Let’s get right to some recommended Fourth of July weekend fishing waters, starting with the high country:
Ackre Lake (south of Alpine)
Arctic grayling and Apache trout are biting at this remote lake (right). There’s been a report of grayling hitting No. 16-18 royal coachman flies on the surface, native Apache trout also are striking black wooly buggers fished subsurface. This is a lesser known area, but a gorgeous one.
Dogtown Lake (Williams area)
Many anglers at Dogtown last weekend were catching trout on the picnic side of the lake using PowerBait fished on the bottom. Hot colors continue to be green, yellow, white and rainbow. Dogtown was stocked last week and is getting more trout this week.
Whitehorse Lake (Williams area)
Anglers last weekend were catching crappie and trout using bead head prince nymph flies and small chartreuse crappie jigs in a shallow area to the left of the boat ramp.
Oak Creek (Sedona)
In anticipation of holiday crowds, we stocked Oak Creek twice this week (right). Our hatchery folks are even seeing holdover trout in the pools they stock, which is unusual for this time of year.
White Mountains streams
Fishing is good to excellent at the east and west forks of the Black River, the Little Colorado River-Greer, Sheeps Crossing, and Silver Creek. Trout are being stocked every week at these creeks. We are implanting radio tags into a small percentage of hatchery-raised Apache trout that are being stocked into the East Fork of the Black and the Little Colorado River to examine stocked trout movement and fate. The stockings began in May and coincide with the summer trout stocking schedule. If you catch a trout with external tags you may keep or release the fish. These fish are safe for human consumption. Read more, and thanks for your help!
Lake Pleasant, Lake Mead, Colorado River near Davis Dam
Nighttime striper fishing remains hot at all these waters. A full moon (100-percent full on July 2) means submersible lights won’t be as effective, but these are still worth a try. See the latest Angler Report and the Full Report for more tips.
Bartlett Lake (Tonto National Forest)
Largemouth bass are chasing shad and fishing is on fire. Consider arriving around 4 p.m. and fishing into the night. Sounds like everything’s working, especially crankbaits (crawdad and shad patterns) and plastic worms on a dropshot, Texas rig or Carolina rig. Around 4 p.m., the bass are in 12-15 feet, and by about 9 p.m., they’ve been moving right up on the bank. As opposed to starting in the morning, beginning a trip in the later afternoon means temperatures only get cooler.
Rose Canyon Lake (Tucson area)
This lake just northeast of Tucson is being stocked with rainbow trout this week and again next week (July 6-10).
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.
Find the location of our state’s primary fishing waters using our Fish & Boat Arizona map.
Dustin C.: Four of us headed to Lake Pleasant on June 25 to chase some striped bass at night. We got on the water as the sun was setting around 7:45 p.m. and launched from the 10-lane boat ramp. We headed north and fished the coves and islands around that area.
It was pretty rough with the wind blowing us off our anchor and one bite in the first two hours. We moved three times to try and find some shelter from the wind and finally wound up in spot with some fish on the graph that was at the ideal depth of around 50 feet. We had fished that spot for around 30 minutes and had one fish to show for it. We are getting ready to call it a night when the school finally moved in. From that point on, it was non-stop action ‘till 1 a.m. when we called it quits. The fish were very fat, healthy and put up a great fight. Their size was very impressive, too, with many fish 3-pounds plus and this big guy that almost broke my ultralight pole.
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.