Fishing Report: North Central region
The campgrounds have opened across the forests.
Folks are catching fish on lures fished slowly on the trout lakes.
KAIBAB LAKE — Kaibab Lake is full. Lake was stocked with rainbow trout twice last week. Try using small lures or flies to catch the fresh stockers. For folks who like fishing with bait I would try worms under a bobber. Camp Ground is closed. Stocked this week.
CATARACT LAKE — Lake is full.
CITY RESERVOIR — Lake is full. Stocked with trout last week.
DOGTOWN LAKE — The lake is full. Stocked with trout last week.
SANTA FE — The lake is full. Stocked with trout last week.
WHITEHORSE LAKE — Gate is closed.
LOWER LAKE MARY – Lower Lake Mary is about ¾ full. About 50,000 rainbow trout have been stocked in the lake so far this year but many were smaller fish. The Forest Service plans on opening the gate at the picnic ground this weekend. I would fish with small lures and flies. For folks who like fishing with bait I would try worms under a bobber. Stocked with trout this week.
UPPER LAKE MARY — Folks have been catching northern pike and channel catfish on the upper end of the lake using lures or anchovies under a bobber.
ASHURST LAKE — Boat anglers have been catching some nice holdover trout on Joes Flies. For shore anglers I would fish with small spoons or spinners. For folks who like fishing with bait I would try worms under a bobber.
FRANCIS SHORT POND – Scheduled to be stocked with trout this week. Fly fishermen are catching lots of trout and crappie.
KINNIKINICK LAKE — The road is open.
OAK CREEK — No report.
BEAVER CREEK – No report. Scheduled to be stocked with trout this week.
WEST CLEAR CREEK – No report. Scheduled to be stocked with trout this week.
BLUE RIDGE — The road is open Will be stocked in May or June.
KNOLL LAKE — The road is open. Will be stocked in May or June.
Lake Powell Fish Report – May 1, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3571
Water temperature: 58-60 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Lake Powell water level is on the rise. The inflowing water (64,000 AF) has doubled and lake level came up 2 feet this week. Expect that inflowing water rate to increase even more during May. This requires caution while shoreline camping. Expect to move or retie the boat each day.
Rising water is helpful for fishing success because tumbleweeds that have collected along the shoreline will now be covered by water and provide more fish habitat. The weather was cooler this week, which slowed down angling success for bass. Water temperature dropped from the mid 60s down to 58. This happens all the time in the spring. If planning a fishing trip to Lake Powell just watch the weather report and come as the air and water temperature rises again. That temperature boost immediately enhances bass fishing success.
Big news this week is the capture of the largest smallmouth bass ever caught in Lake Powell. On April 26, Richard Dickinson from Strawberry AZ was fishing for bass along the primary points in Wahweap Bay. He was using a Texas Rig Baby Craw. The big fish was hooked at 29 feet and played for a long time before finally surrendering. The huge bass weighed 6.1 pounds and measured 21 inches long. Richard decided to release the big female that was still full of eggs. Since the fish was not weighed on certified scales, it does not qualify for the Lake Powell record smallmouth bass. However, it was measured before release. The length of the fish was 21 inches which is 2 inches longer than the current Lake Powell record smallmouth bass caught in 2001, by Eric Inman which weighed 5 pounds 6 ounces and measured 19 inches long. Richard Dickinson now holds the “Catch and Release” record for smallmouth bass in Lake Powell.
Bait fishing for stripers was still great over the length of the lake despite the recent cold weather. The main channel from the dam to Navajo Canyon was steady. On our weekly uplake sampling trip we found willing stripers in Buoy 25 Cove but did not find the school in Grotto Canyon. I suspect they were there but we did not spend enough time to locate the school.
We left Grotto and went to Rock Creek where we found stripers willing to hit trolled lures. Shallow stripers in the backs of canyons will hit rattletraps, Lucky Craft Pointers, and other baits that run 8-12 feet deep. Stripers willing to chase the shallow running baits are usually the fat, young male fish. While fishing with bait, a wide variety of stripers were caught that ranged from skinny to healthy. Stripers caught trolling were healthier but less in number.
May is walleye month at Lake Powell. Take some night crawlers along and drag plastic baits, tipped with a piece of worm, very slowly along the bottom in 10-25 feet of water. When a walleye is caught, continue to work that specific spot to catch more of the tasty, toothy fish. Walleye congregate in the same location. Find one walleye and there should be others close by.
May is the best month to catch all species of fish in Lake Powell.
Chuck Benedict is an AZGFD Aquatic Wildlife Specialist out of Flagstaff