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

How To Fish Lake Mary

Lake Mary Fishing Report

Lake Mary is a small community lake just south of Flagstaff, Arizona, making it 153 miles from Phoenix, Arizona. 

Overall it’s a popular lake especially on the weekends and during the summer.  In this post you’re going to be given the blueprint to fish this lake.

So what are the best tips for fishing Lake Mary?  There are three important factors you must know  if you want to know how to fish Lake Mary successfully. First, you need to know what kind of fish is in Lake Mary. 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 Lake Mary 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 Lake Mary.

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 Trout, Pike, Yellow Bass, Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Bluegill, and much, much more!

Here’s the most recent and updated Lake Mary 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. 

  • Lake Mary Dam
  • South Bank
  • North Bank
  • “The Narrows”
  • Eastern Flats

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, or by kayak or float tube.
  • There are multiple public boat ramps to use.
  • Camping and RV parking is available.
  • You can buy tackle and groceries at the lake or at one of the tackle shops in Flagstaff. 

About Lake Mary

Lake Mary is a shallow body of water with the average depth being 22 feet and a maximum depth of 35 feet when the lake is completely full. Being 5 miles long and 0.5 mile across. This reservoir plays a vital role in snowfall runoff from Walnut Creek. Located in northern Arizona, Lake Mary gives locals and visitors the opportunity to test their luck in catching a huge rainbow trout, walleye, northern pike, and bass.

Important Lake Warnings

Algae blooms may be present which may affect fishing, swimming, and water contact in general. 

Maximum 10-HP for gas engines on the lake.

If you are fishing and camping, fire bans may be in effect due to the ongoing drought conditions.

What Kind of Fish Are In Lake Mary

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Tiger Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Yellow Bass
  • Walleye
  • Northern Pike
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill and Sunfish
  • Catfish

Lake Mary Fishing Tips & General Strategies

It can be a challenge to break down Lake Mary and decide to get started. 

Getting started, Lake Mary is a stained water lake, although sometimes it becomes relatively clear while other times it can turn very muddy, and thus fishing can be tough. 

There are two primary types of fishing structures in Lake Mary; hard structures and vegetation. The hard structure consists of boulders, rock piles, ledges, hardwood timber (either in the form of laydowns or vertical timber), man-made chunk rock banks, docks and water retention dams.  Despite being a high altitude mountain lake there is an abundant amount of vegetation that grows in this lake in the form of submerged grass beds, reed patches, and sometimes even floating vegetation mats. 

Lake Mary also offers short points that can drop into deeper water, as well as creek channel swings. 

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

Trout can be found up shallow in the winter and spring. However, trout will often suspend over deep water and more importantly in water temperatures that range from 55.5-56.5-degrees (which is typically around 40-50-feet deep).

Trout can be caught from shore, or by boat, kayak, or float tube.

Your best chance of catching deep suspending rainbow trout is by trolling a lure behind your boat or kayak. 

>> Learn More – If you want to learn more about how to troll for trout – click HERE

You can troll without a downrigger if the trout are holding higher in the water column, or you can troll your lure with a quality downrigger if you observe the trout holding in deep water.   

When the summer heat sets in, the bass, bluegill, and crappie will move to deeper water to approximately 15’-30’-feet of water. Focus on drops offs, channels, points, submerged humps. 

Deeper area with chunk rock ranging from baseball to basketball size will attract predatory fish like bass, crappie and catfish because it provides a safe area the prey (crayfish, bream, and minnows) can hide.

If you’re interested in learning how to fish for bass there is an article that dives into that exact topic. 

>> Learn More – How To Catch Bass – 57 Fool-Proof Methods To Start Bass Fishing [The Easy Way] – Click HERE

Fishing for Northern Pike at this lake can be a riot! Depending on how one views the circumstance, this is either beneficial or negative. 

Pike have a strong appetite. Fast-moving lures that replicate other fish species are usually effective for pike. Baits that simulate rainbow trout are becoming increasingly popular at Fool Hollow, and they work well on larger fish. 

For pike, don’t be afraid to toss lures that are 8″ to 10″ long.

