon: one certainty of this lunar phase is that anglers will have sufficient light on clear nights to navigate fishing spots.

Bass and trout aside, it is also bluegill time. Get the kids, bobbers, and worms. Backs of coves are usually best, especially if it is rocky or you can find submerged boulder piles. Patagonia Lake has been a good sunfish spot, as well as Canyon Lake.

This is also the time for huge cats. Some really nice channels are being caught, along with some monster flatheads. The Colorado River in the Imperial Division just on area that is notorious for some monster flatheads.

Last Saturday’s Free Fishing Day was highlighted by some great fish, like this rainbow trout stringer from Woodland Lake:

Go get yours. Don’t forget that fishing license, which you can get online, 24/7.

Also, see all of Arizona’s fire restrictions.

I’ll be on leave until June 20 so there will be no statewide summary next week.

Finally, some fish bits:

  • Largemouth bass have been stocked into Goldwater Lake. One angler had a banner bass day this week. Gila and rainbow trout also have been stocked.
  • Fishing for channel catfish and bluegill has been on fire at Patagonia Lake.
  • Parker Canyon Lake received an extra 660 pounds of catfish this week.
  • Rainbow Lake has been giving up some nice … rainbows.
  • And see the latest stocking report.

Final spring Community catfish stocking

The final spring stocking of catfish is taking place this week.

Fishing is good to excellent for catfish using worms, stink baits, or shrimp fished on the bottom. If you want to use bobbers, rig up a slip bobber and fish 8-12 feet deep.

See the latest community waters news.

Catch of the Week

Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

Terry and Grant limited out with fat 14- to 16-inch trout at Rainbow Lake in 90 minutes Thursday, June 1 using chartreuse Berkley PowerBait and chartreuse Berkley Gulp Alive 1-inch Floating Pinched Crawlers.

See previous Angler Reports

Public fishing events

At these free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required for those who register during event hours.

Saturday

  • Free Fishing Event, Patterson Ponds, St Johns, 8 a.m.-noon
  • City of Yuma Family Fish Fiesta at the Yuma West Wetlands Park (7 a.m. – 10 a.m.).

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Free fishing Day is Saturday! No license is required that day for those fishing public waters.

We’ve got a bunch of free fishing clinics going on statewide — see a schedule.

Otherwise, some hot spots to head to:

  • Kaibab Lake. We’ve had a couple great reports from Kaibab, including a girl who caught a monster rainbow trout on a Cars fishing pole (below). Try garlic green or salmon egg PowerBait, worms, corn and various lures.
  • Willow Springs Lake. Fishing is excellent for rainbow and tiger trout.  Tiger trout were stocked in late April and rainbow trout are stocked every week.  Try Kastmasters, small Rapalas, Panther Martins or flies for tigers.  Try PowerBait with garlic, worms, or roostertails for rainbows.
  • Woods Canyon Lake. Fishing is excellent for rainbow and tiger trout. The store and boat rentals are open. Try the same tactics as at Willow Springs.

    Leeanna, 7, caught her first fish at Woods Canyon Lake.
  • Dogtown Reservoir. We stocked a load of bonus trout here Tuesday.  The fish averaged about ¾ of a pound.
  • Ashurst Lake. Fishing remains good. It was stocked with 9,000 bonus trout last Wednesday.
  • White Mountains streams. Great time to hit the East Fork of the Black River, the Little Colorado RIver in Greer, Show Low Creek or Silver Creek. All were stocked this rainbow trout this week or last week.
  • Community Fishing Program catfish. This week we’re bringing in three hauling trucks with 24,500 pounds of catfish destined for the Core waters. The final catfish stocking of the season will take place during the week of June 12-17. 
  • Flathead catfish at Bartlett Lake, Lake Pleasant or Imperial Division of the Colorado River.  Our May survey showed healthy populations of flatheads in the Imperial Division.

    Catch of the Week

    Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

    Chevelon Canyon Lake

    Jared Pensinger caught this 27-inch, 6 1/2 pound brown trout last weekend backpacking in Chevelon Canyon using a Rapala lure on 4-pound test.

    Note: special regulations at Chevelon is a limit of two trout; artificial fly and lure only. Also, there is unlimited smallmouth and largemouth bass and unlimited channel and flathead catfish.

    See previous Angler Reports

Stocking schedule

Rainbow trout

Friday, May 26 — East Verde River, East Fork Black River, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake.

Thursday, May 25 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Dogtown Reservoir, Frances Short Pond, Woodland Reservoir, Big Lake.

Wednesday, May 24 — Rainbow Lake, Lynx Lake, Goldwater Lake.

Tuesday, May 23 — Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Ashurst Lake, JD Dam Lake, Chevelon Canyon Lake.

See the statewide and community stocking schedules

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT

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The Fisheries Blog

Five fish scientists discuss fun and interesting topics about fish.