North Central Region

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December 19th, 2007

Winter conditions have finally arrived. For those lakes with open water, expect rimming ice.

WILLIAMS LAKES:  
KAIBAB LAKE —  Campground area is closed.  Main parking lot and boat launch open for day use only. No reports on fishing. 

CATARACT LAKE — Campground is closed.  Lake is open for walk in fishing. The water level has increased to near the spillway.

CITY RESERVOIR —  Open. Water level is good. 

DOGTOWN LAKE — 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 — No reports. 

RUSSEL TANK - No reports.

SANTA FE — No reports.

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 reports.

ASHURST LAKE — No reports.

FRANCIS SHORT POND – No reports.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — No reports.

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

OAK CREEK — Has been stocked recently. Expect water to be turbid from runoff, but fishing should pick up again once the water clears.

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

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

BEAVER CREEK — Expect turbid water from runoff. 

WEST CLEAR CREEK — Expect turbid water from runoff. 

STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.

MINGUS LAKE – Winter conditions may prevail!

MINGUS LAKE –Trout were stocked last on the week of Oct 15.  This is the last scheduled stocking for the year.  Try bright-colored Power Bait like chartreuse, salmon eggs, or various spinners.  The gate is closed until the spring, but you can walk in and fish. 
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 – This week (Dec 17th) will be the fifth-consecutive week that trout were stocked.  Fishing should be exceptional.  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) – Expect some turbidity from runoff. Trout are scheduled to be stocked this week (Dec 17). Trout will be stocked at all five sites.  Stocking sites are at Tuzigoot Bridge outside of Clarkdale, the bridge that leads to the Deadhorse State Park, at Deadhorse 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.  Fishing should be slow till February when stocking resumes.  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 are scheduled to be stocked this week, the week of Dec. 17.   Look for the fishing to pick up following this stocking.  Fishing may be better toward the middle of the day and evening.  Don’t be afraid to switch from lures to bait if one is not working.
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.   This was the last scheduled stocking until the spring.  Spinners and night crawlers appear to be the hot ticket.  People were limiting in a couple hours, but look for fishing to slow a little this week.   In addition to spinners, try using jigs, worms and rainbow Power Bait.  

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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