Category Archives: Fishing Report

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Look for the March 1 full moon to trigger a wave of spawning bass, especially at western impoundments Lake Havasu and Alamo Lake. Some anglers at Havasu this week were braving some colder weather to catch striped bass at the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge fishing pier using anchovies:

Havasu, along with Alamo, are among the first in the state to warm and experience spawning activity. Looks like the weather might stabilize by next weekend’s full moon: that means smallmouth bass could move in shallow to spawn. Fishing will pick up  quickly at Havasu as the water temperatures warm up in the spring from the low 60s in early March to the upper 80s in May.

At Alamo Lake, crappie fishing should be excellent once the weather stabilizes.  Already there have been many reports of anglers catching 30-40 crappie a day ranging from 9-16 inches.

High country update: snow restricting access

Recent storms have brought much-needed snow to higher elevations, but it is now impeding access to some lakes.

The following roads are now closed/gated:  Highway 273 to Crescent, Big, and Lee Valley Lakes; Rim Road (FR 300) from Highway 260 west to the Coconino Forest boundary; Forest Road 105 to Woods Canyon Lake; Forest Road 149 to Willow Springs Lake; Forest Road 169 south of FR 169B; Forest Road 34 south of Chevelon Work Center.  Other Forest Roads may be snow-packed and/or muddy.  Fishing is fair to good at Patterson Ponds, Luna Lake, Silver Creek, and Becker Lake.

Community fishing catfish coming

There are only two stockings of winter trout left (this week and 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.

Catch of the Week

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

Canyon Lake

Mike G. with a reported 10-pound largemouth bass taken from Canyon Lake Wednesday, Feb. 21 on his first cast of the day at Canyon Lake Marina. He said he was using a shad bait.

Mike said it was his first 10-pound bass.  “(The fish) came up as I was reeling in and slammed it hard,” he said.

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

Just for Kids Fishing Festival. 8 a.m. – noon. Take a Kid Fishing Day. Kiwanis Park 5500 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ 85283

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 lagoon, Goldwater Lake, Saguaro Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Parker Canyon Lake, Roper Lake, “core” Community waters.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Feb. 15: Council Ave. Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond, Lower Salt River. Wednesday, Feb. 14:  “expansion/custom” 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”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

A surprise stocking into Community Fishing Program waters took place about 10 days ago. We stocked some big largemouth bass weighing between 2-4 pounds into select Community waters in Phoenix and Tucson.

We didn’t immediately announce the stocking in hopes that less fishing pressure will allow for a successful spring spawn.  Largemouth bass already were present in waters that were stocked; this was a supplemental stocking to the natural populations.

Stocking bass is expensive and so is rare. Anglers can help maintain bass fishing in Community waters by practicing catch-and-release, but if you choose to harvest, remember there are minimum length limits of 13 inches (smaller bass must be released unharmed) and bag limits of either 2 or 1 bass, depending on the water. Water Ranch in Gilbert is catch-and-release only (single barbless hooks). See the 2017-18 fishing regulations.

This is a reminder for anglers to keep fishing Community waters because you never know what’s going to bite. The recent rains in desert regions has triggered an excellent bite for many species, especially stocked rainbow trout. This time of the year, Community waters can provide some of the best trout fishing in the state.

Plans to stock trout at Lees Ferry:
public meeting March 5

We plan to stock rainbow trout this spring into the lower 3 mile walk-in section of Lees Ferry!

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.

Pre-spawning bass activity underway

Bass tend to spawn earlier at western Arizona impoundments such as Lake Havasu and Alamo Lake than at the rest of the state because these large, solunar bowls warm up early and quickly.

At Lake Havasu, an unseasonably warm winter nearly made for some fairly early pre-spawning bass  action but recent rainy, windy weather has prevented more bass from moving in shallow to stick around and build spawning beds. Look for the full moon around March 1 to produce a big wave of spawning activity.

There’s also pre-spawn bass activity underway at Lake Pleasant and Saguaro Lake.

See five great baits for catching pre-spawning bass.

