The 10 Best Fishing Spots In Arizona This Summer

Written by Crystal
Updated: May 1, 2023
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Arizona is a landlocked state with a ton of largemouth bass.

The largemouth bass is the second most pursued game fish in Arizona. As long as you know where to look and what bait to use, you can always have a successful day of fishing. Largemouth bass prefers frequent shallow water in the shade of lily plants, stumps, and weed beds. They’re also found in murky lakes and ponds throughout Arizona. Along with bass, you’ll also find diverse populations of panfish, catfish, sunfish, and more! Where can you find all of these fish species?

If you visit any of these areas, odds are, you will have a successful day of fishing.

Read on to discover the 10 best fishing spots in Arizona. 

1. Martinez Lake

Martinez Lake is a popular spot for bass fishing in Arizona.


First, we have Martinez Lake on our list of the best fishing spots in Arizona this summer. This lovely fishing spot lake sits right along the Colorado River. Just north of Yuma, Arizona, you can easily access the lake using the imperial dam road. There are 600 acres of prime fishing, with a wide variety of fish available. The lake is a flooded area with challenging opportunities. You’ll want to use a heavy line and get ready for a fight. If you hook one of the larger fish in the fast-moving waters, you’ll need a lot of strength to reel it in.

Here’s a short list of the primary fish species in Martinez Lake:

If you’re fishing for bass, make your way up the river and look for areas with dense vegetation.

2. Lake Mohave 

Lake Mohave Nevada

Lake Mohave is a 28,800-acre reservoir along the Arizona-Nevada border.

©Norm Lane/

Enjoy a large fishing spot at Lake Mohave in Arizona. The lake is a 26,500-acre reservoir that sits right along the Arizona-Nevada border. Lake Mead is just north of this fishing spot. From the Arizona side, primary access is at Catherine’s landing. You can access Catherine’s landing 5 miles off Arizona Highway 68.

Here’s a list of the primary fish species in Lake Mohave:

  • Channel catfish
  • Rainbow trout
  • Striped bass
  • Bluegill
  • Largemouth bass
  • Black crappie

Perhaps you’ll catch Arizona’s newest species of trout; salmo alpache. For the best results, use spoons, worms, or any bait that imitates crawfish.

3. Lake Powell

Lake Powell Arizona

Enormous Lake Powell spans two states and offers every outdoor recreational activity imaginable


Right along the northern Arizona-Utah border, you’ll find Lake Powell; it’s an anglers paradise. There are 160,000 acres of water to fish, with part of the lake spilling over into Utah. There are also camping and lodging facilities, jet skis, and boat rentals.

Here’s a list of the primary fish species residing in Lake Powell:

  • Walleye
  • Northern pike
  • Bluegill
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Largemouth bass
  • Channel catfish
  • Rainbow trout

Get ready to reel in your biggest catch yet. The bluegills at Lake Powell grow to notable sizes. 

4. Bartlett Lake

Series anglers will head for Bartlett Lake to land huge catfish and many other species

©SED Travel Photography/

Take a scenic 45-minute drive just northeast of Carefree, Arizona. There you’ll find Bartlett Lake. The 2815-acre lake sits on the Verde River in central Arizona. Amenities include boat rentals, slips, paved boat launching, and even sheriff’s stations. There are also camping areas that are accessible by road. For more privacy, reserve a camping area only accessible by boat.

Here’s a list of the primary fish species residing in Bartlett Lake:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Channel catfish
  • Flathead catfish
  • Bluegill
  • Black crappie

When the water temperatures rise above 60°, you can coax the bass into taking topwater lures. Spoons, jigs, and worms are great during the summer.

5. Dankworth Pond

Dankworth Pond is seasonally stocked with trout.


After visiting Roper Lake State Park in Arizona, head down the road to Dankworth Pond State Park. The smaller park has all sorts of big surprises in store, including excellent fishing opportunities. Anglers also love Dankworth Pond, thanks to all of the rainbow trout and bass available. The pond is also a popular birding destination since many migratory birds love the Arizona sun. 

Here’s a list of the primary fish species residing in Dankworth Pond:

The lake is seasonally stocked with trout as well. 

6. Patagonia Lake

Locals and travelers in the know love Patagonia Lake for a fully natural experience without a lot of noise from powered watercraft

©Gabriel Walter Farmer 1/

Patagonia Lake is the perfect spot whether you want to fish from the shore or on a boat. The 265-acre lake sits in Southern Arizona. Spring and summer are the best times to fish here for largemouth bass.

