Top picks for this week are fishing nights during this new moon in the desert regions, and luring rainbow trout — all day and night if you like — in the high country. Top-water action will be picking up, too!
Community Fishing Program catfish stockings are on hiatus for the summer. Check out the summer trout stocking schedule, or sign up for an I Support Wildlife membership to get those daily fish stocking updates (and more).
Fishin’ in the dark: new moon stripers
OK, we have a new moon and so heading to Lake Pleasant, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Powell (the top-water bite has been active anytime during the day) or Lake Havasu are some great options for nighttime striper fishing under lights. Escape the heat and catch some tasty striper. Regulations vary on bag limits (it’s unlimited at Pleasant, where water temperatures are 79-80 degrees).
Many anglers will use anchovies on dropshot rigs with fluorocarbon leaders.
Community cats at night
If you’re going to fish at night for catfish in Community Fishing Program waters – still a good option — keep in mind that some parks close at hours designated by its respective city. Be sure to consult the latest CFP guidebook for closing times at spots such as Steele Indian School Pond, Surprise Lake, Pioneer Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Friendship Pond, Bonsall Pond, and Tempe Town Lake (closes on the marina side).
Some other things to note before you head out this weekend:
- In the White Mountains, stockings slated for the rest of June were stocked last week in preparation of evacuation of the Tonto National Fish Hatchery due to the Highline Fire. As of Wednesday, the fire was 91 percent contained.These stockings were stocked late in the week or even during the weekend. For example, stockings scheduled for this week at Fool Hollow and Show Low were stocked Saturday, June 17.
- Knoll Lake is closed to access because of the Highline Fire. See more info.
- Cluff Ranch Pond #3 is temporarily closed to recreational recreational activities so that it may be used by U.S. Forest Service crews to help suppress the Frye Fire. The Cluff Ranch Ponds are located in the Cluff Ranch Wildlife Area off Cluff Ranch Road at the base of the Pinaleno Mountains.
- At Patagonia Lake, the panfish bite has been going strong.
- Trout are still hitting at Woods Canyon Lake.
- Go to Saguaro Lake in the Tonto National Forest for the monster bass and Bartlett Lake for quantity over size. Bartlett Lake is a good bet for beginners who want to just fish a dropshot rig with a Roboworm. Top-water action is pretty good at Saguaro and Bartlett; get there just before first light. As the sun comes up, fish deep (up to about 40 feet) with dropshots or Texas rigs, and keep a top-water lure such as a Zara Spook Jr. rigged and ready in case you spot surface boils.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one will be selected as Catch of the Week.
Paul Deming caught this brown trout on the Black River Monday morning (June 19) that weighed nearly 5 pounds.
Public fishing events
At these free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required for those who register during event hours.
Saturday — Hatch Toyota Fishing Derby, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. See the full schedule.