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Alamo Lake Fishing Report 2022 [Tips, Spots, Pictures, Everything You Need to Know]

How To Fish Alamo Lake

photo: azgfd

Alamo Lake is a small-to-moderate sized desert reservoir that resides in west-central Arizona.  Overall it’s a relatively quiet lake. In this post you’re going to be given the blueprint to fish this lake. 

So you may ask yourself what are the best tips for fishing Alamo Lake? Or, where can I get a Alamo Lake fishing report?  Well your in luck! Here are three important factors you must know  if you want to know how to fish Alamo Lake successfully. First, you need to know what kind of fish is in Alamo Lake. Second, it’s important for you to know which part of the lake each species can be found. Lastly, knowing what are the best baits that work on Alamo Lake is absolutely vital.  However a word of caution… the tactics, baits, and locations will be different for each type of fish that you target, so keep that in mind. Now let’s talk about the steps you need to take in order to give you the best chance of catching a fish on Alamo Lake!

Key Takeaways

This lake gives locals and visitors the opportunity to test their luck in catching one of the many game species this lake has to offer, such as Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Channel Catfish, Bluegill, and much, much more!

Here’s the most recent and updated Alamo Lake Fishing Report – it gives you a quick and easy list of some really good fishing spots. If you’re looking for more detail on how to fish each spot scroll down into the article. 

  • Cholla Ramp
  • Central Lake Vertical Timber
  • Cuts And Washes On The Northwest Side
  • Rawhide Wash and Joggerson Wash
  • Andrew’s Wash
  • Alamo Dam

Here are some additional fast and helpful tips just for you: 

  • The easiest way to fish this lake is by boat, but there are areas to fish from the bank, by kayak, or float tube.
  • There are multiple public boat ramps to use if the lake is at full pool.
  • Camping and RV parking is available.
  • You can buy tackle and groceries at the lake or at one of the tackle shops in Phoenix.
  • A permit is required to enter, camp, and fish this lake. Prices vary depending on your desired activity.

About Alamo Lake

Alamo Lake is a shallow reservoir (when compared to other amazing Arizona lakes) with the average depth being 75 feet and a maximum depth of 90 feet when the lake is completely full. The lake spans over 3,500 acres. In 1968, the Army Corps Of Engineers made Alamo Dam at the end of the Bill Williams River primarily for flood control purposes. The lake also plays a vital role in irrigation water for local agriculture.

Located in central-western part of Arizona, Alamo Lake is primarily a bass fishing heaven for most anglers. This is also one of the best Crappie fisheries in the state.

The central lake exposed and submerged vertical timber keeps the powerboats and jet skis away.  Alamo Lake also provides the visitor amazing wildlife viewing and beautiful springtime wildflower blooms. 

What Kinds of Fish Are In Alamo Lake?

  • Largemouth Bass
  • Bluegill/Sunfish
  • Black Crappie
  • Channel Catfish
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Tilapia
  • Carp

Key Details to Know About Alamo Lake

Special Closures Areas or Dates:

CLOSURES: None listed as of writing this report

Special /Annual Events:

Fishing Derbies – Common especially on the weekends.  

Alamo Lake Fishing Tips & General Strategies

General Structure

Many will describe Alamo Lake as a mini Lake Amistad. It’s a dry desert reservoir with rocky banks, but also offers a large area of flooded brush.

In my opinion what really makes this lake special is this lake has the feature of both submerged and exposed vertical timber located in the middle of the lake.  So if you like a challenge of flipping vertical structure in deep water this is your lake to fish!

Furthermore Alamo Lake has an ample supply of points, walls, cuts, inner and outer channel bends, humps, and ledges. 

Seasonal Features

During the early part of the year (late winter/early spring) the water level will be at it’s highest. Bass will be approximately 20-40-feet deep, and will be found next to flats with deep water nearby. 

During spawn you’ll have the best luck inspecting the south facing banks mainly on the western side of the lake with good sun exposure in 1-10-feet of water. 

As spring transitions to summer, you’ll most likely find bass on any main lake points, any structure such as ledges, bluff walls, humps that creates shade and cover, and also mid-lake vertical timber. 

Water Clarity

Alamo Lake is mostly a moderately stained lake. 

At the river end the water can be muddy/chocolate milk colored. 

The main lake will have a moderate green stain. 

