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Urban Fishing Report

Exciting Improvements Are Just Ahead

Fishing for catfish is slow at all Urban Fishing waters statewide through the summer (no stocking period). For holdover catfish, try the larger lakes of more than 5 acres. Some catfish and bass are being caught, but it takes persistence and some good timing in the early morning and evening hours.

Fishing has been good all summer for the plentiful bluegill that frequent the shoreline areas in search of food. Mealworms fished on the bottom or a few feet under a bobber can catch sunfish throughout the day, especially if anglers use smaller bobbers and light line in the 2-4 pound range.

Weather Triggers

Cloud cover, rain and falling temperatures from monsoon storms can trigger some good fishing periods. At Green Valley lakes (Payson), anglers are having some success for crappie, bluegill and bass, but the weeds are making fishing difficult.

Smaller nightcrawlers (Dillys) and mealworms are working 4-6 feet below a small bobber. At all lakes, remember to release any of the weed-eating white amur (grass carp) right away so they can go back out and munch on the weeds.

Stockings Resume

Catfish stockings will resume at all Phoenix and Tucson area Urban waters the week of September 16-21. Green Valley Lakes stockings (trout) will resume in October.

Deliveries of 1.5- to 2-pound catfish are scheduled to restart the week of Sept. 16-21. During the hot summer months from June 25 through Sept. 15, there are no scheduled catfish stockings at Urban Fishing Program waters.

Once lake temperatures begin to drop entering the fall season, then catfish stockings can resume again.

Every fall, a total of four catfish stockings are scheduled at two-week intervals before fish stockings switch over to rainbow trout in mid-November. Fishing at Urban Program waters will remain slow throughout the summer.

Catfish can still be caught, especially from the larger lakes, with bluegill and bass providing some fun for patient anglers.

Changes Ahead

The Urban Fishing Program is soon to be re-branded as the Community Fishing Program to reflect a broader commitment to providing close-to-home fishing at more communities across Arizona.

Also starting Jan. 1, 2014, will be new fishing and hunting license options. To fish the newly renamed Community Fishing waters, anglers may purchase the $24 Community Fishing License that includes two pole privileges (no need to buy a Two Pole stamp).

Or, to fish all waters of the state, anglers may purchase the $37 General Fishing License that includes trout stamp, two pole and Community Fishing privileges. The Trout Stamp and Two Pole Stamps are being eliminated and these privileges included in all future fishing and combo hunt/fish licenses.

Another improvement is that all licenses will be valid for 365 days from date of purchase, rather than good only during the calendar year.

Beginning in 2014, there will be 15 more locations added to the Community Fishing program representing a 70-percent increase to 36 total waters.

New Locations

Four of these new locations are in the Yuma area: Fortuna, Redondo, Yuma West Wetlands and Council Park lakes. The other 11 fishing locations are in the greater Phoenix area and include newly built 5-acre lakes in Peoria and Maricopa, Tempe’s 220-acre Town Lake, and eight other existing park ponds in Gilbert, Glendale, Maricopa, Phoenix and Scottsdale.

More information on these exciting improvements to the Urban Fishing Program will be provided in the months ahead.


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