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Rory’s Tip
This is the transition time for the urban lakes: they will be stocked this coming week with catfish, but trout fishing is still viable – especially at first and last light. All the participating Urban Fishing Program lakes and ponds in the Phoenix and Tucson areas will be stocked with 15-20 inch channel catfish on Thursday, March 22.

Catfish will be stocked on an every other week basis through June. Nearly 14,000 pounds of Arkansas farm raised catfish will be delivered and stocked into 19 Urban Fishing Program lakes each time.

For the warmwater lakes, the weather is heating up and so is the bass and crappie action. Roosevelt, Alamo, Bartlett and Pleasant and the hot spots. Topock Gorge near Lake Havasu is another good bet. Don’t forget the sun block.

This is the leading edge of the largemouth bass spawn. Not all bass spawn at the same time. In fact, the spawn can extend from now through June depending on weather and other factors. Right now, you can expect to find some bass in the shallows, a segment of the bass population staging for the spawn, yet other bass remaining in their deep winter holding patterns.

During the early spawn, look for bedding bass in the backs of coves, typically adjacent to cover in a sheltered spot. For staging bass, try the major points outside the coves in 15 to 25 feet of water, and along secondary points inside the coves, along submerged creek channels or arroyos in the coves, and at the leading edge of major flats, especially along drop-offs.

If you can hook up with bedding bass or staging bass, try for bass holding in winter patterns, typically 25 to 35 feet deep. Submerged humps can be especially attractive for bass (especially larger ones) that are slowly coming out of their winter lethargy.

During the spawn, conscientious anglers will typically practice catch-and-release.

We haven’t received reports of spawning crappies yet, but with this spat of warm weather, it should not be long now, especially at Alamo. I would not be surprised if anglers found crappies on beds at Alamo this weekend. Crappies will typically stage at the mouths of coves, or just inside the coves. Try mini-jigs or live minnows. For retrieves, think s-l-o-w and/or stop-and-go. One angler at Bartlett loaded up with crappies fishing from the dock using a slip bobber and minnows.

In the high country, we haven’t heard much about the Mogollon Rim lakes but the lakes in the Show Low area – such as Fool Hollow, Show Low Lake, Scotts Reservoir, Woodland, and Rainbow – are apparently ice free and mostly over flowing.

Some good high country spots to try right now are Silver Creek near Show Low for Apache trout, Becker Lake near Springerville for rainbow trout and Nelson Reservoir near Springerville for rainbows and browns.

If this warm weather continues, we might have early access to the higher elevation trout lakes, but with our unpredictable weather patterns, who knows. It would be nice to get another storm or two. We could sure use the moisture.

In the mid-elevation range, this is a good time to visit Deadhorse Lake State Park and the Verde River between Cottonwood and Camp Verde and fish for stocked rainbow trout. Oak Creek in the upper reaches of Oak Creek Canyon might be a good bet for trout as well. Goldwater Lake near Prescott (take Senator Highway toward Groom Creek) was also stocked recently.

But if you want to stay close to home and have a great trout fishing experience, visit the Lower Salt River below Stewart Mountain Dam (Saguaro Lake). We stocked last week at the Water Users (look for a huge parking lot along Bush Highway) and at Blue Point. Tempe Town Lake also received trout stockings throughout the winter, but expect a first- and last-light bite. However, the bass fishing at Tempe Town Lake is coming on strong.

In southern Arizona, Patagonia and Pena Blanca lakes were stocked this week with trout. This is the transition time when you can catch trout and bass.

Good luck. Maybe I’ll see you out there.

Fishing News
Alamo Lake Cleanup is a windy success!
The recent Alamo Lake clean up was a windy but clean success — despite a windy cold front, 95 volunteers scoured the wildlife area and filled two dump trucks full of trash.

Stewart Kohnke, the Alamo Lake wildlife manager who coordinated the event, said the remarkable effort was accomplished thanks to volunteers who put in 900 hours of effort and came from as far away as Yuma and Bullhead City.

“People are more apt to keep a campsite clean if they find it clean,” Kohnke said. “This year we had more people and picked up less trash from around the lake proving that volunteers can make a difference.”

Volunteers included members from Wickenburg’s High Desert Juniors Bass Club; Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club; Prescott Audubon Society; and local residents from the Wayside Inn.

Workers were treated to a free door prize raffle with items ranging from fishing equipment to free dinners. Prizes were donated by the Yuma Valley Rod, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Phoenix Fishing Supply, NAPA Auto Parts in Salome, Wayside Inn, Anita’s Cocina, and Sizzling Wok. Everyone also enjoyed a free steak dinner provided through donations from Crissman Construction, Drescher Roofing, and FOP Lodge 71.

