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June 10 Fish Report Update

Posted in: Fishing Report
Jun 10, 2011
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Rory's tips:

Due to the Wallow Fire imacting our ability to stock trout in certain waters, we are increasing stocking levels at several other waters, so fishing opportunities at those places will be enhanced.

We are tripling the number of Apache trout we typically stock in Silver Creek near Show Low.  Silver Creek is located east of Show Low about 5 miles on Highway 60. Turn north off Highway 60 onto Bourdon Ranch Road for five miles.

We are stocking lots more rainbow trout in Show Low Lake and Fool Hollow Lake. Both these lakes are within the city limits of Show Low, but once on the water it will seem like you a fishing any other pine-tree bordered high mountain lake.

Keep in mind that both these Show Low lakes also have other species of fish, such as walleye and largemouth bass. This is the time of year when you can catch coldwater, cool water and warmwater fish in these classic fisheries. Also, Fool Hollow Lake State Park has tremendous camping facilities. Click here for more information.

Looking for a good place to catch trout away from the tinder dry forests?

Then try Lees Ferry in northern Arizona or Willow Beach on the Colorado River below Hoover Dam.

Let's start with Willow Beach first. This is literally the tail-water trout and striper fishery 11 miles below Hoover Dam (about an hour's drive from Kingman).

Even when air temperatures soar into the triple digits, the water coming from the depths of Lake Mead is in the chilly 50s. That's right, there can be a 50-degree difference between air and water temperatures.

Trout are stocked every Friday. Every Saturday morning, the parking lot at Willow Beach has lots of vehicles with Nevada license plates -- those in Las Vegas know the about this secret summer trout fishery in the desert. There is a superb fishing pier there. In fact, many anglers are able to sight-fish for feisty rainbow trout there.

There are also huge striped bass that come into this stretch of water to feed on the rainbow trout. Although my largest striper from this area was only 36 pounds, it's possible to catch 40 and 50 pounders using what's called "swim baits," which look like stocked trout. The key is making the bait look like a struggling stocked trout. Predators like to attack the weak, sick and injured.

Here's another secret for you -- this is the leading edge of the desert bighorn sheep rut. So take along your binoculars. For more information, try

The next spot is one of my favorites in Arizona -- Lees Ferry. This time of year, you can find lonely stretches of Marble Canyon all to yourself. This is NOT the prime time for anglers to visit the Ferry, even though the fishing right now is superb. Typically by this time of year most trout anglers are heading to the mountain waters. To quote one of the guides up there, "Right now, the fishing has been absolutely awesome – and it’s only going to get better!" The reason -- higher than normal flows.

Another stretch of river that is a ball this time of year is the Parker Strip, which is also known as Lake Moovalya. The stretch of river the first few miles below Parker Dam has a nice swift current and lots of voracious smallmouth bass. I fished there last summer and had a ball alternating between curly-tail grubs on swimming jigs heads (1/16th- and 1/8th-ounce), and topwater lures. Zara Puppies and Zara Spooks were deadly.

Keep in mind that most people who fish this stretch of river tend to focus on the shoreline (and all the floating docks etc.). But there are some huge smallies hiding in the grass beds, especially along slightly submerged sandbars. If you see grass waving in the current, wave back by walking the dog with a topwater lure.

If you are in the area. take a jaunt up to Lake Havasu, arm yourself with topwater frogs and head down to where the Bill Williams River enters the lake. Catching largemouth bass on topwater frogs in the tulles is an absolute ball. John Galbraith, who has a tackle store in Lake Havasu, was kind enough last year to share this wonderful frog bite with me. It was awesome. Thanks John! I still dream about that action.

For working frogs, you might want to view this video on how to flip n' pitch

Unfortunately, there have been some cases recently (and some unverified reports) of people spear fishing at Lake Havasu and along other areas of the river for bass and catfish. Folks, that's illegal. You can spear fish for carp and tilapia only.

If you are heading toward Parker and Havasu, might as well stop by Alamo Lake if you have time. You can load up on largemouth bass during the day and crappie at night.

By the way, the full moon is June 15, so each day we get closer to that magic date, the effectiveness of submersible lights will diminish. However, if you are going for striped bass, that may not matter as much. Chumming is still the key to holding stripers. The key at night might be to slowly troll until you catch one, then chum to hold its school mates and catch some of them as well.


This is also the leading edge of the great shore fishing in our huge desert lakes for Mr. Whiskers and his other bottom feeding friends of the carp persuasion. For channel catfish, stink baits, liver, hot dogs and corn can be the ticket. At places with striped bass (such as Lake Pleasant), anchovies might get you whiskered cats and stripers as well. For carp, dough bait and corn are the top choices.

By the way, because of the Apache Forest closure due to the Wallow Fire, we won't be able to stock around 26,000 trout as expected in those waters. However, that means most of our other high country trout lakes will be receiving additional trout in their stockings, providing increased angling opportunities in those lakes.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of working with Anglers West TV for a segment on Apache Lake. Here is a link to that show:


Apache National Forest Closed due to Wallow Fire

The entire Apache side of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests is  closed to public entry due to the Wallow Fire.

Lakes that are NOT accessible due to the Forest closure include:
Big Lake
Carnero Lake
Crescent Lake
Greer Lakes (River, Tunnel, Bunch reservoirs)
Hulsey Lake
Lee Valley Lake
Luna Lake
Nelson Reservoir
Becker is still open, but not recommended due to intense smoke.

Streams that are NOT accessible due to the Forest closure include:
East Fork Black River
West Fork Black River
LCR around Greer
Sheep’s Crossing
Black River
All of the numerous non-stocked streams on the Apache side of the Forest.

For complete closure information, click here:

In addition Stage II fire restrictions went into effect June 3 on the Sitgreaves portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests due to extreme fire danger (this includes most of the lakes along the Mogollon Rim except Knoll and Blue Ridge).

Stage II Fire Restrictions include:
1.        Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, wood or stove fire
2.        Using an explosive
3.        Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building
4.        Possession, discharging or using any type of firework or pyrotechnic device
5.        Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
6.        Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame
7.        Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device that is properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.  They must meet either USDA Forest Service or appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice
8.        Possessing or operating motorized vehicles off National Forest System roads, including but not limited to cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles and ATVs.

For information on fire restrictions on public lands across Arizona and New Mexico, call 877-864-6985 or visit

Coronado Forest To Close June 9
Due to Extreme Fire Danger

Tucson, AZ (June 6, 2011) – Due to extreme fire danger and concern for public safety, the Coronado National Forest will be closed to all public use beginning at noon on Thursday, June 9 (36 CFR 261.52[e]).

