Currently, the boat ramp is out of the water and is not usable. Anglers with portable watercraft may be able to launch from the western shore near the ramp. Please don’t park there and block others anglers from launching also. There is the option of hiking around the lake on unmaintained trails and fishing from shore.
Cluff Ranch Ponds – Closed to the public
Draining of Cluff Ranch Pond 3 occurred this winter to replace the dam valve. Some anglers caught some very large sized Largemouth Bass before it went dry. Unfortunately, a high number of Common Carp were observed also; please do not move fish from other waterbodies! It’s not good for you as an angler for several reasons.
Cluff Pond 3 had a larger than expected amount of accumulated sediment that will be dredged in the coming weeks. Afterwards, large cottonwood and mesquite trees will be placed in the bottom of the pond as fish habitat prior to refilling. All of the work is anticipated to be completed this fall.
Once the pond is refilled and water quality is acceptable, Largemouth Bass and sunfish species will be stocked and a catch and release regulation will be in place until January 1, 2023 to allow the fish to establish a self-sustaining population.
Dankworth Pond – Rating:
Summer fishing means hitting the water during early mornings and late evenings. Plan to be out during the coolest times of the day and expect fish to move into deeper water as daytime temperatures rise. A good rule of thumb for all fish is having a variety of baits/lures in different sizes and colors, placing it in different depths and retrieving it at different speeds. Continue to change until you find a combination that works. Fishing early in the morning or late in the evening generally will lead to more success.
Look for largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish close to structure and in the shady spots. Bluegill can be caught using pieces of nightcrawler, mealworms or small plastics. If you’re using a bobber, remember to only use one large enough to float your weight and hook. Often too large of bobbers are used and fish feel the resistance of the large bobber and steal your bait without you ever knowing.
Frye Mesa Reservoir – Rating:
Frye Mesa Reservoir presents a unique opportunity to catch a native Gila Trout. The reservoir receives fish from Mora National Fish Hatchery as well as our Page Springs Hatchery. The most recent stocking was last fall when a small number of very large fish were stocked. Gila Trout can be caught with similar methods used for rainbow trout. Fly fishing with nymphs or wet/dry flies is productive. If using a spin casting reel, small spoons and spinners as wells as Powerbait or worms can work. The road to the reservoir is rough and a higher clearance all-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.
Parker Canyon Lake – Rating:
As the fishing enters into the summer months, anglers can expect fishing to slow during the hottest parts of the day. Early mornings and late evenings will be the most productive times during this time of year. With the end of the Largemouth Bass spawn, fish will become more active feeding to build reserves lost during the spawn. Look for Largemouth Bass along the shoreline in shallower water at sunrise and evenings and in deeper water during the heat of the day. Good oxygen will be found down to around 30 feet at the beginning of summer and decreasing until fall. Various plastics are the bait of choice. Top-water action can be found during the early mornings and late evenings with the best action just after sunset. Rainbow Trout stockings are over but the last stocking in mid-April had some very large fish up to 20 inches that should be caught for months to come. Anglers wanting to catch Rainbow Trout can use bait such as nightcrawlers, mealworms, salmon eggs or PowerBait. A good technique is to fish with light tackle and vary the depth, color and type of bait until you find where the fish are hanging out and the bait they prefer. Small gold or silver spinners (size 0-1) and spoons are excellent choices also. Anglers using small lures should work small areas of the lake in a fan pattern, covering all of the water in front of them and remember to vary the speed of your retrieve. Sunfish remain active during this time of year if angler’s fish a bit deeper as fish will seek cooler water temperatures as the heat of the day raises surface water temperatures. Sunfish anglers should use live worms and mealworms. Vary the depth you fish at until you find where the fish are hanging out. Channel Catfish will become more active as water temperatures continue to rise. Expect the best fishing to be at night. The best bait options include prepared catfishing baits, chicken livers and frozen shrimp.
See the file for the remainder of the lakes in the Southeast Arizona region:
North Central Arizona
Dead Horse Lagoons
Largemouth bass fishing is great here. Try using plastics in the morning or evening for Bass. Target the bass near the submerged vegetation which is spread all over the lagoons. If you are using a small boat or float tube, fish the edges of the islands. Channel Catfish were stocked in May and will be stocked again in June. Catfish can be easily caught on the standard catfish baits, anchovies, hot dog, mackerel, shrimp, etc. This is a great place to take kids to catch small bluegill. They are numerous, but mostly small. There is an entrance fee at Dead Horse Ranch State Park which is currently $7 per vehicle (1-4 adults) and $3 for an individual (walk in/bicycle) and the hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Seasonal hours may apply and will be posted at the entrance.
See the pdf file for the remainder of the lakes in the North Central Arizona region:
Lower Lake Mary
Upper Lake Mary