& Overview Located
within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the stretch of the
Colorado River between Lake Mead and Laughlin includes Lake Mohave
and the Willow Beach area (check out the map).
That means a lot of area for both shore fishermen and boaters to check
out. Since this is border water between Nevada and Arizona, make sure
you check out the Licensing and Regulations
section below for special requirements for fishermen.
Fishermen rate the Colorado River:
the Colorado River Prime
targets for Colorado River anglers are striped bass and largemouth
bass, which can be found pretty consistently in several places all
year round. Lake Mohave offers plenty of opportunities for both striper
and largemouth anglers, as does the area around Willow Beach. Any
bass fishing is best done from a boat, so that you can cover a lot
of ground quickly if a given area doesn't pan out for you.
season for stripers is from late summer or early fall into winter,
when the fish congregate near the surface to feed on schooling shad.
Casting into the resulting "boils" can result in some very
exciting topwater action. A good tactic for striper fishermen is to
use one pole to fish with bait close to the boat or shore, while keeping
a second pole with a topwater lure such as a Zara Spook or Rapala handy. When a boil starts within
casting range, throw the lure into it and hang on! Most bait fishermen
prefer to use anchovies, although some will net live shad for bait.
Fishermen also take largemouth bass on a variety of artificial baits
at any time of the year. Rubber lizards tend to work well on nesting
bass during spawning season, and all year long fishermen get good
results with plastic worms, jigs, and assorted topwater baits. Catfish
can be caught throughout the Lake Mohave area as well.
and game officials in both Nevada and Arizona also stock trout in
the river. The two most popular areas for trout are Lake Mohave and
the area just downstream from Willow Beach.
& Conditions Water
temperatures in the Colorado River typically remain in the lower to
middle 50's all the time, since the water in the river comes out of
Hoover Dam at about that temperature and typically flows fast enough
that it has no opportunity to sit and heat up. How fast the current
will be flowing on any given day is a function of how much water is
being released through the dam, which in turn depends on what the
demand for power is in the areas served by the dam. In Lake Mohave,
water temps are usually in the 50's to 60's depending on the time
of the year. Air temperatures all along the river run the gamut from
an average daytime high in the 50's or so in wintertime to 110 and
hotter during July and August. Since the river sits in the middle
of a desert, there is very little shade or shelter available to keep
the sun off of you during the hot season. Sunscreen, a hat, and lots
of water are a must!
you plan on boating on the river, always check the weather forecast
before going out.
to see current weather conditions and forecasts for Laughlin, NV.
camping is permitted anywhere along the river within the Lake Mead/Lake
Mohave Recreation Area. Developed campgrounds are located at Cottonwood
Cove and Katherine's Landing; check out the National
Park Service site for more information.
marina stores at Cottonwood Cove and Willow Beach carry a limited
supply of food and fishing tackle. Our advice if you're looking for
fishing gear would be to stop at Bass
Pro Shops in Las Vegas before hitting the river - they carry everything
you would need, and a bunch of stuff you probably don't need but would
really like to have.
the Colorado River is border water, fishing from a boat or float tube
requires both a fishing license from either Arizona or Nevada and
a special use stamp from the other state. For shore fishing, you just
need a license from whichever state's bank you're on. Both Nevada
and Arizona offer a "Second Pole" stamp which allows an
angler to fish with up to two poles, and both require a trout stamp
if you plan to catch and keep trout. Fishing licenses and all the
necessary stamps are available at any of the marinas listed above,
as well as at tackle shops and sporting goods stores throughout the
Las Vegas and Laughlin area.
most of the Colorado River is open for fishing at all times, there
are certain waters closed to fishing. These include:
the posted boundaries of any state or federal fish hatchery.
- Within the areas immediately above and below Hoover Dam and Davis
- Inside the flat wake buoys wiithin any area designated as a harbor.
than those areas listed above and any areas otherwise posted, fishing
is allowed year round, any hour of the day or night. Bag limits in
Lake Mohave and the river between Hoover Dam and Davis Dam are as
- 10 fish, no minimum length.
Black Bass - 6 fish, no minimum length.
Striped Bass - 20 fish measuring 20 inches total length or longer;
no limit on fish less than 20 inches total length.
Catfish - 25 fish, no minimum length.
Crappie - 15 fish, no minimum length.
No size or possession limits on other game fish.
Davis Dam, note the following changes to size and possession limits:
Bass - 6 fish, with a 13-inch minimum total length.
Striped Bass - 10 fish, no size limit.