Your Best Spring Fishing in Arizona

Offering nearly 20,000 surface acres for anglers to roam, the Grand Canyon State's Lake Havasu is an excellent choice as the trees begin to show their spring buds and the days get warmer. Although it's known for cranking out 20 to 30 pound stripers on a regular basis, it is also a phenomenal largemouth fishery, and they especially turn on once spring arrives.

March & April

One of several Colorado River impoundments across the Southwest, Lake Havasu is considered by many to be a top largemouth bass destination. In fact, it's not uncommon for anglers to catch largemouth bass in the 4 to 5 pound range on a regular basis; and when spring arrives and egg-filled females start moving towards the shallows to spawn, 6 to 8 pound toads are not unheard of.

Targeting Havasu's bass in the spring means searching the shallows and cattail-lined banks for pre-spawn and nesting bass. This is sight fishing at its finest, and when the bass take up residence on their nests, catching solid numbers of quality bass is a real possibility. During this time of year, it's hard to beat lipless and shallow diving crank baits, spinnerbaits, tube jugs, soft jerkbaits like Senkos and Jerk Minnows, and wacky-rigged worms. As the post spawn season approaches and the bass move to deeper water, topwater lures such as poppers, stickbaits and buzzbaits can be very effective.

In 1992, the Lake Havasu Fisheries Improvement Program began construction and placement of fish habitat structures, or what some call brush bundles, in over 40 coves throughout the lake, with the objective of improving and sustaining largemouth, as well as other game fish populations. After more than 210,000 of man-hours, over 11,000 of these game fish magnets have been created, and they can be good locations to find post spawn bass.


Although Havasu largemouth will still be biting, when May arrives it's time to start gearing up for the striped bass opportunities. They will be in transition at this time, with some being fooled on top, while others will be closer to the bottom. Regardless, finding schools of shad are always your best bet, and if they are near the surface just look for birds feeding on them. Deeper schools of shad require fish finders to locate, but once found you're on your way to a cooler full of fish. Surface action requires the use of top water stick baits like Pencil Poppers, Red Fins and Zig Zags, but if they're deep it's hard to beat live shad and spoons.

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