Tag Archives: Arizona Game and fish fishing report

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Stream trout fishing is a great all-around choice. Try the East Fork of the Black River, Show Low Creek just downstream of Show Low Lake, Canyon Creek, Tonto Creek, the Little Colorado River in Greer or Silver Creek (but remember that monsoon storms can bring flooding at all these).

Also, boils are boiling! We’re coming off a new moon, and headed into a first quarter moon — striper fishing should still be bonkers at night at waters such as Lake Mead, Lake Powell and Lake Pleasant.

Who misses Mr. Whiskers? Channel catfish will return to Community Fishing Program waters in late September. Stay tuned: fall fishing is coming soon, and the early dove season begins Friday, Sept. 1.

Finally, check out some  summer-ending fishing tips.

And thank you for your annual fishing license purchases – they go back into fish stocking and management and help conserve all species of wildlife (we receive NO state tax dollars). Grab a license online and conserve wildlife for future generations.

Catch of the Week

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

Saguaro Lake

Scott Keniston with a 7-pound, 3-ounce largemouth he caught Friday morning at Saguaro Lake on a Roboworm morning dawn with a chartreuse tipped tail — drop shot!

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
Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, Canyon Creek, East Verde River, Haigler Creek, Tonto Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, Goldwater Lake.

Note: Catfish return to Community waters in late September.

Previous stockings
Rainbow trout

Friday, Aug. 18 — East Verde River, East Fork Black River, Silver Creek, Woods Canyon Lake, Canyon Creek. Thursday, Aug. 17 — Tonto Creek, Haigler Creek, Cataract Lake. Tuesday, Aug. 15 — Oak 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.


Catching fish, keeping cool in Arizona: some tips

If you’re the type of angler who likes sweat-soaked, year-round fishing opportunities in Arizona, here’s a few simple tips to stay safe — and cool:

  • Go early or go late.
  • Don’t go at all (is that an option?)
  • Drink water every 15-20 minutes.
  • Drink something with electrolytes to prevent muscle cramps.
  • Bring your own shade (wide-brimmed hats, shade shelters, etc)
  • Plan a trip to a cooler part of the state. White Mountains, anybody?
  • Get wet. Soaking a handkerchief in the water and keeping it on your head, and under your hat, is a great way to keep your body temperature stable. Anglers also could wrap an evaporative cooling towel around their neck.
  • Know your limits: Summertime might not be the time to try for a personal best.
  • Leave detailed plans with someone (float plan).
  • Sign up for a boating safety class.

We are moving into a new moon, so expect better night fishing than last week.

During the Aug. 29 first quarter moon, there will be just enough moonlight for good visibility, but submersible lights can still do their plankton-attracting jobs. This time also means shooting stars will be highly visible.

Remember to verify the weather conditions before launching and check for updates while fishing during these particularly dark nights.

There are several mobile phone apps available with live weather conditions and emergency weather information. Monsoon storms can happen suddenly and without much warning.

Onto some more tips:

How to fish in Arizona during summer: some tips

Largemouth bass


Bartlett Lake bass, like this largemouth, are plentiful.
  • Methods of fishing on the summer heat differs. For desert bass fishing, all methods of tackle must be lightweight — light lines, small hooks and sinkers, etc.  Bites from these lethargic fish will be light, so be patient before setting the hook.
  • Across all statewide desert bass fisheries the next few weeks, plastic worms rigged on Texas rigs, Carolina rigs and dropshots will be the most reliable tactic. Make your leader small – you only want your bait about 5 inches above the weight on a dropshot. During the daytime, make that a bit longer, say, 10-12 inches.

Striped bass

Striped bass bag limits are unlimited at Lake Pleasant. Be sure to check special regulations at other waters.
  • Nighttime fishing gets really good in August with many boats catching anywhere from 50-100 fish a night. This information applies to day fishing also: fish deeper water and don’t forget to chum and have a great light in the water to attract baitfish.
  • If possible, use live bait. Live shad is the ultimate bait and will greatly increase your chances.  When fishing these lakes at night, be sure to think safety all the time. Have lights, a first aid kit, spotlight, cell phone, and also monitor monsoon activity.

