Fishing in Arizona
When we think of Arizona we usually conjure images of deserts, canyons, and hot summers – not Striped Bass, Crappie and Largemouth. While these images certainly make up part of Arizona’s identity, they do not really tell the whole story of the 48th state admitted to the Union. Arizona is made up of much more than deserts and rocks. As one of “four corners” states” (it borders New Mexico, Utah, Nevada & California – and even Mexico), it has a lot of geographical diversity, giving the outdoor enthusiast, in particular, the angler, an array of choices.
Of course, most of us know that Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon but what many may not know is that it has snow-capped mountain ranges to the north with ski lodges, an abundant network of water resources and forest land that makes up about 27% of the state. As such, this opens up many opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts with everything from skiing and hiking to camping, hunting, and fishing.
Though considered an arid state, Arizona has thousands of acres of rivers, streams, and lakes for recreational fishing and over 50 species of fish including Striped Bass, Walleye, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Largemouth Bass and Carp to name a few. Many of these are non-native species that were introduced by the Arizona Fish and Game Department to augment the state’s own native populations which are on the decline. The state continues to invest heavily in its recreational fishing with research and careful management, and it maintains an annual stocking program of many of its ponds and lakes with Trout, Sunfish, Catfish and more.
Colorado River and Lake Mead Fishing
There are many great locations for fishing throughout the state, but we have to start with the mighty Colorado River. Stretching over 1450 miles (2330 km), it runs through 5 states and part of northern Mexico and feeds many lakes along the way. The river is great for fly fishing and spinning tackle and is known for its Large and Smallmouth Bass populations, Striped Bass reaching 30 – 40 lbs on occasion, Channel Catfish, Black Crappie, and Walleye. There are many local guides and charters specializing in this area. Reel Adventure Fishing will find you only the best. For those interested in more activities, the Colorado River also has many rafting, canoe and kayaking trips for as little as $50 per person with experienced river guides.
Moving on, we have Lake Mead which was created during the construction of Hoover Dam during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Lake Mead, which is fed by the Colorado River, is the largest man-made reservoir in the United States with over 500 miles of shoreline. Fish management of the lake has had a profound effect on the Striped Bass populations that were first introduced here around 1969. Today, fishermen who head out to Lake Mead for Striper fishing are bagging Bass in the 20-40 pound class. You’ll also catch Largemouth Bass, Crappie, and Bluegill here, but because of the high water clarity you will have a work at it a little harder and make sure that you are using the lightest line you can get away with. Canoeing, kayaking and jet skiing are also popular activities on the lake.
Lake Havasu Fishing and The London Bridge
One of the most popular destinations in all of Arizona is Lake Havasu, a 20,400 acre jewel known as a “Arizona’s Playground” in Lake Havasu City. Bordering between California and Arizona, Lake Havasu attracts vacationers from all over the country who flock here for water recreation including fishing. The city also has the distinction of being home to the “London Bridge”. In the late 1960’s when the bridge was replaced by the city of London, it was purchased by Lake Havasu founder and businessman Robert P. McCulloch who had it reassembled block by block. It stands today as the second most popular tourism attraction in Arizona after the Grand Canyon.
Fishing in Lake Havasu is so good that dozens of fishing tournaments are held here annually and Bassmaster Magazine ranked it number 20 on its list of the “100 Best Bass Lakes” for the year 2014″. Needless to say, the fishing here is popular: it is loaded with Largemouth, Smallmouth and Sunfish and many other species. Good fishing guides and charter boats are plenty and can put you on to whatever you are looking for. Let us know when you are ready for a trip to this great location and we’ll make sure you get hooked up with the best fishing professionals for an unforgettable experience.
These are but a fraction of the great fishing locations throughout the state. But regardless of where you decide to fish when you are in Arizona, you are bound to have some fun.
Below are useful resources to help you get the most out of Arizona’s wonderful angling opportunities: