Tag Archives: Arizona Game and Fish

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Look for the March 1 full moon to trigger a wave of spawning bass, especially at western impoundments Lake Havasu and Alamo Lake. Some anglers at Havasu this week were braving some colder weather to catch striped bass at the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge fishing pier using anchovies:

Havasu, along with Alamo, are among the first in the state to warm and experience spawning activity. Looks like the weather might stabilize by next weekend’s full moon: that means smallmouth bass could move in shallow to spawn. Fishing will pick up  quickly at Havasu as the water temperatures warm up in the spring from the low 60s in early March to the upper 80s in May.

At Alamo Lake, crappie fishing should be excellent once the weather stabilizes.  Already there have been many reports of anglers catching 30-40 crappie a day ranging from 9-16 inches.

High country update: snow restricting access

Recent storms have brought much-needed snow to higher elevations, but it is now impeding access to some lakes.

The following roads are now closed/gated:  Highway 273 to Crescent, Big, and Lee Valley Lakes; Rim Road (FR 300) from Highway 260 west to the Coconino Forest boundary; Forest Road 105 to Woods Canyon Lake; Forest Road 149 to Willow Springs Lake; Forest Road 169 south of FR 169B; Forest Road 34 south of Chevelon Work Center.  Other Forest Roads may be snow-packed and/or muddy.  Fishing is fair to good at Patterson Ponds, Luna Lake, Silver Creek, and Becker Lake.

Community fishing catfish coming

There are only two stockings of winter trout left (this week and next week) in the Community Fishing Program waters in the Tucson and Phoenix areas. That means catfish stockings are just around the corner.   Catfish stockings are scheduled to begin the week of March 19-24.

Catch of the Week

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

Canyon Lake

Mike G. with a reported 10-pound largemouth bass taken from Canyon Lake Wednesday, Feb. 21 on his first cast of the day at Canyon Lake Marina. He said he was using a shad bait.

Mike said it was his first 10-pound bass.  “(The fish) came up as I was reeling in and slammed it hard,” he said.

See previous Angler Reports

Family Fishing Events

During the events, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.

Saturday

Just for Kids Fishing Festival. 8 a.m. – noon. Take a Kid Fishing Day. Kiwanis Park 5500 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ 85283

See the full events schedule

Stocking reports

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

Rainbow trout

Dead Horse lagoon, Goldwater Lake, Saguaro Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Parker Canyon Lake, Roper Lake, “core” Community waters.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Feb. 15: Council Ave. Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond, Lower Salt River. Wednesday, Feb. 14:  “expansion/custom” Community waters.

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 “Fish AZ”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

A surprise stocking into Community Fishing Program waters took place about 10 days ago. We stocked some big largemouth bass weighing between 2-4 pounds into select Community waters in Phoenix and Tucson.

We didn’t immediately announce the stocking in hopes that less fishing pressure will allow for a successful spring spawn.  Largemouth bass already were present in waters that were stocked; this was a supplemental stocking to the natural populations.

Stocking bass is expensive and so is rare. Anglers can help maintain bass fishing in Community waters by practicing catch-and-release, but if you choose to harvest, remember there are minimum length limits of 13 inches (smaller bass must be released unharmed) and bag limits of either 2 or 1 bass, depending on the water. Water Ranch in Gilbert is catch-and-release only (single barbless hooks). See the 2017-18 fishing regulations.

This is a reminder for anglers to keep fishing Community waters because you never know what’s going to bite. The recent rains in desert regions has triggered an excellent bite for many species, especially stocked rainbow trout. This time of the year, Community waters can provide some of the best trout fishing in the state.

Plans to stock trout at Lees Ferry:
public meeting March 5

We plan to stock rainbow trout this spring into the lower 3 mile walk-in section of Lees Ferry!

A public meeting on the proposed stocking and the current status of the Lees Ferry fishery will be held 5-7 p.m. on Monday, March 5, at the old lodge across from Marble Canyon Lodge on U.S. Hwy 89 A in Marble Canyon.

Read more.