Catfish and carp

Some big carp can be caught at night — try corn, which can be used for chum
  • Sticky desert nights are made for bottom-dwelling catfish and carp. Relax on the shoreline, wet a line with some stink bait, corn or both, watch the sky for meteor showers, and hook into Mr. Whiskers at the same time.


Silver Creek is a great summer, cool-water fishery
  • Best bet is in the White Mountains region, 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.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Top picks this week are striped bass at night at Lake Pleasant, trout fishing on the creeks below the Mogollon Rim and at Silver Creek (regulations are catch-and-keep with bait and a six-trout daily limit — the upper section is closed to fishing) and throwing top-water lures early at Lake Mohave.

But don’t count out going for walleye (along with a mixed bag of species) at Show Low Lake or Fool Hollow Lake.

Catch of the Week

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

Rose Canyon Lake

Mike C. and a group of anglers caught  this mess of rainbow trout  at Rose Canyon Lake near Tucson last Saturday (Aug. 5). Mike said the action came during the morning with PowerBait (green, rainbow, orange) and 18-inch leaders. The group reported landing about 20 in a few hours worth of work.

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
Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, Bear Canyon Lake, Canyon Creek, East Verde River, Haigler Creek, Tonto Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Dogtown Lake, Kaibab Lake.

Previous stockings
Rainbow trout

Friday, Aug. 4 — East Verde River, East Fork Black River, Silver Creek, Woods Canyon Lake, Canyon Creek. Thursday, Aug. 3 — Tonto Creek, Haigler Creek, Show Low Creek. Wednesday, Aug. 2 — Show Low Creek, Canyon Creek. Tuesday, Aug. 1 — Rose Canyon Lake. 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.


Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

A new moon with summer nights made chill by spats of rain showers — this can be the time to fish in the high country of Arizona.

Increased rainfall predicted for high country regions can also eventually favor anglers, bringing inflows and nutrients, and in turn baitfish and predatory fish. Target areas with recent inflows.

Monsoon season is here so be safe. Get off the water if there’s lightning and if you get trapped on the water find a protected cove or small bay and wait the storm out.

Submersible lights at night for stripers will be a great option if the weather is calm. Be sure to check the latest wind and weather forecasts. Anglers can fish in snow, ice, some heat (be safe) and rain – but keep those lightning (fishing) rods off the water.

Anglers also have reported success this week with bass at Pena Blanca Lake,  walleye at Upper Lake Mary, and flathead catfish on the Upper Salt River and striper fishing on the Colorado River Below Davis Dam, where Chris caught this 32.6-pound striper:

Overall, angling can be tough in July, but be selective in your spot and time, and you might go away with a heavy stringer, or at least a camera full of memories. Grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go.

Some fire restrictions lifted

Due to significant widespread rain and decreasing fire danger, the Coconino, Coronado, Apache-Sitgreaves, and Kaibab National Forests have lifted campfire and smoking restrictions. But remain safe when building campfires!  Read more.

Time to catch and cook those trout!

Also, see a full list of fire restrictions in Arizona.


Fishing tournaments resume at Apache, Canyon lakes

Apache Lake on the Salt River chain of lakes is relatively undeveloped and is an excellent fishery for bass and catfish.

Fishing tournaments at Apache and Canyon Lakes can resume, effective immediately. Tournaments on Apache, Canyon and Saguaro lakes were temporarily suspended when golden alga blooms developed over large portions of the lakes. Saguaro Lake tournaments remain suspended. Read more.

Cluff Pond No. 3 reopens

We reopened Cluff Ranch Pond #3 to recreational activities Saturday, July 15, after it was closed in June for use by U.S. Forest Service crews to help suppress the Frye Fire. The Cluff Ranch Ponds are located in the Cluff Ranch Wildlife Area off Cluff Ranch Road at the base of the Pinaleno Mountains.

