Category Archives: Angler Reports

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

This week – in preparation for the Memorial Day weekend — we have been stocking an additional 20,000 trout and catfish into waters statewide. Through June, we’ll have stocked a quarter-million more trout, catfish, bass and sunfish.

Catfish are going into Community Fishing Program waters: give Mr. Whiskers a try.

In desert regions, most bass are still in post-spawn. Sounds like there was not a big wave of spawners during the full moon earlier this month.

Some other highlights:

This and that

  • On Thursday, we recommended the Coconino National Forest re-open Rose Canyon Lake Campground:
  • This weekend, we’ll be conducting an operating under the influence checkpoint at Canyon Lake and participate in a multi-agency OUI checkpoint on the Colorado River.
  • Lake Pleasant anglers can now boat from the main body of the lake all the way up the Agua Fria arm to the Agua Fria boat ramp. The only eagle nest closure remaining this season on the Agua Fria arm has been lifted due to failure of the nest site.

Line-zinging in northern AZ

Northern Arizona anglers in particular will enjoy many benefits of this fish stocking surplus:

  • Some big holdovers are being caught at Dogtown Reservoir near Williams. Try green garlic PowerBait.
  • On Wednesday, May 17, the first stocking of bonus rainbow trout, purchased from Crowthers Freshwater Trout in Colorado, were stocked into Ashurst Lake. Anglers fishing at Ashurst Lake that day started catching fish as soon as the stocking ended using small spinners such as roostertails and small spoons.
  • Knoll Lake had its first stocking of the year last week and will get more rainbow trout this week.
  • Catfish are also being stocked into City Reservoir near Williams and Frances Short Pond in Flagstaff this week. Chunks of hot dog make great catfish bait.

White Mountains magic

White Mountains streams are being stocked this week. Try the East Fork of the Black River, the Little Colorado River in Greer, and Silver Creek (current regulations at Silver Creek are catch-and-keep with bait and six trout daily limit. The upper section is closed to fishing.)

Tiger trout have been stocked for the first time this year into Carnero and Becker lakes. Along the Mogollon Rim, Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes already have been stocked with tigers are are getting extra loads of rainbow trout through June.

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.

Bob Donnelly, 70, said he caught this plus-size rainbow trout Sunday, April 30 at Luna Lake using a Zebco 33 rod-and-reel outfit he purchased a month prior to the catch for $1 at a yard sale.  The trout was caught around 10 a.m. and appears to measure 26 1/2 inches in total length.

He said he caught it on a nightcrawler.

“The rod has some old fishing line in it,” said Donnelly. “And when I set the hook the face of the old Zebco reel came off. This fish came to the surface breaking water, and I go, ‘Whoa.'”

See more Angler Reports

 

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Friday, May 12 — Green Valley lakes, East Verde River, Silver Creek, East Fork of the Black River, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake, Canyon Creek.

Thursday, May 11 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Dogtown Reservoir, Huffer Tank, Frances Short Pond, Black Canyon Lake, Hulsey Lake.

Wednesday, May 10 — Show Low Creek, Rainbow Lake, Fool Hollow Lake.

Tuesday, May 9 — Carnero Lake, Scott Reservoir, Bear Canyon Lake, Becker Lake, Knoll Lake, Oak Creek.

Monday, May 8 — West for Little CO RIver-Greer, Ashurst Lake, Mingus Lake, Fain Lake, Canyon Creek, Big Lake.

Tiger trout

Tuesday, May 9 — Carnero Lake,  Becker Lake.

Tuesday, April 25 and Monday, April 24  — Willow Springs Lake Woods Canyon 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 — Family Fishing Event, Tempe Kiwanis Park (5500 S. Mill Ave., Tempe), 7-11 a.m. Read the full schedule.

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 (see our Fish&Boat map for directions):

Lake Havasu

Jeffrey F. It was pretty windy on Saturday at Lake Havasu, so we decided that we wouldn’t take the boat out on the lake. Six year-old Steve F. wouldn’t be deterred and caught this 3 1/2-pound largemouth with a shad jig from the Cattail Cove launch ramp dock.

