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Updated May 2 Fishing Report

Posted in: Fishing Report
May 3, 2012
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Rory's tips:

Grab your chuggers, poppers and stick baits -- the Palo Verde trees are blooming and bass are chasing shad, it's definitely topwater time. Plus the bluegill are spawning and the threadfin shad are getting ready to spawn.

Most bass are in the post-spawn mode right now and are feeding aggressively. This is the time when you might just hit 40- 50- and 60-bass bonanzas -- if you are at the right place at the right time.

I recommend setting up a number of fishing rods with your favorite topwater baits. When the action gets hot and heavy, you definitely want some backup in case one outfit gets out of action, or they quit bitting on your favorite topwater lure.

Take along binoculars to spot surface boils. When you find them, don't zoom you boat directly to the boil, but to the side of it so you don't spook the fish. If you can, cast past the boil and then work the lure back through it. If you don't know how to "walk the dog," then find someone who does and get a tutorial, even if it's in a swimming pool.

I am getting great reports from all the lakes, so as far as I am concerned, they are all hot spots on any given day.

If you need an added incentive to go fishing, Cabela's is launching its "Fishing for Millions" contest this week across the nation, including some of our popular lakes in Arizona. Check out http://www.cabelas.com/fish-for-millions.shtml for more information. Apparently you must register to participate prior to going fishing for these tagged fish. I believe Cabela's plans to release the names of the lakes with the tagged fish very soon, so keep checking their website, and ours. Once they let me know, I'll do my best to spread the word.

Here's something interesting. This weekend we not only have a full moon for Cinco de Mayo, but it's going to be a "Perigree Super Moon." The full moon coinicides with when the moon comes the closest to Earth http://spaceweather.com/. According to the moon-rise charts, the moon rises on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. and will but full at 8:35 p.m. They say this moon will be 16-percent brighter than normal. Should look pretty cool on the water.

For this weekend, that means you can't expect your submersible lights to out compete this bright moon, but that doesn't mean night fishing won't be viable, especially for bass. I like using black poppers. In fact, I have spray painted a couple of poppers black. Sounds counter intuitive, but a black lure silhouetted against a b right sky is a target a hungry bass might just gobble up, especially when it's struggling like a wounded shad and putting attractive vibration in the water. I also like using neutral buoyancy hard jerk baits painted black. Rip them hard, then let them sit still, with maybe a little jiggle in the line. When a monster bass smacks a lure in the darkness, it just might get your adrenal glands pumping a little. It's a thriller!

By the way, I will setting up a Game and Fish booth at at Lake Havasu this weekend for the Bass Pro Shops Fishing Festival (see article below), so stop by, say howdy, get a "Fish Arizona" bumper sticker, and I will gladly autograph our new fishing book with Arizona Highways Magazine. I'll bring a box of them for sale -- at a slightly reduced price.

A couple sent me a great picture of a black buffalofish (see pic on the left) caught at Canyon Lake. The fish are absolutely a ball to catch -- it's like hooking into a tug boat or a passing Volkswagen. You need a stout frame of mind.

The really cool part is that not only can you fish for them from shore, not very many people do so you won't have much competition. Just get some dough bait, a couple cans of corn to chum, a stout pole, treble hooks and slip sinkers. Take along comfortable chair and something cool to sip. This weekend there will even be an enticing giant moon to watch if you fish at night.

In the cool mountains, this is prime fishing time. The lakes, rivers and streams have been stocked, plus there are still plenty of larger holdover trout to catch. With temperatures soaring well into the 90s again this weekend in the deserts, it's tough to resist experiecing cool pine scented breezes rippling the water while trout jump on the end of the fishing line.

At Lake Powell, conditions are near perfect for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and crappie. Check out the Powell report below (Wayne's Words) for more information. This is my single favorite fishery on the planet.

Also, Lees Ferry is worth a visit. Check out that report below as well. My friend Terry Gunn provides a good tutorial on midges that fly anglers especially will want to read.

This week we are stocking Fools Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Rainbow Lake, Cataract Lake, West Clear Creek, Wet Beaver Creek, Knoll Lake, Ashurst Lake, Oak Creek, Mingus Lake and Fain Lake from our Page Springs Hatchery. Our Tonto Creek Hatchery is stocking Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek, East Verde River, Lower Salt River, Bunch Reservoir, Concho Lake and Bear Flats this week. Plus we are stocking Apache trout from our Silver Creek hatchery (see the White Mountains report below).

Most Forest Service campgrounds are open (see news articles below), espeically on the Coconino and Kaibab national forests. In the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests you can see what areas are open and any special alerts at www.fs.usda.gov/asnf.

So grab your favorite trout fishing rod and get the camping gear together -- it's time for a mountain fishing adventure.

One of my long-time mentors at Game and Fish, Jim Warnecke, who was our Mesa regional fisheries program manager until he retired, really loaded up on bluegills at Saguaro this week. Yep, it's 'gill time as well. Light tackle, small hooks, and pieces of worm or dillies all add up to lots of smiles and some pretty good eating. Fish tacos for Cinque de Mayo is righteous!

Thanks for the tips JW, great hearing from you!

So take your pick right now -- black bass, stripers, channel catfish, flathead catfish, rainbow trout, Apache trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, crappie, brook trout, buffalo fish, bluegill. The great spring bite is underway.

Go catch some memories, and with any luck and the winds don't rise, maybe I'll see you out there.

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

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

 

Fishing News

Cabela's Announces "Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?" Participating Waters

SIDNEY, NE - Cabela's Incorporated, the World's Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, announced the participating waters for Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?, a contest giving anglers a shot at up to $2 million in cash and more than $225,000 in additional prizes by catching tagged fish in select lakes across the United States.

Cabela's, along with Outdoor Channel, Wanna Go Fishing TV and Geico, tagged fish in lakes across 19 states - Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

One of the tagged fish could be worth $1 million. The grand prize will be doubled to $2 million if the grand prize winner is a current user of the Cabela's Fish Recon app or downloaded the Cabela's Fish Recon app to their smartphone, sponsored by Geico.

Registration began April 19 and participants must pre-register before fishing. Winners of specific prizes will be announced after the promotion ends July 8.

Additional information about rules and prizes can be found at the contest website, cabelas.com/fishformillions.

Species to be tagged this year include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, striped bass, perch, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, walleye, crappie, wiper, bluegill and channel catfish. Species will vary state-to-state.

 

Bass Pro conducting Fishing Festival for the West at Lake Havasu


Springfield, Missouri — Looking for a great family outing to help kick off summer? Then head to Lake Havasu for Bass Pro Shops Inaugural Fishing Festival for the West May 4, 5 and 6.

This event-filled extravaganza incorporates a fishing tournament, ride-and-drive demos, local pro appearances, activities for kids and mobile exhibits. It all takes place at Windsor State Park, Lot #4, Lake Havasu May 4-6.

Hands-on interactive booths will give families the opportunity to touch, feel and learn how to use the products and services on display by great outdoor companies like Lowrance, TroKar hooks by Eagle Claw and others. The Arizona Game and Fish Department will have a booth there and Rory Aikens will be on hand to autograph Arizona's Official Fishing Guide that was recently published in collaboration with Arizona Highways Magazine.

