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Fishing Report: March 17, 2017

Posted March 17, 2017

 See the statewide reports

CENTRAL WATERS

(Updated March 17, Editor Nick Walter, 623-236-7214)

ROOSEVELT LAKE — (2,119 feet, 65-percent full).

March 15 report from Jim Goughnor of Rim Country Custom Rods:

Spring fishing continues to improve by the day on Roosevelt and Apache Lakes. The stable weather and sunshine have pushed the water temperature above the 60-degree mark and bass are moving onto spawning flats and shallows. The water flowing into the Roosevelt Lake has returned to normal flow rates for this time of year and the clarity of the water is improving albeit gradually each day. The recent rain and snow accumulations have increased the lake level to 65% full.

For the next several weeks, many bass will be located in shallow water, 25 foot deep or less. Large quantities of pre-spawn bass are being caught on a variety of reaction baits including lipless crank-baits, Fluke-style baits, paddle-tail swimbaits, mid to shallow running crank-baits, chatter-baits and spinner-baits. Slower action baits such as a Roboworm, Senko and jigs are being reported as successful during the afternoon.

With the bass spawn underway in big numbers, it’s exciting to “sight-fish” for bass. The male bass will be closest to the bed, aggressively protecting the eggs. The female bass will remain near the bed for a few hours or a day before moving on to spawn again or return to the security of deeper water. During the spawning season, it’s important to practice CPR, catch-photograph-release. Releasing bass so they can continue with the natural spawning process ensures the quality and quantity of the fish in the lake.

Crappie anglers continue to troll along shorelines and are reporting improved fishing conditions. The crappie spawn is probably still a few weeks away when the water temperature reaches closer to 65 degrees. However, look for male crappie, which turn a gloss black and emerald green spotted color during the spawn, as they move into shallow water searching for spawning locations. Ideal spawning crappie locations are under submerged logs, at the base of trees, ledges, boulders, and drop-offs. Always look for the darkest shaded areas. Those dark spots are ideal locations for crappie to spawn. Even if you can’t see into the darkest areas, they are always worth a cast or two. Male crappie are extremely aggressive during the spawn and a small 1/4 oz. jig-head hook and a small grub-tail bait dropped onto a bedding location will definitely get an immediate reaction. When the females move onto the spawning area, crappie fishing is even more exciting.

Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.

LAKE PLEASANT – (Lake elevation 1,697 feet, 94 % full).

Motorized access to the upper arm of the Agua Fria River at Lake Pleasant will again be available thanks to a special development project of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Boating Access Program.  Through the cooperative efforts of the Department, the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, this unique boating and fishing opportunity will be available each Friday through Sunday throughout the spring, beginning Friday, March 24.  Operating hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and regular park entry fees apply (exact change required). See more information.

Known by its formal name as the Agua Fria Conservation Area, it has historically been a spring time fishing hot spot for white, striped and largemouth bass, but is now also recognized as one of the premier paddlecraft waters in Arizona.  With incredible views, calm waters and abundant wildlife, it is truly a must-see destination, and a great reason to get your watercraft back on the water.

With nights becoming increasingly more comfortable, moon phase consideration becomes important for anglers who want to catch striped bass at night. Pay close attention to a moon phase calendar.

Fish the darkest nights, like during a new moon. Submersible lights attract the plankton-shad-sport fish combination and anglers will be competing with brighter moons.

The Arizona Fishing Guides reported, “Lake Pleasant is fishing a little tougher than normal this time of year. The stripers are there along with the largemouth but seem to be in that transition period of coming out of the deep water and moving into the shallower water. These fish can be caught on long points and channel breaks.”

Catfishing can be decent using dead shad fished on the bottom with hot dogs, chicken liver, or anchovies. Some anglers will chum a cove overnight with corn and return to fish the same cove with corn – this can be an effective tactic for catching carp and catfish.

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

See which recreation sites are open.

Bass fishing remains tough but will quickly pick up. On Wednesday morning, the lake was white-capping and the water is still dirty. Shad are spread out and had moved into 5-15 feet of water.

Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, fished from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day and said fishing was difficult but fish were nice-sized and in 3-10 feet of water. Best bets were brush hogs and Texas-rigged lizards.

Look for bass to be following shad, and so the bass have not been in the same location from one day to another. In the morning, fish dropshots, Texas rigs, jigs, spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Once the sun comes up, fish in 20-30 feet of water over points, humps, reefs, etc.