Pre-spawning bass activity underway

Bass tend to spawn earlier at western Arizona impoundments such as Lake Havasu and Alamo Lake than at the rest of the state because these large, solunar bowls warm up early and quickly.

At Lake Havasu, an unseasonably warm winter nearly made for some fairly early pre-spawning bass  action but recent rainy, windy weather has prevented more bass from moving in shallow to stick around and build spawning beds. Look for the full moon around March 1 to produce a big wave of spawning activity.

There’s also pre-spawn bass activity underway at Lake Pleasant and Saguaro Lake.

See five great baits for catching pre-spawning bass.

Snow on the Rim — finally

Snow fell on Willow Springs Lake Monday afternoon.
Snow falling on Willow Springs Lake Monday.

Many anglers are celebrating recent snow fall during an abnormally warm winter. That means increased run-off and nutrients that will flow into the Salt River chain of lakes this spring.

Ice has melted off a number of lakes in the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains areas earlier than usual. These include Luna Lake, Hulsey Lake, Willow Springs Lake, Black Canyon Lake, and the Greer lakes. All lakes at lower elevations than these are also ice free.

If you plan to do some high country fishing, be sure to check the latest road conditions from the Arizona Department of Transportation, and remember: We consider all ice on Arizona lakes unsafe.

Catch of the Week

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

Riverview Lake (Mesa)

Larry G. with a 19-inch rainbow trout caught Friday, Jan. 12 from Riverview Lake in Mesa.

See previous Angler Reports

Family Fishing Events

During the events, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.

Saturday, Feb. 24

Just for Kids Fishing Festival. 8 a.m. – noon. Take a Kid Fishing Day. Kiwanis Park 5500 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ 85283

See the full events schedule

Stocking reports

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

Rainbow trout

Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde), Fain Lake, Lower Salt River, Red Mountain Lake, Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake, Hidden Shores-Imperial Dam, Somerton (Council Park) Pond, Yuma West Wetlands, “expansion/custom” Community waters.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Wednesday, Feb.  7 —  “core” Community waters.

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 “Fish AZ”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Possibly the best-tasting fish in the state  — crappie — is a prime target. Some good crappie fishing is being reported thanks in part to a particularly wet spring that seems to have allowed for a great class of spawning fish. Top targets for crappie are Roosevelt, Alamo and Bartlett lakes.  With stable, warm weather this weekend, it’s worth using your favorite crappie technique, whether that’s trolling jigs, dropping minnows, vertically jigging spoons, or maybe your own specialty rig.

Rain and run-off from last spring has helped make for some pretty good winter fishing and there’s plenty of time left for some better high-country snow pack.

The bass bite

Guide Gary Senft with a 4-pound largemouth bass caught Tuesday from Bartlett Lake.

The water temperature at Roosevelt Lake (2,112 feet in elevation as of Thursday) has been a just above 50 degrees during the day. Many anglers find that once the water temperatures dip below 50 degrees,  the metabolism of bass slows considerably. We may not have to worry about that this week. There is more unseasonably warm temperatures ahead in desert regions with overtime lows predicted to reach low- to high-50s  in Phoenix and high-40s in Tucson. In general, fish slowly, and cover a lot of water. Best overall rig for largemouth bass is probably a dropshot-rigged Roboworm fished during afternoons.

Expect access restrictions
to Lower Salt River day-use rec sites

Headed to the Lower Salt River? The Tonto National Forest announced that paving projects on Bush Highway will impact the Granite Reef and Phon D. Sutton day-use recreation sites along the Lower Salt River. Expect access restrictions into Granite Reef, between Feb. 1 and March 5 while Maricopa County Department of Transportation completes improvements to Bush Highway.

Also, paving work will also occur at Butcher Jones Recreation Area of Saguaro Lake beginning on Feb. 20.  Butcher Jones will remain open for the majority of the project work, but will be closed to the public on March 7 – 9.

Read more from the Tonto National Forest, or read additional information about the Bush Highway road project.

Trout stockings continue

We’re still stocking tons of trout into many waters statewide. See the schedules.

