Category Archives: Horse Back Riding

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Arizona Fishing Report – March 13th, 2015

Arizona Fishing Report March 13th, 2015

Spring fishing is here in all its bedding-bass, crisp-morning glory.  Striper.jpeg

Yet the vernal equinox, or the first day of spring when the Earth is neither inclined toward, nor away, from the sun, isn’t until Friday, March 20.

And the summer trout stocking schedule just came out. Read all about where trout are being stocked in a lake near you. 

This week’s full moon has coincided with consistent, warm weather. The result? Springtime spawning conditions for largemouth bass have graced the desert impoundments.

So many great options can be at the end of the line. Flathead catfishing is picking up, and Arizona has become a destination for these bruisers. Crappie are a bit more active, stripers are stripping line at Lake Powell and Lake Pleasant, trout stockings will transition into those of catfish (first community waters cat stocking is March 19), and redear sunfish have already reached world-class status at Lake Havasu.

Take a deep breath for a second and appreciate all Arizona has to offer anglers and hunters. From the desert to the mountains, all such sportsmen help conserve our wildlife for future generations because, if you didn’t know, the Arizona Game and Fish Department does not receive state tax dollars. We rely heavily on active hunters and anglers who are passionate about our wildlife.

So thank you.

Spring also means Mr. Whiskers returns to the Community Fishing Program lakes – the first stocking is March 19! Get ready for the catfish, too.

Have you heard the good news about trout stockings at Willow Beach? Read C. Douglas Nelson’s Las Vegas Review-Journal article about “rainbows shining again.”

OK, that’s all. Nab a license online (it helps conserve wildlife), and have fun – it’ll be hard not to.

Bill Luke Bass Days March 13-15

OK, we’ve got some pretty big events coming up. The biggest is Bill Luke Bass Days, March 13-15, at Pleasant Harbor Marina. Bill Luke Bass Days is the Southwest’s largest family fishing tournament and festival. Everyone can partake in day and nighttime festivals featuring a Cornhole Tournament, food, vendors, carnival rides, wildlife exhibits and live music. See more information.

Arizona Game and Fish Department Expo is coming in late March

The Department will be hosting its annual Arizona Game and Fish Department Outdoor Expo Paddlemore_2.jpgpresented by Shikar Safari Club International, Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29.

The event is FREE and will have tons of events for the whole family to enjoy.

Last year’s Expo and Youth Day drew a total of 48,000 attendees, the highest three-day total in the event’s history.

Check out the kids fishing tanks and take home a free photo, a NEW OHV track, see all sorts of live wildlife, learn target archery and try other shooting sports in a safe, supervised, controlled environment on the range.

Get a feel for specialty shooting disciplines like clay target, cowboy action, practical pistol, black powder, and air gun. Check out the many firearms manufacturers, or see our new side-by-side OHV track!

Concessionaires will have food and beverages available for purchase, and many accept only cash — ATMs will be on site.
Expo hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Outdoor Expo is easy to find, located on Carefree Highway, about 1/2 mile west of I-17 in Phoenix.

Also, visit our Fish AZ blog for the latest free public fishing events, as well as timely fishing reports, fish stories and more.

Click Here to read the entire report.

Don’t Miss the International Sportsmen’s Expo – February 19th-22nd

Be sure to visit the wildlife assets sale and other AZ Game and Fish booths

Click here for the ISE Website

PHOENIX — The 15th annual Arizona International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) will fill the University of Phoenix Stadium and outside areas in Glendale on Feb. 19-22 with an exceptional presence of outdoor product and service exhibitors, attractions, seminars, and the incorporation of the Arizona Boat ShowTM.

Expanded show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 19-21, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22. Admission is $12 for adults, and free to youth age 15 and under, and active military with military ID. Parking is free.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department will once again have several exhibits. The department will conduct its wildlife assets sale, always a big attraction at ISE. The sale enables the public to legally purchase items such as antlers, head mounts, hides and other wildlife parts that have been seized during law enforcement investigations, obtained from animals killed in vehicle collisions, or acquired through donations. The funds raised through this silent auction-format sale are used to purchase equipment or training to assist Game and Fish officers in more effectively enforcing anti-poaching and other wildlife laws.