Central Arizona
URBAN LAKES – All the participating Urban Fishing Program lakes and ponds in the Phoenix and Tucson areas will be stocked with 15-20 inch channel catfish on Thursday, March 22.

It is still possible to catch trout, especially at first and last light. Top baits continue to be Power Bait or other scented dough baits and worms. Trout are biting best on Power Bait fished off the bottom and worms fished under a bobber. With warming temperatures, the action for largemouth bass should be picking up soon as they move back into the shoreline areas in search of food and spawning sites. Regulations require that all bass be at least 13-inches in length before they can be kept. Please exercise good care and technique in safely handling and releasing bass.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – Rainbow trout were stocked two weeks ago. Anglers are reporting some limits; fishing has been on the slow side. Fish will bite on corn, Power Bait, salmon eggs and inline spinners. Bass fishing is picking up. Blades, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are working. Minnows under a slip bobber will work as well. 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, hot dogs and shrimp. Carp fishing is excellent using corn and dough-bait. 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 – Water level is at 1,693 feet (90-percent full). Bass fishing is has turned on. This is one of the state’s fishing hot spots. Look for spawning bass in the backs of coves or bass staging for the spawn. Adult fish are staging in the mouths of coves, secondary points on the inside of coves, along submerged creek channels, or along break-offs adjacent to large flats. The annual bald eagle closure is in effect on the Agua Fria. Anglers are reporting fantastic catches of striped bass and white bass and crappie above the eagle closure, access from the Table Mesa road is the way to go. Currently boats can be launched off the shore. Small car toppers with a small motor work well. If you can, catch live shad and use for bait. Anchovies, minnows and ¼-ounce jigs with a 2-inch pearl white curly tail grub will also work. I got a report that crappies averaging a pound and a half are biting in the back of Humbug Cove on minnows 20 feet down. For those interested no Quagga mussels were found in the lake during recent SCUBA surveys near and around the marina, marina tires and the towers.

ROOSEVELT LAKE – The lake is 61-percent full at elevation 2,117 feet. This could be the beginning of what snowmelt we will get. I read a report from SRP saying the lake will rise 9-11 feet by May with the current snow pack. Largemouth bass fishing is busting loose. High pressure and warm days will start to get those lethargic bass active. Drop shots and wired worms are the baits of choice. Crappie fishing (pre-spawn trolling) in the Tonto and Salt may be the best so far this week and weekend. Try trolling in the Tonto or Salt arms of the lake. Use John Deere grubs or BBC grubs on a 1/16oz. jighead in about 25 feet of water. Crappies could start spawning any time now. Many nice size bluegills are also being caught this way. Catfishing is slow. Fishing for smallmouth bass has been good lately, especially on windy days. Try areas where waves are stirring up the rocky shoreline. Use in-line spinners and crayfish imitations especially off rocky points and cliff walls and live night crawlers. Remember the slot is in place for smallmouth as well. 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. ADEQ discovered and captured three gizzard shad in the lake last month. This is the first positive confirmation of this species in the lake.

APACHE – Lake is 91-percent full and rising. The Apache Lake habitat project has been completed and is now under water. 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. Anglers are reporting that bass action is extremely slow. Rainbow trout were stocked three weeks ago. Fish with salmon eggs, corn or Power Bait near the Acacia picnic area. Break out the large imitation swim baits like Castaic and try for some monster largemouths. Anglers are reporting a few monster bass at this time. Fishing with the swim baits can be slow; however the fish you do get will be big!

SAGUARO – Lake level is 1,524 feet (95-percent full). No reports lately. We investigated a fish recently. Threadfin shad were found dead and dying from dam to dam. This is the only fish species that was observed and is due to golden algae. Preliminary counts of the algae assemblage are at 40 percent for GA. Bass fishing has been very slow. Rainbow trout were stocked recently. 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 1,748 feet (40 -percent full) Bass and crappie fishing has turned on and this is a fishing hot spot. Crawdad imitations and worming rigs (drop shots and Texas-rigs) are producing. Some anglers are picking up crappies in the 2-pound range using and near submerged fish city. One angler even caught crappies from shore using a slip bobber and minnows, including a 2.5-pound beauty. Kalin 1/16-ounce black/blue/chartreuse jigs, but overall, crappie fishing is good on the east side coves. 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! Currently the Forest Service is repairing the main ramp and the ramps are out of the water, you must launch from shore.

HORSESHOE – Lake is empty. Road is closed

VERDE RIVER –The stretch of river below the dam to the Needle rock area holds some nice bass 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 290 cfs at Tangle Creek station above Horseshoe Lake.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – The Lower Salt River is flowing at 300 cfs Monday morning. The Verde is flowing at 200 cfs coming in at Phon D Sutton. Trout were stocked last week 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. Largemouth bass fishing can be good using crankbaits in back eddies and near brush.

