The Reel Deal

West Fork Black River Brown Trout-We’re getting into the prime time for winter trout in the mid and lower elevation lakes. There’s a cold front that’s forecast to come through the state on Friday (through northern Arizona) and Saturday (central Arizona as well). Some rain and heavy winds are expected — be sure to plan your trips around the weather. An ice chest full of fish isn’t worth boating in unstable weather.

In all Phoenix and Tucson Urban Program lakes, rainbow trout stockings begin Friday. The winter trout stockings continue every two weeks until March with 12,000 trout delivered each time. See the Urban Fishing Bulletin.  These management efforts are possible because of participants in hunting and fishing — your involvement is helping us conserve wildlife resources for future generations.

Also be sure to check out the entire winter trout stocking schedule. Beginning Monday, and for one week, we’ll be stocking Francis Short Pond, Dead Horse Lakes, the Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde), Saguaro Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Graham County Pond, and Pena Blanca Lake.

We haven’t fTempeTorgotten about you, Tempe. The “Welcome Back the Trout” to Tempe Town Lake event is Nov. 26 from 3-5:30 p.m. at the SRP Tempe Town Lake Marina. It includes a fishing clinic, and kids can even stock a fish. The event will kick off the first of five monthly stockings.

OK, let’s talk some bass. If you just want to catch some fish, Bartlett Lake is the spot to be.  The crankbait and top-water bite has been good in the morning. The crappie bite also has been decent by the yellow cliffs area. Try Roosevelt for crappie, too.

Lake Havasu has really come on the past few years as a bass fishery. Summer boating crowds have dissipated, and so it’s a great time of the year to target smallies, largemouth and striped bass.  The Parker Strip also is a great place for smallies. Try fishing just below the Parker Dam. Catching bass in a fast-moving river is a different world for Arizona anglers used to fishing in lakes. Adapt and have a blast.

At Lees Ferry, fishing should be incredible. The high-flow release began Nov. 11 and should return to normal by Nov. 16. The effect of this release is to loosen up some of the gravel beds and prepare them for an excellent trout spawn this spring. This loosening also knocks away more nutrients and food for the fish. That, of course, can equal a crazy-good bite.

We received a lot of great fishing reports that were sent to BFishing@AZGFD.gov. Keep ’em coming! One angler let everyone know there’s some top-notch trout action to be had at Ashurst Lake.  Check out it below.

Looking for some family fun? You’re invited to our Adobe Open House on Nov. 23 and 24! This short video will give you more information and a taste of what to expect.

It’s an exciting time to be hunter or fisher! If you haven’t heard our new hunting and fishing license structure and fees are going into effect Jan. 1.  See a rundown of some of the benefits. And please spread the word.

Until next week, get out and take advantage of the wonderful fall fishing weather.

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