Other department booths will include general information on hunting, fishing, wildlife and license sales; information on the California condor program and how using non-lead ammunition when hunting game in condor country can assist in condor recovery; and information on the off-highway vehicle program and the Operation Game Thief program.

This year’s ISE will spotlight 250 companies and organizations, including manufacturers and retailers; local, regional and international destinations; guides and outfitters; travel bureaus; enthusiast clubs and groups; and nonprofit organizations representing a wide range of outdoor interests. The show also presents campers, trailers and a huge selection of off-road vehicles, including UTVs, ATVs, trucks and 4x4s.

In its second year, ISE’s co-located Arizona Boat ShowTM will feature 12 local marine dealers now presenting 45 national sport- and fishing-boat brands, including wakeboard and ski boats, fish/ski boats, family runabouts, party pontoons, deck boats, personal watercraft, kayaks, and stand-up-paddle boards. A giant houseboat will be on hand, too, plus a wide selection of marine accessories.

New for 2015 is the Outdoor Product Showcase, which features new camping, hunting, fishing, boating and off-roading gear from exhibitors and the outdoor industry. Some of the OPS gear is given away daily to show-goers.

The ISE show offers two outdoor-skills and seminar venues: the Adventure Theater and the Aquarium Demonstration Tank.

At the Adventure Theater, special guests include Scottsdale-based outdoor-gear guru Tim Ralston, and another outdoor legend from the area, big-game bowhunter Randy Ulmer. New this year are special javelina field preparation clinics Thursday and Friday afternoon presented by the Arizona Taxidermy Artists Association. Also for the first time, Kenton Clairmont will present seminars on “The Six Pillars of Hunting Fitness.” Clairmont created the Train to Hunt program, which includes a new television show and endurance events throughout the West, including one in Arizona in April. Other presentations will include hunting with an AR-15 and underwater photography when scuba diving. The Arizona Game and Fish Department will give presentations on small game hunting and the Community Fishing Program.

The 40-foot-long aquarium-demonstration tank, hosted by pro bass angler Kent Brown, presents some of Arizona’s top fishing guides and pros, including Phoenix-based legendary angler John Murray.


Another first-year event at the ISE show is the Arizona Taxidermy Artists Association’s Best-of-the-West show and contest. Mounts from throughout Arizona and the West will be displayed in the AZSTA Banquet Room, which is located on the right side of the hall, just before the show entrance.In addition, Eastmans’ Hunting Journals presents a huge display of deer from throughout the West, including one from Arizona.

The show’s 9,000-square-foot, three-dimensional-target archery range hosts a high-energy tournament that draws local and other competitors from Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.

Investing in the future of outdoor sports, ISE’s Youth Fair offers free instruction in catch-and-release fishing. The Airsoft shooting range is hosted by NRA-certified shooting instructor Rob Potter.

Click Here to see more!

Arizona Fishing Report – February 6th, 2015

CrappieCoRiver_3.jpgArizona Fishing Report – February 5th, 2015

It’s still crappie time at Alamo Lake. Mark Knapp from Alamo Lake State Park said several anglers are catching 8-15 crappie a day up around the buoy line. Some are using roadrunners with a minnow trailer while others are just using a split shot and a minnow. The crappie are lurking in in 25-30 feet of water, he said.
Pre-spawn activities have been reported at another early-bird fishery, Lake Havasu, which is also a wide, shallow lake located in a wide, shallow valley rimed with sun reflecting desert mountain ranges. But it does have a couple of elements that Alamo lacks — striped bass and smallmouth bass. Toss in plate-sized redear as well. Havasu is excellent in February and March before the recreational boating hordes from California descend upon this popular desert oasis.

Targeting trout? Check out the trout stocking schedule as well before you heard out.

Sounds like bass have become more active with this warmer weather. At Roosevelt Lake, the water temperature increased three degrees during the past week, from 55 to 58.
At early-bird lakes Alamo, Havasu and Martinez, the water temperatures increase more rapidly. Good time to head to the “West Coast of Arizona.”

