Category Archives: Fishing 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

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

April and October can be the best months of the year to fish in Arizona. The water temperatures are ideal for waves of spawns. Continued access to high country lakes will open the way for lunker holdovers (as of Thursday, access is open to Woods Canyon Lake).

The buffet is laid out – bass are spawning, especially with next week’s (April 11) full moon; crappie should be spawning; flathead catfish are making camera lenses struggle to keep fish in frame; trout are being stocked all across the high country and anglers are catching holdovers as well as tasty stockers; channel catfish are abundant in the Community Fishing Program lakes.

It’s supposed to be a pretty windy weekend, so anglers might consider fishing leeside shorelines and coves. Not only will the protection make fishing more comfortable, the fact that you’re fishing downwind can push baitfish and sportfish to your area.

Seems this is the time of the year the big flathead begin to roam the banks, looking for something like a live bluegill or carp (your bait) to munch.

Enjoy this incredible spring weather– and fishing!

Stocking report

Channel catfish

March 30 — Tempe Town Lake, Friendship Park Pond, Bonsall Park, Roadrunner Lake, Eldorado Lake, McQueen Park, Freestone Pond, DIscovery Park, Dave White Pond, Pacana Park, Patterson Ponds.

Rainbow trout

March 28 — Verde River (middle), Salt River,  Lower Lake Mary.

Bluegill

Monday, March 27 — Eldorado Lake, Papago Ponds, Steele Indian School, Encanto Lake, Roadrunner Lake, Ashurst Lake.

See the full schedule.

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 8 — Youth Fishing Day, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Bonsall Pond (5840 W. Bethany Home Rd., Glendale). The AZGFD and city of Glendale will give out up to 1,000 free youth license on a first-come, first-serve basis.

See the full schedule

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Channel catfish stockings have returned to the Community fishing waters – grab some stink baits, shrimp or hot dogs and go.

But Mr. Whiskers returned in a way we could barely imagine: not as a stocker into a pond, but as a state record from Upper Lake Mary near Flagstaff.  See the story, or Catch of the Week below, for more about this 33.36-pound channel catfish caught in 2 feet of water on anchovies.

Fishing’s good at Lower Lake Mary, too. The gate will be open weekends from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, some anglers are still catching trout, like this 4-pounder Jean P. just caught from Chaparral Lake in Scottsdale:

In desert regions, bass are in all three phases of spawn. Fishing for spawning bass has been somewhat difficult because of lack of visibility in shallow areas of many lakes. We’re still waiting on stable weather to make bass fishing bust loose.

Silver Creek catch-and-keep season opens Saturday

Headed to the high country? At Silver Creek, the catch-and-keep season will begin Saturday, April 1 and run through Sept. 30 as bait and barbless hooks may be used and the limit is six trout.  The upper section will close to fishing when this regulation changes for the summer season.  Harvest of trout in the lower section during the first week of April should be fair.

Before Saturday, regulations are catch-and-release with artificial flies and lures with single barbless hooks only.

Check out our Special Regulations waters map.

See the full report for more high country options. Hot spots during April and early May tend to be in the Flagstaff and Williams area at the Mary lakes, Kinnikinick Lake, Kaibab Lake, and Dogtown Lake. Get there before it’s too hot.

 

Stocking report

Catfish

Friday, March 24 — Community “core” waters.

Bluegill

Monday, March 27 — Eldorado Lake, Papago Ponds, Steele Indian School, Encanto Lake, Roadrunner Lake, Ashurst Lake.

Rainbow trout

Thursday, March 16 — Lower Salt River, Oak Creek, Frances Short Pond. Tuesday, March 14 — Patagonia Lake, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek. Monday, March 13 – Verde River (middle), Lynx Lake, Frances Short Pond, Lower Lake Mary. Sunday, March 9 — Concho Lake, Cluff Res. 3, Roper Lake, Lower Lake Mary.

See the full schedule.

 

Nets and Waders: Working For You

Channel catfish caught at Show Low Lake

Pinetop fisheries biologists last week surveyed Fool Hollow and Show Low lakes. At both, the walleye were spawning, which is good for future recruitment in the lakes and also makes for good fishing. Use a Rapala lure or any other fish-like lure. The temperatures in the lakes were up to about 55 degrees.

At both Fool Hollow and Show Low Lakes, we caught large smallmouth bass and channel catfish. Northern pike are at the end of the spawn in Fool Hollow Lake, so try fishing the shallow, weedy coves. We recommend that you keep these fish — they are a delicious white meat fish. At Show Low Lake, the survey found a lot of 8-inch cutthroat trout.

