North Central Region

Share or Bookmark:
| More
June 26th, 2008
North Central Region

Note:  Northern Pike have been illegally stocked in Francis Short.  If you catch a Northern Pike at Francis Short Pond please REMOVE IT FROM THE POND.


— Campground area is open. Main parking lot and boat launch open for day use only.    Fishing was excellent over the weekend. Stocked with channel catfish.   Stocked last week with rainbow trout.

CATARACT LAKE — Campground is open.  Lake is open for walk in fishing.  Fishing for trout and catfish was good. Stocked with catfish.

CITY RESERVOIR —  Road is open.  Lake is full.   Stocked with catfish

DOGTOWN LAKE — Campground area is open. No Report   Some browns are being caught on lures.  Stocked last week with rainbow trout.

Where: Dogtown
When: 05/23/08
Caught: 10 trout
Technique: worms
Comments: Caught more fish when snowing than when sunny.
Name: Shiela

JD DAM — Road is open.  No reports from anglers.

– Recently stocked.

Where: Russel Tank
When: 05/03/08
Caught: Rainbow Trout
Technique: Power Bait and spinners.
Comments: Average 10 inch, limit out within an hour. Locals were doing just as good. I will be headed back up there for the second opening day for spring turkey; if I can’t seal the deal with Mr. Tom I’ll just catch some trout.
Name: Gilbert

SANTA FE — Lake is full.  Anglers are catching trout and yellow perch. Stocked with channel catfish.
Where: Sante Fe Dam in Williams AZ
When: 06/01/08
Caught: Rainbow Trout
Technique: Worms
Comments: When I was a kid I fished this lake every day, but last Sunday pulled the largest trout I’ve ever seen in Arizona. Wife as my witness. Most fish were small normal trout size. Fished west side off Dam.
Name: Ron Bykerk

WHITEHORSE LAKE — Stocked with rainbows and the water temperature. No report from anglers.  Campground area is open.  Lake is open for walk in fishing.  Lake is full.

Where: White Horse Lake
When: 05/24/08
Caught: Rainbow Trout
Technique: Worms 18″ below a bobber and Yellow Power Bait with glitter on the bottom.
Comments: On the 24th, mid morning, my son and I caught nine trout in an hour and a half in a snow storm. We release six and gave three others to a couple of little guys next to us that did not have our luck. On the 25th, early in the morning, in three hours I only caught-and-released two trout, but my two nieces and one of their friends, each caught their limits right off the loading ramp on Power Bait. Very exciting for the kids. Me too. Trout ranged from 8″ to 12″.
Name: Richard Bettes

Where: white horse
Caught: trout and crappie
Technique: all types of lures
Comments: caught and released well over 100 fish in two days of fishing all stockers nothing with any size but had a blast and I’m sure this next cold front will mess up the fishing for the memorial day weekend

— This is still a trout-catching hot spot. A total of 28,000 trout have been stocked into the lake fishing is fair to good depending on the wind.

Angler reports:
Where: Lower Lake Mary
When: 05/25/08
Caught: Trout
Technique: Worms with bobbers
Comments: Great fishing for all, especially the kids. Every cast would get a bite within 30 seconds, it was unbelievable! The trick was hooking them and trying to help watch all the kids’ bobbers. Just about everyone was leaving with their limit!
Name: AlexTheis

UPPER LAKE MARY — The lake is full.  Some Pike are being caught on anchovies.

One of our anglers, Dave Nielson, provided the following report on Lake Mary, Ashurst and Marshall:
Upper Lake Mary – (It’s all about the narrows)
Walleye – We were on the water on Thursday 06/19/08 from 6:30a.m. until the wind picked up and landed six walleye; all were good sized too (18-22”). The best thing we found that worked for us were worms back-trolled very slowly using a worm harness in 5-8 feet of water. The bite was really good from about 8 a.m. to just after 10 a.m. If you do not have a boat worms off the bottom were also working for many anglers from the shore. You didn’t need to be out there that far to get a bite. The walleye are shallow in the morning and resting on the bottom.
Crappie - We tracked a lot of suspended fish in the middle of the channel of the narrows. The fish were anywhere from 14 feet to 8 feet down and we’re told they are mostly crappie. A few anglers reported catching them with white tubes and grubs in the evening. We did not attempt to fish for crappie while we were out there.
Northern Pike – We found our best success for pike were (like you said) near the east end of the lake in the evening just after dusk. We fly lined frozen anchovies off steel leaders. The bite seems to be best just after sunset until about 9 p.m. During the day time you’re going to need a lot of patience and time if you’re looking for that northern bite; many folks were coming back empty handed during the day time. The cove closest to the dam seems to be the best area for northerns. We landed two nice fish just after sunset back-to-back; both fish were just under 26 inches in length and put up a fun fight!
Ashurst Lake – I wish I could say more about this lake, we were up there for just a few hours on Friday the 20th and decided not to launch the boat because it was just too windy. We fished from shore with worms but didn’t have much luck and were snagged in the rocks almost every time… What a great view though! But you’re not a kiddin’ it’s windy as all hell up there.
Marshall lake- This was my first visit to this lake and I fell in love with it! What a great view and what a nice place to pitch a tent or pull in a trailer. I only wish I had more time to photograph a sunset while I was up there. Our fishing at this lake was short lived but still pretty fun! The fiancé managed to land a few small trout off a brown/green fly drifted into cover. I did not catch anything but I still enjoyed being on the water for a couple hours!

