Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Joe, from Alaska, caught this 18-inch striper – his first striper — at Temple Bar on Nov. 20
Photo Credit: Courtesy of AZGF

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

This coming week, we’re bringing 4 tons of fun in the form of 8,200 pounds of rainbow trout to waters statewide.

Here’s a list of where you can plan to find some great holiday-time trout fishing the week of Dec. 16. Stay tuned to next week’s Reel Deal report for confirmed stockings as some of these stockings are subject to change due to factors such as water quality and weather. These stockings will take place during two select days:

  • Statewide: Verde River, Goldwater, Watson Lake
  • Community “core” waters (except Cortez due to golden algae). See the schedule of “core” waters.
  • Expansion waters: McQueen, Freestone, Water Ranch, El Dorado, Greenfield, Fain, Yavapai, Dave White Pond, Pacana Pond.

Trout anglers can check out the latest trout stocking schedule.

Some high country lakes are starting to ice over: we consider all such ice in Arizona unsafe. Get to your favorite high country trout hole before things really freeze.

The Lower Salt River, pictured above from this week, is a great winter trout fishing spot and is being stocked with trout through the winter. Try the Phon D. Sutton and Granite Reef recreation sites.

Water levels are rising at desert impoundments such as Bartlett, Roosevelt and Alamo lakes. Expect waters to be stained (try throwing gold-colored spinners and retrieve slowly).

For bass fishing in lower elevations, water temperatures have dropped enough to send high populations of bass into deeper water where the water temperature is higher.  Be sure to have a bait in the water when the sun comes out and there’s a spat of warmer weather. This can be a good time of the year to jig spoons in deep water for yellow bass at Salt River-chain lakes Apache, Canyon and Saguaro.

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