Catch of the Week

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

Alamo Lake

John P. from Central Point, Ore., a first-time visitor to Arizona, helped a group of anglers, including Dick K., boat a reported 34 crappie Sunday and Monday that averaged 2 pounds each. John caught the largest fish that was at a reported 2 pounds, 12 ounces.

All fish were were caught trolling small crankbaits behind offshore side planers over 15-20 feet of water.

See previous Angler Reports

Family Fishing Events

During the events, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.

Saturday, Feb. 10

Take a Kid Fishing Day. 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. La Paz County Park 7350 Riverside Dr. Parker, Ariz., 85344

See the full events schedule

Stocking reports

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

Rainbow trout

Watson Lake, Lynx Lake, Apache Lake, Lower Salt River.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Jan. 24 — Pena Blanca Lake. Wednesday, Jan. 23 — Saguaro Lake, Lower Salt River, Community “core” waters.

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 “Fish AZ”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Odds are, a Big Fish of the Year or Catch of the Week is about to come out a Community Fishing Program water.

By Friday, we’ll have stocked some larger-than-average rainbow trout into all of our “core” Community waters in Phoenix, Maricopa, Tucson and Sahuarita. These fish average about 1 pound.

The only core water that will not be stocked this week is Desert Breeze Lake in Chandler due to golden algae. Those fish will be diverted to Tempe Kiwanis Lake.

See our Community stocking schedule, which shows “core” waters.

High Country update

Kaibab Lake near Williams on Thursday, Jan. 4 was 1/4 ice covered (ice coming from the dam).

In the White Mountains region, Highways 273 and 261 are closed for the winter.   Some lakes at the higher elevations are ice covered or partially ice covered. All ice should be considered unsafe. Fishing is currently good at Patterson Ponds, Show Low Creek meadows, and Silver Creek.

Catch of the Week

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

 Black Canyon Lake

Justin F. recently caught this stringer of rainbow trout from Black Canyon Lake.

Fishing is fair right now at the lake near Heber. Roads are still open and the lake is entirely ice free. The lake is almost 8 feet below spillway and the new boat ramp is still fully functional.

 

See previous Angler Reports

Family Fishing Events

During the events, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.

Saturday

City of Maricopa Youth Fishing Day. 8 a.m. – noon. Copper Sky Lake 45345 W. Martin Luther King Blvd. Maricopa, Ariz., 85138.

This family event is co-sponsored with the City of Maricopa and Arizona Game and Fish. Sport Fishing Education Program staff and volunteer instructors will be on hand to provide loaner rods for the first 100 participants who don’t have their own rod, as well as bait and fishing information.

See the full events schedule

Stocking reports

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

Rainbow trout

“Core” Community waters (Desert Breeze in Chandler will not be stocked due to golden algae), Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde), Fain Lake, Lower Salt River, Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake, Fortuna Pond, Redondo Pond.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Dec. 28 — “Core” Community waters.

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 “Fish AZ”.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Planning a Thanksgiving day trip with family? Rainbow trout are back in Community fishing waters. On Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,000 pounds of trout were stocked into Tempe Town Lake for the annual Welcome Back the Trout event.

George Andrejko/AZGFD

Always a great day for friends and families to catch fish, learn some tips from our experts and watch the sun go down on the Tempe skyline.

George Andrejko/AZGFD

See the stocking schedules below.

Trout fishing hot in AZ high country

Andy was fly fishing Silver Creek using nymphs to catch some 20-plus-inch rainbow trout like this.

Water temperatures are prime for trout fishing. Some great action has been reported from Lower Lake Mary, Big Lake, Becker Lake,  Carnero Lake, Luna Lake, Greer lakes (see the Catch of the Week) Woods Canyon Lake, Silver Creek, and Show Low Lake.

Go before winter conditions prevail.

A Pleasant bass report

Bryan E. with a reported 3-pound largemouth bass caught Tuesday at Lake Pleasant on a top-water Whopper Plopper 130.

