BEST URBAN FISHING Phoenix 2005 - Encanto Lake
Our out-of-state buddies love teasing us about how the only bodies of water we have around these parts are the various "fake lakes" dotting the arid local landscape. "Back where we come from, ponds don't need to be filled with recycled toilet water," they exclaim, before deluging us with their various fish tales. Despite the contempt, our so-called friends would be surprised to know there are actually some decent angling experiences around the Valley, particularly at the 7.5-acre central Phoenix urban lake at Encanto Park. Folks gather during the early morning and late evening hours to engage in the age-old battle of man against beast, attempting to lead catfish, bluegills, sunfish, bass and carp to their doom using shimmering lures and nontraditional bait like hot-dog chunks, shrimp, or bits of corn. The more compassionate fishermen release their catches back into the drink, while others harvest their prey while licking their lips in anticipation of a seafood dinner. It ain't The Old Man and the Sea, but it'll do nicely.