As we are in the midst of the dog days of summer, what is more emblematic of summer than fishing? Even though we live in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, there are a surprisingly good number of local fishing holes, all of which are a short drive within or from the Valley of the Sun.
Smack dab in the middle of Phoenix is Encanto Lake, located at 6602 W Encanto Blvd. This 7.5- acre urban oasis is stocked with sunfish, catfish, trout, bass and amur. Fly fishing and bait fishing are permitted.
Tempe Town Lake, just north of downtown Tempe, is one of the Valley’s newer fishing destinations. This two-mile long, 220-acre lake is stocked by Arizona Game and Fish during the winter months, and is filled with rainbow trout, largemouth and yellow bass, sunfish, crappie, tilapia and channel catfish. Fishing is permitted from both the north and south shorelines, as well as by boat.
Beautiful Saguaro Lake, located 40 minutes from Phoenix (and 20 minutes from Mesa), is 10 miles long, with over 22 miles of shoreline. It is 118 feet at its deepest point, and is a popular boating, water-skiing and kayaking destination. Fishing is permitted from shore (as well as from boat, of course) with fish varieties including bass (largemouth, small mouth, and yellow), rainbow trout, blue gill, crappie, walleye and channel catfish.
Lake Pleasant Regional Park (41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road) is a 7,600-acre reservoir is home to several types of bass (white, striped, largemouth), sunfish, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and tilapia. Boats are available to rent, by the hour or by the day, at the Scorpion Bay Marina.
Chaparral Lake (5401 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale) features 10-acres of bass, trout, catfish and green sunfish. Boats with electric trolling motors are also permitted.
These are just a handful of the dozens of fishing locations throughout and near the Valley of the Sun. Remember that a valid fishing license is required for all fishers age 14 and up, on all public waters within the state of Arizona. Licenses are available at all Big-5 Sporting Goods Stores as well as online with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.