Catch of the Week

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


Carson Pete of Flagstaff on Sunday, March 26 caught a 33.36-pound, 39 ½-inch channel catfish that broke an inland waters hook-and-line state record for the species. See the full story.

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 8 — Youth Fishing Day, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Bonsall Pond (5840 W. Bethany Home Rd., Glendale). The AZGFD and city of Glendale will give out up to 1,000 free youth license on a first-come, first-serve basis.

See the full schedule

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

 

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

Apache Lake

Gunny C.: Finally a quality bass. 8-pounds, 2 ounces on March 15. Thanks to Johnny Johnson for the great informational videos!

Lake Mead

Jack caught this monster 48-pound, 13-ounce striper in about 10 feet of water in the flats across from South Cove. He also caught another lunker on the fishing trip.

Pena Blanca Lake

 

Andrew: Fished the shore this last Sunday evening. Didn’t get any bites using small jigs. Caught sunfish and bass on nightcrawlers during sundown.

 Roosevelt Lake

Jeff P.: Working the shallows between Grapevine and Schoolhouse, put 12 in the boat (catch and release), mostly on the smaller side, but also picked up a couple of good ones including the 19 incher in the photo. All were caught on clear/red hula grubs, Texas-rigged.

Desert Breeze Park (Chandler)

Anonymous: Viviana and her dad caught these two catfish late afternoon on Monday. Using chicken liver and are so excited for some spring fishing!

Fossil Creek

Max W.: Just wanted to let you know, chub fishing at Fossil Creek was on fire over the weekend. 5-6 fish an hour in the morning, all on dark simi-seals and wooly buggers. Things slowed down around 9:30 or so.

Dead Horse lagoons

Debbie A.: Taylor Allen (of Flagstaff) caught this largemouth bass on a drop shot. Sunday, March 19.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Mr. Whiskers is coming back! Thursday, March 23 will mark the first catfish stockings in the Community Fishing Program waters.

Also, motorized access to the upper arm of the Agua Fria River at Lake Pleasant will again be available thanks to a special development project of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Boating Access Program.  Through the cooperative efforts of the Department, the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, this unique boating and fishing opportunity will be available each Friday through Sunday throughout the spring, beginning Friday, March 24.  Operating hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and regular park entry fees apply (exact change required). See more information.

We also have some updated stocking schedules. Check ’em out.

And then there was this recently at from Lees Ferry:

Finally, don’t forget out come out to our Outdoor Expo March 25-26! See more information.

Now time for some spring break solutions:

(Check out our Fish&Boat Arizona map for locations to these waters.)

  • Alamo Lake. West of Wickenburg, Alamo Lake has lots of great camping sites, fish cleaning stations, and a lack of recreational boaters. Alamo doesn’t have a marina or boat gas. So you won’t be “waked out” by multiple ski boats. Jet skis won’t be cutting your lines. Lacking amenities can be a great thing for those who just want to fish. Plus, fishing is picking up — there have been reports of 3-5-pound crappie being caught this week.
  • Dead Horse Ranch State Park (and Verde River). Located in Cottonwood, the Dead Horse ponds are stocked with trout and are kid-friendly. The Verde River is being stocked.  The Tuzigoot National Monument is a short drive away from the river. We even stock the river adjacent to the bridge leading to these fascinating hillside Indian ruins.
  • Roper Lake State Park near Safford. With great views of Mount Graham, the lake is stocked with trout. Besides tons of camping spots, they also have “camping cabins.”
  • Mary lakes in Flagstaff. Upper Lake Mary is full and spilling and Lower Lake Mary recently has had about 9,000 larger (10 inch) rainbow trout stocked along with about 8,600 smaller (6-8 inch) rainbow trout.
  • Roosevelt Lake. Simply camping galore and good fishing.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Thursday, March 9 — Concho Lake, Cluff Reservoir 3, Roper Lake, Dankworth Ponds, Lower Lake Mary. Wednesday, March 8 — Silverbell Lake, Kennedy Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Lakeside Lake, Caparral Lake Riverview Lake, Tempe Kiwanis Lake, Desert Breeze Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Copper Sky 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

Cheyanne Montes caught this nice rainbow trout on her first cast at Tempe Kiwanis Lake on Saturday, March 11.

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 8 — Youth Fishing Day, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Bonsall Pond (5840 W. Bethany Home Rd., Glendale). The AZGFD and city of Glendale will give out up to 1,000 free youth license on a first-come, first-serve basis.

See the full schedule

SEE THE FULL REPORT

A melting region: White Mountains fishing updates

Weather in the White Mountains region has been warming to highs in the 60s, and could nip the 70s this weekend. Many lakes are thawing, and more roads to some prime fishin’ holes will become open. The region, in a sense, is melting.

