Fishing Report: North Central region
Fall trout stockings on Frances short Pond has begun. Trout fishing is improving with the cooler temperatures. Fall is one of the best times to catch trout in Northern Arizona.
KAIBAB LAKE —With the cooler weather trout fishing is picking up on Kaibab Lake. Fish with PowerBait on the bottom.
CATARACT LAKE — I haven’t had any recent reports from Cataract Lake. We caught a quite a few nice bass, bluegill and channel catfish when we sampled the lake. The catfish were mostly on the road side of the lake while the bluegill were along the dam. We also caught a 4-pound brown trout on the north side of the lake. It was caught around a bunch of small bass so a bass colored lure might work.
CITY RESERVOIR — City was stocked with rainbow trout last week. Fishing was good for trout over the weekend using PowerBait on the bottom. Folks were also catching catfish fishing off the bottom using chicken livers.
DOGTOWN LAKE — We caught a quite a few nice bass, and crappie when we sampled the lake. Most of the bigger bass were caught near the dam. Trout fishing should be picking up as the lake cools with the cooler weather.
SANTA FE — The lake is full. Catfish have been biting mostly around dusk using chicken livers. Anglers were also catching lots of crappie using chartreuse crappie jigs.
WHITEHORSE LAKE — We caught a quite a few nice bass, crappie and bluegill when we sampled the lake. Most of the bigger fish were caught along the dam, but we caught one really nice sized bluegill in the cove by the camping sites.
LOWER LAKE MARY – We have had reports that the fishing is starting to pick up with the cooler weather. Folks are catching fish on powerbait off the bottom and on worms. Folks are also catching some nice sized trout on beadhead prince nymph flies.
UPPER LAKE MARY — No new reports.
ASHURST LAKE — Fishing is picking up with the cooler weather. Folks are catching trout in the shallows on the south west side of the lake on PowerBait.
FRANCES SHORT POND – Frances Short received its first fall stocking of 500 rainbow trout on Monday. If you have kids you want to catch fish Frances Short is the place to go. Folks were catching lots of bluegill on worms. Fly fishermen are catching lots of crappie Folks fishing with worms or hot dogs were catching catfish.
KINNIKINICK LAKE — No report.
OAK CREEK — Stocked this week.
BEAVER CREEK – No report.
WEST CLEAR CREEK – No report.
BLUE RIDGE — No report.
KNOLL LAKE — No report.
September 11 report
Lake Elevation: 3617
Water temperature: 77-82 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Fishing at Lake Powell continues to be “different”. Striper boil season has still not officially started. There are a few stripers surfacing each morning and throughout the day. The small 10-fish surface pops are a sign to notify anglers where the striper school is located. When a few fish are splashing, head quickly in that direction and cast small topwater lures when in casting range. Hit the splash ring and the striper will hit your lure. There are 3 sizes of stripers working: small, medium and large. Small fish are the most common in the warm surface water, but larger fish will come up for a short burst.
Boils are the marker, but the big catch comes on jigging spoons. Watch the graph while fishing topwater. When stripers leave the surface and show up under the boat, quickly deploy jigging spoons. If the depth is 40 feet or less, drop to the bottom and jig a few times then speed reel up 15 feet and stop. Jig again and then speed reel to the surface. Drop the spoon again and repeat. This method will fill the cooler with FAT, healthy stripers.
Spoon choices include Kastmaster type spoons, which work best on the retrieve. Cast them to the boil and work them back quickly. Then drop them to the bottom and reel the spoon back to the surface. Jigging spoons flutter as they fall. These spoons work better going down. Speed reel spoons off the bottom and then let them flutter back down. If the spoon quits falling on slack line before it should hit bottom, it is likely that a fish has the spoon. Set the hook!
On our weekly trip we found all of this advice to work well. However, we were very surprised when some of the stripers turned green on the way up. We caught some huge smallmouth bass while spooning in 15 to 30 feet of water near the submerged brush line. Smallmouth bass and stripers are sharing the same schools of threadfin shad. Smallmouth bass that have been hiding out recently, are feeding on shad in open water. We also caught one largemouth bass on spoons while jigging on the bottom. Fishing continues to deviate from the normal expectations for each season of the year.
Here are some recent northern lake fish reports. Boats are still launching at Hite. Some large boils popped up midday at North Wash and afternoon boils were active along the shade line. Stripers were caught trolling near the Horn and downstream to Castle Butte. There is a main channel boil hotspot between channel marker buoys 114 and 116.
Halls Creek bay has been a hotspot for stripers. Spoons are the best technique similar to the reports in the southern lake, but afternoon boils pop up as well. The San Juan has similar short boils near the mouth of Deep Canyon in the main channel. Again, spoons harvested more stripers than topwater lures.
Finally, another magic marker is, ravens gathered on the shoreline. Stripers boiling near shore cause shad to jump out of the water and end up on shore. Ravens are excited to eat shad and they often wait for stripers to boil each day. Find a flock of ravens on shore within a few feet of the water and cast surface lures toward them. It will surprise you how often this turns into a boil.
Fishing is really exciting right now as we apply new techniques to catch the many species of fish in Lake Powell.