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Fishing report, May 2

Posted in: Fishing Report
May 1, 2013
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Hello, anglers!

All the high country lakes are open, and not only that, get ready -- there’s hardly a better way to catch a fish than to watch it explode on the water on a chugger or popper or stick bait.

The top-water bite, in many fisheries, is either a week away, or has arrived. At most desert lakes, where water temperatures are sneaking into the 70s, the best top-water action will be early in the morning. Unfortunately, many bass haven’t sufficiently recovered from their spawning process to be in an aggressive feeding mood.

Although some are chasing spawning shad, many are inactive and in many cases suspended. Typically at this time of the year, spring fishing conditions have matured, and tons of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and striped bass can be seen busting shad on the surface or gobbling spawning shad in early-bird lakes such as Alamo and Havasu.

Instead, anglers will also have to search the dark corners of their tackle boxes for deep-diving crank baits to fish along points and edges (this is how some anglers have been catching them at Alamo) or simply drop-shotting plastic worms.

Bass typically spawn until mid-June. Some still can still be located spawning in northern coves, and as water temperatures warm, more will have dropped off a bit farther south into secondary shallow-water coves.  Also to locate fish, watch for shad on the surface, as well as bird action – blue herons set up on the shoreline near shad.

Another option? Wait a week, fill up a Thermos with piping hot coffee and become a night rider. Night bass fishing will become prime with the May 10 new moon and some toads will be yanked from desert lakes. The moon also will mark the leading edge of nighttime striper fishing under the lights. (See Lake Pleasant report).

And don't miss the angler's reports. We received a bunch of good ones this week, and you can join this online fishing frenzy by sending your fish photos and stories to

Back to the reports. Bluegill also are spawning. Try targeting coves – look for the bluegill over structure in up to 10 feet of water, depending on water clarity. There must be enough light to hit the eggs for spawning to be viable.

Crappie are still spawning, although there haven’t been any banner-worthy reports.  In a couple of weeks removed from the recent full moon, crappie lights will be effective for night crappie anglers.

In the Phoenix and Tucson Urban waters, another catfish stocking is taking place and these stubborn, whiskered fish have been biting well on worms, stink baits, and hot dogs or shrimp fished on the bottom. Check out the full Urban report: Some Big Fish-of-the-Year entries were taken in March from Urban waters.

Great news: Bear Canyon Lake is open, as is popular Woods Canyon Lake, which will be stocked this week with 4,000 rainbow trout. The store is open, boat rentals are available, and some large holdover trout are waiting to bow your rod.

In fact, we are dumping thousands of trout into a dozen White Mountain and Rim lakes  this week: Carnero Lake (1,650 rainbow), Lee Valley Lake (3,000 Apache), Nelson Reservoir (10,000 rainbow), Rainbow Lake (3,960 rainbow), Willow Springs Lake (4,000 rainbow), Woodland (3,036 rainbow), Woods Canyon Lake (4,000 rainbow), East Fork Black River (1,400 Apache), Little Colorado River in Greer (800 rainbow), Sheep’s Crossing  (400 Apache), Silver Creek (500 rainbow), West Fork Black River (400 Apache).

Don’t forget to check the spring-summer trout stocking schedule before you head out.

And here’s something cool:  a possible inland water catch-and-release state record was caught at Upper Lake Mary on April 26. The angler reportedly caught a 44-inch pike on a 5-weight fly rod, but has yet to submit the catch for a record. Check out the story here:

Also, if you haven't seen it before, check out our interactive fishing map. This Google-based map, invented by Urban Fishing Program Manager Eric Swanson, is loaded with information on 150 of Arizona's top lakes, streams and rivers.

Here's a final, helpful link: This is the online page used to purchase a fishing license. They also can be purchased at any of the 320 license dealers and at Game and Fish offices.

