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Guide To Walleye Fishing In New Mexico

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While New Mexico is not widely known as a walleye fishing destination, the state does offer opportunities for anglers to pursue this popular game fish. Some of the major lakes in New Mexico, such as Elephant Butte Lake and Ute Lake, provide suitable habitats for walleye. These lakes are known for their diverse fish populations, including walleye, which can be targeted using various fishing techniques.

When it comes to walleye fishing in New Mexico, anglers often focus on trolling or casting with crankbaits, jigs, or live bait presentations. Walleye are typically found near submerged structures, drop-offs, and points, making these areas prime locations to search for feeding fish. Anglers can also target walleye in river systems, such as the San Juan River, where these fish can be caught using similar techniques as in lakes.

The New Mexico state record walleye is over 16 pounds, and some of the lakes in the state have produced notable catches. Elephant Butte Lake, for example, has seen walleye caught in the 10 to 15-pound range, providing evidence of the potential for landing sizeable fish.

Walleye fishing in New Mexico may require some exploration and adaptation compared to more traditional walleye fishing destinations. However, for anglers looking to pursue walleye in a unique setting and discover new waters, New Mexico's lakes and rivers offer a chance to reel in this prized game fish. With proper techniques and a bit of local knowledge, anglers can find success and create memorable walleye fishing experiences in the Land of Enchantment.

Walleye Lakes In NM

Most fishermen would never guess that New Mexico has several excellent walleye fisheries. Abiquiu Reservoir, Caballo Lake, Clayton Lake, Cochiti Lake, Conchas Lake, Santa Rosa Lake, Sumner Lake and Ute Lake all have populations of walleye.

Fishing Boats For Rent In New Mexico

Fishing for walleye in New Mexico

Walleye

Walleye

World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 16 lbs 9 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top lures for walleye in New Mexico

Jigs with a variety of trailers and bait work well in virtually any depth water. When walleyes are shallow, spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and rip baits are the often very productive. As they move deeper, spoons are ideal for active walleye. Understanding the seasonal movements of walleyes improves your odds of selecting the right lures for conditions on local waters.

New Mexico State Walleye, Sauger & Saugeye Records

The state record walleye was caught out of Clayton Lake.

Fishing For Walleye

This toothy fish will eat virtually anything it can catch and get in its mouth. They prefer small fish and will eat crustaceans, worms and insects. They tend to be somewhat wary and prefer the safety of deeper darker water. Trolling for walleye with deep diving crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinners and live bait provides a way to cover vast areas and locate concentrations of fish. Use of planer boards allows anglers to cover water out both sides of the boat while trolling. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.

Walleye fishing in New Mexico

Walleyes prefer moderately deep lakes with gravel, rock or sandy bottoms. It is found primarily in cold water lakes but has proven to survive in warmer impoundments. It is prized for its great tasting filets. Click here to learn all about walleye fishing.

New Mexico walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.

Watch this video for walleye tips and tactics.

Walleye Resources

In-Fisherman - Walleye
U.S. Fish & Wildlife - Walleye
The National Wildlife Federation - Walleye

 

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