Fishing for trout continues to be good to excellent at all Urban Fishing Program waters. Lakes are being stocked every two weeks. Many reports have come in from anglers catching some of the 15-20 inch “incentive” trout delivered to all lakes in early January. Urban angler Daniel Sanderson hauled in a 21 inch, 3.7 pound rainbow trout from Red Mountain Lake on January 23. Anglers using scented dough baits (such as Power Bait), worms fished near the bottom, or small trout lures have been successful. Power Bait in white or chartreuse colors are appealing to the trout. For lure anglers, try spinners such as Rooster Tails and Panther Martins, or spoons such as Super Dupers. Mix up your lure retrieve to cover shallow and deep zones of the lakes. Good trout baits can also be found at your local grocery store: corn, mini marshmallows or Velveeta cheese. Fly fishermen are bringing in trout using copper johns, Simi seal leaches and zebra midges retrieved very slowly. 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 4-9.
Trout Catching Tips – Part 1 (Daniel Sanderson's 21", 3.7Lbs Rainbow caught at Red Mountain Lake)
Everybody can fish, but not everybody can catch fish. Why is it that some anglers seem to always have luck and others just drown worms? Often, the difference is in the equipment, the bait, and the way the bait is rigged and presented. For trout, the best equipment is a light to medium-light action rod from 5½ to 6½ feet in length coupled with a spin-casting (push button) reel or spinning reel.
Next is the line. Successful trout anglers will use 2, 4 or 6 pound test line, never heavier. The lighter the line, the more invisible it is to the sight-dependent trout. Many anglers are now using 2-4 lb fluorocarbon lines to avoid any chance of arousing suspicion in an interested fish. In clear water, any line heavier than 8 pounds looks like a rope to a trout!
The bait that is responsible for more urban trout caught than any other is the scented dough bait, such as Power Bait. Available in many color options, a small ball of Power Bait formed carefully to barely cover a #10 baitholder hook or #14 treble hook is very effective. Top colors that work in urban waters include chartreuse, orange, rainbow, and white.
Also important when fishing with Power Bait is to use minimal weight—either a small split shot or a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce sliding egg sinker positioned 12-24 inches above the hook. Power Bait floats. This property means that the bite-size, colorful, scented morsel is suspended off the bottom directly in the path of trout that love cruising near the lake bottom. A smooth cast to deeper water will get your bait out to where the trout are. Once the weight has settled on the bottom, hold the rod still in your hand or set it on the ground or in a rod holder. Slowly reel in the slack line until you can feel the sinker resistance. Now keep the rod very still and wait and watch carefully for a bite
Trout will hit Power Bait in one of three ways: a hard strike (rare), a soft pick-up away from you (line pulls slightly or with just a tic), or a soft pick-up towards you (line suddenly goes limp). Most often it is best to set the hook immediately at the first indication of a strike. Sweep the rod up quickly and begin to reel. However, there are times when the trout like to pick at the bait for awhile before fully taking it into their mouths. On these occasions, the angler will need to be patient and wait for a second bite, or pause for 2-3 seconds before setting the hook.
Remember the Web… www.azgfd.gov for stocking schedules, the Fish&Boat Arizona webmap, outdoor events calendar, and other great fishing and outdoor information. Also check out the web for Weekly Fishing Reports, to submit your fishing photos or to send us your latest fishing report. We are also on Facebook.