Arizona Fishing Report, April 17, 2012

Rory's tips:

With temperatures soaring into the upper 90s this weekend, you'll be glad to know that most roads into our cool, pine-scented mountain lakes are open and the lakes are ice free.
In fact, it appears that the only popular fishery not accessible right now is Kinickinick Lake near Flagstaff.
This is a superb time for a family expedition to our sparkling trout lakes in the mountains.

Trout stockings are in high gear and there are also larger hold-over trout to catch as well. Plus the trout haven't had much fishing pressure so far. You might even find some lingering patches of snow for that one last family snowball fight.
Highways 261 and 273 into Big Lake and Crescent Lake are now open.

The final construction on Highway 273 from Sunrise was completed last fall, so the road is paved all the way into Big Lake and is in great condition.

Sounds like the fishing is pretty good at Big Lake as well. I just chatted with the folks at the Big Lake Store on Tuesday and you will be able to rent a boat there this weekend.
The ever popular Rim Road (FR300) is open to Woods Canyon, Bear Canyon and Knoll lakes. The early fishing reports from Woods Canyon are great. The store is open and boat rentals are available. Knoll Lake won't be stocked until the end of this month, so you can expect only larger hold-over trout at this remote fishery but possibly lower catch rates. Bear Canyon Lake won't be stocked until next week.
The streams below the Mogollon Rim all also being stocked again this week, including Christopher Creek, Tonto Creek, Haigler Creek, the East Verde River. Canyon Creek is also being stocked this week, but keep in mind there are some special regulations for a portion of the creek — check the regulations before going (or obey the signs).
The storm last weekend dropped water temperatures in the desert lakes, and once it passed the bite slowed down, but has been picking up steadily ever since. You can expect to find bass in the spawn and post-spawn modes. Just pick your favorite lake and go. My top picks are Roosevelt, Bartlett and Alamo for largemouth bass.
With a crescent moon right now and a new moon on April 21, this is an excellent time to fish at night using submersible lights, especially for crappie. Roosevelt, Bartlett and Alamo are the tops for crappie.

The submersible light attracts plankton, the plankton attracts shad, and the shad attracts crappie and other predators.
Nighttime fishing for striped bass can produce results as well, especially at Lake Pleasant, Lake Havasu and Lake Mead. Try frozen anchovies as bait. Chum using pieces of anchovies. I like to mix in some canned corn as well.
Lake Powell can also be a great place to fish this time of year, but it looks like the smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing is better than the striper fishing right now. Check out the Powell report below.
The urban program lakes are also being stocked with channel catfish this week, so if you are stuck in town, they might be worth a visit.
If you are out at night this weekend, look skyward. The Lyrid Meteor Showers peak on Saturday and Sunday, with the best viewing time from midnight to dawn.
Be sure to get your 2012 fishing license and go catch some memories. Maybe I'll see you out there.

CENTRAL WATERS

URBAN LAKES — The third catfish stocking of the spring season is taking place this week (April 16-21) at all Phoenix and Tucson area urban waters.

Cats from the first two stockings have been biting very well on worms, stink baits, hot dogs or shrimp fished on the bottom. Catfish have been active throughout the day with afternoons and evenings best.

Bluegill fishing is good at all Phoenix and Tucson area waters that were just stocked the end of March. Best baits for the feisty, 5- to 8-inch bluegill are worms and mealworms fished under a small bobber in 3-6 foot depths.

Action for largemouth bass has slowed as they move into the post-spawn period over the next few weeks. Please exercise catch and release for largemouth bass and remember the minimum keepable size for bass is 13 inches.

At Green Valley lakes (Payson) fishing is good to excellent for trout. Many trout from 13 to 18 inches were included in a recent stocking. Try Power Bait, worms or salmon eggs off the bottom. Lure and fly anglers are doing well on KastMasters, spinners, small tube jigs, or wooly buggers.

Trout stockings at this higher elevation Urban lake will continue every two weeks until mid-May. Also at Green Valley, the bite for crappie and bass is picking up for anglers using small jigs and plastic worms.

TEMPE TOWN LAKE – It's bass, bluegill and catfish time. Anglers are catching bass close to structure such as the bridges. There are some bass on beds, but it's mostly post-spawn bass action time. Try working plastic worms or drop shots along the shade lines beneath the bridges.
LAKE PLEASANT – Mike McFarland, a guide with Hook Up Outfitters, said the bite was good before the storm last weekend, with water temperatures in the main basin around 67 F, but after the storm the water temperature dropped to 61 degrees and the bite slowed down significantly. He said that by Wednesday, the water temperature was back up and so was the bite.
The largest concentration of striped bass is at 68 feet deep right now, although Mike said it is possible to find some random schools of stripers shallow water, especially in the northern coves.
Largemouth bass are in the spawning mode right now, but it might be possible to find some post-spawn bass as well.
Fishing for catfish should also be picking up with this spat of warmer weather, especially in the warmer coves or along shallow flats. Try using chicken livers, hot dogs or even commerically prepared stink baits.
ROOSEVELT LAKE – Lake elevation is 2,121 feet and the lake level is 66 percent. Inflows from the Salt are down to 445 cfs.
The storm last weekend slowed the bite, but fishing should be picking right back up, especially with this spat of warmer weather.
You can expect to find bass in pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn modes right now.
Haven't received a crappie report in a week, so not sure what is happening on that front.
Also haven't heard any smallmouth bass reports. April is quite often smallmouth spawning time at Rosy, but this has been a strange year. Let us know if you have any current information (raikens@azgfd.gov).
This is the leading edge of the flathead catfish season. Try small bluegill or carp.
APACHE – Lake elevation is 1,907 feet (93 percent full). As with the other desert lakes, you can expect to find largemouth bass in pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn modes right now. Haven't heard anything on the smallmouth bass front recently.
Some anglers have done well catching largemouth bass, with some decent smallmouth bass as well. Please practice catch-and-release on spawners, especially smallmouth bass, to help this lake on the comeback trail.
This can be a great month for walleye. Walleye are light sensitive, so try at first and last light. Worm rigs can work, but another strategy is to tips any of your lures with pieces of night crawler, even while fishing for bass, and you might also get a walleye surprise.
Apache is also full of some really nice yellow bass. Try gold KastMasters or yellow/gold Rooster Tails.
CANYON – Lake elevation is 1,657 feet, which is 95 percent full. The storm front slowed down the bite, but it should pick back up. This can be a tough lake to fish, especially for novice anglers, and even veteran anglers can expect low catch rates but it is the land of the lunkers, especially during the bass spawn.
This is a great place to catch channel catfish from shore. Catfishing will still be a little slow right now. Try using stink bait.
SAGUARO – Lake elevation is 1,525 feet at 93 percent full. The storm front slowed down the bite, but it should pick right back up again. Expect to find bass in the pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn mode. Some anglers are experiencing good catch rates, others aren't.
If you can't find largemouth bass, try some gold KastMasters for yellow bass. They are fun to catch on lightweight tackle, and pretty good eating as well.

