|July 26, 2007
We are not only putting out 20,000
bonus trout into many of the Mogollon Rim and White
Mountain lakes, there are some huge trout being
caught, especially at Willow Springs and Woods
Last weekend, a 9-pound
rainbow and a 6-pound rainbow were caught at Willow
Springs. Monday might, a 5-pound rainbow was caught at Woods
Canyon Lake. Last week, an angler caught a 7-pound
brown at Woods Canyon.
The other part of the great news is
that the high country has received rain, rain and more rain,
often via tumultuous thunderstorms. Check before going, but
most fire restrictions are being lifted by
land management agencies. Also, don�t get caught on
or near the water during an electrical storm. Graphite
fishing poles make superb lightning rods.
Rain, big trout and bonus trout: it
doesn�t get much better than this. Go get
reacquainted with cool mountain breezes and billowy cumulous
clouds. This is also a great time for watching
Anglers visiting the high country lake
also report seeing lots of bull elk in velvet
� it�s antler building time. Seeing a huge
bull elk with thick, shiny velvet adorning its majestic rack
is something to behold.
By the way, I was at Woods Canyon Lake
on Tuesday when 3,000 trout were stocked
and we did a news segment with Steve Bodinet from News
Channel 3. The stocking truck drew more smiles from folks
than an ice cream truck coming through a neighborhood on a
hot Saturday afternoon. Keep in mind that Woods Canyon was
also stocked on Monday. It is brimming with trout.
When we got there Tuesday morning, the
temperature was 68 degrees and the air was
so clean and sweet after the rain that I was trying to
figure out a way to bottle it and bring it back to Phoenix.
Trout anglers are starting to learn a
summer secret; sometimes you can catch big trout at
night by using floating or submersible lights. Veteran trout
anglers who live in the high country have known this secret
For those heading to Canyon Creek and
other high country drainages, the wild raspberries
are ripe and are often attracting hungry black bears.
So be bear aware. Keep the kids close at hand. Leave the
pets at home.
This is also a fun time to catch
high country largemouth bass. Willow Springs Lake
has largemouth, smallmouth and even crappie. One of my
favorites this time of year is Fool Hollow for largemouth,
walleye, smallmouth, and trout. Show Low Lake probably has a
state record walleye lurking in its depths. Ashurst Lake
near Flagstaff holds the state record for northern pike. It
has some monster fish (which are mostly caught by trout
We are still getting great reports
from nighttime striper anglers at Lake
Pleasant. Some are racking up huge numbers of fish, mostly
using frozen anchovies fished with little or no weight. The
stripers will often hit the anchovies as they are slowly
falling. Experiment. By the way, you are encouraged to catch
and keep all the stripers you can. There is no limit at
Pleasant or at Lake Powell. However, it is not legal to
waste game fish, so take only what you plan to use.
It looks like the night fishing for stripers
at Lake Mead is also going great guns. Don Martin
took out two guys from Phoenix and filled up two ice chests
full of fish for a total of 100 stripers up to four pounds
and eight channel catfish. They used anchovies fished under
lights and �secret� chum.
This is also prime catfish time,
especially at night. One family fishing in the Parker area
took home two hundred pounds of flathead catfish,
with the largest tipping the scales at 41 pounds. Hint; use
live bluegill or goldfish for bait along the river.
There is a full moon
on July 29, which will make submersible lights less
effective (it�s tough to out compete Luna), but being
on the water during full moon nights can be spectacular
� if the monsoon storms don�t pay a nocturnal
visit. For nighttime bass fishing, think dark. Black worms,
lizards and crankbaits are often best. Using scent helps.
Bass attack by sight, but they can be attracted by scent and
Mark you calendars for the dark of the
moon on Aug. 12 � the Perseids meteor shower should
be hitting its peak. Seeing up to 100 meteors per
hour may be possible at times. Witnessing this
annual phenomenon over a desert or mountain lake can be
It�s time to go catch some
memories. Maybe I�ll see you out there.
North Central Mountains
KAIBAB LAKE � Clifford Wheeler
did well trolling spinners to catch trout, bass and catfish,
adding that the fishing was good on Sunday, Monday and
Tuesday, but was slow on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Campground area is open. Main parking lot and boat launch
open. Fishing was good. Lake level is dropping
CATARACT LAKE � Campground is
open. Fishing is good on yellow or white Power Bait or lures.
Some crappies are being caught.
CITY RESERVOIR � Gate is locked
because of fire danger.
DOGTOWN LAKE � Lake level is
down. One angler used flies and only caught one crappie.
Campground area is open. Try using yellow or white Power Bait
or lures. Some browns are being caught on lures. Stocked last
JD DAM � Tank is extremely low.
