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Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, bluegill and yellow bass at Roosevelt Lake in Arizona.

By Rick Seaman

Roosevelt Lake Largemouth Bass

Roosevelt Lake, AZ Fishing

Having fished this lake for over five decades, I can assure you there are bass to be caught somewhere on the lake virtually any time of the day, year round. The challenge is figuring out where they are located and making a presentation with a bait that appeals to their mood. When they are shallow and active, Roosevelt Lake bass can be caught on a wide variety of reaction baits including, topwater, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, swimbaits, spinners and other fast-moving baits. If they are inactive but holding in the shallows, slower presentation are in order, including plastic worms, senkos and jigs. Once they move deep, the key is locating the baitfish which will give you a good idea of the depth where the bass are holding. Spoons, jigs, drop-shot lures and plastic worms are favorite lures to catch bass in these deep-water conditions.

Roosevelt Lake is the head lake in a chain of 4 lakes and collects fresh water from the Salt River and Tonto Creek. This influx of fresh water promotes high spawn rates and provides nutrients for a healthy food chain. Depending on the season, and time of day, one can catch largemouth's from the surface down to 40 or 50 feet deep. Bass fishing at Roosevelt Lake is the primary target goal of anglers here, followed closely by crappie fishing. The Roosevelt Lake Marina offers fishing boat rentals and fishing supplies.

Roosevelt Lake, AZ

Located in Central Arizona at the convergence of the Salt River and Tonto Creek, Roosevelt Lake is the head lake in a chain of 4 lakes. These lakes provide water to the Phoenix metropolitan area. The lake is accessed via State Highway 188 northeast from Globe and Miami at the town of Roosevelt, AZ. Lake Roosevelt is over 22,000 surface acres when full and is 23 miles long. Numerous campgrounds with boat launch facilities are located along the southwestern shore of the lake. Windy Hill, Schoolhouse Point, Grapevine, Roosevelt Lake Marina, Cholla, Porter Springs and Horse Pasture are the primary areas with boat launching facilities.

7 1/2 pound Roosevelt Lake Bass

Roosevelt Lake, located in Arizona, is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Spanning over 21,000 acres, it is the largest lake in central Arizona and offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Fishing is one of the main attractions at Roosevelt Lake, as it is home to numerous species of fish, making it a paradise for anglers. Whether you are fishing the Schoolhouse Point area on the Salt River end of the lake, fishing around Grapevine or Windy Hill, fishing around Rabbit Island near the Roosevelt Dam, or fishing the Tonto Creek arm of the lake near the Cholla Boat Ramp, there are plenty of fish to be found.

Lake Video

The lake is known for its diverse fish population, which includes species such as largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish. Anglers can try their luck at catching these prized fish using various techniques, such as casting, trolling, or bait fishing. The lake's vast size provides ample opportunities to explore different fishing spots and increase the chances of a successful catch.

Bass fishing at Roosevelt Lake in Arizona is a thrilling and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. Known for its excellent bass population, the lake provides ample opportunities to reel in trophy-sized largemouth and smallmouth bass. With its diverse underwater structure, including rocky points, submerged trees, and weed beds, Roosevelt Lake offers the perfect habitat for bass to thrive. Anglers can employ a variety of techniques, such as casting topwater lures in the early morning or using soft plastics to mimic baitfish. The challenge of outsmarting these powerful and elusive bass, combined with the breathtaking scenery of the lake and surrounding landscape, makes bass fishing at Roosevelt Lake an unforgettable adventure.

Primary fish species residing in Roosevelt Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Channel catfish Flathead catfish Black crappie Bluegill Yellow Bass

Fishing Boats For Rent In Arizona

Bass Fishing

Historically, Roosevelt Lake has been known as a bass factory. An excellent population of largemouth bass has filled many a stringer for decades. The lake has ideal cover and forage to grow and maintain this bass fishery. Lake levels fluctuate based on rainfall and snow melt. When the lake level stays high for long periods of time, the bass population thrives. At times, bass over 7 pounds are not uncommon, but the real attraction is the large quantities of bass available to anglers of all skill levels. The lake also sports a population of smallmouth bass which can add extra rewards to a day of bass fishing at Roosevelt Lake.

Crappie Fishing

Long known as a crappie factory, Roosevelt produces crappie over three pounds quite consistently. Crappie in the 1 pound to 2 1/2 pound range are the norm. Small crappie jigs, minnows spinners all take crappie at a variety of depths - depending on the season. During spring and fall crappie tend to favor seven to ten foot depths. In summer and winter they move deeper (often 45 feet and deeper).

Roosevelt Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: NEARBY
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Aside from fishing, Roosevelt Lake also offers opportunities for boating enthusiasts. The lake is perfect for boating, with its calm waters and ample space to navigate. Whether you prefer sailing, power boating, or kayaking, the lake provides a fantastic setting for a day out on the water. Boaters can enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding Tonto National Forest while indulging in their favorite water-based activities.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Roosevelt Lake Marina
Rentals: power boats and pontoons.
602 977-7170


Roosevelt Lake Marina
28085 AZ-188
Roosevelt, AZ 85545
602 977-7170

Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Cholla Boat Ramp
Tonto National Forest
Located along the northwest shoreline, this launch area includes a multi-lane concrete boat ramp, a dock and both paved and unpaved parking.
928 467-3200

Grapevine Boat Launch Ramp
Located on the south side of the lake, half way between Windy Hill and School House Point, this is a concrete, four-lane ramp with a dock and paved parking.
602 225-8395

Indian Point Campground Boat Launch
This is a nice two-lane launch ramp, with a dock and primitive parking.
928 467-3200

Porter Spring Recreation Site
Located just west of Windy Hill, this launch area serves the campground by providing a two-lane concrete boat launch ramp with limited parking.

Roosevelt Lake Marina
28085 AZ-188
Roosevelt, AZ 85545
Offers a two-lane, concrete launch ramp, with a dock. Parking area is unpaved.
602 977-7170

Schoolhouse Point Launch Ramp
This is a nice four-lane, concrete boat launch ramp, with a dock and plenty of paved parking.
602 225-5395

Windy Hill Recreation Site (East)
Located in the bay on the south side of windy hill, there are two boat ramps. One is four lane with docks and primitive parking (used primarily when lake levels are low. The other is an eight-lane ramp with paved parking (used when lake levels are high).

Windy Hill Recreation Site (West)
Located on the west side of windy hill, this boat ramp is six lane with a dock and primitive parking.

Click here for a Arizona Fishing License.

For those who prefer to spend a night or two immersed in nature, Roosevelt Lake offers excellent camping facilities. There are several campgrounds located around the lake, providing both tent and RV camping options. With picturesque views and convenient amenities, camping at Roosevelt Lake allows visitors to experience the serenity of the outdoors while being close to the water. Campers can enjoy activities like hiking, bird watching, or simply relaxing by the campfire, creating unforgettable memories in the heart of nature.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Cholla Campground - 928 467-3200

Spring Creek Inn & RV Resort - 928 467-2888

Roosevelt Lakeview RV Park - 928 961-6822

Roosevelt Lake AZ Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Roosevelt Lake
Roosevelt Lake Marina
28085 AZ-188
Roosevelt, AZ 85545
602 977-7170

Bass Fishing Book By Rick Seaman & Dan Westfall

Rick Seaman is a bass fishing enthusiast with over five decades of bass fishing experience, a retired bass tournament fisherman and co-author of the book "Bass Fishing. It's not WHAT you throw, It's WHERE you throw it" .


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