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URBAN LAKES — Fishing is excellent for both channel catfish and sunfish at Urban waters in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Spring catfish stockings are underway with loads of 14,000 pounds being delivered every other week.
Top baits for catfish are dough/stink baits, shrimp, hot dogs and shrimp fished off the bottom. Evenings are best, but patient anglers are finding success throughout the day. Some of the cats are in the 4-6 pound range.
Action for the recently stocked bluegill and hybrid sunfish is good for anglers fishing with worms and meal worms 3-4 feet below a small bobber. Afternoons and evenings are best for the sunfish. Some nice largemouth bass in the 2-5 pound range are being reported by anglers working the morning bite with small plastics, grubs or swim baits. Please exercise catch and release for spawning bass.
At Green Valley lakes (Payson) fishing is excellent for trout and getting better every week for crappie, bluegill and bass. Extra trout were stocked at Green Valley for some recent fishing clinics and the action is hot. Try Power Bait in orange color, worms, or streamer flies such as Wooly Buggers and Simi Seal leaches.
Where:Desert West Park
Caught:Sunfish and small bass
Technique:Small hard lures.
Comments:My niece and I fished here while I was vacationing. I love the Arizona Urban Fishing Program!
Technique:Fishing for carp and cats on the bottoms using night crawlers.
Comments:Seems as if the cats are hitting out of the deepest portion of this lake not much action in the shallows until the weather decides to get warm and stay warm. Another fisherman fishing the deeper waters pulled out 2 cats in a few hours span on worms while I was there.
Caught:5 just stalked catfish and two trout
Technique:a varied arrangement of baits
Comments:Good bites from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. catfish are everywhere and biting well. bass are striking finesse baits like drop-shot and jig head worms, but very slowly
TEMPE TOWN LAKE — A recent Tempe Town Lake survey indicate a substantial resurgence of largemouth bass, yellow bass and channel catfish, black crappie and a very large increase in our catch of threadfin shad compared to last year’s survey conducted after a golden algae outbreak and a couple days of high runoff which led to the lowering of couple of the downstream inflatable dams.
An angler fished from 6 a.m. till noon and caught quite a few bass on worm-rigged drop shots. The bite was pretty good after 10:30 a.m. Trolling was effective catching yellow bass using a striper bomber crank.
Dear Fishing Report Editor;
While fishing at Tempe Town Lake with my brother Lloyd, I hooked into a monster catfish. It weighed 9 pounds 12 ounces. It pulled the Jon boat around for about 15 min. thru and around the columns until it finally surfaced. WOW what a ride. All on a light spinning rig loaded with 6 lb. test.
Where: Tempe Town Lake
Caught: one large mouth
Technique: drop shot Robo worm
Name: Andrew Althaus
An angler fished from 10 to about 11:30 by the bride pillars and picked up a nice 20 inch largemouth using crankbait.
Where: Tempe Town Lake
Caught: Striped Bass
Comments:What are stripers doing in this lake?
**Probably yellow bass not stripers.
Where:Tempe Town Lake
Caught:7 Pound Largemouth Bass
Technique:Rooster Tail – slow retrieval
Comments:This was around 11:15 AM. The bass seem to be moving closer to the shore around this time of day. She was SO FAT and filled with eggs. We got her back in the water safely so she can produce some more lunkers in TTL. Good times!
Name:BG Davison and Luke Brye
LAKE PLEASANT – Water elevation is 1692 ft, which is 88-percent full. Winds have made fishing a little challenging at times, but between fronts, some anglers are cleaning up on largemouth bass and striped bass.
The northern coves are still producing but with the weather fronts the bass are moving around if they are not on their beds. A couple anglers fished shallow (about 4 feet) with a drop shot rig and got into the bass, they changed spots and fished quite a bit deeper still using the drop shot technique and picked up a 6 pounder. Between the two sites they ended up catching 15 to 20 largemouth bass most between 1 and 2.5 pounds.
Bass are spawning in the shallows in the backs of coves throughout the lake. There are also post-spawn bass to be had off major points, islands and reefs throughout the lake, but don’t expect great numbers – - yet.
Striped bass and white bass have mostly spawned out and the action for post-spawn stripers is starting to pick up throughout the lake. Some anglers are encountering boils at first light. Use anything white from topwater lures and jerkbaits to crankbaits and spinners. By the way, there is not limit on stripers at Pleasant – catch and keep all you can to help the resource.
