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June 12 Fishing Report

Posted in: Fishing Report
Jun 12, 2012
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Rory's tips

Here are some tips on where to take good old dad fishing this Father's Day weekend.

Want to escape the crowds, maybe catch some nice fat walleye, largemouth bass and big channel catfish? Don't tell anyone else, but Lyman Lake State Park just reopened after being closed for about a year. That means this lake has had no fishing pressure for a long time. Can you say "dumb" fish?

Here's the other secret for Lyman Lake -- there are no boat motor restrictions here. When I lived in St. Johns back in the early 80s, we used to water ski there.

Also, do you want to catch some 20-plus-inch rainbow trout? Another one of my favorite Apache County fishing holes is producing some huge trout -- Becker Lake on the outskirts of Springerville. I can remember fishing Becker at first light and then going to Lyman Lake to water ski with one of my buddies who worked at the power plant.

If you are in that area of the state, don't ignore Nelson Reservoir. It's often ignored by anglers zooming to Luna, Big Lake and beyond, but it's a decent late-spring rainbow producer. It even has some crappie. And of course, Big Lake is providing some of the best fishing in the state right now for wild-like rainbows, cuts and brookies.

Another one of my favorite fishing spots, the East Fork of Black River, wasn't as impacted by the Wallow Fire as we first thought. We are again stocking this wonderful stream with native Apache trout, so grab some worms, a cane pole, and go give it a try. We also stock Apache trout along the Little Colorado River at Sheeps Crossing, and along the LCR as it winds its way through the Greer Valley.

This week we also stocked some larger incentive brown trout in the 2- to 8-pound range into Ashurst Lake (see picture above) near Flagstaff. Ashurst was already providing pretty good action for rainbow trout, and some small northern pike.

Some other hot spots for trout include Woods Canyon (of course), Willow Springs, Knoll and Blue Ridge. I also really like Kinnickinick this time of year for both rainbows and browns. It lacks amenities and most anglers stay away in droves -- it's a good place to escape the crowds. Don't expect tall, stately ponderosa pines here -- it's wind-blown pinyon-juniper country.

Just had an angler send in a picture of his wife with an 18-pound northern pike caught at Long Lake (see pic on the right). Long Lake is one of those sleeper lakes. When it's hot, it can provide some of the best fishing in the state. When it's not, it's a long, dusty and bumpy drive for nothing. Don't expect amenities, it has none, just a launch ramp. And don't expect pretty (at Long Lake, it's definitely in the eye of the beholder). But if you are looking for an angling adventure off the beaten path. . .

There's some interesting information from Lees Ferry -- the cicadas are already singing. See the Lees Ferry report below to read what this might or might not mean.

For Lake Powell, my friend Wayne Gustaveson has some very definite tips on where and when to fish striper boils. Check it out in the Powell report.

Right now, we have a waning moon with a new moon on June 19 and consistent triple-digit daytime temperatures in the deserts, so it's definitely a good time for night fishing for crappie, striped bass, largemouth bass and catfish in our interior lakes, and along the Colorado River ones as well.

You'll often find crappie suspended in the deeper water, often off extended submerged points. Such areas can also hold bass and catfish. Use submersible lights to attract plankton, which attracts threadfin shad, and the shad attracts predators such as crappie, bass and even catfish at times. Alamo, Roosevelt and Bartlett are all good bets for crappie. San Carlos is way down and the latest information indicates it's almost impossible to launch a boat there.

I chatted with my buddy Mike McFarland, who is a guide with Hook Up Outfitters at Lake Pleasant, and he said right now there are bass fry "everywhere" but especially over submerged points and humps. However, the stripers have mostly gone deep. At first light small stripers actively chasing shad at the surface in places like Castle Creek, Humbug, Bass Bay, Coles Bay and the Agua Fria Arm. The topwater bite is of short duration, at least for the stripers.

Mike said some knowledgeable anglers are catching some huge stripers in the 15-pound range at night using live bluegills (about the size of a silver dollar) over the submerged creek channels in the aforementioned northern coves. Fish the bluegills similar to going after flathead catfish, but use a lot less weight and let the gills be a little more far ranging, but still fish the bottom. And moon phases just don't matter as much for this type of fishing -- you don't need submersible lights.

The picture on the left is from Saguaro Lake. Check out the angler report below.

So go catch some great summer memories. I'll be on vacation until mid-July, but am taking my computer along to post my weekly tips when I have Wi-Fi hotspots, although someone else will be assembling the weekly reports from our six regions and updating their lake-by-lake reports. I will be checking my e-mails, so please send me your individual reports, successes, big fish, great pictures or whatever at

Fishing News

Interactive Fishing Map upgraded in time for Father's Day

Looking for a place to take dad fishing for Father's Day? Then we've got some good news for you.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s recently launched Fish&Boat interactive fishing map has been upgraded to include easier navigation features, Google-based travel directions, and links to stocking schedules.

Finding out where to fish and lots of other great information is just a mouse click away. The upgrades will be available online beginning June 14. Just visit and you will find 150 of Arizona’s best fishing lakes, streams and urban ponds on a Google-based platform.

“The Fish&Boat site has been a real hit with anglers since its first release in March. We are pleased to bring new improvements to the fishing map making it even more helpful and fun for anglers to use,” says Eric Swanson, the urban fishing program manager who spearheaded creating the new site.

Besides showing how to get to each fishing spot, the interactive fishing map also provides information on the type of fish species there, the available facilities and concessions, and even special fishing regulations that might apply. There are even links to the trout stocking schedule, which is now interactive as well.


Note: If you have a fishing report or good fishing pictures to share (JPEG), send them to Rory can also be reached at (623) 236-7214.

URBAN LAKES -- The final spring stocking of catfish will take place the week of June 11-16.

Fishing is good to excellent for anglers using worms, stink baits, or shrimp fished on the bottom. If you want to use bobbers, rig up a slip bobber and fish 8-12 feet deep.

Catfish are biting irregularly throughout the day, but are more active when the sun goes down. Most catfish are from 13-16 inches, but some lunkers over 3 pounds are being hauled out of the lakes.

Bluegill fishing is good for anglers using worms and mealworms fished under a small bobber in 3- to 6-foot depths. Action for largemouth bass is fair, with the best baits being finesse plastics fished in the early morning hours.

