Tag Archives: az fishing report

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Top picks this week are catfish-stocked Community waters, as well as Lake Pleasant, Bartlett Lake, Ashurst Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Goldwater Lake, Frances Short Pond, Mingus Lake (stocking resumes this month), Lake Powell, Lake Havasu, Alamo Lake.

At Silver Creek, also a good bet, the regulations changed to the summer Statewide Regulations season on April 1 (through September 30) that allows bait fishing and a six trout daily bag limit. The upper section is now closed.

Holdover trout action should be good at Carnero Lake, Becker Lake, Luna Lake, Big Lake, Chevelon Lake, and Woods Canyon Lake.

Crappie are spawning as water temperatures as waters such as Bartlett and Roosevelt that have high populations of crappie have hit mid- to -high 60s.

Bass are in all three phases of spawn at many desert impoundments, and reaction baits (spinner baits, chatter baits  and crankbaits) as well as artificials are good options.

Palo Verde Boat Launch at Canyon Lake to temporarily close

Laguna is alternate boat launch

The Tonto National Forest is partnering with us  to complete pavement restoration work at the Palo Verde Boat Launch at Canyon Lake. This paving work will temporarily close the boat launch and parking lot from Monday through Thursday, April 19. These dates could be extended due to unforeseen issues arising.

The alternative boat launch for Canyon Lake during this period will be Laguna. Trailer parking will be very limited and the public is encouraged to find other boating locations during this temporary closure. Good alternatives are Saguaro, Apache and Roosevelt lakes on the Tonto National Forest.

Thanks for your patience and understanding!

High-country road update

Most Forest Roads in the White Mountains/Mogollon Rim region are now open, including the Rim Road (FR 300), FR 89 to Bear Canyon Lake, FR 169 to Chevelon Canyon Lake, FR 105 to Woods Canyon Lake, FR 149 to Willow Springs Lake, FR 86 to Black Canyon Lake, FR 117-117A-118 to Carnero Lake, FR 56 to Hulsey Lake, and FR 249 to Big Lake.

Highways 273 and 261 are still closed to Crescent Lake, Lee Valley Lake, and Sheep’s Crossing.

Keep boating access open:
Get your boat inspected for FREE.

Due to boats leaving quagga-infested waters without inspection, other states are having to ramp up prevention efforts by restricting access to recreational boating.
Contact us for free boat inspections and decontaminations at (480) 353-0534 or Woods to Water Wildlife Solutions, LLC at (602) 920-4891.

Catch of the Week

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

Lower Salt River

Ron S..sent a picture of this bass he reported catching the morning of Easter Sunday off a Rapala crankbait.

See the 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

Youth and Community Fishing Day. 8 a.m. – noon. Cortez Park 3434 W. Dunlap Ave. Phoenix, 85051

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):

Channel catfish

Week of April 2: “core” Community waters. Note: We did not stock Riverview Lake in Mesa due to golden algae.

Rainbow trout

Lower Salt River, Woods Canyon Lake, Rainbow Lake, Kaibab Lake, Ashurst Lake, Hulsey Lake, Becker Lake, Goldwater Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, Woodland Reservoir, Show Low Lake, Colorado River.

 

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 MORE FISHING REPORTS

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Arizona anglers: Fishing report information is in transition.

For fishing reports, updates and more, visit our Fish AZ site.

We’ve developed a seasonal Fishing Forecast that will be updated four times a year and includes primary water bodies by region. This spring Fishing Forecast is on the “Fishing” section of our website and comes straight from our experts. It’s only one element of our fishing information.

Also, anglers can sign up for our fishing report newsletter.

We also suggest calling/visiting a local bait-and-tackle shop, fishing marina or guide service. Help us keep these reports fresh for your fellow anglers by sending your reports and photos to BFishing @AZGFD.gov – one will be selected for Catch of the Week.

By providing this information, we want to give you the best experience on the water for your license dollars. So thank you.

Finally, we’re working on a new-and-improved fishing and boating map. Stay tuned!

