Category Archives: Angler Reports

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers (click on the water for directions):

Lake Pleasant

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Scott L.: Caught this last night (Tuesday, Feb. 14) out at Lake Pleasant in a cove using a cut of anchovie total length was 20 inches. I couldn’t weigh it.

We were fishing with frozen anchovies hoping for some catfish or stripers but hooked this instead. I love fishing in Arizona.

Desert Breeze Lake (Chandler)

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Todd B.:  Fished Desert Breeze Lake today (Sat., Feb. 11) for 2 hours in the afternoon. My first time to the lake and I am in love with both the beautiful park and  the lake itself. I was using an ultralight rod throwing small Blue Fox spinners.

Countless bites and landed a few decent sized trout around 12-13 inches. I saw other anglers plunking with little success. In these smaller bodies of water, my best luck is always with spinners or spoons.

Spinners and spoons are good because you can use them to search for the fish, while covering each inch of the lake in a couple of hours. I tried a few sizes of lures ranging from Nos. 2- 0s. My best action came on No. 1s.

Thanks AZGFD for the many community waters close to home.

Fain Lake (Prescott Valley)

Michael W.: Another great day of fishing at Fain Lake!  In 5 hours of fishing, I caught and released 95 beautiful rainbow trout, ranging from 9-12 inches.  Fish caught from right corner of dock at a depth of 18 inches to 4 feet, on 1.5 inch crappie tubes.  Weather Conditions: Cool and partly cloudy. Water conditions: stained.

Gilbert Riparian

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Anonymous: My husband slayed this guy on Feb. 8 at the Gilbert Riparian on soft bait.

Parker Canyon Lake

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Rod: Hope each of you are well and able to fully enjoy these 70-degree temperatures.  70 degrees in February, wow!  Anyhow I managed to get on the water just about noon today, right when the winds were building up.  I got in some good rowing exercise.  The winds were below my no-float threshold of 20 mph.  They built up later on to make me question my decision to goof about in the dinghy.

Anyhow it turned out I caught three fish in 3 hours of fishing.  Small, medium, and extra largemouth!  Sorry no measurements (I’m pretty sure the last two were well over 5 pounds), but I’ve got photos and memories.  I can tell you that they were all caught using a 2-inch grub on a 1/32-ounce jig on 4-pound mono.  All of them were really fun using the ultra-lite rig!  Talk about a full load on the pole.

What is more challenging is to get the dinghy positioned for a proper photo.  That wind was blowing me about while trying to get a proper photo using the self timer on the camera.

A great beginning to a new year of fishing!

 

Copper Sky Lake (Maricopa)

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Domingo S.:  This was caught at the fishing clinic at Maricopa Park last month (Saturday, Jan. 14).

 

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Sounds like fishing action in desert regions is picking up thanks to stable weather — especially for largemouth bass. We have a full moon to possibly trigger some early spawning activity at western lakes such as Alamo, Havasu and Martinez.

Already there have been reports of small populations of bass moving in shallow at lakes such as Canyon and Saguaro (most bass remain deep and water temperatures at most desert lakes are in the low-to-mid 50s). Crankbaits and spinnerbaits have been the most widely reported successful baits.

Moderate rain is predicted to fall in central Arizona on Sunday, so plan accordingly.

A couple of trout stockings remain for Community waters before catfish return in late March.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Jan. 26 and Friday, Jan. 27 — Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake, all “core” waters except Rio Vista, as well as Patterson Ponds, and Green Valley lakes. Tuesday, Jan. 24 — Pena Blanca Lake, Council Ave. Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond. Monday, Jan. 23 — Lower Salt River, Verde River (middle).

Next week: We’re scheduled to stock the Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde), the lower Salt River, Parker Canyon Lake, Patagonia Lake, Hidden Shores (Imperial Dam), Parker (La Paz), Somerton (Council Park) Pond, Yuma West Wetlands.