Some quick details: To fish state waters, resident anglers age 14 and over must purchase a Class A general fishing license for $23.50. If you want to fish for trout, a resident trout stamp is $15.75. To fish Urban Fishing Program waters, a Class U urban license is required ($18.50 for residents or nonresidents, no trout stamp required for urban waters). Or, you can buy the Class L super conservation license, which includes a general Class A license, an urban Class U license, and a trout stamp (cost is $53 for residents, $63 for nonresidents).

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


Larry and a buddy hit gorgeous Chevelon Lake and had tussels with trout: Talked with the Black Mesa ranger station and they said gate was open. Here's a pic of my buddy Rob with a  24-inch 5-6 pound brown trout at Chevelon Lake. We didn't have a tape measure so we couldn't submit it for big fish of the year at that lake.

Adam P. can attest to the Apache bass bite: I recently went to Apache Lake over this past weekend and between four of us we caught 100-plus fish drop shotting. Several were over 3 pounds and three were over four pounds. Some of these fish were also caught off of jerkbaits; over 10 smallmouth bass were caught, too.

Lyle D. and family targeted some Castle Creek sunfish and bass at Roosevelt Lake: The Danuser family went out to Castle Creek for some sunfish. A 2-pounder was caught by Carson Danuser. Also, the shad spawn was on near windy Hill on Roosevelt. Fished Strike King square bills super shallow. By midday, we fished Norman deep little N's off points. Ghost shad and splatter bass colors.  Thanks for the reports.

Jeff J. has an important report from Lower Lake Mary: The lake is drying up fast – only a couple acres full. Don’t want people going all the way up there for a Bust!

Robyn S. submitted this picture from Ashurst Lake: Here is a picture of Jared Pensinger and his 36-inch Northern Pike April 27.

Tammy P. overcame frustration to catch a memory: Fished the Aqua Fria arm of Lake Pleasant on April 11. After a frustrating morning of bait changes with little success,  I went to a shad-like crank bait. Wasn't long before I hooked a beautiful largemouth. Can't wait to do it again!!

Troy G. had a wild fight with a pike: I went to Lake Mary this morning for some pike fishing. The first fish of the day was my personal best pike ever! I didn't have a scale, but my guess is about 13 pounds. I marked the length on my fishing rod. When I got home I measured the length with a tape measure. It was 42 inches long! I have never seen a large pike jump clear out of the water, but this one did! It took me almost 15 minutes to land. As soon as I got it near the bank it would take off peeling line from the drag. It is back in the lake for someone else to enjoy catching if they can. I ended up with nine pike total for the day. After this beauty all the other 18-24 inch pike seemed tiny!

Deadhorse bluegill made the day for one young angler: A great time is to be had at the ponds at Deadhorse in Cottonwood. My daughter caught five bluegill in about an hour by dropping a fly in the water off the docks. This weekend has lots of fun in store with the Verde Birding and Nature Festival going on through this weekend.

Todd B., originally from Seattle, went to Payson for some sightseeing to get out of the warmer temperatures:  Stopped by Green Valley Park to check it out.  Stayed for an hour and saw numerous trout being caught on the west end of the bigger lake off the dock.  The wind was pretty steady making it hard to maintain a tight line but the fish were hungry.  I fished for a bit of the hour and caught one and had a few other bites. I was drop shooting  3-inch Power Worms.  Would have been better with drop shooting if there was not so much wind. First cast a hit second a fish and another hit a few casts later.  I have been using a homemade anise/mineral oil dip that has been catching all types the past few weeks including a 3 1/2 foot Amur at Red Mountain and several trout above the bridge at Blue Poit. I've been drop shotting instead of split shotting my worms because there has bunch a lot of muck collecting on my rig at the places I've been going to. Use an Aberdeen hook so the trout can take it. I missed a lot on No. 8 mosquito hooks.


Later on, he also found a Veterans Oasis: Went over to Veteran's Park today in Chandler to toss out a few different crankbaits I just got.  Fished midday for a few hours had some hook-ups. Nothing picture-worthy but got some practice time in. A group of catfishers were out and had a few fish in the basket.  Bass were biting a bit, but were a bit sluggish and biting softly.   All and all, I had a good time and landed some fish and saw fish being caught.  Boy it sure is warm in Arizona.  Thanks AZ for the great fishing.

