Tag Archives: fishing near me

Weekend roundup: Angler Reports

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

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

Lake Pleasant


Karrie R.: I thought I’d share this flathead catfish I caught from shore at Pleasant today: 22 pounds on a dropshot with a worm. It was definitely cold, but worth the catch! 🙂 Also caught an 8-pound carp and 3-pound channel catfish. Tight lines!

Silver Creek


Max W.: The upper portion of Silver Creek fished great over the weekend. People were doing really well on egg patterns and small midges. One of my buddies even managed to pull out this big guy on a Tenkara Rod– not bad for his first fish on the fly!

Gila River


Ramon: I caught a 14-inch largemouth bass with a worm at Gila River under the bridge side on Friday, Jan. 27 at 3  p.m.! Gave a good fight! Used 8-pound test line.

Desert Breeze Lake (Chandler)


Nicholas J.: Decided to spend the day outside at Desert Breeze since it was such an amazing Arizona winter day. All three of the kids caught a fish of their own. (Zac, Nikyah, and Mason Jaurigue).


Pretty sure all three were “incentive” trout. We got out there about 10 a.m., however we didn’t get our first fish until almost 2 p.m. Then all of a sudden the other two fish were caught. All three within 30 minutes of time.


The yellow corn/garlic mixed PowerBait is what finally caught them their first fish — after trying all the others we had in our box. Hope everyone else had as good of a weekend.

See more about fishing in Arizona

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

For six months, nights were becoming longer, peaking Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 3:44 a.m. The first day of winter.

As we cross that peak and daytime gradually lengthens toward spring, it’s time to focus on what species and waters are best for winter fishing. First, our Community Fishing Program waters are being stocked with trout. See the schedule.

We have some new fishing regulations coming into effect Jan. 1 — see the details.

Also, be sure to check the ADOT website for road conditions before traveling this weekend. Ice fishing is not recommended due to unstable conditions of ice. Please be cautious – we consider all ice unsafe.

I’ll be out of the office until Jan. 3 and there won’t be a fishing report next week. But be sure to check-in here next Wednesday night — we’ll discuss how to beat the winter striper fishing blues.

Nets and waders: working for you

This new section will periodically show what our fisheries biologists have been doing in the field to improve fishing in Arizona.

lmbWe recently conducted our annual electrofishing survey on the backwaters of the Imperial Division of the Colorado River to gather data on relative abundance, size, growth of fish and to detect any large-scale changes in the fish population.

The largemouth bass population appears to be doing well – the largest sampled was 23.9 inches and 9.5 pounds. More than 20 percent of the largemouth bass captured during the survey were 15 inches or larger. A high number of young-of-the-year largemouth were sampled as well – possibly an indication for a future robust population in this area.

A total of 2,235 fish were sampled at 17 survey stations — including 206 largemouth bass. Other species collected included bluegill and redear sunfish, black crappie, warmouth sunfish, threadfin shad, gizzard shad, blue tilapia, common carp, striped bass, flathead catfish, and channel catfish.

Give the gift of fishing

Need a last-second gift idea? Buy a license online, 24/7, and get a license for family or friends. (A $5 youth combo hunt/fish license makes for a great stocking stuffer).

Stocking report

Tuesday, Dec. 20 — Cluff Reservoir, Roper Lake, Dankworth Ponds.

Monday, Dec. 19 — Deadhorse Lake, Verde River (middle), Fain Lake, Saguaro Lake, Colorado River (3 spots from Rotary Park to Davis Camp).

Thursday, Dec. 15 — Lower Salt River.

Wednesday, Dec. 14 — “Core” Community fishing waters, Patterson Ponds (St. Johns), Patagonia Lake.

See the schedule.

Catch of the Week

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


Digital Camera

Jim E. with the first keeper largemouth bass he’s caught at Red Mountain lake after 15 years of fishing this lake east of Mesa.

See all the Angler Reports


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.


Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Days are getting shorter, air temperatures are cooling, and with the transition into fall, it can be a bit difficult to pinpoint the exact location of fish. In general, keep moving. Cover a lot of water, and try different areas of the water column and various bait presentations.

Or just go get some trout. Winter stockings have already begun for rainbows. We just stocked Davis Dam on the lower Colorado River (Senator McCain helped!). They’re coming to some of the prime Phoenix and Tucson-area lakes beginning the first week of November.

See the schedule.

Also, as we head into November, keep an eye on water temperatures in the high country. Each year, trout fishing picks up dramatically in the White Mountains when water temperatures are in the low-to-high 50s (depending on elevation). This is the ideal temperature range for trout and they will be actively trying to add weight before the onset of winter. Because there will be little difference between surface water temperature and water temperature in deep water, trout will be found at any depth.

