Mogollon Rim/Roosevelt Lake fishing report

Mogollon Rim/Roosevelt Lake fishing report

Rosy1

From James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

Good morning Rim Country Anglers –

Roosevelt Lake water level dropped another 1 percent this past week and currently stands at 46-percent full. We’ve seen a huge drop off in the Tonto Creek flow the past month and for the past two weeks the Tonto Creek has stopped flowing.

The Salt River remained at 30 percent of its normal rate for this time of year. The water temperature is increasing with morning temperatures in the low 80s increasing to the mid 80s during the afternoon. For the most part, the water in the lake is clear but there are areas of algae growth that makes a green tint to the water.

Bass fishing reported “fair” to “good”

Bass fishing was called fair to good this past week. The best success was reported this past week on shallow running crankbaits if shad are present. Anglers said there were lots of shad in the shallow water in coves and along the shoreline.

A Rapala SR5 or smaller size crankbait will run in 5-10 feet water and was catching good numbers of bass. A Texas rig, dropshot and Carolina rig techniques using Senkos, 10-inch ribbon tail worms, 6-inch curly tail and lizard imitations were successful in deeper water such as main lake points in 15-25 feet water. A hotspot for catching deeper fish this past week was Connors Ledge on the Salt River end of the lake

Fish the night for crappie

RpsyNightNight time crappie fishing is a big topic right now at the lake. Crappie fishing was reported to be fair this past week. The full moon last night and mild weather made for some great fishing memories for several young and old anglers that I spoke to. Live minnows fished about 2 feet below a bobber, is the best bait for night time crappie fishing.

Rim lakes give anglers trout limits

The Rim lakes continue to produce some great fishing trips. Stocked trout are plentiful and whatever your favorite trout lure is, it will work this week.

Super-doopers, Z-Rays, crank bait and dry flies were all reported successful and PowerBait on a small treble hook will almost always catch a trout. Some very nice size trout have been caught in the last several weeks. What a great experience to watch antelope an deer grazing on the shoreline as you troll for 2-5-pound rainbows. Consistently, anglers are reporting that they are catching limits in less than three hours.

Our local bass fishing pro Clifford Pirch is fishing the Bassmaster Elite tournament on Chickamauga Lake in Tenn. this weekend. Clifford is currently in 23rd and will need to move into the top 12 today to fish for the championship tomorrow. He is only a couple of pounds behind and all of Rim Country is wishing Clifford good luck today.

Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Weekly Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Sunday is Father’s Day, hardly a better day for some fishing with dad. These memories created around clear, blue mountain lakes remain lifetime gems.

Don’t miss one.

Here’s where to go, or things to consider before heading out:



White Mountains and Mogollon Rim lakes

Fishing is good to excellent for trout at Carnero Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Show Low Creek, and Silver Creek.

Fishing is good at Bear Canyon Lake and Nelson Reservoir. Large (13-inch length) rainbow trout are being stocked this year into Rainbow Lake, Fool Hollow Lake, and Show Low Lake, and Willow Springs Lake will be stocked this week with moderately large (11-inch length) rainbow trout.

Fishing is also good at most of the stocked streams, including East Fork Black River, LCR in Greer, and Sheeps Crossing. Fishing is good for stocked bluegill at Woodland Lake and Fool Hollow Lake, and for stocked channel catfish at Rainbow Lake, Fool Hollow Lake, and Scott Reservoir.

See all these locations on our Fish&Boat Arizona map.

Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods said the Rim lakes and streams continue to produce some great fishing trips. Stocked trout are plentiful — see the summer stocking schedule.

PowerBait, salmon eggs, Super Dupers, Z-Rays, crankbaits and dry flies were all reported successful this past week, he said.

Flagstaff/Williams area

At Lower Lake Mary, fishing slowed over the weekend for anglers using bait, but fly anglers continue to catch large numbers of fish in the early mornings and the evenings.

Ashurst Lake’s water level has dropped to the point that launching boats is not allowed. In addition, the water quality has deteriorated to the point that trout stocking is no longer possible. There are still large numbers of trout in the lake so fishing should be OK. There’s always monster pike.

