While Chicago is dealing with it's latest snowstorm and forecast highs in the 30s this week, Phoenix will see sunshine and highs in the 70s. And that's been pretty typical for us lately as we chug along through a La Nina winter.
This winter's warmer-than-average temperatures mean not just bragging rights to your friends in the east or midwest, but also an extended outdoor recreation season.
While you can ski and snowboard at either Snowbowl or Sunrise, which opens this Friday, because of snowmaking operations, temperatures across the state have been well above normal. So you can also still comfortably hike or camp or perhaps fish. In fact, Arizona Game and Fish just released their top 5 winter fishing holes in Arizona.
Fish may not be quite as active as they are during the spring and summer months, but AZGFD says there are some spots in Arizona where the fish are still biting. So grab your pole and head out!
AZGFD says you may want to head south to Parker Canyon Lake. This spot is just north of the Mexico border and south of Elgin. There's a big shoreline with plenty of spots to cast your line and the lake is stocked with trout throughout the winter. Plus the water temperatures are cold enough that the fish stay active all day, not just during those early morning hours.
No early wake-up call? That would get ME out fishing!
If you head west, you’ve got a good chance of catching striped bass in the lower Colorado River near Bullhead City. AZGFD says the stretch of the river just below the Davis Dam is stocked weekly with trout and they recommend meal worms, nightcrawlers ,and PowerBait if you’re aiming for trout.
Also in western Arizona, it’s a great time of year to cast your line into Lake Havasu. Temperatures there run pretty similar to our mild Valley highs this time of year, often in the 60s, 70s and even 80s. The water doesn’t get terribly cold and the fish continue to bite. In fact, the lake holds the world record for the largest redear sunfish. The 5 pound, 12.8 ounce fish was even caught during the winter season in 2014.
AZGFD’s next pick isn’t a lake, but a river. The Lower Salt River isn’t too far of a drive from the Valley and is stocked with trout all winter long. There are lots of spots along the shore, but you do need a Tonto Pass. You can get one here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/tonto/passes-permits
Finally, AZGFD’s favorite wintertime fishing spot is Alamo Lake. The lake is about 100 miles, or a 3 hour drive from the Valley. Also in western Arizona, those mild winter temperatures keep the crappie biting. AZGFD thinks this year’s fish in Alamo will be bigger than previous years, so grab your pole and head to the lake! I’ve never been to Alamo, but it’s one of my dad’s favorites. And since he taught me to fish and continues to be my favorite fishing buddy, I’ll take his word that it’s a great spot. He recommends minnows because crappie, bass and catfish will all bite on them.
By the way, for any of these spots you need a fishing license. You can find that here: https://www.azgfd.com/license/
I’d love to hear about some of YOUR favorite fishing spots in Arizona and see pics of your catches too!
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