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Local Lakes

Fishing at Roosevelt Lake. Photo by Jenn Walker for GMTimes

The Southern Gila County region holds some of the best state records for fish. Apache and Roosevelt Lakes, which host numerous tournaments in the area, hold a number of these records. Fall and winter are known as a great time for fishing in these waters; many state record fish were caught anywhere from September to March.

Apache Lake

Spanning 2,660 acres when full, Apache Lake offers 41 miles of shoreline and clear waters, with plenty of coves and reefs to fish. Because it’s deep, Apache Lake is considered a cooler lake with a maximum depth of 266 feet. There fact that there are only two boat ramps here, one at Burnt Corral and one at the Apache Lake Marina Apache. That and the fact that you must brave the Apache Trail ) to access the lake keeps the crowds relatively low. Bass tournaments are popular here. Apache Lake holds five state records currently, two for Black Buffalo Fish, along with records for Smallmouth Buffalo, Smallmouth Bass and Black Crappie. Apache Lake also has a reputation for its smallmouth bass population; several national fishing magazines reported on the smallmouth bass in this lake. Arizona Game and Fish brings Rainbow Trout to the lake during the winter, which in turn supposedly helps the Largemouth Bass population. Yellow Bass, Sunfish, Bluegill, Catfish (Channel and Flathead), Carp and Walleye may also be found here.

Roosevelt Lake

Another prime destination for bass tournaments, Roosevelt Lake is the largest lake in Central Arizona, and the third largest in the state. It offers 128 miles of shoreline at 21,000 acres when full, and its maximum depth is more than 300 feet. There are nine boat ramps situated along this lake and miles of water to explore, making it easy to blast across the lake with a bass boat. Like Apache Lake, Roosevelt Lake is a popular fishing tournament destination; night tournaments are often held here during the summer (the daytime is just too hot).  In addition to bass, it’s also known for having some of the best crappie and catfish in the state. It currently holds seven state records: two smallmouth bass records, two bigmouth buffalo records, two flathead catfish records, and a yellow bass record. You may also find sunfish, bluegill and channel catfish here.

Regional Tournaments

Visit or for more information on regional

tournaments and fishing information in the area.

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