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

How To Fish Saguaro Lake

photo: @damon_hanson_photo

Saguaro Lake is a moderate sized desert reservoir that is located 43 miles away from Phoenix, Arizona.  Overall it’s a relatively popular lake being nestled in part of the central section of the state. In this post you’re going to be given the blueprint to fish this lake. 

So what are the best tips for fishing Saguaro Lake?  There are three important factors you must know  if you want to know how to fish Saguaro Lake successfully. First, you need to know what kind of fish is in Saguaro 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 Saguaro Lake is vital.  However, tactics, baits, and locations will be different for each type of fish that you target. So let’s talk about the steps you need to take in order to give you the best chance of catching a fish on Saguaro Lake.

WARNING:  There’s a lot of information about this subject you’ll probably want to come back to. No one expects you to remember all these tips. We know your time is precious, so we really tried to over-deliver in value for you. Additionally, we frequently update reports like this, so you’ll want to stay up to date with any changes or additional tips we include for you. 

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About Saguaro Lake

Located just outside of east Phoenix, Saguaro Lake is a deep body of water with the average depth being 70-90 feet and a maximum depth of 116 feet when the lake is completely full. Being 10  miles long and spans over 1,100 acres. This is a reservoir within the Salt River chain  lakes and plays a vital role in power generation agriculture. Anglers can fish a variety of locations from grass mats, river channel drops-offs, rock piles, cuts and points. Known for its great largemouth bass, yellow bass, and catfishing.  You can also see wildlife such as bald eagles and bighorn sheep.

What Kinds of Fish Are In Saguaro Lake

  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Yellow Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Walleye
  • Carp
  • Bigmouth Buffalo Fish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Bluegill
  • Green Sunfish
  • Redear Sunfish
  • Tilapia

Key Details to Know About Saguaro Lake

Special Closures Areas or Dates:

Periodic closures due to wildfires. Check the status of the lake to see if it’s open, click here

Special /Annual Events:

Weekend fishing tournaments are common.

Saguaro Marina offers food, bar, live music, karaoke, and annual watch parties for all the big sporting events and tournaments (ie; March Madness, Superbowl, World Series), and much, much more.

Saguaro Lake Fishing Tips & General Strategies

photo: AZGFD

Saguaro Lake is a fun lake and relatively easy to fish. 

Bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish will spawn in the spring in 1’-15’-feet of water notably on rocky structure, gravel flats, humps, and small creek inlets and cuts.  

In the summer bass will seek deeper haunts close to shallow flats, pockets, or coves. Try to find  drops offs, channels, points, submerged humps.

Furthermore they’ll typically be found in 15’-30’-feet of water. According to the US Forest Service, there were over 2200 fish-habitat structures placed to make the fishery even better. 

A recent census on the lake showed bass there weighed 12+ pounds were common. 

Aside from bass Saguaro is an excellent lake for catfishing, yellow bass, and walleye fishing. 

If you’re fishing from the shore you can fish around the docks or near the fishing platforms by the second ramp. 

There is another area by the Butcher Jones Recreation Area where it also has fishing platform and a trail that winds around the point and into the other adjacent cove.

Personally, I like to fish for the big bass in the morning and in the afternoon troll deeper cuts and shelves with spinners to catch some walleye for dinner. 

But where are the best places to fish At Saguaro Lake?

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

Butcher Jones & Peregrine Cove

Just east of the marina and the public docks and platforms sits Butcher Jones and Peregrine Cove. These coves are relatively shallow and don’t have much of a channel. What does offer are floating vegetation mats and large chunk rock banks.

Scan the area with your fish finder for artificial habitat.

Fish around the habitat or structure if you see shad or bluegill in the area.  

There are some spots within this area that will create large ‘holes’ in the weedbed. These open areas will frequently hold bass.

Holes should be fished with a grass flipping jig, wacky rig senko, Mojo rig, Texas rig, weedless tubes or even a drop shot.

If the grass is submerged you fish over the tops with a topwater lure, buzzbaits, frog lure, chatterbaits, or whopper plopper. 

Fish the weedline edges parallel with crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, frog lures, soft plastic swimbaits, umbrella rigs, swim jigs, underspin jigs or chatterbaits

There are several hard bottom patches, small rock piles, and high spots on humps that should be checked for fish. 

