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Fishing At San Carlos Lake

AKA: San Carlos Reservoir

Fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie and bluegill at San Carlos Lake in Arizona.
San Carlos Lake

Located in eastern Arizona it is an easy one-half hour drive on US Highway 70 from Globe, AZ to the San Carlos Lake turnoff, south at State Highway 170. Check water levels before heading to San Carlos. The lake is often at low pool with very muddy-water conditions. Often 4-wheel drive is recommended for launching when the lake is low as ramps are out of water.

When full, San Carlos Lake is a 20,000-acre paradise for bass and crappie anglers.

Primary fish species residing in San Carlos Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Channel catfish Flathead catfish Black crappie Bluegill

San Carlos Lake is famous for big bass and monster black crappie. Bass over 10 pounds are not uncommon, as well as crappie over 3 pounds.

Bass Fishing At San Carlos Lake

In spring and summer this can be a topwater haven, if the water is relatively clear. Big crankbaits, spinnerbaits and large worms work well when the bass are shallow. At higher pool levels there is plenty of brush in the shallows for bass and everything they eat. When the levels drop, rocks are the key to locating bass.

San Carlos crappie fishing

Crappie Fishing

Springtime, and especially during the spawn, is a crappie bonanza at San Carlos. The crappie are shallow and you'll have no trouble finding them. Look for the mass of boats in the river end of the lake. Small crappie jigs or live minnows fished on 6-pound line can deliver plenty of action with lots of 2-pound crappie - and occasionally some approaching 4 pounds. Casting or slow trolling are the preferred methods. Other times of the year, night fishing with crappie lights can deliver exceptional action.

San Carlos Lake Amenities

Marina: NO
Boat Rental: NO
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: NO
Lodging: NO
Convenience Store: NO
Bait & Tackle: NO
Restaurant: NO

Click here for a Arizona Fishing License.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

San Carlos Lake Campground - 928 475-2343

Sodacanyon Complex Campground - 928 475-2756

San Carlos Lake AZ Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

San Carlos Lake
San Carlos Apache Nation
P.O. Box 1809
San Carlos, Arizona 85550
928 475-2343

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San Carlos Lake in Arizona.

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San Carlos offers some of the best crappie fishing in AZ.

Fishing at San Carlos Lake, in Arizona.