The temporary closure applies to all Ranger Districts of the Coronado National Forest, and includes Visitor Centers, campgrounds, picnic areas, trails, summer cabins, organization camps and all other public uses. 

District Rangers may authorize use for specifically permitted activities through Special-Use Permits.  Violation of the closure is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

On the Santa Catalina Ranger District, the Catalina Highway (Mt. Lemmon Highway) will remain open during daylight hours so visitors may access Summerhaven atop Mt. Lemmon.  Vehicles may not stop along the highway, and must use it strictly to access Summerhaven.  The road will be closed at night.

This closure will be lifted when significant moisture is received to reduce the wildfire threat to manageable levels.

Campfire restrictions started June 4 for Coconino NF

Flagstaff, AZ – The Coconino National Forest implemented fire restrictions on June 4 due to increasing fire danger.

The restrictions prohibit fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves outside of developed campgrounds and limit smoking to within enclosed vehicles or buildings or in developed campgrounds. Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns, and heaters meeting safety specifications will continue to be allowed.

Violations of restrictions are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest land.

For additional information on fire restrictions on the Coconino National Forest, please call (928) 527-3600. For information on fire restrictions on public lands across Arizona and New Mexico, call 877-864-6985 or see



Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to "Been Fishing? at

URBAN -- It's bottom fishing time for Mr. Whiskers.

There were a lot of folks fishing at Red Mountain over the holiday weekend.  An angler from the office noticed the bass got off a good spawn kicking out the bluegill from their normal haunts.  He believes the gills are more toward the middle but did not verify their whereabouts. 

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 throughout the day, but are more active when the sun goes down. The last load of catfish included many hefty fish in the 3-6 pound range. Bluegill fishing has been consistently good in recent weeks for anglers using worms and mealworms fished under a small bobber in 3-6 foot depths. Action for largemouth bass is fair with the best baits finesse plastics fished in the early morning hours. Action for bass and crappie at Green Valley Lake is really picking up and anglers using worms and meal worms under a small bobber are enjoying plenty of action. Also try small jigs and plastic worms.

Overall, water quality conditions at the Urban Lakes have been very good this spring with no incidences of golden algae blooms. This is great news for anglers and the fish populations.

Urban Fishing Program staff and parks personnel continue to monitor Urban Program lakes for signs of the microscopic golden algae. The department and cities’ active monitoring program has helped to keep the toxic alga in check before it causes harm to the resident bass, bluegill and catfish populations. Anglers are reminded to take precautions not to move any water, live fish or wet objects from lake to lake. Remember to clean, drain and dry all items that come in contact with the lake water before moving to another lake location. For more information on golden alga, go to

TEMPE TOWN LAKE -- Surveys show decent populations of largemouth bass, channel catfish and sunfish. The best fishing will be at first light and last light. Try plastic worms worked along the bottom for bass. Mealworms can work well for bluegill and yellow bass.

An angler caught two 12- to 14-inch largemouth bass under the Mill Avenue Bridge.  Both were real healthy with great coloration.  He also caught a 2-pound catfish.  There were a lot of small fry in the water all over the lake.  Water temp was between 75 and 77 degrees.

Check out AZ Bass Zone for the fish habitat locations also known as Reef Balls. 

LAKE PLEASANT -- Lake elevation 1,694 ft (91 percent full). Striper fishing has been terrific, especially at night under lights. The full moon is June 15, so submersible lights should still be viable this weekend. But with stripers, chumming with anchovies can often get you stripers no matter what the moon phase.

An angling duo fished from 9:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. using crappie lights and anchovies.  They caught about 40 stripers from 10 to 60 feet deep.  They were fishing outside the vicinity of the tires.  They also saw a 5 pound largemouth diving after baitfish.

A father and his two sons fished from 8:30 pm to 1:30 am with lights near the tires.  The lights attracted shad within an hour.  In all they caught 7 fish with three around 20 inches.  Stripers were deep (90 feet) and seemed scattered. 

Another area for good fishing is the northern coves; Coles provides a relatively consistent bite for largemouth bass.  Anglers are having good luck using swimbaits and clear Zara spooks.  They are hanging in the trees all the way to 50 feet in depth.  

ROOSEVELT LAKE -- Lake Elevation is 2,142 ft (90 percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is 1 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 129 cfs. Fish are transitioning from spring to summer patterns, so experiment to find the most active fish.

The full moon is June 15, so this weekend should still be viable for catching crappie under submersible lights.

A fisherman caught 5 largemouth bass using topwater lures.  Drop shot and Texas rigged worms enticed 10 bass.  He also caught a 3 pound smallmouth bass. 

CANYON -- Lake elevation is 1657 ft, which is 95 percent full.

An angler caught a 9 pound 23 inch largemouth bass with a scented plastic  worm.  He brought it in the Mesa Game and Fish office to enter it in the Big-Fish-of-the-Year contest.  It has the largemouth bass record so far this year.  A picture will be posted on our website that will kick off the 3 pound largemouth that was the current record holder.

This lake always has the potential for produce lunker largment, especially at night, but it can be tough to fish for novice anglers. However, it is a great place to take the youngsters for sunfish and catfish in the Boulder Recreation area.

APACHE -- Lake elevation is 1,905 feet (90 percent full).  This is a good time to target largemouth bass and yellow bass. For largemouths (and smallmouth bass), try curly-tail grubs on jig heads worked off the points in 10 to 300 feet of water. Crankbaits can be effective at times. Keep a topwater lure handy in cast you see bass chasing shad at the surface -- it can happen any time of day this time of year.

An archery angler caught a 42-pound, 41-inch black buffalo fish last Monday.  He brought it in to the Mesa Game and Fish office and it has the yearly record for that species so far this year; its 5 pounds less than the state record.  A picture is posted on our website on the Big Fish-of-the-Year page.

SAGUARO -- Lake elevation 1,524 feet at 91 percent full.

An angler fished about 5 hours in the evening with dropshot, jerkbait, topwater, jigs and Carolina-rigged worms and hauled in 2 largemouth, 2 bluegills, and one yellow bass. 

A fishing duo fished about 4 hours in the evening with cranks, jerkbait and dropshot.  They caught 9 largemouth bass.  The best bite was about 15 to 20 feet near the bottom. 

Another angler fished in the morning from about 6 to 11 a.m. and caught 4 largemouth bass in the 1-2 pound range.  Dropshot worked well 10 to 15 feet deep.

Three fishermen spent a Friday evening and lost count on the fish they caught.  The fish were feeding on crayfish so crayfish imitations worked real well.  Jigs and dropshot worked well too. 

