Tag Archives: arizona fishing

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Top picks this week are Saguaro Lake for largemouth bass, or one of our stocked streams in the White Mountains region for trout, including Silver Creek, East Fork of the Black River, Little Colorado River in Greer or Show Low Creek just downstream of Show Low Lake.

Fishing in these streams should be good because of better water quality — as long as the flows are not high due to monsoon rains.

Don’t forget to try the Dead Horse State Park lagoons near Cottonwood. A big largemouth bass  was caught there on Wednesday.

We have a new moon on Monday, which will make using submersible lights at night extremely effective. Surface water temperatures in desert impoundments are about as hot as they get — up to high-80s at Bartlett Lake. But they are trending downward into the low-80s at Roosevelt Lake.

Many bass have been rising to the surface for shad, but neither stay there for long, quickly dipping into a cooler, more comfortable zone (bass prefer 75-80 degrees).  Most weather forecasts call for a dry weekend, with some precipitation arriving by Monday in the high country.

Take the NHF Day challenge, win prizes

National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHF Day), an annual celebration of hunters and anglers, features a new twist this year. Richard Childress, NASCAR legend and honorary chair for NHF Day, is asking hunters and anglers to participate in the new NHF Day Challenge by taking someone hunting, fishing or target shooting.

By pledging to introduce someone to the outdoors between now and NHF Day on Saturday, Sept. 23, participants will be eligible to win a Richard Childress Racing VIP race weekend package or the Ultimate Outdoor Experience in America’s Conservation Capital from Big Cedar Lodge and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.

To get involved in the NHF Day Challenge, visit NHFDay.org or call 417-225-1162.

Catch of the Week

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

Bear Canyon Lake

 

Shane V.’s daughter caught her first catch. “It was awesome!” Shane said. ” The kids even pulled enough crawfish out of there to have a little crawfish boil that evening as well.  Good times.  Shore fishing, we caught quite a few rainbows fishing worms on a Santee rig to keep the bait away from the crawfish.  It was a proud day.”

See previous Angler Reports

Stocking reports

By  Saturday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for real-time and confirmed stocking reports):
Rainbow trout
Show Low Creek, Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, Oak Creek, Little Colorado River-Greer, Canyon Creek, East Verde River, Haigler Creek, Tonto Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Ashurst Lake, Rose Canyon Lake.

Note: Catfish return to Community waters in late September.

Previous stockings
Rainbow trout

Friday, Aug. 11 — East Verde River, East Fork Black River, Silver Creek, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake. Thursday, Aug. 10 — Tonto Creek, Haigler Creek. Wednesday, Aug. 9 –– Show Low Creek. Tuesday, Aug. 8 — Bear Canyon Lake, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake. Monday, Aug. 7 — Silver Creek, Dogtown Reservoir, Canyon Creek. See all the stocking schedules

Save time, buy online

Grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

We have released our top-5 family camping and fishing spots for August. Not surprisingly, four of the five spots are in the White Mountains.

See the list along with directions, descriptions and fishing tips galore.

Grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go.

Catch of the Week

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

Pena Blanca Lake

Justin B. with a gorgeous 5.6-pound largemouth bass caught Saturday at Pena Blanca Lake. He reported fishing he morning and catching more than 15 bass, mostly 1 pound and under.  The water temperature was 80 degrees.

See previous Angler Reports

Stocking reports

By  Saturday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for real-time and confirmed stocking reports):

Rainbow trout

Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek.

Previous stockings
Rainbow trout

Monday, July 24 — West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek. Friday, July 21 — Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Canyon Creek. Thursday, July 20 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek.

See all the stocking schedules

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

The Coconino National Forest has dropped to Stage I fire restrictions. Time to camp at Ashurst Lake (one of the spots where we’ve stocked some of the quarter-million more fish) or Forked Pine Campgrounds, and grill up some fresh trout like these:

This week, some other hot spots that have received trout are:

  • Dogtown Lake, Kaibab Lake, Lower Lake Mary and Kinnikinick Lake in the Flagstaff/Williams area. With the warmer weather, the fishing is starting to slow down but is still good early in the morning and late in the evening on Ashurst, Kaibab and Dogtown.  Folks are catching big trout on Lower Lake Mary early in the morning and late in the evening out of boats and float tubes;
  • Goldwater Lake and scenic Oak Creek in the Prescott/Sedona region;
  • White Mountains/Mogollon Rim region: Silver Creek, West Fork of the Little Colorado River in Greer, Silver Creek, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake and all the family-friendly creeks below the Mogollon Rim.