Thanks again for the tip on Marshall and the info on Mary. We had a great time and hopefully we can get back up there sometime this summer. Hopefully my information can provide some useful tips on what’s working for these lakes.

Take Care,

Where:Upper Lake Mary
Caught:Northern Pike (just a little one)
Technique:daredevil lure, with red & white stripe.
Comments:When this 24-inch pike took my line at the far upper end of Lake Mary, I handed the pole to my 6-year-old son to reel him in. What an experience we had! It took a few minutes to get him to shore, as the drag on my reel wouldn’t stop spinning. What a fight! And he tasted good too! Now if only we could get people to stop leaving broken glass beer bottles around the lake, this place would be perfect!
Name:Steve Wilson

Where:Lake Mary
Technique:Crankbait w/steel leader
Comments:5-pound 3-ounce Walleye, fished for four days and only caught this guy, bring your sun screen and watch out for jet skis
Name:Donny Nelson

Where: Upper Lake Mary
When: 06/12/08
Caught: Northern Pike
Technique: Large spoon with steel leader.
Comments: Was at least 2 feet and very fat, pushing 10 pounds. I caught it just a little past the dam. These fish are fun to catch.
Name: Chris Rybacki

Where: Upper Lake Mary
When: 05/31/08
Caught: Northern Pike
Technique: Frozen Anchovies
Comments: Nice 22″ and 23″ Pike. Be sure to take your STEEL Leaders. Lake is full and was a Beautiful day….
Name: Gary Webb

Where: Upper Lake Mary
When: 06/09/08
Caught: 2.5lb Northern Pike
Technique: Trolling Rapala Crankbait
Name: Joe Carpenter

Where: Upper Lake Mary
When: 06/08/08
Caught: Nothing
Technique: Spinnerbaits & Jerkbaits
Comments: Fish were just not biting. Hopefully next week will be a different story.
Name: D.N.

Where: Upper Lake Mary
When: 06/05/08
Caught: 3 Northern Pike
Technique: Anchovies, worms.
Comments: We fished for about 2 hours down by the spillway. We were getting bites the whole time, and we were able to hook three fairly large Pike. We had several other bites where the pike took the anchovies almost completely off the hook. Beautiful day.
Name: Evan Shaw

Where: upper lake mary
When: 06/02/08
Caught: northern pike
Technique: steel leader, egg weights and number 2 hook and frozen anchovies
Comments: huge 26 1/2in 4.5 pound northern pike I had another one but in took all my line out and I couldn’t reel it in; too big and heavy,
Name: Brandon

ASHURST LAKE — Stocked  recently with rainbow trout. The water temperature was 62 F. The lake is full. Some larger hold-over trout are being caught. Recently stocked. The road is open. Some trout anglers are catching northern pike.

Steve at the Ashurst Store reports that due to warm weather, catching fish on north and south side of the lake from shore early morning are doing well but dies mid morning.  Boaters are doing well in deeper waters with gold Super Dupers at the east and west end of the lake.

Where: Ashurst lake
When: 05/10/08
Caught: caught limit of trout. one big rainbow. big enough for two.
Technique: used worms with a floater. size eight hook.
Comments: they start biting the first five minutes. it up to you when to hook’em
Name: Ryan Becenti

Where: Ashurst Lake
When: 04/05/08
Caught: trout
Technique: rainbow KastMaster, trolling
Comments: Fishing is slow but patience will be rewarded. There are some huge hold-overs
Name: Corey Myers

FRANCIS SHORT POND – Fishing good for trout on flies, spinners or corn.  Catfish are being caught on night crawlers and hot dogs.  Please remove all pike caught to save stocked trout for the anglers!!! Scheduled to be stocked with catfish.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Has been stocked.

Where: Kinnickinick
When 05/04/08
Caught: Rainbows
Technique: Night crawlers, grubs, small brown Power Bait worms with chartreuse eggs in front of the worms, eagle claw double hook assembly.
Comments: Caught 9 pan fries and put them back to grow. Hooked an 8 + lb.
Name: Thom Rogers

MARSHALL LAKE — Recently stocked.

