Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Now’s the time make a strategic plan to set that state record. See where we think the next AZ state record might come from.

Snow melt is still finding its way into lakes such as Bartlett Lake, where on Wednesday surface water temperatures ranged from 49-51 degrees — too cold even for crappie to move in shallow.

Waters are muddied and stained at Bartlett Lake. Waters temperatures Monday were 49-51 degrees. The lake is 75% full.
Waters are muddied and stained at Bartlett Lake. Waters temperatures Monday were 49-51 degrees. The lake is 75% full.

But we are on the cusp of some great fishing. Lakes such as Alamo and Bartlett remain stained and muddied, but with a week or two of sunny, calm weather, rods will be bending.

Crappie anglers might have to wait a couple more weeks until action picks up for these panfish delights – they remain deep at most lakes and mostly inactive. Similar deal with bass.

Meanwhile, it’s still trout time in Community waters. Some big trout have been hooked (and hopefully cooked) the past few weeks. Hot spots seem to be Desert Breeze Lake in Chandler, Tempe Kiwanis and Surprise Lake.

Silver Creek in the White Mountains is fishing great for big trout if you can stand the beard-frosting cold and can find the right holes:


See a winter trout stocking schedule, maybe grab a fishing license online — you can get them 24/7 — and go “Fish AZ.” Your purchases support wildlife conservation (we do not receive state tax dollars) — so thanks!

Catch of the Week

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


Karrie R. caught this 22-pound flathead catfish from shore at Lake Pleasant on Thursday, Jan. 26 using a dropshot rig with a worm. “It was definitely cold,” she said, “but worth the catch! Also caught an 8-pound carp and 3-pound channel catfish.”

See all the Angler Reports

Free public fishing events

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

Saturday, Feb. 4 — Youth Family Fishing Day, 9 a.m. – noon, Anthem Community Park (41703, N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy.)

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.

Our fish biologists conserve wildlife, provide sport-fish opportunities — and sometimes snowmobile! This video shows Jan. 25 surveys to Big, Crescent and Lee Valley lakes in the White Mountains.

Biologists checked dissolved oxygen levels under the ice at Lee Valley and Crescent to predict a fish die-off due to low oxygen. Ice conditions were checked on all lakes, and ice was unsafe, especially at Big Lake.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout
Thursday, Jan. 26 and Friday, Jan. 27 — Canyon Lake,  Saguaro Lake, all “core” waters except Rio Vista, as well as Patterson Ponds, and Green Valley lakes. Tuesday, Jan. 24 — Pena Blanca Lake, Council Ave. Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond. Monday, Jan. 23 — Lower Salt River, Verde River (middle).

Next week: We’re scheduled to stock Deadhorse Lakes, Goldwater Lake, Canyon Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Pena Blanca Lake, Fortuna Pond and Redondo Pond.

See the full schedules.


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