Easy Arizona Fishing Guide


Mention Arizona, and for sure, what most people would think of is the Grand Canyon. Nonetheless, there’s more to the state than its carved gorges! Despite being land-locked, there are plenty of opportunities for fishing in Arizona! 

Interested in Arizona fishing? Read on and we’ll talk about some of the most important things that you need to know. 

8 Best Places for Arizona Fishing 

Clueless about where to go fishing in Arizona? If you are undecided about where to go, below are some of the best spots that are worth checking out. 

1. Lake Havasu State Park 

With a shoreline of 450 miles and a 25-mile lake, this is one of the favorites for Arizona fishing. It has a large population of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, sunfish, and catfish. It is not unusual to catch a four to five-pound largemouth bass in the lake. 

2. Patagonia Lake State Park 

Whether you would like to fish along the shoreline or while riding a boat, Patagonia Lake has something for everyone. Flathead catfish, crappie, and bluegill are some of the top species that you will find in this lake. This 265-acre manmade lake also has an area for RV and tent camping. 

3. Roosevelt Lake 

If you would like to catch bass, this is one of the best destinations for fishing in Arizona. At 20,000 acres, this expansive lake has a nutrient-rich forage, making it attractive for different fish species. Your fishing coolers will be filled with largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass, carp, and catfish, among others. 

4. Big Lake 

Aside from fishing, Big Lake is also considered one of the best kayaking destinations in Arizona. Its location, which is the base of the White Mountains, will make it scenic. This is a great place to take your fishing kayak out for a spin! Rainbow trout, cut-throat trout, and brook trout are abundant in this lake. 

5. Lake Mohave 

One of the best places for fishing golden trout in the USA, Lake Mohave is known for its cool temperature. Year-round, the water in the lake is 53 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an ideal fish habitat. There are steep canyon walls that surround the lake, which also protects the water from the harsh heat of the sun. 

6. Oak Creek 

The list of the best places for fishing in Arizona will be incomplete without mentioning Oak Creek Canyon. It can be crowded during the summer months. This is also a good place for those who are just learning how to get started fishing. Oak Creek is well-stocked with bluegill, walleye, largemouth bass, and brown trout.  

7. Lake Pleasant 

Lake Pleasant is a popular reservoir for those who would like to use powerboats when fishing. It has a 10,000-acre water surface area and a 116-mile shoreline. This is a popular choice for those who would like to catch white bass. If that’s the case, then read this brief guide for white bass fishing in lakes.

8. Lake Mead  

This 250-square-mile body of water is on the border of Nevada and Arizona. It comes with a 700-mile shoreline, which is perfect for a relaxing fishing experience. Some of the species that you will find in Lake Mead include channel catfish, striped bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie. Some anglers are lucky enough to end up with a 40-pound catch! 

Fish to Catch in Arizona 

Here is a shortlist of the species that you will catch from your Arizona fishing adventure: 

  1. Rainbow Trout: A native to the North American coast, they are common in waters that are not more than 68 degrees Fahrenheit. To succeed in rainbow trout fishing, use a light fishing line, which should be about four to six pounds. Small hooks are also recommended. 
  2. Flathead Catfish: This is a common fish you will find in the Lower Colorado River. They are usually in deep and slow waters. It is also known for its excellent flavor, making it great for cooking. 
  3. Largemouth Bass: The most popular freshwater gamefish is also abundant in Arizona. For the best largemouth bass lures, you can use both artificial and natural. Insects, minnows, and soft plastics will work.   
  4. Smallmouth Bass: A member of the sunfish family, they are common in the deeper water. They are also common in rocky habitats with clear water. The best smallmouth bass lures include spoons, soft plastics, and spinnerbaits. 
  5. Apache Trout: If this is what you intend to catch during your Arizona fishing trip, it is only found in White Mountain. It is native to Arizona and considered critically endangered. For the best results, use artificial flies. 
  6. Brown Trout: It is related to Atlantic salmon, so they have almost the same appearance. Flies, Jigs, and insects are some of the best options for baits. You can use the same lures for catching rainbow trouts. 

The Best Time to Go Fishing in Arizona 

Knowing the best time to go fishing is crucial for making sure that you go home with a catch. In Arizona, early morning and late afternoon are some of the best times to go fishing. As for the season, Arizona has plenty of fishing opportunities throughout the year, although, summer is the best time. Some spots are good for night fishing. 

Getting a License to Fish in Arizona 

A license is one of the major requirements for fishing in Arizona. Anyone who is aged 10 years old and above will need a fishing license. If you are a resident, the fishing license is $37. On the other hand, the cost of a fishing license for non-residents is $55. All licenses are valid for one year after the date of purchase. Tickets can be purchased online or in-person in a variety of outdoor retailers in Arizona. 

Limits and Regulations for Arizona Fishing 

Like other states, Arizona imposes a daily bag limit. This refers to the maximum number of fish that you can legally catch and possess within 24-hours. Those that are released in the water after being caught does not count towards your limit. If you want to release your catch back in the water, read this short guide on how to unhook a fish

The daily bag limit depends on the type of fish. For trout and walleye, there is a daily limit of six for each. Meanwhile, there is a daily limit of ten for catfish. Take note as well that there are also places where you are required by law to release your catch. Be a responsible angler and consider the rules before you plan a trip! 


Before concluding this guide, allow us to answer a few questions you might have about Arizona fishing. 


Q: Is there good fishing in Arizona?

A: Yes, there is good fishing in Arizona despite being a desert state. It may be landlocked, but there are plenty of lakes and reservoirs where you can go fishing in Arizona, such as Lake Havasu and Roosevelt Lake.

Q: Do you need a license to fish in Arizona?

A: A fishing license is required in Arizona for anyone over ten years old. With a license, you can fish in publicly accessible waters in Arizona. A license can be obtained online or in person. A general fishing license in Arizona costs $37 for residents and a non-resident license is $55. All licenses are valid for 365 days.

Q: What kind of fish can you catch in Arizona?

A: Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, rainbow trout, bluegill, walleye, and pike are some of the most common kinds of fish you will find in Arizona.

Q: Where is the best fishing in Arizona?

A: Roosevelt Lake, Lake Havasu, Oak Creek, Lake Pleasant Regional Park, Patagonia Lake State Park, and Lake Mead are some of the best places where you can enjoy fishing in Arizona.

Q: Where is the best trout fishing in Arizona?

A: If you are looking for the best trout fishing in Arizona, Big Lake, Lower Salt River, Chevelon Canyon Lake, Silver Creek, Black River, and Oak Creek are some of the best places worth checking out.

Q: Where can I fish for bass in Arizona?

A: Lake Havasu State Park, Roosevelt Late, Patagonia Lake State Park, and Saguaro Lake are some of the best bass fishing destinations in Arizona. The best spots for bass fishing in Arizona are those in the southwestern part where there is low elevation.

Q: What fish are native to Arizona?

A: According to the Arizona Game & Fish Department, Mexican Stoneroller, Little Colorado Sucker, Virgin Chub, Gila Trout, Loach Minnow, and Woundfin are some of the most common species of fish native to Arizona.

Globo Surf Overview 

Arizona may have a reputation as a desert state, but that does not mean that there’s no opportunity for fishing. As mentioned in this Arizona fishing guide, there are plenty of lakes and reservoirs worth checking out! It is almost guaranteed that you will have your fish cooler full if you check out the many fishing destinations in Arizona! 

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!