BARTLETT -- Lake elevation is 1,763 feet, which is 55 percent full.  Reservoir release is 150 cfs.
Anglers are starting to catch large numbers of largemouth bass.

Two obviously experienced fishermen said they caught upwards of 75 from dawn to noon.  Most were 13 inches and under but about 15 percent of them were between 13 and 18 inches.  The largest was almost 3 pounds.  They were fishing on the main points and in some of the coves. Ricos worked well in the morning.  Drop shot was the best technique with Salt River Craws and Morning Dawn in depths from 1 to 30 feet.  

Two anglers fished from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m.  and  caught 25 bass, with nothing over 2 pounds.  They used cranks, jerks, topwater and jigs.

HORSESHOE - Lake elevation is at 1952 feet 0% full.  They are releasing water at 150 cfs.

- Verde River flow at Tangle is 155 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 150 cfs..

SALT RIVER - Salt River into Roosevelt is 129 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 100 cfs.  They are releasing 1,250 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.

Anglers are catching catfish in pools especially just below riffles.  The catfish tend to get larger as you go downstream towards Roosevelt.  Live bait works real well.  Fish for sunfish during the day in backwaters or areas of low flow.  You can seine some red shiners but make sure the seine does not exceed 10 feet in length and 4 feet wide; you can also use a cast net that does not exceed a 4 foot radius.

LOWER SALT RIVER – We will be stocking trout at Water Users, Blue Point and Phon D Sutton this week.  Try using night crawlers with little or no weight and casting slightly upstream, and then letting the current carry your bait, mending your line to take out any slack. If the line moves sideways, set the hook.

Spinners and casting spoons, such as KastMasters, can also be effective. For them, try casting slightly downstream (5 degrees on the perpendicular) and slowly reel in as the current carries the lure downstream.  Typically, the further downstream the spinner goes, the more action it will have as long as you don't allow slack in the line.   

CREEKS (Haigler, Canyon, Tonto, Christopher, East Verde, Workman) - The trout stocking season in the creeks is underway. Most of these creeks are being stocked on a weekly basis, so fishing should still be pretty good right now.

AGFD biologists sampled Canyon Creek recently.  Browns were throughout the area although they are tough to catch during the day.  Night time fishing is best for browns.  Copper johns, wooly buggers, nymphs and hare’s ears typically good this time of year.  Throw in a few caddis flies and beadheads.  We did catch a few 4-pound browns hanging out in the pools and where structure created cover in the catch and release area.    


Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to "Been Fishing? at

LAKE POWELL – June 1, By: Wayne Gustaveson. Lake Powell Fish Report - June 1, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3622. Water Temperature 60-65 F


The big news this week is that stripers are now being caught in big numbers at the mouth of Lake Canyon near Bullfrog. 

Stripers have been slow to start this spring in the mid lake area but now it appears that has changed.  It is likely that the mouth of other canyons including Annies, Slick Rock and Iceberg would have similar concentrations of large stripers willing to hit bait.

In other late developing years stripers have been found along the walls downstream from Halls Creek all the way to Lake Canyon. Catch rate is increasing just inside the mouth of Moki where the canyon intersects with the main channel.  Smaller stripers are being caught in Halls Creek using crappie jigs near the surface in open water.

Anglers are catching hundreds of fish using standard bait fishing techniques that have worked so well at Wahweap this spring. It has just taken longer for stripers near Bullfrog to move to the main channel and then be located by anglers.  But the wait is now over and striper fishing midlake is heating up fast. We expected striper fishing to begin later uplake but had no idea it would be June before it exploded. 

Striper fishing in the southern lake continues to amaze us with the volume of fish that are being caught on a daily basis - weather permitting.  High winds over Memorial Day weekend made fishing success marginal because calm spots were hard to find. But the seas have now calmed and fishing is picking up right where it left off. Striper fishing is excellent from Wahweap to Bullfrog.

Bass fishing continues to be good but not along the shoreline. The rapid increase in lake level floods new shoreline each day.   Smallmouth bass are now 20 feet deep making it necessary to fish deeper water. Old standard plastic grubs fished along the bottom are still very effective for catching good numbers of bass.  Largemouth are shallower. When trees are available largemouth will not leave the cover.  Each day more brush is covered allowing bass to move back into the thickets that they occupied when water was higher.

Walleye fishing continues to be exceptional.  Slow-trolled bottom bouncers weights with attached worm harness are very effective while fast trolling with diving crankbaits is working as well. Casting into murky water often produces walleye along with bass and stripers. Walleye are being caught from Good Hope Bay to Wahweap. This may be the yearly peak for walleye fishing so give it a try before success rate declines. 

Crappie fishing is winding down as spawning is now complete.  Some crappie can still be caught on small jigs trolled slowly with an electric motor or wind drift. Target the deep water side of brush thickets to find a suspended school of elusive panfish. 

Catfish are now starting to bite on a beach near your camp. Share your dinner with them and they will provide great fun for kids of all ages.  Fishing is not as fast as it was in May but the variety and chance of catching a large number of fish still exists.

LEES FERRY -- Report courtesy Lees Ferry Anglers by Scott Sargent.

Fly Fishing: The fishing for today was tremendously productive. The weather was also perfect. High of 86, sunny. You couldn’t ask for a better day. The fly fishing for the day is ranked a solid 8 out of 10.

This is, undoubtedly, the beginning of a very proficient and exciting fishing stretch. These flows have been providing an excellent opportunity to fish from the boat. We’ve had a great last few days and the fishing has been consistently improving.

As for the flies that we used today, most notably, the most effective fly for today was zebra midges. Additionally, San Juan worms and Scuds have also been working very well. Glo bugs may be worth trying as well.

Keep in mind, at this point of time; the most effective method of fishing is out of the boat. These higher flows have been providing perfect conditions for drift fishing. Wading would not be recommended as there are not many opportunities to do so.

If you’re worried about the higher flows, don’t let it scare you away. Each “fishing boom period” at Lees Ferry has been preceded by extended high water flows just like the flows that we are currently getting. Right now, the fishing has been absolutely awesome – and it’s only going to get better.

If you don’t have a boat, give us a call at 1-800-962-9755 and we can give you information regarding renting a boat, or you may hire a guide for a full day’s worth of fishing. The trip down here is worth it right now.

We’ll keep you updated on fishing conditions. Check this frequently. Have fun fishing.

Walk in: The flows are at 23,000 cfs. The walk-in is a little difficult to fish due to the strong current, however with some luck and hard work it should be fine.

San Juan worms and scuds have been producing results. Also try some zebra and laser midges.

Fish anywhere near the boulder in the middle of the river. The water current is fairly strong, but keep in mind that it’s not necessary to wade very far, or deep. The fish will ultimately stick to the banks. Try longer drifts – just make sure that you have a natural drift and are mending your line properly.

