Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal
Let’s get right to this week’s fish stockings and some tips for fishing during late August.
This week’s stockings
(Water temps in parentheses, if available)
This week, by Sunday, we’re scheduled to have stocked rainbow trout into the East Verde River (64-72 degrees) , Bear Canyon Lake (70), Tonto Creek (55-66), Haigler Creek (70), Willow Springs Lake (72); Ashurst Lake (68), Big Lake (68), Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Canyon Creek, and Apache trout into Silver Creek (62), West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer (58-59), East Fork-Black River, West Fork-Black River.
How to fish in Arizona during summer: some tips
- Methods of fishing in the summer heat differ. For desert bass fishing, all methods of tackle must be lightweight — light lines, small hooks and sinkers, etc. Bites from these lethargic fish will be light, so be patient before setting the hook.
- Across all statewide desert bass fisheries the next few weeks, plastic worms rigged on Texas rigs, Carolina rigs and dropshots will be the most reliable tactic. Make your leader small – you only want your bait about 5 inches above the weight on a dropshot. During the daytime, make that a bit longer, say, 10-12 inches.
- Nighttime fishing can get really good in August with many boats catching anywhere from 50-100 fish a night. Good lakes include Lake Pleasant, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Lake Powell and Lake Havasu. With day fishing, fish deeper water and don’t forget to chum and have a quality light in the water to attract baitfish.
- If possible, use live bait. Live shad is the ultimate bait and will greatly increase your chances. When fishing these lakes at night, be sure to think about safety all the time. Have lights, a first aid kit, spotlight, cell phone, and also monitor monsoon activity.
Catfish and carp
- Sticky desert nights are made for bottom-dwelling catfish and carp. Relax on the shoreline, wet a line with some stink bait, corn or both, watch the sky for meteor showers, and hook into Mr. Whiskers at the same time.
- Best bet is in the White Mountains region steams, including Silver Creek, pictured here. Fishing in these streams should be good because of better water quality — as long as the flows are not high due to monsoon rains.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.
Thank you, anglers!
Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984.
Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.
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”.