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Fishing Report: April 27, 2017

Posted April 27, 2017

See a “The Reel Deal” statewide summary

Central Waters

(Updated April 27; Editor Nick Walter, 623-236-7214)

ROOSEVELT LAKE — (2,125 feet, 70-percent full). Water temperatures high-60s to low-70s during afternoons.

Angler Report:

David M.: Caught some nice crappie and a few yellows April 22 night fishing with minnows.

April 27 report from Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods:

Fishing conditions are good on Roosevelt Lake. The largest number of bass have spawned, although spawning can continue for several more months. Experienced anglers are targeting post-spawn fish as they feed heavily in shallow depths before returning to deeper cooler waters during the summer months. Reaction baits such as jerk-baits, spinner-baits and crank-baits are catching good numbers of bass. A sure sign that fish are transitioning into a summer pattern are the reports of bass being caught on jigs and dropshot worms in 25 to 30 foot depths. The water level is 70% full; the water clarity is good and the temperature is in the high 60s and low 70s.

The crappie spawn is underway on Roosevelt Lake. With the improved water clarity, anglers are reporting seeing many crappie on shallow spawning flats and points. Any small grub on light line will generate a reaction from spawning crappie.

LAKE PLEASANT – (Lake elevation 1,697 feet, 95 % full).

Angler Report:

Dick K.:  I took a friend out on Pleasant on the morning of April 24th to fish stripers. We hit the lake early and caught shad with the cast net and then in the next couple hours put 22 very nice fish in the boat. Most fish were caught in 45-50 feet of water, some while drop-shotting live shad and others while trolling live shad on planer boards over 30-50 feet or water. Pictured is Bob Oliver from Peoria with 19 of the 22 fish that averaged around 3#. In the last 5 trips to Pleasant I have boated and filleted 119 stripers. I share my fillets with a lot of older people who never get to go fishing but enjoy eating fresh fish.


Anglers have reported catching plenty of shad in the Castle Creek area of Lake Pleasant, then trolling shad starting — and ending — in 20 feet of water, fishing shallower and deeper in between.

April 13 report from Barry Worman, moderator of the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page.

Time to strip the old line off the reels, get your lucky hat on, and get spring fishing!

The last month the striper bite as not been ideal and very inconsistent. The water temps really did not climb or maintain a warmer temperature for the month of March.  The water temp at Lake Pleasant is finally staying in the 64-67-degree range.

The females are full of fully developed eggs and the males are leaking.

The last week the bite has really improved. Whereas last month most anglers reported only catching and average of 3-7 fish  daily, that has now increased to 11-30 (or more)  fish during a trip.

Last month live shad seemed to be the only consistent method producing fish on a slow bite.  Lately anglers are reporting frozen anchovies, silver Kastmasters, plastic swimbaits, and top-water lures as producing good results.

I think the next 2-3 weeks will produce moderate-to-good fishing conditions for striper. Northern coves are still recommended for best results.

Anglers are catching fish in 20-48 feet of total water depth and still having success cast-netting shad in 4-8 feet of water.

Recommended swimbait colors would be sexy shad, white, smoking grey, money shot and baits with some chartreuse color in them. The night bite is slowly picking up and night fishing will become more popular moving into future months.  If using anchovies, don’t forget to chum.

Have fun and enjoy the great spring conditions!

BARTLETT LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,797 feet, feet, 99 % full.

Bass fishing continues to pick up. Water clarity remains good. Many are are in 3-12 feet of water. Try throwing spinenrbaits (gold and silver blades), chatterbaits, brush hogs in watermelon or green pumpkin, and white spinnerbaits. See a short video from Fishing with Gary Senft of his on-the-water report from Sunday, April 9.

Bass are all phases of spawn.

Visibility is about 1 foot deep.

Don’t forget the Bartlett Lake Marina is now open. See or contact 480-221-0503 for more information.


Angler Report from Desert Breeze Lake in Chandler:

“Bill P.: Caught this guy (catfish) this morning at Desert Breeze on a nightcrawler. My wife’s kitchen scale said 10 pounds, 1 ounce.”

Angler Report from Riverview Lake in Mesa:

“April 23, evening, 10.65 pound (channel catfish) on cut shad  at Riverview Park.

