Fishing Report: North Central region
October is upon us and that means the forest service campgounds near the lakes are closed or are closing. Fishing for trout usually picks up in October especially on Dogtown, and Ashurst.
KAIBAB LAKE — No new reports. Campground is closed.
CATARACT LAKE — No new reports.
CITY RESERVOIR — I received reports that folks are catching limits of rainbows using PowerBait. Stocked last week.
DOGTOWN LAKE — The fishing at Dogtown should be picking up as the water cools. I would try lures for some nice trout. Campground is closed.
SANTA FE — Lake is open. We electrofished the lake on 8/16. We caught a lot of 5-6 inch yellow perch and black crappie.
WHITEHORSE LAKE — Gate is closed.
LOWER LAKE MARY- No water.
UPPER LAKE MARY — Had a report of a few nice crappie being caught near the dam.
ASHURST LAKE — Cooler weather means better trout fishing in the area. I would fish with lures or flies right now.
FRANCIS SHORT POND – Fall trout stockings have begun on the pond. Stocked this week.
KINNIKINICK LAKE —Roads are very muddy. Once the roads dry fishing should be good.
OAK CREEK — High flows because of the rain, probably not fishable this week. No report.
BEAVER CREEK – High flows because of the rain, probably not fishable this week. No report.
WEST CLEAR CREEK – High flows because of the rain, probably not fishable this week. No report.
BLUE RIDGE — The road to the lake is closed.
KNOLL LAKE — Lake is open and was stocked.
Lake Powell Fish Report – October 2, 2018
Lake Elevation: 3592
Water temperature: 73-76 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Weather is cooling, rain is finally falling, and fishing is picking up. Hopefully the rainy period will slow down the decline in water level for a short time and allow the Castle Rock Cut to stay open for a few more weeks. Water depth is 12 feet in the Cut which means it should be passable through October.
Fishing is improving as the water temperature has declined to the low 70s. Smallmouth bass have been the constant, most dependable target species to pursue. They are gorging on crayfish and very cooperative for anglers. The best techniques are very similar to springtime bass fishing. Weightless shad shaped worms and senkos are dependable baits fished in 5-15 feet of water. Bass are moving shallower as the lake continues to decline. They are very active early in the mornings and late in the evenings. During the day it may be better to switch to drop shot fishing in slightly deeper water.
Habitat preference is very different compared to other years. Usually there are brushy spots with tumbleweeds and brush. This year the rapid drop in water level has left the brush high and dry. This past week the best bass habitat was long shallow gravel points shaded by mud lines. Bass are much more likely to be on the outside primary points instead of in the backs of shallow coves. Look for deeper water in shallow bays to find bass.
Stripers have been harder to find in the southern lake. There is a short period at dawn where striper schools can be located on the graph and then caught using deep diving spoons. This flurry of activity is short lived and drops off as the sun gets higher in the sky. During a normal fishing day the very best technique is to use bait with lots of chumming. The spring time spots: dam, Buoy 3, Navajo Canyon points etc. are working again. Add to that some uplake spots that have produced good catches this week: Warm Creek Wall, Labyrinth Wall, back of main Rock Creek and Middle Rock Creek. The technique is to graph the bottom structure while trolling. When a school is seen, mark the spot. Return to the school, chum the spot with cut bait and then drop a one-inch piece of anchovy down to the school to catch lots of stripers.
In the northern lake, from Bullfrog to Good Hope, there are many more shad schools and normal fall fishing techniques work well. Again, troll and graph but when a striper school is seen, drop spoons into the school to catch lots of fish in a hurry. Good spots this week include mouth of Stanton Creek, Bullfrog Bay haystacks, and mouth of Knowles. The best lures are slab spoons, including Fle Fly Slabs or any spoons that resemble them.
Bait fishing also worked at Bullfrog this past week with many stripers caught on bait at the mouth of Lake Canyon.
Other fish that are responding well are walleye, catfish and bluegill. Tip your jig, small spoon, or just a small jighead with a piece of night crawler to catch a wide variety of fish in a short time. Fishing is improving and will peak as the lake water temperature drops into the 60s.
Chuck Benedict is an AZGFD Aquatic Wildlife Specialist out of Flagstaff