Full  schedules

Catch of the Week

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

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Ray B. caught this largemouth bass from Saguaro Lake in 3-5 feet of water on a brown-and-yellow crankbait around noon from the reeds. He said it weighed 5.51 pounds.

“BIG THANKS to the recent fishing articles in Arizona Wildlife Views Magazine,” He said. “Great tips lead to an amazing catch. AZ winter bass fishing at its best.”

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, Feb. 11 — Take a Kid Fishing Day, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., La Paz County Park (7350 Riverside Dr., Parker).

See the full schedule

Nets and waders: Working for you

This new section will periodically show what our fisheries biologists have been doing in the field to improve fishing in Arizona.

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Aquatic reef ball habitat that was being built Friday, Feb. 3 outside the AZGFD Mesa office. GEORGE ANDREJKO/AZGFD

These habitat reef balls are planned to be deployed into Roosevelt Lake this spring. Habitat serves as excellent structure/shelter for sport-fish species such as bass, crappie and bluegill for anglers to target.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

 

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers (click on the water for directions):

Verde River (at Camp Verde)

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Troy G.: Winter bass fishing is good in the Verde River in Camp Verde this week. Starting to clear up a bit since all the rain a while back. Got this one on a chartreuse/blue crankbait.

Saguaro Lake

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Ray B.:  Caught this one on a 3-5 foot brown and yellow crankbait around noon from the reeds at Saguaro Lake. She was 5.51 pounds.

Water conditions couldn’t be better. BIG THANKS to the recent fishing articles in Arizona Wildlife Views Magazine. Great tips lead to an amazing catch. AZ winter bass fishing at it’s best.

Lower Salt River (below Saguaro)

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Justin M. fly-fished the Lower Salt River on Friday. The river is scheduled to be stocked with trout next week and was flowing at 13 cfs below Saguaro Mountain Dam on Tuesday.

Try the Phon D. Sutton, Water Users or Granite Reef Recreation Areas.

Justin M. said, “I have been fishing the Salt River the past six weeks or so on every Friday. Most of the time I’m fishing at Water Users and have had success every outing. All I do is fly fish anymore and have caught quite a few bass and lots of bluegill

For the bass, my most productive flies have been AZ simi seal leeches in canadian black, halloween, blood red and olive. Another productive fly pattern has been cheechs low fat minnow. Its a bluegill imitation.

For the bluegill, on warmer days I’ve done fairly well getting them on the surface with a beetle imitation. Other productive flies i’ve had great success with is a hares ear soft hackle pattern I tied up. The only time I tried for trout was a couple of weeks ago when it was raining and cooler.

Fished below the bridge using the hares ear soft hackle and caught and released 14 trout in a matter of a couple of hours. I have talked to other anglers on my outings and have been told that they were having luck with nightcrawlers, small spinners, and one fella was doing well for bass on dropshot with a green Roboworm.”

Canyon Lake

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Brian S.: Temps are warming up and in a few areas the bass are moving up, however most are still caught deep. This beauty was caught in 35 feet with a hinged spinnerbait with a zoom fluke trailer.

Utilizing sonar electronics is critical for deep water fishing. Find them, mark a way point and slowly work your baits into the strike zone. Pay attention to your sonar through the entire process because once you entice one to bite, have your angling buddy be ready with a flutter spoon or Kastmaster as you may find you just ignited a school of them. Hopefully your angling buddy is ready with the net as well.

 

Gila River

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Ramon: This was on a Saturday night, Feb. 4, around 9 p.m. at Gila River on right side of bridge! Used chicken lever and caught a channel catfish at 18 pounds and 31 inches!

See more about fishing in Arizona

Weekend roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers (click on the water for directions):

Lake Pleasant

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Karrie R.: I thought I’d share this flathead catfish I caught from shore at Pleasant today: 22 pounds on a dropshot with a worm. It was definitely cold, but worth the catch! 🙂 Also caught an 8-pound carp and 3-pound channel catfish. Tight lines!