Saguaro is an early-bird lake for channel catfish. In fact, bass anglers sometimes catch them while working shad-like lures. Water releases are around 850 cfs.
BARTLETT – The Jojoba Boat Ramp reopened on April 2. Fishing this past weekend was very good for largemouth bass, despite the storm, but the bite likely slowed following the front. However, the warmer weather should get the sport-fish more active again. Fishing for crappie was good before the storm, and should pick right back up. This might be a good time to fish under lights at night for crappie.

Lake elevation is 1,754 feet and it is 47-percent full. Good timing, because the bass and crappie fishing has really turned on here, although many of the crappie are small. You can still hook into some slabbers (see report below).
HORSESHOE – Lake is empty.
VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 205 cubic feet per second.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – They are releasing 942 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro. Stocked last week and is scheduled to be stocked again the week of April 23.

Trout fishing should be decent on night crawlers, small spinners, casting spoons such as KastMasters and flies. This is a unique desert river trout fishery in the Upper Sonoran Desert. It's a great place to catch some excellent memories.
Creeks Below the Mogollon Rim
Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek and the East Verde River are scheduled to be stocked again this week. Try night crawlers, Power Bait, or small spinners, such as Mepps and Rooster Tails. Power Bait can also work well.

COLORADO RIVER NORTHWEST
LAKE POWELL – By: Wayne Gustaveson. Fishing is fantastic as long as you are fishing for bass in the afternoon.  Bass spawning is imminent.  It may take another week due to unsettled weather but fishing will remain very good for bass for the rest of the month.

Water temperature still declines into the mid 50s overnight but by afternoon water in the backs of the canyons and coves warms to the mid 60s.  This warming and cooling cycle produces the best bass fishing of the year.
  
Sight fishing for very big bass makes fishing very exciting. Bass are cruising the shallow shoreline looking for nests sites. Water is often crystal clear making bass very visible as they leisurely swim from one clump of brush to the next. The secret to actually catching bass is to put the lure in front of them before you see each other. Bass can see you as well as you see them. One approach is mark the spot where a large bass or nest is seen. Return a few hours later. Throw a long cast to the bush where the bass lives.  Let the bait rest on bottom for at least a minute or two and then twitch it once.  That should result in a hook up if the bass is still there.

The best lure this week was a 5- or 6-inch Yamamoto Senko fished on an offset worm hook.  Fish it very patiently.

The good news about early warming and small runoff is that sight fishing for cruising and nesting bass may be prolonged into May. Bass nests made this week may still be visible and only a foot or two deeper during May.  Bass fishing will be good enough that all anglers will be successful.  So remember to release largemouth bass and male smallmouth bass that are guarding nests. It is fine to keep smallmouth bass 12 inches and smaller.

Crappie are hanging in the submerged trees and are visible in clear water.  They too will be on nests by the third week of April if not earlier.  The crappie limit is 10 fish as we try to protect the population for future years when brush inevitably declines and survival of young crappie will be more difficult.  Keep 10 crappie and release the rest for another day.

Striped bass are a bit of a mystery. Yearling stripers up to 15 inches are eating plankton in the back of the canyons in treetops where bottom depth is 15-25 feet. Trees stick up to 5-10 feet under the surface. Trolling and casting very shallow running crankbaits is most effective during morning and evening hours.

Larger stripers make occasional appearances in the treetops but most of the time they are absent.  Finding big stripers is a random event. The most successful pattern is to troll or fish deep running spoons and jigs along drop-offs where depth changes rapidly from 40 to 25 feet. Isolated schools are very cooperative when found but very difficult to locate.
 
Adult stripers are not being seen in deep water, and are more likely to be found toward the back of the canyon or along the edge of the main channel. They have not moved toward the channel or the dam.  Do not expect to find large numbers of stripers in the deep water channel this spring.  They are fat and lazy living off stored fat from the many shad that were eaten last fall.  They will stay in the backs of canyons until water warms into the 70s.
Fishing will be excellent during the rest of April in between the cold storm fronts of springtime.

LEES FERRY — By: Terry Gunn, March 30, 2012.

Fly Fishing Up-River
The river is running 7,000cfs to 13,000 cfs and the same exact flows are forecast for April and May. The key will be the ramp rate and when the water rises and falls. The recent ramp rates have been inconsistent and we will just have to wait and see what they give us the next two months. The water flows will be lower on the weekends and holidays. To help put the current flow levels into perspective; our current high flow is approximately four vertical feet lower than the flows that we saw last year…the river is finally back to normal. It is really good to be back in the river, wading and sight casting.
The midge hatches are just now beginning which means that they are really late this year. I’m not sure why they are so late but I would imagine it has something to do with the high water flows of last year and likely our warmer than normal water temperatures that occurred from June-December 2011, when the river water temps were 10-degrees above normal due to the huge water inflow into Lake Powell last spring. The good news is that the midge hatches nave really picked up the last few days and should continue to grow in intensity and duration the next few months.
To help understand why midges are so important to our fishing success it’s good to know more about the lifecycle of midges and their importance to the trout diet. The adult midges contribute very little to the trout diet. It is rare that you will see an adult trout rise to feed on an adult midge; the reason is that the amount of energy expended is not worth the food intake.

The adult midges breed then release their eggs into the water. The eggs sink and hatch into a tiny caterpillar (larvae) that lives on the bottom of the river for an extended period of time. At some point the larvae pupates and forms a chrysalis. The midge pupae will release in mass, and countless pupae will begin slowly drifting to the surface. This in turn flips the feeding switch for the trout and the fish will move into the shallow riffles where the pupae are concentrated by the shallow water. This is when the trout are feeding so heavily that they get careless and will eat our fly if it has a close resemblance to the midge pupae that they are feeding on.
The bigger the hatch the better the fishing; this is why the best fishing always occurs during big hatches and why the midge hatches are so important to the trout diet. The biggest midge hatches always occur in the lower water flows.