A lot of small bass and a few large ones are reported by anglers. Swim baits are enticing the bite and spawning bass are hanging in the northern coves.
One novice angler fished from about 9:30 till 3 p.m. and caught two largemouth bass using drop shots.
Two veteran anglers fished at night using submersible lights and anchovies to haul in (they say) more than 100 stripers, but said they had to practice catch-and-release once their livewell was full.
Where: Agua Fria branch
Caught: channel catfish
Technique: trolled dead bluegill from kayak
Comments: Dead cow in the water. Does that make the fish unsafe? Does that make Peoria’s water supply unsafe?
Name: Dave Collins
Where: Lake Pleasant
Technique: minnows, from boat humbug bay
Comments: Not a thing biting, only one other boat had 3 fish from all day fishing, not a sole gave a report of any fish
Name: r graves
Where: Lake Pleasant
Caught: Bunch of BAD attitudes
Technique: I did catch a 3lb LM at 0600 on a chatter bait
Comments: Must have been the full moon. I had people cutting me off all day while I was casting along a bank. One (I’ll say older) fella came in so close, that if I would have waited another second I would have coasted into him. I asked what his problem was, and he said that he was “tired of young punks with high dollar fishing boats taking all the fish” I asked him how old he thought I was and he said it didn’t matter; anyone younger than him was a punk. I asked him when he was born, he told me…..and I almost fell out of my boat…..it turns out I was 2 years old when he was born.
Where: Lake Pleasant
Technique: Snowbirds gone fishing 16 times since Nov. Been one of worst experiences to date. Much better in past years.
Name: James Sanberg
ROOSEVELT LAKE — Lake Elevation is 2,151 ft (100-percent full). Tonto Creek runoff is at 53 cfs while inflow has slowed to 885 cfs. The inflows had subsided significantly, at least for now. Unless a rainstorm causes a rapid melt of the remaining snow, but prime runoff season may be coming to an end soon. The bass spawn is still in full swing, but it is likely the crappie spawn is waning. This should the leading edge of the flathead catfish season. Carp should be spawning soon (if they haven’t started already).
A couple of anglers fished in the afternoon from about 11 to 4:30 and noticed the water temp was a little lower than the last time they were there, 62oF instead of 67. The water was a bit turbid. They boated 15 largemouth bass but were mum on the technique or other details.
Another couple anglers fished the Tonto end and caught nice fighting largemouth bass on drop shot. That was the only technique that worked for them this time. They noticed a drop in activity compared to a couple weeks ago – probably due to the fronts. The fish were all slots between 13 and 16 inches.
A group of anglers fished the Salt end and caught about 15 largemouth bass. Most were caught in the submerged trees. The topwater bite was good at first light and white spinner baits with twin tail trailers enticed the bass pretty good.
Crappie fishermen are doing pretty well. A couple anglers caught about 24 using live minnows in the Goose Flat area. A few bass took the bait as well.
Another couple anglers fished in the afternoon and despite the wind they were in bass all day. They caught bass mostly on blades in the main lake and the biggest one they boated was 22 inches, although a much larger bass broke the line at the boat. The big one that got away was caught in a southern cove in the Tonto Arm.
Caught:2 largemouth bass
Technique: green lizard
Comments: You can see them in trees all over the place but they won’t hit it for some reason. All of them are slot bass and I saw one today that look like he was about 20inches. I tried everything and lizards were the only thing that worked
Name: Andrew Althaus
Caught:5 largemouth bass
green rubber lizards and top water
If you see them surface throw your top water
Name: Andrew Althaus
Technique: White spinner bait, willow leaf, slow rolling main channel casting to trees in the Salt end 20 feet, water temp was 58.
Comments:Most of the fish were in the upper end of the slot with a few overs and unders.
APACHE – Lake elevation is 1913 ft (99-percent full. Smallmouth are being caught off shore and some towards the dam closer to Roosevelt. Largemouth and bluegill are also starting to wake up. Bluegills are biting near the marina and shallow coves. Use a worm under a bobber to catch the bluegill. Try your largemouth fishing near overhanging vegetation and reeds. Carolina rig with a Robo Worm will entice a bite if you are at the right spot. Catfish are taking worms and smelly bait in the coves. There is usually at least one lunker catfish per cove. Don’t forget smallmouth bass like the rocky substrate.