Silver Creek

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Max W.: The upper portion of Silver Creek fished great over the weekend. People were doing really well on egg patterns and small midges. One of my buddies even managed to pull out this big guy on a Tenkara Rod– not bad for his first fish on the fly!

Gila River

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Ramon: I caught a 14-inch largemouth bass with a worm at Gila River under the bridge side on Friday, Jan. 27 at 3  p.m.! Gave a good fight! Used 8-pound test line.

Desert Breeze Lake (Chandler)

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Nicholas J.: Decided to spend the day outside at Desert Breeze since it was such an amazing Arizona winter day. All three of the kids caught a fish of their own. (Zac, Nikyah, and Mason Jaurigue).

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Pretty sure all three were “incentive” trout. We got out there about 10 a.m., however we didn’t get our first fish until almost 2 p.m. Then all of a sudden the other two fish were caught. All three within 30 minutes of time.

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The yellow corn/garlic mixed PowerBait is what finally caught them their first fish — after trying all the others we had in our box. Hope everyone else had as good of a weekend.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers (click on the water for directions):

Desert Breeze Lake

img_0187Dave P.: This Incentive trout was caught at Desert Breeze Park. It started to rain and when this double rainbow appeared in the sky.

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Shortly after, this rainbow trout hit the line like a ton of bricks.

My son Bryce Marco Permuy had a blast landing the fish. Tight lines is always the answer!

Tempe Kiwanis Lake

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  • Craig S.:  I’d been going to Kiwanis Lake to fish for the last stocking for a change of scenery and for its ease of getting around as I have a spinal injury.

    My third trip (Jan. 18) I fished for about 6 hours in different spots/seats etc. to try and stay comfortable throughout the day. I’d seen 12 3-ish pounders already taken and who knows how many others I didn’t. I was about to rap up yesterday (Jan. 17) around 4 o’clock and just as I picked up the rod I got the hit! At first, I thought I had hooked a cat. It was pulling good and stayed down.

    There was an easy 25-plus yards of line out. My poles all have 6-pound line with slider weights and small treble with PowerBait (salmon eggs) on one and the other had a crawler with a tiny white PowerBait ball to look like mouse tail. After about 10 minutes I got to see it and “Wow.” I felt so good and reinvigorated after landing it as this is the biggest trout I’ve ever had.

    I have a Berkeley scale and it was 3.4 pounds on it. Caught Jan. 18 around 4:40 p.m. Best I’ve felt in a few weeks and today I’m still feeling better than average.

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  • Damien B.  Caught Friday, Jan. 15, a big rainbow caught at Kiwanis Park. Caught on a gold Kastmaster.

 

Rio Vista Pond (Peoria)

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Rick S.: His biggest trout to date.  Caught using a spinner.

 

See more about fishing in Arizona

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers (click on the water for directions):

Desert Breeze Park Lake

rm-troutRichard J.:  My 4-year-old son literally asks me every day if we can go fishing. Of course the answer is” yes.”

In the first week of this year, he caught his first trout at Desert Breeze Park (hanging on the stringer) on a piece of leftover English muffin with cheese on it from McDonald’s.

Then a couple days later caught a nice 16-inch rainbow at Red Mountain Ranch Park on green PowerBait.

Willow Springs Lake

Went Thursday to get in ahead of the weather. Cold, windy, sunny until late afternoon. Clouds moved in fish biting. Lost three. Tried it Friday. Clouds, warmer, zero wind. Zero bites. Enjoyed both days. The main body of the lake is ice-free.  The East arm iced over. I couldn’t see the West arm.

Red Mountain Lake

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Jim E.: I caught another largemouth on Jan. 12 at Red Mt. Lake when another fisherman (Tom) accidentally snagged a shad while fly fishing and gave it to me.