We have a new northern pike, statewide fish-of-the-year keeper from Ashurst, pictured above. Fishing for trout with PowerBait on Saturday, June 7, Lester R. of Glendale pulled in the 43.5-inch bruiser. Congrats, Lester!

Stocking in the upper reaches of Oak Creek have been canceled as a result of the Slide Fire. Stocking locations from Sedona downstream are still being stocked.

Lake Powell and Lees Ferry

Wayne Gustaveson wrote in his latest fishing report on www.wayneswords.com that “Lake Powell is still coming up and will break the 3600 MSL barrier today, but stripers are the big news now. Striper slurping boils are seen lake wide.” See the full Wayne Gustaveson June 11 report at http://www.wayneswords.com.

At Lees Ferry, we read in the Lees Ferry Anglers June 5 fishing report that for fly fishing up river, “summer weather and the corresponding higher water flows have arrived right on schedule. It took a few days – really maybe 72 hours – for fish to settle into their high water mode, but once they did it was business as usual.”




Fire restrictions

See a full list of fire restrictions in Arizona.

ANGLER REPORTS

(Send your fishing reports and photos to Bfishing@AZGFD.gov.)

An anonymous report from Knoll Lake, June 5 and 6: A Rapala countdown was fished around 6-10 feet of depth.

Fishing was good with 1/16-ounce and 1/8-ounce spinners throughout the lake but it seemed more active on the east side of the island. Berkley PowerBait “turbo dough” in the blue-neon color was excellent on a Carolina rig, but using this rig required frequent re-baiting the hook, as mudbugs would steal the bait in a matter of minutes.

Other colors of PowerBait were also successful (neon orange, peach, rainbow), but none were as good as the turbo blue-neon. I have had success in the past catching some decent hold-overs using a No. 3 Rapala Countdown in a rainbow trout color/pattern.

I fished with that for about thirty minutes and while I had moderate success, no hold-overs took the bait. Overall, I think everything that we caught was a young stocked fish and was released.

Cheyenne from Flagstaff landed this 2-pound, 19-inch rainbow trout at Ashurst Lake Saturday, June 7, fishing with PowerBait on the bottom!

A pair of anglers who fished on Thursday and Friday, repspectively, sent in the following success stories from Riggs Flat Lake near Safford:

  • Kevin Q: Fishing was excellent this past week. Both my son (above) and I got our limit within two hours. All rainbow in the 11-13-inch range on PowerBait floated about 18 inches off the bottom. The pH must still be off as there is a ton of growth in the water just off shore. But there are several spots by the dam where the drop off is significant and you can get your line in without snags.
  • Daniel W.: The fishing at Riggs Flat Lake is outstanding. Brightly colored PowerBait like lime green or hot pink. We were catching about 10-15 an hour even in midday.

    (Riggs Flat Lake is located on the top of the Pinaleño Mountains, 40 miles southwest of Safford.
    Directions: From Safford, drive south 8 miles on US 191 to AZ 366. Turn right (southwest) onto 366 and drive 29 miles to the Columbine Work Center. Continue along Forest Roads 803 and 287 about 5 miles to the campground. The last 12 miles of this road are narrow and winding.

    See more information on Riggs Flat Lake from the Coronado National Forest website.)



FISH STORIES

What’s YOUR fish story? In the 10th segment of Fish Stories, truck driver Roman Rodriguez fishes from Silverbell Lake and talks about he chooses fishing over massages, hunting over vacations. And it’s all about truckin’ and fishin’.

Enjoy the latest segment of Fish Stories from the AZGFD YouTube site!

Have a fond memory? An exciting experience? Or, just a special day on the water with family and friends enjoying Arizona’s amazing outdoors? Email your story to bfishing@azgfd.gov, and we may share it with others online, in print, or on television.

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

See the full report.

$10,000 Fishing Derby

The Business Council of Greer is sponsoring a $10,000 Fishing Derby until Oct. 31

 

Catch 1 of 50 tagged fish in the three Greer Lakes and bring one into The Lazy Trout Market to exchange for a hat.

On Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. at Rhe Lazy Trout Market, a tag will be drawn and it must match the winning number sent by OddsOnPromotions to win the $10,000.