Located: West lake, just east of the public fishing platforms

Structural features: Cuts, natural and artificial submerged structure, artificial habitat, roadbed. 

Best species to target: Bass, yellow bass, crappie, and catfish

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

Campers Cove & Weavers Ledge

Campers Cove is more of a large cut than a true cove. It has a large amount of submerged structure and has a relatively deep channel. There are also deep shelves and drop offs approximately 30-40-yards off the bank called Weavers Ledge that fish will hold around. 

Flipping baits, jigs, chatterbaits, and swimbaits work well around the submerged brush. Crankbaits, drop-shot, Texas-rig, Carolina Rig, jigs, and swimbaits were great targeting the deeper structure. Catfish are frequently caught in this channel. 

Weavers Ledge is a great place to fish for bass, yellow bass, crappie, and walleye during the mid-day of summer and in the winter.  Catch them by trolling spinners or crankbaits, dragging Texas or Carolina rigs, or vertical jigging. 

Effective baits for this area include: topwater lures, flutter spoons, buzzbaits, crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, jerkbaits, swim jigs, hair jigs, and underspin jigs when the bass are aggressive.

If the bass are timid, then drop shot, tubes, Ned rig, Neko rig, Mojo rig, Carolina rig and football jigs all work really well.

Located: West lake, just south of Peregrine Cove

Structural features: Cuts, natural and artificial submerged structure, artificial habitat, roadbed. 

Best species to target: bass, yellow bass, crappie, walleye

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak

Bluff walls Between Razorback Point and Bat Cliffs

Fishing the bluff walls is not a specific spot, but more like a feature at the reservoir. Parts of Saguaro Lake have long sections of breathtaking bluff walls. Fishing those towering walls can be very rewarding. Depending on the current and time of day it’s worth checking out certain sections of these walls. 

Before you fish, scan the walls for submerged structures such as fallen boulders, shelves, and drop-offs on both sides. 

First, find out what direction the current is going. CAP will either dump water or pull water to pump into the upstream lakes. 

Second, determine how strong the current is. 

Strong pulling current will force fish away from the inside bends (unless there are large submerged structures like a large boulder, that will breakup the current and the fish will hide behind). The fish won’t move far, but will move to the opposite side of the river just down river to the outside bend.

Slower current will draw the bass out and will hangout along the inside bends of the bluff wall. 

Unless you’re flipping baits in a small spot on the bluff wall, it’s recommended to cast your bait upstream. Predator fish like bass and walleye will orientate themselves facing upstream.

Fishing the shadow line in the morning can also be very productive. 

The bass will commonly hold close to the large boulders (especially in the shadows), on the submerged shelves, or located on the bluff wall-to-bank transitions areas. Looks for transition areas that turn from steep rock wall to boulders, then to chunk rock and pea-gravel.

Effective baits for this area include: topwater lures, buzzbaits, crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, swim jigs, hair jigs, and underspin jigs when the bass are aggressive.  

Flutter spoons work great by “hopping” the spoon from one ledge and letting it fall to the next one down underneath it. How high you hop the spoon off the ledge will depend on how aggressive the bass are. The more aggressive = higher the hop versus less aggressive bass will only need a small hop off the ledge.  

If the bass are timid, then drop shot, tubes, wacky rigged senko, Mojo rig, Texas rig, Ned rig, Neko rig, Mojo rig, Carolina rig, and football jigs all work really well.

Located: west end of the lake

Structural features: Bluff walls, cuts, natural and artificial submerged structure 

Best species to target: Bass, catfish, and walleye

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak

Ship Rock (west side) and The Meadows (east side)

Ship Rock and directly across from Ship Rock are great locations to find bass, yellow bass, and crappie. The entire area has submerged brush and artificial structure that baitfish love to hide in. 

Sometimes, powerfishing with crankbaits, spinnerbaits and swimbaits can work well here, other times slow meticulous jig fishing or fishing with a drop shot will quickly catch them. 

Effective baits for this area include: topwater lures, buzzbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, umbrella rigs, chatterbaits, jerkbaits, underspin jigs, swim jigs, hair jigs, and soft plastic swimbaits perform well here in breezy conditions.

