Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

When mid-summer fishing doldrums set in at White Mountain lakes and streams because of water quality, Big Lake typically continues to produce decent fishing action.
When mid-summer fishing doldrums set in at White Mountain lakes and streams because of water quality, Big Lake typically continues to produce decent fishing action.

ADOT reported opening three routes to some White Mountains lakes, including Big Lake. The routes are: State Route 261 between Eagar and Big Lake; State Route 273 between Sunrise Park and Big Lake; and State Route 473 between State Route 260 and Hawley Lake.

Bass fishing might have been spotty in the desert regions last weekend. That should change.  Consistent warm temperatures, coupled with an April 22 full moon, should trigger a bass and crappie spawn. Many bass are in post-spawn mode (some will be in pre-spawn, and full spawn, through June).

Any reaction baits such as jerkbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits can be the ticket as hungry bass recover from their spawn.

Some reported water temperatures this week: 70 degrees at Roosevelt Lake and 69-70 at many Community lakes, where sunfish have been stocked and catfish plants continue.

Catch of the week

Here’s what’s new with your fellow adventurers!

Photo by @AZGFDpinetop
Submitted by @AZGFDpinetop

Use #ADVENTURERENEWED for your chance to get featured on the Catch of the Week.

Take the Arizona Trout Challenge

Headed to the high country?  Complete one of our trout challenges. Any angler completing the Challenge will receive a certificate featuring the species caught along with dates and locations. The first group of anglers to complete the Challenge will receive Trout Challenge “schwag” that could include a sweatshirt, hat and/or water bottle.

More high country highlights

Knoll Lake is now open off Highway 87 on the Coconino National Forest side of the Mogollon Rim.

If you plan on hitting the East Fork of the Black River, anglers could catch a tagged trout. See what to do (act “normal”).

Dogtown Lake south of Williams should still be a hot spot for brown trout. See why, as well as our top-5 places to fish, in the Williams/Flagstaff area.

Keep following for more tiger trout updates. In May, the tigers are coming to Arizona for the first time to Carnero, Becker, Willow Springs and Woods Canyon lakes.

A refurbished, replenishing Tempe Town Lake

Back in the Phoenix area, Tempe Town Lake is being refilled and is expected to be open April 30.




Crappie report: Alamo, Rosy good bets

At Alamo Lake, some anglers have been having success catching crappie with dropshot rigs and minnows. Look for the upcoming full moon to be a peak spawning time for crappie this month (unless a storm disrupts their call of nature). Crappie are in all three phases of spawn at Roosevelt Lake (see full report).


AZ trout stockings: more tackle-box tools

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

Looking for fast stocking updates? Search Twitter for #AZfishtracker (@NickFishAZ) for real-time updates.

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


Angler Reports

(Send reports and pictures to

El Dorado Pond (Scottsdale)
David W.: Just sharing this gem which I was able to reel in today. I was fishing El Dorado and caught this 10-inch black crappie at around 5:30 p.m. Fish was hooked approximately 15-20 feet from the shore. I was using a 3.5-inch, 3/8-ounce Yo-Zuri 3DB Suspending Jerkbait w/green prism finish (pictured). I was primarily targeting bass, and was quite surprised when I pulled this crappie onto the bank!

Granada Park ponds (Phoenix)
Jorge M.: I just wanted to share the experience I had at Granada Park this past Saturday, April 9. I went there with the intention to catch largemouth bass and ended up landing this; I’d estimate 5-plus-pound flathead catfish. I wasn’t able to get a measurement but I estimate that it was about 24 inches.

It was a surprise since I was using a small plastic paddletail swim bait. I’ve never caught a catfish with a lure. I’m assuming since it was a bluegill imitation that. It was too tempting for the flathead to pass up. I didn’t end up catching any bass but I had fun since I caught this one.

Upcoming free fishing events

What: 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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