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Fishing Navajo Lake

AKA: Navajo Reservoir

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Navajo Lake, NM

Popular Fish Species Navajo Lake, NM

Navajo Lake Popular Fish - Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout

This year, fishing for rainbow trout in Navajo Lake is on the rise. Catching rainbow trout here often involves using small spinners, spoons, and crankbaits in vibrant colors to mimic their preferred prey. Additionally, floating or sinking flies, such as nymphs, streamers, or dry flies, are popular choices for fly anglers targeting rainbow trout. Trolling with lures or flies behind a boat, casting near shoreline structures, or still fishing with bait can all yield success. Adjusting lure size, color, and retrieve speed can enhance chances of enticing these colorful and spirited fish.

Navajo Lake Popular Fish - Northern Pike

Northern Pike

Thriving in the cool waters of Navajo Lake, northern pike are a very popular target for local anglers. This year they are being caught in good quantity and some mighty big sizes. April and May are the best months of the year, Fall can be good as well sometimes stretching into as late as October. Fishing for northern pike can give you the thrill of a lifetime when you hook a big one. Effective lures include spoons, spinners, and crankbaits, particularly those with bright colors or metallic finishes to attract the pike's attention. Additionally, big flies, soft plastic swimbaits and jerkbaits can be successful, especially when retrieved erratically to mimic wounded prey. Trolling along weed edges can often entice strikes.

Navajo Lake Popular Fish - Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass are a favorite of many locals at Navajo Lake, as they are plentiful and easy to catch, once located. Fishing for smallmouth bass is good anytime they are shallow - in spring, during high water, mornings in summer and during warmer fall afternoons. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap, and around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In winter, spend your time on deeper structure with small worms, jigs and spoons. Other bass to be caught here include largemouth bass and spotted bass.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, white crappie, rainbow trout, brown trout, bluegill, kokanee salmon and northern pike at Navajo Lake in New Mexico.

A haven for boating, camping and fishing, Navajo Lake is a 15,000-acre lake on the northern border of the state. It is the second largest lake in the state and boasts nearly 160 miles of shoreline. For fishing enthusiasts it is a dream destination that offers both warm-water and cold-water fish species.

Navajo Lake in New Mexico is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, offering abundant fishing opportunities and a stunning natural backdrop. The lake is renowned for its diverse fish species, including smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, northern pike, crappie, and catfish. Anglers can enjoy a variety of fishing techniques and target different species throughout the year.

Smallmouth bass are highly sought-after in Navajo Lake, known for their aggressive nature and acrobatic fights. Anglers can explore the lake's rocky shorelines, submerged structures, and points to find these feisty fish. Techniques such as casting with jigs, soft plastics, or crankbaits can entice smallmouth bass to strike. The lake's clear waters and rocky habitat provide an ideal environment for these energetic fish.

Largemouth bass are also abundant in Navajo Lake, offering exciting angling opportunities. The lake's coves, weed beds, and submerged vegetation provide excellent cover for these bass. Anglers can use techniques such as casting with topwater lures, jigs, or swimbaits to entice largemouth bass. Successful anglers often focus on fishing around structure or in shallow areas where bass are likely to be feeding.

Walleye are a prized game fish in Navajo Lake, providing anglers with thrilling angling experiences. These elusive predators can be found near rocky structures, points, or drop-offs. Trolling with deep-diving crankbaits or vertical jigging with live bait can be effective methods for targeting walleye. The lake's depths and diverse underwater terrain offer ample opportunities to catch these highly prized fish.

Navajo Lake is also home to northern pike, known for their aggressive strikes and powerful fights. Anglers can target these toothy predators by trolling with large lures or casting with spoons and swimbaits. The lake's expansive surface area and submerged vegetation provide suitable habitats for northern pike to thrive.

Catfish and crappie can also be found in Navajo Lake, offering additional angling opportunities. Anglers can target catfish using various bait presentations such as stink baits, chicken liver, or cut bait. Crappie can be caught using techniques such as vertical jigging or casting with small jigs near submerged structures or brush piles.

Navajo Lake in New Mexico offers excellent fishing opportunities with its diverse fish species and scenic environment. Anglers targeting bass, walleye, northern pike, catfish, or crappie can enjoy the thrill of the catch while embracing the beauty of the lake and its desert surroundings. Boating facilities and camping amenities further enhance the outdoor experience, making Navajo Lake a sought-after destination for anglers and nature enthusiasts seeking a memorable fishing adventure and a peaceful retreat in nature.

Bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish, trout, salmon and sunfish all reside here. Much of the southern portion of the lake is surrounded by parks, some of which provide access for fishing from the shore. Three boat launch ramps and three boat docks serve boaters with launch of fishing boats, water-ski boats, pleasure boats and pontoons. Canoes, kayaks and small fishing boats can be portaged from numerous areas in the parks. Also, a variety of rental boats are available at the marina and nearby boat rental outlets.

Fishing Boats For Rent In New Mexico

Primary fish species residing in Navajo Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Channel catfish Black crappie White crappie Rainbow trout Brown trout Bluegill Kokanee salmon Northern pike

Navajo Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: NEARBY
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Navajo Lake, with multiple boat ramps available for easy access to the water. Anglers can explore the lake's vast expanse, find productive fishing spots, and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding desert landscape. Boaters can also engage in recreational activities such as water skiing, tubing, or simply cruising along the lake's calm waters.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Navajo Lake Marina
Rentals: Bass boats and pontoon boats
505 632-3245

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Navajo Lake Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off State Route 511, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with docks and massive, paved parking.

Sims Mesa Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off State Route 527, this is a three-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.


Navajo Lake Marina
#42 CR 4110
Navajo Dam, NM 87419
505 632-3245

Fishing Guides On Navajo Lake

Navajo Lake Fishing Guide - salmon, trout, bass

Resolution Guide Service - trout, bass, pike

If you offer fishing guide services on Navajo Lake, please contact us for a free listing to be posted here.

Navajo Lake Fishing Video
Fishing License

Click here for a New Mexico Fishing License.

Camping facilities near Navajo Lake provide visitors with the opportunity to extend their stay and fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. Campers can set up their tents or park their RVs in designated campgrounds, offering a chance to relax under the starry sky, gather around campfires, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the lake and its surroundings.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Navajo Lake State Park Campground - 505 632-2278

Cottonwood Campground - 505 632-2278

Navajo Lake NM Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Navajo Lake
Navajo Lake State Park
36 Road 4110
Navajo Dam, NM 87419
505 632-2278


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