Spin Fishing: Spin fishing is good! It’s all about bouncing glo bugs off the bottom.

You can also try fishing with gold Kastmasters or black and gold Panther Martins.

Also definitely don’t forget about the marabou jig, this one has been working great and has been very reliable. Try the olive and black.

If you have some news you would like to report about fishing lees ferry, the walk-in section or up river please e-mail your report to: Attn. Lees Ferry Fishing Report

LAKE MEAD – The current water level is approaching 1,099 feet above msl. Lake levels have moved up slowly this past week.  The Largemouth are biting.  Try plastics in the trees.  Striper are good, but not great. Many anglers were successful last weekend.  Cut anchovies are still the bait of choice.  Check the moon phases before you go – new moon was Wednesday, June 1st.  Dark nights work best when fishing under light.  Fish for strippers in 50 plus feet of water to find the larger fish.   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. 

Launching conditions at South Cove have improved as the water level has gone up. There are currently four lanes.  Launching conditions in general are better at Temple Bar than South Cove.

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 is around 644 feet above msl.  The black bass are hitting soft baits when worked slowly.  Trolling with anchovies in 30-50 feet 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.  A local fisherman that fishes at Katherine’s Landing fishing pier often said the strippers bite is down, but did catch the biggest stripper he had ever caught there.  He catches catfish often in the 2-8 lb. range. Best time to fish is at night for cats and he likes fishing for largemouth and smallmouth in the early morning with blue, black and purple and black grubs and worms. 

Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. New moon was Wednesday, June 1st.    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-incg rainbow trout.  Garlic and salmon peach Power Baits were being used most for trout.  Power Worms, Jakes, Panther Martin and Rooster Tails are also usually effective. Construction near the river is mostly complete and the new store and parking lots are open. 

The new fishing pier (see picture on the right) provides anglers with good access to the recently stocked trout.

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

TOPOCK MARSH – Bass and catfish are all biting, but the bite can be hit and miss.  

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

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – Trout were last stocked the week of March 8.  This was the last stocking at Davis Camp until October of 2011. Trout continue to bite in the casino area.  In addition to the stockers multiple anglers have been reporting catching trout in the 20- to 22-inch range on night crawlers. 

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. 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.

Capt. Doyle's Report

Summertime in the Topock Gorge is characteristically a busy season for big, noisy boats and Memorial Day weekend the official kick off.

Prudent anglers, hoping for a few hours of quiet bliss, fished at the crack of dawn  or stayed off the water altogether. Striped bass bite, although starting to show signs of tapering off, is still strong. Richard Pointer and his son Jeffery from Gilbert, Arizona boated four line-sides ranging from 2-pounds to 7-pounds on anchovy.

That particular day the duo also caught and released forty to fifty sunfish. Between bluegill and redear, the sunfish are crazy wild this year! You may have to be more cautious about bones–especially on the smaller ones, but these little guys are some of the tastiest fish in the river. Bobby Painter from Abilene, Texas and Derwin Hales from Vancouver, Washington also smoked the redear. Four must be the magic number and anchovy the charmed bait because the Hale, Painter team also boated four line-sides ranging between 2.5- and 4-pounds. Still no news about catfish–they might be late bloomers this year. Trout, however, have made their way into the Gorge. Night crawlers are the best bait for the trout. The smallmouth bass a starting to come out of their post spawn funk which means the action has begun to improve. Chartreuse and white spinner baits are preferred by some, but my favorite lure is the 4 inch purple and black curly tail, Texas rigged.   


Angler report:

Hi Rory,

Went fishing in Topock Gorge on 5/23/11, my birthday.  Caught a 15-inch largemouth (on an anchovy!) early on.  Then nothing for a while, as the wind came up, forcing us to move around to hide from the wind.  Finally, we managed to bring in 7 nice stripers, from 18-22 inches, all on anchovies, on the bottom, in @ 3 hours. 

Great birthday present!

Saw lots of HUGE carp, and lots of small to medium largemouth.

Shane & Leanne



Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to "Been Fishing?" at

LAKE HAVASU --  Unfortunately, there have been some cases recently (and some unverified reports) of people spear fishing at Lake Havasu and along other areas of the river for bass and catfish. That's illegal. You can spear fish for carp and tilapia only.

Lake Havasu Fishing Report from John Galbraith of, Lake Havasu City.

Striper bite continues to be good north in the main river current from the buoy line north to Mohave rock. Stripers will continue to spawn for a few more weeks.

Largemouth bass bite is good using Senkos around tulles and weeds where bass seek out shady ambush spots.

Smallmouth bass hitting are good on Hula grubs rigged on football head jigs fished around chunk rocks and rocky/gravel shorelines in 6 to 12 feet of water.

Redear sunfish in full spawn now. Night crawlers and crappie tubes are excellent choices to catch these big hard fighting panfish. Please practice catch and release during this spawning time to give our redears a chance to reproduce and make our fishery even better.

PARKER STRIP --  Catfishing should be picking up.  We've got mostly channels and some flatheads on the strip.  They'll be getting more active as the days get hotter with the best action at night.  Channel cats should be hitting on night crawlers or frozen anchovies.  Good local areas include, Patria Flats day use, La Paz County Park near the lagoon, upper end of Barefoot Alley, and even take off point at the south end of Havasu right by Parker Dam. Flatheads will be hitting on live bait, bluegill work well but many of the locals like goldfish too. 

The smallmouth bass fishing is best just below Parker Dam.

And as an FYI, the parker stretch is generally drawn down to its lowest on Thursdays, which could affect boating, so be careful out there.

ALAMO LAKE --  Report courtesy Mark Knapp, Alamo Lake State Park, June 6: Well folks,  I'm happy to say the weather is finally warming up and hit the 100 degree mark yesterday.  Another 10 degree's and my lower back will pop back into place and I will be well on my way of coming out hibernation.  With a little luck I will see my shadow, and declare an extra 8 weeks of summer.

O.K. let's talk fishing.  Bass fishing for the most part is decent.  Anglers are reporting an early morning topwater bite. This starts right a dawn and is over by sun up.  I've heard buzz baits and chug bugs work well.  Frogs are also a hot ticket out here.  Denny Hamond from Prescott told me he was holding his own down sizing plastics to about grub size and fishing up by the dam. He went on to say that he caught more fish off of secondary structure inside of coves.   Most were slot fish.  I caught up with an angler coming off the lake Sunday morning who did really well night fishing for bass.  He figured he caught at least 30 using plastics.  The bite was on from midnight till around 3 a.m.