Lake Pleasant has been fishing extremely well with some anglers catching high numbers of white, largemouth and striped bass. Try swimbaits, spoons and Whopper Ploppers (top water). Finding schools of shad and their depth is the trick — some bass are being caught in at little as 3 feet of water and others in more than 40 feet of depth.

Other good bass fishing has been at Alamo, Bartlett Lake, Roosevelt Lake and for bigger fish, Saguaro and Canyon lakes.

At Lake Powell, water temperatures are still in the 60s. Striped bass have been feeding in shallow water as they are prone to do during October.

25% off: Catch a memory worth saving

Great news: through Dec. 1, we’re offering a 25% discount on Arizona adult general fishing licenses and community fishing licenses purchased online. And as always, youth licenses (for ages 10-17) are only $5.

This is a great time of year to get outdoors, enjoy Arizona’s spectacular weather and scenery, and spend quality time fishing with family, friends and out-of-town visitors. Invite them to experience their own Arizona outdoor adventure!

Thank you for making Arizona’s outdoor heritage a part of your life.

Catch of the Week

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

Greer lakes

Brenton Lawlor caught this 6.3-pound, 24-inch rainbow trout out of Greer lakes Saturday morning using a black-and-white jointed Rapala.

See previous Angler Reports

Stocking reports

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

Trout

Frances Short Pond, Oak Creek, Dead Horse Lakes, Tempe Town Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Pena Blanca Lake, Roper Lake,  “Phoenix/Maricopa area expansion and custom waters”

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Nov. 16 — “Core” Community waters.  Wednesday, Nov. 15 — Lower Salt River, Lynx Lake, Goldwater Lake. Tuesday, Nov. 14 — Parker Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake, Verde River (middle). Monday, Nov. 13 — Watson Lake, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek, Santa Fe Reservoir, Frances Short Pond.

See all the stocking schedules

Family 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, Dec. 2

Town of Gilbert – Youth Fishing Day. 8 a.m. – noon. Freestone Pond 1045 E. Juniper Ave. Gilbert.

See a full events schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

The transition to fall fishing is here as nighttime air temperatures  are forecast to drop into the high-50s in desert regions and mid-30s in high elevation areas such as Pinetop by next week.

Top picks for the weekend are trout-stocked waters such as Goldwater Lake in Prescott. Water temperatures at mid-elevation lakes such as Goldwater and Lynx are down to the mid-60s and falling — great for trout fishing.
We’ve also recently stocked Rose Canyon Lake (56-degree water temp) and Parker Canyon Lake (67) in the Tucson area, Green Valley lakes in Payson,  Lynx  Lake in the Prescott area, Oak Creek and the Lower Salt River.

In the White Mountains region
, consider fishing the Show Low Creek meadows at the Show Low Bluff trailhead and Patterson Ponds in St Johns, which were both stocked with rainbow trout two weeks ago and will be excellent after both are stocked again this week.

Brown trout are still active
at the Greer Lakes, Chevelon Lake, and the East Fork Black River.

Bass fishing is picking up, and at Bartlett Lake in the Tonto National Forest, this is the time of year your favorite bass rig could do some damage (try top-water lures, crankbaits, Texas-rigged brush hogs or dropshot-rigged Roboworms). Water temperatures are in the low-70s.  Take a kid and go.

Battle of the Alamo

Alamo Lake is up 30-plus feet from last year and the fish seem to be fat and healthy. Water temperatures are in the low 70s and the largemouth bass and black crappie are biting pretty good. Read a full angler report.

Greenfield Pond in Mesa to open Saturday

Located just north of Water Ranch Lake in Gilbert, Greenfield will be stocked with catfish prior to its opening on Saturday.

A Greenfield Pond Grand Opening event will be held 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the park on  4105 E. Diamond Ave. in Mesa. The event includes a free fishing clinic (no license required for those who register; bait and loaner rods provided).

Catch of the Week

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

Woods Canyon Lake

 

Scott S. III with his first rainbow trout caught in early October.

See previous Angler Reports

Fishing license reminder

Need a license? Or did it expire? Get one online, 24/7

Stocking reports

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

Trout

Show Low Creek (above average), Oak Creek, Patterson Ponds (St. Johns).