During the lower flows trout are not eating worms or scuds because these food items are not available; the only time that worms and scuds are available is during the high water flows when the higher velocity water moves the suds and worms around. If there are no midge hatches in the lower flows the fish will not be feeding and the fishing will be slow. I go into a lot more detail on fish feeding behavior here: http://www.leesferry.com/main/area-information/fishing-101
Be sure to stop by the shop to see the flies that are currently working. The flies change on a daily basis and the LFA guides let everyone at the shop know every day the top producing flies and how to use them.
The spawn is very weak this year. I figure that this is a “compensatory response” due to the fact that the spawn and recruitment has been so successful the past couple of years. This is a natural response by the fish and I have seen it many times over the years and next year will likely be different.
The streamer fishing has just been so-so and will likely not pick up until the water flows increase this summer. The reason for this is that the higher flows move larger food items around (scuds, worms, etc.).
Walk-In Fly Fishing Report: by Andy Vincent
The Walk-in continues to fish well with the lower flows allowing anglers much more access to the river. Zebra midges are still the best choice with San Juan worms and scuds working as well. Fish are hitting the dry fly sporadically now so the dry dropper is a viable set-up for fishing different columns in the water.

When all else fails fishing a black or olive wooly bugger in the deeper, slower water will work. We are starting to see fish in the shallower water of the upper boulder field so this could be a good place for the dry dropper rig. The area above and below the “big rock” is always a good area to find fish as they have quick access to deep water when spooked. The lower flows are making for much more fishable water around the confluence of the Paria with the Colorado.

Be careful when wading this area as the shifting sands and fast water make this a treacherous place to fish. Remember that the water flows will be lower on weekends and holidays and higher on weekdays. As the midge hatches increase expect the fishing in this section of river to get better every day.
Spin fishing the walk-in:
Spin fishing has not been as good as fly fishing the past few weeks. The river flows are fluctuating and these flow changes appear to make the fish take the spinner only at certain times of the days. The feeding habits have been changing on a daily basis so I can’t give a specific time but mid-day has been when I have had the best luck. Gold is the color and it works with KastMasters or Panther Martin size 1/4 oz. or size 6. Jigs and bouncing Glo-Bugs works has been working well at times if you can get the lure down to where the fish are. There is a lot of moss in the water due to the fluctuating flows so you will have to clean off the moss every other cast or so..
Spin Fishing Up River:
Spin fishing is good! It’s all about bouncing Glo bugs, San Juan Worms and Scuds off the bottom. You can also try fishing with gold KastMasters, black and gold Panther Martins #5s or Rapalas in perch or trout.

Also definitely don’t forget about the marabou jig; this one has been working great and has been very reliable. When spin fishing up river look for the seams that are out where the fast and slow water meet. This is where you will find some nice fish holding. Don’t be afraid to make long cast but accuracy is important.
If you have some news you would like to report about fishing lees ferry, the walk-in section or up river please e-mail your report to: anglers@leesferry.com  Attn. Lees Ferry Fishing Report
We would be happy to have your input, and pass it along.
Here is a report form one of our customers.
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Son Scott and I decided to fish Lee’s Ferry as a “last minute” hey lets go fishing trip. The walk in on Saturday was crowded and a bit slow, but worth the effort. On Sunday we fished with Guide Jeff English from your shop. Again a last minute booking so we were fortunate to get him. Jeff put us on fish all day and needless to say we caught a boat load. Dry-dropper was the ticket. I have been fortunate to fish some A+ and blue ribbon fisheries with great success. Sunday was as good if not the best day as any I ever had on the Big Horn, Madison or Yellowstone!!! Thanks Jeff!!! AND your teaching moment was a success—I now understand that if you don’t land the fish, it is never the fishes fault…;} Thanks to the shop staff and kitchen for great treatment! We’ll see you in July/!!!

For details on Lake Powell conditions and snow-pack, go here: http://lakepowell.water-data.com/
For a real time graphic view of water releases and ramp rates go here: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/az/nwis/uv?09380000.

LAKE MEAD –  In the last week the water level has dropped almost 1 foot to approximately 1,127 feet above msl.  It looks like the water elevation has stabilized compared to the November 2010 elevation of 1082 feet above msl, which marked the lowest level in decades. There seems to be an abundance of shad currently which may be the reason for the lack of bite.  Cut anchovies are still the bait of choice.  Check the moon phases before you go — there is a waning moon right now and the next new moon is April 21.  Dark nights work best when fishing under light.

Fishing for stripers in 50 plus feet of water will normally find the larger fish.   If you can locate the shad, the stripers are not far behind. Trolling usually works best in areas were shad are found and best done in the early mornings and evenings.

The bite for largemouth and smallmouth was reported good using plastic worms and crawdads with purple and browns in them.  Several fishermen said that top water lures were working for them.  All the fishermen contacted were hopeful for the coming years with rising water conditions and the abundance of baitfish they have seen this year.  
Launching conditions at South Cove have improved as the water level has gone up. There are currently four lanes.  As the water raises logs and other debris can become hazards, so be careful boating.
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 MOHAVE – The lake level has maintained about 642 feet above msl.  The black bass are hitting soft baits when worked slowly especially on grass beds in 20 to 30 feet deep.  Trolling with anchovies in 30 to 50 feet has been producing some stripers, while catfish are on the bottom.  While the number of stripers in Mohave has been decreasing, the quality of the fish caught has increased. Best time to fish is at night for cats and he likes fishing for largemouth and smallmouth in the early morning with blue, black and purple and black grubs and worms.
Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Next new moon is April 21.  Cut anchovies usually work the best.
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, and Arrowhead.  Fish habitat consists of PVC structures, wood pallet structures, tamarisk bundles, and some Christmas trees. 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.
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 www.azgfd.gov  or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.
WILLOW BEACH – Willow Beach is stocked every Friday with 3,000 13-inch rainbow trout.  Rainbow, peach, garlic and yellow Power Baits and Power Worms were being used most for trout.  Jakes original and Jakes Juniors, Panther Martin and Rooster Tails are also usually effective.