In contrast, slower moving baits such as drop shot, football jigs, tubes, wacky rig, Texas rig, Neko rigs, and Carolina rigs can be phenomenal when the conditions are calm or the bass are holding close to the rocks.

Flutter spoons work great in the deepest part of the bank or over any secondary structures directly related to the bank.

Located: mid-lake

Structural features: Bluff walls, cuts, natural and artificial submerged structure 

Best species to target: Bass, yellow bass, crappie

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak

Mesquite Flats (vegetation mats and nearby channel)

During the summer when the water is high this area turns into a floating vegetation mat where frogs and buzzbaits prevail.

Jigs pitched into gaps or skipped under overhangs can be very effective.

Other times, fishing weedless swimbaits, soft plastic jerkbaits, or Senko-style baits  over submerged grass can often draw out monster bass. 

The river channel will often harbor bass, crappie, yellow bass, and catfish that retreat away from the midday heat can be fished a similar way.

Mesquite Flats has a large amount of artificial habitat placed so be sure to look for piles of tires, crappie condos, fish-n-forests, and tubes. 

There are some spots within this area that will create large ‘holes’ in the weedbed. These open areas will frequently hold bass.

Holes should be fished with a grass flipping jig, wacky rig senko, Mojo rig, Texas rig, weedless tubes or even a drop shot.

If the grass is submerged you fish over the tops with a topwater lure, buzzbaits, frog lure, chatterbaits, or whopper plopper. 

Fish the weedline edges parallel with crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, frog lures, soft plastic swimbaits, umbrella rigs, swim jigs, underspin jigs or chatterbaits

There are several hard bottom patches, small rock piles, and high spots on humps that should be checked for fish. 

Located: mid-lake

Structural features: Bluff walls, cuts, natural and artificial submerged structure 

Best species to target: Bass, yellow bass, crappie, and catfish

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak

The Snags

The Snags is a shallow flat that has a significant drop-off to the main river channel. This area also has floating and submerged vegetation.

Similarly, weedless topwater lures such as frogs and buzzbaits work very well here. 

The river channel can also hold a lot of fish such as crappie, yellow bass, and catfish.

Swimbaits and deep diving crankbaits will work well when fishing the nearby channel.

There are some spots within this area that will create large ‘holes’ in the weedbed. These open areas will frequently hold bass.

Holes should be fished with a grass flipping jig, wacky rig senko, Mojo rig, Texas rig, weedless tubes or even a drop shot.

If the grass is submerged you fish over the tops with a topwater lure, buzzbaits, frog lure, chatterbaits, or whopper plopper. 

Fish the weedline edges parallel with crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, frog lures, soft plastic swimbaits, umbrella rigs, swim jigs, underspin jigs or chatterbaits

There are several hard bottom patches, small rock piles, and high spots on humps that should be checked for fish. 

Located: mid-lake

Structural features: shallow flat next to a channel drop-off. Vegetation, as well as natural and artificial submerged structure is also present 

Best species to target: Bass, yellow bass, crappie, catfish, and walleye

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat, kayak

Bagley Flats

Bagley Flats is a good fishing spot because many anglers overlook due to a featureless appearance.  

If the water is low, this section if best fished as if you are fishing on a river, meaning  you must position your boat facing into the current and retrieve your lure parallel to the bank.  

Begley Flats has a large amount of rocky structure, drop-offs, dips that bass love to hide behind.  

However if the water is high (as seen in the picture above), largemouth bass will hide in the in pockets of the nearby cattails. 

Flipping into pockets, or skipping a bait under overhangs can products huge bass in this spot. 

Here’s a list of effective baits and techniques you can use in this area:

Grass/ reeds/ tulles: frog lures, flipping lures, heavy vegetation punching, Texas rigged Senko, Mojo rig. In submerged grass; drop shot rig, soft plastic swimbaits, swim jigs, crankbaits, lipless crankbaits all work great!

Rocks, points, cuts: crankbaits, jigs, Texas rigs, and Carolina rigs

Located: Mid-lake, north side

Structural features: Rocky structure, minimal brush, drop-offs, points

Best species to target: Bass, crappie, bream

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat

Bluff walls between Richards Rock & Eagles Grotto

This stretch of bluff walls is a phenomenal place to fish.  This area offers something for every type of angler.

