By Rory Aikens
With triple-digit weather in the deserts, a lot of families will probably find the 70-degree daytime weather in the high country to be almost irresistible. Keep in mind that the mountain nights are still chilly, so take along your jackets.
Trout fishing can be simple. A lot of baits and techniques can work this time of year. Try night crawlers, mealworms, corn, salmon eggs, Power Bait, small spinners, Z-rays, or Super Dupers. The Mogollon Rim lakes offer lots of fishing, camping and wildlife-watching opportunities.
Here is a quick run down of the popular Rim lakes:
For more detailed information on all the fishing waters in Arizona, consider obtaining the latest edition of the popular “Arizona Fishin’ Holes,” which is the premier guide to the state’s public fishing waters. Just visit any department office in the state or go to the department’s web site and download an order form.
Despite costing only $6, this easy-to-use guide has a wealth of information and is a must-have for new anglers to the state.
By the way, if you are camping in the high country, be sure to keep a clean camp and Be Bear Aware.
In southern Arizona, it sounds like Parker Canyon Lake is the place to go for rainbow trout. Take along a pair of binoculars: this area is visited each year with lots of neotropical bird species, such as the colorful elegant trogon.
This is also a great time to visit the desert lakes. Even though temperatures can soar into the triple digits at mid day, spring mornings and evenings are a delightful time to fish because the only thing hot is the action. Right now, shore or boat anglers can fish for bass, catfish or sunfish.
The hot spots at press time were Roosevelt, Alamo, Bartlett and Pleasant for the interior lakes.
With a waning moon, this is an excellent time for crappie or bass fishing at night using a submersible or floating light. The light attracts plankton. The plankton attracts shad. The shad attract crappie, bass and other finned predators. It’s also a good time to get re-acquainted with the star-studded desert sky.
Another hot spot right now is Lake Powell, where the bite is on for striped bass, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.
However, with the high gas prices, you can also stay in town or close to town and still catch fish. Tempe Town Lake is a good choice for bass, catfish, and bluegill. Try at sunrise or sunset for the best action.
The Lower Salt River (below Saguaro Lake) has been stocked with trout. It seems strange to catch trout when you know the temperatures will get into the triple digits, but that is part of the mystique of fishing a desert river.
Try night crawlers fished with very little weight on light line and cast upstream into the riffles and let the worms float down into the pools, deeper holes, or cut banks. You might even get some largemouth bass surprises.
Our plentiful Urban Fishing Program Lakes are stocked with catfish this time of year and are a lot of fun to fish, especially for families with children.