Central Mountains Fishing Report

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October 2nd, 2009

Note: Northern Pike have been illegally stocked in Francis Short.  If you catch a Northern Pike at Francis Short Pond please keep it. Stone Dam near Ash Fork was stocked with 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 reported by an angler.

CITY RESERVOIR — Road is open.

DOGTOWN LAKE — Campground area is open.  Fishing was best using a piece of marshmallow on the hook with a worm on the end of the hook. Worms alone were also working.  This lake was stocked in mid September and has been a consistent producer.

JD DAM — Road is open.

RUSSEL TANK - Was stocked last spring. Water is very low.

SANTA FE — Lake is full.  According to the few anglers I talked to fishing is good. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Fishing has been a little slow. Campgrounds are still open.

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:LOWER LAKE MARY —  Has been stocked since last spring.  The water is low and it is very weedy.

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. In addition they were catching walleye near the boat ramp on night crawlers.

Where: Lake Mary
When: 09/26/09
Caught: Northern Pike
Technique: Spinner baits
Comments: color of the bait mattered this weekend. Two of us fished Saturday and boated 50 from noon till 6 p.m. and Sunday 65 from 9:30 to 4:00 p.m. once we figured out the right color they hammered the lure, exploding out of the water a number of times. Depth and presentation were key as well, water temps were in the low 60s on the surface and mid 50s just a couple feet down- temps are down nearly 10 degrees in 2 weeks.They are feeding on shad so, if you find shad you will likely find feeding fish. Fish from 1/2 pound to 5 pounds most were 2-3 pounds and more agressive than usual. Towed a broken vessel back, bummer for him, been there myself.
Name: Jim Lindquist

ASHURST LAKE — The lake is full. Fishing was fair – good on worms fished under a bobber.    Fishing on regular marshmallows was good.

FRANCIS SHORT POND – Anglers were catching catfish using hotdogs for bait early in the morning and in the evening.  Trout fishing was good over the weekend. Stocked last week. Fishing was good on worms on the bottom, but some anglers were having success using bobbers.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Road is open.  A 2-pound brown trout was caught on a worm recently.

MARSHALL LAKE — Road is open. The lake was stocked last spring.  It is very weedy. This small lake will not be stocked again until spring.

OAK CREEK — Fishing is good for rainbows fair for brown trout.  Cicada hatch is over.   Scheduled to be stocked this week.

LONG LAKE — Lake is open.  Water level is good. Has been stocked.  We sampled the Long complex in mid-July.  Trout up to about 6 lbs were caught and released during our surveys. Two anglers report catching trout up to six pounds and pike averaging two to four pounds on spinners and rainbow Rapalas.

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


Verde Valley

BEAVER CREEK –Fishing is poor for trout, but can be decent for smallmouth bass in the deeper pools in the canyon upstream from the bridge. This stream will be stocked the week of Oct. 5. It’s a great place to take the youngsters fishing.

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Catfish were stocked last week for the Verde River days, the week of the Sept. 21, with  1500 pounds of catfish split between the two lagoons.  This should give a boost to the fishing until trout stockings start.  Trout stockings are scheduled to resume in November.

Bluegills are plentiful.  Most of the bluegills are small, but still fun for kids to catch.  Try fishing for catfish at night using anchovies or stink bait.

OAK CREEK — Recently stocked. Fishing should be good for rainbows and fair for browns.

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.  One angler caught a very large roundtail chub below thousand trails.

WEST CLEAR CREEK — Scheduled for stocking the week of Oct. 5. This remote creek has not been stocked since last spring, but it’s still possible to catch trout in the deeper holes in the rugged canyon, where you might just see some transplanted Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — Trout were stocked the week of Sept 21, and are scheduled to be stocked again next week.  Look for the fishing to pick up following the stocking.  Bright colored Power Bait will be your best bet.  As the water cools more, spinners will become more effective.

Bluegill were stocked on June 15 and again the week of June 20.  Catfish were stocked the week of June 15. Catfish should bite on night crawlers or anchovies in the morning and evening hours.
GOLDWATER LAKE — Trout were stocked the week of Sept. 14.  They will be stocked again the week of Oct. 12.  Power Bait has been the best for trout. As the water cools, look for the trout to become more active and start hitting spinners. Look for the trout to be most active in the early morning and late afternoon, they are not very active during the middle of the day right now.

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. 15, 2009 and found bass and catfish populations to be much improved over last year. The number of green sunfish was greatly reduced.  The bass had a successful spawn 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 stocked the week of Sept. 14. This is the first trout stocking for the season.  Look for the fishing to really pick up following this stocking.  Trout are scheduled to be stocked again next week, the week of Oct. 15.

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.  Rainbow trout stockings will resume the middle of September if water temperatures permit.
MINGUS LAKE –Trout were stocked the week of Sept. 21 and are scheduled to be stocked again the week of Oct. 5.  The fishing has been really good.  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 – Some reports of anglers having success for largemouth with crankbaits.  The catfish bite should be good in the evenings. 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.

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