The best fishing in North Tucson is pretty much relegated to man-made, urban lakefronts which are stocked with trout seasonally and always teeming with catfish and sunnies. Due to Arizona’s harsh climate, Tucson has a lack of natural lakes and rivers that maintain a level sustainable to life. Most riverbeds are dry much of the year, and thus the city-maintained lakes are vital to locals who enjoy dipping their rods in the water to try and catch a bite.
One of the better spots for a day of North Tucson fishing is the lake at Christopher Columbus Park. Dubbed Silverbell Lake for the park’s Silverbell Road address, there are plenty of great spots to set up camp, cast your rod and watch an afternoon or evening pass by. There is a cement landing dock for small boats, though no swimming is permitted in the lake. Dogs aren’t supposed to go swimming in Silverbell Lake either, but they can’t read the signs and often ignore this rule.
There are picnic tables, shade ramadas, a large dog park, public restrooms and a children’s playground located adjacent Silverbell Lake at Christopher Columbus Park. These conveniences make it possible to hang out and wait for a nibble as long as you like. You can even stock the cooler, and rustle up some burgers, steaks, veggies or anything else you like on the charcoal-pit BBQ grills provided for use by park guests. The fish, mostly stocked trout, sunnies and catfish, seem to enjoy standard bait worms, such as mealworms and nightcrawlers.
Bits of hot dog, corn and even cheese wrapped around the hook also work well, particularly with the catfish. Though bass, carp and crappie are reportedly traversing the lake, they seem to be a far rarer catch than the above-mentioned varieties of fish.
Multiple species of insects, birds and ground critters native to Arizona also call the park around Silverbell Lake home, and you may be lucky enough to see butterflies, hummingbirds, lizards, cranes, ducks, turtles or frogs on your fishing trip. In the hotter weather, beware of potentially dangerous snakes, scorpions and other creepy crawlies. Keep young children close by to prevent a curious hand from a overturning a rock, and always watch children around water.
Silverbell Lake is only about six feet deep at its deepest point, and averages around four feet, according to the City Of Tucson Game & Fish Department web site, located here. Visit the site’s Silverbell Lake page to find out even more information about this wonderful Tucson fishing and recreation resource!
City of Tucson web site – http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/urban_lake_silverbell.shtml