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Local Spring Fishing Report
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19 March 2017   AZ Game & Fish

Local lakes in the Prescott area are stocked and ready to go.

PRESCOTT AREA

FAIN LAKE — Park is open and fish were stocked February 13th and are tentatively scheduled for the week of March 6th.  Reports are that the fish are biting but bring a variety of bait.

GOLDWATER LAKE — Goldwater was stocked the week of February 6th. The next stocking is tentatively scheduled for the week of March 6th. Try several colors of power bait and power eggs and if you don’t get bites try night crawlers or small spinners. They are a great option if you are not getting bites with other baits. Jonathan reports that he has success using orange and yellow power bait eggs on about a 12 to 18 inch leader.  Small spinners work very well also.  Michael reports that 1½ inch Crappie Tubes & Acme Castmasters lures work very well on the trout.  This is the second time he has reported method in the last couple weeks.

If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

GRANITE BASIN LAKE – Bite has been slow to nonexistent with the cold water and air.  If you fish Granite Basin Lake and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

LYNX LAKE – The latest rainbow trout stocking was January 30th. Catchable Brown Trout were stocked September 6th and catfish were stocked the week of September 22nd. Change baits if you are not having any luck and move down the shore a few hundred feet. Rob reports that the morning bite is best and limits can be caught in the 20 degree air temps. Later in the morning the trout move to the 14-35 feet in depth. Try yellow colored power bait or power eggs for trout if the spinners don’t work. The gold colored Super Duper is a distant second. Night crawlers are always good bait that can work on most fish.

Lynx also can be an exciting place to fish for carp.  Common carp are very strong fighters and will provide excellent table fair.  A quick search on the internet will produce tasty recipes for these robust fish.  Corn and an assortment of other baits will attract these fish.  Lynx can be difficult to fish, if you are not catching anything try moving to a new spot.

MINGUS LAKE – Trout were last stocked the week of October 17th. The best bait is white or pink Powerbait, fished under a bobber or a spinner with a silver blade are doing well. The gate will be locked soon, with an anticipated mid-December locking.  The lake is iced over according to reports so be careful if you fish there.

Someone illegally stocked yellow bullhead into Mingus several years ago. These fish compete directly with the trout and keep growth rates very low. If you witness anyone, anywhere, moving fish like bass, bluegill, catfish and stocking them, please report it to our Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700.  Illegal stockings cost YOU money!

WATSON – Trout were stocked January 9th and again on January 30th. Bring night crawlers if your other baits are not working. Michael, using 1.5 inch crappie tubes, reports large rainbow trout that are putting up a great fight.

If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR – No recent reports. If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

VERDE VALLEY

DEAD HORSE RANCH STATE PARK – Trout were stocked the week of February 6th and are tentatively scheduled for the week of March 6th.  Bring a variety of baits just in case the fish aren’t biting.  Try small spinners or spoons, Powerbait, night crawlers or any other bait.  Bass bite has slowed.  If you fish Dead Horse please e-mail me at gcummins@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Trout were last stocked the week of February 6th and are tentatively scheduled for the week of February 27th. The smallmouth bass and catfish bite has dropped to poor but the bass that are caught are on the small side and you can keep all you catch.  Bring a variety of bait so you can change if the bite is absent.

Williams area lakes

All of the lakes are full and most are still spilling over.  Since all of the lakes are full this year we don’t have enough trout to stock all of the lakes (if you don’t stock enough fish in a lake folks can’t catch them).  This year we are only planning on stocking Kaibab Lake and Dogtown Lake with Rainbow Trout.  As soon as the lakes stop spilling we will start stocking Kaibab and Dogtown.   We do plan on stocking Channel Catfish in City Reservoir in the late Spring, but we don’t have a date set.

Flagstaff area lakes

Much like the Williams area lakes most of the lakes in the Flagstaff area are full and spilling.  Lower Lake Mary isn’t spilling, but it has more water in it than any year since 2010.  Again just like in the Williams area we don’t have enough fish to stock every lake this year so only a few lakes will be stocked in the Flagstaff area.  Ashurst Lake, Lower Lake Mary, and Frances Short Pond will be stocked with trout this year.