You can also see the exciting #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet driven by NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray. Other exhibits include an inflatable casting pool.  

Bass Pro Shops local pro staff members from Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World stores in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Mesa, Arizona and Las Vegas, NV will be in attendance.

Free ‘Ride and Drive’ demos will be available Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5  from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 6  from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You’ll be able to test drive the full line of Tracker Marine Boats — aluminum bass boats, Nitro Z’s, Sun Tracker Pontoons and Tahoe Run About boats.

Bass Pro Shops knows that kids are the anglers and conservationists of the future so they’re also offering a free Kids Fishing Derby, Sunday, May 6 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. The first 200 participants, ages 5-15 years, will receive souvenirs and prizes awarded for a variety of categories for different age groups. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and must bring their own equipment.

An exciting feature of the Fishing Festival is the Inaugural Bass Pro Shops Lake Havasu Open fishing tournament. The tournament is set for May 5 and 6 at Windsor State Park, Lot #4 and is open to 2-person teams at a cost of $350 per boat. The Grand Prize awarded by raffle to one of the Top 10 finishers is a Nitro Z-7 powered by a Mercury 150 Optimax. Tournament payout will be over 100 percent of entry fees taken for this event.

Other sponsors of the fishing tournament include Mercury Marine, Lowrance, Days Inn at Lake Havasu, Navionics, Toyota, Anderson Toyota and A&M Graphics. An angler appreciation dinner will be held Friday, May 4 hosted and sponsored by Anderson Toyota. For more information on the Inaugural Bass Pro Shops Lake Havasu Open visit www.basspro.com/bpslakehavasuopen.com  or www.JMLoutdoors.com.  For additional tournament information please contact Justin Locatis at (602) 791-0023.

Get a head start on summer at the Bass Pro Shops Inaugural Fishing Festival for the West, May 4-6. There’s plenty of fishing and fun for the whole family. 


Campgrounds re-opening on the Coconino National Forest
 
FLAGSTAFF, AZ – Many developed campgrounds that have been closed for the winter season across Coconino National Forest are re-opening May 4.
 
Campgrounds across the Flagstaff Ranger District will open tomorrow for the exception of Kinnickinick and Lockett Meadow.  Kinnickinick campground will open May 18, though the road is currently open and the public may visit the area during the day. Lockett Meadow campground will open mid-July, depending on road construction to the area.
 
All campgrounds in the Mogollon Rim (928) 477-2255 and Red Rock Ranger (928) 203-2900 districts are currently open. For more information regarding campgrounds in those districts, contact the respective ranger station.
 
Reservations for single-unit sites are offered at some campgrounds, while all group campsites require reservations.  To make a reservation, call toll-free 1-877-444-6777, or use the website www.recreation.gov.
 
For more information on campgrounds and road status on the Coconino National Forest, visit the website at www.coconinoforest.us, or contact your local ranger station.

 

Campgrounds are now open on the Kaibab National Forest

Campgrounds on the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts of the Kaibab National Forest opened for the 2012 season on Tuesday, May 1. Campsites are available both by reservation and on a first-come, first-served basis.

On the Williams Ranger District, the four campgrounds are at Kaibab Lake, Cataract Lake, Dogtown Lake, and White Horse Lake. The lakes are all stocked for recreational fishing by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Fishing reports are available at www.azgfd.net.

The Kaibab Lake Campground was recently renovated. The campground has a new camping loop with 12 additional campsites, improved day-use parking, and lake access for fishermen.

On the Tusayan Ranger District, the Ten-X Campground is located about 2 miles south of Tusayan, and about 4 miles from the national park entrance. The Ten-X Campground offers 70 single-family campsites, along with two group sites for large gatherings.

To make both family and group campsite reservations at Dogtown Lake, Kaibab Lake, White Horse Lake and Ten-X campgrounds, visit www.recreation.gov. Cataract Lake Campground is available on a first-come, first served basis.

For more information about campgrounds on the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts visit the Kaibab National Forest web site at www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab, or contact Recreation Forester Deirdre McLaughlin at (928) 635-5662.

North Kaibab Ranger District

On the North Kaibab Ranger District, the DeMotte Campground is scheduled to open Tuesday, May 15. This is the day the Arizona Department of Transportation will open the gate at Highway 67 in Jacob Lake, and also the day Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim entrance opens. DeMotte Campground offers 38 single family campsites and is located four miles north of the park entrance.

The Jacob Lake Campground will open May 1. The campground offers 51 single-family sites and two group sites. Single-family sites at DeMotte and Jacob Lake campgrounds are all available on a first-come, first-served basis. The group site at Jacob Lake is available by reservation at www.recreation.gov.

 

Utah Valley wins western conference college fishing event
 
KELSEYVILLE, CA- A team Utah won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Conference event and an Arizona placed fourth on Clear Lake in California this past weekend.

Rounding out the top five teams and also advancing to the Central Regional Championship are:

*2nd: Colorado State University - Keane Velez, Fort Collins, Colo., and Benjamin Robey, Pleasant Hill, Iowa
(five bass, 18-6, $1,500)

*3rd: Humboldt State University - Jen Edgar, Arcata, Calif., and Derrick Hicks, Lincoln, Calif. (five bass, 16-15, $1,000)

*4th: Arizona State University - Chris Fairbanks, Mesa Ariz., and Doug Coplan, Tempe, Ariz. (five bass, 14-6, $1,000)

*5th: Humboldt State University - Joe Won, Arcata, Calif., and Shaun Maki, Chino Hills, Calif. (five bass, 13-15, $1,000)

Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.

 


CENTRAL WATERS

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

URBAN LAKES -- A 9.1-pound, 24-inch-long largemouth bass was caught out of Kiwanis Lake recently (see picture on the left) on a drop-shot rigged Salt River craw on 8-pound test by Shawn Baker of Phoenix.

Catfish are scheduled to be stocked again this week.

Cats are biting on worms, stink baits, hot dogs or shrimp fished on the bottom. Catfish have been active throughout the day with afternoons and evenings best.

Bluegill fishing is good at all Phoenix and Tucson area waters that were just stocked the end of March. Best baits for the feisty, 5- to 8-inch bluegill are worms and mealworms fished under a small bobber in 3-6 foot depths.

Action for largemouth bass has slowed as they move into the post-spawn period over the next few weeks. Please exercise catch and release for largemouth bass and remember the minimum keepable size for bass is 13 inches.

At Green Valley lakes (Payson) fishing is good to excellent for trout. Many trout from 13 to 18 inches were included in a recent stocking. Try Power Bait, worms or salmon eggs off the bottom. Lure and fly anglers are doing well on KastMasters, spinners, small tube jigs, or wooly buggers.

Trout stockings at this higher elevation urban lake will continue every two weeks until mid-May. Also at Green Valley, the bite for crappie and bass is picking up for anglers using small jigs and plastic worms.