Silver Creek catch-and-keep season opens Sunday

Headed to the high country? At Silver Creek, the catch-and-keep season will begin Sunday, April 1 and run through Sept. 30 as bait and barbless hooks may be used and the limit is six trout.  The upper section will close to fishing when this regulation changes for the summer season.  Harvest of trout in the lower section during the first week of April should be fair.

Before Sunday, regulations are catch-and-release with artificial flies and lures with single barbless hooks only.

Check out our Special Regulations waters map.

Take the Trout Challenge

Our Trout Challenge encourages anglers to explore trout fishing in some of the most scenic areas in Arizona. We manage more than 100 waters statewide, providing anglers numerous opportunities to catch several different species of trout, including two found only in the Southwest:  Gila Trout and Apache Trout. Read more.

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

Jason T. with a reported 4.04-pound largemouth bass caught March 16 on a watermelon Senko.

See the 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, April 7

Youth and Community Fishing Day. 8 a.m. – noon. Cortez Park 3434 W. Dunlap Ave. Phoenix, 85051

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):

Channel catfish

Thursday, March 22: “core” Community waters.

Rainbow trout

Ashurst Lake, Frances Short Pond, Pena Blanca Lake, Lower Salt River, Verde River (middle), City Reservoir, Santa Fe Reservoir.

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 MORE FISHING REPORTS

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Time to grab a bag of shrimp, hot dogs, or your favorite channel catfish bait. Our first catfish stockings into Community Fishing Program waters was Thursday into the “core” waters.

See our updated stocking schedules.

Heavy doses of rainbow trout stockings are coming to higher elevation lakes in April. We also plan to stock native Apache trout that month.

March full moon marks largemouth bass spawn 

At the end of the month, largemouth bass will be in shallow water and beginning to spawn heavily during a full moon. Typically largemouth bass spawn once water temperatures reach 60 to 70 degrees.

Hot spots should be Roosevelt, Bartlett, Lake Pleasant, Alamo, Havasu, Saguaro, Mead, and Mohave. Canyon Lake should be pretty good, too.

Read more about largemouth bass

Alamo Lake update: bass, crappie biting

Crappie and bass fishing is holding strong at Alamo Lake, according to a few anglers and Park Manager Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has lowered the lake level about 10 feet since March 12.

The main ramp is closed, but the dirt ramp and Cholla ramps are open for now. Read more.

AZGFD Outdoor Expo is Saturday and Sunday

We’re hosting our annual Arizona Game and Fish Department Outdoor Expo presented by Shikar Safari Club International this  Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The event is located at our Ben Avery Shooting Facility just west of I-17 on Carefree Highway in Phoenix. Parking as well as attendance is free for all ages. Read more.

Fishing Forecast is out!

(Note: Fishing report editor Nick Walter was out of the office last week.)

Great news for Arizona anglers: The seasonal Fishing Forecast page on http://www.azgfd.gov is live and  includes reports for primary water bodies statewide. This spring forecast will be followed by updated forecasts for each season of the year.

Bookmark this page that’s on the “Fishing” section of our website.

For quick updates that were in the “full fishing report”, as well as angler reports and more,  head to our Fish AZ site.

We’ll continue to create the e-mailed fishing report newsletter.

Also, we plan to soon release a new-and-much improved Fish and Boat Arizona map.

For even more up-to-date information, we also suggest calling/visiting a local bait-and-tackle shop, fishing marina or guide service.

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

Shawn Crutchfield caught this estimated 12- to 15-pound channel catfish from fishing dock No. 2 at Saguaro Lake on March 14. He said he used a small chunk of carp cut bait.

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, April 7

Youth and Community Fishing Day. 8 a.m. – noon. Cortez Park 3434 W. Dunlap Ave. Phoenix, 85051

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):

Channel catfish

Thursday: “core” Community waters.

Rainbow trout

Goldwater Lake, Patterson Ponds, Show Low Creek, Green Valley lakes, Oak Creek, Frances Short Pond.

