North Central Region Fishing Report

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July 16th, 2009

KAIBAB LAKE— Fishing was fair-good on powerbait and worms.
CATARACT LAKE — Fishing is fair.
CITY RESERVOIR—  No reports from anglers.
DOGTOWN LAKE — No reports from anglers.
JD DAM — No reports from anglers.
RUSSEL TANK – It was stocked mid to late June, so keep fishing.
SANTA FE — No reports from anglers.
WHITEHORSE LAKE — Most recent reports indicate fishing is poor. Try at first light.

LOWER LAKE MARY —  Stocking for the year is done. This lake is almost dry and water temperatures are rising in the water that is remaining.
UPPER LAKE MARY — The lake is full. Fishing is fair for northern pike, but some large ones up to 20 pounds have been harvested here this spring. It is also possible to cach walleye, crappie, largemouth bass and catfish here.  There are no boat motor restrictions on this lake.
ASHURST LAKE —  Fishing is fair for trout on worms fished below a bobber. There are also some large pike in this lake that provide trout anglers an occasional surprise.
FRANCIS SHORT POND – Stocked with trout and catfish. No reports from anglers.
KINNIKINICK LAKE — Only one recent report, and that anglers didn’t do well.
MARSHALL LAKE — There is very little open water left, but it may be possible to still catch some trout on fly fishing gear.
OAK CREEK — One angler indicated he couldn’t hardly catch a fish. Two others said the fishing was good. Fish at first light and try working various pools. Don’t let your shadow fall on the water and spook the fish.
There are a large number of cicadas emerging around the creek.  Fly anglers using cicada patterns are doing well and anglers catching live cicadas for bait are catching brown trout. Grashopper patters can also work.
LONG LAKE — Lake is open.  Water level is good. Has been stocked.
SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX — Lakes are open. No report.
BEAVER CREEK —   No report. Has not been stocked recently.
WEST CLEAR CREEK —   No report. Has not been stocked recently.
Verde Valley
DEAD HORSE STATE PARK – Catfish were stocked on June 10; 1000 pounds were split evenly between the two lagoons. Fishing picked up immediately following the stocking.  Fishing in general has been okay.   Bass and Bluegill are moving around.  Most of the bluegills are small, but still fun for kids to catch.  Bass are biting on spinner baits.
VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) –The catfish bite has been pretty good.  Look for catfish in eddy areas of large pools.  Bass should be biting as well.  One angler caught a very large round tail chub below thousand trails.
Prescott Area
FAIN LAKE — Bluegill were stocked on June 15 and again the week of June 20.  Trout and catfish were stocked the week of June 15.  This was the final trout stocking for the summer.  Bluegill, trout and catfish are all biting.  Bluegills are easily caught, and many are being released.  Bluegills bite well on worms or meal worms.  For trout try using spinners or bright colored Power Bait.  Catfish should bite on night crawlers or anchovies in the morning and evening hours.

GOLDWATER LAKE — Trout are scheduled to be stocked this week, the week of July 13th.  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.
Both bass and catfish were stocked the week of June 22. Bass were stocked on June 10.  The bass are being stocked to give a boost to a dwindling population in the lake and to reduce the excessive number of crayfish.  Please practice catch and release with the bass, while the population gets re-established.
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 19 lb and a 14 lb 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 –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 bluegills have been biting well, but most are small.  Some anglers have reported catching limited numbers of bluegill that were close to a ½-pound.  Bass are also biting, but not as good as the bluegill.  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 last stocked the week of June 15. This is the last scheduled trout stocking for the year.  Five hundred pounds of catfish were stocked on June 10.  Between the trout and the catfish, fishing success should be high for a while.  One thousand six hundred brook trout were stocked on May 11.  The brookies were about 3 to the pound.  I have not heard if people are catching those brook trout.  If you are not having success fishing in one spot, then try walking the shore and throwing a small spinner.  Fishing for trout is best following the stockings.  The bite drops off within a week, but they can still be caught if you work at it. Don’t be afraid to try different spots in the lake.

MINGUS LAKE – Trout were last stocked the week of June 15.  This is the last scheduled stocking for the summer.  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.  Only about 13 percent of the anglers were successful on the June 20.  All anglers were fishing for trout.
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 should be pretty good by now.  Bass and catfish should be active. 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 – Some anglers are reporting catching a few nice bass on spinner baits.  Bass, bluegill, and bullhead are plentiful.  Most of the bluegills are on the small side, but the bullheads are thick.  If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at so I can share your successes with others.

Note: Fishing has generally slowed due to warmer weather, but will typically pick up when thunderclouds are building and the barometer dips. It’s generally best to fish at first and last light, or even during the night. Some of the lakes, such as Willow Springs, Blue Ridge and Woods Canyon, also have bass.

3 Responses to “North Central Region Fishing Report”

  1. Oak Creek – Fished Friday (7-24) afternoon for about half an hour, and Saturday (7-25) morning for about an hour. Caught and released one brown, a couple rainbows and had several more strikes. All on a dry and a dropper…landed the brown on the dry, the rainbows I caught and missed were all on the nymph.

  2. Rory, went to Lake Mary saturday the 8th. Caught 12 Northern pike including one 23″ 3 pounder. Silver spoon slow trolling the western shore seemed to be the ticket. I had such a great time in the cool weather I forgot to go to the Cardinals training camp!

  3. Fished Francis Short on Sept 21st and 22nd. Used a white rooster tail with black dots, caught 4 trout in 40 minutes. The 22nd was the same thing. Catfish were still biting on hot dogs during the mid day at the north end of the lake.

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