Fishing is a year 'round opportunity! A valid fishing license is required of any person, except residents or non-residents under the age of fourteen (14) years and blind residents, for taking aquatic wildlife from public waters. A trout stamp is required for the taking of trout in public waters. Detailed information on fishing seasons, regulations, permits, and licensing for our area may be obtained by viewing the Arizona Game and Fish Department fishing regulations. For further information on fishing, contact:
Arizona Game & Fish Department
Region 1 Contact Information
2878 E. White Mountain Blvd.
Pinetop, AZ 85935
Or check out the Department of Game & Fish at www.gf.state.az.us
For more information on the Apache/Sitgreaves National Forest, you can find the U.S. Forest Service Web Site at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/. If you would like more information or detailed maps of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, please stop by or call:
Alpine Ranger District
Alpine, AZ 85920
Winter Fishing in Arizona's White Mountains
The Arizona White Mountains houses a number of popular and easily accessible Lakes for either regular or ice fishing. There are various factors to consider when choosing a location to fish. Depending on the severity or mildness of the season, some of the lakes in the lower elevations of the White Mountains may not be suitable for ice fishing.
Here are some lakes in the White Mountains that in most years remain open and accessible to all.
Lower Elevation Lakes (6,500 ft. to 7,500 ft.)
Fool Hollow Lake, just a salmon egg's throw from Show Low, usually has open water year round, and also has a small fishing dock. Information: 149 acres. Elev.6,600 ft. Four miles off Arizona 260 using Old Linden Road and either 32nd or 22nd Street.
Show Low Lake, between Show Low and Pinetop, has public access as well.
Information: 100 acres. Elev. 6,500 ft. One mile off Arizona 260 in Show Low on Show Low Lake Road. Early spring is the best time to fish trout here. Other species include walleye, largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. Show Low Lake turned up the state record walleye - a whopping 12-pounder. Shoreline fishing is better than most, making Show Low a great place to take the family.
Concho Lake, on Hwy. 61 between Show Low and St. Johns, could bring an angler luck in the winter. Trout, bass, and bluegill are the main species. Information: 60 acres. Elev., 6,300 ft. Ten miles west of St. Johns off Arizona 61. Use your favorite bait or lure for the rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout here. A store and restaurant are part of the concession. Picnic area and restrooms on premises.
Becker Lake, just northwest of Springerville, may present the angler with large trout. Remember, only artificial lures and flies can be used during the winter months, and the lakes may at times have a thin ice cover; however, watch the weather reports -- a mild spell could leave these waters open and ready for fishing. Information: 85 acres. Elev. 6,900 ft. Two miles northwest of Springerville, off U. S. 60. The lake is known for large rainbow trout, but no special regulations are in effect except for a season that runs from the first Friday in April to Nov. 30. Rest rooms are on-site
Higher Elevation Lakes (7,500 ft. and above)
Winter fishing in the high country can be an enjoyable experience for those anglers who like peace and solitude. For information on lake conditions, call the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest at 520-333-4301 or White Mountain Hunting & Fishing at 520-338-4385.
A-1 Lake , A-1 Lake has easy access from the highway, but the parking area may be muddy in the snow or rainy seasons. A-1 is popular for ice fishing when weather permits and is known for beautiful scenery.
Big Lake , 400 acres. Elev. 9,000 ft. 19 miles southwest of Eager using Arizona 260 and U.S. 273 either approaching from the east near Eagar or the west near Sunrise Resort. Open May to November, with snowmobile access in the winter.
Sunrise Lake , 900 acres. Elev. 9,100 ft. 30 miles east of Pinetop using Arizona 260 and 273. Paved roads for easy access. Sunrise is one of the largest and best trout lakes and, with A-1, Horseshoe, Big, and Reservation close by, there's never a dull day fishing. Some of the fish grow into the 15-20-inch range. Large graylings. Sunrise may get a bit breezy because it doesn't have the wooded areas to break the wind. Campgrounds, stores, gas stations, boat rentals.Luna Lake , 120 acres. Elev. 7,900 ft. Three miles southeast of Alpine, off U.S. 180. Close proximity to Alpine makes Luna Lake especially popular among both locals and vacationing fishermen. Rainbow, cut-throat, and brook trout fill up the nets here, and although most are pan-sized, a carryover from the preceding year sometimes brings up a few biggies on the line. Luna Lake is popular among ice fishermen, depending on the winter freezes. Luna Lake is also a wildlife refuge where bald and golden eagles, as well as swans and geese, are often seen.