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May 9 Fishing Report

Posted in: Fishing Report
May 9, 2013
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Hello, anglers!

Our Fishing Report editor, Nick Walter, is headed to Kingman for a commission meeting this week, so other staff members are filling in for this report. Overall, not a lot has changed in the state-wide fishing scene since last week.

With this weekend’s new moon, nighttime crappie fishing with lights should be effective, and striper fishing is picking up in fisheries such as Lake Pleasant. At Bartlett Lake, where Nick fished late last week with Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass ProShops, bass still were in a lethargic biting mood as many were recovering from their spawn. Bass were biting around shoreline structures on 6-inch Zoom lizards in watermelon colors and Roboworms.

In the high country, trout stockings are in full swing and all the rim lakes and streams are open. Many anglers are limiting out in a matter of hours using Power baits, salmon eggs and small size-0 spinners. See the spring-summer trout stocking schedule.

Also, you may have seen reports on fishing forums of dead fish at Coolidge Dam/San Carlos Lake. Arizona Game and Fish does not manage this fishery; however, the San Carlos Apache Tribe tells us that last weekend, as water was being released from the dam, electricity went out for four days and  the gate could not be shut again. Thousands of fish died. Those fish have been cleaned out, San Carlos Apache Tribe tells us, but because of muddy conditions the area may not be fishable.

Finally, next week is National Safe Boating Week (May 18-24). In Lake Havasu City, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 18, at the beach at Rotary Park, there will be a life jacket exchange. A used, type-3 life jacket can be exchanged for a new type-3 PFD (no type-2s.)

To easily locate 150 of our state's top fisheries, check out our interactive fishing map.

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19th Annual Payson Wildlife Fair set for Saturday

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.



ANGLER REPORTS:


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Caleb Hubbard caught this 5.21-pound, 24-inch catfish at Evelyn Hallman on Friday, May 3 using worms.  It was nice to see they added some water to the pond.  You have to contend with sunfish using worms though as they are very active.  Caught several green sunfish and crayfish going for the worms.  All fish including the big one were released for someone else to catch.

Bob F. drove just eight minutes to his local Urban Fishing Program lake for a healthy dose of catfish: Used night crawlers with No. 6 Kahle or octopus hooks. Fished Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings from sunrise till about 1 p.m. Averaged 12 fish per day with 20 on Sunday. All were catch and release since my wife is allergic to the soy in the hatchery food. Biggest measured was 24 inches and 5 pounds on a new Bass Pro scale, but had one about 30 inches when I didn't have a tape or camera. Average would be about 17 inches, 2 -3 pounds. Seemed like they were running in schools, 5 - 6 fish in 20 minutes, and then nothing for a while. At times I couldn't use two poles and had several doubles. Gotta love the Urban Program, just eight minutes from my house and worms on the way.

Kameron J. got rigged for Riggs Lake and had a trout party: Went to Riggs Lake this last weekend and the fishing was great.  Caught about 10 to 12  trout in about four hours and lost a bunch more. Everybody around me was catching them too.  They would not bite bait, caught everything on spoons and spinners.

Tom L. did not “luck out” at Knoll Lake last weekend: Was up at Knoll Lake Friday 5-3 thru 5-5 with six other buddies hoping for a great trip with lots of fish like we had last year during the same weekend -- but there was no such luck this time.

Todd B.’s report from Red Mountain and the lower Salt: I fished Red Mountain for a couple of hours this morning without much action. Targeted panfish throwing a Rebel Teeny WeeR and a jig spinner.  I fished the whole edge of the lake.  Some catfishers out on the lakeside with stringers of cats.  I then moved up to the Lower Salt River and fished Blue Point.  Had some action on small planter trout and a whole mess of weeds every cast.  Super windy out there so it made for some tricky fishing.  I threw a drop-shot w/trout worms with hook 12 inches above the weight.  Took a pic of the shells that are all over the beach above the bridge and a pic of the water level. Seems to be getting a little more water this time out there.  Thanks, AZ, for the fishing.