Colorado River Northwest
LAKE POWELL – By Wayne Gustaveson. Lake Elevation: 3,597. Water temp: 47-51 F. Bass fishermen have already been competing for fishing honors in the early season at Lake Powell. Cold temperatures, and a little snow mixed with wind did not dampened their spirits as they showed their prowess by catching bass in the toughest of cold weather conditions. The Anglers Choice Team tournament saw many 5-fish bass limits with some teams weighing almost 15 pounds for a 3-pound average. Smallmouth up to 4-pounds and largemouth over 5-pounds were taken and released following the weigh-in.

There are as many productive techniques as there are fishermen. Some of the most productive in this early tournament involved a fishing strategy using multiple methods. Most know that a few bass will be easy prey and bite on the first cast. After that it takes more patience to continue to catch fish.

Bass were often shallow but not in the backs of the canyons. Bass like points with shallow feeding areas in close proximity to deep water. Wise anglers fished the points and brush shelters. Prowling fish were taken on deep diving crankbaits tossed to the far side of the point. The deep diver was then dragged through the soil and rocks leaving a mud trail. Bass attracted to the mud trail would then bite as the lure broke out into deeper water. Remember that each team only had to catch 5 fish to get a limit. Fishing was not fast, with one or two keepers caught in 2 hours of cranking. It takes hundreds of casts and great patience to be successful in cold conditions.

When prowling fish quit biting, it’s time to break out the plastic and fish slow and deep for resting fish. Time tested jig and pork rind and large hula grubs caught some fish but perhaps the best deep approach was the drop shot rig. The weight is placed on the bottom with the plastic worm, grub or Senko hooked on a super sharp hook some 6-10 inches up the line. When fished correctly, the weight rests on the bottom and the plastic bait resembles a free swimming or resting bait fish. A slight movement of the rod tip allows the bait to flutter and twitch with tantalizingly slow movements that are attractive in cold weather. The weight is pulled along the bottom on a tight line and then allowed to rest and flutter in one spot for longer periods.

Fish become accustomed to seeing the same popular baits fished time after time. Sometimes the new bait or new color draws the strike while the old standard is ignored. A new plastic bait from Yamamoto worked very well in this event. It is called a SHAD-SHAPED WORM and is designed specifically for drop shot fishing.

The deep-diving cranks needed a bit of innovation as well. The lures that dug up mud at 15-25 feet worked better when a “hot color” like red-crayfish or fire tiger was used. Fishing is off to a good early start. When temperatures warm up, it won’t take nearly as many casts or crazy colors to catch fish here.
Tournament anglers found some willing stripers in Rock Creek, Neanderthal Cove and Warm Creek. A few walleye were taken as well.
Remember to protect the big lake from hitch hiking mussels coming from Lakes Mead, Mohave or Havasu. Drain all water and wash the boat, then let it dry 5 days before launching in a new water.

LEES FERRY – Report courtesy Lees Ferry Anglers, Date: Wednesday, March 14, by Capt. Jim Veller

Upriver: 8.00
Walk-In: 3.50
1 = Go fish somewhere else
10 = Rent a helicopter and get here now!

Today’s Crowd Rating:
Upriver: 5. Key:
Walk In: 3
1 = Sleep late and fish where you want.
10 = Very crowded, get up early!

Today’s Weather: We had mostly sunny skies with highs around 82 degrees. We had howling winds last night, but it laid down this morning. Tomorrow the high temp. is forecast for 79 with mostly sunny skies.

Today’s River Flows: Releases from Glen Canyon Dam in February, 2007 on Mondays and Fridays will vary between a low of 8,500 cfs to a high of 14,500 cfs. On Saturdays, release fluctuations will vary between a low of 8,500 cfs to a high of 14,000 cfs. On Sundays, release fluctuations will vary between a low of 8,500 cfs to a high of 13,000 cfs.

Today’s Fly Fishing: Fishing has been quite good the last three days. Perhaps the great weather has made the fish as happy as we are. Morning riffle fishing with small glo bugs combined with a bead head midge has been turning the trick. We still have spawning fish in the rivers but use caution around redds so no damage is done. Attractor dries with a midge dropper has been very effective also. Midge hatches have been increasing in density. Look for rising fish in the back eddies.

Today’s Walk-in Fishing: No new reports received today. As of late it is hard to locate the fish in this section. Glo bugs, scuds, and San Juans are recommended.

Spin Fishing Report: This is the latest report received. Fishing with plenty of lead and bouncing you offering near the bottom of the river is effective, while using red San Juans, and large egg patterns.

