You can’t miss these Arizona fishing destinations

Photo credit Arizona Game & Fish Department

There are a few important things you need to consider in order to take full advantage of the best Arizona fishing destinations. First, what freshwater species do you like to fish for? Second, do you want to fish from a boat? Or would you prefer to wade through the cool water of a mountain river?

Once you’ve thought about your fishing preferences, it is a little easier to narrow down your options. Deciding where to fish in Arizona is not difficult. Just think of your answers to the above questions as you learn about these six Arizona fishing spots.

1. Bartlett Lake –– You can drive to one of the best largemouth bass lakes in Arizona just 45 minutes from Scottsdale. Note, however, that fishing at Bartlett Lake is most productive when you have access to a boat, as the lake extends over 2,000 acres. There are launches at Yellow Cliffs, Bartlett Flat, and Bartlett Marina, which provide easy access to Bartlett Lake.

2. Lake Havasu – If you’re looking to catch trophy-sized redfish or smallmouth bass, Lake Havasu should be your favorite Arizona fishing destination. In fact, on February 16, 2014, angler Hector Brito caught a world record redfish weighing 5.80 pounds on Lake Havasu. Catches of black bass over 5 pounds are also quite common on this lake. Because of the size of this waterway (19,300 acres), Lake Havasu is best if you are fishing by boat.

3. Lake Mohave – This reservoir on the Colorado River stretches for 67 miles on the border between Arizona and Nevada. The fishing reports for Lake Mohave mostly focus on largemouth bass but do not overlook the opportunities to catch striped bass and rainbow trout. There are two launch ramps on the Arizona side of Lake Mohave, one at Willow Beach and one at Katherine Landing.

4. Lake Roosevelt – Lake Roosevelt is the third largest man-made lake in Arizona after Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Largemouth bass, black bass, channel catfish, and crappie are four of the species you can catch while fishing in Arizona on Lake Roosevelt. Because there are beach areas for camping and swimming on the lakefront, it is a popular getaway for families.

5. Saguaro Lake – If you travel 40 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix, you can fish Saguaro Lake by boat or offshore. The Saguaro Del Norte Recreation Area near Saguaro Lake Marina offers inshore anglers numerous opportunities to fish for largemouth bass, black bass, yellow bass, bluegill, crappie, rainbow trout, pikeperch and channel catfish.

6. Salt River – Many Salt River fishing trips focus on the waters below Lake Saguaro, as there is a year-round opportunity to catch rainbow trout. Fly anglers in particular are particularly interested in the Lower Salt River as it is one of the few places in the country where you can fish for rainbow trout in a desert setting.

After learning more about each of these destinations, have you decided where in Arizona to start fishing? If so, you can check the cost of the Arizona fishing license, purchase a fishing license online, and then go to a location of your choice.

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide in southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has been featured in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @ shefishes2.

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