Fishing in Arizona just got a boost with a big stocking of rainbow trout into the lower Colorado River at Davis Dam. These trout can be caught on a variety of lures and baits -- many anglers wait a week before heading to their favorite pocket on the river.
Fishing in Arizona just got a boost with a big stocking of rainbow trout into the lower Colorado River at Davis Dam. Senator John McCain, left, helped. These trout can be caught on a variety of lures and baits — many anglers wait a week before heading to their favorite pocket on the river.

By the way, let’s remember a reason that supporting conservation of all species of wildlife in Arizona is so crucial. The Arizona Game and Fish Department believes that future generations should have the same recreational opportunities, and the same abundance of memory-etching wildlife, that we do. We do not receive state tax dollars. So we rely on your participation, such as license sales and stuff like I Support Widlife memberships (includes real-time stocking updates and a great mapping app).

Then all you have to do is fish or engage in shooting sports or get out on a hunt — not a bad deal.

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

Upcoming free fishing events

Saturday, Nov. 5 — Chandler Safety Days, 8 a.m. – noon. Veterans Oasis Park, 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler.

AZ stocking report

Channel catfish

Friday, Oct. 14 — Friendship Park Pond, Bonsall Park, Roadrunner Lake, Eldorado Lake, Evelyn Hallman Pond, McQueen Pond, Discovery Park, Dave White Pond, Pacana Park, Redondo Lake, Fortuna Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond, Council Ave. Pond.

Rainbow trout

Tuesday, Oct. 4 — Salt River, Mingus Lake; Monday, Oct. 3 — Watson Lake, Lynx Lake, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek; Saturday, Oct. 1 — Silver Creek.

See the full schedule.


Black Canyon Lake road/parking lot closure extended

The access road and parking areas at Black Canyon Lake closure to all vehicle traffic for a paving project has been extended to Oct. 29.  Pedestrian access to the lake’s shore is allowed, but parking is not allowed on the adjacent, maintained forest service roads.


Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Bass anglers: some steady weather has finally graced Phoenix-area waters, and this could be a break-out week for largemouth bass fishing at all Salt River-chain lakes, as well as Bartlett Lake.

Try jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and top-water plugs during sun-up and sundown, and go to Texas rigs and dropshots after the sun breaks higher on the horizon. This full moon will only help bass in their nighttime predatory endeavors.

Last week’s report detailed just how many fish we’ve been stocking into many Mogollon Rim and White Mountains lakes.

We’re also stocking the lower Colorado River below Davis Dam this week with trout.

Anchovies are just one bait that Community Fishing Program channel catfish will chomp.
Anchovies are just one bait that Community Fishing Program channel catfish will chomp in Arizona.

Do you have a go-to bait for catfish in Community fishing waters? See our top 5.


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

Upcoming free fishing events

Saturday — Fishing clinic, 2 – 6 p.m., sponsored by North Tempe Neighborhood Association. Pond will be socked with catfish prior to the event. No fishing license required for those who register at event. Free poles available for loan. Bait provided.

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

Angler Reports

(Send your reports to BFishing@azgfd.gov)

Silver Creek
Robert L.: Caught these guys last weekend.

AZ stocking report

Friday, Oct. 7 — All “core” waters. 

Rainbow trout
Tuesday, Oct. 4 — Salt River, Mingus Lake; Monday, Oct. 3 — Watson Lake, Lynx Lake, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek; Saturday, Oct. 1 — Silver Creek.

See the full schedule.


Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Feels like fall-time fishing at high country classics such as Big Lake, where elk are bugling and fall leaves are turning a light yellow as trout become a bit more active.

Down in the desert on Thursday, catfish returned to Community fishing waters. One stocking truck started at waters such as Sahuarita Lake:

Community fishing stocking at Sahuarita lake in Arizona.
Community fish stockings in Arizona extend from Payson south to this scenic urban spot — Sahuarita Lake.
Another, on a Phoenix-area run, hit waters such as Rio Vista Pond in Peoria:


The Community catfish stocking route included all “core” waters from Sahuarita to Surprise. Catfish typically are caught on the bottom suing a hook-and-sinker setup using strong-smelling baits such as liver, as well as worms, hot dogs shrimp, cheese, dough balls, and so on.

Fishing clinics are breaking out statewide, seasonal fisheries are opening, and anglers up for a “cast and blast” can rejoice in the opening of fall hunting seasons.

The winter trout stocking schedule is out, too.

Striped bass fishing has been excellent at Lake Pleasant. See some striped bass recipes.

Largemouth and striped bass bites are getting more frequent. As desert temperatures drop a bit, go to fall fishing techniques such as top-water lures at sun-up and sundown as well as jerkbaits and crankbaits. Look for shad popping on the surface as they’re being pursued by hungry bass, and cast beyond the surface boils and reel back into the frenzy.