Mike Evans from Blythe has caught some nice sized crappie trolling with minnows straight across from the main ramp.  He also caught some nice cat fish, and bass.  I went fishing with Mike a few weeks ago and showed him how to fish plastics.  We spent the better part of a morning out on the lake .  He caught on real quick and boated 10 bass that morning.  I was proud of him and told him he did not need to fish with training wheels ( minnows) any more, except for crappie fishing.  A couple of hours ago he came in and said he was slaying the bass.  I jumped up, smiled, and said, "See, I told you plastics was the way to go!  What were you using?  Brush hogs? Lizards?"    He stared down at the floor and mumbled, " minnows."  Go figure!  So it's safe to say bass fishing is pretty good trolling with minnows about mid lake.

That's also the only crappie report I got this week.  Shore fishing is o.k.  A few anglers have been catching catfish in the cove below the store.  They using night crawlers.   I'm sure you can catch cat fish all over the lake using anything from hot dogs to anchovies.  As I mentioned last week we are closing Cholla Boat Ramp and campground down for the summer.  I'm doing this for cost saving and to repair the ramp.  The main ramp and campground will remain open.  We have electric sites and dry camping.  Camp area A is excellent for dry camping, and is close to showers.  Camp area B has electric and water with a nice view of the lake.   I'm really hoping to have Cholla re-opened by early October.  Also coming soon to both ramps is courtesy docks.  The Game & Fish dept is going to install a 8 by 20 foot dock at the main ramp and a 8 by 40 foot long dock at Cholla.  That  about sums it up.  The lake level is at 1116ish with releases of 50 cfs.  I was out quad riding with my nephew about a month ago and ended up on top of a mountain peak on the north east side of the lake.  I took this really cool picture to show what the lake looks like.  The tree's are old browns crossing area.  It's a different view but helps but stuff in prospective.  Well that's all I got.  Mark

Spring Outlook for Lower Colorado River and Alamo Lake

ALAMO LAKE --  This is a good time to fish Alamo Lake. With a New Moon on June 1, submersible lights should work well for crappie and bass.

Lake has received no significant runoff this winter, but the lake elevation remains at a pretty respectable level, around 1118 feet. This means that both launch ramps at Alamo Lake State Park should remain usable for the foreseeable future. Inflow events are still a possibility as we go into the spring, but for the past three years our major inflow events have occurred prior to March. Regardless, the flows in the past three winters have provided an influx of nutrients into the system, so the fish populations in the reservoir should be in very good shape.

Largemouth bass surveys conducted by Game and Fish biologists in October indicate that bass are still very abundant, although a large proportion of the population remains in the protected slot.  We continue to see a gradual increase in numbers of bass that are greater than 16 inches, but slot-sized fish are still the most numerous.  This past fall, the bass were in average physical condition for Alamo Lake, but the decent shad and small sunfish numbers hopefully has allowed them to fatten, over the winter. Bass fishing should be good to excellent, as is usual for Alamo, into the summer.  Be aware that heavy runoff inflows, if they occur, can dump a lot of debris into the lake, which effects water clarity, and can turn off the bite.  There is also the chance of larger floating debris, which can present a boating hazard. The upper end of Alamo Lake has a lot of dead standing vegetation and debris, often just below the water surface. This is great cover for fish, but presents a hazard to boating. Be aware that there are no navigational hazard markers at the upper portion of the lake, once you pass the second buoy line. For bass, as the weather warms, shift from slowly working plastics in deeper water to crank baits, spinner baits, and top-water lures.

Fishing for channel catfish will be good to excellent this spring, and throughout the summer.  There is a very healthy population of channel catfish in Alamo Lake. There are lots of very small catfish, but plenty in the 2-4 pound range that provide fun fishing. You may also run into the occasional 8-10 pound catfish. The best concentrations of channel catfish seem to be found along the upper two thirds of the shoreline, on the western side of the lake. For channel catfish any of the prepared catfish baits will work, as well as chicken livers, or your own secret concoctions. Channel catfish will occasionally take artificial lures and plastics, but if you are targeting catfish, bait is probably the way to go. Crappie fishing has been pretty decent through the winter, and may pick up a bit as the weather warms. Large bags have not been common, but the fish are of high quality, in the 1½- to 2-pound range. There are other fish present such as bluegill, redear sunfish and carp that are a lot of fun to catch.  When Alamo Lake was first formed, it was well known for its excellent pan-fishing.  In the past couple of years we have been noticing that decent-sized sunfish are on the increase.  Increased harvest on these species would actually result in larger average sizes, and you cannot beat sunfish for edibility.  We have been seeing an abundance of decent-sized redear sunfish, up to a pound.  This species commonly reaches sizes of over two pounds, although we have not yet observed redear sunfish of this size in Alamo Lake.  All types of bait should work.  Large tilapia in the 5-6 pound range are abundant, and are an unexploited resource.

The State Park, and all of its facilities, is open, and we expect all amenities to remain available. Because of the State’s budget woes, which have severely impacted operation of Arizona State Parks, some change in operation could occur in the future, but for now the operation of the Park has not changed.  The store at the lake is open, where you can get ice, snacks, fishing tackle and bait, as well as information on the fishing.  A certified scale is located at the store.  No fuel is available at Alamo Lake, it is sold at Wenden, and nearby Wayside.

LAKE HAVASU & TOPOCK GORGE -- Lake Havasu and the river upstream of the lake is becoming an excellent destination for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Fishing for largemouth bass, as well as smallmouth bass, is expected to be good to excellent this spring. There is a 13-inch minimum size limit for bass on the lower Colorado River.

Largemouth bass in the four to six pound range are becoming very common on Lake Havasu, with occasional fish exceeding 10 pounds.

Smallmouth bass are becoming more and more common, and bags at bass tournaments are now showing close to a 50/50 mix of largemouth and smallmouth bass.  If you are unfamiliar with smallmouth bass, they are very aggressive and scrappy, and will give you a much more exciting battle than a similarly-sized largemouth.  Smallmouth bass generally do not grow as large as largemouth, but four and five-pound smallmouth are becoming common.

Both bass species tend to be in very good condition in this water body.  Perhaps because of the exceptionally clear water in Lake Havasu, they are also some of the most strikingly colored fish in the Region.  The warmer weather should cause the bite to improve, making crankbaits and topwater lures a good choice as the water warms.

Striped bass fishing will likely continue to be fair to poor, with catch rates far below what have been experienced in past years.  Striped bass are very dependent on threadfin shad for forage.  Shad numbers appear to be on the increase, but all reports indicate that striper-fishing has not seen a dramatic comeback, nor do we have terribly high expectations that it will.