Also the recently stocked crappie have dispersed through the lake and are doing well. (I have caught a few at multiple locations, when cast-netting for shad. I have been fortunate to have a few 6-inch shad swim under the net. What I find interesting is I have yet to have a bass take a free-swimming shad under a float (day break or evening). I know the bass are there because they show up in my net. Just makes me think there is a lot of food. To pass up such a live offering ?

Last, I let a young boy (under 10) struggle to land a 4-pound cat while his dad captured the moment with his phone. The best being when it finally surfaced.

Thank you for all the work you do, and then taking the time to put out the fishing report.”

Largemouth bass and sunfish have been stocked. See the latest Community fishing news.

Also, see the stocking schedule through the summer.

SAGUARO LAKE – The lake is 1,525 feet (92-percent full).

Many bass are in a post-spawn mode and with some windy weather this weekend, fishing could be tough (like at many Salt River-chain lakes). Top-water action had been picking up with a spell of warmer weather and some anglers were having success with frogs, Pop-r, and Ricos. With a string of predicted 90-degrees temperatures next week, th ssurface action should pick up again. Crappie fishing has slowed.

Try Texas-rigged lizards. Drifting gizzard shad swimbaits have been some bass. Water should be clearing.

One angler had success night-fishing with a wacky-rigged 5-inch watermelon red flake Flick’m Shimmy worms, in 4 to 10 feet of water.

Yellow bass is an option if the largemouth bass are finicky. Try nightcrawlers on dropshot rigs.

CANYON LAKE – Lake level is 1,657 feet (97-percent full.)

Many bass are in a post-spawn mode and with some windy weather this weekend, fishing could be tough (like at many Salt River-chain lakes). Top-water action had been picking up with a spell of warmer weather and some anglers were having success with frogs, Pop-r, and Ricos. With a string of predicted 90-degrees temperatures next week, th ssurface action should pick up again. Crappie fishing has slowed.

Swimmers are cautioned that there have been reported of “swimmer’s itch” at Canyon. See some steps to minimize Swimmer’s Itch at desert lakes.

Some anglers are having luck with Texas-rigged baby brush hogs, as well as assorted jerkbaits, top-water lures and jigs, Try fishing in 2-15 feet of water.

Canyon is the land of lunkers when it comes to bass. For better numbers, try Bartlett or Saguaro.

A new fishing pier is under construction in the Boulder Creek Recreation Area. This pier serves as excellent structure for sunfish.

Some anglers have had success throwing dropshot Roboworms in morning dawn near cattails in 10-20 feet of water.

APACHE LAKE – Lake elevation is 1,913 feet (96-percent full).

Water temperature Wednesday, April 12 was an average of 63 degrees and bass are spawning — most  are in less than 10 feet of water. Sight-fishing still is difficult as water clarity remains minimal.

Bass are in all phases of spawn so bring a variety of baits. Spinners have been successful with smallmouth bass. Crankbaits and jigs also have been effective.

Try reaction baits in the morning and during afternoons, jigs or dropshots. Not a bad time to drift along and throw crankbaits or spiinnerbaits.

Various jigs also can be effective – try crawdad imitations. Points, islands and rocky structures tend to hold the majority of largemouth bass – keep moving.

Walleye fishing could be decent at first and last light using nightcrawler rigs, or jigs tipped with a worm. Apache is also full of some really nice yellow bass. Try gold KastMasters or yellow/gold Rooster Tails.

HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is 2,003 feet (52-percent full).

When the lake is full, there are a lot of spawning fish. No new reports.

LOWER SALT RIVER – On Thursday afternoon, the river was flowing at 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain. Was being stocked with trout last week. No new reports of success.

Creeks below the Mogollon Rim
Tonto Creek, East Verde River and Canyon Creek were stocked with trout Friday, April 7.

Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods said  trout fishing in Rim Country streams is excellent. The water levels are back to normal flows so fly angers are reporting dry flies as the go-to bait. Haigler Creek is producing excellent fishing experiences for anglers of all skill levels.

Mogollon Rim and White Mountains

Angler Report:

(Updated April 25, Editor Sally Petre 928-532-2307)

A recent catch of rainbow trout from Willow Springs Lake.



