Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Channel catfish stockings have returned to the Community fishing waters – grab some stink baits, shrimp or hot dogs and go.

Many bass are actively spawning in shallow water (up to 20 feet) and chasing baits in desert lakes.

Try jerk baits and your favorite top water plug. Crappie are spawning at Roosevelt Lake. Headed to the high country? Dogtown Lake south of Williams is hot for brown trout. See why, as well as our top-5 places to fish, in the Williams/Flagstaff area.

In the White Mountains area, the catch-and-keep season at Silver Creek began April 1. Some big rainbows are being caught — like the ones pictured below.

Fishing is family fun at an incredible value, so go make some memories.

And see all of the stocking schedules, or search for #AZfishtracker (@NickFishAZ) on Twitter for real-time updates.

Our fishing licenses are valid for 365 days, so get ’em online and help support all of our wildlife species.

Other White Mountains fishing updates

Rainbow Lake, Show Low Lake, and Fool Hollow Lake were each stocked with large “supercatchable” size trout this week that will test the limits of your tackle (make sure you have good or fresh line on your reels).

Hulsey Lake was stocked this week for the first time since the Wallow Fire and fishing is also good there. Becker Lake, Luna Lake, Big Lake, Chevelon Lake, and Nelson Reservoir have good carry-over trout in larger sizes.  Becker is catch and release only with special gear restrictions.

The walleye were spawning at Fool Hollow Lake last week, and they should be hungry after the spawn.

Angler Reports

(Send reports and pictures to

Salt River

Orin R.: Joshua Romney, 12 years old, caught this 7-pound, 2-ounce bass at the Lower Salt River on Easter morning. He was so excited he was shaking when he finally landed it.

Parker Strip (Colorado River)
We caught about a couple dozen or so of small mouth just trolling down the shoreline anytime of day in about 8-12 feet of water.  We were using crayfish pattern, chartreuse orange, broken back swim baits.  We also used a Rat-L-Trap, black and chartreuse orange, but the previous worked a lot better.  

The south half of the strip seemed to be more successful. They were small, but fun to catch.  

Patagonia Lake
Andrew: Wanted to share our first experience of the year at Patagonia Lake.  Went down to Patagonia March 22 and started fishing around 3 p.m.  Very windy conditions: white caps on the lake.  Bass fishing was slow…no bites with deep running crankbaits.  Switched to channel catfish.  We were fishing across from the marina, using fresh liver.  Fished for a couple hours, caught five fish in total.  Four channels about 14 inches, last fish of the day was a 16-pound cat, caught on liver across from the marina close to the cattails in roughly 9 feet of water.  Very good fight caught on 12-pound test.

Roosevelt Lake
Chris K.: We went out for the afternoon Saturday on Roosevelt and fished till dark. Bite started of slow midday, but the last couple hours were very productive. We started with dropshots and picked up a couple and moved to reaction baits later in the afternoon. We caught this big one on a reaction bait and took a bunch of pictures and let her go! Hope we can catch her again someday. Thanks for the fishing report, we read it every week!

Kinnikinick Lake
Doug P. of Clarkdale: Went to Kinnikinick on Tuesday April 5.  The lake is way higher, covering almost all the rocks along the shore by the boat launch.  Fished for 2 1/2 hours with nary a nibble.  Used Daredevils, which I usually can get a strike with here.  Also used PowerBait dough and PowerBait worms.  I think boat fishing would be the best bet with the lake so high.  

Woods Canyon Lake
Fished at Woods Canyon Lake today (Wednesday, April 6). Weather was great hooked three, landed one that was about 2 pounds. Talked to Game and Fish and was informed that I was the only one on the water to hook up. Shore anglers were doing so-so.

Upcoming free fishing events

Youth Fishing Day

When: Saturday, April 16, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: Bonsall Pond 5840 W. Bethany Home Rd., Glendale

Comments: The Arizona Game and Fish will be working with the City of Glendale to provide a day of free, family fishing and fun. Up to 1,000 youth licenses will be given out free on a first-come, first-serve basis. In addition, Game and Fish staff and volunteer instructors will be on hand to provide tips on fishing and answer your angling questions. Bring your own equipment or there will be loaner rods available. During the event, participants who register with Game and Fish will be provided bait and will not need a fishing license.

Contact: For more information please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240

See the full fishing events schedule.


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