Fishing is good at Concho Lake, Silver Creek, and Becker Lake.  Silver Creek is in the catch-and-release season, where in October there was  a parasite outbreak — but fishing is now good.  Concho Lake was stocked the week of March 8.  Becker Lake is catch and release as well, but fishing for large rainbows and tiger trout is good.  

Anglers fish from a pier Friday, March 10 at Becker Lake. George Andrejko/AZGFD

 

 

Here’s a chart showing an overview of fishing ratings, followed by a look at each lake along with some other photos from Friday around this scenic, fishing heaven:

Mogollon Rim lakes

*Skim ice may be present, use caution.  Ice coverage is unpredictable with warm days and cold nights. Forest Road 300 (Rim Road) to Woods Canyon Lake and Bear Canyon Lake is closed for the winter.

Snow and snow melt by Young Rd. of Highway 260 on Friday, March 10. George Andrejko/AZGFD

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Inaccessible.  Forest Road 300 (the Rim Road) is closed for the winter as of Jan. 5.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is poor.  Try crankbaits for bass.  Accessible on Forest Road 86.  Road may be muddy and have snow on it but is accessible.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair for large wild brown trout and rainbow trout. Forest Road 504 from the north is open.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is fair to poor for stocked rainbow trout and tiger trout.  The gate to Willow Springs Lake is closed (the boat ramp is inaccessible), however the road to Sardine Point is open but has snow on it.  The lake’s main body is open; however the fingers of the lake are snow and ice-covered.  Temperatures are freezing.  Ice is thin and unsafe.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Inaccessible.  Forest Road 300 (the Rim Road) is closed.  Ice is thin and unsafe.  There is some open water.  You can walk in.

Pinetop/Show Low/St. Johns lakes

*Skim ice may be present, use caution.  Ice coverage is unpredictable with warm days and cold nights.

A family fishes Patterson Ponds Thursday, March 9 in St. Johns. George Andrejko/AZGFD

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair.  No ice.  Rainbow trout are being caught. The lake is full.  Fishing pier and platforms are accessible!  Northern pike should be congregating to spawn this time of year, try throwing Rapala lures or streamers in shallow coves.  Northern pike spawn and congregate in weedy shallow coves. Try crankbaits for bass.

Blake Frost with a northern pike at Rainbow Lake — her second fish ever.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to poor.  Lake is full and spilling no ice.  We are doing northern pike removals, so beware of gill nets during the day.  We have caught some bass, many 17-inch catfish, lots of northern pike and even one 16-inch rainbow trout!  Northern pike are congregating to spawn to shallow weedy coves.  Try your luck, they are a tasty fish!

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fair. No ice.

SHOW LOW LAKE – No ice.  Fishing is fair.  Holdover rainbow trout should be fishing well.  The two fishing piers have been disconnected so that winter ice does not damage them, thus, they are not available for shore-fishing.  The road over the dam is closed for the winter.

WOODLAND LAKE – No ice.  Fishing is fair.  Fishing dock is inaccessible.

PATTERSON PONDS – This is a community fishing water in St. John’s.  A regular fishing license or a community fishing license is required to fish here.  Channel catfish and sunfish fishing is fair, but trout fishing is good.  Catfish were last stocked in October and rainbow trout were just stocked in Jan. 25!  The pond daily bag limits in community fishing waters (2 trout; 2 catfish; 5 sunfish) apply.

White Mountains lakes

*Skim ice may be present or lakes may be frozen over.  The 261 and 273 roads are closed.  Forest roads are icy and snow packed.

An angler fishes from a pier Friday, March 10 at Becker Lake. George Andrejko/AZGFD

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent.  Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release only for trout, artificial fly and lure only; single barbless hooks only. No bait.  No trout may be kept.  Many large, thick rainbow trout are being caught on white semiseal leach with olive or gray tail, or red chironomids under a strike indicator.  Tiger trout are also being caught.

BIG LAKE – Inaccessible and ice-covered. Ice is still VERY thin and unsafe.  During the winter survey on March 8, accessed with snow mobiles, ice was easily broken through just standing on it. There is some open water.  Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter. Forest roads from the south are not passable due to deep snow.

CARNERO LAKE – Inaccessible but has some open water.  Winter kill is NOT predicted here as of Feb. 16. Forest roads to the lake have deep snow in spots and are not accessible all the way to the lake by vehicle.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for trout, but fair for sunfish, bullheads, and bass.  No ice.