Remember, schools of shad move around, and populations tend to fluctuate, so spots that have been “hot” in the past may no longer be so if the shad have moved elsewhere, or are in lower numbers.  Historically, the majority of striped bass in Lake Havasu tend to be smaller fish of 1 to 2 pounds, with an occasional 20-30 pound fish.  It seems that the smaller fish are much more uncommon than they were several years ago.  The jury is still out on the effects the quagga mussel infestation in Lake Havasu may have on the fish community in Lake Havasu, but the arrival of the mussel has seemed to coincide with a decrease in the catch rates for striped bass. Live shad seems to be the most productive bait for stripers, with cut anchovies not seeming to work as well as they did in years past.
Angling for bluegill and redear sunfish will be good to excellent.  Lake Havasu is well known for large (2-3 pound) redear sunfish, and with the proliferation of the quagga mussel in the lake, we are seeing large redears becoming more common.  Redear sunfish are also known as “shell crackers,” due to their preference, and morphological adaptation, for eating clams and mussels, so they may actually benefit from the presence of the invasive quagga mussel.  Bluegills will also eat quagga mussels, although they are not as well adapted for capitalizing on this suddenly abundant food source.  Redear sunfish up to four pounds (or even larger) are found in the lake.  Decent crappie numbers can be found, primarily in the lower end of the lake (Bill Williams River Arm), but fishing for crappie is likely to be only fair.

Threadfin shad are also an important food source for crappie, and the abundance of this species hinges on the size of the shad population. Flathead catfish can be found throughout the lake, but the larger individual, up to 40 pounds, or greater, can be found in the lower portion of the lake, especially in the Bill Williams River arm. Fishing for flatheads should improve as the water warms this spring. Live bait is the key for flatheads, as they are extremely predatory and are unlikely to strike much other than a lively bait fish. Channel catfish are also found throughout the lake, and they will take a variety of live bait, cut bait and commercial preparations.

Take precautions to make sure your boat and equipment is clean before leaving the water to make sure you don’t spread quagga mussels to other waters by accident.  This invasive species certainly has profound effects on water delivery and control structures, boat engines, and likely on fish populations.  Quagga mussels are abundant and widely distributed in Lake Havasu, but are absent from many of our interior lakes, and lakes in California.  Help keep those lakes quagga-free.  Do the right thing, and make sure your boat and trailer are free of the mussels; drain your bilge and livewell before leaving the area, and most importantly, let your boat bake in the sun before you launch it at another lake. New regulations pertaining to the quagga mussel are now in effect for Lake Havasu and other infected waters, so make sure you follow those rules if you are transporting your boat. See Director’s Order 3, below, for specific requirements about moving your boat from Lake Havasu, or any other quagga infested waters in Arizona.

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 is clean before leaving the water to make sure you don’t spread quagga mussels to other water by accident.    

COLORADO RIVER (BETWEEN PALO VERDE DIVERSION DAM AND WALTER’S CAMP) -- This area should be fair for both smallmouth bass (in the channel) up river from the I-10 Bridge and largemouth bass (in the backwaters) throughout the entire area.  Channel and flathead catfish are always fair to good in this section of the Colorado River.  Most of the flathead catfish will be in the 2 to 5 pound size range with an occasional fish over 40 pounds.  Flathead catfish surveys last May yielded a handful of fish between 15 and 50 pounds in this section of the river, although the majority of fish were much smaller.  The time for fishing for both species of catfish will be late spring and throughout the summer.  Generally, when fishing for catfish, the hotter the weather, the better the fishing. Lively bait is the key to successful flathead fishing. Using the largest bait fish you can come by will increase the odds of catching a larger flathead.

This section of the Colorado River, all the way down to Yuma, is where the invasive vegetative species known as Giant Salvinia is located.  Quagga mussels are also found here.  If using a boat, make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean before leaving the area.

COLORADO RIVER (BETWEEN WALTER’S CAMP AND PICACHO STATE PARK) -- This section of the Colorado River is relatively remote and can only be accessed by boat from either end.  Fishing is expected to be good to excellent for flathead catfish with sizes over 40 pounds.  The best time will be late spring and on into the summer (the hotter the better).  Backwaters are somewhat limited in this stretch of the river, but the few that are there will be good for largemouth bass and other sunfish (bluegill, redear and occasionally black crappie).  Channel catfish are also very numerous in this section of the river. Smaller numbers of smallmouth bass and striped bass also occur.

The invasive vegetative species, giant salvinia, as well as quagga mussels, are found in this stretch of the river.  If using a boat, make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean before leaving the area.

COLORADO RIVER (BETWEEN PICACHO STATE PARK AND IMPERIAL DAM) -- This area is expected to be good to excellent for largemouth bass, channel catfish, and flathead catfish.  Bass and channel catfish in excess of 5 pounds are present along with flathead catfish as large as 40 pounds not uncommon, occasionally much larger.  There is definitely a state record or two lurking in these waters.  Only very heavy fishing tackle will suffice for the really large fish.  Bluegills, redear sunfish and black crappie are also present in the various backwaters.  Occasional striped bass will be caught in the channels connecting backwaters and the main river channel. Smallmouth bass seem to be on the increase in the lower river above Imperial Dam. They generally prefer swifter water and rockier substrate than largemouth bass, and certainly aren’t as numerous, but they are very aggressive and very scrappy fighters and well worth seeking out.

The invasive vegetative species, giant salvinia, as well as quagga mussels, are found in this stretch of the river.  If using a boat, make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean before leaving the area.

Angler report:

(Fishing Above Martinez on the Colorado River)

We took the pontoon out and beached on the second sandbar above the No Ski Upstream buoy’s. My friend caught 2 smallmouth bass both over 2 pounds. We also caught a couple smaller channel catfish. We fished for about 2 hours.

Daniel Coolbaugh

COLORADO RIVER (BETWEEN LAGUNA AND MORELOS DAMS) -- This area will be good for largemouth bass and flathead catfish.  Bass in excess of 5 pounds are common and flathead catfish over 20 pounds are a good bet.  In this area, accessibility to the river is dependent on the amount of water being released.  Usually shallow draft boats are a must.  The lower end has had some dredging work done and a larger boat may be able to get on the river in that area.  Be aware that some sections of the river are within Quechan tribal boundaries, and a tribal permit is required to fish there.  Boundaries are not well marked, so doing some research prior to fishing this section may prevent hassles while you are out there.

The invasive vegetative species, giant salvinia, as well as quagga mussels, are found in this stretch of the river.  If using a boat, make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean before leaving the area.

With the increase in border issues and illegal activity on the lower end of this stretch, we recommend exercising extreme caution, avoiding nighttime use, or even staying away from the area altogether (Pilot Knob to Morelos Dam).

