Category Archives: Fishing Report

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

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).

See stockings from the past week.

Fishin’ in the dark: new moon stripers

Night fishing is a great way to escape the desert heat.

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).

See our awesome Special Regulations Waters map.

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.

See previous Angler Reports

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.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Bass are generally in post-spawn mode and scattered across lakes. Look for the night bite on bass to improve in the coming weeks as triple-digit high temperatures remain consistent.

There’s also a full moon: one certainty of this lunar phase is that anglers will have sufficient light on clear nights to navigate fishing spots.

Bass and trout aside, it is also bluegill time. Get the kids, bobbers, and worms. Backs of coves are usually best, especially if it is rocky or you can find submerged boulder piles. Patagonia Lake has been a good sunfish spot, as well as Canyon Lake.

This is also the time for huge cats. Some really nice channels are being caught, along with some monster flatheads. The Colorado River in the Imperial Division just on area that is notorious for some monster flatheads.

Last Saturday’s Free Fishing Day was highlighted by some great fish, like this rainbow trout stringer from Woodland Lake:

Go get yours. Don’t forget that fishing license, which you can get online, 24/7.

Also, see all of Arizona’s fire restrictions.

I’ll be on leave until June 20 so there will be no statewide summary next week.

Finally, some fish bits:

  • Largemouth bass have been stocked into Goldwater Lake. One angler had a banner bass day this week. Gila and rainbow trout also have been stocked.
  • Fishing for channel catfish and bluegill has been on fire at Patagonia Lake.
  • Parker Canyon Lake received an extra 660 pounds of catfish this week.
  • Rainbow Lake has been giving up some nice … rainbows.
  • And see the latest stocking report.

Final spring Community catfish stocking

The final spring stocking of catfish is taking place this week.

Fishing is good to excellent for catfish using worms, stink baits, or shrimp fished on the bottom. If you want to use bobbers, rig up a slip bobber and fish 8-12 feet deep.

See the latest community waters news.

Catch of the Week

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

Terry and Grant limited out with fat 14- to 16-inch trout at Rainbow Lake in 90 minutes Thursday, June 1 using chartreuse Berkley PowerBait and chartreuse Berkley Gulp Alive 1-inch Floating Pinched Crawlers.

See previous Angler Reports

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

  • Free Fishing Event, Patterson Ponds, St Johns, 8 a.m.-noon
  • City of Yuma Family Fish Fiesta at the Yuma West Wetlands Park (7 a.m. – 10 a.m.).

SEE THE FULL REPORT

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 BFishing@AZGFD.gov — 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

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

A top pick for Memorial Day weekend has to be Lake Powell, a fishing dream this time of year for striped bass, smallmouth bass and walleye, and some nice largemouth bass.

In the Flagstaff region, Lower Lake Mary, Kaibab Lake and Ashurst Lake are hot for trout fishing.

At Lower Mary, folks are catching limits of large trout  using worms, PowerBait, or small lures.  We are hearing reports of fish up to 21 inches out of the lake with lots of fish longer than 13 inches.

Kaibab got a load of 9,000 bonus rainbow trout from Colorado on Saturday along with 6,000 rainbows from our hatcheries during the past 2 weeks.  Fishing is excellent.

Ashurst got a load of 9,000 bonus rainbow trout from Colorado last Wednesday along with 6,000 rainbows from our hatcheries during the past 2 weeks. Fishing was red hot during the weekend with lots of limits being caught.

The Agua Fria boat ramp has been closed due to unexpectedly high water levels at Lake Pleasant. The lower parking lot is almost completely underwater and the lake is still rising.

Please refer to the Lake Pleasant Regional Park website with regards to when the area is anticipated to reopen.

There is access to the Agua Fria from the main lake (eagle closure has been lifted).

It’s still possible to walk in and fish the shoreline, as I did last Friday for a couple catfish:

 

During this new moon, fishing at night under submersible lights is extremely viable (and a good way to avoid the hordes of water recreationists).

Frozen anchovies for striped bass might just fill your live well with good eating at Lake Pleasant, Lake Havasu, Lake Mohave and Lake Mead.

Crappie at night under lights should be good at Alamo, Roosevelt, Bartlett and maybe even Pleasant.

Finally, see the latest stocking reports.

Catch of the Week

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

At Kinnikinick Lake, Carson P. managed to catch this 11-pound, 29-inch catfish that hit worms on the bottom (his shoe size is 14 for comparison).

Kinnikinick is a great little lake, especially for float tubes, canoes and kayaks. This small spring-fed lake has primitive camp sites.

See previous Angler Reports

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, May 27 — Kids Fishing Day, D’Ambro Ranch Pond, near mile post 23 on Stockton Hill Rd., near Kingman, 7-11 a.m.  Read the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Now is the time to hit the high country lakes and streams.

