Aikens, (623) 236-7214
Pinetop Region - Richard
Dreyer, (928) 367-4281
Flagstaff Region - Chuck
Benedict, (928) 774-5045
Kingman Region - Andy
Clark, (928) 692-7700
Yuma Region - Brad
Jacobsen (928) 342-4051
Tucson Region - Dave
Neill, (520) 628-5376 ext. 561
Mesa Region - Richard
Wiggins, (481) 324-3544
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the weekly fishing report.
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The cold winds that blasted through Arizona for a few days at the end of last week slowed the bite down some at many warmwater lakes (except those that have smallmouth bass), but by the time you read this, the good fishing should be back in full swing. Despite the wind, Bartlett was a standout, and it looks like many did well at Roosevelt.
The great topwater bite I heard about at Pleasant slowed considerably, but I still boarded some nice, fat bass and lost one big toad (slang for a behemoth bass) that did three tail dances before spitting out the topwater lure as my boating partner tried to net it. It was a privilege to have had the hog on the line.
Surprisingly, the most productive spots at Pleasant were secondary points on the insides of coves just like you would expect for a pre-spawn bite, not a post-spawn one. Oh well. Sometimes the bass don't read the fishing books, especially when the cold wind keeps blowing the pages closed. However, as expected in windy, cold conditions, the bass were generally holding tight to brush.
Two anglers called to say they cleaned up on smallmouth during the windy days at Lake Havasu. Havasu got a nutrient bonus this year when the Bill Williams River was running heavily for a few months. Fish grow outs and spawns this year should be way above normal thanks to all that nutrient loading. When combined with all the new artificial habitat, we are expecting great things for angling at Havasu starting this year. Smallies can also be found on the river just below Parker Dam.
Despite the cold weather last weekend, we also had plenty of great reports from anglers catching larger, holdover trout in the mountain lakes. All the roads are open, although some are still muddy. One angler from Texas called to say he had one of his best trips ever (or was that evaa): he used to fish Colorado before discovering the White Mountains and Mogollon Rim country of Arizona. Grab your jacket, get out of the desert heat, and go catch some trout that will make you smile for years to come. The trout should also have that deep, rich pink flesh like salmon. They should be a great spring culinary treat. I heard from two anglers at Lee Valley Lake who caught some 15-inch native Apache trout. Lee Valley is full and spilling.
Anglers Can Help Others Online
Todd Franklin of Phoenix and his buddies had a great time, and plenty of success, fishing the creek up to a half-mile below Chevelon Lake.
Paul Totten, a Phoenix resident who is originally from England, was ecstatic after a high country fishing trip. "My two boys and I got into a hole in Big Lake and were getting hit on every cast. What a fun way to get your limit!" he wrote.
Ben Lucero says night crawlers were the ticket at Lynx Lake near Prescott on May 1. "Three of us caught our limits (18 fish) in a few hours. Pan-size to 14 inches. We had a GREAT time."
C. Straub of Tucson had lots of luck fishing Rose Canyon Lake for rainbows and browns, adding a side comment of, "Keep stocking the browns!"
All those fishermen, and many others besides, helped other anglers by relating their experiences for the Arizona Game and Fish Department's weekly fishing report via the "Been Fishing" button on the report at azgfd.com. This is a year when lots of anglers will desire such timely information. Arizona is ushering in a new era of fishing thanks to near record winter rainfall amounts that resulted in a host of lakes filling, including Roosevelt Lake.
The dam at Roosevelt was raised 70 feet in 1995, which was the beginning of the prolonged drought. This year Roosevelt is making history: it is almost full. Roosevelt is expected to provide some of the best warmwater fishing in the nation the next several years as it goes through what biologists call "the new lake syndrome."
Bartlett, Horseshoe and Pleasant all filled in late winter and have stayed full throughout the spawns for bass, crappie and shad. Bartlett has been a consistent hot spot this year. Alamo Lake filled to near historic proportions and should be remarkable this year, and in future years. Lake Havasu is another fishery in the news: it had tremendous inflows via the Bill Williams River from Alamo Lake. Those inflows were packed with nutrients. Fish grow outs and reproduction should be some of the best ever there.
In addition, most high country lakes have filled and are currently spilling. "We haven't had such high country fishing opportunities like this is almost a decade. This is definitely the year to get out. Anglers in the high country already report harvesting much larger than normal trout that we call holdovers," says Fisheries Branch Chief Larry Riley.
This is the year. Be sure to get your 2005 fishing license and trout stamp. It should also be a remarkable small game year; it is a good time to get a combination hunting and fishing license. Youth get a special deal: a combination hunting and fishing license is just $25.50, which is less than the cost of an adult fishing license with a trout stamp.
Northern Pike Discovered at Fools Hollow Lake
Recent netting surveys at Fools Hollow Lake near Show Low found high numbers of walleyes, most in the 7- to 11-pound range, but the survey also revealed large numbers of illegally introduced northern pike, ranging from a small 15-incher to a larger 12 pounder. The 12-pound pike had three stocker size rainbow trout in its stomach, showing the voracious nature of the species.
Another pike had just eaten a small bass. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking anglers to report violators who illegally transport live fish and spoil angling opportunities for others. The department is also asking anglers to harvest any pike they catch and not to release any pike back into the lake. As always in all of Apache, Navajo, and Coconino counties, all harvested fish must be killed before leaving the lake.
|URBAN LAKES - The greater Phoenix area urban lakes were stocked last week with channel catfish. Fishing for catfish is good to excellent. The top bait for the 16- to 20-inch channel catfish is worms fished on the bottom. Other baits such as hot dogs, stink baits and shrimp have worked well. Sunfish and bass are biting well. The sunfish are biting aggressively on small worms or mealworms. Some nice catches of largemouth bass are being reported using small plastic worms and grubs. Catch-and-release fishing for bass is encouraged. Phoenix and Tucson urban lakes are due to be stocked with catfish this week. Trout fishing at Green Valley Lake (Payson) continues to be good to excellent for anglers using Power Bait or worms. For more information, see our Urban
TEMPE TOWN LAKE - Some bass are biting on crankbaits and plastic worms fished along the ledges. One angler even caught a small bass live on a morning TV show using a 3-inch grub. Yellow bass and bluegill will take mealworms under a bobber. Catfish averaging about 1 pound are biting on shrimp.
