Arizona Lakes

 

arizona lakes

 

Arizona lakes, more specifically warm water desert lakes are the focus of this page.

Central Arizona's lakes were created by placing one or more dams  along three rivers:

  • Salt River
  • Verde River
  • Agua Fria River

Arizona lakes on the Salt River in central Arizona are convenient to most anglers in the Phoenix - Mesa area. These lakes are in the Tonto National Forest, east of Phoenix.

The lakes are:

  • Roosevelt
  • Apache
  • Canyon
  • Saguaro

Roosevelt is the largest and most popular fishing lake on the Salt River. This lake yields large crappie, bass, and catfish.

 

 Roosevelt Lake can be accessed from three directions:

  • By way of the Beeline Highway (State Route 87, north of Mesa, Arizona) and then south on State Route 188 to the Tonto Creek arm of the lake.
  • State Route 60 east of Mesa, then northwest on State Route 188 near Miami, Arizona, to the Salt River arm of the lake.
  • State Route 88 (Apache Trail northeast from Apache Junction) to the dam. This route takes you past Canyon and Apache Lakes. This road is gravel and is steep, narrow and winding once you get several miles beyond Canyon Lake.

Apache Lake sits below Roosevelt Lake and above Canyon Lake.arizona lakes This lake gets the least fishing pressure.

To reach Apache Lake you must go past Canyon or Roosevelt Lake.

People towing larger boats often reach Apache Lake by going past Roosevelt Lake and turning southwest onto State Route 88 at the dam.

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Apache Lake is popular with small mouth bass anglers and Desert Bighorn Sheep..

Canyon Lake sits between Apache and Saguaro Lakes. Canyon Lake is accessed by way of the Apache Trail. The lake yields large and small mouth bass, catfish, and a few trout.

Saguaro Lake is accessed from two directions.

  • From the Beeline (State Route 87 north from Mesa), then south on the Bush Highway.
  • By way of the Bush Highway, north of Mesa, along the Salt River.

The Salt River above Roosevelt Lake provides 

The Salt River below Saguaro Lake can be a good trout water during the winter months. During hot weather "tubers" float this stretch of river.

Among the Arizona Lakes near Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is probably the most popular fishing... and boating, lake in the area. Lake Pleasant is on the Agua Fria River, northwest of Phoenix, It can be a pretty good bass and crappie lake.

Lake Pleasant is reached by going:

  • North from Phoenix on I-17 (Black Canyon Highway), and then west on Carefree Highway (State Route 74).
  • For those in the Peoria / Sun City area, take 99th Avenue north to the Carefree Highway.

Bartlett and Horseshoe Lakes are on the Verde River northeast of Carefree, Arizona. Bartlett can offer good bass and catfishing.

The Verde River above Horseshoe Lake and below Bartlett Lake produces small mouth bass and catfish.

There's another lake I should mention. San Carlos Lake is on the San Carlos Apache Indian reservation east of Globe. When this lake has enough water it can produce hot bass fishing.

Fishing the desert lakes in summer is usually done at night and first light. If you enjoy night fishing, here's an interesting article on glow in the dark fishing lures.

Arizona lakes also include some cool high country trout lakes South of Flagstaff. Come on up.

Arizona lakes on the Colorado River are outside the scope of this page. Try a Google search using the keyword phrase Lake Havasu fishing, Lake Mohave fishing, Lake Mead fishing, or Lake Powell fishing.

 

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