Central Mountains Fishing Report

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October 29th, 2009

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

CATARACT LAKE — Campgrounds are closed.  Anglers were catching some nice crappie using Flies.  A 3-pound bass was reported by an angler.

CITY RESERVOIR —   Road is open. No angler reports.

DOGTOWN LAKE — Campground area is closed until spring.  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.

JD DAM — Road is open.

RUSSEL TANK -   Has been stocked. Water is very low.

SANTA FE — Lake is full.  According to the few anglers I talked to fishing is good.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — No report from anglers.  Campgrounds are closed.


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

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. Remember there are no boat motor restrictions on this lake.

ASHURST LAKE —  The lake is full. Fishing was fair – good on worms fished under a bobber. Fishing on regular marshmallows was good. A big pike was caught here recently, click here for the photo.

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 — It is very weedy.  Has not been stocked since last spring.

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-pounds were caught and released during our surveys.  Some anglers have caught some large northern pike here as well.

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 — Stocked last week. 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. One angler reported he did not do well fishing for trout, but caught smallmouth and largemouth bass downstream from the bridge.

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 next week, the week of November 2nd.  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.

Think small for the chub. 1/16-ounce or even 1/32-ounce crappie jigs can work in most colors except red. Be sure to crimp the barbs — this is single barbless hook only here.

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

OAK CREEK – Fishing is good for rainbows fair for brown trout.  Scheduled to be stocked this week.

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. The Verde is scheduled for trout stocking the second week of November.

WEST CLEAR CREEK — This creek was stocked last week, 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 Lakes

FAIN LAKE — Trout were last stocked the week of Oct. 19 and are scheduled to be stocked again next week, the week of Nov. 2.  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 last stocked the week of Oct. 12.  The next stocking is scheduled for the week of Nov. 16. Power Bait has been the best for trout. Spinners are effective early in the morning.  About half of the anglers surveyed Saturday had caught at least one trout.  Many anglers are reporting catching there limit every time they go out.  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. Another angler reported catching 25 bass on his last trip to Goldwater.

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 Oct. 5. Fishing has been slow.  Only 17 percent of the anglers fishing Sunday were successful in catching at least one fish.  The next trout stocking is scheduled for next week, the week of Nov. 2.

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. 19.  The fishing has been really good.  This was the last scheduled stocking until the spring. 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 – No new reports.  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.

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