A huge part of Arizona is desert terrain. The temperatures may be hot, but they facilitate the survival and rapid growth of bass. Arizona has numerous reservoirs, rivers, and lakes you can fish. The size of bass in Arizona rivals that of other states. However, you are more likely to catch largemouth bass in some areas. Some of the six best largemouth bass fishing spots in Arizona include:
1. Roosevelt Lake
- The largest reservoir on the Salt River
- 2 hours Northeast of Phoenix
- Open All-year-round
- Visit the Arizona Game and Fish Department website for habitat locations.
Roosevelt Lake is one of four reservoirs on the Salt River in Arizona. The River originates from East Arizona in the White Mountains. Some dams create four reservoirs just before the river reaches Phoenix City.
Roosevelt Lake is the largest and furthest one upstream. It sits northeast of Phoenix and only takes about two hours to get there. The reservoir is open year-round. Anglers visit the lake with huge catches and various species like bluegill, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, sunfish, and more.
There are various features on Roosevelt Lake that create a habitat for predatory fish like bass. They include flooded trees, rocky outcroppings, sandy flats, and more. These structures form as a result of the dam flooding.
Moreover, there are individual habitat structures around the lake. They help to increase the population of the fish in the areas where there is no natural cover. You can view the location of these habitats on the Arizona Game and Fish Department website.
2. Lake Havasu State Park
- Beautiful destination
- 450-mile shoreline, thus plenty of fishing room
- Try the south end for a better catch.
Lake Havasu is a stunning destination that stretches about 25 miles wide. There is plenty of fishing room on the lake, with about 450 miles of shoreline. Moreover, there is plenty of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass to fish. The Arizona Game and Fish Department has some programs underway to ensure the bass and other species thrive in Lake Havasu.
For example, they drop brush bundles on the lake to create more fish habitats around the lake.
If you go to Lake Havasu, try fishing in the south end of the lake to increase your chances of a good catch. Some of the best locations on Lake Havasu include Topock Gorge, Havasu Springs, and Mesquite Cove.
3. Apache Lake
- The second reservoir on the Salt River after Roosevelt Lake
- Secluded and beautiful location
- Clean your boats to remove pathogens like Golden Algae blooms.
Apache Lake is one of the four reservoirs on the Salt River. It comes after Roosevelt Lake, which is the furthest dam upstream. It is a remote and beautiful reservoir with towering rock fortresses.
Apache Lake is the hardest of the four lakes to access. You can descend the Apache Trail from the Apache Junction or take the winding dirt road past Roosevelt Dam. Apache Lake has plenty of forage species which makes largemouth bass thrive. There are regular bass fishing contests on Lake Apache.
There is plenty of largemouth bass fish on the lake. However, the smallmouth bass is the native species of Lake Apache. Both species thrive thanks to the dropoffs, reefs, and rocky outcroppings, which provide habitats.
However, Golden Algae blooms have claimed the lives of fish on Apache Lake. Therefore, the Arizona Game and Fish Department advises anglers to clean their boats and other protocols between waters. These protocols help to curb the spread of pathogens.
4. Patagonia Lake State Park
- Small lake with trophy trout
- One and a half hours from Tucson City
- Fish have no pressure from constant fishing or overfishing.
Patagonia Lake is one of the smallest lakes but has some monster bass swimming in those waters. It has an area of about 250 acres. The lake is a quick drive away from Tucson city. It does not receive much attention like Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake, and the rest. However, the lack of pressure makes it an equally good fishing spot, if not better.
Patagonia Lake also has enough frogs and baitfish for the largemouth bass to feed on and grow huge. Moreover, the lake has cattail forests and a brushy shoreline which protects the largemouth bass from anglers and predators. The protection gives them time to grow to their full potential. There are only a few smallmouth basses in this location.
5. Lake Pleasant
- 1-hour drive northwest of Phoenix
- Many outdoor activities like camping and water sports
- Potential for 10-pound largemouth bass.
Lake Pleasant is a multi-purpose fishing location northwest of Phoenix. It takes about an hour to get to Lake Pleasant from Phoenix. You can engage in various recreational outdoor activities, including camping, water sports, and more.
Species like the largemouth bass, the striped bass, and the flathead catfish attract many Lake Pleasant anglers. The fish here are huge and even get to trophy size. You can catch a largemouth bass of at least 10 pounds.
The largemouth bass thrives here due to plenty of forage and fish like bluegill, gizzard shad, and sunfish. It would help watch out for the baitfish because they attract schools of striped bass and largemouth bass. Therefore, it would help small baitfish and fishing lures to get the largemouth’s attention.
6. The Colorado River
- North of Yuma
- Boats are necessary for fishing in most locations
- Many locations for boat launches
- Potential for 10-pound or more largemouth bass.
The Colorado River, especially the lower Colorado River, attracts anglers due to the trophy largemouth bass and other species. You will find this area North of Yuma. The water moves slowly due to backwaters, irrigation ponds, and sloughs. These features and the Arizona warmth create a welcoming habitat for the bass.
You will have to use a boat to access most of the backwaters in the lower Colorado River. There are some designated sites like Mittry Lake with boat launches and fishing areas. Anglers have reported catching large bass of about 10 pounds or more. There are many fishing spots to explore along the Colorado River and some exciting catches ahead.
Key Considerations Before You Go Largemouth Bass Fishing in Arizona
There are various factors to consider before you go fishing in Arizona or many other places. Some of them include:
- Largemouth bass start to spawn when the temperatures get to 60°F
- Try to look out for potential Largemouth Bass habitats.
- Get an Arizona Fishing License
- Do not drink the water from any of these locations.
Cost of a Fishing License in Arizona
Anyone with the age of 10 years or more must have a fishing license to fish in any of Arizona’s lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Those who are below ten years and blind residents do not need a fishing license. Disabled Veterans and Pioneer residents (over 70 years old and have lived in Arizona for more than 25 years) also get a free complimentary license.
You can buy or renew your license at the Arizona Game and Fish Department website or from any other 200 license dealers spread across the state. The license rates are different for residents and non-residents. For you to be an Arizona resident, you should have lived in the state for at least six months immediately before your application for a license.
|Combo Hunt & Fish||$57||$150|
|Youth Combo Hunt & Fish||$5||$5|
|Short-term Combo Hunt & Fish||$15/day||$20/day|
Arizona may be hot with desert terrain, but it has many water bodies for fishing, water sports, and more. Many species in these locations, including trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, and more. Remember to study the habits of largemouth bass and the conditions of each location for a better catch.