The city’s annual free fishing day is Jan. 12 with registration at 8 a.m. and fishing starting at 9 a.m. at Copper Sky Lake. Fishing licenses are not required for those registered in the event, but fishing is readily available at both town ponds throughout the year.
What kind of fish will you encounter at Copper Sky and Pacana Park?
Bass are the most sought-after fish among U.S. anglers, according to U.S. Fish & Wildlife, but they are getting harder to find in community waters. According to Arizona Game & Fish Department, largemouth bass in particular cost four times as much as trout and nearly six times as much as catfish to stock. AGFD tries to stock bass at least once a year, usually in spring.
Bluegill, like black bass, are members of the sunfish family. They are often stocked in spring. Popular as pan fish for humans, they are also sought by largemouth bass and catfish looking for a nice dinner, so they tend to hide around underwater forms.
Catfish are omnivorous bottom-feeders and one of the most instantly recognizable fish. Anglers also consider them a fun sport fish. They will be stocked in Maricopa again in late March, according to AGFD.
Trout are also a popular game fish across the country and the focus of Arizona hatcheries. They again will be stocked in Maricopa waters in January and February.
White Amur, named for the Amur River in Asia, are commonly called grass carp outside of the United States. The Amurs do well in standing bodies of water like ponds and lakes. They can be difficult to catch and can be fighters once they’re on the line.
The city’s fishing waters are typically open from sunrise to 11 p.m., and anglers can fish for free year-round. Anglers age 10 and over must have a license to fish.
This item appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.