Fishing Report: North Central region
KAIBAB LAKE — Folks were catching trout on worms fished under a bobber. Folks using spinners were also catching fish. Catfish were being caught on nightcrawlers and prepared catfish baits. The crappie and bluegill are also hitting on the upper end of the lake. Stocked with trout last week. Over 40,000 trout have been stocked in the lake this year.
CATARACT LAKE — No report. Stocked with catfish. I heard folks are catching fish on the lake.
CITY RESERVOIR — Lake is closed because of the fire danger.
DOGTOWN LAKE — Folks are catching some trout on PowerBait. Stocked this week.
SANTA FE — Lake is closed because of the fire danger.
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 — On Saturday folks were catching limits of nice trout on the southwest end of the lake on garlic PowerBait, rainbow PowerBait and cheese PowerBait. A few fish were being caught on worms on other portions of the lake but the area near the last parking area right after you get out of the campground was the hot spot.
FRANCIS SHORT POND – There was a small fish kill on the pond over last the weekend probably a result of the runoff from Saturday’s rain. The rain washed in silt and nutrients from the surrounding area which stressed the fish causing some trout to die. Folks were still catching fish at the pond last week.
KINNIKINICK LAKE — No reports.
OAK CREEK — No report. Stocked last week. Scheduled to be stocked this week.
BEAVER CREEK – Has been stocked.
WEST CLEAR CREEK – Has been stocked.
BLUE RIDGE — Lake is closed due to fire closure.
KNOLL LAKE — Lake is closed due to fire closure.
Lake Powell Fish Report – June 27
Lake Elevation: 3610
Water temperature: 75 – 80 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Slurping stripers were visible all over the lake on our weekly trip. Average size of slurping stripers was 14 inches but they range from 8 to 18 inches. Water was warm (78-80 F) on top which means that adult stripers cannot come to the top and spend much time without suffering severe stress due to warm water. Young stripers see a larval shad school near the surface, form a scavenging line and attack the small shad. Since these shad cannot swim fast, stripers eat as many shad as possible in 15 seconds and then go back down to 30 feet. That makes it hard to see the striper school and then get in range to make a cast while they are still on the surface. Normally the striper school goes down and then quickly pops back up on the next shad school. If they surface near your boat then a quick cast will possibly catch a fish. If stripers are out of casting range then the boat has to be moved quickly to get in range. The action is exciting but catch rate is low.
Lures that worked well included a small white clouser minnow fly attached behind a bubble filled with water and a small skinny surface lure (Ima Skimmer) and a Kastmaster spoon. It is necessary to throw long casts to the quickly moving striper school. That is not easy with a small lightweight lure with limited casting range.
The cast must land in front of the lead striper. If it lands in the middle of the school they often spook, jump and then go deep. It is better to throw well in front of the school and let the lure rest until the school gets in range. Then start working the lure, bringing it right in front of the slurping fish. When all this happens a fish is caught. When any of the other possibilities occur; casting too short; casting behind the school; or not casting soon enough, the school will sound and you will have to wait for the next school to surface. When one school goes down, just look around to see more schools surfacing in the vicinity. Also look at the graph to see if the fleeing school goes under the boat. If so, deploy a spoon to the depth indicated on the graph to catch more fish.
Slurps were recently seen from Warm Creek to Rock Creek in the main channel and midway back in many canyons; from Bullfrog to Trachyte; and in the Escalante and San Juan Arms. Slurps are lakewide but the intensity and catch rate is greater further north.
Bait fishing for larger stripers is still working, particularly along the main channel and in many canyons. It takes a few tries to find fish and it is more likely to find fish in spots that are not reported that often. Recent reports have come from the mouth of San Juan and Lake Canyon where big catches of stripers were found.
Trolling for walleye in the shade of the canyon walls early in the morning is working. Lures that have been effective include; Live Target threadfin shad (Copper color), Lucky Craft 78 or 100 XD pointers in chartreuse shad. The shady walls between Piute and Deep Canyon in the San Juan are a good place to try but any similar landscape may work lakewide.
Smallmouth bass are hitting surface lures at first light in the morning. Then they go deeper so fish at 20-40 feet to catch bass during the daytime.
Bluegill are still spawning and the circular nests can be seen in 3 feet of water near the shoreline or any large rocky area. Use a tiny jig head with a piece of live worm attached to catch these brightly colored fish.
Catfish are active from sundown and into the night. Use table scraps, worms or anchovies on the sandy beach behind the houseboat. It’s a great activity to keep the kids interested as it cools down after a hot day at the lake.
Chuck Benedict is an AZGFD Aquatic Wildlife Specialist out of Flagstaff