The secret is to experiment with a variety of baits until you find one that works, and then stay with it until you no longer get strikes.

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

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.

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

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

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.

Lake Mary Dam

Fishing near the dam gives you ample opportunity to catch trout and walleye.

The rocky structure near the dam often harbors smallmouth bass and crappie. 

This section of the lake can get very windy. And even with the best trolling motor, the wind can quickly blow you off your spot which will significantly decrease your chances of catching a fish.

That is why we strongly suggest buying a quality drift sock. For those who don’t know, a drift sock is like a parachute for the water. If it’s breezy to windy, you need to slow your drift otherwise your lure will not be in the strike zone long enough to catch a fish.

By the way, we found a really good quality drift sock made by Mythik Outdoors, and best of all they’re sold on Amazon.com. Go here to learn more about drift socks and read the reviews from actual customers.  

Some of the effective baits for this area include

But wait! Before you tie on any bait nearly every professional fishing guide will strongly encourage the use of a fish attractor like a quality flasher or dodger 2-3 feet in front of any lure. This helps get the fish’s attention, kinda like ringing a dinner bell!

Trolling spoons such as a Krocodile spoon, Super Duper, Crippled Herring, Cast Champ, or  Hus-Lure. Trolling spoons have an unpredictable, minnow-like motion that delivers bone-crushing strikes. Even the slowest current brings these lures to life. Add extra motion by twitching the rod tip and enabling the bait to pop and dart forward and flutter back. 

Inline spinners such as the Bang-Tail and Shyster are non-twist spinners that boast an immediate spin blade design for incredibly rapid start-ups and the best slow retrieve performance.

Many anglers also place their confidence in the Blue Fox Classic Vibrax inline spinner. This little bait is a compact shallow running lure that performs best in 2 to 6 feet of water, depending on the speed of the retrieve or trolling speed. The patented two-part body emits low-frequency sound vibrations that attract fish. This lure is best used in lakes, rivers, and streams.

Minnow style baits also work very well either cast-and-retrieved or trolled. These perform best if the water is clear/slightly stained. The Luhr-Jensen Quick Fish and the Rapala BX minnow are constructed from hard plastic, have a wide wobble action, and are extremely durable.  Whereas the Rapala Original Floating Minnow and the Ultra Light Minnow (all are slow sinking)  both give you a tighter wobble perfect for clear water and pressured fishing conditions. 

Better yet, just buy a complete done-for-you trout lure kit

Now if you’re fishing from the shore, kayak, or even from the shore you should also consider using these additional baits: 

  • Real or artificial corn – great because it will never spoil or mold over 
  • Natural salmon eggs – it’s hard to beat natural salmon eggs when trout are eating salmon eggs, they’ll eat up jars of this stuff!
  • Artificial salmon eggs – great because they float off the bottom – ideal in rocky or grassy conditions
  • Real worms – such as meal worms or nightcrawlers
  • Artificial worms – great for trolling and will never die)
  • Dough bait – great because they stay on the hook really well, it floats if you put enough on the hook, comes in a variety of colors and scents. 
  • Wet flies (sinking flies) – Wet flies imitate insects that develop and inhabit below the water level before emerging and rising to the surface. 
  • Woolly bugger flies – One of the most popular fly patterns ever is the Woolly Bugger. These mimic small fish, leeches, larvae, and worms. 
    • Steamer flies – These mimic larger animals found in streams, rivers, and lakes including crawfish, larger leeches, and smaller fish.

    .

    Oh, before I forget, did you know that there is an article about how to troll for salmon, trout, and kokanee the right way? Go here to find out more.

    Effective baits for bass and northern pike this area include: topwater lures, buzzbaits, frog lures, crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits, swim jigs, hair jigs, and underspin jigs when the bass are aggressive. Smaller jigging spoons work great in the deeper channel sections and above any vertical timber as well.  

    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: north end of the lake

    Structural features: deep open water, chunk rock banks on the sides of the dam. 

    Best species to target: trout, walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill

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

    South Bank

    The west bank is filled with isolated patches of chunk rock banks. The banks can range from moderate to relatively steep and can range from large boulders, to chunk rock, to pea-sized substrate.

