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 website with information updated hourly: usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/rivops.html.
LAKE MEAD: The striper action has been tough, with the best bite at night during dark moon phases under lights with anchovies or sardines under balls of shad. Some fish for trollers morning and evening. Most fish under 4 pounds. The largemouth and smallmouth bass are slow to fair with the best action on slow presentation. The fish are still mostly in 20 to 30 feet of water with few moving up shallow yet. Redear and bluegill bite is fair with most fish in 6 to 20 feet of water. Catfish also very spotty with some on cut baits. Water level is about 40 feet above the level at this time last year with lots of flooded brush, even if fairly deep water. That’s where the bass and panfish have been hanging out to ambush the shad.
WILLOW BEACH: The striped bass action has been just fair this past week, with fewer stripers than previous week. The best action is still in the stretch between mile markers 49 to 52, with the big trout-like plugs and swimbaits the best bet. The trout bite remains good on salmon eggs, Power Bait, worms, Super Dupers and other small lures and jigs after the weekly plants of 3,000 rainbows. Lots of limits reported. Information: Willow Beach Resort at (928) 767-4747.
LAKE MOHAVE: The black bass are starting to move up out of the depths and have been pretty decent on plastics, grubs and jigs. Some stripers are showing for trollers working anchovies in 30 to 50 feet with a few fish to 10 pounds reported in Cottonwood Basin and at the Power Lines near the dam. The stripers showing in the dam area are in the 2- to 4-pound range. The catfish bite has been improving in the bays and off the points on cut baits. No panfish reports. Information: Cottonwood Cove at (702) 297-1464, Katherine’s Landing at (928) 754-3245. Interesting website for Willow Beach and Lake Mohave striper anglers: lakemohavestripers.com.
LAUGHLIN-BULLHEAD AREA: The trout action has remained very good after the season’s last plant March 13. The best action has been at Davis Camp and Rotary Park. Most of the rainbows are pan-sized, but some holdover fish to 4 pounds are showing each week. The bass action has improved with both the largemouth and smallmouth moving shallow to spawn, and more bluegill and redear are being landed. Victor Emmert, Bullhead City, landed a 2.76-pound largemouth, while his son Rocky Emmert had a .66-pound bluegill. Both were taken on nightcrawlers in the Sunshine Bay area. Some stripers being landed in the Rotary Park area. Information: Riviera Marina at (928) 763-8550.
NEEDLES AREA: Very spotty fishing in this stretch of river. A few smallmouths are showing along riprap, with the action better the farther south you go. Also, the stripers are starting to show on cut baits and cranks, along with the occasional catfish. Information: Needles Marina at (760) 326-2197.
TOPOCK AREA: With the improving weather conditions, the black bass action, both smallmouth and largemouth, is starting to turn on in Topoc Gorge as the fish move shallow to spawn. Andrew Nooris, Chandler, Ariz., and Mike Widerski, Glendale, Ariz., each boated a limit of bass and one smallmouth weighed in at 3 pounds. The next day, Nooris again had a limit, and his best smallmouth was a stout 3.5-pounder. Abigail Gustafson, 7, and Colby Gustafson, 10, both Topock, Ariz., also scored some respectable smallies into the 3-pound range. The bluegill and redear are also finally kicking into gear with some good catches in both the gorge and marsh on nightcrawlers. Striper action remains sluggish, and no catfish have been reported. Topock Marsh can be accessed by boat at North Dike, Catfish Paradise and Five-Mile Landing. Information: Phil’s Western Trader at (928) 768-4954 or Capt. Doyle’s Fun Fishing guide service at (928) 768-2667.
HAVASU: The black bass bite has continued to improve each week with the warmer weather, and the fish are in a full-on spawn mode, with most of the bass still on beds. The smallmouth and largemouth are showing up in water as shallow as 4 feet, with the best action on plastics, reaction baits and swimbaits. Also a lot of fish are showing on modified Alabama rigs (to make them Arizona-legal with just two hooks). Stripers remain mostly slow with the only action still mostly in the south end of the lake at the dam and in the Havasu Springs area, where the shad schooled up. The few stripers being landed and showing under these balls of shad on jigging spoons and bait. Other species have also been very slow, with few reports of redear or catfish. The only redear reports have been up into the river in Topoc Gorge in the sun-warmed backwaters, mostly on nightcrawlers. Information: Bass Tackle Master at (928) 854-2277.
PARKER STRIP: Fair to good smallmouth bass along the riprap on small cranks, plastics and jigs. The catfish are fair to good on cut baits in the bigger pools and eddies. Bluegill and redear are good in the backwaters and quiet water in the main river. No flathead reports.
BLYTHE: Good action on flatheads, channels, and largemouth bass. The bass are mostly in the shallows in a spawn mode, with the best bite on plastics, jigs, nightcrawlers and reaction baits. The catfish have been good, mostly on cut baits and live bluegill or goldfish. The smallmouth bass are fair and improving, on crawdad-like crankbaits and plastics in the main river along the riprap. The tilapia and panfish bites have been getting better by the day. Few striper reports. Information: B&B Bait, (760) 921-2248.
PALO VERDE: High water and rotten weather this past week has made for tougher largemouth bass fishing, with the fish deep in backwater tules in many places, but still overall a good bite. The smallmouth action in the main river is very good on small reaction baits, cranks and jigs. The catfish action is also really starting to take off, with good reports from both the main river and lagoon this past week. The panfish bite is already kicking into gear, with some good catches of half-pound bluegill. Cibola Lake, a popular fishing backwater lake on the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, reopened to fishing March 15 with a very good bass bite before the weekend weather. Information: Walter’s Camp, (760) 854-3322 Thursday-Monday.
PICACHO AREA: The bass are fair to good on plastics and live baits with some fish still showing on reaction baits. Generally fair and improving action on catfish, and the bluegill bite is starting to improve, especially in the sun-warmed backwaters.
MARTINEZ LAKE AREA: Largemouth bass action has been good on plastics, jigs, and live bait, as more and more fish move shallow for the spawn. Channel catfish action is fair to good on stinkbaits, and the quality flathead action is picking up with some nice fish to 20-pounds-plus this past week. Bluegill are fair and improving, too, but still no crappie reports. Information: (928) 783-9589 Thursday-Monday or martinezlake.com. YUMA AREA: Largemouth bass action is good and getting better by the day, with the best action on plastics, nightcrawlers and reaction baits in the warmer backwaters — with some fish already in shallow water on beds for the spawn. The channel catfish action also fair to good. Flatheads also fair on live bluegill, tilapia, or goldfish. Fair bluegill bite in most backwaters and this bite is getting better by the day.