LAKE PLEASANT - Water level is at 1,700 feet (98-percent full). The Agua Fria is flowing at 25 cfs. The Agua Fria arm of the lake is open: the eagle nest failed. Largemouth bass fishing slowed down some following the windy cold front that moved through the state, but should bounce right back by the time you read this. Some bass are still guarding nests and fry, but mostly it is a post-spawn bite. Prior to the windy weather, anglers were catching bass on topwater off major points, islands and reefs. The best bite last weekend was working the secondary points inside coves, especially over structure. Water temperatures are in the low 70s. Sight fishing is decent in the very backs of coves and near the dam. Fish are being caught on plastics, either drop shot, or Texas- and Carolina-rigged worms. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are also working at times. White bass have moved back into the lake and can be found in the Agua Fria arm of the lake. They will hit live shad, jigs (quarter-ounce white curly tails) and minnows. Striped bass can be caught trolling in the main lake near the dam using deep plugs and also shad. Bluegill, catfish and carp should become active in the next few weeks once water temps stay above 70 degrees.
ROOSEVELT LAKE - The Lake is 96-percent full at elevation 2,146 feet. The lake has approximately 3 more vertical feet to rise to reach 100-percent capacity. The Salt River was flowing at 1,220 cfs Tuesday morning and Tonto Creek was at 60 cfs. Lots of new cover and added nutrients point to a fantastic spring for bass and crappie. The lake should also experience tremendous shad spawn this year. Fishing is hit-or-miss. A bass club last weekend did well using soft plastic jerkbaits fished along points and secondary points just off the wind line. Some anglers are getting skunked while others are doing fairly well. Last week we received lots of reports of folks fishing but not correlating to a lot of catching. Dark males are being caught now in the Salt arm. Try backs of coves; Kalin jigs and pumpkin seed chartreuse jigs 1/32 ounce are working. Use live minnows under a slip bobber. Anglers are reporting 10-40 fish on good days. Some crappie fishermen are doing well at night. Fishing for smallmouth bass can be good; try using in-line spinners and crayfish imitations especially off rocky points and cliff walls. Remember the slot is in place for smallmouth as well. Carp fishing is fantastic with corn or dough bait. Catfish are starting to bite as well. Use hotdogs, stink baits, or shrimp. Get out on Roosevelt as much as possible when the water is rising to familiarize yourself with what will be underwater structure. Please harvest largemouth bass under the 13-inch slot. Call the Mesa Game and Fish office at (480) 324-3544 if you catch a tagged flathead catfish. Note: anglers are reminded of the slot bass size limit that remains in effect at Roosevelt. Bass between 13 to 16 inches must be released immediately. Also those bass below 13 inches and above 16 inches that are kept can only be gutted with the head and tail attached so the legal length can be determined. All other fish such as crappie, catfish and bluegill harvested from the lake must have a piece of skin attached to the fillets so species can be determined.
APACHE - Lake is 94-percent full at 1,909 feet. Largemouth bass fishing is poor. Try the mouths of coves and off points. Tight-lining drop shots either Carolina-rigged or Texas-rigged worms can be effective. Walleye can be caught off cliffs and rocky points with in-line spinners or drifting night crawlers. Try rock-runners with worm harnesses or shad-patterned crankbaits for walleye after dark. Yellow bass can be found around balls of shad. Spoons and cut bait work well for them. Catfishing is picking up. Carp fishing is excellent; a 12.5 cyprinid won the big fish at the annual camp carp held here last week. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is tagging walleye with a blue spaghetti-type tag near the dorsal fin. If you catch one, please note the tag number, location caught and accurate length of the fish and call the department's Mesa office at (480) 324-3544. You can keep the tag and the fish. There is a certified scale at the marina boathouse. Game and Fish biologists conducted a fish survey last week. Yellow bass were caught all over the lake in high numbers and some were close to state records. Largemouth bass to an extent and smallmouth bass populations in particular have taken a big hit. Not sure what has happened to the smallmouth bass, other than we cannot find them in traditional sampling areas where in past surveys they fill up our nets. All other fish species appear to be in good shape, health wise, densities and age distribution. We will be looking into options on what we can do re-establish what was an excellent smallmouth bass fishery. Any comments or input on this subject is welcomed and wanted as I am keeping track from the angling public for our region. Call me at (480) 324-3544 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
CANYON - Lake is 95-percent full at 1,659 feet. Many anglers are reporting 10-20 fish days; others say they are having a tough time getting a bite. For bass, drop shotting is still the method of choice. Senkos and Westy Worms have also been catching fish. Target smallmouth with crawdad imitation lures right at dark. At night try noisy topwater lures and crankbaits near shad boils. This is also a great lake for yellow bass; jig spoons in and around balls of shad. A few walleye are being caught trolling along cliffs. Shad imitation Rat-L-Traps can be effective for walleye here. Catfish, sunfish and carp fishing are picking up.
SAGUARO - Lake level is 1,524 feet (95-percent full). Bass fishing has been good on most days. There was a shad die-off in the main basin, but not in the river segment of the lake. Anglers fishing the river segment have reported decent results, while some anglers in the main basin have said fishing is tough. Drop shotting and T-rigged worms are catching fish. Jigging is also working at times with white curly tail jigs. Yellow bass can be caught jigging spoons (quarter-ounce KastMaster) or cut bait. There are recent reports of yellows are being caught in the Butcher Jones Cove area. Another good area for yellows is near Ship Rock and the no wake buoys in the channel. Try to locate shad in 40-60 feet of water and jig through them. Catfishing is good. Try stinking baits, hotdogs or shrimp. Some nice cats 5-12 pounds are being caught neat Bagley Flats. There is a certified scale at the marina to get an official weight and still release your catch. Two witnesses are needed for the weight to be official.
