Arizona Fishing – Catch a Fish in the Desert


Many people on the east coast, who have never been to the desert southwest, think that Arizona is full of sand dunes and cactus. The cactus part is correct, but the sand dunes are only in the southwestern corner of the state. Fishing, in Arizona, is a very popular sport. There are more than thirty major lakes scattered across the state that produce some sizable fish, such as largemouth bass, catfish, rainbow trout and other favorites.

big largemouth bass

Fishing in Alamo Lake:

Bass fishermen frequent Alamo Lake, a little over a hundred miles northwest of Phoenix. Alamo Lake is one of the best bass lakes in Arizona.

Fishing in Lake Mohave:

Lake Mohave, created by Davis Dam on the Colorado River, is a great place to hook into sizable striped bass, better known as stripers. A fisherman can go home with stripers ranging from twelve to thirty inches long and, if he is real lucky, the sizes can be bigger.

Fishing in Big Lake:

Big Lake is a favorite summer getaway for desert dwellers. Big Lake is located approximately ten thousand feet up in the White Mountains, on the eastern border of Arizona. The air is fresh and cool and the trout are plentiful.

Fishing the Salt River Chain:

The Salt River chain of lakes is alive with fishermen year round. Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake and Saguaro Lake are all in the chain. These desert lakes are great places for walleye, yellow and largemouth bass, rainbow and brown trout, catfish and crappie.

Fishing in Lake Mary:

Lake Mary, southeast of Flagstaff, is divided into two lakes. These lakes produce most of the species of fish found in Arizona. Anything from sunfish to largemouth bass and walleye, not to forget catfish and channel cats, can be lured to your line.

Fishing the Mogollon Rim:

The Mogollon Rim (Muggy-own), from Payson to Show Low, is scattered with small trout lakes. Woods Canyon, Chevelon Canyon, and Fool Hollow Lakes are a few that produce trout all year. Ice fishing is popular in some of these lakes. Tonto Creek, east of Payson, at Kohl’s Ranch, is a nice place to wet a fly line while hiking along the banks.

Park lagoons:

Children learn to fish in the many park lagoons. A favorite spot for the families in Phoenix is Encanto Park. The lagoons run all around the park and produce sunfish and catfish.

I also find that night fishing is more satisfying on the lakes. During the daylight hours, Arizona lakes are boiling with jet skiers, water skiers and high-speed joy riders.

Summertime in Arizona is playtime on the lakes. When the sun goes down and everyone is off the lake, the water settles down and the calmness invites the fishermen.