Jump to content
BigSkyBasser

Desert Lake Advice?

Recommended Posts

I qualified for the Western B.A.S.S. Regional on Lake Mead April 2016. I'm super happy about being able to represent an underrated state like Montana!

 

My Biggest concern is that I have never wet a line in a desert lake before, and my work schedule will leave me with zero opportunity to pre-fish it.

If anyone could share some basic advice for Lake Mead or desert lakes like this in general I'd be eternally grateful. As I understand it, by April these fish

are mostly done with spawning and are making the transition to post spawn locations. There is virtually no advice on the internet about this lake, and the articles

covering B.A.S.S. and FLW tournaments here give anglers 0 advice to glean from except for the winning pattern occasionally.

 

These are my notes so far.

 

Lake Mead pattern possibilities:

Texas RIgged Lizards
T Rigged Tubes
Football Jigs
Creature baits either t rigged or jigs
Hula Grubs
Drop Shot w/ Senko

brown and dark purple or blue colors
brown and orange
oxblood roboworm
shad baits (jerk baits, cranks, and rattle traps)

Virgin Basin, Boulder Basin

Smallies and largemouth bed shallow very early in the year
depending on water temp and level

Assuming based on average water temps that spawn should be almost completely over by April, early post spawn fishing, fishing ledges and transitions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not about the location of the lake, it's about the composition, construction, distribution and contour, once you have really got that into your mind you'll find and catch fish no matter where you go. You know what to use to catch fish from that rock wall behind you in that pic you have as avatar ? Now you got an idea of what I'm talking about.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Call the bass pro shop in vegas. Just ask for basic advise. Also Roland Martin did a show from an Arizona desert lake, can't remember which one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Call and talk to Gary Dobyn's, he has done very well at Mead and won the Open a few years ago.

The problem with Mead now is very low water conditions making navigating maps like Navonics out of date.

Most of the well known spring areas are high and dry today, very little wood cover in the fishable water. El Niño could change the lake level quickly. Mead can be easy if the wind isn't blowing and a nightmare if it is! Mead is a big lake and can require 50 to75 mile long runs depending where you choose to fish.

Walking baits like Gunfish, LC or MegaBass hard jerk baits, smoke spider type jigs and Shad or purple/red drop shot rigs are your bread and butter presentations.

Another factor to consider with bottom bumping lures is quagga/zebra mussels that cut your line, you need high abrasion resistant mono.

Mead has a big population of 2 to 5 lb stripers and chase Shad schools, don't waste your time with stripers. Coves with long points should be looked at very closely, the water could be very clear or if rising off color, fish those spots even if they look barren, you can't see bass using rocks to hide, they blend in.

Good luck.

Tom

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Call the bass pro shop in vegas. Just ask for basic advise. Also Roland Martin did a show from an Arizona desert lake, can't remember which one.

He did a show on Lake Powell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dropshot and smaller swimbaits (3-4").  Possible a-rig as well.  Jigs as well and I'd say lipless baits.  But all depends on how much rain comes this winter on the West Coast at what stage or how the water looks on where they will be staged or is they will be done spawning or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fish were still on beds in April this year.

 

Lake Mead is way down like 150 ft ish, so just know that whatever map you study to take that into consideration.

 

The staff at the BPS here are quite helpful.

 

Where are you launching from?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fish were still on beds in April this year.

 

Lake Mead is way down like 150 ft ish, so just know that whatever map you study to take that into consideration.

 

The staff at the BPS here are quite helpful.

 

Where are you launching from?

 

I believe we're launching from Echo Bay......or somewhere below Echo bay where the water allows lol.

We're hoping for rain all year down there. I'd love to fish pre spawn-spawn in April.

I'm used to fishing deep, cold, clear water lakes being from NW Montana, but I've heard this lake is a fickle temptress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fly over Echo Bay often, it looks like a very good area for bass, there is an abandoned marina there, if the water level comes up a bit it will be an outstanding area to fish. I came out here from Arkansas and fished similar waters, and those tactics seemed to translate over. Lake Mead did make the BassMasters Top 100 so there are fish there. There are 2 big things that make Lake Mead hazardous, the fact the water is way down and there are some humps that come up really shallow and the wind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Echo bay marina is mid way up the Overton arm, in itself Overton is a massive area to learn, a very dangerous area due to low water conditions. The wind can blow north to south and Overton arm gets nasty.

