Category Archives: Video

Video: how to hook winter bass in AZ with a “J rig”

Meet the “J Rig.”

Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, has been having tons of success catching largemouth bass with this J rig that includes No. 1 or 1/0 hook,  an O-ring, a 3/16-ounce dropshot weight, and a plastic bait such as a purple Roboworm.

This video from his YouTube channel Fishing with Gary Senft,  shot this month at Bartlett Lake in the Tonto National Forest, is 25 minutes long … but components of the rig are explained within the first couple minutes. A little studying could lead to some decent weekend bass action.

“This rig is a little different in that it’s letting that worm ride up a little higher and so it’s straighter,” Senft said. “There’s something about a worm standing straight up that fish like, and that’s what this rig does.”

Heavy rains = good news for desert impoundments

Heavy rains have helped replenish many desert lakes (Roosevelt Lake is up 14 feet during the past month) and likely knocked nutrients, bugs, creatures and worms into the water.

There are  70-degree highs and calm winds forecast in desert regions this weekend. Yep, it’s time to get a good winter bass rig ready. Consider adding the J rig to your winter bass fishing arsenal.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Watch 665 pounds of trout shoot into Tempe Town Lake

Hundreds of anglers, many with families,  welcomed rainbow trout back for the winter stocking season at Tempe Town Lake Tuesday afternoon with a bang.

Or more like a countdown … and an explosion of trout and water through an Arizona Game and Fish Department stocking truck from our Page Springs Hatchery.

Check it out:


Free, and fun, family fishing

Families and community members came and watched trout being stocked — Tempe mayor Mark Mitchell even helped some kids stock a few fish:


Then the free fishing clinic ensued. See all upcoming fishing clinics.

The event ended as the sun broke through the Tempe skyline and kids went home with smiles and memories of flopping fish.


Trout stockings in AZ

Tuesday’s event was the first of five monthly Arizona Game and Fish scheduled trout stockings. There already were abundant populations of bass, bluegill, catfish and carp.

We’ll stock a total of about 10,000 pounds of trout into Town Lake during the winter.

See all the stocking schedules.

Also, to get a license, and to help conserve wildlife for future generations, head online, 24/7.

Sunfish and mudbugs: how to do family fishing in AZ

Sunfish and mudbugs. Kids love ’em. If you’ve never tried putting the family on these fun species to catch then you might be missing out on Arizona’s best summertime family outings.

Show Low Lake and Fool Hollow Lake are excellent fisheries for getting the family into the outdoors and onto sunfish and mudbugs (freshwater lobster).

Here’s a quick how-to video from Show Low on one of the best ways to have a fun family outing in the high country — it could end with a spectacular dinner:


Here’s a rundown of the basics:

Catching crawdads in Arizona

Have a net handy for catching crawdads -- they're known to fall off the hook once the come out of the water.
Have a net handy for catching crawdads — they’re known to fall off the hook once the come out of the water.

Just use your fishing pole with 4-pound  test line, a No. 12 hook and a piece of a hot dog. Sometimes a piece of panty hose helps keep the dog on the hook.

Usually, you can see the crawdad in shallow, clear water such as Show Low Creek. The crawdad will latch onto the hot dog with its claws. Reel it in slowly and be sure to net the crawdad — they’re known to fall off.

Also, many tackle shops sell crawdad traps that can catch dozens of crawdads.

You will just need a fishing license — remember, kids licenses are just $5 and good for 365 days. All license purchases help conserve wildlife for future generations.

See a video on how to clean and prepare crawdads.

The sunfish will come up in the morning (and afternoon, and night … )


The rocky habitat at Show Low Lake holds high populations of sunfish.
The rocky habitat at Show Low Lake holds high populations of sunfish.

For sunfish, just target shallow structures such as piers or rocks. Dangle a small piece of worm on a No. 12 hook between the cracks of the rocks and get ready for some fast catch-and-release action.

Now you have tool to get the kids catching crawdads and sunfish — it’s easy, fun and one of the best ways to get the family unplugged and into the cool, pine-scented outdoors.

Video: how to catch bass in Arizona — and save money

Maybe you’re new to bass fishing in Arizona. Select your proper fishing gear with this video.

Even if you fish faithfully, and can’t get to high country, or you’re not into sliding a dropshot Roboworm into deep water, or maybe …  fishing early or deep into the night isn’t your thing, either.

This is the time to get back to basics.

Pick out that perfect gear, from rod and reel to bait and line and get ready for the fall bass fishing adventure.

Gary Senft, on his YouTube channel Fishing with Gary Senft, has this helpful video about the rods, reels, line, hooks and baits he uses to catch bass in Arizona — and how to save money doing it.

This video’s about 15 minutes, so grab a notepad, make checklist, and enjoy:

Bass fishing tips and tricks videos

If you’re learning how to bass fish in Arizona, we’ve got a toolbox of helpful videos to get you on some fish.