Striped bass story

Striped bass fishing is excellent at Lake Powell. Some of the best top-water boils have been at Lake  Mead, and striper fishing is also good at Willow Beach on the Colorado River and Lake Mohave. The top-water striper bite at Lake Pleasant has been slow. Look for striper fishing to pick up through the summer and fall.

Bass battle at the Alamo

At Alamo Lake, things are getting back to normal with bass fishing.  There’s a decent top-water bite going from 4:30 a.m. until around 6 a.m.  Then switch to crankbaits or plastics.

By the way, Bartlett Lake has had the most consistent bass fishing in the Phoenix area.  See the full report for details.

A Big deal

At Big Lake, anglers are catching some big rainbow trout to 4 pounds primarily on PowerBait. Fish are moving deeper but anglers still can reach them from shore. It’s quality over quantity right now at Big Lake.

Gateway to AZ adventure

Save time and buy online. Grab your gear and that fishing license24/7, and get ready for a pine-scented (or maybe bass-busting) weekend!

Catch of the Week

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

Craig A. caught some big rainbow trout Wednesday morning under clear skies trolling blue cowbells deep. Another successful technique was dropping nightcrawlers right off the bottom.

See previous Angler Reports

Notable wildfire openings/closures

  • Access to Black Canyon Lake has been reopened (Gentry Fire).
  • Access to Riggs Flat Lake, Frye Mesa Reservoir and Ash Creek is closed due to the Frye Fire.
  • The popular Lynx Lake North Shore and South Shore Day Use Sites have re-opened (Goodwin Fire).  The bald eagle closure at Lynx has been lifted.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Friday, July 7 — East Verde River, East Fork Black River, Show Low Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake.

Thursday, July 6 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek.

Monday, July 3 — West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek, Cataract Lake, Goldwater Lake, Oak Creek.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Great time for chasing the all-American catfish — especially during the cooler nights. Just see our Catch of the Week below — Arizona truly is a flathead catfish destination.

Other than that, as desert temperatures consistently crack 100 degrees, visit the mountain regions before the summer heat raises lake temperatures and trout activity patterns slow down. Summer has officially started, yet great spring-like fishing remains – for now.

See our summer trout stocking schedule. From May through June, we’ll have stocked an extra quarter-million fish statewide. Grab a license online, 24/7, and go.

Due to evacuation of the Tonto Creek Hatchery earlier this month during the Highline Fire, Willow Springs Lake on the Mogollon Rim was stocked extra-heavy with 7,080 catchable rainbow trout and a similar number of tiger trout. Also, nearby Woods Canyon Lake was stocked this week with 7,800 catchable rainbow trout as well as tiger trout.

At Lower Lake Mary in Flagstaff, this was the windy scene Wednesday with anglers having success with PowerBait and spinners:

There are many scenic, family-friendly streams in Rim country that are consistently stocked, such as Tonto Creek, Canyon Creek and the East Verde River. In the White Mountains, try the East Fork of the Black River, Little Colorado River in Greer, Show Low Creek or Silver Creek – all are fishing excellent.

In the Flagstaff region, possible hot spots to try are Ashurst, Kaibab and Dogtown lakes.

 

Catch of the Week

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

Kent Taylor hauled in — and released — this 62.56-pound flathead catfish Saturday at Martinez Lake on a live bluegill. Full story.

See previous Angler Reports

Notable fire closures

  • Due to the Gentry Fire, access to Black Canyon Lake is closed until further notice.
  • Access to Riggs Flat Lake is closed due to the Frye Fire.

Remember: clean, drain, dry

All it takes is a few minutes to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species and keep our waters clean and beautiful for ourselves and future generations.

Remember to:

  • Clean boats, waders, equipment and gear by removing mud, plants, attached animals such as snails or quagga mussels. Freeze waders overnight eliminate fish pathogens and other hitchhikers.
  • Drain all residual water from engines and motors, ballast tanks, live wells and bait wells. Pull your bilge plug and leave out during transport. Store in a location where you will remember before launch, e.g. next to boat keys in glove box!
  • Dry out all equipment that comes in contact with water, such as life jackets, ropes, buoys, tubes, etc.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Friday, June 23 — East Verde River, East Fork Black River, Silver Creek, Canyon Creek, Tonto Creek.

Thursday, June 22 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Cataract Lake.

Monday, June 19 — West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Silver Creek, Mingus Lake, Fain Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, Canyon Creek.

Saturday, June 17 — Canyon, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake.

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.

July 7-8 — Women’s Only Fly Fishing Clinic, instruction Friday evening at the Pinetop Regional Office, Saturday morning at Silver Creek outside Show Low (pre-registration required).

See the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Typically, water temperatures in May can reach close to optimum levels for trout. May and October can be the top trout producing months for our high country lakes. We’re stocking trout throughout the state — even tiger trout have already been stocked into Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes.