The inflows from Roosevelt and the outflows to Canyon are creating a dynamic situation at this lake (and its sister lakes). Predatory fish will orient to the current to ambush prey.
This lake should be good for largemouth bass, yellow bass, catfish and carp.
Anglers who are shore fishing near the marina and boat ramps are catching largemouth bass with live worms.
A family of 3 anglers caught a lot of small 8-10 inch largemouth bass. They found a nice bedding area and pulled out a 2.5 pounder. All fish were caught on small soft plastics and night crawlers. One 2.5 pound largemouth bass was caught on a small plastic craw rigged on a tiny jig head. The bigger bass were in the backs of coves in/near vegetation.
Caught:not a thing
Technique:worms on bobber worms on bottom and all sorts of lures
Comments:hard lake to shore fish
CANYON – Lake elevation is 1659 ft, which is 98-percent full.
An angler fished canyon and caught three largemouth bass and two were over 3 pounds. All were caught on soft plastics and hit pretty hard. The wind cut the fishing trip short.
The Boulder fishing area is a fantastic place to fish for largemouth, bluegill and yellow bass. Anglers were catching bluegill on worms. One angler caught 4 largemouth bass on jigs near Boulder Creek and he said they were all about 5 pounds.
An angler caught 12 bluegills in a half-hour using worms on a weightless light line. No indication where he was fishing.
Another couple anglers caught a lot of slot bass but didn’t divulge any details on his bait or fishing area.
One angler caught 7 bass in an hour using red worms.
Where: Canyon Lake
Caught: 4 largemouth , 1 rainbow, 1 sunfish
Technique: Saw no one was catching fish but I was the terminator! You get what you pay for …buy a 6 dollar RAPALA…UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR KID TO CRY FROM BOREDOM… First, got a rainbow and a largemouth in the morningish 10-11am…then moved spots to a nice quiet cove and it got hot! 3 bass and a sunfish in about 10 minutes, all released, biggest was 2 lbs and change on my scale others were a bit smaller size…also water level is way up…I’ll be back…what’s the slot on these bass I want to have a fish fry next week? haha
Where: Canyon Lake
Caught: 7 Largemouth
Technique: Caught one LM on Chrome/black back medium diver. Six LM on dropshot-4 inch Robo worms.
Comments: Found BIG bass on beds in one to two feet of water. Smallest bed bass just over two pounds, largest over five pounds. All fish were released.
Anglers were catching bluegill on worms. One angler caught 4 largemouth bass on jigs near Boulder Creek and he said they were all about 5 pounds.
SAGUARO – Lake elevation 1,528 feet at 98-percent full. This is the bluegill hot spot for youngsters. Use meal worms under bobbers. Fishing is also good for yearling bass, but since this is the spawn, please practice catch and release to keep as many spawners as possible to help recover this wonderful lake.
Caught:LM Bass, Sunfish
Technique:Reaper, canadian crawlers
Comments:Lots of fish caught, all under slot from 5 inches to a pound and a half. Lots of nice sized bluegill, sunfish the males were brightly colored. also we found a Gila monster I got pics of
Two anglers fished from 7 to 5:30 a.m. and caught 13 largemouth bass and one yellow bass. Four were picked up with T-rigged camo worms along a vegetated bank, but you had to stay on your toes because the bite was quick and did not linger. Crankbaits also worked. Temperature warmed up to almost 67oF.
A couple experienced anglers fished in the early morning and noticed shad boils but didn’t catch anything – what’s up with that? A little bit down shore one of them caught a bass on a Rico, but hard jerkbaits provided most the fun. They noticed a good shad spawn taking place in some of the coves. A little later on they caught 7 bass on T-rigged fat baby craws. In all they caught 21 bass by 2pm.
A water quality report from Kevin in the WQ lab at Game and Fish Dept: They visited the lake on March 25 and water clarity in the lower basin was impressive as corroborated by a 17 foot secchi disc depth. Surface temperatures were 61oF and the thermocline is developing between 19.5 and 23 feet. The temperature below the thermocline is 57.5oF.
