Arizona is a beautiful state which is rich in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Many fishing enthusiasts visit this place to have a fun and exciting fishing experience if you have right fishing gears. Due to this reason, Arizona is an ideal place to go on a fishing expedition no matter whether you are a novice or an expert in this sport.
Along with fishing, Arizona offers a breathtaking scenic view and an excellent location for a family vacation. The innumerable amount of natural beauty and beautiful landscapes of the area make a perfect spot for the fishing enthusiast. The abundance number of State parks, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs in Arizona contains different species of fish. And the good thing about fishing in Arizona is that fishing is possible throughout the year.
Not matter whether you are a fly fishing devotee or an ice fisherman, Arizona provides you with an appropriate fishing environment. So, if you are looking after a large trout, catfish or bass, Arizona’s water has both in abundance.
The rivers, lakes, and reservoirs in Arizona is home to more than 27 fish species. 19 species of fish prefer warm water and 8 of these species live in cold waters. The best to fish these species is from late April to summertime. If you prefer ice- fishing, winter would be the appropriate time of the year. Make sure you carry proper fishing gear such as fishing rod, spinning reel, etc if you do not want to miss your good catch.
Related article : Best Places to Fish in Colorado
9 Best Places to Fish in Arizona
1. Roosevelt Lake
Roosevelt Lake sits in Tonto National Park and measures 20,000 acres. When you ask someone about Bass fishing, Roosevelt Lake would be the first thing that comes to their mind. Roosevelt Lake offers warm water with brush covers and provides fresh nutrients for healthy bass to live in.
Catching Bass fish in Roosevelt Lake is quite easy. Therefore, you can do some shoreline fishing a get yourself a good catch. You can find varieties of bass fish in this lake. Many of such types range from white bass to largemouth and striped bass. Along with these, you can also find some catfish and carp.
If you want to go for some large bass, you can go over to Salt arm, Salome Cove, Tonto arm, etc. All these places have more rocks and submerged trees as additional covers for underwater species. The largemouth bass is mostly found near the bass island and the dam when the water is cold. When the water is warm, you can spot these bass fish near the drop-offs. Roosevelt Lake consists of a visitor center to provide you with all the information regarding fishing and camping.
2. Dogtown Lake
Dogtown Lake is a mountain reservoir that sits in the pines. It is just a short drive west of Flagstaff, Arizona. Dogtown Lake is a great fishing spot for trout especially in the spring and autumn seasons. Trout fishing in Dogtown Lake during summer and warm weather usually slows down.
If you are thinking of catching rainbow and brown trout, Dogtown Lake would be the ideal destination for you. This lake is always stocked with the trouts for angler harvest. You can catch the brown trout which are above 20 inches in length. If you want to target this trout, you will need to apply various angling methods and use appropriate fishing gears.
If you are out for fishing in a hot and warmer temperature, it would be best to fish deeper for trout. You can use shiny lures as spinners or casting spoons when fishing near the bottom and shorelines. In this way, you can target a larger brown trout. You can also take your boat with you when fishing in Downtown Lake.
3. Black River
Are you looking for a traditional trout fishing experience in the high mountains? If yes, Black River is the ideal destination for you. The river sits in the white mountains of eastern Arizona. It offers anglers with a unique trout fishing experience along with the beautiful mountain scenery.
The East Fork Black River provides enough camping grounds for people. This side of the river also consists of several fishing holes. You can mostly find rainbow and Apache trout in abundant number in this section of the Black River. Catching a wild brown trout can be a challenge for you. It can be a little harder to catch these kinds of fish than the stocked fish. If you really want to get some wild brown fish in target, move forward towards downstream. At the confluence of the east and west forks, you will have more possibility of finding larger fish. Rainbow and brown trout is available throughout the year in this particular section.
The Black River is easily accessible and offers a diverse fishing opportunity. Whether you are a fly angler, bait angler, or just a beginner angler, fishing in the Black River will definitely be an amazing experience.
4. Lake Havasu State Park
Lake Havasu State Park lies right in conjunction with the Lake Havasu City. Some of the most commonly found fish in Lake Havasu State Park are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, sunfish, catfish, and many more. The park is considered as the best largemouth impoundment and smallmouth lake in the entire country.
The area of Lake Havasu State Park measures 450 miles shoreline. It comes with a 25-mile long lake where you can fish. The lake is not only big but is set harmoniously so that you can spend an entire day of adventure. You can see several brush bundles throughout the lake that provides a thriving condition for bass.
