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Fishing Lake Pleasant

AKA: Pleasant Lake

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By Rick Seaman

Bass Fishing At Lake Pleasant, AZ

Popular Fish Species Lake Pleasant, AZ

An oasis in the desert, Lake Pleasant is a 10,000-acre lake offering a variety of fishing and boating choices. Fish species in the lake include largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, tilapia, white bass and striped bass. Located 45 minutes northwest of Phoenix the lake can be accessed via 99th Avenue north from Sun City or via the Cave Creek Highway - west off US Highway 17 north from Phoenix. It is a popular day trip from Phoenix, Scottsdale and other Valley cities. Two major marinas serve the fishing and boating public on Lake Pleasant, Pleasant Harbor Marina in the southeast corner of the lake and Scorpion Bay Marina on the west side of the lake.

Lake Pleasant Fishing Video

Lake Pleasant Popular Fish - Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass Fishing

Largemouth bass, the iconic predator, dominates the fishing scene at Lake Pleasant. These elusive bass thrive in the lake's varied underwater structures, submerged brush, rocky points, flats and drop-offs. Lake Pleasant offers very good fishing for largemouth bass, and is home to numerous annual bass tournaments. Castle Creek, Coles Bay and Humbug Creek are three areas where bass tend to concentrate, especially during spawn. Lately the fishing here for bass has been improving. Some big bass roam Lake Pleasant, thanks to excellent fisheries management by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, as well as the availability of extensive cover for both baitfish and bass. When the bite is good, bass typically move shallow and are quite aggressive. If you find them shallow and they are not tempted to bite, slow down and use smaller, lighter baits. Fishing for largemouth bass is good virtually any time they are shallow - in spring, mornings in summer, and during warm Fall afternoons. Anglers can use topwater lures in the early morning hours, and again in the evening. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap. Around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In deeper water, big worms, jigs and spoons are three good weapons. In winter, spend your time fishing Lake Pleasant on deeper structure where the bass spend much of their time. Smallmouth bass and spotted bass also reside here in good numbers.

Bass fishing at Lake Pleasant has been the primary attraction for decades, to anglers. This deep, clear, desert lake has produced monster strings of bass, and at times been the favorite tournament lake in the state. It can also be very tough fishing at times and test the skills and patience of even the most experienced anglers.

Lake Pleasant Popular Fish - Striped Bass

Striped Bass Fishing

Due to their large size, striped bass are a favorite of locals, and featured by many fishing guides on Lake Pleasant. They are plentiful, run in schools and can grow to bragging size. In Spring and Fall work the upper end of the lake where water is flowing into the lake. Look for deeper water in the river channels, as a holding place for stripers. In Summer and Winter, stripers hang out in deeper water during the day and feed close to the bottom, 50 feet or deeper. Morning often draws the stripers to the much shallower water, look for them around the 20-foot range as they feed on shallow-running schools of bait. The lake is filled with plenty of baitfish and sunfish to to keep the fishery thriving. Being successful at fishing for stripers is a matter of locating schools of bait, and the wolf packs of stripers which are likely to be nearby. Fish finders, and forward facing sonar, are a big help in locating these roaming schools. Live bait and cut bait are very effective here, and stripers can be caught year round.

Lake Pleasant Popular Fish - White Bass

White Bass Fishing

For years, white bass have roamed the waters of this lake in sizeable schools. Over the years I have noticed many ups and downs for anglers chasing these feisty fish. After numerous, very successful spawn years, and high lake levels, white bass are flourishing in Lake Pleasant and anglers should expect some great fishing this year. White bass are aggressive, hard-fighting and just plain fun to catch. When fishing for white bass, the average fish is typically in the one- to two-pound range. These schooling fish tend to roam around the lake looking for ideal water conditions and baitfish. Look for them to generally be in 15 to 35 feet of water, whether they are hovering around the bottom or swimming in open water. Fish finders are the best way to locate big schools of white bass. In spring, once the water temperature rises into the mid sixties, they move shallow into the backs of coves and creek channels to spawn. At this time anglers can fish from shore and often do quite well. Use lures that imitate baitfish, including crankbaits, jerkbaits, jigs and spoons.

White bass fishing at Lake Pleasant is particularly rewarding during the spring spawning season when these fish move into shallower waters. Techniques such as using jigging spoons, blade baits, or crankbaits are effective in enticing strikes from these aggressive and energetic fish. Whether casting from the shoreline or navigating the lake by boat, the pursuit of white bass at Lake Pleasant provides an exciting challenge. Access to shoreline fishing is plentiful.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, tilapia, white bass and striped bass at Lake Pleasant in Arizona.