Concho Lake on Thursday, March 9 at Becker Lake. George Andrejko/AZGFD

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is excellent.  The lake was stocked last week with trout!

CRESCENT LAKE – Inaccessible and ice-covered. No open water as of March 8.  Ice was 10 inches where we checked; however, ice may be unsafe with warm winter days melting the ice.  A partial winter kill is predicted here as of March 8.  Survey in April or May will determine if winter kill occurred and stocking will occur regardless if water quality is acceptable to stocking.  We are seeing high pH and some suppressed oxygen levels.  However, we look forward to fishing for large rainbow trout and brook trout in the spring!  Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter.

GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – All three lakes are full or nearly full, and ice-free.  Large brown trout and rainbow trout are being caught in River and Tunnel.  Greer Fire District will be conducting prescribed burns Feb. 22-March 10.  The burns will be in the area of squirrel spring and the spade ranch areas.  The community of Greer will be impacted by the smoke.  Contact Greer Fire District staff if you have questions.

HULSEY LAKE – Open water.  The road is snow packed.  Fishing is fair.

LEE VALLEY LAKE – Inaccessible and ice-covered. Ice is thin and unsafe.  Ice may be unsafe.  Few fish remain here, although we are not predicting a winter kill.  Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter.

LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair.  Road is ice-free.  Fishing should pick up as water warms.  Lake is murky colored.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open. Fishing is fair for bass, walleye, carp and catfish. Use corn or nightcrawlers for carp and catfish.  No ice.

Nelson Reservoir on Friday, March 10. George Andrejko/AZGFD

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair.  Fish may have sores from a parasite called Lernaea; however, they are safe to eat.

White Mountains streams

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Roads are snow packed.  This is only accessible from the south from Forest Road 26.  Fishing is fair for brown trout.  Moderate flows from snow melt.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is poor.  The stream was last stocked in September.  Wild brown trout are also present in the stream.  Moderate flows.

SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is poor.  The road over the dam at Show Low Lake is closed for the winter.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good. Current regulations are catch and release with artificial flies and lures with single barbless hooks only. A protozoan infection called “Ich” hit rainbow trout in Silver Creek in October, causing significant stress, some mortalities of trout, and poor fishing, however, that bout of infection has passed.  Fishing is good! This stream is ice-free all year round.

SHEEPS CROSSING/LCR – Inaccessible.  Highway 273 is closed for the winter.  Frozen over and snow-covered.

See more about fishing in Arizona

High country reports: fish stockings resume, Lower Lake Mary rejuvenated

The new fish stocking season has begun in the Flagstaff and Williams region. That will include Lower Lake Mary, which has the highest water levels since 2010. Having been partially replenished, this 450-acre lake in Flagstaff is basically a new fishery.

We’ll be stocking some large rainbow trout into Lower Mary on Thursday, March 9 to kick things off.

And  Lower Mary will grow ’em quickly.

This is Lower Mary on Monday after our fisheries biologists checked water quality:

Lower Lake Mary is as full as it’s been since 2010.

 

The lake’s no more than half full, and with possible snow in this region through May, the lake levels likely will continue rising.

Your bait of choice? Make sure you have some worms in your arsenal. Earthworms tend to flee from their underground dwellings during heavy rains.

“There’s a lot of nutrients when Lower Mary fills, but this time of year they’re feeding on earthworms,” said AZGFD Wildlife Specialist Chuck Benedict. “You’re going from 30 acres of ground cover (before the winter) to a full 950 acres of cover if it fills. That’s a lot of earthworms that are coming out.”

Upper Lake Mary is still spilling.

Regular trout stockings for the White Mountains and Rim Lakes typically resume in April/May.

Some other updates:

Goldwater Lake, Fain Lake, Deadhorse lagoons

All are scheduled to be stocked this week.

Frances Short Pond, Oak Creek, Kaibab Lake

Our Page Springs Hatchery stocked Frances Short and Oak Creek this week. When Kaibab Lake stops spilling over, it will be stocked as well.

Ashurst Lake

The road is not open and it has not yet been stocked.

Dogtown Lake

Rob T. said, “Bite is non-existent!  Not for a lack of fish nor a lack of anglers.  Not even a bite.  Nobody I saw or talked to fishing from shore had a bite either.  I saw plenty of nice sized fish on the sonar deep but lock-jaw has set in.   Water temp running 40-41 degrees and the lake is full and going down the spillway nicely.   Here are a few shots from the launch ramp and then next email will have some sonar shots.”

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Flooding has caused closures to roads and many popular Tonto National Forest campgrounds.

Tempe Town Lake reopened to water activities Thursday, March 2 at 4 p.m.

