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April 25 Fishing Report

Posted in: Fishing Report
Apr 24, 2013
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Hello, anglers!

A triple-digit weekend prediction is as good a sign as any to prepare for those trips to the high country. Families and friends can load up and head to pine-scented trout havens, as traces of snow will serve as a final reminder of winter, or maybe a friendly snowball fight.

That forecast, by the way, is from The Weather Channel, which is calling for 100 degrees of sweat in Phoenix on Sunday. The full moon began Thursday, so anticipate a big wave of spawning bass the four or five days following. Water temperatures also are ideal for crappie to possibly move into shallow waters to spawn as well. Crappie fishing reportedly is picking up at Bartlett Lake, Alamo Lake and Roosevelt Lake.

Please let us know how you do with stories and, if possible, photos, by emailing your catches to BFishing@AZGFD.gov. As usual, your photos likely will be featured below.

We remain behind schedule in regards to snow melt. All of the Mogollon Rim Lakes are ice-free, but access still is blocked to the Woods Canyon and Bear Canyon lakes due to lingering snow drifts. Considering we’re in a 20-year drought that affects the consistency of water in major stretches of creeks and rivers, we could have used more powder.

Still, there was finally access to Big Lake last week with the opening of Highways 273 and 261. We received reports of triple-digit fish days from anglers who trolled cow bells with in-line spinners or flies such as a wooly bugger. (With typical trolling motors, you’ll be in first or second gear, bumbling along just fast enough to get those spinner blades spinning.) This is a hot spot in the state for 'bows, along with Show Low Lake. If you can get a weekday off, all the better since the lake will be less crowded.

(As a reminder, if words in this report are colored, click on them for a link to more information, including directions.)  Last week, thousands of trout were stocked in Bunch Reservoir, Luna Lake,  Rainbow Lake, Show Low Lake and Tunnel Reservoir. View the complete summer trout stocking schedule, and well as the Fish&Boat map for details and directions for our state’s major fisheries.

Also, up at Lees Ferry, Dean Windham of Lees Ferry Anglers said midges are hatching like crazy, scuds are coming back after some anglers feared they’d been wiped out in the November flood, and trout have preferred rippling waters as opposed to the slack pools they’d been lounging in a month ago. (See report below).

Here, then, is a quick breakdown of what you can expect for upcoming fishing in the high country:

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White Mountains

Become one of the first anglers to catch a large holdover trout, spot wildlife such as deer, elk or a bald eagle, and escape the bustling city into this sub-alpine paradise.

For catch-and-release, 20-inch-plus rainbow trout, try Becker Lake. Big Lake is loaded with fish, and packed with visitor amenities, concessions, boat rentals and developed campgrounds.

Catch the native Apache trout at Lee Valley Reservoir, or for a shorter drive, head to Willow Springs and Woods Canyon.

Finally, Chevelon Canyon Lake is tough to access, but for the serious angler, that only means less traffic and competition for some lunker brown trout.

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Flagstaff and Williams areas

Just a 1-hour, 45-minute drive from Phoenix, Flagstaff is a getaway loaded with lodging, a variety of first-class cuisine, and an array of wildlife such as great blue herons, bald eagles, osprey, elk, antelope, deer and waterfowl.

We will have stocked over 45,000 fish for the season. June hot spots include Lower Lake Mary, Ashurst Lake and Kaibab LakeAfter June, it’s time to try your luck on northern pike, bass, crappie and bluegill at pristine fisheries such as Upper Lake Mary, Cataract Lake, Kaibab Lake, Dogtown Lake and Whitehorse Lake.  Other outdoor opportunities abound such as hiking, mountain biking and wildlife viewing.

Finally, take a break from the sun and visit the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Arboretum of Flagstaff or old Route 66 in Williams.

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19th Annual Payson Wildlife Fair set for Saturday, May 11

PAYSON, Ariz.  – With a family atmosphere that includes fishing, kayaking, BB gun and archery ranges, and displays of animals such as alligators and Gila monsters, the 19th annual Payson Wildlife Fair will be open to the public on Saturday, May 11.

The event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Green Valley Park’s sprawling, grassy expanse is free.

“This is a great way for the family to spend a Saturday,” says Natalie Robb, Supervisor in the Payson District. “Parents and kids can fish, play games and get a close-up look at lots of amazing animals like a golden eagle or bobcat.”

Or the family can fish for a surplus of trout in Green Valley Lake, which prior to the event will receive more than double its normal stocking of trout. The park typically receives about 300 pounds of trout per stocking.

For this event, 800 pounds of fish will be released.  No fishing license is required for fair attendees, and equipment and bait can be borrowed for free from an on-site fishing booth.

In addition to birds of prey, other live animals on display will include rattlesnakes, Gila monsters, mammals (such as bats), alligators and giant pythons.

Fair visitors can test their skills at one of the casting booths, BB gun or archery ranges, or take a kayak for spin. Afterward, they can visit some of the on-hand experts and conservation groups including the Mule Deer Foundation, Payson Fly Casters, Phoenix Herpetological Society, and Tonto Natural Bridge.

The fair is a cooperative effort between the Arizona Game and Fish Department, USDA Forest Service, Mogollon Sporting Association, and Payson Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information on Green Valley Park, including directions, visit www.paysonrimcountry.com/TheTown/Attractions/Parks/GreenValleyPark.aspx.

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Come on out for “Outdoor Rec Night” at Chase Field on April 27
Interactive street fair runs from 1-5 p.m.

If you’re an outdoors enthusiast and a Major League Baseball fan, Chase Field is the place to be on Saturday, April 27.

The Arizona Diamondbacks, along with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and many other partners and sportsman’s/conservation groups, will host the second “Outdoor Rec Night” in connection with the Arizona Diamondbacks-Colorado Rockies game (the game begins at 5:10 p.m.).

Come early for the interactive street fair from 1-5 p.m. at 4th Street and Jackson, just west of the ballpark.

The fair will offer lots of hands-on activities, including a kids fishing tank (loaner poles and bait provided), self-contained archery and airsoft ranges, an ATV track, fly-casting and more. There also will be exhibits on outdoor recreation.

As part of the Outdoor Rec Night, the Diamondbacks are offering special discounted ticket pricing for the game. Discount prices range from $13 for infield reserve seating (a $6 savings) to $40 for infield box seats (a $13 savings). The first 20,000 to the gate will receive a Wade Miley garden gnome.

