Lake Mead Fishing

Lake Mead is a large reservoir located in Nevada and Arizona, about 30 miles east of Las Vegas. The Lake was created during the construction of the famous Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and is noted as having drought conditions for the last decade or so but is definitely on the rebound. Is Lake Mead good for fishing?

Fishing is a favorite pastime here at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. With more than 290 square miles of water surface, you can be sure to find a favorite spot to catch the big one. Lake Mead has become famous for its striped bass with an occasional catch weighing in at over 40 pounds.

A trip to Lake Mead often demands at least some time spent fishing. It is one of the most enjoyed pastimes on the lake and is most well-known for its striped bass fish. Some lake fish of these can be as large as 35 to 40 pounds. However, there are other fish you look for here as well. That includes rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, and crappie. You may also find sunfish and striped bass.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lake Mead is a popular fishing destination with a variety of fish species, including striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, and more.
  •  The striper fish, or striped bass, is notably abundant in Lake Mead, making it a fishing mecca.
  •  Fishing conditions at Lake Mead can vary depending on the time of day and season.
  •  The largemouth bass, known for its elusiveness, is also present in Lake Mead’s waters.
  • Lake Mead offers boat rentals and fishing services for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Clear waters and abundant fish populations make Lake Mead a prime spot for both novice and seasoned anglers.
  • Fishing at Lake Mead requires a fishing license, adherence to catch limits, and respect for the environment.

Fishing in Lake Mead – A Guide to Native Fish & Sport Fish Species

Fishing Locations:

  • Hemenway-Shoreline Fishing Beach to the north of Hemenway Launch Ramp. Enter the park at the Boulder Beach Entrance Station and take your first right. Travel one mile and turn left after the restrooms. Take your first right down the dirt road. Parking is available along the shoreline. Due to low water conditions, only shoreline fishing is allowed in areas outside the designated harbor buoys and away from designated swimming areas.
  • Willow Beach Fishing is located on Lake Mohave north of the Willow Beach Marina. Take U.S. 93 to the Willow Beach Entrance Station. Follow the road past the marina. The lake pier is located just before the fish hatchery. The hatchery releases trout in the Willow Beach area every Friday.
  • Katherine’s Landing Fishing Pier– Located on Lake Mohave south of the Katherine Landing Marina. Take AZ-68 to Davis Dam Road. Turn left. Take your first right onto Katherine Supr Road. Continue down the road past the marina and launch ramp. The fishing pier is on the right.

Many people fishing here either charter a boat to do so or use their watercraft. Getting out into the water is a great way to fish and provides a larger opportunity to catch some of the best fish in the region. You can always Rent a houseboat or one of our boats to take out onto the waterfront as well.

There is plenty of fish available no matter what time you head out. However, there are a few things that may make this experience a bit better for you:

  • After largemouth bass? Plan to fish from May to September for them
  • Bluegill fish are best available from May to June
  • Catfish are easier to catch from April through September

When it comes to what time of the day to fish, that somewhat depends on what you plan to catch. For example, the best time to catch bass is in the early morning hours and then again in the early evening. You may also find this is a good time to fish for catfish.

BOULDER BEACH FISHING PIER RE-OPENED - Lake Mead National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service)
  BOULDER BEACH FISHING PIER RE-OPENED –       Lake Mead National Recreation Area 

Whether you’re casting your line from the shore or trolling from a boat, the chances of a memorable catch are high. The diverse fish species and the scenic beauty of the surroundings contribute to the allure of Lake Mead.

Under the sapphire expanse, Lake Mead’s native fish glide through the depths, offering a challenge to those who seek them. Amidst these are sport fish, whose acrobatic prowess is matched only by the adrenalin they inject into every fishing tale told. Notable among them, the striper fish – or striped bass – reigns supreme, turning Lake Mead into a veritable fishing mecca. Anglers from near and far converge with dreams of reeling in this prized species, whose silver sheen has hypnotized many a fisherman.