Catch of the Week

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

Upper Lake Mary

David M. caught two walleye, including this one, Saturday, July 15, trolling a swimbait 10-feet deep.

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):

Fool Hollow Lake; Show Low Lake; Silver Creek; East Fork Black River; Little Colorado River-Greer; Christopher Creek; Canyon Creek, East Verde River; Haigler Creek, Tonto Creek; Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake; Oak Creek Goldwater Lake; Rose Canyon Lake.

Previous stockings
Rainbow trout

Friday, June 14 — East Verde River, Canyon Creek, Woods Canyon Lake. Thursday, June 13 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek. Wednesday, June 12 — Show Low Creek. Tuesday, June 11 — Bear Canyon Lake, Huffer Tank. Monday, June 10 –– Canyon Creek, West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Silver Creek, Dogtown Lake, Cataract Lake.

See all the stocking schedules


Tiger trout arrive in Flagstaff

Marshall Lake

Tiger trout have arrived in the Flagstaff region. Today, tiger trout ranging from 5-10 inches were stocked into Marshall Lake, located 15 miles southeast of Flagstaff. It’s the first time Marshall”s been stocked since 2010.

Another load of tiger trout arrive tomorrow at this watchable wildlife wetland that is great for paddling but not so great for shore angling because of its thick vegetation. Only motors that are electric, or 10hp or less, are allowed.

If water quality continues to be good through the summer, we expect these tigers to grow about an inch per month.

Go catch a tiger!

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!

A bass story: Community Fishing Program stocks first largemouth since 2011

PHOENIX — A long, black figurine of a fish cruised out of the underwater drainage pipe. My flutter spoon dropped — and of course fluttered — right in front of the fish’s mouth.

“There are fish like this in Alvord Lake?” I thought, eyes no doubt bulging and bobbing like frying egg yolks.

I’d come for the crappie. Read on my I Support Wildlife report they had just been stocked. Little did I know … we had made a surprise stocking into Alvord before this Saturday morning.

We had stocked bass.

Largemouth bass.


A big bass took the No. 10 flutter spoon and yanked out the 3x leader and tippet from my 5-weight fly rod.

After a few long runs, I grabbed this guy by the mouth:

A bass maybe around 4 pounds, probably between 19-21 inches. Not that it matters — it was a fun fish. Still not sure it was a stocker.

Regardless, it had been the first stocking of largemouth bass into Community Fishing Program lakes since 2011.  This week,  we stocked more largemouth bass into “core” Community waters. Before more are stocked, our biologists will monitor if — and where — these bass manage to survive and develop a quality population structure.

After a quick photo, this lunker was released:

Go get ’em.

Minutes later, another bass cruised out of the same structure — a large chunk of a two-way drainage pipe that looked like an excellent place for bass to hide until unsuspecting quarry passed by.

This bass measured 16 inches and probably weighed about 2 1/4 pounds. Likely a stocker:

With apologies to all the catch-and-release bass purists, this one came home to a sizzling skillet.

Recipe for the above:

  • Coat fillets in egg wash and roll in white flour. Re-coat in egg wash, roll in Panko bread crumbs, and saute in hot coconut oil for about 5 minutes on each side. Dry on  paper towel and add salt/pepper.

That side is just homemade mac ‘n’ cheese — corn, garlic salt, pepper, a bit of sour cream, butter, milk, elbow macaroni and shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Note that daily bag limits for largemouth bass at Community Lakes are two bass at a minimum of 13 inches in total length.

Best part about Alvord Lake, located in Cesar Chavez Park at 7858 S. 35th Ave. in south Phoenix? It’s a 10-minute drive to the world’s largest city park — South Mountain Park.

So afterward …

Mountain biking and fishing makes for a prime Saturday.