At Green Valley Lakes (Payson), fishing for trout is slowing down since stockings wrapped up on May 11. However, fishing for bass, bluegill and crappie is good. Anglers using worms and meal worms under a small bobber are enjoying plenty of action. Also try small plastic or marabou jigs, plastic worms, and dark-colored nymphs or streamers.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Fishing is fair to good, with the best bite at first and last light for bass and sunfish.

This is a good time to try for channel catfish and carp using corn or dough baits after dark.

Keep in mind that although this fishery in in the city, it is not part of the Urban Fishing Program, but you will need the regular state fishing license.

LAKE PLEASANT - The protracted largemouth bass spawn has finally tailed off, leaving lots of bass fry throughout the lake, but especially over points and underwater humps.

According to Mike McFarland, a guide at Pleasant, the stripers have finally gone deep but small stripers can often be caught on topwater at first light in coves, especially the northern ones. During the day, try going deep for stripers using frozen anchovies as bait. Chummin can be productive, especially to hold a school of stripers once you have caught that first one.

Mike said there are some larger stripers in the 15-pound range being caught at night on live bluegills fished in a similar manner as one would fish for flathead catfish, just use lighter slip sinkers so the gills can be more far ranging. By the way, this technique might also get you a lunker largemouth bass or two as well.

Keep in mind there is no limit on stripers at Lake Pleasant and you are encouraged to catch and keep all you can to help the aquatic environment.

The traditional method for fishing at night for stripers is using submersible lights and dangling pieces of frozen anchovies, while chumming to attract or hold schools of stripers.

Fishing is also very good for bluegill and good for channel catfish. Carp fishing is usually pretty good, especially at night using dought bait or corn. Try chumming with corn to attract carp and other fish.

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,114 feet and the lake level is 59 percent.

Bass and crappie fishing has become more sporadic, but is still rated as good.

Expect a decent topwater bite at first light, and then off-and-on throughout the day.

This is definitely prime catfish season. For channels, think sink bait. For flatheads, live bait such as bluegills or small carp work best.

For channel catfish, try any stinkbait. Although you can catch channels during the day, the prime bite has likely shifted to the nighttime hours.

APACHE - Lake elevation is 1,907 feet (93 percent full). Bass fishing is good. You might also find bass chasing shad at the surface, especially at first light. Try working the major points using soft plastic crayfish like lures worked along the bottom. Crankbaits can also work well at times.

A few good sized smallies are being caught -- please practice catch-and-release on these fish, which are in the comeback mode.

Walleye fishing should be decent at first and last light using night crawler rigs, or jigs tipped with worm.

Apache is also full of some really nice yellow bass. Try gold KastMasters or yellow/gold Rooster Tails.

Catfishing should be good. Carp fishing is very good. You might even catch one of the monster buffalo fish (see picture from Canyon Lake).

CANYON - Lake elevation is still holding at around 1,657 feet, which is 95 percent full. While Canyon is the land of the lunkers, it can be tough to fish, especially for novice anglers. Catch rates are typically low and even veteran anglers get skunked here. But the possibility of catching a hawg keeps many anglers coming back time and again..

This is a pretty good lake for bluegill and yellow bass. Try small crappie-like lures, such as 2-inch curly tails, along the rocky shoreline.

Shore fishing for channel catfish and carp can also be viable both day and night right now. As the season progresses, the better fishing for bottom dwellers will transition to the nighttime hours.

SAGUARO - Lake elevation is 1,524 feet at 92 percent full. Largemouth bass fishing is good.

The bite is a little more sporadic right now. Keep an eye out for surface boils -- it's topwater time.

Recreational boating congestion is also increasing significantly -- get on the water at first light, or fishing at night.

As you will see in the angler report below, this is a good time to load up on spawning bluegill.

Saguaro is also a quality channel catfish lake. Try stink baits, hot dogs, chicken livers and the like. Also try chumming with corn.

Angler report:

Hello Rory,

Just wanted to give you my fishing report from Sahuaro Lake last weekend on 6/9/12.  I caught 5 on topwater at first light all in a 15-minute span.

Then I started jigging with a single tail grub worm in some heavy cover about 15 to 25 feet deep when I hooked into the 7.8-pound bass shown in the picture (on the right).  Ended up with 8 bass total from 5 to 9 a.m.


Grant Hottmann

BARTLETT – Lake elevation 1,754 feet, 46 percent full.

Fishing is generally good for 1- to 2-pound largemouth bass and is also doing well for crappie at times. Square-billed crankbaits are working well, or anything that resembles a crayfish from soft plastics to small crankbaits.

The night fishing for crappie is decent at times, and should pick up with the waning moon. The new moon is June 19. Although most crappie are small, there are just enough slabbers to keep it interesting. Try live minnows fished under submersible lights. It's also possible to catch crappie during the day, especially at first light.

This is the leading edge of the really good flathead catfish bite. Try live bluegill or small carp as bait. Look for the deeper holes, especially uplake where there is a little current.

For bluegills, try the backs of rocky coves using night crawlers or meal worms on light tackle.

HORSESHOE - Lake is empty.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – They are releasing from 1,030 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro. Has not been stocked recently. You migth still catch some trout, especially in the swifter runs or deepr holes.

It's also possible to catch bass and other warmwater fish in the deeper holes.

Creeks Below the Mogollon Rim

The following creeks are being stocked weekly right now:

*Tonto Creek

*Christopher Creek 

*Haigler Creek

*East Verde River

Don't forget we have a new interactive 2012 trout stocking schedule that actually shows the locations we stock along the creeks.


LAKE POWELL -- Report courtesy Wayne Gustaveson at Wayneswords.


Warm Creek traffic lane from Castle Rock Cut to Main Channel.  Boils of yearling stripers start mid morning about the same time the houseboats are on the move through Warm Creek.  It’s a real circus casting between boats and bouncing over wakes but these are the most catchable boil fish close by. They also come up in the evening for the last hour of light.

Padre Bay yearlings boil mid morning on most days, but not everyday. Normally start time is 9 a.m.(MST)

Last Chance and Rock Creek only very early and late slurps but these are larger fish when the come up in low light. They can be caught more often trolling than boiling.