Tom L. was up at Knoll Lake Friday, May 3 thrrough Saturday, May 5 with six other buddies hoping for a great trip with lots of fish like we had last year during the same weekend, but there was no such luck this time. Actually there wasn't any luck for just about everyone fishing Knoll last weekend. We were using Power Bait, salmon eggs, in-line spinners, spoons, and small crank baits with no luck at all. We fished from the dam, trolled, and used a canoe to get to other spots along the shore of the whole lake and didn't even get a bite. Talked to one guy that had a fish finder and he said the lake is full of fish but they weren't catching them either. Heard of two other anglers each catching one. One with a worm under a bobber, the other with power bait off the bottom. However they each fished for eight hours to catch their one trout. Would of liked to fish Sunday as the barometric pressure was dropping with the storm front rolling in, but water was too choppy with white caps. Oh well, we'll get them next time! 

                                                                              
Q & A


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I caught this Apache trout, or at least I think it was, at Christopher Creek over the last weekend. My first ever! And I'm thinking that was a very, very, very rare catch for that creek. Thanks! Ryan L.

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    Ryan – Thanks for sending the photos! Although you weren’t asking specifically for identification, I can tell you it’s not an Apache trout for several reasons.  Apache trout don’t have parr marks (or are extremely rare), which are the dark oval marks you see. Also, the Apache trout lack any pink coloring (which you can see on the gill plates) and have larger and fewer spots than rainbows. So, to us this looks like a rainbow. There's a small possibility it’s an Apache x rainbow hybrid, but we would need more detailed photos. - 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 – On angler reported catching catfish on a marshmallow-shrimp combination at Red Mountain Lake in Mesa, with two going more than 5 pounds. And another (see above report), also at Red Mountain Lake, averaged 12 catfish per day last weekend with 20 on Sunday.

Another catfish stocking took place the week of April 29 – May 4 at all Phoenix and Tucson area Urban waters. Cats from previous stockings have been biting very well on worms, stink baits, and hot dogs or shrimp fished on the bottom.

Catfish have been active throughout the day with mornings and evenings best. Worms (night crawlers) have been the top bait for three Urban category Big Fish-of-the-Year entries, all in March. Robert Foy hauled in an 8.2-pound, 22-inch largemouth bass from Red Mountain. Kyle Johnson harvested a 26-inch channel catfish out of Kiwanis Lake that went 8.3 pounds. Tucson’s Kennedy Lake gave up a 13 pound, 28-inch common carp to Roy Castleman. Check out these and other big fish entries at http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/edits/big_fish.shtml.
Bluegill and other sunfish species are beginning to spawn at all urban waters, which causes them to become more aggressive and active. Best baits for the feisty, 5-8 inch bluegill are worms or mealworms fished under a small bobber or on the bottom using a small split shot.

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 keepable size for bass is 13 inches.

At Green Valley lakes (Payson) fishing is good for trout in the 11-13 inch range. Try Power Bait or worms off the bottom. Trout stockings at this higher elevation Urban lake will continue until mid May. Also at Green Valley, there is a good bite going on for crappie and bass. Use small jigs and plastic worms.


LAKE PLEASANT – A report from Jerremy Hoffman, fishing manager at the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse: Went up to Pleasant yesterday evening, found a good spot up a northern cove just before sundown and started killin’ the stripers!

We were just cruising around and started to see boils everywhere, so we stopped there and threw topwater for a while with no luck. Although we got no love on topwater, there were obviously already lots of fish and shad stacked in this particular area so that’s where we posted up for the evening. As soon as we started with anchovies the action was on. We did catch our fair share of dinks in the 8-10 inch range, but our average size striper was in the 1.5 to 2-pound range. We fished the same spot for six hours before calling it a night, and would have to say that we had a blast. Came home with 18 of the bigger ones and had one heck of a striper cookout this evening. Beer, garlic, lemon, and some Mexican pepper inside of a little tinfoil grilling pan -- excellence!

