Tag Archives: Arizona Game and Fish

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.

Whomp!

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

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

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Flooding has caused closures to roads and many popular Tonto National Forest campgrounds.

Tempe Town Lake reopened to water activities Thursday, March 2 at 4 p.m.

The lake has been closed due to upstream Salt River debris.

In western Arizona, Alamo Lake resembles a chocolate milkshake as the lake has risen 13 feet in two days.

Shore anglers might have a chance to avoid debris — but not stained/muddy water. Boaters might have a difficult time avoiding floating debris — boat with extreme caution. The Salt River at Roosevelt was running at 3,934 cfs on Wednesday afternoon (2,978 at Tonto Creek at Rosy).

Update from Tonto National Forest: Forest Road 19, leading to Bartlett Lake, reopened Wednesday.

The following recreation sites have reopened to the public:

  • Bartlett Flat Campground
  • Yellow Cliffs Boat Launch
  • Rattlesnake Cove Picnic Area
  • SB Cove Shoreline Site
  • Jojoba Boat Launch

Phon D. Sutton, Coon Bluff, and Granite Reef Picnic Sites along the Lower Salt River have also been reopened for day use.

The Horseshoe Dam Road, Forest Road 205, leading to Horseshoe Reservoir and the following recreation sites remain closed:

  • Riverside Campground
  • Ocotillo
  • Fisherman’s Point
  • Horseshoe Campground
  • Mesquite Campground

Both Forest Road 20, leading to Needle Rock and Box Bar, and Lower Sycamore Road, Forest Road 1847/403 remain closed until the water recedes and road conditions improve.

This was the Verde River Wednesday afternoon at the Beeline Highway Bridge (by Fort McDowell):

 

OK, back to hooking fish. Water temperatures at many desert impoundments are hovering at or above 58 degrees, the mark that typically triggers pre-spawn bass activity.

At Lake Havasu on Thursday, Feb. 23, a smallmouth bass Colorado River waters hook-and-line state record was set. See the story as well as some springtime bass tips.

Other fishing notes:

  • Community fishing. The final scheduled trout stockings of the winter-spring season will take place the week of March 6.  Catfish will return to Community waters  the week of March 20.
  • Repairs at Rio Vista Pond have been completed. We were not able to stock the pond last week as scheduled due to the repairs — those fish went to Pioneer Lake i Peoria — but do plan on stocking it next week.
  • At  Apache Lake this week, we determined a threadfin shad die-off was due to high numbers of golden algae. We continue monitoring the situation.
  • Alamo Lake rose 13 feet in two days and on March 1 was at 1,118 feet in elevation.  Mark Knapp from Alamo Lake State Park said when the lake is done rising the main ramp should open.  Cholla ramp is open, but there are log jams all over and fishing is poor. But in one month, fishing should be incredible. Get ready.
  • White Mountains regional updates. Accessible  lakes as of Feb. 28  include Willow Springs Lake, but it is walk-in only (road is snow packed) and ice is thin and unsafe. The gate is closed. Sardine Point is open, but the road is snow packed.  Fishing at Fool Hollow Lake is fair. There’s no ice and rainbow trout are being caught. Fishing pier and platforms are accessible.  Northern pike should be congregating to spawn this time of year; try throwing Rapala lures or streamers in shallow coves.  Northern pike spawn and congregate in weedy shallow coves.   Also, there’s no ice at Show Low Lake, Woodland Lake, and Becker Lake.   Big Lake is still inaccessible and has extremely thin, unsafe ice.  Best bet in this region remains Silver Creek. See the full report.

Stocking report

Friday, Feb. 24 — Community “core” watersThursday, Feb. 23 — Dankworth Ponds. Wednesday, Feb. 22 — Community expansion watersTuesday, Feb. 21 — Parker Canyon Lake, Dead Horse lakes, Dave White Pond, Roadrunner Pond, Bonsall Pond, Full  schedules

Catch of the Week

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

Sue Nowak of Lake Havasu City with her Colorado River waters hook-and-line state record smallmouth bass.
Sue Nowak of Lake Havasu City with her Colorado River waters hook-and-line state record smallmouth bass.

Well this one was easy. Sue Nowak caught this 21-inch, 6.28-pound smallmouth bass that is a  Colorado River waters hook-and-line state record. She caught it around noon on Thursday, Feb. 23 with a dropshot-rigged True Image mini shaker lemonade worm. She was fishing with Shaun Bailey’s Guide Service in Lake Havasu City.

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, 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

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Heavy rains and run-off has Horseshoe Dam flowing, Kaibab Lake spilling and anglers dreaming of spring.