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 5-10 pounds 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: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect on the Tusayan and Williams Ranger Districts of Kaibab National Forest beginning 8:00 AM, Wednesday, June 8, 2011.

There are also fire restrictions in effect on the Coconino National Forest.

For more information on fire restrictions, visit

KAIBAB LAKE —  Campground is closed. No report. Stocked last week

CATARACT LAKE —  Campground is open.  Has been stocked

CITY RESERVOIR —   No report,  Scheduled to be stocked this week.

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

JD DAM — Had an angler report that he did well on wooly buggers.

RUSSELL TANK -   The lake is to shallow to stock.

SANTA FE — No Report.  .   Scheduled to be stocked this week.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is open

LOWER LAKE MARY — Anglers have been catching some nice size rainbows and quite a few small pike late in the day. 

UPPER LAKE MARY —  Northern pike were active over the weekend.  Pike were being caught close to shore on anchovies.

ASHURST LAKE —    Trout were being caught on worms under a bobber or yellow powerbait on the bottom Scheduled to be stocked this week
FRANCIS SHORT POND –  Stocked last week. 

KINNIKINICK LAKE — No reports from anglers. This spring fed lake is a pretty reliable fishery, but if there are high winds in the area, it can be tough to fish.

MARSHALL LAKE —  No reports from anglers.

OAK CREEK — Stocked last week. Scheduled to be stocked this week. Should be fair for rainbows and poor for browns this time of year.

LONG LAKE — No report.



Verde Valley

Note: Fire restrictions are in effect for the Coconino National Forest.

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – The last trout stocking was the week of March 7.  Fishing is usually great following the stocking.  Power Bait or homemade dough baits are your best bet this time of year.

A fishing clinic is planned for Free Fishing Day on June 4 from 8 a.m. to noon in the middle lagoon. The entrance fee to the park will be waived for the participants. Channel catfish will be stocked prior to the event. Hot dogs, chicken liver, shrimp or corn should work well. There will be a limited number of loaner poles available.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – The last trout stocking was the week of March 7.  Stocking sites were at Tuzigoot Bridge outside of Clarkdale, The bridge that leads to the Deadhorse State Park, at Deadhorse State Parks access point called the Jacks, at the White Bridge in Camp Verde, and at Bignotti Beach.

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 bait fish or crayfish is allowed. 

BEAVER CREEK – Stocked last week.

WEST CLEAR CREEK —  Stocked last week.

OAK CREEK — Scheduled to be stocked this week. Fishing will likely range from fair to good for rainbows, depending on the stretch you fish, and poor to fair for brown trout, with the best brown fishing located in the upper end of the canyon in the signed catch-and-release area. Was a report of a nice 2.5-pound brown caught in the lower canyon.

Angler report:

Hey all,
Went camping last weekend at Cave Springs Campgrounds in Sedona. Of course while I was there I took some ultralight gear to catch some trout in Oak Creek. Caught about 12 nice and energetic rainbows and a couple brooks. It was a great fishing. Anything that can be shaped into a small dough ball works, try to stay away from the bright colored powerbaits though. little pieces of worms worked wonders. Good luck to all that head up there.
Michael Gregorio Grisham

FOSSIL CREEK -- Is now closed to fishing. This unique catch-and-release, artificial lure with barbless hook only fishing for roundtail chub fishery came to an end April 30. This fishery will open again on the first Saturday of October.

Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — Fain Lake is open and was stocked last week with 500 trout, the week of May 30.  .  If water temperatures remain suitable the lake will be stocked again the week of June 27.  



GOLDWATER LAKE — Trout were stocked the week of May 23.  Trout will be stocked for Free Fishing Day (Saturday, June 11).  The scheduled stocking for the week of June 20 was cancelled.  The week of June 27 will be replacing the previous scheduled stocking. Experienced anglers are doing well, for the rest it has been a little slow. 


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 three 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 –Both largemouth bass and bluegill should be active.   If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.


LYNX LAKE –Trout were stocked last week, the week of May 30.  One angler reported catching three trout over 13 inches, the largest was 15.5 inches.    Look for the bass to become active in the next month.


Cut anchovies, night crawlers or hot dog are your best bet for catfish.  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 –Trout were stocked last week, the week of May 30.  The next scheduled stocking is the week of June 13.  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.  This lake is more remote than the other Prescott area lakes and not very big.


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 – Watson Lake was stocked with 8,250 Rainbow on March 30. More than 13,000 rainbow trout have been stocked since January into Watson Lake.  Prior to the January stocking Game and Fish had not stocked trout here since 1962.  


White Mountains and Rim Lakes

Recommended waters to fish:

The entire Apache side of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (Springerville Ranger District, Alpine Ranger District, and Clifton Ranger District) is closed to public entry due to the Wallow Fire.

We recommend anglers stay in the Show Low/Pinetop-Lakeside area and the Rim Lakes.  Show Low Lake, Fool Hollow Lake, Scott Reservoir, and Silver Creek will be stocked with extra trout to enhance angling opportunities.  Silver Creek in particular will be stocked very heavily over the next several weeks.  Woods Canyon, Willow Springs, and Bear Canyon are recommended in the Rim Lakes area.



Note: Stage II fire restrictions are in effect on the Sitgreaves portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (Black Mesa Ranger District and Lakeside Ranger District) due to extreme fire danger.

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake was stocked last week with rainbow trout.  Anglers are catching carryover trout as well.  
BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake was stocked recently with rainbow trout. Boat anglers have been catching trout and bass on bait and lures (Panther Martin and Rooster Tail spinners).  Shore fishermen have been using Power Bait and worms. Black Canyon Lake is fairly low but the boat ramp is still usable.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  This steep sided lake is pack-it-in, pack-it-out.  It's best fished from a float tube, canoe or kayak, but there is a steep trail into and out of the lake to navigate.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  The lake was stocked last week with rainbow trout.  Anglers are also catching some holdover trout on red and green Power Bait, worms, spinners, and Kastmaster spoons.  Trolling with bait, lures or flies with cowbells have been successful.

WOODS CANYON LAKE - Fishing is fair to good. The lake was stocked last week with rainbow trout.  Anglers are also catching some holdover rainbow trout on worms, Power Bait, spinners and Kastmaster spoons.  Trolling with bait, lures or flies with cowbells have been successful.  The store is open and boat rentals are available.  A bald eagle closure area is now in effect on a portion of the lake and shoreline on the west side of the lake.  Shoreline anglers will need to hike up and around the closure to get to the very upper west portions of the lake, while boaters will just need to avoid the shoreline at the closure.  Buoys and signs are in place to mark the closure area.