    Side scanning this area for active fish such as all species of trout and smallmouth bass should be a must if you plan to fish this area.

    There is also a small fishing dock next to the lake’s only boat ramp you can fish from. 

    Not surprisingly, this area remains relatively busy for recreational fishing traffic. However, this is also where they stock fish all throughout the summer giving anglers a better chance of catching a trout if you fish in this area.

    Some of the effective baits for this area for trout and walleye include: Fish attractor (ie: flasher or dodger), trolling spoons, inline spinners, Rapala minnows, Quick Fish, streamers and flies. You can also use real or artificial corn, natural salmon eggs, artificial salmon eggs, real worms such as meal worms or nightcrawlers, artificial worms, and dough bait. Better yet, just buy a complete done-for-you trout lure kit!

    Effective baits for bass and northern pike this area include: topwater lures, buzzbaits, frog lures, crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits, swim jigs, hair jigs, and underspin jigs when the bass are aggressive. Smaller jigging spoons work great in the deeper channel sections and above any vertical timber as well.  

    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: northwest end of the lake

    Structural features: chunk rock banks on the sides of the dam. 

    Best species to target: trout, walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill

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

    North Bank

    The north bank next to the dam is similar to the west bank because of its similar composition of being primarily chunk rock banks. The banks can range from moderate to relatively steep and can range from large boulders, to basketball sized chunk rock, to pea-sized substrate.

    That’s why we wrote this Lake Mary fishing report! We fished this lake multiple times and this always came in handy!

    Side scanning this area for active fish such as all species of trout and smallmouth bass should be a must if you plan to fish this area.

    There is also a small fishing dock in this area as well 

    Again, this area remains relatively busy for recreational fishing traffic due to the close proximity of a small parking lot next to the lake. 

    Some of the effective baits for this area for trout and walleye include: Fish attractor (ie: flasher or dodger), trolling spoons, inline spinners, Rapala minnows, Quick Fish, streamers and flies. You can also use real or artificial corn, natural salmon eggs, artificial salmon eggs, real worms such as meal worms or nightcrawlers, artificial worms, and dough bait. Better yet, just buy a complete done-for-you trout lure kit!

    Effective baits for bass and northern pike this area include: topwater lures, buzzbaits, frog lures, crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits, swim jigs, hair jigs, and underspin jigs when the bass are aggressive. Smaller jigging spoons work great in the deeper channel sections and above any vertical timber as well.  

    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: north end of the lake

    Structural features: chunk rock banks on the sides of the dam. 

    Best species to target: trout, walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill

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

    “The Narrows”

    Just upstream, the lake narrows into a deep channel with steep rocky banks. 

    Trout can be caught shallow in the mornings and evenings and will retreat to deep water during midday. 

    The surrounding banks funnels wind through this area and can get very, very windy – no joke. 

    You can catch sunfish and bluegill near any rocky edges, points, boulders, and vertical timber. 

    Some of the effective baits for this area for trout and walleye include: Fish attractor (ie: flasher or dodger), trolling spoons, inline spinners, Rapala minnows, Quick Fish, streamers and flies. You can also use real or artificial corn, natural salmon eggs, artificial salmon eggs, real worms such as meal worms or nightcrawlers, artificial worms, and dough bait. Better yet, just buy a complete done-for-you trout lure kit!

    Located: middle of the lake of the lake

    Structural features: deep channel

    Best species to target: trout,bluegill, catfish

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

    Eastern Flats

    This open flat of the lake feeds into the main river channel. 

    It’s primary structure consists of sandstone and slate rock piles and boulders. You’ll also notice vegetation near the back of the pocket in the form of submerged weedbeds to floating mats later in the summer and early fall. Lastly, you’ll commonly find laying and standing timber. 

    This is a good arm of the lake to fish year round if you’re targeting bluegill and bass.  

    It’s also a great place to get away from all the crowds if you’re fishing from the shoreline. 

    Effective baits for bass and northern pike this area include: topwater lures, buzzbaits, frog lures, crankbaits, soft plastic swimbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits, swim jigs, hair jigs, and underspin jigs when the bass are aggressive. Smaller jigging spoons work great in the deeper channel sections and above any vertical timber as well.  