BARTLETT - This has been a fishing hot spot for more than a month. Lake level is at 1,799 feet (99-percent full). Lots of reports from anglers who are catching 1- to 4-pound bass consistently, sometimes racking up 30 or 40 catch-and-release fish in a day using a variety of methods. Apparently it doesn't matter if you are flipping jigs, crankbaits, spinners, plastics or even spinnerbaits, the bite is on. Crawdad imitations and worming rigs (d-shot and Texas) are producing, although fishing did drop off a bit last week for bass. Crappies are being caught at night using lights. During the day try newly submerged vegetation along the shoreline and in coves. They will hit minnows and jigs. A live minnow rigged under a slip-bobber can be deadly. Try varying depths from 6-15 feet. Once fish are located continue to fish at that depth. Catfishing is good. Some channel and large flatheads may still be caught near the dam. Use live bait such as bluegill or small carp for the flatheads and shrimp, hotdogs or stink bait for the channels. Remember the live bait most come from the lake itself not transported from another body of water!
HORSESHOE - Lake is temporarily holding water (100 percent). Fishing is poor. Upstream from Horseshoe Dam is an unlimited harvest area for all game fish. The deep pool below the dam (Catfish Point) is known for producing flathead and channel cats. The Colorado pikeminnow and the razorback sucker are endangered and must be released immediately.
VERDE RIVER - Monday morning flows were 300 cfs just above Horseshoe Lake. We will be doing a fish survey next week, at which time I will let you know what we find. Soon the river will be fishable above horseshoe. This area in general is good for smallmouth, largemouth and catfish. It will be interesting to see what we find after the huge winter floods this year. Remember that no baitfish can be transported into this part of the river (above Horseshoe). For further information concerning regulations, call the Arizona Game and Fish Department at (480) 324-3544.
LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) - Rainbow trout were stocked last week at Blue Point Bridge and Water Users Park. Spinners, KastMasters and Power Bait will work. Some bass can be found in the portion above the Verde confluence. They will hit spinners, crankbaits and night crawlers. In a recent survey many largemouth bass were caught ranging from 1-5 pounds. Look for back eddies next to submerged brush.
CREEKS - Haigler, Workman, Christopher, Tonto, E. Verde River and Canyon creek have all been stocked with rainbow trout recently. Canyon Creek also received 500 brown trout but reportedly is not accessible via motor vehicle because of a timber salvage operation. Use spinners (Rooster Tails, Mepps or Vibrex) corn, worms or Power Bait.
|LAKE POWELL - By Wayne Gustaveson. Lake elevation: 3,564. Water Temp: 58 - 65. Fish are wondering what happened to spring? Warm days in April got them excited about spawning. Now May is here and it seems like March. Water temperatures hover around 60 degrees but fish are looking for that quick warming to trigger more spawning. While waiting most fish are hovering between deep and shallow water. But they can be caught.
Bass fishing is the best bet. Old nests from the first spawn in April are now 8 feet deeper due to rising lake levels. Fishing the shallow shoreline is not as productive as dropping a plastic tube or grub over the first ledge and letting it fall 5-15 feet. Bass are close to the deepwater edge of shallow rocky structure where nests are built. On a warm afternoon or when the wind blows they will come back on top of the rock. When the water cools due to wind or evening temperatures, they drop back into deeper water.
For best results in cool weather, use small baits like Berkeley Power Grubs, or tiny Yamamoto grubs on eighth-ounce jig heads. Toss the jig near brush or debris and let it slowly settle around limbs and branches. This method can also produce some walleye. Find a patch of floating driftwood and debris and poke the jig under the floating mat to find fish using the floating cover for a hiding spot. When the temperature rises in the afternoon, use larger baits and retrieve more quickly to catch fish. Matching the mood of the fish is important to success. Find the right speed and color to enhance the catch. When it quits working then change one of the variables until fish start to bite once more. Another great technique is to use suspending jerk baits. When water is cold, pause as long as 5-10 seconds between jerks.
These bass fishing techniques will catch many different kinds of fish during May. Expect crappie, bluegill, walleye, green sunfish, catfish and carp to be caught on the same bait in the same cove.
Striped bass are off feed now waiting to spawn. They have not quit feeding, just relaxed the relentless pursuit of shad. Being the biggest fish in town causes baitfish to run away from striper spawning concentrations. Stripers are chasing each other instead of looking for food, which causes a separation between stripers and shad. Catching requires specific methods. Stripers will eat when a food item is placed in front of them. Trolling deep-running (25-40 feet) baits in the backs of canyons is still effective. Using fire tiger or baits with a fluorescent orange belly increases success when fish are lethargic. Stripers are moving in the main channel. Trolling the intersection of the main channel and canyon mouth is productive but not fast.
With stripers prowling and not chasing shad, fishing anchovies at 40-60 feet is a good bet. Stripers have recently been caught at the dam. It is reasonable to expect that historical anchovy fishing spots will be good as long as the cold weather persists. Try the dam, power plant intake, Halls and Moki walls for bait fishing.
Best striper fishing is in the southern half of Lake Powell. Wahweap to Rock Creek is best with stripers found recently in every canyon. Muddy water extends down to Tapestry Wall in the main channel. Fishing for most species is tough upstream from Bullfrog.
Warming will change fish location and fishing success. For this week, go small for bass and deep for stripers.