Note: The entire Apache portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (Springerville, Alpine, and Clifton Ranger Districts) is closed to public entry due to the Wallow Fire.  Much of the Lakeside Ranger District south of Hwy 260 and Hwy 60 is also closed to public entry due to extreme fire danger.

Fool Hollow Lake, Scott Reservoir, and Woodland Lake are still open.

Stage II fire restrictions are in effect on the open portions of the Sitgreaves side of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (Black Mesa and Lakeside Ranger Districts). 

Highway 260 is closed between Horseshoe Cienega Lake and Springerville.  Highways 273, 261, and 373 are still closed.  Highway 180 is closed between Springerville and New Mexico.  Highway 191 is closed between Alpine and Morenci.  Highway 60 between Show Low and Springerville is now open.

Lakes that are NOT accessible due to the Forest closure include:
Big Lake
Carnero Lake
Crescent Lake
Greer Lakes (River, Tunnel, Bunch reservoirs)
Hulsey Lake
Lee Valley Lake
Luna Lake
Nelson Reservoir
Pratt Lake

Streams that are NOT accessible due to the Forest closure include:
East Fork Black River
West Fork Black River
LCR around Greer
Sheep’s Crossing
Black River
All the numerous non-stocked streams on the Apache side of the Forest

BECKER LAKE – Becker Lake is now technically open, and evacuees have been allowed back into Springerville, however, the smoke is still extremely thick in the air and unhealthy for people with respiratory problems.  Highway 60 is open, but Highway 260 is still closed.  We still advise visitors to stay in the Show Low/Pinetop-Lakeside and Rim Lakes areas at this time.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair to good.  The lake has been stocked with rainbow trout.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake was stocked heavily in May with rainbow trout.  Water levels are good and the boat ramp is accessible.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  The lake will be stocked with extra rainbow trout, including some larger sized trout (11-12 inches), to increase angling opportunities.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park will open on June 17 and stay open until October 17.  Smoke from the Wallow Fire can be bad at times in this area.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is fair.  The lake is still good for boating.  The aquatic weed levels have been low and are just starting to reach the surface in places like the upper end.  The weed harvest machines will be operating on the lake this week to remove weeds.

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair to good.  Scott Reservoir will be stocked with extra rainbow trout, including larger sized trout (11-12 inches), to increase angling opportunities.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  Show Low Lake was stocked last week and will be stocked with extra rainbow trout, including larger sized trout (11-12 inches), to increase angling opportunities.  The store and campground are open, and boat rentals are available.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good to excellent.  The stream will be stocked heavily with Apache trout over the next several weeks.  Opportunities for kids to catch their first fish and to fill your bag limit will be very good at Silver Creek while this heavy weekly stocking occurs.  Silver Creek is located off Bourdon Ranch Road, 10 miles northeast of Show Low.  Anglers can use bait, lures, and flies, and the bag and possession limit is 6 trout.  The upper section is closed to fishing. 

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is fair.  The pH level has increased dramatically and the fishing has slowed because of the water conditions.  Anglers have been catching some trout on mealworms and small spinners (Panther Martin and Rooster tail).  Fish in early morning or in the evening to avoid the warmest conditions in the middle of the day.

Stage II Fire Restrictions on the Black Mesa Ranger District and Lakeside Ranger District on the Sitgreaves Forest include:

1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove fire.
2. Using an explosive.
3. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
4. Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.
5. Welding, or operating acetylene, or other torch with open flame.
6. Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in an effective working order.
7. Discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun; except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations.
Pursuant to 36 CFR § 261.50(e), the following persons are exempt from this order:
1. Persons with a Forest Service permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission; and
2. Any Federal, State or Local Officer or member of an organized rescue firefighting force in the performance of an official duty; and
3. The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices providing such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety is allowed.


The Coronado National Forest is closing on June 9 due to extreme fire conditions.

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.

URBAN WATERS -- Urban Fishing Program lakes are being stocked every two weeks with heavy loads of channel catfish. The next catfish delivery is scheduled for the week of May 31-June 4.

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 14-18 inches, but some lunkers over three pounds are being hauled out of the lakes. Bluegill fishing is good for anglers using worms and mealworms fished under a small bobber in 3-6 foot depths.

Action for largemouth bass is fair with the best baits finesse plastics fished in the early morning hours.

RIGGS FLAT — Road is closed due to fire concerns.

CLUFF RANCH — No recent reports of success.  The pond is full and there are no issues with boat launching.  For lake information call (928) 485-9430.

ROPER LAKE — For lake information and status of the park call (928) 428-6760.

DANKWORTH POND — This small pond is undergoing renovations this summer and will be closed to fishing. 

FRYE MESA RESERVIOR – The lake was stoked again last week with Gila trout.  The limit is 1 Gila trout in bag or possession.  All other trout species limits remain unchanged.  Anglers are strongly encouraged to know the differences in the 4 species of trout they will encounter at the lake before keeping fish to avoid legal problems.

KEARNY LAKES — This small lake remains fishless due to impacts of golden algae.
ARIVACA —  No recent reports of success but reports are that the bass have spawned.  The lake is dropping and boaters should use caution.  Remember that all bass must be immediately released back to the water. Anglers are asked to please be aware of your wake so as not to disrupt other anglers fishing from other boats and the shore. 

Angler report:

Went to Arivaca on May 26th for the whole day. Fished from shore and found a nice little cove. A buddy and I caught 2 largemouth bass on a senko rigged wacky style and as the sun was going down we caught a few on topwater. All bass in the 2-3 pound range. Lake is very low but good fishing access from shore.
Alex Nathan

PENA BLANCA –  Anglers were still catching trout late last week.  The new boat ramp is open at Pena Blanca Lake and anglers should have no problems launching their boats. 
PATAGONIA —  This lake is full. 

Angler Report:

Fishing for Bluegill at Patagonia lake is great right now. Between the two of us we caught and released nearly 50 bluegill ranging from 3 inches to a whopper at 9 inches. Only caught on the classic crawlers and meal worms.

Jeremiah Morgan


PARKER CANYON — Closed due to a wildfire.

Scott Kerr at the store and marina said there are still some limits of trout being caught with some nice 15" rainbows to be had. Plus, the bass are coming off the beds and many anglers are reporting success with worm and lures. The panfish are doing well also on wax worms, meal worms and crawlers. Have a good week, Scott

The store at the lake is open and information on the store and current conditions can be found at
ROSE CANYON LAKE — The Coronado National Forest became closed to entry June 9, this lake is not accessible.


Note: The Sport Fish Restoration Program was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984.

Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.

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