Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal


One hundred-degree days coming up in the valley means targeting tasty trout in the cool, lush-green high country becomes a prime option.

Trout hot spots include: Woods Canyon Lake in the Mogollon Rim lakes area, and Fool Hollow Lake and Show Low Lake, which are being stocked with some 12-plus-inch rainbow trout this week. Woodland Lake also is being stocked with regular-sized rainbows. Big Lake is good for holdover rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout. Lee Valley Lake was stocked heavily with catchable size Apache trout several weeks ago. All three Greer Lakes (River, Tunnel, Bunch) are being stocked this week.

For Google map directions to all of the above fishing waters and more, visit our Fish&Boat Arizona map.

Another lake for a mixed bag of fish is Willow Springs Lake along the Mogollon Rim. This is one of the larger high country lakes and it has largemouth and smallmouth bass, along with some small crappie. There are no limits on the bass and crappie. Since it’s a deeper lake, it has some nice holdover sized trout.

Some anglers have been catching big northern pike at both Long Lake and Upper Lake Mary. Don’t forget that Lake Mary also has bass and perch, plus, there are no boat motor restrictions there. It’s a great place to take the bass boat when temperatures in the valley hit triple digits – like this weekend.

With high temperatures in Phoenix expected to nip 107 degrees on Sunday, surface temperatures in lakes such as Bartlett and Lake Pleasant could rise from what has been 72 degrees in the morning to 80-82 degrees by week’s end. Naturally, bass will begin to head deeper than the spots you may be used to catching them. And once the sun comes up, they will definitely be search of deeper, cooler dwellings.

This full moon (officially on June 2) might not help largemouth bass fishing any, nor fishing with submersible lights. But at Bartlett Lake, largies are so plentiful that the moon will likely be a slight factor. Afternoon fishing has been great at Bartlett.

If you’re targeting flathead catfish, Lake Pleasant may be a a better bet for monster flatheads than at Bartlett, according to flathead catfish state record-holder Flathead” Ed Wilcoxson. With steady CAP flows and plentiful food sources such as bluegill, flathead cats should remain in the Castle Creek, Humbug and Agua Fria areas.

And the Agua Fria boat ramp at Lake Pleasant will be open this weekend. See more in the Lake Pleasant full report.

Finally, we will be stocking about 1,500 Gila trout in Frye Mesa Reservoir (right) during the next two weeks.



About half of the fish are going to be between 14-20 inches (average 2 pounds per fish) and the remainder are going to be between 8-10 inches (catchable).

Go target some of these native beauties. Should be some state record fish that get stocked.

Be sure to check our summer trout stocking schedule.

And if you’re in need, grab a license online – your purchase helps conserve wildlife!


(Please send your fishing reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)

Saguaro Lake
Ray D.: Grayson’s first fish (a bluegill). May 20, 2015.




Big Lake
J.B. and Tim: My son and myself were really worried that Big Lake was going to be packed seeing your recommendations for last minute places, BUT….

We arrived late Friday night and it was cold (everything left out froze). We were the second boat on the water, cold but could improve — it didn’t! We fished 6 hours to the point of freezing and lack of fish (one bite on a lure). Pulled in and got the gossip to find no one was having luck catching anything. Rumors of someone catching “a” fish was exciting….

I got four fish Sunday, we got four fish Monday, which according to most there…an awesome trip.

Two of the fish were over 2.5 pounds.

The water was warming and the fish also, but the long weekend ran out on us.

Lake Mead
Ray P.: Ray & Yoli did it again this week catching a total of 141 nice stripers out at South Cove of Lake Mead. As we were coming off the lake on Thursday the NPS guys were there with their heavy machinery moving the launch ramp down about another 60 feet (see pic). They told us that a contractor would soon be re-doing the whole launch area.

Alamo Lake
Thomas L.: Went to Alamo Lake to bass fish on May 20. Weather was great. Fishing was poor. Water was very stained and only two bass in the boat.
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.


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