Go Fishing at Dankworth!

This scenic desert lake is only a short drive from nearby Roper Lake State Park, and offers similar fishing opportunities as big brother three miles away. Most anglers target largemouth bass or trout, but Dankworth is loaded with enough bluegill and green sunfish to keep the kids busy for an afternoon, or a weekend! Check out the species-specific sections below, then plan your unforgettable angling adventure at one of Arizona’s best kept secrets! The serenity here will almost overshadow the great fishing. 

Largemouth Bass

Generally speaking, largemouth bass are targeted here at Dankworth more than any of the other species that inhabits the lake. It’s not uncommon have “double-digit” fish days here, nor is the occasional 5+ pound fish unheard of. In fact, we’re continually surprised at the number of large bass that live in this relatively small body of water! Trout are stocked at Dankworth fall through spring, and bass predate upon them on a regular basis. This supplemental diet might be just what these fish need to achieve their larger size.

Drop shot presentations with a variety of soft plastic baits account for a majority of Dankworth bass, and this time-tested technique should continue to produce here for the foreseeable future. Topwater lures work at Dankworth if retrieved near the reeds, or you can flip jigs deep into the reeds for otherwise unaccessible fish! Gaining in popularity are large, lifelike rainbow trout lures that imitate the stocked trout.

@hauznter and some gorgeous Dankworth albino rainbow trout!@hauznter and some gorgeous Dankworth albino rainbow trout!

Rainbow Trout

From late October through March, the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks Dankworth (and nearby Roper Lake) with beautiful, delicious Rainbow trout. Any tactics that work for stocked trout elsewhere, also work here at Dankworth. Take a look at these tips to help you catch more rainbow trout, and to find out when it’s stocked...then give trout fishing at Dankworth a try! 

Of interesting note are the albino rainbow trout stocked here at Dankworth in 2020! Will we see more of these unique sportfish this year? Keep an eye on our social media or visit the lake to find out! 


Bluegill and green sunfish are often referred to as “panfish” because they’re absolutely delicious and fit in a standard size frying pan so nicely. Both the bluegill and green sunfish in Dankworth typically bite the same baits but might be found in differing parts of the lake depending on time of year. Since they’re relatively easy to catch, once you’ve established a pattern, replicate it in different parts of the lake if fishing slows.

Try a 2-3” piece of nightcrawler or a meal worm (or two) on a #6 or #8 hook, under a bobber, near cover, at varying depths. The reeds that line the lake, as well as the metal fishing structures hold fish most of the time. Just sit tight and wait for it to happen. If after a half-hour you haven’t received a bite, adjust your depth, or change spots. More adventuresome anglers can walk along the shore, or paddle in their kayak while looking for fish. Using polarized sunglasses really helps to see through the glare! After finding some fish, cast near them, but not directly on top of them. You don’t want to startle the fish by your presentation!

Visit our Fishing in Arizona page to learn more about fishing opportunities throughout the state park system.

A valid Arizona fishing license is required for anglers 10 years and older. Arizona fishing licenses are available on the Arizona Game and Fish website, and a variety of authorized license dealers throughout the state. Before your trip, take a look at the current AZGFD fishing report  to increase your chance of success.

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