Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Free fishing Day is Saturday! No license is required that day for those fishing public waters.

We’ve got a bunch of free fishing clinics going on statewide — see a schedule.

Otherwise, some hot spots to head to:

  • Kaibab Lake. We’ve had a couple great reports from Kaibab, including a girl who caught a monster rainbow trout on a Cars fishing pole (below). Try garlic green or salmon egg PowerBait, worms, corn and various lures.
  • Willow Springs Lake. Fishing is excellent for rainbow and tiger trout.  Tiger trout were stocked in late April and rainbow trout are stocked every week.  Try Kastmasters, small Rapalas, Panther Martins or flies for tigers.  Try PowerBait with garlic, worms, or roostertails for rainbows.
  • Woods Canyon Lake. Fishing is excellent for rainbow and tiger trout. The store and boat rentals are open. Try the same tactics as at Willow Springs.

    Leeanna, 7, caught her first fish at Woods Canyon Lake.
  • Dogtown Reservoir. We stocked a load of bonus trout here Tuesday.  The fish averaged about ¾ of a pound.
  • Ashurst Lake. Fishing remains good. It was stocked with 9,000 bonus trout last Wednesday.
  • White Mountains streams. Great time to hit the East Fork of the Black River, the Little Colorado RIver in Greer, Show Low Creek or Silver Creek. All were stocked this rainbow trout this week or last week.
  • Community Fishing Program catfish. This week we’re bringing in three hauling trucks with 24,500 pounds of catfish destined for the Core waters. The final catfish stocking of the season will take place during the week of June 12-17. 
  • Flathead catfish at Bartlett Lake, Lake Pleasant or Imperial Division of the Colorado River.  Our May survey showed healthy populations of flatheads in the Imperial Division.

    Catch of the Week

    Send your fishing reports and photos to — one will be selected as Catch of the Week.

    Chevelon Canyon Lake

    Jared Pensinger caught this 27-inch, 6 1/2 pound brown trout last weekend backpacking in Chevelon Canyon using a Rapala lure on 4-pound test.

    Note: special regulations at Chevelon is a limit of two trout; artificial fly and lure only. Also, there is unlimited smallmouth and largemouth bass and unlimited channel and flathead catfish.

    See previous Angler Reports

Stocking schedule

Rainbow trout

Friday, May 26 — East Verde River, East Fork Black River, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake.

Thursday, May 25 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Dogtown Reservoir, Frances Short Pond, Woodland Reservoir, Big Lake.

Wednesday, May 24 — Rainbow Lake, Lynx Lake, Goldwater Lake.

Tuesday, May 23 — Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Ashurst Lake, JD Dam Lake, Chevelon Canyon Lake.

See the statewide and community stocking schedules



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