Fishing in the Fall at Lake Mead

Lake Mead is an angler’s paradise. Known for hosting several bass fishing tournaments throughout the year, it stretches over 290 square miles – giving fishermen plenty of space to find their “hot spot”. Before you head out on your Forever Houseboat during the cooler months, there’s a few things you’ll want to know.

What to Bring

Since Lake Mead sits on the Arizona/Nevada state line, there are multiple fishing requirements to be aware of before setting out on the water. According to the National Park Service, you must carry a valid fishing license to fish within the states of Nevada or Arizona. If you have an Arizona fishing license and you plan to fish from a boat or other craft on Lake Mead, or on the shoreline of Nevada, then you must have a "use stamp" from Nevada (and vice-versa). Keep in mind, if you’re planning on catching trout, an additional “trout stamp” is needed. You may purchase licenses from a local bait and tackle shop, or from a concession stand at the marina. Aside from licenses and fishing gear, it’s important to bring sunscreen, extra water, long-sleeved shirts, and a hat to protect your skin from sun damage.

What You’re Going to Catch

Largemouth bass, striped bass, channel catfish, crappie and bluegill are found in Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. If you’re planning on heading out to the lake this fall, you’re in luck. According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, peak catch rates occur July through December. Last year’s anglers caught 87% stripers and 8% channel catfish, with largemouth bass, rainbow trout and bluegill making up the rest. Be aware of catch limits if you’re fishing on the Nevada side or the Arizona side of the lake.

How to Catch Fish

Experienced bass anglers recommend using reaction baits such as topwater, rattle baits and spinner baits, or fishing a fast jig. Another technique that will keep you reeling in the fish is called a “drop shot,” where you hook your bait and attach a weight to it. If you’re looking to fish at a leisurely pace, there are plenty of live bait options available. The table below shows the bait preferences per fish, and where each species is likely to be located, according to the National Park Service website.

 Type of Fish  Bait  Location
 Striped Bass  anchovies, shad and lures  Overton Arm, Las Vegas Bay, Temple Bar, Willow Beach
 Largemouth Bass  night crawlers, minnows and   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.

With over 7 million visitors per year, Lake Mead is a popular spot for recreational activities suitable for all ages. Experience the thrill of catching your first (or 1,000th) fish on the lake this fall. Book your Forever Houseboats vacation today by visiting us online, and prepare to be hooked!

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