LAKE MEAD – Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

Fishing has been slow during the day. Some anglers report no stripers being caught after trolling all day. As the water warms look for the bass to really turn on. The ramp is still open at South Cove. The launching is shallow. The lake level continues to be fairly stable at or near 1,129, but look for it to be going down. Game and Fish biologists observed lots of shad and stripers during their survey of Gregg’s Basin last October. Large tilapia and catfish were also sampled.

LAKE MOHAVE – Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

No new reports. Fishing for largemouth has been slow. Water temp is around 53ºF. Look for the bite to pick up in the next couple of weeks. The striper bite has been slow as well. Anchovies are the most popular bait for stripers, but if you want to try something different, use shrimp or squid. Davis Dam has plenty of shoreline for numerous anglers to enjoy the fishing. Cabinsite and Telephone Cove also provide plenty of shoreline fishing access. If you have a boat, try fishing near cottonwood cove or Aztec wash for trout or large stripers. Also, there is a wheelchair accessible fishing pier just south of the main launch ramp at Katherine’s Landing.

WILLOW BEACH Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

No new reports. Access to Willow Beach by road is available. Trout are stocked every Friday. The fishing for trout has been slow, but the striper bite has picked up a little and some big fish are being caught.

TOPOCK MARSH – Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

The crappie bite is starting to pick up. Anglers reporting catching 7-8 per day from boat. Catfish and bass fishing is also beginning to pick up. Anglers are having some success from shore. Look for the fishing to really improve as the marsh water level continues to rise and the water warms. Game and fish biologist sampled lots of large mouth bass the middle of January throughout the marsh. While the water is cold, the bass seem to be moving around. Crappie and catfish populations looked really good as well. You can access the marsh by boat at North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of area for shoreline fishing too. For more information on the marsh, contact the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge at (760) 326-3853 or go to http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/havasu/index.html.

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

Rainbow trout are stocked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service monthly. The fish are stocked in two locations, Davis Camp and near The Riverside. Trout fishing at the stocking sites is great immediately following the stockings, then the fish move out and you need to find them. Anglers recently reported catching trout on the Arizona side across from the Riverside. Water levels on the river fluctuate, so be careful. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html/ before you go.

Southwestern Arizona
HAVASU — Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu proper, cleaning of all watercraft is extremely important to prevent the spread of this invasive species. For more information on cleaning of watercraft, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

Striper fishing is good in the morning hours using cut anchovies by still fishing or trolling through from Winsor Basin south to Whipple Bay with limits of 1- to 2-pound fish. A few larger fish are being caught on large white or hologram Rat-L-Traps, pointers, and diving trophy minnow jerkbaits.

Pre-spawn largemouth bass are being caught in 2 to 10 feet of water using Texas rigged Gitzits, Senkos, and shallow cranks like the R2S Cranky M.

The following report is courtesy Sand Point Marina. Jim Farnam caught a 5-pound catfish using shad as bait on March 5 at Jackass Cove. Some guests have reported seeing the Largemouth nesting already in various sites on the Lake. As our weather stays consistently warmer and the Lakes water temperature increases, the bass will be more prevalent and the stripers more elusive. With the beginning of the spawning season here on the Lake, fishing will undoubtedly take on a totally different feel from that of the winter months. Happy Fishing.

Outlook: On Havasu and Topock Gorge, largemouth bass, as well as smallmouth bass are expected to be good to excellent. The size will range from 13 inches and up with an occasional fish greater than 4 pounds. Striped bass will continue to be excellent for small fish (12-18 inches) with occasional fish over 8 pounds. Channel catfish as well as bluegill and redear sunfish will be fair to good. Flathead catfish fishing should be fair at the lower end of the lake (Bill Williams River Arm) through the fall. Sizes of flathead catfish can reach as high as 40 pounds. When fishing for them, select the interior points in the coves and the areas where artificial structure has been placed.

The cooler weather causes the bite to slow down so it is important to work your lures slower and in deeper water. Put away your topwater lures and switch to plastics, crank baits, spinner baits, jigs, etc.

PARKER STRIP — Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu proper, cleaning of all watercraft is extremely important to prevent the spread of this invasive species. For more information on cleaning of watercraft, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

Releases from Parker Dam are increasing. Look to do so for the next few weeks, which means there is plenty of water to get out and fish on. Stripers are being caught off La Paz County Park. Anglers say anchovies or liver work for bait.

Smallmouth and sunfish are biting on mealworms and night crawlers. The bigger fish are not moving much yet.

Channel cats should start picking up over the next few weeks. Try anchovies or worms for bait.

Flatheads prefer to bite on live bait such as bluegill.

Trout are still available and biting in the lagoon at La Paz County Park and should be there for another week or two.

