A big load of 1.5-7 pound channel catfish arrived in great shape at all 19 urban fishing locations in Phoenix and Tucson area waters on March 21. Big, strong and hungry, some of the cats started biting right away. At other lakes, it took 12-24 hours for the larger catfish to recover from their long journey and settle in to bite.

Because the Thursday delivery day was made public, there were gatherings of anglers anxiously awaiting the arrival of the stocking trucks and the start of the spring catfish season. Bait choice didn’t seem to matter much as the catfish bit on worms, hot dogs, shrimp and stink baits. The evening bite was best.

Daily limits are four catfish per person at urban lakes or two catfish per person at urban ponds (please refer to the Urban Fishing Guidebook or on-site park signage for lake and pond designations). Anglers are encouraged to call Operation Game Thief, any time of day, at 1-800-352-0700 to report any ongoing over-limit or license violations.

Image courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Departmen

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