This Arizona fishing report focuses on the waters managed by Arizona State Parks and Trails. Typically, tactics discussed here can be used by anglers throughout the state to enjoy an elevated fishing experience in a variety of Arizona waters. The specific fishing information found here will change seasonally to help state park visitors enjoy more success while fishing during their visit. If you would like to share your fishing success or information about your tactics, please email us at email@example.com or tag us on social @azstateparks.
Most of this this fishing report was compiled by Arizona fishing pro Tai Au. Tai manages Az Anglers, an active Facebook community of Arizona anglers that love to help others and tell their stories in the process. Tai is committed to helping others enjoy success while fishing and devotes a majority of his energy recruiting new anglers by sharing what he has learned throughout his fishing career.
Report By: John Galbraith of Bass Tackle Master
Striped Bass action is decent and observant anglers can find boils of stripers chasing shad in the morning and late afternoon. Trolling super spooks, sassy shads and white or Chrome/blue Rattle Traps is currently your best bet. Search for boils from Black Rock & Calif. Bay north to the river entrance.
The channel catfish bite is excellent right now and numerous cats are being caught on cut mackerel or squid off deeper points and coves in 15 to 35 ft of water.
Smallmouth bass are keeping anglers busy! Try throwing Smoke Sparkle or Green Pumpkin Hula grubs rigged on a 3/8oz football jig fished around rocky points and gravel shorelines in 6 to 15ft of water. The topwater bite is on too! Poppers, Sammys, and Buzzbaits are working well for both smallmouth and largemouth over gravel flats and submerged weedbeds in the morning and late afternoon.
Patagonia Elite Series tournament anglers did well on some solid fish during a recent contest at Patagonia Lake. The biggest fish was a 5.69-pound largemouth, although several in the four-pound range were also caught. Successful anglers used a variety of methods to bring fish to the boat including flipping into the tules and dropshotting Robo Worms. A number of fish were also caught with different types of topwater baits!
The Patagonia Elite Anglers tournament this month was met with hot weather and killer bass fishing. Most teams weighed in a limit of fish and the average fish caught was 2.36 pounds. Successful anglers were using a variety of lures including worms on dropshot rigs, spinnerbaits, and Texas rigged creature was baits.
Bluegill fishing is hot right now! The fish are still on their beds and displaying spawning behavior. The water is currently clear so you should be able to see them in the shallow water near shore. Try using mealworms or earthworms fished without a weight for best results. An angler recently reported catching and releasing nearly 100 bluegills during an early June trip…This is a great time of year to get kids hooked on fishing! Plan a trip to Patagonia, and start building new outdoor memories!
Bass fishing at Patagonia has been tough. The spawn is over and the fish are currently transitioning from their spring to summer patterns. Successful anglers are reporting the best times to fish are earl in the morning, and late in the evening. Flipping Texas-rigged creature baits into the tule pockets, dropshotting worms near the bank, and throwing wacky-rigged Senkos seem to be the go-to methods right now.
Alamo Lake is a great place to escape the crowds that can be experienced at other lakes. Bass fishing was recently on fire, but has subsided a bit. Fishing for bass is still considered fair. The bass are congregating off of points in the main lake area, and near submerged trees that provide shade. Flukes, Texas-rigged creature baits are working the best for Alamo bass right now. Reports of both quality and quantity have been coming in from anglers focusing on topwater presentations while using lures like hollow belly frogs and walking baits. Rattletraps have also been working well while searching for fish.
Even though the bass and crappie get most the glory at this Sonoran Desert lake, Alamo has a great catfish population as well! Try worms, fresh shrimp, or hot dogs rigged weightless (or a small weight when windy) for best results. You really don’t have to cast far from shore to get in on some great catfish action at Alamo!
The lower Colorado River accessed from Buckskin Mountain and River Island State Parks offers some of the BEST smallmouth bass fishing in Arizona! Try small swimbaits like the Keitech Fat Impact rigged on a ball head jig, a weightless 4-inch Senko, or dropshot worms near shore. The smallmouth bass here don’t get a ton of pressure and there are some really nice sized fish currently being caught.
Report by Park Ranger, Michael DeLeon 7/28/2020
Bass fishing at both Roper Lake and Dankworth Pond has been phenomenal recently. Anglers have regularly reported catching largemouth in the 5-7-pound range from boat and shore. Bait anglers are doing well with nightcrawlers. Artificial lures like soft plastics, floating jerkbaits, and bluegill imitation baits are accounting for a large majority of Roper bass. An angler reported using a green plastic worm wacky rigged to catch a really nice 7lb bass off the floating pier by the boat launch!
Carp anglers are reporting success with corn in the evenings.
Sunfish are still active and most success has come with worms or small plastic jigs close to shore.
Catfishing has been slow.
Report by Park Ranger, Michael DeLeon 7/14/2020
At Roper Lake, Bluegill and other sunfish have been active early in the day. Anglers are doing well with worms and small jigs. Bass fishing has been slow from shore but boat anglers are doing well by fishing crankbaits slowly along the cattails.
Dankworth pond just down the road from Roper is experiencing some HOT topwater action for bass. Poppers and frog imitation baits are triggering strikes for anglers. Bluegills are biting near the piers with worms or meal worms fished below a bobber.
Catfishing has been slow at both parks.
Catfish were stocked last week and there's still plenty of eager fish available to anglers! Standard catfish offerings like hot dogs, nightcrawlers, uncooked shrimp, and prepared dough baits are working well fished on the bottom. Try using a swivel and barrel sinker so the fish don't feel resistance when they pick up the bait. This gives them a chance to position the hook correctly for a good hook set!
Bass fishing has been slow, but a few anglers are picking up fish with small crankbaits fished near structure. Bluegills are biting on meal worms and earthworms fished about 18"-24" under a bobber.