There are areas that have pockets for flipping and are packed with submerged brush with drop-offs nearby.

Some spots in this area have large underwater rockfall boulder piles, shelves, and drop-offs which is great for crankbait or swimbait fishing.

Here’s a list of effective baits and techniques you can use in this area:

Grass/ reeds/ tulles: frog lures, flipping lures, heavy vegetation punching, Texas rigged Senko, Mojo rig. In submerged grass; drop shot rig, soft plastic swimbaits, swim jigs, crankbaits, lipless crankbaits all work great!

Rocks, points, cuts: crankbaits, jigs, Texas rigs, and Carolina rigs

Located: East-lake, river channel 

Structural features: Steep rocky banks

Best species to target: Bass, bream, crappie, and catfish

Most effective way to fish this spot: Boat

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How To Catch Fish In Saguaro Lake

Largemouth Bass Fishing at Saguaro Lake

The Largemouth bass is a carnivorous member of the sunfish family. Saguaro Lake holds the Northern and Florida strain species.  The Northern strain is thought to be considered more aggressive and offers a better fight than their Florida strain cousins. Whereas, the Florida strain can grow to an enormous size.

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, don’t 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:

Smallmouth Bass Fishing at Saguaro Lake

Smallmouth bass are sibling species closely related to largemouth bass. They have a pretty brown/golden color and carry the nickname of “bronzeback”. Some physical features make it different from the largemouth bass. Aside from being bronze in color, they will have grey-brown vertical bands and most definingly is the jaw does not extend past its eye. 

Overall, smallmouth bass are most likely going about half the size of largemouth bass. However, pound for pound, a smallmouth can be increadably aggressive and will put up an amazing fight. 

General Smallmouth Bass Details

Spawn: March-May

Food: fish, crustaceans. 

Arizona State Record: 6 lb. 4.48 oz. 21 in. Lake Havasu Sue Nowak, 2/23/17

Table Quality: Similar to a largemouth bass it’s firm, white, flaky, mild-tasting

Angling techniques:

Yellow Bass Fishing at Saguaro Lake

Introduced in 1930 the yellow bass have 4 to 7 dark horizontal lines and are yellow-golden color which is more pronounced over the spine of the fish. They are also a member of the “true bass” family.

Ferocious eaters, the yellow bass hunt in schools pursuing schools of threadfin shad. Like some other bass species, yellow bass will also corral the shad near the surface and cause the shad to jump out of the water called a “shad boil”.

This lake has an ample amount of Yellow bass, best of all they’re really easy to catch. 

If you are in relatively open water and find a school of shad of your sonar, chances are Yellow bass are close by.  

If the Yellow bass bite slows don’t be too quick to find another spot, just back off and scan the area around the shad and find that same school. 

Most of the time yellow bass will position and hold closer to any bottom structure more so than the white bass.

If you’re using jigs, spoons or worms, simply flip you bait adjacently or straight through the school of Yellow bass. 

Watch your line as it’s falling if it stops mid-fall it means a Yellow bass ate your bait – set the hook!

After you let your bait fall to the bottom raise your rod tip up just a bit. If it feels mushy, it also means a Yellow bass ate your bait – set the hook!

Spawn: March to May

Food: Threadfin shad, other smaller minnows, and fish, insects. 

Arizona State Record: 2 lbs. 2.56 oz. 14.25 in., Canyon Lake Ron Johnson, 2/7/20

Table Quality: The meat is excellent. It’s firm, flaky, and white. There is a red lateral line that must be removed otherwise it gives off a strong “fishy” taste. Otherwise, these make excellent fish fry meals.

Angling techniques:

  • Spinners
  • Spoons
  • Small soft plastic swimbaits
  • Small lipless crankbaits
  • Small topwater poppers and pencil baits
  • Hook and worm under a bobber

Black Crappie Fishing at Saguaro Lake

Introduced to Arizona in 1905, Saguaro 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 Saguaro 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:

  • Live minnows under bobbers
  • Crappie jigs
  • Crappie tubes
  • Silver spoons
  • Spinners

Walleye Fishing at Saguaro Lake

Introduced to Arizona in 1957, Saguaro Lake holds good size walleye. 

