North Central Region Arizona Fishing Report

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May 13th, 2009


KAIBAB LAKE — Scheduled to be stocked this week with 3,492 trout.  Fishing is generally good, with the best bite being 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 — Scheduled to be stocked this week with 2,619 rainbow trout. Fishing should be good.

CITY RESERVOIR —   Schedule to be stocked this week with 873 trout. No recent reports. Fishing should be good.

DOGTOWN LAKE — No recent reports. Stocked last week with 2,681 trout. The water temperature was 60F.

JD DAM — Road is open.

RUSSEL TANK -   No reports.

SANTA FE — Lake is full.  No reports.

WHITEHORSE LAKE — No reports. Stocked last week 3,057 trout. The water temperature was 72 F.


LOWER LAKE MARY — Fishing is still good for trout.  This lake was stocked liberally in late winter. Those rainbows are not fat and feisty.
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:

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. The road is OPEN. Stocked last week with 3,395 trout. The water temperature was 54 F. No recent reports. Trout anglers sometimes hook into monster northern pike here this time of year.

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

KINNIKINICK LAKE — Road is open.  Stocked last week with 3,704 trout and should also have plenty of holdover trout to catch as well.

MARSHALL LAKE — Road is open and the lake has been stocked.

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

LONG LAKE — Lake is open.  Water level is good.

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


Verde Valley
DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Fishing for trout is slowing down.  Trout were last stocked the week of April 6.  This is the last scheduled stocking until the fall, but rainbow trout are still abundant in the lakes.
Try using white Power Bait, homemade dough baits, flies or small spinners.

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

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Trout were last stocked the week of March 16 at 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.
Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — Trout were stocked at the end of April. Try using spinners or bright colored Power Bait.

GOLDWATER LAKE —Trout were stocked the week of April 20.  Power Bait usually works well for trout.  If that does not work, you may want to try using KastMasters.
Catfish and bass were stocked last fall.
Game and Fish Biologists surveyed Goldwater last fall 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.

Where:Goldwater Lake
Technique:Worms, Power Bait, spinners, KastMasters, flies: used worms and Power Bait both on or close to the bottom and under bobbbers
Comments:Fishing from shore from 10 am to 3:30 p.m. and had one bite, which I missed. Even the cormorants weren’t finding fish. A good day in the sun watching ducks getting ready to mate and build nests. I can only guess but the low pressure front moving through probably had something to do with it. Enjoy the reports which I religiously copy for future reference. What works today on any body of water will most likely work any time in the future under the same conditions. Least ways they have for me for the past 70 years.
Name:William (Bill) Tracey

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 begin to pick up around then end of May or 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 the week of April 27.  Trout are scheduled to be stocked again the week of May 11.  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.   This lake also has catfish.  Try using night crawlers or hot dogs.  Catfish will be stocked again sometime this June.

MINGUS LAKE – Mingus was stocked the week of May 4.  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.

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 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 – 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.  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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