Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal
Let’s start with Mother’s Day ideas. (It’s Sunday, remember?) Consider planning a trip to the high country where pine scents linger and rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout can make mom set her hook and etch a memory. Plus, if you live in lower elevations, it’s a cool relief. Mom deserves it. Or just bring family and friends. Heck, go alone. But watch the weather — it’s looking like rainy day for high country areas on Sunday. Be safe.
We stocked Crescent Lake (52-degree water temp) with catchable brook trout from our Tonto Creek Hatchery.
Larger-than-average rainbow trout were stocked this week into Rainbow Lake, Fool Hollow Lake and Show Low Lake. These fish weigh at least a pound. Water temperature at Show Low Lake is in the low-60s.
Big Lake can be productive and there’s a store and boat rental.
The boat ramp at Woods Canyon Lake is still closed for construction and repaving, and is scheduled to open fully on May 16. Anglers have full access to the shoreline at Woods Canyon Lake and can rent a boat from the concessionaire, just can’t launch their own boat at the ramp yet.
Stocking has started in streams in the White Mountains, including Silver Creek, Little Colorado River in Greer, West Fork LCR at Sheeps Crossing, East Fork Black River and West Fork Black River. Flows are still a little high and cold due to some snowmelt runoff occurring from Mt. Baldy, but all the stocked streams are fishable.
In the mid-to-low elevation lakes, the crappie spawn should be winding down. Most bass are in post-spawn mode and some anglers have reported some good top-water action. Bass typically spawn until mid-June.
Hawg Bass & Fat Cat Challenges
Have you taken our Hawg Bass or Fat Cat Challenge? Now’s a great time to go after a 5-, 8- or 10-pound largemouth bass or 15-pound (or 36-inch) channel catfish or 40-pound (or 45-inch) flathead catfish, make our Brag Board, and possible win prizes such as a T-shirt, decals or even $1,000 in prizes.
Free Fishing Day is June 1
Mark Saturday, June 1 on your calendar — it’s our state’s Free Fishing Day. During that day, which is part of National Fishing and Boating Week, anglers won’t need a fishing license to fish any of our state’s public waters. Stay tuned for a list of free fishing events that day.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@azgfd.gov —
one will be selected for Catch of the Week
Tunnel Reservoir (Greer)
Steve S. with a colorful 16-inch rainbow trout caught on PowerBait.
This week’s scheduled stockings
Rainbow trout: Dogtown Reservoir, C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir, Fool Hollow Lake, Rainbow Lake, Show Low Lake, West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Oak Creek, Frances Short Pond, City Reservoir, Santa Fe Reservoir, Silver Creek, Clear Creek Reservoir, Knoll Lake.
Brook trout: Crescent Lake.
Apache trout: Ackre Lake, Lee Valley Lake, east and west fork of the Black River.
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, June 1
- Free Fishing Day, 8 a.m.-noon, Goldwater Lake, Prescott.
- Verde Valley Fishing Fun Day, Dead Horse Ranch State Park (Cottonwood,) 8 a.m.-noon. Channel catfish will have been stocked just prior to the event. Entrance fees to the state park will be waived for participating fishermen (check in at the front gate).
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”.