 

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Bass are in post spawn, bluegill are spawning and the shad are getting ready to spawn. Anglers are catching bass close to structure such as the bridges. There are some bass on beds, but it's mostly post-spawn bass action time. Try working plastic worms or drop shots along the shade lines beneath the bridges.

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 - Mike McFarland, a guide with Hook Up Outfitters, said it is definitely topwater time for post-spawn largemouth bass, with the best action in the northern coves. Plus, the threadfin shad are getting ready for the spawn.

It's also possible to hit pockets of marauding striped bass right now off the main points, islands and reefs. Frozen anchovies are the ticket.

Bluegill should be spawning right now. Try night crawlers, dillies or small crappie jigs. Small spinners can also work.

ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake elevation is 2,121 feet and the lake level is 66 percent. It's topwater time for post-spawn bass. Shad are getting ready to spawn. Bluegill should be spawning. Plus this is the leading edge of the great flathead catfish bite.

Not hearing much on the crappie front right now, but with a full moon this weekend, that isn't surprising. The best crappie fishing this time of year is typically at night under lights, and submersible lights don't work as well during a full moon. However, fishing at night for bass and catfish can be viable without lights.

Angler report:

Bow fishing for carp has been excellent. The carp pods are some of the biggest I have seen and the numbers are great. Many of the bigger carp are showing up now. May not last too much longer, but for anyone wanting to
shoot an arrow at the carp, now is the time.

We fished the bank for bass until we spotted carp and then would shoot the carp until they swam deeper. Then we continued fishing for bass until we saw the next pod of carp. Great day. Did not get a chance to hunt the big carp
at night, but hope to on the next trip. Oh, we did catch a few bass on
plastic worms.

Jerry


My wife and I had an awesome weekend at Roosie. Caught about a dozen bass and a couple dozen crappie in two days. Most of the fish were still small but we did keep a couple for dinner. Largest crappie 15", largest Bass 3 1/2 lbs.  Caught all crappie using lights and minnows.  Fishing was slow and I do not believe they have spawned yet.

Fished early morning and late evening for Bass. Tried the for Bass on the beds with everything in the tackle box with no success but crank baits ended up working the best for us. Also talked to folks using spinner baits, plastic worms, and even top water early in the mornings that were doing well.

All in all it was a great trip and it was great to get out on the water.  We are planning another trip in two weeks and we can't wait.

Christopher Sterner

 

My pop and I fished rosie yesterday. We caught most of our bass on crankbaits and 4-inch robo worms. I didn't have any luck with a buzzbait early. We caught a few late in the afternoon slow rolling a spinnerbait in about 18 feet of water.

Noticed a lot of boats in the Salt end but didn't have much luck there. We didn't do great, but we did manage to put some fish in the boat.

Happy fishing.
Kyle Scott

APACHE - Lake elevation is 1,907 feet (93 percent full). Bass fishing is very good for post-spawn fish. You might also tie into some topwater action.

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.

CANYON - Lake elevation is 1,657 feet, which is 95 percent full. Bass are in post-spawn mode, but don't expect the high catch rates of the other bass lakes. While canyon has lots of lunkers, it can be very difficult to fish, especially for novice anglers.

However, this is a great time for spawning bluegill.

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.

Angler report:

Hi...very nice to meet you!

We wanted to share a few pictures of a (largemouth or black) buffalo fish we caught yesterday at Canyon Lake (4/28).  We see the state record on the AZ game website and were very curious. It was our first time to Canyon Lake and we had a great time (all day) with the 14 bluegill we caught/released.  Then, the last cast/pass before heading in (about 6pm)...Leo caught this fish...what a fight this fish gave.  It was definitely a team effort getting this fish in the boat...I had to net him.

Again, we had a blast on the lake and will definitely revisit.  Bartlett Lake was our most favorite AZ fishing spot...but Canyon Lake might take its place.  LOL  ;-)  What are your thoughts on this fish???

Leo and Donna Fowler

SAGUARO - Lake elevation is 1,525 feet at 93 percent full. All fishing is busting loose from largemouth bass and bluegill to catfish and yellow bass.

Bass are in their aggressive post-spawn mode. Keep an eye out for surface boils -- it's topwater time.

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:

Celebrated 1st of May by going after bluegills at Saguaro Lake. Fished from 8-3 p.m. with buddy Joe and hit the spawners right on the head (literally and figuratively).

Big bulls on nests at various areas and ledges of the lake including Camper Cove and Bagley Flat, mostly in < 2 ft. of water.

Pieces of night crawlers under a slip bobber did the trick with the big boys coming up from the nests and inhaling the worm. 

Final tally 92 fish…….2 were largemouth bass, 2 yellow bass, the rest bluegills (88).  Kept the 40 biggest to fillet for fish tacos. 

See attached pics of 1) Joe with a keeper, 2) BG on board sporting his 8 in. of studliness, 3) Livewell brimming with taco meat (see pic in Rory's tips).

What fun on ultralight tackle!..................Jim Warnecke






BARTLETT
– Lake elevation 1,755 feet, 47 percent full. The Jojoba Boat Ramp is open.

This is a fishing hot spot for largemouth bass and crappie. Expect to find active post-spawn bass in the shallows, especially the major lake points, islands and reefs. Drop shots, crankbaits and jigs are all working at times. Curly-tailed grubs on jig heads are a good bet here. There can also be sporadic topwater action for bass.

The night fishing for crappie last weekend as decent. Although most crappie are small, there are just enough slabbers to kept 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.

Bluegills are spawning. Try the backs of rocky coves using night crawlers or meal worms on light tackle.

As you can see from the picture above, the lower lake level means lots more opportunities for shore camping, especially around Bartlett Flats.

HORSESHOE - Lake is empty.

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 155 cubic feet per second.


LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – They are releasing from 900 to 1,000 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro. Stocked last week with 1,214 rainbows and the water temperature was 68F.

Trout fishing should be decent on night crawlers, small spinners, casting spoons such as KastMasters and flies. This is a unique desert river trout fishery in the Upper Sonoran Desert. It's a great place to catch some excellent memories.


Creeks Below the Mogollon Rim

The following creeks were stocked last week and will be stocked again this week:

*Tonto Creek -- Stocked this week with 326 rainbows and the water temperature was 50F.

Angler report:

This is my first e-mail but I have been reading the fishing report for years. Went to Tonto Creek hatchery on Sunday. Decided to head down stream
and explore with my son. We ended up in a part of the creek with a nice sized pool. Never fished this creek before and did not expect much. The picture attached (onthe left) is the result of 3 casts. It was awesome! My new favorite
spot. Thanks for all of the work you put into your reports it helps a lot.

Josh

Rory:

I was up Turkey hunting and stopped by Tonto Creek on the way home. I parked by the Horton Trail near the bridge.  Fished upstream for about a mile. I was using a small brown Rooster Tail with a gold blade. Ended up with 8 rainbows and 2 browns in only an hour.  The fishing is excellent.

The stocker rainbows were in the deeper pools where obviously the stocking truck stopped. The pocket water does hold a lot of brown trout.  So do not overlook these for fish.  The browns as with most creeks get spooked easily. If you don't get them on a couple casts move to the next hole. The one brown was a nice 10-inch wild brown.

