Tag Archives: Teaching kids how to fish

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

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

Arizona Fishing Report: The Reel Deal

Top picks this weekend are  trout-stocked Community fishing waters plus our top-5 fishing spots for this winter.

Our Catch of the Week (below) came out of our new Community water in Mesa — a big channel catfish. Never know what you’re going to hook.

The Verde River from Clarkdale to Camp Verde has been stocked this week. See a map of the river from the town of Clarkdale and be prepared. I recently caught this feisty rainbow trout on a black-and-orange, 1/4-ounce Panther Martin before fish were stocked near the Tuzigoot Bridge:

Other good bets are Parker Canyon Lake southeast of Tucson for trout, and in the White Mountains,  Big Lake and Woods Canyon Lake. Also, Ashurst Lake near Flagstaff should still have some good fishing.

Some high country lakes are starting to ice over: we consider all such ice in Arizona unsafe. Above 5,000 feet in elevation, there have been below-zero morning temperatures and water temperatures in the 30s at the highest elevation lakes. Get to your favorite high country trout hole before things really freeze.

For bass fishing in lower elevations, water temperatures have dropped enough (high-50s to low-60s) to send high populations of bass into deeper water where the water temperature is higher.  Be sure to have a bait in the water when the sun comes out and there’s a spat of warmer weather.

Catch of the Week

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

Greenfield Pond (Mesa)

Craig S.: On Friday, Dec. 8,  Craig reported catching this big channel catfish on PowerBait at night with 10-pound braided line, a 6-pound monofilament leader and a pole he had recently purchased from a garage sale. Read more about the catch.

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

Verde River (Clarkdale to Camp Verde); Goldwater Lake, Watson Lake, Canyon Lake, Lower Salt River, Parker Canyon Lake, Patagonia Lake, “core” Community waters,

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Dec. 6 — Expansion Community waters (including Show Low Creek.)

See all the stocking schedules

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 grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona Fishing Report: Nov. 30, 2017

Top picks this week are trout-stocked waters such as Goldwater Lake, Lower Salt River, Frances Short Pond or Community waters.

Other good trout reports this week have come from Fain Lake in Prescott and Lower Lake Mary in Flagstaff.

Bass fishing has been reported as excellent at Roosevelt Lake and Lake Pleasant. Jigging spoons is a technique that has picked up and will continue to be an effective way to hook bass in deeper water through the winter. These spoons mimic falling shad. Bass will be feeding relatively heavily until water temperatures fall into the low 50s and bass metabolism slows. Water temperatures recently have reached the low- to mid-60s at Bartlett Lake and Roosevelt Lake.

Good crappie reports have come from Roosevelt and Apache lakes with large schools in 20- to 50-foot depths, usually near cover. Alamo Lake should be excellent for crappie, too.

Catch of the Week

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

Lower Lake Mary

Steve S., along with his son Jed, son-in-law Riley, and four grandkids, caught these 11 rainbows in less than 2 hours on Saturday after Thanksgiving Day.

Biggest was 17 inches, then 16.5 “, 16”, 15.5”… nothing smaller than 13”. Biting on worms on bottom and bobbers.

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

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

“Core” Community waters. See the latest Community news regarding waters that will not be stocked this week.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Tuesday, Nov. 21 — “Phoenix/Maricopa area expansion and custom waters” ; Verde River (middle), Cluff Reservoir #3, Roper Lake, Dankworth Ponds, Tempe Town Lake, Patagonia Lake.  Monday, Nov. 20 — Dead Horse Lakes, Oak Creek.

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

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

A November crescendo of rainbow trout stockings is getting anglers onto some serious stringers of fish. See the stocking schedules below for details — this week, trout are being stocked for the first time of the season into Salt River-chain lakes Apache and Canyon and Tucson/Safford-area waters Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake and Roper Lake.

Best part is the Green Light Fisheries list of fish species from specific waters that may be consumed without limits includes all trout statewide. This is not to be confused with bag limits. Trout have been tested to be extremely low in mercury and so there are no recommended consumption limits.

Also, trout return to Community waters Nov. 16!

There will not be a fishing report next week so check back here or head to our azgfd.gov fishing page for updates and a ton of resources.

Some other recent reports include:

Goldwater Lake was stocked with rainbow trout last week.
  • Goldwater Lake has been stocked twice this season and water quality has been clear and excellent. Our Catch of the Week (below) came from this pine-scented, mid-elevation lake.
  • One angler reported great action at Bear Canyon Lake last Saturday on the shore opposite the dam fly fishing green woolly worms (without a strike indicator), stripping quickly.
  • With falling water temperatures at Bartlett Lake (high 60-degree water temperatures) largemouth bass have started feeding more heavily in preparation for winter. Top baits during an early morning for Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, were Rat-L-Traps (great for colder weather) in silver, and during late mornings, 1/4-ounce Texas rigged brush hogs in watermelon candy and Z-Man Finesse ShroomZ JigheadZ with 4 1/2-inch Roboworms and Powerworms in 10-12 feet of water.

 

Catch of the Week

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

Goldwater Lake

 

Tom and his father caught this nice stringer of rainbow trout trolling Kastmasters, Super Dupers, and Canadian nightcrawlers. The pair caught nine total.