The Virgin river channel is your best bet in this area targeting coves within 15 miles of where you launch. I say this because you are fishing without any experience on Mead a very difficult lake to learn!

Anyone who thinks this deep western canyon lake is like any other body of water doesn't know Mead.

Set your goal to catch 14" to 15" bass weighing 2 to 2 1/2 lbs, 5 of those and you are doing great, 1 kicker above 3 lbs and you are in the money at Mead.

Gear your tackle accordingly, 6 - 8 lb for 5" to 6" Roboworm in MMIII or Folkstad Spl, Smoke 4" TT Hula grubs on 3/8 oz football jigs, no weed gaurd needed. Transparent Shad color hard jerk baits, 3/16 shaky head jig w/ 6" worm that is about all you need.

Good luck,

Tom

PS, forgot, a Vixen clear ice top water lure and MB 110+1 French Pearl jerk bait, use 12 lb mono.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for being so forthcoming. The advice caters to my fishing style. Im planning on attacking with finesse tactics as much as possible as Jigs, Shaky head, Texas rigs, and drop shot are all strong suits of mine. This will hopefully produce at least a limit for all three days.

I am hoping that we can get some riled up on top water too. Those days are always dreamy for any angler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been fishing echo bay alot lately. Tons of lmb and smallies. Stick with your finesse plan and you'll do great!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to give you an idea of how low the lake is, I can walk to the island that's just outside of Echo Bay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to give you an idea of how low the lake is, I can walk to the island that's just outside of Echo Bay.

 

I noticed that while observing recent pictures haha. I reckon a lot of boaters are going to ruin their lower ends with all the hemps and points so low.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Big Sky, 

Don't take this lightly.  There are many unmarked reefs and humps in Mead now.  Park Service can not mark them all. You either launch at Overton or Callville Bay.  Most tournaments start out of Callville Bay.

Wind is  a super big factor.  They bite in the wind but you want to arrive at the weigh in safe without a torn up boat.. Wind from the SE against a current can quickly build to 4 ft swells.

Smallmouth bass are everywhere but you need a few largemouth to stay near the top of the pack.

April...depending on the temperatures... the smallies have spawned.  Fish to 20 - 25  ft.  Weightless plastic on chunk rock flats sometimes, or jigs ( about 1/2oz.  with an active trailer.  As mentioned earlier surface lures and grubs on darterheads.  Many tournament have been won around the Middle Point area.  Crawfish in Mead (and there are a lot) run to red and dark brown.  December, we still have some weedbeds. find one of those and you have a good chance to find bass.

If absolutely desperate then the steep walls and you can catch 5 but likely they will be small.  1/4 oz tungsten is the gold standard.  I fish 8 and 10 lb fluorocarbon but you have to check your line often.  Mead has both quagga mussels and Zebra mussels.

Fishermen on Mead often neglect the effects of current.  If the dam is drawing  the fish face upstream. 

Make sure everything is tight and runs on you rig.

Arron Marterns has a good article on colors for Mead.  Change colors during the day as you follow the sun/shade.

 

check out the photo.  Mead can do good for you if you get to the right sport right time.  Near Rotary Cove.  After Julie landed this one I landed 3 more slightly bigger on weightless  plastic in early May.

 

156117_416637448368014_847676186_n.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, reellittlephish said:

ig Sky, 

Don't take this lightly.  There are many unmarked reefs and humps in Mead now.  Park Service can not mark them all. You either launch at Overton or Callville Bay.  Most tournaments start out of Callville Bay.

Wind is  a super big factor.  They bite in the wind but you want to arrive at the weigh in safe without a torn up boat.. Wind from the SE against a current can quickly build to 4 ft swells.

Smallmouth bass are everywhere but you need a few largemouth to stay near the top of the pack.

