From AZGFD.gov

Updated Fishing Report

Posted in: Fishing Report
By R aikens
Apr 28, 2011

Here's a sweet deal you might want to know about for those who buy a fishing license. Visit  http://www.shakespeare-fishing.com/coupon.html for all the details. Just a little rebate icing from Shakespeare on the fishing cake.

Page Springs Hatchery Trout stocking for the week of 4/25/2011:

- Region 1:  Rainbow Lake (932) 59*F pH 8.5, Fools Hollow Lake (2,178) 57*F pH 8.0, Nelson Reservoir (8,564) 55*F pH 8.75, Luna Lake (50011 Fing) 54*F pH 8.5
 
- Region 2: Santa Fe Lake (792) 52*F pH 7.5, Dogtown Lake (6,558) 55*F pH 7.75, Kinnikinick Lake (3,670 BNT) 55 *F pH 8.75, Oak Creek (1,408) 59-63 *F, Frances Short (300) 58*F pH 7.5, City Reservoir (1584) 54*F pH 7.5, White Horse Lake (4736)

- Region 3: Goldwater Lake (1,050) 63*F pH 8.0

- Region 5: Rose Canyon Lake (1,820) 62*F pH 8.0

Next week tentative stocking schedule:

Region 1: Woods Canyon Lake (3,645), Big Lake (70,000 Fingerlings)
Region 2: Oak Creek (1,408)
Region 3: Mingus Lake (440)
Region 4: No scheduled stocking
Region 5: Riggs Flat Lake (2,673)
Region 6: Lower Salt River (1,320)'


Latest stocking from the Canyon Creek Hatchery (as of April 28):

• Clear Creek Reservoir – 2,595 Rainbow Trout
• Fool Hollow Lake - 1,730 Rainbow Trout
• Woodland Lake- 2,900 Rainbow Trout
• Canyon Creek- 240 Rainbow Trout

 

Rory's tips:

In nature's rhythm of the land and water, when the Palo Verde trees bloom bright yellow in the upper Sonoran Desert, it's topwater time. However, this year, nature is throwing us a slight curve.

Typically when spring hits full stride, we have lots of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and striped bass not just in post-spawn mode, but sufficiently recovered from the spawning process that they aggressively feed, quite often on shad at the top of the water column, or better yet on spawning shad in some of the early bird lakes such as Alamo and Havasu.

Rory,

 

I have attached a picture of my Grandson Tony with his 4# catfish taken at Alamo Lake during his spring break in March 2011.  This picture is a little late for you fishing report but I thought you might be able to use it to promote fishing and show off the beautiful Arizona sunset as well.

 

Regards,

 

Charlie

 

Also, we usually see the crappie spawn during the April full moon (or sooner in places like Alamo). That didn't happen either, at least not so we could tell. However, with a waning moon, night fishing using lights is now viable. The new moon is May 2 and the next full moon is May 17.

Things are a little topsy-turvy this year, in part because of a cold spring storm that dumped snow in the high country and even on mid-elevation upper Sonoran desert habitats and drove temperatures in winter extremes. That unusual storm chilled down water temperatures, kind of the reverse of an Indian Summer (Eskimo Spring?).

Anyway, it's still topwater time, kind of, but not quite as robust as most years. But be prepared to go to the bottom of the water column as well. You can find largemouth bass in all three stages right now -- pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn.

Great reports from Lake Havasu for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and stripers. Havasu is like a big shallow solar bowl in the desert (similar to Alamo Lake). But while Alamo didn't quite heat up as expected, water temp wise, Havasu apparently did. Not sure it's status spring break activities, but when the younger crowd isn't on the water, it's worth a trip. You might also want to try the Parker Strip for smallmouth bass. It's a blast to fish smallies in the current below Parker Dam.

Good reports this past week from both Lake Powell and Lees Ferry in northern Arizona. For Powell, if the anticipated higher winds visit this week, you might not want to be out on the water there. We'll see what happens. Had an angler call who fished the Ferry with this family and had one of his best fishing trips ever (Chris, I never saw your pics).

Still have all the high mountain lakes open and accessible, except for Bear Canyon Lake along the Mogollon Rim just past Woods Canyon. And you'll still have to hike-in one-quarter mile into Woods.

Some anglers are catching very nice holdovers (larger trout) at Willow Springs Lake and Black Canyon Lake on the Mogollon Rim. It's tough to beat Big Lake for cuts, 'bow's and brookies, or next door at Crescent for holdover bookies. Lee Valley can be a dream for Apache trout if you hit it right. And of course the Greer Lakes can be superb.

Dogtown and Whitehorse have both been stocked. Kaibab Lake was the first of the higher mountain lakes to be stocked this year, so it might be doing very good at times. That's a fun area, because when the fish aren't biting, you can get your kicks on Route 66, or shoot up to the Grand Canyon without much trouble.

Strange year, but all in all, fishing is pretty good even if the patterns aren't quite what we are used to. Go catch some memories, maybe I'll see you out there.

Page Springs Trout stocking for the week of 4/18/2011:

Region 1:  Woods Canyon Lake (8,152) 56*F pH 7.5, Nelson Reservoir (8243) 58*F pH 8.7
 
Region 2: White Horse Lake (5,148) 61*F pH 7.5, Cataract Lake (4,752) 55*F pH 8.0, Long Lake (1,584) 54*F pH 8.5, Huffer Pond (264) 55*F pH 7.0, Dogtown Lake (5,128) 58*F pH 7.75, Kinnikinick Lake (3,048 BNT) 52 *F pH 9.25, Oak Creek (1,408) 59-63 *F, Frances Short (300) 57*F pH 7.5, Wet Beaver Creek (792) 60*F, West Clear Creek (450) 61*F

Region 3: Mingus Lake (880) 55*F pH 8.0

Region 5: Rose Canyon Lake (1,980) 62*F pH 7.5



This week's tentative stocking schedule:
Region 1: Fools Hollow Lake (2,450), Rainbow Lake (1,050), Nelson Reservoir (8800), Luna Lake (50,000 fingerlings)
Region 2: White Horse Lake (5,148), City Reservoir (1,584), Dogtown Lake (7128), Oak Creek (1,408), Frances Short (300), Santa Fe (792), Kinnikinick Lake (6952)
Region 3: Goldwater Lake (1,188)
Region 5: Rose Canyon Lake (1,980)

 

Crappie Report:

The spawn seems to be taking its sweet time this year. I have caught male Crappie at Roosevelt and Bartlett recently that are not in full color and still a ways off shore. I’ve heard the same thing from Alamo and San Carlos which is really strange because the spawn at these lakes is normally a month before the others. This just goes to show you that the fish don’t all spawn at once. But with water temps at nearly 70, all I can do is scratch my bald head.

For most anglers this has been an off year to date. Even pre-spawn hot spots like Alamo and San Carlos haven’t seemed to kick into high gear. Let’s just hope that a spawn is/ will happen. Maybe the fish are bedding in deeper water this year? Who knows, but its almost time to get the night gear ready as day time temps are getting very warm.

That being said, post-spawn Crappie fishing leading into the summer can be every bit as good as pre-spawn. Parenting is hard work and when the Crappie come off their beds they will be hungry. Going into May it might be time to start looking deeper in open water and off main lake points. But remember, find the shad and you’ll probably find the Crappie.
 
