Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Looking for things to do with the family in Arizona? Go get some crayfish!

This is prime time for high country crayfish and  “low country” catfish.

When the trout bite slows down, grab a bucket, some string, a stick and some meat (bacon, hot dogs or even fish guts will work) and go harvest some mud bugs. In fact, you’ll be helping the environment — crayfish are not native to Arizona and cause immense problems in our trout waters.

It’s also prime flathead catfish season. Arizona has proved to be a destination for these monster flatheads. See a video about how to catch Arizona flatties.

Back to crayin’. Some anglers’ favorite lakes include Woods Canyon, Willow Springs, Knoll, Ashurst and Kaibab (water level is very low at Kaibab). But you’ll find crayfish in most of our high country lakes. The damage crayfish do to some of our trout streams can be staggering — these voracious crustaceans eat everything from frogs and vegetation to fish and insects.

Crayfish hunting is great for kids and young-at-heart adults. Children especially can get bored if the fish aren’t biting. Crayfish can sometimes provide non-stop action. And, they make some fine-dining by a camp fire.

Typically, those folks who don’t like crayfish have overcooked them.

Here’s a simple cooking process: Boil water in a pot, then take the pot OFF the fire and put in the crayfish (do not put the pot back on the fire). In just a few minutes, the crayfish will turn bright red, which means they are done.


You can also get a packet of seasonings called a “crab boil” at most supermarkets and add the spices to the boiling water.

Look up some recipes for crayfish and take your pick.

Did you know the purchase of fishing license help conserve wildlife? (Probably — we talk about it all the time.)  Get yours.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Monday, July 11 — Silver Creek, West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Canyon Creek, Dogtown Reservoir, Oak Creek.

Friday, July 8 —  East Verde River, Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, Willow Springs Lake, Canyon Creek.

Thursday, July 7  — Tonto Creek, Cristopher Creek, Haigler Creek.

Wednesday, July 6 — Show Low Creek.


Angler reports

River Lake (Greer)
Billy W.: My son Braden is 7 years old and hooked this German brown at River Lake (in Greer) from the shore, fishing with garlic power bait of all things.  He was caught Friday the 8th of July around 11:30 a.m.  It took a good 20 minutes to tire him out and get him to shore.

It’s a catch of a life time coming out of our lakes in AZ.  Thank you for your interest in this.

Canyon Lake
Jack E.: My buddy Gerald caught this beast yesterday (June 10) on plastic worm. He was amazed!


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