Recommended Waters to Fish

Spring fishing is here!  Willow Springs, Woods Canyon, Black Canyon, Hulsey, Show Low, Woodland, the Greer Lakes and Patterson Ponds are all being stocked this week with rainbow trout!  Fishing is good at Becker Lake, Carnero Lake, Crescent, and River Reservoir, Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes. Woods Canyon Lake and Willow Springs will be stocked with tiger trout for the first time this year!  All roads to Big Lake are open!

Questions about road closures and camping should be directed toward the Forest Service.





*All roads should be open.  Questions about roads and campground opening should be directed towards the Forest Service.    

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good.  Fish were stocked last week. Roads are open.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake will be stocked this week with trout.  The lake is full and has a new boat ramp. Accessible on Forest Road 86.  Try PowerBait for rainbow trout.  Recent survey found 16-inch holdover rainbow trout and many large >3 lb largemouth bass.  Use flashy lures for largemouth bass.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair for large wild brown trout. Recent survey showed few rainbow trout, but some large brown trout.  Catchable rainbow trout were stocked last week.  All roads are open.  Remember Chevelon Lake is a hike-in lake.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good/fair for carryover rainbow trout and tiger trout as well as freshly stocked rainbow trout.  Try green PowerBait with garlic, worms, or roostertails.   Tiger trout will be stocked this week for the first time this year.  Try using lures.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is excellent/good. Store and boat rentals are open!  Campgrounds won’t open until May. A recent survey found lots of rainbow and tiger trout winter carryover averaging around 11-12 inches.  Rainbow trout will be stocked this week on top of these.  We saw full stringers before it was even stocked!  Fish are hungry and biting hooks!  Try roostertails with green or copper Kastmasters.  Tiger Trout will be stocked this week for the first time this year.



FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout and bass! This was stocked last week.  Carryover rainbow trout are being caught. The lake is full for the first time in several years.  Fishing pier and platforms are accessible!  Large catfish were found in the shallow southern portion during a recent fish population survey.

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout and bass!  This lake was stocked last week.  Lake is full. Try your luck for largemouth bass with lures.  Or try hanging a worm in the rocks for green sunfish or on the bottom for bullhead or catfish!

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is good for stocked rainbow trout! This lake was stocked earlier this month!  The lake is full.

SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is good for stocked (12”+) rainbow trout and bass!  The lake will be stocked this week!  An almost 7lb smallmouth bass (almost state record) was recently caught!  The lake is nearly full. Holdover rainbow trout and lots of cutthroat trout should be fishing well. The road over the dam is now open.  There is a new restroom and fish cleaning station that will be usable once the electricity is connected.  Additional facilities improvements at Show Low Lake will be coming soon.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is good.  Fish will be stocked this week!  The lake is full. Fishing dock is inaccessible.  Please be patient while the town of Pinetop-Lakeside fixes this.

PATTERSON PONDS – Fishing is good!  This is a community fishing water in St. John’s.  A regular fishing license or a community fishing license is required to fish here.  Channel catfish and sunfish fishing good, they will be stocked this week!.  The pond daily bag limits in community fishing waters (2 trout; 2 catfish; 5 sunfish) apply.



* Highways 261 and 273 roads are OPEN.  All lakes are open and accessible.  Contact the Forest Service with questions about road closures and camping. 

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is excellent/good.  Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release only for trout, artificial fly and lure only; single barbless hooks only. No bait.  No trout may be kept.  Many large, thick rainbow trout are being caught nymph fishing under a strike indicator at 8-10 feet.  Tiger trout are also being caught and an application for state catch-and-release record for tiger trout at Becker Lake was recently submitted.  The lake is full.  Our Becker Lake hosts are back, be sure to ask them what is biting and welcome them back!

BIG LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake is ice free.  Highways 261 and 273 are OPEN.  Try worms.

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is excellent/good.  The lake is ice free.  The route to the lake by way of Forest Road 117 is open.   Fish surveys have not yet been conducted, but winter limnological surveys show that there should be no winterkill.  Tiger trout are being caught and an application for state catch-and-keep record for tiger trout recently submitted.  The lake is nearly full! Fish are biting on black woolly buggers and nymphs.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair for trout, but fair for sunfish, bullheads, and bass.  Try fishing near the dam for trout, they were stocked at that boat ramp.  Stocking in May will be at the upper end.