Click Here to read the full report!


Wild West Comes to Life!

BA - Shooter

PHOENIX — The largest Western-style encampment in the world will return to the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Feb. 23 – 28.

Winter Range, the Single-Action Shooting Society’s (SASS) National Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting, will draw more than 1,100 competitors from 42 states and six foreign countries. These male and female competitors, ranging from ages 12-80, compete in nearly three dozen categories dictated by age and competitive style.

In addition, this year the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and the SASS Mounted Shooters have combined to create an incredibly exciting three-day mounted shooting event. The event is expected to draw more than 100 competitors mounted on horses participating in their own arena Feb. 27 – March 1.

BA - GroupCowboy Action Shooting™, the fastest-growing shooting sport in America, requires that contestants compete with firearms typical of those used in the taming of the Old West: single-action revolvers, lever-action rifles, and period shotguns.

Participants must also adopt a shooting alias appropriate to either a character or profession of the late 19th century, a Hollywood western star, or an appropriate character from fiction, and then they costume themselves accordingly. This is a shooting sport that is safe, fun and family friendly, annually drawing multiple generations of the same family to compete in their respective categories.

In addition to the competitive events, Winter Range 2015 will feature displays of period militaria, exhibitions of western skills and crafts, a fast-draw competition, and nearly 100 vendors purveying everything from period clothing, hats and wigs to antiques and reproductions. Entertainment will be readily available in the form of a number of singers, cowboy bands, trick roping, trick horses, and various other forms of cowboy entertainment.

 Also this year, Wyatt Earp, the great grand-nephew of his namesake, will be giving a special stage presentation with his wife as “Mr. and Mrs. Wyatt Earp,” reminiscing about their amazing lives and times at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28.

A variety of food services are also available, ranging from authentic chuck wagon cooking to hot dogs and ice cream.

The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is a five-star rated shooting facility and Phoenix Point of Pride operated by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. It is located on Carefree Highway in Phoenix, just west of I-17.

 Winter Range is truly an exciting and educational event for the entire family. Admission is free with a small charge for parking that is donated to charity.



Arizona Fishing Report – January 22nd 2014

Arizona Fishing Report – January 22nd 2014

It’s a great time to fish Dead Horse Lakes in the Verde Valley.

DeadHorse_1.jpgThis week we’re stocking both Dead Horse Ranch State Park lagoons near Cottonwood, and next week (beginning Jan. 26) we’ll begin stocking the Verde River between Cottonwood and Camp Verde. These two fisheries make a great duo for a family adventure. If you have a loved one with mobility issues, Dead Horse Ranch State Park is a top spot. It has some mini-fishing piers that you can almost drive right up to — keeping in mind that it is first-come, first-served.

As was predicted in last week’s fishing report, Alamo Lake has been a good crappie hole. Keep in mind that Alamo can have an early bass spawn. Anglers also can sight-fish bass beds at Lake Havasu in late February and early March, especially in the man-made channel for the London Bridge. Anglers may be about to catch some plate-sized redear up to two pounds or so at Havasu, and just upriver in the picturesque Topock Gorge.

More on trout stockings. The focus this week is on Tucson. We’re stocking Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond and Roper Lake.

Ready for a bonus Community waters stocking? Good news — we’re adding a bonus trout stocking the week of Jan 26-31 at our expansion waters: Pacana (Maricopa), Discovery (Gilbert), McQueen (Gilbert), Freestone (Gilbert), Roadrunner (Phoenix), Eldorado (Scottsdale), and Bonsall Glendale).

See the CFP stocking schedule to see if a water near you is being stocked.

Going bassin’? Last week’s report also had some tips and tricks about winter bass tactics.

Be sure to check the Arizona Department of Transportation website for the latest road conditions. Some of the White Mountains lower elevation lakes continue to thaw out with the warm weather and a few more are open and accessible. See more details in the full report.

Free fishing events

Saturday, Jan. 31 – Big Game Fish Bowl, 8-11 a.m. at Peoria’s Pioneer Park lake at 8755 N. 83rd Ave.