Alamo- I heard reports a week or so ago about some pretty tough conditions. However, a local bass angler and friend Athena Hammond from Bass Pro Shops fished a tournament last weekend and said the cleaning station was stuffed with folks cleaning tons of Crappie. The next meeting of the Arizona Crappie Association will be at Alamo on 5-14. I will be looking in deep water near the dam as I have always done well there when the temps go way up.  
 
Bartlett- Good old Bartlett has been a big surprise in the last 2 weeks. Many anglers are catching some pretty good numbers. There are a lot of smaller fish caught but many jumbos as well. I fished there last Friday with a friend from work and we caught 20 Crappie along with many bluegills and a catfish all between 2 and 4:30 pm. Try up by the no wake buoys, along the Yellow Cliffs and in Cat Bay.
 
Pleasant- No recent reports
 
Roosevelt- Rosey is still a mystery to most anglers. You know the Crappie are there, you can see them on your fish finder. But they just won’t come to the party.  On the 4-2 the AZCA held Spring Crappie-Fest 2011 at Grapevine. Although it was a great event, we only managed about 30 Crappie between 18 boats. Most of us believe that there are 2 factors that are contributing to the tough conditions. First, most of the active Crappie are deep in trees and you just can’t get to them. Second, there are tons of bait fish everywhere and the Crappie don’t have to hunt very hard for a meal. But don’t give up on Rosey just yet. It may not be great this spring but the future of the Crappie population looks good.

Congrats to this year winners of SCF Jack (Whaler) Sweeney and Ron (Hairless) Martin of Scottsdale. Team Hairless Whaler brought in 5 Crappie for 6 lbs. 13 ozs. to take first place. Louis (Phishing Phreek) Fleming, his girlfriend and sister brought in 5 fish for 6 lbs. 11 ozs. to take second and Kelley (Sandman) Brown and his wife Patti had 5 fish for 6 lbs. 1 oz and took 3rd. The big fish of the event was caught by Dave (Sparkchaser) Thompson’s son and weight in at 2 lbs. even.

San Carlos- Even SC has been hit or miss lately. One day you’ll get a limit and the next day 1 or 2. The lake has dropped about 10’ since the first of the year and many of us are worried about the lake making it through the summer. Get out and fish SC now because there may not be anything left to fish by monsoon.     

You can find me at Bass Pro Shops in Mesa this week Wednesday and Thursday from 1 pm to 9 pm and on Friday from 10 am to 7 pm. Stop in if you want to share a report or get some gear.
  
To protect the future of our sport the Arizona Crappie Association practices and promotes the immediate release of all Crappie under 10” in length. For more information on the Arizona Crappie Association including tips, reports, and membership, go to www.azcrappie.com.
 
Bill (Piscolli) Eveland
AZCA/ BPS

 

Got a fishing tip?
Share it for a chance to be published in Arizona Wildlife Views magazine
 
PHOENIX - Are you an avid angler? Are you willing to share a helpful fishing tip with those who may be new to the sport or the state?

Arizona's anglers are being invited to share their best fishing tips with readers of Arizona Wildlife Views, the state's official wildlife magazine, published by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The magazine is looking for nuggets of wisdom gleaned from your years on Arizona waters, words of advice you would share with your best fishing buddy.

The idea is to keep it brief: Three sentences or fewer should cover it. Also, be specific: Focus your tip on a particular species, situation, location, time of year or other fact. And yes, it’s OK to identify gear you swear by.
The best tips received by May 6 will be published — along with the author’s first name, last initial and hometown — in an upcoming issue of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine. Everyone whose tip is published gets a free copy of that issue.

Plus, the first 50 people who submit a complete entry will receive “Arizona Fishin’ Holes,” recently updated with GPS coordinates for each lake — an $8 value!

Ready to share your best fishing tip? Send it by e-mail to topfishingtips@azgfd.gov by May 6. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address in the body of your message to be eligible to receive your free copy. Limit one tip per person, please.
 

 


Fishing News

Yellow Cliffs boat ramp closed on Tonto National Forest

(Forest Service News Release) Scottsdale, Ariz. – The Yellow Cliffs boat ramp and dock are closed due to low water levels.

“It is no longer safe to use the ramp or dock,” said Tammy Pike, Recreation, Lands & Mineral Staff director, Cave Creek Ranger District. “The ramp and dock will be closed until the water level rises to a safe elevation.”  

For further information, please contact the Cave Creek Ranger District administrative office at 480-595-3300 or refer to the Tonto National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/Tonto.




CENTRAL WATERS

Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to "Been Fishing? at bfishing@azgfd.gov

URBAN --  An angler caught a 7½-inch bluegill at Red Mountain Park using a hot dog. 

The earthworm continues to be one of the best all-around fishing baits. Trout love them fished near the bottom or suspended below a bobber. If your favorite bait store offers dillys, buy them instead. They are small worms and the perfect size for trout. Keep them in a cooler and out of the sun and they will last up to a week or longer.  A size 8 bait holder hook is perfect for hooking the worm though the “collar” and covering the shaft of the hook with the barb end sticking out.  Use minimal weight positioned 12–18 inches above the hook.  Either a size 4 or 7 split shot or a 1/8 - ¼ ounce egg sinker above a swivel works best. 

(Picture on the right -- trolling at Green Valley Lake in Payson)

When bottom fishing it is important to let your bait settle to the bottom, then slowly reel in the slack line.  Try not to drag the bait along the bottom or you are likely to get snagged.  Keep the rod very still and wait for a bite. If you don’t get a bite after 10–20 minutes, reel in quickly to keep your rig from snagging.  Replace your worm as needed.  You can use a worm blower to inject air into the tail half of the worm.  It will make the worm float up off the bottom, keeping your bait out of rocks and weeds and up in the active feeding zone.

There are a couple different bobbers that work well for trout or bluegill including ¾ - 1 ¼ inch round bobbers, small 4-5 inch pencil bobbers, or slip bobbers.  Round bobbers work best on windy days, but it is hard to beat a pencil bobber.  They are thin, stick out of the water making them more visible, and offer less resistance to biting fish.  Bobbers allow you to fish your worm 2-5 feet deep.  To fish deeper, learn how to rig and use a slip bobber with a bobber stop.  They take a bit of practice to set up right, but they allow you to easily cast out while letting your bait slip through the bobber to depths from 2–20 feet.  Once rigged kids can easily fish with them.  Don’t forget bass and catfish love worms too.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE -- Fishing should be pretty good.  Yellow bass are prevalent throughout the lake and there are some pretty good sized largemouth bass along with some good sized carp especially on the east end of the lake.  Largemouth are mostly hanging around the middle and west sides especially near the bridges. 

Town Lake is shallow, with a fairly flat bottom (except for the reef balls we recently installed). It's perfect for learning to work lures across the bottom. This is a great place for practicing techniques like drop shots and split shots.

For the yellow bass, try gold KastMasters (small) slowly reeled in just off the bottom. An erratic retrieve can work well to make them kind of dance through the water. Also try yellow and black inline spinners, such as Rooster Tails.

LAKE PLEASANT -- Lake elevation 1,697 feet (94 percent full). It's on-again off-again at Lake Plesant. One day you can load up on stripers and largemouth bass, and the next day anglers are scratching their heads. But when the action is on, it's great.

Two anglers slew the stripers up the Aqua Fria arm catching about 50 keepers. No details on what they were using but I analyzed hundreds of striper stomachs a few years ago and 99 percent of their diet consist of shad – can’t imagine it changing a whole lot so net some shad or use shad looking lures.  They also caught a 5 pound largemouth, a channel catfish and one of the stripers was about 6 pounds.