Reflection Canyon.  Striper school, 4-pound size class, near three partially submerged boulders in the channel near mouth of Reflection. Boil only quickly in the evening after the sun goes behind the ridge. Can be caught trolling near the same submerged rock reef.

Piute Canyon - San Juan 4-pound stripers boil at mouth of canyon from 5:30 p.m. till dark. Sporadic slurps during the day.

Hansen Creek - mouth in main channel, 14-inch yearlings boil for 2 hours at dawn.  A few slurps seen from Hansen to Tapestry Wall in the early morning.

Four-pound stripers boil from Red Canyon to the Horn morning and evening.

LEES FERRY -- Report courtesty Terry Gunn at Lees Ferry Anglers.

Currently the fishing is good on the weekdays and great on the weekends due to the lower water flows on Saturdays and Sundays. The higher flow that began June 1, is moving more food around and we are beginning to transition our flies from midges to more scuds and worms. Midges are still working well but as the weather warms and the flows increase it will be more and more about the scuds, worms, and big dry flies.

I’m already hearing cicadas singing along the river. This is the earliest that I can ever remember hearing them; usually they don’t show until closer to the end of June. I’m sure that this means that the hatch and bite will happen much earlier than normal and if we are lucky it might just signal a mega hatch. I have seen years that you can throw a cicada pattern into the middle of the river and a fish will come 20-ft off the bottom to eat it! Every year the hatch is different and I know of no way to predict the intensity or number of bugs; last year was a poor hatch.

The tamarisk beetle has arrived in force at Lees Ferry and all of the tamarisk trees that line the river are either dying or dead. I can’t see how this is going to help our cicada hatch and it is possible that it could have a very negative affect of the cicada populations going forward. It is going to be very interesting to see what the future holds for this hatch. If the cicada hatches declines it will cause no harm to the trout, however, I would certainly miss seeing the trout crash giant dries.

In July the water flows will be increasing and this is the time of year that the fish really begin feeding. This is a result of the higher velocity water moving the larger food items (scuds and worms) around. The flows are not really conducive to wading so most of our fishing is from the boat, drifting cicada patterns or heavy nymph rigs with scuds and worms.

The water flows increased in June as expected. Current weekday releases are from 9,000-cfs to 15,000-cfs. These flows are OK for wading some areas while a little high for wading everywhere on the river. The weekend flows have been low with hardly any rise and if you are in the right spot fishing the right way on the weekends fishing can be incredibly good.

Here is a chart that shows how the flows changed from May to June. This chart is from the real time river recording station at Lees Ferry and can be found here:

It is important to note that this station is 16 miles below Glen Canyon Dam and there will be a time difference between what happens at the dam and at Lees Ferry but learning to read these charts  can give one a very good idea of when the water is rising and falling. Also note that there is only one rise and fall every day as opposed to the 2 peaks we often see in the spring. Each vertical line represents a 24-hr period, from midnight to midnight.

We have been mixing up wading and also drifting midge rigs from the boat which is a great way to get to the feeding fish in the deeper water. This is also a terrific way to cover lots of water and show fish that get very little fishing pressure a fly. The trick is to know where the fish are and then set up your drift do that the boat drifts through the area that contains the most fish. You always want to cast away from the boat towards either shore. The trick is to get a perfect dead drift the same as when you are wading. The best way to do this is to fish slack line on the water. You will need a long leader and the right amount of split shot and as a general rule, if you cannot see the bottom, you are fishing water that is too deep.

Be sure to stop by the shop to see the flies that are currently working. The flies change on a daily basis and every day the LFA guides let everyone at the shop know the top producing flies and how to use them.

The streamer fishing has been picking up and will likely get hot when the water flows increase this summer. The reason for this is that the higher flows move larger food items around (scuds, worms, etc.).

Whirling disease detected for 2nd time at Lees Ferry.

This is the 2nd time that WD has been detected at Lees Ferry. The first detection was in 2007; this was the year that Lake Powell dropped to its lowest level and as a result, the discharge temperatures from the dam were more than 60 degrees. This past year the discharge temperatures increased again, this time it was a result of the huge inflows into the lake which caused another 60 degree discharge. There has always been the thought that it was our cold water that prevented Lees Ferry from being infected with WD and I find it an interesting coincidence that both detections were made during periods of warm water. Water temps returned to normal (48 degrees) last December.

Fishing here this year has been off the charts good and most all the fish that we are catching are in prime+ condition.

Like the Green and San Juan, I’m not expecting this WD detection to have an impact on the Lees Ferry fishery. The one thing that it should impact is our awareness to make sure that we all take the necessary steps to clean our gear so that WD is not spread to other waters in AZ or elsewhere.


LAKE MEAD – The current elevation is 1119 ft msl.  The water level will continue to drop approximately one foot per week.  Be careful boating because structure previously submerged may be at the surface and watch for floating debris. 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 phase before fishing at night -- the best night fishing using lights is during the dark of the moon.  The next new moon will be June 19.  

Fishing for stripers in 50 plus feet of water will normally find the larger fish. 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.  The bite for largemouth and smallmouth was reported good using plastic worms and crawdads with purple and browns in them.  Several fishermen said that top water lures were working for them.  All the fishermen contacted were hopeful for the coming years with rising water conditions and the abundance of baitfish they have seen this year.   

Launching conditions at South Cove have improved as the water level has gone up. There are currently four lanes.  As the water raises logs and other debris can become hazards, so be careful boating.

Angler report:


This past week the striper fishing at night really turned on!

Here are some photos from the latest trips. One lady (Phyllis) from Yuma hadn't caught a fish in over 60 years, while Carol Stines from Phoenix said she hadn't caught a fish on over 50 years!

Both caught a lot of fish this week.

Capt. Don Martin
Stripers Hunters


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 MOHAVE – The lake level has maintained about 642 feet above msl.  The black bass are hitting soft baits when worked slowly especially on grass beds in 20 to 30 feet deep.  Trolling with anchovies in 30-50ft has been producing some stripers, while catfish are on the bottom.  While the number of stripers in Mohave has been decreasing, the quality of the fish caught has increased.  Steve and Bear caught a nice striper on the lake near the dam using anchovy from shore.  Thanks for the report.

Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Next new moon is June 19th.  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.