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

Frances Short Pond, Oak Creek, Dead Horse Lakes, Fain Lake, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Patagonia Lake, Pena Blanca Lake, Roper Lake, Fortuna Pond, Redondo Pond.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Friday, Nov. 3 — Patterson Ponds (St. Johns), Show Low Creek, Green Valley Lake, Frances Short Pond.

Channel catfish

Thursday, Nov. 2 — “Core” Community waters.

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

Family Fishing Fun at Pena Blanca Lake, 8 a.m. – noon. Pena Blanca Lake Off of SR 289 Nogales.

Contact: For more information please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240

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

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Fall fishing means crankbaits, top-water lures, buzzbaits and jigs drawing increasingly more bass strikes as water temperatures dip. At Bartlett Lake in the Tonto National Forest, the water temperature Saturday was 76 degrees — down about 10 degrees from 2 weeks ago.

This is the also time for flathead catfish. At Bartlett Lake, in particular, they’ll be roaming the waters looking for meals to add some winter fat.

Community catfish news

  • This week, Patterson Ponds (in St. Johns, pictured above), Stone Dam (Ash Fork), Yuma ponds are scheduled to get catfish for the first time this fall. “Core” waters are to be stocked again next week. See the stocking schedule.

Winter trout stocking schedule

Trout Challenge update; Frye Creek closed to fishing

  • We’re also temporarily suspending the requirement for anglers to catch a Gila trout in order to complete the Wild Trout Challenge. With the closure of Frye Creek t here is no longer a wild population of Gila trout open to fishing. See more information about AZGFD’s trout challenges.
  • We’ve closed Frye Creek in the Pinaleno Mountains, southwest of Safford, to fishing to allow for evaluation and restoration of the Gila trout population. We recently surveyed Frye and Ash creeks and did not find any fish. Read more. 

Catch and release season opens at Silver Creek Sunday

  • On Saturday, the catch-and-release season opens — and that means the upper section also opens to fishing for the first time since early spring. This catch-and-release section of Silver Creek requires trout to be immediately released unharmed, and is artificial flies and lures only with single barbless hooks. This segment of Silver Creek is open for fishing from Oct. 1 through March 31 of each year. See more fishing regulations.

Brown trout fall spawn

Brown trout anglers in AZ target fall as one of the best times of the year for this aggressive-fighting species

Keep in mind that brown trout go into their spawning behavior in the fall. Float tubers who are in good shape may want to hike into Chevelon Lake on the Mogollon Rim for the big browns and plentiful ‘bows.

Already, some anglers are hooking into some big brown close to shore — see the Catch of the Week below.

Stocking reports

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

Canyon Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Tonto Creek, Oak Creek.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Friday, Sept. 22 — Woods Canyon Lake, Canyon Creek. Thursday, Sept. 21 — Tonto Creek. Wednesday, Sept. 20 — “core” Community fishing waters.

Brown trout

Thursday, Sept. 14 — Kinnikinick Lake.

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.

Reservation Lake

 

Cody T. caught this brown trout from Reservation Lake Sept. 22 on an olive-green bunny leech fly around 4 p.m. near the dam. Along with Jason D., the group reported catching a ton on a silver spinners and olive colored flies and releasing all fish.

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 — “Verde River Days” at Dead Horse State Park in Cottonwood, 8 a.m. to noon, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, 675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd.

While the Verde River Days festivities will go from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., the family fishing will occur from 8 a.m. -noon only. For more information please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at (623) 236-7240 or go to: http://www.verderiverday.com/.

See the full events schedule.

 

SEE THE FULL REPORT

Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Top picks for this full moon weekend are:

  • Colorado River below Davis Dam where Wednesday we stocked 3,175 pounds of rainbow trout at Davis Camp, Community Park, and Rotary Park — the trout averaged more than half a pound each with some fish weighing more than 3 pounds;
  • Night fishing at striper hot spots such as Lake Pleasant, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave and Lake Powell;
  • Lake Havasu for  chasing boils of 1 to 3-pound stripers that are attacking shad during mornings and late afternoons;
  • White Mountains streams (see stocking report below).

In desert regions, it’s late-summer/early fall conditions, which means bass are chasing schools of shad and reaction baits can be a good option (crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinner baits, and so on). Water temperature at Roosevelt Lake recently was in the low-80s.

Get ready for more catfish! They return to Community waters the week of Sept. 18.

Our Fish&Boat Arizona map will show plenty of other options, as well as the locations of those mentioned above.

Vehicular access to C.C. Cragin Reservoir closed

As part of the ongoing renovation of the boating access facilities at C.C. Cragin Reservoir (Blue Ridge Reservoir), the U.S. Forest Service closed vehicular access to the lake beginning the morning of Sept. 6. Access will reopen next spring. 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.

Lake Mead

Golden Valley resident Laura Borden caught this channel cat; the largest catfish she has ever caught,  while fishing off the dock at Temple Bar at Lake Mead. The cat hit on a piece of anchovy and weighed 8.57 pounds.

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):

Silver Creek, East Fork of the Black River, Little Colorado River-Greer, Bear Canyon Lake, Canyon Creek, Tonto Creek, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, Fain Lake, Mingus Lake.

Note: Catfish return to Community waters in late September.

Previous stockings

Rainbow trout

Friday, Sept. 1 — Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Canyon Creek, East Fork of the Black River, Silver Creek.

Channel catfish

Saturday, Aug. 30 — Dead Horse Lake, Lynx Lake, Fain Lake.

See all the stocking schedules

Save time, buy online

Grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go.

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

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