Donnie Bacon is a frequent visitor to the Green Valley Park lakes where he’s had luck landing some of the modest-sized trout stocked each month by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
But his catch on March 1 near the dock and boat ramp on the 10-acre main lake was a lunker-sized trout that would have gone down in the GVP record books had it been officially weighed.
The fish — a trophy-sized catch in most any Arizona river or lake, let alone an urban park — tipped the scales unofficially at a robust 6 lbs., 8 oz.
In comparison, Phoenix resident John West caught a 3 lb., 5.76 oz. fish on Jan. 13 at Mesa Red Mountain Park that earned him a picture and caption on the Arizona Game and Fish Web site.
The Urban Big Fish of the Year for 2011 was actually smaller than Bacon’s catch, weighing 5 lbs., 15.04 oz. Leon Jones caught it at Alvord Lake in Phoenix.
Bacon says his fish — because of its size — had to be a hold over from previous stockings who survived the warm summer months when most fish in GVP die.
“I’ve been fishing (Green Valley Park) about five years and it’s the biggest one I’ve ever caught,” said Bacon.
In landing the fish, Bacon used a type of power bait and grub worm which he says is popular among the regulars at the lake.
As big as the rainbow was, Bacon did not have it mounted; instead he made it a meal for himself and some of his buddies.
“A friend smoked it and it was really good,” he said.
For Bacon, who is an avid angler, the only thing better than spending a day on the shores of the GVP lakes with his buddies, is a motorcycle ride in the cool mountain air.
“Fishing and riding my Harley is what I love to do.”
The game and fish department will continue to stock GVP with trout until April 21 when stockings will cease for the summer.
The daily catch limit at GVP is four trout.
All anglers 14 years and older must be licensed with one of the following:
• Class U, Urban $18.50 good for a year.
• Class D, One day only, $16.25.
• Class L, Super Fish good for a year. Residents: $35, Non-Residents $63.
• Class P (Pioneer) free is Arizona resident for 25 years.