Urban Fishing Program Bulletin For the weeks of Jan. 21 – Feb. 03, 2008

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January 24th, 2008


Some big rainbow trout in the 2 to 6 pound range were caught by urban anglers in the past few weeks. The January 9 special incentive stocking at all 20 Urban Fishing Program waters included many trout over 16 inches. Two days after these super-sized trout were stocked, Tony Morello of Mesa caught a 23-inch, 5.3 pound whopper out of Water Ranch Lake in Gilbert using a Super Duper lure. Tony’s fish has been submitted for the 2008 Big Fish-of-the Year program. An 18.5-inch, 2.7 pound trout was reported from Red Mountain Lake in Mesa. So far, there have not been any reports about the estimated 7 pounder that was stocked into Alvord Lake at Cesar Chavez Park in Phoenix. Incentive-sized trout will continue to be included in all remaining trout stockings through mid March, but there will be fewer of these large fish in each load. Still, the 11-12 inch trout that are regularly stocked are as fine a trout as can be found almost anywhere else statewide (with the exception of Lee’s Ferry).


The eight winners of the 2007 Urban Fishing Program Big Fish-of-the-Year were led by a 9.6 pound largemouth bass caught in March by Hector Dorame from Tucson’s Kennedy Lake. Hector caught the 23.5 inch hog on a crappie jig using only 6-pound test line. His fish was just half a pound less that the 2007 statewide record caught from Roosevelt Lake! Who says you have to drive far to find big fish? Three more 2007 records came from the Tucson and Sahuarita areas. Tim Carter fooled an 8.0 pound channel catfish using a worm at Silverbell Lake in November. Andrew Ryan caught and released a 26-inch catfish from Sahuarita Lake in August using anchovies. Also at Sahuarita, Jerald Minnerly used Powerbait to trick a 16-inch rainbow trout and win honors in the catch and release category. However, the largest fish caught in 2007 was a 35-inch white amur caught and released at Red Mountain Lake in Mesa by Steven Schmidt. Steven’s weed-eating carp bit on a chunk of bread, evidence that perhaps fish CAN live on bread alone. The list of 2007 winners is posted on the department’s web site at www.azgfd.gov, type in “big fish” in the search box. Entry forms for your big fish catches can be found in copies of the current Arizona Fishing Regulations booklet or Urban Fishing Program brochure. Records are maintained for “kept” fish and “catch and release” fish categories.

Fishing for trout is good to excellent at most Urban Fishing Program waters. The January 9 annual incentive stocking of bonus sized fish has brought a lot of excitement to anglers over the past few weeks. In addition to numerous trout in the 18-20 inch range, a 23-inch monster weighing 5.3 pounds was caught on a Super Duper lure from Water Ranch Lake in Gilbert. Urban Fishing Program biologists report a whopper in the 7-pound range was stocked at Alvord Lake at Cesar Chavez Park in Phoenix. Anglers using scented dough baits (such as PowerBait), worms fished under a bobber, or small trout lures have been successful. Best times to fish for trout generally are early morning, but some anglers have reported excellent fishing late afternoon. Small spinners such as Rooster Tails and Panther Martins, or spoons such as Super Dupers are also working well for trout. Trout fishing is good to excellent at Green Valley lakes in Payson with PowerBait and small spinners working best.

5 Responses to “Urban Fishing Program Bulletin For the weeks of Jan. 21 – Feb. 03, 2008”

  1. please do not close urban fishing in water ranch lake i been fishing there sence i was 3 years old and i am 18 years old now i love fishing there i now live in norh gilbert and want to go fishing there forever please do not stop urban fishing there its the best lake to go fishing at

  2. We went fishing at Reservation Lake from 6-18 threw 6-22 and between seven guys caught about 100 fish. All the fish were just small stockers, 10 inchers or so. The rainbows were the most acrobatic fish I have ever seen when they were caught, jumping out of the water with back flips and all. That part was a lot of fun. We did see a brown trout eat a baby duck that was a shocker and then later had a local tell us that an entire flock of baby mallards were eaten the week before. So there are still some monster brown trout in the lake. Just need to figure out what they will hit on; we tried every thing, large Rapalas, large spoons, huge spinners and yet the small rainbows were hitting large lures. HELLO, TRY BABY DUCK LURE! LOL

  3. One hundred trout sounds like it ought to be a campfire song – what a haul. Reservation Lake does have huge browns. In fact, the current state record came from there. Early summer, however, is not typically the time to catch them unless you have a four-leaf clover in one hand and a rabbit’s foot dangling from your key chain. However, your best chance will be at first and last light, or possibly at night when the browns get more active. For those of us broiling in the desert sun, the allure of Reservation Lake at 9,000 feet almost in the shade of Mt. Baldy is almost overwhelming.

    Rory Aikens

  4. My husband and I fished Reservation Lake the last week of July and hit our limit in just three hours! Rainbow powerbait & #16 hooks off the bottom. Most were small 10 inches or less but very yummy because the water was still cool. We had a great time watching birds catch fish! We fished Luna lake the weekend before and my husband caught an 18 inch cut throat and a 20 inch rainbow!

  5. how did you get up there with the roads are all closed?

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