The rainbows are very eager to feed. In fact in one hole I hooked 4 nice ones about 12 to 13 inches. I have not fished this creek in years and forgot how pretty it is. The growth is pretty deep in some areas so a shorter rod 5 feet or less works well.  Some of the pools are amazingly deep.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone that wants to get an hour or even a couple of hours of fishing in and wants easy access. The road runs right along the creek and makes it easy access.

Thank You,
Brian V. Savoy

Editor's note: Last year the department renovated this creek, with a little help from some Boy Scouts doing Eagle Scout projects. We will be doing similar renovations on the other creeks in the area.

*Christopher Creek  -- Stocked with 303 rainbows and the water temperature was 48F last week. Will be stocked again this week.

*Haigler Creek -- Stocked with 326 rainbows and the water temperature was 56F last week. Will be stocked again this week.

*East Verde River -- Stocked with 607 rainbows last week and will be stocked again this week.

UPDATE: Diversions from C. C. Cragin Reservoir are scheduled to begin today, May 3. Flows in the East Verde River will be varied as operations begin. Use the link below to access the USGS data on WatershedMonitor.com  

 

http://www.watershedmonitor.com/siteDetail.aspx?dbNm=usgs&statn_id=09507580&kw=WW_LwrVerde



More exciting news! A new low flow river gage site has been added to www.WatershedMonitor.com.  The East Verde River at Crackerjack is now shown on the Lower Verde tab. You can access the new site by way of the Lower Verde pull-down menu on the line above or the SRP Low Flow gage pull-down menu. This site was installed March 2012 through a special use permit issued by the Tonto National Forest. Visit the website for near real time information collected by the USGS and SRP.

 

*Canyon Creek -- Has been stocked recently. Try night crawlers, Power Bait, or small spinners, such as Mepps and Rooster Tails. Power Bait can also work well.

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


COLORADO RIVER NORTHWEST

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

LAKE POWELL – By: Wayne Gustaveson, Utah Division of Wildlife. Lake Powell is stable and holding at elevation 3,635 (MSL) where it has been for over a month.  Water flowing in equals water flowing out with no sign of increased runoff. This means that bass and crappie nests are still visible. Water temperature is holding in the low 60s, which is ideal for excellent bass, walleye and crappie fishing.    The end result is ideal fishing conditions that will continue for a few more weeks. Here are the details.

Bass have mostly pulled off the nests as fry have hatched following a good spawn in mid April.  But males still guard the swimming fry for a time and are in close proximity to the nest. Bass are seen cruising in shallow water rather than guarding each nest. But it’s not over.  Soon guarding males will abandon swimming fry and reoccupy the nest. They spawn again and start the process over again.  The difference this year is that anglers will be able to see nests in May that are usually covered by murky runoff.

Males will now randomly spawn and guard nests depending on where they are in their individual nesting/spawning cycle.  The end result will be visible bass which are very aggressive on nests shortly after eggs are deposited but slacking off in aggressiveness a day or two after the event. Crappie follow a similar pattern but their second spawn is weaker than large and smallmouth bass.

Immature bass have really moved into the shallows at the edge of deep water. Young smallmouth are on the edge of the rocky channels and coves while young largemouth are in the brush thickets.  Both species are eager to hit plastic grubs and Senkos.

Walleye fishing improves each day. Many bass anglers catch walleye while fishing for bass. Those specifically targeting walleye with worm harnesses and slow trolling bottom bouncers are doing even better. Walleye depth is 12 to 25 feet with best location being on the edge of the shallows with deep water access nearby.  Best time to fish is in subdued light of early morning or late evening. It is possible to find a good bass reef while fishing during the day and then return to the same spot after dark to find it taken over by walleye.

Darn stripers!  These critters are thinking about spawning but are not quite ready. That means males stake out a point off the main lake near a potential spawning cove and wait for females to arrive.  The cove would normally be less than 30 feet deep.  Male stripers have been ready to spawn since early April but females are still holding off, hence the inconsistency of striper fishing right now.  Once in place males don’t move much and are often dormant during the day.  They can be found by trolling and casting near points.  Spawning will not occur until females are stimulated to spawn by rapidly rising water temperature and increased inflow near a flowing tributary.  Historically, the earliest spawn has come near May 10 and has been delayed as late as June 10.  Finding a spawning striper school is the only thing better than fishing a boil.  The only problem is that it all happens at night.  

Night fishing is the key to catching stripers now.  Big females have been caught at night slow trolling whole anchovies in Navajo Canyon where bottom depth in the main channel is 40 feet. If you want a trophy now is the time to catch one.

 

LEES FERRY -- By: Terry Gunn, Lees Ferry Anglers, May 1.

Current flow forecast call May flows to be near the same flows that we saw in April, with a low of 7,000 cfs occurring in the morning then a slow rise to 13,000 cfs in the afternoon. These are perfect flows for fishing Lees Ferry.

Remember that the flows are lower on Saturday and Sunday and these lower flows are almost always better for the midge hatches and fishing. It is more crowded on weekends but the fishing sure can be good. The projected flows for June will be slightly higher but should still be good for wading and fishing.

The flows in July will be much higher and this is the time of year that we get back in the boats and spend most of our time drifting and fishing from the boat. July is the month for cicadas and the biggest fish of the year.

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.

There have been some recent comments regarding our fishing report not being updated more often. I have personally taken over the duties of writing the report so that I can guarantee the information is accurate and to the point. We all know that fishing can vary from day to day but what I look for are trends and you can rest assured that I post a new report as soon as I see a trend developing or changing. If the report is a week or more old just assume that it is status quo and nothing of importance has changed since the posting of the last report. If you need more information feel free to pick up the phone and talk to a live person at 800-962-9755, we are here 363 days a year, 15 hours a day.

To help understand why midges are so important to our fishing success it’s good to know more about the lifecycle of midges and their importance to the trout diet. The adult midges contribute very little to the trout diet. It is rare that you will see an adult trout rise to feed on an adult midge; the reason is that the amount of energy expended is not worth the food intake. The adult midges breed then release their eggs into the water. The eggs sink and hatch into a tiny caterpillar (larvae) that lives on the bottom of the river for an extended period of time. At some point the larvae pupates and forms a chrysalis. The midge pupae will release in mass, and countless pupae will begin slowly drifting to the surface. This in turn flips the feeding switch for the trout and the fish will move into the shallow riffles where the pupae are concentrated by the shallow water. This is when the trout are feeding so heavily that they get careless and will eat our fly if it has a close resemblance to the midge pupae that they are feeding on.

The bigger the hatch the better the fishing; this is why the best fishing always occurs during big hatches and why the midge hatches are so important to the trout diet. The biggest midge hatches always occur in the lower water flows. During the lower flows trout are not eating worms or scuds because these food items are not available; the only time that worms and scuds are available is during the high water flows when the higher velocity water moves the suds and worms around. If there are no midge hatches in the lower flows the fish will not be feeding and the fishing will be slow. I go into a lot more detail on fish feeding behavior here: http://www.leesferry.com/main/area-information/fishing-101

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.).