Registration is not necessary before catching the tagged fish.

If there is no $10,000 winner, a $250 first and $100 second place winner will be drawn.

Complete rules are available at The Lazy Trout market.

Mogollon Rim fishing report

Rosy2

Roosevelt Lake/Mogollon Rim Arizona fishing report

From James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

Good morning rim country anglers,

A very experienced bass angler told me that he fished in the evening this past week until after dusk. He reported lots of bass caught during that period on a Texas rig using a very slow presentation.

In addition to the Texas rig, several successful techniques were reported including a dropshot and Carolina rig techniques. A top water bite is still being reported successful; however, it’s happening at first light and the duration seems to get shorter each week.

Anglers reported success using 10-inch ribbon tail worms and a 6-inch curly tail worm or lizard imitations.

Target ambush points for bass fishing

ROsy1Most anglers are targeting main lake points in 15-25 feet of water and always very close to some type of cover. A bush, large rock or submerged log will always produce a good ambush point for bass.

This pattern is definitely a summertime approach to bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake.

Another comment I got this week is that the bite was very subtle and at times the line would just start moving indicating a bass had taken the bait and was swimming with it. So, if you’re fishing this week, pay lots of attention to even the smallest movements.

Roosevelt water level dropping, rising in temperature

Roosevelt Lake water level dropped another 1 percent this past week and currently stands at 47-percent full.

As we reported last week, the Tonto Creek has stopped flowing and the Salt River is flowing at 30-percent of its normal rate for this time of year. The water temperature in the mornings is in the high 70s increasing to the low 80s during the afternoon in shallow water in coves. The water clarity is good for most of the lake with some isolated spots of algae growth.

Crappie reported fair — fish at night

Crappie fishing was reported to be fair this past week. This coming week will be a good time to use the crappie lights for nighttime crappie fishing.

However as we move towards a full moon, crappie lights will become less effective. Live minnows fished about 2 feet below a bobber is the best bait for nighttime crappie fishing.

I didn’t get a single report of a crappie angler who fished during the day last week. Most are telling me that they will fish crappie at night during the summer.

Rim lakes, streams, remain a good bet

The Rim lakes and streams continue to produce some great fishing trips. Stocked trout are plentiful.

PowerBait, salmon eggs, Super-doopers, Z-Rays, crankbaits and dry flies were all reported successful this past week.

I had the great pleasure of fishing with Dennis Pirch on Sunrise Lake this past week. We had a great trip and we each caught our limit in just a couple of hours using small crankbaits. Big fish of the day was Dennis’ 3-pound plus rainbow, which took at least five runs and several minutes to land.

He was using a light-power, moderate-action rod with 6-pound test line, so Dennis’ angling skills were put to the test to get that big fish safely in the boat. If you see Dennis this week, be sure to congratulate him.

Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Don’t forget your fishing license! You can buy one online!

Anglers reports: Riggs Flat Lake is a trout hot spot

Anglers on Thursday and Friday sent in the following success stories from Riggs Flat Lake near Safford:

 

Riggs1Kevin

  • Kevin Q: Fishing was excellent this past week. Both my son (above) and I got our limit within two hours. All rainbow in the 11-13-inch range on PowerBait floated about 18 inches off the bottom. The pH must still be off as there is a ton of growth in the water just off shore. But there are several spots by the dam where the drop off is significant and you can get your line in without snags.
  • Daniel W.: Riggs2The fishing at Riggs Flat Lake is outstanding. Brightly colored PowerBait like lime green or hot pink. We were catching about 10-15 an hour even in midday.

Riggs Flat Lake is located on the top of the Pinaleño Mountains, 40 miles southwest of Safford.

Directions: From Safford, drive south 8 miles on US 191 to AZ 366. Turn right (southwest) onto 366 and drive 29 miles to the Columbine Work Center. Continue along Forest Roads 803 and 287 about 5 miles to the campground. The last 12 miles of this road are narrow and winding.

See more information on Riggs Flat Lake from the Coronado National Forest website.

THE REEL DEAL





The summer solstice isn’t here, but we’re feeling summer burning. Triple digits in the desert regions are driving bass deep and people into swimming pools and air-conditioned basements (we assume). Think where you might go if you were a fish — you might just find them.

