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Arizona Fishing Report

Lakes & Reservoirs

Saguaro Lake Sponsored by
Date 01-Nov-18
Water Condition
Water Temperature  

Conditions : SAGUARO LAKE: In general, for the largemouth bass, target points and drop offs. Spinnerbaits, Senkos, dropshots, Texas-rigged worms, jigs, Hula grubs, small cranks, KastMasters and Roboworms are can work for a variety of anglers in 10 to 30 feet of water pretty much all over the lake. Saguaro is notorious for monster largemouth bass. Largemouth bass are present in all sizes and fishing for them is expected to be good throughout the fall. As the weather cools and fish become more active, shift to fishing shallower and using topwater lures. When in doubt throw a live worm on the bottom and see what bites! Yellow bass are abundant throughout the lake and fishing should be great. During the last fish survey in 2016 we caught multiple yellow bass larger than the current state record of 1 pound, 15.8 ounces. This lake has the ability to leave that record in the dust. Try using jigs, spoons, spinners, small crankbaits, minnows and worms. Schools of yellow bass look for groups of shad, so if the bite slows, dont be too impatient to move off a good point youve located. Use sonar from a boat to locate shad groups more precisely  yellow bass are not far behind. They may be below or to the side of schools. Pitch your lure adjacent to or drop it through the school, allowing it to settle to the bottom. Many times bass take the lure on the way down and you wont feel a bite until you reel in and tighten your line. For shore anglers, try fishing along the docks and shore near the second ramp. You also can follow a trail beyond the docks that winds along a cliff from which you can fish. Butcher Jones Recreational Area is another shore-access fishing site that has a trail you can fish along as well as a side cove along the cliffs. If you see dead or dying shad at the surface, please contact AZGFD as it could be an indicator of toxin-emitting golden algae.

Reported by: Arizona F&G

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About: - Saguaro is the most popular lake on the Salt River is Saguaro Lake. Saguaro is the last of the lakes in in the Salt River system as the river flows toward the Arizona and Southern Canals. Saguaro Lake is 41 miles from downtown Phoenix, is the lake closest to Phoenix. Saguaro is a scenic body of water with towering red and yellow cliff walls. It is managed by a joint effort between four organizations, Salt River Project, Tonto National Forest, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks the lake with fish. There generally are good supplies of walleye, largemouth and yellow bass, rainbow and brown trout, bluegills, channel catfish, and crappie in Saguaro.

Saguaro del Norte Recreation site is near the dam and includes the Saguaro Lake Marina, a Maricopa County Sheriff's aid station, picnic tables, restrooms and boat ramps. Butcher Jones Beach, which can be reached by a road a few miles north of Saguaro del Norte, features swimming, picnic and restroom facilities. The area is open daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. from April through September. Bagley Flat Campground (30 spaces) is about four miles from the dam but is accessible only by boat. It is open all year (no fees). To get there, travel up a narrow cliff-bordered portion of the lake. The campground is in a scenic and peaceful area and has sanitation facilities.


  • From Mesa, travel east on US 60 to Bush Highway. Turn left and follow signs to lake. From Phoenix take Shea Blvd. to SR 87, Beeline Highway. Travel 8 miles north to the Saguaro Lake turnoff. From Payson, travel south on SR 87 to Bush Highway. Turn left and follow signs to lake.


  • Boat ramps at Saguaro Lake Marina. Trout stocked at Marina and Butcher Jones.
Average Acreage - 1100
Average Depth - 90 ft.
Elevation - 1600 ft.

  • Rainbow trout. Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Yellow Bass
  • Crappie
  • Sunfish
  • Catfish (channel )
  • Walleye
  • Carp

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