Outlook: smallmouth bass with fish over two pounds in size are expected to be good this fall. In addition, redear sunfish should also be good in the pound plus sizes. Channel and flathead catfish are always fair in this section of the Colorado River. Below the dam, striper fishing should also be fair using anchovies this fall.

COLORADO RIVER OUTLOOK (from Palo Verde to Yuma)

Colorado River (between Palo Verde Diversion Dam and Walter’s Camp

This area should be fair for both smallmouth bass (in the channel) and largemouth bass (in the backwaters) throughout the entire area. Channel and flathead catfish are always fair to good in this section of the Colorado River. Most of the flathead catfish will be in the 2 to 5 pound size range with an occasional fish over 30 pounds. The time for fishing for both species of catfish is in the evening to midnight.

Colorado River (between Walter’s Camp and Picacho State Park

This section of the Colorado River is relatively remote and can only be accessed by boat from either end. Fishing is expected to be fair to good for flathead catfish with sizes over 40 pounds. The best time for fishing for both species of catfish will be in the evening to midnight. Largemouth bass and bluegill are also present in the various backwaters and slack water areas. Other species available in the main river are smallmouth bass, and striped bass.

Colorado River (between Picacho State Park and Imperial Dam

This area is expected to be fair to good for largemouth bass, channel catfish, and flathead catfish. Bass and channel catfish in excess of 5 pounds are present along with flathead catfish as large as 40 pounds. Bluegills are also present in the various backwaters and an occasional striped bass will be caught in the main river channel.

Colorado River (between Laguna and Morelos dams

This area will be fair for largemouth bass and flathead catfish. Bass in excess of 5 pounds are common and flathead catfish over 20 pounds are a good bet. In this area, accessibility to the river is dependent on the amount of water being released. Usually shallow draft boats work the best. The lower end has had some dredging work done and the larger boat will be able to get on the river in that area.

MARTINEZ LAKE/COLORADO RIVER — — Important notice: With the recent discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu proper, cleaning of all watercraft is extremely important to prevent the spread of this invasive species. For more information on cleaning of watercraft, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

This area should be fair for both smallmouth bass (in the channel) and largemouth bass (in the backwaters) throughout the entire area. Channel and flathead catfish are always fair to good in this section of the Colorado River. Most of the flathead catfish will be in the 2- to 5-pound size range with an occasional fish over 30 pounds. The time for fishing for both species of catfish is in the evening to midnight.

MITTRY LAKE — Shore anglers have been catching carp, bluegill, and channel catfish by using corn, dough bait and worms for the catfish.

YUMA AREA RIVERS/CANALS — Good for channel catfish using stink bait and chicken livers.

FORTUNA POND — Bluegills are being caught on meal worms and nigh crawlers. Largemouth bass are being caught on worms, spinnerbaits, and plastics. Channel catfish are being caught on stink baits and chicken livers.

REDONDO POND — “Yuma Lakes.” Not much fishing pressure here lately, which could mean hungry fish! Try a small boat or tube to catch bass or large bluegill on the north side of the pond which is BLM public land.

YUMA WEST WETLANDS POND — Good for small bluegill, carp, and bass. The bite was on all day long with channel catfish starting late in the afternoon using liver and stink baits. A 7.5-pound channel catfish was caught.

ALAMO – This is a fishing hot spot for bass and crappie. Report courtesy Mark Knapp, Alamo Lake State Park. Well folks, bass fishing is pretty good right now. The bass are moving up into the shallows getting ready for the spawn. I’ve seen some nice bass caught this week. Several six pounders and two eight pounders have been weighed, and tossed back in the lake. Training wheels are the way to go right now. Try throwing a spinnerbait right up to the shoreline and hold your pole. Crappie fishing has picked back up again. Anglers are catching 10 to 30 a day. The crappies are in 19 to 15 feet of water. Roadrunner jigs with a minnow trailer are the hot ticket. Shore fishing is hit-and-miss. Try using a minnow and a bobber and work the ramp areas. The lake level is 1,116 with releases of 40 cfs. Both ramps work great…. Remember sun block and bug spray.

North Central Region
KAIBAB LAKE —Campground closed Oct. 1.

CATARACT LAKE — Lake will be open for walk-in day use only.

CITY RESERVOIR — Closed.

DOGTOWN LAKE —No Report.

JD DAM — Lake level has come up. Anglers are catching brown trout fly-fishing.

SANTA FE — Lake is full.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — No Report. Campground closed Oct. 1. Lake will be open for walk-in day use only.

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:

LOWER LAKE MARY —The Lake is extremely low. No fish; the lake suffered a winter kill due to low lake levels.