On the first cast I caught it.  I was so excited I didn’t weigh or measure it I just had a few pictures taken and released it. The first one I ever caught was on Dec. 12  and a bit bigger than this one — what a thrill. I also owe my catches to Shaun who gave me the tip to use the shad as bait after he caught a beautiful largemouth with shad.

Shaun is there a lot and maybe the best fisherman there. He tows a cart on the back of his bicycle with about a dozen poles and knows how to use them.

Fain Lake

Michael W.: Tuesday, Jan. 17 — Fishing remains HOT!  In 3 1/2 hours of fishing, I caught and released 70 beautiful rainbow trout, ranging from 9 -13 inches.  Fish caught on south side of bridge at a depth of 18 inches, on 1.5-inch crappie tubes.  Weather conditions: cool and cloudy. Water conditions: stained.

Jan. 12 — Non-Stop Action At Fain Lake! In 2 hours of fishing, I caught and released 29 beautiful rainbow trout, ranging from 8-13 inches.  Fish caught on south side of bridge at a depth of 2-4 feet, on 1 1/2-inch crappie tubes.

Note: Lake was stocked with fish this week! Weather Conditions: cold and cloudy. Water conditions: stained.

Surprise Park Lake

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Brandon G.: Caught this 18 1/2-inch rainbow trout — possibly 4.5 pounds.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers:

Canyon Lake

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Winter bass fishing in Arizona can remain fair to good despite colder water temperatures, something that makes Arizona a fishing destination during the winter of freeze.

John S.: Winter bass fishing at Canyon Lake!  Caught late afternoon using Roboworm dropshot at about 15 feet.

Lynx Lake

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Brandon R. of Surprise: Fished Lynx on Sunday, Jan 8. Lake level is high. Excess water has been running over the spillway for the last 5 days.

Fishing off the bank is limited due to water level. Found a nice point to fish from. Water clarity is medium to low visibility. Used PowerBait Nuggets in chartreuse glitter and rainbow on about a 3 foot leader.

Have to cast toward the center, as the trout are in deeper water.

Caught 10 rainbows in a 6-hour period, with an average length of 12-16 inches. Very surprised, as change in water levels tend to throw off the bite there. Will wait until levels recede a bit to have more options of where to fish. All in all, a very good day of fishing!

Riverview Lake (Mesa)

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“Tul” Tuileva:  This fish (rainbow trout) was caught on Friday, Jan. 6, and weighed 2.1 pounds and was 18 inches long.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers:

East Clear Creek

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Allison R.: Caught this trout (about 16 inches) on Dec. 30 out at East Clear Creek. Only bite of the day.

Lakeside Lake (Tucson)

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Benjamin B.: Caught Dec. 29 at Lakeside Lake in Tucson.

Fain Lake

Michael W.: Fain Lake has been restocked with rainbow trout!  In 3 hours of fishing, I caught and released 35 rainbows, ranging from 8-9 inches.  Fish caught at southwest side of lake, in 2-4 feet of water, with 1.5 inch crappie tubes. Water Conditions: Muddy. Weather Conditions: Cold & Cloudy.

Alvord Lake

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Angel G.: Caught at Alvord Lake, Dec 17. Weighed 6 pounds (fish at right). My wife caught 2 and I caught 3  — including the big one. Caught these with PowerBait.

Editor’s note: The daily bag limit at Alvord Lake is four trout per day. This catch was legal because it was caught by two anglers. See all the fishing regulations.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov — one that includes a photo will be featured as Catch of the Week

Here’s the latest from your fellow anglers:

Verde River

The Verde River is a lesser-known spot that has some of the best winter fishing in Arizona.
The Verde River is a lesser-known spot that has some of the best winter fishing in Arizona.

Steve G. of Flagstaff with a Sonoran sucker (23 inches, pictured) and a roundtail chub (18 inches).