There was a lot of zooplankton present and “Zoo-clouds” could be noted in the water column with cladocerans and copepods as the dominant inhabitants. Those are tasty sought after morsels for our zooplankton consumers. Up lake at the no wake buoys there was some algal productivity and secchi disc depth was about 5 feet.
The algae was dominated by a filamentous blue green algae (not the one seen last spring that led to the yellowish-brown lake color) and diatomaceous algae – no golden algae was seen. Below Mormon Flat Dam quite a bit of water was being released. The water clarity was 9 feet deep and temperature was 56.5oF.
Bluegills are biting for shore anglers and boat anglers. One angler threw split shot from the shoreline near Ship Rock and caught 6 in about an hour. A three year old who fished, with the help of her parents, for about 1.5 hours for bluegill caught 6 as well.
Butcher Jones is a good place to catch largemouth bass using minnows. Use meal worms about 4-5 feet down to catch the bluegill.
Took my son Luke (2.5 years old) on his 1st fishing trip to Saguaro Lake on 3-30-09. Caught well over 20 bluegills, with 17 keepers in just 2.5 hours. Used worms fished 3 feet off the bottom around points and drop offs. It’s great that Saguaro is back! Here’s a picture of all we kept. Also ended up catching a very nice 14″ rainbow but we did not have our trout stamp so had to release that one! It was great fun though on an ultra light with 6 lb test! Luke woke up this morning and asked to go again. It is my plan that he be an angler for life!
Caught:7 largemouth and 18 bluegill
Technique:spinner bait and small jigs in the backs of coves in heavy cover shallows
Comments:the bass were 8-12 inches and the bluegill were all smaller than my hand but it was fun, caught most of them in the early afternoon when the water warmed up to 62.
Caught:Bluegill, bass slow yet
Comments:Bass are just starting to bed, left them alone. Not much happening with the staging bass yet, loads of saucer size bluegill though
Comments:Bluegill were hitting hard, caught over a hundred that were over a pound each. Caught by Boat
Technique:spinnerbait and drop shot worms
Comments:Fished the late afternoon till Sundown. Most fish were pretty small
BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,798 ft, which is 100-percent full. Reservoir release is 100 cfs.
Two anglers fished Bartlett and caught 10 bass were on their beds in shallow water less than 10 feet deep. The largest was almost 4 pounds and they were all healthy looking.
Other fishermen noticed a lull in the fishing when the fronts were passing through. That’s not to say they weren’t catching fish, but it was a bit slow. One angler caught 8 2-2.5 pounders and some more 1 pound bass. All were caught on Senkos, jigs and rattle traps.
The crappie spawn is probably waning. Crappies are taking minnows rigged with a slip bobber. This might be the time to go after post-spawn beauties. Even though there is a full moon this week, watch the moon rise and set times to find a window to night fish using submersible lights.
One angler two weeks ago caught them in the backs of coves about 5 feet deep and 20 feet of water in the mouths of coves. JD grubs and minnows enticed the bite and for the most part the majority was caught in about 12 feet of water. They were nice and fat. These gentlemen kept a few for a fish fry but returned quite a few for others to enjoy.
A fishing tournament recently provided some good fishing for tournament participants. There were 8 teams that caught over 11 pounds of bass each. No info on what was used but they are out there in good numbers. These fish were no doubt returned to the lake as most fishermen practice catch and release.
Caught: 32 crappie
Technique: Slow trolling with Katlin bbc grubs on 1/16 oz jig head in 10 to 15 feet of water near submerged trees.
Comments: A Ranger told us on Thursday to expect the water levels to rise on foot a day.
Name: Rocky Anselmo
Where: Bartlett Lake
Technique: Jigging real real slow off points (crawdad imitation)
Comments: Fished from shore lost a few jigs but caught 12 bass 1-3 pound range with 2 pushing 4pounds.Tony
Name: Tony Major
Technique: Senkos, Robo Worms, Crawdad Imitations, Crankbaits, Spinners, Top Water etc etc
Comments: Threw everything but the kitchen sink at them. Water temp still too cold, air temp too cold that day as well. Fish are still very lethargic. Wait for warmer temps to kick the fish into gear.
Where: Bartlett Lake
Caught: 2 Largemouth Bass, 1 Channel Catfish
Technique: Swimming Curly-tail Jigs
Comments: Bass and Catfish were nice and healthy. All over 3lbs. (all released, was searching for Crappie). One healthy Otter sighting. (didn’t know we had them here).
