Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal
We stocked our “core” Community waters this week with channel catfish. Water temperatures in these waters are in the low-to-mid 70s. See the stocking schedule — the final catfish stocking of the season is June 3-7.
In our desert impoundments, sunfish like bluegill will spawn during June and both channel catfish and flathead catfish spawn into July. Water temperatures in our desert impoundments are still unseasonably low — but the water temps are increasing — seemingly along with the bite. The water temperature at Bartlett Lake on Thursday topped out around 75 degrees.
Striper fishing under the lights should be a prime option in desert lakes such as Lake Pleasant this weekend. Monday is the new moon, daytime temperatures are starting to peak out around 100 degrees in desert regions, so at night, look for shad to be congregated around your lights as soon as you drop them. These increased water temps could finally help produce a good top-water bite during the next 1-2 weeks.
This is the time to start planning for high country trout fishing. Trout stockings are abundant. Kaibab Lake near Williams has been a hot spot along with Lower Lake Mary in Flagstaff — both were stocked with bonus rainbow trout.
We also just stocked some bonus channel catfish into the lagoons at Dead Horse Ranch State Park and City Reservoir.
To the Rim for fins
Don’t forget the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains streams: these can provide some of the best chances to escape big crowds. PowerBaits, worms and salmon eggs have been successful, as well as ultra-light rod action with Panther Martins, Super Dupers and Mepps. Also this time of the year, anglers can some good luck with Crick Hoppers.
Another reminder to campers: The USDA Forest Service, Tonto National Forest, Payson Ranger District have announced overnight camping restrictions along six stretches of streams and rivers located near Payson. Implementation of these restrictions will help allow grass and plants to grow along the stream banks. Read more.
Free Fishing Day is Saturday
If you haven’t seen, it’s time to get ready for Arizona’s Free Fishing Day. You can fish Arizona waters for free on Saturday, June 1, making this an ideal time to take the family out for some fun and relaxing outdoor recreation.
This day will be celebrated as part of National Fishing and Boating Week. On that Saturday, no fishing licenses are required for persons fishing any public waters in Arizona.
See the schedule (below) of family 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
Louis’ 2-year-old son caught his first trout (a rainbow trout) at Kaibab Lake on Sunday with PowerBait.
This week’s scheduled stockings
Rainbow trout: Silver Creek (53-degree water temperature), West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, West Fork Little Colorado River-Sheeps Crossing.
Channel catfish: City Reservoir, Dead Horse Lake, “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, June 1 (Arizona’s Free Fishing Day)
- Goldwater Lake, 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).
- Kaibab Lake, 9 a.m.-noon, Williams, meet near group ramada.
- Lake Pleasant, 7-10 a.m., Lake Pleasant Access Rd. — Lake Pleasant Access Rd., Peoria. See more information, including directions. A $7 parking fee will remain in place.
- Lees Ferry, 9 a.m.-noon. Meet near the boat launch. Please be mindful of special regulations in this area: the limit is 2 rainbow trout per day; artificial fly and lure only; barbless hooks only. See pg. 19 of Fishing Regulations for more details.
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”.