    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: east end of the lake

    Structural features: shallow rocky flat, chunk rock banks, vegetation 

    Best species to target: smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill

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

    – Featured Article Of The Month –

    Click On the Picture To Learn More!

    How To Catch Fish In Lake Mary

    Rainbow Trout

    Arizona Game & Fish Department grow and stocks local lakes and reservoirs like this lake with Rainbow Trout.

    Due to this lake being relatively unpressured, deep, and colder, and most other desert reservoirs, the stocked trout do very well. 

    Since the trout are produced in local fisheries, they are healthy and have no limit on the amount of trout that can be consumed.

    Typically trout are stocked twice a week, however, it can vary. 

    General Trout Details

    Spawn: March-May

    Food: insects and crustaceans. 

    Arizona State Record: 15 lb. 9.12 oz. 32.5 in., Willow Springs Lake Harold Wright, Sun City 9/29/06

    Table Quality: Depending on the fishes diet, the meat can be white to orange-red in color. The meat is firm, flaky, and is considered excellent eating.

    Angling techniques:

    • Trolling with or without downriggers
    • Fish attractor such as a  flasher or a dodger – great when trolling.
    • Trolling spoons such as a Krocodile spoon, Super Duper, Crippled Herring, Cast Champ, or  Hus-Lure – simple, easy to use, can be trolled or cast-retrieved at any speed.
    • Inline spinners such as the Bang-Tail and Shyster – gets a ton of bites.
    • Minnow style baits such as the Luhr-Jensen Quick Fish and the Rapala BX minnow – known to hook up giant fish.
    • Real or artificial corn – great because it will never spoil or mold over.
    • Natural salmon eggs – it’s hard to beat natural salmon eggs at bait. When trout are eating salmon eggs, they’ll eat up a couple of jars in less than an hour!
    • Artificial salmon eggs – great because they float off the bottom – ideal in rocky or grassy conditions.
    • Real worms – such as meal worms or nightcrawlers.
    • Artificial worms – great for trolling and will never die.
    • Dry flies (floating flies) – The insects that land, float, or live on top of the water, which are represented by dry flies. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation.
    • Wet flies (sinking flies) – Wet flies imitate insects that develop and inhabit below the water level before emerging and rising to the surface. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation.  
    • Woolly bugger flies – One of the most popular fly patterns ever is the Woolly Bugger. These mimic small fish, leeches, larvae, and worms. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation.  
      • Steamer flies – They can also mimic larger animals found in streams and rivers, including crawfish, larger leeches, and smaller fish. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation. 

        • **The number one key to successful trout fishing, is to use light line (2 to 6 pound) and small hooks (10-14 sizes), and small sinkers

        Brown Trout

        In Arizona, this is the only fish with both red and black patches on its body.

        A pale/off-white halo usually surrounds dark patches on the sides.

        On the back, the color ranges from dark to olive brown, dipping to yellow on the sides, and yellow or white on the belly.

        In larger fish, breeding males have lower chin that will create a hooked jaw. The corner of the mouth extends past the eye, resulting in a huge mouth.

        Brown trout are not native to Arizona, nor to North America for that matter. They were first imported to California in 1893 and originated in Europe.

        Brown trout will commonly feed during the day if they are not bothered. Larger fish, on the other hand, are mainly nocturnal.

        Brown trout are very aggressive feeders and will readily eat a streamer fly, casting upstream or into the wind. 

        Artificial baits such as in-line spinners or small Rapala minnow bait work phenomenally.  

        Live nightcrawlers, or minnows on a #6-#8 hooks are excellent baits.

        If you can find any waterfall or spillway, spend some time fishing it because brown trout will often wait to ambush any prey that happens to drift over them in those areas.

        Likewise, if you’re in a boat on the main lake some of the best ways to catch brown trout is to troll for these behemoths. 

        General Trout Details

        Spawn: October-December

        Food: Insects, small fish and crustaceans. 

        Arizona State Record: 22 lbs 14.5 oz. Caught 08/06/1999 in Reservation Lake.