But striper isn’t the only catch that defines Lake Mead. The largemouth bass, a quintessential sport fish, lurks in the crevasses and shadows, its reputation for elusiveness being the allure that hooks the angler. This fish, with its stunning power and agility, creates ripples of excitement across Lake Mead’s surface. And let’s not overlook the serpentine carp, a hard-fighting fish that tests the will and skill of those patient enough to court its favor.

Trout enthusiasts fear not, for Lake Mead serves up these cold-water favorites with gracious consistency. Rainbow trout, with its vibrant streak and fighting spirit, provides a spirited chase that satiates the appetite of the most discerning fish seekers. These trout navigate Lake Mead’s waters with a grace that belies their readiness to elude capture. Meanwhile, the wildlife spectating from the reeds and rocks offers a backdrop to the drama of the catch.

Fishing in Lake Mead presents a delicate dance with nature – a tapestry of moments that celebrates both biodiversity and the human spirit. Anglers in pursuit of big lake fish are met with compelling prospects and the unspoken promise of Lake Mead – that every cast brings the potential for an epic encounter. Whether you’re casting for bass, trout, carp, or the elusive striper, your time on Lake Mead will echo with the splash of fish and the laughter of wildlife.

On the Water: Lake Mead Fishing Service and Boat Rentals

Embarking on a fishing adventure at Lake Mead’s serene waters offers a delightful escape for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Nestled within the boundaries of the expansive Lake Mead National Park, the lake’s rippling blue expanse draws visitors from bustling Las Vegas, offering a tranquil respite just a stone’s throw from the city’s vibrant energy. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or a family looking for a day of fun, Lake Mead’s fishing service providers ensure you’ve got the support you need to make the most of your time on the water.

  • You can fish 24 hours a day from watercraft at Lake Mead. The early bird does catch the world for many people here.
  • You can also fish off the shore or any of the three fishing piers at any time. Try both types of experiences (on a boat and a pier) if you love to fish as this can give you a completely different experience.
  • You cannot fish where posted not to do so. This is usually around the boundaries of the hatcheries and the area immediately below and above Hoover Dam. You can also not fish in the flake wake buoys located around the harbor or the marinas.
  • Did you want to prep your fish after a catch? You can do that at the fish cleaning stations provided to you and managed by the park system. They are located at Willow Beach, Cottonwood Cove, Callville Bay, Hemenway Harbor, and Echo Bay.
Fishing at Lake Mead: Striped Bass, Catfish, and Bluegills | Callville Bay Full Service Marina
Fishing at Lake Mead: Striped Bass, Catfish, and Bluegills

For those new to the sport or without their gear, numerous boat rental services around Boulder’s gateway to Lake Mead provide the perfect solution. Imagine yourself at the helm of a houseboat,  gliding across the gentle waves of Lake Mead, fishing pole in hand.

It’s an idyllic picture and entirely possible through various boating service offerings in the park. These services are more than just a convenience; they’re a bridge connecting enthusiasts to the heart of Lake Mead’s rich aquatic life.

Don’t underestimate the adventure awaiting at Lake Mohave either, a reservoir held within the park’s boundaries and often mentioned in the same breath as Lake Mead when discussing top fishing spots. While Lake Mohave’s allure echoes that of its bigger sibling, it stands on its own with unique fishing experiences.

Whether you’re after the peaceful solitude of a houseboat retreat or the thrill of reeling in the catch of the day, Lake Mohave’s service options are similar to those at Lake Mead, ensuring excellence and accessibility on the water.

Both Lake Mead and Lake Mohave are havens for a diverse array of fish species. As such, the local fishing services understand the nuances of each lake’s ecosystem and can provide tips, bait, and even guided tours for those wanting to learn the ropes.

For the more independent anglers, boat rentals come in varying sizes and styles, from sleek speedboats for a fun day of water sports to leisurely pontoon boats, perfect for casting a line under the radiant Nevada sky. And let’s not forget those considering a lengthy stay on the water – houseboat accommodations provide a homey base to explore the lakes’ vast offerings.

