Fishing Report: North Central region
Fall trout stocking on Frances Short Pond has begun. Brown trout have been stocked in Kinnikinick. 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. Has been stocked been stocked with large (14 inch) rainbow trout in the last 2 weeks. The campground is closed.
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 in August. 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 — Fishing should be good using PowerBait on the bottom.
DOGTOWN LAKE — Trout fishing is picking up as the lake cools with the cooler weather. The campground is closed.
SANTA FE — The lake is full. Folks were catching trout on PowerBait over the weekend.
WHITEHORSE LAKE — No report. The campground is closed.
LOWER LAKE MARY – Folks are still catching fish on PowerBait in the basin by the dam. People are also catching fish on flies and lures when you get past the weeds wading or in a boat.
UPPER LAKE MARY — No new reports.
ASHURST LAKE — Fishing is better from a boat using lures and flies than from shore.
FRANCIS SHORT POND – Frances Short was stocked with rainbow trout last week. If you have kids you want to catch fish Frances Short is the place to go.
KINNIKINICK LAKE — Some folks from the office fished Kinnikinick last week and found fishing to be tough. Using the sonar on the boat they found fish scattered all around the lake at about 10 feet of depth. There were also fish hitting the surface in the weeds.
OAK CREEK — Stocked last week.
BEAVER CREEK – Stocked last week.
WEST CLEAR CREEK – Stocked last week.
BLUE RIDGE — No report.
KNOLL LAKE — No report.
October 16, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3614
Water temperature: 64-66 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson: http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Lake Powell weather is delightful with a warm, calm autumn weather. Air temperature is holding in the mid 70s during the day and in the 50s at night. Water temperature is holding in the mid 60s, which is the ideal fishing temperature for the springtime spawning period. Sport fish are still in vacation mode as they quietly attack one of the thousands of shad balls still swimming on the surface. Not much has changed during this unusual fishing year.
Adult stripers are still swimming in deep water. Occasionally a school shows up on the graph. Drop a spoon and a few fish bite. Sometimes, adult stripers boil on the surface, about once a week. Then stripers return to deep water and feed on giant shad “walls”. In the southern lake, threadfin shad swim prolifically on the surface. In the northern lake, gizzard shad swim in large herds covering the entire shallow end of a cove. Stripers can easily swim to the wall of shad, eat their fill and then rest until they get hungry again and repeat the process. Spoons work best in the northern lake in front of the shad wall. In the southern lake, there must be similar shad walls in some canyons. Abundant forage is the reason for slower fishing success.
Smallmouth are the best fish to target now until stripers wake up. Bass are enjoying the shad balls. They often break the surface. Look for a single splash, then cast a surface lure to that spot. If bass ignore the surface lure, switch to a shallow running crank like a rattletrap or flicker shad. It is common to see many single splashes in a cove. Attack these scattered fish with by trolling in the area where surface action is common. Lucky Craft DD pointers and Rapala Shad Raps work well in this situation.
Expect fishing success to pick up for stripers when the water temperature drops into the 50s. Threadfin shad schools will then leave the surface and drop down into deeper water (40-70 feet). In most years, this shad movement energizes stripers, and dramatically increases fishing success. The best fishing technique is to watch the graph for striper schools or bait balls. Drop spoons into the striper school as it passes under the boat. Stripers love to see a shad-like jigging spoon fall to the bottom. That continues to be the best striper technique during this great shad year. The second best option is to use down riggers in open water. Troll shad crankbaits near the bait ball at 40-60 feet.
There is one ray of hope in the southern lake. Striper schools are feeding at random on shad schools under the full moon. At any time of day, stripers may attack shad and a few fat adult stripers break the surface in a short boil. If lucky enough to see the event, it is possible to land a few big stripers on top water lures and shallow running cranks before they quit boiling. It is much more common to see one small ripple or dimple on the water, which marks the presence of a predator chasing shad. Cast to the riffle to catch both smallmouth and stripers. If there is no surface action, look along the shoreline for ducks, herons, coyotes and ravens. Wildlife along the shore are searching for a striper boil where shad leap onto the shore and the wildlife quickly slurp them up. Fish near wildlife to find active striper schools.