Fishing in Arizona

Last updated on July 8th, 2021 at 04:05 pm. Originally published on July 7th, 2021

There are many reasons to plan an outdoor adventure in Arizona. There are great places to go hiking, including the Bright Angel Trail at Grand Canyon National Park. Arizona has many areas with exposed rocks, allowing for some terrific spots for climbing. One excellent reason to head outdoors in Arizona, however, is to go fishing. Try these good fishing spots in Arizona, but remember to check the most recent regulations and get your license first. 

Two men stand, fishing, on a boat in the middle of a bright blue lake surrounded by rocky hills under a blue sky.

Fishing Spots in Arizona

Roosevelt Lake

At almost 20,000 acres, Roosevelt Lake is the largest lake in Arizona, and anglers love to come here to fish for large and smallmouth bass. Anglers regularly catch catfish, bluegill, and crappie at this location. Some of the best fishing in Arizona for bass is near this lake’s dam. Mid-lake on the north side in Chubb Bay and Yodel Flats are often especially good for catching various fish species around underwater rocky structures. You can easily reach this lake that’s located about 60 miles northeast of Phoenix. 

Lake Havasu

Some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in Arizona is in Lake Havasu, located inside Lake Havasu State Park near Havasu City. In order to create a better fishing lake, state officials have placed thousands of bundles of logs below the water’s surface to create breeding habitats. While it’s usually easier to catch smallmouth bass at this lake, largemouth, and striped bass are also abundant. When the weather is cool, fish with brightly colored crankbait or suspended jerkbaits near the shore. When the weather warms up, fish in the middle of this lake near sunrise or sunset. 

Patagonia Lake

Patagonia Lake is in Patagonia Lake State Park near Nogales. Use jerkbait for fishing in the north part of the lake, where the creek comes in for bass throughout the year. Especially from mid-June through early September, this can be a great place to catch flathead catfish using minnows or live baitfish. The state stocks rainbow trout about every 3 weeks during the winter months. If you fish this lake during the summer, try spinnerbait near the roped-off beach area, and you will probably reach your limit. 

Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant is the largest in the Metro-Phoenix area, and you can catch at least 12 species of fish in this lake. It’s also the only one in the state with sizable numbers of white bass. If you want to catch this species, look for white churning water in upstream drainages like Castle Creek, Humbug Creek, Cole’s Wash, and Honeymoon coves. This is a fun challenge because the water levels are constantly changing as more or less water is needed downstream for irrigation. Use the north entrance to have easy access to the four-lane boat ramp. 

Lake Mead

Lake Mead near Temple Bar is the largest national recreation area in the U.S., and it’s a great place to go fishing for striped bass. There are lots of other species available, including rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, and crappie. While many people choose to go fishing in a boat, the Hemenway Fishing Pier near Boulder Beach is a great place to fish from land. 

Lake Powell

Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon National Recreation near Page has lots of smallmouth bass, walleye, channel catfish, crappie, and bluegill. Anchovies are often the perfect bait for catching striped bass in the Colorado, Dirty Devil, San Juan, and Escalante arms of this lake. If you want to catch largemouth bass, try fishing during the spring spawn, which usually lasts from April through the end of May in areas where the water is about 15 feet deep. If you want to get your children interested in fishing, consider letting them fish for green sunfish at this location in a shaded area. 

Riggs Flat Lake

If you’re looking for a secluded fishing spot in Arizona, go to Riggs Flat Lake near Safford in the Corona National Forest. Rainbow, brown, and brook trout are stocked during the summer months. Most anglers catch rainbow trout in this location with corn, cheese, garlic cheese, salmon eggs, and worms. Meanwhile, they catch brown and brook trout with action lures. 

Where to Fish in Arizona

Arizona has many great fishing spots. Some people choose to stick to the Phoenix metropolitan area so that they can go fishing more often. Others head to northern regions of the state to go fishing as it’s often easier to get a bite in these cooler waters. Still others head to nationally recognized fishing areas such as Lake Mead and Lake Powell. 

Camping and Fishing in Arizona

Between your excitement about your trip and trying to decide where to fish in Arizona, it’s very easy to leave something at home. Consider making a list and using it when you load your RV. Think about the equipment you’ll need to clean and transport the fish to your RV. Usually, you’ll want to chill the fish and keep it cold until you’re ready to cook it. 

Fishing and camping in Arizona is a great experience. There are very few other places on earth that offer the scenic beauty found around many Arizona fishing locations. Before you go, read this fishing blog filled with helpful tips that can help you maximize your time on the water.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home onboard your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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