Q & A:

It’s been almost a year and a half of being told the Boulder Pier would be open by this date or by this date – can you see if you can get the real answer? Ceola C.

  • Ceola: The U.S. Forest Service will hire a contractor to repair the dock because it’s their facility. It’s our understanding the repairs will begin shortly and involve simply replacing a piece that attached the dock to the shore, and so the repair process should not be lengthy. For more information, you can contact the U.S. Forest Service at (800) 832-1355. - Nick

OK, on to the full report.


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

Updated reports:

URBAN WATERS – Another catfish stocking will take 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

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 Jeremy Hoffman, fishing manager at the north Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse: I will make my maiden striper voyage out to Pleasant next week with the coming new moon.

This will be the leading edge of the night time striper fishing under lights. During the summer, you will find lots and lots of folks out burning the midnight oil out on Pleasant with their submersible lights scattered all around the boat hoping to catch their fair share of the plentiful supply of striped bass.

Plan on getting to the lake two hours before sundown to look for a few spots that you plan on fishing (and to catch a little topwater action before the sun disappears!).

Make sure to use your two hours wisely. Troll around looking for schools of shad holding in certain areas, and keep those areas in mind for later in the night in case one of your spots isn’t as hot as you’d hoped it would be. It’s also better to do your scouting during the day to make sure you find a safe path to travel at night that does not have lots of driftwood or hidden hazards.

Popular spots for striped bass in the summer are just outside the tire line by the south marina, the mouths of coves in the northern half of the lake, and far back in the Agua Fria arm. I like to anchor in 50-70 feet of water, and drop the lights immediately. If you do NOT have shad swarming your lights within 10 minutes of dropping them… move. Sometimes you don’t have to move far to make a difference…

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 – If you’re listening to or reading this report you should drop what you’re doing and go fishing. This past week was one of the best weeks this year for fishing on Roosevelt Lake and it looks like more of the same this coming week.

The water clarity has improved significantly over the past couple of weeks and both the Tonto Creek and Salt River continue to bring fresh water into the lake. The full moon this past Thursday clearly brought another wave to bass into the spawning areas. I received reports of a couple bass caught this past week that were over the five-pound mark.

The weather is predicted to be stable this coming week and the water temperature in the lake is in the 70s, which is perfect for the fish and the anglers.

The top-water bite that began two weeks ago is lasting longer and now there are reports that bass can be seen chasing shad at all times of the day. 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 bait in the new clear color, buzz baits, Pop-R and a paddle tail swimbait made by Reaction Innovation.
Crankbaits in smaller sizes, lipless crankbaits and spinner baits in a white color with silver willow blades also produced good results. For the more patient anglers, jigs, Texas rig worms, senkos, dropshots using a 6-inch Roboworm or a Carolina rig will always catch fish on Roosevelt Lake, especially near submerged humps or ledges. The lake level increased another percent this past week and currently stands at 55 percent full. The Salt River is flowing at 50 percent of its normal flow for this time of year and the Tonto Creek decreased slightly this week and is flowing at 90 percent of its normal rate for this time of year.   

The Crappie fishing was called fair to poor this past week.  Some anglers reported better crappie fishing at night near the marina using live minnows. Crappie lights are not very effective right now with the full moon; however, in a couple of weeks, lights will be a useful tool for crappie anglers fishing at night. 

Salome Cove and around Windy Hill were reported hot spots for crappie this past week. A 1/32 or 1/16-ounce jig hook with a 1-inch pumpkin and chartreuse or black and blue color grub tail were reported successful.
The crappie are still spawning too, so be on the lookout for those dark spots lurking in shady spots around a submerged log or brush. A good rule of thumb is: if you think you see a crappie, he is probably there, so make the pitch into that dark spot. Remember that an ultra light power rod with an extra fast action is a must if you’re crappie fishing. Also your line weight must be 6-pound test or less.