To see the full range of discounted ticket pricing and to order tickets, visit http://mlb.mlb.com/ari/ticketing/ticket_dugout.jsp?loc=outdoors and follow the instructions.

 

ANGLER REPORTS:

Yoshi Y. of Queen Creek took advantage of one of the state's hot spots, Show Low Lake: Fished from dock adjacent to boat launch on Tuesday, April 23. My wife Nancy started catching rainbow trout on gold Super Duper after stocking of the lake. She usually casts power bait and reads a book, but not today, she was too busy landing or losing a fish for the next hour or so. They were all estimated 14- to 16-inch in size except a couple of smaller fish. We caught and released total of 9 rainbows by 1:30 p.m.

I returned to the lake after 5 p.m. and again with the Super Duper caught and released 12 rainbows in less than an hour. They were all about the same size as earlier except one smaller.

Best fishing day ever!

John W. is hoping for better days after last weekend: Hi, Nick. Just thought I'd add my two cents to reports for Chevelon Canyon and Willow Springs Lakes as I spent Friday through Sunday with about 12 total hours on the water between these two lakes. While I didn't notice any difference in water quality at Chevelon than in previous times I have been there, I will have to echo the report from the April 11 angler that fishing there is not good.

I did see two surface strikes, but the wide variety of both wet and dry flies I was throwing from my float tube all over the lake produced zero fish.  The two other anglers I spoke with (spin casting) produced equally dismal responses.

At Willow Springs, while I wasn't skunked, the only fish I caught could best be described as "aspiring" to greatness.  Other fishermen I spoke with who were spin casting from shore were in agreement that things were slow.  Still, a beautiful weekend in magnificent country.

                                                                              

Q & A

It was mentioned in the latest fishing report that the dock at Willow will be reinstalled soon.  I have tried to get information on this with AZGFD and Apache-Sitgreaves.  Can you give more info on the dock like an approximate date?  I ask because I had been told it wouldn't be this year.
 

  • Barry: Unfortunately, we don't have an exact timetable on when the new dock will be finished. One of the smaller dock sections has been attached directly to the concrete abutment.  The gangway is not currently necessary due to the high water level, with no need to have the dock out further from shore.  We will be revising that installation as the water goes down, and we will probably be setting and securing the gangway and a larger dock section directly on the left side of the ramp.  This will allow for adjustments with the lake level, and will continue to ensure the dock stays at the proper distance from shore (same distance as a boat trailer when launching). Thanks for your question. - Nick


OK, on to the full report.


CENTRAL WATERS

Note: If you have a fishing report or good fishing pictures to share (JPEG), send them to our "Been Fishing" site at BFishing@azgfd.gov.

Updated reports:

URBAN WATERS – The third catfish stocking of the spring season took place the week of April 15-20 at all Phoenix and Tucson area Urban waters.

Cats from the stockings have been biting very well on worms, stink baits, hot dogs or shrimp fished on the bottom. Catfish have been active throughout the day with afternoons and evenings best. Catfish stockings will resume at Alvord Lake now that golden alga has been successfully treated (see article below).

Bluegill fishing is good at all Phoenix and Tucson area waters that were just stocked the end of March. Best baits for the feisty, 5-8 inch bluegill are worms or mealworms fished under a small bobber in 3-6 foot depths. Action for largemouth bass has slowed as they move into the post-spawn period over the next few weeks. Please exercise catch and release for largemouth bass and remember the minimum keeper size for bass is 13 inches.

At Green Valley lakes (Payson) fishing is good to excellent for trout. Try Power Bait, worms or salmon eggs off the bottom. Trout stockings at this higher elevation Urban lake will continue until mid May. Also at Green Valley, the bite for crappie and bass is picking up for anglers using small jigs and plastic worms.
The last stocking at all Urban Fishing program waters in the Phoenix and Tucson areas was April 3 for catfish; the last stocking at the Green Valley lakes in Payson was April 5 for trout.

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LAKE PLEASANT –  Mike McFarland, a professional fishing guide for Hook Up Outfitters, said the high water temperature is 68 degrees by the end of the day, which is still below average for this time of year. Stripers are taking over the lake, but have not yet spawned. McFarland said to "grind it out" at the pumps for stripes, being patient because a wave of tiny stripes could be followed by a school of large ones.

Largemouth bass fishing is picking up, and there are a lot of cruising largies in the shallows. Bass are chewing on crawdads, so natural colors are suggested. Fish parallel to the banks using dropshots, skinny dippers and jigs.

Crappie should be coming to shallows to spawn as well, but anglers here have been catching them using minnow-tipped crappie jigs under the two floating restrooms.  Anglers can try using lights at night to attract plankton, which attracts the crappie, but that technique will be more potent during the summer when the crappie are not as active during the day. But it might be worth a shot.

Also, channel cats were becoming more active and many people night fishing are having excellent success. Chicken livers, anchovies and cut bait had been getting the job done.

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A 10-pound bass caught April 16 on a spinnerbait

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,109 feet, 54 percent full).  Bass are being caught in the shallows with crankbaits, jigs and consistently with drop shot using a variety of Roboworms.  Red and pink colored Roboworms are working well for anglers.

Also, shoreline fishing at Grapevine is gaining some attention by both experienced and novice anglers alike.  Live worms are working well for some and spinners enticed some bass. 

Also, another report from James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods: Good morning rim country anglers – If you’re a bass or crappie angler, this week is a must time to fish Roosevelt Lake. Now that the water clarity has improved significantly, large numbers of bass can now be seen in shallow water, including those larger females.

The weather is predicted to be stable this week with increasing temperatures and little to no wind.  In addition, this coming week is a full moon which has a major impact on the fish spawn cycle and feeding habits. Bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake was called excellent this past week by local anglers.

The top water bite which began last week is increasing as the water warms.  Look for bass chasing shad on the surface at first light with some reports indicating that its lasting for a few hours. Several top water baits were reported successful since the bass are just blasting through the shad.

The top performer this past week was a Rio-Rico bait in the new clear color. Last week we had reports of just a few areas producing a top water bite, but this week, several coves are seeing the top water action. Also reported successful were crankbaits and spinner baits.

Now, later in the morning between 9-10, several anglers switched to jigs, Texas rig worms, senkos, dropshot or a Carolina rig. Many bass have completed the spawn and are now moving to deeper water, so if you have a secret hump or ledge, I can almost guarantee those spots will be holding bass this next week. The lake remained at 54% full this week however, with the current flows I expect next week we’ll see another increase in the height of the lake.