        Table Quality: Depending on the fishes diet, the meat can be white to orange-red in color. The meat is firm, flaky, and is considered excellent eating.

        Angling techniques:

        • Trolling with or without downriggers
        • Fish attractor such as a  flasher or a dodger – great when trolling.
        • Trolling spoons such as a Krocodile spoon, Super Duper, Crippled Herring, Cast Champ, or  Hus-Lure – simple, easy to use, can be trolled or cast-retrieved at any speed.
        • Inline spinners such as the Bang-Tail and Shyster – gets a ton of bites.
        • Minnow style baits such as the Luhr-Jensen Quick Fish and the Rapala BX minnow – known to hook up giant fish.
        • Real or artificial corn – great because it will never spoil or mold over.
        • Natural salmon eggs – it’s hard to beat natural salmon eggs at bait. When trout are eating salmon eggs, they’ll eat up a couple of jars in less than an hour!
        • Artificial salmon eggs – great because they float off the bottom – ideal in rocky or grassy conditions.
        • Real worms – such as meal worms or nightcrawlers.
        • Artificial worms – great for trolling and will never die.
        • Dry flies (floating flies) – The insects that land, float, or live on top of the water, which are represented by dry flies. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation.
        • Wet flies (sinking flies) – Wet flies imitate insects that develop and inhabit below the water level before emerging and rising to the surface. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation.  
        • Woolly bugger flies – One of the most popular fly patterns ever is the Woolly Bugger. These mimic small fish, leeches, larvae, and worms. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation.  
          • Steamer flies – They can also mimic larger animals found in streams and rivers, including crawfish, larger leeches, and smaller fish. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation. 

            • **The number one key to successful trout fishing, is to use light line (2 to 6 pound) and small hooks (10-14 sizes), and small sinkers

            Brook Trout

            Brook trout are the only fish in Arizona with a vermiculate appearance on their backs and upper sides that appears wavy, almost worm-like.

            They have red specks encircled by blue halos and are olive-green to olive-brown in color, with reddish tints.

            Pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins with white-leading edges are the most prominent features of a brook trout.

            Brook trout are opportunistic eaters who eat tiny crawfish, worms, minnows, and terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates.

            They eat whatever is accessible to them. Anglers love them because they can accept a variety of flies and lures and are not as finicky as other species of trout. 

            Brook trout fishing is comparable to rainbow trout fishing in rivers or lakes.

            Brook trout love spinners. The best spinners are: Bang-Tail (size 018),  Blue Foxes (blade size-0),  Kastmasters (1/16-ounce), Panther Martins spinners, Little Cleo spoons (1/16-ounce), and Shyster spinners (size 018).

            Worms and natural bugs like grasshoppers, woolly buggers, and floating flies are great patterns to consider.

            General Brook Trout Details

            Spawn: October-November

            Food: Insects, small fish, and crustaceans. 

            Arizona State Record: 4 lbs 15 oz. Caught 10/20/1995 by Marshall Gregg in Sunrise Lake.

            Table Quality: Depending on the fishes diet, the meat can be white to orange-red in color. The meat is firm, flaky, and is considered excellent eating.

            Angling techniques:

            • Trolling with or without downriggers
            • Fish attractor such as a  flasher or a dodger – great when trolling.
            • Trolling spoons such as a Krocodile spoon, Super Duper, Crippled Herring, Cast Champ, or  Hus-Lure – simple, easy to use, can be trolled or cast-retrieved at any speed.
            • Inline spinners such as the Bang-Tail and Shyster – gets a ton of bites.
            • Minnow style baits such as the Luhr-Jensen Quick Fish and the Rapala BX minnow – known to hook up giant fish.
            • Real or artificial corn – great because it will never spoil or mold over.
            • Natural salmon eggs – it’s hard to beat natural salmon eggs at bait. When trout are eating salmon eggs, they’ll eat up a couple of jars in less than an hour!
            • Artificial salmon eggs – great because they float off the bottom – ideal in rocky or grassy conditions.
            • Real worms – such as meal worms or nightcrawlers.
            • Artificial worms – great for trolling and will never die.
            • Dry flies (floating flies) – The insects that land, float, or live on top of the water, which are represented by dry flies. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation.
            • Wet flies (sinking flies) – Wet flies imitate insects that develop and inhabit below the water level before emerging and rising to the surface. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation.  
            • Woolly bugger flies – One of the most popular fly patterns ever is the Woolly Bugger. These mimic small fish, leeches, larvae, and worms. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation.  
              • Steamer flies – They can also mimic larger animals found in streams and rivers, including crawfish, larger leeches, and smaller fish. Investing in a kit gives you a wide assortment of flies and a good selection of types and sizes allow you to quickly adjust to any situation. 