LEES FERRY - Report courtesy of Lees
Anglers. The sun was out and the
skies were clear this past week. The average high was in the mid seventies and
the low for the mornings was in the sixties. The powers that be (a.k.a. the dam
authorities) have changed the flows on us again. The high flows have changed
from 8,000 cfs to 13,000 cfs. The lows will remain constant at 5,000 cfs. This
change in flows has deterred the fish from eating flies. Hopefully, the fish
will settle back into their regular feeding routines by the beginning of next
week and the fishing will take a turn for the better. As for now, you have to
be on your game to catch lots of fish at the Ferry. Experienced and novice fisherman
alike are struggling on the water. It can be frustrating to see so many fish
in the water and not get them to turn on your fly. Suggest changing flies regularly
and trying different locations on the water. Those fish are going to have to
LAKE MEAD - No new reports. Largemouth bass are spawning in many coves. The lake has been stable for the last few weeks and the bass are taking advantage. Plastic lizards and Senkos have all been working well. Reports of stripers have been trickling with most anglers catching a few using anchovies in the Gregg Basin area. There have been no reports on catfish.
LAKE MOHAVE - Striper fishing continues to be good here with anchovies being the most popular choice for bait. The boating activity is picking up. For a little more quiet time on the lake, go early. If you're not an early riser, fish for stripers right at sunset and before the moon rises. If you're fishing from a boat, the hot spots have been near AZ Telephone Cove and the power lines. If you're fishing from shore, try Davis Dam, Princess Cove, and Cabinsite. No new reports on catfish.
TOPOCK MARSH - The marsh water level is up and navigating through the marsh is much easier. Still be aware of underground hazards. Crappie fishing dropped off a little last week as water levels at the marsh continued to rise. However, the bass fishing remained good. Anglers continue to do well catching up to 15 inch stripers along the Colorado River near Golden Shores and the Havasu Refuge. Anchovies have been working well using a 1-ounce weight on the line.
WILLOW BEACH - Fishing for rainbow trout on Friday was good for about an hour after the
Stocking, then the action dropped off significantly. Two anglers from Nevada caught nine and seven trout using a gold Super Duper with red dots. One of those trout was 4 pounds. Other lures being used successfully were silver KastMasters, Panther Martins and a brown Rooster Tail. Power Bait was also working well with green, orange, rainbow, lemon twist, salmon peach, sherbet, chartreuse and lime twist all being used successfully. Saturday and Sunday the trout action slowed with just a few trout being caught all with orange Power Bait. Striped bass activity has picked up with several anglers catching striped bass in the 1- to 2-pound range from shore using anchovies. Two anglers caught two catfish also. One group fishing for carp caught eight fish using canned corn.
|HAVASU - No recent report received. There should not be any change from last week. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing is very good. Both largemouth and smallmouth were observed on beds over the weekend; however, much of the population has already entered into a post-spawn pattern. Soft plastics continue to be the most popular baits. Straight-tail plastic worms fished on a drop shot rig and tubes are the go-to baits right now. Dark green, brown and purple have been the colors of choice. Several anglers have reported a topwater bite during early to mid morning hours. The bite can be slow, but it tends to produce some larger fish. Bass are being caught in shallow water inside coves as well as in 10-20 feet of water on points and underwater breaks that drop off into deeper water. Anglers are also catching bass on small crankbaits in the backs of coves and around the artificial fish habitat. Stripper fishing is also good if anglers are able to locate the schools. There is still an early morning topwater bite from first light to about 8 o'clock. Many nice stripers in the 5-pound range are being caught on this pattern. After the topwater bite, anchovies trolled or still fished near the bottom are working best. Striper fishing upriver in the Gorge is also good. Anchovies fished in deeper water have been most productive. The catfish bite is also starting to pickup. Anglers using night crawlers and anchovies have been the most successful. It should only be a couple of weeks before the catfish bite is in full swing. REMEMBER: THE SNAGGING SEASON IS NOW CLOSED. It will be unlawful for anglers to snag shad until the season opens again in October (see the 2005-2006 regulations for additional information). In addition: smallmouth and largemouth bass must be a minimum of 13 inches to possess. All largemouth and smallmouth bass less than 13 inches must be released immediately.
PARKER STRIP - No recent reports have been received for this area. The same conditions as last week should still be true. Water levels are expected to remain high for the next few weeks, with the exception of Thursdays when releases are held back. Catfishing should be picking up with the warmer weather and longer days. Use baits like night crawlers, cut anchovies or chicken livers for channel cats. For the larger, more predatory flatheads, only live bait will do. Anglers have some success with shad, bluegill, or small goldfish. Night crawlers are a good choice for the pan-filling sunfish that inhabit the Parker Strip. A number of 2- to 3-pound bluegill-redear hybrids have been pulled from these waters in the last few years. For a challenge, try landing one on a fly rod with a fly or midge. The bass bite should still be on. Soft baits were working well for both large and small mouth.
MARTINEZ LAKE/COLORADO RIVER - No recent reports have been received for this area. Martinez Lake boat anglers recently enjoyed some good success fishing for bass in the back coves and submerged structure. Plastics seemed to be working well.
MITTRY LAKE - Channel catfish and bass fishing is picking up. It was reported that fishing for channel catfish with a bobber about 18 inches above a worm was working extremely well this last weekend.
YUMA AREA RIVERS/CANALS - No recent reports have been received for this area. Anglers have been catching striped bass are schooling in the Gila Main Canal and biting on chicken livers.
FORTUNA POND - No recent reports have been received for this area. A couple of anglers recently caught limits of channel catfish using shrimp as bait. Bluegills are plentiful in the pond and have been biting worms for bait.
REDONDO POND - No recent reports have been received for this area. "Yuma Lakes" anglers should fish this pond with a float tube to be effective. Both bass and bluegill dominate here.