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 bass 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 islands and drop plastic worms or use deep-diving crankbaits around ledges for some big boys. 

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

Senft said he hasn’t seen spawning shad at Bartlett -- yet. 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): 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.

Previous reports:

Please send your reports to 

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.

Updated report:

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

LAKE POWELL- Wayne Gustaveson’s April 30 report from

Spring Fishing Peak!  Now is the time to catch any of the Big Six sport fish in Lake Powell.

Lake Elevation: 3596
Water Temperature 58-67

Catfish:  Hitting bait at night on the sandy beach near camp where the boat is parked.

Crappie:  These schooling fish are a bit lost without brush.  While males are making nests in the dirty water at the backs of canyons and coves, many more crappie are schooling in open water in the back of canyons. The key to finding fish is to look for a significant color change from muddy to lightly muddy.  Crappie feel more comfortable when protected by brush but without that, they seek the cover of murky water where they may hide and feed on smaller fish.  Slow trolling and casting small plastic crappie jigs in 4-6 feet of water is the most productive technique.

Largemouth bass:  Like crappie, bigmouth bass prefer to hide in brush. Failing that, they will use deeper water where visibility is lessened.  Normally, casting to the shoreline is the best bass technique but now drifting along shore and fishing the bottom 10 feet off shore and 10-20 feet deep is better. Look for anything resembling a bush or tall rock that may harbour a bass.  Of course, nesting bass can be seen and caught at their chosen nest location. 

Smallmouth bass: Spawning bass are now found in shallow water over the length of the lake.  The best spot is on the breaking edge of a shallow flat leading toward deep water. Find the edge of big rocks, small terraces, rocky points, or better yet, just go look for nests that are so obvious in the clear shallow water all along the lake shoreline.  It is sight fishing time for bass!

Striped bass: Seriously? From Moki Canyon to Glen Canyon Dam pull up to the main channel wall, drop anchovy bait, and catch fish after fish.  Bait fishing is much better in the south but now Moki and Lake Canyon near Bullfrog have turned on too.  There are stripers all along the shallows where bass anglers catch them on grubs, cranks and spinner baits.   They are in deep water in open bays where they can be caught on spoons and swim baits. They are at medium depths near the mouth of coves where trolling shallow to medium runners is very effective. If you don’t catch stripers at the first spot just try a couple more places in the same area to find a waiting school. The best southern striper spot now is at Buoy 25 in the slick rock coves on the south side. 

Walleye: For all night owls- walleye are very active after dark in the same areas where bass are found in the day time.  The sure technique for me is to get out before first light and fish the mouth of coves at a depth of 12 feet to find hungry walleye.  This early morning bite is very dependable but it slams shut as soon as the sun hits the water. Fish the eastern slope in the shade of steep walls to prolong the bite an extra hour.  Muddy water from White Canyon to the Horn is particularly good for walleye

In summary, this is the peak of spring fishing.  There is no reason to wait. Try to get here as soon as possible to take advantage of the ideal conditions now occurring.  Water is stable and warming. Weather is good without high winds in the forecast.  Now is the time. Have Fun!

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: 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

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 or visit

LAKE MEAD – The elevation has continued to drop to 1113 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 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 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 Power Worms 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 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.  

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.  Victor landed a couple nice trout from shore on the Arizona side on casino row using Super Duper and Jakes spin bait which he found worked the best.  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 before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at 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


Updated reports:

Note: If you would like more information on southwestern waters, visit 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 For more information, visit the "Where to Fish" pages at

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 1097ish 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 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.


Updated reports:

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


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

CATARACT LAKE —  Campground is closed.   No report  Scheduled to be stocked.  

CITY RESERVOIR —  No report Has been stocked

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.    


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.   Scheduled to be stocked.

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  Scheduled to be stocked

WEST CLEAR CREEK-. No report  Scheduled to be stocked


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


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 should increase because of warmer temperatures. 