Fishing likely will be unpredictable with  changing conditions. Another heavy storm is predicted statewide for Saturday and Sunday. Fish react to conditions and anglers must react to the fish. Anchor up to this rule: find the bait, find the fish.

Water is being let out of Horseshoe Lake, and Bartlett Lake is now at 95 percent full — up three feet since Tuesday. This featured image is from 2005 at Horseshoe Dam — the last time we had similar high rains and run-off:

Credit Rory Aikens/AZGFD
Credit Rory Aikens/AZGFD

A new moon is coming Feb. 26, so maybe plan to fish at night with submersible lights that weekend. With some stable weather, that weekend could be prime for great striper fishing at lakes such as Pleasant, Mead and Mohave.

Finally, at Pena Blanca Lake, the lake is full and water quality problems have improved — trout stockings are finally underway.  It’s scheduled to be stocked the week of Feb. 27.

Stocking report

Thursday, Feb. 9 — Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake; Wednesday, Feb. 8 — Fortuna Pond; Tuesday, Feb. 7 — La Paz County Park Lagoon, and Pond, Cluff Res. #3, Roper Lake, Dankworth Ponds; Monday, Feb. 6 — Goldwater (upper), Dead Horse Lake, Verde River (middle).

Next week: We’re scheduled to stock the Dead Horse Lakes, Goldwater Lake, Saguaro Lake, Red Mountain Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Parker Canyon Lake, and Roper Lake.

Full  schedules

Catch of the Week

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

parkercanyonbass

Rod caught this largemouth bass, weighing approximately 5 pounds, from Parker Canyon Lake in heavy winds with a 2-inch grub on a 1/32-ounce jig and 4-pound monofilament line.

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, 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

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

This might be the last weekend to fish high country hideaways such as Big Lake before skim ice — or unsafe ice — begins to form. The Big Lake Store is officially closed for winter.

Meanwhile, late fall/winter fishing is just beginning in the desert regions.

But first, great news — today through Sunday we’re offering a 50-percent discount on short-term (one-day) combination fishing/hunting licenses purchased online. That means only $7.50 per day for Arizona residents and $10 per day for non-residents.

Bring the kids along — youth licenses (required for ages 10-17) are only $5 and are valid for a year.

Buy a license, and help conserve wildlife for future generations.

OK, back to the report. Trout are back in Community waters! See when and where they’re being stocked. On Tuesday afternoon we stocked 665 pounds of trout into Tempe Town Lake. Watch video of this stocking (from under the pipe).

The next new moon is Nov. 29, which means using submersible lights at night to attract fish such as striped bass and crappie will become increasingly more effective.

 

Catch of the Week

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

sagbass1116
Charles S. caught this giant Saguaro Lake largemouth bass on a Zoom Trick worm in shallow water.

See all the 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, Dec. 3 — Town of Gilbert’s Youth Fishing Day, 8 a.m. — noon, Freestone Pond (1045 E. Juniper Ave., Gilbert). Sponsored by AZGFD and town of Gilbert. Loaner rods provided to first 100 participants. Bait and fishing information available.  Contact Jennifer Lauria, Gilbert Parks & Rec., 480-503-6234 or the AZGFD Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240.

See the full schedule.

Stocking report

These are confirmed stockings from last week. See the stocking schedules.

Rainbow trout
Friday, Nov. 18 —
Community waters: Desert Breeze, Veterans Oasis, Copper Sky, Red Mountain, Riverview, Rio VIsta, Alvord, Cortez, Desert West, Encanto, Papago Ponds, Steele Indian School, Chaparral, Surprise, Evelyn Hallman, Tempe Kiwanis, Kennedy, Lakeside, Silverbell, Sahuarita, Water Ranch Lake. ** Pioneer Lake and Green Valley lakes did not get stocked due to water quality issues (both are expected to be stocked the week of Nov. 28).

See the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

There are only a few weeks left before winter conditions prevail in the high country, so if you’re looking for scents of pine, scenes of eagles and tight lines from trout, go now.

The trout bite is hot at spots such as Dogtown, Kinnikinick, Reservation, and Willow Springs lakes.

Ready to catch the elusive tiger trout? They were biting on Monday afternoon, rising to the surface in shallow water at Willow Springs Lake for dry flies.

See a video from Monday of a tiger trout wrecking the surface to take a dry fly:

Speaking of trout, the first winter trout stockings are coming next week to Community fishing waters. See the schedule.

On Monday, Oak Creek and Saguaro Lake were stocked with trout.

See all the angler reports, because there are a ton of fishing options from carp to monster largemouth bass and flathead catfish.

Looking for more hot spots? See another recent report.

Grab a license online, 24/7 (and help conserve all species of wildlife).

Catch of the Week

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

showlowlake

This 3 year old helped catch three stocked rainbows in 30 minutes at Show Low Lake.