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake was stocked in early March with trout and again last week!

CRESCENT LAKE – The lake is ice free and accessible.  Highways 261 and 273 are OPEN.  Winter limnological surveys showed some areas under the ice with high pH levels and other areas with low oxygen, so there was a chance of a partial fish kill, however, fish population survey show good holdover numbers on brook trout and nice healthy rainbow trout (16in).  We have stocked this lake heavily this year with more brook trout and rainbow trout.  Go try out your luck before you even hit Big Lake!

GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – Fishing is excellent/good at all three lakes.  They will be stocked this week!  Large holdover brown trout and rainbow trout are being caught in River and Tunnel.

HULSEY LAKE – Fishing is good for holdover and stocked rainbow trout. Fish will be stocked this week.  A recent fish survey found holdover rainbows up to 18 inches.  Fish are being caught on any kind of PowerBait.

LEE VALLEY LAKE – Fishing is poor.  Few fish remain here, although we are not predicting a winterkill, since it was not stocked last year.  Highways 261 and 273 are OPEN.

LUNA LAKE –Fishing is fair to good.  The lake is full and has no ice.  Rainbow trout of all sizes are being caught, including some large fish. Fishing is not fast, but large rainbow trout are consistently being caught on worms.  The Friends of Luna Lake Tournament big fish was just less than 20 inches!

LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open. Fishing is fair for bass, walleye, carp and catfish. Use corn or nightcrawlers for carp and catfish.

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is good.  The lake is full and spilling.  Holdover rainbow trout are being caught on PowerBait.   The lake will not be stocked until it stops spilling.



EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair for wild brown trout.  Moderate flows from snow melt.  The East Fork is accessible from Alpine.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is poor.  The stream is flowing high and turbid from snow melt.

SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is poor.  The road over the dam at Show Low Lake is now open, but the stream has not yet been stocked.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is fair. A protozoan infection called “Ich” hit rainbow trout in Silver Creek in October, causing significant stress, some mortalities of trout, and poor fishing, however, that bout of infection has passed.  Fishing is good in the upper section, but poor to fair in the lower section where more of the mortalities occurred. Current regulations are catch-and-keep with bait and 6 trout daily limit apply. The upper section is closed to fishing.  Harvest of trout in the lower section during the first week of April should be fair, but anglers should be aware that it will not be as great as it was last year.

SHEEPS CROSSING/LCR – Inaccessible.  Highway 273 is still closed for the winter.  Not stocked last year or this year.

Central Mountains

Lower Lake Mary.

(Editor Chuck Benedict, 928-214-1244)

New reports:

(These are recommended fishing waters. Those not listed either are considered poor or there have been no reports. Been fishing? Please sense your reports to

Williams Area Lakes

All of the lakes are full.  Since all of the lakes are full this year we don’t have enough trout to stock all of the lakes (if you don’t stock enough fish in a lake folks can’t catch them).  This year we are only planning on stocking Kaibab Lake and Dogtown Lake with Rainbow Trout.     We do plan on stocking Channel Catfish in City Reservoir in the late Spring, but we don’t have a date set.

Dogtown Lake

Dogtown Lake was stocked with about 5700 catchable (10 inch) so far this year.  The hatchery also be stocked 4700 smaller (6 inch) Rainbow Trout 2 weeks ago.  The smaller fish needed to be moved from the hatchery to reduce crowding and allow other fish to grow up to size faster.  Dogtown is one of the few lakes in the Region in the area that produces enough food to grow these smaller fish.

We are starting to see reports of folks catching some nice size holdover fish trolling with lures on the lake.  One of the Trout posted on a blog looked to be over 20 inches.  I haven’t heard any report of folks catching fish on bait yet.

Kaibab Lake 

About 8,600 Rainbow Trout have been stocked this year.  I haven’t heard any reports from anglers about anyone catching fish.  Stocked this week

Cataract Lake

There was a report posted on a fishing blog of an angler catching some trout on Cataract.  Looking at the pictures posted it looks like some of the smaller fish that were stocked last fall to make room at the hatcheries have survived and grown big enough for folks to catch.  It appeared the fish were caught on a spinner.

Santa Fe and City Reservoirs

No reports but both of these lakes were stocked at the same time last fall as Cataract with the smaller Rainbow Trout so you may be able to catch trout on these lakes.

