By Arizona Game And Fish

Tip of the week

Don’t forget the Colorado River waters southwest region when planning a winter fishing excursion. Fishing should be good at Alamo Lake, Lake Havasu, the Colorado River (Parker Strip, Imperial Divisions and associated backwaters), Mittry Lake, and the Yuma ponds (Fortuna, Council Ave., West Wetlands, Redondo, PAAC Pond). 

Fishing report

At desert impoundments like those mentioned above, water temperatures fall from the upper lower 60s in December to the 50s later in the winter. As with bass fishing at any desert impoundment during the winter, due to the low water temps, a key will be fishing slowly.

Here’s a tip for post-Thanksgiving fishing: Escape the Black Friday shopping syndrome by escaping to some wide-open water.

In the desert regions, anglers can hit the Salt River or one of the Salt River chain lakes. We’ve been stocking rainbow trout into these waters. There’s some great bass fishing to be had at Bartlett and Roosevelt lakes.

The full moon will make navigation, and “lesser” tasks like tying knots, a little easier. If night fishing in the shallows, try dropping dark-colored plastics that can stand out as a silhouette in moonlit waters. Winter conditions are setting in in the White Mountains region.

Higher elevation lakes (8,000-plus feet) should have skim ice during mornings. Big Lake is iced-over during the mornings, but there can be fishable water around midday. Remember that we consider all ice unsafe. The Big Lake Store is closed. The Woods Canyon Lake Store also is closed and is scheduled to reopen between April 1 and 15 of next year. There will be access to the lake until snow causes the Forest Service to close the forest roads for the winter.

Silver Creek is a spring creek that comes out of the ground at a constant temperature and does not freeze in the winter. Catch-and-release fishing for big rainbow trout with artificial lure and flies, with single barbless hooks, will continue through the winter.

This week’s scheduled stockings

Rainbow trout: 

  • Alvord Lake
  • Green Valley Lakes
  • Community “expansion” waters
  • Roper Lake
  • Oak Creek
  • Lynx Lake
  • Saguaro Lake

Tiger trout: 

  • Kinnikinick Lake

Family Fishing Events

Note: At these free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required for those who register at the AZGFD booth during event hours.

When: Saturday, December 1, 2018 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

What: Dads: Bring Your Daughter Fishing Day!

Where: Sahuarita Lake 15466 S. Rancho Sahuarita Blvd. Sahuarita, AZ 85629

Calling all Dads! Grab your daughters and join the Arizona Game and Fish Department for a morning of family fishing fun. Even if you are new to fishing, AZGFD still encourages you to come on out for this event. AZGFD will be providing loaner rods and bait for this event (or you may bring your own). By the way, this event is family-friendly, so all family members are welcome to attend. So, bring your family out to enjoy free fishing and instruction from AZGFD Sport Fishing Education Staff and volunteers. The event is open to all ages. Fishing licenses are not required, during the planned hours of the event, for those who register at the Game & Fish Booth. 

For more information please contact the Sport Fishing Education Program at:

(623) 236-7240