Top picks this weekend are trout-stocked Community fishing waters plus our top-5 fishing spots for this winter.
Our Catch of the Week (below) came out of our new Community water in Mesa — a big channel catfish. Never know what you’re going to hook.
The Verde River from Clarkdale to Camp Verde has been stocked this week. See a map of the river from the town of Clarkdale and be prepared. I recently caught this feisty rainbow trout on a black-and-orange, 1/4-ounce Panther Martin before fish were stocked near the Tuzigoot Bridge:
Other good bets are Parker Canyon Lake southeast of Tucson for trout, and in the White Mountains, Big Lake and Woods Canyon Lake. Also, Ashurst Lake near Flagstaff should still have some good fishing.
Some high country lakes are starting to ice over: we consider all such ice in Arizona unsafe. Above 5,000 feet in elevation, there have been below-zero morning temperatures and water temperatures in the 30s at the highest elevation lakes. Get to your favorite high country trout hole before things really freeze.
For bass fishing in lower elevations, water temperatures have dropped enough (high-50s to low-60s) to send high populations of bass into deeper water where the water temperature is higher. Be sure to have a bait in the water when the sun comes out and there’s a spat of warmer weather.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.
Greenfield Pond (Mesa)
Craig S.: On Friday, Dec. 8, Craig reported catching this big channel catfish on PowerBait at night with 10-pound braided line, a 6-pound monofilament leader and a pole he had recently purchased from a garage sale. Read more about the catch.
By Sunday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):
Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde); Goldwater Lake, Watson Lake, Canyon Lake, Lower Salt River, Parker Canyon Lake, Patagonia Lake, “core” Community waters,
Dec. 6 — Expansion Community waters (including Show Low Creek.)
Thank you, anglers!
Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984.
Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.