Walk-In Fly Fishing Report: by Dean Windham

05-01-12

The walk in has been fishing really great again this week. All areas have been seeing many fish and some with good size. The flows have been the same as the past few months. The weather has been good but there was a low pressure front that came through last week that slowed down the fishing for a day and a half. Other than that the fishing is excellent.

The upper boulder field has been the most productive area on a consistent basis all week. The pocket water has been holding some nice 18 to 20 inch fish. Midges have been doing well. The San Juan worm has also been doing much better the past few days. I have not heard of many anglers using streamers in this area but in the afternoon they should be productive.

From the big boulder down to the Paria is fishing really good in the morning and then on and off until 4 or 5 pm. Midges are the hot fly here also. But streamers have been working better here all day and have been producing some larger fish, The inner seams have been where the fish are holding. You don’t have to wade very far to get into fish. The first seam is only about 5 feet from the shore. Watch how the bubbles and foam float and put your offering in the same area at the same speed. Long drifts can be done here but are not necessary to get fish. A good drift of 20 feet or so should be enough.

At the area where the Paria enters the Colorado, a number of larger fish were taken this week. I was catching at least one fish every day in the 18-20 inch range. Most of the fish in this area are fat and really fight hard. San Juan worms with midges are working really well here. Glo bugs work at times but don’t appear to produce a consistent bite. Streamers also work very well here especially in the evening.

So if you have not been up here recently, what are you waiting for? The weather is great and the fish are biting like crazy. Hope to see you on the water soon.

Spin fishing walk-in report 5-1-12

The spin fishing has improved somewhat this week. The best area to fish is the area below the Paria riffle in front of the Paria Beach parking lot. If you spin fish in the upper walk in area, the afternoon is best when the flows are up. Kastmasters in the gold color and 1/4 oz have been working the best. However, 1/4 oz jigs are working if you can find a deeper hole and are able to get it down to the fish. Remember to use a jigging action with whatever spin bait you are using. Fishing with spinners can be real exciting if you are able to get some action in your offering. Don’t be afraid to experiment but you will need to have some patience. 4lb test line and 1/4 oz lures work the best . Hope to
see you on the water sometime.
The rating for spin fishing the walk in is 7 this week.
Spin Fishing Up River:

Spin fishing is just OK. The reason that it has slowed down is due to the fact there is so much algae floating in the river that it is difficult to get a good drift.

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: anglers@leesferry.com  Attn. Lees Ferry



LAKE MEAD – In the last week the water level has dropped almost 2 feet to approximately 1,125 feet above msl.  It looks like the water elevation has stabilized compared to the November 2010 elevation of 1082 feet above msl, which marked the lowest level in decades. There seems to be an abundance of shad currently which may be the reason for the lack of bite. Cut anchovies are still the bait of choice.  Check the moon phases before you go –last new moon was April 21. The next new moon will be May 20.  Dark nights work best when fishing under light.

Fishing for stripers in 50 plus feet of water will normally 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. 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.

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

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

LAKE 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 to 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. The local bass club held a tournament on April 15 and all ten boats brought in the limit of 5 fish with the average weight of 2.53 lbs. and a big fish of 3.64 lbs. 

Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Next new moon was April 21.  The next new moon will be May 20.  Dark nights work best when fishing under light. Cut anchovies usually work the best. 

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

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

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 www.azgfd.gov  or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

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 gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.
For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department's web pages at www.azgfd.gov  or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

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 beautiful 17 pound striper caught in the Rotary Park area. Overall the fishing is great on the river with large rainbow trout still being caught.  Rusty sent a picture in of a beautiful rainbow trout and a nice fillet size striper.

Topock Gorge: Capt. Doyle's Fishing Report:

With the exception of a few off days–lingering lows and wind, April has been a stellar month for bass and sunfish in the Topock Gorge! Most of the bass have been taken on minnows and night crawlers.

Smallmouth sizes have been ranging between 2- and 5-pounds and the sunfish have weighed up to 1.5-pounds. I would like to petition anglers to please exercise catch-and-release so our bass have a chance to reproduce which in turn will further a fish rich river. Bass are territorial, so releasing them where they were caught is also beneficial.

Ray Schaefer and Jerry Jacobs of Goodyear, Arizona recently boated a limit of smallmouth and 10 nice sunfish. Brady and Kyle Spilker of Seven Hills, OH caught a bounty of tasty little bluegill on night crawlers and a mixed bag limit of largemouth and smallmouth bass on live bait.

Fishing exclusively for bass, Robert Abella from Las Vegas, NV and his party picked up some impressive bass–a 2-, a 3-, a 4- and the biggest so far this month, a 5.5-pounder!

Striped bass have finally begun to move up river. It’s a soak your bait all-day event, but the sizes may be worth the wait. John and Pat Morris of Golden Shores, Arizona took home two, a 2- and a 4-pounder, from the Blankenship Bend area and another pair, a 3- and a 4-pounder, higher up into the Gorge. Anchovy was, of course, the bait of choice. Pat told me they took another couple of stripers in the 3-pound class a week later.

Another Golden Shores resident, Bob Meltzer, also caught a 3-pound line-side. Meltzer was pitching chovy in the reeds near the Elbow. Bait fishermen need to check their bait regularly. If there’s no bait on your hook you’re just fishing on credit.

Fishing news from Topock Marsh has finally surfaced. It appears fishers are reaping crappie at both Catfish Paradise and at North Dyke. No sizes were reported. Because of the time of year, there’s a good possibility the fish are black crappie rather than white. 

Thanks, 
Georgia
   

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 http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/havasu/index.html.

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 www.azgfd.gov  or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.



SOUTHWESTERN WATERS

Note: If you would like more information on southwestern waters, visit http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/where_fish_southwest.shtml. Our Yuma Regional office has recently updated all the information to provide you more insight into these fisheries.

For more information, visit the updated "Where to Fish" pages at http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/where_fish_southwest.shtml.

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



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

Lake Level 449.82. Striper action good fishing cut anchovieson the dropoff into the old river channel where stripers are schooling up to spawn. Best depth is 35 to 55ft. During times of heavy boat traffic stripers seek out the deepest areas of the channel where they can move freely without getting spooked. Look for early AM topwater action to begin this next week as temps hit the 100 degree mark.

Largemouth bass bite is great on post spawn bass. Senkos, Tubes & Texas rigged craws flipped around habitats and cattails producing some aggressive bites.

Redear sunfish just now beginning to spawn. Nightcrawlers and crappie tubes work great on these great fighting sunfish.


PARKER STRIP
-- No recent reports. Should be decent smallmouth bass fishing just below Parker Dam.

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

Well folks, due to time this going to be kinda short. First I want to apologize for getting the All Stars all messed up.  It was the couples tournament the weekend before last and the elite (as it was put to me) this last weekend.  All I know is a 5 pounder was big fish and winning weight was 17.5  I think  Wes McCraken won it.