Flagstaff Area Lakes

Much like the Williams area lakes most of the lakes in the Flagstaff area are full and spilling.  Lower Lake Mary isn’t spilling, but it has more water in it than any year since 2010.  Again just like in the Williams area we don’t have enough fish to stock every lake this year so only a few lakes will be stocked in the Flagstaff area.  Ashurst Lake, Lower Lake Mary, and Frances Short Pond will be stocked with trout this year.

Ashurst Lake 

Ashurst  is full!!  The road is open and we have stocked about 12,000 Rainbow Trout in the lake along with about 5,000 smaller Brown trout.   The water in the lake is relatively clear so I would try fishing with lures for the fresh stockers.   With the low water level of the lake prior to the spring runoff I don’t think many fish survived the winter. Stocked this week

Frances Short Pond

Frances Short pond was stocked last week and will be stocked this week. This morning Folks were catching fish on pistol petes, white roostertails and green powerbait.  Stocked last week, scheduled to be stocked this week.

Lower Lake Mary

Lower Lake Mary has had about 22,000 larger (10 + inch) Rainbow Trout stocked in the last couple of weeks along with about 12,000 smaller (6-8 inch) Rainbow Trout.  The stockings of Rainbow Trout contained some really nice trout with one being measured at about 18 inches.    Fishing is starting to pick up a little bit with some fish being caught on powerbait.  I had a report from a fly angler who was catching some nice size trout on leach patterns.  Scheduled to be stocked this week.

Kinnikinick Lake

The road is open.

Upper Lake Mary

A new state record Channel Catfish was caught on an anchovy 3/26.  The fish was 39.5 inches long and weighed 33.36 lbs.  The person who caught the fish also told us some of his friends have been catching some nice Northern Pike on anchovies.  We have had some recent reports of Northern Pike being caught

Other Waters

Blueridge Reservoir (CC Cragin) will not be stocked this year.  We will be stocking Knoll Lake.

Huffer Tank and Mormon Lodge Pond have been stocked.



Colorado River Waters

New Reports:

(These are recommended fishing waters. Those not listed either are considered poor or there have been no reports. Been fishing? Please sense your reports to

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM — Cade and his grandpa Don show off their stringer of rainbow trout caught using night crawlers at Rotary Park. Cade was visiting from California and was able to spend some quality time with grandpa. Further down river by Needles Steve caught his stripers, in the 2 pound range, from shore using anchovies. ”

LYNX LAKE — Michael is enjoying the recently stocked Brown trout at Lynx Lake.  He caught all his trout on 1.5-inch crappie tubes on the Southern shore of the lake. He said they were great fighters for their size and he was averaging 4-6 hits on every cast!

WILLOW BEACH — Billy G. had another successful trip to Willow Beach with a 12-pound striper.  He caught six (mostly 2-3 pound stripers) on the day with the one big fish.  He was using the Bomber Long A trout pattern (see attached picture).

LAKE MOHAVE — Striper fishing has slowed, but by the dam shore fishing is producing some nice fish.  Anchovies are the bait of choice for these fish.

LAKE MEAD — Water temperature 68 degrees. One angler from the Arizona Striper Fishing Facebook page reported, ” fishing the Overton Arm north of Stewart’s Point. Water was stained a heavy green but not brown. Water temp was 68 degrees and we anchored in 60′ of water. Caught 8 stripers between 16-18″ all fat and healthy. We lost two at the boat side (kids) and released a dink and a catfish.

We deployed our 48″ Alumiglo light and I am pretty sure that planes overhead were trying to figure out what that green glow was in the lake. No shad were drawn into the light but it sure is bright. I think it is still too early for the shad to come in to the light.

We used a drop shot setup on two rods. We rigged the other two with 1/4 oz or 1/8 oz slide sinkers then a #10 crane swivel. Below the swivel we used a 3-4′ floroclear leader with a 1/0 octopus hook. We used 1/3 of an anchovie for bait and found that the heads stay on best. We tried to match the depth of schools as they travelled through on the sonar.

We found that the drop shot rigs were not as effective as the other setup so we changed them over after a couple hours. I suspect this is because we were not fishing the bottom. All in all a great family evening.”