Already stocked were Tonto Creek, the East Verde River, Silver Creek, East Fork of the Black River, and Canyon Creek. Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes are being socked this week as well.

The Woods Canyon Lake store reported that rainbows are being caught on almost anything from worms and artificial lures to corn and white bread. A 2.5-pound rainbow was caught on May 6. The biggest tiger trout reported so far has been 14 inches long.

Fishing is excellent at Lake Powell (walleye and BIG stripers) and Lake Havasu (spawning redear sunfish and incredible largemouth bass action.)

The Agua Fria boat ramp will be closed starting today due to unexpectedly high water levels at Lake Pleasant. The lower parking lot is almost completely underwater and the lake is still rising.

Please refer to the Lake Pleasant Regional Park website with regards to when the area is anticipated to reopen. Maricopa County is in the process of posting this closure notice.

Catfish stockings are ongoing at Community fishing waters, too!

Don’t forget to hit the Payson Wildlife Fair on Saturday.

See the full fishing report, grab a license online, 24/7, and don’t forget to send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.

Catch of the Week

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

On May 5-7 at Bear Canyon Lake,  Mike B. and a group of five adults started fishing Friday evening. This picture is their Sunday catch, in 42-degree water temperatures and heavy wind, primarily on lures and a few on PowerBait. Mike B.’s son Levi on the right and his friend’s son Trevin on the left.  They reported using mainly pink, lime twist, rainbow, and captain america for PowerBait, and Lil Jakes for lures.

See previous Angler Reports

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Friday, May 5 — Tonto Creek, the East Verde River, Silver Creek, East For of the Black River, Canyon Creek, Willow Springs Lake, and Woods Canyon Lake

Thursday, May 4 — Colorado River, Tonto Creek, Cristopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Topock Marsh, Big Lake.

Wednesday, May 3 — Luna Lake, West Fork Little Colorado RIver-Greer.

Tuesday, May 2 — West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Riggs Flat Lake, Bunch Res., RIver Res., Tunnel Res.

Monday, May 1 — Salt River, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek, Dogtown Res., Kaibab Lake, Canyon Creek.

Channel catfish

Friday, May 5 — “Core” Community waters except Sahuarita Lake and Mesa Riverview Lake.

See more stocking schedules.

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, May 20 — Family Fishing Event, Tempe Kiwanis Park (5500 S. Mill Ave., Tempe), 7-11 a.m. Read the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Typically, water temperatures in May can reach close to optimum levels for trout. May and October can be the top trout producing months for our high country lakes. We’re stocking trout throughout the state — even tiger trout have already been stocked into Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes.

This gorgeous brown trout recently came out of Dogtown Reservoir near Williams:

Beginning Monday, though, looks like the desert regions will have the best spots to drown a hook (Saturday is expected to be windy statewide). Things will have cooled significantly. Most bass are in a post-spawn mode. Full moon is March 10 and so expect another heavy wave of spawners. With increased water covering more trees and shrubs, bass have had plenty of ideal areas to spawn. By most accounts, bass fishing during last month’s full moon was incredible.

Oh, and walleye season has begun at Lake Powell.

See the full fishing report, grab a license online, 24/7, and don’t forget to send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.

Catch of the Week

Six year-old Steve F. wouldn’t be deterred by windy weather at Lake Havasu on Saturday and caught this 3 1/2-pound largemouth bass with a shad jig from the Cattail Cove launch ramp dock at Lake Havasu.

See all the Angler Reports

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Wednesday, April 26 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Show Low Lake, Hulsey Lake, Lower Lake Mary, Frances Short Pond, Ashurst Lake.

Tuesday, April 25 — Kaibab Lake.

Monday, April 24 — Bunch Res., RIver Res, Tunnel Res., Canyon Creek, Ashurst Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, Colorado River,

Tiger trout

Tuesday, April 25 and Monday, April 24  — Willow Springs Lake Woods Canyon Lake.

Channel catfish

Wednesday, April 26 — Patterson Ponds (St Johns), Tempe Town Lake, Dave White Regional Pond (Casa Grande), Pacana Park, Redondo Lake, Fortuna Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond, Council Ave. Pond, Roadrunner Park, DIscovery, Eldorado, McQueen, Freestone.

Bluegill

Wednesday, April 26 — Friendship Park Pond, Bonsall Park, Roadrunner Park Lake, Discovery Park, Eldorado Lake, McQueen Park, Freestone Pond, Friendship Pond.

See more stocking schedules.