This gorgeous brown trout recently came out of Dogtown Reservoir near Williams:

Beginning Monday, though, looks like the desert regions will have the best spots to drown a hook (Saturday is expected to be windy statewide). Things will have cooled significantly. Most bass are in a post-spawn mode. Full moon is March 10 and so expect another heavy wave of spawners. With increased water covering more trees and shrubs, bass have had plenty of ideal areas to spawn. By most accounts, bass fishing during last month’s full moon was incredible.

Oh, and walleye season has begun at Lake Powell.

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

Six year-old Steve F. wouldn’t be deterred by windy weather at Lake Havasu on Saturday and caught this 3 1/2-pound largemouth bass with a shad jig from the Cattail Cove launch ramp dock at Lake Havasu.

See all the Angler Reports

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Wednesday, April 26 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Show Low Lake, Hulsey Lake, Lower Lake Mary, Frances Short Pond, Ashurst Lake.

Tuesday, April 25 — Kaibab Lake.

Monday, April 24 — Bunch Res., RIver Res, Tunnel Res., Canyon Creek, Ashurst Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, Colorado River,

Tiger trout

Tuesday, April 25 and Monday, April 24  — Willow Springs Lake Woods Canyon Lake.

Channel catfish

Wednesday, April 26 — Patterson Ponds (St Johns), Tempe Town Lake, Dave White Regional Pond (Casa Grande), Pacana Park, Redondo Lake, Fortuna Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond, Council Ave. Pond, Roadrunner Park, DIscovery, Eldorado, McQueen, Freestone.

Bluegill

Wednesday, April 26 — Friendship Park Pond, Bonsall Park, Roadrunner Park Lake, Discovery Park, Eldorado Lake, McQueen Park, Freestone Pond, Friendship Pond.

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

Youth and Community Fishing Day, Cortez Park (3434 W. Dunlap Ave., Phoenix), 7-10 a.m. Read the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Cinco de Mayo fish recipe: spice-rubbed catfish

To celebrate our Cinco de Mayo flash sale — get $5 off resident and nonresident general fishing licenses May 3-7, online sales only — here’s a recipe from Seis Kitchen and Catering, which specializes in regional Mexican cuisine.

Seis Kitchen and Catering prepared this incredible, tangy catfish dish during our recent “Hook to Plate” fishing clinic at Silverbell Lake in Tucson.

Enjoy, and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a fishing fiesta!

Spice-rubbed catfish topped with pickled jalapeño relish
  • 2 cups corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • .5 tsp ground oregano
  • .5 tsp black pepper
  • .5 tsp cumin
  • .5 tsp chile powder

Mix ingredients in dry bowl

 

  • 1 cup milk

Place milk into a large bowl alone

 

  • 2 pounds fish

Pat dry fish

 

  1. Dip fish into milk, coating entire fillet
  2. Remove fish from milk allowing excess milk to drain off
  3. Dredge fish in the corn meal mixture until completely coated
  4. Fill a medium sauce pan with canola oil about a 1/4 in high.
  5. Heat on a medium heat
  6. When oil is hot place the fillets in the oil cooking for 3 minutes on each side or until you get a nice firm crust. The thicker the fish the longer you will cook it. This recipe was done with fish that was about 3/4 to an inch thick.
  7. When fish is done, place on a towel to allow oil to drain off.

Seis Kitchen and Catering is located on 130 S. Avenida del Convento #100, Tucson, Arizona

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Many bass are in a post-spawn mode, and although there’s some windy weather predicted for much of the state this weekend, anglers can pick their spots. A couple might be  Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes on the Mogollon Rim — tiger trout are back and have been stocked for the first time this year. Looks like some pretty decent weather there Saturday and Sunday, too.

Top-water action had been picking up with a recent spat of warmer weather and some anglers were having success with frogs, Rebel Pop-Rs, and Ricos. With a string of predicted 90-degree temperatures in desert regions next week — possibly hitting 100 toward the end of the week — the surface action should pick up again.

A new moon was Wednesday, and so using submersible lights at night will be effective for a couple more days. Try striper fishing at night a Lake Mead, Lake Mohave (some big stripers were just caught fishing from shore with anchovies), or Lake Pleasant.

Also time to wet some lines in the Yuma area! Council Avenue (Somerton), Yuma West Wetlands, Fortuna Pond, and Redondo Pond were all stocked with channel catfish and bluegill Wednesday, April 26. See the stocking:

Grab a license online, 24/7, and go get ’em.