The lake has been closed due to upstream Salt River debris.

In western Arizona, Alamo Lake resembles a chocolate milkshake as the lake has risen 13 feet in two days.

Shore anglers might have a chance to avoid debris — but not stained/muddy water. Boaters might have a difficult time avoiding floating debris — boat with extreme caution. The Salt River at Roosevelt was running at 3,934 cfs on Wednesday afternoon (2,978 at Tonto Creek at Rosy).

Update from Tonto National Forest: Forest Road 19, leading to Bartlett Lake, reopened Wednesday.

The following recreation sites have reopened to the public:

  • Bartlett Flat Campground
  • Yellow Cliffs Boat Launch
  • Rattlesnake Cove Picnic Area
  • SB Cove Shoreline Site
  • Jojoba Boat Launch

Phon D. Sutton, Coon Bluff, and Granite Reef Picnic Sites along the Lower Salt River have also been reopened for day use.

The Horseshoe Dam Road, Forest Road 205, leading to Horseshoe Reservoir and the following recreation sites remain closed:

  • Riverside Campground
  • Ocotillo
  • Fisherman’s Point
  • Horseshoe Campground
  • Mesquite Campground

Both Forest Road 20, leading to Needle Rock and Box Bar, and Lower Sycamore Road, Forest Road 1847/403 remain closed until the water recedes and road conditions improve.

This was the Verde River Wednesday afternoon at the Beeline Highway Bridge (by Fort McDowell):

 

OK, back to hooking fish. Water temperatures at many desert impoundments are hovering at or above 58 degrees, the mark that typically triggers pre-spawn bass activity.

At Lake Havasu on Thursday, Feb. 23, a smallmouth bass Colorado River waters hook-and-line state record was set. See the story as well as some springtime bass tips.

Other fishing notes:

  • Community fishing. The final scheduled trout stockings of the winter-spring season will take place the week of March 6.  Catfish will return to Community waters  the week of March 20.
  • Repairs at Rio Vista Pond have been completed. We were not able to stock the pond last week as scheduled due to the repairs — those fish went to Pioneer Lake i Peoria — but do plan on stocking it next week.
  • At  Apache Lake this week, we determined a threadfin shad die-off was due to high numbers of golden algae. We continue monitoring the situation.
  • Alamo Lake rose 13 feet in two days and on March 1 was at 1,118 feet in elevation.  Mark Knapp from Alamo Lake State Park said when the lake is done rising the main ramp should open.  Cholla ramp is open, but there are log jams all over and fishing is poor. But in one month, fishing should be incredible. Get ready.
  • White Mountains regional updates. Accessible  lakes as of Feb. 28  include Willow Springs Lake, but it is walk-in only (road is snow packed) and ice is thin and unsafe. The gate is closed. Sardine Point is open, but the road is snow packed.  Fishing at Fool Hollow Lake is fair. There’s no ice and rainbow trout are being caught. Fishing pier and platforms are accessible.  Northern pike should be congregating to spawn this time of year; try throwing Rapala lures or streamers in shallow coves.  Northern pike spawn and congregate in weedy shallow coves.   Also, there’s no ice at Show Low Lake, Woodland Lake, and Becker Lake.   Big Lake is still inaccessible and has extremely thin, unsafe ice.  Best bet in this region remains Silver Creek. See the full report.

Stocking report

Friday, Feb. 24 — Community “core” watersThursday, Feb. 23 — Dankworth Ponds. Wednesday, Feb. 22 — Community expansion watersTuesday, Feb. 21 — Parker Canyon Lake, Dead Horse lakes, Dave White Pond, Roadrunner Pond, Bonsall Pond, Full  schedules

Catch of the Week

(Send your Angler Reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov –
one will be featured as Catch of the Week)

Sue Nowak of Lake Havasu City with her Colorado River waters hook-and-line state record smallmouth bass.
Sue Nowak of Lake Havasu City with her Colorado River waters hook-and-line state record smallmouth bass.

Well this one was easy. Sue Nowak caught this 21-inch, 6.28-pound smallmouth bass that is a  Colorado River waters hook-and-line state record. She caught it around noon on Thursday, Feb. 23 with a dropshot-rigged True Image mini shaker lemonade worm. She was fishing with Shaun Bailey’s Guide Service in Lake Havasu City.

Read 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, March 11 — Family and Community Fishing Event, 8 a.m. – noon, Roper Lake State Park (101 E. Roper Lake Rd., Safford). For more information please contact Kelly Wright at Roper Lake State Park at (928) 428-6760 or the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240.

See the full schedule

SEE THE FULL REPORT