Memorial Weekend Fishing Tips

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Tips for piscatorial fun in the Arizona sun

PHOENIX – It’s time to leave your troubles (and work) behind, hang up the “GONE FISHIN” sign and then go experience some fishing-hole therapy.

But if you need some help deciding where to go for some piscatorial fun in the Arizona sun, here are some tips from the fishing hole experts at the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

1. Get back to basics with cane poles and a can of worms. Treat your youngsters (or yourself) to the youthful glories of stream fishing. Try fishing Christopher Creek, Tonto Creek, Haigler Creek, Canyon Creek along the Mogollon Rim, or along the East or West Fork of Black River or possibly the Little Colorado River in the picturesque Greer Valley. Oak Creek can also be fun. Don’t ignore Beaver Creek or West Clear Creek in the Verde Valley.

2. Get in the cool pines frame of mind and go catch trout at our spectacular mountain lakes. There are some terrific choices in Zane Grey country along the famous Mogollon Rim – you can even fish more than one lake in a day. Try Woods Canyon, Willow Springs, Bear Canyon, Black Canyon, Knoll Lake and Chevelon Lake. Blue Ridge Reservoir is also an option.

3. If you long for the chatter of red squirrels along spruce-lined alpine meadows, then point the family wagon toward the thin sweet air of the White Mountains in eastern Arizona. You can even make snow balls from lingering snow drifts and rediscover deep blue skies. Big Lake is THE top spot, but the Greer Lakes, Luna Lake, Nelson Reservoir, Hulsey Lake or one of the White Mountain Apache lakes are also excellent places to catch some alpine memories.

4. If you long for a world-class fishing adventure in one of the most scenic lakes on earth, then head for Lake Powell where you can even find fishing solitude along its 1,850 miles or so of shoreline. And the fishing itself is world class too.

5. There is another world-class experience beckoning you at Lees Ferry where wild rainbow trout are waiting to dance across the swift-flowing river as it winds along the majestic Marble Canyon Gorge between Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon. It’s an E-ticket fishing adventure with a capital A.

6. Want to have great fishing for bass and crappie, yet avoid all the hordes of recreational boaters and jet skiers out there? Then remember the Alamo! Alamo Lake that is. Alamo lacks boat fuel but yet offers plenty of undisturbed fishing fun. It has great campgrounds, but no motels close by. It’s perfect for self-sufficient Western anglers who want a pure fishing lake.

7. Do you want a great time but don’t want your wallet to shrink too much from high gas prices? Then try the Lower Salt River adjacent to Phoenix for trout, Tempe Town Lake for bass, the urban lakes for catfish, Lake Pleasant for striped bass (catfish and bass), Saguaro Lake for bluegill (yellow bass and catfish) or Bartlett Lake for flathead catfish (largemouth bass and crappie). Go fill up on fishing fun close to home.

If you want more timely tips on what is biting where in Arizona, visit the Game and Fish Department’s weekly fishing report at

“Heck, we’ll even deliver the fishing report right to your computer each and every week – at absolutely no charge for those who bought a fishing license, those who might buy a fishing license, or even those who might know someone who bought a license,” said Rory Aikens, the fishing report editor.