Here’s a list of the primary fish species residing in Patagonia lake:

  • Rainbow trout
  • Largemouth bass
  • Catfish
  • Trout

When fishing for trout, popular lures include worms, corn, and salmon eggs.

7. Lyman Lake

Lyman Lake

Lyman Lake has a high population of walleye that are better suited for catch-and-release due to their high mercury content.

©Arizona Game and Fish Department / Creative Commons – License

Lyman Lake is popular for having a wide variety of fish species. Their walleye population is growing at an exponential rate (but shouldn’t be eaten)! A lot of anglers are finding success bait fishing just as the sun sets. Nightcrawlers on a bobber are irresistible to walleyes out looking for a meal. Walleyes aren’t the only fish you’ll find in Lyman Lake, though.

Here’s a list of the primary fish species residing in Lyman Lake:

  • Walleye
  • Channel catfish
  • Carp
  • Bluegill
  • Green Sunfish

Even though you can catch a lot of walleye at Lyman Lake, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality suggests not consuming them. Tissue data indicates high levels of mercury present. They can still be a great catch-and-release challenge.

8. Lake Havasu

Havasu Falls

Lake Havasu is home to stunning waterfalls.


Get ready to enjoy breathtaking views at Lake Havasu State Park. It’s the ideal place to enjoy nature trails, boat ramps, and gorgeous beaches. The lake has three boat ramps, 13 beachside cabins, and 54 campsites, along with prime fishing opportunities. You’ll also be able to enjoy the diverse wildlife that exists throughout the park. Birds, lizards, and cottontails are common sightings.

Here’s a list of the primary fish species in Lake Havasu:

  • Havasu catfish 
  • Striped bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Largemouth bass

Lake Havasu is able to produce some of the biggest striped basses throughout the year. For the best success, use a fish finder to locate active schools. Striped bass is known for swimming up to 15 miles a day in large schools as they search for food.

9. River Island State Park

River Island State Park is another developed area located in Buckskin Mountain State Park, shown here.

©Homer Edward Price, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Enjoy an adventurous desert escape as you spend the day fishing at River Island State Park. During the summertime, the state park is a popular spot for fishing, jet skiing, boating, camping, and swimming. It’s a year-round destination for anyone who’s looking for a true nature experience, with tons of catch opportunities.

Here’s a list of the primary fish species at River Island State Park:

  • Panfish
  • Sunfish
  • Bluegills
  • Channel catfish
  • Flathead catfish
  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass

Are you introducing someone fishing? Sunfish and bluegills are the perfect species for beginner anglers. These small panfish have gigantic appetites and will usually bite without making you wait too long.

10. Dead Horse Ranch

Anglers that are 10 years and older will need a valid Arizona fishing license at Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

©I, Murderbike, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Last on our list of the best fishing spots in Arizona this summer, spend the day at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. A lot of the fish populations are provided by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Anglers are guaranteed to experience success while spending the day in a stunning location. Catch some terrific memories along with a few fish. Anglers that are 10 years and older will need a valid Arizona fishing license.

Here’s a list of the primary fish species residing at Dead Horse Ranch State Park:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Rainbow trout
  • Channel catfish
  • Green sunfish
  • Bluegill

After catching your fill of fish, don’t forget to spend some of the days enjoying Arizona’s other wildlife viewing opportunities. River otters, gray foxes, quail, red-spotted toads, whitetail deer, and California king snakes all call Arizona home.

Summary Of 10 Best Fishing Spots In Arizona This Summer

1Martinez Lake60 miles north of Yuma
2Lake MohaveBullhead City, Arizona
3Lake PowellPage, Arizona-Utah Border
4Bartlett Lake45 minutes north of Carefree
5Dankworth PondSafford
6Patagonia LakePatagonia
7Lyman LakeSt. Johns
8Lake HavasuLake Havasu City, Arizona-California border
9River Island State ParkParker
10Dead Horse RanchCottonwood

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Norm Lane/

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About the Author

Crystal is a dedicated writer at A-Z Animals, focusing on topics related to mammals, insects, and travel. With over a decade of experience in the world of research and writing, she also fulfills the role of a skilled video and audio engineer. Residing in sunny Florida, alligators are Crystal's favorite animal.

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