Alamo Lake is a 3,500-acre impoundment created by Alamo Dam. It is located on the Bill Williams River below the confluence of the Big Sandy, Santa Maria, and Date Creek tributaries. It was created with the completion of Alamo Dam in
1968. The earthen dam is approximately 39 miles upstream of the Colorado River at Lake Havasu. Fluctuating
water levels are common in the reservoir and increases of water level
up to 7 vertical feet in twenty-four hours is possible. The current water elevation for Alamo Lake is updated regularly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The "target" lake elevation of 1125 feet (subject to the vagaries of nature) creates an impoundment of 3683 acres.
Alamo Lake is popular for its good to excellent largemouth bass, crappie, and channel catfish fishing. However, sunfish, tilapia, and carp fishing can also be good.
Bass fishing at Alamo Lake can be some of the best in Arizona. Techniques for bass fishing vary widely. However in general, when fishing for bass in the cooler months, when bass are less active, fish deeper water with jigs, swimbaits, or plastics, using a slow retrieve. As the water warms up in the spring and summer, bass become more active and move to shallower water. During that time most people use plastics, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, or crankbaits with a faster retrieve. Plastic baits resembling worms, crawdads, frogs, or lizards can also work well. For best results, fish around structure such as weedbeds, emergent vegetation, brush, or tree stumps.
Largemouth bass surveys conducted by AGFD in October indicate that bass are still very abundant, although a large proportion of the population remains in the protected slot. We continue to see a gradual increase in numbers of bass that are greater than 16 inches, but slot-sized fish are the most numerous, with larger fish still pretty far and few between. This past fall, the bass were in average physical condition, but we noted abundant forage, including shad, small sunfish, and an unusually big bumper crop of small tilapia.
Crappie fishing at Alamo Lake can also be excellent. Trolling, jigging, or fishing with minnows are good techniques for crappie. Crappie are generally found in deeper water in the cool months and in shallower water in the warm months. Fishing around shad “boils” can result in some fast and furious action.
Channel catfish, sunfish, tilapia and carp fishing can also be good at Alamo Lake. For channel catfish use night crawlers, chicken liver, stinkbait or some other form of “smelly” bait. Catfishing is usually best at night. Sunfish can be caught on meal worms, night crawlers, or small crappie jigs. Tilapia and carp fishing is often overlooked but Alamo Lake can produce some real trophies.
The upper end of Alamo Lake has a lot of dead standing vegetation and debris, often just below the water surface. This is great cover for fish, but presents a hazard to boating. Be aware that there are no navigational hazard markers at the upper portion of the lake, once you pass the second buoy line.
Alamo Lake State
Park, located on the southwest end of Alamo Lake, provides both primitive
and improved camping, and paved boat launches. The State Park, and all of its facilities, is open, and we expect all amenities to remain available. However, if the lake receives no additional inflow this year, the main ramp will become unusable by summer. There is a small store in the Park, where you can get ice, snacks, fishing tackle and bait, as well as information on current fishing. A certified scale is located at the store. No fuel is available at Alamo Lake. It is sold at Wenden, and nearby Wayside.