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 SPRING FISHING FORECAST

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Top picks for this weekend are the Dead Horse Ranch State Park lagoons, the Verde River (middle), the Lower Salt River, Pena Blanca Lake, Lake Pleasant, Saguaro Lake, Bartlett Lake, Silver Creek, and Community fishing waters where we’re stocking rainbow trout.

See stocking schedules.

A recent cold front dropped water temperatures at Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest to the mid-50s, pushing largemouth bass into deeper water. Many bass there are in a prespawn mode. Bass tend to begin their full spawning activities when water temperatures reach 60 degrees. Look for the March 31 full moon to help trigger a heavy wave of spawning bass in desert impoundments statewide.

Out west at Alamo Lake and Lake Havasu, most bass are in pre-spawn and some windy weather predicted this weekend could keep them fairly deep.  Some warm and fairly stable weather is predicted for the Phoenix region, though, and Saguaro Lake in the Tonto National Forest tends to heat up rather quickly. Look for some possible pre-spawn largemouth bass action around ledges and points in 15-25 feet of water. See five great baits for catching prespawn bass.

At Alamo Lake, crappie fishing could be excellent once the weather stabilizes. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be pretty windy (predicted 20-plus mph winds) in that area on Saturday.

Keep an eye on water temperatures at Lake Powell. The general pattern is that prespawn walleye will respond favorably to steady, warming water and inflows once spring conditions begin to arrive.

Expanded fishing info:
seasonal forecasts coming soon

Great news for anglers: We’re developing a complete fishing forecast for each season of the year, including primary water bodies by region. It will replace the entire “Fishing Report” news post and is coming soon. First will be a spring forecast. Look for it in the “Fishing” section of our website.

Also, we plan to soon release a new-and-improved Fish and Boat Arizona map!

For even more up-to-date information, we’ll continue the e-news weekly fishing report and fishing blog. We also suggest calling/visiting a local bait-and-tackle shop, fishing marina or guide service.

Help us keep these reports fresh for your fellow anglers by sending your reports and photos to BFishing @AZGFD.gov – one will be selected for Catch of the Week.

Community fishing catfish coming

There is only one stocking of winter trout left (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. See the latest Community fishing news.

Meeting on proposed trout stocking at Lees Ferry Monday

A reminder that 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.

Catch of the Week

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

Silver Creek

Trey G.  took about 10 students from his youth group up to Silver Creek and taught them how to fly fish on Friday, Feb. 23. They shared four rods, and Jered (student with glasses) caught this beauty. Trey said he caught two, and a bunch more were on the hook. The fishing was a little cold,  he said, but there were lots of fish!

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, March 10

Family and Community Fishing Event. 7 a..m. – 11 a.m. Roper Lake State Park 101 E. Roper Lake Rd. Safford, Ariz. 85546

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 lagoons, Verde River (middle), Beaver Creek (Wet), West Clear Creek, Lower Salt River, Pena Blanca Lake.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Friday, March 23: Green Valley lakes, Red Mountain Lake, “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

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

Welcome back the state fish of AZ: Apache trout stockings to resume

Our state fish is coming back where it belongs — in the lakes and streams of our White Mountains.

Stockings of Apache trout, one of two trout native to Arizona, are returning by May.

We are scheduled to stock around 55,000 Apache trout of a catchable size from our Silver Creek Hatchery (in video below) from May through September. Stockings could not occur in 2017 due to federal hatcheries having tested positive for Bacteria Kidney Disease (BKD). The state relies on federal hatcheries to supply the eggs necessary to raise Apache trout.

This year, we’re expecting this year to receive about 200,000 Apache trout eggs.

AZGFD has around 100,000 Apache trout eggs (BKD free) at its Tonto Creek Hatchery that came from Williams Creek National Fish Hatchery and are scheduled to be stocked next year.

Where to find  “Oncorhynchus apache”

Upper Silver Creek is typically stocked with Apache trout

AZGFD typically stocks Apache trout into Lee Valley Reservoir, East Fork of the Black River, West Fork of the Black River (campground), West Fork of the Little Colorado River at Sheep Crossing (below Mt. Baldy), West Fork of the Little Colorado River in Greer, and Upper Silver Creek.