Arizona’s Free Fishing Day is Saturday! Anyone can fish out state’s public waters for free. See all the details, including fishing events, possibly near you.

Our Department’s funding challenges – we receive no Arizona tax dollars – means we rely on the general public for participation in hunting, fishing and shooting to conserve and manage wildlife for future generations. So bring someone who hasn’t fished before to a lake this Saturday. Bring a kid. You’ll never forget it.

Let’s get right to the hot spots:

Lower Lake Mary

Please take your limits of six trout per day. Fisheries specialist Chuck Benedict says this is the best trout fishing he’s seen in his 25-plus years in the Department. The great fishing probably won’t last but a few more weeks, so take advantage before the lake gets too warm and lake levels drop.

Afternoon water surface temperature on Tuesday were 74 degrees. Anglers are catching limits on worms and PowerBaits (hint: try different colors; the trout have had a tendency to prefer a different color each day). Fish have been active even in the afternoons and in the shallows. But primarily fish deep. Fly anglers have been wading out in the channel in the upper end of the lake.

Oh, and one last hint while talking about this region: Dogtown Lake is getting extra fish.

Bartlett Lake

If you’re looking to learn a new technique, Bartlett Lake is your spot.

By many accounts, lots of bass from 8-12 inches are on fire. Just go to the lake and throw your favorite bass enticer in 6-16 feet of water.

See the full report for more details.

It’s a great time to take beginning anglers of all ages to Bartlett and catch some fish!

Mogollon Rim lakes

Trout fishing on the Rim lakes was called “over the top” excellent this past week, according to James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods.

Lots of anglers reported great Memorial Day weekend trips, he said. PowerBaits, worms and salmon eggs were reported successful.

At Willow Springs Lake on Tuesday, we heard that rainbows, smallmouth bass, and crappie were hitting streamers, inline spinners, and crawfish crankbaits.

Small spinnerbaits such as a Mepps, Super Duper, and Panther Martins are working.

Bassin’ report

Most bass are in post-spawn mode and generally scattered across lakes. Look for the night bite on bass to improve in the coming weeks as triple-digit high temperatures remain consistent. The most consistent bite has been off dropshots. If these techniques are working for you, or if you’re having luck with different presentations, email your photos and fishing reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.

Striper fishing under the lights should be a prime option in desert lakes such as Lake Pleasant this weekend. Look for shad to be congregated around your lights as soon as you drop them.

Spawning bluegill also are a viable target. Try fishing just after the sun comes up and target the backs of coves and some of the humps in desert lakes such as Lake Pleasant, Canyon Lake or Lake Havasu. Pieces of nightcrawlers on small hooks (No. 10 or smaller) and 6-8 pound test line can get plenty of these tasty sunfish. Now’s the time to thrash panfish.

Fishing the East Verde River? Please return tags

Those visiting the East Verde River (where the fishing has been exceptional) are again reminded that if a trout with an external radio tag is caught, they may keep OR release the fish.

If you catch a tagged fish, please call the number on the colored tag (623-236-7538) with the following information:

  • Location of the caught trout
  • Identification number on the colored external tag
  • Date the fish was caught

See all the details of our program that is examining stocked trout movement and fate. 

Fire restrictions

See a full list of fire restrictions in Arizona. 

 

ANGLER REPORTS

(Send your fishing reports and photos to Bfishing@AZGFD.gov.)

Kyle K. and his daughter fished with wild horses at Black Canyon Lake over Memorial Day weekend: The horses came within 5 feet of my daughter Madison and myself. They hung out in this area for about an hour with many people coming up and taking pictures.

My daughter and I were using black with blue tail and green with watermelon flake Senkos. We had them Texas rigged and just dragging them on the bottom. Most success was at the northwest cove of Black Canyon Lake. A lot of bites but the ones we reeled in had that heavy pull.

Finally, William J. caught this catfish with his daughter from a canal in Peoria: Canal fishing on the west side with my daughter… Location secret 🙂

Gary N. with a Bartlett Lake report: Bartlett is very low, 45-percent full on Tuesday. Some areas are not recognizable from the previous year of high water. Bass are in the summer mode for the most part — small bass are very active around rock stringers on the main lake.