The average size of a walleye in Arizona will be 1-3-pounds.  Some can grow up to 12-pounds and live to nearly 30-years old!  

Walleyes have huge eyes which are sensitive to light, so they are usually located near the lake’s bottom, deep channels, and ledges.

These are tasty predators and during the spring spawn they can be found in shallow water, warmer water.

For walleye deep diving crankbaits and inline spinners that imitate baitfish species are a tried and true method. 

If you find deep, rocky sections and baitfish nearby, jigging a large spoon will occasionally catch fish as well. 

Night fishing for walleyes gives you the best chance to catch one due to their general sensitivity to light. 

Make sure to add glass beads above your spinner to make sound, as well as to tip the tip with a juicy nightcrawler with some bait scent for added attraction. 

Finally, switch it up to a rattling crankbait if you’re not getting any bites

General Walleye Details

Spawn: March-May

Food: Baitfish, crayfish, and worms. Threadfin shad make up their main diet. 

Arizona State Record: 16 lb. 1.76 oz. 31 in., Show Low Lake.  Gregg Munck, Show Low 11/18/02

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

Angling techniques:

  • Because of light-sensitive eyes, walleyes feed more actively early in the morning, late in the evening, or at night. 
  • Trolling or drifting minnows, nightcrawlers, and spinners
  • Jointed minnow plugs (silver-black Rapalas)
  • Deep diving crankbaits
  • Spoons
  • Inline spinners

Catfish Fishing at Saguaro Lake

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish weight will range from 0.5-to-15-pounds in and of the Roosevelt chain lakes, including Saguaro 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 Fishing at Saguaro Lake

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. 15.68 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 Fishing at Saguaro Lake

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:

  • Dough balls
  • Corn
  • Worms
  • Cherry tomatoes (not kidding)
  • Commercial carp baits

Best Species-Specific Fishing Spots at Saguaro Lake

Top Largemouth Bass Fishing Spots at Saguaro Lake

  • Campers Cove
  • Bluff walls
  • Ship Rock
  • Mesquite Flats

Top Yellow Bass Fishing Spots at Saguaro Lake

  • Peregrine Cove
  • Campers Cove
  • Mid-lake over submerged river channel drop-offs
  • Ship Rock

Top Crappie Fishing Spots at Saguaro Lake

  • Peregrine Cove
  • Campers Cove
  • Mid-lake over submerged river channel drop-offs
  • Ship Rock
  • Around Saguaro Marina

Top Catfish Fishing Spots at Saguaro Lake

  • Peregrine Cove
  • Campers Cove
  • Ship Rock
  • The Snags
  • Mesquite Flats
  • Saguaro Marina

Top Bream/Bluegill Fishing Spots at Saguaro Lake

  • Peregrine Cove
  • Campers Cove
  • Ship Rock
  • The Snags
  • Mesquite Flats
  • Saguaro Marina

Marinas/ Boat Ramps at Saguaro Lake

Saguaro Lake Marina & Boat Ramp

Address: 14011 N Bush Hwy, Mesa, AZ 85215

Phone number: (480) 986-5546

Groceries/ Snacks: Yes

Bathrooms: Yes

Showers: Yes

Electric: Yes

Gas: Yes

Camping nearby: Yes

Other Boat Ramps Can Be Founds at...

  • Saguaro Del Norte Campground

Places to camp, lodging and RV parks

Traditional camping areas

  • Saguaro Del Norte Campground
  • Butcher Jones Recreation Area

Lodging

  • None

Boat camping areas (primitive)

  • None

RV Hook-Ups (electric & water)

  • None

Hotels Near Saguaro Lake

Don’t want to camp and need a place to stay when you’re visiting this lake?  Rest assured you’re covered!

Finding a quality place to stay can take a long time which is why we’re providing you with a list of quality travel options when you stay at this lake.

Check out this list of hotels and resorts you should consider staying at:

Other Things To Do Near Saguaro Lake

wikicommons - zeller- zalmanson

For those who want to chill at the lake…

  • Biking
  • Bird watching
  • Boating
  • Skiing
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Horseshoes
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Gentle walking trails
  • Nature photography trails
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Mountain biking
  • Stargazing
  • and most importantly… relaxing.