Snow on the Rim — finally

Snow fell on Willow Springs Lake Monday afternoon.
Snow falling on Willow Springs Lake Monday.

Many anglers are celebrating recent snow fall during an abnormally warm winter. That means increased run-off and nutrients that will flow into the Salt River chain of lakes this spring.

Ice has melted off a number of lakes in the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains areas earlier than usual. These include Luna Lake, Hulsey Lake, Willow Springs Lake, Black Canyon Lake, and the Greer lakes. All lakes at lower elevations than these are also ice free.

If you plan to do some high country fishing, be sure to check the latest road conditions from the Arizona Department of Transportation, and remember: We consider all ice on Arizona lakes unsafe.

Catch of the Week

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

Riverview Lake (Mesa)

Larry G. with a 19-inch rainbow trout caught Friday, Jan. 12 from Riverview Lake in Mesa.

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, Feb. 24

Just for Kids Fishing Festival. 8 a.m. – noon. Take a Kid Fishing Day. Kiwanis Park 5500 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ 85283

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

Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde), Fain Lake, Lower Salt River, Red Mountain Lake, Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake, Hidden Shores-Imperial Dam, Somerton (Council Park) Pond, Yuma West Wetlands, “expansion/custom” Community waters.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Wednesday, Feb.  7 —  “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”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Top picks for this weekend are trout-stocked waters such as Dead Horse Ranch State Park lagoons, Goldwater Lake  in Prescott and Community fishing waters. Also consider Lees Ferry or any of our top-5 winter fishing holes. 

Water temperatures in many desert impoundments remain in the low-50s. There is a cold front predicted to moved through Tucson Saturday and Phoenix Sunday, and lasting into next week. This could make crappie fishing difficult (the crappie bite tends to shut down during unstable periods of weather). Bass fishing could remain decent until water temperature dip below 50 degrees, which is when bass typically feed less often, and in less quantities, as their metabolism slows.

Expanded fishing info: changes coming

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. 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 @AZGFD.gov – one will be selected for Catch of the Week.

Trout stockings continue

We’re still stocking tons of trout into many waters statewide. See the schedules.

Catch of the Week

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

Lees Ferry

John U. caught this reported 21-inch rainbow trout drifting flies.

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

Take a Kid Fishing Day. 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. La Paz County Park 7350 Riverside Dr. Parker, Ariz., 85344

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, Goldwater Lake, Canyon Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Roper Lake, Fortuna Pond, Redondo Pond, Parker (La Paz), “core” Community waters.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Feb. 1 —Apache Lake, Lynx Lake.

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”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Possibly the best-tasting fish in the state  — crappie — is a prime target. Some good crappie fishing is being reported thanks in part to a particularly wet spring that seems to have allowed for a great class of spawning fish. Top targets for crappie are Roosevelt, Alamo and Bartlett lakes.  With stable, warm weather this weekend, it’s worth using your favorite crappie technique, whether that’s trolling jigs, dropping minnows, vertically jigging spoons, or maybe your own specialty rig.

Rain and run-off from last spring has helped make for some pretty good winter fishing and there’s plenty of time left for some better high-country snow pack.

The bass bite

Guide Gary Senft with a 4-pound largemouth bass caught Tuesday from Bartlett Lake.

The water temperature at Roosevelt Lake (2,112 feet in elevation as of Thursday) has been a just above 50 degrees during the day. Many anglers find that once the water temperatures dip below 50 degrees,  the metabolism of bass slows considerably. We may not have to worry about that this week. There is more unseasonably warm temperatures ahead in desert regions with overtime lows predicted to reach low- to high-50s  in Phoenix and high-40s in Tucson. In general, fish slowly, and cover a lot of water. Best overall rig for largemouth bass is probably a dropshot-rigged Roboworm fished during afternoons.

Expect access restrictions
to Lower Salt River day-use rec sites

Headed to the Lower Salt River? The Tonto National Forest announced that paving projects on Bush Highway will impact the Granite Reef and Phon D. Sutton day-use recreation sites along the Lower Salt River. Expect access restrictions into Granite Reef, between Feb. 1 and March 5 while Maricopa County Department of Transportation completes improvements to Bush Highway.