Fishing is usually best near the fishing pier after the Friday stocking.  Most of the nice stripers and trout are seem to be caught between river mile 49 and 53.  Willow Beach can be hit-or-miss bait fishing.  Try different baits including swim baits when nobody seems to be hooking anything.
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. 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.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department's web pages at www.azgfd.gov  or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.
COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM – Trout continue to bite in the casino area with some larger fish in the deep holes.  Several folks have called and spoke of very large trout being caught in the Laughlin area.  Rusty from Riviera Marina sent a picture of a beautiful 17-pound striper caught in the Rotary Park area.   Overall the fishing is great on the river with large rainbow trout still being caught.  Rusty sent a picture in of a beautiful rainbow trout and a nice fillet size striper.
Topock Gorge – The report from the Gorge is that the cold slowed the bite down but the good news is the smallmouth spawn is on.  The reported bright spot is that the bluegill bite is hot and heavy with fish up to 2.25 lbs being taken.  Sunfish are also hitting.

Smallmouth and largemouth bites are in full swing.  A 3.5 lb largemouth was recently caught on night crawlers although live bait has been the most effective.  Stripers have been few and far between but several 15- to 20-pound stripers have being caught.   
TOPOCK MARSH – The action at Topock Marsh has been steadily improving. Night crawlers and live minnows have been tempting catfish from North Dyke.   Bass can be hit and miss but live bait has been reported to work the best now.  Stripers appear abundant from the February AZGFD survey. Small crappies are being taken throughout the marsh.
You can access the marsh by boat at the North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of area for shoreline fishing too. 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.
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 www.azgfd.gov  or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

 

SOUTHWESTERN WATERS
Note: If you would like more information on southwestern waters, visit http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/where_fish_southwest.shtml. Our Yuma Regional office has recently updated all the information to provide you more insight into these fisheries.
For more information, visit the updated "Where to Fish" pages at http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/where_fish_southwest.shtml.

LAKE HAVASU — Report courtesy John Galbraith of BassTackleMaster.com, Lake Havasu City, Az.

Lake Havasu City. Lake Level 447.58. Stripers hitting on slow trolled cut anchovies rigged with 1.5 to 2 oz. banana sinkers with a 2- to 4-foot leader. Anchovy rig should be skipping along the bottom for best results. Main basin north of Winsor, Havasu Landing and Calif Bay have been the best trolling areas.

Best Bait fishing action on anchor has been south of Devils Elbow to Castle Rock in the main river current where stripers are schooling up to spawn.
First couple hours of the morning have produced the best quality stripers. Topwater action staring now with surface temps rising into the mid/upper 60s.

Largemouth and Smallmouth spawn continues. Good bass action on chartreuse-tailed finesse worms no longer than 4.5 inches. Small crawdad type plastics have been working good too. Please practice catch and release during this spawning time to give our bass a chance to reproduce.


PARKER STRIP — No recent reports. Should be decent smallmouth bass fishing just below Parker Dam.
ALAMO LAKE — Fishing Report courtesy Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park. Well folks, it's been another long week of high winds and good fishing, depending on who you talk to. Anglers have been coming in and saying the morning and mid-day bite are o.k. at best.

The early morning topwater is starting to turn on. Try throwing a plastic frog in the back of a cove. Let it sit for a minute and  give it twitch. Keep doing that until the frog is back to the boat. Try that a few times and if you don't get a bite then do like I do. Put it back in the box and go to 4-inch plastics like lizards and robo worms.

Junior and I have been doing excellent in the evening using a zoom 4-inch lizard, brown in color, with a chartreuse tail.  He very hard headed and likes to throw crap I have never seen or even heard of before. I think we were on night two and I had him 5 fish to zero.  He got kinda quite in the back of the boat so I looked back and noticed he was getting with the program and Texas-rigged a lizard with a 1/4 -ounce weight.  Now Junior can manage to catch every stick in the lake and we spend a lot of time going back trying to retrieve stuff.  He tossed the lizard out, let it sit for a minute, makes some kind of weird noise and sets the hook.  About the time he thought he had caught the bottom of the lake, again, the pole went straight down.  It was a good two to three minutes before it surfaced and I was figuring a big cat fish.  We finally get a flash and realize it's a bass.  A big bass.  I put my pole down and made sure not to touch the trolling motor.  I was not going get blamed if he lost this fish.  He did good, worked it just right and boated a 5 1/2 pound bass. The look on his face was priceless. We ended up with a 5 fish to 4 finish that night with him with the toad.

The last couple of nights we have been  catching 8 to 10 fish apiece; all in the slot range.  Due to windage we have been spending allot of time up around the dam and working the cliffs. Last night was the first time we were able to go the upper end of lake without getting the crap beat out us with waves.  Once you get to the second buoy line slow down.  There's a lot of sand bars  and tree stumps starting to surface.  I could not buy a fish on crankbaits, but did o.k. throwing an 1/8-ounce jig head with a two-inch grub.  I caught one crappie and threw him in the live well.  If I catch more than three then I will clean them.  If not then they get tossed back in the lake at the end of the night.

When we put the boat on the trailer, and I was putting gear away I asked Junior to get the crappie out of the live well and put him back into the lake. What a show that turned out to be.  All you could see was his head and hand in there and hear a lot of splashing.  He was still trying to catch the darn thing when I was finished cleaning the boat. I told him I had my money on the crappie.  Well, this really pissed him off and he was on a mission now.  When he finally caught it and his fingers were all cut up from the fins I told him hears a clue.  Next time let the water out of the live well and you will save yourself about an hour.  He mumbled something that ended with you and got in the truck.

No other reports from anglers on crappie fishing.

Cat fishing is o.k.  Anglers are shore fishing around the ramps and catching some 3 to 5 pounders using night crawlers.

I am going to go down and work on the main ramp today and see if we can't get the turnaround area cleaned out and be able to launch off there for a couple of weeks.  After that then it's the Cholla Ramp only until the lake level drops enough to put in the portable ramp at the old rental boat road.  It's that time of year to remember sun block and bug spray.  We have All Stars Bass Club out here this weekend, so I will have some weights and sizes for you next week.

That's it for now.