                • **The number one key to successful trout fishing, is to use light line (2 to 6 pound) and small hooks (10-14 sizes), and small sinkers

                Largemouth Bass

                The Largemouth bass is a carnivorous member of the sunfish family. Most lakes hold the Northern strain species, however the Roosevelt chain lakes have been stocking the lakes with Florida strain species of largemouth bass. 

                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, 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:

                Smallmouth Bass

                Smallmouth bass are a sibling species closely related to largemouth bass. They have a pretty brown/golden color and carry the nickname of “bronzeback”. There are a few physical features that make it different from the largemouth bass. Aside from being bronze in color, they will have gray-brown vertical bands and the most defining feature 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 incredibly 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

                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

                Introduced to Arizona in 1905, this lakes 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 is going to be 0.75-pounds, however electro-netted samples show they can get over 3-pounds in size!

                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

                Introduced to Arizona in 1957, this lake holds good size walleye. 

                Being extremely light sensitive, these fish will hold to the bottom of the lake most of the time. They can be often caught along deep channels and ledges.

                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!  

                General Crappie 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). 

                Northern Pike

                Introduced to Arizona in 1960’s, this lake holds good size northern pike. 

                The average size of a pike in Arizona will be 1-3-pounds.  Some can grow up to 30+pounds and live to nearly 20-years old!  

                Pike have a strong appetite. Their carnivorous habit, along with their massive size, might spell doom for other fish in a body of water. As a result, both Arizona State Parks and Trails and the Arizona Game and Fish Department request that fishermen keep all pike caught and do not return them to the lake. Fortunately, there is plenty of other fish in the lake right now, and the food chain hasn’t been disrupted.

                Fast-moving lures that replicate other fish species are usually effective for pike. Baits that simulate rainbow trout are becoming increasingly popular at Fool Hollow, and they work well on larger fish. 

                For pike, don’t be afraid to toss lures that are 8″ to 10″ long. Their enormous toothy mouths regularly snag even larger fish, and an 8″ lure may appear to bigger pike as a simple mid-morning feast. 

                Big flutter spoons simulate wounded baitfish, spinnerbaits, large swimbaits, crankbaits, and big inline spinner lures all have a proven track record for catching pike. 

                The secret is to experiment with a variety of baits until you find one that works, and then stay with it until you no longer get strikes.

                General Crappie Details

                Spawn: March-May

                Food: Baitfish, small game fish, crayfish, and worms.  Small fish make up their main diet. 

                Arizona State Record: 32 lb. 5.6 oz. 49 in. Ashurst Lake Ronald Needs, Flagstaff 11/5/04

                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 and of the Roosevelt chain lakes, including Canyon 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/ Sunfish

                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

                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

                Boat Ramps At Lake Mary

                Lake Mary Boat Ramps

                There are 3 boat ramps.  Upper Lake Mary Boat Launch & Picnic Area #1 and #2, and Narrows Day Use Area. 