The Salt River is flowing at 50% of its normal flow for this time of year and the Tonto Creek continues to flow at well above 100% of its normal flows. The wind we had this past week had little effect on the fishing. Those anglers that braved the wind and high waves said it was the best fishing so far this spring. Keep in mind that most pre and post spawn bass will be in depths of 20 ft or less.  

The crappie fishing was called fair this past week. Depending on the day, crappie anglers reported good numbers being caught while on other days anglers reported the conditions slow for the crappie anglers.

Salome Cove, and along the shoreline at Orange Peel area were reported as hot spots this past week. A 1/32 or 1/16 oz jig hook with a 1-inch John Deere or pumpkin & chartreuse color grub tail were reported successful. When you’re crappie fishing always cast into the darkest water around a submerged log or brush. The shadier the spot the more likely a crappie will be there. An ultra light power rod with an extra fast action is a must if you’re crappie fishing. Also you’re line weight must be a 6 lb test or less.

The rim lakes and streams are mostly open and several trout anglers are reporting good numbers of stocked trout being caught. Power baits, salmon eggs and small size 0 spinners were working this past week.

Have a great week of fishing and I hope see you on the water.

BARTLETT LAKE – Gary Senft, a bass pro at the Bass Pro Shops in Mesa, fished near the dam at the lower end of Bartlett on Wednesday and said it appears a lot of largmouth bass are in their post-spawn and have moved out to structures. He said the fishing isn't quite what it was a month ago. Bass in 5-20 feet of water off structures such as humps and points were only looking for Texas rigs and dropshots. He said there was no reaction bite.

The water temperature Wednesday was 67 degrees in the morning and warmed to 71 by 5 p.m.

Other reports also indicate Bartlett is producing off the points.  Best lures are jigs using Senkos and grubs in 15 to 20 feet of water.

Fish top-water lures in the morning, then switch to soft plastics like brush hogs or dropshot Roboworms.

Previously, Jeremy Hoffman, fishing manager at the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse, echoes that the topwater had been incredible in the morning, with a good afternoon bite as well. Techniques such as dropshotting, wacky rigging senkos, and lipless crankbaits were proving effective. When fishing lipless crankbaits, Hoffman suggested, let the lure fall all the way to the bottom before starting your retrieve, and then once you start bringing your crankbait back in, reel for a few seconds, pause briefly, and then start reeling once again. Also try reeling in steady and then speeding it up for a few seconds, then return to your previous retrieval speed. As a result of both of the techniques, the fish will usually strike hard due to the sporadic action of these retrievals.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) - Recently received a large, unplanned stocking of rainbow trout. Reports indicate the river is excellent for suckers, but not so much for trout. Try night crawlers, small spinners, KastMasters and flies in this unique desert river trout fishery.

SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,526 feet (95 percent full): Texas Rigs in shallow water, drop shot and Jerkbaits are resulting in some nice catches. Earlier this  month, Phoenix-based professional bass angler Josh Bertrand reported that large bass are chasing whacky-wormed Gary Yamamoto Senkos. For more information on whacky-worming a Senko,  visit: http://www.insideline.net/1999/xiques-0910-99.html. Swim baits also have been catching the big bass’s curiosity, whether the bass want to eat it or not.

CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,659 feet (97 percent full). The best bite has been at the main lake, but because of dirty water, pitch jigs and dropshots in 10 feet or less of water depth. Anglers had been having success catching largemouith bass using crankbaits, drop shot, jigs and Texas Rigged worms.  Yellow bass are hitting on spoons popped off the bottom, small spinners and jigs.  Hit the points.

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APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,906 feet (91 percent full). This continues to be a hot spot for largemouth bass, with some reports spilling into the north Phoenix Sportman’s Warehouse of bass weighing 10-pound-plus.  Target deep-water ledges, such a ones that go immediately from 10 to 100 feet of depth. The reports indicate the fish are spread out from the marina to the dam. Try dropshots with ox blood Roboworms. When bed fishing, use jigs or soft plastics in lighter colors so you can see your bait. But consider releasing the spawning bass to preserve their populations.


Previous reports:

Please send your reports to BFishing@azgfd.gov

HORSESHOE LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,005 feet, 55-percent full. Hoffman, the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse fishing manager, reported Horseshoe is a particularly fun place to fish because of the waters it has held for so long. Catfish and carp anglers will have a blast fishing here because it’s a place where you can not only catch high numbers of fish, but many of considerable size. Scent is the key when fishing this lake because the water is so muddy and the visibility extremely poor. A strong potent scent is necessary for these fish to be able to hone in on your bait.

For catfish try using chicken livers or stink bait, and for carp use corn, dough balls, or cheese baits. (If you choose to fish with dough balls, add in lots of garlic salt and/or vanilla extract. It gives off a scent that catfish and carp cannot resist.) Salt River Project tends to use Horseshoe as a flood retention reservoir, but steadily releases the water downstream into Bartlett Lake.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE - Anglers still report slow-to-decent action on bass using slowly-retrieved drop-shot worms.

CREEKS BELOW THE MOGOLLON RIM - Weekly stockings into the trout streams have ended for most species.
 
LAKE POWELL AND LEES FERRY

Updated report:

Note: If you have a fishing report or good fishing pictures to share (JPEG), send them to our "Been Fishing" site at BFishing@azgfd.gov.

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LAKE POWELL - Wayne Gustavson’s April 24 report from www.wayneswords.com:

Lake Elevation: 3597
Water Temperature 53-60 F

It’s a typical year as bass move on nest sites as the water warms and then pull off as water cools. If the home cove is protected from wind it stays warm and bass spawn.  If strong wind cools water then spawning is delayed until the next calm period. The big selling point for coming sooner rather than later to fish for spawning bass is lake level. The lake is stabilizing, ready to start filling. Sight fishing is best in crystal clear water.  Rising water causes bank sloughing which clouds the shallow water and reduces visibility. All these factors suggest that the last week of April and first week of May will be the peak time for spring bass fishing success.

Runoff from the Colorado River will cool and muddy the water from Hite to Good Hope Bay. Backs of northern lake canyons will have greater visibility, warmer water and good fishing but with the Hite launch ramp high and dry there is no reason to pass up the great bass fishing at midlake canyons.

