NORTH CENTRAL MOUNTAINS

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November 21st, 2007

NORTH CENTRAL MOUNTAINS
Channel Catfish were stocked into Stone Dam, Santa Fe, City and Kaibab lakes.  Remember that the catfish limit on Stone dam, Santa Fe and City Lakes is four catfish per day.  The trout limit on City Reservoir is also four trout.  Trout fishing is improving as the weather cools.
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WILLIAMS LAKES:  
KAIBAB LAKE — An angler reported catching-and-releasing 33 trout, including one brown, trolling gold-colored spinners and Pistol Petes.

Campground area is closed.  Main parking lot and boat launch open for day use only.  Fishing was good to excellent using any color Power Bait. 

CATARACT LAKE — Campground is closed.  Stocked last week. Lake is open for walk in fishing.  Fishing was good to excellent using any color Power Bait. The water level has increased to near the spillway.

CITY RESERVOIR —  Open. Fishing was good last week. Any bait that will float off the bottom seemed to work well. Water level is good. 

DOGTOWN LAKE — Jared Pensinger caught-and-released 50 rainbow and brown trout using Panther Martins, Rooster Tails and Power Bait.

The picnic area, main parking lot and boat launch are open for day use only.  Fishing is good to excellent using any color Power Bait. Some browns are being caught on lures. 

JD DAM — Anglers are catching brown trout fly-fishing. 

RUSSEL TANK -  No reports.

SANTA FE — Fishing was good to excellent using any color Power Bait..

WHITEHORSE LAKE — No report from anglers.  Campground is closed. Lake is open for walk in fishing.  Because of low water levels the lake will not be stocked anymore this year.

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:

LOWER LAKE MARY —The lake is dry.

UPPER LAKE MARY — The lake is 17-percent full.  No report from anglers, but this lake has walleye and northern pike.

ASHURST LAKE — No report. This lake has plenty of rainbows and pike.

FRANCIS SHORT POND – No reports.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — No reports.

MARSHALL LAKE — Low water.  Has not been stocked since spring.

OAK CREEK — Fishing is slow. A few small rainbow trout are being caught on flies.

LONG LAKE — Lake is open.  Water level is very low.

SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX — Lake is open. No report.

BEAVER CREEK — Has been stocked recently. Fishing is good using night crawlers. 

WEST CLEAR CREEK — Has been stocked recently. Fishing is good using night crawlers.

STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.

MINGUS LAKE –Trout were stocked last on the week of Oct 15.  This is the last scheduled stocking for the year.  The Forest Service gate is open. Try bright-colored Power Bait like chartreuse, salmon eggs, or various spinners.  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.  Illegal stockings cost YOU money!

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Trout are scheduled to be stocked this week (Nov.19).  Look for the fishing to be good to excellent following the stocking.  Try using small spinners, worms, or Power Bait.

Catfish were stocked the week of Sept. 24, for Verde River Days festivities.  Several largemouth bass, including a 10-plus pounder have been caught this summer in the middle lagoon. In-line spinners, plastic grubs, and small crankbaits have been the ticket. The bluegill fishing has been good using a salmon egg or small worm on a small bait hook below a bobber. The bluegills are plentiful in both the middle and lower lagoons, so between trout and catfish stockings try your luck with the bluegill. 

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Trout are scheduled to be stocked this week (Nov. 19). Trout will be stocked at all five sites.  Stocking sites are at Tuzigoot Bridge outside of Clarkdale, the bridge that leads to the Dead Horse State Park, at Dead Horse State Parks access point called the Jacks, at the White Bridge in Camp Verde, and at Bignotti Beach.  The department stocks trout in these waters from November through March, when the water temperature can support a trout fishery. Cold winter water temperatures keep the other game fish fairly inactive until about mid-March.

Tuzigoot Bridge (leading to Tuzigoot National Monument) has decent rainbow trout fishing early and late in the day. Most fishermen concentrate near the bridge, but the pools and currents downstream within 300 yards of the bridge hold lots of trout and do not see much fishing pressure. Small spoons such as Z-rays, Mepps and Panther Martin spinners, and Power Bait all work well.

Fly-fishermen seem to prefer fishing the Verde River between Riverfront Park and Dead Horse Ranch State Park in the town of Cottonwood. The trout aren’t too fussy about the type of fly/lure or presentation. The best success here has been first thing in the morning until about 10 a.m.

Bignotti Beach (between Cottonwood and Camp Verde, near Thousand Trails RV Park) has had decent fishing as well. Anglers tossing in-line spinners, small spoons, or fly-fishing with dark, gold-bead nymphs are doing best during mid-day, while fly-fishermen floating a variety of dry flies are having good success early and late in the day.

The White Bridge in Camp Verde (Highway 260 bridge over the Verde River) is an under-utilized trout fishery. A U.S. Forest Service picnic area above the river provides convenient parking and a short walk to the Verde River. Try fishing the riffles and pools upstream of the bridge. Mepps in-line spinners, small KastMaster spoons, and bright-colored Power Bait (fished on a treble hook above a sliding egg-sinker) have been the most productive offerings.

LYNX LAKE — Rainbows were last stocked the week of Nov. 5.  This was the last scheduled stocking until the spring.  Trout fishing should be good following the stocking.  Brook trout were stocked in September.  The brooks were in the 5-inch range, but hopefully they will be catchable size for the fishing in the spring. 

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.

FAIN LAKE — Rainbows were last stocked the week of Nov. 5.  Prescott Valley Parks and Recreation held the annual Gold Fever Days at Fain Lake in mid October, were nearly all of the kids that participated in the fishing clinic caught fish.  Five-inch brook trout were stocked in Sept. 24 and rainbows were stocked Oct. 12 & 15.  Rainbows are scheduled to be stocked again the week of Dec 3.  Catfish were stocked on June 4.  There were 150 pounds of bluegill stocked on March 29. These fish were hand-sized and should be easily caught. Try using worms or mealworms on a bobber. Small spinners may work as well.

GOLDWATER LAKE — Trout were stocked the week of Nov. 12.   Spinners and night crawlers appear to be the hot ticket.  People are limiting in a couple hours. In addition to spinners, try using jigs, worms and rainbow Power Bait.  

An angler named Deb said the fishing has been decent during October while fishing in the early afternoon, and the best bite is from 4:30 to dark. “I limit out almost every trip. Fish on!”

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Goldwater during the middle of May and found the trout and sunfish plentiful. While the number of catfish and bass was low, the quality was exceptional. One 16-pound catfish was sampled and released. The bass averaged about 3.5 pounds. On March 29, 400 pounds of bluegill were stocked. These fish were hand-sized and should be easily caught.  Try using worms or mealworms on a bobber.  Small spinners may work as well. If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

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