April...depending on the temperatures... the smallies have spawned.  Fish to 20 - 25  ft.  Weightless plastic on chunk rock flats sometimes, or jigs ( about 1/2oz.  with an active trailer.  As mentioned earlier surface lures and grubs on darterheads.  Many tournament have been won around the Middle Point area.  Crawfish in Mead (and there are a lot) run to red and dark brown.  December, we still have some weedbeds. find one of those and you have a good chance to find bass.

If absolutely desperate then the steep walls and you can catch 5 but likely they will be small.  1/4 oz tungsten is the gold standard.  I fish 8 and 10 lb fluorocarbon but you have to check your line often.  Mead has both quagga mussels and Zebra mussels.

Fishermen on Mead often neglect the effects of current.  If the dam is drawing  the fish face upstream. 

Make sure everything is tight and runs on you rig.

Arron Marterns has a good article on colors for Mead.  Change colors during the day as you follow the sun/shade.

 

check out the photo.  Mead can do good for you if you get to the right sport right time.  Near Rotary Cove.  After Julie landed this one I landed 3 more slightly bigger on weightless  plastic in early May.

 

 

Now I'm still learning the geography and terms of the lake locations. When you say "Middle Point" are you referring to part of the Virgin Basin known as the Middle Point Isle? I've heard this place is held winning bags of bass for FLW and WON Bass competitions alike.

And I really appreciate all the advice, most of which doesn't apply to me. I'm fishing as a non-boater so my concern is less of tearing off a lower end while making a dangerous run, but rather getting back boated. 

I'm really serious about my approach to making it to the 3rd day this year. And I'm a very strong finesse fisherman, which I feel like will put me in a good spot to haul a larger bag than power fishing would get you for this time of year on this lake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did I mention Roboworms Martens Madness or Red Crawler! If not get them.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/19/2015 at 4:47 PM, WRB said:

Did I mention Roboworms Martens Madness or Red Crawler! If not get them.

Tom

 

Will do! I love fishing with Roboworms but would not likely have these colors. I've also heard that Oxblood is a really

good color for tubes and finesse baits. I'll be stocked up good on soft plastics!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have received a lot of real good advice! I fish this lake every month out of the year. For a limit you want go with small / light dropshot rigs I like 4 to 8 lb. as light as you can my go to bait is the Yamamoto 4" Shad Shaped Worm, Natural Shad, Smoke or Watermelon Red Flake. 1/2 oz. Jigs great choose Brown / Purple don't rule out White / Shad spinner baits.

The water was been holding it's owe for the last few months, But I can't stress enough Low Water Rock Piles and High winds that come out of no wear. Lake Mead is like fishing 5 Lakes in one, The Bolder Basin, The  

Virgin Basin, Temple Basin, Greg'sBasin and the Gip Beds, The weather and wind can be vary different from one area the next So Be careful and good luck!!!!    

Lake Level http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/levels.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Joe 492 said:

You have received a lot of real good advice! I fish this lake every month out of the year. For a limit you want go with small / light dropshot rigs I like 4 to 8 lb. as light as you can my go to bait is the Yamamoto 4" Shad Shaped Worm, Natural Shad, Smoke or Watermelon Red Flake. 1/2 oz. Jigs great choose Brown / Purple don't rule out White / Shad spinner baits.

The water was been holding it's owe for the last few months, But I can't stress enough Low Water Rock Piles and High winds that come out of no wear. Lake Mead is like fishing 5 Lakes in one, The Bolder Basin, The  

Virgin Basin, Temple Basin, Greg'sBasin and the Gip Beds, The weather and wind can be vary different from one area the next So Be careful and good luck!!!!    

Lake Level http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/levels.html

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do any of you Lake Mead regulars have a good Topo or contour map of Lake Mead? I spoke with Steven at the Bass Pro Shops there and he has them but cannot ship them to me for any price. I'd love one of these for my research and would compensate you for it,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fished sand hollow in Utah from the shore a couple mouths back and a senko was the hot ticket if I had even a kayak I know I could have caught more tho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×