PHOENIX – For desert dwellers itching to escape the triple-digit doldrums, there’s a refreshing remedy – head to the cool, pine-scented high country for some of the 500,000 “farm fresh” trout that Arizona Game and Fish Department employees and volunteers stock during May and June.
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 fishing remains – for now.
And if you don’t have a license, purchase one online. They’re valid for 365 days from the date of purchase and help conserve wildlife.
How Arizona fish hatcheries are funded
More than half of the money used for the AZGFD hatchery program comes from 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.
Desert rats: here’s some summer bass-fishing techniques
For those who love the blistering heat, here are some summer bass-fishing techniques. For the desert lakes, get up early and fish at, or even just before, first light. At most large desert impoundments, anglers should be able to find aggressive bass feeding on shad at the surface, creating “boils.” This provides some of the most exciting fishing of the year.
Use top-water baits, crankbaits, casting spoons or in-line spinners such as Mepps and Rooster Tails.
If you want to know what’s biting and where, as well as a list of public fishing events and some of the latest big fish stories, visit the department’s new fishing commentary at www.fishazblog.com.