What’s Biting And Where?

By Arizona Game And Fish Department

Tip of the week

If you’re going after panfish this weekend, try something different when getting your bait: visit a pet store.

For your next fishing trip, bring a collection of various worms such as mealworms, red wigglers and wax worms that can be purchased from most pet stores.

Nightcrawlers and mealworms are common; the others might make the difference between an ice chest that’s full of ice … or full of fish.


Top weekend picks are trout-stocked waters such as Parker Canyon Lake (50-degree water temperature), Cluff Reservoir (57), Roper Lake (57), Dankworth Pond (58), Apache Lake (57), Canyon Lake (55), Dead Horse Lake (52) or our “core” Community waters (mid-50s to 60).

Kennedy Lake in Tucson has been producing some monster bass lately. In January alone, we received reports of an 8- and 11-pound, 9-ounce largemouth bass. See the Catch of the Week.

The great news for spring fishing opportunities is that more storms and run-off have produced increased flowing into many streams and impoundments statewide.

As of Thursday, some of the highest flows (classified as “much above normal” by the USGS) were at Tonto Creek above Roosevelt (665 cfs), the Agua Fria River near Rock Springs (360 cfs), the Verde River near Paulden (134 cfs), the Colorado River below Palo Verde Dam (8,340 cfs), and the San Carlos River near Peridot (689 cfs). Oak Creek near Sedona was flowing at 113 cfs Thursday morning.

Check out this USGS graph and the spike in flows at Oak Creek near Sedona on Sunday: 10 cfs to 7,000 in less than 12 hours:

Be safe during these storms and watch out for flash flooding!

Water temperatures in many desert impoundments remain in the low-50s. There is another cold front moving through desert regions on Saturday. Crappie fishing remains extremely difficult due to these unstable periods of weather.

As always, if you’re considering heading to the high country, check the Arizona Department of Transportation website for the latest road conditions.

This week’s scheduled stockings

Rainbow trout: Parker Canyon Lake, Cluff Reservoir, Roper Lake, Dankworth Pond, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, Dead Horse Lake or our “core” Community waters.

Family Fishing Event

What: Just for Kids Fishing Festival

When: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, 

8 a.m.-noon

Where: Kiwanis Park, 5500 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ 85283

This is the 28th Annual Just for Kids Fishing Festival celebration and is a community partnership event between the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Anglers United, and the City of Tempe. This event is for beginning and experienced anglers. The AZGFD Sport Fishing Education program staff and volunteer instructors will be providing free fishing for everyone who signs in at the Game and Fish booth during event hours. Bait and loaner equipment will be available or you may bring your own. The cost of the event is free. Bring your family out and join the fun!