What’s Biting And Where?

By Arizona Game And Fish Department

We stocked our “core” Community waters this week with channel catfish. Water temperatures in these waters are in the low-to-mid 70s. See the stocking schedule — the final catfish stocking of the season is June 3-7.

In our desert impoundments, sunfish like bluegill will spawn during June and both channel catfish and flathead catfish spawn into July. Water temperatures in our desert impoundments are still unseasonably low — but the water temps are increasing — seemingly along with the bite. The water temperature at Bartlett Lake on Thursday topped out around 75 degrees.

Striper fishing under the lights should be a prime option in desert lakes such as Lake Pleasant this weekend. Monday is the new moon, daytime temperatures are starting to peak out around 100 degrees in desert regions, so at night, look for shad to be congregated around your lights as soon as you drop them. These increased water temps could finally help produce a good top-water bite during the nest 1-2 weeks.

This is the time to start planning for high country trout fishing. Trout stockings are abundant. Kaibab Lake near Williams has been a hot spot along with Lower Lake Mary in Flagstaff — both were stocked with bonus rainbow trout. We also just stocked some bonus channel catfish into the lagoons at Dead Horse Ranch State Park and City Reservoir.

To the Rim for fins

Don’t forget the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains streams: these can provide some of the best chances to escape big crowds. PowerBaits, worms and salmon eggs have been successful, as well as ultra-light rod action with Panther Martins, Super Dupers and Mepps. Also this time of the year, anglers can some good luck with Crick Hoppers.

Another reminder to campers: The USDA Forest Service, Tonto National Forest, Payson Ranger District have announced overnight camping restrictions along six stretches of streams and rivers located near Payson. Implementation of these restrictions will help allow grass and plants to grow along the stream banks. Read more on that on page 12

This week’s scheduled stockings

Rainbow trout: 

  • Silver Creek (53-degree water temperature)
  • West Fork Little Colorado River-Greer
  • West Fork Little Colorado River-Sheeps Crossing 

Channel catfish:

  • City Reservoir
  • Dead Horse Lake
  • “Core” Community waters