North Central Region

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May 20th, 2009


KAIBAB LAKE — Stocked last week with 3,492 trout.  Fishing is best bite at first and last light. Try night crawlers, salmon eggs, Power Bait, spinners or corn.

Angler reports:
Garrett: After getting skunked at Kaibab Lake, went over to Cataract Lake, shore fishing next to the dam.  Hooked into three nice trout in 30 min….5/6/09

Darron Khan: Hit Kaibab today (5/9/09). Water temps are rising and the fish have turned on. Campgrounds are now open including the east end which provides good access to some nice bank fishing spots. Anglers are catching trout on Power Bait (all colors) and night crawlers under bobbers and on the bottom. Water clarity is still chocolate milk but the fish are still biting. Good luck all!

CATARACT LAKE — Stockd last week. Fishing should be good. Campgrounds are open.

CITY RESERVOIR —   Stocked last week with 873 trout. Fishing should be good.

DOGTOWN LAKE — Campground is open. Scheduled to be stocked this week.

JD DAM — Road is open.

RUSSEL TANK -   No reports. Has been stocked.

SANTA FE — Lake is full.  Fishing has been good.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — No reports. Campgrounds are open. Has been stocked. In all likelihood, fishing should be fair to good. Try Power Bait, night crawlers, corn, salmon eggs, or small spinners.


LOWER LAKE MARY — Fishing is good for trout.  This lake was stocked liberally in late winter, but stocking has ceased for this year. Those stocked rainbows are not fat and feisty.

Fly anglers have been doing well in the evenings on dark colored surface flies.
R. Jenkins: My wife and I fished at Lower Lake Mary Saturday, May 9, and had no problems catching our limits, plus we were able to teach a couple kids fishing there how to catch the fish. They ended up with more fish than their parents.

Fishing 2-pound test line with the bait about 30 inches under a bobber got me limits within 20 minutes of arrival.  My wife fishes 4-pound test and the fish do not take it nearly as much.  She switched to 2-pound test to finish off her limit.  Fishing anything heavier than 4-pound test is a waste of time there.  The fishing is wide open with the right bait but night crawlers, Power Bait and corn is not it.

UPPER LAKE MARY — The lake is full.  Anglers are catching some nice sized northern pike. Try spinners, crankbaits or swim baits.

Angler reports:

Mike Bright: My dad Gary, son Levi, daughter Ella and me were fishing Upper Lake Mary at dusk on May 15 and the morning of May 16 by the dam from shore.  We caught 1 largemouth bass, 4 Yellow Perch, 1 crappie, and 6 Northern Pike.  We used silver KastMasters for the Pike and worms with bobbers for the other fish. It was the best fishing I have had at that Lake and a beautiful mini trip out of the valley of heat.
Dennis Stuhr: Fished from 1600 until dark again for Northerns 5/08/09. Caught a dozen little Northerns & 1 small Perch.  Largest Northern was 17″ long. An Osprey had  pretty good luck plucking fish at the shore line. Did not see anybody else catch a single fish except for the Osprey.

Robert Bonnewell; May 9, 2009. Put the boat in around 6:30 a.m. and trolled the south shore till around 10:30. Water depth around 5-10 feet. Wind started kicking up early. Caught10 northerns all in the 1/2- to 1 1/2-pound range. All pretty small, but it was still nice to see the fish active finally. Caught them on #3 spinners; silver and orange colors.  Fish size could be relative to the lure size. Plan on taking some #4 & #5 spinners on our next outing to see if we can get the attention of some larger fish.

ASHURST LAKE —  The lake is full. Fishing was good last Saturday or corn and worms. Scheduled to be stocked this week. Trout anglers sometimes hook into monster northern pike here this time of year.

FRANCIS SHORT POND – Scheduled to be stocked this week with trout. Fishing was fair on hotdogs for catfish and worms for trout.

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Road is open. Has been recently stocked.

MARSHALL LAKE — Road is open and the lake has been stocked. This small lake will not be stocked again this year.

LONG LAKE — Stocked last week. Lake is open.  Water level is good.

Angler report:

Jeff Matthiesen caught 4 trout in about 2 hours with Berkley Gulp at Long Lake.

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


Verde Valley

BEAVER CREEK — Has been stocked with trout this spring. No recent reports. It is possible to catch small smallmouth bass in the deeper pools, especially in the canyon upstream from the campground.

DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Fishing in general has been okay.  Try getting there early for the trout.  It should begin slowing soon.  Trout were last stocked the week of April 6.  This was the last scheduled stocking until the fall. 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 another location.  Some places in the lagoons are much better than others.  Don’t be afraid to move around if you are not having success.

Bass and Bluegill are moving around.  Most of the bluegill are small, but still fun for kids to catch.  Some of the bass are on beds.

OAK CREEK — Fishing is good for rainbows fair for brown trout. Stocked weekly.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – No new reports- Trout were last stocked the week of March 16.

WEST CLEAR CREEK — Has been stocked with trout this spring. No recent reports from anglers.

Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — Trout are scheduled to be stocked this  week, the week of May 4;  1,325 rainbow trout will be stocked again this week.  Trout fishing is best immediately following the stocking.  For trout try using spinners or bright colored Power Bait.

Catfish and sunfish were stocked the week of June 23.

GOLDWATER LAKE —Trout were stocked on Saturday and Sunday for  fishing clinics. Trout were easily caught on both days.  Power Bait usually works well for trout.  If that does not work, you may want to try using KastMasters.  Look for the trout to be most active in the early morning and late afternoon, but they can be caught all day.

Catfish and bass were stocked the week of Sept. 15.  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 Sept. 16, 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 – No new reports.  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 begin to pick up around then end of May or beginning of June as the water begins to warm.  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 last week, the week of May 11, as well as 1,600 brook trout.  The brookies were about 3 to the pound.  Look for the fishing to really pick up due to the stocking last  week.  Trout are scheduled to be stocked again the week of June 15.  If you are not having success fishing in one spot, then try walking the shore and throwing a small spinner.

Try using chartreuse Power Bait on the bottom for these pretty little fish.  Try using night crawlers or hot dogs for the catfish.  Catfish will be stocked again sometime this June.
MINGUS LAKE – Trout are scheduled to be stocked this week, the week of May 18.  The gate is open.  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 – The fishing at Watson has been slow.  As the water begins to warm look for the warm water species to become more active around the end of May or June.  Crappies are found in low numbers. Bullheads are easily caught using a small piece of worm.

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 so I can share your successes with others.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR – Bass, bluegill, and bullhead are plentiful.  Most of the bluegills are on the small side, but the bullheads are thick.  The bass should be moving up to spawn soon if they have not already.  Bass usually spawn in this lake as early as April. They seem to be starting a little later this year.  If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

5 Responses to “North Central Region”

  1. 3/24/2009 Upper Lake Mary is red hot. From a boat our fishing day started about noon and ended at dark. We helped a family get their boat started with some jumper cables…the rest is history. Mike and I had our personal best days on the lake. We boated 50 Northern Pike for sure and probably more. All were released at the end of the fishing day. Lots of healthy hard hitting pike in 10 inches up to 15 feet of water. Hordes of hard hitting Pike with several bigger Pike in the mix, nothing over 5lbs. however. I fished the same black and silver floating Rapala all day and Mike threw everything in the tackle box. It all worked. Thunderheads, a shower, a rainbow, and some wind gusts from passing storms. Periods of calm with warm sun shine added to the beautiful lake conditions especially after the recent rains. Even the Yellow Perch were hammering the Pike lures!

  2. I’ve only been to Lake Mary once. Arizona’s lucky to have “her.”

  3. Hi Guys,
    I’m headed up to Sedona this weekend, May 30-June 2. I’ve fished up in Oak Creek Canyon before, but was hoping to try out the lower part as well. I’ve heard it can be worth exploring. Can anybody help me out with some good access points for the lower part of Oak Creek? I have a 4 wheel drive just in case! Thanks for the help!

  4. I have had the worst luck at Lake Mary…Just wondering if it is neccessary to have a boat to catch fish there or if shore fishing is productive as well?

  5. Melin;

    Not necessary to have a boat, but it always helps to locate the portion of the lake with the most active fish – that’s any lake.

    I like fishing near the dam and casting out to the aerator – you know, where the floating solar panel is located. Or head to the other end in the flats and work bright colorful inline spinners at first or last light (or at night).

    There are some guys catching huge, toothy pike there. But Lake Mary has walleye, bass, crappie, perch and channel catfish.


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