Another angler caught 32 white bass and 8 stripers along with 8 largemouth bass.

ROOSEVELT LAKE -- Lake Elevation is 2,146 feet (94 percent full).  Tonto Creek runoff is 27 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 284 cfs.   

Texas-rigged Senkos worked for one angler who fished from about 5:30 to noon.  He caught most of the fish in the Tonto arm.  Four or five were in the 3 pound range. Fish were aggressive. 

Another angler fished the Cholla area from about 8 am till noon.  Buzzbait and spinner bait worked the best for him.  He pulled in 8 fish with the largest at 3 pounds.  Average size was about 1.5 pounds.

One fisherman got on the water at 5:30 a.m. and found the fish in the trees.  Topwater worked okay in the beginning for 2 bass but flipping worms worked the best resulting in 12 largemouth bass. 

A group of crappie fishermen fished three mornings one week.  They were trolling jigs in Salt end after trying some fishing in the middle of the lake.  The middle of the lake was not very productive.  They did however catch 8 crappie on two different days closer to structure.  John Deere jigs or grubs tipped with minnow works real well.  Bluegill and one yellow bass hit the jigs as well. 

Getting reports of the crappie turning black and some of the females have spawned.

(The picture on the right is Michael Turner with a bass well over three inches longer than the golden rule he had on the boat. Mike released it and noted, "Just another pig from Rosie")

Angler reports:

Went to Roosevelt Lake on Saturday 4/16 arrived around 6pm fished until 4/17 departed around 8 a.m.
Shore Fished the west end of the lake, bait used was yellow/white Senko and Pink Robo worm, Texas rig and Drop shot. 12 plus largemouth bass were caught largest 3.5 pounds smallest 2 pounds, you had to be very partient will fishing slow retrieve.

Ray

 

Rory,

Three of my friends and I went fishing at Roosevelt Lake March 16. We started fishing at 7:15 around Windy Hill. After about an hour with no bites we moved to Salome Cove. There were several boats in there fishing but we saw no one catching fish. We used minnows at different depths and crank baits. We caught one bass on a white jig. At about 12:30 we moved up toward the river and fished till 3 p.m. The water temperature was 62 and the water was very clear, you could see 12 foot deep. I stopped at the cleaning station and ask the angler that was there how he did. He was fishing for bass and had four. There was one other angler that showed up he had about the same. They said it was real slow today. We are going to San Carlos next week for crappie; I will give you an update when I get back. 

Thanks Tim 


Good Afternoon,
We took the kids to Roosevelt for the first weekend of their spring break.  My mom and dad, sisters, and a couple of nieces/nephews joined us making a mini family reunion out of the trip.  The weather was beautiful but the fish not so accommodating. We hit the water at daylight on Saturday and after a quick run from the Bobcat Boat Ramp started working secondary points around Windy Hill.  I had high hopes after catching three nice bass in the first hour.  Unfortunately things went dead after that.  Only three more bites, two thrown hooks and one bass to show for another couple days of fishing.  I am sure that we could have managed a couple more with hard work but we were there for some relaxing family time.  Can't wait to go back, hopefully for a little more catching next time but the fishing's always good this time of year.

Eric Savage


APACHE -  Lake elevation is 1909 ft (95% full). 

Apache Lake is sweet.  A married duo fished for a couple days.  The lake was nice and calm in the morning but the wind did pick up.  They caught 6 largemouth bass over 16 inches and 2 large smallmouth bass.  One of them caught a 10 pound carp using worms with splitshot.  In all they caught 22 largemouth bass, 17 smallmouth bass, 2 walleye and a lunker yellow bass. 

This is also a good time of year to target walleye, especially at first and last light.

CANYON -- Lake elevation is 1,657 feet, which is 95 percent full.
More good fishing reports coming from Canyon.  One angler boated 10 bass using a variety of lures including slender and deep diving Pointers, jigs, dropshot, and Texas rigged Senkos.  The best places are on shelves or along the canyon walls.  Another angler used crankbait and jigs and boated three.

Angler report:

 

Went kayak fishing on 3-19-2011, the wife and i have only been here two times, fishing was slow, no bites for first 3 hours, then we paddled to the back of the canyon were no boats are allowed and i caught a real nice 2 pound bass, it was really fat. saw two guys on the main lake pitching jigs in to cat tails and they caught a real nice bass. they sure made pitching jigs into cover look easy, that's a skill i would like to have. note i was using a drop shot robo worn, just a torn off  peace of a whole worm,  about 2 inches. its was blue gill color. i will post pic. a soon as i can figure it out. thanks for having this  feature of adding pictures.


Kevin Wilson

SAGUARO -- Lake elevation 1,524 feet at 92 percent full.  An angler fished from 5:30 to 11:00.  He caught 4 bass all around 2 pounds or so near logs and brushy areas in about 8 feet of water.  Shad looking crankbait was the ticket.  He even caught a crappie in the 10 inch range on the same crankbait. Water Temp was 66-70.

An angler caught 9 bass with the largest a little less than three pounds.  Some anglers are fishing the beds while other are using dropshot and other techniques and doing just as well. 
Catfish are waking up.  An angler caught a 29 pound catfish using bluegills they caught at the lake. 

BARTLETT -- Lake elevation is 1,757 feet, which is 49 percent full.  Reservoir release is 1,200 cfs.
An angling duo started fishing about 6 a.m. and caught 6 bass but he didn’t share what they were using.  I conducted a creel on Saturday and most people that were catching fish were trolling jigs, dropshot, shad robos, white spinners along with some shad looking crankbait. The water is real low. Yellow Cliff’s ramp was closed so everybody was launching from Jojoba and some campers were launching from the bank.  I hear the water should be going up a bit come May 2 as SRP will stop letting so much out of the dam.  

Angler report:

(April 20) Yesterday at Bartlett was slow for me. The lake dropped about 4 feet since I was there last Friday and my little honey hole only gave us 4 Crappies and a 3 to 4 lbs channel cats. The afternoon wind didn't help either. A good friend of mine reported catching smaller Crappies all day in several different spots.

Bill Eveland

To Bill Eveland, Bass Pro: 

Thanks for all your help! We a good day at Bartlett. Other than not knowing we needed to buy a park pass (we just assumed there were drop boxes like Pleasant) and some sunburn. We didn't get on the water til almost 8 a.m. due to our pass problem. However, we caught 3 crappies..2 good ones over 1lb and 1 small one, 1 bass and 4 fat sunfish. Wind started around 10 a.m. so after that it was tough trolling. All fish went back to be caught again! I have included a picture of one of the good ones I hooked! Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge, I believe it made all the difference!

Brett Spencer
Surprise AZ     

Editor's Note:
The Spencer family was looking for crappie fishing information, so we directed them to Bill Eveland for specific tips. Thanks for helping out Bill! 

HORSESHOE - Lake elevation is at 1,983 feet 21 percent full.  They are releasing water at 400 cfs.

VERDE RIVER - Verde Verde River flow at Tangle is 169 cubic feet per second.  Release from Bartlett Lake is 1200 cfs.

SALT RIVER - Salt River into Roosevelt is 288 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 221 cfs.  They are releasing 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain dam from Saguaro.

LOWER SALT RIVER – Anglers are catching bass along the shoreline near emergent and overhanging vegetation.  White spinners will get their attention.

CREEKS (Haigler, Canyon, Tonto, Christopher, East Verde, Workman) - The trout stocking season in the creeks is underway.

