Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal
The spawn is on. Early bird lakes Alamo and Havasu have had some pre-spawn action for bass for a couple weeks, and now reports are that there are bedding fish at Lake Pleasant. At Saguaro Lake, bass are staging up on outside points leading into spawning bays, said Scooter Griffith of The Arizona Fishing Guides. Canyon Lake is primarily in pre-spawn, he said, and water temperatures at Roosevelt Lake remain too low for many fish to bed.
On Thursday morning we stocked Roosevelt with 13,000 crappie (above). With all the recent inflows and newly inundated vegetation (the lake is at 70% full) this was the perfect time to stock these crappie that averaged 6 inches (up to 10 inches). This should provide even more sport-fish opportunity.
Bartlett Lake is 100-percent full and there should be some great pre-spawn action. Try reaction baits in shallow water.
Last we heard, crappie fishing was somewhat slow at Alamo Lake, but picking up at Roosevelt.
In the White Mountains region, we won’t stock until the roads are open and anglers can access the lakes. Tentative stocking dates are late April/early May, as roads open to vehicle traffic per the U.S. Forest Service, but that stocking schedule isn’t finalized yet.
Black Canyon Lake will be the first of the Rim lakes open and accessible to angling. Roads are open and it will be stocked in early April.
By the way, check out our spring “lake by lake” Fishing Forecasts for each region. This is the state’s most comprehensive source of fishing information for what can be expected for fishing each season.
Silver Creek regulations change April 1
At Silver Creek, the regulations will change to the summer Statewide Regulations season on April 1 (through September 30) that allows bait fishing and a six trout daily bag limit. The upper section will be closed. During this catch-and-keep season in the spring and summer, only the lower 1.6 miles, downstream of the marked fence, may be fished. No unauthorized entry is ever allowed in the hatchery grounds.
Through March, Silver Creek is open to catch-and-release only.
Visitors advised to avoid Rose Canyon Lake April 3 through 7
Helicopter rescue training to be conducted
Visitors to Mt. Lemmon are asked to avoid the vicinity of Rose Canyon Lake between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. from April 3 through 7, as helicopter rescue training will be taking place in the area. Read more.
AZGFD Outdoor Expo is this weekend
Arizona’s largest hands-on outdoor expo is this weekend and it’s free. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 31. To get to the Expo, take I-17 to Carefree Highway, turn west, and watch for the signs. See more information.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@azgfd.gov —
one will be selected for Catch of the Week
Mark M. caught this reported 13-pound channel catfish on Saturday morning at Papago Park using Hog Wild stink bait balls. He said he had 8-pound SpiderWire line on an Ugly Stik rod.
This week’s scheduled stockings
Rainbow trout: Lower Lake Mary (52 degrees), Lower Salt River, Verde River (Camp Verde to Clarkdale, 56-58 degrees).
Channel catfish: Greenfield Pond (Mesa)
Sunfish: “Core” Community 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.
Saturday, April 6
Hook-to-Plate Family Fishing Event, 8 a.m-noon, Cortez Park, 3434 W. Dunlap Ave. Phoenix.
This Hook-to-Plate event will allow anglers to learn how to catch fish, clean the catch, and cook the catch! The Breadfruit and Rum Bar will be on-hand for cleaning and cooking demonstrations.
There will be a youth license giveaway (age 10-17) to the first 100 youth who sign up and attend the event; the Phoenix Sportsman’s Warehouse will hold a kids’ drawing for prizes and giveaways (including fishing gear); the Uptown Farmer’s Market will have produce/farmer’s stand on site for people to purchase fresh, locally-grown produce that pairs well with fish to take home with their “catch of the day,” and the AZ Farm Bureau will provide recipe cards.
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”.