There may be other reasons to go north however, as striper and walleye trolling success is increasing. May is the best month to fish for walleye lakewide as they try to recover from spawning stress and rebuild their muscle mass. Walleye search for food continually in these low forage conditions while waiting for shad to spawn and grow. Trolling along muddy shorelines may be the best strategy for walleye.

Striped bass are still found along every shoreline in the southern lake. Bait fishing is the most successful technique as stripers patrol along the canyon walls from the dam to the back of Navajo Canyon.  From Padre Bay to Rincon stripers are found in isolated spots along the shoreline and can be readily collected by casting jerk baits (Lucky Craft Pointers) into the shallows.  Bait fishing is improving in the Bullfrog area but it is not yet producing the incredible numbers found near the dam. Expect Bullfrog striper bait fishing to improve as water temperature warms into the 60s.

This is my best suggestion for a one-day fishing trip on the southern half of Lake Powell.  Water temperature will be cool in the early morning. At dawn go toward the back of the canyon and troll along the shoreline in 25 feet of water with medium running crankbaits or bottom bouncing worm harnesses. Walleye are a low light feeder and may be more aggressive in morning twilight. 

When the sun hits the water head to the main channel and fish bait for striped bass along the canyon wall.   Chum a spot to locate fish. If they don’t bite within 10 minutes move on and repeat until a school lights up.  Catch stripers all morning long.  Fill the cooler as many times as needed stopping to fillet fish as space runs out.  Then take a lunch break.

As water warms into the 60s in the afternoon head for the backs of canyons and coves again, this time sight-fishing for bedding bass. Cast hard plastic jerk baits and soft plastic grubs to the shallows while trying to locate bass beds. Without brush, rock structure is the critical feature needed to find fish. Bass will be hiding near rock cracks, humps, rock piles and in tumbleweed piles. Warm water increases fish activity dramatically. Throw long casts in clear water to catch fish before they see you.

If there is any energy left, try night fishing with bait in the shadow of a green fish light near the marinas to catch another cooler full of stripers.

Lake Powell currently offers great fishing for all game fish residing in the lake.  It is possible to use your favorite fishing technique to catch your favorite warm water fish. The fish are ready, you just have to get here to enjoy the best spring fishing of the year.

LEES FERRY  - Dean Windham of Lee’s Ferry Anglers said midges are hatching like crazy, scuds are coming back after some anglers feared they’d been wiped out in the November flood, and trout have preferred rippling waters as opposed to the slack pools they’d been lounging in a month ago.
The scuds, Windham said, have been in moss piles, a welcome sight for anglers and trout alike. “We were afraid the flood killed them all,” Windham said.

A light nymph rig using a zebra midge, Glow Bugs or San Juan worms are working. Windham said fish also are sitting in the rock piles at the edge of ripples where a food source drops in.

Also, remember that o Feb 20, a portion of road on Hwy 89, the section of highway that goes from the junction of Hwy 89A, up to Page, collapsed. This road closure in no way affects anyone who is traveling to Lees Ferry/Marble Canyon as long as you do not go through Page. All north-south travel can be completed by using 89A which is much quicker and shorter that the detour through Page. For more info visit: http://www.azdot.gov/us89/. Road construction continues on the road from Marble Canyon to the Ferry, and anglers can expect a 10-15 delay at the most, Windham said.

Angler's previous report: Fished the walk in section for two full days.  My buddy was spin fishing and had some luck using Pistol Petes under a cast bobber.  He had limited luck on Kastmasters or spinners.  I was using the normal Lee's Ferry stuff (midges, scuds, glow bugs, San Juan worms) and had pretty good luck.  The upper boulder field was slower. The best fishing was near the Paria bar and the lower boulder field.  We both ended up with 25 fish a day.  Slow for Lee's Ferry standards but still a good day. When you’re used to 50 fish days it is a letdown.  LOL. The fish are spawning still.  Several were spilling eggs.  Regardless the fishing is good.  The biggest one we caught was 17 inches.  Most were in the 12 to 13 inch range, Let’s hope all this snowmelt runoff gets the lakes and streams loaded full of nutrients and fattens up all the trout and bass.
Also read the previous April 1 fishing report from www.leesferry.com.
 
COLORADO RIVER

Updated reports:

Important notice: With the discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders.  Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department's web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

LAKE MEAD – The elevation has continued to drop to 1114 feet above msl.  Be careful boating because of fluctuating water levels and watch for floating debris dislodged from rising water levels. There seems to be an abundance of shad currently which may be the reason for the lack of bite.  Cut anchovies are still the bait of choice.  Check the moon phases before you go –last new moon was April 10th.  The next new moon will be May 9th.  Dark nights work best when fishing under light.

Fishing for stripers in 50 plus feet of water will normally find the larger fish.  If they are not taking the anchovies try swimming baits and see if you can get them to bite.  Jigging in 50-60 feet deep has been doing well on Mead.  If you can locate the shad, the stripers are not far behind.  Trolling usually works best in areas were shad are found and best done in the early mornings and evenings.

A recent report I received said the fishing was tough due to the cool water but they managed to catch a few largemouth, one smallmouth and several stripers.  Bobby O. sent me a picture of a beautiful 5 lbs. largemouth bass he caught in the back of a cove in about 3 ft. of water on the Nevada side.  All the fishermen contacted were hopeful for the coming years with rising water conditions and the abundance of baitfish they have seen this year.   

LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level has maintained 643 feet above msl.  The black bass are hitting soft baits when worked slowly especially on grass beds in 20 to 30 feet deep.  Ed and his grandson Jacob caught 4 nice largemouths on brown colored spinner baits.

The largest of their catch was 4.48 pounds at 21 ⅞ inches long.  Reports of using artificial crawfish jerked through the weed beds have worked well.  The reports from my black bass fishing contacts say that the numbers of smallmouth bass are overtaking the largemouth in tournaments recently and that the smallmouth and just as big as the largemouth. Trolling with LONG A BOMBERS has been producing some nice stripers. I received a report that the striper fishing has picked up a little.

While the number of stripers in Mohave has been decreasing, the quality of the fish caught has increased. 
Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Next new moon will be May 9th.  Cut anchovies usually work the best. 

Biologists from both Arizona Game and Fish Department and Nevada Division of Wildlife with the help of volunteers, National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation personnel have continued to install fish habitat in Carp Cove, Box Cove, Shoshone, and Arrowhead.  Fish habitat consists of PVC structures, wood pallet structures, tamarisk bundles, and some Christmas trees. The largemouth, smallmouth, bluegill and catfish are really utilizing the new structures. Additional habitat will be added at several locations over the next two years. These structures are fish magnets.