See all the 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 — 3rd annual Fishing Expo at Eldorado Pond (Eldorado Park, 2311 N. Miller Rd., Scottsdale) , 8 – 11 a.m.

Read the full schedule.

 

Stocking report

These are confirmed stockings from last week. See the stocking schedules.

Channel catfish
Wednesday, Oct. 19 — Surprise Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Pioneer Lake, Cortez Lake, Steele Indian School, Encanto Lake, Desert West Lake, Papago ponds, Desert Breeze Lake, Tempe Kiwanis Lake, Chaparral Lake, Water Ranch Lake, Red Mountain Lake, Riverview Lake, Tempe Town Lake, Lakeside Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Kennedy Lake, Silverbell Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Green Valley Lake #3.

Rainbow trout
Monday, Nov. 7 — Oak Creek, Saguaro Lake. Friday, Nov. 4 — Frances Short Pond, Green Valley Lakes 1 and 3. Tuesday, Oct. 25 — Parker Canyon Lake. Monday, Oct. 24 — Goldwater Lake, Oak Creek, Frances Short Pond, Lynx Lake. Friday, Oct. 21 — Salt River, Tonto Creek. Thursday, Oct. 20 — Apache Lake,  Lynx Lake. Wednesday, Oct. 19 — Colorado River (Davis Dam), Salt River, Green Valley Lake #3. Tuesday, Oct. 18 — Saguaro Lake  Canyon Lake, Mingus Lake.

See the full schedule.

READ THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Time to head to the land of bugling elk, rusty leaves and feisty trout.

We’ve recently put some extra loads of rainbow trout into many Mogollon Rim and White Mountains lakes. At many trout creeks, anglers might have their own section of water. Shouldn’t be hard to talk the family into this one.

Here’s a quick rundown of some waters that  have received some extra trout during the past 2 weeks (between 4,000 and 8,000 at each): Bear Canyon Lake; Fool Hollow Lake; Show Low Lake; River Reservoir; Woods Canyon Lake;  Willow Springs Lake; Hawley Lake; Reservation Lake; Silver Creek.

Trout have been stocked once again at Woods Canyon Lake.
Trout have been stocked once again at Woods Canyon Lake.

Also, a bunch of smaller brown trout were stocked into Rose Canyon Lake on Thursday, Sept. 29.

Yuma anglers: catfish are scheduled to return to your area’s community waters (Council Ave Pond in Somerton; West Wetlands Pond, Redondo Lake, Fortuna Lake). See the Community fishing stocking schedule, and a full update in the full report – your “expansion waters” are scheduled to be stocked.

Grab a license online (and help conserve all species of wildlife), get rigged and ready and enjoy the peace and quiet of a  high country hideaway.

Black Canyon Lake road/parking lot closure

The access road and parking areas at Black Canyon Lake will be closed to all vehicle traffic from October 10-19 for a paving project.  Pedestrian access to the lake’s shore is allowed, but parking is not allowed on the adjacent, maintained forest service roads.

Upcoming free fishing events

Tuesday, Nov. 22 – Welcome Back the Trout to Tempe  Town Lake, 4-6 p.m.

Stocking report

Brown trout

Thursday, Sept. 29 — Rose Canyon Lake. Wednesday, Sept. 26 — Lynx Lake.

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Sept. 29 — Rose Canyon Lake,  Frances Short Pond, Hawley Lake, Reservation Lake. Wednesday, Sept. 28 — Bear Canyon Lake. Tuesday, Sept. 27 — Bear Canyon Lake. Monday, Sept. 26 — Kinnikinick Lake, Canyon Creek, Bear Canyon Lake. Sunday, Sept. 25 — Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Saturday, Sept. 24 — Fool Hollow Lake.

As you can see, winter trout stockings are ramping up. See the schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

The first hints of fall means fishing is about to bust loose.  Nights are getting noticeably  cooler,  putting bass in the mood to chase reaction baits and trigger some of the best high country trout fishing of the year. Remember: as fall conditions set in, go with springtime tactics.

Meanwhile, summer trout stockings are winding down.

Hot spots include Pleasant, Woods Canyon, Silver CreekSaguaroBartlett, Apache, Havasu, Powell, Canyon Creek, and  Kinnikinick.  Scenic Oak Creek has been stocked weekly.

See complete fishing resources on our website’s fishing page.

Onto more updates:

Community cats are coming back

Channel catfish are scheduled to return to most Community Fishing Program lakes and ponds the week of Sept. 19-23.  See a video on what’s needed to get started fishing Community waters.

 

Good to time renew that fishing license.