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

WILLOW BEACH – Willow Beach is stocked every Friday with 3,000 13-inch 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.   Fishing is usually best near the fishing pier after the Friday stocking.  Most of the nice stripers and trout are seem to be caught between river mile 49 and 53.  A picture of a large striper was sent in and was caught around mile 52.  Willow Beach can be hit or miss bait fishing.  Try different baits including swim baits when nobody seems to be hooking anything. 

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. If you fish Willow beach and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.
For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department's web pages at  or visit

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – Trout continue to bite in the casino area with some larger fish in the deep holes.  Several folks have called and spoke of very large trout being caught in the Laughlin area.  Rusty from Riviera Marina sent a picture of a nice 5-plus pound channel catfish and some pictures of trout some folks caught near the Rotary Park area.    Overall the fishing is great on the river with large rainbow trout still being caught.

Topock Gorge- Most bass are being taken on minnows and night crawlers. Smallmouths have ranged from 2 – 5 pounds, and sunfish up to 1.5 pounds.  A 5.5 beauty was the largest so far this year.  Stripers have started to move up river with some quality sizes worth the wait.  Anchovies are still the bait of choice for the stripers.

Rainbow trout are stocked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service monthly during the winter. The fish are normally stocked in two locations; Davis Camp and near The Riverside. Stocking at Rotary Park has made another access point to the river for fishing and has made many people happy.  Trout fishing at the stocking sites is great immediately following the stockings, then the fish move out and you need to find them.

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. This year we have received multiple reports of larger holdover trout being caught.  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 MARSH – The action at Topock Marsh has been steadily improving. Night crawlers and live minnows have been tempting catfish from North Dyke.   Bass can be hit and miss but live bait has been reported to work the best now.  Stripers appear abundant from the February AZGFD survey. Small crappies are being taken throughout 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

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


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.

For more information, visit the updated "Where to Fish" pages at

If you have a fishing report or good fishing pictures to share (JPEG), send them to Rory can also be reached at (623) 236-7214.

LAKE HAVASU -- Report courtesy John Galbraith of, Lake Havasu City, Az.

Lake Level 448.95. Average Daytime water Temp 78 degrees.

 Striper bite best during the first 2 hours of daylight. Trolling or casting topwater or shallow running lures like pencil poppers, Sammys & pointers around the main basin from the entrance to the river south to California Bay. Best anchovy bite is still north over the sandbar to
to Blankenship Bend.

Flathead and channel catfish bite is very good using live bluegills or cut marckerel from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Shallow coves (10 to 15 feet deep) which dropoff to deeper water (25 to 40 feet) hold the biggest population of larger Catfish.

Largemouth bass bite is excellent using topwater poppers/Spooks & frogs. Cast these baits near weedbeds and cattails. The first and last 2 hoursof daylight is the best time to catch the
biggest and most aggressive bass.

PARKER STRIP -- The smallmouth fishing had been good below the dam around Big Rock Island, but has tapered off a little. Try using curly-tailed grubs on a swimming jig head, cast in to the rocky shoreline, and slowly swim the jig back or bounce it along the bottom. Also try topwater stick baits worked across submerged gravel bars in the current, or submerged grass beds waving in the current. You might tie into a smallmouth, largemouth bass or possibly an occassional striper.

This is the time of year for catfish along the strip. One of the more productive areas us along Buckskin State Park. Try using chiven livers. Also, Patria Flats day-use area has a history of producing some fish. Hasn't been much in the way of flathead catfish fishing, but bluegills are the way to go; try any of the back waters below headgate dame. Just be sure to have the proper permits from CRIT.

ALAMO LAKE -- Fishing Report courtesy Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park.

Well folks, just like that were hitting 110 out here. Perfect weather.  I felt my lower back pop back in, crawled out of my cave, saw my shadow, and am declaring an extra 8 weeks of summer.  Now the only down side to this for you folks is that there are very few people out here so your going to be getting allot of stories from  Junior and my fishing trips. 

I do have a friend in Salome that gives me reliable information and says cat fishing is still decent in the upper end of the lake. Junior and I have been averaging 10 to 15 fish a night throwing plastics.  Your going to read this same sentence allot this year.  I have been throwing a green beaver tail and catching some top of the end slot fish.  There is no bite.  You just lift up and if it feels weird then set the hook.  Needless to say Junior sets the hook when in doubt and we catch allot of tree branches rock piles, and unknowns. It's  all good though.  It's how you learn.  One of my camp host, Frank, left for the summer.  He put Junior and I in charge of his boat and said to use it  so the seals don't rot out along with the gas going bad.  I'm making Junior the honorary captain.  I just got done showing him about priming the bulb, the choke, and all the basics one needs to know to operate a boat.  We even made sure the plug was in.  Although he has operated a few of the boats I've owned over the years the Ranger and the 150 black max kinda scares him and he has no interest in driving it.  This has a 50 hse Johnson and should be more his speed. I plan on having him do it all. Launch, drive, and be my guide service.  As we were looking through the boat to make sure we had all the safety gear on board I found a paddle in the back.  I looked at him and said, " You know whats this is for?"  He replies, " you think I'm some kind of an idiot, it a freakin paddle" .  I smiled and said, " your close but it's also going get used on the back of your head if you don't put us on fish tonight!".   No pressure.  Anyway, the lake level is still around 1103 and there still dumping water.  Cholla ramp works fine and you should have no problem using the old rental boat road as a ramp.  Just don't block it.  Pull up in the parking lot.  I've had people so pissed off they wanted to break out windows over people leaving there trailer right there in the water and no one else could launch.  We get winds everyday starting at noonish.  The biting flies are out in force.  Remember sun block and fluids.    O.K. over the years I have shared every dumb thing I have done with you in hopes that you learn from my mistakes.  Last week it was quading with out a helmet.   I can finally take in a deep breath with out tears coming to my eyes from bruised ribs. .  So this weeks school of hard knocks has nothing to do with fishing but is very important and one of those things you think will not happen to you.  My hard drive crashed on my computer and I lost 10 years of photos, files, budget stuff, and all my stories.  Gone, just like that.  To make things worse this happened to my work computer.  Needless to say my boss is not very happy with me at the moment.  So I have this little gadget in front of me called a thumb drive.  You plug in in weekly and it backs up all you files.  I think I will start using it.  Once it sank in as to what all I lost it really made me sick to my stomach thinking I was never getting any of it back.  So, you might want to keep this in mind and give it a try.  That's it for now.  by the way, if you don't hear any thing from me in the next couple of weeks figure things didn't go so good with Captain Junior and to please start looking for me up by the dam area.