 

Becker Lake

James B.: Went fishing last weekend at Becker. The latest (in the year) I have ever fished. There was skim ice Friday and Saturday and not fishable, but Sunday afternoon the wind and sun pushed the ice off . My buddy and I caught several in the 18-inch range and one of more than 22 inches. Using red San Juan worms and large simi seal leeches in several colors. Bald eagle was out fishing, too!

Big Lake

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Mike R.: Wednesday, Dec. 14, cutthroat trout using nightcrawlers from shore.

Editor’s note: As of Monday, Big Lake was completely iced-over. This time of year, certain lakes in the high country might have certain degrees of ice cover on any given day. 

 

Red Mountain Lake

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Jim E.: This is the first keeper largemouth I ever caught at Red Mt. after about 15 years.  I had hooked a shad and ended up using it as bait and caught it. It was a nice experience for me because it was my birthday  — Monday, Dec. 12.  Not sure of the weight but someone that is familiar with bass might give an estimate from the picture. Happy Holidays.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

It’s winter trout and crappie time.

Crappie anglers: the Topock Marsh (close to Needles along the Colorado River) can provide some nice crappie fishing as well. This is also a superb place to see migrating waterfowl (maybe take along a shotgun or camera, or both).

See last week’s report for more crappie tips.

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This is Rob’s holdover rainbow trout from Watson Lake that was 22 inches in length, and weighed 4 pounds, and 2 ounces using cheese PowerBait.  Rob usually prefers using the Super Duper Spoons but said the PowerBait has worked better lately.

More trout-lights: Fishing for trout in Community waters can be some of the best fishing in the state.  Our “core” waters are scheduled to be stocked next week.

Winter bassin’ in AZ

Bass are scattered in many desert lakes. Wintertime bass fishing can mean fishing is hot one day, slow the next. Cover a lot of water and try numerous presentations.

On calm nights, night fishing for stripers can be productive at places like Pleasant and Havasu.

Finally – see our top 5 fishing waters for this winter.

Stocking report

This week we are scheduled to stock the Deadhorse Lakes, Apache Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Roper Lake, Fortuna Pond and Redondo Pond.  Check all the stocking schedules.

These are confirmed stockings from last week:

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Dec. 1 — Watson Lake; Community waters: Alvord Lake, Desert West Lake, Pioneer Lake,  Surprise Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Cortez Lake, Encanto Lake, Steele Indian School Pond, Papago Ponds (1, 2 & 3), Evelyn Hallman Pond, Freestone Pond, Red Mountain Lake, Green Valley Lakes, Chaparral Lake, Riverview Lake, Tempe Kiwanis Lake, Desert Breeze Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Lakeside Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Kennedy Lake, Silverbell Lake,

Wednesday, Nov. 30 — Goldwater Lake, Luna Lake.

See the full schedule.

 

High country ice-cover reports

See the White Mountains section in the full report for the ice conditions. Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes are fishable and have thawed a bit this week – go get a tiger trout state record. See our Catch of the Week below –- it’s the latest hook-and-line state record tiger trout caught Dec. 4 at Willow Springs Lake.

Flagstaff-area lakes Upper Lake Mary, Kinnikinick, Ashurst, Frances Short, Dogtown, Cataract, City, Santa Fe, Whitehorse) are partially frozen and not really fishable. Get ready for spring when trout lakes law because fishing could be epic – especially at Dogtown and Kinnikinick.

Be sure to check the Arizona Department of Transportation website for the latest road closures.

Licensed to fish

Buy a license online, 24/7, and help conserve wildlife for future generations.

Catch of the Week

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

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Larry Johnson caught this 12-inch hook-and-line state record on Dec. 4 from Willow Springs Lake.

See previous week’s Angler Reports

 

Upcoming free fishing events

Free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.

Saturday —  Third annual Brian Pinney Memorial Family Fishing Event, 8 a.m. – noon, Hirsch Conservation Education Area (Biscuit Tank) on the east side of the at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. Get started in the heritage-rich sport of fishing.

For those who bring their own gear, this event is catch-and-release only  single, barbless hooks only.

See the full schedule.

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT