Arizona fishing report: The Reel Deal

Sam M. with a 14-inch brown trout caught on a Panther Martin spinner at Oak Creek.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Arizona Game and FIsh

by Arizona Game & Fish Department


Although reports have slowed as Christmas creeps, the fishing likely has not slowed at certain low- to mid-elevation lakes.

For one, trout fishing in Community waters is one of the best options in the state. See the stocking schedule below for confirmed stockings (8,200-plus ponds of trout were just stocked).

Also, the Lower Salt River — one of the top winter spots for the winter — and Saguaro Lake  make a great one-two punch since they’re located close to each other.  Try nightcrawlers (on a dropshot rig if you’re able) for largemouth bass, yellow bass, bluegill and even catfish.

In fact, see our top-5 winter fishing spots (and check the honorable mentions for some sleepers.)

What’s been stocked this week

(“Catchable” sizes only; water temp in parenthesis if available)

Rainbow trout: Silverbell Lake, Kennedy Lake, Sahuarita Lake, Lakeside Lake, Dave White Pond, Pacana Pond, Copper Sky Lake, Mansel Carter Oasis Lake, Desert Breeze Lake, Kiwanis Park Lake, Chaparral Lake, Alvord Lake, Steele Indian School Pond, Encanto Lake, Cortez Lake, Green Valley Lakes, Red Mountain Lake, Riverview Lake, Evelyn Hallman Pond, Papago Ponds, Rio Vista Pond, Surprise Lake, Pioneer Lake, Desert West Lake, McQueen Lake, Freestone Pond, Water Ranch Lake-Gilbert, Eldorado Pond, Greenfield Pond, Fain Lake, Yavapai Lakes, Goldwater Lake, Watson Lake.

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.

Save time, buy online

Grab a license online (that helps conserve all species of wildlife, not to mention provides funding that goes back into fishing opportunities) and go “Fish AZ”.

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