Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal
A weekend fishing strategy for this weekend might include:
- Night fishing: During this waning full moon, take advantage of the natural night light and catch catfish or largemouth bass. As the moon gets darker, fishing with submersible lights at night for striped bass at Lake Mead or Lake Pleasant will become great options.
- High-country stocked waters: For catfish, try upper elevation waters that have received extra stockings such as Lynx Lake, Deadhorse Ranch State Park lagoons, Lower Lake Mary, Kaibab Lake, Santa Fe, or City Reservoir. If you’re going to fish at night for catfish in Community Fishing Program waters – still a decent good option since many waters were stocked 2 weeks ago with catfish — keep in mind that some parks close at hours designated by its respective city. Be sure to consult the latest CFP guidebook for closing times. For rainbow trout, don’t forget the Mogollon Rim creeks such as Tonto Creek.
- Keeping cool, catching bass: There are some pristine lakes at more than 6,000 feet of elevation where bassing’s an option. Some of the top spots are Fool Hollow Lake, which has plenty of smallmouth and largemouth bass. Fool Hollow once produced a state record catch-and-release smallmouth of 21 inches. Show Low Lake also offers smallmouth and largemouth bass options and last year’s surveys showed a healthy population of smallies with some in the 3- to 5-pound range. Try fishing nightcrawlers in rocks along the dam. We’re also managing Dogtown Reservoir near Williams to have a sustainable bass population, and so there are special regulations at this lake: two bass at a minimum size of 13 inches. Other to try are Rainbow Lake, Cataract Lake, Black Canyon Lake, Black River (on the reservation), Kaibab Lake, Watson Lake, and Whitehorse Lake.
- Apache or tiger trout: This week, Apache trout were stocked into the West Fork Little Colorado River-Sheeps Crossing; tiger trout were dropped into Willow Springs Lake.
Woodbury Fire closes Canyon, Apache lakes, some Roosevelt Lake campgrounds
According to the Tonto National Forest as of 6 a.m. Thursday, due to the Woodbury Fire, State Highway 88 is closed from Needle Vista east to the junction of State Highway 88 and State Highway 188. This includes Tortilla Flat, Canyon Lake, Apache Lake and campsites along State Highway 188. Forest Service campgrounds at Roosevelt Lake east of Roosevelt Dam were closed effective 6 a.m. Thursday, June 20.
The forest service announced that remaining open and accessible to the public are: Lower Salt River, Saguaro Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Bartlett Lake, Lost Dutchman State Park and Oak Flat Campground. Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in place.
In addition, to protect the public and to support firefighting activities, the Tonto National Forest has closed National Forest lands in and surrounding the Superstition Wilderness. See the Tonto National Forest website and Facebook page for more details.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@azgfd.gov —
one will be selected for Catch of the Week
Johnny M. reported that he and his daughter were fishing Friday, June 14 at Kaibab Lake off the dock. “Two seconds later she reeled in a 5-pound rainbow trout that we measured to 23 inches long,” he wrote. “She was using garlic PowerBait and enjoyed every minute of fighting this monster. We were assisted with the retrieval by a Good Samaritan as this trout was too big to lift over the rails.”
This week’s scheduled stockings
Rainbow trout: West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer, Silver Creek, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Show Low Creek, Bear Canyon Lake, Ashurst Lake, Mormon Lodge Pond, Dogtown Reservoir, River Reservoir, Tunnel Reservoir, Bunch Reservoir.
Apache trout: West Fork Little Colorado River-Sheeps Crossing.
Tiger trout: Willow Springs Lake.
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”.