Willow Beach, Ariz., a trout fishing resort on the Colorado River just south of Hoover Dam, was known until a half-dozen years ago for some of the best trophy rainbow trout fishing in the western United States.
But when Arizona and Nevada ceased planting trout in the waters immediately south of the dam, catches of 10 to 15-pound rainbows disappeared within a few years.
However, Willow Beach has bounced back into the spotlight in recent weeks, after Arizona officials opened a new shore fishing zone near the old federal trout hatchery adjacent to the resort. On Monday, 13 rainbows weighing more than 3 pounds were caught by shore fishermen, including one that weighed 5 pounds 8 ounces.
WILLOW BEACH--Good boat fishing for smaller rainbows this week. Best spots: 56, 52 and 42-mile markers.
LAKE MEAD--Generally slow for striped bass this week, but some catches reported in Vegas Wash. Shad, prime food fish for stripers, moving into deeper waters. Largemouth bass slow.
BULLHEAD CITY--Good rainbow trout fishing on Lake Mohave reported by trollers working power lines area in early mornings. Good catfish action in lake coves, too. Fair to good river fishing for small rainbows from boats, shores, with standard baits. Slow for stripers.
SALTON SEA--Slow for orangemouth corvina. Good for tilapia, sargo at Salt Creek, Bombay Beach areas for shore fishermen using nightcrawlers, corn.
LAKE CACHUMA--Trout best bet, from boats, shore, with cheese, nightcrawlers. Dam area near cistern best bet for boat fishermen. Drake Cove best shoreline area. Santa Cruz Bay best for catfish. Bass slow.
LAKE CASITAS--Good week for deep water catfish action. Dead Horse, Station canyons best areas. Ken DuMong, Long Beach, 15-0 channel catfish in six-fish string, 5-0 smallest. Fair to good trout fishing for still fishermen, slow-running trollers. Bryan Bowman, Ojai, 15-8 largemouth bass with plastic worm at Rock Pile, from boat. Jerry Scotton, Oak View, 8-0 and 10-0 bass with crawdads.
LAKE PIRU--Good trout fishing for trollers using 3, 4 colors at north end. Good still fishing results with cheese baits. Henry Laird, Fillmore, 16-0 catfish. Mike Meadows, Canoga Park, 6-0 bass with triple-hooked nightcrawler while fishing for trout at Diablo Cove.
LAKE SKINNER--Good for trout, catfish, with limits of trout reported this week.
LAKE CASTAIC--Bait fishermen, trollers catching limits of rainbow trout at dam. Fair for bass.
LAKE ISABELLA--Good for catfish. Trout, bass slow.
VAIL LAKE--Good for catfish. C. Lee, Compton, 15-4 catfish in 31-pound string, with mackerel baits at north shore. Clare Bacon, Encinitas, 9 catfish weighing 56-1 (largest: 19-4) Tuesday, 37-7 stringer Wednesday. Tom Tyler, Hemet, 4 trout weighing 7-13 with nightcrawlers. Mark Tibbets, Villa Park, 8-5 bass. Wayne Thompson, San Marcos, 6-9 bass. Catfish best bet.
SILVERWOOD LAKE--Crappie best bet. Some limits of crappie in one-pound-plus class reported at dock area, Outhouse Cove. Some limits of small rainbows. Good catfish results on mackerel baits at dam. Bass, stripers slow.
LAKE HENSHAW--Crappie best bet. Numerous 25-fish limits reported this week, some fish over 2-0. Fishing float best area. Very good shore fishing for trout, limits reported. Henshaw will be open for all of December, contrary to previous announcement lake would be closed.
Rock cod fishermen on boats out of Cisco's Sportfishing in Oxnard have experienced three-quarters to full limits this week on all-day and three-quarter-day trips to Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands, and in local coastal waters.
OXNARD--18 anglers (1 boat): 234 rock cod.
SAN PEDRO (Ports 'O Call)--12 anglers (1 boat): 120 calico bass.
A list of waters scheduled to be planted this week by the Department of Fish and Game, weather and road conditions permitting, by counties:
LOS ANGELES--Big Rock Creek, El Dorado Park Lake, Legg Lakes, Peck Road Park Lake, Piru Creek (Frenchman's Flat), San Gabriel River (East, West forks).
RIVERSIDE--Cahuilla Lake, Evans Lake, Perris Lake, Skinner Lake.
SAN BERNARDINO--Cucamonga Guasti Park Lake, Santa Ana River.
SAN DIEGO--Doane Pond.
INYO--Diaz Lake, Lower Owens River (Laws Bridge to Stewart Lane), Pleasant Valley Reservoir.