Throughout the winter, lakes in the Urban Fishing Program (UFP) have been successfully stocked with rainbow trout at two week intervals. More trout and bigger trout will arrive the week of Jan. 7-12 as part of the UFP’s annual incentive trout stocking, making this a great time to go fishing. Many fish in the 12-15 inch range will be part of this special delivery, and some 3-4 pound whoppers are expected. Get ready for some big fish action by making sure your fishing line is in good shape, your hooks are sharp and your knots are strong. Don’t forget to bring along a net to help hoist a lunker from the lake. Best baits for trout continue to be scented dough baits (such as Power Bait), worms or cheese. A new lure called Micetails has been working well for trout. Produced by Berkley’s Power Bait division, Micetails look like a salmon egg with a 2-inch worm attached. Lures such as Panther Martins, Rooster Tails and Kastmasters also work well.
Not much is going on for catfish, bass or bluegill due to cold water temperatures that slow down these warmwater species. Trout fishing is consistently good to excellent at Green Valley lakes in Payson, with Power Bait and worms fished on the bottom working best. Try small, flashy lures to attract the trout.
Incentive Trout Stockings Week of January 7-12
To kick off the New Year in a big way, the Urban Fishing Program will be stocking incentive size trout at all 20 program waters during the week of January 7-12. In addition to the usual 11-12 inchers, incentive stockings include bigger fish and up to 20 percent more fish. Many of the over 9,000 rainbow trout will be from 13-16 inches, and some even larger ones up to 4 pounds are expected.
Hooking into a large trout is an exciting and memorable experience. Remember to be patient in reeling in these lunkers and to adjust the drag on your reel, or else you may be talking about the big one that got away instead of the big one you expertly reeled in. And if you are looking for bragging rights to your big catch, don’t forget to get your fish weighed at a Game and Fish office and fill out the application for Big Fish-of-the-Year recognition. Daily trout limits are 4 fish at Urban Lakes and 2 fish at Urban Ponds. So purchase your 2013 Urban or Super Conservation Fishing license and don’t forget to bring along a landing net to help lift that lunker trout out of the lake!
Resolve To Be a Good Steward in 2013
- Join the Anglers’ Legacy program and take the pledge to share the fun of fishing with someone else in 2013. Ask a family member, friend or neighbor to join you for a fishing trip to your nearby urban lake. Be their coach for the day, teaching them how to use fishing equipment, methods to catch fish, and the rules and ethics of fishing as a sportsman. Someone taught you how to fish, now it’s your turn to pass it on. Check out the Anglers’ Legacy web site for excellent information and to sign up at http://www.takemefishing.org/community/anglers-legacy/home.
- Stay legal and informed. Purchase your 2013 Urban Fishing license ($18.50), or for good value buy the Super Conservation Fishing license ($53 residents, $63 non-residents) that covers all Urban waters, state waters and trout fishing privileges (it covers everything!). Don’t forget your 2013 two pole stamp. Pick up the 2013 Arizona Fishing Regulation booklet and the 2013 Urban Fishing Program Guidebook at a license dealer.
- Be a good steward of our precious resources by keeping only the fish you plan to eat and releasing all other fish carefully, quickly and unharmed. Help others learn how to release fish properly.
Remember the Web… www.azgfd.gov for stocking schedules, the Fish&Boat Arizona webmap, outdoor events calendar, and other great fishing and outdoor information. Also check out the web for Weekly Fishing Reports, to submit your fishing photos, or to send us your latest fishing report. We are also on Facebook.
Image courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department