Some top-water action before the sun got above the horizon, again mostly small (less than 1 pound.) We caught 20 total between 5 a.m. and noon, the largest of which was 1-pound, 11 ounces. Regardless, a beautiful morning for fishing, and we were done before it got too hot!

Went to the Eastern Canal to see if what would bite, caught several small Common Carp and some large White Amurs on bread and corn. Here’s a pic.

Kyle A., said “Bartlett Lake is hot!” in his Bartlett Lake report from Saturday morning (May 28): Actually slept in and got a late start. Hit the water a little bit after 6 a.m. and fished until about 11:30. In that time we caught about 20 bass with three people in the boat.

All the fish were caught off of Texas Rigs using dark colored lizard imitations — green and red seemed to give the best luck. We were hooking them anywhere from right off the shore to 10-15 feet deep.

Most of the fish caught were working the shore starting at Echo Bay Cove and working towards the Yellow Cliffs just north of the Flats. We also went to the dam and worked back north but didn’t have much luck with all the jet skis and wake-boarders romping us.

I tried tossing a white spinner for about an hour and had no luck at all.

Most fish were typical Bartlett bass, but we did pull in a few with some decent meat on them.

The pictured fish is my friend Brett, it was his first time going bass fishing and he got to pull in his first four bass ever!

Earl S. with a Lake Pleasant striper report: We had been getting some decent stripers and white bass, then the normal hard strikes we had been getting became more subtle, but when we set the hook we were in for a surprise. All were females with roe, all within 15 minutes.

An anonymous fishing report from Tempe Town Lake: Fished from shore on west side of the lake. Caught five largemouth bass and lost two drop-shotting a zoom pumpkin seed worm from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Matt G. said he went to an eastern Phoenix canal to see if what would bite: Caught several small common carp and some large white amurs on bread and corn. Here’s a pic 🙂

  FISH STORIES

What’s YOUR fish story? In the ninth segment of Fish Stories, D.J. Rothans tells about that day in 1966 when he brought home a duck and a fish.

Enjoy the latest segment of Fish Stories from the AZGFD YouTube site!

Have a fond memory? An exciting experience? Or, just a special day on the water with family and friends enjoying Arizona’s amazing outdoors? Email your story to bfishing@azgfd.gov, and we may share it with others online, in print, or on television.

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

See the full report.

Alamo Lake fishing report from Wednesday, June 4

Alamo Lake

 

Wednesday, June 4 Alamo Lake fishing report from Mark Knapp, park ranger at Alamo Lake State Park:

Well folks, this is hot off the press. I just got off the the lake about 30 minutes ago. (I have been gone for the last week to New Mexico trying to get my place ready for fire season. Although my grandson and I spent several days removing weeds and junk from around the place, it borders a national forest. If you know where Reserve, N.M., is then you know what I’m talking about. It’s just like Arizona. No rain or snow for the winter. I’m just hoping the place is still there after this years fire season).

Catfishing exellent, bassin’ decent

Anyway, I got off at 4ish Alamo time, dumped the monkey suit and was on the water at 4:10 a.m. I fished till 8:30 this evening. I caught seven bass, one going about 4 pounds. I also caught one big catfish and a crappie. I missed more fish than I caught. I caught all my fish on plastics. Baby brush hogs worked well for me.

I Texas rigged a 1/4-ounce weight with a No. 1 hook and caught everything in about 15 feet of water. I did throw some top water and training wheels ( crankbaits) and never got a bite.

I will be honest and say I really like throwing plastics and throw crankbaits for the purpose of this report. A lot of people do very well using them and I pass that information on to you.

So, catfishing is still really good and bass fishing is decent. Crappie is hit and miss.

New fire restrictions in place

We have new fire restrictions in place. You can no longer have an open fire in the park or surrounding areas, BLM, State Lands, and the wild life areas. Pretty simple. No fires anywhere. The only thing you can use is a propane grill. Also the “no ski and towable devices ” will remain in effect until further notice.

