Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

With the steady rain or snow in many regions, predicted to continue through Saturday, the best bets might be catching a dry window at your local Community fishing water for some “incentive” trout, or plan something for next weekend. This time of year fishing can be fruitful if anglers remember one general key: slow your presentations. See more tips in the full report.

If we get a milder spat of sunny winter weather (maybe next weekend), we have two fairly shallow lakes that tend to heat up fast because they are like two big solar bowls in the desert. The first is Alamo Lake west of Wickenberg. The other is Lake Havasu. Havasu has a larger mass than Alamo, but also a larger variety of sport-fish species as well. Alamo has something that draws a lot of winter visitors — crappie.

This influx of rains could boost spring fishing action (and be advantageous for quail hunting next year). At high run-off lakes such as Roosevelt, boaters at both ends of the lake much go slowly and watch for debris.

See a winter trout stocking schedule, maybe grab a fishing license online — you can get them 24/7 and go “Fish AZ.”

Catch of the Week

Send your Angler Reports to – one will be featured as Catch of the Week


Richard J.’s son caught this 16-inch rainbow trout at Red Mountain Lake, a Community Fishing Program water in Mesa, on green PowerBait.  “My 4-year-old son literally asks me every day if we can go fishing,” Richard said. “Of course the answer is ‘yes.'”

See all the Angler Reports


Public 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, Jan. 28 — Family Fishing Day, 8 a.m. – noon, Red Mountain Lake (7745 E. Brown Rd., Mesa).

The lake will be stocked prior to the event with 420 pounds of trout.

See the full schedule

Nets and waders: Working for you

This new section will periodically show what our fisheries biologists have been doing in the field to improve fishing in Arizona.

Despite low water level,
Alamo Lake fish populations thriving
Largemouth bass from a fall survey.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has completed its annual fall electrofishing trend survey of Alamo Lake in December. Despite some of the lowest water levels since Alamo Lake was constructed in 1968, the fish population is doing well.  The physical condition of largemouth bass appears to have improved during the past several years.

A large number of young-of-year and age-1 largemouth bass were captured in the 2016 survey – we hope these fish will provide a bright future for the lake’s largemouth bass fishery.

All of the fish were collected, weighed, measured, and released unharmed.  A total of 2,891 were captured in 16 survey stations, of which 255 were largemouth bass.  The largest sampled was 19.9 inches and 4.6 pounds.  Forage fish (threadfin shad, blue tilapia, and bluegill) comprised 89 percent of the total catch and should provide abundant food for the lake’s sportfish.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Jan. 12 — Colorado River (Willow Beach). Read more. Wednesday, Jan. 11 and Thursday, Jan. 12 — All Community waters scheduled to be stocked with trout this week (marked with a “T” on the schedule) were stocked with larger-than-average trout. Thursday, Jan. 5 — Dankworth Ponds, Roper Lake, Cluff Reservoir # 3. Wednesday, Jan. 4 — Parker Canyon Lake.

Next week: we’re scheduled to stock the Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde), Somerton Ponds, Yuma West Wetlands Pond, Pena Blanca Lake, Lower Salt River, Canyon Lake and Saguaro Lake. (Stockings at Canyon and Saguaro scheduled for this week have been moved to next week.)

See the full schedule.



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