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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Southern CA Freshwater

With trout plants back, bigger rainbows swarm Willow Beach

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: Feb 13, 2019

Big stripers activate in river below Davis Dam

WILLOW BEACH, Ariz. — Trout stocking has resumed following the federal shutdown, and ang­lers were rewarded for their patience with a fresh batch of above-average-quality rainbows. It makes you wonder if staffers at Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery — who were as anxious to get back to work as local fishermen were to their weekly trout plants back — wanted to throw those anglers a bone for putting up with the lull in the action.


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THIS 40-POUND striper showed off by Rusty Braun of Rusty Riviera Marina was caught by a tourist near Community Park.


“The trout bite is on fire at Willow,” said Las Vegas angler Carmelo Castro Jr. “The smallest was 2 pounds.”


He was fishing with his mom and little brother, and they piled up limits as well as plenty released. The hot baits were CML Baits Minnows on a 1⁄16-ounce jighead, and they were getting it done near the Fishing Pier.


Just a couple days prior, Castro put up the same type of numbers on Colorado River trout while fishing below Davis Dam at Community Park. That is another area welcoming trout plants back into the equation.


When that bite slowed, Castro fired out a BHC Stalked Trout and connected with a 13-pound-class striped bass. A 40-pound striper was weighed in at Rusty’s Riviera Marina, and while it was confirmed with a photo, details were slim other than it was a tourist that tied into it who was also fishing near Community Park. 


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CARMELO CASTRO JR., right, with his mom and brother, showing the quality of trout they are getting at Willow Beach. They were fishing with CML Baits minnows by the Fishing Pier.


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