Water by the dam normally clears up with a visibility up to 15-feet!

Take home message: You have to be prepared to fish all type of water clarity at this lake. 

Natural colors work well here, along with some color hints, of chartreuse, orange, and red.  

Good ol’ black and blue also are awesome in the early mornings and evenings. 

All white baits, baits that are bright with chartreuse, or black and blue colored baits do well at the muddy river end of Alamo. 

But Where Are The Best Places To Fish At Alamo Lake?

photo: azgfd

And in no particular order here is that list of the best fishing spots at Alamo Lake.

DISCLAIMER:  The material provided is for general information purposes only. It’s important to understand that any information provided in this article can change at any time. Any maps or graphics featured are not to be used as navigational aids. Fishing Blueprint will not be responsible for any personal injury or property damage from any misuse of the maps or graphics provided.   It’s completely impossible to give you every single spot where you can potentially catch a fish.  But, what this list does do is to give you a helping hand and narrow down to the most productive fishing spots.

Cholla Ramp (North side)

At times the fishing here can be extremely good.

If the rains flooded this section of the lake it creates an area of submerged brush and timber, along with cuts and runoff channels which can be excellent for largemouth bass.

Target the tops of exposed trees and brush in windy conditions: topwater lures, buzzbaits, frog lures, sqarebill crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, umbrella rigs, spinnerbaits.

Calm blue bird skies or post-frontal conditions: Texas rigs, Senkos, weedless drop shot rig, weedless tubes

Located: central lake, east side

Structural features: flooded flat of thick brush and small trees. Cuts and humps are common.  

Best species to target: Largemouth bass

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak, float tube, shore fishing

Central Lake Vertical Timber

Exposed Timber

Depending on the water level of the lake sometimes the vertical timber will be exposed on the north end (high water), or central lake (low water). 

Most of the standing timber will not have extending area, however know that some do, so use extreme caution as you approach this area with your boat. 

Of all my years fishing this lake there are many different ways to fish this area. Here are some of the ways I fish for bass in this area: 

Submerged Timber

If the standing timber is submerged swimming a crankbait, umbrella rig, jerkbait, chatterbait, swim jig, hair jig, or underspin jig over the tops of the trees to pull out bass. 

Conversely, when the fish are really picky, consider a drop shot bait or suspending jerkbait just above the treetops for bass.

There are several submerged patches of trees located in the central section of Alamo. At these locations is where you’ll find crappie at this lake.

To catch over the submerged timber, slow trolling live minnows, roadrunner head jigs, and crappie tubes are great choices. 

Since Alamo can be very windy, it’s strongly recommended to use a quality drift sock to help slow your drift so you don’t have to worry about using up all your trolling motor battery.   

Located: central lake

Structural features: standing timber

Best species to target: bass, crappie

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak, float tube

Cuts And Washes On The Northwest Side

While this may not be a specific spot, this area of the lake can be absolutely bananas in the spring and summer. 

The mouths of these little cuts and coves are excellent for largemouth bass.

The mainlake side is filled with a good amount of submerged brush and timber such as cotton trees.  

This area collects a ton of floating debris coming off the river so flipping a jig or creature bait in the shaded canopies can catch you a monster bass.

Drop-offs and ledges are common in this section of the lake.  Use your graph to find the channel swings.  

These same feeder creeks are also great for nighttime catfishing.

Effective baits for this area include: topwater lures, buzzbaits, frog lures, sqarebill crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, umbrella rigs, spinnerbaits when bass are aggressive.

However use Texas rigs, Senkos, weedless drop shot rig, weedless tubes if the bass are timid and not aggressive.

 Located: northwest side

Structural features: submerged brush, floating debris mats, points, drop-offs, ledges

Best species to target: bass, catfish

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak, shore fishing if you drive around the backside of the lake. 

Rawhide Wash and Joggerson Wash

These small washes are unique because they all provide great rock-to-gravel or rock-to-sand/clay transitions. 

When scanning the area with your sonar, find one of these transition zones next to deeper water. They often will hold bass. 

These areas are also littered with ledges, drop-offs, and rocky humps.

When the water is high fish the submerged creek channels. 

Effective baits for this area include: topwater lures, buzzbaits, frog lures, sqarebill crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, umbrella rigs, spinnerbaits when bass are aggressive.

