Lake Mead

Map of Lake Mead

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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.

Pertinent Information

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.


Stocking Updates



Nevada Fishing Regulations


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.

Boating Regulations

General boating regulations apply. Watch for posted or prohibited areas and be mindful of newly created, shallow hazards as the water level changes.


  • Rainbow Trout
  • Channel Catfish
  • Bullhead Catfish
  • Green Sunfish
  • Bluegill Sunfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Crappie

  • Regions

  • Southern Nevada

  • Counties

  • Clark