I’d recommend anyone interested in some excellent night fishing to go out this week before the moon starts coming back. This is a great opportunity to take someone who is just starting to get interested in fishing, or someone that has had some bad fishing trips where they’ve been skunked and lost some interest, because it’s not hard to find the fish right now and you can sit there and catch them until you get bored, tired, or run out of bait. Make sure to grab at least two bags of anchovies for each person going! Those little fish are clever when it comes to thieving bait off of your hook, so be prepared.

Also, there are carp everywhere in the backs of coves right now. Wish I would have had my bowfishing setup with me because the carp were thick. Did not see lots of big ones, but the numbers were there. Water temp was right at 70 degrees before sunset FYI.

After turkey season is over the next new moon should be here again and I’ll definitely be out there giving it a shot once more!

Previously,  Mike McFarland, a professional fishing guide for Hook Up Outfitters, reported that the lake’s high water temperatures of 65 degrees is about five degrees below what it normally is this time of the year. He said there’s no better time for top-water fishing right now. Some largemouth bass are in their bedding phase; try flies, top-water lures or dropshots around shoreline trees in a morning dawn color. Also, he said thousands of stripers are getting ready to spawn and are in 20-55 feet of water on long points and underwater islands and reefs. A lot of the “reefs” aren’t marked by buoys, however, so anglers will need to spot them with sonar or Navionics.

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.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Anglers are catching glass carp, largemouth bass, crappie and even some rainbow trout. The best bite has been in the early morning. Top baits have been salmon eggs and worms (worms being the best), fished not far from the shoreline.

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,109 feet, 54 percent full).  James Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods submitted this report: Good morning rim country anglers – We reported last week that the bass fishing on Roosevelt Lake was going to be great this week and we were not disappointed. Even with the wind, which blew 30 mph at times, the fishing was great.

The water clarity has gotten a little worse due to the wind churning up the water but bass fishing overall was called excellent. I talked with several anglers who were pre-fishing the WON tournament last weekend and catching good numbers and size of bass. One bass over 12 pounds was caught on Thursday, May 2 using a Carolina rig in15 feet water.

The Tonto Creek and Salt River are flowing at about half their normal rates for this time of year which is a decrease from two weeks ago. Yet the lake remains at 55-percent full. The lake water temperature is in the 70s. The top-water bite will again be hot this coming week so look for bass chasing shad on the surface in shallow water along the shorelines, backs of covers or long shallow points. Several top-water baits were reported successful including a Rio-Rico, buzz baits, Pop-R and a paddle tail swimbait made by Reaction Innovation. Spinner baits with a white skirt and double willow-leaf blades were reported more successful than crankbaits for the first time this spring. Jigs, Texas rig worms, senkos, dropshots using a 6-inch Roboworm or a Carolina rig using a 6-inch green pumpkin lizard were also reported successful.

The Crappie fishing was called poor this past week. Anglers reported better crappie fishing at night using live minnows. Crappie lights will be effective this coming week. But check the weather before planning any night time fishing.   Salome Cove and around Windy Hill were reported hot spots for crappie again this past week. A 1/32- or 1/16-ounce jig hook with a 1-inch pumpkin/chartreuse or black-and-blue color grub tail were reported successful. The crappie spawn appears to be winding down, so look for larger schools of crappie in submerged brush in 15-25 feet water.

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


Previous reports:

Please send your reports to BFishing@azgfd.gov 


BARTLETT LAKE – Gary Senft, a local professional and a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, said many bass are in transition from their spawning spots to their summer patterns. The first hour can produce a good top-water bite close to the bank. There is still a jig bite, he said, and he’s still catching bas on ½-ounce Gary Yamamoto jigs. Texas rigs and dropshots are effective as well.