In conclusion …

The lake is dropping approximately a foot a month due to releases and evaporation. Although Cholla ramp is still in operation, you are strongly encouraged to use the old rental boat area. I just graphed it coming in tonight and it should still work fine for a few weeks, if not a month.

Since it’s late and I have pushed the deadline I’m not sure if this even is going to hit print so I will end it with this: If you want a lake completely to yourself and would like to see a bunch of burros and other wildlife then come on out. I’m very happy to say that if we can hit 110 degrees three days in a row, I will come out of my cave and quit banking this out on a rock slate.

Although it hit 110 here two days ago, it only hit 107 here yesterday. So close! But, hey, that’s what jackets are for. Remember to bring sunblock, bug spray and lots of water if your coming out.

Well, that’s it from me — Mark

Mogollon Rim fishing report

Roosevelt largemnouth bassRoosevelt Lake/Mogollon Rim fishing report

From James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

Good morning Rim Country anglers,

The water level in Roosevelt Lake remained steady this past week and currently stands at 48 percent full.

The Tonto Creek has stopped flowing this week while the Salt River is at 30 percent of its normal rate for this time of year. The water temperature is increasing and shallow water is now beginning to reach 80 degrees during the afternoon.

Use greenish baits to match greenish water tint

The water clarity degraded this week in some areas of the lake due to the algae growth. In some areas of the lake, the water has a green tint, so baits that are a green or a bullfrog color were reported better than white color baits traditionally used in clear water conditions.

ROsy1

Bass going deep, fishing called “fair”


Bass fishing was called fair this past week by local experienced anglers. The bass are moving into a summer pattern and lots of anglers are wondering where all the fish they caught the past couple of  months have gone.

This transition to deeper water and slower activity is typical for this time of year. Now the top water bite we’ve been talking about the past few weeks remained strong this past week very early in the morning.

A Rio Rico top water bait was reported successful by several anglers from first light until mid morning. Zara spooks, Reaction Innovation Vixen and shallow-running jerk baits such as Lucky Craft Pointers were catching good numbers.

As the sun gets higher, bass will seek deeper water and cover or structure to protect them. Try a weightless Senko, dropshot, Texas-rig or Carolina rig in 15-25 ft water. These presentations will need to be slower than the past few months.

Crappie fishing improves

The crappie fishing reports improved this past week. The nighttime bite is still reported better than during the daylight, but crappie schools can be found during the daylight in 25-30 feet of water and always in the brush.

Trolling with a John Deere or black, blue and Chartreuse color 2-inch grub tail was reported successful. For the nighttime crappie anglers, lights will be effective this coming week as we move away from the new moon.

Trout fishing “over the top” excellent

Trout fishing on the Rim Lakes was called “over the top” excellent this past week.

Lots of anglers reported great Memorial Day weekend trips.  PowerBaits, worms and salmon eggs were reported successful.

Small spinner baits such as a Mepps, Super Duper, and Panther Martins are working well on an ultra-light rod.  Fly anglers are having success Crick Hoppers, which is a cricket imitation bait in the early morning and late evening. And don’t forget Green Valley Lake here in Payson. Several nice rainbow trout were reportedly taken last week.

And finally … commission meeting

Two weeks from today is when the AZGFD Commissioners will be holding their public meeting in Payson. The dates are June 13-14 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

To see the complete agenda you can go to AZGFD.com and click on the “commission” tab. Many interesting topics will be addressed including the latest update on the gizzard shad issue at Roosevelt Lake. The public is encouraged to attend so I’m looking forward to meeting many of you there.

Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

Take your family fishing on Arizona’s Free Fishing Day

PHOENIX — You can fish Arizona waters for free this Saturday, making this an ideal time to take the family out for some fun and relaxing outdoor recreation.

Arizona’s Free Fishing Day will be celebrated on June 7 this year as part of National Fishing and Boating Week. This Saturday, no fishing licenses are required for persons fishing any public waters in Arizona.

“Whether you’re an experienced angler who wants to introduce a newcomer to the sport, or someone who’s always been interested but never took that next step, this is an ideal time to gather up some friends and family members and head out to your nearest community lake, or head up to the cooler country to fish a lake or stream,” said Nick Walter, editor of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Weekly Fishing Report.

