Fishing Report: North Central region
KAIBAB LAKE — Last night folks were catching trout on worms fished under a bobber. Folks using spinners were also catching fish. Catfish were being caught on hot dogs. The crappie and bluegill are also hitting on the upper end of the lake. Stocked with catfish last week. Stocked with trout this week.
CATARACT LAKE — No report. Stocked with catfish last week. I heard folks are catching fish on the lake.
CITY RESERVOIR — Lake is closed because of the fire danger.
DOGTOWN LAKE — Folks were catching trout on lures and PowerBait yesterday when we were on the lake collecting water samples. Stocked last week.
SANTA FE — Lake is closed because of the fire danger.
WHITEHORSE LAKE — Gate is open. Whitehorse was stocked with largemouth bass in March. The fish stocked were 5-8 inches long. The minimum size you can keep bass in Whitehorse is 13 inches. Please release all of the bass caught this year so we can get them established. More bass will equal bigger crappie in the long run.
LOWER LAKE MARY- No report.
UPPER LAKE MARY — No report.
ASHURST LAKE — The wind has slowed fishing down over the past week, but folks are still catching trout especially on the side of the lake opposite of the boat ramp.. I would try fishing with garlic PowerBait, or cheese PowerBait this weekend. Stocked last week.
FRANCIS SHORT POND – The pond got a bonus stocking of large rainbow trout out of Colorado last week. Folks using flies and lures were catching lots of fish. Bait anglers are catching fish on worms and garlic PowerBait. Catfish were stocked last week and this week. This morning I caught 4 catfish on hot dogs in 2 hours with the biggest weighing 5+ lbs.
KINNIKINICK LAKE —No reports.
OAK CREEK — No report. Stocked last week. Scheduled to be stocked this week.
BEAVER CREEK – Has been stocked.
WEST CLEAR CREEK – Has been stocked.
BLUE RIDGE — Lake is closed due to fire closure.
KNOLL LAKE — Lake is closed due to fire closure.
Lake Powell Fish Report – June 13, 2018
Lake Elevation: 3,612
Water temperature: 72 – 75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson: http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Striper slurps continue over the length of the lake. Typically slurping stripers begin feeding when the sun hits the water. If in a shaded canyon just randomly throw surface lures toward the shore in areas where bottom depth is about 25 feet. Stripers, smallmouth and largemouth bass respond well in low light to a surface lure hitting near shore, or the edge of a drop off, or even in open water in the middle of the bay. Watch for splashes in the back of the canyon and cast in that direction. Those splashes could be bass or stripers or gizzard shad. Any of these are worth targeting. It is fun to catch bass and stripers while gizzard shad tend to attract sport fish so they are worth targeting with surface lures.
On my fishing trip this week, the first random cast with an Ima Skimmer surface lure resulted in a 2-pound striper, followed by 4 smallmouth bass over 2 pounds and one largemouth bass. As the sun started to break over the high cliff wall we noticed a small surface disturbance in the middle of the bay in deeper water. After seeing one fish jump we confirmed that these were slurping stripers and we headed toward the school.
The trick is to get the boat close enough to cast but not close enough to spook the school. On this day we had more schools spook and go down before we could make a good cast that landed just beyond the school so we could work our surface lures back over the feeding fish. It is definitely best to come up behind the school so the fish are swimming away from the boat. We had way too many schools that were coming toward us and spooked before we could get a good cast off. It is worth it to take an extra turn or two and approach the school from the side or from the rear.
Surface lures work well with a perfect cast and a great retrieve. Watching fish hit the topwater is almost as fun as catching them. You can probably catch more fish on a white jig or grub that is closer to the size of the tiny shad stripers are eating. These slurps only stay up for a few minutes at best. Once they go down, the school often goes right under the boat and can be caught on spoons or other fast falling lures like a heavy rattletrap. The school is in range for less than a minute so react quickly when the graph lights up with 30 or more fish.
In the southern lake striper slurps were found in Padre Bay near Dominguez Rock, Gregory Butte, Dove Canyon, and Rock Creek. In the northern lake slurps were seen in Bullfrog Bay, Halls Creek, Cedar Canyon to Good Hope Bay and Red Canyon. This is a lakewide event but with more shad in the northern lake the best place to try is from Bullfrog to Trachyte Canyon.
Smallmouth bass fishing is great in the early morning on surface lures lakewide and later in the day on plastic grubs and senkos near isolated rock slides and along rocky shorelines where water depth is 10-20 feet. Larger bass are deeper at 20-35 feet.
Walleye are being caught trolling, and casting in cloudy water. Wind is forecast to blow in the afternoon this week. When the wind comes up try trolling along windy points and flat ledges with a bottom depth of 10-30 feet. Catch one walleye and return to that spot to catch more. You can cast for walleye using a plastic bass grub with a piece of worm attached and a slow retrieve while maintaining bottom contact. Walleye group together. Catch one and more are likely to be found in the same spot.
Blue gill and green sunfish are quite visible now as they are nesting in shallow water. Look for a 12-inch circular nest on the bottom and drop a tiny plastic jig on to the nest and watch the bluegill come over to remove it. Set the hook when he picks it up. Male, nest guarding, bluegill are the most colorful fish in the lake.
Chuck Benedict is an AZGFD Aquatic Wildlife Specialist out of Flagstaff