CENTRAL MOUNTAINS

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June 3rd, 2009




WILLIAMS LAKES:

KAIBAB LAKE — Scheduled to be stocked this week.  Fishing is best bite at first and last light. Try night crawlers, salmon eggs, Power Bait, spinners or corn.

Angler reports:
Robert Bonnewell: 05-23-09, Fished from 9 a.m. till noon from the bank.  Caught 10 trout, 4 bluegills, and 1 largemouth bass.  Used Power Bait and worms.  Trout size ranged from 7-12 inches.

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 for stocking this week. Fishing should be good. Campgrounds are open.

CITY RESERVOIR — Scheduled for stocking this week. Fishing should be good.

DOGTOWN LAKE — Campground is open. Stocked last week..

JD DAM — Road is open.

RUSSEL TANK -   No reports. Has been stocked.

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

WHITEHORSE LAKE — 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.

FLAGSTAFF LAKES:

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.
This is a very shallow lake and water quality will deteriorate rapidly once summer conditions prevail, so fish it now.

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:

Jeff Bierer: 5/24/2009 From a boat our fishing day started at noon and ended at dark. We helped a family get their boat started with some jumper cables-the rest is history. Mike and I each had our personal best day on the lake, at-least in terms of quantity. We boated so many pike that my live-well was at capacity. We stopped counting at 50 pike before the evening bite even kicked in!

The Northern Pike are healthy this year, although a few had fresh scars from larger Pike trying to cannibalize them. All were released at the end of the fishing day. Lots of healthy hard hitting pike in 6 inches up to 15 feet of water. Hordes of 1 lb. to 3 lb. 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! I must declare the fishing has never been better in the 20 years I have been fishing the lake!

Robert Bonnewell: 05-25-09 – Fished from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.  Caught 15 northern pike all on silver spinners.  Caught one nice 6.2 pounder.  Big ones are starting to bite.

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.

Where: Upper Lake Mary
When: 05/25/09
Caught:one small northern
Technique: Rapala jerkbait
Comments:people were catching them on just about everything here just had to find the right spot I guess
Name: Andrew Althaus

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.

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.

Where: ashurs
When: 05/25/09
Caught: 4 rainbows
Technique: worms from bobber and one on yellow power bait
Comments: fishing was good till wind got strong
Name: Andrew Althaus

Where:Ashurst
When:05/25/09
Caught:4 rainbows
Technique:worms from bobber and one on yellow Power Bait
Comments:fishing was good till wind got strong
Name:Andrew Althaus

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.

Hey Rory;
Last night at Kinnikinick Lake around 11 pm, I caught a 5 pounds brown trout and 17.5 inches long with a worm and on the shore. I got some pictures attached so you welcome to post it online. This fish was a beauty!!
Gary Pace

PS: Hey Rory,
I just had the fish verified by Game and Fish and it was only 2.04 pounds and 15.75 inches long (but it felt like a 5 pounds :) . Anyways it is the biggest trout I’ve seen.

I caught it close to shore so it wasn’t very hard but this fish was fighting hard all the way, I actually thought it was a catfish when I pulled it up.
Gary Pace

— 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:

Where: Long Lake
When: 05/31/09
Caught: First Pike EVER – lost about 8
Technique: Super light tackle and Rooster Tails.
Comments: Talk about not being prepared. I go out Sunday morning to catch a few trout, and end up finding a feeding frenzy of pike chasing minnows near shore. I had never caught a pike before but knew they were in the lake. I had about 6 bite my line and let go, and one monster grabbed my lure, rolled over and snapped my line like a twig. Due to the super light tackle, I couldnt set the hook like I needed, but best believe I’ll be better prepared next time. Any tips for an aspiring pike angler would be appreciated!
Name: Phil T

Editor’s note: a steel leader can be advisable, especially for the toothy giants. But I did reel in a 40 incher once on monfilament with no wire leader, but the pike was hooked on the lip.

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

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

STONEMAN LAKE — NO FISH.

Verde Valley

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.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – No new reports- Trout were last stocked the week of March 16.  The catfish bite should be picking up soon.

BEAVER CREEK — Has not been stocked since early this spring. You will likely find large rainbows and some stream-sized smallmouth bass in the canyon upstream from the crossing near the ranger station.

Prescott Area

FAIN LAKE — Trout were stocked last  week, the week of May 18th.  1,325 rainbow trout will be stocked again next  week, the week of June 1st.  Trout fishing is best immediately following the stocking.  For trout try using spinners or bright colored Power Bait. 

GOLDWATER LAKE — Trout were stocked on Saturday and Sunday (May 16th and 17th.)  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. Trout are scheduled to be stocked again the week of June 8th.

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 atmchmiel@azgfd.gov 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 mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

LYNX LAKE — Rainbow trout were last stocked the week of May 11, as well as 1,600 brook trout.  The brookies were about 3 to the pound.  Have not heard if people are catching those brook trout.  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.

Tom Hanka: Between May 30 and May 31 I fished a total of 7 hours mid-day with crawlers on the south side of lake with one 9 inch rainbow to show for it.  Plenty of people fishing and I did not see a single other fish caught.  Easy to get to and very fishable without a boat though.

MINGUS LAKE – Trout were stocked last week, the week of May 18th..  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.  Trout are scheduled to be stocked again next week, the week of June 1st.

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.  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 mchmiel@azgfd.gov 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 mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

4 Responses to “CENTRAL MOUNTAINS”

  1. Current report for Ashurst says the lake is full. The lake is ALMOST full. When the lake is full it is possible to launch from the old ramp on the far side of the lake. Currently the lake is down far enough to make that ramp unusable.

  2. Chris;

    Thanks for the info. Great observation. I’ll share it with others. But hey pal, did you catch any fish?

    Rory

  3. fishin has been slow up at ashurst,when they do bite, is usually a pan size trout. Haven’t caught a hold-over yet

  4. Ashurst has some nicer holdovers (that aren’t either caught by anglers or eaten by pike), but they are not always easy to catch. This time of year, you can mostly expect to catch stockers and possibly a toothy pike.

    Rory

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