10 Best Fish to Catch in New Mexico

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New Mexico has a range of fish species to offer for the anglers. The huge bodies of water here are full of amazing fishing opportunities. Some famous fish species include crappie, largemouth bass, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, salmon, stripers, rainbow trout, blue catfish, brook trout, yellow perch, longnose gar, cutthroat trout, and much more.

To make your search for fish species easier, we have ranked the 10 best fishes to catch in New Mexico. These are all the most popular fish species in the state. So, let’s known about them.

1. Walleye

The walleye is one of the most common and incredible fish species in New Mexico. The waters here contain walleye in abundance. Trolling technique is proved to be great for catching walleye here. While you can use any bait because these species eat anything they get. The waters famous for these species’ populations include Conchas Lake, Abiquiu Reservoir, Ute Lake, Santa Rose Lake, Clayton Lake, Sumner Lake, and Cochiti Lake.

2. Largemouth Bass

Another well-known fish is largemouth bass. These are also known to be the most populated fishes throughout the state. The waters here have a good quantity of them. So, you will never end your day without catching one. Some good spots to target largemouth bass are Caballo Lake, Abiquiu Reservoir, Santa Rose Lake, Ute Lake, Clayton Lake, and more.

3. Catfish

You can find some amazing types of catfish in New Mexico. The major types include flathead catfish, channel catfish, and blue catfish. Some water bodies which contain plenty of catfish are Abiquiu Reservoir, Farmington Lake, Red Bluff Reservoir, Clayton Lake, Ute Lake, Santa Rose Lake, Elephant Butte Lake, Brantley Lake, and Caballo Lake, etc.

4. Spotted Bass

Among various bass types, the spotted bass is another popular fish in New Mexico. Though it is not found in the same quantity as largemouth bass, you will have satisfactory catches of this type of bass. Here are some of the best waters where you can find spotted bass: Brantley Lake, Abiquiu Reservoir, Red Bluff Reservoir, Sumner Lake, Navajo Lake, Caballo Lake, Elephant Butte Lake, El Vado Lake, and more.

5. Trout

For those looking to target trout this summer, New Mexico can be your spot. The waters here are also known for their great trout population. You can find some good types of trout here, like lake trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, and brown trout. While the water bodies where you can find plenty of trout are El Vado Lake, Eagle Nest Lake, Springer Lake, Navajo Lake, Caballo Lake, etc.

6. White Crappie

New Mexico can offer some trophy-winning white crappies. The huge water bodies here are home to great white crappie catches. Especially if you are fishing in Sumner Lake, Conchas Lake, Abiquiu Reservoir, Santa Rose Lake, Navajo Lake, Ute Lake, etc., you will surely have a good catch ratio.

7. Stripers

Stripers, also known as the striped bass, have two types here. First, the hybrid striped bass, and second, the ordinary striped bass. There aren’t numerous places where you can target stripers; however, few water bodes like Elephant Butte Lake, Red Bluff Reservoir, and Caballo Lake contain a satisfactory quantity of these fish species. You will surely have a catch while searching for stripers in these waters.

8. Panfish

New Mexico offers some great waters for catching different types of panfish. While the famous waters include Brantley Lake, Conchas Lake, Navajo Lake, Ute Lake, Santa Rosa Lake, Abiquiu Reservoir, Red Bluff Reservoir, and more. Moreover, panfish types to target in this state are green sunfish, bluegill, yellow perch, longear sunfish, and white bass.

9. Salmon

Salmon is one of the rare species in New Mexico. There are only a few water bodies that will satisfy your craving for salmon fishing. These include Eagle Nest Lake, Heron Lake, Navajo Lake, and El Vado Lake. Moreover, these waters are home to two major salmon types: kokanee salmon and cohort salmon. Fish in these water bodies to get your catch.

10. Longnose Gar

Longnose gar is also one of the favorite catches of anglers here. These are found in the large lakes throughout the state. Some major locations for longnose gar are Quemado Lake, Bluewater Lake, Caballo Lake, Santa Rosa Lake, Ute Lake, Brantley Lake, Red Bluff Reservoir, Eagle Nest Lake, Navajo Lake, etc.


The list of amazing fish species in New Mexico does not exhaust here. There are some other fishes too like northern pike and tiger muskie etc. So, you can target those too.


New Mexico Fishing.

Cold Water Species, New Mexico.

New Mexico Fish Species List.