Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

We’re all about getting kids on their first fish — this one is Lilliana’s. She caught this trout using corn under a bobber this week at the middle Dead Horse lagoon at Dead Horse Ranch State Park near Cottonwood. Grandpa said she is “hooked” and wants to go again soon. We hope she’s found a new lifetime hobby.

A cold front is predicted to creep through the state early next week, and so it looks like it could be at least another couple weeks until steady weather has a chance to aid the bass bite. The top early birds for bassin’ that can have rapidly warming water temperatures are Alamo, Havasu, and Martinez. At Havasu, there has been some short-lived, pre-spawn activity.


A top pick for bucketmouths is Saguaro. Although it is a little deeper than Alamo Lake and not quite the solar bowl, Saguaro can heat up as well — in more ways than one. Trout and yellow bass are options if the largemouth bass are finicky. It’s also the early bird for channel catfish that like to feed on shad. Plus, Saguaro is just downright gorgeous.

Considering Canyon? If you want decent catch rates, avoid it. If you want one or two wall-hangers, you might want to go exercise your swim baits.

Some anglers’ favorite fishing-camping spot is Apache Lake. The smallmouth are still on the comeback, while the largemouth bass and yellow bass populations are superb. You might even catch a delectable walleye or two. We just got a report of some good fishing for carp, smallmouth bass and bluegill.

Sounds like bass fishing in the Tuscon area at Parker Canyon Lake, where the lake is down approximately 3-4 feet.

By now, you know about out Fish & Boat AZ map, right? If not, here it is: http://gis.azgfd.gov/fishandboat/

And so we turn to trout …




Where are trout being stocked in Arizona? #AZfishtracker to provide some real-time updates

 


So you just want to know where the fish are at?

Follow @NickFishAZ on Twitter and look for occasional real-time updates on the latest fish stockings — when, where and what. Reports will not always be given on all waters, particularly some Community waters that receive high fishing pressure.

As opposed to our stocking schedules, which are just that — schedules that are subject to change due to water quality, weather, etc.  — these tweets will give you some confirmed stockings, and the information will come straight from our employees who stock the waters.



Your fishing license


Although this is the time many anglers renew their licenses, our licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. Buy your license online and fish our great state for a year (and help conserve all species of wildlife while doing so.)

 

Upcoming free fishing clinics


What: “Just for Kids” Fishing Festival

When: Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, 8 AM to noon

Where: Kiwanis Lake, 5500 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 85283

Comments: This family event is co-sponsored by Arizona Game and Fish and Anglers United. Instructors will be on hand to provide loaner rods, as well as bait and fishing information. Come on out and bring the whole family. Fishing licenses are not required for those who register with AZGFD staff during the planned event. See you there!

See the rest of the fishing clinics schedule.



ANGLER REPORTS

(Send your fishing reports and picture to BFishing@AZGFD.gov)

Chaparral Lake


Kelly K. Here are a couple pictures of a 25-inch, 9-pound channel catfish that I caught last Sunday evening, Jan. 24,  at Chaparral Park, in Scottsdale. As a catfishing enthusiast, my goal all winter was too land a catfish over 5 pounds. This fish by far exceeded my target profile.

This fish was successfully released.

I’m especially proud of this catch because it took a lot of determination and patience. I had several fishless outings refusing to downsize my presentations. Times like these make it all worth it! The fish slammed my cut bait as there was no light bite with this hog!

Hope this makes the report as I’m a weekly subscriber and a huge fan for our respected AZGFD! I also want to take the time and praise the Urban Fishing Community program. I moved to this state last October, from Colorado, and am enjoying the fishing so far! I missed an estimated 5-7-pound catfish from Papago and have pictures of chunky crappie and healthy largemouth cass from Tempe Town that I caught last December. So much fun!

Apache Lake

I recently did some fishing at Apache Lake at 3-mile wash. The fishing was good — the guy next to me caught a smallmouth bass and a bluegill. I, on the other hand, caught an 18-inch, 5-pound carp and this 24-inch, 10-pound carp.

Sahuarita Lake

Daniel P.: I wanted to share a picture of one of the incentive fish my 7-year-old daughter was blessed to catch on Monday the 25th. We were lucky enough to make it to the lake after school, and after about 20 minutes of baiting hooks my oldest hooked on to an 18-inch beautiful trout.

This was her first trout and to my surprise her little Barbie doll fishing rod was able to haul it in. It made my day because I have yet to reel one in that size.

It made my day to see my daughter experience first-hand the excitement of reeling a big fish in ..

Thank you for what the department does to make memories and moments like this.

Good luck to all.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

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