Get one online, which helps conserve all species of wildlife, and get ready for fall fishing galore

Catch-and-release Silver Creek trout fishing opens Oct. 1

This opening has become a festival of sorts and the public is invited. This seasonal fishery is catch-and-release only.

Silver Creek is five miles east of Show Low on U.S. Route 60. Turn north off Highway 60 onto Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles to Hatchery Road. Then head east on Hatchery Road 1 mile to the Silver Creek Hatchery, park in the parking lot, and follow the signs to the creek.

C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge Reservoir) closed to fishing

Blue Ridge Res/CC Cragin is closed to fishing due to low water levels. All accessible water is in an area closed for the next phase of the ongoing renovation of boating access facilities.

AZ Trout Challenge:  Up for It?

Go explore our trout waters by taking the Arizona Trout Challenge.  See details, and  a map, of applicable waters.

Upcoming free fishing clinics

Saturday — Power Ranch’s Annual Breakfast and Bobbers catch-and-release clinic, 4444 E Haven Crest Dr., Gilbert, 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Arizona Game and Fish Department and Power Ranch HOA is planning a morning of free fishing for the whole family at Power Ranch’s Annual Breakfast & Bobbers. This is a catch-and-release only event. The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Sport Fishing Education Program and volunteers will be on hand to assist anglers. Bait will be provided and loaner rods available.

Read the full schedule.

 

ANGLER REPORTS

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

uprmarywalleyeUpper Lake Mary
Pan H.: A 23-inch walleye caught from Upper Lake Mary on Sunday, Sept. 4, using a chartreuse grub. Water is muddy, over 20 mph wind — beautiful day for fishing though.

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

Weekend fishing roundup: monsters at Becker, Saguaro lakes

Fishing at Becker Lake, a catch-and-release, trophy trout fishery in the White Mountains, is good even though waters are warming.
Fishing at Becker Lake, a catch-and-release, trophy trout fishery in the White Mountains, is good even though waters are warming.

 

When the man with the bent rod and his Fish Cat pontoon boat began to be towed across Becker Lake on Friday afternoon, our photographer George Andrejko knew this was not a snag.

And not just any ol’ fish.

“It was a big fish,” said Andrejko, following the fish from the shoreline with his Nikon digital camera. “And when he got out the net, and landed it — so to speak — it looked like the fish filled the net.”

Click-click-click. Shooting still pictures during a day peppered with rain storms, Andrejko nailed the above picture of what looks like a monster rainbow trout.

A closer look:

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A net-sized trout.

The fly angler  released the fish. Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release only for trout, artificial fly and lure only, and single barbless hooks only. No trout may be kept.  Please release trout immediately.

Also, see how to safely handle a trout.

Tiger trout were stocked at Becker earlier this year and are starting to bite on the surface and subsurface.  Try beetles or hoppers on top and simiseal leeches stripped subsurface.

Saturday lunker bass at Saguaro

Jim C. sent in this picture of a largemouth bass caught Saturday at Saguaro Lake. He said the fish weighed more than 9 pounds and was caught “in the last twilight of day in a main lake cove, next to a stump in about 10 feet of water on a Texas-rigged lizard.”

Saguaro Lake in Arizona is a well-known monster bass fishery
Saguaro Lake in Arizona is a well-known monster bass fishery

 

And finally, an August fishing report from the Arizona Fishing Guides:

  • Bartlett Lake: The last few weeks has been fishing pretty well with its ups and downs due to weather and water levels. We haven’t been catching them very deep — most of our fish have been up shallow within the first 20 feet. The best techniques have been slow moving baits like jigs and Shaky heads.
  • Lake Pleasant: Lately has been some of the best striper fishing we have enjoyed in the last few years with some of the biggest stripers as deep as 60 ft. There has been a ton of top-water action although it has been a lot of smaller fish; however, the occasional 3 pounder has been lurking below the big schools of smaller fish. Top-water and small swimbaits have been the ticket for the smaller ones and the bigger ones have been caught on spoons from 1/2 to 1.5 ounces.
  • Roosevelt Lake has been pretty quiet the last few weeks with not a lot of action. You can still catch fish on top-water and moving baits in the morning and late evening. After the reaction bite slows, a slow moving bait seems to be the best bet.
  • Apache Lake: This lake has been a bit of a dark horse. The topwater bite has been lots of fun first thing in the morning and up in the river when (SRP is) moving water. The bite slows down as the sun comes up and they fish tend to move deeper with the bait fish. When this happens try spoons and deep swimbaits to get those fish to bite.
  • Saguaro and Canyon lakes: The fishing has slowed down a bit due to pressure and monsoon storms. We have been able to catch them on dropshot,  worms and jigs. We are still waiting for that surge of top-water action to start up and that usually happens when the night time temps dip a little.

 

See more fishing information