YUMA WEST WETLANDS POND - No recent reports have been turned in for this area. Effective January 2005, the daily bag/possession limits for fish caught at the Yuma West Wetlands Pond is two trout, one largemouth bass (13-inch minimum), two channel catfish and five sunfish of any combination. For detailed information see the 2005-2006 Arizona Game and Fish Department's fishing regulations.
EHRENBERG - No recent reports have been received for this area. Fishing for flatheads will continue to bite on bluegill or other live bait in the main channel. Worms and green crankbaits will continue to attract bass in the backwaters. Just a reminder, Cibola Lake is open to fishing.
ALAMO LAKE - No much has changed this week in the wide world of bass fishing. It's still tough. High winds every day have kept most anglers off the lake. The best fishing is still early mornings throwing spinner baits and plastic lizards. Local anglers have found that watermelon color works the best. The bass are still holding tight to the points and hiding in the brush. Crappie fishing has picked up. The night bite is on. Anglers have been going out in the evenings using lights and minnows and catching between 20 and 40 crappie a night. For the best luck try fishing the coves up by the dam. Look for about 30 foot of water on your graph, set out yours light out, and fish about 8 feet down. The bite seems to start about 10 p.m. and last till around midnight, or later. Minnows, split shot, and small hooks are the hot ticket. Catfishing is doing okay. Most catfish are being caught in the upper part of the lake using minnows and livers. The lake is still at 1,136 and should remain at this level until the end of the month. Were not sure if the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers will dump the additional 11 feet to bring the lake down to 1,125 or release it slowly. Cholla Ramp is still under water. No news on the store at this time. There is a fish advisory here. The advisory recommends that people limit consumption as follows for bass and black crappie: Children under age six: no consumption; Women of childbearing age: one 8-ounce fish meal per month; All other adult women: three 8-ounce fish meals per month; Adult men: four 8-ounce fish meal per month. For catfish, the consumption guideline is slightly different: for children under the age of six, no consumption is recommended; for women of child-bearing age, one 8-ounce fish meal per month; for all other adult women, five 8-ounce fish meals per month; for adult men, six 8-ounce meals per month. If you have any questions, call the park (928) 669-2088.
|Note: Campgrounds on the Kaibab National Forest Opened April 29. The Forest Service is still conducting maintenance on the facilities, including pumping flood waters from bathrooms, and removing slash piles from trees that were cut down due to bark beetle damage. Please thank the Forest for opening the campgrounds early instead of waiting until all the work was finished.
KAIBAB LAKE - Gate is open. Scheduled to be stocked this week.
CATARACT LAKE - Gate is open. Trout fishing was good on Power Bait. Scheduled to be stocked this week.
CITY RESERVOIR - Gate is open. Water level is too high to stock but dropping. Should be stocked next week.
DOGTOWN LAKE - Gate is open. Trout fishing was good on Power Bait. Scheduled to be stocked this week.
WHITEHORSE LAKE - Gate is open Scheduled to be stocked this week.
JD DAM - Lake is full.
SANTA FE - Lake is full. Water level is too high to stock but dropping. Should be stocked next week.
LOWER LAKE MARY - The parking lot is open. Fishing was spotty over the weekend.
UPPER LAKE MARY - No report. There is a health advisory: do not eat walleye from this lake because mercury has been detected try to limit consumption of other species to 8 ounces a month.
ASHURST LAKE - Lake is full. Anglers were catching some trout over the weekend, mostly on worms. Some trout were over 14 inches. Scheduled to be stocked this week
KINNIKINICK LAKE - No report. The road is open but still very rough. The Coconino National Forest is still working to fix the road. This week's scheduled stocking has been canceled.
MARSHALL LAKE - No report. The road is open. Scheduled to be stocked this week.
OAK CREEK - Being stocked. Good for rainbows and fair for browns.
LONG LAKE - Lake is 70-percent full. Some 9-inch rainbow trout were stocked last week. Some of the trout should be up to size by fall.
SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX -There is a health advisory: do not eat fish from these lakes because mercury has been detected.
BEAVER CREEK - No report.
WEST CLEAR CREEK - No report.
STONEMAN LAKE - NO FISH. Water level is too low for stocking.
BLUE RIDGE - Still Spilling. Not stocked. Some anglers have reported catching nice holdover fish near the dam.
KNOLL LAKE - Still Spilling. Not Stocked. No report from anglers.
DEAD HORSE STATE PARK - No new reports. Deadhorse was stocked on April 4 for the last time this spring. Anglers at the middle lagoon were having good luck two weekends ago when the rain let them fish. Anglers were catching trout using Power Bait and flies. Lots of anglers report catching limits of trout relatively easily. The problem otters have not been seen at the lagoons in several weeks.
LYNX LAKE - Fishing at Lynx last weekend continued to be good. Spinners and flies were working well on the brown trout. Remember, brown trout don't take Power Bait like the rainbow trout do, so try night crawlers, spinners, flies and minnow lures. Next stocking is scheduled for the week of May 16.
FAIN LAKE - No new reports. Due to be stocked this week.
VERDE RIVER - No new reports. Stocked at the White Bridge in Camp Verde on April 8 with 800 rainbow trout. That stocking was the last for the spring season. Young anglers participating in a fishing workshop on April 9 caught several of the stocked trout as well as a carp and a largemouth bass.
GOLDWATER LAKE - No new reports. Last stocked with trout on April 18. Goldwater is due to be stocked this week. This little lake just off Senator Highway holds the state record for hybrid sunfish. It's a great place to take the youngsters.
|Note: All major roads on the forest to popular fishing locations are now open, providing access to Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Black Canyon Lake, Chevelon Canyon Lake, Big, Crescent, and Hulsey Lake as well as major stream locations such as Sheep's Crossing, Little Colorado River at Greer, and all Black River access points.