Just goes to show that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to take a kid fishing. Steve caught his fish on a $12 spincast setup from the Big Box Store and about $1.50 worth of tackle.

We got a couple more good bites from the dock and the point just south of the launch ramp, but Steve was the only one who landed one. Another gentleman was catching bluegill from the shore just south of the point.

Watson Lake

James M.:  Reeled this guy in at Watson Lake Prescott. Just under 18 inches.

Goldwater Lake

Michael W.: May 3 — non-stop action!!!  In 4 hours of fishing, I caught and released 79 rainbow trout, ranging from 7 to 12 inches.  All fish caught at southwest cove of lake, on 1.5 inch crappie tubes.  Lake recently stocked with rainbow trout.  Weather Conditions: Sunny & Clear  Water Conditions: Stained.

Lake Pleasant

Dick K.: Took a long time friend, Jerry Corell to Lake Pleasant yesterday. Jerry had never fished for stipers before so we had high hopes the fish would co-operate which they did. We couldn’t find and schooling fish within the first couple hours so we started off trolling live threadfin shad below Off-Shore OR 12 planer boards. Jerry had me at about 8-3 when I passed over a huge school of stripers. Quickly we switched to dropshot rigs and for a couple hours we could hardly keep up! Had a great day with around 35 Stripers. Great introduction to striper fishing, Jerry!

Alamo Lake

Don M.:

Photo by Don Martin
  • Jamie Goodman of Mesa went to Alamo Lake with outdoor writer Don Martin. Jamie holds the two biggest cats they caught.
  • A few hours work! Jamie Goodman and Don Martin caught these five channel cats and lost three more on Sunday morning (May 30) while fishing at Alamo Lake. The cats were caught on nightcrawlers in 6 feet of water.

Canal in Scottsdale

Irina: I pulled a 30-inch carp from an Arizona canal in Scottsdale yesterday (April 27). I’ve used a 4 size baitholder hook with 4 kernels of corn. It took about 5 minutes for the fish to bite, and ~15 for me to pull it out.

Dogtown Lake

Michael W.: Thursday, April 27 report:

In 3 hours of fishing in difficult weather conditions, my fellow fisherman & I caught and released (1) 2-pound brown trout, (3) 12 to 14 inch rainbow trout, (1) 9-inch white crappie, and had (1) 3-pound brown trout and (1) 2-pound rainbow trout that we were unable to land, before the hook popped out of their mouths!  All fish caught on 2-inch Crappie Minnow Tubes.  Weather Conditions: Winds 18 to 21 mph, with gust as high as 31 mph Water Conditions: Muddy.

Canyon Lake

The bass bite is on! I love encouraging others to get outdoors. I caught these four bass off my kayak in a little over a week … drop shotting plastics.

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):

Dogtown Reservoir

John H. of Prescott Valley: I caught this beauty April 14 at Dogtown Lake — 4 pounds, 22 inches.

Lake Powell

John A. Lake Powell stripers are biting. Easter Sunday’s catch.

Desert Breeze Lake (Chandler)

Bill P.: Caught this guy this morning at Desert Breeze on a nightcrawler. My wife’s kitchen scale said 10 pounds, 1 ounce.

Send your fishing reports and pictures to BFishing@AZGFD.gov

Lake Pleasant

Dick K.:  I took a friend out on Pleasant on the morning of April 24th to fish stripers. We hit the lake early and caught shad with the cast net and then in the next couple hours put 22 very nice fish in the boat. Most fish were caught in 45-50 feet of water, some while drop-shotting live shad and others while trolling live shad on planer boards over 30-50 feet or water. Pictured is Bob Oliver from Peoria with 19 of the 22 fish that averaged around 3#. In the last 5 trips to Pleasant I have boated and filleted 119 stripers. I share my fillets with a lot of older people who never get to go fishing but enjoy eating fresh fish.

Riverview Lake (Mesa)

 

Rich S.: April 23, evening, 10.65 pound (channel catfish) on cut shad  at Riverview Park (2100 W. 8th St., Mesa).