On Sunday The Phoenix Bass Master Juniors had a tournament with 33 kids. I thought I was going to get some details e-mailed to me but that never happened. While I was there a young man had a big smile on his face and was telling another kid, " I got a hog!"  The other kid asks "whats a hog?"  Young man says you will see and goes over to a live well and weighs a 4-something-pound bass.  I wish I had a chance to talk to him and get his name. You could tell that he was now hooked on fishing. I'm going to try and send a picture of the young man but I have not had good luck getting pictures through to Rory.

There's a great topwater bite going at first light. A frog is the way to go.  You can also pull out some decent fish throwing a spinner bait in the upper end of the lake.

The night time crappie bite has turned on. Anglers are reporting catching 20 to 25 a night. There anchoring up by the trees, and using lights. The bite is sporadic through out the night.

Cat fishing is decent. Anglers are catching cats on training wheels and plastics. Try throwing a Shad Rap and hold onto your pole.  I'm happy to say I got my new trolling motor on last night and will be hitting the water as soon as I get off and get out this monkey suit. I have some fiber glass work to do on the bow but threw an old stop sign on it and it works pretty good. I have not gone through the deck yet.

The releases went from 40 to 50 cfs today. You can see the shore line drop every morning.  You can still launch of the main ramp make shift point area, but your really encouraged to use Cholla. If your boat over 16 foot I would not even bother trying the main ramp.  Besides it's going to be gone in a few days. The lake level is 1104.

Remember bug spray and sun block. Oh yeah, the biting flies are out in force. That's it for now.
 
 
Mark
 

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 http://www.yumabassman.com/.


CENTRAL MOUNTAINS

Note: The summer trout stocking schedule can be accessed at http://www.azgfd.gov/pdfs/h_f/fishing/stocking/2012SumTroutStockSchedule.pdf

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

WILLIAMS LAKES:   
 
KAIBAB LAKE — Campground opened this week. Has been liberally stocked for weeks for a couple of months. In fact, this was the first high country lake to be stocked this season.

Fishing should be very good. Try live night crawlers, Power Bait, or small spinners.

CATARACT LAKE — Campground is now open.  Schedoled for stocking again this week. No angler reports yet. Fishing should be good. Try live night crawlers, Power Bait, or small spinners.

CITY RESERVOIR — No report. Scheduled for stocking again this week.

DOGTOWN LAKE — Campground is now open. Stocked recently. Fishing should be good. Try live night crawlers, Power Bait, or small spinners.

JD DAM — No report

RUSSELL TANK — The lake is to shallow to stock.

SANTA FE — No Report. Stocked Last Week and scheduled for stocking again this coming week. 

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is now open. Has been recently stocked. Fishing should be good. Try live night crawlers, Power Bait, or small spinners.

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:
LOWER LAKE MARY — Very low water. No report.

UPPER LAKE MARY —   No report but anglers should be catching northern pike right now. This lake also has walleye, yellow perch and largemouth bass.

ASHURST LAKE —   No report but the road is open. This lake has been liberally stocked with rainbows, so fishing should be good.

The lake was sampled in early May  and lots of holdover rainbow trout were caught. Smaller pike were also common in our nets; please remove all of the pike you catch.  

FRANCIS SHORT POND –  Fishing was fair last week according to the report I received from a fly angler.  Stocked last  week with 299 rainbows.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Road and campground are slated to open May 4. No reports on angling.

MARSHALL LAKE —  No report; low water.

LONG LAKE — No report. Accessible, but no reports from anglers.

SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX — No reports.


VERDE VALLEY

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Catfish were last stocked for the Verde River Days event.  Trout were last stocked the week of March 19.  The catfish and largemouth bite has been fair.  Catfish are still being caught on nightcrawlers, 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.

Hi Rory,
 
I want you to know that I greatly enjoy and rely upon your fishing reports every week.  I figured I would throw in my two cents on a 4/21 trip I made up north to Dead Horse Ranch State Park.  My grandfather, Pete Sesow, fishes the lagoons almost religiously and we have fished for trout together there for years.  This trip, however, I decided to change it up and do a little sight fishing for largemouths after reading your report saying bass anglers were having some luck there.  We fished for two days and had very little luck with the exception of this beauty that weighed in a little over 3.5 lbs.  I spent a good hour and a half working different presentations at this fish finally hitting with a shallow diving crankbait.  This was the only bass I caught or even observed being caught while I was there.  We did have some fun reeling in some Bluegill on fly gear though.  Thanks again for all the info and keep up the great work.
 
Thank you,
 
Matt Ullman
Goodyear, AZ

OAK CREEK -- Will be stocked weekly throughout the spring-summer fishing season. Expect fishing to be good for rainbow trout, and fair to poor for brown trout.

Don't forget that a small segment of this creek in the upper end of the canyon has special regulations. Between Junipine Crossing and Call-of-the-Canyon Crossing (includes the confluence with the West Fork of Oak Creek), trout must be immediately released unharmed (catch-and-release), no trout may be kept, and it is artificial fly and lure only with single barbless hooks.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Trout were last stocked the week March 26.  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. 

WET BEAVER CREEK – Scheduled to be stocked this week.

WEST CLEAR CREEK- Scheduled to be stocked this week.

Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — The last stocking was the week of April 16. Scheduled to be stocked again the last week of April.  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 — Many anglers have reported doing well. Power Bait is probably your best bet, although spinners and flies can do well also.  The father of Jackson and Isabella sent in a picture with the kids holding their limit of trout with priceless smiles on each of their faces. They were using worms with a bobber and the occasional KastMaster or a tiny Rapala.  Like most fishing areas, one day the bite is great and the next it’s slow.  The last scheduled stocking was the week of April 9 and is scheduled to be stocked again the first week of May.      

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 gcummins@azgfd.gov 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 gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

LYNX LAKE –Rainbow trout were last stocked April 9 and the next stocking is the middle of May.   

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 April 16.  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.  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 gcummins@azgfd.gov 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 gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

White Mountains and Rim Lakes
 

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


Recommended Waters to Fish
Fishing for hold-over trout is excellent at Big Lake, and good at Nelson Reservoir. Trout stocking has begun for the season, and fishing will be good at Concho Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Black Canyon Lake, Bunch Reservoir, Luna Lake, Tunnel Reservoir, River Reservoir, Rainbow Lake, Show Low Lake, Willow Springs Lake, Woodland Lake, and Woods Canyon Lake. 

For fly anglers, Becker Lake is good, with reports of 24-inch rainbow trout.

Trout Stocking Schedule

Week of April 23-27
Bunch Reservoir – 350 show pond rainbow trout (up to 6 pounds)
Concho Lake – 1,640 rainbow trout
Fool Hollow Lake – 1,000 one-pound rainbow trout and 917 stocker trout
Rainbow Lake – 375 one-pound rainbow trout
Show Low Lake – 1,000 one-pound rainbow trout and 2,048 stocker trout
Scott Reservoir – 786 rainbow trout

Week of April 30-May 4
Bear Canyon Lake – 1,823 rainbow trout
Crescent Lake – at least 800 one-pound brook trout
East Fork Black River – 600 Apache trout
Little Colorado River in Greer – 800 Apache trout
Sheep’s Crossing/West Fork LCR – 400 Apache trout
Silver Creek – 488 Apache trout
West Fork Black River – 500 Apache trout
Willow Springs Lake – 5,376 rainbow trout
Woodland Lake – 2,250 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 6,048 rainbow trout

MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
Note:  All Rim Lakes are ice-free, and all Forest Roads (FR) are open, including the Rim Road.

