ARIZONA FISHING REPORTS: The Arizona Game and Fish Department compiles a weekly report for most waters in the state, including the Colorado Rivers. Anglers can read the report at this direct link: azgfd.net/artman/publish/FishingReport/.
FLOW INFORMATION: Reservoir elevation levels and flow releases for the entire lower Colorado River are available at this web site with information updated hourly: usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/rivops.html.
LAKE MEAD: Fishing for stripers fair to good on smaller fish in South Cove and other coves at the south end of the lake. Catches of channel catfish have also been good. Cats from one to two pounds are being caught in increasing numbers by anglers who are primarily fishing for stripers. Most stripers are between one and two pounds and the best bait has been cut up gizzard shad, but cut up anchovies and sardines are also producing stripers and catfish. Fish in coves along steep canyon walls in 50-80 feet of water. The largemouth bass bite has been fair to good with a lot of fish on topwater early and late in the day, plastics the rest of the day in deeper water.
WILLOW BEACH: Very light fishing pressure, and the striper action has been slow for the few anglers targeting stripers. Best action on A.C. Plugs or similar lures between markers 47 and 56. The trout bite is really dwindling with few reported. No plants in over a month and not likely in the foreseeable future at Willow Beach because the hatchery will no longer be rearing trout. Anglers can get more information here. For fishing information: Willow Beach Resort at 928-767-4747.
LAKE MOHAVE: Slow to fair action on smallmouth bass on rocky shelves from the dam to Katherine’s Landing. Mike Huffman, Bullhead City, had a two-pound smallmouth at Katherine’s. The largemouth are slow in the coves in 12 to 25 feet of water, also on plastics and nightcrawlers. The bluegill and redear slowed way down with the colder weather. A few are showing in deeper water on small jigs or nightcrawler pieces. Stripers are still pretty spotty with only a few showing at the dam and from the Power Lines up to Katherine’s and most of the coves. Anchovies have been the top bait, but a few fish are showing on topwater and reaction baits early in the day. The catfish bite is fair to good in most coves, especially at night on cut baits. Information: Cottonwood Cove at 702-297-1464, Katherine’s Landing at 928-754-3245. Interesting web site for Willow Beach and Lake Mohave striper anglers.
LAUGHLIN-BULLHEAD AREA: Overall, pretty tough fishing. A smattering of catfish and smallmouth bass, but the trout action has pretty much dried up. There will be no more trout plants this season and probably no more into the foreseeable future because the trout stocking program has ended at the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery due to maintenance issues with the trout portion of the hatchery. More information here: No reports of other species. Information: Riviera Marina 928-763-8550.
NEEDLES-TOPOC REGION: Catfish remain slow both the river and backwaters with only the odd fish showing now. Ditto for bluegill and redear. Largemouth bass, however, have perked in the marsh with the warmer weather. Stripers in the main river are very slow. You can access the marsh by boat at the North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of area for shoreline fishing, too. Information: Phil’s Western Trader at 928-768-4954 or Capt. Doyle’s Fun Fishing guide service at 928-768-2667.
LAKE HAVASU: The water level is very low and will be that way through February. The striper bite has been tougher as the level fell, but the fish are following the shad. The shad have been moving south with the biggest concentrations in the Black Meadow Landing to Standard Wash stretch of the lake. Live shad had been the best bet for stripers. The largemouth and smallmouth bass are also keying on the baitfish. Also a pretty decent bite on rocky structure with crawdad-like plastics, mostly for the smallmouth. The redear are mostly in 20 to 50 feet of water with little angling pressure. No catfish reports. Information: Bass Tackle Master at 928-854-2277.
PARKER STRIP: Fishing for smallmouth bass is fair, but other bites are slow.
BLYTHE: The bass and catfish bites have been slow. The bass are still best on plastics and nightcrawlers, but the action has been pretty tough. Even the smallmouth are just fair in the rip-rap stretches of the river. Catfish are very slow, with a few channels but almost no flatheads reported. The backwater lakes and drain ditches have been better than the main river. The bluegill bite is very slow, Information: B&B Bait 760-921-2248.
PALO VERDE: Very light fishing pressure and overall slow action. Water levels have been very low and the water remains cool even with the warm weather the past week. The catfish action has been slow for both channels and flatheads, and the bass bite is still off with only a few fish showing on plastics and nightcrawlers. Smallmouth in the main river better than largemouth. The bluegill bite is very slow. Information: Walter’s Camp 760-854-3322 Thursday through Monday.
PICACHO AREA: The bass are slow to fair with the best bite on plastics and live baits. The catfish bite is very slow with only a few channels and flatheads completely shut off. The bluegill bite is very slow. Light fishing pressure.
MARTINEZ LAKE AREA: Largemouth bass action is slow to fair with the fish whacking live baits and plastics. Channel catfish action is fair on stink baits, but the flathead bite is still slow. Few panfish reports. Information: 928-783-9589 Thursday through Monday or martinezlake.com.
YUMA AREA: Largemouth bass action is slow to fair in area backwaters. Most of the action is on live bait or plastics. Slow to fair bluegill in most backwaters. The channel catfish action is fair on cut bait and stink baits, but the flathead bite has shut off.