Also, paving work will also occur at Butcher Jones Recreation Area of Saguaro Lake beginning on Feb. 20.  Butcher Jones will remain open for the majority of the project work, but will be closed to the public on March 7 – 9.

Read more from the Tonto National Forest, or read additional information about the Bush Highway road project.

Trout stockings continue

We’re still stocking tons of trout into many waters statewide. See the schedules.

Catch of the Week

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

Alamo Lake

John P. from Central Point, Ore., a first-time visitor to Arizona, helped a group of anglers, including Dick K., boat a reported 34 crappie Sunday and Monday that averaged 2 pounds each. John caught the largest fish that was at a reported 2 pounds, 12 ounces.

All fish were were caught trolling small crankbaits behind offshore side planers over 15-20 feet of water.

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, Feb. 10

Take a Kid Fishing Day. 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. La Paz County Park 7350 Riverside Dr. Parker, Ariz., 85344

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

Watson Lake, Lynx Lake, Apache Lake, Lower Salt River.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Jan. 24 — Pena Blanca Lake. Wednesday, Jan. 23 — Saguaro Lake, Lower Salt River, Community “core” 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”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

During the next month, there should be some hot fishing for yellow bass and crappie – both are excellent table fare. Hot spots for yellow bass are Apache, Saguaro, and Canyon lakes in the Tonto National Forest. Prime waters for crappie are Roosevelt, Bartlett and Alamo lakes. See the full report for more details.

Remember that with recent unstable weather, crappie schools may be present but the bites tend to be light. If fishing vertically over a school, slowly lift your rod a couple feet to detect a bite and set the hook if you feel any pressure.  Try this at different depths. Unlike trolling, anglers can set the hook with this technique.

If you’re considering heading to the high country, be sure to check the Arizona Department of Transportation website for the latest road conditions. Remember we consider all ice in Arizona unsafe.

Fishing forecast, new fish and boat map,
on the way

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. Look for the forecast in the “Fishing” section of our website.

Also, we plan to soon release a new-and-much 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.

Southern AZ anglers: get rigged and ready

Recent water quality surveys at Pena Blanca Lake show that conditions have improved and we will begin stocking rainbow trout again this week.  In fact, the lake is scheduled to be stocked today (Wednesday, Jan. 24). See the 2018 Winter Stocking Schedule.

Community fishing updates

This week we stocked the “core” waters in Phoenix and Maricopa.

We did not stock Tempe Town Lake as scheduled due to an active algae bloom and a partial fish die-off, nor did we stock Alvord Lake in Phoenix, where fish stockings have been temporarily suspended due to golden algae.

Also, Cortez Lake in Phoenix has been tested as positive for golden algae: this lake was stocked, and as of Tuesday there had not been a fish die-off. See the latest Community fishing news.

Catch of the Week

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

Apache Lake

Dylan S. with a 14-inch yellow bass caught from Apache Lake.

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

Family Fishing Day. 8 a.m. – noon. Red Mountain Lake 7745 E. Brown Rd. Mesa, Ariz.

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

Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde), Lower Salt River, Saguaro Lake, Tempe Town Lake, Pena Blanca Lake, Somerton (Council Ave.) Pond, Yuma West Wetlands, Community core waters.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Wednesday, Jan. 17 — Community  “expansion” waters; Cluff Reservoir 3, Roper Lake, Dankworth Ponds. Tuesday, Jan. 16 — Canyon Lake, Watson Lakes, Dead Horse Lakes.

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”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

This time of the year, some of the best trout fishing in the state can come from Community fishing waters. Anglers have been catching some of the monster rainbow trout that we stocked 2 weeks ago. See the Catch of the Week!

This week, we stocked all the expansion waters. Red Mountain Lake in Mesa and Green Valley Lakes in Payson have been stocked a week early. The rest of the “core” waters will be stocked next week as scheduled.

