North Central Region

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March 30th, 2009

Note:  Always check on road conditions before venturing afield.

Williams Lakes:

KAIBAB LAKE — Stocked with 7,200 trout around eight inches long. The lake is accessible although the campground is still closed. These early season trout will sometimes readily gulp down delectable items they haven’t seen for some time, like wiggling night crawlers or meal worms.

CATARACT LAKE — Campgrounds are closed. Must walk in to fish.


DOGTOWN LAKE — Campground area is closed.

JD DAM — No reports.

RUSSEL TANK – No reports.

SANTA FE — Lake is full. No reports

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Campgrounds are closed. No reports.
Flagstaff Lakes:

LOWER LAKE MARY — This is a rainbow trout fishing hot spot. Anglers last weekend were doing very well using all manner of baits and techniques. The lake size is about 50 surface acres now, but snow melt should increase its size by the prime spring fishing season. Biologists are expecting good things from this highly productive lake this season.

Thank you Roy, we just got back and had a wonderful time. We only
fished lower lake Mary and boy did my son nock them dead. In a day
and a half we caught 50 – 60 they were all stockers, we released all
of them for someone else to catch. Well we did keep two to go with
our venison tenderloin we had for dinner at camp. I have also
included a photo of my son’s first pike I think the photo tells it
all. I did not know if Game and Fish want pike in with the trout? So
we did release it back too. Let me know for the next time please.

Rick and Zack
UPPER LAKE MARY — The lake is almost full (four feet down). Some anglers have been doing well fishing for northern pike.

Where: Upper Lake Mary
When: 03/14/09
Caught: 5 Northern Pike
Technique: Long casts from shore today over a two hour period produced a few fat healthy Pike. Tossed shallow running Rapala stick baits across shallow rock and weed covered flats. Pike were working the wind blown shallows and ambushed a slow moving lure. Pike were in two feet of water or less when they hit. Big fish was 5.4 lbs. and very feisty.
Comments: Beautiful but cool blustery weather: even snowed on us a time or two. Fish came from the extreme southern end of the lake. Returned the fish to the lake to be caught again. Can’t wait to get back out there.
Name: Jeff Bierer

ASHURST LAKE — The lake is full. Access is apparently closed. The Forest Service has indicated that the road needs some maintenance before it can be opened. We’ll let you know when they let us know.

FRANCIS SHORT POND – No report. Likely ice covered.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Access conditions unknown.  Road is likely closed.

MARSHALL LAKE — Access conditions unknown.  Road is likely closed.

LONG LAKE —Water level should be good.  Lake was stocked last year.  This lake was producing some nice trout and pike last fall, so might be worth a try this spring once the snow melts and the roads are passable.

Angler report:
Tracy Sullivan: I was at Long Lake from 3/19-3/22, not a lot of action a few bites here and there. Friday I caught a 15 inch trout but on Saturday I caught a 21.5 inch trout. It was beautiful! I would imagine the fishing would have been a lot better if it was not as windy.


BEAVER CREEK — Stocked the week of March 9. Scheduled for stocking again this coming week. Fishing should be decent. It is also possible to pick up some holdover trout in the creek well upstream from the crossing.

HI Rory,

We had a great time at Beaver Creek.  We caught 3 total and gave them away to local campers.  Here is a picture of the kids.
Thanks again for your help.   I really appreciate it.

Where: beaver creek
When: 03/15/09
Caught: 2 small rainbows
Technique: flyfishing ,adams, and San Juan worm
Comments: had to walk up stream to many people down below, i saw a lot of no trasping signs up there to whats up with that ,no place to go now ,except up stearm
Name: mike

WEST CLEAR CREEK — No report. Was last stocked in the fall and won’t be stocked again until the week of March 9. However, this stream can have some nice holdover fish in the deeper pools upstream in the rugged canyon..
Verde Valley

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Fishing in general has been very good.  It is not uncommon for  anglers to report catching their limit in less than 1 hour.  If you are willing to fish all day you should be able to get a limit.  Trout were stocked last week, the week of March 9.  This is the last scheduled stocking until the fall. There were 3,600 rainbow trout split between the lower and middle lagoons each stocking.  Try using white Power Bait, homemade dough baits, flies or small spinners. If you’re not catching anything you may want to try a different bait or the other lagoon.  It is not uncommon for the anglers at one lagoon to do better than the anglers at the other lagoon.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Trout were stocked again last week (the water temperature was 59 F), the week of March 16, with  2,400 rainbows placed into all four sites..  Those sites are Tuzigoot Bridge, just down from the Dead Horse Bridge or “Jacks”, Bignotti Beach or the Thousand Trails site, and the bridge out of Camp Verde.   The next stocking is scheduled for next week (week of March 2nd.)

Prescott Area
FAIN LAKE —Trout are scheduled to be stocked this week with 1,325 rainbow trout.  Trout fishing is best immediately following the stocking.  For trout try using spinners or bright colored Power Bait.

GOLDWATER LAKE — Trout are scheduled to be stocked this week. Look for the fishing to really pick up following the stocking.  Some anglers are having limited success on worms and night crawlers.  If that does not work, you may want to try using KastMasters.  When the weather is cold, the bite may not pick up until 10 or 11.
Catfish and bass were stocked the week of Sept. 15th.  Game and Fish biologists weighed a 22-pound channel catfish that was caught at Goldwater in March.  On July 11, a 26-pound catfish was caught on a hotdog and an 11-pound catfish was caught since then.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Goldwater on September 16th, 2008  and found the trout and sunfish plentiful. While the number of catfish was low, the quality was exceptional. One 19lbs and a 14lbs catfish was sampled and released. No bass were sampled this year. If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at 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 bite should be pretty slow all winter.  If you fish Granite Basin and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

LYNX LAKE — Rainbow trout were stocked the week of March 9th.  The fishing has picked up following the stocking, as well angler use when the weather is nice.  Sub-catchable brook trout were stocked on September 24th.  Try using chartreuse Power Bait on the bottom for these pretty little fish.  Catfish were stocked June 9 and again on June 25.  Try using night crawlers or hot dogs for the catfish.
Game and Fish Biologists installed PVC fish structures on Jan. 3.  These structures should protect small fishes from predation.  Some 7-inch brook trout were in February and 5-inchers in September. Game and Fish stocked catfish the week of June 4. There were 200 pounds of bluegill stocked on March 29. Game and Fish biologists surveyed Lynx in May and found that the brook trout stocked in September 2006 were still present.

MINGUS LAKE – Mingus was stocked the week of October 20th.  This was the last scheduled stocking until spring.  The gate is closed and will remain closed until road conditions improve.  The best bait has been orange or pink Power Bait, fished on the bottom with a treble hook and an egg sinker.
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 – NO NEW REPORTS: Bass, Bluegill and catfish are common in this lake. One angler reported seeing several 5lb catfish recently.  Another angler reported catching 3-8 nice bass per evening on green or chartreuse “woolly bugers.”  As the water begins to cool this will slow, so get them while you can.  Crappies are found in low numbers. Bullheads are easily caught using a small piece of worm.
Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Watson on September 17th, 2008  and found the bass,  sunfish, and bullhead to be plentiful.  Crappie are 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 so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR – NO NEW REPORTS: Bass, bluegill, and bullhead are plentiful.  Most of the bluegills are on the small side, but the bullhead are thick.  If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

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