Catfish

“Core” Community waters.

Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek, Goldwater Lake, Lower Salt River.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Oct. 27 — Mingus Lake, Fain Lake.  Oct. 24 — Rose Canyon Lake, Parker Canyon Lake.

See all the stocking schedules

 

Family 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

Chandler Safety Days Youth and Family Fishing. 8 a.m. – noon. Veterans Oasis Park 4050 E Chandler Heights Rd. Chandler.

Greenfield Pond Grand Opening event, Mesa, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.,  4105 E. Diamond Ave., Mesa.

See a full events schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Hot spots to hit this weekend:

Mogollon Rim/White Mountains waters

Trout fishing is picking up with cooler water temperatures. With fall colors drenching the landscape, elk bugling and rainbow trout being stocked, anglers would be wise to hit Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Knoll Lake, Chevelon Canyon Lake (brown trout are active) or Black Canyon Lake. In particular, trout fishing is picking up at Big Lake, Luna Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake, and Show Low Lake.

Winter stockings have already begun for rainbows and it’s a great time to touch up on those fishing skills before your next trip — check out a how-to article and see the stocking reports below.

Fishing also is excellent at Show Low Creek at the Show Low Bluff trailhead and Patterson Ponds, which were both stocked with rainbow trout this week.  Brown trout are active at the Greer Lakes, Chevelon Lake, and the East Fork Black River.

Community waters: trout return to Payson

Green Valley Lakes is getting its first load of trout this week. See the latest Community news.

For bass action, try reactions

Water temperature in desert impoundments such as Roosevelt Lake has dipped to the low- to mid-70s. Shad migrate to shallow water during the fall and anglers can target these schools with top-water plugs and shallow-running reaction baits.

Crappie fishing picks up at Roosevelt

Jim Goughnor of Rim Country Custom Rods said anglers are reporting improved conditions for crappie. Try targeting structure in 20 feet of water. We recently dropped hundreds of structures into the lake to improve fishing — see a video.

Fishing license reminder

Need a license? Or did it expire? Get one online, 24/7

 

Stocking reports

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

Trout

Frances Short Pond in Flagstaff, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek, Fain Lake, Lynx Lake, and Parker Canyon Lake

Catfish

“Core” Community waters.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Oct. 6 — Tonto Creek.

Catfish

Week of Oct. 9 — Custom/expansion Community waters.

See all the stocking schedules

 

Catch of the Week

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

Woods Canyon Lake

Derek Y. brought this group of four anglers (Aidan, Cameron, Dylan, Chelsea) and to their morning bounty of trout Monday. Check out the full story.

See previous Angler Reports

 

Family 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

  • North Tempe Neighborhood Association and G.A.I.N. event, Evelyn Hallman Pond, Evelyn Halman Park, 1900 N. College Ave., Tempe, 2-6 p.m.
  • FREE 30th Annual Catfish Rodeo & 8th Annual Nature Fair in Yuma, 7 – 10:30 a.m.: Catfish Rodeo, West Wetlands Park; ages 13 and younger with a parent (after 10:30 a.m. – Ages 10 and older must have a fishing license) For more information call: Parks and Recreation at (928) 373-5200 or Dr. Ray Corona at (928) 726-1100

See a full events schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

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.

Trout

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

Night fishing during cooler nights is still a great option (our Catch of the Week came after 2 a.m. at Lake Mead). We’re headed into a full moon, and predatory fish will be on the move for food. The key is selecting the right spots.

Try for locations such as major lake points that might get good fish traffic at night such as reefs along submerged river beds, submerged humps, rivers, creeks, and vegetation, or in the mouth of a major cove.

Bass highlights

Some anglers have reported that striped bass boils are picking up at Lake Pleasant, where the daily bag is unlimited for tasty stripers. This could be a great time to put some kids on a bunch of smaller stripers. See some tips for fishing striper boils.

Fishing for largemouth bass is good at Saguaro Lake with many fish coming via a dropshot rig in 10-15 feet of water.  A key to an active bite is moving water early in the morning when the dam pushes water.