Some anglers have reported catching lots of bass tipping the scales from 2 to 5 pounds this spring, which is atypical for Alamo.

COLORADO RIVER (PARKER STRIP AREA) -- Fishing for smallmouth bass over two pounds in size is expected to be good to excellent. In addition, redear sunfish should also be good in the pound-plus sizes.  

The Parker Strip is well known for its smallmouth bass fishing, especially in the area from the dam to several miles downstream. The Parker Strip is also home to some really impressive, dinner-plate sized redear sunfish of two pounds or larger.

Channel and flathead catfish fishing is always fair in this section of the Colorado River. Below the dam, striper fishing should also be fair, using live shad or anchovies. Largemouth bass are abundant, especially in the downstream portions of the Parker Strip. Channel and flathead catfish fishing will be fair to good in this section of the Colorado River as the weather warms up.

Take precautions to make sure your boat and equipment are clean before leaving the water to make sure you don’t spread quagga mussels to other water by accident.  

COLORADO RIVER (Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam, including backwaters and Martinez Lake) 

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 weedbeds, 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, stinkbait, 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 slackwater areas. Bluegill will bite on meal worms, night crawlers or small crappie jigs.

MITTRY LAKE -- Mittry Lake is located just above Laguna Dam, and supports a good population of largemouth bass and channel catfish, and even some good-sized flathead catfish. There are shoreline fishing opportunities at this lake in the form of about a dozen rock jetties, but you’ll probably have the best success in a small boat. Mittry Lake can be frustrating, as the bite seems to be real variable, but the fish are there. It is just a question of getting them to respond to your presentation. The water tends to be very murky most of the year, except for the upper end of Teal Alley where the lake inflow comes in, so play to the fish’s sense of hearing and smell, rather than sight. There are also crappie and sunfish to be caught, although they tend to average relatively small in size. Mittry Lake is well-known locally for the quality largemouth bass it produces, and fishing during the spring spawn will increase your chances of success.

YUMA AREA PONDS -- The Department has stepped up efforts to encourage the recruitment of new anglers, and retention of existing ones. To this end, the Department has increased stocking efforts in a few ponds in the Yuma area that are easily accessed without a boat, within a short distance of the urban center. Those ponds are the Yuma West Wetlands pond, located in the City Park, and Redondo and Fortuna ponds, located about 10 miles northeast of Yuma. Access to Redondo Pond was recently improved with the addition of an ADA-compliant fishing pier, and thick cattail growth was removed at Fortuna Pond this summer, improving shoreline access by many orders of magnitude. All of these waters received multiple stockings of rainbow trout in the winter months; Redondo Pond will be stocked with channel catfish during the spring, and the Yuma West Wetlands pond will receive channel catfish and bluegills. We may be able to stock Fortuna Pond with channel catfish in the future, pending the outcome of the statewide sport-fish stocking consultation with the USFWS that is hopefully nearing completion. Depending on available funding, we hope to continue regular stockings into all three of these shoreline-accessible waters, and perhaps add additional waters to our stocking schedule. These ponds provide an ideal place to take the family. All three waters now are provided with restroom and trash facilities. Special regulations on fish limits are in effect for these waters, so be sure to consult the Regulations before you take fish.

REGIONAL HOT SPOTS -- Alamo Lake will continue to be a hot spot for plentiful largemouth bass and channel catfish, although trophy-sized fish will be uncommon. Lake Havasu is probably currently the premier lake in our Region (and perhaps the State) for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and redear sunfish. Numbers caught will likely be lower, but the quality of the fish much higher. The Parker Strip should remain excellent for smallmouth bass and redear sunfish, and the Colorado River below Walter’s Camp down to Imperial Dam the best bet for large and plentiful flathead catfish. Our spring surveys indicate that there is a very impressive population of flathead catfish in the lower Imperial Division between Picacho State Park and Imperial Dam. Expect many in the 5- to 10-pound size class, but we know of at least one state record lurking in those waters. Backwaters in the Imperial Division above Imperial Dam will continue to yield impressive largemouth bass, up to and exceeding 10 pounds.

If you need any additional information or assistance, don't hesitate to contact the Yuma Regional office at (928) 342-0091, and we will be happy to give you whatever information we have. A very good resource for local fishing information in the Yuma area is the website and forum at


Note: The summer trout stocking schedule can be accessed at


KAIBAB LAKE —  Campground is open.  According to our creel clerk some bass, crappie and bluegill were being caught fishing for trout was slow.  With the warm water temperatures trout fishing will be best early in the morning or late in the evening.  Fish for other species later in the day.  Scheduled to be stocked this week.

CATARACT LAKE —  Campground is open.  Fishing was slow last week.  A few bass and crappie were caught.   Please try to leave the larger bass in the lake to spawn. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

CITY RESERVOIR —     Closed due to Fire Danger

DOGTOWN LAKE —  Campground is open. Crappie fishing was excellent over the weekend when the wind wasn’t blowing.

JD DAM — fishing was good in the evening. Remember the lake is managed as a catch and release fishery.

RUSSELL TANK -   The lake is to shallow to stock.

SANTA FE — Closed due to Fire Danger

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is open. Fly fishermen were catching a lot of small crappie over the weekend on bead head prince nymphs.  69 In addition folks were catching trout.  With the warm water temperatures trout fishing will be best early in the morning or late in the evening.  Stocked last week.    Scheduled to be stocked this week.

LOWER LAKE MARY —  Very low water No report

UPPER LAKE MARY —   Had a report to the office of a large black crappie, a 20 lb channel catfish and a 15-pound northern being caught in the last couple of weeks. Largemouth bass fishing should be picking up. Try for walleye at first and last light using night crawlers. There are no boat motor restructions on this lake.

ASHURST LAKE — No report but the road is open.  The lake was sampled a couple of weeks ago and lots of hold-over rainbow trout were caught.  Smaller pike were also common in our nets, please remove all of the pike you catch.   Has been heavily stocked. Scheduled to be stocked this week.   With the warm water temperatures trout fishing will be best early in the morning or late in the evening. 