Subscribe to our fishing reports and stay tuned for more stocking details.

Apache trout fishing tactics

Apache trout can be caught by a variety of methods, including wet or dry flies, small lures, or natural baits, in either lakes or streams. Artificial flies produce the best results. Best natural baits tend to be worms or grasshoppers.

See more information about Apache trout.

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

During the next month, there should be some hot fishing for yellow bass and crappie – both are excellent table fare. Hot spots for yellow bass are Apache, Saguaro, and Canyon lakes in the Tonto National Forest. Prime waters for crappie are Roosevelt, Bartlett and Alamo lakes. See the full report for more details.

Remember that with recent unstable weather, crappie schools may be present but the bites tend to be light. If fishing vertically over a school, slowly lift your rod a couple feet to detect a bite and set the hook if you feel any pressure.  Try this at different depths. Unlike trolling, anglers can set the hook with this technique.

If you’re considering heading to the high country, be sure to check the Arizona Department of Transportation website for the latest road conditions. Remember we consider all ice in Arizona unsafe.

Fishing forecast, new fish and boat map,
on the way

Great news for anglers: We’re developing a complete fishing forecast for each season of the year, including primary water bodies by region. It will replace the entire “Fishing Report” news post and is coming soon. Look for the forecast in the “Fishing” section of our website.

Also, we plan to soon release a new-and-much improved Fish and Boat Arizona map!

For even more up-to-date information, we’ll continue the e-news weekly fishing report and fishing blog. We also suggest calling/visiting a local bait-and-tackle shop, fishing marina or guide service.

Southern AZ anglers: get rigged and ready

Recent water quality surveys at Pena Blanca Lake show that conditions have improved and we will begin stocking rainbow trout again this week.  In fact, the lake is scheduled to be stocked today (Wednesday, Jan. 24). See the 2018 Winter Stocking Schedule.

Community fishing updates

This week we stocked the “core” waters in Phoenix and Maricopa.

We did not stock Tempe Town Lake as scheduled due to an active algae bloom and a partial fish die-off, nor did we stock Alvord Lake in Phoenix, where fish stockings have been temporarily suspended due to golden algae.

Also, Cortez Lake in Phoenix has been tested as positive for golden algae: this lake was stocked, and as of Tuesday there had not been a fish die-off. See the latest Community fishing news.

Catch of the Week

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

Apache Lake

Dylan S. with a 14-inch yellow bass caught from Apache Lake.

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

Family Fishing Day. 8 a.m. – noon. Red Mountain Lake 7745 E. Brown Rd. Mesa, Ariz.

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), Lower Salt River, Saguaro Lake, Tempe Town Lake, Pena Blanca Lake, Somerton (Council Ave.) Pond, Yuma West Wetlands, Community core waters.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Wednesday, Jan. 17 — Community  “expansion” waters; Cluff Reservoir 3, Roper Lake, Dankworth Ponds. Tuesday, Jan. 16 — Canyon Lake, Watson Lakes, Dead Horse Lakes.

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

Community trout fishing has been excellent. For some anglers,  water temperatures of 49-55 degrees at many community waters, combined with good water quality and healthy fish, have made for a great rainbow trout bite.

We stocked each “core” water last week and are getting ready to stock more than 7,000 pounds of BIG rainbow trout into these same waters once again next week. These fish will average about 1 pound and be about 25 percent larger than the average stocker trout. Try PowerBait, small spinners or nightcrawlers.

See our stocking schedules.

The Desert Deal

The National Fish Habitat Partnership has unveiled its list of seven U.S. “Waters to Watch” for 2017. One of them is our very own Tonto National Forest gem, Roosevelt Lake.

At Roosevelt Lake, the water temperature has dropped into  the low- to mid-50s, according to Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods. In turn, baitfish, crappie and bass are moving deeper. This winter fishing pattern will be similar at other desert impoundments.