CHEVELON CANYON LAKE - Forest Road 300 and FR 169 are open. The lake is full and spilling. Recent netting surveys found good numbers of 10-14 inch rainbow trout and several brown trout in the 2-5-pound range. Chevelon Canyon Lake is open to artificial lure and fly only. The bag limit is six fish, however a slot limit is in effect on the lake and trout between 10-14 inches may not be possessed. Trout taken from Chevelon Canyon Lake shall be immediately killed and retained as part of the bag limit or immediately released. Try lures such as KastMasters, Z-Rays, Panther Martin spinners, and Rapalas. Fly fishers should try wooly buggers or wooly worms in black or brown colors. Three different anglers have reported good fishing success in the stream, especially just below the spillway, downstream from Chevelon. One angler said he and his buddies caught lots of fish up to one-half mile below the dam. Another angler fishing from a boat said he caught lots of big fish, including a couple of browns pushing 20 inches long, by trolling gold-colored Rapalas.
BEAR CANYON LAKE - Forest Road 300 and 89 are open to the lake. The lake is full and spilling. Fishing is fair to good. The lake will be stocked with catchable size rainbow trout this week. Try worms, Power Bait, lures (Z-Rays, Panther Martin, Mepps, and Rooster Tail spinners), and flies (woolly worms and woolly buggers).
BLACK CANYON LAKE - Forest Road 86 is open from Heber and Forest Road 300 south of Highway 260 is open to Black Canyon Lake. The lake is full and spilling. Spring netting surveys found good numbers of small carryover rainbow trout, but no large trout as were found in the previous two years. Try worms, Power Bait, lures (Z-Rays and spinners), and flies (woolly buggers). The lake was last stocked with catchable size rainbow trout the week of May 2. Fishing is good.
WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE - The road is open. The lake is full and spilling. Spring netting surveys found fair numbers of small rainbow trout, with a couple 13-inch carryovers. The lake will be stocked with catchable size rainbow trout this week and weekly through September. Fishing is good. Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as Z-Rays and Panther Martin spinners and flies such as woolly worms and woolly buggers.
WOODS CANYON LAKE - Forest Roads are open to the lake. The lake is full and spilling. Spring netting surveys found good numbers of 10-14 inch rainbow trout with a few brown trout that averaged 5 pounds. Fishing is fair to good. Two anglers report catching-and-releasing 20 trout in a morning, including three large browns from 3 to 5 pounds, using spinning rods with casting floats and wooly buggers (big flies) on a tapered fly leader. Try worms, Power Bait, lures such as Z-Rays, spinners, and crayfish crank baits. Flies such as wooly buggers and wooly worms are also effective. An angler recently caught a 7-pound brown trout near the boat ramp on a crayfish colored crank bait. Anglers have been catching rainbows on Power Bait and worms. The lake will be stocked with catchable size rainbow trout this week and weekly through September.
|Note To Anglers: State Routes 273 and 261 (Roads to Big Lake) are open.
BECKER LAKE - The lake is open and full. The boat ramp is accessible. Fishing is good. The lake is open to artificial lure and flies only from Oct. 1 through May 24. There is a two-fish limit. Fly fishers should try brown wooly buggers, damselfly and dragonfly patterns, Montana nymphs, peacock ladies, and midge larvae patterns. Fly fishers are catching 8-12 inch rainbows and a few rainbows over 15 inches. Lures such as small spinners, KastMasters, and Z-Rays are also effective. An angler recently caught a rainbow trout over 20 inches with a Z-Ray from the boat ramp.
BIG LAKE - Highways 273 and 261 are open. The lake is open. The lake level is up about 2 feet from last year. Fishing is good. One angler says he and his two sons easily caught a limit of nice trout using Power Bait in a deep hole near shore. Another angler reports catching a hard-fighting 4-pound cutthroat trout on a Mepps spinner bounced along the bottom in about 10 feet of water. Shore anglers are catching rainbow trout 12-16 inches, brook trout 10-14 inches, and a few cutthroat trout 16-17 inches on worms and Power Bait (rainbow colored, green, orange, and yellow). Spring netting surveys found good numbers of rainbow trout up to 16 inches, brook trout up to 14 inches, and cutthroat trout up to 21 inches. Boat ramp access at the main ramp and at South Cove is good. The Railroad Cove boat ramp is good for float tubes. There is still soft mud at the end of the ramp.
CARNERO LAKE - Forest Roads are open to the lake. The lake is full. The water temperature was 52 degrees. Spring netting surveys found good numbers of 1-3 pound rainbow trout. The lake is weedy around the shoreline. The lake is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks, and a 2-trout bag limit. A small boat or float tube is ideal for this lake. There is open water past the weed lines. Try lures such as Z-Rays, KastMasters, spinners (Mepps, Panther Martin, and Rooster Tail) and flies like wooly worms, wooly buggers, damselfly patterns, and brown Montana stone nymphs.
CONCHO LAKE - Fishing is fair. The lake is approximately 4.5 feet down, but the main boat ramp is good for launching boats. Spring netting surveys found good numbers of carryover rainbow trout, most in the 1-2 pound size. Try using worms, Power Bait, lures, and flies early in the day when the pH levels are lowest. PH levels will rise in the afternoon because of direct sunlight, making trout sluggish. The lake was stocked with catchable size rainbow trout on April 6 and again on April 8. The lake will not be stocked until water quality conditions improve and pH levels decline.
CRESCENT LAKE - State Routes 273 and 261 are open to the lake. The lake is open and about 2 feet higher than last year. Fishing is good. Try worms, Power Bait, lures, and flies. The north and west side boat ramps are accessible. The south boat ramp is still blocked. The lake will be stocked with 8,000 catchable size brook trout and 4,000 catchable size rainbow trout last week.
FOOL HOLLOW LAKE - The lake is full and turbid, which means it has had some nutrient loading. That should help fish grow outs. Both boat ramps are accessible. Fishing is fair to good for trout. Try worms, Power Bait, lures, and flies near structure such as rocks, tree stumps, and weed beds. The lake will be stocked with catchable size rainbow trout next week. Fool Hollow also contains walleye, northern pike, channel catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, sunfish, and black crappie.
