Plan Your Fishing Trip

There are many reasons to go fishing, whether it’s for relaxing and unwinding, catching fresh fish for dinner or spending quality time with family and friends. For whatever reason you choose to get out and fish, it is best to be prepared.  The following pages will help you find the type of fish near you, the best bait to use for the time of year you are out, which fish are safe to eat, regulations for the area you are fishing, and information on when and where fish have been stocked.

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Species Information

Looking for the most popular fish to catch? You’ve come to the right place. Below is a variety of species you can catch in Nevada.

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A Basic Guide to Fishing Nevada

Warmwater Fishing
Coldwater Trout Fishing

Where to Fish

Warmwater sport fish species are found in many water bodies throughout the state and they typically prefer temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The most popular species include bluegill, channel and white catfish, large- and smallmouth bass (black bass), striped bass, white bass, white and black crappie, wiper and yellow perch. These species are generally found in a few urban ponds and in small and large reservoirs. However, some species occupy a few of the warmer streams or rivers in the state. Please check FishNV for fishable waters containing warmwater sport fish species.

Fishing Tackle

Warmwater fish comprise many popular species found throughout Nevada. You will certainly want to match the spinning or bait casting rod and reel size and line weight for each species you want to catch. Light action, smaller rods with lighter line weight (4 to 8 lb test) are best for bluegill, crappie, smaller white bass, and yellow perch. Larger (medium to heavy action) rods and heavier line weight (8 to 20 lb test) are better for black bass, channel catfish, striped bass and wipers. Depending on the size and productivity of the water body, fish may grow to different sizes and you may have to adjust the size of tackle used.

Bait Fishing

Bait fishing can be a fairly simple and relaxing way to fish. With warmwater species, both bottom fishing and surface or suspended bait fishing with bobbers can produce excellent results. Each species of fish typically prefers its own type of bait, for example bluegill may prefer meal worms or red worms, crappie like small minnows, and black bass may prefer night crawlers or crayfish. Stink bait is the typical choice for all types of catfishes and white bass may prefer the local minnows. Some of the best baits for catching striped bass in Lakes Mead and Mohave are shad caught from the lake or store bought frozen anchovies. Do not forget, there are many commercially produced scented baits that produce excellent results for many different fish species. It is important to review bait regulations for the water body you plan to fish since the use and type of bait allowed varies.

Lure Fishing

Fishing with lures can be a very successful way to catch many of the warmwater sport fish species. Typically, you want to mimic the natural bait found from where you are fishing. Silver or gold colored spoon or spinner type lures tossed far out into the water to create a reaction strike are an excellent choice for just about everywhere. Crankbaits function similarly and they look more like minnows or crayfish to attract a strike from fish. There is such a wide variety of lures to catch fish that it may be best to visit a local bait/tackle shop to find out the hottest lure for a fish species or for the time of year you plan to fish.

Where to Fish

Coldwater fish species are commonly found in ponds, reservoirs, lakes, streams and rivers throughout Nevada that rarely approach 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  Species generally include brook, brown, cutthroat, lake (or mackinaw) and rainbow trout.  There are also a variety of hybrid trout (tiger or bowcutt) and native mountain whitefish. Many water bodies have self-supporting populations while a good deal of reservoirs and streams are stocked by NDOW with hatchery trout.  Stocking frequently occurs seasonally since late spring and summer water temperatures increase beyond where trout can survive.  We encourage you to check NDOW stocking reports and FishNV for fishable waters containing trout species.

Fishing Tackle

Since most water bodies fished typically include recently stocked trout, a small light action rod (spinning or bait casting) and line weight from 4 to 8 lb test is ideal.  You may want to move up to a medium action rod with 8 to 12 lb test if you suspect there are bigger fish present.  Fly fishing is also a great way to catch trout, with rod weights and matched fly lines from 3 to 6 the most common choices.