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

COMMUNITY FISHING WATERS — 
The final scheduled trout stockings of the winter season have taken place.  Catfish will return to Community waters  the week of March 20. See the latest Community news.

SAGUARO LAKE –
The lake is 1,524 feet (93-percent full). . Saguaro Lake levels  have risen 7 peecent during the past week. The levels had decreased to accommodate maintenance at Mormon Flat Dam.

The largemouth bass spawn was already in full swing by Monday, March 6. Try Texas-rigged lizards. Drifting gizzard shad swimbaits have been some bass.

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.)  The final rainbow trout stockings of the winter season took place a month ago. Fishing likely is pretty difficult – but 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).

Spinners have been successful with smallmouth bass. Anglers might also consider rip baits.

Try reaction baits in the morning and during afternoons, jigs or dropshots. Not a bad time to drift along and throw crankbaits or spiinnerbaits. Apache Lake’s final schedule trout stocking of the winter season was 3 weeks ago.

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 2,024 feet (97-percent full).

When the lake is full, there are a lot of spawning fish.

LOWER SALT RIVER – On Wednesday morning the river was flowing at 7 cfs out of Stewart Mountain. Has been stocked with trout. No new reports of success.

Creeks below the Mogollon Rim
Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods previously reported trout fishing in Rim Country streams is also improving as the water gets back to more normal flows. The snow melt lowers the water temperature in the streams which makes the trout even more active.

 

COLORADO RIVER

New Reports:

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.
(Editor Gregg Cummins, updated Feb. 24)

Important notice: With the 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/.

LAKE MEAD – The current elevation is 1089 feet above msl. The National Park Service has been working to improve conditions at South Cove launch ramp, and latest report is that 4×4 is not needed to launch/retrieve boats. Be sure to check out launch ramp area prior to launching.  Be careful boating because of low water level, many new islands and near surface rocks have appeared. The largemouth bass bite is slowing with the cold weather. Night crawlers were the bait for the channel catfish. The striper bite is steady on Lake Mead. Fishing the boils with top water baits is probably your best type of lure.  Cut anchovies are still the bait of choice for stripers when anchored at night.

Check the moon phases before you go –the last new moon was January 27th.  The next new moon will be February 26th.  Dark nights work best when fishing under light.  Fishing for stripers in 40 plus feet of water will normally find the larger fish.  If they are not taking the anchovies try lures and see if you can get them to bite.  If you can locate the shad, the stripers are not far behind.  Trolling usually works best in areas where shad are found and best done in the early mornings and evenings.

LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level is currently 643 feet above msl.  The fishing dock at Katherine’s Landing can produced some nice fish.  The striper bite has returned according to reports. Down deep by the dam and above the power lines are reported as the hottest spots. Lures that mimic trout are working for stripers as well as the old tried and true anchovies. Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Check the moon phases before you go – the last new moon was January 27th.  The next new moon will be February 26th.  Cut anchovies usually work the best for stripers at night.

Biologists from both Arizona Game and Fish Department and Nevada Division of Wildlife with the help of volunteers, National Park Service, and Bureau of Reclamation personnel have continued to install fish habitat in Carp Cove, Box Cove, Shoshone, Princess and Arrowhead.  Prospect Cove (1st cove south of Princess Launch Ramp) is the latest addition on the Arizona side of the lake to get habitat deployed. Fish habitat consists of PVC structures, tamarisk bundles and a new type of habitat we call poly shrubs.   The largemouth, smallmouth, bluegill and catfish are really utilizing the new structures.  Additional habitat will be added at several locations over the next two years.  These structures are fish magnets.

There is a wheelchair accessible fishing pier just south of the main launch ramp at Katherine’s Landing. If you fish Mohave and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW BEACH –
Try spinner baits along with cut anchovies for stripers. Trout are scheduled to be stocked the first week of February.  If you fish Willow beach and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM- Trout stocking has begun and the latest stocking was the week of February 12th. The next stocking is tentatively scheduled for the week of March 1st.  The stocking locations are at Davis Camp and Community Park. The best bait is reported to be yellow and orange power bait and of course night crawlers.  Try small spinner baits if the power baits are not working. Try swim baits for stripers, especially ones that look like trout. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.  Many thanks to Rusty from the Riviera Marina for his fishing reports.