It’s going down the day before the Super Bowl! Wear your favorite team’s jersey and enjoy a variety of activities.

The fishing portion, an Arizona Game and Fish Department fishing clinic, is free. Rainbow trout will have been stocked just prior to the event. Loaner rods and reels will be available, and bait will be provided. No license is required for those who register.

We have lots of upcoming, free fishing clinics and events open to the public in the Phoenix, Tucson and southwest Arizona areas.

See all the details on statewide Public Fishing Events page of the Fish AZ blog.

To Read the entire fishing report Click Here!

#ArizonaFishing #ArizonaHunting #JavelinaHunt

Arizona Fishing Report – January 16th 2015


Arizona Fishing Report – January 16th, 2015

Water temperatures across the state have dropped to their winter standards, and fog and snow has slowed or stalled driving in the high country.

Be sure to check the Arizona Department of Transportation website for the latest road conditions.

Read for some winter fishing? First, anglers can pick a species to target, then figure out where you’ll go and how you’ll fish ’em. Here are some updates on a few popular species to target:

Rainbow trout

Kevin_Wood_Rainbow_Trout_Community_Fish_BFOY_entry__2_.jpgWe just stocked incentive trout into many Community Fishing Program waters, including this one caught by Kevin Wood, a 20.25-inch, 5-pound, 14.4-ounce trout taken Jan. 9 from Surprise Lake. Many more have been reported – go get yours. Trout is probably the best winter option for putting dinner on the table or bragging to buddies about high catch rates.

In the Tucson area this week, we stocked Patagonia Lake with 1,000 rainbow trout and Pena Blanca with 1,500 trout. At the Community fishing waters Kennedy, Lakeside, Sahuarita and Silverbell, some incentive (larger than average) trout have been stocked.

Sounds like trout fishing is good at Parker Canyon Lake as well. See the angler report from Parker Canyon in the full report.


GoldwaterBass_1.jpgKnow your winter tactics — it’s not an easy time to catch bass. With typical wintertime water temperatures (surface temperature at Bartlett Lake been around 52 degrees) a largemouth bass becomes lethargic and may feed once at first light and be satisfied for a couple days.

This isn’t to say avoid bass fishing. Just be prepared. Consider that about 10 percent of largemouth bass in our lakes will be staying shallow, or within the first 10 feet of the bank, throughout the day. As the sun comes up, many will travel deep where they might settle into a comfortable 66 degrees (say, 25 feet down.) This also is where the shad has been. In fact, as pointed out by  Gary Senft, Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops, the deeper the water, the more plentiful the bait.

Target points, humps, reefs and islands.

And fish slowly. For example, creep a dropshot-rigged Roboworm (bass are eating a lot of orange and red colors, such as Salt River craw) along the bottom. Wait for a possible, subtle bite as the bait is falling. This is where bite-feeling techniques such as holding or thumbing your line as the bait is falling can be critical to catching a bass. Also, this is when having better gear such as fluorocarbon line and sensitive rod tips can make a big difference. Check online about the advantages of having tungsten weights …

We’ve had some good bass reports lately from Roosevelt Lake, where the green tinted water has meant fresh nutrients coming in. One angler (in our Angler Report section) reported having great action with an afternoon, crankbait bite in 8-10 feet of water.

According to our local bass fishing pro Clifford Pirch, that green tint is a result on new water carrying nutrients into the lake.


CrappieCoRiver_1.jpgBest reported spots have been Alamo Lake (see full report), Bartlett Lake and Apache Lake. In general, crappie will be deep and near large schools of bait fish.

So there you go! See our Fish&Boat Arizona map for directions to our state’s primary fisheries.

See the full report for more details, and please share your fishing memories and pictures with us at

Don’t forget to bring your license! Need one? They can be purchased online. Your purchase helps conserve wildlife for future generations! (The Arizona Game and Fish Department does not receive state tax dollars.)

Free fishing events

We have lots of upcoming, free fishing clinics and events open to the public in the Phoenix, Tucson and southwest Arizona areas.

See all the details on Public Fishing Events page of the Fish AZ blog.



