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The Best Fishing Lakes In New Mexico

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Guide to top places to fish for bass, catfish, crappie and more in NM.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

  • Abiquiu Reservoir
  • Brantley Lake
  • Caballo Lake
  • Conchas Lake
  • Eagle Nest Lake
  • El Vado Lake
  • Elephant Butte Reservoir
  • Heron Lake
  • Navajo Lake
  • Red Bluff Reservoir
  • Santa Rosa Lake
  • Sumner Lake
  • Ute Lake

The purpose of this page is to share basic information about the best fishing lakes in the state, and the species found in each lake.

Conchas Lake, El Vado, Elephant Butte Reservoir, Heron Lake and Navajo Lake are the most popular places for fishing in New Mexico, offering anglers the chance to pursue a variety of fish species. Eagle Nest Lake is the top ice fishing lake in the state.

New Mexico is home to a diverse range of fishing lakes, offering anglers the opportunity to pursue a variety of fish species in both warm water and cold water environments. In the warm water lakes, species such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and catfish dominate the fishing scene. Elephant Butte Lake is a notable warm water lake, known for its excellent bass fishing opportunities. Anglers can also target species like white bass, walleye, and crappie in these lakes, providing a diverse angling experience.

On the other hand, New Mexico's cold water lakes provide a different angling experience, primarily focused on trout species. Heron Lake, located in the northern part of the state, is a popular cold water lake offering opportunities to catch rainbow trout, brown trout, and lake trout. Eagle Nest Lake and Abiquiu Lake are also renowned for their trout fishing, with the former being stocked with rainbow trout and the latter offering both rainbow and brown trout.

In addition to bass, catfish, and trout, New Mexico fishing lakes are home to other species such as northern pike, yellow perch, sunfish, and carp. These species can be found in various lakes across the state, providing additional angling opportunities and a chance to explore different fishing techniques.

Whether anglers prefer the thrill of catching bass in warm water lakes or the serene experience of trout fishing in cold water lakes, New Mexico's fishing lakes offer a range of options to suit every angler's preference. With breathtaking landscapes and diverse fish populations, these lakes provide an exciting and rewarding fishing experience for both locals and visitors alike.

Fishing Boats For Rent In New Mexico

Bass Lakes

Abiquiu Reservoir, Brantley Lake, Clayton Lake, Conchas Lake, Elephant Butte Reservoir, Navajo Lake, Santa Rosa Lake and Ute Lake are considered the best options for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. More...

Catfish Lakes

Brantley Lake, Conchas Lake, Elephant Butte Lake, Farmington Lake, Navajo Lake, Sumner Lake and Ute Lake are favorite options for channel, blue, white and flathead catfish. More...

Crappie Lakes

Caballo Lake, Conchas Lake, Elephant Butte Reservoir, Navajo Lake and Ute Lake are the most popular for black and white crappie. More...

Sunfish & Panfish Lakes

Caballo Lake, Clayton Lake, Conchas Lake, Cochiti Lake, Elephant Butte Reservoir and Ute Lake are popular spots to fish for bluegill, bream, perch and other sunfish. More...

Walleye Lakes

Abiquiu Reservoir, Caballo Lake, Clayton Lake, Conchas Lake, Santa Rosa Lake and Ute Lake are the top lakes for walleye fishing. More...

Trout Lakes

Abiquiu Reservoir, Eagle Nest Lake, El Vado Lake, Heron Lake and Navajo Lake, Springer Lake, and Stone Lake are the favorite options for rainbow, cutthroat, brook, brown and lake trout. More...

Striped Bass Lakes

Elephant Butte Reservoir and Red Bluff Reservoir are the best options for striped bass and/or hybrid striped bass. More...

Salmon Lakes

Eagle Nest Lake, Heron Lake and Navajo Lake are the most popular for atlantic, chinook, chum, coho, kokanee, pink and sockeye salmon fishing. More...

Visit the New Mexico fishing page for links to information covering a wide variety of fish species and destinations in the state. Visit the New Mexico map to identify your best route to these top fishing locations.


Best Destinations By State.

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