Do not get surprised if you catch a 4 or 5-pound largemouth bass when fishing. It is because such catches are very common here at Lake Havasu State Park. Lake Havasu State Park provides decent accommodation facilities for the ones who want to stay close to the lake. So, do not worry if you want the hospitality of a hotel in the middle of a camping zone.
5. Riggs Flat Lake
Riggs Flat Lake is a man-made reservoir lying in the gorgeous Pinaleno Mountains. It sits about 40 miles to the southwest of Safford. Mount Graham stands at the height of about 9000 feet around its area.
The setting of the Riggs Flat Lake is absolutely perfect with the stunning surrounding view. This man-made lake is full of various species of trout with an amazing spot for daytime fishing. The Riggs Flat Lake measures 11 acres and is very quiet and peaceful. Visitors are surely going to enjoy the surrounding area which is full of meadows and alpine forests.
The fish found in Riggs Flat Lake depends upon different weather condition. The water is usually cold here. So, you are more likely to find rainbow trouts, brown trouts, and brook trouts during the summer season. You can fish from the shoreline or from the boats, the choice is yours. Most of the anglers prefer fishing from the shoreline. If you want to spend more time in the lake, there is a facility for camping here.
6. Big Lake
Big Lake is mostly famous for trout fish. This fishing lake sits in the white mountains of Northeast side of Arizona which is few miles to the south of Geer. Spring is the most ideal time for fishing trout in the Big Lake. The lake holds some of the best trouts such as rainbow, brown, brook and cutthroat trouts. Big Lake is also popular with the name as “ Arizona’s Best Kept Secret”.
Before you decide fishing in the Big Lake, keep in mind that the fishing destination is about 9200 feet high. You can find several camping grounds at Big Lake. So, if you decide to stay overnight here, it is also possible. Equip yourself with proper fishing gear if you do not want to miss any catches. Since Big Lake is a mountaintop location, you need to bring additional warm clothes and supplies during the winter season.
7. Patagonia Lake
Are you someone who enjoys boat fishing? If yes, the 265- acre man-made Patagonia Lake State Park would be an ideal destination for you. As fishing from the boat is fun and exciting, you can also fish from the shoreline if you to. Along with fishing, there are a lot of things you can do here. You can go for an adventure to witness the wildlife, enjoy some sunshine on the beaches, explore the lake on a boat and many more.
The lake is an hour distance from the city of Tuscon. Varieties of fish are found in Patagonia lake. The water vegetation, tree stumps, shoreline bushes, etc make the underwater environment favorable for a large amount of bass to live in. Patagonia Lake State Park is also a perfect destination if you want to stay in the park for a few days. The park provides you with suitable camping ground with tents and other facilities.
Most of the common fish that you can find in Patagonia Lake are bass, crappies, bluegill, channel catfish, and flathead catfish. If you are fishing in the winter season, do not get surprised if you catch a rainbow trout.
8. Lees Ferry
If you are an enthusiastic fisherman, Lees Ferry is a must-visit the place. It lies next to Marbel Canyon and stretches about 13 miles towards the Colorado River. Spring would be the best time for fishing in Lees Feery if you want to catch a whole lot of fish. Lees Ferry is mostly popular for rainbow trout. If you are lucky, you can also catch some large as 22 inches.
The crystal water and tall cliffs of reds, oranges, and pinks make the fishing experience even more exciting. The consistent water temperature of Lees Ferry makes the fish strong and healthy. If can hire a guide if you want to. He/ she will take you to the deep blue waters to explore some hidden gems.
You can also stay overnight at Lees Ferry as there are well-facilitated campgrounds. Most of such campgrounds have proper drinking water facility, toilet, bathrooms, and other services.
9. Lake Pleasant
If you are near the Capital city of Arizona, Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is a place that you should not miss if you are into fishing. Lake pleasant is one of the best places to go fishing in Arizona. It is the largest lake in Phoenix and does not take much to reach there from the center of the city.
The shoreline of Lake Pleasant is more than 116 miles. So, you can easily fish from any of these shorelines. The lake features over 10,000 acres of water surface area. So, it also makes a great spot for boat fishing.
If you are much more into largemouth bass fishing, Lake Pleasant would be the best one in the Phoenix area. Along with this, the place is home to the only white bass population. Before you go out fishing, make sure to check the weather conditions. Prepare yourself with the heat, cold, and rainy days too.
There are several other exciting fishing areas in Arizona. But, the above-mentioned places are some of the best in the state. No matter the size of the lake or reservoir, Arizona’s water holds some of the largest population of fish.
Fishing in Arizona is suitable for everyone whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler. Before you go out fishing in Arizona, there are certain rules and regulation that you will need to follow. Along with this, you will also need to choose the best time for fishing in Arizona.