Tips on fishing a flutter spoon

Many sport fish like largemouth bass rely on sight and vibration to identify prey. A flutter spoon allows for the flash and action to attract attention.

Make a few strips if  fly fishing (or reels if spin fishing) and stop. Let the flutter spoon drop and do its fluttering magic. Typically, a fish will hit as the lure is falling (like with jigging). This was exactly the case.

Even a No. 10 flutter spoon can catch big fish.
Hope this helps get you out to Community waters and onto some fish.

In case you need a license, you can get ’em easily online, 24/7. A Community fishing license is $24, and like all licenses, good for 365 days. Funds go back into wildlife conservation, as well as other efforts such as fish stockings.  A General License is $37, and Hunt/Fish Combo License $57.

Read more information about the Community Fishing Program.

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

The transition to spring fishing conditions is finally setting in — time to get out and fish!

Let’s get to some highlights:

  • It’s crappie time! The spawn at San Carlos has been underway for the past few weeks and there have been excellent reports.  The crappie spawn is just getting underway at Roosevelt Lake. Male crappie are in shallow areas of the lake; some females are moving onto spawning flats.
  • Striped bass catch rates are picking up at Lake Pleasant. Check out a report from guest contributor Barry Worman of the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page.
  • The Arizona Department of Transportation planned to open State Highways 261 and 273 on Thursday, April 13. ADOT was working to clear the last of the snow drifts off of the highways before opening. The roads were closed during winter months for public safety. Opening the state highways allows access to Big Lake and Crescent and Sunrise lakes. See an Arizona Traveler Information map that shows only minimal delays on these roads.
  • The 300 road is open to the Woods Canyon Lake turnoff.  Store and boat rentals are open. Campgrounds won’t open until May.  A recent survey found lots of rainbow and tiger trout winter carry-overs averaging around 11-12 inches , and rainbow trout are being stocked this week.  We saw full stringers this week before it was even stocked —  fish are hungry and biting hooks.

    A 4- or 5-pound largemouth bass caught recently from Alvord Lake in Phoenix on a No. 10 silver flutter spoon.
  • We stocked bass (yes — bass!) and crappie this week into “core” Community waters. See the schedule.
  • Recently-stocked brown trout have been hitting at Lynx Lake. One angler hooked a bunch of ’em on 1.5 inch-crappie tubes on the southern shore of the lake.
  • A monster 5-pound redear sunfish was caught from Lake Havasu — see the Angler Reports.

Grab a license online 24/7, and go — your purchase helps conserve wildlife for future generations.

Stocking report

Channel catfish

Wednesday, April 5 — Chaparral Lake, Riverview Lake, Red Mountain Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Silverbell Lake, Kennedy Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Lakeside Lake, Surprise Lake,  Rio Vista Pond, Pioneer Lake, Steele Indian School Pond, Encanto Lake, Desert West Lake, Alvord Lake, Papago Ponds, Evelyn Hallman Pond, Desert Breeze Lake, Tempe Kiwanis Lake,  Bonsall Park.

Rainbow trout

Friday, April 7 — Tonto Creek,  East Verde River, Canyon Creek.

Thursday, April 6 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, Russell Tank, Lower Lake Mary, Dogtown Reservoir.

Tuesday, April 4 — Becker Lake, Scott Reservoir, Rainbow Lake,  Fool Hollow Lake, Goldwater Lake, Rose Canyon Lake, Dogtown Reservoir.

Brook trout

Tuesday, April 4 — Lynx Lake, Fain Lake.

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

Dave P. caught this Big Fish of the Year, catch-and-release smallmouth bass from Roosevelt Lake on March 21 that measured  23 1/2 inches and weighed 5.96 pounds. Caught on a Kalin’s triple threat grub (John Deere color).

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 22 — Fishing for Sustainability-Family and Community Fishing Event, 8 a.m – noon, Silverbell Lake at Christopher Columbus Park (3600 N. Silverbell Rd., Tucson).

See more details and the full schedule


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

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.