Also the recently stocked crappie have dispersed through the lake and are doing well. I have caught a few at multiple locations, when cast-netting for shad. I have been fortunate to have a few 6-inch shad swim under the net. What I find interesting is I have yet to have a bass take a free-swimming shad under a float (day break or evening). I know the bass are there because they show up in my net. Just makes me think there is a lot of food. To pass up such a live offering ?

Last, I let a young boy (under 10) struggle to land a 4-pound cat while his dad captured the moment with his phone. The best being when it finally surfaced.

Thank you for all the work you do, and then taking the time to put out the fishing report.

Alamo Lake

Don M.:  Here are 16 channel catfish that my friend Linda Kaufman caught at Alamo Lake recently.  We caught these in two hours in the upper end of the lake on nightcrawlers on 6 feet of water.

Bass and crappie fishing is tough!

Roosevelt Lake

David M.: Caught some nice crappie and a few yellows April 22 night fishing with minnows.

Big Lake

Caught April 22 — 18-inch cutthroat trout. My Daughter Aubrey who is 6 years old. Was fishing on the bottom with a worm. I thought she got stuck on a rock until I seen the tip of her fishing pole wiggling. Her first big fish.

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):

Mingus Lake

Michael W.:  Great Day Of Fishing At Mingus Lake!  April 19: In 2 hours and 45 minutes of fishing, I caught and released 51 rainbow trout, ranging from 8 to 14 inches. Biggest fish weighed 1 pound.  All fish caught at a depth of 1 to 3 feet deep on 2-inch minnow tubes. Recently stocked with rainbow trout.  Note: Road Access Gate was locked, must was about a mile to lake.  Weather Conditions: Clear & Sunny. Water Conditions: Muddy.

Fain Lake

Michael W.: April 17:

Non-stop action At Fain Lake In 4 1/2 hours of fishing, I caught and released 93 brown trout and seven brook trout ranging from 6 to 11 inches.  All fish caught at southwest cove of lake at a depth of 2 to 4 feet deep on 1.5 inch crappie tubes.  Averaged 4 to 6 bites on almost every cast.  Due to the amount og food in lake, fish are easy to catch!   Weather Conditions: Windy, clear and Sunny. Water Conditions: Stained.

April 14:

Brown trout stocked at Fain Lake In 3 hours of fishing, I caught and released 47 beautiful brown trout, ranging from 7 to 12 inches.  Fish caught from bridge at a depth of 2 to 14 feet deep on 1.5 inch crappie tubes.  Average 4 to 6 bites on every cast.  Fish are very aggressive and hard fighters for their size! Weather Conditions: Windy, clear and sunny. Water Conditions: Stained.

Verde River

Troy G.:  The river is cleared after spring runoff. I got this spawned out bass on a hula grub. Selective harvest is needed on the river up here, so this one is getting filleted. Seeing a lot of bass fry in the river.

Big Lake

Brad R.: 3-pound, 21-inch rainbow, three brookies and limited out — all more than 15 inches. Use Rapalas from shore.

San Carlos Lake

Jim N.:  Retired Carpenter Johnny with San Carlos black crappie on silver flake/green 1/16-ounce  jigs. Caught 20 total on northeast end of lake in 6 feet of water. Water up 30 feet from rain and clearing.

Canyon Lake

Jim N.:  Lots of fat largemouth bass on dropshots in cattail openings in coves. My son Jimmy with just one of 15, caught and released.

Lake Pleasant

Jim N.:  Caught a limit of 3-pound stripers in 25 feet of water in northern coves on top water and shad for 1 hour. My fishing buddy Rett with nice fish. Small flatheads cruising the shore. 3-pound soft shell turtles too. 🙂

Dogtown Reservoir

John H. of Prescott Valley:  I caught this beauty April 14 at Dogtown. 4 pounds, 22 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):

Rose Canyon Lake

Andrew A.: Fished sunrise to 11 a.m. before the lake closed due to the fire on Mt. Lemmon. Caught trout steadily the whole morning with trout-colored rooster tails. A friend and I took our limit.

Woods Canyon Lake


Jeff H.: Caught this 17-inch rainbow trout April 8 at Woods Canyon Lake. The fish were biting and we caught three!

