Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal
Depending on the region, fishing waters statewide are frozen, stained, spilling, partially iced-over or just right for some great fishing.
In Community Fishing Program waters, there is only one stocking of winter trout remaining, and it’s happening this week. Catfish stockings are scheduled to begin the week of March 18-22. See the stocking schedule.
Also, see what’s been stocked this week (below) for some of the better bets.
With more cold fronts ahead (according to most forecasting pros) it is looking like typical March spring fishing conditions could come later than usual. Largemouth bass typically spawn once water temperatures are 65-75 degrees. A black crappie’s ideal “living conditions” is around 70 degrees. Water temperatures at most desert impoundments have been in the mid-50s and low-60s.
The Arizona Department of Water Resources reported that as of mid-February, snowpack in Arizona’s Salt and Verde rivers watershed stood at 118 percent of normal. See the report.
Salt River Project water levels
Bartlett Lake on Thursday was 97-percent full, having risen about 10 feet during the past week. SRP on Thursday afternoon was releasing 4,200 cfs out of Horseshoe Dam.
Roosevelt Lake was up to 56-percent full and has risen 17 feet during the past month. See the water levels report.
Anglers are reminded to be careful when crossing low-lying areas and washes.
High country update
In the high country, many waters are full and spilling or frozen. As such, fishing opportunities can be tough to predict. See a full White Mountains and Mogollon Rim fishing report.
In the Flagstaff/Williams (North Central) region, Lower Lake Mary went from being dry during the fall to about half-full with run-off still coming in. There are no fish there, but we plan to stock it by mid-March. Kaibab Lake also is full and spilling and trout will be stocked once the lake stops spilling. At Dogtown Reservoir, access can be difficult in March until snow drifts on the road melt. At Dogtown and Ashurst Lake, fishing is good during the spring for large holdover trout.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@azgfd.gov —
one will be selected for Catch of the Week
Evelyn Hallman Pond (Tempe)
Raman R. of Tempe with a reported 4-pound largemouth bass caught on a 2.5-inch finesse paddletail smoky-colored swimbait.
This week’s scheduled stockings
Rainbow trout: Goldwater Lake, Dead Horse Lake, Tempe Town Lake, Yavapai Lake, Lynx Lake. Community “core” waters.
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.
- Family and Community Fishing Event, 7-11 a.m., Roper Lake State Park 101 E. Roper Lake Rd., Safford.
Save time, buy online
Grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go “Fish AZ”.