Mark

COLORADO RIVER (PARKER STRIP AREA) — Fishing for smallmouth bass over two pounds in size is expected to be good to excellent. In addition, redear sunfish should also be good in the pound-plus sizes. 
The Parker Strip is well known for its smallmouth bass fishing, especially in the area from the dam to several miles downstream. The Parker Strip is also home to some really impressive, dinner-plate sized redear sunfish of two pounds or larger.
Channel and flathead catfish fishing is always fair in this section of the Colorado River. Below the dam, striper fishing should also be fair, using live shad or anchovies. Largemouth bass are abundant, especially in the downstream portions of the Parker Strip. Channel and flathead catfish fishing will be fair to good in this section of the Colorado River as the weather warms up.
Take precautions to make sure your boat and equipment are clean before leaving the water to make sure you don’t spread quagga mussels to other water by accident. 
COLORADO RIVER (Picacho State Park to Imperial Dam, including backwaters and Martinez Lake)

This stretch of the river is best known for its trophy-sized flathead catfish, with some over 70 pounds and largemouth bass, with some over 10 pounds. However, it can also be good for channel catfish, sunfish and carp and to a lesser extent striped bass, crappie and tilapia.
Largemouth bass fishing is generally best in the backwaters or near the mouth of the backwaters. There are many different techniques used for largemouth bass. As a general rule, most people will use topwater lures such as buzzbaits or spinnerbaits in the early morning and then switch to jigs, crankbaits, or swimbaits as the day progresses.
Using plastic baits that resemble worms, crawdads, frogs, or lizards often work well. It is generally best to fish around structure such as weedbeds, emergent vegetation, tree stumps, brush, or boat docks. Fishing picks up as the water temperatures warm up in the spring and summer but largemouth can be taken any time of the year.
Flathead fishing is generally best in slack water areas, deep holes, or near overhanging vegetation along the main channel of the river. Flatheads prefer live bait such as bluegill or small carp and fishing is best at night during the summer months. Channel catfish are wide spread in the main river channel and backwaters and will bite on night crawlers, chicken liver, stinkbait, or about any other “smelly” bait. They can be caught year-round but probably bite best at night.
Bluegill are also widespread but are most likely to be found around structure in the backwaters or slackwater areas. Bluegill will bite on meal worms, night crawlers or small crappie jigs.
MITTRY LAKE — Mittry Lake is located just above Laguna Dam, and supports a good population of largemouth bass and channel catfish, and even some good-sized flathead catfish. There are shoreline fishing opportunities at this lake in the form of about a dozen rock jetties, but you’ll probably have the best success in a small boat. Mittry Lake can be frustrating, as the bite seems to be real variable, but the fish are there. It is just a question of getting them to respond to your presentation. The water tends to be very murky most of the year, except for the upper end of Teal Alley where the lake inflow comes in, so play to the fish’s sense of hearing and smell, rather than sight. There are also crappie and sunfish to be caught, although they tend to average relatively small in size. Mittry Lake is well-known locally for the quality largemouth bass it produces, and fishing during the spring spawn will increase your chances of success.
YUMA AREA PONDS — The Department has stepped up efforts to encourage the recruitment of new anglers, and retention of existing ones. To this end, the Department has increased stocking efforts in a few ponds in the Yuma area that are easily accessed without a boat, within a short distance of the urban center. Those ponds are the Yuma West Wetlands pond, located in the City Park, and Redondo and Fortuna ponds, located about 10 miles northeast of Yuma. Access to Redondo Pond was recently improved with the addition of an ADA-compliant fishing pier, and thick cattail growth was removed at Fortuna Pond this summer, improving shoreline access by many orders of magnitude. All of these waters received multiple stockings of rainbow trout in the winter months; Redondo Pond will be stocked with channel catfish during the spring, and the Yuma West Wetlands pond will receive channel catfish and bluegills. We may be able to stock Fortuna Pond with channel catfish in the future, pending the outcome of the statewide sport-fish stocking consultation with the USFWS that is hopefully nearing completion. Depending on available funding, we hope to continue regular stockings into all three of these shoreline-accessible waters, and perhaps add additional waters to our stocking schedule. These ponds provide an ideal place to take the family. All three waters now are provided with restroom and trash facilities. Special regulations on fish limits are in effect for these waters, so be sure to consult the Regulations before you take fish.
REGIONAL HOT SPOTS — Alamo Lake will continue to be a hot spot for plentiful largemouth bass and channel catfish, although trophy-sized fish will be uncommon. Lake Havasu is probably currently the premier lake in our Region (and perhaps the State) for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and redear sunfish. Numbers caught will likely be lower, but the quality of the fish much higher. The Parker Strip should remain excellent for smallmouth bass and redear sunfish, and the Colorado River below Walter’s Camp down to Imperial Dam the best bet for large and plentiful flathead catfish. Our spring surveys indicate that there is a very impressive population of flathead catfish in the lower Imperial Division between Picacho State Park and Imperial Dam. Expect many in the 5- to 10-pound size class, but we know of at least one state record lurking in those waters. Backwaters in the Imperial Division above Imperial Dam will continue to yield impressive largemouth bass, up to and exceeding 10 pounds.
If you need any additional information or assistance, don't hesitate to contact the Yuma Regional office at (928) 342-0091, and we will be happy to give you whatever information we have. A very good resource for local fishing information in the Yuma area is the website and forum at http://www.yumabassman.com/.

CENTRAL MOUNTAINS
WILLIAMS LAKES:  
 
KAIBAB LAKE — Campground is closed. No report. Scheduled to be stocked this week.
CATARACT LAKE — Campground is closed.  No report.  Scheduled to be stocked this week.
CITY RESERVOIR — No report,  Stocked last week.

DOGTOWN LAKE — Campground is closed. Scheduled to be stocked this week.
JD DAM — No report
RUSSELL TANK — The lake is to shallow to stock.
SANTA FE — No Report. Stocked Last Week
WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campground is closed. Scheduled to be stocked this week.
FLAGSTAFF LAKES:
LOWER LAKE MARY — Very low water. No report.
UPPER LAKE MARY —   No report but anglers should be catching northern pike right now. This lake also has walleye, yellow perch and largemouth bass.
ASHURST LAKE —   No report but the road is open. About 16,000 fish were stocked last week and Ashurst is scheduled to be stocked again this week.
The lake was sampled a couple of weeks ago and lots of holdover rainbow trout were caught. Smaller pike were also common in our nets; please remove all of the pike you catch. 
FRANCIS SHORT POND –  Fishing was fair last week according to the report I received from a fly angler.  Stocked last week
KINNIKINICK LAKE — Road is still closed.
MARSHALL LAKE —  No report low water
OAK CREEK — No report. Stocked last week.
LONG LAKE — No report. Accessible, but no reports from anglers.
SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX — No report.