Bait Fishing

Bait is very popular for catching trout, is fairly simple, but you must be vigilant and watch your rod for movement. Your bait either sits on the bottom or floats from the surface for an extended time.  You will need hooks, sinkers, and floats (bobbers).  Small hooks such as size 12 or 10 are good for salmon eggs, corn, or scented dough baits (such as Power Bait or Zeke’s) and size 10 to 6 are good for red worms and nightcrawlers.  When fishing on the bottom, it is best to use lighter weights in shallower water and heavier weights in deeper water.  A good variety of hook and weight sizes are good to have on hand so you are covered for any type and situation of fishing.  Bobbers are best used when fish are located close to the surface.  Just pinch a small weight 6 to 12  inches above your hook and adjust the distance of line below the bobber to the depth fish are biting or just above the weedline.  NDOW also provides fishing updates and fish stocking for certain waters around the state, so we encourage you to look at these before heading out.  Finally, it is important to review bait regulations for the water body you plan to fish since the use and type of bait allowed varies.

Lure Fishing

Lures are a great choice for catching trout and there is an endless variety to choose from.  For simplicity, favorites for trout include small silver or gold-colored spinners or spoons and minnow-type crankbaits.  Spoons and spinners are tossed far out into a lake or stream and reeled-in to create a reaction strike from fish.  Crankbaits function similarly and look much like minnows or crayfish to attract a strike from fish.  Match smaller lures with lighter weight rods and fishing line, and heavier weight line and rods with larger lures.  Again, there is such a wide variety of lures to catch fish that it may be best to visit a local bait/tackle shop to find out the hottest lure for the time of year you plan to fish.  NDOW also provides fishing updates and fish stocking reports for certain waters around the state, so we encourage you to look at these before heading out.

Fishing Advisories & Notices

Fish Consumption Advisories
Fishing Advisories

Mercury in Fish

Eating fish high in mercury can be a health concern. The following information is provided so you can make safe, informed decisions about your health and responsibly enjoy the waters of Nevada.

Fish Parasites

All wildlife, including Nevada fish, have the potential to be infected with parasites. Fish parasites are organisms that live internally (endoparasite) or attach to the outside (ectoparasite) of a fish. Although parasites infecting fish may look disgusting or appear unappetizing, they are generally harmless to humans.

Harmful Algae Blooms

Surface algae blooms are becoming more common in Nevada ponds, lakes, and reservoirs as spring, summer and fall temperatures continue to rise. Other than being very unsightly or smelly, some blooms have the ability to become toxic causing health concerns. Please use common sense and avoid coming into direct contact with the water just to be safe when these blooms occur. It is also a safe bet to keep pets away from the water during an algae bloom.


These calendars provide the latest fish stocking that has occurred across the state.
Stay up-to-date with NDOW’s fishing calendar, which provides the latest fish stocking information and fishing reports from southern, eastern and western Nevada.

Explore Fishable Waters

FishNV is a great tool to increase your choices of where to fish. The state is separated into three regions, making easy to find places near you to fish and explore the list of existing game fish present in a given body of water

Fishing Reports

Explore up-to-date information about fishing spots across Nevada. Our team of experts provides updates on how different bodies of water are fishing on a regular basis and provides a list of hotspots listed by region, so you can enjoy great fishing close to home.

Angler Information Guides

Ever need a bit more information about the fishing locations near you, which fish are in the most popular waters around the state, which lures or bait works best, fishing regulations, or when a water is stocked? These Angler Information Guides have got you covered.


Many bodies of water throughout the state have their own set of fishing regulations. The current Nevada’s Fishing Regulations Book holds valuable information on topics like which species of fish you can keep, the type of lures/bait allowed and more. We encourage you to know the fishing and boating regulations for any body of water you plan on visiting.

Licenses, Permits and Fees

Every fishing trip starts here. NDOW has everything you need to know about fishing licenses, permits & fees.

Nevada Fishing Rules & Regulations

Make sure you’re familiar with the state’s fishing rules and regulations before heading out.

General Statewide Regulations

Learn about Nevada’s general statewide regulations, from license requirements to bait use.

Fishing with Bait Fish

In most Nevada waters, the use of fish as bait is prohibited. Learn more about where bait fish are permitted and the rules surrounding their use.