Stocking produces really nice trout in Colorado River

March 30, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — The trout stocking is about done for the season, but that doesn’t mean the end of trout season for area fishermen.

“We are having a super trout bite going on,” said Rusty Braun, proprietor of Riviera Marina in Bullhead City. “It is especially helpful that our federal hatchery at Willow Beach is getting us some great rainbow trout.”

The Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery was idled earlier this year during the government shutdown but once the shutdown ended, the hatchery kicked its operation into high gear, providing the Tri-state with a bunch of really nice rainbow trout.

“This should be our last week of this season’s trout plant,” Braun said in a bad-news, good-news fashion. “The good news: We are getting a lot of fish.”

Stocking sites of Davis Camp and Community Park are yielding lots of rainbows immediately after the stockings. Trout also are being caught further down the river.

“Our local anglers are having some success landing their limit of five rainbows,” Braun said.

Johnny Krall and Mike Merritt each showed off a five-trout limit during a recent stop at Riviera Marina, as did Mike Savoia. All reportedly were finishing in the Community Park area.

“They were using power bait,” Braun said of Krall and Merritt. “And Mike had his favorite spinner that produced his limit.”

The trout, while not huge, were far from tiny.

“These are some examples of some of the rainbow trout the hatchery is getting to us,” Braun said. “A big shout-out and thanks go to those involved in the raising of these fish for our community.”

While the trout bite is being termed “super” by Braun, he said the striper bite is “picking up” on the Colorado River below Davis Dam.

“For a good example, Mike Andrews brought in a 5.66-pound striper at 265⁄8 inches,” Braun said. “He was fishing from the shore using a Bomber Long A he had just purchased.

“The stripers are mostly running in the 1- to 3-pound range with a few larger ones in the mix. This means a good know and a good line are a must, best in the 12-pound range, so set the drag so as not to break the fish off,” Braun suggested.

While the striper bite appears to be picking up in the river proper, action still is spotty on Lake Mohave.

“Our striper bite hasn’t taken off yet” on the lake, “Braun said. “The largemouth and smallmouth bass should be on the nest or close to that time. It’s a good practice to catch-and-release these as they are guarding the nest from predators like the carp, for example, so the eggs aren’t devoured.

“Topock Marsh should be producing some nice panfish with a few stripers in the mix,” he added.

Braun said he had no more information about a striper derby that is in the works in cooperation with Riviera Marina and the City of Bullhead City — other than that it likely won’t be staged on Memorial Day weekend.

“It comes to light that the Memorial Day weekend might be a bit too busy for our anglers, especially in the casino area,” he said. “I will try and get an update.”

If you’ve had some success and want to share the news — and perhaps a photo of the fish — check in with Braun at Riviera Marina, 520 Riviera Blvd., or give him a call at 928-763-8550.

“I hope this helps for now,” Braun said. “We will see you in soon.”