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Fishing Canyon Lake In 2024

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

By Rick Seaman

Canyon Lake Steep Canyon Walls

Located on the Salt River in central Arizona, Canyon Lake is an easy 45 minute drive northwest of Apache Junction AZ on State Highway 88. This lake covers 950 surface acres and is set in deep canyons which offer spectacular views.

Canyon Lake, AZ

Canyon Lake, AZ Fishing In 2024

Canyon Lake, located in Arizona, is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable angling experience. The lake is known for its diverse fish population, making it a favorite among anglers of all skill levels. One of the prized species found in Canyon Lake is the largemouth bass, providing ample opportunities for bass fishing enthusiasts. Anglers can also target other species such as smallmouth bass, catfish, and trout, adding to the excitement and variety of fishing opportunities.

Lake Video

Bass fishing at Canyon Lake can be excellent at times. The lake is known for its healthy population of both largemouth and smallmouth bass, making it a top destination for bass anglers of all skill levels. With its clear blue waters and diverse underwater structure, Canyon Lake provides an ideal habitat for bass to thrive. Anglers can employ various techniques such as casting topwater lures, working jigs along rocky structures, or using crankbaits to entice these prized game fish. Whether you're a seasoned angler looking for trophy-sized bass or a beginner looking to catch your first bass, Canyon Lake offers plenty of opportunities to land these sought-after fish and create lasting fishing memories.

Bass Fishing At Canyon Lake

Largemouth Bass

Canyon Lake, located north of Apache Junction, Arizona, winds through steep mountains as the third lake in the Salt River Chain Of Lakes. Largemouth bass, a favorite among anglers for their size and aggressive strikes, tend to move up and down the vertical banks and underwater structures. Anglers targeting largemouth bass at Canyon Lake can explore rocky points, submerged rocks, and coves, employing techniques such as soft plastic baits, drop-shot worms, jigs, and crankbaits to entice strikes from these elusive predators. Light line is often a key to success using finesse techniques. The challenging nature of largemouth bass fishing at Canyon Lake and the potential for landing a lunker provide an enjoyable experience for anglers.

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass, with their tenacity and acrobatic fights, add an extra layer of excitement to the fishing scene at Canyon Lake. Anglers can find smallmouth bass near rocky shorelines and underwater structures, using techniques like jerkbaits, small crankbaits, and finesse presentations to target these agile fighters.

Panfish Fishing

Panfish enthusiasts can enjoy the abundance of bluegill and redear sunfish near the lake's shoreline and submerged vegetation. These sunfish provide a relaxed angling experience, making Canyon Lake an ideal destination for kids and beginner anglers to enjoy a day of fishing. Using simple techniques like worms, small jigs, or packaged baits can lead to a rewarding day of reeling in these colorful and spirited panfish.

Catfish Fishing

Canyon Lake is also home to catfish, offering anglers the opportunity for night fishing excursions. Channel catfish and flathead catfish, known for their nocturnal feeding habits, can be targeted using stink baits, cut bait, or live bait. Moonlit nights on Canyon Lake can create a serene atmosphere for anglers seeking the thrill of battling with robust catfish.

Trout Fishing

Canyon Lake trout fishing can be quite fruitful, especially from shore along the highway. The Arizona Game And Fish Department stocks the lake with rainbow trout regularly in this area. These trout do migrate throughout the lake over time, but tend to concentrate near the Acacia Recreation site and the Palo Verde Recreation site.

With its diverse fishery, Canyon Lake caters to anglers with varied preferences and skill levels. The lake, surrounded by rocky terrain and scenic vistas, provide a captivating backdrop for fishing excursions. Whether casting from the shoreline or navigating the lake by boat, Canyon Lake ensures a memorable fishing experience in the heart of Arizona's desert.

Big horn sheep and eagles are a common sight to boaters on this scenic waterway. Jet ski, pontoon boats and pleasure boats are available for rent at the marina. A restaurant and tour boat cruises can enhance your experience when you spend your day at this spectacular body of water.

The purpose of this page is to deliver an overview of this lake, the fishing options, and area amenities. Our goal is to provide info to first time visitors, as well as beginner and novice anglers. We gathered details from personal experience, numerous trusted websites that each offer select bits of information, and videos of fishing activity on the lake. These websites include the Arizona Game and Fish Department, marinas at the lake, campgrounds, boat rental agencies and others. By consolidating this information to one page it allows visitors to see the entire picture, all in one place.

Primary fish species residing in Canyon 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 In These Canyons

This deep-canyon waterway is home to big bass, The state record bass, over 16 pounds was caught here. Light line and small offerings seem to fool the majority of the monster bass caught here. 4-inch plastic worms, small grubs and live night crawlers are the top, year-round baits. Topwater is generally good early and late in the day, any time the water temperature rises above 60 degrees.

Other fishing in Canyon Lake

The lake also contains trout stocked by the Arizona Game & Fish Department, plus catfish bluegills, crappie, panfish and a very small population of walleye.

Canyon Lake Amenities

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

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a common activity at Canyon Lake, with various options available for watercraft enthusiasts. Anglers can bring their own boats or rent from the marina to explore the expansive waters. The lake allows both motorized and non-motorized boats, giving anglers the freedom to choose their preferred method of navigating the lake. Cruising along the picturesque shoreline and finding the perfect fishing spot is a delightful experience for boaters at Canyon Lake.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Canyon Lake Marina and Campground
Rentals: Runabouts, Pontoons, Fishing Boats and Canoes
480 288-9233


Canyon Lake Marina and Campground
16802 AZ-88
Apache Junction, AZ 85119
480 288-9233

Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Canyon Lake Marina and Campground
16802 AZ-88
Apache Junction, AZ 85119
Boat Rentals - Runabouts, Pontoons, Fishing Boats and Canoes.
480 288-9233

Laguna Boat Ramp
Paved ramp and parking the the far southeast corner of the lake.

Palo Verde Boat Launch
Paved ramp and parking located near the southeast corner of the main lake.

Click here for a Arizona Fishing License.

Camping facilities are available near Canyon Lake, allowing anglers to extend their fishing adventure and fully immerse themselves in the natural surroundings. Campgrounds provide amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, and restroom facilities, ensuring a comfortable stay. Waking up to the sound of birds chirping, enjoying the breathtaking sunsets, and having easy access to the lake for early morning or late evening fishing sessions make camping near Canyon Lake a memorable experience.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Canyon Lake Marina & Campground - 480 288-9233

Tortilla Recreation Site Campground - 480 610-3300

Canyon Lake AZ Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Canyon Lake
Canyon Lake Marina & Campground
16802 N.E. Highway 88
Tortilla Flat, AZ 85219
480 288-9233

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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