AZGFD Fishing Report
Tip Of The Week
March 15, 2014
Catfish stockings will be coming back to the core Community Fishing Program lakes and ponds in Tucson and Phoenix on Friday.
Here are the core lakes and ponds: (Phoenix area) Surprise, Rio Vista Pond, Pioneer, Desert West, Alvord, Cortez, Steele I.S. Pond, Encanto, Papago Ponds, E. Hallman Pond, Riverview, Desert Breeze, Veterans Oasis; (Tucson area) Lakeside, Sahuarita, Kennedy, Silverbell, Copper Sky, Kiwanis, Water Ranch, Red Mountain, Chaparral.
Channel catfish are best caught using a hook and sinker setup fished on the bottom. Anglers should use 6 to 10-pound test line, depending on the amount of structure in the area (use heavier line when fishing near structures), with a No. 2 to No. 6 baitholder hook and typical catfish baits such as worms, stink baits, hot dogs, liver or shrimp. Target deep waters around midday and shallower waters after dark.
Have fun chasing Mr. Whiskers!
THE REEL DEAL
Time for another big bass story, some quick-hitting news and a list of the best spring break fishing getaways.
Here's the bass news out of Yuma! The fat largies just keep being caught and photographed across the state. Steve Jarvis of Sandy, Utah caught this Big Fish of the Year nominee, a 25-inch, 8.62-pounder using a plastic worm on Wednesday, March 12 from Redondo Pond.
It's the bass time. Go get yours.
Openings in the high country
The Woods Canyon Lake Store opened Thursday. Go grab some bait, snacks, or even rent a boat and hit this 55-acre lake approximately 30 miles east of Payson on the Apache-Sitegraves National Forests. See more information on the store at http://www.woodscanyonlake.com.
Holdover trout time. In the Flagstaff area, the Kinnikinick Road just opened this week. Last week, Ashurst Road opened – come get some monster pike here, too. Trout have been stocked at Lower Lake Mary, Francis Short Pond and Oak Creek.
The grand opening of Copper Sky Recreation Complex was Saturday. See an Arizona Game and Department video about the newest addition to the Community Fishing Program.
Spring break solutions
(Click on the lake for a Google map of the lake, or check our our complete Fish&Boat Arizona map)
Alamo Lake. West of Wickenburg, Alamo Lake has lots of great camping sites, fish cleaning stations, and a lack of recreational boaters. Alamo doesn’t have a marina or boat gas. So you won’t be “waked out” by multiple ski boats. Jet skis won’t be cutting your lines. Lacking amenities can be a great thing for those who just want to fish. Former Weekly Fishing Report editor Rory Akins used to call Alamo a “pure fishing lake." Plus, fishing has been good lately. Bass are in pre-spawn mode, crappie are chewing and catfish are active all over the place.
Dead Horse Ranch State Park (and Verde River). Located in Cottonwood, the Dead Horse ponds are stocked with trout and it’s kid-friendly. The Verde River is being stocked this week. The Tuzigoot National Monument is a short drive away from the river. We even stock the river adjacent to the bridge leading to these fascinating hillside Indian ruins.
Roper Lake State Park near Safford. With great views of Mount Graham, the lake is stocked with trout. Besides tons of camping spots, they also have “camping cabins.” See more information.
Apache Lake. Largemouth bass fishing has been excellent, and yellow bass and walleye also can keep rods bent. Spectacular scenery is tucked between the Superstition Wilderness and the 3-Bar Wildlife area; this seam of civilization winds through rarely-used, rugged habitats.
Roosevelt Lake. Simply camping galore and excellent fishing.
So overall, the majority of bass are in pre-spawn. Sounds like some are on their beds, but not in high numbers, yet. See last week's fishing report for more details. This is about to be a few of the best weeks of the year to fish. Send us your fish stories and photos to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.
OK, that’s all. Be sure to get your license online, and have fun – it'll be hard not to.
Arizona Game and Fish Department Outdoor Expo is March 29-30
The annual Arizona Game and Fish Department Outdoor Expo is coming soon! This event located at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility is free and offers lots of activities for the whole family. There will be two kids fishing tanks, live wildlife exhibits, cowboy shooting competitions, boating exhibits, plus archery and firearms activities.
Admission and parking are free. Concessionaires will be on site if you would like to purchase food and beverages, plus vendors will be on site selling outdoor-related products.
The event runs 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 29 and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday, March 30. The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is located at 4044 W. Black Canyon Blvd in Phoenix, which is about ½ mile west of I-17 on Carefree Hwy.
(Send your fishing reports and photos to Bfishing@AZGFD.gov.)
Maxwell fished Tucson’s Silverbell Lake March 14 and reported catching a 14-inch common carp with corn on a circle hook under an egg sinker. Also tried worms on a drop shot rig. Fish nibbled at the worms but I never hooked any. I may need to improve my baiting technique.
Barry W. with a Tuesday. March 18 fishing report from Lake Pleasant that included eight white bass: I fished Lake Pleasant yesterday, a few days after the busy Bill Luke bass days. There were not many boats on the water and the fishing was good.
I caught one largemouth bass on the bed (see the picture). To be honest, the largemouth fishing was slow and hit and miss for finding them on beds. I have great luck with white bass and stripers. Stripers were about 30-45 feet deep and I was catching them on anchovies. When the striper bite would slow down we would jig Bomber silver slab spoons (one ounce) for the white bass. We caught about eight white bass and six stripers.
Remember everybody bed fishing can be a blast, but let’s get those fish back in the water quickly so they can get back to the spawning process so we can maintain the fish population. Good luck fishing!
What's your fish story? In the sixth segment of “Fish Stories” Garrett recalls how he learned to fish. It went something like this: Father's Day, 1997. Lots of fish in the boat ... but a rod in the water. He was 4 years old, and now fishes weekly. See more in our latest video segment of "Fish Stories," shot at Tempe's Kiwanis Lake!
Enjoy this Fish Stories video from the "AZGFD" YouTube site!
Have a fond memory? An exciting experience? Or, just a special day on the water with family and friends enjoying Arizona’s amazing outdoors? Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we may share it with others online, in print, or on television.