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair for carry-over trout and will be good for recently stocked trout.  Bear Canyon Lake will be stocked this week with 1,823 rainbow trout.  FR 300 and 89 are open.  The lake is ice-free and full.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake was stocked 2 weeks ago with rainbow trout.  FR 300 and 86 are open to Black Canyon Lake.  The lake is ice-free, but the water level is very low.  Launching a boat will be difficult.  Recent fish population surveys found a few carry-over rainbow trout from 14 to 17 inches and a few big largemouth bass.

BLUE RIDGE (CC Cragin) --  No recent reports from anglers. This is a steep sided reservoir that is NOT shore angler friendly, but it is a good lake for float tubes, canoes and kayaks.

Diversions from C. C. Cragin Reservoir begin May 3. Flows in the East Verde River will be varied as operations begin. Use the link below to access the USGS data on WatershedMonitor.com  

 

http://www.watershedmonitor.com/siteDetail.aspx?dbNm=usgs&statn_id=09507580&kw=WW_LwrVerde



A new low flow river gage site has been added to www.WatershedMonitor.com. The East Verde River at Crackerjack is now shown on the Lower Verde tab. You can access the new site by way of the Lower Verde pull-down menu on the line above or the SRP Low Flow gage pull-down menu. This site was installed March 2012 through a special use permit issued by the Tonto National Forest. Visit the website for near real time information collected by the USGS and SRP.

Not sure how these flows will affect the water level at CC Cragin.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is good.  All Forest Roads are open to Chevelon Lake.  The lake is ice-free and full, but no longer spilling.  Recent fish population surveys found good numbers of rainbow trout from 11 to 14 inches, and a few brown trout ranging from 12 to 29 inches. There is dispersed campging nearby.

This is a deep canyon lake with very little shoreline access. It's a hike-in, hike-out lake that can be physically challenging -- especially on the hike out. It is best fished from a float tube, canoe or kayak.

KNOLL LAKE -- Scheduled to be stocked this week. This is one of our most remote lakes and can be accessed via the famed Rim Road (FR300). It takes 45 minutes to an hour of traveling a dusty dirt road to get here, but many find it well worth it. There is a small campground and some dispersed camping opportunities.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent.  Willow Springs Lake will be stocked heavily this week with 5,376 rainbow trout.  FR 149 is open.  The lake is ice-free and full.  The boat dock was damaged by ice over the winter and is not accessible, but it is still okay to launch boats. The nearby campgrounds are open.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good for carry-over rainbow trout and will be excellent for recently stocked trout.  Woods Canyon Lake will be stocked heavily this week with 6,048 rainbow trout.  FR 300 and 105 are open to Woods Canyon Lake.  The lake is ice-free and full.  The store is open and boat rentals are available. The nearby campgrounds are open.


Angler report:

Dear Mr. Aikens,

This is my first report ever. I spent last weekend at Spillway Campground at Woods Canyon Lake and the fishing was very good.  I went up Friday afternoon and fished for a couple hours, catching four rainbows. Saturday morning, it took me a little less than one hour to catch the limit (having missed three fish that nibbled my bait).  Sunday morning, I caught my limit quickly again, but not as quickly as on Saturday.

My buddy's son, who is 15 years old and had never caught a fish, caught his first five fish (one Saturday afternoon and four Sunday morning) after I taught him how to rig his pole.  One of his fish was by far larger than the others.  I hope that I have successfully converted him.  All but one of the fish were probably new stockers because they weren't that big.  The big one was about 14 inches.  All of the fish were rainbows and we caught them all on garlic Power Bait fished off the bottom.  Please keep up the good work.  I appreciate it.

Tom





Creeks Below the Mogollon Rim

The following creeks were stocked last week and will be stocked again this week:

*Tonto Creek -- Scheduled to be stocked again this week.

*Christopher Creek  -- Scheduled to be stocked again this week.

*Haigler Creek -- Scheduled to be stocked again this week.

*East Verde River -- Scheduled to be stocked again this week.

UPDATE: Diversions from C. C. Cragin Reservoir are scheduled to begin today, May 3. Flows in the East Verde River will be varied as operations begin. Use the link below to access the USGS data on WatershedMonitor.com  

 

http://www.watershedmonitor.com/siteDetail.aspx?dbNm=usgs&statn_id=09507580&kw=WW_LwrVerde



More exciting news! A new low flow river gage site has been added to www.WatershedMonitor.com.  The East Verde River at Crackerjack is now shown on the Lower Verde tab. You can access the new site by way of the Lower Verde pull-down menu on the line above or the SRP Low Flow gage pull-down menu. This site was installed March 2012 through a special use permit issued by the Tonto National Forest. Visit the website for near real time information collected by the USGS and SRP.

 

*Canyon Creek -- Scheduled to be stocked again this week.


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


WHITE MOUNTAINS LAKES

Note:  All Forest Roads are now open, including Highways 273 and 261.  The final pieces of construction on Hwy 273 were completed last fall, so the road is now paved to Big Lake.  All lakes are ice-free.
 

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

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake is ice-free. 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 excellent. Anglers are catching fish all over the lake, including a 22-inch rainbow trout caught recently. The lake is ice-free. The store is open and boat rentals are available.  Big Lake was not impacted by the Wallow Fire last year.

Try live night crawlers, Power Bait, or small spinners. Trolling cowbells or Ford Fenders can be productive.  
 
CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake is ice-free. Fish population surveys recently conducted at Carnero Lake found that some trout survived the winter.  Few fish were caught, but the weeds are currently down and the entire lake is accessible. The remaining trout are likely spread throughout the lake.  Additional trout will be stocked soon. The lake level is about 1.5 feet down.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair. Rainbow trout were stocked two weeks ago, but the lake is muddy from spring runoff and dredging activity. The dredging is being conducted to remove tons of sediment deposited in recent years that have affected the depth of the lake. Bait fishing will likely be more productive than lure fishing since the water clarity is greatly reduced.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake is almost full. It was stocked last week with rainbow trout.

CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake is ice-free.  Fish population surveys conducted last week found that some fish survived the winter. A fair number of brook trout from 14 to 16 inches were caught, plus one small rainbow. The lake likely experienced a partial winterkill on the larger rainbow trout, which tend to die first from low oxygen conditions.  Crescent will be stocked this week with at least 800 one-pound brook trout.  There are 5,400 large brook trout in the hatchery that will be stocked into Crescent Lake over the next 2-3 weeks.  They are so large, that they can only haul 800 at a time.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake was stocked last week with large one-pound rainbow trout.  Fool Hollow is ice-free.  Recent fish population surveys found walleye, some large northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie and some hold-over rainbow trout.