RosyBass_1.jpgRoosevelt Lake

Frank: I spent a couple of days last week on Roosevelt and would call the bass fishing good. Sixteen keepers (including the attached 8-pound, 4-ounce beauty) and 10 a day later. Fishing cranks in 8-10 feet, and it is an afternoon bite.

Veterans Oasis

Todd B.: I just read the report from the 7th. I have been telling people these fish are big this year. I have been fishing at Veteran’s lately for trout. The trout there have been averaging 14-15 inches and weighing about a pound each. These are nice fish for the average stocker. I have caught a few around two pounds each. I have seen some bigger ones cruising around however. Berkley Power Eggs have been the trick at Veteran’s this year. I use a little anise extract on the eggs before casting out. Just a little of the extract goes a long way, so just use a drop or two. I am still fishing in shallower water, and limiting out each trip. An eighteen inch leader seems to be doing the trick. Thank you.

Lake Pleasant

Barry W.: Striper action was great last week at Pleasant. Maybe with the temps warming up this has caused the fish to be a little more aggressive. A friend and I fished from 2 p.m. to sunset.

To be honest it took a few hours to locate the fish and was slow. Many northern coves we tried did not have many striper on the fish finder.  Around 4:30 p.m. we located a huge school of striper (200-plus fish) at the depth of around 20-28 feet. The striper were working a reef nearshore that dropped from 4-20 feet and having a feeding frenzy on shad.

We used a drop shot rig with anchovies and caught 37 stripers in less than an hour. The exciting thing about this fishing trip is my friend and I both had five double headers in that hour.  Normally the striper action is much slower this time of year compared to the summer action at Lake Pleasant.

The key is to find the schools of striper. If you don’t have a fish-finder I would recommend dropping bait and chumming. If you don’t get any bites or action after 20 minutes bring the lines up and try a different location (keep searching). Striper travel in schools and are constantly on the move from what literature says and what I have witnessed.  Once you find the school be sure to chum and keep that school interested below your boat.

We did not catch any fish bigger than 1.5 pounds, but the action was constant. We did see some anglers catching fish near us that were in the 5-6 pound range. It’s a great time to get out on the water and fish for striper, but it just requires a little more work to find them.

Also for you crappie fisherman we found lots of crappie suspended at 10-15 feet near underwater brush/ trees in the far back coves.  I would highly recommend using a live minnow at around 8-10 feet or very small jigs. We talked to one kayaker who caught a few that same day using very small live minnows with a small circle hook. I have included a video that is two minutes long showing the constant fun action we had but most important it recorded our back-to-back double headers.

Read the whole report 

#ArizonaFishing #JavelinaHunt

Arizona Fishing Report – January 7, 2015

Arizona Fishing Report – January 7th, 2015

Hello, anglers,

BigFreakingTrout.jpgWe call them “incentive” trout for a reason: To get you out on the water and hopefully onto some big fish.

The reports of big trout keep coming in. Ryan L. reported catching this rainbow trout that he said measured 23 inches and weighed 5.5 pounds.

Also congratulations to Harold Heres, who caught a 4.44-pound, 21.75-inch rainbow trout on PowerBait at Red Mountain Lake near Mesa on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 1. The trout was entered in the Big Fish of the Year contest. Go get yours!

We’re getting things off right with incentive trout stockings that have just gone into many of the Community Fishing Program waters. Which ones? The trout have been stocked into all the waters but the Phoenix/Maricopa expansion and custom waters. See the stocking schedule.  These fish are all at least 1 pound, which most being 3-5 pounds. (A few are 6-8 pounds.)

This is prime winter trout time.

Typically, it’s also winter crappie time. Might want to stay away from Roosevelt Lake if you want crappie. On the other hand, sounds like Alamo Lake could be a good crappie producer. Anglers were reporting that crappie were trying to turn on at this lake, which is located west of Wickenburg. A recent storm that blew through shut the bite down for a few days, but with high temperatures back into the 70s all we, things should turn on again. Crappie are definitely blue-sky lovers.

Go where the Bill Williams River enters the lake and you will see some ancient cottonwood tops sticking out of the water — that is a huge flat where the crappie like to hold.