Last week, the only core water that was not stocked with the larger-than-average “incentive trout” was Desert Breeze Lake in Chandler due to golden algae. Those fish were diverted to Tempe Kiwanis Lake. Alvord Lake in Phoenix will not be stocked next week, also because of golden algae.

See our Community stocking schedule, which shows “core” vs. “expansion” waters.

If you’re considering heading to the high country, be sure to check the Arizona Department of Transportation website for the latest road conditions.

Catch of the Week

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

Water Ranch Lake (Gilbert)

Alyssa I. caught this “incentive” rainbow trout Saturday, Jan. 13 at about 11 a.m. SHe had just put on fresh PowerBait rainbow dough bait.  “And about 45 seconds in,” she wrote, ” the bell went off — I caught a rainbow trout 3.74 pounds, a monster. It’s also my first fish out of this lake …  it was amazing.”

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, Jan. 27

Family Fishing Day. 8 a.m. – noon. Red Mountain Lake 7745 E. Brown Rd. Mesa, Ariz.

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 Lakes, Watson Lake, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Roper Lake, Community expansion waters.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Jan. 11 — Fain Lake. Wednesday, Jan. 10 — Community “core” 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”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Odds are, a Big Fish of the Year or Catch of the Week is about to come out a Community Fishing Program water.

By Friday, we’ll have stocked some larger-than-average rainbow trout into all of our “core” Community waters in Phoenix, Maricopa, Tucson and Sahuarita. These fish average about 1 pound.

The only core water that will not be stocked this week is Desert Breeze Lake in Chandler due to golden algae. Those fish will be diverted to Tempe Kiwanis Lake.

See our Community stocking schedule, which shows “core” waters.

High Country update

Kaibab Lake near Williams on Thursday, Jan. 4 was 1/4 ice covered (ice coming from the dam).

In the White Mountains region, Highways 273 and 261 are closed for the winter.   Some lakes at the higher elevations are ice covered or partially ice covered. All ice should be considered unsafe. Fishing is currently good at Patterson Ponds, Show Low Creek meadows, and Silver Creek.

Catch of the Week

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

 Black Canyon Lake

Justin F. recently caught this stringer of rainbow trout from Black Canyon Lake.

Fishing is fair right now at the lake near Heber. Roads are still open and the lake is entirely ice free. The lake is almost 8 feet below spillway and the new boat ramp is still fully functional.

 

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

City of Maricopa Youth Fishing Day. 8 a.m. – noon. Copper Sky Lake 45345 W. Martin Luther King Blvd. Maricopa, Ariz., 85138.

This family event is co-sponsored with the City of Maricopa and Arizona Game and Fish. Sport Fishing Education Program staff and volunteer instructors will be on hand to provide loaner rods for the first 100 participants who don’t have their own rod, as well as bait and fishing information.

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

“Core” Community waters (Desert Breeze in Chandler will not be stocked due to golden algae), Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde), Fain Lake, Lower Salt River, Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake, Fortuna Pond, Redondo Pond.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Dec. 28 — “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”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Community trout fishing has been excellent. For some anglers,  water temperatures of 49-55 degrees at many community waters, combined with good water quality and healthy fish, have made for a great rainbow trout bite.

We stocked each “core” water last week and are getting ready to stock more than 7,000 pounds of BIG rainbow trout into these same waters once again next week. These fish will average about 1 pound and be about 25 percent larger than the average stocker trout. Try PowerBait, small spinners or nightcrawlers.

See our stocking schedules.

The Desert Deal

The National Fish Habitat Partnership has unveiled its list of seven U.S. “Waters to Watch” for 2017. One of them is our very own Tonto National Forest gem, Roosevelt Lake.

At Roosevelt Lake, the water temperature has dropped into  the low- to mid-50s, according to Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods. In turn, baitfish, crappie and bass are moving deeper. This winter fishing pattern will be similar at other desert impoundments.

Goughnour said anglers at Roosevelt are finding crappie at around 40 feet of water depth and either vertically fishing or using a small curly-tail grub rigged on a dropshot rig. Bass can be caught with this same technique. Look for crappie around cover such as trees, rock piles and artificial habitat.