FRANCIS SHORT POND –  Fishing was good last week.  Incentive fish were stocked along with catfish.  Catfish were being caught on hot dogs.  Trout were being caught on green Power Bait.  Stocked last week

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Road is open.  No report. A lot of nice brown trout and channel catfish were caught during fish sampling. With the warm water temperatures trout fishing will be best early in the morning or late in the evening.  Scheduled to be stocked this week.

MARSHALL LAKE —  No report low water

OAK CREEK — No report. Stocked last week.LONG LAKE — No report. 


BEAVER CREEK – Stoked last month.

WEST CLEAR CREEK- Stocked last month


BLUE RIDGE —  Fishing has been good.

KNOLL LAKE —Fishing has been good.   

LONG LAKE — There have been some reports of huge pike caught out of this remote lake, but wind can make it tough to fish at times.

Angler reports:


Just wanted to share a picture of the 37-inch pike my wife landed last night (Friday). Windy conditions but we have seen a few hauled in by anglers on boats. Went to Soldiers Annex around noon and caught a few catfish. Thanks for the reports.

Mike Street


DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Trout were last stocked the week of March 19th.  The catfish and largemouth bite has been fair.  Catfish are still being caught on night crawlers, chicken liver, and stinkbait.   The bass are being caught on small plastic worms and Gitzit-type plastic grubs, bounced slowly along the bottom.  Sunfish have been doing well on worms, salmon eggs, or small piece of Power Bait under a bobber. They bite best in the early morning hours and the evening.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Trout were last stocked the week of March 26th.  Carp fishing has been good using corn or dough baits.  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 stocking was the week of May 28.   The reports from regulars at the lake say the trout are biting, but the morning bite is the best. Anglers are having luck throughout the day using Power Bait and Berkley Gulp.  Rainbow and yellow seem to be the popular colors.

Fishermen using their fly rod gear are having the best luck.  Brown trout and rainbows are hitting the flies very well with one fisherman catching 47 fish (all browns) off the same fly.  Flies are less likely to get swallowed so releasing the fish is much easier.  

GOLDWATER LAKE — The lake is open again and if you have fished Goldwater send me a report of how you did.  Trout were stocked for the Free Fishing Event on June 9th.      

Game and Fish has been trying to boost the some of the warm water species in Goldwater. Bass and catfish have been stocked three times over the last four years. The bass are being stocked to give a boost to a dwindling population in the lake and to reduce the excessive number of crayfish.  Please practice catch and release with the bass, while the population gets re-established.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Goldwater on Sept. 15, 2009 and found bass and catfish populations to be much improved over last year. The number of green sunfish was greatly reduced.  The bass had a successful spawn last year.   If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

GRANITE BASIN LAKE – The bass are biting now.  Michael sent in a report of catching 4 largemouth in two hours with the biggest 3.5 pounds.  He was using a rubber trout with a spinner tip and a rainbow trout spinner.  Thanks for the report Michael!  If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.  Ed had four good strikes but could not bring in a fish.

LYNX LAKE –Rainbow trout were last stocked the week of May 14.   

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 scheduled for the week of May 28.  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 – The last trout stocking was the week of Feb. 13.   Folks have caught 16- to 17-inch holdover trout from the shore near the new boat launch. Peter, fishing from a kayak caught a 17-inch bass weighing approximately 3 pounds using a live worm.  He saw several other large bass but could not get any others to take his bait.  The Wildlife Manager for the Watson area sent me a picture of some nice trout an angler caught from shore. Both of these fish looked like they had been in the lake for a period of time because of the size and condition of the fish.  If you have fished Watson Lake please send me a report of your trip to share with folks. 

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Watson recent and found the bass, sunfish, and bullhead to be plentiful.  Crappies were also doing well.  Look for the crappie fishing to pick up in a year or two. If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR –   The fishing should be slow until the water warms up I the spring. 
If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.


Recommended Waters to Fish

Fishing for hold-over trout is fair to good at Big Lake.  Fishing for stocked rainbow trout is excellent at Nelson Reservoir, Willow Springs Lake and Woods Canyon Lake. Fishing is good at Bear Canyon Lake, Bunch Reservoir, Tunnel Reservoir, River Reservoir, and Woodland Lake. Fishing is good for stocked Apache trout at Lee Valley Lake, Silver Creek and the Little Colorado River in Greer. For fly anglers, Becker Lake is good, with reports of 20-inch plus rainbow trout. 

Week of June 4-8
Woods Canyon Lake – 3,000 rainbow trout
Little Colorado River at Greer – 1,250 Apache trout
Sheeps Crossing/West Fork LCR – 500 Apache Trout
East Fork Black River – 1,400 Apache trout
West Fork Black River – 500 Apache trout
Silver Creek – 750 Apache trout
Woodland Lake – 2,000 rainbow trout
Fool Hollow Lake – 1,500 rainbow trout
Scotts Reservoir – 1,250 rainbow trout
Show Low Lake – 2,500 rainbow trout
Show Low Creek – 540 rainbow trout
Bunch Reservoir – 2,430 rainbow trout
Willow Springs Lake-1,808 rainbow trout

Week of June 11-15
Tunnel Reservoir-1,250 rainbow trout
River Reservoir-2,025 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake-2,952 rainbow trout
Show Low Creek-1,080 rainbow trout
Sheeps Crossing/West Fork LCR-350 Apache trout
Little Colorado River-Greer-875 Apache trout
West Fork Black River-350 Apache trout
East Fork Black River-980 Apache trout
Silver Creek-525 Apache trout

Note:  All Forest Roads are open, including the Rim Road.

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good for stocked trout. The lake is full. This is hike-in, hike-out steep sided lake. The hike is not far or long, but it is fairly steep down switch-back trails from the parking lots. This is not the typical fish-the-bottom trout lake -- the sides are steep and reaching the bottom is often a challenge. If using baits, such as Power Bait, try slip bobbers to control the depth of the bait.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Anglers are catching trout on worms. The water level is very low.  Launching a boat will be difficult.