The crappie might be in 30 or even 50 feet of water, but the active crappie are usually at around 15 feet deep. Keep in mind that crappie feed upward.

So slow troll and get your bait or jig down to just above 15 feet. For example, 6-pound Fireline and a 1/16-ounce curly tail swimming jig translates into 41.5 feet of line at a trolling speed 1.5 mph to reach 14 feet.

Also consider Bartlett Lake for crappie.

Don’t forget to bring your license! Need one? They can be purchased online. Your purchase helps conserve wildlife for future genrations! (The Arizona Game and Fish Department does not receive state tax dollars.)

White Mountains updates

Significant access roads closed for the winter on Dec. 30, including Highways 273 and 261, and Forest Road 300 towards Woods Canyon Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, and Chevelon Lake.  This has impacted access to a number of waters on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, but the incoming snowstorm would have limited much of that access anyway.

Most of the lakes in the region are entirely frozen over, or mostly frozen.  As of Dec. 29, there wasn’t any ice cover that was safe to walk on and thus, ice fishing will have to wait for thicker ice conditions.  The late onset of the ice cover will delay the ice fishing season, but will likely mean that no winter kills will occur.

There are only a few waters in the region that are fully accessible (open water or safe ice, open/clear roads), including Lyman Lake, Clear Creek Reservoir, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, and Silver Creek.

At Silver Creek, Cinda Howard of Fly Fish Arizona said fishing is good but has been getting tougher. Flies of choice have been bunny leeches in tan or black, Glo Bugs, San Juan worms and zebra midges. There also has been some top-water action, especially when the sun hits the water and generates midge hatches. Water temperatures are in the 40s.

Most waters are still ice covered, and Show Low Lake that was previously ice free now has partial ice that restricts boat launching.  Ice cover should still be considered unsafe.

The ice came on very late this year and needs a little more time to build before it is safe.

Upcoming fishing events

Saturday, Jan. 17 – Get some new rods and reels for the holidays? Break in your new fishing equipment at our free seminar seminar on Saturday, Jan. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hirsch Conservation Education Area (Biscuit Tank). The area is located in the Ben Avery Shooting Facility on 4044 W. Black Canyon Blvd. in Phoenix.

See more details from the Fish AZ blog.

Saturday, Jan. 31 – Big Game Fish Bowl, 8-11 a.m. at Peoria’s Pioneer Park lake at 8755 N. 83rd Ave.

It’s going down the day before the Super Bowl! Wear your favorite team’s jersey and enjoy a variety of activities.

The fishing portion, an Arizona Game and Fish Department fishing clinic, is free. Rainbow trout will have been stocked just prior to the event. Loaner rods and reels will be available, and bait will be provided. No license is required for those who register.

For a $5 entry fee, the event also includes giveaways, gift cards, an event T-shirt, prizes, food and more while supplies last.

For more information, call 623-773-7137 or to pre-register, visit

Saturday, Feb. 21 – Free fishing clinic at Silverbell Lake in Tucson, 8 a.m. – noon


See our Fish&Boat Arizona map for directions to our state’s primary fisheries.

See the full report for more details, and please share your fishing memories and pictures with us



PioneerPk_1.jpgParker Canyon Lake
Dennis D.: Howdy, my fishing partners and I hit Parker Lake on Dec. 20 and 27 for some early morning trout fishing. We hit our limit on the 20th in under 2 hours and the 27th took a bit longer as it appears the trout were spooked by the cold front that hit this past week. We did limit out on the 27th as well (18 trout) with the average size being 14 inches and weighing about a pound or so.

Fishermen should try salmon peach PowerBait with a small treble hook, or Berkley mice tails on a small snell hook along rock walls and as deep as you can get from the bank. The fish are there and they are hungry once you figure out what it is they want to eat.


Silverbell Lake
Phil C.: The windiest day of 2014. Limited out in 4 hours.

