By Arizona Game And Fish Department

Tip of the week

Are you a “beginning” angler? We all started somewhere! Fishing action really takes off during the spring, so now’s a perfect time to study up!

Good news: storms and run-off are still saturating the state and increasing flowing into many of our waters. One example: As of Thursday, the releases out of Horseshoe Dam were up to 1,500 cfs. Already muddy Bartlett Lake already has risen to 47-percent full.

Once a sunny and calm stretch of weather comes, warmer water should put warm water fish such as largemouth bass in a better mood.

Until then, remember that trout fishing in desert regions remains a great option. We are stocking Community Fishing Program waters thoroughly with trout (expansion waters are being stocked this week). 

The online chatter from some anglers is that fishing’s downright difficult right now. Some are saying this is one of the coldest winters we’ve experienced in about 5 years. Water temperatures at Bartlett this week jumped back down to 51 degrees. So don’t feel bad if you’re not having luck. Fishing will pick up soon.

Now looking forward to spring bass fishing. As experienced anglers know, bass tend to spawn earlier at western Arizona impoundments such as Lake Havasu and Alamo Lake than at the rest of the state because these large, solunar bowls warm up early and quickly. At Havasu, the average water temp has been around 54 degrees. See that report. Look to the March 20 full moon as a time when there might be a major wave of spawning activity.

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: 
  • Patagonia Lake
  • Fain Lake
  • Watson Lake
  • Verde River-Middle
  • Community “expansion” waters

Upcoming Fishing Events:

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

Comments: 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!

What: Family and Community Fishing Event

When: Saturday, March 9, 2019, 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Where: Roper Lake State Park 101 E. Roper Lake Rd. Safford, AZ 85546

Comments: The Arizona Game and Fish will be working with Roper Lake State Park to provide a day of

free, family fishing and fun. This event is for beginning and experienced anglers. Loaner rods are available for use or feel free to bring your own. Bait will be provided and during the hours of the event, you do not need to possess a fishing license to participate. The cost of the event is free for those who sign in at the Game and Fish booth. Standard vehicle entrance fees into the park will apply. Bring your family out and join the fun.