If you are new to Arizona, you may be astounded at the amount of fishing opportunity here! Attached is an excerpt from the AZGF fishing report. This report is availablein e-mail format. You can subscribe at www.azgfd.com
URBAN LAKES – The urban lakes were stocked with trout last week. Fishing should be good to excellent. Try Power Bait, small spinners or night crawlers.
TEMPE TOWN LAKE – This fishery has been stocked with 10,000 trout in the past several weeks, so fishing should be good to excellent. Fish will bite on corn, Power Bait, salmon eggs and inline spinners. The west end of the lake under the Highway 202 Bridge will be closed to shore fishing until February due to a construction project. Access to the east dam face can be had from walking down the control road off Miller and Curry. Bass fishing is decent. Try working the ledges early in the morning or right before dark with crankbaits. Minnows under a slip bobber will work as well. Shad, the forage base are very plentiful this year. A mixed bag of yellows, catfish and sunfish can also be caught this way. Yellow bass and bluegill are plentiful in the 5- to 7-inch range and will bite mealworms or night crawlers. Channel catfish averaging 1 to 2 pounds will bite stink baits, hotdogs and shrimp. Carp fishing is excellent using corn and dough-bait. In fact an angler reported catching a 13 pounder last week! Remember no gas motors are allowed (trolling motors are) and you must have a boating permit, which can be obtained, at the Town Lake operations center.
LAKE PLEASANT – Striper fishing is decent during using anchovies as bait either near the dam or in the northern coves. Drop shotting is the technique of choice for largemouth bass. Catfish angling is slow, but it is still possible to catch some using stink baits, especially in the warmer afternoons. Crappie fishing is slow. Don’t forget that the bald eagle nest closure will be going into effect on Dec. 15 in the Agua Fria arm of the lake. So watch the buoy lines (they are marked No Entry but some boaters fail to note what they say).
ROOSEVELT LAKE – The storm passing through the state will likely slow down the crappie and largemouth bass fishing, but the smallmouth fishing could pick up along rocky, windy shorelines. With a few days of warm weather, the crappie fishing should pick right back up again.
Drop shots and wired worms are the baits of choice for largemouth bass. Catfishing is slow both flatheads and channels. For channels, use shrimp. Try the Salt end near Schoolhouse Point with a live bluegill for flatheads. Note: anglers are reminded of the slot bass size limit that remains in effect at Roosevelt. Bass between 13 to 16 inches must be released immediately. Also those bass below 13 inches and above 16 inches that are kept can only be gutted with the head and tail attached so the legal length can be determined. All other fish such as crappie, catfish and bluegill harvested from the lake must have a piece of skin attached to the fillets so species can be determined.
APACHE – Lake is 56-percent full at 1,868 feet. The lake level is slowly being raised back up. The Apache Lake habitat project has been completed. Thanks to all the volunteers who came out to help, we could not have done it without your support. Fishing is good for yellow bass down by the dam. Yellow bass are hitting jigs and spoons. Fish for them around balls of shad in 20-60 feet of water. Cut bait also works well for them. Largemouth bass fishing is slow. Carp fishing is excellent with corn and dough bait. There is a certified scale at the marina boathouse.
CANYON – Lake is 95-percent full at 1,659 feet. Bass fishing has been slow, although some large bass are being caught on swim baits. Rainbow trout were stocked last week. Fish with salmon eggs, corn or Power Bait near the Acacia picnic area.
SAGUARO – Lake level is 1,524 feet (95-percent full). No reports lately. Bass fishing has been very slow. Rainbow trout have been stocked. Try the Butcher Jones area with corn or Power Bait. There is a certified scale at the marina to get an official weight and still release your catch. Two witnesses are needed for the weight to be official.
BARTLETT – Lake level is at 1,798 feet (60 -percent full) Bass fishing is slow. Try crawdad imitations and worming rigs (drop shots and Texas-rigs). Some anglers are picking up crappies using Kalin 1/16-ounce black/blue/chartreuse jigs. Catfishing is slow. Remember the live bait most come from the lake itself (excluding minnows, water dogs or worms) not transported from another body of water!
HORSESHOE – Lake is empty.
VERDE RIVER – Fishing is poor for largemouth, smallmouth and catfish. Rainbow trout are being stocked near Oak Creek and the Camp Verde Cottonwood area. Use inline spinners and Power Bait. Remember that no baitfish can be transported into this part of the river (above Horseshoe). For further information concerning regulations, call the Arizona Game and Fish Department at (480) 324-3544. This morning flow was 250 cfs at Tangle Creek station above Horseshoe Lake.
LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Trout have been stocked at Phon D. Sutton and Granite Reef parks (#1575). Power Bait, inline spinners and corn will work. Fly fishermen may have luck using nymphs or wooly buggers.