Lees Ferry
Brian S.: Went up to Lee’s Ferry during Christmas break.  Fished two full days at the walk-in section.   If you are going up dress warm.  Very cold in the morning.  Low 20’s and by wading in the cold water makes for a very cold day.  The flows were about 9000 CFS in the AM and peaked around 15500 CFS in late afternoon.  We fished from the Paria bar all the way up to the boat launch.  The fishing was poor.  My friend and I have been hitting Lee’s Ferry for about a decade and fish the walk in section every few months.  We know every hole and where fish hold.  This is the worst we have ever done.  We both only managed to catch about 12 fish each over two days.  I primarily fly fish and my friend spin fishes.

I caught a few on black zebra midges size # 18 and red San Juan worms.  I also had some luck with streamer patterns when the water was up.  My friend was using Vibrex spinners and Pistol Pete’s.  Some of the fish we caught look malnourished.  Large head, big eyes and long skinny bodies.  The biggest one we caught was only 14 inches.  We talked to several other anglers. Mostly fly fisherman.  The story was much the same.  In fact several anglers got skunked.

Skunked at the Ferry?  At this point I would rate the spin and fly fishing at the walk in section a 1 out of 10.  I have to say this place has gone downhill.  Either all of a sudden we have become bad fisherman or something is going on.  We have had many of 100 fish days in years prior.  The last two years there is a noticeable decline in the size of fish and quantity.

Pioneer Lake (Peoria)
Pete J.: Caught this big one at Pioneer Park today (Jan. 3) in Peoria.

Roosevelt Lake
Kevin M.: Slow day on the water, fished from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for crappie between the dam area and windy hill.  Fished with jigs tipped with minnows, and minnows on bait hooks on dropshot rigs, at varying drift speeds and depths with only a few bass to show for our efforts.  Only one vehicle in the parking lot when we launched and only saw three boats on the water while we were out, lowest amount I have seen out there in the near 20 years I have fished the lake.  Sad state of affairs at this lake right now crappie fishing wise — hope it comes back at some point.

McQueen Pond (Gilbert)
Seow L.: Our family went to Gilbert community pond on the cold and cloudy New Year’s Day. My son left his fishing rod on the ground and was pulled by a fish into the water. His quick reaction, by reaching into the water and grabbing the rod, was to save the fishing rod and reel in this 2.25 pounder, the largest trout we have ever caught. 2015 fishing is off to a good start!

Roadrunner Pond
Everybody reports about good fishing and where to fish. I am going to report on where not to  go. I know how to fish for trout — I have been doing it for 40 years . I  was lucky enough to have some time off over Christmas and was able to give Roadrunner Park a try.

I wish I would have picked a different lake because Roadrunner was terrible. I tried everything — power bait, corn, spinners, Z-rays, worms and even old school salmon eggs and nothing worked. Nobody was having any luck and the lake seemed dead and lacking any aquatic life at all.

I was there at first light and there wasn’t even the occasion jumping of bait fish or boils on the surface that most lakes and ponds have from time to time . If you’re fishing time is short you might pass on selecting roadrunner.

Thank you, anglers!
Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984.

Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides grant funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.


New reports:

ROOSEVELT LAKE – (2,093 feet, 42-percent full). Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods with a Jan. 6 report:

Good morning, Rim Country anglers,

The talk among Rim Country anglers this week is the weather. Snow is a key to successfully adding water at Roosevelt. As the snow melts, it saturates the ground and then begins draining into streams that feed the lake. The nutrients this water brings is extremely valuable to the fish. So even though we may have been impacted by the snow, overall it’s a great thing for our community.

Local anglers called fishing “good” this past week due mostly to the calm days before the storms. The water level of the lake remained at 41 percent full with surface temperatures in the low to mid 50s. Successful techniques reported this past week include a jig, dropshot, deep-running crankbaits and jigging spoons.

The crappie fishing continued to be called poor on Roosevelt. Crappie are schooling this time of year and some anglers are now trolling for crappie.  However, even very experienced crappie anglers are reporting limited success.

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

LAKE PLEASANT – (1,678 feet, 74-percent full):

From Derrick Franks of the Striper Snatcher Guide Service: “The water temperature is 58 degrees with the water level at 75 percent. Striped bass, largemouth bass and white bass have been hanging out in high numbers along the transition areas in the 15-25 foot mark in the northern creek arms. These fish are not going far to chase a bait — a popular bait for me is a chrome with blue back spoon.”