There is a wheelchair accessible fishing pier just south of the main launch ramp at Katherine's Landing. If you fish Mohave and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW BEACH – Willow Beach is stocked every Friday with 3,000 13” rainbow trout.  Rainbow, peach, garlic and yellow Power Baits and Powerworms were being used most for trout.  Jakes original and Jakes Juniors, Panther Martin and Rooster Tails are also usually effective.  Willow Beach can be hit or miss bait fishing.  Try different baits including swim baits when nobody seems to be hooking anything. 

If you fish Willow beach and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – Trout bite in the casino area is slowing down from the casino area to below the Rio Lomas Beach.  The accessional large stripers are still being caught from the dam down to the Gorge.  Many of these fish are in the 4-12 pound range.  Justin and Bill weighed in a 9.38 pound striper at 29 ⅛ inches caught at the Rotary Park area.

Rainbow trout are located throughout the river below Davis dam, but anglers typically report catching trout on the Arizona side across from the Riverside, off the shore of Davis Camp and in the Big Bend area.  Rusty at the Riviera Marina sent pictures of several successful trips to the river. 

Night crawlers, mouse tails, rooster tails and Panther Martin’s are the reported best bait for these beauties but power bait has also been successful. He also sent a picture of Mike’s 11 pound and 5.28 pound stripers caught with a pencil popper.  John M. caught a nice 2.72 pound largemouth in the Sunshine Cove area using night crawlers fishing from shore.  Rusty is sponsoring a fishing tournament to benefit the local senior nutrition program if you are interested stop by his shop.

Remember to fish for trout, you need a trout stamp on Class A and Lifetime fishing licenses.

Water levels on the river fluctuate, so be careful. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

TOPOCK GORGE - Most bass are being taken on minnows and night crawlers. Reports are that stripers are returning to the Gorge.

TOPOCK MARSH – The action at Topock Marsh has been picking up.  Reports are that the crappie bite is on.  Night crawlers and live minnows have been tempting catfish and largemouth bass from North Dyke.  Folks were catching their limits of largemouth on spinner baits mostly.  Remember the minimum of 13 inches for largemouth bass in the Marsh.

You can access the marsh by boat at the North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of area for shoreline fishing too. For more information on the marsh, contact the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge at (760) 326-3853 or go to http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/havasu/index.html.


SOUTHWESTERN WATERS

Previous reports:

Note: If you would like more information on southwestern waters, visit http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/where_fish_southwest.shtml. Our Yuma Regional office has recently updated all the information to provide you more insight into these fisheries. If you have a fishing report or good fishing pictures to share (JPEG), send them to our "Been Fishing" site at BFishing@azgfd.gov. For more information, visit the "Where to Fish" pages at www.azgfd.gov/h_f/where_fish.shtml.

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ALAMO LAKE -  Report from Mark Knapp, Park Ranger at Alamo Lake State Park: Well folks, finally  I got some good news for you.  The winds are starting to settle down, and fishing is picking up.   Junior and I have been picking up some nice sized bass by throwing plastics off the points right across from Cholla ramp.

Other anglers have told me that they’re doing good throwing spinner and crank baits. I even had reports of anglers catching some decent sized fish throwing top water.  Zara spooks seemed to be their bait of choice.
Crappie fishing is decent.  Anglers are catching 10 to 20 trolling road runners with a minnow trailer in the upper end of the lake.  Just look for the flotilla of boats.  Remember, they have lots of line out behind them, so give them lots of room.  I have been doing good throwing a small jig through the brush piles in about 8-10 feet of water.  Most are full of eggs and have not spawned yet.  I have also caught a lot of bass throwing the same thing.

I'm using a 1/8-ounce jig with or John Deer-colored skirt.  We recommend using Cholla ramp for launching.  You can still use the old rental boat road but it’s starting to get holes and makes loading difficult in the winds.
I have no clue what the lake level is this week.  I'm guessing around 1097ish, with releases of 25cfs.  We’re still trying to figure out if they’re going to lower the lake to inspect the bulkhead. but nothing for sure yet.
Anyway, in a nutshell, fishing is picking up.  Come on out and see us.  If you’re going to camp we encourage that you go online and make a reservation.  You can also call our reservation center and do it over the phone.  The number is (520) 586-2283.  That's all I got this week.- Mark

Also, a bobcat sighting and fair bass bite reported by Gary Senft, a bass pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, who fished last week on Friday and Saturday.  He said the previous week's winds cooled the water temperature from 69 to 61 degrees, and the water level was below the boat ramp. He said the best largemouth bass bite was in the morning on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, dropshots and Texas rigs. With the Texas rigs, he used 6-inch Roboworms and baby brush hogs. He said he tried the top-water bite, but to no avail.

The upper end of the lake is dirty, with 5-7 feet of water clarity. "But the wind dirtied the water up by the whole afternoon, anyway," he said.

Shad are spawning as well. Which led to a bobcat sighting.  "We saw a neat thing," Senft said, "a bobcat came down while we were fishing and saw the carp and catfish on the bank chasing shad, breaking out of the water. You could see cats with their mouths snapping like a a snapping turtle, just catching shad. Then this bobcat ran out to the water, grabbed a cat with its claw, scooped it out and grabbed it in its mouth and ran up the hill. Never seen anything like that in my life."

LAKE HAVASU -  Some larger-than-average redear sunfish have been caught, including one that unofficially weighed about 5 pounds and nearly challenged a world record. Biologists think the presence of quagga mussels, which the redear feed off of, has caused an upswing of redear sizes. Fishermen are still reporting catching very low numbers of striped bass, although a couple of anglers have commented that the ones they do catch have been much larger than is usual for Lake Havasu, in the 6 to 8-pound range.

COLORADO RIVER (PARKER STRIP AREA) -  Falling over night temperatures should start slowing the catfish bite down.  The strip is home to both flatheads, and more commonly, channel catfish.  Channels cats can be found throughout the strip but are typically in the areas with shoreline vegetation.  A variety of stink baits can be productive as are goldfish or small bluegills for both species of catfish Small mouth and largemouth bass are also found up and down the river.  Many anglers have switched to sight fishing as water clarity has significantly increased since the introduction of the aquatic invasive quagga mussel.  Boaters are reminded to clean drain and dry their watercraft before taking them to another body of water. 