This is “B’Theory,” by a former local guide Mike McFarland. Wherever there are bugs, there are baitfish. Wherever there are bugs and baitfish, there are bluegill. And where there are baitfish and bluegill — there are bass:

Arizona bass fishing videos

Be sure to add our YouTube playlist, “Fishing Tips,” which is comprised of eight bass fishing videos, to your playlist.

Good luck!

Fishing Flagstaff’s Kinnikinick Lake

Tips and tricks time from Kinnikinick Lake near Flagstaff! Some anglers have told us fishing for rainbow and brown trout at this 126-acre lake has been more difficult than during previous years. See this video for some tips on what rig to use — and where.

Fishing in Arizona during the fall time doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow us as we guide you through some easy ways about how to fish in Arizona.

For for information on fishing the Grand Canyon state, head to our primary fishing page.

Fall fishing at Lake Powell an angler’s dream

Arizona Game and Fish Department fishing report editor Nick Walter with a 2-pound smallmouth bass landed in a Wigglin' Minnow top-water lure.
Arizona Game and Fish Department fishing report editor Nick Walter with a 2-pound smallmouth bass landed on a Wigglin’ Minnow top-water lure.


Fall fishing at Lake Powell. Perfect air and water temperatures, bass rising to the surface for boiling shad, your top-water lures drawing monster strikes. And scenery that’s part Mars, part red-rock cathedral.

This lake, with more than 1,800 miles of shoreline, is a geological and fishing wonder. During fall, boat rental prices drop, and there are plenty of nearby hotel accommodations ranging from cheap to luxury. It’s well worth any driving distance to Page.

See for yourself the in this video from a Oct. 9 fishing trip with Wayne Gustaveson, who has fished the lake 41 years and is the primary fisheries biologist at Lake Powell for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.


History of Lake Powell’s finest fishing report

In 1995, Gustaveson began writing a fishing report targeted at helping reduce the population of invasive striped bass. The report began as a hard-copy version that he passed out at boat ramps. By 2000, the report went online at

“We have a striped bass population that is doing too well. There’s too many fish,” Gustaveson said. “I thought, ‘We have too many striped bass, but we also have 3 million people who visit Lake Powell every year. So if I can send  one fish home with each one of those guys, then we’d have 3 million less striped bass in the lake.’ So I  started doing fishing reports telling people where to go, what to use, how to do it, and hopefully they’d harvest striped bass. It’s worked out very well for us.”

Wayne Gustaveson
Wayne Gustaveson

This excellent report written by the man who has fished the lake 41 years is now the go-to report for anyone who wants success at Powell.

The memories and photos from Lake Powell make this a destination that lasts. Be sure to purchase your fishing license online before heading to Powell or to any of Arizona’s fishing waters.

Lake Powell at daybreak
Lake Powell at daybreak

Video: AZGFD stocks 13,000 pounds of catfish April 30 into Phoenix/Tucson Community waters

Follow AZGFD’s Lisa Burton as she explains how on Thursday, April 30, 2015, she helped stocked some of the 13,000 pounds of channel catfish into the Phoenix-area “core” Community Fishing Program waters.

Tucson CFP waters also received catfish.

Core waters are: (Chandler) Desert Breeze, Veterans Oasis; (Maricopa) Copper Sky; (Mesa) Red Mountain, Riverview; (Peoria) Pioneer, Rio Vista; (Phoenix) Alvord, Cortez, Desert West, Encanto, Papago Ponds, Steele Indian School Pond; (Scottsdale) Chaparral; (Surprise) Surprise Lake; (Tempe) Evelyn Hallman Pond, Kiwanis; (Tucson) Kennedy, Lakeside, Silverbell; (Sahuarita) Sahuarita Lake.

How to catch catfish in Phoenix and Tucson community waters

Catfish are best caught using a hook-and-sinker setup and bite best in darker environments. Fish the deepest spots during the daytime and shallower areas after dark.

EncantoCatsTry 8-to-12-pound test line, size 2 to 6 baitholder hooks with worms, stink baits, hot dogs, liver or shrimp.

Community fishing licenses can be purchased for $24 and are also now included in the General Fishing and Combo Hunt/Fish licenses. These licenses help conserve wildlife and can be purchased online.

DJ’s Patient Dad

Have a fond memory? An exciting experience? A funny situation? Or, just a special day on the water with family and friends enjoying Arizona’s amazing outdoors?

Email your story to, and we may share it with others online, in print, or on television.

In the second video segment of “Fish Stories,” longtime angler D.J. Rothans says he learned to fish with his very patient Dad. See this story from the Game and Fish Youtube site!

Stay tuned for future additions of “Fish Stories,” which will frequently appear here in print, online or on television.