Lake Havasu

Ashley G.: Just wanted to submit a monster (redear sunfish) I caught this weekend on Lake Havasu!! 🎣 16 1/2 inches and 5.02 pounds!

Chaparral Lake (Scottsdale)

Matthew D.: Big fan of the blog and articles. My brother and I caught these channel cats at Chaparral Lake on a simple bobber-and-nightcrawlers.  We were fishing about 15-20 feet from the shore. We started at sunrise but the fishing really started biting around 9-10 as it was warming up.

Red Mountain Lake (Mesa)

Anthony G.: I just happened to catch this guy at Red Mountain Park on April 4. Used 40-pound spider wire line. Bent the net in half taking it out of the water. My shoe size is 13 for comparison.

Roosevelt Lake

Dave P. caught this Big Fish of the Year, catch-and-release smallmouth bass  that measured  23 1/2 inches.

Saguaro Lake

Dan G.: Holden Gurka reelin’ em in a Saguaro Lake!

See more about fishing in Arizona

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

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):

Tempe Kiwanis Lake

Mike M.: Cheyanne Montes caught this on a first-cast strike at Kiwanis  on Saturday March 11.   Set the hook just like Dad taught her … and go Irish!

Rainbow Lake

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

Lake Havasu

Drex A.: Caught this one on a drop shot in Lake Havasu.

Parker Canyon Lake

Jim P.: Went fishing yesterday, March 9, at Parker Canyon Lake. I was surprised to find a very heavy algae bloom in the lake and it was a brownish color. I have never seen algae in that lake before.  I could see only a few inches into the water. Fishing for trout was very poor.

Patagonia Lake

Anonymous: March 9, bass 15 1/2-inch bass trolling using plastic bait.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Winter fishing is OVER. Highs for the next week are predicted to be in the mid-to-high 80s in desert regions and 60s in the high country.

Spring perfume is in the air, we have a full moon this weekend, and trout stockings are kicking off again in the Flagstaff/Williams region. (Friday update: from Thursday to Friday we stocked a total of about 12,000 rainbow trout into Lower Lake Mary. )

Anglers braved a tough winter of erratic weather and now it’s time to hook, and  maybe cook, some fish. Warm water temps plus a full moon Sunday means there could be some great bass fishing in shallow water this weekend, and next week, and maybe through May. With all the rains and increased ground cover, those shallow spots will likely be in new areas. Explore away.

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

Poppies along Bush Highway north of Saguaro Lake

Some highlights:

  • Lake Powell. Walleye and largemouth bass fishing is raring to go at Lake Powell. Water temperatures will reach the mid-50s by the weekend. Largemouth bass are the first to respond to this warming, followed by smallmouth bass. Wayne Gustaveson’s report will give you all the Powell tips you need.
  • Bartlett Lake. The lake is 99-percent full and water temperatures on Wednesday were 54 degrees and warming to 58.
  • Flagstaff/Williams area. Fish stockings have resumed, including at Lower Lake Mary, which is around half-full for the first time since 2010. Read more.
  • First major wave of spring bass spawning. It’s the first full moon in March — more bass will be moving in  shallow to spawn. It’s already been a banner spring bass fishing season. See some springtime bassin’ tips. 
  • Saguaro Lake levels are down. The lake levels dropped 11% in 3 days. The levels were decreased to accommodate maintenance at Mormon Flat Dam. The dam outage is expected to last until around mid-March. But some bass already are spawning.
  • Tonto National Forest campground openings. As water has receded, many campgrounds have reopened. Keep up with the latest updates.
  • Community fishing stocking transition. The final scheduled trout stockings of the winter season took place this week.  Catfish will return to Community waters  the week of March 20. See the latest Community news.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Monday, March 6 — Frances Short Pond, Goldwater Lake, Oak Creek, Dead Horse lagoons; Tuesday, Feb. 28 — Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake; Monday, Feb. 27 — Verde River (middle), Salt River. 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.

Anglers wetting lines at the last clinic, the Just For Kids Fishing Festival at Kiwanis Lake on Feb. 25.

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

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