COLORADO RIVER -  (Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam, including backwaters and Martinez Lake) – No new reports. From last week: A 7.75-pound bass was recently taken from a backwater spot (see photo). This stretch of the river is best known for its trophy-sized flathead catfish, with some over 70 pounds and largemouth bass, with some over 10 pounds. However, it can also be good for channel catfish, sunfish and carp and to a lesser extent striped bass, crappie and tilapia.

Largemouth bass fishing is generally best in the backwaters or near the mouth of the backwaters. There are many different techniques used for largemouth bass. As a general rule, most people will use topwater lures such as buzzbaits or spinnerbaits in the early morning and then switch to jigs, crankbaits, or swimbaits as the day progresses. Using plastic baits that resemble worms, crawdads, frogs, or lizards often work well. It is generally best to fish around structure such as weed beds, emergent vegetation, tree stumps, brush, or boat docks. Fishing picks up as the water temperatures warm up in the spring and summer but largemouth can be taken any time of the year.

Flathead fishing is generally best in slack water areas, deep holes, or near overhanging vegetation along the main channel of the river. Flatheads prefer live bait such as bluegill or small carp and fishing is best at night during the summer months. Channel catfish are wide spread in the main river channel and backwaters and will bite on night crawlers, chicken liver, stink bait, or about any other "smelly" bait. They can be caught year-round but probably bite best at night.

Bluegill are also widespread, but are most likely to be found around structure in the backwaters or slack water areas. Bluegill will bite on meal worms, night crawlers or small crappie jigs.

MITTRY LAKE -  No new reports. From last week: Mittry Lake offers many fishing opportunities. There are ten man-made jetties on the eastern shore for shoreline anglers, but the lake is most effectively fished by boat. There is a good concrete boat launch near the southern end of the lake, with a courtesy mooring dock. There is also a more primitive gravel ramp toward the northern end of the lake. There are restrooms and trash facilities at the main boat ramp, which also sports a large ramada for public gatherings.

Mittry Lake can be a bit frustrating at time, especially for bass fishermen. There are plenty of bass in the lake, with a few in the eight to ten pound range, occasionally larger. However, the bass are sometimes finicky, and it can be challenging to bring any in on some days. Other days, the bite can be wide open. Windy, or changing weather often brings on the bite.

Techniques for bass fishing vary widely. When fishing for bass in the cooler months, and bass are less active, fish deeper water with jigs, swimbaits, or plastics using a slow retrieve. As the water warms up in the spring and summer, bass become more active and move to shallower water.

During that time most people use plastics, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, or crankbaits with a faster retrieve. Plastic baits resembling worms, crawdads, frogs, or lizards can also work well. For best results fish around structure such as weed beds, emergent vegetation or where shoreline brush edges the water.

YUMA AREA PONDS - Final stockings of trout have been made in Yuma area ponds for the season. Fortuna and Redondo ponds were stocked on Feb. 16, and the Yuma West Wetlands and Council Park (Somerton) ponds were stocked on Feb. 23.

CENTRAL MOUNTAINS

Updated reports:

WILLIAMS LAKES:  

KAIBAB LAKE —  Campground is closed.  No report  Has been stocked.

CATARACT LAKE —  Campground is closed.   No report  Has been stocked.

CITY RESERVOIR —  No report

DOGTOWN LAKE —  Campground is closed. No report  Has been stocked.

JD DAM — No report.  Remember the lake is managed as a catch and release fishery.

SANTA FE — No report. Has been stocked

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is closed.   

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:

LOWER LAKE MARY —  Lower Lake Mary has been stocked with 20,000 Rainbow trout.  Fishing has been excellent using small black roostertails and other spinners.  Folks fishing with small spoons are also doing well.  There have been fly anglers who have had 100 fish days on the lake.  Bait fishermen have been catching trout on rainbow Power Bait but at a slower rate than folks fishing with lures or flies.

UPPER LAKE MARY —   This is a good time to fish for pike on Upper Lake.  Try the standard pike lures or anchovies under a bobber.

ASHURST LAKE —   The road opened last week.  The lake was stocked last week and fishing for holdover trout and fresh stockers was excellent over the weekend.  Folks using small gold spoons and spinners were doing well.  Fly fishermen were also catching fish.  Power Bait was also working.  

FRANCIS SHORT POND –  Fishing has been good.  The lake is being stocked weekly.
 
KINNIKINICK LAKE — Road is open.  This is the time of year to catch a nice brown trout on the lake. 

OAK CREEK — No report. Scheduled to be stocked this week. 

LONG LAKE — We have had a few reports that the pike fishing has been good on Long Lake,

BEAVER CREEK –  No report 

WEST CLEAR CREEK - No report 

STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.

BLUE RIDGE —  Road is open and the lake is full and spilling.

KNOLL LAKE — Road is still closed

VERDE VALLEY:

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Catfish were last stocked for the Verde River Days event.  The last trout stocking was scheduled the week of March 10.   Catfish and bass bite has slowed due to the cold temperatures. The trout bite should be excellent considering the recent stockings. 

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – The last scheduled stocking was the week of March 17.  Always check your regulations before fishing this area with live bait. Game and Fish Commission Rule requires anglers to only use live bait that has been caught in the river. No transporting of live baitfish or crayfish is allowed. 

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PRESCOTT AREA:

FAIN LAKE — The last scheduled trout stocking was the week of April 15. The next tentative scheduled stocking will be the week of April 29. I have not heard any reports from Fain in a while.          

GOLDWATER LAKE — Report are that some trout are being caught but it can be hit and miss.  Damon sent a report that he has been doing very well fishing by the dam using yellow sparkling marshmallows several feet from his sinker. Other reports indicate cormorants and anglers have cleared out much of the fish supply from the last trout stocking, which was the week of April 7.   The next tentatively scheduled stocking is the week of May 6.

If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

GRANITE BASIN LAKE – Bluegill and some catfish are still being caught.  If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others. 

LYNX LAKE – The last scheduled stocking was the week of April 7th.  The next tentatively scheduled stocking is the week of May 13th.   
    
Reports indicate Linx, like Goldwater, has been tough to fish because of cormorants cleaning out many of the stocked fish. Unless an angler has a boat, it could be a tough spot to fish.

