Statewide reports: Feb. 23, 2018
Look for the March 1 full moon to trigger a wave of spawning bass, especially at western impoundments Lake Havasu and Alamo Lake. Some anglers at Havasu this week were braving some colder weather to catch striped bass at the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge fishing pier using anchovies:
Havasu, along with Alamo, are among the first in the state to warm and experience spawning activity. Looks like the weather might stabilize by next weekend’s full moon: that means smallmouth bass could move in shallow to spawn.
Fishing will pick up quickly at Havasu as the water temperatures warm up in the spring from the low 60s in early March to the upper 80s in May.
At Alamo Lake, crappie fishing should be excellent once the weather stabilizes. Already there have been many reports of anglers catching 30-40 crappie a day ranging from 9-16 inches.
High country update: snow restricting access
Recent storms have brought much-needed snow to higher elevations, but it is now impeding access to some lakes.
The following roads are now closed/gated: Highway 273 to Crescent, Big, and Lee Valley Lakes; Rim Road (FR 300) from Highway 260 west to the Coconino Forest boundary; Forest Road 105 to Woods Canyon Lake; Forest Road 149 to Willow Springs Lake; Forest Road 169 south of FR 169B; Forest Road 34 south of Chevelon Work Center. Other Forest Roads may be snow-packed and/or muddy. Fishing is fair to good at Patterson Ponds, Luna Lake, Silver Creek, and Becker Lake.
Community fishing catfish coming
There are only two stockings of winter trout left (this week and next week) in the Community Fishing Program waters in the Tucson and Phoenix areas. That means catfish stockings are just around the corner. Catfish stockings are scheduled to begin the week of March 19-24.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.
Mike G. with a reported 10-pound largemouth bass taken from Canyon Lake Wednesday, Feb. 21 on his first cast of the day at Canyon Lake Marina using a shad bait.
Mike said it was his first 10-pound bass. “(The fish) came up as I was reeling in and slammed it hard,” he said.
Family Fishing Events
During the events, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.
Just for Kids Fishing Festival. 8 a.m. – noon. Take a Kid Fishing Day. Kiwanis Park 5500 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ 85283
By Sunday, we’re scheduled to have stocked the following this week (sign up for I Support Wildlife for up-to-date and confirmed stocking reports):
Dead Horse lagoon, Goldwater Lake, Saguaro Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Parker Canyon Lake, Roper Lake, “core” Community waters.
Thursday, Feb. 15: Council Ave. Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond, Lower Salt River. Wednesday, Feb. 14: “expansion/custom” Community waters.
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”.