Central Mountains

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August 20th, 2009

Note:  Northern Pike have been illegally stocked in Francis Short.  If you catch a Northern Pike at Francis Short Pond please REMOVE IT FROM THE POND.  Stone Dam near Ashfork was stocked with catfish — the limit there is two bass minimum size 13 inches and four catfish.

KAIBAB LAKE — Campground area is open.  Fishing was fair-good on Power Bait and worms.

CATARACT LAKE — Campgrounds are open.  Anglers were catching some nice crappie using Flies.  A 3-pound bass was caught this summer.

CITY RESERVOIR —   No reports.

DOGTOWN LAKE — No reports from anglers.

JD DAM — No reports.

RUSSEL TANK - An angler reported that his tank is now almost dry.

SANTA FE — Lake is full. No reports.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — No report from anglers.


LOWER LAKE MARY — Not fishable, almost dry.

UPPER LAKE MARY — The lake is full.  Anglers have reported that folks are catching black crappie, yellow perch and northern pike on soft plastic jigs and spoons.  This lake also has some nice largemouth bass as well. There are no boat motor restrictions here.

ASHURST LAKE — The lake is full. Fishing was fair on worms or Power Bait fished below a bobber.

FRANCIS SHORT POND – Anglers were catching catfish using hotdogs for bait.  The best time was in the evening.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Road is open. This spring-fed lake can be a decent summer producer even when other lakes are experiencing the doldrums.

MARSHALL LAKE — The lake is weedy with very little open water.

OAK CREEK — Fishing is good for rainbows in places. It is also fair to good for brown trout in the catch-and-release section located between Junipine Crossing and Call-of-the-Canyon Crossing (well signed).  Fly anglers are catching fish on cicada patterns.

Don’t forget that in Oak Creek there is unlimited harvest allow of warmwater fish allowed such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish and flathead catfish, but you can expect to find these fish in the lower sections of the Oak Creek, especially between Sedona and Cornville.

Where: Grasshopper Point, Oak Creek
When: 08/01/09
Caught: Rainbow trout and Carp
Technique: We used nymph scented Power Bait, night crawlers and in-line spinners. We used the Power Bait under a bobber and a weight, the worm with only a weight and worked both by twitching. Caught the carp on a night crawler.
Comments: Caught 17 fish from the first of August to the second.
Name: Ben

LONG LAKE — Lake is open. Water level is good. Was stocked in the spring. Biologists sampled the Long complex. Trout up to about 6-pounds were caught and released during the surveys.

SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX — Lakes are open. No report. Walleye, Largemouth Bass northern pike, channel catfish and bluegill were collected during our surveys last week.

BEAVER CREEK —   No report. Has been Stocked

WEST CLEAR CREEK —   No report. Has been stocked


Verde Valley

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Catfish were stocked on June 10; 1000 pounds were split evenly between the two lagoons  Fishing in general has been slow. Bluegills are plentiful.  Most of the bluegills are small, but still fun for kids to catch.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – The catfish bite has been pretty good.  Look for catfish in eddy areas of large pools.  Bass should be biting as well.

Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — Bluegill were stocked on June 15 and again the week of June 20.  Trout and catfish were stocked the week of June 15.  This was the final trout stocking for the summer.

Bluegill, trout and catfish should all be biting.  Bluegills are easily caught, and many are being released.  Bluegills bite well on worms or meal worms.  For trout try using spinners or bright colored Power Bait.  Catfish should bite on night crawlers or anchovies in the morning and evening hours.
GOLDWATER LAKE — Was stocked at the end of July.  Power Bait usually works well for trout.  If that does not work, you may want to try using KastMasters.  Look for the trout to be most active in the early morning and late afternoon, but they can be caught all day.

Both bass and catfish were stocked the week of June 22. Bass were stocked on June 10.  The bass are being stocked to give a boost to a dwindling population in the lake and to reduce the excessive number of crayfish.  Please practice catch and release with the bass, while the population gets re-established.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Goldwater on Sept. 16, 2008 and found the trout and sunfish plentiful. While the number of catfish was low, the quality was exceptional. One 19 lb and a 14 lb catfish was sampled and released. No bass were sampled this year. If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

Granite Basin – Bluegill and bass are plentiful in this lake.  The aquatic vegetation has not been bad this year making fishing this lake easier than normal. The bluegills have been biting well, but most are small.  Some anglers have reported catching limited numbers of bluegill that were close to a ½-pound.  Bass are also biting, but not as good as the bluegill.  If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.
LYNX LAKE — Rainbow trout were last stocked the week of June 15. This is the last scheduled trout stocking for the year.  Five hundred pounds of catfish were stocked on June 10.  Fishing success has been low, try fishing for bass and catfish early in the morning or in the evening.  There are some places were trout can still be caught all day, but they are difficult to find.  One thousand six hundred brook trout were stocked on May 11.  The brookies were about 3 to the pound.  Some anglers have had success catching the brook trout.
MINGUS LAKE – Trout were last stocked the week of June 15.  This is the last scheduled stocking for the summer.  The best bait is usually orange, pink, or white Power Bait, fished on the bottom with a treble hook and an egg sinker.  Anglers often have success with flies and spinners as well.

Someone illegally stocked yellow bullhead into Mingus several years ago.  These fish compete directly with the trout and keep growth rates very low.  If you witness anyone, anywhere, moving fish like bass, bluegill, catfish and stocking them, please report it to our Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700.  Illegal stockings cost YOU money!

WATSON – The fishing at Watson should be pretty good by now.  Bass and catfish should be active. Crappies are found in low numbers. Bullheads are easily caught using a small piece of worm.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Watson last fall and found the bass,  sunfish, and bullhead to be plentiful.  Crappies were also doing well.  Look for the crappie fishing to pick up in a year or two. If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR – Some anglers are reporting catching a few nice bass on spinner baits, crank baits, and crayfish lures.  Try fishing off rocky points and by tulles.  Bass, bluegill, and bullhead are plentiful.  Most of the bluegills are on the small side, but the bullheads are thick.  Try fishing for bullheads by the dam.  Access is difficult, but may be worth it.  The lake is covered with aquatic vegetation, making it difficult to fish.  If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

One Response to “Central Mountains”

  1. Hey Rory:
    Another good report. By the way, City Resevoir here in Williams is DOWN by about 50% or better (just eyeballing). However the fish are now concentrated so I guess that’s the silver lining. My 6 year old son caught a 6″ rainbow on a night crawler and I caught a 6″ largie on the same. Didn’t know there were bass in City Res. Also… and not to tell you how to do your job… you might want to mention that Whitehorse has been restricted due to helicopter use on the fire back there (assuming this is still the case).

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