Recent netting surveys found high numbers of walleyes, most in the 7- to 11-pound range. The survey also found large numbers of illegally introduced northern pike, ranging from a small 15-inch pike to a large 12 pounder. The 12-pound pike had 3 stocker size rainbow trout in its stomach, showing the voracious nature of the species. Another pike had just eaten a small bass. We are asking anglers to report violators who illegally transport live fish and spoil angling opportunities for others. Anglers are being asked to harvest any pike they catch and not to release them back into the lake. As always in all of Apache, Navajo, and Coconino counties, all harvested fish must be killed before leaving the lake. Channel catfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, bluegills, black crappies, and carp were also caught during the surveys, but in lower numbers.
GREER LAKES - Bunch and Tunnel reservoirs are full and will be stocked with catchable size rainbow trout this week. Fishing should be good. Anglers have been catching trout on Rooster Tail spinners. River Reservoir has come up quite a bit with the heavy snowmelt but will be drained back down to minimum pool immediately because of dam safety concerns. Repairs to the dam are scheduled this summer. Scheduled stockings at River Reservoir have been diverted to other lakes. However, some large brown trout likely remain in the reservoir. Boats can be launched at River Reservoir at the current water level but should become more difficult as water is released and high flows decrease.
HULSEY LAKE - Forest Road 56 is open to Hulsey Lake on the side of Escudilla Mountain. This pint-size lake is full, spilling, and open. Fishing is good. The lake was last stocked with catchable size rainbow trout the week of May 2. Try worms, Power Bait, lures, and flies.
LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR - State Route 273 is open to the lake. The lake is full and spilling. The lake is open to artificial lures and flies only, two-fish bag limit, with a minimum size of 12 inches. Spring netting surveys found some nice sized Apache trout that survived the winter. These trout were 15-16 inches. The lake will be stocked this week with 5,000 catchable size apache trout. Anglers should try lures such as Rooster Tail, Mepps, and Panther Martin spinners. Fly fishers should try small Peacock ladies, Prince nymphs, Hares ear nymphs, caddis fly nymphs, mayfly nymphs, and damselfly nymphs in sizes 14-16. The water temperature last week was 50 degrees.
LUNA LAKE - The lake is fairly clear and full. Fishing is fair. Spring netting surveys found good numbers of cutthroat trout with fair numbers of rainbow trout that carried over the winter. Try worms, Power Bait (green, yellow or orange), lures, and flies. The store is open and boat rentals are available.
LYMAN LAKE - Fishing is poor to fair. The lake level is rising due to snowmelt runoff in the Little Colorado River. Try fishing for catfish at the upper end of the lake. Try fishing for bass, walleyes, and sunfish along rocky areas or weedy areas of the lake. Try worms, Power Bait, lures, and flies. Camping is available at Lyman Lake State Park. There are also some new cabins for rent. There is a fish consumption advisory here. Children under the age of six should not eat fish from the lake. Women of childbearing age and children under the age of 16 should limit their consumption of fish to one meal per month. Adult men over the age of 16 can consume five meals of fish per month. For more information about consumption advisories due to mercury, contact the Arizona Game and Fish Regional office in Pinetop. Boat ramps are accessible.
NELSON RESERVOIR - The lake is full and spilling. Both boat ramps are accessible. Fishing is poor to fair. The lake will be stocked with catchable rainbow trout when the lake stops spilling. Spring netting surveys show that there are a few trout that have carried over, but all of them are large, weighing about 2 pounds. So now is the time to fish for the large carryover trout. Try fishing a night crawler on the bottom or deep under a bobber. Trolling woolly bugger flies along the opposite shoreline from the road can also be productive. It's spawning time for black crappies. Try fishing with crappie jigs near rocky shorelines.
RAINBOW LAKE - The lake is full. Fishing is fair to good. The boat ramp is accessible. Spring netting surveys found fair numbers of large carryover rainbow trout. Try trolling spinners or flies for these large trout. The lake will be stocked with catchable size rainbow trout this week. Spring netting surveys also found large numbers of northern pike, which were illegally introduced. We are asking anglers to keep all the pike they catch (there is no bag and possession limit for northern pike. Do not release them back into the lake. And as always, it is illegal to possess or transport any live fish in Navajo, Apache, and Coconino counties, so make sure the pike and all other fish harvested are dead when leaving the lake. If targeting pike, the small pike are distributed throughout the lake. Try spinners, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits for larger pike along weed beds.
SCOTT'S RESERVOIR - The lake is full. The lake is slightly turbid as usual for this lake. The boat ramp is accessible. Fishing is fair to good. The lake will be stocked with catchable size rainbow trout this week. Try worms, Power Bait (green, yellow or orange), lures, and flies. Try fishing near structure such as rocks, tree stumps and weed beds. Spring netting surveys revealed some small trout and some 1-8 pound channel catfish. Fly fishers should try peacock ladies, KP buggers, brown wooly buggers, and Montana stone nymphs.
SHOW LOW LAKE - The lake is full. The boat ramp is accessible. The water level is high on the boat ramp. Boats and trailers may need to be backed down the hill from the parking lot. The lake is still slightly turbid, but starting to clear and fishing is fair to good. The lake will be stocked with catchable size rainbow trout this week. Try worms, Power Bait (green, yellow or orange), salmon eggs, lures, and flies. Try casting or trolling Rapalas, crankbaits, and chartreuse or brown mister twister jigs around rocky shorelines for walleyes, largemouth and smallmouth bass, black crappies, and sunfish.
WOODLAND LAKE- The lake is full and spilling. The boat ramp is accessible. Fishing is good. Woodland Lake was last stocked with catchable size rainbow trout the week of May 2. Try worms, Power Bait (green, yellow or orange), lures, and flies.
