Arrowhead Lake - Fishing Opportunities

Largemouth bass

The largemouth bass population has remained consistent for the past several years. Historically Lake Arrowhead had a high density of small bass. Bass densities have been streamlined and the number of fish greater than 12 inches has improved significantly. The current 11-16 inch slot regulation for bass appears to be acting as a 16-inch minimum size limit. Biologists collected only a few bass greater than 16 inches in recent samples. Largemouth bass are slow growing in Lake Arrowhead with fish not reaching 11-12 inches until age 4. With these slow growth rates, anglers need to harvest some bass less than 11 inches in order for the slot limit to be successful in producing bass greater than 16 inches. Anglers should concentrate on downed trees, beaver lodges, and weedbed edges when targeting bass. Lake Arrowhead can become quite clear so anglers should use baits/tactics to match the conditions.

Bluegill/Redear Sunfish

The sunfish population is well proportioned. The bluegill to redear sunfish ratio is about 2:11. Historically the sunfish in Lake Arrowhead were overpopulated and "stunted". In recent years sunfish numbers have been reduced by aggressive predator stocking by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Stocking walleye, channel catfish, and northern pike have helped produce a better quality sunfish population. Anglers should find anywhere in the lake to be a good place to catch sunfish.


Lake Arrowhead exhibits a modest crappie fishery. The crappie population consists mostly of fish 7-9 inches. Anglers should look for woody structure like braver lodges and downed trees when targeting crappie.

Northern Pike

There is a limited fishery for northern pike in Lake Arrowhead. Northern Pike do not naturally reproduce in the lake and are stocked by VDGIF annually. Pike are stocked to help keep sunfish from overpopulating and to provide angling diversity.

Channel Catfish

Lake Arrowhead has produced some very large catfish in recent years. A few fish weighing over 20pounds have been caught in the last few years. Channel catfish spawning is limited in the lake so VDGIF stocks this species annually to maintain the population.