Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal
This weekend’s new moon could help anglers fill ice chests full of crappie using submersible lights at night. Try drifting minnows over newly submerged vegetation at Alamo, Roosevelt, Bartlett or Patagonia lakes (see our Catch of the Week), or go target striped bass at night at striper havens such as Pleasant, Mead, Powell and Mohave.
For largemouth bass in desert regions, look for fish to be in all three phases of spawn. Fishing for spawning bass could be somewhat difficult because of a lack of visibility in shallow areas of many lakes. Anglers can pencil the April 19 full moon on their calendars as a time when there could be a major wave of spawning largemouth.
Trout and catfish stockings are increasing statewide, so be sure to check out the stocking schedules.
White Mountains region: some roads opening
Some popular waters in this region are accessible, while others — such as Big Lake — remain inaccessible due to snow drifts and closed roads.
See a rundown of what’s happening in this stretch of scenic high country.
Eagle closure in Agua Fria area of Lake Pleasant lifted
The bald eagle closure in the Agua Fria arm of Lake Pleasant will be lifted as of noon on Friday, April 5.
That means boaters will be able to boat from the main body of the lake into this area of the Agua Fria arm. The boat launch at Agua Fria will not be accessible this season, but there is now access to the Agua Fria conservation area via the waterways from the main and north entries of Lake Pleasant. Access for walk-in traffic is currently available on a daily basis and will be permitted from the upper parking area.
Note that vehicular access to the Agua Fria Conservation Area is still closed. Read more.
Regulations change at Silver Creek
At Silver Creek, the regulations changed 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 is 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.
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.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@azgfd.gov —
one will be selected for Catch of the Week
Vu Au with a mess of 2- to 3-pound crappie caught from Patagonia Lake March 27 using jigs and swimming grubs around spawning areas.
This week’s scheduled stockings
Rainbow trout: Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek, Black Canyon Lake, Green Valley Lakes, Lower Salt River, Fain Lake (54 degrees), Mingus Lake (42 degrees), Woodland Reservoir, Becker Lake, Lower Lake Mary (52 degrees).
Channel catfish: “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.
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”.