Indeed, a trip to Lake Mead or Lake Mohave isn’t complete without venturing onto the water. With exceptional boating service, access to high-quality fishing gear, and a breathtaking national park as your backdrop, it’s no wonder why so many choose these lakes near Las Vegas for their aquatic endeavors. When the yearning for clear, open skies, and the tug of a fishing line sets in, remember that Lake Mead’s boat rentals and fishing services are there to transform your daydreams into tangible, joy-filled memories, all enhanced by the luscious landscapes and spirited wildlife of this cherished park.

Fishing Tips: Best Spots & Techniques for Lake Mead Fish

Are you angling for a stellar fishing experience at Lake Mead? You’re in luck, for Lake Mead’s clear waters and abundant fish populations make it a prime spot for both novices and seasoned anglers. To maximize your chances of success, it’s critical to know the prime fishing spots and finesse your techniques to match the lake’s unique ecosystem. First things first, secure your Nevada fishing license, because the law’s the law even amid the glistening waves close to Las Vegas.

Image for Top 10 Patterns from Lake Mead
                                     Lake Mead Fishing

Let’s talk about where to cast your line. If you’re without a boat, head straight to the fishing pier located at Willow Beach. It’s one of Lake Mead’s accessible and bountiful fishing platforms.

For those who’d prefer to be amidst deeper waters, rent a vessel at Lake Mead Fishing Service. Whether you’re a Nevada local or visiting from Las Vegas, slipping away into the vastness of Lake Mead aboard a rental could bolster your fishing report with tales of trophy catches.

Now, for the key directions to the famed fishing spots—Lake Mead is peppered with coves and canyons where stripers, also known as striped bass, love to hide. Echo Bay, Temple Bar, and the Overton Arm are havens for these fighters.

Yet, don’t overlook the power of fishing close to Willow Beach or within the encapsulating walls of Black Canyon, where the lapping waters beckon both peace and excitement

Diving into techniques, it’s wise to adapt your line, bait, and hooks to the fish you’re after. For stripers, consider lures that mimic their prey or live bait that entices their predatory instincts.

When fishing near beaches and the fishing pier, lighten your line to stay incognito in the clear waters. Gentle and precise casts are paramount, so practice your technique before heading out to the NPS (National Park Service) managed jewel.

Remember, check the latest fishing report before setting out. Trends change, and being in the know can set you apart from the rest. Where regulations are concerned, stay updated with the NPS guidelines as they govern fishing practices to keep Lake Mead’s aquatic environment thriving. Always carry your fishing license, abide by the catch limits, and, of course, respect Lake Mead’s natural beauty.

In conclusion, Lake Mead’s vast expanses offer a medley of fishing experiences. Whether you’re nestled on the fishing pier or cruising the majestic canyon waters, the key to a fruitful fishing endeavor lies in preparation. Equip yourself with the appropriate license, gather intel from the latest fishing report, and approach each spot with a blend of respect and strategy. With these nuggets of wisdom, you’re set to reel in memories worth cherishing long after you’ve left the shores of Lake Mead. Check out the Arizona Game & Fish Department Reports and the Nevada Department of Wildlife Reports.

 Here are some tips for fishing at Lake Mead

  • Know the Regulations:
    Before you start fishing, make sure you are aware of the fishing regulations and rules at Lake Mead. This includes information about catch limits, size restrictions, and any specific regulations for certain fish species.
  • Popular Fish Species:
    Lake Mead is home to various fish species, including striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, and more. Understanding the behavior and habits of these species can improve your chances of a successful catch.
  • Best Times to Fish:
    Fishing conditions can vary depending on the time of day and season. Generally, early morning and late evening are good times for fishing. During hot summer months, some fish may be found in deeper, cooler waters.
  • Use the Right Bait:
    Different fish species prefer different types of bait. Live bait such as shad or lures that mimic the local prey can be effective. Experiment with different bait to see what works best on any given day.
  • Explore Different Areas:
    Lake Mead is vast, so consider exploring different areas to find where the fish are most active. Some anglers prefer fishing near submerged structures, while others target areas with underwater vegetation.
  • Stay Hydrated:
    It’s essential to stay hydrated, especially during the hot desert climate around Lake Mead. Bring plenty of water and protect yourself from the sun.
  • Boat or Shore Fishing:
    Depending on your preference and equipment, you can fish from the shore or a boat. Shore fishing is accessible in many areas, while a boat allows you to explore different parts of the lake.
  • Check Weather Conditions:
    Keep an eye on weather conditions, as strong winds can affect the safety of boating and fishing. Be prepared and check for any weather advisories before heading out.
  • Catch-and-Release Practices:
    If you’re not planning to keep your catch, practice catch-and-release to help maintain the fish population and ecosystem balance.