Ed caught a nice smallmouth bass on using a tube bait.  These baits come in a variety of colors so you can mimic what the bass are feeding at the time. The bite is getting hotter on both Mead and Lake Mohave.  Jack caught a monster 48-pound, 13-ounce  striper in about 10 feet of water in the flats across from South Cove. He also caught another lunker on the fishing trip.


Lake Powell and Lees Ferry


“Bass spawning, stripers watching”

Water temperatures are now up into the spawning zone. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and crappie are on beds now. This is the first spawn and we can expect the nest guardians to spawn perhaps 2-3 more times before mid May.  Inflow continues to increase the lake level which is now officially above 3600 MSL.  Expect 40 more feet of elevation increase. Make sure to check the boat tie lines each morning if camping on the lake.  Weather is clear with no rain expected for two weeks but there will be some wind in the evenings and overnight.

See the full April 19 report from Wayne Gustaveson (

LEES FERRY – See the full March 21 fishing report from Lees Ferry Anglers.


Southwestern Waters


Angler Report:

Don M.:  … 16 channel catfish that my friend Linda Kaufman caught at Alamo Lake recently.  We caught these in two hours in the upper end of the lake on nightcrawlers on 6 feet of water.

Bass and crappie fishing is tough!

March 29 report from Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park:

Once again you’rre not missing much out here as far as fishing goes.  The lake is still messed up, and looks like a milkshake.  A few bass are being caught flipping along the shorelines.  I would throw a brush hog or something like that.  We had a fairly large tournament here this last weekend and 14 pounds won it. That’s not great, but not bad either.  Crappie fishing is terrible.  Maybe one crappie being caught in a day. Even cat fishing has slowed way down. High winds and ca old front this week are not helping anything either. So, if were me I would hold off for another couple of weeks and see what happens. Both ramps are open.   That’s all I got. — Mark

LAKE HAVASU – A 5-pound redear sunfish was just caught. Typically anglers can catch big redear with nightcrawlers on dropshot rigs. See the Angler Reports.

Angler Nick S. reported: “Last week (week of April 1) I went to Havasu for three days and had a lot of success throwing a dropshot rig. We caught three and lost a bunch more, but all the fish seemed to be up shallow in kind of a pre-spawn phase. We did see some beds but it still seemed a little early for the bass to be spawning. The fish we did catch were on a dropshot rig, fishing a morning dawn Roboworm with a chartreuse tip. The fish you see below were all caught on the reef, right next to Sand Point Marina. The smallmouth was about a pound and a half, the smaller largemouth was 5.6 pounds and the big largemouth was every bit of eight. We had a great time fishing the river and I highly recommend anglers take the opportunity to fish there before it gets too hot. Happy fishing!

Send your reports to

PARKER STRIP – No report.

YUMA AREA PONDS –  Council Avenue (Somerton), Yuma West Wetlands, Fortuna Pond, and Redondo Pond were all stocked with channel catfish and bluegill Wednesday, April 26.  See the stocking:

COLORADO RIVER (between Picacho State Park and Imperial Dam, including backwaters and Martinez Lake) – No report.

MARTINEZ LAKE — No report. This tends to be one of the top early-bird bass lakes.

Southern Waters

New report:

ROSE CANYON LAKE – Andrew A. Fished sunrise to 11 a.m. before the lake closed due to the fire on Mt. Lemmon. Caught trout steadily the whole morning with trout-colored rooster tails. A friend and I took our limit. The lake is closed to vehicle access for the winter.  Anglers can still access the lake by foot.

Angler Report:

Rod’s April 10 Angler Report from Sahurita Lake:

Good Evening, all,

I figured if I only had a few hours in the afternoon with the anticipated breeze I would go and visit Sahuarita Lake and do some casting and catching.  Hey the walking exercise was beneficial to me  too.  Lots of other anglers and families out there enjoying the wonderful AZ spring weather.  The temperature was mild and the slight breeze sometimes worked in getting the light lures out there.

I managed to catch four largemouth bass within the first hour of casting.  Bass number one was a welcome surprise after switching from casting a grub to a short 3-inch worm.  Bass number two was quite the gift.  After resetting the worm back on the hook from bass one, I tossed the bait back into the water and set the pole down while I put my pliers back into my backpack.  I happen to notice the rod tip was bouncing, so I set the backpack down and tended to bass number two.  A dead stick bass, a theme that worked most of the day.   Low and slow along the bottom was the ticket.