Remember that bag limits and other fishing regulations are in full effect and must be observed on Free Fishing Days. Kids under the age of 10 can fish for free all year long in Arizona, so this special fishing license exemption day means that the older kids and parents get a free pass for the day. Try fishing — you’ll like it!

The Arizona Game and Fish Department will also sponsor some Free Fishing Day clinics/events to give people the opportunity to try out this fun, family-oriented pastime. Loaner fishing rods, bait and instruction are provided for free at most of these venues.

In addition, as part of National Get Outdoors Day on June 14, the Coronado National Forest will waive the day-use fees associated with many recreation sites or amenities on the forest in celebration of this day.

Times and locations of events are:

  • Lake Pleasant Regional Park, Saturday, June 7, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Phoenix):

    Lake Pleasant Regional Park will be providing loaner fishing gear and some bait. No registration is required, although there is a $6-per-vehicle park entry fee. Once inside the park, simply follow the program signs.

  • Dunton Fort Rock Ranch, Saturday, June 7, 7 a.m. to noon. (Near Kingman):

    This “Fishing for Smiles” event is open to kids 5-15 years. Kids must bring a parent. Lunch and refreshments are provided. Use loaner equipment, or bring your own rod and reel. Registration is available at the KRMC Kids Day at the Kingman Regional Medical Center (Saturday, May 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), or pre-registration is available at: Bob Kay State Farm Inc., 2425 Hualapai Mtn. Rd.; East Side Shell, 2901 E. Andy Devine; or Arizona Game and Fish Department Kingman regional office on 5325 Stockton Hill Rd. To get to Dunton Fort Rock Ranch, drive east on I-40 to Fort Rock Rd. (exit 91), turn left, and drive about 200 yards to Dunton Fort Rock Ranch. Go through the gate and follow the signs. For more information, contact Bob Kay at (928) 718-9500 or Bill Shilling at (928) 279-9201.

  • Goldwater Lake, Saturday, June 7, 9 a.m. to noon. (Near Prescott)

    During this fishing clinic, loaner rods and reels will be provided, bait will be available, and no fishing license is required for those who register. An Arizona Game and Fish Department expert will be on hand to tie knots and answer any fishing-related questions. Goldwater is scheduled to be stocked May 26-June 1.

  • Parker Canyon Lake, Saturday, June 14, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Near Sierra Vista)

    The Sierra Vista Ranger District will celebrate National Get Outdoors Day at Parker Canyon Lake from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. National Get Outdoors Day is intended to encourage children to recreate outdoors, and all activities will be free of charge. Day-use fees will be waived. Visitors are encouraged to contact the Sierra Vista Ranger District at (520) 378-0311 to determine which recreation sites have fees waived, and if concessionaires will charge fees.

Angler’s report: “Bartlett Lake is hot!”

Bartlett bass“Bartlett Lake fishing is hot!”

So said Kyle A., who sent in the following Bartlett report:

Went fishing Saturday morning (May 28). Actually slept in and got a late start. Hit the water a little bit after 6 a.m. and fished until about 11:30. In that time we caught about 20 bass with three people in the boat.

All the fish were caught off of Texas Rigs using dark colored lizard imitations — green and red seemed to give the best luck. We were hooking them anywhere from right off the shore to 10-15 feet deep.

Try fishing from Echo Bay Cove to the Yellow Cliffs

Most of the fish caught were working the shore starting at Echo Bay Cove and working towards the Yellow Cliffs just north of the Flats. We also went to the dam and worked back north but didn’t have much luck with all the jet skis and wake-boarders romping us.

I tried tossing a white spinner for about an hour and had no luck at all.

Most fish were typical Bartlett bass, but we did pull in a few with some decent meat on them.

The pictured fish is my friend Brett, it was his first time going bass fishing and he got to pull in his first four bass ever!

All fishing, all the time

FishAZblog

All fishing, all the time

Wawang Lake Resort

FISH: Walleye, Northern Pike, Perch, White Fish

The Fisheries Blog

The Fisheries Blog: Six fish scientists discuss fun and interesting topics about fish.