Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Top picks for this weekend are the Dead Horse Ranch State Park lagoons, the Verde River (middle), the Lower Salt River, Pena Blanca Lake, Lake Pleasant, Saguaro Lake, Bartlett Lake, Silver Creek, and Community fishing waters where we’re stocking rainbow trout.

See stocking schedules.

A recent cold front dropped water temperatures at Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest to the mid-50s, pushing largemouth bass into deeper water. Many bass there are in a prespawn mode. Bass tend to begin their full spawning activities when water temperatures reach 60 degrees. Look for the March 31 full moon to help trigger a heavy wave of spawning bass in desert impoundments statewide.

Out west at Alamo Lake and Lake Havasu, most bass are in pre-spawn and some windy weather predicted this weekend could keep them fairly deep.  Some warm and fairly stable weather is predicted for the Phoenix region, though, and Saguaro Lake in the Tonto National Forest tends to heat up rather quickly. Look for some possible pre-spawn largemouth bass action around ledges and points in 15-25 feet of water. See five great baits for catching prespawn bass.

At Alamo Lake, crappie fishing could be excellent once the weather stabilizes. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be pretty windy (predicted 20-plus mph winds) in that area on Saturday.

Keep an eye on water temperatures at Lake Powell. The general pattern is that prespawn walleye will respond favorably to steady, warming water and inflows once spring conditions begin to arrive.

Expanded fishing info:
seasonal forecasts coming soon

Great news for anglers: We’re developing a complete fishing forecast for each season of the year, including primary water bodies by region. It will replace the entire “Fishing Report” news post and is coming soon. First will be a spring forecast. Look for it in the “Fishing” section of our website.

Also, we plan to soon release a new-and-improved Fish and Boat Arizona map!

For even more up-to-date information, we’ll continue the e-news weekly fishing report and fishing blog. We also suggest calling/visiting a local bait-and-tackle shop, fishing marina or guide service.

Help us keep these reports fresh for your fellow anglers by sending your reports and photos to BFishing – one will be selected for Catch of the Week.

Community fishing catfish coming

There is only one stocking of winter trout left (next week) in the Community Fishing Program waters in the Tucson and Phoenix areas. That means catfish stockings are just around the corner.   Catfish stockings are scheduled to begin the week of March 19-24. See the latest Community fishing news.

Meeting on proposed trout stocking at Lees Ferry Monday

A reminder that a public meeting on the proposed stocking and the current status of the Lees Ferry fishery will be held 5-7 p.m. on Monday, March 5, at the old lodge across from Marble Canyon Lodge on U.S. Hwy 89 A in Marble Canyon.

Read more.

Catch of the Week

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

Silver Creek

Trey G.  took about 10 students from his youth group up to Silver Creek and taught them how to fly fish on Friday, Feb. 23. They shared four rods, and Jered (student with glasses) caught this beauty. Trey said he caught two, and a bunch more were on the hook. The fishing was a little cold,  he said, but there were lots of fish!

See previous Angler Reports

Family Fishing Events

During the events, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.

Saturday, March 10

Family and Community Fishing Event. 7 a..m. – 11 a.m. Roper Lake State Park 101 E. Roper Lake Rd. Safford, Ariz. 85546

See the full events schedule

Stocking reports

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):

Rainbow trout

Dead Horse lagoons, Verde River (middle), Beaver Creek (Wet), West Clear Creek, Lower Salt River, Pena Blanca Lake.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Friday, March 23: Green Valley lakes, Red Mountain Lake, “core” Community waters.

See all the stocking schedules

Save time, buy online

Grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go “Fish AZ”.


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