Remember, we renovated Tonto Creek this winter, so it is a much improved fishery.

We have plans to renovate many of the other creeks over the next months and years. We'll keep you updated.

Canyon Creek was stocked with rainbow trout last week. It also holds resident browns. Be sure to check the regulations -- there is a an area of limited take of trout, and also a stretch below the OW Bridge that is catch-and-release only with artificial fly and lure only.







 


COLORADO RIVER NORTHWEST

Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to "Been Fishing? at bfishing@azgfd.gov


LAKE POWELL
– Lake Powell Fish Report - April 27, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3,611. Water Temperature 55 - 60 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson.

Typical April weather has everyone confused.  The only constant is change.  Balmy delightful mornings are often followed by windy afternoons. Despite the uncertainty, early morning water temperature now exceeds 55 degrees.  That allows warming to reach the magical 60-degree range by afternoon. Warmwater fish respond to warming with renewed activity and vigor. Spiking temperatures trigger hormone release, forcing bass and crappie into spawning mode. Subsequent cooling pulls bass back out of the shallows as they sulk in deeper water near spawning flats waiting for the next warm period. These bass can still be caught by fishing slightly deeper water adjacent to spawning flats.

Spawning is in full gear in some lake locations. Fishing success was hot last weekend on the San Juan but then faltered with the recent cold front. The next warming trend will bring that same fishing success to most of Lake Powell. Find water temperature exceeding 65 degrees and fishing should be super.  Look in the backs of canyons for best success this week. Murky colored water heats up faster than clear water and provides comfortable habitat in unsettled times.  Bass are stacked up in these comfort zones so keep searching until the hot spot is located. 

It may be best to avoid the Hite area as inflow has now increased to over 59,000 acre feet per day.  Cold inflowing water reduces temperature, water clarity and deposits debris in the lake making navigation difficult.  Fishing in the backs of canyons without the influence of river current is a better plan when fishing near Hite.  The mud line, where inflowing sediment settles out of main channel flow, is found near Castle Butte in Good Hope Bay and near Spencers Camp on the San Juan.

Striper fishing is still red hot in the southern lake as hungry fish prowl along steep canyon walls from Navajo Canyon to Glen Canyon Dam. Most anglers are catching 30 plus fish per trip while fishing anchovy bait over shallow ledges protruding from steep cliffs along the edge of the main channel. Stripers return to spots where the school found food in the form of chummed bait on a previous trip.  Take lots of bait and chum often to excite a school of stripers into activity under your boat. Chum a spot and return to fish it later in the day. The reward is a memorable fishing trip.  Catch and keep as many stripers as possible.  Stripers in the channel are excess fish that should be harvested to help balance populations of predator and prey fish as new generations of each are produced this spring. 

Striper fishing will improve in the Bullfrog/Halls area with the next warming trend. Anglers coming this weekend will have improved catches of stripers along the canyon walls from Moki to Halls Creek to compliment fish now caught trolling in the backs on the canyons. Expect to catch fish on bait at the mouth of Lake Canyon, Hansen Creek, and Knowles.

Crappie fishing will peak in the next two weeks.


Antelope Point Marina
Steve Henline, Week of 29 April
Lake Powell Fishing Report
Water Temp: 57 to 61 degrees
Ambient air temp: 75 degrees. windy
 
Windy weather settled in Friday AM. It slowed down the fishermen, but not the fish. Striper fishing continues to be excellent with all of the traditional South End locations providing almost unlimited striped bass.
 
The cable at the dam has been spotty, but for those with patience and perseverance it has been good. The West side above the shelf is the best locations to find the moving school, but be there early before the crowds show up. Trolling the walls has also been good. We’ve been dragging rattletraps productively.
 
3 Mile Buoy. We haven’t fished it, but anglers we talk to say that the fishing has been excellent and the general condition of the stripers is better there than other locations. Anchovies and spoons is the ticket.
 
Antelope Canyon. Half way back in the beautiful canyon has produced more fish this week than any other place we have fished, but that might be because it is extremely close to the marina and the public launch ramp and it is our go to location when the spring winds come up. Anchovies, gulp minnows are all you need to fill a boat with stripers
 
The Intake. We always stop there when we return from Navajo and in the late afternoon you can depend on good fishing,
 
Navajo Canyon continues to be holding waters for huge schools of stripers. Troll crank baits, dead-stick gulp minnows or use anchovies. Almost anything works in the back of the canyon. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you arrive due to the water color being off color. 25 to 40 foot of water, We are picking up a few crappie and an occasional walleye on rattle traps and grubs.
 
SHORE FISHING  the fishermen are picking up stripers, smallmouth and a few walleye from the shoreline around the public Launch ramp at Antelope Point.  Grubs, crank baits, anchovies and night crawlers are all producing. Fishing from the bank is not as fast as from a boat, but it is still good.
 
San Juan arm. I’ve talked to a lot of anglers departing out of Antelope Point Marina as they returned from the San Juan arm. Bass fishing has been fast and furious as the water warms. Big Largemouth up to 6 lbs are being caught as they move on their beds with warming water temps. Striper fishing has not been as productive as in the South end and the condition the fish are in is not too good. Big crappie are on the bite according to ever angler I’ve spoken to.
 
I plan to spend a day or two in the San Juan next week so I can attest to the fishing personally. However, it’s hard to leave the big hungry schools at the south end right now.
 
Photo Above: Captain Ryan had an hour to pass today and fished from the dock at Antelope Point Marina with gulp minnows. In 45 minutes he caught these dozen stripers. Like I said, “Fishing is great everywhere on the South End of the Lake.”



 



LEES FERRY -- April 19, 2011 by Lees Ferry Anglers (www.leesferry.com)  

Today’s Weather: Partly cloudy, high of 78 degrees. It looks like the temperature should be in the high 70s for the remainder of the week. If you have time get out of the house and come fish.

Fly Fishing: The fishing has been astounding. And these trout are fat and sassy and healthy as can be.

The river is in great shape with many abundant wading locations. Concentrating on the softer inside seams and the drop offs. Nymphing has been highly productive. Varying the length of the leader and split shot amount depending on the water you are fishing.

Using a double zebra midge rig has worked great. Keep in mind to use different colors and sizes. Another option to try is a zebra midge with a glow bug dropper. San Juan worm with a zebra midge dropper has also produced successful results.

There are a few fish still on the spawning beds and the spawn has slowed down some.
Using a dry fly dropping a zebra midge has been effective in certain areas with a few fish taking the dry.

Expect to have a blast if you come this week.

Walk in: The flows are currently at a constant 16,000cfs, as of the fourth, which are remarkably ideal conditions for the walk-in area.

Fishing has been excellent, focusing a lot of attention in the Upper and Lower Boulder fields. Concentrating much of the time on the softer seams especially near and around boulders. The fish tend to hang around the drop offs throughout this section of water. The Paria riffle has also been fishing very well.

Fishing two zebra midges of various sizes and colors has been productive. Another good option is to fish a zebra midge above a smaller glow bug. San Juan Worms have also been effective as a lead fly dropping either a zebra midge or glow bug below.

A good tip is to vary your length between the indicator and lead fly as well as to adjust the amount of split shot depending on the water depth and the area you are fishing in order to produce more results. Start fishing in close gradually working your way out to deeper water.
There are lots of fish to be caught, all very healthy. Fishing is great at the walk-in and the weather is spectacular.

