Las Vegas, Nevada is the twenty-eighth most populated city in the United States. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations of the world and is known as The Entertainment Capital of the World. Over the past few years, the city has also become one of the most popular fishing hotspots in America. There are over 200,000 reservoirs and lakes and 600 rivers and streams in the state of Nevada but there is great fishing in Las Vegas or just outside of the city. Each of these spots is stocked full of different trout, crappie, bass, and catfish.
Where to Fish in Las Vegas
Sunset Park Pond — this pond is located in Las Vegas and offers a vast selection of fish you can catch. It is stocked weekly with rainbow trout. In its 14 acres of water, it has a sustaining population of black crappie and largemouth bass.
Floyd Lamb Park — this fishing spot is located near the city and though it has four ponds, only one is regularly stocked with fish monthly. There are channel catfish, rainbow trout, and largemouth bass. This is home to some large fish such a 10-pound bass and some catfish weighing over 20 pounds. There is a $6 fee to enter the park but in the lake, there are seven types of game fish.
Lorenzi Park Pond — this is a good urban fishing spot with about three acres of water and a steady supply of trout. The entire shoreline is open for fishing and there is no access fee.
The above three park ponds are referred to as Tule Spring Pond and are stocked weekly with over 20,000 rainbow trout from March to November and from April to October they are filled with channel catfish.
Fishing Outside of Las Vegas
Colorado River’s Topock Gorge — this site is two hours out of Las Vegas and you will have to have an Arizona fishing license since it is just over the border. There are several species you can fish for, including rainbow trout, crappie, largemouth, and striped bass, carp, and sunfish. The fish here are known to be large.
Lake Mead — this is the largest reservoir in the United States and spans over 150,000 acres. It is home to rainbow trout, bluegill, and channel catfish but is best known for its many striped bass. Some fishing experts feel this lake is a premier place to catch bass. Lake Mead has a large number of drop-offs, rocky shores, and deep trenches in which to fish. Lake Mead is about 30 minutes from Las Vegas. The following fish are caught:
- Largemouth bass — May-September in the evening and early morning
- Bluegill — May-June
- Channel catfish — April-September. They are typically caught on the bottom with prepared baits, shrimp, and beef/chicken liver.
- Striped bass — most productive May-December but can be caught all year.
If you go fishing in the winter at Lake Mead, from November through February, you will find in depths of 25 to 40 feet, both bass, and crappie. At this time of the year, you can get some good size crappies. From March-May when the water starts to warm up, you will start to find striped bass and largemouth bass at depths of 10-25 feet. Bluegill starts to flourish at this time. In the summer from June-August, the prime targets are channel catfish and bass. You may also see stripe bass but you will see them around 35 feet where the warmer is colder. In the fall, from September-November, you will find crappie and stripe bass in the shallow depths of 10-20 feet as the water starts to cool. Bass fishing is good through October but then you will not find them until spring comes around.
Lake Mead, the Colorado River, and Lake Mojave offer trophy and schooling fish trips. Trophy fishing costs $200 per person and can last up to eight hours or more. Because of the solitary nature of trophy fish, they do not guarantee catches. These trips are conducted below Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. The schooling trips are conducted on Lake Mead and offer half-day, full-day, or three-quarter day trips. They range in price from $150 to $250 per person.
Head over to Feeling Las Vegas for more good fishing spots in Las Vegas.
Fishing Regulations in Las Vegas
Anyone over the age of 12 will need to have a current Nevada fishing license. You can get those at most bait and tackle shops or you can order them online at the Nevada Department of Wildlife. If you are a non-resident and under the age of 12, you do not need a license but the fish they catch cannot exceed 50% of the limit. For example, if the limit is three, then they can only catch one fish. In the park ponds, there are some location-specific regulations which you can find out when you go there to fish.
There is a limit of three fish per day regardless of species in the Tules Spring Pond. When talking about limits, it means the maximum number of fish that are caught to eat. If they are caught and released immediately alive, they are not part of the limit. When talking about limits, this means that you cannot have more than one limit in your possession. For example, if you fish one body of water and catch your limit, you cannot move to another area and catch that limit there also. If the limit is five, then that is all you can have.
Unless it is posted, there are no size limits but if there is a size limit, it is from the head to the tail. Fishing is year-round and the hours will vary according to where you are fishing.
Bait, Tackle, and Lures Used for Fishing in Las Vegas
There is a rule against using live bait in the Tule Spring Pond. You can use live bait when fishing in Lake Mead but you can only take Shad, Carp, Gizzard, or Mosquitofish to use as live bait. The aquatic or live baitfish can only be used in the river basin from where it was taken. You may not use commercially preserved or prepared baitfish or their parts.
You can only take fish with a hook and line that is attached to a rod and reel with the method being angling. You cannot have more than three fly hooks, or three baited hooks, or two plugs or lures attached to your line.
In Lake Mead, from November-March, top water lures and bait work best. For striped bass, live shad is the best bait but you can also use anchovies that you buy at the store. You are allowed to use chumming using anything except parts of a game fish or game fish. A favorite chum is corn and anchovies. For at least an hour you should fish over chum and then move to another spot.
In Floyd Lamb Park, you can catch trout with worms, Rooster Tails, and PowerBait but you can catch channel catfish with stink baits and worms. The bass found there will hit on plastic worms and spinner balls. In Lorenzi Park, you can use the same bait you used at Floyd Lamb Park to catch the channel catfish and trout but if you want to catch a sunfish or bluegill, you will have to use green grubs or mealworms. At Sunset Park, the trout love to chase spinners, night crawlers, PowerBait, or Lil’ Jake as they hang on the bottom of the pond. Again, use the same bait for sunfish and bluegill that you did at Lorenzi Park.
When most think of Las Vegas, they think of gambling in the casinos, taking in a live show, walking down The Strip but there are many good fishing spots in and close to Las Vegas so there is fishing when you just want to sit back, chill, and relax. As you can see, there are a variety of places that you can go fishing around and just outside of Las Vegas. Yes, the ones within the city limits of Las Vegas are listed as “pond” but they offer a wide variety of fish.
You can catch crappie, largemouth and striped bass, bluegills, and more. A regular smorgasbord of fish you can try your hand at catching. During the summer, they restock the ponds weekly so there will be plenty of fish to catch. Yes, you are only allowed three fish a day but just that is enough to have a meal of fish and you can always use the catch and release program.
When you are tired of fishing or at night, you can take advantage of all the wonderful attractions that Las Vegas offers. It makes a great vacation for a couple; one can fish while the other goes shopping. Both will be enjoying what they like to do. So if you are someone who loves to fish, the next vacation you take, or when in Las Vegas, check out some of the great fishing. Remember that you will need to obtain a Nevada fishing license. Enjoy a weekend in Las Vegas doing something different, which would be fishing.
Like fishing in the states? Read our Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Alaska