Generally, cut anchovies, night crawlers or hot dog are your best bet for catfish. Lynx also can be an exciting place to fish for carp.  Common carp are very strong fighters and will provide an excellent table fair.  A quick search on the internet will produce tasty recipes for these robust fish.  Corn and an assortment of other baits will attract these fish.  Lynx can be difficult to fish, if you are not catching anything try moving to a new spot. There are some good spots on the north end of the lake that don’t get fished as heavily as the south end does.

MINGUS LAKE –The last stocking was the week of April 15th.   The next tentatively scheduled stocking is April 29th. 

For trout the best bait is usually orange, pink, or white Power Bait, fished on the bottom with a treble hook and an egg sinker.  Fishing can be really good at times, because angler use is lower than other lakes in the area.

Yellow bullhead catfish are active and easy to catch with nightcrawlers on the bottom.

This lake is more remote than the other Prescott area lakes and not very big.  The lake is open as weather permits.  Forest Road 104 is relatively impassable when wet.  The lake is still open to foot traffic.

Someone illegally stocked yellow bullhead into Mingus several years ago. These fish compete directly with the trout and keep growth rates very low. If you witness anyone, anywhere, moving fish like bass, bluegill, catfish and stocking them, please report it to our Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700.  Illegal stockings cost YOU money!

WATSON – Trout were last stocked the week of March 18th.
   
If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR –   Arizona Game and Fish Department completed a fish survey using gillnets and Electrofishing on April 17, with the help of Prescott Parks and Recreation personnel.  We caught several largemouth bass in the 2-3 pound range.  Largemouth bass are the predominant species in this lake.   If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

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WHITE MOUNTAINS AND RIM LAKES

Updated reports:

Recommended Waters to Fish
A number of lakes have been recently stocked and fishing should be good at Willow Springs and Black Canyon Lakes in the Rim Lakes area and Scott Reservoir, Woodland, Show Low and Rainbow Lakes in the Pinetop/Show Low area.

Tunnel and Bunch Reservoirs in the Greer area and Luna Lake will be stocked this week. Larger, carry-over trout can be caught at Big Lake, Nelson, Scott and River Reservoirs. Catch-and-release fishing at Becker Lake is currently good.

Trout Stocking Schedule

Week of April 8-12:
Black Canyon Lake – 2,673 rainbow trout
Rainbow Lake – 2,124 rainbow trout
Scott Reservoir – 1,237 rainbow trout
Show Low Lake – 1,940 rainbow trout
Willow Springs Lake – 4,680 rainbow trout
Woodland Lake – 3,036 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 5,380 rainbow trout

Week of April 15-19:
Bunch Reservoir – 1,980 rainbow trout
Luna Lake – 5,000 rainbow trout
Rainbow Lake – 1,836 rainbow trout
Show Low Lake – 4,000 rainbow trout
Tunnel Reservoir – 2,124 rainbow trout

MOGOLLON RIM LAKES:
Note: All lakes are now ice-free, but access is still blocked to Woods Canyon and Bear Canyon Lakes due to lingering snowdrifts. The storm last week dropped 18 inches of snow around Woods Canyon Lake, but it should melt quickly.

BEAR CANYON LAKE – The lake is ice-free, but access to the lake is still blocked. Forest Roads (FR) 300 and 34 are still closed to vehicles due to lingering snowdrifts. 

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked with 2,673 rainbow trout last week, as well as getting stocked the first week of April. Recent surveys showed a few larger, carry-over trout up to 19 inches persisting. Black Canyon Lake is ice-free, and all Forest Roads are open and clear to the lake.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake is ice-free, full and spilling. Chevelon Lake is accessible by Highway 99 and FR 169 from Winslow or by FR 504 and 169 from Heber. Access from FR 300 is still blocked. The stream in and out of the lake came up dramatically after last week’s storm, flowing approximately 145 cfs when last checked. Recent surveys found moderate numbers of 16 to 19-inch brown trout, with some up to 24 inches. Rainbow trout were fewer and smaller, but some up to 15 inches.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was heavily stocked with 4,680 rainbow trout last week. Willow Springs Lake is ice-free, full and spilling. FR 149 to the boat ramp is now open. The boat dock is not usable at this time, but will be re-installed soon. The boat ramp is okay.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – The lake is ice-free, but access is still gated shut due to moisture from last week’s storm, which dropped 18 inches of snow in the area. FR 300 and 105 are closed to vehicles. The snow will melt fast.

WHITE MOUNTAINS LAKES:

Note: All lakes are now ice-free. Highways 261 and 273 are still closed to vehicles, but will open soon after ADOT plows through the last snowdrifts.

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is good. Anglers have been catching fat rainbow trout on zebra midges, egg patterns and streamers in the shallows around the boat ramp. The lake is ice-free, but the water level is low. Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release fishing, with artificial fly and lure only, and single barbless hooks only. 

BIG LAKE – Highways 261 and 273 are still closed to vehicles, but access to the lake on FR 249 (Alpine) and from Buffalo Crossing is open. Highways 261 and 273 should open soon after ADOT plows through the last snowdrifts. The lake is now ice-free, but is down about four feet. The store is closed.  There have been reports of triple-digit fish days from anglers who trolled cow bells with in-line spinner or flies such as a wooly bugger. With typical trolling motors, you’ll be in first or second gear, trolling just fast enough to the those spinner blades spinning.

CARNERO LAKE – The lake is ice-free, but Forest Roads 117, 117A and 118 may still have snow drifts blocking access. Recent surveys through the ice found very little dissolved oxygen, and the lake has likely experienced a winter-kill.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – The lake is ice-free, but has not yet been stocked and fishing is poor.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Concho was stocked with 2,000 rainbow trout in March.

CRESCENT LAKE – Highways 261 and 273 are still closed to vehicles, but should open soon after ADOT plows through the last snowdrifts. The lake is now ice-free. The store is closed. Access to the north and middle boat ramps is still blocked by large snowdrifts. The south boat ramp is blocked by a boat dock that was pulled up last fall.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake is ice-free, and the campground (run by Arizona State Parks) is open.

GREER LAKES – All Greer lakes (River, Tunnel and Bunch Reservoirs) are ice-free and full. Roads to the lakes are open and clear. Tunnel and Bunch will be stocked this week with 2,124 and 1,980 rainbow trout, respectively. There are also some larger, carry-over trout present in each lake. Recent surveys found rainbow trout up to 21 inches and brown trout up to 22 inches.

HULSEY LAKE – The lake was drained immediately following the Wallow Fire to help reduce expected flooding on Escudilla Mountain and has not been stocked since the fire.