Anglers are catching brown trout fly-fishing. Bullfrog
catching is excellent.
RUSSEL TANK � Stocked.
SANTA FE � Lake is down a little.
The side of the lake opposite of the Perkinsville Road is
closed because of the fire danger. Fishing is good on yellow
or white Power Bait or lures.
WHITEHORSE LAKE � No report from
anglers. Campground is open. Because of low water levels
the lake will not be stocked anymore this year. There are
plenty of crayfish at the lake.
LOWER LAKE MARY � The lake is
extremely low. No fish, the lake suffered a winter kill
due to low lake levels. At current conditions, lake will not
be stocked this year.
UPPER LAKE MARY � The lake is
17-percent full. Anglers are periodically catching some nice
sized northern pike and catfish. Walleye fishing can be good
ASHURST LAKE � Fishing was good
on worms fished about 3 feet below a bobber and Power Bait.
A trout angler caught a 31.5-pound Northern Pike on a worm.
FRANCIS SHORT POND � Trout were
being caught on green or yellow Power Bait fished on the
bottom. Catfish were also being caught on night crawlers and
KINNIKINICK LAKE � Lake is open.
Fishing was good for channel catfish on night crawlers and
chicken livers. Fishing for trout was good on Power
MARSHALL LAKE � Low water. Small
trout are being caught on flies. A few larger hold over fish
are being caught. No longer stockable.
OAK CREEK � Fishing is slow. A
few small rainbow trout are being caught on flies.
LONG LAKE � Lake is open. Jim
Smith caught five very fat trout ranging from 12 to 19 inches
trolling with Rapalas on 4-pound test line, adding that the
lake is 5.5-feet deep in the northern end, 4-5 feet deep in
the southern end, and 3.5 feet deep in the middle and there
are lots of crawdads.
Holdover trout are being caught.
SOLDIERS & SOLDIERS ANNEX �
Lake is open. No report.
BEAVER CREEK � No report.
WEST CLEAR CREEK � No report.
STONEMAN LAKE � NO FISH.
MINGUS LAKE � No new reports.
Mingus Lake was stocked last the week of April 30. As a result
of the very low water levels trout stocking will be suspended
following this stocking. The Forest Service gate is open. The
water levels are down very low and the water is turbid. Try
bright-colored Power Bait, salmon eggs, or various spinners.
DEAD HORSE STATE PARK � No new
reports. Game and Fish stocked catfish the week of June 4, so
look for the catfish fishing to be good. Several largemouth
bass, up to two pounds, have been caught on in-line spinners,
plastic grubs, and small crankbaits. 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.
Dead Horse State Park employees and Game
and Fish biologists placed 40-plus Christmas trees in the
lower lagoon as fish habitat on Jan. 16. Fish should
begin to congregate near these trees within days.
VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley)
� No new reports. Trout were last stocked at all five
sites (March 19). That was the last trout stocking for the
season and the river won�t be stocked again until this
coming fall. For largemouth and smallmouth bass, try plastic
grubs and small spinnerbaits. Catfishing should be biting as
LYNX LAKE � The fishing has been
slow, but some of the catfish stocked in June are still out
there. Try floating a night crawler just off the bottom.
Chicken livers or anchovies should work as well, but avoid
fishing in water over 20ft deep. Oxygen levels below 20ft are
very low, so fish won�t be there. The Bass stockings
from the last two years as well as the four fish habitat sites
should begin to pay off this year. Plastic worms should be the
ticket for the bass. Trout were stocked last week (June 11).
This is the last scheduled stocking until September due to
water temperature. Some of the brook trout stocked last
September and October are continuing to be caught, but they
are on the small side. Game and Fish stocked catfish the week
of June 4. There were 200 pounds of bluegill were 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. Game and Fish Biologists surveyed
Lynx in May and found that the brook trout stocked last year
were still present.
FAIN LAKE � Fishing should be
slow. Some of the catfish Game and Fish stocked the week of
June 4 will still be around as well as bullhead, sunfish, and
bass. As the fishing pressure decreases, the regular
angler�s should have some success. Anchovies, chicken
livers, or night crawlers should all work.
Rainbow trout were stocked the week of
June 11. This was the last trout stocking until September.
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 last on July 2. The stocking scheduled for
last week was cancelled due to high water temp and moved to
this week (July23). If we get the fish doing well this
week and continue to have cooler weather, we will stock again
next week (July 30). The fishing last weekend was slow.
Most anglers had little luck. You may try using spinners and
jigs in the early morning and switch to worms and rainbow
Power Bait on the bottom as the temperature goes up. Avoid
fishing in water over 30 feet deep. Even if you
don�t catch fish this is a great lake to visit.
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 < >[email protected] so I can share your successes