THE REEL DEAL

Hello, anglers,

In consideration of the Slide Fire that is burning in and around Oak Creek Canyon, here’s a rundown of some of the recommended Flagstaff-area fisheries to go:

Williams area


Dogtown Lake
The water level in Dogtown Lake is the best of any of the reservoirs in the Williams area. If we don’t get an algae bloom on the lake, we should be able to continue stocking it throughout the summer. Any pauses in stocking will likely be temporary. Fishing should be OK with the normal slowdown in late June/July.

City Reservoir (Buckskinner)
The water level in the city is decent, so we don’t anticipate any kills occurring and we may be able to stock it for the summer. City may get drawn down by Williams for water supply.


Flagstaff area


Lower Lake Mary
Right now the fishing is excellent at Lower Lake Mary. Depending on the weather, fishing should stay good on the lake until the middle of June, then we expect it will slow down.


Frances Short Pond
Right now fishing is good on the pond and the water level is OK. Frances Short has had a tendency to have oxygen problems around the start of monsoons and has had fish kills. Stocking of trout is done for the summer. We have one more scheduled catfish stocking scheduled.


Kinnikinick
Kinnikinick is almost full and we do not anticipate any problems on the lake this year.


Upper Lake Mary
Fishing was slow but a few pike were caught Sunday. We do not anticipate any problems on the lake this year.


Mogollon Rim waters


Knoll Lake
We are still stocking Knoll and it should remain OK for the rest of the summer.

CC Cragin (Blueridge)
We have completed this year’s stockings and it should remain OK for the rest of the summer.

Oak Creek update:
We have stopped stocking Oak Creek above Sedona because of the Slide Fire.

Big Fish of the Year addition


Quentin Johnson on May 2 caught this 30.25-inch, 9-pound, 12.16-ounce channel catfish out of Cortez Park Lake that is a new BFOY Community Fishing catch-and-keep leader for channel catfish.

See all of this year’s leaders.

Fire restrictions


See a full list of Fire restrictions in Arizona.

ANGLER REPORTS


(Send your fishing reports and photos to Bfishing@AZGFD.gov.)


Wayne B. enjoyed improvements at Lake Patagonia State Park:
Summertime is here in southern Az. and my favorite camping spot just got even better. Remember the old swimming beach? Well it’s been replaced with a grass lawn on both sides and the park has added more charcoal bbq’s. It is very family friendly and clean restrooms right there.


For those of you who would enjoy a good game of Horse Shoes, there are three pits now open and they were in use all weekend.


While talking to the crew that keeps the running they asked to pass it along:.Please, no glass, and if you’re able to take some trash home at the end of your visit, it would be great; on busy weekends they can get overloaded.


Fishing on the lake was fair to good, and I’m sure the heavy lake traffic did not help my chances. Bluegill were in every cove and would bite at anything. A couple of first time future fisherman got off to a great start.


Flathead were in the shallow areas on the eastern flat. The largest bass I heard of was one just over 7 lbs. No need to doubt him — he had a great picture with his 10-year son holding it.


Every person who was getting bass said use a slow, top-water presentation.


Water is down about 3 feet from the top mark, and boaters had better take care and know what the buoy markers are telling you.(and not all underwater objects are marked as the lake drops.) Saw two boaters having been towed in without their props. If you’re have trouble launching because of low water levels, save yourself a costly headache and leave it on the trailer a few more weeks. Summer brings rain; got my fingers crossed.

Adam B. hit a great top-water bite for rainbow trout last weekend at Willow Springs Lake: Got to the lake around 6 a.m. on Saturday the 24th of May. The air temp was 28 degrees with a light mist covering the lake.

Top-water bite suffered till about 9 a.m. when the fish started to rise to the surface. By noon we had caught and released 18 rainbows in the range of 12-20 inches with one weighing close to 3 pounds. All fish were caught in the far eastern cove by the tree stumps, trolling with Rebel Minnows. All fish were released unharmed back for someone else to catch. Overall a great day on the lake!

Tracy T. with a Mingus Lake report from Saturday: Caught six trout off worms and a bobber in two hours.

Caught two bullheads off the bottom with worms.

Jeff Lake caught a striper at Lake Pleasant: Caught this one trolling a 5-inch rubber shad behind my pontoon boat. Location….secret.

FISH STORIES

What’s YOUR fish story? In the ninth segment of Fish Stories, D.J. Rothans tells about that day in 1966 when he brought home a duck and a fish.

Enjoy the latest segment of Fish Stories from the AZGFD YouTube site!

Have a fond memory? An exciting experience? Or, just a special day on the water with family and friends enjoying Arizona’s amazing outdoors? Email your story to bfishing@azgfd.gov, and we may share it with others online, in print, or on television.

Stay tuned for future additions of “Fish Stories,” which will frequently appear here in print, online or on television.

See the full report.

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