[Published in the February 2018 edition of the Deer Valley Times}
You’ve heard the old adage, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for life.” Well, it’s a great time of year in Arizona to take your kids out to teach them to fish at one of the many fun fishing areas in our state. There are so many great locations to fish in Arizona that we can’t list them all here. But we can give you some excellent resources to find the best fishing spot for you and your family to enjoy a day out.
Sometimes it’s best to start at the beginning. If you want to go fishing, you need a license. Who better to give you the best information available about fishing than the group that issues licenses, the Arizona Game and Fish Department? The Arizona Game and Fish website (https://www.azgfd.com/Fishing) has the most accurate and essential information available about fishing spots in every area of the state. They provide state records for largest fish caught each year, a detailed list of locations, fish stocking schedules, types of fish and limits, and much more. You can also pick up a hard copy of the fishing regulations guide anywhere you can purchase a fishing license.
Phoenix city parks are a great place to take your kids fishing. A short drive to get to a park nearby gives you the experience of urban fishing with your youngster, in the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. The City of Phoenix has contracted with Arizona Game and Fish to stock eight of the municipal parks in Phoenix:
- Cesar Chavez (Alvord Lake)
- Desert West
- Steele Indian School
Each of the lakes are usually stocked with catfish in June, September and October and trout in November and December, but you can see the specific stocking schedule on the Arizona Game and Fish website. Be aware that all of the regulations that govern fishing in the state also apply in the City of Phoenix, as well as other municipal areas throughout the state.
Another prime fishing location in the Valley is Lake Pleasant, part of the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation system. The Lake Pleasant Regional park boasts more than 23,000 acres, with activities that range from its various water sports – fishing, boating, swimming, etc. – to hiking, camping, picnicking and wildlife viewing. The lake is a reservoir and a key part of the Central Arizona Project waterway system, which helps bring water from the Lower Colorado River into Phoenix and the surrounding areas. Lake Pleasant has a large marina and a Desert Nature Center to provide visitors with great information about fishing and the other activities available at the lake.
Important Fishing Tips
Before you head out to the lake, take time to prepare for your fishing trip. Bring your license, water, snacks a hat and sunscreen, as well as all of the fishing tackle and equipment you will need. Watch the weather and dress appropriately. Stay in designated areas, pack out all of your garbage and keep your cell phone handy for emergencies. Make sure your kids understand the rules for fishing, and check the local websites for that fishing spot to look for alerts or special announcements. There are tons of great places to go fishing in Arizona – this list of resources should help you find the right fishing spot for you and your family.
Be sure to check out Ladybug’s Blog for more articles and recommendations for fun things to do outside with kids everywhere in Arizona!