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

Youth and Community Fishing Day, Cortez Park (3434 W. Dunlap Ave., Phoenix), 7-10 a.m. Read the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Many bass are in a post-spawn mode, and although there’s some windy weather predicted for much of the state this weekend, anglers can pick their spots. A couple might be  Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes on the Mogollon Rim — tiger trout are back and have been stocked for the first time this year. Looks like some pretty decent weather there Saturday and Sunday, too.

Top-water action had been picking up with a recent spat of warmer weather and some anglers were having success with frogs, Rebel Pop-Rs, and Ricos. With a string of predicted 90-degree temperatures in desert regions next week — possibly hitting 100 toward the end of the week — the surface action should pick up again.

A new moon was Wednesday, and so using submersible lights at night will be effective for a couple more days. Try striper fishing at night a Lake Mead, Lake Mohave (some big stripers were just caught fishing from shore with anchovies), or Lake Pleasant.

Also time to wet some lines in the Yuma area! Council Avenue (Somerton), Yuma West Wetlands, Fortuna Pond, and Redondo Pond were all stocked with channel catfish and bluegill Wednesday, April 26. See the stocking:

Grab a license online, 24/7, and go get ’em.

Other fish-lights:

Rainbow trout being loaded Wednesday en route to Flagstaff-area lakes at our Page Springs Fish Hatchery.
  • Rainbow trout are being stocked in the high country.
  • We just started a new habit project at Roosevelt Lake.
  • Crappie fishing has slowed. Action had been hot during their spawn following the recent full moon.
  • All roads to Big Lake are open.
  • Flathead catfishing will be picking up and should be good until mid-June. This is typically the time monster flatheads are caught.
  • Be sure to check the weather forecasts. Some gusty weather is predicted throughout the state this weekend (particularly out west).

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

April 19 — Goldwater Lake (Upper), Concho Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Rainbow Lake, Fool Hollow Lake, Haigler Creek, Christopher Creek.

April 20 — Tonto Creek, Ashurst Lake, East Verde River, Tonto Creek.

Channel catfish

April 20 — “Core” Community fishing waters.

See full schedules.

Catch of the Week

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

Aubrey, 6, caught this reported 18-inch cutthroat trout April 22 at Big Lake fishing on the bottom with a worm.  It was her first big fish.

See all the Angler Reports

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

  • Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club free fishing event at Mittry Lake, sunrise-noon.
  • Somerton free fishing event at Council Park Pond, 9 a.m. – noon.

See more details and the full schedule

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 funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Crappie are spawning and we’re getting some great reports from Roosevelt and San Carlos lakes. Bartlett Lake and Lake Pleasant should be good targets, too.

At Lake Powell, our state’s Yankee Stadium of fishing holes, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and crappie are on beds and reports are that anglers are having field days on striped bass with anchovies.

From trout stockings in the high pines to bass and crappie the lower deserts, fishing is gettin’ gangbusters. Round up the family and friends, stuff camping and fishing tackle in the trunk or cab, grab a fishing license, fill up the tank and take off on a spring fishing adventure.

Some fish bits:

  • Now’s the time to fish in northern Arizona.
  • Bass and sunfish have been stocked in Community fishing waters.
  • Roosevelt Lake is above 70-percent full for the first time in five years. We’ve stocked crappie and more Florida-strain bass into the lake this month, and began a Salt River-chain lakes habitat improvement project Thursday by dropping fish-hiding structures to the bottom of Roosevelt Lake.
  • At Bear Canyon Lake along the Mogollon Rim, Forest Road 300 opened today.  Fish were stocked this week in anticipation of the opening of the road. All roads to White Mountains/Mogollon Rim lakes are now open.
  • Cases of “swimmer’s itch” have been reported from Canyon Lake. See some tips from the Tonto National Forest on some prevention steps.

Catch of the Week

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

Rett of Cambodia with some nice stripers caught in 25 feet of water in northern coves at Lake Pleasant on top water lures and live shad.

See all the Angler Reports

Nets and waders: Working for You

Some of our fisheries biologists began a Salt River chain-lakes habitat improvement project Thursday by dropping Fishiding structures made of recycled garage door panels  to the bottom of Roosevelt Lake.

Habitat is important for fish spawning, recruitment, growth, health and populations. These artificial structures attract bait fish, which then attract predatory fish for sport-fishing anglers to target.

AZGFD also plans to use a 36-foot pontoon boat to sink fish habitat — critical to anglers’ fishing opportunities — into Roosevelt Lake. Similar work is planned for other lakes along the Salt River chain.

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 — Fishing for Sustainability-Family and Community Fishing Event, 8 a.m – noon, Silverbell Lake at Christopher Columbus Park (3600 N. Silverbell Rd., Tucson).

See more details and the full schedule

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

The transition to spring fishing conditions is finally setting in — time to get out and fish!