UPPER LAKE MARY — The Lake is mostly thawed with small patches of ice near the boat launch near the dam.

ASHURST LAKE — Lake is open; some nice rainbow trout are being caught.

FRANCIS SHORT POND – Open small 10-12 inch rainbows are being caught on flies.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Lake is open. No report

MARSHALL LAKE — No report. The road into the lake is closed at this time. Walk in access only.

OAK CREEK — Fishing is slow. A few small rainbow trout are being caught on flies.

LONG LAKE — Lake is open. No report

SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX — Lake is open. No report.

BEAVER CREEK — No report.

WEST CLEAR CREEK — No report.

STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.

MINGUS LAKE – Mingus Lake is scheduled to begin being stocked in April. The Forest Service locks the gate for vehicle traffic around Nov. 15. Walk-in traffic will still be permitted after that date. The water levels are down and the water is very turbid. Try bright-colored Power Bait, salmon eggs, or various spinners. Trout stocking is scheduled to resume the first week in March.

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Trout were stocked Feb 26. Following the stocking, fishing has been very good. Experienced anglers limit in 30-45 minutes. One angler was doing very well using a Power Worm with smelly jelly. Super Dupers, KastMaster, and flies fished on a bobber work well. While Power Bait is an effective stand by, it may take you a little longer to limit. This was the last scheduled trout stocking, but Game and Fish plans to stock catfish soon (the date has not been set). Watch the fishing report to find out when. Dead Horse State Park employees and Game and Fish biologists placed 40-plus Christmas trees in the lower lagoon as fish habitat on Jan. 16. Fish should begin to congregate near these trees within days.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Trout were stocked at all five sites last week (March 2). The fishing was fair on Saturday. As the flows slow and the water clears a little, look for the bite to pick up. Stocking sites are at Tuzigoot Bridge outside of Clarkdale, the bridge that leads to the Deadhorse State Park, at Deadhorse State Parks access point called the Jacks, at the White Bridge in Camp Verde, and at Bignotti Beach. Try using spinners to get the active fish. If that doesn’t work you can always try power bait. Trout are scheduled to be stocked again the week of the 19.

LYNX LAKE — Trout were last stocked the week of March 5. Fishing continues to be slow. As the water warms hopefully the bite will pick up a little.

FAIN LAKE — Rainbow trout were stocked last week, the week of March 5. The fishing was good. One angler reported catching 14 fish in a few hours (all were released) the largest was 19 inches. Fish were biting floating night crawlers and Mepps spinners. Power bait and most spinners should do well also.

GOLDWATER LAKE—Trout stocking resumed the week of Feb 12. Fishing success at Goldwater has dropped off markedly during the last week (Feb 28-Mar 4). Most anglers are reporting little to no activity. More strikes reported by fly fisherman, than by bait/lure. It’s been windy/breezy, and overnight temps are in the 12-20ºF range. Daytime highs not much above 50ºF last week. The next stocking is scheduled for this week (week of March 12). Look for the fishing to pick up following the stocking. The water is pretty cold though, so give the fish some time to acclimate. Try fishing at one location, if you don’t have success in an hour or two, move to another. You may try starting at the fishing pier. If you don’t have a fish in an hour or so try a new spot. The next trout stocking is scheduled for the week of March 12. Large bluegills were stocked June 7. If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at [email protected] so I can share your successes with others.

Mogollon Rim
Note: Some rim roads that have locked gates are closed to access. All other roads are snow packed. Contact the USFS office in Heber, (928) 535-4481 for more information.

CHEVELON CANYON LAKE — The gate on Forest Road 300, just off highway 260, is locked. Access to the lake from the north on Forest Road 169 is closed and snow packed. The lake is ice-covered. Expect unsafe ice conditions.

BEAR CANYON LAKE — The gate on Forest Road 300, just off highway 260, is locked. The lake is ice-covered. Expect unsafe ice conditions.

BLACK CANYON LAKE — Forest Road 86 to the lake is locked. The lake is ice-covered. Expect unsafe ice conditions.

BLUE RIDGE — Unsafe ice is present. No report

KNOLL LAKE — No report. Unsafe ice is present.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE — The gate on Forest Road 149, just off highway 260, is locked. The lake is ice-covered. Expect unsafe ice conditions.

WOODS CANYON LAKE — The gate on Forest Road 300, just off highway 260, is locked. The lake is ice-covered. Expect unsafe ice conditions.

White Mountains
Note: Highway 261 is officially closed for the winter. Highway 273 from Sunrise Lake to Winn Campground is closed for the winter and road construction. This section of Highway 273 will also be closed to snowmobile traffic through the winter. Anglers wishing to reach Crescent and Big Lake by snowmobile should use Highway 261 (parking area at Forest Road 409). All other Forest Roads are snow packed. Contact the Arizona Department of Transportation hotline, 511, for more information on state and federal highway conditions.