But the trick is as the sun rises, move to points and island and drop worms or use deep-diving crankbaits around ledges for some big boys.

Also around midday, use finesse baits such as baby brush hogs, worms and dropshots.

Senft said he hasn’t seen spawning shad a Bartlett, yet, but that could change this weekend.

Previously, Jeremy Hoffman, fishing manager at the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse, said folks are saying topwater has been incredible in the morning, and the afternoon bite has also been fantastic.

Techniques such as dropshotting, wacky rigging senkos, and lipless crankbaits are proving effective. When fishing lipless crankbaits, Hoffman suggests, 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.

SAGUARO LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,526 feet (95 percent full): One angler reported that bass and bluegill were being caught off docks on nightcrawlers.

Previously, Skyler Clark, fishing manager at the Mesa Sportsman’s Warehouse, said the bass spawn is beginning to wrap up, although some bass remain on their beds. Bluegill and shad are starting to spawn as well as water temperatures are rising to more than 70 degrees.

The top-water bite should be going as well. Top water lures, jerk baits, drop shot Roboworms and senkos are picking up most of the fish.

The bluegill bite is wide open, and small nymphs fished near the bottom in 5-7 feet of water should catch all the bluegill you want. Also, Clark said an angler was using a small crappie jig tipped with a worm near marina docks for some good-sized bluegill.


CANYON LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,659 feet (97 percent full). Skyler Clark of Sportman’s Warhouse said he’s fished both Canyon and Saguaro in the past week, and techniques are similar (see above Saguaro report).

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 Sportsman’s Warehouse of bass weighing 10-pound-plus.  Target deep-water ledges, such as 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.

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.

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.


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 Gustaveson’s May 8 report from www.wayneswords.com:

Lake Elevation: 3596. Water Temperature: 59-65 F. One week after the spring fishing peak and fishing is still good. A lingering cold front has slowed fishing for bass slightly but stripers continue to eat bait in the southern lake. One disturbing note is that lake level is still going down making it uncertain that the lake will raise much during the normal runoff period.  There is still time but the runoff is slow to start.  A lower lake leaves brush out of the water and causes access problems at some ramps.  Hite ramp is closed but other ramps at main access areas are in full operation.

The bass spawn is still on with many occupied bass nests seen in shallow rocky areas.  The cooler weather has caused some nests to be abandoned but male bass will return to their nest site with the warming trend scheduled for this weekend when day time air temperatures are forecast to be near 80 degrees. 

Walleye fishing is at its peak with many fish caught deep on live worm harnesses and bottom bouncing rigs.  Bass anglers are finding walleye success by casting soft plastic jigs tipped with a piece of night crawler and worked slowly along the bottom from 12-26 feet. Walleye are caught lakewide but are more abundant on the north end in the cloudy water.

Crappie are still found in the backs of the canyons. There are more fish caught in the remote areas of the San Juan and inflow areas near Hite. But crappie are caught throughout the lake in muddy water near the backs of canyons. 

Stripers are still the biggest news on the fishing scene.  Catches from the dam all the way uplake to Rock Creek are phenomenal. Many stripers have been tagged in this area for a contest sponsored by Cabelas.  You must be preregistered to win cash and merchandise. Register here: http://www.cabelas.com/browse.cmd?categoryId=107520480

Some tag returns have already been reported but there are many more tagged stripers waiting to be caught. Most tagged stripers are in the southern lake where striper fishing is hot but there are also a few near Bullfrog.

Stripers are being caught on cut bait by chumming along the canyon walls and fishing with a small piece of anchovy or sardine. These 3-4 pound stripers are educated and can quickly steal bait visibly attached to a hook. Those that use invisible fluorocarbon leaders catch fish that steal bait from hooks on monofilament line.  Never attach a hook directly to braided line when bait fishing.    

Some stripers are still hanging out at the back of the canyon in murky water. These fish are best caught by trolling or casting medium to deep diving hard plastic baits. The magic bottom depth is 25 feet where water is stained.  

