Tag Archives: Arizona Game and fish fishing report

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Some erratic weather is making fishing hit-and-miss in general across the state, but, no doubt, this is the time to be ready for break-out fishing. Watersheds across the state are receiving record moisture — Roosevelt Lake will likely exceed 70-percent full during the next two weeks.

Let’s get right to some Fish AZ news:

  • Channel catfish are back in core Community waters. See the stocking schedule through the summer.  They were stocked Thursday, March 23 and word is the fish are large and healthy.
  • The gate to Willow Springs Lake is open and reports are that fish are biting. There are tiger trout here — go see how much they may have grown during the winter …

    Willow Springs Lake on Tuesday, March 21.
  • All of the Williams-area lakes are full.  Since all of the lakes are full this year, we don’t have enough trout to stock all of the lakes (if you don’t stock enough fish in a lake, folks can’t catch them).  This year we are only planning on stocking Kaibab Lake and Dogtown Lake with rainbow trout.  As soon as the lakes stop spilling we will start stocking Kaibab and Dogtown.
  • Most Flagstaff area lakes are full and spilling.  Ashurst Lake, Lower Lake Mary, and Frances Short Pond will be stocked with trout this year. Lower Lake Mary has had about 16,000 larger (10-inch plus) rainbow trout stocked during the past couple of weeks along with about 8,600 smaller (6-8 inch) rainbows.
  • Ashurst Lake is full. The road is open and the first load of 2,700 rainbow trout was stocked last week.
  • Bartlett Lake is full and the water is clearing up. Bass fishing is good in 2-12 feet from the dam to the river using crankbaits, spinner baits (white or chartreuse) and baby brush hogs.

Stocking report

Rainbow trout

Thursday, March 23 — Channel catfish in “core” Community waters. Thursday, March 16 — Lower Salt River, Oak Creek, Frances Short Pond. Tuesday, March 14 — Patagonia Lake, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek. Monday, March 13 – Verde River (middle), Lynx Lake, Frances Short Pond, Lower Lake Mary. Sunday, March 9 — Concho Lake, Cluff Res. 3, Roper Lake, Lower Lake Mary.

 

See the full schedule.

Catch of the Week

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

Jack caught this monster 48-pound, 13-ounce striper in about 10 feet of water in the flats across from South Cove.

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, 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

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

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

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Striped bass fishing seems to be picking up, as has been evidenced by an influx of striper success stories from Willow Beach on the Colorado River, Lake Pleasant, and especially Lake Mohave …

Les with his striped bass from Lake Mohave. The striper action is good on Lake Mohave, especially near the dam. Anchovies fished down deep are working the best. The largemouth bass bite is picking up in the coves.
Les with his striped bass from Lake Mohave. The striper action is good on Lake Mohave, especially near the dam. Anchovies fished down deep are working the best. The largemouth bass bite is picking up in the coves.

 

See our Catch of the Week below — a monster 21-pound striper was recently caught in about 13 feet of water at Lake Pleasant.

And we have a new moon this weekend. It’ll be cold — lows in the high 40s are predicted for desert regions — but grab some steamin’ hot coffee get out there and fish with submersible lights. Another option, if you’re fishing Lake Pleasant, is using live shad and fishing 11 a.m. to sunset in the northern coves.

Largemouth bass anglers can chase some potential pre-spawning fish at early-bird lakes such as Alamo, Martinez and Havasu out west, and even Saguaro Lake in central Arizona.

Some fish are moving in shallow from 50-60 feet of water depth. They’re not spawning yet, but anglers can target areas of bait fish with crankbaits early in the morning and switch to dropshot and Texas rigs as the sun comes up.

It’s not quite crappie time.  In a month or so, be ready to load up at crappie hot spots such as Alamo, Roosevelt, Bartlett and San Carlos. (Tempe Town Lake has been producing some nice slabs.)

Updates: Topock Marsh, Rio Vista Pond, Upper Mary

  • Topock Marsh on the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is closed through March 6 due to U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service management.
  •  Rio Vista Pond in Peoria was not stocked this week, but repairs at the pond have been completed and the pond is scheduled to be stocked with trout for the final time of the winter season during the week of March 6. See the schedule.
  • Anglers can access Dogtown Lake near Williams, but we haven’t received any fishing reports. Upper Lake Mary on Thursday was about 3 inches from spilling.