Goughnour said anglers at Roosevelt are finding crappie at around 40 feet of water depth and either vertically fishing or using a small curly-tail grub rigged on a dropshot rig. Bass can be caught with this same technique. Look for crappie around cover such as trees, rock piles and artificial habitat.

Our top-5 winter fishing holes feature Parker Canyon Lake, the Colorado River, Lake Havasu, the Lower Salt River and Alamo Lake.

Catch of the Week

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

West Fork-Black River

In mid December, Brett P. caught this nice brown trout below the West Fork Campground, drifting a nightcrawler under the bank. The trout had three crawfish in its stomach.The anglers reported catching five brown trout after bagging an elk.

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

Annual Brian Pinney Memorial Family Fishing Event. 8 a.m. – noon. Hirsch Conservation Education Area (Biscuit Tank) Ben Avery Shooting Facility, 4044 W. Black Canyon Blvd. ,Phoenix, 85086. For more information, please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240.

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 Lakes, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Parker Canyon Lake, Roper Lake.

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

First, some great news from Lees Ferry.  This massive, clear-running tailwater fishery in northern Arizona could be back in a boom phase of good trout fishing according to a report from Lees Ferry anglers. 

Also, check out our  top-5 fishing spots for this winter (if you haven’t already). Spots like these are why it’s great to be an angler in Arizona.

Schooling winter crappie

The next month can be an excellent time for crappie fishing. Try Alamo and Roosevelt lakes. During this time, crappie are in large schools and the weather is stable most of the time. Fronts moving through the area will negatively impact a bite. Be sure to fish deep and on the right day. Look for a flotilla of boats as a sign that a school of crappie has been located.

Roosevelt Lake one of U.S. top “Waters to Watch”

Fishiding HighRise structures are made of environmentally-safe PVC and are excellent habitat for crappie.

The National Fish Habitat Partnership has unveiled its list of seven “Waters to Watch” for 2017, a collection of rivers, streams, estuaries, lakes and watershed systems that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition.

Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest was listed for its collaborative partnership that has been formed to address habitat issues.

Read more about our habitat improvement project.

High country freeze reports

Flagstaff region: On Tuesday, Ashurst Lake was about ¾ frozen at 10:30 a.m. with a big opening by the boat ramp.  Lower Lake Mary was completely frozen and Upper Lake Mary was more than half frozen.  Kaibab Lake was almost completely frozen.

White Mountain region: There are reports that Big Lake is icing over. The Big Lake Store is closed for the winter.

Above 5,000 feet in elevation, there continue to be below-zero morning temperatures and water temperatures in the 30s at the highest elevation lakes. We consider all ice in Arizona unsafe.

Bald eagle closure in effect at Lake Pleasant 

The annual bald eagle closure of the Agua Fria arm (see a park map for details of the closure area) went into effect Friday, December 15, 2017, and will remain closed until June 15 2018, in an effort to ensure the conservation of bald eagles during nesting season. Obey all posted signage and buoy markers associated with the closure area.

Short-term combo license sale

We’re having our first year-end cast and blast sale! Save $5 on all Short-Term combo licenses NOW! The sale ends Jan. 1.  Get yours.

Catch of the Week

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

Dave White Pond (Casa Grande)

 

This young angler caught a nice rainbow trout on a spinner on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 9 along the shoreline of Dave White Pond in Casa Grande. Our Community Fishing Program reaches 41 waters in 20 communities like Casa Grande — and growing.

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):

Rainbow trout

Dead Horse Lakes, Fain Lake, Saguaro Lake, Tempe Town Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Roper Lake, Somerton (Council Ave.) Pond, Yuma West Wetlands.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Thursday, Dec. 14 — Canyon Lake. Wednesday, Dec. 13 — Chaparral Lake, Riverview Lake, Kiwanis Park Lake, Desert Breeze Lake, Veterans Oasis Lake, Copper Sky Lake, Lakeside Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Kennedy Lake, Silverbell Lake, Patagonia Lake, Salt River.

See all the stocking schedules

SEE THE FULL REPORT