Our top-5 winter fishing holes feature Parker Canyon Lake, the Colorado River, Lake Havasu, the Lower Salt River and Alamo Lake.

Catch of the Week

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

West Fork-Black River

In mid December, Brett P. caught this nice brown trout below the West Fork Campground, drifting a nightcrawler under the bank. The trout had three crawfish in its stomach.The anglers reported catching five brown trout after bagging an elk.

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

Annual Brian Pinney Memorial Family Fishing Event. 8 a.m. – noon. Hirsch Conservation Education Area (Biscuit Tank) Ben Avery Shooting Facility, 4044 W. Black Canyon Blvd. ,Phoenix, 85086. For more information, please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240.

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 Lakes, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Parker Canyon Lake, Roper Lake.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Dec. 28 — “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”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

First, some great news from Lees Ferry.  This massive, clear-running tailwater fishery in northern Arizona could be back in a boom phase of good trout fishing according to a report from Lees Ferry anglers. 

Also, check out our  top-5 fishing spots for this winter (if you haven’t already). Spots like these are why it’s great to be an angler in Arizona.

Schooling winter crappie

The next month can be an excellent time for crappie fishing. Try Alamo and Roosevelt lakes. During this time, crappie are in large schools and the weather is stable most of the time. Fronts moving through the area will negatively impact a bite. Be sure to fish deep and on the right day. Look for a flotilla of boats as a sign that a school of crappie has been located.

Roosevelt Lake one of U.S. top “Waters to Watch”

Fishiding HighRise structures are made of environmentally-safe PVC and are excellent habitat for crappie.

The National Fish Habitat Partnership has unveiled its list of seven “Waters to Watch” for 2017, a collection of rivers, streams, estuaries, lakes and watershed systems that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition.

Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest was listed for its collaborative partnership that has been formed to address habitat issues.

Read more about our habitat improvement project.

High country freeze reports

Flagstaff region: On Tuesday, Ashurst Lake was about ¾ frozen at 10:30 a.m. with a big opening by the boat ramp.  Lower Lake Mary was completely frozen and Upper Lake Mary was more than half frozen.  Kaibab Lake was almost completely frozen.

White Mountain region: There are reports that Big Lake is icing over. The Big Lake Store is closed for the winter.

Above 5,000 feet in elevation, there continue to be below-zero morning temperatures and water temperatures in the 30s at the highest elevation lakes. We consider all ice in Arizona unsafe.

Bald eagle closure in effect at Lake Pleasant 

The annual bald eagle closure of the Agua Fria arm (see a park map for details of the closure area) went into effect Friday, December 15, 2017, and will remain closed until June 15 2018, in an effort to ensure the conservation of bald eagles during nesting season. Obey all posted signage and buoy markers associated with the closure area.

Short-term combo license sale

We’re having our first year-end cast and blast sale! Save $5 on all Short-Term combo licenses NOW! The sale ends Jan. 1.  Get yours.

Catch of the Week

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

Dave White Pond (Casa Grande)

 

This young angler caught a nice rainbow trout on a spinner on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 9 along the shoreline of Dave White Pond in Casa Grande. Our Community Fishing Program reaches 41 waters in 20 communities like Casa Grande — and growing.

See previous Angler Reports

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 Lakes, Fain Lake, Saguaro Lake, Tempe Town Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Roper Lake, Somerton (Council Ave.) Pond, Yuma West Wetlands.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Dec. 14 — Canyon Lake. Wednesday, Dec. 13 — Chaparral Lake, Riverview Lake, Kiwanis Park Lake, Desert Breeze Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Lakeside Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Kennedy Lake, Silverbell Lake, Patagonia Lake, Salt River.

See all the stocking schedules

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

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.

See previous Angler Reports

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

Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde); Goldwater Lake, Watson Lake, Canyon Lake, Lower Salt River, Parker Canyon Lake, Patagonia Lake, “core” Community waters,

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Dec. 6 — Expansion Community waters (including Show Low Creek.)

See all the stocking schedules

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.

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