When people from outside Arizona think of the Grand Canyon State, bass fishing might not be the first thing that springs to mind. But Arizona’s giant man-made lakes like Havasu and Roosevelt harbor staggering populations of both largemouth and smallmouth bass. If you don’t think of bass when you think of Arizona, you’re missing out on some great fishing.
Encircled by Lake Pleasant Regional Park, this 10,000-acre reservoir is a hot spot for big largemouths. Some of the best fishing takes place in winter and spring when the lake is at full capacity, and although the fishing has had its ups and downs, Lake Pleasant remains one of the most consistent producers of 10-pound-plus bass in Arizona.
Lake Pleasant offers a little bit of everything. Anglers are as likely to find hefty largemouth bass around shallow brush and timber as deep drop-offs and channels, and the 20,000-acre reservoir has given up plenty of 10-pounders over the years.
Largemouth bass dominate most Arizona lakes, and while Apache Lake certainly has plenty of those, this 2,500-acre impoundment might also be the best smallmouth fishery in the state. Lots of 3- and 3-pound smallies are available, with a solid chance of hooking up with bigger fish.
Lake Havasu is perhaps best known as a boating and vacation spot – anglers in search of solitude would do well to avoid the bustling spring break season – but when it comes to fishing, this 19,000-acre reservoir is tough to beat. Big largemouth and smallmouth bass abound in its deep, clear waters, and numerous sheltered bays and coves provide a place to get away from the crowds.
With more than 162,000 acres of water, Lake Powell is the second-largest man-made lake in the United States. The bass fishing is simply unbeatable, and even the low-water seasons provide great action. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are both abundant in the lake, and deep waters harbor some enormous stripers.