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New Mexico Panfish Fishing

All about fishing for sunfish in NM lakes and ponds.

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Panfish fishing in Colorado

Throughout the state of New Mexico you can find waters with populations of sunfish, including bluegill, green sunfish, longear sunfish, white bass and yellow perch.

One or more species of sunfish populate virtually all warm water streams, ponds and lakes throughout New Mexico, and around the world for that matter. They can survive in waters that provide their natural food source of minnows, insects, crustaceans and worms. Their competitive nature amongst themselves, for food, makes them relatively easy to catch.

Panfish Fishing Lakes In New Mexico

It's been said 'they're everywhere'. And when it comes to sunfish, that's basically true. They populate ponds, rivers, parks, canals, small lakes and are a major part of the food chain in major lakes including Abiquiu Reservoir, Brantley Lake, Caballo Lake, Conchas Lake, Elephant Butte Reservoir, Navajo Lake, Red Bluff Reservoir, Santa Rosa Lake, Sumner Lake and Ute Lake.

The list of panfish is comprised of many fishes each called by a variety of names. The bluegill tops the list and is the most common.


The New Mexico state record bluegill sunfish was caught from Lovington Lake, the NM state record green sunfish and NM record longear sunfish both came out of Elephant Butte Lake, and the state record yellow perch was caught from Lake 13 (Maxwell).

Fishing for panfish in New Mexico



World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

NM State Record: 3 lbs 1.5 oz

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.1 lbs

NM State Record: 1 lbs 6 oz

Longear Sunfish

Longear sunfish

World record: 1.75 lbs

NM State Record: 1 lbs 12 oz

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

NM State Record: 4 lbs 13 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

NM State Record: 2 lbs 5 oz

By clicking on the images and links above, you will be taken to a page offering more information about the selected species.

Panfish are prolific spawners and repopulate the waters as fast as they are harvested. A common problem with panfish fishing is that the waters are under-fished causing panfish to overpopulate. As a result they tend to stay small in size due to lack of food source.

Panfish fishing information for other states.


Learn the lifecycle of a panfish

There is a host of panfish anglers can pursue. Visit the panfish fishing page for details on many of these sunfish you might encounter in New Mexico fishing waters. The panfish fishing videos offer a first hand look a anglers catching panfish.

Contribute NM Sunfish Fishing Knowledge

If you have information, articles or photos relating to panfish fishing in New Mexico, which you would like to see published here, please submit them for consideration.

Best panfish fishing lakes in New Mexico!