Pre-spawn activity already has been reported at Lake Havasu, and now at Roosevelt Lake, where water temperatures have ranged from 54 degrees in the main lake to 64 degrees in the back of coves. There, some male “buck bass” have been seen swimming to the back of coves, which typically indicates the beginning of an early spawn.
Trout stockings at most of the Community Fishing Program waters continue until the first week of March. (The switch to catfish begins in mid-March.) Our Phoenix/Maricopa expansion waters have just been stocked into Scottsdale’s Eldorado; Gilbert’s Discovery, Freestone, and McQueen; Glendale’s Bonsall, Maricopa’s Pacana; and Roadrunner in Phoenix.
And great news for those in the Avondale area — Friendship Park (above) has been added to the Community Fishing Program! Stockings will come within the next month.
Trout from our Page Springs Hatchery are scheduled to be stocked as follows:
Feb. 9-16: (Kingman/Prescott region) Verde River, Goldwater Lake; (Yuma region) La Paz, Hidden Shores, Fortuna; (Tucson region) Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca; (Phoenix area) Lower Salt River, Canyon Lake.
Feb. 17-24: (Kingman/Prescott) Deadhorse; (Tucson) Cluff Pond, Roper Lake, Dankworth; (Phoenix) Red Mountain, Tempe Town Lake, Saguaro Lake.
To the mountains. In the Flagstaff/Williams area, every lake is ice free, but the only lakes that are accessible are Upper Lake Mary, Kaibab, Cataract, Frances Short Pond and Dogtown. We don’t stock any fish until March, so no stockings have occurred since November. Dogtown is the best bet in this area.
Jim Goughnor of Rim Country Custom Rods said the Mogollon Rim lakes that are fishable are yielding excellent results on wet flies, PowerBaits, small spinners and crankbaits. Be sure to check road and lake conditions before heading to the Rim.
Planning a Lake Powell excursion? Powell guide Wayne Gustaveson reported that when planning a spring trip, expect stripers to be in the backs of canyons holding on the ends of long underwater points and over shallow humps surrounded by deeper water. When planning a spring trip you might want to purchase a Shad Rap SR8 which is the same size and color as a yearling gizzard shad. Something to consider. See Wayne’s full report.
A reminder that at early-bird lakes Alamo, Havasu and Martinez, the water temperatures increase more rapidly and trigger the earliest bass spawn. Good time to head to the “West Coast of Arizona.”
See our Fish&Boat Arizona map to easily locate our state’s top fisheries.
(Please send your fishing reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)
Shawn M. of Phoenix: Caught two stripers at Pleasant, one 5 pounds, the other 6.5 pounds, on Feb. 6.
My husband and I (Mike Sparks and Ginger Sparks) fished Roosevelt January 20 and 21. We used mostly crank baits and had some success. We did not catch numerous fish, but the ones we caught were very nice. Mike caught this 6# beauty on January 20 on a crank bait. After taking the picture, we threw the fish back to help out with the upcoming spawn. Ginger caught a 4#, 3# and 2# bass on January 21, and the two bigger fish were released. The fishing definitely picked up the first week in February when we caught numerous fish over three days at the end of the week. The water was beyond stained and looked more like chocolate milk, but the catching was great. Hope others find what we found!
SRP canal (Mesa)
Tanner: Keri C. and her carp from SRP canal in Mesa! It was at the Greenfield and 60… caught on corn. Weighed 6 pounds.
Thank you, anglers!
Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984.
Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.