Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Striper fishing under the lights should be a prime option in desert lakes such as Lake Pleasant this weekend. Friday is the new moon, daytime temperatures are predicted to peak out around 115 degrees in desert regions on Saturday, so at night, look for shad to be congregated around your lights as soon as you drop them.

The 4 a.m. top-water bite should be explosive, too. Have you caught a tiger yet?

Anglers have been posting their tiger trout pictures and videos and they’re saying these fish that last week were stocking into Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes are some great fighters.

Look for catfishing to improve as well in the desert lakes.

Stake out the best chunk of shoreline, throw out a lawn chair (or pull up a log) and get to cattin’. A pair of 40-plus pound flathead catfish were caught this week from Patagonia Lake.

Grab that license and go.

Or fish for free Saturday. That’s Arizona’s Free Fishing Day, which means no fishing licenses are required for fishing in the state’s public waters. Bring the family, wet a hook and take advantage. See a full schedule of events.

Now’s also a great time to fish the Rim lakes. Anglers are saying PowerBaits, worms and salmon eggs have been successful, as well as ultra-light rod action with Panther Martins, Super Dupers and Mepps. Also this time of the year, anglers have some good luck with Crick Hoppers.

Here’s the latest stocking update (follow @NickFishAZ on Twitter for quicker updates):

Rainbow trout
Tuesday: Salt River; Silver Creek; West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer; Friday: East Verde River, Canyon Creek, East Fork Black River; Thursday: Tonto Creek; Cristopher Creek, Haigler Creek; Oak Creek; Frances Short Pond; Knoll Lake.

Thursday: Yuma West Wetlands Pond.

Brown trout
Tuesday: Perkins Tank.

Tiger trout
Wednesday, May 25: Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake.

Locate any of the above fisheries on our interactive Fish&Boat map.


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Angler Reports

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Willow Springs Lake
T. Olson: Had to report on this one. All I can say is I’m impressed and ever grateful for the excellent work Arizona Game and Fish has done securing, raising, and releasing tiger trout this spring! Went fishing early Sunday at Willow Springs Lake with the hope of catching one tiger trout, size didn’t matter much.

We were pleasantly surprised with our limits of beautiful looking, good sized, fierce fighting trout. Almost all were 10 inches plus. We each got one just under 12 inches. Of course my wife caught the biggest in the picture. What an AWESOME morning at the lake!

Larry S.: Started off fishing Canyon Creek and hit for six browns. Finished at Willow Springs with no less than 25 tigers. Throw in a couple rainbows and it’s a good day.

Big Lake

Tom M.: Photo is of my son Brendan at Big Lake.   The lake is higher and can launch at all three ramps finally — nothing too big though.  We caught ours on worms with cowbells. They are not deep right now.  Lady was fly fishing in the same cove as us and was doing well.


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