Let’s get to some highlights:

  • It’s crappie time! The spawn at San Carlos has been underway for the past few weeks and there have been excellent reports.  The crappie spawn is just getting underway at Roosevelt Lake. Male crappie are in shallow areas of the lake; some females are moving onto spawning flats.
  • Striped bass catch rates are picking up at Lake Pleasant. Check out a report from guest contributor Barry Worman of the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page.
  • The Arizona Department of Transportation planned to open State Highways 261 and 273 on Thursday, April 13. ADOT was working to clear the last of the snow drifts off of the highways before opening. The roads were closed during winter months for public safety. Opening the state highways allows access to Big Lake and Crescent and Sunrise lakes. See an Arizona Traveler Information map that shows only minimal delays on these roads.
  • The 300 road is open to the Woods Canyon Lake turnoff.  Store and boat rentals are open. Campgrounds won’t open until May.  A recent survey found lots of rainbow and tiger trout winter carry-overs averaging around 11-12 inches , and rainbow trout are being stocked this week.  We saw full stringers this week before it was even stocked —  fish are hungry and biting hooks.

    A 4- or 5-pound largemouth bass caught recently from Alvord Lake in Phoenix on a No. 10 silver flutter spoon.
  • We stocked bass (yes — bass!) and crappie this week into “core” Community waters. See the schedule.
  • Recently-stocked brown trout have been hitting at Lynx Lake. One angler hooked a bunch of ’em on 1.5 inch-crappie tubes on the southern shore of the lake.
  • A monster 5-pound redear sunfish was caught from Lake Havasu — see the Angler Reports.

Grab a license online 24/7, and go — your purchase helps conserve wildlife for future generations.

Stocking report

Channel catfish

Wednesday, April 5 — Chaparral Lake, Riverview Lake, Red Mountain Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Silverbell Lake, Kennedy Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Lakeside Lake, Surprise Lake,  Rio Vista Pond, Pioneer Lake, Steele Indian School Pond, Encanto Lake, Desert West Lake, Alvord Lake, Papago Ponds, Evelyn Hallman Pond, Desert Breeze Lake, Tempe Kiwanis Lake,  Bonsall Park.

Rainbow trout

Friday, April 7 — Tonto Creek,  East Verde River, Canyon Creek.

Thursday, April 6 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Russell Tank, Lower Lake Mary, Dogtown Reservoir.

Tuesday, April 4 — Becker Lake, Scott Reservoir, Rainbow Lake,  Fool Hollow Lake, Goldwater Lake, Rose Canyon Lake, Dogtown Reservoir.

Brook trout

Tuesday, April 4 — Lynx Lake, Fain Lake.

See the full schedule.

 

Catch of the Week

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

Dave P. caught this Big Fish of the Year, catch-and-release smallmouth bass from Roosevelt Lake on March 21 that measured  23 1/2 inches and weighed 5.96 pounds. Caught on a Kalin’s triple threat grub (John Deere color).

See all the Angler Reports

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, April 22 — Fishing for Sustainability-Family and Community Fishing Event, 8 a.m – noon, Silverbell Lake at Christopher Columbus Park (3600 N. Silverbell Rd., Tucson).

See more details and the full schedule

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Spring striper bite commences at Lake Pleasant

Time to strip the old line off the reels, get your lucky hat on, and get spring fishing!

The last month the striper bite as not been ideal and very inconsistent. The water temps really did not climb or maintain a warmer temperature for the month of March.  The water temp at Lake Pleasant is finally staying in the 64-67-degree range.

The females are full of fully developed eggs and the males are leaking.

Lake Pleasant striper catch rate on the rise

Anglers have reported catching plenty of shad in the Castle Creek area of Lake Pleasant, then trolling shad starting — and ending — in 20 feet of water, fishing shallower and deeper in between.

The last week the bite has really improved. Whereas last month most anglers reported only catching and average of 3-7 fish  daily, that has now increased to 11-30 (or more)  fish during a trip.

Last month live shad seemed to be the only consistent method producing fish on a slow bite.  Lately anglers are reporting frozen anchovies, silver Kastmasters, plastic swimbaits, and top-water lures as producing good results.

I think the next 2-3 weeks will produce moderate-to-good fishing conditions for striper. Northern coves are still recommended for best results.

Anglers are catching fish in 20-48 feet of total water depth and still having success cast-netting shad in 4-8 feet of water.

Recommended swimbait colors would be sexy shad, white, smoking grey, money shot and baits with some chartreuse color in them. The night bite is slowly picking up and night fishing will become more popular moving into future months.  If using anchovies, don’t forget to chum.

Have fun and enjoy the great spring conditions!

Barry Worman is the moderator of the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page