Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal
A stretch of warm, sunny days has arrived so expect wild flowers to bloom and fishing to soon get a much-needed boost. Water temperature at Roosevelt Lake on Thursday was 54 degrees. With a couple weeks of temperatures in the high 70s and 80s, the fishing at these desert impoundments should start to go nuts.
Out west at Alamo, Havasu and Martinez, look for some possible pre-spawn largemouth bass action around ledges and points in 15-25 feet of water. As of Thursday, fishing at Alamo (and most desert impoundments) was slow. See a report. A combination of rising water levels, cold temps and stained water could be what has made conditions difficult. Get ready for pre-spawn action once weather is steady by checking out five great baits.
Out for trout
Now to trout fishing. Some anglers have been having good luck catching stocked trout along the Colorado River at Davis Dam and Community Park with PowerBait and spinners.
We also stocked the Lower Salt River with trout this week. As a guideline, trout are primarily stocked at Phon D. Sutton and Granite Reef recreation sites during the winter.
Due to inclement weather that delayed one of our fish stocking vendors, stockings in some Community waters were delayed for the following “core” waters, but were stocked Sunday:
- Red Mountain, Riverview, Evelyn Hallman, Papago Ponds, Steele Indian School, Encanto, Cortez, Desert Breeze, Kiwanis, Rio Vista, Surprise, Pioneer, Desert West, Alvord, and Green Valley Lakes.
Next week, our “core” Community fishing waters are scheduled to be stocked with trout. The third week of March will bring in the first Community catfish stockings of the season.
Lake Powell: Eye on walleye
Also keep an eye on reports of water temperatures at Lake Powell. The general pattern is that pre-spawn walleye will respond favorably to steady, warming water and inflows once spring conditions begin to arrive.
And now … spring crappie
There’s no crystal ball for when the spring crappie bite will take off, but some anglers shoot for around April 1 when crappie tend to come in around shallow structure to spawn. With this especially cold winter where crappie holes have been stained and muddied by run-off, some good crappie fishing could be delayed a bit (some anglers think by possibly a month or so). Still, the April 5 new moon could be a great time to crappie fish at night with submersible lights. Try Roosevelt, Alamo, Bartlett and possibly Pleasant.
White Mountains updates
There have been no major changes in road conditions in the White Mountains region — all of the closed roads remain closed. On Monday, there were some places that were very difficult to access due to snow, like Woodland Lake, Scott Reservoir, etc. But that should change during the next few days with more snow plowing and melting.
Fool Hollow, Show Low, Scott, Rainbow, and Woodland have all been frozen over, but that change quickly.
Before heading out to the high country, check weather reports and get the latest highway conditions by visiting ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, calling 511 or reviewing ADOT’s Twitter feed (@ArizonaDOT).
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@azgfd.gov —
one will be selected for Catch of the Week
Kennedy Lake (Tucson)
Mike caught this 5-pound largemouth bass Monday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. on a Texas-rigged worm. This bass made the Hawg Bass Challenge Brag Board!
This week’s stockings
Rainbow trout: Lower Salt River, Parker Canyon Lake, Goldwater Lake, Tempe Town Lake, Saguaro Lake.
Upcoming Family Fishing Events
Note: At these free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required for those who register at the AZGFD booth during event hours.
Saturday, March 9
- Family and Community Fishing Event, 7-11 a.m., Roper Lake State Park, 101 E. Roper Lake Rd., Safford