LEE VALLEY LAKE – Highways 261 and 273 are still closed to vehicles, but should open soon after ADOT plows through the last snowdrifts. The lake is ice-free. Winter surveys through the ice found very little dissolved oxygen, and the lake has likely experienced a winter-kill.

LUNA LAKE – The lake is ice-free. Trout fishing will be good by the end of this week after it has been stocked with 5,000 rainbow trout to replace fish lost to a winter-kill. The road to the lake is open and clear.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is closed for the season. 

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair for large, carry-over trout. The lake is ice-free, full and spilling. Nelson will be stocked when the lake stops spilling.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked last week with 2,124 rainbow trout. Angling for illegally stocked northern pike is fair; over 250 pike were removed in March in an effort to improve fishing for bass, sunfish and trout. The lake is ice-free, full and spilling. The weeds have not yet started to grow, so boating conditions are good.

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked last week with 1,237 rainbow trout. Recent surveys also found good numbers of 12- to 16-inch carry-over trout. The survey also found channel catfish up to 10 pounds and largemouth bass up to four pounds. The lake is ice-free and full. The water was slightly turbid last week.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is very good. The lake was stocked last week with 1,940 rainbow trout and will be stocked again this week with 4,000 rainbow trout. Recent surveys also found many one- to three-pound walleye (with some up to nine pounds), several channel catfish over 10 pounds, and moderate numbers of one- to two-pound smallmouth bass. The lake is ice-free and almost full. The fishing piers were damaged over the winter by ice flows and are currently not usable. Plans to re-install the fishing pier near the boat ramp are being developed. The concession store is open, and boat rentals are available. The spillway campground and the road over the dam are still closed. The main campground is open.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is excellent. The lake was stocked last week with 3,036 rainbow trout. Woodland Lake is ice-free and full.

WHITE MOUNTAINS STREAMS:

Note: Highways 261 and 273 are closed to vehicles for the winter, but should open soon after ADOT plows through the last snowdrifts. The Black River and Buffalo Crossing area are accessible on Forest Roads from Alpine.

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Highways 261 and 273 are closed, but the East Fork Black is accessible by FR 249 to 276 and by FR 26 to 24. The river is flowing a little high. Trout stocking will begin in May, but fishing for wild brown trout is currently fair.

WEST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Highways 261 and 273 are closed, but the West Fork Black is accessible by FR 249 or 26 to FR 24, then to FR 25. The river is flowing moderately high. Trout stocking will begin in May, but fishing for wild brown trout is currently fair.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER IN GREER – The roads and stream are accessible in Greer, but fishing is slow. Water temperatures are cold, and the stream is running a little high.

SHEEPS CROSSING – Highway 273 is still closed, but should open soon after ADOT plows through the last snowdrifts.

SHOW LOW CREEK – The access road across the dam is still closed, and the large pool below the dam is not scheduled to be stocked until June.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is fair for large rainbow trout and Apache trout. The stream is now open to general fishing regulations from April 1 through September 30. The upper section is now closed to angling during the general regulation season. Flies and lures will continue to work well until many of the carry-over trout have been harvested, and nightcrawlers will also be effective. The stream is running clear and has not been affected by snowmelt.

SOUTHERN WATERS

Updated reports:

Please send me your fishing reports from Southern Arizona!  Fishing reports for southern waters can be sent to Amberle Jones, Regional Sportfish Biologist by email at akjones@azgfd.gov.  These reports will then be complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.

Spring is here and with it comes increasing water temperatures meaning that fish are becoming more active.  Anglers can expect to see increased activity in the largemouth bass as they prepare to spawn.  Followed closely behind the largemouth bass will be the spawning of the sunfish species.  Anglers should concentrate their efforts in areas of likely spawning habitat near shore.

Trout stockings are all but over for the southern half of the state but anglers can still expect to find trout fishing opportunities up until water temperatures reach the mid 70s.

Need ideas on where to go fishing?  Try the Department's new interactive Fish and Boat Map: Fish and Boat Arizona.

RIGGS FLAT — Riggs Flat is now open and the lake will be stocked the week of April 22nd.  This scheduled stocking will include fish that were originally scheduled to be stocked in May.  Approximately 6,000 trout will be stocked in this single stocking.  Future stockings as scheduled in June will be dependent on water quality at that time.   To view the entire summer stocking schedule go here: 2013 Summer Stocking Schedule

CLUFF RANCH — No recent reports of success.  The pond is full and there should be no problems with boat launching.  Visitors are reminded that it is illegal to obstruct the use of the boat ramp by anglers trying to launch the boats.  No parking, standing, sitting, swimming or fishing is allowed on the boat ramp.  For lake information call (928) 485-9430.

ROPER LAKE —  No recent reports of success.  For lake information (928) 428-6760. 
  
DANKWORTH POND — Still closed for renovations as State Parks puts the final touches on several construction projects.  The Department already began the restocking process with the introduction of bluegill sunfish.  The stocked fish were in good condition and should be ready to spawn as water temperatures rise.  Additional stockings occurred this past weekend with 1.5 to 2.0 lb channel catfish.  Largemouth bass will be stocked once the sunfish population has become established. 

FRYE MESA RESERVIOR – Anglers continue to report success in catching Gila trout.  Remember that the daily bag and possession limit for this species is 1 fish. Frye Creek above the reservoir remains closed to fishing. 

ARIVACA — Open to anglers, water levels continue to be severely low and the lake continues to drop.  All boat launching is at the risk of the owner.  Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be immediately released alive. 

PENA BLANCA –  Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be immediately released alive.  Additionally all mercury advisories against the eating of warmwater fish caught at Pena Blanca Lake remains in effect.  Future testing will determine if and when these advisories will be lifted.  Boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.   

PATAGONIA —  Fishing for warm water species such as sunfish, bass and catfish will slowly pick up as temperatures continue to rise . The lake level is down and boaters should use caution as obstructions can appear as water levels drop.

PARKER CANYON — As water temperatures continue to rise fishing for warm water species will slowly pick up.  Anglers are reminded that the bag/possession limit for channel catfish is now 4 fish.  Contact the Parker Canyon Lake Store for up to date information on lake levels and fishing activity at www.parkercanyonlake.com or by phone at (520) 455-5847.

 ROSE CANYON LAKE — Rose Canyon is now open.  Summer trout stockings has begun and a second stocking will occur the week of April 22nd.  To view the entire summer stocking schedule go here: 2013 Summer Stocking Schedule

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