Stephen Maurer and family were casting tubes and cranks in the back of the Escalante Arm this week to catch many stripers up to 9-pounds. Stephen used a large gold deep diving crankbait to land a 23-pound, 37-inch striper. 


If another option is needed yearling stripers are eating plankton suspended at 25-30 feet in open bays near slick rock cliffs and coves. These smaller but fatter fish can be caught on bait or by casting and trolling small jerk baits where big schools of fish are graphed.

It is really hard to miss now when fishing at Lake Powell. If you have not yet tried fishing here but really would like to do it - This is the Time.


Previous report:

LEES FERRY  - Dean Windham of Lee’s Ferry Anglers said  last week that 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:

Colorado River

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 about 1 foot per week to the current elevation of 1112 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.  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 at around 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 crayfish 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 have 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 – 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.  Anchovies seem to the bait of choice for stripers. Stephen G. brought in a nice catch of stripers from shore in the Needles area and from just downstream of the Avi Bridge using anchovies.  James P. caught a nice 6 pound striper drifting by boat using anchovies. Daniel’s stripers caught from shore by the Avi weighed in at 5.08 lbs., and 3.34 lbs.    

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.  Gerry W. landed a 3 lb. channel catfish on the Laughlin Bay area and rainbow trout from in the Laughlin Bridge area using Jakes Spinner baits and Berkley mouse tails that were red with brown tails.  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 and bluegill bite is hot.  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.

If you notice illegal activities please call the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-352-0700 or online at www.azgfd.gov/thief.  Please refer to our regulations booklet on how to be a good witness.  

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



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.

Previous reports:

ALAMO LAKE -  April 30 Report from Mark Knapp, Park Ranger at Alamo Lake State Park:

Well folks, if you can get out between wind storms you can do alright catching about anything.  Junior and I went out one night last week and caught nine bass, four crappie and one catfish and duck. 

The bass were caught using plastic baby brush hogs. Junior was throwing a ¼-ounce Texas-rigged watermelon green baby brush hog. The bass were in about 4-10 feet of water.  I was catching crappie throwing a 1/8-once jighead with a John deer skirt. The catfish was caught with a 4-inch lizard.

The duck was caught using my Ranger bass boat doing about 30 mph.   The duck took off in front of us and was trying to get a lift.  I backed off the petal and stayed a good 5 feet behind him.  I never run over wildlife out here, but was joking with Junior that we could gave him a little boost to pick up his wind speed. The duck finally got airborne with no injuries.

Everyone I have been talking to has been doing well catching crappie and catfish.  Most are trolling up around the buoy area using a Road Runner jig and minnow trailer. The ones we have been catching are in pre-spawn mode.

We’re guessing the water temp is around 68-70 degrees.  I'm hoping to get back out tonight but the way the wind is blowing I might just stay home and do nothing. I always say, “Then at 4, I'm out the door and out fishing.”

Cholla ramp is still in operation.  The best we can tell is we still have about 5 working feet of water at the ramp.  The rental boat road works but is pretty bumpy coming out.  The lake level is at 197ish with releases of 25 cfs.  The CORE is still considering lowering the lake down to 1070 to inspect the bulkhead to the dam, but nothing is certain right now.

I'll let you know as we know.

Well that's it for this week. - Mark

LAKE HAVASU -  Lake Level: 449.15. May 1 report from John Galbraith of BassTackleMaster.com in Lake Havasu City: The striper bite is good with some quality limits coming from the main river channel north over the sandbar with cut bait or by trolling or casting shallow running (5 feet deep) minnow-style or top-water plugs.

Also, the channel catfish bite is good in the evening using cut anchovies or sardines.

If you want a big channel or flathead, use live sunfish up to 5 inches long, rigged Carolina style, with a one-ounce weight. Most all "big" cats bite best from 7 p.m to 2 a.m.