Stocking report

Thursday, Feb. 16 — Community expansion waters. Wednesday, Feb. 15 — Red Mountain Lake. Tuesday, Feb. 14 — Goldwater Lake. Monday, Feb. 13 — Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake, Salt River (lower), Fain Lake. Saturday, Feb. 11 — Community waters: Chaparral Lake, Tempe Kiwanis, Desert Breeze, Copper Sky, Lakeside, Kennedy, Sahuarita, Alvord, Silverbell, Desert West, Pioneer, Surprise, Cortez, Encanto, Steele Indian School, Papago Ponds, Evelyn Hallman, Water Ranch, Red Mountain, Green Valley lakes.

Full  schedules

Catch of the Week

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

striperpleasant

David Campbell, of Peoria, brought to our Phoenix headquarters Friday morning a striper that officially weighed 20.92 pounds and was 35 inches long — about 9 pounds short of a state record. See the full story

Read all the Angler Reports

Public fishing events

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

Saturday, Feb. 25 — Just For Kids Fishing Festival, 8 a.m. – noon, Kiwanis Park (5500 S. Mill Ave., Tempe).

See 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 (click on the water for directions):

Lake Pleasant

lakeplezbass

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

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

Desert Breeze Lake (Chandler)

dbtrout

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

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

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

Thanks AZGFD for the many community waters close to home.

Fain Lake (Prescott Valley)

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

Gilbert Riparian

img_5892

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

Parker Canyon Lake

parkercanyonbass

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

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

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

A great beginning to a new year of fishing!

 

Copper Sky Lake (Maricopa)

20170114_114125

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

 

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Weekend Roundup: Angler Reports

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

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

Desert Breeze Lake

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

img_0188

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

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

Tempe Kiwanis Lake

kiwanistrout2

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

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

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

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

    incentivedark

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

 

Rio Vista Pond (Peoria)

0113171507_film1-1

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

 

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Although reports have slowed as Christmas creeps, the fishing likely has not slowed at certain low- to mid-elevation lakes.

For one, trout fishing in Community waters is one of the best options in the state. We’ve stocked the “core” Community waters — see the schedule.  One angler reported catching a 4-pound bass this week from Red Mountain Lake.

Also, the Lower Salt River — our No. 1-ranked fishin’ hole for this winter — and Saguaro Lake (pictured above) make a great one-two punch since they’re located close to each other.  Try nightcrawlers (on a dropshot rig if you’re able) for largemouth bass, yellow bass, bluegill and even catfish.

See a recent report for crappie tips — they have been caught in fairly shallow water (15 feet) at lakes such as Roosevelt Lake. Fishing for crappie has been poor at Alamo Lake — but that should change as water temperatures cool.

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

Stocking report

This week we were scheduled to stock the “core” Community fishing waters, as well as Mingus Lake, Goldwater Lake, Canyon Lake, the Lower Salt River, Parker Canyon Lake, Patagonia Lake, and Pena Blanca Lake. See the schedule.

These are confirmed stockings from last week:

Rainbow trout

Monday, Dec. 12 — Goldwater Lake, Verde River (middle). Tuesday, Dec. 6 — Cluff Reservoir #3, Roper Lake, Dankworth Ponds, Fortuna Pond, Redondo Lake. Monday, Dec. 5 — Apache Lake, Deadhose Lake.

See the full schedule.

Licensed to fish

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

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

It’s winter trout and crappie time.

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

See last week’s report for more crappie tips.

prescotttrout

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

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

Winter bassin’ in AZ

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

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

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

Stocking report

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

These are confirmed stockings from last week:

Rainbow trout

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

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

See the full schedule.

 

High country ice-cover reports

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

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

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

Licensed to fish

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

Catch of the Week

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

larry-johnson-tiger-trout-record-fish-2016

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

See previous week’s Angler Reports

 

Upcoming free fishing events

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

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

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

See the full schedule.

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT