Central Mountains Fishing Report

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October 14th, 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.

WILLIAMS LAKES:
KAIBAB LAKE — Campground is closed, lake is not accessible due to a wild fire crew staying there. It should be open by the weekend.

CATARACT LAKE — Campground is now closed until May, but the lake is still open for day use.  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 is closed until May, but this lake is open for day use.  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. Recently stocked.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Fishing has been a little slow. Campground is closed until May, but still open for day use.

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:LOWER LAKE MARY —  Has not been stocked since last spring.  The water is low and it is very weedy.

UPPER LAKE MARY — The lake is full.  Water is cooling down some. Try using soft plastic jigs and spoons for folks black crappie, yellow perch and northern pike. Some anglers have done well catching pike on spinners or frozen anchovies. 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. Has been recently stocked and is scheduled to the stocked again the week of Oct. 12. 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 — 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 — Water level is good. We sampled the Long complex in mid-July.  Trout up to about 6-pounds 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.

STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.

Verde Valley

BEAVER CREEK — Scheduled for stocking this week, so fishing should pick up dramatically. It’s a great place to take the youngsters fishing. You can also hike upstream into the canyon and catch holdover trout and smallmouth bass.

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Catfish were stocked for the Verde River days, the week of September 21st.  1500 lbs of catfish will be 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.

FOSSIL CREEK — This seasonal fishery opened for the first time ever on Oct. 3. Fishing is good for chub is good, but special regulations apply: it’s catch-and-release only using artificial lures and flies only with single barbless hooks. And the scenery is absolutely spectacular along this rare travertine stream.

Be sure to leave this special place better than you found it by picking up any litter.

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 — Has been recently stocked, fishing should be good. Game and Fish has also reintroduced Rocky Moutain Bighorn Sheep into this area, so you might just see some up into the rugged canyon area (not an easy hike — be sure to wear boots).

Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — Trout were stocked last week, the week of October 5th.  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 last the week of Sept. the 14.  They will be stocked again this week, the week of Oct. 12.  Power Bait has been the best for trout. Spinners are effective early in the morning.  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. One angler reported catching a catfish last week that weighed around 20lbs.

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 last stocked the week of the week of October 5th.
Look for the fishing to really pick up following this stocking.

Fingerling brook trout were stocked Sept. 17.  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.  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 last week, 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 crank baits.  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.  Look for the fishing to slow down as the water temperature falls.

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.  Look for the fishing to slow down as the water temperature falls.
If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — Trout were stocked last week, the week of Sept 21st and are scheduled to be stocked again this week, the week of October 5th.  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 and will be stocked again  week of Oct. 12.  Fishing this weekend should be good. Power Bait has been the best for trout. Spinners are effective early in the morning.  With the water cooling, trout should be hitting spinners as well.

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 last stocked the week of September 14th. 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 this week, the week of October 5th.

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 last the week of Sept. 21 and are scheduled to be stocked again this week, the week of October 5th.  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 crank baits.  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.  Look for the fishing to slow down as the water temperature falls.

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.  Look for the fishing to slow down as the water temperature falls.
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 Fishing Report”

  1. Hey Rory,

    We were fishing the southern portion of Wet Beaver Creek, below the ranger station on National Forest Road 618. We didn’t catch any trout but we did catch a few other things. We caught a lot of smaller sized Smallmouth Bass and some decent sized ones. Here is the curve ball. We caught a lot of decent sized Largemouth Bass and Bluegill around 3/4 – 1 pound. We jumped some Whitetail Deer and a couple Arizona Black Rattlesnakes. Are Largemouth Bass and Bluegill native to the creek or did they swim up from the Verde RIver?

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