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Fishing Saguaro Lake

AKA: Lake Saguaro

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By Rick Seaman

Big Bass At Saguaro Lake, AZ

Popular Fish Species Saguaro Lake, AZ

With its unique combination of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout, crappie, bluegill, and catfish, Saguaro Lake caters to anglers with different preferences and skill levels. Saguaro Lake offers a versatile fishing adventure in the heart of Arizona's Southwest desert.

Saguaro Lake Popular Fish - Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass Fishing

Saguaro Lake offers good fishing for largemouth bass. As of late, the fishing here for bass has been improving. Some big bass roam Saguaro Lake, thanks to excellent fisheries management by the Arizona Game & 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. 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 Saguaro Lake on deeper structure where the bass spend much of their time. Smallmouth bass and spotted bass also reside here in good numbers.

Largemouth bass, is a perennial favorite among anglers. Quality bass thrive in the lake, utilizing the diverse underwater structures such as rocky points, submerged vegetation, and drop-offs. The thrill of navigating the clear waters and strategically presenting lures near underwater structures enhances the excitement of largemouth bass fishing at Saguaro Lake.

Saguaro Lake Popular Fish - Black Crappie

Black Crappie Fishing

Black crappie reside in good numbers throughout Saguaro Lake, and they are averaging a very good size this year. Crappie fishing is excellent and they are running in sizeable schools. Live bait and small jigs are the most common method for crappie here. Crappie always like cover and structure, so locate brush and vegetation. Using a fish finder can help locate schools of crappie, which tend to stack vertically around cover. In spring and fall focus on the 8 to 12 foot range. As the crappie move deep in summer and winter, follow points out deep, as well as find ledges near channels in deeper water. White crappie, in smaller numbers, also make this lake their home.

Saguaro Lake Popular Fish - Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout Fishing

This year, fishing for rainbow trout in Saguaro Lake is on the rise. The Arizona Game & Fish Department stocks rainbow trout throughout the year to maintain catchable rainbows year round for anglers. Fish for rainbow trout here with worms, salmon eggs, prepared baits, small spinners, spoons, and crankbaits in vibrant colors to mimic their preferred prey. Additionally, floating or sinking flies, such as nymphs, streamers, or dry flies, are popular choices for fly anglers targeting rainbow trout. Trolling with lures or flies behind a boat, casting near shoreline structures, or still fishing with bait can all yield success. Adjusting lure size, color, and retrieve speed can enhance chances of enticing these colorful and spirited fish.

Saguaro Lake Fishing Video

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, rainbow trout, walleye, bluegill and yellow bass at Saguaro Lake in Arizona.

A picturesque, 1,200-acre reservoir, Saguaro Lake is the last of four lakes on the Salt River chain of lakes, in central Arizona. It is an easy 45 minute drive northwest of Mesa AZ on State Highway 87 to the Bush Highway turnoff. The marina offers boat rentals and has a nice restaurant for lunch or dinner overlooking the water. Camping is limited, most requiring boat access, with limited facilities.

Saguaro Lake, AZ

Saguaro Lake, AZ Fishing

Saguaro Lake, nestled amid the striking desert landscapes of Arizona, stands as an easy-access destination for anglers in the Metro Phoenix area.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Smallmouth bass, known for their tenacity and acrobatic fights, can be found near rocky shorelines and submerged structures. Techniques such as using small crankbaits, jerkbaits, and finesse presentations like drop-shot rigs prove effective in enticing a bite from Saguaro Lake's smallmouth bass population.

Bluegill Fishing

Saguaro Lake is also home to a thriving population of bluegill, offering a delightful panfish experience for anglers of all skill levels. These sunfish are often found near the shoreline and submerged vegetation, making them easily accessible for those seeking a more relaxed and family-friendly fishing outing. Using simple techniques such as worms, small jigs, or crickets can yield success in hooking into these colorful and feisty bluegill. Much of the shoreline where bluegill hang out is only accessible by boat.

Catfish Fishing

Channel catfish and flathead catfish add an exciting night fishing dimension to the angling experience at Saguaro Lake, with anglers using stink baits, cut bait, or live bait to attract these nocturnal predators. The moonlit nights on the lake provide a picturesque setting for anglers seeking the thrill of battling with robust catfish.

In summer months get up early if you want to fish or go boating at Saguaro on the weekends. Often the parking lot is full by 6:00am and no other boats will be allowed into the lake parking areas.

Saguaro Lake, located in central Arizona, is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Known for its stunning desert scenery and crystal-clear waters, Saguaro Lake offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Fishing is a major attraction at the lake, as it is home to a diverse range of fish species. Anglers can target popular game fish such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, catfish, and crappie. Whether you prefer casting from the shoreline or fishing from a boat, Saguaro Lake provides ample opportunities to reel in a prized catch.

Primary fish species residing in Saguaro Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Channel catfish Flathead catfish Black crappie Walleye Rainbow trout Bluegill Yellow Bass

Fishing Boats For Rent In Arizona

Big Bass Reside In Saguaro Lake

Bass fishing here can vary from real tough to really good. It is a deep canyon lake with relatively cleat water. Very little brush exists in the lake, so bass tend to use the tullies and rock structures as holding and feeding areas. Light line and small, finesse baits catch the bulk of the big fish here. However, at times you can have luck with crankbaits, spinnerbaits, top water, jerk baits and a host of soft plastic lures.

Josh Schreck Bass at Saguaro Lake
Josh Schreck of Gilbert, AZ likes his new favorite lure, a spinnerbait. This big bass took it very shallow and made his day!

Trout fishing at Saguaro Lake

Arizona Game & Fish Department stocks rainbow trout at the marina and at Butcher Jones Beach.

Saguaro Lake Amenities

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

Today's Weather & Forecast

In addition to fishing, Saguaro Lake is also a haven for boating enthusiasts. With its expansive size and calm waters, the lake is perfect for all types of watercraft. Boaters can enjoy leisurely cruises, water skiing, wakeboarding, or simply soaking up the sun on their boats. The scenic beauty of the Sonoran Desert surrounding the lake adds to the overall experience, making fishing and boating at Saguaro Lake a memorable adventure.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Saguaro Lake Marina
Rentals: fishing boats, runabouts, pontoons, kayaks and canoes.


Saguaro Lake Marina
14011 N Bush Hwy
Mesa, AZ 85215
480 986-5546

Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Saguaro Lake Marina
14011 N Bush Hwy
Mesa, AZ 85215
Two public boat launch ramps (#1 and #2) are located just north of the marina. Both are paved, with docks and paved parking.
480 986-5546

Fishing Guides On Saguaro Lake

Addicted Bass Guides - bass

Phoenix Fishing Guides - bass

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 who want to spend more time in nature, Saguaro Lake offers limited camping facilities, available only by boat. Camping at Saguaro Lake allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the desert landscape and enjoy the peacefulness of the area. Campers can indulge in activities such as hiking nearby trails, bird watching, or simply relaxing by the campfire under the starry night sky.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Bagley Flat Campground (via boat) - 480 610-3300

Saguaro Lake AZ Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Saguaro Lake
Restaurant & Marina
14011 N Bush Hwy #2
Mesa, AZ 85215
480 984-5311

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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