Fishing conditions on Lake Havasu are ideal almost year-round! Lake Havasu is the location of over a dozen fishing tournaments and activities a year. Among the fish species thriving in the lake are largemouth bass, striped bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish and flathead catfish. For information on the best bait, lures and times to fish for different species, see the chart below. Additional fishing updates are also posted to our blog.
They may not be Godzilla, and they’re certainly not radioactive, but anglers from all over continue to catch absurdly large redear sunfish in our lake. We’re pretty sure these aren’t prehistoric monsters, and we know they’re not spawning with imaginary piranha, so we asked an Arizona state biologist why Lake Havasu sunfish are so huge.
“It’s a dynamic lake in a large river system, so there’s always a lot of change going on,” said Russ Engel, Ph.D., Regional Fisheries Program Manager, Arizona Game and Fish Dept. “The biggest factor is the quagga mussels. The forage base is the main thing in how large these redear are growing, and that base is very large with the mussels in Lake Havasu.” He adds, “It’s phenomenal right now, really unusual.”
Scientists presented hard evidence at the annual Colorado River Aquatic Biologists (CRAB) meetings in recent years demonstrating that the redears have been eating the mussels. Some of the researchers actually captured the “shellcracker” sunfish, put them in a tank with quaggas, and observed the fish eating them. (After all, we expect nothing less from a group called CRAB).
Lake Havasu City resident Robert Lawler caught the current world record redear in May 2011 when he landed a 5.8-pound behemoth while testing a reel he’d recently refurbished. Mike Phua of Ontario, Calif., who caught a 5.7 pounder, landed the second biggest fish in March 2013. Other 5.7 and 5.25 lb. redear have been caught here just this spring.
What lies beneath? There’s something incredibly special going on right now below the surface of Lake Havasu, and we invite everyone to get in on the action. Who will be the first to catch a six pound sunfish? It could be you.