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. 


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. The last trout stocking 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 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 so I can share your successes with others. 

LYNX LAKE – The last scheduled stocking was the week of April 7.  The next tentatively scheduled stocking is the week of May 13.   
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 15.   The next tentatively scheduled stocking is April 29. 

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 18.
If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at 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 so I can share your successes with others.


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/Show Low area; and Nelson, River, Big and Becker Lakes in the Springerville/Greer area.

Trout Stocking Schedule:

Week of April 22-26
Bear Canyon Lake – 1,485 rainbow trout
Bunch Reservoir – 1,980 rainbow trout
Clear Creek Reservoir – 1,980 rainbow trout
Concho Lake – 2,025 rainbow trout
Fool Hollow Lake – 3,482 stocker rainbow trout
Fool Hollow Lake – 1,250 super-catchable rainbow trout
Nelson Reservoir – 9,594 rainbow trout
Rainbow Lake – 500 super-catchable rainbow trout
River Reservoir – 7,800 rainbow trout
Scott Reservoir – 1,238 rainbow trout
Show Low Lake – 1,250 super-catchable rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 2,760 rainbow trout

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
Sheep’s Crossing – 400 Apache trout
Silver Creek – 500 rainbow trout
West Fork Black River – 400 Apache trout


Note: All lakes have been stocked.

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked last week with 1,485 rainbow trout. The lake is full and spilling, with water temperatures of 52 degrees. 

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked two weeks ago with 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, meaning that the boat ramp is usable.  The water temperature last week was 56 degrees.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake is full and spilling slightly. All Forest roads to the lake are now open. 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 will be stocked again this week with 4,000 rainbow trout. The lake is full but not spilling, and had a water temperature of 54 degrees last week.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake will be stocked this week with 4,000 rainbow trout. The lake is full and spilling, with a water temperature of 56 degrees last week. The store is open, and boat rentals are available.


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

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is good. 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 evening just before dark. Recent surveys caught 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. The store is open, and boat rentals are available.

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing has been poor due to a winterkill, but will improve this week as the lake will be stocked with 1,650 catchable-size rainbow trout.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked last week with 1,980 rainbow trout.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is good. Concho was stocked last week 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. Fly fishers were catching rainbows up to 17 inches on black woolly worms last weekend. 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 was stocked last week with 3,482 stocker rainbow trout and 500 super-catchable rainbow trout averaging 15 inches. Anglers are catching the larger trout on worms and Power Bait. The campground (run by Arizona State Parks) is open. The water temperature last week was 58 degrees.

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 last week with 7,800 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 with 3,000 Apache trout this week, as well as with 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 two weeks ago to replace fish lost to a winterkill.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park will open for the season on May 3 for day-use only, then 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 this week and last week, totaling 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. The lake was stocked last week with 500 super-catchable rainbow trout averaging 15 inches and will be stocked this week with 3,960 rainbow trout. White Amur (grass carp) will be stocked into the lake under a special permit this 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 last week with 1,238 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, and the water temperature last week was 58 degrees.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is very good. The lake was stocked with 1,250 super-catchable rainbow trout averaging 15 inches and was heavily stocked the week before that with 4,000 rainbow trout. Anglers are catching the larger trout on worms, Power Bait 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 have been closed, but will open this week. The main campground is open.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is excellent. The lake will be stocked this week with 3,036 rainbow trout. Shore anglers are catching trout on rainbow-colored Power Bait and small KastMaster lures. Boat anglers have been successful with cowbells tipped with half a nightcrawler. The water temperature last week was 60 degrees.


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 1,400 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 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 800 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 400 Apache trout. The stream is running a little high from snowmelt.

SHOW LOW CREEK – The access road across the dam has been closed, but will open this week. 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 500 rainbow trout. The upper section is now closed to angling during the general regulation season.


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  These reports will then be complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.

Updated report:

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

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

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 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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