Where:Marshall Lake
Caught:Limit of Rainbow, 1 Brook Trout
Technique:Worms with a dab of Power-Bait 2-3 feet below a bobber.
Comments:Hit the boat launch at about 9A.M. and by noon we had all caught our limits! Several smaller trout and a few larger ones. The key was to let the fish take the hook all the way, trying to set it didn’t seem to work at all. There also seemed to be a hot spot right in the middle of the boat launch hole; sometimes we would get a bite within about 30 seconds of casting! It was a great time, and I can’t wait to get back out there as soon as we eat all these!
Name:Evan Shaw

OAK CREEK — Scheduled to be stocked this week with rainbow trout. Fishing is generally slow for browns although some large ones have been caught recently, but is okay for rainbows.

Where:Oak Creek
Caught:Rainbow Trout
Technique:Fished off the bottom of the deeper pools with night crawlers slowly reeled in, fish were biting heavy until around noon. Easily caught limit both days we fished
Name:Loma McAloon

LONG LAKE — Stocked recently rainbow trout and the water temperature. Lake is open.  Water level is good.  Some nice fish are being caught near the ditch.

Where: long lake
When: 06/14/08
Caught: 19 rainbows
Technique: worns with bobbies about 4ft down off of boat ramp.
Comments: 10″ to 23″ catch about 25 ft off shore. fished all day, best between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. biggest trout I’ve every caught.
Name: jim palmer

Where: Long Lake
When: 06/21/08
Caught: Trout
Technique: Worms
Comments: Most were around 12-14 inches…One was 19 inches!!
Name: Clint

Where:Long Lake
Technique:Small spinners, Rapalas, spoons, Power Bait.
Comments:The lake looked very “cloudy” and murky from shore. Fished all morning with not so much as a bite. Wondering if the water level had anything to do with the crappy water condition? Don’t bother fishing this lake unless you have a boat.
Name:Phil Tumbleson

SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX — Lakes are open. No report.

BEAVER CREEK — No reports.



MINGUS LAKE – The seasonal gate across the access road is open. Rainbow trout are being stocked twice a month.   Mingus was stocked on June 16th.  This is the last scheduled stocking until September.  The best bait has been white Power Bait, fished on the bottom with a treble hook and an egg sinker. Several 6-fish limits of trout were caught this way. Fishermen using night crawlers under a bobber are also having some success.

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 fishing success has slowed since the last seasonal fish stockings April 1st. The best bait has been kernels of canned corn with a split-shot sinker, fished about 3 feet under a bobber. Power Bait fished on the bottom with an egg sinker is also catching a few trout. Largemouth bass fishing is fair. Try using small plastic jigs, plastic worms, or small spinnerbaits near deeper cover.  Catfish stocked June 9th.  The catfish bite has been pretty good on night crawlers.  The time of day that they are biting varies, so you may need to be patient.

Bluegills are very abundant, but most are small.  This is a great opportunity to teach kids how to fish.  Try using a No. 8 hook with a small piece of worm under a bobber and you should have success.  While the crappie numbers are up a little, most are small.  Look for the crappie fishing to be good late this year or next year.  Catfish are scheduled to be stocked the week of June 9.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – No new reports.  Trout fishing success is waning since the last seasonal fish stockings occurred March 17. A few rainbows are still being taken near Riverfront Park in Cottonwood on night crawlers and dry flies. Largemouth bass fishing is fair. Best bet is throughout the Camp Verde reach using small plastic jigs and in-line spinners. Channel catfish action is starting to pick up in the Verde Valley. Most success on catfish is by using night crawlers and chicken liver after dusk.

LYNX LAKE — Catfish were stocked June 9.  Trout are scheduled to be stocked this week, the week of June 16.  While fishing has been slow, these two stockings should help.  Try using night crawlers for the catfish. The hot ticket for the trout is salmon egg scented power bait.

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.

FAIN LAKE —Fain is scheduled to be stocked with rainbow trout this week, the week of June 16.  This is the last trout stocking scheduled until September.  Catfish are scheduled to be stocked the week of June 23.  For trout try using spinners or bright colored power bait.  Fain lake was stocked with brook trout on Feb. 25.

GOLDWATER LAKE — Trout were stocked last week, the week of June 9.  Fishing success should be good following the stocking.   Recently one angler reported catching a 13- and 14-inch trout in two hours of fishing.  While there is no shortage of fish, most people report catching only one or two fish.  Try using KastMasters. If that does not work you may try worms or Power Bait.  Early in the morning and in the evening the bite may be a little better. Some days the fishing seems to be better than other days as well.   The next trout stocking is scheduled for the week of June 23.  Bluegills were stocked Feb 25.  Game and Fish biologists weighed a 22-pound channel catfish that was caught at Goldwater in March.

Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Goldwater during the middle of May 2007 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, 2007, there were 400 pounds of bluegill 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 so I can share your successes with others.

Leave a Reply