Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

It’s winter trout and crappie time.

Crappie anglers: the Topock Marsh (close to Needles along the Colorado River) can provide some nice crappie fishing as well. This is also a superb place to see migrating waterfowl (maybe take along a shotgun or camera, or both).

See last week’s report for more crappie tips.


This is Rob’s holdover rainbow trout from Watson Lake that was 22 inches in length, and weighed 4 pounds, and 2 ounces using cheese PowerBait.  Rob usually prefers using the Super Duper Spoons but said the PowerBait has worked better lately.

More trout-lights: Fishing for trout in Community waters can be some of the best fishing in the state.  Our “core” waters are scheduled to be stocked next week.

Winter bassin’ in AZ

Bass are scattered in many desert lakes. Wintertime bass fishing can mean fishing is hot one day, slow the next. Cover a lot of water and try numerous presentations.

On calm nights, night fishing for stripers can be productive at places like Pleasant and Havasu.

Finally – see our top 5 fishing waters for this winter.

Stocking report

This week we are scheduled to stock the Deadhorse Lakes, Apache Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Roper Lake, Fortuna Pond and Redondo Pond.  Check all the stocking schedules.

These are confirmed stockings from last week:

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Dec. 1 — Watson Lake; Community waters: Alvord Lake, Desert West Lake, Pioneer Lake,  Surprise Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Cortez Lake, Encanto Lake, Steele Indian School Pond, Papago Ponds (1, 2 & 3), Evelyn Hallman Pond, Freestone Pond, Red Mountain Lake, Green Valley Lakes, Chaparral Lake, Riverview Lake, Tempe Kiwanis Lake, Desert Breeze Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Lakeside Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Kennedy Lake, Silverbell Lake,

Wednesday, Nov. 30 — Goldwater Lake, Luna Lake.

See the full schedule.


High country ice-cover reports

See the White Mountains section in the full report for the ice conditions. Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes are fishable and have thawed a bit this week – go get a tiger trout state record. See our Catch of the Week below –- it’s the latest hook-and-line state record tiger trout caught Dec. 4 at Willow Springs Lake.

Flagstaff-area lakes Upper Lake Mary, Kinnikinick, Ashurst, Frances Short, Dogtown, Cataract, City, Santa Fe, Whitehorse) are partially frozen and not really fishable. Get ready for spring when trout lakes law because fishing could be epic – especially at Dogtown and Kinnikinick.

Be sure to check the Arizona Department of Transportation website for the latest road closures.

Licensed to fish

Buy a license online, 24/7, and help conserve wildlife for future generations.

Catch of the Week

(Send your Angler Reports to — one will be selected as Catch of the Week)


Larry Johnson caught this 12-inch hook-and-line state record on Dec. 4 from Willow Springs Lake.

See previous week’s Angler Reports


Upcoming free fishing events

Free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.

Saturday —  Third annual Brian Pinney Memorial Family Fishing Event, 8 a.m. – noon, Hirsch Conservation Education Area (Biscuit Tank) on the east side of the at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. Get started in the heritage-rich sport of fishing.

For those who bring their own gear, this event is catch-and-release only  single, barbless hooks only.

See the full schedule.



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