The smallmouth bass are biting well on wacky-rigged plastic worms and double tail jigs in brown or green pumpkin. Fish these off points or chunk-rock banks where smallies hunt for crawdads. Dipping plastic trailers and worms in Chartreuse dye also helps get bites when bass aren't in the mood.

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:

This is the time of year to fish for trout and pike in the northland.    Fossil Creek is closed to fishing.

WILLIAMS LAKES:  


KAIBAB LAKE —  Campground is closed.  No report  Scheduled to be stocked this week

CATARACT LAKE —  Campground is closed.   No report  Stocked Last Week

CITY RESERVOIR —  No report Scheduled to be stocked this week

DOGTOWN LAKE —  Campground is closed. No report  Scheduled to be stocked this week.

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

SANTA FE — No report  Scheduled to be stocked this week


WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is open.    Scheduled to be stocked this week

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:

LOWER LAKE MARY —  Lower Lake Mary has been stocked with 20,000 Rainbow trout.  Fishing has slowed recently to just good fishing.  Anglers using flies and using small spinners have been doing the best.  Fly anglers are still catching up to 15 fish an hour.   Bait fishermen have been catching trout on rainbow powerbait but at a slower rate than folks fishing with lures or flies.

UPPER LAKE MARY —   This is a good time to fish on Upper Lake.    We had a report of a 22 inch walleye being caught on a waterdog.  A lto of pike were being caught on anchovies and fly anglers were also catching pike.  A few nice crappie were also caught.

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.  Powerbait was also working.  

FRANCIS SHORT POND –  Fishing was good on corn, powerbait or  Velveeta cheese.  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  Stocked Last Week

WEST CLEAR CREEK - No report  Stocked Last Week

STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.

BLUE RIDGE —  Road is open and the lake is full.  Will not be stocked this year due to plans to drain the lake for repairs to the dam.

KNOLL LAKE — the road is open


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 10th.   Catfish and bass bite should increase because of warmer temperatures. 

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – The last scheduled stocking was the week of March 17th.  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. 

PRESCOTT AREA:

FAIN LAKE — The last scheduled trout stocking was the week of April 29th. The next tentative scheduled stocking will be the week of May 13th. 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. The last trout stocking was the week of April 7th.   The next tentatively scheduled stocking is this week, the week of May 6th.     
      
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.     
      
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 29th.   The next tentatively scheduled stocking is May 13th.  

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 17th, 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.  Dwight sent a picture and a report of his successful day at Willow.  He caught a nice bass that put up a fight of over 4 minutes on the opposite side of the dam.  He was using a green weighted Woolley Booger.  If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.



WHITE MOUNTAINS AND RIM LAKES


Updated reports:

Recommended Waters to Fish
All lakes and stream stocking sites will have been stocked at least once by the end of this week. The hottest spots this week are Woods Canyon and Willow Springs Lakes in the Rim area; Woodland, Show Low and Fool Hollow Lakes in the Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low areas; and Nelson, River, Crescent and Big Lakes in the Springerville and Greer areas.

Trout Stocking Schedule


Week of April 29 – May 3
Carnero Lake – 1,650 rainbow trout
Lee Valley Lake – 3,000 Apache trout
Nelson Reservoir – 10,000 rainbow trout
Rainbow Lake – 3,960 rainbow trout
Willow Springs Lake – 4,000 rainbow trout
Woodland Lake – 3,036 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 4,000 rainbow trout
East Fork Black River – 1,400 Apache trout
Little Colorado River in Greer – 800 rainbow trout
Sheeps Crossing – 400 Apache trout
Silver Creek – 500 rainbow trout
West Fork Black River – 400 Apache trout
Crescent Lake – 9,749 rainbow trout
Ackre Lake – 500 Apache trout
 
Week of May 6–10


Ackre Lake – 300 Apache trout
Sheeps Crossing – 750 Apache trout
E. Fork Black River – 700 Apache trout
Little Colorado River in Greer – 660 rainbow trout
Rainbow Lake – 3,960 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 4,000 rainbow trout
Clear Creek Reservoir – 3,315 rainbow trout
Show Low Lake – 4,972 rainbow trout
Black Canyon Lake – 4,474 rainbow trout
Scott Reservoir – 1,980 rainbow trout
River Reservoir – 4,849 rainbow trout
Silver Creek – 528 Apache trout

MOGOLLON RIM LAKES:

Note: All lakes have been stocked.