CHOLLA LAKE - Cholla Lake is closed to the public and the county park has been dissolved.
CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR - The lake is full and spilling. The lake is currently clear, but may become turbid during heavy snowmelt runoff. Fishing is fair. The lake was last stocked with catchable size rainbow trout the week of May 2. The lake contains trout, bass, sunfish, bullheads, and catfish. Anglers should try worms, Power Bait (green, yellow or orange), lures, and flies.
SILVER CREEK - Trout fishing is fair to good. As of April 1, Silver Creek on the Arizona Game and Fish Department property is open to statewide fishing regulations, except for the areas posted closed to fishing. Try drifting night crawlers or Power Bait through deep pools. Use small lures such as Mepps, Rooster Tail, and Panther Martin spinners. Fish upstream or downstream. Fly-fishing anglers may want to try Peacock Ladies, Wooly buggers, prince nymphs, bead head nymphs, mayfly and caddis fly nymph imitations, and shrimp patterns. Fish your flies upstream and dead drift them downstream or cast your fly downstream and retrieve the fly slowly, twitching it occasionally. Try small dry flies such as Adams, parachute Adams, midge imitations, and caddis fly patterns is sizes #16 or #18. The daily bag and possession limit is currently six trout from April 1 through Sept. 30. Silver Creek is scheduled to be stocked this week and will be stocked weekly throughout the summer with catchable size Apache trout.
STREAMS - Most streams in the highest elevations of the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest are currently experiencing peak snowmelt run-off. Forest Service Roads to the Black River campgrounds, Buffalo Crossing area and the West Fork campground are open. High flows will make it difficult to fish the rivers. Fishing is poor to fair. Streams originating from Mt. Baldy including Sheep's Crossing (West Fork of the Little Colorado River) and the Little Colorado River at Greer, and the West Fork of the Black River, should run high, possibly into June due to the good snow pack. An angler recently braved the high flows in the Little Colorado River downstream of River Reservoir and caught a 6.5-pound brown trout while fly-fishing. The East Fork of the Black River was stocked with catchable size Apache trout last week and will be stocked again this week. All other streams will be stocked when water flows subside.
|TUCSON URBAN - Sunny skies and warm weather make this an ideal time to get out and fish: Be sure to get a 2005 license. Kennedy, Silverbell, Sahuarita and Lakeside were stocked with channel catfish last week. Try worms, hotdogs, chicken liver or prepared catfish bait. They also have been stocked with aggressive, fast-growing, tasty hybrid sunfish. Fishing for sunfish has been good. Use mealworms and earthworms on a small hook, size 10 or smaller, under a bobber set at 3 to 5 feet. Buy a two-pole stamp and try different baits to double your odds.
RIGGS FLAT - The gate is now open and Riggs has been stocked with trout. For lake information, call (928) 428-4150.
CLUFF RANCH - Has been stocked with trout. Slow for warmwater species. For lake information call (928) 485-9430.
ROPER LAKE - Has been stocked with trout. Slow for warmwater species. For lake information call (928) 428-6760.
DANKWORTH POND - Has stocked with trout. Slow for warmwater species. For lake information call (928) 428-6760.
KEARNY LAKES - Not stocked due to water quality issues.
ARIVACA - The bass fishing (along with the other warm water species) is starting to pick up. The water level still is not at the level it was last year at this time; however, you still should be able to launch most boats. The weeds are rather thick, especially along the banks. Despite these conditions, bass are still being caught, primarily on plastic baits. Remember, powerboats on Arivaca Lake are restricted to the use of a single electric motor only, and all bass must be immediately released back to the water. The mercury advisory for all fish is still in effect.
PENA BLANCA - The last trout stocking of the year occurred in the middle of March. There has been almost 13,000 trout stocked in Pena Blanca this season. Trout fishing has been fair. Use any traditional trout bait: Power Bait, corn, or salmon eggs. The key is to find the depth the trout are at. Whether you are fishing off of the bottom using a sliding egg sinker, or from the top using a bobber, adjust the length of your leader until you start getting into the fish. With the warmer weather, the trout will be found at the lower depths of the lake. The bass and sunfish fishing has picked up with the warmer weather. Additionally, the black crappies have made a come back from their reduced levels of the past couple of years. Water levels have come up, and you should not have any problems launching a boat. Remember, powerboats on Pena Blanca Lake are restricted to the use of a single electric motor only. The mercury advisory for all warm water fish is in effect. Bass less than 13 inches long must be immediately released.
PATAGONIA - Trout stocking has stopped for the summer. Bass, catfish, and crappie fishing is picking up as the water temperatures have made it above 60 degrees. Try flipping a jig or artificial worm deep in the weeds with a slow presentation for bass. Catfish seem to prefer a whole worm on the bottom at about 10 to 15 feet in depth. Crappies are becoming active near structure. Try using a chartreuse jig. Sunfish are active in the shallower coves where water has warmed providing fun for the young folks. Try using small hooks with pieces of worm suspended about 12 to 18 inches. The average size is pretty small (3-5 inches). For more lake information, call Patagonia Lake State Park at (520) 287-6965.
PARKER CANYON - Fishing at Parker Canyon Lake for trout continues to be good. Trout in the 10-16 inch range are being caught with Power Bait, worms and trolling. Warm water species are picking up with largemouth bass showing up on beds. Bluegill and sunfish are also being caught as water temperature increases. Catfish remains slow. Water level is still good, allowing for easy boat access. Weed emergence along the shallow shorelines and in coves is increasing, but is not yet reducing angler opportunity.
PICACHO RESERVOIR - No Report.
ROSE CANYON LAKE - Rose Canyon Lake is now open and trout fishing is good. Two anglers report catching their limits easily at first light on flies. Try Power Bait, corn or cheese. Small work.
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