Fishing Report: North Central region
Monsoon storms have been frequent visitors during the past week making fishing difficult. Folks are still catching fish between storms.
KAIBAB LAKE — There was a lot of surface activity on Kaibab when we were collecting plankton samples on the lake yesterday. Folks were catching crappie on the upper end of the lake and I talked to one angler who had caught 3 nice catfish yesterday morning. Over 40,000 trout have been stocked in the lake this year.
CATARACT LAKE — Talked to some anglers last week that said the bluegill fishing has been good at Cataract. Stocked with catfish.
CITY RESERVOIR — I had a report yesterday that fishing was good for crappie and trout on curly tailed jigs. The angler said one of the crappie was about 13 inches.
DOGTOWN LAKE — Had a report from and angler who caught trout, crappie and a bass on crappie jigs fished along the bottom last weekend.
SANTA FE — Lake is open. There is a heavy algae bloom near the dam. I would fish away from the bloom.
WHITEHORSE LAKE — 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 water.
UPPER LAKE MARY — No report.
ASHURST LAKE — Fishing was slow over the weekend and today when my creel clerk worked the lake.
FRANCIS SHORT POND – Folks are still catching fish with bluegill and black crappie being caught most often.
KINNIKINICK LAKE — No reports.
OAK CREEK — No report.
BEAVER CREEK – Has been stocked.
WEST CLEAR CREEK – Has been stocked.
BLUE RIDGE — The ramp is closed for boat trailers because of low water conditions.
KNOLL LAKE — Lake is open and was stocked.
LAKE POWELL —
Lake Elevation: 3603
Water temperature: 80 – 86 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
The very best place to fish this week on Lake Powell begins at Bullfrog and gets better by traveling further north. The Hot Spot is Good Hope Bay with the target being boiling stripers.
Shad schools that were hiding in the backs of the canyons have now moved out into open water hoping to avoid striper schools that were feeding ferociously on shad hiding in the canyons. That escape tactic did not work very well since shad swim in large schools that are easy for stripers to locate and then attack. This does work well for anglers who can see the large splashes created when 2-3 pound stripers drive shad to the surface and/or against the shoreline and feed for long periods of time. It is now possible to see “boiling fish” that stay on the surface for an hour or more. If you can get close enough to cast a lure into the boiling melee you will catch lots of stripers with a few bass mixed in as well. It is wise to take binoculars with you to quicken the search for boiling fish.
There have been a few boils reported near Halls Marina in the mornings or evenings. Boils can pop up anywhere over the length of the lake. It is likely to see boils in the San Juan, Escalante, and main channel from Rainbow Bridge to Bullfrog. There have been only a few boils seen from Rainbow Bridge to the dam due to a lack of shad schools in open water in the southern lake. Stripers have been very efficient in slurping up most of the larval shad produced in the southern lake this spring. There is some hope for boils occurring in the south later this year as some shad schools are hiding effectively in shallow, murky, warm water in the backs of some canyons.
Larger adult stripers are not able to stay near the surface in 80 degree water (warm temperature intolerance) so they are holding at 30-50 feet looking for food. They are finding crayfish on the bottom at 20-30 feet in the backs of canyons and on rocky shelves and drop-offs. These stripers can be caught trolling to find schools and then casting to catch more fish. Spoons or bait works well once a school is located holding on the bottom. From Wahweap to Padre Bay there are many campsites, houseboats, and wake boats in the backs of canyons where adult stripers are found. It is more successful to go fishing from Last Chance uplake where summer boat traffic is less.
Smallmouth bass provide the best fishing from Wahweap to Rainbow Bridge. Best success is achieved by getting on the water at first light and casting surface lures toward the shoreline where bottom depth is 10-25 feet. Look for rocky points, islands, and deep coves along the shoreline where bass like to congregate. Bass feed aggressively as the sky starts to lighten but then action declines as the sun comes up. Bass then move deeper and can be caught on double and single tail plastic grubs from 15-30 feet.
On our last sampling trip in the south, we caught lots of smallmouth bass at first light on surface poppers fished with a big splash and then a pause followed by smaller splashes. When the sun came out we dropped double and single tail grubs to the bottom at 15-25 feet on rocky points jutting out from shore. We had a nice largemouth bass, a 3-pound striper, and a big catfish join in with the smallmouth menagerie. We had a great full day of fishing and returned to the dock by 11 AM.
Chuck Benedict is an AZGFD Aquatic Wildlife Specialist out of Flagstaff