|Lakes in Arizona|
Lake Pleasant Arizona
Lake Pleasant is a man-made reservoir Northwest of Phoenix, popular for fishing and water sports. Lake Pleasant was formed by the creation of the Waddle Dam in 1927 and filled from the Agua Fria River. The dam was rebuilt in 1994 and water from the CAP canal filled the lake to three times it's size.
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You will hear mixed reviews about fishing at Lake Pleasant. Some love it, and can prove it with photos of big fish. Others say, they get “skunked” all the time. It seems to just be one of those lakes where you have to get lucky or really know what you’re doing.
The Northwest side of the Lake "Castle Creek" is a favorite spot for largemouth and striped bass. The Northeast side or (Agua Fria Arm) is a great spot. Although, it has restricted access due to a Bald Eagle habitat from December until June. You don’t hear too many success stories in the weekly fishing report near the dam.
Fish of Lake Pleasant
Waterdogs seem to be the best live bait for Pleasant. I've seen eight pound largemouth and ten pound channel cats caught on dogs. Lake Pleasant has monster flathead catfish, they go for waterdogs and other larger live bait like bluegill and small carp.
Anchovies work well for stripers; the channel cats will eat them too. Some do well looking for striper boils on the surface and throwing top-water lures and spoons. Trolling with larger swim baits also works for striped bass.
Lake Pleasant has excellent crappie fishing in early spring; minnows seem to work the best.
There is a bar called Wild Horse West just on the corner of Lake Pleasant Rd and Carefree Hwy. They have waterdogs, minnows, anchovies, worms, beer and basic tackle. Pick up a burger too, they’re terrific.
The Hook Up Tackle shop is located at Lake Pleasant, they have all the largemouth gear you need. They also have a guide service with local pros.
Lake Pleasant is open all year and has all the amenities of a state park: trailer spaces, potable water, hookups, restrooms, restaurants and campsites. You can rent boats at the lake and there are no engine restrictions at Lake Pleasant. You will need to pay an access fee to enter the park. As of September 2012, it’s about 6 dollars per vehicle and 4 dollars per motorized watercraft. They do sell annual passes if you can’t get enough.
There are barrier free access points where you can launch from shore, some best reached with a 4x4 vehicle. As far as camping goes, you can find a spot on the shore if you beat the crowd. The developed campsites range from ten to thirty dollars a night depending on how fancy you want to get. You'll generally want to check the game and fish website for a consumption advisory if you plan on cooking a bunch of fish.
A class A Arizona Fishing license will do. You don’t need any special stamps unless you want to have two poles in the water. The Game and Fish headquarters is on the way out where you can pick one up, just between I17 and Lake Pleasant Rd on Carefree Hwy.
To get directions to Lake Pleasant, you can use the interactive map below. Coming from Central Phoenix take I17 to Carefree Hwy (74 East). Go east until you pass Lake Pleasant Parkway. You will see multiple turn-offs on the right. Castle Hot Spring is good scenic drive that wraps around the back of the lake and joins the 60 in Morris Town.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 07 October 2012 09:17|