Large walleye from Fool Hollow Lake captured in recent surveys (released alive back into the lake)

GREER LAKES – Fishing is good.  River Reservoir, Bunch Reservoir and Tunnel Reservoir are full and ice-free.  All three lakes have been recently stocked.  Bunch Reservoir was stocked last week with 350 supercatchable and show pond size rainbow trout.  These fish are big, averaging 1.6 pounds each, with some up to 6 pounds.  Fish with lures (1/8-1/4 oz KastMasters, Rapalas, or Panther Martin spinners) or with bait (night crawlers or Power Bait) on the bottom.

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 – Highways 273 and 261 are now open. Lee Valley Lake was not impacted by the Wallow Fire last year and also survived through the winter. Fish population surveys conducted last week found some Apache trout up to 16 inches and some Arctic grayling up to 14 inches.

Hatchery Apache trout will be stocked next week (May 9-13).  Some Arctic grayling will be stocked this week, but they are fingerling size and won’t be catchable until next year. The lake is ice-free, but the lake level is fairly low.

LUNA LAKE – Fishing is good. Luna Lake was stocked heavily with 5,440 rainbow trout two weeks ago.  Fish population surveys also found carryover rainbow trout that had survived through the winter.  The lake is full and ice-free.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is closed to public entry and will re-open this summer.

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair for hold-over trout.  The lake is full and ice-free.  Anglers are catching a few large trout about one to two pounds each.  Recent fish population surveys found hold-over trout from 13 to 18 inches and lots of black crappie from 7 to 14 inches.  Try fishing night crawlers or Power Bait in deep water or trolling lures or flies.  The lake will be stocked when the lake stops spilling.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked last week with large one-pound rainbow trout and was also stocked several times before that. The lake is full and ice-free.  Recent fish population surveys found numerous small northern pike, bullheads, largemouth bass and sunfish, but no carry-over trout.

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is good. The lake was stocked recently with rainbow trout. Scott Reservoir is full and ice-free. Recent fish population surveys found good carry-over trout in the 13- to 15-inch size, plus a few large channel catfish. 

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake was stocked last week with 1,000 large one-pound trout.  Show Low Lake is ice-free and about six feet low, but the boat ramp is still usable.  The fishing pier located across the dam is now accessible.  Boat rentals will be available soon; see the campground host.  Some of the campgrounds are open.

Large smallmouth bass from Show Low Lake captured in recent surveys (released alive back into the lake)

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake will be stocked this week with 2,250 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.  Woodland is full and ice-free.  The trout bag and possession limit is four trout.

WHITE MOUNTAINS STREAMS
Note: All Forest Roads are now 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 and is in beautiful condition.

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair to good for wild brown trout.  The East Fork survived the Wallow Fire of 2011 much better than expected and is currently holding many wild brown trout.  Apache trout will be stocked this week at Buffalo Crossing only.  Portions of the East Fork will not be accessible by vehicle, since FR 276 and the campgrounds will be closed.  Vehicle access is currently open only at Buffalo Crossing at the lower end and Three Forks at the upper end.

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 will be stocked this week at the Forest Road 68 crossing.  Fishing in the middle and upper reaches is fair to good, 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 in Greer this week:  800 trout per week will be split between Government Springs (80 percent), the East Fork road just before the first cabin on the right, and in front of Rendezvous Café.

SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is good.  Apache trout will be stocked this week at Sheeps Crossing.  Highway 273 is now open.  Sheeps Crossing was not affected by the Wallow Fire last year.  Fishing for wild Apache trout in the wilderness portions of the West Fork Little Colorado River is fair.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good.  Apache trout will be stocked this week.  Silver Creek is now 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.

 

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

The winter trout stocking season is pretty much over here in southern Arizona. Warm temperatures have begun to raise water temperatures and anglers can expect to start catching bass and sunfish as these become more active with the increasing temperatures.

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:  
http://www.azgfd.gov/pdfs/h_f/fishing/stocking/2012SumTroutStockSchedule.pdf.  This schedule is updated as changes occur so check back often! The stocking schedule is now interactive, so check it out.

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

URBAN LAKES -- Channel catfish are scheduled to be stocked this week.

Cats have been biting very well on worms, stink baits, hot dogs or shrimp fished on the bottom. Catfish have been active throughout the day with afternoons and evenings best.

Bluegill fishing is good at waters that were just stocked the end of March. Best baits for the feisty, 5- to 8-inch bluegill are worms and mealworms fished under a small bobber in 3- to 6-foot depths.

Action for largemouth bass has slowed as they move into the post-spawn period over the next few weeks. Please exercise catch-and-release for largemouth bass and remember the minimum keepable size for bass is 13 inches.

RIGGS FLAT — The lake is now open for the summer. Scheduled to be stocked this week with 3,038 rainbows and 2,000 brown trout. Fly angler are reporting success on holdover brown trout. The summer trout stocking schedule can be accessed at http://www.azgfd.gov/pdfs/h_f/fishing/stocking/2012SumTroutStockSchedule.pdf

CLUFF RANCH —No recent reports of success. The pond is close to being 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.  The department is wrapping up the final renovation work by installing artificial habitat structures this week.  It is expected that the lake will begin to re-fill in the next week or so. 

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.

ARIVACA — Open to anglers, water levels are continuing to drop and it will be difficult to launch larger boats.  Use caution when launching your boat and pay attention for submerged trees and rocks that are near the surface due to low water levels. 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 –  The department stocked Pena Blanca Lake last month with close to 2,000 largemouth bass, redear sunfish, bluegill sunfish and channel catfish. Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be immediately released alive. Additionally all mercury advisories against the eating of warmwater fish caught at Pena Blanca Lake remains in effect.  Future testing will determine if and when these advisories will be lifted.

Fished Pena Blanca on Monday April 30 and had good fishing for Rainbow Trout. My partner and I caught 4 fish total and 3 of them were over 13 inches. We lost many fish due to short strikes. We had equal
action while casting and trolling. Bass fishing was poor as expected. Water is very clear but lots of tree blossums floating on the lake.

Darwin Long

PATAGONIA — Fishing continues to pick up with bass anglers having success working the shorelines in shallower water. Look for surface boils -- this should be topwater time for post-spawn bass.

PARKER CANYON — Fly anglers are reporting success as are anglers that are trolling. Parker Canyon received its last trout stocking for the season the week of April 2. Contact the Parker Canyon Lake Store for up to date information on lake levels and fishing activity at www.parkercanyonlake.com or by phone at (520)455-5847.

 

Angler Report:

Hello,


The fishing has been spectacular lately with all species being reeled in. Limits of trout are being caught on Power Bait and spinners; Bass on crankbaits and worms; Catfish on worms; Panfish on butterworms, wax worms, and worms. Lake temp is near 70 this week.

Thanks,
Scott Kerr

 

ROSE CANYON LAKE — The lake is open to vehicle traffic and it has been stocked.  Prior to the initial stocking fly anglers were reporting catching hold over brown trout. Stocked last week with 2,160 rainbows and the water temperature was 64F.  The summer trout stocking schedule can be accessed at http://www.azgfd.gov/pdfs/h_f/fishing/stocking/2012SumTroutStockSchedule.pdf

 

 

 

 

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