BLUE RIDGE RESERVOIR -- Fishing has been good for rainbow trout. This deep canyon lake with its steep sides is tough to fish from shore, so is best fished from a float tube, canoe, kayak or small boat. The best bite is at first and last light. Trolling cam be very effective at this long, thin, deep canyon lake.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  The lake is full, but no longer spilling. This is a hike-in, hike-out (pack it in, pack it out) deep canyon lake with limited shoreline access. It is best fished with a float tube, kayak or canoe. There is a steep hike down into the lake, and back out.

KNOLL LAKE -- Fishing has been good to excellent for rainbow trout, with some nice hold-over trout being caught along with the typical stockers. The best bite is at first and last light. The bite can slow down during the day.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent for trout and smallmouth bass.  The lake is full and was stocked last week with 1,808 rainbow trout.  Part of the boat dock is usable at this time, and it is still okay to launch boats. Anglers are catching trout on worms and Power Bait. Small spinners and spoons (such as KastMasters) can work well at times, especially at first and last light when trout are more active.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent.  The lake will be stocked this week with 2,952 rainbow trout.  Some large rainbow trout up to five pounds were stocked in May.  The lake is full.  The store is open, and boat rentals are available. Anglers are catching trout on worms and Power Bait.


Note:  All Forest Roads (FR) are open, including Highways 273 and 261. The final pieces of construction on Hwy 273 were completed last fall, so the road is now paved all the way to Big Lake.
BECKER LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent. Some fly fishermen are catching trout on nymphs, including zebra midges (black and red) and red chironomids, and wooly buggers. Anglers have been consistently catching rainbows over 20 inches, with reports of trout up to 24 inches. Becker Lake is catch-and-release only, with artificial lures and flies only with single barbless hook.

BIG LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Anglers are catching fish  in the deeper parts of the lake.  The store is open and boat rentals are available.  Big Lake was not impacted by the Wallow Fire last year.  Boat anglers are catching trout by trolling cowbells with worms, Power Bait, lures (Crickhoppers and Z-Rays) and flies . Shore anglers should try fishing in deep water off rocky points.  
CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  Carnero has been stocked with 2,000 rainbow trout.  The lake level is about 1.5 feet down.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair. The lake has been stocked with rainbow trout. Some anglers are catching a few trout and bass.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake is almost full. The lake was stocked in May with rainbow trout.

CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching some brook trout and a few large rainbow trout. One angler reported catching a three-pound rainbow trout several weeks ago at Crescent Lake.  The store is not open.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is  fair for trout, smallmouth bass and channel catfish. The lake  was  stocked last week with 1,500 rainbow trout. Anglers are catching some large stocked trout with nightcrawlers and PowerBait in 10 to 15 feet of water near the fishing piers on the southwest side of the lake. Bluegills are starting to congregate around the fishing piers. Channel catfish are being caught at night on nightcrawlers and various catfish prepared baits.

GREER LAKES – Fishing is fair. River, Bunch and Tunnel Reservoirs are very low.  Boats can’t be launched at Bunch and River Reservoirs. All three lakes have been recently stocked.  Bunch Reservoir was stocked with 350 super-catchable and show pond size rainbow trout. These fish are big, averaging 1.6 pounds each; with some up to six pounds. Tunnel Reservoir will be stocked this week with  1,250 rainbow trout and River Reservoir will be stocked with 2,025 rainbow trout. Fish with lures (1/8 to ¼-ounce Kastmasters, Rapalas or Panther Martin spinners) or with bait on the bottom (nightcrawlers or PowerBait) for these large trout. Fly fishermen are catching trout at Bunch and River on woolly buggers and peacock ladies.

Angler report:


We live up in Pinetop during the summer months.  Based on the most recent fishing report/stocking I went to Bunch Reservoir yesterday. It is nothing more than a mud hole right now given the draw down of water. Launching my float tube into the reservoir was like launching into chocolate mile. Tunnel and River Reservoirs are similar. I also tried the Little Colorado in Greer and it is running at a trickle due to no rain. Not very good fishing spots right now.

On another note it seems like most of the recommended baits, etc to use very seldom include recommendations on flies for us fly fisherman. Any chance of getting some more fly information out to us?

Thanks for you great work. I read the weekly report year around as we live in Anthem during the colder months up here and I go to the Lower Salt River and Cottonwood areas during the winter months.


HULSEY LAKE – The lake was drained immediately following the Wallow Fire to help reduce expected flooding off Escudilla Mountain and will not be stocked this year.

LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is good.  Anglers are catching recently stocked Apache trout on lures and flies.  Lee Valley Lake was not impacted by the Wallow Fire last year and did not experience a winterkill.    Some Arctic grayling have also been stocked, but they are fingerling size and won’t be catchable until next year.  The lake level is low.

LUNA LAKE – Fishing is  fair.  Luna Lake was stocked heavily in May with rainbow trout.    The lake is full.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park has reopened. This lake has had very light fishing pressure this past year due to the state park being closed, so this might be a good time to try for walley, catfish and bass. There are no boat motor restrictions here, so you can also water ski. the state park has excellent facilities. This is a good place to take the family.

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is good to excellent. The lake is full and was heavily stocked with rainbow trout in May.
RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake was recently stocked with large, one-pound rainbow trout and with regular size stockers in May. The lake is nearly full. The weeds have not shown up yet, so boating is good. Anglers are catching trout, bass, sunfish and bullheads.

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair for channel catfish and stocked trout. The lake  was stocked  last week with 1,250 rainbow trout. Anglers are catching a few rainbow trout. The lake is nearly full. 

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair  for stocked trout. The lake was stocked recently in May with 1,000 large, one-pound trout.  One angler recently caught three nice walleyes on a Rapala. The lake was stocked  last week with 2,500 rainbow trout.  Fish for these bass with night crawlers or lures anywhere there is a rocky shoreline.  The lake is about six feet low, but the boat ramp is still usable.  The fishing pier located across the dam is accessible.  Boat rentals are available, and the campgrounds are open.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent.  The lake  was stocked last week with 2,000 rainbow trout.  Anglers are catching trout on the bottom with bait and with small spinners/lures or flies when they are rising at the surface.  The lake is full.  The trout bag and possession limit is four trout.

