Regional Reports-West

Colorado River

Known by locals as the "Arizona Everglades," the lower Colorado River is home to some of the largest flathead catfish in the West. These cats average 5 to 10 pounds and regularly top 50 pounds. The Colorado River record is a 74-pounder caught behind Laguna Dam on the lower part of the river. One of the best locations for big fish is the five-mile stretch upstream from Picacho State Park, while the area below the I-10 bridge near Ehrenberg produces good stringers. Forget the stinkbait-flatheads prefer live bait, usually goldfish or tilapia. The fishing is best at sundown, on full-moon nights and at daybreak. Bag limits at Picacho are 10 flathead catfish per day. You can launch boats at Picacho State Park, MacIntyre County Park on the California side south of Blythe or Fishers Landing near Martinez Lake. A resident license is $18; nonresidents pay $26 for five days or $51.50 for the season. A $3 Colorado River use stamp is required. Contact: Arizona Game and Fish (602-942-3000).