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake has been stocked; is full and spilling. 

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake will be stocked this week with 4,474 rainbow trout. Recent surveys showed a few larger, carry-over trout up to 19 inches. Anglers are reporting high catch rates mostly of stockers, but also of the larger, carry-over fish. The water level is about 5.3 feet below spill. The boat ramp is usable. 

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake is full and spilling slightly. The stream flow below the lake has dropped significantly to less than one cfs when last checked. Recent surveys found moderate numbers of 16- to 19-inch brown trout, with some up to 24 inches. Carry-over rainbow trout were fewer and smaller, with some up to 15 inches.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was heavily stocked with 4,680 rainbow trout two weeks ago and was stocked last week with 4,000 rainbow trout. The lake is full, but not spilling.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake will be stocked this week with 4,000 rainbow trout. The lake is full and spilling. The store is open, and boat rentals are available.

WHITE MOUNTAINS LAKES:

Note: All lakes will have been stocked at least once by the end of this week.

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is poor to fair. Anglers have been catching fat rainbow trout on midge patterns, nymphs, emergers and dries (during a hatch). There have been recent hatches of midges in the morning and evening just before dark. Recent surveys netted rainbows ranging from 14 to 22 inches. Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release fishing, with artificial fly and lure only, and single barbless hooks only.

BIG LAKE – Fishing is good. Anglers are catching trout on worms, salmon eggs and corn. Z-Rays and flies are also working. The store is open, and boat rentals are available.

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked last week with 2,087 rainbow trout. 

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is good. The lake will be stocked this week with 3,315 rainbow trout.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is good. Concho has been stocked with 2,025 rainbow trout.
 
CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Recent surveys showed that there was not a winterkill, revealing a fair number of 13- to 18-inch rainbow trout and 14- to 16-inch brook trout. The lake was stocked last week with 9,749 rainbow trout. Fly fishers have been catching rainbows up to 17 inches on black woolly worms. The store is closed. Access to the north and middle boat ramps is good, but the south boat ramp is blocked by a boat dock that was pulled up last fall.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is excellent. The lake has been stocked with 3,482 stocker rainbow trout and 500 super-catchable rainbow trout averaging 15 inches. Anglers are catching the larger trout on worms and PowerBait. Anglers are also catching some largemouth and smallmouth bass on lures. The campground (run by Arizona State Parks) is open.

GREER LAKES – All Greer lakes (River, Tunnel and Bunch Reservoirs) are full and recently stocked. Fishing is good, but River Reservoir should be the best fishing as it was heavily stocked two weeks ago with 7,800 rainbow trout and will be stocked this week with 4,849 rainbow trout. Bunch Reservoir was stocked two weeks ago with 1,980 rainbow trout. There are also some larger, carry-over trout present in each lake. Recent surveys in River Reservoir 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 – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked last week with 3, 400 Apache trout and over 3,400 fingerling Arctic grayling. The lake did not experience a full winterkill as previously reported. Recent surveys found moderate numbers of 9- to 10-inch carry-over grayling in the lake. The lake is about five feet low, and launching a boat may be difficult.
  
LUNA LAKE – Fishing is good. Luna was heavily stocked with 4,752 rainbow trout three weeks ago to replace fish lost to a winterkill.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park opened for the season on May 3 for day-use only, and will open for overnight camping on May 24. Fishing will be fair for bass, catfish and carp. 