Lake Pleasant, AZ Fishing

Having fished the lake for over four decades, I have watched the fishing rise and fall many times, today, the lake is thriving and teeming with fish. Lake Pleasant in Central Arizona is a long-standing fishing destination, forty five minutes north of Phoenix. Fed by the fertile waters of the Agua Fria River, Lake Pleasant is home to a diverse population of fish species. Fishing is good for most all species available here.

Lake Pleasant, AZ

Bluegill Fishing

Bluegill add to the diversity of Lake Pleasant's fishery. Found near the shoreline and submerged vegetation, bluegill provide accessible opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. Using simple techniques like worms, small jigs, or live bait can lead to a rewarding day of reeling in these feisty sunfish. Bluegill fishing at Lake Pleasant offers a more laid-back and family-friendly aspect to the angling experience, making it an enjoyable pursuit for all.

Catfish Fishing

Catfish enthusiasts will find Lake Pleasant to be a rewarding destination, as the lake harbors a healthy population of channel catfish and flathead catfish. Night fishing becomes particularly exciting, with anglers using stink baits, cut bait, or live bait to attract these nocturnal predators.

Fishing For Other Fish Species

Lake Pleasant also features crappie, catfish, and several species of sunfish, both are schooling fish. With its combination of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish, and other species, Lake Pleasant caters to anglers with varied preferences and skill levels. Lake Pleasant ensures a versatile fishing experience in the heart of Arizona's natural beauty.

Lake Pleasant is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and camping enthusiasts. The lake offers a wide range of activities and amenities to cater to outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Fishing is a major attraction at Lake Pleasant, as it is home to a variety of fish species. Anglers can target game fish such as largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish. With its expansive waters and diverse fish population, Lake Pleasant provides ample opportunities for anglers to reel in a prized catch.

Primary fish species residing in Lake Pleasant

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Channel catfish Black crappie White crappie Bluegill Redear Sunfish Tilapia White Bass Striped bass

Lake Pleasant Amenities

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

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a very popular activity at Lake Pleasant. The lake allows motorized boats, making it perfect for water sports, leisurely cruises, and fishing expeditions. Boaters can explore the vast expanse of the lake, take in the stunning desert scenery, and enjoy various water activities such as water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing. Lake Pleasant is also equipped with marinas, boat rentals, and launch ramps, ensuring a convenient and enjoyable boating experience.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Pleasant Harbor Boat Rentals
Rentals: Power boats and pontoons for rent
855 690-0794

Scorpion Bay Marina
Rentals: Pontoons, sport boats and kayaks.
928 501-2628


Pleasant Harbor Marina
40202 N 87th Ave
Peoria, AZ 85383
623 235-6130

Scorpion Bay Marina
10970 W, Peninsula Blvd
Peoria, AZ 85383
928 501-2628

Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Boat Ramp At Pleasant Harbor Marina
40202 N 87th Ave
Peoria, AZ 85383
Paved boat ramp with dock, and paved parking up the hill.
623 235-6130

Castle Creek Boat Ramp
Paved boat launch ramp and parking, located in the northwest corner of the main body of the lake, in the mouth of Castle Creek.

Scorpion Bay Marina
10970 W, Peninsula Blvd
Peoria, AZ 85383
Semi-primitive launch ramp and un-paved parking.
928 501-2628

Fishing Guides On Lake Pleasant

Reel'em In Adventures - striped bass

FishIn48 Guide Service - bass, stripers, crappie, catfish

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Fishing License

Click here for a Arizona Fishing License.

For those looking to extend their stay, Lake Pleasant offers camping facilities. There are several campgrounds available, providing both tent and RV camping options. The campgrounds offer amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms, and even RV hookups. Camping at Lake Pleasant allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the desert landscape, enjoy breathtaking sunsets, and experience the tranquility of nature.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Pleasant Harbor RV Campground - 928 501-5253

Desert Tortoise Campground - 602 506-2930

Roadrunner Campground - 928 501-1710

Lake Pleasant Regional Park Campground - 928 501-1710

Lake Pleasant AZ Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Lake Pleasant
Lake Pleasant Regional Park
41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Rd.
Morristown, AZ 85342
928 501-1710

Bass Fishing Book By Rick Seaman & Dan Westfall

Rick Seaman is a bass fishing enthusiast with over five decades of bass fishing experience, a retired bass tournament fisherman and co-author of the book "Bass Fishing. It's not WHAT you throw, It's WHERE you throw it" .


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