However use Texas rigs, Senkos, weedless drop shot rig, weedless tubes if the bass are timid and not aggressive.

Located: western side

Structural features: edges, drop-offs, submerged creek channels, rocky humps

Best species to target: bass

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak, shore fishing if you drive around the backside of the lake. 

Andrew's Wash

This cove is the deepest cove that Alamo will offer you. 

From my experience, this location can be either on fire or completely dead.

It’s very rocky and has a large amount of ledges and drop-offs.  

Crappie fishing can be good fishing at the mouth of the cove.

Effective baits for this area include: topwater lures, buzzbaits, crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, umbrella rigs, spinnerbaits when bass are aggressive.

However use Texas rigs, Senkos, drop shot rig, tubes if the bass are timid and not aggressive.

Located: southwest side.

Structural features: steep rocky cove, ledges, drop-offs

Best species to target: bass, crappie, catfish

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak

Alamo Dam

Alamo dam is an earthfill dam that extends 283 feet (86 m) from the top of the dam to the lowest section of streambed of the Bill Williams River.

All earthfill dams are made with compacting materials and large, basketball-sized chunk rock on the exterior is used to give the dam stability.  

The large rocks allow creatures like crawfish, minnows, and bluegill to make their home here. 

Keep in mind the water clarity in this area is the most clear, so choose natural colored or transparent baits in this area.

Effective baits for this area include: topwater lures, buzzbaits, crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, umbrella rigs, spinnerbaits when bass are aggressive.

However use Texas rigs, Senkos, drop shot rig, tubes if the bass are timid and not aggressive.

Located: south side

Structural features: steep chunk rock dam wall

Best species to target: bass, crappie

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak

Spencer's Wash to Chai Cove

The fishing area of shoreline that extends from Spencer’s Wash to Chai Cove and spans nearly one mile. This shoreline is filled with a ton of small coves, cuts, washes, boulders, and underwater structures such as submerged road beds and even small patches of submerged trees. 

If you like crankbait fishing, this area often produces.  Graph the area to find old road beds left over from building the dam. 

Effective baits for this area include: topwater lures, buzzbaits, frog lures, sqarebill crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, umbrella rigs, spinnerbaits when bass are aggressive.

However use Texas rigs, Senkos, weedless drop shot rig, weedless tubes if the bass are timid and not aggressive.

Located: mid-lake/southside

Structural features: Rocky banks, small coves, cuts, natural and artificial submerged structure, roadbed. 

Best species to target: Bass, crappie, catfish

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak, shoreline

– Featured Article Of The Month –

Click On the Picture To Learn More!

Bank Fishing Alamo Lake

What Kinds Of Fish Are In Alamo Lake

Largemouth Bass

You may be wondering… How do you fish for bass in Alamo Lake? The Largemouth bass is a carnivorous member of the sunfish family. Alamo Lake holds the Northern strain.  The Northern strain is thought to be considered more aggressive and offers a better fight than their Florida strain cousins.

Listed below are a handful of facts, top spots, and best lures to use to help you out…

If you’re still not sure how to catch a bass, do worry. A complete section on Bass Fishing 101 was written to help you out. In that section, you’ll learn about the top ways to get you catching bass fast.

Read more: Beginner’s Guide To Bass Fishing Basics – Tips, Secrets & Things To Avoid

General Largemouth Bass Details

Spawn: Spring, March-May

Food: Shad, bluegill, crayfish

Arizona State Record: 16 lb. 7.68 oz. 28.0 in., Canyon Lake Randall E. White, Mesa 4/22/97

Table Quality: Decent. Firm white meat. 

Angling techniques:

Black Crappie

Introduced to Arizona in 1905, Alamo Lake holds black crappie. These fish tend to linger over submerged brush and timber and are found in schools.

The black crappie are much more tolerant in cooler water than their white crappie cousins. 

Black crappie can be described as having an irregular black dots and blotched on the back and have more of a “silvery-olive” background.

Average weight of a crappie in Alamo Lake is going to be 0.75-pounds, however electro-netted samples show they can get over 3-pounds in size!

The best time to fish for crappie in this lake and other lakes similar to it is in summertime while you’re night using a submerged green light. If you don’t know what a green fishing light is, or if you’re unfamiliar, then click this link to learn more.