BECKER LAKE — The lake is ice-free and full. The boat ramp is accessible. Fishing is fair. Try lures such as spinners and Z-Rays, flies such as wooly worms and buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, dragonfly imitations, and brown Montana stone nymphs. The lake is open to artificial lure and flies only with barbless hooks, with a two-trout bag and possession limit. The lake is open to 10 hp motors.

BIG LAKE — Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter. The lake is ice-covered. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the lake, and if it is good, try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, small jigs or spoons. The store is closed.

CARNERO LAKE — The lake is ice-covered. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the lake, and if it is good try small lures, flies or jigs. The lake is open to artificial lure and fly only with barbless hooks and a two trout limit. Forest Road 117 & 117A are snow packed and not accessible by vehicle.

CONCHO LAKE — The lake is ice-free and weedy. Fishing is poor to fair. Try fishing open spots with no weeds. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, and lures such as jigs or spoons, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and hare’s ear nymphs. The lake is open to 10 hp. motors.

CRESCENT LAKE — Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter. The lake is ice-covered. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the lake, and if it is good, try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, small jigs or flies. The store is closed.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE — The lake is ice-free. The boat ramps are accessible. Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching a few trout, bass, and channel catfish. Try worms, salmon eggs, meal worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, lead head rubber jigs (chartreuse green and brown or silver with silver specks), crankbaits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, and semi-seal leeches. The Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area is managed by Arizona State Parks and excellent camping facilities are available. Anglers wishing to fish the lake for free must use the southwest side boat ramp and parking area. A fee is charged for the east side area of the lake. The lake is open to 10 hp. motors. To create new fish habitat 12 juniper trees were placed in clusters in the southern part of the lake. These trees are marked by a fish habitat buoy.

GREER LAKES — All reservoirs are ice covered. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the lake. Unsafe ice conditions.

HULSEY LAKE — The lake is ice-covered. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the lake. Unsafe ice conditions may prevail. Forest Road 56 is snow packed and access is uncertain.

LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR — Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter. The lake is ice-covered.

LUNA LAKE — The lake is ice-covered but has some open water areas. Expect unsafe ice conditions. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the lake, and if it is good, try worms, meal worms, Power Bait, small lures, jigs or flies.

LYMAN LAKE —The lake is ice-free. Fishing is poor to fair. Try worms, prepared catfish baits, and Power Bait. The Lyman Lake recreation area is managed by Lyman Lake State Park and camping is available. There are also some new cabins for rent. There is a fish-consumption advisory here. Consult the fishing regulations or contact the Arizona Game and Fish Regional office in Pinetop for more information. The lake has no motor restrictions.

NELSON RESERVOIR — The lake is ice-free. The lake level is low and launching a trailered boat is difficult at the boat ramp at the dam. Use caution when launching a boat. Fishing is poor to fair. Try worms, meal worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, and Z-Rays, flies such as woolly worms, woolly buggers, Peacock ladies, Prince nymphs, Zug bugs, and other brown, green or black nymphs. The lake is open to 10 hp motors.

RAINBOW LAKE — The lake is ice-free, full, and spilling. The boat ramp is accessible. Fishing is poor to fair. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, crankbaits, spinner baits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, semi-seal leeches, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and brown Montana stones. The lake is open to 10 hp. motors.

SCOTT’S RESERVOIR — The lake is ice-free, full, and spilling. The boat ramp is accessible. Fishing is fair. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power bait, lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, crank baits, spinner baits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, brown Montana stones, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, and zug bugs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

SHOW LOW LAKE — The lake is ice-free. The boat ramp is accessible. Fishing is fair. Anglers have been catching trout by trolling cowbells with worms. Try worms, salmon eggs, meal worms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, Lead head rubber jigs (chartreuse green, brown or silver with silver specks), and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and semi-seal leeches. The lake is open to 10 hp. motors.

WOODLAND LAKE — The lake is ice-free, full and spilling. The boat ramp is accessible. Fishing is poor to fair. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, small spoons, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and other small nymphs. Woodland Lake has restrooms, picnic tables, verandas, children’s playgrounds, tennis courts, softball fields, hiking trails, boat ramp, and a fishing pier. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR — The lake is probably ice-free. Fishing is poor to fair. Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures (spinners and Z-Rays), and flies (wooly worms, wooly buggers, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and peacock ladies. The northeast boat ramps are accessible. The middle boat ramp is steep and sandy. There is also an old concrete dam structure across from the middle boat ramp, so use caution when motoring in this area of the lake. There are no motor restrictions on the lake.