Bartlett Lake remains good for high numbers of largemouth bass using crankbaits and some top-water lures  during the early morning and slow-moving baits, such as Texas-rigged brush hogs and crawdad imitations, as the sun rises.  Our water quality monitoring this week showed there was no oxygen below 26 feet deep.

Trout rundown

This week, by Saturday, we’re scheduled to have stocked Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, Canyon Creek, Christopher Creek, East Verde River, Haigler Creek, Tonto Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Oak Creek, and Riggs Flat Lake.

Don’t forget to check out our top-5 family camping and fishing spots for August. Not surprisingly, four of the five spots are in the White Mountains.

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.

Catch of the Week

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

Lake Mead

 

Photo by Don Martin

Jacob Jacoby  (right), with Russ Jacoby onboard (left), caught this 17-inch walleye on a one-inch piece of anchovy in Virgin Canyon at 2:34 a.m. on Tuesday, July 25.

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

Silver Creek, East Fork Black River, Canyon Creek, Christopher Creek, East Verde River, Haigler Creek, Tonto Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Oak Creek, Riggs Flat Lake.

Previous stockings
Rainbow trout

Friday, July 28 — East Verde River, East Fork Black River, Silver Creek, Woods Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake. Thursday, July 27 — Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek. 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.

See all the stocking schedules

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Top picks for this week are fishing nights during this new moon in the desert regions, and luring rainbow trout — all day and night if you like — in the high country. Top-water action will be picking up, too!

Community Fishing Program catfish stockings are on hiatus for the summer. Check out the summer trout stocking schedule, or sign up for an I Support Wildlife membership to get those daily fish stocking updates (and more).

See stockings from the past week.

Fishin’ in the dark: new moon stripers

Night fishing is a great way to escape the desert heat.

OK, we have a new moon and so heading to Lake Pleasant, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Powell (the top-water bite has been active anytime during the day) or Lake Havasu are some great options for nighttime striper fishing under lights. Escape the heat and catch some tasty striper. Regulations vary on bag limits (it’s unlimited at Pleasant, where water temperatures are 79-80 degrees).

See our awesome Special Regulations Waters map.

Many anglers will use anchovies on dropshot rigs with fluorocarbon leaders.

Community cats at night

If you’re going to fish at night for catfish in Community Fishing Program waters – still a good option — keep in mind that some parks close at hours designated by its respective city. Be sure to consult the latest CFP  guidebook for closing times at spots such as Steele Indian School Pond, Surprise Lake, Pioneer Lake, Rio Vista Pond, Friendship Pond, Bonsall Pond, and Tempe Town Lake (closes on the marina side).

Some other things to note before you head out this weekend:

  • In the White Mountains, stockings slated for the rest of June were stocked last week in preparation of evacuation of the Tonto National Fish Hatchery due to the Highline Fire.  As of Wednesday, the fire was 91 percent contained.These stockings were stocked late in the week or even during the weekend.  For example, stockings scheduled for this week at Fool Hollow and Show Low were stocked Saturday, June 17.
  • Knoll Lake is closed to access because of the Highline Fire. See more info.
  • Cluff Ranch Pond #3 is temporarily closed to recreational recreational activities so that it may be used 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.
  • At Patagonia Lake, the panfish bite has been going strong.
  • Trout are still hitting at Woods Canyon Lake.
  • Go to Saguaro Lake in the Tonto National Forest for the monster bass and Bartlett Lake for quantity over size. Bartlett Lake is a good bet for beginners who want to just fish a dropshot rig with a Roboworm. Top-water action is pretty good at Saguaro and Bartlett; get there just before first light. As the sun comes up, fish deep (up to about 40 feet) with dropshots or Texas rigs, and keep a top-water lure such as a Zara Spook  Jr. rigged and ready in case you spot surface boils.

Catch of the Week

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

Paul Deming caught this brown trout on the Black River Monday morning (June 19) that weighed nearly 5 pounds.

See previous 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 — Hatch Toyota Fishing Derby, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. See the full schedule.

SEE THE FULL REPORT