Fishing at Lake Mead comes with responsibilities. Always carry your fishing license, adhere to catch limits, and, of course, respect the beauty of the environment. Being mindful of sustainable fishing practices ensures that Lake Mead remains a thriving ecosystem for future generations of anglers to enjoy.  Please see the Nevada Department of Wildlife website for how to buy a license.

Types of Fish Bait Location
Striped Bass anchovies, shad, and lures Overton Arm, Las Vegas Bay, Temple Bar, Willow Beach
Largemouth Bass night crawlers, minnows, lures More active at dawn and dusk. Prefer weedy areas and shorelines
Rainbow Trout cheese and marshmallows Willow Beach and Black Canyon
Channel Catfish natural or prepared stink baits Bottom fishing is best
Bluegill minnows, worms, insects, crayfish, flies Fish canyon walls for the “big ones”
Black Crappie minnows, worms, and crickets Fish canyon walls. They like clear water

The Variety of Fish Species

Lake Mead boasts a rich ecosystem with a variety of fish species, creating an angler’s paradise. Whether you’re after the challenge of catching striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, or catfish, this reservoir has it all. Each species presents a unique fishing experience, making Lake Mead a diverse and exciting destination for anglers of all levels.

Striped Bass: The Fishing Mecca

Among Lake Mead’s myriad fish, the striper fish, or striped bass, stands out as a true icon. Its abundance in these waters has turned Lake Mead into a fishing mecca. Anglers flock to the reservoir in pursuit of this formidable and sought-after striped bass, making it a hotspot for those seeking a thrilling fishing experience.

Fishing Conditions: Time and Seasonal Variations

Understanding the fishing conditions at Lake Mead is crucial for a successful angling adventure. The conditions can vary significantly based on the time of day and the season. Whether you prefer early morning fishing or chasing the sunset bites, Lake Mead offers a dynamic fishing environment that caters to different preferences and styles.

The Elusive Largemouth Bass

For those who appreciate the challenge of elusive catches, the largemouth bass in Lake Mead provides an exciting opportunity. Lurking in crevasses and shadows, the largemouth bass adds an element of mystery and allure to the fishing experience. Anglers often find joy in the pursuit of this quintessential sport fish.

Boating and Fishing Services at Lake Mead

To enhance your fishing experience, Lake Mead offers convenient boat rentals and fishing services. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, exploring the serene waters of Lake Mead from a boat adds an extra layer of adventure. Take advantage of the available services to transform your fishing daydreams into tangible, joy-filled memories.

When fishing at Lake Mead, exploring diverse spots and techniques enhances your chances of success. The Hemenway Shoreline near Boulder Beach offers excellent opportunities for shore fishing, as outlined in the Guide to Fishing at Lake Mead. Work the coves, experimenting with both clockwise and counter-clockwise approaches, as suggested in the Bass Fishing Forum Targeting the Virgin River Channel within 15 miles of your launch site is a valuable tactic, as shared on Bass Fishing Resource Guide  Additionally, understanding seasonal variations, time of day, and fishing techniques, as detailed in the Complete Guide contributes to a successful fishing experience at Lake Mead. Weekly Fishing Report


In conclusion, Lake Mead offers more than just a fishing experience—it provides an adventure filled with diverse fish species, varying fishing conditions, and stunning landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, Lake Mead’s fishing offerings are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

JimGalloway Author/Editor


Callville Bay- Guide to Fishing Lake Mead

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