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Fishing in New Mexico: Top Spots for Angling in the Land of Enchantment

By    |   Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 12:29 AM

Looking to break out the tackle box for some fishing in New Mexico, but not sure where to go? The Land of Enchantment offers several great spots for anglers to reel in the big one, including winter ice fishing. According to New Mexico True, many reservations and Native American pueblos offering public fishing, too.

In the northwest part of New Mexico is Whiskey Lake, part of Navajo Nation. It offers anglers the opportunity to catch 14- to 18-inch rainbow trout, as well as a fair chance to catch some in the 20- to 24-inch range. Fishing and boating permits are available through the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife, and can be purchased at sporting goods stores in the Gallup and Farmington areas, you can also fill out an application online. The lake is closed December through April.

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Eagle Nest Lake is another popular fishing spot in New Mexico, and in the winter months it offers ice fishing. According to New Mexico True, the lake is "a 2,000-acre impoundment alongside U.S. 64 northeast of Taos." It is surrounded by the high mountains in the Moreno Valley, and is one of the best places in the state to find kokanee salmon and rainbow trout. The lake is at 8,300 feet and offers a cool retreat for anglers in the summer or ice fishing for rainbow trout in the winter.

Trails.com listed Elephant Butte Lake as another premier New Mexico fishing spot. The 36,558-acre desert reservoir has shallow and deep waters as well as rocky points, coves, flooded timber, limited vegetation and zero tributaries. It is an impoundment of the Rio Grande River, and offers great largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing.

According to Trails.com, what makes Elephant Butte Lake unique is its configuration. The lake comprises two completely different basins joined by a narrow, four-mile canyon. The upper basin has shallow, dingy water with rocky flats and bays that are flooded with salt cedar and mesquite. The site said the average depth is about 20 feet. Meanwhile, the lower basin contains deep, clear water and averages about 80 feet, with limited timber and vegetation. It contains some brushy, shallow areas and coves.

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Largemouth bass can be found in both basins, while striped bass are found in the canyon and lower basin or lake. The smallmouth are also more common in the lower, deeper lake.

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Looking to break out the tackle box for some fishing in New Mexico, but not sure where to go? The Land of Enchantment offers several great spots for anglers to reel in the big one, including winter ice fishing.
fishing, New Mexico, top spots
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2016-29-07
Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 12:29 AM
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