Statewide Reports: June 21, 2018
Summertime is definitely here with desert temperatures hitting 110s and water temperatures in lakes such as Roosevelt Lake reaching the mid-80s and climbing. Time to consider fishing mornings, nights or in the high country.
Many largemouth bass in our desert lakes soon will be heading into deeper water where water temps are more comfortable. 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.
First, let’s look at what’s new in the White Mountains.
Extra fish in Woods Canyon, Willow Springs, Big Lake
Some extra fish have been stocked that would have gone into lakes within closed areas on other national forests. Woods Canyon Lake and Willow Springs Lake have been stocked with more than 10,000 rainbow trout and more than 4,000 tiger trout each during the past several weeks (more than 28,000 trout total). Big Lake has been stocked with 4,000 extra catchable rainbow trout and may get more.
Top of the morning: surface bite is on
The top-water bite has been good at many desert impoundments. Be on the water before first light, which has been around 5:20 a.m. Arizona time. Reports of good top-water action have come from Bartlett Lake, Lake Pleasant and Roosevelt Lake. At any of these desert lakes, look for bass chasing shad and throw a top-water lure across the fray. Also look for birds diving on schools of shad as bass chase the shad to the surface.
Night bite the right bite
Nighttime water temps are perfect for fishing for catfish or carp. The full moon phase around June 27 will add to this potential for line-zinging action. Get your stink baits and corn and go fishin’ in the dark.
Canyon Creek, Tonto Creek hatcheries remain closed
These closures are in support of forest service closures that were enacted as a measure to hopefully protect our forests from fires during this extremely dry year. Thank you for your patience.
Closed waters include: City Reservoir, Santa Fe Reservoir, Blue Ridge (CC Cragin) Reservoir, Knoll Lake, Black Canyon Lake, a portion of the Little Colorado River in Greer (the upper end on Apache-Sitgreaves Forest Service land) and the West Fork of the Little Colorado River-Sheeps Crossing. The closure extends upstream to the Highway 273 Bridge at Sheeps Crossing.
Most of the state is under stage 2 fire restrictions and there are some closures. See the fire restrictions.
Catch of the Week
Send your fishing reports and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov —
one will be selected as Catch of the Week.
“The Mac crew” hit the Greer lakes and many, including this boy, had luck catching trout trolling with flies and Rapalas.
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”.