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is excellent. The lake was heavily stocked the last two weeks with a total of 19,594 rainbow trout. There are also a few larger, carry-over trout from last year. The lake is full.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent. The lake was stocked several weeks ago with 500 super-catchable rainbow trout averaging 15 inches and 3,960 rainbow trout. The lake will be stocked this week with 3,960 rainbow trout. White amur (grass carp) were stocked into the lake under a special permit last week to control the nuisance aquatic weeds that plague Rainbow Lake every year. Please release these fish if incidentally caught so they can do their job at eating the weeds.

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked two weeks ago with 1,238 rainbow trout. The lake will be stocked this week with 1,980 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 water is slightly turbid. 

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is very good. The lake was stocked several weeks ago with 1,250 super-catchable rainbow trout averaging 15 inches and was heavily stocked the week before that with 4,000 rainbow trout. The lake will be stocked this week with 4,972 rainbow trout. Anglers are catching the larger trout on worms, PowerBait and lures. 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 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 open, as is the main campground.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is excellent. The lake was stocked last week with 3,036 rainbow trout. Shore anglers are catching trout on rainbow-colored PowerBait and small Kastmaster lures. Boat anglers have been successful with cowbells tipped with half a nightcrawler.

WHITE MOUNTAINS STREAMS:

Note: Stream trout stocking begins this week.

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing will be good. Forest Road (FR) 276 is open along the East Fork, and the stream will be stocked with 700 Apache trout this week from Diamond Rock downstream to Buffalo Crossing. The river is flowing clear. Wild brown are also present.

WEST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair. The stream will be stocked this week with 704 Apache trout at the FR 68 crossing only. Vehicle access to the West Fork Campground will remain closed through this year. Wild brown trout area also present in the lower end.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER IN GREER – Fishing is fair. The stream will be stocked this week with 660 rainbow trout. The stream is running a little high from snowmelt. Wild brown trout are also present.

SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is fair. The stream will be stocked this week with 750 Apache trout. The stream is running a little high from snowmelt.

SHOW LOW CREEK – The access road across the dam is open. Fishing in Show Low Creek will be poor, as the large pool below the dam is not scheduled to be stocked until June.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good. The stream is now open to general fishing regulations (bait, lures, flies are legal, with a six-fish daily bag limit) from April 1 through September 30. Silver Creek will be stocked this week with 528 Apache trout. The upper section is now closed to angling during the general regulation season.


SOUTHERN WATERS

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.


Previous 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 70’s

Need ideas on where to go fishing?  Try the Departments new interactive Fish and Boat Map: Fish and Boat Arizona


Dankworth_1.jpg
DANKWORTH POND – Still closed for renovations as State Parks puts the final touches on several construction projects.  Bluegill sunfish up to six inches long being stocked for the first time . Also recently stocked to the pond by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona State Parks and volunteers were Channel catfish weighing up to two pounds. A total fish kill occurred at the pond in 2010 because of insufficient oxygen in the water created by an overabundance of aquatic vegetation.   In 2011, the pond was drawn down and a prescribed burn was completed removing a majority of the cattails and vegetation.  The pond was then refilled, and the shoreline is now completely accessible for fishing.  Two more stockings of Channel catfish are planned within the next two months. Largemouth bass will be stocked once the sunfish population has become established. 
 An opening date has yet to be set, but will be announced at http://azstateparks.com/parks/ROLA/index.html.

RIGGS FLAT — Riggs Flat is now open and the lake was stocked with approximately 6,000 trout.  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. 
  

FRYE MESA RESERVIOR – No recent reports of success.  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 — Approximately 1,500 lbs of channel catfish were stocked into the lake the week of April 29th. Anglers are reminded that the bag/possession limit for channel catfish is now 4 fish. The lake level is down and boaters should use caution as obstructions can appear as water levels drop.  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 next stocking will occur the week of May 20th.  To view the entire summer stocking schedule go here: 2013 Summer Stocking Schedule

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