Fishing in Arizona can be a great way to spend a sunny afternoon, but which lakes are best fished and which are meant to be left untouched. Find out below which lakes in Arizona made the best and worst list.
Willow Springs has always been one of my favorite places to fish in Arizona. The lake is large, and contains a ton of quality fish. The department helps keep the lake stocked with huge amounts of Rainbow Trout while also maintain a healthy Largemouth Bass population. The best part about Willow Springs is that it is located just off of highway 260 which means the lake is the most accessible lake on the rim. If you are looking for a lake with great scenery, great fishing, and recreational activities Willow Springs is one of the best lakes to fish in Arizona.
Worst- Black Canyon Lake
Black Canyon used to be the most pristine and beautiful lake on the rim. The fishing also used to be fantastic as well. It was not until the Rodeo-Chedeski fire of 2001 where the lake was transformed forever. The lake and its surroundings where burned by the fire which caused massive amounts of ash and tar to be washed into the lake. This unfortunately caused the lake to rise in acidity which destroyed the lake aquaculture. Even today the lake is suffering from this issue, as well as low water levels, and Algae growth. If the fishing was better it would not be on this list but illegally introduces Bass, Sunfish, and Catfish have destroyed this once proud trout lake.
Best- Big Lake
Big lake has always been one of the best lakes in the state to fish for trout. It lies in the cool White Mountains where trout tend to thrive. The lake is huge over 400 acres making fishing a great way to spend a day. Also don't be surprised that you will hook into a large trout because the lake is crawling with them. I would say the average sized fish caught at Big Lake to be about 15 inches long. The lake has some the best campgrounds in the state with bathrooms, Television Hookup, Power, and even hot showers for those in tents. Big lake is not to be missed.
Worst- Crescent Lake
Crescent Lake is located about two miles from Big lake however, the lakes have many differences. Crescent lake is shallow leading to massive weed growth and algae growth in the summer months making fish and boating difficult. The last time I fished Crescent I only caught small Trout, leading to the conclusion that fish in Crescent do not grow very fast due to excessive weed growth. The lake also is not as well laid out as Big lake. While Crescent has a boat dock it is very hard to launch a boat without help from abroad. Stay away from Crescent.
Best- Ashurst Lake
Ashurst Lake is the best lake to fish in the Flagstaff Area. The lake features a variety of fish including Northern Pike. The lake is also a staple in Arizona because it is one of the few natural lakes that stay full all year long. This is due to a residual spring that feeds the lake yearly. If going to Ashurst remember to bring a boat because from my experience I have always caught more fish being in a boat especially the Northern Pike as bait fishing really never works for them.
Worst- Mormon Lake
Mormon Lake is not really a lake anymore. The department stocked the lake with trout in the 1990's and early 2000's but has not stocked since because the lake has dried up nearly every year since 2003. The lake used to be a prime destination for anglers but has since become a mud puddle. I still here people saying they are going to go fishing there but trust me the fishing will be non- existent because there are no fish in the lake and will not likely be any on the near future.