TOPOCK GORGE – Use swim baits and pencil poppers if anchovies aren’t working.  Stripers are being taken and are ranging between 1-4 pounds.

TOPOCK MARSH – The marsh will be closed until March 6th due to U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service management actions. 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.

VERDE VALLEY

DEAD HORSE RANCH STATE PARK – Trout were stocked the week of February 6th and are tentatively scheduled for the week of March 6th.  Bring a variety of baits just in case the fish aren’t biting.  Try small spinners or spoons, Powerbait, night crawlers or any other bait.  Bass bite has slowed.  If you fish Dead Horse please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Trout were last stocked the week of February 6th and are tentatively scheduled for the week of February 27th. The smallmouth bass and catfish bite has dropped to poor but the bass that are caught are on the small side and you can keep all you catch.  Bring a variety of bait so you can change if the bite is absent.

PRESCOTT AREA

FAIN LAKE — Park is open and fish were stocked February 13th and are tentatively scheduled for the week of March 6th.  Reports are that the fish are biting but bring a variety of bait.

GOLDWATER LAKE — Goldwater was stocked the week of February 6th. The next stocking is tentatively scheduled for the week of March 6th. Try several colors of power bait and power eggs and if you don’t get bites try night crawlers or small spinners. They are a great option if you are not getting bites with other baits. Jonathan reports that he has success using orange and yellow power bait eggs on about a 12 to 18 inch leader.  Small spinners work very well also.  Michael reports that 1½ inch Crappie Tubes & Acme Castmasters lures work very well on the trout.  This is the second time he has reported method in the last couple weeks.

If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

GRANITE BASIN LAKE – Bite has been slow to nonexistent with the cold water and air.  If you fish Granite Basin Lake and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

LYNX LAKE –
The latest rainbow trout stocking was January 30th. Catchable Brown Trout were stocked September 6th and catfish were stocked the week of September 22nd. Change baits if you are not having any luck and move down the shore a few hundred feet. Rob reports that the morning bite is best and limits can be caught in the 20 degree air temps. Later in the morning the trout move to the 14-35 feet in depth. Try yellow colored power bait or power eggs for trout if the spinners don’t work. The gold colored Super Duper is a distant second. Night crawlers are always good bait that can work on most fish.

Lynx also can be an exciting place to fish for carp.  Common carp are very strong fighters and will provide excellent table fair.  A quick search on the internet will produce tasty recipes for these robust fish.  Corn and an assortment of other baits will attract these fish.  Lynx can be difficult to fish, if you are not catching anything try moving to a new spot.

MINGUS LAKE –
Trout were last stocked the week of October 17th. The best bait is white or pink Powerbait, fished under a bobber or a spinner with a silver blade are doing well. The gate will be locked soon, with an anticipated mid-December locking.  The lake is iced over according to reports so be careful if you fish there.

Someone illegally stocked yellow bullhead into Mingus several years ago. These fish compete directly with the trout and keep growth rates very low. If you witness anyone, anywhere, moving fish like bass, bluegill, catfish and stocking them, please report it to our Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700.  Illegal stockings cost YOU money!

WATSON –
Trout were stocked January 9th and again on January 30th. Bring night crawlers if your other baits are not working. Michael, using 1.5 inch crappie tubes, reports large rainbow trout that are putting up a great fight.

If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR –
No recent reports. If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

Central Mountains

Lower Lake Mary was stocked with trout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Williams area lakes

All of the lakes are full and most are still spilling over.  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.  As soon as the lakes stop spilling we will start stocking Kaibab and Dogtown.   We do plan on stocking Channel Catfish in City Reservoir in the late Spring, but we don’t have a date set.

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 closed and the lake hasn’t been stocked yet.  I don’t think there were many fish that survived the low water levels in the lake over the winter so fishing is probably really slow right now.

Frances Short Pond

So far Frances Short pond has been stocked with about 700 Rainbow Trout with more scheduled to be stocked this week.  Folks have been catching fish using flies and lures.  Some have also been caught using corn and worms.  The last load of Trout stocked contained some larger fish with some being over 14 inches.

Lower Lake Mary

Lower lake Mary has had about 9,000 larger (10 + inch) Rainbow Trout stocked in the last week along with about 8600 smaller (6-8 inch) Rainbow Trout.  The recent stocking of Rainbow Trout contained some really nice trout with one being measured at about 18 inches.     Folks yesterday were catching trout on flies and small lures.  Some were also being caught on PowerBait.  More stockings are on the way for Lower Lake Mary.