Anglers are hitting the water by 6 a.m. to catch stripers and leave by 11:30 a.m. They are hitting the northern coves such as Humbug where shad have been holding. Overnight, the shad hide in the brush, and the stripers wait for the shad once they come out. The biggest challenge may be finding the shad, which are ahead of spawning time and so will eventually move into running water.

COMMUNITY FISHING WATERS – We just stocked incentive rainbow trout into most of the CFP waters! See all the details in a Fish AZ blog article.

This year also marks the 30th Anniversary of the Community Fishing Program!

What started as a comparatively small program in 1985 has blossomed into a program now spanning 15 communities and 35 waters across the state, with plans to grow even more. We would love to see more families with children in more cities getting engaged in fishing. Spread the word to someone you know and take them fishing. This is your Community Fishing Program, serving your community.

You may see a few more Department staff working the waters and asking questions of anglers. We will be conducting a program-wide creel survey of all CFP waters starting in January and ending in December 2015. If you are contacted by one of our staff, please consider answering a few questions as this is what we use to determine catch-rates, satisfaction, and many other important pieces of information.

We’re still working with our vendors to ring in the new year in our newest waters with a bonus stocking of trout in January (26-31.). This would be an off-cycle stocking, but we intend to make it a memorable one. Stay tuned for further information!!

Jim Goughnour from Rim Country Custom Rods said trout fishing at Green Valley Lake, which is now part of the Community Fishing Program, was called excellent this week. The AZGFD stocking program is continuing and several nice trout have been caught on salmon eggs, small spinners and PowerBait.

If you’re a novice angler or if you’re one of our younger listeners, take a trip down to Green Valley Lake and either just watch or talk to one of those more experienced trout anglers sitting in a chair at the lake. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about trout fishing from talking and watching those guys.

Read the whole report!

#KGCowboy, #Arizona Fishing, #AZFishing, #AZHunting, #AZCamping


Arizona Fishing Report – December 19th, 2014

Arizona Fishing Report – December 19th, 2014

TempeKiwanis.jpgTop picks to fish this week are the trout-stocked Community Fishing Program waters (Tempe Kiwanis Lake just received a whopping 1,000-pound rainbow trout stocking), Lake Pleasant for flathead catfish, Bartlett Lake for high numbers of largemouth bass, and Alamo Lake for decent crappie action.Top picks to fish this week are the trout-stocked Community Fishing Program waters (Tempe Kiwanis Lake just received a whopping 1,000-pound rainbow trout stocking), Lake Pleasant for flathead catfish, Bartlett Lake for high numbers of largemouth bass, and Alamo Lake for decent crappie action.

See an update from the community waters from our Fish AZ blog.

Be sure to check the ADOT website for road conditions before traveling this weekend – the Kinnikinick Road, for one, is now closed for the winter.

Heading into the winter doldrums, the metabolism of fish such as largemouth bass slows. With this weekend’s rainy (and in higher elevations, snowy) weather, fishing tends to slow down. These can be difficult months to fish. For bass, try something such as a Carolina rig with a long leader and work a plastic worm slowly.

The best place to trout fish statewide can be at the Community Fishing Program waters.

Also, Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods reported: “We’re finally getting some snow up on the (Mogollon) Rim, which overall is a good thing. During the next couple of months, we’ll be talking about frozen lakes and closed roads, but keep in mind that a large portion of that snow ultimately ends up in Roosevelt Lake. When that snow melts, it will ensure a steady flow of fresh nutritional water into the lake well into the spring of 2015.

Trout angling on the Rim may be limited but there are still plenty of streams and lower level lakes reporting excellent trout fishing conditions. Green Valley Lake in Payson, continues to reports excellent results of 12-14-inch stocked rainbow trout. PowerBaits, salmon eggs and small spinner baits were working yesterday.”

See our Fish&Boat Arizona map for directions to our state’s primary fisheries.

See the full report for more details, and please share your fishing memories and pictures with us at

Read the rest of the Fishing Report.