Fishing Lake Mead – Tips, Charter Reviews & Species Guide

Fishing Lake Mead
Lake Mead
NameLake Mead
Size158,147 acres
Average Depth182 feet
Maximum Depth532 feet
Popular Fishing SpeciesStriped Bass, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Panfish
Boat Ramps AvailableYes
Major TributariesColorado River

About Lake Mead

Lake Mead is a large reservoir located in Nevada and Arizona, about 30 miles east of Las Vegas. The Lake is a National Recreation Area and was created during the construction of the famous Hoover Dam on the Colorado River.

The Lake Mead system is comprised of 4 main basins and consists of hundreds of coves, canyons, and numerous smaller tributaries. The Colorado River is the main source of water inflow and the lake has over 550 miles of shoreline, making it one of the largest reservoirs in the United States.

Lake Mead Fishing Map
Image courtesy of

Fishing and Boating are very popular on Lake Mead, with Striped Bass being the most popular species. Other popular fish include rainbow trout, catfish, panfish, largemouth bass, striped bass, smallmouth bass, and black crappie.

Lake Mead Fishing Tips

Below are my recommendations and tips for fishing Lake Mead:

Fish SpeciesBait & MethodLocation
Striped Bassshad, anchovies, large swim baitsOverton Arm, Las Vegas Bay, Temple Bar, Willow Beach
Largemouth Basswild shiners, minnows, drop shot live wormsFind weedy vegetation, rocky outcroppings, ledges and submerged structure
Smallmouth Basslive minnows, crawfish, ned rigs and wacky rig wormsLook for clean water over sand or rock bottom with sparse vegetation
Channel Catfishcut shad, stinkbaits, nightcrawlersFish on the bottom in areas with moderate water flow
Panfish (Crappie, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish)minnows, worms, insects, crayfish, fliesFish along steep canyon walls, offshore rock piles & creek mouths
Rainbow Troutminnows, worms and cricketsLook for clear & clean water, fish along rocky walls and outcroppings

Lake Mead Fishing Charters

Lake Mead Striped Bass
Striped Bass

Due to its very large size, many anglers hire local fishing guides or charter captains to show them around the lake and put them on the fish. Below are my recommendations:

Striped Bass Charter: Captain John Wood – Fish Anglers Edge

Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Trout: Captain Eric Richins – Big Water Boating Las Vegas

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to eat fish from Lake Mead?

Yes, it is safe to eat fish from Lake Mead. The lake is regularly sampled for toxins such as heavy metals and mercury. For the latest fish consumption advisories, contact the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

How Do I Catch Striped Bass At Lake Mead?

Live shad is the most effective bait to use for striped bass fishing on lake mead. If you are unable to get live shad, use lures that imitate shad such as large swimbaits, crankbaits, or topwater lures.

Are there alligators in Lake Mead?

No, there are not any alligators in lake Mead. The lake system is far too cold to support a population of alligators, however, pet alligators are sometimes released into the lake illegally.

What is the biggest fish in Lake Mead?

The biggest fish species in lake mead is the Striped Bass. The record on the lake is 52-pounds 8 ounces caught by Carson Romans in June 1982.

Where can I fish from shore at Lake Mead?

Piers and public fishing areas are found throughout Lake Mead and the National Recreation Area. These include:

  • Hemenway Fishing Pier near Boulder Beach and just to the north of Hemenway Launch Ramp
  • Willow Beach Fishing Pier on Lake Mohave just to the north of Willow Beach Marina
  • Katherine Landing Fishing Pier (this pier was waiting for repairs as of March of 2020) located near Katherine Landing Marina

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