General Crappie Details

Spawn: April – mid-June

Food: Larvae, small fish, and crustaceans. Threadfin shad make up their main diet. 

Arizona State Record: 4 lb. 10.0 oz. –in., San Carlos Lake John Shadrick, Mammoth 1959

Table Quality: The meat is excellent. It’s firm, flaky and white. 

Angling techniques:

Catfish

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish weight will range from 0.5-to-15-pounds in Alamo Lake. However, the average weight will be between 1-4-pounds.

Flathead Catfish

Conversely, “smaller” flathead catfish will weigh in at 15-pounds and can grow around 75-pounds.  A flathead survey conducted in 2016 and 2020 caught a flathead that weighed over 48-pounds!    

General Catfish Details

Spawn: March-June

Food: Carp, bluegill

Arizona State Record:

Channel catfish – 33 lb., 5.76 oz., 39.5 in., Upper Lake Mary Carson Pete, 3/26/17

Flathead catfish – 76 lb. 8.64 oz., 53.5 in., Bartlett Lake Eddie Wilcoxson, Surprise 04/13/13

Table Quality: Soft white meat. In the summer the meat will taste muddy.

Angling techniques:

Flathead catfish:

  • live bait such as smaller carp, full sized bluegill, or tilapia

Channel catfish:

  • chicken liver
  • hotdogs
  • stink bait
  • small bluegill
  • small carp

Bluegill

Introduced to Arizona in 1932, the bluegill has teal-blue coloring on the bottom portion of the chin and gill plate. It also has a solid black opercula flap just behind the gill plate.

Bluegill are found on the shoreline and prefer nearby structures. Bluegill are incredibly aggressive and will quickly attack anything that looks like it could be eaten. Due to their aggressive behavior, they are one of the easiest fish to catch and are a great way to introduce someone to fishing.  

Spawn: April and May

Food: Small fish and insects

Arizona State Record: 3 lb. 15 oz. 15.75 in., Goldwater Lake. Christopher Ray Mapes, Prescott Valley 5/2/04

Table Quality: Firm, white meat 

Angling techniques: 

  • Worms
  • Dough balls
  • Slim jim sausages pieces on a small hook (not lying… it really works)
  • Small spinners
  • Trout flys

Carp

Carp are an oily freshwater species of fish and are native to Europe and Asia. Carp are considered invasive to the United States.

The big, hard fighting fish are really fun to catch. Many anglers will fish for carp at night and bowfishing from the shore or from a boat!

Carp can be consumed however, their muddy taste and boney meat make it one of the least desirable fish to eat.

Spawn: March-June

Food: algae, plant matter, fish eggs, insects, aquatic worms, small crustaceans (snails), and small crayfish

Arizona State Record: 37 lb. 0.0 oz. 40.0 in., Bartlett Lake Jonathan Gardner, Phoenix 8/8/87

Table Quality: Poor. Soft white flesh that is muddy and riddled with bones

Angling techniques:

Boat Ramps at Alamo Lake

Main Ramp

Location: South end, west side

Phone number: none listed

Nearby boat marina or park store: Yes

Groceries available: No, not at the ramp.

Gas: No. Nearest fuel is in Salome

Bathrooms: Yes

Showers: No, not at the ramp.

Electric: Not at the ramp. 

Camping nearby: Yes

Cholla Ramp

Location: central lake, east side.

Phone number: None

Nearby park store: No

Groceries available: No, not at the ramp.

Gas: No. Nearest fuel is in Salome.

Bathrooms: Yes.

Showers: No. Nearest fuel is in Salome

Electric: No. Nearest fuel is in Salome

Camping nearby: Yes.

Places at the lake you can get snacks and frosty beverages

Alamo Lake Visitor Center/Park Store

Location: Southeast end of the lake

Phone number: (928) 669-2088

Number of lanes: 3

Bathrooms: Yes

Showers: No, not at the park store.

Electric: Yes

Camping nearby: Yes.

***This location frequently runs out of live bait and fishing licenses. You are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and get all fuel, bait, tackle, licenses, food, drinks, all other appropriate provisions before you come to Alamo Lake.

Places to camp and RV parks

Alamo Campgrounds A & B – located near the main ramp. 

Alamo Campgrounds C, D, & E – located near the Cholla ramp. 

Campsite Reservations – Click Here

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