                • Location: Flagstaff, AZ 86001
                • Lanes: 2 per launch
                • Phone number: (928) 526-0866
                • Groceries available: no
                • Gas: no
                • Bathrooms: yes
                • Showers: no
                • Electric: no
                • Camping nearby: yes

                Top Tackle Shops Near Lake Mary

                Lake Mary Country Store & T Park and Lake Mary Fishing Boat Rentals

                • 8510 Lake Mary Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86005
                • (928) 774-1742

                Big 5 Sporting

                • 2775 S Woodlands Village Blvd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
                • (928) 214-0590

                Sportsman’s Warehouse

                • 2231 E Rte 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
                • (928) 526-2300

                REI

                • 323 S Windsor Ln, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
                • (928) 213-1914

                Walmart

                • 2750 S Woodlands Village Blvd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
                • (928) 773-1117

                Places To Camp, Lodging, And RV Parks

                Lakeview Campground

                This campground is listed as a moderate/heavy use drive-in primitive campground off the dirt road. There are very few amenities provided.  Everything else is – “Pack it in pack it out, and leave area clean for next occupant”. 

                Campground host: On site.

                Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (running generators not permitted during quiet hours)

                • Location: 
                • Phone number: 
                • Nearby access to the lake: yes
                • Tents, trailers and small motorhomes are allowed.
                • Site quantity: not listed
                • Fee’s (as per USDA website): Campsite: $24 per night, up to eight people with one vehicle. Second vehicle per night: $8 additional. Picnic/day use (10 a.m to 4 p.m.): $8 up to 5 people. Senior and Access Interagency passes are accepted for a 50% discount on single-site camping fees. Other Interagency passes are not accepted.
                • Low season: October – March
                • High season: April – September 
                • Concrete pads: no
                • Drinking water available: yes
                • Rustic toilets.
                • Pets welcome: yes
                • Fire ring: yes
                • Picnic table: yes
                • Nearby gas: yes, several miles away
                • Nearby place to buy firewood: yes, several miles away
                • Nearby place to buy groceries: yes
                • Campground map – click here
                • Reservations – click here

                Canyon Vista Camping Area

                This campground is listed as a heavy use drive-in primitive campground off the dirt road. There are very few amenities provided.  Everything else is – “Pack it in pack it out, and leave area clean for next occupant”. 

                As a heads up, this is a very popular location for UTV riders.  Noise complaints are common, especially on summer weekends and on holidays. 

                Campground host: On site.

                Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (running generators not permitted during quiet hours)

                No reservations. This campground is on a first-come, first-served basis.

                • Location: 7997 Lake Mary Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
                • Phone number: (928) 526-0866
                • Nearby access to the lake: yes
                • Tents, trailers and small motorhomes are allowed.
                • Site quantity:
                • Fee’s (as per USDA website): Campsite: $24 per night, up to eight people with one vehicle. Second vehicle per night: $8 additional. Picnic/day use (10 a.m to 4 p.m.): $8 up to 5 people. Senior and Access Interagency passes are accepted for a 50% discount on single-site camping fees. Other Interagency passes are not accepted.
                • Low season: October – March
                • High season: April – September 
                • Concrete pads: no
                • Drinking water available: yes
                • Rustic toilets.
                • Pets welcome: yes
                • Fire ring: yes
                • Picnic table: yes
                • Nearby gas: yes, several miles away
                • Nearby place to buy firewood: yes, several miles away
                • Nearby place to buy groceries: yes
                • Campground map – click here
                • Reservations – click here

                Pine Grove Camping Area

                This campground is listed as a heavy use drive-in primitive campground off the dirt road. There are very few amenities provided.  Everything else is – “Pack it in pack it out, and leave area clean for next occupant”. 

                As a heads up, this is a very popular location for UTV riders.  Noise complaints are common, especially on summer weekends and on holidays. Noise complaints are common, especially on summer weekends and on holidays. 

                Campground host: On site.

                Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (running generators not permitted during quiet hours)

                • Location: 19356 Lake Mary Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
                • Phone number: (877) 444-6777
                • Nearby access to the lake: yes
                • Tents, trailers and small motorhomes are allowed.
                • Site quantity: not listed
                • Low season: October – March
                • High season: April – September 
                • Concrete pads: no
                • Drinking water available: yes
                • Rustic toilets.
                • Shower available: yes for a fee.
                • Pets welcome: yes
                • Fire ring: yes
                • Picnic table: yes
                • Nearby gas: yes, several miles away
                • Nearby place to buy firewood: yes, several miles away
                • Nearby place to buy groceries: yes
                • Campground map – click here
                • Reservations – click here

                Other Things To Do Near Lake Mary

                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.

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