Kinnikinick Lake

The road is closed. 

Other Waters

Blueridge Reservoir (CC Cragin) will not be stocked this year.  We will be stocking Knoll Lake, Huffer Tank and Mormon Lodge Pond later on in the year.

Mogollon Rim and White Mountains

Fishing is good at Concho Lake, Silver Creek, and Becker Lake.  Silver Creek is in the catch-and-release season, where in October there was  a parasite outbreak — but fishing is now good.  Concho Lake was stocked the week of March 8.  Becker Lake is catch and release as well, but fishing for large rainbows and tiger trout is good.  

Anglers fish from a pier Friday, March 10 at Becker Lake. George Andrejko/AZGFD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a chart showing an overview of fishing ratings, followed by a look at each lake along with some other photos from Friday around this scenic, fishing heaven:

Mogollon Rim lakes

*Skim ice may be present, use caution.  Ice coverage is unpredictable with warm days and cold nights. Forest Road 300 (Rim Road) to Woods Canyon Lake and Bear Canyon Lake is closed for the winter.

Snow and snow melt by Young Rd. of Highway 260 on Friday, March 10. George Andrejko/AZGFD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEAR CANYON LAKE – Inaccessible.  Forest Road 300 (the Rim Road) is closed for the winter as of Jan. 5.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is poor.  Try crankbaits for bass.  Accessible on Forest Road 86.  Road may be muddy and have snow on it but is accessible.

CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is fair for large wild brown trout and rainbow trout. Forest Road 504 from the north is open.

WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is fair to poor for stocked rainbow trout and tiger trout.  The gate to Willow Springs Lake is closed (the boat ramp is inaccessible), however the road to Sardine Point is open but has snow on it.  The lake’s main body is open; however the fingers of the lake are snow and ice-covered.  Temperatures are freezing.  Ice is thin and unsafe.

WOODS CANYON LAKE – Inaccessible.  Forest Road 300 (the Rim Road) is closed.  Ice is thin and unsafe.  There is some open water.  You can walk in.

Pinetop/Show Low/St. Johns lakes

*Skim ice may be present, use caution.  Ice coverage is unpredictable with warm days and cold nights.

A family fishes Patterson Ponds Thursday, March 9 in St. Johns. George Andrejko/AZGFD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair.  No ice.  Rainbow trout are being caught. The lake is full.  Fishing pier and platforms are accessible!  Northern pike should be congregating to spawn this time of year, try throwing Rapala lures or streamers in shallow coves.  Northern pike spawn and congregate in weedy shallow coves. Try crankbaits for bass.

Blake Frost with a northern pike at Rainbow Lake — her second fish ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to poor.  Lake is full and spilling no ice.  We are doing northern pike removals, so beware of gill nets during the day.  We have caught some bass, many 17-inch catfish, lots of northern pike and even one 16-inch rainbow trout!  Northern pike are congregating to spawn to shallow weedy coves.  Try your luck, they are a tasty fish!

SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fair. No ice.

SHOW LOW LAKE – No ice.  Fishing is fair.  Holdover rainbow trout should be fishing well.  The two fishing piers have been disconnected so that winter ice does not damage them, thus, they are not available for shore-fishing.  The road over the dam is closed for the winter.

WOODLAND LAKE – No ice.  Fishing is fair.  Fishing dock is inaccessible.

PATTERSON PONDS – 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 is fair, but trout fishing is good.  Catfish were last stocked in October and rainbow trout were just stocked in Jan. 25!  The pond daily bag limits in community fishing waters (2 trout; 2 catfish; 5 sunfish) apply.

White Mountains lakes

*Skim ice may be present or lakes may be frozen over.  The 261 and 273 roads are closed.  Forest roads are icy and snow packed.

An angler fishes from a pier Friday, March 10 at Becker Lake. George Andrejko/AZGFD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BECKER LAKE – Fishing is good to excellent.  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 on white semiseal leach with olive or gray tail, or red chironomids under a strike indicator.  Tiger trout are also being caught.

BIG LAKE – Inaccessible and ice-covered. Ice is still VERY thin and unsafe.  During the winter survey on March 8, accessed with snow mobiles, ice was easily broken through just standing on it. There is some open water.  Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter. Forest roads from the south are not passable due to deep snow.

