Arizona News - 25/05

Arizona Fishing Report - Rory's Tips

For this Memorial Day weekend, lots of people will be headed to the high country for some fishing and mountain air, so my biggest tip is augment your catch of trout or other fish with the abundant crayfish.

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Arizona Fishing Report - Rory's Tips

Crayfish are not native to Arizona. In fact, we are the only state in the lower 48 that doesn't have native crayfish. In our trout lakes especially, they are a huge problem. So you can help the environment by catching and eating all of these delectable crustaceans you can.

What's more, it's a lot of fun -- especially for youngsters. Plus, all they really need is a stick and some string, or just string for that matter, plus a bucket or something to put the mud bugs into. A little piece of meat helps to attract the crayfish, such as a hot dog or small piece of bacon. Or a string soaked in bacon grease might attract a hoard of crayfish.

Kids can sight fish for crayfish, or simply toss a bait out, let it sink to the bottom, and pull it in when they feel a tug (some familiar?).

For preparing the crayfish, keep in mind that most people overcook the crayfish and the meat becomes rubbery. To avoid this, bring the water to a boil, take the water off the heat, put in the crayfish, keep the water OFF the heat, and in about 3 minutes, the crayfish should turn bright red, indicating they are done (this works for crab and lobster too).

If you want to get fancy, add a crab boil. These packets can be bought at just about any supermarket. My family likes to cook the whole crayfish, but you can choose just to prepare the tails.

I always suggest boiling or roasting corn on the cob to go with the crayfish (and hopefully a trout or two). Melt a little butter and garlic (maybe some Mrs. Dash seasoning) for dipping the cooked crustaceans. I like seasoned butter for the corn as well.

Nothing tastes quit as good as a meal your family has caught in the outdoors. Eating such a meal in camp while the sun is going down and stars are filling the sky makes it even more special. These are the type of memories the whole family will look back upon in years or even decades to come.

This week the Page Springs Hatchery is scheduled to stock: Blue Ridge, Nelson Reservoir, Frances Short, Hugger Pond, Mormon Pond, Morton Lake, Whitehorse Lake, Dogtown Reservoir, Oak Creek, Santa Fe, City Reservoir, Kinnikinick Lake, Blue Ridge Reservoir, Kaibab Lake, Knoll Lake and Rose Canyon Lake.

If you want some tips on where to go, call up last week's fishing report. I provided a list of suggested waters fro Memorial Day weekend. I will add that since I wrote those tips, Lake Powell has gone ballistic for striped bass -- the striper bonanza is now underway.

I just got the word from my old friend Don Martin, an outdoor writer and guide in the Kingman area, that striper fishing is really taking off at Lake Mead.

Go catch some great memories this weekend. Maybe I'll see you out there.

Note: For the complete stocking schedule (including maps), visit 2012 trout stocking schedule.

By Rory Aikens, AZGFD

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