Map of Lake Mead
View Nevada Fishing Map in a larger map
Lake Mead was impounded in 1935, but prior to this,
the Colorado River had carp, channel catfish, and four native species. Threadfin shad were introduced in 1954 allowing
largemouth bass to flourish. When fishing
waned in 1969, striped bass and trout were introduced. By 1974, striped bass dominated and trout
fishing declined and stocking occurred on and off since 1983. The last trout stocking occurred in 2011 due
to closure of Lake Mead Hatchery from a declining lake level and invasion of
quagga mussels. Smallmouth bass and
tilapia were discovered in 1999 and gizzard shad in 2007.
Lake Mead has a maximum depth of 465 feet when
full and covers 150,000 surface acres over its 110-mile length. Primary game fish include striped bass, large-
and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, green sunfish, and black
crappie. The best time for largemouth
bass is May through September, fishing during early morning and evening. Bluegill fishing is best from May through
June. Channel catfish are typically
caught on the bottom with beef/chicken liver, shrimp, or prepared baits from
April through September. Striped bass are
caught all year, being most productive from May through December. From November to March, bait and top water lures
work great. Live shad is the best bait
for stripers, but store bought anchovies also work. Chumming is allowed, using anything except
game fish or parts of game fish. Anchovies
and corn are a favorite chum. Fish over
chum at least an hour then move to a different spot. Kast Masters or swim baits can be jigged over
schools as well as using top water lures on “boils” (stripers voraciously feed
on shad at the surface). Use corn, peas,
or hot dogs, to catch tilapia in the Overton Arm. These can weigh up to 5 pounds and taste
excellent. Camping by boat on beaches is
allowed lake-wide and developed campgrounds occur at Boulder Beach, Callville
Bay, and Echo Bay. Camping with full RV
hookups is available at Boulder Beach.
Floating restrooms occur in several coves around the lake. Summer temperatures can reach 115°F, so carry plenty of water. The lake can get very windy and rough, so
listen to the weather forecast before boating.
Take Highway 515, 93, or 95 east out of Las Vegas for 24 miles to Boulder City. Lake Mead is just north and east of the town. Follow the signs. A paved road runs along the west side of the lake.
General boating regulations apply. Watch for posted or prohibited areas and be mindful of newly created, shallow hazards as the water level changes.