Tackle Shops & Tackle Retailers Near Saguaro Lake

Phoenix Fishing Supply

Located in central Phoenix, Phoenix Fishing Supply has been around since the 1980’s! Even before the big-box stores came into town Phoenix Fishing Supply has been catering to all types of anglers and offers a huge selection of products. 

Liar's Korner

Liar’s Korner Fishing Bait & Tackle is nestled in the far east side of metro Phoenix. This tackle shop is proudly run as a small family business that is serious about giving you the right gear to help you catch fish. It doesn’t matter if you’re fishing bass, crappie, walleye, or trout.  They have what you need. They carry all the name brands of tackle and gear, and frequently offer better prices than the big-box companies. 

Bass Pro Shops

Located on the east side Phoenix, Bass Pro Shops caters to very type of angler who wants to get their line wet.  Founded in 1972 by angler Johnny Morris in Springfield, Missouri Bass Pro Shops combines a massive tackle shop with their hunting, boating, conservation, and guide trips into a comprehensive outdoor and fishing retailer.

Sportsman's Warehouse

Sportsman’s Warehouse feels like a combination of a small outdoor outfitter shop with the capacity to hold a large amount of tackle, gear, and other outdoor accessories.  The staff is friendly, patient, and knowledgeable.  Sportsman’s Warehouse carries a wide variety of gear for every bass, catfish, trout, crappie, walleye, and pike to get you started. 

Do you need a Tonto Pass for Saguaro Lake?

Yes, a Tonto Pass is required if you are going to fish this lake. Luckily there are several types of passes that you can purchase.  There are also several different places you can easily purchase a Tonto Pass. 

Tonto Pass Options

Tonto Daily Pass – $8

Sold at Tonto National Forest offices, retail outlets and online.

Tonto Daily Passes are hangtags, designed to be self-validating.

Tonto Discovery Pass – $80

Sold at Tonto National Forest Offices only.

The Tonto Discovery Pass is an annual pass valid for one year (expires at the end of the month and year punched on the card) from the time of purchase.  The pass must be displayed in the provided hangtag from the rearview mirror. The Tonto Discovery Pass is valid for the pass holder (person(s) who signed the back of the pass) and the occupants of a single, private non-commercial vehicle.

Tonto Senior and Access Pass – $60

Sold at Tonto National Forest Offices only.

Persons ages 62 or older are eligible for the Tonto Discovery Senior pass. The Tonto Senior Discovery and Access Pass are two separate annual passes valid for one year (expiring at the end of the month and year punched on the card) from the time purchased. The pass must be displayed in the provided hangtag from the rearview mirror. The Tonto Discovery Pass is valid for a single pass holder (or person who signed the back of the pass) and the occupants of a single, private non-commercial vehicle. Please call any of our offices listed on the side to see if you qualify for the Senior pass or our Access Pass.

Tonto Discovery Vehicle Sticker: Free

(With purchase of Tonto Discovery Pass)

This pass is meant for OPEN TOP vehicles only where the regular Discovery Pass hangtag cannot be used or can be easily stolen. It is meant to be placed on your front windshield and used as a Tonto Discovery Pass. It is valid for a year from the day you purchase it. Only one sticker will come at request with the purchase of a Tonto Discovery Pass.

Proof of current registration/ownership of your open top vehicle/motorcycle is required at time of issuance to validate and receive the vehicle sticker.  Customer must carry their Tonto Pass Hangtag with them when driving a vehicle with a vehicle sticker.

Watercraft Use Sticker – $4

One sticker must be permanently affixed to a Tonto Daily Pass for each motorized watercraft that the vehicle tows or otherwise carries to the lake. “Motorized watercraft’ means any watercraft that is propelled by machinery whether or not the machinery is the principal source of propulsion.

Where Are the Tonto Passes Sold?

There are several ways you can purchases Tonto Passes:

  1. At the Tonto National Forest supervisor’s and district ranger offices
  2. At a variety of retail outlets around Arizona and along routes that forest visitors use to reach recreation sites on the Tonto National Forest
  3. Purchase annual and daily passes online
  4. By phone or mail Purchase by Phone or Mail

One of the unique features of the Tonto Pass program is the participation of retail outlets, small and large local businesses that sell the pass at many locations throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area, other Arizona cities and towns, and within the Tonto National Forest.

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