Urban Fishing Report
Trout fishing is good to excellent at all Urban Fishing Program waters. Lakes are being stocked every two weeks with trout until mid March. Anglers using scented dough baits (such as Power Bait), worms fished near the bottom (see tips below), or small trout lures have been successful. For lure anglers, try spinners such as Rooster Tails and Panther Martins, or spoons such as Super Dupers. Other good trout baits can be found at your local grocery store: corn, mini marshmallows or Velveeta cheese. With cold lake temperatures, the bite for catfish, bass and bluegill is slow. Trout fishing is consistently good to excellent at Green Valley lakes in Payson with Power Bait, Super Dupers and Trout Magnets working best. More trout will be stocked the week of February 19-23.
"New Big Fish of the year: 4Lb 6.08Oz, 21.5” Rainbow caught at Red Mountain Lake by James L. Broadbent on February 8th, 2013"
Part 2 Trout Catching Tips – Worm Fishing
The more you fish, the more you realize fishing is a continuous learning process. Yet, the beauty of fishing is that you can make it as simple or sophisticated as you desire. In the last Bulletin we offered tips to catch more trout using scented dough baits, such as Power Bait. For all trout fishing, remember to use a light to medium-light action rod combo with lighter line from 2-6 pounds. In part 2, we’ll talk about how to use worms to catch more trout.
The earthworm continues to be one of the best all-around fishing baits. Trout love ‘em fished near the bottom or suspended below a bobber. If your favorite bait store offers dillys, buy them instead of nightcrawlers—they are a perfect size for trout. Inspect the worms in the store to make sure they are fresh and lively. Keep your worms in a cooler and out of the sun and they will last up to a week. A size 8 baitholder hook is perfect for hooking the worm through 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. This rig can be fished on the lake bottom or suspended below a bobber.
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 bit after 10-20 minutes, pick up your rod and reel in quickly to keep your rig from snagging. Replace your worm if it is not lively or is torn up. A nifty trick to make your worm even more appealing is to use a worm blower. Blowers are simply small plastic bottles with a needle tip used to inject air into the tail half of the worm. The “pumped up” worm will float up off the bottom 1-2 feet, keeping your bait out of rocks and weeds, away from hungry crayfish, and up in the active feeding zone of trout.
The best bobbers for trout fishing are smaller ¾-1¼ 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 trout. 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. These are my favorites. 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 up, kids can use them easily.
International Sportsmen’s Expo February 21-24
The International Sportsmen’s Exposition, from February 21-24, is Arizona’s largest fishing, hunting and outdoor travel event. Expo hours are 10:00am to 6:00pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 10:00am to 5:00pm Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale (Glendale Avenue and Hwy 101). General admission is $12 for adults, and free for children 15 years and under. Parking is free with paid admission. Don’t miss your chance to celebrate the outdoors with family and friends, capture show-priced bargains, and meet with outfitters and experts from near and far. See the newest hunting, fishing and outdoor equipment, find out about places to hunt and fish, hear from many outdoor experts during seminars throughout each day, and watch the experts test their skills in competitions. On Saturday from 11:30 – 12:30 Eric Swanson, Urban Fishing Manager, will give a featured talk on Urban Fishing and fishing tips. Kids will have a blast participating in fishing and shooting sports at the Youth Outdoor Sports Fair, presented by the Game and Fish Department. The kids fishing tank will be loaded with trout for them to catch and release for free. For more information, go to www.sportsexpos.com.