Spin Fishing: Spin fishing is off the charts! We’ve been hammering fish the last few days. Bouncing glow bugs off the bottom has been working remarkably well and produced many strikes. You can also try fishing gold KastMasters or black and gold Panther Martin.

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 Fishing Report We would be happy to have your input, and pass it along.

Terry Gunn 4/4/11: Good News!! As of today, the water flows have dropped back to 16,000-cfs constant for the near future (most likely until May 1). This is very good news for the fishing during this time of year. Early April is historically the beginning of epic midge hatches, and also the lower flows should allow access to several wading spots to take advantage of the prolific midge hatches and increased trout feeding activity. In addition to the feeding fish, there are spawning fish throughout the river and many fish are spawning in shallow water areas that has seen no spawning activity since the 90’s due to the lower water flows that have resulted from the drought. We have been using dry dropper rigs, heavy nymph rigs, and double tiny rigs depending on the spots that we are fishing. The fishing this spring both upriver and the walk-in should be great despite the higher water. The fish are happy and crowds are non-existent so now is a great time to visit the Ferry!

A reminder that we will be seeing high water flows until September, 2011. The reason for these high flows is an attempt to increase the water volume in Lake Meade and this is the largest snow pack that the Rockies has seen since 1997 which provides enough water to allow the high releases. It is important to remember that the higher releases are really good for the heath of the river and fish…every “fishing boom period” at Lees Ferry has been preceded by extended high water flows just like the flows that we are currently getting.

We currently had a group that fishes with us every year for the past 25 years and they say that this trip was the BEST trip that they have ever experienced here at the Ferry.

Rory,

I took my son, two nephews, and brother in law to Lees Ferry for their first fly fishing trip. They are all hooked (pun intended).  Everyone caught a lot of fish and had a great time on the river.
Best Regards,

Chris Rich

 

Editor's Note: The pictures throughout the Lees Ferry Report are from Chris Rich. They caught a lot of memories to share with us all.

 

LAKE MEAD – The current water level is around 1,096 feet above msl. Lake levels have been fairly steady the last month.  The Largemouth are biting.  Try plastics in 5-8 ft.  Striper fishing has been slow, even at night under lights. Cut anchovies are still the bait of choice.  Check the moon phases before you go – new moon May 2, waning moon past last quarter right now.  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 azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level is around 642 feet above msl.  The smallmouth are hitting soft baits when worked slowly.  Trolling with anchovies in 30-50ft has been producing some stripers, while catfish are on the bottom.    While the number of stripers in Mohave has been decreasing, the quality of the fish caught has increased.

Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. New moon May 2, waning moon past last quarter right now. 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 mchmiel@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” 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. 

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 mchmiel@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/.

TOPOCK MARSH – Bass, crappie and catfish are all biting, but the bite can be hit and miss.  Several crappies have tipped the scale at just over 2 pounds. Minnows and small road runners are the preferred bait. Bass bite has taken off.

Arizona Game and Fish Department is currently doing a creel survey on the marsh. Two weeks ago a local fisherman caught over 30 largemouth bass with 5 fish over the 13-inch minimum length and the week before he caught a 21-pound channel catfish.  He uses black, white or red spinnerbaits.   Pumpkin colored crankbait and six-inch watermelon trick worms are working in shallow water. In deeper water it is deep diving crankbaits in a fire tiger color that is producing. 

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/.

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. 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.

Topock Gorge has seen up to 2-pound smallmouth but not very many taken.  Strippers are not biting but the trout are moving down and being caught on night crawlers.  A 3 ¼-pound catfish was taken recently but in general it has taken a variety of baits to catch the few fish that have been caught.  
Water levels on the river fluctuate, so be careful. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others. 

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 mchmiel@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/.

From:  Capt. Doyle's Excusions, Fish report from the Topock Gorge
Warm weather is here at last, and the Topock Gorge is back in the running for fish galore. Shore fishermen have been plucking stripers out of the water below the pipeline.  They are also in various locations up and down the Gorge. 

Thirteen-year-old Allie and his sister, eight-year-old Adrain, from Dana Point, California caught and released 11 line-sides, two of which tipped the scale at 3.5-pounds. In the backwaters on live worms, the duo also boated and released two sunfish that averaged 1.5-pounds each.

The sunfish bite is smoken and I mean smoken! The bait of choice for fishing stripers has been cut anchovy, and for the sunfish it has been meal worms. In the back bays where the water is shallow the redear have already spawned but in the deeper pools where the temperature is cooler, the fish are just beginning to stage.

The smallmouth bass spawn is pretty much over, although there might be one more on the horizon.

Largemouth should be all over beds. Speaking of largemouth bass, a couple of Golden Shores’ residents called to tell me they saw a monster of a largemouth bass. It was estimated to weigh around 13-pounds. Kenny from Bay Star Electric in Golden Shores, Arizona took a picture of it with his phone but not thinking of me, he deleted it. Another angler suggested that the lucky fisher stop by Old Western Trader and have it weighed. This didn’t happen so although we have eye witness, we have no confirmed weight or a picture. As a result the bucketmouth will have to be relegated to the realm of myth. Interestingly enough, if the angler had had it weighed and it did weigh that much, it could have been in the running for a river record.

I can’t leave the Gorge without mentioning that I glimpsed my very first Boneytail Chub in one of the back bays. They, of course, are on the protected list, so if you happen to hook one release it immediately unharmed!

Thanks,
Georgia



SOUTHWESTERN WATERS

 

Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to "Been Fishing?" at bfishing@azgfd.gov

LAKE HAVASU -- Picture on the left is a 34-pound striped bass weighing 34 pounds measuring 42 inches long with a 27-inch girth caught by George Lloyd of Lake Havasu
using a Luckycraft Pointer 128 lure on April 19 at 6:30a.m.
Photo by: John Galbraith of BassTackleMaster.com

Lake Havasu Fishing Report: Level 449.22.

Striper bite good using cut anchovies bottom fishing in 35 to 55 ft of water on the drop off into the old river channel where stripers are schooling up to spawn now.Best time for this bite is after 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m. Early am bite is good fora few "quality" fish using shad colored Rat-L-Traps and Pointer 128s.

Redear sunfish fishing is starting to get good now with large numbers of panfish moving shallow in preparation for spawning.

Evening catfish bite good using sardines,squid or chicken livers.

Largemouth and Smallmouth bite excellent;  sight fishing for spawning bass in the shallows. Tubes (Gitzits)and creature baits like the brush hog are excellent choices now. Flipping Senkos into cattails is a great way to catch aggressive post spawn bass. Green Pumpkin & Watermelon/Cremeare the best colors now.

Please practice catch and release during this spawning time to give our bass a chance to reproduce and make our fishery even better.

  
This Report was provided by John Galbraith of BassTackleMaster.com, Lake Havasu City, Az.


Spring Outlook for Lower Colorado River and Alamo Lake

ALAMO LAKE -- 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. http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/documents/DirectorsOrder3_2011A.pdf.

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.

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 www.yumabassman.com.


CENTRAL MOUNTAINS

Note: Expected storms this week could affect access to some of the higher elevation waters or make dirt roads to others wet and muddy, so always check on road conditions before going.

Fossil Creek is open for fishing until the end of April.  The creek is managed as a catch-and-release fishery using flies and lures with single barbless hooks

WILLIAMS LAKES:  

Fossil Creek will close to fishing on May First.    

 

WILLIAMS LAKES:   

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

 

CATARACT LAKE — Campground is closed. Stocked last week.