Trout stocking in the streams began  in May and will continue every week through early September, as long as water conditions are suitable. All main Forest Roads are open, including Highways 273 and 261. The final pieces of construction on Hwy 273 were completed last fall, so the road is now paved all the way to Big Lake.

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair to good for wild brown trout and good for stocked Apache trout. The East Fork survived the Wallow Fire of 2011 much better than expected and is currently holding many wild brown trout throughout the river.  Apache trout will be stocked this week all along FR 276.  The road and campgrounds along the East Fork are open.

WEST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair in the lower reaches.  The Wallow Fire caused a partial fish kill on wild brown trout in the lower reaches, but hatchery Apache trout are being stocked weekly at the crossing on FR 68. Fishing in the middle and upper reaches is fair to good for wild trout, where the fire had little impact. Access is open at the FR 25 bridge, FR 68 crossing, and FR 116.  The West Fork campground will be closed through the year due to safety reasons.  The middle and upper reaches of the West Fork Black are open to catch-and-release artificial lure and fly only, while the lower end is open to bait fishing with a six-trout bag limit.

BLACK RIVER – Fishing is poor.  The mainstem of the Black River was heavily impacted by the Wallow Fire last year. Very few fish were found during intensive surveys last fall.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER IN GREER – Fishing is fair for wild brown trout and good for stocked Apache trout.  The mainstem Little Colorado River and West Fork LCR (Government Springs) in Greer were not impacted by the Wallow Fire last year.

Stream surveys in the fall of 2011 found numerous wild brown trout.  Hatchery Apache trout will be stocked weekly in Greer:  875 Apache trout will be split between Government Springs (90 percent) and in front of Rendezvous Café (10 percent).

SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is good.  Apache trout will be stocked weekly at Sheeps Crossing, which was not affected by the Wallow Fire last year. Fishing is fair to good for wild Apache trout in the wilderness portions of the West Fork Little Colorado River.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is fair.  Apache trout are being stocked weekly. Silver Creek is currently open to bait and a bag/possession limit of six trout (April 1 through September 30).  The upper section is now closed to angling, which is well signed.


Please send me your fishing reports from Southern Arizona!  Fishing reports can be sent to Don Mitchell,

Please send me your fishing reports from Southern Arizona!  Fishing reports can be sent to Don Mitchell, Regional Fish Program Manager by email at  These reports will then be complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.


Warm temperatures are getting hot and so is the fishing action!  Anglers will need to concentrate their efforts to the cooler times of day as the temperatures continue to rise.  Summer trout stocking will begin soon at Rose Canyon Lake and Riggs Flat provided water quality parameters are favorable.  The summer stocking schedule for the entire state can be found here:  2012 Summer Stocking Schedule .  This schedule is updated as changes occur so check back often! 


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


URBAN LAKES -- The final catfish stocking of the spring season is the week of June 11-16 at all Phoenix and Tucson area urban waters. Fishing is good to excellent for anglers using worms, hot dogs, stink baits, or shrimp fished on the bottom. If you want to use bobbers, rig up a slip bobber and fish 8 to 12 feet deep.

Catfish can be caught throughout the day, but are most active when the sun goes down. Most catfish are from 13 to 16 inches, but some lunkers over 3 pounds are being hauled out of the lakes.

RIGGS FLAT — The lake is open for the summer. Stocking has been suspended at this time due to high Ph levels and stocking will not resume until summer rains have added sufficient water to the lake to reduce the pH. 

Fishing has been good for both rainbow and browns. The department will be stocking white amur in this lake this week in an effort to reduce aquatic vegetation and control water quality problems that have prevented stocking in the past.  Anglers are being asked to immediately release unharmed all amurs they catch.

Check the stocking schedule here: 2012 trout stocking schedule for summer stocking dates.
CLUFF RANCH —No recent reports of success.  The pond is full and there should be no problems with boat launching.  For lake information call (928) 485-9430.

ROPER LAKE —  No recent reports of success.  For lake information (928) 428-6760.
DANKWORTH POND — Remains closed to access during renovation.  All renovation work has been completed and State Parks has begun refilling the lake.  At this time the reopening of the lake is still unknown but that day is getting closer! 

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

ARIVACA — Open to anglers, water levels are severely low and the lake continues to drop.  It is extremely difficult to launch boats at this time.  If you decide to try and launch your boat use caution and common sense.  Boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.  Sporadic success is being reported with fish being caught in the early mornings and late evenings.

PENA BLANCA –  Some anglers are still reporting trout being caught.  No reports on warm water fishing have been received since the stocking of warm water fish. 

The department is stocking more bluegill and redear sunfish and channel catfish this week.  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 remain 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. 

Fishing for trout is been hot at Pena Blanca Lake. Fish avgerage 12 to 17 inches. Flies of Choice: CH Black Crystal Woolly Bugger size 8 and Flashback Hares Ear size 16.  Did not get much chance to go after bass, too much action on Trout... when the trout slow down I will report on the bass fishing

PATAGONIA — Fishing continues to pick up with bass anglers having success working the shorelines in shallower water.  Recent surveys at the lake show outstanding numbers of large healthy largemouth bass and redear sunfish. Don’t forget that the lake supports a very healthy flathead catfish population as well that can provide some exciting opportunities for anglers.

Angler report:


On Sunday the 10th on the shore in Patagonia Lake, My kids were very successful catching blue gill.  All fish were returned to the lake.

PARKER CANYON — Fishing remains fair for all species.  The department is currently working to establish a breeding population of channel catfish at the lake and is asking anglers to please limit the harvest of catfish at this time to allow larger members of the population the opportunity to spawn. 

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.

Angler reports:


We went out Saturday for 2 hours. Landed three bass, had one break off the
line, and missed a couple good bite. We were using plastic crawdads and
white spinner baits. Did good until the winds came up.

Jerry Clark


I was out to Parker Canyon Lake on 2 June 2012.  I caught a large Blue Gill and a 14" Trout in about 4 hrs fishing from the dock. Others appeared to have similar success.

ROSE CANYON LAKE — The lake is open to vehicle traffic and it has been stocked.  Anglers are reporting success in the early mornings and late evenings.  The summer trout stocking schedule can be found here:  2012 trout stocking schedule .  The stocking of trout will be suspended following the stocking this week due to increasing water temperatures.  Look for stocking to resume in August.










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