A recent stringer of stripers caught at Lake Pleasant.
A recent stringer of stripers caught at Lake Pleasant.
Summer trout stockings are coming to an end, but there is some great trout fishing at high elevation lakes such as Kinnikinick Lake (southeast of Flagstaff, where as of Sept. 20 we have stocked about 43,000 rainbow trout and 10,000 brown trout) and Big Lake, where trout having begun to feed on the surface more often.

The weekend also marks the opening of fall small game hunting seasons – quail season begins Friday, Sept. 30. Head to Flagstaff Oct. 1 for a fishing clinic that also will include small game hunting tips.

Good to time renew that fishing license. Get one online, which helps conserve all species of wildlife, and get ready for some fall fishing glory.

Fishing in Arizona hits peak with
Oct. 1 opening at Silver Creek

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.

Fossil Creek is a great place in AZ to take the kids this weekend.
Fossil Creek is a great place in AZ to take the kids this weekend.

Fossil Creek fishery opens Oct. 1

Calling all kids (and adults). Enjoy a unique fishing experience of catching native roundtail and headwater chub. Camping is no longer allowed. See the Coconino National Forest website for more information.

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. Road is closed at Rock Crossing campground.

Stocking reports

Rainbow trout

Friday, Sept. 16 — Colorado River (Davis Dam); Thursday, Sept. 15 — Tonto Creek; Wednesday, Sept. 14 — Kinnikinick Lake, Rose Canyon Lake; Monday, Sept. 12 — Canyon Creek, Mingus Lake; Friday, Sept. 9 — Willow Springs Lake, Canyon Creek.

Read more.

Upcoming free fishing clinics

Saturday — Verde River Days,   Dead Horse Ranch State Park,  675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd, Cottonwood, Ariz., 8 a.m. – noon.

Saturday, Oct. 1 — Free fishing clinic about fall fishing in northern Arizona, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Kinnikinick Lake.

Saturday, Oct. 1 — Family Fishing Even at Pena Blanca Lake, off SR 289, Nogales, 8 a.m. – noon.

See more details.

Angler Reports

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


Apache Lake

Jake H.: A 7.88-pound largemouth on a jig. 23 inch with 17.5 inch girth.


Steele Indian School Pond

Ryan H. caught these big catfish on Zebco micro rods on Sunday —  days before the return of catfish to Community waters. Read his full story.


Phoenix man nets big catfish catch Sunday

Catfish stockings to return to Community waters Thursday


Of all the big catfish tackle to choose, he used Zebco micro rods and 4-pound test line.

Channel catfish stockings in Community waters hadn’t even begun, but there was Ryan Handeland on Sunday at School Indian Steele Pond in Phoenix, yanking in a pair of line-zinging catfish.

Cats are coming back Thursday in many Community fishing waters, including Steele Indian School Pond, but this is more proof they can be caught year-round.

“That’s a phenomenal catch,” AZGFD Community Fishing Program specialist Joann Hill said. “Considering catfish haven’t been stocked in a little more than 3 months, and that they came out of that little pond — that’s incredible.”

Steele Indian School Pond overlooks a downtown Phoenix skyline.
Steele Indian School Pond on 300 E. Indian School Rd.  overlooks a downtown Phoenix skyline.
Here’s what the Phoenix resident — and Arizona  native — had to say about catching his two catfish limit:

Ryan Handeland’s pre-fall stocking catfish.

So, Sunday the 18th around 12:30 p.m. I got to the pond and started setting up.

I had been there the Sunday before and caught a smaller cat and a medium cat on chicken liver. There were other fishermen there on adjacent banks the previous Sunday and I had made them jealous because I was getting lots of bites, so much so that one of the other fishermen (who was using hot dogs with no luck) said it was probably just bluegills nibbling at the bait.

I did however have two catfish on my stringer and they had none.

So the 18th I headed back out….I was using two Zebco 33 micro rods with 4-pound test Cajun line and a 6-pound leader rigged Carolina style with I believe a size 4 treble (I would have to check the hooks to be for sure on size). I cast out both lines and almost instantly started getting bites.

They were not the “normal” catfish bites. Except for a few occasions they never took the (bait) and ran. They would just tap the pole basically enough to steal the bait. You would have to catch the right “tap” to actually get a hook-set.

It took about an hour to hook the first big cat. I set the hook then realized — that’s a pretty big fish. I then instantly set the drag so that my 4-pound test wouldn’t break on one of its runs. I then began to play the fish to bring it in by slowly lifting my rod tip to vertical then dropping it and reeling up the slack. Both fish took some pretty good runs … some so big I was afraid I was going to run out of line on my little reel.

Finally after about 5 minutes for each, I tired them out enough that I could bring them in and just pick em up out of the water.
It was a lot of fun and I have not caught catfish that big in awhile.

So go get yours. Grab a license online (helping conserve all species of wildlife in the process) just in time for the fall Community catfish season.

Here’s a quick how-to video to catch Community catfish:

For more fishing information, visit our website’s fishing page.