Other fish-lights:

Rainbow trout being loaded Wednesday en route to Flagstaff-area lakes at our Page Springs Fish Hatchery.
  • Rainbow trout are being stocked in the high country.
  • We just started a new habit project at Roosevelt Lake.
  • Crappie fishing has slowed. Action had been hot during their spawn following the recent full moon.
  • All roads to Big Lake are open.
  • Flathead catfishing will be picking up and should be good until mid-June. This is typically the time monster flatheads are caught.
  • Be sure to check the weather forecasts. Some gusty weather is predicted throughout the state this weekend (particularly out west).

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

April 19 — Goldwater Lake (Upper), Concho Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Rainbow Lake, Fool Hollow Lake, Haigler Creek, Christopher Creek.

April 20 — Tonto Creek, Ashurst Lake, East Verde River, Tonto Creek.

Channel catfish

April 20 — “Core” Community fishing waters.

See full schedules.

Catch of the Week

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

Aubrey, 6, caught this reported 18-inch cutthroat trout April 22 at Big Lake fishing on the bottom with a worm.  It was her first big fish.

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

  • Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club free fishing event at Mittry Lake, sunrise-noon.
  • Somerton free fishing event at Council Park Pond, 9 a.m. – noon.

See more details and the full schedule

Thank you, anglers!

Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984. Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Spring fishing has arrived in northern Arizona

Now is the time to get the tackle box ready, grab the fishing rods, and explore northern Arizona for some spring fishing.

Typically by late May or early June, as temperatures warm up and lake levels drop, water quality diminishes and conditions will be unsuitable for stocking fish.

Bass, pike, catfish, and crappie fishing are the best during the summer — but now is the ideal time for trout fishing. Get up there while you can.

Stocking trucks from Page Springs Hatchery have been loading up trout into Flagstaff/Williams regional waters the past few weeks.

Fishing at Lower Lake Mary is refreshing and trout fishing opportunities are abundant.

Top 5 spots to fish near Flagstaff and Williams

(All are being stocked with trout):

  1. Upper and Lower Mary lakes. A state record channel catfish was caught from Upper Lake Mary, and trout fishing can be good at Lower Lake Mary.  Upper Lake Mary is full.  Lower lake Mary is half full and has more water in it than has been seen in 7 years. See more information from Coconino County on fees and hours of operation at Lower Mary.
  2. Ashurst Lake. Ashurst  is full and the road is open. The water in the lake is relatively clear so try fishing with lures for the fresh stockers. With the low water level of the lake prior to the spring runoff many fish may not have survived the winter.
  3. Frances Short Pond. Anglers have been catching fish using flies and lures.  Some have also been caught using corn and worms.  A recent load of trout included some trout measuring more than 14 inches.
  4. Kaibab Lake. The lake is full and spilling for the first time in years. When muddy, try small silver or gold lures for trout.
  5. Dogtown Reservoir. This 50-acre lake in the Kaibab National Forest can be one of the best bets for a high country Arizona trout fishing adventure. Some experienced anglers can catch plump winter holdovers. Effective baits are PowerBait, small spinners, and wet flies such as bead-headed prince nymphs and zug bugs. Make sure the spinners are small — no heavier than 1/8 of an ounce. Some anglers can have success slow-trolling spinners. (There are special regulations at Dogtown: the limit is six trout, two bass at a minimum size of 13 inches, and a limit of four channel catfish). Electric-only motors are allowed.

 

Grab your gear and your fishing license and get ready for a pine-scented weekend!

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

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

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

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

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

Enjoy this incredible spring weather– and fishing!

Stocking report

Channel catfish

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

Rainbow trout

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

Bluegill

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

See the full schedule.

Public fishing events

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

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

See the full schedule

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Glendale fishing clinic to give away up to 1,000 youth licenses

Bonsall Park

PHOENIX – As many as one thousand youth hunt/fish licenses will be given away free of charge at the third annual “Hook a Kid on Fishing” event on Saturday, April 8 at Bonsall  Park in Glendale. The annual event was organized by Glendale City Councilmember Jamie Aldama in cooperation with the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, which will be sponsoring the giveaway of youth licenses.

The giveaway coincides with a free fishing clinic  — loaner rods will be available, no license is required, and bait will be provided. Licenses will go to the first 1,000 youth ages 10-17 during the event at Bonsall Park. Register on-site during clinic hours of 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We’re excited to have an opportunity to give kids a window into the world of fishing,” Arizona Game and Fish Department Community Fishing Program Manager Scott Gurtin said. “This will be a great community event and the fishing should be excellent.”

Bluegill and catfish will be stocked (more than four times the regular amount of catfish), and the free licenses will be valid for 365 days of fishing and hunting. Grab your kids and come on out.

Bonsall Park is located at 5840 W. Bethany Home Rd. (59th Ave. and Bethany Home Rd.) in Glendale.