VERDE VALLEY
DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Catfish were last stocked for the Verde River Days event.  Trout were last stocked the week of March 19.  The catfish and largemouth bite has been fair.  Catfish are still being caught on nightcrawlers, chicken liver, and stinkbait.   The bass are being caught on small plastic worms and Gitzit-type plastic grubs, bounced slowly along the bottom.  Sunfish have been doing well on worms, salmon eggs, or small piece of Power Bait under a bobber.    They bite best in the early morning hours and the evening.
VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Trout were last stocked the week March 26.  Carp fishing has been good using corn or dough baits.  Always check your regulations before fishing this area with live bait.  Game and Fish Commission Rule requires anglers to only use live bait that has been caught in the river.  No transporting of live baitfish or crayfish is allowed. 
BEAVER CREEK – Stocked two weeks ago.
WEST CLEAR CREEK- Stocked two weeks ago.
Prescott Area
FAIN LAKE — The last stocking was the week of April 2.  The reports from regulars at the lake say the trout are biting, but the morning bite is the best.  Anglers are having luck throughout the day using Power Bait and Berkley Gulp.  Rainbow and yellow seem to be the popular colors.  Fishermen using their fly rod gear are having the best luck. Brown trout and rainbows are hitting the flies very well with one fisherman catching 47 fish (all browns) off the same fly.  Flies are less likely to get swallowed so releasing the fish is much easier. 
GOLDWATER LAKE — Many anglers have reported doing well.  Power Bait is probably your best bet, although spinners and flies can do well also. The father of Jackson and Isabella sent in a picture with the kids holding their limit of trout with priceless smiles on each of their faces. They were using worms with a bobber and the occasional KastMaster or a tiny Repala.  Like most fishing areas, one day the bite is great and the next it’s slow.  The last scheduled stocking was the week of April 9.     
Game and Fish has been trying to boost the some of the warm water species in Goldwater.  Bass and catfish have been stocked three times over the last four years.   The bass are being stocked to give a boost to a dwindling population in the lake and to reduce the excessive number of crayfish.  Please practice catch and release with the bass, while the population gets re-established.
Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Goldwater on Sept. 15, 2009 and found bass and catfish populations to be much improved over last year. The number of green sunfish was greatly reduced.  The bass had a successful spawn last year.   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 – The bass are biting now.  Michael sent in a report of catching 4 largmouth in two hours with the biggest 3.5 lb.  He was using a rubber trout with a spinner tip and a rainbow trout spinner.  Thanks for the report Michael!  If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.
LYNX LAKE –Rainbow trout were last stocked the week of April 9.  The cold front last weekend slowed the bite down for all species except trout.  
Cut anchovies, night crawlers or hot dogs are your best bet for catfish. Lynx also can be an exciting place to fish for carp.  Common carp are very strong fighters and will provide an 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. There are some good spots on the north end of the lake that don’t get fished as heavily as the south end does.
MINGUS LAKE – The last stocking was scheduled for the week of April 2.  This should change the trout bite.  Yellow bullhead catfish are active and easy to catch with night crawlers on the bottom. For trout the best bait is usually orange, pink, or white Power Bait, fished on the bottom with a treble hook and an egg sinker. Fishing can be really good at times, because angler use is lower than other lakes in the area. This lake is more remote than the other Prescott area lakes and not very big. The lake is open as weather permits.  Forest Road 104 is relatively impassable when wet. The lake is still open to foot traffic.
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 – The last trout stocking was the week of Feb. 13.   Folks have caught 16-17 inch holdover trout from the shore near the new boat launch.  If you have fished Watson Lake please send me a report of your trip to share with folks.
Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Watson last week and found the bass, sunfish, and bullhead to be plentiful.  Crappies were also doing well.  Look for the crappie fishing to pick up in a year or two. 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 – The fishing should be slow until the water warms up I the spring. 
If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

WHITE MOUNTAINS/MOGOLLON RIM
Recommended Waters to Fish
Holdover trout fishing is excellent at Big Lake, and good at Nelson Reservoir, Willow Springs Lake, and Woods Canyon Lake.  Trout stocking has begun for the season and fishing will be good at Concho Lake, Black Canyon Lake, Bunch Reservoir, Tunnel Reservoir, River Reservoir, Fool Hollow Lake, Show Low Lake, Scott Reservoir, and Woodland Lake, and Rainbow Lake.  For fly anglers, Becker Lake is good, with reports of 24-25 inch hard-fighting rainbow trout.
Trout Stocking Schedule

Trout stocking for the week of April 9-13
*Black Canyon Lake – 1,641 rainbow trout
*Bunch Reservoir – 3,715 rainbow trout
*Fool Hollow Lake – 2,583 rainbow trout
*Rainbow Lake – 1,500 rainbow trout
*Rainbow Lake – 375 1-pound rainbow trout
*Scott Reservoir – 2,214 rainbow trout
*Show Low Lake – 2,952 rainbow trout
*Tunnel Reservoir – 2,763 rainbow trout
*Woodland Lake – 1,750 rainbow trout
Trout stocking for the week of April 16-20
*Becker Lake – 750 rainbow trout
*Black Canyon Lake – 1,640 rainbow trout
*Clear Cr Reservoir – 2,430 rainbow trout
*Rainbow Lake – 1,500 rainbow trout
*River Reservoir – 2,025 rainbow trout
*Tunnel Reservoir – 1,750 rainbow trout

MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
Note:  All Rim Lakes are ice-free and all Forest Roads are open, including the Rim Road.
BEAR CANYON LAKE –  Fishing is fair for carryover rainbow trout.  Forest Roads 300 and 89 are now open to Bear Canyon Lake.  The lake is ice-free and full.