The attached photos are of bass number four.  This was quite the surprise as it hit shortly after making a long cast out towards mid-cove.  After the bait settled on the ground I only got one short drag before there was a thump on the line with rapidly growing tension.  As this was happening there was a family walking by with a young one that stepped near me to watch what was going on.  Oh gee, watch the where you sweep set!  This is not an issue when I’m on the water but on shore there are pedestrians about.  OH MY GOODNESS, the sweep set was met with a heavy load on the 4 lb mono and the drag slipping under the load.   Then things really got interesting as the fish was not happy with me.  Line peeled with the drag changing to a higher pitch based on the strength of the surge.  The family was joined by another and soon I had more than a dozen folks cheering me on.  The sound of the drag peeling was getting everyone excited to see just what was on the other end.

“Bring it in!  Oh that is a BIG ONE!  Don’t loose it!” —  all comments from the well wishers watching me working the large bass closer to shore. As we all got a good look at it, there were two large remaining surges.  Fortunately for me, Sahaurita Lake is a manmade lake with groomed edges and very few snags.  The hard part is there is more than 1.5 feet down to the water level so it is a big stoop to reach down for the large fish as I’m not going to try and host it on the light line.

The fish had another large gauge hook in the gullet, but it was too far in to do anything about so it broke someone else off before having a go at my small 3-inch imitation worm.  My small gauge hook was nicely positioned near the front roof of the mouth and lifted out easily as I crimped the barb to make things easier to deal with.  A couple of quick photos and the fish returned nicely to the deep dark water.

I apologize for the quality of the selfie but I was motivated to return the fish as soon as possible to the water so there was no real opportunity to setup a proper photo session.

The rest of the day was spent strolling about the lake perimeter picking up small bass here and there.  I did manage to tie into another large bass that appeared more than 2 pounds.  At least that was the impression I got as the fish cleared the water just before I could get a hold of it.  Hey, short distance release works too! Less slime on the finger.  A great spring afternoon of casting and catching.  It is a great time to get out there and enjoy.



(Updated Feb. 13; Editor Don Mitchell, 520-388-4451)

ARIVACA LAKE – Current lake level is 2.97 below the spillway.  Launching conditions are good.  No recent reports of success. Gasoline engines are restricted to 10 hp or less and boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.

The pond is 1.14 feet below the spillway with no reports of launching issues.  Trout stocking is ongoing.  The schedule can be found here. Anglers continue to report the fishing to be fair.  Visitors are reminded that it is illegal to obstruct the use of the boat ramp by anglers trying to launch the boats.  No parking, standing, sitting, swimming or fishing is allowed on the boat ramp.  For lake information call (928) 485-9430.

PATAGONIA — The lake is full and no reported launching problems. Trout stockings are ongoing.  Find the schedule here.  No recent reports of success.

PARKER CANYON — See a recent Angler Report. The lake is at 2.82 feet below the spillway and there are no problems with launching.  Trout stocking is ongoing.  For future stockings check the schedule here.  The bag limit on white amurs is one fish over 30 inches in length.  Anglers are asked to immediately release any smaller amurs that they may catch unharmed.  Anglers can also contact the Store at the lake for updates on fishing at (520) 455-5847.   Gasoline engines are restricted to 10 hp or less and boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.

The lake is full and water quality problems have improved and trout stocking is underway finally.  The winter trout schedule can be found here. As the weather warms anglers are reminded of the recent change in the largemouth bass regulations at this lake.  For details of those changes please see the current fishing regulations here: 2017 Fishing Regulations. Additionally all mercury advisories against the eating of warmwater fish caught at Pena Blanca Lake remains in effect.  Future testing will determine if and when these advisories will be lifted. Gasoline engines are restricted to 10 hp or less and boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.

RIGGS FLAT LAKE – This lake is closed for the winter.

ROPER LAKE — The lake is full.  No recent reports have been received from this location.  Find the winter trout stocking schedule here.  For lake information contact Roper Lake State Park at (928) 428-6760.  Sunfish live or dead is not legal bait at this lake.