Caught: 3 bluegill and 3 channel catfish
Technique: Night crawlers and chicken livers.
Comments: All the fish were pretty small and were released but when the catfish hit, they hit hard.
Name: Ashley, Chris, Ralph and Mary
Anglers are catching bass and crappie in the riverine portion of the lake.
HORSESHOE – Lake elevation is at 1,999 feet, 45-percent full. They are releasing water at 85cfs. This lake will be gradually drained to keep Bartlett full as long as possible, which is great for anglers at Bartlett.
VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle Creek continues to slow and is lowered to 189 cubic feet per second early this week. Release from Bartlett Lake is 100 cfs.
SALT RIVER – Salt River into Roosevelt is 1,300 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 964 cfs. They are releasing 1075 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro.
LOWER SALT RIVER –Stewart Dam release has dropped to 1,075cfs, but that is still a pretty good flow to fish, kayak and canoe. Fishing should be good at first and last light. Try using live night crawlers with little or no weight cast slightly upstream, then let the bait drift downstream.
This is a superb area for canoes and kayaks. You can put in at the Water Users and float to Blue Point Bridge or Phon D. Sutton (confluence of Salt and Verde rivers).
Game and Fish was at Blue Point for an outreach event and came across a great catfish hole. They caught 11 channel catfish and the biggest one was 23 inches.
Where:Lower Salt River at Blue Point Bridge
Caught:3 Largemouth Bass
Technique:Night Crawlers on 4lb. test with single split shot. I let the bait drift downstream and slowly retrieved it across the bottom.
Comments:The Bass were not very big, the largest being 12 inches but had a great time fighting them on the light tackle.
Where: Lower Salt River at Blue Point Bridge
Caught: 3 Largemouth Bass
Technique: Night Crawlers on 4lb. test with single split shot. I let the bait drift downstream and slowly retrieved it across the bottom.
Comments: The Bass were not very big, the largest being 12 inches but had a great time fighting them on the light tackle.
Where: Lower Salt River
Caught: 24 trout/released
Comments: Fish slow. Trout need a lot of time to examine lure before striking.
Name: John LeFevers
CREEKS – All creeks on rim are fishing pretty well. Most have been stocked this week, making them a great place to fish for Easter weekend. Fly anglers should try dry dropper rigs or larger leach patterns and fish near the bottom. Spin anglers should use live night crawlers (except in the stretches where bait isn’t allowed), crickhoppers or small spinners.
Haigler Creek – Scheduled for stocking the week of April 6.
Canyon Creek – Scheduled for stocking this week. AZ Fly Fishing reports good fishing with nymph patterns and simi-seal leaches.
Larry – We caught about twenty (mostly browns). Gate to lower canyon creek is still
locked. Used black and yellow Rooster Tails – we hiked from the last gate to get into lower canyon creek to the small bridge at the ranch. By the time we got back to my truck I felt like I was coming out of Chevelon Lake. That was the most water coming through canyon creek since I have been going there(about 6-7yrs.)
Harley Ough at the Game and Fish Canyon Creek Hatchery provided the following report: Most of the snow is gone, thankfully. The temps are great and the fishing pressure is nonexistent basically on the creek. Stocking have not started yet but good fishing can be found. Water levels are still up a bit from normal and the water is a slight bit off color than the normal crystal clear. Fly fishing was good; caught a dozen in about an hour and a half.
According to Arizona Fly Fishing excellent fishing at Canyon Creek; use semi seal leach patterns and fish closer to the bottom.
Tonto Creek – Scheduled for stocking the week of April 6. Accessible and try dry fly dropper rig with size 14 to 16 bead head nymph according to Desert Sportsman.
Christopher Creek – Scheduled for stocking the week of April 6. Accessible and try dry dropper rig with size 14 to 16 bead head nymph.
East Verde – Scheduled for stocking the week of April 6.
Workman Creek – Scheduled for stocking the week of May 4.
HORSETHIEF BASIN LAKE – No new report. It’s a pretty little lake that is worth visiting as part of a Bradshaw Mountain experience, but it is pond sized water where the fish are small; great for kids on a camp out. Bring night crawlers or meal worms and fish them under bobbers.