BLACK CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake was stocked last week with 1,640 rainbow trout and will be stocked again this week.  Forest Roads 300 and 86 are open to Black Canyon Lake.  The lake is ice-free, but is very low. Launching a boat will be very difficult.  Recent fish population surveys found a few carryover rainbow trout from 14 to 17 inches, and a few big largemouth bass.
CHEVELON LAKE – Fishing is good.  All Forest Roads are open to Chevelon Lake  The lake is ice-free and full.  The spring spillover should be ending soon.  Recent fish population surveys found good numbers of rainbow trout from 11 to 14 inches, and a few brown trout ranging from 12 to 29 inches.
WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is good.  Forest Road 149 is open to Willow Springs Lake.  The lake is ice-free and full, and was stocked two weeks ago with 1,620 rainbow trout.  The boat dock was damaged by ice over the winter and is not accessible, but it is still okay to launch boats.
WOODS CANYON LAKE – Fishing is good for carryover rainbow trout.  Forest Roads 300 and 105 are open to Woods Canyon Lake.  The lake is ice-free and full.  The store is open and boat rentals are available.


Angler report:
Rory:
Woods Canyon
I fished Woods Canyon this last weekend. The fishing was off the charts on Friday before the storm.  I was averaging 10 fish per hour. I was using a float tube to work the main body of the lake.  I was stripping green wooley buggers on a full sinking line. The fish were mostly standard stickers 7 to 11 inchers.

On Saturday the wind and snow were coming down.  The fishing was still great.  I called it a day after a few hours as it was just too cold. I would recommend this lake if you have kids as the trout are really biting. 
Bear Canyon
I fished this for about an hour on Saturday.  Attached is a picture of the North end of the lake.  I drove in the back way on FR84.  There was about 8 inches of snow and white out conditions.  I had no luck fishing. The wind was very strong and snow was really coming down.

It will probably be a week before it is dry enough to get back to the lake. I assumed another 8 inches of snow fell all day Saturday.

I did see a few stranded vehicles. One group had no choice but to leave their truck and get it when the weather is better. I would not recommend going up until two weeks from now until the snow melts and mud dries up.  If you have 4-wheel you should be good.  If pulling a trailer definitely not. 
Thank You,
Brian V. Savoy

CREEKS – Our new interactive stocking schedule will actually provide you maps of the creeks, along with the locations we stock along those creeks.
Tonto Creek, Christopher Creek, Haigler Creek and the East Verde River are scheduled to be stocked again this week. Try night crawlers, Power Bait, or small spinners, such as Mepps and Rooster Tails. Cane poles can be a lot of fun, especially for youngsters. Have them dig worms in the garden to get their own bait. Power Bait can also work well.
Canyon Creek is also being stocked this week. There are special regulations in effect for a portion of Canyon Creek (it's well signed). But you might want to check the regulations before going.

WHITE MOUNTAINS LAKES
Note:  All Forest roads are now open, including Highways 261 and 273.  The final pieces of construction on Hwy 273 were completed last fall, so the road is paved all the way to Big Lake now and is in beautiful condition. All lakes are ice-free.
BECKER LAKE – Fishing is good. The lake is ice-free. Some fly fishermen are catching trout on nymphs (midges and black woolly buggers). Anglers have been consistently catching rainbows over 20 inches.  Becker Lake is catch-and-release only, with artificial lures and flies only with single barbless hook.
BIG LAKE – Fishing is excellent.  The lake is ice-free and Highways 261 and 273 are  now open.  The final pieces of construction on Hwy 273 were completed last fall, so the road is paved all the way to Big Lake now and is in beautiful condition.  Big Lake was not impacted by the Wallow Fire last year.  

CARNERO LAKE – Fishing is fair.  The lake is ice-free and all Forest Roads are now open. Fish population surveys conducted last week at Carnero Lake found that some trout survived the winter. Few fish were caught, but the weeds are currently down and the entire lake is accessible. The remaining trout are likely spread throughout the lake. The lake level is about 1.5 feet down.
CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake is almost full and was stocked two weeks ago with 2,200 rainbow trout.
CRESCENT LAKE – Fishing is fair.  The lake is ice-free and Highways 261 and 273 are now open. Fish population surveys conducted last week found that some fish survived the winter.  A fair number of brook trout from 14 to 16 inches were caught, plus one small rainbow trout.

The lake likely experienced a partial winterkill on the larger rainbow trout, which tend to die first from low oxygen conditions.  Small rainbow trout tend to die next, then brook trout last. The surveys showed that only the large rainbows were missing.

The final pieces of construction on Hwy 273 were completed last fall, so the road is paved all the way to Crescent and Big lakes now and is in beautiful condition.
FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Fishing is fair to good.  The lake was stocked last week with over 2,500 rainbow trout.  Fool Hollow is ice-free.  Recent fish population surveys found walleye, some large northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie and some holdover rainbow trout.
GREER LAKES – Fishing is good.  River Reservoir, Bunch Reservoir, and Tunnel Reservoir are full and ice-free.  Bunch and Tunnel were both stocked with rainbow trout last week.  River Reservoir will be stocked with 2,025 rainbow trout and Tunnel Reservoir will be stocked with 1,750 rainbow trout this week.
HULSEY LAKE – The lake was drained immediately following the Wallow Fire to help reduce expected flooding off Escudilla Mountain and will not be stocked this year.
LEE VALLEY LAKE – Highways 273 and 261 are now open. The final pieces of construction on Hwy 273 were completed last fall, so the road is paved all the way to Crescent Lake now and is in beautiful condition.

Lee Valley Lake was not impacted by the Wallow Fire last year.  The lake is ice-free, but the lake level is fairly low.  Fish population surveys will be conducted next week to determine if there was a winter kill.
LUNA LAKE – Fishing is fair. The lake is full and ice-free.  Recent fish population surveys showed few trout are present in the lake. Rainbow trout will be stocked soon to improve the fishing at Luna.
LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is closed to public entry and will re-open during the summer of 2012.
NELSON RESERVOIR – Fishing is fair.  The lake is full and ice-free.  Anglers are catching a few large holdover trout.  Recent fish population surveys found holdover trout from 13 to 18 inches and black crappie from 7 to 14 inches.  Try fishing nightcrawlers or PowerBait in deep water or trolling lures or flies.
RAINBOW LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake has been stocked last week with 375 1-pound rainbow trout and 1,500 regular stocker rainbow trout.  It will be stocked again this week with 1,500 more rainbow trout. The lake is full and ice-free.  Recent fish population surveys found numerous small northern pike, bullheads, largemouth bass and sunfish, but no carryover trout.
SCOTT RESERVOIR – Fishing is good.  The lake was stocked last week with 2,214 rainbow trout.  Scott Reservoir is full and ice-free.
SHOW LOW LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake was stocked last week with 2,952 rainbow trout.  Show Low Lake is ice-free and about 6 feet down, but the boat ramp is still usable.  The fishing pier located across the dam is now accessible.  Boat rentals will be available soon, see the campground host.  Some of the campgrounds are open.