CARNERO LAKE – Inaccessible but has some open water.  Winter kill is NOT predicted here as of Feb. 16. Forest roads to the lake have deep snow in spots and are not accessible all the way to the lake by vehicle.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for trout, but fair for sunfish, bullheads, and bass.  No ice.

Concho Lake on Thursday, March 9 at Becker Lake. George Andrejko/AZGFD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is excellent.  The lake was stocked last week with trout!

CRESCENT LAKE – Inaccessible and ice-covered. No open water as of March 8.  Ice was 10 inches where we checked; however, ice may be unsafe with warm winter days melting the ice.  A partial winter kill is predicted here as of March 8.  Survey in April or May will determine if winter kill occurred and stocking will occur regardless if water quality is acceptable to stocking.  We are seeing high pH and some suppressed oxygen levels.  However, we look forward to fishing for large rainbow trout and brook trout in the spring!  Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter.

GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – All three lakes are full or nearly full, and ice-free.  Large brown trout and rainbow trout are being caught in River and Tunnel.  Greer Fire District will be conducting prescribed burns Feb. 22-March 10.  The burns will be in the area of squirrel spring and the spade ranch areas.  The community of Greer will be impacted by the smoke.  Contact Greer Fire District staff if you have questions.

HULSEY LAKE – Open water.  The road is snow packed.  Fishing is fair.

LEE VALLEY LAKE – Inaccessible and ice-covered. Ice is thin and unsafe.  Ice may be unsafe.  Few fish remain here, although we are not predicting a winter kill.  Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter.

LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair.  Road is ice-free.  Fishing should pick up as water warms.  Lake is murky colored.

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.  No ice.

Nelson Reservoir on Friday, March 10. George Andrejko/AZGFD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair.  Fish may have sores from a parasite called Lernaea; however, they are safe to eat.

White Mountains streams

EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Roads are snow packed.  This is only accessible from the south from Forest Road 26.  Fishing is fair for brown trout.  Moderate flows from snow melt.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is poor.  The stream was last stocked in September.  Wild brown trout are also present in the stream.  Moderate flows.

SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is poor.  The road over the dam at Show Low Lake is closed for the winter.

SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good. Current regulations are catch and release with artificial flies and lures with single barbless hooks only. 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! This stream is ice-free all year round.

SHEEPS CROSSING/LCR – Inaccessible.  Highway 273 is closed for the winter.  Frozen over and snow-covered.

LAKE POWELL AND LEES FERRY

LAKE POWELL —

“Jerk bait stripers”

Spring weather has been warm and wonderful. Surface water temperature this morning has risen to 55 degrees which is 6 degrees warmer than last week.   That is impressive and the various fish species are reacting in their own way.  Here is a rundown by species and location.

See the full March 15 report from Wayne Gustaveson (www.wayneswords.com).

LEES FERRY – See the full March 16 fishing report from Lees Ferry Anglers.

 

Southwestern Waters

ALAMO LAKE – March 15 report from Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park:

Well folks, I’m happy to say that things are settling down with the lake.  Visibility is still bad, but some are catching fish.  Bass fishing is really starting to turn on. With all the new submerged structure, try flipping up on the shoreline.

I have not heard if the spinnerbait bite has turned on yet, but would be it would be worth a try. I’ve heard of 3-crappie being caught this week.  It’s a start and should get better with the warmer weather.  Both ramps are open.  When we get time, we will move the floating dock to the main ramp.  Right now if you need a dock, use Cholla ramp.  Be sure and make a reservation before you come out.  This place is busy.

There’s bass tournaments every weekend from now till mid May.  Some big ones with 75-100 boats.  It’s the time of year to get out the sun block, and stay hydrated.  Also, bring a camera.  Some of our wildflowers with nuts a bloomed all over the place.

So to summarize: fishing is OK, and if it’s going to get better, then great.  That’s it for now. — Mark

 

LAKE HAVASU – No new reports. Send your reports to BFishing@azgfd.gov.

PARKER STRIP – No report.

YUMA AREA PONDS – Trout have returned to the Community lakes Fortuna, Redondo, West Wetlands Pond and Council Ave. Pond in Somerton.  See the schedule.

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

(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.

CLUFF RANCH —
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.

PENA BLANCA –
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.

ROSE CANYON LAKE – The lake is closed to vehicle access for the winter.  Anglers can still access the lake by foot.

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