 

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

 

DOGTOWN LAKE Campground is closed. Stocked last week. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

 

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

 

RUSSELL TANK -   The lake is too shallow to stock.

 

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

 

WHITEHORSE LAKECampground is closed. Stocked last week. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:

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 and yellow perch should be active right now, but we haven’t received any reports.

Angler Report:

Spent 7 consecutive hours on Lake Mary today......very windy, gusts to 40mph, 65f....but the boat was stable, had a great time.....even had lunch on the boat (Roast Beef Sandwich)....

Troy came up for the day from Camp Verde....he caught a few, I got a couple....including of all things, a Crappie!  (Pic E07)....
 
Garrett




Rory,

I wanted to send you a picture from our experience from Upper Lake Mary, fishing was a bit rough the day we went the wind was kicking that day so the bite was weak, nobody was catching much of anything besides a sunburn.  Have a great day!!
(Picture on the right is from Josh)
 
Josh
 




ASHURST LAKE —  Stocked.  Wind made fishing tough, but we had reports of folks catching trout over the weekend.

 

FRANCIS SHORT POND –  Stocked last week. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

 

KINNIKINICK LAKE — No report. 

 

MARSHALL LAKE No report

 

OAK CREEK — No report.  Stocked last week. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

 

LONG LAKE — No report. Stocked last week.

 

SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX — No report

 

BEAVER CREEK – Stocked last week.

 

WEST CLEAR CREEK  Stocked last week. 

 

STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.

 


BLUE RIDGE —  Has been open and accessible.  .

Angler report:

Water level is high and the water is clear.  The road in is muddy in spots and there is still some snow.  The boat launch looks to be in good shape, no major ruts or rocks.

I caught and released 6 rainbow trout (8"-14") in 4 hours.  Caught 3 in 20 minutes!

Rapala Countdown Minnow (silver) provided outstanding results (5 of the 6 fish).   Three inch (white) Power Grub six feet under slip bobber provided the other trout.

If you love Blue Ridge as much as we do, please take a bag to pick up trash and discarded line.

Good luck and have fun!

Greg
(Flagstaff)


KNOLL LAKE — The FR 300 is open from both sides.

Hi Rory,

Thought I would give you a Knoll Lake report.  I went up to check on the Rim Road Monday, figuring the gate would be open and it was!  Access to Woods Canyon and Bear Lake is also available of course.  Although construction is still underway on the paved section of the Rim Road (before the Gate & Woods Canyon Lake turn off), so please use Caution everyone. 

From the Gate on, "The Rim Road" (Forest Service Rd 300) was in excellent shape.  The newly opened Apache Sitgreaves Section, was as good as I have seen in in the past 5 years.  On the way to Coconino Forest there are still patches of snow, and lots of standing water so I would suggest using caution as always when traveling up there. It might be a good idea to have some basic equipment in your vehicle.  Even if you have a 4X4 I recommend always having a Shovel, Board, Tow Rope or Strap, Jack, Spare, Tire Gauge.  Remember if you get stuck, you may be on your own.  IN soft sand or dirt 18PSI will really improve tire traction and deter slippage.

I spent the early part of the day with the Knoll Lake Camp Ground Host of the last ten years,  Mountain Eddie.  Eddie had family visiting from Washington State.  Mountain Eddie's brother Jerry is also a Camp Host on the Rim.  Eddie & Jerry are full of stories and give some great advice about the Outdoors and "The Rim" area in general.  Eddie knows the hot spots on the lake and has been known to give hiking tours.  That is if you can get up early enough to go with him, he wakes at (3-4 a.m.).  He said he expects most of the the campgrounds to be officially opened by this weekend coming up (30th).  As always I would call the District Ranger Office ahead of time. 

The Lake itself was spectacular.  The water level was back up to normal, It got pretty close to the end of the ramp late last year, but that's not a problem now.  Well I was enjoying my time with Eddie, his two family members caught 6 fish.  They were using Power Bait.  I was fishing from my little Dolphin Bass Boat.  Trolling the whole lake I had great success also.  I have a two pole stamp, and before I made the Island I had two fish on at once.  As soon as I got the lines back in the water I had another hit.  I ended up landing 11 total, they were all nice holdovers.  I was practicing "catch and release" as always.  I later learned that Mountain Eddie's family limited out soon after I left the ramp. 

I did keep 3 fish, due to their aggressive behavior they just got "TOO" much hook, even with the barbs gone.  The nicest one of the 3 already had an additional hook and leader in it's mouth too. 

That brings me to another point.  When I got back to the Boat ramp there was a new couple at the lake.  Patrick and his girlfriend from L.A. were fishing from shore and camping in the unimproved/open area that sits before the Official Knoll Campground.  I'm betting they didn't have any of the recommended equipment mentioned above or the required equipment for camping.  They were both very cold, as they didn't have appropriate clothing or anything to provide warmth in their tent.  Patrick explained to me he was getting a little worried; he always caught fish and was expecting to catch his dinner?  He hadn't had a bite yet and the sun was already behind the trees?  I felt very bad and gave him the 3 fish I had.  I explained to him where the nearest stores, motels and restaurants were in the area. 

I don't think they were expecting how harsh conditions can be there.  Even a beautiful day in the valley, can be life threatening on the Rim.  The temps that day never reached above the low 50's and it was very windy.  It was 7:30 p.m. by this time, and it was already in the low 40's, with out adjusting for the wind chill.  I was only in shorts and a sweat shirt myself, but I'm from Boston as you know and shouldn't be used as an example.  Patrick and his girlfriend both had 3/4 or Capri type pants and sandals on?  I made him promise that they would head to a hotel if he or specifically his girlfriend got too cold.  I worried about them as I headed back to the valley.  I thought about them again when I ordered Hamburgers instead of having some Pink fleshed Trout.

When going to remote areas of this or any other State always travel prepared for the worst possible event one can imagine.  I do and I have still gotten in trouble myself and had a couple of close calls.  Please everyone do the same!  Practice good since, and most of all Respect The Forest, The Water, and any Wild life you come across. 

Don this week I'm heading South East to Frye Mesa and some of the other local lakes in your District.  I guess it might be time to check the gate at Riggs Flat! 

Best wishes Guys,
Alex Hearn

Verde Valley

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.

Catfish were last stocked the week of September 20. 

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 in early March. Fishing might be decent in the isolated pools upstream.

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.

Angler Report:

Hello from Camp Arizona;

I fished Oak Creek this past weekend on Sunday, April 17th in several spots from Cave Springs Campground and near the historical marker. I did not see any stocked fish and only 3 browns who wanted nothing to do with whatever I tossed their way.  I spoke to a fly fisherman who fished upriver from the bridge at Cave Springs who caught 3 rainbows, but that the fish were spooked easily. I also spoke to the person running the visitor center across the street from the historical marker and she told me that fishing was not very good right now. When I fished the area near the historical marker, I did not see a single fish which I don't think has ever happened before.

Chris Fabri



WEST CLEAR CREEK —  Stocked last week.

FOSSIL CREEK -- This unique catch-and-release, artificial lure with barbless hook only fishing for roundtail chub fishery will come to an end April 30. If you go, please help out and take an extra trash bag; some folks aren't as respectful of the land as anglers are.

Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE —Fain Lake is closed while it is being dredged.  Stocking will be canceled until the dredging is completed.  The surplus fish that would normally be going into Fain will be stocked in Watson Lake at the new boat launch.  Power bait and spinners will likely be your best bet.  Try Watson while Fain is closed.  Fain will likely be finished and open by the beginning of June.


