AZGFD stocks tiger bass into Roosevelt Lake

Roosevelt Lake - Tonto National Forest, AZ

Photo Credit: AZGF

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

Anglers received a treat for the future when the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocked 15,000 tiger bass into Roosevelt Lake on June 14. Tiger bass are from Alabama and are a cross between an aggressive northern largemouth bass and a pure strain Florida largemouth bass that comes from a proven line. These fish are known for being aggressive and fast-growing.

The tiger bass were donated by Roger Coffman, owner of Mr. Fish, the company that has been a primary provider to AZGFD of warmwater fish (catfish, bass, sunfish, crappie and grass carp) for many years.

Coffman drove the tiger bass to Arizona all the way from his home base in Arkansas, a trip he makes regularly while delivering fish to AZGFD and our state. This year alone Mr. Fish has stocked more than 1.4 million fish into the state’s lakes and ponds during 310 stockings. The fish provide seasonal fishing opportunities for anglers, help in the establishment of new community waters, and supplement current populations.

This is the third year Coffman and Mr. Fish have donated tiger bass to AZGFD. He donated 8,000 tiger bass in 2017 and another 10,000 in 2019. You may be asking why he donated these fish when they would fetch a nice price if sold. The reason is his philosophy: “Always give something back to the people who make you successful.” 

Mr. Fish is a family business run by Coffman and his grandson Jimmy Coffman, delivering sport fish and bait fish to multiple states. He purchases these fish from select aquaculture farms, transports them, and stocks them into requested waters. He takes pride in building great relationships with his partners, and to increase his success in Arizona, he provided three custom-built Ford F550 fish distribution trucks in order to increase his company’s and the department’s efficiency at distributing fish across the state.

The next time you see Roger or one of his Mr. Fish trucks, know that he has dedicated his career to his family business to keep recreational fishing as part of the life of Arizona anglers. 

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