Fishing the Fifty

My Quest to Fish All 50 States

New Mexico

I headed to Elephant Butte Reservoir for some striper fishing.  Unfortunately I had not yet learned from my Nevada trip that, while the Western reservoirs do produce big stripers, trophy-size fish are not caught as frequently as they are in the Southern lakes or along the East Coast.


The trip started with jigging for white bass, which was very fun.  I caught quite a few, including a 24-inch beauty that easily exceeded New Mexico’s 15-inch minimum for a trophy.  The stripers were not biting, but fortunately I caught nearly 40 other fish, so in all this was a successful trip.  The guide also brought his big, energetic puppy who was a joy to spend the day with, despite unhelpfully running into the rods.


The guide I fished with is an excellent fisherman; after all, his trophy striper pictures did lead me to choose him and to forget (regrettably) that Western reservoir striper fishing is very much unlike the striper fishing in the South and East.  However, the guide was extremely unprofessional, to put it as nicely as possible.  First, he raised the price on me the morning of our trip.  Because I was 2,000 miles from home and in the middle of the desert with limited options, I had to pay the increased rate.  Second, he had to be paid this increased rate in cash and before we even started, both of which were news to me.  This would have been fine... if I had been doing a drug deal with Gus Fring.  But this was fishing, and it added insult to injury.  This guide is one of only three with whom I would not fish again and whom I do not recommend.

Yo yo yo. 148 - 3 to the 3 to the 6 to the 9.  Representin' the ABQ

Trophy white bass with the first mate looking on hungrily 

The day's catch

Elephant Butte Reservoir

My biggest white bass of the day, a 24-inch trophy 

Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, New Mexico:  122 acres of enhanced zoo and wildlife refuge

Bert, the great horned owl

Moon Shadow, one of the two mountain lions