SILVER CREEK — Fishing is fair. From Oct. 1 through March 31, Silver Creek on the Arizona Game and Fish Department property is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks, and catch and release fishing. The upper section (big marked fence) is now open. Try small lures such as Mepps, Rooster Tails, and Panther Martin spinners. Fly-fishing anglers may want to try peacock ladies, beadhead black wooly buggers, prince nymphs, zug bugs, bead head nymphs, mayfly and caddis fly nymph imitations, and shrimp patterns. Fish your flies upstream and dead drift them downstream or cast your fly downstream and retrieve the fly slowly upstream. Try small dry flies such as Adams, parachute Adams, midge imitations, and caddis fly patterns in sizes #16 or #18 or # 20. The creek has been stocked with some nice sized Apache and rainbow trout. Please release the big rainbow trout and nice sized Apache trout quickly because some fish have died from improper handling techniques.

STREAMS

EAST FORK OF BLACK RIVER – Winter conditions prevail. Forest roads are snow packed and ice is present on the stream.

WEST FORK OF BLACK RIVER – Winter conditions prevail. Forest roads are snow packed and ice is present on the stream.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER – GREER – Access into Greer is good but winter conditions prevail, Forest Roads are snow packed, and ice is present on the stream.

SHEEPS CROSSING – WEST FORK LITTLE COLORADO RIVER – Highway 273 is closed for the winter and road construction.

Southeastern Arizona
URBAN LAKES – Channel catfish will be stocked on Thursday, March 22 for the first time this season. It is still possible to catch trout, especially at first and last light. Top baits continue to be Power Bait or other scented dough baits and worms. Trout are biting best on Power Bait fished off the bottom and worms fished under a bobber. With warming temperatures, the action for largemouth bass should be picking up soon as they move back into the shoreline areas in search of food and spawning sites. Regulations require that all bass be at least 13-inches in length before they can be kept. Please exercise good care and technique in safely handling and releasing bass.

RIGGS FLAT —The road to the lake is still closed.

CLUFF RANCH — Fishing for warmwater species is slow. Trout fishing has been fair with fish being caught using Power Bait and small spinners. The lake is scheduled to be stocked with trout for the last time this season next week. For lake information call (928) 485-9430.

ROPER LAKE — Fishing for all warmwater species remains slow but should begin to pick up with warmer weather. Trout fishing remains fair. The lake is scheduled to be stocked with trout for the last time this season next week. For lake information call (928) 428-6760.

DANKWORTH POND — No reports on success. The lake is scheduled to be stocked with trout for the last time this season next week. For lake information call (928) 428-6760.

FRYE MESA RESERVIOR – This has been stocked with approximately 16,000 7- to 8-inch rainbow trout. Anglers have been reporting good success since the lake was stocked. The road to Frye Mesa is in fair condition and is currently passable with a two-wheel drive vehicle. Use caution; the road is steep and narrow in places.

KEARNY LAKES — This Lake is currently not fishable.

ARIVACA — The bass fishing is slowly getting better as the weather warms. Anglers are reporting some success. The lake remains full and anglers should have no problem launching their boats. Remember, power boats on Arivaca Lake are restricted to the use of a single electric motor only, and all bass must be immediately released back to the water. The mercury advisory for all fish is still in effect.

PENA BLANCA – Trout fishing remains fair with fish being caught using Power Bait and corn. This lake is scheduled to be stocked for the last time for the season this week. Remember, power boats on Pena Blanca Lake are restricted to the use of a single electric motor only. The mercury advisory for all warm water fish is in effect. Bass less than 13 inches long must be immediately released. The daily bag limit for bass is four. Also, be advised that Pena Blanca is not an urban lake; therefore an urban fishing license is invalid to fish at this lake.

PATAGONIA — Fishing for largemouth has picked up some in recent weeks with warmer weather. Anglers are having success using reaction baits with few fish being found by flipping in the cattails. The lake remains in good condition with no problems launching boats at either ramp. The lake was stocked this week with trout for the last time this season. This is the transition time when it is possible to catch trout and bass.

PARKER CANYON — The algal bloom continues at this lake. The department is continuing to monitor the situation. The lake received its last load of trout for the season last week. Fishing continues to be slow. Power bait seems to be the bait of choice. There should be no problems with launching boats at this lake and the aquatic vegetation was cut recently and should not be a problem. Due to recent changes in hours of operation, anglers in the Sierra Vista area should contact Fort Huachuca regarding access across the Fort.

PICACHO RESERVOIR — No Report.

ROSE CANYON LAKE — Conditions at Rose Canyon Lake have returned to normal. The Region is working with hatchery personnel to get trout stocked as soon as possible.