WOODLAND LAKE – Fishing is good.  The lake was stocked each of the last two weeks with 1,750 rainbow trout.  Woodland is full and ice-free.  The trout bag and possession limit is 4 trout.
WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS
Note: All Forest roads are now open, including Highways 273 and 261.
EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is fair to good for wild brown trout.  The East Fork survived the Wallow Fire of 2011 much better than expected and is currently holding many wild brown trout.  Portions of the East Fork will not be accessible by vehicle, since Forest Road 249 will be closed.  Vehicle access is currently only open at Buffalo Crossing at the lower end and Three Forks at the upper end.  The stream is scheduled to be stocked with hatchery trout at Buffalo Crossing starting in May.
WEST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Fishing is poor in the lower reaches due to moderate impacts on fish populations from the Wallow Fire last year.  Wild brown trout still exist in the lower reaches, but in low numbers.  Fishing in the middle and upper reaches is fair to good.  The upper reaches of the West Fork were not impacted by the fire.

Access is open to the Forest Road 25 bridge, Forest Road 68 crossing, and Forest Road 116.  The West Fork campground will be closed through the year due to safety reasons.  The stream is scheduled to be stocked with hatchery trout at the FR 68 crossing starting in May.  The middle and upper reaches of the West Fork Black are open to catch-and-release artificial lure and fly only.
BLACK RIVER – Fishing is poor.  The mainstem of the Black River was heavily impacted by the Wallow Fire last year.  Very few fish were found during intensive surveys last fall.
LITTLE COLORADO RIVER IN GREER – Fishing is fair for wild brown trout.  The mainstem Little Colorado River and West Fork LCR (Government Springs) in Greer were not impacted by the Wallow Fire last year.  Stream surveys in the fall of 2011 found numerous wild brown trout.  Hatchery trout are scheduled to be stocked starting in May.
SHEEPS CROSSING – Fishing is fair for wild Apache trout.  Highway 273is now open. Sheeps Crossing was not effected by the Wallow Fire last year.  Hatchery Apache trout are scheduled to be stocked starting in May.
SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good for holdover trout.   Silver Creek is now open to bait and a bag/possession limit of 6 trout (April 1 through September 30).  The upper section is now closed to angling, which is well signed.  The stream is scheduled to be stocked starting in May.
SOUTHERN ARIZONA
Note: Please send me your fishing reports from Southern Arizona!  Fishing reports can be sent to Don Mitchell, Regional Fish Program Manager by email at dmitchell@azgfd.gov.  These reports will then be complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.
The winter trout stocking season is pretty much over here in southern Arizona. Warm temperatures have begun to raise water temperatures and anglers can expect to start catching bass and sunfish as these become more active with the increasing temperatures.

Summer trout stocking will begin soon at Rose Canyon Lake and Riggs Flat provided water quality parameters are favorable. The summer stocking schedule for the entire state can be found here:  http://www.azgfd.gov/pdfs/h_f/fishing/stocking/2012SumTroutStockSchedule.pdf.  This schedule is updated as changes occur so check back often! The stocking schedule is now interactive, so check it out.
Need ideas on where to go fishing?  Try the Department's new interactive Fish and Boat Map: Fish and Boat Arizona
URBAN LAKES — The third catfish stocking of the spring season will take place the week of April 16-21 at all Tucson area Urban waters.

Cats from the first two stockings have been biting very well on worms, stink baits, hot dogs or shrimp fished on the bottom. Catfish have been active throughout the day with afternoons and evenings best.

Bluegill fishing is good at all Phoenix and Tucson area waters that were just stocked the end of March. Best baits for the feisty, 5-8 inch bluegill are worms and mealworms fished under a small bobber in 3-6 foot depths.

Action for largemouth bass has slowed as they move into the post-spawn period over the next few weeks. Please exercise catch and release for largemouth bass and remember the minimum keepable size for bass is 13 inches.

RIGGS FLAT — Closed for the winter.     2012 Summer Stocking Schedule
CLUFF RANCH —No recent reports of success however, the pond received its last trout stocking of the winter last week.  The pond is close to being full and there should be no problems with boat launching.  For lake information call (928) 485-9430.
ROPER LAKE — The lake received its final trout stocking of the season last week.  For lake information (928) 428-6760.
  
DANKWORTH POND — Remains closed to access during renovation.
FRYE MESA RESERVIOR –Anglers continue to report success in catching Gila trout.  Remember that the daily bag and possession limit for this species is 1 fish.
ARIVACA — Open to anglers, water levels are continuing to drop and it will be difficult to launch larger boats.  Use caution when launching your boat and pay attention for submerged trees and rocks that are near the surface due to low water levels.  Boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.
PENA BLANCA – Pena Blanca will receive its last trout stocking of the season this week.  Last week the department stocked close to 2,000 largemouth bass, redear sunfish, bluegill sunfish and channel catfish.

Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be immediately released alive. 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.

PATAGONIA — Fishing is picking up with a few bass being caught in shallower water.  The spawn is close so anglers can expect to see more activity.
PARKER CANYON — Fly anglers are reporting success as are anglers that are trolling.  Parker Canyon will received its last trout stocking for the season the week of April 2.

Contact the Parker Canyon Lake Store for up to date information on lake levels and fishing activity at www.parkercanyonlake.com or by phone at (520) 455-5847.
Angler report: My two brothers and I launched just before 9 a.m., fishfinder showed fish hanging about 1-2 feet off the bottom. Caught 5 within 45 minutes on yellow and rainbow Power Bait; bite slowed a bit so went back to the dock to fetch a sweatshirt. Headed back out and found another hole, anchored and ended up catching our limits by 2:30 p.m. The weather, the company and fishing was wonderful.

ROSE CANYON LAKE — The gate was scheduled to open April 13 and according to a Forest Service news release, the campground was to open April 15. Scheduled for rainbow trout stocking this week. 

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