GOLDWATER LAKE — Trout fishing was good following the last stocking.  The next trout stocking is scheduled for the week of May 9.   The handicapped parking area and boat launch or open for now.  A pair of anglers reported catching 6 fish between them in just 1 hour.  Others have not been as lucky.  The fishing can be really good at Goldwater this time of year.  Hold-overs are not uncommon.  Look for the fishing to pick up following the stocking.

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.

If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

GRANITE BASIN LAKE – As the water warms the bite should increase for largemouth, bluegill and catfish.   If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

LYNX LAKE – The next trout stocking is scheduled for the week of May 9.   Trout can be caught on Power Bait, corn, Power Worms, Jakes, Panther Martin and Rooster Tails, just to name a few.   

Brook trout, catfish and bluegill were all stocked the last spring. 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 LAKETrout are scheduled to be stocked this week, the week of April 18.  The gate to Mingus Lake is locked.   If you choose to walk in, the water level is up and fishing should be good following the stocking.  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.  Trout stocking will resume in the spring.

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!

WATSONWatson 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.  

Some anglers have reported having great success in the last week.  Limiting out in as little as 30 minutes, while other anglers have reported not catching a thing while watching the fish feeding in the distance.  There is no shortage of trout in the lake, if you are not having success try using something different or a new location at the lake, but don’t give up.  Power bait, spinners, and flies will be your best bet.  Watson is surrounded by large boulders limiting shore access to less agile anglers.  Fishing from a boat may improve your odds of success.  Remember, while Watson Lake has no motor restrictions, it is flat wake only.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Watson last fall 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 mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.


WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR – As the water warms, the bite for all species will increase.  The bass should be spawning soon, but the last cold front may have delayed it.

If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.



Mogollon Rim and White Mountains

Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to "Been Fishing?" at bfishing@azgfd.gov

Recommended waters to fish:

Mogollon Rim and White Mountains

Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to "Been Fishing?" at bfishing@azgfd.gov
Recommended waters to fish:

Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, and Woodland Lake are the best opportunities in the Show Low/Pinetop-Lakeside area.  Fool Hollow and Rainbow lakes were stocked last week with larger sized rainbow trout (11-12 inches).

Becker Lake, Luna Lake, the Greer Lakes, and Nelson Reservoir are the best opportunities in the Springerville and Alpine areas.  Nelson Reservoir was heavily stocked two weeks ago and again last week and should be fishing extremely well.

Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, and Black Canyon Lake are producing some larger hold-over trout and have been recently stocked.  Trout stocking will begin this week on White Mountain streams.

The Woods Canyon Lake Store is now open and boat rentals are available.


MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
Note: All of the Rim Lakes are ice-free and accessible.
 

Trout stocking stocked during the week of April 25-29
Clear Creek Reservoir - 2,595 rainbow trout
Fool Hollow Lake - 3,908 rainbow trout
Woodland Lake – 2,900 rainbow trout
Rainbow Lake - 932 rainbow trout
Nelson Reservoir - 8,564 rainbow trout

Trout stocking scheduled for the week of May 2 – 6
Concho Lake – 5,257 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake – 3,645 rainbow trout
East Fork Black River – 1,000 Apache trout
West Fork Black River – 300 Apache trout
LCR-Greer – 500 Apache trout
Sheeps Crossing – 300 Apache trout


MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
Note: All of the Rim Lakes are now ice-free and accessible.
 
Trout stocking scheduled for the week of April 18-22:
Bunch Reservoir - 2,595 rainbow trout
Nelson Reservoir - 8,243 rainbow trout
River Reservoir - 2,162 rainbow trout
Scott Reservoir - 2,487 rainbow trout
Show Low Lake - 2,163 rainbow trout
Willow Springs Lake - 3,500 rainbow trout
Woods Canyon Lake - 8,152 rainbow trout


Trout stocking scheduled for the week of April 25-29
Clear Creek Reservoir - 2,595 rainbow trout
Fool Hollow Lake - 4,180 rainbow trout
Rainbow Lake - 1,050 rainbow trout
Nelson Reservoir - 8,800 rainbow trout
Hulsey Lake - 1,752 rainbow trout

MOGOLLON RIM LAKES

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake is ice-free and full. Forest Road 300 is open. There will be some construction on the road so drive with caution. . The lake has not been stocked yet.  

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. Boat anglers have been catching trout and bass on bait and lures (Panther Martin and Rooster tail spinners).  Forest Roads 300 and 86 are open to the lake.

BLUE RIDGE -- No recent report from anglers. Fishing should be good for holdover trout. This is a steep sided lake that is best fished from boat, canoe, kayak or float tube.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  All roads are open to the lake, including FR 300 (Rim Road) and FR 169 from Highway 260, as well as FR 504 and FR 169 from Heber.  The lake is full and barely spilling. 

KNOLL LAKE -- No recent report from anglers. Fishing should be decent for holdover trout.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is fair to good. The lake was stocked last week with 3,500 rainbow trout.  Anglers are also catching some holdover trout (11-14 inch rainbow trout) on red Power Bait, worms, spinners, and KastMaster spoons.  Forest Road 149 is open to the lake.  All campgrounds are open. 

WOODS CANYON LAKE – The store is open.

Fishing is good. The lake was heavily stocked last week with 8,152 rainbow trout.  Anglers are also catching some holdover rainbow trout (11-14 inches) on worms, Power Bait, spinners and KastMaster spoons.  Forest Roads 300 and 105 to the lake are open, but some of the pavement on the Rim Road (FR 300) has been ripped out, so drive with caution.  Access to the boat ramp is now open also.  

The store is open and boat rentals are available. There are also two campgrounds open.

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.

WHITE MOUNTAIN LAKES
Note:WHITE MOUNTAIN LAKES
Note: All lakes in the White Mountains are ice-free and accessible.  Highways 261 and 273 are open.  Highway 273 is nearly all paved, except for a section between Forest Road 87 and Sheep’s Crossing that is dirt and will be under construction until it is completed.

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  Fly fishers recently reported catching some nice sized trout (up to 22 inches) on midges and small nymphs.  Spawning trout are in the shallows along the willow edges. New fishing regulations took effect on Becker Lake Jan. 1, 2011.  The new regulations are catch-and-release fishing for trout with artificial lure and fly with a single barbless hook only.  All trout must be released immediately.

BIG LAKE – Fishing is good.  Anglers have been catching trout on salmon eggs, worms, and Power Bait, and lures such as Z-rays, Rooster Tails, and Panther Martins. The lake is ice-free.

Highways 261 and 273 are open.  Highway 273 is nearly all paved, except for a section between Forest Road 87 and Sheep’s Crossing that is dirt and will be under construction until it is completed.  The store is open and boat rentals are available.


CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake is ice-free and did NOT have a winter fish kill.  Fly fishers are catching trout on small nymphs, with tiny zebra midges being very productive.  Forest Roads 117 and 117A are open.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is good.  The lake was stocked last week with 2,595 rainbow trout.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing has been poor, but will improve when the lake is stocked this week.  Water levels are good and the boat ramp is accessible.

CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  The lake is ice-free and did NOT have a winter fish kill.  Anglers are catching some nice sized carryover trout on worms, Power Bait, and lures.  Highways 261 and 273 are open.  Highway 273 is nearly all paved, except for a section between Forest Road 87 and Sheep’s Crossing that is dirt and will be under construction until it is completed.  The store is currently closed but should be open around mid-May.
 
FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  The lake was stocked with rainbow trout last week, including some larger sized trout (11-12 inches). Anglers have been catching trout, catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and small walleyes on night crawlers and lures.

Black crappie should be staging around the west side fishing piers. Try small crappie jigs, worms, and mealworms.

GREER LAKES – Fishing is fair to good.  All of the Greer lakes (River, Tunnel, and Bunch) are ice-free, full, and have been stocked recently.  The paved roads to these lakes are clear and dry (easy access).   

HULSEY LAKE – Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching some holdover rainbow trout on night crawlers.  The lake is ice-free.  Forest Road 56 is open.

LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair. The lake is ice-free but did NOT have a winter fish kill. The lake has not been stocked yet, so current fishing is for holdover Apache trout and grayling.  Highways 261 and 273 are open. Highway 273 is nearly all paved, except for a section between Forest Road 87 and Sheep’s Crossing that is dirt and will be under construction until it is completed. 

LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake is ice-free and full.  Anglers are catching trout on lures such as spinners and spoons (KastMasters and Z-Rays), woolly worms, woolly buggers, Power Bait (pink), salmon eggs, corn, and night crawlers.  The concession store is open on weekends and boat rentals are available.

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is currently closed.  Local authorities are working to re-open the park this summer, but nothing is definite.

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is excellent.  Anglers have been catching trout on night crawlers, corn, and green Power Bait.  The lake was heavily stocked with rainbow trout for the last two weeks in a row. The current bag and possession limit at Nelson is 6 trout.  

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  The lake was stocked last week with rainbow trout, including some larger sized fish (11-12 inches).  The pike are no longer spawning and will be found anywhere in the lake.

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair to good.  The lake has been stocked with catchable size rainbow trout.  Try worms, Power Bait, and lures.  

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing fair to good.  The lake has been recently stocked with rainbow trout.  The store and campground are open, and boat rentals are available.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is good.  Anglers have been catching trout on small spinners (Panther Martin and Rooster tail).  The lake was heavily stocked last week with rainbow trout.  

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS

Note: Trout stocking in White Mountain streams will begin this week.  Most Forest Roads are open, including Highways 261 and 273. Highway 273 is nearly all paved, except for a section between Forest Road 87 and Sheep’s Crossing that is dirt and will be under construction until it is completed.


EAST FORK BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair for wild browns and will be good for stocked Apache trout this week. All Forest roads leading to the East Fork are now accessible.  The East Fork did not get much of a snow melt runoff and is already fairly clear and near base flow.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER – GREER – Fishing is fair for wild brown trout and will be good for stocked Apache trout this week.  The stream is fully accessible.  Spring runoff was poor and has appeared to have ended.  The flows are near base flow.

SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing will be good when the stream is stocked this week with Apache trout.  The stream is accessible by Highway 273, which is now open. Highway 273 is nearly all paved, except for a section between Forest Road 87 and Sheep’s Crossing that is dirt and will be under construction until it is completed.  

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is fair to good.  Fishing regulations changed on April 1.  Anglers can use flies, lures, and bait, and the bag and possession limit is 6 trout.  Anglers have been catching trout on worms, Power Bait, lures (spinners), and flies.  The upper section is closed to fishing. 


WEST FORK BLACK RIVER  – Fishing for wild brown trout is fair in the lower and middle sections, and will be good this week for stocked Apache trout in the lower section around the campground. 

Fishing for wild Apache trout in the upper section near Forest Road 116 is fair. Only the lower section (from the confluence with the East Fork up to 1.4 miles above the campground is open to regular regulations and harvest. The middle and upper sections are catch-and-release only with artificial lure and fly. The lower end of the catch-and-release section begins 1.4 miles above the campground, at the confluence with Hayground Creek, and extends 6.8 miles upstream to the Apache trout barriers near FR 116, and another 3.1 miles up to the Reservation boundary.



SOUTHERN ARIZONA

Summers coming and that means the bass and bluegill fishing is warming up also!  Anglers should begin to focus their attention along the shoreline in shady areas for great sunfish opportunities.  Live worms and meal worms are the classic baits for these little fighters. Bass anglers will find the best action along the shoreline as well wherever you find breaks in the shoreline vegetation. Trout stocking for the summer months is underway.  You can view the schedule here: 2011 Summer Stocking Schedule

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.

Summers coming and that means the bass and bluegill fishing is warming up also!  Anglers should begin to focus their attention along the shoreline in shady areas for great sunfish opportunities.  Live worms and meal worms are the classic baits for these little fighters.  Bass anglers will find the best action along the shoreline as well wherever you find breaks in the shoreline vegetation.  Trout stocking for the summer months is underway.  You can view the schedule here:   2011 Summer Stocking Schedule

URBAN WATERS -- It's catfish time.

The earthworm continues to be one of the best all-around fishing baits. Trout love them fished near the bottom or suspended below a bobber. If your favorite bait store offers dillys, buy them instead. They are small worms and the perfect size for trout. Keep them in a cooler and out of the sun and they will last up to a week or longer.  A size 8 baitholder hook is perfect for hooking the worm though the “collar” and covering the shaft of the hook with the barb end sticking out.  Use minimal weight positioned 12–18 inches above the hook.  Either a size 4 or 7 split shot or a 1/8 - ¼ ounce egg sinker above a swivel works best. 

When bottom fishing it is important to let your bait settle to the bottom, then slowly reel in the slack line.  Try not to drag the bait along the bottom or you are likely to get snagged.  Keep the rod very still and wait for a bite. If you don’t get a bite after 10–20 minutes, reel in quickly to keep your rig from snagging.  Replace your worm as needed.  You can use a worm blower to inject air into the tail half of the worm.  It will make the worm float up off the bottom, keeping your bait out of rocks and weeds and up in the active feeding zone.

There are a couple different bobbers that work well for trout or bluegill including ¾ - 1 ¼ inch round bobbers, small 4-5 inch pencil bobbers, or slip bobbers.  Round bobbers work best on windy days, but it is hard to beat a pencil bobber.  They are thin, stick out of the water making them more visible, and offer less resistance to biting fish.  Bobbers allow you to fish your worm 2-5 feet deep.  To fish deeper, learn how to rig and use a slip bobber with a bobber stop.  They take a bit of practice to set up right, but they allow you to easily cast out while letting your bait slip through the bobber to depths from 2–20 feet.  Once rigged kids can easily fish with them.  Don’t forget bass and catfish love worms too.

RIGGS FLAT — Riggs Flat is now open.    No recent reports of success.  Trout stocking for the summer months is underway.  You can view the schedule here:   2011 Summer Stocking Schedule

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.  The plan is to remove the cattails to open up more fishable water, add artificial habitat structures and rebuild a fish population. 

FRYE MESA RESERVIOR –The lake has been stocked with Gila trout.  Currently the plan is to stock it once again with Gila Trout in May.  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.  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. 

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.  No recent reports of success. 

PARKER CANYON —  No recent reports of success.  The store at the lake is open and information on the store and current conditions can be found at www.parkercanyonlake.com.
 
ROSE CANYON LAKE —Road Access is open.  The lake has been stocked and anglers are reporting success and lots of angling pressure.  You can view the schedule here: 2011 Summer Stocking Schedule

 

 

 

Note: If you have a fishing report, send it to "Been Fishing?" at bfishing@azgfd.gov.

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